Quartzsite RV Show – A First For Us!

So that I don’t get too far behind in posting, I thought that I’d do a quick post to help you keep up to date with our first RV Show

Friday 1/19 – Our day was filled with more prep work.  Opening kits that we had shipped here straight from Dexter and making sure that all the necessary parts were there and that the studs could take lug nut without any trouble.

Arvin & Vicki

Dennis, the installer here with us, dropped by to pick up a kit for the install that he was doing on Saturday.  Arvin & Vicky, fellow Heartlanders, who we met while we were in San Antonio stopped by to visit.

Saturday 1/20 – The first day of the show.  It was cold and windy, with light rain in the afternoon.  For my northern friends and family our 60 degrees may not have been considered cold…but we’re in Arizona!  It was COLD!  With the sky in the distance looking like it was bringing a BIG storm we rearranged the merchandise onto pallets and covered with tarps – once we did that…the sky cleared up pretty much!  Wouldn’t ya know it?!?!

Set up and ready to sell!

We didn’t make any sales, but several people stopped by to ask questions or comment that they already had disc brakes and loved them.  There was quite a bit of interest in returning on Wednesday to see our disc brakes get installed.

We took turns taking a walk around the show grounds checking things out.  Not a whole lot that we need or want but we both found a few things we’ll pick up before we leave:  new outdoor chairs, wooden domino holders, BBQ sauce and rub, etc.


Discussing the benefits of disc brakes

Sunday 1/21 – The day started off slow as I think some people may have been attending church.  But once church hours were over we got a LOT of customers stopping by, asking questions, relating stories, etc.   Today’s customers seemed more interested and we had our first sale of the show.

It was still chilly today but the wind wasn’t nearly as bad and we dressed warmer than we did yesterday.  Faces are wind blow/sunburned.  Skin is very dried out….might have to take stock in a lotion company!

Lots of interest in the install being done on our coach on Wednesday so we should have quite a few coming back to see that.

Our first customer ever, Kevin, stopped by.  He had his disc brakes installed back in the very beginning of November at the fairgrounds in Norman, Oklahoma while we were there for the sale of the company.

Pump out service!

All of our install days (during the RV show) have been used up so we now have to either refer them to another installer elsewhere or have them DIY.

Part of the fee we paid to have a site here on the midway included power, water and a pump out service.  Today was our first day to be pumped out (they’ll come again on Wednesday and Saturday).  They do the pumping after hours, of course…and they were here about 5:05 pm!  (the show closes at 5:00 pm!)  That’s what you call service!

Two days down…seven more to go!!





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Travel Day: Buckeye, AZ To Quartzsite, AZ

Bah humbug!

​6:55 am  – We pulled out of the Walmart parking lot and made our way through the maze of lots to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  It was a pretty tight parking so we moved into the Lowe’s parking lot where single cars we’re interspersed here and there.  A combination of that, partial darkness and tight turns we caught the front passenger bumper of an employees car.  Another employee saw it happen and called the car owner who came out and swapped info with us.  Not the best way to start the day.

We finally got to Cracker Barrel about 7:20 am.  We both ordered our usuals and pretty much ate in silence, feeling pretty crappy.

DOUBLE bah humbug!

Michael didn’t want me to mention anything here because he thought it would make him look bad.  But I don’t want to ‘sugar coat’ our lives.  We love our lifestyle but it’s not always roses…shit happens and we have to live with it.  Besides, we have the best friends, family and followers and I know you’ll all give him/us words of encouragement rather than criticism.

We texted the kids and told em of our mishap.  We felt bad but they were good about not making us feel worse and telling us to ‘move on’ and not dwell on it.  No one was hurt.  We have insurance.  A lot worse things could happen.

As we closed in on QZ we started seeing more and more boondockers in the BLM lands…LOTS and LOTS of them!

We pulled out (extra carefully) of the parking area at 8:16 am and we’re back on I-10 at 8:18 am.  The GPS showed we had 99 miles to travel and would arrive in an hour and 24 minutes.

Stopped quickly for a potty stop and Michael remembered that he left his hearing aids on the dresser.  He went to check on them and found one where he left it and the other one was gone.  He searched the floor and the bed, both possibilities as to where it might have fallen.  Just as we were about to give up, Michael checked the top drawer, which some times pops open when we travel…and there it was!  Whew…thank goodness.

Being escorted to our midway site

We ended up pulling into the RV Show are about 10:00 am and immediately went to the check in trailer where we waited in line about 25 or 30 minutes for our turn. We chatted with a couple of other vendors, who were also here for the first time, which was nice to know we’re not the only newbies.

Parked but not set up

After a quick check in we were escorted to our spot right on the midway…a nice spot right on the end.  Someone was supposed to be next to us on the end but someone else cancelled and they moved them across the way so we have the whole corner to ourselves!

Two of the four pallets we received.

We pretty much hit the ground running as our deliveries started coming as soon as we were parked.  We started trying to get some organization going and sort through the merchandise (we have a LOT more to do tomorrow).

We had a customer come to pick up his kit that will be installed tomorrow and in talking with him he suggested we stop by the Grand Design rally (just three miles away) and introduce ourselves…he thought we could grab some extra sales.

Grand Design rally-goers

We followed him back to the rally area and he introduced Michael to the rally organizer who agreed to introduce us and anyone that wanted to chat with us was welcome to do so.  We just hung out by our truck and they came to us and asked questions, etc.  We ended up setting up two more installs (Monday and Tuesday), possibly one for Sunday and another for the southern California area in a few weeks!

By this time it was after 6:00 pm and we hadn’t eaten since 8:00 am so we were pretty hungry and decided to go into town and get some grub.  We found the Times Three Family Restaurant…it had good reviews on Yelp…so that was good enough for us.


We both ordered the Hot Turkey plate…pure comfort food for me….and it did not disappoint!  Real turkey…real mashed potatoes…tasty gravy and cranberries on the side.  Ohhh….a little piece of heaven on earth.

The restaurant was packed but we came just at the right time and got a table right away and our server took our order right away.  Good food, good service…can’t beat that in a town of 3500ish people who grows to nearly a million this time of the year!
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Moving Day – Deming, NM To Buckeye, AZ

We woke up to COLD temps…just 23 degrees this morning in Deming, New Mexico!  Normally we only use our heat pumps to warm the inside of the coach up…but when it gets below 35ish outside the heat pumps no longer work and the furnace takes over.  The furnace has been taking over most nights lately.

The overnight forecast in Quartzsite shows the temps not getting any lower than the 40s…let’s hope that true! Brrrr

We had a quick breakfast sandwich for breakfast and then began our moving day chores.  Michael had unhooked the water last night so he didn’t have to deal with a frozen hose so all he had to deal with was sewer and satellite dish.

I got my inside chores taken care of as there wasn’t much to do.  In addition to those few chores I cleaned up our breakfast dishes and made the bed.

We have a Sleep Number bed and something that is recommended to do with that if you’ll be traveling through changing elevations is to let some of the air out as the changing altitudes can add air and actually ‘blow up’ the bed.

We don’t always remember…like we didn’t on our way here to Deming, and our bed had expanded some and needed to be adjusted before we went to sleep.  Not wanting to take any chances, I was sure to reduce both sides of the bed down to 30.

We pulled out of the Deming Roadrunner RV Park just a couple of minutes before 9:00 am…not bad considering we were shooting for 9:00 am!

We’ll take this route more often!

Rather than take I-10 all the way today we took a little detour.  We hit  US 70 off of I-10 and then hit US 60 into Phoenix where we once again hit I-10.

This route was a little shorter than taking the interstate but probably took a little longer.  But it was a route we had never taken before and we enjoyed it.  We passed through a couple of small towns and enjoyed the scenery…mountains, desert, shacks, etc.

Potty stop! Picture doesn’t do the scenery justice.

We stopped for a potty break along the way and I took a couple of pictures of the truck and coach with mountains in the background.

US 70 is a nicely maintained road with lots of large pullouts along the way which are great for getting some great views of the scenery or enjoying a picnic lunch…and we did both!

Awesome view from our Kelly’s Kitchen pullout

We stopped for lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen, of course, and were treated to a beautiful view from the front door.  It was a bit too chilly to enjoy our lunch outdoors so, once again, we cranked up the genny, turned on the fireplace and sat back in our recliners and enjoyed our lunch while surfing the internet.  Rough life.

We lounged for about an hour and then were back on the highway headed west by 1:20 pm.
The second half of the drive was more eventful than the first.  We stopped and filled up with diesel for $2.59…cheaper than we’ve seen it for a while.

Cool roadside scenery!

We drove by/through the Superstition Mountains…what a gorgeous drive.  We even ended up driving through a big long tunnel.

Bah Humbug!

We hit the Phoenix area about 3:30 pm, about the beginning of rush hour…although we weren’t rushin’.  Traffic was pretty heavy and we slowed down quite a bit.  It took us over an hour and fifteen minutes to go our last 35 miles.  Yuck.  Didn’t plan that very good, did we??

I called the Cracker Barrel in Buckeye, Arizona (just west of Phoenix) last night to make sure it was ok for us to spend the night in their parking lot and was told it was ok and that there was also a Walmart next door and we could stay there too.

We ended up at Walmart, after all, as the area is very congested and busy and Walmart had a bigger, more open parking lot.  We’ll stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast on the way out in the morning.

Before settling in for the night we stopped at Wendy’s (just across from Walmart) for a burger and fries.  We got there about 5:15 pm, ate and then moved over to the Walmart parking.  Maneuvering around their many curbs and sidewalks wasn’t easy.  We joined about 4 other overnighters.  After getting parked we walked to the store to pick up lunch meat and milk before heading back out to the coach and settling in for the night.

We had some work to do when we got ‘home’ and were able to accomplish that pretty quickly.  Then we just relaxed for a while and ended up calling it a night fairly early as we want to be up and going pretty early so that we can arrive at the Show grounds by noon.



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A Little Touristing Failure

All alone…but not for long!

This park is used for overnighting travelers a lot, I think.  Friday night the row we are in was full…Saturday morning it cleared out completely and we were the only ones left.  By Saturday evening it was mostly full again.  Once again Sunday morning many of those around us pulled out and that afternoon it started filling up again.  Pretty sure that’s routine as it continued for the entire 5 days we were here.

Michael spoke with our Saturday night neighbor on the door side for quite a while and even ended up having him email us a picture of his axle tag so that we could find out the particulars about his axle as he might be interested in purchasing a disc brake kit.  Woohoo!

Pretty scenery…but we didn’t find what we were looking for…

Sunday we decided to do a little ‘touristing’ and headed out to find the remains of Fort Cummings an old Army outpost from the 1800s.  We had conflicting directions but hoped we could find it…out in the big middle of the New Mexico desert.

We followed the first part of the directions with no problem…but that’s where we ran into problems as the directions after that point weren’t very clear.  We drove down every little dirt road we came across…some that were more trail-like than road-like and came to several dead ends and ended up turning around.  After an hour or so of searching we decided to give up.  We had little to no internet service so the internet wasn’t of much help.

…we did find these curious guys though

Michael did some more research when we got back into town where we had better internet and thinks he can get us there now.  We’re planning to stop here on the way back east (made our reservations at the office today) and will go in search again.  Find and conquer…we will!  (a little Yoda/Star Wars-y thing going on there…LOL!)

China Restaurant, Deming New Mexico

After our unfruitful search we stopped at China Restaurant.  It has glowing reviews on Yelp and did not disappoint at all!  We really enjoy a ‘sit-down’ Chinese restaurant to a buffet but they are becoming harder and harder to find…especially really good ones.

Just part of our bounty…good eating for several days.

We ordered several dishes as we like to share and then have plenty for leftover meals.  Portions here are HUGE so we will have leftovers to enjoy for quite some time!  yahoo!)  We ordered hot & sour soup (me – some of the best I’ve had), egg flower soup (Michael), egg rolls (nice and crispy but could have had a bit more meat inside), cheese wontons (prefer crab rangoon, but these were good), pork fried rice (out of this world yummy), strawberry chicken (much like sweet & sour chicken – super crisp & flavorful) and vegetable chicken (who would have thought that chicken, broccoli, carrots, celery & cabbage could taste SO good!?).

There is no doubt that we will be back anytime we are back in Deming.  Just wish we could find more places like this across the US.

Before my chair leg was broken off…

While Michael was doing some work at the dining table the sun was shining in the window so he reached up to pull the shade down and one of the screws gave way…creating a small project for Michael.  In order to reattach the screw he had to remove the cornice from around the window.  Which he did and then stood on one of the dining chairs rather than on the step stool that we have for such purposes to finish his small repair job.  However, the chair was much handier…but is now minus a leg…and requires another repair job.  The trickle down effect of one loose screw…geesh!

We head out tomorrow for one more overnight before we hit Quartzsite on Thursday for our first RV Show.  Not sure how much time I’ll have to blog while we’re there but I will try to put together at least one post midway through our 11 night stay and let you know how things are going.   Your prayers and good ju-ju would be much appreciated!  🙂

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Travel Day: Fort Stockton, TX To Deming, NM

Mi Casita – Herb’s all time favorite Tex-Mex place

Thursday was cold and rainy in Fort Stockton…a good day to hunker down inside…but we went out to lunch with Herb instead!  Herb took us to Mi Casita in Fort Stockton as it’s his favorite place…ever!  We really enjoyed our meals and Michael assured Herb that we’d be going back.  More than the meal, we really enjoyed spending more time with Herb…such a good man.

Enjoying another meal together

Since we were already out we made a stop at Walmart to pick up a few items that we’ll need while we’re at the Quartzsite RV Show.  We won’t have a whole lot of a chance to get out during the show and there isn’t a whole lot of choices when it comes to shopping in Quartzsite either so I’m sure we’ll hit the store again while we’re in Deming, New Mexico.

We had most everything packed up and we were ready to roll first thing this morning.  We were up at 6:00 am, giving us plenty of time to ease into the morning and still get everything accomplished before hitting the road.

We had a long day ahead of us so we decided to start the day off with a good breakfast…at the park’s cafe!  The cafe opens at 7:30 am and we were there at 7:50 am…a little later than we had planned as Michael got a phone call from a customer just as we were bringing in the slides.

We both ordered the same meals we had the last time we had breakfast here – eggs and pancakes for Michael and eggs with biscuits and gravy for me.  Michael’s pancakes were plate sized and nice and fluffy…so tempting that I took a couple of bites too.  Good stuff and reasonably priced to boot.

A business breakfast

Herb met us for breakfast and also introduced us to a young man who does maintenance at the park and that may do some installs for us.  Nice, knowledgeable guy who I think would do well.  Would be a handy place RV Park to do some install work as it’s a nice easy on/easy off interstate location.

The sound of shattering ice can be a bit disturbing!

After breakfast we hitched up and pulled out of the Fort Stockton RV Park about 8:45 am, while dropping our trash off in the dumpster on the way out of the park.

We heard a strange sound when we brought in the off-door side slide…like something shattering.  Yikes!  Upon investigation we found a bunch of shattered ice on the ground next to the coach.  After yesterdays rain and last night cold temperatures…the rainwater that had accumulated on the slide awning had frozen and gotten pushed off when the slide came in.

I made sure to take my laptop with me into the truck so that I could get some work done while we drove…why put it off, eh?  I needed to put together a couple of orders from our vendors for nuts, bolts, screws etc so that our warehouse guys can put together some more install kits (they’ve been flying off the shelf lately) and Michael made a call to our vendor who makes our actuator brackets.

How is that boring

While the scenery of west Texas is kind of desert-ish  and blah (according to some of our readers…LOL) I still find it mesmerizing and couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures to share.​

We missed a rest area exit as Michael was on the phone with a new distributor and neither of us were paying attention.  Thankfully, just a few exits further there was a Lives so we made a quick pit stop and back on the road quickly.

Shortly after getting back on the road we crossed into the Mountain time zone, where we will be until February 2nd.  I wish the time zone change would bring a little warmer weather…

From a distance the pulsating discoloration was a bit ominous

About 50 miles outside of El Paso, Michael saw a discoloration in sky ahead of us.   We couldn’t make out what it was but as we got closer we could tell it was moving…kind of pulsating.

A We finally got close enough to see that it was birds…several flocks of them and they we hovering in the same spot…over a bunch of cows.  I guess they we’re feeding on the manure and who knows what else.
As we passed by we could clearly see it was thousands of birds…in the sky, on the ground and lining the telephone lines.  Kinda creepy actually.

Gourmet food at Kelly’s Kitchen today!

We stopped at Kelly’s Kitchen for lunch…it had been awhile!  A little too chilly to sit outside, we opted to eat indoors.  We cranked up the generator and turned on the fireplace and got the inside of the coach nice and toasty.  We sat back in our recliners and enjoyed a leisurely lunch.  Just an easy, quick sandwich and chips was the special of the day.  We relaxed for about an hour before getting back on the road about 12:20 pm MST.

I took a little time, during today’s drive, to look at our route on the way back from Quartzsite and finalized a few stops – pretty much just retracing our path…stopping at several of the same parks for overnights.

Roadrunner RV Park office – Deming, NM

We pulled into the Roadrunner RV Park in Deming, New Mexico a few minutes after 3:00 pm and got checked in quickly.  We found our site easily enough and got pulled in and unhitched pretty quickly.  Set up went fairly easily except for Michael having to argue with the satellite dish for quite a while…it was really touchy.

While Michael and the satellite dish went a few rounds I got dinner ready (taco dip!) and got things squared away inside.

We are set up in site 69 for five nights.  We hope to do a little bit of touristy stuff while we’re here and, of course, will be working and getting geared up for the Quartzsite Show.

The first time I was in Deming, New Mexico was roughly 32 years ago.  Michael was stationed at Ft. Bliss (El Paso) on his first duty station and was on a field exercise for a week or so.  My great-aunt Claire (my birthday buddy) and great-uncle Erv (funniest guy ever) were living in Deming as full-time RVers – they had a small Minnie Winnie.

19-year-old me decided to drive to Deming from El Paso to go and see them since Michael was gone.  I had never driven 100 miles by myself..let alone in uncharted territory.  I made it in one piece, had a nice visit with my favorite aunt and uncle, spent the night (in the over the cab bed) and headed back home in the morning.  I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about the visit…but it’s a good memory nonetheless.


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Travel Day: Junction, TX to Fort Stockton, TX

We couldn’t get out of Junction fast enough!  As much as we liked the park and the solitude…we did NOT like not having good internet.  We use Google a lot (Drive, Hangouts, Voice, etc) and we couldn’t get into most of it as well as a lot of websites.

Michael was able to figure out the problem with electric power door lock.  Apparently, the key just got to worn down after 6.75 years of use.  He tried our spare key and it worked fine.  Thank goodness something has an easy fix!

Our internet didn’t work at all but we were able to use the parks internet, but it was pretty limited.  In our past life that may not have been a big deal…but with Performance Trailer Braking we really need full access to phone and internet.

We’re in the park! Give us a call!

We only had about 185 miles to travel today but decided to hit the road earlier than we might normally have done since we wanted to get back to having decent internet and phone again.  We ended up pulling out of Pecan Valley RV Park at 9:10 am, about 10 minutes after we had hoped.

Before we pulled out, Michael even took the time to visit a few of the trailers and posted some sticky notes with our PTB information on them on several trailers.

Lovin’ the terrain!

We followed Ranch Road 1674 about 3.5 miles until we were back on I-10 and continuing westward.  The trip was uneventful (other than a quick roadside potty stop) but we really enjoyed the changing terrain.  I’m pretty sure that every time we pass through this area we discuss how much we enjoy the terrain with its many different features – mesas, plateaus, bluffs, ridges, valleys, hills, spurs, draws, buttes.

Ft. Stockton RV Park – site 4

We pulled into the Fort Stockton RV Park about 12:10 pm.  The wind picked up just before we arrived and I had a heck of a time trying to see what I was doing with my hair whipping about my face as we unhitched and got set up!  We’re set up in site 4 for 2 nights…right across from our friend, Herb, and the office/cafe.

Thankfully, our internet service is MUCH better here because as soon as we got settled in business got BUSY!  Michael handled a ton of phone calls while I did data entry, fielded emails and invoiced a couple of customers.

Kelly, Michael and Herb – former gate guards and proud of it!

We took a break about 5:45 pm and walked across the road to the RV parks little cafe.  We met, Herb, the park manager for dinner.  Herb is a fellow ‘past’ gate guard who we met via Facebook a couple of years ago.  Herb has been managing this park for several years now and this is the second time we’ve been able to stop here at the park and visit with him.

After dinner, we had a little bit more work to finish up and then spent the rest of the night chillin’ in front of the TV.

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Travel Day – San Antonio, TX To Junction, TX

We did the majority of our travel day chores yesterday as we knew that Michael had several phone calls to make in order to order some axles and other items from a couple of our suppliers before we hit the road and he wanted to allow plenty of time to get that done.

Temporarily secured with tape! LOL

We had a little trouble with our electric power door while preparing to depart…it wouldn’t lock for some reason.  We both tried with no success, so Michael broke out the Gorilla tape and put a small amount on the door to hold it shut until he has a change to figure out what the problem is.

We only had about 120 miles to travel to our destination so a later departure wasn’t a big deal.  We got our work done quicker than expected and were ready to pull out earlier than we thought.  We ended up pulling out of the RV park about 10:20ish and went out the Ft. Sam gate at 10:27 am.   We hit I-410 and took it west until we took the exit for I-10 (which we will now be on until we arrive at our final destination of Quartzsite, Arizona on the 18th).

The best kind of travel day! Sunny and light traffic!

Traffic was light, the road was smooth, and the sky was bright and sunny…can’t ask for a better travel day.  We made one stop about mid-way through the trip…at a rest area so that someone could go to the bathroom…because he didn’t go before we hit the road.  However…I won’t name any names.

We pulled in right next to a Sundance.

We were on I-10 until exit 456 where we exited to head to our RV park.  We noticed that there was a Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ just off the exit and decided to stop for lunch.  We’d been to a Cooper’s a little over five years ago with our son, Zack, and wanted to try it again.  Our memories weren’t very good, but a lot of people really rave about Cooper’s so we wanted to give it a second go ’round.

The ‘sauce’ on the right is their ‘signature’ sauce…more like broth consistency.

Unfortunately, we were pretty disappointed.  We both ordered brisket & ribs, neither of which was very tender.  The brisket had little to no smoke ring (or smoke flavor)…and they don’t really have a bbq sauce…it’s more of a broth and it’s very vinegary.   Michael asked for lean brisket and received some of the driest brisket I’ve ever seen.

I checked the reviews after we arrived at the park and found a 2.5 Star Yelp rating…I’m not surprised.   The other Cooper’s (Llano, for instance) get good reviews…not this one.  Unfortunately, this store has ruined it for us and we won’t be going back to Cooper’s.

Yummy pecan trees…would love to see them in season!

We arrived at the RV park about 1:40 pm and after following the park road and winding around a pecan grove (would love to see them in bloom and full of nuts!) we pulled into the first pull-through site which is super-duper long…at least 100 feet.

Convenient ‘pads’ provided for travelers.

The site is nice and level and they even provide a stack of leveling blocks for customer use.  We decided to use those rather than pull out our pads.

We didn’t unpack much (only here two nights) but got the water, sewer, electric and satellite dish hooked up and were ready to roll in less than 30 minutes of arrival.  We are nestled into site 7 for the next two nights.

We were originally supposed to arrive at Pecan Valley RV Park on Wednesday, January 3rd but had to put off our arrival since we were waiting for our new refrigerator.  It actually worked out well as the park called us to let us know that their water was frozen and we wouldn’t have water at our site until it thawed.

Home for 2 nights – site 7 – Pecan Valley RV Park.

This park turns out to be a little hidden gem…hidden behind a pecan grove.  Looks like it’s either fairly new or they’ve been doing some work on it.  Can’t be much more than a dozen sites.

​Our internet is almost non-existent here and we are having to use the park’s internet…which is unusual because we don’t normally have any luck with RV park internet.
We had some work to do once we got settled as we’d gotten a call from a customer, before we ever hit I-10, who was ready for me to send an invoice.  I got that taken care of in no time and we’d done a ton of follow-up work on Sunday so we had the rest of the afternoon to relax…although Michael got several phone calls…but that’s kinda becoming second nature.


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Good Luck, Tummy Scan, Star Wars and a New Fridge

Happy New Year!

My days are becoming busier and busier with less time to blog.  I’ve given notice with Heartland and after January 31st will no longer be able to blog for them.  I’m gonna do my best to keep up our personal blog though…so y’all can follow along on this crazy business venture we’ve started.

We celebrated the New Year by sleeping through it…in bed by 10:00 pm.  New Years Eve has never really been a big thing for us…why start now?  We did, however, try to bring as much luck into the new year by enjoying some ‘good luck’ foods – pork ribs, sauerkraut (me) and black-eyed peas (Michael).  We were also supposed to have some corn bread but I completely forgot to make it!  Let’s hope that that one omission doesn’t taint our good luck for the year!

Along with the rest of the country we experienced cold snap here in San Antonio too.  We had a couple of days with highs in the mid 30s and about 4 or 5 nights of below freezing temps.  Michael disconnected the hose from the water spigot (letting it drip) and made sure we had water in our fresh water tank so we had water…but the hose froze so he couldn’t hook it back up to the spigot until it thawed out.  Too cold to thaw outside, so he brought it in and let it warm up in the shower…that worked!  LOL

It has finally warmed up enough that the hose it hooked back up to the spigot and the fireplace and space heater aren’t working over time.  We’re now looking at highs in the 60s for the foreseeable future.  That’s more like it!

We don’t use much propane but since it was so cold, the furnace kicked in a few times because it was too cold for the heat pumps to turn on.   Since we’ll be heading toward Arizona soon we had our two 40 pound tanks topped off here at the park, so we should be good to go for the trip west.  Propane was $2.65 here at the RV park on post…what is it in the ‘real’ world??

Tuesday, Michael and an abdominal ultrasound to see determine what is causing the pain in his upper right quadrant.  He has no appendix or gall bladder…so it’s not either of those maladies.  The ultrasound tech asked him, ‘Do you have a follow-up appointment scheduled?’…which, to us, sounded like he should have one.  I called the clinic to see if I needed to make one and was told that the provider would check the test results and get back to us.  Ok…

The ‘all too familiar’ Star Wars introduction

That afternoon we stopped at our ‘mail box’ and picked up the three boxes we’d shipped here from Wisconsin and then went to the movie theater to see our first movie of the week of 2018, Star Wars.  We both really enjoyed it.  We both said that most times we have a hard time following along and fully understanding what’s going on in a Star Wars movie – but this time we were completely able to follow along.

How many guys does it take to inspect a refrigerator??

Wednesday brought an insurance inspector and our RV repair guys.  The extended warranty program required an independent inspector to come and check things out (they did last time too) before they make their final decision on how to proceed.  Last time the inspector recommended a new refrigerator…and the insurance would only pay for a new cooling unit on the back.

It took several weeks for the cooling unit to come in and then be installed.  Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of time to wait since we have to start our trek west on Monday.  So without knowing what the insurance company’s decision was we had George order a new fridge, since it was available and ready.  If the insurance only pays for a cooling unit, we’ll pay the difference.  Please cross your fingers and say a prayer or two that the insurance company goes our way.

Our new site is just on the other side of that Raptor…quite a haul!

Thursday morning we moved from one site to another as we’d had to extend our stay here a few days while we waited for the refrigerator.  The complete move took us about 20 minutes from hook up to disconnecting.  We are now snuggled into site 2, which is two rows directly across from where we were in site 14.

Michael helped maneuver the old and new units

Thursday afternoon, Kenny and Brandon were back with our new fridge and got it installed with some effort and a couple of pinched fingers.  We were asked to let it sit for about 24 hours without turning it on since it had to be laid on its side to get here.  They did turn it on long enough to be sure it worked and then quickly turned it off.

Shiny and new!

Our old fridge had ‘wood’ doors and this one is stainless steel.  Michael wanted to switch out the doors and put the wood on this fridge…I convinced him not too.  I like the stainless steel and never really liked the wood-look.  The fridges are pretty much identical except for that and that this new one has a water dispenser in the door.  Not sure if we’ll every really use that…but it’s a neat feature.

Now, that we have a fridge (hooray!) I’ll need to go to the commissary this weekend and get some meat in the freezer.  We managed pretty well with refrigerator/freezer over the past week.  Thank goodness for free ice and freezing temps to keep things cold in a cooler outside!


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Making the Most Out of the Last Few Days of 2017

​First thing Friday morning Kenny and his son, Brandon from Go RV were at the house to check the refrigerator.  There diagnostics didn’t take much more than 15 minutes and they were able to determine that the cooling unit had gone out on the fridge.
The same thing happened back in October/November of 2014 except that it was just the refrigerator that was affected….the freezer still worked perfectly.  This time it pretty much the entire thing.  Except that the very bottom of the freezer is still cold (there’s ice on the ‘floor’ of the freezer) and the ‘roof’ of the freezer is 68 degrees.  Strangest thing.  **as of Sunday 12/31 the freezer is no longer cold either
George, the owner, is really good about working with our extended warranty company so now we have to wait and see what they’re going to do.  We already know that they want an ‘inspector’ to come and diagnosis it…what good that does, I don’t know as they did the same thing last time.  The inspector then, recommended a new refrigerator but they refused and would only pay to have a new cooling unit installed.  So we’ll see.  Hoping (fingers crossed and prayers being said) that they can get it taken care of before we have to leave to head to Arizona.
Michael had a couple of VA appointments too…so as soon as they were done we headed out to the first appointment which was just a CPAP check.  Michael’s levels were good and he now has an appointment for a year from now to get things checked again.  They also issued him new paraphernalia:  hose, mask, filters etc.
We had several hours to waste before his next appointment so we ran over to our mail service to pick up our growing mail pile.  It was like Christmas all over again!  We got new pillows, lug nuts, our Texas drivers license, Michael’s new eye glasses, my blogging pay check, medications, etc etc etc!  I’m sure Andrew was glad to get rid of all of our stuff and make more room!

Gourmet pizza

Michael was hungry for pizza so I found, Dough Pizzeria Napoleltana, not too far away.  They serve a little more ‘gourmet’ type pizza than what we prefer but it was very good.  Our pizza had prosciutto, house made spicy sausage, red & yellow peppers and an ‘onion & bacon jam’.  We also tried a burrata, which is kind of a ‘cheese baked inside of a cheese’ appetizer which is accompanied by pizza crust-like bread to spread the cheese on….very good.

Before heading to Michael’s second appointment of the day we made a stop at HEB to pick up some groceries…although not nearly as many as we would have like since the fridge is being stubborn.  I’ve pretty much had to ‘rewrite’ my menu to accommodate a non-properly working fridge.  We’re just shopping for refrigerated items every few days…which is a pain…but works.

Michael’s second appointment was a hearing/hearing aid check.  The pair of hearing aids that Michael has were issued to him in April of 2015 and never really worked right so he stopped wearing them all together.  He’d gone in and had them readjusted several times but by the time he got out of the building they were providing a bunch of feedback and just not working right.
The good news is that his hearing has stayed the same, so it sounds like it has finally stabilized as it has fluctuated a lot over the past 12 years.  What I thought was hearing loss is the normal aging process…things just don’t process as quickly.
The audiologist adjusted his hearing aids again and this time they seem to be working right…finally.  Now just to get used to them after not wearing them for 2 years!

Michael fell in love with the outside storage in the new Phoenix

Saturday we took a drive to Navasota, Texas to visit with our friends at T&S RVs.  We’ve had quite a few friends who have purchased RVs with them in the last few months and when the time comes (the next year or so) that’s where we’ll go to get ours as well.  Tex and Tim are down to earth, great guys who aren’t out to rip anyone off…refreshing to say the least.

Michael explaining the disc brake installation process

This visit was mostly business (of course we took a peek at some of the stock!) as we discussed them sponsoring our next Heartland Chapter rally plus they agreed to do some disc brake installs for customers that are in their area.  It was a great meeting!

The truck getting a little ‘pick me up’

While we met with Tex and Tim our truck was getting air bags installed by one of the techs at T&S.  Michael had the air bags and had planned on installing them himself.  Time got away from him and it didn’t happen this summer and now with the PTB business…well…he no longer has the time.  It took the tech 3 or 4 hours to get them installed…but it’s done!  Whew!

We stopped at the Oakridge Smokehouse in Schulenburg on the way home for dinner.  We both went with the buffet which included soup, salad, drink and dessert.  Entrees were ribs, chicken, sausage, and an SOS-like dish.  The food was good and tasty.
We ended up getting back home shortly after 8:00 pm and were tired…we’d left the house 14 hours before!

Photo courtesy of Emily’s awesome selfie prowess

This morning we met Heartland friends, Emily and Tim for breakfast.  Emily’s parents and their youngest son were able to join us, as well.  We met at the Pig Stand and while the food was decent…nothing exceptional…the fellowship was really enjoyable.  We’ve never really gotten much one on one time with Tim and Emily and really enjoyed getting to know them more.

The addition of their son, Dane and Emily’s parents, Mona & Don joining us was even better.  We chatted about an array of subjects:  Performance Trailer Braking, their seasonal work at Amazon this past season (they will NOT do it again…LOL), Dane’s schooling, etc.  We look forward to more visits in the future.

We’ll most likely be in bed WELL before midnight tonight.  Ringing in the New Year is not usually high on our priority list.  Perhaps we’ll watch a movie and eat some popcorn…who knows.
We wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
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Friggin’ Fridge

Wednesday 12/27

Today was a travel day…but not the conventional time for us…we flew back to San Antonio after spending two weeks in southern Wisconsin.

We spent the morning wrapping up some Performance Trailer Braking (PTB) and then Michael ran into Mount Horeb to mail our belongings ‘home’.  Michael decided that he wanted to leave our suitcases here since we need the room in the basement for miscellaneous PTB stuff.

While he was in town he also picked up a couple of sandwiches from Subway so that we’d have them for the flight.  Something we’ve done for several years now to avoid the high cost of food at the airports.

We got to the airport with about an hour and a half to spare, which was fine.  We just vegged for a while…had plenty of time to go to the bathroom, etc.

Madison, WI lights…

The flight from Madison to Dallas was about 2.5 hours long and uneventful.  I don’t normally have the window seat but I did this time it was nice to watch as all the twinkling lights went by.

Once at DFW, we had another 2.5 hours before our flight left so we stopped at Friday’s and got some dinner.  We split a cheeseburger and each got a cup of their french onion soup.  The soup was SO good I could have had an entire pot of it!

…Dallas, TX lights

The flight from DFW to San Antonio was uneventful as well and since we were only in the air about 45 minutes it went really quickly.

Since we didn’t have any baggage to pick up we made our way to the shuttle to the car rental place.  I was really shocked at how full the bus was…it was packed.  Thankfully, we were the third in line at the desk when we got to the rental place.  It took the guy a while to do all of the paperwork but we were finally sent out to the lot to pick up our car.

By the time we got home it was 12:40 am and we were tired!  By 1:00 am we were in bed but I did read until almost 1:30 am.

I guess it could have been a lot worse as I had tried to use up a good portion of what was in the freezer before we left.

We were up about 8:30 and noticed that our refrigerator was reading 43 degrees.  When Michael checked the freezer he found that the ice that should have been ice was water and all of the food was thawed out.  Ugh!  It was hard to part with everything…but in the dumpster it went.

Michael contacted George at GoRV and explained the problem and George is having Kenny come out tomorrow morning to take a look at it.  In the meantime…we have to figure out what we’re going to do if it turns out that Kenny can’t fix it tomorrow.

Worst case scenario, George orders a new fridge or whatever and does the actual fix when we get back here to Ft. Sam on February 3rd.  But we’ll have to have something to keep our food cold until then.  I guess we just wait until tomorrow when we hopefully will know more.

Chicken Fried Steak and eggs…good stuff.

We took the rental car back about 12:00 today and stopped for breakfast at Jim’s on the way since we had nothing in the house.  I had planned to go to the commissary afterward but since the fridge is on the fritz, that got thrown out the door.

We’ll spend the rest of the day working on PTB stuff and enjoying a bit of quiet time.  Tomorrow we’re off and running as Michael has two doctor appointments and now we have Kenny coming by to look at the fridge.


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