Monday, December 31, 2007

Hmmmmm.......hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!!!!!

YEP......not the type of traveling day I particularly enjoy!!!! We left a few minutes after 8 this morning........dreadfully COLD with a heavy frost everywhere. We hadn't gone 35 minutes when the Service Engine Soon idiot light came on. OK.......we are in the middle of absolutely NO WHERE driving down Hwy 67 in southern Missouri. So, the 1st Lady gets out the truck manual and reads that unless it is blinking, it has to do with the emission system. Ok....I don't smell fumes, it is running perfectly that I can see.......so, we decide to continue down the road. Of course, there is no cell phone service where we are in NO WHERE LAND......(southern Misery).

After over an hour...maybe longer.....the damn thing just goes out on its own. Nothing has changed that we can tell.....and so we continue our drive through Arkansas.....UGH!!!! The roads....Hwy 67 and then I-30.......certainly need some money poured into them......really bouncy, holes everywhere, etc.,, etc. Gov. Huckabee.........you SAID you improved the roads in Arkansas when you were Gov.......hmmmmmm.........??????? Food for a reply from Mitt?????

Sooooo, we arrive in Texarkana......and we head south through town to this little Passport America rv park. Check in, pay the small amount and then head to the site assigned to us by the lady at the counter. Well.....before we even reach the site......we have to make some narrow-ass turns and I scrape a brick electrical post at another site.....and the damn thing falls apart....bricks everywhere. I get out......and I have this ungodly scratch on the side of the RV.....and it appears to have it the dining rm slide. I get out of that situation and go on to my site....and it is sooooo damn damn narrow with a curve in it that I cannot get in. And so.....I work for 30 minutes to back out of this hell hole..........DAMN! Finally, I get my money back, and head to the local KOA, where we overnighted last year.

OK>...we get checked in.....pay the TOO HIGH KOA PRICE......and unhook.....plug into electrical......and SHIT!!!! Half or more of the RV doesn't have electricity!!! We have no microwave, no refrig..other than on propane...., no tv, no electric fireplace, no converter which takes electricity and charges the batteries plus other tasks(very important).....and several outlets don't work. The furnace works, but I believe it is working on battery power....and so, to save the batteries, I shut it down. We do have a small little electrical heater we use and four electrical outlets that work.....BIG DEAL!

Soooo, I call the emergency rv road service....and after going through everything that I had already done....fuses, switches, etc. etc......they say that we will have to get technician at an rv service shop to check it out. OK......it is 6pm on NEW YEAR'S EVE.....and tomorrow is a holiday. Sooooo, we hope to get it on the road tomorrow and go on to the San Marcos/San Antonio area and stay overnight there. Then take it on to the RGV where there are dozens of RV service people.

NOT the best day I have had lately!!!!!! However, one must "roll with the punches"......and I feel like I am rolling down a hillside right now..........but, from almost 65 years of this Life, I do know that.......................

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After several phone calls from Cedar Creek RV Owners Club members who had read my problem on the CCRVOC Forum this evening.........we got it fixed!!!!! Not sure what we would do without our lappies, cell phones, and the ability to communicate across the nation back and forth in a second or two...........this really is a GREAT world of instant technology. I will never go anywhere without my lappie and my cell phone......WOW!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Our destination in the Rio Grande Valley




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Another....WHEW!!!.....day!!!!

CRAP......I thought we were about loaded and ready to go last night. How WRONG I was !!! We had much more to put on board......and so we spent most of the day doing:

Getting Jeremy ready and loaded to drive back to New Orleans this afternoon......it takes him only about 9 hours to drive down there from here.

Cleaning the house and cleaning out the refrigerator.......getting all of the trash into the dumpster.....etc., etc.

And then......shortly after lunch, the sewage pipes became clogged!!!!! DAMN.......I quickly called our plumber ( we had a couple of loads of clothes to wash, among other things)......and by late afternoon he was here to take care of it. I have already contracted him to put in new sewer lines from our house to the street as the ones we have are old and need to be replaced. He can't get to it until spring.......but he told me that anytime we have a problem he will unclog it for free. AND....that is good.....his house calls are $75.00.

And so.......we are loaded and sitting on the sofa in the media/family room watching........you guess! "The Sound of Music".........hahaha.....think I have seen it at least 30 times during my Life.......and usually enjoy most of it again. We have visited Salzburg sooooo many times, been to the cemetery where they hide behind the tombstones, seen the house where it was filmed, the scenes in the city center of Salzburg where we love to eat and have coffee, and we love the mts in that part of Europe!!!! So, it is always refreshing to us to see those places again in this movie. And....I have always enjoyed the music and Julie Andrews a lot!!!!! The first time I saw it I was in Amarillo, TX......going to the USAF Tech School there.....and it was such a wonderful weekend movie that I went back the next weekend.

And sooooo, we leave in the morning.......and plan on staying in Texarkana tomorrow night......if all goes as I have planned. It has been a little over two months since I had TheHowserHouse out on the road......and so you never know what has changed in it's physical body during that time........I'll feel better once we get out of Misery and the up and down hills we have just south of here. But........nevertheless.........

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!.......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

WHEW.......what a non-stop day!!!

From the time I got up and had had my 1st cup of French Roast coffee.......it was off to the races.....or, perhaps it would better stated if I said I was IN the races! I spent the entire morning...almost.....getting most of the items in the basement of the RV put into some type of organized shape....a few new ones that I haven't carried with us before this.....so, they each had to find their place in the scheme of things in the basement.

Then for an hour, I helped carry out the packed cartons of Christmas decorations that the 1st Lady had packed away for the next 11 months and then I took down the Christmas tree and carried it out in it's coffin-like box for storage for 11 months.

By that time, it was time to clean up this sagging old hulk and get ready to drive the 100 miles to visit with Mike. We returned about 9:15 pm.......and by that time had made the decision not to start our journey tomorrow afternoon (the soonest we could be ready).....and to leave Monday morning for the Rio Grande Valley. We WILL be ready by that time..........!

And so......a non-stop day today........a final day tomorrow.....and then we are on our way south.....finally. And with that in mind......

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also.

Friday, December 28, 2007

WOW.....BUSY!!!!! AND.....our 36th Anniversary.......

I seemed to be the first person up and going........along with the coffee maker putting out some hot, steaming Fr. Roast coffee this morning. But......it didn't take long until TheHowserHouse was going strong with three little ones padding around in their pj's.......and they never come to a period.

As the day wore on, Becky and Rachel returned to Cape G........and Dr. Jeni and Darrel, Meghan and Ava returned to their home outside of Washington, MO. Then......we began the ongoing task of restoring the house back to it's pre-Christmas days. We decided that it was just toooooo much to stomach......if we had to return to the stick and brick the last of March/first of April and find the Christmas decorations still up. Sooooooo..........the several hours of intensive labor began.....and did not get finished today.

I had to run to Farmington to have my 69 long hairs trimmed back........the next time will probably be by a Mexicano senorita....or senora!!!! Returning back home, we continued to work on the house.....and then realized that perhaps we might think about going out for dinner......since today is/was our 36th year of wearing wedding rings!!!

We returned to Farmington this evening and had dinner at The Pasta House. They always send us a gift certificate for our anniversary for two dinners, salads, and sides for $19.99.....a good deal!! And soooo, we dined and I also wined, needing my dark red medicine after the past few days.

And now........the day is wearing down, and so am I!!!! Tomorrow morning we will get the tree down and that will about all the time we will have as we are going to see Mike tomorrow afternoon. Then Sunday......we will continue to get things loaded......and just perhaps get away by noon(????). If not.....we will leave on Monday morning for the three day journey to the border.........but, no matter when we get away.......

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The day after.........

Yesterday was a busy and exciting day for the three little ones here in TheHowserHouse. They were up at 7am.......couldn't wait until they were allowed to open all of the gifts under the tree. By 8:30 we decided to begin with the quote...quote...."unwrapping". It was more like tear in to them and scream and then begin working on another gift. They kids had a great time......and after they were all unwrapped, it was impossible to walk across the floor.

The rest of the day was spent in opening new games, new toys, and then explaining how to play or put together the various things and toys. The 1st Lady laid out a great turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.......and we all ate way toooooooo much.

As always, it was difficult to get the three little girls to go to bed.......and finally, they just collapsed from being soooo tired. And this old sagging hulk???? I did the same damn thing.....collapsed and went to bed.

TODAY........"the day after".........felt like "the day after". The playing and scattering of the toys throughout the house........the excitement of playing with more new things....etc., etc. took up the day.

Since Jeremy made his "home" for these few days in TheHowserHouse on-wheels.........and since it has been soooooo cold at night, the propane needed refilling. So, I filled one tank.....and will re-fill the other one tomorrow morning for the trip south.

The rest of the day.........we all just enjoyed "the day after"!!!!! And with the enjoyment care the 100% realization that......

LIFE IS REALLY GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TheHowserHouse Family Pictures




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Ava gets the first one!!

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WHAT a BIG box!!!


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HEELY'S!!!!!! YEAH............

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WOW......new toys!!!




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Christmas unwrapped




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Ummmm......good!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

For TheHowserHouse....Christmas is tomorrow.....

It is almost 10pm......and everyone has finally arrived for TheHowserHouse Christmas......which will be in the morning. For the 1st Lady and I, today was one of preparations which needed to be completed, some time spent in taking things out to load the RV for the upcoming three months in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.....and baking a few more cookies.

Becky and Rachel arrived in time for a light supper, after having had their Christmas tree this morning.........and then Dr. Jeni and Darrel, Meghan and Ava just arrived from their home after having celebrated Christmas all day today as Santa did arrive sometime in the night for them.

Tomorrow morning will one of excited little granddaughters......as they get up and await for us to let them open their gifts from the 1st Lady("Grammy") and myself.....and from "Uncle Jay" and Becky. Lots of gifts under the tree.............patiently waiting to be unwrapped.

And so......some pictures tomorrow, of course!!! Until tomorrow evening.........

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

My wish For You: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

The 1st Lady and I were up and gone by mid-morning.....to Cape Girardeau to pick up her new/different glasses. The ones she has worn since just before we left for Egypt and the Middle East....well, she could never quite see clearly enough when looking out to the sides of the glasses. So......a new pair of frames and new lenses......and no extra cost at all. These seem to really work fine for her.......I HOPE so. We have been dealing with new glasses in TheHowserHouse since July 17th.......not the was either one of us want to spend a half year!!

She did a bit of shopping and I did some reading and looking at Barnes & Noble for a couple of hours. She picked me up.....we grabbed a horrible burger at McD's.......and returned back to the stick and brick.

Tomorrow.....Christmas Day.....is not to be our Christmas Day......as Dr. Jeni and Darrel want to have Santa come to their own home tonight while the girls are asleep......and so they will drive down here tomorrow evening. Becky and Rachel will also have their tree in the morning and then drive up here sometime later tomorrow. Jeremy is here......and STILL on his Blackberry most of the time, running the Campaign Office in New Orleans from here in SE Misery via phone/computer/etc., etc. As I have said before, I never know who will be on the phone when I answer the landline here at the house........many from Washington, DC call often.

And so......Christmas Eve is here......AND.....an entire string of lights in the middle of our tree decided to give up the ghost and went black!!!!! Of course.......it ALWAYS happens just at the time when they are needed and wanted the most........RIGHT????

To ALL: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!........

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas at Hannibal.....

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Granny(hidden) and grandchildren and great grandchildren

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"Granny" and the four "children"....

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Family pictures........




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1st Lady's brother and wife.....

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Scenes from after dinner....including Granny with Great-Grandchildren and with Rachel




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1st Lady's family's Christmas in Hannibal......

WOW.......did that mini-blizzard last night stir up some problems!!!! Luckily everyone that had to leave the hotel last night lived not too far away and managed to slide home without seeing farther than the front bumper/hood of their car.....and made it safely.

Today.....it was a real chore to have breakfast in the hotel breakfast room......TOOOOOO many people stayed in the hotel and the cooks could never keep up with the demand on the eggs, bacon, etc., etc., etc. BUT........that was not a really big problem......dinner had been scheduled for 12:30.

The morning was spent in visiting with coffee.......and getting things ready to depart. I made arrangements to get a "late check-out" this afternoon......something that I was eligible for as I am a member the Choice Hotels Club......and that is part of the membership.

Prior to dinner, we took some pictures in the lobby by the Christmas tree......the 1st Lady's mother and the grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are 12 grandchildren(two could not be here) and 12 great-grandchildren.........

Dinner was turkey and ham with all of the trimmings. EXCELLENT!!!!!! A really great dinner.....catered by the Fiddlesticks Restaurant in Hannibal. There wasn't anything that was less the wonderful: turkey(very moist), delicious ham, potatoes and rich turkey gravy, carrots, green beans, mixed salad, freshly made rolls, and cheesecake for dessert. Yummmmm......and I ate waaaaayyyyy tooooooo much!!!!

Following that we had a game which allowed us all to pick and then, trade, $5 gifts.....and it was pretty cool. The smaller ones had their own: Pin the Star on the Tree Top. Then their was the gifts for the family from "Granny".........as well as the gifts from everyone to "Granny". She will soon be 84.....and she did really well for someone who is legally blind and not in very good health....in fact, in pretty poor health. I was really surprised that she even came down to the hotel for the dinner and afternoon!!!

The 1st Lady and I left there around 3:30 and returned back to our stick and brick in time to see The Amazing Race tonight........it would have Tivo'd anyway. Jeremy drove into town at the same time as we did.......and arrived at the driveway together.

It was a busy day with 39 family members all together.....our once per year gathering. Lots of laughter, great meal, and a wonderful time!!!!! And.......it can't be anything other than....

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!.....And I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Time for fun and visiting!!




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