Thursday, April 30, 2020

Fixes and Fails - LiFePO4 Lithium Battery upgrade - Part 1

As I previously mentioned the Lead Acid Golf Cart batteries that came with our RV, had trouble maintaining the minimum 50% charge when the furnace was running.  The furnace is Propane, but the fan pulls over 11 amps.  After watching prices for Battleborn LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries, I finally found a good deal on Cyber-Monday (they were offering blemished batteries for $750, which is about 25% off!)  They still come with the 10 year warranty, so, I ordered 4 of them...

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

New monitors for the side and rear cameras

The last of the chilly days???  Certainly chilly day today.  Same as yesterday, the sun came out about 5 and the temperature moved up into the mid 60's.  Tonight it gets down to the middle 40's and I think it's all uphill from there!  80's by the weekend.  I'll be complaining it's too hot then.

The Rimadyl is certainly taking away some of Krikkit's pain.  Maybe too much???  She tries to jump down the last 2 steps of the RV.  In her  younger days no problem.  After she did it this afternoon her poor foot was not quite pointing the right way and she had trouble bearing weight.😟  We try to slow her down but she doesn't quite get it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Family dinner night

Our third dinner with the Boston crew, 5 p.m. CDT and 6 p.m. EDT via zoom.  We heard about everyone's day and then the important topic--jokes.  Jokes as told by 4 and 6 year olds!  What a fun time!

Monday, April 27, 2020

In the bedroom

SURPRISE, rain today!  Actually, it was nice this morning, but along with the rain we have cooler temps.  Shortly after 5:00 tonight the rain, stopped, the wind stopped and the sun came out.  I would have preferred this in the afternoon, but I'll take it!

We just got back from our first curb-side pick-up at Walmart.  What a great experience!  We had the best personal shopper and the young man that promptly brought our groceries to our car was fantastic!  I can't thank stores enough for potentially putting themselves in harms way so we can have food and necessities.

Tonight:  our bedroom

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The journey began, part 5

I love Niagara Falls, our next stop on the way to seeing the fall colors in the Northeast.  We stayed at 4 Miles Creek State Park from 9/18-9/26, one of the longest stays on this trip.  We think this may have been the same park where we stayed with our boys 25+ years ago.  It was beautiful and the sunsets were fabulous.  Everyone gathered at the waters edge each night to watch. It was a great park to ride our bikes around.  The sites were very spacious and so relaxing. They did not have sewer hook-ups but we survived.  Since it was after Labor Day, the camping fees were half price and it also entitled you free parking at Niagra Falls State Park.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Rail Trail

We took a walk on the Ruby Jack rail trail this afternoon.  It was perfect out!  Temperatures in the upper 60's, a nice breeze, and partial sun.  There were a couple of bicyclists and a couple of other walkers.  As with any other trail we've been on, people give each other extra space right now.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Rain and sun, rain and sun, repeat

Tuesday night was our second "Google duo" dinner with Josh, Zia, Cyrus and Samira in Massachusetts!  So much fun for us sharing conversation over dinner with someone besides the two of us.  Josh offered us some yummy-looking cornbread but it didn't taste the same here in Missouri, lol.  Next time I'll have to get a picture of all of us.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Stranded in Upstate NY

We made our first trip to Wakarusa, IN on September 9th, 2019 as Thor had referred us to Paul's RV service for some warranty work.  Paul's is literally blocks away from the Thor factory service center, so he was able to accomplish a lot of things quickly.

We left there and started heading Northeast to view the fall colors on our way to visit our son and his family in Cambridge, MA.  We did not make it without issues...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Palazzo kitchen

Rain today.  Good for getting my book read, but not much else. Internet problems, not sure whose end, so we'll see what happens.

Tonight I'll give a tour of our kitchen.  We try to keep things on top to a minimum, as with every where else, so we don't have as much to put away when we travel.  The utensil holder and salt/pepper shaker are secured to the wall with command velcro strips.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

George Washing Carver National Monument

George Washington Carver was an agricultural scientist, inventor, conservationist and artist.  He was born a slave and the first black graduate from what is now Iowa State University.  He was born around 1864 in Diamond, MO as a slave.  He was orphaned as a baby and raised by the plantation owners, Moses and Susan Carver.  Today we visited the George Washington Carver National Monument near Carthage, MO.  The actual monument was closed but we walked the path that went around where his birthplace had been.  There were several cars there and maybe a picnicker or two.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Looking for things to do...

We found the perfect bike path, practically in our back yard!!! Oh yeah, we have no bikes.☹  That's ok, we still have what's important--each other.  I see more clearly now, than when we began this journey.  The world, and how I see it, has changed, and changed me (hopefully, for the better).

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The journey began, part 4

On Sept. 6 , after leaving Ottumwa, IA, we arrived at Illiniwek Park in Hampton, IL.  Our first stop was to visit my brother Mark and his wife Mary in Davenport.  We don't see them often, so it was great to spend some time with them.  In need of information on personal finance, or calculators for just about anything?  Visit my brother's site!  Mary is an award winning author.  Her first published novel took place in the town they lived, and is titled "Clouds over Bishop Hill."  For more information on Mary visit her blog at

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Looks like quite a few permanent residents here.  It's not a very big park, maybe even smaller than our last one.  It has gravel sites, and unlike many places in Arkansas, the bathrooms are still open (many are closed because of Covid-19).  It's kind of neat that it is on Route 66.  One year, maybe 2001, Pat, myself and Chris followed the American Solar Challenge race part of the way as they raced on route 66.   That was a fun experience.

Friday, April 17, 2020

On the road again ....

We were on the road shortly after 10 this morning, which was a later than normal start for us, but our travel time would be less than 4 hours.  It was a beautiful drive through the Boston Mountains in Northwest AR.  They are actually part of the Ozark Mountains, and like I mentioned in a previous post, they aren't technically mountains but a deeply dissected plateau.  As well as a city, "Boston" means "difficult thing" and early explorers gave these mountains this name because of the challenging terrain.  They look smaller, although bigger than the Ozark mountains we saw around Russellville.  Even though we were on interstate, and not the "scenic" route, you came around a curve and it took your breath away with the beauty.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Solar

Shortly after we got our 2019 Thor Palazzo 33.2, I started looking at options for installing Solar panels. After opening the Microwave once while on the Inverter and watching the light flash like a strobe light, I knew I also needed to upgrade the Inverter to Pure Sine Wave.

First, let me start with what I learned:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A final farewell to the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas!

It was freezing last night, really, at 32°!  We stayed toasty and nothing froze.  Pat is picking up the grill and arranging the basement.  I have been picking things up inside that need to find their place.  Pat likes oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies with old fashioned oats (Really, I like Oatmeal, Ann likes the chips...Pat).  I bought the oats a couple of weeks ago, so I think I'll take advantage of the cooler temperatures tonight to make and bake them.

Today we were headed to an area about an hour from here that has several waterfalls.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Monday night we had dinner with our oldest son, Josh, and his family--via google duo. How fun!  Learned all about the book they are reading, the Rats of NIMH, Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles and how baths before puddle splashing results in having, or maybe getting to take, another bath. Oh and Samira had wax on, wax off down perfectly from the Karate Kid.  Hope we get to do it again soon.  I said I would work on a BINGO game we could play together.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The journey began, part 3

While in Grain Valley, MO we met our first traveling nurses, Mandy and Marie.  We have met countless since then.  No idea that many traveled around.  We left Grain Valley, MO July 27th to begin the next phase of our lives.

We headed to Ottumwa, IA, my home town, and the town where Pat spent a good share of his childhood.  We were in the same grade (we had 550 in our class), went to high school together, and didn't meet until after we graduated. Pat's Mom and several of his siblings and their families still live there.  Pat's  Mom and her husband, Oscar, were in the process of selling their large 3 story house, that she had lived in for 53 years, in preparation for a move to a smaller home.  Pat doesn't carry grudges, but he remembers when they moved from the farm to Ottumwa because they forgot his 7th birthday because of the move, lol!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Ozark Highlands Trail, Ozone Trailhead

On Thursday Pat took me on an auto-tour.  We drove through some beautiful country before arriving at the Ozone Trailhead of the Ozark Highlands Trail.  This is located in the Ozark National Forest, Ozone Recreation Area. The Ozark Highlands Trail consists of 218 miles through seven counties in Arkansas, going from Lake Fort Smith State Park, across the Ozark National Forest, to the Buffalo National River.  At least at one time it was planned to connect it to the Missouri Ozark Trail, which would increase it to 700 miles.  I did find out that technically, the Ozark Mountains aren't really mountains.  The Ozarks are really a plateau that has been uplifted, and then dissected by streams eroding and cutting down the the uplifted area.  We took a short walk on the trail.  It was headed down, which means only one thing, you have to come back up!  I will blame it on Krikkit, but right now I'm having more intense leg/butt/hip (somewhere in there) problems, and I don't think I could have made it.  Pretty sure Pat was disgusted with both of us.  It was definitely heavily forested, but the path was clearly seen.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Fixes and Fails - TOAD

TOAD = TOwing All Down or towing a vehicle with all four wheels on the ground as opposed to on a trailer or dolly.  Also referred to as Dingy, since it follows along like a Dingy on a boat.

When we started researching RVs and decided that we would purchase a Motorhome, I wanted to get a tow bar that would attach to the RV and not connect to a typical trailer ball.  Ann's parents towed their vehicle with a ball mounted tow bar and lost it once in a construction zone. 😬

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rib day

This morning we changed the pitch on the awning, lowering the front part of it.  Had talked about it before but wasn't sure how to.  It took both of us.  Pat had to turn something by the RV, and I had to push up on the front piece of the awning so he could release it.  It made a pretty big difference in the amount of sun coming underneath and added to the shade.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Spring cleaning

Another nice day.  No rain, warm, partly cloudy, green and the ground is drying up.  Hot tomorrow!

Today we did spring cleaning, lol.  This is the part of RV living I like.  Rinsed out the 2 air-conditioner filters, and snapped off and wiped out the 4 bedroom light covers--done!!  Sounds like we may need the air-conditioners tomorrow.  We also went through our extra food in the basement, taking out a few things and adding in some of the items we bought last week.  Forgot I had a walnut brownie mix down there, so it came up.


We have decided we can make it for 2 weeks without going anywhere, just staying in the RV park. So, we needed some boredom busters.  I could play cards all day and Pat would probably be happy doing nothing all day.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The journey began, part 2...

We spent the first few weeks in our RV putting things where we thought the should go, and then rearranging them.  We were busy preparing for a visit from 3 of our Texas Granddaughters.  They would be spending the 4th of July week with us in Grain Valley, MO.  We knew this would be a different experience than previous summers.  No house, yard, or many of the activities they had been used to when they visited.  I would miss those things too.  One of the sacrifices I made.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Busy day...

We had a busy day.  Actually it wasn't, but compared to most days now, it seemed like it.  We did an early Walmart run to get the few things I couldn't at Kroger Thursday.  Only 3 items I couldn't find at either store and we can make it without them for now.  I donned my attire (mask and gloves) and entered the Walmart line.  They had a line set up to enter through one door.  I read that they were going to limit the number of people in the store at one time.  I was the only one in the line at the time, and I didn't think there were that many people actually in the store shopping while I was in there.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Auto leveling system

Our 2019 Thor Palazzo 33.2 has the LCI Electronic Leveling System, which includes a hydraulic pump and four jacks to level and stabilize the coach.  The system has worked well at leveling our RV and I even figured out how to reset what it thinks is level, but our experience with it on our first camping trip (other than at the RV park where we were stationary) resulted in a major issue.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A day out....

Well, it wasn't really a day out, and it didn't feel like I got out period.  Although we had enough groceries to last another couple of weeks, we decided we would get what was on the list since we still only had 6 Covid-19 cases in our county.  So, I donned my mask and gloves, thinking I was over prepared, to find out many people had masks and gloves.  It felt like we were playing a magnet game, only everyone was a negative magnet and wherever one went, the others all went the opposite!  Everyone I encountered was by themselves and I saw no children.  Like Pat, I saw a couple of husbands waiting in the parking lot for the "sacrifice" to come out, lol.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A day at home.

After a chilly night reaching 41𝇈, it was a beautiful day today. We sat out quite a while this afternoon. The sun was out off and on and it reached 72𝇈 by late afternoon.  We had the doors and windows open until 8 tonight and it felt great!  The previous couple of nights we had less "over-nighters" here at the park.  Last night I think we only had 2 or 3. We are right off the interstate, so we had many nights were there were only 1 or 2 empty spots.  Seemed as though a lot of people were leaving their destinations early to head home because of Covid 19 and this was a convenient stop.  Tonight, however, the number of people here for just the night appears to be back up.  Maybe the exodus isn't over quite yet.