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

Monday, March 18, 2019

Searching, searching for a campsite!

When we left Gary and Jo's, little did we know we would have such a hard time finding a campsite, but since the weather has been so bad throughout the midwest and further up north, the snowbirds are still mostly hunkered down in Florida trying to keep warm. Can't say that I blame them, but we did want to find a place to camp.  We ended up driving longer and farther than we normally do, but we did finally end up at Alliance Hill RV Resort in Marianna, Florida, for the night.

This is really a nice little camp of just 14 spaces on a guy's farm, but it is obvious that they are planning on expanding it. The camp host who greeted us was a Brit, now a legal U.S. citizen and proud of it! He was really enjoyable to talk with and hard to get away from! You all know someone like that. I told Terry I would love to sit around a fire with him and listen to all his stories. He was a very interesting individual. It was late when we got in, however, and it was turning cold, so we got in and turned on the heat.

The area where this camp is located is south of I-10 and it is smack dab in the middle of where Hurricane Michael came through last year. Now I thought the devastation was so horrific on I-10, but even that paled to the country we drove through on the way to the camp. It was just like the landscape was wiped cleaned. Thousands of trees broken off. They are still cleaning up and rebuilding houses, roofs, etc., trying to get back to normal. Jack, the camp host said they lost 300 trees on the farm and are still working every day to get things cleaned up.

The campground has a small, but nice, rec hall, with a kitchenette, TV room, restrooms and showers. There is a pool out back. It sits high on a ridge, so if you are in the pool, you have quite the view in all directions. It was a really nice camp and we will have to visit again.

The  next evening we drove on to Ocala, Florida for a few days. Terry promised me a special treat, so I'm holding him to it.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Friday, March 15, 2019

And a fun time was had by all . . .

We visited at Cousin Gary and Jo's on Wednesday. His sister Shirley and her daughter Vikki were visiting from Mississippi, so we had a little mini-family reunion! It was good to see them.

Thursday, we girlies all left in the late morning and went shopping. We went to craft stores and I got some more yarn. . . hmmmmm imagine that! We ate out at Cowboy Chicken which was good. At least what I got I really liked. I had been wanting to try this restaurant as they have one in Mission, Texas, that we had never tried.

Today Shirley and Vikki left to go back to Mississippi and Gary and Jo drove over to our camp and picked us up. We ran a couple errands and then ended up at a restaurant called Middendorf's in Akers, Louisiana. It is between Lake Maurepas and Lake Ponchartrain. It is famous for its "thin fried catfish." It was thin and it was very good. Another case of too much food. We got the "small" plates and once again brought half of it home to eat another day. But since we are embarking on traveling for a few days, it will give us "road food" as we like to call it. After our meal, we walked out to the deck and the pier that juts out into the water.

On our way back, we went through Ponchatoula which is known as the strawberry capital of the world. I don't think they are the only place that makes that claim, but they did have fresh strawberries for sale on every street corner. So we made the guys stop and we walked to one vender and bought a flat of the biggest berries I have every seen. Jo and I split them and I did get mine all cleaned tonight and we had some fruit for a snack. Yum yum.

We eventually ended up back in Amite where they were having the 2019 Oyster Festival. Jo was excited to go since they had never been and, of course, neither had we. So we walked around a bit. It wasn't very large, but there were some food venues. Jo wanted me to try to things, so I tried the shrimp and grits. The grits were actually pretty good, but I didn't care for how the shrimp was prepared. She said different people do them different ways and I might want to try them somewhere else. She also had me try charbroiled oysters. Oh my. . . now those I really liked. And Jo seemed to think those weren't the best she has had, but they were very good.

There were two music stages and there was a young man playing when we arrived. He actually was very good. A single guitar, but very talented and didn't seem to be very old. It was an enjoyable end to a wonderful day and we enjoyed spending it with Gary and Jo.

We returned to camp and said our goodbyes. It's been a fun few days, but we will return.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Love Louisiana!

We arrived in Louisiana after leaving the valley and spent our first night here in Breaux Bridge at Cajun Palms. This was actually our second time to visit this camp. It is a very nice camp and we enjoyed a seafood dinner at Crawfishtown, U.S.A. near our campground. I can't believe how much food they gave us. We should have gotten one meal and split it. We got the seafood platter and it came with a stuffed crab, a stuffed shrimp, oysters, a catfish filet, shrimp, french fries, coleslaw and hush puppies. We brought over half our meal home and then put them all in the freezer because we knew we wouldn't be eating any of it any time soon.

We left there on Wednesday morning and planned a relatively short day of driving to Amite, Louisiana. We wanted to visit cousin Gary and Jo and we normally stay in his yard, but they have had so much rain that Gary worries we may get our rig stuck in the yard and that would be no fun, so we stayed at a camp we have stayed at before when we visited them. It is 39 miles away and takes 55 minutes to travel, but it is a nice, clean camp and much larger lots and cheaper, albeit farther away, than the KOA over at Denham Springs. So we signed up for three nights.

We had the worst traffic we have every had coming out of Houston and across I-10 in Louisiana. There were times all the east-bound traffic stopped and there appeared to be no rhyme or reason why. No road construction, no wrecks, etc. There were even two times when road signs posted that the right lane was closing ahead, so we all dutifully got over into the left lane. The lane closure never materialized. Me thinks someone is playing head games with us! LOL When we got to Baton Rouge, the traffic stopped about five miles from the bridge. Then it was stop/go/creep all the way up to and over the bridge. I really didn't want to cross it. . . I don't like traffic stopped on bridges. I like it moving, but we stopped right at the apex. Fortunately it was a quick stop and then we proceeded on and made it over the bridge. Hope the traffic on eastbound tomorrow will be better. Should be since we have Houston, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans traffic out of the way. Another reason we decided to stay here is because we are about an hour east of Baton Rouge, so it will be a quicker and easier getaway.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, March 08, 2019

T minus 3 days and counting. . .

That's right. . . we are getting things ready and going to be leaving the valley for the year on Monday. You might know. . . after a pitifully cold and wet winter, it is starting to warm up. We still don't see the sun too much though. I don't know if it's all the pollution spilling over from Mexico or what. But it sure has been a gray winter.

Yesterday we went to recycling for the last time. Got that stuff all emptied out of the shed. We got home and went for our walk. Two miles every day, but we sometimes walk the mall. We have walked the mall over one-third of our time here this winter. Some days we wait till it warms up in the afternoon, but neither of us likes waiting till so late.

After we got back from our walk, I swept out the car and cleaned the backend out. Terry loads the back with the motorhome spare tire, boots, hoses, grill, etc. So I wanted to sweep it out before he put all that stuff in. I swept out the seats too and put the dog sling back in. The sling was great for Duchess because it kept the seats clean and was protection for her to keep her from falling down into the footwells. It works now to keep things organized and the back seat clean.

This morning we went for our walk early and then came back and waited for propane to top off the motorhome tanks. Then we defrosted the motorhome freezers and brought everything from the refrigerator/freezer in the Texas room to the motorhome fridge. We have everything in it, so we won't have to eat ourselves silly getting rid of stuff.

I have started laundry for the day and I'm going to work over in the Texas room getting things cleaned and covered for the summer. It really can be a big job to do all of this, but we work at it over a two week period, so it really goes quite fast.

I just got done picking up the "bling" in the yard. Our site numbers and name placards. Put all that away. Getting ready to cover the windows in the Texas Room. Putting bubble wrap in the windows has really helped to eliminate damage from the sun during the hot summer when we aren't here.

Got all that done, ate lunch, and did the dishes. Now to go out and finish the laundry, then I will dust and sweep the Texas Room and start dragging stuff into it.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Wastin' away in Margaritaville. . .

Well it seems like that. Here we sit in "warm" south Texas where it was 37* yesterday and promises to be about the same today. Years ago, Mom always said they had two weeks of winter around Christmas time, but that was it. Winter has lasted here this year. . . well. . . ALL WINTER. Is that so bad? Well, yeah. We want to be warm. I suppose there have been other bad winters here,  the last 3 out of 5 winters have been bad, but this year it has lasted ALL WINTER. Yuck. We have had very few nice warm days. We finally washed the motorhome two weeks ago. . . first day nice enough for Terry to get out and play with the water. He's washed the car twice. Will it never end? I know people have it much worse further north, but for those of us who travel 2,000 south to avoid cold weather, it's still the pits! My arthritis has kicked up big time and it has made me miserable.

So, we are about to blow this popsicle stand. Actually it is time for us to leave anyway, so we are heading out next Monday and going to Florida to see Brandon. We plan a stop at cousin Gary's in Zachary, Louisiana, first to touch base with Terry's family, then heading over to the Sunshine State to see Brandon, Megan, and Brynlee and their new dog, Lily. Can't wait to see them all.

We haven't done a lot this winter because it's been too cold for Terry to get out most days, but we still have managed to get to a couple rock 'n roll jams. We enjoy the music. Last weekend our friend, Danny and his new band, Poison Ivey, played over at Sleepy. It was three hours of great, great music. . . rock, ballads, Tom Petty, Beatles, Doors, Bob Segar, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. They are really great musicians and did a wonderful job entertaining us all. They are just recently formed, so we are hoping for many more play dates next year.

We also accomplished a first for us this year. We haven't been to Mexico in probably ten years, safety being the obvious issue. There have been many incidences in the border towns in the last few years and we decided not to get caught up in it. But, for lack of anything else to do, we decided to head down to Progreso to maybe get some medications, etc. We left early one morning and, of course, it was overcast and misting on us, but we went anyway. Figured it wasn't raining hard and maybe there wouldn't be big crowds. We got there about 8:30 in the morning and walked across with no line at all. Everything is just as we remembered it, and if possible, it was even dirtier. The sidewalks are all taken up with vendors outside the regular stores and it is tight to maneuver your way through from one store to the next. That is more congested than we remembered it. We ducked in a few stores to buy souvenirs for the grandkids and then walked on to find the pharmacy that we always liked to do business with. It is a couple blocks down, so once we found it, we crossed the street at the corner and walked back up. We got some medications that we like to have in stock and then headed back to the bridge. It was only 10:30 in the morning, having accomplished what we went there for, and there was no line at the bridge. We showed our passports and walked back across the border to our car. It was a good time and is still an interesting event.

After leaving that area, we drove on east and headed to South Padre Island. We wanted to go to Louie's Backyard and take in their seafood and prime rib buffet. It didn't start until 4 p.m. so we had to find something to do. We drove out to the convention center as they were having Market Days, which is like a big Flea Market, but with new products. We spent a couple hours there looking around, but didn't buy anything. It was fun though. Afterwards, we drove as far north as we could drive. The road even then was getting covered with sand as the winds whipped around. It was still misting and foggy and on the bridge coming over, we couldn't see the water. Couldn't see the tops of the hotels either, but as the day wore on, vision did improve.

Eventually we made it to Louie's and we weren't disappointed. The buffet was wonderful and delicious and we both enjoyed it. After stuffing ourselves, we headed back to Mission and got back around 7 p.m. It had been a long day, but we enjoyed it and it was something different from what we usually do.

In other news, I did sell Mom's place. Took a month to get everything signed, sealed, and delivered, but it is done finally. The couple who bought it are from Illinois and they are not yet retired, so planned to spend one week here, three weeks working, etc., during the winter months. But they just this week bought another place over in Hidden right across the street from their friends. It is a bigger place, with a casita and garage. Extra living space for visitors who come down, etc. It is a larger lot and a newer park model. They bought it really cheap and I cannot blame them at all for buying it. I would have too if i had wanted to be down here with my friends. So now they have put Mom's place back up for sale. More people have been looking lately and the word is they won't have any trouble selling it. It would be nice to have someone in the place. When I look at it empty, it reminds me of Mom and Dad not being here. When people are there, it's a different mindset. So hopefully they will be able to sell it soon.

I have gotten a lot of projects done this winter. I have been doing a lot of crocheting, trying to learn more and become more skilled. I've done several blankets. I also did a shrug, a kind of modified sweater, but I didn't like it once it was completed so I just took it apart and made a throw out of it. Looks great for that. I also crocheted myself a hat and a scarf which I have actually used. LOL  I also made Jocelyn a new cape. Her first I made is about 25 years old and becoming threadbare, so I bought new fabric last year and got it made while we were down here. I also got a lot of mending done, which I hate to do, but actually finished! We've both done a lot of reading.

We miss our Duchess, for sure. I don't miss the getting out when it's so cold to take her to the dog park, but I miss the time we spent with her. She was miserable the last part of her life. Being blind and deaf would be difficult for any being and she was not happy. When she last got sick, she couldn't even stand up, so she is now in a better place. But we still love her dearly, as we do all our departed pets.

This year we have been sprucing up the park a bit. New windows replaced the old, leaking ones and the entire outside was repainted. The paint had faded so badly and had turned a pinkish color, so the new paint really looks great. Some of our very talented residents repainted the Restful Valley Ranch sign and did an outstanding job. And in the valley, they have started placing "Butterfly" statues to signify the "Butterfly Capital of the World." There are a lot of butterflies down here and this is pretty cool. 

Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Duchess Diane of Dundee, 4/12/2006-1/15/2019

 
Duchess Diane of Dundee, affectionately known as Duchess or "Duckie" passed away on Tuesday, January 15, 2018, in Weslaco, Texas, at Border Animal Hospital. She died in the loving arms of her human.

Duchess was born on Killdeer Farm in Tanner, West Virginia, and lived on the farm until she came to live with Terry and I along with her sister, Miss Butterscotch of Killdeer, aka Butterscotch. Her parents were Mister Dickens II of Killdeer and her mother was Chantilly's Midnight Lace. All three preceded her in death.

Duchess had enjoyed good health until her sister Butterscotch died and then shortly after she developed diabetes. It took some time to get this disease under control and as a result, she developed cataracts and became blind. Late last year, she also seemed to become deaf.

Last week Duchess became quite ill and refused to eat. Attempts were made to remedy this but eventually she refused all food and became very week. She seemed to have no joy left after the blindness and deafness, so we decided to help end her pain.

She is sadly missed by Terry and I and life will not be the same.

R.I.P. sweet girlie. We love you. Our hearts are broken.

It was decided to donate all her beds, toys, dishes, food, medical supplies, etc., to a no-kill animal shelter in Edinburg, Texas. We are assured that new adoptees will get to choose toys that once belonged to our girlies.

Rest assured that she and Butterscotch are running free at the Rainbow Bridge and will be ready to greet us when we get there.

Till next time. . .

Dale