Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why or why is the month so long and the dollar so short???

Alright, I’m fessing up.  Here is my budget.  What can I do to make my money go farther, other than NOT buying gas for the van?

Monthly Expenses:

Car and Trailer Insurance $  70
Dental Insurance $  34
Hospitalization Insurance $  38
Verizon Internet Service $  64 (essential)
Ancestry.Com $  30 (generates some income)

TOTAL

$236.00
One time only:  
New Hard Drive $  65
New checks     14

TOTAL

$  79

Income:  
Social Security $853
Sketches     90

TOTAL

$943
   
Expenses (8/22 until today):  
Gas $105
Food and misc. $100

TOTAL

$284

Balance today

$194

Out of that balance will come September’s bills due prior to 9/21 totaling $72, leaving me with $122 for gasoline and food and emergencies between now and 9/21.  A tank of gas will cost about $90 or more as prices go up again… leaving me less than $30  or so for food and emergencies.  So, I’m stuck at a nephew’s house in Indiana (rather his yard) until I can get more income from sketches or my social security check arrives.

If anyone can think of ways to trim the budget or generate more income, I’d appreciate the ideas.  Internet access is my life line… can’t cut that.  Ancestry.com is my hobby and sometimes generates a little income from doing genealogical research for others… so I SHOULD NOT cut that.   Insurance… I don’t think I should cut… I usually get the value for my $ there… and besides, I do have military health coverage which covers any other medical expenses.

I spend little on fast foods, just an occasional sandwich from a dollar menu, seldom eat out, carry a supply of ham, cheese and bread in my 12v fridge, have a supply of canned meats on hand, keep some cereal on hand and buy soy milk about 1/2 gal a week.  Don’t buy candy or ice cream often… maybe once a month.

So, HOW can I have more money for gas so I can keep on going down the road.  I plan to pretty much just “park” from Oct – Mar… so things should be a little better then.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for any ideas (or photos to draw).  I am also available for photo retouching and genealogical research.

I feel like a caged wild animal when I can not keep going, driving, reaching my goal… and I scare myself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

35th State: Indiana - Lake Monroe (Aug. 19, 2011)

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"Back Home Again in Indiana"... by cracky.. you know you are a Hoosier at heart when you enter the state and first thing you get excited about is seeing a White Castle. I know what I’m having for dinner, and it won't be coming out of a grocery freezer. Wahooo!
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Got to Lake Monroe, south of Bloomington, IN at a very large boat launching area off Hwy 446 at the causeway crossing the lake.  Great place.  No signs posted about “no overnight parking, etc.”  No speed boating was allowed on the East side of the causeway, so it was very calm and serene.  It was late in the day, but the sky was clear and I thought the sunset might be nice.  Still very hot and humid.  Oh, golly, I’m so tired of this kind of weather.

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I got within about four paddle strokes of this guy before he took flight.  That was the highlight of this paddle for sure.
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There were some signs of shoreline development but for the most part the banks were fairly natural and wild.  And there were some mighty big fish in there… that often splashed water into the kayak.  A couple really startled me.

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If the weather had been cooler, I might have gone back out in the morning and kayaked up that inlet.  Looks inviting.

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Smooth smooth water.  And I enjoyed the sunset very much from the middle of the lake… you can see hints of pink in the water.  Thought I was getting a good video clip of the setting sun, but it didn’t SAVE to my camera… probably because the battery was getting low?
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After a good night’s sleep, I headed into Nashville, IN to visit the Brown County Antique Mall, owned by a high school friend, Cheri Clevenger.  Lovely store.  We visited off and on between her numerous customers.  Busy place. 
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If you get down to Brown County Indiana, be sure to drop by and say high.  It’s 3 miles East of Nashville at 3288 East State Road 46.  Website: http://www.bcantique.com . Open all year long, seven days a week, except just a very few holidays.
I found this wonderful opal and silver bracelet there which I was dying to buy for my granddaughter Tori, but I just didn’t have the money to spare… since I have to repair my computer this month.  Would have been the prefect gift for a horse-lover born in October.
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Cheri, you are a trip.  Thanks for the concert, the melon, the company and the laughs.  And as grandmas go, you are the tops.
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Leaving Nashville, I headed west and arriving in Bloomington, I began recognizing familiar streets and decided to look up my old house.  There it is… just a little cottage.  They have added a porch, new windows, and new siding is going on.  The yard however is all grown up with weeds everywhere.  But it was fun to see it.  I spent a little more time driving around town… remembering… times gone by.  Too many memories really, of being a single parent of two little boys, and working and putting myself through college.
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Finally, I said goodbye to my old Alma Mater (Indiana University) and headed westward again, ever westward, this time to catch up and visit with one of my first cousins I haven’t seen in decades.

Westward Hoo!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

34th State: Kentucky - Fredericks Landing (Aug. 18, 2011)


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I drove from Springfield, OH where I was visiting friends, to Cincinnati, OH where my great great great grandparents (Sarah Ann Palmer Mason and husband Aurelius Mason) were buried.  I wanted to find and visit their graves.
Sarah Ann Palmer and Aurelius Mason
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The young girl is Ethel May Mason, their granddaughter, my great grandmother.
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It is one of the biggest cemeteries I have ever seen and I got lost several times.  A caretaker met me in the “section’ with his little computerized locator… and helped me find the spots… but there were no stones.  They are not even buried next to each other, but a couple rows apart.  Disappointing.
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I then drove across the Ohio River to Covington, KY where they had lived and found the intersection and took photos.  I don’t know exactly which house or lot they might have lived with… my records only say Banklick at 11th Street.   This is 11th Street… and the Church of God is on Banklick at 11th Street. That’s it at the end of this street.
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Interesting little neighborhood which is very upscale and being re-vitalized.  I liked it there.
I studied the maps and waterways looking for a kayaking location and found Fredericks Landing, Wilder, KY Boat Launch, put in, kayaked several hours, and then hauled out and spend the night in the lot. Very nice facility, with shelters, picnic tables, nice lawns… very nice and well kept, which began about 8am next morning…waking me out of a very sound sleep.  I paid $2 to park there, asked what time I had to be out… lady said… people fish there all night. Get there before business closing hours, City building is two building north of the entrance to landing.  Vandwellers, this is a good spot, clean and safe.
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I can’t say it was an exciting paddle, but peaceful and smooth… only saw three other boats… not a lot of wildlife, except this snake and a pair of cardinals and some turtles.  It was hot and humid and all I could think was to get out of KY, get done with IN and head west.  So, I headed toward IN to visit a high school classmate, a first cousin, and other folk in Central IN before heading to IL.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Additions to My Blog

My apologies, I am very far behind in my blog.  My hope for the next two weeks is to get it all caught up.  At the moment I am at least trying to get all of the photos up for each state I visited, then go back and add the text, notes, links to the photos.

8/2/2011-all photos are now up.  Adding text and links.

Here are the latest additions.

13th State: Aug. 14, 2010 – Wisconsin paddle and visit to Bayfield. Bayfield.

14th State: August 30(?), 2010 – First attempt. Sept. 5, 2010-Detroit River Paddle.

15th State: Sept. 25, 2010 – New York State near Niagara Falls.  10/3/10 - Visit with Vandweller Cuzzin’ Dick.

16th State: Oct. 16, 2010 – New Hampshire, slide show… text to follow later.

17th State: Oct.19, 2010 – Maine – Acadia National ParkFriends-Jackie and John MorganFryeburg Faire – an other worldly experience.  Some of the BEST of Maine.

18th State: Oct. 19, 2010 – Vermont

19th State: Oct. 21, 2010 – Massachusetts – with vandweller Kay (oldmapsne).

20th and 21st States: Oct. 25, 2010 – Rhode Island and Connecticut.

22nd State: Oct. 27, 2010 – New Jersey and Mike (Hillwizard).

23rd State: Nov. 2, 2010 – Delaware.

24th State: Nov. 2, 2010 – Maryland.

25th State: Nov. 5, 2010 – Virginia

26th State: Nov. 10, 2010 – North Carolina (with Judith)

27th State: Nov. 13, 2010 – South Carolina

28th State: Nov. 15, 2010 – Georgia

29th State: Nov. 26-Dec. 31, 2010 – Florida (three paddles)

30th State: July 18, 2011 – Tennessee

31st State: July 23, 2011 – West Virginia

32nd State: July 24, 2011 – Pennsylvania

33rd State: July 28 and 29, 2011 – Ohio. Ohio (continued).

A couple other topics added:

An interesting trailer

My life transition

I am willing to do a 8.5" x 10.5” pencil sketch for anyone who donates a minimum of $15 plus $5 for postage and handling to my PayPal Gasoline account.  See my artwork.  Or on my old website… digroots.com.

A neat trailer… a prototype!

I saw this on my travels… and thought some people might really like this set-up.

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Probably seen in Oregon.  I think this is the company, but I don’t see this trailer on their site. http://www.trailersplus.com/Oregon/Eugene/

I don’t see this trailer listed on the site.

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.

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