Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Long Week, been Very Busy.

Last Thursday, the 20th. we left with our friends Joe & Diane for an extended week-end of camping. We were headed for Rifle River in Sterling, MI. When we planned the trip back 3 months ago, we didn’t think the advancement of the fall colors would be so far south.

Taking a walk through the deserted campground.DSC_4347 

On our way north, I commented to Wilma that the colors were about 95% at our home,  but a 3 hour drive north there won’t be much color left. That’s just about how we found the colors to be at the campground. The only trees that still had any color leaves were the Birch and Oak trees. But they sure did look pretty and the cool temperatures got us in the mood for accepting the Fall weather. It was in the 50’s during the days and down to the lower 30’s at night.

Joe, Diane, Wilma and myself had the entire campground to ourselves until 9pm when Gary and Cheryl arrived. The next morning we did notice there was a couple in one of the rental trailers. We got to meet them Friday evening when they came over to our campfire and told us they were leaving Saturday morning and that we could take the remaining firewood they had. We appreciated the firewood and by the end of the Weekend all the firewood we had was burned.

Diane F., Joe F., Cheryl S., Wilma H., Gary S., and of course Kybee our Pug on the dash of our MH.DSC_4334

Wilma standing at the bank of the Rifle River. DSC_4359

Just on the other bank of the River is Whites Canoe and Campground. Just to Wilma’s right, in the picture above, is the canoe take out spot, not only for Whites, but for our resort. With membership reservations at our campground you are entitled to one canoe and a two hour paddle down the river, at no charge. Maybe some year we just might try it out. But from what we have been told this campground is full of the 20+ age groups that enjoy the canoeing, like we did at that age.

Along our walk through the campground, we came upon “THE HILL”. Just 3 or 4 years ago we went up that hill with little effort. BUT…..this time was a challenge for all of us.

Doesn’t look very high or steep, but it’s close to 25 feet high and steep! Plus the leaves were wet from rain the night before.DSC_4360

The video I shot below mostly shows everyone’s rear end. But I just couldn’t help myself as I thought it could have been one of those “magic moments” and wanted to get it on film. Don’t really know if it’s very funny to my readers, but for us we had a great laugh over our struggle to get up the hill. Smile

We did pretty good considering our age!

We all had a great time camping this weekend. From sitting around the campfire exchanging lies, to having a Chili cook off dinner we all shared.  More memories made.

We left Monday afternoon and headed back home, arriving home around 4pm. Unpacked the fridge and some essentials and then crashed in front of the TV. I believe we were in bed by 8pm.

Tuesday at 11am, I was to take Tina and Rebecca to the Children’s Hospital in Detroit. Rebecca needed to have some minor surgery. I drove so Tina could be with her on our return home later in the day. Surgery went terrific and we were back home by 5pm. We took the family out to dinner except for Tina and Rebecca who stayed back at home. For them we got a carry out.

Wednesday I worked on removing all the food items and liquids out of the Motorhome. Wow…we didn’t realize we had so many canned goods in the MH. Wilma said she won’t pack nearly half that amount when we go to Florida in February.  After everything was removed from the MH that we needed taken out, I proceeded to Winterize it. Blew out all the water lines and added anti freeze to the traps in the kitchen and bathroom. Next will be to remove the batteries, bringing them into the house and putting them on a trickle charge until next February.

Thursday and Friday we had rain off and on all day, so no work was done outside.

Saturday came and I changed the oil and oil filter in the MH. Afterward I started up the lawn mower and hopefully cut the grass for the last time this year. Within a half hour after finishing up mowing the lawn, the skies darkened and we got another shower. Perfect time for lunch. Wilma had already prepared Tuna sandwiches for us.

After lunch I taped plastic onto the whole house attic fan. I found that by doing this each fall it stops a considerable amount of heated air escaping through the movable louvers all winter. Saves on the heat bill.

No air can get through the plastic or the aluminum duct tape. Airtight seal is accomplished saving heating $$$.DSC_4437

That’s about it so….

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baking and RV Blind Repair

Today I re-strung one of two blinds in the Motorhome that needed repair. As I have re-strung both blinds in the bedroom of the MH, I didn’t for see any problems with the dining table blind. I removed the blind and took it to our kitchen table to work on it.

The first thing you notice is that the strings are connected to a pair of tension springs located in the top frame. Plus the strings that are threaded through the left side of the blind actually exit the blind on the lower right side.

Showing the “upper” section of the shade with the tension springs.100_1272

Taking a close look at the “lower” section of the shade showed severe wear. The old string actually cut through the plastic grommet and the frame. It was no wonder the old string broke!

Sorry for the blur, the cut from the string goes through toward the right100_1286

This cut of the grommet and frame had to some how be fixed or the new string would fall into the cut area and end up breaking. I figured a few layers of black plastic tape covered with some aluminum tape should do the trick.

Aluminum tape over 3 layers of black plastic tape100_1295

The aluminum tape has superb holding strength plus the string should slide over it fairly easily.

While I was working on the blind, Wilma was busy on the other side of the kitchen, baking.

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She baked 2 wonderful looking apple pies, a chocolate cake and cupcakes, and several loaves of Zucchini bread. The baking smells of everything she was baking almost kept me from concentrating on what I was doing!

Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes, Zucchini bread, and Apple Pies100_1298

The dining table blind is repaired and back in the Motorhome. Hopefully the strings in that blind will never need replacing again!

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Tomorrow we celebrate our eldest Grand daughter’s birthday. Haley turned 19 this year! Where is the time going?

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yard/RV/Computer Work and a drive in the Country

Thursday the 6th.

Note to self: Fix the date in the camera! The dates showing on the pictures on this blog are 3 days early.

We have another new follower of our Blog! Please welcome Levonne. She has two blogs that you might like to follow, one being A Camp Host's Meanderings: An RV Adventure, and the other Levonne's Pretty Pics. Welcome Levonne to my wanderings.

I have decided that I am just not talented enough to create a post every day. I would be happy with myself if I could just create a post once a week! Actually the real reason I started this blog was as a way of keeping track of events, and a way of going back in time to read about those events. Which I have to say, I’ve had to do many times.

My last post was of some of the maintenance that I had done to the Motorhome. As of today, I just have to re-string a few of the window shades. I figure I can do that job when and if we get a rainy day. Since last week, we have had great weather and I find myself doing jobs around the outside of our home.

Over grown shrub bed100_1244

The main thing I wanted to do was clean up the shrub bed in front of our home. We made the mistake this spring of planting Dahlia bulbs between the shrubs. This is not the outcome that we thought we would have. Way too “overgrown” and “messy” in my opinion. Wilma also felt that way. So I took a couple days to dig up all the bulbs and transplant them into a spot in the back yard. We will see next summer how that will look, and I hope it will be much better than the picture above.

Cleaned up with “new” mums planted. Hopefully they will grow next year.100_1267

Shrub bed cleaned up, and two new mum plants planted. We were told that they are “Hardy Mums” and that the winter won’t kill them. We will see next spring, as we have had those so called hardy mums before and they didn’t survive our cold winters.

Yes, I know my lawn is a mess. With our extremely hot summer and lack of rain, the weeds kind of took over. I will address that issue in the spring.

The garden seems to be done producing any tomatoes, so I think it’s time to clean it up also. I just noticed that my camera’s date is wrong, so don’t pay attention to the dates of the photo’s on this blog.

The size of the tomato plants completely hide the 3 pepper plants in the middle.100_1247

I’ll get to the garden in a few days.

Sunday the 9th.

Wilma and I decided we would like to take a ride North to our friends Gary and Cheryl’s home in Imlay City, MI. today. A perfect beautiful sunny day just can’t be wasted and we really enjoy the fall colors and the hour long drive to their home.

Wilma took control of the camera as I drove and got some great shots. Of course we were using our “Old” Kodak Easy Share camera, and we should have brought our Nikon D-40x. The pictures would have come out much better with the Nikon.

This one is just a block from our home.100_1251

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Gary likes to play pranks, anything to get a laugh. Last week when I was working on the Motorhome doing the plumbing, he phoned me from his cell. Talked a while telling me what he was “doing around the yard” as we were talking. I took a break from the Kitchen plumbing project in the Motorhome, and sat on the couch having a conversation with him. Then the weirdest thing happened. I swear I heard his voice coming from the radio! What I thought, I don’t have “Bluetooth” in the MH like I do in my Chevy! I thought I was having a spell or something from working under the sink and getting up too fast. I got up and walked toward the dash of the MH. There he was, standing by the open window on the drivers door! He was fighting busting out laughing. He actually walked directly by me to get to the open window, but as I was on the couch I had my back to him and didn’t see him. Funny Gary….very funny! Even I had a chuckle on that one. It’s always great to see my best bud.

So I told Wilma of my plan for a “pay back” to Gary. I called him when I was just a half mile from his home, had the normal chit chat with him. During our conversations I learned that they just got up and was having their breakfast cereal. I mentioned that we might like to go out for a drive today looking at the colors and maybe stopping at a cider mill. He was planning on working on his step daughters car, which seems to have an intermittent electrical problem. I asked if they might like some company later this afternoon, which he said yea, stop by later. I then said that we would probably see him in about 4 hours or so and hung up. Imagine his face 5 minutes later when we walked up to their kitchen window waving at them in their bathrobes! Open-mouthed smile Yep…like they say…pay backs are great fun! We all had a laugh and great conversations. We plan on seeing them again on our last camping trip of the year next week.

Monday the 10th.

Had another visit this morning from Bob, a fellow work buddy that just retired the end of September. He and his wife Donna, just purchased their first RV and he had a question about the cap that covers the dump line. It seems that he can’t get it to fit and wondered if they make different sizes. I showed him the cap on my MH and they are the same, so I’m assuming that all the caps are the same size in depth. Tomorrow he will be bringing his MH over and I am going to show him how to winterize his MH.

Got the lawn mowed after Bob left, and headed for the garden to clean it up. Wilma and I talked about it and decided we would like to make the garden larger for next year. So we should have plenty of tomatoes to can for chili and juice.

A few pepper plants remain yet. Next year another garden strip along the garage on the left is planned.100_1268

Later as the leaves fall, I’ll grind them up and bury them in the garden area like my father has been doing for the past 40 years. He has the very best fertile soil for a garden, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of earth worms! So I figure I’ll follow in his footsteps.

Tuesday the 11th.

Bob arrived around 10am in his new to him Four Winds Class C  Motorhome. The main reason he brought it over to our home was to see how I winterize an RV. This RV is his first, and he was anxious to learn as much as I was willing to show him about the RV. He actually didn’t know where the water pump was located, so I figured he needed the very basics shown him first.

I started out explaining the two electrical systems first. He caught on quickly so I then moved on to the fresh water system. Showing him the water lines, fresh water pump, fresh water tank, and hot water tank. He didn’t quite have the “I’m overwhelmed” look yet, so I then moved on to how the waste is handled.

Then I proceeded to blow out his water lines with compressed air, and the other steps to completely winterize his MH. He caught on that procedure perfectly and feels confident that he will be able to do it himself next year. I assured him that I’m not planning on leaving this earth for a while yet, and that I should be around next year and he can bring his MH over again next year and I’ll watch as he prepares it for Winter. He really appreciated my help and actually took me up on that idea for next year.

Angel phoned me as we were finishing up with Bob’s MH and informed me that something went wrong with her computer. After explaining to me what happened I figured it might be the power supply. I told her I would come over later today, get the computer and bring it back home with me to work on it.

The first thing I noticed was it needed the dust blown out of it. After I got it cleaned, taken to my desk and plugged in, I noticed it did exactly what Angel said, nothing! No fans running, no lights blinking, no nothing. I got my meter out and to the best of my knowledge found that there was no voltage leaving any of the plugs coming out of the power supply. This shouldn’t be too hard to fix, so I phoned Angel letting her know what I found. She suggested that I look at her other computer, which I did. Her other computer has been sitting in her basement not plugged in for at least 3 years, maybe longer. I just knew Windows XP would have a gazillian updates. It turned out to being only 96 needed updates.

After all the updates were downloaded and installed there was some outdated software that needed to be removed. Making a long story shorter, 4 hours later we have a perfect running “older” computer that Angel can use until I get her main computer fixed. I will be taking it over to her on Thursday to introduce her to “Google Chrome” so she won’t have to use MS Explorer.

Wednesday the 12th.

Had a Dr. appointment at 1:30 today for my annual physical. I hate physicals! Embarrassed smile I guess every guy hates physicals, but knowing I’m over weight just adds to it.

Everything checked out better than last year! Well, except for the 2 pounds that I put on. Confused smile The only addition that the Dr. wants me to get is a stress test, as the EKG test showed a little change from last year. The Doc wasn’t alarmed with the change, just wanted the stress test for the records. We will see how that turns out in the near future. He then asked if there was anything else that concerned me. I mentioned about the pain that my right hip has been giving me for over 2 years now. I figured that it’s probably arthritis so there wasn’t much I could do about it but live with it. He then ordered X-Rays to see exactly what was what. After the X-Rays were taken, I was taken back to the examination room to wait for his diagnosis. Within 15 minutes he returned. He said he was amazed that I wasn’t in more pain than what I tend to show. I must of looked puzzled as he said you need to see these X-Rays. We went into another room and he pointed out my right hip, with all the arthritis and spurs around the joint. I said “Well I guess that just about explains why I am having trouble with this hip, so what is the plan now?” Eventually, hip replacement surgery was the answer. Deep down I knew that was what he was going to say. How soon will I need it? You will be the one to determine that, as the pain will only get worse. I thanked him and told him I would probably have it done on my return from our Florida trip next April.

That’s all from this past week, so until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Motorhome Maintenance

Before I start today let me introduce 3 new followers of my rambling.

Welcome Judy of Travels-with-Emma. Also we welcome Sherry and Charley of Sherryand Charley. Last but not least we welcome Jerry and Carol. I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and feel free to comment at the end of each blog.

Last week end while we were camping, I made notes for myself on things that must be fixed with the Motorhome.

The first thing I wanted to take care of was a small leak around the front windshield. In the 2 days of rain that we had over the past week end, it leaked a total of about a gallon of water. I remembered the glass man telling me when he replaced the windshield on the passenger side that there would be NO guarantee against leakage. He then pointed out to me the metal frame around the windshield was badly rusted. In some places was actually rusted away! He proceeded to apply the sealant extra heavy around the affected areas maybe prolonging any problems. On Monday morning I had my ladders, sealant, cleaning rags and anything extra I thought I might need to “re-seal” the windshield. By mid afternoon it started to sprinkle, so I put all my gear back in the garage until Tuesday.

Tuesday came and the weather was looking pretty nice, so out I went to finish the windshield sealant. After I finished that job, I remembered the amber marker lights above the windshield. I knew the center bulb was not working so back up the ladder I went. On a close inspection of the marker light, I noticed that there was water behind the lens. So I proceeded to remove the complete light. Being a Winnebago, it has unique parts in certain areas and this was one of them. When I went to my local RV parts supplier they could not match it for an exact replacement and recommend that I call Mobility RV who supplies Winnebago parts to older units. I placed the call, talked to a salesman and he is going to get back with me on availability and cost. In the mean time I used some Aluminum Tape to seal the opening where the light was removed. So now I’m in a waiting period for Mobility RV to phone me back.

Wednesday morning brings another beautiful day. More work to be done on the Motorhome. Today was work on the kitchen sink area.

The trap under the kitchen sink leaks and needed to be replaced.DSC_4276

Along with a trap that needs to be replaced, the faucet also needs to be replaced. Off to the plumbing supply store. I noticed that the line leaving the trap was 1¼” but the rest was 1½”. This I thought might be a problem matching up at the plumbing store so I took the configuration with me to show a salesman. Sure enough, they could not match exactly what I had, but recommended that I purchase the complete set up made for the 1½” size and just use the trap instead of changing everything. This was exactly what I did. Taking the easy way out was the best way for me as I HATE PLUMBING WORK!

The next item to be replaced was the kitchen faucet. As I had the drain lines removed from the sink, this was the time to work on removing the faucet.

The water lines behind and underneath the sink that had to be removed.DSC_4278

It must have been quite a site to see me laying on my back side, twisted underneath the sink trying to reach those water lines going to the faucet. I’m sure glad my arms were as long as they are and not a few inches shorter! Did anyone ever tell you how hard it is for us people who have bi-focal or like myself, tri-focal lenses and have to look up at something close? Just kidding Well let’s just say that it is NOT easy doing this kind of work in a total blur. Sarcastic smile But I did indeed and got a new faucet installed.  Open-mouthed smile

Now it was on to installing the new trap.

New trap installed, job complete and everything works with NO LEAKS Thumbs upDSC_4279

I realize it won’t win a “looks great” contest because of the white color, but no one will be seeing it except for Wilma and I, and we don’t mind the miss match in color. After a water leak test, every joint passed. No Leaks!

The next thing that needed to be fixed was the electrical box that fell out of it’s opening in the ceiling behind the rear monitor.

The electrical box pulled out of the ceiling when I pulled a plug out of it last week end.DSC_4282

I noticed that the small plastic tabs on the screws were broke. They are used to clamp on the upper side of the ceiling holding the box in place. So off to Lowe’s to buy a new outlet box. As it turned out, I did buy a box with plastic tabs, but could not use the box because of it’s size. So I used just the tabs and replaced the original electrical outlet back in it’s original place in the ceiling. Didn’t get an after picture, but it is done and looks great. Another job off my list.

Next was to WD-40 the side door hinges and the electric step hinges. That took no time at all and it’s checked off my list.

Next was the windshield wiper pivot joints and arms under the hood. Upon a close inspection of the wiper motor and arms I found the 2 screws that mount the motor very loose. The top one almost ready to fall out!

Screws almost falling out! No room for a TORX screw driver! Oh No!DSC_4280-2

As there was absolutely no room for a TORX screwdriver I had to use what was available in my tool box. Found a needle nose vise grip pliers that worked and within an hour these two screws were back to being tight and holding the wiper motor securely. Another job well done. ( I hope I’m not sounding like I’m patting myself on the back, as I’m not really.)

There are still a couple window shades that need to be re-strung. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cold Wet Camping Weekend

This past weekend Angel and Brooke joined us in a camping weekend. Needless to say it was not the best weather one would want to have for a camping trip. But, we made the best of it.

Wilma and I arrived at the Campground mid afternoon on Friday. The weather then was cool, windy and with a few sprinkles of rain once in a while. Angel and Brooke arrived a few hours later. Wilma and I started preparing what was on the menu for dinner, which was grilled hamburgers, chips, mac and cheese, and your choice of drinks.

Grand daughter Brooke with her Mom, AngelDSC_4271

I headed outside to start the grill. What??!!! The little gas grill didn’t want to light! After lifting the grating I noticed that the burner had several large holes caused from rust, and probably age. Well I thought, no grilling this weekend. Next best thing was the electric skillet, and the burgers were delicious.

Friday night we had bouts of rain, along with gusts of cold wind. I had the awning tied down securely, but the gusts did rock the Motorhome a few times hard enough to wake me up from sleep. We had two electric heaters going and by morning Angel said they were a little cool during the night. The temperatures dropped down into the low 40’s.

Saturday morning cooking breakfast, Angel and Brooke trying to stay warm and Romeo, looking for a piece of bacon.DSC_4272

Saturday and the wind just kept blowing cold. I knew before we left home that Brooke wanted to have a campfire. So I had brought enough firewood to burn for two evenings. It took awhile with the wind, but I did manage to get a nice warm fire going. Brooke could hardly wait to start making Smores. Everyone enjoyed a Smore, some had more than one! Winking smile

I kept the fire going all afternoon knowing that the plan for dinner this evening would be to cook hot dogs over the campfire. As the afternoon progressed, Brooke and Angel went for a walk around the campground. Going to the Arcade, Store and Weight room. Wilma and I dozed off watching something on TV, staying warm in the Motorhome.

By the time Angel and Brooke got back it was dinner time. The wind still blowing hard, it was decided that we would not cook the hot dogs over the campfire, instead we would have Brat’s inside the Motorhome.

After dinner we all went back to the campfire. Even though the weather could have been much better, we made the best of it. Both Angel and Brooke enjoyed themselves this past weekend, and I know memories were made for a lifetime!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.