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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

looking ahead towards Spring!

The big melt down occurred (the snow, not me!) and all but the biggest piles of snow and ice have disappeared.
The weather has been down right "spring like" the last several days with mild temperatures and sunshine.
I decided to get the semi fired up since it had not been started for several months. I hooked up the battery charger Thursday evening and let it run all night and all day Friday getting the batteries back up to a full charge.
Friday evening I tried starting it but it would barely turn over. The engine in our truck is a huge Catepiller 6 cylinder diesel and takes a lot of power to get the pistons moving again. The engine was still very cold along with the oil being thick makes it not want to start easily.
The truck is equipped with a block heater that you can plug in to help with cold weather starts. I decided to plug it in and let it heat things up hoping this would allow me fire it up.

We got up this morning (Sunday) to the sound of rain and sleet on the roof of the 5th wheel. The sleet didn't last too long and changed to all rain which continued on and off all morning. I reluctantly headed out to the truck hoping it would start.
I turned the key and hit the start button and that big Cat roared to life. Not bad for a truck that has over 865,000 miles on it :-).

I let it run so the air pressure would build up and to bring the engine temperature up some as well. Rudee suggested we drive it to the store since she needed to pick up some groceries and the truck needed some "exercise" so we hopped in and headed to Wal Mart.
We have not added any fuel to the truck since last summer in South Dakota. The gauge showed we were down just below 1/4 of a tank.
Our truck has two 140 gallon tanks so even at 1/4 full we still have 70 gallons, more than enough to fill up three regular pick up trucks. We try to add some when we can just to keep from having such a huge fuel bill all at once, let's see 280 gallons multiplied by $3.45 per gallons ..... Holy Smoke! That's almost $1,000.00 just for fuel!! :-0
Of course once our tanks are full we can run for well over 2,000 miles before we have to even think about adding more.

The Walmart here in Crawfordsville is one of their "super stores" and has a gas station out front. One of the things we do to save a few cents is to put money on one of their "gift cards" and then use it at their gas pumps to save .03 cents per gallon.
Today we added $200 to the card and then added that much diesel fuel to the semi. Since we have one tank on each side (called "saddle" tanks) the fuel will eventually equalize between the two. The gauge reads only from the drivers side tank (which is the tank I added the fuel) so the gauge showed almost 3/4 of a tank but this will drop once the fuel travels to the other side.

We gave the truck a pretty good work out on the way home by heading a few miles up the interstate before turning around and heading back home.

We are meeting my brother Jon and his wife Cherie in Brownsburg for dinner tonight. He has my parents Urn and we are going to pick it up from them. I have made arrangements to have the urned buried in their cemetery plot down in Florida in March. My sister is coming down from Washington as well as my brother and his family flying in. We had a heck of a time finding a date where everyone could get together but finally decide on the 2nd week of March. Rudee and I are flying down on Friday March 11th and staying until the following Friday. We will have them buried on Monday March 14th. We are planning on just having a small gathering of family at the grave site, no formal services.
Jon asked us to take care of bringing their remains down since they will be traveling with their grand daughter and will have their hands full.

We called our air lines and asked what needed to happen to get the remains on the plane and ran into an issue. They said the container had to be "see through" or able to be x-rayed. The urn they are in is neither of these :-0. The air line referred us to the funeral home for a "temporary" container. I called them and they told us not to worry about it and just show up with the container and they would "have" to let us on. Hmmmm the purpose of the whole trip is to lay them to rest, if they are not there that would NOT be good.

I did some research on the internet and had decided to transfer them to a "see through" container and then just pack the Urn in our checked luggage. I was not looking forward to the "transfer" process but it had to be done.
We were talking to some of our friends about it and Steve and Trish asked what day we were getting down to Florida. They were driving down on Saturday March 5th and not leaving until Saturday March 12th and will be just a few miles from us. They offered to transport the urn down intact for us!! What a fantastic gesture this is. Thanks guys! You don't know how much this means to me.
We arrive in the early afternoon and will meet up with Steve and Trish for an early supper and pick up the urn then. We are staying in my parents old hometown of Zephrhills until after the burial. We are then going to Walt Disney World for 3 days before heading back to Tampa to fly back to Indiana.
We are both looking forward to being in the warm sunshine again. I'll keep you posted.

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