Friday, December 31, 2010

Truck fixed! Looks like we leave Monday!

We got our truck back today and it seems to be in great running condition again. It is raining today but supposed to be clear tomorrow so then is when we will pick up the Montana from storage and bring to the condo for loading. If all continues to go well, we shove off early Monday morning. Hopefully we will make it to Berea, KY in the afternoon to spend our first night. That will be the last of our long days driving. We don't care to drive over 200 miles or 4 hours in a day, whichever comes first. Sunshine is getting nervous because things are different daily around here with breaking down after Christmas and getting ready to travel. Once she spends her first night in the 5th wheel, she should be fine. She was last year and we only had her for three weeks before we left for the Great Southwest.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's been a Very Merry Christmas!

Last night, we and all of the kids and grandkids went to Richelle's for Pictionary and fellowship. Today, the mob was all at our house. Now it is nap time and then we go to Carol's brother's where we also will see two of her sisters and her soon to be 90 year old dad. Another great Christmas. It is so very great to be able to share it with so much love. Last Christmas, Sunshine had only been with us for two weeks when the whole mob came over and she spent the day hidden in her crate. This year, she showed that she is finally part of the family. She wandered around assisting all with the opening of their presents and only asked to be loved (and she was!) Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar eclipse on shortest day of the year

Today is the shortest day of the year. I had the alarm set for 1:25AM this morning so that I could see the total lunar eclipse on the shortest day of the year - something that last occurred 500 years ago. The weather forcasters were calling for clouds but this is Michigan, so who knows, right? The eclipse was to begin at 1:33AM. The first photo was taken about 1:35AM and the sky was quite clear. The second pic was taken about 1/2 hour later and the clouds were coming in. The last shot was taken about 45 minutes into the eclipse and then the clouds took over the sky. I am a sucker for this type of event. If the next eclipse will be on the shortest day of the year again it may be another 500 years and I will be ready then. Just wonder if the camera will last that long.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time to get out of here!

Woke up this morning to about ten inches of snow and 7 degrees. Supposed to "warm up" to 11 today. Sunshine said she would rather play with her toys inside where it is warm than go out. I wanted to go out. And they call dogs "dumb animals." Christmas in less than two weeks, kids and grandkids galore - Scheduled to leave for Florida three weeks from today. I LOVE this time of year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Yesterday, my knee was scoped and now the recovery process is on. Can finally put my full mind(?) to the process of getting ready for the holidays and heading south right after the first of the year. I continue to realize just how blessed that I am and am so grateful to be surrounded by so many friends and family. Merry Christmas, all, and now to go on and really enjoy the season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The trip is still on!

I have been having problems with my knee for a while now and it got so bad that we were wondering if we would be able to travel south this winter. Just got back from the doctor's office with good/great news! We remembered Carol's long, painful recovery from knee replacement surgery and were concerned that this may lead to the same. Found it was "only" a shredded meniscus and am scheduled to have it "scoped" Monday. Doc says that recovery should be quick and travel first of January should be fine. FLORIDA HERE WE COME!!!!! I continue to be so blessed!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Great Thanksgiving!

Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving at our daughter, Renee's, home. A wonderful reminder of what we have to be thankful for is a house full of kids and grandkids. Dan, the turkey was exceptional, as were the pies. Being surrounded by smiling faces, as we were yesterday, leads to a long time of great memories. We will be heading south right after New Years and will then use Skype to keep in touch with our large, great family. Now it is on to preparing for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's "Hitch Itch" time of year again

Mid-November again and am really getting "Hitch Itch" bad. The truck and the Montana are making noises like they are more than ready to get together again SOON. With temps in the 30s, I started the truck today. It turned slowly but started and ran great. The truck's grill got a big smile on it when it thought we were going to pick up Monty. Thinking of getting an electric oil dipstick to assist when the weather gets colder, as an assist in cold weather starting. This is a Texas truck so it does not have a block warmer built in. This is not how it is supposed to be. We are supposed to be heading south about now, where it is warmer. We really do have the best of all worlds, though. We see the family for Thanksgiving and Christmas and then leave for warmer climes in early January.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our winter Journey!

It is getting closer to departure for Florida! We will spend the holidays at home and leave as soon after New Years as we can. We will stop in Crossville, TN and visit friends and then Fair Play, SC for another visit. From there, we will head to Wildwood, FL, 3 Flags Campground, where we will spend a couple of weeks. Then to Clermont, FL, The Bees Resort for a couple of weeks. Any further plans will just have to wait until we get closer. We are planning on coming home up the East Coast, this year. We will go to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, where we will see my sister. From there, probably head west back to Michigan. Should arrive back home Mid-April or so. Haven't yet decided if I am going to work at Disney again this year or not. If so, we will stay in Clermont for the duration of my work with Mickey Mouse.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I was hacked!

My Hotmail and Facebook accounts were hacked and emails sent to my contact lists asking for money, saying I had been robbed in London. I will no longer use Hotmail and maybe also Facebook. The computer is now supposedly clean and I am using email addresses other than Hotmail. I feel bad for anyone who received the message asking for money thinking we were in trouble.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goshen, IN to Pentwater, MI - Great sunset!

Yesterday, we left the Goshen Fairgrounds campground and, after stopping at the Keystone Service Center for some minor tweeks to our Montana, moved up to Pentwater, MI, the Mears State Park campground. We are camped right on Lake Michigan. Having grown up (I know that there are some who dispute this) along Lake Michigan, I found that I really missed the lake and it's beautiful sunsets. As the sun began to fall, Jim Schlee took off ahead of us with Sunshine and headed to the pier. What a spectacular show we got when the sun sank into the horizon! We will be here until Monday morning and then will return to SE Michigan. This has been a very good journey and it is being capped by a stay in a wonderful, small town along the Big Lake.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Double Rainbow, Good Omen?

Last night, during the pot luck dinner,the sky suddenly darkened in the southwest and a big, beautiful double rainbow formed. It was difficult photographing the second rainbow but, if you look hard enough, you will find it just to the right of the main arc. That was a wondereful capper to another great day at the MOC Rally. Tonight is the final night. We are preparing to go the ice cream social and tomorrow morning we will stop at the service center and get a few minor adjustments done and then it will be on to Mears State Park in Pentwater, MI, on Lake Michigan, for a few days with Bev and Jim Schlee. Probably be home next week sometime.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

MOC Fall Rally Campground

We are having a great time at the 2010 MOC Fall Rally in Goshen, IN. The Montana Service Center took care of some minor issues in our RV and then we moved on to the campground. This campground is located on the Elkhart County Fairgrounds and is a nice park. We have full hookups and there are, I believe, 86 Montanas in attendance. It is beautiful seeing several streets in this park filled with Montanas and Big Skys. We have met some great new people and renewed friendships with old friends. The seminars are full of info and the food is great - well, you know how RVers eat! Last night, we went to a Mennonite Restaurant/ shops for window shopping and dinner. They sure know how to cook! This morning, we manned the griddles and flipped pancakes for the Pancake Breakfast. A great way to spend the morning! We will be here until Wednesday and then we will move up to Pentwater, alongside Lake Michigan for a few days before returning home. Looks like our next journey will be about January 3, when we leave for Florida.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We start tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow we pull the Monty out of storage and set up at Waldenwoods in Hartland, MI. We will load it up while camping there and then Wednesday it is off to Goshen, IN for our annual Montana Owners Club Rally. Today was a busy day with Sunshine. We started out at the dog park in Frankenmuth and then to the Octoberfest Greyhound Meet and Greet, also in Frankenmuth. Many interested people stopped by and, after gazing into Sunshine's and the other Greyhounds' eyes, several were very interested in adopting one for themselves. I hope some do. The tracks are still sending out large numbers of retired racers and hopefully they all can find their forever home. Sunshine then talked me into one more long walk, this time at the wooded trails at Genesys Hospital. She is now sleeping at Carol's feet and absorbing Carol's loving cooing and stroking with a smile.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Do I ever have "Hitch Itch!" Haven't been in the Montana in a couple of months and really miss it. Looks like our next journey will not be until late September when we head to Goshen, IN for the MOC rally. Hope to add someplace else to this destination but, who knows? I went to the storage lot the other day to get some tools from the Monty and believe that I heard her saying "Please, please, take me out of here!" Do you know how difficult it was to explain to a 5th wheel that we would not be living in her for another month? I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I made 70!!!!!!

Yesterday, I turned 70. What a great day it was! Got Sunshine's stitches removed in the morning, had lunch with two former high school classmates, one who I have not seen since graduating in 1958, yes 1958, then to the dog park with Carol and Sunshine for Sunshine's first visit there since she was injured and then dinner with Carol. I have been able to have lunch monthly for a year or so with Dale Hietanen and Art Levy moved to New York City after college and this was the first time I saw him since early 1958. I never thought that I would make 40, let alone 70. I am so blessed - great family, retired and in good health, great group of friends! That makes me so rich!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunshine Update

Sunshine is doing better today. She ate her supper last night and breakfast this morning. We took a five minute walk last evening and she really liked that - a far cry from the morning when she had trouble standing and walking straight. Got some advice today to try her muzzle instead of the large plastic cone to keep her from licking her wounds and drain tube. She has had it on for a few minutes now and seems to be doing better. That other collar was banging into everything when she walked and she could not put her head down very far when she laid down to sleep. Now she is lying on the floor with her head down as she likes it. Tomorrow she gets her drain tube removed and hopefully this will pick her up even more.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunshine Injured

Yesterday, Sunshine was romping and running with her fur friends at the dog park and hit the fence with her side, taking a large hunk from her right side. Got her to the Animal Emergency Hospital in Burton at about 12:30 and was advised that the vet was in emergency surgery and, after a quick scan by the vet, was advised to bring her back in a couple of hours. Returned at 2:30 and was advised that the vet was still in surgery and to return later. After calls, finally got her in about 8:00. About 11:00, Sunshine was led to us, very groggy and not responsive to us at all. She was wearing a plastic cone collar to keep her from licking her wound. After a lot of coaxing, we were able to get her into the car and, once home, a lot of coaxing finally got her out of the car and into the home. Last night, Carol took the collar off Sunshine and stayed awake with her while she slept, so that she could finally get some sleep. This morning, she is still very stiff and groggy but is getting more responsive to us. Seeing her so drugged and non responsive is so difficult but probably not as difficult as what she is feeling and going through.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunshine running all out!

Sunshine finally started running all out as only a racing Greynhound can do. About a month ago at the Frankenmuth Dog Park, she started her visit out with a run and has started each visit out since then with a run. She will run for 20 seconds or so and then just play with her fur friends after that with no more running. The people at the park with their pups all look forward to her showing up and running. Finally got a few shots of her heading out full speed. Sunshine is beautiful just standing still but running, she is gorgeous! 0-40 in three strides, they say, and it sure looks that way here!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Great Day!

Today, Carol and I celebrate 30 years of marriage. On this date in 1980, we were married and joined our families. I gained three beautiful daughters and Carol gained a daughter and a son. Carol had been widowed and I divorced and we talked what seemed like forever before we were wed. We discovered that we not only loved each other very much, but also really liked each other! What a concept, eh? The more we communicated, the better it got and the deeper the feelings became. Like life itself, it has not always been easy but always has been good. The right thing always happens. We now have nine grandchildren that fill our home and Montana with photographs and drawings. Our refrigerators are full of their art. The good times make us happy wondering how they will just get better and the difficult times teach us that nothing that is good is free - we have to work for it. Thank you, Carol, for the last 30 years and I can only smile as I wonder what the next 30 will bring.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What a great three weeks it has been with family and friends!

Starting out, we spent several days with Richelle and her family in NW Indiana at the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. A week or so later, they joined us here in Hartland, MI in our Montana for a great day of swimming and fun. Jim and Bev came by a few days ago and we burned some hamburgs and hot dogs and talked for hours and yesterday Brandon and Meagon spent the day with us and swam and fished. Seeing and playing with four of our wonderful grandchildren, ages from 5 to 16, is something that makes life truly beautiful. Now, we can't wait to see them again soon and the rest of the "mob of nine" grandkids. Carol and I are truly cheap dates - give us our kids, grandkids and friends and we are truly satisfied.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thunderboomer time!

We just had a relatively short but severe thunderstorm pass through. The Montana was rocking and rolling in the wind and the thunderclaps were loud and booming and the lightning flashing but Sunshine just went into the bedroom, lay down between the bed and cabinets and appeared to be doing well. There were reports of hail and the wind was quite strong but all is now well. It "cooled off" to 75 and is very comfortable outside now. We had heard many stories of fearful Greyhounds in thunderstorms but Sunshine was a champ during this one. I see on The Weather Bug another is coming soon, just a few miles away.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Indiana and Hartland, MI

Carol is surrounded by love in Indiana, being surrounded by Sarah, Ryan and Rocco. Of course, Sunshine had to show us that she could sleep in any position in our daughter's family cottage. We set up Saturday in Waldenwoods, in Hartland. Yesterday, the weather became dark, to add to the heat and humidity leaving us with the question - was this a tornado or a water spout we saw, just north of the campground? Musta been water spout because we heard no reports of touchdowns around here. I am surrounded by the best of all worlds here - my dog, by Monty. my truck and the photo was taken by my best friend, my wife. I feel that I have it all. Been doing some modifications to the Monty. The table would meet us when we first came into the rig and closed up tight to the counter when the slides were in, barring access to the refrigerator when we were on the road. Also, the reclining, swivel rockers had their backs to beautiful rear picture window. We moved the table to the window, one rocker to the area that the table had been in, and got rid of two of the table's chairs and a rocker. Now the Monty feels more "homey" and we have full use of the picture window. The rocker is now at a large side window and has a great view with good light. We are going to replace the table chairs with two more comfortable ones in the near future. Sunshine's couch will remain in its original location. The small chest freezer we just got and the ice maker should fit nicely at the end of the counter near the table. Now that this is done, we have some other ideas for mods and will start on them soon. "So much to do and so little time to do it!"

Friday, July 9, 2010

'twas a great day!

Yesterday we "puppy sat" with daughter Richelle's dog Rocko and Sunshine and Rocko had a great time together. Rocko is probably a little smaller now because Sunshine kept nibbling at his food dish. Sunshine wolfs her food down and Rocko nibbles - ergo the difference in who eats Rocko's food. It was another very hot day, so after Rocko returned home, we went to Bubbles Ice Cream and Pie Parlor in Michigan City, IN and had some wonderful, handmade ice cream. The place is pet friendly and they even gave Sunshine her own small dish of vanilla ice cream to eat on their shaded porch. Gotta try their home made pies next time - unless it is stifling again and then ice cream will be in order again then. Took another spin to Lake Michigan and really enjoyed the sights. Next trip I hope that we remember to bring the cable to upload the photos from the camera to the computer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Whew!!! It's Hot!!!

Yesterday, with the high temperatures and humidity, we did NOTHING! We did pick up Richelle's dog and puppy sat but that was a pleasure and not a chore. We all stayed inside and let the air conditioner do its thing. I have a list of modifications to do on the Monty and did not a one. When I got up this morning it was raining. Does that mean that this vicious heat will be abating? Hope so. Hopefully today will see the dropping of temperatures and the completion of some of our mods - nothing drastic but desired because, once done, we will have an even more comfortable Montana.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We're now in Indiana

Yesterday, we moved the Montana from storage to our Home Park in Davison and spent the 92+ degree day hauling "stuff" from our condo to the "Condo on Wheels." We were so hot and tired that a shower and bed came early. Today we moved to La Porte, IN. Soon after we set up we went to Richelle's vacation cabin on Lake Michigan in the Indiana Dunes Park. It may have been hot and humid but at least there was not much breeze! The company, though, more than made up for the lack of coolnativitynessability. Now I discovered that I can not locate the cord that lets me upload the photos from the camera to the computer. Must still be safe and secure in the condo. Oh, well - next time! The dunes and Lake Michigan bring back great memories of a thousand years ago when I was growing up in Muskegon Heights, on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tomorrow we're outa here!!!

We take the Montana out of storage in the morning and set it up in our home park in Davison, MI. Here we will load it up from home and then Tuesday morning off to The Indiana Dunes in NW Indiana, on Lake Michigan. COMEONMONDAY!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Only 5 more days!!!

The date for our next adventure nears. We will set up in our home park Monday to get the Monty loaded and then leave for the Indiana Dunes Tuesday. There, we will join our daugher Richelle and her family for a few days. Then back to Waldenwoods for two weeks. COMEONMONDAY!!! Target has a sale on ice makers and 3.5 cu ft chest freezers. We already have the ice maker and just picked up the freezer. We have had the ice maker for a year or so now and use it all the time, both in the home and in the rig. Now we will have a nice freezer waiting to be placed into the rig. Should fit in nicely. All being done to make our great journeys even better and more comfortable.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Treatment for "Hitch Itch" coming up soon!

We are now planning on taking the Montana to the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan in early July and camping near where our daughter, Richelle, and her family will be vacationing. From there we will be returning to Waldenwoods RV Resort for a couple of weeks near our childrens' families so that we can see our grandchildren in a camping setting. We have the best of lifestyles now, balancing between traveling/RVing, and home at the condo - The best of all worlds!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ann Arbor Greyhound Meet and Greet

Sunshine got her Greyhound fix today. After watching our grandson Ryan play baseball in Brighton, we went to a Greyhound Meet and Greet in Ann Arbor. These M&Gs are held at pet supply stores in malls so the public can be educated about Greyhound adoption. They are also a greyt place for our Greyhound to socialize with other greys. She loves these. When we were traveling with her, we took her to M&Gs in Texas and Arizona and she would be in a great mood for days after. At about 63 pounds, Sunshine is quite big to us but when she was around some of these big boys today, we marveled at how small she seemed to be. Mary and Mark fostered Sunshine for three months between her being taken from the track and breeding facility and our adopting her. They had not seen each other since early December when we picked her up and brought her home. Today, they arrived after we did. Sunshine froze in her tracks when she saw and smelled Mary and ran to her with her tail wagging. She went back and forth between Mary and Mark all the time we were there. A greyt day was had by all.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Back to Frankenmuth Dog Park

Today we returned to the Frankenmuth Dog Park. As soon as Sunshine saw we were going somewhere, she started getting excited. As we were turning into the park, she saw where she was and really got excited. There was a large bicycle expo in Frankenmuth and there were several large bike races. They would roar down the hill right next to the dog park. Sunshine met some new four legged friends today at the park and exhausted herself in a very short time. She ended up posing more than actually playing but she had a ball. She told us that she wants to return daily but we settled for regularly.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mid-Michigan Dog Parks

When we took our last journey, we discovered Dog Parks. Sunshine loved them, smelling, running, and being with other dogs in a fenced in area and not being on a leash. Yesterday, we toured two in our home area, one in Flushing and one in Frankenmuth, MI. The park in Flushing was full of mature trees and adjacent to a boarding kennel. The park in Frankenmuth was large, clean and grassy. Sunshine loved the freedom in both parks but seemed to like the more open spaces in Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is also only a half hour or so away and there is a Greyhound Meet and Greet in town Saturday so we will probably return to the dog park then, too. There is a small stream in the park. The day was very hot and Sunshine walked to and then into the stream and sat right down to cool herself. Between laughs, I was able to get her out of the creek before she completely soaked herself. When we returned to a dog park that we had been at before, while traveling, Sunshine got very excited as we approached because she knew that she was going to be free to roam and socialize for a while. As soon as she meets other dogs at either of these parks, I am sure that she will be just as excited.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our journey is now over!

Today we brought the last of the "stuff" from the Monty to the condo and put the rig into storage. Sunshine is really confused now. She could not figure out why we parked the 5th wheel and did not let her go in and plop on the couch. She has been wandering around the condo and exploring it and the nearby woods and wondering when she can go back "home" to the Montana. She lived here for the first three weeks of her life with us but that was last winter, there was snow all around and she does not really remember it here. Carol and I are bushed and it will take a few days for all three of us to get settled down after the last 4 1/2 months on the road. This was such a great trip! We took it to recon the Southwest to see if that was where we wished to return next year. Needless to say, we eagerly look forward to returning there, as opposed to Florida. Now we will get to see our children and grandchildren living their lives and hopefully letting us into their lives again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We made it!!!

We are finally set up in our home park in Davison, MI. Stopped by the condo on the way here and it still stands. When we left Monticello this morning, it was 74 degrees and predictions of thunderstorms, high winds and hail. Got to Fort Wayne and the temp promptly dropped to 54 degrees and it got really foggy. The winds picked up and we made it on home, missing the storms but driving through variable winds and fog. We will take the next couple of days to empty the Monty and take the "stuff" home and then clean it up. Our "condo on wheels" came through this journey like a champ. No problems that couldn't be taken care of! Now, think it is time for a shower, bed and reflecting on this "best of all so far" trip! Every time we return from a journey, we wonder how it can be topped. IT ALWAYS IS, THOUGH!

Think we'll try heading home today

We are going to try to move from Monticello to our home park today between storms. If the going gets too rocky, we will find a campground to lay over at. Warm front moving north and cold front heading south - could be interesting. We do not travel in wind, snow or hail so only time will tell just how far we get.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Utica, IL to Monticello, IN

Yesterday, we prepared to move from Utica to Monticello. Sunshine ran into the bedroom and onto her bed at the foot of our bed. Said, "What, moving again?" and covered her head with her blanket. The rains that we had experienced overnight had stoppped and we were able to get ready to leave and stay dry at the same time. When she saw that we were, in fact, ready to move, she got excited and jumped right into the truck and let us know that she was ready to move. In order to not have to drive through South Chicago/Gary, IN on I-80, we traveled south on I-39 to US-24 and then took 24 east to Monticello. The river we crossed was The Illinois River. We much prefer traveling state highways over Interstates because we see more that way. We traveled through small towns and vast farmlands. We welcomed the lush greens of the trees and ground cover that we had missed since last fall. The only thing that we really missed was seeing the mountains soaring and canyons falling around us in the west. We were welcomed to Watseka, IL by a Smiley Face water tower and to Monticello by the friendly people in the West Oak RV Resort, south of town. It is storming with thunderboomers right now and Sunshine is doing quite well with the noise. We believe that she is more sure of us now and that we will not let any harm come to her. We are seeing more of her personality every day and we sure do like what we are seeing. She defininately has her own personality. She gets very exctited when we get to a new campground, wishing to see, smell and meet the newness of the new campsite. Tomorrow we are to move to our home park in Davison, MI. Storms are forecast for this and that area for tomorrow so we will play it by ear.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Des Moines, IA to Utica, IL

Today was probably the best day, weather-wise, that we have had in a long time - sunny and next to NO wind! In Texas, Arizona and the Plains, they call these 30-50 mph winds Breezes, and we do not quite agree. We had seen so many rest areas closed in the western states that it was a real pleasure to see that along I-80 in Iowa, there was a rest area about every 30 miles. My 70 year old prostate is very grateful. This one is even being modernized. After so long in the desert and mountains, which we loved, we are finally seeing GREEN grass and trees and loving it even more, now. We crossed the Mighty Mississippi and were welcomed to Illinois. Sunshine has gotten to where she can sleep more while traveling instead of whining every time we slow down. Here she asked "Are we there yet or should I just go back to sleep?" Progress, I guess! calls this water tower coffee pot the Worlds Largest Coffee Pot in a truck stop near our present campground. We'll have to go there and see if large size equates to good taste. We will stay here for two nights and then probably to Monticello, IN for two and then probably to our home park in Davison, MI. Wont be as long as it has been!