Friday, May 5, 2017

Inside Spirt, Inside Projects and Inside Information

We woke up Thursday, May 4th late again. I got up at 8 and Bill and Clemson slept in until after 8:30. That is crazy! Well, not so crazy for Bill. Apparently, he didn’t feel tired last night until the wee hours so watched tv. I slept like a log and didn’t hear a thing all night.

As expected, there were clouds dominating the sky and I suppose this will be our norm for a few days.  These will be days where we’ll need to call upon our inner brightness to get through the days. I think I can manage that by digging out a few projects I want to do.
There is a party going on under the bird feeder this morning
Bill and I had a coffee together and he headed out to Mount Forest to talk to the guys about his Cub Cadet that is leaking oil. He’s gone there before but the mechanic wasn’t in. We need to get it fixed and soon since the grass is growing like crazy.

After Bill left, I made the bed, got dressed and made myself another coffee. The winds have dropped considerably over the last couple of days and it is nice to see our flag hanging downward instead of straight out showing off the full maple leaf. Doesn’t sound too patriotic but you know what I mean. A relief from the wind is nice once in a while.
I check on my rhubarb every few days. It is exciting to me to have some
While I’m sitting here, I thought I’d touch briefly on some numbers I put together the other day. Regarding our camping membership, which we have had many discussions over during the winter months. Was it worth it? Because of the large buy-in of close to $10,000 to get the upgraded platinum version, we need to justify our spending to ourselves. Some have paid less, others have paid more for the same membership. It isn't a cut and dry price, obviously, depending on when it was purchased.

We also put almost the same amount into a solar panel system which allows us to enjoy the boondocking/dry-camping experience of the dessert. Again, was it worth it? We know that it will take a few years to truly prove or disprove these ‘investments’ but were curious, after one winter spending just over 5 months, whether it seems worthwhile.
this is our favourite summer site
With the campground membership (which you can think of as a time share) we can camp for free in R.O.D. parks for 2 weeks at a time. You can also camp in A.O.R. parks for 2 weeks at $9/night, in some cases plus a related fee for electric. 

And lastly if you purchase points at a separate cost (which you need to put out ahead of time) you can stay at Coast to Coast parks for $10/night for two weeks. We have not utilized the CtC parks yet as we were a little confused about how it worked. We have since learned more and hope to look into it for this coming winter travels.
Looking out the lane way
Notice the flag showing the wind has dropped considerably
Basically, we either used ROD/AOR or boondocked all winter with the exception of a couple of State Parks. Considering our membership, for all 3 of the above-mentioned park stays, also involves a yearly fee plus monthly admin fee, we included those prices in our calculations.
Driving into Durham
We left home October 24/16 and returned home March 31/17. That is a total of 157 nights sleeping away from home. 90 nights were in ROD or AOR parks and including 6 nights in State Parks. Taking in what it would have cost in the same parks without a membership benefit, compared to the park fees we paid where required, plus any electric we paid, we saved $1,999. This easily covers the total fees for our year’s membership with money left over.

Obviously, there were nights spent in parking lots on the way down and back home which didn’t cost us anything and those numbers are included in our boondocking day totals. We boondocked/dry-camped 67 nights. Being it was our first year, we feel that we took full advantage of both our membership and our solar expenditures by spending approximately 2 weeks in each location.
I got a lucky spot right in front
That is a rarity, such a busy street right through Durham
Next year, we don’t know what we’ll do different. True, we could spend more time in the desert either at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) locations where you pay nothing or at Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) where you pay $40/2 weeks BUT at the same time we don’t want to ignore the fact that we have joined a paying membership. It would be like throwing that $ away if we don’t use it.

That was just something we were curious about and wanted to put it on paper for our reference as well as for anyone considering a membership option. So far, we are still happy with our decisions. It is a personal choice for everyone. There are certainly many other membership options like Good Sam, Passport of America but not having used them, I can't speak to those.
I love this view in the daytime
Turning off Hwy 4 onto Baptist Church Road
At 11:15 I got a call from Tim Summers Accounting that Mom’s income tax return was ready to be e-filed so I cleaned up and got dressed for the drive in to Durham. It wasn’t a concern, being after the April 30th deadline since we knew she wouldn’t have to pay nor was she getting anything back. It didn’t take long to pop in, leave a copy of my Power of Attorney info, sign and pay for the service. I like this fellow, very pleasant and efficient. I'd used H & R Block in London previous years and was pleased that this small town accountant charged about $60 less to do the return.
This is the house right on our corner
The sign says Divine Love but we're not sure what kind of services
are provided
I popped across the street and picked up our mail and scooted home. One of the projects I wanted to complete was transferring our Sunflower walk logo onto a white tank top. I had found the perfect size board, something that would be a solid hard surface to withstand a heated iron. My shirt went on that and after trimming the 8.5 x 11” page, set a timer for 3 minutes and pressed down on the transfer.
So I have trimmed the logo and placed it face down on my tank top
Ready to iron for 3 minutes
Tadah! After letting the fabric cool as well as the transfer sheet, I began peeling down from the top. I was pleased that it worked like it was supposed to and off it came easily. The end result made me happy and whether it can be worn alone or over another shirt on that day (because of weather), it is a great conversation piece.
It peeled off really easy for me
Bill 'sneakily' drove in around 12:45 while I was sitting here at the computer. Didn’t even hear Black Beauty coming up the drive. He has learned a few things while in Mount Forest about the lawn mower plus got a new manual for it and even got information in Harriston regarding our truck lease at the Ford dealer so he had a good morning.
And it turned out great!
We are all very proud of our niece, Morgan, for designing this logo for us
Morgan and her Mom, Wendy, will also be walking on May 13
I hadn’t eaten so while Bill had his cheese and peanut butter sandwich I opened a can of potato soup for myself. A bowl of that hit the spot with leftovers for a ham and cheese casserole I’ll make for supper. Perfect!
This is a blurred enlarged pix of our little designer

The rain started around 2 o’clock and that just firmed up our indoor plans. I settled in my chair with Clem on my lap and read for a couple of hours. The book is so good, it is hard to put down now.

So the rain never let up all the rest of the day, THAT is what the weather gal got right. Just around 5 I went out and plugged us in to power, surprisingly we survived from 9 am until then in the dull/wet day and still showed 90/100% battery power. Weird but good.

I threw together some ingredients for the casserole but neither of us was too pleased with the result. Oh well, win some lose some. Sometimes substituting for ingredients that I don’t have just doesn’t work. We managed to fill the holes in our tummies and settled in to watch taped shows of The Voice to catch us up.

That is it for this day, I hope yours has been a good one despite the weather. It could always be worse!
Just a filler picture of my garden
Thank you for reading. All comments are appreciated and thank you all for the anniversary wishes yesterday!


  1. The rainy days a great for getting things done and we can make good use of them.
    You are making some use of the membership parks, but not nearly as much as we do. The more you use it the more you will save as you well know, It does take time to make the investments pay off. But if you use them for long enough they will work for you, Ours has paid us back more than 10 times.

    1. Yes, so far we feel good with the membership park. We saved $ already by having it, enough for a year's fees and then some. We'll have to see how it pans out each year, I'm sure we won't regret it at all in the long run.

  2. I was wondering how your membership worked, I even googled R.O.D. parks at one time during the winter when you where talking about it but I couldn't find anything. It seems like a pretty hefty bye in so it will be interesting so see how long it takes before you feel like you have got your monies worth. It sounded like a nice option to stay at a park for two weeks for free! We have both Good Sam and Passport America and have more than got our money back on them. And our solar panels and inverters paid themselves off our first year 😊