Sunday, January 8, 2017

'17/#2 And The New Year Starts!

I had a little episode this week and asked Mary not to say anything to anyone. I came very close to passing out at home and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Preliminary tests point tentatively to a bleeding ulcer, leading to anemia, and a blood pressure drop. We and our doctors are on top of everything and I am feeling much better. This is not the first ulcer I have been diagnosed with but it has been many years since I have had any problem. Hopefully it will be many more, or better yet never, that I have to deal with this again. The one bright side is that I have made a good dent into our annual deductible on our health insurance.

In the last blog I told you we were expecting a little cold snap, but not as cold as we've had before. They lied! It is every bit as cold as it was before. We've had two mornings with wake up temps in single digits. One morning it was only 5 degrees!!! Good news is that our winterizing, furnace, and space heaters are working out well. I have been pumping quite a bit of propane for the locals and feel for those who have run out during the night. Everyone here is looking forward to the warm spell predicted this week. We are expecting 60 degrees on Tuesday. Quite a change in just a few days. Hopefully the park's water pipes will thaw today and we can get back on city water instead of our fresh water holding tank. That's what it is for but it is a limited amount of water that won't last forever.

Mary has been off for several days now, taking care of me. She was pretty upset with my trip to the hospital and is now relaxing. Prior to the new year she had worked more hours than usual to help out some of the girls she works with and has earned and is enjoying her time off. It is also nice that she doesn't have to go out in the cold weather that we are having. Resting, staying warm, and watching trashy TV....what a way to relax!

As of now I am doing well and we are just relaxing here in our home in Forsyth Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"17/#1 Happy New Year!

Well another year has come and gone. Many people are saying good riddance to 2016 and bemoaning all that has occurred over the past 12 months. 2016, while unique, is no different than any other year. Once examined you will find good and bad has happened every year and will continue to do so forever. Some events are more important than others to each individual, but overall, for all the bad things in 2016 there are just as many good things.

As for us, we are grateful for 2016 and looking forward to 2017. Our health is reasonably good as is that of our family and friends. We are still living our dream out here on the road and 2017 has more adventures in store for us. Our grandchildren are all doing well in school and our children are doing the same in their professional lives. 2017 looks to be another good year. Like I've said before, it is not all unicorns and rainbows. We had more than our share of flat tires this year and Mary needed surgery on her knee but those are things that happen and can't be avoided. That is life. What you do about those bumps in the road and how you let it affect your future is what will determine a good year or a bad year and ultimately a good life or a bad life! Optimist or pessimist, glass half full or glass half empty? The person in the mirror will decide if you have a good year or a bad one!

New Years Eve was quiet for us. A lot like Christmas. I spent it with my best friend as I will the rest of 2017 and beyond. New Years Day will be the same while we relax and have a lazy day. The next week looks like it will be a cold one, but we are ready. It won't be as cold as it was a couple of weeks ago but it will last for about 4-5 days. Electric heaters, propane furnace, warm clothes, and warm blankets and we will be just fine. Wintering up north is not that bad. I don't know if we will do it again.... but at least we know we can.

For now we are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather for another day or two here in our home in Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, December 24, 2016

'16/#53 Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

It's that time of year and I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. We are still here in Missouri and if nothing else it definitely feels like Christmas! The temperatures will bounce back and forth between the upper 20's and the low 50's. And there is even a possibility of a little snow. Hopefully it is snow and not freezing rain. Either way we are prepared.

This is a time of year when people get together with friends and family to celebrate their respective holidays. This year we are not going to be able to do that but will celebrate on our own. I'm sure there will be phone calls and messaging going back and forth, but other than that it will be a quiet time for us. I think this year we will enjoy the quiet and reflect on all the things we have to be grateful for. The list is long, but I will say that our friends and family are near the top of that list. Of course there is our health and a roof over our head, and the ability to live this adventurous lifestyle we have adopted. We are also grateful for whatever the future holds for us. Whether it is new friends that we meet or wondrous things to be seen during the rest of this adventure, it is going to be one big surprise party.

Don't think that I am looking through rose colored glasses. I know that there will be bumps in the road and setbacks along the way, but that is what make the good things even better. How you decide to deal with these glitches in life determines the kind of life you will have. We look at them as learning experiences that will make us stronger and that we can pass on to others to help them have better lives.

We are also continuing our commitment to helping others. We found a local food bank and have made them our "pay it forward" project. Every week when we go shopping a few extras find there way into the grocery cart to help those who may not have the things that we take for granted. It is a good feeling to know that some one's day is a little easier, a little brighter, or a little less stressful because someone cared.

So on this Christmas Eve and First Night of Hanukkah we wish everyone happiness and good health from our home in Forsyth, Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, December 17, 2016

'16/#52 As Ready As We Can Be

The cold weather that has been forecast is starting to move in. This morning the temperature was 57 degrees and it is supposed to drop down to 11 degrees tomorrow morning. That is a 47 degree drop in 24 hours! Right now it is 35 degrees, a 22 degree drop in 7 hours. As I have said before, the trailer is skirted and heat lamps have been deployed. Propane tanks are full, electric heaters are on, and the electric blanket is ready for tonight. That is everything we could think of and are hoping it will be enough.      

Right now I am sitting here filling propane cylinders as people come in to get ready for the cold. I am watching bad TV and drinking a lot of coffee. Mary is at work and I am planning dinner. One of the girls where Mary works just quit so she will be home a little later than scheduled.

I am going to end this blog since there is not much going on here at our home in Fosyth Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
RFrank and Mary

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"16/#51 'Tis The Season No Matter Where Home Id

It is only nine days until Hanukkah and ten until Christmas and we are still here in Forsyth, Missouri. If you have been watching the weather you know that a real cold spell is headed our way. We are hoping that we stay just south of the front and that it doesn't last too long. We have added a few more deterrents to the cold. Underneath the trailer skirting we have a halogen light to heat our water filters and the attached hoses. It should also help with the cold coming through the floor of the slideout. We are from Florida, so we need all the help we can get to keep warm. Saturday we are expecting a high of 56 degrees during the day and overnight lows of 10 degrees! We won't see temperatures above freezing until sometime Monday! It is definitely feeling like Christmas.
 We have done some decorating for the holidays with most of it inside. Outside we have a wreath on the door and out front a small yard sign. Inside we have our flat Christmas tree, a little bit of garland, a couple of hanging ornaments, and a few more seasonal items we have picked up over the years. We also have our menorah out for Hanukkah.

People have been coming in to get their propane tanks filled. I expect it to get busier as the temperature drops. With ready access to propane I am making sure that we always have our tanks full. Along with several electric space heaters we hope to stay defrosted if not warm. Most RVs are not made for sustained cold weather, unless you consider the ability to move to warmer climates, HAHA!

Well that's all for now from our home in chilly Forsyth because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"16/50 BRRRRRRRRR!!!!

We told everyone that we are going to winter in Missouri and try something different and people thought we were nuts. Well it is definitely different. Since this RV adventure began we have wintered in Florida every year except once. That was the year we worked at Amazon in Kentucky, and that was only until December 22! This year we are planning on staying the whole season here in Forsyth.

Mary did her usual research on line about preparing an RV for winter weather. A list was made of all the things we needed to purchase and install to be ready to survive the cold winter. As usual we put everything off until the last minute and only started our preparations once the temperatures started to drop. As you may have seen on Mary's FB page the bottom was enclosed with styrofoam insulation. This helped quite a bit keeping the space under the trailer at least 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside air. Next we put window insulator kits over the windows. You know, the plastic that sticks to the sides of the windows and then shrinks taut when heated with a blow dryer. That did wonders stopping the drafts that were coming in around the windows. Also, before we left Florida we stocked up on pool noodles. When cut to size they work great to fill in the gaps around all the slide outs.

Well we thought we had done really well at winterizing our RV for the winter. But not yet! We already had a heated hose from our stay in Kentucky and figured that would do us here in Missouri. Not quite! The other morning, when the temperature had dropped into the mid 20s we woke up to a little surprise. Mary had no water to flush the toilet. Fortunately RVs have a fresh water holding tank, so a flip of a switch and the pump kicked on and we had water again. But now we had to make sure it didn't happen again. With some pipe insulation and fiberglass batting we went to town on everything that gets water to our home. Any exposed hose was covered, our water filters were wrapped, and we even wrapped and covered the park's pipe that comes out of the ground. This morning we woke to an outside temperature of 19 degrees, under the trailer it was 39 degrees, and we had running water. SUCCESS!

Inside the trailer it is a whole different story. Our electricity is free since we are work campers and we get compensated for only so much propane each month. Because of this we use electric heat as much as possible and conserve our propane. At night that means we lower the furnace thermostat to 50 degrees and enjoy the warmth of our electric blanket. In bed it is heaven, but out of bed.....brrrr. This morning while we had outside temp of 19 and underneath temp of 39, inside it had dropped to 51. When we wake in the morning the thermostat goes to 70 and electric heaters are turned on. Once we are up and moving the furnace gets shut down and the electric heater keeps us around 65 degrees.

I think that is enough about our winter survival trials for now, so until the next blog from our home in Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

'16/#49 Yogi Hits The Road

The owners up here in Forsyth have decided not to be a Jellystone park anymore. The franchise fees were not justified in the business plan. Today it was time to say goodbye to Yogi.

Gary and I, with the help of a guy with a sign installer's truck got Yogi off his base and into the back of Gary's pickup. I'm not sure where Yogi is headed but I am sure he will find another home soon.

Mary is going to post more pictues of Yogi's departure on Facebook. Now we are living here in our Yogi free home in Forsyth because....                                               

Home is where we park it,                                                                                                    
Frank and Mary