Monday, July 31, 2017

A couple of interesting things around HWH

We have been at HWH most of today (arrived about 7am and it is now almost 4pm). We will probably spend the night here, at least to pay for the service we have received, if not to have the service completed.

We've gotten to meet the folks who have their rigs in here too... one couple had just returned from Alaska, and their hydraulic jacks and slide had stopped working. Unfortunately, if the slide in the bedroom did not go out, they did not have access to their clothes in the drawers/closet. They got it pushed out a few days ago and then needed 3 strong men pushing from the outside to get it back in. Thankfully, the folks here at HWH were able to determine the problem and get it fixed for them, and they are back on the road.

Another couple also has a slide out problem, but in their case, the airbag that causes the slide to seal when it is in had sprung a leak, and was no longer functional. They had sealed the slide room on the outside with a special kind of duct tape that is not supposed to leave a sticky residue - and it seemed to do the job of both sealing the room, and it was easy for the technicians here to remove.

This is what the new airbag for the slideout looks like.

In order to remove the old airbag, they pushed the slide room further into the rig to expose the area where the airbag resides so it could be removed. The owners told us that there was two-sided tape holding it in that was really hard to get removed.
The technicians are still working on their rig; they have gone to a hotel/motel for overnight because parts of their slideout are residing on their bed, and HWH had told them that they would need to leave it for one night.

The HWH technicians had put Miss Doozie up on ramps to make it easier to access the front jacks - since we had discussed building jacks, I thought it might be interesting to see how theirs are made:
There are 3 ramps stacked here - the bottom of the closest one is showing.

The top part of the ramp - it was made by 1x6s with the middle layer perpendicular to the top and bottom layers.

Here you can see the sandwiched layer.
The Verizon service here is kind of iffy - but I am using the WiFi in the customer service lounge and it works really well!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

From Clinton, Indiana to Moscow, Iowa

We left Clinton this morning...
Quiet lake view out the windshield - can you see the fisherman?

Here, I zoomed it in... I think that is Chuck, one of the folks we met at the campground. They currently have a seasonal site, but I think he said that he will be retiring in a few weeks and they plan to start traveling.  You can also see the yard signs of our across-the-road neighbors who have an Afghan hound.
On our way across Illinois, we were passed by a number of cars with "DustBallRally" written on them - found this on the web:
It appears that they are on their third day of driving from NYC to Los Angeles... and that it is not really a race but a scavenger hunt... their website has a lot more information about older races but not much about the one going on now...

Before Peoria, the crop fields that we drove through (primarily on US 36) were very flat, though there were some swales separating fields so there must be some lower areas. After Peoria, the topography changed and the fields were much more rolling. It still surprises me how much agricultural land there is in Indiana and Illinois - I just don't think of them as being agricultural...

We made a stop at the World's Largest Truckstop ( We were hoping to find lug nut covers to match the ones that are on the tag axle (where we have lost one), but no joy there.

We checked out the replacement drivers seats that they had on display - we keep on thinking that we would find some other seats more comfortable than the ones in Miss Doozie currently. As long as we only drive 3 or so hours the seats aren't too bad, but, like today, we were traveling more like 5 hours... and the seats that feel soft to the touch get really uncomfortable.

We've pulled in for the night at Cove Equipment, just off I-80, and just a mile or so from HWH where we have a 7am appointment tomorrow.
Miss Doozie and the Jeep are settled for the evening...

I think these are grain carriers - some have regular tires, but the two further ones have crawler treads.

Miss Doozie looks positively small next to those combines!

Cove Equipment - one of the owners was so nice to tell me that it was ok for us to overnight here tonight.

Some of the New Holland combines

Strong tractor to pull that many wagons! (trailers?)

This one was on the lot last year too ( - I had wondered on the blog last year if $25,000 was a "deal" - I guess no one has decided that it is a deal suited for them...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Our last day at Horseshoe Lakes Campground... at least this trip!

We have enjoyed the stay here at Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails Campground. It is probably one of our favorites in the Thousand Trails system. There are a lot of "seasonal" folks here, but they are welcoming to those of us who are just passing through.
We went into Terra Haute yesterday and today (I had to exchange the jeans I bought at Sams for a *smaller* size) - I got this picture of the Vigo County Courthouse as we were driving past it.

This evening we made Chicken and Veggie Kabobs on the grill - we have been on a diet (thus my excitement about needing a *smaller* size of jeans), and this is one of the meals on our diet - there were actually 3 more kabobs yet to be cooked... we only ate half of them tonight.

The only thing that we really have *not* liked is the number of "sweat bees" (or, that is what I remember calling them growing up). I looked up information by that name and their appearance and behavior seems to agree. The articles I read indicated that only the female has a stinger, and she won't use it unless you try to crush her against your skin. It seems they are only looking for the salt on your skin, but they are pretty annoying!
There are quite a number of walking trails (actually, roads) around the property - so we went on a little bit of a walk this evening after our kabobs...

Dwayne had walked this way a few days ago and saw a turkey, but there were a number of other folks out and about (on bikes and golf carts) so we didn't see any turkeys.

We did see this beautiful view at one of the lakes that we passed. So serene.
And we happened upon this bunny that let us take his/her picture before hopping back into the woods.
 Tomorrow we plan to leave here to go to Moscow, Iowa. We have an appointment with HWH for work to be done on our hydraulic jacks on Monday morning. We went there back in October and got a problem that we were dealing with corrected. This time, we're wanting them to do a review of the whole system... so we made the appointment for that. We have a couple of known problems (one of the jacks is leaking a little, one seems to give a faulty signal that it is not all the way up, and they seem to have a bit of groaning with use at this time) - so we're not sure how long the work will take.

When we went there in October, we stayed the night before in a parking lot of a farm equipment dealer ( - I called them this week and they said we were welcome to stay there this time too, so that's our goal for tomorrow.

Friday, July 28, 2017


We were trying to find a pharmacy that would fill a prescription that Dwayne needs to be filled (we have the script from his doctor in Dallas). We had taken it over to Paris, IL on Monday, and the Walmart Pharmacy said they needed to order the drug, but it would be in on Wednesday. We didn't hear from them on Wednesday, so called, and they said it would be in on Friday... we called today... now Wednesday next week. Bummer....

So, I was calling various pharmacies in Indiana and Illinois to see if they had the drug in stock... most of them did not have it in stock. One of the pharmacies recommended that I contact a 24-hour pharmacy - and was helpful in giving me the phone numbers for the two in Terra Haute. I called one of them, and they said that they would not fill an out-of-state prescription, but independent pharmacies might, like "JR Pharmacy" or (what I heard) "Who's Your Pharmacy". I asked for clarification and got the two pharmacy names... the first one I had heard correctly, but, you can probably guess that I didn't hear the second one correctly... Any guesses out there of what its name really was?

I could give you a hint...

It has to do with the fact that it is located in Indiana....

Give up?

Scroll on down....

Keep on scrolling....

Also known as "Who's Yer Prescription Shop" to certain people from Texas!
Ah well... at least I can be taught!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

US Savings Bonds

My Dad bought savings bonds at times in his life. In the late 1980s, he put my name as the "POD" or as the joint owner. Now, these were done before I got married, and so the name on them was variously indicated as "Pat Talley", "Patricia Talley", "Patricia A Talley", "Patricia Ann Talley", I guess depending on how he thought of me on that particular day or whether the person at the bank suggested that he should indicate my full name.

I received these bonds from his estate after he died, and they have been residing in the safety deposit box pretty much ever since. When we were in the DFW area in April, we visited the safety deposit box to see if there were any house papers that we should retrieve, I saw the bonds and realized that they needed to be redeemed. I tried to redeem them at the Chase bank where the safety deposit box was located, but, they could not redeem them because I didn't have paperwork that proved that Pat Talley, Patricia Talley, et al. were the same as Patricia Cartwright whose ids I had. No worries, I was on my way to Virginia in a few weeks and could get my marriage license there.

While in Virginia, we went to the New Kent County Courthouse Records Room, and wow, was it interesting! First, even though the court was not in session, we found that we could carry nothing into the building - no purse, no cell phone - so we left everything in the Jeep (side note: if you are thinking about stealing a bunch of purses from cars, the parking lot is right outside the Sheriff's office). We found our way to the right place, and the lady who greeted us had known my dad. She very quickly and efficiently found our marriage license and gave me several certified copies.

Side note: While we were there, I thought of looking up information on the property that we own/steward in New Kent County, and a man worked with us to find all the information about it - including going back to very old books where the original survey that was referenced in all newer transactions was located. His family had lived across the road from the farm when I was growing up. It is so precious to belong to a small community!

I subsequently went to the bank where Dad had actually purchased these US Savings Bonds to see if I could redeem the ones that had reached full maturity, and, armed with the appropriate items of proof (his death certificate and my marriage certificate), sure enough, I was able to redeem the ones I wanted to redeem.

However, during the 1987-1988 timeframe, he purchased a couple of bonds each month... I wasn't sure I wanted to try to find a bank each month wherever we might be to redeem the bonds that fully matured that month. I debated redeeming all of them at the local bank, forgoing any additional interest (they are earning 4% interest!). I decided to try the route the lady at the bank in Coppell had recommended, to register them in TreasuryDirect. As far as I could tell from that website, I would send them the hardcopy bonds and they would convert them to online holdings in a linked account to my primary account and, in my case, change the ownership name to my name. While in Virginia, I completed the paperwork that they required to be sent in with the bonds, and mailed them in with a copy of dad's death certificate and my marriage certificate. In the past week, the bonds have become visible in my online linked account on TreasuryDirect, and the ones that fully matured in July were redeemed.

The TreasuryDirect site places the proceeds in a "Zero-Percent C of I" (non-interest bearing Certificate of Indebtedness - WHY must the government use such terms???) or "C of I" for short. This account can be used to purchase additional savings bonds, or transferred to a bank account of my choosing. It says that it may take two business days to complete the transfer to a bank account - I requested it this morning... so the funds should be there by Monday. As I understand it, each month, as additional bonds reach full maturity, they will redeem them and put the funds in the C of I. I *think* that I can somehow indicate that the proceeds should go directly to my bank account, but from what I have read so far, it looks like I may need to transfer the bonds to another account (not a "linked" account as is required for the initial conversion).

Anyway, I thought there might be readers of this blog who have physical bonds in their possession for whom this information may be useful. I can't say that the TreasuryDirect site is "user-friendly", but it is not awful to use either.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Around the campground

We ordered our mail to come and I got notified by USPS that it was delivered this morning. I walked to the ranger building to get the package, but it turned out that they had not yet gotten the mail from the box, so I walked on out to the mail box and got my package and one piece of mail that was for someone else.
Our mail for about a month...
Along my walk, I took some pictures of the campground:
The view across the road from our site - the weather is warmer but still quiet and calm.

This campground is quite large with a lot of the area left open (no campsites) - this is just inside the ranger station.

Another view of the lake that we can see from Miss Doozie. To the left center is the family lodge (where the pool is) and on the right you can see a 5th wheel of one of the seasonal folks.

Another view of the lake.

Our neighbors across the road (seasonal) were building a dock yesterday - one of the other seasonal folks told us that he had gotten the wood last week but it was so hot that he couldn't work on it. It looks like he has it pretty much completed now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What time is it in Indiana?

We are staying on the far western edge of central Indiana, the nearest town is St. Bernice, IN. We are in Vermilion County, between Clinton, IN (the mailing address for the campground is Clinton) and Paris, Illinois. We are only a few miles from the Indiana/Illinois border.

When we arrived on Sunday, Dwayne's phone decided that we were in Central time zone, while mine stayed in Eastern time. I knew that Indiana was a state that had part in one time zone and part in another, and I thought that some went on daylight saving time and part did not in order to get the whole state on the same time zone for part of the year.

So, I used Goodsearch and asked "what time is it in Indiana?" - one of the results:
confirmed for me that we (in the central part of the western side of the state) were on Eastern time.

Then I looked at one of the other search results, on Wikipedia - oh my!!!

Who knew how difficult it could be to know what time it is?!?!?!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ladybugs - without their spots, they would just be beetles

Julie is a friend that Dwayne and I met several years ago in a Perspectives class. This blog post was written about her struggles to see beauty in the way that God made her, and I think it is beautiful (as she is also!).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Onwards to Indiana

We had a quiet day yesterday, just staying at the campground... Dwayne fixed a water hose that sprung a leak (we think that the water pressure was high in the campground - the hose was deformed up near the faucet end). I put a new item on the blog page - did anyone notice? Provinces and States visited by Miss Doozie... we added two - West Virginia and Kentucky - just in the past week or so...

We left Three Springs Campground and Kentucky this morning. With a brief stop at a rest area along I-74 to join the livestream of our church's service, we arrived at Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails campground about mid afternoon.
We got a pullthru site with a view of one of the lakes out our front window....

Really a great site, other than that there is a fall off into a valley just outside our "public" side, so we don't have a lot of space before the ground starts falling away. But... plenty of room for us to move alongside the bus and get into compartments.
We like staying at Thousand Trails campgrounds because:
  • We've already paid for the year, so each night we stay reduces the per-night cost. The yearly dues plus our "family courtesy card" costs about $525/year, so if we stay only one night, that's an expensive night! By the end of this stay (7 nights) our Thousand Trails cost will be $15.10/night - which, since our goal is to be under $15/night, means that we're doing good on that target!
  • We can make and change reservations online without getting change or cancellation penalties, so for this stay, I had originally thought we would arrive last Thursday, but once I knew more what our plans would be, I could just go online and alter the arrival date - no additional cost.
We *don't* like staying at Thousand Trails campgrounds because:
  • Although you indicate when you make a reservation how large your rig is, they don't reserve any specific campsite, so it is possible that if you arrive late or on a weekend, you might not find a site that you can fit into. Some of the campgrounds have an "overflow" area where you can park until a site becomes available. It can be annoying to drive around and see little pop-up trailers in a site that our 43' bus could fit in, and a site nearby that is just 20-25' long that is not occupied (but which we could not use).
  • Some of the campgrounds are in poor shape - particularly the roads into and within the campgrounds and other infrastructure is sometimes poor as well (electric boxes).
  • Thousand Trails bills its campgrounds as "Preserves" or "Resorts" - which sometimes are grander titles than the reality (see "roads" just before). They will charge "guests" to come into the campground, even if they are just coming to visit us and not going to use any of the facilities of the campground. Each campground is different in its rules - some allow you to have up to "x" number of guests (5) for no charge but over that there is a charge. Some charge you for every guest. This one charges $5+tax for each guest car. Some charge for 50A sites ($3-$5/day) on top of the dues, some do not (this one has no extra charges for 50A).
Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives for us.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Creation Museum

We visited another of the exhibits of Answers in Genesis, going to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, today.
Before we left to go to the Museum, our new friends Linda and Gary left on their motorcycle with their wonderfully compact pop-up behind them! Unfortunately it started raining pretty heavily just as they were getting ready to head out, so they had to don raingear at least for a little bit of their journey today.
 The Creation Museum was about an hour away from our campground, and we got there a bit after 11am, again thinking that the early morning folks would be further along through the museum by this point. Unfortunately, no one had *left* the parking lot yet, so we had to park quite a distance from the museum, but that allowed us to get some of our steps in on our way to the main entrance! And, I do think it helped with putting us behind the big crowds in visiting the museum.

This is a map of the inside of the museum. It was pretty neat how it led you continuously through, with a very long ramp that took the exhibit space down from the second floor (where we entered) down to the first floor. There were "bypass" doors that could be used to skip through to another part of the exhibit, but we just stayed on the main path. I enjoyed using the audio tour (via internet site) with Ken Ham narrating in the various parts of the museum.
Some pictures from within the museum:
Some of the human authors of the Bible - Isaiah, Moses, David (I remember so enjoying visiting museums and churches in Europe with Aunt Libby because she always knew who the paintings or sculptures were depicting by what they had in their hands - Isaiah with the scrolls, Moses with the tablets of the law, David with a musical instrument -- in this diorama)...

Peter and John at the empty tomb...


There were also those who served to preserve scripture - Martin Luther...

and his Theses...

A reproduction of the Gutenberg press that allowed scriptures to be more widely available.

Much of the museum went through the "7Cs" (when I was listening on the audio, I heard that we were coming into the "Seven Seas" part of the museum...) - a path to share God's Eternal Plan.

At the end of the tour, we ended up in the huge bookstore. There was again an audio recording with Ken Ham pointing out features of the bookstore - even with its great size, I don't think I would have noticed the dragon reading a book if I had not listened to the audio!

On our way back to the parking lot, we took the path through the gardens...

- it was quite beautiful... albeit HOT!

We then had dinner along the Ohio River (on the Kentucky side) with former co-worker of Dwayne's Terri, her husband Paul, and grandson Michael (behind the to-go box - he didn't want to be in the picture!).

After dinner, we drove to the Marriott in Covington where Dwayne stayed when in this area to see the murals along the river. They are called the Roebling Murals...

Evidently named for the bridge nearby which was built by John A Roebling.

Some more of the murals (
Interestingly, we met a lady and man who were also viewing the murals (and staying at the Marriott) - they asked us if we were there for the Physics meeting... we said "no", but asked about what meeting they were attending. It seems that they were here for a Physics Teachers Association - they are both teachers of Physics at a college in Oklahoma (the name of which I can't remember). We talked a bit about Physics and where their students end up working (many in medical physics now). For those who do not know... I majored in Physics (and Math) way back in the dark ages at College of William and Mary in Virginia. It was interesting to talk with the two teachers of Physics and learn some about the current students in the field.

Even though the ticket that we got allowed us to go to the Creation Museum for two days, we decided we had enjoyed all we wanted to do today... so we're planning a relaxing day at the rig tomorrow before leaving here on Sunday.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Ark Encounter

We visited the Ark Encounter today.

First, a couple of photos from last night... a couple moved in next to us who were riding a motorcycle and towing a camper...
See the pop-up over there behind the tree on the right side?

The husband told us that it has a queen sized bed, a kitchen, bathroom, changing area... I can't imagine how it all fits in there!
 This morning we headed to the Ark Encounter. We had read that it was busiest 9am to 11am, so we arrived after 11am.
The structure is quite impressive!

 "Noah is in his 600th year and much has happened. His father, Lamech, passed away five years ago, and his grandfather, Methuselah, died in the past year at the age of 969.
"Seven days ago, the Lord commanded Noah to enter the Ark along with his family.
"So, Noah, his wife, Emzara, and their three sons and their wives spent the past week loading the animals and are now storing the last of the provisions on the Ark. 
"They need to hurry -- the storm is almost here."

Crates for animals

Storage inside the ark

More storage

A diorama of Noah and his family praying as they are entering the ark

More storage

A diorama of the living quarters for Noah and his family

Kitchen on the ark in the living quarters

Noah receiving the branch from the dove that he released

A view of the bow of the ark

The door that the animals would have come in, and which the Lord closed

My honey and me!

We are so blessed to be doing this together!!!
Though you can't tell from the pictures, it was very crowded today... there were some exhibits that I just skipped seeing because I wasn't willing to deal with being so tightly packed or having to wait so long. I did find that after I went all the way to the top, and then started making my way down, that the crowds were less on the middle deck a little later than when I first got there. I'm thinking arriving more mid-afternoon (it is open until 9pm) would be a better idea.

The inside of the ark is air conditioned, but the walk from where the bus lets you off to the ark is on an asphalt and concrete surface outside, and it was pretty hot today.

We spent about 4 hours. If it had not been so crowded, we may have stayed longer. We did not eat at the restaurant on site but rather returned to Miss Doozie for a nice cool salad.