Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Tuesday, August 30 – We have moved to Marsha's brother, Rick's, driveway. We stayed here last year for a month. We had one problem. Last year we experienced "brown outs'' or low electrical voltage problems. So this year we plugged into a different 120 volt outlet and are now experiencing high voltage spikes. Luckily, we have a Electrical Management System that knocks us off line to prevent any lasting problems. Paul's a little concerned about this electrical issue for Rick and his family. Hope it doesn't lead to future homeowner problems. Since we are only staying a week we can work around this electrical anomaly. After all, the price is VERY REASONABLE….$0.00.


We really enjoy staying with Rick and Chris.  We have the best visits with lots of food, drink and laughs. We will be celebrating Labor Day here with the entire family.

Marsha is going to have eye surgery. This was not expected! Her left eyelid has been drooping for the past two years and is now affecting her sight. She will see the surgeon on Thursday to set the surgery date. It looks like we may be here for longer than planned.

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

Friday, August 26, 2011


Friday, August 26 – We're heading to Marsha's brother's house next week for some driveway camping.  We need to put down some boards under our stabilizing jacks so we don't crack his cement driveway.  We park along an edge that doesn't have very thick concrete.  We normally don't carry many planks, so we didn't have any place to store them.  Paul had read online about storing them under the propane tank.  So he purchased some closet wire shelving and installed them under the tank.



There was already a ledge around the opening to set them on so all he had to do was cut them to fit and drill some holes to secure them in place.


He will add a couple bungee cords to secure the four 2x2 plywood boards for transportation.


We have lived in Ohio all our life and never visited the historic Fort Laurens. This FIRST and ONLY fort of the Revolutionary War established within the limits of what is now Ohio. It was named in honor of Henry Laurens, President of the continental Congress.


Fort Laurens was constructed in 1778 as part of an attack against the Native Americans assisting the British stationed in Detroit. Troops lead by General McIntosh marched from Pittsburgh to present day Bolivar to wait for supplies.


During much of its existence the fort was besieged by British soldiers and Native Americans who sided with the British, making gathering supplies difficult and unsafe. By March 1779, with their rations depleted, the troops were forced to eat anything they could find, including boiled ox hides and in some legends their own moccasins. This lack of supplies and attacks by Indians led to over 20 American deaths. In the summer of 1779, Daniel Broadhead was ordered by General Washington to evacuate the fort.

Outline of Fort.

In 1917, the Ohio Historical Society assumed control of the site and has kept the land open as a museum and a park. Today, only the outline of the fort remains next to a museum which tells the story of Fort Laurens.



The museum features a video with the history of the Fort, weaponry, artifacts found on site during archeological digs and other items from the Colonial Era. While at the Fort, you can visit the Tomb of the Unknown Patriot of the American Revolution which contains the remains of an American soldier who gave his life at Fort Laurens.


Twenty-one men died at Fort Laurens and were buried here.

Fort Laurens is surrounded by a large park used for military encampments, events and picnics with two shelters that can be used by the public.

Visiting Fort Laurens is a great way to look into the past and get an idea of what it meant to be a soldier during the American Revolution.

We finally got an opportunity to get together with Paul's brother, Dave and wife, Linda. We had a great dinner with lots of catching up conversation. It was wonderful talking with them and hearing how our nieces and nephews are doing.

Dave, Linda, Marsha, Paul

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Tuesday, August 23 – We took Carrie to the airport and sent her on her way back to Houston. It has been nonstop every since she arrived.

On Saturday, one of many things we did that day was visit Breitenbach Wine Cellars in Dover, OH. The Winery is located in Ohio's Amish countryside.


They have a beautiful setting. And yes that is a Llama in the little house.


We sampled many of their award-winning wines. Their wines are delicious! Breitenbach offers a huge variety of wines - from dry white wines to sweet dessert wines, there is a Breitenbach wine for every taste. They specialize in Ice Wine and Dandelion Wine.

And enjoyed the gorgeous day.

We purchased TWO cases of different variety of wines. Carrie really purchased 18 of the 24 bottles. We will take these back to Houston with us in the MH.


FLASHBACK:   Friday, August 19 – We took a bike ride on the Ohio Towpath Trail this morning. The canal and trail was originally 309 miles long and constructed in 7 years—from 1825 from 1832. The Ohio & Erie Canal was one of the longest canals ever built. It was hand dug by Irish and German immigrants, who were paid $0.30 per day.

We rode the section known as the Zoar Valley Trail. It goes from Bolivar to the City of Zoar. This trail is lined with four ancient locks from the old Ohio-Erie Canal.

The Towpath Trail is on the old road bed used by mules to tow the river barges down the canal.



Some towns along it's path have developed the trail into a real hikers/bikers playground. A near-by town, Canal Fulton, even has a restored canal boat towed by mules that tourists can ride down the canal. Eventually, the towpath trailway, will be developed from Cleveland to the Ohio River. As you travel the bike path, the canal is on one side of you and the Tuscarawas River is on the other. The river is known to flood its banks each spring when the snow melts and the rains pour down in Ohio. Many of these small towns are cut-off from through traffic for several weeks each spring.

The Canal isn't very pretty any longer. See all that green in the water…YUCK!

But some areas are a bit more clear.

The Tuscarawas River is a bit muddy is some areas.

But in others it is sparkling.

They have benches along the path.

The Zoar Valley section starts at Fort Laurens, more on that later, and crosses I-77 on a huge bridge. This bridge was certainly built to easily handle the hiker, bikers, and equestrians that use it. Guess it had to meet federal interstate highway standards.

Isn't this just a lovely site.

Soon you pass lock #10. It was interesting to see these locks, but the misquotes wouldn't allow one to linger long. There isn't much left to examine. The wooden gates have long since rotted and the level of water is just deep enough to breed the army of misquotes just waiting for breakfast. You do pass three more locks ( numbers 9, 8,and 7) before reaching Zoar. Several of these locks have been restored in nearby Canal Fulton.

All that is left of the locks.


What Lock #8 looked like in the "hay days" of locks.


We did see an interesting bridge that has been converted from an old highway bridge now to a trail bridge.



View from bridge. If you look closely, the new bridge is in the far back.

Constructed with old Carnegie Steel with a wooden deck. It connects the Towpath Trail with another trail – have to explore that on another day.


The trail is not yet complete. Once you reach Zoar it is not suitable for easy bike traffic. It is used as a hiking trail from this point south. Going north, one can ride all the way to Cleveland, over 80 miles. Paul has rode most of this trail in the past. Some parts are even paved. There are trail heads and parking access about every five miles.


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

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Sunday, August 21 – Twenty-six years ago today, our daughter, Carrie, was born. Happy birthday to you, Carrie. This is the first time we have been together to celebrate her birthday since she turned 17. Since then, she has celebrated her birthday at Virginia Tech or in Texas while working for Exxon. It is wonderful to be with her today.


This is a great time to tell you what the girls got us for Mother's and Father's day and our anniversary…family photos. We haven't family pictures taken since the girls entered college. Carrie's friend is studying photograph and agreed to take our pictures. This will be her first portfolio. We spent a few hours in one of Houston's many parks. She took hundreds of pictures of us around the trees, in front of the waterfalls, in a gazebo, surrounded by flowers, etc. We were very pleased with the final product. Thanks so much girls…we love our gift.


Paul, Kelly, Marsha, Carrie
I can now reveal a basket I worked on and complete about a month ago. It was a gift for Carrie's birthday. I call it…The VT (Virginia Tech) Party Basket. She can put whatever snack she wants in it.

If you are not familiar with VT, this is our rendition of the Hookie Bird. Yes, orange is one of their colors.


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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Tuesday, August 16 –  While Marsha has been visiting all her girl friends,having lunch with several old friends, working on her pine needle baskets, knitting a pray shawl, Paul's had some time to finish some motor home projects.

The first order of business was installation of the new Magna Shade windshield cover. We really like this shade, not only for the protection it offers from heat and ultraviolet rays and the privacy it provides on the huge windshield, but because it is installed using strong “rare earth” magnets. You just slide the cover on the windshield and move it into place using the aluminum rod provided. No snaps or locks required. It is said to stay in place in winds up to 100 mph. Paul first saw it in Quartzsite and really liked the magnetic installation. It is amazing how cool the front of the MH is now. We don't have to close our curtains and a BIG bonus is Bella gets to sit on the dash and watch the dogs march by.


Paul received the final piece to his Quick-Fill battery system.


Brannon from Custom RV in Red Bay, AL sent him the pump for filling the batteries. When purchased in Red Bay the pump Brannon had was for the old style system. So a new and improved model was mailed recently. Paul tested the pump and the Quick-Fill System. Another satisfied customer!




Ever since we replaced our front air conditioner we've had an unsatisfactory finish to the control panel on the ceiling of the motor home. The new AC was slightly smaller than the previous one. The padded ceiling was left with several screw holes and an imprint of the old larger AC cover. So Paul made a trim collar to hide this unsightly condition. Look great!


In addition to the trim collar on the inside of the motor home, Paul painted the AC exterior cover the same color as the rear AC. Now the new AC matches the color of everything else on the roof of the motor home.


Another item on the replacement list is new carpet on the steps (both inside and out) leading into the motor home. We purchased a carpet runner at Lowes and Paul used it to cover the two outside steps and the three steps inside the motor home. Looks nice, don't you think?


Ever since moving into the motor home full-time, we've been unhappy with where are waste can was located. We tried placing it next to the kitchen sink, behind the dining room table, and under the kitchen sink. None of these areas proved satisfactory. While in Red Bay at the Tiffin factory, we toured some new MH's and saw some of the improvements made on newer models. One improvement we liked and thought we could use was the placement of the waste can on a pull-out shelf under the cook top. Not only was Paul able to install a pull-out shelf under the stove, but he was able to place two waste cans on the pull-out shelf! WOW, does Marsha like that!



Marsha moved her pans to under the sink. She said it is so much easier for her to get to them there. You now you know where we keep some of the extra wine bottles.


With Paul's joints falling apart with arthritis, he's found riding his bike each morning a good alternative to his once morning walks. His bike is out in the weather 24/7 and has taken a beating. Interestingly, the handle bar grips have seemed to melt! Too much time in the HOT south, I guess. He's been using them with clear shipping tape covering them the last year, so decided to breakdown and install new handle bar grips. Now these should work just fine......or at least till they spend a couple years in the hot Texas heat!


The last item on Paul's “to do” list is the installation of a wind gauge (Anemometer). He has a little weather station that tells him the temperature and humidity but has always wanted to know the wind speed. This is something he and their electronic toys....JEESH! Living in a motor home, the wind is something you learn to appreciate. You don't need a gauge to tell you when it's blowing like crazy. Remember south Texas this past winter. So he purchased an anemometer on line and installed it on the back roof ladder. Wonder how long till he needs a rain gauge..... :=)



That is all the repairs for awhile…WE THINK!

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