Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas to All

Saturday 12/19

Made a quick trip down to Valencia Rd to the Walmart and the bank, than I got a haircut (which I really needed!) from a lady here in the park, then we watched the Blackhawks mid-day game. Decided to run into BK Tacos for dinner, traffic across I-10 on Irvington Rd. was amazing and when we got to BK the line for ordering was out the door! Line moved pretty fast though and the food is as good as ever. Back home and settled down in front of the TV.

Sunday 12/20

Relaxing morning, watched Sunday Morning as we usually do and read the papers - getting Arizona Daily Star delivered again and get the Chicago Tribune on line. The Daily Star is a pretty good daily paper, a bi thin but better than a lot that we see around the country.

Monday 12/21

Our first Monday morning RV Park meeting, we are getting a lot of comments from friends and acquaintances who had wondered when we were coming. The fact that the park kept our space open for us indicated that we were coming in sooner or later. The park rule is that you have to start paying your rent by December first and occupy your site by the 15th in order to reserve your site from year to year. We paid December rent and just made it in by the 15th.

Finally getting settled in and relaxing a bit. Still doing some cleaning and storing things away. I applied Liquid Gold to the wood in the kitchen and on the entertainment center this afternoon. 

Tuesday 12/22

Headed off for therapy first thing this morning. The foot is really feeling better and the therapy is helping immensely, it almost feels normal already. Tim, my therapist is an interesting guy to talk to, which helps things move along when he is manipulating my ankle or using ultrasound on the repair.

After therapy we zipped over to Beyond Bread - Oh, Tim told me today he thinks it will finally be OK for me to drive! Nancy is relieved, she was getting a bit burned out on chauffeuring me around.

After lunch we stopped at the Albertson’s near Beyond Bread and then back home just long enough to put the cold stuff away. Then we went over to the Foothills to meet a builder’s representative - who actually turned out to be the builder’s wife.

We had noticed a house under construction by John Herder Building that had an “available” sign on it and wanted to take a look. We also wanted to investigate the possibility of building a new home as opposed to purchasing an older one.

Turned out the house in question was a bit out of our price range and larger than we are looking for, but we did have a nice discussion with Paulette about the possibilities. Of course she recommended building a new one, but there is actually a lot to be said for getting the latest in technology and materials. They have built over 400 homes in the immediate area and are currently developing another subdivision nearby.

It looks like building new might be a viable option since we are under no time pressure. We are going to look at floor plans over the Christmas break and then look into lot options in January.

Blackhawks got skunked by the Dalles Stars tonight. Nancy we went to the entertainment at the rec center, guess I should have gone also instead of staying home and watching them get beat! 

Wednesday 12/23

Nancy had Spanish class this morning, I did some house cleaning. Relaxed around mid-day and then over the mountain to Agility Therapy in the late afternoon. On the way home we drove around Starr Ridge, the other area off Kinney Rd. that Herder is developing. Still not many houses, but we are not crazy about the area anyway, too flat for one thing.

Then we cruised around The Foothills looking at empty lots. We have pretty much decided to have a new house built if we can find the right lot. That will be the first hurdle. Did some research on John Herder Building and found nothing but good comments. 

Dinner at home and a quiet evening.

Thursday 12/24

Nancy went to yoga class this AM. I am not quite ready for that yet, so I went over to the new gym her at the RV Park and did 10 minutes on the stationary bike. My ankle is showing improvement every day, should be able to ditch the stinking boot pretty soon!

Nancy spent much of the rest of the day studying Spanish, I putzed around and made a couple of minor repairs. One thing I repaired was the Fan-Tastic Vent in the bathroom. It had developed a mind of it’s own, a couple of times we came home and found it open and running. So I pulled the knob out to put it on manual - then it started running randomly until I pushed the know back in and let it register as closed!

Thinking old fashioned I thought it might be dust on contacts in the switch box, so I blew some compressed air into it, that made a change in the lights that were staying on so I pulled the fuse and opened up the box. Oops, solid state circuit board, so my dust theory went by the boards. However, Looking at the back of the board I could see that there was some kind of substance smeared around which looked like it could be shorting out the board.

Took a paper towel with hot water and the stuff came right off. Let it dry for a couple of hours, put the fuse back in, and it worked perfectly! Thinking about it, last year in Denver when we hit that brutally cold snap (14 below) we had a fair amount of condensation. There is a 1” square hole in the wall behind the control box and I bet cold air flowing in there caused condensation on the circuit board and left a deposit.

Late in the afternoon we headed into town for dinner at Pizza Hut with a group of friends from Desert Trails to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Friday 12/25

Quiet morning, Nancy helped with setup for Christmas dinner. The group here in the park is large enough that we have two venues, the Rec hall and the Oasis. We opted for the smaller group in the Oasis. Good company and good food. Pericles, the park owner provides the turkeys and condiments, everything else is pot luck and it is an amazing spread.

I went to dinner last night and today without my boot, I think I am about to dump it unless I need to walk a longer distance. Tim and his crew at Agility Therapy have been doing a great job, I can see improvement after every visit.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Full timers on the Road - or Homeless Vagabonds

Headed for Tucson
Friday 12/11/15 St. Roberts, MO

Finally on the road to Arizona and we are now full timers - or will be after the house sale closes next Monday!  The last couple of month have been absolutely crazy. 

We decided last spring when we got home that we would pend the summer cleaning out the house and put it on the market in the spring of 2016. Then our next door neighbors in the townhouse put their house on the market in early June and sold it in seven days!! Well, we decided now was the time to jump into the market so we accelerated our timetable. First thing we had to do after talking to a couple of real estate agents was get rid of the endless pool. So I out it on Craig’s list for free, come and take it away (it is 20 years old, but still working great) and had 15 takers within an hour. 

So with the pool gone we we refurbished the now family room and put the house on the market in mid-July. Had a lot of lookers, but no real offers so in late September we decided we would head for Tucson the first of November. THEN ... the last week in October I (Dennis) ruptured a tendon in my foot! Just walking down the street and the tendon that connects the ligament that runs down the front of my ankle and holds the foot up just popped.

So off to the doc who sent me to an ortho doc who recommended surgery. Had surgery Friday November 6th. Then I got sick from the pain meds and ended up in an ambulance headed for the local hospital Sunday morning. Spent four days in the hospital and right in the middle of all this we received and accepted and offer on the house and they wanted to close on Nov 30th!

Because of my foot we were unable to do that so we settled on 12/14. We had to pack all our stuff which was a real treat with me in a non-walking cast for two weeks and then a walking boot (which I still have.) We had gotten rid of a whole lot of stuff during the summer, clothes, furniture and other stuff off to the church barn (rummage) sale and the Salvation Army. Still took every minute we had to get things packed up.

So, last Friday my friend Ed brought our trailer over an parked it behind the house so we could load - I still could not drive because of the boot on my foot. The movers came on Tuesday and we moved into the trailer in the driveway. Wednesday and Thursday we cleaned the house - Nancy worked worked like a dog since I was still partially crippled.

Thursday I took my boot off for the first time and loaded the smart on the truck. Thursday afternoon went to see the doc and he wants me to keep the boot on full time for another week and then whenever I am working for another four (!!) weeks. So today (Friday) we hooked up the trailer and once in the truck I removed the boot and replaced it with a high top hiking shoe so I could drive, putting the boot back on every time I got out of the truck - what a pain in the butt!

Tonight we are in St. Roberts, MO after an uneventful 430 mile day, light traffic and good weather. Should be at Desert Trails by Tuesday12/15.  

Saturday 12/12/15

St Roberts, MO to Oklahoma City. Pretty uneventful day, breakfast at Cracker Barrel, lunch as well - yes we re in a rut. Once again Nancy was disappointed that they no longer have regular oatmeal. They also have to do something about their payment prcedure. You finsh you meal and go out to pay and there are 6 people in line pying for chotchkees. A real PIA sometimes.

Stopped at the Flying J in Edmund, OK and took on 200 gallons of diesel for $1.95 a gallon! A lot better than a number of years ago when we were paying close to $5 a gallon.

Then the uneventful changed. Got off I-40 in Oklahoma City at the exit for Rockwell RV Park and the bridge across the highway is closed! They did not bother to tell us that when we called head to check for room! Had to go a little North and then West to the next North South road and get back on I-40 to get back to Rockwell Rd. (No frontage road here.) Only problem is the bridge repair has two of the three East bound lanes closed - massive traffic jam. Finally got settled for the night.

Sunday 12/13/15

We have been in contact with our friends Karen and Gary from Tucson who are on their way back to the Twin Cities for family issues. They spent the night in OK 70 miles West of us so we made plans to meet halfway in between for breakfast this morning. First location I had chosen did not work as the Love’s Truck stop did not have a restaurant! Really? So Karen and Gary backtracked about 20 miles and we found a place for breakfast and had a nice visit. Nancy got a short dog fix from Margo as well.

After breakfast we headed our separate ways. We hit light rain most of the way across to Amarillo. We decided to skip the Cracker Barrel since it was Sunday - good choice since the lot was packed when we passed. Just about then the rain changed to snow! No big deal but we had wet blowing snow from Amarillo to Clovis, NM, then rain until we got to Portales where we made a quick stop at McDonald’s for lunch. Then it cleared off, sunshine and blue sky by the time we made it to Roswell. Staying at Trailer Village in Roswell, a regular stop for us. They have expanded the park  bit and have some nice, new, longer pull throughs.Unfortunately Pepper’s, our favorite restaurant in Roswell, is closed on Sunday, so we had pizza and watched the hockey game.

A bit colder tonight, supposed to drop to around 30 tonight. Last night we had a window open an the exhaust fan over our bed running all night, tonight the furnaces will be running!

Monday 12/14/15

29 degrees when we got up this morning! We are supposed to be heading toward warmer weather! When we were driving through the snow in Amarillo yesterday Joan was reporting 65 degrees in Tinley Park!

Uneventful trip as far as Las Cruces, where we stopped at the Cracker Barrel for lunch. Then we hit heavy rain and fairly high winds all the way across Southern New Mexico and into AZ. Stopped at Ft Wilcox RV in Wilcox for the night, will be another cold one as we are fairly high here.

Got the call this afternoon that the house closed and the money is in the bank! Yeah!

Tuesday 12/15/15

Usually we run the truck and trailer through a quarter self-service car wash that is big enough to accommodate us, but I was hesitant because of the walking boot on my foot, Nancy said she could do it, but again it was 24 degrees this morning so we decided not to do it. We are really dirty from the snow and rain, but that’s the way it goes.

Arrived at Desert Trails right around noon and I impressed myself by backing the trailer into our site in one shot! Never even had to pull it ahead to realign once. That does not happen very often.

I had made an appointment for physical therapy at a place on the north side of the city, but when we arrived Pericles (park owner) recommended one closer to us, right near St.Mary’s hospital just the other side of Gates Pass. So I called, they were booked Thursday and Friday. I wanted to get started so I said I would keep the appointment I had. Then Agility PT called back and said they had rescheduled a regular and could get me in Friday afternoon, so I cancelled the other appointment. 

Made a quick trip into town for lunch at Beyond Bread, which also takes care of dinner with the left overs and then back home to get settled in. This is really “home” at this point since it is all we have right now! On the way home we were disappointed to find that the Albertson’s Grocery we have often stopped at on Speedway is closed! Bummer.

Watched the Hawks lose to Colorado tonight, glad to have the Center Ice package as we have not missed a game along the way.

Wednesday 12/16

 Nancy had her first Spanish class of the season this morning. I did some settling in and had a guy from Safelite stop by and fixed a stone crack in the windshield that we had picked up in Oklahoma. Agility Therapy called this morning and said they had a cancellation this afternoon, so I can get started on my therapy right away!

After lunch we went in to Agility and I had my first session, nice young man, foot feels better already. Appointment was from 2 to 3 and then we had a training class for the Book Festival at 4. When we got there I looked at my e-mail and found that it had been cancelled. So we went over to Trader Joe’s and did some grocery shopping before we headed home.

This year instead of being room monitors at the festival we have signed up to be liaisons and supervise a group on volunteers, we'll see how that works out!

Thursday 12/17

Nancy did some laundry this morning, the laundry room closest to us has been remodeled with a new tile floor and all new, larger machines.

After lunch we took a ride through The Foothills in Tucson Estates to look at the houses on the market. Nothing there right now that turns out crank, expect the market to heat up a bit after the first of the year. 

Friday 12/18

Nancy’s birthday today. Had a couple of guys come and wash the truck and trailer this morning, so I had to get the bikes unloaded from the back of the trailer, They survived the trip OK, we had given away the old bikes that we usually travel with and brought our good Treks with us this time. Our old cover was getting kind of worn so I got new one and then put the old cover on top of that, so the bikes stayed dry even through the heavy rain on Monday. Guys did a nice job cleaning the rig so we are no longer embarrassingly dirty, looks pretty good.

After lunch we went back to Agility Therapy for my second appointment. I now have two appointments a week for the next six weeks. After that we went over to H. F. Coors to pick up some plates for Joan, then Costco and Walmart. After that we stopped at Cushing Street Bar & Grille for Nancy’s Birthday dinner.