Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WOW! I'm way behind on publishing an update! Guess time just got away from me. I have been keeping notes though, so here we go:

Saturday 7/15

Turned out to be an interesting day. Took our time in the AM, watched F1 qualifying and got ready to leave around 10 AM. A check showed a broken spring hanger bolt again! Probably from the rough roads yesterday. This is why we are on our way to Mor-Ryde to have a new independent suspension installed in the trailer. Expensive, but we love this trailer, it is in good shape and very comfortable for us, but the suspension issue has become a chronic problem.

After some inspection and discussion we decided to make our way to Elkhart slowly. Took state highways so we never went over 55 and avoided the high speed whoop-de-dos that have become so common on interstate bridges.

Made it Elkhart around 5 PM in spite of a detour around a closed road that took us 30 miles out of our way! Nice spot with electricity and WiFi in the lot at Mor-Ryde. 

Sunday 7/16

Watched the F1 race in the morning, then took the truck and drove to Joan’s house. Nancy has jury duty in Chicago on Wednesday and the crew at Mor-Ryde wants to pull the trailer in at 6 AM Monday morning. Plus we are running on our fresh water tank, so it will be better if only one of us is here.

Traffic was nasty going into Chicago, a lot of construction on I-94. Took a little over two hours. I-94 eastbound was a parking lot west of I-65 and the toll road, plus I-80 East was stopped just east of Harlem so I tried US 30. That was a big mistake, a lot of traffic as well and really slow. Took three and half hours to get back to Elkhart!

 Monday & Tuesday 7/17 & 18

Up at five AM since the shop here starts at six! Getting ready one of the rear jacks would not retract! The guys from MorRyde tried to repair it, but could not get it to retract. they finally removed the jack so we could get the trailer into the shop!

Then things went even more downhill. When they pulled the wheels and brake drums they realized that the old brake drums would not fit on the new axles! Several hours were spent in a fruitless search for new brake drums. In the end the drums were located, but not all of the needed brake parts. This search consumed the rest of Monday and most of Tuesday! In the meantime they put new, hopefully stronger, bolts in the spring brackets so I could travel.

Spent Monday and Tuesday night in the trailer INSIDE the MorRyde shop. Kind of a strange experience, but it did cut down on the noise from the nearby trains. There was some noise in the shop as they work three shifts, but most of the activity was in other areas of the facility.

Speaking of facility, this is a really nice place, very comfortable lounge for a waiting area, free lunch from Jimmie Johns, beautiful landscaping around the multiple buildings.

While the parts search was going on Monday afternoon I went down to Newmar in Nappanee to pick up a new roof vent cover for the refrigerator. We discovered the plastic cover was shattered when we were loading back in Tucson. I did a quick and dirty repair with racers tape, which held up OK during the cross country trip.

Wednesday 7/19

Spent another night in MorRyde’s service facility, up early and out at 5:45 AM so I did not interfere with the work today. Drove up to Quadra Manufacturing in White Pigeon, MI. Only about a half hour away. They reinstalled the rear jack and found a defective limit switch that had been preventing operation. They also rewelded the pump box support which had broken.

Headed back toward Illinois by mid-morning. Traffic was not bad. Went a bit west of my destination to Rochelle and had the truck and trailer washed at Blue Beacon Truck wash. They were both really grungy from the trip.

Arrived at Sycamore RV Resort late in the afternoon and got settled. Nancy still at Joan’s house. She has to go into Chicago on Thursday for Jury duty. Got here just in time for an evening of severe thunderstorms!

Thursday 7/20

Spent the day relaxing and doing some housecleaning. Not much happening other than a trip to the grocery store. Contacted a mobile RV repair guy to come on Friday and install the new refrigerator vent on the roof. I do not go up on the roof anymore!

Friday 7/21

Joan brought Nancy up to Sycamore this morning. How would we ever get along without her? Nice to have Nancy back after almost a week. Roman from RM RV Service came on time and replaced the vent cover. I asked him to inspect the roof and he recommended resealing, which has not been done in quite some time. Too hot to do it today (sealer will not set properly) so he will come back in the next couple of weeks to do the resealing.

Robb from MorRyde called, does not have all parts in hand yet so we will put off the trip back there that was tentatively scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday.

RV park here is nice with a couple of lakes. Sites seem a bit tight, but they are actually quite spacious side to side. Good location, just outside of downtown Sycamore, actually walking distance into town, and there are a lot of new big box stores around here since the last time I was here years ago. A bit farther from Geneva and Joan’s than Big Rock was. However, our hope to be hosts at Big Rock fell through as they had a second couple for the entire season. This park is better since we can stay here for six weeks with having to move every 14 days and we have a sewer hook-up.

Discovered that there is a Bar-B-Que restaurant / butcher shop (Country Store & Catering) right at the end of the access road to the park! Had really good baby back ribs for dinner! Not an eat-in place, but easy to bring dinner back to the trailer.

Saturday 7/22

Getting settled in, more heavy thunderstorms last night. Took a nice walk around the lake this morning and then went out for some shopping. Lunch at Culver’s and also stopped at the Country Store & Catering for brats for dinner tonight.

Sunday 7/23

Walked into town early in the morning just to take a look around. Several interesting looking restaurants. Quiet, relaxing day.


Monday 7/24

Heard from MorRyde, parts are all in. We rescheduled suspension installation for August 10th and 11th. Will be a PIA to fight the traffic back around the south side of Chicago, but what can you do.

Did a bit of shopping and some small repairs on the RV. It suffered a bit from sitting in the heat in Tucson during June. Needed to glue a few trim items.

Pretty convenient shopping here, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, Menards, big Walmart, nice Jewel and a nice big HyVee grocery.

Had a nice dinner at Nat’s On Maple, nice atmosphere, good food and large portions.

Tuesday 7/25

Moved sites here in the park as we expected. We made our reservations late after the host position at Big Rock Campground fell through, so we told the host here we did not mind changing sites if necessary. Still a nice view of the lake from our site. We have been walking around the lake every morning, pretty location.

Wednesday 7/26

Into St Charles for the first of a string of doctors appointments and medical tests over the next three weeks. Lunch at Nosh in Geneva. We thought they had moved to new location, but not there yet. Only five days left at old one.

Stopped at Trader Joe’s and then went to the Sherwin Williams Automotive Paint store in North Aurora. Looking for some touch-up paint for the trailer, a small section of paint on the bottom of one slide peeled in the Blue Beacon wash. Nice young man helped us out, mixed up a small batch of paint for us and gave us instructions how to do it.

Stopped at Harbor Freight in Aurora and picked up an inexpensive spray gun for the repair. Thought maybe I could do it here with the air from the truck, but air pressure is too high and I don’t have a regulator. Will wait until we get home and use my small compressor.

Thursday & Friday 7/27 & 28

Quiet days, beautiful mornings for our walk. We’ve been walking into town and around the neighborhoods. A bit of shopping, lunch at Culver’s on Friday, and a few minor repairs on the trailer. Otherwise uneventful.

Saturday 7/29

Headed into Geneva late in the morning to work at the mill for the first time since last summer. Stopped at American Science and Surplus to pick up some latex gloves, a bit more expensive than they have been in the past.

Stopped at Joseph’s Meats for Italian sausage for lunch. Then spent the afternoon at the mill. Not enough wind to turn, but spent nice time with old friends.

Late in the afternoon we stopped at Meir’s to stock up on a few things, then went to Mark & Renee’s house for an excellent dinner, Bar-B-Que ribs and home brewed beer!

Got back to Sycamore about dusk, in time to take a stroll through the cruise night in downtown. Much bigger turnout than they get for the cruise nights in Geneva.

Sunday 7/30

Morning walk into town to check out prep for car show today. Turned out most of the cars were already in place! Spent more than an hour walking around. Huge turnout with some pretty spectacular cars. 90% hot rods and street rods. Found out later they had more than 1,250 cars there!

Back home we watched the F1 race and Sunday AM shows on the DVR and pretty much relaxed.

Monday 7/31

Into St Charles for doctors appointments and grocery shopping today. The location is not as bad as we thought it would be, only a half hour into St Charles or Geneva. About the same as it was last year from Big Rock. In fact, Big Rock would be a longer this year because the road that is the shortest route is currently closed!

Nice weather the last few days, did not run the AC all weekend and the night car cool, low 60’s high 50’s.

Tuesday 8/1

More medical appointments today, we are cramming all of our routine medical exams and such into a short time frame while we are here.

Picked up some Italian sausage for dinner at Joseph’s Meats, then back to the trailer for a quiet afternoon and evening. 

Confirmed a reservation at Timberline Campground in Waukee, IA  for 9/1. We stopped here for a couple of days on the way west last year. Realized that we will be on the road for Labor Day weekend again as our reservation at Cherry Creek in Denver started that Sunday night, so we needed a reservation. We will hit Sunny Meadows in Elm Creek, NE on Saturday. This is simply a big gravel parking lot with hook-ups and we have never seen it even half full, even on a holiday weekend, so there should be no issue there. 

Wednesday 8/2

After our morning walk we visited the Sycamore History Museum. Pretty thin on displays, especially considering the $5 admission fee. We did pick up a booklet on historic homes in Sycamore (another five bucks!). Will make our morning walks around town more interesting.

Then we drove down to Hinkley and had lunch at South Moon Bar-B-Que. The ribs were just as good as we remembered them.

Thursday 8/3

A run back into St Charles for some appointments, then back home in the afternoon. The drive into town from here turns out to be not much worse than from Big Rock last year. 

Friday 8/4

Last of my medical tests mid-day today, then lunch at Pot Belly’s and back to Sycamore. A light rain today, but cleared off in the afternoon. I washed the car after we returned.


Saturday 8/5

We’ve been taking morning walks around town every day, a lot of pretty houses in town. Once or twice we have stopped in the bakery downtown for a doughnut, but we try to avoid making a habit of that! Nancy picked up some really good cinnamon bread this morning

Went to the mill in the afternoon, a really nice day with enough of a breeze to get the mill running off and on. More visits with old friends.

Sunday 8/6 

Quiet day at Sycamore RV Resort. Nancy did some laundry. Otherwise uneventful.

Monday 8/7 and Tuesday 8/8

A couple of medical appointments took us back into the Tri-cities both days. That and some shopping pretty much filled up the days.

Wednesday 8/9

Hooked up the trailer and headed back to MorRyde in Elkhart to take another stab at getting the new suspension installed. Dropped Nancy off at Joan’s on the way. Took about four hours to get to Elkhart from Sycamore, traffic was not to bad. Backed the trailer into the service bay on arrival, another night indoors.

Thursday and Friday 8/10 and 8/11

Spent both days hanging around MorRyde, reading and chatting with other customers. Installation of new suspension finished about 2 PM Eastern as scheduled. Looks pretty good! Turned out the shocks they had on hand were wrong for the 10k axles, so they will ship them to me and I will put them on myself. Turned out to be considerably pricier than we originally planned due to the need for new brake drums and brake assemblies.

This is one of the old 9k axles after it came out. Gotta says those springs looked a lot bigger when I was lying underneath trying to replace hanger bolts!



And this is one of the new 10k independent assemblies upside down on the bench:



and installed on the trailer:


And here's a diagram of the assembly:


Trip back to Sycamore was brutal, lots of stop and go traffic, took five hours. Really pleased with the result though, checking the interior of the trailer on arrival it was obvious that it is riding considerably smoother. Several times along the way where the truck rocked side to side I could see that the trailer was not doing the same, riding much smoother.

So now we have a couple thousand pounds more carrying capacity (from 9k axles to 10k), a much smoother ride that will not beat up the trailer as bad, and, best of all, no worries about braking spring hanger bolts anymore!

Saturday 8/12

Just hung around Sycamore RV Resort most of the day, the trip back yesterday was really tiring. 

Sunday 8/13

I headed down to Tinley Park to celebrate Joan’s birthday and pick Nancy up. Had a nice lunch and back in Sycamore let afternoon.

Monday 8/14

Grocery shopping and laundry, otherwise a quiet day.

Tuesday 8/15

Early morning walk and later in the afternoon we walked back into town to the little farmers market they have. A little warmer this afternoon. We have had beautiful weather the last couple of weeks, pleasant days and nice cool nights. Today was the first time we had the AC on in several days.  


Friday, July 14, 2017

Back On The Road Again

Getting out of HOT, HOT Arizona!

Sunday 7/9/17

Back on the road today. We’re well settled in the new house, finally got our landscaping done - 35 tons of decorative stone and another 5 tons of “rip-rap” (fist size rocks). Looks pretty good, we will wait until fall to start planting our cacti.

We spent the month of June in Europe with Nancy’s sister Joan. Another Prairie Home Companion cruise out of Rotterdam on the MS Rotterdam. Two weeks with two stops in Scotland and four in Norway. Had a fun time, good entertainment and fairly good weather. Overnight in Oslo on June 21 & 22. Longest night of the summer and the Norwegians celebrate all night! Sunset around 11 PM and sunrise at 3 AM!

Got back to Tucson on June 30th. Seriously hot! Over 105 every day for the week we were there!

Due to work on the truck that lasted until Friday we were not able to start loading the trailer until Saturday AM. Brutally hot so the loading went slow. We had to quit in the afternoon and then finished up after sunset.

Got ourselves organized this morning and hit the road around 9 AM. We’ve been getting up at 5 AM to walk before sunrise all week, so getting up early this morning was no challenge.

We are headed to Elkhart to have suspension work done on the trailer and then back to Northern Illinois for six weeks. We laid out a trip with fairly short days this time, plan on getting to MorRyde in Elkhart on Saturday. Today we went as far as the Escapees park in Deming, NM. Uneventful trip.

Monday 7/10

Easy day from Deming to Roswell, NM., although we hit a bit of rain. Lunch at Margo’s Mexican in Alamogordo, then stayed at Trailer Village where we used to stop regularly when we first were going to Tucson, almost 8 years ago! We stopped coming this way after Emily and her family moved to Denver and we started stoping there. The young couple who ran the RV park now have a granddaughter!


Tuesday 7/11

On to Alanreed, TX, East of Amarillo. Easy day in spite a slight detour when I missed a turn in Clovis. Took a little tour of NM and Texas secondary highways to get back on track!

Stopped at Allanreed Travel Center, a tiny RV park right off I-40 in Alanreed, TX. Just a half dozen hook-ups in grass field behind a gas station, but more than adequate for what we need.

Wednesday 7/12

On to Chandler, OK and Oak Glen RV Park where we have stayed a number of times before before. Uneventful day and easy drive.

Thursday 7/13

Lunch at Cracker Barrel and a stop at Flying J in Tulsa, cheapest fuel along the route. Stopped at the tiny RV park behind Motel Six in St. Robert, MO. Thunderstorms and fairly heavy rain during evening.

Friday 7/14

Doubled back a couple of miles for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a stop at Walmart. Still got on the road at 9 AM!

Two long, slow traffic jams for construction in Illinois to today. Stopped at Cracker Barrel in Effingham. That put us just 10 miles from where we had planned to stop, so we went on to Cloverdale RV Park in Cloverdale, IN. Nice quiet park with large sites and lots of shade. In spite of the shade the sat dish could still get the channels for F1 qualifying the morning. 335 miles, but puts us only 200 miles from Elkhart.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Getting Settled In

Monday 1/2/17

Cool morning, still cloudy, although the forecast was for sunny. 50 degrees when we headed off on the bike ride, kind of a small group this morning. Nancy and I did 8 miles and the temp had zoomed all the way up to 57 when we finished!

Back home for lunch, than over to the house to meet Alex to answer some questions on bathroom fixture placement.

Driveway almost finished, looks really good and grading done all around the house. Back home Nancy went to yoga here at the park, then we watched the Winter Classic hockey game from St Louis that we had recorded earlier in the day.

Tuesday 1/3

Nice sunny morning in the desert, a bit on the cool side, 40 degrees when we went out.

Nancy had her first Spanish class of the winter this morning and I moved the furniture and picked everything up to shampoo the carpets in the trailer. That took a good chunk of the day. I have tried to do it every year before we put the trailer away in the spring and it has kept the 12 year old carpet looking pretty good. It also helps that we take one of our Persian carpets from home and put it in the main area of the trailer.

After finishing the carpet cleaning I spent most of the rest of the afternoon balancing checkbooks and making sure the finances are all in sync. Coming to the finish line on the house there are a lot of bills coming due all at once.

Still unable to get approval from Pima County to get the gas service installed. Turns out the county inspector never made it out to the house due to the holidays! Bummer. Hopefully will get done today.

Paulette called and window treatments are scheduled for installation on Thursday. Still on track for the walk-through and hand-over tomorrow! Yeah!

Drove by the house late in the afternoon, driveway is finished and it looks pretty good, pavers look nice and it is not as steep as we were afraid it would be. Things are looking really good! Tomorrow is the big day!

Wednesday 1/4

Morning walk in the desert before breakfast, cool but pretty morning. When we get some clouds it really changes the appearance of the desert and the surrounding mountains.

Walk through on new house this morning! Yeah! Went well, things look great, a few odds and ends still need to be done. Guys are still working on the front sidewalk and steps to the the street. Made final payment and received the keys - it’s OUR house now!

In the afternoon we puttered around the house, took a bunch of interior pictures while it is all fresh and uncluttered (see previous post), and measuring things, Nancy started in on shelf and drawer liners in the kitchen and pantry. Then she went back to the RV park to study Spanish with her friend Carol.

The tile installers had left the excess floor tile in the garage so I loaded most of it up in the Jeep in the afternoon and took it to the self storage. That tile is HEAVY! Sure don’t want to move it again!

Brought back four boxes of SwissTrax for installation tomorrow.

Back home for dinner.

Thursday 1/5

Morning walk, then Nancy went to yoga here at the park. I met my friend Gary at the self storage place and we loaded up the rest of the SwissTrax in his truck and the Jeep and we spent the morning laying the floor in the garage. It went really smoothly, especially with Gary’s help! We got everything done except the edges that need to be cut to fit.

Nancy and I went into town to Beyond Bread for lunch, then a stop at Mark’s Ace Hardware for more shelf liner and a few other odd and ends we need for the house. I picked up a reasonably priced lithium battery jig saw to cut the floor tiles that need to be fitted around the edges of the garage.When you lay the tiles you start out flush with one wall and the door, but by the other side and the back of the garage there are usually spaces narrower than a full tile. Also need to fit around corners and the sink in the garage.

A stop at Trader Joe’s, then home for diner - second half of our lunch sandwiches.

Good Blackhawks game tonight, the recovered and won in overtime.

Friday 1/6

Morning walk and leisurely breakfast, mid-morning we went over to the house and Nancy got going on shelf lining in the pantry while I started on the garage tile around the edges that need to be cut to fit - slow going!

Off to BK Tacos for lunch, then we stopped at the self storage locker and loaded up most of the stuff that needed to go to the house. Nancy spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up the shelf paper in the pantry and sorting through all the stuff from storage.

Back home we had White Cane salmon on the grille, good stuff! Followed by a Blackhawks game.

Saturday 1/7

Regular morning walk and mid-morning I went over to the house to continue fitting SwissTrax tiles to the oddball shaped places. For some reason my brain was on vacation this morning, got one corner done after a few fits and starts. One tile I oriented, measured and marked. Then I went back to check orientation, oops, wrong! Remarked it, rechecked, OK, cut it and went to fit it and off by 90 degrees! What? 

About Noon I went over to the storage lot to check on the truck, no signs of critters and it started immediately. While it was idling I searched through the stuff in the truck - another treasure hunt!

Last spring we bought a small Southwest themed plaque for hanging keys by the back door at the 4th Avenue Street Fair and now we cannot find it! I was sure it was in the self storage, but we have not found it. Not in the truck, bummer.

On the way out Gary was in his garage so I stopped and chatted for a while, then a stop back at the self storage to double check, no sign of the key rack!

Then a stop at Samrose Market to have a propane tank filled and then back home for lunch.

Nancy and I did a thorough search of the trailer looking for the key rack, still no luck! Driving me nuts, I know I put it in the self storage locker!

Mid-afternoon we went over to the house and looked through the stuff we brought over yesterday. In one of the kitchen bins there was a dish towel wrapped around the missing key rack! 

We put the folding ladder with a towel over the top of it and put it in the yard outside the great room to get a feel for the height of the wall we are having built. John Herder says they are going to get started on it Monday! The wall will surround a flagstone patio outside of the sliding doors in our great room, it will also allow us some privacy when sitting here in the evening with the panel drapes open. Right now people are only 25 feet away and looking right in. Ninety percent of the house here have walls of some kind surrounding their front yards.

Later on I went to turn on the ceiling fan in the great room and it would not work! What?? It was working on Wednesday during the walk-thru so why not now? After a lot longer than it should have taken I finally figured out that one of the wall switches that we could not identify was for the fan! Oops.

Back home to our trailer for diner and a quiet evening.

Sunday 1/8

Both of us up early, too much on our minds I guess. Took a nice walk in the desert, breakfast and watched CBS Sunday Morning. Then Nancy spent some time on her Spanish and I went over to the house and worked on the SwissTrax floor. As I said before, the main area went down fast, put piecing the two edges and around the sink and the door into the house is a slow process.

I came back to the trailer for lunch and a nap, then Nancy’s friend Carol came by to study Spanish and I went back to the house for an hour and a half or so. Got the area around the utility sink pieced together. One leg of the sink would have been right in the center of a tile, but I discovered I could remove a foot piece from the leg, shorten it by a 1/4 inch, slip the tile under, and replace the foot on the leg! Done!



Monday 1/9

Off to the new house first thing this morning, SW Gas scheduled between 8 and Noon. Did some more work on the edge pieces in the garage, spent some time chatting with neighbors. Gas guy showed up, put in the gas meter and fired up all the gas appliances. Nancy did some more shelf lining.

Early afternoon we ran into town for lunch (and dinner) at Beyond Bread, a stop at Ace Hardware and the grocery store, then back to the house. Nancy headed back to the RV Park for a yoga class. I did a bit more work and headed home as well, then just as I got home I remembered that I left our sandwiches in the fridge at the new house! Oops, back to the new house, good thing it is close!

Quiet evening at the trailer.

Tuesday 1/10

WaterTec called yesterday to see if they could reschedule the water treatment equipment for afternoon, so I did not have to get over to the house at the crack of dawn. 

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning.  Mid-morning the young lady from Boerman Moving and Storage in Illinois called and said the van would be here Wednesday between 8 and 10 AM! Yeah, a day early!

I went over to the house and finished the last few edge pieces in the garage. The floor really looks good.



Guy from Triad Wireless came to install the WiFi. He said all the wiring was perfect from the roof into the house and around the various rooms, BUT … the access panel on the roof is just a flat panel. They need a “Wet connection box” to do the hook-up. Oops. Bet the Dish Network folks will need the same thing! Fortunately we had been working with Alex today on finalizing a few issues and designing the patio and wall that Herder is going to install, so he is going to work on the “wet connection box” issue.

Crew working on the paving blocks finished the front sidewalk and steps to the street and that looks wonderful. Herder’s crews are real artists.  This pic is standing in the street in front of the house. (Sorry abut the quality, should not have tried in the afternoon, front of house cases East)



Speaking of Herder's crews, when I laid the SwissTrax in the garage I started at the left front corner and worked back and across. When I got to the right side I needed to cut the first tile to fit a 6” gap. At the back of the garage the last tile had to be out to fit a 6” gap! Perfectly square garage!

Guy from WaterTec came around 3 PM and worked until 6:30! We are installing system that uses no salt and does not recharge. A recharging water softener uses around 40 gallons of water each time! A bit wasteful for a desert area. This alternate system is a bit pricer and does not actually remove the hard minerals from the water, just encapsulates and suspends them in the moving water. So if the water dries on a surface it will still leave a deposit, but there will be no clogging of pipes. Just means we have to dry the dishes every time, which we usually do anyway (we do not use the dishwasher).

Alex said that the crew would be at the house first thing on Wednesday to start on the wall. Initial plans called for removing the medium sized palo verde tree in our yard! We said absolutely not! Move the wall to fit around it. So we laid out the wall to dodge around the tree.

Wednesday 1/11

I headed over to the house just before 7 so I could be there when they started on the wall and protect the tree! Talked to the man who is digging the footings and the fellow that will be building the wall and laying the flagstone patio. He said he hopes to finish the wall by the end of this week!

Moving van showed up just before 8 AM so we spent the morning showing them where to put stuff, even stuff we forgot we had kept! Actually our furniture fits in much better than we had been anticipating. 

Movers finished about Noon and Nancy and I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking boxes and putting things away. Got a pretty good start on the 142 (yes 142!) boxes that we packed! At least we got an extra day to get settled in. We are good in Desert Trails through Sunday morning, so we will stay here until we have the house all settled. So far nothing seriously damaged, a few bumps and scratches, but nothing of significance.

Nancy’s new clothesline from BreezeCatcher arrived today. She wants an umbrella style clothesline for the back yard and all of the ones we looked at were cheap and flimsy, with poor reviews on-line. Then we found BreezeCatcher, a lot more pricy, but really good quality and it looks like it will live up to the claims. Very well made with anodized aluminum brackets and strong supporting arms. Now I need to get the base secured in the back yard. 

Back to our home on wheels around 5, pizza for dinner and put our feet up! We are finding that ceramic tile floors are HARD! Yesterday I ordered some Wellness Mats to cover the kitchen work area. We also need to get some of our carpets down after we make a dent in the boxes.

Last week I put a notice on the Next Door Neighbors website for Tucson Estates that I had some boxes (the ones the floor tiles came in) to give away and all 14 of them were gone by the end of the day Friday. Today a guy from right down the street called and asked if I still had them. Well no, but I will have a lot more pretty quick! They are moving and he came and took all of the boxes we unpacked today! Easy way to get rid of them and helping a neighbor. Most of the boxes are ones we got from out next door neighbors in Geneva!


Thursday 1/12

Up fairly early again this morning, not doing our walks as we are getting plenty of exercise unpacking boxes and our dogs are barking!

After breakfast Nancy headed off to the grocery store, I loaded the bikes on the Jeep and took them over to the new house, then I stopped at Pedro’s Barber Shop for a haircut. Afterwards I headed back to our house through Tucson Estates I, when I got to the stop sign at Tucson Estates Parkway headed into Tucson Estates 2 Nancy was just coming in! What are the odds of that?

We spent most of the rest of the day unpacking boxes. Nancy took a break and went to Suzies Shear Artistry for a haircut as well.

Herder’s audio/video guy came by in the morning and put the “wet connection box” up on the roof. The installer from Dish Network came in the afternoon and installed a new dish - for free! Part of the “Dish Mover Package”, a pretty good deal.

By the end of the day I had the garage pretty much in order and Nancy has made a real dent in the kitchen. We have found most of the things we need right away.

Karen invited us over for a delicious lasagna dinner and we had a nice visit with the Karen and Gary and Karen’s mother. They had a tough week as Karen’s older brother passed away on Monday after a long illness.

Getting closer to be being ready, we plan on moving the trailer out on Sunday morning and spending our first night in the new house Sunday. 

Friday 1/13

Took our time getting going this morning, got over to the house mid-morning. Guys were already well along on building our wall! The antique copper slump block looks really good. A couple of the neighbors have complimented us on it already. 

Another day of unpacking boxes, probably more than half done. The house is actually livable now, but we will wait until Sunday when we move out of Desert Trails to actually settle in. Still coming back to the trailer for dinner and sleeping. I did make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and the new cooktop is really slick! Five burners of varying sizes for different tasks.

Nancy and Carol spent some time studying their Spanish this afternoon. Nancy will be missing her lesson this week to go to the memorial service for Karen’s brother. 

Saturday 1/14

Over to the Rec Center at Tucson Estates 2 first thing this morning for the monthly Meet & Greet and Community Forum. Then over to the house to continue unpacking. 

Made a good dent on the boxes stacked in the kitchen, then went to J. J. Cooper in Tucson Estates shopping center for lunch, then back to unpacking.

Yesterday we met with one of the ladies who do light landscaping in the area, a lot of people we know have used them. We needed to have our two large Palo Verde trees trimmed as they are growing kind of wild. They came by late this afternoon, were still trimming when we left about five.

Finished all but one or two of the boxes staked in the kitchen, got the kitchen and great room into some semblance of order so we can be comfortable when we settle in tomorrow.

Around five we called it a day, stopped at the storage lot and picked up the truck. My solar battery charger is working great. I started the truck earlier in the week and it was the same again today, cranked right over and fired instantly! 

Back to Desert Trails for the last night in the RV until next summer. 

Wednesday 1/18

Whew! Pretty hectic the last four days! Sunday morning it was raining off and on! The Trailer has been sitting here in Desert Trails five plus months and it rains the day we are loading up to move! And we get and average of 12 inches per YEAR here!

Anyway, we headed out about 10:30 AM and came over to the house. Spent the rest of the day unloading the trailer, hard to believe how much “stuff” we had crammed in there!

Light rain off and on all day. Finally finished up and moved the trailer to storage about 4:30. Nice to have the storage lot so close, only a mile and half from the house so we can run over easily to get things we forget. Back home for pizza and rest!

Monday we spent the day unpacking boxes and trying to get things put away. Tuesday morning we went across to the far East side of town to the memorial service for Karen’s brother.

On the way home we stopped at Beyond Bread and the hardware store (we must be their best customers this month!) Then we stopped at Karen and Gary’s to pick up Margo. Nancy walked home with her (we are just under a mile apart here in Tucson Estates 2) and we kept her for the afternoon. Karen and Gary came by late in the afternoon and we all sat and had a drink.

Thursday 1/19

Unpacking boxes, etc. Nancy did gat away to study Spanish with Carol in the afternoon since she missed her class on Tuesday.

The wall outside our sliding windows is coming along wonderfully. It looks really nice. The guys have been working steady most of the week inspire of the rain. The ground here turns into gumbo when it is wet!


Another pic facing into the sun, but you get the idea.

I spent most of the afternoon unpacking the things from our curio cabinet and putting them in the cabinet. So far nothing broken! Nancy is doing pretty much the same thing!


Friday 1/20

Spent a good part of the morning on the phone with AirBnB, PayPal, and Chase Bank! It appears that AirBnB has our account tangled up with someone else and when they make a reservation we get the charge! It goes to PayPal and then rolls onto the credit card! Fortunately this is the first day of our billing cycle, so we have a month to straighten it out!

The installer from Triad Wireless came today so we now have regular WiFi back (yeah!). We have been using our Verizon hot spots since we left the RV park on Sunday. Triad called this morning and said they could not do the install due to the bad weather! I pushed back and said it might be bad on the East side of the mountains, but all we have here is clouds and spotty sunshine! After a couple calls they agreed to send the guy out. When he got here he said it was raining so hard in the city that it was hard to drive, but as soon as he got West of I-19 it stopped. Screwy rain patterns here.

The Wellness Mats for the kitchen arrived this afternoon, make the kitchen MUCH more pleasant to work in and they look nice.

Saturday 1/21

Getting pretty well settled in by now, we have gotten back to morning walks. In seven winters at Desert Trails and walking almost every morning, the only wildlife we have seen in the desert is the occasional jack rabbit. The first morning we walked up onto the slope of Golden Gate Mountain we saw a deer crossing the trail ahead of us! Have most all of the boxes out of the house and things put where they belong (kinda!). A couple boxes left in our closed and the den. Yesterday I got a couple of our clocks hung up and running.

It’s been cool and rainy most of the week, high today of 49! It does seem to have cleared off today, blue sky and some white clouds. This is the mini rainy season - of course average total annual rainfall is just under 12 inches, so “rainy season” is a bit of a misnomer. Rain now however is good for the spring wildflowers, so it should be a pretty spring, which starts in February!


Lots of different noises in a new house. It is quite windy today and we are hearing wind in the chimney and rattling the various vents on the roof. One day during the week I woke up at 5 AM and heard water running! Oh, oh! Jumped up and ran around the house, nothing. Back in the bedroom I realized it was outside the open window! Water off the flat roof running through one of the clay pipes (scuppers) and falling on the rocks below! something new for us!