Thursday 28 February 2019


The waiting game is still on.  Apparently a group of engineers are going to be showing up here to have a look at my pump to see if they can figure out what caused the failure.  Now apparently these guys are from Cummins Atlanta Georgia office and they are spread pretty thin.  They may even be in Las Vegas this weekend for the big NASCAR race there.  As far as I know, Cummins is a sponsor of a car there.  While we wait, we are enjoying a really nice park location.  There are big areas of public green spaces for Charlie and I to wander in.  They just mowed the grass so it is quite pretty.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

A Little Rain

Not much happening in our lives right now.  We are just enjoying sitting and relaxing and waiting and waiting.  I have lots to do right now.  Back home they are starting to gear up for another busy construction season and there are lots of things that need to be done from an administrative point of view.  My boss Tanis keeps giving me projects because she knows I like to make up spreadsheets.  Today was a new Quotation sheet to make Kyles life easier.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Something Different

Today was a rainy day, so we spent the most of the day indoors.  We are waiting on word from someone on the warranty issue.  It could take a while.  I have lots of work to do for Cochranes back home so out came the computer and I got to work.

Monday 25 February 2019

Time to Make a Decision

So up until now we have been told a lot of different things about what is wrong with the Ponderosa.  It started out with the roadside mechanic saying that we have a fuel blockage.  Then the next one said it was probably the ECM (engine computer).  Then the next diagnosis was the fuel solenoid was gone.   At that point we decided to come to the Cummins dealer and get a scanner on it to find out the problem.  Actually it was the good old eye of a young technician that finally told us what the problem was.  When a pump is driven at the front, and you look at the shaft at the back of the pump, it should be turning, but it wasn't.  So it was pretty obvious that the shaft in the pump was broken.  Lots of theories but a lot of blown smoke.

Sunday 24 February 2019

Down by the "C"

Its a typical Sunday around the Ponderosa.  We have been here for a little over a week now and we just have to relax and let life move on around us, cause we ain't goin nowhere fast!!  It is frustrating in one way, but my gosh we could have it a lot worse.  All you guys at home in Manitoba are not enjoying 30C days in a park like setting.  As a joke we now say that we are parked by the "C".  We can't hear the waves but we can see the C.

Saturday 23 February 2019

Cleaning day.

Sometimes I wonder if our pets don't plan to take over our lives.  They just keep moving in a little farther each day but they do it in such a way that we can not resist.  When I woke up this morning I looked over the edge of the bed and guess who was using my pillow?  Yup, Charlie!!  Apparently I had thrown my extra pillow on the floor last night and he just decided to use it.  

Friday 22 February 2019

A little Birdie told me.

For a while now, we have been hearing a bird chirping outside the Ponderosa lots.  We didn't know what is was but we knew it had a big voice.  A pretty chirp but quite loud.  It was especially loud this morning and we didn't really pay much attention to it until as we were sitting there we looked up at the fruit basket and there it was.  It is some sort of a wren and kinda made itself at home for a while.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Another Rocket Launch

Rocket Launches have intrigued me since I was a kid.  One of the first ones I remember was when John Glenn orbited the earth 3 times in a spacecraft on February 20, 1962.  I was almost 7 years old, and I remember there was no school that day and we were huddled around the radio at home to hear the broadcast of the launch.  We had no TV yet so audio was all we had.  We sat spell bound for about 7 hours from before liftoff to the point where the famous picture was taken of him getting out of the capsule.  It was like a fairy tale coming true to think that man had been in space!!  Of course the Russians beat us there, but that was never even mentioned much in those days.  We have come a long way with our technology, but manned flights are not as common anymore.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Lunch with Laurence and Paul

We received a message from our friend Laurence who we met in Three Lakes, saying that she was over in Wildwood getting some repairs on her motorhome and she wondered if we wanted to get together for lunch.  We put Sue in charge of finding a spot for lunch and as usual she came through big time.  The restaurant was called Gator Joes and it is on Lake Weir.  We knew when we saw it that she had picked a winner.

Laurence and her dog Paul showed up a few minutes after us, and it was like a big reunion.  Sue loves Paul. (and Laurence too!)

Watch for Chiggers in the Spanish Moss
We knew we wanted to dine on the outdoor patio because the temperature was just right to do that.

Gator Joe's got its name from a famous alligator who lived in Lake Weir from approximately 1930 to 1952.  In 1934 while trying to find the Ma Barker Gang, the FBI intercepted a letter mentioning an "Old Joe" near the Barker hideout.  Lake Weir was pinpointed as it was found to have a big gator known as "Old Joe".  On January 16, 1935, the FBI found the Barker gang in a historic home 1/8 mile from Gator Joe's and in a 4 hour gun battle, Ma and one of her sons were killed.  "Joe on the other hand lived until 1952.  Here is what "Old Joe" looked like back in the day.

A really quaint restaurant which was typical of an old waterside building with rusty tin over it and the dock that ran out into the lake.  The atmosphere was perfect for fish and chips so thats what we had.

Of course the traditional lunch picture.  

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And the smart waitress that snuck in a selfie!!!  Good one Brandi and thanks for the good service.


This evening I received some good news.  Sue checked for local channels and guess what?  ME TV is on.  The one show I really enjoy from the past is this one.  Anybody know the show?

Our view out the window is ever changing.  The vehicles around here definitely come and go but that is a good thing because that means we are moving up the list.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Goodwill Bargain or Not!!

We spent some time sorting things out in the Motorhome today.  Like everyone else we seem to accumulate "stuff" only now it becomes apparent faster because we don't have places to store it.  Sue went through all our clothes and all the back closets and came up with a black garbage bag full to take to self help.  I know there are lots of opinions about what thrift stores are on the up and up, but we just wanted to get rid of this stuff so the first place that we came across was a Goodwill store.  While we were there I went in search of a cheap pair of blue jeans to wear when I working (leaning) on greasy dirty things like the fuel system last week.  Finally found a pair.  What do you think?

Monday 18 February 2019

A Sitting Day

Sometimes you just spend a lot of time sitting in a day and today was one of these days.  We sat around home sipping coffee and reading until about 11 o'clock.  We decided to go look at some RV's today near us.  So we jumped in the Jeep and sat there while it took us to an RV place.  On the way out we looked over at the repair bays here at Cummins, and the whole place was full of RV's.  I think they know how to work on them here.

Sunday 17 February 2019

Spit and Shine

Happy Birthday to Sue!!!  Today is the day and we woke up the same as any other day. Coffee and a card and then we went out side to plan our day.  We decided that we were going to give the Ponderosa a little bit of tender loving care.  She is almost 20 years old and the fiberglass body is getting really prone to oxidization.  We had it deoxidized last year in Quartzsite, but that was a farce.  Lots of money for no results.  So we are going to use a little muscle on her to see if we can make her feel better.  First plan was to do the roof.

Saturday 16 February 2019

We found a good Hooker!!

About 9 am our tow truck arrived to take us to Ocala.   He   We have an appointment with Cummins on Thursday afternoon, but we can go stay in their back yard which is set up to accommodate RV's.  Brenden was the tow truck driver and he was a real friendly guy so we knew we were in good hands.

Friday 15 February 2019

Late Valentines, Early Birthdays

Well this morning Sue and I had to head to Ocala to talk to the Cummins dealer about working us in to their schedule.  We need them to scan the system and confirm whether we need a new ECM (Engine Control Module) or not.  I think we do, and have thought that for some time but one has to rule out all the other things as well.  Ocala is about 40 miles east of us and is in beautiful horse pasture country.  We arrived at the Cummins Dealer about 11 am and the lady listened to my story and then looked at the schedule and told me that they would be able to look at it next Thursday at 1 pm.  Now that is about a week away, but the good news is that they do lots of work on Motorhomes, and they actually have a campground where we can stay free of charge with electric and water, for as long as we are being worked on.  Sold!!   We will be in a warm spot and will be in our own house for the duration of the repair.  What more could we ask for.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

What is the problem?

Well we are here in Inglis FL.  We are still broke down with no light at the end of the tunnel.  We are parked right by Beasley's Tire and Auto Care Center.  Highway 19/98 is right outside our bedroom window so it is fairly noisy.  I doesn't bother us other than in the night and early morning.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Another Friend to look up in Heaven

We received the news last evening that our RV friend Malia Lane passed away yesterday.  If you remember I wrote about her not that long ago and we are promoting her book on our side bar.

Monday 11 February 2019

Trouble in Paradise

Well we were up in good time and enjoyed happy hour on the patio again.  P & H came over and we sat and listened to "nothing".   We were the only ones here and there was nothing but the sounds of nature.  Harold and busied ourselves with filling with water from the spigot and getting Miss Daisy and the Ponderosa ready to travel today. We headed down the road about 10:00 with the intention of getting to Perry FL to Wallydock for the night.  This would be about half way to Panama City Beach which is our destination for a few days to visit family.

Now the Story begins.   If you remember back in the fall on our trip down we had fuel problems back in Lancaster Wisconsin.  When we left there we knew it would take a while to get all the alga out of the tank and system so we have had to change fuel filters 3 times since then on the road.  The Ponderosa has been laggy and lacking the get up and go it once had but I blamed it on the crud maybe still in the system.  Well we have over 2000 miles on it and it just seems to be getting worse so I said to Sue today that we need to call the shop that replaced it to see what we should do.  Well around noon we stopped for lunch and I got the bright idea to loosen the fuel cap just to see what might happen.

Sunday 10 February 2019

RV Dreamers get together.

Our friend Dee invited us to attend an RV Dreamers get together at Lithia State Park today.  This is a group of people who have either been to an RV Dreamers rally or have been members of the RV chat room.  Now the originator of the RV Dreamers chat room pulled a fast one and shut down the original chat room without any notice, so our friend Dee set up a chat room at her own expense so we can all meet there.  It is mainly a group of old friends and is a friendly place to be every night from about 9 to 11 pm Eastern time.  If you want to come in to talk, be our guest.  You just go to the chat room and sign in as a guest.  You can use an alias if you want until you become more comfortable with the people there.  Follow this short cut to get to the CHAT ROOM. or go the long route by entering!eVC_K
Because I am a regular chatter and because I wanted to support Dee, we loaded up P & H and headed over to spend time with friends old and new.  They even had a theme cake.

Saturday 9 February 2019

Visiting Friends in Largo

Today we are going to drive over to Largo near St Petersburg, which is about a 2 hour drive.  Sue and I have a friend over there who used to be Sue's mom's best friend.  As you know Sue's mom Kathy passed away a couple years ago, and it is important to Sue to stay in touch with Jean.  I have met her a few times too and consider her a friend as well.   Before we left, I had to admire the leafy carpet surrounding our Ponderosa

Friday 8 February 2019

Our Gated Community

Now I know a lot of you think that what we do when we boondock is not very glamorous and some would say they could not do it because of safety issues.  Well let me tell you that when we are here in these no cost campgrounds we are safer than most.  We are in a gated community, and you have to be special to get the combination to the lock.  That is how Water management areas work.  So there!!!  Here is our gate!!

Thursday 7 February 2019

A New spot to call Home

Well after a good sleep last night, we had to face our challenge for this morning.  We had to back the Motorhomes up about 1/2 mile out to the main road.  Because I have driven large trucks all my life, it was not quite as big of a challenge to me as it was to Harold.  He did real well and he and Pat worked out some good signals to each other over that 1/2 mile.  They will be fine from now on.  I assured H that this would be the worst backing up he would ever have to do!!  The girls had done some research and found another preserve just up the road a piece, so off we went to our new digs.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Moving from Three Lakes

The time has come to start our trek home.  We are about 3 months from when we actually will leave Texas and head north, but everything from now on is considered heading for home.  Even though we are houseless we still call Manitoba home.  This morning I got the drone out to do some photos for some of the group.   Almost everyone in Three Lakes has solar so it makes for interesting air photos.  Some have just had their solar installed and are still quite proud of it, while the rest of us have just learned to live with it.   Everyone showed up for morning happy hour and to see us off.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Touring Three Lakes

Today is the last day for us here at Three Lakes so Gary took H and I for a tour of the back country.  He has been here for 25 winters so he knows what there is to see.  Wished he had taken the kids for a tour a couple days ago because they were dying to see alligators and did not see any.  He loaded us up in his pickup in the afternoon and off we went to search out anything interesting.

Monday 4 February 2019

Kids leave for the Great White North

Today our kids head back to Manitoba.  Their flight is at 7 am and our daughter is ever diligent to make sure they don't miss the plane so she had me out of bed at 2:30 with plans to be at the airport by 4 am.  Sue stayed at home because there was not enough room in the Jeep and I took them to Orlando International.  It was a beautiful morning and I rather enjoyed the drive.

Sunday 3 February 2019

Off to the beach

We have waited all week for warm weather and this is the last day before the kids go home so it had to be a nice day.  It started out overcast but warm, so we headed off for Melbourne Beach.  Now I shouldn't tell you this but here goes anyway.  Our jeep has seat belts for 5, and with 2 of us and 4 kids that makes 6 plus a dog!!    Its an hour to the beach and we didn't want to take 2 vehicles so guess what??

Saturday 2 February 2019

Craft day

We have had a lot of good times at Disney and so we thought today we would just hang around the Ponderosa and do fun stuff with the kids.  We have a nice spot which is sort of away from the circle of trust, but that also means it is quieter.  We are still only a few steps from the inner circle if we wish to go there.

Friday 1 February 2019

Time to go home.

Well our stay at Fort Wilderness Campground has come to an end.  It was sort of nice being hooked up to all of the services, but really, what do we need them for.  We only opened the sewer hose this morning for the first time and didn't really need the city water if our tanks were full.  It was nice to have power on the cool nights with the baby here because we could run the electric heater all night.  I guess we just like to be on our own too much to appreciate being crammed in a park.  I can't really say that we were crammed here, but we still had close neighbours and lots of rules to follow.  We did it to be close to Disney for our kids to enjoy, mainly.  It think they had a good time.

One of the freebies we got with our stay here was a free round of golf for all of us at the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf at the Epcot Center.  We left our campsite and parked the Ponderosa in the overflow parking and caught a bus to Epcot. We thought we had a couple hours to kill so why not?  Well our adventure took about 5 hours instead.  From the bus we had to walk about half a mile to catch a boat.