“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

What happened to posting weekly? Well we have been kinda busy but there is much to report so hang on.

I retired on Friday April 10th and started my new life. Luckily I did not receive a watch but had some cake. Being a son of a watch maker I need another watch like I need another ache in this old body.

Retirement Cake

As always played golf Saturday morning with my golf buddies. This would be the last time with this gang until after Christmas. Going to miss them and their money. Well maybe they will miss my money. Sunday morning we had our house washed.  They did a great job.

KAL Pressure Washers

In the afternoon we went to a cook out with one of my golf buddies Bill and his wife Sunny and their son Eli.

So on Monday morning I started the job of putting a protective coating on our rubber roof and then waxing the house.  Lots of surface area to keep me out of trouble.  I enjoy doing this type of work but did I tell you it was a lot of surface area?

Waxing our Home

Look at that intense attention to detail!

Also washed and waxed the BAT.  Big Axx Truck.  That took a lot less work then our home.

On Wednesday the 15th I finished our taxes.  I always hated doing our taxes and knew this year we would owe both Federal and state.  In prior years our Federal refund covered what we owed Cali but without a large mortgage interest deduction we owed Uncle Sam and Uncle Brown. But we are good with that.  It is much cheaper to live without the mortgage payment.

I have not adapted to getting up later since I am retired.  I am working on it but I still wake up about 5 am and Thursday morning was no difference.  Usually just turn on the TV, check emails or read a book as long as the dogs are not bugging me to take them out.  Well the 16th was a little different.  A good buddy from Lancaster called me at about 5 am or so.  Now usually this is a “butt call”.   This where he calls me by mistake by having his phone in his pocket.   I answered and he was on the line and asked if I was awake.  I knew right away something was wrong if he is calling me for real at this time.  He was calling be to let me know his son passed away the night before.  It was a difficult phone conversation to say the least.  So Vicki and I had some decisions to make.

Are we going back home for the services?  Of course, how could we not?  When were we going back?  Decided to fly home late Wednesday and then fly home on Sunday.  The first decision was easy.  We wanted to, it was the right thing to do, we had the ability and he and his wife where there big time when we suffered the same loss nine years ago.  The second one took some thought and planning since we were in the middle of moving from Chowchilla, CA to Likely, CA.

Well come Friday morning we were all packed up and ready to move out. First stop was a tire shop in Chowchilla to put on our new wheels and tires.   In a prior post I reported the tires that are put on a trailer are just not adequate for traveling full time.   I had one blow out about 4 years ago and do not want a repeat of that especially since this is our home.

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So we drove to Reno, NV with two rest stops along the way to let the mutts stretch their legs and to retork the lug nuts.  Friday and Saturday night we stayed at Bordertown RV Park and Casino.  Nice park but spaces very close together.  Friday night we just vegged out.  Saturday we visited Carson City and did a little walking tour of Nevada’s capital city.  Saw the house that was in John Wayne’s last movie “The Shootist” and also toured the Nevada State Railroad Museum.  It was a nice day.

Sunday the 19th we were on the road again on our way to Likely.  We arrived before noon met my summer boss and set up the Forrey Summer Camp 2015.

Forrey Summer Camp 2015

Monday took a tour of the course of the facility and golf course with Dennis, my boss and owner.  Basically I will have four main duties.  Marshall the course, weed the sand traps, pick up range balls AND on two greens they have goose “problems”.  So the first thing in the morning I get to pick up the goose poop.  For some reason my friends think this is funny…….

Buster thinks this is swell.

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Tuesday we wanted to check out the kennel for Sadie and Buster while we are back east.  If Likely is in the middle of nowhere the kennel is even back in further.  Looked like a good place for the mutts to hang out for a  few days.

So on Wednesday we started our trek back home.  Left Likely at 7:30 to drop off Sadie and Buster, then started to Reno to get a 2 pm flight back home.  A long but uneventful day.  We stayed with Vicki’s mother who lives at Willow Valley just south of Lancaster, PA.  The last thing I remember on that travel day was seeing  4 am on the alarm clock.

On Thursday we ran some errors around town and went to our friends’ son’s services Thursday night.  It was a very nice service with lots of people.  Afterwards our friends had a get together at their home.  Great to see lot of old friends but a very sad occasion.

Friday morning we had breakfast with my cousins on my mothers side of the family.  Always good  to see them.  We also had a nice visit with Vicki’s sister and her husband.  They were on their way to TN for a RV fulltimers rally .  They are also getting into the fulltime RV life.  Friday night we went to a high school baseball game to watch my cousins’ grandson play.  It was very windy .  Friday night we went out to eat at the Iron Hill  Brewery.  Again good times with family again: cousins Keith and Dori, SIL and BIL Lynn and Jim and MIL Barbara.

Saturday I drove Vicki nuts driving around our old areas and then we went over to our friends house to help them eat and drink the left overs from Thursday night.  We had a great time with our “old gang” with two other couples and reliving old times.

Sunday we flew home and  did some shoe shopping at the shoe tree.

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Picked the dogs up Monday and did some food shopping in the big town of Alturas on the way home.  I HAD to play some golf so I walked the front nine.  Man with an elevation of 4,600 feet and some big walks from green to tee I was beat.  I started out with Buster walking with me and Vicki took Sadie for a walk.  As I was hitting into the 2nd green Buster saw Vicki and Sadie and took off.  I played the rest of the round by myself and Vicki had the mutts.

Tuesday was a lazy day just puttering around the house and took a short walk.   Saw lots of jacket rabbits and a few cotton tails.

That’s all from us in the north country.  See ya in the Funny Papers.

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Still Sitting in Chowchilla and Counting the Days

We are still in Chowchilla and preparing ourselves and our rig to move out.  Not much of excitement these past few weeks but it is time to post.

I gave my notice at work that my last day will be Friday April 10th.  Kind of funny how life is.  I let my boss know about my last day on March 6th, 2015.  Exactly 37 years earlier I stated by profession life on March 6, 1978.  No wonder I have some grey hair.  Anyway my company does not have a replacement for me.  In May of 2014 I told them of my plans but so far no replacement has been found.  I guess I am just irreplaceable.  Yea right.  A good buddy of mine points out every 4 years we replace the most powerful person in the world with not so much as a small hick up.  We will see what happens.  I might get tapped to do some work in May.  It would be nice to get some extra dollars but then again I am ready to get out of pushing numbers around a spread sheet.  Also kind of weird feeling.  Really looking forward to the next chapter in my life but also a little unsettling.

Vicki decided her dentist and her orthodontist need some extra money.  She is in the process of getting 3 crowns and a new retainer. Lost the first retainer with help from a busboy.   I also guess the endodontist also needs some extra to make a boat payment.   What happened?  Well lets see.

Four weeks ago Vicki had her braces removed, YAHOOO!, then started to wear a retainer, BOOOO!  Two weeks she was in her dentist chair for 4 hours getting 2 teeth squared away for crowns and had temporary crowns installed.  Five days later she thought something happen to one of the temporary crowns.  Off to the dentist.  Nope, broke a different tooth.  Plan was if she could stand the pain would wait until her full-time crowns were installed and then have the tooth repaired.  Well plan did not work out.  Too much pain.  So off to the dentist again.  Sent her to an endodontist for a consultation on a root canal.  Now this is on St. Patrick’s Day and we had plans to celebrate with freinds at a local watering hole that was to have live music.  Consultation turned into a root canal.  We were a little late making to the St. Paddy Day celebration but we made it and it appears that all is going well in the tooth department.  Celebration was good.  Needed to tell them hold the green dye in the beer.  Green beer is for amateurs.  Good band doing rock n roll.

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick Day?  One thing I need to point out is St Patrick was not from Ireland originally.  He was from either Scotland or was Welsh.  I got this from the internet so you KNOW it is true.  This is an important point to keep in mind.   Now Vicki’s side of the family has definite claims to being Irish with her grandmother’s name of Dougherty.  Also Thomas in her background as British next door neighbor of Ireland.  Then there is a Buffet in her background which is French.  Rumor has it she is a distant relative of a musical guy and some super rich old man.  What about me?  On my mother’s side it is all German.  On my father side I am Scottish so with St. Patrick originally from Scotland, forget about the Welsh thing, this is how I am entitled to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.  Might be a stretch but what the heck.

Now we have some projects to take care of to get ready to take off.  First we need to give the rig a good washing and put on a protective coating on the rubber roof and wax the sides.  With the drought restrictions in this neck of the woods we need to have some one wash the RV with recycled water.  This will cost $80.  Not a bad price but I like doing this stuff.  For and extra $300 he would wax the sides and put a protective coat on the roof.  Nope, I plan to do that myself the week after I leave work.  Should not take more that a long day.

The other major project is to replace and upgrade the tires which means  we need to upgrade and replace the wheels.   I will not bore you with the technical details but the tires that come with a new trailers are very poor.   Many people who I have become friends who full time have replaced their tires.  I was hoping we could put this off but 3 weeks ago I was inspecting the tires and saw that one had a bad side wall.  It was to be expected but really!?!  With about 2,000 miles on them and they are having problems?!  Not a small dollar amount but I would rather be safe.  I had one blow out on our travel trailer about 4 years ago and it was not fun.  Nothing serious happened but do not want this to happen again.

So now the time line is I quit work on April 10th and complete all the chores on the trailer, pack up and start moving towards Likely, CA on Friday the 17th or Saturday the 18th.  Plan to pull out of Chowchilla and head toward the tire shop, get the new tires and wheels installed and go north.  Most “likely” will make the 400+ mile trip in two days of travel and most “likely” stop around Reno for a night or two.  We will see.  (Note to self – stop the “likely” stuff, gets old)

Well that is about it.  Seventeen more work days…..

 

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Recon Trip to Likely, CA

Well we made the trip to Likely on February 7th, 8th and 9th.  We started on our trip Saturday after helping Geoff move into a new apartment.  Rained off and on during the move but did not interfere with the move or the drive to Auburn, CA.  Auburn is about a half hour east of Sacramento on I80.  Stayed over night and then continued on our trip Sunday morning.  Of course we had to stop at the Cabala’s just west of Reno, NV.  Good break in the drive.

Then after we hit Reno we drove north on US Rt 395.  First a 4 lane highway then a 2 lane road.  Got kind of lonely at times.  I know we would drive 5 minutes and not see another car.  Good road but not much around.  Rained off and on but mostly a good drive while we continued up a slight incline and drove through lightly forested mountains and farm land.

After a 2.5 hour drive we hit the big town of Likely.  I knew from looking at Google maps we need to turn right on to road 64 go about 2 miles and then turn right onto Likely Place Lane that would take us to, where else, The Likely Place RV Park and Golf course.  Not hard to find your way.  There are few roads to get lost on and you can see a good distance.  Took a drive around the RV Park and then some roads that went around the course.  Yea I think I am going to like this place called Likely Place.  BUT does it have good Verizon cell phone signal for Vicki to work?  We found the space that will be our home for the summer.  Yep looks like a good signal but we need to test further.  Vicki pulls out her Verizon Jetpack and hooks on.  I attach the I Pad to the Jetpack, Vicki pulls out her work lap top and hooks on.  I down loaded and streamed a video and Vicki pulls up a work spread sheet.  Video played well without any pauses and Vicki could use her spread sheet.  We are good to go!

We then dove over to the driving range and found a small herd of deer wandering around.  They were a little skiddish.  I guess they are mule deer but was not sure.  They sure are bigger than the PA white tails I used to chase back in the day.  Later on I Googled what type of deer are in the area and found out these are black tail deer which are a sub specie of mule deer.  There was a nice size buck in the crowd.

After that we drove 20 miles north to Alturas to check into the Rim Rock Motel and see the sights of Alturas.  Alturas, all 3,000 people of it, is the county seat of Modoc County that Likely is in.  It has the basics we need, small grocery store, a Rite Aid and even an Elks club.  Fuel is a little more expensive.  There are a few restaurants around but not that big a selection.

On Monday we drove back home after stopping at the RV Park and golf course.  Yep the deer were still there.  The drive over the Sierras was a little challenging.  We had snow, not deep but slippery.  Saw at least 3 accidents.  They did not look that serious but I think one hay truck driver is looking for a new job.

Well that is all on the Recon Trip to Likely.

Vicki’s quote of the trip after exporing Likely and Alturas.  “This will be interesting.”

 

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January 26, 2015 – What the Plan, Stan?

We started this blog in the summer/fall of 2013 and really have not done much to it.  It is now time to move out.

For the past 21 months we have been living in Chowchilla, CA in our 5th wheel and other than that living pretty much a normal life.  Working during the week and enjoying our weekends, playing golf, knitting and seeing Geoff.  Just doing the normal stuff of life.

About 8 months ago we reviewed where we were financially and where we wanted to be when we take the plunge of leaving our jobs, traveling and living off our retirement savings while working at lower paying jobs.  We did not think we would be able to pull this off and start in the spring of 2015.  So we went with Plan B.  Vicki stepped up to the plate and thought she could continue working at home and let me “retire” and start out our new life of traveling.  This has some limitations.  Vicki needs to have a reasonable strong cell phone signal allowing her to keep working and we will need to stay out in the west.  So that is the plan, Stan.

In mid April I will leave my job in the Central Valley of CA and we will move our home to the very north-east part of Cali in the small town of Likely.  I will be working at an RV park and golf course.  It is called Likely Place Golf & RV Resort.  Literally this is in the middle of no where.  Sixty three people live in Likely as of the 2010 US Census and the big town north of Likely is Alturas has 2,827.  Alturas is where we will shop for groceries etc… Likely is at 4,449 feet so we should be out of the worst of the summer heat. This job will last from early May to early October when it gets too cold to golf.  We plan to take a two-day trip to check things out in the near future. We should be good to go with cell phone reception but need to make sure.

So that is the big doings right now.   44 more work days from now but who is counting?

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First Blog Post and FAQ

This will be the first official post of our Going Mobile blog.

FAQ:

What’s the purpose of the blog?  To keep friends and family up to date with our lives.

Are we crazy?  Well maybe, not sure, you can read on and answer that question yourself.

How often will you post?  Again not sure, will try to post weekly but only if something of interest happens to us.

Why are you stepping out of a “normal life”?  What the heck is normal?  See “About Us” for some background.  Just too much to see and do in the USA and a couple of weeks traveling a year would not let us get to know an area or the people.

When will we get back to living in one place?  Hopefully in the Neffsville United Methodist cemetery but who knows when that will be?

Where did you every learn English and spelling?  Harry here.  In Lancaster County PA.  Home of Amish and PA Dutch who can really turn any sentence around.  I also think spelling is an art and not a science.  It is not the fault of my English teachers.  They tried really hard but, as they say, “you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make em drink”.

Where did you get the blog tile Going Mobile?  From the group The Who from back in the day.  Kinda fit into what we are doing.

Are we crazy?  Answered before, try to keep up.

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