South Texas Heartland Rally

We moved from Tyler down to Montgomery, Texas on Tuesday 10/30 in preparation of our south Texas chapter rally for the Heartland owners club.  Michael and I are the chapter leaders so this was our rally to organize and host.  The rally didn’t actually start until Thursday but people started arriving on Monday and they trickled in all week.

We got checked in easily and escorted to site 35 (the first site as you come in) which is a bit short but we made it work.  The site is right across from the rally hall so that worked out nicely.

We got together with Jay and Stella for dinner at a Chinese Buffet in Conroe our first night.  We had a lot of catching up to do as we hadn’t seen them since May at the rally in Branson.  Jay and Stella are the region directors for our region so in essence they’re our immediate ‘bosses’ so we have to toe the line when they’re around…ha!

Discovered this handy storage area as we did another check through the new digs

Wednesday Michael and I drove over to T&S RVs to check on our new coach…again and to discuss the open house that they were having for our rally that coming Saturday.  Still not sure how I feel about the new place…lets hope that changes.

Brisket, ribs and sausage

That evening we met friends (Jim, Jay & Stella, and Terry & Carol for dinner at Yo Mama’s…a bbq place that Jim and scouted out.  Two brothers, Kelvin and Kennard (Kenneth Bernard) made the whole visit worthwhile for me.  What a couple of nice guys!  Between the six of us we tried most every meat (ribs, brisket, sausage, burnt ends) and while most everyone else really enjoyed everything I only really cared for the burnt ends and some ribs that Kelvin had taken off the smoker early for us to try.

It started raining while we were at the restaurant and continued for quite a while…even producing a tornado watch.  While it got pretty windy for about 20 – 30 minutes that was the worst of it.

I was in awe of the beautifully hand carved wood on this 1920s hearse.

Thursday morning we had organized a group to travel into Houston to visit the National Funeral Museum.  We had about 20 attend.  We wandered the place for about an hour and a half.  Some really interesting stuff to be found, for sure.  The hearse that carried Ronald Reagan, a murder/suicide coffin (which was never used), tributes to celebrities no longer with us, funeral customs from around the world, an area dedicated to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It would be a place Michael and I would go back to as we didn’t take the time we would have like to this time.

Lunch for 20

Afterward, we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes for lunch as a group before all heading our separate ways.  Michael and I made a pit stop at Sam’s to pick up supplies for the rally before heading back home.

That evening we had a Pie Meet & Greet.  We furnished 14 pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple, blueberry, chocolate cream & chocolate latte) for those attendees who had already arrived.  We had a really nice turn out and met a lot of new club members.

One of the club members arranged to have a young man who plays guitar and sings country western music perform for us and boy was he good.  He played for a couple of hours before traveling back to Dallas.


Friday morning about fifteen of us chose to participate in a craft class that Nancy put together.  She comes up with the cutest, easiest things to create!  This one involved wine corks turning in to Thanksgiving Turkeys!  So fun!

Everyone in this picture…for as far as you can see…are newbies!

That evening was the traditional potluck dinner and with 45 rigs in attendance there was a LOT a food to go around.  Michael and I provided sliced ham and rolls and the attendees brought all kinds of ‘fall’ sides to go with it.  We had lots of desserts too…plus plenty of pie left from the night before!

We had a 50/50 drawing, several door prizes, Jim B and Jay spoke about upcoming get-togethers and rallies.  It was a good night.

We had a small group that hung out in the rally hall to play Mexican Train and a few that chatted for a while before going home.

Saturday morning we met with Jim, Jay & Stella and Gus & Debra for breakfast at the Montgomery Steakhouse (recommended by Kelvin at Yo Mama’s).  We had a nice breakfast to start off the very busy day ahead.

Delicious meal!

T&S offered to do an Open House at their place…opening all of the coaches, providing door prizes, special pricing, etc.  Tim & Tex and their crew even provided dinner for all of us….and talk about delicious.  We had chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls.  We arrived about 2:30 pm and didn’t leave

The Gang’s all here!

until 6:30 pm.

Our new coach was open to the public, as well, and we spent a lot of time in it…checking things over…AGAIN…as well as welcoming our friends into our new abode.  I’m feeling a bit better about the new coach…but still having lots of doubts.  We’ll see…

We opened the rally hall up about 7:00 pm (after we were all back from T&S) and put out all the remaining pies and ice cream and finally got them all finished up!  Several people hung around and visited until nearly 10:00 pm while the Mexican Train Gang was back at it again.

Breakfast Bunch

Sunday, our last rally day.  Michael and Jim left about 6:45 am to pick up 10 dozen donuts to go with the yogurt, juice and fruit we’d already picked up a couple of days before.  Jay started the coffee pot about 7:15 and by 7:30 we were open for business.

We actually had a very nice turnout for breakfast.  People stopped by to say their goodbyes before hitting the road.  Jim left about 11:00 to head to the airport and a small group of us hung around until 11:30 ish…just chatting and enjoying our time together.

Michael and I put things away when we got home and then both took a much needed nap…not a normal thing for us at all….but it felt SO good!

Happy Birthday, Gus!

We made plans to converge at Texas Roadhouse for an early dinner about 4:00 pm and to help Gus(tavo) celebrate his 69th birthday.  We had 12 for dinner and ended up having to wait about an hour before our two tables were ready.  We made sure that Gus ‘got in the saddle’ and was sufficiently embarrassed.

We were home shortly after 7:00 and promptly went to bed.  I wanted to finish the book I was reading so I could give it to Stella before the pulled out in the morning.  Michael did some ‘surfing’ before he turned out the light.




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North Texas Family Visit

With only about 200 miles to travel we pulled out of the Caddo River Access RV Park in Glenwood on Sunday about 9:20 am.  Our GPS took us a different route than we’d ever traveled before and we both really enjoyed it.


We headed west on US 70 then picked up AR 27 in Kirby through Murfreesboro and Nashville (‘d never been to either place so that was fun!).  We picked up AR 355 at Mineral Springs which took us to I30.  A beautiful drive with lots of farms, cows, and colored leaves…my kinda drive!

We had planned to stay at the Five Star RV Park in Tyler (Passport America) but when we arrived it was a bit on the questionable side, the owner wasn’t around but showed up as we were trying to call him.  He kinda stood around wondering where to put us (I’d called a couple of weeks before and been told I didn’t need reservations) and we decided to just head over to Tyler Oaks RV Park, instead.  We knew it was a decent place and hoped they’d have room.

Tyler Oaks had room…but just barely.  There were only 4 sites left and only one of those was a pull through…not a necessity, but nice to have.  We paid for our two nights and then made our way to site 73 with no issues.

We had one more teenager with us…but she was hiding behind her Mama.

We got settled into our site and had a couple of hours of down time before we headed over to Canton to meet Michael’s cousin, Jeannie and her family for dinner at Jerry’s Pizza.  We ordered Michael’s favorite (ham, pineapple, green pepper, onion and double cheese) and it was really good…the crust especially.

We’d not met Jeannie’s husband, Robin, yet and hadn’t seen her kids (O.C., Tasheena and Dante) in 3 or more years and at 6, 14 and 15 they had grown considerably!  We had a wonderful time getting to know Robin and catching up with Jeannie and look forward to the next time we can get together.

Me and Uncle Kenneth

We haven’t needed to use the air conditioning in weeks…but when we touched down and hooked up to the power the ac came on right away…perhaps because it was 85 degrees out??  Yikes…welcome back to Texas.

Aunt Frances seems a bit shocked by whatever Michael is showing her!

Monday was our normal crazy busy day but we topped it off with a visit with Michael Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Frances and some delicious BBQ.  We met them for dinner at Baker’s Ribs in Canton (one of our favorites).  We had a yummy meal while visiting and then went over to their home afterward to visit a little more.  We treasure these visits as they’re far and few between.

Our Heartland rally is coming quickly (one that we are putting on) so we made a stop for a few needed supplies and will have to make a visit to Sam’s once we get down to the Houston area as well.  So much to do and so little time!

Now it’s off to Conroe, Texas to join some friend who are already there for the rally and welcome others that arrive after us.


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Family, Friends and Lum Ed’dards!

Sunday (10/21) was our first full day in Glenwood and we started it by catching up on PTB work in the morning.  That afternoon we went over to Michael’s mom’s to visit.  Our friend, Brock, had told us that the Senior Center in town was doing a ‘Thanksgivingish’ meal for the community so we stopped there and picked up 4 meals to take over to Alice’s.  The food turned out to be pretty tasty too.

Monday we met Brock and Tammy for lunch at the Pizza Shack and as usual we had a wonderful visit.  It’s one of those friendships where there’s never a lull in the conversation, everyone gets along well, we have similar views and we can poke fun at each other and no one is offended.

After lunch Michael and I went back home and back to work as Monday’s are always busy for us.  We ended up working until almost 7:00 pm…but we got most everything taken care of that need to be taken care of.

Tuesday we worked from home in the morning and then ran a couple of errands (propane refill at Plyer’s and dropped off some donations at the Helping Hands store in town) before heading over to Alice’s for the afternoon.

We still had work to do when we got to Alice’s but we were able to visit while we worked.  I made dinner for the four of us (Chicken & Rice-a- Roni Casserole) before Michael and I headed back home for the evening.

Wednesday we did our work in the morning and then headed into Hot Springs for a date!  First thing on the agenda was to visit Greenwood Cemetery…the final resting place of Chester Lauck (Lum Eddards (it’s actually Edwards – but he says Eddards) from the 1930s – 1950s radio show, Lum & Abner)!  I was so excited…it’s the little things, you know?

It was a large cemetery and we had no idea where to start looking.  Michael’s mom suggested we stop at the monument shop across the street and see if maybe they knew where to loo as there is no office at the cemetery.  That’s what we did…and she was right!  The gentleman gave us directions right to the spot!

Lum, his wife and two children are all buried alongside a creek that runs through the cemetery.  It could be a peaceful place but it also runs right along 7th Street, which takes away some of the tranquility.  Nevertheless, we paid our respects and now will have to hunt down Lum’s buddy, Abner, in California!

The second item on the day’s agenda was a movie.  We went to ‘Bad Times at the El Royale‘ which had a 7.4 IMDB rating.  It was kind of strange but certainly kept me interested and wondering what was going on.  If you’re into a little different and a mysteryish type of movie you might enjoy it too.

After dinner we went out to dinner at Cajun Boilers.  I was looking for something we hadn’t had in a while and seafood/Cajun did the trick.  The restaurant was kinda in my old neck of the woods (near where I lived with my mom & stepdad way back in the 80s) and was established the year Michael and I married (1985).

I ordered a jumbo shrimp platter which came with 16 glorious, delicious shrimp as well as a salad and baked potato.  Yummy to say the least but WAY too much food.  We’ll share a platter next time.

Michael ordered the salmon plate which he could have done 4 different ways – he chose Cajun style and while it had a little heat he enjoyed it.

Thursday morning we had a breakfast date with Michael’s friend since birth (nearly) Cherie.  We met at 8:30 just across the street from the RV Park at the Caddo Cafe.  Michael had Huevos Rancheros while I had I had the Caddo Breakfast (2 eggs, hash browns, bacon and 1 biscuit and gravy.   Both the food and the company were enjoyable.  Conversation ranged from our grandchildren to our parents to our children and everything in between…as usual.  Before long we had to part ways as Michael and I had some work to do and Cheri had plans to drive to northern Arkansas.

That afternoon we picked Alice up and headed into Hot Springs.  First we ran a couple of errands and then took Alice to a doctor’s appointment.  The doctor was running an hour to an hour and a half late (which we didn’t find out until after Alice was taken back).  We ended up leaving the clinic two hours after her scheduled appointment time.

Then it was time for a little pampering.  We treated Alice to a mani/pedi and Michael and I also got pedicures.  Mary’s Nails and Salon turned out to be a really nice place…large with lots of chairs and workers so that we had no wait at all.  We’ll definitely go back when we’re in the area.

We finished up just in time to head over to the Hot Springs Bathhouse Dinner Theater as we had tickets to see Driving Miss Daisy.  Previously named, Five Star Dinner Theater, this was our third visit but our first under new management.

The buffet before is quite large with lots of offerings (Chicken and gravy, sausage, brisket, fish, ham, wings, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, rice pilaf, three bean salad, potato salad, corn, green beans, squash & zucchini, California blend vegetables, salad, dinner rolls & various desserts).   The food was surprisingly good too.

The play and the actors were very good and made Michael and I want to see the movie again.  The only flaw all three of us found was that they didn’t use any microphones at all so it was quite hard to hear at times.  While the theater isn’t large, we were in the last row and the woman who played Daisy’s voice got softer as she aged which wasn’t good for those with hearing issues (Michael & Alice)…or those who didn’t have hearing issues (me).

Friday morning we got quite a bit accomplished (took our mattress cover & quilt to the laundry mat, got the tires put on the new rims and onto the trailer, replaced the propane tank, did a couple of loads of laundry at home and packed some boxes for our upcoming move).  And of course….worked on PTB stuff….that’s just a given.

Later in the day we headed over to visit with Alice for a few hours before coming back home to relax in our recliners and watch some TV before calling it a day.

Saturday (10/27) was our last day in Glenwood and we spent the majority of the day with Alice at her home.  Though we did accomplish several pre-move chores before heading over to Alice’s about noon.  I made dinner (Maid-Rites or loose meat sandwiches, whichever you prefer) for the four of us and after visiting for a while longer we headed home to get a good nights sleep before hitting the road toward Texas.


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Travel Days – Mount Horeb, WI to Glenwood, AR

Friday 10/19 we woke up early (6:00 am) so that we could go in the ‘big house’ and give Paityn and Cameron hugs before they got on the school bus at 7:10 am.

We were treated to Maggie (yellow lab) catching a mouse that had been haunting the house the last couple of days.  While Maggie might have ‘caught it’, Michael had to wrangle it and take it outside to dispose of it.  What a way to start the day!  LOL

Good bye, Wisconsin farmland!

We weren’t in a hurry to head out as we were planning on boondocking at a Walmart for the night so we did our move day chores, some PTB work and just relaxed until we pulled out about 9:30 am while there was a lull in the rain.

We had a pretty drive through the Wisconsin countryside before hitting the interstate around Rockford, Illinois.


We stopped at Kelly’s Kitchen for lunch (salads) and after coming out of the public restrooms we found our TPMS system was beeping.  Michael did some investigating and found that one of the coach tires was very low and that we had a cracked rim.  Michael changed the flat tire out for the spare and we were back in action.

Twinkle Twinkle

We traveled through St. Louis at dusk (traffic wasn’t bad at all) which made the lights of the city and the Gateway Arch quite pretty.



Home for the night

We decided to travel further than we originally planned (Farmersville, IL) and ended up at a Cracker Barrel on the south side of St. Louis for the night.  After getting parked in the fairly full parking lot we went inside for dinner and then back home and straight to bed so that we could watch the Brewers beat the Dodgers from Michael’s phone.

Changing out the tires.

The next morning we were awake about 6:00 am, went inside the restaurant for breakfast and then headed out to the truck to leave.  When we got back to the truck we were greeted by the now familiar sound of the TPMS beeping.

Michael did his investigating and found a low tire and another cracked rim…on the opposite side of the trailer!  Since it wasn’t too low and we didn’t have a spare we made our way to a truck stop and filled the tire with air and kept a close watch on it.

We made it to Glenwood and ordered two new rims from our tire supplier since we could get them here fairly soon and there is a tire place across the street from the RV Park.  We’ll get the tires switched onto the new rims and be good to go.

We arrived at the Caddo River Access RV Park on Saturday evening about 5:30 pm…a day early.  We were originally going to make the trip with 2 overnights but changed our minds to have an extra day in the area to visit family and friends.  We’re here for a week before we’ll be heading toward Texas.

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Time With The Kids

Our visit to Wisconsin went much quicker than I would have cared for but we didn’t do as much running around as we did the last time we visited.

Saturday was fairly busy as we watched Alex, Ben and Zoe while Dan and Amanda went to Milwaukee to watch the Brewers game – they lost. (playoffs!).  We ordered pizza and watched part of a movie.  Dan and Amanda got home just about 9:00 pm and after a quick chat we set off for home.

We got home just seconds before Zack, Kelsea, Paityn and Cameron who’d been at a wedding for most of the day.  We chatted very briefly and then went into the house and straight to bed.

Thank you, Tom for being our selfie photog!

Sunday morning we met my niece, Tara, and her family at the Pancake Cafe for brunch.  There were 15 of us total and it’s a good thing they put us in our own little room as we got kinda loud a couple of times.

Tara and her family were in town for the University of Wisconsin’s ‘family weekend’.  Her son, Tyler, is a freshman this year.  They live in northern Wisconsin, so we were very happy that we were able to get together with them a couple of times over the weekend.

Everybody’s hunting pumpkins!

Kelsea, Dan, Amanda and I and all of the grandbabies went to a nearby pumpkin patch so that the kids could pick out pumpkins.  I didn’t get any pumpkins but I did pick up some fresh produce – butternut and acorn squash was part of my haul.

The tune ‘Rag Doll’ came to mind while watching Michael flop around

The rest of the day we hung out at Zack and Kelsea’s.  The ‘boys’ went out into ZnKs ‘back’ yard and put together a tree stand for this upcoming hunting season.  We girls had a good laugh watching them cart the tree stand off on a tractor…with all three of them on the tractor.  And then again when they came back with Michael riding in the bucket while holding a ladder.  Both boys giggling as they went over bumps and Michael flopped around like a rag doll in the bucket.

I have NO idea who even won!

While the boys were gone we girls stayed warm and dry in the house with the kids.  The kids played downstairs so Kelsea, Amanda and I played a game of Rummikub – it had been a long time!  We also threw together a quick meal of sliders (hamburger & brisket), chicken strips, Bagel Bites, chili cheese dip, french fries and tater tots.

I made dinner for ZKPC on Monday since they were running errands and working.  I tried a new recipe for Round Steak & Gravy in the Instant Pot that turned out pretty good – though next time I’ll tweak it just a bit.  I also tried a recipe for roasted butternut squash that turned out really yummy too!  Afterward we watched another Brewers playoff game…they won 4-0!  Woohoo!

Hanging with babies

On Tuesday both boys left on business trips – Zack to the Appleton area and Dan to Albany, NY.  With Dan gone, Amanda asked us to watch ABZ while she was at work (she’s a gymnastics coach at the same gym that Paityn and Zoe go to).  We played a couple of games, had dinner, finished watching the movie we’d started on Saturday (Sophie & Sheba) and the boys learned how to use my ‘Happy Color’ app…which is basically a color by number app.  We also watched the Brewers game that went into extra innings…unfortunately they lost in the 13th.

Wednesday I went into town to do a little shopping – Michael wanted some long-sleeved t-shirts and I needed some jeans.  Then I made Haystacks for dinner – Paityn and Cameron really like them so I couldn’t deny them.  The Brewers played a day game (thank goodness!) but couldn’t pull out the win.  Currently the are 2 wins and 3 losses.  They’ll play again on Friday but they’re back at home so that could be advantageous.

Thursday both boys were back from their business trip so we all met at Hu Hot for our last dinner together.  Since the girls (Paityn and Zoe) had gymnastics dinner ended up being later (7:30ish) so we didn’t linger too long before we all went our separate ways.  Michael and I got hugs from Dan, Amanda, Alex, Ben & Zoe with promises to see them in December.

We stopped to fuel up the truck on the way home and arrived back at ZnKs place about 9:30 or so.  I went to bed to read while Michael took the TV out of the bedroom and gave it to Zack…the new coach comes with TVs and we supplied the ones for this coach.

We’ll be traveling Friday – Sunday so I will most likely not post again until we arrive in Arkansas where we’ll be visiting Michael’s mom.


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I Must Confess…

Saturday (10/6) turned out to be a very low-key day for us.  Michael woke up the night before with some sort of gastrointestinal thing going on and spent most of the night going between the bed and the bathroom.

The parking lot at Walmart in Goshen…betcha don’t see this much in your area.

The following day wasn’t much better.  He slept until after 11:00 am and then just chilled in his recliner in between visits to the bathroom.  By that evening his stomach still didn’t feel the best but he wasn’t having to visit the bathroom as frequently.

It actually turned out to be the perfect day to be stuck inside as it rained a good portion of the day…really hard a couple of times.  Plus there was an auction going on at the fairgrounds so there were vehicles parked all around us.  Amish, Mennonite, English, you name it…there were ALL kinds of people here.

The quiet weekends have allowed me to continue with ‘The Great Purge’.  I finished with the living room on Saturday (10/6).

I was also able to do a little route planning for early 2019.  We knew we’d be in Quartzsite in January for the RV show and a Grand Design rally and new we needed to be in Tucson for the Escapade in March.  So I was able to figure out what we’d do between the two.  We’ll pretty much hang out in a couple of different areas of Arizona (Yuma, Phoenix area & Fort Huachucha).

Monday’s are always fairly busy for us and this Monday was no exception.  Although the afternoon is when it gets busiest.  Michael’s phone rang non-stop with people calling and leaving messages one right after the other while he was on the phone with another customer.  When he’d get off the phone he’d give me the paperwork so that I could enter the information into our system, send a follow-up email, file it and move on to the next.

Last Rise n Roll run of the year…

We had plans to go to the Flea Market in Shipshewana on Tuesday…since we’d only been once all summer long.  We left the house fairly early, making a stop to drop of some packages that needed to ship to the warehouse and then drove through the beautiful country side to Shipshewana.  Little did we know that the flea market closed for the year at the end of September.  Boo!  Now we have to wait until next year.

We still made stops at E&S (beef tenderloin & butter), Yoder’s (bacon & pork chops) and to stock up on a few items as well as a stop at Rise ‘n Roll for some donuts.

I have to confess…I’ve been doing a little fibbing in my last couple of posts.

Hanging out in ZnKs driveway

We actually left Goshen on Thursday October 11th and drove to our son Zack’s home in Mt. Horeb, WI where we parked in their driveway for a weeks stay.  All very stealthy, I might add.  We normally message the kids along the way with where we are or where we stop, things we see, etc.  But this time we couldn’t do any of that!  That was hard!

Our daughter in law, Amanda, had planned a surprise birthday party for our son, Dan, who turned 30 on October 12th.  The planning had been in the works for over a year so we’d had it on our itinerary all along.

The birthday boy

As Dan walked into the restaurant, the group was on a balcony overlooking the door and welcomed him quite obnoxiously with ‘Surprises’ and horn-blowing.  I think Dan’s face turned six shades of red.  LOL

The high school contingency…they’re not so young anymore!

The party was at the Nitty Gritty in Middleton and we were upstairs out-of-the-way from the main restaurant. Amanda had sliders, pulled pork sliders, chicken strips, fries, cheese curds, mini corn dogs and onion rings….and of course cake…I think everyone got their fill.

We had about 25 people there…several of Dan’s friends from high school as well as some neighbors and family.  Dan seemed fairly surprised…I think he had a feeling something was up since Amanda wouldn’t let him make any plans for anything or to even choose the place they were going out for dinner at.  However, I do think we got him with Michael and I being there…so that was fun!

Definition of content?

We had seven “littles’ with us as well…each one had a tablet and coloring books to keep them busy.  They were content to watch each other play a game or a video and came up for air every now again for a drink, something to eat or to go to the bathroom.

The 2Ps

I think everyone had a good time visiting as well as watching our Milwaukee Brewers play (and win!) the first game of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.

I am now officially over the hill…both of my babies are in their 30’s!  Ugh!


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Got To See The New Coach

Yikes!  I am WAY behind!

Josh & Heather (our husband and wife install team) had their last install here in the area on Wednesday (9/26), which went well (poor guys always seem to run into the goofiest things!) and then left for Wisconsin early Thursday morning.  They’ve been working for a farm harvesting lots of veggies – cucumbers, pumpkins etc – and it was time to go back and finish out the season.  We’ll miss them.  We should see them in Arizona in January though.

Wednesday was nothing special other than the fact that we took some time off to run over to Shipshewana to E&S to get some groceries and also made a stop at Yoder’s Meat & Cheese for bacon and pork chops.

Bee’s Wax.

Oh yeah…and we also stopped to see Norm at Dutch Country Market so that Michael could pick up a couple of cans of ‘Bee’s Wax’.  He’d been told by some other vendors at one of the rallies that it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Norm said you can use it on furniture, boats, cars…he even uses it on his buggy!  Michael plans to use it on the woodwork in the new coach.

Our new home. We should be moving in in the next month or so.

We got a call from the dealer we’re working with to purchase our new coach on Wednesday telling us that our coach was ready to be picked up and transported to the dealership in Texas where he’ll get it ready for us.  He’d arranged with his transport driver to meet us so that we could do a walk through and check it out.

On Thursday we met Brandon (the driver) and he was good enough to allow us some time to do some final measuring, checking of colors etc.  Michael, of course, was more interested in his basement space and got some measurements he was wanting.

Looking forward to a ‘real’ refrigerator!

While I checked out the inside – noting window treatment colors, lack of carpet (not something we were aware of – living room rug, here we come), checking out the new bathroom cabinet/drawer change (love it!) and just generally looking around to see what we may have missed in previous walk-thrus.

After delaying Brandon getting back on the road we made a stop for dinner at Sakura Japanese Restaurant (my favorite!) and had a nice, enjoyable meal…just the two of us.  Was quite nice to have my husband all to myself.  The chef was the greatest but the food had good flavor so I wouldn’t be opposed to going back.

Saturday PTB was quiet enough that we were able to get some household chores taken care of.  Michael took the Weber Q grill to the car wash and gave it a good wash down.  All the built up grease and grime…GONE!

The GREAT purge continues.  After a few weeks of neglect, I was able to get back to going through drawers and cabinets in the living room and kitchen.  Once again, I made three piles – keep, trash and donate.  I was able to purge quiet a bit, which felt great.  I still have a way to go…but I’m getting there.

Old vs New

The truck’s been giving a ‘trailer not connected’ light for a while…even though we definitely have breaks.  Michael has sprayed electrical contact cleaner on both ends of the ‘IV cable’ over and over and it stops the problem for a short while and then it comes back.  So he finally broke down and bought a new end for the cable and installed in.  Now we just have to wait until we hitch up and hit the road to see if it has resolved the problem.

Sharing a meal with friends

Last Monday we were able to meet up with Ricky and Rachel (Heartland friends from Mississippi) for dinner at Das Essenhaus.  We had such a good time visiting with them and hearing about their trip to Alaska this past summer that before we knew it 2.5 hours had passed and we needed to let someone else have our table.

Not a very good picture but…Dan & Karen

Wednesday we were blessed with a visit from Dan & Karen (Heartland friends from Tennessee).  They stopped by the fairgrounds to visit after they’d made their pilgrimage to Shipshewana.  Once again we had a very nice visit before they had to leave.

Dan and Amanda are right behind the gentleman in the white jersey.

Thursday and Friday evening we were able to watch the Milwaukee Brewers on TV as they made it to the division playoffs so they’re on National TV.  They played the Colorado Rockies both games and won both…now we just need one more win to win the division title.

Dan and Amanda went to game 1 and were seated behind home plate so we got to see them quite a bit during the game.  Fun!

Friday we made a trip into Elkhart for breakfast at Granma’s Pancake House (yummy stuff) and to check out the RV Surplus Store to see if we could find some new globes for the light over our kitchen island.  We had one break a while ago and wanted to replace it.

Just needed the globes…but ended up with everything for $5 each.

A gentleman that was at the counter when we arrived took us to an ’employee only’ area in the back where he helped us find a matching set that fit the pieces Michael had brought with him.  The fixtures and globes were marked $15 each but he gave them to us for $5.00 each…nice!  We even offered to leave the fixtures behind (since we only needed the globes) but he didn’t want them.

Our main reason for going into Elkhart was to take in a movie…which we did.  We decided to see the new version of “A Star is Born“.  Neither of us had seen the original and maybe we would have been disappointed with this version had we seen it.  However, we really enjoyed the movie and now I’ll have to see the original at some point for comparison.

Here Cameron, Ben and Paityn are checking out some of Zoe’s gifts. Zoe is in the very top left barely in the picture because she was flittering about so much.

Friday our youngest grandbaby, Zoe, turned three and we were blessed to be able to ‘be there’ to watch her open her gifts.  She was so funny…just whipping things out of the bags as fast as she could to move onto the next gift.  Her cousins and brother we happy to help her check out all of her new loot.

We were planning on going over the Elkhart Campground today to visit some of our Heartland friends as the Indiana rally is taking place (which we’d forgotten all about!) but Michael woke up in the middle of the night with gastrointestinal issues so I’m not sure if we’ll be going or not.  Might be best to stay home and away from people as we don’t know if it’s something he ate or something else.  🙁






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Montana Owners Club Rally

BEWARE:  LONG post ahead!

Tuesday we worked on getting ready for the Montana rally.  We spoke with veteran vendors, Gary and Linda, who’ve been to this rally before to get some ideas of what to expect since I hadn’t gotten much information from the rally organizers.

Our chat was very helpful in that we found out that we could borrow a pop up canopy from the fairgrounds (woohoo!) as we have to set up shop outside because ALL of the buildings are used for the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale over the weekend.

We scouted out a spot to set up the popup with the help of a very friend gentleman from the Montana group and made plans to pick up the canopy up Wednesday morning as well as set it up and get our display ready.

Axle delivery

Just after finishing up our errands we got a phone call from the office to let us know that our axle delivery was here.  (We have two customers having axles upgrades as well as disc brakes installed here) We met the big Dexter truck near the fairground entrance and waited while one of the fairgrounds workers came over with a forklift and carted it off to a nice storage area that they’ll be letting us use during the rally.

Dinner is served

We combined our efforts to make cheeseburgers for dinner…as well as veggies skewers.  I prepped everything and Michael was the grill master.  Funny thing…it wasn’t until AFTER dinner that we found out that it was National Cheeseburger Day!  LOL

Wednesday was pretty busy.  First thing in the morning we got the pop up canopy from Jane in the office and then took it over to the rally area and set it up so we didn’t lose our spot.

Nice space to store and sort our kits.

From there we went over to the storage shed that the fairgrounds is allowing us to keep our product in.  We opened and checked every kit we received from Dexter to make sure that everything was as it should be…unfortunately, they’re notorious for not having all the necessary parts or wrong parts in the kits.  We were pretty lucky…only a few booboos…but ones that we could rectify easily enough.

Then it was back home for a potty break and to pick up display items for our ‘booth’.  Back at our ‘booth’ we set up a table (borrowed from the fairgrounds), put a cloth on it and Michael worked on putting his display together.

We were back home about 3:00 pm or so and made & ate dinner (filets, twice baked taters & salad) in between fielding phone calls and emails.  One of our contacts from Dexter was off last week so we finally received a bunch of axle tag requests back.  With that information back we had to reach back out to customers to give them the information they were waiting for.

Talking with customers is one of Michael’s favorite things

Thursday was the first official day of vendor hours and seminars.  We set up ‘booth’ strategically between the two rally tents so that we got really good exposure as people went from tent to tent and event to event.

Randy & Joyce stopped by and surprised us by telling us that they follow our blog! Hi Randy and Joyce!

Our installers, Josh and Heather arrived early in the morning, set up their camper just a short distance from ours and then headed to their first install…over in Shipshewana.

Our oldest son, Zack, arrived that afternoon and parked his camper kitty-corner behind ours so that we’d have easy access to the grand babies when they arrived on Friday.

Josh, Zack & Michael checking things out under the customers coach

Friday Josh and Heather had another install in Shipshewana and Zack went over to observe them as they worked.  He ended up giving a hand here and there too.  Michael and I went over mid-afternoon to check on things and also bring them something they needed.

We ended up staying until they completed the job and then Zack, Michael and I met Kelsea, Paityn and Cameron at Culver’s in Goshen for a late dinner as K,P&C had just arrived in town!

Amish Breakfast Haystack

Saturday morning there wasn’t much going on with the rally so I took the morning off and roamed around the Mennonite Relief Sale (going on at the fairgrounds too!) with Kelsea and the kids.

Choo Choo!

We had breakfast haystacks (I prefer regular haystacks), the kids rode a barrel train pulled by an ATV, did some activities which earned them ‘stamps’ in their ‘passports’.  When they got 6 stamps they received a coupon for a free ice cream.

Kelsea helped me get the booth set up about noon and then I ‘womaned’ it until 4:00 pmish.  It was pretty quiet but I did have several stop by with questions.  Kelsea and the kids stopped by a couple of times and kept me entertained.

Zack & Michael working together

While I worked the booth, Michael and Zack did an install for a Grand Design owner…big one…brakes, suspension, axles, etc.  I’m really proud that they two of them worked together without killing one another.  Progress!

Josh and Heather had an install going on too at the same time so I was able to direct anyone that was interested in doing an install or having one done to either site to see how an install is done and to ask questions of the installers.

The Birthday crew

It was another late day and we didn’t get dinner until about 9:00 pm.  It was Zack’s 32nd birthday so we asked Josh and Heather to join us.  We had a really, really nice time getting some more non-work time with them and letting Zack and Kelsea get a chance to meet them and get to know them more.

Sunday was very quiet at the booth, which gave me a little time to get caught up on regular work.  Kelsea and the babies left about noon and had a safe drive home that went much quicker than their drive down.

Installing new steps on ZnKs trailer

Zack installed a heavy-duty shackle/wet bolt kit for a rally customer before watching the Packer game and installing (with the assistance of his dad) some new (to them) steps on his and Kelsea’s coach.  Someone was selling two sets of steps at the rally for $25 each and since theirs were only 3 steps and the new ones were 4 steps and they needed two sets for their toy hauler, it was a no brainer!

Monday was even quieter at the booth.  I stayed home for a couple of hours in the morning to get some housework done and do some regular PTB work while Michael opened up shop.  Zack left about noon and had a safe drive back to Wisconsin too.

Nice turn out for Michael’s seminar

Michael had the last seminar of the rally at 2:30 that afternoon.  He actually had a nice turn out of a couple of dozen people.  Our booth was set up right outside the tent so I could hear everything that went on.  He had quite a few people who asked questions and showed interest in purchasing as well as having us come back again next year.  It was dreary and drippy so when his seminar was over we packed it in for the day.

Tuesday was the last official day of the rally and while Michael went over to tear our booth down I stayed home and continued housework (so neglected!) and did some more PTB work.

This was the last rally we’d be attending this year and we were ready for some down time.  We have a couple of other rallies that our installers will be attending though.

While the rallies in Indiana have come to an end…our stay has not.  We still have a couple of appointments that we’re waiting for.  One with our sales rep with Dexter.  Another regarding the new coach we have on order.  Plus we have a couple of things we need to get taken care of on our current coach.

The ‘plan’ is to pull out of here around October 8 or 9 and head south toward Michael’s mom’s house for some R&R (and sorting through the coach in preparation of moving into the new one in October/November).  We’ll see how well that ‘plan’ works out.  We’re paid up at the fairgrounds until October 17th since it was cheaper to pay for a month than three weeks…so we’ll just see how it goes.







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Travel Day: Terre Haute, IN to Goshen, IN

Had the place to ourselves.

​With only 230ish miles to travel, we gave ourselves a little bit later start time of 9:00 am.  The park has a small restaurant that serves dinner and breakfast.  We decided to get breakfast before heading out and went over about 8:30.

We were the only customers in the place but we waited about 1/2 an hour for our food.  Granted the American fries were made from scratch but …wow…that’s a long wait.  Don’t think we’d go back as the food wasn’t very good.  Oh well.
We had everything ready to go when we got back from breakfast except Michael had to unplug the power.  We pulled out of the KOA at 9:30 am on the dot.

Bob Evans – That’s my daddy!

We stopped for a potty break…but other than that we had a quiet, uneventful trip.  I’d forgotten to take dinner out of the freezer so we stopped in Warsaw at Bob Evans for a late lunch.  Michael ordered the chicken pot pie and I had the pot roast.  Best meal I’ve had out in a very long time!

Thankfully it wasn’t a super long train!

We had just 27 miles left after lunch and they went quickly.  We pulled into Goshen just in time to get stopped by one of the MANY trains that pass through the area.  We’ve been very lucky this summer and haven’t been stopped by many at all.

We arrived back at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds about 3:20 pm.  We paid for our site for the next couple of weeks, found out where our shipment for rally was located, picked up a couple of packages from the office and then made our way over to Harley Hill.  Harley Hill is where most of the vendors stay and it’s where we were before we left a couple of weeks ago.
We easily backed into site 182, unhitched and leveled and then I went inside to do my chores while Michael hooked up power and sewer.  It was 90+ outside so he waited until a little later to take care of the water and satellite.

Getting the wiring taken care of…

As Michael was hooking up the satellite we realized we didn’t have any power to the TV…or the entire slide it’s in.  Michael investigated and found that the wire must have arced and melted some of the wiring.  Thankfully, Michael’s handy and was able to fix the wiring and got us up and running again in no time.

Remember that broken salt shaker from a few days ago?  Dang thing came back to hunt me.  There was a couple little shards that flew way far from where it shattered and I happened to catch one with my toe!  Sure did bleed for a minute or two…left little drops of blood on the floor even.  Geesh!  All better now though.
We’re back here for a Montana Owners Group rally which runs from 9/19 to 9/26.  This is a new rally for PTB so we’re pretty excited to be involved.  It’s always a huge plus to break into a new owners group.  Cross your fingers and wish us luck!
We’ll be here until the first of October for sure…but are kind of waiting to hear about a couple of meetings we may need to attend as well as an update on when our new home (yes…I said it!) might be ready.
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Phillipsburg, MO to Terre Haute, IN

We were up about 6:30 and while I did some PTB work Michael made breakfast (bagelwiches) and stowed some things.  The only thing to do outside was unhook the power.

We pulled out of the Happy Trails RV Park (nice little campground) just before 8:30 with 344 miles ahead of us…pretty much all on interstates.  Bah humbug.

Do you see what I see?

We had an uneventful first half of our journey.  We passed through St. Louis about 11:15ish… traffic wasn’t bad but the road stunk.  All I could think was, ‘My poor house’.  We picked up I-55 as we passed through the city.

Bah humbug!

We found out when we stopped for lunch just how much that road stunk…my salt shaker had been shook right out of the cabinet and was in pieces on the counter top.  That made two days in a row that we had salt to clean up as the night before as I went to put my salt & pepper box away, I knocked it on the shelf and it fell out of my hand and spilled all over the same counter top!  I guess I should have thrown some salt over one of my shoulders or something??

Great place to enjoy some tasty tidbits from Kelly’s Kitchen!

Our stop at Kelly’s Kitchen was very nice.  A nicely covered picnic table, nice breeze (even though it was 90 degrees) and tasty food (Amish cheese, Klements sausage, Amish pork jerky, crackers and the best watermelon of the summer).

We hung out for about an hour before had to make ourselves get a move on.  It was a really nice lunch stop.  We watched a lot of people come and go…most seemed in a hurry to get on down the road.  I’m really glad that Michael and I enjoy taking our time and enjoying the ‘ride’ rather than hurrying from one place to the next.
Back on the road we had 141 miles left to our destination for the night.  We ended up stopping about 50 miles before our overnight stop to fuel up.  Not too bad at $2.91 per gallon for diesel.  $200+ dollars and clean windows later we we’re ready to finish our drive for the day.
We passed back into Eastern time less than 30 minutes from our destination and about the same time we were slowed down when I-70 went from 2 lanes down to one for a small amount of construction.  The construction was about the length of a football field however it put us about 20 minutes or more behind…and there wasn’t even any work being done!

Terre Haute KOA – site 4

We pulled into the Terre Haute KOA about 4:50 pm EST and had a quick check in again since we were already paid in full.  We were escorted to our site (4) and were just able to pull in with enough room to not have to unhitch.  Michael hooked up the water, sewer and electric and we were all set.

Nothing fancy for dinner.  Michael had leftover pizza and garlic knots and I had a big ol’ salad.  While we enjoyed our quick dinner we watched ‘Bad Moms‘.  Turned out to be a pretty cute movie.
We stayed here a few years back (2014 to be exact) for an overnight night then too.  That time we met with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and enjoyed some delicious Mexican food too.  No such luck this time.  You can read about that visit HERE.
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