Tuesday, December 10, 2019

New (to us) home! Polk City, Florida

It's been a trying month since we made the offer on the house. The owners had decided prior to selling that they would put a new roof on it and that was a great surprise to us. We had questioned the roof and told it would "pass" inspection, but we were going to have to look at it very closely.

We had our inspection done, which had to be delayed due to the roofers being lazy. Also, the roofers took the lightning rods off the house and didn't put them back on, so Terry was on that. Eventually they put them back up. The inspection yielded no surprises. The 4-T HVAC system is in great shape at only 3 years old is more than adequate to do the job. Roof is now new. Plumbing is all in good shape. We have 200 amp service at the lot which is good as well. Everything was in good shape.

The owners kind of lagged behind in getting it emptied out of their personal stuff and eventually hinted they would like some extra days after the closing. Our realtor reminded them they had signed a contract, so that was that. We still had stuff we had to clean out, but not nearly as much as we would have had.

We closed on December 2 and have been working since then. We moved the motorhome over the next day, the 3rd. She fits nicely under the canopy and once in, we can get three slides out, which is fine. This allows us access to everything inside.

In addition to working on the house itself, we take breaks and shop for items we need. I bought new bedding for the bedrooms and found lamps that go perfectly with the rooms. The large bathroom in the master had a handicap bench in the shower which was dirty, moldy and left stains on the floor. Terry finally got around to removing it yesterday and I started scrubbing the shower. Vinegar cleaned it up nicely and now the floor is sparkling white even where the discoloration was around the legs of the bench. It is a very large shower, so if we need a seat in there we can always add one.

We bought some new furniture for the "veranda room" but it won't be delivered for another week. The veranda room is like a Florida Room, but it was actually built as part of the house. It has windows all the way around.

We had multiple light switches in rooms that didn't seem to work. We thought they went to outlets, but had problems locating them. I had emailed the manufacturer, Jacobsen, and the gal sent me a floor plan which showed where all those light switches were ! Ta Da! So now I have lamps on those outlets so everything is working.

It's all been a work in progress, but fun at the same time. We have lots to do here and we plan on moving on to Texas after the first of the year, so we need to make a list!

I am posting some pictures but still have much to do.

 This first picture is the spare bedroom and the one below is the master.


It's been a lot of fun getting this set up the way we want. We still have a ways to go, but it's coming around.

Till next time. . . 

Dale

Friday, November 29, 2019

Holidays with family!

Yesterday morning we traveled from our campsite in Davenport to Melbourne, Florida, to have Thanksgiving dinner with Brandon and his family, Megan, Brynlee, Lily, and Megan's Mom, Diane. We had a feast too. Turkey, a chargoal grilled beef tenderloin on the Green Egg, cranberry salad, orzo salad, Bok Choy salad, sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Appetizers were cheese ball olives. Whoo hoo. Boy are we stuffed! I really didn't overeat, but I tried to taste everything and nothing disappointed. It's the first time in about 15 years we have had Thanksgiving dinner with one of our kids. While in Texas, we always had dinner with Mom and Dad, but since Daddy's gone now and Mom doesn't go down anymore, there was no family for us to commune with.

We started back about 5:15 because we realized it would soon be dark. LOL The drive over was great, very little traffic and it's the "longer" way around to Brandon's house, but it was about 1:45 hours. Going back we took the toll road (we now have a Sun Pass) and we have to jump on I-4 for the last 8 miles. As soon as we get on I-4, we are in a traffic jam. Happened the last time we drove over to Brandon's for the day. It is apparently all the Disney traffic. . . no other reason and we are right there at Disney, so I suppose that's true. I was looking at the map today and I believe I see an alternate route if we have to go again.

We've been busy exploring the area and looking at places. Will keep you updated on our search, but nothing's going on this weekend.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Offer Time!



So Monday, November 11th, we met with the real estate agent and went through a property we had looked at previously in Mount Olive Shores. This is a motorhome community. . . you must have a motorhome to live here and it must be a Class A. No problem there.

I'm sure we haven't seen every port home there is in central Florida, but we've seen a lot of them. We really wanted to be in a community so that we were surrounded by like-minded people and would feel more secure. We will not be stopping our travel and we wanted to find a place that we could "leave" and travel around a bit. We wanted to be "close enough" to Brandon and Megan and Brynlee, but not "too" close. We wanted to be within an easy distance to a major heart hospital and good cardiologists for Terry. This place is centered between Orlando and Tampa. We wanted to be inland enough to not be impacted with every storm that comes through.

Many of the communities have small RV lots that you pay anywhere from $40,000 up to over $100,000 and all you get is pavement. You normally cannot put much else on the lot except your RV. Some do have "casitas" but none of them we looked at would have room or space to put everything we want to bring. Most had fees of at least $250 a month for amenities, all of which included golf, which we do not play.

So back to this particular property. It is in a motorhome community. . . not a lot of activities, but some. No big hall, but a smaller version. Friendly RV'ers. It's gated and the gates are closed all the time. You must use a code or a clicker to get in. The house is a manufactured home, a Jacobsen. They are made in Tampa. It is about 28' x 48', two bedrooms, two baths, large living room, dining space, large eat-in kitchen, and a sunny Florida room that spans the entire back of the house. It has brand new replacement Pella windows, all new flooring throughout, and the entire interior has been repainted. It comes furnished. The owners decided also to put a new roof on and it will be done this next week. Outside is a two-story shed with workspace for Terry. There is a 55' RV port on the far side of the drive and between that and the house is a shorter carport where MinnieMee will live. It is large enough and long enough to park both cars and our cargo trailer.

So we went back to take another look and we made an offer. The owners countered, splitting the difference between their asking price and our offer and we accepted. We wanted a quick closing as did the owners, but they wanted the roof on. That was not a condition but they were told it needed done, so they did it. Also, we are having inspections done and the week after next is Thanksgiving week, so not a lot will happen then. So our closing is set for the Monday after Thanksgiving. Whoo hoo. We will have it before Christmas, but I hesitate to say "in" it because we have a lot to do. But Phaeton Place will be parked right out the door in her spot under the canopy, so we will be staying in there till we get things fixed up. They left it furnished, but we will undoubtedly be sorting through what was left and pitching/donating what we don't want. But the upside of that is that we have no furniture and no home furnishings to put in it, so we will use what's there till we replace it.

It will be quite some time before we get all our stuff here. We're debating how to do that and the jury is still out on that one. But since we are spending about $3000 a year on storage, the sooner the better. And we have a few things to bring over from the place in Texas. Not sure when/if we will keep that place, but I doubt that we do. For now we are thinking we will head over there sometime after Christmas. There are some things we could take out now.

I'm wanting to get Mom down here. She is excited about it and would love to come. She wants to escape the cold up north. So we're trying to decide when that could happen. We have plenty of room for her and she would love the area.

So until then, we wait. We had some documents to sign and we have to take our trust in to the title company Monday for their perusal. We were never in this area of central Florida much, so we try to go somewhere everyday and look around. It's been fun.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Theme World RV Resort, Davenport, Florida

It was time to move again, so we headed over towards Davenport and into a park known as Theme World RV Resort.  Everything down here is an RV Resort whether it is or not! LOL This is right on I-4 and SR 27. 

There is another large RV community here known as Deer Creek. It is very nice and made up of several separate communities each with their own distinct personalities. They all have their own hall with pool and then there is the main hall and pool. Once again, you own your own lot, but the park is owned by the developer. The lots are very small for the most part and there are a lot of limitations. You can have stick built casitas next to your port, but the ones that we liked had very short ports that Phaeton Place would barely fit under. No space for all our stuff and two motorhomes on one lot not allowed. We liked some of the lots themselves, but they would require building something and then we still couldn't have what we needed anyway.

We had promised Brandon and Megan we would watch Brynlee Saturday night so they could get away for a night to celebrate their 8th anniversary. On our way down there we stopped at The Great Outdoors Resort in Titusville, Florida. This is a huge RV community where you can buy your lot. I don't know how many people live here but it's probably in the thousands. It is way huge. We had a very nice realtor show us around the place. Once again, first impressions are important and everything we looked at required work and prices we were quoted for that work were way more than most places we inquired. And prices were pretty much double everything else we had looked at. And also, you can't live in the casita if you have one, but there are port homes where you can. But those are mega expensive. They have so many amenities in this park, but most we wouldn't use, including the golf course. So we decided against this park.

We traveled on to Melbourne and arrived in time to visit with the kids before they left. We had a great time with Brynlee, taking her to McDonald's and playing with her and Lily. Once the kids returned the next day, we ate out at Sonny's with them, then returned to Theme World RV Resort at Davenport. It was about a 2 hour drive, but that was with stopped traffic on I-4. We only had about 8 miles to go on the interstate, but it was stopped. The next day was Veteran's Day and there was more traffic going to/from the theme parks, so that was apparently the problem. We did spend time talking with Brandon about the Mount Olive Shores property and we decided we would take another look.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Majestic Oaks, Zephyrhills, Florida

When we left Sebring, we drove up to Majestic Oaks RV Resort, in Zephyrhills, Florida. There were several places here we wished to check out and once again, this is a Passport America park, so camping was cheaper here. Most of the parks that honor PPA do not offer it through the winter, so we had to look around to find one that accepted it now.

Majestic Oaks, as Buttonwood Bay, did accept seasonals all winter. Their rates are fairly expensive, as is anything in Florida during the winter. It is a nice park, however, and they throw in some perks if you wish to stay for the winter and come back the next year, etc.  Once again it was a very nice park and we could walk the flat streets every day. On our last day here, I rescued a turtle. . . seemed to be a leatherback of some sort. He was covered in mud, so obviously just dug out from a bank. We had a lot of rain the day before, but he had found himself in the street. I didn't want him to get killed, so I used my towel I had to move him up onto a driveway. Later I looked for him and he was gone so hopefully he made it back to one of the ponds in the park.

Right across the highway was the Emerald Point RV Resort which I had heard about. It also was a very beautiful park, but once again, extremely small lots, and no space to put all our stuff. Two RV's not allowed, etc., etc. Dogs were not an issue; we saw all sizes. We talked to one owner whose place was for sale. Like our Texas park, you can have stick built casitas next to your port, but you cannot live in there. Not a lot of storage, etc., so we passed on this park. Good thing we decided against this place, because I don't want to have to spell Zephyrhills all the time. I always misspell it.

One park where I was sure we could find something was one I had seen on line this summer. One residence had multiple RV ports and I was sad I had missed it before it was sold. This is Hampton Courts/Country Aire in Dade City. Another seemingly great park, with very little for sale, but a few interesting places. We stopped in at the office thinking we would get a list of available properties, but since owners own their lots, they don't work with the office when they want to sell. They use outside realtors or for sale by owner. Which is okay, but it just means you have to drive around and hope to find an owner home. The real problem we found out by visiting the office is that the park is not owned by the residents. They own their lots, but the owner/developer owns all the common areas and the park in fact is for sale. The secretary said it wasn't going to happen and it had been for sale for the six years she had worked there, but this opens up a whole 'nother can o' worms. Some of the roads were falling apart and there were upgrades that were needed with the community center, etc. Easy to see the owner wasn't putting any more money into it and if it happened to sell, a new owner could raise the monthly fees to anything he wanted, justifying it by saying they needed to upgrade roads, sewer/water system, etc. No thank you. While resident owned parks have their issues, everything to be done requires the membership's approval. Not so when you don't own the park. You are at the mercy of the owner.

So we crossed Emerald Point and Hampton Courts off our list. Only one other park was still on the list. . . Mount Olive Shores, in Polk City. We had visited there a year and a half ago but weren't real impressed, so we were kind of down about the lack of progress. We could buy acreage and build a house, but we would prefer something in a park with people around us. This would afford security and also many parks catering to snowbirds provide mowing/lawn care, etc. Anything remote would require more security and vendors to handle the work when we aren't there. And we plan to continue traveling.

So we took a day and drove over to Polk City and up to the gate at Mount Olive Shores. Couldn't get in. I quickly looked up their website and found they had a signup sheet going for an outing. I figured the phone number for the person in charge would likely be answered, so I called. Sure enough I got a live person. When I told her we would like to come in and see the park she asked me to wait a minute. Turns out her friend, a realtor handling properties in Mount Olive Shores was there visiting. She said she would come to the gate and let us in. We connected with her and fortunately she had time to show us around. The few places she showed us that were for sale did not fit the bill for us. They were some of the cheaper ones and others there had double ports, etc. There isn't much for sale in here and it usually doesn't last long. So she took us to another more expensive property.

First impressions mean a lot and I compare everything to how I left our property which we sold in September. This home was not empty, being sold furnished. I didn't care for some of the furniture, but I have no furniture, so it's a plus to have something to use until I can buy what I want. Most importantly it has a huge RV port and a shorter port and you can put anything you own there as long as it's on the concrete. It gave us a lot to think about. So after two weeks of looking, we had one possibility. It was too much to think about on the fly, so we said our goodbyes to the realtor and left. The hunt continues.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Monday, November 04, 2019

Buttonwood Bay, Sebring, Florida

When we left Ortona Lock Campground, we traveled north through Lake Placid to Buttonwood Bay RV Resort between Sebring and Lake Placid. That allowed us to explore the area and check out the campgrounds we were interested in checking out.

Of particular interest was Camp Florida Resort in Lake Placid. We have friends who have bought in here so we wanted to check it out. The sites, however, were small. The camp was well laid out and people seemed really friendly. The camp is divided into circles each with it's own identity. The problem we found was that of the five circles, only two allowed pets and we were told you could walk your pet in your circle and perhaps the common areas, but not in the other circles. Not a bad rule, but then your pets are limited to 20 pounds each. My Scotties were all over 20 pounds. That limits you to the smallish dogs and many of those are problematic, but since they are small, people accept that they cannot do much damage. And we could not allow our granddogs to visit because they are both over 20 pounds. And we couldn't park all our stuff there. We liked the location and the amenities, but decided it wouldn't work for us.

looked at other possibilities in the area and out around Lake Istokpoga, east of Sebring, but that was a washout. A sad note, however, while driving around the lake we saw a dead black bear on the side of the road. From the size, it looked like an adult, and a recent incident as scavengers had not yet descended upon it.

We did some exploring around Sebring. We owned a condo here and went by to see what it looks like now. It is still in very good condition, but the community has need of some upgrading. Some of the homes needed work. Terry's parents lived here for many winters, but it wasn't a place we were interested in. We never lived there other than to visit the folks at Christmas time. We also checked out Uncle Bill's home where he and Aunt Francis lived in the winters and also Uncle Dan's place. It was a trip down memory lane!

We also drove out to the Highlands Hammock state park west of Sebring. It is exactly as we remembered it although there have been a few controlled burns in the hammock leading up to the park. They do that to help save the environment in the event of a wild fire. We also visited the museum on the grounds. It is a history lesson on the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corp and how parks like this one were built by individuals being put to work by the government in order to turn the tide of the Great Depression. The workers were paid a wage but much of it was returned to their families. They were given enough to spend, but all their needs were met while they were working on the various projects the government had created. An interesting time.

Buttonwood Bay was a very nice park. We were able to wash the motorhome and the car while we were there. Most parks do not allow that. And we were on a double concrete site, so we parked everything on pavement. They accept Passport American which means we camped for half price! Score! Very nice. The neighbors were friendly and we chatted a bit. The park is on a lake, Lake Josephine, which was very pretty and they had a nature trail/walking path along the canal going into the lake. We were able to walk a different route here every day. Every park here has sand hill cranes that hang around. Not sure why they like the parks, but they do. They aren't skittish, but I would imagine if they feel threatened, they could chase you away!

From Sebring we drove on up to Zephyrhills to check out some other parks.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Friday, November 01, 2019

Ortona Lock

Once we left Brandon's, we traveled south down around Lake Okeechobee to see what RV lots and property might be available. We passed by the lake and traveled on west to the Otorna Lock and Campground on the waterway that runs from Fort Myers to the lake and on through. It has a system of locks which make it possible for boats and barges to traverse the state. We were camped at Ortona Lock which is a COE camp.

What a gem! This campground is immaculate and we scored a site right on the canal! The lock is open from 7:30 to 4:30 daily and all manor of boats and ships travel through the locks in both directions headed for their day's adventures. They take the annual parks pass so we camped for $17 a night! Whoo hoo! Water and electric only, but a great place.

We got up to walk in the morning which we have finally been able to do again. Terry is starting to feel a lot better and started walking while we were in Melbourne. We walked over to the lock and watched some boats come in from the lake side. We talked with the one couple. They winter down here from Wisconsin, but instead of an RV or a trailer, etc., they live aboard their 52' yacht! How cool is that. I would LOVE to do that. They had just arrived in the state the day before, got aboard and were now headed to Fort Myers. They were a very nice couple and we enjoyed chatting with them. I think over 90% of the traffic through the locks is made up of pleasure boats and we didn't see any barges or anything. . . only pleasure boats. . . but what an array!

We also had a resident EAGLE who spent time in a dead tree opposite our site on the canal. He was really beautiful and could be seen there most days. The campground host also told us we could see feral hogs in the fields to the east of our campsite, but we never saw any. Would like to have seen some, but I know to stay away from them. I only looked from the safety of the motorhome! Also, to get to our site, we had to cross a bridge over a small creek and there were so many birds down in the creek all the time fishing and digging around for morsels to eat. We saw what I thought must be a muskrat, but was told later it was an otter! Whoo hoo!

We did some exploring around the area and visited a couple campgrounds, but nothing intrigued us. The place we are looking for must have enough space to put all our stuff. We will probably downsize from two motorhomes and get rid of our cargo trailer, but not yet, so it will have to be a special place.

One exciting event happened while we were exploring the lake around the Clewiston area. We had driven out of town and turned around to come back. It was four-lane divided but as we approached the town, movement on the side of the road caught my eye. Terry didn't see it, so I did a U-turn and went back to look again. As we approached the spot, DOZENS of black iguanas came up from the ditch on the right side of the road, heading for the pavement. They weren't close enough to get hit, but we could see them very clearly. I mean DOZENS of them. This was right out of a scene from Jurassic Park! And then we saw it! This was a green iguana, but was orange in color and was HUGE. He would have given any one of my Scottish Terriers a run for their money. As we passed by, he turned back toward the ditch and we got a really good look at him. This must be a frequent occurrence because there are signs all over not to stop on the road or the berm. So taking pictures was out. It is a heavily traveled road and taking pictures on the fly just wouldn't cut it. So we had to be content with our memory! What a sight, though. Later I did some reading up on these creatures. Unfortunately they are an invasive species, not native to the area, and wreak havoc on the environment. They have no natural predators and create problems. So it is open season on them, you can kill any on your property, no permit needed. If you have them and don't want to kill them, you can call someone who will. Kind of sad really. They just want to live. And the reason they are moving right now is because it is mating season! It was an interesting encounter for sure!

Before we left, we saw an alligator cruising down the canal. He wasn't real big, but he was there, nonetheless. They say anywhere in Florida you find water, you can find a gator. LOL After a few nights, we traveled on up to Lake Placid to explore some parks we know are there. Wish us luck!

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Melbourne, Florida!

We arrived in Melbourne safe and sound and got set up in Wickham Park. We actually arrived a day earlier than expected, but we were able to add a day on to our reservation. We had some trouble with our lights on the toad (when hooked up) and Terry needed to troubleshoot it.

The kids are really busy. Brandon works from home but while we were there, he was having to do some travel. Brynlee was in school every day and Megan is busy doing volunteer work at Brynlee's school. She does a number of things to help and it's almost a full time job for her!

I did get to spend lunchtime with Brynlee one day and that is always a treat. She likes having her Grandma's come and we both enjoy it. I also got to sit in on another ukelele lesson. She is doing so well with that. She has picked it up quickly and she has a really good instructor. She pays close attention to him and on some songs she plays he will sing along and sometimes play his guitar. He is extremely talented as well and I hope she continues her music education. He is teaching her to read music and to play by plucking the strings and strumming both. He is a great teacher and she is a great student.

We returned to the Partin Farm Corn Maze and Fall Festival. We had gone last year and it was fun. It was warm, but not as warm as last year. We usually stay in the shade and eat lunch and stay hydrated!


We went out to eat several times with the family and we also include Diane, Megan's Mom. She lives about a 30 minute drive away. We also watched Brynlee some when the kids were gone. We enjoyed Lily, too. She is their Golden Doodle. She is a real trip. She loves to play ball. I also bought her a frisbee. She didn't know what to do with it, but eventually got the hang of it. She will bring it back, but she likes to run with it for awhile before letting you have it back.

There have been many changes in Wickham Park as far as camping goes. There have been two deaths in the campground in the last year. One was a man who was murdered and left in an RV and the other was a woman who died in her RV while camping there.  They have made stricter rules for behavior and more restrictions for tent campers. There were a lot of homeless who just stretched tarps over picnic tables and lived under them. Not a good situation for anyone.

We took time during the day to visit some RV communities where we were looking for a lot to buy. We would like to be able to come to Florida anytime and not worry about getting a campsite. But also, since we no longer have the place in Indiana, we would like to find someplace to call "home" where we could spend some time in the event one of us became ill. Indiana was not good for that because it got too cold in the winter. Texas fits the bill weather-wise, but we have not found good doctors particularly for Terry down there. Since Brandon is adamant he wants us near him, we decided to start looking in Florida. As it was, none of the places we looked had anything that fit our needs, so the quest continues.

We left Melbourne on the 28th and planned to start a "winter roost spot" search in earnest. We are not going to give up our travel, but just find a place to put all our "stuff" and where we can spend winter particularly.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Friday, October 18, 2019

Charlottesville, Virginia!

We arrived in Charolottesville on Monday, October 7, and spent a week visiting with Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan, Aenea, and Pepper. We had a great time but we had some snafus along the way.

We had to drop some mail at the post office so we went there before going on in to the kids' house. Took our stuff in, got it mailed and went back out to the car and it wouldn't start. It tried, but would just not turn over. So we called our road service, then called Jocelyn. Jocelyn got there before the tow truck driver and had everyone with her. So they kept us cool and collected in their car while we waited. It didn't take long and the tow truck driver sent us on our way and towed the car to the Ford dealer.

Jocelyn took us around to car rental agencies and every one of them wanted $65-$110 a day for car rental. So for 3-4 days it could cost several hundred dollars because, of course, they didn't have any of the "cheaper" ones available. The kids have two cars, but the Crown Vic they don't drive because

they said it needed tires. We decided to cut our losses and take the Crown Vic and put tires on it so that it would serve our purpose and be back in service for the kids. A win-win.

While we were there and I was visiting with the kids, Terry finished the job of hanging the storm door on the front of the house that Jocelyn had started. She is not afraid to tackle anything and she did a great job hanging the door, but needed help with the hardware. Terry was able to get that job done for them.

We had some chilly weather while we were there, so Terry and I didn't do any outside activities with the kids, but they enjoyed coming out to the campground a couple times and we had a fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Fun times with the kids for sure. We spent some time at the farm where the kids have a "share." We help pick fruit and pet the farm dogs.

We got our car back in the middle of the week. It was the fuel pump and a fuel modulator. Expensive stuff, but thankfully, they got the job done right apparently because she's run fine every since. It was amusing to a couple of the service writers because they were talking about how they never see any Ford Flex's come in on the hook. . . everything else, but never the Flex. Then they looked up and  saw ours come in under tow. LOL Oh well. She couldn't have broken down at a more opportune time and I am grateful for that. We weren't out in the middle of no where. . . we were where family was just a phone call away.

Our time with the family was soon over and we left on Monday, the 14th of October and headed south to Florida. We took our usual route down 321 through South Carolina, staying off I-95 for this part of the journey. It was an uneventful trip and we arrived in Melbourne, Florida on the 17th.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Time does fly. . . .

When I last wrote, it was before the closing. The closing went off without a hitch on Tuesday. It helps that we know the buyers. . .  they have been friends for many years and they bought the other four duplexes, so it wasn't our first rodeo. They have been great to deal with and even helped us get stuff out of the basement of the house. They have made no demands on us and required no inspections. In turn we gave them a great deal on the house. So everyone was happy.

We never went back to the house after that. No need to. We did go by one day when we went to see Uncle Dan one last time. The buyers have not started to do any of the changes they mentioned because they are busy correcting some major concrete work with one of the other duplexes. They do plan on updating the interior and changing some of the landscaping. When we return to Indiana next spring, we will see what things look like then.

We finished out that week at Elkhart Campground and said goodbye to all our friends there. We then moved over to the Goshen fairgrounds. We were still finishing up some doctors for the summer, closing a bank account, and visiting Mom when we were able to. After a week there, we moved on down to Warsaw. We spent every day then with Mom. She sleeps late, so we usually went in to see her in the early afternoon and then stayed till after dinner. Sometimes we went out and sometimes we cooked. Brandon flew up to go to a Purdue game and while he was here, we took Mom and went to Lafayette and had dinner with him at Red Lobster. It was great to get together again.

At the end of our time there, we moved on down to New Castle and stayed at Summit Lake State Park. This is near where we lived when I was working and the kids both worked summers at this park. We were there to see our internist. Everything is well and we left there yesterday morning.

Yesterday and today were driving days. We stayed last night at a small park near Grayson, Kentucky, where we had stayed one time before. It's called Valley Breeze and I do remember the park once we were in and set up, but I hadn't remembered going there. While there, we met a couple from Ontario who were going to Gilbert, West Virginia, for a trail riding event. I read up on it and it is quite a fanfare. It seems they have events and things to do for everyone. Lisa and Larry visited us in the evening to talk about fulltiming, boondocking, and trail riding! It was great fun and we enjoyed visited with them. Happy Trails, Lisa and Larry!

Today we left Kentucky and are settled in a "new to us" park in Wytheville, Virginia. We will be here two nights and then we move on to Charlottesville. Our reservations there start Monday and we will be there for a week. We are really anxious to see the kids and grandkids.

So that catches you up with us. Now that Terry is more stable and we have the landlording business behind us, I hope to keep up with the blog better.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Monday, September 16, 2019

FINISHED!!!!!!

We finished up with the house on Saturday. We took a few things over to store in MinnieMee, then yesterday we took the sweeper and the mop over to the storage locker. No plans to go back till today when we will set out the trash.

This morning we have my annual mammogram in Fort Wayne, then this afternoon we are meeting the house buyers at Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Tomorrow morning is the closing, then we are headed to Indianapolis for the night. Terry has his last cardiology appointment for the summer on Wednesday. Expecting nothing but good reports there. Then we have a day off and Friday we move the motorhome over to Goshen Fairgrounds for a week.

We went to Claypool yesterday to visit with Mom. She is doing well. We left right after lunch and took supper with us so we could eat with her. I think she enjoyed that. We still will be visiting her as we wrap things up here in northern Indiana. The end of the month we head down to central Indiana to see our family doctor, then we are off to Charlottesville to see the kids, then on to Florida. Back to the normal routine. Except we will probably spend more time in Florida this year looking for a more permanent place for the motorhome.

And eventually we will head to Texas. So busy, busy, busy.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, September 13, 2019

Almost done!

Yes, we are almost done with the house project. Selling a property is no small feat. Last summer it was the plan to get this all done, but Terry was sick all summer and wasn't able to help. But I boxed up stuff and donated to charities, etc. So when we came in this year, the boxes were all still there. I had boxed up most of what was in all the rooms and particularly stuff that the kids had requested.

So this year, I continued with that. Terry was again sick while they were try that new drug Entresto, but once off that and tweaking his other meds, he did a complete turnaround and starting helping in earnest. His job was to empty the shop side of the basement. And what a job that was. I am so proud of him that he was able to get it done and do it his way.

Today he finished the three-stall garage while I worked inside cleaning the bathrooms and doing some needed laundry. Then we sorted the boxes left into corners depending on where they were going. Today we boxed up our computers we had at the house and the TV, so things are real now. We can't sit and waste any time. And there are only two lawn chairs to sit on! LOL Tomorrow we will load the rest of the stuff that goes to storage and I will clean out the refrigerator, then sweep and mop the kitchen and laundry room. And then. . . WE. . . ARE . . .DONE! It has been such a long haul.

Where are we moving? Remember we LIVE in our motorhome. We never lived at this house we are selling. Just used it for storage mainly and as a repository for maintenance parts for the apartments when we had them. So nothing has changed in that regard. We are still living in our motorhome as we have for the last 15 years. But now we don't have to come here every summer and spend the whole summer working on the house. We will still come up here because Mom lives here, but she lives about 90 minutes south, so we can stay closer to where she is. We have stuff stored here and that will remain like that until we find storage somewhere else.

But we are about to close this chapter!

Till next time. . .

Dale

I forgot . . .

Terry was reading my last post and mentioned I had forgotten something. Yes I did. How can I forget having spent a bundle of money? Phaeton Place has been riding on old tires. . . from 2012. We try to change tires every 7 years and this was year 7. They had 70,000 miles on them approximately. Still going strong and not much weather checking, but any more time on them would be out of our comfort zone. And one of the front tires had a patch in it, but it held well. We worked with FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) on their "tire buy" program and got about $71 off per tire. That was a considerable savings when you look at the cost of each tire. This is the first time we put six new tires on. When we first got her we had a tire/wheel issue which resulted in replacing two tires and one wheel early on. So after that, we only bought four tires and rotated those newer tires. This time we put all new ones on. That is the first time, however, and we bought the coach 14 years ago, so that's decent wear out of the tires. After the tires were installed and balanced, we drove over to Bud's Automotive and had the rig's alignment fine tuned. Want those new tires to wear evenly from the get go.

We also put all new tires on the Flex earlier this summer, so we are good to go. Next year we will replace the tires on the little motorhome and the Miata. The Miata is still running the original tires and they are nine years old. No problems with them, but don't want to set out any long distance with those. They have almost 30,000 miles on them.

Today is Friday and next Tuesday is the closing on the last house in Goshen. This house is a duplex, but the one side is twice the size of the other side. This was where Terry's parents lived starting in 1981. His Dad died in 1996 and his Mom continued to live there till she went into the nursing home in 2001. She died in 2004 and we have been working with it since then. If it was a house we could live in, we probably would have kept it. However, with Terry's heart condition, he cannot be in cold weather as he passes out. So keeping a house you can only live in for 5 months out of the year is just not smart and his doctors are not up here in northern Indiana anyway. So it was time. The same family that purchased our other four duplexes have purchased this one and that has made it easier. They told us to leave anything we wanted. Most everything will be gone, but Terry did leave parts for various repairs on the duplexes that he had stockpiled in the basement.

We made two trips to our storage garage in Nappanee this week and we have one more to go. Probably Saturday. After I finish the cleaning, I want to mop the floors, so then I will have some utensils to store. We are taking another load to MinnieMee today. She stays in climate controlled storage, so anything we want out of the cold goes in her. The Miata goes into the storage garage along with the cargo trailer which is already there.

We don't have any idea where it all goes from here. We are hoping to find something in Florida, close enough to Brandon but not too close. LOL While Florida isn't my first pick, it is near family and when you start getting to be "as old as dirt" you want to be close to family. Plus Florida we can live in year round and they have doctors there. Right now I would just like to find an RV lot that has a storage building on it, but so far we haven't found anything. When we go down in October, we are going to spend some time looking around and maybe find something then.

Our doctors appointments this fall are scattered over the next three weeks, so that will be a new adventure for us. We normally get them all in one week, but not this year. Once those are done, early in October, we are heading for Charlottesville to see Jocelyn and family, then Florida. . . then??? We still have our place in Texas and will end up there at some point, but no set date for that yet.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And the beat goes on. . .

We continue with the sale of the house. It is all but empty and the closing is set for September 17. Whoo hoo. . . so what have we been doing?

Getting Terry in shape was priority #1. The Entresto tried to kill him. . . shut down his kidneys and he started filling with fluid. When his tissues started leaking fluid, we knew it was bad. But going off the Entresto was bad as well, because you must be off it for three days before going back on his old meds. But he made it through that. He still wasn't losing the 30+ pounds he gained in the last month, so more adjustments were made and the water started leaving. It took over a month to get it gone, but he is now doing better than he has in two years. Now we think the entire problem was that he was retaining more fluid than he should have been and need a little help with that. He continues to do well and has been a bigger help in the process of selling the house.

We had visits from all the kids and their families in June/July. Jocelyn came first and stayed almost two weeks. We babysat for the kids while the adults took in some activities down in Fort Wayne. That was fun for us and we enjoyed the time with the kiddos.

Brandon's came over the fourth of July. They were here for a shorter time and visited some friends along the way, but we got to spend some quality time with them as well. Love seeing the kids and grandkids.

We sprung for a new jack system on Phaeton Place.  That was pricey, but leveling is not overrated on these big rigs. We went with the "Big Foot" system by Quadra Manufacturing. They are in White Pigeon, Michigan, not far away and we were able to boondock there the night before. They got the new system installed and we were trained on it afterwards. It seems to do exactly what we want it to do. It is different than the other system which was all done with the engine running. This system requires only 12-volt, so the engine is off when it works. Bit of a learning curve.

After checking in with some doctors late in the month, we hit the road in MinnieMee and the trailer to take a load of household goods to Jocelyn. There were items she wanted from the house, so we were happy to oblige. The trip went off without a hitch and we first arrived to her storage unit to off load some stuff, then on to her house to leave the rest of the treasures. We did stay an extra day to visit and to haul the box springs she had bought. Then we headed back to Elkhart. Again, a good trip and MinnieMee seemed to enjoy the outing. We really love that little motorhome.

Since then we have continued our garage sales all summer. I think it has been 7-8 weekends, but we got rid of a lot of stuff. We made around $2000 on stuff we have sold. We rented a 10x40 storage locker in Nappanee which will hold the stuff we are keeping and Li'l Red. We have taken one load and the trailer with another load. Sad to say we couldn't get it all in one load. Once we decide where it will all go, we will decide how to get it there. Our friends Tab and Deanna came last weekend and he used his trailer skills to get the trailer into the storage locker. It was a very tight fit and they never make those lanes wide enough to back straight in. Getting it out should be easier, but that will be next year. We still have some stuff to take over in the car, but it is just one load at the most. We want to do some rearranging of stuff and make sure nothing is setting on the concrete where it will draw moisture.


Everything at the house is now out of the cupboards, etc., and in bags marked for distribution. Today we are taking a load to storage. Monday and Tuesday Terry tore the front end off the Miata to further complete the work he started on the baseplate. He wants to tow it behind MinnieMee. I am so thankful that he is feeling well enough to do that. He is really doing so much better. I know those docs who told him last year he needed a transplant would not believe how he is doing. He's really back to where he was before he got sick two years ago. . . actually I think he is better.

So, we continue to finish up here in Goshen. We will no longer be landlords. Yay! No more headaches there. Not sure what our schedule for this winter is. Virginia for sure to see the kids; Florida for sure to see the kids; after that? Who knows. Probably will end up in Texas at some point to check on the property there. With Mom no longer there, it's not the same going there.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Closing a chapter. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale


Wednesday, June 05, 2019

And the bad news is . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

On the Road Again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Busy, busy, busy. . .

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Yay!

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time . . .

Dale

Friday, May 24, 2019

Life Changes

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale
 




Monday, May 06, 2019

Back to Florida!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .

Dale

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Things are getting interesting!

We visited with Mom for a couple days after the cardiology appointment. This year we couldn't get our internist's appointments and the cardiologist the same week, so we had time in between.  That is why we went to Warsaw to see Mom and to check on the house. On Sunday I went to church with Mom and Nita. I don't get a chance to do that often, but it is a real treat when I do.

Later on Sunday we headed back south and went to Summit Lake State Park, north of New Castle, and near Mooreland where we used to live. Both the kids worked at this park during the summers when they were in college. It was a good place for them to work.

We got our bloodwork done on Monday and the doctor's appointment done on Tuesday. I even saw my dermatologist and we checked in with our financial advisor. We had dinner with some friends on Tuesday as well. All is good and we left there on Wednesday and headed back to Goshen. We parked in the drive at the house and emptied the refrigerator of the motorhome so we could leave it at our service facility to have them work on the jack. When we got there, they had me run the jacks and there is one that is broken. So they are keeping Phaeton Place and plan on checking that out. The problem is that those jacks are no longer made and the company is out of business, so they will probably try and fix that jack. We have been looking at alternative systems just in case that doesn't work out.

Once we got the motorhome taken care of we went back to the house and packed. We were flying to Florida the next day so that we could take care of Brynlee while Brandon and Megan go to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for a week. Wish I could have earned stuff like that when I was working. But sadly, teachers rarely even get a raise.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Old Stomping Grounds

We always have trouble finding a campsite near Indianapolis and this time we went to Mississinewa Reservoir near Peru, Indiana. We used to go here when our kids were little and we would often meet Mom and Dad for a weekend of camping all together. It really is a fun place and things haven't really changed much.

The landscape looks totally different though because they were flooded a few years ago. The water stayed around long enough to kill all the grass and vegetation and that is still not filled in. Then they had tornados and high winds and trees were knocked over by the thousands from the looks of things. So it kind of looked like a war zone. Definitely desolate. The campground itself looked much the same, just the roads and woods leading up to and around the lake are devastated. But they are finally open and taking on paying customers like us. We chose a full hookup site that was as level as we could find. That is the problem here. They never attempted to level the campsites when the campground was built and have never tried to rectify that. And to add to that misery, they cleared out the group camp area and put in "seasonal sites" for people who wish to stay all summer, but there was no attempt to level any of those. And they are paved! I asked about it in the office and they all said they had no input on that. What a travesty to spend all that money on those sites and not even attempt to level them, leaving them to slope on the rolling ground.

We met with Terry's cardiologist on Wednesday. Nothing new to report except they are going to change one of his meds. This won't happen for a few weeks, but we are hoping it helps him recover some stamina.

We were there two nights, then moved up to Warsaw and camped at the fairgrounds so we could go visit with Mom. We also wanted to go to the house and turn on the heat for when we return in another week.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fun with Friends!

When we left Charlottesville, we headed over to Huntington, West Virginia. That is where friends, Smokey and Pam, are workcamping. They are there through October, I think they said, and then they are planning on looking for a place to put down some roots in West Virginia. They also wish to be close to their grandson and son and his wife. Kind of like what we are planning to do in Florida. They, like us, don't plan to quit traveling, just thinking that it would be nice to have a base close to family.

We backed into our spot and attempted to set our jacks down. The terrain was not level and there was a slope to the back. As the jacks were deploying we had a violent noise that sounding like something breaking and the motorhome bucked madly from front to back. This happened three times before I was able to have presence of mind and shut down the jacks. The force threw us up from our seats and we were dumbfounded as to what happened. Shutting off the jacks stopped the problem and we got out and walked around the coach to see if anything was amiss. Everything looked normal. I got back in and retracted the jacks and they did as they should. We requested and were granted a change to a level site because I did not want to deploy the jacks now until we had them checked out. Everything else worked and we didn't have any more issues, but we didn't use the jacks.

We enjoyed our visit with Smokey and Pam and went out to eat a couple times. They also introduced us to Winchester, the chocolate lab who is the park owner's dog. He is really sweet and does some pretty cool tricks.

We delayed our exit from West Virginia by an extra day because of the forecast of storms and high winds on our planned route into Ohio. The storms never materialized where we were at, but may have passed through to the north. We left on Monday, April 22, and made it to our destination with no problems. Our destination for the night was Tab and Deanna's in St. Paris, Ohio. We were not able to stay in our usual spot at their place because of all the rain they had which made the ground soft. Without our jacks to level us, we had trouble staying level.

When we left there the next day, we headed to Mississinewa Reservoir near Peru, Indiana, where we camped. We traveled from there to Indianapolis to visit Terry's cardiologist. The next few weeks promise to be a real whirlwind of activitiy, but things will settle down eventually!

Till next time. . .

Dale


Friday, April 12, 2019

Charlottesville!

Once again, we are in Charlottesville to visit with our daughter and family. We arrived on time and got settled in our camp and then headed off to town to see the kids. The weather, except for Florida, is still cold and wet, and here the trees are not yet coming out. So the good side of that is that we have satellite at our motorhome, since the trees are not blocking our view! LOL

The week was spent helping with the kids and the dog. Since Tom doesn't work from home, there are times Jocelyn could use a babysitter so she didn't have to drag the kids off with her. So we did that a couple times. Course that is what we are here for. . . to help in any way and to spend as much time with the grandkids as we can. And Tom does actually work from home some. I think about a day and a half officially, but if he is sick, they allow him to telecommute. So that is nice. He is still teaching a programming class to students Ronan's age (12), but he has switched that to an on-line class instead of an acutal classroom. He is enjoying that much better.

We were there to celebrate the kids' birthdays. We were actually late for Aenea's and early for Ronan's. I had sent Aenea's gifts for her special day, but kept back a couple gifts so we could celebrate with her. We also went together with the other grandparents to get Ronan a new VR console and games. Didn't see much of him after that! I knew we wouldn't, so I waited till closer to the end of our stay to gift him with that!

The kids are all doing well and have several activities they attend during the week. . . special classes available through the homeschool network in Charlottesville. They really have an organized effort there to bring education and other experiences to the kids who are homeschooled. They both seem to be thriving in that environment.

They are all doing well and hoping to one day expand their house to make some badly needed extra room! Would like to see that happen.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Monday, April 01, 2019

Kid time!

After leaving the Universal area, we traveled on down to Melbourne for our 9-day visit with Brandon and family. We got into Wickham Park and we were pleased to see that it was a lot cleaner and nicer than when we were here in October. They had quite a few homeless in here then, but then an incident involving a murder (the murder did not occur at the park, but that is where the body was found) spurred them into cleaning up the place. It really wasn't a bad place to camp. . . the good outweighed the bad, but it's just better now. It's always been clean, but they have gotten rid of the riff-raff that would infiltrate the park. They have established some new rules that should help.

We enjoyed hanging out with the kids. Brynlee was in school every day, so I did go with Megan a couple times so I would know how to drop off/pick up when we come back the end of April for 10 days while Brandon and Megan go to Montego Bay. He earned another incentive trip from his company. Basically it's a week's paid vacation to a resort with all expenses paid. He is treated well, but he performs well for his company!

We took one day while we were there and scouted out a couple properties for sale. We just don't know what we want, but we plan to get something in Florida. We would like to have a property where we can keep all our "toys" in one spot, but we would still like to be in a sort of retirement community so that we have people around us and activities to keep us busy. Kind of like what we have in Texas, actually.

We went out to eat a few times with the kids and Brandon cooked for us on his big green egg. We had a great time visiting and going to all Brynlee's activities. She is active in many things and likes being busy.

When we left there the 29th, we headed north toward Virginia to see Jocelyn and her family. Love seeing the kids/grandkids.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Casting Spells


We traveled on the next day and set up camp in Ocala at the StageStop campground. Our first day there we went to Ikea and walked through the entire store. Its so large and we enjoy looking at everything. We had coffee there and with our IKEA shopper's card, it was free!

I have wanted to visit Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I am such a big fan of the books. Fantasy and fiction, but what an imagination it took to turn out such a fabulous story.

So Wednesday was the day! We made one wrong turn, thanks to our Rand McNally GPS, but made it easily. The park opens at 9 and we were there by 9:20. I had thought we would have traffic jams and horrific crowds, but nothing like that materialized getting into the park. Later in the day, the spring break crowds were evident and it was hard to get into some shops.

We spent the day walking around. . . over five miles altogether! Wow. It was quite the workout. There are three things to remember about these parks. . . . rides, restaurants and shoppes. We didn't opt for any rides because all of them had disclaimers for people with heart problems or back problems. Haha. Course we knew that was the case and there were only a couple I would have liked to try, but I don't want to risk injuring my now "totally fixed" back. Terry was never one for carnival type rides, so he wasn't even interested. But it was fun to just take in the sets of the town of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. One of the first things we saw was the "Night Bus."It even had the talking head! We started at Diagon Alley. They are actually two parks in separate areas of Universal, so to see them both, you must purchase a "park to park" pass, which is almost a "double" park pass. Clever, eh? I know it was overpriced and a terrible expense, but I really wanted to go, so. . . . Parts of the area were dark, just like in the movie. It was really all pretty cool. There was a dragon. . . remember the dragon that guarded the vault at Gringotts? He was freed by Harry, Hermione, and Ron and sits atop the bank roof and spews fire out of his mouth periodically. You can hear it start to rumble and then it blows! Hah! There is quite a bit of heat from it, too. He is animated and moves as well.

We eventually got hungry and stepped into the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. Since it was an "English" establishment, we had English food. We had the Ploughman's Platter for two, which included salad, a Scotch egg, beet and apple salad, and bread and cheese. It was quite tasty. We had brought water with us. If you ever go, you are allowed a 20 oz. bottle of water to bring in. Do it, because water is the same price as other drinks and expensive.

The shops all had souvenirs of primarily the same stuff. You could buy wands, capes, etc., to outfit yourself as a bonafide Potter-ite. But that stuff was ALL expensive. A lot of kids were there on spring break and wearing their capes and carrying their wands. You could buy "interactive" wands which did some things when directed at specific displays. But they only worked there on those displays.

We later boarded the Hogwarts Locomotive for the journey over to Hogsmeade. You had to pass through a turnstyle and show your badge and your fingerprint. When we first entered the park, our ticket was scanned and then matched to our fingerprint, so whenever that was needed again, everything had to match. It would discourage anyone from stealing someone's ticket, because some options would not be available without the matching fingerprint.

While on the train, a landscape passed by the windows and shadows passed the door simulating real characters from the Harry Potter movies. It was as if you were on the Hogwarts train going to the castle. Once off the train, we walked out into Hogsmeade to more shops and restaurants. They were all similar in nature to the shops at Diagon Alley, but the architecture was a bit different. The Three Broomsticks was in this area. We did walk up to the "castle" which had a shop at the base of it. The castle itself incorporated a ride, so there wasn't really anything to see other than that. I'm sure the rides were pretty cool, but we weren't interested in them. We walked all around the different themed areas after we finished with Hogsmeade. There were areas named for various cartoon characters and most were geared for small children, but we did take in a snack of dippin' dots and stopped for tea once. After we made that complete circle, we were back in Hogsmeade and we boarded the train for the return trip to Diagon Alley.



Once off the train again, we exited Diagon Alley and walked the area around the other theme parks in this section. There were Transformers, Back to the Future, and Mardi Gras and several others based on movies. It was a lot of fun and we were pretty tired. We left the park around 5:30 p.m. so I think we got our walk in for the day.

Great day for the two of us! (I am having problems getting the pictures to this post, so check back again for updated pix!)

Till next time. . .

Dale