Thursday, August 31, 2006

White Rabbit's first sleepover

Earlier this week we took the White Rabbit (see "The Navioneers" entry) for its first shakedown and spent a noisy and very rainy night in Napoleon Ohio. Ended up with a sizeable list of missed and forgotten "essentials" (one being a comfortable bed :o( ) which we will remedy before taking off with Carly and Caitie this coming weekend.
Napoleon is on the Maumee river that flows through Fort Wayne and wends its way north into Lake Erie. The Toledo-Cincinnati canal followed the river at this point and Independence Dam was the site of Lock No. 13. The lock gates are long since gone but the lock masonry is well preserved. Highway 224 follows the river for 20 miles or so at this point and is rated as one of the best touring highways in the US and, better yet, it is practically deserted! Click on the picture for more detail - there is some interesting (nerdy) information in the white panel at the top.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Celebration conflagration

Here is a demonstration of why one needs to be extremely careful about earning Marian's wrath. Martine, Ben and Emily stopped by yesterday to leave a cake for Marian's birthday. Emily, foolish child, let it slip that there was a candle on the cake for each year and promptly set about counting them.
Big mistake. Marian quickly gave the cake "one of her looks", the kind she often throws my way, and, Lo, the entire affair burst into flames, apparently much to her delight!
Don't say you haven't been warned.


Sadly, our dependable companion for the last 12 years moved on to greater things last week. Toby, who was rescued from a dog pound in California back in the nineties, generally had it made in the shade. He went to work every day, attended all important meetings, worked diligently as foodtaster for every employee and was always at the head of the donut line on Fridays. Certainly he will remain part of the Britannia folk lore for years to come.
We miss you buddy.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Naked blonde caught on camera

A recent visit to the County Fair was helped along by this little beauty. Probably a good thing that she appears to be having a bad hair day or I might have been really smitten. I was also quite taken by a good looking lamb - let's see, 350F and 25 minutes to the pound...

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Day at the Zoo

Last Monday, 14th August was a great day. I took Emily, Carly and Caitie, our grandchildren, to the Fort Wayne Zoo. It is but a short drive to the west side of town to reach the Zoo that is located in Franke Park.

I had no sooner purchased the tickets to gain entry and the three girls were off at high speed. They just love a visit to the zoo. We visited several varieties of Monkeys, wallabies, kangaroo, sea lions, alligators, penguins, the two giraffes and the small herd of zebra. Not to be missed were the farm animals, they just love to feed the goats and, careful in this area because the goats will eat the clothes off your back given half a chance.

The girls each had a pony ride and then it was time for lunch at Subway. After lunch we walked through the Indonesian rain forest and the Australian nocturnal exhibit to see the bats. Finally it was time to go home - we had a fun day and were certainly ready to put our feet up, at least I was.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The Gump Dump

Well, wouldn't you know it - like most things in our lives we got it backwards again, gnizisnwod when it should be downsizing.
The Gump Dump, above, which has served us heroically since 1999 is pretty much "used-up". Accordingly, it is being discarded in favor of Camp Manitou, below, and now we need GPS just to find the bathroom!
Camp Manitou

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stick house stuff...

Today was one of those hurry up and forget days - stick house maintenance. We've been in our present place, Pete's Pad, for seven years and have steadfastly ignored events such as yard maintenance guys occasionally mowing driveway lights or Marian accidentally building bonfires on top of ornamental lighting fixtures - until today! Just like that, it became a she-who-must-be-obeyed imperative that everything is fixed. Now!

So, a few hours of grubbing around with ants, mosquitoes and other lowly critters like myself, and seven years of sins have been vanquished - imagine the brownie points I should have earned for that! However, my glory didn't last for long. Guess she figured "If he can do that in a day, I need to find him something more challenging..." Seems like I'm now scheduled to power wash the sidewalks or something similarly heathen. Probably time to break something and get reclassified as worthless again.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Spring Surprise

Surprising things happen when you don't keep the undergrowth in the woods neatly mowed. This spring, what with one thing and another, I never got the mower started for the annual clean up. As time went on, the weeds and grass grew and brought forth some beautiful flowers, one of the prettiest of which is Selene Virginica. I couldn't resist taking this picture and sadly reflected on what I must have missed previously by diligently mowing the grass and keeping my woods tidy.
The moral is that if we leave things alone and let nature take its course, wonderful things can happen! As it turned out, this little beauty is actually a native of Kentucky and was probably just on vacation. Click here for information overload.

The Navioneers!

A couple of weeks ago we picked up our soon-to-be European RV - an Itasca Navion. We had fun stocking it with cutlery, crockery, linens and other everyday necessities and will shortly do a couple of overnight stays to see what we missed.
Overall, this seems to be a fun vehicle and fairly self-sufficient. It is built on the Dodge Sprinter chassis which is based on a Mercedes diesel engine with a five speed automatic gearbox. Drives pretty much like a car.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New beginning...

Greetings. Well, we finally pulled the trigger and sold our business. Now, with work and related duties receding in the rearview mirror, we are eager to get on with our new lives. Given that we have time, we will add occasional updates to this blog to chart any progress we might make. So, watch this space if you're really, really bored!