January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Monday, November 30, 2009

Long, long travel day

Terri and Steve arrived shortly before 4 pm. Having left Wytheville VA 12 hours ago we were now just 30 miles up the road. The men loaded the truck on to my brothers car trailer. We had not 2 inches to spare. The weight of the truck caused a hissing noise from one trailer tire. They found a small nail in it. Len went in the gas station and got a can of tire fix. Luckily we also checked the spare and aired it up.

So, off we went. The traffic was still horrendous. Stop and go. Go and quick stop. All the while the brakes on my brothers truck would occasionally overheat. We take it really slow and stay well behind all vehicles as we traveled up and down the Va mountains. About 120 miles up the Interstate, the above mentioned tire blew! There was very little room on the shoulder and Terri and I were more than a little nervous as our men changed the tire. Now we have 300 more miles to travel and no spare. The cars and trucks at this area were now whizzing by at a precariously close distance.

We take off again. About an hour later we stop for some dinner. By this time is was around 8 pm. Fortunately we noticed a lessen of traffic congestion when we got back on the Interstate. We stopped for gas. I went inside to use facilities and got a soda for Len and coffee for me. When I came out, I stepped down from the curb and not looking, tripped over the concrete car barrier. Soda, coffee and Phyllis went flying and skidding across the parking lot. There went my coffee. Today I am bruised and somewhat sore.

Finally we get to the Delaware Memorial Bridge that cross the Delaware River taking us into New Jersey. WAIT! Another traffic backup. This is a 4 lane bridge. Three outside lanes were closed down. When we got to the top of the bridge there must have been 15 police/rescue vehicles. We looked over to see a car parked sideways and a man standing on the bridge railing. This is obviously someone threatening to jump.

So we get off the bridge, go about five miles and find our usual route home was detoured. WHY NOT! At around 3:15 am we get to Terri and Steves. We unload the truck and Len and I take my brothers car and trailer to his house about 25 miles in the opposite direction. We get back to our home at 4:15 am, more than 24 hours since we started this leg of our trip and what should have been a 7 1/2 to 8 hour drive.

Len set alarm for 5:45. We kept one of Steves cars (having sold mine 2 weeks ago). I took Len to work then went to Terri and Steves as Len had already called for a tow to the dealership. The tow driver arrived about 45 minutes later. We are now waiting to hear the results. We really do think this is the same problem they said they fixed in September.

I will get Len from work in about 45 mintues. He must be exhausted. I am. We are deeply grateful to Steve and Terri. They had a long, long day too and both also had to get up early and go to work.

But we are all safe and at home. Thank you God!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh no, we are broke down

We had an uneventful trip to Alabama to visit family. We even got to meet Allen and Jeanne Webster from the RV-Dreams site. We had lunch with them on Friday. They have been fulltime RVers for two years. Like us, they had horses. Like us, they country dance. Yep, they are like us! We hope to meet them again "down the road".

We left Alabama yesterday morning. We spent the night in Wytheville VA and wanted to get on the road by 6:30. We woke early and left before 4am. We were thrilled to think we would be back in NJ around noon or so. About 1 hour down the road Len asked if I smelled something burning. Yes, off and on. A few minutes later I noticed we had no heat. We pulled off at the next exit and found a small gas station with room to park. Len checked and there was what appeared to be a consistency of mud coming from the radiator. This truck was just in the shop a month ago for a split coil which would have caused this same problem had it not been fixed. so, what goes here!

So, we are now over 400 miles from home on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the worse of all travel days. We called Steve and Terri. They are borrowing a car trailer from my brother and are on the way here. It is now 8:15 am. At the very best they will be here around 4. This is considering how very bad I95 is from Baltimore all the same to Wilmington DE is on this day. At the VERY best we will now not be home until 2 am with no vehicle as I sold my car. However, Steve and Terri had 3 vehicles so looks like we will be borrowing one.

This would not be so bad if we were already traveling. We would have called our Roadside service, had been towed to a Ford Dealer (still under warranty) and lived in our Fiver while repairs are done.

This too shall pass.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off to Alabama

Later today we leave for the 15 hour drive to Cullman, Alabama where Len's son Lennie and his family live. We plan on leaving NJ around 3. We will stop in Wytheville VA tonight and arrive sometime midday tomorrow at Lennies. The last time we had Thanksgiving with Lennie and family was in 2003 when they lived in Syracuse NY for a short time and they came down to our house. We are taking our cargo trailer to Lennie's to store while we fulltime.

On Friday we are meeting Allan and Jeanne Webster who are fulltime RVers and do volunteer work for NOMADS. They are from the Birmingham area and are in the area visiting family and friends. I found them on the RV-Dreams website. We will meet at the Cracker Barrel in Cullman. This will be so great to actually meet people who have been on NOMADS projects.

We will leave Cullman around noon on Saturday and again stay the night in Wytheville. Wytheville is about the 1/2 way mark. I have two nephews who live in Wytheville with their families. My Mom, Sister, Niece and great nephew and niece will be there for a visit. I will call my nephew when we get into Wytheville.

I finished the photo album project. Terri has her and Justins. We will take Lennies to him. The albums we are keeping we have stored in a bin in the cargo trailer. I could not believe the weight of these albums. When pulling a fifthwheel keeping weight to a minimum is always an issue.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh my, I ate too much!

First I want to say welcome to Julie who I see as a follower of this blog. Also, a big hug to both Barb and Margie.

Yesterday was a great day for anyone enjoying good food but not so good for someone, like me, who needs to lose those pounds. It was my monthly lunch date with my Mom. We went along with other Grange members to Olive Garden. I had the soup, salad and breadstick lunch. I made the best choice with minestrone soup. However, I told myself ONE breadstick. Okay so I had two.

Then last night we went to dinner with friends Bobbie and John. We went to a lovely Italian Restaurant that is participating this week in a special Seafood Fest with other upscale restaurants. One (expensive) price for 4 courses from a limited menu. My selections - first course - fried calamali and shrimp with side of Mariana sauce. Second course - risotto with braised sea scallops. Third course - flounder in a light croisant shell stuffed with shrimp and a rich crab sauce served with a huge bowl of Roasted Red skin potatoes, broccoli, zucchini and carrots. Fourth course - lemon sorbet. And wine provided by our friends. Oh my! WORTH EVERY PENNY!

All of this after my doctor telling me I needed to lose weight and I took her word for it. I had an appointment just Wednesday and had lost 4 pounds in 1 1/2 weeks. Back to the drawing board.

I am in the process of organizing photo albums, some to store in our cargo trailer and one for each of our children. Many photos will be heaved. Just how many pics of same scenery and different poses do I need anyway. I will be so glad when this project is complete. I had no idea how much all these pictures added to the weight in our Fifthwheel.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Friends, an RV Show and etc.

Last week we met two lovely people at our first CORE group meeting. Helene and Adam are exploring various options with the goal of downsizing and simplfying their lives. We told them about our plans. When I checked my email yesterday morning I found Helene had emailed us at 4:45 that morning asking about the Atlantic City RV Show.

We met up with Helene and Adam and then took the NJ Transit highspeed rail down to Atlantic City getting on in Hammonton. We found the show to be almost empty. As it happened, the NJ coast had been hit with the remnants of Hurricane Ida. It caused some coastal flooding but really very little in A/C. However, the local news really played up the situation causing a drastic drop in attendance.

We saw two rigs we REALLY liked at a cost we REALLY, REALLY liked. In a way we wish we had waited a while longer to buy our new rig. Regardless, we do love our Montana.

After dinner at Tun Tavern across from convention hall, we had to wait over 1 1/2 hours for the next train. We got to Hammonton station at 10:20 pm. All of us were exhausted. Walking and dreaming can be quite tiring, you know.

On the way home we were driving through a residential area when out in front of the car runs a good size Buck. Luckily for us Len had a HUGE custom bumper installed on the truck. Not lucky for the deer. We were left with a little bit of hair on the bumper, the deer lost its life. That thing scared the crap out of me. Who would have expected a deer to run out in the road in that area.

All in all it was a good day. Thanks to new friends Helene and Adam.

Friday, November 13, 2009

RV show or Nor'easter

We had planned on going to the Altantic City RV show tomorrow. However, the last few days we have been hit with the remnants of hurricane Ida causing rains, winds and flooding down the shore. Atlantic City and the surrounds have lots of road closings and power outages. So I guess we will see what tomorrow morning brings.

Even though we have a new Fiver (and for sure are not in the market for an RV) we still love to take walk-throughs of others. Just two weeks ago, having nothing to do on a Saturday morning, we stopped at a local dealer and looked at their used stock. Nothing compared even remotely to our Montana.

I got lots done yesterday. I took our precious Lucky and had him declawed. Front claws only. I was tired of his continuing jumping up on me and digging into my flesh. Then I picked up groceries at WalMart. I stopped at State Farm and cancelled my car insurance. I also had the agent prepare a form for our bank as we refinanced the Montana at a much lower rate and then I dropped it off at the bank. We had originally financed through the dealer. Once the house is settled, the Montana will get paid off and we will be debt free again. But in the meantime, we like having a lower financing rate. Time to clean our "house" today and make a nice pot of vegetable beef soup using leftover London Broil from last night along with the bits and pieces of veggies I save and freeze for just such an occasion.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yes, we did go to Atlantic City on Friday. Yes, we did donate $40. to the casino (Harrahs). It took all of 15 minutes at the most. I will never understaned how anyone gets enjoyment losing money. As I've said - we go down about once every other year or so. We will probably give futher small "donations" as many casinos throughout the country offer free RV parking.

AND it looks like we've sold my car. We accepted a deposit yesterday and the buyer said he will be back tomorrow with the cash. So for the next two months if I need to have a vehicle during the day I will have to take Len to work. As the prison is less than three miles from here it is really not an issue.

On the matter of selling the car and donating: Our church is putting on an addition. When they announced it two months ago, I felt an urge to make a contribution to the building fund. I told Len and he said go for it. However, I've put it off and put it off as our income has drastically dropped since I stopped working on September 30. In those two months we've had three people express an interest in my car but no takers. Well yesterday I wrote out that check. Right after we got home from church I got the phone call from this gentleman. He came over and agreed to my asking price. I sold the car for 3 times what we donated to the church. Coincidence? We do not believe it is. It seems every time we step out in faith - it brings a reward.

On Saturday night Len and I attended our first CORE meeting following our Retrouvaille weekend. There were 8 couples attending. What a dynamic group of people. What a great program. We are truly thankful we were put it this direction. Another blessing from God. Life is good.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Always next year.

Damn Yankees, what more can I say.

Two days ago I turned 66. Yup, 66. Terri and Steve came over with roses and cheesecake. The roses are still here. The cheesecake is gone.

Last month Len had the truck worked on, including maintenace on the transmission. We never had an issue with the transmission. Since the work was done on it, we have had problems. When the transmission is cold, he has to floor it for it to shift. Even I can hear the difference. So back to the shop it went yesterday. Please, we need no problems with the truck. Why is it that so often the problems occur AFTER a vehicle is serviced????

Tonight we are going to dinner to celebrate my birthday. I am thinking we have not been to Atlantic City for a few years. Perhaps we should take our usual $20. each and give a donation to the slots.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Come on Phillies

So, here we are. World Series - Phillies one win, Yankees two. Fourth game later tonight. Sure would love those champions to make it two years in a row.

It has been raining most of the weekend. We finally got three more storage bins. Len filled them yesterday and organized the "basement" of the Montana. He also moved the cargo trailer to an empty site next to us. It will be easier to hitch up when we get ready to take it to Alabama on the 25th. I hope to meet TJ who lives in Alabama about two hours from Lennie, Tammy and the girls. We "talk" on the Weight Watchers RV thread.

Yesterday we went to an Amish Market about a half hour from here. Had to get out of there ASAP as the pastries were calling us both. Afterward we stopped at an RV dealer and looked at some of their used Motorhomes and Fivers. No, we are not interested in going backward, but we really enjoy looking at various rigs.

Earlier tonight I called Maryland and talked to Amy then Charlotte. She is quite the talker although I really can't follow some of her 3 year old talking. Terri and Steve had a good week at the cabin but had to install a new hot water heater and ran out of propane the last morning. The old tanks can not be refilled. We bought two 100 lbs tank last winter to use here. They will go to the cabin the next time someone heads that way.