Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Doing my impression of a human pincushion!

Well, I got in to see my acupuncturist yesterday. I have to say I got a lot of relief from yesterday's session. I was pretty miserable when I went in. I have sciatica and there is just nothing else like it on earth. I don't want to do surgery and the one epidural I had lasted 9 months and promptly applied a lot of weight I can't seem to shed. So I am seeing the acupuncturist ALL of Terry's family sees. He is Korean and uses a Chinese method. I didn't know there were different methods, but there are and he is very good. I am going MWF this week and next and then M the third week. I teased him yesterday and said since he was treating so many of our family, he should just close his practice and become the acupuncturist to the stars, so to speak.

We finally go into one casino Sunday night and then revisted yesterday. I think we are still up $3. Big spenders here. We plan our "losing" carefully and normally come out ahead or break even in the long run. I think we are done with the Hollywood casino here and will move on. There are 9 casinos here and everybody recommends the Horseshoe, so will probably try that today. We have to run down to Tunica to get our mail this morning, but Terry will have to get up before we do that. It is 7:40 am and he is still in bed. I'm up, the dogs have been out and fed and I have had one cup of coffee. I'm way ahead of him, aren't I?

I tried to upload some pictures the other night, but my connection is a little slow. Will try to hook up my antenna and see if that helps.

We went down to what is called the Riverfront Park. It is right along the Mississippi and a neat park with a visitor's center and a museum. This is also where you can board for rides on the Tunica Queen.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Roll the Dice!

We left Red Bay, Alabama, on Wednesday and spent two very hot, humid days in Tupelo. So hot, in fact, that we didn't do any sightseeing while there. We did go Wednesday evening and visit with cousin Shirley and Aunt Teen. It was good to see them and touch base with them again.

On Thursday, we met Uncle Bob at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Tupelo, about a mile from our campground. I have to say that it was about the best, if not THE best, Chinese restaurant we have been too. There were so many good things, I didn't even get to sample them all. . . and I never eat the salads or the dessert. So you know there had to be a lot on the buffet.

We left there on Friday and drove a couple hours (more thanks to Delorme) and arrived in Tunica. . . well actually north of Tunica at the Hollywood Casino. We haven't been in there yet. Being a weekend, I couldn't believe how packed the parking lots were, so we decided we would wait until after the weekend to venture in. Last evening we drove down to Mhoon Landing
which is where the original casinos for the area were located. We thought from our reading that there was still a boat docked there and that there was an effort being made to refurbish it into the casino it once was. We did find the remains of one of the four casinos, but no boat.

Today we drove to the outlet stores and walked a little, then drove to downtown Tunica and walked as well. There is nothing in the way of shopping in downtown Tunica. They have attempted to make a very quaint little town square, but there is very little there except one small grocery and a dollar store.

We came back to the camp and have been visiting with fellow campers. As we were sitting out, our "twin" coach came by so Terry had to run down there and compare notes.

Tomorrow we will be watching the Nascar race, then Monday will be scheduling my acunpuncture treatments.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Getting Phaeton Place ready to roll again!

Well, we got up early again this morning, but just because we wanted to give Phaeton Place a much needed bath. No point in doing it earlier. We were in and out of paint bays, down the crushed limestone lot, in and out of the repair bays where things were getting sanded, etc. She was filthy. So we started about 7:30 because it got up to 99 degrees today and we wanted to be done by then. It was still hot, but we didn't care how wet we got. Norris came along (Norris is the service coordinator, I guess, for lack of a better word) and asked if we were having a wet t-shirt contest. I supposed since he had to inquire, it means I've lost my touch. Hah.

Afterwards, I gave Neal a bath. His gait seems to be getting worse and he is falling down a lot. There is no grass here, he is on pavement, so he gets pretty dirty. He is mad at me now, but about to get over it. Treats seem to help.

We were waiting on two things, and Terry ended up tracking those down and so after lunch, we went in and settled our bill. The only items we had to pay for were the two awnings we added. We added a long one in the living room. It is under the main patio awning, but there are many times when we cannot put the patio awning out, so we had one installed so we could shield that side of the coach from the sun. The other awning was over the bathroom window. That window is textured, but we still get a lot of heat from it when the sun beats on that side of the coach. They work nicely.

We did some visiting with people we have met over the last week. People come and go and everyone gets excited over someone else leaving. We went to see Marsha and Rod in the campground office. They are just super people and do their best to make sure everyone's stay at the campground is pleasant.

Tomorrow we are leaving for Tupelo for the night, then on to Memphis.

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 19, 2006

Just "chillin" (literally) in Red Bay

Well, they took the coach back in at 7 a.m. and we began the wait. They had 3 guys working on the air conditioner. They changed out the roof unit, still didn't work. . . changed out in the inside ceiling part, still didn't work. . . so finally they changed the climate controller on the wall. Seems to work just fine now. . . so what does that mean? Perhaps just the wall thing-y was bad??????? Dunno. . . but I know we got an entire brand new air conditioner out of the deal. I am the only one awake now as Terry and da boyz are all sleeping in the coolness. In fact, I had to leave earlier to go out and get warmed up. Terry wants to make sure it is working good.

They checked out a few more things and put the power awning back in place. . . which didn't work then either. We had a good rainstorm go through here about 7:30 last evening. Don't know if it ruined the exposed wiring or what, but they had to replace the control boxes for the awning. We have 2 little things we are waiting on now. A new door that was damaged by the slide and an access panel cover where they went through the cupboard to get to the thermostat controller. Then we are done. Yayaya.

Then we are headed to Memphis so I can do my impression of a human pincushion.

Till next time. . .


Friday, June 16, 2006

I can poach an egg on my forehead.

The service techhies were at our coach at 6:15 a.m. and we were ready for them. They checked out our air conditioner and said it was a bad board. Said when we got done at the paint shop today, we should bring it over and they would install it. But there was a possibility that someone would go down to the body shop and do it there.

Got the coach back from the body shop at 2:15 and found out the guy had been there and worked on the air conditioner, but nothing he tried worked and now the compressor wouldn't even work, which had been working. When Terry got the coach back to the shop at 2:30, they told him it was too late to order an air conditioner and it was closing time anyway. (They close at 3 p.m.) I'm wondering when the guy worked on it at 1:00 and knew it needed to be replaced why he didn't order one then? GRRRRRRR. It's only 95 degrees out today.

Well, we reluctantly brought the coach back to our site. Attemped to cool the entire coach with the rear air, but that only made the entire coach 88 degrees, which is too hot. Closed off the back, so we at least had one cool room and opened the front up. Since it is Friday, we are looking at a very hot weekend.

Later we were in the campground office and talking with the hosts there. They do seem to have some clout. I was inquiring about the lounge, which closes at 4 every day and is not open on the weekends. I thought perhaps if our coach got too hot, we could hang out there. She graciously said we were welcome in the camp office and could bring the dogs with their small x-pen. Even though dogs aren't normally allowed there, she said this is an emergency and we don't want them to roast. Later we were back at the coach, sweltering, and Wade, the service manager came by. Marcia, the camp hostess, had tried to call him and he didn't answer his phone. She said she hadn't seen him leave, so she sent her husband over to see him and told him about our problem. He came to the coach and talked with us. He was very apologetic and said he wished he had known about it earlier. . . he would have had someone replace it after hours. He asked what would help us the most. . . I think he would have called someone in or they would get us a motel room. I said the coach was fine to sleep in as the back air conditioner cooled it just fine in the bedroom. Marcia asked him if they could let us use the lounge and he said most definitely. Said we could use the satellite tv there, the coffee maker. . . anything to be comfortable. So tonight we ordered pizza and went over to the lounge and ate it. Took the dogs and they plopped down on the cool floor and went sound asleep. Since we were the only ones there, we kicked off our shoes and stretched out on the sofas. Ahhhhhh. Life is good again. It is cooler in the evenings, so we are home now getting ready for bed. The bedroom is a cool 72 degrees and we are going to put the boyz in the bathroom as it is cool as well.

So, we will get by for these 2 days, then Monday the air conditioner gets replaced and we are in business again. In fact, we could be completely done Monday, but we will stay a few more days just to check everything out.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 15, 2006

One step forward, two steps back

When the coach was done yesterday, we weren't sure when they were going to get us into the paint bay. They had to remove our awning since it was mounted incorrectly and put in a piece called a high-rise that was missing. Then it has to be painted before the awning can be remounted. As the events of the evening unfolded, we were kind of hoping they would put us off a day.

At 9 p.m. the front air conditioner just conked out. It's been working flawlessly for six months and just quit. We were assured that in 90 degree heat, that is considered an emergency and it would be tended to first thing in the morning. Not too bad because the evenings have been cooling off to the point that we don't use the air conditioners. The rear one still works and if need be at night, we will move the dogs into the bathroom and close off the front part of the coach and we will stay nice and cool.

At 10 p.m. our dear little Neal had a gran mal seizure. It is a terrible thing to witness, but Neal actually does not suffer aside from occasionally biting his lip. The problem is that for the next 3 hours, he is walking/falling/stumbling around and must be let out occasionally as he needs to relieve himself. So I volunteered to stay up even though I was really tired. I had to take him out twice. Then he just started barking at me in the coach. Same thing outside. I think he had the munchies, but I scolded him and he finally plopped down at 1:15 a.m. The only good thing is that I have now given him honey twice to replenish his sugar and the last two times, he has ended with just the one seizure. Remarkable because ALWAYS before we were looking at 12-13 cluster seizures in a period of 24 hours. Aside from being kind of "out of it," he has done well today.

Then at 6:30 this morning Terry talked to service and they said they would try to do the air conditioner first thing. Well, at 7 a.m., they came and told us to get to Red Bay to the body shop. It is harder to get into the body shop, so we opted to go there. They gave us our coach back at 4:30, but it has to go in tomorrow to finish. But when we explained the problem, they said get the air conditioner checked on first, then come to the shop for the finish. So hopefully, we will have our air conditioner back working for the weekend.

There is a nice lounge here and we can take the dogs, so we don't have to suffer in the heat, but it is nicer to be in our own house. The works is progressing nicely, though, and we are very happy with the people and the effort they make to keep us satisfied.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sightseeing around Alabama and Mississippi

Yesterday the coach went in at 7 a.m. so we took off and headed toward Florence, Alabama. On the way we stopped at the Coon Dog Cemetery and paid tribute to the more than 100 beloved dogs who are buried there. There is no doubt their masters cared a great deal for them and laid them to rest in the only cemetery of its kind in the world.

We traveled on northward and visited the quaint little town of Tuscumbia, which happens to be the birthplace of Helen Keller.
There were several points of interest in the town and we took some pictures, but since we had the dogs with us, we weren't able to get out and walk around. We have decided, however, that we may revisit this area when we can leave the boyz in the coach and do some sightseeing. We also drove through Muscle Shoals, drove across the Tennessee River and visited Florence, Alabama, which is another very interesting town. We visited a campground in Florence, just below the bridge and let the dogs out to wander along the river a bit. Driving around we found an Indian Mound which dates from something like 1000 B.C. and I climb up the 72 steps to the top and took a few pictures. It has been left intact, but there are streets and industrial operations all around it, so it is fenced in for protection. It's great that they are able to continue to preserve this window into the past.

We drove on "home" from there and picked up Phaeton Place and set her back at our campsite. Tiffin really has a decent system for their repair facility and they recognize that full-timers must have their coach back to sleep in every night.

This morning, we again rose early and the coach went in at 7 a.m. Today they replaced my kitchen laminate flooring. . . not the entire floor, but a big chunk of it which was scratched by the movement of the slide. It looks beautiful and you cannot tell where they replaced the floor.

We once again left and this time drove up to Pickwick Lake where we took some pictures and investigated another campground along the river. These campgrounds are in the $15 range for water/electric and pretty much use the honor system.
They are decent enough and we think we may be back. We continued on to Shiloh Military Park where we took the driving tour which was 9 miles long. It is a very impressive park with a lot of monuments and placards. We weren't able to read everything, but the narrative helps you visualize the battles which took place here.

We then drove on to Corinth, Mississippi. We have been coming to Mississippi for several years and have been through Corinth, but never stopped. It is an interesting town with many old houses which are quite impressive. And, of course, many Civil War battles were fought here as well. The railroad going through Corinth was a major supply line for the south and very important in the war effort. There is an arena and grounds on the west side of town and they have RV hookups there for $10. We checked it out and spoke with the lone camper there. It is basically a parking lot, but spacious and adequate if you want to explore the area. Other campgrounds in the area are further out of town and not well suited to big rigs. An added plus is that the arena hosts some big name entertainment and you can camp there and attend the shows. So we will be watching their website for activities.

We got back today and our coach was already on our site. The floor was done. They may get it into the paint bay tomorrow for the awning repair. Not sure, so tomorrow we will be hanging around. Whenever it has to go from one bay to another, you have to move it, which is okay. They have a nice lounge and the dogs are welcome in there.

Tonight our one air conditioner has stopped working. Have no idea the problem, as it has never failed. But I guess this is the best place for it to stop working, so we will add that to the list. Won't be leaving until that is remedied.

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 12, 2006

Service with a Smile :-)

Today at noon we got the knock on our door. The service coordinator said, Bay 11, ASAP, so we scrambled around, got things put away, the dogs loaded in the car, and away we went to Bay 11.

They went over our list with us and then said they would be taking care of some of the little things and getting parts ordered. We got it back around 3 p.m., which is the closing time for the service area and got set back up on our site. It has really cooled off this evening and we sat out for a couple hours with the dogs.

While they were working on the coach, we spent the time in the customer lounge. It is large and spacious and you can take your dogs in there. We did and true to form, Bailey guarded the door, barking at everybody who came in. The coach was in for just a couple hours today, but tomorrow it will be in all day, starting at 7 a.m. They are either going to do the awning or the floor, part of which must be replaced because the slide has gouged it. Those repairs will be long days, so we are probably going to go somewhere for the day. Thought we would take the dogs over to the Coon Dog Cemetery so they can pay their respects to dogs who actually had to work for a living. Hah.

Things are going smoothly with the repairs. We are getting a couple new awnings over windows so if are sitting in sun and it is too windy to put out the big awning, we can shade the interior.

The new Phaetons like ours have a problem with the driver's window leaking. Tiffin has tried several new kinds of seals and nothing has worked. The last time we were here, Terry asked the service manager for some door drip cap. He cut it to length, then painted it and attached it on the window with double-stick tape. You cannot even see it because it blends in and it works perfectly. He has shown it to several people including the service people who had asked if we wanted the new seals. We did have them put on the new seals, but Terry noticed the service manager was looking at our coach later. Then today, our neighbor brought his Phaeton out and he had the same drip cap on his. The service guys told him they could put it on as an additional precaution to prevent the leak. Hah! Wish Terry had put a patent on that. Looks like they are going to fix all of them like that.

Well, we will be turning in early as we have to have the coach in at 7 a.m., so till next time. . .


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Allegro Campground, Red Bay, AL, Part Duex

We left Piney Grove a day earlier than we planned. When we came over here last week, they said they always fill up on Sunday, then thin out again on Wednesday. In 95 degree heat with high humidity, that was more than we wanted to chance. I called the campground this morning and they had 20 open spots, so we broke camp and headed this way. It's only about 27 miles, so when we arrived, we had our pick of the spots.

It was a good move. They still have some spots left tonight, but we got one close to the building (for wi-fi) and with full hookups we can shower at our leisure and do the laundry. Ah, yes, life is good. But most importantly, we were able to watch the Nascar race today which was the only thing on Terry's agenda.

We anticipate the coach will go in on Tuesday as had been planned, so things will be quiet for us tomorrow. We met several couples today and had one couple in tonight who has just ordered a coach like ours.

We also met Abby, a black Scottie just down the road who just loved to have me fuss over her. What a sweetie.

Once the coach goes in for work, we will be spending our days driving around with the dogs trying to kill time while the work is being done. We can go to the customer lounge also, which does allow pets. They are quite accommodating here.

Till next time. . .


Piney Grove Campground, Bay Springs Lake, Mississippi

(Posted Sunday due to no connectivity at the lake)

We arrived here at Bay Springs Lake on Wednesday afternoon. We already had our spot reserved, so we sailed through the gate and right to our site. We picked the same site we had last year. There are some sites here that would be difficult for a 40'er, but this is not one of them. We also have ample room for the toad. The site is right on an end of a loop and is quite spacious with no one right on top of us.

Yesterday we took the boyz and drove over to Red Bay, Alabama, about 30 miles away. We wanted to make certain we had our spot in line for the coach work we want done. One of the biggies is a remount of the power awning. It does not work correctly and was mounted differently in an apparent experiment, but it will have to be removed and that will entail some possible body work on the coach. We have some other minor items, but we are here till it all gets done, so we are not worried time wise.

After that we drove to Fulton as I had not remembered what it looked like. While there we visited another COE park which is where James and Mary Francis (relatives) stay when they are here for the reunion. It is farther away than Piney Grove, but it is a very nice park. Not as many sites for big rigs, but it is extremely quiet and very few if any children running around. Piney Grove is more family oriented and it is noisy, but that doesn't bother us that much. If it weren't for the dogs, we would camp down at the Whitten Park. The problem is being farther away and being able to plan our "away" time from the coach so that we can get back and let the dogs out when necessary. Next week while we are at Red Bay, we will have them with us every day. They are quite comfortable, however, in the Sport Trac. More spacious than the Tracker and the air conditioning does a much better job of cooling the back seat. Yesterday they just rested and occasionally looked out.

We also stopped at Wally World so I could pick up ingredients for the reunion pot luck. I am taking salads. . . my famous pickles, i.e., cucumbers in sour cream and 5-cup salad, although it will be the 10-cup version for a larger crowd.

My crowns are functioning perfectly which is a relief after 9 months of pain when I chew. I am still so cautious when I eat but that is okay because it results in slower eating which usually means I eat less. Less is good for me. My back is killing me, however. I just cannot seem to get around some lifting of Neal on/off his ramp. He tries so hard and never complains. He just needs help. He is such a sweetheart. So is Bailey and fortuntely he doesn't have the mobility problems Neal does.

We took the Natchez Trace for about 100 miles on our way down here. We take it whenever we are close enough to it. It is such a beautiful drive. We saw deer and wild turkey and stopped at a picnic area to have our lunch. If you've never taken the Trace, you should put it on your list. It is 50 mph but with very little traffic and no towns, it may actually be quicker than other routes. And no big trucks to contend with either.

We are about to venture out on our walk, so I must go.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hanging Out in Clarksville, Tennessee

We left Goshen yesterday after having gotten my new crowns on my teeth. So far they seem to be doing well. I have no pain anymore and that is saying a lot after the winter I had.

We stayed last night at the New Vision RV Park south of Terre Haute (about 45 miles) and north of Vincinnes on highway 41. I don't always plug the rv parks, but this was a very nice park with long pull throughs and full hookups. We would have liked a little wider roads, but they were certainly navigable with our 40'-er plus toad. There was a large pond with fishing and the park was well landscaped. It is right there on 41, so easy access on/off the highway. They take ALL the memberships you have including Passport America, Happy Camper, FMCA, Escapees, etc. He wants business. He's only been open since 2001, but he really wants you to have a nice stay. He is open year round and lives right there. He also sells propane, so we topped off before we left. And he has the cutest, friendliest little black/tan miniature dachshund named Josie who greets everyone who comes in the door.

We left there this morning and traveled south. We are now in the Clarksville Campground in Clarksville, Tennessee. This appears to be an old KOA, but one of the more nicely kept ones we have seen. They have some 100 foot sites, which we would liked to have had, but they have a Newmar rally in here this week, so we got another instead. Most of the sites here are pull throughs. They accept Good Sam.

We unhooked the toad earlier and went in search of a restaurant since I can now eat solid food. We also did a little shopping as I had left one of the dog leashes at the house. So we are all set again.

We leave here in the morning. Have about 200 miles to go to Bay Springs Lake and Piney Grove Campground in NE Mississippi. We will be there until Monday morning when we roll to Red Bay, Alabama. While in Mississippi, we are going to visit some of Terry's family and attend the family reunion on Saturday. It's always a good time whenever we go there.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom is 81 today. Doesn't she look great! Here is a picture of us today when we gathered to help her celebrate. In the picture are (l-r) my sister Nita, Mom, me, and Kellie. Kellie is my sister Nita's youngest daughter. She is an architect, married to an architect (Brian), daughter of an architect (brother-in-law Jim) and sister to an architect (my nephew Brad). Hahahaha. Her other sibling is a neo-natal nurse in Indianapolis, studying to become a midwife.

Their house is coming along. I have a picture of the back "Bambi window". . . so named because they can sit in the loft and watch out the back for Bambi.

I got to see Jake. Jake is the "only dog" now that Lucky has died. When Jake was rescued into the family, he was the fourth dog and now he is alone. There is no doubt that Jake is dealing with some issues of being alone. He does really seem depressed. He is certainly not his old self.
Kellie had her two dogs there, and Jake doesn't want to play or anything. They are giving him a lot of attention and he goes for walks everyday. Hopefully he will adjust and become content.

I am trying to get things ready to leave tomorrow, so

till next time. . .


Saturday, June 03, 2006

We're back again in Indiana.

Arrived yesterday morning from Decatur, Michigan. I worked on sorting some boxes down in the basement. After storing that stuff down there for a year now, it's beginning to look more and more like trash and Good Will fodder. I imagine by next year, it will be a whole lot easier to sort through stuff, just as it is this year compared to last year. Hah.

The boyz are enjoying their deck and yard again, although we have the yard gate closed right now because the morning dew is on the lawn. They are a little peeved at me for that.

Terry bought a surge protector thingy for on the motorhome and wants to get it installed. He needs some #6 wire I think and couldn't find it at Menard's last night. I think he is going to go to an electrical supply house this morning. He's probably waiting for me to get dressed. That would be good because we have neighbors here and they like to come visit. Keeps you on your toes. . . :-) Yesterday Terry built a rack of sorts for the back of the Sport Trac. He made compartments where he can slide in specific bulky things we carry with us. . . like the dog ramp, the dogs' x-pens, the satellite dish, etc. It is better organized and accessible there.

Today we are going to go to Terry's cousin's graduation open house in the afternoon. Stephen also mows our yard when we aren't here, so we want to go and congratulate him. He is going to attend IUSB (Indiana University-South Bend) and probably continue to work.

I have a salad to make for tomorrow. We are going to the "woods" where my sister and husband are building their dream house.
It is south of Warsaw, Indiana. They are also setting a pad there for my parents' new mobile home.
The idea is that when Mom and Dad get to the point they cannot go to Texas anymore (they are 81), they will have a place close to family where they can live. It's a good deal for them and my sister will like having them close by. I will post a picture of the house later. I will be posting more pictures from Michigan, too, when I get my camera in here. Tomorrow is Mom's birthday, so we are having a cookout.

Monday, then, we are leaving for the Pace-Stevens-Taylor family reunion. It truly is an interesting one. Terry's grandparents were each married before and had . . . like 5 children each. They were both widowed at a young age and found and married each other and had 5 MORE children. So there are a LOT of relatives. It is fun to see and meet extended family like that.

Till next time. . .