Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Catching Up Again

Rantoul, IL.

70 deg. fog, no wind.

Forecast = Foggy this morning, then partly cloudy this afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High around 85F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

It's been awhile since I've posted so I thought I'd try to catch up a little.

Monday, the 8th of August, (the day after we returned here from the reunion), both Linda and Jim had appointments with Dr. Anderson, their eye doctor. She's the Dr. who did Linda's cataracts a few years ago and also has been treating Jim's glaucoma.  Over the last few years, Linda had developed a "film" over her cataract implants that has gradually been getting worse and was starting to impair her vision. The right eye was the worst, so Dr. Anderson removed the film with a laser treatment right in her office.

Jim just needed an annual check-up to make sure his glaucoma was under control.

Linda's procedure went off without a hitch and Jim's check-up did also. An appointment was made for Linda to come back in a week, to make sure the eye was healing properly and for Jim to have a field of vision test and a complete eye exam, since he hadn't had one for a couple years.

So, yesterday, they went back, Linda's eye is doing well and Jim's eye exam showed no problems with the retinas or any other part of his eyes  :-)

In between appointments, Jim and Linda have gone out to eat a few times, gone grocery shopping at the Meijer's Store  down in Champaign, picked up a few items at the local Ace Hardware, went to Walgreen's to pick up a few prescriptions, and shopped for a few items at Rural King where Jim picked up a couple short sleeved shirts that they were closing out for the summer.

Other than that, it's just been day-to-day living here in Rantoul.

There's still a few more doctor appointments coming up and there's a planned visit to see Denny and Bev, (part of the "Illinois Bunch"), in about a week and, more plans for Dave and Dee Dee to come here to the CG early in September, Don't worry though, I'll be sure to keep you informed as those things happen. ;-)

Did you know that today is "Black Cat Appreciation Day"?


Monday, August 8, 2016

A Great Family Reunion and Baraboo, WI to Rockford, IL to Rantoul, IL

Rantoul, IL.

63 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy this morning, then becoming cloudy during the afternoon. High 86F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

Jim and Linda took Big RED and went to the family reunion every day, (Wednesday through Friday), to visit with family, play games and eat. ;-)  From what I can tell, everyone had a good time and really enjoyed themselves.

Many of the younger families went into the "Dells" just about every day to go on rides and see the sights. Some went to the Ho-Chunk Casino to try their luck, some went shopping and others just stayed at the lodge and relaxed. All in all, I'd say that the 2016 reunion was a great success!!!

While Jim and Linda were at the lodge, or shopping, I stayed out at the Fox Hill CG and guarded Nora, making sure no one messed around with her. I shouldn't have worried though, no one even came close to her, except a couple little kids that were running around and playing.

Saturday morning everyone went out for breakfast before leaving for home. This has become kind of a tradition and it gives everyone a chance to be together one last time and say their good-bye's. After breakfast, Jim and Linda came back to the CG, hooked up Nora to Big RED and by about 11:00, we started our return trip to Rantoul.

Basically, we reversed the route that we had traveled from Rockford to Baraboo, except that when we came to US 20 on the South side of Rockford we followed it for a few miles West before taking IL 251 South to the CG.

To make sure we had a site for Saturday night, Jim had called a CG in Rockford, IL for reservations, called The Blackhawk Valley Campground . We had stayed there many, many years ago, and once we arrived, much of the CG looked familiar. It's a nice park and many of the sites are now rented seasonally or monthly but there are still about 40 sites available for nightly rentals.

It was about 1:40 when we pulled up to the office at Blackhawk Valley, so it took us about 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 133 miles down there.

Yesterday morning, we left Blackhawk Valley about 9:25 and continued South on IL 251. 251 took us down through Rochelle, IL and down to US 30 where we turned East and followed 30 over to I-39. 39 brought us down to US 24 where we turned East, following 24 over to IL 47. Following 47 South brought us down to US 136 where we turned East again and followed it it here to Rantoul, IL and the  Prairie Pines Campground .

It was right at 1:05 when we pulled into Prairie Pines, so it took us 3 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 194 miles down here and buy Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel.

So,  ,  ,  ,  , except for the bump in the road on the way up to the reunion, everything else went great!!! Jim and Linda had a good time visiting with family and the return trip was uneventful. We're now settled back into site # 18 here at the CG and the plan is to stay here until around the middle of September. Jim and Linda will probably take a few "day trips" and there will be more doctor's appointments, but the majority of the remaining time will be spent here at the CG.

Did you know that  Prairie du Sac, WI. hosts the State Cow Chip Throwing Contest on Labor Day weekend?


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

KABAM!!!!!! and Utica, IL To Baraboo, WI.

Baraboo, WI.

68 deg. Partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Areas of fog early, then partly cloudy this afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 86F. Winds light and variable.

Because the check-in time at our next stop was at 2:00 we didn't leave the Hickory Hollow Campground near Utica until about 10:50. After getting back on I-39, we continued heading north towards Rockford, IL. About 25 miles before we got to Rockford, Jim felt a kind of "bump" as we were traveling along. Looking in the passenger side rear-view mirror, showed pieces of tire flying off of one of Nora's wheels!!!! ;-O

Jim immediately slowed Big RED down and we pulled off onto the shoulder of the road and stopped.
Jim got out to check, and sure enough, the rear tire on Nora's right side had exploded and there was only a small part of the tire still on the rim!!!! Looking back down the road, Jim could see the rest of the tire laying out on I-39!!!  :-(

Now, what to do??????

Because they have roadside assistance with their insurance, they called their insurance agent, Gina Shaver at Epic Insurance  who gave them names of towing services near the Rockford area. After calling a few towing services, they finally found Maggio's Towing who came to our rescue and changed the tire, putting on the spare.

Since the type of tires that came on Noa are know to have problems, we then followed the service truck back to the Maggio Service Center just South of Rockford, where Jim and Linda had the the blown out tire and the other tires of the same brand replaced!!!

It was about 3:30 by the time we left Maggio's and returned to I-39.

We followed I-39/US20 around Rockford, paid our Toll for traveling a few miles on the last end of the road in Illinois and crossed into Wisconsin. Just North of Janesville, we turned West on US 14 and followed it West and then North up to Madison. In Madison, we picked up US 12 and followed it up here to Baraboo and the Fox Hill RV Park & Campground .

Fox Hill is also a Passport America Campground, so the fees for Monday through Thursday are 1/2 price and Friday is full price. Even with paying full price for one night of our 5 night stay here the average daily cost of our time here comes to just a little less than $30 per night.

Not bad for a water and electric site in a very touristy area.

Oh, and in case your wondering, it was 5:50 by the time we arrived here at Fox Hill so it took us 7 hours to travel the 193 miles up here, wait on the shoulder of I-39 to get the spare installed and get new tires installed on Nora.

Yes, it was a scary time, sitting along side of the road with all those semi's roaring by, and it was boring sitting at the service center waiting to get the new tires installed, but all in all, we came through the whole ordeal without anything really bad happening.  When the tire exploded, it did do a little damage to the side of Nora, but Jim has already secured the wheel well trim back on and there is only minor damage to the very bottom edge of Nora, which Jim is quite sure he can repair.

So, we got over another of those little "bumps in the road" and we're good to go again. :-)

Yesterday morning, Jim and Linda bought some groceries to take to the family reunion and then in the afternoon, they headed to the reunion. Because we had arrived in the area a day ahead of time, for dinner, Linda and Jim cooked Barbecues and green beans while everyone else was unpacking cars and getting settled in at the lodge.

Tonight, someone else will prepare a dinner and others will prepare future dinners.

Both Jim and Linda said that it was really nice seeing everyone again and are looking forward to more visiting the next 3 1/2 days. :-)

Did you know that the first Ringling Brothers Circus was staged in Baraboo, WI in 1884?


Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Day Trip, Getting Ready To Travel and Rantou, IL To Utica, IL

Utica, IL.

79 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Some passing clouds. Low 63F. Winds light and variable.

Forecast tomorrow =  Scattered clouds with the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm developing during the afternoon. High 84F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

This past week has been spent pretty much getting ready to leave Rantoul and head up to Wisconsin to Linda's family's reunion. On Wednesday, they took Big RED and headed up to Wilmington, IL to talk to their financial advisor in the morning, and then went to Manteno, IL to see Jim's cousin, Adeline.   Other than that, they've done some grocery shopping and went out to eat a couple nights.

Of course, Jim checked out Big RED and Nora to make sure both of them were ready for the trip. :-)

Then, this morning, about 10:45, we pulled out of our site at the Prairie Pines CG and started our journey West and North. We took US 136, west out of Rantoul for about 11 miles to IL. 47 where we turned North and followed 47 up to the little town of Forest, IL. There, we turned West again on US 24 and followed it all the way over to I-39. 39 then brought us up to I-80 where we turned East for a few miles and to the Hickoory Hollow Campground  near Utica, IL.

It was 1:20 when we pulled up to the office, so it took us right at 2 hours and 35 minutes to stop for fuel for Big RED and travel the  130 miles up here.

Hickory Hollow is a Passport America Park, so we can stay here for 1/2 price, as long as it's not on a Friday or Saturday night. If it wasn't a PPA park, I don't think we'd stay here cause they've raised their rates to $38 or $40 per night, depending on hook-ups. In fact, Jim has already been looking at other parks for our return trip because we'd be getting here on Saturday evening.

Tomorrow morning, we'll be leaving here and head up into Wisconsin. There'll be no need to hurry though cause check in time at the CG where Jim has made reservations up there, isn't until 2:00, and, we only have about 180 miles to go.

So far, it's been a good trip and both Jim and  Linda seem to be enjoying being on the road again. ;-) They're both, (especially Linda), looking forward to seeing family again and catching up on what's been happening.

Did you know that on this date in  1971 - Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV)?


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hot!! Hot!! Hot!! and Happy Birthday Linda!!

Rantoul, IL

88 deg, clear, S. wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Scattered clouds with the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm developing this afternoon. High 89F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.

Like so  many other parts of the country, it's been really hot here in Rantoul lately. Many of the days the temp. has been up around 90 with high humidity and light winds. :-(   So,   ,  ,  ,  ,  like almost everyone else in the park, Jim and Linda have been mostly staying inside of Nora where her A/C unit is purrring along nicely and keeping the temperatures nice and cool!! :-)

One exception is that yesterday afternoon, Big RED took Jim and Linda down to Champaign and to the Longhorn Steakhouse where they both enjoyed nice steak dinners.

Now, I'll bet you're asking yourself, "Why would they go out to get a steak dinner when it's so hot out?"  Well,  ,  ,  , yesterday was Linda's birthday and Jim decided to treat her to a nice dinner!!!!

By about 2:30 or 3:00 they were back here, (stuffed), and were over across the street, talking to Paul and Louise. They didn't stay too long though, it was pretty hot and the "sweat bees" were driving everyone crazy.

After returning to Nora, they both just stayed inside.

Other than that. nothing much has been happening around here. Both Jim and Linda have been starting to get ready for our trip up to Wisconsin for Linda's family reunion, which is just over a week away. Jim dumped the tanks today and then will dump them again just before we leave, so that we'll be traveling with almost empty black and grey water tanks. He will make sure that we've got plenty of fresh water though, so he doesn't have to hook up the water hose when we stop at  a CG part way up there.

Did you know that the highest temperature ever reported in Illinois was 117°F in East St. Louis. IL on July 14, 1954?


Friday, July 15, 2016

Canceled Fireworks, Planning for Family Reunion and Doctor's Visits.

Rantoul, IL.

67 deg. Clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 81F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

It's been a long time since I've last posted, but not a whole lot has been happening. The 4th of July celebration here in Rantoul was kind of a "bust"!!! It rained most of the holiday weekend and in fact, the city even canceled the fireworks because of the weather!! :-(  

One evening, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed into town to have a pizza at Monical's Pizza. Another day Linda went grocery shopping at the County Market Grocery Store, They had dinner at the Blue Star Restaurant in Fisher, IL. another evening and headed to Walgreen's another day for prescriptions and a few other things.

Oh and on the 8th of July, Linda had an appointment with her retinologist, Dr. Gandhi. They did a scan of Linda's eyes and then the Dr. did a visual inspection. When he was finished, he told Linda that both eyes were "stable" and that she should come back and see him in a year!!!!

Folks, that's great news!!!! No more of those dreaded injections into the eye for at least another year!!!! She will have to go see Dr. Anderson, who did her cataracts a couple years ago and have a "film" on her eyes removed though. That will be done in her office with a laser treatment.

Jim and Linda have decided to head up to Wisconsin for Linda's family reunion, at The Wisconsin Dells, the first week of August. So, this last Wednesday, Jim called the Fox Hill RV Park & Campground up there and made reservations for us to stay. I'll stay in Nora out at the CG all day and Jim and Linda will go into the Dells during the days to be with Linda's family.

We'll be leaving Rantoul on the 31st of July, arriving at the CG, (which is actually in Baraboo, WI.) on the 1st of August. We'll be at the Dells for 5 nights and will leave the morning of the 6th, arriving back here in Rantoul on the 7th of Aug.

Then, on the 8th, both Linda and Jim have appointments with Dr. Anderson, (Linda to get the film removed from one of her eyes and Jim to have his glaucoma checked.) Then, in a week, Linda will have to go back and get the film removed from the other eye.

The only other thing that I know of is that sometime before we leave Rantoul around the 22nd of September, Linda will need to see here primary care doctor for an exam and to get here prescriptions renewed.

Did you know that on this date in 1952 - Patti Page made her TV debut in a summer replacement series for Perry Como?


Saturday, July 2, 2016

A New Chair, A Nice Ride, Shopping and CG Filling Up For The 4th

Rantoul, IL.

58 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Cloudy this morning. A few showers developing during the afternoon. High 73F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

Not a whole lot happening around here since my last post about a week ago. Saturday, I think it was, Jim went over to visit with Ron and Marilyn, (friends who come to the Prairie Pines CG here in Rantoul just about every year). Ron had purchased a couple new lawn chairs and Jim remarked how comfortable they were when he sat in one while visiting, so, Sunday morning Jim took Big RED and headed over to Rural King where Ron had bought his chairs.

Did I mention that they were on sale?

Anyway, Jim ended up buying one of the new chairs, cause that's all they had left. It's a rocker lawn chair and Jim has been using it every day since.

He says that it's more comfortable than the other chairs we have and is really enjoying it.

Monday, Jim and Linda hopped into Big RED and took a ride over to the Fourwinds RV Dealer in Maroa, IL. It's quite a way over there, but they had a nice ride through the countryside and both Jim and Linda were glad to get away from here for awhile. While they were there, Jim bought a some replacement light bulbs for Nora's ceiling lights, to replace a couple that had burned out. On the way back from Maroa, they stopped at the Urbana Gardens Restaurant in Urbana for lunch before returning here to the CG.

Wednesday, they again took Big RED and headed down to Champaign, IL to buy some groceries and a few other items at the huge Meijer's store. Meijer's is kind of like Wally World and has just about anything you could want to buy. They went mostly to buy groceries, but ended up buying a new blanket for the bed and and a few other items in the "health and beauty" section of the store too.

Needless to say, by the time they returned and got everything put away, they were both pretty well "wiped out"!!!

Not much else happened this week except the CG has been filling up for the 4th of July weekend. They started coming in Thursday already, and as of this morning, the CG is about 80% full. I'm sure the rest of the sites will be filled by this evening.

The weather forecast isn't too good for this weekend. The weather guessers are forecasting a 30% chance of rain today, a 100% chance of rain for tomorrow and a 50% chance of rain on the 4th. :-(

Rantoul's fireworks display is supposed to be tomorrow night, but the forecast looks better for Monday night, so they may have to reschedule.

Did you know that  an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th?