Thursday, August 17, 2017

SUMMER IN OHIO

Monday, August 14 Weaver's Cellar Wine has been busy this summer fermenting additional flavors for winter enjoyment while on the road. That called for adding on to the cellar wine rack.

Time to add on.
wine rack

Now that should hold just about all the wine Marsha can drink in one winter!

Now that is more like it.
wine rack

She kept Paul busy bottling the wine. Here he is using the machine to install the corks in the bottle. Funny how easy it is to remove that cork when so much effort is needed to get it in there.

wine making

Speaking of making wine, Marsha loves a good party! She has had a summer wine tasting party for over five years. We enjoy visiting wineries during our travels, and Marsha enjoys sharing that wine with family and friends. This year, many of the attendees brought along a bottle of wine they purchased on vacation or at a local winery.

Dave, our son-in-law, volunteers to act as the sommelier, but no one ever told him he would have to wear an apron this year! Doesn't he look cute!

wine tasting party

wine tasting party

We were thrilled to have a good group at the party. Our youngest daughter, Carrie, was here from Houston to enjoy the event. She brought a couple bottles along that didn't fare well with the guests. They were voted the two worst among the fourteen bottles judged. She said we don’t have “real” wine taste buds…lol

Both wines Carrie chose didn’t fair so well.
Carrie and wine
Carrie was here for five days. We spent a couple days at Kelly and Dave's home in Chardon, OH, which is in the heart of Ohio Wine Country. So of course, we visited several wineries and enjoyed some tasters.

Laurello

Laurello

Kosicek Vineyards
DSC08488

Kosicek Vineyards

Kelly took us on a hike in one of the local county parks, The West Woods, Geauga Park District. This is  in extreme NE Ohio which is a very beautiful area. It is not far from Lake Erie which means large amounts of SNOW in the winter. Carrie enjoyed a few days of relief from the Houston 100 + temperatures. We sure enjoyed our visit with her! We'll see a lot more of her later this year with our stay in the Houston area over the holidays.

The West Woods

The West Woods

The West Woods

The West Woods

We enjoyed the hike with Carrie so much, we hiked in a different area while visiting Kelly and Dave on another trip to Chardon. This time we checked out Ansil’s Cave Trail. Kelly and Dave enjoyed the trails so much that they vacationed in Moab, UT, and the Rocky Mountain NP near Denver, CO, for about ten days this summer.

Ansil's Cave Trail

We had to watch our footing.
Ansil's Cave Trail

Sharon Conglomerate.
Ansil's Cave Trail

A couple of cute bridges.
Ansil's Cave Trail

Ansil's Cave Trail

We still have more planned for our Ohio summer. We have a trip to Gettysburg, PA, and then back to Ohio for Marsha's dad's 90th birthday in early November. Paul keeps saying we better get out of here before the snow flies, and Marsha assures him we will. Check back and maybe you'll see Paul high tailing it down the road with Marsha shoveling snow in the background!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

SUMMER HOME IMPROVEMENTS

August 13 – We've enjoyed our summer in Canton, OH, and have kept pretty busy catching up with family and friends. Marsha has filled every available minute with her girlfriends and of course her crafts. She makes Paul feel like “a lazy sit-around-and-do-nothing guy.”

Paul did complete his residing of our summer home. He's been slowly working his way around the structure over the last three years, replacing windows, fascia, soffit, and the vinyl siding. You may notice in the second picture he removed the garage window before re-doing the siding. No use spending money on that window (there are two other windows in the front of the garage) and fewer windows helps with security!

siding

siding

Dave and Kelly (son-in-law and oldest daughter) keep volunteering to help, so we took them up on their offer and put them to work power washing the fence and part of the house. Amazing how dirty things get in just a couple years. Dang acid rain I guess.....:-) Notice we pulled off the cleaning WITHOUT killing any of Marsha's landscaping!

Paul and Dave work together to get the job done.
cleaning fence

Then it was on to the house.
house cleaning

Lucky Ohio hasn't experienced the unusual heat much of the country has had this summer. Paul lived up in the attic for a couple days adding insulation. You can see in the photo that the insulation wasn't even to the top of the ceiling joists. Yep...that's Paul squeezed in there. He's installing vent baffles before insulating to allow air to circulate up through the soffit and out the ridge vent.

Before
attic

This photo shows the amount of insulation he blew in with the help of Marsha's brother, Rick. He loaded it up with nearly 18” of cellulose insulation. Did I mention it gets COLD in Ohio in the winter! That's why we get the heck out of here and head south!

After
attic

Now “on to the roof!” Thankfully for Paul, Marsha said, “no way” when it came to him replacing the roof. There were two layers of shingles to be removed, a couple soft spots to repair, ridge vents to install and a chimney to flash. Paul can't believe Marsha felt he was getting too old to tackle such a project. Jeesh!

roofing

Being close to Amish Country and many awesome contractors, we decided to hire a crew for this task. Five Amish workers came in and completed the entire job in one day! After Paul's close inspection, he said it was one of the best completed jobs he ever hired anyone to do.

They removed the two layers of old shingles before lunch. The replacements were delivered by another Amish company and placed on the roof just when they were needed.

siding

You can see there was a soft spot around the chimney that needed repaired. Thank goodness we didn't have a leak when we were away for the winter!

siding

siding

Marsha was thrilled no plants or shrubbery was destroyed. The guys covered everything and did a magnificent job cleaning up when finished.

roofing

The finished roof.
siding

That's only part of our summer accomplishments. We have more to cover in a future blog, and we have some trips to report on. So check back as we catch up on our “days of summer!”

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

CANTON, OHIO FOR THE SUMMER

Saturday, April 22 – We headed out of Blytheville, AR, early again this morning to do a little catching up from our disaster yesterday. Of course, it was raining but fortunately nothing very heavy. We traveled most of the day diagonally through Kentucky heading for a stop in Verona, KY, which is just south of Cincinnati, Ohio.

We have stayed previously at Oak Creek Campground in Verona, Kentucky. They offer a Good Sam/Escapee discount but are still near our top threshold at $27 per night. It is a super location just a couple miles off the interstate making it a great over-night stop. There just aren't many RV parks in the Cincinnati area. They have gravel streets and sites with 50 amp electric and water. No sewer connections at the sites, but they do have a dump station although in a crazy location.

Oak Creek Campground

Oak Creek Campground

Looking right.
Oak Creek Campground

Looking left.
Oak Creek Campground

This should be our last night on the road before reaching our summer spot in Canton, OH.

We are now at our summer home in Canton. We will not be posting much during the summer. We aren’t into posting each day about regular daily activities. Hope y’all have a super and dry summer.

our house

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A VERY STRESSFUL DAY!

Thursday, April 20 – We snuck (Sneaked was the original past tense and past participle for sneak. Used as early as the late 1800s, snuck has become the standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak….just in case you are interested in a little English history…lol) through downtown Houston bright and early this morning. Traffic was heavy, but we moved right along and had no problems. We arrived at our destination – the Texarkana RV Park in Texarkana, TX, shortly after noon.

Texarkana RV Park is a very nice Passport America park. They have concrete streets and patios, large gravel, full hookup pull-thru sites, laundry, game room, a pond and rental cottages. We have never stayed in an RV park that has better placed sewer, water, and electric hookup locations. We have stayed at this park in the past and recommend it to fellow travelers passing through northeast Texas.

Texarkana RV Park

Texarkana RV Park

Looking right.
Texarkana RV Park

Looking left.
Texarkana RV Park

Bella was so happy to get off the road.
Texarkana RV Park

Friday, April 21 – Our sprint across the country continued today with an early departure from Texarkana, TX. We had many miles to cover and wanted to get an early start so we could be off the road by mid-afternoon. I suppose you hear God laughing at those plans! Two hours after leaving, just east of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Paul noticed smoke in his rear-view mirror. He quickly checked our tire monitor. It showed no indication of trouble. He carefully pulled over to the edge of I-30, a VERY busy interstate to investigate.

No flat! Everything looked fine. We waited a while to get our minds together and decided to move on down the freeway. Nope, we didn't get a mile before the smoke returned. After careful thinking, we decided it was either a brake on the 5th wheel was stuck “on”, or we had a bearing seize. Marsha checked on the Internet and found we should NOT drive with a bad bearing. So we called Coach Net, our roadside emergency carrier.

They said help would be quickly sent and even dispatched the Arkansas Highway Patrol to check on us. Officer Church, with the Highway Patrol, was there within minutes. We soon found out that additional help would not follow suit. The Officer lit up the side of the road with his blue lights which was a wonderful relief.

With help supposedly on the way, Officer Church had to move down the road, but he assured us we were safely off the highway, and he would return in about an hour to check on us. Hopefully, we would be gone by then. Unfortunately, we were still waiting for roadside service. Officer Church recommended we head for the next exit and offered to follow us with lights a blazing to keep traffic from rear-ending us. We had to stop twice because our wheel was smoking but at the second stop the roadside repair service caught us with us. Thank you to Officer Church. We have never met a more caring and concerned Officer. He even called us at 6:30 p.m. to be sure we were back on the road and safe. How wonderful was that!

They removed our wheel and chained up the axle so we could drive carefully to their repair facility. Officer Church again escorted us down I-30 until we exited the freeway.

bearing issue

We pulled immediately into the repair shop. The guys started work immediately. We would have been out of there in no time but they had to order parts from a nearby town and wait for over an hour to have them delivered. Not only was a bearing shot but we needed a new brake pad. $$$


bearing issue

It was a huge place.
bearing issue

These guys were so polite and concerned for us. They tried to get us back on the road as soon as possible. Thanks so much to Hartsell Farms & Excavating Co.

Hartsell Farms & Evcavating Co.

Our early departure this morning was destroyed to say the least. We broke down about 8:15 a.m. and did not get back on the road until 2:30 p.m. No way to make our intended destination so we found a stop in Blytheville, AR, where we had stayed previously and called it a day. What a stress filled day!

Grizzly's RV Park is absolutely nothing to write home about. It is good for one night only! PPA, $14.00/day FHUs. That is all we can say about it.

Grizzly's RV Park

Grizzly's RV Park

Looking right.
Grizzly's RV Park

Looking left…isn’t that beautiful.
Grizzly's RV Park

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

ONE MORE DAY IN THE BIG CITY

Monday, April 17 – Monday was a work day for many Houstonians, so we took a walk among the towering skyscrapers enjoying the hustle and bustle of downtown. On one of our visits, Marsha wants to take the architectural walking tour. There are so many neat building designs in the city.

downtown Houston

downtown Houston

downtown Houston 

Well before the 1913 completion of the building we know today as The Rice, the land at 909 Texas Ave. was the site of the old Capitol of the Republic of Texas from 1837 to 1839, before it moved to Austin. The Rice is now a luxury apartment community which rents from $700 to $3,500 a month.

The Rice

A gorgeous chandler in the main lobby.
The Rice

We had hoped to visit the observation deck in the Chase building, the tallest building in downtown Houston, but the building owners went and closed the viewing area because it was disrupting daily business. We are glad we were able to visit the viewing area last year.

downtown Houston

Instead of visiting above ground,  we visited the underground area. This maze of tunnels is full of eateries and shopping venues mostly used by the men and women working downtown. These miles of underground sidewalks make a wonderful alternative to walking outside when temperatures top 100 degrees and the humidity approaches 100 percent. We were there during lunch time, so we enjoyed the workers heading off to their favorite lunchtime stops for a quick bite to eat.

downtown Houston

downtown Houston

We enjoyed the remainder of the day walking downtown and enjoying time together on Carrie's roof patio. A little cards and a few beverages was a fun way to relax and enjoy some “family time.” I should note the boys need to brag about their card playing powers. Dave won the game of cards, and Paul placed second. (Marsha says…Who cares!) The girls settled for the bottom three places. (Marsha says…That is not nice!)

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!