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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Another truck "adventure" - Day 1847 (Year 6, Day 21)

Zephryhills, FL

Ok, last week (Wed. when Mitch left for Reno), when I took the truck out for a shopping run, I felt that something wasn't quite right, but I couldn't put my finger on it.  It didn't seem to have a lot of power while accelerating, but then again, I was on 30 mph streets, so it was hard to tell.  I chose not to go to Shabbat services because I was afraid it would break down.

Yesterday, I had an appointment for xrays and labs (for my hips and rheumatologist follow up).  I had a little bit of trouble getting it to start.  While driving, I noticed the gas tank was a little below 1/4 (I never like to go below that), so I switched to another tank (we have 3 totaling 105 gallons) which put the gauge up to FULL.  While driving the 2 miles to the doctor, it still didn't feel right: the idle was weak and it felt like it was going to stall.  I did make it to the office ok.

On the way home, I had a little more trouble getting it to start and the feeling of it being about to conk out was much stronger.  I was going to stop en route at the supermarket to pick up a few things, but decided not to tempt fate.  That was a good decision because just as I was about to cross the street into my RV park, it did die.  After what felt like an eternity (but was probably only about 5 minutes) I was able to get it started again, at which point I slammed on the gas pedal and went as fast as I could into the campground to my site and landed safely.  I'm sure someone "up there" was watching out for me.

Anyway, I arranged for my friend to take me to Walmart to pick up my groceries (that I buy online) on Thursday and figured Mitch will deal with the issue when he gets back (which will be 6:00 am on Friday, so that's really not very fair to him).  When I was a bit more calm and level headed this morning, I thought the best I could do is find a diesel mechanic in the area.  I lucked out!!! I actually found a mobile diesel truck repair place that not only answered the phone on the first ring, but said they could be here within 1/2 hour! (I had a client call so I needed to push it out another hour).  I checked out their reviews and they come out to 5 stars.  And yes, they deserve every star!

Bottom line is that the problem was that I was out of gas in all of my tanks!  There is something wrong with the gauges so for the time being, we'll need to use paper, pen and math to figure out  how much gas we're consuming since we can't rely on the gas gauges now.  While they were here, they also did an oil and fuel filter change.  Total was only about $350 (plus the gas they had to run out to buy) which is very low.  Would have been closer to $800 at a mechanic shop.  Anyway, truck is now fixed and purring.  Glad I was able to get the problem resolved and not leave it to Mitch.  I know he'll need a lot of decompression time when he gets home.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hey y'all
Mitch here.  In Reno Nevada! 
Yes, by myself.
Previous post by Cheryl explains why I'm out here alone.
First of all.
Besides the 9 hrs of flying with two layovers I discovered that Reno is almost as weird as Austin Texas
Here's my first photo getting off the plane in Reno
Still quite a shock, even though I've been in Vegas before.

Now we'll talk about my work later.
It's after shabbos, needed to go get some food, decided to stop off here.

So, I wandered into the annual chalk art festival 
Couldn't resist stopping and listening to the band ...
Here's a SHORT sample clip of this blues band..(only 25 mb), but I DO have a 200 mb clip if you really  really want it!

Anyway amazing time
Here are a few photos of the chalk art
That's called "Escher's water park"  (as in M.C. Escher) complete with a 3-D interactive photo op!
and here is a full link to the pictures I took from this festival

anyway that's it for now...

Mitch






Thursday, July 11, 2019

Mitch in Reno - Day 1842 (Year 6, Day 16)

Zephyrhills, FL

Mitch is still seeking employment in the IT field.  He gets lots of initial interviews but nothing has jelled yet for anything full time.

Interestingly, he got a call around noon on Tuesday.  There was a need to install a computer system at a military base in Reno, Nevada -- can he be there tomorrow (Wednesday)?!!!  When he got the call, he was with me at the doctor's office, so it just wasn't possible logistically.  He left on Wed. at 6:00 am and is expected to return at 6 am on Friday!  The flights they arranged for him really suck big time (3 stops on the way over, and red-eye returning).

Who knows -- maybe this company has nationwide contracts and can keep us traveling?  We shall see what happens next.  But at least, it's a few $ in our pocket.

I have to admit this (being apart) is new to me.  Whenever one of us has gone out of town on business, it has always been me (to the UK 3 times, San Antonio recently).  But this is the first time I'm left at home and Mitch is away.  Thankfully, during the day, I have a lot of work which distracts me, but the evenings are a little hard as it throws me off the routine.  For example, I'm not making fancy dinners (just throwing up veggie burgers in the microwave) and not making it to be ready by 6 so we can go to sleep by 9.  Can't watch our usual "tv" stuff (which is downloaded) because I shouldn't get ahead, so watching real tv or YouTube.

Was having a hard time figuring out what to do for Shabbat.  I don't want to invite myself to the rabbi as I don't want to sleep over and I can't drive at night.  Can't see myself making a special meal, baking challah, even setting the table for myself alone.  So I invited a friend to join me to give me an excuse.

Meanwhile, looks like Mitch may have a lot of extra time on his hand over the weekend and the day he returns home (11:00 pm flight) so he has the chance to explore the area of Reno/Lake Tahoe.  I sure do hope he takes advantage and takes lots of pictures and maybe even journals stuff.  MITCH --- I invite you to put a post here to record Reno!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Quick Update - Day 1829 (Year 6, Day 3)

Zephyrhills, FL

The hydraulic system is finally back up and running.  It needed a new pump, which was replaced last week and then an additional part (the trombetta).  So now we can leave when we need to, and the bed goes up & down once again.

Mitch has a job offer that looks very promising; he signed a contract today.  It is very similar to what he was doing as an IT freelancer in NJ: various installations, builds and repairs.  Jobs will be all over central FL, from east to west coasts.  He still needs to meet with the owner to iron out a few details, and we have yet to see how many assignments (and therefore how many hours) he'll have.  If it turns out to be way too few hours, he'll need to continue job hunting.  But even so, any little amount of work is better than nothing at all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another "RVersary" - Day 1826 (Year 5, Day 365)

Zephyrhills, FL

Here we are again - just completed our 5th year of this RV lifestyle, and still loving it.  Granted, it hasn't gone according to plan (mostly by not being able to go where and when we want), but we still do get to travel a little bit, see different parts of the country and meet interesting people, some of whom become lifetime friends.

This time last year, we were in Augusta, GA.  We then traveled to Virginia Beach and then to our current location in Florida.

For me, my favorite highlights were the great Jewish community in Augusta (including being able to park our home on their property for the High Holidays), the day on the boardwalk and sand sculpture tournament in VA Beach, and our 40th anniversary vow renewal in Jamaica.  The least favorite highlight was Mitch losing his job at the end of December (and as of now, 6 months later, he is still looking for work). 

Once again, this year has been mostly uneventful in terms of travel and getting out and doing fun stuff mostly due in part to (1) not having discretionary income and being on a very tight budget; and (2) the arthritis in my hip and knees have made it very difficult to do a lot of walking.  I also haven't been willing to rearrange my weekly schedule - to do my work in the evening in order to go out during the day.

Repairs on the truck and trailer have been minimal, although our current problem of the hydraulic system not working is still not resolved.  RV tech replaced the pump but still needs another part, which hopefully will arrive some time this week.

Who knows what this year will bring.  My hunch is that the job Mitch finally lands will be a static one, requiring us to settle down in one area, probably until retirement.  In that case, we will most likely find a campground or mobile home park to stay at long term, at least giving us the opportunity to take the rig out for vacations or weekends. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A fun weekend - Day 1819 (Year 5, Day 358)

Zephyrhills, FL

This past weekend was Mitch's great-nephew (Duncan, son of Adam, son of Mitch's sister Jane) bar mitzvah in NJ.  It was actually a double bar  mitzvh (b'nai mitzvah) as he shared it with his very close cousin Ben (son of his mother's sister).

We flew up there on Friday and returned Sunday night.  We had a really wonderful time.  The services were very inspirational and the party was a lot of fun.  One of the things they had there was a photo booth.  I had a bit of fun with that:



There was another lost beach opportunity yesterday (Monday).  Mitch had a job interview in Clearwater and dragged me with him.  He dropped me off at a nearby Starbucks so I could get a little bit of work done and we had hoped to take a walk on the famous white powder beach.  Unfortunately, it was raining, as it has been daily for the past 2 weeks.  Instead, we decided to scope out some campgrounds and mobile home parks in the area, in case he was offered the job (which he learned today, he wasn't).

Friday, June 7, 2019

Update to update - Day 1805 (Year 5, Day 336)

Zephyrhills, FL

Since my last post, my left knee has become just painful and my right knee has become excruciating (it should be noted that on Saturday, during Shabbat services, I was literally crying from the pain -- this coming week, when we have 3 days of services in row due to the holiday of Shavout: the giving of the Ten Commandments, I will not be standing at the assigned times.  The worst pain I experience is mostly upon getting up and getting down.

Anyway, I saw the orthopedist yesterday and he took xrays of the right knee.  He agreed that the left knee was bone on bone but the right one had arthritis behind the knee cap and possibly a degenerative tear (but they won't do an MRI yet).  He gave me a cortisone shot in each knee and recommended physical therapy, and agreed, if available locally, aquatic therapy (it is -- just need to get pre-authorization from insurance co).  It's been a nightmare trying to pin all this down, but I will pursue.  And hopefully, if we need to move before all the PT is completed, I'll be able to transfer it to another location.  Meanwhile, the pain medication prescribed is Tylenol, which doesn't even help me for a headache.  So I plan to be in insufferable pain for a while.  But it is what it is.  Thankfully it's not worse.  It's only joints.