Thursday, November 12, 2009

October - Returning South - Part 2

As we headed south, we stopped and visited our friends Jan and Vinny Gaglioni, owners of Crystal Bee Supply, Peabody, MA. We use to keep Honey Bees in our early days. Jan and Vinny were our teachers and mentors when we first started the Hobby.

Heading south, we decided to go back to Ogdensburg, NJ for another visit to Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Due to the power outage on our first visit, we weren’t able to take the tour of the mine or see the mineral museum. We took lots of great pictures and here is a little sampling of what you can see – we do recommend you go if you’re in the area.

The Oreck Family (Vacuum cleaner Oreck’s) has a mineral exhibit in the museum that’s amazingly cool and extremely large. It’s the best exhibit that we’ve ever seen. (Above)
The Sterling Hill Mine is famous for the flourescent minerals show above. Sterling Hill and the Franklin Mines are now both educational based museums and the the main sources for flouresecent mineral mines in the USA . The mine is extremely deep (I think it is about 8 levels deep), but since it’s not a working mine, the mine has filled with water to within 50 feet below the main level. The water is extremely clear and the flooded passages can be seen clearly for a long way down. It’s strange to see a row boat tied on the second level (especially in a tunnel). After we left New Jersey, we went west to New York City. Yes, we have friends everywhere. Fred and Sherry Sztul invited us over for a couple of night to visit. Fred and Sherry are fellow RMHYC members and they dock their boat near us in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. They treated us like royalty. We had a huge lunch the day we arrived and then we all went out to China Town for dinner and then over to Little Italy for dessert. The next day we went to Boynton Beach for Russian lunch to be followed by dinner cooked by Sherry. Everything was great and we look forward to seeing them in Marsh Harbour. As we headed south again, we remembered the great time we had at Cotton Patch Gold Mine so we stopped for another visit with our niece Lee Ann and of course, she was very interested in going back to mine with us. Another great day – and highly recommended good fun.
Returning to Green Cove Springs, FL in time for a Jacksonville Gem & Minerals Club Picnic and Tailgate Swap. Wilma and Dianna know the true meaning of Tailgate Party.

September - Road Trip North Part 1

In early September, Wink, Wilma and Sara the Boat Dog took a road trip north. Our first stop was Charlotte, NC where we visited with our good friend Nancy Burns. Nancy use to be Wink’s Assistant when we lived in Hernando, Mississippi and they both worked for Arkwright Mutual Insurance. Sara the boat dog enjoyed the green luscious grass on her small lake.

After saying farewell to Nancy, we went to our niece Lee Ann’s home for a few days. Lee Ann went with us the Cotton Patch Gold Mine east of Charlotte and we had a great day panning for Gold.

After leaving Charlotte, we traveled west into the Appalachian Mountains to hunt for Garnet, Rubies, and Sapphires. We accomplished our finds by digging piles of dirt and then sluicing the dirt leaving only the good stuff. We found a few gems that look interesting, but their quality cannot be confirms at this time.

From North Carolina, we traveled north to Ogdensburg, NJ to visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. We arrived on Wilma’s birthday, September 11th. The day was cold and rainy, but our silver lining was that we had the place all to ourselves. As we were working outside collecting rocks from the mining piles we would go inside to view them in a dark room since we were looking for fluorescent minerals. Due to the rain, the power transformer exploded so we didn’t have electric power to view our finds. Not to worry, those guys had battery operated equipment that we could use. The colors were incredible and the experience is unforgettable. Hey Girls, I asked for a big rock for my birthday and got about 150 lbs. worth. (Check out October’s Blog for more NJ pictures).
When we arrived in Derry, New Hampshire to visit the grandchildren, they had a cake and presents ready for a party.

Wilma traveled down to Massachusetts to visit with previous co-workers. In Waltham, she met up with Elaine Schoener (they use to work together at Arkwright Mutual Insurance Company). Wilma also met up with Christine and Jim Grinnell. (Wilma and Chris use to work together at Belmont Animal Hospital). Wilma also caught up with Therese and John McGuire but didn’t get a photo – sorry guys.

It was Apple picking time in New Hampshire, so we picked bushel of great tasting apples. We made Apple Crumb Pie, Apple Crisp, Apple Brownies, and more Apple Crumb Pies not to mention eating Apples.

Wink designed and built our grandchildren a new bed-bookshelf-desk combination where each child has their own desk and bookshelves on each side of the bed. Amber demonstrates her side of the bed. She calls her desk area her office, while Emma calls her area “the Fort”. Toni wasn’t left out; Wink designed and built her a desk to accommodate her needs for completing her college studies. Wilma was able to get the girls furniture painted, but was unable to get Toni’s painted.
Since we were in New Hampshire for early October, we decided to take a little trip into the White Mountains to enjoy the foliage. Toni’s father has a cabin up there and we were able to stay a couple of days touring and enjoying the colors. Wilma and Emma enjoy a Pajama night in the White Mountains. While site seeing, Wilma, Toni and Amber enjoyed an art festival; and Wink found an interesting Train Museum. The colors were brilliant and beautiful, but alas the cold weather told us to head south.

August - Green Cove Activities

Wilma spent the first week back from Texas cleaning the left over dregs from the Blind Mosquitoes infestation that started in June and lasted until after we left for Texas. Luckily, our friend Tim from Cloud X, hosed off the boat once the mosquitoes left the area.

Wink and Wilma took Country Western dance lessons for the Two Step as well as learning a few advanced moves we hope to show off at the Western Dance in Marsh Harbour in March. We also joined the Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Club. The club sponsors activities every week for Rock Hounding, Rock Swaps, Club Picnics and lots of Jewelry making classes. We enjoyed attending a series of fine metals wire wrapping classes.

Several Royal March Harbour Yacht Club members were docked in Brunswick, Georgia so we made several trips to the Marina to see Sue and Paul Graham and other RMHYC members. Sara the Boat Dog (her knew name as it was pointed out to us that she really doesn't like the sea) really likes Sue's new sofas pillows. Robert Wilson and Dave Bluto enjoy the evening.

We took John Henry out for a shake-down as well as to have a bit of fun in the middle of the month. We invited some of the neighboring boaters to join us. From right to left, Tim from Cloud X along with Frank and Frank, Jr. from the end of the dock. We anchored John Henry and took a swim.
As you may remember, John Henry sports a 6’ bathtub. Last year, we had the bathtub modified for easier drainage – unfortunately, it was not a good idea. Wink spent about three days redoing the Fiberglass to get it back to the way it was. We’re much happier with the original design.

Wink and Wilma cleaned out alleyways, drawers, and clutter though-out the boat. We took a car load of stuff out of the boat and stored it at our condo which is still FOR SALE in Sarasota. Wink and Wilma also had their annual medical appointments. We’re both in great health. – Yeah.

We stopped in to check on Wink’s mom. She is about the same – we believe she is well cared for in the Alzheimer’s Unit and seems happy.

We also made a trip to Live Oak, FL to see Wink’s Aunt Ella Mae who was having her 94th birthday. She says, “Getting old aint for sissies”.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

July 2009 - Car Trip Southeast USA

During the last week of June, Sara and Wilma went to Dallas by car. Wink took a flight to New Hampshire to spend a few days with the grandchildren (Amber and Emma). Wilma stopped by Yazoo City, MS to visit with family before heading on to Dallas. After several days, Wink and the girls flew to Dallas where Wilma met them at the airport. Wilma’s son, William lives in Dallas and enjoys time with us and his children every summer.

William enjoys Steam Punk, a new attire and music fad. He works with models and participates in coordinating photo shoots.

He also designs and creates accessories such as jewelry, goggles, angel wings and other interesting creations. Search Steamline Gear to see some of his work. Wilma models a new creation.
Sara fell in love with William’s couch cushion.

We also went to Keller, TX to visit with Wilma’s brother Charles Timmy who took the girls horseback riding. His ranch/boarding facility is doing well.

We also went to Ladonia, TX to hunt for Fossils in Pete Patterson Fossil Park. It’s a dry river bed called the North Sulphur River Fossil Haven. Wink and Wilma did find many fossils while Amber and Emma found tadpoles. The temperature was 103 degrees. We drank lots of water and took lots of breaks. It’s too hot for the summer.
Our friends Kevin and Lisa invited us over for a swim and dinner. The girls enjoyed laying out to dry before dinner.

We also traveled to Arkansas to visit Wilma’s sister, Betty and family. Betty’s grandson Jax was excited to see Amber and Emma. Then we went down to Yazoo City, MS to see Wilma’s parents and family. On the way, we rescued a water turtle and relocated it to a safe water environment. We also went to Vicksburg, MS to tour the Civil War National Memorial Park. The statues and memorials were amazing.
Upon returning to Dallas, we went to the Museum of Natural History and the girls really liked the Mammoth at the entrance as well as seeing the many gems, minerals and fossils. We also went to the local swimming pool to cool off. After three weeks, Wilma helped the girls get their hair neat and to make a few faces for the camera before catching their plane back New Hampshire with Wink.

Sara and Wilma drove back to Green Cove Springs, FL where John Henry sits for the summer. Wilma stopped in Yazoo City, MS one more time to visit with her aging parents.
Emma in the front yard and Amber in the side yard of their home saying goodbye to Grandpa as he leaves for the airport. Wilma picked up Wink at the Jacksonville airport as the month of July came to a close.