"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday 5/29/09

Rudee got off a little early Thursday and we were able to load up and get on the road by 3:30. We were heading for the Indiana GWRRA rally "Spring Wing Warm-Up 2009" in Greensburg Indiana. I was able to get hooked up and pulled out of the KOA with out incident this time :-).
Traffic was not too bad heading east on I-74 thru Indianapolis and on to St Paul Indiana where we exited to follow the signs to our new home for the week end. We followed the blue camping signs to Hidden Paradise Campground. I turned into the entrance and the gravel drive got narrower and narrower the further back we drove. We continued winding our way back thru the trees and finally found the office and entrance gate. There was no parking area at the office so I had to block the road while we checked in. We paid for our 3 nights and I hopped into a golf cart with one of the office workers who was taking me back to show me the sites. She was pretty worried about the size of my truck. They had just had a heavy rain and were worried I would sink into the ground in my big old heavy truck.
Several of our goldwing friends were already there and set up. The sites were all grass and the ground was a little soft but I felt like I would be fine so back to the office we went. The campground is large and there are a lot of seasonal and construction workers staying there. We drove the rig back to the sites and I pulled in and proceeded to start spinning wheels. I went ahead and shut the truck down since we were pretty close to being where we wanted and we were almost level so that's where we stayed. We set up and unloaded the bike and we joined 4 other couples and rode into Greensburg to check out the rally site in anticipation of opening day. We stopped for supper at Chili's and the 10 of us had a great time.
Friday morning Rudee and I and were up early and went into St. Paul to a little cafe' for breakfast. We like to stop at the little "Mom and Pop" type places when we can. We enjoyed a good breakfast and headed to the rally.
We had pre-registered (and paid) for admission so all we had to do was pick up our packets that had our arm bands that got us in and out of the gate and some other goodies. We walked around the fairgrounds and looked thru the vendor area. There were lots of bikers camping at the fairgrounds in motorcycle pop ups and tents. We all decided not to stay there because the electric outlets for the campers were only 20amp and were few and far between. The fairgrounds was also pretty small and since we had 9 fairly large rigs we felt it would be better to stay somewhere we were sure we could all fit. I was sure we had made a good decision after seeing the camping area at the rally.
There are lots of things to do at a motorcycle rally but our favorite is to ride and see the countryside. We decided to go one of the rides that the local chapter had set up. This one was a little different than just lines on a map though. The ride was called a scavenger hunt but was more like the reality TV show "The Amazing Race". We started with a card that had written directions to a destination and once there we had to answer a question about the area (with clues provided) and then we would get another "clue" with directions to our next stop. We went to a truck stop then an historic Mill, an Amish restaurant and finally back to the fairgrounds. We were not really racing for the fastest time but we did have to check out when we started and back in when we got back. The ride took us 3 hours and 53 minutes including a lunch stop at the truck stop and desert at the Amish place.
Friday evening a large group of us went to a Mexican place and had a ball telling lies and eating a great meal. We all came back and had a nice camp fire at the campground. Saturday should bring more rides and more rally events. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

it's a hummer!!

Work is picking up for me, figures since I am only working 3 days this week. We went to Amanda's house last night after supper and saw the grandkids. I don't remember our kids having that much energy! They can sure wear Grandpa out really fast.
Tonight was dinner out with the Goldwing group. We didn't unload the bike off the semi since we are pulling out again tomorrow so we drove the car and just envied those that got to ride. We had a large crowd at Dave's All American Pizza in Danville In.
The other day I thought I saw a hummingbird flying near the camper. We have a hummingbird feeder we purchased from Howard and Linda Payne http://www.rv-dreams.com/ a couple of years ago that attaches to the window with suction cups. Rudee got it out and filled it with sugar water and I put it on the dining room window last night. Today we had a female hummer feeding several times from it. I will try and get a picture for the blog if I can.
We hope to be able to leave by 4:00 tomorrow. We have to drive around Indianapolis on I-465 again and hope to get thru before the worst part of the rush hour. We are heading for the little town of St. Paul Indiana where we are staying at Hidden Paradise RV Park. We will be attending the Indiana GWRRA rally. We are optimistic that the weather will be good and we can get some riding in. The rally will be based at the fairgrounds in Greensburg Indiana and there will be vendors on site as well as seminars, games and rides. I'll be sure and get some photos to share and, as always, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 25, 2009

livin the fulltime life

We made it back "home" to our spot here at the KOA around 2:30. What a great week end. We hooked on and pulled out Friday around 4:00 since Rudee was able to get off a few minutes early. We did have one screw up while leaving. The KOA was filling up and we were trying to leave and things were crowded. I backed the truck up to hook on and missed the pin/hitch alignment by just the least little bit and the teflon plate that's welded onto my hitch got buggered up a little. I should have had Rudee out helping me but being the big tough, do it all by myself guy that I am, I didn't ask her to come out for the couple of minutes it would have taken and I messed up some. No real big deal, a little adjustment and we were hooked on and ready to pull out. Rudee asked the guy in the site next to us to move his truck because he had parked it where the road and the edge of our site meet and made it very difficult for me to get out. He was really nice and moved it while we pulled out. One thing for sure, if you want to get a lot of attention in an RV park just drive around in an HDT because all eyes were on us as we were leaving!

We breezed thru the rush hour traffic around Indy and headed south on SR 37 to Martinsville where we turned on SR 252 and took it to SR 135 turning south towards Nashville In. The Bill Monroe Campground is in the small town of Bean Blossom Indiana. We were the first to arrive around 5:30 and was led to our site. We knew Niles and Deb were close behind us and had no more than backed into our site when we saw them being led towards us. We had back in 50amp sites with water hook ups. The first impression of the campground is not the best. The place needs some TLC and reminds me of more like a fairgrounds than an RV park. Our sites were nice and long and I was able to leave the truck hooked on. After setting up and unloading the bike we hopped into Deb and Nile's truck and ran up the road to a little restaurant for supper. Tim and Linda had arrived and were setting up by the time we got back and we lit a fire in the fire pit and relaxed the rest of the evening.

Saturday morning Linda treated us to biscuits and gravy for breakfast! We decided to head into Nashville to take the gals shopping. Nashville is a neat little town where the entire main strip as well as most of the side streets are one craft shop after another. I guess it's Indiana's answer to Gatlinburg Tn or maybe Eureka Springs Ar. There are lots of local artists that sell their wares as well as just about any kind of crafts and artsy fartsy stuff you could ask for. I did find a pair of chaps that fit pretty well and were not too expensive so I bought them in preparation for our trip on The Blue Ridge Parkway in late June. We were all pretty well shopped out and came back to the rigs around 3:00 and just hung out until supper time. We all ate together on just about every meal and tonight it was Mexican night. We had Tacos, corn cake, Mexican salad, and chips and salsa all followed by a campfire.

Sunday it was Tim's turn to cook and he is a master at the waffle maker. After breakfast we went our separate ways with Rudee and I heading out on a bike ride. We decided to head towards Bloomington on SR 45 which is a nice winding scenic road. We took a small detour and rode around Lake Lemon looking at the houses and catching a glimpse of the water now and then. We did make it to Bloomington and had lunch at Red Lobster. We returned to Nashville via SR 46 and decided to walk thru one of the flea markets where Rudee bought herself a new purse. We made it back to the campers in time to watch the last 3/4 of the Indy 500. Tim brought his TV outside and Niles ran a cable over to his antenna and we all sat outside in the shade and watched the race. I was in charge of frying the fish that Niles and Deb brought which was the remainder of the fish we had caught in Florida and they had kept in their freezer until now. One thing for sure, you don't go hungry around this crowd! We all sat around the campfire and talked until well after dark.

I woke up early this morning to the sound of distant thunder and rain on the roof. The storm missed us but we did have a short period of heavy downpour. The sky's were cloudy all day and it sprinkled on and off while we broke down the camp and prepared to leave. Tim and Linda pulled out first but we were not too far behind. We tried to use the dump station at the park but it turned out to be just a septic tank buried in the ground that they had to empty when it filled up and it was time to empty again since it was filled to the top and overflowing, YUCK!

We stopped at a Flying J truck stop on the way home and weighed the rig. We are carrying 11,500 lbs on the trailer axles which are 6,000lb axles. We are with in 500 lbs of max weight which was a pleasant surprise because I thought we would be over with all of the stuff we have crammed in here. The total weight of the whole rig was 33,000 lbs. WOW over 15 tons!!
We have a short work week this week since we are both taking Friday off. We are going to the GWRRA Indiana District Rally in Greenfield Indiana. We will leave Thursday after work and are looking forward to another 3 day week end. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

packing to go

I mentioned that we were going to hook on and bring the slides in and head out for a week end camping trip. Several times this week I have reminded myself to make sure I pack one thing or another to make sure I take it this week end. Well Duh!! You're taking your whole house with you so you don't have to pack and un-pack it all goes. I guess it sounds strange to move our 5th wheel from our permanent spot here at the KOA to another campground only to come back and set it all back up here in a few days but it's not too different from when we had our sticks and bricks house. We would start packing up probably Wednesday evening, hook on Thursday evening and head out on Friday for our week end trip. Now we get to skip all the packing and just enjoy the week end.
The KOA here has been getting busier. There are quite a few in here tonight, possibly getting a head start on the long Holiday weekend or maybe even some race fans using this as their base camp for the race. The track is about a 40 mile straight shot due east of here which is far enough to get away from the crowds and traffic but not too far away to still enjoy the activities. Motorhomes outnumber the 5th wheels and travel trailers here by probably 3 to 1. I can see a definite advantage to traveling in a Motorhome but still prefer our 5th wheel for the extra room it provides. I guess if we were picking up and moving every few days a Motorhome would be preferable but I don't forsee us doing that kind of travel in the foreseeable future. Even after we leave our corporate jobs and "retire" into work camping we are not planning on doing a whirl wind tour of the U.S. We want to take our time and not be rushed our held to a specific schedule. We can't wait to get started!
One thing I have noticed while living here and watching the different people come and go, there are a lot of RV'ers (in fact the majority) who have pets, mostly dogs. The thing that strikes me as strange is that if you look at ads for used RV's the majority of them say "no smoking and no pets". Where do all these people with pets sell their RV's when they are done with them? They surely wouldn't be telling a little fib to us? Don't get me wrong now, I'm not downing people that have pets in RV's. To each there own. A pet just does not fit into our lifestyle at this point in time. I am just curious how an overwhelming majority of RV's carry pets but then an overwhelming majority of used RV's advertise no pets?? Strange. Our Friend Gayle Pike has pet turtles that she travels with. Sorry Gayle but I don't think I could warm up to a turtle. They don't seem to be too affectionate. I kept trying to see her take them for a walk because being a responsible pet owner you clean up after your pet leaves their deposit but I never saw Gayle carrying any of those little green bags when she walked her turtles like the dog owners have. Maybe turtles just keep their's inside the shell? :-)
Tomorrow after work we hook on and head out for a 3 day week end. Whoo Hoo! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

back in the groove

Rudee and I are both back in "work" mode. Sunday I was able to get the bike loaded up onto the truck in anticipation of our trip this week end. Niles and Deb have invited us to tag along with them down to Brown County Indiana for the holiday week end. We are staying at the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Campground in Beanblossom In. Niles was down there last month and did a drive thru scoping out facilities. We used to have a toy hauler and enjoyed it but did not think we wanted to fulltime in it because of the limited living space. We traded it for our Montana and were planning on pulling the bike behind, we even built a swivel wheel trailer to accommodate the bike. This set up had some issues and I never felt comfortable towing the bike and wanted something better. I had researched the possibility of using an HDT (heavy duty truck) and felt this was a very good alternative. We found the truck and mounted the ramp on the back and have been real pleased ever since. The bike being loaded looks a little scary at first but we have had no problems. I can load it and unload it by myself in about 10 minutes and once it's tied down it's rock solid. We do have a camera mounted on the truck and can watch the bike while we are traveling just to make sure all is well back there.

We took the Dakota to Plainfield last evening and had a taunneau cover installed. The bed is now covered and hopefully fairly water tight. We are planning to store some stuff in the bed in plastic totes. We met Rudee's Mom and Dad at Applebee's for dinner and enjoyed seeing them. We plan on staying home tonight and getting started on our packing up for this week end, plus I have to bake something for a bake sale at the goldwing meeting. They are having the guys all bring something homemade, should be interesting. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Made it back

We sure were happy to see our little home on wheels even though we were over 1 1/2 hours later than we thought. We spent the morning with my Mom and Dad and had lunch with them. We had arranged for a taxi to pick us up at their house at 2:30 to take us to the airport. They have always used a shuttle service for a ride and when talking to my sister she told me that she shared the van with several people and had to make a lot of stops in all directions. I did compare the prices and the taxi (with 24 hour notice) was only $1 more than the shuttle and you have a non stop ride and don't have to share. The taxi picked us up right on time and we headed for the airport. The traffic was heavy and the a/c in the cab was not the best and the thing smelled like stale smoke but we made it safe and sound. We got to the line to check in and it was long. I looked ahead at the counter and there were several self check in stations sitting empty and could not figure out why people were not using them. I left Rudee to hold our place in line and went to the first machine open. You have to slide your credit card into the reader for identification and then it's just a few selections to check in and your boarding passes are printed out. The whole process took about 2 minutes and we avoided standing in a line of about 35 people, cool :-). Security was another matter though, they only had 2 lanes open and again the line was long but went fairly fast. We made it thru and went to a Mexican place to grab something to eat before or flight boarded in about an hour (or so we thought). We finished our shared plate of nachos and right when we got to the gate they announced that our flight was delayed at least an hour. There were a total of 3 flights delayed in our little gate area and the place was crowded. I called Niles and told him of the delay so they could adjust their travel time to pick us up, then we just sat and waited. I never have been a big fan of flying and would rather drive if the time permits. We left my parents at 2:30 and finally boarded the flight at 6:30 for the 2 hour flight to Indy, a full day for just a short flight is not pleasant. I'm sure glad we don't live in Washington like my sister, that's a long day of travel!
Our flight was rough and the landing was one of the roughest I've had but it was pretty windy when we came in so I'll cut our pilot some slack. Niles and Deb picked us up and drove us home, thanks guys!
I'm not sure when it happened but sometime not too long ago and it seems very suddenly, everyone got younger than me. The pilots for both of our flights looked like they were on spring break from High School!! The nurses and therapist at my Mom and Dad's place are all just kids and the office manager looks like a college intern. I feel old. :-)
Rudee is sleeping in this morning, I really want to go for some breakfast since we don't have much in the way of groceries here in the 5th wheel but she has been such a good sport helping me deal with my parents that I'll let her sleep. I woke her up pretty much every morning before daylight this past week and we are both tired. We don't have any real plans today and it looks like it's going to be a nice sunny day, a little cooler than we have been used to this past week but it's nice to be home. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

heading home

Our week here in Florida is over. We fly out this evening from Tampa back to Indianapolis. This has been a tough week but we got a lot accomplished. We got them admitted to the assisted living facility, moved the furniture in that they were keeping, got them released from the nursing home and moved over to the new digs, arranged for the rest of their furniture to be picked up and auctioned, forwarded their mail, transferred their phone, re-arranged their homeowners insurance, got power of attorney for both of them and changed their address on just about everything we could think of. I'm sure there will be more to come but I think the worst is over, or am I dreaming?? :-).
Rudee and I were able to take a little time for ourselves last night. We saw an advertisement for a seafood restaurant in New Port Richey so decided to give it a try. The traffic over was a bear and took us about 1 1/2 hours to drive the 45 minutes. We arrived at Catches Waterfront Grille http://www.catcheswaterfrontgrille.com/ about 5:30 and just did beat the crowd. They had live jazz music and either indoor seating or out on the patio overlooking the water. We chose an outdoor table. We started with clam chowder and our entree' was grilled shrimp, of course we split a meal since we don't eat as much since surgery. The shrimp were large and we couldn't finish what we had. The whole meal was very good and the total bill was only $23. After dinner we took a walk along the pier watching the water, no dolphins but I don't think Rudee was disappointed. The trip back was not as bad. We just chilled out in the room and watched a little TV before going to bed.
Our plan today is to spend some time with my Dad before he goes to dialysis at 11:00 and then we'll have lunch with my Mom. I arranged for a taxi to pick us up at their apartment at 2:30 for the trip to the airport. We fly out at 5:20 and this will give us time to eat an early supper at the airport before we have to board. Niles and Deb are meeting us in Indy to take us back home. I miss our little home on wheels and will be happy to get back to it. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Getting old stinks

This is our last full day here in Florida. We have gotten almost everything done on our list and should be able to finish it all up today. Rudee and I talked about taking a little time for ourselves this evening and going out for a nice dinner somewhere. I have come to the conclusion that getting old stinks. Unfortunately we have little control over it and have to do our best to make our senior years as comfortable as possible. My parents do not have any long term care provisions (insurance) so they have to depend on their income and savings to finance their new lifestyle. They do have great medical insurance from his pension that pays for virtually all their medications which is a huge savings. I know Rudee's parents pay out the nose for the few medications they are taking. I guess this whole experience with my parents has reiterated the need to plan for your future. Now don't get me wrong here, we are still dreaming of the day we can retire begin to move our home around this great country. Our plans have not changed and we can see a huge advantage to having our home on wheels but there comes a time when all fulltimers have to make the decision to either come off the road for good, park it in one place more often (or permanent) or ?? We are members of Escapee's RV Club and one of the benefits they offer is their "Care" facility. The facility is located at their Livingston Texas headquarters and is an assisted living place that lets you live on a site at their park in your RV. They do the same as any assisted living place, meals, medication, help with daily living etc. but you get to stay in your own home. The cost right now is $800 per month for one and $1200 for two (compared to the 1,000's others charge) and is a great alternative to have. I believe it is the only one like it in the country. They have a day care for Alzheimer's patients which gives the care giver a break during the day. Check it out here http://www.escapeescare.org/ .
I talked to my brother last night and my nephew was driving to school and lost control in a curve and ended up in a creek. The p/u truck was on it's side and due to all the rains the creek was running high and fast. The water was up to the edge of the the drivers window and he couldn't get out! He tried to kick the back window out as the truck was filling with water and while he was doing that a log floating down the creek crashed into the drivers window and broke it out and he was able to swim out unharmed!! The Lord was looking out for him. I am still getting goose bumps telling the story.
Well we are off for another full day here in Zephyrhills Florida. Say a little prayer for us if you get the chance and thank Him for looking out for my nephew. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We're homeless

The house closed today!! The closing happened at 4pm today and we have a check being deposited for what little is left over after all the fees and the mortgage is paid. We are officially "homeless". We had to sign a power of attorney so the closing could occur and our representative could be there in our place. That's not exactly the way I pictured it would happen when we started this adventure, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The house was on the market for 20 weeks from listing to closing so I guess that wasn't too bad.
I follow what little we have invested in the stock market and, like everybody else, our 401k's are more like 201k's now. This morning I had the news on and was watching a report from the so called experts on "market analysis" who said the current conditions were encouraging but it could just be a "suckers market". What the heck is that!! The stocks go from free falling to a slight recovery and now they are saying it's good but it may be "too good". I really don't think these guys know what they are talking about and as usual the news media will say anything just to get a story.
We kept busy today getting my parents settled in. We ran several errands and picked them up at 11:30 and met their friends at Barb's here in Zephyrhills for lunch. We had a good time and the owner of the place bought their lunch because she had missed them coming in since they had been sick. I really don't care for the food there but my parents have been coming here several times a week since they moved here. They said Barb (the owner) regularly feeds homeless people that wonder in. When we were getting ready to leave a man who looked to be living on the streets came in and Barb gave him a meal. I guess I may have to change my mind about the place huh?
They need rain down here really bad. All the grass is dead or dying and the lakes and rivers are drying up. We went to Applebee's for supper and just as we were leaving a big storm came up and it started pouring so maybe the area will get some relief. The "love bugs" are out in force as well. For you Yankee's, "love bugs" look like lightning bugs with out the lights in the butt's. They come twice a year here and are called love bugs because they travel around "hooked" together. One flies forward while the other gets to see where they have been. I'm not sure which one is male and which one is female, any ideas?
We are finally starting to make some headway on our "to do" list. We have a notebook that we carry with us that we make a list of things that need done for my parents. We update it every morning and put the "DONE" stamp on them when they are completed. We may be able to get them all done tomorrow and then have Friday to do those things we didn't think about for our lists. We fly back to Indiana late Saturday and have Sunday to rest up before going back to work on Monday. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Florida has been a whirlwind. We had a nice flight down and my sister, Paula, met us at the airport. We stopped for a quick dinner on the way to Zephyrhills and then we all stayed at my Mom and Dad's house for the night. Paula had to leave at 3am to go to the airport for her flight back to Tacoma.
Sunday there was not a lot we could do since most of the business' were closed. We kept busy sorting thru stuff and getting a plan of action in place and of course we visited with my parents at the nursing home.
Paula had laid all the ground work for their new apartment. We had to wait on a form to be filled out by their family doctor and faxed over the the facility before we could pay the deposit and get the keys. The doctors office was supposed to have faxed it over on Friday but did not. Monday morning we were up and calling at 8:00 a/m when they opened and not getting very far. The receptionist would only say that the nurse that fills them out had them and was "working" on it. The new place is called Westwind so we went there to see if they could help us get things moving along. We talked to the business office manager and was told there was nothing that could be done until the forms from the doctor were received. Yikes, looks like it's going to be a long day already and it's only 9:00!! We left there and went to the doctors office where we met with the nurse who assured us she would have them done and faxed over by noon. During all this Rudee had made contact with a local auction company who wanted to come and look at the remaining furniture at 2:00 today. We had a quick breakfast and then back to the house to start emptying drawers, cabinets and closets. We took a break at noon and went to visit my parents again and grab a quick lunch at Sonny's Bar-B-Q. We called the doctors office and the forms had been faxed so we called Westwind to confirm they were received, got them!! Next step was for the Westwind nurse to go over and do a quick pre-admission interview and screening. Kay, the RN, said she would be over to meet them with in the hour and then if no other issues we would be set to pay up and move in. Back to the house to meet the auction guys! They showed up right a 2:00 with a big enclosed trailer and some strong help. We went over what stayed and what we were getting rid of and signed the papers. The guys got to work and with in 2 hours the house was virtually empty. I called my cousin David who lives nearby and he is coming over this morning with his truck to help me move the rest of their stuff into the new place. By now it was after 4:00 so we ran out to Westwinds and paid the deposit and p/u the keys. What a day!! We went over to let my parents know everything that had happened through out the day and they were pleased with all the progress. We stayed with them for an hour or so and were just too tired to do much more. Since we had sold the bed we had been sleeping in we grabbed some Wendy burgers (a little local flavor, right Niles?) and we checked into a motel for the rest of the week.
Today we move the rest of their furniture over. They only have a one bedroom and the whole place is only about 400 sq. ft. so we couldn't take too much with us. They will have 2 recliners in the living room and we are going to get them a small kitchen table, probably a drop leaf, because theirs was way too big. Paula had already gotten them a new TV and stand since their TV was a big screen and would take up too much room. The move shouldn't take us too long and then we can concentrate on all the little stuff that has to be brought over. I was able to change their address on line last night and get their mail forwarded so they should start getting mail again before we leave. I guess out of the 1000 things that need to happen we are on about #650, but were making progress!! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

up, up and away!!

We were looking forward to a nice week end with friends at the campground, well things change fast here don't they. Right now (Saturday at 1:45pm) I am sitting at the gate at Indianapolis International Airport waiting to board a flight to Tampa. My parents are being released from the nursing home/rehab facility on Tuesday and someone has to go down and move them in. My sister is leaving there tomorrow morning and has pretty much arranged everything but has to head home and back to her life. My brother has work commitments so it falls to me. I got the call last evening and Rudee and I decided to head down, figuring we would drive. I checked on flights and found round trip flights for both of us for less than $500 total and figured it would cost us this much in gas and motels driving down and back, not to mention the time it would take, so we booked flights. We figure we will get them settled in and then get as much stuff done at the house as we can. Rudee had the chance to talk to her boss but my boss didn't answer his cell so I could only leave a message about me being off the next week. I had warned him last week that I may need to pick up and go at a moments notice so I hope they don't penalize me too much. I have been getting the feeling based on some of their meetings and changes to our territories that things would be better in the Indy office if there were only 2 appraisers instead of 3. I'm the old guy that makes the most $$ and did not come from AIG so I figure I would be the likely target. Hopefully we will get some stability after Farmers takes us over in another couple of months.
Niles and Deb dropped us off here at the airport and are going to pick us up next Saturday when we return. I don't know if we are going to stay at my parents house the full week or move into a motel. At this point I'm not sure right how much furniture will fit into their new place and if the new renter wants their current house partially furnished or totally empty. Paula was meeting with her this morning so we should have a good idea what we can and cannot do by tonight. I'm not sure if I will be able to update the blog but will try when I can. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 8, 2009

alot happening in Florida

I talked to my sister several times yesterday and she had a busy day. She found an Assisted Living Facility for my parents to move into. The place is nice and they will have a 1 bedroom apartment with about the same sq. ft. as our 5th wheel. Their meals are all included as well as weekly cleaning, utilities and cable TV. The price they all charge is astounding and it will take everything they make plus a little of their savings each month but it looks like they can make it OK. Paula also sold their golf cart which was a concern since they couldn't take it with them. She also went to the park office at their current home and inquired about renting their double wide. The gal in the office was looking for a place to rent because her landlord was selling her place and she had to move so it looks like she will be renting their house. We'll have to see how that goes for awhile, I never wanted to be a landlord but it will give them some extra $$ to get by and maybe we'll get lucky and have a good tenet. Everything seems to be falling into place. My brother Jon has some extra vacation so he is going to go down and move their stuff over to the facility probably the week of May 18. The place they are at now will not let them leave w/o being released by their doctor. Paula wanted to take my Dad over to the new place to show him and they wouldn't let him go. Oh well I guess they will just have to trust her.

I drove by the Indy 500 yesterday on my travels and there were cars turning hot laps. I love the sound of it and with the track so close to the road you can almost "feel" the cars whizzing by. Today is "fast Friday" where the big names all are on the track getting ready for pole day tomorrow and is typically a good day to see some higher speeds.

No news from the realtor except to say he doesn't think we will close today. His thoughts are "maybe" on Tuesday. I guess the paperwork that this idiot appraiser didn't fill out is a diagram showing where the well and septic tank are located on the property. That's it!! So here we are waiting on Steve Clifford to get out his paper and crayons and draw a little box with 2 x's on it and then fax it to the mortgage company!! Our realtor says the diagram is required on all FHA loans and has been for some time so it's not like he shouldn't be aware of it. The moral of the story is, if you are selling or buying a house near Lebanon make sure they don't use Steve Clifford as an appraiser because he is not reliable.

We are looking forward to this week end when a bunch of our camping buddies are coming over to spend the week end here at the KOA. Nicholas is spending the night too! Mamaw went to the store yesterday and will be making his favorite biscuits and gravy for breakfast tomorrow morning. Makes me hungry just thinking about. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

back to the 50's?

We met with our Goldwing group last night for our Wed. night dinner ride. We took the truck because it rained pretty much all day and was cool. The ride tonight was to a 50's themed diner in Hillsboro which is about 15 miles up the road from us. When we arrived we were met at the door by a real character. I'm not sure if he was the manager, the owner, the host or all three rolled into one. He was wearing a plastic Elvis wig and had a 1950 letter jacket on and introduced himself as the "Big Bopper". He was a hoot. We sat at a long table and he took our drink orders and gave us a bell to ring when we were ready to order dinner. He gave the bell to one of the gals and proclaimed her to be the "little Bopper". We gave that bell quite a work out!! The food was only mediocre but the atmosphere was great. It reminded me of Ed Debevic's in Chicago http://featuredfoods.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/a-store/c-Ed_DebevicAns.shtml?E+scstore+debevic. The Big Bopper said they were just getting started and their official grand opening is next week end and they plan to have a big event with live music, a car show and lots of fun. The wait staff will also sing and entertain the guests once they are fully open. They also have a nice ice cream and soda fountain that reminds you of the old days at the Drug Store. I hope he can make a go of it in this little town, we'll have to go back and check it out again.
We got a call from our Realtor and we are still in a waiting game but he is hopeful things will move today and we can close tomorrow. Rudee got a call from our mortgage company saying they had inquiries on our pay off. They thought we were shopping for a new mortgage and wanted to offer us a lower rate. Rudee explained our situation and we took it as a good sign that at least someone is doing something.
Amanda is coming over tonight and we are going to take her out for dinner. She is getting a sitter for the kids so we can have some adult time. We are going to have Nicholas Friday night and some on Saturday. I was thinking about taking him geocaching http://www.geocaching.com/ .
We have some guests coming in for the week end. Niles and Deb Robinson, Dale and Diane Beason and Mike and Penny Kadinger all have sites here at the KOA starting tomorrow night. The campground is offering a 1/2 price week end for everyone (except us monthly renters) and it will be a nice way to kick off the camping season. I have already loaded up the firewood in the pick up truck and, as long as the weather cooperates, are looking forward to a great week end. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

life happens

In case some of you start thinking that living in an RV in a campground is all beer and skittles let me remind you that life still happens. I wish it was just like being on vacation everyday but it's not even close. We are both still very happy with our decision to sell the house and move into the 5th wheel but for the most part our lives really haven't changed that much.
My sister called from Florida where she has been busy with our parents. Both of them have been released from the hospital and are in the same room in the rehab center. She talked to the Doctor who told her there was no getting around them not being able to take care of themselves or each other and they need to be in an assisted living facility. She has gotten some recommendations and will be visiting them to find a place for them to live and get it set up. I know it's a big job Paula and I speak for Jon and Myself when I say we are indebted to you for taking this on, thank you just doesn't seem to say enough. I think my Dad has accepted the fact that it is for the best that they move but I still have a fear that in a few weeks when he gets to feeling better he will want to go home. I'm not sure how we'll deal with that if it happens. I'm realizing that being the "parent" to your parents is not an easy job. They have always been a strong couple, doing almost everything together and staying together is important to both of them. My worry is that with my Mom's increased dementia and my Dad's health condition that they may have to be separated just to get the care that they both need. I guess we'll just take it one step at a time.
I got the happy news today that, yes, we will be adding Fort Wayne to our territory. Oh boy, 300+ mile round trips, great :-( The good news is that they are going to divide the coverage between the 3 of us so I will only have to cover it 4 months of the year. My first month will be July so maybe it wont be too bad, we'll see.
Also on the happy news front, we got a call from our realtor today that the closing on the house, scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed. It seems the appraiser didn't fill out the paperwork correctly and they just figured it out. I guess he has to re-submit some kind of form that goes to Colorado before the underwriter will give the final approval. We should know something either later tomorrow or Thursday and they have the closing tentatively set for mid-morning Friday. The whole thing is a little upsetting since it took the appraiser 3 weeks after we signed the contract to come out to the house and then another 2 weeks goes by and they are deciding now, the day before the closing, that they need something else. UUUUUGGGGHHHHH!! OK it's out of my system now, blood pressure is going back down, chill out Phil Bob ..... whew. :-)
The campground has been fairly busy with travelers staying overnight and then heading back on the highway the following day. I think the work campers arrived yesterday and set up a couple of sites down from us. I haven't seen them moving about yet but their 5th wheel appears to be set up for a long stay. We met them last fall and will have to stop in and re-introduce ourselves. Tomorrow night is dinner ride night with the Goldwingers, maybe it will be nice enough to ride. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 4, 2009

there is Fungus Amongus

We slept in a little bit Sunday morning since we were out late trying to keep up with the "younger crowd". Once we were motivating we decided to head over to Turkey Run State Park again and check our "secret" mushroom grounds for some "shrooms". I have hunted Morel Mushrooms for as long as I can remember. http://thegreatmorel.com/ There is a $5.00 gate fee to get into the park but when we arrived and tried to pay the nice lady at the gate said they were having a "get in free" week end. Nice! We made a quick pit stop at the Nature Center and then parked near "our" spot and headed into the woods. It took about 10 minutes of hunting before I spotted a yellow sponge Morel mushroom peeking thru the leaves. The old timers always told me that where you find one there will be at least one more. I called Rudee over to where I was standing and we both started looking and quickly found several more. We picked and bagged them and when we were satisfied we had them all we moved on. We searched that little stretch of woods pretty good and found a couple more on our way back to the truck. Once back to the truck we counted our loot. 11 good looking, fresh Morels. That will make a nice meal for us. The mushrooms will be here for about 2-3 weeks and then no more until next year. I guess that's why they are such a treat. I have had enough luck (and time) in years past that we were able to freeze a few and enjoy them a different times but with all the stuff going on in our lives right now, mushroom hunting will probably take a back burner.

I have a conference call with my "team" from work in the morning. The boss says we are going to have to expand our territory since we have not been too busy. He says we are going to have to cover Fort Wayne which is a 2 1/2 hour drive, one way, for me. I don't know what he is planning but the there are 3 of us here in Central Indiana and since I don't live in Indianapolis and the other 2 do it always seems like they think I am closer to anything not with in the city limits of Indy. I guess I'll just have to do whatever they decide and be thankful I have a job since so many are out of work right now but I'm not looking forward to a 5 hour commute!! We'll see what he has in mind in the morning. Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

a night at the races

We were up and back at the house early again this morning. We only had a few things to finish up on. I packed up the few things I wanted to keep from the shed and Rudee sorted thru the papers and photos that was left in the house. By 1:00pm we were done and did our final walk thru making sure all the rooms, closets, cabinets and drawers were all empty. One last look around and a kiss for luck and we walked out of our home that we built and lived in for the past 15 years. It felt pretty good.
I hopped in the Freightliner and followed Rudee back to our new home where we unloaded the rest of our stuff. We had to hurry though because we were going to the races. No, not the Kentucky Derby, we were going to one of the Saturday night dirt track sprint/midget races that Indiana is famous for. I have always been a race fan. I remember back when I was growing up we would always camp with our camping club on Memorial week end. The group would gather around a radio on Sunday so we could listen to the Indy 500. We would have a pool that morning and for a quarter you could pick a driver out of a hat. We would keep track of the standings as the race was going on and whoever had the winning driver won all the $$. This went on for many years until the camping group fell apart and now only a few still remain, most have passed away over the years or like my parents moved away or are to old to camp anymore. We had lots of good times growing up around these fine folks. The races last night were at the US 24 Speedway in Logansport In. We met with our good friends Tim Ranney and Linda Mockler at the track. Linda's daughter Stephanie http://www.stephaniemockler.com/ was racing her mini sprint in both the winged and non-winged classes. Stephanie is a very talented race car driver and like a lot of up and coming drivers she just needs the right deal to come along to catapult her to the big time. We got to the track about 6:00 and watched some of the practice laps and then they qualified for the the nights races. There were 4 different classes with the two Stephanie was racing being the fastest. They qualify first then they have 2 semi's in each class where cars that did not qualify fast enough can race their way into the feature race. They then have a trophy dash where the fastest 6 cars race. They had over 75 cars there competing in the 4 classes. We sat in the top row of the stands and still got clobbered with dirt when the cars went around. I loved it! Stephanie started 10th in both of her feature races. She raced hard and finished 7th in the Winged and 5th in the non-winged. There were a few crashes and Stephanie was involved in a minor scrape and dented her wing up but it didn't seem to phase her at all and she was right back on the gas. The races ended about 11:30 and we made it back home just before 1:00am which is about 3 hours past this old boy's bedtime!! We had a great time watching her race and spending time with Tim and Linda and are looking forward to doing it again real soon.

I talked to my Dad yesterday and he sounded stronger. I didn't get to talk to my Mom but he said she had walked down to his room and she was doing better getting around but still hurting pretty bad. My sister will be there in the morning and we'll have a better update then on just what needs to happen.

Rudee is sleeping in this morning and so far I'm not too motivated myself but I would like to get out and do some mushroom hunting. Tis the season you know. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 1, 2009

bad news

I got a call today from my sister in Seattle who had talked to my Dad. He is being readmitted back into the hospital. He has (or never fully recovered from) pneumonia again. The doctor told him that it was time to face the fact he and my Mom needed more care than they could provide each other. They will be admitted to an assisted living facility in Zephyrhills when they are both released. We all feel this is for the best and I think they do too, at least right now they do. I called my Dad and he sounded really weak and said he felt like he wouldn't be coming out of the hospital this time so we talked about that for awhile. Paula will be flying down on Sunday and making the arrangements with the assisted living place so that will all be set up when they are released. She will be there a week and then we may have to drive the pick up truck down and move some things over for them and make sure they are settled in. Right now we are playing it by ear. Rudee and I have both put our bosses on notice that we may have to be gone. Hopefully we will have a better plan on who, what, when and where next week. Thankfully we had researched the facilities available to us and Paula had met with them and toured them when she was there last December. At least we were somewhat prepared for that part of it. Now we just have all the other little things to help them take care of. It's difficult trying to do that stuff from here but we are doing our best. Keep us in your prayers. I'll keep you posted.