Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

News, News, and News

Hi all,
 Exciting news today on the farm. We had a baby!!!! Well a baby goat anyway.) It was all quite cool after losing a baby goat a couple weeks ago this one just popped out all on her own. We had been expecting it any time and were checking frequently. As it turned out Amanda's husband Pat had just arrived home from working on the road for almost two months. He heard a beller and went to check it out and walla, there she was just born. So neat seeing it all wobbly legged taking its first steps.

Amanda and Phoebe
 We had a good weekend taking in a large flea market and farmers market in Jacksonville on Saturday. Sunday was spent doing some yard work and other jobs about. I talked with my son Nate and he said that I should remember that we are retired. Yeah but doing this just seems to be more rewarding though we may not be around to see or reap the rewards.
 Also exciting news for us our other daughter Colleen who resides in WI got a new doggy. They had been pursuing a Blue Heeler for some time and things finally fell into place. It is there first dog and we know he will be a great part of the family.
Grandson Isaiah and Marshmallow
 Wendy and Amanda had bought some gourds to paint and hang as birdhouses. Pretty artistic aren't we? And then the project for the next day was making a trellis to plant some of our own gourds. I always say one thing leads to another.
 Well time here will end soon as Wendy and I figure to hit the road again next Tuesday. We will enjoy Easter with the kids and then head to Summerdale Alabama for a short stay at the Escapee park there. We have stayed there before and find it a nice reasonable spot that is located just a short drive to the Gulf Shores beaches. From there we are aiming for Betty's RV in Abbeville, La. We have a two week reservation there that we are looking forward to. We stayed there two years ago and had a blast, we also met some great people and seems that some will be there then. We also will be meeting up with Tim and Renee, a California couple that we had worked with in Custer our first year.
 That is probably the best part of this lifestyle, meeting new people that end up as good friends.
 Now for the big news you have been waiting for, we got our winter jobs! We are happily returning to Roper Lake State Park in Safford Arizona. We will be there Nov. thru Feb. We had a great experience there last year and again met some great people that will also be back.
 So that's a lot of news, I will end with some of Wendy's pics of flowers here in the yard and of Wendy's latest needle work. Thanks for reading along, Have a Joyous Easter all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Busy week

Hi all,
Well busy, busy as usual and time flying by. We had a great week with grandson Alex and his gf Emily. Maybe we can relax now-HA.
 We finished the week with them taking a nice kayak run on the Santa Fe River. We did about a three hour trip but leisurely made it in four. There were a couple large springs to check along the way and then the highlight visiting with Naked Ed.

 Naked Ed (John Edward Watts) has been living in a hut or shack by Lily Springs since 1985. And as you can guess he is a bit eccentric. He has signs up that show he is a free thinker and you can argue with him about it but you would have to remove your clothes first as to be on the same playing field( according to one of his signs).
 We had a nice chat with him but he was gracious enough to be stay behind a fence on his pier. He was proud to show us a bottle from a local brewery that named a beer in his honor.
 Wednesday was a chore day, the kids planted a garden and Wendy and I rebuilt a flower bed. On Friday Alex, Emily, and I went fishing on the gulf near Stienhatchee, Fla. Amanda set this up with Keith a friend from work. We had a great time although the fishing was slow. We caught a mixed bag of Spanish mackeral, hammerhead shark, and a stingray. Not quite what we were fishing for but enough to keep it fun. Alex ended up getting quite a burn even though he was dousing with a spray sunblock.
Alex fighting with a stingray

Keith and Emily
 While we fished Wendy and Amanda went shopping for more bushes which we planted on Sunday. Wendy repainted a bench and we spruced up a flower area in the front yard. There were quite a few rose bushes and some other flowers and they are now beginning to bloom. We have seen hummingbirds frequent the area and hear orioles and some other birds. We repainted a bird feeder and will begin to stock it so we will see what we can attract.
 Big news is also on the horizon for us. Stay tuned for more in the next exciting blog of Wendy and Ray.)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Live Oak and Cumberland Island round II

 Hi all,
Our time at St Augustine sadly came to an end. We had a great time touring and spending time on the beach. We do like the beach time, we ended up at the beach 7 of the twelve days there. We found driving a bit north on A1A led to some very lightly used beaches. The two times we hit the beach right in St. Augustine were busy but nothing you would call packed. I guess the main spring breakers have yet to arrive.
 So we left on Sunday with the plan of setting up camp at our daughters place. We were just a bit skeptical as we would have to enter in one of her fenced fields and not sure where we would actually set up. Things turned out well and we were able to pull in to the first double gate with ease, do a nice back up to align ourselves through a 10 foot gate and swing in close enough for about 75 feet of cord to give us some juice. Looks pretty comfortable we may have trouble leaving(winkwink).
 So while here we have a few projects to help with and can you believe a to do list. I thought those days were over. Well most things are not huge or strenuous so we really don't mind.
 The first project was actually a fun one as grandson Alex and I teamed up to build a goat milking station. Though she doesn't plan to milk her goats it will be used for trimming hooves and cleaning them up when needed.
 This became a priority as one of her goats gave birth over the weekend. Sadly the kid was stillborn, but Blanche was a mess and needed a thorough cleansing after. The stand worked like a charm.
  Alex and his girlfriend Emily are down from Wisconsin for spring break so we have some days with planned activities sandwiched with work days. Monday we built the goat stand then later in the day they planted a garden while I helped Amanda with some irrigation lines. We are trying to get things set up to make watering everything as easy as possible. That and the fact she has so little time to get things done. The joys of being a small farm owner.
 Tuesday we goofed off and made a trip to Cumberland Island. Wendy and I had made this trip two years ago with Mandi and Pat but it was something Alex wanted to see. We arose early and hit the road at 6:30 wanting to be on the 9:00 ferry. They only run a 9 or 11:00 ferry and return at 4:45. Reservations are strongly suggested.

 The island just off the Georgia coast has the remains of a mansion owned by Thomas and Lucy Carnegie. Family members donated the land in 1971 and in 1972 Congress created Cumberland Island National Seashore. The mansion was built in 1884 and all but destroyed by fire. The mansion had not been inhabited since 1925 and the fire happened in 1959. Massive partial walls still remain.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

St. Augustine Anniversary

Hi all,
 We are enjoying ourselves playing tourist. We spent the weekend exploring St. Augustine known as the oldest city in America. It was established in 1565 when Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed with hundreds of colonist. The city is known as having the first hospital, first Catholic Parish church, and the first city government to name a few. Exploring St. Augustine is not only a great history lesson but an experience of early life on the coast.

  Fort Castillo de San Marcos constructed in 1672 still exist as one of the oldest standing structures in North America. Built by the Spanish as a military warehouse and refuge for the townspeople. Walls that measure 14 to 19 feet thick were made of over 400,000 blocks of coquina stone cut and set by hand. Coquina is a limestone blended with different coral and seashell.
 Touring other areas of St. Augustine included old narrow streets of brick lined with neat shops and restaurants. We did this on Sunday celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. We stopped and listened to some local musicians while enjoying a celebratory beverage (or two). Good thing the trolley was handling the driving today.
 The Trolley was a good way to explore also as they narrate a 23 stop tour of the city. As parking is extremely difficult in the area it is the way to go.
 To backtrack a bit we had learned earlier that while here a seafood festival was going to take place. Well without a doubt something we were sure going to take part in. It was a nice festival and though the weather was a bit on the cool side it turned out to be a nice day. We enjoyed some music especially one band Lonesome Bert and the Skinny Lizards that played their own music a folksy blend of local tales.
 This week has been just more relaxing at the beach. We found a lightly used beach north of the city that offered some nice unobstructed beach views. We talked to a local fisherman a bit and he showed us what to look for to find sharks teeth. We spent the next day doing the shark tooth stoop and were rewarded with over 50 finds.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Some Beach

Hi all,
We pulled into Stagecoach R-V Park on Sunday after a short two hour ride. We settled in pretty quick and just browsed through the many brochures we had picked up. We have heard parking in downtown St. Augustine is a pain, but they do run a trolley shuttle and something called the Red Train Tours. You can get a three day pass for $23.00, a one day is $20. So now to decide which three days we want to do our touring.  There is a big seafood festival this weekend so we want to make sure we do the trolley on one of the weekend days.
 So the past few days we have just been exploring different beaches. I know pretty rough life. We have got some good exercise with some long walks on the beach and Wendy gets even more with the beach stooping looking for treasures.

 One day we visited Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (thats a mouthful). It encompasses 60,000 acres of differing coastal habitat and includes a environment education center. Along with a boat launch and fishing area and there is about 10 miles of hiking trails. Wendy and I opted for a nice three mile hike through pine woods to a view of the Tolomato River.
 It was nice to walk along in the shade after baking in the sun on the beach.

  Friday the weather is suppose to be cool and rainy so we want to use that to better plan our route after Florida.
 Wendy had received a call from Lance our supervisor at Custer State Park. He had left a message saying he had good news and bad news. The good news was she would get a raise. The bad news they were raising the camp cost for paid workers in the park. She will still earn a bit more than last year so we decided to go ahead with the plan. She will be doing pretty much the same job she did last summer as a campground attendant and I will return to hosting in Stockade North. We look forward to a great summer and welcome anyone to stop by if you are in the area.