Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blue Smoke!!!!

Ok, we all have favorite things, and I love sharing my favorites with my friends. I love to buy food produced by local farmers, wherever local may be, and that is one thing I look forward to as we travel across the country. I love anything and everything handcrafted: pottery, art, clothing, specialty breads, cheeses, sausages, grass-fed beef, and eggs from happy chickens.

One of my favorites, that I don’t want to run out of, is Blue-Smoke coffee, the hand-roasted coffee that I have bought in Chattanooga for years. Kevin, the Roaster, has become a personal friend. I believe in his mission. He was employed in the corporate world, but his heart was in building a business around really good roasted coffee. So, he followed his dream. He uses only the best organic, shade-grown coffee beans, which are certified “fair trade”. He hand roasts only a few pounds at a time, and keeps a generous supply of good coffee at Greenlife (Whole Foods Market), Earth Fare, and New Moon Gallery in Chattanooga.

Kevin, is very generous, and donates portions of his sales to environmental and humanitarian causes. He is a kind person, and runs the type of business that I like to support. The fact that his coffee is unbelievably awesome is an added benefit!

Before leaving Chattanooga, for our great adventure, I stocked up, and felt I had enough to last awhile. But, with our delay, I began to get nervous. So, I ordered five pounds, and received my delivery today!

The t-shirt was a bon voyage gift for our journey. Blue Smoke ships coffee all over the country, and has quite the following of very perky customers! His website is If you decide to give his coffee a try, beware, you will be hooked!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The World’s Largest Treehouse; New Friends; Wire Trees

We are still in Crossville, TN, awaiting the completion of my dental work. In a couple of days we should be ready to hitch-up and head off to continue our journey of living and loving life. I loved Bill and Nancy’s comment ……..” you just weren't done doing what you need to do where you are doing it!!”. I think they were right. We have had more time to explore this area, and to spend with Bill and Gloria, our new friends that we met here at the campground.

We visited the “World’s Largest Treehouse” which is in Crossville. The treehouse stands 10-stories high and is roughly 10,000 square feet. It is built by a minister who had a “divine vision” to build the structure which is mainly supported by a single large tree that makes up the foundation. He has been working on the project for 16 years and has cost around $12,000. He has used only recycled lumber, most of which was given to him.

While there, we spotted a bullfrog – notice the feet hanging out of his mouth? He was eating another frog! He sat along the edge of the pond a very long time, trying to digest his lunch.

Our new friends, Bill and Gloria, left the campground over the weekend, as his Dad was in hospice and not expected to live much longer. We talked to them yesterday, and he did pass away on Sunday. We wanted to do something special for them, as a token of our appreciation for sharing all of their experiences and knowledge of our new home. They have the same brand of RV and truck that we have, and he is a retired Air Force mechanic with lots of good habits!

During his college years, Phil made wire trees to sell for extra money. They were purchased by specialty shop owners, and sold all over the country. In the last few years, he has made only a few and those were given to friends and family. We wanted to do something special for Bill and Gloria, and I suggested Phil twist a tree in memory of Bill’s Dad, and as a reminder of the value of love and friendship. We searched for the perfect rock, which we found in the campground. The rock is “Crab Orchard Stone” which is indigenous to this part of Tennessee. The sandstone is sought after around the world for its durability and color. Here is the wire tree that we will pass along to Bill and Gloria.

And, another picture of the beautiful stone from the Stone Museum in downtown Crossville. 

Life is good, and Hanni is happy!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Needed a Sugar Daddy

I am learning that fulltimers who make reservations for the future, will likely change and/or cancel them. Yesterday, I discovered that my dental bridge was loose on one of the “anchor” teeth. I knew this had to be fixed, and better now, (only 81 miles from my dentist at no charge), than on down the road, (with an unknown dentist and thousands of dollars). So, I had a lovely drive back to Chattanooga today, to my dentist, Dr. Gallien. The best fix was to hopefully remove the bridge intact and glue it back. My dentist took one look, probed around a little, and told me to go find a Sugar Daddy, and come back. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find a Sugar Daddy. So, I settled for a Jolly Rancher! But, even that didn’t help, so the dentist had to cut the bridge to remove it from my anchor tooth.

I had a chance to see my good friend Terri again while in Chattanooga. We had lunch together and laughed at my predicament, as I tried to pull my bridge out with a Jolly Rancher.

So, long story short, we have a two to three week wait for the new bridge, before we can head north toward South Dakota. I was pretty disappointed, as I am very anxious to get on with our journey. Then I realized that we are still on our journey, even in Crossville, TN. Now we have more time to explore the area. And, we will have more time to spend with Bill and Gloria, a really nice couple that are staying at our campground. They have a wealth of knowledge on routes and campgrounds in the West, since they winter in Yuma, AZ. They have an RV like ours, and have taught us so much about the operation and maintenance that it has been like having a personal trainer for RV’ing!

I think it is important to remember that things can and probably will happen on the road such as, sickness, break-downs, dental issues, and pet issues. When they happen, we will deal with those things the same as we did when we lived in one place.

Life is good!