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Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter Sunday......

8:14 am - Monday - April 22nd - Fontana, CA - 58° F, 58% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the north......mostly clear skies today with a forecast high of 83° F.

Laureen and her son Jeffrey in 
front of their '84 Newell in Austin, TX

Update on Glenn and Laureen.....they have arrived safely, and uneventfully at their home in Austin, TX Sunday morning, and for the first time their 1984 Newell is parked in front of that home....↗

Sunday was, of course, Easter Sunday as today's title suggests.  Our daughter Kate, and her husband Nick agreed some time ago to host an Easter brunch at their home in Jurupa Valley (pronounced Ha-rupa).  We were on our way to their home around 9:30 am arriving there just before 10 am....


 Charlise, TLE and Kate

 Charlise, Jolene and Kate

 Jake and Meredith

 Rod and Sharon

 Left to right: Chris, Rochelle, Cynthia and Christopher

 Left to right: Daniel, Jr., Cynthia, Jameson and Daniel

 Left to right: Nick, Jolene, Elijah, Kate and Charlise

 Near the end of the Easter egg hunt...Daniel Jr. and Brayden


At the end of the Easter egg hunt....everyone is happy

......we had a delightful time with our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.  When we first arrived it was still overcast and chilly, but by 11:30 am the sun had made an appearance, and it was getting warm.   Around 1:30 pm TLE and I were ready to head for home so bid adieu to our children and their families.

Hope your Easter Sunday was as rewarding and satisfying as ours......thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

#6 is finished.....

7:08 am - Easter Sunday - April 21st - Fontana, CA - 55° F, 78% humidity, wind 4 mph out of the south by southwest.....overcast this morning with a forecast high of 71° F.

I finally crossed #6 off my lengthy 'to do list' (click here to read list) on Saturday........6) Thoroughly clean the roof for the first time in years.  It was the absolutely perfect day for this job, if there is such a thing.  It was very cool (high 60's) when I began, and most importantly, there was a heavy overcast.  I have not cleaned the roof since Savannah, GA back in April of 2013,  much to my everlasting shame.  The duration between cleanings is an indication of how much I do NOT enjoy this task.  I prefer to be on the roof as little as possible when it is dry, let alone when it is wet.  I have visions of slipping and falling off the 11' tall roof and landing on my head.  There is no fast way to thoroughly clean the riveted aluminum roof.  It involves a lot of being on your knees and scrubbing years of built up grime.  Sure, some of the work can be done with my long handled RV brush, but the stubborn stuff requires the up close and personal touch, and a lot of elbow grease.  The roof is approximately 36' x 8', or 288 square feet, and some of that square footage is covered by solar panels, which increases the difficulty factor.  I sincerely wish I had taken a picture of the roof 'BEFORE' I cleaned it in order to adequately relay the desperate conditions which existed up there, out of sight, for far too long.

In all it took me about 3 hours to clean the roof.  I began at the front and broke the roof down into 4 sections (1 - The front cap back to the satellite dish, 2 - From behind the satellite dish back to the Fantastic Fan, 3 - From the Fantastic Fan to the front of the rear A/C, and finally 4 - From the rear A/C to the rear cap).  This is how is all looked 3 hours later......↴



.....once again there is a sheen visible, and it is obvious there has been no oxidation of the Dupont Imron in the past 6 years.......↴




.....while cleaning the roof I noticed a few zip ties which bundle the solar cables together in spots had broken, so after I had dried the roof with old towels, I returned to replace them.

Meanwhile my brother and sister-in-law have made it all the way to Fredericksburg, TX in their 1984 Newell......just a two hour drive from home now.  When they arrive in Austin Sunday morning they will have covered over 1,800 miles, and become a lot more familiar with their new purchase.  So far they have had no mechanical issues, and the Newell continues to perform well for which TLE and I are extremely grateful.

By the time I finished cleaning the roof, and putting away all of my cleaning tools it was after 2:30 pm and I was long overdue for a nap.  Since we are not going to Alaska I have removed item #8 (move the turf, and last stuff to the warehouse) from the list, and now just have to install the new house water pump.  You will recall that the first pump I installed did not work, so I had to return it to the seller who sent a new one out under warranty.  I have tested that pump and it does work, so I will be installing that one at my leisure now that I have no Alaska trip deadline looming on the horizon.

So, I began with a 'to do list' of eight items, deleted #8 as we are not going to Alaska, and have now completed 6 of the remaining 7 items, and the final item will be completed in a week, or so.  Time to begin to pack up so we can re-position the Newell down to Ramona Oaks RV Resort on Thursday.....time is short!

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

How did it all begin?

7:16 am - Saturday - April 20th - Fontana, CA - 56° F, 81% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the south by southwest.....overcast this morning with a forecast high of 70° F.

Friday morning I composed my 2,712th blog post since I began blogging back in May of 2009, and sometime either late this year, or early next year I will pass the 3,000 mark.  Over that time there have been some 1,243,384 page views.  There are some days when I think it would be nice to take a break, but that feeling quickly disappears.  Sitting down to compose my blog each morning just after I wake up has been my habit since I began blogging on a daily basis back in October of 2012.  Frankly, I cannot imagine doing anything else first thing in the morning.  My original purpose when I began blogging was that this would be like a diary for me, and our children, and grand children could read it to find out where we were, and what we were doing.  That anyone else besides my family reads my daily missives is somewhat of a mystery to me, but I am humbled, and grateful that so many choose to read my ramblings each day.  I go through periods of time when my writing seems to me to be a little perfunctory, but I do strive to be somewhat interesting whilst transmitting a sense of what our life looks like living full time in our 1982 Newell Classic.  
  
When the dream of living and traveling full time in an RV first crossed my consciousness I began to search the internet for information about how to do it.  One of the first sources of information I found was a blog by the name of 'The Adventures of Tioga and George'.  George began blogging back in May of 2003, about a year before we purchased our original 1987 Fleetwood Tioga Arrow, a 26' Class C motorhome, and that is how I found George's blog.....he owned a 1991 Fleetwood Tioga Arrow, a 27' Class C motorhome.  And that is how it began.  I read through all of his blog posts finding out about how he had installed a solar system on his Tioga in an effort to avoid staying in RV parks.  He wanted to RV on his own terms, and stay where he wanted to stay, but off the grid.  This kind of RV lifestyle had great appeal, and as we edged ever closer to our full time dream coming true I endeavored to set up whatever RV we obtained to be able to function off the grid.  My goal was not to do it 100% of the time like George, but as often as the opportunity presented itself.  While George's Tioga was 27' long, my rig with trailer is 62' long, so a lot of George's boondocking choices would never work for us.  At any rate, I wanted to option to live off the grid when I chose.   

It was because of George's blog that I decided I would do the same, and so on May 28, 2009 I wrote my first blog post introducing ourselves formally to the blogosphere.  I only wrote 39 blog posts in 2009, and the same in 2010.  I only posted when we were out using the Newell.  I began posting daily in October of 2012 when we arrived in Campbellsville, KY to work at Amazon for the first time.  I wanted a daily record of that experience.  Frankly, I only intended to do the daily posts until we finished our Amazon contract, but by the time we left Campbellsville just shy of 3 months later I was hooked on the daily routine, and have continued that ritual ever since.

And so here we are today, April 20th, writing about the events of April 19th.....so what happened on April 19th?  The registration on the VW is due to be renewed in July, and in California one must get their vehicles 'Smogged' (tested to see if they pass current emission standards for that particular vehicle) every other year.  Since this is a 2001 VW my test years are always the 'odd' numbered years....easy to remember.  We left home around 10:30 am to drive over to Joel's Automotive.  I have been going to Joel's for car service since the mid 90's, and even though his shop is a good 30 minute drive from the Elks Lodge we continue to go there for repairs, and smog testing when we are in SoCal.  We arrived there just after 11 am to find Joel's smiling face behind the counter.  We need no  repairs this year, so it was just the smog test, and true to form the car was tested and returned to us with a passing grade within 20 minutes.

The local 'The Hat' world famous Pastrami Dip place is just up the street from Joel's so that is where we headed next.  TLE and I split a single Pastrami Dip and an order of onion rings......

1/2 of the world famous Pastram Dip


......the Pastrami Dip is so big, and has so much meat there is no way to eat a whole one by yourself and have onion rings, and don't get me started on their amazing, magical onion rings!

I had my scheduled Pacific Eye Institute appointment at 2:15 pm to have three tests run to determine if I have glaucoma, or not.  The results of those tests will be revealed when I meet with Dr. Dovich on the 25th.  At any rate, when we finished eating it was just 12:30 pm, and we did not need to be at Pacific Eye Institute until 1:45 pm, so TLE found a couple of thrift stores where we could do some 'junking' to pass the intervening time.  I did not find anything without which I could not live, however, TLE found one clothing item that she had to have.

We arrived at Pacific Eye Institute around 1:40 pm, and I was called in for my three tests around 2:20 pm.  I can take a nap pretty much anywhere, and that is what I did to pass the intervening time.  The tests were completed by 2:40 pm, and we were on our way home to the Elks Lodge arriving home just about 3:15 pm.  We turned on the A/C before we left at 10:30 am, and it was into the low 90's outside, so we arrived home to a cool Newell interior.  Love those 37 year old Duo Therm A/C's!

And so, there you have it.....another day in our lives out there for public examination, and/or comment.  Thank you for stopping by to follow our story!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Move it back......

7:34 am - Friday - April 19th - Fontana, CA - 61° F, 59% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the north by northwest......clear skies today with a forecast high of 89° F.

Now that we will not be going to Alaska this summer we needed to bring some things back from my son's warehouse what we will need in Ramona this summer.  As you may recall we sorted through our things on Tuesday, and made arrangements with Chris to borrow his Chevy P.U. on Thursday to haul the stuff back to the trailer.  After the sort job on Tuesday this is what was left.....↴


........before we sorted things out, throwing away some things, and donating some things these shelves were overflowing.  After the sort all the stuff on the left side is what is left of our workaday life after 8 years of living full time in our Newell.  The stuff on the right (backpacks, sleeping bags, and assorted camping stuff) I gifted to Chris.  

We left the coach around 10:15 am to make the 20 minute drive over to my son's office arriving just after 10:35 am.  Chris had parked his truck at the rear of his office in front of the warehouse portion so we got right to loading our Ramona stuff on the truck.  I have to admit that I have really enjoyed having all the extra room in the trailer, and our 'through' storage bay, but our near term plans have changed and we will need the use most if not of all of this stuff.  In addition, since we are remaining in SoCal we will be transporting our beloved artificial turf down to Ramona.

We made the round trip in Chris' truck to our coach, and back just before 12 pm, and were on our way back to the coach in the Beetle shortly thereafter.  Upon our return to the coach we were quite happy we had turned on the rear A/C unit as it was fast approach 90° F....the high of the day.

My eye appointment for the glaucoma tests is on Friday, and my followup appointment with Dr. Dovich is next Wednesday.  It is then I will learn the date of my cataract surgery.....time is slip sliding away....thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

All Aboard!

8:09 am - Thursday - April 18th - Fontana, CA - 63° F, 43% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the north......clear blue skies today with a forecast high of 91°.....oh yeah, it's going to be a warm one for sure.

Our son-in-law, Nick (married to Kate), advised us a week, or so ago that his current job (he works for a housing developer) has him just a few blocks from the Elks Lodge, and would we like to have lunch some day?  Of course we would!  We set the lunch date for Wednesday at 11:30 am at, where else, Mariscos del Pacifico.

Just as we pulled into the parking lot Nick was exiting his vehicle.....I love it when people are on time!  I think this is probably the first time ever we have had Nick all to ourselves, and we enjoyed peppering him with questions about his job, and life in general.  I've known Nick since 2003 when I used to pick him up to take him to high school each day with my son Tim.  He has developed into a good man, and we are so grateful to have him married to our daughter, and a part of our family.....


.....of course this was a work day, so we had him for a little less than an hour.  We will see him again in just a few days as we are going to their (Nick and Kate's) home for Easter Sunday brunch, and are looking forward to seeing the whole family again.

Just after we bid adieu to Nick I began to get a series of pictures from Glenn and Laureen of their visit to All Aboard America in Mesa, AZ to have a full service done on their new to them 1984 Newell Classic.....it is always cool to see you coach in the air for the first time......↴


 Laureen hamming it up for the camera

Before....↗

......in addition to the traditional service they had their exhaust leak permanently fixed.....↴

After↗

......with a whole new section of flex pipe to replace the old, rusted section that was leaking.  They took time to snap a picture with Leo.......↴

Leo and Laureen....the nicest Detroit Diesel 
2 stroke mechanic you will ever meet!

......and one of Darren, Leo's helper.  Darren worked with Leo on our coach the last three times we have been there.......↴

Darren

....we didn't hear any more from them until after 4:30 pm when the work was done and they were paying for said work.  They left All Aboard America about 5 pm and drove 100 miles to the Cracker Barrel in Tucson, AZ where they planned on spending the night, so they are no longer Cracker Barrel virgins.  So our Newell proteges have flown the coop, and are on their own heading next into New Mexico and then deep into the heart of Texas.  They are slowly adapting to life lived on the road in their home away from home.  Glenn has said he finds himself sleeping better at night, and happy to be so busy learning about their Newell.  That learning curve will go on for some time into the future, for sure!

I spent some time in the late, late afternoon paying some attention to our poor Beetle which has been in sore need of a wash for about a week.  She now has a smile upon her face once again, and my guilt for neglecting her has been somewhat assuaged. 

We are anticipating a very warm next couple of days (Thursday/Friday) when temps will pop into the 90's before settling back into the 70's over the weekend.  Our time here at the Elks Lodge is fast coming to a conclusion, and we will be pulling up anchor on the 25th to head for our summer job at Ramona Oaks RV Resort.

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Until next time......

8:14 am - Wednesday - April 17th - Fontana, CA - 55° F, 74% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the northeast......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 82° F.

We were up at 7 am to help Glenn and Laureen get underway for the next leg of their trip bac kto Texas.  Since they need to have the coach serviced (oil, coolant change, lube drive train, filters, etc.) I helped them make an appointment with Leo at All Aboard America for Wednesday morning.  Leo agreed they could spend the night when they arrived Tuesday for their Wednesday appointment.  When we arrived at their coach they were having breakfast......



.....we talked about what needed to be done before they could depart including disconnecting the city water, the electric and finally dumping their effluent......



......they wanted to take a few staged pictures before we did the waste tank deed.....

This one is my favorite....thank you Laureen!


Dumping and flushing their single waste tank....it was quite full!

.....I'm glad I helped them dump, because now I know how their system works....it is quite different from mine, but at least I can answer questions for them if they arise in the future.

By 8 am they were ready to begin their travel to Mesa, AZ and All Aboard America.....


.....we said our 'until next times', exchanged hugs, and wished them safe travels.....only 1,330 miles until they reach Austin.

After their departure TLE and I got dressed and drove into Rancho Cucamonga to drop some donations at Goodwill, and to do a little junking.  I found a t-shirt I liked, and TLE a couple pairs of shorts for working this summer.  From there we headed a couple of blocks over to my son's office to go through all the stuff we have been storing in his warehouse on heavy duty shelving we purchased from Sam's Club about 10 years ago.  We ended up throwing away a lot of stuff, and making another trip to Goodwill with some more donations.  We managed to reduce our stuff on the shelves by over 1/3.  I have a lot of bicycle parts I had forgotten about, but now they are organized, and if I need any of them I know my son will be happy to ship them to me.

We were home by 3 pm watching a couple of English Premier soccer matches we had recorded, and before we knew it was 5 pm......we got a text message from Glenn and Laureen about 4:50 pm advising they had reached All Aboard America and were 'tucked in for the night'.  On their way they stopped just over the border into Arizona in Ehrenberg to 'pay the rent' for the first time taking on 109 gallons of diesel at $3.05/gallon.

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

RV School......

7:12 am - Tuesday - April 16th - Fontana, CA - 54° F, 76% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the south.....cloudy today with a forecast high of 63° F!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post we discovered an exhaust leak in Glenn and Laureen's Newel, so Monday was dedicated to getting a temporary fix installed which would hold until they reach All Aboard America on Wednesday where Leo will provide a permanent fix.....
 
The breech is right where the flex tubing 
connects to the muffler elbow


 ......about 9 years ago I found an exhaust leak and applied this same temporary fix.  Went to Home Depot and bought an 18" x 12" sheet of aluminum, cut it down using my tin snips to a 4" x 18" strip, wrapped it around the area of the breech, and then installed two stainless steel hose clamps to hold it in place.  This should get them another 330 miles to Mesa, AZ where it can be fixed properly.  In all, including the time we spent at HD it took about 30 minutes to fix.


TLE and Laureen went shopping after we had fixed the exhaust leak, but when they returned we showed them how to deploy the Zip Dee awning, and TLE spent some time sewing little plastic tabs on their new shower curtain so it could be hung from the little aluminum slide inside the shower......


....by the time we finished with the awning, and the shower curtain it was time for dinner......


.....our first meal shared in their 'new' coach!  

I'm really happy they chose to come south and spend a few more days with us as now I feel much more confident about their knowledge of their Newell.  We spent time hooking them up to 'city' water, learning how to dump their single waste tank using their unique to this coach setup, and talking more about the differences between inverter power, propane generator power, and shore power, and the circumstances under which they would typically use each one.  Glenn and I ran the generator for about 30 minutes under load to determine the operating parameters......the normal operating temperature, and the normal oil pressure.  It ran flawlessly for that time, and the blower ran quietly, and smoothly.

We bid them adieu a little before 9 pm and headed back to our Newell for the evening.  it was a good three days working with them, and as Laureen says.....'RV school is out of session for now!'.

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to by a tank of diesel.