Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So our tax audit is done.
Ends up it was the NC Dept of Revenue but they were only looking for unpaid sales tax.
Excuse me - we do not collect sales tax.
They were looking for items bought out of state that we did not pay tax on.
So, 5 years of invoices and found maybe - and I mean maybe - $2-3000 of goods bought without tax being paid - mainly tools purchased over the internet.
Hello - you spent a day here to collect $135????
But at least it is finished.
Now I have 7 boxes to haul back into the attic.
Should be Chris' job - Right?

Raining here tonight.
We may not go camping if it keeps up.
Instead, H and I will do her back to school shopping for cooler weather clothes.
And see a movie.
Chris of course, will work on his projects here at the house.
Or maybe we will end up camping.
We will see....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in Camping....part 2

In an effort to get some camping in before the cool weather hits, we wanted to go out this past weekend for a Friday and Saturday night camping trip. On Friday am it was raining so we had to decide - go or stay?

We decided to go, packed up the trailer -which was pretty easy since most everything is already there, hitched the truck and waited for hannah to get home from school. We were on the road by 4pm and heading to Julian Price Park, a National Park right on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

On the way up the mountain, just as we hit 2 lane mountain roads, the skies opened up and it started to pour. Sheets of rain. Uh-oh, did we make a mistake?

But we drove thru the rain and came out on the ridge top to clear skies, clouds clustered in valleys and GORGEOUS fall colors. Really, they were probably as pretty as I have seen them in years.

We got to camp and set up. We did learn that we need to make faster decisions on what site, where to park etc... because it was dark quickly and there was still things to do. like make beds and cook dinner and get water

The next day we enjoyed cool, almost chilly weather, with a strong breeze. We walked the park, scoping out future sites and went down to the lake to check it out. Here is our camp:

Then we drove up the parkway to see the colors. The parkway was mobbed - at every overlook and bridge there were lines of cars on the side of the road. We went on down - our goal was a 30 minute hike to overlook grandfather mtn. When we got there, the parking lot was only half full. I guess the spots you pull over at are popular but if you have to get out and walk then no one does it.

The hike was nice and the views spectacular. The rock was called flat top and the winds and water did fun things to it.

From there we drove back down the parkway to Moses Cone Park. Here there is an old house with a craft center and 25 miles of old carriage roads for hiking and horseback riding. We would like to return and hike to the tower at some point.

The next day, Sunday, we packed up but before we left, we went back to the lake so Hannah could do a little fishing. Sunday was so nice, warmer and much less wind.

All in all, a short but very nice trip. And I am glad we did not miss all the fall colors!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

and the IRS comes a callin...

We are heading out camping tomorrow for the weekend. We do not know where yet - but somewhere within a 2hr. drive since H doesn't get home from school till 3:45pm.

There is a burning ban statewide so I want to go somewhere with electric hookups - that way I am not sitting around in the dark at 7pm twiddling my thumbs. Chris however, wants to stay in a National Park - no hookups. Hopefully we will decide before we pull out tomorrow afternoon.

We are supposed to be getting rain today. So far, not a drop. It is 85 and the sun is shining. NEED the rain.

When I return from camping, I will off the blog for the week. We are being audited by the NC Dept of Revenue for 2002-2007 (FCI is, not us personal) and I shall be busy organizing my files and tax returns. Lets hope this is not too lengthly of a process.

Then I will start drinking. :)

clean shoes...

Yesterday, I decided to wash shoes.

On Sunday, Hannah and I went to a corn maze with Middle School Youth at church. 2+ hours being lost in corn and dirt - not my idea of fun. It just went against my type A personality to enjoy being lost. Anyhow....came home with filthy shoes.

So I pulled out my running shoes, slip on sneakers and the ones I wore Sunday that I keep my orthodics in. Washed 3 pairs and put them out to dry. 6 sneakers and 6 inserts all lined up in a row against the garage.

Hannah came home from school - "mom, why are all your shoes lined up like that?"

I explained to her why/what I'd done as I was admiring my spanking clean shoes and thinking how cute they looked all lined up and sparkling white.

"Geez, I hope they do not end up on your blog". {add sarcastic tone here}

Thursday, October 11, 2007

lions and tigers and bears....oh my!

Actually it is lions, bears, kitties, puppies, pigs and one sorry looking bunny.
But they are done and ready for the craft sale.
And they are stinkin' cute!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Adventures in Camping Part 1 ....

or maybe this should be titled "better safe than sorry".

Our first camping trip with the new trailer. We picked Hannah up from school just a little early so we could get on the road. Since it was our first trip we wanted to make sure to get set up before dark. We hit the road at 3:30pm Friday - heading for Lake Powhatan - a National Forset campground right outside of Asheville. We would be dry camping in the National Forest and stay for 2 nights. We figured 2.5 hrs to get there. Plenty of time and better safe than sorry, right?

About a half hour out, just before we get on the interstate, Chris pulls over for a safety check. Hmmm.... the wheels feel kinda hot on one side. Maybe the wheel bearings need grease? This was the one thing not checked at the dealer when we bought it....... Now what. It was the one thing he did not check.

We keep on driving. I get on the phone and start calling the dealer.....they had given us an 800# to call if any problems or questions arose. It is Friday afternoon around 4pm. I keep getting voice mail. Do we head on up and go to the dealer? Turn around and go home? We decide we can make it to the dealer - it is about the same distance there as home. If needed, we will just leave the trailer there, get a hotel and head home in the am.

I finally reach a manager at the dealership. Sure, he says. Come on in - as long as it is before 5:30pm when we close. We can look at it but not work on it that late. But you can stay here if there is a problem and we can work on it in the morning. So we keep going. Get to the dealer at 5:10pm. The manager is waiting for us with a service tech. Hmmmmm - yep, they are kinda hot. Manager thinks it is the brakes. Service tech thinks - better safe than sorry. We had better look at it in the morning.

So they tell us to go find a spot in the campground for the night, hook up to the electric and water and sewer. Chris says, maybe we should head home. No, they say. Stay here for free. Relax tonight and be back at 8am when we open and we will pull the wheels off. If nothing is wrong, you will at least know the bearings are greased. If there is a problem we will fix it. Better safe than sorry, right?

So we pull over to a giant field with rows of electric hookups. Find one off by ourselves. Cool, it is level so we do not even disconnect the truck. Pull out the beds, start the grill, have dinner and a glass of wine, play some trivia pursuit and off to bed.
The next am, we unhook, fold in the beds and are back across the street at 7:45 where there is a mechanic waiting for us and he takes the truck off to the service bays. We go in and have breakfast and watch tv and hang. After a few hous, Chris wanders off to talk to the technician.

Yup, he says - you probably would not have made it thru the weekend. The brakes were adjusted wrong, the grease was liquidfied and that was causing it to get hot. We need to adjust the brakes and re-grease the wheels. Better safe than sorry was EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

By noon we are back on the road, by 1pm we are at Lake Powhatan and now part 2 of the trip begins. We level up (this time not so flat), pull out the beds and get ready again. Hannah decides to learn how to whittle. We ride bikes to the lake (not very big). This time, no electric or water hookups so we test out the battery, cook out on the campstove.

So we had practice taking up and down, driving, hooking up, and generally using the camper. We learned a few things and found out that the camper should work pretty well for us. We are ready to head out again 2 and 3 weekends out.

BTW - it was 80 degrees during the day so it was warm mountain camping. We are hoping for some cooler weather next time.