Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sun, Nov 28, 2010: Long time, no write!!!!

OK.....after having had a couple of large cups of Fr. Roast this morning, I will try to play some catch up over the past three days........I have been very negligent in keeping the world out there in cyberspace in the "know" as to my comings and goings.......of which there haven't been too many.

Thursday morning....another day of nastiness within the sphere of the weather of Misery. Foggy, misty, cold, and then colder and then still colder and with lots and lots of rain.....and then sleet, and then some powdered sugar type of snow by late afternoon. I did some reading, didn't watch any tellie during the day, but about 1:30pm the doorbell rang.....and OMG!!!!!..............

There was Whitney, my neighbor from across the street with one of her relatives, each carrying a large styrofoam type of tray/plate ......and she told me that it just didn't seem right to be having Thanksgiving dinner at her home and me here alone.......with no turkey dinner. Sooooooo, bless her, she had brought turkey and all the "trimmings" on one plate/tray.....and the other one was filled with several pieces of different types of pies!!!!!!!!!! WOW...WOW...WOW!!!!! Did I ever pig out!!! WHAT a nice thought........I was overwhelmed to say the least and got choked up. THAT is the first time I have ever had a neighbor do something like that!!!!!!!!!!! Such a wonderful gesture on her part!!

Well, that made my day.....and even though the weather was horrible, my day was as bright as a sunny Florida day after that great meal!!!!!! And.....I ate pie off and on all afternoon.....haha!!!

Friday......not much happening here. I did some work of cleaning around the house during the morning.....and then one of my former students called and he came by....and after some great conversation we went out for lunch. Nick Nichols.........the best trumpet player I have ever taught is STILL the best I have ever he continues his studies. He is currently at Michigan State University where he is working on this Doctorate in Performance Arts on trumpet. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Performance at Truman State University here in Missouri, then received his Master of Performance Arts at Western Michigan University.....and is now on a full-ride tuition at Mich. State Univ as he teaches at the MSU, as he studies for his Doctorate. He is also playing in several professional groups including a symphony or two there is well as performing and auditioning for various positions here in the USA. He recently played in Sydney, Australia at the International Trumpet Symposium.

Well, needless to say, we had bunch and bunches of things to talk about over lunch!!!!!! It was sooooooo damn good to see him again......he is grown into quite the charming young man of 27 years!!!!! I told him to let me know when he is going to play a recital there at Michigan State this winter and I will drive up there for the performance........really do want to hear him perform. I am going to post below a link to his web page and if you search around on the various pages, there is one little clip of him performing with an orchestra on that site.

After he left to take his mother and sister up to the Fox Theater in STL for a musical theater performance, the rest of the day for me went by nicely as I continued to think of his successes and for some reason most of the buttons on my shirt popped off!

Yesterday: About 9:30AM, another former student and her husband dropped by for some coffee and some catching up on her life with the chance to meet he new husband!!!! Rachel DeSpain Mundell and Dave.........both are living in Jacksonville, FL as he continues his career in the Navy. Rachel is now a Special Education educator there....and seems to be enjoying it a lot. Working with inner city school kids is always a challenge, but Rachel is the type of girl who enjoys a challenge and I feel certain she is doing quite well, as she always did here in F'town with everything she did!

After that I ran to Cape to Becky's as I had to take a chair and foot stool for Rachel's room....and then we spent the afternoon visiting with Mike. Returned home about 8pm last night.........and then spent a LONG evening reading a book.

Today??? Well, let's just see what happens....ok???? The 1st Lady is still at her mom's and not sure if she is returning tomorrow or Tuesday. I am very glad she is having this time to spend with her ailing will be a time she will always remember and keep with her forever.

And sooooo, always.......

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wed pm, Nov 24, 2010: "Home Alone".....and flash flooding predicted during the night with freezing precip tomorrow!

WOW......wasn't that title a damn depressing start to this little blog tonight???? Sorry about that, but this sagging hulk of Me is just speaking the truth!

Day before yesterday I began to feel the scratchiness of a cold trying to invade my aging body.....why the hell would it want to do that in THIS aged Hulk???? I would think that this damn cold would have wanted a newer body to infect.....newer blood, newer lungs, newer sinus cavities, newer throat to make sore! But......this cold selected ME......WOW!!!!! Words cannot express how I feel about this......and if I did express myself, you might want to censor my words, to say the least!

Ava remained with us when Darrel/Dr. Jeni and Meghan and Max left late Sunday afternoon, as I said before. And, true to form this cold began on Monday....and has not let up since then. However, it has not YET migrated south to my aging lungs......those lungs having suffered with pneumonia three times over the years. Not a huge "cold", but one that has sapped me....and today, my throat has increased in it's soreness. Still just gargling with warm salt water...and that helps; using my childhood Vicks vapor rub at night; and getting tons of rest. Sooooo......let's see what Turkey Day brings tomorrow.........besides.....

We are under a heavy rain warning....up to 3" has already fallen around the area....and 3 more inches are predicted before........freezing precip arrives tomorrow afternoon/evening. Nothing to accumulate, at least as of the last warning, but certainly enough to make Misery live up to it's name!

The 1st Lady left yesterday, late afternoon, to return Ava to her rightful place in her family. The 1st Lady remained there overnight.....and then went on up to Monroe City to spend most of this week with her Mom. Obviously......I did NOT go as I certainly do not want her exposed to my cold and sore throat!!!!!!!!!!! She, by any means, cannot take the chance of becoming ill with like I am!

Soooo, today I spent on the sofa watching the tv, reading the online newspapers, commenting here and there online on some sites, and just resting like I I really do want to shake this before it becomes worse.

Tomorrow, since we already had Thanksgiving here on Saturday, I suspect that it will just be another normal day for me, except for the dreary weather. Of was foggy, rainy, and dismal.....and, tomorrow will be no better.

I have a couple of new books that I need to get read.....the 1st Lady actually BOUGHT me two books. For those of you who are not aware.....we, for the past four years when we remodeled half of the house, we have not purchased any books, using the Library frequently for our reading habits. We did away with our built-in book cases in the bedroom with the remodeling projects....and at that time, gave away probably a couple of hundred books to the local Library and to the Senior Center for resale for their profits. So, I suppose tomorrow might be a GREAT day to read.....might even watch the Macy's Day Parade in NYC. Haven't paid much attention to that since I retired........could really care less about the bands that are marching in the parade these days.

I did forget to mention that yesterday morning, even tho I was not feeling very good, I took TheHowserHouse-on-wheels up to it's new resting place for the winter. About 25 miles north of here in the Park Hills area......Griffon's Trailer where I took it for some maintenance and then they will put "it away" after they have completed the various little jobs I contracted with them to do. As I said.....the price for the storage is wonderful: $1.00 per day!!!! THAT is a great price in my way of thinking.....and with our very large window in the living room, it just now opens the view to sights we haven't seen without the Cedar Creek sitting there blocking that view.

OK......ramblings are about completed on here tonight. Nothing earth-shattering has occurred.....and I am once again home alone for a few days, but it is a great time to rest and shake off this cold. always......

LIFE IS JUST AMAZINGLY GREAT!!!!!!.....and, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mon Morning, Nov 22, 2010: A busy weekend.....

Friday evening Darrel and Dr. Jeni, along with the three little ones arrived around 8:30pm. And, soooooo the weekend of our Turkey Day began! Lots of squeals, lots of talking, lots of "playing in Grammy and Pawpa's house"...........and....

On Saturday morning Becky and Rachel arrived about noon, bringing fresh roses for the centerpiece and some more food for the table. Dinner was around 1:30......and nine of us seated, we had a great turkey dinner!!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent in fighting off the results of tooooo much eating, a turkey that made us sleepy, and lots of toys and games and whatever all over the floors in each and every room. The favorite play area is in our large walk-in closet.....and, so before too long it was impossible to "walk in" this small "room". But.......we didn't need to get in there anyway.....

On Sat morning, Dr. Jeni/Darrel took Max into an urgent care center as he was running a fever and not feeling well.....sooooo easy to tell that when all he wanted to do was sit and be held on someone's lap! Then, they called from there and asked me to bring Meghan up there, as she had been complaining of a sore, Max was diagnosed with strep throat. Soooo, I ran Meghan up to Farmington....and.....yep, she, too has strep throat. Soooo, meds were received and by evening both were feeling a bit better.....

Yesterday, Becky and Rachel left about mid-morning........and the streppy ones were feeling a bit better...enough to run around and through the house playing their imaginary games. By yesterday evening, when Darrel/Dr. Jeni left, everyone was much better. Ava remained here with us.......her first time to spend a couple of days/nights with Grammy and Pawpa....and she did really well all evening after her family left. We will drop her off on Tuesday as we go north to the 1st Lady's mother's home for the rest of the week.

Myself???? Well.....I am feeling a bit of a cold arriving, my throat is now a bit "scratchy" and am wondering if I spent tooooo much time with those streppy ones the past couple of days???!!!! Sooo, last night I took a cold pill......I have to be careful as some of these can affect the desired results of my "plumbing pills" which keep things flowing the hell did I reach this age of researching the affects of meds????????????????

This morning...the 1st Lady and Ava are still asleep, but will need to be awakened shortly. Later today we have a contractor coming over with a detailed estimate on replacing nine of our windows.....the only ones left that have not been replaced....they being the old wood ones which we have needed to replace for several years. Time to do it!!!!!! The bid is slightly less than $3000 so, I know we will tell him to go ahead and get it done.....quickly!!!

And soooo, there you have the summary of our Turkey Day......full of turkey and TheHowserHouse full of family!!!! GREAT weekend!!! always,

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

WED morning, Nov 19, 2010: An early post today!!

Ahhhh, yesterday was a day that kept me busy: cleaning very thoroughly the rv as it will not be in use for several months, finding a place and putting away most of the items in the rv basement storage areas, vacuuming the carpets, cleaning the refrigerator, making certain no crumbs are in the corners of cabinets, removing some blankets(for Christmas guests' use), etc., etc.

Later in the day I went up to Griffon's Trailer Town where we have been having any repair work done when it is needed on the rv......and, after talking with the shop manager, I made an appt. to bring it in for some minor repair work: a small leak in the bedroom slide needs to be found and repaired, some light fixtures are not working and may need to be replaced, installing an outside outlet so that we can plug in the cable and soon-to-be Directv satellite system directly into the wall of the slide where the tv is located......the original has NEVER ever worked and no one has been able to figure out why, so time to just install one in a different place......and then.....the really important part of our plans: we are going to store it there at Griffon's Trailer Town for the winter and early spring, probably not picking it up until late April.

This is one thing we have wanted to do for some time, but only in the last year or two has Griffon's begun to store rv's there, so.....the price seems good: about $1 a day!!!!! This will get it out/off of our very wide driveway.....and allow for others to back in their rv's when visiting us as we do have a 30amp hookup for visitors....and for my use. (CHARLIE and KATHERINE.....this is for your info, as well as for ALL of our traveling, rving friends from the USA and Canada!!!!!!!)

And soooo, most of the day was spent in and out of the rv preparing for the nasties of winter in Misery!!!!!!!!! Today, I do need to winterize the water lines, but just can't seem to get the damned anode rod out of the water heater to totally empty it, however.....I can use the shut-off valve and go ahead and winterize all of the lines, leaving the hot water heater for the repairman at Griffon's. That anode rod must come out, but I suppose I overdid the plumber's blue stuff that seals it for no leakage.....REALLY overdid it...haha!!!

We are having Turkey Day tomorrow here at TheHowserHouse!!!! early one for us, but Dr. Jeni/Darrel and kids are going to his folk's home in Branson next is their turn to go there on THE day. Soooo, the 1st Lady has been doing some early preps for tomorrow, even though there will only be 9 of us here. Then next week we will go up to her Mom's and help fix her a dinner on that day!

Darrel and Dr. Jeni and kids will arrive tonight....sometime. They are not particularly good at knowing just when they will arrive.......takes them soooooo long to get things ready with all three little ones!

And sooooo, that is why I am writing this morning!!! It will be very chaotic and hectic around here this weekend with the house full.....only Jeremy and Anne-marie will not be here as they are in Mobile, AL with her family.

As always.........

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our transportation to the ocean on the AquaSino.....a good time gambling boat.

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A beautiful day to be topside visiting with friends as we head to the ocean.....and the loss of our coins!

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Marshes along the riverside on the way to the ocean

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View of North Myrtle Beach as we leave the inlet river for the ocean

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Out to sea......let the games begin!!!

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Lunch with the Downey's on the gambling boat

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An evening with Jay and Anne-marie as we played "Sequence"

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Anne-marie fixing some "grilled bananas"......ummm, GREAT!!

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A view of the Willow Tree RV sites......beautiful and spacious!!!!

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An alligator sunning him/herself in a nature preserve we visited on the "safari"

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The "jitney" safari we took around Myrtle Beach

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An old cemetery south of Myrtle Beach

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The lake at Willow Tree early in the mornings

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Courthouse in Madison GA.....beautiful!

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I can't believe this!!!! The past 10 days of not writing on here has been the LONGEST period of silence on this blog since I began writing in April/May of 2005!!!!!!! Over five long years of almost daily writings......and then BAM!!! Nothing written since last Sunday, a week ago, except for a few brief words using my iPhone.

Sooooo, literally.....where do I tell the story of my absence??

I think it is best if I just summarize the days of this sagging hulk of Me for the time I went "missing".

It was a very good week at Willow Tree Resort, albeit NO wifi, as you already know sooooo damn well. Let me just say what I told the friendly staff at the registration desk of Willow Tree on the day before we left: I just do not understand a first class rv resort such as Willow Tree having absolutely NO consistent wireless internet service across their resort. IF there is anything that will prevent us from returning there again, it will be the inability of being able to connect to wireless internet while we are at Willow Tree!!!!!!!!! There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a rv resort that during their "in season....summer" charges upwards of $98 per night to park your rv....and not having excellent, fast wifi!!!! IF it is because of a "contract" with Hughes Satellite, then break the damn contract and find a company that provides the services that Willow Tree need and demand!!! I told the staff....who ARE very friendly......I plan to send in my reviews to various RV sites online that ask for reviews about rv parks and campgrounds that we visit.

Can you tell that I am angry and irritated??? And, to make matters was not just while we were there for the week, but seems to have been an ongoing issue for quite some time....over a year!!! DAMN!!!!! I am still angry.....really angry!!!!!! In this "day and age" of instant communications, there IS not excuse. The 1st Lady needed to continue working with our son-in-law in his business.....she does his billing for the services which he provides.....and could not do that, short of sitting in McDonald's where they do have free and very fast wifi!!!!

OK....I will try to refrain from continuing this tirade.....TRY!!!!!

Soooo, we had an evening with appetizers at the first night of the Rally. Then we had 2-3 evenings of carry-in's with the main meat courses being prepared by the hosts of the rally. We also had three "outings":
1. We went on a "cruise"....a gambling boat that had to enter the ocean through a river and then out to the international waters before the gambling machines and games could begin. No gambling in the state of South Carolina. Lunch was provided, but was quite lacking in attractiveness of the buffet and most certainly lacking in quality of food. OK....not another rant from me, as I wasn't really expecting much from the lunch and I received about what I was expecting. The 1st Lady and I dropped about a total of $15.00 into the non-paying slots.......didn't even win once, and I was playing on the quarter machines!!! BUT.....the great thing about this 5 plus hours of "cruising" was the opportunity to meet with old friends in the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club on a more one-to-one basis on the top deck/open deck of the boat and to renew those well as meet many of the new members from the East Coast whom we had not met before. Sooooo, it was a very pleasant day, to say the least!
2. On Thursday we went to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for the opening of their Christmas Crafts Sale with approximately 300 vendors in their booths offering for sale their various crafts, foods, dips, whatever. It was an interesting few hours there before our legs gave out on the concrete floor of the center. Did we purchase anything???? Yep......things to eat!!!!! Different kinds of "butters", dips, etc., etc. And...the great things was that we did get to sample soooooo many homemade items that were for sale!
3. On Friday, about 28 of the 50 some-odd members took a "jeep Safari"......a jitney I would call it which carried 14 tightly packed human beings, all of whom are creeping up in ages and weights....and we drove for over four hours around the Myrtle Beach area and south of there to see some of the local sights, as well as listen to our never-ending guides who went on and on and on and on and on......and on. But.....some of it did soak in, at least for a few moments. They do not realize that we all have short term memory loss problems, so none of us would have been able to pass a test over the info they told us!!! But, we had fun, even though we were huddled together like un-oiled sardines in that mode of transportation.

The remaining days, we spent visiting our friends who were there (all whom were complaining of the wifi situation).....and driving back and forth to the local grocery stores and liquor stores.

The weather??? In the mid-60's most days, sunny everyday, and sometimes VERY chilly at night!! I once again must chastise the resort for not having a pavilion or meeting room for our large group to use for dinners and evenings when we might have enjoyed talking with each other in a lighted room. But.....perhaps they don't have those kind of facilities, even though this is a relatively new resort which is highly landscaped, planned (with wonderful lake and swimming beach), a beautiful almost mile-length entrance which is sculpted with grasses and trees and winding curves on the paved road. There is a hiking/jogging/walking/biking path around the lake and it is really a very nice touch for the guests. Also....they have several little cottages built on the lakeside for guests who are not in RV's.....another wonderful idea! There are many other amenities to the Willow Tree Resort.......but, the absence of just a few specific things make this not quite the wonderful "10 rating" that some RV rating groups have given to Willow Tree.

Sunday, the 1st Lady and I left and by that time, we had already decided to return to Misery via a different route: Over to Augusta, GA to Alanta, and then up the normal route to Chattanooga to Nashville and then home. The first night we stopped in Madison, GA at a campground......not an rv park/resort.....Country Bob's RV Park.....and stayed there. We had enough time to go into the town and look....from the many of the OLD southern homes in the center of town, as well as the lovely town square which is quite up-to-date with their shops and restaurants and coffee shops. Upon walking around the square, we realized that we had been here many, many years ago as we discovered a restaurant where we had eaten at that time, in that year, in that decade of our lives. (NO wifi except within 100 feet of the office....and we were FAR from that building, but this place served our overnight needs of water, electric power, and sewer hookups.

Monday......we drove the hour into the Atlanta area, taking the beltway around the eastern side of the horrendously awful rains!!!!!!!!!!! It never ever stopped....and with six lanes of bumper to bumper traffic in ALL lanes all going the same way....and the god-awful rains and splattered rain and puddles, it was quite nerve wracking, to say the least. Even worse than the sleet and snow we experienced as we drove through the mts between Knoxville and Asheville, NC. It took us over an hour to go 23 miles.......that says everything about it!!!! And....the rains continued until we reached Nashville!!!! We stopped at Clarksville RV Park......and, we had wifi!!!!!! was like we had returned to the real world!!!!

Hmmmmm, believe I failed to mention that at Willow Tree, we did not have cable nor satellite tv, so the 1st Lady and I used our antenna which allowed us to access mainly the four main networks, as well as many, many PBS and local Gospel channels.......hmmmmm!

Yesterday, we drove on into rain, of course....and then home, which was as dry as a wheat field in Kansas in August. Exhausted I was......not a bad trip except for the rains. Sooo, we just kicked back and watched a bit of the tv programs we had DVR'd and caught up with some of our favorite programs.

Today....we attended a memorial service for one of the 1st Lady's local sorority sisters who had died quite suddenly on Monday morning of an unexpected blood clot. This is the SIXTH death of either friends or family members in the past three months......and, it just really accents to us just how short our time is becoming..........toooo short!!! Sad, it many of these were quite sudden and some were of those who are much younger than we are!

OMG, OMG.....I forgot to mention that our son and his wife, Jeremy(Jay) and Anne-marie spend three days with us at Willow Tree on their way from Philly to Mobile, AL!!!!!! It was just fabulous that we got to spend those days with was soooooo damned great!!!!! I only wish they could have spent the entire week with us........WOW....soooooo good to see them again!!!

OK......there you have it!!!!!! I am still writing, in case you might have worried (????) that I was not going to continue to shout and joke and curse and keep you informed of my ever-shortening Life! And, you know........just as I have always written.......

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!......And, I certainly hope it is, and has been over these past ten days, for YOU!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sat.....a review.....

Yesterday morning, we pulled away from the Crossville KOA, TN.......and it was not a pleasant day. Drizzles here and there, lots of traffic getting through Knoxville, and then we were soon in the mountains, getting higher and higher. And began to snow...AND sleet. And this continued for the next 45 minutes to an hour as we drove up and through along the rapid river that was going down....the opposite direction from ourselves. With each curve and bend in the highway.....I wondered if I was going to find snow/sleet on the roadway. Luckily......we didn't find any on the surface of the highway, but all along the sides of the road and as I looked upward towards the top of the was white and snow everywhere. Beautiful, but worrisome as I pulled the 5er upwards.......a very tense time on my part.

However.....when we reached the gap and began to descend on the other side, the snow/sleet ended and the sun came out from time to time as the clouds began to part. And, it was really beautiful at that time.

We descended the 6% grade which lasted for 3 miles without a problem.....the modified exhaust brake that I have did a great job of holding the truck and the 39', 13500 lb RV from speeding down the mountainside without really using the brakes, except for a light tap now and then.

We arrived at an RV park in Lexington, a suburb of Columbia on the south....and I was really glad we had made reservations as the sign on the office doorway was "NO VACANCIES"!! The "Barnyard RV Park" is a great park for an overnight stop.....long pull-through sites for large rigs like mine....and a great price of only $28 for the site, wifi, cable tv with tons and tons of channels, water, electric, sewer,.......all amenities you could think of. A great place over stay a night.....!!!!

Sunday.......this morning we left the rv park about 8:45 on a great morning, blue cloudless sky, bright sunshine......and after three hours of an easy drive, we arrived at the gorgeous, incredible RV Resort: Willow Tree Resort, located in the countryside outside of a small town called Longs, South Carolina......about 20 minutes or less from North Myrtle Beach, SC. This resort has hot tubs, pool, lots of activities, a huge lake with a paved pathway all around the perimeter of it, great long paved sites for rvs to drive and pull into without having to back up into a site.....and, best of all.......many, many great friends from the U.S. and Canada. Soooooo great to see so many of the again, as well as meet new owners of Cedar Creek RV's!!!!!!!

This evening at 5pm we had an appetizer welcome party....with soooo much food for all to enjoy. We all sat and then stood around the campfire as the sun disappeared in the west behind the tall pine trees which are scattered in areas around the resort. And....with the sun gone, so were the moderate temps....and chilly weather immediately became evident to all of us. evening meal is scheduled for all......but, the biggest part of the day is left to everyone to do as they please, and...need. We need to locate the nearest grocery and pick up a few well as look over this area. We are only a very short miles, or two, from the border with North Carolina....and, as I said just minutes from North Myrtle Beach. All in all.....a great location!!!

Soooo, with the forecasts of increasingly warmer weather into the low 70' should be a wonderful, fun week for everyone!!! And, along with the great friend of our club, this should ensure that......

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

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fri, Nov 5, 2010: I waaayyyyy behind or not????

Can't remember when it was that I have been sooooo far behind in writing on here. Suppose that nothing of any importance has happened or I would have certainly put it into writing....wouldn't I??? Yes, I would!!!

Most of this week has been in getting things prepared for this trip to South Carolina. Washed the truck, loaded the 5er, took care of stopping the mail, getting my prescription refilled, getting the house ready to be gone, etc., etc., etc.

Yesterday, we did load many items into the rv.....and I discovered that I needed a new spare time....the old one was an original and it totally unable to be fixed! Sooo, I went to Farmington and purchased one that matches the other four......$183 and change......too much, but they are big tires.

Then last night we went out to the Hanner House to help Sue celebrate her birthday with some wine, some appetizers, and some well as trying to catch up with each other lives since we had not really had any time with them since we returned from Florida!

TODAY.....up at 6:30, scurrying around like mice, finishing loading the rv with the items we had to have this morning, locking the doors of the house and turning on the burglar alarms and pulled out of the driveway at 7:58....two minutes earlier than our projected departure time.

The trip to Cape G., across southern Illinois to reach I-24, then headed south to Nashville from there; picked up I-40 east there and are now in a KOA (UGH!!!!) in Crossville, TN, about an hour west of Knoxville. is forecast to drop to 25 degrees tonight AND 3-6 inches of snow at altitudes above 3000 feet. After looking up the altitude of Crossville, we are at about 2000 feet.....hope the snow won't drop down this low!!! Some highways in eastern TN and western N Carolina close to the Smoky Mts are already closed!!!! DAMN....this is tooooo early to have this shitty kind of weather!!!

Tomorrow morning, I will most like have to add some air to all the tires with this colder air....and then probably will have to use the 1st Lady's hair dryer to get the basement doors opened up. I plan to unhook the fresh water hose tonight so it doesn't free to the hydrant and to the input on the rv. Hope it all works ok.....problem is that it was raining when we arrived and so all doors and locks have moisture in them!!!! DAMN!!!

We cross the time zone very quickly in the morning, so we lose an hour....and, going through and over the mts tomorrow will take plenty of time, as well as the descent where I will hopefully have good luck with my modified exhaust brake. Don't have to use it very often, but it did work ok with just the truck when I returned from Farmington to the sticknbrick yesterday morning.
If not.......well, no more postings, as the descent is an 8% grade for several miles!!!

OK.....a brief little post to bring things up to date with all of you!! My next post SHOULD be from our reserved site in an rv park in Lexington, SC....a suburb of Columbia, SC. Then it will be only 180 miles on to the Rally at Willow Tree Resort, just a few miles from North Myrtle Beach. It is supposed to be around 70 degrees there during the week........time to thaw out!

And always,

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

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mon, Nov 1, 2010: A work in the sticknbrick

Yesterday.......I enjoyed a couple of cups of Fr Roast coffee.....waiting for the sun to do it's work and warm up the outside air. Secretly, I kept hoping it would take quite a bit longer than normal, as I was really enjoying my coffee!! However, all good things must come to an least, for a while.

And soooo, I prepared to go out and do some waxing on the rv......and for the next four hours, until early afternoon, I WORKED and WORKED on just the back "cap"...the tailend/rear of the rv....and it just would not do the job that the wax used to do. Oxidation has taken over the finish on the right side of the rv as that is the side the sun hits each and every day that it is shining. As this was just the very beginning of the entire rv, I became more and more discouraged by the rub marks that would not come off of the gel-coat finish. Soooo, after those four hours....I just gave up!

Returning to cyberspace, I emailed a message to another Cedar Creek RV Owners Club member over in east Tennessee, as a few months back he had told me he would get a sample of something that he had used to eliminate the oxidation that happened on his rv. Before long....a reply came sailing through cyberspace and he told me he would get some and bring it to the Rally that we will all be attending in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area beginning this Sunday.

Sooo, I went back outside, cleaned all of the windows....small and LARGE....that the rv has.....and it does look better. This will be the first time we have been out in it since we returned from our winter in southern months!!! WOW. I also got really busy and washed the truck, but left the windows and the inside detailing for today's tasks.

Then.....coming back inside....hated to that on such a grand day......I began to work on our journey to South Checking out various mileages and then checking on the rv parks that are available in the area where we want to end up at the end of the first two days of travels. It was a bit difficult to find one for the second night, as the miles to drive would put us in the Columbia, SC area. However, after more and more research I did locate one that could get us in for the night, so I made a reservation since it will be Saturday night and that could be a BIG problem trying to get a site on a weekend. And then......I just kicked back and relaxed, checked to see if I had some candy left.....from the three young kids that came by on Sat night, as well as me sampling quite a bit of the candy for freshness and quality during yesterday!

The 1st Lady left her Mom's home and drove down the Darrel and Dr. Jeni's house to be with the three little ones on Halloween night. She told me she would be back today around noon.

I watched The Amazing Race......and then did some reading in the lovely peace and quiet.

TODAY.........I again waited until it warmed up. I also had one other fellow come right on time for his appointment with me to prepare an estimate for replacing the windows. Trying to get "bids" from several businesses and then I want to check on the their references for the quality of their work.

After than.....I finished the truck.....took almost two hours, which I couldn't believe until I checked my watch. Then.....I cleaned out the basement in the RV, and began to load into it the patio chairs, BBQ grill, etc., etc. for the upcoming trip. I then tried to get the anode rod out of the hot water heater in the RV.....and nothing I did would loosen it. Soooo, I will wait until I get to SC to change the anode rod and get it ready for winter.

The 1st Lady.....after being gone one week, returned this afternoon. She is not feeling good about the condition of her Mom's health.....soooo many problems and what needs to be done cannot be done due to her other health issues. Soooo, the discussion is about to end with a decision about our proposed trip to New Zealand. As of this point in time, I do not think we will go next just toooo far to make a hurried trip back to the states if that should become necesssary! Then came the discussion of going on back to southern Texas...the RGV...for the winter, but I just don't think we will try to do that. Perhaps this way we CAN find the time to get the bathroom remodeled during the winter........we'll see!

This evening a former student from here ......class of 1996....and her mother came over for a while. They are both going to make a week's trip to Rome/Pompeii/Sorrento/Capri, leaving here on Nov 18th......and so we had a great talk about all of those places and making sure that they didn't miss anything, by not going on a tour. Sure did bring back a flood of memories of my 12 different trips that I have made to Italy and those very same places!!!!!! I JUST LOVE ITALY!!!!!

And sooooo, the two days flew arms and shoulders are still a bit sore and tight from the RV cleaning. The rest is just cleaning the inside and getting the various things returned to the rv kitchen that have somehow ambled into our sticknbrick......guess those things became lonely out there???!!!!

Sooo, as always........

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