Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday morning I had several appointments so I got an early start. The thermometer on my car gave me the happy news that it was +8* outside ............. brrrrrrrr!! Matthew and Mandie were in town visiting a friend who was home on leave from the Air Force. They stopped by late in the afternoon and we treated them to supper at Applebee's. They both have to work tomorrow so they left right after we got back to the 5er. We wish they could have stayed longer but we understand.
The 5th wheel has been staying warm and we are comfortable. The slideouts are the coldest areas but this is to be expected since the manufacturers are limited to how much insulation they can seal them up with. We are supplementing the furnace with our electric heaters and have found a pretty good balance between electric heaters/LP furnace settings. One thing is for sure, I absolutely love our heated mattress pad! How did I sleep without one of these modern marvels??!! Rudee usually turns ours on about an hour before bed time and YOWZER it's toasty warm under them there blankets when we crawl in!! Gives a new meaning to being "turned on" :-)
The weather is supposed to warm up some later in the week but it looks like it may be cold again by the week end. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Christmas eve my company shut us down at 11:30 so I got an additional 1/2 day off and was able to get a few errands done. Rudee, on the other hand, had to stay hard at it until her usual quitting time of 4pm. As soon as she was done we loaded up the car with presents and food and headed to her parents house in Plainfield. We stopped in Avon on the way and picked up my Mother so we could spend some Holiday time with her. Rudee's Mom always goes all out for holiday meals and this one was no exception. She had every burner on her stove working and food spread out over every inch of counter space. Rudee has a brother and sister who also live in Plainfield and with all the nieces, nephews as well as all of our clan we ended up with 22 people celebrating together. Our son Matthew had to work and couldn't make the trip from Ohio and we missed seeing him and his girlfriend Mandie.
We enjoyed spending the evening with family and watching the kids open all their presents. We left a little earlier than we normally do (which is a good thing) because we wanted to get my Mom back to her apartment. My brother was picking her up nice and early Christmas morning so she could spend the day at their house.
We made it home about 10:30 and Rudee started getting things ready to take to Amanda and Ryan's house in the morning. She pre-cooked sausage gravy, green bean casserole and a broccoli/cauliflower salad. We decided to exchange our gifts before we went to bed and Rudee liked her shirt, jeans and fuzzy robe I got her. She especially liked the diamond earrings :-). I guess I did good. She got me a book and a new drill which I had been hinting around for. We also opened gifts sent to us by Matthew. He sent Rudee a gift card and I got an updated map SD card for my GPS, cool!!
Christmas morning I was up early and had the coffee made. Amanda called about 7:30 and said the kids were up so we got our showers and headed over. I had loaded all the food and presents into the truck and when we got there I guess some things had shifted in the short trip. Rudee opened the back door and the green bean casserole ended up in the driveway :-(
At least the dish didn't break.
We spent most of the day at the kid's house and after I fell asleep in their recliner Rudee figured it was time to go home. She made plans with Amanda and Avalynn to meet in Crawfordsville and go to the movie. She had gotten a certificate from Disney for a buy one get one free ticket to their new release. I passed on the movie and just hung out at the 5th wheel. They had a good time and even stopped and picked us up a pizza for supper on their way home.
I felt a little blue this Christmas and not really sure why. I guess it could have been from my Father passing away or maybe just all the uncertainty in my life this past year from work. I can't really put my finger on it. I can say this though, I'm confident and dedicated to our plan to retire early and be fulltime RVer's. Sometimes I just get a little impatient that we can't just pull up the jacks and go.
The new skirting arrived at our mail server (UPS store) on Thursday. I wasn't able to check the tracking number until after they closed for the Holiday so I can't pick it up until today. I had hoped to get started installing it this week end but we have snow! Looks like about 2" of the nasty stuff fell overnight. I don't mind it too bad when I don't have to go out and work in it. Hopefully it will all clear off by Monday. I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We have had the occasional overnighter here at the KOA even though they are listed as being closed from November 15 until March 15. The manager lives here behind the office but she doesn't keep any kind of regular hours during the winter so I'm hoping the overnighters are using the after hours drop box and not just freeloading. She does leave the power on in the entire park and we have the water turned on for our row. Besides ourselves there are 2 others here for the winter.
We got a call Sunday from Niles and Deb who made it to Florida without any trouble. Niles called to rub it in and then asked if I could do them a favor. They haul their Goldwing in a cargo trailer behind their 5th wheel and were looking forward to doing a lot of riding, only problem was that Niles had left their helmets sitting in the garage back here in Indiana. I volunteered to drive to their house, through severe blizzard like conditions, pick up their helmets and fight through the holiday traffic to drop them off at the Fedex store. You owe me big time Bro'!! :-)
We are spending Christmas Eve with Rudee's family in Plainfield and then going to Amanda and Ryan's house Christmas day to see what Santa brought the grandkids. We are looking forward to spending time with family and having a 3 day week end as well.
My new skirting is still in transit and may be here tomorrow or Thursday. I'm hoping we can get started installing it this week end, should make for an interesting blog entry. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
They were predicting snow for Friday evening and we were expecting 1-2" of the dreaded white stuff. Well the snow didn't come until Saturday morning and was not as bad as predicted. The ground is covered but the roads are all clear. I'm glad we are not further east where they are getting a blizzard with over 2' of snow in places.
We finished up our Christmas shopping on Saturday. We had eye appointments at Wal Mart at 9:30 and decided to let them change the oil on the truck at the same time. Between appointments and doing our shopping it was noon before we left. That's a first for me, spending that much time in a Wal Mart for cripes sake!!
Back at the 5er I watched TV and napped a little. Rudee took off and got her nails and hair done. She was a major Hotty when she got back!!
Sunday we are doing some more float building and hanging out with our friends. I'm sure food will be involved somehow, somewhere :-).
Furnace update: still working like it should, keeping my fingers crossed. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have written before about our friends Gail and Gordon Pike who we met in Florida last year. Here is a link to a you tube video of them on stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx_bgzySpF8 I can't get over how she can sing so "Southern" and talk so "Northern"!! :-)
We are looking forward to watching the Colts play tonight. I doubt if I will be able to stay awake for the whole game but hopefully we will stay warm!! I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday we went to help build a float with our Goldwing buddies. Each year the state organization holds two rallies, one in summer and the other in winter. This year's winter gathering will be in Indianapolis. There will be several events, games, seminars and even some vendors. We usually take Friday off from work and make a 3 day week end out of it so we wont miss anything. Saturday night they have the "grand parade" and the individual chapters are encouraged to enter a float. The week end has a different theme each year and this years is "Island Paradise". I see grass skirts and coconut bra's in our future :-). With all that has been going on in our lives we haven't had the chance to help on the project until this weekend. I have to say it's coming along great! The rally is January 22nd and 23rd so we should have no problem finishing it up. I can't post any pictures yet, it's all a big secret since we will be getting judged so I don't want to let the cat out of bag just yet :-).
I'm a little bummed out that I have not been able to watch an entire Colts game yet this season. We have always had something going on. I have gotten to see bits and pieces of the games and keep an ear tuned to the radio when they are playing but I need to have a day where I get to sit in my sweat pants and dirty t-shirt and just watch my team!!
Monday after work we drove to Sheridan to visit the funeral home there. One of our riding buddies lost her brother and we went to pay our respects and offer our support. We picked up Niles and Deb on our way and got a chance to visit with them for awhile. Niles is a truck driver hauling grain and has been running 12 hour days 7 days a week for the past several weeks since it's harvest season. He is relieved it's almost through and they are leaving for a well deserved 2 weeks in Florida resting and recuperating. They leave Saturday morning and are really looking forward to their trip.
I ordered our new skirting material yesterday and it was shipped today. We are hoping it gets here before the week end so we can install it. I'll keep you posted.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I was worried that we would have some freezing problems but I'm happy to report that all our utilities are working like they should. Here is what I have done so far.
1. Pirit heated hose for water supply. http://www.pirithose.com/
2. PVC sewer pipe ran at a good angle for proper flow instead of the slinky type plastic sewer hose.
3. portable heater plugged into a thermostat controlled plug in and placed in the basement to guard against freezing in case the furnace goes out. http://www.thermocube.com/
4. Vinyl skirting for the 5th wheel overhang (car port for the bike).
Inside the 5er besides the on board furnace we have a Infrared heater and 2 ceramic cube style heaters that we use to help maintain a comfortable temperature. https://www.iheaters.com/
We have been staying comfortable and the furnace is hanging in there (keeping my fingers crossed).
Our king size bed really takes up a lot of room and after reading on the Montana Owners forum that several had reverted back to queen beds we decided to make the change as well. We went to the local furniture store that advertised Tempurpedic beds and looked them over. We had decided on buying a memory foam bed. We had thought about an air bed but there are no outlets convenient to the bed. We tried out several foam mattress' and finally decided on one and arranged for delivery. I borrowed a saw from Mike Kadinger and cut the bed platform down to size. The delivery truck showed up right on time and the guys carried the old mattress out and brought the new one in and set it up. Wow what a difference. Not only do we have more room to walk around the bed but it is a lot more comfortable as well.
I have some different ideas on replacing the blown away skirting so stay tuned. We take my sister to the airport tomorrow evening for her flight back to Seattle. Not sure what other mischief we'll get into. I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday morning I made a trip to Home Depot and bought several 8x10 sheets of foam board to use as skirting around the 5th wheel. Rudee and the rest of the "girls" took my Mom shopping for an outfit to wear tomorrow. When I got back I started measuring, trimming and installing my home made skirting panels. It was really cold and I had to stop several times to go inside so my hands could warm up. I got about 3/4 done and ran out of daylight so I will have to finish later in the week.
Sunday was my fathers memorial service. The family all arrived at 12:30 and everything was set to go. The folks at the mortuary really did a great job for us. The people started arriving at 1pm and there was a steady stream until well after 3pm. We got to visit with old friends and relatives we had not seen in a while. I really appreciate all of our friends coming to give us their support, it sure means a lot to Rudee and I.
After the services our whole family loaded up in our cars and went to Pizza Hut for dinner. My Mom and Dad ate here all the time before moving to Florida. We all sat at a long table and really enjoyed ourselves. My Mom did get a little confused and at one point asked"where is my husband at?". Broke my heart. Rudee explained that he had passed away and was in heaven, She said she remembered but it felt funny that he wasn't here. I guess we need to expect these things, I have even caught myself picking up the phone to call him and talk about the weather or something and I don't have the excuse of Alzheimer's.
Our son Matthew arrived Saturday and has been sleeping on our couch so Monday Amanda came over and we took them out for breakfast. Since we were not sure we would be seeing Matthew again until after Christmas we decided to surprise him with his gift. We had planned to buy him a new TV since his was on it's last leg and Amanda wanted a camcorder so we took them to Wal Mart and let them pick out the ones they wanted (within a certain budget of course!!). Matthew's girlfriend Mandie joined us after our shopping spree and we all headed for my Mom's where she was able to meet her as well as my sister and niece. We visited at my Mom's for awhile and finally headed back to the 5th wheel and ordered Pizza for supper.
Tuesday it was back to work for both of us. Monday morning we had about 1 1/2" of snow and there were wrecks everywhere so it looks like it's going to be a busy week for me.
Furnace Update. I caught up with the RV repairman Saturday morning and he actually showed up at the KOA to fix my furnace!! He took the blower casing off and found that the "sail switch" had been rubbing on the casing and sticking causing our intermittent problems. My tapping on the outside of it would cause the switch to be "unstuck" and then the furnace would work. He repositioned the switch and it has worked fine ever since. Maybe it's finally fixed!! I'll keep you posted.
Friday, December 4, 2009
We grabbed breakfast and then went to the florist and picked out the flowers for Sunday. Rudee suggested we take the time and stop in to the BMV and get our address changed on our drivers license. We also wanted to update our weights too :-). When we were down in Florida we went to my parents bank where they had a safe deposit box that we needed to empty and close out. I had to show my I.D. (drivers license) to the gal there. She looked at the license then at me then back at the license and then looked back at me and finally asked if I had any other I.D. because I looked so different. It took one of the other employees vouching for me who had seen me in with my Mom the prior day before she would let me open the box. We figured we better get new photos taken. :-)
We headed back home and found that the furnace was out again. I took off the cover and the light was flashing the code for the limit switch/air flow problem. Looks like the circuit board didn't solve our problem. I called the repair man and he was going to call Atwood who makes the furnace and discuss it with them. He called me back in a few minutes and said they thought it was a "sail" switch which is inside the blower housing and he would be out in a little while to fix it. I told him we would have to be leaving and he said "no problem, everything I need is on the outside". We were going to the airport to pick up my Sister and brother in law who were flying in from Seattle. Rudee followed me to Indianapolis in my parents car which Frank and Paula were going to use while they were in town. Once we picked them up we stopped and got a quick bite to eat since they hadn't had a "real" meal all day.
We parted ways with Paula and Frank as they headed for his fathers house and we had a party to attend. Tonight was the Goldwing Chapters annual Christmas Dinner. We were running late but made it before the catered dinner was served and even had a few minutes to visit before dinner. We always have a good time with our biking friends. We have a small gift exchange at the party where each person who brings a gift gets a raffle ticket. They then get the gift that has the corresponding ticket on it. After all the gifts are handed out you get three minutes to trade your gift with someone elses. The traders get pretty funny and the only rule is you can't take back a gift from the person who took it from you. We always have a great time running all over the room "stealing" gifts. Once the time keeper yells stop we all open our presents and then go around the room showing everyone what we got. This year I got a hand made wooden pen in a nice wooden gift box and some peanut brittle. Rudee got 25 gold dollar coins all wrapped individually. We were both happy with our gifts and enjoyed our evening.
We made it back home around 11:00 and guess what?? Yep you are right, furnace was out. I had left the cover off so the tech could do his magic and the cover was still off which means it looks like he didn't even show up!! You would think this guy would at least call and let us know if he can't make it. He does work on Saturday so I guess I get to go and chase him down again tomorrow. I did get the furnace going again, just takes a rap on the blower case with a screw driver. Maybe if I wrap up in enough blankets I can sleep outside under the furnace door with my screw driver in hand so I can beat the heck out of it all night!! Is there no end to this furnace saga?? I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday morning we got a call from the mobile RV repairman and he told us he would be out this afternoon to fix the furnace. I told him about the new "code" and how it was acting and he is convinced it is the electrical board and says he has one in stock. When I got home from work he still hadn't shown up or called so Rudee drove me to Thorntown where we paid for and picked up the bike. The weather was cool but not terrible and I had a nice ride back home.
Wednesday morning Rudee started calling the RV guy and leaving messages. He was recommended to us but we are finding out that he is not the best communicator and so far has not followed through on his commitments. I did not have a very good day and was stressed to the max and ready to bust a vessel and finding out the furnace still wasn't getting repaired sent me off the deep end. He has a small shop here in town so I decided to pay him a little visit. Luckily his shop is about 3 miles through town and I had a little time to cool off before arriving. I found him inside on top of a class C motorhome doing some kind of repair to it. I told him who I was and he immediately started in on excuses, couldn't find the right board, had to order the part, UPS hasn't been here yet, yadda yadda yadda. He told me that the part was on the UPS truck and as soon as it was delivered he would come and install it and would call me before 6pm either way. I was a little skeptical but what else could I do. I drove back home and he called about 10 minutes later and said he was on his way. He arrived and not only changed the board but also checked the gas pressure and did the recall work on the refrigerator that I had forgotten about. I felt kind of bad for him because it had started to rain and was turning cold. He finished up around 6:30 and the furnace seemed to be operating like it should, time will tell.
We went to the Wednesday night dinner ride with the Goldwing group which was to Creekside Restaurant here in Crawfordsville. While sitting in the restaurant the rain changed to SNOW. Yuck!! The flakes were huge and the cars were soon covered. The ground was still warm enough that the snow didn't stick but it sure reminded us that winter is just around the corner.
My sister and brother in law are flying in Friday afternoon and we are going to meet them at the airport. Matthew is driving home and will be staying on the couch here in the Monty. My Dad's services are this Sunday and then we can start to work on getting things back to as normal as we can. I'll keep you posted.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Right after I snapped the photo the owner came out to walk his dog and I got to meet John who is from Northern Indiana. He told me that he had been traveling in a bus conversion and had just recently purchased the Montana and the Peterbuilt. He plans to build a deck onto the back of the truck this winter so he can haul his Harley trike instead of the scooter he has loaded up now. He spends his winters in Zephyrhills Florida and is on his way there now. I told him that we had just left there heading back home to Indiana. What a small world indeed. He then told me he was 81 years old! He didn't look a day over 60 and I told him so, he laughed and said he may not look to be in his 80's but he sure feels like it sometimes. I enjoyed meeting him and wished him a safe journey.
We got on the road about 9:30 and made good time through Kentucky and we were soon in Indiana. We made a quick rest stop at the Scottsburg Rest Park on I-65 to grab a quick snack and stretch our legs. We pulled into the KOA around 2:30 and began setting up the 5th wheel for the winter. The truck continued to run great the rest of the way home.Once we were all level and stabilized Rudee hopped into the truck with me and we took the Goldwing over to Grumpys Goldwing Service in Thorntown and dropped it off to get the oil leak fixed. We are hoping it will not be too serious. I'll keep you posted.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Traffic was light and we were looking forward to making good time. My trucker buddy Niles called me on my cell phone about 30 minutes after we left and while we were talking the trucks engine started missing. I thought maybe the Jake brake was messing up and shut it off and it seemed to run a little better until I started going up the next grade and it started missing out again. Rudee called me on the radio and said there was white smoke coming from the exhaust . Oh oh, this can't be good. I went ahead and pulled over. Niles gave me some things to check and told me to call him back. I checked what I could and other than the radiator being just slightly low, all looked good. I called Niles back and he had talked to Freightliner who told him it could be the fuel filter clogged. This made sense since it only missed out when under a load and felt like it was starving for fuel. Niles was hopeful it was the filter instead of something internal in the engine. Rudee called our insurance company for road side service. They hooked us up with a towing company who gave us a a couple of names of roadside service providers who work on big trucks. I called one who said he was available and had the filters we would need (there are 2 of them). He said he would be there in 45 minutes. Darrell showed up right on time and quickly got to work on the truck. He replaced both filters and primed the engine then had me start it back up. Our insurance company told us we would have to pay for Darrell's fees and then submit the receipt for payment so Rudee wrote him a check and we'll keep our fingers crossed for a refund.
Darrell followed us for a couple of miles to make sure all was well before turning off. The truck seemed to be running like normal so it appears that problem was solved. Moral to this story is to make sure I carry fuel filters in the future so I don't have to pay big $$ again to have them replaced on the side of the road again. They are not difficult to replace but you have to have the parts and the right tools to do the job both of which I will add to the tool box before taking another trip.
Traffic had picked up after our 2 hour delay. I guess all the people were out getting those "black Friday" deals at all the stores. We stopped for lunch North of Atlanta at a rest park. I was little nervous heading over the 6% grade at Mont Eagle Tennessee because of our earlier engine troubles but the truck did great. We breezed through Nashville and stopped for the night at Bluegrass RV Park in Franklin, Kentucky. This is the same park we stayed at on our first night out on the way down to Florida two weeks ago. The temperatures are supposed to be below freezing so I filled the on board water tank instead of hooking to the campgrounds hydrant. I didn't want to risk the pipes/hose freezing up so we will just run off our pump for this stop. Rudee fired up the furnace and it's working just fine so far, keep your fingers crossed!!
We have about 300 miles left to drive tomorrow and should be able to be set up back at our site at the KOA before dark but you never know. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Rudee toasted us each a piece of French Toast for breakfast while we waited for things to warm up a little. We took a walk around the campground and met up with the owner/manager who was making rounds in her golf cart. We verified with her that the dinner will be in the clubhouse and will start at 5pm.
We bundled up and headed out on the bike about 10am. We didn't have a destination in mind so when we exited the campground I turned the opposite direction from yesterday. We continued east for several miles and then turned south. We rode until close to lunch time and let the GPS find us a restaurant. We were led to the town of Eastman Georgia where we had several restaurants to choose from. Seeing as it was Thanksgiving Day I figured if we stick to the chains we would have a good chance of them actually being open. Our first choice was Wendy's ...closed, next was Pizza Hut ..... closed, Mc Donalds ..... closed, oh oh this was not looking too good. Mexican place .... closed, Dairy Queen .... closed. Ok now I was getting worried and Rudee was getting hungry and this was the largest town in a 40 mile area. We finally spotted a Huddle House that was open. These restaurants are along the lines of the Waffle House type diners seen at so many interstate exits and are not usually high on our list of eating joints but beggars can't be choosers! The food was actually better than I expected and we enjoyed our lunch and short break from our ride.
Back on the bike we headed further South before I finally steered us back to the Northwest and headed towards the 5th wheel. We made it back around 3:30 and Rudee helped me load the bike back onto the semi. I had noticed a small oil leak on the front of the Goldwing's engine fairing when we unloaded in Florida and saw that it had worsened when we were loading it up :-(. We will probably be unloading the bike at Grumpy's Goldwing Service and leaving it so he can check it out rather than taking it back to the campground with us. Hope it's just a gasket and not something more serious but we will need to get it taken care of before riding again.
Rudee had all the prep work for her broccoli/cauliflower salad so all she had to do was put it all together in a bowl. She finished it up and we headed for the clubhouse for dinner. There were 26 people there and we sat with Ron and Ann from Tennessee. There was enough food to feed and army and one couple brought in the biggest apple pie I had ever seen. The thing was made in a round casserole dish and was probably 6" deep .. WOW. Ron and Ann are fulltimers who spend the winters here. They sold their former home to their son on the condition that they keep 1/2 acre for an RV pad and this is where they spend their summers. They have a travel trailer they pull with a small bus. Ann is confined to a wheel chair and the bus and trailer have been adapted to her needs. We enjoyed our meal and the company we shared. Rudee liked it because she didn't have to cook and only had a couple of dishes to wash :-).
We are hooking on in the morning and heading further North. We are not sure how far we will get. I guess it all depends on how early we get started but will probably shoot for Bluegrass RV Park in Franklin, Kentucky. We stayed here our first night out on the way down. I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Traffic was fairly heavy most of the day. We made one stop at the Georgia Welcome Station for lunch and a short rest break. We pulled into Twin Oaks RV Park (http://www.twinoaksrvpark.com/), Elko Georgia shortly after 3pm. Our plan is to stay here for 3 nights and leave Friday morning and continue our trip back to Indiana. The campground is nice and we have a full hook up pull through site for $18 per night (Passport America rate). We signed up to attend their Thanksgiving pitch in dinner when we checked in. The park is providing the meat and each couple will bring a covered dish. Not quite like spending Thanksgiving with family but it should be nice.
There is also a National Cemetery on the grounds. The prison held over 32,000 men on it's 26 1/2 acres. Most had little to eat and their quarters were crude handmade tents. There is a stream that runs through the camp but it was not sufficient to supply them with the fresh water they needed and was soon contaminated with human waste. The death toll was nearly 100 men per day, too many for individual burials so the men were laid shoulder to shoulder in mass burial ditches. The graves were marked by wooden stakes with numbers engraved and eventually these were changed to the marble headstones seen today.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We headed back to the 5th wheel and the closer we got the darker the clouds became. The rain started and continued off and on for the rest of the evening so we just vegged in the 5th wheel.
Monday the weather improved and we had a lot to do. We had gotten my Dad's death certificates late on Friday and needed to tie up some more loose ends that we could only do after we received them. A trip to the county courthouse in Dade City was first up. We got the information we needed for the deed on their lot and then went and applied for new titles on their trailer. Since it is a double wide there are two titles, right and left :-). Next up was a stop at a title company for the deed application. They said they could only do it if we purchased title insurance but recommended a paralegal that could take of it for us without the insurance which was not needed. I called the paralegal and set up a 12:00 appointment. We headed for the post office to mail out copies of the death certificate for his life insurance and his pension. The post office was a zoo and by the time we finished there we were almost late for the paralegal appointment. Luckily his office was not far from the post office and we made it right on time. He took down all our information and we paid for the new deed application. We would have to come back in a couple of hours and he would have all the paperwork ready for us to take to my Mom to sign and mail back. We grabbed lunch at Flaco's Cafe in Zephyrhills. They specialize in Cuban food and it was very good. Rudee had 2 empanada's which is seasoned beef wrapped in a pastry and deep fried. I had a Cuban Philly Sandwich which was beef, cheese, peppers and onions pressed and grilled on Cuban bread.
With lunch out of the way we made a Wal Mart stop for groceries and went back to the farmers market for some fresh vegetables. We picked up the paperwork at the paralegals office and finally headed back home. I took the truck and topped off the fuel tanks. We used 115 gallons on the trip down, getting right at 9 miles per gallon. I was pretty happy with these numbers since we would only get between 8-9 towing our tow hauler with our 3/4 ton truck.
Back at the 5th wheel I loaded the bike onto the back of the truck and got it tied down and ready to travel. We are leaving Tuesday morning and starting to head back North. We are going to stop and visit the Andersonville Prison National Historic Park in Andersonville Georgia. I found a Passport America Park near there that has gotten very high reviews on http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ so I called and they have room for us for a few days. They are having a pitch in Thanksgiving dinner Thursday evening so we will probably attend that as well as doing some sight seeing. We have about 300 miles to travel Tuesday and are looking forward to exploring a new area. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We headed back to the 5th wheel in time to get ready for dinner. We had invited my cousin David and his wife Linda out to dinner. They have been great with my Mom and Dad. Linda had been taking my Dad to dialysis on Saturdays when he couldn't drive and there was no shuttle available. David was always doing little things for them. Our taking them out to dinner was just a small token of our thanks to them, they are two great people.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Our site is on the back row of the campground and has full hook ups. We got set up and Jon and Cherie' (bro and sil) picked us up and we headed out. We made a quick stop at Chile's for lunch and then spent the rest of the day with my Mom. She has been handling things pretty well. She has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and her short term memory is not very good and she gets frustrated when she cant remember something she just did a few minutes before. Jon has been busy getting things arranged and we made a plan of attack on what still needs accomplished. We left my Mom's when she went down for her dinner and headed back to the 5th wheel.
Rudee made herself some soft tacos for supper and I opted for Mc Donalds drive through since I had Mexican for lunch. We had planned to watch the Colts game on TV and I made it through the 1st quarter and headed to bed. They were playing our arch rival New England Patriots and were getting beat up pretty bad. I fell asleep pretty quick but was awakened by Rudee yelling at the TV, I guess the Colts were making a come back in the 4th quarter and ended up winning the game by scoring a last second touch down. She said it was really exciting.
We are planning a memorial service for my Dad here in Zephyrhills. The park they lived in offered the use of their clubhouse for Tuesday afternoon. We are keeping it low key and this will give their friends here a chance to see my Mom again. We have decided to move her back to Indiana so family can be close. We have already made the arrangements at an assisted living facility near my brothers house. We are renting a U-Haul truck and he will haul her belongings while Cherie' and my Mom follow in the car. My Dad wanted to be cremated and we are going to stay until that happens and we can bring his remains back north with us. The funeral director says it will not take longer than 7 days so we may make a stop on the way home to see some new scenery. I'm not sure how it will all play out but I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
1929 - 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I finished up what work I could in the morning and Rudee took 1/2 a day off. We had the whole circus wagon we travel with packed up, hooked on and ready to roll by 2:45. We made it through Indianapolis before rush hour and traffic was heavy but no back ups. Louisville was about the same and we made it through by taking it slow and easy. We decided to stop for the night about 8pm in Franklin Kentucky at the Bluegrass Music RV Park which is a Passport of America Park. The rate was still $23 for the night which includes an extra $3 for 50 amp "big rig" site. Their pull through sites are very long (90') and it was easy getting into. The place looks very nice but to be fair I have not seen it in daylight yet :-). They are located right off I-65 at exit #6. The noise from the interstate is not bad at all and we both slept very well.
Thanks for the comments and prayers for my Dad. We are planning to make some pretty decent miles today. I don't think we can make it all the way down and it still be daylight when we get there. The place we are staying at is a little tight to maneuver around in so we will probably stop for another night on the road somewhere in Florida. I'll keep you posted.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Rudee and I are planning on going down as soon as we feel we have too. I would go now but think it's best to wait. I want my Mom to have either myself or one of my siblings with her during this time so we are trying to space ourselves out so when one would have to leave another can come and take their place. I suppose it will all be moot if he passes away, then we would head down as soon as we got the word. I guess we are just in a holding pattern for now.
I have been going through the motions here at work. I'm sure I haven't been the best person to be around this week and Rudee has been very patient with my short temper. My emotions are on "full alert" and I have found myself thinking of memories of my Dad. I would like to be there with him just to let him know everything is going to be alright but I don't want to rush down there and then next week my Mom have no one to help her through all this. What can you do except try and make the best decision and hope it's one you will not regret later.
If you get the chance, say a prayer for my Dad today and I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I have been keeping a close eye on my father. He has not been feeling well and sounds very weak when we talk. I talked to the nurse at the assisted living facility and she said he has been failing dramatically in the past week or so. He is so weak he cannot walk and has been falling a lot because he is too weak to stand. We have all tried to get him into the hospital but he is refusing to go (I ran the battery out on my phone trying to convince him!). I think he knows they will have to put him in a nursing home. He has been the primary care giver to my Mother who suffers from dementia and doesn't want to be separated from her. Yesterday he was due for dialysis and he was too weak to go and finally agreed to go to the emergency room. He was moved to a room last evening and we are waiting for an update from his doctor. He is so weak and sounds pitiful when he tries to talk, I'm not sure he has long left. I am trying to prepare for that as best I can. We are heading down to Florida in a couple of weeks and it looks like we will probably be moving my Mom back into the nursing home where they both were 6 months ago so they can stay together. We shouldn't have as much to move this time and most of their furniture and things can either be donated or we can call the auction place again. He has agreed to move back up to Indiana where all the family is but he is too weak to make the trip right now, guess we'll just wait and see.
My sister, Paula, suggested I start a facebook page so I'm now on facebook. I signed Rudee up as well but not sure if she will "get the bug" or not. I guess I am more into the blogging and corresponding then she is.
Rudee has to go to a training class this evening so I'll be a bachelor tonight. I've got a new netflix movie and it sounds like a good night for Chinese take out :-). I'll keep you posted.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Steve is a retired Frankfort Police Officer and now works for the Sheriff's Department as a transport officer. During the week he takes prisoners back and forth to courts as well as to the various prisons around Indiana. On the week ends he is subject to being called in to transport prisoners that have to be taken somewhere right away. Well this was his week end to be on call and as soon as we got to Frankfort he was called in to assist with a prisoner. We decided to go get some breakfast and wait for him since he promised not to be long.
Steve met us at the restaurant when he was done and we all loaded up on the bikes and headed out. We continued heading north and were soon in Monticello Indiana home of twin lakes, Freeman and Shaffer. This area is a popular summertime retreat and the lakes are lined with cabins and homes. We rode around Lake Shaffer The trees have all shed their leaves and a lot of the homeowners were out raking the leaves into piles.
We started heading back south and got off the main drag and headed thru the farmlands on the side roads. They are putting up a lot of wind mill turbines here and we saw quite a few with their blades slowly turning making power.
All too soon we found ourselves at a cross roads with Frankfort to the east and Crawfordsville to the west. We said our goodbyes to Steve and Trish and headed towards home. We both enjoyed the riding we did this weekend and this may have been our last chance for good riding weather before winter sets in.
We will be taking the bike down to Florida with us and plan on doing a lot of riding there, or at least as much as we can squeeze in for the short time we'll be there. Rudee has a class this Wednesday so she will miss the dinner ride. I'm not sure if I'll go or just hang out here and enjoy some "alone time" I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Our breakfast was mediocre at best and the service was below par. I would think that a new restaurant would want to put their best foot forward so people would come back. Not this place. I doubt if we will return.
We headed west on the bike with no real destination in mind. We enjoy the time we have on our Goldwing. With the built in intercom system we can spend some quality time together discussing anything and everything. Saturday was one of those days I will never, ever forget. We were riding and discussing my job and the impending doom we have been experiencing. I pray every night for help with my job situation and am keeping an eye on job postings with my company just in case they have something I can transfer into instead of just waiting for the axe to fall. So far there has been nothing. Thursday night I was stressed because they had closed 4 more offices so I prayed that my path He has planned would become a little clearer to me. Friday I checked the job listings and there was a new posting for a job as a special investigator and they were looking for someone with both claims and law enforcement experience to review files for possible fraud investigations. Sounds like it might be right up my alley since I have 12 years experience in both, hmmmmm. Plus it was in my pay range so I may not have to take a pay cut. The biggest downside is the job is in Kansas City and we would have to move.
We discussed the pros and cons pretty much all evening Friday and started back in again Saturday morning agonizing over what to do. We were on the bike riding when we made the decision to aggressively pursue the job. We were both relieved we had reached a decision and maybe this would be the first step to having a little security back in our life. It was a nice feeling because we had been in a lot of turmoil over all of this. At that moment I noticed a large bird circling overhead. I had to take a double take and pointed it out to Rudee. There was no mistaking it. It was a bald eagle! Wow, it was impressive and I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I had never seen an eagle in the wild, much less here in Indiana. How cool is that??!! I can't help but think of one of my favorite bible versus. Isiah 40-31: " ..... they will mount up with wings like Eagles." We were both awestruck.
We rode on and eventually made it to Terre Haute Indiana where we had lunch. Rudee has some family roots in this area so we headed a little north to Universal Indiana and she pointed out several houses where various relatives lived. They have all passed on now but I think Rudee enjoyed seeing the places she spent so many summer week ends at. We had a great day and got to share a very special moment.
Sunday we are planning some more riding with Steve and Trish. Who knows what we'll find. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The furnace has been a struggle for the last year. We had it looked at when we were in Goshen at the factory and they made some adjustments and it has worked fine until this past week end. The furnace will work fine and then for no apparent reason shuts down and will not restart. Sometimes I can get it going by turning it on and off at the thermostat, other times I have to take the panel off on the outside of the 5th wheel and reset it there. Other times I just rap it on the side of the blower and it starts up, kind of a "kick start" :-). Needless to say we have got to get it fixed so we have reliable heat this winter so Rudee left a message with a local mobile RV technician to have him come and check it out.
I went on to work and left Rudee sitting in front of her computer wrapped up in blankets :-O.
The RV tech hadn't called and it was getting close to noon so Rudee called Keystone (manufacturer of our Montana) and talked to Darrell in the Service Center. He put a technician on the phone and after Rudee described all our problems to her she diagnosed that the limit switch was the most likely cause and would need replaced. Shortly afterwards the mobile tech called and he agreed and will order the part and replace it, bad news is the part will not be here until the first part of next week. The good news is the furnace fired back up again and has been running fine all day.
Our son, Matthew, arrived this afternoon for a visit. We took him out to eat at Creekside Restaurant here in Crawfordsville. Steve Suter called as we were leaving the 5th wheel and he was in town and all alone (Trish was working late) so we invited him to tag along as well. Matthew ordered their special which was a breaded cheeseburger, looked interesting and he said it was pretty good. I guess everything is better deep fried :-). The rest of us had "normal" food and we all had a nice time.
Back at the 5th wheel Amanda and the kids stopped in for a visit. We had a house full tonight! Matthew is spending the night and will head back to Columbus tomorrow. The weather looks like it may cooperate enough for us to take a bike ride this weekend, we're keeping our fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It takes us about 1 hour to go from "set up" to road ready not counting having to load the motorcycle. Rudee handles the inside chores and I take care of all the outside stuff. One really nice thing about a 5th wheel is I can hook on all by myself. We have had travel trailers in the past and Rudee would always have to help me back onto the hitch.
We pulled out just after 4:30 and headed west to Waynetown. We arrived at Charlarose Campground about 20 minutes later and got checked in. We had reserved one of their two pull thru spots because they are the only ones that are gravel. The other sites are all grass and with the rain falling our semi would be stuck as soon as the tires hit the wet grass.
Several of our group were already there but no one was out and about due to the rain. I decided to do the bare minimum setting up and just put the jacks down and hooked up the power and water. I was still soaked when I finished though. Grumpy Williams was camped next to us and he invited us to ride with him to get something to eat. We got the group together and headed into Hillsboro and had dinner at the Chatterbox Cafe. The food was good and since the campground was so wet we hung around the restaurant talking for quite awhile. Once back at the 5th wheel we headed in for the night to watch some TV. Dale and Diana Beason joined us for awhile since our TV got a couple of stations theirs did not and they had a couple of shows they didn't want to miss. We enjoyed having company!
Saturday morning the rain had cleared but the temperatures were down. We all got together and went to breakfast in Veedersburg. Back at the 5th wheel I pulled out the overhang skirting we purchased at Camping World a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get the snaps mounted on the 5th wheel so we could use it this winter. I plan on putting the bicycles under it and am hoping it will block some of the winter wind as well. I had plenty of help putting it up and the installation went well. Looks pretty good.
Rudee and I took a bicycle ride around the lake. Most of the trees had already shed their leaves but the lake still looked pretty.
Sunday morning Amanda dropped the kids off at the camper. They were spending the day with us because Amanda and Ryan were going to the Colts game. Grandma made breakfast for her brood and she gave me some too! :-). We hung out for a little while watching Nemo and Spiderman before I started packing up for the trip back to the KOA.
We made it back to our spot and got set back up just in time for the Colts game. We watched the game while eating a late lunch. Well the Colts pulled out a win despite of their poor offensive play. Amanda and Ryan picked the kids back up around 6pm and we settled down for some piece and quiet :-).
No big plans in the works this week but you never know what may happen at the last minute. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, after my marathon phone call with our IT Support, we headed to Lebanon on the bike. The weather was cool (63*) so we bundled up for our ride. We both have leather jackets and I wear leather chaps. Rudee wears her rain suit pants and after putting on our gloves and helmets we stay fairly warm. We had a nice ride and had 23 people show up at the restaurant. The food was really good and I think everyone liked their meals. Rudee and I tried a crawfish dip appetizer that was really good as well as sharing a steak dinner.
We enjoyed being able to ride the bike but I think our riding days are numbered for this year. The weatherman says it is going to rain for the next 2 days and turn cool again. We will be going to Charla Rose Campground in Waynetown this week end for a group camp out with some of our motorcycle friends. The weather has us convinced to leave the bikes at home but we are looking forward to nice relaxing week end even if we can't ride. I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The meeting was different than I expected. Not only did we meet our new Regional Claims Manager but the VP of Claims was there as well as a rep from HR. The whole office had a look of doom when they introduced themselves. The RCM gave a presentation on what was going to happen in the next several months. They are going to combine our office with their existing office which was really no surprise. Why pay for 2 buildings. He also announced that there are almost 400 duplicate personnel between the two companies. We each have to take and pass screening and certification tests and then we will be evaluated individually and, if you are good at your job, there is a company need for additional people in your position and enough work, you can keep your job.
Suffice it to say I didn't have that warm and fuzzy feeling leaving the meeting. They did a lot of corporate cheerleading which was almost laughable. Here is a room full of people who have been going to work every day expecting it to be their last and these folks are talking about how the company has it's own production studio to make in house training movies and how many perks the "home office" has. Pitiful.
Well I guess the good news is I still have a job. My testing is scheduled for sometime in February and will be after the supervisors take theirs, so I should be OK for a few months anyway. Rudee and I have been going over our options and are getting a plan together in case the "sky falls".
Today was cloudy, cool and damp here. The leaves are really falling and our patio carpet is covered. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little better. We are leading the ride to the restaurant for our Wednesday night Goldwing get together. We are going to a restaurant in Lebanon so it wont be much of a ride but will be nice to see our friends. I'll keep you posted.