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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

no water

We are slowly recovering from the week end. Work has been, well ..... work. You know how it is. We spent both Monday and Tuesday evening here in the 5th wheel just relaxing and watching TV.

Wednesday afternoon our son Matthew stopped in to change his clothes on his way to the interview I mentioned. He called a couple of hours later and said he thought it went really good and was on his way back so we could go out to eat. I guess as soon as he hung up from me his phone rang and they offered him a job!! He doesn't have a start date yet but will be either Feb 10th or the 15th. He is going to be a Corrections Officer for the Clinton County Sheriff's Department.

He made it back to the 5er right as I was clocking out and we headed to Lafayette to look at an apartment for him and Mandie. The palce was a duplex that was just so-so. He thought he could do better going into an apartment complex and wanted to look some more. We met the Goldwing group at Little Mexico in Lafayette for dinner. We had a big crowd of almost 30 people and had a good meal.

This morning I got up and there was no water :-( The temps were in the high teens but we had been through temps lower than these so I wasn't sure what was going on. I went outside and checked the campgrounds hydrant and it flowed there. I grabbed the heated hose and it was frozen, rats. I disconnected it and brought it inside to thaw out. I had just read on the Montana Owners Forum of another winter RVer who had the same hose and his quit working earlier this week. Luckily I had prepared a back up hose by taking one of my white hoses and wrapping it with an electrical tape and covering it with insulation. I had it stored in the Freightliner. I got it out and hooked it up and we were back in business.

I called the Pirit Heated Hose company and at first he told me to try hooking a small section of hose from the convenience center down through the access hole in the basement and then hook the heated hose to it under the 5th wheel. He said since the thermostat for the hose is on the male end there may be too much heat in the convenience center to cause it to turn on. I told him the hose has worked great for the past 2 months in below freezing temps and thought it was odd it would quit all of a sudden. He agreed and told me he was shipping a new hose out right away. Cool.

Matthew called and he did find an apartment in Lafayette and they are needing someone in the office part time as a leasing agent and were interested in Mandie. They are going to fax in her resume and it looks like she might end up with a job too!! He is supposed to get a call tomorrow giving him his official start date and then we can make plans to help them move. We are borrowing a cargo trailer and are hoping everything will fit in it so we can do it all in one trip.

No big plans this week end but I'm sure we'll get in some kind of mischief. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week end fun

Wow! What a week end. I had a slower day than usual at work on Thursday which made the day pass very s.....l......o.......w. The good news is I was able to bake 2 dozen cookies to take with us to the rally.
Friday morning we packed the suitcase and our snacks into the Dakota and headed out. We were meeting Niles and Deb in Lebanon for breakfast. Tim Ranney was going to meet us as well and then we would all head to the Marriott in Indianapolis for the 2010 Winter Rendezvous.
We arrived at the motel shortly after 11:00 and got checked in quickly. Well not all of us did, Niles and Deb's room wasn't ready yet and they said it would be a couple of hours, bummer.

There were several of our chapter members already there and we quickly got ourselves acclimated to where everyones rooms were located. The chapter pays for a suite that we use as a hospitality room. This gives us all a place to gather and everyone brings snacks to share. We had a total of 31 members attending the rally.

Rudee and I picked up our registration packet and arm bands which gets you into all the activities. The vendors were finishing getting set up and we did a quick walk through but didn't see anything we just had to have.

Several of us went to the motel restaurant for an early dinner. Niles and Deb are our 2009 Chapter Couple of the Year and are competing to be the 2010 Indiana Couple of the Year. They had to be interviewed by the judges at 6:30 and then would suffer through the "open" interviews in front of all of us. We made sure we had good seats so we could yell and scream for "our" couple. I guess it worked because they won!! Great job guys. They now compete to be the Region Couple of the Year against couples from Michigan and Ohio. When they win that they will go to the National Rally, "Wing Ding", in 2011 and compete for the title of International Couple of the Year.

After all the Couple of the Year excitement they had the talent show. They divided up the acts so the serious acts, ie: the ones that actually have talent, competed against one another. They also awarded places for the comedy acts. There were 10 acts in each category and we were entertained for a couple of hours and had a great time.

Saturday morning we were up early for opening ceremonies which "officially" kicks off the rally. We have been in the organization a long time and know a lot of the members across the state. I always enjoy catching up with everyone and we spent a lot of the morning just visiting with people. Rudee did do a trivia quiz. There were 45 questions and the answers were posted all over the motel. I tried to impress her with my knowledge when she could not find the answer to one of the questions. I guess she didn't believe me when I told her that it was Hugh Heffner who had discovered the Virgin Islands. Education is a wonderful thing :-).

The rally has several games, seminars and activities that keep you busy most of the day. Things wind down about 3pm to give everyone a chance to get ready for the banquet which starts at 5:30. I spent my time taking a quick nap :-).

The dinner was held in the main ballroom. We had 3 large tables reserved for our chapter. They got our large group served very fast. I know it takes a lot of work to get 300 meals out at the same time and the food still be hot and they did a very good job.

After dinner they cleared some of the table away to make room for the Grand Parade. There were 5 floats entered in the competition. The guys had the floats all ready to go and they paraded past the judges and through the crowd. The floats showed a lot of creativity and the competition was fierce. The judges totaled up the scores and .......... We Won!! They also pass out voting slips to the crowd and they select a float for "peoples choice" and we won that too!!
We hung around after the parade for the "sock hop". Rudee did some dancing and I was content to be a wall flower :-). We finally made it back to our room a little after midnight. Good thing I had that nap earlier :-).

Sunday morning our group all walked over to the restaurant next door and had breakfast. The closing ceremonies were completed and we loaded up the truck and headed for the RV show at the State Fairgrounds. The show this year seemed larger than in years past which surprised me given the troubles the RV industry has gone through. I did notice that there seemed to be more entry level "week end" type trailers and less of the higher end units. There also seemed to be fewer motorhomes and only a few of the high $$ ones. We went through almost all of the 5th wheels that were on display and we didn't see anything that was better than our 2007 Montana. We are both very satisfied with our choice and even though we wouldn't even consider a trade at this point, we still like to look :-).

We made plans to meet some of our friends in Lebanon at a local restaurant that has several big screen TV's. The Colts game started at 3pm and we were just finishing a late lunch when they kicked off. We watched the first 1/2 at the restaurant and then made a quick dash home to see the rest of the game. What an exciting game. Peyton Manning is such a joy to watch. He is not only a great athlete but a natural leader as well. Can't wait until the super bowl, it should be a great game.
No big plans this week. Matthew is coming to spend the night again on Wednesday. He had some testing for a job a couple of weeks ago and they want to talk to him some more. Keep your fingers crossed, it's looking pretty good for him and we are hoping he will get an offer. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

early week end

Rudee and I are taking Friday off so we can attend the motorcycle rally so we will get a 3 day week end. Whoooooo Hoooooo!!
Wednesday evening we attended the meeting of our local Goldwing Chapter. I am in charge of presenting the "sour grapes" award. This honor goes to someone in the chapter who has done something kind of stupid since the last meeting. Sometimes I only have one or two "candidates" and then there are some months, like this one, where the competition is stiff. Our chapter colors are purple and gold so the award fits our theme. This month we had a member trying to build a float with an electric staple gun that wasn't plugged in (took him a while and some assistance to figure out why it wouldn't work LOL). Another towed their motorcycle all the way down to Florida only to realize they had left their helmets in Indiana and had to have them shipped down by Fed Ex. A popular add on to our motorcycles is an LED license bracket that scrolls a message similar to the Times Square sign in New York. One of our members installed one on his bike and programed it to scroll his name, only problem was he spelled his own name wrong .... DUH. Of course yours truly has never done anything remotely stupid to justify having to wear "the grapes" for a month. :-) I'm the one that chooses who wears them and you can't call a foul on the referee so I think I'm safe from the "honor".

We also have an award called the "fine wine" that is given to someone that does something above and beyond. Well they gave it me. I was driving to Fort Wayne last month and came up on an accident that had just occurred. A pick up truck had crossed through the median and hit the guardrail on my side and then overturned. I didn't see it happen because a semi was blocking my view. The semi driver and I helped the guy out of the pick up once we determined he was OK. I had forgotten about it and was flattered that my friends thought I deserved recognition for it. Here is a photo of the "fine wine" which is actually sparkling grape juice. :-).

We are meeting Robinsons tomorrow morning at Flapjacks for breakfast and then heading to the rally. I'm not sure I will get to post anything from the rally but I'll be sure and take a lot of pictures to share. We are planning on going to the RV show on Sunday after the rally ends. Looks like we will have a busy week end. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wii do. Do you?

Sunday morning we were pretty lazy and hung around the 5er most of the day. I made us a late breakfast of French Toast and we settled in and watched TV. After a couple of older movies we were both bored out of our skulls and figured we had better get our butts moving. We decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch some football on their big screens. We had an early dinner and caught the first half of the Jets/Chargers game. We were routing for the Jets and they had a terrible half and it wasn't looking good for them so we left at halftime only to find out later they made a nice come back and ended up winning the game.

Rudee has been talking about getting a Wii and it sounded like just the thing to get us up and moving. We decided to head over to Wal Mart here in Crawfordsville to start the great Wii search of 2010!! What an ordeal it turned out to be. Crawfordsville had just sold their last one about an hour before we got there so they checked the computer and said that the Lebanon store had 5 in stock. No problem, off to Lebanon we go! 30 miles and 40 minutes later we walk into the electronics department in Lebanon. Guess what? No Wii's!! But the computer said you had 5 of them. "Well" , said the nice lad with hockey pucks in his ear lobes, "those computers are never updated. You should have called." Gee, thanks! We had the service desk call the Brownsburg Wal Mart and they had 1 on the shelf and 3 "in the back" whatever that means, so off we go to Brownsburg. 20 miles and 30 minutes later we bought our Wii, Hooray!

Now we got this thing to play the games and get a little exercise. Man they work, we exercised more walking through 3 different Wal Marts to buy the thing than we have in a month! :-)

We made it back to the 5er and got it all hooked up and we played a few games of bowling, tennis and baseball. Rudee wants to get the Wii Fit stuff but the platform something or other you need is all on back order. Well crap here we go again. :-)

The games are pretty fun and it beats sitting on your duff doing nothing so I think we will like it. The console is small and works well with the RV lifestyle.

Rudee's company gives them the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She had scheduled a dentist appointment and check ups for today so she doesn't have to use a vacation day later in the year. She left the 5er shortly after I did this morning so she could make the drive to Thorntown. I had to go to Indianapolis. I had driven about 15 miles when Rudee called and told me she had been in a wreck. She was fine and had slid off the road into the side ditch. While she was talking to me another car slid off in the same place. Rudee had called the police and was waiting on them. I turned around and headed towards her but never made it. She called and said there was no damage to the truck and she didn't hit anything so she went ahead and pulled out of the ditch and went on. She did call the police back to let them know and they said they were backed up with other accidents as well. I met her in Thorntown and the only thing wrong with the truck was a bunch of mud scooped into the skid plate. Rudee was fine and that was the main thing.

Matthew (our son) and his girlfriend Mandie are coming over from Columbus Ohio and spending the night. Matthew has an interview for a job here tomorrow. The job would be better money and security plus it's nearby. Hopefully he will do well. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the big melt down

The temperature has been going above the freezing mark the past couple of days and our "snow pack" is melting.

Rudee and I finished off the work week and celebrated with dinner at Stookeys in Thorntown. No real "occasion" except that we are 1/2 way through January and are still surviving in our little home on wheels. January always seems like the longest month of the year, it's only 31 days but takes f.....o....r....e....v....e....r to get to February.

Saturday we headed into Indy to the State Fairgrounds to go to the Greater Indianapolis Garage Sale. This is a large sale that takes up two large buildings. We arrived around 10:30 and paid our $3.00 parking fee and headed into the sale. The place was packed with people and we made our way into the throng. There were a lot of booths selling just about anything you could want. We browsed through the buildings and ended up with a couple of books for the grand kids and I picked up a 3/4" combo wrench. There are always some new gimmick or a new twist on an old gimmick. This year the weirdest thing I found was an electric cigarette. I guess it's a quit smoking gimmick that you "smoke". I'm not sure how it works but you actually puff some kind of vapor. Very Strange.

We left the State Fairgrounds and drove to Noblesville Indiana to their fairgrounds. Walnut Ridge RV was having a show there and we we're hoping they had one of the new Keystone Alpine units. They had several trailers indoors and more parked outside that you could tour. We went through most of the larger 5th wheels but didn't see anything we wanted to trade for. In one of the units I ran across Mark Krol who is a representative of Keystone RV. When we were at the Montana Rally back in September Mark led our little group on a tour of the factory. I asked him if there were any Alpine's here and he looked at me kind of funny and said "didn't I meet you at the rally?". Pretty cool that he recognized me. Too bad there were no Alpine's though.

Leaving the RV show we headed over to Niles and Deb's house to see what they were up to. We hung out with them for awhile and ended up in Sheridan for dinner. The fog rolled in while we were eating and the visibility was way down for our trip back the Robinson's house. We dropped them off and headed home. The Colts were playing tonight and we needed to get home so we could watch the game!

The trip home was slower than normal due to the fog but we made it safe and sound. The Colts are looking pretty good so far. Hopefully they can keep it up and get one step closer to the Super Bowl. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The last several Sundays we have been getting together with our Goldwing Chapter and building a float for an upcoming rally. Each year the state puts on 2 rallies one in the spring when the weather is more conducive for motorcycle riding and one during the winter months. This years "Winter Rendezvous" will be Jan 22 and 23rd in Indianapolis. The theme for the rally is "Island Paradise" and the activities are loosely centered around the theme.
Rudee and I are taking Friday off so we wont miss anything. This is our 19th straight year to attend! They have seminars on a variety of topics as well as games and vendors. The talent show is Friday evening and they have a banquet Saturday evening followed by the parade. We always have a great time and look forward to it every year.

Here are some photos of the float taking shape and of the finished product that were taken by our good friend Penny Kadinger since I kept forgetting to take my camera.

There is a projector hidden under the float that will project a video of the ocean surf onto the "screen" by use of a hidden mirror behind the sign you see next to the "tiki bar". You really can't see all the lights that are on the float in the photo but the rainbow is outlined as well as the tiki bar. At one end of the rainbow is a pot of gold and there is a Goldwing at the other. Pretty cool for a bunch of middle aged bikers huh!!

Rudee's Uncle Jerry and his wife Diane are fulltimers currently living and working near Denver. He emailed us saying it was getting close to 50* there and promises the warmer air is heading our way. Whoo Hoo, that should help my heating bill some. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's cold all over.

I tend to spend a lot of time in the winter hunkered down just waiting on the spring thaw. During these times I catch up on reading others blogs and keep track of what is going on at various RV forums on the web. Pretty much every forum has at least one discussion about how cold the snow birds are. Florida has been setting record colds and it's not much warmer in Texas, two very popular winter destinations. I would probably be complaining too if I had the opportunity to spend the winter away from snow and ice only to find myself freezing next to a palm tree !!

One thing I find annoying though is these are some of the same people who, when responding to a question about cold weather RVing on the forums, post something to the effect of "your home has wheels, move it south". I guess they are trying to be funny but it strikes me more as bragging. "I'm retired and can move, you can't. Ha, Ha." I guess with the current weather there is some poetic justice in life after all :-).

The weatherman says we may get above the freezing mark next week so maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Rudee keeps reminding me that in 7 weeks it will be March and winter will be winding down!! She has always been the "glass is 1/2 full" part of this marriage :-)

Not much happening around here this week end. The Colts are not playing and I really don't care much about the other games. Nascar doesn't start until February. The RV show isn't going on yet, it starts next week end. I guess I get to be lazy!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!

We did go and visit my Mom yesterday. She couldn't find the remote control for her T.V. She kept saying someone must have come in and stolen it while she was in the hospital. I doubt if that happened, I figure she probably put it away some where or it got mixed into the trash and was thrown away. I'm learning to just roll with the punches when dealing with someone with Alzheimer's. Rudee and I made a trip to Wal Mart and got her a new remote and I programed it for her television. We'll see if this one stays around or not.

Today we will be finishing up the float for our Goldwing Chapter. The float looks really nice and I'll post some pictures of it soon. Only have 2 more weeks before we go to the rally in Indianapolis. We both are looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter hits us head on!

Well it warmed up enough around here for the snow machine to kick into high gear. We were lucky and missed out on the blizzards that hit west of us and up the east coast of the U.S. last month. I knew our turn was coming but hoped it wouldn't be too bad. The snow started Wednesday night and didn't quit until sometime Thursday night. All told we had about 6" of new snow. Yuck!!

Wednesday night we went out to eat with our Goldwing group to Uncle Smileys here in Crawfordsville. Afterwards we headed to Wal Mart and picked up some groceries and I fueled up the Dakota since it's the only thing we own that's 4 wheel drive.

Thursday morning I started out towards Indy to look at a vehicle. I only had about 35 miles to travel and it took me 1 1/2 hours. The roads were slick and the snow was falling hard. I decided to do this one and head back home. It's just too dangerous to be out driving around and I was really not too busy anyway. I made it back home about 1pm and just worked at the dining room table the rest of the day. Rudee cooked us up some supper and we kept the door shut and the furnace cranked up the rest of the night. Our son Matthew called and told us that his GF Mandie had an accident in our Chevy Impala. She lost control in the snow and ice and hit a guardrail. The car is drivable but it tore the front bumper and headlight off. He took it in for an estimate and we called the claim into our insurance company. The good news is that Mandie was not hurt and we are thankful for that.

This morning it was still snowing but they promised it would stop before mid-day. The main roads still had plenty of slick spots and the side roads were covered in snow. The temperatures are not supposed to be above freezing for at least a week so it looks like the snow will be around for awhile.

We got our electric meter read for the past months usage and it was a lot! This was the first full month of really cold weather we have had and knew it was going to be high. We used over 1530kw @ .10 per kw for a total of $153.00. This is twice as much as our summer time usage, Yikes! We are also going through the propane. Our 100# tank ran out last night. I had switched to it on the 27th so it only lasted 12 days this time. Our utilities may be a little high but we don't skimp when it comes to being warm and comfortable. We set the thermometer on 72 and use 2 electric heaters in the coach and an additional one in the basement (set on low) to help keep the pipes warm. So far we have been comfortable and have no regrets selling the house and moving into the Montana.

No big plans this week end, maybe we'll sleep in some and have a "lazy" week end. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

still cold!!

Looks like we are going to stay in the deep freeze for the rest of the week at least. Sunday morning Rudee was first in the shower since we planned on leaving early to go visit my Mom at the hospital. The hot water heater in our 5th wheel works on both electric and/or LP gas. We usually leave the electric element turned on and it works really well since I take my shower before I go to work and Rudee takes hers later in the day. This way the water has plenty of time to heat up between uses. On the week ends we often take our showers one right after the other and if your last you may run out of hot water before you run out of area to rinse, if you get my drift :-). If we think of it, we switch on the LP gas so the water heater will heat up faster for the next person. Well Rudee switched it on and took her shower. I got ready to take mine and no hot water :-(. I checked and the water heater burner would not ignite. What now?? I got dressed and went outside and opened the access door. There was a little ice around the bottom and some on the burner tube so I thought maybe ice could be the problem. I got Rudee's hair dryer and plugged it in to the campground post.What little ice there was melted pretty quickly so I tried turning it on again. Voila, it lit. :-). I'm glad it was easy.

We did make it to the hospital and my Mom was feeling a lot better and was back to her normal self. She is suffering from Alzheimer's and is confused most of time. I know it's only going to get worse and am not looking forward to those days ahead of us.

We made it back to Crawfordsville to help out on the float for awhile. We have it pretty much finished and will do the finishing touches next Sunday and get it loaded up for the trip to Indy the following Sunday.

Niles and Deb Robinson were on the road heading home from Florida this past week end. They made it home yesterday afternoon. Rudee cooked up a roast with carrots and potatoes that we took to their house. We had a nice dinner and they filled us in on their vacation. Sure wish we were back in Florida (or anywhere warmer) right now.

No big plans this week, just doing the usual 9-5 but you never know what could pop up. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

we have no temperature

When Rudee and I got home last evening the thermometer in the Dakota quit working.(?) On the way home it was saying it was 1* outside but by the time we pulled into our parking spot in front of the 5er all it showed was 0 !! I was hoping it was broken but one step outside confirmed it was working just fine and since it was zero degrees I figured that meant we had no temperature :-).

New Years day has some weird traditions like eating cabbage for good luck, fish for prosperity or the really weird ones like stripping down to your skivvies and jumping thru a hole cut into a frozen lake, YIKES! Motorcyclists like the challenge of taking the first ride of the year today. I have ridden on New Years Day before but we were in Florida at the time :-). Our group had a few brave (?) souls that ventured out today. We met up with them here in Crawfordsville at a local restaurant for lunch. We rode our Dodge Dakota over since it was way too cold for us :-). There were a total of 4 bikes. Here is a photo of two of them next to the bank sign proving just how cold it was.

We got a call Saturday morning from Steve and Trish Suter inviting us to an electronics sale at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. We met them in Lebanon and hopped in their van for the 20 mile drive. Indiana has a really nice fairgrounds and are hosts to several large shows in the winter that we like to attend. They even have a full hook up campground that is open year round. This show was advertised as a "general merchandise" show. There were several booths with laptop computers and other type electronics but mostly it was just flea market ware. We did pick up several pairs of cheap socks for me and Steve bought a small air compressor he was needing.

We left the show and made a stop at Red Lobster for lunch. I wanted to go to Hooters but got out voted by the women :-). Oh well, we had a nice lunch anyway.

Steve and Trish like to visit the local casinos and talked us into going. We started in Shelbyville Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis) at Indiana Live Casino. We stayed about an hour and donated to their cause :-(. We left there and drove about 25 miles to Anderson Indiana home of Hoosier Park Casino. I had a little better luck there and made back some of what I lost, not all but some.

Rudee and I made it back home about 9pm. She had some ham and beans cooking in the crock pot so we had a late supper or should I say a "very late" supper. I was a little worried about being away from the 5er for so long on such a cold day but she was warm and toasty when we got back. Yeee Haaa!! I am proclaiming that the furnace is officially fixed !! (hope this doesn't jinx us LOL).

We stayed nice and warm all night but when I got up we had no water :-(. I knew we had frozen up somewhere and just hoped it would be easy to find and fix. I bundled up and headed outside. I checked the campground faucet, it worked there. I then checked our heated hose coming into the camper, and it worked there too so I checked the hoses that go into the filter and water softner in the basement. I found that the hose from the water softener that goes to the 5th wheel main line was frozen. I had this hose routed near the compartment door, probably too close I'm thinking, and it froze. No harm, no foul I just bypassed the filter/water softner for now and we are back in business :-).

My Mom had some problems Friday night and fell early Saturday morning. She did not get hurt but was slurring her words and acting funny so my brother had her taken to the emergency room. They found she has an infection and admitted her for treatment. Rudee and I are going to head over there today to see how things are going. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year !!

Rudee and I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and may you be blessed and have all your dreams come true in the coming year.

The weather warmed up some since my last entry. Wednesday and Thursday we saw highs in the lower to mid 30's and things started melting around here. I had a busy day at work Wednesday by mostly my own doing. I tried to get as much done as I could in hopes that Thursday would not be as hectic. We met our goldwing friends in Lebanon for the dinner ride (or in this case, drive LOL). We had about 25 of our group at Becka's Diner. The food was just OK but the company was top notch.
My plan for work turned out pretty well on Thursday and I had a light day and was back at the 5th wheel shortly after lunch. I wanted to get started putting on the new skirting since this was the last day with temperatures above 20* for several days ... YIKES, that is the high temperature!!

I started on the skirting around 3pm and Rudee came out and helped me when she got off at 4:00. I had it about half done and with her help we were able to finish it fairly quickly. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. The vinyl came in a big roll with all the fasteners included. We ordered the 110' kit and have some left over. Here is a link to the company http://www.ezsnapdirect.com/RV-Skirting. They also sell window shades that will help keep your RV (or house) cool in the hotter climates. Here are some pictures of the rig all "dressed up" for winter.

Here is a photo of the fasteners:

The metal snap is a self tapping screw type. Once the snap is in place you put one of the black plastic "studs" onto the snap. The vinyl goes on next by puncturing the top edge of the panel onto the pointy end of the stud then you snap on the black cap that locks it into place. They work pretty slick but we did break a couple of the studs trying to push it through the vinyl. Our kit had 110 pieces of hardware so we had plenty of spares. I still need to fix it up a little better around our step but we started running out of daylight so will save that for another day.

Rudee and I didn't have any big party plans for New Years. We decided to go out to eat and then just have a quiet evening at home so that's what we did. We are looking forward to 2010 and completing our first full year as fulltime RVers. I wonder what changes are in store for us in the coming months? I'll keep you posted!