Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happiness & Total Crew Defection

I realize that I have been slacking off somewhat on my resolutions for both the Happiness Project and the Pay It Forward. In my defense I'll say it's because I am not used to "thinking" happy in these last couple years with always being worried about money and finding more work. And since we had not been doing so well I have had to taper down on my form of "pay it forward" which has always been finding things people need and can use for pennies on the dollar. Bill always calls that my "fishing" as emotionally for me it is the equivalent of him getting a musky. So I am going to try and be more conscious of the things that are going well and not get so frustrated by the ones that aren't.

So Bill had been down to a crew of 3 now that they were trained and it went much faster as everyone knew what they were doing. Early this week they told him that they had to go back to Georgia from the 5th of May but they would be back the 10th as one, or maybe all, of them had to see their probation or parole officer, Bill wasn't quite sure which. Well, Bill's boss Roger did not take to that too well and told Bill to let them go after Friday night. He said to tell them that they would call them when they needed them. Bill was not too happy about that as he believes that all payroll and firing should come from the top. Well, yesterday was payday and in the early afternoon Bill gets a call from one of the three saying that they didn't have any money put on their paycard and that if they didn't get some that day they weren't coming in that night. So we call the office and come to find out that they had been advanced $2400 from the company to cover their expenses until they started getting paid. That comes out to $800 per guy. Their pay should have been $1050 for the 6 days and they wanted it all! They could not understand why the company got their money back first and only sent each one $250 for the week. After back and forth and Bill getting hung up on, they called back and said they were headed back to Georgia that afternoon. So Bill had to work last night with 4 temps who of course had to be directed all the way. Instead of getting done about 4am or so like he had been on the first night of the two night set, he didn't get in this morning until after 7am. He is supposed to have a new permanent crew starting Sunday night in Benton Harbor but who knows? Granted this is somewhat expensive as you have to pay hotel and food, and the previous crew was also paying for a rental car, but you are making $175 a day to cover all that and if you are frugal, which I guess most people aren't, you can make really good money. Bill was even letting them talk on their cell phones at night as long as they kept working. They got to leave to take breaks and all that. I'm not quite sure what they expected out of this job but I guess working wasn't part of it.
Unfortunately the oil rig disaster off of Louisiana was not just a disaster in the loss of human life but it is looking to be a loss for wildlife and the environment as well. If anything, it is another reason we need to reduce our use of oil to avert another tragedy such as this one. The Audobon Society is monitoring the situation and is planning on recruiting volunteers to assist in bird clean up and other tasks. I am seriously thinking about lending a hand although we are quite a ways away.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/29/oil.spill.wildlife/index.html?hpt=T1



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Muskegon Michigan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskegon,_Michigan

Muskegon turned out to be one of the more enjoyable cities that we have been to in Lower Michigan, possibly because it is on the water and to us that translates in more to do even if it is nothing more than walking along the beach which you see here in the video. It was the first time that Dozey had seen real waves and he wasn't quite sure what to do with them so of course he spent some time trying to bite them!
video

Other notable Muskegon facts are that the first snowboard the "Snurfer" was created there in 1965 in Muskegon and is the birthplace of Jim Bakker, Iggy Pop, Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Real Life Example

Just to give you a glimpse of how crazy this disease, fibromyalgia, can be. First off, I have been hurting more than normal as the nights have been getting down into the 30s and it can be kinda cold in an unheated RV. Tuesday was a half way warm day but towards the late afternoon I started feeling a pain in my right upper arm and shoulder. It got progressively worse as the afternoon and evening went on...a pain like when you separate your shoulder or something where it causes strong, shooting pressure. I had Bill push on it as pressure does help the pain at times and put on an Icy Hot patch. By 10pm when Bill went to work I was to the point of almost going to the ER for something... a shot of Toradol or who knows what as I had already used up two days worth of Vicodin and it was not getting better. Now for me to subject myself to triage in an unknown hospital where I would no doubt wait for hours to be seen and then have to try and explain my problem and convince them I don't need more x rays says that yep, it is pretty bad right now. I couldn't sleep on either side as it hurt so much...finally I ended up sleeping and in the morning -- ta da! Everything was perfectly fine! No pain in the shoulder, nothing. That is what has me, for one, convinced it is not necessarily in the muscles nor tendons nor ligaments as that kind of pain would not "heal" itself in 10 hours. It is in the pain perceptors, nerves or what have you. Sometimes you feel like you are crazy for sure.

Speaking of medical issues, Dozey had another seizure on Tuesday. This one was during the day which is very abnormal. The last one was when Bill first started this job and he was on the bed with me and stood up, eyes glazed and unfocused, and then fell down in a seizure, peeing the entire bed of course. I had to try and find sheets and blankets that are store underneath the bed which is heavy to lift up at 1am. This one was on the living room floor...he had been pacing around acting strange and all of a sudden went into it. At least he didn't pee the bed but the floor this time. He has been having a hard time calming down after the last two episodes...pacing around, trying to hide under chairs and in the bathroom. I know that there are dogs that are used with people who have seizures as they can sense them coming on and assist the person. Obviously Dozey can tell he is going to have one and we think he won't calm down as he is trying to "escape" from it in the rig. It is very hard to watch him but until he has them more frequently meds will not help as the meds only get the seizures down to once a week and he has them less frequently than that. We just have to be very careful that he comes out of the seizure as if he doesn't we have to get him to an emergency vet for a shot of valium. Maybe they can give me one too........

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May 15

This year's National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day will be Saturday, May 15 with many activities occuring around the country and especially in Fullerton CA. There will be Walks of FAME as well as Lights of Hope ceremonies at various locations. If you are not near any organized activities, please consider becoming an organizer! If not this year then next year. If you are not able to do that you can still support those of us with this disease by sponsoring a candle for the Fullerton Lights of Hope celebration or by sponsoring a walker or even becoming a virtual walker and getting your own group of sponsors. Another important way you can help is to sign a Pledge to Care to show support for the National Fibromyalgia Association in it's advocacy efforts. There is more information on these programs and more at http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=community_awarenessDay2010 . The more that those of us with the disease as well as our loved ones speak out and get involved, the more that the public, skeptical doctors and immovable insurance companies will be able to use the excuse that "it's all in your head" and deny us the treatments and research that is needed for us to be able to live full, and hopefully some day, pain free lives.

Grand Rapids Michigan

This weekend has pretty much been a total loss....of course, all week while Bill is working it is rather nice and then come Saturday and Sunday when we wanted to get out a golf some it is rain and cold. Right now the wind is rattling the RV pretty good as we sit here in the Jenison MI Target parking lot. At least this parking lot is somewhat quiet at night as the Wyoming MI location was very, very loud! The only decent spot we could find to park was near the busy street as we really can't park totally in back of the store as they get trucks and we'd be in the way. We try to park with the door side to a patch of grass so Dozey can be let out on his chain by himself as he, of course, has to find the perfect spot to take a pee and that can take up to 10 minutes or so. There was a Steak N Shake in the parking lot of the Wyoming store and Bill said that when he went out to get something out of his truck at 2am it was busier than hell. Must be the only place to go get munchies after bars.

We have been having problems with our internet connection and I called Verizon who proceeded to tell me that lower Michigan is a "problem spot" as Alltel used to have an agreement with Sprint, who is really big here, to use their towers but that Verizon did not continue that agreement. So we ordered another part to a mobile system, an amplifer, which should have helped the signal. We picked it up at FedEx and hooked it up....couldn't get ANY signal now rather than just a bad one. So I called 3G tech support, the company we got both the router and the amplifer from. They are not sure why it isn't working but that maybe we were "too close" to a cell phone tower.....huh? So the amplifer might just be getting sent back this week. It is crucial that the wireless work really well as we turned off Directv right now as living in parking lots and moving almost every day is not conducive to setting up a tripod and locating the satellite every time we move. I don't miss it as I never got the TV but Bill does of course. We are planning on having a bigger LCD installed on a mount where the old tube TV is right now. That way we can hook up the Wii and I can get back to my yoga and other Wii Fit games.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Rapids,_Michigan

We will not be unhappy to leave Grand Rapids as it really is not outstanding as far as we are concerned. The biggest thing going for it was that Elton John played here last night and we really tried to get last minute tickets in a good location for cheap. No go so we decided to pass. It would have been nice to see him live though. Other trivia on Grand Rapids is that it is the second largest city in Michigan after Detroit but doesn't seem to have much as far as claims to fame except for being the home to the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum and 1945 it was the first city in the United States to add flouride to its drinking water.

We started with stores in the southeast corner of the city and have worked our way west and then north. There is a store tonight and tomorrow night and then we head east towards the lake shore. Hopefully we will find some better scenery than the dull, dirty, browns and grays that we have seen here. But, like we said, it is definitely weeding out places that we know we don't want to visit again. The only places that we could see ourselves wanting to visit yet in lower Michigan are Sault Ste Marie and Mackinac Island. Unfortunately we won't have time this trip and the weather isn't really cooperating either!

Lansing MI & Crew Defection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lansing,_Michigan

Lansing may be the capital of Michigan but it has not been spared the effects of the recession. It too looks beaten down and unkept. Lansing was made the capital of Michigan, inland from hostile British territory, in 1847 after worries that Detroit would again be capitured by the Canadians as it had in the War of 1812. It is the birthplace of the Olds Motor Company and giving recognition to the automobile industry past the Minor League baseball team is name the Lansing Lugnuts. Driving around doing my jobs I passed the MSU area of East Lansing which is definitely nicer than the rest of Lansing. It is a really neat university area and reminded me a bit of State Street in Madison or down by ASU in Tempe. The former governor of Wisconsin, Tony Earl, was born in Lansing as was Magic Johnson, Steven Seagal, Burt Reynolds, Malcolm X, George Teague and Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. Unfortunately one can see why these people all left!

Thursday afternoon Bill got a text from one of the crew, Quintin, stating that the guy he rooms and rides with, David, had to return to Georgia as his mom was put in the hospital. Quintin said that he had to go back and get his own vehicle and would be back on Sunday. Later on talking with Roger, his boss, Bill found out that David had been ticked off that he was not getting a per diem in addition to the $175 a day pay. Come on....even if you take $100 off for food and hotel, that leaves $75 which is over $9 an hour for an 8 hour day. You think you should get more than that for unskilled labor in this economy? So we don't know if Quintin will be back tomorrow night or not. The company called and got two temp workers for Bill so that he could get the stores done. I can see where David MIGHT have been mistaken as the policies keep changing. When Bill interviewed they had originally told him that if I signed on I would get the $100 per diem too...then all of a sudden -- no. I think what is happening is that the company got these contracts so fast that they are developing a system and policies as they go. But still, if you sit down and figure it out there is no way you should make more money than what you are for that job. I'm sure that there are plenty of other people who will be ready and willing to fill David's spot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cereal City

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Creek,_Michigan

You would think that a city that had large manufacturing companies such as Kellogg's, Post and Purina would be rather affluent or at least higher end working class. But after driving around the city, it looks like the east side of Oshkosh for the most part -- older houses that aren't kept up like they should or could be. It was rather sad actually when one knows the corporations that are located there and all you see are working class homes in disrepair. When I was auditing a Marathon gas station I asked the store manager why this was. How could a city with so much manufacturing that was for the most part in recession proof industries look so downtrodden? She said that Kellogg's had moved the bulk of their manufacturing out of Battle Creek during the 80s and it had been downhill from there. The city only has a median income of a little more than $35,000. I guess the saddest part of all this is that if a city such as Battle Creek which has more than enough businesses and therefore should have more than enough jobs really doesn't have said jobs, how is the rest of the country,including little towns up north such as Pickerel, ever going to recover enough and have enough work for the people who live there?

Sunday night Bill had a bit of a bad night with his crew. Seems like they liked to talk on their cell phones and sit on their rears a bit more than they should. They were able to start at 9pm as the stores close early on Sunday but Bill did not get home until almost 8am and he was pissed. He even went so far as to call Roger, his boss, and say they needed to shape up or they were gone. They must have gotten the message because on Monday night they were done 4 hours earlier than Sunday night. I'm not sure how these guys will make enough money to keep doing this as the group of three are paying for a rental care in addition to hotels and food on the road. Of course with a 6 day work week they will make over $1,000 but still......I'm sure they aren't looking for deals or bargains or using coupons either! Every store gets a scorecard so to speak to rate the set and the crew. Bill has so far gotten perfect 10s at every store and was told by one of the higher ups that it is the best for all the crews in the country. Hopefully this will translate to a raise and more opportunity in the future. If anyone knows of anyone out there who would like to do this kind of work, let us know as we have the opportunity now to put together our own crew.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Toledo to Portage MI

We left the Toledo area on Saturday afternoon with no real time pressure as Bill did not have to work again until Sunday night in Portage, Michigan. We have to be very diligent about stopping at every Flying J we find as far as dumping and refilling with water. Many campgrounds are still not open and we would rather dump and fill up water for free. In fact, the Flying J in Rossford had to turn their water on for us as it is still getting cold enough to freeze it at night. I found a dog park about an hour west of Toledo that we decided to take Dozey to for some exercise. The GPS routed us on the backroads instead of I-80 which was nice on the eyes. We took US 20 west for most of the time and it must be the road with the most backyard ponds in the country. EVERYONE had one it seemed. Most were very attractive except for the ones where the owners must have spilled a little too much color additive and it looked like a bay in the Caribbean.

We never did find the fenced in dog park which was supposed to be at Harrison Lake State Park. But there was a nice picnic area that we pulled into for lunch and Bill got out the chuck it and tired Dozey out. A pretty white pit bull female came from across the way to play with Doze but he just wanted the tennis ball. From there we headed north and as traffic wasn't bad, decided to go all the way to the Target in Portage. We had no problem staying the night in the lot here except for the fact that there is a Logan's Roadhouse across the street that never turned their music off the entire night. My fibro makes me very sensitive to noise and smells so I woke up today with a headache from the all night music; Bill, of course, slept through all of it and even said, "They didn't play music all night!"

Today we went to the driving range and both hit a large bucket of balls. I bought a new driver at a Scheel's shop that we did in Appleton and it worked really well for me. It has now been three times that we've gone and Bill says I am ready to try other clubs and maybe, just maybe, someday we will get on an actual golf course!

This is the 3rd Portage that we have been in - Michigan, Indiana and, of course, Wisconsin. We have also been in 2 Sturgis - Michigan and the real one in South Dakota. I guess that will happen when you are at 8,000 miles or so on your "trip" that is really now your life. Portage is basically the twin city to Kalamazoo. Nice town but not very memorable. Tonight's set for Bill and the crew is only a one nighter -- in fact every one this week Sunday through Friday nights will be a one nighter. That means I have to go and get whatever work I have scrounged up in the area down in the morning so that we can hit the road in the early afternoon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage,_Michigan

Finally, I hope all of us have said a prayer for the families, especially the wives and children, of the miners lost in West Virginia. Maybe if we were all a little more conservation minded and tried to save energy anywhere we can, so many of these guys wouldn't have to spend their entire lives walking such a thin line between life and death. Maybe we could get rid of coal mining altogether and not only save lives but also save mountain tops, streams and entire ecosystems in the Applachian region and anywhere mining takes place. These guys were no different than a soldier going to Iraq except they went to battle against Mother Nature due to our greed and wastefulness and unfortunately they lost. Let's all remember that the next time we leave lights on for no reason, throw away something that can be recycled or even just shop for shopping's sake. Maybe, just maybe, this could be a wake up call to us all to make every day Earth Day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bill's Crew

Wednesday night was the first night that Bill got to meet the members of his crew. They are all in their mid 20s and are all from Georgia. There is Quentin, Landrick, Antwan, Racio and David. Three of them ride in one car and share a hotel room and two ride in another and share another room. When people say that we live in small quarters imagine these guys - especially the group of 3! - living in one hotel room. Maybe it will work better with men than it would with women!

Bill was not sure how much of their paperwork and other follow up tasks he would have to be doing as they are independent contractors as he was in Phoenix and no one followed up after him. But Friday morning Roger, Bill's immediate boss, was on the phone looking for all the paperwork so they could get advances on their pay. I took the call as Bill was sleeping and he said that we need to babysit them. So Bill had to call them so I could give them their print outs and invoices. They are getting $175 a day which will be ok when there is a full week but this week they only worked two days. Bill says that the guys are all good workers but especially Quentin who also takes the initiative to do something that needs to be done without being told. Of course, the first couple of nights they were dragging by 3am or so as they weren't used to working overnights.

Also Friday after Bill had left the Target with all the paperwork signed off on he got a call about 5:30am from the manager who had found a "different" planogram. He didn't know what to do so he went back and had to spend another hour adding different parts to the cases. I mentioned that to his boss who then said that he does not have to do that -- once there is a sign off of paperwork that is it, done deal. So hopefully by going back when he didn't have to it made a good impression. Now that Bill is on salary he will no doubt have work every week as they will have to pay him even if he's not working -- and I highly doubt they will want to do that very often! Due to the fact that most of Prime Retail's work is between January and the end of October as the stores do not want large resets or projects during the Christmas rush, he has applied again for Amazon.com but this time in Campbellsville, Kentucky for a change of pace. I will be able to do merch work in Lexington and Louisville from there. He already received his first per diem pay on Friday, which will come now every Friday. It seems nice to have some reliable income again finally! Now hopefully with the new healthcare bill we will be able to afford some reasonable health insurance and be back where we were about two years ago this time.

http://www.primeretailservices.com/

Toleeedo or Tolaydo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo,_Ohio

I had always wondered but was not certain if the city in Ohio was named for the city in Spain -- now I know that it is. So the problem for me becomes pronouncing it in the gringo manner and not Spanish. Vowels in Spanish are very easy -- they are always, always pronounced the same - no long, no short, no who knows why pronunciation. Always the same. So that is why in Fort Wayne I had asked someone about a location on Lima Street which I of course pronounced Leeema, but they pronounced Liema like the bean. They thought it was hilarious. Of course, in Spanish the conjugation of the verbs is much more difficult in English so I guess there is always a trade off.

We found the area to be much like Wisconsin which again is good that we are forced to be here so to speak as we would never choose these areas on our own when there are way to many "different" locations like oceans and mountains for us to experience. At least we can say we have spent time in this area and not just driven through it. We would have stayed Saturday and done something but it had been cold the past two nights and extremely windy. Everything that we found to do in the area consisted of being outside which was not a first choice with the temperatures at night in the 30s and the wind off Lake Erie. We had thought about driving to Cleveland to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but it would have been over 100 miles each way and we were sure we would want to spend some time there so it will have to wait until later.

Interesting Toledo facts include that it is the home of the Owens Corning Corporation and is the headquarters of Jeep , it is known as the Glass City because of it's long history of innovation with glass products, it is the hometown of Gloria Steinem and Katie Holmes as well as Jamie Farr and his famous M*A*S*H character Maxwell Klinger.

This is the view going over the Maumee River in Toledo on Hwy 280.
video

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dawn Dish Soap Saves Wildlife

http://www.dawn-dish.com/en_US/savingwildlife/home.do

When you buy a bottle of Dawn dish soap, please look on the back of the bottle near the bottom for the special code. Enter it on this website and Dawn will donate $1 to the efforts of
the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. The only Dawn product that won't work is the Simple Pleasures line. If you are not already aware, Dawn is used by these organizations to remove oil from aquatic animals whenever there is an oil spill. Each year the company donates thousands of bottles to rescue organizations for this reason. The program only runs until September 30, 2010 with a goal to raise $500,000. Right now the total is almost $358,000. Take a minute out of your day to help this great program.


PS -Proctor & Gamble puts out a coupon flyer monthly in the Sunday paper that will help reduce your purchase cost.

Disclaimer - I do not work for P&G but I think either Bill or I own some of their stock...other than that I don't make anything from this post!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fort Wayne IN - Strip Club Capitol of the Country

I pretty much did the grand tour of Fort Wayne while working on Monday and Tuesday and it seems like there were strip clubs in all areas...one chain had a total of 3 different locations. The first night in town we were parked in a truck stop across from one and the traffic was something wild at bar time. Sunday night we had been sitting in the rig when there was a knock on the door about 8:30pm. Bill answered and it was a guy who started talking about the cats in the window. He then made his way to asking for money for the bus so he could leave town as he had been dropped off by Schneider at the truck stop.....huh? Do we have "RICH" somewhere posted on the RV? And even if we were, why should we give you money? Is it us or is this kind of behavior getting more and more prevalent nowadays? TWICE in two days? Is this happening to anyone else?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Wayne,_Indiana">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Wayne,_Indiana

Fort Wayne appeared to be a rather nice, middle class town. Except for the abundancy of strip joints of course. It is a city of over 250,000 people but seems to have a small town vibe to it in that I never felt uncomfortable doing work in any area. It is a typical larger midwestern city but it does have a few interesting claims to fame: it is the burial place of Johnny Appleseed, the headquarteres of Vera Bradley (How strange! Indiana?), the former home of Stephen King and Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's.

Bill began work on Monday night and was working with the CEO of Prime Retail Services and didn't even know it! It is good to see the bigwigs of a company out in the field working nights with the peons....Bill was very impressed with that. The set itself went very well except for Tuesday night which was mostly spent standing around waiting on the electricians to do their work. They weren't able to test the new game units as the power is on automatic timer -- 8am to 10pm. So someone had to go back to the store afterwards to make sure everything was set up correctly. Bill says it is very physical work, pulling out the old fixtures and setting the new ones up. His arms are full of bruises and cuts from it. He doesn't think that it is something that I would be able to physically do if I would sign on....so we will wait and see on that one. For this project he has to be an employee and not an independent contractor as Target requires the team leads to be employees for some reason. Hopefully he can go back to independent contractor status after he is done with the Targets and on to a new project.

We left early afternoon for the 100 mile trip to Rossford Ohio which is basically a suburb of Toledo. We drove the entire afternoon through rain and wind and mostly on a small two lane highway filled with semis and car haulers. At one point we were almost hit in the passenger front side by the tail end of a semi who changed lanes without? seeing us....that was the closest we have come to an accident in more than 7000 miles but is one experience I don't care to repeat with any sort of frequency.

Monday afternoon and night had been extremely windy, enough to keep Bill from sleeping well and he sleeps through the huge air compressor starting up outside the bedroom in Pickerel. At one point Monday night I began planning how I would get the animals out of the rig if it were to tip over....that's how windy it was. Tonight there is less wind but we have thunder storms going on. Everything is green green and the trees are beginning to leaf out here already. Again we are in the parking lot at the Target....hopefully no one here thinks there is a neon sign with the word "bank" on the side of the rig. Tonight Bill will meet his crew and hopefully they are all ready to work and easy to train. We are debating whether or not I will be doing much merchandising during our 2 or so days here as we don't know which parts of Toledo to avoid. After Thursday night Bill is off until Sunday night when we have to be in Portage Michigan. I am researching ideas for places that we may want to visit in this area on his days off but haven't come up with much of anything as of yet. It is supposed to get to 35 tomorrow night so if it stays that way for the weekend it may preclude anything outdoors.

Happiness Project - I am happy to again see trees blooming and getting new leaves as well as the daffodils and tulips flowering.






Sunday, April 4, 2010

Appleton to Gurnee

We spent an enjoyable night Friday with the Siebers side of the family as well as the Andersons. The fish at the Darboy Club was to die for! We had not had a good fish fry in at least 6 months so it was great to finally find one that rivals Wendt's. Of course I had a little too much wine as I could not feel any buzz and woke up with my first hangover in 3 years. I remember now why I don't like to drink so much!


After leaving in the early afternoon we headed down to drop off our taxes at Jeanne's, our accountant. She needs 2002 and 2003 info so we can negotiate with the state over my audit that was only 5 years ago --- the IRS is fine but all of a sudden the state is questioning the returns. I am not exactly ecstatic with Jeanne as she had told me that we did not need to do anything with the state returns at the end of the federal audit.


We made it down to Gurnee Mills and decided to boondock there for the evening. Around 1am all of a sudden we hear knocking at the door. Of course, Dozey went ballistic so I get up and pull up the door shade. We had thought it would be mall security but it was this guy asking for $28 because his tire was flat on the freeway and that is what it cost to fix it.....HUH??? You wake me up in the middle of the night and you want ME to pay for your new tire? I guess just because we have a motorhome - no matter how old - we are rich or something. So of course it made it hard getting back to sleep wondering if he was going to come back with a shotgun or something as he had not been real happy when I told him that we couldn't help him out....I can't believe someone would have the guts to do that and then EXPECT that the person would just give him the money!


The mall was mostly closed Sunday morning except for the Bass Pro Shop which Bill of course had to visit. He came back empty handed! But at least he got to browse for musky lures. We left around 10am and I was pleasantly surprised to see this part of Indiana was much like rural Wisconsin. It took us about 4 hours to reach Fort Wayne and we have set up camp at one of the truck stops. We did cross the time zone so we are now on Eastern time --one hour ahead of Wisconsin. Tomorrow will be a full day with Marathon audits and Bill taking his drug test with him starting out tomorrow night at the Target. We will migrate there tomorrow late afternoon as to not be in their lot more than 2 nights.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Happiness Project - I am glad that Mole Lake Casino still has their promotions in place as we were able to pick up about $50 by stopping every day that we were home.

We ended up having to stop in Plainfield WI at a truck stop Tuesday night as it had gotten dark and we were still 3 hours from home and were just plain worn out. We hit the road early as we had an 11am appointment to get the oil changed in the RV and I had to have fasting labs done before my 2pm doctor appointment. We hit Pickerel about 10:30am and unhitched the truck. I left Bill at Schroder's getting the oil done and ran up to the Potowatomi clinic with Dozey in the back seat. Boy, was he glad to get out of the RV. The Minnesota roads the day before had gotten him all stressed out with all of the noise. The roads were so rough and bumpy that the light fixture over my desk fell out of the ceiling! I wonder what they spend their highway dollars on in Minnesota?

It will be very, very hard to leave our place here tomorrow morning as we have missed the woods and the quiet. We discussed not leaving but really can't have Bill not taking this job. We also discussed the fact that there are many, many places that we still want to see and live in for a while that we only can do in the summer months such as Maine, Idaho, Montana, Yellowstone etc. So for the time being we are just going to hold on to the house until we see if we find a place that we like better for the spring, summer and fall. Of course, for winter there is no indecision. We DON'T want to be here!

We did have some mouse visitors over the winter and one of the Pex tubes from the wood burner split inside the shop, but other than having to charge the ATV to get it going, everything else lasted through the cold just fine. We do have to figure out why we are still using over $50 in electricity per month. Now that the wood burner is totally off and the shop phone is unplugged the chest freezer should be the only thing running. If we still have a $50 bill we will know that somebody is hooking up to our outdoor outlets or something.

Dozey has spent the last two days over by Clyde and they are both worn out. He has sorely missed being able to run and play like this. At least he will be too tired to be cranky for the next couple of days on the road and then we will have to find dog parks again. Bill has all his tools ready to go, the RV is loaded with more of the food and drink stash that was left and we are pretty much ready to go tomorrow morning. I just wish we were able to stay here for the summer.