Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From Tomato Plant to Portable Washing Machine........

Wow! Was the weather gorgeous today.  Lows this morning were in the 50's that is just unbelievable for July. Art said he hopes we don't get snow in Sept the way it is cooling off so fast. I don't imagine we are done with the heat though, Aug and Sept can be very hot months.

When I looked at the calender last night I couldn't believe it. First of all, that we are almost to the end of July already, and second, that one year ago today we were waiting to hear if the Post Office was going to offer an early out to Postmasters, so Art could retire early.  I think I pestered Art to death everyday with the same question over and over, "did you hear yet?'  I was so excited about the prospects of getting to come to Hardin Ridge and begin our dream of camp hosting.  And we were ever so blessed that the Post Office did offer the early out and that Art had 28 yrs of service in so he could take it.  We only hosted from August 1st to October 17th last year and then spent the winter at home because of my accident with the drunk driver. Since it totally wrecked our pick up we didn't have a way to get to Florida. However, that was just fine with us as we were able to spend it with Hannah. At the time we didn't know she would be getting married this past June so it all worked out great.  I went back and looked at some of my first posts last year.....yikes, the pictures sure weren't very good.  I bought a new camera and that really improved the quality plus, doing some editing didn't hurt them either.  :)
I had so much fun learning this new hobby I didn't know I loved, photography. I sure am no professional and don't have any desires to be.  I just love getting out and seeing what I can find to take a picture of to share with all of you.  So speaking of pictures lets get to some.......

"One" of the things I knew I was going to miss being on the road was my garden.  So I convinced Art to let me have a five gallon bucket tomato plant.  Isn't it cute?! We have been eating little cherry tomatoes off of it for a few weeks now. I can't believe the birds are leaving them alone but they are. Maybe because I am feeding them seeds........

Isn't this little Chipping Sparrow darling.  He comes to our site everyday and I feed him and his/her friends. They are so friendly they just hope around right in front of us and eat.

   Caught him with his mouth full of corn. It amazes me that they are not scared of the dogs either.

I am excited to share with you my new "appliance".  Doing laundry once a week is sometimes not enough in the hot weather.  Since I only have one good work shirt I needed to wash it more often and doing it in the sink was not working so well.  Our SIL Tom was telling us that he had seen a little portable hand crank washer on TV and wondered if we could use something like that. So we did some investigating and found this one.  We love it. Here is how it works.......

It has 4 suction cups that hold it to the counter. You add 3-4 tablespoons of laundry soap. And then add your clothes. You can wash up to 5 lbs of clothes. We have done our sheets from the bed one time,  and 3 shirts and a pair of my Capri pants another.  I usually add 1-2 gallons of hot water then the rest luke warm.  It usually takes around 4 gallons of water; there is a water fill line on the inside.  Then you put the lid back on (and make sure it is locked). Then you turn the crank round and round. 

As you turn it, it builds up pressure inside and that is what helps to clean your clothes.  It says to crank anywhere from 2-4 minutes, I just go by how dirty the clothes are.  It reminds you of a propane cylinder doesn't it?  Then after you think they are washed enough you apply the drainage tube on the bottom. You can see the drain on above photo.

After the water stops draining I usually reach in and press down on the clothes to express more water. Then I add white vinegar (about 2 T) to the rinse water (cold) and rotate another 3-4 minutes and then attach drain tube again.  Is there a spin cycle? No, not really.  This is where good old elbow grease comes in. I squeeze out as much water as I can then I lay out a towel and roll up the clothes in the towel and push down or twist the towel.  It removes all the excess water and your clothes are amazingly dry. The towels are not dirty as they are only wet so we just hang them on the line to dry with the clothes.  When I washed the bed sheets we just hung them on the line and they drip dried for awhile then they dried pretty fast.  And boy did they smell good.  I would not want to do all of our laundry this way but it is very handy for under garments, shirts, and a few towels just whatever you might need to do to get by with until laundry day.  In the park we are each assigned a day to do our laundry as they provide 2 washers and 2 dryers. Our day is on Thursday, but sometimes I need a few things before then and this little "Wonder Washer" does a fabulous job.  And I didn't have to give up valuable storage space either. It fits nicely under our sink when we are done with it.  And the price was reasonable too....$37
They say they are handy for people who live apartments to use also. We ordered ours off of Amazon.

Our camp hosts here are very creative. In case you ever are in need of flower pots I thought I would share with you what Glen and Casey did at their site. These are logs that Glen found that were hollow and he cut them different lengths and then Casey planted flowers in them.  Isn't this a cute idea?  And there are no shortage of hollowed out logs here to use.  

Camp hosting here is lots of fun.  The gang goofs off all the time and just when you think you have seen it all one of them will do the unthinkable.  Jonathon had dared Harold to sit on his lap and yep Harold did it.  I just love the look on Jonathon's face.  This was at our Friday morning safety meeting.

                      As we were on our way to the safety meeting we came upon this glorious site.

Which got me to thinking we hardly ever look up to take pictures, or at least I don't.  Seems like I am always looking down on the ground or just straight ahead trying to spot an animal.  You know where this is going don't you......

And let's look higher.......

And higher and higher......

Effie is tired and says we need to go to bed.  So I will say so long from Hardin Ridge and take care everyone!

Friday, July 26, 2013

All Creatures BIG and small at Hardin Ridge...don't be squimish :)

This is just a fun post I have been wanting to do. There are SO many creatures here in the forest, some cute and cuddly and some well lets just say only a mother could love.  I know I am probably not going to get all their names correct but like I said it is just for fun.  I'll start out with something that I was always fascinated with as a child. When we would go mushroom hunting in the woods I always ended up taking a couple of these home for pets. They loved Morel Mushrooms and back then we found so many my mom and dad didn't fuss about me feeding them to these little guys.

This is the tiniest little snail I have ever seen in the wild. His little house was smaller than a pea. He was so friendly when I found him he was sitting on one of our chairs, (don't know how he got there) and so I picked him up and he didn't retract into his shell. I put him on the plant to be more natural looking. What a cutie!!!

This beautiful Luna Moth was resting on a bathroom wall in Southern Point after a night out on the town.  Just look at those beautiful colors!

My next little creature is so unusual. I don't know if many people even see them without walking over them or unfortunately on them. One day I was swinging and looked up and he was walking on our picnic table. Now most people call them Walking Sticks, this guy was so big I called him a Walking Limb  LOL   The pine cones are just for added decorations.

He eventually fell off the table and ambled across our site and climbed way up high in a tree. Now talk about being camouflaged there was no way to see him in that environment.

We were working the gate one day this week and I happened to turn around and there sat this huge horse fly.  I though to myself hmmm wonder what they look like close up.....

No I'm not sure I'm glad I took the picture either. Those huge blue eyes......yikes scare the daylights out of you. And bite when they do a trickle of blood comes running out.  They have been horrible in the park this year. That and mosquitoes too.

If you don't like spiders just scroll on over this next picture.....

This is a Black Widow.  You can barely see the red hour glass on her back. She had the biggest egg sac I have ever seen. She had built this web in the door frame of the ladies bathroom.  Freaky!!!

This little guy was sunny himself in the pond in Blue Gill. As I walked around the pond they were jumping for cover and he thought I couldn't see him. Fooled him didn't I? 

Now to the cute critters......

These are my two little vacuum cleaners. They go around every morning sweeping up the bird seed. And in the far right corner is my little Chipping Sparrow. They all get along great and share their food very nicely. 

See how sad this little guy looks.  He wants a little blue chair to sit in the tree so he can eat his nuts and seeds from..... hint hint Barbara!   What a cute little face.  He was sitting on our wood pile waiting to see what the ground squirrels had left for him.

And what would this blog be without our gorgeous deer here in the park.  We have a mom with a set of triplet fawns but I haven't been able to catch her out with them yet. And we have at least two moms with twins. This is one of them but her babies were on the move and I couldn't get a photo of them but I will.

Would you look at what I finally got a picture of??? I couldn't get one last year when we were here.  He may just be the proud papa of some of those fawns I was talking about.

And the cutest of all the animals in Hardin Ridge.......

"I've been working on my tan what do you think? And no bikini line."

Being so patient waiting for mom and dad to finish working up at the gate. What a face :)

Uh wait what's this....oh ya I took this from the sample pictures there are no penguins in the forest! Fooled ya! :)  I sure hope you enjoyed frolicking through the forest with me and seeing all of the creatures that live here with us. They sure make it an adventure everyday not knowing what you are going to see.  I much prefer to see most of them first before they see me though.
From creep crawly Hardin Ridge take care everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WHOOPEE.....It's here!

So did you hear the hoots and hollers in Indiana?  My computer is back.  The guy that put the new hard drive in installed the wrong driver for the touch pad and that is why I couldn't type on it. How frustrating. When I got it back there was so many things I wanted to do I wasn't happy doing any of them. I jumped all over the place. Then it happened.  The scream did you hear the scream??!!
Oh my gosh having to download everything again, learning new ways of doing this and that. Our old email address was gone and so now I had to learn the new one. My daughter when she set the blogging account up for me did it under the gmail act so that was good. It didn't change the emails and comments I received from readers. I just had to learn how to maneuver through it all.  I have come a loooong way on doing things on a computer, I was pretty dumb on it before all this blogging took place, now I am pretty proud of myself how I get in there and just "do it." Knowing if I mess it up I have a daughter and son n law to bail me out.  Thanks guys!

OK enough of that gibberish, I'll bet you wonder what we have been up to. Well lets see, camp hosting.  I'm done LOL  I still don't have wedding pictures to share they are on their way on a disc from Colorado so as soon as I can I will share them. I didn't take any with my camera. Now calm down I was too busy pinning on corsages, boutonnieres, and making sure this and that were going ok I didn't want to worry about photography. Besides there were three cameras going I was sure to get good pictures.

After the wedding was over we finished up at Turkey Run and headed back down to here, Hardin Ridge. That was such a huge relief to have full hook ups again.  Dumping tanks with a 'blue boy' is not fun. Just ask Art  hee hee....

We came back to more hummingbirds that I could ever dream of.  We have 8-9 females and one male. I have to fill the feeders at least two of the three once a day.

I know this is not a great shot but I wanted you to see the feeder we have on our window.  The little male and one female seem to dominate it. They can sure drink the syrup water. l  still have to try and get a video of them swarming the feeders as you can't get a good picture of that.

The kids came down on the first Tuesday that we were back and we rented a Pontoon boat and went out on Lake Monroe.  Holy Molly it was hot!!!

Our newlyweds with Effie watching the water. (wanting to jump in I'm sure) and Miss Meredith. Look at her pink water shoes aren't they adorable? :)

She loves Effie and Cooper as they are smaller than her dogs at home. And Effie is so gentle with her.

Here they all are sitting on the edge of the boat soaking their feet.  Wonder what they are looking at???

This! Meredith is playing on Hannah's legs soaking too.  See Effie in Hannah's arms?  It was so hot we put her and Cooper in water too just to cool off.

                                  Then as I am watching them I had an idea pop in my head:

"Wave at me guys."  They are so funny. 
We were not the only hot ones that day. This huge bird landed in a dead tree as the kids were soaking. They told us this is the grove for the Eagles. Now I don't know if this is one or not? Judy help????
He didn't look like a hawk but he didn't look like a young Eagle with or at least the ones I goggled.

See how he is panting.

I think he looks like an Eagle here. But not sure. Anyway he was big and beautiful.  (update) thanks to Karen and Judy this is an Osprey.

I am almost positive this is a pie-billed Grebe.  He goes under water and comes up with fish.
As we were watching him and taking his picture some one was jealous and wanted his taken too....

He landed on the dock and walked back and forth like it was his runway.  And what gorgeous legs they have :)
"And now in first place for the great muscle ton of the upper legs is our Great Blue Heron."

Then at 76247 we have a new family that has moved in.  Anyone wanting to send a basket of worms for a house warming it would be greatly appreciated.

Off the feather friends and onto Miss Effie.  She has found a new place to ride on our golf cart and she did this all by herself.  We tossed her bed up there one day and she jumped up in it and now has declared the "rumble seat" as her own.  And the breeze just gently blows hers wire hair curls.  :)

I will leave you this evening with one of my favorite places in the park. The trails. They are so well maintained and they always leave you with that feeling of what is over the next rise or the next curve.
I hope you all stay safe and well and take care from us here at Hardin Ridge.

And in this case it was Sylvester the Squirrel.