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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lazy Saturday

Today was a lazy day. Didn't do anything constructive. The weather was cold and gray - a good day to watch the NASCAR truck race and a Barcelona soccer game.
I take that back I did do something today. I spent half the morning working on a business card for Bill's leather stuff. It is a card that is two sided and folds in half. Took me a bit to get everything printing in the right directions. Finally got it but now he wants the pictures changed and thinks we (we?) should change the name of the web site. That will mean redoing everything.......And I've forgotten almost everything I know about building a web page. Egad!
Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer out so will try to finish cleaning up Alfie - We want to get him back in storage and out of the front driveway before any branches blow down on him.  Or any mice move in.
Bill is cooking right now – making milanese. We’ll have some for dinner then he’ll freeze the rest for sandwiches or easy dinners. So glad he is such a good cook. He is also making a butter and caper sauce for it. YUM.

For any country music fans out there – check this out – hard to believe it is really Willie.
Willie Nelson 1965
Have finally finished going through the mail and answering telephone calls. Now all thats left are Christmas cards to answer.
Been reading some of the calls to Brown County 911 - Just a couple of them.....

March 20, 2:33 a.m.: Caller in the 1900 block of Owl Creek Road advises having all kinds of problems. Did not request any officers. Will call back if she needs anything. (I wonder why she called in the first place.)

March 20, 2:32 a.m.: Caller from the 900 block of Helmsburg Road advises a droning noise is coming from town. Advises she is trying to sleep and the noise is annoying. (And it is a 911 problem because?)

March 18, 7:45 a.m.: Caller reports possible intoxicated driver in a white Oldsmobile all over roadway, slowing and speeding up eastbound on State Road 46 West passing west park gate.
7:58 a.m. (the response) County officer will be issuing citation for violation observed of crossing center line. Will be busy with written warning with carload of students from Indiana University. Driver seems tired. All students seem tired. No smell of alcohol, just a carload of tired IU students.
This column is well worth the price of the paper. As I said Life in Brown County is different.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I wiswh I were Jeannie or Samantha

Friday p.m.
I wish all I had to do was wiggle my nose and the motorhome would be unloaded and clean and the house would be clean and everything would be put away. Wouldn't that be nice?
Spent a good part of the day unloading, putting away, doing laundry and cleaning (quick clean not good clean) the house. I think everything is out of the Alfa - now its just the cleaning.
Then we went into Columbus to see some friends of ours from Canada who were passing through on their way home after spending the winter in the south. Visited with them over coffee. Just a little after they got back on the road the storm from the northwest hit here. Temps dropped 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. Lots of heavy rain and lightening. Seems to be letting up somewhat now. Today it was in the 80s again but tomorrow it is supposed to be only 59! Gotta love Indiana weather.
Both of us are getting used to going up and down the stairs - at least I'm not panting after climbing from the bottom to the top anymore.
Transfered some of the files from my laptop to the external hard drive - will put some of them on my PC tomorrow. Took over 14,000 pictures this winter.
We traveled 6473 miles this winter trip and spent 166 days away from home. Thank goodness we were in the Alfa.
That's it for now - need to get a few more things done before reading my new library book.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Just trying to get settled again

And what day is it today? Needed to look at the task bar to find out. Does that mean I’m getting old or that it’s just not important? That and the fact that we have no calendars around here – tried to find a couple in Wal*Mart the other day but they no longer sell 2012 ones as part of the year is gone already!!! Have to go to Office Depot in Columbus I guess.

We did get all the forms to the bank and the Sherriff and the BMV [bureau of motor vehicles] and the new card is in the mail and we have our temporary plate for Willie. Unloaded a lot of stuff and put it away. And my stack of mail is down to just a few items.

Getting used to being home is weird. Just simple things like turning on the microwave – had to study it to figure out how to heat up a cup of coffee – don’t have to push a “time” button on the one here. Flushing the toilet – handle instead of foot pedal. Computer keyboard – delete and end keys in different places. That has caused a few “oh craps!”

Haven’t seen any deer yet but they are eating the corn we put out. Must come at night. The bird feeder is sure busy. Lots of colorful birds hanging around it. And the frogs were croaking so loud last night I had to close the door. Need to get used to the sounds of being home.

Yesterday turned out to be nice – none of the expected rain showed up and the temps were in the high 60s, today should be the same. Had all the doors and windows open to air things out. But then I cooked fish for dinner and the kitchen smells like fish – ish. Need to get that trash out.

Tomorrow we have 80% chance for rain so will try to get the rest of the stuff out of Alfie. I can feel it in my legs all the running up and down the stairs. Vacuumed the main floor but still have to get to the downstairs and upstairs – but it will wait. Bill is dragging all his leather etc. out of Alfie and putting it in his garage workshop for now.

This morning we will probably go into town again – need to get a salt lick for the deer, bird seed, calendars and some vacuumed packed 8 oz milks. They can be kept in the cupboard for months! So we’re off for now – back later..

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Busy day yesterday and didn't get anything done!

It is good to be home. But I wish it was a week from now and everything post trip was done.

Willie in Joplin with his antennas back on. Sure makes him easier to find in parking lots. Just look for the ribbons.
The trip from Joplin, MO to home was uneventful – except for the miles driven 530 and the hours it took – nine with a stop for gas and lunch. Sure glad we gassed up in Missouri – saw on the news this morning that regular in Indianapolis hit 4.59 overnight. We also gassed up Willie yesterday at just under four dollars a gallon at Sam’s Club.
The first sight of Home as we came around the last corner. Kind of blurry – too many bugs on the windshield. There shouldn't be any left between here and Joplin!
Walked around the house and took some pictures – the violets
Are these jonquils or daffodils? Or something else? Any way they grow wild all over the yard.
Redbud and dogwood.
Looking down over the hill – lots of redbuds and dogwoods there and even water in the little creek way at the bottom.
Looking toward the north – lots of fishes in the pond.
We’ve only unloaded the essentials (computer, coffee, tea, chips) from Alfie – going to do it a little bit at a time. Really….Bought a bug bomb and set it off in him last night. Now we need to air it out before going in there again.
We spent a good part of yesterday running around and only half accomplished anything. First to the bank to replace the ATM card we misplaced over the winter. No problems with it – just need a new one. Will take up to two weeks. Also have to fill out a form and bring it back before it will be issued.
Went to the motor vehicle dept. to get replacement license plate for Willie. No problem. In fact we can even get the same plate number/name. But first we have to have a form filled out by the police – in Mexico??? No the police here. So over to Sherriff’s department. No officers were in – they were all out at a fire [small department]. Had to go back later. We went back later and were there for almost an hour. More forms being filled out. And have to go back today with a copy of the police report from Mexico – hope someone reads Spanish. Then we’ll have to go back to motor vehicle dept with completed forms.
Checked out the YMCA. They have a real nice gym, sauna, pool and steam room. Bill is going to sign up as soon as he has a physical and okay from Doc. Doc appointment is set up for next week. No problems just a follow up he should have had months ago.
Then into Columbus, 20 miles away to go grocery shopping, eat lunch and visit friends.
Bought a wireless adapter at Wal*Mart and we have the MiFi set up on both PCs now and it works like a dream. So much faster than HughesNet and it shouldn’t be bothered by the weather. I can even use my laptop downstairs. Haven’t tried it in the basement workrooms yet.
Still have to go through a six inch stack of mail. Ugh – hate doing that.
We were supposed to get a storm last night but it looks like we just got sprinkles. Have to laugh when we were in Arizona and it was snowing around us it was 85 degrees here. Now that we are home there are frost warnings. Just got to the very low 60s yesterday. Everyone is telling us to go back and take the cold with us.
Some of the blooming trees on the road towards home.

Time to get busy doing something - tackling the mail I guess. Opening windows in Alfie and back to town with filled out forms.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Very Quick Update

We have been running most of the day - got a few things 1/2 accomplished. Got a bug bomb for Alfie - will set off tomorrow or later tonight.
I'll write more in a little bit but I want to take some pictures first - right now I'm just checking to make sure the MiFi works with my PC. Had to install a wireless adapter But all is fine - Add CALL HughesNet to list - I bet they make it hard to stop their service.  Still have a big stack of mail to go through and lots of phone calls to return and make.
Did get my newspaper started again - It will be delivered starting next Tuesday - only comes out once a week.
Went to motor vehicle department - then to sherriff office - and have to go back to both tomorrow to get plate replaced on Willie - I'll be back later or first thing tomorrow a.m.

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Are Home

Got home about 8:00 Eastern Time - long day on the road. All is well here. Not going to do any thing tonight - will have plenty to keep us busy for several days. The MiFi is working here at the house - Whoopie - Good Bye HughesNet. 

Driving down the road almost to Indiana

I am using the mifi as we are driving down the highway - In about 35 miles we will be in Indiana - then have about 80 more to be home. Should make it before sunset - I hope. Long long day today about 500 miles - Once the horse smells the barn - away we go.  More later if this works at the house

Will trek through Missouri today

Monday a.m.
Just kind of vegged out most of Sunday here in Joplin, Missouri.  Did take a ride into WalMart for groceries – it is a brand new store rebuilt after the tornado.Then to Pizza Hut for lunch. It has also been rebuilt since last May. It is amazing how much has been done in less than a year.
A beautiful day here in the high 70s and no wind. Keep watching the weather channel planning the rest of our trip home. Looks like the weather might turn by Tuesday – hope not. We are 550 miles from home. Should we make two days of over 260 miles each or three shorter days? Or one absolutely horrible LONG day of over 9 hours - NOT. Last year we made it home from here in two days. But we were driving a smaller RV then and we were being chased by a rain storm. In fact it started to rain about an hour after we got home.
Did a couple of loads of laundry and watched the rain shortened NASCAR race from California and Bill watched a couple of soccer games. Nothing else exciting.
We are talking now about what we will and will not do when we get home – we’ll not try to empty the Alfa in one day – we will take it easy with the cleaning of the RV and the house, we’ll call up somebody to clean up the winter debris in the yard. I bought paint last year to paint the furnace room and the outside decking needs to be repainted or something this year. I want to make another stained glass window for the living room. Bill is looking forward to working with all his leather. Also been talking that we really need to get some regular exercise – like join the YMCA or something. I need to lose weight he needs to regain some. We really should make some lifestyle changes.
There is so much stuff in Alfie that goes in the house - like personal stuff, food and some clothes and gifts and Bill's stuff.....I just hope we don't take any of the bugs into the house - so sick of them flying around and us chasing them.
EGAD maybe we should just keep traveling.
It’s cool here this morning in Joplin. It’s 7:45 and the sun is just coming up. That’s the problem with heading east – the first hours or so the sun is right in your eyes. 
So almost time to button up in here and get on the road. How far will we go today?  The trip has turned into a "get home" trip not an "I wonder what we can see now" trip.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Passing through Oklahoma - Rebirth in Joplin, MO

We are now in Joplin, Missouri – going to stay here until Monday morning – I think. Anyway that is the plan now. Yesterday was another long day 387 miles with a stop for lunch and diesel. Diesel in Oklahoma was only (???) $3.99 a gallon. And we are getting a little better mileage – 8.11 - now that we are on flat land. We stopped at a Flying J for gas and lunch. Walking through the store Bill was excited to find the antennas for Willie to replace the ones that were taken off during Willie’s Adventure. They are CB antennas but that is not what we use them for. We use them to help us find Willie in a parking lot. It’s funny but we’ve used them for so long that we forget to pay attention to where we park and then come out of the store and have to wander around. There are zillions of white SUVs! So after parking yesterday we headed to Home Depot [more about that later] to find the hardware he needed to put them on. So now Willie again has his antennas with the red, white and blue ribbons on them. (Almost everything has now been replaced.)
New Antennas and Ribbons on Willie - he is happy now
We are still having good luck with the weather. Been warm, dry and not too windy. Excellent for traveling. Yesterday morning when we left Shamrock, TX we did run into some ground fog. Most of it was out in the fields but every once in a while it came across the road. I wish the windows had been cleaner – the bug juice glowed in the sunlight – this would have been a pretty picture of the sun through the fog.
Oklahoma is very, very green this year. I think it is the first time we’ve seen it so green. The red buds are in full bloom and the trees are already starting to bud. There is a lot of water in the fields and low lands attesting to the amount of rain that has passed through this area. Very pretty drive.
Very green Oklahoma countryside
We were going to stop in Tulsa. Even went to an RV park but no one was in the office and the spaces were SMALL. So back on the expressway – another word for toll road – Getting back on the road was fun – no marking for East 44 just West 44 – Had to turn around and go back to very convoluted on ramp. Back on road we passed this McDonalds that bridges the road. We stopped there last year. It can be reached going either direction, also has gas stations. Why don’t they do that more often, very convenient.
Largest McDonalds they say
We stopped for the night in Joplin, MO – we’ve stayed at this campground before. The MiFi is working good. The TV is working good – all the comforts of home. But then important things needed to be done. We needed to get the hardware for the antennas. Asked at the office where we could find a hardware store. The office person sent us to Home Depot. – This Home Depot is brand new – rebuilt after the tornado. We were right in the area the horrendous tornado went through about ten months ago. It is amazing to see. Almost all of the rubble has been removed and there are blocks and blocks of empty green fields with new homes scattered here and there and denuded trees that are now starting to get new growth.
Blocks of green fields

Destruction and renewal
All over there are new homes and homes being rebuilt.
Work is going on at the High School
I am posting these pictures as a tribute to the resilience of the American people. And the people of Joplin in particular. God bless them. When I took this picture I didn't see the flag there - I took it mainly because of the tree and new bush.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A few tidbits about Roswell

Left Roswell about 9:00 this morning and made it to Shamrock, Tx. by 4:30 (another time zone change.) Roads and weather were good all the way. And looks like it will stay good on the road east until at least Monday. When we got here I turned on the weather channel to check and got a warning BEEP BEEP – There was a tornado warning in Brown County – where we live!!! Hopefully nothing happened there.
Back to Roswell – I got my t-shirt.
Not only did I get a t-shirt I got a pin and a magnet! Oh Yah. And we saw a space ship- looks like it crashed into the building.
And maybe the occupants of the space ship.
And then we saw this warning – makes sense to me. That hysteria stuff is catchy.
Also noticed the street lights all over town.
But Roswell has other interesting facts and history. Pat Garrett lived here. A statue of him.
And Billy the Kid was here at one time. The Jingle Bob Ranch owned by John Chisum was just five miles out of town.

Gee he doesn’t look at all like John Wayne – Remember the film Chisum?
Demi Moore and John Denver were residents here at one time. And the town was named after a Lafayette, IN man Roswell Smith. Bret you didn't know that did you?
Just some pictures from the town. The McDonalds is shaped like a space ship – one of their few themed restaurants.
WalMart’s window – kind of cute.
And even another space ship. They are all over the place. Looks pretty good for being there since 1947.....
Some fence “art” – this is by WalMart
And this is at a home near the RV park. 
Kind of a neat little town. Sorry to leave it. But leave we did. Went north on the 70 a nice divided highway. A straight highway. A highway that had no scenery. Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles of nothing.
We got excited when we saw this sign and trees and small building.
Did see a lot of cattle as we passed by Hereford, TX – wonder if anyone eats pork or chicken here?
I always wonder what the story is behind the buildings we pass that are out in the middle of nowhere and now abandoned. Did a family live there once. Perhaps a new bride and groom. Children? What happened to them? Why did they leave their home?
We picked up I-40 at Amarillo and stopped for lunch and gassed up – diesel was only (?) 4.05…..
Took the off ramp from the I-40 and drove a few miles on old Route 66 to the West 40 RV Park. We stayed here on the way west many months ago. Big spaces. And most of them are filled tonight. The MiFi is working here and so is our TV – Watched the qualifying for the NASCAR cup race Sunday and watched the weather channel.
Tomorrow morning we hope to get an early start and make it most of the way across Oklahoma.

Leaving - heading north east

Friday a.m.
We are getting ready to take off - heading north then east - planning on ending the day in Amarillo, TX We'll see how this turns out.
Took lots of neat pictures yesterday around here in Roswell. And found out a few things about the town that are interesting.
Hopefully the weather continues to be good.  Yesterday was beautiful - nice and warm.
Maybe I'll work on this while we're traveling - and sure hope the MiFi works where ever we stay tonight.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Visiting Roswell again - Weather warming up

Thursday a.m.
We left Las Cruces yesterday morning somewhere around  eight thirty and only traveled 189 miles to Roswell. Got to the campground here a little after noon. A short travel day.
Leaving Las Cruces we passed over the Rio Grande – not a drop of water in it here. Didn’t they get any of that rain a couple of days ago?
First up over the pass a little less than 6000 feet into the White Sands Missile area. What a desolate area. Then on toward the White Sands National Park area – a neat contrast the white sand and the snow in the background. We were headed towards that mountain.
More of the white sand.
Egads – another Border Patrol check point – and with a TOPE no less.
Through Alamogordo and then up into the Mescalero Apache Reservation on Arizona 70. It’s a really nice road. Climbs to over 7500 feet but the Alfa made it an easy drive. One of the murals along the road.
Got high enough we saw snow next to the road. Even the horseys have coats on.
Through the town of Ruidoso we passed this kind of retro Dennys. And several casinos.
The area has a lot of history. It’s the location of the Lincoln County War of the 1870s that made Billy the Kid famous. Fort Stanton was built in 1855 to protect settlers from the Indians. Hundred of Buffalo soldiers, Kit Carson, John "Black Jack" Pershing passed through and stayed there. The fort was also used as an interment camp during WWII. Next time through we need to stop there!
A good look at the snow covered mountain.
Then on into Roswell. Where we were greeted by the green Alien and his space ship.
We’re staying again at the Trailer Village RV – it’s a nice quiet place with good WiFi. Yes we are using their WiFi as the MiFi doesn’t work in this area. Seems Verizons “footprint” doesn’t cover this area and we are at the mercy of “another providers” whims. I’m about ready to go back to paper and pencil!
Went into town and had lunch at the Cowboy CafĂ© – good food pleasant people. Then drove around a little looking for jumper cables. One more thing we had to replace after Willie’s Adventure. We needed them today because the Mickey mouse trailer lights on Willie managed to get kinked and draw down the battery.
A lot of the trees are in bloom around town. Very pretty.
We are still here as no matter which direction we could go we would run into rain and or snow if we left today. Tomorrow is soon enough – still not sure if we’ll go north to Clovis and Amarillo or east towards Lubbock. But now we have to go into town as I need a t-shirt with an alien on it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Made it to Las Cruces, NM

Wednesday a.m.
Pretty darn cool here in Las Cruces, NM. We are getting ready to get on our way. There is decent dry weather that we will be chasing east for a few days.
We left Amado yesterday morning about 10:00 and got to Las Cruces at 6:00 – but had a time change in there – now into Daylight Savings Time. It was a 304 mile day. We’d planned on stopping in Lordsburg for the day but after getting gas and eating lunch The Driver decided to push on.
Lots and lots of snow on the mountains around us but the road was dry and clear. Some wind in places.

Got our first diesel shock - $4.25 – going to be an expensive trip home. Have about 1450 miles to go.
About the only exciting thing on the trip was watching some of the NASCAR haulers pass us heading for California. This is Ryan Newmans
Got the last pull through in the RV park here and wouldn’t you know it has a tree that kept the TV from locking on. So am hoping the info I got off the Internet about the weather is good.
Today we are planning on stopping in Roswell, NM again. From there either further north to Clovis or east to Lubbock – depends a lot on the weather.
Been on the road for 160 days – that’s long enough – it will be nice to be home.
Until later.....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Are we going to get on the road today?

Tuesday a.m.
It is about 35 degrees out! Willie is covered with frost. 
And Bill has headed back to bed under the electric blanket. The heater is running full blast in here. But the sky is blue and there is no wind. So are we leaving today or not? Don’t know for sure…..but probably. We need to take advantage of the dry weather when we can.
Bill fixed dinner again last night – he is so neat to have around! And I had a small glass of my Chocolate Wine. Kind of good, but a little goes a long way.
If we do leave today we should get as far as either Lordsburg or Deming, NM – neither place will be much warmer. But by Wednesday afternoon it should be warming up. And hopefully no rain until the weekend. And no bad wind – hate that!
Will have to buy diesel in a couple of hundred miles – not looking forward to that!
Will add to this post later with days adventure.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Arizona Winter - Isn't it almost Spring?

Monday p.m.
2nd post today
People asked us “Aren’t you afraid to go to Mexico?” No we weren’t but don’t think I’ll go to Chicago. At least 10 people were killed and 40 others wounded in one of the most violent Chicago weekends in recent history.
The storm bearing down on us on Friday night.
The rain let up for a few minutes so we headed out into the weather. The temperature gauge in the Jeep. Baby it is cold outside!
As we went north a bit the sky cleared up a little but the sky to the east was full of nasty clouds.
Stopped at Denny’s for breakfast and then went to TrueValue, Safeway and CVS. Got a new Robert Crais book and a bottle of Chocolate Wine [Dutch Chocolate and Red Wine.] Good cold weather treats. Aren’t both dark chocolate and red wine supposed to be good for you?
Heading back to the campground – snow on the mountains behind us.
If weather isn’t better tomorrow we’ll be staying here longer.