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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

West bound

"Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains"

I found out this morning that I'm needed in Oklahoma and will fly to Tulsa early Wednesday morning.
I guess they have had a lot of hail and weather related damages to cars and need help getting them all handled.
I'm not sure how long I'll be there, at least a week, maybe more.

I spent most of the today getting reservations set up and packing. Rudee gave the washing machine a work out getting all my laundry done. Our Splindide "all in one" washer/dryer is really nice and we use it a lot. The load size is the only downside. We usually only put in 2-4 items unless they are all small or light weight.

Rudee will be taking tomorrow off and dropping me at the airport in the morning and then taking her Dad in for his radiation treatment later in the day.

I'm not sure if I will have much time to blog but hopefully can drop in and "keep you posted".

Monday, April 25, 2011

look what the Easter Bunny brought us

Our daughter and Son in Law hosted an Easter dinner at their house. Everybody pitched in a dish and we had a ton of great food to eat.

After the meal all the kids were corralled while most of the adults hid Easter eggs around the outside of the house. Hiding the eggs was more work then it sounds because there were a LOT of eggs. Rudee guessed they hid between 300 - 400 plastic eggs :-O. I'll have to admit that the eggs were not really "hidden" because we ran out of hiding places after the first 10 eggs :-).

The kids were all let loose and ran all over the yard picking up the eggs. Once we were sure they had all been found we went inside the house to see what kind of treats the eggs held. Each egg had at least one piece of candy and all the kids (there were 8 total) had a nice basket full once they emptied their eggs.

We made it back to the 5th wheel around 5pm and Rudee suggested we go mushroom hunting. I grabbed our walking sticks and she stuck a Wal Mart sack into her pocket and we headed for the small woods behind the KOA.

We disturbed a deer when we walked into the woods and it was a treat watching it run, with tail up, across the empty field.

We hunted for about 20 minutes when Rudee spotted something about 20 feet away next to a fence row. She wasn't sure what it was but thought it might be a mushroom. I told her "no way, it was too tall and big around to be a mushroom but I will walk over and check it out", Holy Smokes, it is a mushroom, a really big mushroom!

Well the game was on! I spotted 3 more trying to get to the big one and Rudee was finding more as well! We ended up on our hands and knees crawling around yelling "here's one", "here's another one", "I just found 3 more". We were having a ball.

Our bag was soon getting heavy so I ran back to the camper and got another bag and we started filling it up as well. Here is our booty.

We laid them out and counted over 170 mushrooms and we were in the woods for less than an hour. My Dad sure would have loved doing that. He was a good mushroom hunter and always looked forward to the short season.

I got news today that my company may be "loaning" me to either Oklahoma or Iowa to help out for a couple of weeks. I should know for sure tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April showers

I know the rain is good for the farmers and flowers but frankly I'm getting a little sick of it. I think it has rained 9 of the last 10 days with another line of showers and storms marching through today :-(.

Yesterday (Saturday) Rudee and I took a drive to the small town of Colfax Indiana. The town is pretty small and the largest business is a small hardware store which is also the local LP gas supplier. We can get our tanks filled here at the KOA and at several other business' here but the cost for one 30 lb tank varies from $25-$28. Wright's Hardware in Colfax charged us $28 for to fill BOTH of our tanks so the 30 mile round trip is worth it, even with the current (ridiculous) cost of gas.

Back at the 5th wheel I removed the extension hose from the propane regulator. I hook this hose up for the winter so I can attach the 100lb tank to the 5th wheel and remove it in the summer. It took about 10 minutes to get everything back to the "factory" set up.
I then started "summerizing" our site.
I got the awning out and tied down and placed the chairs underneath in case we want to sit outside. I also got our gas grille set up so I can do some cooking outside. Of course I'll have to undo it all if a storm comes our way :-).

We did get to take a short motorcycle ride to Brownsburg where we picked up our mail. The clouds were really starting to darken on the trip home and we knew today's rain was not far off. We made it home dry and it even started to clear a little bit but we didn't risk another ride. I guess riding a motorcycle on a cloudy day is like washing your car, sure way to make it start raining :-(

Our daughter Amanda and youngest grand daughter Olivia stopped by for short visit last night. We are all going to her house tomorrow to celebrate Easter. She is planning a large meal and an egg hunt for the kids. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Well Spring has sprung here in Indiana and with it comes a lot of wet weather and those dreaded storms and tornadoes.

Living in a 5th wheel (or any RV for that matter) you have to have a plan for inclement weather. Most RV parks have a sturdy building (usually the bath house) that can be used as a shelter. You certainly don't want to try and ride out a storm sitting inside your RV. You could easily find yourself sitting in the middle of field with little pieces of RV strewn around you!

We have a weather radio that we use when there is a chance for bad storms coming our way. I'll admit that it sits in a drawer most of time and we only get it out when we "think" it may be needed. Probably not the best way to use one of these, but I hate to have the thing go off in the middle of the night only to find out there is a flood watch 50 miles from us.

Last night we knew there were some storms coming our way and kept the radio on. We also kept a close eye on the TV radar. The storms looked to be growing in severity and about 9:00pm the radio warned us of tornado warnings in the counties west of us. We knew we would be next if the storms held together so Rudee started gathering up some stuff so we could "bail out" when the time came. She packs up important papers, a flashlight, some snacks, our cell phone charger and our bank books. This should get us by in case the 5th wheel gets hit.

The radar did not improve so we headed out about 9:15. We have had to leave once before and found the hospital to be the best place. It is just up the road from us and they have generators in case the power goes out.
Once we got to the emergency room we told the receptionist why we were there. I guess we had a pretty good plan because shortly after we got there 2 other couples from the KOA showed up as well. We all sat in the waiting room watching the TV until they put out a tornado warning for our area, that's when they moved us all into an interior waiting room to ride out the storm.

The waiting room had a TV and we watched as the storm blew through fairly quickly and by 10:00 the worst was over and we headed back outside.

We made it back to the KOA to find all the RV's safe and sound. There were quite a few limbs down and we later heard there were several roofs blown off of buildings and a semi truck blown over, all with in a few miles of us :-O.

I hated to leave the 5th wheel but knew it was best to be safe and was glad we had prepared a plan ahead of time.

We have been able to take some short rides on the Harley the past couple of weeks. This week looks like it will be too wet to ride though. They are predicting rain for almost everyday with the temperatures in the middle 50's - 60 degrees. Oh well guess that's just Spring in Indiana. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moving Day and a NASCAR Adventure

Each Spring we have to move from our "winter" site to our "summer" site and then back again in the Fall. The KOA is "officially" closed from November through February but they leave the water turned on to the first row of pull through sites and this is where we park. These are larger pull through sites and during their "open" months they like to have these available for the larger rigs to use for week-ends or just overnight. Thursday was designated as Moving Day. Rudee was taking the day off to take her Dad to the Oncologists office and since her company requires a phone line for her computer we thought this would be a good day to get the service transferred. She set the phone transfer up with AT&T 2 weeks ago so there would be no interruption of service. Well that's what we hoped for anyway. When I got home from work I slid the slides in (say that fast 3 times), unhooked the utilities and backed the Freightliner onto the 5th wheel. My part of the move went really well. I got us parked and leveled fairly quickly. The problem was the phone line was dead. This meant Rudee would have no computer and couldn't work on Friday. I called AT&T and after going through several frustrating computer generated prompts got to a live person. I explained the problem and the only answer she would give me was that they had until 12:00am to turn it on. She could not even confirm that the service was switched over to let me know there was a more serious problem in the line somewhere :-( I was up early Friday morning and still no service. I called again, went through all the prompts only to get a recording that said "office is closed, call back after 8am" and then disconnected me. That didn't make me too happy with AT&T, the least they could do is have a 24 hour call center for people having trouble. I had to leave for work so Rudee started calling them at 8am. She finally got through to a live person and they set up a service call between noon and 4pm to repair the problem. I got home around 4:00 and found her on the phone to AT&T again that she had been waiting all day and no one showed up, after almost 40 minutes of checking they decided to do a 3 way call with the service technician but somehow it messed up and Rudee got disconnected. That was not good. She was not a happy camper. She called them back and after going through all the prompts for the fifth or sixth time she finally got to a manager who got the wrath of her frustration with AT&T customer service. They finally admitted that no service guy would be coming today but we would be their first call in the morning. Since we couldn't do anymore with the phone line we decided to go to Applebee's for dinner. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot Rudee spotted an AT&T service truck parked there and the guy was sitting in the drivers seat. She made a beeline for him and I went the other way! I felt bad for the guy but have been married to this woman long enough to know when to keep a low profile :-). I'm kidding of course. Rudee was very nice to the guy and he was very helpful, turns out he was working tomorrow and checked his computer and our service call was already assigned to him. He said he should be there around 8:15 and would have us up and running in no time. Saturday morning Andy, our AT&T repairman, arrived right on time and started checking things on our line. He traced the trouble back to the pole out by the highway which had been replaced last year when the were working on the road. Seems like the contractors cut the lines and did not hook all of them back up like they should have. Should be an easy fix he said. All he needs is a bucket truck to reach it and that would be sometime in the next 1-2 weeks! The news was not all bad though. He was able to get a dial tone on another site a couple of rows over so he strung a cable from that box up a tree, over the road to a tree next to us and then down to our box. So now we have temporary service while we wait on a bucket truck. My Dad worked for AT&T for over 30 years, most of it as a repairman, so I grew up around telephone "stuff". He was "old school" and would rarely take the ladder down from the roof of his truck. If he needed to get to the top of a pole, which happened several times a day, he would put on his "climbers" (spikes on his boots) and climb the pole. I went out and looked at the wires Andy needed to reach. The pole is probably 30' off the road and is only 20'-30' tall and is wooden. I'm not sure what the problem is. I guess maybe they don't climb poles anymore. My Dad always told me he could have his climbers on, climb the pole and fix the problem quicker than it takes to unload and set up a ladder. I'm sure he would not have been bash full to teach Andy a thing or two about repairing phone lines if he was still here with us :-) With the phone woes behind us we headed to Anderson to the RV dealer. They had worked on the Montana while we were in Florida. One of the issues was the fireplace had stopped working and I could smell burning wires. They found the wiring inside burned and our extended warranty company had authorized replacing it. The new fireplace was in and instead of taking the whole rig over, I decided to just pick it up and install it myself. We left Crawfordsville in the rain and it just got worse on the hour and half drive over. We had to slow down several times because the rain was so heavy. Lucky for us the traffic on the interstate was not too bad because about 10 miles North of Indy we had our NASCAR experience. Without warning the rear end of the truck skidded around and we started spinning. All I could do was lock the brakes and hang on. We spun completely around at least 2 times and went into the ditch. Luckily we didn't hit anything and once we stopped we were pointed in the right direction and I was able to just drive on. In the past I have been driving and hydroplaned but not to the extent that I lost total control. I was surprised how fast the back end came around and, even though I have had a lot of training including controlling skids on a skid pad, there was really nothing I could do to steer us out of trouble. I did the only thing I could do and that was lock the brakes and wait for a time where I could steer again. We were both a little shaken by this. Of course I stopped at the very next exit, we both had to pee! I was calming down in the gas station waiting on Rudee to come out of the rest room when lightning either struck the building or something very close by because there was a loud pop that sounded just like a gunshot and all their computers went haywire. Holy Crap! Something is out to get us! The rain stopped just as we were leaving the RV dealership so the trip back home was uneventful. I guess I have another project to complete getting this fireplace installed. I'll keep you posted.