Friday, June 14, 2024

So Close to Getting New Motorhome...


When Nancy emails me and asks for the status of the new motorhome, it kinda tells me that I had better write another Blog about this...

So, the bottom line has not changed...the Credit Union wants their name as the Lien Holder on the Title before releasing the $$$, the RV Dealer wants the $$$ before they release the motorhome to us EVEN THOUGH we are the registered owner with the DMV, all the dealer paperwork shows we are the owner, we sit.  BUT there has been progress...

We received our Florida License Plate today...and our Vehicle Registration!!!   Wait, if we have those, shouldn't the Title show the Credit Union as the Lien Holder?  Well, it does (as of yesterday) AND it doesn't.  

Although the Title shows the Credit Union as the Lien Holder, it still lacks the words ACTIVE where above it says, PENDING DEALER TRANSACTION.   Florida Law is very clear that it is the DEALER who has to file the title ELECTRONICALLY as soon as possible.  Here is a portion of a memo sent to all dealers about four years ago:

"This important message is regarding your dealership’s responsibility to process transactions promptly.

Section 319.23(6)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that in the case of the sale of a motor vehicle or mobile home by a licensed dealer to a general purchaser, the certificate of title must be obtained in the name of the purchaser by the dealer upon application signed by the purchaser, and in each other case such certificate must be obtained by the purchaser."

So today, after communication with the bank when I came to realize that the "PENDING DEALER TRANSACTION" was important, I sent an email near the end of today's business hours, asking them to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!! file this electronically ASAP, and sent a link to the full memo from the State of Florida to dealers, and a PDF of the Title showing the PENDING DEALER TRANSACTION on it.

I am sure that there are times that the amount of paperwork these businesses have to do is enormous.  However...the amount of patience that WE HAVE is about to run out. 

UPDATE:  As of 8 pm, I checked the Florida Title Search and our Electronic Title now shows ACTIVE!  I think we should have our new baby home with us by Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Rained on our Parade


Did I ever tell y'all that just don't like dealing with certain type of situations?  With the purchase of the new Motorhome Van, we have had THE GREATEST salesperson, which is why I was so glad we did not have to deal with a new dealership.  Well, all was falling into place until I called the loan officer at our credit union to see how everything was sitting.  He said that the loan had been fully funded, and all should be fine.  I asked if he had talked to the business manager at the dealership to let him know the status...of which he said, "No, but I would be glad to call him."   About 30 minutes later, we get "THE CALL".  The first business manager was off, so he talked to an equal level manager who happened to have worked there about 10 years longer.  He insisted that they will not release the vehicle until all money had been received by them.  The Credit Union won't release the funds until Title has them listed as a Lien Holder.  What can we do now???

Johnny Cash Water Tower, Kinglsand, AR  2022

Although we felt like we were receiving the fall out from the vandalism at the Johnny Cash Water Tower, I suggested that perhaps we could still go over there today (Tuesday, a good 90 minute drive) and sign all the paper work, pay the rest of the down payment, and go through orientation and final walk through. Then, go home without the motorhome so that even though it technically is now ours, they would have not released custody so technically they can register the title with the credit union as the lien holder and still be within "Company Guidelines".  The credit union will FedEx the check.  Then we could take possession of the motorhome.  

Many a young lad has seen who can 'do it' the best

The "P" war would be over between the two companies, and we would get our new travel home.  Moments later the 'seasoned' business manager called and layed out the above scenario as if "he" came up with it and asked me if that would work out...I said "OK".  Marcia did not sleep well at all, I slept a bit better than normal. (what's up with that???)  So as we finished signing our life away, least the next 5 years of our lives, the guy says, "Would you like us to deliver the motorhome when it is cleared?"   Yes, we said...that will save another trip through all that traffic.  THAT even pacified Marcia, so all is well...yet we are still motorhomeless...

Since we have done so much RVing, the orientation centered a lot on the electronics.  That is going to be a learning ordeal even for this techie.  And talk about advancements in has Lane Keep Assist.  Turn it on, and start getting out of your lane, it was beep, it will pull you back, and it will spit on your face just in case you fell asleep.  A GPS which shows up on the dash and on the large screen between driver and passenger.  If you need a rest area, just push a button and say "Rest Area" and it will show you a list of upcoming rest areas.  It is going to take awhile to learn all this monster can do...but the good thing is, you don't have to activated each component. 

As of now, our fingers and paws and crossed that we get our new motorhome van REAL SOON.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Missing Our Motorhome(s) and Introducing . . .

Our First Motorhome, 40' American Eagle

It has been 3 full months (and a few days) since we have been "Motorhomeless".  Oh, the pain we feel...  WHY does it hurt is something I explore today...not listed in any order...

Second Home 

All of our motorhomes (3 of them) have been a second home to us.  It is nice to be on the road and yet feel like you are still at home.  The hardest part is when it breaks and you find yourself in a "Motel" for a few nights.  One thing that is very nice about a motorhome is...if you don't like your neighbors, move on...which we have done a few times.

Our Second Motorhome, 32' Jayco Melbourne

Safety Valve to escape Hurricanes

When you live in Hurricane Country, you like having an escape.  "IF" a hurricane comes to close to where you live, but does not wipe out your home, you could be faced with living with no electricity for a prolong period of time.  Frequently after a Hurricane passes, the temps climb back up into the 90's with Humidity also in the 90's which equals HELL!  Having a motorhome means you can leave before it hits, come back when it is all safe again, and all the while, living in the comfort of your second home.

Visiting Friends and Family

When we travel, we frequently are visiting friends and family.  Not only has it allowed us to spend countless months in Sacramento lending a helping hand with mom and when he was alive, dad...but visiting children, brothers, sisters, cousins, and long-time friends.  We will be always grateful for the ability to help with mom and dad, to be there when dad passed from this life to the next, but Marcia was able to visit her hometown area and see cousins and other relatives and a friend or two throughout the country also.  

Visiting Interesting Places

When we got married back in 2011, Marcia would have never imagined that she would visit places like Alaska, National Parks and National Monuments too numerous to name.  Yet some of our special memories also lay in areas around Truckee, Quincy, Gold Beach, Lake Pleasant and many others where it was just peaceful and kicked back areas.  One of the last library conferences I attended was out west, and Marcia and I drove, by car, there and back.  On the way back, on the spur of the moment, we drove over to Moab and drove through Arches National Park for a quick 90 minute visit.  As we left she had me call mom and the excitement in her voice as she told hereeverything we saw.  She had NO IDEA what laid in store for her over the next 13 years!

Our Third Motorhome, 28' Dynamax Isata

Interesting People

There have been so many interesting people we have met along this path.  Fellow bloggers, some of whom we 'wish' we knew they were in the same area, sometimes the same parking lot, as us and we did not connect.  If I start naming names, I would leave someone I will leave it at that.  There were also some interesting people that we never knew until either we pulled up next to them, or they to us.  Here are just a few special ones.

Maxine from Ontario:  Maxine is/was this lady in her late 80's.  She pulled a small trailer with her little Toyota SUV or Wagon.  She drives up, pulling that trailer, from Ontario each year to Seward, where she parks in the large boondocking campground there.  She was such a wonderful neighbor.  This is where Skruffy got real sick, and we had to cut out and get to Soldotna where my next 'special person' saved Skruffy's life.

Veterinarian, Dr. Marie “Meezie” Hermansen:  One of the most important people we met because it was HER that saved Skruffy's life...her and prayers.  I wrote a blog post about her which I will refer you says it all.  Skruffy’s Doctor -- Born to Fish, Vet by Choice, and a Storyteller

Unnamed Traveler:  This lady I met walking the dogs at a KOA doggie park.  I never did catch her name, but she was a talker and had stories to tell.  Her husband was a Captain in the L.A. Fire Department.  They traveled for over ten years in a large Class A gas motorhome….visited every state, every Canadian province, and even a few states in Mexico.  Then her husband got a hernia…had complications….died from it.  She downsized, and goes out for months at a time alone, despite her age of mid-70's to mid-80's…with her two dogs. She told me this story of how her husband made her change a flat tire in the Class A.  As a firefighter, he wanted her to be able to be self sufficient.  So she got that side up on motorhome's levelers so the tire was up off the ground.  He taught her how to use her leverage, along with the proper tools, to get the lugs to get the tire to get the good tire back on.  He, in the meanwhile, was down under the motorhome just checking things out when a CHP Officer drives up and approaches her to help.  "No," she says, "If I did that, my husband would have to kill you..."  That startled the officer until he hears this laughter coming from under the motorhome.  Her husband slides out, introduces them as his wife continues to do the work, and he explains the situation, which the officer just nods and walks back to his car and takes off.  She told me that she was around 60 when this took place...what a lady she was.

Small World Folks:  Amazing how many times we met someone who either lived by one of us, or lived by and know some of the same people we know.  Like while in Alaska we stayed at a RV Park for an extended time while Skruffy was sick.  We had her out on "furlough", which turned out to be permanent, and while sitting out in the sun one day a lady and her young daughter came over.  The lady asked if her daughter could pet the dog...I explained that she was sick, and the lady already knew all about it.  I asked where she was from, she said Blue Springs Missouri...right where my cousin Casey lived, right where mom and dad use to live, and come to find out she went to the same church as mom, dad and Cassie and her dad and my dad were good friends.  Or the time at Devils Tower when I see a couple with Arkansas license plates.  I dropped by say hello and see where they were was White Hall...where my kids were raised, where one of the Libraries I was over is located (both used the library all the time) and their home was less than a mile from the house my kids were raised in.  Another took place in Bakersfield while we stayed at the Orange Grove RV Park.  Here is how this encounter went:

Asked this guy in the new truck with older 5th wheel where he was from…

    “Sacramento” he said.
    “We are headed there…” I said.  “Left Florida Wednesday night.”  Got that look….
    “Wow, that is some traveling!”
    “Yep…headed for my sister’s backyard in Citrus Heights…”
    “Well, that is really where I am from…where at in Citrus Heights?”
    “Off Antelope…” as I described the area.
    “Heck, that is just down the street from me…I live right by the old Van Marin homestead….”

We talked some more…but what a small small world this is.  He ate at the restaurants I worked at, he knew of Arny’s Corvette Body Shop on Auburn, etc. etc.  But he did not know Arny, although they both have lived within 1/2 mile of each other for years and years.
The Motorhomes

Above you can see the three different Motorhomes we have owned.  The American Eagle we had from November 2011 to May 2013.  After a major breakdown, and realizing that I was not enjoying driving such a large vehicle, we stepped down to the 32' Jayco Melbourne.  We had that Motorhome from June 2013 till March 2014 when it was caught up in a RV Storage Fire which turned her to ahses.  A short month later we purchased the Dynamax Isata, which we kept from April 2014 until February 2024 when we donated it.  We put nearly 100,000 miles on that Motorhome, and she was a good one.  So, where does that leave us?

Introducing the 2024 Thor Sequence 20L

Yesterday we put a $5k down payment on this Silver Sequence 20L.  It is on a Ram Promaster 21' Chassis, and if everything goes right, and it should, we bring her home on Tuesday.  This is the first Motorhome that we did not pay cash for...but we will put more than 50% down and expect to pay it off in three years (it is a five year loan through our Credit Union).  Will plan to take more pictures and post more about it next week.  The memories will continue...see you all down the road somewhere, some place.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mom Turns 94


Here is Mom at Olive Garden where, when asked by Patti and Sandy where she wanted to go, she picked there.  After having the Soup and Salad selection, they brought this HUGE Tiramisu with a candle...which she "ate every bite" according to Sandy a little after she sent me the picture.

Patti and Sandy had a great idea about a month ago and that was to get a bunch of cards and pictures and stuff sent to Mom for her birthday.  Here was the start of the collection.

My daughter Stephanie painted this landscape picture for her.

Patti's daughter Ashley sent this funny-cute card which, in case you can't read it, goes as follows: 

Happy Birthday!

If anyone teases you about getting older, remember what you learned in Sunday School...

Turn the other Cheak.

All of this, plus a few more things, now hang on her walls along with a few things which are on her dresser/table in her room ... she will enjoy it all for a long, long time.

Note:  This is the first birthday Marcia and I have missed attending in the last 13 years.  I have mentioned before that Mom and I, when I was around 4 years old, would sit at the piano just about everyday for a short time while all my older brothers were in school, and our sister's had not been adopted yet...we would sing, "You are my sunshine...", one of the few songs mom could play.  Well, I found a You are my Sunshine card which became her 94th birthday card...push a little button in one of the corners and it plays the song.  Also found a music box with a Mamma Bear and Baby Bear (pictured below), and it too plays "You are my Sunshine".  One of the caregivers at the home sings that song with mom just about every day...

May the sun continue to shine in Mom's life for as long as the Lord allows her to be here...

Sunday, April 7, 2024

New 'To Us' Motorhome, Gator, More Birds


There's the Motorhome of our Dreams!  Heck, we are ready to sell the condo and just live in this baby forever!!!  Slab City here we come!  (Click Here if you don't know about Slab City.  I do not think I need to say, Late April Fools Day do I???)  

Here is the Gator that hangs out at the pond in front of the Library.  That is a White Ibis in the background.  I am guessing that the Gator is around 6' from nose to tail.  I have never seen it out of the water, and I have never seen it attack anything, but one day he was in about the same spot and he sure had his eye on a bird closer to him than that Ibis is at.  Anyway, I coughed a few times, and it turned its attention to me and swam all the way across the pond to close to where we were.  Of course, I got Indy into the car right away.  I drove away to a nearby store to buy a couple of Lotto Tickets, and on the way back to the Condo I pulled back into the Library and parked in the same location...the Gator was way over across the pond again.  I did a loud forced cough a few times and again it raced all the way over to where I was.  

This is the only day it ever reacted to me as I have tried coughing a few times more and got nothing...kinda like what I got on my Lotto Tickets!

Ibis hang out at the Library Pond the most.  I had not seen the Glossy Ibis, bottom two pictures above, but there have been 8-10 of them hanging out in the neighborhood.

Over at Anclote Park the Bird of the Day is the Pelican.  On a fairly calm day, they hang out near the boat launching area hoping to catch some scraps from fishermen who clean their catch before pulling their boats out of the water. 

Of course, there are other birds at Anclote Park.  Below is a Great Blue Heron

Well, everyone probably wants to know how the motorhome search is going.  The past few weeks have been eaten up with visits from Home Health.  When Marcia went to the Neurologist he suggested that she have Home Health come to the house for Mind Therapy.  What we did not expect was that he set up Home Health for Mind Therapy, for Occupational Therapy and for Physical Therapy.  The OT decided after the one visit that she did not need OT, so now we are down to two.  Marcia likes both the Mind and the Physical Therapists, but she is still not sold on the idea of having Physical we will see how that goes.  On Tuesday we need to go back to the Neurologist for an EEG (electroencephalogram), then she has Therapy Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  I did get our taxes in the mail along with the First Quarterly Tax Payment, so at least that's another big item off the list.  Hmmm...wonder how much they want for that old bus RV conversion???

Monday, March 25, 2024

NEVER Thought We Would Be Homeless

We run into homeless folks all the time here in Holiday Florida...never thought we would be joining the ranks of being homeless.  But you know, it just takes one event in your life to turn the tables around.  Might be a fire.  Might be a Squatter problem.  Might be that you just can't afford the taxes, insurance and HOA fees.  Perhaps a United Airlines plane flew over and dropped an engine on your house.  In our case it is none of is . . .

After having our motorhome for ten years, driving 90K miles (give or take), it was time to make a move.  After talking to the representative we were dealing with to buy another motorhome, it became apparent that we were going to be lucky to get $5K for the Isata due to a list of items that needed to be repaired.  Areas of the paint needed attention.  The slide awning ripped on our recent trip home.  The fresh water tank sprung a leak sometime last summer.  A check engine light came on somewhere in Texas on our way home, although it did not affect the operation of the engine, although it has been using just a little more oil these past few years than it use to.  The Radio/GPS busted a couple of years ago.  The carpet needed to be replaced throughout.  And the generator has not worked for about four years.  I am sure there are other items, but that list alone makes it an "AUCTION" motorhome when you deal with an RV dealer.  

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Changes Are Coming


Well, it is time for some changes...

HHR pulled by American Eagle

HHR pulled by Jayco

HHR pulled by Dynamax

We have been RVing, in general terms, since 2012, although I had lived in a 5th Wheel from late 2005 till 2011 when I remarried (to Marcia in February) and we bought an American Eagle in November of that year.  By March 2012 my daily duties at the Library I was the Director of essentially ended and we hit the road in April.  Shortly after we got married, we bought our 2009 HHR LT in Pine Bluff.  The one thing that has been consistent in our travels has been the HHR.

In 2022 our HHR essentially got COVID.  Well, it got sick...the Check Engine Light was on and nothing I did seemed to help it.  With some help from Arny and his buddy Steve, I changed the Air Filter, Spark Plugs, Coils, Fuel Injectors, Air Flow Sensor and Throttle Body along with the O2 Sensor.  (I think I covered everything).  That pesky Check Engine Light just would not stay away.  We came home a bit earlier that year in late August, and I took the HHR to a local shop I had used before and they said it was a bad computer.  They replaced the computer, and the spark plugs (again because the richness of gas mixture it was getting made them black) and the check engine light remained off for about 50 miles.  But it was still running real good, so I did what I do, ignored it.

Brings us to 2024.  The HHR has over 270,000 miles, and that does not count the over 100,000 miles from being towed behind our 3 different motorhomes.  THAT is a lot of miles.  The suspension is worn, the idiot light still on, and gas millage dropped down into the lower teens from its normal mid twenties.  

Time for another HHR...which they don't make this was going to tough to do.  We like the HHR for two reasons...easy to tow, and easy for Marcia to get in and out of, it has been the easiest car for her to get into and out of with her MS and her advanced age.

LUCK was with us, a 2006 HHR, with only one owner who had the oil changed every year and who drove it about 4,000 miles a year (via carfax) was available from a local car dealer for $6k.  Figuring we could get $500 for our HHR, we had the funds to pay for it outright.  Went over to see it and BAD LUCK struck.  A previous potential buyer wanted it, they put it in their shop for a check, and they failed it due to suspension problems.  Although it was still in their yard, they could not sell it as it even at a discount to me who promised to have the suspension worked on.  GRRRRRR!

So we took the HHR to Wray's Automotive on Wednesday, the place that fixed the breaks for the motorhome last year.  First, the engine...  All it turned out to be was a faulty Air Flow Sensor, which he said the one we put in back in 2022 was CHEAPLY MADE!  He wrote up an estimate for the suspension work, where they are going to put in new shocks/Struts front and back, Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly, Tie Rod and Coil Spring for rear.  At just over $2k, we should have a much smoother and safer driving car which we hope will last another 100K or more...that work will be late next week.

So, the BIG CHANGE is that we are looking to move to a Class B Van, with our eyes on a 2024 Thor Dazzle, among other RV Vans.  Went by General RV in Tampa and Marcia was able to get into and out of the Dazzle without a problem.  Also looking at a few other Thor B Vans, but trying to stay away from any that were made in 2021 and 2022 due to problems manufactures had due to COVID and product shortages.  Dazzle has only been around for two years now.  The van is 21 feet in length, 6.5 feet width, on a Ram ProMaster 3500 XT with a V6 gas engine.  

But we have put this on hold right now in order to try and sell our current motorhome (which is well used and shows its age) AND so the Doctor can try to fix my knees (which are well used and show their age).

So this past Tuesday I visited Coastal Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: Dr. Peter Candelora.  As this was my first visit, it took nearly two hours for them to get all the info they needed and for the Physician's Assistant to do a quick evaluation.  Essentially I need to come back on the 14th of March, have both knees fully X-rayed a week or two before my visit, and he put me on Diclofenac 75mg twice a day in place of Advil.  After two and a half days of being on this medicine, my knees both feel much better...nearly tolerable.  Unfortunately, this drug is not a long-term solution since long-term use will ruin your Liver and Kidneys.  Nothing is easy in quick fixes.

So our search for a RV Van is on hold, unless a GREAT Deal comes along.  In the mean time, we will search out a buyer for our 2005 Dynamax Isata which has been a very good home on wheels for us.  No use in buying a new motorhome, just to let it sit around until I recover from knee surgery "IF" this leads to that.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

January 2024

Crystal Beach Florida

Hard to believe that January is nearly gone.  The "good news" coming out of the month is that we saw our primary doctor, and we both had better results (blood test, etc) than last year.  I still have high blood pressure, Marcia still has high Cholesterol.  With me, it is more a case of "white coat hypertension".  My doctor in Arkansas realized that when he would visit with me for a good 15 minutes and then take a second reading (nurse gave the first upon my arrival) and each and every time it dropped.  Not that I don't have high blood pressure, I do...but not as high as the 'test' says when taken when I first arrive.  At home, my pressure taken by my wrist pressure kit, is normally pretty good, so I took my wrist pressure kit with me just to see if there is a difference and show results I had from the previous 10 days.  There was a difference, the wrist test showed even a higher one than the nurse at least I know my pressure kit is working, perhaps a little on the high side.

Crystal Beach Florida

I will be seeing a Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialist in two weeks.  Both of my knees are hurting, with the right knee being the worse.  Hope NOT to have major surgery, but this is my first visit to a Orthopedic Doctor, so let's wait to see what he says.

Pond at the Public Library, full of birds.

Our weather for January has been fairly typical.  We had a low one night in the upper 30's, although where we live it may have only got down to 40 or 41.  Our highs have been in the 70's and low 80's during most days, with just a small number where they were only in the high 50's and into the 60's.  

Wood Stork

Blue Heron

Wood Storks

Great White Egret

So far we have not had any sicknesses to speak of.  A few mornings we were a bit more congested than normal, but it did not amount to anything.

Mom, on the other hand, had another UTI, which is the third or fourth since she had the Antibiotic Infusion treatment back when we were still in California.  The doctor FINALLY has put her on a daily antibiotic pill, and we are hoping that this works.

In 1993 Joe Montana was traded to KC.  Being a 'loyal' Northern California boy, my football teams were the Raiders and the Niners, and among the 'hated' teams were the Rams, the Coyboys, the Steelers and the Chiefs.  This gave me a bit of a dilemma, because mom and dad moved to the Kansas City area in '92 or ' I relented and made KC one of my favorite teams.  In 2020 they Both were in Superbowl 54, Kansas City won.  Now they play again in this year's Superbowl, and my heart is with the Niners, but if KC wins, all is good.