Friday, February 26, 2010

Charging Ahead

I can’t believe the Olympics are over in two days. There have been so many surprises this year. Especially with Lindsey Vonn falling so many times, and the tragic death of the Georgian luger the day before opening ceremonies. The weather has been horrible the first week, and difficult with snow and fog the second. Kudos to all the participants, especially the USA. Mesa, our jeep, has been in “the hospital” for a week getting her plumbing fixed. She now does not leave spots where she is parked. She also has a brand new roof top. It’s the original type of material and color. She looks brand new and now we can see out the back window! We went to camping world to see about hitches. Because Camping World suggested the Roadmaster and Brakemaster systems to the tune of 3900 dollars, we thought we’d check out some hitch places around our town. We were impressed with AAA Hitches, a family run business since 1992 in Bradenton. Tracy gave us a quote on a Blue Ox and Roadmaster. They were a few hundred dollars different, so after I talked with Donny about the placement of the Brakemaster plate, I asked his opinion on which one he’d choose, and he said it was like a choice between a Ford and a Chevy. So we went with the Blue Ox – hey a couple hundred bucks is a couple hundred bucks. Tristan refused to take Tasha, so she will start a new adventure and go with us! We got her a harness, instead of a collar ensuring that we can put a leash on her so she can go outside near us once in while. Right now, she acts as though there is a brick on top of her, so crawls around on her belly. She knows something’s going on, because she is sleeping between us on the bed – not at the foot, but up near our heads. Meowing in the middle of the night is getting old real fast, but we try to assure her all day that even though her world is about to turn upside down, we will be there with her, and that she will have an adventure few kitties ever have. We also started paying our bills on line – something we should have been doing years ago. Our friend at Wachovia, Kim Buttera, explained how easy it was, and we set it up in about 1 minute! Yay – THAT was easy. Meanwhile, Gary purchased a Verizon aircard so that we could have in-motion computer action. He tried to install it on my computer first, and screwed it up. I think because I was connected already with my Netgear card. Anyway, I will only have to deal with difficult connection for another month, then we will be on the aircard from month to month unless we are at a campground with free wi-fi. Mailed our taxes in, got our RV insurance for Bella, and got a lawn service for the house. We did some major yard work and it looks great in the back yard. We bought a new mattress for the RV and when it arrived, we brought it back to UPS and shipped it to Texas so that we could sleep on it on the way home next week. Then we sat for the kids on Saturday and Sunday while M&B went to Naples for a couple nights. We also went to the dump with our e-scrap and dumped the 20 buckets of paint. In between this, and runs to Walmart, we packed, cleaned, signed a rental contract with Ellen, trucked stuff to our storage units every day at least once, and then did daily stuff – wash, ate and collapsed into bed. I also organized three guys to come help us move on the 27th. Whew. CHARGING AHEAD.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Best News

Haven’t written in so long. I kept thinking I need to write, I need to write, but there was so much to do. First the very best news was that Gary is done with his radiation! YAHOOOOO. He just needs to heal and get his hair growing back. There is a little fuzz on the top, so it hopefully won’t be too long before we see long glossy hair. (not) We have decided on a name for our new home: BELLA. It’s maybe a southeastern morph of Texas Belle. Anyhow, I keep looking at all the photos I took of her inside and out and can’t believe she’s ours. I sent a group e-mail to all our friends and relatives, and I love reading the responses we are getting about how BIG she is. A lot of our relatives have revised their invitations of parking in their driveway after viewing the photo of us standing in front of her. Stewart, at Motorhomes of Texas, was so great, taking so much of his weekend with us knowing that he didn’t really need to convince us that she was for us. Since then, I’ve emailed and called him and he’s always there to answer our questions and give us advice. Gary and I drove to Camping World in Seffner this morning to make an appointment for installing a tow bar on Mesa and Bella. Well, talk about sticker shock! Mesa is currently at Bradenton Jeep getting her oil leak fixed and other little things spiffed up for the road, then she will go to Convertible Tops for a beautiful new top, then we will take her to get her tow bar. It’s a good thing we’re selling the Escape, because it will take all of that money and a little more to get all this stuff put on. We’re spending money like we have it. We were talking to Martha, a fulltimer, who works for Camping World all over the US along with her husband, who is a technician, to pay the bills. We are SO going to have to work. I would love to have a job that I can do daily a little at a time on the internet, or something that I can mail back and forth to someone. We’ll see what I can come up with. Meanwhile, we’ll just keep forking it out. On March 16 we’ll run over to Casting and apply for jobs in the winter. But right now, I am preparing for launch just to go get our Bella and bring her home. We’ve rented two spaces at Compass Storage, and a RV space for the 13th. Saturday we hauled down the Christmas stuff and drove over to the storage space and unloaded that and the boat. Everyday it is something – actually a lot of somethings – but I am so excited about our new life that it's fun. It’s also a big unknown – we’re hurtling towards this big giant door that, just as we almost crash into it, will open and we will fly into another world. It is so inconceivable to me how we’re going to make this work. Will we be able to afford to maintain this lifestyle for years? Will we want to crisscross America to see everything we can and experience all the fabulous things we can? What about accidents or health issues? Who knows? I shrug and think about the reason we are doing this. Life is short and sometimes it gives you a knock upside the head to remind you. I've never worried about the future before, and I'm not going to start now. We will manage, and probably have a ball doing it!
Anyway, back to the present – the Olympics have begun and I love hearing the words United States of America. Evan Lysacek just won a silver on short skating program (possibly) and Jeremy Abbott is up next. He is a contender for second place, but just did a single instead of a triple. Ugh oh. Even though he is skating to the Beatles, he looks defeated. But I give them so much credit. I love skating, but I have never believed that I could ever even do one spin (I'm dizzy, remember). But I love watching them and I can’t wait for the woman’s free skate long program. The effort and strain they put on their bodies is tremendous. They're doing what they love, and that makes it worth it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Close Call

Up on time, took the shuttle with 40 other people, had a coffee at Starbucks, headed to the gate and boarded. I brought my e-book, but didn’t bring the charging cord, so when it said low battery, I turned it off. Bummer. Very fast flight to Dallas, but it took 15 minutes to get to the opposite terminal. We hung out at the Admiral’s club, and since I thought the flight left at 10:45, I suggested we head for the gate at 10. Well, we leisurely walked to the gate and the gate attendant said ‘are you going to Tampa? Are you M/M Moore? Well we’re about the close the gate!’. So we made it just in time, but it sure was easy getting to our seats, even though we had a woman next to us who was drunk. Fortunately she slept the whole way. We got back to the Sheraton, jumped into Chiquita and drove home. Can you believe it? We own a MOTORHOME! Whoa. We started thinking of names for her on the drive home.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Texas Hoots and Success!

Our sleep last night was OK in the Best Western a mile up the road, but breakfast was a hoot. Gary had a sausage biscuit and I had an eng. muffin, but the lady that came in after us decided to have a waffle that you made fresh by dispensing some batter from a machine and pouring it on the griddle. Well she pushed the dispensing nozzle and it fell off, so the batter just gushed out of the machine. Of course she started catching it with plates and bowls, but the receptionist ran over and put a bowl against the hole to stop it. Ten minutes later it was cleaned up, and the lady made her waffle – it was formed in the shape of Texas! So Gary and I made one and split it. It was delicious! Time to get going over to see our new home – we decided we wanted her if the price was right. Stewart met us and we measured everything then test drove her – on the ROAD! She was great, and not so difficult… Anyway, back to the bargaining table, and we talked about needing new tires, possible batteries, doing a full tuneup and getting the Diamondshield off her nose. It was cracked and mildewed. I’ll research that later as it would be too expensive to pay someone to do it. I think the negotiations took about 5 minutes and we won! We got her for WAAAY less than we ever thought we would and we are thrilled. The tires will cost $3000+, though, and we do have to get satellite upgrades, but still the savings are fabulous! Yipppeee. We took lots of photos, and will send a pic of us and her on email to everyone when we get home. When we got back to Houston, we turned in the car at the airport, took the shuttle back to Sheraton, had a celebratory drink, then room service in bed, set the alarm for 5 am for a 7:45 am flight, and hit the sack. Congratulations to us!

Friday, February 5, 2010

We Love Her

Our flight was on time, bumpy because of the storm we were going over, and we landed in DFW and hoofed it to another terminal for our flight to Houston where we rented a car and drove the 2 hours to Nacogdoches (the oldest town in Texas). We pulled up into Motorhomes of Texas after a few wrong turns due to stupid directions from AAA, and there she was, parked in front, her engine purring. She’s so BIG, but after an hour and half inspection, she’s everything we want and more! The previous owner left everything! Extra wires, BBQs, plugs, ironing board, fluids – all kinds of things! She has a washer/dryer and a winegard satellite system! Now just for the negotiations… We left her there, and will come back tomorrow at 10 talk price. Ooooooo

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trip to Texas

We’re enjoying our comfy king size bed at the Tampa Sheraton (compliments of Starpoints) and we can leave our car here for the weekend, but we have to take a cab at 4:15 in the morning to make our 6 am flight. The complimentary hotel shuttle doesn’t run until 5 am. But we’ll take it back from the airport on Sunday, saving the parking fee. Had a so-so meal in restaurant downstairs, but who cares? We’re off tomorrow to see our maybe new home!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I love shopping online. This morning I ordered from a new oversized duvet (ours is 15 years old and dead) and dishes for our new home (if we get her). They’re Corelleware, so pretty tough stuff in a reddish paisley with a paisley shadow. I like them and I think they will look good with green. Friday is coming up – I can’t wait! This could be the one!