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Saturday, May 30, 2020

What is up with new Blogger Format???

Holy smokes, Batman!  I gave the new format a try this morning and it doesn't work.  Couldn't open a new post window and the feed back box wouldn't open either.  I guess the brain trust that came up with this "better" Blogger forgot to make it even work.

Typical new stuff doesn't work even close to the tried and proven old system.  Again.

Oh well, an update about how we've been doing lately.  As I posted before, we were care taking my 98 year old father in our stix and brix home for almost two years.  Sadly, he passed away just before Christmas, peacefully, which we're thankful for.  Marti and I were with him right at the end in the ER where he was being checked for heart pain.  We talked and joked for almost two hours, then he closed his eyes and was gone.  I'm grateful we were with him and he didn't pass alone.

One of my favorite pictures of Dad a couple of years ago, he always was a character and wasn't afraid to have fun.

Now we've dealt with estate issues and have finished getting his house cleaned out and sold, just one messy issue left with his remaining bank account.  Dad had updated his will back in 2016 and gave each one of my siblings a copy but we couldn't find the original, we don't know what he did with it after an exhaustive search.  The bank will not release his funds remaining in his bank account without an original will.  I'm dealing now with a lawyer going through probate.  It's complicated because he was  a NJ resident and the will was drawn up there, but since he stayed with me in SC the last years of his life, it is considered his residency here.  So we're dealing with two state courts to get it settled.  As if one isn't enough.  😵

The Journey sits in our storage lot.  I visit it every couple of weeks and either run the generator under load for a couple of hours or take it for a spin up and down the highway for a good run.  The Corona virus had really put a hold on our plans.  I was going to take the Journey up to the Winnebago factory in June for a replacement of our slides seals, they are leaking and then a cross country trip to CA in July for a family reunion with all our kids and grand kids.  That ain't happening now.

We really were looking forward to it because it's been years since our three kids were together and some of our 9 (!) grand kids have never met in person.  Our daughter, Heather and her two boys lives two miles from us here in SC, our son Corey lives in NJ with two girls and boy and son Ryan lives in CA with his four girls.  Ryan is in the Coast Guard and is stationed out there, since he has moved every 3-4 years it's been hard to get everyone together at one time, and we were tied down with my Dad.   Hopefully next year we'll be able to make it all work.

Marti and I have been busy up until the shutdown with volunteer work at our church and the USO.  We have been very glad for our subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime TV.  We've really been enjoying lots of British shows, some are funny, some have you on the edge of your seat.  Sad we don't have that quality of TV shows in the U.S.

We're well and comfortable and at time miss traveling, but this virus thing will pass.  Hope all is well wherever you may be.

Monday, July 29, 2019

180 Shopping Days Till Christmas! With Poor Quality Pix This Time (Don't Know What Happened)

Just a warning, July 25th was 180 days away from Christmas 2019.  What better way to spend that day than volunteering at my local USO.  Of course, if you don't know how to say "No" you can find
yourself in the strangest places doing the most unusual things.

Somehow I found myself resurrecting "Santa Paul", ie: Santa interrupting his summer vacation to visit a nearby military training base riding on a fire truck that was playing Christmas tunes.  We stopped all over the base, everywhere we saw groups of service members and brought some summertime Christmas cheer into their day by handing out candy canes and free energy soft drink hats.

Everybody wanted their picture taken with Santa.  They also took a lot of selfies with the old guy.  I think they wanted to prove to their families and friends that Santa really did visit them in the middle of a hot summer day in South Carolina, and it wasn't a mirage they saw due to being out in the sun too long.

All tolled, we gave out over 140 hats and numerous candy canes to service members in the Army, Navy and Marines.  It was great fun and just another way the USO supports our military members.

Now, Santa is back on his well earned summer vacation while those wonderful elves are keeping toy production going at the North Pole.  Me?  I'm wondering what the ladies that run the USO have in store for me next!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to make a comment.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Shakedown Trip

Since we came off the road fulltime and bought our little house in South Carolina, the Journey hasn't gone more than a few miles every month or so for a little exercise before returning to the storage lot where we keep it.  That changed when we fired it up for an extended 460 mile trip to Disney World with our daughter and grandsons Andrew and Owen.  Thankfully my brother Jon came down from NJ to stay with my Dad (who now lives with us) while we were away.

Before we left, I spent several days going over the Journey with a fine toothed comb, I serviced the generator myself but had to take it in to the nearby Freightliner dealer for the engine and chassis service.  I know how to do all that myself but I don't have the ability to deal with 20 quarts of used engine oil anymore, so I had to pay to get it done.  😟

Also my front tires needed replacing, the Michelin XRV tires, despite only being five years old had serious cracking on the sidewalls.  Not wanting to experience a blowout I replaced them with two new Goodyear G670 tires.  The rears, even newer than the fronts, are starting to show slight cracking on the sidewalls, but were in good enough condition to last for this trip.  I'll be replacing them later in the summer, we have a wedding in September in Rhode Island and we're planning on taking the Journey there.  No more Michelin tires for me. 

We've mellowed a bit.  Marti and I were heading down a day early and decided to stop halfway at a Flying J for the night, Heather and the boys were driving down the next day.  It was quite a shakedown trip for us.  I-95 in South Carolina was in poor condition and cause us a couple of problems.  First to go was a hubcap.

A little later on we heard an occasional thump from the right front area of the Journey.  I was perplexed wondering what that could be.  When we stopped, I found out that the right front fog light had come loose and was dangling from the wire harness, from time to time as it swung it contacted the back of the bumper making that noise we heard.  Thankfully it didn't come loose and I unhooked it and took it inside.  Another item to repair later.

Thankfully, that was the last problem from the shakedown cruise, I thought.  But I found another issue after we got home from the trip. 

Our favorite sign.

And our home away from home away from home.  For the week.

As always, we had a wonderful time, despite the heat and most afternoon rain storms.  We actually waded ankle deep in water down Main Street one evening in a heavy storm.  It added to the fun as we laughed with every step. 

Andrew had special fun this trip, he is old enough now to drive the golf cart we rented.  A happy camper was he.

All too soon the week was over and we headed home.  This time I drove the whole 460 miles, getting back in the PDD groove.  It felt good and has me looking forward to our next trip to Rhode Island.

We cleaned out the Journey upon returning home and I scrubbed all the bugs off the nose.  Where did all those bugs come from?  As I washed the Journey I noticed a small stain of fluid under the entrance step.  Looking into it further, it seems I have a leak at the hydraulic pump area for the slides/jacks.  I didn't have time to investigate so it's on the repair list for this summer.  Hopefully it's just something loose and an easy fix for a change.  Fingers crossed.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.