Sunday, December 29, 2013

We’re in Santa Clara, California


December 29, 2013                                                                                                            Lorraine’s report

Hello again from the Elk's parking lot in Sunnyvale, CA.  What a week it has been. To be here with Susy and Kaitlyn for Christmas has been a lot of fun.  You can  bet we had an amazing time with them.  Thank you Susy for letting us come and be with you!!!

Well, the freezer has kept us here until later on this week.  That new refrigerator with the bottom freezer was 2 months past the warranty period of 12 months.  In other words, it was no longer under warranty.  Chuck called the Samsung factory and worked out some kind of deal, just with the factory to fix the broken freezer one time.  Now we are still waiting for a repair man to come and fix the thing.  I saw that Bob & Linda got the same refrigerator we did, sure hope you don't have the same kinda problems we are having.  We were not offered any other warranty than the one that came with it.  And 14 months was only two months past the warranty.  Our kinda luck!

Then being run into by an unlicensed driver with no insurance was another problem for us.  I think Chuck saw the gal not slowing down and must have braced for the collusion, but I didn't, so I hit pretty good; my head went all the way forward, then snapped back hitting my pony tail holder really hard.  I have had a really stiff neck from the whip lash.  We were on our way to my doctor's office for the results of my tests and a physical.  I had to cancel and make my appointment on Friday at 7:30 am.  Way too early for me, but we made it. 

That was a long day for us, we left at 6:45, Chuck had his appointment with his doctor, then we went by Costco, then the Verizon store.  Chuck found his phone and we ended up with a tablet to be used as a router for the rig.  We didn't get home until 4:30 to 4:45 that afternoon.  A very long day for Misty. 

But the good news is that we are still both healthy.  Knock on wood, this life style has been good for us.  Just don't know when it will change for us; or where we will end when it is time to come off the road. 

On that note I will end this blog.  We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  May you all have enough!! 

Hugs ,


12/2913                                                                                                                                    Chuck’s report

First, we wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!  Once again, we are working on our long range plans for the year, more on that as we firm them up next month. 

Yea, we made it through Christmas but it’s been a rough week anyway, I’ll discuss that later. 

Let’s see, last Sunday after we wrote the blog, we headed over to Susy’s place.  Lorraine made up a nice pot roast for dinner, sort of like before we went on the road, a roast for Sunday dinner.  Lorraine and Susy managed to finish up wrapping the rest of the Christmas presents and we watched the Seahawks loose their first home game this season, to Arizona.  That leaves the door open for them to possibly loose home field advantage through the playoff, sure hope not. 

Monday morning we headed over to the VA for them to check out my CPAP machine.  The gal was pleased to see I have been using it and we ordered some new masks and stuff too.  I do believe it helps and the memory in the machine shows I only wake up an average of 5 or 6 times an hour vs 35 times before the machine.  We then made run to the store for a couple of last minute items for Christmas.  We also stopped at a Safeway to pick up some groceries on the way home. 

Lorraine had a physical scheduled at her doctor’s at 4:00 so we headed there next.  But traffic was really stop/go even on the freeway we were on.  One exit before we wanted to get off we saw lots of traffic getting off the road, headed towards one of the big malls.  Just a bit further on, as traffic started moving again, we got rear ended by some gal.  We were in the 2nd lane from the right so I pulled over to the shoulder, she just stopped and waited.  Finally I walked back and stopped traffic in the right lane so she could/would move to the side of the road.

I walked back to exchange information with her and the first words out of her mouth were “no speak English”, oh great.  Both cars appeared to be drivable, her car had more visible damage than ours.  Lorraine called 911 and of course the cops were busy but would get to us when they could.  I continued trying to get some info from the driver of the other car and finally got a California ID card, no driver’s license however. 

Finally a highway service attendant came by and told us the Highway Patrol were in route and should be there in 5 minutes or so.   By now it was apparent that we couldn’t get to Lorraine’s doctor in time for her appointment but she was able to convince them she really needed to get this done as we were leaving on Monday.  They made an appointment for her on Friday at 7:30, way early for us but at least she could get in.

Finally the patrolman got there and got info from both of us.  The gal who hit us had no driver’s license, no insurance and who knows if she was even legal.  After he got all the info he needed, he informed us that she was getting cited for causing the accident, no license and no insurance.  He also said we could drive away.  I asked him if he was letting her drive away even though she didn’t have an license and he sort of shrugged his shoulder and said “YES”.  I was surprised but didn’t go any further with that as we wanted to get out of there.   Anyway, we have some heavy scratches and dings on the back of our car and Lorraine has a sore neck but otherwise we were ok. 

Next morning, Lorraine was still a bit sore but not enough to see the walk in doctor.  She had been icing it a bit and took some aspirin for the pain.  Susy had the day off from work so we picked up Susy and Katie and went to see the movie Walking with Dinosaurs.  I can’t believe it, three times to the movie house for me this year, WOW.    Not a bad movie and the computer animation was good too. 

We have sort of set a tradition that on Christmas Eve we go out to dinner at Outback and continued doing it again this year.  Not sure what/where or when I lost it but when I went to pay for dinner, I couldn’t find my credit card.  The last place I used it was at the movie house earlier that day but they didn’t have it nor had anyone turned one in.  I, of course, called the credit card company to cancel it before anyone could use it and set up to have a new one delivered to us on Friday evening at our coach.  We did have a good dinner though even though they didn’t bring me the one I had ordered. 

Next morning we headed over to Susy place for Christmas day.  Of course, Katie was very anxious for us to get there so she (we) could start opening presents.  Mark had stopped by McDonalds for breakfast for everyone and after eating we got started opening presents.  After unwrapping the presents, we all started opening the packages.  Boy do they have lots of hard to open packages, especially some of the kids ones.  Lots of plastic and tie wraps, must keep lots of Chinese people in jobs putting it all together. 

Later Lorraine and Susy cooked a ham dinner for us, yum.  After dinner they played a new to me board game, Millionaire Monopoly.  Almost the same rules as regular Monopoly but all the prices are inflated.  By the time the game was over, it was time for us to head home.  We certainly had a very nice day. 

Thursday Lorraine wanted to do some laundry; wash up some of the things we got for Christmas.  She got a migraine headache however and had to lay down for awhile until the medicine took effect.  Later Katie came by and she and Lorraine played for the afternoon.  We went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, another good one.  No wonder I’m not loosing any weight!

Friday morning we got going early and got to Lorraine’s doctor for her physical.  Other than a couple of times when he was unable to answer some questions for us, she had all good reports.  Her blood tests, blood pressure and such were all in the good range.  So good news on that front. 

We returned back to our place for an hour before we had to head to the VA for me to see my doctor for my physical.  I also had a good report from her, blood work and blood pressure were all good too.  Both of our doctors said this lifestyle must be a good one for us and we agreed. 

We stopped by Costco on the way back and I went by to look at their smart phones.  I had almost decided that I was going to get a HTC One phone but found Costco had just pulled them from their stores.  She said there was an issue with the phone and they didn’t want to sell it anymore.  That pretty much changed my opinion and decision of buying that type. 

But there happened to be a Verizon store in the same mall so we went there next, I wanted to see what they had to say about the HTC One.  They didn’t have an issue with this phone and I checked out a couple of others while we were there.  Long story but we left there with me getting a new phone, a Moto X and we also got a new tablet to replace the Mi-Fi we had been using.  The reason we went with the tablet was two fold, it was free and only $10/month vs $20/month for the Mi-Fi.  With the Verizon plan we have, it was $10/month extra to go with a smart phone but that was offset with the reduction in monthly fee for the tablet.  And if we ever want,we could use the tablet for more than just a hot spot, bonus. 

When we got back to our place, Lorraine found her computer was not working.  She and Susy were going to see a movie so I tried to work on it.  I’m not a computer expert by any means but finally managed to get it to turn on but it had to reset itself.  It took about 4 hours before it finally came back to life and it was reset back to almost the same as when it came out of the store, meaning it lost all the favorites and all the computer games Lorraine had on it.  But at least it was working. 

Lorraine and Susy came back from the movie, they had seen the Hobbit Smaug.  They both said it was a good movie, glad I didn’t go as I don’t much care for science fiction type movies.  When they got back, I managed to get another couple of programs working on her computer, enough so that she had email and facebook anyway. 

Yesterday Lorraine finished up on laundry at our place and we got the new, freshly washed sheets on our bed too.  Later we went over to Susy’s place for the afternoon.  Shortly after, Lorraine, Susy and Katie went out to get pedicures while I stayed back and played with my new smart phone. 

This morning we got up and sort of just took life easy, I worked on her computer once again but didn’t have a lot of luck.  But we loaded up the computer and headed over to Susy’s place where Mark was today.  He had been thinking about going to the Rose Bowl parade and game with the Stanford band but decided not to go as he wasn’t feeling too well and didn’t want to get sick.  He has taught computers for years and managed to get lots more of Lorraine’s computer back and loaded some of the programs that had disappeared, yea.  Thanks a bunch Mark, sure appreciate your help. 

So we set there watching the San Francisco game and worked on the computer.  I started writing this blog then too and will be finishing it up soon as the game is now over. 

The weather has been nice for the past week, no rain even though they sure could use some here.  It is the driest year on record I heard, less than 8” this year.  The temperatures have been really nice too, high 60s and low 70s with a bit of cooling spell coming but still no rain in sight.  The lows have been in the lower 40s and a couple of times even to the mid 30s, getting there. 

As far as our travel plans go, they are up in the air.  Our freezer has not been cooling and the repair guy said it  probably needed to have the Freon system recharged and possibly fix a hole somewhere in the coils, to the tune of over $600, bummer.  I called Samsung to see what they could do to help us out, knowing it was 14 month old and we only had a one year warranty.   They originally offered us the opportunity to purchase a warranty but retracted that offer when the realized it was in a motorhome, go figure.  But they did give us a good will, one time repair to fix the problem we have been having, labor and parts, yea.  They also have their own repair shop to work on it so I’ve been working with them on the phone. 

The repair shop has ordered parts based on our conversation but they will not be here until Tuesday and with New Years being a holiday, they can’t work on it until Thursday.  So assuming they manage to find and fix the problem on Thursday, we will probably leave here next Friday.  We were planning on leaving tomorrow so that’s five days later than planned.  But we will get going as soon as we get our fridge fixed. 

So this week we had a car accident, Lorraine’s computer crashed, (mine also lost a couple of programs but not as bad as Lorraine’s) and we are still having fridge problems.  On the plus side, we’ve managed to spend Christmas with our daughter and grand daughter once again plus spend some good time with them too.  The car can be fixed, the fridge is being repaired this week and with Mark’s help, the computer problems are getting resolved too.  So all in all, a good week, I’d say.  Too bad our son was unable to be with us this Christmas though. 

Christmas morning at Susy’s place.  That’s Lorraine, Susy and Katie on the right. 

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Opening the stockings.  A bouquet of flowers from our son is displayed. 

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Opening presents. 

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Almost need to stop and pick up even though we attempted to put stuff away as we opened. 

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Susy on the left, Mark on the right. 

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Lorraine modeling her new coat. 

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We waited so Katie could put the state stickers on our coach.  Only one left is North Dakota (and Hawaii where we will not be driving).

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Some sunset pictures from our place. 

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The gals had a pedicure yesterday. 

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Katie and her friend Celeste playing in her bedroom. 


And that was our week, sure hope you had a Merry Christmas and a good week. 


Thanks   Chuck




Sunday, December 22, 2013

We’re in Santa Clara, California


December 22, 2013                                                                                                                Lorraine’s report

Chuck & I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas…May Christ fill you with His love..

I would like to wish Dorothy W a very Happy Birthday on the 23rd of December..She is going to be 75!!  Dorothy, you are such a nice person, so thoughtful and kind!!!  We are so glad we got to meet such a great person…Happy Birthday…Hugs,  C & L

12/22/13                                                                                                                                     Chuck’s report

We are here until sometime after Christmas, having fun being with Susy and Katie.  We’ve been able to pick up Katie after school and Susy comes over after work everyday too. 

First, we wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We are lucky enough to be with our daughter and grand daughter, too bad our son can’t be with us however.  I hope you are able to enjoy the time with whomever you are with and enjoy the season.  But remember the reason for the season, as my sister says, it is CHRISTmas and for sure not Xmas. 

Last Sunday we went to a local casino with Joe and Alice to watch the Seahawks football game.  They had two big screens there, one was showing the San Francisco and the other was showing the Seahawks.  I think the Seahawk crowd was over 50 folks and there were only 6 watching the 49ers.  Not sure what that means but I was surprised because we are much closer to San Francisco than Seattle.  But anyway, we were able to see another good, winning effort by the Seahawks over the Giants. 

We headed home, had to walk Misty, then later we decided to have In N Out burgers four our dinner.  We called Joe and Alice but found they had already stopped there for their dinner earlier, missed seeing them by that much again. 

We left Palm Springs on Monday morning and got to Bakersfield Orange Grove RV park with no issues.  Lorraine made a good chicken noodle soup for dinner, really good stuff on a travel day.  Next morning I picked a few oranges, I was able to fill a grocery bag from just one spot, some of the trees are still pretty loaded with oranges. 

We left Bakersfield on Tuesday and continued our trip to here in the Bay area.  We got set up then drove over to pick Katie up from school.  Later Susy came by and brought BBQ from place North of here, good stuff.

Wednesday Lorraine went to the lab for some needed blood work before her physical next week.  Because it was a fasting blood test, we found a place to eat soon after.  After a couple of shopping stops we went by to pick up Katie from school again. 

Thursday it was my turn for a fasting blood draw before my physical next week.  Then I had an appointment to get a steroid injection in my shoulder and hip.  I wasn’t looking forward to that too much but sure hoped it would help me move a bit easier after the injections.  I had a good visit with the doctor, he talked about all kinds of things for over an hour.  Finally I went out to tell Lorraine everything was ok, just visiting with the doc, ha.  Anyway, he recommended that I not get an injection in my shoulder, I’ve had 6 or 7 already and he doesn’t like to give that many, says it could cause some problems.  But he did shoot me in my hip and it seems to be helping although I probably won’t see full benefit for another two days or so. 

Before we left for the VA, Lorraine had put pork steak in the slow cooker for our dinner that evening, yum.  There sure wasn’t too much left over. 

Friday Lorraine wanted to pick up a couple items from the mall.  I agreed to go along and walked the mall while she was shopping then met her and we continued walking the rest of the mall.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t a mad house with too many people but it was full.  At least this time we found a parking spot without having to park in the bank’s lot like last time. 

Once again, Lorraine put the slow cooker to use, this time she made a good beef stew for our dinner.  I like her slow cooker or at least the food she takes out of it!!

Yesterday Susy and Lorraine headed out to do some last minute Christmas shopping.  Katie stayed with me and we played a few games and some make believe with her Little Pony stuff.  We also made a quick trip to the park where she played on the swings and such for awhile too. 

Lorraine has noticed for the last 4 or 5 days that the ice maker wasn’t producing as much ice as normal, always something.  I read up on it and found a test button on it.  When I pushed the test button, the ice maker would dump a load of ice cubes then return to normal position and refill with water.  So it seemed that everything mechanical worked fine except it didn’t dump after the water froze.  The information I found suggested maybe a low temperature in the freezer was the cause but everything seemed to be still frozen and the indication showed it was at –2F.

Friday evening Susy and Katie wanted ice cream after dinner and when I took out the ice cream carton, we found the ice cream was almost the consistency of a shake, not frozen.  I put a thermometer in the fridge and freezer and found the freezer temperature was just 31F, barely freezing.  But the display still showed the temperature was at –2F like normal.  Once again, back to the internet for more research on issues.  I was unable to find anything to help me so I called Samsung’s help line.  They were able to help me ---NOT, only they would set me up for a repair man to call on Monday and maybe come out to see us after Christmas. 

I called around to a couple of local appliance repair places, finally found one that was able to come out and check it on Saturday.  Just before Lorraine and Susy headed out, here comes the repair guy.  I was almost able to understand him, he was Russian I think.  He checked out a few things then said the coils inside the back wall were frozen and I needed to unload the fridge and freezer and leave the doors opened to allow warmer air into the fridge to melt the ice in the coils.  He showed me where we had a small patch of ice built up on the back wall of the freezer, that was the first indication for him of the problem. 

I was a bit unsure about his “repair” but agreed to give it a try.  Actually, I emptied the freezer and put all the stuff in our unused freezer in the basement, good thing we haven’t sold it yet.  Then I put Lorraine’s hair dryer in the freezer compartment while Katie and I were at the playground.   I never did unload the fridge portion, just left the doors closed while it was unplugged and the freezer compartment opened. 

After I figured the ice had melted from the coils inside the wall, I put a thermometer in the fridge and freezer to keep track of the temperature and the freezer didn’t cool to less than 80F.  Shoot, now what.  I unplugged the fridge, opened the freezer compartment for awhile to let it cool to room temperature then tried it again.  Finally I saw the temperature in the freezer start dropping, slowly, a degree at a time.  When we went to bed last night, the fridge was at 36F but the freezer still was at 45F but dropping. 

When I got up this morning, first thing I did was check the temperature in the freezer, it was at 0F and the indication showed the normal –2F again.  Maybe there was something to what the repair guy said after all.  He did say that Samsung has an issue with the drain lines from the coil area plugging off and not allowing any water to drain when it self defrosts causing the exact issue we were experiencing. 

I just had to bring in some stuff from the basement freezer for Lorraine so I went ahead and brought up all the freezer stuff and loaded the freezer.  Now I’ll keep an good eye on it for the next few days, hope everything is good now.  If so, lesson learned, defrost the freezer before calling in a repairman.  If that is the “repair”, I’m glad it wasn’t more of an issue.  And now to wait for the next thing to get my attention, its always something. 

The temperature has been pretty nice here for our stay this time.  We’ve been getting into the 60s, almost 70 yesterday and maybe a couple of degrees warmer today they say.  And no rain in sight for the next 10 days, even though they could sure use some rain around here.  We do get a heavy dew every night and it gets cool enough that Lorraine likes to have the space heater going towards her feet along with the heat pumps keeping the temperature up in the rest of the coach.  But with the sun shining on our dark colored rig during the day, we have the air conditioners running during the afternoon.  Perfect, need something to take the cool off at night and need the air conditioners during the day.  Sorry about that to anyone who reads this and is in the hold of old man winter, its bad some places.  I heard there have already been 8 winter storms across the nation already this winter, global warming my a$$.

We will stay here until after Christmas then head back to Palm Springs for two weeks.  We are still working on our traveling plans from there but are really leaning towards going to Yuma once again this winter.  At the very least, we will probably go to Yuma for a couple of weeks before moving on to wherever we land for the rest of the winter.  Tough life, huh?

Now to add a few pictures. 


On the road from Palm Springs.  That’s a Joshua Tree on the right. 

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Lots of open spaces in the West. 

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Orange trees at the Orange Grove RV park in Bakersfield. 

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We can always tell when we are near the stockyards in Coalinga, Ca. 

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Sunset from our site here at the Elks Lodge. 

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Our Grand Daughter, Katie.  She sure is glad to see Nana!!

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Thanks   Chuck




Sunday, December 15, 2013

We’re in Palm Springs


12/15/13                                                                                                                                      Chuck’s report 

We are still here in Palm Springs, the weather is starting to get back to normal after being cool for the past week or so.  And there are more folks showing up everyday but it doesn’t get full until after Christmas when the rest of the snowbirds leave their homes and head South. 

This will be a short report as we didn’t do a heck of a lot this week.  I thing we went to either lunch, dinner or a buffet with Joe and Alice every day except for two this week.  It’s funny, we hardly see each other when we are back in Washington but manage to spend lots of time with them when we are 1200 miles away from home. 

We’ve seen our friends from Lewis and Clark but haven’t spent too much time with them this trip.  Hope to do better in January when we return.  We did manage to give some of them oranges we picked when we came through Bakersfield two weeks ago.  Boy are the fresh oranges and tangerines good!

Lorraine and I also went by the Ford dealer to look at Ford Explorers and the Chevy dealer to look at Equinox, Traverse and also the Cadillac SRX.  We stayed at Brian and Sue’s in Mass this fall and he suggested we look at Cadillac, the price for Cadillac base model is comparable to a loaded Chevy with lots of options that are standard on the Caddy.  He was right and the car drove/looked nice.   I have been emailing a guy from Michigan who is coming South this year and is interested in our tow car.  If he wants it, I will have to get something to replace it and we are looking now so we have a better idea of what’s out there and what kind of prices they are asking.  I still want to look at other manufactures too so at this point, everything is on the table.

Like I said earlier, the weather is finally getting back to normal after being cool.  The normal here is for highs in the lower 70s, they are talking mid 80s next week.  We were only getting into the high 60s earlier this week.  And there was freeze warning at night, I don’t think we got quite to freezing but it was close.  I have the oranges sitting on our picnic table and put them in the car to protect them two different nights. 

We are leaving here tomorrow, spending one night on the road and will be back at Santa Clara Elks lodge on Tuesday.  We will stay there through Christmas, not sure how much longer past that.  Stanford is going to the Rose Bowl again but Susy was unable to get tickets.  I think she can still attend with the Stanford band but don’t know if she had decided to go that route or not.  I think we will watch it on TV, wherever we happen to be on New Years Day. 

When we get back to the Bay area both Lorraine and I have to get some blood tests done before we see our doctor for our annual physicals.  We saw them last time mostly just to get our prescriptions updated, now it’s time for the rest of the annual stuff. 

We are planning on meeting Joe and Alice this morning at one of the casinos this morning.  We can’t get the Seattle Seahawks football game with our Direct TV subscription so hope to watch the game there.  Here’s hoping they get back on a winning streak after a loss last week but a trip to the East Coast is always tough. 

We didn’t take too many pictures this week so I’ll add a few here and get going with our day. 


Our site here at 1000 Trails, lots of palm trees. 

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Lorraine got some sunset pictures one afternoon. 

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Alice and Joe. 

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Dorothy and Paul.   Tom was unable to come to dinner with us and we missed him. 



Thanks   Chuck