12.15.14 Boondocking, TBC Christmas Cantata, Ponchatoula Christmas Parade and Soldier Chip!

We enjoyed our time on our new land but were real ready for the boondocking to be over with!  For you RV newbies, Boondocking is Dry Camping in the Boonies without Hookups. We’ve done it in Walmart parking lots for a day or so but never 5 days in a row.

Here’s one of the things you get to do if you’re willing to boondock.   If you know where this is please let us know because I want to sit in that very spot sometime this coming year!

boondocking by edge of canyon

There is no clothes washing, daily bathing and no dish washing because we had a limited amount of water.  Dora (our RV) can generate enough electricity for watching TV and all the lights.  We have to run the generator if I’m going to cook and when the electricity Dora’s creating isn’t enough. The air conditioning cannot be run without the generator but if the temperature is in the 60s you’re fine.  Above 65 and it’s hot inside the RV without air conditioning or fans.  We like the freedom that boondocking allows, but have learned we need to study this form of RVing more before doing it again. I was out of disposable cooking pans so the pots and pans piled up.  I’m not facing 6 loads of laundry which was greatly reduced from probably 10 loads by Chip helping us out and washing some clothes this weekend and us wearing clothes longer than we normally would have.

If any of ya’ll are experienced boondockers please share with us any tips you have on doing it right.  Roy’s looking at getting a generator auto start machine to better manage our generator use.  Even the simplest tip would be appreciated.  I know to be better prepared with lots of disposable things but beyond that not much! We want to boondock when we go out west and enjoy the solitude this type of RVing brings.

We’re at Jellystone Yogi Bear Park for up to a week so that we are out of the way while the dirt man moves our dirt around to level off our property.  Once that’s done, it’s scheduled for Tuesday which is tomorrow, and the septic system is installed we can then get the electricity turned on and move back since we’ll have full hookups.  I don’t think this is the general rule elsewhere but here the septic system being complete and inspected must happen before you can get your electricity turned on.  We’re going to drive back to Amite in Boots our truck tomorrow to watch them move the dirt!!!

Saturday, our granddaughter Madisyn was in the Ponchatoula Christmas Parade with her dancing school, Stepping Out.  Ponchatoula is a town next to Hammond where we lived.  We went with Kim, Chip, Braxton and Bentley.  They had big eyes watching all the colors, lights, people, horses and all marching by.

madisyn christmas parade

Sunday our home church, Trinity Baptist Church, presented it’s annual Adult Choir Christmas Cantata.  We thought that leaving Amite at 10 am would get us to church by 10:45 but we were 5 minutes late and thankfully didn’t miss any of the special music.

You’ve heard me talk about how much I love hearing this choir sing and this Sunday was no exception.  What an amazing thing to hear people who love the Lord sing praises to Him.  A couple of new soloists, Christie Williamson and Barry Sterken, joined Teddy Forest, Deanna Cummings, Derek and Koree Wall, and Barbara Davis singing solos and duets during the cantata.  The choir wore new choir robes which is a new thing for Trinity (at least in the almost 30 years we’ve been members) and they all looked fantastic.  Here’s a picture of all these special friends of ours.

tbc christmas choir

Sunday evening our son Chip was a soldier in a local church’s presentation of “One Night in Bethlehem”  a drive through showing scenes from the time surrounding the birth of Christ.  His daughter Madisyn went to see it and took a picture with her daddy.  Here it is.

chip soldier and madisyn

This got lots longer than I thought when I started!  I’ll end with a new video about our beloved Saints.  They haven’t done too well this season but they are Our Saints and we’ll hang in there no matter what.  This is a local parody of the song “All about the Bass”.  It’s called “All about the Saints”.  Hope you enjoy this little peek into our little Who Dat Nation!  The Saints are fixin (Southern talk for getting ready to) to play Da Bears right now so I’d better turn my attention to that!  Click on the photo to see the video.

its all about the saints

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear.

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s

01.13.13 Changing Dora’s Oil, God is Great and Atlanta Dirty Birds!

Roy changed the oil in Dora our RV last weekend.  It should be changed every 11,000 miles if you use standard oil.  He used Mobile 1 Full Synthetic Oil so it’s good for up to 75,000 miles.  They say a good rule of thumb is to change it once a year, Roy says he hopes to never change it again!  He also replaced the oil filter which was about a foot tall!  Everything Dora uses is supersized!

When we picked up the RV from Berryland Campers they walked us through everything and told us about all that was replaced and changed, etc.  One of the questions Roy specifically asked was if the oil was changed.  Tim, the technician assigned to us, told him yes.  Roy believed him so he didn’t check the oil.  We were very happy about that and took it home.  Before we left for Disneyworld Roy happened to check the oil.  What he found was very dark unchanged oil and the oil filter was rusted with the paint coming off.  We called Berryland three times and our salesman wasn’t available so we left a message each time.  He’s never called us back.  There were a few other things we were told by the technician had been taken care of, but weren’t.   The same attention we were given before the sale does not seem to be carrying over to after the sale.

Lesson learned: When you buy an RV don’t just trust everything the technician tells you, check it out yourself.  There is so much unfamiliar stuff in an RV, that taking someone very familiar with RVs along with you is an extremely good idea.

Roy decided to change the oil himself.   He priced the oil at Wal-Mart, AutoZone and online.  Wal-Mart has the best price on Mobile 1 Full Synthetic 10W40 Oil and it comes in 5 quart containers.  Each Wal-mart only has 2 of these 10W40 containers in stock at any time.  The Amite store wound up having 3 of the containers so he went to the Walker store since our Hammond Wal-Mart store didn’t have any.  He couldn’t find the oil filter locally so he ordered it off the internet.  He could find substitute brands but he wanted the Caterpillar brand filter since we have a Caterpillar motor.

He had no trouble getting the oil out but finding out where to put the clean oil in was quite a task.  No where could we find documentation about it.  Not in any of the manuals and not on the internet.  He looked inside, he looked outside and finally found what he hoped was the oil fill hole!  Roy’s a smart man and figured it out right.  He had to get the oil funnel higher than the oil fill tube so he needed to stand on a ladder.  Since we’ve sold all our ladders he had to make do with an old table.  The legs on the table broke and he crashed down to the ground.  I didn’t hear him hollering for me, so he says he was laying there “writhing in pain” for a while and nobody came to help him.  😦  He’s got a bad chest bruise and his back has hurting him really bad since then.  He must have made it worse this weekend because he had to take a pain pill and is now snoring on the sofa.

After the table fell apart and he got injured, Roy used a milk crate on top of the table with no legs.  The step-ladder was yet another item we shouldn’t have sold too quickly! Poor Roy working so hard to take care of Dora and me.  Two hours after he started he finally had the oil changed.  No 15 minute speedy oil change for our Dora!  She’s all smiles now and ready to get on the road.  Please someone buy our house!

Roy changing Dora's oil on the broken table and milk crate!
Roy changing Dora’s oil on the broken table and milk crate!

Previously I wrote that we were going to try a tank cleaning method called the GEO method.  Roy bought the necessary ingredients (Calgon water softener and Dawn original blue dishwashing liquid) at Wal-Mart and we put them in the gray tank and black tank.  The combination of these things stops “things” from sticking to the sensors and the bottom of the tank. Keeping “things” off the sensors gives us proper tank level readings.  If you don’t know your tank levels you don’t know when to dump! Keeping things off the bottom of the tanks makes it smell better!  Knowing when to dump and smelling better are important in RV life.   Here’s a link to a webpage about the GEO method if anyone wants to try it also.  https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/.  This website explains better than I did about why you need to do this and what these products do.  This particular website doesn’t say to use Dawn dishwashing liquid but other blogs did.  If you can’t find Calgon water softener you can use Borax.  Roy got multiple bottles/boxes of all of them.  That’s my honey, he likes to be prepared even in an RV with limited storage!

Church this morning was what my heart needed.  Our new Baptist Hymnal is great.  It has some modern contemporary songs in hymn form, some songs our choir has sung as specials, as well as many of the traditional hymns we all love. Our choir also sang a beautiful song Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation.  It’s one of my favorite choir specials and I know every word of it!  Christian music has such a strong message to me. Our pastor’s sermon was about Grace and Love going together.

One thing he said was about church being like a little slice of Heaven.  At work, shopping, anywhere else, I never am with a group of believers like at church.  They know my faults, I don’t seem to be able to hide them, and they still accept me and love me!  None of them and myself are perfect, but we love each other in a deeper way than we love other friends.  Knowing that these are the people I’m going to spend eternity with makes our feelings different.  We know each of our church members stumbles in our human lives and are there to support us when that happens so we can get back up and live for God like we are supposed to.

Being at church is very different from being out in the world.  At church, no one is cursing (which cuts me to the core as I listen to many people at work just curse away every day), no one is talking about how much they drank or how hung over they were (I’m certainly not saying none of our church members drink) and their love for the Lord guides their attitudes and how they relate to others.  Churches are not perfect, as none of us is perfect, but it is as close to being a little slice of Heaven as I’ve found on earth.

If you would like to learn about church love and church family, please come visit us at Trinity Baptist Church 42062 Pumpkin Center Road.  If you’re RV traveling and want a place to worship God we’re off of Exit 35 on I-12.  Pumpkintrinity oval Center/Baptist is the exit name.  The church is about a mile down on the left hand side.   The website for more information is: http://pumpkincenter.org. To sum it all up God is so Great!  I will miss these folks dearly as we travel, but we know that Trinity will always be our “home church”.

We are sitting in Dora this rainy Sunday afternoon.  I love the sound of rain but it’s gone on day after day for over a week now.  Sunday afternoons are perfect for the rain since we can nap.  We’re also watching the Atlanta Falcons pound away on the Seattle Seahawks.  The Atlanta Dirty Birds are the least favorite team to loyal Saints fans.   Since the Saints are not in the playoffs I’m watching the Falcons today with a different mindset.  I can see that they are a great team with strong talented players.  I will put that out of my mind when the new season starts later this year and they’ll go back to being our bitter division rivals, the Dirty Birds from Atlanta!