Friday, September 20, 2013

Maybe It's Time???

Couple posts back I stated I failed my vision test for my drivers license renewal. I failed the distant part of the exam. I was referred to my eye doctor for an eye exam for possible glasses that might improve my distance vision. I stated then that I wasn't ready to give up my independence just yet. As some of you know I don't drive that much anymore anyway due to a torn retina in my right eye that did not get any better after surgery. Sandy does all of our driving in the MH and Jeep. Around here I drive a little like to the local food places, hardware store and smaller towns near our area.

I'm not real comfortable driving in larger cities with a lot of traffic congestion. My peripheral vision just isn't that good when changing lanes etc. So, I try to stay away from that and much as possible. Oh yea, I will drive in those cases where I have no other driver choice. When I do I place myself in the right lane and do not get out of it. Like yesterday I drove myself to the eye doctor in Longview for my vision test. Had no problems got in the right lane and stayed there to and from.

My doctor said my vision in my right eye was 20/80 and my left 20/40. The 20/40 was good enough to get my drivers license renewed but there would be restrictions. He also said that he didn't think glasses would improve my vision that much. So, he signs the form and records my vision test results.

Today Sandy drove me to the Texas DPS to get my drivers license renewed. I presented the form to the lady behind the counter and she said "you known with the vision you have we will only renew your license with restrictions are you sure glasses wouldn't bring your vision up to a least 20/25". My eye doctor said glasses wouldn't help so just what will my restrictions be with the 20/40. She said the restrictions would be:
1) no night time driving. I don't do this anyway no big deal.
2) no expressway driving again I don't do this unless in the case of an emergency.
3) and the biggie no driving any faster than 45mph. I said mam driving at 45mph on our highways that are 60-70mph will get you run over. She said sorry that is the law.
Here is where it states what she said:
The standards for one eye vision are as follows:
(A) without corrective lenses, 20/25 or better in best eye: no visual restriction;
(B) without corrective lenses, worse than 20/25 in best eye: refer to specialist;
(C) on all other case scores: use two-eyed vision standards;
And this is where the 20/40 places me in the 45mph category.

She said I might get the 45mph taken off if my doctor would sign a form that my 20/40 was considered safe. No doctor in his right mind would agree on doing this. I'm scheduled for a laser treatment on my left eye next month and this just may get me back to the 20/25. If not I'll drive the 45mph and hope I don't get run over. Around here that probably won't be a problem anyway. Or just maybe it might be time to just hang the keys up.


Oh......guess what we've had our first measurable rain fall in quiet awhile starting sometime last night and it has rained most of the day. So far we have nearly 2" and it's still a coming down. THANK YOU LORD! We really need the rain.

Until next time….MtnAire Travlers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



Twelve years ago to today Sandy and I were having breakfast at the Flying J in Green La. We were taking our then 2000 Dutch Star for a wheel alignment to a truck alignment shop in Shreveport. Our waitress came to our table and said "Did you hear about the plane that had crashed into the Twin Towers in NYC."

Our first reaction was where was the punch line and you must be kidding. Then we walked over to a TV and in disbelief…..froze in horror. Like every American we could not believe this was happening on our own soil. With the details still being sketchy we decided it would be best to call first to see if they were still wanting to do the alignment.They said come on in we will get to your alignment.

Upon arrival the entire shop was in their waiting room watching the events of that day on their small TV. The owner came over took our keys and moved the motorhome to their alignment bay. He came back and we set there most of the morning watching the events before they finally went back to work. Every few minutes the workers would drift back into the waiting room for any updates.

We were their through lunch but because of the events of the day were in no hurry to leave. We learned that President Bush's Air Force One had been diverted to Barksdale AFB there in Bossier City. The owner of the shop said we might be able to see it fly near the area where the shop was located which we never did.

Finally they finished the alignment but we were so glued to the TV we were in no hurry to head back to base. We finally arrived back at base around 3pm and immediately turned the TV on and watched until late into the night.


(11:30pm) Before going to sleep, Bush writes in his diary, The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today….We think its Osama bin Laden.” Washington Post, 1/27/02)

Yes, it's a time to remember and reflect. This country has and will never be the same… which we have witness these past twelve years. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost love ones that day as well as those who serve our country. May God continue to bless this great nation of ours.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Sign That Things Are Getting Better

deer season

The best medicine for someone that’s an avid deer hunter is for deer season to start approaching. There's something about the air that makes a guys neck swell  and I can testify that it has effected BIL James in a way that no doctor nor pill form can do. It wont be long …..yep things are better. It's been nearly five weeks since James had his quadruple bypass heart surgery.

He's come a long ways. He still has to go to therapy and won't officially be released until the third week in September. With fall approaching its time for the guys on the deer lease in West Texas to get things done before the official opening day of deer season.
So, this weekend they travel to the lease. Some of the make ready preparations is to place a new deer stand on the lease as well as do some food plots by planting clover and other forage plants. The Kubota is being used to load, unload and set the deer stand. It also has a tiller and front end bucket for tilling and clearing the land where they plan to put their food plots.

Before they started the loading procedure I asked James was he going to be able to put all this onto the trailer. His reply was it will all fit watch and see. Sure enough they got it all loaded and secured down. This trailer is only 25ft long and as you can see no room to spare. Here are some of the loading photos:

Deer stand loaded:

loading stand for deer stand

Deer Stand was next:

loading deer stand

Kubota next:

loadcing kubota

All loaded and ready to travel:

loaded and ready to travel

The loading took a little more than four hours. James did no physical activity only supervision. Yes, he took water breaks now and then but for the most part was on the job. Welcome back James hope you continue in your recovery.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Little Set Back

James called last night and advised, Bev his wife wanted to drive him to Tyler for the doctor visit to have his staples removed. He asked after they had finished if we wouldn't mind meeting her in Longview where she works and drive him home. 

Sandy left a little earlier than needed as she wanted to do some shopping. About 11am James called very frustrated and said they would probably not be home real soon and for her to go on home. While at the doctors office they found his blood pressure to be high, a Irregular heart beat, a minor infection in his leg and wanted him to go to the ER for further test.

After about five hours of waiting and testing they released him to come home. They gave him a antibiotic shot for the infection he had in his leg where they took veins for his bypass. They said with the type surgery he had  it wasn't that unusual for the irregular heart beat. Also put him on Warfarin to thin his blood.  They say he shouldn't be on this  long. Hope not as I've been on it for over four years now and have to have a IRN blood test every month. I also bruise a lot easier which looks awful on the arms and hands. I've even had people ask me....."What happened to you". Believe it or not they say Warfarin is a form of rat poison. 

We are very thankful that it was no more than this and he didn't have to stay in the hospital. Sandy said when she talked to him he sounded real excited over the phone that he wasn't having to spend the night. There's nothing like your own bed.

On another note I must apologize for not posting those of you that have commented on some of my blog posts. For some reason I was under the impression  they posted automatically. Dumb me......just fat and happy I guess. Speaking of happy Sandy and I have become big Duck Dynasty fans. Really enjoyed their kick off of Season 4 show last Wednesday night.

Till next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Uh Oh Kubota Broke

We went to move the fallen tree that fell across our drive the other day and discovered the Kubota was gone. It was in the shop. Sandy would normally pick up the tree limbs with the fork on front of the Kubota and have the task done in no time.


So, instead we started to use our Jeep Liberty to drag some of the larger limbs off to one side. Before we could get started Sandy's Sister Pam and her husband Mike showed up on there Gold Wing Honda motorcycle. Before you could say let's wait tell the Kubota gets back, they were out rolling the larger limbs off to one side. We hand carried the smaller limbs and laid them on the pile. We will either burn them there or when we get the Kubota back move them to the burn pile.

Friday was our day to drive BIL James around to handle some of his manager duties for the oil lease he's responsible for. We drove over 150 mikes and I'm proud to say he handled it quite well. The Jeep is not the most comfortable ride around but not only did he handled the rough ride he handled Sandy's driving as well (I need to be careful here). The type surgery he had requires him to ride in the back seat and there were times you could tell he was having a difficult time bearing the jostling.

We ate lunch and was back home about 1:30pm. I know he crashed and burned when he got in his big recliner. We probably will take him to Tyler next Tuesday to have the staples removed. After that he'll have about two weeks before he can drive again. I know he is looking forward to that day. Besides with fall approaching his neck is beginning to swell as deer season is not far away.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

it Happens!!!!

First an update on my BIL James stent procedure he had three weeks back. The stent collapsed and he had to have quadruple bypass heart surgery. This coming Friday it will be two weeks ago they performed the surgery. He came home four days after the procedure and is doing fine in the recovery process. We try to walk with him every day. He has his staples taken out next Tuesday. While his wife works, Sandy has been his chauffeur for the past few days and takes him wherever he would like to go. He jokingly said he might want her to drive him to his weekly card games tomorrow night. She said that would be fine with her if he wanted to go. We will see.

Earlier this week it was time to dump our holding tank (black) and the day before I had replaced the 45deg elbow that attaches to the sewer hose. As Mr. Murphy would have it..... I pulled the lever and walked to the other side of the MH and all of a sudden I heard this gushing sound and then came the smell. Yep, my installation of the elbow failed, due to the volume of the water, the hose detached from the elbow and out came the black water in a gusher. Before I could get around to shutting off the drain valve most of the tank had emptied. Fortunately the end of the elbow being below the wet bay floor none of the unpleasantries entered the wet bay. What a mess though......took about an hour to clean and decontaminate the area around the MH.


Yesterday while Sandy was in Longview with her brother, we had quite a storm come up with very high straight line winds (40-50mph category). Then came a pretty nice shower. We haven't had measurable rain for about three weeks and we were so thankful for the rain. The wind not so much as we have a nearly dead sweet gum-ball tree behind the motorhome and unbeknown to me until I went outside about a third of this tree was lying across our driveway about 25 yards from the back of the MH and RV port. As you can see we have quite a mess to cleanup when we get the Kubota back.


Couple of nights ago Sandy went to get some plates out of the pantry of the dry bar and found what appeared to be thousands of ants crawling all over the bottom shelf. We put two Terro Liquid Ant Bait capsules out and finally this morning most of the ants were gone. We hope back to their bed where this stuff is touted to kill the bed.

This afternoon we drove over to the Texas DPS Drivers License Division to renew my drivers license. When I got there both stations were busy with people renewing their license. When it was my turn the lady asked me had I filled out the renewable form. What form I asked she replied that one over there pointing behind me. Not a sign anywhere informing you had to fill out a form or you would think she could have verbally inform me of this while waiting in line. So.....after standing in line all that time I now lose my turn and go fill out the form. After I finished I got back in line (four people now ahead of me) and finally my turn. I did everything she asked without a problem one. Then came the eye test which I failed. She got my money and now I have to visit an eye doctor to get glasses that will improve my distance vision and go back within 90 says for another vision test. Hope I pass as I'm not ready to give up my independence just yet. Even though I don't drive that much anymore it's nice to hop in the Jeep and go to a local cafe or hardware store.

Yes....... we have a lot to be thankful for!

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

She’s At it Again!

kubota 1Been a while since I last posted and probably have lost most of our readers. To be honest just not much happening around here. so, this is to catch up.

Had a cancer growth removed from the old noggin in March; Sandy lost her Mom in May; finally got around to working in the Man Cave (now we have a large TV and refrigerator for cold beverages) ; Sandy's brother James installed a washer and dryer in the Man Cave for her to use when at base; we are still making improvements around the base and finally but not the least James is to have a stent put in one of his arteries this Tuesday July 23rd.

kubota 2Speaking of improvements we have several what we call trash trees near the MH port where we park the motorhome. These are young Elm, Sweet gum, Pine and Cedar which are about 6-8" in diameter and 20-25' tall. We do not want these to get any bigger so we decided to take them out.

kubota 3So yesterday Sandy was at it again using James' Kubota to take them down and pile them on the burn pile for future burning. The trees being this small we were able to push them over and with the fork pull roots and all out of the ground.

We now need to clean up our mess but will gradually do this as our days are getting hotter. Early morning seems to be the best time for this project. We've had a very unusual July so far..... cool mornings, highs in the mid to low 90's and the best of all rain for several days just about every week now. We are so thankful as usually July for this part of Northeast Texas is usually hot and dry.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sandy's New Kitchen Gadget and Emergency Air Brakes Problem


Sandy has been wanting an Induction Cooktop for quite some time. She spent hours on the Internet processing the different models, went on forms and contacted several company's by phone before making up her mind on the make and model she wanted. She finally decided on the Duxtop Mosel #8300ST and ordered it from Amazon.

When it arrived last week she was so excited to fire it up and try it. It looks like she made an excellent choice as she said she would put this purchase in the top three things she loves in her kitchen. They are the Cusiniart Griddler, Breville Toaster Oven and now the Duxtop Induction Cooktop. I have to agree with her she has prepared some excellent meals using these items. One of the top things is she just about has eliminated using her propane stove top burners and her Convection Oven.

The biggie in my humble opinion is the reduction of heating up the motorhome when cooking and expense of buying propane so often.
The energy produced by Duxtop Induction Cooktop Model# 8300ST cooktop is directly supplied to the cooking vessel by a magnetic field. Self-adjusting burners detect the size of the cookware base and automatically adjust so that very little energy is wasted. Duxtop Induction Cooktop is fast and safe to use, easy to clean. This versatile indoor/ outdoor cooktop is great for entertaining; use it as a stylish, elegant centerpiece on the table, for outdoor parties and in the kitchen as an extra cooking zone.


The other real advantage of these cooktops is that since the cooktop itself does not get very hot, the cooktop can be set on a counter and just plugged right into the wall and taken anywhere. The portability of the Duxtop 1800 is one of the reasons it is so popular – you can take it with you on vacation or to the office and have an easy to use heat source that just requires you to plug it in the wall. In our case this item gives her much more counter space for preparing meals as she's able to keep the stove top cover down.

Last week when starting out on a short trip to exercise the motorhome, we could not get the coach to roll after releasing the emergency air brake. In fact when Sandy pushed in on the yellow knob we didn't hear that normal push of air when releasing the brake. She increased the rpms of the engine and it didn't budge. She looked at at her and both said "what's wrong".

Being the non-technical guy I  said to my self  I have no idea why the air brakes did not release. I then thought of my friend Mark he would know but the only problem was its 5am in the morning and I didn't dare want to wake him. So, after some more pondering of the mind I told Sandy to put it in reverse and let's see if that doesn't do the trick. At first nothing happened I then told her to rock the coach back and forth by changing the transmission from forward to reverse. Nothing again happened but when she went to reverse the second time the brakes released and we were able to go forward or backwards without any problems.

I went to Google and put in the problem and low and behold there were many sites to go to about this problem. I found one that kinda explained what might be the problem. This was what I found.....

" hello?? Its a diesel pusher with air brake system
Note to OP I have seen this happen a few times when coach is left in same position over a period of time the brake shoes seize(rust) to the drum.Usually just put it in reverse and forward a couple times to rock it and they break free".

The other thing I thought was we had been sitting for about four weeks and during that period we had lots of rain and that could very well be it. Then I thought maybe the slack adjusters needed adjusting or have they been greased. Probably these have nothing to do with the problem but we have had no further problems since as everything seems to working fine. Who knows..... if it happens again we will have an expert look at the brakes.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


There just isn't much she won't tackle. Not only does Sandy drive the motorhome, a large tractor brush hogging and on top of all that she’s a great chef. She's also quite a Handywoman. She's not afraid of tackling caulking for example.

I'm the worlds worst when it comes to pulling a caulk gun and having it look professional afterwards. She has been after me for the longest to re-caulk the bathroom and kitchen sink countertops. So, this weekend I gathered up all my tools and started in the bathroom first. Well let me tell you it didn't take long before I was fired and replaced by the Handywoman.

Sandy first came behind me and scraped all the old caulk off, cleaned the countertops and did an outstanding job in re-caulking and "tooling" the caulk on the countertops. "Tooling" is the process of gliding over the bead of caulk in order to smooth it, making it neater and further establishing good adhesion.
She was able to lay down a very neat bead of sealant and followed


behind with "tooling" the bead with her wet finger smoothing it out.

Her patience and staying with it from start to finish really made the job look very professional. She did such a great job that I may have her re-caulk some of the exterior seams on the motorhome.


This is one of the results of her effort. Surprising it didn’t take her long to do both jobs. Oh, on top of all this we are having her Chicken Chile tonight for dinner.


Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Verdict Is In........

After our sticker shock of $899 for a new front load washer, we decided that maybe we should see if the old Kenmore was fixable. Also we learned the LG washer that Sandy really liked was about an inch to deep to fit in the cabinet.

Earlier in the week we borrowed BIL James truck, loaded the old Kenmore and took it to a repair shop in Dangerfield. The repair man said he would look at it and give us a call for a fee of $25. We felt if it could be repaired it should be cheaper than buying a new washer.
Yesterday we got our verdict. The repair man said the machine was beyond fixing.

So, back to square one. We looked on the Internet and called our RV dealer in Carthage, Mo and found a front load Maytag 2.3 cu. ft. washer that will fit in the cabinet. It was about $100 cheaper but the freight would put it back near the $899 price. Now it's just a matter of Sandy deciding whether she wants to get the new washer or continue for awhile doing laundry at her Moms. In the meantime she's enjoying the added storage space in the cabinet where the washer use to reside.


Friday BIL James and his crew did some tractor work, moving tree limbs to the burn pit and a general cleanup of the area. Sandy and I policed the area picking up small limbs and boulders that were in the area dropping them into his front loader on his tractor. Before the day was out we had us quite a bon fire going in the pit.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travelers.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Where Did That Water Come From??

Last week Sandy did a load of laundry in the motorhome. We noticed the spin cycle of the washer was a lot louder than what we were use to hearing. Sounded like a plane was taking off. Didn't give it much thought until when Sandy went to remove the clothes I hear....."Where did this water come from"? Uh oh what happened and it had to be coming from the washer.

My first thoughts were maybe one of the water hoses let go and that was the problem. Or, perhaps the drain hose had come out of the drain pipe. The washer is ten years old and perhaps it's water pump was leaking. Being in the tight quarters there is no way one can tell until they pull it out from its cabinet. I understand most service techs won't work on an appliance when mounted in RV cabinets.
I told Sandy that I thought we could pull it out of the cabinet but doubted we could move it out of the motorhome where we could check things out. So, we decided to wait tell maybe we could get BIL James to help us. To be on the safe side I shut off both water faucets.

Yesterday we were over in the shop doing some work. BIL James and is work crew drove by the shop. They had being working on one of his large trailers they use to haul scrap metal from the oil fields to a salvage yard. Sandy told him about our little problem and asked the next time they had some free time could they come over to look at the washer. Before you knew it he said........" pile in and let's go see".

So, off we go to the motorhome. The three of them went in and looked at the situation. The next thing one of his workers asked for a screw driver and some channel lock pliers. Within minutes they had the washer outside and hooked up to our water hose. As water begin to run into the tub we noticed no leaks coming from the water hoses. We let the tub fill up and go through its cycles. During the spin and drain cycle we noticed the tub was real loose and making that very loud noise again. That's when we noticed water was leaving the tub and going down the inside wall of the washer to the ground. They suspect the bearings on the tub where probably shot.

I told Sandy maybe it was time for a new washer. It being ten years old and I just felt we would be throwing good after bad. I told her we needed to look at a front load washer instead of top load. We have very little room for opening the lid on top due to the dryer that's mounted on a shelf above the washer. Not having to look for appliances in a while I could not believe how much more expensive a front load washer was than a top load....about $300-$400 more.
In our search so far we've found the compact top load Kenmore is no longer available at Sears. LG makes a 2.3 Compact Front Load Washer that will fit. They are only asking $899.......Ouch!

In the mean time until we decide what she wants, Sandy cleaned the area where the washer was and now has a small four drawer cabinet in there for storing kitchen things and towels. I said I couldn't believe this as I know you are not going to go without a washer. She said your absolutely right but right now this will work for me. She can do laundry at her Moms until such time she decides enough is enough. All I can say is look at the money we're saving. Yea! I know since I don't do this chore I have not earned the right to be so jubilant.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Pleasant Speedco Experience

One of the things that really puts me on edge is getting the motorhomes' oil and filters changed and the chassis lubed. I've had some a bad experiences over the years of service techs telling me one thing and only to find out later they did not follow through.
One example is when I get the MH chassis greased they grease all the fittings.

They always assure me they did but when we had our 2000 Newmar Dutch Star we lost our u-joints on a trip into California and Arizona. We limped into a repair facility in Phoenix where we learned all of our u-joints where bad due to the lack of not being greased even though each time we were assured that all fittings were greased. The service manager showed me the u-joints and they all were powdery and dry as a bone.

Because of this bad experience I started greasing the chassis my self. This way I knew all were properly greased. Now that I'm a little older it is very difficult to do this myself so I must depend on the service tech doing the correct job again. So when the time comes for this service I naturally get a little antsy.

That time came around again and for most of our services lately we've relied upon Speedco for our maintenance. There is a Speedco facility in Greenwood, La about 90 miles east of us. So, I called them Monday to make sure they had all my filters and to make sure they used Fleetguard. They gave me an affirmative and did jobs on a first come first serve bases. I also got a tentative quote that for 28 quarts of oil and all filters it would cost me about $295.

Upon our arrival I checked in at the service counter and was informed we would be next and to drive into Bay 2 when told to do so. We waited for about 20 minutes before the Mayflower eighteen wheeler pulled out of the service bay after his service was completed.
Once in the bay I was greeted by the shop foreman who discussed what they were going to do as well pull all the right filters. One of the things I discussed with him was how difficult it was to replace the fuel filer on the engine block. For some reason this filter being located where it is on the engine and the Spartan chassis it's very difficult to remove. Something to do with respect to it been located near the starter and just not having the room to manipulate the removal tool. He assured me they would get it changed as well as grease the fittings properly. I was allowed to stay on the shop floor during this servicing.

As anticipated they had a bugger of a time removing that fuel filter. Even to the point the shop foreman going below himself and after about twenty minutes was able to git-r-done. He questioned if this filter had ever been replaced in prior servicing....hummm?
Prior to my paying the shop foreman did a walk through and reassured me all service was done to their specifications and yes all fittings were greased.

When I went in to pay the young lady behind the counter said you are not heavy duty but a medium duty service and the fee was around $245. Now that is a savings of $50 and i left there with the assurance that all service was done correctly.

Oh, I had an appointment with VA Shreveport at 2pm and asked would it be okay to park the MH behind their facility as we drove over in the Jeep. She said sure and told us where to park so we wouldn't be in the way. Now how nice is that. If you are near Greenwood and need your diesel motorhome serviced I highly recommend this facility.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.