Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's Been A Whole Week

DeBary, FL.

68 deg. some fog, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy skies with some morning fog. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 87F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.

It's been a whole week since I've posted, so I thought I'd better fill you in on what's been happening around here.

Christmas Eve, Laura, Lindsey, Ashley, Chris and Anna did come here to the house. They brought presents and added them to the ones that were already under the tree. After H and H, (Hugs and Handshakes), everyone filled a plate with the great snack/finger food that Linda had prepared. Then, after talking for awhile and enjoying the food, it was time to open the presents.

It seemed like everyone enjoyed the presents they received and soon everyone was back at the table enjoying still more food. ;-)

Christmas morning, Jim and Linda took Lila and slowly drove over to Laura an Lindsey's. (It was quite foggy). Once there, they enjoyed a great breakfast that Ashley and Laura had put together.

The highlights of the breakfast was the French Toast Casserole that Ashley put together and the bacon smokey bites that Anna made. From what I can understand, the casserole tasted just like French Toast, but was baked in the oven as a casserole. I also understand that both food items were really good!!! :-)  Along with those items there were other common breakfast items to enjoy.

After visiting for a little while, Jim and Linda returned here to the house and spent the rest of Christmas day relaxing and watching TV.

Nothing much else happened until yesterday when Jim and Linda headed over to the Florida Hospital for Jim's Pet Scan. Jim had to be there by 9:45 and after filling out a bunch of forms, finally was taken back to the Scan area around 10:30.

The scan wasn't bad, but Jim became quite uncomfortable laying still for 35 minutes on that narrow, hard bed-like thing that moved him back a forth through the scanner. Including the prep, the whole procedure took about 2 hours,

Being that Jim hadn't been able to eat anything since the previous day, he was very hungry after the scan, so Lila took he and Linda over to the Bob Evans Restaurant where they enjoyed a very nice meal. :-)

Today, Jim gets to spend the day worrying about the results of the Scan and then tomorrow morning, he gets to go to see Dr. Saferali to hopefully get the results. :-O  Hopefully Jim will find enough to do today to keep his mind busy, so he doesn't worry too much.

A Point to Ponder :  “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.”
Eleanor Roosevelt


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More Doctors, Jim Has A Problem and Plans For Christmas Eve

DeBary, Fl.

73 deg., 93% humidity, overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy. High around 85F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.

The weather around here has been very strange this year. We've had temperatures way above normal and the weather guesser are saying that we may set a new record high on Christmas day!!

I have some news on the health front. Friday, Jim and Linda went to see Dr. Saferali, the oncologist. She checked Jim over and looked at the blood test that Jim received a week or so ago. Most everything looked good on it. Then she suggested a PET Scan to get a better view of the "small mass" that the x-rays and CAT scan had found.

Jim now has an appointment for the scan on the 29th of December with a follow up visit with Dr. Saferali on the morning of the 31st.

Saturday, Jim started having some breathing problems and on Sunday they were much worse. Any time he would try to do anything but sit or lie down, he was very short of breath. Jim suspected that the inhaler medication that Dr. Mathura had given him, on Monday, was causing the problem, so he quit using it and just used the emergency inhaler that the doctor had originally prescribed for him on Jim's first appointment.

Monday, Jim called the doctor's office and an appointment was made for yesterday morning. By yesterday morning, Jim was doing a little better and he and Linda headed over to the office.

It appears as though Jim was right as Dr. Mathura changed the type of inhaler and now this morning, Jim seems to be doing quite a bit better, after just a single use of the inhaler, yesterday.

On Sunday, Lindsey's parents, (Marv and Inez) had their Christmas dinner, but being that Jim was having the breathing problem and feeling so crummy, he and Linda didn't go. :-(

So,  ,  ,  ,  unless things change, the plan right now is for Laura, Lindsey, Ashley, Chris and Anna to come over here to the house on Christmas Eve to exchange presents. Linda has been gathering a bunch of  "snack food"  for everyone to enjoy. It should be a fun evening with family. :-)

Christmas day, I really don't know what's going on yet. I'm sure I'll find out sometime today.

I probably won't be posting until after Christmas, so Jim, Linda and I would like to wish all of you a very Marry Christmas. Hope all of you have a great day!!!!!

Did you know that  HANGING stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bringing You Up-To-Date

DeBary, FL.

85 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast =  High around 85F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Wednesday Night,  partly cloudy skies. Low 66F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.

Still don't have a lot of answers about Jim 's health problem, but I thought I'd better bring you up-to-date on what we do know and what's been happening.

Jim had another appointment with his primary care doctor, (Dr. Mathura), Monday. He went over the results of the blood tests, x-rays and the CT scans previously taken.

Nothing really surprising there. Jim had suspected that he had the beginnings of Emphysema, (which he has), and the "mass" that was detected. was as the doctor had told Jim and Linda on the phone.  The doctor gave Jim a sample inhaler to see if that would help him with his coughing and shortness of breath, and so far, it has seemed to help.

Jim and Linda have decided to use the same Oncologist that Linda used for her cancer treatment, (Dr. Saferali), since they both really like her and trust her treatment procedures.  The Pulmonary doctor's appointment won't be until January 5th though, so we'll have to see what happens there.

Also on Monday, (in the afternoon), Linda had an appointment with her surgeon's PA over in Daytona. Again everything went well and the PA doesn't expect any unusual reports from the test that she preformed. :-)

So,  ,  ,  ,  that brings us up-to-date. Maybe after meeting with Dr. Saferali on Friday, I'll have some more news, but who knows. Right now it seems like it's just a "hurry up and wait game"!!!!    :-(

OH, just one more thing. both Linda and Jim have really been enjoying driving Lila around town instead of Big RED.  Big RED is good at towing, but not so good and negotiating parking lots that are now designed for small cars. Also, Lila seems to be getting great gas mileage, so that helps on the financial end. :-)

A Point to Ponder:  “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
E. Joseph Cossman


Monday, December 7, 2015

Catching Up

DeBary, FL.

60 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Cloudy early with peeks of sunshine expected late. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 72F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

Well, let's see!!! When I last posted, it was Thanksgiving and Jim and Linda were getting ready to head over to Lindsey's parent's house for dinner. They had a great meal with turkey, ham and all the "trimin's" and lots of excellent deserts. they must have had a good time talking with Lindsey's family too, because it was late afternoon by the time they returned. :-)

Saturday evening,  Jim and Linda headed over to Gram's Kitchen where they both had nice meals. It was their first visit to Gram's since we've been back here and it didn't seem like much had changed since spring.

Monday was grocery shopping day. Lots of groceries were purchased at Winn Dixie.

Thursday, Linda had an  appointment with her cancer doctor, (Dr. Saferali). She had a blood test and everything looked good. Linda's next appointment with her will be sometime next spring. :-)

Friday finally came and by a little after 9:00, Jim was having the CT scan. Everything went smooth but by noon, Dr. Mathura had called and was telling Jim that there definitely was spot on Jim's lung that he called a "small mass". After explaining things to both Jim and Linda he said that he would call a pulmonary doctor and a cancer doctor and have them call the first of this week to set up appointments. :-(

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  that's where we are right now. not good news, but I suppose it could be worse. They're not even sure if it is cancer or not, so I'm thinking that a biopsy will be required before any treatment is done.

Even before we left here this last spring, Jim and Linda have been talking about getting a small car for Linda to drive and to use down here in FL. Well, Jim's been doing a lot of research online and he found one that he thought would do the job. So, Saturday morning he and Linda headed down to Sanford to take a look to see what it looked like.

To make a long story short, they ended up buying it. It's a 2014 Hyundai Accent sedan that has 35,000+ miles on it. It's still has some of the factory warranty left on it and seems to be in really good condition.

Here's a couple photos of it sitting in the driveway here at the double-wide in DeBary.

Introducing, "Lila"

Yesterday morning, Laura and Lindsey came over and helped Jim and Linda put up their Christmas decorations. Jim had set up the tree, but no decorations had been put on it before they arrived. It has become kind of a "tradition" for Laura, (and sometimes Lindsey) to come over and help decorate. Linda usually puts out some snacks and they all seem to have a good time decorating. :-)

Here's a photo of the decorated tree.

Don't know what's going to happen now. I guess we'll just have to wait until those doctors call. Today,  This morning Linda has an appointment with Dr. Bernard, (her retina doctor down here in FL), to see how her eyes are doing. She's hoping that she won't have to have any of those injections.

A Quote to Ponder:   “In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.”
Daniel L. Reardon


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Somebody Told Jim and Doctor Visit And Tests

DeBary, FL.

65 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Showers early, then partly cloudy for the afternoon. High 78F. Winds ENE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

First of all I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great day with family and/or friends. Most of us really do have a lot to be thankful for.

Somebody told Jim that I let everyone know that he wasn't feeling well, but to my surprise, he really wasn't all that upset with me. :-) Oh, he scolded me, but I can deal with a scolding.

Monday, the 23rd, about 1:00, Big RED took Jim and Linda over to the doctor's office where Jim had to fill out bunches and bunches of papers. Then, he was taken into one of the rooms where he and Linda  met Dr. Mathura.

After the "meet and greet", Dr. Mathura proceeded to check Jim out. He looked in his ears to make sure that the passageway to the other side was unobstructed, ;-) ,  stuck a wooded stick down his throat, listened to his heart and his lungs and pushed on Jim's chest and stomach with his hands. After he was done poking and prodding, a nurse came in and hooked Jim up to a machine that had a whole bunch of wires which connected to little band-aid like things that the nurse pasted all over Jim chest.

As you may know, this machine and procedure is called an EKG and soon after the nurse was finished with the test, the Dr. came in and told Jim and Linda that everything looked OK.  Then, as expected, the Dr. told Jim that he wanted him to have chest X-Rays and get a blood test.

He also gave Jim prescriptions for an inhaler and some pills to try to help his breathing.

There's a place called Orange City Imaging right in the same complex of buildings, so after leaving the Dr's office, Jim and Linda headed over there and had the X-Rays done right away.

Jim couldn't get an appointment for the blood test until Wednesday, so Wednesday morning, Jim took Big RED and headed over to the Quest Diagnostics place in Orange City. After sticking him in the arm and draining out some blood, Jim headed back home and had something to eat, cause he couldn't eat anything before the test.

Wednesday afternoon, a nurse from Dr. Mathura's  office called and told Jim that the Dr. had looked at the X-Rays and found something on them that needed further inspection. The Dr. recommended a CT Scan and the nurse said that Jim could have the scan done at the same place as he had had the X-Rays done if he wanted to. Jim said OK and soon Orange City Imaging called and Jim now has a 9:00 appointment for next Friday to have the CT Scan.

As you can imagine, this did not make Jim and Linda happy. It's never good when the Dr. finds something wrong on a test and tells you that you need further tests.

Today, Jim and Linda are invited to go over to Marv and Inez's house, (Lindsey's parents), for Thanksgiving dinner. At first, Jim said that he wasn't going to go, but after Laura stopped by yesterday evening and talked to Jim for awhile, he decided that he may as well go, rather that sitting around here, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and feeling sorry for himself.  :-)

Did you know that The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620 and by the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the Mayflower, survived? The survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Don't Tell Jim

DeBary, FL.

71 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy. High near 80F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.

Don't tell Jim I'm telling you this cause I'm sure he doesn't want it out, but he hasn't been feeling too well lately.

Actually, it started way back last spring. He had this nagging cough and some chest congestion that he just couldn't shake. He's never been one for running to the doctor, so he just shrugged it off and we left for our trip up to Illinois for the summer.

Well, throughout the summer it's gradually gotten worse and by the middle of the summer he was having trouble doing very much as he couldn't catch his breath after doing just minor activity. By the time we left Rantoul, he was having trouble hooking up Nora to the back of Big RED and by the time we arrived back down here in Florida, he'd have to stop and rest a couple times to catch his breath during the hook-up or un-hooking procedure.

I'm telling you this because, to be honest, Linda and I are kind of worried and I think Jim is too. The other day, Laura and Lindsey stopped by and Laura helped Linda find a doctor that would take new patients so that he could go and see what's going on.

He has an appointment on Monday, the 23rd and I'm pretty sure that once he sees the doctor, chest x-rays will be ordered, so I don't know if we'll really know anything until that's accomplished.

I'll be sure to update you as soon as I find anything out.

Did you know that today is "National Peanut Butter Fudge Day"?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

GA To FL and Back Home To DeBary

DeBary, FL

 60 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Some sun this morning with increasing clouds this afternoon. High 78F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph.

We left the Parkwood  RV Park in Statesboro, GA about 9:45 Thursday morning and headed South, down into Florida on US 301. The roads were good and by 12:30 we sitting in front of the office at Kelly's Countryside RV park which is just North of Callahan, FL. We had traveled  142 miles and it took us right at 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Our main reason for staying here was so that Jim and Linda could meet grand daughters, Ashley and Anna, (and Ashley's friend, Chris), for dinner at the Cedar River Seafood Restaurant in Callahan for dinner.

Phone calls were made, plans were made and by 6:30 pm, they were all enjoying nice meals and lots of good conversation. ;-)

Friday morning, we left Kelly's at 9:25 and continued Southeast on US 23 down to I-295, which took us around the West side of Jacksonville. When we got down to the South side of the city, we turned South on US 17 and brought it all the way down to Orange City, where we turned off of 17 on local roads and took them to the Paradise Lakes Travel Trailer Park in Deltona, FL.

It was 12;35 when we pulled into the park and we had traveled  154 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Once Nora was parked, leveled and hooked up to the electric, Linda called Laura and Lindsey to tell them we were on our way over to the double wide house. We met them there and they helped un-pack Big RED and then followed us back to the RV Park, where Laura, Lindsey, Linda and Jim, (and Anna who had driven down to DeBary for the weekend), started unloading most of the "stuff" out of Nora and packing it into Big RED and Laura's car.

By about 5:00 most everything had been brought into  the house and a pizza was ordered. After eating, Laura, Lindsey and Anna headed home and Jim and Linda just kind of collapsed after a long day.

Yesterday was spent putting things away and resting. Jim took a long nap in the afternoon and Linda worked on some of her "Family Tree" stuff to relax. Today Jim and Linda need to go back to the RV Park to get some more "stuff" out of Nora. There's not a real lot over there that they'll be bringing back here to the house, but some of it is important for daily use.

All in all, we had a very good trip this summer. If I get a chance, I'm going to figure out how many miles we traveled and some other statistics and post them here. I don't know when that will be though as from now on, there won't be a whole lot to post about as we all go about our daily lives, living in a house.

Did you know that today is "National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day"?


Thursday, November 12, 2015

NC To GA On A Nearly Perfect Travel Day

Statesboro, GA.

51 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. High 79F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

By 9:00 AM, the fog had lifted yesterday, and the day turned out to be just about perfect for travel with temperatures in the low 70's, no wind and beautiful clear blue skies. It was right at 10:00 when we pulled out of the Columbia / Camden RV Park and it was just a short drive to US 601 where we turned South and followed it all the way down to Orangeburg, SC. where we picked up US 301.

On the East side of Orangeburg, we stopped at Henry's Travel Plaza where Jim filled Big RED's tank up with that good old #2 diesel fuel. Following 301 then brought us down into Georgia and to Statesboro. We took the by-pass around to the East and then turned South on 301 again for about a mile, where we turned into the Parkwood RV Park.

If you remember, we stayed at Parkwood on our way North this spring. It's a little on the expensive side, but it's a nice clean and well maintained park with level, fairly large, full hook-up sites and the folks in the office are always friendly and helpful.

It was 1:25 when we pulled into the park so, including the fuel stop, we traveled 164 miles in 3 hours and 25 minutes yesterday.

US 601 and US 301 were both very good roads. There were a few rough sections on both highways, but they were very short sections and didn't cause any problems at all. Most of both routes were 2 lane with a  few 4 lane sections. There was a lot of traffic in Orangeburg, but it moved along nicely and really didn't cause much of a delay.

Today, the plan is to head down into Florida  where we'll stop North of Jacksonville so Jim and Linda can meet Ashley, Anna, (Granddaughters, who live in Jacksonville), and possibly Ashley's friend Chris, for dinner.

Did you know that November is "National Georgia Pecan Month"?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

North Carolina To South Carolina and Remembering Those Who Served

Lugoff, SC.

48 deg. fog, no wind.

Forecast = Foggy early, becoming sunny this afternoon. High 69F. Winds light and variable.

It did rain all day on Monday, so I'm glad that we waited until yesterday to leave Moncure. It was raining early in the morning, but by about 7:00, it stopped and the sun even started to peek through the clouds by the time we left at 10:05.

It was just a short drive to US 1 where we turned South and followed it all the way down into South Carolina and to Camden, where we pulled into the Columbia / Camden RV Park. Except for a few sections US 1 was in good condition all the way and even with a pit stop along the way, we traveled the 159 miles down here in 3 hours and 15 minutes, arriving at 1:20 PM.

Not bad considering all the small towns along the way and the fact that Rt 1 is mostly a 2 lane road.

We've been to the Columbia / Camden RV Park before. It's an OK park for an overnight stay. Our site, (#22) is not real level so Jim had to put a couple boards under the right-side tires, but it is a full hook-up pull-thru site that was easy to get into and will be easy to get out of. And, the lady in the office was very friendly and helpful, answering Jim's inquiry about the local road conditions in the area.

Today, the plan is to head down into Georgia.  Not sure yet which roads we'll be taking, but it will be a US route and not the Interstate. :-)

Please take a moment to remember all the Veterans, past and present who have given so much for our Country. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we could remain free.  

Did You Know that In 1921, the United States began honoring it's war dead. However, November 11th did not become a legal federal holiday until 17 years later in 1938?


Monday, November 9, 2015

Did You Miss Me?

Moncure, NC.

47 deg. light rain, W. wind @ 4 MPH.

Forecast = Cloudy with periods of rain. High 53F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall may reach one inch.

Yeah, I know it's been a long time since I posted!!! Not a whole lot to report though.

The weather hasn't been too co-operative with rain off and on most of the week causing outdoor plans to be put by the wayside. Take for instance the first Saturday that we were here.

Mike and Dillon came out here to Goodwin's RV park to have a cook-out. Well, Jim cooked the hamburgers out on the grill, staying under the awning, cause it was raining quite hard, but they all came inside to eat as the picnic table was getting wet by the time the burgers were cooked. :-{

Most evenings, Big RED has taken Jim and Linda over to Mike and Gina's where they enjoyed nice meals and great visiting with the family. Brenna. Savanna and Dillon are into a lot of things, so many evenings, Gina took one or more of them to their different activities.

All in all, it's been a good visit though. There's been a lot of time to catch up on what's been happening during the summer and to see how much all of the kids have grown or matured since we were here in the spring.

During the days, Jim and Linda have spent most of the time out here at the CG. One day they went to the Kroger's store in Pittsboro to get groceries and another day to Walgreen's. but other than that, not much else. On days where Mike and Gina were busy, they just hung around here, with Jim cooking out a couple of times.

We were scheduled to leave here today, but all the weather guessers were predicting lots of rain for both here and our next stop in S. Carolina for today, so that yesterday, Jim decided that it would be best if we just stayed here one more day.

So,  ,  ,  , ,  the plan is to leave here tomorrow and head down into SC. Then, down to Georgia and Florida during the next few days, getting down to DeBary Friday or Saturday.

Oh, here's a few photos of the CG that Jim took one sunny morning.
Our site.

The entrance road into the CG

Another view of our site. You can just see the tops of other RVs on the lower level behind Nora.

A Quote to Ponder:
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hugs, Kisses, Handshakes And A Few Tears and Virginia Beach, VA To Moncure, NC

Moncure, NC.

47 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 66F. Winds light and variable.

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, after hugs, kisses, handshakes and  few tears, we left Joe and Nancy's house in Virginia Beach about 10 minutes after 10:00 and headed West on I-264. When we came to I-64, we turned South and followed it around to US 17, where we turned SW and followed it down into North Carolina. They're still building a new hi-rise bridge on 17 soon after you turn off of I-64, but we din't have much of a delay getting through the construction and soon we were tooling along on 17, which, in a few miles,  turns into a 4 lane divided highway.

17 stays divided all the way down into North Carolina and all but a few small sections are like that all the way down to Williamson, where we pulled into the Pierce Mobile Home and RV Park. It was right at 12:30 and we had traveled 120 miles when Jim went up to the office  to pay for our 1 night's stay.

In just a little while, Jim had Nora in her site and was hooking up her electric cable and running down the stabilizer jacks. (Didn't unhook from Big RED cause we're in a pull-though site and we would be leaving in the morning). Then, after that, he came inside, rested a bit had some liquid refreshments, went back out and dumped Nora's very full black and gray water tanks.

Friday morning we left Williamston at 9:45 and headed Wast towards Raleigh. In about an hour and 45 minutes we were going around the South side of the city on I-40/440. When we came to US 1, we turned SW on it and followed it here to Moncure, NC and the Goodwin's RV Park.

It was 12:05 when we pulled into the park, so it took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to travel the 137 miles over here.

We really like Goodwin/s. Marc, the owner is supper nice and will accommodate you in any way he can. It's a small RV Park with only a few sites available for short term use and they're usually full, so it requires a bit of luck to get a site here. Jim hasn't taken any photos of our site yet, but I'll be sure to post them when he does.

Mike, Gina and the kids were busy yesterday, but today, Big RED will be taking Jim and Linda over to their house. They're going for lunch, and will probably stay for a good part of the afternoon.

Did you know that Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain?

Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Visiting With Joe And Nancy and Getting Ready To Move On South

Virginia Beach, VA.

66 deg. overcast, wind ESE at 7 mph.

Forecast = Variable clouds and becoming windy with thunderstorms, especially this morning. High 77F. Winds SSE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Not a whole lot to report. Jim and Linda have been visiting with Joe and Nancy almost every evening and enjoying the great meals that Nancy has prepared. Monday, Jim took one of Nora's propane tanks and had it filled at the local U-Haul. On the way, he stopped at a Pep Boy's Automotive Store and picked up some fuses for the thermostat, and on the way back, stopped at a gas station and filled Big RED's tank with that good old #2 diesel fuel.

We've really enjoyed our stay here in Virginia Beach, visiting with Joe and Nancy, but it's time to move on South. So, tomorrow morning, we'll head down into North Carolina where the plan is to stop for the night at Pierce Mobile Estates and Travel Trailer Park in Williamston to dump Nora's tanks and then continue on to  Goodwin's RV Campground in Moncure, NC on Friday, where we'll stay for about a week so that Jim and Linda can visit with Mike and Gina and see grand-kids, Brenna, Savanna and Dillon.

 The last few days have been overcast with rain off and on, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, and the weather guessers are forecasting more rain for most of today and tonight. However, they're guessing that tomorrow, (Thursday), should be a nice day and should be dry and sunny, with light winds, which will be good for hooking up and traveling. :-)

Did you know that Virginia Beach  is the largest city in Virginia by total area?


Friday, October 23, 2015

West Virginia To Virginia And On To Virginia Beach and More Problems

Virginia Beach, VA.

55 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny, High 68F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

We left the Summer Wind CG at 9:50 Tuesday morning and continued East on I-64 until we came to Exit 169 (US 219) at Lewisburg. Following 219 South for about 2 1/2 miles brought us to Loudermilk Trailer & RV Sales, where Chris is the general manager. It was about 10:15 when we arrived.

Chris was waiting for us and directed us around to the rear of the business and into a spot where there was an electric hook-up to plug Nora in so that he could check the A/C as well as the furnace operation with the new Thermostat. Everything went well and everything worked with the new thermostat so by about 10:55 we were heading North on US 219.

Once back to I-64 we again turned East and followed it into Virginia and to US 220 at Cliftondale  Park, where we turned South. US 220 brought us down to Roanoke, VA. where we again turned East on US 460. Following 460 brought us to Appomattox, VA and the Parkview RV Park.

It was right at 2:00 when we arrived, so it took us 4 hours and 10 minutes to get Nora's thermostat installed, stop at a station in Virginia to get Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel and travel 178 miles.

We've been to the Parkview RV Park before and I don't remember all the noisy traffic on US 460 as well as Rt. 24 at all times of the day and night. I also don't think that the park was as well maintained as it used to be, but still is OK for an overnight stay. Kind of expensive though at $35.10, (after the Good Sam discount), for a full hook-up site with absolutely no other amenities.

It got pretty chilly Tuesday evening, so Jim turned the furnace on. Everything went well for about an hour and a half or so, with the furnace cycling on and off like it should, but then, it quit!!!!!!  Yep, blew a fuse in the new thermostat!!!!!

Wednesday morning before we left Appomattox, Jim called Chris and told him that the new thermostat had also blown the fuse and to ask him if he had any other ideas of what might be causing it to happen. Chris said that he would call the manufacturer and see if they had any ideas and call Jim back. Jim said that we'd be on the road, traveling, so that he would call him back when we got to our destination instead.

So, we left the Parkview RV Park at 9:55 and continued East on US 460. 460 took us over to Suffolk and then to the Norfolk / Chesapeake area where we turned off on I-64 which took us around to Virginia Beach where we turned East on I-264. At exit #20, we turned off of 264 and then took local roads for about 2 miles to Joe and Nancy's house, arriving about 1:40 after traveling a total of 195 miles in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The plan is to stay here in VB for about a week before heading to North Carolina to see Mike and Gina, in the Raleigh area. However, a lot will depend on the weather and the furnace as to when we'll need to head further South to stay warm.

Oh, speaking of the furnace, Jim called Chris back and he said that the only thing that he and the tech,  that he spoke to, could come up with was a possible short in the wire that goes, first up to the Air Conditioner, and then down to the furnace. :-(

Did you know that on this date in 1930 - J.K. Scott won the first miniature golf tournament? The event was held in Chattanooga, TN.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Meadow Bridge, WV


Forecast = Sunny to partly cloudy. Hard freeze expected. High 48F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday night = Clear skies. Widespread frost likely. Low 28F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

I guess it's true that every cloud has a silver lining. And, especially, if you're an RVer, you'd better believe that statement is true.
The above photo was taken from the Summer Wind RV Park on our arrival day. (Saturday)

You see, when you're an RVer and travel a lot, you're bound to have problems somewhere along the way. This time, for us, it was Nora's furnace. :-(

While we were at that State Park in Ohio, Nora's furnace all of a sudden stopped working. But, with a little checking, Jim determined that the Thermostat was most likely at fault because it wouldn't turn on the furnace or the A/C. He then found that there was a small fuse in the thermostat that was blown,.So, after heading to an auto parts store came back and replaced the fuse, which blew about 10 seconds after he turned on the furnace.

The Cloud!!!

Jim and Linda carry an electric space heater with them for times when it's not too cold and you really don't need to run the furnace and burn up propane, but since the weather forecast was calling for below freezing temperatures, Jim decided to purchase another one.

He figured that by turning off almost all other electric loads in Nora, and with the 2 heaters running, he could keep the inside of Nora livable. That worked and for Thursday and Friday nights, we stayed nice and toasty with the 2 heater set-up.

Yesterday morning, we left the City Park in Point Pleasant, WV at about 9:50 and continued South on US 35. When we got down to I-64, we turned East on it and followed it through Charleston, WV and then SE down to Beckley where I-64 turned more Easterly again. We followed it East to exit 150 where we turned off and drove just a short distance to the Summer Winds RV Park, arriving at 12:45 after traveling 153 miles.

Jim and Linda found this park years ago and every time we come through this area, we stop here for at least 1 night. There's nothing fancy about this park at all. There's no pool or playground but the surrounding scenery is beautiful. And you couldn't find a better CG host than Russ Phillips who keeps the CG in very nice shape and will do anything in his power to make you feel at home and help in any way he can. Oh, and they also added wi-fi to the park since we were last here.

Such was the case while registering, when Jim mentioned that we were having problems with the furnace. Russ said that there was a very good Mobile RV Tech near by, and that the tech had repaired many RVs that were traveling through the area over the years.

The Silver Lining.

 So, being that Jim trusts Russ's recommendation, he asked Russ to give him a call. Russ gave Chris a call and he said that he could come and look at the furnace in an hour or so.

Jim and Linda set up Nora and in about an hour and a half, Chris pulled up into the site next to us with his pick-up and cargo trailer. With his volt-ohm meter, he determined that the furnace was OK and the problem was in the thermostat, so he went out to his trailer to try to find a thermostat that would work with Nora's system. He found one that would run the furnace, but not the A/C, so temporarily  installed it so we'd have heat for the forecasted  very low temperatures.

Of course, being Saturday, Chris wouldn't be able to order the correct thermostat until Monday and get it on Tuesday, but that's OK. Throughout the years, we've become very flexible and Jim always allows extra days for travel or problems. Besides we really like this park and it's not very expensive, so a few extra days may be kind of nice. ;-)

Now, I know this blog post has gotten quite long, but there's just one more thing. Jim and Linda are really glad that Chris was able to come and get the furnace running, because as I write this, at about 7:30 AM Eastern time, Jim's outside thermometer is showing 23 degrees!!!!!


It's nice and toasty inside of Nora though!!!!! :-)

Did you know that The origin of the phrase, "Every cloud has a solver lining" is most likely traced to John Milton's "Comus" (1634) with the lines,

Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Catching Up, IL to IN, IN to OH, "Campground Is Full" and OH to WV

Point Pleasant, WV

38 Deg. clear, no wind

Forecast = Mainly sunny to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Scattered frost possible. High 56F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

We did leave Prairie Pines on Tuesday as planned in change "C" of our trip plan. After hugs and good-bye's at Paul and Louise's it was right at 10:05 when we pulled out of the Prairie Pines CG and headed South on some local roads, joining I-74 in St. Joseph, IL. Once on 74 it was just a matter of following it East over to Indy where we turned South on I-465. 465 took us around to the South side of the city and to the Lake Haven Retreat which is just a little South of the Interstate on Rt.37.

It was 12:25 when we arrived, so it took us right at 2 1/2 hours to drive the 135 miles over there.

After arriving and getting Nora set up, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed over to Linda's cousin, Mike's house where they had a great visit and a nice meal of Popeye's chicken. Mike and his wife Sandy, seem to be doing pretty well right now. It was about 8:00 or so by the time Jim and Linda returned to the park and both of them said that they had a good time visiting.

Wednesday morning, after hooking Nora to the back of Big RED, we left the Indianapolis area, at about 10:10, (Eastern Time), and headed SE on US 74. When we got over to Cincinnati, we took I-275 around the South side of the city and picked up Rt 32 on the East side. Following 32 SE to the Batavia, OH area, brought us to the East Fork State Park. Upon pulling into the park and at the CG entrance, there was a sign with big red letters stating that the "Campground Is Full"!!!!

Now, this is a huge State Park with many, many sites, but being that they are having a Halloween Campout for the next 2 weekends, all the sites were reserved or full. After talking to the lady at the office, she suggested Jim try the Stonelick State Park which was about 15 miles North of East Fork. She gave Jim the phone number so he called over there and they had a few sites available for a couple nights.  So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  after programming the address into our GPS, we took off, following "Tillie;s" directions up there.

Now, don't ask me exactly which roads we took up there. There were 4 or 5 different Ohio routes and I have now idea what they were, but Tillie got us there and by the time we arrived we had traveled 178 miles and it was about 2:10 when pulled up to the registration office at the Stonelick State Park, near Pleasant Plains, OH. :-)

They're having a Halloween Campout at Stonelick this weekend too, but we were able to stay for 2 nights in site #42.

As you can see by the photos below, it's kind of a nice park and the fall colors are just starting to show.

I can't even begin to tell you how helpful both of the ladies at the 2 State Parks were at helping us get a site. They went out of their way to accommodate us. I doubt if they'll be reading this, but I'd like to thank them for helping us. "Thank You"!!!!

After staying at Stonelick for 2 nights, (without any Internet Signal), we left there yesterday morning at around 10:15. Again, Tillie came through and got us back on Rt. 32 heading SE. We finally came to US 35 where we turned South and followed 35 down to the Ohio River where we crossed into West Virginia. Just across the river is the town of Point Pleasant. They have a city CG called Krodel Park. It was 1:00 when we pulled into the park and we had traveled 142 miles in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Krodel park is OK for an overnight stay. The folks here seem very friendly and except for some kids playing over at the public playground and a train now and then, it's quiet. Most of the sites are quite close together, but the pull-through that we're in is on the end of the row, so we have quite a bit of room.

Here a few photos of the park.

In this last photo, you can see the lake in the distance.

We'll be leaving here this morning to continue our journey to Virginia Beach. We'll probably stop 2 more times before arriving there on Monday.

A Quote To Ponder:  “One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.”
Jack Penn


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men Often Go Awry" Quote by Robert Burns

Rantoul, IL.

54 deg.overcast, NW wind @ 9 mph.

Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High 67F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Yep!!! You guessed it!!!! Another change of our travel plans!!!!

Oh well, Jim does have that big eraser and he put it to good use again yesterday when we woke up to wind howling through the CG and Nora shaking on her stabilizer jacks! :-(

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , after talking it over and checking a couple weather guesses on the computer and on TV, Jim and Linda decided it was in everyone's best interest to stay here and "hunker down" for another day. Especially since the wind was out of the SW and we would be going SE, (the wind would be hitting Nora broadside), with predicted gusts of anywhere from 30 to 40 mph!!! :-O

Jim went over and checked with Louise to make sure it was OK for us to stay another night and then came back here and re-connected the water hose so he and Linda wouldn't have to run off of the fresh water tank's supply. Linda called her cousin in Indy to see of he and his wife were able to visit for awhile today instead of yesterday, (he said that they had no plans for today, so it didn't make any difference), and then unpacked a few items that she and Jim would need for an additional day.

Now, we'll have to change how long we'll be staying at one of our planned stops along the way, but that shouldn't be too difficult cause at 2 of the parks/campgrounds, we were planning on staying 2 nights, so now, we'll only be staying for one night at one of them.

Did you know that on this date in 1792 - The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion was laid in Washington, DC? The building became known as the White House in 1818.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Time To Head South

Rantoul, IL.

48 deg. clear, S. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. High around 80F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

As you can see in the photos below, fall is definitely arriving here in Rantoul.

The crops are being harvested out of the fields and the nights are getting downright chilly. The grass is starting to turn brown and all of the songbirds have long ago headed to warmer climates.

All clues to indicate that we should also head to warmer areas of the country. ;-)

So, the last few days have been spent getting ready to do just that. There have been trips to Walgreen's, the grocery store, as well as a lot of reorganizing of "stuff" in the basement and other storage areas of Nora. Of course, Big RED wasn't left out either, Jim also went through much of the "stuff" in his bed as well as any other storage areas inside the cab.

Meanwhile, Linda has been repacking cabinets and storage areas inside of Nora as well as making sure the freezer and refrigerator are ready for travel.

Tomorrow morning, (Monday), we'll be leaving Rantoul and heading over to Indianapolis to see Linda's cousin, Mike and his wife, Sandy. Then, from there, we'll head farther East, going first to Virginia Beach, VA and then to Apex, NC before heading down to Florida for the winter, with the expected time of arrival in Fl. about the 15th of November.

We've had a great summer here in Rantoul, and will miss Paul and Louise and all the folks who regularly stay here or stop by.  But, if everything goes well, we'll be back again next year. :-)

A Quote to Ponder : To those who can dream there is no such place as faraway. "  author unknown.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Visiting Adeline and Starting To Get Ready To Leave Rantoul

Rantoul, IL.

50 deg. Partly cloudy, light fog, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. High 81F. Winds light and variable.

Monday, about 11:30 AM, Big RED took Jim and Linda up to Manteno to see Jim's cousin, Adeline. She's recovering from  major surgery, so the plan was to stay for only  a couple hours. They arrived at her house about 1:30 and spent about 2 1/2 hours catching up on what has been going on during the last year. She seems to be doing well with her recovery but when she's recovered enough, she needs to have more surgery for knee joint replacement.

On the way back from Manteno, Jim and Linda stopped at a restaurant in Paxton, IL. to grab something to eat as it was after 5:00 by that time. The service was great, but Jim thought the food was just, OK.

Not too much else to report. Both Jim and Linda have been starting to do things to get ready to head out on Monday. Yesterday, Jim checked all the tires on Nora and Big RED, making sure they all had enough air. He and Linda have a growing list of things to do before we leave, so both of them will be fairly busy for the next 5 days.

The weather guessers on TV are saying that we should have pretty nice weather except for late Thursday and early Friday, (when they're guessing that we'll have some rain), so if they're guessing right, there should be time to get everything done without too much trouble.

Did you know that October is "National Toilet Tank Repair Month"?


Saturday, October 3, 2015

It's Been Awhile, Planning A Visit and Keeping An Eye On The East Coast Weather

Rantoul, IL.

49 deg. cloudy, light rain, NE wind @ 14 mph.

Forecast = Generally cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High around 60F. Winds NE at 15 to 25 mph.

Again, it's been quite awhile since I've posted on this blog. Hasn't been too much happening, in fact, I guess the weather has been the the main item of conversation around here lately. You see, we went from really nice weather with light winds, highs in the mid-70's to very windy weather, (15 to 25 mph with up to 30 mph gusts), with highs in the low 60's and lows at night getting down to the mid 40's.

As many of you long time readers may remember, Jim is not a big fan of wind. In fact, if he can help it, he won't go out at all when it starts blowing over about 20 mph.

But wait!!!! The weather guesser are saying that there's a change coming and the wind will die down somewhat tomorrow and by Monday, they're guessing that the winds will only be in the 5 to 10 mph range!!! ;-)

Not much else happening. Jim and Linda went out to eat at the Blue Star Restaurant over in Fisher, IL Monday evening, went grocery shopping at the big Meijer's store down in Champaign on Thursday and then went to Arby's for a sandwich last night.  It's been pretty quiet here in the CG. Some RVs came in yesterday, but I think they may be part of a "group" that's having a gathering here.

Monday, Big RED is going to take Jim and Linda up to Manteno, IL. (Just a little North of Kankakee), to see Jim's cousin, Adeline. She's had some major medical problems lately, so the plan is to stay for only a couple hours, so she doesn't get too tired.

We're keeping a close eye on the weather along the East Coast, since that's where we'll be heading when we leave here in just over a week. It looks like the storm is going to stay well out to sea, but those things are very unpredictable, so we'll keep watching. Hopefully, for everyone along the coast, it'll stay out there.

A Quote to ponder :
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
Hugh Downs


Monday, September 28, 2015

A Little Shopping and Finalizing The Trip Plan

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. overcast, SE wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast = Overcast. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 84F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday morning, Jim was planning on doing some shopping but as the day wore on, he didn't feel very good, so shopping was canceled and he spent quite a bit of time on the computer, working more on the trip plan for our return to Florida.

Yesterday, he felt quite a bit better, so he took Big RED and headed over to the ACE Hardware store where he bought some chemicals for Nora's toilet, a can of silicone spray and a few other small items. Then, it was next door to the CVS store and then on to Rural King to pick up a new pair of jeans for himself and a few other items. After he returned, he and Linda watched TV and Jim pretty much finalized the trip plan.

Now, as always, this plan is written in pencil and he still has his eraser. ;-)

Anyway, it looks like we'll be leaving Rantoul on the 12th of October. Our first stop will be to see Linda's cousin, Mike, who lives on the South side of Indianapolis, IN. From there, we'll take our time and head East to the Cincinnati area, then into WV, and finally to Virginia Beach, arriving there on or about the 19th of October.

We'll stay in VB for about a week and then head over to the Apex, NC area, where we'll stay another week or so, and then head South from there, following mostly 2 lane roads down to Florida. We'll be  getting down there somewhere around the 15 of November.

Oh, did you happen to see the moon last night during the eclipse? It was kind of neat when it turned red for awhile!!! There were some reports on the news that some people were sure that "the end of the earth as we know it" was going to happen, but I guess it didn't, cause everything seems normal this morning. :-)

We had quite a few RVs come to Prairie Pines this weekend. The weather was so nice that I guess a lot of folks decided to camp one more time before the weather changes. By the time we leave here in October, the average high will be 68 deg. and the average low 43 deg.

Did you know that after the September 27/ 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse, a Supermoon eclipse will not happen again for another 18 years, until October 8, 2033?

Wh o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o!!!!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Another Dr. Appointment, A New Lamp, Dinner and A Very Long Day

Rantoul, IL.

57 deg. clear, NE wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast = Sunny, High 84F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 0%.

Tuesday morning, Jim had an eye doctor appointment to have a "field of vision" test done on his eyes. Not to worry though, he passed with flying colors!! .-)

After he was finished with his test at the doctor's office, Big RED took he and Linda over to the Staples Store where they purchased a new lamp to replace the one that had got broken on our trip back from Wisconsin, in August. They had a pretty nice selection of desk lamps and they picked out a black adjustable arm lamp that has a LED bulb. It's not near as attractive as the old one was, but it seems to work well for it's intended purpose.

After purchasing the lamp, they headed over to the LongHorn Steakhouse Restaurant which was just down the street from Staples, for Jim's birthday dinner, . Both Jim and Linda had steaks and they both said that the food was excellent.

After eating, they came back here to the CG and took naps!!! ,-)

Wednesday morning, Jim woke Linda up really early, and by 7:30 Big RED was pulling out of the CG to take them up to Wilmington, IL to see their financial adviser. Wilmington, is about 2 hours North of here so by they time they arrived, it was just about time for their 9:30 appointment. Mr. Shepherd has been advising them for many years and every year, they go over all investments and decide on any changes if  necessary.

From the adviser's office, they headed still further North and went to the Big Apple Pancake House in Joliet, IL where they met Linda's sister, Nancy, her son, David and David's nurse, Victoria. After H and K, (Hugs and Kisses), they had a very nice meal with lots of conversation. When they were finished eating, Nancy led Big RED over to her new house where they enjoyed still more catching up on what has been happening during the last year.

It was about 3:30 when they left Nancy's and about 6:00 by they time they returned here to Prairie Pines. A long day, but a very good one!!! :-)

Yesterday was a "catch-up" day and neither Jim or Linda did too much. Both were tired and took naps during the day. ;-)

Did you know that out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active?


I found a picture of the lamp!!!!!
Traditional Architect Desk Lamp 5W LED

Monday, September 21, 2015

Paul And Louise Return, A Birthday and Continuing To Make Travel Plans

Rantoul, IL.

52 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny, high 78F. Winds light and variable.

Not a whole lot to report, but I thought I'd bring you up to date on what's been happening around here.

Paul and Louise rolled in about 10:00 Saturday night after going down to Florida for Paul's son's funeral services. It was rough for both of them down there, and it seemed like they were glad to be back "home". In fact, Louise said that they drove 12 hours on Saturday because they didn't want to stay another night in a motel.

Linda's eye is recovering nicely from the treatment on Friday. She's really glad that she won't have to go back to an eye doctor until sometime in December. Nothing much happened over the weekend except most of the "kids" called to wish Jim a Happy Birthday. His birthday was on Friday and since Linda's eye was sore and the weather wasn't too nice, he and Linda have decided to go out to have a belated "birthday dinner" sometime this week.

Over the weekend, Jim has been busy working on a trip plan for our return to Florida for the winter. As of now, the plan is to head out to Virginia Beach to see Joe and his family, then to Apex, NC to see Mike and his family, then wander down to Florida, arriving sometime during the middle of November. He still has quite a few details to work out, so no definite dates have been set yet.

That'll come as he refines the plan and he and Linda make decisions on where they'll be stopping along the way.

Jim and Linda would like to thank all of you who commented, e-mailed or called, expressing your thoughts and prayers for Paul and Louise during their trying time this past week. Both of them seem to be doing pretty well, and we're hoping that time will help heal the pain they must be feeling.

Thank You!!!!

Here's a quote I found on the internet;  “The rainbows of life follow the storms.”  author unknown.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

The "Illinois Bunch" visit

Rantoul, IL.

61 deg. overcast, NW wind @ 18 mph.

Forecast =  Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 72F. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph.

If I remember right, the Illinois Bunch arrived a little after noon on Tuesday. Denny and Bev were right next to us and Dave and Dee Dee were 2 sites further down on the same side of the street.

Dave brought a bunch of firewood from home and Jim had some firewood that a camper had given him earlier this summer, so they had a campfire every evening.

One night they had a cook-out where everyone roasted hot dogs or Brats over the campfire. They also brought side dishes and deserts to share.

Jim didn't get a good photo of Denny and Bev, so I found this one from a couple years ago.

This one of Dee Dee and Dave is current.

Friday morning, Linda had another eye doctor appointment, but it was an early appointment and so she and Jim were able to return here to the CG to give Denny and Bev and Dave and Dee Dee hugs and handshakes before they left to head to their homes.

It sure was good to see everyone again. I think everyone had a good time visiting and catching up on what's been happening lately. The weather was good for the most part and the only rain we had was early Friday morning, and that was before most everyone even got up. :-)

The eye doctor appointment that Linda had on Friday was her last appointment here in Illinois. The next time she'll have to go in will be after we return to Florida. Jim as an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday for a "field of vision test", and then all the doctor's appointments should be over for awhile. :-)

Did you know that on this date in 1957 - The U.S. conducted its first underground nuclear test. The test took place in the Nevada desert?


Monday, September 14, 2015

This and That

Rantoul, IL

48 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny, High near 80F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.

Paul and Louise left Friday afternoon to begin their trip down to Florida. They should be at their destination by now, but so far, we haven't heard anything official.

Friday morning, Linda had another treatment to one of her eyes. Everything went well and she and Jim were back here before noon. She just has one more treatment before we head out, and that will be this Friday. Then, she won't need to see an eye doctor again before we get down to Florida, sometime around the middle of November.

It looks like today is going to be a shopping day. Jim  and Linda need to get some groceries before the "Illinois Bunch" get here tomorrow.

OH!!! I'm sorry!!!! Did I forget to mention that Denny and Bev, and Dave and Dee Dee are coming for 3 days, starting tomorrow?  I guess with all the other stuff that's been going on, I forgot to mention it!! :-(

Anyway, they'll be rolling in here tomorrow and leaving on Friday. It'll be really good to see them again. It's too bad they can't stay longer.

More definite plans are starting to be made for our trip back down to Florida. At one point, Jim and Linda were thinking about going up to Michigan for another Rally, but they've decided not to do that. Now it looks like we'll be heading out to Virginia Beach to see Joe and his family first, then to Apex to see Mike and his family, and then, head down to FL. from there.

One of the reasons we'll head to VB first is that Jim says that he's "sick and tired" of traveling the same roads all the time and wants to change thing around. (He's been working on a trip plan, routing us on almost all different roads). :-)

Did you know that today is *National Kreme Filled Donut Day"?


Friday, September 11, 2015

From Tranquil to Tragedy

Rantoul, IL

61 deg. rain, W. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Scattered thunderstorms this morning, then variable clouds during the afternoon with more showers at times. High 71F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Not a lot has happened since we returned here to Rantoul, last Wednesday. The CG was busy over the Holiday weekend, but the park wasn't full because, mostly, the weather forecast was for high temperatures in the mid-90's and then storms coming through the area on Labor Day. Everything went fine for the holiday though and most people just relaxed under their awnings or a shade tree. And, the forecasted  storms didn't materialize in the intensity that was predicted either.

Paul and Louise, (the CG Hosts), had a cook-out on Sunday. They furnished steaks cooked on the grill and other folks brought side dishes to go along with the meat. Jim and Linda were invited, but sadly, Jim couldn't go cause he had developed a pretty bad stomach ache. :-(  But, he talked Linda into going and she enjoyed the meal and the conversation with other RVers and friends that Paul and Louise had invited.

By Monday afternoon, most of the holiday campers had left and those that didn't leave on Monday, left Tuesday morning.  Even by Monday afternoon it was starting to get very tranquil and the park started settling into "off-season mode".  So, even though it was quite hot the first few days of the week, by Wednesday, it started cooling off somewhat, and you could actually sit outside without sweating too much.

It was Wednesday afternoon when Mike and Terri Young stopped by the CG for a night, on their way from the Freeport, IL area to Virginia. If you remember, they had stopped by here for a few days in July and it was sure good to see them again on their return trip.

And again, Big RED took them up to Monical's Pizza where they enjoyed their meals and lots of conversation. Before returning here to our site, Big RED dropped them off at their trailer, but after checking on their animals and putting some left-overs away, they walked to our site to visit some more.

Yesterday morning, Mike and Terri left early, (about 8:30), and headed East. I hope they have a great trip and hope we'll see them again, real soon.

After they left, it was such a beautiful day that Jim and Linda opened windows, doors and vents to let the fresh air in. Then, a little after noon, Louise rode up on one of the 4-wheeler ATVs that they use here at the park. Jim was sitting in his chair by the open door and asked her what was going on. Well, the news that Louise had was not good at all. It seems that earlier in the morning, Paul and Louise had received a phone call and found out that Paul's adult son, who lives in Florida, had taken his life!!!

Now, this is not a phone call that any parent wants to get!!! Don't know any details but it's almost sure that today or tomorrow, Paul and Louise will be heading down there.

He left behind a wife and 2 teenage sons.

Everyone here at the CG feels so bad for Paul. He lost a daughter that lived in Texas, just 2 years ago. I don't know what else to say except that everyone here has Paul in their prayers. He's a strong man though and Louise will be at his side throughout the ordeal.

Such Tragedy!!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back To Rantoul, IL, Police Out And About and Plans?

Rantoul, IL.

70 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 93F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

Yesterday, went much better than the previous day. We left Hickory Hollow CG near Utica about 9:15 and headed West on I-80 for a couple miles and then turned South on I-39. 39 brought us down to El Paso, IL, where we turned East on US 24. 24 then took us east to Forrest, IL where we turned South again on IL 47.  47 then brought us down to US 136 near Fisher, where we turned East and followed 136 over here to Rantoul and back to the Prairie Pines CG on the South side of town. All the roads that we traveled on yesterday, were in pretty good shape and we didn't hit any big bumps, so everything stayed pretty much in it's place. ;-)

It was right at Noon when we pulled up in front of the office, so it took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel the 132 miles down here.

All along our way, yesterday, we saw many policemen. They were on the secondary roads, (especially in the small towns and communities), as well as the Interstates. I suppose they're out because of the Holiday Weekend coming up.

Anyway, we're back in the same site here at Prairie Pines, (site #23). When we arrived, Jim unhooked Nora from the back of Big RED, leveled her and hooked up the Electric. Then because it was quite hot, he and Linda brought me and a few items inside and rested for awhile. After resting and having a cool drink, Jim went back out and hooked up the water and moved Big RED to his parking spot out by the road. This morning, before it gets too hot, he'll go out to hook up the sewer hoses and dump the tanks.

Except for more doctor's appointments and taking some "day trips" to see their financial adviser and  people in the area, we'll be here till he end of September. We may stay longer, or may start heading East or South. There's also another Rally up in Michigan, in October, that isn't completely out of the question.

But, ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , we don't have to decide anything today. I'm sure Jim and Linda will come up with a plan by the end of the month. ;-)

Did you know that in 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the labor day holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York?


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wisconsin To Illinois and A Scrambled Mess

Utica, IL.

70 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

We left the Fox Hill CG near Baraboo, WI. about 9:50 and headed South on US 12. This time, instead of turning off on Rt 19 or one of the other roads heading over to the Interstate, we stayed on 12 all the way down to Madison, WI, where we picked up US 14, and followed it South and East down to Janesville, WI. At Janesville, we again turned South on the Interstate and followed it down and around Rockford and down to Utica and the Hickory Hollow CG, (the same CG we stayed at on our way up North).

As we were coning around Rockford we hit a huge bump in the road and I thought it was going to send us airborne. Then, as we came from Rockford down here to Utica, we hit a construction zone where they were laying down new blacktop pavement. At one of the bridges, we hit another big hump in the road, and again, it almost sent us airborne.

It was one of these, (or maybe a combination of both), that did some real scrambling of many things inside of Nora. When we arrived at the CG here in Utica and Jim opened the door, he saw the mess!!! One of the chairs had moved in front of the door and the table lamp that was packed onto the other chair with a blanket, had fallen off of the chair and was laying on the floor with it's glass shade in pieces!! Pillows were off of the couch and the contents in almost every cabinet were scrambled and tried to fall out when the doors were opened.

Needless to say, Linda, and especially Jim were not happy campers!!! :-( We've had had that lamp since before we started full-timing in 2001 and nothing had ever happened to it before. Jim said that he wasn't so sure that a travel trailer was such a good idea, as the Motor Homes we've had rode much  smoother than the trailer!!!

I didn't quote that last sentence cause Jim didn't say it nearly that nice!

So, after picking up and sweeping up glass, we finally got settled in for the night. Today, we'll be leaving here and heading down to Rantoul, where we'll stay until around the end of September,

Oh, it was 1:45 when we pulled into the CG, so it took us about 3 hours and 55 minutes to travel the 190 miles down here, and that included a fuel stop for Big RED at the Love's Truck Stop at the intersection of the road that leads here to the CG.

Did you know that more People use blue toothbrushes then red ones?


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Catching Up

Baraboo, WI.

70 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy. High around 90F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

First of all, let me explain why I haven’t posted for awhile.  When we got up to Warrens, WI for the reunion, Jim and Linda found out that although they did have a weak AT&T cell phone signal, there was no data signal for their Hot Spot. So, posting was pretty much out of the question. So, I decided to write the blog on a word processor and then paste it to Blogspot when we had a signal again. That way, I wouldn't have to try to remember all that happened for the 4 days that we were up there.

8-27-2015 Warrens, WI.
We left the Fox Hill CG near Baraboo, WI. About 11:40 Thursday morning and headed North on US 12 until we came to I-90 / 94. We then followed 90/94 NW to Toma, WI., where 90 split off and headed to La Crosse. We stayed on 94 and followed it for about another 12 miles up to Warrens and the Jellystone RV Park.

It was 12:50 when we pulled up in front of the office, so it took us an hour and10 minutes to travel the 63 miles up here.

I-90/94 wasn’t as rough on this section as it had been down near Madison, so the ride wasn’t too bad and everything seemed to stay pretty much in place inside of Nora.

This Jellystone Park is a huge place with hundreds of sites covering everything from very long pull-throughs for Big Rigs to tent camping sites. Some of the sites are paved or gravel and some are on grass. Ours is on grass.

When Jim went into the office, and because he had called and made a reservation, they had everything in an envelope with his name on it. After asking him a few things, telling him about the park regulations and showing him how to get to our site on the map that they gave him, we were on our way to our site.

Our site, K-12, turned out to be a site off of a very narrow 1 lane, 1 way, blacktop road and our site was on the right side of the road. As you RVers who are reading this know, that means backing into the site from the right or “blind side”. To top it off, there were posts with site numbers right alongside of the road on both sides and a tree and fire pit that Jim had to back around of, in our site.
Linda helped guide Jim in and watched so he didn’t bash anything, Jim got out and looked 4 or 5 times to see how things were going, discussed how he wanted to position Nora and after about 5 or 10 minutes of jockeying around, we finally made it.  Whew!!!!!

About 4:00, Big RED took Jim and Linda over to the 3 Bears Lodge area and to the "Villa" that Linda's brother, Glenn had rented for their 4 day stay. The "Villa" was built like a  log home and this one had a fully equipped kitchen, a large living room area and 5 bedrooms to accommodate Glenn and Jeanette's son Ed and grandson Thomas, their daughter Mary and husband, Jeff and grand children Addy, Beckette, Charlotte and Callum.

After H and H, (hugs and handshakes), they ordered some pizzas for dinner and then visited for the rest of the evening.

There really isn't much to post about for the next few days as they were mainly spent visiting and eating meals that the different families put together each evening. From what I can determine, everyone had a great time visiting and catching up on what has been happening for the last couple years. The "kids" spent quite a bit of time over at the water park at the 3 Bears Lodge and one day Mary and Jeff took their 4 kids down to the Wisconsin Dells to do some shopping.

Yesterday morning, after more h and h, everyone said their good-bye's and headed for home. Jim and Linda came back to the CG, hooked up Nora to the back of Big RED and by about 11:15 we were pulling out of the Jellystone Park and heading South on I-94, retracing our route back here to the Fox Hill CG near Baraboo.

It was about 12:20 when we got here, traveling the 63 miles in about an hour and 5 minutes.

We're only staying here for the 1 night and Jim didn't even un-hook Nora from the back of Big RED. Today the plan is to head back down to Utica and stay at the Hickory Hollow CG again. Then, tomorrow, head back down to Rantoul, getting there before the Labor Day Holiday Traffic begins.

  Did you know that on this date in 1878 - Emma M. Nutt became the first female telephone operator in the U.S? The company was the Telephone Dispatch Company of Boston.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Shopping Day and CG Photos

Baraboo, WI.

54 deg. clear, N. wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High around 80F. Winds light and variable.

Yesterday, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed towards Baraboo. Just before they came to the town, they stopped at Mark's Produce, which is a little roadside stand that has been there for years. Mark and his wife raise almost all the produce locally and every time Jim and Linda have been in this area, they've stopped and purchased some of the very fresh produce that he and his wife sell.

After leaving Mark's, they headed back this way and stopped at the Baraboo Candy Company where Linda stocked up on Sugar-free candy. This is another stop that they always make when in the area.

By this time, it was getting close to lunch time, so they returned back here to grab a bite to eat and to relax for awhile. (actually, Jim took a nap), ;-)

About 3:30, they left again and this time, went into Wisconsin Dells and to the "Trading Post", where Linda bought a new pair of moccasins. After leaving there, they drove through the downtown Dells Area to see if all the old stores were still there and if not, what had taken their places.

On the way back here, Jim and Linda stopped stopped at a Culver's  Restaurant and bought some chicken for dinner and then stopped again and bought Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel.

Now, he's ready to head up to Warrens this morning for the reunion.

Oh!! Jim took a few photos of the Campground yesterday morning that I thought you might like to see.

The office/ store/ residence at Fox Hill Campground

Our site A-7 viewed from the office area

Not large sites, but sufficient. 

The bath house and rest of the park. The pull-through, full hook-up sites are in a large section behind the bath house.

A Point to Ponder : Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Utica, IL To Baraboo, WI

Baraboo, WI.

57 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Cloudy skies this morning will become partly cloudy this afternoon. High 74F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

We left the Hickory Hollow CG near Utica yesterday morning about 9:20. From the CG we took County Road 43, North for  a few miles until we came to US 52. Then, we turned West on 52 and took it over to I-39. Once on 39, we followed it up to and around Rockford. 39 joins up with the Toll Road on the East side of the city, so you're pretty much forced to pay a toll. After paying the toll, ($4.00) we crossed into Wisconsin.

Wisconsin used to have very good roads, but like many places, they have really deteriorated over the last years.You may not notice it of you're in a car or large Motorhome, but towing a trailer made the ride really rough. There were smooth sections where they had blacktopped the road, but where it was cement, (most of it), not so good. :-(

Once we got North of Madison, Jim got tired of the bouncing and turned off on WI 19, heading West. 19 was quite rough also, but when we came to US 12 and turned North on it, it was pretty smooth going, the rest of the way up here to the Fox Hill Campground, which is just a little North of Baraboo.

It was 12;45 when we arrived, so it took us about 3 hours and 25 minutes to travel the 190 miles up here.

Fox Hill CG is a nice park. Well maintained, friendly folks in the office and a Passport America park, to boot, so we're only paying about $24.00 a night, including tax for a site with water and 30 Amp electric. That's very reasonable for the Wisconsin Dells area.

We'll stay here for 2 nights and then head up to Warrens, WI. for the reunion tomorrow.

Did you know that today is "National Toilet Paper Day"?


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A New Tire For Nora and Rantoul IL To Utica, IL

Utica, IL.

53 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy this morning, then becoming cloudy during the afternoon. High 74F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

We left Rantoul, right at 9:30 as planned and headed North on I-57. The traffic moved right along and the only construction we had was about a 5 mile section just before we turned off on the Ashkum exit. Meier Brothers Tire Supply is just off of I-57 on the East side, so it was just a quick drive to get to their shop.

It was right at 10:30 when we arrived and we had traveled 49 miles.

Meier Bros. Tire has been in business for many years and Jim and Linda have dealt with them in the past and found them to be honest and sell good products at a fair price. They may not be the cheapest in the area, but you can count on them to do the work right and be fair.

By 11:15 the tire had been changed and we were pulling out of Meier's lot and heading West on Rt. 116. 116 took us over to the little town of Saunemin, where we turned North on Rt. 47. 47 then took us up through Dwight and up to Morris where we turned West in I-80. 80 then brought us over here to exit 81 near Utica and to the Hickory Hollow CG.

Hickory Hollow is Passport America Park and we've stayed here many times before, on our way through the area. It's a nice park, very clean, well laid out and with the PPA discount, very reasonable.

It was 1:20 when we pulled up in front of the office, so with the little detour to get Nora's tire changed we were on the road or at the tire shop for 3 hours and 50 minutes and had traveled a total of 143 miles.

Oh, and we also stopped at the Love's Truck Stop here at exit 81 and got Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel before coming to the CG. :-)

Today, we'll be heading up into Wisconsin. The plan is to go to a CG that we've stayed at before, which is near Baraboo, WI. Jim's not looking forward to the drive because once we get onto I-90 near Rockford, the traffic will probably be very heavy and stay that way at least to Madison and maybe even farther.

Did you know that on this date in 1916 - The National Park Service was established as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior?


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Getting Ready To Travel and A Response To A Comment

Rantoul, IL

63 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High near 80F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

We're almost ready to leave here tomorrow morning. Jim and Linda have been working on getting everything put in it's proper place for travel and checking everything out. The weather guessers are forecasting rain off and on for today, so yesterday, Jim dumped the tanks, re-organized the basement compartment, re-organized the back of Big RED and stored all unnecessary hoses and outdoor items.

Inside, Linda worked on getting all cabinets, drawers and closets organized for travel and put away all the things that she and Jim have gotten out during our 2 month +  stay here.

The plan is to leave here around 9:30 tomorrow morning, head up to Ashkum, IL to get that tire on Nora replaced and then head up to Utica, IL were there's an RV Park that we'll stay at for the night. Then on Tuesday, we'll head up into Wisconsin and probably stay at a park in the Wisconsin Dells area for a couple nights before heading further North for the reunion on Thursday.

Oh, while I happen to think of it, I received a comment the other day from Dione. She was wanting information on the CG where Nora was parked this last winter. She and her husband  stay in that area at times during the winter and said that she was having problems finding any info on the CG and wasn't sure just where it was. So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  I did some research and even though the CG doesn't have a web site of it's own, I did find this Link to a web site that tells about the Paradise Lakes Travel Trailer Park. It also includes their phone number, directions, a map and the address, so hopefully it'll help.

Paradise lakes is an old park. Many of the RVs are permanent but we found the folks staying in the park very friendly and the prices were about the best in the area for a monthly rate. The roads are sand and not real smooth but this keeps the speed down. The electric was good as were the water and sewer. There's no pool and they don't have a lot of amenities, but they do have holiday meals and potlucks in the pavilion.  It is a gated park and you have to have a code to get in, so there aren't strangers just driving around in the park.

Basically, we like the park and will probably end up there again this winter. Hopefully we'll be able to spend more time "camping" this winter, than we did last winter. Maybe we'll even get to meet Dione and her husband!!  :-)

Did you know that Milk chocolate was invented by Daniel Peter, who sold the concept to his neighbor Henri Nestlé?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rockin' And Rollin'

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. light rain, SW wind @ 10 mph.

Forecast = Scattered thunderstorms this morning, then partly cloudy during the afternoon hours. High 77F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

The eye doctor's appointments yesterday morning went well. Linda got the injection and Jim got the scan. It took awhile though as the doctor's office was backed up. ;-(   By the time they left the doctor's office it was getting close to lunch time, so they stopped at the Urbana Gardens Restaurant in Urbana to eat before coming back here to the park.

Being that it rained in the morning, the humidity was very high yesterday. That, along with a high temp of around 87 made things down right uncomfortable. Then, around 8:00 PM a thunderstorm came through the area and we started Rockin' and Rollin'!!!!

I don't know for sure how strong the wind gusts were, but it sure made Nora move around a lot, and things got pretty scary for a little while!!!! That's one thing that I liked about the big Motor Homes we used to have, (Myrddin and Emrys), they didn't move around much at all in a storm.

We're OK though, and I don't think that there was any damage in the park. Just a few very small branches down.

This morning, Linda has to go to her primary care doctor over in Fisher, IL for her annual check-up and to get new prescriptions for her meds. She'll also be getting a blood test, so she won't be able to eat anything before she and Jim go. That means that they'll be stopping at the Blue Star Restaurant when they leave the doctor's office. ;-)

The weather guessers are saying that we should have very nice weather for the rest of this week. They're saying that it shouldn't rain or even be very humid until Sunday. I hope their forecasts are right as that will give Jim and Linda decent weather to get some shopping done and get everything ready to travel next Monday.

A Point to Ponder : A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.