Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chores And Projects

I like to hand wash and wax the rig at least twice a year.  That way I get to see “up close and personal” little problems or issues that are developing.  Our coach is now going on seven years old (it’s a 2006 but it was built in July and August of 2005 and we took delivery of it in September of 2005) and there are several caulking issues developing around the end caps and trim work.  We have some touch up paint and I will be needing to get that out as well.  Also, the upper level of the end caps are beginning to dull from constant exposer to UV rays; that will require polishing with carnauba wax and, most likely, some buffing thereafter. 

On top of that, our toilet is beginning to act up.  The gasket has begun to leak again leaving the toilet with no water in the bowl a couple of times a day, every so often the valve on the “foot flush” sticks not allowing the water to flow, and the sprayer has quit working.  I’ll have to see if there are any kits available to repair the toilet.  I looked for a new sprayer and found that it cost over $60; that’s ridiculous, I’ll bet I could modify a kitchen sprayer to work and that would be less than ten bucks.  I’ve found in the past that Home Depot and Lowes are a better places to shop than Camping World.  Just say, “RV part” and the price goes up exponentially.

As you can see, one can always find something else that needs to be done.  Living in an RV doesn’t negate the home maintenance line item from your agenda.  Whether you live in a “stix and brix” house or a house on wheels, they both need maintenance.  The big difference is where you repair things when they break; in your back yard or along the side of the road.  That’s why preventive maintenance is such a biggy for us fulltimers.

Judy has been working diligently on two different projects – making a “Scrappy Quilt Of Many Colors” and crocheting a cuddle blankie for Alex.  Both are coming along just fine; hopefully, she’ll finish the projects before we head west in March.  Here is a picture of Alex stretching out on Katie’s blankie and Katie waiting patiently, on the top of the sofa, for him to leave (this is why Judy is making him his own blankie).


Hope You Have A Great Day and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -     

Monday, January 30, 2012

Built Like A Brick . . . . . .

Just a few weeks back I made mention of an outhouse incident that took place many years ago when I was growing up in Maine (We’ve Got Legs).  Then, the following day I elaborated a little more about the construction of the said outhouse (Being In Love).  Well, that brings me to an article that I came across regarding the construction of an outhouse along a portion of the Appalachian trail that passes near Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania.

It seems that, back in the nineteen and nineties, the National Park Service had a “two holer” erected along the trail at a price tag of $333,000 (keep in mind this was back in the 90’s, it would be twice that amount today).  Now, I’m no expert on outhouse construction, but that seems just a tab bit over priced to me.  Granted, unlike Unk, they faithfully used a square, a level, and a tape measurer.  And I’m sure that they used the 16 inch on center construction technique as well.  Further, they used state of the art materials and building techniques such as a gable slate roof, cedar clapboards, cottage style porches, and a cobble stone foundation.  It was, also, build to “Gummint” standards to withstand an earthquake – just something that one would expect in modern outhouse construction (those standards were the latest rage all over Washington and the “Gummint” has plenty of experts on dealing with feces).

Now, can you just imagine, for a minute, the engineer’s resume who designed such an edifice?  “1996-97 – On site engineer for Federal construction of a two hole outhouse along the Appalachian Trail.”  That in itself would get him an interview at most engineering firms – if for nothing more than for sheer curiosity factor.

But, no matter how you slice it, I’d almost take a bet that if you rounded up the construction cost of every outhouse ever built in the State of Maine over the years, it wouldn’t come close to $333,000.  This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Built like a brick sh-- house”.  Is it any wonder that our “Gummint” is in debt.  They need to put Unk on the payroll, he’d save them a bundle.

As you can tell, it’s a slow news day at the Patterson household this morning.

Be Happy, Have Fun, and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Worship And Ice Cream

What’d we do yesterday?  I don’t remember, but I can tell you that we didn’t get done!!!!  Like I’ve said before, the trouble with retired life is that you never get a day off (or any vacation time for that matter).  I guess the highlight of the day was a trip into Foley to pick up a Papa Murphy’s pizza.  But we kept busy all day none the less.

Today is Sunday.  Yay!!!  We get to go to church and worship the Lord.  Well, we get to worship the Lord everyday, but Sunday is special because we get to do at our church.  The only other thing on the agenda is the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse followed by Ms. Banjo and Mr. Harmonica (neighbors Diane and Jerry) who will be entertaining us after the social time.

In between, we’ll find something to fill the time.  I’ll probably wash another section of the rig while Judy and Alex continue working on the “Quilt Of Many Colors”.  Judy is, also, crocheting Alex his own blankie so he won’t have to pester his sister and take hers.  She works on Alex’s blankie in the evening while watching West Wing on television.

Well, that’s the state of affairs in the Patterson household this Sunday morning.

Be sure to Worship the Lord and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Pain In The Pa-tootsie

Alex was a real pistol yesterday.  While I was attempting, note the word attempting, to sort out the tax information, he kept on getting right into the middle of everything.  He’d push the folder on the floor, he’d start chewing on the paperwork, he’d attack my pencils and pens, and he’d push buttons on the calculator.  And yes, he pushed a few of my buttons as well. 

Then it was Judy’s turn.  He was into “everything quilting”.  He’d steal pieces from her blocks and carry them off to the other side of the room, he’d attack the cutting equipment, and then he’d stretch out across just as much of her sewing “stuff” as he possibly could.

Don and Gloria stopped by for a short visit and Alex gave Gloria a little nose kiss just before he hissed at her.  After they left he turned on Katie.  She was comfortably sleeping on her blankie, but Alex decided he wanted her blankie.  So he pounced on her and chased her up into the bedroom and returned to commandeer her spot on the sofa, stretching out in the sunlight.  What a pain in the pa-tootsie he was.  I was going to make him give up Katie’s spot, but Katie curled up in Judy’s recliner so I decided to just let him be.  No sense in waking a sleeping giant.

I managed to finish our Federal tax return, but being that we owe the Gummint seventy one bucks we’ll just wait until April to file.  I do have to do the means test for the VA and the state taxes for Kentucky.  We should get money back from Kentucky which will offset the dollars we need to send to Obama – someone has to pay for Obama-Care. 

Each year I have to do a financial means test for the VA to determine my eligibility.  Our household income is over the allowable limit, but we offset it with our medical expenses thereby just barely squeaking by.  Next year it just won’t happen because we’ll earn too much money workamping in Michigan, but in July I turn Medicare so it won’t matter.

I decided to help my wife by making the bed.  You know, I just don’t know how to make a bed.  Oh sure, I was in the military and know how to make hospital corners.  I can stretch a sheet as tight as can be so that you can bounce a quarter off from it, but I don’t know how to make a “civilian” bed.  Since Lucy and Ethel are no longer on television, I think Judy lets me do it just for the entertainment factor. 

She has a way of flicking the blankets and they rest nice and flat on the bed.  I flick them and they’re nothing more than a heap on the bed.  I walk back and forth – a hundred times – just to get everything straight and even.  And then when I back off to look, the sheet is stil hanging down like the old preverbal slip under the skirt during the 60’s (do women even wear slips anymore?).  So back and forth I go until everything looks satisfactory.  It only takes me an hour and a half to make the bed while Judy gets to be entertained.

Finally I throw the pillow scams on the bed and just walk away – we’re only going to mess it up again in about 10 hours anyway.  By the way, using scam instead of sham was on purpose.  If you consider the price of those things you’d know why I think they are scams.  Well, the bed was made, but it’s not any longer as we needed a place to sleep last night so I just might get to do it all over again today.

Okay, enough of that.  What’s up for today?  I don’t know for sure but I suspect that quilting will be progressing and a serious wash job on the coach will get underway.  We’re working hard to get all our “projects” and “chores” behind us so when Mike and Peggy show up here we’ll be able to go and play.  So hang in there, we’ll get out of our “routine” and start having some fun things to write about pretty soon.

Take Care, Have Fun, and God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Friday, January 27, 2012

An Inside Day

The storms moved in a little earlier than predicted and was pretty much past by noontime, however, it remained overcast for the rest of the day.  We could have made it a PJ day, but we didn’t.  One thing about overcast days is that they make beautiful sunsets.  Here’s another one of God’s Masterpieces.


Being that we “stood” inside, Judy and Alex worked on the “Quilt Of Many Colors”.  Judy cut out the pieces and, then, Alex sewed them up after which she would iron them.




By working together they got a lot done.  It’s always good to lend a helping paw to your fellow woman.  Good job, you two!!!

While they were busy with the “Quilt Of Many Colors”, Katie and I finalized the arrangements for our workamping assignment this coming summer.  We talked with Craig at Hearthside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort in Petoskey, Michigan.  We will start w*rking on June 11th and finish around October 10th.  Being that Hearthside is a “motorcoach” only resort, we will need to stay at the KOA which is a mile down the road (the Rose family owns both “campgrounds”).  It will be mainly a customer service job with little to no maintenance, landscaping, and/or cleaning involved.  Craig is looking forward to our arrival and said we could expect to have a great summer.  Now that we have a start date for workamping, we can put together a timeline for our spring travels.

Did I get around to the taxes yesterday?  Nope, I started but needed the table to sort out our itemized deductions and Alex wouldn’t make room.  So, maybe I can get things sorted out this morning before they get started on the quilt again.  It would be good to get that behind us as I will need the medical expense information to submit to the VA as well.

Well, the sun is shining brightly and it looks like we are going to have another great Rainbow day.  This month has been super here in Lower Alabama, just the kind of weather that the Snowbirds from the north look for.  Hopefully it will hold out for another couple of months, then it will be “summah time” here in the southland.

Take Care, Have Fun, and God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Projects, Paperwork, And Pests

We can officially say that everything to do with the installation of the new landing gear is complete.  Yesterday I fabricated and installed the new panel door that covers the hole that I had to cut in the propane tank housing.  I put a piano hinge on one side and anchor screws on the other so that we’ll be able to gain access to the grease fitting at the top of the landing leg.  Now, to be honest with you, the whole job could have easily been done in a couple of days as I have less than eight hours of work in the whole project.  But, I “be” retired and there’s no reason to rush into these things.  We now believe in w*rking no more than two hours a day and just a couple of days a week.

While I was playing mechanic, Judy was busy working on her “Quilt Of Many Colors”.  She has 16 blocks all sewed up and another 8 cut out (she’s going to need about 40 in all).  There’s 13 different pieces to each block so the “Quilt Of Many Colors” is going to take her a couple more days.  If she works at it like I did the landing gear it will only take her a couple of years to finish it.  However, this is in the hobby column, not considered w*rk, so she can work on it more than a couple hours a day.  Her goal is to have the “Quilt Of Many Colors” finished by the end of February.

We’re “fixinto” get a severe weather pattern passing through Lower Alabama today.  It has potential for tornadoes, but will most likely be thunder and lightening with heavy rain.  It will probably pass through in a couple of hours somewhere between 10 and 2.  So, today Judy J. and I will have to play inside. 

Like everyone else in this world, we have paperwork to do.  This is the tax return time of year.  Plus, each year, when we do our taxes, we go through the two file drawers in our desk and shred all the unnecessary paperwork.  So maybe I’ll get started on all that today while Miss Judy continues building blocks for her quilt.

For some reason we have an abundance of small ants crawling all over the house, in the house, all over the shed, and in the shed.  When I say little ants, I mean little ants.  These things are about the size of “no see-ums”, but they’re everywhere.  So, after the rain passes through, I need to get the spray out and get busy spraying inside and out.  “Knock ‘em dead!!”

Well, “enuf is enuf” and this is more than “enuf” so, May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writing About Nothing

This morning I sat there starring blankly at the blue screen, not the blue screen of death, but the blue screen of Live Writer which I use to write this blog.  What to write, what to write?  We didn’t do anything special yesterday; at least nothing noteworthy.  So what to write, what to write?  Absolutely nothing came to mind.

Is this what they call writer’s block?  Or have I just run out of ways to write about the same thing everyday?  Our life is not boring, but it’s not always the most exciting one either.  While we are here at the Plantation we tend to catch up on all our maintenance issues while engaging in our hobbies and spending a lot of time relaxing and reading.

So, like the old Seinfeld episode, this blog entry is about nothing.  There is a lot to be said about nothing.  At least nothing is not being sick, or having a lot of stress, or dealing with negative emotions, or digging out of debt, or being extremely busy.  Nothing can be a time of refreshment while waiting for the Mardi Gras celebrations to kick off in the area.  Nothing can be a time of reclining, relaxing, and reflecting.  So, I guess nothing is something to write about after all.

Hope your having a great nothing day and May God Bless - - - - - - - - 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

They’re Up And Running

We have officially rejoined the ranks of fulltime RVers and are no longer living in a mobile home on blocks.  The legs are now all wired up and fully operational and, oh boy, do they ever work.  No more grinding, bogging down, and/or jumping gears.  Just a smooth hum of the motors as the front of the coach rises to new heights.  And, we can tweak the side to side leveling with these new independent legs as well.  We just might have to buy two more levelers for the back of the coach and then we could level the entire coach with the push of a button (or two).

Now all we need to do is fabricate the new “door” to install in the propane tank housing.   Then, it will be “What’s next?”  Probably applying 303 on all the exposed rubber gaskets around the slideouts and onto the tires.  Then it will be the washing and waxing of the rig.  Also, there’s the annual “go through our stuff and get rid of what we’re not using” ritual.  There’s always plenty to be done.

We received calls from family members wondering where we were in regards to the tornadoes that hit Alabama yesterday.  Well, we were about two to three hours south of their track, however, there is a storm system that’s heading out of Texas which will cross right over us on Thursday.  We’ll just have to keep an eye on the weather to see if any actions will be required on our part.  Sure glad that the house is ready to roll, once again, should that become necessary.  Tornado season is getting an early start this year.

Last night we went to Ray and Pat’s for dinner.  Pat must have spent most of the day cooking and it was absolutely delicious.  She had prepared a roast beef, smashed ‘taters, carrots, squash, an apple/celery/raisin salad, yeast rolls, and chocolate chunk cookies.  Wow, was that ever a yummy meal.  Thanks Pat, you can cook for us any day of the week.  Oh yes, thanks to Ray for all the moral support to Pat and being a gracious host by sharing his chocolate chip cookies with us.

Bye, Bye For Now and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giants In The Land

Long before there were any Patriots, there were Giants roaming the land.  That is to say that during my childhood in the 50’s, the New York Giants were our home team.  My dad, my uncles, all the family friends, and the katt were all Giants fans.  We’d gather around the black and white television set on a snowy day (back then everyday was a snowy day on television) to watch the football games and root for the Giants.

Well, that began to change in 1960 as a new “home team” took to the field – the Boston Patriots.  Over the decades Mainers have forgotten the good old days of snowy television and loyalty to the New York Giants.  Come Superbowl Sunday the New England Patriots will be matched up with the New York Giants.  Although there’s still a warm spot someplace in my heart for the Giants, there’s just one thing that we have to say – “Go Pats!!!!”

Both games were squeakers.  The whole world is still amazed that the Ravens missed that field goal opportunity which would have sent the game into overtime.  San Francisco did make their field goal and that game moved onto overtime with the Giants winning by a field goal.  But, once again, “Go Pats!!!”

Now, before there was football there was worship.  Yesterday’s worship service was one of the most challenging ones that Judy and I have attended in a long time.  The music lead us into a spirit of worship and then Pastor Russ’s message was right on the mark.  The subject was living a purposeful life which left us with more than enough to reflect on.  If you are interested in hearing Pastor Russ’s message go to Church On The Eastern Shore’s website and click on “Media” then select “5 Simple Choices” and choose week “3”.  It should be loaded later today and you’ll be able to either watch or listen to the sermon and you’ll be glad you did.

One last thing, if you haven’t upgraded to 4G service yet then our advice would be to wait.  In our humble opinion, 4G is not where it needs to be and we’re sorry that we upgraded.  Our USB 760 device was far more reliable than the 4G modem that we are currently attempting to use.  Nick Russell isn’t happy with his 4G MIFI either and Jack Mayer recommends holding off a little longer before upgrading to allow 4G to stabilize. 

Yesterday afternoon we lost connectivity and made several attempts to get connected using both our new router as well as our old router.  It was no go and we were off line for over 12 hours.  It’s been frustrating and not worth the $17.50 that we save off the monthly fee by upgrading.  So, if you have something that’s working for you, don’t mess with it just to save some money.  4G was rolled out too early and just isn’t reliable enough yet, but it will get there – all we can say right now is “the sooner, the better”.

Bye, Bye For Now and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Visitors From A Far

Allan and Jeanne dropped by for a visit yesterday afternoon; it is always a joy to see them.  We first met them right here at Rainbow Plantation a few years back.  They volunteer for several different Christian organizations and were building a church in Robertsdale.  Being that they had found our website, became followers, and knew we were at the Plantation, they arranged a get together with us and joined us for a couple of Mardi Gras events at the clubhouse.  Since then we’ve continued to “bump into each other” a couple of times each year.  They are currently volunteering about an hour from us in Mississippi.  We plan to visit with them at their “job site” and they’ll join us here at the Plantation for some of this year’s Mardi Gras events.

As always, we had a wonderful visit while catching up with our lives since our last visit which was almost a year ago.  Since then they’ve upgraded their equipment – trading their Excel fifthwheel for a Phaeton diesel pusher and selling their medium duty truck.  They told us that Katie, their katt, just loves the motorhome and, even though she’s still not wild about traveling, she rides a whole lot better.  I guess we’ll need to buy the katts a new motorhome.

Did we ever tell you that the best part of this lifestyle is all the people you meet and the friends you make?  Yeah, I know.  Thousands and thousands of times, but it’s sooooo true.  We have move friends now than we’ve ever had at any other time in our lives.

Today will be the typical Sunday – attend worship this morning, watch the Patriots beat the Ravens this afternoon, and attend the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse this evening.  So we hope you have “a beautiful Rainbow day”.

Bye, Bye For Now and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lazy Bones And Katt Tales

Good morning, Alex here.  I hate to tell on dad, but he didn’t get his bag of bones out of bed until quarter after seven this morning.  Mom said, “It’s about time that you got up!”  I gotta tell ya, I’m no “lay a bed”.  I was up at quarter till five this morning.  Even mom wasn’t stirring at that hour and Katie never gets up before the sun’s out (she thinks that the sun rises when she does).  Anyway, the old man is getting a late start today so I got busy on the ‘puter just so’s you’d have something to read.

Yesterday, while dad and mom were at Home Depot buying the “stuff” needed to wire up the front jacks and to repair the propane tank housing, a bird flew right up to the window.  Katie and I tried to coax him into the house, but no deal.  We had visions of shish-kabob dancing in our heads.  But that bird must have had other ideas, like living to see another day, ‘cause he wouldn’t co-operate with us.

Anyway, dad and mom arrived home with “stuff” they needed so today I suppose dad will attempt to get the front jacks operational today.  He’ll just have to find something else for Mikee to do once he and Peggy arrive here from old-folks-land.  Most likely they’ll just enjoy “martini time” with frozen margarita’s and go to Big Daddy’s for shrimp while leaving us pussy katts to home. 

We never get to go anywhere unless the whole house goes.  Then we spend hours and hours traveling down the highways and by-ways.  It’s feast or famine.  Why don’t they take us to Pet Smart sometime and let us roam the store just to see what we could find to get into.  Katie and I might like this “shopping” thing if we were given the opportunity.

Oh well, that’s how it goes.  I guess Katie and I are pretty content staying right to home.  Our home sweet home is a nice little house on wheels.  We’ve been to places that other katts only dream about going and we’ve seen things that the average house katt never gets to see.  So, I guess, we’re pretty lucky felines. 

Plus we’ve never had to scrounge for our food like some alley katts have to do.  Our house has a magic closet where an endless supply of katt food comes from.  Mom just opens the closet door and there is a container with our dinner in it – it never runs out.  God is good to us just like the widow and her son during Elijah’s time.  Feast or famine, there’s always food in the magic closet.  So, we are, indeed, blessed.

Okay, dad’s fumbling around looking for his coffee so I had better get out of his recliner and give up the ‘puter, so you have yourself a purr-fect day.



Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Fine Day In The Life

Both Judy and I were busy at the clubhouse yesterday morning.  Judy with quilting and I was assisting Larry the Cook with last night’s dinner.  The clubhouse was just a buzz with activities.  Here are some photos of just a few of the clubhouse activities. 

“Ladies, start your machines!”  There were at least sixteen sewing machines humming at full tilt.  Is this what they refer to as a sewing bee?


Then, right next to them, was the chair caning craft progressing along nicely.  This has become a very popular craft at the clubhouse over the past three years.  Last year chairs were donated and auctioned off raising over $1,800 for the Escapees CARE Facility.


Then, of course, there was the kitchen crew hard at work on Thursday night’s dinner.  Potatoes to cut, chicken to prepare, beans to bake.  Norm and Don took care of the ‘taters while Karen and I worked on the chicken.  Duke baked the beans and Larry baked the cakes.  Later in the afternoon, Larry BBQ’d the chicken and baked the potato wedges.


Once back home, Judy spent the rest of the afternoon working on her quilt.  She is using up all her scrap fabric to make herself a “quilt of many colors”.  Each block has thirteen pieces – that’s a lot of pieces!!!!  I can’t wait to see this new creation as no two blocks are alike.  While she was busy with that, I started reading my next Nevada Barr novel, Flashback, and then joined Alex and Katie for a little katt nap – that was the katt’s meow!!! 

We attended the four o’clock social.  Nick and Terry Russell are back in town, it was nice to see them once again.  Nick’s novel, Big Lake, has sold over 35,000 copies; that makes him a very “happy camper” indeed (you can find it on Amazon.com or Smashwords.com).  They’ll be here for several days before making their way further west.  We hope to spend a little more time with them.

We stayed for the Thursday night meal; another fine meal by Larry and crew.  The best part of dinner is that we got to meet new friends, Bruce and Lena, who joined us at our table for dinner.  They just happen to be New Englanders who are now living in New York and traveling around the country in their Airstream accompanied by Sprocket, their fur kid.  You can catch up with them on their blog – Finding Our Way

Joe Peters and Linda Hicks provided some excellent entertainment after the meal.  They write and sing mostly their own songs which are contemporary folk music .  A very good concert that brought back many memories from the folk era of the 60’s.  Judy and I picked up a couple of their CDs; it’s been a long, long time since we’ve listened to good folk music.

Another Fine Day In The Life.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Regular Day In The Life

Yesterday was a craft / reading day.  Judy worked on her new sock loom while I worked with my new paints.  We both have a lot of learning to do, but Judy enjoys knitting with her loom better than she likes the knitting needles and I enjoy working with oils better than the acrylics.  We both spent time reading in our Nooks, yesterday afternoon, while sitting back in our nooks (recliners).

Judy whipped up a 15 bean soup (it’s actually called a holiday mix) for our home group dinner last night.  Gwen brought a wonderful broccoli corn bread and Susan made a nice Greek olive garden salad.  It was all so yummy and good for you.

We were not doing a whole lot, but it was a relaxing day none the less.

Be Sure To Take It Easy and May God Bless  - - - - - - -

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Being In Love

I received an email yesterday asking how a snake could be tossed into the outhouse if Aunt Edith was in there with the door locked.  To which I can only reply that that hinged entirely on my Uncle’s building skills (or lack thereof).  Unk never used a square; he didn’t need a square because he used “that’s close enough” instead.  He never used a level since he had his own plumb bob; “Hey, does that look plumb, Bob?”  “Aayuh, gutnay morah beeah?”  And, he hardly ever used a tape measurer; “Unk do you realize that the back of the outhouse is six inches wider than the front?”  “Doesn’t matter, poop (or a word similar to that) runs down hill.”  Sixteen inches on center never entered into any of his carpentry projects; he just nailed in a stud wherever it looked like one needed to be added.  So, anyway, you get the picture. 

Once the privy was completed, there were no boards left that was long enough for the door.  So Unk just used what he had on hand leaving a 10” space at the top of the door which he always claimed was for “vent-lating purposes”.  That left more than ample room for a three foot garter snake to make his way into the facility (with a little boost, of course).  By the way, I think that snake may still be having flashbacks as well.  And now you know the rest of the story.

I’m hooked and I’m in love.  In love with my new water mixable oil paints, that is.  I finally took the time to give them a try and within three minutes had painted this sky picture with clouds.  Not perfect but a good first start.


I was fighting the acrylic paints all the way, they would dry out before I was finished painting with them and they just did not spread smoothly or evenly.  Although these paints are not as “smooth” as oil paints, they can be thinned with water and cleaned up with soap and water.  I really didn’t want to have to mess with odorless turpentine so this is a happy medium for me.  Now I’ll sketch out a picture and get to painting; I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but now I can enjoy my hobby without getting frustrated.

Judy was busy too.  She created this embroidered Valentine’s Day card.  My wife has soooo many talents – Beading, Crocheting, Knitting, Quilting, Scrapbooking, etc., etc..  Oh, she’s a great cook, too, if I’d let her get near the stove once in a while.


Be Sure To Tell Them Darrell Sent You and May God Bless - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We’ve Got Legs

Ta Da!!!!  Landing Gear!!!!


Cutting that access panel was the best idea I’ve had since tossing the three foot garter snake into the outhouse while Aunt Edith was occupying it.  That, by the way, gave a whole new meaning to the hit song, “A Little Dance” (without any pants, I might add).  It was well worth the punishment that I endured on the backside of that little prank - it’s hard to punish a kid when you’re rolling with laughter.  Fortunately for me, the thought that I should be the one to clean up the mess in the outhouse never occurred to anybody.  Poor Aunt Edith, I’m not sure she ever fully recovered from that day and think she may still have flashbacks whenever the urge arises to go to the bathroom.  (Note here:  I don’t really have an Aunt Edith, the name has been changed to protect the victim)

Anyhow, back to the task at hand.  It took me less than two hours to pull out the propane tanks, cut the access panel, remove the old leg, grind a 1/16th inch off each bracket, install the new leg, and clean everything up.  Just gotta love it when a plan comes together.  You’da “thunk” that I “knowed” what I was doing.

Here’s some pictures that I snapped along the way.  Put your cursor over them for explanations.

DSCF8574      DSCF8577DSCF8578 DSCF8581

Now all that is left to do to get the legs operational is wire them up.  That’ll be a piece of cake.  I’ve looked at the wiring diagram and know how the old legs were wired so it’s just a matter of following the “destructions”, but I just might wait until Mikee gets here (it’s been months since he’s had an opportunity to work on one of my projects).  After the wiring is completed I’ll need to repair the propane housing.  I have a piano hinge so I think I’m going to fabricate a door out of some sheet metal so I can have access to the grease fitting on the new leg.  That should be a simple task (keep your eye on the word “should”). 

We’re not sure what today has in store.  It’s predicted to be a rainy day, just a few showers here and there throughout the day, so it will be mostly indoor activities for us.  If she feels up to it, there’s a couple of things taking place at the clubhouse that Judy J. would like to be involved with.  I will watch Susan Scheewe and Bob Ross on PBS and try out my new paints – maybe I could recreate the snake in the outhouse scene on canvas.  Nah, better not.  Anyhow, we’ll just have to see what unfolds as the day progresses.

Take It Easy and God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, January 16, 2012

Attending The AWS

Saturday night, just before turning down the sheets, Judy began feeling poorly – like she was coming down with a head cold.  I insisted that she take a shot of Nyquil and hit the hay.  Well, yesterday morning she woke up real groggy with her head still feeling like a sinus attack was underway. 

Being that it was Sunday, we ended up attending the ten o’clock Armchair Worship Service (AWS) in our PJs with a cup of coffee; i.e. tuning in on the internet from our recliners.  That is a unique ministry of Church On The Eastern Shore.  They broadcast all three services live and in their entirety – 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30.  You can watch them by pulling up their website at www.cotes.tv.  Now we’d rather be there in person, but whenever we are traveling (or not feeling well) we can “logon” and attend the virtual worship service as long as we have a good internet connection.

As the day progressed, and after a nice hot shower, my bride began to feel a little better.  We ventured out for a short visit with Paul and Mary as they are leaving in the morning and we wanted to visit the katts as well as see the “Moose” (their motorhome).  Even though they’re leaving the Plantation, they’ll still be in the area for a while so we’ll be having some more outings with them. 

At five thirty I went over to the clubhouse for the announcement time (Judy “stood” to home) and joined Paul and Mary, Don and Gloria, and Norm and Linda.  More socializing, just what I do best.  Next I headed back home to be greeted by my PJs so I donned them quickly (do you see a pattern emerging in my day?).  Then Judy and I watched a little more football while doing some reading.  A nice peaceful end to a nice Lower Alabama day.

Take It Easy And God Bless  - - - - - - - - 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Down, One To Go

Yesterday turned out to be a nice day to work outside so the “port” leg has been installed into the rig.  Ultra-Fab had emailed us a drawing of the their product and I figured the dimensions, however, what they didn’t include on the print was a fillet weld that holds the motor mount plate to the top of the main leg.  We need 21.5” from the bottom of the lower stop bracket to the top of the upper stop bracket.  The drawing dimensions were correct, but the weld required me to grind about 1/16 of an inch off of each bracket.  So, it took a little longer than anticipated to install the leg.  Now it’s onto the “starboard” leg which has even less maneuverability space to work in.

Yesterday morning I had made the meatballs, fried up some Italian sausage, and prepared the spaghetti sauce for our evening meal.  Judy made some brownies for dessert. Then she went for a walk while I wrestled with the landing gear leg.  After her walk she played with her new toy (sock loom).  Later in the afternoon you would have found both of us in our recliners reading in our Nooks.  One of us checked his eye lids for light leaks (not saying who).

Bois and Natasha, AKA Paul and Mary, (The Great RV Escape and Bullwinkle’s Travels) arrived at Rainbow Plantation around four o’clock and then showed up on our door step with a bottle of wine.  We had no choice but to let them in and feed the wayward travelers.  It was a great evening of chatting, chewing, and chuckling with the football playoff games playing in the background (with the sound muted).  It was nice to get to know Paul and Mary better as it has been a almost a year and a half since we first met them.  You meet the nicest people and make the greatest friends in this fulltime RVing lifestyle.

Life Is Good.  May God Bless.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Quiet Day Part II

Hope y’all having a great Saturday.  It’s chilly, chilly, chilly here in LA – 28* this morning.  Nuttin’ much happenin’ today.  We have plenty of reading material to keep us occupied ‘til the weather warms up.  It’s supposed to get up into the high 50’s / low 60’s later today. 

I’ve borrowed Gil’s Milwaukee Sawzall and hope to have both legs installed by Monday afternoon.  We’re having company for dinner this evening.  Judy plans on doing some knitting, Darrell plans on painting a sky with some clouds picture just to see how the new paint medium works, Katie plans on napping the day away, while Alex plans on helping momma with her knitting.  Just a routine hang out around the house and putter type of day.

BBFN and God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Quiet Day

Today is supposed to be a chilly “winter’s day” here in Lower Alabama.  Most likely it will be a “stay inside and read” kind of day; although, the sun is rising and it looks peaceful outside even though it is only in the thirties.  However, it’s nice inside, especially while sitting in my recliner covered up with my man quilt.

The legs are still waiting to be installed so, if the wind isn’t blowing real hard, I just may spend some time on that project.  Yesterday I attempted to put the driver side leg in, but I need to get my hands on a “saws all” to cut away some more sheet metal.  Mike and I cut it back when we removed the old leg last spring, but the new leg needs a little more space to slide into place.  I’ll also use the saws all to cut the window in the propane tank housing as well. 

Yesterday we made a run to Hobby Lobby so Miss Judy could get some yarn for her new toy – the sock loom.  So now she can “Sock It To Me, Sock It To Me!!!!”



While we were there, I picked up some new paints.  “They” have developed a new medium called water mixable oil paints.  I have been entirely unhappy with acrylics because they dry out waaaaay to fast and I’m not a fast painter.  Supposedly the water mixable oil paints have the same characteristics of oil paints other than the fact that you can thin them with water and wash up the brushes with soap and water.  Also, you can mix them with acrylics which means that I can use up my acrylic paints as well, but that would speed up the drying.  We shall see.

Last night we joined with our Rainbow Plantation family for dinner at the clubhouse.  Larry made his world famous baked spaghetti casserole with garlic bread, a garden salad, and banana cream pie.  It was “Oh So Good!”  Andy and Mary Brown, who are friends that we had never met before, joined us at our table.  It’s always nice to meet new folks and make new friends – ya can never have enough friends, ya know?

BBFN and God Bless

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Up And Out With The Chickens

We were up and out real early yesterday (but no where near as early as we were in beautiful downtown Campbellsville) to get to the cardiology’s office so that Miss Judy could run on their treadmill.  After a chest scan, an echocardiogram, a stress test, another chest scan with an isotope after the stress test, it has been determined that she has a heart and it is in good health.  Whew, this could have been a biggie; what a relief.  Now, if we can just keep ourselves out of the doctor’s offices for the rest of the year.

The landing legs arrived yesterday afternoon just as promised by UPS.  The driver who brought them said no signature was required and he didn’t know why the other driver didn’t leave them.  I told him that it was raining and he probably didn’t want to leave the package outside which I appreciated.  A two day delivery was still far better than what we’d expected.

Anyhow, I tore into the box like a five year old with a birthday gift and can tell you that they are one good looking set of legs.  Now, I just need to get the the old leg on the passenger side outta the coach and then in goes the new legs.  Being that it is supposed to be cold and windy today, I will probably only get the driver’s side leg installed – no sense rushing into these things.

Waaaaaaay back on December 30th, we ordered (from Amazon.com) Judy’s new sock loom, an instruction book on using a sock loom, and a new router to replace the head ache we currently have.  Well finally all that stuff arrived yesterday – it certainly didn’t take the same route as the Landing Gear took.  Judy is happy with her new toy and the verdict is still out on the new router.  We are getting good 4G speeds, but we were still getting disconnects last night.  Hopefully that will settle out once the router gets itself acclimated.  Only time will tell.

This afternoon we “need” to go to Hobby Lobby and/or Michael’s to get some yarn for Judy’s toy.  Also, I am not (nor have I ever been) happy with acrylic paints, they dry out waaay tooo fast, so I want to pick up some oil paints which means that I’ll need to get some odorless turpentine as well.  Then I should be able to paint just as good as Whistler’s Mother.  I’ll still need to acquire some talent, or at least patience, somewhere along the line.  Practice, practice, practice.

BBFN and God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Legs, Lunch, And Lounging

It was a rainy dreary day here in Lower Alabama yesterday, but look what God did before He put the sun away for the day.  Dang, why can’t I paint like that!!!!  I have everything I need except for the talent (my better half says I have everything except for the patience).


Inconceivable!!!  We ordered the Ultra-Fab Electric Landing Legs Monday morning from Amazon.com and they were delivered yesterday afternoon.  The only problem?  We went to Big Daddy’s for lunch with Jim and Ellie when UPS delivered and the shipper required a return signature so “they” didn’t leave the legs.  But, “they” will bring them back today between 10:30 and 2:00.  Hopefully we’ll be home from Miss Judy’s medical tests – she’s getting an echocardiogram and a stress test at the cardiologist’s office in Fairhope.

Jim and Ellie picked us up at quarter to one to go to Big Daddy’s for lunch.  Big Daddy’s has a great little lunch menu with baskets at nine bucks and sandwiches at six bucks.  Believe it or not, Big Daddy’s makes one heck of a Philly sandwich served with your choice of onion rings, French fries, or sweet potato fries (and they don’t skimp on the fries/rings either).  Jim and Ellie are getting ready to haul anchor and shove off on Friday so this was our last outing with them this trip, but we look forward to catching up with them in the Texas Hill Country this coming March.

We had planned to go to the clubhouse for an evening with Chuck Stevens who sings Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow music.  But, we decided to don our PJ’s and hunker down for the evening instead – that would have been waaay too much stimulation for us in one day.  Besides, we needed to get an early start this morning and be out of the house no later than 6:45 for Judy’s doctor appointment.  A subsequent email from Norm and Linda said that Sunday evening’s “show” was one of the best ever at the Plantation and last night’s “show” was even better raising the bar on a new standard.

Bye Bye For Now And God Bless  - - - - - - - - - - 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Clincher

Finally, after a lot of hemming and hawing, we ordered the new Landing Gear System.  What did we settle on?  Well, the new Atwood system came with everything except the motor and that means that our old motor, which is now six years old with ?? number of hours of use on it, would become the weak link in the system.  And being that a new motor is around $180 dollars, that clinched the deal.  We decided it would be more prudent to get a whole new system rather than to fool around with any used parts.  So, drum roll please, we ordered the Ultra-Fab Electric Drive Landing Gear system. 

The price had increased from $453 to $464, but that’s because it is a newer version which is capable of handling up to 12,000 pounds (the older version only handled 8,000 pounds).  Either system is way over kill for us since we are less than 4,000 pounds of tongue weight, but it comes with two drive motors and eliminates the cross bar in the forward compartment that I always bump my head on when getting “stuff” out or putting “stuff” away.  Plus, each leg operates independently and will assist in side to side leveling.  Further, it is only $107 more than the Atwood system which makes it actually $73 less than an Atwood system with a new motor.

Now I need to get busy cutting an access window in the propane tank housing and figure out how I’m going to make up 3/8” difference on the top mounting bracket and the bracket stop.  If I have patience (I’m not known for that), I’ll wait for my electrician (Mikee) to show up to wire the up the system.  Oh yes, I’ll need to install a new “console”  to mount the switches on.  Hopefully everything will go just as slick as light snow on smooth ice, but there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Judy went to the doctor’s office yesterday morning for her annual checkup and has to have more tests run which were scheduled for tomorrow morning at 0715.  We think that the results will be just fine, but ya gotta go through the drill none the less.  While she was gone, Darrell did a “deep” vacuuming job on the house.  That means that he broke out both the upright vacuum (which does a better job on the carpeting) and the central vac attachments (which does better around the baseboards and on the ceramic floors).

Ray and Pat arrived at around 1700 hours and we had a great visit.  The eight bean soup (which is actually called a holiday soup mix) was wonderful.  Judy had to “doctor up” the recipe just a little which made the soup just plain yummy, yummy, yummy.  We had crackers and cheese as an appetizer, raspberry squares for dessert, and wine to wash it all down.  But, as always, it was the time spent with great friends that made the evening the best.

Rain has set in for the next couple of days, but we still have some outings on the docket so be sure to check in tomorrow to see what kind of mischief we got into.

Good Bye For Now And God Bless - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, January 09, 2012

An Evening At The Pops

Well, not exactly the Pops, but Branson comes to Rainbow Plantation.  Denny Yeary, who sang for 27 years with the Blackwoods, performed for us last night at the Clubhouse.  We don’t know how it all came to be, but he is doing a tour of the southeast and somehow landed at Rainbow Plantation for the evening and we’re glad he did. 

He has such a bass voice that he can hit notes lower than the bottom of my grandfather’s well.  He sang old time country songs with some gospel music thrown in for good measure.  His rendition of “Ring of Fire” was better than Johnny Cash sang it.  It was a good little concert and it was fun to spend some time with our Plantation neighbors.

DSCF5874  DSCF5871

Other than that, church, a nap, and a couple of episodes of West Wing filled our day.  Just a laid back kind of Sunday ending with the Ice Cream Social and the Yeary concert.

Judy has a doctor’s appointment this morning and crocheting this afternoon.  I don’t have a dang thing on the agenda, but will order the landing gear (still haven’t decided which one – don’t want to rush into these things) and shampoo the living room rug (it’s beginning to look a little scroungy). 

We are having Ray and Pat over for dinner this evening so Judy is going to make a special eight bean soup recipe – it’s “oh so good”!  That along with some home made yeast rolls bought at Walmart, raspberry squares, and a little wine will make it a real fine meal.  Yes, the RV live style is about traveling, but the best part of it is the people you meet and the friends you make along the way.  We may have mentioned that once or twice before.

Here are a couple of pictures taken this very morning – “Pink Sky In The Morning . . . .”



Take It Easy And May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Just A Short Entry Today

Yesterday was a super day with the sun shining and the temperatures in the 70’s; just the way we like it.  Judy did some sewing and I did some painting.  We both went for a walk and talk.  Later in the afternoon we did some reading.  In the evening we watched a couple of episodes of West Wing and then watched a little bit of the debate – pathetic, is this the best and the brightest among us?  If so, we are in a heap of trouble.

This morning is church, this afternoon is football, this evening is ice cream and music – just our typical Sunday.  So that’s about it for now.

Take It Easy And May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, January 07, 2012

“Taking A Trip And Never Leaving The Farm”

So, Judy and I did a “virtual” trip yesterday reviewing the proposed stops/campgrounds, length of stay, etc. of our proposed travel plans.  The purpose was to put dollars and “sense” to our travels and validate it against our 2012 budget.  We were able to finalize the budget and are happy to report that “all systems are go!!” for the 2012 travel plans that we outlined yesterday.  Keep in mind, they are still carved in putty and subject to change at any whim.

I’ve, also, been doing further research on the landing leg issue.  The only conclusions that I can draw, after speaking with the “professionals”, is that the current system is either undersized for its application or the driver leg is a defective part (our rig seems to have attracted several defective parts during the manufacturing cycle). 

After a stroll around the park looking at legs (fifthwheel legs, not the ladies) I determined that most units use either the Venture system that we have or the Atwood system.  The “higher end” units such as Newmar, Hitch Hiker, and so forth use the Atwood system while the mid range units have the Venture. 

Dick and Jody’s Cypress is two thousand pounds heavier than our Cedar Creek and uses the Atwood heavy duty system which we can purchase online for $327.  The option of only purchasing an Atwood Driver Leg is still a possibility.  After considerable research I was able to ensure that the gearing is the same in both the Venture and the Atwood systems.  That would be the easy way out, but do we want a mismatched system?  Decisions, decisions – but, this morning, we are leaning toward the Atwood Heavy Duty system (however, I really like that Ultra-Fab system, but it would require some modifications to install).

Today Judy is going to play with her quilting project while I spread some paint around on canvas.  I’ve sketched a scene onto a canvas board and want to try my hand at painting once again.  Bob Ross inspires me to add some “happy” little clouds and trees into the painting as well as some rocks and bushes that “live right about here”.  So that should keep the two of us busy for a couple of hours, then we can sit back and read some more or just hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes for awhile.

So Long For Now And May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Friday, January 06, 2012

Just Doing What We Do

Yesterday was craft day.  Judy went to her quilting/sewing group in the morning and I went to a painting class in the afternoon.   Judy will continue with her quilting group, but I won’t be going back to the painting class – it isn’t what I’m looking for at this time.  I borrowed a couple of books on the subject from the library and will continue watching Susan Scheewe and Bob Ross on PBS.

Jim and Ellie invited us over for a chat and chew.  Ellie prepared a wonderful chicken casserole and salad while Jim donned his apron and prepared a yummy Georgia Peach Cake (an Uncle Bubba’s special).  Bo cuddled up next to Judy and indulged himself in all the attention he could muster up while Jasmine made her presence known by hopping up into my lap for some loving.  It was another great evening with great food and delightful conversation.  Thanks guys, we’re looking forward to a couple more “get togethers” with Jim and Ellie before they pull up anchor.

Judy and I have been finalizing our 2012 budget and travel plans.  Right now we a planning a trip to the hill country area of Texas with Mike and Peggy in March.  Then in April we’ll begin heading slowly north with stops in Murfreesboro, TN (grand kid fix) and Asheville, NC on our way to Alexandria, VA (Mary and Joel).  We’ll be in New Hampshire (grand kid fix) and Maine sometime in mid to late May. 

Then we’ll turn west in June heading for Michigan for our workamping gig in Petoskey (June 10 to October ?).  We’ll be staying with Ray and Pat for a few days in Mecosta, MI before returning to Murfreesboro (another grand kid fix) and return to Summerdale by way of the Natchez Trace Parkway.  This is a rough outline which is carved in putty subject to change at any time.

Take It Easy Until Next Time  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Easy Way Out?

It turned out to be a magnificent day with the temperatures reaching 55* by noon time.  After lunch I decided to pull the driver side landing gear leg and take some measurements.  After removing the top cover on the Main Leg it was obvious that the gears had stripped.  This is not good as I have no idea why last spring the shaft broke and now the gears have stripped.  The system is rated for 5000# (2500# per leg).  The tongue weight of our coach is around 3100# which means approximately 1600# per leg.  But something is certainly rotten in the state of Denmark!!!

Further research has turned up an Atwood Driver Jack Leg that we could purchase for $137.50.  The dimensions of that leg are a close enough match that it would be a one for one swap.  The Atwood leg would ride 3/16” higher than the Venture leg, but all the other dimensions line up.  I could compensate for the 3/16” when aligning the two legs.  This would be the easy way out, but since I don’t know why it’s stripping gears and breaking shafts I’m not sure if this route would eliminate the problem?

Ultra-Fab forwarded me a print of their landing legs.  In checking the dimensions of the Venture landing leg with the Ultra-Fab leg, I determined that the Ultra-Fab would work with one slight modification.  This system is rated for 8000# (4000# per leg), with two drive motors (one on each leg).  It sells for $453 through Amazon.com.  It will take quite a bit of work to get the passenger side leg out of the coach and require me to cut an opening in the propane tank housing to gain access (then I’d have to fabricate a cover for the opening once the new leg is installed).

Of course, we could always just purchase a new set of gears and install them into the existing leg, but the same question remains.  Would that eliminate the problem or would we just end up in Timbuktu with another landing gear failure? 

Here’s a picture of the culprit leg so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.  If you look closely, you’ll see the shaft at the top left and the two stop blocks on the left side of the leg.  The black square tube is the “main leg” that bolts onto the frame of the coach.  The gears are inside the “main leg” at the top.


This has been a lot of technical stuff that all the guys want to know about, but most women could care less about it.  So, for you ladies, my bride has all sorts of fabric stuff strewed all over the dining room table and is getting ready to put thread to needle.  She’s working on a quilting challenge project that the ladies of the quilting group drew material for last spring.  Each lady drew three different fabrics out of a bag and has to design, cut out, and sew together a mystery quilting project.  The winner gets to have her picture made and put into the clubhouse activities photo book. 

We will include pictures of the finished product once it is completed.  It’s a secret right now and even I don’t know what my bride is making.  The whole dining room table will be covered by a white canvas tent pretty soon so this is the only picture that will be seen of the project (or Judy) until it comes out of the tent in about a month Smile.


Take It Easy Until Next Time  - - - - - - -

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Volunteering and Researching

What a great ministry, the Hope Center provides medical care for uninsured and low income people.  There are certainly a lot of people that need a hand up, especially in this current economy.  Most of the patients that came in yesterday had been to the clinic before, however, the Evangelism Team volunteers still take time to visit with them, prior to the doctor, and pray with them.  There were a few that it was their first time to the clinic and two of them accepted the Lord as their savior.  The Hope Center has a chaplain who follows up on patient visits and works toward getting new converts plugged into a church.  Judy and I are going to enjoy volunteering at the Hope Center.

I called Atwood yesterday to get information on the dimensions of their direct drive landing gear legs.  The good news is that there is an “industry stand” for mounting landing gear legs on fifthwheels which means that their legs should fit into our stop block brackets.  The bad news is that Atwood is very, very proud of their legs – they charge almost $1,600 for the set.  That’s the same price as HWH’s hydraulic system with four levelers.  Further research has turned up an Ultra-Fab system for $400 to $450, so I have an email inquiry into them to verify the dimensions.  In the meantime I will continue to research the issue to see what other solutions may be hiding out there.

The old temps dropped down to 30* this morning, but that was the end of the artic express.  Today it will get up into the 60’s and only drop down into the 40’s overnight.  By Saturday we’ll see temps back in the 70’s so, hooray for our team; we’re looking forward to that.  I’m waiting for warmer weather before I lay on my back under the rig pulling its leg Smile.

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

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Getting a Leg Up

Well, we no longer live in an RV but a mobile home on blocks.  The landing gear is free and guess what?  It works perfectly when there is no weight on the legs.  After considerable research, I think we are moving toward a solution.  I’m hoping to replace the cheap Venture system with Atwood’s direct drive landing legs.  Each leg has its own drive motor and would assist in leveling as well as raising and lowering the coach.  Once I get the driver side landing leg out and take some measurements I’ll be able to determine if the Atwood system will work.  It all comes down to the dimension between stop block brackets that are welded to the frame of the coach.

Other than that, I was able to take care of the commode issue.  With rubber gloves, a scrubbing pad sponge, and some Bar Keeper’s Friend I was able to clean the gasket and the toilet now holds water once again.  Bar Keeper’s Friend was recommended to us by a Sealand customer service rep for cleaning the bowl.  It can be purchased at Walmart in the detergent/cleansers section (generally found in the “A” bin – bottom shelf) and costs about a buck forty.

Judy and I did some household chores for the rest of the morning.  Judy attended the crocheting/knitting group at the clubhouse yesterday afternoon while I did my landing leg research.  Then we did some relaxing and reading.  Santa brought us the entire West Wing series for Christmas (one of our favorite television shows of all time) so we spent last evening watching a couple of episodes of West Wing – finally something decent on television with no commercials.

This morning Judy is off getting her blood work done.  I plan to defrost the refrigerator (it’s too cold to work outside on the landing gear today).  This afternoon we are volunteering at the Hope Center at church.  The Hope Center provides medical, dental, and counseling services to low income and/or no health insurance families.  Doctors, nurses, counselors, and administrative personnel volunteer their time to provide the services.  Judy will be volunteering in the office while I will be part of the Evangelism Team that does the intake portion of patient visits.

So that is the state of the affairs at Patterson household this third day of twenty twelve.  Take Care Until Next Time  - - - - - - -

Monday, January 02, 2012

Let The Good Times Roll

We wrapped up the old year with Jim, Ellie, Randy, and Terry.  Judy made her world famous lasagna, I prepared a salad, Ellie made up some garlic bread, and Terry brought a sweet bread.  Jim brought his portable bar (a cooler full of beer) and we just hung out chatting, chewing, and chuckling away 2011.  We made it to the fulltime RVers midnight (nine o’clock – it was twelve o’clock somewhere) before the yawns began to roll in.  Randy and Terry managed to hang on until 10:00, but they were “hitting the road” on Sunday heading for their workamping gig so needed to get home and hit the hay. 

We spent the first day of the year with friends; first at church and later at the clubhouse.  Throughout the coastal South, eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck.  Hoppin’ John is a rice and black eyed pea dish with bacon or ham and spices.  We put some raw onions, jalapeno peppers, and Texas Pete on it as well (well, I did – Judy went with the mild version using some salsa instead).  Anyhow, we’re looking forward to “a prosperous year filled with luck”.

Today I plan to get the front of the RV up on blocks (anyone know where I can get a couple of junk cars?).  It’s time to address the landing gear problem.  Once I get the “road side” landing gear leg out, we can make our decision of what the fix will be – either overhaul the existing system or replace it.  To be honest with you, I’m leaning toward replacing it.  I don’t like the way system was manufactured in the first place and can only see more problems in the future, but I will be able to be more objective once I know what the issue really is.

Judy will begin her basket weaving endeavors at the clubhouse today.  I’m not sure when I’ll see her again, but at least I’ll know where to find her.  There is sooooo much going on at the clubhouse that one could easily keep busy all day everyday.  Judy wants to attend line dancing, quilting, beading, and knitting/crocheting, just to mention a few.  I’ve signed up for a painting class as well.  We’ll keep busy, that’s for sure.  

No matter what, we are planning to take it real slow and easy.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know (but I wasn’t the project manager on that job either).  We want to take time to work a little and rest a lot each day; after all, we’re supposed to be retired and sitting in a rocking chair is part of that scenario.  Plus, we have lots and lots of reading to catch up on.  In any event, it’s just nice to be home again.

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

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

We’ll be beginning the New Year by worshipping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  What a better way to start a year than by getting our focus in the right place?  We wish you a healthy, prosperous, and happy two thousand and twelve.


Happy New Year, Everyone !!!