Our Home

Our Home

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No More Apartment

The camper is beginning to look a bit less cluttered inside. This is the first weekend we have been able to spend entirely in the camper. For the last three weeks we have been moving things from the apartment to the camper or to someone else’s house or to the dumpster. Finally we had everything moved and we turned in the keys to the apartment yesterday and we will no longer go there after work. It will be nice to get home at a decent hour during the week. I am looking forward to getting to know our neighbors better. Dick, next door, commented Friday night he had not seen us for a while. I told him we still had to work. He said that is a nasty four letter word, I agree it is nasty but for the next four months that will be our routine.
I downloaded our first book into the Nook, Sarah wanted a Danielle Steel book so I bought one, it was $6 and some change, but she started reading it and seems to like the Nook. We told Robert we bought a Nook and informed us that Madyson, she is two, has one also. He was referring to her pacifiers. Someday an electronic reader is what they will use in school; it will have all their text books on them. I don’t believe books as we know them today will totally disappear but they will not be as prevalent as they are today.
Not much going on today, I have the radio playing and Sarah is going through a big box of pictures to decide what we want to scan what we will try to pawn off on the kids.
I backed up my laptop to the new hard drive I bought the other day, it went well, now I want to back up Sarah’s laptop but I want to wait until we have all the pictures scanned but then again maybe I won’t wait.
Fixed a roast with red potatoes, onion, celery and baby carrots in the crockpot, very good. We even have some left over for later in the week. We only got a 10 cu ft. refrigerator but it seems to be working well for us. We try to keep it cleared out by eating what is in it instead of fixing other dishes and not eating the left overs.
I took one of the propane bottles over to get filled yesterday, we have 30 lb. tanks. This one ran out sometime during the night last week and I don’t like having just one tank of propane. We have a couple of nights where it is supposed to get down in the low 40’s. I run the heat pump if the temps are not supposed to get below 45 but the low 40’s I wanted propane, it’s not too bad a 30 lb. tank cost me $22.25.
Feels like it is time for a nap so I will leave you all with this thought; Dreams Do Come True.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Almost Done with the Move

Work is about the same, this week we have had several tours so those help to make the days go faster. Yesterday we had some folks from Iowa City, who work for another part of the company; they wanted to see what and how we do our imaging to see if there is a way for them to improve their processes. It was a good visit and I believe we gave them some new ideas they can take home and see if they will work for them.

The camper is becoming more livable, the problem is we still have items sitting in boxes in the living area until we figure out where we want them. We are almost finished with scanning the pictures but the Sarah came up with another box and couple of albums to scan. It is supposed to rain this weekend and I plan on attacking the pictures and maybe I will be able to clear the decks of them for good.

We are in the process of scanning some more pictures Sarah found. This weekend is supposed to be cold and rainy so I hope we can finish the scanning once and for all. We have over 30,000 pictures on the computer, I am sure there are a lot of duplicates.

I buy a lot of HP products, all my printers have been HP and I have two laptops that are HP so I do like their products. I decided to buy a portable hard drive and HP had one for $103 so I ordered it with the free shipping. If I had wanted to have two day delivery it would have cost me another $39, so I took the free shipping. I had it in two days, not bad service.

I love to read and have had in my life time quite a few books. So with downsizing I have had to get rid of most of them. I am now down to five boxes of books and I need the room so they are going to have to go. So tonight I bought a Nook eBook reader from Barnes and Noble. I can now get rid of the boxes of books. I am looking forward to using it and enjoying all of my favorite books.

Tomorrow we have some running around to do and then back home to continue putting things away. One of these days we will have the camper the way we want it.

Dreams Do Come True.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Chapter Closed

What a weekend, the weather was beautiful and warm and it was great being outside when I could be. The apartment is now empty of our things. The maintenance guy has already begun painting and I would guess they will put new carpet in when he is done with that. So another chapter in our lives has ended.

Last Friday, I had a DIRECTV satellite put on the camper when I ordered it so last Friday I took the day off to have someone get it working. What a day that turned out to be. The installer came out at 8:30 am and started to do his thing. I ordered one TV to have a DVR and the other not to have one. When the installer came to where he was to activate the DVR he had to call DirecTV for a waiver because I would not be able to record and watch different channels at the same time. This is no big deal for me. The installing company said we would be able to get a waiver without any problem, well DirecTV says it is a problem, they won’t do it. So I told the installer to forget the DVR just give me a regular receiver. He headed back to the shop to get the new receiver. As he was driving he called his boss and told him what was going on and his boss said to turn around and go back he’d get the waiver. I was told it would take thirty minutes to two hours to get this all handled. No problem, I had things to do but nothing that was earth shaking. I waited all afternoon and no one called. Finally at four I called them and told my story to someone new and they said someone would be touch. It is now Monday and I still don’t have my TV hooked to satellite. I called this morning and again told my story, this time there was an excuse, DirecTV is having their annual meeting and the guy who can give the waiver is on an airplane. It is amazing that there is only one guy who can give waivers at DirecTV. We’ll see what today brings. Maybe I should have bought a Dish Network satellite. (DirecTV called tonight and we now have satellite TV on the big screen TV, Alleluia.)

We did go out to eat at Macaroni Grill Friday night, so the day was not a total loss. The dinner was great and my dining partner was gorgeous. Then it was off to Home Depot to find a product called Countertop Magic, it was recommended to use to clean the counters in the camper. We found it and headed home.

It is interesting in Howard’s posting today he said Home is where ever they are parked. That is something I believe and will try to reinforce in myself as we begin traveling. I will also train myself to call our dwelling home not camper. Camper somehow, in my mind, denotes temporary not long term and I am in this for as long a term as possible.

We have seen some of the campers in our campground with clothes drying racks attached to their ladders. Sarah says she wants one of them. I have gone on the internet to find one and there aren’t too many options I could find. Our neighbor as one but they made it out of PCV pipe, it look good but I am hoping I can buy one that won’t take up to much room.

Sunday we went shopping, Sarah to return a jacket and me to buy some short sleeve dress shirts to wear to work. We went into Younker’s, part of the Macy/Bergner chain of stores, I must say I do not like shopping but I needed shirts. I found the shirts, after asking someone where they were being hidden. Right in the middle of the floor, I swear they were long sleeve shirts when I looked at them before. The sign read half price, now that is what I liked, so I picked out five shirts and took them to the customer service counter. Usually when you go to pay for something in these stores you have to wait a while before someone sees you and then asks if they can help you. I always wanted to say, “No, I had nothing better to do today than to stand her and hold up this counter”. I never say it out loud but I am sure thinking about it.

Anyway, there were two gentlemen there and one asks if I am ready to check out. More thought go through my head but I try to hold my tongue. I said yes and he asked if I had a Younkers card, I told him I did but didn’t know here it was at. He said if I reactivated it I could get an additional twenty percent off my purchases that day. I may not like shopping but I do like to save money, bottom line when all was said and done I got enough discount that one of the shirts was free.

The camper is now becoming Home, we have boxes still to be put away but we are getting there. It is great, as I have said before Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not Much Happening

This week has gone by rather quickly. I believe Andy Rooney, of the “60 Minutes” show, was talking about planning future events and how time seems to go by quicker because of the anticipation of the event(s). I believe this to be true since that is what happens to me. I spent an uneventful week at work, not much of interest going on there.

Monday night we went to the local DirecTV store in Ankeny and visited with them about getting the satellite hooked up and working. We talked with Sean and though he was very helpful he was very encouraging, mostly because they had never hooked up a dish in a fifth wheel. I told him I do not want any holes drilled or wires run. The company ran a wire from the dish to the entertainment center; actually there is a splitter somewhere in the roof sending a cable to the bedroom also. However, if I understand correctly, for the bedroom TV to receive the satellite signal a wire has to come from the dish directly, so that TV may have to stay on the antennae only. That’s not all bad we mostly watch the news on it or Sarah watches her network shows on it. The installer is to come out tomorrow, Friday, so we will see what he can do.

Tuesday was another day spent at the apartment trying to get the remaining stuff out of there. We don’t have a lot but we need to see if the kids want any of it or do we dispose of it in the dumpster.

Wednesday night we met another couple for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, they have very good food. I don’t remember the name but it is one of just a few in my opinion where you can get good Mexican food here in this area. We get together with Russ and Candi each month; I worked with Russ when I was at Ruan. He has developed a BBQ sauce that is very good and has it in the local Hy-Vee stores. You can also buy it on the internet at http://www.russandfranks.com/. I plan on carrying a couple extra jars with me when we begin our travels and if anyone wants to buy some I will have them to sell.

Tonight we went to the apartment again; hopefully we will have the place cleaned out by Saturday. We have a couple of desk chairs I am putting on Craigslist to see if we can sell them. I plan on being at the apartment on Saturday morning and I will set a time to come see the chairs and buy them if they wish. We have several bags of clothes I am going to take to St Mary of Nazareth church Saturday morning to put in the St Vincent de Paul truck. It seems the roof of the St Vincent de Paul building leaked this past winter and they lost a lot of things. So we are going to give the clothes we were going to give to Goodwill to them.

While we were at the apartment Norma, a friend Sarah works with, came over with her triplet grandchildren, two boys and a girl, Callie, Reece and Zane. Good kids, we really enjoyed seeing them. They were hoping we would be able to go to their birthday party this year but we will be out of town with the camper so we won't make it to their party.

We were able to get rid of somemore stuff, I took five bags of trash out to the dumpster and I believe we have a few more bags that will be filled and tossed into the garbage.

We worked until six thirty and then headed for Hy-Vee, they had rib dinners for six dollars, they were very good. We came home and crashed. I will be very glad when we get rid of the apartment.

I have decided I am going to give up my books in favor of an ebook reader. Sarah has said she wants an IPad, we'll have to go look at those.

My goal this weekend is to reduce some of the clutter we have in the camper and get better organized. I have to get my printer working wirelessly and then sit back and enjoy.

Dreams Do Come True.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a Weekend

Friday night after work we picked up a U-Haul truck to take a bunch of things to Omaha. U-haul called me on Wednesday and asked if they could upgrade me to a bigger truck. It seems they had a truck come in from Lincoln, NE and wanted to get it back there as quick as possible, they would also take $20 dollars off the price. I immediately agreed to help them out. When I picked up the truck I also asked about a dollie and blankets. The rental agent put an appliance dollie on the truck, saying they had too many of them and if I took it with me I could use it, the same with the blankets on the truck.

So my brother, Jerry, met us at the apartment and we loaded all of the Omaha bound items on the truck and then a few items he wanted, he didn’t have any way to get them to his place so we took them over with the truck. Sarah came up with the idea of loading the truck with the Omaha items and then Jerry’s items, this worked out great. The truck had a half a tank of fuel and when I turned it in it needed to have a half a tank of fuel so we filled it up, $50 later we had a truck full of fuel and stuff.

We parked it over night at the apartment complex because I did not want to add miles to the truck and it would be just back tracking with it. So Saturday morning bright and early we were on the road to Omaha. We had a tail wind the whole trip and I was amazed at how well the truck ran, it had 187,000 miles on it, the radio did not work and there was a tear in the seat, other than that it ran well. With no radio I talked a lot to myself and sang whatever came to mind. I am no singer, I always say when it comes to music I couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it. I tried to learn the saxophone as a sophomore in high school, which lasted about a week; I wasn't really interested in it. I do wish I would have learned to read music, I would love to listen to piano music and have always thought about learning to play, but I have never followed through on it.

We had our taxes done and this is the first year in a long time we have received refunds from both Federal and State. I don’t do them anymore I don’t want to deal with the changes in the law and with traveling and workamping in the future it will be easier to send the accountant what we have and let him work his magic.

I have decided to get a Kindle, by doing so I will eliminate 3-5 boxes of books I have in the basement of the camper. I will have to buy the books I get rid of but they are old enough to where I should be able to get them free or for very little cost and I don’t have to buy them all at once. I wonder if you can download books from a library with the Kindle? From what I have read this is the way to go. Sarah says she wants an IPad, I don’t know about that but we may get her a Kindle also.

Tomorrow night we are going to go see about getting the Direct TV hooked up, I am taking Friday off and hope they can come out then to hook it all up. I want a receiver for both TVs but only one DVR, I’m not sure two would work anyway. I am told you need two wires coming from the dish and I don’t know how they wired the unit. So if all goes well Friday I will be watching satellite TV.

While we were in Omaha I drove out to the KOA in Gretna to see about sites for our visit to Omaha in September and October. I met Eric and he gave me the information I needed, so I walked over to the sites he indicated and picked the one we would want, it had a great view of the southern sky for the satellite. I gave him the dates we will be there and we are good to go.

I have our itinerary all planned in my head, other than Omaha I haven’t made any reservations elsewhere. We are going to Robert’s the first part of June so I will try to find someplace up there at that time.

We are loving our adventure and do believe Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Got up, went to work, came home from work, enough said about work.
We went to the apartment after work to do some more document shredding. We are almost done with that and after this weekend we should have everything out of the apartment and what is left is going to Goodwill or the dumpster. Then I can get the apartment cleaned and we can turn in the keys and get our deposit.

It will be nice to be able to come directly home after work. Right now we don’t get home until after seven and by the time we eat I am falling asleep in the chair. I am so tired come ten o’clock it doesn’t take long for me to be asleep once I get in bed. Speaking of bed, I am pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the bed is, this is the only camper I found that had a box spring under the mattress.

I bought a new printer, I may have mentioned this already, and I received it the other day and tried to install it tonight. First of all the printer did not come with the Window 7 drivers, I had to order them from HP. I loaded the printer drivers on Sarah’s laptop, it has Vista on it, and I couldn’t get the network to see the printer. Where is my help desk when I need them? I’ll get if figured out eventually but I like to have everything work without a hitch. Oh well, such is life.

I called a satellite company today to see about getting Direct TV hooked up. I told the guy what I had and needed, he told me they don’t get many calls for just the service and receivers. I said I wanted someone to come out and hook it all up and make sure it worked the way it is suppose too. So Monday we are going to stop at their store and see what I can get, then I am hoping they can come out on Friday to hook it all up.

M&M peanuts are sure good, of course I don’t need them but they say the blue ones are supposed to be good for you. Who am I to argue with science? I can’t eat just one, Lord knows I have tried, but I can stop after a handful, that is if Sarah is keeping track of the amount I eat. I really don’t know why the make the regular M&M’s anymore; there is no comparison between the peanut ones and the regular ones. One day I would love to visit the factory. I wonder if they let you have samples?
Time to hit the sack and get some shut eye.

Until later we know – Dreams Do Come True.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Iowa has a saying about the weather in Iowa, "Wait five minutes and it will change". It was cloudy all day and around noon the weather service issued a tornado warning until 10 pm. Nothing exciting happened at work today. We got home a little after six. We fixed dinner but before we could begin eating the tornado sirens began wailing so we headed over to the shelter, we weren't the only ones going there. However, the storm went east and missed us altoghether. We visited with others before coming home and finishing our dinner.

Tonight was a new NCIS which of course I had to watch, I do like that show.

I received my new printer today but haven't set it up yet. My other printer was to big for any of the cabinets in the camper. So I bought a smaller wireless one. Hopefully it will work the way I want it to.

We are suppose to have thunderstorms tonight so it may or not be a good night for sleeping. It is nice to hear the sound of rain on the roof, it has a soothing sound to it.

That's about it for today, remember - Dreams Do Come True.


Monday was just an ordinary day at work, nothing real exciting was happening. I went about my normal routine and waited for five o’clock.

After work Sarah and I went to Hy-Vee so I could get the lottery tickets for the week. I collect money from fellow employees for lottery tickets and then buy them after work. We have been doing this, usually 15-20 people buying, for approximately four years. We have not won anything of substance; I believe the most we have ever won is $100. So it is not a very profitable undertaking.

We also stopped by the apartment and picked up our mail and a couple of odds and ends. Nothing exciting in the mail, I have toyed with the idea of renting a PO Box in town here but decided not to if we are going to use a forwarding service. I want to keep the apartment address until we turn it over to the landlord.

We still have items left in the apartment that we do not know what to do with. The camper is just about full so I don’t believe we will be bringing much more to the camper. Sarah still has some drawers to go through and I have some papers to shred, I hope the shredded will keep working until we are done with all of it.

We received a call from Merlin, he bought the F350, saying he was ready to pick up the truck. I told we would be home about six. When I got home I started the truck, it fired off right away, and checked the lights etc. I didn’t want any of the lights to be burned out on it. Merlin arrived at six and looked the truck over; he seemed please with his purchase, one he made from pictures only. After signing the title and bill of sale he and his wife took off. I hope he has a lot of year’s usage from the truck; we enjoyed having it and pulling the Travel Supreme with it. It is a good truck; we never had a problem with it. I know Merlin will enjoy it.

I watched the NCAA Championship game, it was a good game. Butler did a better job than I believe a lot of people thought they would. You do a lot of “what ifs” and see where Butler could have won but all in all it was a great game and both teams are to be congratulated in the way they played and the sportsmanship they exhibited.

I went to bed after the game. I woke up to rain hitting the roof and the sound of some wind and went right back to sleep. This morning Sarah said it was really windy and she woke up early. One of the ladies I work with asked me if I heard the wind last night, she lives on the east side of Des Moines. I heard that Altoona, we are on the NW side of Altoona, had 70 mph winds during the night. I guess I slept right through the worse of it.

When I was walking down the hall today I noticed one shoe was untied. I have noticed laces being untied on other occasions also. I don’t know what has changed in the manufacturing of shoe laces but until the last couple of years I could go months without a shoe lace coming untied. I looked under my desk there was no one or thing there to untie my shoe so I am at a loss as to why they keep coming untied.

Well that is all for now. Keep your dreams alive for Dreams Do Come True

Monday, April 5, 2010

Still Cleaning out the Apartment

Sunday, yesterday, was cloudy for most of the day with the sun coming out in the early evening hours. We went to church early, it was packed, and then to the apartment to continue cleaning it out.

Sarah packed the china and crystal and I took care of the pictures. I ended up buying too many boxes to use for packing. I bought one box for each of the large pictures and three boxes for the china. The china I was OK, the pictures was a different story.

I had measured the pictures and three of them are 42x37 or somewhere in that vicinity, so the guy at the U-Haul store sold me a box for each, which I later discovered is correct if I would have bought the Styrofoam corners, I didn’t I bought some bubble wrap type corners. In addition I made up the boxes so I could take the picture off the wall put the corners on it and place it in a box. The first picture fit in the box nicely, the second picture fit in the same box as the first nicely and the third picture fit in the same box as one and two with room left over. So now I have two more boxes put together with no big pictures to put in them.

I had several smaller pictures to pack, so I cut one of the extra boxes in half and fashioned a box out of the half and the smaller pictures fin perfectly in it. I have a box or two left over but I still have some stereo components to pack up so I may still have a use for the left over boxes.

Cynthia, Sarah’s twin sister, came over and we were able to pawn a few things off on her. She is keeping a lot of things that belonged to their mother for their brother(s) to go through and take if they want too. I couldn’t talk into a couple of lamps or desk chairs but I may keep trying on that. Cynthia did take two big plastic boxes of pictures and what-nots to her place.

We loaded some more boxes into the car and headed home. Of course I don’t know where we will put this stuff but we’ll find someplace and within a year we will most likely pitch it.

Sarah lost one of her ear rings on Saturday so we spent time trying to find it in the car and camper then she wanted to go to the truck stop we had gotten gas at before we left town. I volunteered to drive her not out of the goodness of my heart but because I wanted to go find a Dairy Queen. The truck stop people said they did not have it nor had anyone turned anything in. We headed out to find a Dairy Queen; I knew there had to be one in Altoona, only because I wanted one so badly. The GPS on my IPhone said the closest one was in Des Moines, we drove on regardless. Now 35 years ago there was an ice cream shop in Altoona and I figured it might still be there. No such luck, but to our surprise we did find a Dairy Queen, evidently some GPS software needs updating. One last problem with this whole scenario, the Dairy Queen was CLOSED.

We needed a few things from the grocery store so we went to Hy-Vee. I really like Ritz crackers and I discovered a new favorite last night, the ones that are pretzel flavored. I also bought some ice cream since I couldn’t have my Dairy Queen.

We got home I got settled into my chair with my laptop on my lap and I was getting ready to watch 60 minutes, when Sarah says “Do you want to go for a walk”. At first I said no but then I reconsidered my present and future options. So we went for a walk. Once around the park I figure is close to a half mile, I am going to have to drive it to see what it actually is. We finished the first lap and our neighbors Judy and Dick were just starting their trek around the park, so we joined them. Dick had both knees replace seven years ago, I believe he said, he is going to have the plastic in one of the replaced in the near future so I am sure we will get to join them on future walks around the park. After the walk we sat and visited for a bit. It is great to talk with those who have been full timing for a while and learn little trick and tips they have acquired over the years.

It started to get cold and dark so we all headed for our homes and settled in for the evening. I finished reading the paper and watched “Undercover Boss”, it is only the second time I have watched it, but the show was about Roto-Rooter, which was founded here in Des Moines and they had a segment from Des Moines.

We turned as soon as the weather was over, I am now very interested in the weather so we can plan on what to do etc. for bad weather. We have some thunderstorms coming but we’ll what they end up doing.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Great Day

Today was a great day. We left home this morning about eight heading down to see mom in Centerville. She is at the Continental Assisted Living; my sister is the Administrator there. Mom has a great apartment and is very happy where she is at. We got there about nine-thirty, she was waiting for us, Sarah cut her hair, I brought in the box of books I had for her and the box of CDs and DVDs I had brought for the facility I put in the front area. The last box of DVDs I brought down had some of the Red Skelton show, I was told the folks in the memory care area really enjoyed them, I was glad to hear that.

We went to my sister, Tara's, house for lunch. Her husband Paul fixed chicken breasts on the grill, they were great. We had a green bean casserole and a potato casserole, both were great. My nephew Brian was there also, he is a senior at Iowa, he aspires to be a doctor and he will make a great one. We were regaled him with tales of when we were growing up, I told him I wanted a signed copy of the book he will write about everything he learned today.

Tomorrow we will be up early to go to church and then to the apartment to pack up the china and crystal and the other odds and ends left there. I bought some boxes the other day to pack the pictures and china so once that gets down, I only have a couple of things left. Daniel is taking the stereo equipment so I need to unplug everything and pack it in a box so he will have it when we get all of this to Omaha. Tiffany and Matt are taking the TV and stand plus the sofa and recliner and bookcases. My brother is taking whatever is left, hopefully by next Sunday there won't be anything left in the apartment and we can get it cleaned up and be done with it.

I am now looking into how we are going to handle our mail. I am leaning toward Alternative Resources in South Dakota to be our mail address. I have heard a lot of good things about them, our friends Dave and Shari, use them and am satisfied with their service. I will have to decide pretty soon so I can get all the paper work done and begin having the post office forward our mail.

I have tried to find health insurance for Sarah but no one wants to quote any policy until you have sixty days or less left before needing the coverage. So I have been going online and getting quotes for sixty days out, we won't need it until Sept, but it gives me an idea of the possible costs. However, with the current passing of the National Health Plan I don't know how that will affect what I have already seen. We will just have to have patience and see what happens.

We have a washer and dryer in the camper and we are doing laundry now, I am sitting here listening to the washer spin out some wash and it sounds like the camper is falling apart. It doesn't last long and it is convenient.

I believe I mentioned we had a couple of problems in the camper, lights, shower head and caulking in the shower. I want to take a moment to give some praise to Bob & Jo's RV, Guthrie Center, where we bought the camper. I received a call from Jason, who I had talked with about the problems and who scheduled us for an appointment on the 16th, he said they were going to have a man at Cutty's RV park here in Des Moines yesterday and wanted to know where we were parked. I told him we were in Griff's RV Park in Bondurant. He said he knew where that was and they would have the tech go out to the camper and fix the problems. He said this would save us a trip over to the dealer. This gesture saved us about a 120 miles RT and several hours. I highly recommend Bob & Jo's if you are ever in the area and in need of a camper or service. You don't find this level of customer service in many places anymore.

We had a great day and look forward to many more to come in our new home.

We know Dreams Do Come True.