Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!!!

DeBary, FL

57 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 83F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

Hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Not much has been happening around here lately, except getting ready for Christmas. Of course, that means getting presents, wrapping them and getting the ones for out of town shipped off.  Well, all of that has happened and now we're just waiting for the big day!! ;-)

Laura and Ashley came over one day and helped put up the Christmas tree and other decorations, so now the tree is decorated and there's presents under it, just waiting to be opened.

While they were here, Laura found a piece of wrapping ribbon and tied it around my neck. Don't I look festive???

Tomorrow, Christmas morning, Laura, Lindsey, Ashley, Chris and Anna will be coming over here to open presents. There will also be a breakfast, so Linda is putting out some goodies and Laura and the girls will also be bringing something to contribute.

It should be a fun day!!!

Both Jim and Linda are doing fine and I hope all of you are well also. Please be careful if traveling during the holidays.
Did you know that the world's tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950?


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Day That Lives In Infamy

DeBary, FL.

65 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast tonight = A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.

I hope all of you took a little time to remember all those servicemen and women who lost their lives 75 years ago. Many never even had the chance to fight back.

Here in our Mobile Home park, right across the street from our house, there is a man named Bill. Bill is a great man who is keeps very active, cutting his lawn, trimming bushes and pretty much maintaining his home. Now, this is not too unusual, except for the fact that Bill is in his mid-ninety's!!!! He was also in the service on December 7th 1941 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor!!!

Bill doesn't talk much about Pearl Harbor, (like most service men who have lived through a horrendous situation),  but one day he did mention to Jim that he had indeed been there on the that terrible day.

There aren't many people alive today who were there and I'm so glad I've been able to meet and get to know Bill and I hope he'll be around for a good many more years. After all, who would watch our house while we're away for the summer?

Thanks for your service, Bill!!!

Did you know that over 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded in 2 waves of terror lasting 2 long hours?


Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Great Thanksgiving

DeBary, FL.

73 deg. mostly cloudy, NE wind @ 9 mph.

Forecast = This afternoon = Mainly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 50s.

I hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving, I know Jim and Linda did. :-) Thursday morning they headed over to Marv and Inez's, (Lindsey's Parents),  house up in DeLand. It's only about 20 to 30 minutes to get there, (depending on traffic), so they left here about 10:30.

As usual, Inez had a great dinner with all the "fixin's". That means turkey, dressing, vegetables, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, and lots of deserts. And, Laura's husband, Lindsey brought a big ham to supplement the turkey!!!!

Of Course Marv and Inez were there, Laura and Lindsey, Ashley and Cris, Anna, and 2 of Lindsey's brothers and their families. Again, it was a full house, but everyone had plenty to eat and a very good time, visiting. Laura had to work at the hospital Thanksgiving night, so she left soon after the meal to get some sleep before going to work and Jim and Linda stayed until around 2:30.  

Both Jim and Linda were still "stuffed" when they returned here to the house, so they just had ham sandwiches for their evening meal, (thanks to Inez for sending some of the leftover ham home with them), and then just watched TV for the rest of the evening.

I've said this before, but I want to say it again. Jim and Linda really appreciate Marv and Inez including them with their family celebration. It really means a lot and they both want to thank Marv and Inez for their generous hospitality.

Don't really have much else to report. Mostly just day to day living.

Again, I hope all of you had a very nice Thanksgiving.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln issued a  "Thanksgiving Proclamation" on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving? Whereas earlier the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held.


Another Good Doctor's Report and Getting Ready For Thanksgiving

DeBary, FL.

46 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny. High 67F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Last Tuesday, both Jim and Linda had appointments with Dr. Saferali , their Chemo Dr, and both of them had good reports. In fact the Dr. was very pleased with Jim's Pet Scan results and both Jim and Linda's blood tests. :-)  She wants to see Jim again in February and then, both Jim and Linda again in April.

Not much else has been happening around here since I last posted. Jim and Linda have gone shopping for Christmas presents and groceries and, they've also gone to Lowe's and purchased some new flooring for the kitchen and dinning area of the house. The flooring that we have now is real cheap peel and stick vinyl tile and it's starting to break up in places. Now, as soon as Kevin, (the handyman that Jim and Linda use), has some time, he'll install it.

For Thanksgiving, Jim and Linda are invited to Marv and Inez's for dinner again. Laura and Lindsey will be there as well as most of Lindsey's brothers. It should be a full house again. :-)

The weather has been great here in Florida with highs in the upper 70's and lows in the 50's and 60's. A cold front came though last night though and today the temps are only going to get up to the mid-sixty's and down into the upper 30s tonight. But, then it's supposed to warm up again with high temperatures in the upper 70's forecasted for Thanksgiving day.

Don't know if I'll be posting again before Thanksgiving, so Jim, Linda and I want to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday.

Did you know that the first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days?



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Some Home Repairs and A Great Gesture

DeBary, FL.

55 deg. clear, NW wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High around 80F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

When Jim and Linda first came to the house when we returned to DeBary, one of the first things Jim did was to turn on all the electricity and then the water. When he turned on the water, (at the meter), he noticed that the meter kept showing usage even though he gave it time to fill pipes, toilets etc.  He quickly shut the water back off and came into the house to see where the water was going.

Well, what he found was that the toilet fill valve in the bathroom, off of the bedroom, was not shutting off and was causing the problem.  So, he shut off the valve under the toilet and went back out and re-opened the main valve.

Now, Jim and Linda have never liked that toilet. It had a low seat height, the seat was small and  uncomfortable and he had had trouble with the tank valves before. The toilet in the front bathroom wasn't too great either. It had a broken piece under the tank, (which didn't seem to hurt anything,) but it always worried Jim that it would break more and cause a severe leak.

So, a couple days later, Jim called Kevin, (the local handyman, who Jim and Linda have used before). He came over and looked at the toilets and a few other things that Jim and Linda need done here at the house, and suggested Jim head over to Lowe's or Home Depot and pick up a couple toilets and he'd get them installed right away.

Well, that's what Jim did. He found some nice Kohler toilets that were on sale at Lowe's and now we have 2 new toilets that are working perfectly and should last a good long time. :-)

It was an expense that Jim and Linda hadn't counted on, but it's better to replace them now than to wait until they leak or something and cause a whole lot of damage.

Other than that, everything else seems to be working well and except for doing some work in the kitchen and dinning area, (new floor surface), which they were planning to do when we returned, all is well.

Yesterday, Jim and Linda headed over to the Winn Dixie Grocery Store near here to buy a bunch of groceries. As they were checking out at the register, there was an elderly gentleman and his wife checking out in the next isle. The gentleman had a cap on, stating that he was a veteran, and as he was about to pay the cashier, the man in line behind him told him to "put away his card" as he was going to pay for the couple's groceries!!  The man told the elderly gentleman that he wanted to thank him for his service to the country and felt that buying his groceries was the least he could do.

What a great gesture!!!!

I hope all of you took a little time to remember all the veterans who gave so much to keep us free. Yeah, we've got some problems, but the good old USA is still the best county in the world!!! 

This next Tuesday, both Jim and Linda have appointments to see Dr. Saferali, their chemo doctor for a follow-up appointment. Neither of them expect anything wrong so they're not too worried about going to see her.

Did you know that the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect? The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. 


Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Scan and The Results

DeBary, FL.

64 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 79F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.

Thursday morning, a little past 9:30, Lila, (who started right up after setting for 4 1/2 months with a Battery Tender hooked up to her battery), took Jim and Linda over to Dr. Graham's office for his 10:00 appointment to get the PET Scan. They got there in plenty of time and a little after 10:00 they called Jim in to get started.

After getting the injection of some radioactive "stuff", Jim had to sit in a little room for an hour to let the "stuff" completely circulate throughout his body. Then, they put him on the scan machine and in about 20 more minutes, he was finished.

Being that Jim hadn't been able to eat or drink anything, (except water), since the night before, he and Linda headed over to Bob Evans for a good breakfast.

Jim hadn't slept very well, so they decided that they'd skip going over to the CG to get more things out of Nora. Instead they came back here to the house where Jim took a nice long nap. ;-)

Then, yesterday morning, Jim had to go back to Dr. Graham's office to get the results of the Scan. He and Linda got there about 9:40, so they had to sit and wait for awhile. In fact, even after the nurse took them back into one of those little exam rooms. they still had to wait for almost 45 minutes before the Dr. came in to see them!!!

Talk about a tense time!!!!!

Eventually, the Dr. came in and gave them the results of the scan.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , "What were the results", You ask????  Well the Dr. said that according to the scan, there are, (Are you ready for this?) No active cancer cells anywhere in Jim's body!!!!!! 

There is some scar tissue in his left lung, but that is to be expected, but the lung looks better than it did in the last scan, which Jim had back in the spring. This does not mean that the cancer will never come back, but as of now, as far as they can tell, Jim is cancer free!!! :-)  :-)  ;-)

A huge load came off of Jim's shoulders when he said that, and Linda cried.

So, because of the thoughts and prayers from all of you and the good doctors, Jim is doing well and will hopefully, be around for quite a few more years. Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!!

Did you know that November is Banana Pudding Lovers Month?


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Calahan To Delton, Stuck In The Sand and Back At The House

DeBary, FL.

73 deg, clear, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Showers possible early. Lows overnight in the mid 60s.
Forecast tomorrow = Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 83F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

We left Kelly's, just North of Callahan, FL about 5 minute before 10:00 Tuesday morning and continued South on US 301. After passing through Callahan, we followed US 1 down to I-295 which took us around the West side of Jacksonville and down to the South side of the city, where we turned South on US 17. 17 then brought us all the way down to DeBary, where we turned East on local roads and follow them to Deltona, FL. and to the Paradise Lakes CG and RV Park. 

It was about 1:10 when we pulled into the CG, so it took us right at 3 hours and 15 minutes to travel the 154 miles down here.

Jim had called the CG before we left Callahan, and was instructed to just go ahead and take the site we had last year, so when we arrived, we headed right for site 118. All was going well until Jim tried to back Nora into the site. That's when Nora's wheels hit some soft sand and sunk in about 5 inches!!! Needless to say, we were stuck!!!! :-O

Jim called the manager, (Kelly), and she sent her father over to the site with a medium sized tractor. After unhooking Nora from the back of Big RED, they used the tractor to back Nora into the site and then used the bucket on the tractor to smooth the sand in the site and the road.

After all that, Jim and Linda got Nora set up and then headed over to the Double Wide to get it opened up and to unload a bunch of "stuff" from the back of Big RED so that then they could bring boxes back to use for transporting items that needed to go to the house. While they were at the house, Laura and Lindsey stopped by to talk and welcome us back home. During this time, it was decided that we'd spend the night in Nora at the CG and start moving things in the morning, with Laura and Lindsey's help. :-)

So, this morning, Laura and Lindsey came out to the CG, helped pack things in the boxes and then came here to the house and helped carry everything into the house and even help put some of it away.

There's still some stuff in Nora that needs to be brought here to the house, but it's nothing that Jim and Linda will need right away, so they'll bring it over here in the next few days.

Jim and Linda put some more stuff away this afternoon, but took it kind of easy as they were both pretty tired. In the morning, Jim has his PET Scan appointment at 10:00, so nothing will get done then. If Jim's feeling OK, they may go over to the CG and load up a few more items to bring back here, but we'll see.

Then, on Friday morning at 10:00 Jim and Linda will go see Dr. Graham to get the results of the scan. Jim is pretty worried, and it's going to be real hard to go and see the Dr.  Linda and I are worried too, but Linda has confidence that the test will show that everything is OK.

I sure hope so!!!

If you would like to know more about PET Scans, here's a link that tells about the procedure

Did you know that this week is "National Fig Week?"


Monday, October 31, 2016

South Carolina To Florida.

Callahan, FL.

75 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Plentiful sunshine. Near record high temperatures. High 87F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

We left the New Green Acres RV Park about  9:35, hopped on I-95 and took it all the way down to just South of Savannah, GA where we turned off on US 17. As usual 95 was very crowded, but the traffic moved smoothly and we made good time.

US 17 took us to GA 196, (a short-cut) which took us over to US 84.  84 then took us in a Southwesterly direction which brought us to Jesup, GA where we turned South on US 301. 301 then brought us all the way down to Florida and to Hilliard, FL., where we pulled into the Winn-Dixie Grocery Store parking lot, so that Jim could go in and purchase some bread, hamburger buns and paper plates. It didn't take Jim long and soon we were back on 301. In just a few miles, we pilled into Kelly's Countryside RV Park, which is just a few miles North of Callahan..

It was 1:30 when we pulled up to the office, so it took us right at 3 hours and 55 minutes to travel the 199 mile down here and buy those few groceries.

We've stayed at Kelly's many times before, and in fact spent a whole month here one year while we were full-timing. It's a nice friendly CG, well maintained, but it has become very popular with monthly RVers  so that now it's almost always full and you need to call ahead to make sure they have a site available.

We're staying here for 2 nights and so tomorrow, we'll travel the final leg of our summer travels. :-(  It's about 3 hours from here to the DeBary area so we won't have to start too early in the morning to get there at a reasonable time.

Did you know that in Georgia, the Okefenokee Swamp encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals; moss draped cypress trees, and lily pad prairies providing sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife including several endangered species?


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Myrtle Beach, SC to Walterboro, SC and Hurricane Matthew Storm Damage.

Walterboro, SC

68 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast tomorrow - Abundant sunshine. Record high temperatures expected. High 86F. Winds light and variable.

As promised, here's a few more photos that Jim took at Apache Family CG in Myrtle Beach, SC

 Jim took this photo, standing in Nora's doorway.

View of beach from the top of the small dune

Looking back towards our site from dune.

Road between our site and dune.

The Apache CG is nice and the view is great if you can get a water-front site, but they do pack the RVs in here and you don't have much room on either side.

Because we had a 2:00 pm check in time at our next stop, we didn't leave the Apache CG until about 10:35 this morning. We returned to US 17, following it South down to Charleston where we took I-526 around the North side of the City, connecting with 17 again on the West side of the city. We then followed 17 to Jacksonboro, SC where we turned NE on SC 64, 64 took us up to Walterboro and to the New Green Acres RV Park. It was 2:20 when we pulled into the park, so it took us about 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel the 167 miles down here and stop to fill Big RED's fuel tank in Walterboro.

Not too bad when you consider the very heavy traffic in Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, we haven't seen much damage from hurricane Matthew, all the way down the coast from Virginia Beach to the Apache CG which is on the Northern edge of Myrtle Beach. Today, however was another story. We saw many, many trees down along side of US 17 in the center part of Myrtle Beach, down to Murrells Inlet and a lot of trees down all the way to Charleston. We also saw some areas that were evidently flooded as the people had moved furniture and other belongings to the curb for pick-up. There were also a few homes that had tarps over their roofs, so I'm surmising that they have roof damage.

I feel so sorry for some of those people. They have lost everything.

We're only staying here at New Green Acres for one night. Tomorrow, we'll be heading further South.

Did you know that Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States?


Friday, October 28, 2016

Norh Carolina to South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, SC.

63 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy. High around 80F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Jim took a few photos at the Surf City CG Tuesday, so I thought I'd post a couple of them here today.

 The Beach from the top of the sand dune.

Part of Surf City CG.  Can you spot Nora?

 Another shot of the CG. Main entrance with office on the right side of photo

We left the Surf City Campground right at 10:00 Wednesday morning.  After turning left out of the CA on NC 210, we followed it back to US 17. 17 brought us all the way down here to Myrtle Beach, SC and the Apache Family CG and Pier  It was 12:15 when we pulled up on front of the office, so it took us an hour and 15 minutes to travel the 105 miles down here.

This is a much larger CG than we usually stay at, but being that Jim called a long time ago for reservations, we have a great site right next to the beach. There is a narrow road and a small sand dune, but you can see right over the dune from Nora to watch the ocean do its thing. ;-)

The only photo that Jim has taken so far is this one of yesterday's sunrise and the pier.

I'm sure he'll be taking a few more and I'll be sure to post them when he does.

We'll be leaving here tomorrow morning, (Saturday), and will continue heading towards Florida. We're still on schedule to get there on the 1st of November.

Did you know that South Carolina entered the Union on May 23, 1788 and became the 8th state?


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Heading South

North Topsail Beach, NC.

55 deg. clear, NE wind @ 12 mph. gusting to 17 mph.

Forecast =  Sunny. High 69F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

After a great visit with Joe and his family, we left Virginia Beach Sunday morning at about 10:10.  I don't know just why, but leaving was very hard for Linda this time. There were quite a few tears shed. :-(

From Virginia Beach, we took I-264 back West to I-64, took 64 around to the South side of Norfolk where we turned South on US 17. 17 then brought us down into North Carolina and to Williamston, where we pulled into Pierce's Mobile Home and RV Park. It was 12:35 when we arrived, so it took us right at 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel the 124 miles down there.

Pierce's is a nice quiet park that we've stayed at many times before, and most importantly, they have full hook-ups so that Jim could dump Nora's black and grey water tanks that were very full after our 9 day stay in Joe's driveway!!

About 9:45 yesterday morning we left Pierce's and continued South on US 17. after following 17 down through New Bern and Jacksonville, NC we turned off on NC 210 in Dixon, NC and followed 210 over to the Coast and to North Topsail Beach and the Surf City Family CG. It was 12:15 when we pulled up in front of the office so it took us right at 2 and a half hours to travel the 129 miles down here.

The Surf City CG is another park we've stayed at quite a few times before. There's absolutely nothing fancy about the park, but the owners are very friendly, it's quiet and there's a beautiful view of the ocean from the top of the sand dune.

Today, Jim and Linda are thinking about going out to dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area. Then, tomorrow we'll leave here and head down to Myrtle beach, SC for a 3 day stay in that area.

Did you know that on this date in 1955 - The microwave oven, for home use, was introduced by The Tappan Company?


Friday, October 21, 2016

Visiting With Family, Dr. Appointment and Getting Ready

Virginia Beach, VA.

65 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy. High around 80F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

When we arrived here a week ago, both of Joe and Nancy's girls were home from college, (Virginia Tech), for the weekend. It sure was good to see them again, they've both matured so much in the last few years.

That's Amber on the left and Sami on the right.

They had to head back to school Sunday afternoon, but Sami is coming back here today, for a doctor's appointment and spend most of the weekend with family. 

Haven't done a whole lot since we've been here. Mostly visiting and just enjoying the nice weather we've had. The time is really flying by though and Sunday we'll be leaving here to start the final leg of our travels back to Florida. It's still looking like we should be getting down there right around the 1st of November. 
Oh, Jim, Linda, Joe and Nancy went out to eat Tuesday evening at a little restaurant out on the coast, called the Back Deck. They said that it was kind of neat eating out on the deck, overlooking the water, and the food was real good too. :-)  
Linda made some phone calls the other day and now Jim has an appointment for his PET Scan on the 3rd and a doctor's appointment, (to get the results of the scan) on the 4th. Needless to say, he's a little worried about getting the scan and finding out the results. :-( 
I imagine that today and tomorrow, Jim and Linda will be getting Big RED and Nora ready to travel. Jim has already checked and filled the air in their tires and Linda has started putting things away inside. 
Did you know that on this date in  1797 - "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, was launched in Boston's harbor?


Saturday, October 15, 2016

NC To VA and All Set Up At Joe And Nancy's

Virginia Beach, VA.

56 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy. High 67F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

We left Roanoke Rapids yesterday morning around 10:20 and headed North on I-95. After crossing into Virginia we turned East on US 58 at Emporia and followed it all the way to I-64 which circles around the South and East sides of Norfolk. Once on the East side of Norfolk, we turned East on I-264 which brought us to Virginia Beach and Joe and Nancy's house.

It was about 12:45 when we pulled up in front of the house, so it took us about 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel the  123 miles over here.

In just a few minutes, Jim had Nora backed into the driveway and soon had her unhooked from the back of Big RED and leveled. Then it was just a matter of hooking up the electric, (20 amps) and the water.

We'll be staying here for a total of 9 days and then we'll start heading South towards Florida with a stop at a CG in Myrtle Beach, (if hurricane Mathew didn't wash it away). :-)

Did you know that the Great Dismal Swamp is in Virginia near the North Carolina border?


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Moncure, NC to Roanoke Rapids, NC

Roanoke Rapids, NC

50 deg. foggy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy skies. High around 75F. Winds light and variable.

Yesterday morning, (Wednesday), we left Goodwin's RV Park at about 10:25 in the morning. We took our time because we had decided that we'd only go as far as Roanoke Rapids and stay at a CG there for a couple days and see what's happening with the power outages in Virginia Beach.

From Moncure, we took US 1 up to Raleigh where we turned off on I-40. 40 took us around to the East side of the city where we turned East on US 264 and followed it to US 64 which brought us to I-95 at Rocky Mount. Following 95 North then brought us up here to Roanoke Rapids and The RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads .  Jim had called the CG to make sure they had a spot for us, so when we pulled in at 12:25, they had a site waiting for us.

So, it took us almost exactly 2 hours to travel the 117 miles over here. A nice short day. ;-)

We had never been to this park before but some good friends of Jim and Linda's (Gin and Syl),  had stayed here many times and really liked it.

Speaking of Gin and Syl, you can imagine our surprise when they pulled up along side of Big RED while Jim was checking in at the office!!! And, another surprise was that our site ended up being right next to their site!!!! What luck!!!!

We pulled into our site and Jim and Linda got Nora set up. Then they headed next door to visit with Gin and Syl for awhile.  The visit ended all too soon as they had to leave because Gin's mother was ill and they had to head over there to help out.  In fact they will probably be staying there for a few days, so it's doubtful that we'll be seeing them again before we leave here. :-(

It sure was nice to see them again and we're hopeful that we'll meet up again sometime in our travels.

Today, Jim is planning on calling a few parks over in Virginia Beach to see if they have electricity and have a site for us. If they do, we'll be leaving here tomorrow and heading over there. I hope they do. Linda is getting real anxious to see Joe and his family.

Did you know that the word “hurricane” comes from Hurican, a name for the god of evil on some islands in the Caribbean?


Monday, October 10, 2016

We're OK and Thanks For Inquireing

Moncure, NC.

50 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Clear skies. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.  Brrrrrrr!!!!!

Last Friday, the rain started and it didn't quit until early Sunday morning. Saturday, it rained really hard all day and along with the rain, we had some pretty strong winds in the 30 to 40 mph range with gusts into the mid 50 mph range. How much did it rain, you ask? Well I really don't know cause Jim's rain gauge only goes up to 4 inches and it started running over, sometime during the day on Saturday. :-O   We kept electric power the whole time, except for a few blinks, but much of the area around us lost power, and in fact some are still without electricity.  

There's flooding everywhere from here to the coast and many cities are completely swamped and underwater. Many roads are closed, including I-95 and I-40 in the SE part of N. Carolina.

Wednesday, we're scheduled to leave here and head for Virginia Beach, but we talked to Linda's son, Joe, and they don't have any electricity, so we're going to head up to Roanoke Rapids and stay at an RV Park there for a few days. Then, we'll see where we go from there. Hopefully power will be restored in VA Beach and we can continue with our plans.

Jim and Linda want to thank all of you who commented, called or e-mailed them in the last few days and asked about our welfare. We're fine, and weathered the storm without any problems. It got a little scary a few time, but Nora did very well.

I don't know what we'll be doing after we go to Joe's.  Myrtle Beach, SC., (where we have reservations at a CG), was also hit really hard and as of now, we don't even know if the CG is in operation or not, or if we can even get to Myrtle Beach or not.

So, again, it's good that all of our plans are written in pencil and that Jim still has that big eraser!! ;-)

Did you know that the deadliest weather disaster in U.S. history was an unnamed hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 8, 1900, as a powerful Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of more than 130 mph (209 kph)?  It killed an estimated 8,000 people.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

Moncure, NC

62 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast today : Cloudy skies. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 68F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph.

Just a quick post to let y'all know that we're still in NC and it doesn't look like the hurricane will have much effect this far North and inland. Jim and Linda did take Big RED to Walgreen's yesterday to pick up a couple prescriptions and buy a few items.

Needless to say, it doesn't look too good for our house down in Florida though. Talked to Laura and she is going to be working at the hospital for the next 3 days. She will stay there the whole time and not return home until the hurricane has passed. She and Lindsey checked our house and everything looked good, so all that can be done has been done and we'll just have to hope for the best.

Hope all of you are taking precautions if you're in the effected area.

I'll be posting as soon as the storm is over and I have some info to pass on to you.

Did you know that a hurricane can reach 40,000 to 50,000 feet up into the sky?


Friday, September 30, 2016

Visiting Friends and Travel To Moncure, NC

Moncure, NC

71 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms possible. High 79F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.

When I last posted, we were at the Creekwood Farm CG near Waynesville, NC. We left there about 10:40, after a 1 nights stay and continued Southeast on I-40.  Since we had already gone over the Smoky Mountains the day before, the driving became easier the farther we went. When we got to Asheville, we turned South and then East on I-26 to Columbus, NC where it again turned South and we continued East on US 74. 74 took us to Forest City, NC where we turned off on local roads and headed to Roland and Louise's house just outside of the city.

It was about 12:25 when we pulled into their driveway, so it took us just about an hour and 45 minutes to travel the 90 miles over there.

The next 4 days were spent visiting, eating, visiting, going to get fuel for Big RED, visiting, eating and just enjoying each others company. :-)

It was sure good to see Roland and Louise again and we're hoping we can see them some more, down in Florida this winter.

On Wednesday, the 28th, after hugs and handshakes, we left Roland and Louise's in Forest City at about 9:50 and headed North on US 64. 64 took us up to I-40 where we turned East and followed it over to Greensboro, NC where we turned off on I-73 and then I-85 until we came to US 421 where we turned SE. 421 brought us down to Siler City where we turned East on US 64 and followed it over to Pittsboro where we turned off on local roads which brought us here to Goodwin's RV Park near Moncure, NC.

Goodwin's is a small park and they now only rent sites to RVers who have reservations, so you can't just arrive and expect to get a site. They've been completely filled up every time we've been here.

Anyway, it was about 1:30 when we arrived, so it took us right at 3 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 211 miles over here.

Marc Goodwin, (the owner of the park), helped Jim get backed into the site, (which required a bit of maneuvering), and even helped Jim level Nora, (side to side), with boards that he had available. He's a really nice guy and it's one of the main reasons we continue to come back to this park. There is another park close to here that we've used, but it's nothing more than a gravel parking lot with hook-ups. Here, we have nice shady sites and quite a bit of space between most of them.

We like this park much better even though it is a little more expensive. ;-)

We'll be staying here for 2 weeks. Most days we'll be here during the daytime and will go to visit Mike and his family in the evenings. Of course on the weekends, we'll see more of them. :-)

Did you know that on this date in 1939 - "Captain Midnight" was heard for the first time on the Mutual Radio Network?


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jim's 75th, Leaving Rantoul and The First 3 Days Of Travel

Waynesville, NC

55 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 83F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday, September the 17th, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed to the Longhorn Steakhouse down in Champaign. You see, Sunday the 18th, was Jim's 75th birthday, but neither Jim nor Linda wanted to go on Sunday when it would be much more crowded at the restaurant. They both had very good steak dinners and really enjoyed themselves.

Then, on Sunday, Louise and Paul, (the campground hosts), had Jim and Linda over for a Pork chop farewell dinner, ( Louise didn't realize the it was Jim's birthday). The meal was great and the conversation even better. :-)

By Wednesday morning, Jim and Linda had everything packed up and ready to go, so after hugs and handshakes, we left Prairie Pines CG and headed East towards Indianapolis.

After following I-74 into Indiana, we took I-465 around to the South side of the city where we pulled into the Lake Haven RV Park. It took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to make the  135 mile trip over there. After arriving, Jim took a little nap and then he and Linda headed over to Linda's cousin's house for a visit.

It had been a year since they had visited with Mike and his wife, Sandy. Both Linda and Jim really enjoyed seeing them and hopefully they'll see them again next year.

Thursday, we left Indy and took I-465 the rest of the way around the South sided of the city where we picked up I-74, heading SE towards Cincinnati. Just before the city, we turned off on I-275 and followed it around to the South side of Cincinnati where we turned South on I-75. We then took 75 all the way down to Berea , KY where we pulled into the Walnut Meadow RV Park.

It was a long day for us, but Jim did well and by the end, we had traveled  235 miles in about 4 hours and 5 minutes.

The reason for coming to Berea was to stop and see Linda's other cousin, Rick and to meet his new friend Barb. Rick went through a nasty divorce a few years ago, and everyone is really happy that he found someone he really seems to enjoy being with.

Anyway, Jim, Linda, Rick and Barb went to the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant where they all enjoyed the good food and the great conversations. Then, after the meal, Rick took everyone back to his apartment where he surprised Jim with a belated Birthday cake and ice cream for desert!!!

Afterwords, they all sat around visiting and catching up on what has been happening the last few years since they last saw each other. It was good seeing Rick again and he seems much happier now that he has met Barb, who seems like a very nice lady.

Yesterday morning, we left Berea and continued South on I-75, down to Knoxville. Just North of Knoxville, we turned East on I-640. We followed it around to the East side of the city where we picked up I-40. 40 then took us first East and then South down here to Waynesville, NC where we turned off on US 276 and followed it a few miles here to the Creekwood Farms RV Park.It was about 12:55 by the time we arrived and so we had traveled another 223 miles in about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Another long day for us. :-(

Today the plan is to head down to Forest City, NC to visit Jim and Linda's very good friends, Roland and Louise. Long time followers of this blog will know that Roland and Louise have been very good friends for many years and they always enjoy being together and catching up on what has happened since their last meeting.

We'll be staying at their place, out in the country, for 4 nights before heading to the Raleigh area to see Jim's son  Mike and his family. 

Did you know that on this date in  1977 - "The Love Boat" debuted on ABC-TV?


Friday, September 16, 2016

Dave And Dee Dee Visit and Jeff And Heather Arrive From Portland OR

Rantoul, IL

64 deg. mostly cloudy, E wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast today = Thunderstorms - some may contain locally heavy rain, especially during the morning hours. High 81F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.

Dave arrived last Thursday but Dee Dee wasn't able to come until Friday afternoon. It sure was good to see them again. When he arrived, it was hot and muggy and the mosquitoes were just horrible. Jim helped him with some of the set-up of his travel trailer and then came back here into Nora's air conditioning.

Friday morning, Dave had an appointment for some oral surgery down in Champaign so Jim drove him down there in Big RED cause the doctors didn't want Dave driving after the procedure. They were back before noon and soon after noon, Dee Dee arrived.

Dee Dee and Dave

Dave brought some firewood, so one night while they were here they had a cook-out where they roasted brats and hot dogs over the fire. Another evening they all went to the Blue Star Restaurant over in Fisher, IL. During the days, they got together to visit.

Monday, Dave and Dee Dee had to leave, but before Dave left, Jeff and Heather came, so he got to meet them.  It sure was good to see Dave and Dee Dee again and Jim and Linda are hoping that we can meet up with them again this winter down in Florida.

 Jeff and Heather

Jeff and Heather rented a car and drove down here from Jeff's Mother's house. Jeff said that the drive  took them about an hour and a half.

After talking for awhile, everyone got into Big RED and they headed down to Urbana where they went to a grocery Co-OP store that Jeff and Heather knew about. From what I understand, Jeff and Heather belong to the same Co-Op group out in Oregon.

After returning and talking some more, a couple pizzas were ordered from Monical's Pizza.

 Jim and Jeff
After eating almost all of the pizza, everyone enjoyed more conversation and catching up on what's been happening since we last saw them 4 years ago. 

Jeff and Heather stayed until about 8:45 when they left for the hour and a half trip back up to Jeff's mother's house where they would spend the night before getting on a flight back to Portland, OR,  Tuesday. 

It was a short but great visit with Jeff and Heather. It was really good to see them again and we're hoping to see them again in the near future.

Jim and Linda are now starting to do things that have to be done before we leave here on the 21st of this month. That's less than a week away and as usual, they have a pretty long list of things they want to do.

 Did you know that on this date in 1620 - The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England. The ship arrived at Provincetown, MA, on November 21st and then at Plymouth, MA, on December 26th? There were 102 passengers onboard.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Nice Labor Day Weekend and Gatting Ready For Company

Rantoul, IL.

74 deg. clear, SW wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. High 93F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Tonight, partly cloudy this evening. Scattered thunderstorms developing after midnight. Low around 75F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

As many of you may know, Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays because after it, the kids are back in school, many RVers put their RVs in storage for the winter and most people have taken their vacations and settled down somewhere for the winter. That means fewer cars and RVs on the road and less crowded campgrounds for the most part. :-)

Also, the weather will start cooling down and if you plan your travels right, there's a very good chance that you'll have some beautiful fall travel weather.

The CG here at Rantoul wasn't completely full for the Holiday this year, but most of the good sites were taken. Also, it seemed like there weren't as many kids here this year. Either that, or they just weren't as noisy as in years past. Can't really say that about the dogs that the RVers brought along though. They were very annoying at times. :-(

Louise and Paul, (the CG hosts), had a cookout Saturday afternoon. They furnished the brats, baked beans and potato salad and everyone else brought food to share. By the time everyone brought something, (about 30 people came to the cookout), there were 2 picnic tables full of food. If anyone went away hungry, it was their own fault!! ;-)   

Jim and Linda went grocery shopping yesterday. There weren't too many people shopping the day after Labor Day, so it wasn't crowded at all. Again, they bought too many groceries and had trouble getting everything into the refrigerator and cabinets.

Tomorrow, Dave, (I don't know if Dee Dee will be coming tomorrow or not), will be coming here to Prairie Pines. He'll probably be getting here somewhere around noon. I hope the weather co-operates and the rain holds off so he can get his trailer set up without getting soaked.

Friday morning, Dave has a dental appointment to get a broken tooth taken care of. Jim will be taking him to his appointment because Dee Dee will be busy and he needs someone to drive him back here as he will receive a sedative for the procedure.

The weather for the Labor Day weekend was really nice, but is has been quite hot the last few days. This weekend, it's supposed to cool off again though, and we should have decent weather for the last half of the weekend and into the first part of next week.

Today and tomorrow morning, Jim and Linda will be getting ready for Dave and Dee Dee's arrival and for Jeff and Heather's arrival on Monday. I'm getting all excited about all that company coming and can hardly wait to see them!!!! :-)

Did you  know that on this date in 1930 - The cartoon "Blondie" made its first appearance in the comic strips?



Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Been Awhile Again

Rantoul, IL.

82 deg. clear, NE wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast tonight = Some clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 69F. Winds light and variable.

Tomorrow = Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 87F. Winds light and variable.

It's been awhile again and I hope I can remember what's all happened since I last posted.

Let's see now!!! On the 19th, Linda had appointment with her primary care doctor. All went well and except for still having to get a blood test, (scheduled for this Friday), she was given a good report.

On the 21st, Jeff, (Jim's son from Portand, OR.) called to say that he and Heather would be flying to Illinois for a short visit and that he and Heather would like to come here to the CG on the 12th of September to visit!!!! It's been about 4 years since we've seen them, so it'll be really great to see them, even if it is for only part of 1 day!!!!

On the 23rd, Jim had an appointment at Dr. Gandhi's office to get a scan of his optic nerves preformed. Since then he has heard from the Dr.'s office that all is well, and his glaucoma seems to be under control.

On the 25th, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed up to Peotone, IL to see Denny and Bev, (part of the "Illinois Bunch"). They have decided to sell their Winnebago Brave Motorhome because of health problems that will not allow them to travel anymore. :-(  That's too bad, we've always enjoyed their visits here to the CG when we were here. They really enjoyed seeing them again and are looking forward to seeing them again in years to come.

The weather around here hasn't been too great!! :-( We've had temperatures in the upper 80's to low 90's with high humidity. When it wasn't too hot to sit outside, the bugs would drive you inside, either that or it was raining, with lots of thunder and lightning. In fact it's rained so much that we're close to setting a rainfall record for the month of August in Illinois.

The weather guessers are saying that the weather should improve for the upcoming Labor Day weekend though. As of Thursday they're forecasting cooler temps and lower humidity and are guessing that it will stay pretty nice throughout the holiday.  

I hope so!!!!

That pretty much brings us up-to-date. Dave and Dee Dee, (another part of the "Illinois Bunch" are planning on coming here to the CG on or about the 8th of September. That should be fun.

Jim has been working on a trip plan for when we leave here and head, first out East and then down to Florida. It now looks like we'll be leaving here on the 21st of September, getting to Mike's, (near Raleigh), on the 28th, Joe's (in Virginia Beach), on the 13th of October, Myrtle Beach on the 26th and arriving back at the house on or about the 1st of November.

As always, this is all written in pencil and yes, Jim still has the big eraser!! ;-)

Did you know that the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union? The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Catching Up Again

Rantoul, IL.

70 deg. fog, no wind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 8, 2016

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

Rantoul, IL.

63 deg. clear, no wind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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

Baraboo, WI.

68 deg. Partly cloudy, no wind.

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

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

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

Now, what to do??????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, July 31, 2016

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

Utica, IL.

79 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, July 23, 2016

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

Rantoul, IL

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

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

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

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

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

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

After returning to Nora, they both just stayed inside.

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

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


Friday, July 15, 2016

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

Rantoul, IL.

67 deg. Clear, no wind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, July 2, 2016

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

Rantoul, IL.

58 deg. overcast, no wind.

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

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

Did I mention that they were on sale?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, June 24, 2016

Yes, We Did Make It To Rantoul

Rantoul, IL.

65 deg. clear, N. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High 87F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

Sorry it took so long for me to write this post, but it's been quite busy since the last time I've posted.

We left the Hilltop CG in Goreville Monday morning after a nice restful day on Sunday. It was about 8:30 when we pulled out of our site and headed North on I-57. 57 took us all the way up here to Rantoul where we turned off on US 136. 136 took us into town and to Rt. 45/Century Blvd. where we turned South. If you keep heading South on Century Blvd instead of following US 45 as it turns West, Century will take you to within a block of the Prairie Pines CG. All you have to do is turn East on the S. Perimeter Rd at the stop sign and take it 1 block to the CG. (You'll be able to see the CG as you drive South on Century.)

It was right at 12:15 when we pulled up in front of the office, so we traveled the  220 miles up here in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Our site is right across from the office this year. I'm still trying to decide if I like as well as the site we've had previously. It has shade at many times of the day, but in the evening, (around dinner time), there's no shade at all on our awning side, and the sun is low enough that the awing doesn't help either. Now, later in the evening, the sun goes behind some trees to the west and shades our site nicely.

I guess it's like anything else, it'll just takes some time to get used to the new site.

Jim got Nora partially set up when we arrived Monday and then Monday night, we had a strong storm go through the Rantoul area. Just a few blocks North of here, there was quite a bit of damage at the airport and there were many trees and branches blown down in the area. We lucked out here at the CG though, only small branches and a few things blown around. There was one MH on the East side of the CG that lost it's awning though. As for us, the big thing was that Nora developed a leak where the front cap connects to the roof and water leaked into the cabinets over the bed and then down onto the bed!!! :-(

Needless to say, Jim and Linda spent much of the night, soaking up water and trying to prevent the bed from getting too wet.

Tuesday, Jim went over to ACE Hardware and bought some silicone sealer for the roof/cap joint. Then In the afternoon, Paul's son, David, (who was visiting Paul and Louise and lives in California), came over with a tall ladder and ran sealant all along the joint, while looking for any small cracks or places of possible leaks along the seam. David evidently did a good job because Tuesday night we had another heavy downpour, which lasted most of the night, and there were no leaks. Jim didn't get much sleep though because he was constantly checking inside the overhead cabinets for water.

Thanks so much, David!!!! Jim just doesn't feel safe getting up on a ladder at this time and he really appreciated the help.

Wednesday, Jim was very tired and really worn out, so he rested and napped most of the day.

By yesterday morning, (Thursday), he was feeling much better though and even felt good enough to re-organize some of the "basement" compartment. Then, for dinner, he and Linda took Big RED and headed over to Fisher, IL and to the Blue Start Restaurant where they both had very nice meals.

A Quote to Ponder ;  “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”
John E. Southard


Sunday, June 19, 2016

AL to TN to KY to IL and A Long, Long Day!!

Goreville, IL.

77 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

We left the Deer Run Campground near Troy, AL earlier than usual (8:30 am), on Friday morning. The reason being that Linda was up early and the weather forecast for later in the day was for thunderstorms with high winds and heavy rain.

From Troy, we continued NW on US 231 up to Montgomery, where we first  got on Westbound I-85 and then turned North on I-65. 65 took us up through Birmingham where the road is still very rough, but at least the construction that we encountered on our last trip through Birmingham was finished. Continuing North on I-65 took us up to Cullman, AL and the Cullman RV Park.

The Cullman RV Park is off the beaten path, but we've been there many times in the past and knew that they had some nice shady, level pull-through sites where we could stay for 1 night.

It was right at 12:00 when we pulled into the park so we had traveled 192 miles in about 3 1/2 hours.

Oh, and the weather that was forecasted? Well, it rained hard in Cullman after we arrived, but there were severe storms in Birmingham where there were trees down and some road flooding.

Yesterday was an eventful day. We left Cullman about 9:00 and continued North on I-65 to Nashville. On the North side of Nashville, just before we were to turn off on I-24, the traffic came to a screeching halt!!! The problem was that they had 2 of the 3 lanes of I-65 closed down for construction and everyone was trying to funnel down to the one lane. :-(

I think it took us the better part of 1/2 hour to get through that mess!!! :-(

Once on I-24, heading NW, traffic once again moved along nicely.

Following 24 took us up to Clarksville where we had planned to stay at the Clarksville RV Park. But, guess what? The park was full!!!!!

Now what to do? We had already traveled about 190 miles and those of you that are familiar with the area, know that there are not any other decent campgrounds in the area!!! We also learned that evidently, the Father's Day weekend is a popular weekend to go camping, it was a good chance that all state parks and COE parks would be full-up also!!!

Well, Jim decided that he would call our next planned stop, which was about another 2 hours farther away and see if they had sites available. They did not answer the phone, but Jim left a message on their machine and we took off continuing NW on I-24.

After awhile, the CG called back and said that they had sites available and they would be sure to save one for us.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , here we are in Goreville, IL. at the Hilltop CG. It was 3:15 by the time we arrived and we had traveled  335 miles in 6  hours and 15 minutes!!!!

A long, long, long day for us!! In fact I can't remember the last time we traveled that many miles in a day!!!!

How did Jim hold up?? Well he was really beat by the time we arrived, but he took his time getting Nora set up and then took a nice long nap. By evening, he was feeling better and it seemed like he was pretty well rested.

We'll be here for  2 nights and then tomorrow, we'll head for Rantoul.  We'll get there a couple days earlier than planned, but I'm sure Louise, (The CG host), will have a site for us. 

Did you know that Davy Crockett was not born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, as the song says? He was born on the banks of Limestone Creek near Greeneville, where a replica of the Crockett's log cabin stands today.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chiefland FL. To Thomsaville GA. to Troy, AL.

Troy, AL.

77 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Partly cloudy with late night showers or thunderstorms. Low 71F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.

Forecast tomorrow = Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 94F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

We left the Chiefland RV Park about 9:25 and headed Northwest on US 19. After traveling through places like Fannng Springs, Old Town, Perry and Capps, 19 turned North. It then crossed I-10 and the Georgia State Line and took us up to Thomasville, GA. and the City of Roses RV Park, which is another Passport America park.

It was 11:55 when we pulled up along side of the office, so we traveled the  130 miles up here in about 2 and 1/2 hours.

The City of Roses RV Park is an old park, but lately there have been some changes made. The same man is running the park but some of the permanent RVs that were there are gone. The grass was freshly cut and I think the place has been "cleaned up" a lot. There's still quite a few long term RVs around the outside of the park, but they seem like a friendly bunch of folks if you just say "Hi" to them and start up a short conversation.

We've been coming here for years and have never had a problem. And for $15 a night it's quite a deal for a full hook-up site.

This morning, about 9:25 ET, we left Thomasville and headed West on US 84. 84 took us to Cario and to Bainbridge where we drove into a reall "gully washer" which caused us to slow down to about 30 mph because of such poor visibility. After Bainbridge the weather cleared somewhat and we just had sprinkles the rest of the way to Dothan, AL. After taking 84 around the NE side of Dothan, we turned NW on US 231 and followed it up here to Troy, AL and the Deer Run RV Park.

It was 12:40 ET when we arrived, so we traveled  166 miles in about 3 hours and 15 minutes.

We crossed into the Central Time Zone as we crossed into Alabama, so it was actually 11:40 when we arrived here near Troy, AL.

We'll be staying here at Deer Run for 2 nights so that Jim can recoup a little. Besides that, they're forecasting a lot of rain for this area tomorrow.

Speaking of Jim. He's been able to do everything that needs to be done in the mornings and afternoons. He does get quite tired though and sometimes has to quit what he's doing and sit down for awhile. Then, he goes back at whatever he was doing and finishes it up.Not the way he likes to do things, but it's working. He also seems to get tired driving, so we probably don't want to travel more than 150 to 170 miles or so a day.

If everything goes according to plan, we should be getting up to Rantoul during the first half of next week. I should be able to be more precise in a couple days.

Did you know that Georgia was named for King George II of England?


Monday, June 13, 2016

And, We're Off!!!!

Chiefland, FL.

88 deg. partly cloudy, N. breeze @ 3 mph.

Forecast Tuesday = Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High 92F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Yep!!! We're finally back on the road!!! ;-)  We pulled out of the Paradise Lakes CG about 9:40 and after following some local roads headed North on US 17, up to Barberville, where we turned West on Rt. 40. We followed 40 over to near Ocala and then took Rt. 326 to the North and West to avoid the city traffic. 326 took us over to US 27 where we turned NW and followed it over here to Chiefland.

It was right at 12:30 so we were on the road for 2 hours and 50 minutes and had traveled 131 miles when we pulled into the Chiefland RV Park which is just a little North of the junction of US 27A and US 19.  It's a Passport America Park, so we're staying here for 1/2 price. It's nothing fancy but for $15 a night, what can you expect?

Jim was really tired by the time he had Nora hooked up to the back of Big RED this morning, but the drive over here was un-eventfull so the trip over here wasn't too bad. When we arrived here, (after registering), we pulled into our site, which was level enough. Jim hooked up the electric cable, ran the tongue jack down, ran the 4 stabilizing jacks down with his DeWalt drill, came inside, put out the slide, and sat down and had a cold one. ;-)

He had dumped the black and gray water tanks back at Paradise Lakes and filled the fresh water tank before we left, so he didn't need to hook up sewer hoses or the water hose.

Jim was tired by the time he had finished, but he was able to do what needed to be done. We probably won't be setting any speed records getting up to Rantoul though. :-)

Oh, by the way!!! I almost forgot to tell you, Jim and Linda had a great time over at Mar and Inez's house Sunday evening, celebrating Laura's Birthday!!! They had tacos and birthday cake with ice cream. And of course, everybody sang "Happy Birthday" to Laura!!! :-)  

Happy Birthday Laura!!!! And we hope you have many, many, more!!!!!

Did you know that on this date in 1920 - The U.S. Post Office Department ruled that children may not be sent by parcel post?


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Back At The Campground Again

DeBary, FL.

94 deg. humidity 59% NW wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast tonight = A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. A few clouds. Low around 70F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

Forecast tomorrow = Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High near 95F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

We're back out at the campground again, only this time it isn't just for a weekend. This time we're getting ready to hit the road and head for Illinois!!!!!

This last week has been very busy. Tuesday, Linda had an appointment with Dr. Saferali and everything went very well. In fact, since Jim was along, there were also talks about Jim's health and what the doctor wanted him to do.

She definitely wants Jim to get a CT Scan while we're up in Illinois but really doesn't expect anything to show up. She just wants to be sure and really, it's probably the best for Jim.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ever since then, Jim and Linda have been gathering things up, bringing them out here to Nora and getting it all packed away in it's proper place. This has taken awhile since the temperatures every day have been in the mid to upper 90's and the humidity had been very high to boot!! :-(

But, they've made it and today they closed down the house for the summer. We could actually leave here tomorrow, but tomorrow is Laura's birthday and Jim and Linda are invited to a Taco dinner at Marv and Inez's house in the evening. And, because usually we're not here to celebrate Laura's birthday both Linda and Jim decided that the originally proposed departure date of the 13th would work out just fine.

So, that's the plan. Unless something unforeseen happens, we'll leave here Monday morning and start working our way North. The weather reports along the way don't sound very good and we may run into a lot of rain on the way. Hopefully not, cause Jim doesn't really like to drive in heavy rain, and it will just put more stress on our travels, not to mention setting up in the evenings and getting going in the mornings in the rain.

We're not in a big hurry though, so if the weather is too nasty, we'll just stay at whatever CG we're in for another day. :-)

Did you know that close to two billion Birthday Cards are sent each year in the U.S. alone, accounting for nearly 58 percent of all cards sent?


Friday, June 3, 2016

Catching Up On The Last Week

DeBary, FL.

85 deg. 70% humidity, NW wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast tonight = Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 71F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

Forecast tomorrow =  Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 94F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

It's been almost another week since I've last posted and I thought I'd better catch up on what's been happening.  We stayed out at the Campground until Tuesday. Jim got a few things done on the trailer but not near as much as he had hoped for. So, today he went back out there at about 7:00 AM this morning and got most of the items done. :-)  Even going out that early, it was really hot and humid by the time he came back here (about 9:30), and he was really exhausted.

This weekend, it looks like we're going to have a "tropical depression/storm", coming across the state, from the Gulf of Mexico. They're forecasting heavy rain beginning Sunday and lasting all the way through Tuesday, bringing with it 4 or 5 inches of rain and possibly very windy conditions.

Not looking forward to a storm, but there's not much we can do about it.

If the weather isn't too bad the last half of next week, we're still thinking that we may be able to leave here by Monday, the 13th.  I hope so, I'm really tired of sitting around here, waiting to get back on the road again.

Did you know that June is "National Camping Month?"


Friday, May 27, 2016

Guess Where We Are? and Please Take A Few Moments

Deltona, FL.

77 deg. partly cloudy, no wind

Forecast tonight = Partly cloudy. Low 68F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.

Guess where we are?????

Not a whole lot has happened since I last posted, that is until this past Wednesday when Jim asked Linda what she thought about going camping the upcoming holiday weekend? Linda asked "What do you mean by going camping?" and Jim said that he was thinking about heading over to Paradise Lake CG where Nora is parked and just camp there. He said that he figured that while we were there, they could check out all of the systems real well and also enjoy, "getting out of the house for a few days". :-)

So, they started gathering "stuff" up and packing up the truck. By This morning, they had everything packed up for a 3 to 4 night stay, so they loaded the last of the "stuff" (mostly refrigerator "stuff") into the back seat and we headed over here to Paradise Lakes.

 We're in site #118.

 There's nothing fancy about this park, but they do have full hook-up sites.

  Probably over half the the sites are seasonal and most of those folks have left for parts of the U.S. or Canada that have cooler temperatures. They'll be back again in the fall.

It sure feels good to get away from the house for awhile. Jim has already done a few small jobs on Nora. He doesn't have much stamina though and gets tired easily and has to sit down and rest for awhile before finishing the job or starting something else.

Oh! One thing that he got accomplished was to cook something on his grill. (Some Brats). Would you believe that it was sometime last fall since he had enough energy to cook out?

As of now, it sure looks like we'll be leaving Florida on or about the 13th of June. Jim can get projects done. He just has to take it easy and rest a lot, making the project take a lot longer than it usually does, and that "bugs" Jim a lot!!!!

A Quote to Ponder :  “Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Please take a few minutes this weekend to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free.