Friday, December 2, 2016

???????*

8:04 am - Friday - 55 F degrees, 27% humidity, wind 11 mph from the north......we were supposed to have Santa Ana winds starting last evening, but so far it doesn't even seem like there is any wind, let alone 11 mph.

TLE had her annual optometrist appointment Thursday, plus a hair appointment so she was gone from about 12:30 until after 5 pm.  It was left to me to finish putting everything away, which was fine with me.  I just took my time knowing that by 4 pm everything I could put away would be put away.......easy peezy!

And that is precisely how my day went.....easy peezy......no surprises, no issues......just puttin' stuff away.  It's really kind of cool how everything always fits, and I'm not left with anything that does not have a place.  I no longer get that 'overwhelmed' feeling when it is time to organize the trailer for travel......even though it looks ominous, and even impossible at times I know at the end of the day that the VW will fit inside once again.

I received a text message from TLE about 4:30 advising she was stopping off at 'Noodle World, Jr.' to pick up some Chinese takeout for our dinner at Kate and Nick's home, and would be home soon.......and that our arrival time at Kate and Nick's had been moved up from 6:30 to 5:45 pm......uh oh!  I needed a shower, so I stopped what I was doing and took the shower.....TLE arrived just after I got out, and we were on the road by 5:10 pm.

We arrived just before 5:45 to find Nick feeding Jolene Rose with long time family friend Manny pouring wine......Kate was about 15 minutes away from getting home from work.  We had a nice evening of 'one on one' conversations, and the time just flew by.......

 Left to right: moi, TLE, Nick, Kate and Manny

Until next time Kate and Nick!

We were home in time to see the controversial end to the Cowboys vs. Vikings NFL game.  We watched the latest recorded episode of 'Designated Survivor', then a 1997 movie called 'The Jackal' staring Bruce Willis.....was actually a very interesting movie.....given 6.3 stars out of 10 by IMDB......I would be at 7 personally.  For me the jury is still out on 'Designated Survivor'.....we'll see.  We're kind of in this 'got to bed late' mode right now.......hit the sack about 11:45 pm.

Oh, by the way, TLE's optometrist appointment revealed her eyes are healthy, and her prescription has not changed......no sign of cataracts!  Very, very good news for her.

Thanks for stopping by!

*??????? - I have no idea what title to give this blog post.....:-)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Zippity dooh dah......

7:29 am - Thursday - 45 F degrees, humidity 40%, wind 6 mph out of the north......high clouds.

Wednesday was the beginning of 'the long goodbye', or in our case, 'the long until next time' tour.  It's my least favorite part of visiting family and friends.  There were no remnants of wind left over from Tuesday so TLE and I got to work 'gluing' our awning fabric back together.  I wish I had taken 'before' pictures, but I am sure your imagination will suffice.  We have a Zip Dee awning on our 1982 Newell.....it is the original factory installed awning from 1982, and up until this year has weathered the years pretty well requiring just minor repairs, which we were able to effect on our own.  After our most recent Santa Ana winds TLE noticed that the seam in the middle of our awning had opened up meaning the thread used to fasten that seam 34 years ago is coming undone.  We first noticed this happening at Tahoe Valley Campground after a windstorm and quickly 'glued' it back together using the silicone based clear caulk I have written about previously.  Since the awning fabric, Sunbrella, is also silicone based this caulk is a perfect adhesive to bind the seam back together.  The part of the seam that came undone at TVC was the lower portion of the middle seam on our patio awning, and only the first 50% the seam was loose, so we glued that back.  A few days ago the other 50% of that same seam came undone along with several other seams, so Wednesday morning was dedicated to repairing those seams until we can get the awning fabric either restitched, or replaced entirely.  With TLE's help it took about 2 hours beginning to end using the silicone caulk to glue everything back together, and based on our past experience this could easily become a permanent repair, but we are more inclined than ever to replace the entire patio awning, so we shall see what we shall see!

 You can see the repaired seam where all the stitching has come undone

The 'underneath' view of the same seam, now glued

After the awning work I began in earnest to get the trailer organized for moving day which is coming on quickly now.  I put the Cannondale tandem away as well as the back/ab machine, and a few things off the workbench.......Thursday will see most of the rest of that organizing completed.

Around 3 pm TLE and I took an 'out and back' hike on the PET* enjoying the cool Fall air.....we finished the 3 mile walk in about 53 minutes.  As we walked that bittersweet feeling I always get when it is time to roll our wheels once again began to intrude upon my thoughts, but I quickly brushed away those thoughts.  

We had a date with Sharon, Rod and Brayden James for dinner at Fonda Don Chon (Mexican) in Rancho Cucamonga at 6:30, so we began our 30 minute drive over around 6 pm arriving just before 6:30.....

 Rod with Brayden.....Sharon married a good man

 Grandpa's buddy

You can see his two lower teeth!

.....this restaurant gets 4 stars on 433 reviews from Yelp.....wow....that is pretty solid!  Rod and Sharon arrived a few minutes after us.  The chips and salsa were great, and the food was very good.  We get spoiled in SoCal because there are soooo many great Mexican restaurants.......it's really difficult to find a bad one!  By the end of dinner it was obvious that Brayden James was getting tired and ready for bed so we bid out adieus to Rod, Sharon and Brayden and headed for home.  I was struck by the fact that the next time we see Brayden James he will be walking and talking.

We watched 'Survivor' when we got home, and then continued watching the last two of the 4 episode 'Gilmore Girls' mini series finishing that a little after midnight......Thursday we get together with Kate, Nick, Elijah, Charlise and Jolene Rose for the last time this time around.

Thanks for stopping by!

*PET = Pacific Electric Trail

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

R.O.

8:17 am - Wednesday - 50 F degrees, 44% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the northwest.....very clear blue skies.  Time to start putting stuff away!

Tuesday we had Santa Ana winds, but not too bad.....I think the worst wind was from 10 am to noon when it was blowing about 19-20 mph, but not bad enough to force us to stow the patio awning.  I had planned to make some minor repairs to the awning fabric, but opted to wait until Wednesday when it will not be windy at all.

TLE went shopping and I hung out in the trailer putting a few things away, keeping my phone close by as I had just called my friend Ruben at Kool Filtration to make an appointment for him to come and service our reverse osmosis system.  Ruben installed our original RO water purifying system in our Ontario home in 1987, and then installed one in our Newell in 2011 as we were preparing to begin our fulltime life.  The last time he serviced our Newell RO system was almost two years ago.  At the time we had purchased a second set of replacement filters from him so we could change the filters ourselves.  In the interim the ultra violet light which helps to kill unwanted microbes in our water supply had burned out requiring replacement, we needed to have our filters replaced, and our system inspected to be sure the 'membrane' was still good.  I had almost forgotten to call Ruben to come out before we leave on Saturday, and wanted to be sure I got his return call.

TLE returned around 12:30 and within an hour Ruben returned my call advising he could be at the Elks Club by 2:30 pm......perfect!  Just as I was hanging up from my call from Ruben TLE called me over to the pantry cupboard where it appeared one of the door hinges was coming apart, so I removed it and took it out to the trailer to attempt to fix it.  I was able to get it back together, but discovered when I went to reinstall it that I had put it together backwards.....doh!  So now I had to carefully unbend the piece I had closed with a pair of Channel Lock pliers.  It took me a while to fix my error, but I was successful and finally reinstalled it just before Ruben arrived.  It was good to visit with Ruben.....it's amazing that it has been 27 years since we first met.  And now we are set for another year of purified water!

TLE and I spent the evening watching the 'Gilmore Girls' mini-series.....we managed to get through two of the four 90 minute episodes on Netflix before it was time to go to bed....it was just a few minute before midnight, which explains why we got up so late this morning.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The bottom line......

7:12 am - Tuesday - 47 F degrees, 39% humidity, wind 14 mph out of the north (not feeling that here at the Elks Club.....maybe 5 mph).....4 days until we roll!

I had my followup appointment at Pacific Eye Institute at 11 am Monday......we left around 10:25 am in order to make the drive over to Upland via Arrow Route.  In spite of Monday morning traffic we arrived at 10:55 am.....I hate being late for appointments.  I wish those who set those appointments hated being late as much as I.  TLE and I sat in the waiting room.....let's face it.....they call it 'The Waiting Room', so there is no way you are not going to WAIT, right?  When I go to an Urgent Care, or Emergency Room I expect to wait as I had no appointment for my 'emergency'.  Having been in numerous doctors office waiting rooms over the course of 67 years, I am accustomed to waiting a few minutes, but Monday I was not called for my 11 am appointment until 11:55 am.....that is a new world record for me.  On the other hand I'm retired.....what have I got to do that's more important than making sure my left eye is healing properly?  So, I 'put my patience in my pocket' as my good friend Karen says, and thought pleasant thoughts.  

At last my name was called and I moved to the smaller waiting room where, ironically, I did not have to wait even one second.  The doctor moved through one test after another, and at the end of about 15 minutes pronounced my left eye to have 20/20 vision again.....I was able to read every single line on the eye chart including the bottom line I was unable to read the day I got the patch off my eye.  He said I was the first followup of the day to be able to read all the lines, and that I was ahead of the typical recovery schedule for someone my age.  I do have to continue to put in the eye drops four times per day until they run out, or I hit the four week mark, whichever comes first......and I do have to wear the dreaded nighttime eye patch when I sleep......and I do have to continue sleeping either on my back, or my right side so there is no pressure on my left eye......I really, really want to sleep on my left side again, and I really, really want to stop wearing that eye patch, but such is life.  By the time all of this post operative stuff is done we'll be half way to Florida.....YAY!

From Pacific Eye Institute we headed back to Rancho Cucamonga where we intended to visit my son's office to go through the few remaining items still on our storage shelves we have in his warehouse, but Chris, TAR (The Amazing Rochelle), and Cynthia were at lunch (one of the consequences of my 11 am appointment turning into an 11:55 am appointment), so we went to Home Goods where TLE wanted to by a new 'shaped' pillow, and some backup sheets for our bed, and then to Rubio's where we had our lunch before getting a text from Chris that they were back at the office.  By the way, we did find some new Queen sheets with a 500 thread count, and TLE did get her new 'shaped' pillow.

In all we made two trips to the local Goodwill with items to donate, and pretty much liquidated the last of of stored 'stuff'.  I retrieved a box of music CD's which I will go through and retrieve the CD's I want to keep, and then give the rest to my kids, if they want them.  Since we will probably not see Chris, TAR and Cynthia before we roll our wheels we said our 'until next times'.  TAR faithfully reads my blog every single day, and is probably the best informed of all our children and their significant others regarding our daily adventures,and lives in general.  Frankly, this was the reason I began to write my blog in the first place.....we wanted our immediate and extended families to be part of our lives while we travel, and to know where we are, and what we are doing.

By the time we began the drive back home it was closing in on 3 pm, and I did need to dump the black tank before it got dark......now, I'm sure I could dump it in the dark, but come on....who wants to mess with the black tank in the dark, huh?  We were home by 3:15 to find a 5th wheel at the dump station.....usually it takes most guys about 15 minutes max from beginning to end to dump their tanks from a long weekend excursion, but 45 minutes later he was still there.....hmmmm.  I went ahead and got the macerator pump hooked up, and the hoses connected so I would be ready to go when the 5th wheel guy finished.  Finally at 4:10 he was done and I pulled my hose over to the dump station and began to pump out our black tank finishing just as the sun set in the western sky.

We watched the MNF game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles, which turned out t be a very good game won in the end by the Packers who deparately needed a win after four straight losses.

As I watched the game I couldn't help but begin to mentally list all the things I need to do before we pull out on Saturday morning for Yuma......it's not overwhelming, but you know me....I'll be thinking about all the things I need to do right up until Saturday morning.

Between now and Saturday we will be spending individual time with our kids beginning with Sharon, Rod and Brayden James Wednesday night.....then Kate, Nick, Elijah, Charlise and Jolene Rose Thursday night, Tim and Laila Friday night, and Meredith Saturday morning for breakfast just before we fire up the Detroit Diesel.....a lot of 'until next times'!

One more thing about my cataract surgery recovery.......for the first 9 days I would see streaks of light at night when I looked at the headlights of oncoming vehicles......Sunday night when we were on the way home from Pomona Valley Mining Company those streaks were completely gone.  I have heard from others that the streaks of light were something you had to live with after cataract surgery, but apparently that will not be the case for me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rain day #2

8:25 am - Monday - 48 F degrees, humidity 74%, wind - calm......partly cloudy with a forecast high of 57 F degrees......got down to 53 F degrees in the bedroom.

Sunday began with leaden skies, and ended with a beautiful sunset......in between it rained a lot....well, a lot for SoCal........


Another rain day......

.....we were up Sunday a little after 7 am sipping our coffee and commenting about how dark the skies were and when it would probably begin to rain.....such is our simple life.  It did begin to rain a little after 9 am, and it rained on and off the rest of the daylight portion of the day.

Of course, I watched several NFL football games.....there were a number of good games Sunday......regretfully, my Broncos and Seahawks lost, but the Giants and Raiders won....how about them Raiders?  First place in AFC West!

We had plans to meet my brother Philip and his wife Jeannie (she shares TLE's birthday, but not year) for dinner at the Pomona Valley Mining Company in, what else, Pomona.  We have been eating there on a periodic basis for over 20 years, and it the perfect halfway place to meet for lunch, or dinner.

Arrived just in time for a beautiful sunset


 Philip and Jeannie on the right

We arrived just before 5 pm, and within a few minutes Phil and Jeannie had arrived.  One of the big downsides to our lifestyle is that we miss them dearly.  We vacationed almost every year together for years with them.  Every time we get together it is as if we had just seen them the day before.....there are no awkward silences......we just pick up where we left off the last time.  We said our until next times about 7 pm and were back home by 7:30. 

I watched the end of what was a very well played NFL game (Chiefs vs. Broncos) won at the very end of overtime by a field goal (Chiefs) which bounced off the left upright of the goal and barely went through just passing behind the right upright.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rivalry day......

7:35 am - Sunday - 49 F degrees, humidity  86%, wind 2 mph out of south southeast.....heavy cloud cover remains, and suggests that we have more rain on the way this morning.  I woke up with a sort of college football 'hangover'.....

Saturday's first NCAAF game was the much awaited matchup between the Michigan Wolverines, and the Ohio State Buckeyes.....a great rivalry game which has been renewed well over 100 times....the first game between these two bitter rivals was in 1897.  This year's addition of 'The Game' was and will be a classic for years to come......it was won in the second overtime by Ohio State.  Michigan dominated much of the game, and if not for two terribly thrown balls by the Michigan quarterback, which resulted in 14 points scored by the Ohio State in the first 59 minutes of the game.....Ohio tied the game with seconds to go in regulation time on a field goal forcing the aforementioned overtime periods.

Next up was another annual rivalry game between the USC Trojans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.......this game will not be remembered as a classic as it was really over before the end of the first half, but if you are an USC fan like myself it was a great game won easily by the Trojans 45-27.  There were many other great games Saturday, but my brain is too fried right now to recount them.


Trojans and Irish battling in the L.A. Coliseum

The biggest news of Saturday, however, was the rain that arrived with a ferocity around 2:30 pm accompanied by high winds forcing us to stow our patio awning for the first time in the over 3 weeks we have been here at the Fontana/Rialto Elks Club.  It rained continuously, hard at times, for 3, or 4 hours before petering out in the early evening hours.  By the time the last NCAAF game ended I had been watching college football for close to 12 hours.  I kept searching for any other game that might still be in progress, but alas there were no more offerings, and rivalry Saturday had come to an end.

We are now one week from liftoff for our five month odyssey which will see us traveling to the east coast, revisiting some places from our first year on the road, exploring new ones, meeting new people, and making new memories.  We will celebrate the beginning of our 6th year on the road while we are on the east coast, and the beginning of our 7th year living full time in our Newell.  We still have no idea when this part of our lives will end and the next phase will begin, but we will continue to live in the moment, and look expectantly for Miss Serendipity's hand as she 'stirs the pot'.

Next up.......NFL Sunday ticket.....thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The art of nothing.....

7:30 am - Saturday - 44 F degrees, 43% humidity, wind 1 mph out of north.....sunny, but rain is forecast for later this afternoon.

Friday TLE headed down to Ontario around 10:30 am to our daughter's (Kate) home to binge watch the new 'Gilmore Girls' mini series on Netflix and make Christmas wreaths.  I remained home intending to watch some NCAA college football, which I did, and to maybe take a bike ride, which I didn't.  I did, however, do a minor repair to our patio awning......beginning this summer in SLT some of the stitching has begun to come out of some of the seams, and I have been using my silicone based clear caulk, as instructed by Zip Dee, to repair those spots.  We are hoping to visit the Zip Dee awning factory in Elk Grove Village, IL on our way back west from the east coast to have the awning properly repaired.  I am continually amazed at how well all our Zip Dee awnings are doing after 34 years.


Friday was the first time I have been entirely alone for a while and as the day progressed it just seemed that doing nothing was more appealing than doing something.....some times you just need a guilty pleasure day when you watch a lot of 'bad TV' as my daughter Meredith calls it, and take random naps.  I watched a little of the 'Steve Jobs' movie on HBO (every once in a while DirecTV gives us all the movie channels free for a weekend.....in this case the entire Thanksgiving weekend).....if the movie is any indication of the kind of person he was he was a brilliant business guy, but a terrible person when it came to interpersonal relationships.  I flipped between several NCAA college football games, but most of them were one sided affairs offering no suspense whatsoever, except for the Memphis vs. Houston game which was a shootout ending in the favor of Memphis 48-44.  I watched parts of a few other movies, and then suddenly is was 2:30 pm and TLE was home......we spent the rest of the afternoon together not doing much.....she did bring home some of the enchilada casserole she had made for our Thanksgiving Eve dinner at Kate's home and heated that up for dinner for moi.....purrfect!

To cap off the evening we watched 'The Martian' starring Matt Damon.....we saw this movie back in 2015 on the 'big screen', but wanted to see it again from the beginning.  Thanks to DirecTV's generous offering of all the movie channels for free this weekend we were able to watch it on HBO.  There is a lot going on in this movie, and I enjoyed seeing it again, and noticing all the things I hadn't noticed the first time.  There are not many movies I enjoy watching more than one time, but The Martian is one of those I could watch a third, and a fourth time.

So that's it.....that was Friday.....no 'bells, or whistles'......just a laid back day....thanks for stopping by!