Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And, The Winner Is.......

Oh yea, my lovely bride cooked the best chile, according to the tasters. Also, she won 2nd in the presentations. Joe Mondello won first for his presentation. Teri is shown with her winning basket of goodies. While I did help her serve the chile, she cooked it and fixed the presentation. They made me walk up with her since it was supposed to be a couple's thing but I did not do the work, Teri did. I had to sit and smell this stuff cooking every night for a week until she had it just like she wanted. I was the taste tester and kept telling her how good it was but it needed to be a little spicier. What did I know? Her's did taste different than most. It was a Southwest chile and she used pork. I knew I liked her's the best but I did not get to taste all of them. It was a lot of fun and there were 26 entries I believe.
Tonight is the GMC Pinewood Derby. I took some pictures but they were having trouble getting the computer running. Teri and I had to run some errands and it was hot in the main building so I did not watch all of the races.
We are having some excellent seminars. We have had a couple of really good fuel injection talks. Randy and George did an excellent job today. While I have fuel injection on our coach I am gathering parts to upgrade the system. Their talk today really helped me. Lots of fo;lks have put in lots of time in preparing seminars. I really appreciate what they do to help educate us on new and improved features for our coaches.

Monday, September 27, 2010

GMC International Motorhome Convention 2010, Fall

Tonight was the chili cookoff. Check out Teri's display. She really worked hard on the display and her chili. We won't know until Friday who won. there were almost 30 contestants. I was her main cheerleader tonight.
What is unusual about this motorhome? Well, there is a car inside. Also, this is just a block of wood that will race tomorrow night. One of the more fun things we do is race these little pinewood derby GMC motorhomes. I will get pictures tomorrow night.
I like this bag.
One of my friends' coach. He wants to sell it. Says he can no longer operate it due to health problems. I went to his home yesterday and drove it up to the convention for folks to look at. He and I used the same painter. His is super slick and he has a matching Suzuki that goes with it.
Now, what is this? It is hauled inside of a GMC motorcoach by my friend Randy from Aberdeen, SD.
This is a freshly painted coach that belongs to another of our friends. John. He lives in Tx. Lots of Tx. folks made the trip.
This is one of the best conventions that Teri and I have attended. We have 175 coaches here. Du Quoin is pretty cental to a large number of GMC motorhome owners. The fairgrounds here are just great.
Teri gave her geocaching talk this morning. Sunday night she was out past 1 am hiding caches on the grounds. Last night she was out after midnight double checking her coordinates. there were 21 caches hidden and folks will look for them this week. We will take them down Friday and plan to hide most of them back home around Dexter and Bernie.
So, there you have it. Monday has been an absolutly great day. Temps were cool all day. We have had to run the furnace Sat and Sun nights.
I got to go. We have another ice cream social tonight and I am the head dude in charge of the ice cream.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

GMC Motorhome International Convention, Du Quoin, Illinois

For the GMC folks, here is a link to the photo site where I have an album of our activities here.

My cousin knew how bad Teri and I wanted to get up here. He told us as we were having lunch that when we finished he could manage without us for the rest of the day. We had a picker down so only one was going to pick this afternoon. I was so thankful. We got home at 1, took our showers, and were on the road by 2. At 4 we pulled into the fairgrounds. Was about 115 miles and very little traffic. This is a great place for our convention. I will grab some photos of the area for those who want to see where we are.
Here is a picture of part of our supper. Do I need to tell you how it tasted?My very good friend, Blaine, teaching a little girl how to catch fish at the lake here across from our coach.

Here we are all ready to hit the road. It was a very nice drive. Perfect weather. As soon as we got out of Dexter city limits we turned off the air conditioner and opened our floor vents. We were very comfortable. It is cool here tonight and has started sprinkilng rain. teri and I were in charge of the ice cream social tonight. We got to see and visit with many of our friends while serving them. Life is great when at one of these conventions. Check back when you can and see the fun involved with GMC Motorhome owners.
Here you can see part of the lake. They have water skiing activities on this lake, right here on the fair grounds.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Two Buddies

This picture says it all. Our daughter brought the three grandkids out to pick cotton today and to see Teri and me before we leave. It was a field trip as they are home schooled. I am too tired to post the other pictures.
It did not rain so we will be working again Saturday. Will hit the road as soon as we can get home and take showers. We have everything ready to roll.
See you in Du Quoin.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar

 Well, it is a lot more than a dollar. My cousins pay us very well. We have a lot of fun out there. No one gets mad. Everyone is pleasant to be around. My cousins only pick pleasant people to help them. That says a lot for them. Reed and Wafe Burleson.
Here is a shot of what Teri and I built today. We made 14 of these after lunch.

Reed and my lovely bride.
Here is one of the big boys.
I want to take this one for a spin. It looks like a fun machine to me.
Getting ready to move to another farm, early this morning.
Yes, we taught Teri how to run one of the module builders today. She was fast to catch on. Been a little shorthanded the last two days so this afternoon Reed told me to teach Teri how to do this. She had it down in nothing flat. I am sure she will do this all day tomorrow and Saturday also, if it does not rain.
Yep, they are calling for rain tomorrow. If it falls, we are heading straight to Du Quoin for the GMC motorhome convention. We will be there all of next week.
Oh, Melanie is bringing our grandchildren out in the morning to see what Teri and I are doing. That will be fun to have one sitting beside me while I build a module.
Just wanted to show you a few more pictures of what we are doing. Not really work when we have this much fun.
Will send more pictures when we get to Du Quoin. Will head up there Saturday night if it does not rain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Cotton Patch

Have you ever been driving along in an air conditioned tractor and heard something that did not sound just right? Then when you turn around to see what it is, get a real sick feeling deep down in your stomach? Oh yea, it happened to me this morning at 8 am. I was just minding my own buisness when my 14 row disc got into a 4020 tactor wheel, then hit the cotton module builder. Popped the outside blade of my disc and really put a hairlip on the tractor rear wheel, but it did not flatten the tire. We beat the rim back out. Oh boy, I was sick all morning about that but my cousin just counts it as part of buisness. Never got mad or anything. I got back on the tractor and kept going for another 2 hours.
The first year, very first day, I lost a trailer from behind my pickup and did not even know it. The trailer was our diesel fuel. I got to the field and no trailer. Oh boy was I scared. My cousin and I drove 10 miles back to where I started, no traler. Headed back to find it slammed into a rental storage shed. I was really sick then as I had caused property damage. My cousin was just glad we found it and it was not spilled. He told me not to worry about it as he had insurance. Wow. His brother had hooked the trailer to my truck but did not get the latch locked, and failed to hook the safety chains. I came over a railroad track and the sucker popped right off.
Thought I would share a few photos of what we are doing. Cotton is ggod this year and a month early. It has been really hot this week but we are making it. Teri is also working with us and we are still short handed. Had two migrant workers that failed to show back up today. Do not know what happened to them. I am sure they will show up sooner or later as they were not paid.
I had a post on here from Monday but I could not find it tonight. Not sure if it got deleted or is just hiding somewhere. This blog site is not cooperating well with me lately.
Well, this blogger is very tired. Better get some rest so we can hit it again in the morning. I need to mow our yard before we hit the field. Wish me luck. Heading out in our motorhome sometime this weekend, just not sure when.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Old Cotton Fields Back Home

Well, can not get the blog to upload pictures. Take my word for it, we are picking cotton. It was 97 degrees out there at 4 pm. Teri and I got home, took a shower, and headed to Sikeston. I had a tv to repair and she wanted to hit the Dollar Tree. She is a great helper. I love it when she goes with me to repair tvs. She went with me to Mounds and Cairo Il Friday. Sunday afternoon she was with me in Cape where we repaired a 47 inch. Teri is really getting handy with a screwdriver. Had a call to repair one in Bloomfield tonight but they did not want to pay me what I am worth. Told them to find someone else. It is also great having Teri in the cotton patch. She marks the bales. I run the module builder.
Will hopefully be able to upload photos later in the week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Helping Grandpa

Well, I ran into Colsyn this morning. He wanted to come over and do some work with grandpa. Hmm, I had to think fast. Ok, lets install the new emergency brake cable on the vdub.
Easier said than done. Check out our cheater bar, it is 10 feet long. Those axle nuts do not just come off with a ratchet and socket. 250 ft. pounds is a bunch. Then, we had to get it back on and tighten it back to 250 ft. pounds. All of that before and after I fished the new cable through and up into the car. Nothing ever goes as quick and smooth as it should. I finally took the brake handle off and that made it a whole lot easier.
This blog is getting harder and harder to post these pictures. Can not figure out what is taking place. Anyway, below Colsyn is checking grandpa's work. He had a little grease on him when I took him back to mom.
So, Colsyn wanted to do some geocache work. The first picture is where I put a cache yesterday. He just had to see it. The bottom picture is where Teri and I have plans for another cache. Colsyn helped grandpa check the coordinates again. We do them 5 times before placing the cache. Want to make sure we have them right before we post them on the internet.
Teri is working hard on her presentation still for the geocache fun at Du Quoin next week. I think we have 20 caches to hide when we get there.
I was told last night that the cotton picking starts Monday. We will miss part of it due to the convention. I really hate it. The cotton just came in way too early this year due to the hot summer.
I posted Armand's blog address on an earlier post this morning. Check it out when you have time. He has lots of good pictures of their travels.
Hope everyone is having a great week.

A Quick Link

Here is the link to Armand's blog. I meant to put it on here earlier but forgot. They are at Graceland RV park in Memphis.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

GMC Motorhome Friends

They come, they go. Although Armand and Carol did not stay long we packed a lot of visiting into one evening. We have known this couple for a couple of years now. They reside out west of Tucson. Great folks and have been on an 8 week tour of the north and east USA and part of Canada.We were honored that Carol and Armand gave us one evening of their trip. Armand and I coorespond on a regular basis. They were leaving home when we left for Oregon. He emails and also keeps up a blog so I can know where they are. When I saw they were heading toward Memphis I made sure they knew we were here and had room for their GMC in our driveway.
 The two of them had just completed a complete makeover of the interior of their GMC. It looks much better than new and is more functional. Talented woodworkers, they are. I doubt Teri and I can ever get the inside of our coach looking half as good as their's does. Really nice, pictures just can not display the craftsmanship so I will leave it to your imagination. Everything is new from the ceiling to floor. All new overhead cabinets and kitchen. Just a great job.
So, all good things must end. Carol and Armand just left and are heading to Memphis to tour Graceland. After 3-4 days they will head to Little Rock for some fun and then on out to NM. I think they need to be home next weekend so they are right on target. So far, 5500 miles since leaving home and minimal problems.
Keep us posted Armand, when you have time, and thanks again for putting us in your travels.
Teri continues to work on her geocache stuff for the presentation and hunt at GMCMI in Du Quoin. We will leave here in a week for that adventure. Really looking forward to seeing everyone again. It is just over 100 miles for us so this is the shortest trip we have ever had to arrive for a convention. The problem I have is an early cotton harvest, and it is upon us. I may have to commute from Du Quoin back home to help out. We will see how it goes.
We set out our first geocache yesterday. I took it out and set everything in its place. Now Teri must get on line and get an approval for it. Should be showing up in a few days. We are excited to have one here for folks and will eventually have several in the area. I spent some good money getting this one all taken care of. Will grab a picture later in the week.
It is Wednesday. Hope everyone's week is going good. I put the front brake pads on Teri's car yesterday morning so it should be good for a few thousand miles of good stopping. Now we need to get the new emergency brake cables on the vdub. May work on that later today.
Thanks for checking in. Everyone is welcome in our home. Should you be planning a trip this way, stop and visit. We have California friends coming next month. We met them in February when we were broken down in the LA area. Good things usually come from bad experiences and these friends are truly blessings in our lives. Can't wait for them to get here.
See ya,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life is Absolutely Great

Teri is hard at work on her geocache talk for Du Quoin. She has about 20 caches that she will hide on the fair grounds. I am telling you, if you want to know anything about this sport, come to her talk and demonstration @ Du Quoin.
While she works so do I. Look at the item in the photo. It has been giving us fits for about 3 years now and just kept getting worse. It is the throttle body from Teri's Vibe GT. The crazy thing would try to idle the engine at 2500 rpm. When I would "pop" the accelerator, it would idle down but stick. Took a "stomp": on the pedal to get it to open. I searched high and low before finding a new one on the internet. It came today and I replaced it with the new one. Teri's car is back to normal now.

Check this little item out. IT couples the shifter rod to the VW transaxle. I replaced it this morning. The shifter was so sloppy that Teri could not drive the car and I was having problems myself. Replaced this little thing and the car shifts as good as new.We have a family member in the hospital in St. Louis. Made two trips up there in 4 days. Last night we stopped at Mike's in Festus. He is building a baja similar to mine.

He and I visit a lot on the internet but now we have met in person. Mike is good at working on his VW. Thanks Mike for letting us stop.Hopefully we will be off the road now for a few days. As soon as we got back from Indiana we started commuting to the hospital in St. Louis. Our family member is on her way home this evening.
Tuesday we have GMC friends coming for a visit. They will park in our driveway tomorrow night. We are on their way home to Arizona. They have been up in Canada and New England. Teri and I are tickled that they have chosen to stop by.
So, there you have a quick update. The cotton patch is about ready to call. I would not be surprized to be working before the week is out.
Have a great week,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Having Fun

Teri and I have made lots of "fast" trips. It is relaxing for me to geocache along our way and slow down. In yesterday's blog entry I mentioned that this sport is good for grandparents and grandchildren. Well, it is also great for a husband and wife, as long as they are best friends, or working to become best friends.We left Saturday morning to see our daughter and family in Northern In. 400 miles is normally a 7 hour trip. Saturday was about 11 but we arrived fairly relaxed. As you will see we made lots of stops. Our first few were in the Effingham area.

Back in May we found lots of geocaches in Effingham while at the Vdub rally. I purposly saved some caches along the interstate for future trips. We travel I-57 often, from south to north Il. I try not to speed, much, in Il. nor buy gasoline there.This was a good cache. Teri grabbed it right away.

Another good one in Effingham. Teri crawled under a fence to get this one.

This is a team sport. My part is to look these things up before the trip and have an idea where they are, in relation to where we will be traveling. I use Streets and Trips gps program on my computer along with the gps maps from the site. Sometimes I can drive right up to a cache and snatch it without getting out of the car.

Look close, we had to stop for a shopping trip. Teri grabbed some birthday gifts for some of our grandchildren here.In this lot I did the drive up and grab, but forgot to get a picture. It was in a light pole in the shopping center. You know the one, its the one with the big red Amish barn. We grabbed 2 here.

I am not bragging. Sometimes I really get confused and miss my mark. I consider myself really good at map reading and knowing my directions. Its almost like I have a built in compass, but sometimes it gets off kilter.A couple must have patience with one another while playing this sport. Sometimes Teri has problems finding one. She calls on me and I walk right to it. It is really hard for me to keep a straight face in moments like this. I have to not rub it in, too much, because it will bite me if I do. May not find the next 5 if I mess Teri over.

Sometimes I do place a time limit on our stop. 10 minutes is long enough. I do not always get out of the car. Just depends as Teri finds many of these in just a few seconds.

Here is one I had to keep a straight face on. Teri just could not find the thing. I walked over, across the street, and snatched it for her. this was our last one Saturday.For prospective GMC buyers, this one is in Kokomo. Has been for sale for over a year. Might be a bargain. It is on 31 in north part of town, at a far lot.

Our first cache Tuesday. A rest are just north of Effingham. We have located most of the caches on I-57 now. At Salem we jumped off the interstate and headed over to 51.Teri grabbed this one right away.

Blow this picture up. Look under the Lions Club sign.I did not take pictures of all of our stops. This was our last one. I drove Teri right up to it. Oh, right before this one she couldnt locate one in Du Quoin, a new one. I got out of the car and walked over to it. I kept my face solemn. I know when I can rub it in and when I can't. For the weekend, we picked up 30 caches. Teri did 4 without me while I had the boys looking Monday.
Now, let me warn you, this can be stressful. Teri and I are competitive. It is too easy to let this come between us. Mostly my fault. I have to remember this is a team sport. We work together. With that in mind, Teri and I always do our best to enjoy the hunt. Retire early if you can. There is just too much in life to enjoy.
We love having the GMC to sleep in but we also have fun without it. I have gotten us into some tight spots while trying to geocache with the GMC and a car in tow. I can not always anticipate a dead end street, even with Streets and Trips. We have unhooked and rehhoked a few times to get out of a tight spot. I no longer let that upset me.
We hope that you enjoyed the ride. If you are coming to Du Quoin, in two weeks, Teri is putting on a seminar on Geocaching. She has been working hard on it and will have several hidden on the fairgrounds for folks to find. So, bring your handheld gps. Bring two if you have a spare so someone can use one of them. If you are in the market, the cheap Garmin handhelds are really good. The simpler to operate the better. Remember, there are no age limits on this sport. Young and old can bridge the gaps doing this together. When I was a kid we bridged the gap by working in the cotton patch. This is much more fun.