Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Time with Friends and The Big Reveal!!

Pumpkin Vine Trail, Goshen, Indiana

Hi all, Dianne here.  We've been without our rolling home and our internet connection for the past 2 1/2 weeks, but we're back on line now and in our home and ready to catch up. 

After six weeks of preparing for, traveling to, and then waiting-to-be-done, our motor home remodel was finally finished.  The "big reveal" is later in this post, but first we'll catch you up on the past few weeks.
Roger and Nancy 
After our relaxing week at Cordry Lake we traveled back to Pendleton to spend the second week of being "homeless" with our dear friends Jay and Nancy at their beautiful home.  
As you can see, we weren't exactly roughing it on our second week of being homeless, either!
Charlie meets Bruiser
Charlie the cat thought he was seeing double when Bruiser, Jay and Nancy's cat, stopped by.  (Bruiser is actually a neighborhood cat, but spends most of his time at Jay and Nancy's, where he gets the royal treatment).
Bruiser seems to be saying "What's this guy doing in my house??"  

Eventually we let Bruiser inside and the two cats sniffed noses and spent their time following each other around the house.   They are both male cats so we were afraid they might fight, but they actually got along pretty well.
I like it here...purr  purr  purr!
I cautioned Charlie not to get too used to his swanky digs last week.  Bandido and Tequila spent the week at Pendleton Pens, a new boarding and grooming facility nearby.  

Jay and Nancy are both still in the working world, so Roger and I had our days to fill while we were there.  I spent one day at the local library attempting to solve some genealogical mysteries on Roger's side of the family (no luck).  
The Old Apple House
Another day we drove past some Norris family landmarks.  We tramped around the old Ovid cemetery where several of Roger's ancestors are buried.  We drove past his grandparents' farm where he spent many happy days with his cousins as a kid.  The old apple orchard has been cut down, but his grandfather's apple house (where his grandfather processed his award-winning apples and where the grandkids liked to play) is still standing.

We also drove past the old homestead where Roger's grandfather (the one who later had the apple orchard) was raised.
It has been renovated and is still a lovely home for its current owners.  

 We also drove to the tiny town of Markleville, Indiana where both of Roger's parents grew up and became high school sweethearts (class of 1939).  Imagine our surprise as we drove past the old Markleville High School to discover that now the building is part of the Reflectix factory.  Our RV'ing friends are familiar with Reflectix -- it's that ubiquitous metallic bubble-wrap stuff lots of us use to block desert sun from our windows to keep our RVs cool.  We also have it in all of our coach house windows while we're gone in the  summer, to help keep the brutal Texas heat outside:  
Our coach house with Reflectix in the windows
Not sure why their factory is in Markleville Indiana -- after all, there are trees and actual shade in this part of the country!  We sure use it down south and out west, though.

Finally the big day arrived.  We

set the alarm and headed out early to pick up the dogs and drive back north to Elkhart to get the motor home.  We had to scrape our car windows with a credit card, since we'd  tossed all our ice scrapers in 2008 when we hit the road, vowing never to need them again.  

When we got to Elkhart I called Bradd and Hall just in case the motor home was ready earlier than the 2:00 time they'd given us the day before.  It was not going to be ready until around 3:00.  We decided to revisit the park in nearby Goshen and hike the Pumpkin Vine Trail with the dogs.  The beautiful opening photo was taken along the trail, as was the photo below:

When we arrived at Bradd and Hall, the guys who'd done the work took us on a tour of our newly-renovated coach.  Wow!  We were so excited!  Here's a photo taken while we were still in the bay at Bradd and Hall during our walk-through:

We paid our (big) bill, and as we were hooking up our Matrix to leave, we saw our old furniture being set out by the curb.  It looked pretty lonely, but the guys at Bradd and Hall said furniture is never out there for long before some enterprising individual comes by with a truck to get it. 

We enjoyed our comfy new captains chairs as we drove back south.  It was dark before we made it to the Glo-Wood campground near Lapel.  I snapped this sunset photo from the car window as we drove south of Kokomo, Indiana.

We made up the bed and fell into it, tired after the 3-hour-up and 3-hour-back drive to and from Elkhart.  It sure felt good, though, to be back in our own bed.  Once again, we needed to set the alarm for another busy day ahead.  We were to meet our old camping friends in southern Indiana for a long weekend (we'd already missed the first two days of the get-together).  We also still had to re-load all of our stuff that had been stored in Jay and Nancy's garage for the past month.  No time to sit in those new comfy chairs!

Nancy wanted to give us a good breakfast as a send-off.  You will never hear of me turning down one of her delicious meals, so we parked in front of their house first thing Saturday morning.

One final meal together....

Nancy and I have been swapping recipes and the four of us have been sharing meals for over 40 years.  Now instead of dating, then babies we might talk about hearing aids and Medicare, but we have just as much fun as the old days.

Jay and Nancy had recently returned from a trip to Italy, and Jay broke out some Italian champagne he'd had shipped home.  
Good Times with Good Friends
  I know that when we meet up again, we'll simply pick up where we left off, just like this time.  Thanks, Jay and Nancy!!  

We hurriedly tossed our mountain of things from their garage into the motor home and made a quick trip to the grocery to get a few basics for our totally-empty fridge.  Much to Roger's dismay, as we went through our departure checklist, his tire monitoring system showed a low tire.  Before we could pull out of our friends' neighborhood he had to hook up our air compressor and top off a couple of tires.  Then we were finally on our way. 

 Roger will post next time about our fun weekend with friends at Clifty Falls State Park.  But now, here's the BIG REVEAL, with captions:
View at entry, showing computer desk and new recliner

View from entry to rear, showing tile, carpet, dining chairs recovered and Bandido's ears.
You can see part of the second green recliner on the left.
Computer desk closed up
Computer desk doors open
Room for computers, printer, hanging folders,
charging center for electronics inside
When I get to Texas, I'll be sanding and painting the brass hardware on the computer desk to match the others that I've done.
Comfy new captains chairs
My passenger captain's chair has a slipcover (bought at Camping World) so that Bandido can retain his prime spot for guarding the motor home without damaging it.  

Our entertainment center cabinet was a real mess before (note the gerry-rigged metal shelf underneath for the Direct TV box)...  

And after Bradd and Hall did a little magic...

Now I can even shut the door...

View showing re-covered valences and  folding chairs
We needed to re-do our shoe storage since we got rid of our shoe cabinet to make room for the new furniture, so I ordered front-loading plastic shoe boxes and they are now in the cabinet which opens to the entry steps.

If Roger had big feet, this wouldn't work!

Doors shut, and view of new rubber tread and carpet in stair well
View looking back to bedroom showing tile
The tile is not real tile, although it looks like it is.  It's called Armstrong Alterna Reserve and the color is "verde slate."  It was installed with "smoke" color grout and should be very durable.  
Before we had our computer cabinet, our printer had to sit in our bedroom on top of the only flat surface in the room.  Now we can use that space for more decorative purposes, since the printer has moved out...

Pink coloring is from the lamp, not the true color!
The pet picture of the day shows Roger laying back in his recliner and Bandido bringing him his tennis ball, ready to play:
C'mon, Dad!  Let's Play!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Homeless and Lost in Indiana

A - house, deck, pav 

Roger here…. Since the last post, we dropped off our motor home at Bradd & Hall in Elkhart for the interior remodeling.  Before the drop-off, Dianne spent some time cleaning the chair that will be trashed.  We don’t want a dirty rv chair in the Elkhart dump Smile.
A - dianne cleaning chairWe have not had internet access for a few days, so we were unable to post.  I am doing this one on Live Writer, but will not be able to publish it until we find a place to connect to the internet. 
We are now officially homeless, but we are a long way from suffering.  It took quite a bit of time and effort to cram everything we would need for two weeks into our Toyota.  We did manage to find space for the dogs, the cat, and Dianne.

A - car full

We have spent the past week at our friends’ (Jay and Nancy), cottage on Lake Cordry in southern Indiana.  As you can see from the opening photo, we landed in a beautiful place.

A - steps to top
The newly renovated terraced decking to the lake looks like something from an architectural magazine.  It is every bit as nice as it looks.

A - decks, house, dogs 

The weather has alternated between traditional Indiana October weather in the 60s and days of chilly rain.  During the sunny days, the covered pavilion has been a great place (protected from the falling acorns) to read, gaze at the lake, and enjoy happy hours.

A - pav, roger

Bandido and Tequila love it here, too.  So much for them to see.  Plenty of squirrels to keep their attention. Lots of steps to run up and down. 

A - dogs boathouse 

Both dogs have been able to wade in the crystal clear water for a bit during the warmer days, but they don’t linger. 

A - Bandido lake

Every day (except for a couple of rain-days) we take the dogs on a walk down the road and across the picturesque dam. 

A - dam walk 

It has been five years since we have gotten to see the leaves change colors, something I miss.  (I don’t miss the snow, though.)  (OR raking the pretty leaves after they fall – D.)

A - trees fall colors
A - red tree close

This is a very serene place, especially at this time of the year when the skiers and pontoon boaters have retired for the summer.  The reflections in the water are a mirror to the sky above.  The floating leaves are a reminder that winter is around the corner, and that we need to head south soon.

A - lake twilight
A - leaves in lake close 

Twilight on the lake is a special time as the blue sky and blue waters morph into gold.

A - golden lake, reflection, 
A - lake, sunset, twilight

Most nights we are privileged to watch families of ducks swimming in the distance in the golden water.

A - golden lake, 2 ducks 

Our time here is nearing an end.  We will be spending the next week with our friends at their home in Pendleton, Indiana.  We are hoping that our motor home will be done by the end of next week so that we can spend that weekend with our Indiana camping friends.  Keeping our fingers crossed.

The pet picture of the day is another photo of the Lake Cordry ducks.

A - lake, 5 ducks