Friday, October 28, 2011

44 years and counting

Today Helen and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. What did we do? We took off in the motorhome with the three dogs and drove to Breezy Palms Campground in Palm Bay, Florida. My brother has a house a mile or so away and we went there to catch up on family stuff. Later we went out to supper at "The Shack" a nifty seafood restaurant on the intercoastal waterway. Then we went back to Rick's house to chat some more.

This is the first time the motorhome has been out in a long, long time. I don't know how much is my imagination, but it seems to ride a lot better with the new Koni shocks. I do know that it drives better than it ever has before. You can chalk that up to the shock and alignment. Of course, one RARELY does anything with a motorhome that doesn't require more work. I got a new cable to the TOAD and apparently it's wired different than the original. I will have to address that before we head west. Another thing that I have to check is the mileage since the last transmission fluid and filter change. That may be due. The Jeep will definitely require an oil and filter change next week. The pool will have to be shut down and covered, pipes drained.

Heading into our 45th year, Helen and I have a busy time getting ready to head south of the border.

More later.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Getting ready for Mexico

Today I really finished the outside of the motorhome.

Yes, the outside is done. The whole thing is waxed with Mother's Carnauba Wax, and my arms are still sore from that. I did learn a thing or two about waxing large areas. I have an orbital buffer where you apply wax with a putty knife on the terry cloth cover and then apply that to the motorhome. Doing this leaves a lot of wax on the body and requires a LOT of work to get off. At Walmart, I noticed a package of microfiber bonnet for the buffer. The blurb on the front mentioned the microfiber makes putting the wax on and taking the wax off much easier. Well, I'm gullible, especially when they say it will make less work. IT WORKS!!! The microfiber bonnet puts the wax on much easier, more uniform, and lighter than the terry cloth. This makes it so much easier to buff out. There are areas that have to be done by hand, and I had been using a terry cloth applicator. I changed to a microfiber cloth folded over and it also worked very well.

The body is waxed, the wheels polished, the tires treated, and the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) has been re-installed. I had a little problem with some minor leakage on one wheel, but that's standard. That's why I install the sensors a week or more before I go.

The outside is my domain. The inside is Helen's domain and she has not done much yet. The reason she can sit back for a while is that she goes through the inside from one end to the other when we get home. When the motorhome is parked, it is spotless inside, except for those things that I get into when Helen's not looking.

When I opened the door this morning, Coco jumped right in and took her riding position right behind the middle of the dashboard. As we drive, she gazes out the front, resting her chin on the dash. Her head gets oh so heavy. We tend to think that she really doesn't see anything, but if we pass a farm with animals, her head turns to keep her eyes on the livestock. Jodie sleeps on the floor between the seats and we're not sure where Sandy is going to stay. If I remember correctly, she joined Jodie on the floor when we went to the east coast a year ago. I couple of days ago I wanted to move the camper. Coco and Sandy jumped right in. Jodie hid in the back yard. When I started the diesel, Sandy wanted out in the worst way. Fortunately it was a short trip to the other driveway.

I think we are starting to get the trip organized. Leave Nogales, Arizona on the 15th and head for Celestino's RV resort, where we'll spend a month. Around the 18th of December we will relocate to Hacienda Contreras where we will spend a week or more over Christmas and plan our next legs of the Mexican Adventure. This Hacienda is well recommended in RV.NET and Kevin and Ruth will be there. So we'll get to finally meet them.

Now it's time for a little R & R ( a short nap). All this work is not as easy at 68 as it was at 48.

By the way, because I was stupid and only washed the vertical parts of the RV, I had to was the top because it occurred to me that the first rain would wash all the crud down on my clean sides. It's a good thing I went up there. I found a few places that needed caulk and one puncture to the radius curve where the side and roof meet. I was up and down the ladder countless time and STILL didn't get hurt. There is an old Navy saying, "one hand for the Navy and one hand for yourself". I wasn't in the Navy. I throw the stuff up on the roof and then use TWO hands for myself. I was staying safe, Sam.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Football and more football

The past several days have been a whirlwind of football activity for the Tempesta family. You've been exposed to the football exploits of my grandson, Kolbie, but this week we saw his older brother, Branden, in action also.

It started Thursday evening between the Brandon High Eagles and the Riverside Sharks. This was a junior varsity game under the lights. My memory is not as good as it used to be, so my figures may not be accurate. However, the first half was a Sharks runaway as they led at the half 12 to nothing. In the second half it was completely different with the Eagles holding the Sharks to no more points as the Eagles soared (pun intended) to 30 or 32 points. It was a very exciting game and the first we've seen at the high school level.

Grandson Branden, 5'11'' and 220 pounds. Offensive lineman. Got all his physical prowess from Helen's side of the family.

It was an exciting game, especially with the come-from-behind win. There was a big difference between this game and the ones we've seen the eight year olds play. Two hundred pound running into each other has a LOT more impact than the smaller kids. Even with all the padding and equipment, One of the Sharks was taken out in an ambulance. He was not too badly hurt, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Branden is built like a brick and if he were to tear into me, I'd be ready for the hospital if not the mortuary.

Helen and I were joined by Heather and Scott of course as well as granddaughter , Kourtnie. Also there were Heather's father, Step mom, and sister. It was a rousing time and the football fever pitch was high.

Saturday morning we were again in the Brandon area to view Kolbie's game. This was the Cowboys against the Brandon Lions, a team Branden played on a few years ago. The weather was perfect and the teams were certainly energetic. This game followed the same path as the Thursday night Eagles game, with the Cowboys falling behind at the start. It was almost comical as the ball kept being moved back and forth due to infractions rather than play. The whistle would blow and someone would be off side and the ball would move. It affected both teams, hence the back and forth movement.

A lot of the action is with my grandson, Kolbie, number 67, and the versatile Jericho Joseph number 2. They had practice Thursday night but came to the Eagles game later. I caught this picture of the two hellions out of uniform.

I had only seen Jericho on the field, and I was surprised at how small he is. On the field he is a force to be reckoned with. He plays offence and defense and does both very well. He and Kolbie are a good match and seem to work very well together.

Kolbie flipping the ball to someone.

Handing off to Jericho and.....

Jericho running it in for a touchdown.

Kolbie running to the left for another touchdown.

Behind the glasses is grandson Branden as a fan of the Cowboys.

This game was as exciting as the game on Thursday. What the Cowboys lack in size, they make up for in enthusiasm. In the end, The Cowboys came from behind and posted a 32 to 13 win. I confess that it's an approximation based on my recollection, but it's pretty close to the truth.

It was a really great couple of days with the family. Everyone in good cheer and no strife. Hooray!!!

Today is a perfect day in Florida. It has been utterly fantastic for the past several days, though I confess that it's a bit chilly in the early morning when I get the paper. So as good as the weather is today, we still have our plans to be in Mexico in less than a month. The motorhome will be washed soon, and perhaps waxed, but I'm not positive. I'm already getting the stuff needed to cover the pool for the winter and I'm being as organized as I can be, which is not nearly enough.

OK, I've got to get crackin'.....later.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nothing Interesting

Nope, I've got nothing of great interest to report. Slowly I'm getting my ducks in a row for our trip to Mexico, if we go. Helen has thrown a wrench into the works. She says that she will only go to Mexico if I clean my room. Clean my room, can you beat that??? It was clean when we moved in 1983 and it still looks great to me. She complains about my clothes on the floor and insisted that I hang them up. It seemed like a chore until I found an easy way. Anything on the floor gets put in the hamper. In a couple of days it comes back, clean, unwrinkled, and on hangers. Then I just hang them up. I hope she doesn't catch on.

In the last couple of weeks I had the front end of the Jeep worked on to get rid of some of the noises when I turn. A couple of parts were replaced and the front end aligned. I polished the wheels on my motorhome and found that it was easier to remove the wheels and polish them in the garage. When I removed the tires I found that the outside edge of the passenger side tire was cupped a bit. Considering some of the roads we saw on our Alaska trip, I was not surprised. I made an appointment to have the alignment done last Monday and the technician said that it wasn't too bad, on the edge of being in alignment. When I mentioned the cupped tires he said it was probably the shocks. That was good news as I replaced the shocks last fall and the first time I drove since then was to have the alignment. I put a set of KONY shocks and, though it might be my imagination, it seems to drive much smoother.

I really want to give the beast a good wash and wax before the trip. The hot weather of the summer had me put it off. Now that the temperatures are in my range, we've had nothing but rain. Yes, we still need the rain, according to the weather people, but many days in a row of the dismal weather makes me listless and sad.

One advantage to the cooler weather is that I can take the dogs for a ride when I run errands. Much of the year that's impossible because it gets so hot in the car even with the windows part way down. With temperatures in the 70s, it's ideal. Speaking of the temperature, we hit 44 a couple of mornings last week and that is WAY TOO cool for Florida in early October. Thankfully, I hope to be in sunny Mexico for the winter and expect to see no frost this year. Yes, I will clean my room. Helen is a tough task mistress.

Helen chatted with our friend from New Brunswick, Canada. She is almost ready to leave for a warmer climate. She alternates between Florida and Arizona, but is undecided this year. Helen mentioned our trip to Mexico and she became very excited. I called her today to give this naive Canada bumpkin more information about Mexico as I didn't want her to have any unreal expectations. Fool that I am! She has already been to Mexico. A few years ago she drove down the western side of the mainland to Mazatlan, and then took a ferry to Baja California, coming back through San Diego. She also made a second trip with a group.

Mexico seems to be a very good choice for us this year. A campground on the beach north of Mazatlan is less than $150.00 a month plus electricity. The electric rate is about 1/3 of what we pay in Florida. During the winter we will not be needing air conditioning so the electric bill may not be too bad. In the future, we may have to spend time in Mexico to be able to afford our time in Florida. My cable bill is more than $150.00 a month. PLUS, most of the campgrounds that I have researched have hot showers and free wi-fi.

I'm expecting my blog to take off in November when we do. At least I'll have some interesting thins to say. I hope.