And the road goes on forever...

Friday, October 4, 2019

Happy Campers Again!

Yes, that’s right—a couple weeks ago we took possession of a 2015 thirty foot Hideout with a marvelous floorplan and only very lightly used. We actually found it at the same dealer as the last two we purchased so all in all felt we got a good deal. I absolutely adore the rear kitchen; it is so spacious with a full pantry and so much counter space. Plus, the trailer has huge picture windows on both sides. The only thing we are unhappy with is the furniture—it’s uncomfortable, not our style, and the huge U shaped dinette is a giant waste of space. We intend to rip it out completely, go with a free standing table and two chairs and probably (if they will fit) replace all else with just two nice recliners. We don’t have need of a hideabed or any extra bed space for that matter.
We managed to get away to a county park fairly close-by last weekend to try things out, where we proceeded to act like total newbies! Marc went off in such a hurry that he forgot half the stuff he needed—no generator, no CPAP 12V connection, no leveling blocks. That involved another trip back home to retrieve things and much wasted time for him. The weather wasn’t very conducive either, being rainy and windy most of the time. We had actually counted on having an electrical connection but all of those sites had reserved stickers on them. We still ended up with a lake view site but with no electric and fairly uneven as well. It’s probably not a campground we’d choose to go back to.
I have a bone to pick with it and many other campgrounds’ reservations policies. We talked with the ranger who said that on January 1st when reservations open for the year, some folks call in and reserve every major holiday and all the weekends! Unfortunately, when they have no plans to come, they don’t have the courtesy to call in and cancel so the site remains vacant and reserved so others can’t use it. This was the case during our weekend, when all the lakefront sites went beggingly empty yet we were unable to use them.
We have decided unless it’s a major holiday or somewhere special we have to be, we will look only for campgrounds that have at least half their sites first come basis or better yet, those campgrounds that offer no reservations. We figure with Marc’s ability to get off by noon on Fridays we should have no problem finding a site in this type campground. We’ve also decided never to leave home without the generator! Better prepared than sorry since Marc must absolutely be able to run his CPAP every night. 

I’ve been taking some time to scout around, trying to find suitable campgrounds within a two hour radius of home. I found a couple of nice county parks yesterday and also got in some nice fall foliage along the way. One county park has electric at almost every site and is mostly empty this time of year. It’s on a nice sized lake with many amenities. The other is much more remote; buried deep in the county forest, where the sites are tantalizingly close to the water, which is about a 250 acre lake. This would be very convenient for us with either of our boats, the aluminum or the inflatable as there is also a boat launch and dock right there and the boat could be left right beside the RV.
Our next outing will be next Friday-Sunday when Marc can get some more comp time off. He’s been really on the go, often driving 1000+ miles per week and working 14 hour days. We’d like to get in a few relaxing weekends for him before the snow flies. 

I continue to work on making more baskets for future sales for the shelter. We’ve been deluged with rain so the grass continues to grow rapidly so I’m still mowing every week. We are just seeing a real change in temps so it won’t be long before first frost more than likely. This trailer has an enclosed and heated underbelly so maybe we can extend our season just a little if the snow holds off. Many campgrounds close by Oct. 30th, though some stay open into Dec.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Marc's Back!

Marc arrived home for good and we’ve been very busy since with getting the large RV unpacked, cleaned, and up for sale. He had a few minor things to fix when we noticed that the desert heat got to the main slide seal and that the corner of the slide had been leaking. We noted it was repaired before so obviously the dealer didn’t mention a thing to us when we purchased it three years ago. 

We placed it out front and on Craigslist at a very reasonable price (six thousand below low book) but knew in our hearts we’d be happy just to clear the lien on it. After several interested parties, on Saturday we had a very nice couple from Appleton who have a seasonal site on a lake and were very excited to see it because of all its large windows. Within two hours they had wired funds to pay off our loan so all has gone very smoothly with the transaction even knowing they have repairs in front of them. But then, they also got a screaming deal on the thing. I am convinced no matter the build quality of the RV they all will eventually leak; it’s only a matter of when, not if. Marc next needs to make time to deliver it for them to their campground, which is only about 50 miles from here. They don’t have a truck large enough to tow it. 

We’re both still in a state of disbelief that Marc doesn’t need to catch a plane for the west again. He has started his new job already and will be overseeing several very large projects, one of which is in Tennessee! At least he will be home most nights and all weekends. To that end, we’re already out looking for another RV. There are a ton of RVs on the market here but probably 80+% of them are bunkhouses, which we don’t want. We may have to go newer than we originally wanted because many of those we’re looking at all have leaking slide issues, probably mostly undiscovered for the most part. Now we know what to look for, we go armed with a flashlight and check everything. 

It would be nice to find something so we could get out a few times before winter’s cold but if it takes until next Spring, that’s fine too. The weather has cooled here appreciatively in the past couple weeks and trees are starting to turn color. 

I have the bake sale coming up for the humane society soon and am working on getting the last of my bread baked for them. Around 25 loaves, plus I have now made about 11 baskets since Fall O’ Rama is also a large craft show so I will place those out for sale as well. I was busy with several other volunteers at the local brewery on selected Saturdays where we provided a brat fry as a fundraiser. That has proven a pretty good success for us so something we are likely to continue doing so I help out when my schedule allows. The brewery is very well done for a small town like Waupaca and we're all hoping it is a success for years to come.
I’ll plan to update these pages soon if we’re able to score on a camper. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I Parted Ways with the Pig

The Pig refers to the acronym they call the Piggly Wiggly store where I was working, so don’t get riled up that it’s something more dire. In the deli, I found I wasn’t getting enough hours to justify tying up my entire schedule plus there were just too many Chiefs and not enough Indians in that kitchen! Besides that, it’s summer now and I have plenty of yard work and interests to keep me going. I would consider returning to the bakery if the Work Nazi ever retires, as I really enjoyed that much more than deli. 

As we move into a mostly rainy summer, I am finished with working for the foreseeable future as we’ve had a major development occur. The entire time Marc has been gone from his former employer here in WI, the company has made outreach to stay in touch with him and about a year ago let it be known they would love to have him back. Marc stopped in to visit with them and keep the fires stoked occasionally, somewhat intrigued by the offer.
After my horrid winter alone, trying to manage all the snow, I began to bring up the idea that Marc’s working in the West was not the best thing for us. I have zero interest in being out there any longer, living in the crowded-with-Marc’s-junk RV, with three cats who must be contained inside all the time. I especially abhorred the idea of a return to Yuma for up to two years as the next slated project in line, which is a huge four-story building. 

The blush is off the rose for Marc too, of enduring this lifestyle living as a bachelor for a minute longer. So, we ebbed ever closer to really considering his former employer’s offer of returning and the die was cast. Only the details remain to be worked out: a start date, an exact salary. Marc of course, will finish his current project in Mesquite which hopefully might occur around the end of July. Once they start moving people in, he will need to remain to work out any little building quirks or failures, but he hopes to be able to start his move back to WI by the first portion of September. 

He’s set to arrive this weekend with his first load so his visit this time will be short. He’s doing a swing through Texas to visit daughter and son-in-law which further cuts into his precious time off. Once he’s back permanently we’ll address selling a bunch of trailers. The big RV will go, definitely one of the cargo trailers (we don’t need two!), maybe the flatbed and a utility trailer he built long ago. Also, under consideration will be selling the Freightliner. That will be the tough one as it will be a definite chapter closing forever. 

I have been busy making more jewelry and also got back into making some fabric bowls as I got invited to participate in a craft’s show on July 20th to try and sell my wares. Hopefully, they will sell well enough to at least gain some seed money to buy more supplies! I also finally got in the mood to tackle my big furniture redo of that orange pine armoire and after five days of sanding and applying finish, here’s the before and after. I heavily distressed the black chalk paint and am living with it for now to see if I may want to redo it into a solid coating. It's nice to be able to see the wonder and beauty of the wood grain. It turned out totally different than what I initially envisioned as I just worked with it as I went along. It’s just great to finally have it crossed off my “to do” list!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Currently...

I’m sick again! It seems to never fail that every time Marc flies home he ends up catching a virus which he then thoughtfully passes along to me so I can share in the misery. The only thing is that he ends up fending it off fairly quickly, while I suffer for weeks and weeks with it lingering a slow death. So, I’ve missed work and have been generally just feeling punky and out of sorts. 

Wisconsin is finally moving into summertime although a tad on the cloudy/rainy side. It’s back to mowing again but that’s not a chore I dislike as somehow it proves to be very cathartic. Kind of like a mindless, contemplative state which occasionally renders useful thoughts or ideas. Our second lot is an acre and the past two years I’ve let over half of it grow as meadow, which proves to be a good hunting patch for the cats. I’m considering expanding the meadow and just mowing the perimeter and around where we keep all the trailers parked which would further cut mowing chores. I recently scored some brass cranes off Craigslist which I’ve placed around the birch trees and I like the effect. The apple trees and lilacs are finally blooming and we planted a new Crabapple tree by the house. I also finally sprang for the purchase of a handmade wind spinner which I had lusted after for years and it’s like watching a mesmerizing ballet in motion.
The biggest change by far however is that spur of the moment I decided to empty and clean out my RV and get it out front for sale. That didn’t take long: within two hours the first guy who looked at it offered me cash, so it was a done deal. The next day we took care of the title DMV work and that evening he drove off with it. Given that he and his wife had been using a tent to camp in, they were absolutely thrilled with the thought of having their very first RV! It was sad to see it pulling out but I figured rather than sitting here depreciating with very little use, it was better off being gone. Marc always felt it was too small for the both of us anyway.
At some point there will likely be another RV in our future, but who’s to say? We still have the big one he is living in and have to decide its final disposal once he can retire. We’ve talked about placing it in a seasonal lakeside campground and using it like a cabin but that gets to be a big annual expense. On the other hand, that also requires keeping the Freightliner for towing it and I’d like to finally send that off to a new owner as well. It’s expensive to maintain, license and insure for no more use than it gets. 

I’ve got the annual Humane Society rummage coming up and although I opted out of running it this year due to my work schedule, I will still participate as much as I can. To that end, I spent lots of time making my glass flowers and a bunch of jewelry and if everything sells, that should net them in the neighborhood of $400 as my donation. I priced things below cost so they would move.
Marc is very happy to be entering the final few months of his project in Mesquite; this has been a particularly trying one given the quality of the manpower in that neck of the woods. And that's the polite way of phrasing it!