Our Schedule

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Between Christmas and New Year... stuff to do.

Jonestown AOK Campground
Jonestown, PA

Our month here in Jonestown to just about up.   We visited with family, met a couple of future fulltime RVers, enjoyed services at a local church and celebrated the Christmas season.

Breakfast at daughter Terri's on Christmas morning in Cleona, PA

Christmas dinner at daughter Amy's in White Hall, MD.   Only remembered to get pictures of the most important persons....Charlotte and Abby:

Between Christmas and today we took the girls to some fun places.   Last weekend we went to Cabelas in Hamburg, PA and also to this attraction in nearby Shartlesville, PA.

 I can remember as a child coming here with Mom and Dad.  Also bringing my own daughters here. This is a treat for all ages.  When we walked in the girls did not know what to expect.  Wow!  Look at all those trains.

Every half hour attendees are seated to view the sunset and sunrise over the village.  This is while the Star Spangled Banner is played and then Kate Smith's famous rendition of God Bless America.

Last night we went to Christmas Village in Bernville, PA.   This village came to be due to a local family's decorating their house and grounds starting back in the 40's.  It grew and grew to what it is today.

This is a walking tour around the grounds.  Cost is $8.00 ages 4 to 10; $10.00 ages 11 to 64 and $9.00 over age 65.    It took us about an hour to walk the clearly laid out path by following the arrows.  It is open weekend nights starting November 1 to Thanksgiving then 7 days a week from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.

Well tomorrow we take off and slowly make our way to Arizona by the end of January stopping to enjoy the company of family and friends along the way.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 in the rear view window

Jonestown AOK Campground
Jonestown,  PA

As we prepare to once more hit the road in a few short days, I think back all we've done this year of 2015.   There were highlights, good trips and challenges.   All have become the fabric we wove of another year on the road.

We volunteered 9 weeks on NOMADS  (www.nomadsumc.org)  projects.  Six weeks in Mercedes, TX and 3 weeks in Austin, TX.

The team house in Mercedes

 Handicap ramp in Austin

We each had some health issues.   I fell down the rigs steps while in Mercedes and sprained an ankle.  Len was hospitalized twice.  In Louisiana he was having difficulty breathing.  A blood clot from his leg broke and entered a lung.  They inserted a filter before a kidney.   After having many issues with his right knee, he realized it was time for a total knee replacement.  That was done in NJ back in October.  He is not back to full recovery yet.

There always seems to be some mechanical issue to deal with. This year we decided to have heavier axles and springs put on the Cedar Creek.   A few months later they failed us going over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  After repairs we trust there will not be further issues.

One of our air conditioner units compressor burnt out and had to be replaced.  Fortunately still under warranty.

But there were good highlights too.   We managed to travel part of the Natchez Trace.  We will surely return.

We took granddaughters and great niece to Disney World.   Oh, the A/C unit we had trouble with?  The problem started just a day or so before we headed to Florida.  Nice being in Florida in June and July, with only a bedroom A/C and living in a tin can.  It was fixed the day before we left the state.
Still.... all had a grand time at Disney.

In August we flew to Alabama when son Lennie married our new daughter in law Lois.

We camped three different times near my sister giving us sister time together.

In September we visited many sites in Michigan and we fell in love with the state.  Our reason for heading in that direction was the NOMADS annual meeting in Kalamazoo.

Some stats:    We stayed at 26 different campgrounds, three we listed as excellent.  Mackinaw Creek Campground in Mackinaw City, MI;  Tombigbee State Park in Tupelo, MS and Fort Wilderness in Buena Vista, FL.

We spent $4,323 on campgrounds averaging $11.84 a night.  We traveled 24,373 miles and spent $4,534 on diesel.

All in all 2015 was another good year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New dancing friends.

Jonestown AOK Campground
Jonestown,   PA

Two posts ago I was left a message from a new reader.  She found this blog while looking at Dee's Tumbleweed blog that she has been following for some time.  She saw the title of my blog and decided to check it out.    What a surprise!   She lives in the next small town over from Jonestown, just a few miles up the road.

Since there was no link to get in touch with her, on my next post I left a message giving her our site number.   A day or so later we came home to pumpkin cake and a note on our steps.  I called her and invited her back.   She stopped over last Monday (I think it was last Monday, living like we do I lose track of time).    What a nice visit.

Meet Darlene and her husband Jim:

Darlene and Jim also have a Cedar Creek Fifthwheel.   They plan on selling their home someday to fulltime.  They have been to RV-Dreams rallies.  AND THEY LOVE TO COUNTRY DANCE.   We found out back in the 90's they were dancers on the Nashville Network.  I think the program was called Club Dance?   If I am wrong, sorry Darlene and Jim.

Some of my readers already know that Leonard and I met in 1988 at a country bar...... dancing.  We still love to dance.

A local Holiday Inn has country line dancing lessons a couple of times a week.  So, on Monday we mosied on over there.   Daughter Terri and SIL Steve would have liked to have joined us but Terri is fighting a fierce cold.  First dinner, then dancing.

Another picture of Darlene and Jim.    Sorry Jim, didn't realize your eyes were closed.

 Only Darlene was the brave one of our group.

Leonard is still not fully recovered from the knee replacement.  As for me.....since the stroke my balance is not quite right.   That's our story and we'll sticking to it.  Gonna have to find out Jim's excuse.

Another great couple.  And even more proof that RVing folks are the nicest folks regardless of where or how you meet them.

Merry Christmas friends and family!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

A happy man

Jonestown AOK Campground
Jonestown,  PA

Last week there was a gun show in Harrisburg.   Son-in-law Steve asked Leonard to go with him.  UGH.   I knew what that meant.  

Leonard has been talking about wanting a 357 Henry Rifle.     Understand, he has 9 other guns.   But THIS ONE IS SPECIAL he says.  THIS ONE WAS AT A GOOD PRICE, he says.  I'VE ALWAYS WANTED A HENRY, he says.  You don't need another gun, I say.   Who won in this scenario you ask?

Steve has joined a shooting range.  Hopefully during the next few days Len will go with him and test out his new rifle.   The only time he gets to target shoot is when we are in Louisiana visiting family.  And then it's far from every time.

On Monday he said let's take a ride.   By take a ride he meant drive 26 miles up to Hamburg, PA  to

This is our favorite Cabela's.  It is much larger than most we've been in.  Before we started traveling this was the only one we knew.   When we got to Mitchell, SD there was one down the road from the campground.   I would guess it's about 1/3 the size of this Cabela's.   As are most others we have been in throughout the country.    It has a large lot for RV's with a dump station.  I need to remember this about Cabela's during our travels.

I walked around for a short time.  But not liking to shop, I begged off and returned to the truck to sit and wait.  And wonder if that was really a good idea.    Took about a half hour for Leonard to return.

Ah, just ammo.   I can live with that.   He is a happy man.

Until next time.......

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I'm wading into a controversial topic....

Jonestown AOK Campground
Jonestown, PA

Lately I've taken some chances and changed up my blog a bit.  Not just RV related a few times. A few rants here and there.

Read no further if you are not "into" politics.  Or easily offended.

I am a Political Junkie.  I offer no apologies.   Regardless of what party affiliation or no party affiliation one might have, all opinions if well thought out deserve a measure of respect.   I read articles and try to read comments that follow.  Some are way beyond nasty.

I have friends who lean in a different direction than me.  That's what makes this country great. If we did not a two party system we would quickly become a dictatorship.   It takes the pulling of the two sides to keep us some where in the middle.

As a Political Junkie I watch the debates.   Following I often have to scratch my head.  I listen to the pundits, I read folks comments.  Did they watch the same debate I did?  Or perhaps (probably) what I see is viewed through my own lens.

Once more I hear a certain Billionaire Businessman was the winner.   What I see and hear is a man who offers no real policies.  Just throws out insane (to me) rhetoric in an attempt to stir up the already frustrations of people who feel they don't have a voice.   On top of that, he is just plain rude.  I don't want a President who is rude or egocentric.   I want one who listens to people who know more than he.    Especially our military leaders.  That is a downfall of our current President.

I was a fan of the Governor from Ohio.  Until these debates.  What a disappointment.   I am still a fan of the good doctor.  But I now feel he just does not have what we need.   I am not comfortable with the 1st term Senator from Texas and I can't understand the leanings of the Senator from Kentucky.

The former Governor of Florida makes some good points.  But I don't think we another President from the same family. (On either side.)  I think the other two Presidents from this family were fine men.   And then there's the lady former CEO.  I like her.  But not President.  Maybe VP?

So that leaves two.  The no-nonsense Governor of NJ or the Senator from Florida.  They both are clear thinkers and quick on their feet in a debate.    I could accept either.

What worries me is........ the loud mouth rude Billionaire Businessman will continue to rise in the polls.  He can insult a War Hero, the looks of a woman, the professionalism of a woman journalist, a physical disability of a reporter and anyone who disagrees with him.   His supporters don't care.  Sad.  What happened to plain old good manners I ask?

Gonna get interesting........

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Not a rant .......dinner together

Jonestown,  PA
AOK Campground

First.... a response to Darlene (hope you get this).  I saw your comment on my last post.  You left no way to make contact.   Yep, we are nearby.  Hope you like your Cedar Creek.  We have mixed feelings.   If you want to talk full timing we are here only until Jan 1.  Site 143.

Now, the latest.   Last Saturday my daughter Terri hosted a dinner for us and my brother and sister and their families.    How cool it is that they drove close to 3 hours from their homes in NJ to come see us.

Son-in-law Steve with my brother Norm and Cane our favorite dog:

Sister-in-law Nora:

My sister Debbie's grandson Lance with my niece Erin  (Norm and Nora's daughter) with her daughter Hailey.   That's daughter Terri preparing dinner:

Three siblings:  Norm, me and Debbie
 All of us together:

And Miss Kitty the feral cat who adjusted well moving from NJ to Pa last year:

It was a special day.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rant.....I must be stupid

Jonestown,  PA

Yea, stupid to feed into this.  TECHNOLOGY.

My first computer was a Commodore 64.  Anyone remember that?   It was all that and more, or so we thought.   Next came my desk top.   I'm thinking it had Windows 98.    Then came laptops.  My first was a Acer with Windows XP.   That served me well and I was happy with it.  Eventually that first laptop got slower.   So I bought a Toshiba with Windows 7.  Leonard still uses the old Acer but only to play solitaire.  

I never really liked the Toshiba.  It was in the shop A LOT.   I would occasionally use the Acer. Well, what do you know....... Microsoft stopped supporting the XP operating system.  Of course, why not when you can not so gently force people to part with more money to update to a newer system.  Over and over again.

Last year I got impatient with the Toshiba.  I gave it to my granddaughters and bought a Dell with Windows 8.   Then came 8.1.   Once I got through the learning curve, I liked it.  So, what did I do over this last weekend?   I downloaded Windows 10.   I HATE IT.  I can't import pictures.  I hate learning curves.  I have no patience.  I am technically challenged.  (Is there a support group for this?)  I will have my son-in-law Steve show me how to take it off.   After all, he helped me install it.   He knows more about these things than I ever will.

And now let's talk about phones.   Am I the only geezer with a dumb phone?   My Samsung flip phone works just fine.   I don't need a phone for a GPS.  I have a GPS that came with the truck.  More on that later.  I don't need a phone to search the Internet.  That is a job for my Dell with the useless Windows 10.  I just need a phone to make phone calls and occasional text.    You won't see me sitting in a restaurant, doctors office or standing in line at Disney playing games on my phone.

Last year for Christmas Leonard gave me a Verizon tablet.   It was on sale for $70.00 with a $70.00 debate.  He is a real sport.   I do like it and will take it in the truck with us while traveling.  Helps to find a place to overnight.   I had it just about a month when I wanted a cover.  We went back to the Verizon store to get one.  It had to be special ordered.  Reason?   My tablet is a 7.  Obsolete.  They were selling a Verizon 8 so only had covers for a more modern(?)tablet.  

We do love a GPS.  But even they become obsolete.  That's not really their fault is it?  Stores close down and move. New restaurants open up or go out of business.  There are new bridges and highways.  So last year we paid over $150. for the CD's that updated the GPS that came with our 2011 F350.   Still takes me to where Walmart or the Post Office used to be.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Upgrades and

Cleona, PA

In September we had heavier axles and springs added to our 2014 Cedar Creek Fifthwheel.

On Tuesday we left NJ headed to spend the month of December at a campground in Jonestown, PA near where my daughter Terri lives.  We had made arrangements with the shop which did the work to stop there on the way.  They had requested when back in the area to stop by and they would check that the U Bolts were still torqued right.

While still in NJ Leonard noticed the rig was listing to the left a little.  When stopping at a convenience store for coffee, he checked under the rig and saw nothing that looked amiss.  As we were crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge from NJ to Delaware we heard crashing noises.  At that point the trailer turned at a sharp angle to the left.  We were hitting plastic barrels on the bridge placed there to block the left lane for bridge work.  We knocked over about 10 of them.  We slowed down to a crawl with flashing lights until we crested the bridge and got to the other side.  Before entering the toll booths there was a turn off used by bridge authorities to make their turnarounds.   We could not have gone through a toll booth.....the truck is a dually and  trailer leaning far left, we were really wide.

Len looked under and saw the new axle was about a foot back and only the main spring was there and the rest had fallen off.

Here Len had pulled the axle back in line.

What to do.  What to do.  

 Len called the shop  They said they did not have a tow vehicle to come get us, we were 1 1/2 hours away.   So we called Good Sam roadside assistance.   They said they would get back to us.

In the meantime I posted on Facebook what was going on.   Len wisely kept the old springs and stored them in a utility trailer we have parked at my daughter Amy's house in MD, about an hour and a half away.  I called her. Luckily both she and her husband mostly work from home.  Scott was home and would bring them to us.   I worried about Leonard getting under the trailer and doing any work, due to still recuperating from knee replacement.

About then my brother called and asked what was going on.  My nephew saw my post on Facebook. Right away they offered their help.   So about an hour and a half later, son-in-law Scott arrived with the old spring.  Then my brother and nephew arrived to help.   In the pouring rain.

Then Good Sam called. They said they were having a hard time finding a tow for a 40ft fifth wheel.  WHAT?   This is what we pay $159.00 a year for = TOWING A FIFTH WHEEL.   They offered to send someone to check and see if they could.  We told them never mind, we have it handled.  We will be having a conversation with them today.

Len and Scott taking the tire off

Nephew JR jacking tire up to replace U bolts and springs

JR replacing U bolts with my brother Norm assisting.

Scott and JR popping hangers back into upright position.

We are eternally grateful for JR, Norm and Scott.  There is no way Len, still favoring new knee,    could have crawled under the rig.   Also, having self leveling jacks help.

We make it to Ephrata, PA with no issues.  The rig is still in the shop.  They will put on new springs, heavier U bolts.   We don't know what the cause was......just that the springs fell apart.  

Despite the hassles, we were fortunate.  We kept the old spring.  Scott was home and could bring them to us.  JR read my Facebook post.  Norm owns his own construction company and they were able to leave the job to offer assistance.  We were less than two hour drive to where the original work was done.  They are taking full responsibly.  Our daughter Terri lives 25 miles from the shop so we have a place to stay while rig is in shop.  And even being on the bridge, there was a safe place to pull over before the tolls.

It's always something.....