Saturday, April 30, 2011

Brakes, Chowdah, And Italians

Some people have bad breaks while others just have bad brakes.  In this case, Mike and Peggy’s son, Eric, had bad brakes.  I acted as Chief Gopher in Charge for Mike at his Auto/RV Repair Emporium while we took care of that very problem.  Hopefully, now that Eric has good brakes, he’ll not have any bad breaks.

Second verse same as the first!!!  Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I dined once more on the seafood chowdah.  I made enough chowdah for the four of us as well as Randy and Terry, Norm and Linda, and Don and Gloria.  Being that the other six didn’t show up, the four of us were left to eat it all up.  It was “Oh So Goood”!  Sorry guys, maybe next time you’ll be on time for dinnah!!!!

Judy and I spent the afternoon reading.  After having chowdah for lunch, we weren’t all that hungry so we walked down to Michaud’s Market for one of their world famous Italian sandwiches.  They are just as good as they were way back in the nineties when we lived here in Topsham, Maine. 

In case you’ve never heard of an Italian sandwich; they are sort of like a Subway ham and cheese sub with all sorts of veggies – only waaaaaay bettah!!  Being that they are about a foot long and we weren’t all that hungry, we split one.  We’re definitely going to have to go back for another when we’re starving and looking for something vewy, vewy yummy.

Well, it all went off without a hitch, oops, I take that back; William and Kate did get hitched and are now living a fairy tale life, happily ever.  Now, maybe today, we can get back to our normal lives unless, of course, the news organizations feel that it’s necessary to rehash the rehash of the rehash which they rehashed all day yesterday.    

What’s on the agenda for today, you may query?  Well, Miss Judy has found herself a quilt shop that must be attended to over in the metropolis of Bath, Maine.  While we’re there, we might just pick up a half pound, or so, of fresh Maine Scallops to have for tonight’s dinnah. 

Scallops are my favorite seafood; it figures as they are currently selling for $13.95 a pound.  With prices like that, we may have to start mortgaging our food.  But unlike lobstahs, scallops are 100% pure eating joy – no shells to throw out once you’re finished.  We’ll have to see as we have managed to blow our April budget (May’s just around the corner – like tomorrow).  Tune in tomorrow to see “what’s for dinnah”.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sunlight, Chowdah, And A Wedding

Good Morning, Good Morning!

Sunrise Over Topsham Fairgrounds

Finally, the sun rose in the east.  We were beginning to feel deprived of our sun light with tans fading and the whole nine yards.  Maybe it will be warm enough this afternoon to sit out in our lawn chairs, suck in some rays, and work on our tans.

I almost broke my arm last night patting myself on the back for making a stupendous seafood chowdah – my dad would be proud!!  It was a success and everyone enjoyed it.  We had some nice hot rolls to go with it.  Yum, yum, yum!!!  You can’t beat a chowdah with fresh haddock in it.  You can use cod but, for my money, you can’t beat haddock – it’s the best white fish ever!!!

Well, is it finally over?  Have William and Kate finally said, “I do”?  It’s happening before my very eyes as I write this entry.  Half the United States has been blown away, but all three networks are watching a couple of Brits get married.  All I can say is that it’s far better than hearing about Michael Jackson.  But, Thank God It’s Over!!!!  And hopefully they’ll live happily ever after in their fairytale life.

This morning I’m going to play second fiddle on the rear brake orchestra.  I’m going to assist Mikee in changing out the brake shoes on his son’s car.  While I’m getting dirty, my bride is going to be doing laundry at Mike’s Gumbo Shack, Auto/RV Repair, Hair Care, and Laundromat – your one stop service center.

Again, our hearts go out to all of those who have been plagued by tornadoes this spring.  Many parts of our country have been ravaged by these ferocious storms all spring and the sad part is that “tornado season” is only beginning.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:13-15

May God Bless You And Keep You Until Next Time - - - - - - 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Horrendous Weather

Before we go any further, let us take a moment to think about (and pray for) all of those who have been caught in the paths of yesterday’s storms.  Lives have been lost.  Millions, on top of millions, of dollars of losses have been incurred.  And thousands have lost their entire way of life as they know it.  As you probably know, there has been over 650 tornados across the county this April (a record).  The storm that passed through Alabama and Georgia yesterday was one of the largest ever running on the ground for over 170 miles.  Our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered loss.  May God be ever close to them at this time.  This has been a horrendous spring, to say the least.

Finally, after a week, the truck is free from the fifthwheel.  The landing gear has been repaired and reinstalled – phew!, that took long enough.  By doing the job ourselves we probably saved close to five hundred dollars.  We would have been charged for no less than four hours labor and probably a hundred dollars for a replacement kit.  Anyway, the job is done and it cost us less than twenty bucks.

Yesterday was quite a bit warmer, actually moved into shorts temperatures – nice, now if only we could get some sun to keep our tans nice and buff.  One thing at a time.  This is only April in Maine for Pete’s sake; what can one expect?

I threw together a nice seafood chowdah yesterday afternoon.  It has two and half pounds of fresh haddock, one pound of shrimp, and two cans of baby clams along with potatoes, onions, and a little salt pork for flavor.  It, also, has one and a half sticks of buttah, three cans of evaporated milk and about a cup of milk.  This is not your basic Weight Watcher’s chowdah recipe, but it will certainly be yummy and is going to be served for tonight’s dinnah, with lots of love and plenty of yeast rolls.  Can you say, “Ummm, ummm goood”?

Today is shopping day.  We’ll get our basics at Wally World and will probably make a second trip to Hannaford’s for produce.  Uncle Wally’s produce leaves a whole lot to be desired.  This afternoon we will hitch up the rig to go to dump the tanks and take on more potable water.  All part of the boondocking motif (or, in this case, almost boondocking motif as we have 30 amp power).

So, we have four days left before we go back to w*rk and no immediate plans as to how to spend them.  One thing on the agenda is to assist Mike in changing out the rear brakes on his son’s car.  That should only take us a couple of hours (emphasis on the word “should”).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ta Dah!!!

Another successful day.  Yesterday we headed over to Mike and Peggy’s to help Mike install a hoist system in his garage for storing their bicycles in the overhead.  We got one finished before receiving a call from Whited RV saying the part for the landing gear had arrived.

So, the four of us headed for Auburn to pick up the part.  Once Tony, in the parts department, saw the part he said he had a kit in stock, however, the kit was around a hundred bucks.  All I needed was the shaft so I was happy to pay the seventeen dollars for the replacement part.  As it turned out, the part wasn’t exactly the one I needed (the one in the kit was), but with a little modification it works just fine.

Ta Dah!  Here are some pictures of the assembled leg.  You can see the new gold colored shaft going through the gears in the top of the leg, through the gear box, and through the collar.

Top Of The Leg Assembly

The next picture shows the leg assembly; there are three main pieces, the leg, the gear box, and the motor.  The modifications that we made were the addition of two sheet metal screws with washers to hold a mounting plate in place on the leg (you can see the screw and washer on the front side of the leg - there’s another one on the back side as well).  The other modification was to drill a new hole in the collar and through the shaft to hold the gear box tight against the leg (you can see the collar right along side the motor).

Front Side Of The Leg Assembly

This morning we’ll reinstall the leg assembly and unhitch the RV from the truck.  Yay!!!  “Free at last, free at last!”  

Upon leaving the Lewiston/Auburn area, hunger sat in – Feed Me!.  Judy and Peggy parleyed a solution; that being the Cabin Pizza for some shrimp scampi pizza.  If you’ve never had a shrimp scampi pizza, you haven’t lived a full life.  The Cabin Pizza in Bath, Maine has some of the best pizza crust that I’ve ever eaten.  Spread that with a nice scampi sauce, some mozzarella cheese, topped with lots of shrimp and you have yourself a meal fit for a king.  Not exactly healthy but extremely yummy.

Grand daughter Catia is on the mend.  She had her bone reset and her arm is currently splinted.  In two or three weeks, once they are sure everything is healing correctly, they will put on a cast.  They had to knock her out to reset the bone and then gave her some morphine for the pain.  Needless to say, she was pretty much out of it for awhile, however, she was up and about, watching movies yesterday afternoon.  The doctor said she could go to school today if she feels like it, but mom and dad say one more day at home will be just fine – can’t blame them.

Once the truck is free from the RV we need to seek out some nice fresh lobstahs for a stew and lobstah roll dinnah.  We know several places to find them so there won’t be much “seeking” involved.  The question is, “what is the current price of lobstahs?”  Especially considering the price of fuel – those lobstah boats get something like 2 or 3 gallons per mile.  That’s right, they’re not the most energy efficient vessels.

That’s it for now.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Productive Day

But first, grand daughter, Catia, has managed to break her arm.  On Sunday evening she was jumping on a trampoline and managed to fall off (somehow) breaking her right arm.  She had X-rays Sunday night, saw the Orthopedic doctor yesterday, and is in the hospital at 0645 Eastern Time this morning to have it set and cast.  They’ll “put her out” because of the pain of resetting the bone.


Now, onto our productive day.  After we got ourselves ready to roll yesterday, we dropped my eyeglasses off at Berries Optical in Brunswick for repair.  The nose piece had broken off and they are one of the few places left that will solder it back on. 

Then we went to Mike and Peggy’s where Mike and I put the gear box and the leveling leg through the paces.  We discovered another design flaw (Nah, say it isn’t so!) and corrected it.  Now we are ready for reassembly just as soon as the new drive shaft arrives sometime today.

We returned home around noon time for lunch followed by a short nap.  My glasses were ready so we made a trip back to Brunswick to pick them up (it’s so nice to be able to see clearly once again).

Judy has been wanting a “hoodie” (hooded sweatshirt) for quite awhile now, but hasn’t been able to find one that suits her taste.  A trip to L. L. Bean ensued with a successful ending.

While we were at Bean’s I received a phone call from Mike saying that our mail had arrived and that it was “Martooni” Time so we made an expeditious return to Mike and Peggy’s.

We returned home for dinner, a little television, and some reading.  It was lights out at 9:30 bringing an end to a rather productive day.  Not sure what’s on the agenda for today, but it’s going to be a rainy day so snuggling inside reading will be one of the items.  Picking up the new part will be another item – who knows beyond that.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -  

Monday, April 25, 2011

The State Of Our Union

It’s really great when the stars align.  We arrived in Maine on Friday with no further coolant issues (just not sure when that’s going to jump up and bite us in the posterior), it only took Mike and I about an hour’s worth of labor on Friday and Saturday to get the landing gear leg out of the RV (probably another hour’s worth of time assessing the problem and determining the fix), and the TV decided that it wasn’t really broken after all (no idea what that issue was all about but the TV works just fine).

The replacement shaft for the landing gear will be in on Tuesday so by Wednesday (at the latest) everything should be reassembled and operational.  Atwood has redesigned the drive shaft eliminating a grove for installing a “keeper ring” (which was at the point where the shaft broke).  Our assumption is that shaft breakage had been a problem in the past and that’s why they redesigned it.

In the meantime, while we are waiting for the new shaft to arrive, Mike and I are going to put the gear box through some stress testing to ensure that is functioning correctly.   And, also, we will test the leg by running it up and down to insure that there is nothing hanging up inside of the tube.

Anywhoo, that’s all for now on the landing gear.  Now for the coolant issue – I will do some serious under body crawling about to see if I can spot any leakage what so ever.  The coolant in the reservoir is low, however, the temperature gauge indicates that everything is doing it’s job and there has been no “low coolant” warning light.  But, something is “rotten in Denmark!!!” and I hope to resolve the issue before we leave Maine at the end of July.

Now, for the television.  I had researched and found a replacement TV the same size as our current set and was about to purchase said TV, but when I went to show Mikee what the darned thing was doing (or not doing) it worked just fine.  The only thing we can figure is that we must have had a low power situation.  I should have checked that out while we were in Virginia but I was concentrating heavily on the landing gear issue – one issue at a time please, I don’t multi-task very well any more.  In any event, the TV is back and we don’t need to buy a new one.

Mike and Peggy invited us to join them in a family cookout on Saturday – ribs, beans, salads, breads, the works!!!  All three of their children (spouses and grand kids) are in town so this was a real family reunion.  We had a wonderful time joining in with them.

Yesterday we attended First Baptist Church of Freeport (our home church when we lived in Maine way back in the nineties).  Pastor Sandy was in good form deliving a wonderful sermon and we were able to catch up with several people from our past.  We’ll be worshipping with them over the next eight weeks so we picked up our Bible School materials.  We really look forward to spending the next couple of months in this area.

After church we decided to visit Captain Mike’s for dinner.  A phone call to Mike and Peggy discovered that they had had the same idea and were just being seated at a table for four – two extra chairs.  So we made our way there post haste.  Peggy had baked haddock, Judy had fried Maine shrimp, and Mike and I had the baked stuffed scallops.  It was “Oh So Good”. 

We spent the afternoon relaxing, reading, and watching the Celtics in the playoffs – they won.  For dinner we decided to walk over to Dairy Queen for a Peanut Buster Parfait – yummy. 

So, that brings you up to date for the past three days.  I know, pictures would have been wonderful, but we’ve been negligent in taking our camera along on our outings – we’ll try to do better from now on.  But, in the meantime here are a couple of “Easter” pictures of our grand children.

Rocco, Briana, Lola Kalina, Catia, Radek

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

“He has risen!  He has risen, indeed!”  This is my favorite celebration of the year.  At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus and it’s fun, but without the resurrection the birth, the death, and the burial wouldn’t have mattered.  Jesus resurrection is what made all the difference.  Because He lives we can face tomorrow (eternity).  So, take time today to thank God for His eternal provision for you and for me. 

And, if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, take this time to pray admitting that you are a sinner, that you are in need of Jesus’ salvation, and that you want to know Him, to be like Him, and to glorify Him.  It’s as simple as that and that prayer will move you from eternal death to eternal life – how wonderful is that? 

God is always available.  He had an internet long before Al Gore invented one and He is still on it today.  But, you don’t need a cell phone, a computer, a blackberry, an I-pad, etc. to access the Throne of Grace internet.  Just a simple prayer with a repentant heart will do the trick; God will hear you.  So don’t delay, take time to pray!!!  Right now, today!!!!!!!!!  You’ll be glad you did.

Now, let us all remember to give thanks to God on this day because – “He Has Risen!  He Has Risen, Indeed!”

Happy Resurrection Sunday, Everyone!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Honey, I’m Home

That’s right, after two back to back days of driving, approximately 400 miles each, we are now in Vacationland - Maine, the way life should be!  Maine, worth a visit, worth a lifetime!

Once entering New England we could see the signallings in the air of the season to come.  Thats right, Cheeze-it signs were beginning to bloom heavily along the sides of the highways indicating some serious orange cone placement, shovel leaning, and road rearrangement is about to take place.  Yep, construction season is looming just around the corner and about to burst forth in full force on the New England scene.

We arrived at Mike and Peggy’s at just a little after three in the afternoon so we could top off the potable water tank.  Then it was over to the Fairgrounds where we got a 30 amp electric site (no water, no sewer).  It’s too early to start thinking about camping in Maine as most camping areas are not ready for guests before May 1st.

Once getting the rig positioned on a fairly level piece of terra firma and the power turned on, Mikee and I proceeded to investigate the landing gear problem.  After a few turns of a screwdriver and a couple of wrenches, all the bolting had been removed.  The culprit gear box may not be the problem after all.  The drive shaft is broken which leads to an altogether new problem. 

The part will only cost around seven dollars, but there is a “wait factor” involved as the it will have to be put on order.  Then comes the question as to why the shaft broke in the first place?  And why the gear box was “slipping”?  But, first we need to get the landing gear leg out of the RV which we will tackle this very AM.  The “long pole in the tent” in completing this project will be the “wait time” for replacement parts.  Stay tuned, more to come.

After getting ourselves dirty, Mikee, Judy, and I headed back to the ranch for some grub.  Grub in this case was spaghetti with a tasty homemade sauce straight from the kitchen of Peggy.  She, also, prepared a wonderful spinach garden type salad, and some hot out of the oven rolls.  With a nice dish of Moose Tracks to round out the meal, we were a bunch of satisfied eager eaters.  Can anybody spell S-L-E-E-P-Y-T-I-M-E?

Mike has loaned us his truck to use until we can get the RV dislodged from our truck.  That may very well be today.  We are talking about doing the “red neck thang”; that is, putting the front of the rig “up on blocks”.  Then all we would need is a couple of hound dawgs sleeping under the front porch to complete the picture (maybe some grass up to your a--, eh I mean knees). 

What can I say, I think Mike and Peggy have definitely earned a nice hot bowl of lobstah stew and April is the best time of year for lobstahs in Maine, IMO.  I think we will just have to set sail to the sea shore and rustle up a bunch of them thar Maine lobstahs before the week’s out.  Then set our compass toward Hannaford Brothers for the rest of the ingredients.  We may just have to snag a couple of extra lobstahs to make some lobstah rolls to go with that stew.  Maine is one place where you can actually buy real live hot dawg rolls (not buns) that make up some mighty fine eatin’ lobstah rolls.  Sounds like yummy plan to me.

Here’s a picture of this morning’s sunrise taken from right out our front door at around 6:20 AM.  The sun has since hidden itself behind a heavy blanket of clouds.  We have a ninety percent chance of rain forecasted for this afternoon.


Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Friday, April 22, 2011

Campground From Deliverance

We drove from Natural Bridge, Virginia to Matamoras, Pennsylvania (400+ miles) where we are staying at Tri-State Campground.  It’s right where New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania all come together.  Our next window neighbors (we don’t have a door on that side of the coach), Paul and Jane, are from Vermont.  Jane refers to this campground as, “the campground from Deliverance”.

We arrived and were hooking up at just about the same time as they were so I invited them over for a glass of wine.  Paul joined us but Jane was tired so she stayed at home.  They had traveled from Bull Run Regional Campground in Centreville, Virginia which was where we had reservations to stay while visiting Mary and Joel.  Anyhow, being that they too had had a long day of driving as well Jane opted out.  But had she known that Judy was a quilter she probably would have come over according to husband Paul. 

She is a very serious quilter and makes red, white, and blue lap quilts for soldiers who are in military hospitals.  They were in the Washington, D. C. area delivering the quilts and visiting Marines who don’t have family nearby to visit with them.  Paul and Jane are a great couple and we’re glad we got to meet them (or in this case Paul).

Today is another long haul; around 60 miles less than yesterday.  The campground in Topsham has not turned on the electric or water yet, but supposedly they will be this weekend.  In any event, we can boondock.  Ummm, boondocking while it’s only in the 50’s during the day and the low 30’s at night?  Are we tough enough for that?  Looks like we’re about to find out. 

We’ll stop by Mike and Peggy’s and take on a full load of water and then head to the Fairgrounds where we will pick out a site (we should have a few to chose from).  At least we will have sewer, the furnace will keep us warm, the generator will keep the batteries charged up and, most importantly, the inverter will run our computers and television.  Plus we’ll save money on campground fees – a whole whooping $75 per week.

None the less, it will be an adventure and give us something to write home about.  Oh, by the way, the truck performed just perfectly yesterday with no coolant issues – just the way we’d planned it.  Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, April 21, 2011

“And The Hits Just Keep On Coming”

I couldn’t sleep so I was up and outside at 2:30 A.M. Wednesday morning looking at the landing gear installation in an attempt to formulate a plan.  I went online and found a PDF instruction booklet for the Atwood landing gear assemblies.  I called Forest River a couple of times and left messages both times with no returned call.  I, also, called an RV dealership in Manassas but they have no “room in the Inn”.

After looking the entire installation over, there appears to be only one way to replace the distribution/gear box.  That is, to cut out a section of the bottom plate (which is actually sheet metal) and then unbolt the landing leg and move it outboard to gain enough room to change out the distribution/gear box.  The drive shaft appears to be pressed into the landing leg gear box at the top of the leg and is pretty much inaccessible.  Being that nobody is interested in coming out to play, I guess I’ll have do the job myself. 

Here are some pictures of the installation so you can see what I’m up against. Use your cursor for a description.

Motor Attaches To Gear Box Gear Box And Motor (You Can See The Frame Work That Won't Allow Removal Of The Gear Box)Gears In The Top Of The Landing Leg (You Can See The Gear Box Up Against The Frame) Top Bracket (Jnside) Landing Leg And Plate That Needs To Be Cut Lower Bracket, Landing Leg, And Plate That Needs To Be Cut (Outside)

To add insult to injury, after Judy turned off (that’s right off) the television set yesterday morning I heard a popping sound (sounding something like a low boil).  I noticed that the power light wasn’t on on the front of the TV so I listened closely to the noise; sure enough, it was coming from the television set.  So I unplugged it and let it sit for awhile, but after plugging it in again the TV still wouldn’t come on.  Also, after a few seconds it started the popping (boiling) sound again.  So, I guess the television is shot.  Are we having fun yet?

We considered doing an “about face” and “high tailing” it back to ‘Bama, but after looking at the map we discovered that it’s 803 miles back to Summerdale and only 793 miles to Topsham, Maine.  Being that Maine’s closer, and that Mikee has brought in a fresh supply of vodka from New Hampstir, we decided to press on.  However, we won’t be stopping to see Mary and Joel or Marc, Amie, and kids since we can’t unhitch the coach – Bummer.

The RV is reattached to the truck and will stay that way until the landing gear is fixed.  The replacement gear box will cost less than $85.  Hopefully the coolant issue won’t become a problem and we can snuggle in the bedroom to watch the news.  Oh yes, one more thing, Alex got diarrhea yesterday afternoon, but that’s not something you really want to hear about; although I can attest to the fact that katts do not like baths.

Well, there’s the state of the union in Virginia.  We’ll be hanging in there, You Hang In There Too Until Next Time - - - - - - - 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not So Uneventful Day

We arrived at our destination, which is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground at Natural Bridge Station, Virginia, however, it wasn’t an event free day.  First let’s back up to yesterday morning.

If you remember from yesterday’s blog entry, we discovered that Jim and Linda Smith were in the campground with us.  So, after we had breakfast and a shower, I gave them a call.  Jim stopped by for a sip and chat, he brought his coffee and we had ours.  It was about a half hour visit and good to see him again.  Linda isn’t an early riser so she sent her regards. 

Then we hitched up the wagon and headed northeast which brings us to our first “event”.  When we stopped at a rest stop for a walk about and potty call, Judy noticed water dripping from the bottom of the truck.  At first I thought that it was condensation from the air conditioner, but I decided to stick my finger in it just to make sure.  It was coolant and it was dripping from the back of the engine on the driver’s side – not good. 

We called Coach-Net to find the closest dealer and/or diesel truck repair facility.  While the customer representative put me on hold to phone some service shops, I decided to open the hood and see if I could discover exactly where the water was coming from.  I couldn’t see an indication of leaks so I checked the overflow tank to see how low the coolant level was.  That’s when I noticed that coolant was being blown out of the overfill hose.  From there it was running down onto the skip plate under the engine and then to the back of the plate/engine where it was dripping onto the ground on the driver’s side.

I had added about a pint of fluid before leaving the campground because it was low, but after spewing out about a pint everything seemed to be okay.  Needless to say, we monitored the the temperature gauge for the rest of the trip.  After letting the engine cool down the coolant level appears to be a little low again, but I’m just going to leave it alone and monitor the temperature.  A warning light will tell me when and if the coolant level is actually low.  I hate to say it, but I’m not overly optimistic that this problem has gone away since we have been dawged with coolant issues over the past three years.

Now onto to “event” number two.  While “setting up camp” the forward jacks began slipping while leveling the front of the coach (note: this is after the truck had been disconnected from the trailer).  The drive motor appeared to be “floating”, but after checking it all out I discovered that that is how they are installed.  But, I can’t get the front to raise up without the thing slipping.  It sounded like it was jumping or stripping gears. 

I spent about four hours pulling things apart and trying determine the problem.  Fortunately the gears are okay and it turned out to be that the distribution box will need to be replaced.  Unfortunately, there is no way to get the distribution box off the shaft.  The Forest River idiots installed the leveling legs outboard of the frame so that the distribution box comes up hard against the frame when attempting to remove it from the shaft.  Not only that, they installed it incorrectly, 90* out from the proper installation so they could attach the electric motor.  If the distribution box was installed properly then the motor couldn’t be attached because the frame work is in the way. 

So, I’m going to have to loosen up the left front leveling leg, but I won’t slide it up or down without the shaft hitting a portion of the frame.  The next plan, would be to remove the shaft which means going into the gear box, but again accessibility is limited and I don’t know how the gear attaches to the shaft.  There must be a set screw somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find it and I’m not sure I could reach it if I found it.  The gear box is about 2” by 2” and has to be accessed from the top; I can only get one hand in there at a time and then can’t see what I am doing.

Another option, that would be quick and dirty (very dirty) is to burn away a portion of the sheet metal on the bottom of the front compartment so that I can loosen the leveling leg and move it outboard a couple of inches away from the frame.  Then I would be able to slip the distribution box off the shaft and reinstall the new one.  Just so you know, our next site neighbor let me look at his Cypress and Newmar installed the landing gear properly (inboard of the frame work) – it would only take me a half hour max to change out the distribution box on his rig.

It’s four o’clock in the morning and at this point I’m not sure exactly what we are going to do.  By letting the air out of the air bags on the truck and using my hydraulic jack, I will be able to get the rig reattached to the truck.  Once it is back on the truck, it will have to stay there until the problem is fixed.  I’ll call Forest River later this morning to see how “they” suggest I accomplish this task.  Also, there is a Camping World 30 miles away, in Roanoke, and an RV dealership in Manassas that sells Forest River products, which is where we are heading next.

We might just wait until we get to Maine to fix the problem.  We could buy a couple of house jacks to use to unhitch the rig from the truck – a lotta work, but doable.  A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.  So much for an uneventful 2011 season on the road.  If I do the job myself, it will only cost a couple hundred bucks; if I let someone else do it then it could run up to around eight hundred dollars since it is going to be very labor intensive – thanks Forest River.

If you are thinking of going fulltime and are not mechanically inclined I would highly recommend that you stay away from Forest River products.  I’m not sure what fifthwheel I would recommend, but I won’t buy another one unless I crawl all over from top to bottom.  Better yet, I’d make several visits to the manufacturer to review the entire manufacturing process from the time the frame entered the shop until the wax is applied to the finish.

Stay tuned to see how we get out of this dilemma.  Happy Event Free Travels To You Until We Meet Again - - - -

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Travel Day

Today’s another travel day.  There’s another storm brewing and we’d like to get out of tornado alley, if that’s possible.  We’ll run north for about four more hours and then hunker down for a couple of days to let the storm pass.  That should get us out of the “severe storm” track.  We have reservations in Bull Run, Virginia on Thursday – we hardly ever make reservations, but decided it might be prudent being Easter weekend.

Well, you never know who you’ll bump into as you’re heading down the road.  Myrddin (pronounced Murthen) is here and he brought Jim and Linda Smith with him.  Myrddin is a classic Beaver motorhome and you can follow his travels on his blog – Myrddin’s Travels.  We’ll attempt to catch up with Jim and Linda this morning, but being that we plan to leave early this morning we may not connect.

Only time will tell if Alex will get really upset with two travel days in a row.  He doesn’t like back to back travel days and sometimes raises heck in the truck.  We have a “time out” cage in the back seat just for him.  If he gets too unruly then he gets a time out.  After about a half hour in the cage he generally settles down.  Poor kitty, rough life!!!  Katie is such a good little traveler; she just stretches out on the back seat and naps.

Well, it’s off and running so Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -     

Monday, April 18, 2011

Off And Running Again

Yesterday morning Judy and Catia made G’pa some of his favorite chocolate chip cookies and then G’pa took Catia to the playground for awhile.  At 11:30 we took Catia home and “baby sat” with the three grand kids while Matt and Jackie took in an afternoon movie.  When they returned home we burned some burgers on the grill for dinner.

Isn’t it amazing how fast a week and a half flies by when you’re having fun with your grand kids.  We said our good byes and headed home knowing it will be another six months before we see them again – that’s waaaay too long!

This morning we’ll be making our way to Bull Run, Virginia to spend Easter with Mary and Joel.  It will be good to see them again since we haven’t seen them since last July – that’s waaaay too long as well.

From Virginia we’ll be pointing our noses toward New Hampshire and another grand kids fix.  We last saw them last August – again, that’s waaaay too long.  Having family scattered across the Eastern United States is not good.  Too much time goes by between visits.

However, like we’ve said before, this lifestyle is good when you have your family living in six different states.  If we were still w*rking for a living, we wouldn’t be able to see everyone every year.  But, we still need to convince everyone that they need to move to one state (IN THE SOUTH – we can no longer take the cold).

Well, it’s time to round up the wagons and head out; hope to “See Ya Down The Road”.  So, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Soccer And Stuff

Here we are back at “Wiggly” Field in beautiful downtown Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  Today it’s overcast with temperatures hovering around 45* and intermittent rain.

Cloudy, Rainy, Cold, Miserable Day

The game between the Dynamos and Matrix is about to begin.  Hi, I’m Catherine Litter and my co-announcer is Robert L. Head.  What’s your synopsis of the game, Bob L.?

Well, Kitty, it’s extremely early and brutally cold out there on the field this morning.  Only time will tell if the players are sluggish on not.  We’ve been following the Superstar, Catia Patterson, this week and she’s had a lousy week at practice.  If you remember from last year, Catia is not an early riser and an eight o’clock game may find her a little out of sorts.  Kitty?

Now that you mention it, I see that the coach is keeping Catia on the bench for the first quarter.  She doesn’t look exactly “user friendly” and has been very sluggish during the warm up.  Here’s the kick off!!  Wow, the Matrix has monopolized the opening play with a score.  This is going to be a challenging game for the Dynamos, Bob L.

Matrix Controls The Ball

That’s what was predicted last week, but now the Dynamos are beginning to get it together.  Their goalie has been on top of the ball and not allowing anymore scores.  Did you see that play?  The Dynamos S-C-O-R-E, it’s now one to one.  Kitty.

Second Quarter Play

Well, that brings us to the conclusion of the first quarter with a tie score.  Catia Patterson is now taking the field, but she still seems awfully sluggish.  We’ll just have to see if this superstar can get her head into the game.  Back to you, Kitty. for the play by play.

This Is Not What I Signed Up For

I can’t believe it, Catia is just holding back.  Oh, oh!!  She just got nailed in the stomach by the ball.  That really knocked the wind out of her.  She’s never just standing there on the field like that, but is usually attacking the ball.  She’s really acting as if she’s not feeling very well – I wonder if she has some of that bad apple juice from Applebee’s?

Throwing In The Ball

I don’t know, Kitty, but she does seem a little out of it.  The Dynamos are in control of the ball once again, and S-C-O-R-E.  The rest of the team is really pouring it on in a great effort.

Ball Gets Past The Goalie For A Score

Bob L., that was a great kick from almost mid field right into the net before the Matrix goalie had any idea the ball was coming her way.  And now the Dynamos seem to be controlling the ball a lot better this second quarter.  Oh my, there is another run on the goal and S-C-O-R-E! 

Kitty, at the end of the first half it’s now Dynamos 3 and Matrix 1.  I see the coach has benched Catia once again.  Her dad is giving her a pep talk.

The Pep Talk

In the meantime her little sister, Kalina, is running wild in an attempt to keep warm.

I Need To Run In Place To Keep Warm

And her brother, Radek, is here as well; he’s pulled his sports car right up to the field and is sitting inside with the heater on. 

I Need A Better Windshield

Catia’s grand parents are in attendance and are huddled up under the umbrella wondering why the heck they headed north so early.

G'ma, But That's Not G'pa

Bob L., both teams have put on a strong defense and the third quarter has remained scoreless.  I see they are putting Catia back in the game on defense for the fourth quarter.  Ah, she seems to have come alive.

Yes, Kitty, she’s looking more like the superstar player that we’ve come to expect.  Look at her go.  The Matrix has been pouring on the juice in an attempt to get back into this game, but Catia has nixed their every attempt at a goal.  She’s done a great job clearing the ball out of Dynamos territory.

A Spark Of Life

Well there you have.  The Dynamos win the game 3 to 1.  This is Catherine Litter, and this is Robert L. Head saying good bye from “Wiggly” Field.  Our final comment is that the Dynamos’ coach had better hope that most of their games are scheduled for later in the day – when Catia is more alert.  Good bye for now!!

Well, that’s how our early morning Saturday went.  We left from “Wiggly” Field in search of some nice hot coffee and found it at McDonald’s; Man, it was cold out there.  From Mickey D’s we headed to Wilson Leather so Judy could pick up a new purse.  Now she has a new purse, but no money to put in it – Oh well, her old one was looking rather tattered.

We spent the afternoon relaxing and reading.  Judy made some pea soup (it’s a pea soup kinda day).  After an early dinner we headed for church.  Superstar Catia came home with us for a sleep over.  We had a pizza and a movie, Tangled (don’t ask), with pop corn before retiring for the evening.  Sleep overs are the best!!!!

This morning Catia and G’ma are going to make G’pa some of his favorite chocolate chip cookies and, later, we’ll make a trip to the play ground, temperatures permitting.  You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to see what the rest of the day brought.

May God Bless You And Keep You.  Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, April 15, 2011

Too Pooped To Pucker

It was up and out early; our baby sitting duties awaited us.  Kalina, almost three, and Radek, at nine months ganged up and wore out G’ma and G’pa by noon time.  Thank God for nap time; for G’kids that is – we got to take our naps later.

Well, here we are, doing the same thing again this morning.  This time it is in order to make a soccer game that starts at eight o’clock.  It was tempting to roll over and go back to sleep, but these games are one of the reasons we stayed so long here in at Cedars of Lebanon.  We can always sleep some other time.   So, I need to get my torso in motion.  More about Superstar Catia and the game later.

See ya on the flip side; Take Care Until Then - - - - - 

A Terrific, Wonderful, Good, Very Beautiful Day

Just a quickie this morning.  We’re on baby sitting duty at 7:15 this morning while Jackie and Catia go on a school field trip – Sheesh, even God isn’t up at this hour of the morning.  Anyway, yesterday was an absolutely beautiful, fantastic, gorgeous, tremendous, wonderful day.  The sun was shining brightly with minimal humidity and temperatures in the 70’s and not a cloud in the sky.  What a great day for a cookout and that’s exactly what we did.

But first, we made our bi-monthly run to Wally World in order to restock the larder.  Then we sat outside in our comfy patio furniture and, yes, Alex got to sit out for a while as well.  We did some reading and neighbor visiting.  The kids and grand kids joined us around 6:00.

We set fire to some wood and cooked some hot “dawgs” over the open fire to have along with potato salad and baked beans.  Then the grand kids proceeded to do what they do best, wear out the adults.  It was fun and it will certainly be difficult to pull ourselves away come Monday.

The Cookout

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Kalina Day

Yesterday was Kalina day.  Judy and I picked up Murfreesboro grand daughter number two and headed for the nearest playground.  When we turned into the parking lot, her eyes lit up as she’ll yelled, “Playground!!” with a great big smile on her face.  Kalina likes her playgrounds, that’s for sure.

Slides are her favorite and this playground had several different slides to chose from.

Sliding Is So Much Fun Going Down Hill In A Hurry

The problem is that they are all plastic.  Do you know what a plastic slide does to one’s hair?

Quite A Hair Raising Experience

A one point Kalina said she was tired, but that wouldn’t stop her.  She just denied that the word was ever uttered and kept on going like the Energizer Bunny.

Up We Go Down We Go Through The Tunnel Climbing The Rocks

Finally it was time to “Feed Me” so we watched her eyes light up once again as we turned into the Golden Arches.  Kalina had the chicken tenders kid’s meal with apple juice.  Have you ever tasted McDonald’s chicken tenders?  Those have to be the worse tasting, poorest excuse for food that ever donned the face of this earth – the taste is pretty much akin to that of cardboard.  It’s a good thing that “they” give you some barbecue sauce to hide the lack of flavor.  If it weren’t for the toy inside the box, I don’t think that “they” would ever sell a happy (yucky) meal.

Next we had to swing by UPS to drop of a package.  On our way home, someone fell asleep and it wasn’t Grandma (although she had thoughts about just that).  Kalina got just enough sleep to keep her from sleeping at nap time – sorry mom, grand parents get to do that.

We came home and spent the rest of the day reading and visiting with our neighbors - met some real nice folks.  Next to us is a couple of sisters who just enjoy getting out of the house for a few weekends each year.  A few sites behind us is another Escapees couple from Bardstown, Kentucky (just outside of Louisville).  Also, nice folks.

That’s it for our day so Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Search

We spent about four hours visiting multiple neighborhoods in Murfreesboro and smaller communities south of I-24.  In conjunction with grand kids one of our needs is for a good worship center.  World Outreach Church is just south of I-24 on New Salem Road (which is also route 99).  Chapel Hill, Christiana, Eagleville, and Rockvale are all possible candidates and would be within 15 miles of the church.

Like we said yesterday, it’s all about options.  We looked at country settings with both houses and mobile homes (we wouldn’t live in a mobile home, but sell it and park our RV while we built a small home); we looked at condominiums and houses in neighborhoods.  We haven’t decided what our life will look like after we grow up (fulltime RVing) so all the information that we can garner will help us paint that picture.

Okay, today is going to be another great day with temperatures in the high seventies and low humidity.  We’re planning an outing with Kalina this morning.  When we stopped by yesterday she was one excited little girl – she loves her G’ma and G’pa.  It’s gonna be hard to pull up the jacks and leave town again this year.  These little tikes certainly have a draw on our heart strings.

We’ll share pictures of today’s outing tomorrow so Take Care Until The Next Time and don’t let the bed bugs bite - - - - -  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It’s All Mikee’s Fault

The sun’s in my eyes, the ball took a bad hop, and my glove is too big, but it’s all Mikee’s fault.  What’s Mikee’s fault?  Why the institution of Tea Time, of course.  Yep, Tea Time occurs around three o’clock everyday and, most likely, will not really consist of any tea, unless you’re a teetotaler.  At Mikee’s house it’s a martini or screw driver and at our house it’s a margarita.  But, as Peggy says, “It’s all good!”

We had a storm front pass through our area yesterday afternoon which brought with it a cold front.  After several days of “record” warm, we woke up to temperatures in the low 60’s – that seems Brrrrrr to us.  If we were true northerners, sixty would be a good temperature in April.

Being that it was a storm day, Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I headed for Lebanon to drop off Mike and Peggy’s Maine Income Tax forms at the post office and then to partake in another fine meal at Demos’ Family Restaurant. 

Mike and I had a seafood stuffed baked potato (A big baked potato loaded with shrimp, clams and crabmeat blend in a creamy Newburg sauce and topped with sautéed mushrooms, diced tomatoes, onions and peppers).  Peggy had the Mushroom Burger while Judy had the Greek Style Chicken Sauce Spaghetti.  Again, as Peggy says, “It’s all good!”  Mike and Peggy treated us to dinner – thanks guys. 

Demos’ is a great restaurant with good food and good prices.  There are five restaurants in the Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Lebanon area.  So, if you find yourself in the area looking for a nice “home cooked” meal, thar ya go!!!!

Judy and I spent a couple of hours reading before Tea Time.  Judy made her world famous frozen margaritas (thanks Dortha for that recipe) and we sipped away while solving all the country’s problems.  It’s amazing the solutions you can come up with over a couple of margaritas.

Then we hunkered down and did more reading while waiting for the “severe storm” that never materialized, but that was perfectly fine by us.

Today we’ll be out and about looking for possible landing sites for when we decide to come off the road.  Now, don’t get too excited ‘cause we’re only looking toward some future date down the road.  We know we like Rainbow Plantation, but this area has something that the Plantation doesn’t – grand kids.  It’s all about options.

Take Care And Don’t Let The Boogie Man Getcha - - - - - 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cedars Of Lebanon

We regress just a little.  On our trip from Alabama to Tennessee, we set our cruise control at 58 MPH rather than 62 and that increased our miles per gallon from 11.2 to 12.7 while towing; based on $4 per gallon, that that will result in a $500 per year savings in the fuel budget.

The greater Nashville area has been experiencing unusually high temperatures with Saturday setting a new record high at 91*.  For us, it has been just wonderful to be able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth. 

Yesterday we enjoyed a nice family cookout with “hamburglers” and hot dawgs along with Momma’s ‘tater salad and Duke’s baked beans - It was all so yummy!  Mike and Peggy joined us as they are part of the family, after all.  Around three o’clock, Judy made up some of her world famous frozen margaritas; just right for cooling us down a hot summer’s afternoon (it maybe spring here, but for us northerners it feels like summer).

I think Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I are planning on a nice relaxing day.  This afternoon another severe weather pattern is suppose to pass through the area.  It seems that the nation has been experiencing one “severe” weather pattern right after another this year.  Thunder storms are predicted in our area around three which is “Tea Time”, so we’ll just have to have a Margarita Thunder/Lighting Party – any excuse will work.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You’ll Get A Kick Out Of This

Hello everyone.  This is Ben Dover here along with Terry Tory.  We’re here at “Wiggly” Field in beautiful downtown Murfreesboro where the annual soccer season has gotten underway.  The game between the Eagles and the Dynamos has completed with the Dynamos dominating the game.  The final score was Dynamos 5, Eagles 1. 

The superstar player, Miss Catia Patterson, was in great form today.  If you remember, she played for the Nationals last year, but became a free agent over the winter and signed a very lucrative one year contract with the Dynamos.  She can do it all isn’t that right, Terry.

The 2011 Dynamos

That’s right, Ben.  She began the game playing forward where she immediately assisted on the very first goal.  That’s one thing about this girl, she is intent on winning the game and is a great team player, willing to let her teammates make the goals rather than “hot dawging” it.  The Dynamos really dominated that first quarter by never letting the ball get to the other half of the field.  Ben!

"The Assist" "Taking It Home"

Thanks Terry.  Being that the Dynamos were leading the game 3 to 0, the coaches decided to bench Catia for the second quarter.  No since risking injury when the team is that far in the lead.  Also, it gives your second string some playing time to gain experience.  Who knows, they may just discover another player with Catia’s potential.

The third quarter found her playing goalie, not one of her favorite positions.  It looked as if the Eagles were going to rally by keeping the ball in their end of the field with several goal attempts.  But Catia was on top of the ball and only allowed one score.  The quarter ended with the Dynamos at 4 and the Eagles 1.


Ben, the coaches figured that there was enough cushion so Catia again sat out the forth quarter.  Probably a good move since next week’s game promises to be a real challenge.  Why burn out your best player when you don’t need to.

Well, Terry, Miss Patterson burned up the field last year for the Nationals and it looks as if she’ll do it again this year for the Dynamos.  So that’s all today from “Wiggly” Field here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

There was a big crowd on hand with Catia’s younger sister, Kalina, and her younger brother, Radek, in the audience.  They never miss a game, although Kalina tends to “do her own thang” while the game is being played.  Oh yes, I should mention that her Mom and Dad along with her Grand Parents were in the audience as well – someone has to drive.

"What Game?" "Go Team!"

One funny event that took place while we were at the game.  A mother became frantic, she couldn’t find her son anywhere.  It seemed the lad must have wandered off on his own.  She was freaking out and approached the announcer who immediately had all the games (they play three at a time) stopped so the child could be located.

It was announced over the PA system with the lad’s name being called.  He was instructed to come to the announcer’s booth.  The mother had informed the announcer that he was wearing a blue Eagles shirt which the announcer passed along.  The Eagles’ coach yelled back, “He’s playing goalie”.  Yep, that’s right, they put orange shirts on the the goalies so he was no longer wearing a blue shirt.  Guess who wasn’t paying attention to her son’s game?

Mike and Peggy arrived at Cedars of Lebanon around three yesterday afternoon.  We headed out for church at four and then made our way to Demos Family Restaurant for a nice “homecooked” meal.  It was around eight thirty when we returned home so Mike and Peggy headed to their rig and Judy and I finished the day by doing some reading.

Not exactly sure what’s up for today other than a cookout so tune in again tomorrow to see if we did anything noteworthy.

God Bless Until Then . . . . . . 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Fix

We arrived at Cedars of Lebanon and were set up by two o’clock.  Then we made a mad dash for . . . . . (drum roll here).   You’re right, the grand kids.  However, we were in such a rush that we left the camera at home – sometimes we can be “nummah than a post”!

Kalina was rising up from her nap when we arrived.  She was sitting in her bed with a big smile on her face and her arms outstretched for GM and GP.  Radek was still napping so we would have to wait for a grand son fix.  Catia was on her way home from school on the big yella banana.  So, Kalina got all the attention. 

We were sitting out back on the deck when Catia arrived.  She was more than happy to see GM and GP.  We got real big hugs and plenty of kisses and then, as if we’d not been away at all, “let’s play in the sand box, Grandpa!”  Well, I hate to tell you, but I’m a tad too big, too old, too something to play in the sand box so I “locked her in jail” instead – that’s a game she likes to play where I hold her between my legs and arms while she wiggles to escape.  It wears old folks out in a hurry, but not so little kids.

Then Radek made the scene.  He cried about coming to GM or GP at first, but once he was fed (feed me, feed me) he was just fine.  He’s gotten so big.  It won’t be long before he’ll be walking, teasing his sisters, and giving his parents a run for their money.

We stayed until Matthew got home from work and then strategized about today’s activities.  Then we returned home for dinner, a walk, and some reading time.  Tune in tomorrow, I promise that one of us will remember the camera so we’ll have some pictures to share.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Friday, April 08, 2011

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling Down The Highway

We got underway right on schedule – whoda thunk?  After weeks of counting down and working the Ol’ Ta Do List, I guess we should have gotten underway right on schedule.  Anyway, we had a casual, event free travel day to Suncoast RV just south of Birmingham.  Today we’ll wheel into Cedars of Lebanon, get set up, and make a bee line for the grand children. 

The other day Kalina, right out of the blue, says, “Grandpa’s coming, Grandpa’s coming!”  I guess she gets it.  She’ll be one excited little girl in just a few short hours – not to mention that I’ll be one excited little grandpa in just a few short hours.  Grandma is trying to contain her excitement as well, but not doing a very effective job of it - she’s more excited than a long tailed Tom katt in a room full of rocking chairs.

Mike and Peggy will be joining us tomorrow.  After their hair raising experience Mikee needs a nice frozen margarita – they’re bringing the ice.  Those of you following their blog know that the Vue is all reassembled with a new bed plate and they hit the road yesterday.  That really was a pretty remarkable feat to get accomplished in just six days.  Mike stayed on top of the coordination effort and it all came together.  Even with a week’s set back, they’ll still get home as originally scheduled.

Okay, time to take a shower, dump the tanks, and make tracks.  See ya tomorrow from Lebanon, Tennessee; home of the Cracker Barrel.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Yep, the day is finally here; we’ll be “On The Road Again” this morning.  Next winter we’ll have to evaluate this sitting in one place for six months.  Although we love it here at the Plantation and there’s lots of activities going on, six months is just waaaaay tooooo long to sit in one place when you’re fulltime RVers.  Anyway, we’ll be heading just plain north in a few hours and partaking in a grand child fix tomorrow afternoon for sure.

Catia caught wind of our arrival and called “dibs” on an over nighter (or two) with Grandma and Grandpa – I just think that might be easily arranged, don’t you?  Kalina will get a special outing with GM and GP while big sis, Catia, is in school.  We’ll find something special to do with that little tike.  What about Radek?  Well, we’ll spend some time with him as well.  Of course, Matt and Jackie think in terms of built in baby sitters – another chore that will be easily accommodated. 

Hopefully Mike and Peggy will get outta OKC soon and will be able to spend a couple of nights with us at Cedars of Lebanon.  We are in desperate need for ice for our frozen margaritas and they are our prime suppliers. 

Yep, I’d say that the next week and half in Tennessee will be busy before making tracks to see our daughter and son-in-law in Virginia.  Then it will be off to New Hampshire for another grand child fix and Rocco’s birthday.  By the time we get to Maine we’ll be in need of a little down time – not too much though.

So, hope to “See Ya Down The Road”.  Take Care Until Then . . . . . 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Get Ready, Set . . . .

We’re finally down to hours before we begin our summer trek.  Everything has been done and we are ready to roll.  We’d leave this morning, but our 242 home group is having a “going away” dinner for us tonight – a nice Southern Boiled dinner with shrimp, corn, taters, crawfish?, etc. all cooked in one large pot.  It will be fun and we’re going to miss spending Wednesday nights with these folks.

Today we’ll just go over our check list one more time and make sure that we haven’t missed anything.  It’s going to be a great day to sit outside in our lawn chairs, sip some iced tea, and read.  Also, we’ll get in a two mile walk and do a little visiting with friends who are still here saying, “See ya this fall”.

Well, it looks like the Gummint is definitely headed for a shutdown.  Speaker of the House Boehner is refusing to back down, Harry Reid is being Harry Reid, and President Obama is trying to make Boehner cry again.  In the meantime, we the people are being held hostage.  Yay Gummint at work!!!  Like I said last November, it’s going to take a couple more election cycles to clean out the deadwood.

Hopefully our blog entries will begin to get a bit more interesting with more pictures as we begin Wandering America once again.  So hang in there and be sure to check back with us.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Much About Nothing

It’s up an’ at ‘em this morning.  Yep, we’re getting an early start on things today.  That’s the way life should be.  Early to bed, early to rise and your girl goes out with other guys. 

Well, are you ready for it?  Are you ready for a “Gummint” shutdown?  It looks like Washington, D. C. is still in deadlock.  A power struggle that is going to leave “we the people” caught in the crossfire.  The problem is that there are too many politicians in “Gummint”.  Mark Twain said, “I never vote for them (politicians), it only encourages them.”  Oh well, we’ve got the best crooks money can buy.

Today the Martins and the Paynes will be pointing their noses toward the Big Bend National Park.  We’re sad!!  We wanna go!!  But, it just not in the cards for this year.  Bon Voyage and Safe Travels – see ya next fall.

We just have the oil to change and the storage shed to close-up before we’re ready to roll.  Then we’ll get out the ol’ check list and start completing the pink and blue jobs in prepping the Little House on the Highway for travel.  Can’t wait to see those smiling little faces in Tennessee once again.

Well, as you can see, I’m struggling to find something to write about.  You pretty much knew everything that I have mentioned this morning so you might as well pour another cup of coffee and pick up the Times to see what’s really happening in the world.

May God Bless You And Keep You Until Next Time - - - - - -

Monday, April 04, 2011

Just A Social Day

The day started with church as usual.  We made a quick pit stop at Wally’s on our way home and then it was off to the Shrimp Basket where we met up with Randy, Terry, Dick, and Pat.  Man!!!  ‘Em shrimp were gooooood; not as good as Market By The Bay’s, but gooooood none the less.  And, as always, it was good to have dinner with friends.

On our way home from the Shrimp Basket we stopped by Clyde and Sarita’s house.  They used to be neighbors here on East Traveler Street and moved to their new home last spring.  It was good to see them in their new environment.  Clyde now has the woodworking shop of his dreams.

After sitting outside and reading for about an hour, we headed over to the clubhouse for the Ice Cream Social where we visited with Don and Gloria.  They had returned to their home in Indiana for a few weeks and have come back to the Plantation.  On Tuesday Norm, Linda, Don, and Gloria are heading for Big Bend; the trip that we had originally planned to go on with them.  That was before we counted our shekels and realized that the budget didn’t have much wiggle room.  Also, we haven’t been on a trip without some sort of incident in the past two years and we’ve gotten a little “gun shy” when it comes to our equipment and long trips into “no man’s land”.  Hopefully this will be an event free year.

On our way home from the clubhouse we joined our neighbors around the “camp fire” at Bob and Pam’s new home.  They, too, were East Traveler Street neighbors and bought a home right behind the ERPU lots.  It was nice to see everyone; we’ve not sat around the fire with these people in forever.  However, Judy is still battling that sinus “thang” and we needed to make a beeline for the house as the dampness began to fall.

Like the title says, we had “Just A Social Day”.  Now it’s back to “packing” for our summer travels.  The schedule has changed slightly as we will now be getting underway on Thursday.  Grand child fix on Friday – Yay!!!

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -  

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Marching In Place

If you remember right, a few days back I posted that I didn’t know of a good hockey game song.  Well, a friend of mine wrote informing me that there is a hockey song and here is the chorus:

The good old hockey game!
Its the best game you can name!
And the best game you can name,
is the good old hockey game!

Here’s a link just in case you’re interested in hearing the rest of the “Good Old Hockey Game” song:  Thanks Tom.

While I have been washing and taking care of a few maintenance items on the rig, Judy has been busy working on a quilting project.  She’s building a scrap quilt – that’s where you dig out all your remnants and just start making squares out of them.  It’s kinda like a box of chocolates, you never know whatcha gonna git!

The truck has been washed and while I was washing the rig I found some caulking issues that needed to be repaired.  Between today and tomorrow I should have those fixed as well as finishing washing the rig.  Tuesday it is supposed to a rainy day.  Wednesday I will change the oil and filters in the truck and spray the storage shed to keep the bugs away.  Somewhere in there we need to do a grocery run to Uncle Wally.  The bottom line, I will not get the waxing work done while here at Rainbow Plantation.  I’m sure that Chris has a ladder that I can use for waxing once we get to Wild Duck Campground in Maine.

We’re going to meet up with Randy, Terry, Dick, and Pat after church today for an “all you can eat” shrimp dinner at the Shrimp Basket.  Not exactly in line with our dietary needs, but yummy none-the-less.  I’ll leave the French fries and other gunk for the kitchen crew to deal with while I just eat the shrimp – sounds like a plan anyway!!  Tonight we’ll totter over to the clubhouse for desert, the Ice Cream Social.  Can anyone say, “lot’s of WW points today”?  Let the good times roll!!!

Take Care Until Next Time And Remember To Give Thanks - - - - - -  

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Be Prepared!!!

Wow!!  Our good friends, Mike and Peggy, went through a hair raising experience yesterday when the base plate broke loose from their toad.  Fortunately it happened at a Love’s truck stop and not at full speed on the highway.  We thank God that no one was hurt and that everything can be repaired.  You can check out their version of the event on their blog:  Maineiacs In Motion

It’s time like those that make you double diligent in checking and rechecking your equipment.  Mike stays on top of maintaining the motorhome and the car.  He is fastidious when it comes to preventive maintenance and takes action before things fail, but sh-, eh, stuff still happens.  For instance, I’m “Johnny on the spot” when it comes to tire maintenance, but we’ve still had two blowouts.  I crawl under the coach and inspect axles, shackles, welds, etc., but our water tank still broke loose.

The hitch is something that stills scares me.  Even though I inspect it, I often question what the tensile strength of the bolting after eight years of use.  Everything looks just fine with no wear, however, not everything can be seen with the naked eye.  Can you imagine what would happen if the hitch broke loose?  Perish the thought.

That’s why you just do everything you possibly can and leave the rest in God’s hands.  You could scare yourself to staying right in the back yard and not doing anything; what a shame that would be.  So, just be prepared to encounter problems on the road.  Hopefully they will be manageable and you’ll be up and running in short order.

Be Safe, Have Fun, and God Bless Until Next Time - - - - - -

Friday, April 01, 2011

Just Doin’ It, Doin’ It

The real countdown begins now – it’s just days now before we pull up our stakes and leave.  As you can really, really tell, from our past couple of blog entries, we’re waaaaaay overdue for a grand child fix.  We need to get up to Murfreesboro more often, but it takes 42 gallons of diesel fuel to make the trip.  That’s 42 x 4 = $168 one way, times 2 plus $20 per night site fees means $500 for a one week’s trip.  Throw a couple extra trips into a year and that’s an additional thousand bucks.  Grandkids are more than worth it, just not sure we can afford it.

Basically, I’m rambling because it’s hard to find all sorts of different ways to write about the fact that we are getting ready to hit the road.  I can tell you that I washed the coach’s roof yesterday and will finish washing the coach today after the katts get their shots this morning.  I purchased the oil and filters for the truck yesterday and will be accomplishing that task shortly.  Also, I need to mow the lawn, but the lawn mower was broken - “they” have a new one now so I need to throw that into the mix.  But, all that may just be TMI or at least more information than you want or need while swilling down your morning cup of coffee.  Anyway, we’re just doin’ it, doin’ it.

May God Bless You and Keep You Until Next Time - - - - - -