Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Great Weekend

Friday we went in to stay with the kids in the afternoon.  I had laundry to do, Kara asked me to make cucumber salad, we played Mexican Train with the kids for two hours and I wrapped the three pieces of luggage we bought as their shower gift.  Morgan had a Christmas ornament she bought at Disney World for them and asked me to wrap that too.  It was a pretty busy afternoon.

When Kara came home, Ted started the grill and we had burgers, corn on the cob, fruit salad and cucumbers for dinner.  Kelly, Pat, Cassie and Kyle came too.  Dessert was haystack cookies and three different flavors of ice cream to choose from.  It fed the crowd without too much trouble.

Ted went shooting on Saturday and we left around 4:00 for Mass.  Ted poked me to turn around and there was Bill, Kara, Sam and Morgan in the row behind us.  After church we went to Olive Garden.  The fellows and kids then went to Bass Pro Shop while Kara and I hit Meijer's for cereal, then Joann's and Michael's looking for card stock for the place cards.  We chose lavender for the back, purple/lavender paisley for the second matting and white for the third piece that will have names and table numbers.  I will be using the paper cutter sometime this week!

Today was the wedding shower.  We went in early for the gal who did Kara's make up and hair today as a dry run for the wedding, to give me a haircut but when it came to styling it, she just couldn't do it.  I finally went upstairs and used my Big Sexy Hair mousse (oxymoron for me!), used the round brush while blowing it dry then used the curling iron on it.  I will be looking elsewhere for the wedding day!  

The gal in Florida who has done my hair the five years I lived there and every visit since then is the absolute best.  Even with a photo from the last wedding, this gal didn't come close.  The amazing thing is even when I asked the kids to get me the mirror from her and then I came downstairs, she never batted an eye.  Said it looked fine and she didn't think she needed to touch it up!  She had no problem charging for a cut AND style.

Off we went to the restaurant and met about 40 people, some of whom are Bill's relatives, others are Bill and Kara's friends in common.  I know some of Kara's friends from school and jobs over the years.  Ally was able to attend and it was our first chance to see her.

Everything was lovely thanks to Bill's sister Marilyn who handled all the details.  All I had to do was show up with my credit card!  It was a lovely party.  The few children in attendance had their own table and were well behaved all afternoon.  Bill, Ted and Bill's cousin Ken sat at a table by themselves by choice and were deep in discussions the whole time.  Every table seemed to be having a great time.

We stopped by Kara's to help unload the car, I tried on my dress for the wedding for Kara to see, then headed for home but stopped at the grocery to get things for two salads I am taking to Gus and Melissa's tomorrow for dinner.

Ted has a fire going and just stuck his head in to coax me to sit out for awhile.  We can sleep in tomorrow.  Yeah!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Awww ..... The Pleasant Weather of Michigan in the Summer

After another 6 a.m. move back inside on Tuesday we were dismayed to find no one working on our rig.  Our technician, Fred, was moved again to a slide problem no one else could do.  Getting the best tech has its downfalls!  At 12:30, with two work hours left in the day, we had a bit to say to our contact in the office.  Fred reappeared and finished up and said he would go over all of it at that enchanting 6 a.m. hour on Wednesday before we took it to the paint facility down the road by 7 a.m.

True to his word, Fred came to the trailer Wednesday morning and went over all the things on our list and then sent us off to the paint facility.  We left the trailer there and drove to Shipshewana where we had breakfast before heading into the flea market.  We walked around buying a few little things for about 3.5 hours before heading back.  We checked and our trailer would be ready in one hour.  That gave us time for lunch.

We were lucky in that the swoosh that needed attention was one dark color and not a blended color.  It was ready as promised so we hooked up and drove 3.5 hours to our campground in Michigan.  Our favorite spot was available and in no time we were set up.  First up was getting showers.  With no water hook up or sewer we were "making do" in that parking lot with a sink full of water!  We spent a quiet evening enjoying Michigan's cool temps and better TV.

Today Ted went to see his friends at the gun club and to the grocery.  I spent the time changing the sheets, cleaning some and paying bills.  It was 67 in our bedroom this morning without the A/C running.  

Tomorrow we are staying with Sam and Morgan since the sitter is not available.  Sunday is the wedding shower and so the fun begins again just 4 months after the last wedding!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Life in the Parking Lot

We were up Monday at 5 a.m. to be dressed and buttoned up at 6 a.m.  Right on time, there was a knock on the door and away our rig went being pulled by a fork lift with a gooseneck at the hitch.  We met with Fred and went over our list then joined the others in the Customer Lounge.  Eventually we went into Sturgis, MI for breakfast.  

One of our complaints has been the popping noises coming from the Level Up system, mostly when the temperature cools down.  We never had this issue with our Big Foot system.  The fix they say is to remove a quart of the hydraulic fluid and replace it with a hydraulic oil additive.  Seems to me the manufacturer would start out with this mixture but no one asked me!

We went to four different places and cannot find this additive.  It seems motorcycle shops and elevator companies as well as Caterpillar distributors carry it.  Also, driving the rig 26 miles to Lippert Frames to have them do it is an option.  I googled motorcycle shops and found two in the area so we will call them today and keep trying!

We took the 10 a.m. factory tour yesterday.  We had taken it years ago and at that time Ted was so impressed with the fit and finish in Mobile Suites construction he said if we ever couldn't have a HitchHiker he would get a Mobile Suites.  And that is exactly what came to pass when HitchHiker stopped production last year.   

The two adages "You get what you pay for" and "It's what you don't see that matters" came to mind.  In December, in 17 degree weather, we noticed an increased coziness in the rig.  This summer we noticed that when we stop for the day in hot weather the temperature inside the rig is pleasant.  Our HitchHikers would be 95 degrees and would take awhile to get cool once the A/C was turned on.  Watching the construction, the materials used, the added strength and safety items used was very impressive.  A family emergency pulled our technician off our rig to finish up another that was close to being done and was due to pull out.  Things happen and you just go with the flow.  We will need to go to the paint facility and hopefully that will happen today.

Our trailer was back in our spot at 2:30 and units were jockeyed around as some folks left and others arrived.  We have electricity, water in the tank but no hook up and no sewer.  This makes things a bit   more difficult.  But one of the good things is we don't want to waste holding tank space with dishwater so we went into Howe for dinner.  

It has been raining a lot so there isn't too much outside visiting going on.  We are using our antenna for TV since we have yet to replace our satellite dish.  Our old trailer had a roof mount but we want to get a freestanding one.  They are easier to move around for a signal versus moving the trailer back and forth.  Ted certainly wishes we had one last night but because of the rain he might not have done any better with TV viewing.

We were up again at 5 a.m. this morning and it is now 7:15 a.m.  When we get to a decent hour Ted will call the motorcycle shops and we will head to Sturgis and probably go to breakfast.  If it stops raining we may go to Shipshewana if Fred says it is okay to leave.  

We are good until noon on Thursday when we absolutely need to leave for Michigan.  If the paint thing gets to be a problem we will come back here the end of July to finish up.  I would rather spend a week in Cincinnati but we will do what we need to do.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Waiting For Our Appointment Tomorrow

We did some maneuvering with our route to get from Benton to Sikeston, Missouri.  The intersection of I-40 and I-55 is a nightmare of construction.  We knew this because of our trip through there in April.  We had decided to go north on I-55 out of West Memphis, Arkansas and avoid most of the carnage but that morning the entire intersection was shut down because of a truck fire.  So we took the suggested detour given to us at the Welcome Center the day before.  It suggested going north before Forrest City and then east on another road.   We thought it would be heavy traffic but surprisingly there was hardly any and we had a leisurely drive through farmland and picked up I-55 north of West Memphis.

We arrived at Hinton's in Sikeston, set up, took showers and then drove to Lambert's for dinner.  I love the cucumbers there as much as the "throwed" rolls.  Afterwards we stopped at the outlet mall and I picked up a few items for our two upcoming cruises.  I am setting things aside so I don't have a washed out wardrobe at the end of summer to choose from.  We fueled up and headed home for the evening.

Next day's stop was at Terre Haute, Indiana.  We missed visiting four relatives Brad & Nicole and Toni & Jess because there just aren't any convenient campgrounds in and around Indianapolis.  It is not possible to visit residential areas when you are 53 feet long!  We will just have to see them next year at the 2015 Family Reunion.

From there we continued east into Ohio to Grand Lake State Park to visit for the weekend with my brother Dan and his wife Sue.  They were in Florida for Kristin's wedding and we were in Ohio for their son's wedding but really had little chance to visit.  This made up for it.  We had dinner Friday night where the rehearsal dinner had been held and stayed so long they tried to give us our bill again after having paid it once!

On Saturday we went to the grocery for items to make two dishes for dinner at Sue's.  The bride and groom, Rachel and Brandon, were joining us.  We took the food over, left for church, then came back for dinner.  We ended up sitting around their patio fireplace until almost midnight.

This morning we packed up and headed to the factory.  There are four electric hook ups but only one was being used.  By the time we were backed in and unhitched, another couple arrived and when we came back from fueling up and having breakfast/lunch/dinner, another rig had arrived.  We met everyone, discussed why we were here and then went our separate ways.  We all need to be up dressed and ready to give up our unit at 6 a.m.  

We have minimal things being done so hopefully we will be on our way quickly.  We want to be settled at Addison Oaks by Thursday before the weekend warriors show up, and we have to stay with Sam and Morgan on Friday.

Kara told me today we have to make name cards for the wedding luncheon.  Here we go again!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

And We Are Off!

While I hosted bunco, Ted gathered up his things, hooked up the trailer and moved it to a park near us.  By the time he had it all set up, the ladies had left and I was cleaning up.  I split "most losses" money with Carol and Judy so I got my $5 back.  I have been on a roll!

It took a while to get the tables cleared off, the dishwasher filled and the leftovers attended to.  We took my clothes and pantry foods over, leaving the refrigerated and frozen foods for our last trip.  It was about 3:30 when we were finished.  Chris had not arrived yet so we just left a note telling him we were gone and "welcome home."  I don't know who enjoys this arrangement better, him or us.

After Ted ran to Walmart to pick up his prescription, we settled in having a light dinner and watched The Bachelorette.  It has been boring this time I think.  Learning she is going to be on Bachelor Pad this summer makes me wonder what happens at the end of this season.

I was pooped and was in bed at 10:30.  Ted said he came to bed a little after 11:00.  That gave us an opportunity to leave a bit earlier in the morning, 7:45.  We would have made it by 7:30 but Cliff, our neighbor, came out and I think Chatty Kathy would be a good nickname.  He was a really nice and interesting guy but we wanted to get on the road.  I kept inching toward the truck and finally was able to get my hand on the door handle.  He wished us well and we were off.

We made a stop when Ted saw diesel for $3.54 even though we didn't need much at that point.  We took the opportunity for him to get coffee and I hit the Ladies Room just because it was there.  We made another stop at the Arkansas Welcome Center for lunch and another pit stop.  We usually stay in Texarkana but it was only 1:00 so we went on to Benton, Arkansas.  

We are in a new to us park eight miles south of Benton.  It is right off I-30 but back in the trees so is very quiet.  The $23 fee was nice too.  Fees have been more in the $30-35 a night range lately.  When we stop overnight I want safe, easy in, easy out; quiet with good water pressure and reliable electricity.  I don't care about dog runs, laundry rooms, playggrounds, etc.  When we come inside and close the blinds it makes no never mind what is outside.

We unhitched and went for fuel and came back for another light dinner.  We are watching TV and messing with our computers.  We head to Sikeston, Missouri in the morning.  It is one of our favorite stops because we will have dinner at Lambert's, home of the throwed rolls!  Travel Thursday will be to Terre Haute, Indiana.  Instead of Shipshewana we are going on to Grand Lake St. Marys State Park in Ohio for Friday and Saturday nights to visit with my brother, Dan.

Sunday we go to the parking lot at the factory in Howe, IN.  We have a 7 am Monday morning appointment.  If the trailer has to go to the paint shop we will be put up in a hotel by the manufacturer. I just know that by Thursday morning we need to be heading to Addison Oaks in Michigan for a 3-4 week stay.

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”  
~ Michael Palin

Sunday, June 15, 2014

In The Pink Again

Dr. Chang loves my self diagnosis fetish.  Other than my one female visit and two bloodwork visits each year, I seldom go to the doctor.  I was about to throw in the towel and go but after telling Ted I felt like my digestive system wasn't working it dawned on me that just maybe I had a touch of diverticulitis.  Since I take 2000 mg. of antibiotics before dentist appointments because of my hip replacement, I knew I could take that big dose and not do myself in.  And it worked.  I immediately felt better.  To be on the safe side I took the antibiotics for several days afterward.  Dr. Chang will roll his eyes when I tell him.

Tuesday I attempted to do my four hours at the thrift shop.  Because I was able to sit the whole time I had no difficulty.  I have 8 hours done now toward my 50.  

Wednesday we went to the restaurant at the country club for happy hour, buffet dinner and to play cards.  Ted won at his table and I tied for first at mine.  Someimes you get the cards, sometimes not.

Our neighborhood ladies luncheon was at Bonefish Grill on Thursday.  It was my first time there.  It is a smart, contemporary atmosphere but little food for a fair amount of money.  I would rather discover this by myself at lunch than with both of us for dinner.  There are so many new restaurants to try!

I cleaned out my closet on Friday and took some better things to a consignment shop and some to Goodwill.  I opened up about three feet of rod space!  From there we went to the grocery before I had a nail appointment.  We were gone all day running around.

Last night we went to Mass then to our friends house to play cards again.  I won again!  Ted came in second at his table.  My dime purse is full and will stay that way until August when we play again.

I have bunco here tomorrow.   Ted will move the trailer to the campground close by while that is going on.  Then we will load up in the afternoon.  Chris is available to start his stay, so we will sleep in the rig and take off first thing on Tuesday heading to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  ~ Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky

Monday, June 9, 2014

Under The Weather

I was alone most of Thursday and didn't realize until dinnertime that I hadn't been hungry all day.  Ted called to say he would be late and when I fixed a little something, I couldn't eat it.  In the middle of the night I was really having a rough time.  Things let up by morning but I laid around most of the day.  Terry called and invited us to the country club for dinner but I didn't feel well enough to go.  I really wanted to be well for Saturday.

I did feel much better but still wasn't eating Saturday morning when we picked up Terry and Carol to head to Houston for the ordination of Richard, the young seminarian who had befriended us in Rome and served at our parish this summer.  It has been a long time since we have attended a service with such pomp and circumstance.  Cardinal DiNardo presided, Bishop Sheltz, who was our last pastor when he was a monsignor, and Preston, our last seminarian, were all part of the ceremony along with our current pastor Tom, the priest with the motorcycle.  The choir, the orchestra, the traditions, the 100 vested priests and the Knights of Columbus, were all so very interesting and moving.  It was over two hours long but went by very quickly.

Afterwards we had a chance to speak with Richard for a bit at a reception at the Cathedral Centre.  He will be returning to Rome for one more year of study but hopes to spend some time at our church before he returns.  Every time he has been here, we have been gone but Terry and Carol had him for dinner along with our pastor and other church couples.

We decided to go from the Catholic Church to the Jewish deli for lunch!  I was getting hungry and that was a good sign.  We had a nice lunch sitting at a table next to Hugh Laurie (House on TV) who was going to appear at Wortham Center.  We didn't say anything to him allowing him his privacy.

By the time we got home it was just a short time before we headed to our church for Saturday night Mass.  A family from our church who sat in front of us at the Cathedral was there, also still dressed in their good clothes as we were.  We said we felt like we had been in church all day.

We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant but I couldn't eat very much so I brought most of my dinner home.  We had to make a pan of lasagna for Ted's shooting banquet being held on Sunday.  I gave directions from the couch and Ted did an excellent job of putting it together and made no mess.

Sunday I was feeling some better, still not eating much, but started getting some things done.  One of the twin beds is filled with my clothes that need to go in the trailer.  The wedding program is done, the laundry is done, so today I can clean.

Last night and this morning my stomach and I aren't on the best of terms.  I am living mostly on Coke over ice.  If I didn't know better I would be wondering if I was pregnant!  But we all know that's not the case.  I just need to take it easy and eat simple things for awhile.

One other thing we did accomplish was to decide what to do next year for our 50th wedding anniversary that will occur in April.   Since school will still be in session then, we chose the last week of August to book a Disney cruise for the 12 of us.  We talked about renting a house big enough for all in Destin, FL but the last time we did that in Myrtle Beach I spent my vacation at Kroger's supermarket!  

There was a lot of back and forth with Kara's friend who is a Disney specialist before deciding on Deck 7, four cabins in a row on the starboard side so we can see the Pirate Show and fireworks at Castaway Cay from our balconies.  All four cabins have balconies but the two for the families with kids are bigger and have a bath and a half.  Larry & Kristin and Ted & I have regular balcony cabins.  After all, Ted and I are used to living in an RV half the time.  Ted is still trying to figure out why he is taking everyone on a trip for his anniversary!  The kids gave us a very nice party for our 40th and with two weddings this year, just the 12 of us getting away with no work for anyone seems like a good idea.

I have taken this step because I want the discipline, the fire and the authority of the Church. I am hopelessly unworthy of it, but I hope to become worthy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And Ted Keeps Cooking Dinner

I drove to Connie's on Saturday so she, Jody, Jenny and I could ride together to the baby shower.  It is about an hour's drive but with construction and traffic it took an hour and a half.  I don't know where I was exactly but it certainly was beautiful.  The house was 9,000 sq. ft. and absolutely gorgeous.  A pool, spa and swim up bar were under construction and over look a lake.  Wow!

There was a full bar, a table of food and a dessert bar all done up in pink.  It was very impressive.  Here is a photo of the cake.  I am not sure what the teapot has to do with a baby girl but it was a neat cake and delicious I was told.  I didn't have any, choosing instead a big stick pretzel dipped in chocolate.  The teapot is made of cake also.

Here are the mother and father to be along with their own baby pictures.

We had our photo taken with the hostess.

It was 7 pm before I got home so we attended church on Sunday morning.  Ted then went shooting and I worked on the wedding program some more.  Kara felt one page was too crowded so I had to shift everything and figure out page breaks that made sense.  

Ted made dinner when he came home.  He has been doing more and more of the cooking and that is fine with me!  He isn't messy and clean up is a breeze.  I hope he keeps this up.

Monday the Lazy Boy guy showed.  He agreed with me about the one side not being right, took some pictures and said someone would call me.  So far - nothing.  I think a stop by the store today may be in order.

I put my first four hour shift in at the Thrift Store on Tuesday.  That leaves 46 to go!  I pulled something near my shoulder blade so used Flex All and a patch when I went to bed. The next day it was fine.  I love that Flex All.

Wednesday got a little crazy.  I had a 1:45 dentist appointment that they called to change to 1:00.  I had a hair appointment at 3:45 but changed it to 5:15 because the seamstress to hem my dress for the wedding was scheduled to be at the dry cleaner at 4:00.  When I got there she was at their other location.  But she said not to come there because there was no mirror.  Communication 101 gone awry.  The other dry cleaner said their lady was on vacation but would be back Monday and she PROBABLY could have it done by Friday.   So today I am taking one more shot between 10 and 2 at the last place I am going to try.  Next stop will be the seamstress in Michigan if this doesn't work.  If you know someone looking for a career, seamstresses seem to be in big demand.

Ted made dinner again last night.  He has to pick up a fellow today at the airport and go to the Chronicle again.  I hope this issue gets solved before we head out.  We did some handouts last night for the meeting.  I am getting better with Windows 8 but am going to look for a class at the communuty college in the fall.  I know there is so much more this new computer can do.  I refuse to be the old dog that can't learn new tricks ... or how to use a new operating system.

“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before." ~ Bill Gates