Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a Crowd

Wow, we had over 50 Gregg's and friends today for lunch. Had folks from as far away as Michigan all the way to Lousiana. The photo is of me and my brothers and sisters. I am the oldest at 54. We go all the way down to 36. Most all of our children were here with our grandchildren. I hope everyone had as good of a Thanksgiving as we did.
My youngest brother and his family are staying with Teri and me. They have 2 sets of twins 7 and 8 years old. We have had a time. Rode the scooter and the VW Thursday. That was a lot of fun. The kids loved it about as much as I did.
So, that is what has been going on here since Teri got home Wednesday. We have been really busy around here so I have not been up on the posts. We have a lot of pictures that will help us remember today.
Hope everyone is doing fine. Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One of Those Mondays

When I was a working guy it seemed like Monday mornings were the problem hours for me. Folks tend to get out and get rowdy over the weekends. That usually results in contact with police or aggrivated neighbors. Lots of phone conversations and that normally resulted in some guys going to jail.
Today was one of those Mondays but it was all my doing. Can't blame it on anyone else. Teri is gone to Indiana so it is just Sam and me. I had to be at the doctor's office, for blood work, at 830 am. Had a doctor appointment back there at 1015. Cholestrol test. Everything was going great. Alarm went off and I was up and ready on schedule. Took Sam outside before I left, then off I went. I was back at the front door by 9am. I grabbed the knob, locked. Back to the Jeep for the keys. I had this "feeling". Not a good feeling. The key on the ring would not open the door. It would not even go in the hole. Seems that key was to my old office door. Oh boy. I remember that just Saturday I went around the house locking all of the windows when I pulled the storm windows down. Maybe the back door, nope, locked. Garage door locked. The remote is in the house with all of my other key rings. I hate carrying keys so I only take the ones to the vehicle I take from the driveway.
My neighbor has a key. I knock and get the baby sitter. She does not know where any keys are and is not interested in my problem. I take another walk around the house trying to convince myself not to break a window. I figure my blood pressure is rising and that won't be good for the doctor to see. Think some more. I have no phone so I drive to one of my daughter's. She has a key. That will take care of my problem. I play with my grandkids while she looks. No luck, can't find it. Got another daughter but it is 930 and she goes to college. I had Melanie call her cell to see where she is. Oh good, still at home, here in town. A quick drive over and I have a key in my pocket. Home and door opens. Sam is soothed. She was barking the whole time I was out there. She is too short to unlock door, ha.
Off to the doctor. Blood pressure is 126/72. Good. Choletrol, bad reading, is 113. Doc says I need it below 100. Not good. I had really worked and thought I was going to pass. Crestor is not cheap. Been taking one every other day for last 7 months, along with my 3 fish oil caplets. So, doc wants me on one daily. Money out of my pocket. Oh well.
Off to the local lumber yard. 3 new house keys. Now I got one on every key ring I own and one hid outside. Life is good again. Had over half of the half gallon of ice cream, tonite, with Hershey's. That little treat made it all better.
Teri will be home Wednesday afternoon. Got to have the den all finished, cleaned up, by then. I am getting there. Worked on it last two days. Maybe Tuesday will see it finished. The ice cream box will need to be gone also. The trash is on the street for Tuesday pickup. I can sleep in now. Won't have to walk until Teri gets back. Kitchen and living room is still clean, just like Teri left it. She will be proud of me.
There you have it. A quick rundown on my day. Hope your's was a good one. Check on me Tuesday night. I might need your help.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Making Memories in a GMC Motorhome

While we are here at home I am often reminded of places we have been and things we have seen. Just in the last two years our old coach has carried us to many new places. As I watch tv in the evenings, I see some place in the news or in a show that brings back memories of our travels. Chicago or Detroit, the GMC took us there. Albuquerque, Las Cruces, yep been there. El Paso, Carlsbad, Phoenix, the GMC has taken us to those places too. Chattanooga and Nashville, we weathered a toronado on that trip. Baton Rouge, been there. Hmm, San Francisco, I never thought I would darken those streets. The GMC took us there twice already. The Redwoods of California, made three trips there. Been up to Coos Bay twice. We have eaten the best ice cream and cheese in Tillamook. Climbed the tower in Astoria. When I see the reports of the naked lady riding around Portland on her bikeI must laugh. Hope we don't run into her. The little dwarf family on the Learning Channel, that airs Mondays, always brings memories of Hillsboro, Oregon. Have eaten the very best salmon right on the Columbia Gorge. Las Vegas and Tucson, our grandson thinks we visit John Wayne when we are in those places. Hey, we have visited the beautiful Snake River, been through North and South Dakota, Iowa, and stayed a week in Omaha with great friends. Teri and I have been in every state west of the Mississippi River and many on the east side. I know that if it was not for that old GMC coach I would never have seen half of these places. We have so many memories that we can share with our grandchildren. The people we have met and the places we have visited are just unbelievable. I have not listed near the number here, but you get the picture. Rving is the best way to see the USA without getting in any hurry. Whether it takes us two days or two weeks to travel from Mo. to Az. it does not matter. We are at home every night no matter where we park the GMC. It has been one dependable coach and we hope to live and travel in it for many more years. Who would have ever thought that when General Motors developed and built these machines that they would still be alive and well today. A timeless coach.
Thanks for the visit. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vista Operating System

Need I say more? We paid 475 in Eureka, Ca. back in July. Grabbed 20 gallons just so we could get into Oregon where it was cheaper.
The first price shown here is in July also but in Vancouver, Wa.

This picture was taken this morning, here in Dexter, as we returned from our morning walk.

My father had a filling station when I was 5 years old. I would hang out there as much as he would allow, with my grandfather. Gasoline then, 1960, was 19 cents per gallon, full service. In 1970 I paid 25 cents per gallon. That was at 300 gallons, delivered to my tank. I was known to burn two full tanks, 16 gallons each, in one night just cruising in my Mustang. That was 32 gallons of fuel and never going anywhere. We did a lot of racing from town to town so it took a few gallons.
No more on that topic. It could lead to some depressing thoughts.
This new laptop has Vista on it. So far most everything is working as did Windows XP. Seems to take longer to load up and shut down but most everything else works good. Now, I can not get my Discovery Owners files to download into my Streets and Trips. Neither can I get the GMC Black List to download. I need these files before we take off in a few weeks. I get some message that says a file is messed up. I reloaded my Streets and Trips but still get the same message. My Question is: Has anyone used Vista to successfully download these files into Streets and Trips? I don't plan to pull out of the driveway without these maps. I use them nearly daily when we travel in the GMC. We have all the Walmarts, truckstops, and GMC owners along the way at our fingertips. Driving without that is kinda like, well it is just risky buisness" when traveling in a motorhome.
The GMC Motorhome Black List was set up by my friend Roger Black, over in Tennessee. He came up with this brilliant idea. All of the GMC motorhome owners, that wish, can submit their name and address and have it included in this list. It has room for phone numbers and other information, such as, yes, we have a place for you to spend the night, or, we have tools to help fix your broken coach, and the like. What an idea Roger had. There are so many names and addresses in this list that it keeps traveling GMC owners close by others of same interests almost anywhere we travel. I know folks that have lost an engine while enroute. When called, others have gone out, helped get coach to safe place, pulled engine and replaced, all for free labor. Can you believe it? See why I say that GMC motorhome folks are great. Everyone shares information and labor with each other. So, I can not leave home without my list in this new laptop. Someone out there can help me out, I know it. gregg_dan at
I also carry a list of free dump stations, free campsites, and other maps so I need to get this in this new laptop before we take off.
So, I will keep this post short. Got a room to clean. Hope all of you have a great weekend. Thanks for the visit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Got Caught

Now here is a 5 year old boy that can talk hunting and fishing with the best of them. He is proud of this piece of meat even though his dad is the one who brought it home. Dad didn't shoot it either, his hunting buddy got it and passed it along. Dad killed 6 mallards though and Colsyn wanted me to see them first. I got a picture but won't upload it.

This little guy is some talker. He can stretch the truth really well when it comes to how big a fish was but he does have a bass hanging on the wall, at home, that weighed in around 7 pounds. He caught it. You can bet every visitor to his home gets a first hand look and hears the story of how it was a real fight to get the thing up to the bank. No doubt, he will be a hunter and fisherman. He loves the outdoors and thinks John Wayne is alive and well in Tucson. I hope I am gone when someone breaks the news to him about the Duke's passing. It seems that he believes grandpa and John are real life buddies and expects me to introduce him some day. Hmm, wonder how in the world he got that impression? Could it have been from his mom's dad, who also used to love hunting and fishing and riding those old horses with no saddle????

Well, it seems that Teri was browsing around on the internet and found the blog post of "my" room. The one with the kids dancing to the music. Well, guess what I am in for today? Yep, I must clean "my" room. How can it be "my" room if I am dictated to when and how I must clean it? Reminds me of when I slept in my dad's house. They called a room "my" room but I had to make the bed and keep it clean. My dad gave me a quarter a week to keep it clean and my bed made. For every day I missed, I was docked a nickle. Now, this is where it was kinda fishy to me. If I missed 7 days in a row, one week, I owed him a dime. What was that all about anyway? Glad Teri does not dock me like my dad did or I would be begging for food stamps.

Yall have a great day. Was good having you drop by but I must get back to cleaning "my" room now. So long.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RV Solar Made Simple

I said no pictures but here is one with parts of 3 solar panels showing. One across the front, one on the driver's side, and the corner of one across the back. The big one can not be seen as it is in the middle of the roof. I did not like them showing as we had a new paint job, but I wanted the use of them so, I got over it.
This is not rocket science. Well, maybe it is, but we don't have to understand it to get the benefit from someone else's work in developing it. If you like camping away from the beaten path, for free, this is great. One time investment. Even when in an rv park that charges for your electricity, don't plug in unless you need air conditioning. Everything in an rv runs off 12 volts or from your inverter.
I told you that I failed algebra. I can work out problems but the teachers did not like how I did it. Well, I understand that but many of those teachers are still working and I am retired. So, I don't care if I did fail a class or two, ha. Simple is the easiest way to get to where I want to go.
Out west the cattle ranchers catch rainwater in a big barrel , up on a hill. Sometimes they may pump it into that container.
I see the (1) solar panel as that container. It catches the water. The bigger the container the more water I can get.
Then they use a water pipe to get that water from the big container sitting on the hilltop to to the trough. That pipe is the (2) cable from panels to the drinking trough. The larger the water pipe the more water that can flow.
At the trough they have a float shut off control. That is our (3) charge controller. It will open and close as the trough needs water to keep it full.
The watering trough. The bigger the more water it can hold for the cattle. (4) batteries.
That is it, 4 main components in an rv solar system. Read on, I can save you lots of time and money.
If the rancher has trees on the hilltop he won't put the water catcher under them. We can not shade our solar panels either. They will not catch the energy from the sun. Placement on the rv is very important. Don't let the airconditioner or pod shade any part of your system. That is why I have one panel in front and rear, that show from the ground. I could have hidden both of them but the air conditioner would have shaded them, or partially covered the path from the sun to the rv roof. Not a good thing. Sure, at certain parts of the day some of the panels wont get direct sunlight but that is only early in the morning and late in the evening on our coach, when I park it west and east. When north and south, it is less shade and more sun. Think about this before installing them. Measure your space before you buy the panels. I bought mine one at a time. After I took up prime real estate with the first one I measured each spot on the roof before buying another one. Then, I looked for panels that would fit into those remaining, unshaded, spots. One beauty of solar on rv's, you can add as you go, if you plan ahead.
One note here, if using 12 volt system, buy only 36 cell panels. They will all say how many cells. Old ones had 32. Don't buy them or mix them in with 36.
The rancher wants water pipes that will flow good so the water does not evaporate in the hot western sun before it gets to the trough. We want large cables that will do the same. I use number 6 welding cable. Now, you can use #10 cable or even smaller depending on your panel sizes, to the junction. But, from there on into the controller, use big cable. If you don't you will not get a good flow of water to the trough and your batteries will never get full. The cows will die for a lack of water. The junction is where you tie all of your panels together. Ask me how I know about cable size. Teri and I had to pull #10 out of the GMC and replace it with the #6 welding cable. Not fun. I picked up a 100 ft. roll of welding cable on ebay for 30 bux plus 15 shipping so look around. Heat is an enemy to our water pipes, cable. Cows do not like hot water. Do not run it close to any heat like the refrigerator back. If you must use the refer vent, tie the cables so they are as far away from any generated heat as possible. There will always be heat in that vent, even when running fans as I do. Just a word of caution. Don't ask where my cables are run into the rv.
The float shutoff, charge controller. You get what you pay for here. Once again, ask me how I know. Ripped out a cheap one to replace with a good one. Wasted money. You must buy a good controller. My buddy Rob told me this when I was building my sytem. I did not hear him loud enough so listen, GET A GOOD CONTROLLER the first time. You want one that will handle any upgrades that you might have in the future. A 40 amp controller will more than do you. I got a good deal on a Xantrex 60 amp so I bought it. Whatever brand you get it must be a 3 stage with adjustable set points. Look around and you can pick one up on sale for 150 bux. Don't settle for anything less than a 3 stage with adjustable set points. Set points let you contol where the "float shut off" in the water trough sets and how much water gets into the trough. We can talk all day long about charge controllers but that is not keeping things simple as I promised.
Batteries, the watering trough. Batteries are expensive. Go to Sam's Club and check to see what the price is on their 6 volt deep cycles. Last time I looked they were under 70 dollars each. The best bargain out there for rv house batteries. Not the best, but by far the best bargain. They will work fine. This is a watering trough. Take care of it and it won't spring a leak for 5 or 6 years. The more expensive batteries might last longer but I doubt it. No debate, this is my blog. Rv's come already wired for house batteries. Most have one 12 volt deep cycle. It is not enough for real boondockers. When it is time, replace that single 12 volt with 4 - 6 volt batteries. Wire 2 in series for 12 volts then parallel them with the other two and still have 12 volts with twice the amperage. Amperage is how much water the trough holds. The more the better. More batteries can be added. We find 4 6 volts do us just fine. Never run the batteries below 50% charge. Will kill them quick. You can get meters, I have them in our system.
There it is, very basic. We use 4 panels on our roof giving us a total of 300 watts of power. That combined with with the batteries gives us all the "water" that we need to keep our "trough" full enough. Now, if it is real cloudy for several days in a row you may need to fire the generator but RVer's like sunny weather. We move toward the sun and the solar works fine for us.
We do not tilt the panels and you won't either unless you are a fulltimer. Don't waste money on tilting brackets. Make your own mounts. Just L brackets. Use butyl tape to keep from leaking. Oh, I hated drilling holes in my new paint on the roof top. Seal them good. Get an extra solar panel to make up for not tilting. If you start with one or two panels, you can add later if you plan ahead. Big cable and proper controller. I started with one 115 watt panel. Did not plan ahead. Had to redo everything. Look at new priced panels on the internet to get an idea of what they sell for. Watch on ebay. I got 3 on there. 1 new and 2 used. They have dates on them and are good for 20 plus years so check dates on used and buy only 36 cell 12 volt panels. We have 1500 dollars in our entire setup. That includes money I wasted. Our system more than paid for itself in a year. That is savings in campground fees at 25 dollars a night.
I take no credit for anything here except for sumarizing this information. I have not even scratched the surface of this topic. My only intention is to get you to thinking. This is a simple process, installing solar, and anyone can do it.
Thanks for stopping. I must get on with my retirement now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mobile Internet Revisited

From time to time I get questions, from rvers about reliable internet on the road. I have some posts on this but am not going to look for them. I will just give a simple run down here this morning.
I could be known as "No Details Dan". I hate details. Get me from point A to B or wherever we are going. When I was a kid, I got the first of what my dad said then I got the "consequences" part of what he said. Those were the two important parts. I did more book reports than any of the other kids in my grade school classes. I read the first, middle, and last chapter of the book and wrote my reports. Always worked. Back in the mid 70's I failed my General class Ham Radio test twice before finally realizing that the gov't wanted detail work. You guessed it, failed algebra in high school and in college. My chosen profession was a good one for me. I operated on Glasser's Reality Therapy. You do what I want you to do and this is your reward. You don't do what I want and this is your consequence. Hey, my dad could have written a book on Reality Therapy, ha. When Teri starts a "story" I try to pull her along to the end. She likes details. I don't. Get me to the end result. Working on my vehicles, show me a picture. I am not going to read a book to learn how to change a flat tire.

So where am I going? Well, simple internet for on the road. Look at the first picture. See the little box that says Alfa? If you want wifi, buy this box. Best money spent. There are lots of gadjets out there that work, I know, I got'em, but this is "the one for your money". A 500 mw unit with a hot receiver. An external antenna can be screwed on in place of the little black stick if you think that you need more gain. Your laptop has a built in Wifi unit but it ain't much compared to this. Built in cards are good for 100 feet, on a good day. Wifi is normally free.

Wireless internet, with a fee., 60 dollars a month. Here is our Verizon air card setup. It normally rides in the GMC, tucked in out of sight. I leave it in the motorhome and can use it from the house, easy. Nothing hooks to the laptop. I use the little built in wifi unit, in laptop, to hit the receiver in the motohome router. Anyway, on the left is a 3 watt amplifier for the signal to and from the cell tower. in the back is a little mag mount cell antenna that plugs into the amplifier. On the right is the air card, sitting on and plugged into the mobile Cradlepoint router. The router keeps us from having anything plugged into the laptop. The router is the key to the whole setup as far as I am concerned. This keeps my laptop "clean". I hate having anything hanging out of the usb ports. We also throw the router and card in the car, on the dash, when traveling via the Vibe.
So, you can pay a cell company 60 dollars a month, Verizon or ATT. I don't know the others but they have it too. Verizon has best coverage where we travel. You can get a card free with a 2 year contract but the best way to go is this: look up the 3gstore online. Get their aircard, maybe free, sign a 2 year contract, and get the router for a discounted price. Right now they have the little Cradlepoint 350 on sale for 100 bux. If you sign the two year contract and get the air card from them they will give you another 20 dollars off the router price. I have nothing to do with the 3gstore, just passing this along.
Don't buy the external antenna or amplifier yet. You may not need them. The card has a built in antenna that really works good.
There you have it, simple, no details, just the facts. See, you do not need to know algebra to understand how electronics work. Just pay attention to simple guys like me, ha.
Yall have a great day and as always, thanks for stopping by.
If you have further questions, send me an email.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Remembering the Trips

Hey, look at the bug. Got new shades on the rear glass. This thing will be a slick ride when I get done with it. Have done a lot of work inside getting it ready to tow behind the GMC and make us a comfortable ride. Too cold out there today to mess with it much but did get the shades on. Tint on the windows will really make it nicer when I get around to it.

And, lookie here. A picture of our home sitting in Az, taken today. Often Teri and I are thinking the same thing at the same time. We laugh when that happens. But, today my daughter and I were thinking the same thing at the same time. Kinda spookie. I was here wishing I could see our motorhome and it popped right in on my laptop. Had a note with it, "I thought this would cheer you up a little", and it sure did. Thanks Stasha.
Been going through my pictures from our trip this past summer. I won't post them again but it sure is nice to recall the places that Teri and I have seen and the family and friends that we shared time with. Nothing can take those memories from us. I love making memories so that on a day like today I can recall them again. Rving is such a great way to make memories. The old GMC takes us places that we would never have seen. I would never have even thought that I would have seen these places and met all of these nice people.
Come January 1 we will start our 3rd year of sight seeing in the GMC. Ain't that something? Even while we had to pay 4.75 per gallon for petrol we were still having a "cheap" time, dollar wise. Now the fuel is back down to 1.83 here at home and we hope it hangs there for our next trip. The high fuel prices did put a big hole in my pocket but we made it and will get to enjoy another trip here very soon. I am telling you, there is no cheaper way to see this country than in an rv. The Columbia River reminds me of what the garden of Eden might have looked a little like, and we have stayed there twice, this year for a month. Wow. While the desert of western Az. and eastern Ca. will not look so beautiful, we are looking forward to some time in the desert this January. I am sure we will meet more new friends. Glad we have the solar system. It lets us stay in places that we could not without it, like Quartzsite, Az.
Well, the last Nascar race of the season just started. I better turn my attention to the tv. Sam is rooting for Jimmy Johnson. I'd kinda like to see Carl Edwards sneak in there.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Come back when you can.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Figured Out

My friend Bill has it figured out. Look at these pictures. Staying at his son's on the Suwannee River, in Florida. Did not even need to drive his GMC from northern Illinois down. The rv is there waiting on him.

Look out Bill's door. Is not this one beautiful picture? Man, Bill has it better than I do. We drive our GMC to our daughter's and leave it. Bill gets to keep his home. Great to have family and friends that can help us spend quality time in such beautiful places. Rving does not have to take on large travel expenses. Cut those campground fees out and this is the only way to travel for extended periods of time.
There just is no other way to see and visit places in the United States for extended periods of time. I do hate to be called a freeloader, well, it don't really bother me, lend me your driveway and I will tell you some funny stories. Sounds like an even swap to me. Plus, you have the same opportunity and can come visit Missouri while sleeping in our driveway. Anything over 32 feet and we will need to get you on a lot, but I got one of them too, just no hookups there. I think FMCA has some kind of group that offers driveways to other members but I know it is not as good a setup as GMC motorhomers have. We are a pretty close knit bunch and are scattered all over the USA and Canada. Everyone is friendly. We work on each other's motorhomes, for free. Can't beat that.
I am not usually serious when I "beg" for a driveway. I don't hang out with folks that I am not aquainted with already. I do appreciate the email offers that come along though. Must get that clarified. I do have a friend that refers to me as a freeloader. Hey, that is ok. I have spent many nights on his hilltop property in Eureka California. When someone meets me and we get along good, I will come visit. What better way to see this country and Canada. Those campground fees are killers for poor folks.
If you are thinking about joining the rv ing ranks, and want to take extended trips, think about a GMC motorhome. They are made to travel, not sit. They will visit 6 but sleep 2, at least in my case. We are one of the friendliest motorhome groups out there. We have a support group like no other. All parts for these coaches are available. They drive like no other motorhome. I promise you will not drive one that rides like a well maintained GMC. Like riding in an airplane, with no turbulance. Should I say they are FAST too? Ok, I will. The land speed record for motorhomes is held by a GMC and they guy hit 103 mph, never shifted into high gear. They look cool too.
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping to see Bill's home away from home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Laptop

Hey, take a look. We bought a new laptop for Veteran's Day. My thanks to myself for serving in the US Airforce. I hope all of the Vets out there celebrated and enjoyed their day. Here, a group of Vets took a bus ride to Branson for special services over there. They went Monday and came home Tuesday evening. I was told that they had a police escort the entire 235 mile trip. I think that is very nice. We have several Vets in our family. I appreciate all of them and all of you who gave of your time to serve our country. Please keep our folks over seas in your prayers now. We hope they will all be home soon.
So, anyway, I had been looking for a cheap laptop for a while now. I could find no real bargains. Tuesday I walked into Best Buy and they had this one on sale for 299.00. I grabbed one, after going back to the doctor's office and conferring with Teri of course. 300 bux is about right for a laptop that will do what I need it to do. I will try to take better care of this one and hope it lasts at least 3 years. My Dell did not.
Teri had a conference with the surgeon. She is set for microscopic surgery, 3 weeks from today, on her torn shoulder rotator. The surgeon says she will be up and going right away with little pain and ready to travel in the car to Az. by Jan. 1. We will see. I will do my best to take care of her and make sure that she does as the doctor instructs her to do. We really appreciate all of the emails on her behalf. I will keep you posted.
Was very warm here this morning when Teri and I went for our walk. Fog was everywhere. It is trying to clear up now, 11 am. the temperature is 52 degrees.
Hope everyone is having a good week. For you "workers" out there, the weekend is right ahead of us. Enjoy it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friends and Retirement

I was chatting with a friend last night. He and his wife have a new fifth wheel. He is 66 years old. I asked him when he was going to retire and enjoy the new fifth wheel. He told me that he does not know if he can. Said he has lost a lot of money lately with the stock market down. He is drawing soc security and a full pay check too. He owes no one any money. His wife is drawing a retirement check as she is a year older than he is. I said "what?". "How long do you think you are going to live? Uh, you can be broke and enjoy the fifth wheel just as much as you can if you have a lot of money. If you keep working you will still be poor. Quit... enjoy life for a little while".
He is not broke but is chasing that dollar. So many folks get into that thinking mode. I could have been one of them, very easily. We could have made a lot of money if we had kept working. I had a good job and would have had a couple of great pay increases if I had kept working. I might have had a stroke too. Life has been so much more fun since I retired at 52. We don't have any money but we don't need much. We planned ahead. Rebuilt a 1974 GMC motorhome. Took us 2 years and a few bux. But, it is paid for and is very dependable. We lived under our means while we worked. We do not owe anyone and have a comfortable home and a nice looking RV. We do not hesitate one bit about hooking Teri's car on it and heading across country. I am no great mechanic but I have a working knowledge of how this thing works. I am a "shade tree mechanic", at best. I have even learned to slow down from 75 mph to 60 on the interstates to save a little on gas money. By the way, I got premium for 1.89 today.
I told my friend, "we don't know how long we have here, let's enjoy it a little. If you feel the need to work you can do as I do, pick up a job here and there". Lots of folks will hire temporary help, using retired people because we are dependable. We need no benefits and will be there early, everyday and work late, everyday. Sometimes "cash" is a good thing. He has a new truck to pull
the new fifth wheel too, all paid for. Hey, I am not leaving anything here if I can spend it myself, ha.
Did I have any impact on him? I don't know but I do know that his wife hopes I did. She is ready to enjoy that new fifth wheel. They don't lack for anything. Whatever money he has lost in the stock market is really not the issue here. It is all in his thinking. The stock market will come back up. We only lose when we must sell at low prices. If we can leave it in there it will come back to us.
Teri and I got a statement today. She was all concerned trying to figure it out. I told her to throw it in the drawer. Don't worry about it. We eat, we sleep, we drive our car, and we are going to Az. this January. Does not make any difference what that piece of paper says. We had a plan and we are sticking with it. Maybe we won't have as much money as we thought we would have but we can still realize our dream. Life has been good to us and we must be good to it. We have way more friends than any couple should ever have. Many of them have been made in the last two years. We are members of several RV clubs and have made so many friends. "No money is worth what we have experienced in the last 2 years". I left my friend with that comment. I hope he took it to heart.
Yall have a great week. Monday was good at the Gregg home. I got the yard up in shape. Tuesday we go to see the orthapedic surgeon for Teri. Keep her in your prayers for a simple fix.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Aren't grandchildren great? I wonder sometimes why we can't have grandkids first. Teri and sure enjoy them. Look at those boys on the horses.

Here are a real pair. Marci Claire, on the left, told me last week that she can not stay all night with us until she is 5 or 6. I asked her why that is. She said, "well, grandpa, it is just too boring at your home to stay all night". I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. What kids come up with.
Does it look like she is bored here? All three of them were dancing as old grandpa banged on the flatbox. Don't let Teri know I shared this one. We are in the back room and she does not try to keep it straight anymore. She says it is my room so I must keep it like I want.

Here is the newest, little Nick. He certainly was not happy that I woke him for this picture.

Three generations right here, taken this morning after church. Handsome dudes I must say.
Thanks for the visit. Just wanted to share some of our grandkids with you tonight. We have a bunch of em.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


It is no secret to my friends, I miss the GMC. I can not wait to get back to it. I love the way the bed sleeps. Our daughter is taking good care of it but I miss seeing that black and silver home on wheels. Jan. 1 seems so far away. No pictures tonight, just thoughts. The old gal has allowed us to see so many things and places. I would never have seen Tillamook or Lincoln City Oregon if not for the GMC. We have seen the great spots in San Francisco because of the GMC. Friends just out of Tucson see us coming and really make us welcome at their place in the desert. We have skirted Los Angeles and hit Bakersfield a couple of times because of the GMC Coach. Ran into friends from here while attending church in Yuma and parking overnight on that lot. The Columbia River has been our home for 2 summers in a row. Met a cousin that we would not have ever known. Wow, Mt. Hood, what a view from our front yard. She has taken us to Pendleton, Or, home of the Roundup. Teri and I have crossed Nevada from east to west and from north to south. Would not have happened if not for our motorhome. We have visited so many relatives without feeling like we are burdens on them because we bring our own bed. So many friends have been made, like Rob in beautiful Idaho, on Hiway 12 and Sue and Wally in Omaha, Nebraska. We have friends everywhere who invite us to visit. They know I have my own bed. Hey, a driveway at a friend's place beats a campground anytime, and lots cheaper. We are so blessed. Folks here ask me how we afford the motorhome travel. How easy it is to answer that question when they tell me a motel would be much cheaper. Really? 4 months in a motel? Can that be cheaper, no way. We incur costs when we move the motorhome, only. For us, that is about once every month. Try staying in a motel room for 4 months. Lets see, 60 bux a nite, and that is way too under estimated. 30 nights in one month X 4. I dont even have to figure that for you. If we move 1000 miles in a month, which we don't, at 4 bux a gallon, no comparison. Teri and I have seen things for pennies because of our old GMC. So, is rv ing a bargain? Yes. We rarely pay campground fees and that is where it is. Save that 30 dollars a night. Solar panels were relatively cheap when compared to campground fees. When we park in a driveway we really dont need electric. If you have it for us we might use it or we might not. Want to meet a great couple of fun loving folks? Invite me to your place. We might just take you up on it.
I just wanted to remind you that soon we will hit the road again. Lots of pictures will follow. Don't give up on us. The road calls.
Thanks for coming by. I won't let you down.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Around the House

These pictures I took standing in our yard. Colors are great this year.

Had trouble uploading pics and 2 from last week jumped in here. What can I say?

There you have it. The colors around our home here in Dexter. We live on Crowley's Ridge and have lots of trees. We also have deer running through town now. Deer seem to be everywhere. Almost as populated as rabbits now days.
I am thinking I may have to leave the VW yellow. I get so many comments about it. It is crazy. I will change the white pieces to black tho so it looks more like a bumble bee. What do you think?
Been house painting this week. Rained today so I have the day off. Nothing to painting the outside of a house. I can even do it and now have one more skill to add to my resume. Teri has been working on crafts for 2 or 3 weeks. She is going to a show Saturday in Sikeston. I hope she can yank some change from folk's pockets. We have an appointment Tuesday with an orthepedic surgeon. Teri has a torn shoulder and we need it fixed.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Fall colors. Thanks for checking in with us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Mornings

I love Monday mornings. Must be one of my favorite days. When I was a teenager I could not figure out why my parents had smiles on their faces. Saturday evenings and they were sitting home, alone. I was headed out for the evening for fun cruising the streets in my car. They just smiled as I would head out. I thought, wow, is that what I have to look forward to? Nothing on Saturday nights but quiet and visiting with each other? Now, I know why the smiles were on their faces. Isn't it nice to be able to hit the sack at 10 pm on Saturday if we want to? Then comes Monday morning. Get up at 7 am or wait til 9 if we want. This is the life. Walking is for old folks. I guess I am old. I am enjoying the morning walks. Teri left me this am because I did not get up fast enough for her. I got to walk the neighborhood with my neighbor across the street, 25 years my senior. Lot slower pace and it felt good. The trees are bright today with colors. I hope to get some pictures of the trees down our street today.
The Jeep is for sale. It is ready to be towed by a motorhome or it can tow a trailer. Has hitches on both ends. I don't need it now so off to a new home it needs to go.

Sitting in the front yard. You can see some of the colors this morning.

Saturday was a big day. Started off with a local car show. This is my long time friend's Snake. He is proud of it. It is a nice Cobra 350.

There were a few Stangs at the show. I liked this little buggy.

Then, here came our newest grandson. First time we have seen him, 2 months old. His name is Nick. He loved his grana holding him.

Nick's 2 older sisters. I hope that he grows up as smart as these two. They are really sharp, besides being as cute as a bug.

Esther loved the ride in the bug. Look at that smile on her face. She was my first passenger.

Here is the reason the Jeep is for sale. Basic transportation. The Jeep is nice but I don't need "nice". Just basic run around town rig that we can tow behind the motorhome if we want.
So, that was the weekend at the Gregg home. We also celebrated the 30th birthday of one of our daughters. Was a surprise with about 40 or so folks there. I did not get pictures at her house.
Only 8 more weeks and we cut a trail back to the motorhome. Can't wait. I get notes from my friend Wally, from Omaha, while he is on trips. He just got home yesterday from a week traveling over to Niagra Falls and back. Makes me homesick for the GMC.
Hope everyone has a great week. All of you older folks keep smiling. We know the secret now, don't we.