Saturday, February 4, 2012


Went out into town today. We saw this place called the Jones Center on line and decided to check it out. It is a large community center with a gym, swimming pool, weight room, exercise classes and an ice rink. Turns out there is no membership fee, and only charges $2 per person for swimming or ice skating during open periods. There are martial arts classes, Zumba and others. You only have to pay for the classes. I think we might spend some time there this contract.

Just so happens they were starting an open skating period when we got there. I have never been ice skating and Sarah hadn't been for years and years. So we decided to go have a crack at it. Michael and Max strapped on the skates and off we went. Most people, including us, stayed pretty close to the wall. Not a ton of experienced ice skaters out there today. Michael made several trips around and got better every time. Max made one trip around and decided he had had enough. I think two things were at play. The skates are ridiculously uncomfortable and Max is used to being pretty sure footed, I think the instability was a little much for him. We will see if we can get him out there again. It is always a good day when we can do something for the first time.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Some drama here. Nothing we can't handle of course. The campground where we are staying uses two work campers for routine park maintenance. On of the jobs they do here is to clean up leaves. What these two knuckleheads decided to do was rake them into piles and set them on fire. Not a problem until you locate that pile 15 feet out my front door and 6 feet off my back window. Now, I was at work, so Sarah got to deal with them. I wish I had been here. The campground owner said they workers were idiots and he never did trust them, but decided he didn't want to do anything about it other than tell them not to burn the leaves so close to our rig.

We checked out the other campgrounds, but none of them fit our needs as well as this one and this one only barely passes. Surprisingly, there aren't a ton of good campgrounds in this part of Arkansas. What with all the outdoor recreation around, I thought we would do a lot better. Oh well. Three months.

And for those keeping track at home, jogging up hills and mountains is harder than flats. The more you know...

Monday, January 30, 2012


Today was supposed to be easy. Dry run to the hospital to time my new commute. Pick up some new boards for leveling purposes, the old ones cracked and broke in Del Rio. Get some Laundry done, easy. Then today actually happened.

For some reason, we lost all water pressure today. The pressure at the park connection wasn't good and we new that already. They came by to fix it. When the water came back on, it was just a dribble at all of the faucets and sinks. Even the toilet got in on the act. So, I checked the pressure at the new park connection and worked my way back to the RV. Park..good. Filter...good. Regulator...good. Hose...good. Now we are back to the actual RV. Not good. This was going to require a little more.

So, we got out late and did what we needed to get done. Dry run shows a commute time of 30 minutes give or take. We hit the RV store and picked up the switch and a few specialty light bulbs we needed. I didn't really know what the full water problem was, so I didn't get anything for it. The RV parts guy suggest I check the check valve going in to the RV.

We then went to Home Depot and got the new boards for under the tires, should we need them. We decided to drop Sarah off at a laundry since we had much more than normal after our trip. Easier to get it all in one fell swoop.

I ran home with the kids and started back to work. First, a roof check. We brushed some small branches on our way in and I wanted to inspect. Hands and knees on the roof eyeballing everything. I didn't see any damage. Had to be done though as there is a threat of rain tomorrow.

Then, back to the water problem. The check valve works fine. No problem there. All the other connections are clean. What next? Went inside and found another problem. The toilet was now not shutting off. Normally, when you flush, a small amount of water remains in the bowel. It is much less than a normal toilet, 7-10 ounces or so. Now, the toilet never shut off and the water just kept right on filling up the bowel. And...the foot pedal was sticking. This was not good. I can't leave the water on like that or we would flood the place.

So, back outside and shut off the water. There wasn't time to really research or start digging in as we had to go back and get Sarah. When we returned, I started looking it up on the internet. Nothing sounded like our problem. I just decided to pull the toilet apart. As fun as that sounded.

So, I did. I pulled the toilet up from the floor, disconnected everything and cleaned and lubed all the handles and fittings. Turns out that, on the back of the bowl, connected to the flush valve is the fitting that sprays water into the bowel. It was clogged with lime scale and calcium deposits. I pulled it out and cleaned it. When I put it all back together, it worked and didn't leak.

Now, when we arrived those lime scale deposits got into all the sinks, it usually does. I pulled the screens and cleaned them. Well, they were all dirty again and that was our problem. I pulled and cleaned them all again. And then again when they clogged up again a few minutes later. So, for now, they are all working. We will see how long it lasts. We will be replacing the whole house filter tomorrow. Then, back to the regularly scheduled chore list before work on Wednesday. Ahhh...adventure.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


After spending last night in OKC with Aunt Miche, we finished the drive today into Arkansas. Aunt Miche took the kids to the toy store and told them she would buy them whichever toy they wanted if Mom and Dad approved. There was much deciding and re-deciding before they walked out with a toy submarine being attacked by a giant squid and a sperm whale and a boat. They play well together.

It was great to see Miche and I hope she comes up to see us.

It was good to finally get out of the desert environment and back into something with rivers and elevation changes. I do like me some mountains. These in no way compare to the Pacific Northwest, but after Del Rio they are very nice. I bet it will be a beautiful Spring.

The RV park here at Monte Ne is our type of place. It is way out in the middle of nowhere. We have already seen a herd of deer 15 strong. WE are getting used to the fact that the campgrounds we like need and will tolerate a little customization. Cutting limbs, digging and piling dirt to get level, things like that. We don't like the neatly manicured, trimmed and tidied parks. We like it a little wilder and this one fits the bill nicely. I will try to post some pictures later.

There are some RV stores nearby too, that will help us get some little things fixed. We also need to wash IRV after the trip. Lots of things to do. But tonight, rest. It wasn't a long trip, but it was a trip and we earn a short recovery.