Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

CAMPING - High Cliff State Park, Wisconsin

This is her first year of being 29.  It's up to her how many more 29's she will have.   

We took Erin and Mark and the grandkids out for dinner last night, and had a very nice time.  It was so good to see the well-behaved grandkids in a sit-down restaurant with proper manners and good behavior to enjoy a meal out.  I am so appreciative of  the good parenting skills that all of our kids have with the grandkids! Even baby Clayton flirted with the waitress and made gentle cooing sounds while we ate.  And Chelsea gobbled up as many sauteed shrimp as she could muster.  We topped off the evening with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday and a delicious decorated cake, complete with candles.  Ahhhhh

Also we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday.   Yes, fifteen years of being married to my best friend, and looking forward to many, many more!

After a very busy week... we loaded up the motorhome and headed out for 6 days of relaxing "Working Vacation".  Yes, some of us have to work, so I am going to be adding to my sock inventory, and maybe even spin up a few skeins of yarn if I feel like it.  I am wayyy down on sock inventory and need to get at least 100 more pairs in my online store.  I have a number of packages to mail on Monday from sales of my items in my Etsy store.  This is how I can work and travel at the same time!  My items are featured on line, and once they sell, I just pop them into packages and ship them out at the next nearest post office.    Steve is also going to be doing a little "work project" next Tuesday, but I can't say any more on that subject yet.  So this is a "Working Vacation"~

About 10 am we headed 60 miles south of our house down to High Cliff State Park, just east of Appleton, WI on the NE corner of the large Lake Winnebago.  This lake encompasses a large portion of the eastern side of Wisconsin between Milwaukee and Green Bay.


Wisconsin bought the land for High Cliff State Park in 1956 and opened the park in 1957. Even before High Cliff became a state park, the land had a rich natural and cultural history.

Earliest times

The Niagara Escarpment, often called "the ledge," was formed by the settling and hardening of limy ooze at the bottom of the Silurian Sea, which covered much of Wisconsin nearly 400 million years ago. Later, the flat-lying dolomite was tilted downward to the southeast by earth forces, leaving its higher western edge exposed at the earth's surface.
Between 1,000 and 1,500 years ago, nomadic Siouan Indians built effigy mounds in what is now the park. There are four panther-shaped mounds, two buffalo-shaped mounds, conical mounds and a linear mound.
As long ago as the 1880s, this area was noted for its breathtaking views of Lake Winnebago.

Quarry years

Photo of general storeFrom 1895 to 1956, a limestone quarry and kilns to extract the lime from the stone were operated here. Workers drilled holes in the stone and used dynamite to blast it loose. The lime extracted in the kilns was sent throughout the Midwest for use in plaster and cement and to apply to soil to reduce acidity. Other limestone from the quarry was used for brick mortar and crushed into gravel. Horses pulled dump wagons of limestone to an area above the kiln until 1946, when they were replaced by a dump truck.
As many as 40 people worked at the operation, including drillers, a blasting specialist, stone crushers, teamsters, barrel makers, laborers and a blacksmith. Many were recent immigrants from Hungary. In its heyday, the lime industry supported a small "company town" consisting of 16 houses for workers, a store (including a post office, telegraph office and company office) and a tavern, all owned by the Western Lime and Cement Company. All that remains today are the store and ruins of the kiln.

(that was copied from the website)

It was a pleasant drive down from Oconto, even through the crazy construction of Hwy 41 around Green Bay.  I am glad to announce our tire pressure monitor system kept us safe the whole way (read 2 blogs back about our flat tire on our Tracker... the puncture is now since repaired under the road hazard warranty)

We pulled into the park about 11 am, but our reservation didn't start until 3pm.  The ranger at the gate said he didn't know if our site was vacated yet or not, but we could roll through the campground to see.  Nope, the folks were still on the site, but said they would be out about 1-2pm. That was fine, we drove over to a nice big parking area by one of the hiking trails and hung out for the morning, making up a late breakfast.  We had the generator running with both rooftop AC units keeping us cool.  We even took a little nap!

Later we unhooked the toad and I drove back up into the campground to see if our site was ready.  Yep!   I called on my cell back to Steve on his cell, who was waiting with the motorhome.  Ain't technology great?

We are now comfortably ensconced on site 107 for the next six days.  The campground is nicely wooded and shaded, with a lot of shrubbery and trees between each campsite.  There are 30amp electric hookups, which is appreciated on days like today where temps were reaching in the 90's again.  We cooked up burgers on the grill, cracked open a bottle of wine, and relaxed in our lawn chairs.  We took a quick stroll around 2 loops of the campgrounds, and we are back to the site for the rest of the evening.   I am a bit worried about Duchess, she stumbled a few times as if she was dizzy and wandering along.  She is drinking water fine, and ate well, and did her "duty" okay.  We didn't overwork her, and usually it's Duke who tuckers out first.  I know she is getting along in years, she turned exactly 12 years old on our anniversary.  I am not ready to lose her yet------

All set up and comfy cozy on our site.  I will add more pics later.  
For now, this is all you need to get the idea???


Monday, June 25, 2012

CAMPING- Ottawa Lake in the U.P. of Michigan

We made it the rest of the way to our planned campground destination without any more tire mishaps.  Whew!   (read last blog about our flat tire on the Tracker)

I gave our Hopkins Tire Pressure Monitor a kiss goodnight for doing such a good job.  It hangs over our bed to better reach the signals from the rear of the rig, closer to the Tracker as it's being towed.  Steve had wired in an extra 12 volt DC receptacle for it's operation.  I also use the same receptacle for plugging in the laptop or cell phone when using them in the bedroom area.  I can still hear the warning beeps of the monitor unit from up front in the passenger seat, or with a turn of my head, I can see that reassuring green light, saying all is good to go!

We got up to Ottawa Lake in the Ottawa National Forest about 4pm. My folks were there ahead of us and saved our sites.  They pay for the site, put the money in the post and set a lawnchair up or park a car to hold it till we get there.  Otherwise this park fills up too fast and we can't ever get a site, much less a long enough or level enough site for us to fit on.  There were only 3 other empty sites when we got there.  This is rustic camping without hookups, and the park is usually pretty quiet.  It seems the other types of campgrounds with power attract noisy families, booming music lovers, and lots of partiers.  We enjoy the quieter places, plus the guys like this lake for fishing walleyes. 

We have camped on every one of these sites in this campground many times, 
starting when I was 10 years old.  

My folks were set up on the site next to us since earlier in the day, and were waiting through the morning rain to quit.  By mid-afternoon is was all sunny and bright. Yayyyy camping! 

A very good camping friend (who is just like family) joined us by the nickname of Bob Senior.  Yes, there is a Bob Junior.  We sometimes just call him Senior and we all know who we mean.  LOL 

A long time ago, when Senior got his newest camping trailer, my sister and I bought him some "party lights" or known as "awning lights" and snuck them over and clipped them on his awning as a Trailer Warming Present.  The park we happened to be camping at had electric hookups that time.   He never forgot that we did that for him.

Senior knows we most often camp at places without any electrical hookups, so we never get to put out the "Party Lights" on our own awnings.  One day he was looking at a catalog and found some SOLAR POWERED Party Lights!!! Whee heeeeeeee!!!!!   

He bought a set for both me and my sister as a surprise!   What a neato idea!  They are about 20 feet long, and have 25 LED bulbs in pearlescent glass globes.   They come with a small solar panel that can set right on the edge of the awning to catch the rays, or be staked out on the included stake to reach the rays.   They are not blazing bright or bothersome to others, and emit just enough of a nice glow to see your way around outside, but not attract bugs.

Now, how cute are these?   They can also be used with the regular AC type household current too. 

The lights can be found at http://www.plowhearth.com  and they have other shapes and styles available.

Senior always has along his constant companion, Shadow.  The dog also has a nickname of "Federal Express"  ... due to the zoom zoom zoom frantic running he would do as a puppy when we started camping with them 15 years ago.  We have watched this dog grow up and now he's also in his Senior Years.   We love you, Shadow! 

We relaxed around the campground and enjoyed visiting and telling stories and just plain old being together.  Tossed a few brats and hot dogs on the grill, hauled out a potato salad I had made, and we were comfortable and happy.  The sun was shining, we were in our lawn chairs, what more could we want? 

Friday night my sister and brother-in-law went out in their boat to do some walleye fishing. (best done after dark)   They weren't gone more than half an hour and we saw them coming back up the hill to the campfire again!  ACK!!!!  HE hooked HER!     Turns out that he caught a nice walleye, and while she was helping him get it in the net, she got hooked by a treble hook on the fingers!

I must say, what a brave woman!!! She didn't cry, yelp or swear (much) as Surgeon Steveio went to work with a tin snips to get the ends off the hooks to slide out. There wasn't any room to do the "press down" technique, so they had to cut off the hooks to remove them.  ACK!   I could not watch, so I ran to my camper for antibacterial ointment and medicated bandages to seal it up once they were done preforming surgery.  What a tough gal!  .... and they went right back down to the boat and continued fishing~~~~

On Saturday, we had some rain spurts here and there.  So they put up some tarps over the table and cooking area on my sister's site.  It was just enough to keep the rain off, but still allow us to sit outside for our cooking and meals.  Steve prepared his fishing gear to go out in brother-in-law Fuzz's boat, but the rain kinda kept them back in the campsite instead.  No hooks for him!  LOL

We had met some nearby camping neighbors who had a darling little gal named Jaydon (sp?)   She was a hoot and enjoyed some time by our campfire.  Check out the umbrella hat!  LOL    Later her older brother came back to purchase some of my wool socks for his mother's birthday. Awwww so they came and "shopped" in my stash of finished products, and I made some $$ for the weekend. 

Even with a throbbing hand from fishing hook punctures, my sister was working on weaving lawn chairs for some friends.  You can see from the pics that we all have our woven lawn chairs and cherish each one.  My sister is still able to do them, but they hurt my hands too much anymore.
Here is a previous blog post with more information on how to make these chairs:

The weather was so beautiful on Sunday, we sure didn't want to go home!  Mom and I ran into town and got some country ribs to do up over the campfire.  We first simmer them in onion soup mix in the pressure cooker on the stove, and then later put them on the grill over the campfire to brown them up and put on some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.  Added some ears of roasted sweet corn.  Yummmmmm!   We always eat good when camping!

We didn't pack up and head home till after 5 pm.  Stopped at the dump station and did a good rinse out of the tanks because there wasn't anyone behind us.  Another good reason to wait till later in the day to leave a campground--- the dump station is less crowded. LOL

I am pleased to say we didn't have any more tire mishaps on the way home.  Whew!

I dread coming home to unload and unpack and start laundry and get things done.  Duke of course, doesn't like it either, and pulls a hissy fit about coming in the house.  So I didn't come in either!  I stayed out in the rig doing a few things till almost 9 p.m. before heading into the house for the evening.

Only 35 more days till I NEVER have to unload the motorhome, because it WILL be our HOME~!


Friday, June 22, 2012

FLAT TIRE- Thank Goodness for our Hopkins Tire Pressure Monitoring System!

Steve used to scoff at  my insisting that we own a tire pressure monitoring system.  He made fun of all my fiddling with the sensors and pressure and helping me set the "cold" limits and putting sensors on all the 6 tires of the motorhome and 4 tires on the toad.   He kinda looked at it as a new-fangled toy that we didn't really NEED ... ya, right!  

Well, just now, while driving up north to go camping, we were about 80-90 miles since home.  Suddenly our alarm goes off on our Hopkins Tire Pressure Monitor!   We pulled over right away, and yes, our driver's side front tire on the toad, the Tracker, was flat!

There is no way to tell if you have a flat tire on a toad, as you can not feel it up in the front while driving the motorhome.  You don't know till someone points it out to you, or till your toad catches on fire... also endangering your rig!   Our toad is padlocked onto the Blue Ox tow bars, and grabbing keys and unlocking a burning vehicle is pretty dangerous.  

(this is the set of 6 sensors, we later added 4 more for the toad) 

Soooo glad we have our tire pressure monitoring system! 

In between spurts of rain showers, we got the tire changed out with the full sized spare we have on a back rack on the Tracker.  The flat is now bolted in it's place, ready to go back to the dealer where we have a road hazard warranty on it.  Not sure yet why it went flat, as we dashed back into the motorhome just as the rain started pouring down again!

He ain't scoffing now. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Painting a Toad - and Mason's Baptism

Yup, that's right. Painting a TOAD!

In RVing terms, a "toad" is a vehicle that is towed behind an RV... thus the name:  TOAD!

Makes sense, huh?

We tow a 1997 Geo Tracker behind our motorhome.  When we were up north 2 weeks ago, my parents saw that it had a little bit of rust around the wheel wells.   Well, that Lowell just NEEDS a project ya know!   So he offered to come down this week and do the body work for our Tracker.  That way Mom and I get in a nice visit for a few days... and also we can load them up with household items we no longer want during our Move N Purge Process!

We had horrible storms overnight, which extended into the morning hours before they arrived.  And just like sunshine, they came to the door with smiles on their faces.  Awwwwwww   We had a bit of coffee and then headed to the auto parts store for all the supplies he needed to transform our rust bucket into a thing of beauty!

The humidity climbed up after the storms, and the garage was sweltering in the 90's!  I kept telling him to knock it off and come in the house.  He did, for lunch, and went right back out again!  I brought him a fan to blow on him, but he didn't want it because it would blow too much dust around.  I brought him ice water to drink.  He took a break about 5 pm for supper, and then went back out again with Steve to work on it some more!


He finally came in and took a shower to clean up and rest for the evening.  Mom got him to sit down for a while and look through old photo albums.  Now that was a fun evening!   Finally about 8pm he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open, so they toddled off to bed in the Pfundtner Motel (out motorhome out in the driveway) 

Wanted to also mention our lovely Sunday spent with our kids and families...   it was the Baptism of our grandson, Mason Paul Pfundtner!   We were honored to be part of his special day...

Afterwards, we had a nice picnic dinner at our son Dan and his wife Heather's house.  It was so good to be around all the family... including all FIVE of our grandtots!  We also celebrated our Father's Day with the kids at the same time.  So Dan was doubly treated with the baptism of his son, and celebration of being a Father.  

Steve, our son Dan, daughter-in-law Heather with Mason, and Me

Our daughter Erin, son-in-law Mark, Steve, son-in-law Jesse, daughter Heather and Jameson

We had a lot of fun watching the little cousins interact with each other.  They sat at a traditional "Kids Table" ... the first of many more years to come, I am sure!

Five little apples of our eyes.....

 And of course there was time for a few pics, 
including one with all FIVE GRANDTOTS! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Ahhhh a whole Saturday in front of us with NO plans other than working on our own projects.  Wheeeeee

First up on our list of items was installing our Progressive Industries EMS LCHW50 which is an Electrical Management System.  It protects our sensitive electronics inside of our motorhome from spikes, surges, low voltages or even mis-wired posts in campgrounds.  (which happens more often than you think!)

In the past, we usually didn't camp much in places with hookups, instead we rely on our solar or at last resort, our generator.  We did have some smaller Surge Guard portable surge protector units, but decided to go with a hard-wired inside unit.  Now that we will be full-time living in our rig, we will have more opportunity to be plugged in at various places.  Especially the rest of this summer, this fall, and perhaps next spring yet at our friend's cottage near Steve's work place.

We ordered the EMS unit from Camping World where they were having a sale for $250.00 .. that was the best price around when we placed our order.  This is a hard-wired unit that needs to installed carefully, with attention to each little step.  One mishap and we can ruin our electrical system.

We read the directions from front to back, and Steve set up his work area.  I was his "gopher" for fetching tools, as his knee is giving him grief again.  Love his stool, eh?  He already attached another section of 4 strand heavy wire to the unit in preparation to install.  (I think it's number 6 wire)

First, we made sure the power was unplugged from the rig! ...   then Steve removed the cover from our Automatic Transfer Switch.   He decided to install the EMS on the upside of the Transfer Switch to protect that, rather than downstream of the Transfer Switch (which would leave the switch vulnerable, but would protect the input from the generator)   We don't often run the generator, so didn't think it was as important to locate it there. 

Careful connections were made, with me double checking over his shoulder as he attached each wire.  Sometimes it helps to have two sets of eyes on a project as important as this.  Once the connections and ground was made in the Transfer Switch, then we wired up the connections and grounds in the EMS unit.  Once the connections were made in the EMS, the actual digital readout device gets plugged into place.    We also had to determine if our air conditioners had a "delay" in restarting if they ever get turned off mid-cycle (they don't have that built-in feature) ...  so the EMS has the option of either a 6 second delay (default setting)   or a 2 minute delay (by removing a jumper pin from the control board)   to allow a delayed restart to protect the air conditioners if a shut down and restart ever happened.   Now we are all set. 

We doublechecked everything and stood back to admire our work.   Now it was time to plug it in!  We ran a "test" ... sure enough, it worked!   It read each leg of the 50amp connection and tested for any errors.   All is fine and our garage power is clean.  (we already knew that)

We mounted it up into place on the side wall of our electrical bay.    Don't it look "purty"????   (the black box on the left is what we are gabbing about)   It had to go to the left of the Transfer Switch, as the wall on the right had incoming and outgoing wires for other items.

We put all of our other electrical gear back into the compartment.  We carry our main 50 amp cord --- a.k.a. The Snake.   Then a 25ft 50 amp extension, and a 30ft 30 amp extension, and even a plain old orange 10 gauge longer cord to use in a pinch.  Also a few dog bones (recognize that one, Dee and Jim?) and some adapters for various campground hookups.
There... all back together, good as new.       Or better than new!!!

Another project that we are starting inside the motorhome is to replace two drawer slides on the bottom-most drawer in my kitchen.  This drawer is going to be holding a lot more heavy canned goods than before, and needed to be beefed up stronger.  Steve got some good heavy slides and measured to put them in place. They had to be set up higher to span over the piece of drain pipe that is under there from our sinks.  He made little wooden blocks to reinforce it better after I took this pic, so I don't have a finished photo.  After all, what good does it do to look at a closed drawer?   LOL

One item I have been working is in our three front overhead cabinets.  Originally our rig came with a 10 disc CD changer over the surround sound deck on the far left cabinet.  We never used it anymore, because I just plug our little MP3 player into the surround sound for music through the speakers.  We took the 10 disc player unit out and offered it to a fellow Safari-ite owner.   Now we have more room on the left to add our two DVD decks that we currently have in the house.  (I need one to play and one to record for my instructional DVD's that I sell on Ebay and my Etsy store).   The cabinet on the right now can hold my camera bag and our extra 12v fan.  

If you notice in the pics, we have a power strip mounted on the back wall (oops, it's somewhat crooked) ....   We plug all of our electrical componants and charging items into power strips.  Then we can turn on and off the strip with one button.  We don't like to run "phantom loads" from those appliances if we are just on the inverter. It is drawing juice needlessly from our batteries.  Example: if we are just watching the tv, why waste power going to the 2 dvd players and a couple chargers?   We are frugal boondockers this way.

The third cabinet on the right beyond those two now houses my computer printer, and some fat DVD and CD wallets.  I removed all of our DVDs and CDs from their plastic cases and put them in big 100 disc wallet cases.   I am glad the printer fits up there, because I bought it impulsively on sale and didn't measure accurately ahead of time.

On my side of the livingroom, I have now loaded up my very very very cherished Old McDonald's Farm and Cup-O's toys... among some other books, colors and games.  This farm was my Grandma Kafehl's toy she kept at her house when we were young children in the 1960's.  My children also played with it when we visited her in the 80's and 90's.  Now my grandchildren play with it in the 2000's.   Of course I will have to bring it along with me, and it really doesn't take up much space, does it?
The Cup-O's are from my friend Connie, who gave them to me when Erin was a baby.  They are from Discovery Toys and have worn well through the years, never losing a single stacking cup!  Now the grandchildren play with those and take them in the bathtub as a ritual.  Yes, our motorhome even has a bathtub!

While I was organizing cabinets, Steve was out in the garage replacing the water pump on our Saturn. It had started a little leak, and has gotten progressively worse over the last few weeks.  He got that all done now that the weather cooled down a bit. It has been so horribly hot lately he didn't want to start it in the garage.  But this afternoon he finished it up, and added more antifreeze to top it off after it was done.  This car has lasted a long, long time for us, and hope it lasts a few more years for Heather after we hit the road.  It was because of her that we got it in the first place at a very good price, and we are returning the favor by giving it back to her when we go on the road. It's a 1999 and has over 200,000 miles on it now, but going strong and hope it serves her well for a while.   They are saving for a house and don't really want new car payments at this time.

Later in the afternoon, it started to rain a little ..wheeeheeee we really needed it here in Wisconsin!   So while it was raining, we went down to my loom room and he helped me sort and stack and pack my totes.  My strong muscle man carried them all up and out to the motorhome to put in my compartments.  I will take a pic on Monday after he brings me home the labelling device so I can identify them properly.  

I think I will do a blog post on loading a motorhome and understanding all those UVH, CCC, GVWR, and GCWR.  

Right now, I think we need to take a drive for an ice cream cone! 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Wisconsin weather has been just crazy lately.  Over the weekend it had been in the 90's, very hot and horribly humid!   (as I type this on tuesday morning, it's windy and cool at 52 degrees)

We spent Sunday afternoon out in the motorhome where it's parked in the driveway.  The motorhome is sitting out in the full sunshine, sweltering in the heat just like us.  We are only connected with a power cord to the garage's 20 amp service, which means we can only run one air conditioner at a time.

That was fine while we were laying the bedroom area with the door closed, only cooling with the bedroom air conditioner.  We took nice long naps, recovering from the weekend of babysitting the wee ones.  That sure was a well deserved nap!  

But then we wanted to move forward to the livingroom area to sit in our recliners, browse on our laptops and let Steve watch a stupid man's movie, Die Hard 2.  

We turned off the back air conditioning unit over the bedroom and fired up the front one in the livingroom to cool that area off.   It was the hottest part of the day and unit works well, but only blows the air out the end vents, one  vent to the front windshield area and one vent to to the kitchen.   Not much air movement goes directly below in the livingroom by our chairs.

Sooooo after a while, Steve pipes up:  "I'M GONNA DO WHAT MEL DID!"   and off he goes to get his power drill and a 2 1/4" hole saw!!!!!!   With some careful measuring and checking... he drilled a hole right through the underbelly of the air conditioner!

 (it's just a layer of plastic and soft insulation -  no metal)

Amazing! The nice cool air blasted right down on us in the middle of the livingroom!   Now we can sit in our recliners and feel more comfortable than before.  
Yes, our brainy modification friend, Mel, with the same type of motorhome as us, had done this quick fix to his AC unit too.   We will get a little vent plug to put in the hole to cover it up when not in use, but I think while using it, we will just pull the vent plug out to not impede any of the air flow.   Thanks Mel for giving Steve this wonderful idea!

While we were "trapped" inside the motorhome for the day, it was a good time to go over what we had in each cabinet, and what we planned to bring into the rig.  I also took out a bunch of stuff we were not going to want along when we move into the rig full time next month.  Steve is hauling a batch to St. Vinnies next week.  We planned and thought and figured and thunk!   Got most of our things settled in our minds of what is going where in our rig.

When Safari built our motorhome, they included a Delco Electronics 10 disc CD changer unit along with a surround sound.  We used it and it works well.   But in the age of new technology, I have put all of our CD's onto a little MP3 player, we really don't ever use the 10 disc CD player unit at all.  The mp3 player hooks right up to the surround sound speakers and sounds just as good.    Plus, I can now random among 200 CD's instead of just 10 for a variety of music.

I offered the 10 disc changer for free plus the price of shipping to anyone in our Safari group on yahoo http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/SafariCoaches 
One member asked for it, as his was sticking and not operating properly.  It was easy to remove the deck unit, just unplug the cords leading to it.  But then we thought about the wired in remote unit and the cords that went to the radio.... what if he needs those too?  What if this one is not compatible with his cords?  We should give him the cords, right?   His rig is a little newer than ours, what if Safari changed styles of units from year to year?   We figured it was best for us to remove any and all cords to include with the unit when we shipped it out.

Ahhhhh but one of those cords went down through the side post between the front windshield and side window.   We THOUGHT it would be a quick removal, take off the padded cover and slide the cord out.   But noooooooooo!   That cord was wire-tied to bundles of other wires in about 10 places.  Mind you, wire ties are usually easy to snip, but not these!  Safari used some very very good plastic wire ties!~   Even a scissors was not able to snip them, so Steve had to carefully use a very sharp knife and be sure to not cut any other wires.  Two of the bundled areas were up above the driver's area and hidden way up behind the tv cabinet.  Not accessible from the compartment panel behind the tv either.  Steve found the best position to reach them to work on undoing the wireties.......

(can you imagine if anyone was walking past our house to see this?) 

Finally we got the cord snipped free from the top cabinet to where it went down behind the dash.  Next part: follow the cord between all the wires, vent hoses, and assorted junk under the dash.  It was a like following a single piece of noodle in a plate of spaghetti!   We followed it along through about 2 or 3 more bundled areas, only to discover it now goes OUT through the firewall to the front of the motorhome behind an access door!   Steve braved the sweltering heat to go out and see what was up.  He came back in and said "WE GIVE UP!"    There was no way he could unscrew the whole dash to get that cord through and back into the rig again.    Soooo we cut it off where it exited the dash through the firewall and cut the other end off where it entered back in again on the other end.   Done!   If the new owner wants, he can have both ends of the multi-stranded cord soldered together to make it work again.  Whew!

See the fun stuff we can think of doing when trapped indoors???  

Life is never boring when you own a motorhome.....

I forgot to post one more pic in my pac brake repair post from last Tuesday's blog motorhome-repair-rebuilding-pac-brake  of the last step.  Steve lubed up the five points on the pac brake pump unit with Pac Brake Lube, specifically made for Pac Brake units.

After he lubed it up, we took it for a test drive and it worked flawlessly.   He even had me drive the rig for a bit, while he stood in the back and lifted the bed to watch it function correctly.  What a reward for a job well done.  He saved us $1,000 or more of having it replaced.  

Now for a little bit of grandtot stuff:
I wrote this next section in an email to my friends... but thought I would copy and paste it into a blog for your "reading enjoyment".   Now you will know why we needed such a nice long nap on Sunday after the grandkids left:

Saturday night, we babysat for Clayton and Chelsea while their parents, Erin and Mark, went to a wedding.

Do NOT read this next part if you are eating!!!!

Toooo funny, but when Erin brought diapers, she tried moving Clayton up from size Newborn to size 1... the diapers kinda *gapped* at the leg openings.  I woke up for the 1am feeding and all went well.  Changed him and he went back to sleep.  

I was feeling horrible and nauseous from a sinus thing draining and a sore throat and could not get back to sleep myself.  I was up all night. My stomach was rolling.  By the 4 am feeding, the baby woke up very crabby, so I woke up Steve to help me out a bit...

Steve stumbled outta bed and was holding a very very very fussy Clayton while i was preparing a bottle... RUT ROH!   Now i know why the baby was fussy!  Seems he had a huge amount of ummmm ohhhhhhh  you know what coming into his diaper, (remember those gaps around the legs???   It OOZED all over Steve!!!!   it came out the gaps of the diaper and down on Steve's lap, on his boxers, on his legs, it was just EVERYWHERE!!!!  He could not even stand up!!!!  

I can not believe one little butt can produce so much ummmm you know what!   i think he saved it up, because all evening he had only wet diapers... not this .....  he waited till 4 am to let it all go! 

By now, the baby is screaming, Steve is grossing out and gagging, i am trying to pick up the baby from his arms and not *dribble* anything on the way to the bathroom,  He is sitting on the ottoman in the darkened livingroom, and he can't even stand up and he don't know what to do!  He can't see in the dark, and doesn't have on his glasses either. The last I saw of him was as he sat with both hands catching the mess dribbling down his thighs and he cant think of what to do next! 

I got the baby into the bathroom and grabbed a stack of towels to toss on the floor and lay him down. In the middle of all this hubbub Chelsea wakes up and adds to the confusion saying she HAS to go potty!  Someone has to lift her up on the toilet and help her NOW, but I have a gooey icky baby on a towel on the bathroom floor and trying to get off a poopy onesie outfit up and over his head!   

Remember, I am nauseous to begin with, and not feeling well.  But I manage to get Chelsea propped up on the toilet.  I get all the bad stuff washed off the baby, and have him on a third towel on the floor, while trying to wipe him down with a warm washcloth. Steve managed to "crab walk" into the bathroom without dribbling on the new carpeting in the livingroom.  We have 2 stairs up and 2 stairs back down to get into our bathroom, and he maneuvered those too. 

Chelsea is sitting on the floor watching me, and Steve is trying to step over us to put his oozing boxers into the washing machine next to me by lifting them up over my head!!!   I can just about see it coming out of the corner of my eye and i move JUST IN TIME to not get dribbles on my hair!!!!!   It went down my back instead, so now i have to get changed too, but not until i can dress the baby back up into a new diaper and clothes which Steve has to go get for me because now I can not move.... but he is already in the shower!    

Good thing 2 year old Chelsea was awake, because my little helper girl went out to the livingroom and brought me back the diaper bag to the bathroom.  We got the baby dressed and done, got myself changed, and finally Steve emerged from the shower... .still gagging to himself over it all

The washing machine took care of the rest of the work, but now nobody could go back to sleep.... 

Did I mention it was 4 am when this started?

Now it was 5 am and I said it was Steve's turn to take over, I needed to sleep!   After my operations, I have on hand some very strong nausea stomach pills to knock me out when things get bad. They knock me out for 4-5 hours straight.  

I went up to bed and he took over from 5 till 9 and I got sleep!   He read them stories and got both kids back to sleep for a bit, later he fed them breakfast and he even had Chelsea help him fold clothes from the dryer. He had it all under control ....   MY HERO!!!    

But we were never so HAPPY to see Mommy and Daddy at the door by 10 am~!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gypsy departs, Copperfest and Grandtots

Saturday morning we got up early and enjoyed some coffee and muffins with Gypsy (aka Marty) from http://gypsy97.blogspot.com   We sure had a nice morning while it was still cool and pleasant.

We took the doggers all back down by the river, hoping Gypsy's elegant shepherd dog Lady would take a dip in again so we could snap some pics this time. We took our cameras along as we ambled through the woods.  It's been so dry around Wisconsin that even the mosquitoes were not even out.

As the dogs went down to the water, we held our breaths to see if Lady would go in again.  Sure nuff, she went right in and enjoyed wading around, up to her belly.  Lapping water and cooling off.  She even swam a little ways!   The current is very gentle, so no worries about her being carried away.   Duchess came in too for a dip, just to prove she can be a water-collie dog too.

What a great morning for a little dip in the river, and 
Marty was so happy to see her Lady having such a good time! 

I got into the river too... and it was refreshing and cool on the legs. 
Then all three doggies had to have a good romp around on the grass by the shore!

Duchess and Duke sure enjoyed the company of Lady, and both had to take a time out for a good "Lassie pose" for my camera while I was still standing knee deep in the river.

With a smile on her doggy face, and a faraway look in her eye, Lady was remembering some times playing in a stream in her puppyhood.  I am glad she was able to relive her doggy memories in our river!

We walked back up through our cool green woods towards the house up on the ridge.  Whenever I see the house from down here in the woods, I think of that John Denver song "Cool and Green and Shady"   The air was heavy with dampness and humidity, and a scorcher of a day was on the rise.

Lady dried off on the deck for a while, but soon it was time to get loaded up in the SUV to head west, back to California.  We made our promises to meet again on one of our journeys.

Marty has been having a hard time getting Lady into the SUV back seat due to her aging back legs.  We had a plastic step stool that might work, so here is Steve and Marty getting Lady accustomed to the stool and helping her into the SUV.  I think with a few more practices, it might work out well for her.

Once she got in on her mattress, she was all set to ride, and stretched out in her space while we all said our goodbyes with Marty.  Lady did manage to sit up, turn around and let me kiss her on the nose for our own little "Good Bye"  awwwww

We waved as Marty and Lady headed on out down the road, going west to find more adventures.  Travel safe, dear Gypsy!

Once Marty was on the road, we met up with our daughters, Erin and Heather, along with three of the grandtots, Jameson, Chelsea and Clayton to watch the Copperfest Parade in town.  The kids made a HAUL of the candy being thrown from the floats, along with some frisbees, beach balls, water bottles, mardi gras beads and even a Beanie Baby TY stuffed turkey toy!     Clayton didn't care so much, but he did march his feet up and down in his stroller to the passing school band as they played music.

After the parade, it was getting hotter and hotter. Instead of making the rounds of the Copperfest kiddie rides and vendors, we headed out to our house with the kids and grandkids to cool off and make some lunch.  Watermelon and hot dogs were the order for the day.

Heather needed new brakes and a muffler on her Saturn.  This car has served us well for a long, long time.  We owned it first, then son-in-law Mark bought it from us and ran it for a few years.  Then we bought it back from him for Heather a few years ago and it's still going strong!   LOVE those Saturns!    She is also going to "inherit" our newer Saturn once we hit the road full-time.  Both have over 200,000 miles on them, but work well and only seem to need routine maintenance.   When I came to snap this pic, Heather grabbed a big screwdriver to make it seem like she is "helping"  hahahaha

Brake pads $15, muffler $38, Thank You hugs from Heather to Steve = PRICELESS!!!

Chelsea and Jameson donned their little swimmy suits, and pranced and splashed around in the kiddie pool I set up on the shady part of the deck.  They had 2 big purple drink containers that were given away in the parade.  They proceeded to empty the kiddie pool, one container at a time, across the deck and over the edge to the patio below!  Delightful splat sounds as the water hit the cement below, fits of giggles, and squeaky clean kids... ahhh summertime!

This is probably the last time they will playing on our deck, and having a family gathering around the house.  We are starting to pack and load up things in both of the girl's cars to take back to their houses.  All our treasures are going to be dispersed now on a weekly basis till the house is cleared out.  We are putting all our "good stuff" in the motorhome and getting rid of the second choice items.

Soon all of our events here at the house will be "the last time...."  but we are excited about moving on to the future too.   Here are the girls and grandtots, on the last deck picnic under the canopy!

RV readers, I promise you the next blog will be about RV modification stuff!