Old Diary

Family Saturday

cant sleepIt’s early Saturday morning and I can’t sleep.  Kathryn’s coming to visit for a few days and I’m all excited.  Even Dad’s can get that way you know.  When you only have one child, and you haven’t seen them in a goodly long while it’s only right to be excited.

Friday was get ready day.  Laundry (so she had clean sheets and we didn’t have dirty clothes jamming the laundry basket).  Groceries (we haven’t bought that many provisions since the last time she visited). Mom was cleaning house.  I was making a mess (like usual).

We have definitely left the Forest.  I’m coming to realize just how much of our recent volunteering time was lived by relying on adrenalin!  Now that we are getting back to the pace of our last couple years I’m realizing how hard it is to sustain the pace of the last few days.  I’m liking being retired again.


VMS package

VMS package

Acer laptop

Acer Laptop

Kathryn is bringing with her the last components for our Silverleaf monitoring system.  I doubt I’ll get everything hooked up before we make the trip to Bong Recreation in another 6 days.  With Katy around I doubt I’ll be spending much time tinkering with electronics; but I’m one step closer to knowing more about what’s going on in the engine compartment when we’re driving.

There are good things and bad things about driving a diesel pusher class A.  One of the good things is that traveling is much quieter than with a front engine vehicle; one of the bad things is that traveling is much quieter than with a front engine vehicle.  We don’t have the roar of the engine between us up front, but neither do we hear if anything is amiss way back there in the engine compartment.  The recent experience with the temperature gauge convinced me that a little more information would be a good thing.  I’ll keep you posted once we get everything connected.


I haven’t made any progress on the curtains since Wednesday evening.  I will — for sure.  But when things quiet down a little. After adjusting the height of the curtain hooks, now Peg is concerned that they may not slide correctly in the track.  I haven’t even looked at them since Wednesday.

Which brings me to a completely different topic:

Bubble Wrap Insulation

We are coming to realize more reasons we’re happy we traded RV’s!

Have you used reflective insulation in YOUR RV?

Have you used reflective insulation in YOUR RV?

Our Journey was a nice coach but one major weakness in that 2002 Winnebago design was the heating/cooling system. Last summer in the Midwest we spent most of the time with that bubble wrap insulation covering our windows — the single heat pump simply wasn’t up to the job of cooling the entire coach in 90º to 100º heat.  foil wrap insulationWe bought a couple rolls of 4′ wide insulation and trimmed it to size and covered up most of the coach windows so we could stay cool.  It didn’t look cool, but we were comfortable.  And last winter in Oregon, even though it wasn’t super cold there, we put the same insulation into the windows once more to help the furnace maintain an even temperature during the winter.

Enter the Ambassador… No problems with heating or cooling so far.  Windows are open to the world;  we can see what’s going on around us.  We likey likey.  The world is much nicer when you can see what’s going on in it! 🙂

The New House

When we roared through Milwaukee we had a quick chance to see the kid’s new house.  WoW!  Even though we understood the idea they were going for they have done a wonderful job and the reality exceeds our imagination.  I can’t wait until they have things neatened  up enough to take pictures to share with you.  We are really impressed with the almost-finished project.

Road Destruction Season

It’s summer in Wisconsin; that means it’s road destruction season.end road work  On our way to Milwaukee we were coming to the end of one construction zone and literally 200 feet down the road was another sign saying:  yup…. begin work zone. begin road work It is really humorous how little coordination there can be on some large projects.  We actually drove through quite a few work zones on the trip from the coast — that’s what you expect during the summer.  But the Milwaukee area in particular is part way through a major Interstate Highway rehabilitation and I’m glad to be gone from the big city during most of it.   The quick return was also a good reminder of just why we have spent almost all our time outside major population centers — too much … of everything.

We’ll be back in town for parts of two weeks while we take care of annual business (that’s our plan anyway — always subject to revision).  Doctors visits.  Banking visits.  New driver’s licenses because of our new home address.  New glasses (it’s been three years).  And a few other items I can’t even remember at the moment.

Powerless Campers

About 9 a.m. all of a sudden we heard generators starting up.  It seems that the entire campground is temporarily powerless.  We had quite a few T-storms overnight and while it poured down rain the power seemed unaffected.  And then with no rain coming down everyone lost power.  They say they’ve contacted the local power company to find out the problem but this isn’t Milwaukee and who knows how long it will take for the power to return.  But… we have solar. 🙂

So, while we await our daughter’s arrival today, that’s about it for me.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.  🙂

P.S.:  Have any of you had problems with my WordPress feed?  One regular reader has commented that three times now WordPress has dropped my blog from her Reader.  Before I go troubleshooting I’m wondering if this is something unique to a single reader or whether any others of you have had this blog disappear from their blog feed.  Thanks in advance.


10 thoughts on “Family Saturday

  1. Diana Fredricks says:

    Peter, I think I noticed that a couple of times but don’t remember specifics–it was a week or more ago.


  2. Linda Sand says:

    Your blog comes into my Feedly reader just fine, I think. I don’t pay attention to the dates on your blogs I just read them as they come in and they do that in the correct sequence apparently since the story flows nicely.


    • Thanks Linda.

      I have had two readers who’ve said the WordPress Reader has dropped my blog a couple times, but it’s only been a couple people.

      Oh well… who knows that’s going on…..



  3. Bob and Janice Flanigan says:

    I am enjoying reading your blog, we have a twin to your motorhome, a 2006 40plq. Maybe we could share some storage and repair ideas. Hope to meet you on the road some day.


    • Yee Haw!
      Glad to meet / know someone with the same trustee steed as ours! Indeed it would be nice to keep in touch and perhaps share tidbits of intelligence.
      Where are y’all? Are you fulltiming? Oh the questions I want to ask. 🙂

      Welcome on board and I look forward to hearing from you


      • Bob and Janice Flanigan says:

        We retired at the end of June in 2012. A week later we were on the road in a 31 ft Coachmen class C with no slides. Our intention is to see all of this beautiful country that we can. After a year, we decided that we love this life on the road and started looking for a bigger motor home. We first saw this floorplan at a dealer in Alabama, but he wouldn’t budge on price. After searching and watching similar units on the internet we found our baby in Texas. We drove our Jeep Wranger toad from Iowa to Texas and bought it. We still have a house in Iowa but we aren’t there much. We like to volunteer for awhile in parks and then travel a little. We are currently in Georgia staying with my mother-in-law while she recovers from back surgery. We left the MH in Iowa since we are staying with her. From here we hope to go to Bismarck, ND to see two of our kids and some grandkids. We have a volunteer position at the Ordway-Swisher biological research station near Gainesville, FL starting the beginning of November.



      • Bob & Janice,

        Your story sounds so much like our own. We retired in October ’11. We had bought our first MH in September intent on leaving the life of bricks & sticks behind. We had a very unique home: a 1923 former 6 room school house that we used for both residence and my photo studio. We anticipated when we first bought it that it would be a unique property requiring a unique buyer and it took us 18 months to find that buyer, but we took off in Spring of ’12 full time until November of ’12 — we then moved belongings back into the school and stayed there until May ’13 when we had a buyer. We returned home long enough to close on the house and took off again.

        We spoke before retirement about volunteering but we never had much of a plan. Three months into our freedom we chanced upon a camp hosting gig in N. Wisconsin. We camp hosted at Highland Ridge Campground ( a C.O.E. site) from July through the Labor Day weekend when the next host was due. We enjoyed our gig so much that we wanted to try something else — so I started looking during August of ’13 and we found a Roving Caretaker position for the U.S. Forest Service in Florence OR. We don’t travel quickly — normally — so we arrange to arrive 8 weeks later, allowing 2 weeks for annual physicals and 6 weeks for travel. We did that job for 2 months and then as things work out we ended up as the Volunteer Coordinators for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. More work than we really wanted but it was something we felt very strongly about so we put in a total of 10 months with the Forest Service and left there at the end of July. Appointments we’d made with AM Solar and others kept us there through most of August.

        We started out in a 32’ Winnebago Journey. We looked at some 100 RV’s before we settled on that one after realizing that the three coaches we liked had one thing in common all had a side hallway. We loved that coach but after being in the same place for 6 months we accepted the idea that 32’ was a little too short for us and we really wanted something that would give me something like an office. When we saw the PLQ at a dealer 70 miles away we couldn’t get there fast enough. The price was fair, our trade-in better than we expected and in 2 weeks we had a new-to-us coach.

        We’ve had a couple problems — notably with the Norcold — 2 separate failures both covered by our extended warranty, and also a water pump that quit working. We now have 945 watts of solar on the roof, a new bank of house batteries and we are just getting accustomed to being a little more independent of umbilicals.

        After 10 months on a single volunteer gig we will wait a while before volunteering again. It’s time for us to be retired for a while. We enjoyed our gigs but we want to see some things and right now spending months in one place aren’t on our social calendar. That said, we don’t normally travel very quickly. The exception being our decision to do Oregon to Wisconsin in 5 days. But typically we’ll drive 150-200 miles and then sit for 1 or 2 weeks before moving another 150-200 miles and… sitting for 1 – 2 weeks.

        We’ll be in WI through 9/18. Assuming the Doctor doesn’t find some reason to keep us around ( we’re feeling fine but as you get older you never know ) we’ll start out slow path to New Orleans and possibly TX after that. An RV’ing friend of ours did all of the winter of ’12 in LA state parks and we want to see some of them; maybe not all, and maybe not all winter — we’ll see as time goes by. But the wife has family in Galveston and Houston — we might spend some time near them.

        That’s our story in a nutshell. So similar in some ways.

        What’s your gig @ Ordway-Swisher? Looks like a fascinating place. Do they recruit on Volunteer.Gov or did you have to find them through other sources? Cheers,

        P >


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