Tom Flanders Stuff


RVing – Happy Times

happy times no swearing sign


Errand day. Pat got an eye exam and we got a new phone plan. Oh, and Abigail chased a squirrel. Happy times.


Nice day. Long bike ride. Piles of laundry. Found a great new fast food place. To Pat’s delight they have real southern hush puppies.


Here in Virginia Beach when they say off-season they mean it. There are stores and restaurants that are already closed and won’t reopen till March.

It was our monthly visit the vet day, but this time we got an appointment so it didn’t take nearly as long as usual.


We found a very good restaurant today. Pat got hush puppies. I didn’t get the grits.

The we went to the boardwalk. Pat road her scooter around while Tonya and I explored the handicapped playground. She enjoyed some of it. Was bored by the rest.


Today at a southern fast food restaurant the clerk made fun of how I said “hush puppies.” Apparently I have a funny northern accent.


Another errand day. Recycling, donations, dog food, drug store. We ate lunch at the No Frill Grill. The name is completely inaccurate.


Last full day in Virginia Beach. We did some tidying up. Heading south tomorrow.


abbie road restaurant

A Beatles-themed restaurant. (Sort-of)

fall trees

It’s fall in Virginia Beach. We haven’t seen real fall in decades.

ocean condos

The view of the weirdly calm ocean in a rare gap between the rich folks.

The Raven Restaurant

The sign was the coolest thing about this restaurant.

Tonya exercising

Tonya gets in a workout at the accessible playground in Virginia Beach

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: October 28, 2018

RVing – West Virginia to Virginia

Virginia outhouse


Another rainy day. Tonya is bored to death. Pat says we might need to build an arc.


The ladder mission. We ordered a telescoping ladder from WalMart because there is something banging around on the roof and I have no way of getting up there, and no place to carry a regular ladder. So I picked a town that had a WalMart and a campground so we could wait till it was delivered to the store.

I found such a place in Flatwoods WV. The ladder arrives tomorrow no problem but never has there been a more mis-named town. Big Friggin Hill Town would be much more accurate.

And because of the hills we can only get three TV channels, all PBS.


Picked up the ladder at WalMart today. The noise on the roof was the TV antenna. Looks like it took a hit. I taped it up the best I could but it’s going to have to be replaced.


Severe sight-seeing today. Up and down fall-filled mountains. Out of West Virginia into Virginia. Picked up a PILE of flyers and guidebooks at the Virginia welcome center.

It’s Halloween season at the ex-KOA campground in Virginia. Many of the RVs are decorated. There are pumpkins, real and plastic, everywhere. One fifth-wheel has animated ghosts flitting about.


We made it to Virginia Beach. It wasn’t easy. Virginia seems to assume that you don’t want to directly to your destination. They have roads that make big wide circles around everything. This confuses Google’s directions no end. We were confused when it told us to take 295 North in order to go south. The problem is that those directions were correct.

It was worth it though. Other than crappy WIFI this is a very nice park.


Drove around looking for the ocean. Ate at a funky seafood restaurant. Looked for the ocean some more. Going out tonight to hear some live music.


I’m staring to get the hang of the roads around here. Most times today I was no more than 180 degrees off when I made a wrong turn.


big blue chair

The big blue chair guards the empty amphitheater in the so-called Flatwoods

distant tombstone

A surprising view for an RV campground


This guy has been here since 1915.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: October 22, 2018

RVing – Tennessee to West Virginia

rainy west virginia


We are in Crossville TN which for some reason is five to ten degrees cooler than the surrounding towns. I could look up the reason but I choose not to. The current campground is hilly and the wi-fi sucks. We may move tomorrow.


We are somewhere in Tennessee. Heading north to avoid the hurricane.


Running from the storm. We’re back in Kentucky. The cold front coming through tonight is supposed to push the hurricane to the east. The new plan takes us through West Virginia and Pennsylvania.


Errand day. Got meds for Rex and Me. As we head north I’m going to miss all the female clerks and waitresses calling me hun. Though pretty soon Pat’s southern accent will be in full swing.


We are in Berea Kentucky. A surprisingly special little town. It is home to the first coed and integrated college in the country. It has also been tuition-free since 1892.

The mega-millions drawing is nearly 550 million tonight. We have a ticket.

We are getting up early tomorrow to hit the road because Donald Trump is speaking tomorrow in the next town. We want to get going before the yahoos shut down the highways. The president is here because the good-ol-boy republican candidate is in trouble because he’s running against a retired Navy Lt. Colonel with brains and charisma.


Another three state day. We got up early and managed to miss the rush to see Donald Trump. According to one account the rush never actually happened. So we started in Kentucky, briefly passed through Ohio and wound up in West Virginia.

WV is just like I pictured it. Fall, damp, overcast, ground littered with brown leaves. Once again everybody has been very friendly.

When I was walking the dogs we saw some deer, mom and two young ones.


The best thing about a dark rainy West Virginia morning is that the dogs don’t wake up till after 10. Great to sleep so late once in a while.

Something is loose on the roof but we don’t have a ladder to get up there and check it out. Might have to go begging from better-equiped neighbors tomorrow.


Diabetic test strip sign

The story behind this sign is a creepy as those magic marker numbers suggest

blue jay

Many blue jays eating many acorns and chestnuts


If this cat wasn’t tied up there would be fewer blue jays

Abigail in her sweater

We found an appropriate sweater for Abigail

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: October 15, 2018

RVing – The cost of escape

cost of freedom


Got lost today on our way out of Oklahoma. Missed a turn somewhere and wound up on a roller-coaster back highway, which led to a toll road. It cost us $3.50 to get out of Oklahoma.

Then in Arkansas we were shown that some stereotypes have a basis in reality.

Me: Do you have hot tea?

Fast food clerk: I don’t know. (Stares at me.)

Me: Is there someone who would know?

Clerk: Carol might know. (Stands there, staring)

Me: I don’t know Carol, could you ask her for me?

Clerk goes to ask Carol. Carol comes out.

Carol: We have room temperature tea. Would that be hot enough for you?

After that we decided to go straight to Missouri. We called ahead and got into a great park with very friendly people. And we’re only .3 miles from the go kart track. Yee Haw!


Branson MO is tacky and that’s a good thing. The campground we are in is carved into a very steep hill. The office is literally in the owner’s living room. Very friendly people all around.

I’m in trouble. Pat has discovered that there are dozens of squished penny machines. Looks like I know what we’re doing tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the one show I wanted to see here doesn’t start till next week. No visit to the Yakoff Smirnoff theater for me.


Tourist day. I rode the go-karts so I have fulfilled my childhood Cape Code nostalgia requirement. We bought t-shirts and I got a hat at a 3 for $10 t-shirt shop with a giant bust of Ronald Reagan outside. We had supper at a Cajun restaurant. I had a chicken-fried steak sandwich. Another first for me.

I’m just a bit disappointed. There is a local company that sells moonshine, but they only sell it in giant jugs. At the rate I drink hard liquor I’d be able to will most of the bottle to my great grand nieces and nephews.

On the plus side, Pat managed to obtain several new squished pennies.


Abbie got a bath and haircut at Petco. We ate at the restaurant with the giant chicken out front. Pat got hush puppies. Then shopping at WalMart.


Today we saw more Baptist churches than I ever thought could exist. Plus white cows and many dead armadillos. We are out of the Ozarks and at the border of several states. Unfortunately the weather is sucky in every direction.


I don’t see a train but we are in Clarksville TN. A very nice little park with a pool and much less humidity than yesterday. There is a metal scrapyard across the street and a highway just behind us but not too much noise from either.

We gave Rex a haircut this afternoon. The groomers won’t take him because of his age and illnesses. Actually, Pat cut his hair. I held him down.


We decided to stay in Clarksville another day. Moving every day gets annoying pretty quick.


go-kart ride

My inner child manifests. WEEEEE!!!!

musical pipes

Tonya and I explore the pipes

storm shelter

The storm shelter in Muskogee did not inspire feelings of security.

walking stick

Branson had some Tim Burton level scary bugs


A sleepy little country road

painted rocks

Someone decorated our site in Clarksville

scrap metal

Fortunately the scrap yard is closed on weekends


This butterfly really liked Tonya

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Tags: ,,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: October 7, 2018

RVing – OKC

crows in OKC


On my bike ride today I only saw one critter, an adult male elk. Unfortunately he was locked in a pen. He was standing at the gate, just staring. It was so sad.

On a happier note, we ate lunch at Waffle House. While none of us had the grits it was comforting knowing they were available.


We went to downtown OKC. It was pretty deserted and had a whole lot of stairs. It reminded Pat of Des Moines.


Rained all night last night. Pounding the roof two feet above my head. Rained till afternoon. Ate dinner at a truck stop. Good food. Scary customers. Though they were freaked out by us as well. No good hats in the gift shop.


We’ve been delayed but they have no room at this park this weekend so we’re moving a whole three miles away.


We drove all over town trying to find drinkable water. The Texas stuff is just too blech. After several attempts we finally found a grocery store with something other than filtered tap water.

It was funny because a man in the water aisle was trying to convince his wife they should buy the cheap water. She complained that it tasted like a spoon. He the complained that the water I was buying didn’t taste like anything. It was so hard to say, “That’s the point.”

We are at a new park for the weekend, then it’s off to somewhere else. Haven’t decided yet.


The new park is much nicer than the last one. Nicer staff, nicer neighbors and less highway noize. The best part is that it’s right next to OKC’s wonderful bike path. I rode 17 miles today without once having to ride on a road.

Also, it’s walking distance to a very good truck stop diner. Yum.


We drove to Muskogee today. We went to the butterfly garden. It was the last day of the season but there were still many butterflies, moths and other insects. In fact we were the last people through.

Being Sunday, and since Muskogee has three RV parks, I assumed we would have no trouble getting a spot. I was wrong. We did get a spot in the overflow parking section, which in this case on the street. We have power and water hookups but it’s not very level and our front yard is a road. Not bad for $20.



Abbie knows how to live

RV on the street

Yes, we are parked on the street.

barbed wire

We didn’t get to the barbed wire exhibit at the Cowboy Museum, but we did see some free-range barbed wire.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: September 30, 2018


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