Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Things are rolling along, right on track for the sale of our house. We thank God for that. As far as everything else, it is the same ole,same ole. We work, we come home to the coach for dinner, some tv and before you know it, bedtime.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we had a two week vacation that began on the 3rd of November. We began our trip early on that Saturday morning, which in retrospect turned out to not be the best idea. There was a misty fog along I20 that morning that really limited visibility.  The pace was slow from Shreveport, Louisiana, all the way to Vicksburg, Mississippi. we traveled a little over 8 hours that day, making up some time when the fog lifted.

We crossed the Georgia state line and into the eastern time zone. We thought about changing our clocks an hour ahead for ET, but upon further thought we decided to leave them alone since daylight savings time began at 2AM Sunday morning anyway!

We pulled into a Flying J to spend the night. Cheryl wanted to search for a good place for dinner, so drove the car down the road and per chance found a "mom and pops" RV park less than two miles from the truck stop. I found the owner and the price was $20.00 for one night, full hook ups! Needless to say we moved from the truck stop to the RV park!

After a good dinner at the RVers cafe, better known as Cracker Barrel and a good quiet nights sleep; we got a not so early start on the next leg of our journey. 

I will continue the trip in the next post, since it is time to stop the daydreaming and head to the office. I pray the house sells with no problems, our finances will be sufficient and my days left for heading to the office are few. Until next time........

Saturday, December 1, 2012


If there is anyone out there in blogville that still looks for a new post from me, this is the day. I am going to try for a new beginning on posting blogs, since we are entering a new beginning for our lifestyle.

My last post (some time ago) left off with the house being repaired. We still had all our furniture in the house and in the process of getting it remodeled.  We gave a lot of "stuff" to our kids, and stored some things we wanted to keep; since we were already living in our motorhome. The house went on the market on July 21st. We got the usual flurry of inquiries and showings that happen whenever a new house hits the market, but no serious "lookers".

The house has been on the market since, with only mild interest, until we got a call from our realtor while vacationing on 17 November, with an offer on the house.  We were so elated and thankful. The offer was a little less than the asking price, and the young man wanted us to give 5k in concessions for closing. We figure this is because he is 25 yrs old and has little funds saved at this point in his life. We countered to get a couple of small items he was requesting off the table, but in reality we are eager to start our next phase of life, we accepted his offer!

Now the waiting begins for closing. He has already had a contractor/inspector look at the house and give it a clean bill of health. The inspector did not find anything to be repaired in the house. Now we are awaiting appraisal, termite inspection and who know what else?  The buyer is striving for a closing before 31 December and we are praying it goes through.

That is our status in a nutshell. We are still working, waiting to see how we fare financially when all this has played out. We had a great vacation, which Iwill try to post more about later. I am going to endeavor to post more, even if they are shorter post.

Until next time, God bless us all..............

Monday, May 28, 2012

On The Right Track

We are getting closer to having the house on the market. This weekend we cleaned everything out of our attic, it was a monumental task! We have years of collecting junk in the attic, now sitting in the garage. Cheryl is going through the stuff as is the rest of the family. We are sorting things into the famous three piles,  keep in the motorhome, sell or give away and storage.

Our realtor met with us last week and gave us suggestions on what we need to do to the house in preparation for selling. I then met with a highly recommended contractor to get a bid on the work, mostly flooring, sheetrock repairs and painting. We are hoping the house will be on the market by July at the most.

In the meantime we are busy emptying out the house. The small items first, then the furniture, much to our surprise the realtor recommends we let her show the house empty. She told us that way the potential buyers would not see a home "personalized" to our liking, but see a home they can easily change to their liking. I hope she is right.

I will try to keep everyone informed of our progress. Until next time...... God Bless

Sunday, May 20, 2012


A giant step towards our retirement and the start of our fulltime travels has been taken! This past Monday morning the crew to repair the foundation on the sticks and bricks arrived.

First thought? Wow all the money I am paying for these repairs and this is it? The crew arrived in a ton and a half truck pulling the above trailer. I don't know what exactly I was expecting, for the price maybe a bunch of heavy equipment, cranes, dozers and a battalion of hardened construction workers in hard hats?

No heavy equipment, or battalion of construction workers, just three guys with shovels, a heavy duty compressor, welder and a lot of  steel piers with accessories.

However, all said and done, it was a hard working crew of three and it was evident this was not their first rodeo. They worked diligently to dig through roots, around gas lines and electric lines to achieve the depth needed to install the pier systems.

The contraption pictured above is installed underneath the foundation footing.

Two hydraulic cylinders are bolted to the contraption and lots of hydraulic lines attached.

The steel piers are then installed into the hole for them in the contraption (hope I am not being too technical here).

Once the steel piers are in the contraption, they use a big compressor attached to the hydraulic cylinders to push the piers into the ground. Additional lengths are added (joints are similar to those used on tent poles) until the guage in the picture above reads 3,000 psi. The depth of the piers ranged between 25 foot to the deepest one was 28 foot.  Once all the piers have been installed to the proper depth for the strength needed, the "super" compressor is attached to all piers by hoses. Each hydraulic cyclinder on each pier is adjusted to the pressure needed to raise that pier (thus raising the house) to the hieght pre-determined by my engineer. I say "my" engineer, because I think for the amount of money involved, I bought him.

Anyway, the house was raised, it is all level now.  Best part, it carries a lifetime warranty and is certified by "my" engineer as structurally sound. Our next step is to make minor repairs to our interior walls and ceilings, moving a house around tends to make some minor cracking in a few places.

We have a realtor coming over this afternoon to meet with us. She may be able to advise us on what else we need to do to the house to sell it. I will try to keep you informed as our journey unfolds.

Until next time, God bless us all.............................

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I have not posted in a while, it seemed that our lives have become somewhat hectic to say the least. I don't know if I am describing it correctly or not, but it also seems our lives have become confusing.

However we are still working towards our dream, getting our "sticks and bricks" ready to sale, going through our "stuff", and going to work every day to ensure we have the funding to follow through with our plans (house repairs are very expensive).

We are living in "Big Red", our motorhome, while all this is taking place. We usually pack up our essentials from Big Red on Friday afternoons (everything we need to sleep, eat, bath, etc.) and head to the sticks and bricks to try and accomplish some repairs or sort through years of stuff trying to decide what to get rid of and what to keep/store. Sunday afternoons we end up packing up our essentials to head back to Big Red for another week of work.

The contractors are coming Monday to start the foundation repairs, then we can really get the other minor repairs (some sheetrock work is not so minor) accomplished, some new flooring installed and finally a FOR SALE sign out front! I think life will be much simpler after that? I will try to post more often as we progress, for now I need to get off this computer and start sorting out my tools in the garage. Until next time..........

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Our State of Mind

Well we are still here in Shreveport, but lately we have discovered that happiness is a "state of mind". We are enjoying each day of life as we live it. It also helps to know if we are inside the coach and pull all the shades, we can imagine we are anywhere we desire!

The routine could use a little change though, we are thinking of a short trip, just a three day weekend kind of trip. The trick to that is getting a three day weekend. There are a lot of interesting places we could go that are within an 8 hour drive. There is Dallas and the lakes around that area, Hickory Creek COE is always fun. Gulf Shores area is within the 8 hour drive category as well. The problem with most to these is that we only get to stay a day or two at the most. I guess we can consider the weekend trips as scouting trips for recon.

There is nothing new happening with our sticks and bricks yet. We are still trying to decide if it is better to get all repairs done, then sale or put it on the market "as is". Bottom line is we need to sale while we are in that "state of mind". We have been spending a lot of weekends at the S&B and we start thinking, maybe keep the house too. We don't want to entertain that thought, it could be expensive!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Although mostly the "same ole, same ole" is the status quo; I thought I would post an update. We have been mostly working, coming home to our motorhome in the evenings, relaxing and preparing for the next day of work. Exciting life style eh?

We have been going to the "sticks and bricks" on weekends to sort through some of our belongings and prepare to get rid of a lot of stuff. I still have not taken any steps towards the major repairs to our house, I am trying to decide if I should have the repairs accomplished or sell the house "as is" at a discounted price. I know the quicker I sell the house, the quicker I may be able to retire and travel a whole lot more.

Another decision I am wrestling with concerns where to have some warranty work done on our coach. I have taken it to a local service center that will do the work, but I don't know if I am getting the same quality of work that I would at the Tiffin factory. I need the front heat pump checked out, a leak at the bottom of the entry door solved/repaired, the dining room slide checked out/adjusted, and as of late the home entertainment system repaired (HDMI cable came apart). I have to wonder how long it would take at Red Bay and if I would need to take one week of leave or two??

That is just a quick summary of what is happening in our lives presently. We hope to take another leisurely weekend trip soon (we sure need it). Until next time may God bless us all.....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Repairs, Adjustments and HIGH Data Usage!

Time for an update. We had a pleasant (except for Dallas traffic) and productive trip to Hickory Creek COE park. Camping World in Denton installed our new sleep number bed and we are both happy with it (still trying to find my number). We made it back to Barksdale AFB Famcamp (home base for now) on Monday afternoon. We have settled back into a routine of up early, off to work and then home around dark for dinner, maybe a tv show and bedtime. Oops forgot to mention, all the time counting down to the weekend!

We still love our new home on wheels, although we keep finding minor things to get repaired or adjusted. I discovered the fantastic fan in the front bathroom does not raise by the power button, only manually (probably a connection loose). The front heat pump seems to only put out cool air, no matter what the temps are outside (i.e.: above 45 degrees). One problem I found may not be so minor. Every time it rains there is water in the bottom of our door, the metal threshold part. I cannot find where it is coming from and the techs at Bayou Outdoor Service Center thought they had it solved and repaired, but the next rain has proved them wrong! It may be time to plan a trip to Red Bay.

We have not had satellite hooked up as of yet and I am still trying to decide which service to use. Dish has the “pay as you go” service. You buy the receiver then pay for 1 month at a time with no contract. I am leaning in that direction, but discovered the prices they quoted did not include “HD”.

Cheryl and I both love surfing the internet, so a good connection is important for us. I purchased a “cradle point” router, and plugged my AT&T air card into it. It is a good connection, good signal and we both surf with our laptops at the same time. Three weeks into using this setup I received a “high data usage” warning email from AT&T. Now we don’t watch a lot of streaming videos or movies, just facebook and blogs mostly. I am trying to determine how we used almost 5gigs of data! The new billing period began the 13th of January and on the 18th I received another warning ( I am at 3.5gigs)!! We have been watching our usage carefully and I just cannot figure out what is happening. Maybe I have been hacked! I am using WEP2 security with the default password (maybe I need to change that). The router stays on 24/7 also, wonder if it uses data by just being on? I need to figure this one out soon or change data plans to 10gigs.

Well that is our update for now. Hope to follow up again soon. GBY

Monday, January 16, 2012


I thought it to be about time for an update. We have been real busy trying to prep the house to sell, settle into the motorhome and working at the same time. There have been some changes in our plans as of late. We discovered that we have a major problem with our sticks and bricks house that will alter our plans a bit. The problem could come with a repair bill of about $25,000. We are trying to decide whether or not to repair the house or just try to sell it “as is”, knocking the repair cost off the asking price. Either way I will lose a significant amount of my equity, resulting in us working for a while longer to make up loss.

The news was devastating at first, but we are now putting it in perspective. We are still going to travel as much as we can until we retire and then enjoy our retirement even more once we are able to travel. It will give us time to adjust to our new lifestyle and put away some funds. I may need the extra time to figure out where the heck in the motorhome we are going to put everything!

I have also been a little busy trying to learn all the systems on the coach. I learned we had a propane regulator that was sludged up and had it replaced after a cold night with no heat. The experience also taught me that heat pumps only work until it gets really cold! Speaking of heat pumps, also found that our front heat pump only puts out cool air, no matter what the outside temperature. Looks like more warranty work needs to be done. I did find a local dealer that will cover the warranty work on Tiffins, although I didn’t purchase from them.

These few problems we have experienced are topped off by the fact that our bed is not really comfortable. It is an “RV Comfort “and is basically a mattress with springs covered with a small amount of foam. We went and purchased a mattress topper which helped a little. Now we are thinking of purchasing a “sleep number” bed from Camping World; I just have to make the time to head to Denton, Texas (our nearest Camping World).

Ok, I am writing this paragraph after a week from writing the above paragraphs (no I don't procrastinate). We are at Hickory Creek COE near Denton, Texas. I have an appointment this morning (Jan 16) at Camping World, to install a sleep number bed. We could not tolerate the existing mattresses any longer!

We love it here at Hickory Creek, it is one of our favorite camping spots (so far). We have been here since Saturday afternoon and wish we could stay for a while, but alas I have to work to get that sticks and bricks sold.

I have to get the coach ready to roll for our appointment so I will try to post an update later.............