Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year End Wrap Up

It's the last day of 2017; we're thankful that all and all it was a good year with surgeries and all.

We saw the kid's families once during the summer in Indiana and again in the fall on our way south.

On the downside once we reached the valley for the winter I contracted the Texas Crud which lasted for 2 weeks, 9 boxes of Kleenex, 2 boxes of Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold, 3 bags of cough drops, NyQuil, DayQuil and a ¼ bottle of Buckley's Mixture, which Dale ordered off the web. In the past Buckley's has usually put an end to any cold I get in short order. This time it took multiple doses, which is awful. A commercial that stopped running a few years when the company was sold touted, “It Tastes Awful, But Works!”

BTW the contents of this mixture, that is Canada's revenge for some unwarranted transgression, is as follows according to the “Wired” website:

This cough suppressant acts on the brain, not the throat. It breaks down into a sedative, making your nervous system more tolerant of tickles that would otherwise cause coughing.

Makes inhaled air feel cleaner and cooler, but it doesn’t actually decongest you. You only think you’re breathing more easily.
Canada Balsam
A fancy name for turpentine made from the resin of fir trees. It functions as an expectorant, helping you hack up the gunk in your respiratory tract.
Ammonium Carbonate
In smelling salts, the fumes of this volatile compound irritate your lungs to jolt you awake. Here, it causes mucous membranes to produce less-viscous phlegm that’s easier to cough up.
Tincture of Capsicum
After the ammonia and menthol flavors have faded, what’s that burning, tingling taste that remains? Probably this preparation of ground-up peppers dissolved in at least 80-proof alcohol. It supposedly helps prevent nausea from all that turpentine.
Pine Needle Oil
Very big in aromatherapy circles, where it’s described as “invigorating” and “uplifting.” Here it’s used to uplift phlegm and mucus from your bronchial passages.
Buckley’s calls this seaweed extract a “viscosity-suspending agent,” and it thickens many processed foods. But certain types of carrageenan also have antiviral properties. It seems that the gummy goodness can block the cold virus from entering your cells and replicating.
Another thickener. Americans expect that syrupy mouthfeel in their cold medicines.
Sodium Saccharin
In Canada, Buckley’s is sweetened with cyclamates — legal in most countries but not the US, where a dodgy 1969 study said they gave bladder cancer to rats. In the US, they use saccharin. Cowards.
As you can see one dose is usually all it takes more than one is normally more than your body will tolerate. We were introduced to this concoction, by Dale's parents from their trips to South Texas, the Canadians in their park pushed it upon them as a cold cure all or maybe just a nasty joke, I feel for it. I would usually buy 3-4 bottles on my fall business trips to Ontario, and subject the entire family to this cure for a cold. Usually for the kids just the sight of the bottle was enough to make sniffles disappear, well at least while home. At one time before the sale of the US operations we could purchase it at E&S Sales a bulk food store that caters to the Amish in Shipshewana IN

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cruising along. . .

We spent the next few days cleaning up our place in Mission. I cleaned Mom's trailer inside and out and then I tackled the Texas Room. Terry got the golf cart running and then powerwashed both the Texas Room and Mom's trailer.

On Tuesday we went to the airport to meet my sister Nita and Mom. They arrived on time and had good flights all the way from Indianapolis. I had made homemade vegetable beef soup, so that was waiting for us when we got back to the park. It worked out well and Nita helped me clean up from supper. They then went back to Mom's and rested before bedtime.

There wasn't much for them to do since we had gotten everything cleaned so we visited mostly during the time Nita was here. She walked with us every morning and I took her to garage sales in Hidden, one of our neighboring parks. We didn't find anything. . . there was very little even out.

We did a little grocery shopping and made sure we had all our ingredients for our park dinner on Thanksgiving. We chose to do that instead of have to cook all day for ourselves. LOL I actually do have a turkey, though. H.E.B. had them on sale for 98 cents a pound for a Butterball, so I bought a smaller one and put it in the freezer for some later time.

We have had a couple cool days and today turned cool and windy again after having an 84* day yesterday.

Nita left early Monday morning. Terry and I took her to the airport and before we left the drive, she had already checked her bag, so we left. McAllen is a very nice, small airport which is easy to get to and easy to negotiate. It was nice to finally settle in with just Terry, Mom and I, but I do miss Nita. It's fun to have "sister" time occasionally.

Sunday Terry started getting sick with what is known down here as the "Texas Crud." He is still coughing, sneezing and gagging and not eating much. We have both been down this road before and he should be starting to feel better soon. I think he surely has had his worst day already. He probably won't be able to go to the dinner tomorrow though. I may bring him something back.

I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all and may God bless you and your family.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We have arrived in Mission, Texas!

We arrived in the RGV for the winter on Saturday afternoon. So far all I have done is clean and organize the stuff we had stored in the Texas Room. My mom and sister are flying down today. Mom's place is right behind us, so I cleaned it good yesterday so she wouldn't have to do that. I know my sister would have done that, but they will surely be tired when they get here. Mom is 92, but still going strong. We will pick them up this afternoon. I then cleaned the Texas Room which is actually a 12 x 28 efficiency apartment, did laundry, etc. We put up our swing so Mom has a place to sit and watch the park activity. My back is pretty achy today. It will be fine, but I probably did too much yesterday. All the nerve pain is gone for good though, so a brisk walk later should help with the achiness.

The day we got here I spent several hours with a lost dog. My dog is a Scottie and when I was over checking out things at Mom's a neighbor pointed to the wandering Westie and asked if he was mine. I had a white Scottie, but she is gone now. I have such a soft place for Westies and Scotties. He had THREE tags on him, but no name tag and no owner phone number. A dog tax tag, a vet tag and a chip tag. I called the chip and vet tags, but late Saturday afternoon no one was home. I went home and got the leash and he was sooooo friendly and walked so good on the leash. At least I knew he would be a park resident. Our park is all fenced and the open gate was quite far away from this little guy. The neighbor, a full year resident, got her golf cart and we took him through the park to find his owner. His tags were Wisconsin, so we hunted for Wisconsin plates. Two streets over a lady on her porch said she saw a "big guy" walking this dog earlier. New residents on the same street are from Wisconsin and Carol, my friend, knew him to be a big guy. We went to their place and their porch deck had all kinds of dog stuff on it, but the gate was open. Knocked on the door and no one was home despite their golf cart and car being there. But no dog came to the door either, so their dog was lost or they had it with them.

My friend had the guy's phone number so she called. No answer so left messages. Another neighbor a couple houses down said she was sure it was their dog and knew some other people in the park they hang with. So off we went to Gigi's house. She knew the dog and his name is "Chance." He is such a lover. When I hugged him he would give me kisses. Fortunately Gigi has the woman's phone number so we called. They had just left church and were headed out to eat. Was sure this wasn't her dog because they had left him in the house. Well, guess what? Gigi assured her it WAS Chance. They came home and got their sweet, sweet boy. They said when they get ready to leave he goes under their bed. Dick had stepped out on the deck for something and they figure at that moment Chance ran out with no one seeing him. They were so upset that he had gotten out. Chance is 13 years old, but appears much younger. He is really is good shape and you can tell he is well cared for.

I had met Chance last year when they first came down and rented. Dick remembered me because of my Scottie. We had a good visit and even though we had taken good care of Chance, he was glad to see his Mom and Dad! LOL. They are going to get him a tag and put their owners number on it along with his name. And they are going to be more careful of checking on Chance before they leave.

Chance is a rescue. They had a Westie who had died. Chance came into rescue and they agreed to foster him for a day or two. When they were cleaning him up, they found him to have multiple bee bees imbedded in his face and back. They decided them they were keeping him to keep him safe from ever being abused again. So glad we got to meet them and keep Chance safe for them. I'm sure it won't happen again, but we certainly did love on him while we searched for his owners!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Free Time!

The kids left Friday for a Disney cruise. It was a surprise for Brynlee. While we were out for dinner Thursday night, she got a call from Mickey Mouse himself telling her all about the cruise and the fun she would have. I still don't think any of that had sunk in even though Megan showed her a picture of the ship they would be on.

The cruise took them to the Bahamas, but a tropical storm threatened to dampen their plans. But I know there is a lot of stuff to do on those ships, especially one set up for family and lots of kids, so I'm sure she is having a blast. They are due back in port tomorrow morning and will be home after that.

We have been collecting packages at their house, as I order their Christmas stuff and then bring it back to the motorhome to wrap. I will have that all done today. As a matter of fact, we are going over there after lunch. I am going to get caught up on my laundry and we will watch the race there on Brandon's big screen TV. That is if Terry can figure out how to run their system! LOL

I also am going to try and update all my GPS programs. I never have a place to do that, so will try to do it there.

I have gotten back to walking and walked two miles this morning faster than I have been doing it. I don't necessarily try to walk fast, but just try to keep up a steady pace. It was not quite 70* this morning with a breeze and very nice for walking. It's not supposed to rain today, but it certainly has clouded up and looks like it could.

Yesterday we drove down to Okeechobee, Florida, to look at RV lots. By the time we got there it was pouring rain. I guess it was not the right day to do this as that is the tropical storm that is putting a damper on Brynlee's cruise. We did do some looking around and picked up a magazine, so we have some stuff to look at. Had hoped to spend some time in Florida looking at stuff, but Mom decided to come to Texas earlier rather than later, so we won't have time to do it now. But there is one place up near Tallahassee we are going to look at on our way out of Florida.

Had some excitement in the campground yesterday. We were getting ready to leave when a man walking a dog came up to us and informed us there was a woman out in the woods who said she had been on the ground for two days and needed help. He had called 911 and was taking a bottle of water back to her and asked if we would stay and direct the ambulance to the path right in front of our motorhome.

This may seem crass, but this couple had been through here two days ago. I also was concerned when I saw them stumbling and pushing a grocery cart and another two-wheeled cart filled with their belongings. They were trying to negotiate the water-filled ditch in front of our motorhome and pushing their stuff through the sand. It wasn't working and as they struggled they eventually both collapsed. They were drunk and incapacitated. At that point, I called the park office. A ranger came out and addressed them by name. Seems they are known in the park and have quite a history. They came in after Irma and a church paid site rent for one week for them. Then they pleaded with some campers to camp on their site while they were there. When those people left, they moved. The park had them in two different sites, but eventually they quit paying anything and the park asked them to leave. She claims she has a bad hip, but the ranger said he has seen her walk all over the park and even ride a bike all over the park. He said they have money for booze and cigarettes, but won't use that money to help themselves. He tried to convince them it would be easier to move their stuff if they would move it over to the paved road, but they refused. He told me they want to go into the woods and camp which is illegal. But he said if they do and nighttime security finds them they will be arrested.

Eventually the woman collapsed again, so the ranger called 911. The man immediately took off leaving his "friend" behind. She remained on the ground until just before the police got them, then walked off into the woods, leaving all their stuff behind. The police and park security went into the woods and brought the man out. They checked him out and then let him go. Eventually he pulled their carts back into the woods and we never saw them again.

Until yesterday morning. When the camper asked us to direct the paramedics, we stayed on site till they got there. They all went into the woods and brought the woman out on a stretcher, but she was sitting up talking and appeared in good condition. The man was no where to be found. So it's a good thing they got her out so she will have a nice, clean, warm place to spend a night or two in the hospital. The storm that rolled through last night dumped a lot of water in the park. I'm thinking that is the last we will see of her. I'm sure social services will try and help her out.

So things are going smoothly here.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Florida Family Time!

We are enjoying our time here in Florida visiting with Brandon, Megan, Brynlee and granddog Jax. The weather has been miserable, though. It's been hot with a super high humidity, so it's been uncomfortable if you are out and about. And then it rains about every day. There is a lot of flooding here which we thought was leftover from Hurricane Irma, but Brandon said they have just had so much more rain than usual and it's not from the hurricane. Many of the sites here at the campground in Wickham Park have now flooded or at least have substantial water on them. We have to walk through soggy grass from the car to the coach even if we park close to the rig. Poor Duchess gets her feet wet whenever we take her out.

Last night, however, a "cold" front came through. And cooler temperatures are to prevail for awhile. It was 64* when I got up and hasn't warmed up yet. I took Duchess for her walk and it wasn't all that cold, but there is a lot of wind and that makes it feel much colder than it really is.

I went with Megan the other day to pick Brynlee up from "school." She goes three times a week for five hours and that gives Megan some time to do some things on her own. That has worked out well because Brynlee really likes her school. She learns new things every day. Yesterday we went to gymnastics class. They do about the same things that Aenea does in her class. . . some tumbling and exercises and balance beam stuff. Both the granddaughters enjoy that.

Last evening we went to dinner with Brandon and Brynlee while Megan did yoga on the beach. It had rained a lot here, but not sure what happened out at the beach. They were able to have their class though.

Today I am going out with Megan and Brynlee to visit her Mom and then out to lunch. That will be fun.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 21, 2017

On to Florida!

We left Chesapeake, Virginia, Wednesday, driving about 250 miles per day till we got to Titusville, Florida. We spent one night Basswood Lake RV park, in Dillon, South Carolina. It is right next to I-95, but all the reviews stated that remarkably, you don't get any road noise from the interstate. We thought that was odd and it was. Those reviewers just FLAT OUT LIED!!!!!!! Even running our overhead fans did not mask out the noise, but it made it more tolerable. Even so, we slept well that night and traveled on the next day.

Our next night was in Darien, Georgia, at Cat Head Creek RV park. We have stayed there before. It is a nicely kept park with full hookups, so we were able to get a load of laundry done during our stay. The next day we drove on almost 250 miles and are stopped for two days at Manatee Hammock Park, one of the Brevard County parks. We have reservations for 10 days at Wickham Park in Melbourne, starting tomorrow. Here is Terry standing next to the official greeter for the park.
Brandon came last night to visit and brought Brynlee while Megan is at a Plexus event in Orlando. We roasted marshmallows and had s'mores. Brynlee loves them, but she can only eat a small one. I really can't even eat one anymore. . . way too sweet for me.

When I stepped out of the coach this morning taking Duchess on her morning walk, I heard a rooster crow. Huh? What was that? Later I saw the "said" rooster pickin' at the ground around a campsite. One of the park attendants told me he was blown in with Hurricane Irma and hasn't left. He was much smaller and they weren't sure if he was a rooster or hen. But he is growing and developing his comb and tail feathers and crows! A lot! The campers where he was "loitering" are feeding him peanuts. Says he won't eat cornmeal or cheerios, but loves peanuts. He hops up on their picnic table to be fed. The squirrels will do that do, but the rooster will chase them away. What a hoot!

I did see some other wildlife on my walk this morning. Two snails, one with a shell and one without. Interesting creatures.

Today we drove up the coast and checked out a couple RV parks/retirement communities. We are thinking we will eventually end up in Florida, since Brandon is here. But we certainly didn't like anything we saw today and I'm thinking we will have to do a lot more looking before we decide on anything. We don't like the retirement parks. . . too many are old and run down. Don't really see newer ones. Not sure we are interested in a regular home, but at some point we might. Just not ready to make any kind of decision, that's for sure. Even thought about buying a few acres for now and doing something with it later. Oh well. . . time will tell.

Plan to sell the property in Goshen next year and put some stuff in storage. . . just stuff we feel like we have to keep.  It will be nice to be free of the responsibility of that home.

Tomorrow we head on down to Melbourne to visit with the kids. They have some activities going on, so we have to spend time with them while we can.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chesapeake, Virginia

Once we left the kiddos, we drove to Chesapeake, Virginia, and visited with Tom's parents, Tom and Sharon. When they retired, they moved closer to where the kids are and they had asked us to come visit.

We arrived on Monday afternoon and after getting set up, we drove on over to their house. They told us to bring Duchess and she really seemed to enjoy some place new. She wiped her muzzle on all the carpets and scratched her back on the sofa, so Pepper will have something new to smell. LOL

Tom fixed dinner for us, shrimp and pasta, and it was outstanding. We really liked it and enjoyed the company.

Tuesday we met them at 1 p.m. and they drove us to Newport News to the Mariner's Museum. Several years ago, the Monitor, the ironclad from Civil War days, was discovered in it's watery grave. Many artifacts were brought up and they also recovered the turret from the top of the ship. We spent a couple hours touring the Monitor display and it was fascinating. We saw the turret, although there isn't much to see. They keep it submerged in a water bath as it goes through a desalination process. Tom said they bring it to the surface every couple years and you can see it then in its entirely, but the rest of the time it is submerged. You can see the rim and it still is exciting even though you cannot see much. They do have a display mockup that is supposed to look like it was when it was discovered underwater. Pretty cool.

After the museum, we drove back to Chesapeake and ate at an Italian restaurant. It was very good. We said our goodbyes then as they had meetings and we had to get back to Duchess. We left yesterday and headed on down the road to Florida. Good times ahead as well.

Till next time. . .


Monday, October 16, 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia!

We left  the camp in Pennsylvania and drove on to Charlottesville, Virginia, to the KOA. Our site was waiting for us and we got in and set up.

We drove on in to see the kids and helped jockey them around to their various classes and Terry even gave Tom a ride home from work. The kids are homeschooled, but there are many classes offered in the community which the homeschoolers take advantage of. Aenea is currently in swimming, gymnastics, dance and art. Ronan is in art and swimming, I think. The classes take place in an older school which is nicely maintained and creates a good atmosphere for learning. There are places for parents to wait for their kids. It's fun to watch the kids participate in these activities.

It was a busy week staying with the kids. We were there every day to visit with them and share their lives for that week. We even did the "park day" when we went to a park and let the kids all play together while the parents visit.

We took Jocelyn and the kids "over the mountain" one day to the Amish cheese shop in Stuarts Draft. It is similar to E & S in Shipshewana, but a much, much smaller store. But they still have stuff we use. We had a great time with them. I did the driving and there were a couple places we stopped on the way back and I stayed in the car with the kiddos while Jocelyn and Terry did the shopping.

Saturday night Jocelyn and I went into town while Terry babysat. We went to see Tom's band, This Hollow Machine, play. I have never seen Tom perform and he is in two bands, so it's something I've always wanted to do. They performed in a small venue known as "The AnteRoom" in downtown Charlottesville. It was pretty cool and I enjoyed the show. It's not particularly my kind of music, but I enjoy watching good performers do their thing and I was not disappointed. It was a very good performance and the crowd seemed to really enjoy the music, as did I.

On Sunday, we drove out to Crozet to the Sun Cat Tree Farm. The farm is owned by a fellow homeschooler and all friends and family were invited out for a "music festival." I kept joking with the kids and asking if this was "Woodstock" for the "older, family" set. LOL They had three bands play and they were all very good. Everyone took their own chairs and lawn blankets and food/drinks if wanted. We did take drinks and snacks because after a rainy week, Sunday was hot and sunny with nary a cloud in the sky. Eventually, we even used our umbrellas to shade us. That was a good move, because if you can keep your head cool, the sun was tolerable. We really enjoyed the afternoon and the kids got to play while Jocelyn and Tom communed with their friends. We left a bit early because we wanted to get back to camp to feed Duchess and then we were going to join up with the kids for one last evening together before we left heading for Florida.

It was a great week and we really enjoyed our time with the kids/grandkids.

Till next time. . .


Friday, October 06, 2017

Clearville, Pennsylvania!

Where in the world is Clearville, Pennsylvania? Well, it's just a few miles up the road from Cumberland, Maryland. It happens that a campground, Hidden Springs, is "hidden" up there. We were hoping to score a spot at Rocky Gap State Park. We have read good things about this park, but when we tried to book a spot, no luck.
The colors are starting to pop out in the mountains. We have had beautiful weather and it has been cool at night and warm during the days. I imagine we will see more color going to Charlottesville.

We haven't traveled much this summer, what with my back surgery and then Terry's hernia surgery, and we had totally forgotten about the "other" three-day holiday. . . Columbus Day. We used to always consider Labor Day to be the last hurrah of the camping season, but now this holiday sneaks up and the state park was completely booked. So in looking through the area, we found this camp, just two miles up the road.

I really don't have any complaints about this little camp, other than it is a bit pricey. There is no wi-fi and no cable, but our satellite is working. But there are no "locals" to be had so that is a bit of an inconvenience for Terry. . . not much for me. We have a nice, level spot and we were the only campers in the "travel" section. There are seasonals here galore, but they are on another loop and many are hidden by trees, which is nice. We haven't inspected the showers, but the owner himself told us they weren't very good. He bought the camp about a year and a half ago and is slowly working at making improvements and he said the bath house will be the next big project. He is very nice and stops to chat, remembering our names even! We decided to stay here for four nights since it IS a holiday weekend and the chances of getting in anywhere else between here and Charlottesville on Sunday would be quite slim. So we are kickin' back and relaxing.

Today we drove over to the state park. Rocky Gap State Park has a casino. . . how cool is that? We went by it on our way to our camp and the parking lot was full. I thought that might be a good sign. So we went in this morning. It was busy, but lots of machines were empty. I did well on everything I played and walked away with more money than I spent. It was fun because I was actually entertained for a bit. Terry didn't do as well, so combined we were just about $12 to the good. But, hey, we were entertained for about 90 minutes and paid money to do it! Nothing wrong with that.

We came back and let Duchess out and then took off again. This time we inspected the state park campground. There were a lot of sites there that we could get Phaeton Place in. We were wondering in the event we are ever in the area again. Then we drove on in to Cumberland, Maryland. Terry wanted to visit the C & O Canal museum and site. They have a very small parking lot and we drove through, but it was completely full. So we motored on to Frostburg, Maryland. There was a fiber shop there I wanted to peruse, so we went a few miles up the road to that. The shop was very interesting, but I didn't buy anything. I'm just learning to crochet and I don't really want to invest in really expensive yarns until I get really good at it.

On the way back, we stopped at the only remaining toll house in Maryland along the historic National road. It was constructed in 1811 and made Cumberland the Gateway to the West establishing mile marker one. It is in the town of LaVale and is seven sided. There were placards on the sides to indicate the costs of passage through the gates on the road. Very interested. We have seen a couple others along the National Road in Pennsylvania.

Coming on down into Cumberland, we were able to find a parking place and visited the C & O Canal Museum and visitor center. We read about the importance of the canal boats in moving coal and other goods along the canal which ran from Cumberland to Georgetown. We have visited the Georgetown canal area when Jocelyn was in school there. Families often lived and worked together on the boats up and down the canals. There was an area for their mules to rest on the boat as well as the family quarters.

Once we got back to camp, we found that many more campers had arrived. Last night there were only two of us, but tonight there are about a dozen more. This must be a popular place.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall fun!

The fall routine in full swing.

We have left northern Indiana and are now in east central Indiana at Summit Lake State Park. We left Goshen last Friday and spent two nights at the county fairgrounds in Warsaw, Indiana. Got in some time visiting with Dale's family before our 6-7 week trek to the Rio Grande Valley in extreme south Texas.

Monday started off with a visit to the vampires in New Castle for blood draws for both of us in preparation for our annual check ups with our internist. Duchess the traveling Scottie got to see her vet Monday also. Monday evening was a play date for Duchess with Baxter, Blanche and Rudy at Dave and Mark's place in Muncie. Dave fixed a very nice taco salad for dinner and we enjoyed seeing them again and taking a tour of their new motorhome. I must admit that the fit, finish and equipment on their Jayco Precept impressed us. Not bad at all for a 33 foot class A.

Tuesday was haircuts for both of us and our annual exams in the afternoon, which went as expected with no major surprises. We then stopped off to see Doris, a retired teacher colleague of Dale's to have the Christmas card Dale received from relatives in Germany translated.

Today is a day to be spent in Indianapolis, I have a fall check up with my cardiologist at IU downtown this morning and Dale has her 6 month post surgery visit with her back surgeon at St. Vincent's on the north side. Tomorrow is the last doctor's appointment with Dale's dermatologist in Muncie. Friday we travel about 100 miles over to St Paris Ohio to see friends Tab and Deanna for the weekend.

Till next time. . .

Terry and Dale

Friday, September 08, 2017

Go away Irma!

Good morning!

Been watching The Weather Channel as Brandon is in place in Melbourne Florida waiting on Irma to make up her mind on her direction of travel. He has all the supplies he needs, a generator and his hurricane shutters up.

Next Thursday is our bug-out day from Elkhart Campground after 6 seeks. We leave northern Indiana for the year on September 24th and head to central Indiana for fall medical and veterinarian appointments.

We plan to move over to the storage condo in Goshen for a week to do some maintenance on the motorhome and close up the place for another year. I have to put a new ladder on the rear of the motorhome, the present one has gotten damaged over the past 6 months, evidently it was backed into somewhere. We bought a new one at Tiffin in Red Bay Alabama in June, it's the same as the old one but I have to match the hole placements for the “stand-offs” from the rear cap. Also I have to tear into our water bay to find a leak that's on top of the waste tanks, I believe it's a two-way valve where the coach fresh water tank is filled with water or the direct fresh water supply. Only seems to leak when the tank is being filled. Much easier to do these projects at the storage condo since it isn't an emergency to get the repair done since we can move out and parts are available in the area.

That said it's raining today as it did yesterday. We need to get to Goshen to trim the shrubbery. At present it's about 1/3 done and must be done by the 19th so the trimmings can go with the trash and not sit in the garage until next spring. It's supposed to clear this afternoon and be clear Saturday and Sunday; rains return on Monday in the present forecast.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Not much happening. . .

Hi all, been an uneventful month since our last post.

I had my hernia surgery about five and a half weeks ago and the healing process has gone well. I'm a bigger baby than Dale was with her back surgery as I'm not back to our daily 2.5 mile walks yet, but soon should be. Dale has been doing her daily walks here at Elkhart Campgrounds every morning when there aren't any conflicts. I've been following the Doctors orders for the most part and not lifting any thing over 10 pounds. One of the strange side effects of my surgery was the weight gain of 12 pounds over night after the procedure, it took a few days to take it off, the weight gain primarily was due to fluids administered, I guess.

We had a minor wreck with the Flex on Wednesday after dinner with Jim and Luanne Cripe at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Goshen on senior night. We were northbound on a 4 lane divided highway when a young lady decided to turn right into the side of our Flex from the 3rd of four lanes at a stop light. That's right 3rd of 4 lanes, two through lanes and a left and right turn lane at the light. She admitted fault to the investigating officer and we both had the same insurance carrier. Damage is to both driver's side doors and the rear quarter panel. So the Flex is scheduled to go into a local Ford dealer's body shop the Tuesday after labor day and should be fixed in about a week. The good news is that since we were Ford owners and the Flex was under 5 years old we will be getting a Lincoln SUV as a loaner at no charge. Sounds like they take good care of their customers, we'll see how the repairs go.

We've been hitting various restaurants with friends and family in the area the past 3 weeks, once I felt like venturing out. Had dinner with Ray and Linda Carris at the new location of the Chubby Trout in Elkhart. I was impressed with both the food and the quiet nature of the restaurant. We had been at the old location once and never returned since the acoustics were lousy, kinda like dining in the middle of a bowling alley. We also had a visit from Tab and Deanna McBlane our fellow Alaska travelers from a few years back, that meant a visit to Das Dutchman Essen Haus in Middlebury, one of their and our favorite eating places in the area. Tab and Deanna had to get a Peanut Butter Pie fix as is the norm for one of their visits. Last Wednesday we had dinner at The Flippin' Cow just north of the campground for their Burger Night with cousin Marty and Betty Pace from just across the state line in Michigan, tonight we're meeting up again at Stacy's Steakhouse outside of Adamsville, Michigan for their steak for two dinner special. We did make a solo trip to Heinnie's Steakhouse on our 46th Anniversary August 28th … bad news as Dale sent her “medium rare' prime rib back twice and still didn't get her normal quality of prime rib, over done for her taste...excuse “someone” turned the oven up over the weekend.

We are here at Elkhart Campground for another 2 weeks and then we start our trek south, starting in central Indiana for our annual doctor appointments for us and the dog. Then it's off to see the kids!

Till next time. . .

Terry and Dale

Thursday, July 20, 2017


That was something we hadn't planned to do today. Terry had noticed a leak in a drain pipe in the ceiling in the basement. He tried a couple fixes and helped it some, but noticed it was leaking toward the far wall, which would be under the kitchen. The leak was in a pipe under the floor of the kitchen. The real PROBLEM is that the finished basement room directly under the kitchen is completely plastered, ceiling and all. We have been having some water spots on the ceiling in that room and suspected it was from the front door stoop. Not so. He came upstairs and took the drawers out of the cabinets and asked me if I thought he should go down through the cabinets. I said no. Reason being. . . going down through the cabinets, then the floor. . . . what if the leak was 3 foot out from the wall? He would then have to tear out more cabinets and the new floor in the kitchen. I said. . . NOPE! Tear out the ceiling. A plastered ceiling is much easier to repair. Well, he measured perfectly and cut a hole. The pipe was pulled apart and the two parts were not even touching each other. This is the drain line for the kitchen sink and dishwasher. When he cut and fixed the other end is when it came apart. So up till then it was a slow leak. The plastic pipe appeared to have never been glued. Once he glued it back together, it was fixed! Whew!

So we probably will not plaster it back. Terry will put a door of some sort and keep it as an access. There should be an access anyway as there is a drain cleanout right there as well! Problem solved! 

Till next time. . . 


Thursday, July 06, 2017

Family Camping

Brandon, Megan and Brynlee arrived on July 2 and we visited with Mom on the way home from Indianapolis. We spent time with them at the house and they were able to visit with some friends and relatives and took time to watch fireworks.

On Wednesday, we drove the motorhome to Belleville, Michigan, near Ann Arbor to camp. Brandon's best friend from high school is getting married Friday and we are going to take care of Brynlee while they are at the wedding. So we are just hanging out here till Friday. We are camped at the Wayne County Fairgrounds and it is really not a bad camp. Kind of a no-frills place but there are a lot of RV's in here and it's a nice comfortable and safe place to camp.

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner and Brynlee and Megan can both go to that, so they will be busy this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow then we will get Brynlee and keep her all night. We will do fine. She is easy to put to bed and she is excited about camping in Grandma's RV. Saturday Megan will get her to take her to a museum where she is meeting a friend. Later in the afternoon there is a picnic for the bride and groom to which we are invited as well, so we are anxious to go. And then we will get Brynlee back in the evening and keep her for the next week, traveling back to Goshen. Brandon and Megan are flying to Denver for his annual sales meetings and they will return back to Goshen at the end of next week. And on Sunday they fly back to Florida. What a whirlwind of activity for them. Our part is pretty simple.

We did receive word yesterday that Terry's Aunt Frances passed away early yesterday morning. She had been in poor health and has had a difficult time since Uncle Bill died. Rest in Peace, Aunt Frances.

Till next time. . .


Monday, July 03, 2017

Three-month checkup!

All is well. I saw my back doctor on the 21st and my back x-ray looked just like the one two months ago. So that is good, all is well.

From Indy we traveled on up to Warsaw to visit with Mom again and then headed toward Goshen. We parked in the drive for a few days and got the house ready. Brandon and his family arrived on July 2.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Carrollton, Kentucky

We left Franklin, Kentucky, and drove north on I-65. When we got to Louisville, we detoured around the eastern part of the city and drove on to Carrollton, Kentucky. Terry, navigator supreme, has been trying to find new and interesting places to spend the night instead of always going to the same parks. He found a city park in Carrollton, Kentucky. It turns out this is an absolute jewel. It is a new park, about five years old, and has 33 sites, all paved and all full hook up sites with 50 amp. It has a bathhouse which is very nice and clean. There is a small playground, shelterhouse and a dump station. It is right on the Kentucky River. In fact it is called 2 Rivers Campground because the Kentucky River runs along the one side. The Ohio River is here as well, hence the name "2 Rivers" and you can walk from the RV park along the Kentucky River, under the bridge and right into "Point Park" which is on the Ohio River. The roads are all paved in the park and the sites are all level. For once, it looks like someone who knew what they were doing actually laid out the park because the facilities are spectacular for campers. The sites are long, most are pull through, except for the perimeter and the hookups are well positioned. They do allow some discounts and we ended up paying $103 for 3 nights. Not bad. It is very clean and park attendants drive through a couple times a day. We called in, made a reservation, and paid by credit card as there does not seem to be any park host or anything. There is a checkin/out station with a 5th wheel which we assume must be a work camper, but no one has been there since we arrived. Perhaps they had some emergency.

I have been able to get out in the mornings and walk before it gets too hot. It hasn't always been possible to get my walk in when we are traveling, so I am glad I have been able to do that here. It is nice and flat and the roads are paved, so it is easy.

Yesterday we drove down to "Lock #1" on the Kentucky River. Terry thought there were locks on that river and he was correct. We didn't have to drive too far. You have to look at it from the fence. It is a small lock at a dam which has water flowing over it. The lock would only be for fishing boats or pleasure boats as it is quite small, but it is interesting just the same. Boats that had passed by us at the campground were sitting down here. I'm guessing it must be deeper there at the dam because boats were stopped and people were in swimming. The water was pretty murky and muddy and I wouldn't be in it, that's for sure. There were two homes on the hillside at the lock that are very old and were in total disrepair. But they were roped off. We wondered if they were historic and renovations might be planned. There are several more locks along the Kentucky River, 14 total. I think several of them are closed, however, and some have been renovated. Lock #1 looks like it has been redone.

We leave here tomorrow and will camp just south of Indianapolis. We have to be in Indy on Wednesday for my THREE-MONTH checkup with the neurosurgeon who did my back surgery. Can you believe it's been three months? I can't. . . Wow the time has flown by. I'm so glad I had it done.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sightseeing around Franklin, Kentucky

When we stay for more than a day at a camp, we always try to find out a little of the history of the area. So we did an internet search and found "15 things to do in Franklin, Kentucky." One of those "things" was to visit Octagon Hall. Octagon houses are a real oddity and we actually had one in the small town of Shirley, Indiana, not far from where we once lived. It was a wood framed house and the local preservationists had purchased it and moved it to an area where they began working on restoring it. You can read more about it here: Shirley, Indiana, octagonal house.

So off we went on an adventure to learn more about Franklin's Octagon Hall. As usual, I searched the internet and learned more about the house before our visit. That is a good idea whenever you know you are going to visit because you know what to look for and may have question you can ask the docent. The home was built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell beginning in 1847. It wasn't completed until 1859. It is the only surviving octagonal house in Kentucky and one of only a few in the country that were built of brick. During the Civil War it became an asset to both Confederate and Union forces as both an observation post and a camp. There were many hiding places where troops would hide from the enemy. It was used as a hospital by both Union and Confederate forces at different times. It survived the Civil War without being burned down and has remained a private family residence all these years until it was obtained by The Octagon Hall Foundation which offers tours to help fund the cost of preservation. It is now used primarily as a museum with artifacts from the Civil War including many items recovered from the homestead itself. In addition there is quite a collection of artwork depicting many scenes from the War

Legend has it that the Hall is haunted and it has been a frequent "haunt" by paranormal investigators who confirm that it is indeed haunted. Our guide said they haven't identified any of the ghosts, but they believe them to be family members who have died there.

In addition to the hall, there is an original slave cabin, slave and family cemeteries, a summer kitchen and a well on the property. It has not been restored, so your $5 helps to go toward making improvements and maintaining it so that future generations may have a peak at the past.

We had a thunderstorm while we were there that produced quite a lot of water, so we weren't able to get outside pictures. It was a very informative stop and if you find yourself in the area, you might want to take it in. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

Till next time. . .


Friday, June 16, 2017

Leaving Red Bay

We pulled up stakes and left Red Bay on Wednesday morning. Our A/C was working great, new windshield, no more foul smells and slide toppers in good order. Couldn't have asked for anything more. While we were there, we did go visit one of the guys who does renovations. We are wanting to get our flooring changed, but haven't made any decisions yet.

We took my favorite road from Tishomingo, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. That would be the Natchez Trace. It takes a little longer, but the benefits are huge. Almost NO traffic, certainly no truck traffic; leisurely pace at 50 mph. . . plenty of pull outs for even large rigs. We stopped at one and had lunch and walked Duchess. It's definitely getting hotter, and more humid. But that's what happens in the south in the summer.

We drove on through Nashville on the Briley Parkway and that went smoothly. We stopped for two nights (thank you Terry) at Dad's Campgound. This park used to be known as a bluegrass park where they had entertainers and jams for the residents and visitors. It has been closed for a couple years. The previous owners just walked away from it and it sat for three years until the current owner bought it. He is extremely nice and just wants people to have an enjoyable time. It makes me feel good when people will say. . . "We know you have options and we appreciate that you chose to stay with us." What a great attitude. Plus, he gave us the Passport America discount which really helped. We will stay again. When driving south on I-65 we typically stay just north or south of Nashville in order to plan our drive through the city and this park is handy.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red Bay Time!

Whenever we come to Mississippi for the family reunion, we normally schedule some time in at Red Bay for any repairs we need. They have changed the system at the Tiffin Service Center, but we can still get service. On our way down here from Indiana, our windshield broke and Red Bay is the best place to get it fixed. They have them in stock and we don't have to wait. We drove over to Red Bay on Sunday.

We had an appointment with Bay Diesel to have our cab air fixed. It had quit cooling us down and with temps in the 90's, we need A/C going down the road. Some people run their generators and roof air, but it doesn't help with the heat coming in the front windshield.

True to form, Tiffin called early Monday morning and asked us to come in to get the windshield changed out. We knew they would probably call us, so we set an alarm and got up early. We had Phaeton Place ready to roll and were out of there and in the proper bay in no time. We had developed a problem with fumes from the gray tank and so we went into the office to ask about getting that tracked down. The gal said no problem and as soon as the windshield was done, they took us into an express bay. There the two techs worked the rest of the day and fixed the vents which had dropped down too far and were expelling foul air into the coach. That worked and we are once again fume free.

While we were there, Terry mentioned he wanted to have the slide toppers changed out and a guy stopped by to talk to him. They came out that evening and measured for our new toppers and came back on Tuesday evening to put them on. They work at Tiffin and do this on the side. So we got our new slide toppers. They work great and look better than the ones that were beginning to fray and had holes in them. Thanks, Tiffin, once again, for the fine service and a safe place where we can come, continue to live in our coach and get things fixed. We were ready to roll on Wednesday morning.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reunion Time!

We left Clifton, Tennessee, on Wednesday morning and drove a short distance to Piney Grove Camp on Bay Springs Lake in Mississippi. This lake is one that helps to make up the Tenn-Tom Waterway, aka Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. We got setup in camp and ready for the week.

We marveled at the weather we were having. Normally it is very, very hot with high humidity with rain, etc. This time, the temps were in the 70's and it was very nice out. We didn't even encounter any mosquitos which was quite unusual.

We drove into Booneville to the flea market that  Shirley and Paul own. We figured they might be there and we were right. We had a great time visiting. We were there soon after they bought it. Shirley has worked at getting things organized and in order. She has done a great job and it's fun to walk through. I even found some things I couldn't live without! LOL

On Saturday we gathered at Ramey's Family Restaurant for the annual Pace/Stephens reunion. We weren't sure how many to expect because the numbers continue to dwindle. Terry's Dad and his brothers and sisters are the ones who started the reunion and when they were all alive, family would come from many states to visit. There were many who are distant relatives. Ma and Pa Pace were each married before and widowed. Each had about five children. Then they married and had five more. So there are "half" brothers/sisters/cousins/nephews/nieces, etc., involved. I cannot keep them all straight, but there are those in the family who do! Thank goodness for them. Since only Uncle Bob is left from the generation that started the reunion, attendance has been dwindling. Uncle Bob is in a care facility and has Alzheimers, so he was not there this year. Even though there are fewer who come, we still had about 16 and we all enjoyed good food and conversation. Hopefully the next generations will continue to come and we can visit with them again. We intend to continue to go. . . it's always held the Saturday before the second Sunday at Ramey's in Marietta. So family. . . mark it on your calendar and plan to be there next year!

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 05, 2017

Clifton, Tennessee

We arrived at our camp here around noon yesterday and got set up to watch the Nascar race. So many camps have a late check-in, but the marina here that runs the camp said we could come in any time. There are probably a dozen or so sites here but there is only one other camper besides us. We have good 50 Amp power which is great because it is really hot and humid here.

We are backed up against the Tennessee River and can sit and watch the traffic go by on the water. There isn't much, I can tell you that. Yesterday there were a few pleasure boats and two barges the entire day. Today I haven't seen any pleasure boats, but we have seen more barges being pushed by tugboats.

It rained last night so I had to keep one hand over the side of the bed on Duchess. She doesn't like being up on the bed, but she wants me touching her, so I have to hang my hand down on her.

We are just hanging out today. We've already been into Clifton and didn't find much there. It's a cute little mainstreet that T's into the waterfront but most of the stores are empty. We will leave here tomorrow and drive about 40 miles to Pickwick Lake and try to get a campsite there. From there it will be Piney Grove where we will stay while we go to the family reunion! Anxious to see the family!

Till next time. . .


Saturday, June 03, 2017

Tween the Lakes!

We arrived at the Land Between the Lakes on Friday, June 2. Details of the campground we had selected were quite sketchy but most agreed it was "poor." However, the lastest review indicated that apparently there was a new owner and they had gotten rid of all the "seasonals" and cleaned the place up. I am glad we didn't pass it up. There were only 4-5 campers there the two nights we stayed and there was no problem at all. There is no office or camp host, just an "iron ranger" in which to deposit your money and info. We had 50A good power and full hookups. All pads were concrete and our extra large slab had room for the car and the outdoor "living" area which included the picnic table. Easy in/easy out, right off the interstate. Couldn't ask for a better situation.

We did do some sightseeing while we were here. We wanted to check out the other campgrounds we had considered. We had stayed at Hillman Ferry years ago but can't remember what motorhome we had. It probably wasn't Phaeton Place or our other Class A because we would have had a hard time parking either one in most places in the camp. Also, only a few FHU sites were available and the campgrounds we investigated were pretty much full due to "boat races" going on this weekend. So we were really glad we were setup where we were. No trees to negotiate, no tight turns, no dump stations, etc. All is good. These camps would have been great for MinnieMee, but we prefer more space for Phaeton Place. We did tour the Canal Loop Campground which is a COE camp. It was very nice, but the same situation ruled there. Nothing but trees, few FHU's and tight circles, etc. These camps were built when RV's were much smaller and those and tents ruled the day. That's okay! Fortunately we had an alternative. The added benefit of camping in a forest is you do see the occasional wildlife roaming through the park!

We drove on down to the Elk and Bison Prairie which is a containment area for the 48 resident elk and 48 bison. We have been here before and the animals are quite elusive. We did manage to see the bison lying in the shade of a grove of trees. The elk were harder to spot, but we saw a couple. This picture is taken about 150 yards away. He wouldn't come out of the trees on the far side of the creek bank. We had seen a doe earlier, but this guy was just sneaking around.

We spent a little time looking around Grand Rivers which is a very small village at the north end of the Land Between the Lakes. It had a couple restaurants and some entertainment venues and seemed to have a good following. We also took a scenic lakeview drive of Kentucky Lake. There was no scenic view because trees and brush blocked all the decent views! LOL I got a couple shots between the trees.

We will be leaving here tomorrow and heading for Clifton, Tennessee, and will be camping at the marina there on the Tennessee River.

Till next time. . .