Thursday, April 23, 2015

Taking A Blue Ridge Break

By suppertime last evening, Momma Sharon was whipped, slap dab tuckered out.  She had been hard at work all day long, finally sitting down and propping her feet up while eating.  That boatload of items on her to-do list was finally down to just a few.

I told her that she needed to relax and maybe focus on something other than the party in Townsend.  I reminded her that she never created my Spring Break collage and that might be something fun to do after supper.  So that's exactly what she did and I want to share it with you today. 

Today my Camper Mom was up and at 'em early, making a trip to Walmart, getting the Pilot washed, going to the DVM to get my sticker, and grabbing a sandwich at Subway for lunch.  Aunt Becky is going to come over in a bit to help with a few last minute Blue Ridge items.  We are on track, on schedule, and will be ready to pull out for Tennessee on Saturday morning!!  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Getting Ready For TN"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

She's A Whirling Dervish

Remember the Tasmanian Devil from Saturday morning cartoons? Well, my Momma Sharon is looking more and more like a she-devil herself!  Her checklists have checklists, she's multi-tasking, she's waking up in the middle of the night with her brain cranked up on high, she's dealing with cancellations and site changes, she is in full-on Blue Ridge Rally Mode!!

It's safe to say that our excitement levels are off the charts right about now!  Yesterday I told her to just take a deep breath and I heard her muttering her latest mantra . . . KEEP CALM & CAMP ON.

Blue Ridgers are already out on the road making their way to Townsend, TN.  They are reporting in over on Facebook about the things they are stopping to see, the folks they are hooking up to travel with, and you can feel their excitement too.

Cancellations are always a part of the Blue Ridge game and that's one of the reasons my Camper Mom dreads this week leading up to the rally.  We had one Sunday, one Monday, and one Tuesday.  Uggghh!  The silver lining here is that someone that was going to have to vacate her site can now extend her stay, someone that wanted a gravel site can now move off a concrete one, and I get to arrive a day earlier on Saturday.  It all works out in the end!

Let me scoot and make sure all is going well with the Tasmanian Devil . . . er, I mean Mom.  I will chat with you tomorrow and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Camping!"

Monday, April 20, 2015

ID Button Sneak Preview

Howdy everyone!  I hope those of you on the East Coast survived the flood yesterday!  Man oh man did it rain here.  Thank goodness for my T@Bport.

Since Mom is in full-on Blue Ridge Rally mode, I get another week at the computer helm.  We have been scrambling with some site changes due to a couple of cancellations yesterday and today, but the Campmeister has it all under control and is still smiling.  That's good for everyone involved.

For every single rally and un-rally that Momma Sharon puts on, she creates fun ID Buttons.  They are quite a collectible item and I'm going to spoil the surprise this year with a sneak preview just for you. She incorporated Sara's logo once again and I think they turned out really groovy!  She printed out 11 sheets this weekend, but will wait until Friday to actually make them.

If you look closely, you will notice that some names have tiny white stars beside them.  Mom put them there to designate the Newbies that will be joining us for The Big Visit.  She wants you to know that that brilliant idea was compliments of Miss Susan, Tiny Home 2's camper mom!  She might have been the one to suggest that Momma Sharon put the state abbreviation on there too.  Miss Susan is right smart that way.

It's easy for those Newbies to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of people, trailers, and activities at the Blue Ridge.  That little star will make them more visible and the old-timers can take them under their rally wings.   

That's it for this pre-BRR Monday.  Safe travels to the folks who are already on the road making their way to the Smokies!  Until tomorrow, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Collectible Buttons"

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Crazy At Cabela's

This morning I saw Aunt Becky pull out of the garage and I knew where she was headed.  She was on her way to pick up Momma Sharon and together they were on a mission.  A Cabela's mission!  I will let you fill in the blank to this statement:  "My Camper Mom went _____ at Cabela's."

I could use a lot of words to describe what happened in the Fort Mill store, but crazy tops the list.  She didn't go with a list of items to look for and that's where she got into trouble.  The camping section is immediately to the right when you walk in the front door and at that point her eyes started to glaze over.  After she had an armful of things, Aunt Becky went in search of a shopping cart!

I have to give her credit, everything that she found and ultimately bought, we needed.  I've been listening to her talk about a good set of tent stakes, guy lines for the easy-up tent, the perfect hammer to pull stubborn tent stakes out of the ground, and a good-fitting carrying case for the Super Pot for a couple seasons now.  Maybe now I will get a little peace and quiet!

There were lots of sales going on and when a roll-top table came into view, it didn't take long for that box to go into the shopping cart.  At one point she stopped in the aisle and stared at it with second thoughts, but then quickly snapped out of it when Aunt Becky reminded her how cool the T@Bmahal's folding table is.  Plus it's lightweight.  Plus it has a carrying case.  Done and done!!

Momma Sharon and Aunt Becky came within an inch of buying Coleman folding chairs, but decided they were kinda bulky and not really a great color to match me.  Hopefully they will get one more season out of my brown ones.  The only other things that Mom bought were a pair of Columbia quick-drying shorts and a slate blue Cabela's cap.  It was on sale for five bucks and she likes to wear one at night around the campfire.  

All in all, I'd say it was a successful shopping trip and you will see every single one of these items next week at the Blue Ridge Rally.  We will be hunkered down tomorrow because the forecast is for 100% rain. I'll probably take the day off from writing Stories, so that means I'll see ya on Monday,  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Shopping At Cabela's"

Friday, April 17, 2015

Once Upon A Time, But Not Any More!

Once upon a time the Blue Ridge Rally was exclusively T@Bs (with the exception of Cousin Rob's funky old trailer...tee hee).  At my first BRR way back in 2008 I welcomed 22 little campers just like me.  Not any more!!  This year there are T@DAs, R-pods, AirT@Bs (Airstreams), a Sonic Venture, a micro-van, a Lance, and a Sunseeker.  The common thread here is that once upon a time, everyone owned and camped in a T@B.

Once upon a time my rally took up just a portion of the sites at the host campground.  Not any more! This year at Big Meadow Family Campground, we will occupy all but a dozen sites out of the 78 that are there.

Once upon a time, my camping friends came mainly from the states around me here on the East Coast. Not any more!  I have folks rolling in from 21 states, even as far as Arizona.  In past years they have come from Canada and Montana too.

Once upon a time the rally started on a Thursday.  Not any more!  T@Bbers and Friends begin pulling into the campground on Sunday and they stay for the whole week.  Momma Sharon is calling it The Big Visit @ Big Meadow this year because about half of the 116 people coming will begin the parade past my campsite on Sunday.

Once upon a time there was no waiting list to attend.  You called and made your reservation and you were in.  Not any more!  This year my Camper Mom announced the Blue Ridge in late July and by October 1st, it was full.  At its height, the Waiting List was 14 people long.  Sadly, there are still five people on that list who are not going to get to come this year.

Would you like a visual aid of this year's BRR?  Check this powerful one out . . . 

Every time I look at that map it makes me smile!  I cannot wait to see all my Blue Ridge Friends again. Until it's time for another Story here, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & The Blue Ridge Rally"

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Good Day To "Paint"

It's another chilly wet day here where I live.  The perfect activity on a yucky day like today is to get out the watercolors and do some painting.  Well, that's not really how it works with me.  Momma Sharon has a groovy app on her iPad that lets her take a photo and magically transform it into a watercolor.  It's called Waterlogue and it's a whole lot of fun to mess around with.

Since I'm in charge of the computer for these two weeks leading up to the Blue Ridge Rally, I get to play.  Wanna see what I "painted" this afternoon?

Momma Sharon's Uber Cool BRR Coffee Mug

Me In The Morning Sun @ Huntington Beach State Park

While I'm at it, I'm going to put that little artsy-fartsy picture of me along with the other "painted" ones over there on the left-hand side!

Thanks so much for dropping by for an itsy-bitsy Story today and I'll see ya back here tomorrow.  Until then, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love & Painting"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A BIG Prize From Big Meadow

It's a good thing that it's a rainy, nasty day here and Momma Sharon has been forced to stay indoors. Why?  Because she has been on the computer and telephone for hours with changes in arrival days and changes in campsites for the Blue Ridge Rally.  She tries to wait as long as she can to send out things like her campsite map and participant's information list.

Just when she thinks she is safe and there probably won't be any changes, there ends up being a pile of them.  Those changes mean revised versions of her documents.  I gotta tell you that she's handling it pretty well, but she keeps mumbling, "Keep Calm, Camp On, Keep Calm, Camp On".

If you see my Momma Sharon wearing this shirt during the rally, you will understand why!

The silver lining to everything happening today is what the Campmeister learned while on the phone with Barbara at Big Meadow. Miss Barbara told her that they were donating the grand prize for the Sign Holder Contest.  And it's no rinky-dink prize either!  It's a Little Red Campfire In A Can!!!

Talk about excited . . . Mom could hardly speak!  This prize is going to send the Blue Ridgers into a sign making frenzy.  It might cause some folks to re-think their plans, or amend what they have built, or even join in the fun if they have been waffling about participating.

I think this is a pretty awesome Story today and thanks for stopping by for Story Time.  I'll see ya back here tomorrow and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Big Camping Prizes"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blue Ridge Rally Karma

Just when I think that the Blue Ridge Rally cannot possibly get any better, camping karma strikes to prove me wrong!  Early afternoon, Momma Sharon got a phone call from a fellow by the name of Jerry Reed.  He's the owner of Cades Cove Cellars in Townsend.

It seems that Big Meadow's owner, Barbara, was at the CCC and mentioned that she had a large number of campers coming in soon for a rally.  She then asked, "is there anything you could do for them?"  Well, Jerry came through in a BIG way for us.  Not only did he invite all the Blue Ridgers for a private wine tasting and tour of the winery, he's donating wine glasses and cork screws to go in every single Welcome Bag!!

When Momma Sharon and Jerry chatted, they picked out a good day and time for our visit. They settled on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock.   Since it's only two miles over there, everyone can scoot directly from Sandy's Mahjong class to the winery for refreshments.

Another dose of camping karma occurred when it dawned on Momma Sharon that since everyone will have wine glasses in their Welcome Bag, she won't have to worry about buying those cheap plastic ones for Wednesday night's Taste of Home do-dah!  Don't ya just love it when everything falls in place?  It makes me wiggle all over with happiness!!

I appreciate you dropping by again for another Story and until I talk to you tomorrow, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Camping Karma!"

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's A Sign Factory On The Deck

One of the many, many tasks that Momma Sharon has to complete before we hit the road to the Blue Ridge Rally, is to get 46 signs ready for Thursday's big Make 'N Take extravaganza.  A trip to Lowes was necessary to buy the ginormous sheet of 1/4" plywood.  The nice folks there cut it into eight 1 x 4-foot sections.  Next came tracing out all the T@Bs and friends on the plywood using templates left over from 2013, along with some new ones for this year.

The second portion of this project involved cutting out all the T@Bs, T@DAs, Airstreams, R-Pods, and others.  Once those were cut, out came the palm sander and on went the mask.  My Camper Mom had dust flying everywhere!  It didn't help that it was a blustery day when she was on the deck working.  I'm really proud of her for not using bad words when seven saw blades broke under all the stress of that cutting.  Good thing she bought two extra packs of blades!

Next step was priming everything and that had to be done in stages.  Every once in a while she would have to pick off pink Judas tree blossoms, but that was OK since it was a beautiful day outside to work this past weekend.  Today is another matter because it is cloudy with the chance of rain.  No worries - the awning came out to cover the work area and the priming is almost finished!

What's left?  Well, that would be drilling the holes for the wire and then packing up everything for The Big Visit that commences a week from Sunday.  

Until I see you in Townsend, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Cool Camping Signs"

Sunday, April 12, 2015

They Are Coming!

Mornin' everyone!  If you read Momma Sharon's Postcard yesterday, then you know she is up to her eyeballs in preparations for the BIGGIE . . . her 8th Annual Blue Ridge Rally.  Like she does every year, she has turned the blogging duties over to me for the next two weeks and it's my job to let you know exactly what is going on in our world.

The very first year that she and I hosted the Blue Ridge Rally, we weren't sure how many, if any, were going to come to that sweet little park that we love called Mountain Stream.  We ended up with 22 and were tickled to death.  It was so much fun that we just kept doing it year after year.

This year there will 70 of my friends (trailers) and 116 of Momma's friends (Blue Ridgers) and they will be coming from a grand total of 21 states!  All those numbers will break a BRR record that we set last year.  Here's where they are coming from . . . 

What's on my Camper Mom's agenda for today?  Her plan is to finish sanding the Make 'N Take signs and start priming them.  I'm sure she will take a few photos and I'll be snitching them to write another Story for you.

Until tomorrow, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, and Camping At The BIGGIE!"