Friday, March 25, 2016


Mom Stops to smell the flowers....;o)

But first.....

 Just need to put the Toilet lid on and the bathroom is officially done! Oh and I have a wee gap on my cabinet door an inside latch should solve that problem...Hung the hand towel and its all good!!

I also am not too proud to admit when I make a mistake so I repainted the yellow wall to match the color of the rest of that open space...I did not chose the yellow but hated to know that money and time was wasted but better to admit defeat than go forward with something that I was not happy with LOVE the same color all over so much better and Another Bad idea is the dark cabinets so did those over ...

only a little time is all since I had the paint already...I did like the dark wood but it gave an overall darkness to the kitchen and since it has little natural light I had to lighten it up...

I am keeping the open cabinet in the dark wood tho I really like it...

the Bathroom & the Living Space is done!  Just little projects to do. 

All work and no play is not the way so I asked Mom if she would enjoy a day out she said yes so we drove to a nearby town that we had never bothered to visit, Orangeburg, SC. Roadside scenery was awesome some wildflowers in the fields.....

We passed through the town called  St Matthews this old house is the first thing you see...

then this bridge over the RR Track that goes right down main street!!  Half the town is one side of this track and half on the other side!  

IN Orangeburg they have kept their downtown in the mid century modern style! It had that old feel would be a great set for a movie say in the 60's for any Hollywood producers reading

On Golden Pond Showing at the Blue Bird

One reason we chose this town is  Edisto Gardens! There are rose gardens not blooming yet but the Azaleas were was a beautiful day to be out and Mom enjoyed a walk...

Lots of cedar wax wings around that day and I spotted one Yellow throated warbler, he didnt allow a photo, but it was nice to see him and we heard black n whites too...

The Edisto river runs right at the back of the garden really nice. A slow flow this river passes thru Colleton State Park Miles  the south  of here...and there is a nice canoe trail there.

and some butterflies were out...

The Eastern Swallowtail Male...

And a couple of white throated sparrows were up in the budding cherry trees..

We have decided to do more of these town visit trips, towns we have never bothered to stop and smell the roses at! So stay tuned for more! Meanwhile its back to the Painting and fixing up!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring into it!

Spring is happening so fast this year for us, so far *knock on good wood* no late frost to kill the buds! 

So we have had some good flowers up to now... I have been working on the projects as usual just because I don't mention it doesn't mean it's not happening...I have been slow on progress tho..

I have changed my Mifi service so now I'm u against a lower data allowance and that means less photos uploaded so on my trips to Lowes I take my laptop and upload photos while Im there using their free guest Wifi however it is takes twice as long as my Verizon Wifi..but FREE is fast enough!

I am hoping to get in at least ONE spring trip am cooking up some possible locations without so much driving involved as for some reason gas has hopped back up around here, and less driving means more birding, hiking, and sightseeing! 

So one more finished project is the bench I made from wood on my scrap pile, its just a simple wooden bench to sit down and put on or take off shoes...and some coat hooks.  The end legs are made up of some of the cabinet doors I got off the free pile 2 yrs ago at the habitat store! I've used almost every single one of them I got like 16 doors of various sizes. Most of them went to build a cover for the water heater it has not been painted yet so when I get it painted Ill show you the finished project on that...

The top of the bench is made up of some really heavy duty 2 x 8's previously used in the house for shelving!

I have been for a few weeks, building this vanity for the bathroom,,,,also made up of scrap and free stuff...I finally got it into the bathroom and yesterday I put the top on  it.  

I put 3 coasts of Marine Varnish on the top so I hope it will be water proof enough...

This is the sink I Picked up at Habitat Store...and I purchased the faucet on sale at Lowes...there again its el'cheapo....hope it will last at least a couple years! 

 and installed the sink!! 

I finished off the backsplash with the left over tile from the tub surround tile, I would rather have left it without a backsplash but in the long run I think I'll be happy I did put the tile on as it will prevent water damage to the wall....and that's why I'm at Lowes today to get some Grout Caulk...I have only a few seams of grout to do SO not mixing up a batch just for that.  


Hung the same Mirror back up what was in here before....I have to grout that tile, put the handle on the cabinet door, put on the toilet seat and I think Ill paint over the electric outlet same as wall color I put in a almond ones they look awful so Ill paint it and the wall all I need is water and LET"S keep our FINGERS crossed my plumbing work doesn't leak!!

The vanity is a 36 x 22 x 34 tall....I'm pretty happy with it ---- its a one of a kind!!


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Some new Gear...

Each time I travel with my van I realize some things need to be making change to make it better is always on my mind.  One thing I'm working on is the problem of not having  a way to charge my electronics when boondocking or in primitive sites. I have only 4 electronics I need to keep cell phone, my laptop, my camera battery, and my DVD player!  I can charge all of these while driving but it can drain my motor battery especially if Im using the air conditioner. Altho my laptop is supposed to play DVD's it won' I carry a small 7" screen DVD player.  It is rechargeable and  watching a movie is a good way to unwind and get ready for sleep.  I've had it a long time.  It can be plugged into a TV if I ever decide to bring something like that along on my camp trips but really don't see that happening in my current van due to space.  I find el'cheapo DVD's (ie): for $10 I got  24 movies! Each box has 2 DVD's and each DVD has 3 movies on each side!! I watched only 4 movies, and most of those I did not see the end as I always fall asleep! Now there is a 7" TV/DVD with an HD antenna. THIS ONE. It can pull in on AIR network channels. I would enjoy one of these then If a signal was present I could get the local weather report.

   I have a 12 volt battery I am now taking with me for charging purposes, and it worked very well charging my electronics on the Florida trip.  Of course I didn't always have internet on my Verizon Wifi...I purchased an Inverter from Walmart and its easy to connect to the battery...I think I blogged this item before.

Schumacher XI41B Power Inverter
Sunforce 1.8 Solar Battery MaintainerIt came with cables and I just hook it up to the battery.  I have an electric battery charger I can use when I get next to an outlet, but without one I need solar power.  I found this small panel, at Harbor Freight along with a Charge Flow Controller.  since my power demands are LOW...all the volts I used outta my battery were replinshed in just a few hrs hooked on this small panel...when I checked the battery  with a voltage meter it was putting out 12.3 volts after chargingThunderbolt Magnum Solar 96728 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulatorthe panel is not big I can put it in any window or on the dashboard, and it works perfectly so far! There was a very good deal on some 45 watt panels but I am not ready for anything that would be surface mounted. I think this will be perfect for me...and there is a bit bigger panel I can add in time a 15 watt one. This one is 1.8 watts its like a trickle charger. and it has a long connection wire. I plug the controller into the panel, then hook the panel to the battery and I leave a window open while its charging. While in Harbor freight I picked up a new battery voltage meter so I can carry it in the glove box...and this panel comes with a plug for the cigarette lighter so I could charge my car battery via that!  They also have a fold-able notebook sized panel I almost got that one, but I like the size of this one better...

And while deciding which panel I would buy I found a wonderful lightweight fold up camp chair with a side table, its very comfy and much lighter than my other chair...the chair I currently use is extremely comfortable, but its so Heavy....sometimes I want to sit but don't want to drag it out of the van so this one I can lift with one hand!!  And the table sold me! They had a tent sale and I got everything marked down...this chair was $24.99  The next thing I had to address is the center fold in my bed.  In summer its fine I bring along my air bed, its cool and comfy but only in summer--- in winter, spring, fall its like sleeping on an ice cube!! 
 62314 Foldable Aluminum Sports ChairSO for $8 I got a pack of those closed cell foam pads for a shop floor! You put them on the floor where you stand for long periods...4 in a pack so now you can NOT find that center fold in my van bed...And I found at Big Lots a 3" memory foam mattress I plan to get the twin size for about $65. Next month maybe that will be in the budget...

Lastly I got this item for those trips when I have more gear than I need! Like my screen room for those times when I am going to camp in one spot for a few days....this cargo carrier plugs right into my trailer hitch holds 500 lbs of cargo! It was reduced to $39.99 in the tent sale so I grabbed it up...I could also use this to carry a bike, spare gas can, firewood, just about crates, a bale of hay...I mean its wonderful...I plan to use it in my daily life for putting my stick containers on so now I dont have to put them inside! AND when mom travels with me she has a large wheeled walker it will fit wonderfully on this carrier! So it won't be in the way of the dogs...Haul-Master 66983 500 Lb. Capacity Deluxe Cargo Carrier
Stick containers? Okay when you have a zillion trees in the yard they drop a zillion sticks I have several bins I use to pick up sticks each week and then I have to take 'em to the recycle center to be ground up!!  So all sorts of NEW GEAR to enjoy!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day Tripper...

Mar. 10 Bear Island WMA-

I meant to do a post on my most recent finished projects on the House Make Over, but I never got around to taking the photos! My head is just not in it right now as it is SPRING! I mean it came so fast, it is now each day hitting the 80's for us. I've been so buzzed about Birds lately..I do take it "by spells" as my Grandmother used to say....meaning it is my focus for a while then it wanes, never fades tho.  Anywho Like I said ITS Spring...I'm on a bender of a sort....soon I'll be hoping for Warblers and other migrants to stop over!!

some of the shrubs in the yard
...decided to take my itchy foot down to the Low Country and to Bear Island WMA, to check out the ponds before the changing of the guards and the migration is in full swing.  This area is located near the Ashepoo River not too far away from Charleston...its about a 2 - 1/2 hr ride for me..put my coffee in the cup holder and off I went...Casey came along but he was happy to nap in the back we had the windows down and air felt NICE!

Ashepoo River 

along the same road is the Airy Hall Plantation...C-1701

this plantation once consisted of 16,000 acres and rice was the main crop

The Wildlife Management Area means they cater to hunters...which I hate but as a birder you will hear the argument about the duck stamp yada yada yada, anywho its a great place when its NOT hunting season..

ebird showed a recent Ruff sighting, I don't have a scope...must check ebay for a bargain on one..... if I saw it I didn't recognize it...Shorebirds are a great mystery to me...they all look alike in the winter/fall plumage, I am trying very hard to improve and that's partly why I made this day trip...  So here's some of what I did see; lots of Northern Shovelers,

and quite a large number of Green Winged Teals

And quite a lot of shorebirds were present! I am still trying to figure out exactly who I saw....of course as is usually the way they were on the Far Side, and with the sun behind good photos didn't really happen. I squinted till I was nearly blind!  Helped a Turtle across the road..

An awesome sunny day was had by me and quite a few other birders who car pooled in.... am I a bigot if I say they all looked alike too? Individuality is dying....
These Spanish moss covered trees make a natural bridge over the roadway...very dramatic...

Down at the Hog Island pond spotted lots of American Avocet,  and one Forster's Tern

Here's an Avocet resting they were so busy catching small crustaceans swishing their heads back  forth...

....kinda made me dizzy just watching...

Greater  & Lesser Yellow Legs were plentiful...

and am going with Dunlin on these and the smaller one a Western Sandpiper 

Pretty sure those legs are dark....but to me this is a Reddish Egret. 

and a Bald Eagle soared over me a few times...

tho this is not a good clear shot Im thinking this is a Least Sandpiper 
and several Glossy Ibis were around...

saw 2 alligators, it was warm so most were in the water cooling off...

I almost stepped on a snake! I scared it so bad it nearly jumped 3 ft..

and the A. White Pelican flew over looking like a crop duster---- he was so big! I swear the wing spread seemed to be 8 ft across...

so it was a fun Day Trip and I hummed Day Tripper by the Beatles of course all the way home, "it took me so long to find out... but I found out....lala''
back home: The Eastern Bluebirds in my yard have already starting nesting, and soon our hummingbirds will arrive for the season...Looking forward to seeing those guys!! 

Can't believe how fast the winter went this year, now we have to turn the clock forward, I protest!! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.