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About ToddF

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    Burnsville, MN
  • Interests
    Biking, Half Timer, Bichon Frise fan

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  1. Those frozen turkey breasts can also be thawed out and thrown in a crook pot. Roasting a whole turkey in the oven tastes best but a chore. Those oven bags work well and reduce the mess.
  2. Yes, MN has this capability too at the secretary of state's site. They confirm 2 things: Receipt of ballot That ballot will count.
  3. Listened to Minnesota Dept of Health update this afternoon. They attributed over 600 cases to 71 different weddings. 1 death. This doesn't include untraceable infections that resulted from coming into contact with an infected wedding attendee. Also listened to a story on Minnesota Public Radio that featured a doctor with experience treating covid. Here is what I've learned... Everyone knows the medical experts recommend mask wearing and thorough hand washing. Outdoor interactions are safer than indoor. (The weddings in some cases were outdoors but some had indoor receptions). The amount of time one spends with an infected individual is critical. 15 minutes is mentioned as a threshold for increased risk. Picking up the virus from packages and grocery items seems less an issue. (I'm not sure on this but I will say I never stopped going to grocery stores frequently. I wear a mask, get my items, self-checkout when possible, and put everything away when I get back to the RV or home, and wash my hands. ) Indoor dining is a high risk activity. Have a plan. Mine has always been in any emergency to point the RV toward Minnesota and head home. The plan worked: I knew I could make it alone and did so in less than 48 hours. This included rest breaks and no compromise on safe driving. However, I did have to drive at night which I prefer not to do under ordinary circumstances. Consider buying an oximeter. A key tool in the initial management of a covid case is managing blood oxygen level. One might not be available when you need it, I lucked out, Walgreens had them in stock. But if this pandemic continues raging, they could become hard to find like masks were in March. (An oxygen level at or below 90 would imply a need for an urgent care visit). Have cough syrup and cough drops on hand. If you live in your RV, try to partition off an area with plastic bags and seal the area. It should be well ventilated. You want to try to separate the sick from the healthy. Have non-perishable foodstuffs on hand that are easy to prepare. You can become very weak, making a cup of tea becomes an effort. Have Clorox wipes on hand and wipe down door handles and other frequently touched surfaces. Call your Doctor or clinic and get a case started even if you end up self resolving at home. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's "one day at a time" with Covid.
  4. Yes, MN Dept of Health called and all contacts have been notified. I'm living in the RV in the driveway until we establish it is safe to go into the home.
  5. On Saturday morning I found out my partner of 25 years, who was home in Minnesota and planning to join me in Florida next week, became ill and tested positive for the virus. I left Selma, NC (RVacation campground) at 3AM on Sunday morning and arrived home last night at 11:00PM after a 1700 mile trip driving alone in 2 days. Camping in the driveway until we can determine if it is safe for me to go inside. With this virus, there is no way to know what course it will take, so returning to MN seemed like the only choice. Even with a quick recovery, I don't think I have it in me to drive back to Florida to complete the rest of the trip that was planned through the end of December before our tax season starts. Be safe. Be flexible. (I managed to camp for 5 weeks and have a great time, mostly outside, only 2 meals in a diner that was very clean and empty). And managed to visit the Hershey gardens outside, spend 3 weeks biking and walking on the beach, and visited an old Aunt and Uncle on their front porch.
  6. The best approach (in my opinion) with Thousand Trails is to "go slow" and start with a zone pass. For a small fee (less than $600) you can try on for size all of the parks in the zone you purchase. This is the best way to find out if the system is going to work for you before upgrading to a "lifetime" membership. They run sales on the zone pass and sometimes you can get a 2nd zone for less than $100. They also run Fall promotions with a 4 year commitment and give a small discount when you go that route. (I wouldn't recommend it...stay with 1 year if just starting out). I'm not on FB but understand from other campers that there are 2 FB groups, one is company sponsored and the other is independent, another good way to network on Thousand Trails.
  7. "We've been traveling the south for the last 3 months and have repeatedly seen entirely full parks" Anecdotal to be sure, I just tried to make a reservation at Colorado River (N of Houston) Thousand Trails for Feb 1-Feb 15 and it showed availability. When I retire, I'm hoping to be able to use my Thousand Trails Membership during the prime winter months.
  8. I've had an Aunt and Uncle who have lived here for many, many years. So I see 3 Thousand Trails parks on my membership in the area and came for a visit. It's a beautiful part of the country with a mix of quaint small towns (e.g. Columbia), farms, suburban like areas, and touristy things to do. Discovered the South Lancaster County bike trail system (Columbia=trailhead) -14 miles in length along the Susquehanna river (highly recommended). The Gardens at Hershey ($12.50 admission) are beautiful. And hopefully when Covid passes, a resumption of the huge Hershey RV show every Fall (Oct). The Jersey Shore is about 160 miles to the East. Amtrak services Lancaster - a great way to go into NYC for a visit (about a 90 minute ride). The area has many fresh fruit and vegetable markets and buffets (limited now) known for homestyle cooking.
  9. As recently as last week, I finalized my reservations in Florida for the middle week in December (all the other weeks in Nov and Dec were booked earlier). I'm on a Thousand Trails membership and have 43 parks in Florida that I can stay in. When I retire, I will try to use it Jan-Mar, knowing it is likely to be more challenging to get reservations. My reservations include a week in Flagler Beach, Punta Gorda and 3 weeks at Orlando (Clermont). For now, Nov and Dec aren't that hard to get reservations. In the future, I'll try it (I've talked to folks who do it on Thousand Trails through the peak season and they said you have to hustle) and if everything is full, I'll try the cheaper parks mentioned previously in central Florida or move West. I don't want a permanent site or 3 month stays in one place. With S+B in place, I can always winterize the RV and go home. 🤪
  10. Sounds like the "fear" factor is somewhat justified.
  11. Probably me. (My accuracy rate is closer to 99%). 🤭
  12. Reading through some financial reports (10-K filing) from ELS (Equity Lifestyle Properties which owns and operates Thousand Trails), they experienced robust growth in membership recently and are bullish on the industry. RVing was growing in popularity and this has only expanded since the pandemic set in and folks realized they could sleep in their own bed, s**t in their own toilet, cook in their own kitchen etc. ELS filing makes for some interesting reading for geeks like me. https://equitylifestyle.gcs-web.com/node/20596/html Excerpt from the above referenced report: We believe the demand from baby boomers for MH and RV communities will continue to be strong over the long term. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 daily through 2030. In addition, the population age 55 and older is expected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2035. These individuals, seeking an active lifestyle, will continue to drive the market for second home sales as vacation properties, investment opportunities or retirement retreats. We expect it is likely that over the next decade, we will continue to see high levels of second-home sales and that manufactured homes and cottages in our Properties will continue to provide a viable second-home alternative to site-built homes. We also believe the Millennial and Generation X demographic will contribute to our future long-term customer pipeline. Millennials and Generation X combined represent over half of RV buyers. There is an increasing trend among these groups to adopt a minimalist lifestyle due to its affordability, preference over home quality relative to its size and the overall unique experience that our communities can provide. We believe the demand from baby boomers and these younger generations will continue to outpace supply for MH and RV communities. The entitlement process to develop new MH and RV communities is extremely restrictive. As a result, there have been limited new communities developed in our target geographic markets.
  13. “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher Copied from (it captures my thoughts and emotions about RV travel) https://expertvagabond.com/best-travel-quotes/
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