Old Diary


It’s late Friday afternoon and we’re both sitting here waiting on our Friday night guests.  Debbie and Sharon are coming up from Springfield IL and we haven’t seen them in over a year!  I’m sure a good time will be had by all.

Friday was the day to get one of my added medical tests out of the way.  That seemed to go just fine.

We bopped over to Mike and Katy’s to help out a little while we waited for 2 o’clock.  They’re having an open house for the family and  birthday party for Melanie (our grand-kid), but they are still putting things away and getting bits installed.  I feel bad that we can’t be more help.  But Katy carries my must-have-a-deadline-gene.

After helping out a little we went to the lawyers office to take care of some legal business and then back to the coach at Bong.

Saturday we’ll visit with our guests and relax.  Sunday we drive to Chicago to see our Grand-kid’s new apartment.  WE are so excited!  We also get to meet the new beau.  We’ll try not to scare him before getting him to Milwaukee;  scaring boyfriends is now the job of the father.  🙂  Still, it’s fun ….


Old Diary, RV Living

Gas Props and Easy Chairs

While we’re cooling our jets a little it’s time to catch up on a couple moldering topics.



Our old hinges

I don’t remember talking about this before but we’ve been pondering our overhead storage cabinets.  We have 12 overhead cabinets in the living room and a few more in the bedroom/office.  Most of them are just fine.  A couple of them squeak like the dickens every time we open them.  I have tried several lubrication approaches without success.

Gas Props

Adding these gasp min-shock absorbers would eliminate the uneven action of the Euro style hinge.

The hinges / mechanisms are the newish European style hinge — a completely different approach to overhead cabinets than that used by Winnebago.  Our Winnebago coach used these gas props to raise the doors and keep them open.  The hinges are plain and they are quiet, effective, and you don’t think about them.  I don’t know if I want to go though the effort  of changing out hinges, connectors, and cylinders — but I’m thinking about it.  Over the next few months/year.

Sleep Number Bed

2014090912280404I haven’t spoken much about our Sleep Number bed since we unpacked it and put it together.  The reason being you tend not to talk about things that are just doing what they are supposed to do.  That has been our new Sleep Number bed.  We’ve been getting great nights sleep.  We don’t wake up with aches and pains like we had been.  It was a good choice and we’re happy.


One odd thing has been a lateral ridge that raised itself up in the middle of the bed.  We don’t feel it when reclining.  We opened the bed up and there seems to be no reason for the way in which the foam seems to creep towards the center.  There’s no reason to DO anything  about it — other than the visual every time we make the bed.

sultan-tafjord-matratzenauflage__0097904_PE239140_S4Our C3 bed is flatter than the larger, more expensive beds.  We didn’t think we had enough height to buy the TALL mattress but the salesperson warned us that with my weight I might still have some bottoming out and suggested that we might want to consider a mattress topper.  We’ve been tossing that around for a month and a half now and we decided that it was something we wanted to try.  So, We got one and as I write this ¶ on Wednesday evening I have yet to see what difference it makes.  (Thursday morning:  slept like a baby!)

Easy Chair

2014091011472209Peg has been pushing me to get a recliner for the coach.  Until yesterday.  While we at IKEA she came upon this chair and is lobbying for a change.  I don’t yet know how interested I am in this idea but it’s a topic on the table for discussion.

This change would raise a safety issue.  The old Flexsteel sofa is bolted to the floor, this would not be.  We already have chairs that are not fastened to the floor; but I’m not sure I want to go there.  Another subject to think about for a while.

Genset Embarrassment

2014090713074902The last topic to share today is embarrassing.  When we looked at the coach before buying it I was a little unhappy that the generator has so many hours on it.  Based on Onan data the genset was still within the first 1/2 of it’s expected overhaul life expectancy, but I looked at the hour meter and I was reading 4360 hours.  That’s a lot of run time.

I was down in front of the coach doing my monthly meter read and it dawn on me — something I know so well — that I was being stupid.  The meter has a 1/10 hour digit.  What I had been stupidly reading as 4300 hours was in fact 430 hours and a few tenths.  Well, shut my mouth wide open and call me stupid.  !!!!!!!

So there you have it.  I’m slightly red-faced, but that’s life.   Live, learn, and observe what you actually SEE with your eyes.  That’s  for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.  🙂

Old Diary

Potassium and other topics

Our Home @ Bong

Our Home @ Bong

Every time my dad would come home from a doctor’s visit his sawbones had told him his potassium was low.

PotassiumIt appears I may be on the same genetic adventure!  So, as it happens, the doc says I too need to adjust my diet to eat more potassium.

Ok.  No big deal.

Except…. when I started researching potassium and looked up the daily minimum requirements…. Yikes…. 4700 mgs a day?  That seems like more milligrams than I eat in total (not really, I’m prone to exaggeration, doncha know).

So, now I have to eat with my brain as much as my tastebuds.  Ok — adjustment to getting old #1  acknowledged.

A Little Rain

Being in the Midwest we are enjoying a good old Midwestern soaker. We woke to a pleasant pitter patter on the roof, and if it’s pitter pattering on the Ambassador’s roof then it’s raining reasonably hard — this coach has much better insulation than the Journey. 

With a full day rain forecast today may be the day I get around to that last windshield curtain.  And once that third panel’s pleats are ripped out I can iron the whole thing (Kathryn leant us her iron) and see if we can get them to hang in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion. (Turns out it wasn’t the day)

More address changes

i-passThis address change notification thing is getting to me.  Now I’m waking up in the middle of the night remembering new places I need to contact that I never thought about.  (including not last year when we changed temporarily to the Kid’s old address)

Yet, and all… It is annoying to wake out of a sound sleep feeling there’s something you just have to do ….  I need to repost that same graphic from yesterday.the nobler art

Too bad I am not sure I really subscribe to that theory!

We don’t use our iPass Account (Illinois Tollway Authority) very much anymore — I’m almost ready to delete that account except when we do come home for annual doctors visits dropping a coin from a RV window isn’t any fun!  Everything seems to be getting to me (In the mail, not emotionally).  I don’t think I’ve failed to receive any mail I wasn’t expecting.  And I guess if I inherit a billion dollars from some long-lost relative I don’t have I may never know.  Oh Well…….

While I’m on the subject, I wonder how many of you utilize electronic toll payment where you have a chance.  We didn’t get into Illinois all that much even before we went mobile, and now, it’s a lot less.  But there is a significant difference between the cash price and the iPass toll and I decided a long time ago to open an iPass account.  When Indiana added their turnpike pass program, the iPass was compatible and it’s also compatible with EZPass. Most of the places that have toll roads we’re covered.  It does not work in TX, OK, or FL but if we get out East it will be a lot easier.  I’m all for easy.

RV Stuff

I did find new wiper blades for the coach.   We stopped at Camping World which is only about 20 miles from Bong.  I’ve been wanting new blades ever since we got the coach and finally found the ones I wanted.

We looked at fabrics for curtains.  We aren’t going to change windshield curtains right now, but we’re looking for ideas.  Both for that broad expanse of windshield and for the bathroom/bedroom door and window.  We aren’t in any hurry to make changes but the way we work we need to just have time to let things percolate.  Besides, maybe some day we’ll be camping near a seamstress long enough to have him/her sew up a set of curtains/drapes and then we’ll know what we WANT! 🙂

We keep talking about what to do about the small sofa.  I don’t mind it all that much — being sat out on one side.  But it just drives Peggy bonkers.  We looked at some easy chairs, but I think Peggy really wants to get a recliner.  RV recliners are SO expensive, so I’ve been trying to find less expensive alternatives.  She may wear me down; we’ll see.

So, it’s Thursday morning and right now there are only about 4 campsites occupied.  We’ll start loading in campers tonight I’m sure.  And the weekend will likely be near full again.  We just about at the end of the season and campers have to get their final fix before the cold sets in.  BTW — I heard adverts on the TV yesterday for Snowblowers — in early September.   sigh.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Tuesday, Laundry

the nobler artI guess we are still de-stressing.  Or maybe it’s just me.  After yesterday, I’m exhausted. I just can’t seem to get rested up. Then again other than worrying about the Doctor’s visit I have nothing to stress about.  And today it’s just that adrenalin let-down that comes after you worried about something for no good reason.  I don’t know.  It seems government officials and doctors scare the bejeezus out of me.  Has always been that way;  I’d like to think it will change but I’m not so sure.   I thought that working for the Forest Service might help; and in fact I wasn’t stressed at all going to get licenses yesterday (Bored… yeah.  But not stressed!)

between breathsToday, we’ll do laundry, maybe stop at the grocery for protein to feed our incoming guests and not much more.

We laid out plans for the next month.  they had been floating around in our brain for a few weeks, so it was just a matter of saying, “this is the plan.”  That is the nice thing about my morning ritual.  I usually rise before Peg; and then I spend an hour, or two, sometimes three reading, writing, thinking about THINGS and IDEAS, not so much people.  And when I’m done we get started on our day.  By then Peg is awake and hungry and it’s off to the metaphorical races!

We’ll spend a couple weeks at Thomson IL when we leave here — reservations in hand.  Then to Central Southern IL for a couple weeks (a week each at two locations).  That’s far enough in advance to think now.  When the time comes and we actually LEAVE Illinois we have three locations we are considering stopping at before reaching New Orleans.  Over the next month we’ll suss out a plan of attack that will get us to New Orleans before December 3.

Our daughter is considering visiting from Dec. 3 through the 13th — or something like that — and that period is sort of roughed out without reservations.  We wanted to spend some time at Bayou Segrette SP, across the river from NOLA — figuring out how long to spend on the journey TO the area and how long to spend IN the area are in the air — we want to see how we enjoy the trip.  Neither of us has camped in Mississippi — if we enjoy we’ll stay longer.  We can always come back to NOLA if we aren’t ready to leave when Kathryn arrives. entering-stress-free-zone

At this point I think it safe to say… we are Texas bound.  The plan is to spend time together with her in LA and then bop over to Galveston/Houston for time with the rest of her Texas family.  It all sounds wonderful.

That’s about as much as I feel like saying today. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.  🙂

Old Diary

Major Hurdles Passed

PassMusterWe passed muster I guess.  The Doctor seemed basically satisfied. She ordered a couple tests to be done before we head out of town, and  I’ll have a blood panel drawn and processed wherever we happen to be —  sometime this winter.  Could be better; could be worse; all in all we’re happy with the results.

were_on_the_move_retroWe’re done with the DMV; all we have to do is to wait for our new licenses in the mail.  Peg carries a regular driver’s license; I still carry my commercial license.  The way that regulations change for my commercial license is beyond confusing.  You’ll recall that the only reason we’re doing this is because of the new mailing address.  When we did the same thing last year I had to arrive with proof of our new address.  This time…. no one even asked me about our address.  Go Figure.  Homeland Security may have dictated changes in the processing of Commercial Licenses but it seems to me not to be very secure.  But — the licenses are coming and for 1/5th the cost of the same thing we went through last year.  address change

I finished up addresses changes on about 3/4 of the people who need to know we’ve moved.  A few more remain to be contacted but I hope that will be finished by the end of the week.  (One in particular I never know how to contact — long story, but these people keep sending us money and we don’t know why.  Well, we kind of know why.)

It’s been interesting driving around town after being gone for 1 year (almost to the day).  Things change and things stay the same.  Interestingly enough some of the things we expected to be different aren’t, and some of the things we thought would never change have. But… One thing remains the same.  Milwaukee is a bigger place now than where we really want to be.  We could do it again if we had to — and perhaps in the future some time we may need to.  But so long as we can stay mobile and hang out in the boonies and burbs the better.

Road ConstructionAs a mostly lifelong WI resident I am pained to admit that Wisconsin roads are the worst we’ve driven since leaving.  There have been bad spots in every state, but mile for mile these roads have been beaten us to pieces.  And the transitions and crossovers at construction zones in particular are terrible.  Every other state seems to get those crossovers smoother and easier to transition.  I don’t know why they should be so bad here?

Tuesday will be laundry day — it appears.  I think I’ll go along with Peg and help out. I’m becoming an expert folder ( of a limited product line).  I think the Laundromat has WiFi — maybe I can download some monthly program updates, saving my Verizon wifi.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll talk with you tomorrow…


Old Diary

A Full Relaxing Weekend

cats pajamasWell, today was just the cat’s pajamas! I know.  That’s a really old expression but I’m in kind of a Days’ Gone By mood at the moment and something a little 1920’s-ish seemed to fit the mood.

What happened?  Not much.  What did happen was important to us:  Kathryn came down to spend the day while Michael condoned working on their house.  They have issues to resolve before they can get their occupancy permit and there is a sense of urgency to get there.

The day was gorgeous:  mid 70’s, clear skies, and going-home day for most of the campers resulting in a parade of campers past our lawn chairs!  We’ve been hungering for turkey so a frozen turkey breast done in the pressure cooker and then browned in a skillet  along with mashed ‘taters with butter, cream, cheese and tabasco, and cucumbers in vinaigrette made for a nice  lunch.  And provided leftovers to send home to Michael — as well as leftover turkey for cold turkey sammies — the only real reason to bother with turkey in the first place.  Leftover Turkey Sammies are the best thing in the world.

StethoscopeMonday we do our Doctor’s visits and hopefully get over to the DMV to get new driver’s licenses.  I dug out our official USPS change of address confirmation. Hopefully that will be enough to get a change of address on my WI commercial drivers’ license.  Peg’s is no big deal — not much documentation needed for a regular license.  Commercial licenses meet a different set of standards.

If all goes well tomorrow we can start making plans for the future.  If the Doc says we need to hang out in MKE for any other unanticipated medical tests we’ll have to wait to set plans in motion.  That’s one of those things you never know.   We’re both feeling good but at age 60+ bodily surprises aren’t unknown, and just because you feel good doesn’t always mean all those 2000+ body parts are  doing what their’s supposed to do! 🙂

telephone ringingI’ve got a bunch of other phone calls to make — Maybe Peg will do laundry on Tuesday and I can get on the phone and make a bunch of other address changes while I’m thinking about it.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary


our freebie recliner

Not a bad deal for $0.00!

When we sat down in our lawn chairs about 10:00 after finally getting around to a slow, walk around the campground it felt so good  to have the time to just chill.  Friday was busy, but not hectic. Still and all after the activity of the last week it was nice to enjoy the fresh air, nod at other campers walking past our site, chat with a few and do a little Coach research.   And did I tell you?  When were hanging out at Guaranty RV we won a lawn chair?

doncha just hate the process of paying bills?

doncha just hate the process of paying bills?

After picking up our pile of mail from Kathryn last week, I finally went through those this morning (you can tell that mail isn’t all that exciting to me — mostly because all our bills are auto pay).  Our retirement plans are doing what they are supposed to and most of the time I don’t think very much about money because we kind of have that twigged.  We know what we can spend and try to stay just a little below that.

This month will be the exception:  we have last month’s solar install to pay for; fuel for the trip to pay for, the repairs on the coach to pay for.  All that will be enough to choke a horse — but it’s mostly planned for so we just need to monitor the auto pay accounts and make sure they pay as intended.  But, no matter how good your planning you still have to pay attention to that stuff.

2014040210295523We’ve been talking — and it’s just talk — about replacing the short sofa on the roadside.  I’m having a hard time finding something to go in that space.  We want another place to sit — the jack-knife sofa that’s there now is sat-out on one side.  I would like to see if there’s a way to simply rebuild that but I suspect it would cost more to rebuild it (if I could find an upholsterer who could do it in a timely fashion) than to buy new — which is always my preference.  We looked at some sofas and some recliners but nothing looms on the horizon.  The money to buy it might be 6 months away — we’ve spent a lot lately — but knowing what you want to purchase is always half the problem.  And If we got the item down and happened to come upon a  clearance or sale we might be temped to pop for it a little sooner.  We’ll see if we find something.  My fall back plan is to get around to calling Bradd and Hall and see what they might suggest.  They did such a good job on the Winnebago remodel that I trust their judgement.

Beyond that, Saturday is a day to not do much of anything.  We’ve both been hungering for turkey — so a frozen turkey breast is on the hob right now.  We have a fridge full of really nice cheeses that we’ve picked up over the last few days — and a loaf of fresh Sourdough bread that I got yesterday — so lunch is a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, a nice cheese plate and thou… ….well, and Peggy!

These are the days we’ve been looking forward to in retirement.

Cedar WaxwingWhile lounging in the sun we were happy to be visited by three Cedar Waxwings.  There appear to be berries that appeal to them around the campsite circle.  Last evening we were visited by 4 bunnies — which always makes Peggy giddy.  Not sure what it is about bunnies but she sure likes them.  Then again she likes anything small and cute; that must be why she likes me! 🙂

I need to sit down and make out a checklist to insure that we don’t forget any errands to be run while we are here.  It would be really embarrassing to get 1000 miles away and realize we forgot something.  But I can’t say that’s never happened to me before.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


Old Diary, Travel

An Expensive Productive Day — But at least we can see

Friday in Milwaukee:  time to see family (briefly), get poked for bloodworm for Monday’s Dr. Visit (I always hate fasting tests),  breathe in noxious fumes (road construction everywhere), get eyes examined and wait for new glasses (sheesh, them things are getting expensive nowadays), and stock up the larder (I’m not goin’ anywhere over the weekend.  Gonna park my wheels and leave them).

All in all it was a good day!

What else would a Wisconsinite eat after being out of state for so long?

What else would a Wisconsinite eat after being out of state for so long?  Brat and German ‘tater salad. 

We bought another watermelon today.  We have been in watermelon withdrawal it seems.  Somehow last year we never got around to them.  And most of the summer has passed and this is only our second one.  I gotta get on the ball here!

Yesterday being a travel day we ate warmed over leftovers (beef stroganoff), but for our first Wisconsin dinner I just had to have a brat!  and German potato salad.  One of the things we noticed in OR was the absence of many of the sausages we love, and the absence of a lot of pickled products we love.  We’re making up for lost time.  Usingers Braunschweiger

Another one of the special treats we have missed is smoked liver sausage.  It’s otherwise known as BRAUNSCHWEIGER — and when made by Usinger it’s amazing.  It’s amazing the way tastes change as one ages.  I don’t know a single child who actually LIKES liver.  Not chicken liver, not beef liver, nada.   But put on a few years and things we used to hate suddenly sound pretty interesting if not downright taste treats.braunschweiger sandwich

When I was in college I worked at a competitor to Usingers, Uncle August.  The place no longer exists (bought out) but I had a job cleaning sausage making machines and we got a lunch break and free access to any of the sausage we wanted to eat (after it was packaged — no we could not dig into a big vat with our thumb and eat the sausage like it were some chocolate sauce).  I learned to love liver sausage there and have never outgrown my need for  a good sausage!

The both of us had gotten our eyes checked and new glasses just before Peg retired.  It’s been three years at the end of this month and we have known we  needed new lenses for a few months already so today was the day.  Good results all the way around.  Our retinal scans were very good, and my eyes even got BETTER.  Lenscrafters has ours ready in 90 minutes and now we can see again.

We stopped of at the ‘kid’s’ new house; things are shaping up but there’s a fair bit to be done yet.  Had a chance to talk with my resident mechanic, Michael, about a couple problems with the coach.  Got good suggestions, and enjoyed having time to spend with him.

Ok — for a not much of a day, I’ve said enough.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.