Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to Belwood!

Wow! What happened to winter? Here we are back in Canada after a great winter away from the cold (a much kinder winter than last year in Florida)! An eventful last few months in Florida - we bought a house and will probably downsize the RV to something more in keeping with occasional travels instead of full-time living in the RV.

But there's lots of work left on the basement apartment in Belwood before I can truly give up full-time living in the RV (although we're roughing it in the basement now since the bathroom and bedroom are serviceable enough to occupy). But still no kitchen, so it's a bit like camping in the basement! As soon as the trucks finish moving dirt and gravel to the back yard, I'll be able to set up the RV and use that for cooking at least. Living this summer will be a bit unsettled!

Returning to Florida at the end of the summer will be a pleasure though, as we move into our new (to us) house in Port St. Lucie. It backs right onto the Savannas Preserve State Park so we will enjoy nature right in our back yard! Pictures coming as soon as I get a chance to organize what I have available. Meanwhile, these few words will have to do! More soon . . .

Dave & Willy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter in Florida!

Here we are in mid-December. And just when I've gotten used to being warm most of the time, I'm heading back to the Great White North for Christmas! At least I'll have better weather to look forward to long before most Canadians (barring those who are fanatic skiers, of course!). I hope to be back just after the new year to continue enjoying my time away from the cold!

I got a head start on feeling cold during my 3-day motorcycle trip to Key West. The temperature at 9:00 AM when we started out was 41 degrees F (5 C)! Ugh! And it rained during most of the return trip with temperatures just over 50 degrees F (10 C). Good practice for dressing warmly - I'll need that skill when I return to Belwood!

It's been a busy month and a half! I'm coordinating the training program for the Nettles Island Computer Club, teaching several classes and I'm computer adviser to the local newspaper, the Nettles Islander (now that the paper has gone online-only, currently just as a PDF, I get to do most of the final assembly). Oh yeah, I also write a computer column for the paper. For a look at my first issue, click here: Nettles Islander November 2010 Issue

Here's an image of the front cover done by our own Nettles Island artist, Sally Sprague.

It's also about time I post some of my recent presentation material for the courses I've been giving. Look for those during the coming weeks (weeks, because I'll be spending much of my time in Belwood making the basement habitable for Willy and me - the bathroom is just about done, but the bedroom needs some serious work to finish drywall and flooring!).

I'll continue with a more detailed account of both the construction activities in Belwood and the "leisure" activities in Jensen Beach!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Winter in Florida!

Well, last summer wasn't a big one for communicating! I managed to post all of 1 message on my Blog all summer. But I've got a good excuse! That basement still isn't finished and probably won't be all done until the end of NEXT summer. If even then!

After an uneventful trip to Gaffney to have the motorhome serviced at Freightliner's Custom Chassis home, we continued on to Nettles Island for a late Friday arrival on our lot. Just enough daylight left for the basic set-up tasks. Good thing we still had daylight savings time with us!

More (including some pictures) when I get everything set up.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer 2010 in Belwood

We're spending the summer in Belwood on the RV pad beside our daughter and son-in-law's new house. Technically, I guess I should be saying "spent" since summer is already over! A busy summer building a basement apartment for us to call home when we're not living in the motorhome.

Finishing a full basement with walkout is a bit like building a whole bungalow. At 1300 square feet, it's as big as a nice sized bungalow! I won't finish all that work before we head back to Nettles Island at the beginning of November, but I hope to have a bedroom and bathroom ready to accommodate us when we come back for Christmas.

Meanwhile, I keep on slugging away at the insulation and drywall . . . (instead of writing this Blog!)

I've attached a few pictures of our new digs, both outside and inside.

As the walls are going up:

A construction site (and a furniture storage warehouse!):

From the outside:
From the Front

And the back yard (not hardly finished!):
Back Yard

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back at Nettles Island for Another Winter

We're on our new lot at Nettles Island in Jensen Beach FL now. Arrived 7 November after a week of traveling and planned maintenance on the motorhome.

The trip was enhanced by traveling much of the way with friends John and Carole.

Now to enjoy the nice Florida winter weather . . . Bike riding, walking, teaching, reading, maybe even a bit of work if the opportunity and urge coincide.

Here's where we are now:

From the back . . .

. . . and the front.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time to Head South!

It's nearing the end of October and the temperature is already lower than I like, the trees are mostly bare and Highland Pines Campground has been officially closed for more than 2 weeks. It's awkward getting the long hose out to fill the fresh water tank a couple times a week (fortunately, there are a couple of deep shut-off taps that remain turned on well into November). All this just to see our daughter's house go up on the foundations (it's a modular home built by Quality Homes of Kenilworth). Here's what it looked like when the 4th of 6 modules was placed on the foundation:

We'll take our time heading back to Nettles Island in Florida, stopping for a few days to have the motorhome serviced at the chassis factory in Gaffney SC. At least we won't be traveling alone this time - we'll travel to Gaffney with a friend who has a motorhome exactly like ours. The company will be nice!

Now to get back to organizing the trailer for the trip south . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer at Highland Pines in Belwood

It's about time I update information on our travels!

We arrived at Highland Pines Campground (on the shore of Belwood Lake in Belwood Ontario) on May 7th and will be staying here for the summer season (except for short trips away).

The migration north from Florida was leisurely and uneventful. But we've received more rain in the last few weeks than we experience3 all winter in Florida. And the cold has been hard to deal with! I had to give up my "Florida uniform" of tee shirt, shorts and sandals. The tan is fading too.

Here's our new setting (the van isn't ours - we still have the Smart):

A few notes on technology - WiFi here at Highland Pines is lousy; no signal at the campsite at all. The campground advertises that it has WiFi, but you only get a signal right at the office. I've purchased a high gain panel antenna and will try to pull a signal from the office, but I'm not hopeful. The HughesNet satellite Internet service has been a great benefit! I have Internet access at all times (except when it rains real hard or it's so windy I decide to lower the dish). Although SkypeIn/Out works OK most of the time, the constant one-plus second delay and the occasional network congestion causes some quality issues. It's not easy for the normal telephone user to get used to engaging in a conversation that has a 1 or 2 second delay between both ends; it makes the interchange more like a CB or Amateur Radio conversation. Since I have no phone service other than cell phone (expensive!) and Skype via satellite, Willy sometimes gets irritated by the limited phone functions. That's life on the road!

Satellite TV has been great. But on the way to FL in the fall, I lost access to all transponders on HD satellite 82 and half the transponders on 91 (the 2 Bell TV - previously ExpressVu - satellites). I thought it was the coverage of the satellites in Florida, but nothing changed when I got back north to Belwood. Some testing determined that the problem was the SW44 satellite signal switch. I'll have that replaced this week and should have my HD channels back again (I removed the switch in the mean time so I have all satellite 91 channels back again).

I'll try to post a bit more regularly here during the summer! Time shouldn't be a problem, but it has a way of slipping away.

Enjoy your summer and come visit us at Highland Pines if you want . . .

Dave & Willy
Belwood ON

PS - we're REALLY enjoying the grandchildren now that they're only 10 minutes away!!