Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bad News - Good News!

The Bad News? Lost Data is Gone Forever!

The Good News? My New Wrangler has Arrived!

Tuesday 5/31

I do my backups on a separate hard drive. Since I am using a laptop it is a real pain to keep the back up connected, so I usually do a back up once a month. So why do we care about that right now? Well, I have been having an issue with laptop for a couple of months. Occasionally it bogs down and needs to be restarted. When I do that 5 times out of 6 it fails to restart! Starts to load and stalls. I have talked with the Apple help desk a number of times and every time it seems like they have fixed the issue and then it happens again.

So I have been putting off going to the Genius Bar at the Apple store until last week. I knew my warranty was going to run out in June. On Tuesday 5/24 we were at Joan’s and I looked at my e-mailed receipt from last year - Oops! I bought the laptop on 6/1/15! Warranty runs out next week!

So, I called the Apple store and set up an appointment for that afternoon. Of course my backup hard drive is back in the trailer at Big Rock. Decided to take my chances. After an analysis the tech decides it needs a new hard drive! Which means it has to go out for repair - 3 to 5 days - AND I will lose all my data! Last backup was 4/26! Bummer, losing a whole months worth of changes, especially my blog notes! So I will take a shot at recreating!

Sunday 5/15 through Sunday 5/22

On Monday 5/16 Nancy and I both had appointments for an interview to get approved for the TSA pre-check. Having appointments was the right way to go as we were in and out of the place in less than a half hour! There were people waiting as walk-ins when we arrived that were still waiting when we left! Nancy received her approval the next day, I received mine on Wednesday. Pretty efficient! Or maybe it just proves we’re harmless!

On Tuesday 5/17 we had our annual meeting with our financial advisor, Dave Kohlmeyer at Stifle Nicolas in Geneva. Dave has done a great job for us over the last decade plus and we can highly recommend him if anyone is looking for a good financial guy!

Wednesday we both had appointments with our dermatologist for our annual check-up and things were fine there as well.

Thursday we ran into Hinckley to the little grocery store, not quite as close as the Jewel in Sugar Grove, but a nicer drive through the country and we avoid the construction on US 30. Turns out they have a really nice looking meat market with a lot of fresh pork. Picked up some locally made brats for later.

Also noticed an active Bar-B-Que place in Hinckley, South Moon BBQ. So that evening we tried it. Pretty good ribs and pulled pork. We will be back here. 

No idea at all what we did on Friday and Saturday!

On Sunday we went over to Fabyan windmill to visit with our friend’s. Spent most of the afternoon there, no wind so we could not turn. 

Sunday 5/22 through Sunday 5/29

Off to Joan’s house Monday morning, laundry and lunch, then we stayed overnight so Nancy could go with her to the eye doc on Tuesday morning. Hung around Joan’s most of the day on Tuesday, then back home.

Thursday we both had appointments for blood draws at our doctor’s office in Geneva, a few errands and that was about it. First night on duty as Campground Hosts. A lot of work, I have to walk out late in the evening and turn the sign by our site from “off duty” to “on duty” and the next morning I have to flip it back!

Not much going on the rest of the week.

Monday 5/30

Memorial Day pancake breakfast at the United Methodist Church in Geneva, so we headed off first thing. As usual great pancakes and we ran into several old friends. A beautiful morning, a bit unusual for Memorial Day around here, frequently rains.

A couple stops for groceries and then back to Big Rock and relaxed. Cooked the brats we picked up in Hinckley last week for dinner and they were delicious! While they were cooking I took a walk around the trailer checking things out and found that one of the spring mount bolts was broken and partially in place!

This has been a chronic issue, really the only one we have had on the fiver. Replacing them can be a real PIA if they have fallen out completely. Maybe the way this one is I can get a new bolt in, I do carry spares!

Tuesday 5/31

First thing in the AM I decided to tackle the spring bolt. We have to move today to dump our tanks and I don’t want it falling out - we can make it about 6 days before we have to dump. 

So I crawled underneath while Nancy ran the front jack controls. I was able to get my pry bar into the open end of the bracket and while Nancy lifted the front of the trailer to take the weight off the suspension I was able to pry the spring back into place enough to start the new bolt in. Then I was able drive it into place, knocking the old one out. Nylock nut on, tighten, and presto - fixed! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!

Hooked up the truck and pulled around to the dump station. Then I did a particularly smooth job of backing the trailer into our site. Unhitched, leveled the trailer and looked over to the campsite next to ours - a grille just like ours on the table! A cooler just like ours beside the empty site! … Oops, I backed into the wrong site! Good thing no one was watching! Hooked back up and moved back to the correct site!

We both had doctor’s appointments for our annual physicals this afternoon, so we ran into Geneva for those, then back home late afternoon. Once again we passed with flying colors - life is good!

Wednesday 6/1

Cool and rainy this morning, so we did not really get going until afternoon. Then we ran into Batavia to GNC for a couple of supplements our doctor recommended with a stop at Walmart and Walgreens to fill a couple of prescriptions. Back home for burgers on the grille.

Mosquitos are getting really nasty here! Maybe because of all the rain.

Thursday 6/2

Headed off to Joan’s this morning, ran into heavy traffic on I-88 almost as soon as we got on, close to an hour from US 30 entrance to Farnsworth! Finally heard on a traffic report that there was an accident at Eola Rd. Showed no sign of breaking up so we jumped off at Farnsworth and took Butterfield over to Rt 59 where we got back on, smooth sailing from there.

They made a run to the bank working on Irene’s accounts. After lunch at Culver’s Nancy did laundry while I took advantage of Joan’s WiFi to catch up in e-mail and forum postings.

Back home in time for dinner. Keep hoping the new Jeep will show up next week! They said three weeks for the reorder, but it will be four weeks as of tomorrow! 

Friday 6/3

Headed into Geneva first thing this morning to help John with Geneva Concours prep. We're going to miss the Concours again this year as we will be in Alaska in the APHC Cruise. Then back home to change our clothes and into the city to the Union League Club for a family dinner. Everybody from Denver was in town this weekend and we had originally planned a get together for Irene’s 102 birthday, unfortunately she did not quite make it, so we held the event in her honor anyway. This will be the last event the family has at the club, since Irene had the membership as the surviving spouse of a member. We have had some nice meals there over the years and this one was no exception. A really good dinner for 12 adults and 3 toddlers. I think everyone had a good time.

Took us and hour and forty minutes to get in leaving at 3 PM, fifty minutes to get home at 9:30!

Saturday 6/4

Overcast and drizzle this morning. We can’t remember the last time we saw a day like this. Slept in for a while and had a leisurely breakfast.  Sun peaked thru a bit mid-morning then it closed down again.
Early afternoon there was break on the weather, we cleaned all our screens, inside and out. They tend to collect dust when we have the fans running in our ceiling vents. Then we ran into Sugar Grove to the Jewel. 

By mid-afternoon it had turned into a beautiful day! Had a number of campers come in late in the afternoon, one group of tent campers with a whole passel of kids. The kids love riding their bikes around on the roads in campground.

Sunday 6/5

Quiet morning, watched Sunday AM shows - CBS Sunday Morning and Fareed Zakaria. Housewarming at our Nephew Lawrence’s new house in Chicago this afternoon.

Not a bad trip in, but it took an hour and a half to get to Lawrence’s house. There is no easy way to get from here to the near North Side. Eisenhower was stopped at Mannheim, so we jumped off and took surface streets.

A very pleasant afternoon with all of the family and Lawrence has a really nice home in a nice neighborhood.

Nancy went home with Joan while I went back home to Big Rock. 40 minutes just to get to the Eisenhower expressway, then 10 minutes all the way out to I-88 on the Ike! Still took close to an hour and a half.

Monday 6/6

A red letter day! I lazed around home most of the morning, then I had a doctor’s appointment at 2 PM. While I was sitting in the waiting room John called from Riverfront Chrysler - my Jeep is in and ready to go! Made arrangements to pick it up later in the afternoon!

After the doctor in Geneva I had to detour back out to Big Rock to pick up the check for the Jeep. Got there about 4:20 and it took a bit more than an hour to get the rest of the paperwork done. I love my new Jeep! It is just what I have been wanting and I am really happy with the way it drives and the way it looks! 

Here it is sitting in the Big Rock Campground! I'm a happy camper!

I went into Batavia to Wendy’s for dinner (Nancy is still at Joan’s) and then stopped at Best Buy in Geneva for a radio cord. Mainly just for an excuse to drive the Jeep! I put about 55 miles on it tonight! It is really comfortable and I really like the half doors. 

Nancy reported from Tinley Park that Laurie and his brother Bob got off OK in the Z3 this morning, headed for Omaha the first night. 

During the evening while I was watching the hockey game I sorted through the bag of stuff that I had taken out of the Z3. A lot of stuff that had just accumulated.

Tuesday 6/7

Up early, cold this morning and I could have used another blanket! Missed my sweetie!

Took my small plastic toolbox out of the Volvo that is not really necessary now since I always carry a big tool box. Turns out it fits perfectly in the small cubby under the rear compartment in the Wrangler. Found places for the all the other stuff I wanted to put in the Jeep.

Closed up the trailer and pulled around to the dump station then back into place and hooked everything back up. A bit of a pain once a week, but no big deal in the big picture.

Took the Wrangler down to Tinley Park, a bit too chilly to run without the side windows. One drawback to the soft top with half doors - it is quite noisy on the expressway in heavy traffic!
Back home early evening,  we stopped at Riverfront Chrysler and picked up the smart that I had left there yesterday afternoon.

I have been puzzling out what to do about a spare tire cover for the Wrangle. I really wanted a Blackhawks cover, but the only one they sell anywhere is just the Indian Head logo. Not the thing to have in AZ I’m afraid. Too racist. Might be better if I could find one with “Chicago Blackhawks” actually spelled out.

Riverfront Chrysler provided a free cover though, “Only in a Jeep!” with the Wrangler grille. Unfortunately it also has the dealer name on it. Anyway, the cover decision is in abeyance for now.

Wednesday 6/8

Headed for the mill first thing this morning to help Mark move the sails for the painters. Then we made a few stops and had lunch with Pat & John at a new deli in Geneva.

Back home late afternoon. I spent 2 hours on the phone with Humana trying to get a mix-up with my prescription meds policy straightened around!

After dinner we took a short ride to where we knew there was a gravel road and tried out the 4 wheel high and 4 wheel low on the Jeep, just to make sure everything works! Then went the rest of the way into Hinkley and stopped at Dairy Joy for a soft serve cone.

Thursday 6/9

Overcast and raining most of the day. We pretty much just sat around reading. I went over the inside of the Wrangler with Meguier’s rubber and vinyl protector, already did the fender flairs and bumpers on the outside. Man, there is a lot of plastic in there, other than the seats and carpet almost every surface is plastic. Better for cleaning it out I guess.

I also crawled into the back seat in the process and that was a treat! Nancy & Connie had managed to get in there on Tuesday, but I don’t think we will be using it much. Roomy enough once you get in there, but a real chore to get in and out!

I will probably take the back seat all the way out and just store it in Tucson! Unfortunately you cannot fold the rear seat and leave it in place on the 2 door. You can do that on the four door, but on the two door it is no longer safely secured in the vehicle when it is folded. Conversely, the one in the four door cannot be easily removed like the two door.

Dinner at Two Brothers Roundhouse (Used to be Walter Payton’s Roundhouse) with Mark and Renee’, our friends from the mill.

Friday 6/10

Nancy off to have brunch with Joan and some of their cousins this morning. I took the truck up to the TA truck stop in Marengo for an oil change and lube. After a one hour drive I found a two hour wait! Knowing how easily that can turn into a three to four hour wait I declined and came back home.

Figured out how to get the back window out of the Jeep, then drove into Hinkley and had a burger at Dairy Joy. Shortly after Nancy got back we took a ride around to the other five of Big Rock Forest Preserve and around the area.

Still very, very windy, has been windy for something like ten days! I have never seen winds like this in June this area and I have lived here for 40 years!

Saturday 6/11

Nancy had picked up some sirloin tips at Joseph's Meat Market, so we went down to Joan's for a bar-b-qua in the afternoon. Since the Jeep was so noisy on the toll roads we decided to go by surface streets. Took US 30 to Plainfield and then East to Tinley Park. Took about 25 minutes longer, but much more comfortable. You have to make some sacrifices for what you want. I read a review of the Wrangler where the writer said: "Practically speaking - what and I talking about? If you were "practical" you would not even be reading this! The Wrangler is not about practical!"

Sunday 6/12

Relaxing day, watched CBS Sunday Morning and then the F1 race from Montreal. Did a few minor chores around the here, quick trip into the grocery store and hardware, then back to watch game six of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cold and Rainy in Kane County!

Nancy got back to Tucson late on Saturday 4/30. Sunday we picked up and went out for an early dinner at La Parilla Suiza with Karen and Gary.

Hit the road Monday morning May 2nd. There have been several days of high winds and they have closed I-10 between Benson and the New Mexico line several time over the last few days due to dust storms. We decided to take a slower route up through the mountains instead of risking issues with the dust storms.

A really pretty drive uo through Oracle, Globe and Show Low. The truck really performed well in the mountains, especially through Salt River Canyon.

Stopped in Show Low for lunch at JalapeƱo Cafe. Picked it because of the large parking lot, but it turned out to be a great place to eat.

Long day on Monday, 10 hours on the road and stopped at Enchanted Trails just west of Albuquerque late in the evening.

Had an e-mail from Riverfront Chrysler Tuesday  morning - our Jeep has arrived and we can pick it up on Friday. Yeah!

Off again early on Tuesday and another long day, 10 hours again and stopped at Rockwell RV Park in Oklahoma City. We decided to take it a bit easier on Wednesday and decided to stop in Missouri instead of pushing on into Illinois. May have to seek out another RV park in this area as Rockwell is getting a bit pricy, $45 with a Good Sam discount!

Found a nice little Passport america campground, Pheasant Acres in St James Mo. Small and nice, but a bit tight for our rig, lots of trees. They had one pull through that we fit in and I managed to back out of it and onto the road in the morning to avoid contact with trees.

Thursday we went on to the Big Rock Campground in Kane County. Nice place with large sites, very few RVs. Only drawback is no sewer hook-ups so we need to be judicious with our water to minimize moves to the dump station.

Friday morning we stopped at the bank and picked up checks for both cars and then over to Riverfront Chrysler.  After a fair amount of time doing paperwork there was a lull and I had left my license plate in the truck, so I started to walk out to get it. Our Wrangler was sitting in the delivery area now and I looked it over. OH NO! It has full doors! Not the half doors I ordered. Back inside I told the salesman and there was a bit of a panic as they tried to figure out what happened. Turns out that line was missed when they put in the factory order!

This was a deal killer as the only reason we had to special order was to get the half doors - a non negotiable item! They offered  “several hundred dollars” additional discount, but I would never be happy with full doors. They are going to reorder, said they could put a rush on the order and have it here in about three weeks.

Very disappointing after I had been anticipating it all week, but our original schedule had us arriving here on May 25th, so it’s not the end of the world.

Off to pick up Nancy’s new smart tomorrow morning.

Saturday 5/7 to Saturday 5/14

Stopped by Joan’s first thing in the AM then over to Mercedes Benz of Orland Park, one town over to pick up the smart. Took about two hours to get through all the paperwork, but the smart is exactly as advertised, 54 miles on the clock! We are really pleasantly surprised with this car. Only two years newer than the old one, but the ride and handling are substantially improved. Might be the performance tires and fancy Brabus wheels, but there seems to have been some suspension upgrades as well. Nancy really likes it.

Really pretty yellow and black CityFlame Edition, Nancy has named it Dumbledore! Trying to figure why to has been sitting unsold for three years. Finally decided it was the original cost. The base price was $12,490 but the CityFlame Edition added almost $5,200 to the window sticker! Yeah, it included everything added on the Passion models plus specially trimmed leather seats and black Brabus wheels, but that still seemed a bit rich. Lucky for us though since we picked up brand new car for the price of used one!

Spent the rest of the day at Joan’s then back to Big Rock to the campground. We’re about the same distance from her house as our old house in Geneva was.

Monday we went back to Joan’s and spent the night as we wanted to go over with Joan Tuesday morning and help her while the movers packed up their Mom’s apartment. There was a bit of a hassle as the facility staff decided to clean out the apartment on Friday without giving any notice to Joan! Several things were lost or damaged in the process, but after a fair amount of back and forth Joan and Nancy managed to get adequate compensation for the missing/and damaged items since they were still paying rent through May 13th!

Nothing of any consequence happening the rest of the week. Weather has been nasty, off and rain most of the week and heavy rain all night Thursday. On Friday evening we went to our close friend’s Ruth Ann and Ed’s house for dinner along with our other close friends Patt and John. Had a really nice evening catching up on things and an outstanding dinner!

On Thursday when I paid the next 7 days rent I asked the camp host if we really needed to move at the end of 14 days. The rule is you can only stay here 14 out of 21 days. We were planning on moving to another forest preserve campground about 20 miles north for 7 days before coming back here for another two weeks, then moving to Northern Indiana for another 3 weeks. He said yeah, we need to go out for 7 days.

Then just as we were leaving for dinner Friday evening he came by and said he talked to his boss. Turns out they need another campground host to be on duty overnight in case a camper needs assistance. On duty from 11 PM to 7 AM and all you have to do is be available if needed. He also said that has never actually happened! Only need to commit for a month and as compensation we get a free site and we don’t have to leave for that 7 days! Hey, that’s a no brainer! We can stay for six weeks. Will meet with the Forest Preserve Ranger on Monday. Should be a slam dunk since we are already Kane County Forest Preserve volunteers and have been for years.

Saturday the weather was downright nasty. High of 48 with a 15 to 20 mile an hour wind all day (and all last night!) Supposed to be in the low 30’s tonight! We huddled inside and watched movies.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Holding Pattern in Arizona

Nancy's Mom, Irene Galvin Beck, passed away Monday morning April 24th. Nancy and both of her sisters had been with her all weekend. Nancy will remain in Chicago for a while helping Joan deal with their Mom's apartment and attendant issues. I'm sitting tight in Tucson, getting things cleaned up and packed away in anticipation of hitting the road as soon as Nancy returns.

Wednesday 4/13

Morning walk in the desert, saw two ravens building a nest in the crotch of a tall saguaro right next to one of the trails we take regularly.

Loaded the bikes onto the truck, along with some other items and made a run to Ajo-Kinney Storage. No point in hauling the bikes along with us this summer.

Ran some errands, Nancy doing the driving since the car is rented in her name. We are still seeing ants around the footprint of the house, so we stopped at “Do It Yourself Pest Control” on Ajo Way and picked up some ant bait. Stopped by the lot and spread it around.

Picked Gary up and we went to Coyote Pause for lunch. Karen and her Mom were out shopping.

I did some looking at used smarts available in the Chicago area. Found a possibility at Mercedes St. Charles, but it is white and silver - boring. Then I found a yellow and black one at Mercedes Orland Park where we bought the last one.

Turns out it is a brand new 2013 that has been sitting in the dealer’s inventory for three years! It has 51 miles on it. Apparently not a big market for yellow smarts in Orland Park. That is however perfect for us! In fact, when we bought our first gray market smart in 2006 Nancy had really liked the yellow and black ones but none of them were being brought into the US.

So … we called and made a deal. We will pick it up as soon as we get back to Illinois. It is called a CityFlame Edition and there were only 2,400 built in 2013. Some were black with yellow interior trim, others were yellow with black safety cell like ours.

Blackhawks opened the playoff tonight and got ripped! They played a good game against St. Louis that ended in a scoreless tie. Then the Blues scored a fluke goal on a deflection off a Blackhawk’s defenseman! Very disappointing.

Thursday 4/14

After our morning walk we stopped by to see Gary and he rode over to take a look at the house with us. Ants seem to be gone! Yeah. Nothing happening right now, Paulette says they plan on pouring the foundation on Saturday!

Again ran a few errands, stopped at BK Tacos for lunch. Starting to get things picked up and packed up. We have decided to skip the stop in Show Low and head head straight back to Illinois so Nancy can see her Mom and help Joan with the attending issues.

Friday 4/15

The ravens seem to be settling into the huge nest they have built in the saguaro. Another beautiful morning in the desert, weather has been really nice lately. Warm enough for the AC in the afternoon, but nice at night. For the first time in seven winters here we saw a pair of coyotes out in the desert this AM, trotting by about 100 feet from us. We hear them quite often, but this is the first time we have actually seen any in the desert. We occasionally see them crossing a road, especially in our new foothills neighborhood.

Headed into town to swap cars at mid-day. Joan had found a great deal for Nancy on the car we had this week. Dollar has “City Specials” on their website. If you watch it during the week the prices drop substantially. The one we pick up today will cost us $90 for two weeks! A great deal. Apparently rent-a-car demand drops off here this time of year.

Took 45 minutes standing in line at Dollar to get the new car! One would think they could staff based on known demand at any one time, but noo. 

Stopped at Ajo Cafe for lunch, then a quick stop at Camping World. Back home I talked to Gary and the insurance adjuster was stopping by to see him and he wanted me there as well so we stopped by. Ended up with more questions than answers after the meeting. We’ll get it straightened out.

End of season Bar-B-Que at the RV park this evening and the Blackhawks are playing game two in St. Louis.

Saturday 4/16

Hawks played a good game and won last night in St Louis so they evened the series and took over home ice advantage! Yeah! Some sour grapes in St. Louis over disputed goals, but for once this season the process went in the Hawks favor!

Up early, but no walk, they are supposed to be pouring concrete on our house today. Got over there about 7:30, in time to see the last two trucks (of nine!) loading concrete into the pumper. John Herder (our builder) was there and he explained that they pump it in instead of just pouring from the trucks because it goes in more evenly. When they pour from the trucks the first load begins to dry while they are moving the trucks and that can cause voids or cracks. With the pumper the concrete flows in steadily and they can smooth it as they go. Quite a process, 90 yards of concrete 8-1/4” thick!

Had a long conversation with John as we watched them smoothing the concrete. He spent a lot of time explaining exactly what was going on and why they were doing things like scoring slab marks in the garage (localizes cracks and prevents hairline cracks in the garage surface.)  There are perks to being the folks paying the bills! 

The foundation will be what they call “post tension” reinforced. Last week they strung plastic coated cables between the footings in a 3 to 4 foot grid. Looks like the way they used to put in rebar. Once the foundation has cured - about 7 days - they will come back with a machine and tension the cables to 35,000 lbs.! This is done before the slab has any vertical load on it and will prevent cracks later on. Using this process is the only way they can do polished concrete floors, which are becoming more popular. We will have tile throughout and John says they have never had to replace any tiles due to cracking since they went to the “post tension” system. 

Left there about 9 and went into town to the Hotel Tucson for the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society semiannual conference. We only signed up for one of a number of seminars.  “Designing Your Own Succulent Garden” was an excellent presentation, exactly what we were looking for! We learned a lot about what we want to do and how to go about it. I took four pages of notes!

Lunch at Beyond Bread and a stop at Trader Joe’s then back home to listen to A Prairie Home Companion, which is now on at 3 PM here! The we watched the F1 qualifying from last night.

Sunday 4/17

Slept a bit later than normal, then our regular morning walk. No sign of the ravens and it looks like some of the nest blew down in the gusty winds yesterday.

Watched the F1 race, an especially good one with a lot of action. Then the Blackhawks, they played pretty well but not good enough to overcome both the Blues and the referees who apparently listened to the Blues whining from the last game.

Mid-afternoon we drove over to the house and took some measurements of the area we have for landscaping. Want to noodle around with some ideas during the summer. Slab looks good, wood forms removed and surface nicely finished, particularly the garage.

Monday 4/18

Morning walk and then a fairly quiet day, puttering around with small tasks getting ready to hit the road. Nancy has spent hours cleaning our Bar-B-Que grille which I have neglected a bit. 

Tuesday 4/19

After our morning walk I spent the entire morning doing the on-line safety class to expunge the ticket I received after the accident. Nancy did laundry and worked on her Spanish. She has really put a lot of time into this class and her progress is really good. She’ll be speaking Spanish like a native before too long!

Quick run in the afternoon to drop a check off at Herder’s office in Starr Ridge, stop at Tucson Estates Hardware and a run by the house. No activity there, but we did not expect any. Concrete needs to cure for a week before they do the post tension, then electrical wiring and plumbing goes into the slab. Then there is a wait for the building inspector before they start framing. Don’t expect to see much activity before we leave on the first.

Wednesday 4/20

Nice walk in the morning, it is getting hotter here, but the mornings are glorious! In the 50’s with a cloudless sky and low humidity. One of the ravens is now sitting on the new nest.

Ran into town for lunch at Ajo Cafe, good lunch, but disappointingly they were out of chocolate cream pie - again! Stop at grocery store and then back home.

Running the AC pretty regularly in the afternoon now.

We have decided to forgo the stop in Show Low on the way home and just head straight back so Nancy can help Joan with their Mom who is now in rehab. Expect to be at Big Rock Campground in Kane County the 4th or 5th of May. 

As soon as we get to Illinois we will pick up the new smart, then I will be waiting for my Jeep to arrive! Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Thursday 4/21

Blackhawks did not look great tonight, but they found a way to win in double overtime! Not sure if they have turned a corner or if they are just prolonging the pain!

Friday 4/22

Morning walk and then we made a run down to the storage place to drop off a few final items and bring back a bottle of whiskey! I think I mentioned before that I found a great deal on my favorite scotch at Costco a while back, so there are several bottles in the storage locker.

Then we got a call from Joan to say that Mom seems to be going downhill quickly. Made the decision to pack up and leave this Sunday instead of next. So we started heading in that direction. Changed the mail forwarding to start Monday and stopped the newspaper a week early.

Then another call from Joan. Not looking good. So Nancy packed up quickly and caught a flight to Chicago mid-afternoon! Connie is getting in from Denver about the same time tonight.

I said I could load up and head back North, but Nancy does not want me making the trip alone, so I guess I will wait until she returns.

Saturday 4/22

Nancy reported that she and Connie, along with Connie's son Lawrence (who live in Chicago), got there in time to talk with her Mom Friday evening.

Headed into town at mid-morning in the truck. My solar charger is doing a good job keeping the batteries topped up. Made a stop at Bookman’s. Some kind of Steam Punk event going on so it was crowded. Picked up a couple of paperbacks cheaper than I can get them on the Kindle.

Stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch and since I was at the one on Speedway I picked up a small chocolate pie at the Back Dough!

Back home and watched the four hockey games I recorded during the day! Glad the playoff are on while Nancy is gone.

Sunday 4/23

Watched CBS Sunday morning, did some packing. Picked up our outdoor carpet and laid it across the back of the truck so I could hose it off. Stuff dries really quick here!

Three pretty good hockey games today.