Showing posts from April, 2010

Birthday Boy

Sunday was John's birthday. We had a very easy going quiet day - he got to sit and read most of the day since it was so rainy and any excuse to sit and read is a good thing by him. In the evening we went to a local pizza joint with family, great pizza and great company. This was the first year that we put out our request for no gifts and we were thankful that everyone respected that request. When you are living in 300 sq. ft. it becomes a no gift zone. We have spent a year and a half purging our stuff so this policy is a must. Our favorite gift is just spending time with those we love.

Happy birthday John! As the card you once gave me says.

" Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be."

Bye Bye Saturn

In 1996 we purchased a new green 4 door SL2 Saturn. John hates the haggling over price that the dealers play so their one price system was a big plus for him. It was a great car. It even survived Mitchell learning to drive a manual and Gabe trying to learn (he gave up on it and learned later from a friend). It also survived Mitchell's teen years though it has a broken bumper to prove it. The skylight leaked and so the fabric inside on the roof decided to come loose, the frame was starting to rust, needed new shocks and new rear brakes and had 168,000 miles on it. It was a good car but obviously had seen better days.

We decided to donate it to Iowa Public Radio. I think this is a great program and since we listen to IPR almost everyday we felt it was the way to go. Last Monday a tow truck showed up at the apartment parking lot to take it away. I never thought I'd get nostalgic about a car but it was hard to watch it leave. It's like an era has passed and I can never get it…

Moving day.

Stardate whatever: I’m losing track already, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since we took delivery of the starship.Moving day today. I’m nervous and just want to get it over with. We have water and a 50 amp service where we’re at, so I’m not sure I even want to move. Coward. We know the drill and are veterans of two moves. We’ve busted a slide, and survived it so what else could go wrong?
This move went smoothly right up to when I slammed my finger in the tailgate. The truck was already hitched to the rig (is the rig the truck and the 5th wheel or just the 5th wheel?) so I had to stand off to the side to close the tailgate. The rails that hold the cover of the truck bed don’t allow enough room for a finger between the end of the rail and the tailgate. The tailgate will actually close though, if you slam it hard enough. Good thing we store the first aid kit where you can get to it with the slides in.We had planned on going to Palisades, a local state park, but the state parks don’…

Lessons learned the hard way

The adventure continues, but the latest one wasn’t the fun kind. Sometimes you just learn things the hard way.This is only the second time we’ve setup, and we both follow check lists, although I find myself making edits as I go along. When it came time to put the slides out, we crunched the living room slide against an open computer drawer that is part of the entertainment center at the back of the coach. It was entirely preventable by us (mostly), by PI, and by the dealer.
When we accepted delivery of the coach last November, we went over the drill for putting the slides out and in. Our check lists made sure that everything was stowed and all the cabinets closed before we pulled the slides in. But when we put them back out again, we just ran them out. In my mind, I think I made the connection of closing everything up before pulling the slides in, but if they were already in, then everything was good to go. Adding to this misconception was the cabinets we needed to be careful with were…

A Squaw Creek Walk

We have moved our rig to Squaw Creek park in Marion IA. We changed our plans when we found out the county parks were open and the water is turned on. The Linn county parks are beautiful and very well kept. This one has a new shower house and the sites are large. There is a little noise from the highway but I can deal with that. We bought an 80 day coupon book for the Linn County parks which brings our daily rate down to $13.00 and we have water and electricity. We will probably move about once a week as that is when we will have to dump our tanks (at least that is what we are shooting for.)It is an absolutely beautiful day and I knew a morning walk was a must. Walking out the door into this park was a wonderful reminder of why we want to do this. I just walk out my door to incredible trails. I walked on the road to the trail head as I didn't have a map and when I checked the map out there realized I could take the trail right back to the campground. So off I went for about a 3-4 …

Pleasant Creek State Park - view from our yard

We have been mainly living in our new home for almost a week. Many trips have been made to the condo for showers, sorting and hauling, laundry and a one night stay due to tornado warnings. It is definitely an adventure but the view from my yard makes it all worthwhile.
The weather true to an Iowa spring has been a bit volatile. We had a lot of rain a little hail, and a tornado warning. The tornado warning is the only one that sent us in town to sleep. The storm shelter here at the park are the shower houses and they are still locked up until they turn the water on at the end of this week. So we pulled the slides in locked up and went to the condo. Half way into town I asked John if he had turned the ceiling fan in the living room off before we pulled the slides in. His answer was "I didn't know it was on". Oops that is my fault it was hot when I got to the rig so turned it on to move some air. I didn't hear a crunch when we pulled the slides in so hopefully the fan …

Bringing it "home"

We go to Dubuque tomorrow to get the rig out of storage. We may stay there one night to make sure everything is ready but with the forecast for rain on Friday night and Saturday we may change our minds and bring it "home" tomorrow. Our first backyard will be Pleasant Creek State Park in Palo.