Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Have a Bathroom Again

LAst night I pulled the old toilet from the hole. I have a photo but have chosen not to show it. Anyway, got hold of my good friend Steve down in Sierra Vista and told him I would be on my way ths morning to pick up the china bowl toilet that was excess to his needs. I roled out early, 745 am, ran inside the house, showered, kissed Teri, and off I went. What a beautiful day for a drive. Took a couple of shots of the snow on top of Mt. Graham.

The temperature was 28 degrees when I jumped in the car. Solid ice on the windshield. By the time I arrived at Steve's, 2 hours and some minutes later, it was 65 degrees. Oh, that felt good. Was up to 70 on my way home.
And here is our hero of the day. Our good friend Steve. He saved the day by letting me know that he had a new china bowl rv toilet that he would not be using, 18 inch. He was waiting on me when I got there about 1045 am. We ran to an rv parts house and picked up the parts I needed to mount this beauty to our floor. Oh, this bowl looked nice, but big. I was a bit nervous that it might be too big so I was on a dead run to get back and see if it fit. Steve helped me with some gluing before I left. This is him gluing the oarts together for me.

I thanked Steve and headed back to Duncan, 140 miles. Will it fit? That kept running through my mind. I stopped once just to get it out of the box and look it over. Made sure my hose had the right fitting. Yes, I can bypass Safford and keep heading straight home. Here is the old one right where I left it. I was kinda hoping somebody had stopped and stolen it. No such luck. I was still on a mission. Took the parts and screwed them into the tank. Drilled 4 new holes so everything would fit the new bowl. Last night I had several friends giving me help on line. I had never done this before and had no clue how to get some of the parts out. I really appreciate my GMC friends. They always help me and usually throw in a little humor.
Now, it is time to fit the throne over the hole and see if we have majic. Oh yes, it fits perfect. Look at this beauty.

Ain't it great? Not only does it look good it functions very well and no leaking. I am good. At least that is what Teri told me. She likes it. She says it is nicer than the one we have at home. This is the way to go, china bowl. The color is perfect, everything is perfect. Teri is happy so you know I am happy and Steve is happy that it is gone.
And, you thought living in a motorhome for 3-4 months at a time was all "easy". Now, I have a kitchen faucet to replace as soon as the new one arrives, which should have been today. Got a leaking hotwater drain shut off leaking. The coach needs an oil change, grease job and a good washing. Teri worked inside it today and did a great job straightening things up.
So, there you have it. A normal day in the life of an rv er. Thanks for checking on me. Yall knew I could do it, didn't ya? You had faith in me? Good. Will have more photos in the days to come. Teri and I will be traveling when we get these little projects completed in the next few days. Keep checking on us. Dan

Monday, December 29, 2008

Work, Work, Work

We were busy today. I took out a wall and insulated pipes that I skipped last year. I don't know why, I guess I was just tired of insulating. Anyway the bedroom is completely insulated and so are all of the pipes, along with the bath pipes that I missed last year. This coach should be well insulated now. We still have the ceiling to do. Will do that when we replace the headliner. I also have one wall, behind the couch left to do. One of these days we will have it just like we want it. I tore out the toilet today also. Would not hold water and was starting to leak. Had broken loose from the floor and we had all of the miles we could get from it. I hope to venture down to Sierra Vista in the morning to pick up a china bowl from my friend Steve. Could not reach him on the phone tonite so will try early in the morning. Is 140 miles down there. Would like to get the bath functional tomorrow afternoon. What good is a motorhome with no shower or toilet?
Teri is feeling better and worked on the coach too. I got her to pull insulation from bath to bedroom through the wall. I could not do it by myself. She also started getting things ready for us to live in here again. We are hoping to make the GMC Jetsetter rally next weekend so we have to get this thing ready to travel. When I finish the bath I will change the oil and grease the old gal. Hoping it stays warm like it was today at least til I get done with the outside stuff. 70 degrees plus today. Will need a good wash job before we travel anywhere too. Dusty now.
There is snow on the mountains out here but where we are it is too warm for it to hang around. We are at 3600 ft here. When we head west we will drop 2000 ft and the temp should go up.
So, that is about it from here. Just busy, busy, busy so we can relax and visit later. Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather. If not let me know and I will post some pictures for you. We really appreciate everyone riding along with us. We had almost 200 check in yesterday to see if we made it ok, thanks. Dan

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Mountain Tops are White

Oh yea, we are in Az. the temp got cold here last night and my water lines had a little water left in them. Guess what? I got them thawed in an hour. Was not bad. Got to get out there tonight and wrap a couple of lines that were lying against the floor of the coach. Got a little space heater going out there right now. Need to fire up the furnace. May do that in a little while. I am afraid it will get cold again tonight. I may sleep out there if I can get the bed "sleepable", ha. Had to drag everything from under it so I could get to the water pump.
Was a pretty good trip for me but I was unable to get on line as Teri was not feeling well so I drove the entire trip. We left Dexter at 230 pm yesterday. We hit the back of the storm just south of Walnut Ridge. WOW, it was a wall. Totally a wall of rain and wind when we hit it, no seeing anything but the little white line on the right side of the road. I had the flashers going and we creeped along. We were in it off and on until we got south of Little Rock but nothing like that initial blast. The temperature was 74 degrees in Arkansas. I saw it at 17 in West Texas this morning as we climbed through the mountains.
I am always looking for a better route. I hate going through Dallas. For a couple of years I have been looking at this hiway, 380 I think, that gets off of 30 at Greenville, Tx. Nice road but too many stop lights. Will just keep going through Dallas/Ft. Worth I rekon. Was no traffic so it was alright but I hit the wrong road over in podunk city Tx., west of 35, and cost me a few miles. Planned to come out over west of Weatherford but instead came back in on 820 up north of the metro area.
It really gets dark about 3 in the morning. We hit a coyote this morning over in West Tx. I never even saw it coming. It was a totally bad day for that little fella. No damage that I can see on the car. I guess that was what it was, never really saw anything but a gray blur, then a THUMP.
So, I got the lines thawed, moved the coach and leveled it with the bags. The old girl fired right up. I love that fuel injection. Got to move some stuff around in there so I can sleep somewhere.
Thanks for riding along. Wish I could have conversed a little with you along the way. Gasoline was 1.35 up to 1.75. Not bad. I don't mind filling up the car for 7 bux. We did not set any records on fuel mileage. When we hit daylight I was ready for those 80 mph speed limits in West Tx.
Have a good week. I will be back. 22 hours. Was a little slow but am glad to have that 1400 miles behind us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sitting Tight

Well, here we sit. Almost noon, Saturday, waiting on this weather to pass over. Our intital plan was to hit the road at 4 am. Been watching the weather for the last couple of days. They were predicting stormy weather for today all the way to Dallas, right down our path. So, we slept until we felt like getting up and then took our last long hot shower, for a while, in our own tub here at home. I have an instant on hot shower setup waiting to install when we get to the coach. It will be for our dry camping. I will plumb it into the propane and water if it works like it is advertized. Will keep us from having to run the Onan to heat water. Anyway, the temperature here is almost 70 degrees and windy. I gassed up the car and Teri has it loaded. She also has the house ready with all of the furniture covered. We have a check list here so I am going to go down it in a minute and make sure we have done everything. The storm has not hit here yet. Looking at the weather channel it looks like any time now. I am thinking maybe by 2 or 3 pm we can take off. We will see.
We have some great pictures of two grandkids that spent the night with us Thursday. We had a blast. 3 and 4 year olds. They are the best kids. They play together and love playing with grandpa too. I woke up yesterday to two kids jumping on top of me and hollaring. Teri had sent them in to get me up, and they did. We will miss them but have three waiting on us in Arizona. The pictures are buried somewhere in the car so I won't post them.
Looks like Tulsa is getting blasted good and the temperatures are dropping. The storm has Arkansas covered now and is moving northeast. It does not look like it will be here long, plus, the way it is moving, we should drive right out of it pretty quick. I am just waiting for it to get east of Little Rock and then we will head out.
Hope you guys can ride along with us. We will be on the road soon. Yall have a good weekend and if you are traveling have a safe trip. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Short Timers

Well, the time for departure is at hand. Believe it or not, we have been home for 3 months, a little over. Lots has happened since we left the GMC in Arizona. I will fill you in later. I guess Saturday morning about 4 am we will pull out of here and make a b line across Texas. We were the last ones to leave the church building tonight. Spent a long time visiting and saying goodbye to our friends here. We will miss them. So close to our group here in Dexter. We attend services in lots of places but there just is no place like home. Teri hates to leave worse than I do. We love the folks at the Duncan congregation too, just not near as many of them as there are here.
Today was really warm. We ran over to our daughter's and swapped a few gifts. I got to play with the kids for a couple of hours. Colsyn knows that his grandpa is friends with John Wayne and that the Duke lives in Tucson. We will actually be in Tucson next week so I need to find a life size poster somewhere of the Duke and get a pic of him and me for Colsyn. That would really make his day. Tomorrow night little Marci Claire is coming to spend the night with us. We also have Tyler coming. Those two are real buddies. Should be lots of fun. Friday night my cousin and her husband from Alabama are driopping by and we will go out for supper and a visit. Going to be busy right up til we leave.
I got 2 new wiper blades on the Vibe this afternoon. Had the oil changed yesterday. Need to swap out a blown headlight sometime tomorrow. I also piddled with the VW Bug today and fixed a wiring problem that I had. That had been bugging me for 2 months. Finally have it fixed. Took it for a spin around town so I could laugh as I drove past Walmart and looked at all of those cars in the parking lot. Gasoline was 1.32.9. We will fill the Vibe up tomorrow or Friday. Running over to my aunt's in Poplar Bluff for lunch tomorrow.
So, we are going to be busy. I am glad we left most of our clothes and stuff in the GMC. We should have room to stretch out in the back of the Vibe this time, maybe.
Teri and I wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas. Come ride along with us this weekend. We will be online and taking pics as we travel.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hail, Hail, Most of the Gang Was Here

Count em!!!

Count em again.
There are 10 of them. Only 3 missing and they are at a Phoenix Suns game tonight.
What fun to have 10 out of 13 here at once. We had a ball. Then we watched Dave Ramsey.
Thanks for checking on us. Just a few more days and we will be back in the GMC Coach. I can't wait.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update, Update

Forgot something.No more calls on the Jeep. It is sold. We took it to Walmart last Saturday to leave it all day with a sign in the window. I had not even gotten out of it yet when this guy came running up wanting to look it over and drive it. He took it and never looked back. It was a good deal on a good vehicle. I had only towed it 100 miles but it was set up for towing behind a motorhome. Oh well, I guess I am destined to drive beater vehicles from now on. My Mustang is 44 years old and the VW is 48 years old. It is tough being poor but it is fun not owing anyone. Lets us put more miles on the motorhome.
So, don't waste your dime calling about the Jeep. It has a new home. Yall have a good weekend and check back with us when you get time.

Almost Christmas

We hope everyone is about ready for Christmas. Will be lots of folks traveling this weekend and right up through next week. Please be careful if you are going to be on the roads. One of our daughters is coming tomorrow, from Logansport, In. That is a 7 hour trip, 8 with 3 boys I figure. They will stay with us until Tuesday. I think our boy and his family may stop by tomorrow afternoon to visit with us and them for a while.

Here are three of our grandkids out in Arizona tonight. They are messing with their tree. This pose was special for their grandpa here in Mo.
Here, we see that Santa made it to our daughter's first grade class today. They are all ready for Christmas out in Arizona. I hope they don't eat all of the cookies before I get there. I love those home made chocolate chip cookies that are real doughy in the middle. My girl knows just how to make them for me too. We may head out there next weekend. Will have to see what Teri has in mind. I do not want to travel on a day when the traffic is heavy. Will see which day I think that might be. Its 1400 miles and 20 hours so we will leave in the dark and get there in the dark. I try to travel through Texas in the dark so Teri does not complain about that 800 miles. I love traveling though Texas myself. Hey, the speed limit is 80 mph out west of Odessa all the way to El Paso. I have been wanting to cross the border at El Paso for a long time. I guess that I won't ever get to do that. I saw on the news, just this week, that Juarez is the most dangerous crossing now. I am not taking chances on getting shot.
Oh boy, I am getting anxious. Will not be long now til we hit the road. I love that bed in the motorhome. Our girl has taken really good care of it for us. She checks the batteries for me every week so I know the solar system is keeping the batteries up. We will turn on the refrigerator and heat and should be ready to sleep in it right away. Teri cleaned it all out before we left it. Oh, I bought one of those instant on hot water showers this week and had it shipped to Stasha's so I can install it as soon as we get there. That should save us a good bit of money and we wont have to fire the generator when we are dry camping so we can heat the water with the electric water heater. I think this will be great. I will plumb it into the lp and water system and mount it in the bathroom. I had Teri take the temperature of our home shower water this morning. 105 degrees. I don't think this will have any problems heating the water that much but 85 will be warm enough, maybe 90. We are going to dry camp in Quartzsite next month for a few weeks. This will be perfect. I see no reason to run the generator at all while we are there. The solar will take care of everythig. We use led lights when dry camping. Our 2 tv's and laptops are about all we use that eats our batteries at night.
So, that is about it. I guess I have been wordy enough for one night. My kids get on to me for writing too much and not showing more pictures. I tell them it is my blog. Got Dave Ramsey on. It is hard to believe the shape folks get themselves into financially.
Have a good weekend. Thanks for the visit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Slick Hiways

Look very close at this photo. Those windows are covered with ice. I took this picture at 4 pm today. We had just got home from the doctor in Cape Girardeau. We had a pretty tough last 20 miles. We saw 10 accidents. One was a fatality. I sure was glad to get home and off of those icy roads. When we drove up, this morning, we could see that the roads had been sprayed but it did not work. Solid ice covered them, on the way home. Everything here is closed and canceled for Tuesday. We are now getting a little snow mixed with the sleet. I have a friend on his way home from Houston. Just chatted with him on the tele and he is hold up in Marshall, Tx. for the night. Will assess the situation when he gets up in the morning. Right now the radar is showing Arkansas covered with ice and snow. Hopefully the temperature will rise and everything will melt off for his trip on home.
The doctor was pleased with Teri's recovery. They gave her some exercises to do at home. I actually believe she could travel right now with no problems.
Our daughter and 3 sons will be coming for the weekend. They live in north Indiana. Our son from Sprinfield, Mo. will be here this weekend also. He has 3 children. So, that will be 6 grandkids. We have 4 more here in town so there is a good chance we will have 10 of them all in one place at one time. That will be a first. We will see how it goes. We might be riding in the bug all day.
Hope everyone is well. We will be pulling out of here in a few weeks heading for the motorhome. Can't wait. Hang with us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grandkids and Rv ing

How many of you have taken your grandkids on a trip with you? I mean longer than a weekend at the lake? Kids are out of school for 3 months in the summer, could you handle one or two of them for the entire summer? I think Teri and I could. Our problem is that the parents can't let them go for that long. I understand that. We have some that are preschool age. I know we could handle them for extended lengths of time. The problem is the parents, ha. I still wonder why we could not have had our grandkids first. Wouldn't that make so much more sense? They seem to be starving for the words that we shower on them. Nothing we do makes them upset, for long anyway. They want to be like their grandpa or grandma. The grandkids love sitting in the motorhome and pretending to drive it down the road. What an impressionable group. We need to stay involved in their lives for as long as we can.
What is the problem with parents anyway? Well, they are concerned about making a living. They want to give their kids what their parents gave them, materially speaking. Most of the time both are working so time is precious. Allowing the television to babysit in the evenings is not a good idea. Not knowing who they hang out with at school is not a good idea. Allowing teenagers to just hang around the house doing whatever they wish, is not a good idea. Don't you think grandparents could write a book on how to bring up children?
It seems as we get older we can see where our mistakes were and the ones our children are making. I did not want to hear about it from my dad and my kids do not want to hear about it from me.
I have been watching Dave Ramsey on the Fox Buisness channel some. Last night his show was a special for the kids. My dad could have written his script for last night. "Don't give your kid an allowance. The kids should work on commission". That is how it was at my home as a kid. The only difference was at my home, I went in the "hole" at the end of the week if I was not careful. Being raised on a farm gave us lots of chores. There was never a time when we did not have things to occupy our time. We worked hard and we played hard. Our parents taught us what a "dollar" was. We knew about saving the hard earned money that came along.
Now, I just wish I could raise my grandkids while the parents take care of other things, like money, ha. I mean, I would teach them valuable things. Dumping the rv. That would be first. Filling the water tank. Vacuuming the living area. Changing the oil and greasing the coach. Maintaining all of the house electrical systems. Keeping the roof clean. Watching the lp tank level. I would teach them all of the things that a good grandparent needs to know so that one of these days they can pass this information along. My grandkids would be well rounded when I got finished with them. We might even find time to catch a fish or two.
Oh yes, being a grandparent is a tough job, but we must hold firm. Someone has to do it so it might as well be us.
Mostly written in jest, of course. Hope everyone has a great day. I love Wednesdays.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Amazing Race

Have you ever watched the tv show Amazing Race? I hate that show but Teri loves it. So, like a good husband, I often suffer through it with her. Well tonight they were at the Bridge of the Gods, in Oregon. Ain't that something? Teri and I spent the last two summers right there. We have crossed that toll bridge many times. Our GMC stayed parked about 2 miles from it over on the Washington side of the Gorge. I am sure that if one was to look back in the blog there are pictures. My cousin lives right there and runs the museum on the Washington side.
As I mentioned in an earlier post we often see things and places on tv that our GMC has taken us to see. Ever since I was a little kid I have seen the Golden Gate Bridge on tv and in books. I had this mental picture of it. Well, last summer we crossed it in the GMC. Was not really anything like I thought but it was a sight to see. We even passed Alcatraz before we got to the bridge. I had also heard of that prison since I was a kid.
Just so many places that we see on tv and in books where we have now been in person. All because of that old motorhome. There is no better way to see this USA than in an rv. I can't wait to get rolling in 3 weeks. We are hoping to spend time in Quartzsite this January. We have planned this 3 years straight. Things came up that prevented us from making it the first two but I think this is the year. Can't wait. Our GMC loves living in the desert with no hookups.
Teri is doing real good. She went to church with me this morning and has been up and about for a couple of days now. Looks like she may very well be able to travel soon. That is great.
Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Nippy in Southeast Missouri

Whewee! We woke up to a chilly morning here. Well, it may have been a little after "morning" when I woke up today. But it was still cold. Remember, I am being a nurse here and was up pretty late.
I ran to Walmart at 2 pm and the bank said 31 degrees. I figure that was our high for the day here in Dexter. The little 12 volt heater, in the bug, did a great job keeping me comfortable. The doors leak air but I will have that fixed as soon as the new, used, doors get here. They should be here next week sometime. Hope to get the car inside a friend's shop and swap out the doors.
I bet it is down to 20 outside now. Our remote thermometer works when it wants to and I guess it is too cold for it tonight. We have the same problem with the one in the GMC. I am not sure just why we can not get one that works like it should. For a while I could pick up the reading from a neighbor across the street but I no longer get his reading either. Just believe me, it is cold here. No wind and that is great, with sun all day.
I have several little things to get done on the VW but is too cold for me to be outside. We are fixing the VW to pull behind our motorhome. I told you that I have a guy that will help me paint it to match the coach. A friend north of town can paint and said he would shoot it if I help him get it ready. Have to paint the interior too as we will be changing the color and it is yellow inside. Going to change the interior to black. Anyway, when we get back here in the Spring I will get busy on that. It will look good behind the coach in matching colors. I just don't think I can leave that yellow on it.
Have I said anything about it being cold here?
Teri has done well so far. The shot is wearing off but she has some pain pills. I had to force her to start taking them before the shot wore off. That was what the nurse and doctor told me to do. So, I almost made her mad but we got her taking them. We really appreciate all of the calls and emails. We had some of my relatives visiting us this afternoon and they brought us some banana bread. We are really blessed with good family and friends. Six sat with me yesterday while Teri was in surgery. More would have come if we wanted. We feel very fortunate that we can call on folks for help if we need it. Our next door neighbor is a nurse and has offered her assistance also.
Well, I need to check the heat, it is kinda nippy here. Thanks for checking on us. We are doing great.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Teri is Home and Resting

Look what I got today. A very dear friend stopped and grabbed a couple of pictures of the coach. Then she emailed them to me so I would know that my GMC is alive and happy in the warm Arizona air. Oh boy, I can't wait. We sure enjoy living in that motorhome.

If Teri is ok to travel we will leave at the end of this month and head back to the coach. I got her home tonite, from her surgery, and she is resting in the recliner. I am sure that is where she will sleep for a few nights. I can park on the couch so I can hear her when she needs something. We really appreciate all of your thoughts, prayers, and emails. We were almost two hours past our time when they finally took Teri back for the surgery. Took them about 45 minutes. There was about an hour until we could get her into the car for the ride home. I had made arrangements with our pharmacist to wait for us because I knew she would be closed when we got home. Sure is nice to have good friends who are willing to help out as Sue was at the pharmacy. We got there 30 minutes after closing and she had Teri's medecine waiting for us.
I guess that is all I have to report for now. Just wanted our friends to know that Teri is doing fine. I will report more in a day or two. Oh, I have a painter lined up for the VW. Got two doors being shipped from a fella in Grand Junction, Co. Maybe I can get them on before we head back to Az. Won't worry about the paint job until we get back here in the Spring. I had hoped to have the Jeep sold before we left but I have not advertized it except by word of mouth and a couple of for sale posters in the windows. Need to take it up town and park it somewhere for a day or two. Someone is going to get a good deal on a nice Jeep Cherokee. It is ready to tow or to be a toad.
Check back with us in a day or two and I will have an update on Teri.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures

We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. As you can see we have a lot to be thankful for around here. My brother, from La., came and his family stayed with Teri and I. 2 sets of twins, can you tell? These are the two oldest.

Here is Teri getting the turkey all ready Thursday morning.
Sitting down to a great meal.

Some after lunch activity. The boys loved riding the scooter. I kinda enjoyed it myself.

4 twins.

4 twins plus 2 cousins from Michigan.

Our daughter, granddaughter, and one of the twins as they look for a nice xmas tree.

Our daughter and family Saturday at our family gathering. I believe the total count was 51. Check out that tatoo on the sleeping grandson.

We all had a great time. Good visiting with family at other than a funeral. All but my youngest sister and brother live in this area. Teri wanted to gather us all together now because she knew we could not do it at xmas. Everyone will have their own family plans and we plan to head west shortly after.
I took Teri to Cape Girardeau for her preop check. Everything checked out so whe will have her shoulder surgery Thursday. Please keep her in your prayers. I will be the caregiver so maybe you should pray for me to, ha.
Thanks for dropping by. Won't be long til we hit the road again. See you soon.