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.