Sunday, October 16, 2016

A/C is so overrated!

The last night or two we were in Charlottesville, we noticed our heat pump in the front was not working. It was putting out cold air. We had some nights that it got down to 48 degrees, so we need warmth, not cool. It would warm up during the day and when we would turn on the A/C, the unit would hummmm loudly but not cool. Terry suspected a locked up compressor. But there wasn't anything we could do about it in C-ville, so when we hit the road we started to brainstorm about fixing it. We still had heat, because we have gas furnaces, one in the front and one in the back. Keeping warm was not a problem, except we were running low on propane. But the A/C would be a problem once we got further south and the temps would start to rise.

I contacted a friend, Marsha, who for years ran the Tiffin Campground in Red Bay with her husband. I knew they wintered now in central Florida and were already there. She recommended Camping Connection in Clermont, next door to Kissimee, Florida. We called on Tuesday and got an appointment on Friday. Terry told them what he suspected with the compressor. He had already changed out the hard start capacitor with a spare he had and that didn't work.

We took three days to get to Florida from Charlottesville driving through North and South Carolina. We went down our alternate route of 321 which was inland from the coast. We had hoped to go down I-95 this time as we haven't done the coast for quite some time, but Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the coast and parts of the interstate were closed. Bummer. So we changed our route. We saw considerable damage even 50 miles further west, most of which consisted of downed trees. A lot of trees had been across the road, but the route was clear when we passed through. Terry said a lot of the traffic was being diverted to the route we chose. There were a lot of trucks. But with the exception of one stretch, it was quite smooth.

Our third night found us in Clermont, Florida, and we parked at Lake Magic Campground. It is a Thousand Trails camp and also Passport America, so we camped for $23 a night. Camping Connection was a short 1/4 mile to the east of us on the same side of the road, so that was handy.

It was a hot night and we closed up the back bedroom and cranked up the air. At least we were comfortable for sleeping and it was cool enough when we woke up that we were comfortable in the living room as well. It just started heating up later.

We closed up and moved over to the repair place for our 2 p.m. appointment and they were ready for us. They had actually ordered in a new A/C unit based on what Terry thought. They still did their diagnostics, but they came to the same conclusion. So they swapped out the bad upper unit and 2 1/2 hours later we were done! Oh Happy Day! AND our extended warranty covered their part, so we only paid our deductible. It is a quieter unit than before and it is cooling nicely!

Friday evening we had a visitor! Doesn't happen often, but our friend Susan came by to visit. She lives in Leesburg, Florida, and just lost her husband a year or so ago. We had planned to visit her several times, but it just didn't happen, so it was great that she took time to come see us. We visited for several hours and enjoyed it very much. She sold her big Class A Dutch Star and has bought a smaller B+ for her and her three Boston Terriers. She is enjoying traveling in it.

So yesterday we left Clermont and drove to Melbourne. Traffic was an absolute mess. It was bumper to bumper on I-4 which we were taking for only a short distance to get on the toll road that would take us to I-95. I was so thankful that Camping Connection had seen to ordering in a replacement A/C unit so that we didn't have to make a return trip to get it taken care of.

We arrived in Melbourne around 12:30 p.m. and got all set up, had lunch, walked the dog and then went to Brandon's. We visit for a couple hours before Brynlee and Megan left to go to a birthday party. We went with Brandon out to eat and returned to his house in time for Megan and Brynlee to get home. It was a great evening and we were tired by the time we got home.

It has been raining off and on all morning since very early. We did manage to get the dog out to do her duty, but it misted on us the whole time. Tonight I am going with Megan and Brynlee to "Boo at the Zoo." I hope it quits raining for that event!

Till next time. . .


Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is my dear Daddy's birthday. Love you so much, Dad. He would have been 92 years old today, but he is celebrating his birthday in Heaven. I know he is there and he is celebrating with my sister, Connie, who left us almost 40 years ago.

You left a big hold in our hearts as we now celebrate these special days without you, but we know you are whole again and not in any pain.

We love you Daddy!

Sadly missed and always in our thoughts and prayers.

Rolling, rolling, rolling. . .

Before we left Indiana, we had a lovely dinner with friends Dave and Mark and "Baxter," their black Scottie. Duchess gets along well with Baxter and they shared some squirrel hunting. It was great seeing them and we compared travel stories from the summer.

We left on Thursday, September 29, and headed east toward Charlottesville. We drove to Huntington, West Virginia, where friends Smokey and Pam are camphosting at the KOA. They had just arrived and didn't have to work yet, so we were able to visit with them. We went to dinner at Cracker Barrel and spent some time visiting with them. They took us to the Blenko glass factory in nearby Milton, West Virginia, where hand blown glass is fashioned into beautiful glassware. We didn't find anything we needed, but they did have beautiful pieces. I just can't justify putting any glassware in my coach!

We enjoyed our visit with Smokey and Pam as it has been several years since we had seen them. It is always good to reconnect with old friends. They started fulltiming when we did and we are going on our twelfth year! They are getting ready to change RV's. They are going to downsize from a truck and fifth wheel to a motorhome. Wishing them well in their "new" adventure!

When we left Huntington, we drove to Buena Vista, Virginia, and camped in the Glen Maury city park. They have a campground with water and electric and were hosting a Blue Grass event on the weekend. Some people came in a little early and one evening they were playing some music and singing.  We did a little driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but we didn't stop but just a time or two for pictures. The sun was in the west and that made for poor pictures as we were looking into the sun.

We moved on a few days later and moved into the Charlottesville, Virginia, KOA on Tuesday, October 4. We spent a week visiting with Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan and Aenea. What a wonderful week it has been seeing my sweet, sweet grandchildren and their parents. We spent some time at parks, their house and the motorhome. We had met them one day at Sherando Lake where the big kids were kayaking. Ronan enjoyed that a lot and it's fun to watch them paddling away on the small lake.

Today we went to Carter's Mountain Apple Barn. We didn't think that one through too well because there were lots of kids and their parents. Apparently a lot of schools were closed today due to Columbus Day observance and the place was packed. Not my kind of fun. I like my space. Ronan ate some cinnamon donuts, which were the first ones he had tried. He enjoyed them. We walked around a little and then left because it was just way too crowded.

When we left there, we took the kids to get pizza at Lelo's, which used to be Christian's. Since it's egg free, both kids can eat it. We ate with them and then we came back to the motorhome to let Duchess out and feed her supper. Afterwards we went back into their house and visited with them. The picture of Pepper McPoodlePants looks like her legs are broken! But rest assured, she must be double-jointed or something because that's just the way she lays!

Tomorrow morning we head south to Florida. Hurricane Matthew has just gone through so we are having to alter our route a bit due to some closed roads. But we plan to take at least three days to get to Melbourne and then we will stay a week to visit with Brandon, Megan and Brynlee. Can't wait to see them.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, September 25, 2016

On the move, well sort of.

Terry here.

Left Warsaw Indiana after visiting Dale's family for two nights, we departed the fairgrounds this morning at 9:15 and arrived at Summit Lake State Park close to New Castle Indiana at 12 noon.  Summit Lake has been upgraded to supply 50amp power also, so we're back since we can run both of our AC/heatpumps without worrying about low voltage.  We are located near the small town we lived in for over 30 years and we return each spring and fall for various medical appointments, hair, veterinarian, broker and the like. Tomorrow it all kicks off with a early morning visit to the local vampires at the New Castle Clinic, after 3 rather full days we'll be done. We'll finish up our visit with  dinner and a play date for Duchess in Muncie at Dave and Mark's with Baxter a fellow Scottie. Thursday morning we will have 5 days to cover the 600+ miles to Charlottesville VA to visit Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan and Aenea for a week. So begins our trek to Mission Texas for the winter.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Winding down. . .

The bad summer that would never end is about to close for us. We will be leaving northern Indiana on Friday and traveling south to visit with Mom for a day or two before we head to central Indiana and doctor appointments. Hopefully there won't be any more problems and we will be able to get the storage condo all closed up this week.

We were over yesterday to drop off Duchess while we went out to dinner with friends. When we got there the garage door was open. We are quite certain we did not leave it that way, but when Uncle Dan stopped by, he said it had been up for two days. While we were talking, Terry got to checking things and found a loose wire on the keypad. He fixed that and then changed the code to be sure no one had the combination for it. He's rather handy to have around.

I don't think that I mentioned the result of the neurosurgeon appointment. We had a good meeting and I was able to report that this epidural I had barely worked. I do feel better, but it doesn't cover all my activities. . . still had some breakthrough pain doing things like vacuuming. . . I know, I know. . .just don't do it. He believes that surgery will help me. I have spondylolisthesis, which refers to the forward displacement of a vertebral bone in relation to the natural curve of the spine, most commonly occurring after a fracture, and most often the fifth lumbar vertebra. I have two of these in my back. One I knew about when it was diagnosed at age 20 and another higher up in my back. It will require fusion of 4 vertebrae. They will also use "cages" and rods to stabilize it. It will take a year to heal and the fusions to adhere. We're thinking I will do this when I return to Indy in the spring for our doctor appointments. I think it would be a good move for me. I should be able to straighten up and to walk without a limp.

Sunday morning we got word that Terry's first cousins, Gary and Marty and their wives, Jo and Betty, we in a serious auto accident near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They were in Gary's truck, a Ford F-250 heavy duty crew cab diesel pickup with a long bed. They were stopped in traffic on I-12, ironically for an accident, when they were rear-ended by a tow truck. The tow truck was a flat bed, that they winch vehicles up on it. It was a much larger commercial truck and was doing 60 mph, never hitting his brakes. He ran over and pushed Gary's truck off to the side and another 450 yards (yes, I said that correctly) before it all came to a stop. The air bags did not deploy for some reason. The truck bed was smashed all the way to the back seat of the truck. Three of them had to be cut out of the truck. It is unbelievable that anyone survived when you see the pictures of the wreck. They have a variety of injuries, broken wrist, broken nose, multiple broken ribs, cuts, contusions and abrasions. They are all home from the hospital now and Marty and Betty have flown back to Michigan. In fact, we went to see them Friday night. Their daughter, who is a nurse, was there caring for them. They are recovering.
Meanwhile in Louisiana, Gary's sister, Shirley, drove down from Missisippi to care for them. It is wonderful they have family to help them in this time of need. They are doing okay now, but Gary has revisited the hospital twice, once for blood clots  and once for arm pain. They still have many doctor appointments and tests to go yet and some things that haven't been resolved, but we just have to wait till they heal and recover from this devastating wreck. There may be some surgeries yet to come depending on the findings of the tests. Please keep them in your prayers, please.

We have been trying to find a different vehicle to two behind our motorhome. We really like our little Sport Trac, but would like to retire it. We still would like a little truck to tow but there are only two lightweight trucks and we didn't like the one we test drove. So we will keep looking and hope we find something. The little truck is still running fine, but she is 13 years old.

We have enjoyed dinner dates with friends and relatives recently. We try to touch base with everyone when we are here in the summer. This year was a little more difficult with so many things happening.

Till next time. . .


Friday, September 09, 2016

Busy, busy, busy

When we got back from Amish country, we were able to park at Elkhart Campground once again. They have had so many rallies coming in and they are getting bigger and bigger, so it is hard to get a spot for a few weeks. If you can rent a spot for a month that is better and we are settled in nice and cozy. We have nice neighbors that are here for a while as well and we have made a lot of new acquaintances.

Duchess is making the transition to being an "only" dog. It's obvious she misses Butterscotch, but she is not exhibiting a lot of anxiety that Neal did when Bailey died. I think it really helped that she was there and with her friend when she died. She seems to understand that she isn't coming back. That has helped immensely.

We have spent some time down in Warsaw with Mom and helping rid her of some food stuffs she wants out of her trailer for the winter. Happy to oblige Mom! She now has bought her plane ticket and will be flying to Houston in November while we are there for Terry's cardiology appointment. We will then take her down to the valley with us. It will be a good trip.

Our little truck got sick and puked all over its engine a couple weeks ago. Since we were concerned that it happened in the manner it did, we didn't want to drive it, so we had her towed over to Bruce's. He was covered up and didn't get to it right away, but the news is mostly good. The puke was green and while most people screamed "antifreeze," it wasn't actually that. It was gelled which was a mystery to us, but not to Bruce. It was the dye he had earlier put into the A/C system to trace a leak. A pressure relief valve had popped off and that was what allowed the dye to escape. We actually could have driven it anywhere, but wouldn't have had A/C, which would not have been good the past few weeks. So we got her back the other day and all is well.

Speaking of the weather, we have had some hot, stormy weather, but mostly tons of rain. We are now enjoying some relief from the heat and yesterday and the next few days promise to be cooler and sunny days. Cooler, but still nice and warm during the day.

Unfortunately, there has been another death in the family. My brother-in-law Jim's father passed away last week. He was 96 and while no one was surprised, it is still hard to adjust to life without a parent. There will be a lot of decisions and changes to make in the next few months for the family. His calling and funeral will be Monday, the 12th. So starting in July when Daddy died, my niece's dog died, then our dog died, Jim's dad died and his little dog died as well. That's a lot for any family, so we hope we are done for awhile. We have stayed close to northern Indiana to try and be with and around family. It's been a bad few months.

We are ready to head south. . .

Till next time. . .


Friday, August 26, 2016


We camped for two days this week in Quabache State Park near Bluffton, Indiana, in Amish country. If I need to "regroup" for any reason, we head for Amish country. My family roots are intertwined with the Amish and I find the country to be serene, peaceful and therapeutic. If we were out west, I would head for the desert, which I find spiritual and inspirational, but in the midwest, it is Amish country.

Wednesday night at 6 p.m. storms rolled through the area and tornadoes were sighted. We were evacuated to the comfort stations which are considerably more safe than our RV's. When we visited our favorite bakery on Thursday morning, we discovered a tornado had passed between the Graber's home and shop. The end of the shop was peppered with leaves and debris and a door was torn off. The wooden bench out in front of the store was shattered and left in the field, but the rest of their property was largely unscathed. 

However, right next door a large Amish home and barn was ravaged by the tornado. Siding and roofs were blown away and one shed was blown to pieces. Another newer large shed was left completely intact and no lives (animal or human) were lost and no one was injured. I told Marie that we had seen that house when we drove in, but the lack of debris around led us to believe it was just a work in progress. She said, "No, it happened at 6 p.m. and was totally cleaned up last night. Then the repair work started this morning." The Amish do not buy insurance, but you have to think. Insurance is just money we put into a pool to be paid out when there is a loss. After adjusters, reports, etc., are all filed, materials ordered, contractors hired, etc, etc, etc. The Amish have their own insurance. It's called helping one another. They all come together to help a friend in need. They bring their tools, their equipment, their supplies, their labor and food is prepared to feed the workers. One field was set aside for all the buggies and horses with someone attending them. Terry was amazed that at just 10 a.m. trailers full of lumber and supplies were already there and 50-60 men were swarming all over the barn and the house. It was a wonderful sight.

Never is one family ever left to fend for themselves. They all move in and help. Everyone had a job to do and they were working hard to get things back in order for this family. This is their religion and this is who they are.

Till next time. . . 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Amish country

Visited some Amish shops around Berne, Indiana, today. Interesting, but didn't buy much. We did happen upon these camels out in the middle of the country though!

Till next time. . .