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

Friday, August 27, 2010

Looking good!

Upper Deerfield Township,  NJ

Here it is Friday morning.  We slept soundly last night in our own home.    We picked it up yesterday and everything looks good.    There is no decal in the back under the window.  They were not sure what the old one looked like so they gave us one if we wanted to put it on.  I don't really remember what the old one was but we don't like the one they gave us.   Leave it off, we decided.

One of the things Len wanted to do when we got it back here was to give it a good wash.  It sure needed it.  Doesn't have to - they washed it and steam cleaned the carpets in the living area.  I am sure there was saw dust, etc laying around.  

Getting set to leave the dealer, rig in tow!
All it all it looks good and feels even better.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today is THE day.


Well, we are excited!     The repair work is done and we go this afternoon up to Lakewood to pick up our home.  Okay so they said it would take 2 to 3 weeks for the parts to arrive and about a week and a half to do the repairs.  Okay so we took it to them 3 months and 2 days ago for them to determine what needed to be done and what to order.   By my calculation we are two full months over their projection.   Will we ever use this dealer again?  A resounding no.

Dinner with friends
Last night we were treated to dinner at our friends house, Tom and Carol Asselta.   They have a lovely in ground pool and it would have been nice to have put it to use.  However, our weather here has changed a bit and was just a little too cool for me.  Nevertheless, we appreciate their friendship along with our other friends who joined us.
  Leonard is working until one today.  Then he will pick me up and we take the 92 mile drive to Lakewood.  PLEASE - let everything be in order.   After getting our home set back up in my daughters driveway, where we will stay for the next two weeks, we will come back to the motel for Lucky the Cat and our belongings.

Tomorrow is Len's last day of work.  We are so thankful to our friend Scott (sitting next to Leonard on his right in the above picture) who is the HR Manager of Seabrook Bros and Sons for thinking of us when they were in need of a temporary truck driver.   Worked out perfectly - their driver went out on temporary disability the week after we came back to NJ.  He will be released to return to work next week.  We had decided Len would work until either the driver came back to work or the rig was done!  Both happened the same time.  PERFECT!

I want to recognize newer followers to my blog - Nancy Bank and Laurel King.  Also, I am not sure if I thanked Kenny and Angela for stopping by to follow.  If I did before, just consider my age and loss of brain cells.  If I didn't - welcome.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trains and Pools

Wilmington, DE and Vineland, NJ.

On Saturday we took the girls to Wilmington, DE to ride the Wilmington Western RR.  This is a small line now only used for recreation.   It is entirely staffed by a volunteer organization.   The ride out was 1/2 hour long, with a 1/2 hour "layover" at a picnic grove and 1/2 hour return ride.    Immediately behind the train station is an old mill.  Several years ago daughter Amy was working a dig at that site.   There is now a museum next to the train station showcasing those items found by her and other archaeologists.  

Waiting for train, checking out monkey!
Train pulling into station.
Volunteers run and maintain this line.
Leaving the station
A view along the way.  One of 4 covered bridges in Delaware.
Lunch at the picnic grove, before the ride back to station.
After the train ride we returned to our temporary home at the Days Inn.   A dip in the pool was in order.  As soon as Abby saw the pool she got very excited.    Neither of these girls are afraid of water.   It is fun to pour water over their heads while they just laugh or ignore it.  Maybe this comes from their Dad who has his graduate degree in Underwater Archeology. 
Back at the motel for a swim.  Abby's first experience in a big pool.  What excitement.
On Sunday we were invited to the home of our dear friends Dan and Carole.   We are proud to say we introduced them 15 years ago this month.   They are a delightfully happy couple.  AND they are RVers.  Carole retired from teaching this year.  Dan plans on doing the same next year.   They are in the process of dreaming and planning future RV trips.   We even talked to them about joining the NOMADS - how cool would that be to work on projects along with them!
Dinner at the home of friends Carole and Dan Baxter

Len called our dealer on Friday.  They say the repairs are more than half complete.  We are really hoping to have our home back by this weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Charlotte's Challenge

Exhausted while attending a weekend folk fest with parents

Dancing at our yard party August 2008

Our dear Granddaughter 4 year old Charlotte is now in the midst of a challenge, as are her devoted parents.    Since an infant she has had very dry skin - eczema, causing her to constantly scratch and be all around uncomfortable.    As she got older other health, and to a lesser extent, behavior problems became evident.    After Charlotte was examined by medical personnel and found to have allergies, it would have been easy for her parents to ignore the situation and just think these problems would go away with medication.  Instead they got busy researching.    (note: since they are both archaeologists, research is no stranger to them.)

Daughter Amy has extensively researched  online and in the library for answers.  Because of Charlotte's allergies,  they had to remove gluten (wheat, rye, oats, barley products), eggs and dairy from her diet.  Recently they also had to remove peanuts, tomato products, chocolate and apples.   She has shown alleriges to mold, some pollen and certain additives to soaps and shampoos. 

A few weeks ago we had her from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon.  We noticed the back of her legs were getting redder and redder and more blotchy as the time went on.   By Sunday afternoon they were completely covered in red, sore hives.  Amy then had to become a detective. What is different?    AHA!   She had just turned four and went from a baby carseat to a booster seat.  The first day she used that seat was Saturday.  It must have been treated with Scotchgard or some such thing.  Covered it with a towel,  problem solved, no more red, itchy blotches.

In Amy's research she read a book by a physician in New York State.  His research shows a correlation between what he calls the 4-A's.     Asthma, allergies, ADHD and Autism.  He believes these problems stem from foods and chemcials added to the body.   Charlotte suffers from asthma too!   So, at last, maybe some answers as she has signs of all the above except Autism.   Amy contacted this doctor who refered her to an associate in Maryland, not far from their home.  

Now, for the challenge.  Charlotte will be going through a series of shots called LDA - Low dose allergens.  These shots are a combination of hundreds of known allergens which will be slowly introduced back into her little body.    The program could take up to 2 years or even longer.   

Charlotte is very good about her food restrictions.  Fortunately there are many alternatives available for people who must be gluten, egg or dairy free.   The biggest challenge is the food restrictions around her shots.  For the day before, the day of and the day after the shots she is allowed venison, lamb, rabbit, freshly caught fish, sea salt, white potatoes, yams, cooked carrots, cooked cabbage, parships, rhubard and rutabagas - that's it!  To drink - just filtered water.   Hey - try that diet on a 4-year old!    BUT - she had her first shot this week and did great!   She ate so many steamed baby carrots she says she has bunny breath!

It is suspected the problem came from when she was an infant and had Thrush which is an abundance of yeast in the body.  She was given antibiotics causing a reaction.     Wherever and whatever caused the problem, we are all optimistic that a solution has been found.   We look forward to the day when her eczema is gone and she can once again eat her favorites - pasta with tomato sauce and CHOCOLATE!

Charlotte and Abby with Great Grandmother, Edythe
And of course, she is allergic to CATS! This is a tough one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Along South Jersey Roads

On Saturday we took our fifthwheel trailer to our dealer for the long awaited repairs.   The drive from our old home in Upper Deerfield Township, Cumberland County to Lakewood is 92 miles each way.

The majority of the drive is through the New Jersey Pine Barrens.   Most people mistakenly believe that NJ is all urban setting comprising of either cities or bedroom communities.   However, in actuality 22% of the state are what is known as the Pine Barrens.   The barrens are supported by a sandy, nutrient poor soil allowing mostly only scrub pine growth as shown on this shot along NJ Route 206.  The area for the most part is undeveloped.   1.1 million acres are under the Pinelands Acts which prohibits most development.   Laying under the Pine Barrens is one of the worlds largest aquifers.

This is our rigs home for the next two weeks or so.  

There are two main crops in the Pine Barrens - cranberries and blueberries

 NJ is the third largest state in the growing of Cranberries.  The largest is Massachusetts followed  by Wisconsin.    Cranberries are grown in bogs and produce berries year after year from the same plants.   At harvest time the bogs are flooded causing the berries rise to the top to be harvested.

The other crop is blueberries.  Blueberries thrive in sandy soil.   Hammonton NJ is world known for its thousands of acres of this delicious blue fruit.
Now for a another great product of South Jersey - WAWA!!!!   In the early 1800's the Woods family of neighboring Millville  opened a small convenience store in Greenwich, Cumberland County, NJ.  At some point they went into a dairy operation and grew from there.  In 1964 they opened the first Wawa (named for a Goose) store outside Philadelphia.   In the 1970's Wawa began staying open 24 hours and started brewing fresh made coffee and preparing sandwiches.    Until 1996 Wawa was a small convenience store but that year they opened the first Super Wawa which included a gas station.   There are now 570 Wawa's located in NJ, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.    We love our Wawa coffee.  The pots are timed and none is older than 20 minutes.    In our travels we have never found a convenience store that in any way comes close to Wawa.
So here we are now.   This is our home until the rig is returned to us and we get on the road again.

After getting settled into the motel yesterday, we were graciously invited to the home of our friends Janet and Erich.   This just might be our last really good meal for the next two weeks!   Not easy to cook on the small microwave here in the room or even keep a lot of food in the small fridge.   Hey, come to think of it, there are lots of restaurants in the area and a Walmart across the street that sells prepared dinners.  I think we will survive.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Len has been completely annoying the dealer.  FINALLY they said, bring it in tomorrow.   They will start repairs on Monday.   So, tonight we pack up.  Will be moving into local Days Inn.   I can spend next several days at the pool.   

Considering our past experience with these people, we will probably be "homeless" about two weeks.   Thankfully insurance pays for motel up to $1,500.   

Okay - lots to do.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When the storm blew through

A few blogs ago I mentioned our annual yard party and the disaster it became. Well, here is the evidence:

The day before, in 97 degree weather, Len and son-in-law Steve erected a large tarp in the side yard under which would sit the picnic tables, people in their own lawn chairs and food line. Many years ago Len found the frame to this old wagon abandoned in a woods. He got it home, build the deck and we have used it as a serving table since. Len build the picnic tables. We kept three and gave one to our daughter in Maryland.

The tarp they hung is very heavy and quite large. Terri and Steve used it last year when they married as their reception shelter. At the yard party, when the winds whipped through, the poles holding up the tarp tumbled and the tarp collapsed on our guests.

Dark clouds rolling in.

The band stage immediately before.

The band stage immediately after.

A close-up of the damage.

Fortunately on one was hurt and no permanent damage done to equipment.
Leonard is back from visiting his Mother in Louisiana. Life back to our current normal. Awaiting word for final parts to arrive at dealer.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Secret lilies

Welcome to theeastsheadwest to Randy and Pam. Thanks for stopping by.

Several years ago my daughter Amy (the archaeologist) was working on a project in West Virginia. They were doing a dig that included ground surrounding abandoned farm houses. In the yard were plants she called Secret Lilies. Amy dug up some roots and brought them home for me.

I had never seem flowers like these before. In the very early Spring, there is a growth of dense long thick foliage. Within weeks the foliage dies and completely disappears. Months later buds appear from the ground and within a day grow about two feet tall topped by these beautiful array of lilies.

Note, the foliage behind these lilies is what is left from a clump is Iris, not from the lilies.

Leonard flew down to Lake Charles, Louisiana yesterday to visit his Mother, who was released from hospital on Wednesday and is settling into a different nursing home. He will fly back to NJ on Monday. He was surprised at the airport by his younger daughter, Cassie, and her 3 children. They plan on spending more time together today. A real treat for him.
Update on repairs - Leonard called the dealer yesterday. They report the back cap has been received. HOORAY! However, they admitted they FORGOT to order the back inside wall and did not realize it until the cap came in. What the .......
They ordered the wall and SAY it should be in next week. If that is the case (which we find hard to trust) our repairs could be done the week of August 23 or sooner Okay, we will try to be optimistic. We have but 35 days before we are committed to be in North Carolina. We are praying all repairs will be done by the latest on August 27, giving us two weeks to get were we want to be.
The timing could work out well as last week Leonard was told the driver expects to be back to work in 4 weeks. That means Len's last day could be August 27 with the driver returning to work on August 30. The deal is that he will work until the repairs are done or the other driver returned to work, whichever is first.
This job has been a blessing for two reasons. One - if gives us some much needed funds. But the most important benefit - he is not sitting around the rig all day stewing about our situation and driving me nuts.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Storybook Land and other things.

Posing in front of the train......

So much as happened in the last week but first, this is the one good thing. Yesterday we took the girls to Storybook Land which is about 10 miles from Atlantic City. I used to take my own girls there many years ago. My gosh, it has grown but it is still the ideal small park to take toddlers and children up to about 10.

Charlotte loves "equipment" In fact, for her birthday when she turned 4 this past Wednesday, we gave her a bulldozer and front end loader for her sandbox at her house. Of course it is MUCH smaller than this fun one.

Yup, Pop Pop can fit into the spinning cars (barely). You note I am not sitting there.

Flying dragons!

Abby's first Merry-go-round. It was a hit. So much so, we did it twice.

Pop Pop, I'm tall enough if you go with me please........

Okay, Okay. Did this twice too!

Now, I welcome to my RVing blog Randy and Pam and also to Betty who is of the Texas Yellow Rose blog. Glad to see you all here.

Much has happened since I last blogged! NO, we do NOT have our fiver fixed. More on that another day.

Last Sunday we had our annual yard party. Daughter Terri and her husband Steve have taken over this project. Setting up on Saturday was torture. It was 97 with heat index like 110. Sunday, equally hot and humid. I received phone calls all morning from friends and family who just were not up to coming out in the heat. Who can blame them. On the other hand, most of Terri's friends were here. Shows what a different age makes. The band was set up and playing, people were eating and enjoying the music and each others company.

Quickly the skies changed. Just as quickly the winds picked up. The tarp Len and Steve spent a great deal of time erecting on Saturday collapsed on guests. Speakers, etc were quickly covered but the wind was so fierce tarps blew off the bandstand leaving expensive equipment exposed to rains and wind. Heavy speakers were blown off the bandstand and across the yard.
People grabbed what they could and ran to the house. Many people left at that time. Some grabbed food and ate in their cars. So far the band believes most equipment will be okay. Much of it is sitting in our shop this week drying out

I had taken pics of the large tarp being set up. Terri took some of the damage. Once I get them from her I will post. Down the road about 2 miles 8 telephones poles were blown over like dominoes. The weather stations reported that the county was exposed to several small tornado type winds.

On Tuesday Len's mother, who was admitted to a nursing home a month ago, was left sitting on the stool. She tried to lift herself and fell, fracturing her hip. She has not really walked in two years. She was operated on Thursday. Lens sister-in-law and brother are looking for another nursing home. This was her 4th fall in less than a month. Much credit must be given to each of Len's siblings who have been providing for much of her care.
She is being released from the hospital tomorrow. At this point, they don't know where she will be going. She is refusing to eat. The doctor says she is malnourished. She was told if she does not eat, she will die. She is still refusing and is not allowing them to feed her intravenously. Len is flying down to Louisiana on Friday. He is hoping to spend some time with her.
This has been very difficult on Len's siblings. As many of you know, we left NJ in February to fulltime travel. Until we came back in NJ late May to get our fiver repaired, we spent all but 4 weeks assisting in her care. This included Len lifting her many times a day. He was in constant pain. Since returning to NJ he has been seeing a chiropractor twice weekly. He is at last pain free. He knows he is not able to lift and move her as he was doing. This, in itself, pains him.
So many people our age are providing elder care. Some also have responsibility for grandchildren. We all love our parents, children and grandchildren. But each of us must look deep inside ourselves and determine what level of care we are capable of performing. Sometimes we find that at this age, it is more than we are physically equipped to handle. This is a very difficult decision.