Monday, October 31, 2016

Prayers for family. . .

This summer we learned (about the same time that Daddy died) that our daughter-in-law's father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The stage and the fact that it had already spread did not bode well for Percy. While we are here in Mobile we received word that he had passed away.

While we were there in Melbourne, we were able to see him. He was obviously thinner, but we were surprised he took such a bad turn and died just a week later. We were all at the pumpkin patch to help Brynlee pick out her pumpkin.

Please keep Megan and her brother and mother in your prayers as they transition life without their patriarch.

R.I.P. Percy.

We are surely hoping for a better year next year. Starting in July, we lost my Dad, then my niece's dog, then our Butterscotch, then my sister's father-in-law and now my daughter-in-law's father. We've paid our dues this year, I think. Here's hoping for a better 2017.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mobil in Mobile!

We are at a very nice campground by the name of "All About Relaxing." An odd name for a campground, but it fits. It was built by a couple who were fulltimers and set down roots here and built a campground. It is very nice, very upscale with a price to match. But they are exceptionally nice people and they have a great little campground. It's very clean and with a lot of different amenities. . . swings, hammocks, shelters nicely appointed, etc. Everything is very clean and they do keep some workcampers busy. They are in the process of retrofitting their large building for an activity center which will be nice when it's done.

We came here on the recommendation of Mike who is going to install the base plate and the wiring on the Ford Flex. We were there Friday and he ordered all the parts and said they would be in on Monday. Then on Tuesday morning, he will do it all. He said it would be done by noon.  We are staying here till the job is done, then planning on heading out Wednesday. We hope to visit with Terry's cousin Gary and wife Jo in Zachary. They are still recovering from that horrific wreck they were in on September 10. We won't be staying with them this time, but will visit for an afternoon. From there we head to Houston for Terry's cardiology appointment and to pick up Mom at the airport.

We are still in the Mobile area, but are on the east side, so when we leave here Wednesday, we shouldn't have a lot of traffic. Well, I mean it should be better since we are west of town proper.

We lounged around yesterday and today and spent some time with Duchess since we've felt like we abandoned her those hectic days when we were negotiating for that car. She's a sweetie and continues to do well now that she is all alone.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 29, 2016


Terry says that's what the newspaper in the "ant world" will read once they discover what we did to them!

When we arrived at the Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama, we knew there was an ant problem. Hey, we've dealt with fire ants before and had poison with us. But these weren't fire ants. They were not "mound builders." So there is no place to lay down the poison. Well, we did mark the wheels on the motorhome, then pull forward so Terry could lay down grit around the tire area, then I backed into position so the tires were protected.

BUT, those little devils crawled up the electric post and the water pipe and crawled in on the electric cord. Sheesh. And let me tell you, COMET does not work. That's what everyone was using, but we found active ant trails making a path right through the stuff. We had thousands of them in the bathrooms, so I put Terro traps out for them. My goodness, they loved the stuff, but there were just too many that I couldn't stand it. I found an ant trail on the carpet in the bedroom, so I decided action was needed. We went out and looked all around. We found two trails and they were headed up the mudflap in back at the only point where it touches the ground. Then they crawled up the flap and along the top of it to the two chains attaching it to the motorhome, then into the coach. Grrrrrr. They are resourceful, I'll give them that. So we decided since we hadn't eaten yet, we would go out and grab a bit to eat and buy some spray. When we got back, we sprayed all those areas. A decrease in inside activity was already noticed from our earlier efforts and we continued sweeping them up till 11 p.m. when we went to bed. In the morning, they were all but gone.

Today we will be moving across town to another camp closer to where we are having the base plate installed on the Flex.

Till next time. . .


Friday, October 28, 2016

A new TOAD!

In "RV'er" talk, a "toad" is a vehicle you tow behind your motorhome so that once you reach your destination, you have transportation. For 10 years, we have towed our faithful 2003 Sport Trac behind the motorhome and she has not given us a bit of trouble. But when we had the final tuneup before leaving northern Indiana, our mechanic said it was time to look for another vehicle "in earnest." It seems the little truck has three timing chains and they were rattling. He said it was impossible to tell how long it would last, but if the chains broke, it's expensive to fix. . . like REAL expensive. The only way to replace them is to pull the engine. That is about a $2-3000 job. A new engine is about $5-6000. So ever since Bruce told Terry that he has been on pins and needles hoping that the truck would last. All the time, that noise the chains make is getting louder and louder and lasting longer and longer.

So once we left Brandon's, we have been scouting around the larger cities where we stop and checking out vehicles. We really wanted another small truck, but there just is not one on the market today that fits our needs. So we started looking at cars. The problem is that we carry a spare tire for the motorhome in the truck, so it has to fit in the backend of the car. What we found that fits the bill is a Ford Flex. We test drove one in Mobile and ending up buying it. We feel like they made us a fair trade on our Sport Trac and we brought it back to camp and starting putting everything in it that had been in the truck. Amazingly, it all fits. We will be making a space for the tire in the basement of the motorhome, but that won't happen till next summer.

It's a very nice car, an SUV actually, with 3rd row seating. So we can carry the grandkids now, which makes me happy. We have found a few things that we want to add to it. It isn't brand new, it's a 2014, but we didn't want new to tow behind the motorhome. It looks like new inside/out, so we are very happy with it.

Our salesman had a friend from high school who has an RV shop with his parents and he is going to put the baseplate on the Flex and wire it for lights as well. He cannot do it till Tuesday, so we are moving across town to be closer to his shop.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fun with the Kids!

We spent the week at Brandon and Megan's and babysitting some, so the grownups could go out. We always enjoy doing this for our kids.

One day I went with Brynlee and Megan and Megan's Mom, Diane, to Orlando to the Discovery Science Center. It is a children's science museum and is probably the largest one I have been in. It was really nice and there were many activities for the kids to get involved in. There was an archeology dig that Brynlee liked, but she didn't like the dinosaur skeletons that were on display. Those scared her so she had to hide her eyes when we moved!

We also went to the pumpkin patch on our last weekend there. It was fun to see the kids picking out pumpkins. Brynlee couldn't make up her mind, but she ended up with a small white one I think.

It was a treat because her Grandpa Percy came. He has been taking chemo for cancer as hasn't felt like getting out, but he wanted to come. He told me it was an annual tradition and he couldn't miss it.  I think he enjoyed getting out and we enjoyed seeing him.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Boo at the Zoo!

On Sunday, October 23, I went with the kids and Brynlee to the Brevard County Zoo's annual "Boo at the Zoo!" This is actually the second time I had gone and it was a lot of fun. A lot of the animals are in their huts for the night, but we did get to see a few.

The big event is to get families into the zoo and the kids all come dressed up in costumes. They have a path to follow and they have people passing out candy. They walk through the entire zoo and visit with other trick or treaters and gather candy in their baskets. It was a lot of fun for Brynlee and her friends. Because there is consider walking, they do get tired and we eventually started for home.

I'm glad that the kids include me in these kinds of things when we come because I enjoy seeing Brynlee participate in these activities and having fun.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 15, 2016

A/C is so overrated!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

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

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

We love you Daddy!

Sadly missed and always in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall in Virginia

Fall in Virginia means apples!

We usually take a trip with the grandkids up Carter's Mountain to the apple orchard. There is a lookout and beautiful scenery all around.

We met Jocelyn, Ronan and Aenea up there and took some pictures and ate some wonderful warm cinnamon donuts. Ronan had never had one before because he has had allergies to the ingredients, but he is outgrowing those little by little and today he got to have a warm donut for the first time! AND. .. he LOVED it! Whoo hoo! I knew he would.

We walked through the Apple Barn and checked out all the pumpkins and the dogs people brought with them. The kids like going up to the "tower" and looked out over the apple orchards up and down the mountain. It was a very clear sunny day and you could see Charlottesville and UVA near where the kids live.

We all got something to drink and sat out on the deck and people watched for a bit. The kids enjoyed their cider. We took some pictures before heading back down the mountain. It was a great time and I'm glad we were able to share the time together again.

Till next time. . .


Monday, October 10, 2016

Rolling, rolling, rolling. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time. . .