Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Is Here, And I Got Sprung

Hello friends, and welcome to the first day of spring. It was a BEAUTIFUL day here in St. Augustine, and I got sprung from the confines of the Green Acres Garage to come outside and hang with my buddies. It's been a month today since we got back home from our last camping trip. I've been patiently passing the days watching TV and napping, while Gary has been working away on various projects. Since closing our booth at the antique store a little over three weeks ago, he has been EXTREMELY busy. Not having to cater to the time demands that a booth requires, he has gotten a LOT of projects either finished or started here at home. He seems to be much happier seeing progress being made, and I know for a fact that he's sleeping better. When I came outside today, I stopped first to check out the interior painting that Gary just finished inside of "Dorsey" the storage container. Nice job! The fresh white paint is FAR better than the graffiti-ridden bare plywood, and it's MUCH lighter and cleaner looking. Next on my outdoor adventure, was a stop inside the Green Acres Carport. It was built just about a year ago, but this was my first time being under it. It's 900 square feet of AWESOMENESS!!! Unfortunately, it's a bit cluttered at the moment with large items that were intended to be sold at Booth 366, but somehow never made it there. As things get more under control around here, Gary will find new homes for anything that he can't use. That's part of the master plan. While under the carport, I visited with the biggest van in our fleet ("Max"). He's been hanging out under the carport since it was completed. My Serro Scotty sisters ("Caroline", "Jackie", and "Bernadette"), who are just outside the carport on the south side, seemed happy to see me. Just beyond them is "Holmes", a van that was purchased for parts. My brother "Henry", a former travel trailer who is now a utility trailer, was right behind me on the north side of the carport. This was the first time we had all been this close to each other in years. Towed behind my buddy "Dodge", my ride through the yard continued. I stopped to see the remains of "Scotty". He is covered with a tarp, and like most of the other trailers here, he awaits a total rebuild. He was the first Serro Scotty that Gary purchased, but sadly has yet to get the attention he deserves. Heading east towards the front yard, we stopped to see "Chip". His frame is strewn with pieces of old trailer skins, concrete blocks, and other junk. "Chip" was purchased as a donor trailer for me. Several of my windows originally belonged to my dear little brother. The eighth and final Serro Scotty that you didn't see on today's tour is "Poppy". My sweet little sister has been my roommate inside the garage since she got here about three years ago. Also inside the garage is a '71 Dodge Dart and a '65 Dodge A-100 van. Both aren't currently running and are on the list of future projects. That's a LONG list! Do you see a pattern here? Moving on, we visited with "Connie" the conversion van. She has that big driveway all to herself. She will likely be finding a new home after repairs. Circling back around the house, Dodge and I hung out in the shade of the big oak tree in the backyard for an hour or so, and then I was towed back to the carport. Gary decided to let me spend the night out here. It's something I've been wanting to do, and I guess it's kind of my reward for being a good boy lately. I'm not alone, of course. Gary is with me. He's watching TV while I catch up on my blog. I was SO excited about today's activities, that I just HAD to tell you about it. What a FUN day! Goodnight and sweet dreams from Toaster and Gary, LIVE from the Green Acres Carport.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Out Of Business

February 2017 is almost over, so I thought I would check in and tell you the latest news before we slip into the new month. First, we had a WONDERFUL time during our most recent camping trip at Wekiwa Springs. That was our final camping trip until next fall, and we made the most of every single day. We stopped at the gigantic Webster Westside Flea Market on the way home. After Gary got his shopping fix, we were off and rolling. It was an uneventful trip, and that's just fine with us. Unless plans change, it looks like I'll be sitting right here in my usual spot in the Green Acres Garage until next November. UGH!!! Something tells me that it's going to be a long and very hot summer. In other news, the joint business venture between Gary and I (Booth 366) is now over. About 10 months ago, we decided to get a little booth at an antique store in Jacksonville, and sell antiques and collectibles. Gary did all the work, and I gave up my weekly allowance to supply the cash to buy the goods that were sold in the booth. Gary is a really good shopper. He stretches a dollar like nobody I've ever seen, and with diligence and hard work, he was able to make some decent money for both of us. But the catch in this otherwise happy story is the amount of time that's involved to make this work. There's the shopping for goods, cleaning the purchases, tagging them, inventorying them, taking photos for the Booth 366 Facebook page, then going back and forth to Jacksonville to restock the booth. On average, it was taking half of each week to get all of that done. Gary literally has enough ongoing projects to keep him busy for the rest of his life if he lived to be 150. No joke! Things have continued to get further and further out of hand around here, and Gary was no longer having fun doing the Booth 366 thing. So, we talked it over and decided to call it quits. If things start getting done here at home, I think Gary will feel much better. All of these unfinished projects, plus Booth 366, has been wearing on him. The only time he's relaxed is when we're off camping somewhere. But camping season is over, Booth 366 is over, and now it's time for the REAL work to begin. On the bright side, I guess I'll be getting a steady allowance again, so WOO-HOO for that! As things happen here at Green Acres, I'll be reporting in. Love to you all. Your little aluminum pal, Toaster.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winter In Wekiwa Springs

It's day number one (of five) here at Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka, Florida. This is our last camping trip of the 2016/2017 season, but I'm going to try not to think about that too much. There's no need to be sad when this is our last time to have fun and be happy. When we arrived today, our campsite was still occupied. We had to kill some time, so Dodge and I hung out in the parking lot, while Gary wandered around and snapped a few picture around the area where the springs are. He even took a picture of himself, and he rarely does that. His face didn't break the camera lens, so all is well (Ha-Ha!). After an hour or so, we made our way back to the campground, and luckily, our campsite was vacant and waiting for us. We have camped here at Wekiwa on several occasions, and all but once we have made campsite 33 our home. It's obviously our favorite campsite here. Winter in Florida is CRAZY!!! It was 81 degrees and muggy today. Gary planned ahead and brought along my air conditioner, making my interior an un-toaster-like 64 degrees. Nice! You may recall my post from our visit here a couple of years ago, when we didn't have my air conditioner, and all of my windows were open. The super aggressive squirrels that live here at Wekiwa, actually chewed through my screens and partied inside of me while Gary was out antique shopping. I was in shock! They were running all over the place, and got into a brand new loaf of bread, making a BIG mess. As much as I love squirrels, that was WAY too scary for little old me. They will hopefully come around to be fed, but that will be happening OUTSIDE, not INSIDE. Since we are so close to the Orlando area, TV reception here is perfect. There's a new channel to be found with every click of the remote. We'll have something to watch, even if the rain storms come through this weekend as predicted. Well, I'm going to get off this computer, relax for awhile, and enjoy the things that make camping so much fun. If I don't write again while we are here, I'll write from home for sure. Later!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Midnight Trailer To Georgia

We're home from our latest trip, and as always, it was a FUN one. Here's the story of where we went and what we did. This was our final visit to Georgia for the 2016/2017 camping season. Sad to say, but it's true. We LOVE Georgia. The state parks there are SO different from the Florida parks. It's also a GREAT place for Gary to hunt for antiques, and you know how much he loves to do that. We rolled away from home base in St. Augustine early last Thursday morning. All of our gear was packed, and my four little stuffed squirrels were tucked into what Gary calls "The Squirrel Safety Seat". Actually, they ride on my front bed, nestled between my left front wall and a pillow. With all the bouncing I do as we fly down the highway, they always arrive just as they were when we left. We drove about 70 miles in the dark of night, and stopped at a rest stop on I-10 westbound at mile marker 318 for a few hours of sleep. From there, we headed into Georgia, and arrived a while later at Reed Bingham State Park between Adel and Moultrie. It's located about 6 miles west of I-75. We camp at Reed Bingham on a fairly regular basis, and we once again chose campsite #1 for our 4-night stay. I like that big oak tree. It provides a nice shady spot for me to hang out under. One of the reasons we stay at Reed Bingham so often, is because of the semi-annual car shows in nearby Moultrie that Gary likes to attend. On Friday and Saturday, that's exactly where he spent the majority of his time. He bought some miscellaneous stuff at the swap meet, and fell madly in love with a rusty 1949 Dodge pickup truck that I've included a picture of. I think if he had some extra cash in his pockets, that truck would have ended up as the newest resident of the Green Acres Garage. I hung out and watched the Discovery Channel on TV while he was gone. That's always a treat since we don't have cable TV at home. Gary skipped the car show on Sunday, slept in REALLY late, and then we watched all the pre-game stuff before the Superbowl came on. As for the results of the game, we could almost feel the disappointment in the air from the Georgia fans, knowing their beloved Atlanta Falcons lost the game in overtime. It was a shocker for sure. Early on Monday, it was time to leave. We headed east with Gary's cellphone navigation as our guide, and arrived awhile later at General Coffee State Park between the towns of Nicholls and Douglas. Gary had bought carrots during a stop at Wal-Mart, and we paused on the way back to the campground to feed the carrots to Poncho and Jenny, our two favorite donkeys besides Jack and Diane, the two miniature donkeys that live on Gary's sister's farm. Because of Jack and Diane, we have become HUGE fans of donkeys. They are super cool animals. Once inside the campground, we decided to stay in campsite #32. We camped in that same campsite during our very first stay at the park back in 2013. Since this was just an overnight visit, Gary didn't fully set me up like he does during longer stays. The only reason I got unhitched from Dodge was because Gary wanted to go into town to check out a couple of antique stores, and there isn't any place to park the van with me attached. There is no TV reception at General Coffee, but Gary brought along an AWESOME DVD about the touring years of The Beatles that was put together by Ron Howard. We watched that, and it was SOOOOO great! We slept well, and left the campground around 11 AM this morning. We stopped by to feed Poncho and Jenny some more carrots on the way out of the park, and stopped at an antique store in Blackshear as we headed further south. We cruised down US 1 through Georgia, then into Florida, and finally arrived back home around 4 PM. As much as I love being on the road, it's always good to be home. I think I feel a nap coming on. Catch you later!