Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend ***Warning Long Post

Thursday, March 20-First day of spring and had I remained in my 1st marriage it would have been 38 years of anniversary today. I left work about 1.5 hours early today so I could get ahead of traffic heading to Clarksville where Somewhere is parked. I had everything already packed at home, just had to go by and pick all my stuff up and Sedona and then we would be on our way. On my way out of town I stopped by Camping World to pick up a 10' drinking water hose.

I get up to Clarksville at a reasonable time and uncover the tires and get things ready to head to Paris Landing the next day. I also needed to run to Walmart to pick up a few outside items I needed for Somewhere. I put Sedona in Somewhere (just like home) and head on out to Walmart. As with any Walmart, it was a mad house. Rush in for needed items and then out again. Glad Roger lives close to a Walmart so I didn't get caught up in much traffic.

Cindy cooked delicious pork chops, baked potato and rolls for dinner and she invited me. That was a really nice treat. Afterwards, I head over to Somewhere to get bedded down for the night. It was so beautiful, the moon was full and where Somewhere is parked is full of rolling hills and sounds of hoot owls, chirping from some critters (don't know what) and an all round beautiful setting. I had opened up the windows but it was getting a little chilly so I closed them, watched a little TV and then it was beddy bye time. I turned off the generator and heat and Sedona and I headed to bed.

About 3 o'clock in the morning, I woke up freezing to death and Sedona was shaking (in fact I think that's what woke me, her shivering, poor baby.) Anyway, I cranked up the ole genny and heat and it didn't take long to be toast warm. Went back to sleep and slept until about 6:30 a.m.

Friday, March 21, 2008
Got up and got dressed. Had a gallon of water in Somewhere and really needed to go potty so I did and then flushed with some of the water. I had been going in the house but didn't want to disturb anyone so made myself at home in Somewhere. I wanted to get out of Clarksville by around 9:00 and Cindy had invited me for some breakfast before I got going. Man I could get used to having a cook. Thanks Cindy. Anyway, I had checked my tire pressure and Roger had a compressor and came over and filled up the tires, I guess they had gotten low after having set for so long. That is one chore I'm supposed to do every time I head out so wanted to get started on the right track.

I needed LP and Gasoline so Roger had told me of a place to go on my way to Paris Landing. I head out and have no problems except that I missed the place, Polar Bear, and had to find a place to turn around. I passed another Walmart, their gas was $3.09 gal so I decided that would probably be the cheapest I would get it. I pull in and get a tank on the outside and get out to pump. OOPS, wrong side. Well, now let me tell you, these things are not easy to turn around. I pull into the parking lot where there is a BIG empty place to turn around and get to the pump I originally had (can't believe it was still open) and get out and pump gas. Once the pump starts, I walked over to the little building that had an operator and asked her when the pump shuts off, she said when it's full, oh really, I thought, smart ass. Anyway I explained that some pumps will only allow you to pump a certain amount and then it shuts off, that's why I was asking, she said you can pump until you reach your limit on your card or until the tank is full, they don't shut off until you are finished. Well, okay! Pump away, and of course it did, $100.00 worth. So for the winter, running the engine and the genny it cost me about $75.00 Worth it!

Next I find Polar Bear LP, pull in and the place was blocked, I knew which side that tank was on this time. Walked up to the guy and asked him what would be the easiest for him to pump, I needed LP in my MH. He said, Oh, we don't do MHs. I don't even have a hose or adaptor to do that kind of tank. Well, do you know of anywhere around here I can go get LP?????? He said about 2 miles on up the road is a UHAUL store and they have LP. So here I go, looking for the UHAUL place. It happens to be right at the place where a car wreck had taken place when I went through before. I was thinking I sure hope there is a back way out of here. I pull in and the tank is on the other side so I go to the back and make a big ole turn and come up next to the tank. I go inside and tell the clerks that I have a MH and need the LP filled. No problem, it will be just a few minutes so I go back and get into Somewhere and wait. About 15 minutes go by and I go back in and say, hello, have you forgotten me? The clerks says oh, our technician who pumps LP won't be here until 1:00, it's now 11:15. Did ya think that was something I needed to know????? Where is another place? They draw me a map to the next location which is going back practically in the direction I began my morning. On Wilma Rudolph Blvd, next to a mall, imagine all the traffic. So here I go because I NEED LP, right?

I get to the UHAUL on Wilma Rudolph Blvd and it looks complicated to get in. I blow my horn and a guy comes out and opens the gate. I explain that I need LP. I have to drive down a road between storage buildings, not a wide road, a very small road. The turns are not MH friendly. I get up to the tank and the hose is not long enough to reach my tank. So the UHAUL guy gets keys and moves some of his trucks, moves some of his trailers and I have to back up and pull closer to the tank and he guides me to within 1 inch, yes, that's 1" from the fence. OMG, I just about died, it looked like I was going through that fence. I will tell you that helped me become more accustomed to tight places and I am better able to just distance with my MH now. So even though I didn't think so at the time, looking back on it, it was good for me. I explain that I had been over the other UHAUL store, they couldn't help me and sent me here. He asked me if there was a short black lady there, yes, he said that she was the manager and she could pump LP. OH, that ticked me off. I'll have to let UHAUL know about that. Anyway, I got my LP and directions to reach my destination without having to go back the way I came. Oh, LP is $3.99 gal, I used 16.5 gal and my bill was $62.??.

Now, I'm on my way. The bypass, HWY 374, is terrific if you are on Wilma Rudolph and have to get to HWY 79. I've got it licked from here on out. It's time for my long weekend to start. Rocky start, it can only get better from here. Remember what time I started? 9:00 a.m. well, it's 11:45 right now, most of my 70 degree day is already gone. But that, okay, it's all good, It's only an hour up the road and I've got plenty of daylight.

1:30 and I arrive at Paris Landing State Park (PLSP.)

I go to the cg host, Pete. He said Joan (Park Manager) had talked to him earlier and said I was coming and to put me in a "good" spot. That would be site #23. It is beautiful. It is on a slight hill, pull through, overlooks the lake, marina, bridge and is close to the bath house. Couldn't ask for anything better. Oh, yes, it also had two very sturdy green lantern posts. I used them for my wind chimes and my sun catcher my sister, Wanda, gave me a couple of years ago. Here is a pix of the sun catcher, just so you get the idea of what I'm talking about.

I go about my routine of setting up the MH and I put Sedona out on leash so she could stretch her legs since she had been riding for a while. Now, I have to tell you at this point that I have not de-winterized my MH. Nope, nary a bit! I get my book out and a couple of printed off sheets of instructions as to how to de-winterize. Everyone I talked to said that there was nothing to it. Well, it sure looked simple enough.

I hooked up water and plugged into shore power. When I turned the water on, I heard this gushing of water spilling out onto the pavement. WHAT??? I ran around to the faucet and cut it off. I came back around to the front side and see that water is running out of the outside entertainment center and the storage compartment underneath it. I went in side and looked under the sink. Well it appears that the diverter plug was not in the water filter therefore I was not able to de winterize w/out putting the brand new, $37 filter into the slot. Okay, this just ticks me off but what am I to do. I crawl up into the tiny cabinet and put the water filter into the slot and turn it 1/4 turn just like the directions said. Thought I had it in and went back around to turn the water on, again with the rushing water sound. I turn it off immediately and go back into the MH and apparently the filter had come loose and the force of the water pushed it out. So I fiddled with it another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, it was getting hot, I was getting frustrated. Now, mind you I'm no little woman, getting into tight spots are not my thing. Also, since my rotator cuff surgery I have little or no upper body strength and I guess my hands are too small to get a good grip, I COULD NOT GET THE DAD GUM FILTER TO STAY WHERE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.

At this point I am ready to cry. I am having second thoughts as to what the hell am I doing this MH thing for, why do I think I can go full time, I'm not a mechanic, I'm not an electrician, I'm not a plumber, what the hell am I doing.

About that time, I hear a "hello, anyone home?" This nice couple is standing outside. Dale and Peggy from Wisconsin headed home from FL. They said they were in the Sunrise on top of the hill and wanted to stop and say hello. We chatted about our MH, found out they stayed at Natchez Trace State Park the night before and they were going to be at PLSP for about two weeks, Peggy's sister lives in Paris. I asked if they had a water filter in their MH. Dale said they did but didn't use the one inside but had an in-line on the outside of their MH. I explained what I had been doing for about the last 45 minutes and Dale asked if he could take a look at it. Are you kidding? Of course, hey I'm no dummy and I'm not proud either. LOL He goes in and it took him about 2 minutes to put it in, blah!! Told you I didn't have upper body strenght or a good grip. I thanked him and said if I had anything cold to drink I would offer him something but I didn't. He said that's fine and asked if I had anything else he could help me with. Peggy said he is a retired electrician and could do anything. Ah, I thought, that's what I should be, a retired electrician, something!!! Any way I digress...Peggy and I talked retirement. She is retired from HR also and we both agreed that if it were not for the people, HR would be a fun profession! LOL

Dale gave me some hints on my tires and we had more small talk and then they went on their little walk.

I however, had more work to do, but here is what my Somewhere looked like in place, but don't leave me, the story gets better...

I run water and voila, it works w/out leaking. It's time for me and Sedona to take a little rest, we have worked hard. I get the hammock out and we lay down for about 30 minutes, thinking of how lucky I am to be privileged to be able to do this. How wonderful God is to make the day so glorious and all those good thoughts. I was almost hypnotized by the sun catcher as it swirled in the wind. It's in the shape of a sun and as it goes around it looks like it is just bursting. Thanks, Wanda.

Anyway, as we are laying there with the sun warming us and the wind blowing, I happen to think that I hadn't done anything to the hot water heater in my de winterizing process. Hum??? Guess I'm not done, let me get back to work. And oh boy, was it work.

HOT WATER HEATER, come out, come out where ever you are!!! I could not find the water heater. I had my owners manual out and it did not show the location of the water heater. So I called my dealer, Cullum & Maxey, and talked to Tom. He told me the water heater was on the passenger side under where the passenger sits. No, Tom, it's not, there is nothing there. He said well look on the driver side and there should be a door I can open. No, Tom, there isn't. So he says there is a panel on the passenger side up high that opens with the twist of the fingers, okay found it. Now open it. Tom, it looks like my ice maker connections. He says, Carolyn that's your refrigerator. So you are getting the idea, right? We do this for about 22 minutes. I know this because this is on my cell phone, right? Anyway he sends me back over to the driver side and has me looking underneath the MH. I cannot see any signs that there is a water heater. I tell him to let me look further and I'll call back if needed. I put my knee pads on, this is going to take some investigating. I'll tell you, I know EVERY inch of my MH now.

Light bulb!!! Go up to Dale's Sunrise and see where his is. If he is there, maybe he can come to my aid again. I take my knee pads off and walk up to where Dale and Peggy are parked. As I top the hill, I realize they are not there but I walk around their MH and yes, their 2004 Sunrise has the hot water heater under the passenger side seat. Pete, the camp host, is outside and I asked him if he could help me locate my water heater. He said sure, Miss Carolyn, that's what I'm here for. Well, okay, then! I hop on the golf cart and off we go back to my MH.

Pete and I spend another 45 minutes looking for the water heater, guess what, even HE doesn't know where it is. While he is there, Tom, calls me back and said it has to be on the driver side close to the water intake. That was the side where the water was coming out so I knew it had to be close. Anyway, Pete and I look everywhere. I took drawers out inside, I looked in the storage area under the bed, I looked, literally, everywhere. No hot water heater. Pete leaves and said he was sorry he couldn't help. Oh, but before he goes, he looked at my furnace in the rear of the MH and he says, "oh, here it is." Well, I'm sorry Pete, but that's my furnace. He said "OH, you are right." Go figure, he has been camp host for 10 years surely he knew where the furnace was, right?

I have been fiddling with this stupid water heater stuff for going on 1.5 hours and I'm hot, grumpy, hungry, thirsty, and a mess. I sit down with a diet pepsi and call Roy to see if he remembers where it is, no answer. I called Theda to see if she remembers, no but she is on her way up to PLSP. I called Cullum & Maxey back by now it is 5:04 and they have closed already.

Ding, ding, ding, you video taped the walk through, they showed you where it was, pop in the DVD and watch it, dummy!!! Can't find the DVD. Well, a lot of damn good it does at home. Note to self: put the DVD in the MH. Dummy.

I go back outside and put my knee pads back on. I am determined to find this dad gum water heater. I go over to the driver side, same place where Pete had been underneath the MH. I look up under the edge and I see two silver screws. I lay on my back in mud and unscrew the new looking silver screws. What do you know, as I lift the hatch (that has no obvious handle) there is a panel that has a little latch that brings down another door, lo and behold, my hot water heater. Now imagine this, a middle age, rotund, woman with knee pads jumping up and down, turning around doing a little "I am woman" dance. I was so happy! I had learned where the hot water heater was, I was able to put the drain plug in it, and get the hot water heater to work. I had a little trouble getting the two silver screws in but hey, Theda was going to be here in a little while, she can do it. LOL

I cannot tell you how proud I was to have achieved all I had for the day. Exhausted, yes. I knew there was nothing I couldn't do at this point. I know it sounds like a little thing but is sure boosted my confidence level.

I forgot to mention that all this time, Sedona is out on leash exploring. Now this is from a dog who is used to sleeping all day. She is exhausted too.

It's about 6:30 p.m. now and here comes Theda driving in. Now that I have everything done, here she it. but that's a good thing. I needed to do it all by myself. No one will be with me later.

I am so dirty by this point. It's time for a shower but I need a long, hot shower. I gather my stuff for the shower at the cg. It felt so good. Hot! My body was aching and I was good and tired.

Time to sit/lie and relax. Full moon that night and it was quite pleasant outside.

You can see the moon through the trees. It was bright and beautiful on this Good Friday night.

Sedona is just pooped, her mama is too.

You could tell we were kicked back and doing what is supposed to be done when you camp. The winds were too high for a fire. It's time for night, night.

Saturday, March 22, 2008
What a beautiful day! Sun shining, winds are not too bad this morning, should be a good day. At this point, I know you are getting tired of reading so I'll make the description of the day short.

I cook breakfast. Well, I put eggs in a freezer baggie along with some ham, cheese for an omlette. Then I placed the bag in some boiling water and cook it. I made some toast in the oven. Viola', breakfast.

We decided we wanted to go to Ft Donelson Battlefield to see the visitor center. Theda is getting a new visitor center at her park, Johnsonville State Historic Area, and she is getting ideas of what she wants in a visitor center. Then we make some other stops in the area and head back to camp.

I needed something to do besides lie around so decided to wash the MH. I had won some product from Life on Wheels last year and it is waterless wash for MH. I had very bad black streaks and wanted to get that off. I mixed up some in a bucket and began the chore of cleaning Somewhere. This product is by ProtectPlus. It does pretty good but it didn't begin to cut the black on the white portion of my MH. The lower part looks great but I'll have to do something different for the white part.

Okay, I'm tired again, I'll just lie around and do nothing. It got a little chilly in the wind so we went in and watched a couple of movies. Evan Almighty is so funny. It has great lines and it is a good movie for the whole family. Then we watched I now prounounce you Chuck & Larry. OMG, how funny. Good story line and the kids are great in this movie. Sedona and I snuggle as we watch movies.

I had put some chicken casserole in a crock pot to cook. It was time for supper. BTW, I had purchased a 1.5 quart crock pot 'cause it was just going to be me travelling and I'm not crazy about leftovers. Seems I didn't adjust my recipe enough. I had stuff boiling out all over my stove. So it's time to clean up. Oh but it was good. This is just such a learning experience all the way around.

Easter Sunday, 2008 Theda and I planned to go to the park resturant to have Sunday buffet so no breakfast today. It would be time to leave soon and head back to the real world. We watch a couple of church services on TV and get ready to go eat. It doesn't open until 11:00 a.m but we want to get there before the crowd. We head over about 10:45 and get out names on the list. We were among the first to be seated so that meant the food was fresh. Great food. See several employees I knew and who remembered me from my past life working for state parks. It was good to see them. The park inn looked good. I believe they have had a face lift since I was last there. Smelled better too. lol It was a great day. God is good. We celebrated him.

By the time we got back, it was time to start loading up to head home. Packed everything up, put the knick knacks up and time to head out. One last deed, DUMPING!
That chore went w/out a hitch. Easy, clean, no problem, mon! Only thing was the park did not have their water on at the dump site. It would have helped to have washed out the waste tank but I think it got pretty clean anyway. Before I left the camp site, I had flushed quite a bit of water down it so it would have plenty to dump and then of course was the grey water tank to flush 'er on down.

On to Clarksville where I parked Somewhere until my next trip. I love driving her and can't wait to take her out again.

1 comment:

Margie said...

Carolyn, I was reading your blog during morning break at work and laughing so much! My co-workers thought I was crazy I guess. But, girl, I'm proud of you for finding that hot water tank - - now I'm wondering where mine is! By the way, if you plan to boondock, fill the hot water tank before the fresh water tank - gives you more water.