12 October 2014

Overland Expo 2014, and pumpkins....

Pumpkin Patch
One of the local churches has a pumpkin patch fund raiser each year. They set up elaborate displays with pumpkins in various sizes and shapes. 
Every year, we drive by numerous times, and promise each other we will stop to get a pumpkin and take pictures, "next time we pass".
A fine pumpkin
Last week was very busy, but as you can see, we finally stopped.
This lovely example will help decorate for the season, and then, perhaps wind up in something tasty.
(I love pumpkin season)
Colored leaves, or Stained glass?
Sometimes being short is an advantage.
From below, with the sun shining through, these leaves look like stained glass.
Overland Expo 2014
Why was it so busy, we went to the Overland Expo in Fletcher NC.
The Overland Expo is all about Outdoor adventure travel with an emphasis on 4 wheel drive and getting off road. 
Sportsmobile is a California based company that specializes in van conversions. These are more advanced than our trusty old VW. Some features you can choose include, comfy bed (or two) sink, portable toilet, gas stove, microwave, hydraulic lift to raise the roof, and solar power to keep it all going. You can even get USB ports to power all your devices. This one started out as a Ford Econoline.
First 2015 Mercedes 4 x 4 Sprinter in US
These beauties will arrive on the market here next spring. Sportsmobile will be converting them for outdoor adventure. Looks like fun to me.

Exploring Elements
This couple lives in their vehicle, it is also the base of their business. They lead, photograph, and write about off road adventures. Check out Exploring Elements . Their vehicle is based on a dodge cutaway. Very nice.
Vintage Apache Pop up Trailer
Not all the vehicles are new. I am not sure how old this one is, but it looks just like one my Dad considered buying back in the late 60's or early 70's. The end bits fold in then the top folds down.

Modern Titan ORT tent trailer.
We saw several versions of this. One big advantage to this over a traditional tent, is that you are up off the ground.
Chaser Tent Trailer
This one is rather more elaborate.
Look in the lower corners for an interior view with my Sweet Husband. 
Happy Toyota
The expo offered an overland driving course where participants can either put their vehicles to the test, or learn how to make the most of their equipment. The event lasted three days and included a full schedule of movies, classes, events and exhibitors. 
This Toyota has been playing in the mud. I wonder if my Tacoma would be jealous?
Freedom Camper on Toyota Tacoma
Speaking of my Tacoma, Here is a camper that would fit. 
Well, this one might not fit as this is the newer Tacoma (mine is a 2004 model, the last year they made the smaller size) however, Freedom Campers are custom built,  so it could be made to fit just right. This one has a stove, large fridge, television, sink, portable toilet, comfy bed, and USB ports. 
The camper power is supplied by a suitcase sized solar panel.
Show Hauler BMW
We did not get to see inside this one, it belongs to another guest. I would be willing to be it is pretty fancy.

Vintage Avalon Camper
This is one of my favorite things at the show. The lighting was not great so it is hard to tell from the photo, but this camper is a bright silver just like the old Airstreams. The man who built them back in the 50's used to work for Airstream. He broke off and made a limited number of these. The owner told us that they were reinforced with an extra layer of aluminum. 

Motorcycle with side car
Motorcycles can play too. This one looks like it is ready to handle anything. 
Another version of the tent on top.
Land Rover Camping Area Sign
I like the sentiment on this one, 
"You can go fast, but I can go anywhere".
Land Rover with a pop top
With a little ingenuity, comfort is at hand.
Classic Land Rover
I love the face on this one. It looks like it is more than ready to go out and play. 
Toyota Land Cruiser with Tent
When you are done camping, it all folds up into a carrier that is mounted on top of the vehicle. 
Not exactly "Stealth Camping", but who needs stealth if you don't have to stay on the roads? 
Land Rover Defender
Another great looking Vehicle. This one has British plates on the front. I wonder if they brought it over just for the show?
Land Rover from Australia.
Nicely set up as an outdoor home. Looks like this one has been to the outback and is ready for anything. 

The weather was cool during the event, and the night promised to get cooler. Everyone we talked to said that wasn't a problem, they were ready for it. After all, you can't let a little weather stop you from having adventures. 
So, what do you think?
Want to do some exploring?

Spontaneous says, she would rather stay home, but I think it sounds like great fun.

28 September 2014

Autumn Chores

Preparing for Cooler Weather
 Tools for the job
We have had a bit of cool weather lately.
Seems like our Summer will be shorter this year. So, when it warmed up a little last Sunday afternoon, we decided to get to work.
 First Rinse for the Corolla
If your going to do it, do it right. We start with a good rinse, then we soap up the vehicles, and scrub where necessary.
 Final rinse for the Tacoma
Once the bugs and road guck are scrubbed off. We give them a final rinse then towel them dry by hand to prevent water spots. 
 Wax on
My Sweet Husband starts putting wax on the Corolla while I finish
wiping down the Tacoma. By the time I am done, the wax on the first side has set. I go behind him with a piece of cheese cloth and start buffing. 
 Waxing the Tacoma
Once he gets the wax on the Tacoma, he will go behind me and rebuff the Corolla with a clean cloth. The Tacoma is bigger, so it takes longer. My Sweet Husband has to do the top of the shell. I am too short to reach, even standing on the tires. 
Look at the reflection.
 Ready for winter
I know there are easier ways to do the job.
Easier is not always better. The Tacoma is ten years old and the Corolla is twelve. Wish it was that easy to hide my age.
 Not everything is ready!
Cooler temperatures sent us out to take stock of the firewood situation. Uh-oh, we have some work to do.
 Ready to cut
We start by dragging some well seasoned logs up closer to the house for cutting. 
 Work in progress
Took a little break to go get more wood, and have a little snack.
The wood is a mixture of Pine, Oak and Elm.
 The wood pile grows
You can't really see it from the two pictures, my camera does a great job with light, but it was getting darker by this point. We had to stack the wood by flashlight. 
 Much better
I went out this morning to take a picture of the finished pile.
 Leaves beginning to change 
The big elm out back is starting to change color. Seems early this year but I don't mind. Something about autumn renews my spirit.
 Dogwood leaves
The dogwood is beautiful right now, lovely red berries and some red leaves.
Summer isn't quite gone yet.
 After all the hard work
Our reward.
I am a very spoiled girl, and yes, 
we do know how to live the good life. 


21 September 2014

Work in progress on the window project, and a few more visitors to Kat's Corner

Do you remember, back in July when I introduced you to 
They are the Owner / Artisans of
Beverly & David Joosten Glass Studio, and they are working on a project for us. My Sweet Husband stopped by their studio recently and took pictures of the progress.

 What is this?
 Beverly grinding the glass
Even small pieces have to be carefully ground.
 Cutting the next piece
Beverly and David are not only Artisans, they are both genuinely nice people and it is a pleasure to see where they work and visit with them.
 Work around the edges of the old stained glass
Some of the old lead will have to be replaced and the window has to be stabilized. Once they are done with it, it will be beautiful for the next 100 years (or more).
 Checking placement
This is a very exacting process. A small error could throw the whole thing off. Besides stabilizing the old glass, the framing will allow it to be installed in our lovely old antebellum house and it has to fit the existing opening.
 The big picture, Glass on the cartoon.
The original window in the center is attributed to Clayton & Bell, a firm that produced stained glass from 1855 to 1993.
The window is believed to have come from a church in Wales. We bought them from Tomkinson's Stained Glass on Portabello road in London and brought it back from Britain with our Household goods in 1992.
 Beverly hard at work.
I can't wait to see the finished project in place.
(There will be pictures here, I promise)
 Praying Mantis
One of the visitors I told you about. 
Just hanging around to see what's next.
 Turkey Vulture Conversation
"Nice of them to leave water here for us".
 Turkey Vultures Drinking
 Turkey Vulture Conversations Continued
"Something moved in there!"
"Did you see it"
 "There are a bunch of them"
"Startled me, lets go drink somewhere else"
Spontaneous the Cat
Spontaneous thinks they are silly, there have been tadpoles in that water every summer since before we moved in. 
(Isn't she looking lovely?)

Cheers from both of us
Spontaneous the Cat


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