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?