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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

He's gotta keep busy.

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

With the playhouse finished and delivered, Leonard is searching for more jobs.   He loves to work.  Not working is not an issue when we are traveling and sight seeing.  It especially is not an issue when we are on NOMADS projects.    However, sitting here in NJ for almost two months is more than he can bear if he is not busy.

The last few days he was happily better securing the rack on the back on the rig where we keep our portable generator and small charcoal grill.

We bought the rack at Cabelas in SD last year.  It came with only one arm going into the rigs receiver.   It was by no means secure enough.  The weight of the load would cause it to bounce and eventually bend downward.   The fix was two additional arms, which he added last fall.   This week he changed out to bigger receivers and arms to make it even more secure.

With that done he was searching for today's project.   AHA!    We've talked about adding shelves to some of our cabinets.

This one holds our DirecTV receiver.  When it sat on the bottom we had to keep the door open to allow it to receive the signal from the remote.   Now it sits on the shelf and the signal goes through the glass so the door can be kept closed.

Once that was done - let's see about this cabinet.

Much neater:

Okay, let's do another one!

From this,

To this,

The larger cabinet that previously  held the paper cups, towels and plates is now almost empty.    We will think about what we want to do with that one.

I had a Dr's. appointment this morning (not sick, just to get prescription renewed).  While gone, Leonard straighted all food cabinets and tossed outdated stuff.  They look great too.

He's now thinking about what he can do next.   He is making good use of the shop he built when we lived here and now belongs to daughter and SIL.   As I said, he is the happiest when kept busy.  The man loves to built, fabricate, weld, etc.  He calls it fun.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The last few days

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

Wednesday  11/23.   We spent the afternoon at our church prepping for the next days feast.

It has been the practice of our church for the last several years to serve Thanksgiving dinner to folks who had no where else to go or funds to buy their own feast.   As our church is rural, our attendance was not what we hoped it would be and felt we could serve more by taking the meals to town.

Thursday 11/24.  Thanksgiving.   We finished cooking in the morning and then transported the food to the local Salvation Army.  We fed approximately 75 people.  

In the afternoon daughter Amy and SIL Scott dropped off Charlotte and Abby to us.  My daughters always have their Thanksgiving dinner at their fathers, freeing me from cooking at home and able to assist at the church.

Friday, 11/25.  We spent the day around the camper except for taking the girls to our local small Zoo.

Saturday 11/26.  We met Amy 1/2 way between our homes to deliver the girls back to her.  They were anxious to get back home to play outside while the weather was still fair.

That night Terri's husband Steve played at a local restaurant with his band 4-Wheel Drive.  This band disbanded over a year ago and Steve played (and still does) with several other bands.  They decided to reunite and pulled in a crowd.

However, all was not as planned.  The band was supposed to play in the catering hall of the restaurant starting at 9.  But the restaurant overbooked and had a wedding that was not over until 10.   The crowd was CROWDED.   After 10 they opened an alcove allowing people to move off what had been a very small dance floor.

The country band  4-Wheel drive.   That is SIL Steve up front as lead singer.  Country is not his favorite music, but he is quite good at singing and playing it.

From the right - our long time friends John, Bobbie and their daughter Deanne.  Only partially seen, their friend Gerry and her hubby Bob.

Lens former co-worker Ron with wife Barb.

As Len and I were dancing we saw this couple (Jody and Bobby) waving at us.  WHAT!   They belong  to our Good Sam Chapter and we have camped with them several times.  What we didn't know it they are friends of Terri and Steve through the Red Knights motorcycle Club.  This club supports volunteer fire departments with semi annual motorcycle runs.   

Small world, indeed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's there!

White Hall, MD

We had hoped to have another couple go with us to Maryland yesterday to assist in the delivery and unloading of the playhouse as we knew it would be quite a task taking it from the trailer.  But being a Sunday and right before Thanksgiving, everyone we asked had prior commitments.   So we hooked up the trailer and pulled it along with us when we attended church.  When questioned what is was, we just replied that we downsized again.

The ride down I95 was interesting.  We had lots of looks and even saw one lady taking pictures as the car passed us.   When going through the nearest town to our destination, a truck full of 20 something guys rolled down windows and gave us thumbs up.  I rather think we looked like Gypsy's pulling our home behind us.

When we got to the house both girls were up taking their naps.  Amy and Scott were raking leaves.

The girls have a play area that is fenced it.  Part of the fence had to be temporarily removed, which Amy and Scott did before we arrived.   Len, being a pro at backing up, easily maneuvered between the remaining fences.

Luckily Amy noticed that a tree limb had gotten wedged between the house and porch post.  Had we moved the house more while still on the trailer, it could have caused disaster.

Scott sawed off the limb.

It took almost an hour to get the house off the trailer.  Len, Amy and Scott pushed and wedged. I steered the jack.   Then when the house was near to end of the trailer, I would back the truck away while they wedged boards under the house the pried and pushed.

Eventually, off it came.   We have one small dent in Len's new truck bumper when I stopped the truck (as directed) but the trailer continued downhill.   There are very few level areas in the 4 acres of hilly property.

Abby had woken up as we were doing all this maneuvering.  Charlotte slept through the whole thing.  Her first look:

Butterflies, dragonflies and flowers decorate the interior.

Ah yes, look at the smile on Abby.

The girls have already chosen their side of the table.

We have another 6 weeks before we hit the road again.  Len is never happier than when he is working or traveling.   No traveling for these 6 weeks, so we need to find something else to keep him busy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ready to move it!

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

FINALLY - this playhouse is loaded and ready to go.    We borrowed my brothers car carrier and loaded it this morning by backing the trailer under the house.

We then used two jacks to lift and move it forward.

Then it was strapped down.  Notice the colors.  Charlotte loves yellow, Abby loves pink.

Their Aunt T (my daughter Terri) and I did a little decorating today.

We hope to deliver it tomorrow.  However, we are having difficulties with the trailer lights.  Len has made three trips to Harbor Freight so far today.     I sure hope he gets the problem resolved soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sharing meals with Friends

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

We are still driveway camping at daughter's house.  Len is still working on the playhouse.  The house and trim are painted.   We still have to stain the porch.  He is out there now prepping and taping.

Last Saturday night we were invited to share dinner with dear friends from the church we attended some years ago and were married in.

From the left - dear friend Dot, her friend Luther, Marie and Jeff  and our hostess Patty.  (Jeff is Patty's son)

On Wednesday I had lunch with two old friends.   Lois was my very first friend.   I've known her since I was about 3 or 4.   I met Carolyn when our children went to school together.   At one point years ago the three of us worked together and always enjoy our times getting caught up with each others lives.

Lois and Carolyn

While in my professional life I attended monthly meetings of the Human Resource Association of Southern  NJ.  Many years ago I was it's president.   I have not attended a meeting for almost 3 years.   As a dear friend, Jonathan Segal from the law firm of Duane Morris in Philadelphia was the speaker, I decided to attend last night  (no pictures).  My daughter Terri is now a member.   It was so rewarding seeing many old friends.    And I must say - I sure don't miss the daily frustrations and aggravation that comes with working in HR!  Although at one time I loved it!   I now question my sanity.

That brings us up to today.  Later today we might pick up my brothers car carrier and get this building loaded and ready to move.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Playhouse Part Four

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

We finally see the end of this project.  Still Leonard is out in the shop by 7 am and does not stop (except if I insist he eat lunch) until around 5 pm.

The last few days have seen the inside go from this:

To this:

And finally this:

It has not been without incident.    The doorway is but 5 feet and we keep forgetting as we exit.   Leonard has three gouges on top of his head.  I have one knot.   We got wise and made a temporary fix.  This was only good until the inside walls went up making it too wide to hold the foam.

Yesterday he trimmed out both the inside and outside of the windows.

He is out there now installing quarter round on the ceiling and down each  corner.

The girls each have a favorite color.  We will paint the outside one color with the trim the other.   Oh my, luckily Amy and Scott and the girls live out in the country with a neighbor on only one side!  I am withholding the info on the colors until it is painted and posted.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Playhouse Part Three

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

The playhouse is project coming along nicely.   Len worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday from early morning until dinner time without even a break for lunch each day.

Charlotte's school was closed Thursday and Friday for parent conferences.   As Amy was working a project (she is an archaeologist) we kept Charlotte from Wednesday night until last night.   Little sister Abby was in daycare.  

Leonard could not wait to take her out to the shop to show her what he is building.

Over the last few days he got the roof partially on.

The porch floor is complete with the railings started.

Looking inside it is starting to really come together.

The big trick will be transporting it the 95 miles to Maryland.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

THE Bumper!

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ.

Welcome to our three newest followers -  CAT, Bud Russman (Arizona RV Guy) and Joan.   Glad to meet you here online.

Since we bought our 20l1 F350 in March, Leonard has wanted a front bumper like the one we put on the 2006 F250.    That bumper saved us on more than one occasion.   One night we were coming back from Atlantic City and a deer ran out in front of us.   We were going 55 mph.   SMASH - into the bumper.  Len got out of the truck, pulled the deer out of the road and wiped the hair off the bumper.   It was AFTER we got home we thought -  HEY WE LOVE VENISON.  The damage would have been extensive if not for the bumper.

The bumper he likes are from the Ranch Hand company out of Texas.   Because we are settled here in NJ until January this was a good time to get it installed.    He called Ranch Hand and they referred him to a distributor down near Annapolis MD only about 120 miles away.

So two weeks ago down to MD we drove.   Once more over the Bay Bridge.

We easily found the distributor.

They know we were coming and had the monster ready to load on to the back of a trailer we borrowed from a friend.  

When we got back to NJ we took it to Dennis, a friend who has a body shop just two miles from our daughter's house (used to be ours)  where we are "camped" in her driveway.  Dennis was away but knew we would be dropping it off.

When Dennis got back from visiting his grandchildren in Canada whe called Leonard to make an appointment.  He said he wanted to get it done ASAP as the dang thing was taking up two bays!

We were in Delaware getting the rig work done so it would have to wait until Thursday.  Len was at the shop first thing Thursday morning.  We picked up the turck Thursday afternoon.

Len is quite the happy man.

Yea, just what I need.  The truck to be even longer than it already was.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rig repairs and Delaware sights

Smryna, DE

We took our fiver to Parkside RV in Delaware Tuesday night for repairs from the damage we had when we blew two tires on the same day.

The damage:

The fix:

They did a great job and were a joy to work with.   BUT they gave us bad news.  The tires we bought only weeks ago already are showing wear on the outside.   They have less than 1,000 miles on them.  We have blown three tires and had one fail due to tread wear since we had the fifthwheel repaired at Scott Motorcoach in Lakewood NJ last August.   All these tires were on the same side.

Those who have been reading this blog for a while remember the issues we've had with Scott.  We took  our home to them to repair the back cap.  When we got it back the steps had been replaced.  We've received no logical reason for this.  It took us months and a letter to Good Sam to get them to send us suitable steps.

We believe the steps were out when they moved the rig and got destroyed.  At that time we believe either the axles or the frame was bent.  We plan on having the rig checked.  However, it there is the damage to the frame or axles,  how do we prove the damage was done by Scott.    Repairs must be done, we can not continue to buy new tires every few thousand miles or take the chance of more blowouts and additional damage to our home

Yesterday while Parkside was working on our rig, we visited two nearby places.   First we went to:

 This National Wildlife Refuge is in Smyrna.  Cost is $4.00 per vehicle.  No charge for us who have a Federal Park Annual Pass or lifetime Federal Access or Senior Pass.  Again, what a bargain the Senior $10.00 lifetime Senior Pass has been.

The drive through the refuge is about 12 miles long through marsh and upland.

There is a one mile trail that we would have loved to walk but it was still wet from the morning dew and I was not wearing suitable shoes.    There were three shorter paths leading to observation towers.  We  walked the three of them.

This is a popular place for birders.    I have no idea what these first two fellows are:

Loads of Canada Geese this time of year.

In the refuge there is the Allee House built in 1753 that is under renovation and not currently open for visitors.

After a stop in Dover at Pizza Hut for their lunch buffet we visited:

The complex includes a building housing conference areas and classrooms that hold various displays of indigenous live and stuffed critters.

We were interested in the boardwalk that winded out to the estuary.

What a disappointment to come upon this:

The boardwalk was as far as we could see but our walk was cut short. Perhaps another time