Saturday, March 29, 2014

ONE SERVICE APPOINTMENT TAKEN CARE OF

The RV place was able to look at my slide-out first thing Friday morning.  It was ‘thumping’ once, sometimes twice, as it was going in – like it was catching on something.

Turns out it was a simple thing - one of the rollers was toast !  This is what a new one looks like:

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BUT they didn’t have any in stock !!  GROAN !  Said I would have to wait until Monday for the part to arrive.

BUT luck was on my side as when the mechanic guy talked to the Parts girl she immediately said one of the guys was already on their way to Nappanee (Newmar’s Head Office) (two hours away) to pick up other parts.  She called him to pick up the roller.

The mechanic guy said if he was back in time it was a very simple fix and he would get it done right away.  If the guy got back after the Service Department closed then I would have to wait until Monday.

So I had the whole day to kill – and Ms. Daisy was unhooked so……

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Hey !  It was only 20 miles from where I was – well it took me 40 miles to find it as Ms. Betsy decided to DIE and I was trying to following Google Maps on my computer.

Of course I bought the ‘obligatory’ T-Shirt – but this time I went ALL OUT – I didn’t buy WHITE !!

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I had not been to this particular location before – quite a nice store.  I admit I did have several other things in my hand but I used extreme restraint and put them back on the shelf !!

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Don’t even ask me how many HD T-Shirts I have now !!  What I wonder about is, what I’m going to do with them all when I get my Gold Wing Trike !!!????

Shortly after I got back I was told the part had arrived.   YIPPEEEEE !!

They had to kinda lift the slide up ….

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So they could insert these wedge things to hold it up while replacing the roller.

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It took him less than a minute to put on the new roller !!

Off Junior (great RV mechanic) goes with the old broken roller.

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It was too late then to get back on the road so I spent the night there again.

Got back on the road this morning to NOT NICE driving conditions…..

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And it certainly didn’t improve …..

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My route took me through Downtown, Somewhere, USA – wasn’t keen on that either.

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I only drove 45 Miles up ‘da road because I don’t have to be in Elkhart until Monday morning.

So I’m in Columbia City, IN where it is 40F/4.6C and going down to 25F/-4C tonight.  I simply cannot get warm !!  I even resorted to putting the slide in to contain the heat AND turning on the generator for awhile this afternoon so I could run my electric heater along with my Mr. Heater.

Oh Dear !

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LOTS OF TIME NOW

I’ve really been putting a push on the last couple of days for a couple of reasons. 

First, It’s so damn COLD I might as well be driving !!  Not like I can pull in, open windows, go for a walk etc.

Second reason is that I had an appointment for Monday in Decatur, IN at an RV place to have them have a look at my main slide-out.

I also have an appointment for next Tuesday in Elkhart, IN (less than 100 Miles from here) with the Company that actually MAKES the ramp door for this rig.  I’m hoping they will be able to do something to make it a little easier pulling down and pushing up.

The problem with the second appointment is that the guy is going on Holidays next Wednesday so if I get delayed here in Decatur because of the slide-out I won’t be able to get to Elkhart, IN in time.

So I tried to get to Decatur for today and tomorrow they will look at my slide-out.  Hoping for a simple fix I should be on my way later in the day ?????

Getting back on the road this morning I was dreading going through Indianapolis because it’s a big City and definitely looked tanglie on Google Maps.  Plus the construction Nan mentioned in the comments the other day sounded horrific !  When I know I’m going to be going through a big City I try and schedule my stops so that I’ll be doing that within the first hour of driving in the morning.  That way I’m not tired trying to maneuver through the on ramps and off ramps etc. etc.

Turned out to be a breeze !  Yes, There was construction but the traffic was light and “BETSY” gave me lots of warning time when I needed to change lanes etc.

MORE ABOUT MY TPMS

Well we’re 2 for 2 now with this.  Two false alarms and two true alarms.

I turn it back on in the morning about an hour before I know I’m going to be getting on the road.  This morning as soon as I did there was that RED light again AND it was SQUEAKING at me.  I let it go through its rotation until it identified the problem tire.

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That tells me it’s the tow car and it is the same tire again as when I had the problem before.  The previous time the tire pressure had gone down to 16 PSI and therefore the SQUEAKING was constant.

As you can see the PSI was at 25 (should be 30) so I learned it SQUEAKS at 4 Minute intervals.  I’m assuming from this that it would SQUEAK more frequently the lower the pressure goes down ??

Thankfully again I was at Wally’s so I just pulled around the back and they put air in the tire.  No further problems after that.  But I’m definitely going to have to keep a close eye on that particular tire.

Today I drove in the rain all day.  Rain ???  I barely remember what that is anymore !!  LOL

When I arrived in Decatur, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up this Auto Deterrent thingie that I had ordered online for Ms. Daisy.  You see Ms. Daisy is bare bones basic and certainly has no FANCY SMANCHY things like car alarms.

You can get it at Wal-Mart here:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Trademark-Tools-Auto-Theft-Deterrent-LED-Light/19716770

Amazon also has them but I didn’t have an address to have it sent to.

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Actually I ordered two so I could have one for the rig.  Now I wish I had ordered three so I would have one for the back door of the rig.

While in Wally’s parking lot I saw SNOW !!

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Haven’t seen that disgusting stuff in YEARS now.  Just goes to show that I’m heading North waaaay to early this year.

I moseyed 4 miles down the road and am settled in comfortably at Sullivan's RV where I’m actually PLUGGED IN !!!  First time since October 15, 2013 !!

I wasn’t going to bother but this way I have my Mr. Heater going AND I hauled out my electric heater from the garage.  Won’t be cold tonight.

First thing I had to do though was unhook Ms. Daisy – it the COLD and RAIN.  Had about FOUR sweaters on plus my jacket and gloves.

Now let’s see what tomorrow will bring.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ONE HOUR INCREMENTS

DRIVE  -  REST  -  REPEAT….

Arrived in Columbus, IN to a freezing 42F/5.7C  and it’s going to a low of 29F/-2C  tonight.

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So you might as well take me off your Blog reading list for at least two months because all I’m going to be doing is complaining about how frikkin’ COLD I am !!

Even had to pull out one of Bennie’s WINTER sweaters as the poor little guy was shivering this morning.

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I now have driven 2,340 Miles/3,766 KMS and left Tennessee behind me today.

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I had to get through Nashville first thing this morning and by looking at Google it looked a bit tanglie to me.  And tanglie it was, made worse by construction.  I felt like I was going around in circles for about an hour until I finally got going on I-65 North again.

Had another false alarm today with my TPMS.  As before, I happened to glance at it and the light was RED.  I watched two full rotations of the tires and all were showing ok with the PSI and with the temperature.

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So I unplugged it and turned it off for a few minutes and when I turned it back on everything was fine.  DIANNE/TOM and NINA/PAUL take note.

NOTE TO SELF:

Self, You have to stop having HEART ATTACKS when you see that RED light.

You can only have a HEART ATTACK when you see that RED light PLUS there is SQUEAKING !!

NAN I’ve run into nothing but construction on this entire trip !  And we all know what happens when there’s construction…..

I think (?) these pictures were taken trying to get through Louisville ??

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Things heard on the radio over the last days…..

Why is the word abbreviated so long ?

There a big sale somewhere on guns and ammo.

And there’s a big sale somewhere else on cows.

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TIRE DEBRIS

Anybody who has driven the Interstates knows all about the pieces of tires all over the Highway.  On this trip it seems I’ve seen more of it.

How many times have I thought that I’m sure glad I wasn’t behind that 18 wheelie when all that rubber was flying off in pieces.

Well you know it was bound to happen and happen it did today.  Thankfully I keep a good distance between me and the vehicle in front of me.  I saw this ‘thing’ flying in the air – at first I thought it was one of his mud flaps – and it well could have been.

The driver obviously knew about it right away because he braked quickly as pieces of the tire were flying everywhere.  He put on his flashers and as I passed him I saw one of his inner dualies with only the bare rim showing.

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My Mr. Heater is wonderful but certainly can’t keep up with these type of freezing temps.  So in order to keep me warm – without having to turn on that LOUD furnace – I’ve placed it on my bench/table so that the heat is pouring directly on me.

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DRIVE  -  REST  -  REPEAT….

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IT’S ALL NORTH FROM HERE

And I’m FREEZING already !!  It’s currently 29.5F/–1.4C and it’s going down to 24F/-4C.

It’s also at the point where I don’t know what State I’m in never mind what City/Town.  But I just checked and I am residing in Franklin, TN tonight courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Wally again.

I’ve now left Mississippi and Alabama behind me – and maybe other States that I wasn’t even aware I’d gone through !!

Did I mention that it took me EIGHT DAYS to get through Texas !!  I kid you not.

I’ve now driven 2,073 Miles and I don’t even want to know how many more I’ve got to go.

I have been putting a bit of a push on the last two days as I have service appointments scheduled in Northern Indiana for next Monday and Tuesday.

NOTE:  Putting a push on for me is doing more than 100 Miles a day.  Surprised smile

Why couldn’t Canada have been placed SOUTH !

DRIVE – REST – REPEAT

DRIVE – REST – EAT – REPEAT

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I’M REALLY TO BE PITIED YOU KNOW !

I’ve been on the road now 19 Days and have driven 1,651 Miles – that’s 2,657 KM’s for my Northern friends.  And I still have a LONG ways to go.

I’ve left Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana behind me and currently relaxing in Jackson, MS for the night – courtesy of Wally again of course.

Not much to Blog about when I’m on the road – well that is when I stay out of ditches !!!  So here’s some nonsense to amuse you and you will for sure agree “I’m definitely to be pitied !!”

You know our minds are trained and I think the older we get the harder it is to UNTRAIN them.  Numerous times, as I’m pulling into my spot at Wally’s for the night I size it up and mentally go through the turns I would have to make to get the rig exactly the way I want it.

Part of that ‘sizing up’ is backing up to get it tucked away nicely.  Then SUDDENLY I realize, with such a fright, that I CAN’T BACK UP ANYMORE !!

So I had to make a sign for myself and I’ve attached it to the front visor.

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But apparently I CAN back-up.  Got chatting with a fella last night at my Wally’s home and he did tell me I could in fact back up – albeit only a few feet.  But even knowing that has taken some of the stress off.  And even that few feet could get me out of a jam (yet to be had – but surely will !) and hopefully not have to unhook Ms. Daisy to get out of said jam.

One of the many things that was suggested to me as a new ‘tow person’ was to take the key out of the car during the night.  So yes, another sign had to be made.  I once really did have a memory you know !!

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MY NEW TPMS IS WORKING

One day while I had the car unhooked I went to a tire place to have them check (and adjust as necessary) the tire pressures.  That involved taking the sensors off which is no big deal – well except for the one (the one they put the spare tire wheel on) is different from the rest and a little more difficult to get the sensor on.

So with that job done I put the sensors back on, turned on the system, and got ready to go.  Well the thing started to SQUEAK telling me that I have a problem in one of the tires on the tow vehicle.  Turns out it was the wheel mentioned above.  The tire pressure had dropped to 16 PSI – supposed to be 30 PSI.

Thankfully I was all ready to go and swung around to Wal-Mart's tire place.  Took the sensor off again and they added more air.  This time I was MUCH MORE careful putting that sensor on as I obviously had not put it on correctly before and therefore it was leaking air.

Swung back out to the parking area and waited for about a 1/2 hour, checking the monitor, and all has been well since.

MY NEW TPMS IS NOT WORKING

Another time I was driving and happened to glance at the monitor.  I’ve graduated from looking at it every 3 seconds to about every 10 seconds now !!  LOL

No SQUEAKING – BUT the light was RED (supposed to be GREEN) and when it went through its rotation I saw which tire (on the tow) was signalling a problem.  The PSI was fine, however, it was showing at 255F.  Jeeze, If the tire was that HOT it surely would have blown up.

Regardless, I pulled over as soon as I could and checked things out.  All I did was visually check the tires and put my hand on the one in question and it certainly was not hot.

Went back into the rig and now the monitor was showing everything is ok ??

And then there was the bolt thingie that is used to hook on the safety cables.  Well when I had Ms. Daisy unhooked I wanted to also take the safety cables off and bring them in the rig.  This one bolt would not unscrew.

I got a pair of pliers out and reversed it as much as possible but still not enough to get it off.  Figured I needed a honkin’ big pair of bolt cutters or a good hack saw.

I had neither.  Well I do have a hack saw – albeit as old as I am !!  LOL  And the blade – well lets just say it’s not the sharpest anymore.

But I’m nothing if not determined (stubborn !!  LOL).

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This is my temporary fix to the missing screw from the AC.

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Of course, in hindsight, I don’t think the big THUD the other day had anything to do with this AC.  I’m pretty convinced it was the slide-out topper.  But I’m not taking any chances.

To those of you who do the Wally’s O/N, has this ever happened to you ?

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Yup, Opened my curtains one morning and there I am blocked in.  Fortunately that particular morning I had no intentions of getting on the road early (do I ever ?? LOL) and had several maintenance things I wanted to deal with first.

By the time I got these things done the employee came to her car and pulled out.

One of my maintenance items – time to change the water filters.  Not bad.  I don’t use the tank water for drinking – just showers and dishes but I still change the filters regularly.  I’m still in the process of what ‘regular’ is though.

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Another order of business was checking the water pump screen.  I check that REGULARLY now (ie. at least once a month) since that awful incident where I got some bad water and it clogged up this screen.

I blogged about it HERE.  But to show you again the disgusting clogging of the screen……

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Looking good now though.

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When I got my tow car someone suggested I tie a piece of ribbon around the steering wheel so I could see that the wheel was actually turning.  If I forgot to do something and the wheel doesn’t turn that would cause serious trouble.

So I tried the ribbon trick and that didn’t work because I couldn’t see it through the back-up camera.

Over the last weeks I bought two different kinds of LED lights and attached those to the steering wheel and they didn’t work either for the same reason.

So I’m in the Dollar Store the other day and see these……

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Figured I’d give them a try.  Now I only post the following picture so you know for sure that I REALLY AM TO BE PITIEDand so you can get a good laugh at my expense.  Go ahead – I can handle it !!

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NOPE, Still can’t see them in the back-up camera !!

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But I can see them in the side mirror when I make my turn to get out of wherever I am in the morning so that’s all that counts.

Check out my new biker riding boots !!

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That’s all I got Folks !

Just more driving tomorrow – G R O A N !!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AN UNEVENTFUL DAY

And that’s the way I like them !!

I did manage to get some errands done – but not all.

Once the Laundry was done off I went to the local Harley Davidson….

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Yet left there empty handed AGAIN !!  It’s gotta be the thoughts of all the money I’ll be spending on gas to get back East !!

So much for the temps forecasted to be in the High 70’s to Low 80’s.  As of 4:00PM the temperature was 87.6F/30.9C (sorry HIGHWAY MAN- too HOT for me - and damn windy again – 22MPH winds.

I think Bennie likes Driving In Ms. Daisy.

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Still got a few things I’d like to get done so may hang around here again tomorrow.  Mr. Wally is treating me just fine, I got a great spot tucked in a corner, and a great WiFi signal.  What more could anyone ask for !!

Monday, March 17, 2014

NO THUDS TODAY–THANK GOODNESS !!

And no winds !  A slight breeze and it was warm with temps in the low 70’s.

AND NO THUDS !!

I had a leisurely morning and didn’t even get on the road until 1:00PM – knowing I was only going about 40 Miles today.  I ended up going a whopping 48.6 Miles – and that’s only because I missed my Exit and had to drive several miles to get turned around.

Lots of great comments/suggestions from yesterday’s post.  I knew the problem was not coming from my awning.

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The THUD noise was coming from the other side of the rig.

PLUS, my first year on the road, while in Q, I saw a mobile Awning Repair Guy driving around.  That was when I had the Class C and I don’t even remember now what was wrong with my awning.  What he told me at the time was to secure my awning with Velcro straps.  He said you wouldn’t believe how many service calls he makes to people on the Highway stranded because their awning came apart while driving.

Ever since then I secure BOTH awning arms with THREE Velcro straps.

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I also knew it wasn’t one of my compartment doors banging because I had checked them also.

I know a lot of rigs have ‘awnings’ over their windows but mine doesn’t.  But it does have a ‘topper’ over the slide-out.  Maybe some people call that an awning ??

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And that’s exactly where the THUD was coming from.  I think when the slide is in and rolled up in that ‘metal cover’ thing the wind was getting in there and flapping it ??

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I sure hope it doesn’t happen again because it frightened ‘da beee jazuss outta me !!

As soon as I pulled in today I unhooked Ms. Daisy and went scouting around.  I had found two boondocking spots within 10 Miles of here and I wanted to check them out.  The reviews online were mixed.

I did find both of them and they were both quite nice – City Parks on a Lake – BUT there wasn’t a soul around so I knew I would not be comfortable staying there.

Look what I saw while driving today….

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YIKES !  Makes me wonder how on earth something like that could happen !!

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Tomorrow is going to be a totally NON DRIVING DAY and I will take the opportunity to do some errands ie. Laundry; get Ms. Daisy’s tire pressure checked – according to my TPMS there’s quite a variation in the PSI’s; and if I’m feeling energetic enough I might even clean some of the bugs off my windshield.

Oh I miss my Brother for that.  Every single night when we pulled in he would clean the windshield.

I will also get up on the roof to secure that A/C cover better.

The temperature is going to a high of the low 80’s – LOVE IT !!

Oh and there just happens to be a Harley Davidson in this little Town. GASP !   Perhaps I might swing by and check that out ???  Winking smile 

I might even find something there to cover those stains on the dash !!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

VERY STRESSFUL DRIVING DAY TODAY

The wind started last night – so much so that I had to bring my slides in – and that makes for very tight living quarters.

Then the thunder and lightening started.  I don’t know if Bennie is more terrified of the sound of the thunder or the sound of the pounding rain on the roof.

My little guy is not much of a cuddler – he likes his own space.  But when he’s scared he can’t get close enough to me.  So I got him on the couch with me and covered him with a quilt.  It helped him a little.

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The wind was still very high this morning but despite that, I looked up the next Wal-Mart on my route and it was only 40 Miles away.  It was NOT pleasant driving as the winds kept trying to rip the steering wheel from my hands.

Once I reached there, had something to eat etc. I looked up the next Wal-Mart and that was only 68 Miles away.  I decided to go for it.

About 1/2 way I heard this loud BANG – well actually it was more like a very loud THUD.  After I recovered from a HEART ATTACK, I immediately looked at my new Tire Monitoring System (that I don’t quite trust yet) and it wasn’t warning me of anything.

I glanced at the two side mirrors and saw nothing.  A few minutes later another LOUD THUD.  HOLY CRAP !!  What is it ??

I got off the Interstate as quickly as possible and got out to check the tires, under the rig etc. etc.  I couldn’t see anything wrong.

Back on the Interstate again I go and within a few minutes another LOUD THUD.  WTF !!??  Thankfully there was a Rest Stop 1 Mile away so I pulled off again.  I got up on the roof this time to check things out.  Now remember it’s VERY WINDY as I’m crawling around on the roof.  Too windy to even stand up.

I noticed a screw had come off one of the A/C’s covers so I climbed back down to get some bungee cords to secure it until I could do a more permanent solution.

Problem solved - Back on the Interstate again.  Minutes later another LOUD THUD !!  Off the Interstate again and  I gathered numerous different things and shoved them in my pockets, to secure whatever the hell was loose up there.  Did I mention how COLD it was !!

I figured the bungee cord had perhaps come off ?  NOPE.  I crawled around the entire roof and checked everything.  Nothing (other than the AC I had already secured) was loose.

These THUDS were very intermittent – not constant nor consistent.  And I have no idea what was causing the noise ??

I drove the remaining few miles and when the THUDS happened I tried to zero in where they were coming from.  Best I could tell was just ABOVE me around the slide-out area which is just behind the driver’s seat.

Even though it was only just after Noon, I pulled into Wal-Mart, at Sweetwater, TX never so relieved to get off the Highway.

The wind kept up quite badly the rest of the afternoon but no THUDS.  So whatever it was only happened when I was driving.

Tomorrow the weather is going to be MUCH more agreeable – back into the 70’s.  So before I get on the road I’ll go over everything again.

I’m also going to look for a place around Abilene, TX to pull in for a few days.  The weather is going to be nice and I still have almost a full month to get back to Canada.

Anybody know of a place in that area ??

Never a dull moment when Sassy’s On ‘Da Road huh !!

MOSEY ACROSS THE COUNTRY

I’ve been on the road heading East for 12 days now (that’s including the time I spent in Deming) and have put 996 Miles behind me.  With still over 1,500 Miles to go IF I follow Google and go the direct way – which I likely won’t because I wanna keep South (WARM) for as long as possible.  G*R*O*A*N

While in Deming I visited DIANNE & TOM in their rig and noticed a knob on their screen door slide thing…

Here’s what they look like when you buy them.

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WELL !  I had to keep up with those Jones’s you know and off I went to Wal-Mart to get some knobs for my screen sliders !

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Had to get two as I have two doors.  AND I got them to match the kitchen cupboard knobs.  FANCY SMANCHY HUH !

p.s.  I don’t use them !!  LOL  I still use the protruded part to open and close it.

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While waiting in Deming for my Tire Monitor Sensors to arrive I decided to try and get a few layers of the ARIZONA DUST off my dash.  I had a compass on there that no longer worked so I took it off.

Naturally there was some adhesive left so I applied nail polish remover carefully to a paper towel – like I’ve done a gazillion times in the past on various surfaces.  But clearly not carefully enough as some of the nail polish remover spilled from the bottle onto the dash.

I wiped it off immediately but look at what it did to the dash !!!

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I wiped it off several times and scrubbed.  These ‘stains’ are NOT coming out !!!  Someone PLEASE tell me that they will fade away in time ???? Crying face

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My neighbours one evening.  A little close but they were quiet.  Also camera shy ‘cause when I pointed the camera to take a picture they turned their heads.

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After leaving Deming, NM my next stop was El Paso, TX.  And you simply CANNOT stop in El Paso without going here…..

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Oh yes, yes, yes I know !!  I may have stopped there a time or two in the past but it’s such an amazing store.

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Saying it is HUGE would be an understatement.  Oh Byron, I was thinking of you.

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And yet I left there EMPTY HANDED !  I know unbelievable huh !  Just goes to show how many HD’s I’ve stopped at over the last years and how much stuff I’ve acquired.  Too Much !!

I found El Paso to have very aggressive drivers.  You know – little boys driving big honkin’ trucks so they can feel like ‘men’.  We all know the type I’m sure.

Bennie having a bad hair day.  LOL

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Today was a very STRESSFUL day driving and bone chilling cold with a High of only 52F/11C.  Very high wind gusts also.  PLUS something BANGING on the rig while driving that made me pull in three times to investigate.  Will have to Blog about all that next time.