Best Laid Plans

Everyone has probably been wondering what’s happening. We had planned to start camping again in the spring but things kept popping up to delay that. May seemed like the first chance we would have so we made some reservations. Unfortunately fate butted in, I had a stroke on the 11th, my right side, arm and leg both paralyzed. Spent 4 days in the ICU, then 3 weeks in intensive rehab in Sarasota.

After a lot of work, I’m beginning to walk with the help of a one handed walker and my hand can now grip things. I’m not walking far just 20 ft. or so but everyday I can go a little further. I imagine this will lead up to walking with a cane. I don’t imagine we’ll be going out this Summer but maybe in the Fall.

Hope you all have a great summer, we’ll be working hard here to bring my body back.

Enjoy

 

Blue Springs State Park, Florida

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It was mid November, 2016. Four months before this Lynda had applied for the Deland Art Festival.  At the same time we snapped up a camp site at Blue Springs State Park as places to stay get few and far between during November. The park is about 15 min. from Deland so it would make a good place to stay for the festival. Unfortunately we didn’t get into the fair. They can host about 150 artists and about 300 applied. Big time prizes, so big time artists apply.

In any case, we had this reservation at the park, so we decided to go anyway. We’ve never been there before, but many people told us it was beautiful . It was a very nice park with a spring that runs out into the St. John’s river. It’s a popular dive spot as the spring itself is very deep. Manatees come into the spring in the winter as the water is warmer than the river. During the months that there are no manatees, you can swim in the spring, its a constant 73 degrees, brrr.

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Blue Springs was popular place even in the past. Steamboats used to come here and after that trains. The family that owned it built up quite a trade. The area has lots of animals; manatees, turtles, birds, etc. You can go out on a tour boat or rent kayaks and canoes to go out on the St. John. It is a pleasant place to roam around. And the campsite has brand new bathrooms. What luxury!

There is one down side, a train passes by right next to the campsites about every four hours and toots it’s horn as it goes thru the rail crossing, even at 4 AM.

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daytona-light beach

It is roughly a half hour to the beach, which like Daytona they can drive cars on. You can see Daytona Light across the estuary. Not the soft white sands of the west coast, but it’s a beach.

45th at Ghost Ranch Abiquiu, NM

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Cerro Pedernal (Flat Top Mesa) from Ghost Ranch

It is our 45th wedding anniversary and Lynda always wanted to take me to Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe painted, so we went. The flight there was delayed so long by weather that we missed our connection and wound up stuck in Houston over night. We got there the next day and drove up to Santa Fe, roaming the galleries of Canyon Road in the rain. It must be two miles of art galleries. Then on to the Abiquiu Inn. The Inn was very nice, Lynda wanted me to get acclimated to the altitude in real comfort, before moving on to Ghost Ranch, which she said would be more bijou.

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We went out to Bandoleer National Park and Los Alamos one day and Lake Abiquiu the next. I wanted to see the campground at Lake Abiquiu and it looked like a great place to take an RV.  The lake was great, right out in the middle of the desert, a popular fishing spot full of trout and bass. Lots of birds, etc. the trail goes all the way around the lake about 15 miles or so.

EchoSMThen on to Ghost Ranch. we went to Echo Canyon first as it is just down the road. You walk about 200 yds. from the parking lot and you are enclosed in a large circular depression in the mesa. You can yell and it will really create an echo back.

TumbleweedSMAt Ghost Ranch our room was up on top of a mesa, it was called Tumbleweed. It had a bedroom, small living room and a private bath. Lynda said it was really hard to get anything with a private bath. It was about 100 yds. up or down the hill by switch backs to get to the main offices or the chow hall. The amazing thing was that there was a huge common room that had enormous couches, a fire place, and a kitchenette. The views all around were stupendous, the Pedernal, Chimney Rock, Kitchen Mesa, The Box Canyon, everything was right there. We had a “Blue Moon” one night and I moved it via Photoshop to be by Chimney Rock.

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USonChimneySMWe climbed Chimney Rock, you can actually get up on top of the mesa ( just to the right of the photo). The last 100 yards or so is about medium level hiking (not climbing). We hiked out to the red place, box canyon, etc. We also took a photo course from Catherine Anderson. Lynda learned how to take 10X macro shots with her iPhone. And we went out to the “White Place” (Playa Blanca) of Georgia O’Keefe fame. All in all a great trip.

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More photos on my site http://www.fishbourne.shutterfly.com

Book Finally Published!

CoverSmallWell, we finally finished the book. Many, many edit sessions, three proofs, but it’s finally up for sale on Amazon. Sixty four pages, fifty recipes, (17 of the original ones) just $19.95. We also lowered the price of the first book. We consider it an introduction to the Small Foods process, just $10.95. We’ll only make a couple of bucks on it as the printer and Amazon take the big slices of the pie. We’d like to see people try it out so we wanted to lower the bar to entry. Just search on Amazon for “The Big Book of Small Foods” or “Small Foods”. There are some grifters here so go directly to Amazon and don’t pay more for the books than is listed here.

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Besides the book we’ve also been very busy with art shows. We go to a few a year just to move some of the art out of the house. Went to the Winthrop Art Festival and the Manatee Art Fair. Not really big shows, but we get to meet a lot of interesting artists and buyers. It’s a lot of work, packaging all of the art, loading the tent etc. into the truck, set up, sell, breakdown and store for the next one. Figure three days per show, get there, set up the tent, sell for two days, breakdown the tent and go home. Luckily these two are close to our home so we didn’t travel far.

Here’s Lynda’s Art Page http://www.LyndaFishbourne.com Enjoy!

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“The Big Book of Small Foods”

CoverSmallNot a lot of new recipes in December. First of all we’ve published most of the holiday recipes and secondly we’ve been working hard to complete the new book. We’ve been working away on the next version of “Small Foods”and here it is. Right now it’s only the Kindle version but soon it will be a beautiful printed book as well. Kindle has some limitations as far as books with lots of photos and artistic layout are concerned, but they do adapt to any tablet or phone so I guess there is some value to it. I would think for RVers it would be great as it removes the need to carry around a cookbook in a limited space. Homes, apartments, RVs, boats with ovens, there are tons of places you can use a small foods cook book. (In a boat you might want to use a large muffin pan as ceramic ramekins could roll around due to the boat rocking). I myself prefer a hard copy book, but I’m sure there are some who prefer to get their recipes digitally.

The new book has the original 17 recipes and 33 more, including desserts! Many of these dishes have been featured here and some have not. Just $3.95 (U.S.).

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In the meantime, we have reduced the Kindle price of the “Small Foods” book to $2.99. We feel that this is a good introduction to the small foods process and we’d like everyone to try it.

 

Kissimmee Prairie SP Oct. 30, 2015

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This is our view, it’s a prairie. It was about the end of October, so we decided to go out to Kissimmee Prairie State Park for a look see. It’s way off in the middle of the state, down an eight mile shell road, about 2.5 hrs from Tampa. More like Okeechobee, not Kissimmee, the K river just runs thru it.  Not the best choice as it has been raining a lot lately and it is the full moon. K state Park is noted for its great night sky and trails. The trails were flooded out and we didn’t even see the moon until the last night, let alone the stars, too cloudy. Better to come here in the winter when it is clear and a new moon. This is the first time we’ve been in a state park that was basically deserted. I think there were only four other campers in the whole place. Very quiet needless to say. So we went looking for wildlife.

DSCN4034DSCN3967We did see a deer, there’s no hunting here so they walk unafraid thru the campgrounds. We saw wild turkeys, giant spiders, gopher tortoise, an otter, and the white throated Caracara. I roamed all over the trails looking for the Caracara and it appeared on the picnic table in the camp next to ours. Definitely a strange looking bird. Lots of flies here, not biting but a nuisance (this is a popular horse camping place) bring lots of bug spray. More photos on my site http://www.fishbourne.shutterfly.com

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We are definitely going to come back in the winter when there is no moon and the trails are dry. It’s a 7 mile hike to the river down the military trail, might be do-able on a bike and I think you’d see a lot of interesting stuff. They do run a swamp buggy tour on weekends in the winter and holidays. Next Trip Oscar Scherer SP Nov.

The New Season Begins – Ft. Desoto 9/2015

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It’s finally beginning to cool down. Still in the high 80s with high humidity but it is no longer sweltering at night. Yes we have AC and it works very well but we don’t go camping to hang out in the tent all day.

Monday
One of those Invest storms was coming (area of interest to the weather people) so instead of staying home for a day we rushed to the campground and got set up before it could break. Big mistake, it poured buckets all night, luckily no wind, we didn’t get any sleep. But the camper was perfectly dry and our site didn’t flood so we were fine. Hamburgers in the fry pan for dinner, Lynda had a veggie burger.

Tuesday
One of Lynda’s graphic design clients was having trouble with her files and Lynda didn’t ‘ bring her computer along, so we had to run home (only 45 min.) and get it. In the meantime they worked out their problems, but we probably needed to have it along any way. The rule now is to always take the computer when there is an active job in the office. We did get to walk around the park a little and see some of the flooded campsites. Lots of people went home, this place is only about 1/4 full. Left over pepper, onion, feta, filo dough pizza from home.

Wednesday
Hurrah! Sunny at last with a dry northwest wind. A beach day – on the beach by ten off by three. The wind finally blew our beach umbrellas down so we left.

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I haven’t mentioned it yet but we added an outdoor table and electric outlet to the camper. Great for cooking on with the electric fry pan and it has a sink for washing up! Much better than trying to wash pots in the teeny area that is the sink inside. It just folds up and goes on top of the “dining room table” when we fold up everything. Dinner tonight – left over ramekin vegetarian chili from home with Doritos. So much for being healthy!

 

Thursday
A bright beautiful day with only a low chance of showers. The wind is down this morning so Lynda has gone kayaking. It’s low tide so she had to hike thru the mud flats a bit to get out. After lunch Lynda went kayaking all the way to the point. Then we went to north beach just to see how it looked without the big Australian pines. It’s washing out a mile a minute. At high tide the beach is maybe 25 feet wide. Went back to the camp and ate left over chicken Marbella which we froze and brought with us. It was great but the smell of it seemed to attract one of the feral cats that live here. There wasn’t any left by the time he showed up so no dinner for him.

Friday
Time to pack up and go home. We’re already planning the next trip!