Cades Cove, TN

What a wonderful time we had spending the day with Carl and Donna Wagner last Saturday.   We hiked a gorgeous path along part of the Little River.  Check out:

http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/middle-prong-trail.htm

When is the last time you had a Picnic?    What fun!

Wildlife was abundant!    The predicted rains held off.    Perfect Day!

We explored Rebecca Cable’s 600 acre homestead.     A church and cemetery that dated back into the late 1800’s.   Whether you drive or hike around Cade’s Cove, it’s a great area to visit!

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Crossville, TN Deer Run RV Resort

Crossville, TN Deer Run RV Resort

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this campground is. Kim owns and manages. We’ve been going there since April 2012 (first trip right after we got our Rig) and each year we arrive to find changes, upgrades, etc. It’s beautiful and that is an understatement. This year our site was lined with a fence. The plan is to make each site that way. Winter has been rough this year – long and cold and when we arrived in mid March they were just beginning to be able to begin the work they have planned.

We normally spend time there before and after the actual Rally, as do many other families. So being there longer we had plenty of changing weather. Days in the 60s and then nights of freezes – including the low temp of 18. OH MY – now that’s cold for true born and raised Floridians. 1 day of beautiful SNOW – all day! I sat and watched the weather that whole day – and of course, ventured outside to take a few pictures. Although it was somewhat chilly this year, we had a wonderful time watching the ever-changing lake, trees, tons of birds, ducks, geese, and the occasional deer along the roadways.

If you have a chance to camp (RV, Tent, even a few small cabins you can rent) – don’t miss staying at Deer Run RV Resort, 3609 Peavine Firetower Road, Crossville, TN.

 

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CROCK POT meals aren’t what they used to be!

I guess you could say I enjoy cooking and the view from my RV kitchen today is really enjoyable.   A huge variety of birds at our feeder, ducks and geese in the water bright blue skies even though the temps are just now rising to 39 degrees.

Anyway, a pot of Chili is on the stove simmering.   But the real point of this post is what you can now do with your Crock Pot.    I found a conversion chart online along with some tips about cutting the amount of liquid in your recipes – last week we tried Stuffed Pork Chops.   Prepared as you normally would before baking, put in the crock pot and my husband and I went for a walk.   2.5 hrs later dinner was ready.   So, I’m looking forward to trying Lasagna, Mac N Cheese, etc.   Recipes you would never think would work in a crock.

Here’s the conversion:

You can make almost any of your family’s faves in the slow cooker, so think about using one for recipes that call for long simmering or roasting times.  It’s so convenient, and you can even bring back oven recipes you banish in the summer (too hot to turn on that oven) when you make them in your slow cooker.  The table below will help you figure out how long to slow cook a recipe you usually do in the oven.  One thing to remember:  Slow cookers create their own moisture; cut the liquid in the recipe a third to a half.

This table helps you convert traditional cooking times to slow cooker times:

Traditional Oven or Stovetop Low Slow Cooker Setting (about 200 degrees f) High Slow Cooker Setting (about 300 degrees f)
15-30 minutes 4-6 hours 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours
35-45 minutes 6-8 hours 3-4 hours
50 minutes- 3 hours 8-10 hours 4-6 hours

 

Hope you enjoy experimenting like I do.

Adairsville, GA Harvest Moon RV Park

Sunday 16 March 2014

WOW the day we have planned for so long has finally arrived.   We loaded the Smart last night and with Raymond’s guide lines we had not one issue with lining it up the first time.  Even though it felt like Yukon RV Park was tight, we hitched up easily and off we go.  (first time since late November we have moved the RV).

We plan to not drive more than 300 miles but we wanted to stop for the night North of Atlanta.    That way we don’t have to deal with normal Monday traffic there tomorrow.   So we drove about 430 miles to Adairsville, GA.     Harvest Moon RV Park.   We pulled in right after dark and work up to seeing a beautiful park with lots of long pull through sites.   This tree and little bird (trying to stay warm) was right outside our dining room window.

Chilly Morning Robins

We headed to Marysville, GA to get new Rig tires and spend some time with Donna and Carl Wagner.    Donna met and lead us to the tire shop then we spent some time seeing Maryville.   Carl met us after work and we enjoyed a BBQ dinner before the guys went to pick up the rig and get it parked for the night.    Their legwork made it easy to get lots done.

Off to Crossville for a month tomorrow.

Preparation Time with “see you later” Farewells

We spent the last three weeks before our scheduled Jacksonville exit on 16 March.    But, the most fun was having many luncheons and visits with family and friends.   It’s always fun to spend time with we never see often enough.    Thank you all.     Mostly we will miss our two Sons, Chris and Josh that live here and down the state!

Raymond’s retirement day was Friday, 7 March 2014 and it was a busy one.  He had so many projects/items he wanted to complete….but, as usual, there is never enough hours in the day to complete them all.

The following week we spent readying ourselves and the Rig for ‘hitting the road’.   Again, never enough hours to complete everything…….but enough we did not leave on schedule.  We enjoyed the 2014 Gate River Run and we both finished the 15K (9.6 miles).   YAY!  And we could still move the next morning.   LOL

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Good Bye, Jacksonville!    It’s been a great 31 years!