Friday, June 15, 2012

Turtleville Is No Place To Buy Groceries

  It's been a few days since my last post and there are reasons, and they are still not resolved. I couldn't get access to my blogging editor page and I thought it was our location, although we were in Pisgah Bay were I posted my last blog from and it was slow, but it worked.
  This morning we moved one cove over where I have 4G service but the blogging editor page was still blank. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and I'm an old cat skinner, so I saw a button called "old blogger interface", so I pressed it. Someone is definitely trying to tell me something because here we are, blogging away as an "old blogger".

  On the morning after our storm we moved over to what is known by our friends here as "Private Cove". There is a narrow opening off of the channel of the Tennessee River here in Kentucky Lake and the cove opens up fairly well, but not so much that we would want to get much wind as we cannot let out much scope because the bank is already pretty close, getting us into what Rosie calls "Snake City".
  Snake City is anywhere a person gets in close proximity to tall grasses near the water, or anywhere you don't want to find yourself. Years ago when I raced motorcycles, be it moto-cross or enduros, we called these the Giggly Weeds. Probably for different reasons, however.
  We spent the day near Snake City but saw no snakes, I think. Rosie did see plenty of very large turtles sunning themselves as they do, and we then became fellow residents of what she started calling the area, "Turtleville". "Look at those suckers", as she spied a group of turtles on a large log, "they must be TWO feet around!"
  "Must be snappers", I said.
  "I know!", came Rosie's astounded response.
  We occasionally shared the area with a few fishermen, apparently they didn't get the memo about this being the "Private Cove". The night was peaceful after a delicious meal of fried pork chops, baked potatoes,  and mixed vegetables. I mention our meals occasionally because even though we are living on a boat, we aren't existing on crusty stale bread and putrid water. We are eating good and each meal is an adventure to see how good it can be on our limited stores. I have only one thing to say about the people in charge of producing canned "mixed vegetables"; even though carrots and potatoes, being the lowly "root variety" of vegetables, are cheaper, they shouldn't be the largest percentage of vegetables in the can. A few kernels of corn wouldn't kill you. However, thanks for keeping the string beans to a minimum.

  Some other critters liked our anchorage too. The mayflies are swarming now and Swing Set was coated with them come morning. We waited until we had enjoyed a good breakfast before embarking on our mayfly elimination efforts. It's easy, but mundane work, as the mayflies sit happily in one spot until you pluck them off the boat. I prefer to douse them with a bucket of river water, more bang for the buck.
  We resumed our typical mid-day ritual of lounging around in the water on our rafts. These are the rafts that we'd stored away at our condo that we bought in the last century. They are holding air well, but the thin canvas is separating from the vinyl and the creases between each "pillow" on the mattresses are developing a midriff bulge. The mattresses will soon become one large round pillow at which point we'll go in search of new ones, but I know we'll never find any like we had when I was growing up. I think our family had the same air mattresses for years. They were stowed away in the rafters of the garage and were drug out every spring. These things were industrial in nature; the heavy rubber was coated with a canvas thick enough to make any sailor proud. They got blown up via a brass nozzle in the corner of the pillow portion and if you were smart you went to the gas station to use their compressor. I remember heading to the Lake of the Ozarks and getting the mattresses blown up as we got fuel for the outboard motor on the boat. These things were tough. None of those mamby pamby "pop up" valves like the new skimpy air mattresses have. Think inner tube, baby.
  So there we were floating around and Rosie was apparently thinking about my snapper comment and she starting scrambling for the swim platform. "I think I see a head peeping out of the water over there", she said when I asked what was the matter.
  "Probably just a stick, or a turtle", I said as I tried to dismiss the panic.
  "Call it what you want", she exclaimed, "but I'm getting the hell out of the water". She grabbed her personal Bushnell's and took a look at an object that was about to go on the attack even though it was about 30 yards away.
  "What do you see?" I asked her,
  "Musta went under", came her reply, but she didn't get back in. Wait until we visit Tadpole Town.
  I felt like some new scenery, so we motored over to the quarry where there is always people around. We had been in the quarry last Saturday and we had a terrific time. There are no pictures and no stories to tell. Not on this blog.
  Not much was happening in the quarry on a Wednesday. We shared the pond with a couple of fishermen in a joncatching going on, there seemed to be little to learn. When an idea pops into my brain, it's hard not to share it, so I took a chance and said to them, "You know, I'm not a fisherman, and I was wondering what you guys were using for bait, but I figure it doesn't matter as you haven't caught anything but tree branches for over an hour."
  You know, the younger guy busts out laughing and asks where we were from. I said we were from St. Louis and were passing through. I mentioned our trip up the Cumberland River and he was fairly impressed. I admitted as to our plans to spend two months on the Tennessee River before cutting south on the Tombigbee Waterway. The younger fella turns to the older one and says, "Did you hear that, Clem? He says their gonna spend three months on the Tennessee River! Must be nice to have the time to do it," he said.
  They finally moved down the bank and kept at their fishing. As they putted past on their way out of the quarry about an hour later, they stopped their outboard for a second just to wish us well on our adventure and gave us a heartfelt "Good luck". Nearly everyone we meet is happy to hear about our endeavor.
  I didn't want to stay in such close proximity to the big rocks in the quarry for the evening, so we moved over to Pisgah Bay again to spend a couple of nights. Yesterday we spent the day doing some chores on the boat and lounging on our gradually billowing air mattresses. Holly doesn't miss a chance to take up residence on a vacant mattress and will eagerly swim to Rosie if I take her out a ways from the boat and Rosie calls her. It's clear she likes the water.
  I wanted an adventure, so we cleaned up and set out in the dinghy close to 4 P.M. to do some grocery shopping in Grand Rivers. I knew our friend Madge was at her boat by then and she would have gladly taken us in her car, but we need some experience in this grocery getting department and there is nothing like learning by doing. It's about a five or six mile dinghy ride to the Lighthouse Marina: It's the closest dock to "downtown" Grand Rivers.
  We docked at the courtesy dock at the Lighthouse and followed the directions to the office and advertised ships store. The pretty girl at the office gave us the code to the gate and didn't have a care as to when we were returning, but apologized for having no ships store, unless buying expensive prints of boats and lighthouses will make your boat perform better, or fix it if it's broke.
  We figured to try out a restaurant called Patti's in Grand River because it came highly recommended. The place is one of those touristy places filled with knick knacks along the walls and has the Cracker Barrel type gift shop to lure you away from your money as you wait for a table. I purposely went on a Thursday thinking that there would be no wait and I was right. We were quickly seated and greeting by one of the granny dress wearing waitresses. They must pay these young girls extra to get them to wear these get ups. I don't know how they get the boys to wear them, but what the hell, we're in Kentucky.
  The famous meal is a two inch thick pork chop, and even though we just had thick pork chops on the boat a night or two before, I went for it. Rosie had Chicken Oscar that I got to taste and she really liked it. The pork chop they brought to me was obscene in size and I could only eat about one third of it. We packed it up to go as I can taste it now this weekend accompanied by some fried eggs. I'd recommend Patti's even though the stuffed dolls that line the walls are a bit scary and I like the waitresses in different attire. Something like the girls wear at Hooter's, please.
  Our main mission was to get some groceries so we trekked off to the IGA. My thought was to grab two carts and check out separately in order for each of us to get cash back on our debit cards. It's the closest thing to banking that we have been doing so far. This was a mistake. We brought our cloth grocery bags and a backpack with us to carry the groceries back to the dinghy. I learned later that the correct method would have been to fill our bags up while they were in the cart to insure a proper fit for the walk back to the marina. With me and Rosie filling up our carts like we would never visit another grocery store again, we exceeded our allotment, as it were.
  As we snaked through the aisles grabbing up vittles, we ran into a guy from Green Turtle Bay and said hello. It occurred to me to ask for a ride back to the marina, but I still wanted to do this ourselves, and the marina was only three blocks away. This was another mistake. Once we checked out and tried to fit two grocery carts full of goodies into three little cloth grocery bags, and a back pack already full of leftovers from our meal at the restaurant, I began to scan the other customers for someone who might be able to give us a ride. The fella we knew from Green Turtle Bay was long gone. Smart man.
  We stuffed all our stuff into what we had, plus hung extra plastic bags from extra fingers and walked out into the early evening heat. There sat a young girl in a very nice golf cart, so I asked her for a ride. She allowed as to how she was waiting for her mom and wasn't sure how long it was going to be. It wasn't getting any cooler out and we had cold stuff we wanted to get back to the boat, so we gave our thanks and set off.
  About two long blocks later when I was removing the second rock from my Topsiders, along came mother and daughter to give us a lift for the remaining portion of our trip. They had come in search for us to give us the ride and the woman turned out knowing our friends from Green Turtle Bay. She pointed out where they lived and offered help if we ever needed it, no matter what.
  Holly was very happy to see us when we got back to Swing Set and I kept her company as Rosie found a spot for everything we brought back. Then it was Rosie's turn to play with her pet as I attempted again to get some Internet service to post a blog. Nope.
  We tried T.V. and got nuthin', so we broke out the dominoes and Rosie trounced me again as the sun went down along with the temperature outside. We like our books, an important thing if you're going to live on a boat, so we went to bed at a time a lot of people would consider to be early, but when you get up with the sun at 5:30, falling asleep with a book in your hands at ten o'clock doesn't seem like a bad idea.

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