"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Praire in Bloom

It is another gray quiet day. We had a pretty intense storm last night. The lightning was incredibly close and there was hail for a short period. I get pretty nervous during the storms and John seems to think that is funny since when we were living in the house I use to stand outside and watch the storm come in. There is something about having a basement to retreat to that made that a little easier. I actually think my anxiety has increased since we went through a storm on our visit to Smith Center, KS to visit the Excel factory. John wrote about that experience and if you want a good chuckle you 'll have to read his entry about The Visit.

The things on our to do list are mainly outside right now. We want to wash and wax the rig but it seems like most of our days off are too rainy or incredibly hot so it may have to wait awhile yet. We also need to do some organizing of closets and storage spaces and I may tackle on of those today but maybe not being lazy has its own appeal.

Mainly today I have been catching up on my blog reading. I'm always learning from others on this journey. Today Karen gave me lots of ideas. As a result I have turned off the word identification feature on the comments and put on the review feature. Also I took my vitamins and supplements as a result of reading her blog. I know I feel better in general when I am taking them so why do I get so off track with that sometimes?

Then on Al's the Bayfield Bunch blog  he gave some guidelines to make for better blog entries. Now these are just his observations and he let's you know he hasn't followed them all but I agree with most of them. Al's blog is one I read almost daily so there must be something to what he says. If I could get John to write more, ours might be as entertaining as Al's but John seems to have to be inspired to write, not me I can ramble on just about any given day.

I also cruised through Laurie and Odel's blog, seems like they are always traveling to the places we want to go. They are in Michigan now and that is high on our list of places to visit. John lived for awhile in the UP and we want to spend some time there. It looks beautiful. So if you are having a lazy day like we are check out a few of our fellow bloggers and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guess what--still raining!

I bet you are tired of that title. I know I'm tired of the subject- rain so that is all we will say about that. The days are flying past and our traveling days are quickly approaching. We are still trying to get all our ducks in a row. John is finishing up dental work and still has a colonoscopy and derm screening before we leave. I'm still working out where I am going to get my one prescription on the road - I could actually do an over the counter as it is the generic of Prilosec but it is a cheaper for me as a script and a little stronger than the OTC.

I ordered the invitations for the retirement party this weekend and John wrote a letter we are going to send our friends that we don't have emails for. It will kind of be a Christmas in August letter. The party is August 27th at the shelter at Morgan Creek. I have to say as the time gets closer it gets a little harder for me emotionally. I am excited for the future but at the same time saying good bye to the kids and my friend Trudy is going to be incredibly hard. I get a little weepy just thinking about it. I know that we will be back often and we actually don't see the kids that often but it is always nice to know we can call and get together even Mitch is just a couple hours away.

Trudy and I have been friends since just out of college (32 years). We were roommates for a couple years and she even came and lived with John and I when she was waiting on an apartment. We have watched each other go through the good and bad times. We were there for weddings, babies, graduations and lots of things in between. For the last 5 or so years we have met at least once a week for coffee at Paneras and spent a couple hours being each others support group. This will be the thing I miss the most. My sons are going to help us set up Skype so we can still have coffee once a week. It won't be quite the same but I think it will help. So I know there will be lots of tears at  the party. John hates it when I cry but that's tough because sometimes emotions run that way - and he'll get over it.

I asked John what he was looking forward to about this retirement plan. For him it is that it is different - I think he is glad for a change and a new adventure. For me it is getting to travel and see so many of the places I have longed to see. Vacations are just too short. When all you have is 1-2 weeks there is a limit to the places you can go, with this plan you just keep going, moving onto the next place that "tickles your fancy" (John just loves it when I use those old sayings). So I say tickle away and tally ho off to see the world!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's raining again

Well, I am stuck inside because it is raining again. We have gotten a couple dry days a couple times but the rain has been persistent and heavy when it comes.  No better time to write on the blog.
It was a nice weekend here. Friday several people we knew moved into the campground which hasn’t happened since we we’ve been doing this. We had my nephews in-laws across the loop, the kids middle school music teacher across the road and the handy man from the condo we just left right across from us. Had fun visiting with all of them. My nephew and his wife also came by and it is always good to talk with Jordy and Rachel. 
For me the highlight of the weekend was having my sons with us for most of Saturday.  The summer is going quickly and it won’t be long until we are on the road and those visits will become further apart. Mitch brought his girlfriend Emily along with him and it was so nice to have some time to get to know her also. We sat and talked, played some ladder ball and enjoyed the time outside. The only distraction were the mosquitos, just this last week they have become a real problem. We’ve had so much rain that it doesn’t come as a surprise but those pesky little critters can make the outdoors almost unbearable. Thank goodness for Deet!
I am going to keep this short. Hope you all had a great weekend. Lastly I’ll share a photo of Mitch and Emily. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sometimes it's a bumpy ride!

Sometimes life is just a bumpy ride. We’ve had computer, phone and 5th wheel issues all in the last couple weeks. Neither one of us have been able to sit down and update the blog but today I just felt like it was time.
The computer......
We have a new MacBook Pro, which we love, but last week we were loading some music on it so that we could load John’s new iPod and have music for the truck. In the middle of it, the screen went to confetti and when he tried to do hard reboot it was a no go. A call to Apple and a day at an authorize technician and a new “logic board” (whatever that is) and the computer is working great again. One bump down.
The phone.......
When we updated phones we knew it was going to be our internet access too so I got my first smart  phone. At the time the Droid had just come out but we were told it couldn’t be tethered to the computer so they talked me into the Storm2 Blackberry. So far I’ve had to go in for a new battery,  twice I had to do a soft reset when it just quit and then last week I had to call on my husbands phone and with some help did a hard reset. Also guess what, you can tether a Droid using some software called PDAnet. Verizon doesn’t tell you about because once you buy the software (around $30) you can connect with no charge from Verizon (tethering the Storm cost $30 per month for 5G) and no 5G limit. I am really unhappy with the Storm 2 and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I think we will be changing to a Droid soon.
The 5th Wheel.......
We have had some issues with the front hydraulic levelers almost from the start and called the dealer twice but no one seemed to have an answer. Last week John got to meet and spend some time with a fellow we had connected with on the Excel owners forum. He has helped several times and was driving through our area. Tom (rockintom) told John what the problem was and when we talked to our dealer they said they had never heard that from Excel. Well on Tuesday we were moving to Morgan Creek, got there, tried to put the levelers down, started out ok and then they just quit. Good thing we were still hooked up to the truck so called the dealer and headed to Dubuque to have them look at it. Now here is the fun part. Tom had told John who they needed to talk to at Excel about the hydraulics.  So when the service guy was able to duplicate the problem he said he was going to call Excel - John said make sure you talk to Curtis (just like Tom recommended).  Well Tom was absolutely right and it was a quick fix and we were on our way back to Cedar Rapids and Morgan Creek park.  Whew!! So a big thanks goes out to Rockintom!!!!!    
The prairie is coming into bloom so I will share a couple photos from our time at Squaw Creek park the last couple weeks. Hope everyone is well and having adventures of their own.