Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're in Limbo. Oklahoma.

Okay, so it's not a town in Oklahoma but simply our current state of mind and position in life . After two days we're still waiting for the parts department of the company-that-does-not-care aka Heartland RV Mfg. to respond to our service department to tell them whether or not parts are available to fix the broken roller on our kitchen slideout. TWO DAYS!!! You see, the parts department does not take telephone orders from their dealers; the service departments of the dealerships HAVE TO SEND A FAX REQUEST FOR PARTS!!! Is that unbelievable or what? So we wait, which means we are now on our eighth day of having only half of the floor space in The Beast and no access to my pots and pans, mixing bowls, toaster and various electrical kitchen appliances. I have one cast iron skillet that I can get to and I can cook on the stove if I reach over the kitchen island and the four inch gap to the stove and stand on my tip toes. I can reach the microwave enough to slide a dish inside and hit the controls but I'm stretched way sideways to do it. The alternative is to eat out all the time and I'll have to tell you, that gets darned expensive. Thus, we here at Chez Disaster on Wheels have not been in the best of moods lately. And yes, I'm very whiny.

On the positive side, by being here in Oklahoma City, currently known as Limbo, I was able to meet up with a high school classmate who had driven down from Tulsa to bring her friend to the OU Medical Center for a procedure. We met down in Bricktown for lunch (which was at the corner of Sheridan and Mantle (for Mickey) Blvd. near Johnny Bench Dr. ((go Big Red Machine!))) It was great to hear about her life in the forty+ years since we graduated and Denny and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Leigh Anne and meeting her long time friend Sheila. Visiting with them and getting out of The Beast for a while was just what the doctor ordered.

Word is, come this weekend Boris and Natasha might just blow into town too. Limbo's looking better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Timely Windy, Rainy Day

We're still sitting at the casino "campground", waiting for Monday to arrive to take The Beast to the RV service center to have our slideout looked at and hopefully repaired. Denny and I did manage to play golf on Wednesday, ate our Thanksgiving dinner at the Rez, the casino's restaurant, and then ventured out to the town of Yukon to hit a big box store to replace Denny's wireless mouse. The mouse was yet another victim of our travels; its wireless USB connector was broken when Denny's laptop got bounced around on Arkansas'/Oklahoma's horrible concrete sections of I-40.

Perhaps it is the area, or because we arrived after 10 AM and the big surge of shoppers had been out early, but the store we chose was uncrowded and we walked away with the new mouse, a new desktop computer for me and a Christmas gift for one of our granddaughters. I had been waiting for the Christmas sales to replace my old desktop which had been exhibiting the blue screen of death on a frequent basis. Recently my laptop, which is a refurbished model, starting taking five minutes to download a web page, despite frequent disk clean ups and defrags and the transfer of all my photographs to an external hard drive. It was just tired, I guess. Since we were on a shopping roll, we hit another big box store which again was surprisingly not busy, and did some shopping for the other granddaughter. Wow, almost halfway finished with the Christmas shopping!

And now the fun begins; downloading my favorite programs to the new computer, transferring the files and having to deal with our daily download limits of our Hughes.net satellite Internet system. This morning I got up at 4:30 AM Central time to start some of the large downloads since I can do unlimited downloads between 2 AM and 7 AM Eastern time. Which means 1 AM to 6 AM here in Oklahoma. This will take a while and starting Monday chances are good that we'll have to stay in a motel for a few days while the service center works on our slideout--IF they can work on the slideout.

In the meantime, on this rainy, windy day I'll be sitting in front of two computers doing that familiar dance once again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Good Writer

A good writer draws you in and takes you along for the ride. Today I share two: a story of roping a deer and one about rasslin' one.

You're welcome.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I'm sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River in a downpour, amid flood warnings, waiting for RV dealers to open up because we have a problem.

Yesterday when we arrived in West Memphis, Arkansas I started to open the kitchen slideout and noticed that our flooring was ripping as the slide out was moving out. I stopped it, called Denny in and we tried to figure out what was going on. At first I thought one of my carving knives had fallen out of the knife rack and had gotten caught up under the slide, digging it into the floor. Getting down on our bellies showed us one of the roller brackets/mountings under the slideout had broken. Gah! Since the slideout was already half way out we tried to put a piece of board under the metal mount to lift it--no dice. The floor and flooring were already damaged so we just put the slideout all the way out.

We are en route to Albuquerque to visit Denny's sister and to do some house maintenance and repairs for her, so I called her to see if we could stay with her if we had to leave the rig for several days at a dealership out there. That was fine. Okay, it's too late to call the dealership so I'll do that tomorrow. No sleep, thunderstorms started at 3AM. Up at 4:30AM to brainstorm. At 7AM our time I called our service department in Elkhart, Indiana to see what could be done. The verdict? 7-14 days to order the flooring, 2 days to repair the slideouts. However, the service department has moved and they do not have hook ups for us to camp and wait until they re-open after the Thanksgiving weekend and the local campground closes tomorrow. Great. Once we close the kitchen slideout we're afraid to open it again, but it will take four days to get to Albuquerque and three more for the dealership to open so that's seven days without access to our stove, microwave and refrigerator. Hmm. I can live with the torn flooring but the slideout has to be fixed.

Next option; call local Memphis RV service departments--a two month waiting list. Mississippi, same deal. Arkansas, the same. I hit pay dirt at a dealership in Oklahoma City, but we'd have to wait until Monday. Okay, I guess we're going to be eating out a lot until after this slideout is repaired. In the pouring rain (deluge, actually) we pulled in the slideouts (cringing the entire time) and lifted the jacks and off we headed for western Arkansas. And now that we're set up for the night, it's time to start cancelling campground reservations and apologizing to Denny's sister; we'll still try to make it out there to take care of a couple of her repairs, but it will be a case of getting those jobs done and then heading for Mesa, Arizona. Albuquerque is going to be awfully darned cold and possibly snowy in December and we don't want to linger. And doesn't this always happen when I make pre-paid, non-refundable reservations?

At least there's a steakhouse just around the corner from the campground--that's where I'm heading for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Yes, we're still alive. I just haven't been able to wrap my head around a blog post for some reason. I did start another blog because my web hosting site for my full time RVer information has been making more changes and messing things up so I'll be dropping that after the first of the year. Pages from that web site will now be individual blog posts which I'll update as needed. That has distracted me from this blog.

We left Myrtle Beach, had our brakes checked by the fine folks at Camper Connection in MB who as always were honest with us and told us we didn't need any brake adjustments because we had automatically adjusting brakes, contrary to what our RV dealer's service department had told us. Okay, that's nice to know! They always do great work for us (remember the fried appliance fiasco from last year? They worked with us on that one.) We spent two days at Greensboro, Georgia to ensure that we'd drive through Atlanta, GA on a Sunday (smooth sailing) and we arrived in Langston, Alabama Sunday afternoon for a week of visiting friends Tim and Penny and pick up our new chairs they had ordered for us.

The cat has been vomiting for three days and last night urinated on our comforter which had been kicked off the bed, which meant an unexpected 40 mile round trip to town to visit the laundromat. In the rain, on twisty mountain roads with one lane bridges over water falls. Yeah, not fun.

On the plus side, there is a pair of nesting bald eagles on the small island across the lake from our trailer. They are too far away to get a good photograph of them, but our binoculars allow us to watch them. Such majestic birds. Denny and I have a great view of the lake out of our large rear living room window and we've been watching the grebes, Canada geese and Great Blue Herons feeding near the shoreline of the lake while it rains. And our neighbor has been practicing playing his wooden flute that he bought while in Arizona; handmade by a Native American and inlaid with turquoise stones the flute is a work of art as well as a finely crafted instrument. Marty has been playing those haunting Native American songs that make me yearn for the desert and red rocks of the West.

There has been quite a change in the area but not for a good reason; this past spring tornadoes struck the area tearing down trees and damaging homes and businesses. The town of Albertville has also been hard hit by the legislation passed by the state of Alabama that allows for law enforcement officers to check the paperwork of people they stop on the road (it's more complicated than that.) The result has been a mass evacuation of the Hispanic population, leaving the local poultry factories without workers, homes and apartments and even pets abandoned and the local economy going down the tubes. Which includes our friends and their business. It's going to be a long haul for everyone, I'm afraid.

Denny and I did hear from the detective in Myrtle Beach who has been working on our stolen wallet complaint; he found a surveillance video with the suspects using our ATM card and will be putting out that information to the media. It's nice to know that the incident is being taken seriously but I have a feeling ours wasn't an isolated incident either. We're still working on getting Denny's insurance cards and driver's license and other cards replaced and dealing with the credit union trying to get our funds returned. Everything takes longer when you're on the road and mail has to catch up to you.

Okay, I think we're caught up for now. Good talking to ya. More later.
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