Saturday, July 13, 2019

Closing a chapter. . .

When we first started fulltiming, we were owners/managers of 10 apartments, five duplexes to be accurate. One we didn't rent, but stored some stuff there and let the kids hangout there when they were in the area visiting family.

Over the last few years, we have sold four of the duplexes, but held on to the last one which is where Terry's parents lived for the last years of their lives. Today we signed a contract on that last home and we have been in the process of getting it emptied out since we have been here. Actually I started the process last summer, while Terry was sick, and got lots of stuff boxed up. We have had a few garage sales and more to come, but Terry's health has again changed somewhat and he hasn't been able to help much of late. That's okay, because I had 50 years of records/taxes/papers of his parents to shred and 40 years of ours. Why did we keep this stuff so long?

I had been shredding regularly and burned up my large shredder, so I bought Walmart's heaviest duty one. It did not last a day. I returned it and bought a Bonsai Shredder off Amazon and it was delivered the next day. It performed flawlessly and with a 60-minute run time, it never shut down on me. I actually have another much smaller shredder which is about 15 years old and it continues to run, so I could alternate between the two. All told, I took about 33 bags of shredded paper of 33-50 gallons each. I know I could have taken the boxes of papers to a commercial shredder, but I found Terry's parent's marriage license and Terry's original birth certificate, so I wanted to go through it all. Proud to say I finished the other day and we took all those bags to recycling, so now I can concentrate on other things.

Some of the furniture was promised for pickup after the kids all left and the families came and picked up all their stuff. I still have several pieces of furniture to go and I'm hoping to get it outside at my next sale. I have several offers of help to do that so I don't think it will be a problem.

We will be having to put a small amount of stuff in storage and we planned to get a unit big enough for Li'l Red as well. MinnieMee is already safely tucked into storage. If we buy a house elsewhere (and Florida is sounding pretty good), it will have to have space for all the "stuff." Are we buying a house? Not yet. We have decided if we do, it will be in Florida because that is where son Brandon is and they have some good heart hospitals there. Since Terry cannot breathe in cold air, we couldn't choose Virginia, where our daughter lives; but we will be able to visit and they can always come to Florida to visit us! Indianapolis is just not some place we want to be in the winter even though Terry's doctors are there. He needs warm air year around. We have some decisions to make. But. . .one step at a time.

We are doing well. Terry tried that new heart drug Entresto and they won't be calling him to give a glowing review. One of those "rarely mentioned" side effects laid him up pretty good and he had to quit it. So now he is trying to get back to his "normal" and that is taking some time. He is sleeping better than he has in two years and once he is rid of the side effects, we are hoping for his "normal" to return.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Wednesday, June 05, 2019

And the bad news is . . .

We left Coleman State Park this morning and traveled down to Red Bay, a total of some 35 miles or so. The first place we went was to Bunk House RV which was said to have a supply of jacks. They did have some. . . all used. . . all takeoffs from motorhome that were replacing the jacks with something different. They want about half price or $350 a piece for the used jacks. We have no way of telling how old they are, they just guaranteed that they worked when they took them off. Well, all our jacks have been replaced at one time, so the new ones don't have a great life expectancy. We are reluctant to trust used ones. And we need two, so that would be $700 and about another $300 to put them on, so we are up to $1000. We talked with one guy about them. . . Everybody down here even in these cottage industries that have sprung up around Tiffin. . . have all worked there and seem to know a lot about the rigs and the systems. When we described for him what our coach did, he said that sounded like more of a controller issue that caused the jacks to break. It was so wild the way it happened. But I am inclined to think the controller had something to do with it because it never faltered. Normally when a jack acts up, the controller starts beeping, red lights start flashing and all He!! breaks loose. This time, there were violent "bucks" and the controller just continued to hum along as thought nothing was wrong.

So we are thinking that if we bought jacks to put on it and it was the controller that was bad. . . well. . . know that money would have been for nothing because the controllers are also obsolete and none are available anymore.

The gentlemen did tell us that he thought a lot of the problem was that Tiffin didn't put on heavy enough jacks to begin with. Perhaps that's why all of ours have broken at one time or another. So we are seriously considering an entirely new system. . . just have to decide which one.

Meanwhile, another problem surfaced yesterday when we stopped for a break, this time on MinnieMee. We noticed the generator tailpipe dragging on the ground. Had to have just happened. A clamp broke loose and it was so rusted that it is unusable. Also a hanging strap was torn and was going to follow the same path. We removed the tailpipe the rest of the way. Today we bought the tools Terry needed to fix it. It required a breaker bar because he couldn't get a rusted bolt loosed with his tools. So when we got to camp tonight, he got it fixed. He did a good job and it looks more professional than what was on it. Now we can again use the generator. We couldn't use the generator because it was exhausted straight down to the ground and we would have had fumes. But we are really just using it when we stop for lunch. He wanted it fixed for tonight because we are getting storms and if we happen to lose power, he wanted options.

We are in our camp now at Piney Grove, our home for several years while we come for the reunion. We are in the same site we always book. . . a really long site with 50 amp. So it's overkill for MinnieMee, that's for sure, but it's a nice level site for her.

Not sure what's on the docket for tomorrow. May hang around camp. We don't have a toad, so if we go anywhere, we have to break camp. That's not hard in MinnieMee, though!

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

On the Road Again!

Monday morning we left for points south. This is reunion time for Terry's family, specifically, the Pace family, Stephens family, and the Taylor family. Whew. It is complicated by the fact that his grandparents were each married before, had something like five kids each and then were both widowed. So they found each other, got married, and had five more children. It's this last group that organized the annual reunion, held to coincide with "Confederate Memorial Day" although some say that doesn't exist. At least this is what we were told by Terry's parents. Only one of the five children born to this union is still alive and he is no longer able to attend. We miss Uncle Bob. But the children of those last five try to gather once a year at this time and hope that more relatives will decide to join in.

We are traveling in MinnieMee, our little 22 1/2' motorhome. This is the one we bought to take to Alaska. . . and DID! Great trip, but that is another blog (see May, June, July, August 2013. Great stuff there. Phaeton Place is still in the shop and the reason she is there is because she has some broken jacks. Two, we are told. They are expensive to replace and it seems none are available. The Atwood System is no longer built, it is obsolete and while some jacks have continued to be available while supplies last, the Atwood company was bought by Lippert and we all know anything made by Lippert turns to gold. NOT. Turns to sh**, more likely. So part of of this trip is going to take us to Red Bay, Alabama, home of Tiffin Motorhomes, to see if we can find any jacks at any of the supply places there.

We drove to Shepherdsville, Kentucky, Monday night. It was a leisurely drive the last half. The first part was stop and go because we needed to stock up on some supplies and we did so by hitting some of the Amish grocery and salvage grocery stores south of Goshen.

We had a nice night in Kentucky, but we needed heat. So we turned on the furnace. SCREECH went the fan. It eventually quieted down, but we decided not to use it anymore and let Terry fix it once we get back home. Hard to get back to sleep after hearing that!

The next day we took off and made our way south to Bowling Green. We stopped off to find a heater, which we thought might be an impossibility during this time of year, but we found what we wanted and it was cheap. It works pretty good too, because we needed it that night. I turned it on and about 10 minutes later I had to turn it off because we were roasting! LOL

Onward now and at Nashville, we diverted to the Bryley Parkway down to I-40 and then picked up the Natchez Trace. This is the inaugural trip for MinnieMee on the Trace. I did take a picture, but I need to take them off the camera. We drove the Trace all the way to 72 in Alabama where we got off and drove west to Mississippi. We drove to J. P. Coleman State Park in Iuka, Mississippi. We have never been there and wasn't sure Phaeton Place would fit. There actually are some spots she would fit  in one section only, but the other section near the water, was definitely for smaller rigs and tents. Course, MinnieMee fit right in, but we took a site in the upper, much quieter section where it wasn't as crowded. It was very quiet and we slept very well.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Busy, busy, busy. . .

We walked in the subdivision this morning and then worked the rest of the day. Still packing stuff in boxes, but I'm about done now. Most of what is out now is just stuff that we use in the course of living here day to day. That will all remain until the kids have all come and gone this summer, then we move permanently to the motorhome and finish cleaning out the house.

We shopped this morning and later today for some plastic boxes a certain size Terry needs to fit in the trunk on the back of MinnieMee. Since she's so small, it's important to have "a place for everything and everything in its place." I don't want stuff on the floor inside, so everything must have a spot.

I helped our neighbor carry some furniture up from the basement to sell this weekend. Our sale will be open on both Friday and Saturday, so that means tomorrow we will be busy setting everything up. I'm also trying to get things arranged in the basement and the bedroom. There are boxes sitting all over and if I can just keep them orderly, then they aren't really in the way.

Now my big project is to shred records. I have forty years of records to shred. I just finished shredding my in-laws records and tax returns that they had kept forever. I have shredded through the file cabinets and have just a handful of files I am keeping and have those boxed up. Eventually they will go back in the file cabinet.

Shredding is not hard work, but there is a lot to do and I have a very good shredder, but it overheats after awhile, so I have to keep at it.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Yay!

MinnieMee is home tonight! She's getting ready for a road trip. We went to the storage facility this morning and picked her up. She was so happy to see us, she started right up, all her batteries are up, tires are good, etc. She even fired her gennie up first thing! Whoo hoo! She says she is ready!

We stopped off at Elkhart Campground to fill up with propane and then we brought her over to the house and put her up on ramps to level her and turn on the fridge. The fridge is working! So where are we all going?

The Pace-Stevens-Taylor reunion is June 8 in Marietta, Mississippi. I think we have only missed one year since they started it and that was the year we went to Alaska. It will be a quick trip this year because we will take a couple days to get there, stay the night, then head back to Goshen. We are working hard to get the house cleaned out and the kids are all coming starting the middle of June and continuing through the 4th of July. So we need to get back and get ready for them.

It's always good to get MinnieMee out and exercise her a bit, but this is the first long trip in a while for her. She will be going to Virginia later in the summer as well. But Phaeton Place is still at the service center. They have been trying to find a jack for her, but haven't had any luck. And today when we went over, her house batteries are dead. Not sure what's up with that, but we had been over about ten days ago and even ran the generator to help charge the batteries. So Gerald said he will have the guys pull her up and plug her in for a few days to get those batteries back in shape. That and the fact we still can't level with her means we will leave her here to heal and take the little motorhome. Sure glad we have her.

So I have some cleaning to do to get things ready in the little motorhome, but it doesn't take long. There just isn't that much area to clean!

Till next time . . .

Dale

Friday, May 24, 2019

Life Changes

We are in Goshen staying at the storage condo and getting it ready to sell. When we arrived here last month, we were nursing a sick jack on the motorhome and had called ahead to our service center of choice. They told us to bring it in and they would check it out. Well, the jack is broken and while we are in no hurry, we are getting anxious to hear what is going on with the coach.

In the meantime, we are staying here at the house and working at getting things boxed up. This is the year we are going to sell this place and be truly homeless for a bit. Our ultimate goal is to find a place in Florida. When you decide to settle down at our age, it's best to be close to at least one of your kids. Brandon lives in Florida and that would be good for us for the winter. Terry cannot be in cold weather at all, so that rules out Virginia, where Jocelyn lives. But we can still visit. In fact, we don't have a presence in Florida yet and we aren't done traveling, so we will be storing a few things before we are able to move into a home. Don't know what we want or where, but just think that makes sense for us. And we still do have our place in Texas. No plans to sell that just yet.
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We have a buyer for the house and we will be doing up the paperwork in July when things settle down. We are headed to Mississippi early in June for the family reunion, then we will be hosting each of the kids/families in June and July. After that, the furniture is going, as is everything else. We've set a goal of September 15, but the closing will be earlier. The paperwork will be done before we actually turn it over.

So we are filling boxes. Actually I had most everything boxed up from last year. Just finalizing all of that and finding those "special sized" boxes for the odd shaped items. I've been boxing up pictures that Jocelyn wants along with quilts, etc. We will have to hire people to haul stuff up from the basement, but fortunately, there are outfits here in Elkhart that do that. Terry has already sold most of the big stuff in the third bay of the garage. The John Deere, with the snow blade, the lawn edger, sprayer, roller, etc. He still has one large piece, the weed eater, to go. It is a push type. We are having garage sales every week to try and get rid of stuff. If this stupid weather would cooperate, we might get some activity, although we have sold quite a bit.

So things are going smoothly. Terry's able to do a little at a time, but he has to be careful not to overdo it. They changed one of his meds and he is getting used to it. We hope it will be a better fit for him, but he may need a higher dose. The med it replaced came in one strength and this one comes in three, so hopefully they can get him on the proper dose for him.

We sure do miss our little Duchess, but she is in a better place. She was both blind and deaf and had diabetes and became quite ill. It was a tough decision to make for her, but she was not happy and had little quality of life.

Till next time. . .

Dale
 




Monday, May 06, 2019

Back to Florida!

We got packed up and spent a restful night at the house. The next morning we loaded up and eventually left for Indy. We got there plenty early even for us. But when I am driving four hours to an airport, I like to have extra time in case we have problems. As it was, we didn't have any. Except that our plane was delayed, not once, not twice, but three times, then back to the second take off time.  Grrrr. We normally fly Allegient, but this time we flew Southwest. We flew into the main Orlando airport which is big and there is a lot of walking and with Terry already tired, that proved problematic. But we made it. We are here for ten days while the kids go to Montego Bay, Jamaica, on an incentive trip Brandon earned.

Brandon met us in baggage claim and helped us with our luggage. I do think I am going to get another piece of luggage. Mine is an old style and I really would like one with four wheels that I can push along. I may start looking. Also, mine is small to pack for a week. I've had the same suitcase for years, so I think I could spring for one.

We arrived on Friday the 26th of April and on Saturday Brandon took us to "Eggfest." A business, Wassi's, in Melbourne is the number one seller of the "Green Eggs" and every year puts on "Eggfest." There are over 200 eggs being used to cook anything and everything and the food is put out in samples for everyone to try. DO NOT EAT BEFORE GOING TO EGGFEST!  There was so much food and I started turning down samples because I was stuffed. We were there for several hours. There is an indoor pavilion where there is stuff for sale, accessories primarily, and entertainment. You can buy a "beer ticket" and Brandon had one but we didn't. I can't drink more than one beer and the ticket is for five! We had such a great time and it was fun being with Brandon. In late afternoon, they shut down the eggs, which are really ceramic type cookers fired by charcoal. Once they cool down, they are hauled off by people who had bought them prior to Eggfest. By buying one of these "demo" eggs, you get several hundred dollars off the purchase price. Brandon bought his last year which was an XL egg and has since bought the Mini-egg. He does a lot of cooking on it and he does a great job. The food is super good and tasty and he enjoys cooking on it.

The next day the kids were busy packing their luggage for their trip. We spent a lot of time with Brynlee and we were on our own on Monday morning as the kids had to leave shortly after waking her up to say goodbye. She is really sweet and so good for us. She never argues about getting up or getting dressed, etc. We always laid her clothes out the night before so she knew what she was going to wear. She wakes up in a good mood and is ready to start the day. We took her to McDonald's the first day since she had school, then dance class. It made doing supper easy for me. I did do some cooking for us all while we were there and Brynlee ate everything I fixed. Terry grilled for us one night. We only ate out the one night.

We also got to take care of maintenance while we were there. The guys came to replace Brandon's 65" television which had lines running through it. So we coordinated that. Megan's Pelaton had a bad screen as well, so we let the workmen in to fix that. It was a really busy week for us even though Brynlee was in school. The kids stayed an extra day to take advantage of the resort and that was fine with us.

We also got to take care of their new rescue dog, Lily. She's a golden doodle and quite the sweetie. We just love her. She loves to play and wants to be with you all the time.

We enjoyed our ten days in Melbourne. It seemed to come to an end too soon, but on Sunday, May 5th, we flew back to Indy. It was a late night flight and . . . once again. . . there were many delays. What's up with that Southwest? We got back to Indy after midnight and then to our hotel at 1:30 a.m. We decided to stay the night in Indy since it was so late. But neither of us sleep well in hotels, so once we got back home, we crashed and slept most of the day till late afternoon. But it felt good.

So now we begin the process of emptying out the house in Goshen. We are selling it; the buyer is lined up and it's all a go. So now we have to empty it and get it ready for the new owenrs. I can't wait to find something in Florida where we can live in the winter. Terry has to have warm weather, so that is why we are looking for something there.

Till next time. . .

Dale