Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, May 31, 2010

First day jitters

I usually have a restless night’s sleep the night before I pull out on the road after being in a spot for a while.  Last night was no exception.  Add to that the fact that this would be my first real trip with the new, larger rig, and I guess you could say I was a little wired.  :)  Emma kept a low profile, thankfully.  I ensconced her in her crate and off we all went.  After 300 relatively uneventful miles, both rigs arrived at the chosen campground just west of Mitchell, SD.  The only glitch happened when Pam and Stan noticed that their electrical hook up cord had somehow fallen out of it’s storage compartment and was dragged along the road for a portion of the last leg of today’s journey.  It was scuffed up a bit, but not dragged long enough to rub off all the rubber coating around the cord.  How weird is that? 

IMG_8528By the time we arrived at the Famil-E-Fun Campground,  I was feeling pretty comfortable with the new rig.  It is much more stable on the road than my last rig.  I got a pull through site tonight, so I’ll deal with the backing up of a larger rig later.  :)  This is a Mom and Pop type campground that was supposed to be a Passport America Park.  Not so anymore.  So, for $22, I got full hook-ups.  I needed that tonight since I’ve been parked in Andy’s driveway for almost two weeks with this rig and will need to dump the tanks in the morning.  This campground is great for an overnight stay, but I wouldn’t want to be here on a holiday weekend.

IMG_8526Our sites look nice, but that’s because there’s an unused site between us, and on a busy weekend there would be campers behind each of our rigs.   To this campground’s credit, it is the first campground I have ever stayed at that gave a lower rate for solo campers!  I’d stay here again just because of that!  Even though we’re close to I-90, there really aren’t any road sounds, and if it were a little warmer, I’d take advantage of the good sized swimming pool.

IMG_8529They really could use a little help with their spelling, though.  :)


My friend, Peggy, in Vermont, sent me an email today about the picture of the insect I posted last night.  She figured out that it is a Giant Ichneumon Wasp!  It turns out that it was a female, and was laying an “egg” in the wood pile.  It lays the egg where there is a larva of a horntail wasp so it’s larva can feed on the other larva.  I guess I was pretty lucky to see such a thing happening!  If you Google giant Ichneumon wasp, you can see a very interesting video of this.  Cool beans!


Tomorrow, our plans are to make it to Custer, SD, so we can go see the Crazy Horse Monument on Wednesday.  I hope tomorrow goes as well as today.  It’s great to be back “On the road again!”







Tonight’s sunset in the campground.










Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rigs, bugs, and marshmallows

Welcome to Andy Bell’s RV park in Kasson, MN.  It’s a good thing he has a long driveway!  Pam and Stan arrived this afternoon, and backed in right in front of my rig.  We’re all pretty excited about our ensuing trip to Yellowstone.  Since Pam and I are the planners, we got together this evening to discuss our route and the sights we’ll stop to see along the way.

I had picked up some brats and Italian sausage links from The Olde Butcher Shoppe in Rochester, earlier this week for tonight’s cookout.   Andy got the charcoal grill going, and we had an enjoyable dinner.  Afterwards, we had a campfire.
IMG_8520The grandsons found an interesting insect on the wood pile.  Notice the long whip like protuberances at the end of it’s abdomen.
IMG_8517As we watched it, this opaque bubble formed with one of the whip like things inside.  I don’t know what kind of insect this is or whether or not this was some sort of egg.  Anyone have any idea?  The whips were about three inches long, and the body of the insect was about two inches long.  Fascinating!

After the bug moved on, it was time for enjoying the campfire.
IMG_8524You can’t have a campfire without marshmallows!  It’s a right of passage for my grandsons…flaming morsels and all.  :)

I’m “getting out of Dodge” (county) tomorrow!  Yahoo!!

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Starting to get ready to roll!

My sister, Pam, and her husband, Stan, will be driving up from Chicago tomorrow to spend the night in Andy’s driveway in preparation for our take off for Yellowstone NP on Monday.  Today, I began preparations for hitting the road.  :) 
IMG_8514One of the things on my to do list was install the inside step carpet pieces that I picked up at Camping World last week.  It’s not a big job, but something I wanted to get done.  I decided not to use the enclosed screws, and will just rely on the Velcro strips on the back of the pieces to keep them in place.  That way I can easily pull them up for washing when necessary.  I have found these little carpets to do a great job of keeping the muck and mire out of the rig.  They work better at cleaning off wet shoes (and dog feet) than the hard surface beneath them.  I also have a couple of matching throw rugs and a six foot runner inside on the hard surfaces.  You know who is the official greeter for visitors.  :)  She looks so sweet and innocent here.  (looks can be deceiving)  When someone other than me approaches, she goes into her wild excited gyrations.  I’m not sure she’ll ever calm down.

I did a last load of laundry, and did a little shopping at the grocery store in preparation for the cookout we will have tomorrow after Pam and Stan arrive.  Andy will build a fire in the outside fire pit so we can cook the brats and sausage outside.  I also have a bag of marshmallows that I know two young boys have been waiting to toast!

While I was tinkering around inside,…

…Andy and Ruby came in to visit.  Emma behaved, but really wanted to lick every part of that little person.  :)  Eventually, Ruby dozed off in her father’s arms.  They are lucky that she is such an easy baby.

I made up some artichoke dip, at Andy’s request, tonight.  I’m thinking I might just have a little unhealthy snack a little later.  Hmmm…artichoke is a vegetable, right?  :)
IMG_0268 I leave you tonight with a sunset over the marshes of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.  Please keep our veterans and those currently serving in your thoughts this holiday weekend.  Without them, we could not enjoy the wonderful freedoms that we do…

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Friday, May 28, 2010

R & R

I’ve been so busy the last week, what with getting the new rig and moving, that today I just crapped out.  :)  I needed a down day, so I took it.  Kelly and the kids left while I was taking Emma for her second long walk of the morning, so I had the rig and the yard all to myself all day.  They just now returned.  I love all of them dearly, but I’ve become accustomed to the quiet life on wildlife refuges.  Two pre-schoolers for three weeks straight can be exhausting.  :)  I’m sure we all needed a break.

IMG_8490I decided to take some pictures of the blooming plants in the yard this afternoon.


Emma also got plenty of playtime with Shooter.








(click to enlarge)

This afternoon, I searched and found :) my road atlas and campground books.  (It’s not a given that I know where things are since the move)  When you have hitch itch, it helps to plan out your next journey.  I’ve definitely got hitch itch, so I worked on places to stop and camp along the road to Yellowstone.  I’m excited about hitting the road on Monday.

IMG_8498I picked out a couple of Passport America parks.  I’ll get the discount, but Pam and Stan won’t.  I’m hoping to talk them into these campgrounds so I can save a few $$. 









I think I’m going to enjoy having folks to share the ooohs and aaahs with!  And there’s no better place for that than Yellowstone National Park.






Pam has also insisted that I see the Crazy Horse Monument once again in South Dakota.  The last time I viewed it was in 1970, and I can tell you that there wasn’t much to see.  What an undertaking for that family.  I look forward to seeing the progress that has been made in the last 40 years.  :)


Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fun chores (for a change)

I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to have the AC working!  I can actually do things inside of the rig without carrying a towel along to mop my face every few minutes.  :)  This morning, I headed to Rochester to take care of quite a few chores.  I needed to pick a few things up to help make this rig mine.  There was only one thing that I forgot, and that’s because I didn’t write it down on my list.  :(
IMG_8483In the old rig, I had a clock right above the door.  There was no clock in the new rig except the microwave which is hard to see.  Many retired folks throw away all clocks, but I like to have one that can be seen from the main living area.  Since there’s not much room to place it on any of the walls, I decided to put it on a glass fronted cabinet at the front of the rig.  I always use industrial strength Velcro for hanging anything in the rig.  It doesn’t result in any holes in the walls, and I’ve never had anything fall down during traveling.  It also comes off cleanly if I want to move the item.  The door next to the clock contains some of my traveling buddies that I’ve accumulated along the road.  I used to put them on the dashboard, but since Emma joined me, they’ve been kept in a drawer.  Not any longer.  :)  You can see that my view out the windshield is of railroad tracks and a retirement apartment complex.  I can’t wait to get back to a more nature type setting.

Yesterday I figured out that I had inadvertently left a few items in the old rig. IMG_8486So I stopped by Universal to pick up two disks that were in the DVD players and these maps that I never got around to putting on the outside of that rig showing my travels.  I kept the maps under my mattress, so I’m not surprised I forgot them.  I’m thinking I’ll put them on the side of my front slide out (eventually). 

I took the suggestion of one of the commenters yesterday, and got a couple of those furniture mover discs made out of dense felt.  Since they had sticky backings, I stuck two together and then tried to cut an X in the middle to slip over the end of the TP holder.  What a battle that was!
After a struggle, I pushed it on.  Now, if anything, I have the opposite problem.  I’m lucky to get two little sheets with a tug on the roll.  :)  Hmmm…I need to refine this a little.  :-)

Next chore was to install a sprayer to the end of the kitchen sink faucet.

It had a static end which didn’t allow for directing the spray to wash down the double sink.   I really like these swivel sprayers, and it aerates the water.  That way I use less water when doing the dishes and keep a clean sink.  :)

I have collected quite a few magnets from the places I’ve traveled, and in the old rig I put them around the fan vent over the stove top.  The fan in the new rig is located in the bottom of the microwave/convection oven and doesn’t have a hood.
IMG_8484This is one of the wall hangings behind the booth seat.  I don’t like it, but don’t have the time right now to get rid of it.  It is made out of metal, so I put some of the magnets I’ve accumulated around it.  (click to enlarge)  I enjoyed being able to do these chores today.  It sure beats laundry and vacuuming.  :)

Late this afternoon, the Fed-Ex man arrived with a package for me.
IMG_8488It came from Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.  This nice jacket with fleece lining and insulated arms signifies 3000 hours of volunteer service with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  I’m very proud of those 3000 hours.  :-)  I’m thinking it will keep me nice and warm this June in the mountains around Yellowstone NP.  Boy, am I ready to head out!

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I have AC!

I feel pretty victorious about today.  It started off with the DISH network guy showing up to take care of the connections in the new rig.  My reception suddenly re-appeared last night so all he had to do was make sure that everything was attached correctly…it was.  You know, electronics are second nature to these young folks so I asked him to help me set up the remote controls to just use one instead of three.  It took him about 30 seconds to do that. (It would have taken me much more time if I ever did figure it out.  :()  Then he made sure I could jump from DISH to local channels through the antenna, and also use the DVD player.  He did this for both locations in the rig.  What a relief that was. 

Then I got a call that said the new thermostat part had come in  and I could bring in the rig this afternoon to have it installed.  Well, I asked if the RV tech could come out to me rather than it taking several hours to pack up once again and drive the 13 miles to them.  Eventually, he showed up, installed the new thermostat, and guess what?  It didn’t work!  :(   OMG, now what?  Jason, the tech, couldn’t understand it. He went through the whole rig, inside and out, checking everything electrical.  Still no AC.  Why would everything work at the dealer’s and not here?  We got the generator running, and the AC immediately began working.  He then checked the 30amp electrical outlet that Andy had installed for me on the side of his garage.  That outlet was installed by a well known electrical company in the area.  Well, they messed  up the installation, and that was the cause of the problems.  Jason, rewired the connection, and the AC came on!  I’m so happy that he came out here rather than me going in to the dealer’s!  Everything would have worked just fine there, and I would have had the same failure here once again.  Color me a happy camper.  :-)

So, everything is all set to go!  Halleluiah!!!  I will call my sister, Pam, tonight and let her know that I am good to go this weekend.  I’ll also call my daughter, Robyn, and wish her a happy birthday. 

I would like your input on a very minor issue I’m having in the bathroom.  :)  (hope this isn’t TMI)
IMG_8479 This is the toilet paper holder.  Here’s the problem.  If you pull down on the tp roll, it tends to fly off of the holder onto the floor; unraveling all the way.  So what creative thing do you think I can put on the left end to keep the roll from falling off?  I don’t know why they just didn’t install a normal holder with one of those spring loaded thingies.  Ugh!  Ah, if life’s challenges were all this inconsequential.  It keeps you on your toes, though.  :)

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Minnesota Children’s Museum

Andy and I packed up lunches and the boys into the car and were on the road to St Paul, MN, by 8:30 to visit the Minnesota Children’s Museum.  It’s about a 90 minute drive from Kasson, and is located in downtown St Paul.  I’m sure glad we had my GPS along to get us there.  Both going and coming back home were made really easy with my “Australian Mate’s” directions.  :)  (I chose the Australian male voice for my GPS over that cranky American female…haven’t named him yet, though :))
IMG_8477We were able to park about three blocks away for $5 for the day.  That’s pretty reasonable considering the location.  I couldn’t believe how jam packed it was with people on a Tuesday morning!  Of course, I forgot that this is May, and kids and teachers are tired of school, so every district in the area has scheduled field trips to the museum.
IMG_8476The museum is four stories high.  This is the view from the second story.  This is a great museum for kids with lots of hands-on activities.
IMG_8460Right now they have a special dinosaur exhibit on display.  Joey and Seth interacting with the displays.
IMG_8463Joey especially enjoyed digging for dinosaur bones, complete with safety goggles.  :)  The bones are hidden under chips made of recycled auto tires.
IMG_8470Here they both are helping to “hatch” some dinosaur eggs in a nest.
IMG_8474Then we went to the little town area (can’t remember the official name of it).  It had all kinds of things for kids to do.  There was a grocery store, restaurant, city bus, uniform store, and several other venues where kids could simulate doing things.  Everything is built to a child’s size except the bus. 
IMG_8471Seth especially enjoyed “driving” the bus. 

There were many more exhibit areas than I can cover here.  As I said before, a great place to take kids, or grandkids.  It was a very enjoyable day for all of us.

On the way home, we had a slight problem at a gas station.  Andy had left the motor on (with AC) as he filled the car.  When he went in to pay the bill, I smelled something burning.  So, I shut off the engine and got out as smoke began billowing out of the engine!  As Andy approached from paying the gas bill, I told him about the smoke and we both got the kids out of the car and I took them off a safe distance.  It turned out that the radiator had boiled over producing the smoke.  Thanks to some local folks, we were able to get the car to a repair shop that was close by.  After about an hour standing out in the boiling heat, I took the boys back to the gas station to take advantage of their air conditioning, and to get everyone an orange push-up to cool us down.  Eventually, we got things taken care of and were on our way back to Kasson.  As we left the gas station, all the adventures of the day took their toll on the young ones, and they napped all the way home.  I would have like to join them.  I was pooped.  :)  We didn’t dare run the AC on the rest of the drive home because of what the mechanic had told us.  It was a hot and sultry drive back.

When I got back to the rig, the temperature inside was 96*!  Ugh!  Emma had spent the day in Andy’s fenced back yard, so I joined her as it was way too hot to be inside of the rig.  :(  Eventually, a storm front moved through with rain, so the temp is now down to a much more comfortable 82* inside the rig.  It should be a little easier to sleep tonight.  I can’t wait to get that new AC switch!

The biggest surprise of the day was that I suddenly had DISH satellite reception tonight.  I don’t know how that suddenly happened, but I’ll take it!

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Monday, May 24, 2010

Record heat wave

The miserably high and humid temperatures continued today as I took the rig into Universal to address my long list of grievances.  :(  I decided not to wait with Emma at the dealer's.  It was just too uncomfortable.  I headed back in the car with Emma to Andy's.  Of course, the family had left and locked the house.  So, Emma and I tried to chill out in the back yard by moving around to find pockets of shade.

Around 1:00, I received a call asking me to return to Universal.  Wouldn't you know, everything (levelers, AC, and generator) were working fine at the dealers.  :(  Eventually, it was determined that the switch for the AC was bad, but they didn't have the correct switch to replace it, so that is on order.  The leveler business is a little harder to understand, but suffice it to say, I will use the manual setting rather than the automatic setting unless I am in a very level paved RV park.  I'm very familiar with that, so it is no great hardship.  The gremlins for a couple of things may have been the young grandsons that feel they must push every button that they see. 

I sure hope that switch comes in soon, as I'm now basking in 92* temperatures in the rig.  It will be a challenge to sleep tonight!  The normal high temperature here for this time of year is 70*.  I sure wish things were normal, weather wise. 

I've had very little time to check on other's blogs or comment on them, so I hope you'll understand.

Tomorrow, I'm off with Andy and the boys to the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul.  I need a day to not think about the rig.  On Wednesday, DISH is coming out to remedy the problems with setting up reception in a new rig.  After many attempts by Andy, me, and the tech at Universal, I still don't have reception.  The person I talked to at the DISH customer support location initially told me it would cost about $100 to get them to service me.  I told her that was bogus since I'd been a loyal customer for four years.  After further checking on her part, it was determined that it wouldn't cost me anything to have a service rep come out and straighten everything out. These folks just don't get that I live in a motorhome and move around the country.  Their perception is that I'm in a mobile home in some permanent park somewhere. 

Several other issues were taken care of with the rig, including the braking system for the toad.  All in all, this would be a lot less challenging if it weren't for the mid 90's temperatures.  Wish there was a lake to go skinny dipping in tonight!  :-0

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And the beat goes on...

The saga of my weekend woes continues.  :(  Temperatures were once again in the high eighties and muggy today.  The temp inside the rig when I got up was 79*, which is six degrees warmer than I like it.  It's impossible to clean my glasses on my tee shirt because it is so soaked with perspiration.  :)  Andy came over about 8:00 this morning to help me get started on transferring everything from the outside storage compartments.  I have done quite a bit of purging of unused items on this move.  It's hard to believe I had so much stuff crammed into that 29' rig, and still was withing the weight range of the vehicle.

Andy suggested I just drive the old rig in "as is" without cleaning it first since they be will detailing it anyway, but I told him that's not how I do things.  It took us until noon to get all the unloading and loading done, and I was hungry!  After lunch, Andy and the boys took a nap.  I tried to cool down a bit, and then started on the inside cleaning.  It had been over four years since I'd seen the area behind the drawers I had put in to replace the removed passenger's seat.  You can imagine the build up of grime in that area.  Dang, that was hot sweaty work!  By the time I finished, Andy returned with a shop vac and gave all the outside storage compartments a once over.  I must say that the rig looked pretty good, considering I'd lived in it fulltime for four years.  What a relief it was to be done with emptying and cleaning the old rig!!

So, what were the further woes you might ask?  Well, throughout the day I noticed several things.  First, was the fact that when I tried to use the outside outlet to plug in the vacuum cleaner, it didn't work.  Second, when I tried to make some toast for my lunchtime sandwich, that outlet didn't work.  And finally, I noticed that the ice maker was no longer making ice (it had made ice yesterday).  So....I took the advice of a comment from Jack, and decided I would try to solve some of these problems myself.  I got out all the owner's manuals and read everything on the electrical system and generator.  I checked every circuit breaker (they were all OK).  Then I checked the ground circuit; it was OK but I reset it anyway.  Next was the about 50 fuses located in several places.  They were all fine.  I unplugged and re-plugged the electric current.  Then I took the cover off of the generator and reset the circuit breakers there even though they weren't tripped.  I once again tried to start the gen, and nothing happened.  :(  All that checking and resetting also did nothing for the malfunctioning outlets.  I then gave up on solving these problems myself.  I gave the good old college try, but to no avail.  :(

After I was satisfied with the looks of the old rig,  I drove it to Universal and dropped it off in their service line drop off area.  Andy followed in a car with the boys, and we returned home. 

Now my list of things for the dealership is a page long in my list tablet!  Tonight I have to make a final push to get all the miscellaneous items that are scattered throughout the rig secured.  I hope to be on the road by 8:30 tomorrow morning on my way to Universal Marine and RV.  I am taking Emma (aka Wild Child) with me.  We will both take up residence in the waiting area until all problems are resolved.  Perhaps between my scowling countenance and my companion's unflagging energy, it will provide incentive for them to get things done quickly.  One can only hope.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Making another list

I’m making another list.  This one has to do with the issues I’m having with my new, to me, motorhome.  I’ll be driving in to the dealer on Monday morning to resolve them all.  I called Universal this morning to give them a heads up on the non-operation of the leveling jacks.  This afternoon, the temps rose into the high 80’s, so I decided to turn on the AC.  Of course, nothing happened.  :(  This is a 50 amp rig, operating on 30 amps, but according to the specs on the website, the AC is still supposed to work.  Okay, so I tried running the generator to run the AC as the temps rose this afternoon.  That AC worked in the dealer’s lot on the generator on Tuesday, but not today.  It wouldn’t start at all.  :(  Dang!

The whole day was spent moving things from one rig to the other.  We just about got everything moved from the inside of the old rig, but ran out of time to start on the outside compartments.  I was shocked by the amount of stuff I had in that rig.  I’m struggling to find places to put everything.  :( 
IMG_8455Thank goodness Andy did most of the transferring.  What a job this was.  I did a lot of throwing out of things I haven’t used much.   I guess that’s a good thing, but I’ve still got a long way to go to get everything put away.  It will probably take me weeks to figure out where I’ve put everything, and I’m sure everything will be moved around as I live with it.   :)

Tomorrow doesn’t look any less hectic.  I have to move everything from the outside storage areas and clean the old RV.  Then I have to drive it to the dealer’s  when I’m done. 

A couple of other interesting things happened last night that I forgot to mention yesterday.  After I finished my blog entry and finally made my bed last night, I decided I really needed a shower.  Luckily, I chose to brush my teeth first and noticed that there wasn’t any hot water.  On my old rig, as soon as I plugged into power, my electric water heater would kick in.  Not so with the new rig.  You have to flip a switch to have the water heated.  So, I ended up taking a very chilly marine shower before retiring.  :(  I’ve got that figured out for tonight, though.

The second thing I forgot to mention was that during my official walk through, I found that this rig came equipped with something that I’m sure no other rig on the planet comes with.  While looking into one of the outside storage compartments, I found two sets of crutches!  Uff-dah!   (Minnesota phrase, meaning Oh Shi*! or Oh my goodness)  I hope that’s not a premonition of things to come!

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Friday, May 21, 2010

What a day!

I'm in my new home, but not without several trials and tribulations.  After an anxious morning waiting for my afternoon appointment, I arrived at Universal for my 2:30 walk through with the RV tech.  Of course, more details were covered than I will remember, but it's not like I'm a newbie to a motorhome.  This rig does have quite a few differences from my old rig, though.  When the tech was demonstrating the auto-leveling system to me, the rear hydraulic levelers did not go down.  He said it was because we were on too great of an incline for the rig to level.  Hmmm, it didn't seem that sloped to me.  He later tried it on a more level spot, and all the levelers worked.  I talked to him about the toad breaking system, and he will take care of that on Monday when I bring both the rig and the toad in.

So, after the walk through, I went back inside the office to finish up the remaining paperwork, and finally headed back to Kasson at 5:30.  The plan was to drive the new RV in face first so that the entrance doors of both rigs would face each other so the transfer of belongings would be easier.  I had moved the Sightseer over to the other side of the driveway  before I left.  Because this rig is larger, I did have to get kind of close up and personal with a mock plum tree on the left hand side of the driveway.  :(   Okay, so I pulled in as close as possible to the garage door.  I hopped out to attach the electric, and wouldn't you know I was about two feet short of the hook-up.  There was no way I could move any closer.  So, I called Andy, who happened to be in Rochester, and asked him to pick up a 50 amp extension cord from Universal on his way home.  Of course, all they had was a 30 amp cord, but I took it just so I could plug in.

Then I tried to level the rig.  Andy's driveway is nearly level, but I wanted the stability of having the jacks down.  Well, guess what?  The jacks didn't work.  The front ones would go down, but not the back ones.  I retracted them and tried numerous more times to get them all to work, to no avail.  I tried the automatic leveling, and the manual leveling (which means I choose which jacks to lower).  They wouldn't work!  Ack!!  To put it mildly, I was not a happy camper.  :(

Since the driveway is really pretty level, I decided to proceed with the set up without the levelers.  I went outside to hook up the water, and couldn't get it to work without leaking.  In the meantime, Andy and family arrived with the 30 amp extension cord.  All right!  I had power.  Then Andy was able to tighten the water connection so it didn't leak.  I had water, but it sounded like the water was filling the tank when I had it set to the normal city hook-up.  I quickly ran inside, and groaned..  The water spigots in the bathroom sink had been left open at full force, and the plug was in the bottom of the bathroom sink!  The water was overflowing onto the floor of the rig!  I pulled the plug, turned off the faucet handles and hollered for Andy to get some towels.  Ugh!  Water was flowing down the floor towards the front of the rig.  I ran across to the old rig and grabbed what towels I could.  We got the water sopped up before it had much of a chance to soak into the carpeting, thank goodness.  What else could go wrong, I wondered.

I attached the DISH satellite cable, and Andy brought over the receiver from the old rig.  No matter what we tried, we could not get it to work.  The tech at Universal showed me where to attach everything inside (and said it was very easy), but no manor of tinkering got it to work.  I eventually figured out how to get local stations through the roof top antenna, so there is that.  Dang! what a frustrating day!  I've brought over my PJ's, and clothes for tomorrow, but the rest of the moving will wait for morning.

I'm pooped, and I still have to make up the bed tonight so I can crash.  I hope tomorrow goes a little more smoothly.  I'm excited about the new rig, but just wish things could go easy for a change.  :( ....  :) 

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

P.S.  Emma is sound asleep at my feet, so I guess it was an easy transition for her.  :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My bank account is shrinking!

My plans for today included driving 120 miles to to the nearest Camping World, which is northwest of the Twin Cities.  I had a few things on my list to purchase, but just like going through the grocery store, I ended up with more in my cart than was on my list.  :)  My friend, Susan, gave me a call this morning just as I was about to depart and offered to go with me.  Okay, that meant I had someone to talk to on the long drive up and back.  I couldn't pass up that offer!  We had a great time blabbing away on the drive.  She spent $3, I spent close to $600!  Hmm, I don't get to a Camping World very often, but I did have to get a few pricey items for the new rig.  I re-upped for their President's Club, and that shaved the bill by about $60.  The biggest ticket item was the 50 amp Surge Guard, but I also got some rugs for the steps and hallway that will match the decor, among a few other things.  After all, this will be my new home and I want it to look nice.  :)

After I got back to the rig after about six hours, I took Emma for a walk and then just chilled out in preparation for watching the boys this evening while their parents went out for a dinner at Red Lobster.  My cold was full blown today, so I needed the little rest time before ramping up for several hours with them.  We spent some time playing outside, and then we went inside.  I put on some children's programs on the TV while I cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes.  By that time, it was close to their bedtime, so I decided a bath would be in order for them before settling down with a popcorn snack before bedtime.  I'm a firm believer in an evening ritual for young kids to settle them down so they can calmly transition to bedtime.  While finishing their baths, their parents came home, so that kind of interrupted my plan.  I did make the popcorn, and then accompanied them up to their room to tuck them in and send them off to dreamland.

The next couple of days will be busy and exciting for me.  I will go to the dealer's tomorrow afternoon to pick up the rig, so tonight I put the Blue Ox hitch in the trunk of the car and detached the extend a stay propane bottle.  Tomorrow morning I'll move the present rig to the other side of the driveway for preparation of bringing the new rig in to transfer all my stuff from one rig to the other.  I'm determined to sleep in my new home tomorrow night.  :)

Now I'm going to try to relax, get a good night's sleep, and awaken to an exciting new day.  I'll be plastering myself with Mentholatum tonight and having a hot toddy before I turn in.  Some times old time remedies work the best.  :)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An ugh kind of day

I woke up with a sore throat this morning to go along with the coughing I’ve experienced for the last day or two.  Ugh!  Then in the late morning, I had a dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned.  Ugh!  I hate going to the dentist, but luckily this was a pretty quick in and out.

The sneezes and runny nose began in the afternoon.  Ugh!  I haven’t had a cold or anything else distressing in over five years.  Fulltiming seems to be a healthy lifestyle for me, until today.  Ugh!  I think I’ll blame it on all the excitement of getting a new rig and the fact that my grandson, Joseph, has been coughing away since I got here.  :(

I’ve decided to go up to the “cities” (Minneapolis/St. Paul) tomorrow to the Camping World store there to get a 50 amp surge guard.  My 30 amp surge guard has saved my bacon several times over the years, so I want to be prepared for my new rig.

I’d like to thank everyone for their uplifting comments on yesterday’s post.  I’m really excited about picking up the new rig on Friday.  I’m trying to work out the details of getting it into Andy’s driveway alongside my present rig so the transfer of “stuff” will be as efficient as possible.  I’m hoping this upper respiratory distress will be gone by then.  :)
IMG_1772I leave you tonight with this double rainbow scene along the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.  This was the view out my front window.

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I’m moving!

Okay, so it probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but I decided to upgrade to the  2008 Winnebago Adventurer Limited today.  Wahoo!  I'm a little pumped!  :)  I did a walk through with my list in hand, and took it for a test drive.  I wanted to take the new rig down US 14 out of Rochester, because I know that it is a teeth rattling drive in my present rig.  With the longer wheelbase and the rear engine, the rig took it in stride!  Then we headed down some back roads with hills (if you can call them that in southern Minnesota :))  This rig had a button to push for engine assisted braking on a steep downward decline.  Very interesting!  That means I won't have to stand on the brake pedal to slow the rig down.  A definite improvement.  There are many other features that I'll get used to as time goes on.
IMG_8452So, here it is….
IMG_8453I think I’m going to like this rig.  :-)  There are a few things that need to be resolved, but I’m scheduled to pick it up on Friday afternoon.  Then I’ll get the walk through with a tech rather than a salesman. 
IMG_8442My plans are to replace this dark brown bedspread with a lively quilt, perhaps made by JANNA since I’m not into the quilting scene.  :)
IMG_8448This is the view from in front looking back.  My kids wanted me to post these so they could get an idea of what I’m moving into.  There are several “works of art” that I will be removing post haste.  Ugh!  It will take me some time, but I will personalize this rig to my tastes.
IMG_8449That’s my friend, Susan, enjoying the recliner/sofa with the slide pulled in.  She came along with me today for moral support.  :)  If I had been thinking a little clearer, I would have turned on all the lights in the rig so the pictures would have turned out better.  :(  Anyway, I think you’ll get an idea of what it looks like inside.
The most interesting part of the test drive came when I made my first right hand turn.  Because the engine is in the back, the turning radius of this rig is tighter than I’m used to and I ended up with the rear passenger side tires going up and over a curb.  The salesman about had a conniption fit, but I noted that once the rig went over the curb and dropped down onto the pavement the rig didn’t rock and roll like it would have with my present rig.  It’s a lot more stable on the road…I really like that!  It also has a lot more “get up and go.”
I also got the Focus back this afternoon from the repair shop.  The first thing I noticed is that there weren’t any bugs on the windshield!  I guess when you have reconstructive surgery at this place, you also get a clean car.  :)  They also vacuumed the inside.  Nothing like a $500 car wash!
The RV salesman just  stopped by at my rig in Andy’s driveway.  He said he just wanted to look at the US Gear braking monitor inside the rig, but I’m thinking he wanted to make sure my trade in wasn’t a total disaster.  He left pretty quickly, so I guess he’s satisfied.  :)
Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

Monday, May 17, 2010

I’m getting the hang of it

After posting my dismay with blogger last night, several folks commented that I should indeed investigate using Live Writer to write my blog each night.  So, I googled it and began to download the program.  At one point I was asked which programs I wanted to download, and I chose only Live Writer.  Yea right!  The download took a half hour and included all of the products.  So much for choosing what I wanted.  :)

Anyway, I gave it a little try this afternoon, and it worked.  There is a learning curve involved here, so you’ll have to be patient while I learn the ropes.  One of the blogs that I read everyday and admire is TRAVEL WITH THE BAYFIELD BUNCH :)).  Al, from Bayfield, Ontario, is one of the people that recommended Live Writer, so I’m practicing imbedding a link with his blog.  Hopefully, I did it correctly.  You should be able to click on the highlighted area and go directly to his blog. 


SAM suggested I try several other things with my pictures, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.  :)  This is Mount Rainier in Washington state. I’m just going to use some photos from my travels to tinker around in this evening’s blog post. 

I’m already liking that misspellings are underlined while I type, and I can right click on the word to get suggested spellings.  Cool beans!!

This morning, I was on the road a little before 8:00 to take the Focus in for the repairs.  They gave me a rental car for the next two or three days, so I’m free to move around.

IMG_0244Maybe one of you readers can tell me how I could label photos such as this.  I’d like it to say “the salmon run at the Bandon Fish Hatchery in Oregon.”





Caddo Lake State Park in Texas.









Banding young brown pelicans at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.




So far, I’m thinking that Live Writer is a wonderful improvement from writing on blogger.  Thanks, guys for recommending it.  :)

IMG_0008I leave you with a sunset at Richmond Lake Recreation Area in South Dakota.  Hope you didn’t mind my fiddling around with this new bit of technology.

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

testing live writer


This is a test to see if I can figure things out with live writer.  :)




Playing with the pictures.  Hmmm…..



I’m going to try publishing and see what happens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another change in plans

My original plan was to stay in my son's driveway until Memorial Day.  After being here for ten days, so far, I'm thinking that may not happen.  I took a drive out to Rice Lake State Park this afternoon.  I have been a camp host at this state park for a portion of almost every summer since 1998.  I found out today when I stopped at the park office, that the couple that was supposed to host all summer, suddenly packed up and left last Monday.  Park manager, Joel, said "We could sure use your help if you have some free time."  Well, it just so happens that I may me able to help out for a week or so, including the Memorial Day weekend.  My usual rule is to visit family members for two weeks or less.  That way we don't get on each other's nerves, and generally a good time is had by all.  I'm getting the feeling here that it might not be a bad idea to once again follow that rule. 

This is the view at the canoe dock at Rice Lake.  After talking to Joel, I headed down here, parked the car, and went for a hike.  I needed some time with nature.  :)

There's nothing like a walk in the woods to calm your spirits.  :)

It wasn't long before I found my favorite wild flower...the columbine.

I just love these exquisite flowers.

Columbines weren't the only flowers blooming along the trail.

There were also wild geraniums blooming.
I'm really feeling frustrated with blogger this evening.  I'm having all sorts of problems with inserting the pictures into the blog, and I can't get the alignment to go to the left.  Maybe it's time for me to try something like Live Writer before I end up tearing my hair out.  Ugh!  What a pain this is!  I'm just not sure how to do that.  :(

I'm including a pic of little Ruby Cecilia that my daughter, Robyn, took last weekend while she was here.  She was just two weeks old as she dozed in my arms.  What a darling she is.  :)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy