Saturday, July 30, 2011


Thursday, July 28 – BACK TO OHIO......We pulled into the FMCA Campgrounds, Family Motor Coach Association, this afternoon. This is a very nice place! Concrete street, concrete pads, full hook-ups, we have some shade, and it's FREE!!!




You have to be an FMCA member to stay here (We are because we got 15% off at Gaffney Freightliner Service Center last fall). You can stay two days free and then it's $20 per night. Only about five miles off the interstate and plenty of shopping areas nearby. We'll make this a regular stopping point when returning to Ohio.

If you stop here, be sure to go to Newton Village Tavern. We had the best pizza EVER! Marsha said…except for the ones she had in Italy. It is just five minutes from campground on  39.

We would have been here early, EXCEPT, we lost an hour moving into the Eastern Time Zone, and we sat on I-65 for about 90 minutes in a construction delay. We never did see why the traffic was stopped. That happens frequently. You're stopped and eventually traffic resumes moving and there is no apparent reason why we were stopped in the first place.....CRAZY!!! No wreck, no bulldozer blocking the road, no flag guy, nothing! Another one of the joys of living the traveling gypsy life...LOL


Friday, July 29 – Back home in Canton, Ohio! After an uneventful drive from Cincinnati, other than the TERRIBLE bumpy roads around Columbus, we pulled into Bear Creek KOA. This is the first KOA we've stayed in since we began full-timing. They are usually too expensive and offer options more targeted toward families with young kids and weekend campers than what we as full-timers are looking for. Unfortunately, with the very few campgrounds in the Canton area, we decided to stay here because of its close location to Marsha's dad's house. We were a little disappointed at first with the sites available for monthly stays but once we got backed in and set-up we are quite content. The monthly rate is $500, so that works out to $16.12/day.....not bad! And we are only about five minutes from Marsha's dad and!



We are at the top of the hill. The road is rather close to the motorhome but we get little traffic here.

This is the steep road we had to bring the MH up. The MH had an easy time navigating the hill.

Due to the tree next to our site, we can't use our satellite but fortunately, they provide cable with tons of channels. They also provide free WiFi. Not our first or second or third choice, but we will live.

This is Football Hall of Fame week in Canton. There's numerous entertainment opportunities including parades, ribs burn-off, fireworks, fashion show, the enshrines dinner, enshrinement celebration, and our favorite the Hot Air Balloon Classic. The Hall of Fame football game was canceled due to the players strike. Although, it is now ended but teams haven't had time to practice.  We have been to all events at one time or other when we lived here. We're here to visit with friends and family, so that's our first priority.

During the evening we visited with Marsha's dad and some family members. Marsha has been keeping her latest basket creation a secret because it was for her dad.

This time she died the pine needles and used a new stich called the wrap. Paul thinks it is her best basket yet.



Remember when she shared the story about picking up needles at Helen Keller's house. The needles come from the tree that went to the moon. She spray painted them a metallic gold. This is the first basket she included one of the needles. She put it in the last coil on the top. It turned out great.

Look closely at the inside top row, and you will be able to see the gold needle.

She finally got to give it to him, and boy was he surprised.


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Wednesday, July 27 – We finally left Red Bay behind and drove five hours to Cave City, KY. We are just staying the night at Singing Hills RV Park. We are in Site 42.



On both sides of us.


Beth, the hostess, is extremely nice and helpful. This isn't a fancy campground at all. We paid $16 using our Passport America card. Beth gave us a super detailed handout of  the closest laundry, shopping, churches, etc.

We weren't here for sightseeing but did take a short ride to Mammoth Cave, In order to even see the front of the cave, we had to take a tour. We passed.

It is off to Cincinnati, Ohio tomorrow. We will be in EST for the first time since last July.

YESTERDAY - To finish are repairs here at the Tiffin Motor Homes repair facility, they literally wrapped our MH in plastic wrap. All in preparation for painting the new roof rails that were installed yesterday.




We were sent to Red Bay Paint & Body, a local RV Paint Shop owned by a former Tiffin employee, to have the painting done. This is a common practice employed by Tiffin when they are very busy. Sure helps out the local businesses!

We were at Red Bay Paint & Body by 7 a.m. and were told to return after lunch to pick it up. This was one repair we weren't able to watch since most of the work took place in the paint booth.

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at a local dinner (good way to kill some time when you find yourself homeless) we stopped at the Discount Wholesale Food Mart. This market specializes in “scratch & dent” food products. We were careful in what we purchased, isolating our purchases to canned goods that we could see were in good condition. We only picked up about a half dozen cans of chopped chicken white meat for making chicken salad, at half the normal price.

We then went over to the Tiffin Manufacturing facility to look at the 2012 Motor Homes fresh off the assembly line. They have many beautiful improved features, many of which we would love to have, but not on our budget....LOL

We then returned to the Tiffin Repair waiting room to enjoy the air conditioning while we waited for our painting to be finished. Shortly after noon, we returned to the painter, backed our MH out of the shop and settled into our campsite for the night.

New painted rails…no wrinkles, no cracks!


Paul went over to the business office to settle our bill. We were pleasantly surprised with the final figures. The majority of our repairs were covered by the Tiffin Extended Warranty. Our biggest expense was the upgrades we had performed out at Custom RV which consisted of the refrigerator inverter and new batteries.

So tomorrow morning we pull out of Red Bay, AL and head for family visits in Ohio. If all goes well, we plan on being there by this weekend. We're going to make the trip in three short driving days, stopping in Cave City, Kentucky – site of Mammoth Cave; Cincinnati, OH where we'll stay free in the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) campground; and then finally somewhere in Canton, OH. We figure on staying about a month in Canton, but aren't sure where. Funny that Canton is our former hometown, but we can't find a camp site.....JEESH! Very slim pickin's!!!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Monday, July 24 – We got into Service Bay #17 this morning at 7a.m. to have the roof rails replaced on our motorhome.


This is the caps where the roof meets the sidewalls. They are made of fiberglass, as is the roof, and Tiffin has found they do not hold up and become wrinkled and could begin to leak. As a result, they are replacing them under their ten year structural warranty.



All set up and ready to begin.

They begin by cutting out the old fiberglass rails. Surprising this fiberglass is not very thick. Probably only about a quarter inch thick. They just cut it out and peel it back like a banana.



Once the old is removed, they form the aluminum using a machine much like seamless home gutters are manufactured.



New piece ready to be installed.


They then slide the new aluminum rails under the roof edge and over the lip of the wall. This is then screwed and glued into place.

All areas are then caulked and allowed to dry over night or longer, before painting.




We are being sent to a private contractor in town for the painting. Custom Paint & Body, owned by a former Tiffin employee, will be doing the painting. By going there, we were able to eliminate waiting time and get the job finished tomorrow. We also have a couple spots they are going to touch up while in the paint booth.

Marsha and Bella (our cat) stayed in the MH during this repair. Poor Bella. The grinding and cutting tool must have scared her to death. They do have a waiting room, but there are too many people with pet dogs that scare are tiny kitty. She hid under the bed in the MH and gutted it out.....LOL!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Saturday July 23 – YES, we are still in Red Bay. BUT…we were told last evening that we are going in Bay #17 on Monday morning at 7….YIPEEEEE! They will do the rails on Monday and then paint on Wednesday…at least that is how it is suppose to work. If all goes according to our plan, we will leave for Ohio Thursday morning. 

We visited Ivy Green, birthplace of Helen Keller, June 27, 1860, in her hometown of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ivy Green was built in 1820 by grandparents of Helen Keller. It was the second house erected in Tuscumbia.


Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller of Tuscumbia. At the tender age of 19 months, she was stricken with a severe illness which left her blind and deaf.

At the age of six, the half-wild, deaf and blind girl was taken by her parents to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell. Because of her visit, Helen was united with her teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan on March 3, 1887.

Picture below taken from official website.

The main house is of Virginia-cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall. Each room has an individual fireplace.

Master Bedroom…The clothing in the wardrobe are Helen's and her mother's, Kate. 19-helen-dresses

If you have ever watched the movie, "The Miracle Worker", you will recall the scenes of Helen eating off of everyone's plates at meal time. Helen broke all but two original pieces of china.

Upstairs housed the boy's room, Helen and Annie Sullivan's room and a trunk room.

The famous well pump is located between the main house and the birthplace cottage, which is situated just east of the main house. At this well, Annie revealed the mystery of language to seven-year-old Helen, by spelling the word w-a-t-e-r into one hand and letting the water flow over the other hand. As the brochure reads…Darkness began to melt from her mind like ice left out on that sunny March day. By nightfall, Helen had learned 30 words. This is just amazing to us!


The bedroom of Helen and Annie in the cottage.

Her playroom and classroom.

After Helen's miraculous break-through at the simple well-pump, she proved so gifted that she soon learned the fingertip alphabet and shortly afterward to write. By the end of August, in six short months, she knew 625 words. By the time she was 16, Helen could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and to college. In 1904 she was graduated "cum laude" from Radcliffe College.

The home contains hundreds of mementos of Miss Keller's life including her library of Braille books and old Braille typewriter.

Helen placed a ruler on the page as a guide and drew very square block letters.

Sample of her writing just one year after she learned to communicate by signing the manual alphabet.

The grounds were lovely. The buildings are surrounded by English boxwood, over 150 years old.  Here is a small taste of the beautiful flowers in bloom. Marsha was in heaven!
Helen Keller

Upon Helen's death, hundreds of countries sent items in Helen's memory to be included in the garden. Here is one example from Japan.

Helen Keller, the little girl, became one of history's remarkable women. She dedicated her life to improving the conditions of blind and the deaf-blind around the world, lecturing in more than 25 countries on the five major continents. Wherever she appeared, she brought new courage to millions of blind people.

A SIDE NOTE: In the back gardens, stands the "Moon Tree." The "Moon Tree" was grown from seed that journeyed to the moon and back aboard Apollo 14 during the period of January 1-February 9, 1971. It was presented to "The Cleaning" at Ivy green in October, 1976. The "Moon Tree" is a loblolly pine. OH NO…it is that word again…PINE…as in PINE NEEDLES!


While Paul was off some where far away, Marsha had an idea. She went into the Museum told the ladies about her pine needle basket and asked if she could collect some the of the needles. The ladies enjoyed her story and gave her a bag for her collection. When she got to the car, she explained her idea to Paul. Paul was shocked that she could come up with such a cool, Marsha's words not Paul's, idea. "What is this ingenious idea," you ask. Marsha is going to spray paint the needles a metallic gold and weave one needle in each of her baskets. She then will print a little card explaining why the needle is included in the basket. She says, her family member and friends will now have a memento of something that went to the moon! Again, the littlest things make her so happy.

According to Marsha, this Museum is one of her highlights of our travel. We do agree, it is a place to put on your bucket list.  We are Blessed to have our sight and hearing and cannot come close to accomplishing what this amazing woman did!

As we drove back to the Tiffin Campground, this is what the sky looked like…YIKES!drive-home-sky_cornith

Back at the motorhome, our sky looked like this….but no rain the entire night.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Wednesday, July 20 - No use sitting around here (Red Bay) doing nothing! So, Paul decided to replace the material on the awning over the door. It started unraveling about a year ago and is just about trashed now.


He bought the new material at the Tiffin Parts Store the other day and was going to wait for a cooler location to do the work, but might as well get it over with!

He removed the old material, and when he started to put in the new, noticed it was the wrong size.



So after three trips down to part, he finally got the right size....GRACIOUS!


Too bad an extra set of hands didn't come in the box....this was a two man job.



But a friendly neighbor came over and helped re-install the awning roller as Paul threaded the material on the other end and the rest went smoothly.


Now that should be good for another six or so years!



One of those jobs that should have taken a couple hours but between getting the wrong parts and having every man in the park stop to talk, it took about five hours. When you get all these men in his maintenance park waiting for service, they have to get out, walk around, and see what the heck other guys are doing on their motorhomes. A man's work is never finished! :=)

A second job, Paul decided to tackle while waiting on service is replacing the fog lights. Both lights have been hit by rocks, and Paul had the lens covered with clear packing tape.



So since the parts store is right here, might as well replace them. You would think you could just replace the bulbs or the lens cover, oh no! You have to replace the entire fixture. More junk for the landfills, I guess.

It wasn't a complicated task. Remove the old fixture with the broken lens. Unplug the wiring harness.


Plug in the new light fixture and bolt it back in place.


Wouldn't have been a bad job if it was so dang hot and humid....LOL

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!