Sunday, January 31, 2016

Downsizing 2015

     After almost 30 years of marriage we have accumulated lots of stuff. Sherry had an antique shop for 6 years. When we closed the store we had sales and then in the end sent things to auction. However, we did keep a few things that we did not want to part with. We continued to collect things that we loved. So fast forward to 2015 the year of downsizing. We had lost our interest in accumulating more stuff a few years back and so purging our collections became something we really wanted to do.
     Jay retired and we closed our electrical business and wanted to get rid of the storage unit so those tools and supplies also came to our residence. This really put the pressure on to get things more organized and to rid our lives of stuff that we just didn’t need or want anymore. We are planning on remodeling so these rooms need emptied to start the process.
     Sherry has been going through organizing and making decision on what she really wants to keep. We held garage sales, sent donations to a church store that sells items and the money goes to helping with missions work. We also in the end sent many things to auction. By this time the whole summer had gone by and we also donated a few items to a museum.

Truck load off to Auction

  We still have several large items to get rid of and we will do that this year. Living in an RV puts a perspective on what you really need. Like most of us we are limited in storage and living areas. We have found that we just don’t want clutter. So that being our goal we will continue this mission of decluttering this year. We have followed blogs of people who go full time RVing and they say it is best to start early and not stress yourself out doing this all at once.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sauders Village Fiber Festival

September 25-27,2015 Sauder Village Museum

Sherry likes to go to fiber festivals and when she was working this festival was always during the busy season that she worked 6 days a week. We just had never taken her day off and attended this event. So we hooked up the car to the RV and headed to Archbold, Ohio for a few days.We did not take the bicycles and after we got there we wished we had. We had a lovely spot with a nice view of the lake. We were in the new section that had just opened earlier in the year.

                                                      Camping spot overlooking the lake.

We lucked out for the weekend that Smithsonian Museum was offering a free day ticket and that Sauder Village was on the list so we went on-line to the Smithsonian and printed off our free tickets. This a wonderful thing for visiting museums and you can check their web site for the list and dates.

The fiber festival was small but had lots of beautiful yarns and other fiber related things to purchase. The museum had some antique spinning wheels, flax breakers and warping mills displayed in the

                                                   Fiber related tools from the museum.

We drove into Archbold and ate at Mom's Diner. Decorated with a theme of old signs and neon lights like a diner from the 1950's we really enjoyed our meals and decor. If you like the old diner look you will love this diner.
                                                              Inside of the diner.

Lake Geneva WI August 2 through 7, 2015

August 2 thru 7 2015 Lake Geneva Wisconsin

     We traveled through Northern Indiana crossed Chicago to the resort town of Lake Geneva Wisconsin. We have a Niece and her family that live in a small town about 12 miles north of here and we wanted to visit them as well as site see the area.

     Sherry and I stayed at Big Foot Beach SP and enjoyed lots of bike riding and outings to the small shops and tourist places. We drove around with Daisy bug our HHR the first day and upon returning to the park a ranger stopped us and advised we should seek shelter at the bathhouse as a severe storm was approaching. We rode out the storm with all the other campers and there was lots of lighting and severe wind gusts. Some branches were removed from trees during the storm. After about an hour we returned to the camp to find everything was just fine. When we rode bikes the next morning we sighted several large trees were downed and park staff was cutting up the mess. One tree fell across the road and had been topped to allow for traffic to continue.

     This is almost a self-serve park as no entry personnel is available on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday and you have to check yourself in and then pay with an envelope. Not bad as I had stayed here the year before and we got a great site with lots of room around the RV.

Lake Geneva History Museum

      The second day we met with Steve, Ashlee, and baby Brayden at a restaurant in Elkhorn called Someplace Else. They have great food and has a warm atmosphere with a bar. We visited with family and enjoyed the experience of the restaurant.
     One day for lunch we went to a pizza place that overlooks Lake Geneva and while we enjoyed the views the pizza didn’t meet our expectations. Lake Geneva is a quaint touristy town with lots and lots of cute shops. Sherry always enjoys this and so I usually have an audio book to listen to while she is shopping. I have to say that rarely does she buy anything but she does love to look. Since she has retired she has started downsizing. That will be a blog later.

Parking ticket Kiosk 

     Sherry found fiber related equipment at History Museum!!!

       We finally decided to take a boat ride around Lake Geneva. They have several options for boat rides. One that is really famous is the Mail Boat Delivery trip. This is a 3 hour boat ride where the kids jump off the boat onto the dock at each house pier and put the mail in the box then jumps back on at the back of the boat. The boat never stops. We took a shorter ride and the boat captain told us stories about each house and history of the homes. Most famous is the Wrigley Mansion.

Original dance hall Riviera Center

       Our niece suggested we visit Lake Geneva History Museum of History housed in a 1929 power and light building. We loved it and the volunteers were so friendly and knowledgeable. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kelleys Island Ohio July 1 thru 3 2015

7-1 to 7-3, 2015
We decided to take off and go on another short trip. This time we went to Kelleys Island off the coast of Ohio on Lake Erie.  We did not take our HHR Daisy bug since we thought that we could bike around the island. The ferry boat charged $131.00 round trip for the RV and 2 passengers. We made reservations at the Kelley Island State Park. We did not take the car because the island is only a couple of miles across from north to south.
Glacial Grooves located on the island are limestone that was carved out when ice sheets moved.

We had beautiful weather and rode bikes over 40 miles in the short time we were at the island.

Jay mentioned to his friend Bill that we were heading to Kelleys Island and Bill told Jay that he had an Aunt Helen who lived on the island for many years and was a school teacher. When we checked in at the state park we mentioned this to them and the women working knew her and one lady even had her as a school teacher. She told us where Helen lived while she taught school. We rode our bikes everyday passed the school to downtown and went passed her home where she lived.
House that Helen lived in.         These stones were used by women to get into carriages.

When we camp we fix some food in the RV and eat out some also. We ate at the Village Pump. We had perch and World Famous Brandy Alexanders. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quabache State Park

May 1-3, 2015

      Sherry's niece Amy and her husband Phil bought a new camper and invited us to join them in a camping weekend at Quabache State Park in Bluffton, Indiana. We said we would love to. This campground is only 12 miles from our home and we love the park. The pronunciation is "Wabash" and is the French spelling of the Indian word.

      This park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the 1930's. The friends of the park have erected a statue of a man commemorating the work of the corps. The buildings are log with wood shake roofs and beautiful laid stonework. There is also a fire tower you can climb. The park has several miles of paved bike trails and you can also ride your bike into the River Green Way walking and biking trail that is along the Wabash River into the town of Bluffton. This trail has several carved animals along the way. The park has Kunkle Lake that you can fish or boat no motor.


                   Plaque and statue commemorating the Civilian Conservation Corps

Kids and adult love the Bison that are located in the park along with the beautiful large in ground pool area. This park has a lot to offer and they plan many events and nature talks and crafts for your enjoyment.

This weekend was fun as we met several families that were Amy's friends. We celebrated her daughter Brooke's birthday. This meant great grand parents and grandparents also came to the park. Brooke enjoyed the surprise party and received lots of gifts.

Grandma Carla and Brooke the birthday girl 

Monday, January 18, 2016

2015 Problems in Texas

We experienced some problems with the RV (MS Daisy) and Tow vehicle Chevy HHR (Daisy Bug) last year. In preparation of our pilgrimage to Texas I had new tires installed on both the RV and the HHR, The HHR had worn tread that told me we needed to have them replaced. I took the RV a 2010 Coachman Concord a Class C Ford chassis to have a alignment performed because of cupping on the front tires. When I investigated the date code I found the tires were 5 years old and upon inspection I could detect some age cracking on the sidewalls. So all six tires were replaced on the RV.
      We drove from Indiana on I 65 to Nashville Tn and then turned onto I 40 west towards Memphis. Somewhere in this distance I noticed when filling up with fuel that the right rear hubcap (wheel simulator) had been lost. 
I have to assume it wasn’t installed correctly at the tire change. I also noticed the left rear tire looked low on air pressure. After testing the pressure the outside dually had the recommended 85 psi but the inside dually had about 20 psi. I couldn’t refill at this station and so had find a station two refill as I assumed we had a slow leak. Anyway upon each fuel refill from then on I had to keep refilling the inside dually. When we arrived at Lagoons RV park we set up and took the weight off the tires with the levelers. I knew we had to get this tire fixed before returning to Indiana.

       We were driving the HHR to Port Aransas to visit with Sherry’s sister’s family when I must have hit a bolt and punctured the left rear tire. This tire immediately deflated and I had to put on the donut spare. We returned to to Rockport to Craigs Tire service and while it took most of the day, they were able to install a new tire. However it wasn’t the same brand as the tires I had just installed in Indiana. I later took the RV to this same center to have the inside dually repaired, they found and metal object in the tread and were able to install a patch on the inside of the tire.

     While we were shopping at a local souvenir shop when we returned to the HHR it wouldn’t start. It wasn’t turning over so I suspected a dead battery and sure enough when the head lights were turned on it confirmed no power was available. We used our Good Sam Roadside service and after about a hour of wait time we got a jump to get the HHR back to the RV park. I knew if it didn’t start the next morning I would be able to get a jump off of one of the park residents. The next morning we took the HHR to Walmart and had a new battery installed the old battery was original about 9 years old. No wonder it failed at this time. I can only hope the new battery gives good service as I know we won’t have this car for another 9 years.

     I have had reoccurring roof problems with the RV especially on the right front where the roof connects to the fiberglass front cap. I have cut out and replaced the caulking with Dicor self leveling roof caulk twice. We developed another leak while parked at Lagoons and this time it was severe enough it delaminate the front cabinet. I made a temporary repair when at Bettys RV park in Abbyville LA. 
This was going to be a pretty major repair that I couldn’t perform until we returned to Indiana. We left Texas and I was in a foul mood, because all the problems. I once more, after we were out of rain long enough to make roof repairs cut out and replaced the caulking at this junction. Later in the summer I went on the roof and installed a strip of eternal bond tape across the junction of the roof to fiberglass. Time will tell if this is a more permanent fix. I make annual inspections and repair any problem that I find. I have replaced two of the three roof vent covers because of sun deterioration, and installed Max air covers over the roof vents. 

The cabinet was completely removed and rebuilt with plywood instead of the pressed fiberboard the manufacturer used and is very susceptible to water damage.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Looking Back on Being a Winter Texan

January and February of 2015 being in Rockport, Texas proved to be a very fast 2 months. We had lots of fun touring the area with visiting the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. This ship nicknamed "The Blue Ghost"is an aircraft carrier built for the Navy . Sherry's sister Pam and husband Tim and their 2 boys Skyler and Forrest along with her mom Nancy and Bennie enjoyed walking all over this ship. They had never been on any big ship like this and seeing it from afar in the bay area does not do it justice. It is massive and be prepared to walk and climb lots of stairs. It does have and elevator to the flight deck.

While Pam and her family were staying at Port Aransas they rented a golf cart for a day and drove the beach. This was a lot of fun for the whole family and they had beautiful weather the few days they were here. They ate lots of seafood at lots of different restaurants in the short period they were here. They loved Virginia's on the Bay in Port Aransas. They even found time for all of them to go deep sea fishing. A trip to the Orvis Store in Rockport was a must for Forrest who fly fishes and ties his own flies. They came to the RV park and then we all went to Lamar and saw the "Big Tree".It is a live oak tree over 1,000 years old and is in a nice little park area.

After they went home Jay's daughter Shelly and her husband Craig came down for a short visit. We went to a lot of the same places that we had taken Sherry's sisters family. Craig served in the Navy in the 1980's and could tell Jay a lot about the ships working operations.

We also had friends Bill and Sue and his dad Floyd rent a condo in Port Aransas. We all got together to visit and play cards with them several times. We all went out to eat, shop, and also they came to the RV park for some live entertainment. We really enjoyed them being here to share this area. They loved walking the beach and their condo was withing walking distance. It is nice to have family and friends visit as we spend our winter days here in Texas.