Saturday, April 3, 2010

We Did Nothing Today...Banjo Needed Doctoring and The Campground Awakens!...

That first part of the title says it all.

After two days of working hard -- today we did nothing.

Nothing!

When you can decide to do nothing sometimes -- it makes you love this life style.

We showed 86 degrees today on the thermometer but because the humidity was so low it felt very comfortable.

We are watching a line of thunderstorms to the west of us.  They are supposed to arrive tomorrow.

For Kentucky this is an annual event this time of year.  The same thing happens.  A line of thunderstorms comes out of the west and the only question is how severe they will be.

This looks to be the first of the year so we will just keep an ear to the weather forecasts.

We had to do some doctoring on Banjo (the dog) today.  He managed to cut himself on his side. 

It is a pretty severe cut and required that we shave some of his hair to get some medicine and a bandage on him.

Banjo is probably the most patient dog I have ever seen.  He will let you do most anything to him and never protest. 

Today he was no different it was as if he knew we were trying to help him and he stood as still as he could while we fixed him up.

We will keep a close watch on it for any infection but it should heal fine.  It will require a few bandage changes over the next couple of days.

Actually I did do one thing -- I grilled out tonight for dinner -- nothing fancy just some burgers but once Nanette added her side dishes it was a great meal -- as always.

Today I was thinking about how interesting it is to see the campground we are at start to wakeup.

We moved in on December 28th of last year and when we got here there were 7 other RVs already here.

It stayed at that number and it was very quiet. 

Our own little community. 

We got to know all the people that were here and spoke to them when the days were warm enough to get out and about.

A couple of weeks ago we heard the lawnmower start for the first time.

Then the Bobcat then another lawnmower. 

Started seeing campfires at night. 

The chairs come out under the awnings.

Then last week they opened the back half of the campground.  Suddenly there were lights were there had been none.

We began to see RVs come in one at a time as the numbers of people here grew.

We then saw some tent campers show up a couple of days ago.  We have seen some other kids show up and them riding their bikes.

We are seeing boats going up and down the river everyday now.

Today they cleaned the pool and turned on all the lights around it.

As I said it has been an interesting transition to watch the campground wake up.

We feel like all the new people are visitors to our community. 

Nanette and I took a walk and began to notice the very small first blooms of spring. 

The green is starting to come out -- a little more each day. 

It is almost like we get up each morning being one step closer to the new season.

We even had the resident Geese show up the other day and they will stay all summer.

The changing of the seasons has always been a time of fascination for us.  A renewing of nature playing out right in front of us -- on our own little stage.

It occurred to me that since we have been here I have become so much more aware of the subtle things -- the little things that went unnoticed by me for many years as I ran from one thing to another seldom stopping to notice such little things.

To me this is an element of our new lifestyle that makes everything we went through worth it.

This reprioritization is a center point of why we did all of this.

I just wanted to share with you some thoughts on what we have seen so far. 

This is after all -- a big part of our adventure. 

To focus on the things that matter -- the things that are out there for the taking to add to the happiness we cherish.

I would say to anyone that is working on going full time to never forget why you are doing it -- and once you are out here -- never forget to take in the things that pulled you out here in the first place.

Thank you for stopping by.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Ken and Nanette

Friday, April 2, 2010

Got A Bunch Of Things Off My List...Finding Out How Hot An RV Roof Can Get...Will We Miss Them?

Started out this morning working on my list.

I checked and topped off all the fluids for the engine and brakes.  I checked all hose connections for tightness and leaks.

It seemed like a lot more since I listed them individually on my list.

There is just something about checking off an item on a list -- so the more I can check off the better it feels.

So I did the list in a way that I could get a real sense of accomplishment without having to do more work. Whistling

Actually there are only a few more things to do.  Then I don’t know what I will do and we still have a month before we leave.

I told you that I was very tired after the “marathon leak fixing” adventure yesterday.

So since yesterday was so much fun I decided today to try something even more fun.

I got up on the roof of the motorhome today. 

I removed the air conditioner vinyl covers.  Then began doing some cleaning.

The funny thing about cleaning is once you start you just keep finding things that could use some cleaning.

RV roofs can get very hot!

Today was like working in a tanning bed. 

I got the heat from the sun and the heat from the bright white roof.  It was lovely!

The longer I was up there the hotter it got.

Being in a campground and being on the roof I got the attention of the neighbors -- and every one of them said the same thing.

“When you get through with yours just come on over to ours!”

I must just have that “look” of someone looking for more work.

I got everything cleaned up and looking very good.  Then I came down and realized that the heat took a little out of me.

I probably should have taken a break but I have this bad habit of getting involved in something and not stopping when I should.

So the rest of the stuff on my list is the hard stuff.  Pulling wheels and tires is not complicated -- just hard work.  But I will get to it and get it done.

We got an email from a reader that told us they will be up in New York very close to where will be this summer.  They want to stop by and see us. How great would that be?

We are so eager to meet more people on the road and especially our readers.

As I have said before it will be interesting having someone know so much about us that we have never personally met.  How exciting!

I was reading today on the workamping discussion board about workampers that have made some great friends at the places they have worked.

They were saying that there have been times of sadness leaving the people they have met when their assignment was over.

I had not thought about this before.  I could see that happening to us as we go along. 

If you are spending weeks with people everyday you would certainly get to know them.  Then when it comes time to leave I am sure we will miss them.

As I think about workamping and full timing it occurs to me just how different relationships will be. 

To get attached to people then leave. 

However, with the mobility of the people on the road I would think you could coordinate ways to meet up again.

I also read that a number of people on the discussion board spend holidays together each year. 

With them having done this for years they have a routine down that they follow each year in getting together with friends they have made.

It seems like this could work out really well with a little planning.

I find all of the different aspects of full timing to be very interesting and full of opportunities for the taking.

I am just sitting here now waiting for Nanette to bring back some goodies to eat for supper.

The kids are spending the night at a friend’s house so her and I will have some “just her and I” time together tonight.

I am looking forward to this...nothing like spending some time with your bestest friend in the whole wide world!!! Love Struck

Another great day full timing has come to an end -- see you tomorrow!

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One Very Tired Blogger...

This is going to be a short post today for two reasons.

One -- I am very tired which I will explain later.

Two -- Nanette just made the most awesome Fried Chicken and Potato Salad which I ate too much of!

Now my tummy is full and I am sleepy!

Our beautiful day today started with me fixing one thing on the motorhome and frustrated with another.

The thing I fixed was the driver’s side windshield washer.  The passenger side worked fine but the driver’s side just decided to stop working.

So I determined the fluid was getting up to the wiper but not going any further.  So I pulled the hose to see if anything was going through.

Windshield washer fluid tastes really bad!

I decided to try to blow on the hose -- yuk!

Anyway it was clogged - so I got a piece of wire and tried to run it up the hose. 

This did not work.  So I took off the entire wiper assembly to get to the hose -- pull the hose out -- not thinking of what it would take to get it back in! Duh!

I found the clog and cleared it and then spent the next hour getting that dumb little rubber hose back into the assembly.

Why is it so easy to take things apart -- and so hard to get them back to together?

Mission accomplished on the washer.

Then I started the engine to let it get up to temperature and pressure so that I could track down the coolant leak that I needed to fix.

Engine gets up to temperature -- no leak!

Turned on AC to increase pressure -- no leak!

Shutoff the engine -- no leak!

How am I supposed to fix a leak that isn’t there -- I ask myself?

I talk to myself when I get frustrated. 

When I do this -- I only ask questions -- I rarely answer myself.

Well -- no leak fixing today -- since there is apparently no leak!

So then...

The new neighbor next to us that I told you about the other day stops by and asks an innocent enough question.

“Do you think you could take a look at my trailer and see if you can find a leak that I have?”

If I had known what I was about to get into I would have ran away -- very fast!

Seriously I would never turndown a request for assistance.

Let me keep it short.

This trailer had frozen at some point -- it is all copper plumbing.

The first leak I found was the water pump -- it was cracked from freezing.  I bypassed it since she was on park water.

The second leak I found was just down stream of the water pump -- a one inch longitudinal split of the copper.  Always a sure sign of freezing. I cut it and repaired it.

The third leak I found as about 3 feet away from the last one -- I repaired that one.

The fourth -- nope not a leak -- was that the hot water bypass valve was seized. More than likely from being distorted from freezing.  That valve was never going to work again.

Okay now for the fourth leak -- between the kitchen and the bathroom.  Another one inch split in the copper.  I fixed that.

The fifth leak was between the shower and the toilet.  I fixed that.

...are you seeing a pattern here?

There were more but I am getting more tired just remembering them.

So I cut copper -- cleaned ends up -- applied flux -- soldered couplings. I repeated this process many times today. 

Did I tell you it was MANY times.

When all was done -- she had cold water throughout but no hot water due to the inoperable bypass valve that will need to be replaced. Actually there is a good chance the hot water heater itself is probably in bad shape too.

So...all of this took about 5 hours or so.

So I am tired but on a good note...I did get a chance to hone my soldering and coppersmithing skills.

So that is how my day went.

Tomorrow -- I am going to pull the covers off our air conditioners and check filters.  It is supposed to be in the 80s in the next few days and we will need them.  We have two but very rarely need the second one.

I might even pull a wheel or two to get them replaced.

What I am NOT going to do...is touch a single piece of copper!

That is it for today -- believe me it is enough. Sarcastic

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Really Dislike Ladders and The Bomb Drop...

As predicted the weather today was beautiful.  So I got the ladder out and started cleaning along the top of the motorhome.

I must have gone up and down that ladder 50 times.

Each time I went up it I seemed to get slower and slower.

The ‘ol legs let me know what they thought of this continuous tug of war against gravity. 

I finally got it done and I am not planning on doing this again for a while...a very long while.

Funny how a few years make such a difference in ladders getting higher and harder to climb.  I wonder why they changed the way they are made.

The old style was so much easier on me -- but that was 10 years ago or so.

...or maybe the ladders are the same and the climbing person has changed.

I told you yesterday that I love flying. 

I have flown a number of planes -- from a small Cessna 152 to the Aerobatic Christian Eagle to a Cessna 421 and most everything in between. 

Now if you aren’t a pilot those airplane models will mean little but they all do the same thing -- transport me above the earth and allow me to soar free of the bonds of gravity.

There are many stories I can tell about flying but I want to share one that to me is a fond memory -- well to me and my friend but perhaps not to the people on the ground.

There was a little airport I used to fly out of that each year had an appreciation day for those that used it.

There would be a cookout, games, a great time with friends, and flying competitions.

It is the last thing I want to tell you about.

There were different types of competitions like landing competitions.  That is where they put a white line with flour across the runway to see who could place their wheels closest to the white line while landing.

Another competition was called the Bomb Drop.

The way this worked was they put an X on the runway and the competitors would fly over and drop a 1lb. bag of flour to see who could come the closest to the X.

I had this flying friend who was also an instructor and his name was Gary.

Gary and I had logged a lot of hours together.  Most of the really memorable stories involved Gary since we flew so much together.

There are a couple of things that I should fill you in on before I go further.

One is -- I was wearing a gorilla mask while flying this day.

Two -- we were not officially “at” the appreciation day.

We were just using the airport to fly out of and into.

The reason for the gorilla mask...well...there was no reason for the mask...I just brought it along and thought it would be fun to let people see a gorilla flying an airplane!

So Gary and I took off and went flying for a couple of hours. 

We were in a Cessna 152 which is a small high wing airplane. 

The reason we took this plane is because it was spin rated which meant we could take it up and intentionally put it into a spin.  Kind of fun to do in this little plane.

When we came back to the airport we saw the festivities going on so we landed and asked what was up and they told us.

So we entered the landing competition and the bomb drop.

We took off and tried our hand at hitting the white stripe while landing (with the gorilla mask on of course).

We did not do well mainly because just as I was ready to touch down Gary would do something mean like...suddenly increase the throttles...or hit the rudder pedal.

I missed the line by a mile -- and the judges who had a table next to the runway and all the people watching -- got a really big laugh -- at the gorilla that couldn’t come close to the line.

So then it was time for the bomb drop. 

Before we took off they gave us three 1lb bags of white flour to use in the bomb drop - we got 3 tries.

We had to come over the runway at about 300 feet and drop the bags out the window and try to hit the X.

The plane we were flying looked like this...

Galair_Cessna_152 

So we lined up on final approach -- hit 300 feet and headed for the X at the end of the runway.

Gary was the bomb dropper and my job was to line us up on the X.

How hard could this be -- really?

So we came in for our first drop -- Gary opened the window and let the bag of flour go.

We went flying past the judges and the spectators expecting a cheer as we just knew we had hit it dead center.

There was no cheer -- and no “bomb” hitting the ground either.

We thought it was strange nothing hit the ground behind us but we went around the pattern and lined up for our second run.

I centered us on the runway and Gary opened the window ready to drop the second bag of flour when he says into his headset -- “Hey our first bomb is stuck on the landing gear strut.”  That is the thing the wheels are hooked onto.

Ah -- so that is why our first bomb failed to hit the mark -- it was stuck.

Well all of this took a few seconds to discuss and diverted my attention just enough for us to drift to the left of the runway.

Now you have visualize what happened next -- because I have a million times over the years.  Although in my mind it is always in slow motion.

Let me set up the scene for you.

There is a runway with an X on it -- there is our plane -- there is me in a gorilla mask flying said plane -- there are about 200 people on the ground midway down the runway on the left side -- there is a table in the same place with 4 judges sitting there -- and there is a 1lb bag of flour in Gary’s hand -- and another 1 lb bag of flour stuck on our landing gear.

You may want to read that again...

So because we are drifting left I need to go right -- quickly -- just as I bank the plane to do so Gary drops the second bag of flour.

He does this late.

As he drops it -- it hits the first bag that is stuck on the landing gear -- it is dislodged and falls with the second bag of flour.

Both of these bags of white flour exploded as they hit dead center...

Not the X...

But dead center of the judges table!

Instantly all 4 judges and about 50 people were covered in a cloud of white -- flour white!

We go zooming past the crowd -- with me in my gorilla mask -- and just keep on flying.

We flew past the end of the runway -- past the town close to the airport -- past the next town -- and to another airport about 20 miles away.

We land -- call the airport and ask if anyone wants to shoot us out of the sky for what happened.  They say no -- as a matter of fact -- they loved it!

So back to the airport we go -- we land -- and spend the next hour apologizing for our poor aim.

Nobody was mad or anything.  But the funny part was there were a lot of people walking around for the rest of the afternoon with flour on them.

Flour that was dropped from an airplane being flown by a gorilla.

You see -- I told everyone I wasn’t the one in the gorilla mask -- it was Gary.

They never knew the truth.

Although if any of them are reading this blog -- they know now!

The end!

Ken and Nanette

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Looking For The Next Opportunity and Waiting In Line...

We are looking hard for our next Workamping opportunity.

The one we are to report to in May lasts until September 8th.  What we are concerned about now is what happens on September 9th.

What we would really like to find is a year-round assignment to give us time to really learn the management side of campground and/or marina management.

We have been talking to some other workampers and they have shared with us the need to have that next assignment setup before finishing the current one.

There are a couple that we have talked to that already have their work assignments setup through the summer of 2011.

Just like in other areas there is a lot of experience out there regarding Workamping and to be able to tap into that has really been a blessing.

We have found the RV community to be so helpful and supportive.  In the area of Workamping it is the same way.  Just ask a question and get answers.

I think a lot of people remember what it was like when they started and are very willing to help people through the things they had to go through themselves.

We are starting to see some job postings reappear that had been filled earlier.  It is kind of strange to see them come around again a second time. Makes you wonder what  happened.

Yesterday I told you I was going to go get the tags on the RV and the Boat Registration renewed.

Before I could take care of this I needed to get all my paperwork together. The problem came when trying to find the old registration for the boat.

We ran into the problem of remembering what was stored where in the motorhome basement. 

We have a LOT of storage space in our motorhome basement and everything is in those Rubbermaid rolling containers.

They all look the same but you can see through them. Sometimes I think it would be better if we didn’t remember where anything is.  We always guess wrong.

Of course the paperwork we needed was in the very last place we looked and not in any of the places we thought it would be.

A lot of this is caused by how quick we had to get things packed up and towards the end we were just getting things into any container we could find.

For such a small place there sure are a lot of places to lose things! I dont know

I “thought” it would be a quick trip.

When I got there the line out the door told me different however. 

Seems the last day or two of the month is not a good time to expect expediency.

The young lady told me that the month of March is consistently their busiest month for renewals. How lucky for me!

So with all my paperwork in hand and absolutely sure everything would go smoothly -- I handed her my paperwork.

Because we had moved from one county to another she had to call the previous county to verify something. 

When she got off the phone she notified me that my boat...

...had just come up as being stolen! Surprised

Hmm...how convenient that the Sheriff’s Office was right next door.

So she asks me if I knew it was stolen.  I told her no I didn’t.  In fact it was sitting right outside our motorhome door.  I look at it everyday.

She called whoever she talked to the first time and verified the registration number -- and hung up.

She told me that it would take a couple of minutes for them to call back.

I kind of figured this was a ploy to buy time while the Sheriff’s Deputies showed up to haul me off to the big house.

So I stood there...

The phone rang and I heard -- uh huh -- uh huh -- thanks.

I was then informed there had been a letter transposed and my boat wasn’t stolen after all.  I was relieved! Whew

So there was a lot of typing -- printers whirring -- paper tearing -- stapling -- paper clipping and then I was given the amount to pay.  It was actually $15 less in this county than the old one.

I was given all my stickers and new registrations and I was on my way!

Nothing to it!

I still have to get my Drivers License renewed before we leave and get new tags for our Highlander since they will expire while we are in New York.

The rest of the day was spent inside since it was cold and rainy. 

I watched some old movies and went over the list of things to do yet. 

It is supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow so I think I will get some stuff done outside.

Tomorrow I want to share with you a story, not about my childhood, but about one of my passions which is being a pilot.

There are many events that occurred while flying but one that came to mind this evening was the “bomb drop” competition that a friend of mine and I entered on the spur of the moment. 

A competition we probably should have passed on! 

That is all for today!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain...Rain...Rain and Thank You Ed!...

The theme for the day was Rain!

It rained all day and very hard at times.

I was flipping through our motorhome’s owner manuals to see how well this thing would float.

I wasn’t able to find anything helpful in that category but it would be nice to know -- just in case.

So Nanette and I watched basketball all day -- well I watched basketball and she read a book.

...and picked on me.

Nanette had turned being annoying into an art form.

She isn’t mean annoying just persistent in bugging me when I am paying attention to something -- like basketball.  Since I can’t call a foul on her I just have to put up with it.

Actually it doesn’t bother me which bothers her which makes me happy! ...and I make a face like this...Big Grin

I got the greatest email from a reader named Ed.  Ed worked at the place we are going to be workamping.  He gave us some great insights and...

...he wrote us with suggested routes to get there from where we are now.

He not only gave us a suggested route but also told us what to avoid and why.

How can anyone ask for better than this?

Thank you so much Ed!!!

We had been struggling with the route we would take.  We wanted to avoid the toll roads but had no idea what the roads were like in that part of the country.  Ed was able to clear it up for us and we are relieved to know the best route.

This is one of the great things about blogging -- there is so much experience available and we have found people to be so generous in helping.

A lot of the assistance we have received we didn’t even ask for -- it was just volunteered.

We want to acknowledge our followers and thank you all for doing so.

I am putting together a list of all of the blogs that are represented in that group of followers and hope you will take a look at them.

While I am getting that together if you click on the little pictures it will bring up a profile and in that profile if they have listed their blog it will be there.

I know we are very happy when another blogger lists our blog on theirs.

We have gotten a lot of visitors that have found us that way.

We want to do the same for others. 

In the last few weeks we have had a lot of people come to our blog that are not from the RV community.  They have told us they are intrigued by the life style and by what they view as a very welcoming community.

So they are following our blog and we have steered them to other blogs as well.

Nanette and I went next door to welcome our new neighbor and make sure she was not in need of anything. 

She seemed like she is getting settled.  She did need some assistance getting onto the park WiFi.  So I got her connected and now she is surfing just fine.

We found out the little lady is a Deputy Jailer that has just transferred into this area.

If she hadn’t told me that I would never have guessed what she does for a living.  I guess there is something to that never judge a book by its cover.

She seemed happy to have neighbors that were willing to help out.

Tomorrow I get to renew the RV tags and Boat Registration at the county clerks office.  It shouldn’t be too bad since the county we are in is not heavily populated and it should go quickly.

Hopefully I will have some time to get some things on my list down too.

Oh yes, about the basketball game last night.  Well Kentucky lost -- and that is all I will say about that!

That is all I have for today.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Worked All Day Today and Basketball Tonight...

Beautiful day today -- in the 60s and sunny.

A perfect day to work outside and continue to get ready for our little trip. 

I got a lot done today on the RV.  All the skirting is now off.

I also did some touchup painting on the hitch and a couple of other little spots.

I also found that I need to replace the support piece for the generator exhaust pipe.  It looks a little worn and I don’t need that shaking while going down the interstate.

Nanette took Banjo for his oil change -- or shots -- or something.

I am officially tired.

It feels good be getting things ready to roll though.

Tonight Kentucky has another basketball game in the NCAA Tournament. 

They play West Virginia and I think Kentucky will need to play very well to beat them.

The streets will become quiet around here as the game starts.  They kind of like Kentucky basketball around here.

I got the kids bikes out today and they have ridden about 100 miles today.  They have been waiting a long time to get on them.

We had them stored under the motorhome and once it was skirted they were not accessible.

It sure would be nice to ride them as much as they do -- and be able to walk the next day! I dont know

I received an email regarding the FeedBurner number at the top right of the page.

What that number represents is how many feeds our blog is going out over. There are many kinds of feeds but all basically work the same.

Our blog is “crawled” everyday and then it is presented to different sites as updated.  This number changes all the time.  It depends on how many “bots” have looked at our blog and posted the update.

What it doesn’t tell you is how many people are reading our blog off of the aggregator sites or feeds.  I just like watching that number change to see what is going on behind the scenes.

The other reason it is there is because I was bored one cold winter night and decided to add it. 

We have a cat living in our boat.

We know this because we see the footprints and Banjo always does the nose in the air smelling thing as he walks around the boat sniffing.

I took a look and you would never know it has been in there -- nothing messed up just a small place that it sleeps.  So no harm.

I had my posting interrupted since I needed to go out and raise Christians bike seat -- apparently he has grown again over the winter.

I guess that happens if you keep feeding them.

We are eager to get on the road and begin to share some daily experiences from other that the same place like we have.

There is only so much you can write about when you don’t go anywhere. Disappointed

The last thing I wanted to tell you is.  I have never hitched up a 5th wheel.  I watched a guy today take about an hour doing it.

A lot of backing up and pulling forward and turning.  His wife was there helping but it looked like they were struggling some.

Apparently it must be lined up just right -- and that wasn’t happening like it should.

I would have helped him but I would have had no idea what I was doing. I probably would have been in the way more than helping.

So it dawned on me that it would be a very good idea learning how it is done since we will be working at a campground that will have them there.

I think I will go talk to some neighbors to find out how it is down and what to look for. I know I could read about it on the internet but there is nothing as good as doing it in person.

That is all I have for today.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ken and Nanette