Monday, March 24, 2008

But....but, it's spring now, isn't it?

We're back in Virginia and.........wait, how could this be - - SNOW?? During the night I got up and as I glanced out I thought that the moon surely was bright - NOT! The ground, trees, and bushes were covered with snow, although there was none on the roads. It melted quickly this morning but as I sit here at 3:30 p.m., I'm looking out the window at snow flurries. Maybe having St. Patrick's Day, First Day of Spring, and Easter all in one week, confused Mother Nature??

It's amazing how much there is to do after being gone for 10 weeks. I'm almost caught up with the laundry and Ed's already making calls to get the concrete pad poured and the RV shelter built. This is one time that I'm glad I'm a pack rat because I'm coming across quite a few items from our other motor home. Also, I have enough clothes for 3 wardrobes so don't need to buy any more -- but please don't tell Ed that, OK?

BTW (by the way) I'd surely like to hear from you, either by email or click "comments."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Catch up Posts

As I learn more about blogging, I am learning how to make things easier for our readers. That said, I'm going to lead you to two posts that were added/updated. Click on the titles here: St. Pat's Day and Heading Home & Pelican Place & Mary's Grandchildren

Also, my scuba diving buddies are living in their RV full time (They're called full-timers.) and they're both computer geeks. Click here for a sample of their newsletter. You might want to subscribe: Geeks On Tour Newsletter

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Pat's Day and Going Home Soon

We are here at The Great Outdoors for one more night. Tomorrow, we return the coach to Coastal RV and will go over the additional things that need to be fixed. We'll leave the Explorer and get our Mercury.

Then we'll go south to Rockledge to return Barb's cooler, pick up some mail, and buy some oranges for Mother. At which point, we hit the road......and will arrive in Singers Glen, Virginia on Wednesday night

I need to start packing and will have to do some figuring. I want to leave as many things here as possible because there are lots of items we still have from our other RV that will make life more convenient. I plan to bring some of the little things on the plane when we return in a month or so.

p.s. Today we went to a huge shopping center about 20 miles west of here where Ed finally found his pastrami on rye at Toojay's Deli. I had corned beef, cabbage and carrots so now I should have good luck, right?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Playing House

When we were kids on the farm in Virginia, Daddy let us use an old chicken house as our playhouse. He even put a couch and an old table in there. That's kind of how I feel in the RV!

I've pointed out to Ed that we have 30 days to report any problems and even if we don't get them fixed right now, they'll be noted and Lazydays will take care of it later. Those 30 days are slipping by! We found Coastal RV on U.S. 1 south of Titusville and they fixed everything that we had found up to that point....they have worked with Lazydays before so they just billed Lazydays directly without having us as middlemen.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Barbara returned from Jim's last Saturday and I knew we were in her space. I've been in her position before and it's taxing.........even though we're clean and quiet, you know about "your space". Barb works at home, which made me all the more aware that we needed to move on! She was gracious but I felt she needs some time to herself.

Barbara is a medical editor and works soooo hard - getting in 8 hours a day. She works at home from 4:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. I admire her self-discipline, especially after she showed me what she does. Doctors dictate notes, sometimes in their bathroom or cars, and a computer interprets it and types it out. Just as with literal language translation, this doesn't always make sense. Barbara sits with headphones hearing the doctor while looking at the same thing on the screen. She goes in word by word and changes phrasing, correcting grammar, and any other detail you could imagine.

Friday we packed our Mercury with the things Mother couldn't carry on the plane and things we wouldn't need in the RV, such as our winter coats. We left the Mercury at Coastal RV and off we went in our motorhome and tow car. We're staying at The Great Outdoors, a fancy resort with park homes and RV lots. They gave us a few free nights, in hopes that we'll buy, of course.

Back to the "Playhouse Concept". It's such fun to have everything right at your fingertips! It's a good thing Walmart is nearby because we go get a few things every day. It's amazing how many things we take for granted, such as dish detergent, dishtowels, bathroom cleaner and spray, drawer organizers, etc.

It looks like we'll leave the resort Tuesday morning, which will put us home on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The weather is perfect today - 75 degrees with sun and a breeze. That's it from the Angelil's Playhouse for today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Space ShuttleLift-Off at 2 :28 a.m.

"Spurting flames into a pitch-black sky, space shuttle Endeavour momentarily turned night to day as it blasted off at 2:28 a.m. ET Tuesday on a marathon mission to deliver the first Japanese section of the International Space Station." USA Today

We saw this Japanese section when we were at Kennedy Space Center a couple of weeks ago so I was motivated to get myself awake at 2:20 a.m., put on my jacket, shoes, and glasses and stand in Barbara's driveway (we're house-sitting for her here in Rockledge, FL about 20 miles from the Space Center).

All of a sudden, a huge area of sky was brightly lit - so bright that it looked like the
Northern Lights, except it was all yellow from where I was sanding. I can't imagine how many watts must be produced to light such a large area! Then, I saw the fireball from the shuttle rise for only a few seconds until it disappeared into the thick cloud cover. (I didn't take this photo.)

Ed said he'd just watch the videos but this morning observed that they keep the cameras so close on the shuttle that you can't get a sense of the overall picture, which makes me all the more pleased that I got up for it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Murphy's Law Strikes Again

The latest plan is that we will leave the RV and tow car here in Rockledge (near Cape Canaveral) in storage. In the meantime, we'll go to Virginia and get the concrete pad poured and the shelter built. Then in April, we'll fly down, hop in the RV, and make our first trip as we meander our way back to Virginia.

Now, Murphy and his laws step in: On the way here from Tampa, we discovered the dash air conditioner doesn't cool and the fan only works on high. We found a place to store the coach inside with electricity (to keep the batteries charged). Ed went up there this morning to do a few things and take it to a repair place . After driving all the way there, he realized the RV keys were in our other car. So, I headed out with the keys and got into a traffic jam. The light where I got caught stayed red for 20 minutes. Finally, I arrived.

Turns out this covered storage place had some parasites?? in the building so we decided to move it. We found Coastal RV on U.S. 1 and it appears that we've caught a break from Murphy, FINALLY! The guy there knew exactly what needed to be done to fix the dash air and fan. They also install many of the same brand of braking system that we have for our tow car so they can finish the step that they couldn't get done at Lazydays.

Within an hour after getting back to Barb's place, they called....had fixed the fan and were analyzing where the leak must be causing us to be totally out of freon. He also said they often work with Lazydays and can send them the invoice directly - YAY!!

Best of all, we can park the RV there for 6 weeks for only $50 a month, including the Explorer tow car!! This fellow, Paul, must be from Rockledge. We're discovering that this is a town of 26,000 people and they're open, friendly, and helpful.......reminds me of the good folks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia!

We think we've figured out the way things work at Lazydays. They sell you the coach, have you come live in it with an electrical hookup on their dime and 2 free meals a day. They lull you into thinking they've really done a PDI (Pre-delivery Inspection), as their paperwork implies. At that point, they'll fix things -- but only the things that you discover.

Thank heavens, we're covered for 30 days. Now we're thinking that we really should live in it a few days and test everything!!! If Coastal RV can get everything finished soon we will likely do just that!

Mary's Beloved Grandchildren

We've been in Florida since January, house-sitting for a dive buddy in Rockledge, which is near Cape Canaveral. My grandchildren now live in North Florida and we met in Ormond Beach at the River Grille for lunch March 9th. Ormond Beach was a significant place because their Grandfather Alan's father (their great-grandfather) was named Ormond Barrows. The family used to come down from Connecticut to winter in Ormond Beach, thus his name.

Their adoptive family has provided them with a stable, warm home atmosphere. All the kids seem so well adjusted, and are obviously loved Ed even commented on the way back to Rockledge on what nice kids they are......friendly, out-going, and easy to talk to.
There's just something special about holding a baby the day it's born that creates a bond. This probably meant more to me because I didn't have children of my own. I saw a page in a magazine where a gal and her father stood in front of their front door for a picture on her birthday every year, likewise with the mother. I've done that with these three kids and it's such fun to see the adult grow older and the baby grow bigger.

After we get back to Virginia, I'll add a few more from previous years. Hopefully, it'll inspire all parents to do makes such fabulous memories.

Added June, 2009 - I finally got a sample finished.....
Due to some unusual circumstances with my step-grandchildren, I was not able to quite keep within the original format mentioned above. However, I treasure what I have managed to capture.

(Click on the each page below to see a larger version.)
You also might like to read a post from June, 2009.
Click here to read --> Save Your Memories

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lazy Days Means Just That!

We are still at Lazy Days, the largest RV dealer in the world. But, how can we complain with free electric hook-up for our RV, breakfast and lunch served free, a nice lounge with computer Wi-Fi, nice TV's and Starbuck's coffee all day.

We met a nice couple in the driving class on Wednesday and it's funny........out of the hundreds of people here for service, we keep running into them. This morning we had breakfast together and learned he's a retired IBM-er from Raleigh, N.C (Art and Sandi Lloyd). We learned so much just from talking to them (and other RVers). They were there for warranty work and said they'd learned that even if they had a Monday morning appointment, they allowed at least a week. Instead of getting bent out of shape, they were glad that all sorts of things got fixed.

It would be hard to describe what details we've gone through in the last few days but this process of living in the RV in their Delivery Park Area is extremely helpful. It seems we keep finding more little things wrong and it's good to get things done while we're here. But, we do observe that the squeaky wheel gets the oil and find we have to keep checking with the coordinator to keep things moving. Actually, I keep the running list of things to be done but Ed does the talking to the fellow. I have a feeling that things would take even longer for a woman alone.

One of the folding chairs that match the fabric in the RV was broken. The wood shop was going to fix it yesterday.....all the pieces were there. This morning we planned to pick up the repaired chair and hit the road only to find out that they're not allowed to repair it because if we sit on it and it breaks and injures us, we could sue. Another example, they're not allowed to help us hook up our tow car because if something know, the same old story, they could get sued.

Ed asked them to check the wiper blades as they appear to be different sizes and drag. When they checked that, they found the pump for the window washers didn't work. So they put in a new pump and new blades on the wipers. All this is included in the price of the RV.

There were a couple of things in our contract they couldn't do, such as a slide-out for the batteries. The compartment they're in was too short to accommodate the mechanism. For that, we got a voucher for the value of the part + the installation fee to use at Camping World. Fair enough! Camping World is like a candy store for RVers......I always see gizmos that would be nice to have. I did get a paper towel holder that's supposed to allow one hand to tear off one sheet at a time. Sounds great.....I hope it works.

By the way, Lazydays isn't really lazy.....but they are busy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Our First Night in the Coach

Here we are in the Delivery Park of Lazy Days RV Sales in Tampa, Florida. I'm going to start this post and finish later. We slept in our motorhome last night for the first time and are constantly adding to a list of a gazillion questions. They have a Walkthrough Specialist who spends 1-3 hours or more to show and explain every switch and gadget both in and outside the RV. It was raining yesterday so Dennis, our Walkthrough guy, showed us only the basics. Today, our Walkthrough Specialist, Larry, was probably here almost 3 hours.

Right now we're in the middle of a driving course. We had the classroom this morning and 13 of us will drive for about 10 minutes.....on flat, straight areas, curves AND, backing into a parking place. I learned to drive on a tractor so am feeling a bit cocky but underneath, I'm not sure I can do this!

Ed is in his element....spent a couple of hours last evening reading the manuals. We slept terrible - I was too hot and Ed was cold and the mattress was too hard even for me. We'll have to look into a pillow-top mattress pad or something. Every time I turn around, I find another nicety. I was trying to open the curtains that cover the front windows at night and was moaning that they were broken.....NOT.......they have the strings you pull like your draw drapes at home!

The employees at Lazy Days are incredible. We took the Explorer over to install the baseplate, etc. for towing and had breakfast. Then we took the tram to the building where the class was and back for lunch (free breakfasts & lunches while here). We wanted to return to the RV, so Ed saw a man heading for a golf card and asked him for a ride. He answered several questions on the way over here and got us another technician who was working nearby to explain the levelers. Oh, there's so much to know!

We're off, will finish later.

The driving portion of our course was very helpful. I need practice but have a much better understanding of how different a motor home is from driving a car. The instructor says anyone can drive the front end of a coach but it's knowing where and how the back end swings that takes additional knowledge and skill.

Already, we 're finding as we did with our other motorhome.......RVers are outgoing, open, friendly, and helpful. The ages run from 30-80 - mostly couples but some families. We talked to a couple today who told us they're in their 80's and are here buying their 10th coach! They started camping in 1954 and motorhoming in 1972.

Well, I'm beat and my head is swimming with information so will sign off for tonight.

Monday, March 3, 2008

In a Holding Pattern

"Good things come to those who wait" seems to be what's happening now as we wait for our RV to be ready. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in Delayed Gratification* but sometimes it's difficult to be patient. The motor home was supposed to be ready for us today. Two of the parts didn't come in, so it's not ready. Hopefully, we'll be going tomorrow for our live-in, check-out days.

That is a nice feature of Lazy Days.....we live in our RV in their campground free for several days. This includes breakfast and lunch, a newspaper delivered daily, cable, a full hook-up, seminars, and a driving class. First, the Delivery Person will show us how to work everything in the coach from the sewer set-up to the microwave/convection oven. This is our time to try everything to be sure it works properly. It's Lazy Days' time to have the rig leave them in tip-top shape. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

*Delayed Gratification
In my viewpoint, delayed gratification seems to be a lost skill these days. This "I want it all, and I want it NOW" mentality just isn't the way life works and has caused a crumbling of our society. I think this applies to issues such as people being way behind on their credit card payments, who keep on buying and charging anyway. I am of the old school who believes in saving up until have all the money before I buy something and I know I sleep better at night because of this. These days, people get furniture and don't have to pay for 2 by the time they start paying, the furniture's OLD!

I think it also explains the rampant epidemic of obesity, which has become a major cause of death. I fight with myself constantly not to eat fattening food, except now and then. I'll be a Weight Watcher member forever and it's a daily effort but it will help my health and best of all, I will be able to wear my clothes without having to go into the "Chunky Chicks" department in stores.

Such a shame.........delayed gratification builds one's strength, self-respect, and character..........