Anderson Trailer Levelers

We purchased a set of Anderson Levelers after seeing several post on the internet about how great they were.  We thought anything would be better than the blocks of wood we were stacking up... Who wants to haul wet wood blocks in their basement?

We picked up Ultimate Trailer Gear Duffel Bag on sale at a local rv dealer. It contained the levelers, extra chocks, large wedge jack, jack pads and a step mat all in a carry bag. We got home and wanted to try out the levelers before we needed them on the road. Good thing we did... The leveler would not fit between the wheels so we could pull up on it. We were very disappointed. We figured that we were not the only ones with this problem. There were no instructions in our kit - we were not sure if there were supposed to be any or not.

To long to fit between the tires

Paul decided to look on the internet to see if anyone else had this problem before we took the kit back for a refund. Delise decided to call the factory and ask them if there was a fix or if they made a shorter wedge. Before I found the answer online, Delise said we received an email with instructions on how to cut off a little piece to make it fit between the wheels... Great customer service!

We decided to use the miter saw and put a little angle on the cut. It only took a second to cut off about 2 inches. Since we only need one to fit between the tires, that is all we cut.

Below is a photo of the jacks in action as well as some other shots of the kit. We are parked at home on some soft ground at the moment - that is why we have a board under the wedges.

We have used them several times on trips and are very happy with the results. We have tried backing on as well as pulling forward on them. It does not seem to make any difference.

Anderson_levelers

A year of Real world use...
We have been using these as our only levelers for about a year now and are very satisfied. We were using wood blocks and you know how dirty and stinky they can get. 
These are much easier to use than the stacked blocks since you do not have to move off of the blocks to place one or 2 more to get level. You just back up a little to go higher or pull forward to lower...

We have also used the jack pads which are a little smaller than we would like but have worked well. The step is nice and does a great job of cleaning our shoes and keeping dirt out of the unit - don't step on it with bare feet, it hurts!
Luckily we have not needed the Rapid Jack so we do not have any feedback on it although it should work as described.
Everything packs easily back into the carry bag which also helps to keep our basement clean by capturing the dirt.
We are happy with this purchase!

Eating Fresh on the Road

As you may have noticed, we like to cook on the road. We are always looking for local or fresh produce. We were thinking a Facebook page would be nice (we don't have time for that). 

We were on our way to Ohio and stopped for the night at Harrison Bay State Park, just North of Chattanooga,Tennessee. This is a nice state park with some great sites. 

Some of the roads in the park are very tight even for our 36 foot 5th wheel. We stayed in the A loop. It has been refurbished with a new bathhouse, power and asphalt. A lot of locals here on the weekends with a lot of lake traffic. Several people were kayaking in the cove behind us. 

After we got all set up we took a ride and found this Great produce stand. Linda's Produce  - They have 2 locations... The one we stopped at is located at 

5900 Highway 58, Harrison, TN 

 So we picked up a few things - squash, grapes, peaches and some sour cream that will make for some good eating! They had a lot of other vegetables and a good bit of dairy products.

Let us know if you have a favorite local farmers market! We love to eat fresh especially on the road.

Antique Toys - A Family Tradition

howardandpaula

For over 25 years Paul's parents, Paula and Howard, lovingly loaned some of their antique toys to the Hay House to display at Christmas. The Hay house is such a treasure - Macon is so lucky to have such a magnificent home to share with the world.

Paula and Howard's Love for vintage toys started many years ago. They have been collecting for over 55 years and each toy was lovingly picked to join their collection. They traveled all over the country looking for just the right things. I think the toys would speak to them. When Howard was 12 years old his family home burned to the ground and so much of his childhood as lost, thus his love for vintage toys. Paula has always loved all things beautiful (of course everything and everyone are beautiful to Paula). 

For years people marveled at the vintage toys tucked perfectly under the tree as they toured the Hay House at Christmas. I have often wondered what it must of have been like as a child to have descend those beautiful stairs and run into the parlor where the Christmas tree stood, so excited to see what Santa had left.

Paula knew just how to position the toys, she knew how to place them so they appeared to be alive. After Howard died Paula stopped taking  the toys. Two years went by and Aubrey Newbey called and asked if the toys could come back to play at the Hay House again - Paula agreed it was time. Paul and I helped transport the toys and set them up, it was so fun to watch Miss Paula put the toys in place.

This year Aubrey, who is on the board of directors and in charge of the decorating committee this year, asked if the Knight's would stage the children's room,  the nanny's suite and  children's bathroom. 

Those of you who know me know I love to stage things, I want every room and everything in it to tell a story. Getting the opportunity to do this in the Hay house was a honor. So we started gathering things, some toys from Paula and Howard's collection, some of our family pieces and things Paul and I have in our Collection. On the Friday after Thanksgiving we loaded our big box truck and with the help of my brother Mark, we put everything in place on the second floor of the Hay House. 

Once everything was in just the right spot, we asked our dear friends from We Do Photography to get some photos for us - they did a great job.  We so loved doing  the children's room but my favorite is the Nanny's room. To us it looks like she will be back at any time.  Thanks Aubrey for letting us keep the Knight's tradition alive at the Hay House.

Dancers Birthday Surprise

As you all may know we have some very smart, beautiful, kind, loving and talented nieces. One of our nieces loves to dance.... I mean she loves to dance. I guess you could say Savannah is our very own Ballerina....

Savannah in her first dance recital and 2014 Dance Summer Intensive #frozensummer2014 

Savannah in her first dance recital and 2014 Dance Summer Intensive #frozensummer2014 

And we think that's great. A little bit of history - You see, her great-grandmother Monita, was a dancer also. Monita was not nearly as fortunate - she loved dance so much but didn't have the money to take dance lessons so she would clean the dressing rooms for the other dancers and mop and sweep in exchange for dance lessons. Monita was very determined to dance. Savannah, our niece, is also very determined. Donyal (Savannah’s mother) is named after Monita, our grandmother. Monita always wanted me to dance, she payed for dance lessons when we lived in California but when we moved to Georgia there were not as many opportunities. I always wished I had continued dance.

Monita and Delise

Monita and Delise

Monita and Donyal

Monita and Donyal

As an adult one year for my birthday Mom took me to see the Nutcracker. Mom and I at the Nutcracker together is one of my fondest memories. 

Watching the Nutcracker at the Grand Opera House every year is so special especially now that Savannah has been performing for the past 6 years. If you have not seen the performance recently you should make a point of attending this wonderfully produced ballet in our own community. There are a lot of very talented people in Middle Georgia!

Earlier this year Savannah was accepted to ABT dance camp at the University Of North Carolina School Of Arts - it was a 4 week program to be held in July. These thing are not cheap... So Sacrifices would have to be made. Donyal and Michael were determined if that was what she truly wanted to do, they would make it happen. Packed and off she went. This is the first time Savannah has been away from home for more than 7 days at one time. Long before Savannah left, Donyal said she would love to redo Savannah's bedroom while she was away at dance camp. So I started to pick Savannah's brain, if you ever re-did your room what color would you want it and so on… We even went to the store and Savannah picked out some paint chip colors she liked.

Savannah's room before the makeover.

Savannah's room before the makeover.

Now keep in mind Savannah had no idea about her Mom's plan. First we needed to come up with a design and Donyal asked for my help. Then the room had to be cleaned out. Michael and Donyal disassembled everything, packed it up and moved it out to the spare bedroom.

Mirror and Ballet Bar - Deer Head and Ballet Slippers

Mirror and Ballet Bar - Deer Head and Ballet Slippers

Next the walls had to be painted. I think Donyal had a paintbrush in her hand for four days straight. Mark came down from Atlanta for the weekend and assisted with the project.
Paul and Mark hung bookcases, put in a dance rail and mirror. Paul created a makeup desk with lighted mirror. Michael and Chris hung blinds and installed a new T.V. Donyal handpainted a great sign that said "Dancing is like dreaming with your feet". 5 days later we were done.

After the makeover!

After the makeover!

Now it was road trip time, Donyal, Paul and I were off to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to see Savannah on her birthday and the last two days of dance camp. We were fortunate enough to get to observe her in two of her classes. Then we took her to a great dinner at The Tavern in Old Salem. Savannah even tried duck for the first time. The next day we watched her dance in the end of the program performances - I guess you could say we were pretty proud.

Savannah was chosen to lead part of the class on her birthday.

Savannah was chosen to lead part of the class on her birthday.

During the long ride home, we just hoped no one would let the cat out of the bag. When we arrived home she went straight to her room to look for her cat. Michael was in the room filming in anticipation of how she would react. We are so happy to report that she absolutely loved it and was very grateful to everyone that helped with this wonderful Birthday gift. It was so much fun for us and we are so glad we got to help. The look on her face was priceless!

A happy birthday dancer!

A happy birthday dancer!

#ballet #mintbedroom #coralbedroom #bedroommakeover

We Got The Horse...

Okay not literally.

But we did get a truck in march that will pull our camper. It's a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD duramax diesel with the Allison transmission. We traded in our 2009 Tahoe, I sure am going to miss that Tahoe!  If you read our blog about or new ( used) camper you know we didn't even have anything to pull it with. Paul had decided what he wanted and the search began.  I do not like to shop (ok maybe for flowers or antiques)  but not for Clothes or cars. I know nothing about cars, you could pull up in a Maserati or a mustang and I would not know the difference. But Paul on the other hand, he knows what it will pull, what the mileage should be, what the resale is and how much we should pay. So truck shopping we went... Paul had not seen what he wanted at a price he was willing to pay. Then it hit us... we had the cutest couple get married at Pineola in September of 2012, Nicki and Justin. 

Nicki 's dad owns Hamby Chevrolet in Perry. Nicki and Justin were so much fun to work with and we just loved doing their wedding. The last thing Mr. hamby said to us was "if your ever shopping for a car, come see me". So we did... Well after 3 days of negotiation, and Chevrolet sending us a voucher for an extra $1000 off the price, this is our new truck. We took it home and introduced it to the camper. We know they will take us on may adventures.

Chevrolet 2500HD

We had the truck and the 5th wheel but had no idea what kind of hitch we wanted. Paul had done a lot of research and all the brands had positive and negative things about them. Delise decided to ask the question on one of the rv groups on Facebook.

The overwhelming response was the Companion 5th wheel hitch by B & W Trailer Hitches. It cost a little more than the traditional hitches since it combines a Goose Neck hitch with the add on 5th wheel hitch. The great thing about it is that it can be easily removed from the truck bed in about 5 minutes. After removing the hitch you can use the bed with no obstructions - No rails sticking up since the goose-neck hitch is under the truck bed. If you want to see a quick little video showing the hitch and some of it's features Click Here.
 

The quality of this hitch is amazing and it is Made in America. Very easy hookup and release, even for beginners like us. It has a very positive feel when the jaws lock in place plus it is very easy to look and see that they are closed.

We can be added to the long list of people recommending the Companion Hitch!

Memories in Sea Glass...

Four summers ago we took a trip to Maine (now that is a beautiful State). We were lucky enough to tour the coast from Portland to Campobello Island. While in Maine, Miss Paula and I had the best time looking for sea glass and Paul had a great time eating Lobster. 

Waiting for the ferry

Waiting for the ferry

While on Campobello Island waiting for the ferry to take us over to Deer Island, Miss Paula and I started looking for sea glass - she had been reading about this elusive glass before we made our trip. Paula found a beautiful piece of antique blue China, a true Treasure. A little later I too found a couple of pieces of blue china. We both found quite a bit of glass and a little china. and we said we should have necklaces made out of some of the nicer ones to remember our wonderful trip to Maine. 

Looking for sea glass

Looking for sea glass

Now if you remember at the beginning of this story I told you that was four summers ago. While Paul and I were working our booth at a dog grooming show in Ohio this summer,  I noticed a woman wearing a beautiful necklace.  I asked her where she had gotten it and she told me that she was a sea glass Jewelry designer.
The first thing that came to my mind was Miss Paula's and my blue China that we have not yet done anything with. Then I got real excited when I remembered that I had my blue pieces of China in a bowl in the camper with us.
The next day we brought the bowl of sea glass to the show and Cindy Mullen (Jewelry Designer) met us at the booth, she assured me that she would take great care of my pieces of China . I can't tell you how hard it was to let her take them with her.  Cindy's company is Blackdog Design and she does Exquisite work.  I could not be any happier with my Necklace.  Cindy took my two pieces of china and created a one of a kind beautifully designed pendant!

These are some photos Cindy posted during the process

These are some photos Cindy posted during the process

The finished piece - Sea Glass Necklace made from China found on Campobello Island.

Every time I put it on I will think of our wonderful time in Maine and the fun Miss Paula and I had looking for Treasures that will last a lifetime. Miss Paula's 80th birthday is coming up this year, as soon as she can locate her piece of china she too will have a Necklace.

So glad Miss Paula enjoyed this post. She is such a great writer! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

From Miss Paula - WOW...do these pictures take me back to those wonderful days of searching for jewels of the sea with you two. Paul, you...your typical, ever patient self,  indulged our appetites for searching just one more great spot for a hunt.Delise, your enthusiasm adding to my own wild desire to search a new stretch of beach...we simply could not resist one more chance for finding another "Mermaid Tear." (Legend has it, as we have now learned, that the shards of seaglass were the tears of the mermaids saddened by the death of drowned sailors.)

Searching for these gems fast became a passion for us...enchanted by the beauty of each piece, polished by the sea over many, many years, we were fascinated by the stories each piece must hold .....the stories they could tell. Will we ever have more fun than we did those days on the coast of Maine?And once in a while....just now and then... every possible chance....(usually after the sun went down,) we rewarded our kind and handsome driver with the lobster dinner of his choice...more often than not at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. And by the way, wearing a pendant of the jewels of the sea will be a joy forever.  When I look at your treasured piece of blue and white china, Delise, we are right back there on Campobello Island in our quest to find and experience all things drenched in history.  Thank you...thank you for the memories. 

Here are a few more photos from our trip...

We love Southwest Harbor, Maine

Paul ate lobster all but 3 days when we were in Maine. Lobster sandwich, lobster roll, lobster stew, lobster ice cream... This Lobster is from  Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound  - The best we have ever tasted!

Paul ate lobster all but 3 days when we were in Maine. Lobster sandwich, lobster roll, lobster stew, lobster ice cream... This Lobster is from Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound - The best we have ever tasted!

The sunrises near Machiasport, ME are beautiful if you want to get up at 4:30 am to see them. The nights are very short this far north.