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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

Location: Catskill, NY (High 77, Low 60)

Actually there are two accomplished missions on my mind this morning, and I am excited about both of them! This morning my IMG_6156sister and I reached the high point of our training with our final long run – 12 miles! It took us 2 hours 42 minutes to complete the entire run. If someone had told me at the beginning of this summer that this was even possible, I would not have believed it. We still have two weeks left of training until the half marathon, but the training program calls for shorter runs now to give the body a chance to gather strength for the real thing. Next Saturday we will “only” be doing 6 miles. Then comes the next challenge – keeping it up! I am determined NOT to lose all the progress that I have made this summer.

IMG_6123The other big accomplishment that I am happy about this morning is our completed run to Diederich’s to get some maintenance work done on the fiver. I have not been looking forward to it, not because of us so much, but the cats. It ended up working out ok though, primarily because the weather was so nice.

We left a little after 8 am to bring the rig over. We are only about 25 minutes away, so the location is very convenient. We had a pretty long list of stuff that needed to be looked at – many small things and a couple bigger items. IMG_6128The major project was repacking the bearings and greasing the wet bolts. Also the slide topper that we had replaced in Florida needed to be adjusted. Ever since it was changed, we have had issues bringing in the slide if it had rained. We could tell just by looking at it that it wasn’t tight enough. And of course, they had to look at the a/c that rained on us a few days ago. We had enough to keep them busy for awhile!

IMG_6124After stopping for a cup of coffee, we came back over to the campground because Harry wanted to mow the area that is usually covered over. It seemed very strange to see “our” spot empty.  I used a couple umbrellas to keep the inside of the truck shady for the cats. And there was a really nice cool breeze blowing, so that was awesome.

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Since we had a lot of time, we skipped the highway all day and took the back roads all over. We got a chance to see some new scenery.

 

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We took advantage of the time to be out and about to make a run to Camping World, of course. In love We were able to find a nice shady spot over on the side where we could sit in the shade with the windows open.

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And since it was such a beautiful day, and we had the time, we stopped at the ice cream place down the road for a nice treat.

 

IMG_6154By this time we were hoping that they might be finished, so we headed back over to the service place to check out the progress. Well, unfortunately, they weren’t quite done, so we managed to find another shady spot and settled in to wait.

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The cats were so awesome. Both of them just relaxed in the back seat and hardly complained at all. The day was so much easier than I expected it to be.

 

 

Finally around 5 o’clock they were finished up, and after paying the bill, we hitched up and headed back to the campground. It was a long day, but a good one…and now hopefully we are all set for another year of traveling. Smile

Friday, July 26, 2013

Got It!

Location: Catskill, NY (High 74, Low 53)

I was just mentioning yesterday that our plans for heading out were waiting for one more piece of information – our start date at Amazon. Not too long after I posted yesterday’s blog, I happened to look at my email, and there it was! We were very happy to see that we received the start date that we were hoping for – September 16th. So it looks like we will be leaving here around the 11th to head for Campbellsville. Smile We are both excited at the thought of getting started in a few weeks. 

This is going to be a quick blog, as we are in the midst of packing up the rig. Today is maintenance day, so we will be hitching up around 8 am to head over to the repair place.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Evening in Amsterdam

Location: Catskill, NY (High 75, Low 62)

IMG_6098Our wonderful, nice summer weather has returned, with perfect pleasant days and nice cool nights for sleeping.

Harry spent a bit of yesterday morning getting the roof washed. It was a great day for it.

 

IMG_6099Mid-afternoon we headed out on a drive north of Albany to meet some friends for dinner in Amsterdam. Other than a quick trip to Alpin Haus to look at RVs a couple years ago, I had never been to Amsterdam before. Given its name, it was no surprise to discover that it was settled by Dutch immigrants – in 1710.

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After finding the restaurant, we drove around for a couple minutes to find a place to park, and found a great one nearby – a parking lot by a bike trail that goes by the Erie Canal.

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As we were a little early for our dinner, we walked along the trail for a few minutes.

 

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I don’t know if the whole bike trail is as scenic as the first part, but if so, it sure would be a nice ride.

 

 

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Across from the restaurant was another interesting find, with a sign in front that proclaimed it the “Castle”. Turned out to be a bed and breakfast. That would sure be a different kind of place to stay.

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I looked it up this morning, and discovered that the Amsterdam Castle was once the National Guard Armory. I don’t know if it’s open to the public, but it would be interesting to see what it looks like inside.

 

 

By this time it was time to head over to the Armory Grill for dinner with our friends Bob and Charlie. (I took a picture at dinner, but unfortunately it came out blurry.) We enjoyed a yummy Italian buffet, and a great evening of conversation and laughs.

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By the time we left, the sun was going down, and we had a nice drive home with the colors of the setting sun in the sky.

 

 

Another great day! So hard to believe that we only have two more weeks left in Catskill before we head north to the Adirondacks for a couple weeks. The summer is speeding by. We are waiting right now to get our start date for Amazon. That will dictate when we ultimately leave NY to head to Campbellsville KY for the fall.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Mysterious Kind of Day

Location: Catskill, NY (High 88, Low 64)

cardinal2So yesterday ended up being a day that began and ended with a mystery.

Harry and I had a relaxing morning sitting outside under the awning, enjoying the cooler air and lower humidity.

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We are also enjoying more frequent visitors to our new window bird feeder. It took them a while to find it, but now I am filling it on a daily basis. Yesterday we had both a male and female cardinal come by, as well as various chickadees and an oriole. Very cool!

So…our two mysteries…yesterday Harry was writing the post about his water filter mod while I was reading blogs. I was interested to read on Rick’s blog about his changing to Google+ comments, and a couple people mentioning that doing this appeared to cut out all spam. I decided to give it a try and clicked the box linking my comments to Google+.

A little bit later Harry finished his blog post and we uploaded it to the blog. A few comments rolled in. Couple hours later, Harry says, oh still no comments? That seemed odd as I had already been reading them. Upon further review we discovered that I could only see the comments on my computer. Not on Harry’s computer, and not on either of our phones. I ended up chatting a bit on Google+ with Rick about this, and he got on Harry’s computer and took a look himself. Still a mystery. We discovered that Harry could only see the comments if he used Firefox, and I think they eventually showed up IMG_6086on Internet Explorer too. But I still couldn’t see them on my phone, on either the mobile or web versions. Just ended up being too frustrating, so my little foray into Google+ comments lasted only until late afternoon. I think I will wait a while yet before I try again – there still appear to be a few kinks in the system. Smile

After that, we had a relatively normal evening, with no puzzlements to ponder. Just as we were getting ready to go to bed, it started pouring. If we don’t have the a/c on, I usually like to sleep with the windows by the bed open, but last night that wasn’t possible since the rain was coming in. So I turned the a/c on in “fan only” mode.

Nice comfy air…all was well…we settled in for a good night’s sleep…

Well, not so fast. About an hour into our great night’s sleep, all of a sudden Harry says, HEY! The bed is wet! I jumped out of bed and turned on the light. We had a steady stream of water running out of the a/c!!! I turned off the fan and the water POURED out!! Oh my!! And outside it is still pouring.

So we piled the bedspread up on the foot of the bed with the wet area in the middle. It was warm enough in there that I wasn’t going to need any covering anyway. We laid on the bed for maybe the next hour watching the a/c. It’s just dripping at this point. Oh and the other weird thing was that it kept coming on by itself. I turned the switch off, and the fan would go off…and then a couple minutes later we’d hear it sputter to life and it would come back on – with the switch still on the off position! Just a day for mysteries I guess!

IMG_6075We ended up taking the cover off the a/c so we could take a look. Couldn’t see much. There was some residual water but it didn’t seem to still be coming in. Harry ended up turning the circuit breaker off to make sure it would stay off.

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This morning Harry headed up on top of the roof to see what he could see. Well, he couldn’t see much. Other than being in need of a good cleaning, there were no obvious reasons why we should have had water last night. No blockages, no seal breaches that were visible. It’s a mystery.

IMG_6081We already have an appointment to take the fiver to Deiderich’s this Friday. Having the bearings replaced and a couple other maintenance issues taken care of.

 

Guess we have something else to add to their “to do” list.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Water Filter Mod

Location: Catskill, NY (High 83, Low 63)

What a wonderful change in the weather! Both Harry and I have been looking forward to lower humidity and temperatures, and yesterday delivered. So nice! With the nicer weather, Harry decided it was time to tackle a project he has been planning for awhile. Since I am not really into the technical stuff, I invited Harry to tell you all about it, so without further ado, I will pass the keyboard over to him…

 

With my surgery and recovery period now behind me, I really wanted to start working on my list of projects before we move on from Catskill NY. There is a modification I have been wanting to do for a while now - the installation of IMG_6062a whole house water filter behind the basement access wall. The temperatures broke here yesterday so it was time to get ‘er done.

As with most Rvers we have had an outside water filter we utilized to ensure better water quality at the various campgrounds we go to.  I wanted to remove one more item from our setup/breakdown process.

 

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I opened the basement wall and found the perfect location - away from any electrical device in case of a leak someday. You will notice that small piece of plywood next to the drain pipes. That’s where I located the filter. First I installed the piece of 2”x6” to mount the filter. But doing so I found that the frame under that plywood box was never secured to the box by the factory. So I bought a couple of angle brackets and firmed it up so it wouldn’t move around with the filter attached while the RV is in motion. With that done I could now start to install it.

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As you can see it was a real mess of pipes and wires down there. I had to figure out how to insert the filter into the plumber system and have it filter water from the city system and from our onboard pump and holding tank. At the same time I still needed to maintain the function of being able to bypass the water heater if the RV ever needed to be winterized again. (I sure hope we will not need to do that again, but maybe the next owners will…). Finding the correct solution meant I had to reroute the hot water heater bypass system (that blue pipe coming up from the floor just below the the red pipes). Thankfully the factory uses red for hot water and blue for cold water. That sure made it easier to figure the filter install into the existing plumbing.

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I mounted the filter to the 2”x6” I installed. In the pix below you can see that there is one small way to get further back into the basement area to the right of these drain pipes. So that meant I had to run all my new piping to the filter overhead to maintain the access space.

I started by dry fitting all the piping to the filter and the existing piping system to have the shortest time period of water outage in the trailer. Those white pipes are the new ones I installed for the filter system. The Home Depot here doesn’t carry short sections of blue and red pex pipe so I had to use white.The one on IMG_6072the right is the inlet and the one on the left is the outlet from and to the existing system. I had to keep in mind that I needed to hold the filter 1.5” off the floor so the clear canister can be removed to change the filter. So actually kept a 2” space so I can slide a 2” piece of solid foam under the filter for additional support while we are moving.

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Here you can see where I have cut out existing piping to tap into the plumbing system. Another benefit of doing this mod is I have now replaced all but one plastic plumbing fittings with brass ones. No more chance of one breaking some day.

 

 

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Being a plumbers kid I don’t have too much problem doing plumbing projects. Thanks to my dad I did 99% of all plumbing repairs at our home and can fix most plumbing issues with the trailer. But I don’t do it often so I’m not fast at it. About five hours and one trip to home depot later I got it finished.

 

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The pix to the left and below shows the finished product. Its hard to see the connections. Most of it is white with a little blue at the starting point just so anyone later can tell that these IMG_6070pipes are cold water not hot.

 

 

 

 

After everything was reconnected, I first tested the new filter system by utilizing our onboard water pump so I could see the water entering the filter. Success! Water entered the filter properly and we had both hot and cold running water. And best of all “NO LEAKS”. Yay!! I love no leaks.

Next I tested the city water system. Pump off…reconnect…turn on water. Everything worked. Double yay!!

The project took a while but I am happy its done and I’m very satisfied with the end result and how it turned out.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Crazy Whirlwind Week But Lots of Fun!

Location: Catskill, NY (High 96, Low 76)

As you can see from the temperatures, we have not been exempt from the hot weather in the east over the past few days. And to have it for so many days in a row is very unusual – the last time there were five 90 degree days in sequence in the capital district was 2002. SO so grateful for a/c!! Running has been a challenge this week. The high humidity really makes it so uncomfortable. Denise and I have been starting our runs at 6 am and it’s already in the 70s then. The weather is supposed to break today and I am very much looking forward to it. It’s already easing, because it’s “only” 82 degrees right now.

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The big news from this past week was a visit from our grandson Schaun. We met Gretchen in MA on Monday and Schaun was very excited to be coming for a visit.

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We had lots of fun things planned and the whole week ended up coming together perfectly. My niece and nephews came over as well, and they all had a great time playing.

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Since it was so hot, we made time for the pool almost every day.

 

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The sleeping situation ended up working out great. We bought a twin size air mattress and pulled the chairs out from the wall to make a little “room” for Schaun’s bed. He was quite comfy in there. It worked so perfectly. We were still able to walk around in the living area if we needed to, and he had his own spot to go to bed.

 

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Other than swimming…we had cookouts…went to the movies…and had lots of ice cream…so we had a great time, and in a couple weeks we get to do it again, as Schaun will be coming back for a weeklong visit in early August.

 

It was so nice to have the time for a real visit, without having to go to work each day like I usually did when Schaun was staying with us. We had a wonderful time with all the kids, and we are looking forward to many more fun times over the coming summers (especially since grandchild #2 will be making his/her appearance in early 2014). Smile

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Seven Months

Location: Catskill, NY (High 83, Low 64)

IMG_3714It’s a crazy thought, but yesterday was our seven month anniversary of fulltime living. It was December 12th that we pulled the fiver out of the driveway for the final time, and arrived at this campground.

This was the picture of our first meal here in the fiver as fulltime rv-ers. It was such a great night.

 

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Yesterday’s anniversary was pretty low-key.

It was a gorgeous day as you can see from the temperatures, and we spent a couple relaxing hours in the pool.

 

During thepool week we pretty much have the campground to ourselves. Later in the afternoon, there’s a better chance of people using a day pass to go swimming, so we generally go over to the pool around 11 or so.

 

Today was our long run day, and I have to say I am feeling so good about my running. It was about seven weeks ago that IMG_5976we started our training, and that day I was only able to run 0.87 miles before I had to walk. Today we ran the whole nine miles. We did stop for a couple water breaks, but didn’t have to walk at all. I still can’t believe it. The half marathon is 4 weeks from today, and I am going to be ready. Smile

 

We are enjoying the nice weather this weekend before the 3 H’s return for most of the next week. We have been thankful for our a/c this summer. If we were still in the house, we would be sweltering.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Breaking the Pattern

Location: Catskill, NY (High 86, Low 70)

For the past week and a half or so, we have been stuck in a weather pattern with the three H’s – hazy, hot and humid. I think this is the longest that we have run our air conditioner at one time. Usually we are at least able to turn it off in the evening as the overnight temps are generally pretty comfortable. To have lows near 70 is pretty unusual for up here. But according to the weather guy, it’s supposed to be easing for at least a few days. There are low 60s in the forecast for overnights later this week! Yes!!

My sister and I have been continuing our morning runs. Because of the humidity and warm temps, we have been doing our runs at 6:15 in the morning! This is the first time ever that I have exercised this early in the day. I’m not thinking that I’m going to make a habit of it, but it’s been better than running when the sun is up and dewpoints are over 70. For our long run this Saturday we will be running 9 miles! All at once! Phew! (Although there probably will be a few half miles being walked in there.)

The car is gone! It didn’t take the buyer very long to get it registered and pick it up. We were lucky that we found a buyer that was able to pay for the car out of pocket without having to worry about financing. We are so relieved to have this sale completed. We still have loans on our fiver and truck, and the money from the sale of the car will pay the loans until our job starts at Amazon this fall. It has been a weight off our shoulders to have this taken care of finally.

Tonight we decided to check out a local Mexican restaurant that we have passed a number of times since we have been staying at this campground.

HarrymargaritaIt was a good move on our part as our dinner was really delish! We both had the chimichanga combination plate, and we each gave the meal two thumbs up!

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Good thing I’m exercising!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

SOLD!

Location: Catskill, NY (High 92, Low 74)

IMG_1576The big news of the day is that we have FINALLY sold Harry’s car. We lowered the price for the second time a few days ago because we hadn’t even had any nibbles and we just wanted to get it done. That must have been the magic number because we got a couple calls pretty quickly after that, and had our first appointment with potential buyers this morning. They liked what they saw, and we also went prepared with a printout of the carfax report, and the maintenance records etc. They offered us a couple hundred less than we were asking and we took it. We are so happy to have this last piece of our previous life out of the way. What a relief!

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Last night we went and had dinner at a restaurant with an open air deck on the water. The view was pretty nice but with the steamy weather we’ve been having it was just a little too warm to be comfortable.

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Do I look as hot as I felt?

 

 

 

A couple people had asked about how we were going to do the edging on the tile backsplash. Harry caulked it yesterday. That was trickier than putting the backsplash up in the first place! We are pretty happy with how it came out.

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Ahhh! Now we are going to relax for a bit and then head out for a celebratory dinner and enjoy our good news!