Nick Russell

Jan 222019
 

Definition of potpourri – 1: a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent. 2: a miscellaneous collection. The second definition above pretty much describes today’s blog, a collection of miscellaneous thoughts and info that I’m sharing because I really don’t have anything else to talk about today.

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Lies RV salesmen tell you – I’ve never been able to figure out why so many RV salesmen (and saleswomen) feel the need to lie to a customer to make a sale. But it’s been my experience that there are a lot more who will say anything to get your money, no matter how wrong, or even dangerous, it is. I heard from two different people who were at the Tampa RV Show and did not believe the whoppers salesmen told them, and wanted my input. In the first case, a salesman assured a couple that their Toyota Tacoma was plenty of truck to pull a 32-foot travel trailer. That kind of BS is not only unethical, it could get somebody killed. The second email was from a couple who have two kids, ages 11 and 13. They want to fulltime with their kids and do a lot of boondocking, and a salesman at the show told them the 25 gallon black and 35 gallon grey tank in the rig he was trying to sell them would be adequate for them to easily go two weeks before they had to dump the tanks. I guess it is if they never shower and go outside to go potty.

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Someone who knows I am into genealogy contacted me to ask if I knew of a way she could prove her Native American ancestry. She said she is half Cherokee but has taken three different DNA tests and none of them show her Native bloodline. The tests all show a mix of Great Britain and German ancestry. I asked which of her parents are Native American and she said neither of them is, but she heard that a three or four times great grandmother was a Cherokee princess. I replied that in that case, she is not half Native American at any rate, and if three DNA tests say she has no trace of Native blood, she probably isn’t. She immediately fired back saying there must be a way to prove it. I was tempted to suggest she hang around outside an Indian casino and see if she could buy a pint of blood from a tribal member, kind of like the people who get somebody else’s urine for a drug screen.

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Another email was from somebody who wants to change his legal domicile to South Dakota or Florida because they have no state income tax. He asked if that meant he also didn’t have to pay Federal income tax. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. The Feds still want their pound (or pounds) of flesh come April 15th.

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A few days ago somebody asked me a question about the instructions I have posted before about how to clean a Splendide washer/dryer combo when it stops drying and all of the lights start flashing. I’m sorry, but somehow I lost your email before I could reply. Please get back to me again, if you will.

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My latest book, Big Lake Wedding is selling well and already has a dozen five star reviews. I really appreciate everybody buying the book, telling your friends about it, and leaving reviews.

Someone asked when the print version will be out. It will be a few weeks yet, but not t0o long, I promise. My other two new releases, the box set of the first three Big Lake books and the box set of the first three books in the John Lee Quarrels series are also doing well and I am getting good feedback on them, too.

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And finally, several people have asked how Miss Terry’s eye is after I dropped my phone on her and gave her a nasty shiner. I’m happy to say it’s much cleared up, and she hasn’t beaten me with a frying pan to get even. At least not yet, anyway.

Thought For The Day – A great marriage is not when a ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learn to enjoy their differences.

Is It Monday Yet?

 Posted by at 12:37 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 212019
 

Most working people dread Monday morning because it is the start of another long work week. Mondays don’t bother me because I work every day of the week. Some days I work more than others, but every day I at least write a blog, and I am usually working on a book, or working on book promotion, or doing research for a book. That’s why I laugh whenever someone says that we retired to Florida. No, we just retired from the RV lifestyle. I plan to keep cranking out books as long as my brain will allow me to string words together.



But I am really looking forward to today being Monday, assuming it is Monday. I have been a day ahead of myself for the last several days. We went to the antique extravaganza on Friday, which I thought was Saturday. When Saturday rolled around, I thought it was Sunday, which meant I actually ended last week’s free drawing on Saturday instead of Sunday, as I was supposed to. I never even realized it until late yesterday evening. I don’t know how I got my days so jumbled up, but I sure did!

We were supposed to get a lot of wind and rain yesterday, but the rain never developed. However, we did get some wind, and the temperature really plummeted. The 11 PM news said the temperature was 23° lower than it was at the same time the night before. It was a good day to stay inside and not do much of anything. And except for some research on my next John Lee Quarrels book and writing the blog, that’s pretty much all I did – nothing.

I did exchange a few emails with a fellow who had some questions about the air brake system on his diesel motorhome. I told him that even though we have owned an MCI bus conversion and a Winnebago diesel pusher with air brakes, I’m not a mechanical person and really didn’t know what to tell him. I suggested he pose his questions on some of the Internet RV forums, but instead he wrote back wanting to know how to purge air from the system and what other maintenance was required. I replied again, telling him again that I wasn’t a mechanic and I didn’t have any answers for him. I said that we always had a reliable shop do a yearly maintenance on our rigs and I left those things up to them. He immediately came back and wanted to know if the brake shoes needed replaced, and if so, how often. By then I feared he wasn’t reading my replies anyhow, so I just ignored him. The last thing I want to do is give anybody advice on the brakes on a vehicle that weighs over 30,000 pounds when I don’t know the first thing about them.

About 11:45 PM and again a little after midnight Terry and I went outside to take a look at the moon, and yes, it was still up there in the sky right where it belongs. We didn’t stay out long because it was too darned cold.



Today, after a trip to the chiropractor and a few errands, I plan to go over all of my notes for my next book and get ready to start cranking out words. (Just about the time I wrote these words I realized that the post office is closed tomorrow for Martin Luther King Day.) Okay then, one less errand to run.

Thought For The Day – Every time I try to eat healthy, along comes Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer, Friday or Tuesday and ruins it for me.

My Body Is Mad At Me

 Posted by at 12:37 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 202019
 

As most of you know, I’ve been trying to lose weight and have been walking at least a mile a day on my treadmill. And I’m beginning to see some results. I’ve lost about 35 pounds and my doctor took me off my diabetes medicine. But there is a big difference between walking a mile on a treadmill and spending three or four hours wandering around an outdoor antique/flea market, and now my body is mad at me. And boy, is it letting me know it!



We walked about three miles at the Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza in Mount Dora on Friday, and by the time we got back to the van it was all we could do to put one foot in front of the other. Most people think Florida is pretty flat, and for the most part they would be right. But the grounds where the extravaganza is held are somewhat hilly. Not mountains by any means, but enough that you really begin to feel it going up and down, browsing row after row of vendors.

As I wrote a while back, on our first trip to Mount Dora for the event we saw a lot of people pulling collapsible wagons, and that seemed like a good idea instead of having to carry everything we purchased around in our arms. So, we ordered a Timber Ridge folding wagon from Amazon. It has a 150 pound capacity and can be used for anything from gardening to going to the beach, to holding your purchases while you are walking around swap meets or farmers markets. It folds up small enough to fit into a storage bay of an RV or the trunk of a car without taking up a lot of room.

That turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, you can carry everything you bought in the wagon, along with bottles of water and anything else you might want to have with you. But the problem is, then you have to pull the wagon loaded with everything you bought, along with bottles of water and anything else you might want to have with you. It wasn’t too hard on the flat ground, but after we had the little table Terry bought and some other things in it, I began to feel like my arm was going to come out of its socket. By the end of the day, if we were going uphill Terry was behind the wagon helping me by pushing it. And coming downhill, she was in back holding onto the wagon to keep it from running over me. Even so, it banged me in the back of the legs several times.

Like I said, we were pretty worn out by the time we got back to the van at the end of the day, and walking around Friday evening we were pretty stiff. But that was nothing compared to yesterday. I got out of bed and my lower back, hips, and legs were all letting me know that they didn’t appreciate the workout I had given them, and they were taking turns making their displeasure known. It was a nice day and I would have liked to have gone fishing or something, but it was all I could do to hobble around the house using my cane. Hopefully things will ease up today and I can get back to whatever is normal for me.



In other news, a couple of years ago my friend John Huggins from Living The RV Dream created a Facebook page by the same name that now has over 57,500 members, both RVers and wannabes. John followed that up by creating a second page, Living the RV Dream Sales and Swaps, for people buying and selling RVs and RV related equipment. And now John is at it again, with another new group for people with physical disabilities who are interested in the RV lifestyle. Living the RV Dream With Disabilities was created to educate and help folks with disabilities enjoy the RV lifestyle. It welcomes people with disabilities, as well as those with information to share with those who are disabled. Check it out and submit a request to join.

Congratulations Marquita Graves, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of The Gecko In The Corner, the second book in my John Lee Quarrels mystery series. We had 63 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – Sometimes you have to stop being scared and stop asking yourself “what if” and just go for it.

Jan 192019
 

Apparently for my beautiful wife, Aladdin Lincoln Drape oil lamps are like potato chips; you can’t have just one. A while back I told you about how Terry used to collect oil lamps before we got together, and though she had quite a few of them, she had always wanted a Lincoln Drape but had never been able to find one. I made it my business to locate one for her, and we did in Safety Harbor, on the other side of the state, and we made a daytrip over there to buy it.



Though I had been looking for a Lincoln Drape for her for a long time, it was the first one I had been able to find. And then, wouldn’t you know it? A couple of weeks later when we were browsing some antique shops we found not one, but two more, and one came home with us. Kind of like when I was looking for cabinet radios and Speed Graphic cameras. I wanted one of each, and now I have two of each. We have seen this happen several times where we can’t find something we want, and once we do find it and buy it, they seem to be everywhere.

Yesterday we went to the huge Renninger’s Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza in Mount Dora, and yep, Terry found yet another Lincoln Drape. This one didn’t have the chimney and a couple of other items that are easily replaced, but at only $20 it was a heck of a deal, so it came home with us. Terry also found this nice little table to go in our living room and hold one of the lamps.

And here is another lamp, on the dresser in our guest bedroom.

Just like we did the first time we were there back in November, yesterday we walked for miles at the Extravaganza, and we saw a lot of very cool stuff. One thing that really caught my eye was this 1946 Whizzer Model H. Back in the day, this was a heck of a ride. It came with heavy duty front and rear wheels with a Schwinn brake on the front and Bendix brake in the rear, and a sign with it said that the engine gas tank, lever controls, exhaust, and most everything else on it were factory correct. While I thought it was cool, it wasn’t something I wanted for myself. But later in the day I saw someone tying it down in the back of his pickup and I asked if he could give me a ballpark figure of what he paid for it. He told me it was a bit under $1700. I’m not sure if that’s a fair price or not, but it was to him, and that’s all that matters, right?

Terry was not the only one that got some goodies yesterday. I picked up three more badges for my collection.

Another vendor had an Arizona State Liquor Control agent badge that was very nice that I would have liked to have had, but he was a real jerk. I asked for a price and he ignored me while he played Candy Crush on his phone. I asked a second time and he told me I couldn’t afford it. Between us Terry and I had several $100 bills in our pockets, but I didn’t figure I would waste my time telling him I probably could. At the same time, I saw him blow off somebody else who was looking at a fairly high ticket item. It makes me wonder why he bothered to go to the event and pay for a vendor spot if he was going to act that way.

I also saw this nice sign, but Miss Terry told me it was tacky. Well, yeah, of course it’s tacky. I’m a guy, that’s the kind of thing we like. Not the boobs, I mean the sign. Well don’t get me wrong, I like boobs, too, but… never mind, I’m going to shut up now, even if it is too late.

They hold these Extravaganzas several times a year in different locations around the country. The next one in Mount Dora will be February 15th -17th and I guess we will probably be there. Even if we don’t find something we can’t live without, and we always seem to, we get a lot of exercise just walking around the huge outdoor show.



Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of The Gecko In The Corner, the second book in my John Lee Quarrels mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.

Jan 182019
 

We are not fans of big cities but some of them that we visited in our travels did impress us. One of them was Boston, Massachusetts. We love the history of the old city and have spent many hours exploring from Bunker Hill to the waterfront, to the different ethnic neighborhoods. We once stumbled into a street fair in one of the Italian neighborhoods, where everyone insisted we join in the revelry and the food.



As history nuts, we know all about Paul Revere and the Battle of Bunker Hill, and all the other important events that happened in Boston leading up to the Revolutionary War. But history continued to be made in Boston long after those first patriots were dead and buried. And not all of that history was pleasant. Take for instance the Great Molasses Flood.

It was 100 years ago this week, January 15, 1919, at just after noon, when people later reported hearing a rumbling sound and then the ground shook as a huge storage tank at the Purity Distilling Company in the city’s North End ruptured, spilling 2.3 million gallons of sticky molasses into the streets.

The thick fluid quickly flooded neighborhoods around the tank in a 40 foot high wave moving at 35 miles per hour, crushing everything in its path. A truck was thrown into the harbor, a railroad car was pushed off its tracks, buildings collapsed, and people ran for their lives to escape the dense onslaught.

But not everyone escaped. Horses, men, women, and children were stuck and unable to fight their way through the molasses, which at one point was over three feet deep in many areas. In total, 21 people lost their lives in the flood. The oldest of them was Michael Sinnott, age 78, while the youngest were Maria Di Stasio and Pasquale Iantosca, both 10-year-old schoolchildren. Estimates at the time said as many as 150 people were injured by the waves of molasses or by being struck with objects thrown by the crushing flood.

Immediately rescuers came to the aid of those in peril. 116 cadets from the training ship USS Nantucket, police officers, firemen, and everyday people waded through the sometimes waist deep molasses searching for survivors and struggling to pull them free. They worked through the night, wrestling those they could from the molasses’ sticky grip and bringing them to a makeshift field hospital set up nearby.

Once all those who could be saved had been saved, the cleanup began. It was an arduous task. Crews of men worked day and night shoveling and washing down the streets and buildings still left standing. Local lore says that on hot summer nights for many years afterwards, the aroma of molasses could still be smelled all through Boston.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the Purity Distilling Company paid out well over half a million dollars in damages. It’s been said that the relatives of those who perished in the flood received approximately $7,000 per victim.



Though the Great Molasses Flood, as the disaster came to be known, happened a long time ago, there are still some old-timers around who remember their parents and grandparents talking about witnessing the tragedy. It had to be the stuff of nightmares.
The next time you are in Boston, pay a visit to the intersection of Commercial Street and Copps Hill Terrace in Boston’s old North End, where a small green and white plaque tells the story of the tragedy.

If you would like to learn more about the event, a good book about the disaster is The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919, written by Deborah Kops.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Gecko In The Corner, the second book in my John Lee Quarrels mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – My goal this weekend is to move just enough so people don’t think I’m dead.

 

It Was A Wonderful Day

 Posted by at 12:47 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 172019
 

Terry and I want to thank everybody for the dozens of blog comments, emails, Facebook comments, and messages congratulating us on our 21st wedding anniversary. We would have loved to have replied to all of you individually, but there were so many that we would have spent the whole day just doing that. Instead, we decided to be selfish and spend it paying attention to each other.



The day started with some cuddling and “I love you’s” in bed, and talking about how lucky we are to have found each other, about some of the wonderful times we have shared over the years, and yes, acknowledging that there were some rough patches early on until we both learned and accepted the fact that we wanted this thing to work and we were going to do whatever it took to make it happen.

We left the house in the early afternoon and drove into Port Orange, where we went to the movies. Of the ones that are playing, the two that interested us the most were The Green Book and The Mule. And since The Mule started at 3:40 and The Green Book would not start until 5:30, that decision was made for us. We wanted to go to dinner afterward, and it would have been too late by the time The Green Book was over. The Mule was okay, but that’s about it, just okay. I didn’t like the ending at all. It left too many questions unanswered and too many loose ends that were not tied up.

After the movie we went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner, even though it was about four miles away and there is a Texas Roadhouse right next to the theater. I like the food at Texas Roadhouse, but the music is always so darned loud that you can’t hold a conversation. It’s been like that in every one of their restaurants I’ve ever eaten in, from Florida to Arizona to Indiana. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like being able to have a conversation with my dinner companions without shouting to be heard above the music.

Terry ordered the grilled salmon, while I went for the ribeye. In deference to my diet, I had the standard 12 ounce ribeye instead of the 18 ounce Outlaw, and only one side of French fries instead of the double that I always got before. The food was delicious, and the waitress took a picture of us together to commemorate our anniversary.

After dinner I did what any guy does when he wants to show a woman a good time. I took Terry to Walmart. We hadn’t been to one since before Thanksgiving and there were several things that she wanted to pick up. The store wasn’t very busy and we were in and out in no time at all. We made one last stop on the way home, at Publix to get a key lime pie. Yeah, I know I’m on a diet, but it’s not like I’m a fanatic about it. And we did deserve a nice way to top off our anniversary, right?



It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Gecko In The Corner, the second book in my John Lee Quarrels mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Older people shouldn’t eat health food, they need all the preservatives they can get.

Our Love Story

 Posted by at 12:37 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 162019
 

Today is a very special day for myself and Miss Terry. It’s our 21st wedding anniversary, and we still feel (and often act) like newlyweds. This was not the first marriage for either of us, and believe me, it was not something that either one of us was looking for, or even expected to happen. In fact, when it did happen it took us both by surprise. But isn’t that the way it sometimes goes? We often find the best things in life when we least expect them.

We had known each other for years and I was always impressed with both her beauty and her intelligence, not to mention the fact that she was a very nice person. But the world is full of beautiful, intelligent people that are not very nice once you get to know them. Not with Terry, she truly is beautiful, inside and out.

Terry always wore a ring so I assumed she was married. I was in a bad marriage and when it ended I swore I was never going to make that mistake again. Famous last words. Soon after I became single we both realized that there was a chemistry between us and an attraction that was growing. Terry also told me that she had been single for fourteen years and the reason she wore the ring was to put off anybody who showed any interest, because she had her own marriage horror stories and she wasn’t making that mistake again!

On our first date, we went to the movies and then to a 24-hour restaurant where we sat and talked until daylight. Two weeks later, our second date was at our town’s Fall Festival. At the time, I was on the board of directors of the women’s shelter and the town council was supposed to help our fundraiser by taking turns in a dunking booth. It was about 60 degrees at 7500 feet elevation and they all suddenly decided that falling into the cold water wasn’t dignified and backed out. So I put on a pair of swimming trunks and climbed inside.

Being the publisher of a small town newspaper means you are going to make a lot of friends, and a lot of enemies. One of those friends ran the local radio station and was doing a live remote broadcast from the festival. He invited anybody who wanted to have some fun to come down and try to dunk me. And for the next three hours a long line of people were lined up throwing balls and dunking the fat guy. The price of three balls to throw kept going up and they still kept coming. The dunking booth was a canvas bag inside a wire frame, and me being so short, I had to climb the frame to get back onto the seat. By the time I was done, I was blue from the cold and had bloody toes from crawling up that darned bag frame! But we had earned $3,000 for the shelter, so it was well worth it. Terry said I looked so much like a little Smurf that she felt sorry for me, and took me home and kept me. Except for when she was in the hospital during her cancer treatment, we have never spent a night apart since then.

It wasn’t always easy because we both have strong independent personalities, and when we got together we were both in our mid-40s and pretty set in our ways. We had to learn to compromise, to communicate, and most importantly, to learn to trust again. But it was worth it in so many ways. We’re not only married, we truly are best friends and are never happier than just being together. The first thing we say when we open our eyes in the morning is “I love you,” and it’s the last thing we say to each other before we fall asleep at night. It’s been a wonderful 21 years, and I’m looking forward to many, many more together.

I’m a very fortunate man to be able to live this fantastic life that I have, to make a living doing something most people can only dream of, and to be able to share it with my best friend in the world. Happy anniversary, Terry. I love you and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Thought For The Day – A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.

Three In One Day!

 Posted by at 1:16 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 152019
 

Yesterday was a red-letter day for me. I released not one, not two, but three new projects on Amazon! And they all went live within just a few minutes of each other.



The first was the long anticipated Big Lake Wedding, the one everybody has been waiting for. Sheriff Weber and Robyn have had their trials and tribulations along the way, including in this book as they prepare for their big day, but I think those two lovebirds are going to be okay.

The other two projects I released were ones I had been toying with doing for quite some time and finally got around to finishing. One is a box set of the first three Big Lake books and the other is a box set of the first three books in the John Lee Quarrels series. They are a good way to introduce new readers to the series while letting them save money too, because the pricing is basically buy two and get one for free. And like all of my books, they are also available on Kindle Unlimited for free if you have a subscription.

Amazon always says it can take up to 72 hours for a new release to go live, though it’s been my experience that it seldom takes more than 24 hours, and usually less. This time around they were really quick. I hit the publish button on Big Lake Wedding at 3 PM, and the two boxed sets at 4 PM and 4:15 PM. Greg White called to tell me that he had been checking every couple of minutes, and by 6:20 PM all three were live. I don’t know if that’s a record, but it’s pretty close.

With that project out of the way, the next thing was to finish Issue #14 of my free authors newsletter. I already had most of it done, and once the new books were live all that was left was putting in the links and making sure everything worked right. I got that done right after dinner and then sent it out to my subscribers. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, just send me your email address. I promise I won’t use it for anything except the newsletter, and I don’t share your information with anybody.

I honestly don’t remember if this is my 33rd or 34th book. I guess it’s like having a family with a huge brood of kids. You love them all, but more often than not you just refer to them as “hey you” because who can remember everything, right?

Some readers have asked me if this is the last Big Lake book. Oh heavens, no! I’ve still got a lot of stories to tell you about that crazy little mountain town. In fact, at the end of Big Lake Wedding I included a sneak peek at the next book in the series, Big Lake Ninja. I know what you’re wondering, what the heck is a ninja doing in picturesque Big Lake? I have no idea, but by the time I get the book written and published, I guess we’ll both find out, won’t we?

But that will be a while yet. In the next day or two I’ll be starting on Sweet Tea And Jesus, the sixth John Lee Quarrels book. I included the first chapter of it at the end of Strawberry Slugbug, the fifth book in the series. If you haven’t read that sample, I can tell you that it starts out with a bang.



A fellow author asked me how I managed to turn out so many books and have all of them become big sellers. I told her that the secret is to have expensive toys like guns and pontoon boats and new Mustangs, and then having to work like hell to pay for them!

Thought For The Day – Legend says that when you can’t sleep, it’s because you are awake in someone else’s dream. When I find out who you are, I’m going to punch you right in the nose!

A Lazy Sunday

 Posted by at 12:47 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 142019
 

Yesterday was a lazy Sunday with no pressing projects to work on and nothing we had to get done, which was just fine with us. Sometimes we need days like that.



When we bought our Bennington pontoon boat, it came with two fishing chairs in front and two more in back, a comfortable captain’s chair for the person driving the boat (that would be me), and two L-shaped loungers. We’re never going to have that many people on the boat with us, so we wanted to find a new home for one of the loungers, which was just like new. I put an ad online for it and a couple had contacted me, saying they wanted to come and purchase it. We agreed they would arrive somewhere between noon and 1 PM.

Meanwhile, Miss Terry and I played a couple of games of darts, and she whipped my butt both times. Getting a double bullseye, which means hitting the very center of the bull ring, is about the best you can do playing darts. We all get them now and then, but for Terry and me it’s more often luck than anything else. But not yesterday. The very first dart she threw in the first game was a double bullseye. She was pretty pleased with herself about that. Then, in the first round of next game she did this! I was impressed.

The people arrived right on time, purchased the seat and left. Then I goofed off for a couple of hours, lazing in my recliner and watching TV. About 3 o’clock we left to go to the Seashack in New Smyrna Beach, which has always been one of our favorite restaurants. Wednesdays and Sundays have always been customer appreciation days, with select items from the menu at half price. Even during the hot summer when we don’t have many tourists you can expect to wait for a table when you go there on either of those days. And during snowbird season like now? If you don’t get there early you may have to wait for an hour to get seated.

It had been a while since we had been there, and this time around I was surprised that there were several empty places in the parking lot, which almost never happens, and when we went inside the place was only about 25% occupied, if that. There is both an upstairs and downstairs dining room, as well as outside patio seating. The downstairs dining room is usually packed, but yesterday only one or two tables had people at them. I told Terry they must have changed something, and boy did they!

Sunday customer appreciation day is a thing of the past, some of our favorite menu items have been deleted, and when I ordered the jumbo shrimp, there was nothing jumbo about them at all. I would say they were probably not much more than half the normal size. We have become friendly with some of the waitresses there, and one of them was telling us that there’s been a change in management, and apparently a change in attitude, too. If things keep on this way, I don’t see them being in business much longer. I hate to see that happen, but based upon yesterday’s experience, we aren’t in any hurry to go back.

Back at home, we drove down to the fishing pier to check out what was happening on the water. Scenes like this are why I call this place home. My soul is at peace when I’m down here watching the dolphins and the manatees and the birds doing their thing.

This is the other reason my soul is at peace. Can you believe that this week will mark 21 years that I have been married to this beautiful lady? And after all that time, we are still like we were on our first date. We always hold hands in the car or walking someplace, we must tell each other “I love you” a hundred times a day or more, and it is the first thing we say to each other every morning, and the last thing we say at night. Life is really wonderful when you are married to your best friend!

In closing, late yesterday evening my third proofreader sent me her revisions to Big Lake Wedding. I will make her changes this morning and then upload it to Amazon, and with any luck at all it will be live sometime this afternoon or evening. They always say it can take up to 72 hours, but usually it’s much quicker than that. I know a lot of people have been waiting for this book, so let’s hope it’s quicker this time around, too. And if all goes well, I may have another announcement to make tomorrow involving my books.



Congratulations Sheila White, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Honeymoon, the seventh book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 66 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon!

Thought For The Day – I told my wife she should embrace her mistakes, so she hugged me.

 

He’s Baaack!

 Posted by at 12:13 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 132019
 

Or at least it seems that way for now. After being missing in action for over two weeks, my buddy Greg White’s Our RV Adventures blog is back online. When I talked to Greg yesterday, he said it’s been back for over 24 hours and it hadn’t crashed yet. This, compared to the last couple of weeks, when it was never up for more than a half an hour or so before crashing again. I will leave it to Greg to explain what’s been going on, but the problem was on Go Daddy’s end. And if the dweebs over there would have listened to Greg in the first place, the problem would have been resolved within minutes. It’s good to have you back, buddy.



Somebody took great exception to yesterday’s blog, Campers And RVers, in which I stated that a travel trailer is not a good choice for fulltime RV living. A lady wrote to tell me that not everybody is rich and can afford a big fancy motorhome, and that she and her husband and their children plan to hit the road fulltime in their 24 foot travel trailer within the next two months. All I can say is, good luck. I hope it works out for you.

Good news for those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the release of my new book, Big Lake Wedding. No, it’s not out yet, but it is in the hands of the final proofreader, and once she’s done and I make whatever corrections she has, it will go live on Amazon. Believe me, I’m looking forward to it as much as you are.

I also have some other publishing irons in the fire, so to speak, and I will be telling you about them very soon.



Back in November I posted a blog titled It’s A Narrow State, in which I talked about the collection of antique oil lamps Miss Terry had when we first got together, and how we drove across the state to buy an Aladdin Lincoln Drape lamp I had found online for her.

Several times I have asked Terry if she was planning to start another collection of lamps, which is fine with me, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do that or not. Well, I guess that decision has been made. A few days ago we visited some of our favorite antique shops and found two more Aladdin lamps. The white one is another Lincoln Drape, and the clear glass one is a Washington Drape. As you can see, the clear one needs the chimney, and they both need the shades that go on them. That’s no problem, they are readily available at several places online. So, I guess we have the beginnings of a collection, don’t we?

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Honeymoon, the seventh book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – We need to stop asking how stupid people can get, because some of them seem to take it as a challenge.