Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We've had an awesome visit so far at Nan and Lou's  Went to a street fair on Sunday - it was a sunny and 70 degree day - perfect!  Had pizza, then went our own ways - Nan and I shared a caramel/chocolate apple - yum!  Bought fudge to go with our Electric Raspberry Wine for an after-dinner treat once in a while. The only other accomplishment is to help Nan with some packing as they are moving into their motorhome full time...what to save - keep - move out there--decisions-decisions.

This morning, Nan and I started our Christmas cookie baking - made Chocolate balls (melted choc. chips, vanilla wafers, concentrated orange juice and powdered sugar, rolled into balls and into granulated sugar.  Supposed to ripen for 10 days before eating--good luck with that!  These are from both of our childhoods!  Then mixed up Grandma's molasses cookies and put choc. chips in middle while still hot out of the oven.  Also made Mexican wedding cakes - butter cookie dough wrapped around a half pecan to make a loaf and then baked and powder sugared when almost cool.  Still a couple to make yet, I think.  Also such a fun time with best friend!  We used to do this as kids!  But of course, we were more ambitions - cut out cookies and many kinds...we're more sensible now...lol.

Jerry's been working under the kitchen sink - eliminating water pump from rattling and other misc. stuff. 

Raining yesterday and today.  We have "Lake Davenport" in the sand in front of our rig.  Glad we have gravel under Kanga or we might we sinking in the sand..what a picture! 

Looked on the AZ PGR website and the only this this week is up in Mesa - 2 hrs north - an American Legion honor PGR night - would have been fun to go to. 

Nan and I are planning Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day Brunch...  Guess that's all for now.

Hugs & love!  A/S

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One more tire adventure...

Landed Thursday night at 6 pm right over the TX/ New Mexico border after traveling through El Paso at rush hour in I-10.  Jerry wanted to go straight through instead of doing the go-around north of the city and then west, as there would have been a lot of stop and go traffic there.  Wasn't too awful; of course, I had my foot on "my brake" all the way.  LOL  However, it was time to stop and get food and rest after about 400 miles. 

Just as we pulled into a truck stop parking area, the Pressure Pro sensors went off...one tire way low.  (Of course, Jerry had checked all tires before we set off and we put on all the senors and programmed them.)  Oh, well, too late to work on that now and we were too hungry and tired.  Mex food was authentic and good but spicy salsa!  wowser...heartburn later.

Friday morning Jerry aired up the low tire and checked the others...Decided we should have the tire checked out so we went to the nearest Discount Tire store - Las Cruces - 20 minutes up the road.  Sure, they will check it out but it will be an hour wait...ok - so we hem and haw and debate...I said I didn't want to change a tire on I-10 and Jerry's arthritic fingers would not like it either, so we waited.  Glad we did - a very sharp young man diagnosed that the valve stem was not sufficient enough for the pressure we are supposed to carry in our tires....so for $12 plus tax, he changed 5 of the 6 valve stems to the right ones, balanced the tires and 2-1/2 hrs after we pulled in, we were finally on our way to Tucson...5 hrs to go! 

Arrived without incident at Nan & Lou's at 6 PM.  Wonderful greetings and Nan had an awesome roast beef dinner waiting for us...what great friends we have!  Early to bed.  Will park Kanga today and get set up.  Hugs to all! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yippee - good news for a change

 Yippee - Truck out of shop, got tanks emptied (needed doing more than you'll ever know...LOL), got diesel fuel, propane tanks filled, water tank filled, truck being washed free as we speak. Should be ready to roll in the morning - 730 miles to go - Tucson here we come!

Got showers this morning as we finally had water again!  Had it for a bit last night, but the body shop guy whose hose we were using accidentally parked his truck on the hose and cut off our water....before we found it out, the hose and our pipes had frozen again as it was down around 13 again last night.  A comedy appropriate for the mess we've had this past week.   

I've been enjoying my genealogy time as there hasn't been anything else to do and too cold to go out.  Have found 3 more Revolutionary War Patriots, several relatives who were killed by Indians in mid-Tennesee in the 1760s, a family member whose daughter married the son of the first Gov. of Franklin, and who then became the first Gov of TN when Franklin was disbanded...(an interesting story in itself.  (Saw all about it on TV - "How the States Got their Shapes."  

Hope to go out for dinner tonight - ready for some out-of-the RV time.  

Appreciate all the kind thoughts and support this past week! 



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday, Dec 6 - survival mode

Well, it's been interesting.  For the most part we've been recluses in the confines of our cozy Kanga.  Jerry goes in the shop to check on the Ford and watch them work on it.  As of yesterday at 6 PM, head work is almost half done...may be done late today but we won't be able to leave until Wed. (noonish maybe) because of the cold temps.  Need to dump our tanks...getting dicey.  Even dicier this am as our water pipes/water pump froze.  Even though we left our cupboard doors open over night and the catalytic heater on, it was just too cold next to the outside wall where they are located.  Jerry found his distilled battery water (3 gal) which were in the garage and didn't freeze that we can use for toilet flushing...     Will go in the dealership to get water for drinking. 

Jerry's working with our next door neighbor, a private body shop, to keep our electricity going.  He only works there off and on and if we blow a circuit breaker, we have to start up the generator and wait for him to come back.  The generator seems to be running much better (maybe it's the umbrella thing - if you bring it, it won't rain) so maybe we won't need to use the new carburetor we bought for the gen.  That would be a nice $200 saved!  Think it just needed to be run more. 

Jerry and I went out in the heat of the day yesterday (4 degrees windchill) and walked about a block to the dollar store to buy a few groceries...milk, eggs, bread.  Egads high prices but glad it was nearby.

Good news is that I've had lots of wifi bytes available with our palm pixie hot spot and I've had lots of time to work on genealogy.  Found three more Revolutionary War heroes to add to my list...one, a Capt John Morgan on the Iossi-Bright side of the family.  Amazing stories I've read of the Indians killing two of his sons. 

Well, that's all for now...Hugs & love to all and stay warm!  S & J

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Update - good news for a change

Well, let's see.  Found an awesome repair place for our axle.  Wednesday later afternoon gently towed Kanga into Southwest Wheel in Lubbock (1 blk off MLK, Jr, drive) from the Ford dealer in Slaton.  Parked in their lot.  Unloaded BMW motorcycle from pouch and I drove truck back to Slaton and Jerry rode the bike.  Turned keys over to Ford to get working on the disassembly while they waited for parts to come in on Friday.  Both rode bike back to Southwest Wheel - 40 degrees with 20 mpr wind....brrrrr!

Spent the night without incident even though we were on the "wrong side of the tracks."  On Friday, Les, our axle man, greeted us at 8 am and they pulled Kanga into the shop.  I hung out in the office area with Julie (office manager) who set up up with a desk to sit at to do my sudoku and computer stuff.  Jerry oversaw work and was so pleased.  Les took us to lunch at a local eatery, Cast Iron Grill.  Family owned for years and awesome food and very friendly staff.  It happened to be pajama day so all the wait staff had on their cute flannels, etc.  Desserts to die for.  Very reasonable prices.  Try it if you're ever in Lubbock! 

By 2 PM we were ready to roll.  Les did a fantastic job.  Never did determine definite cause but did find the nuts were on a little too tight when he checked the other 5 wheels.  This could have caused heat build up and problem.  At any rate, the shop in Blue Grass who did the wheel packing before we left has agreed to reimburse us 80% of the cost.  Yippee! 

3 PM our hired tow vehicle (had to hire someone as we had no truck) arrived to tow Kanga back to the Ford dealership lot where we will be staying til the truck is done...  Turned out to be Gus' Lube Services - a man a wife team who do this with the pickup truck with a 5th wheel hitch along with    mobile oil changes, rock chip repairs, etc.  Phyllis and Gus ended up being an awesome couple.  She is a retired 3rd grade teacher from Lubbock and Gus is a US citizen who was born in Uruguay, SA.  They kindly let us stop at a gas station and fill up the generator resevoir with gas as we were told there was no electricity for us to plug into at the dealership. 

Back at the dealership, we were parking Kanga, and J went into the shop to get our parking blocks etc.  The Ford hadn't been touched!  Well, I was ranting and raving about all the hassle we had to go through and the extra $100 for getting towed when we could have used our truck after all. I the meantime we finished setting up and Gus wanted to see our BMW and Phyllis wanted to see Kanga's inside so we invited them in.    (They have an older smaller rv).   Gus was so sweet - he said he would discount our fee to $50. PTL (For some reason they took a shine to us and said if we're ever in Lubbock, we should get ahold of them and come to their home for a steak - Uruguay style.  Super nice people.  Really did like them. 

Jerry went into the shop and talked to Mike, our mechanic.  He will begin disassembly today.  Parts did come in yesterday, so that's progressing.  Finally about 4:30 we got to relax.  Leftovers for dinner, thank heavens! 

Later in the evening, Sonny, body shop manager - we're parked next to his building, knocked on the door and offered us electricity.  Jerry strung out our shore power cord and we were all set...til about an hour later when he tried to make popcorn in the microwave and tripped the circuit breaker in the shop.  Not sure why...obviously the cord to his shop couldn't handle the voltage....   So back on generator - that's OK - we have lots of gas and it's pretty quiet.  Maybe Sonny will be back in today and we can work on the electrical issue.

Rained a little in the night but luckily it didn't blow and our slide leak didn't show up.  Yippee!  Sun shining today and it is supposed to be near 50.  However, snow tonight and again on Monday with 4" expected then....we hope to leave Tuesday, but will have to check the road conditions, etc. 

Life's adventures continue but we are so blessed!  Challenges will always be in our lives...it's how we handle them that counts.  Will try to destress....LOL!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Almost disaster...the saga continues

Egads, if we didn't have bad luck, we'd have no luck at all...or maybe it's the Devil playing with us and trying our patience.  At any rate, the saga continues with more problems.

Wednesday, took just the truck to pick up the new generator carburator and spark plugs (which possibly seem unnecessary now since the generator has been operating fine since they diagnosed it needed a new caburator- not sure about that deal.)  Tried to get diesel fuel at two Walmarts - one wasn't a Walmart anymore (Maybe we need to buy a 2012 atlas with the Walmart listings since ours is an 09) and one didn't sell diesel...   Did buy a new diesel gas can for the back of the pickup in which we carry our 5 gallons of emergency diesel fuel as the old one broke.  Got some lunch.  Back to the rig at the Elks, filled up with water, packed up, did the tire pressure check and lug nut tightening procedure.  Did not take time to put the pressure pro sensor on the new tire from Tuesday.  (duh)

Headed out US 82 west from Wichita Falls toward Lubbock.  As busy as 82 was from Texarkana to Wichita Falls on Tuesday, it was the opposite on Wednesday - very little traffic.  Terrain changed from small hills and wooded areas to the dry desert flatland where they grow cotton and raise cattle...small towns far apart.

Found a Ford dealership to do an oil change on Thursday morning in a suburb of Lubbock (love our Nuvi that gives you all kinds of neat info).  Called ahead, yes we could park o/n in their parking lot.  Yippee.  Arrived at 5:45 pm and as we were parking found WE ONLY HAD 5 WHEELS!  Yup the brand new wheel, hub, brake drum all were missing (the tire we replaced on Tuesday!)  Don't have any idea where/when we lost it.  Guess it is a good thing we have 3 axles! 

Called back to the mechanic who had all 6 wheels off to repack wheel bearings day before we left Iowa.  He is standing by his work and seems like he is willing to pay for repairs.  Very nice guy to work with...which was our first impression a couple of months ago. 

Thursday morning...time now...oil change being done and pressure test on gas cap as we are again losing major amounts if anitfreeze.  For the past 10 days, we couldn't see any sign of where it was leaking but yesterday J thought it was coming out the gas cap even though it is the 2nd gas cap since last March.  Why not.  Called an axle dealer in Lubbock who recommended an RV dealer to take Kanga to.  Called them and got an appointment for 8 AM tomorrow.  Can even park in their lot o/n so will go there about 4:30 today...only about 20 minutes away, so that is good. 

Tried to get online today and couldn't so spent an hour with the Verizon 2nd level tech to get our Palm Pixies updated and working.  Glad we got that solved and I'm a lot smarter about them now, so think that's a good thing. 

We are really exhausted...all this stress due to breakdowns is taking a toll.  Jerry's taking a nap - hope he can get caught up on sleep today. 

Will hope for good news tomorrow regarding Kanga repairs.  At least there is an Alco axle dealer here in Lubbock.  (Last time -- last fall-- we needed an axle we were about 90 miles south of St. Louis and had to travel there to pick up the axle for repairing Alfie.) 
Will keep all of you posted--you're all probably tired of hearing about all of this stuff...but it is good for me to vent so will continue to bore you with the whole affair.    (Had to laugh, was talking to best friend this morning and we decided maybe our guardian angel was zoned out yesterday and must be a blonde.  So I suggested maybe she could become a redhead.  But Nan thought maybe we should trade her in for a younger model. So glad to laugh through the mental pain.) All kidding aside, we feel very fortunate that it wasn't worse and it could have been.  Lots of good points to remember.  Hugs & love to all....you keep us in your prayers.

As you can see below - bare bones.  Tip of axle and grease zerk is at a 45 degree angle...ugly.