It’s Beginning to Look a lot like….

Christmas! I love this time of year!

Being on a tight budget can put you in a bind on what to give people you care about. You want something special, but don’t want to break your bank. So I enjoy making things and try to get the most I can out of a dollar.

I started this year by telling Home Depot that if I can have some cut bottoms from the trees, that I will give them one of whatever I make as a thanks.

Trip 1 -6 bottoms from trees, twine, ribbon and black paint.

I made these a couple of years ago. They are simple to make and only cost me a dollar for the ribbon.

Sand the pieces to get any dirt or resin off and to soften the ridges from the chain saw. Drill holes to run the twine through, paint a face and some buttons, add ribbon and your done. You can add twigs for arms, a felt hat, a pipe or make a scarf rather than the bow.

I took the people at Home Depot one and started heading off down the road when my creative juices started to overflow. I headed back to the store, got some more bottoms and branches and headed to the Walmart and got some green felt, the Dollar Tree to get some miscellaneous decorations and candles, then headed to the park to start working on them.

The end result…

Not bad for a couple of dollars. I once again, sanded the tree bottoms, wrapped the tree branch around it and tied it with twine. I decided to add a little aluminium holder to catch wax. Stuck the extra decorations in and held them with the clip from the flower. Finally glued the candle on top. I also made an ornament from left over twigs and some ribbon- this one is for me!

A homeless man approached me when I was trying to figure out how to make an acorn wreath. He asked.. “what have you got there?” I said I was working on Christmas gifts. He asked me, “how much are they?” I said “they are gifts, meant to be freely given, not sold. I then asked if he would like one of them. I don’t know if he appreciated it or not, but he took one and went away.

Once I finished all those, I turned to my regular wood working. I cut some tear drop crosses and a bell and bow. I need to finish sanding the tear drop crosses, but I finished the bell.

I also worked on my bicycle seat now that the foam is dry. I found that I don’t need tacks or staples at all! Yes! The seat actually had bendable things holding the old cover on, so I unbent them and took the old cover off and replaced it with the new vinyl. I can honestly say it looks better than the grocery bags, but I am definitely not doing this as a career…. It has wrinkles.

Considering that the vinyl and foam only cost me about $2.50, I am happy. New seats cost $20 and seat covers cost $10-$15, so I saved a lot money and more importantly, I did it!

I have a few more ornaments to make, then I will be starting to head north, but will be going over to the west coast of Florida first. How far I will be going I don’t know yet because the coldest part of winter is yet to come. I might head down to Naples, but I’m not sure yet.

That’s all for now.

Today’s tidbit: Doing good for another will put a joy in your heart that nothing else can.

Camera Hog!

I think by now ya’ll know I love talking to animals, but this little guy was a camera hog… especially if you gave him a peanut. Lots of people don’t like squirrels, but I think they can be pretty cute.

I’ve been working on fixing little things on my bike this last week. For example, the seat; the vinyl has been cracking and coming off and part of the foam has broken away. It was really hard to find a small piece of foam so you know what I did?

I took a Nerf ball from the dollar store and cut it up and glued it to the seat.

I’ve also bought 1/2 yd of black vinyl from Walmart for almost $3.00 so I can re-cover the seat. I got some tacks to attach the vinyl to the seat, but they might be too long.

I have also started my Christmas projects. The projects may not make a 5 year old dance for joy, but the adults will like them. As soon as I finish them, I’ll post pictures.

And the last thing I am working on is replacing the rain covers on the bicycle. I found a felt backed table cloth that I think will work nice.

Finally, I saw some lights in the sky that peeked my curiosity. At first I thought they were just helicopters, but after 1/2 hour of not wavering at all, I began to wonder.

Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t take good night time shots and the lights only blurred when I tried to take photos. So now I am seeing UFO’s… I can’t wait to see whats next 🙂

I’ll be leaving Ft. Pierce as soon as I pick a place to go, but that’s all for now.

Today’s tidbit: You have the power in you to heal or destroy a person. It is your choice how you use it. Try reaching out to someone in need today. Give them a word of hope, a hug of encouragement, a simple smile to say hello. Don’t get upset at that person, but use the power of forgiveness to say you are there for them, if they need a friend.

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na) Batmaaaaaan!

I had taken this photo in Sebastian, the land of the never ending beautiful sunrises. When I went back to look at the photo I almost deleted it, but then it looked like an outline of something. Yep… there it is, it looks like the bat symbol.

Ok, that was my excitement for the day, but the sunrise was absolutely beautiful – even with stormy clouds on the horizon.

I had hoped to stay in Sebastian for another day because I needed to dry out. I really really don’t like wet socks in wet shoes, it makes your feet all wrinkly. I actually ended up getting blisters on my feet from walking in all that rain.

When they said that I wasn’t able to use the Wifi at the library because my card had expired and I had no solution, I decided to go ahead and head south. The interesting thing is that I made it to the library in Vero Beach (same library system) and the Wifi connection was fine. Go figure….

On my way south in Wabasso, I apparently just missed a S.W.A.T. bust. They were all standing around with a girl and a guy sitting on the back of the vehicle.


That’s about all the exciting things because its been mostly rain, rain and more rain. I’m only about 15 miles from Ft. Pierce, but its been looking like its going to rain again and I honestly don’t feel like getting wet again.

So I’ve decided to spend the morning in the Vero Beach library and if the skies clear enough, I’ll go ahead and head south.

Its supposed to get pretty chilly tonight (a low of 54-55). Being from South Florida, its freezing! Anything below 73 is freezing.

That’s all for now. I know its not much, but I can’t do or see much if its raining.

Todays Tidbit: There are days when it is hard to see things like Forrest Gump, life being like a box of chocolates. Days when it seems life if more like a pile of poop… some piles being bigger than others. Days when you need the right size shovel to clear your path to that box of chocolates!

oh goodness, I almost forgot!

Tidbit 2: Sometimes you don’t see the surprises unless you look up!

Lift Off!

I said I wasn’t going to take any more photos unless something interesting came about.

Little did I realize that the very morning I was passing one of the launch pads, they were sending another set of satellites into orbit. I got a REALLY bad video of it, plus a couple of snap shots. Here are some clips I pulled from the video.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching launches.

I was only 8 when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, but it is an event that will stay with me forever.

I am staying in Cocoa for the day getting everything charged up and will be headed out tomorrow. Only 75 miles to get to Ft. Pierce.

That’s all for now.

Today’s Tidbit: Enjoy the surprises life has to offer

Ormond Beach, FL

I love it! What a beautiful start to the day.

I decided to stay one more day in Ormond Beach. And a very interesting day it has been so far. There is one of those little “home made markets” going on in front of the library. I love to wander around through them to see what interesting things are there.

Today a woman who is into natural healing of cancer wanted to speak to me and pray with me. When I wanted to say something, she said… no, no no.. don’t talk, we would only disagree. HA! How would she know if she didn’t hear what I had to say.

The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me. Luke 10:16

I will always be there if they need help and that is all I’m going to say about it.

I will be leaving a little bit later today, but I’m really in no rush to be heading down the road.

I can go down the walk that runs along the river and just enjoy it without rushing down the road. Unless I see something different, I probably won’t be taking many pictures.

At least its not raining today! I am working on new rain covers for my baskets. I can’t decide if I like the ribbon I chose or not…. not that I had a lot of choices, lol. I also have plans to fix my bicycle seat. I’ve got everything I need to fix it, I just need to sit down and do it.

That’s all for now.

Today’s Tidbit: Before you assume I don’t know how, why not assume I do and before you think I can’t, why not think I can.

Ormond Beach, FL

It’s been a few day, but I’ll try to catch up on the journey. I am currently in Ormond Beach, FL. When I was in Green Cove Springs I stayed at Camp Chowenwaw. Its used a lot for the girl scouts and I’ve been told the boy scouts also use it.

I’ll admit, this place would be awesome for groups. It includes cabins and check it out… tree houses! They have areas for tents also. For the price you get a lot. The tent area had a large building that included a refrigerator and stove. There was a separate building used for showers and bathrooms. Now I will admit I was extremely uncomfortable with men and women using the same bathroom, but I think everyone felt the same way and if a woman walked in, the guy stayed outside. The only time that was different was with husband and wife… it was still kind of weird.

There is also a very large lodge for group parties, meetings and weddings. One more benefit was the swimming pool. The only downside to the camp was the encroaching building of houses, but they are along the street and not visible to the camping area. You can only hear the hammering when they are working.

Another nice area of Green Cove Springs was their “main” park. It included a boat ramp, a walkway that ran along the river, and a water play area. Oh yes, I forgot.. the squirrels; begging for food. The kitty cat is the library mascot that actually lives across the street. He too begs for food and loves attention.

The last group of photos are just miscellaneous things I took pictures of. Crop fields being prepared, different waterways and I don’t know what those long missile like things in the field are, but as I was heading south, there was one on a truck heading north.

I stayed the day in Ormond Beach today. Its been raining off and on all day. I will be heading to Ft. Pierce for a short time.

That’s all for now.

Today’s Tidbit: If you need to make others appear lower or bad in order for you to appear good, then your missing the target.

Familiar Turf

I had forgotten what Florida humidity was like in the short time I was away.

It was a pleasant ride with funny little things popping up all over. It started with the no swimming, beware alligator sign. I stopped and looked around and was curious what it was people would be swimming in, there was no water, just concrete. I guess it could have been a pool that was maybe filled in and they never took down the sign… I don’t know, but for a few minutes I just chuckled to myself at it.

Then I found this next; a new type of farm! Yes, haven’t you always wondered where all that top soil comes from? Well, several places just before getting to Callahan actually made dirt. Piles and piles of dirt. So now you know where all that dirt you get in the store comes from.

The next two pictures are of a trail head that had entrances on both sides of the road. I thought about stopping there and checking it out, but was worried I might get caught in the rain, so I kept on down the road.

I made it to Callahan and yes, it did start raining, and raining and raining. I decided that since my clothes were still not dry from the last hard rain that I would go to the laundromat and get them dry while it was raining outside. This place was definitely different. You had to use a card to make the machine go. The person that ran the place gave me a weird look and said she saw me pull up with that trailer, and the said ” we did this because the homeless people were breaking into the machines and stealing all the money, we are going to do it with the doors to the bathroom too because they crap on the floor and spread it on the walls.”

I just smiled and said, just because I travel like this doesn’t mean I’m homeless, but if you have an issue with me being here, I can wait until the next city to do my clothes. She started being nice to me after that. I guess I fall into the old fashioned way now. To me it is just easier to put quarters in the machine. I ended up giving the card to another person when I left. I have no intention of going back there.

I tried hard for a few days to think of something good to say about that area, but just couldn’t see it. People didn’t seem to respect their own community, there were piles of poop on the side walks and someone had vomited all over the place on one of the streets. But there was a lot of construction going on so maybe things are changing.

I didn’t stay in Callahan, but continued on down towards Jacksonville. I wasn’t exactly what road I was going to take, but I didn’t want to go down US1. I met Rick along the way and he offered to let me stay on the couch at his house for the night. He was a nice person, but was dealing with the possibility of losing his house. When I left there the next morning and started into Jacksonville, I did a lot of walking because the roads were really busy and the sidewalks were not that great.

I did have a pretty awesome BBQ sandwich for lunch at one of the local places along the way and made it almost to Orange Park.

It was still dark when I was walking along St Johns River. I may not have any photos of downtown Jacksonville in the daytime, but I did get a couple night time shots.

It was kind of sweet that the park I took this from had a lot of couples sitting along the riverbank. A kind of lovers lane, Jacksonville style.

And that brings me to today… Oh man what a day it has been starting when I got up at 4:30… There was supposed to be a quick stop gas station not too far down the road, but I blinked and missed it, or I was just plain overwhelmed by the amount of traffic that was on the road… hundreds of cars… I had to double check my clock. Turns out there is a Navel air base there and there was even more traffic coming from the other direction. It was all tied up at least a 1/2 mile on each side… and the cars just kept coming and coming.

My lights on the bike decided they didn’t want to work, so I walked and I must say walking towards traffic in the dark is not easy. The lights tended to blind me. And then it got even better, the shoulder disappeared. I was relieved to see the Waffle House and a gas station just after the overpass. It was pretty cool that someone picked up my tab for breakfast. I’m glad I stopped because it would be a while before I got a chance to eat again. I think it must be National Flat Tire day or something.

I got a flat tire with the side of the trailer that I can’t take the wheel off. I honestly didn’t feeling like dealing with it, so I went to a tire repair and asked if they had a car jack I could use. Turns out that the tire wasn’t flat, but that the valve stem broke off. So the tire repair let me keep my trailer there while I went to the store 15 minutes away. I got a new tube and headed back, replaced the tube and headed back down the road. I made it maybe 1 1/2 blocks and something fell out of my trailer, so I parked the bike and went to get it.

When I heard the popping sound I thought maybe someone had run over what fell out, but it turned out to be the tire on the trailer. Then I realized it was the tire I just bought and put on there! A defective tire…. long story short, I found a spare tube in the bottom of my trailer, fixed the bike again and decided to go sit at the library since now my phone was out of power. When I get to Walmart, I’ll get two tires and tubes for the trailer.

That is where I am now. I haven’t decided on which route I am taking, but I did decide that it was going to lead me to a camping ground so I can sit for a couple of days and clean that trailer out!

I wasn’t really in the mood to post anything, but decided that I need to shake off the crappy stuff that has happened today and find something positive to focus on. Which brings me to today’s tidbit.

The definition of Perseverance is to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning. It means to never give up, never stop trying no matter what tries to stop you.

Well How About That

I stayed two days in Nahunta, Ga and I completely forgot to take any pictures of the area.

It was raining off and on when I got there, so I spent the day at the library. When I left it started to rain and I went under an overhang so I wouldn’t get wet. The next thing I know I’m chatting with a guy turned out to be the Pastor of the church that I was standing in front of.

Long story short, I was invited me to the ladies meeting they were having that night and afterward he allowed me to stay in the church for the night. He said they are always helping travelers that come through town.

It was great, but now I know why I don’t hang out with women’s groups. Definitely not for me. Noisy! But I was glad I went. If your ever in Nahunta, GA, stop by and check out the Foundation Church. I think you’ll enjoy them.

Highway 301 south was pretty flat and actually fairly enjoyable to ride down. I got a late, very slow start, but did make it to Folkston, GA. by the end of the day.

By the time I got there it was late enough that I didn’t have time to explore. That is where I am today. My leg is still achy from the accident I had back in Jesup so I am going to see if I can find a camp ground close to here so I can sit still for a couple of days.

Now, as to everyone’s question…. Where am I going to go next. I wish everyone would stop asking me that because I honestly don’t know. All I know is I am not going camping in the snow. I don’t like cold weather that much!

That’s all for now.

Today’s Tidbit: By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3

Jesup, GA

I made it to Jesup on Friday ahead of Tropical Storm Nestor. The forecast tracks were still taking it over the area so I spent what money I had on a hotel room and waited. I was actually impressed with the room that I got. It definitely exceeded my expectations for sure. If you need a room while in that area, I would highly recommend the Western Motel.

When the storm had passed I left the motel and decided to wander around town since it was still very overcast and threatening rain.

I may not have had any money, but I did have a Dunkin Donuts gift card, so I decided to head there to get something to eat. What a crappy decision that was.

While I was having breakfast the cashier from Jersey Mikes, came in and told me I was not allowed to park my bike in front of the store and I had to move. (there were 3 stores crammed into one little place)

Now, I do my best not to get in anybody’s way and I try hard not to upset people. I parked the only place I could find and put my bike against one of the signs in the front. I made sure I wasn’t blocking anyone’s way, if someone had parked there, I made sure I wasn’t blocking any doors or walkways, but yet I still manage to get fussed at…. Oh well, life goes on..

I sent a quick note to the corporate office about the event then brushed my feet on the ground (several times) and left the crappy feeling there. Its based on this scripture: And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. Luke 9:5 But is more like my way of leaving my bad feelings behind.

I had planned on staying in Jesup for another day, because the place was all decked out for Halloween. It appeared to be a competition on who could make the best decoration and I wanted to get some more pictures because some of them were pretty cute.

But after that happened, I decided it would be best if I went ahead and left. If the spirit of that city is like that, I wanted no part of it.

I wasn’t sure where I was heading because I hadn’t had a chance to look at a map to find camping areas. I just figured when I get to the next city, I’ll decide where I would be heading and what roads I’ll be taking. Until then, I’ll just keep going the way I was.

The good news was that the little bumps in the road were no longer there! It took me just over a day to get to a little town called Nahunta. Its a fairly small community with just over 1,000 people. I walked most of the way there this morning, while looking at the stars and watched a beautiful sunrise as the fog floated into the sky and eventually disappeared.

I’ll try to get a few pictures later as I wander around town. I haven’t decided if I will stay one more day here, or continue on the road tomorrow, but I’m thinking one more day won’t hurt. There is a state park some place around here and a large river also.

That’s all for now.

Today’s tidbit: One small stone thrown into a pond makes many far reaching ripples in the water. But you can not make ripples in the water while holding that stone in your hand.

Plans Change

I found a camping ground on the way to Jesup. I really needed to sit still for a couple of days, rearrange my trailer and reorganize everything. At the same time, I had been watching what is now Tropical Storm Nestor move toward the coast.

Being flexible with your plans helps to relieve stress when things don’t go as you plan.

When I approached the camping area, I got a bit concerned with what I might be going to. There was a closed down steel factory with lots of derelict big rig trucks all around and then I saw the raggedy old shack that was a bait shop/campground check-in. Welcome to Morgan Lake hunting and fishing.

The campground itself turned out to be about 1/2 mile down a long dirt road. I didn’t think it would be too bad…. little did I realize that it would be the noisiest place I have ever been. Trains and Helicopters during the night, followed by gravel trucks in the morning.

But I’ll admit, for the number of RV’s that were there (and there were a lot of them) it was a pretty quite camp, other than the external noise. I was the only tent out there.

In the morning I headed off to Jesup. I was hoping I had enough money for a hotel room for 2 nights. I figured one night would be ok, except that the storm would not be in this area until sometime in the middle of the day on Saturday, so if I got a room on Friday I might be stuck in the stormy weather at check out on Saturday. If I got the room for Saturday night, it might be filled up and I would still be out in the weather or there could be pretty bad weather before the eye crossed over.

Because I don’t watch the news regularly, I wasn’t sure how bad the storm actually was and couldn’t see the doppler of how wide spread it was. I was also unable to find out if hurricane shelters would be open here or not.

Decisions, decisions… I decided it was better to be safe than sorry, and got a room for 2 nights. I’ll be broke for a few days, but at least I will be safe and not worry anyone.

Coming into Jesup, passing the Altamaha river, it was pretty on one side, but the other side was overpowered by the huge plant. And when I passed that thing… GROSS! What a horrible odor in the air. I have no idea how people could live having to smell that horrible odor every day. And look what I found! An old fashioned newer drive-in theatre.

Now, sitting in the hotel room, it becomes a waiting game. I just watched the weather report and the storm still appears to still be off the coast. The weather forecasters keep insisting it will be at the northern end of South Carolina by tomorrow morning, but I’ll feel better when I see it move.

The funny thing about it is that when I was in Register and they were saying how bad the drought was and they were hoping for rain… I can only say that they have been getting what they have asked for. First it was one short shower for a few hours, then a steady rain for about 1 1/2 days and now an even heavier rain is headed their direction.

Well, that’s all for now.

Todays tidbit: Ask anything of God and believe you will receive and it will be given to you (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24, and others)

Todays tidbit 2: Impatience causes inflexibility, which creates stress. It becomes a battle of your will vs. God’s will. Learning to trust God will help you to have patience and flexibility. Stress will melt away and you will be filled with the peace that follows.

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