Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Montgomery, AL
25 degrees & freezing rain

The drive from Jackson County Park to Gunter Hill Army Corps of Engineers Campground was uneventful.  As usual our Verizon navigator was right on spot.  

John worked on the electrical problem with the help of Stanley at the Tiffin Motorhome Service Helpline.  The diagnosis was a loose connection within the inverter.

It was up to John to locate the culprit.  Within fifteen to twenty minutes, all house, battery powered equipment was up and running!  Thanks Stanley and John.....and Bob Tiffin for having the service helpline!  

Despite the weather, we are enjoying our stay here at Gunter Hill C.O.E.

Gunter Hill is beautiful and the sites are huge! Three forty to forty-five foot coaches could fit into our pull through site.

This is our view of the water.  The campground is on Catoma Creek part of the Alabama River backwaters. 

The campground sits in a forest of Hickory, Pine and Sycamore.  Sites have electricity, water and sewer hook-ups.  

It is so nice to be able to do our laundry here in the motorhome as we wait for good weather to continue our journey across North America.  

I am longing for the desert in the Southwest. Earlier, I was contemplating whether it is the journey or the destination that is best. Finally came to the conclusion that it is both because this is our chosen lifestyle.  

Yes, it is cold outdoors. But we are warm as toast with our electric heaters inside the motorhome. 

We have chosen to use the electric heaters rather than the propane gas furnace due to the price hike and supposedly propane shortage.  

Electricity is included in our daily, America the Beautiful pass rate of $11 per night. Our closest neighbor is about 200 yards from us if you don't count deer as neighbors. 

 If I were to rate Gunter Hill Campground, it would receive a five out of five.  It is dog friendly, wonderful concrete pads on which to park, water, sewer and electricity are on site. The distance between sites is good and in the summer there is privacy created by the surrounding forest.  A picnic table is situated on a crushed stone base and has a fire pit / grill located close.   

Now it is time to take the load out of the washer/dryer and start on bed clothing and a late lunch.  If we are lucky, we may be able to leave here tomorrow, if the roads are clear and safe.

Megan sent this photo of Harper, the big sister and Emerson, the baby sister.  I just had to share them with you, my friends.

Oh, oh, the freezing rain has stopped and it is officially snowing.  Oh happy day!

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comments.  

God bless each and every one of you.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Leaving the Tiffin Service Center, our destination was Scottsboro, AL, the home of Unclaimed Baggage Center. 

The store was large and filled with clothing, sporting equipment, cameras, e-readers, laptops and other electronics.  

For the first-time visitor, it was too much merchandise to consider.  Had I known what I know now, I would make the center a two day event.  One day to walk the store and make a mental list of what interests you and the second day to make your purchases. I picked up a set of hiking sticks for just over $10, looked at e-readers and cameras, felt overwhelmed and left.  At least I am ready for our hikes again.

My suggestion is to know your lowest retail cost for the items you might be interested in.  Then you can make a wise purchase.  One negative is that there is no guarantee on electronics.  The clothing made me feel as if I were in a Goodwill store.   

Would I return?  Maybe.  Only if I had a shopping list with prices.  

We stopped at the Information Booth to check on places to park our motorhome for the night.  They gave us the names of two RV parks, one we passed on the way into Scottsboro.  

The other and best suggestion was the Jackson County Park and Marina which was just about five minutes from the center.

Located at 2302 County Park Road is the Jackson County Park sitting  beautiful Lake Guntersville.  The campground is the ideal place for a peaceful, relaxing break from shopping at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. The park has something to offer the outdoor enthusiast as well as the avid shopper. 

Sitting only four miles from the Tennessee River channel, it is the perfect spot to park your RV, sit and enjoy the area.  Or you can fish, hunt ducks, boat, swim, and water ski.  

A covered, handicapped-accessible fishing pier welcomes those with disabilities to enjoy nature. There are also many spots along the shoreline for fishing. 

For the shopper, there are some well known chain stores as well as many local shops, and the world famous Unclaimed Baggage Center. The park is just a short drive from both Huntsville and Chattanooga. Well known and hometown restaurants are just minutes from the park. 

Sunset had passed leaving just a touch of pink in the distance as we parked our motorhome.  We had no neighbors around us, only ducks out for a cold swim.  

The sites were leveled crushed stone, spacious and costing $30 a day.  The large pull through sites were equipped with fifty and thirty amp service.  We would visit this place again. Of course we would not have stayed if it were not dog friendly....on leash of course. 

While at the Park, we experienced an electrical problem.  I believe I must have hit a switch or something near the inverter while vacuuming that bay.  We now are without the ability to recharge our house batteries.  

John and I have read all the information provided by Tiffin at the point of sale.  We still cannot figure out the solution so we will be calling our  Tiffin Service hot line and Stanley to walk us through the solution.  

This occurred previously and the solution was simple.  We just do not remember what we were told.  This time?  I will write down the instructions.  

Thanks for stopping by.  We enjoy your comments and suggestions.  

God Bless y'all!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Monday, were called to the Tiffin Center For Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  Upon admission, we were encouraged to spend our day in the well supplied "family waiting room."

It was a long day of waiting, but three-fifteen rolled around and we had a pre-op consult with our Bus' surgeon.  He said with the work involved, be prepared for a full week of work.  It was good to have a completion date to anticipate even if an entire week seemed so long.  

I timed my visits to the operating room to be at a time that would not interfere with the surgery.                                                                                                 The first portion of the surgery was an exfoliation procedure where all blemishes were removed leaving a smooth, supple skin.                                                                                               The next order of surgery was the plastic (fiberglass) and reconstructive procedures.  

Three places were involved: First was in the center of the bumper, the second and third were each end of the bumper
Our surgeon cautioned us that the right (passenger) side was a doozy and it took a tremendous amount of surgery to restore the bumper to pre-damage appearance.                                                      Even at this stage, the corner looked much better than it had earlier.  We were having hopeful feelings.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next came the primer paint.  Although this was just the primer, I was concerned about the color.  
And here is the final photo.  I cannot tell there was any damage.  I'm just telling you, John had better be more careful when he backs AND he needs to listed to the traffic controller...ME!

What a terrific job!  The reconstructive and plastic surgery was declared an astounding success.  Way to go operating room 24B!  Way to go.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A piece of damaged molding was replaced and the surgeons prepared for the final phase of the plastic surgery.  
                                                                                                                                                                          The patient (Allegro Bus) was prepped and draped for the final touches of the plastic surgery.  

 The color matching was extremely difficult.  They tried and tried to achieve the correct color.                                                             It turns out that the color on the coach was not an original Tiffin color!  It has been repainted previously. What a pain in the spray gun.  This problem was giving everyone a headache. But I was assured that they were not satisfied until we were.                                                   When we left Red Bay, AL, I was not sure of the match.  It was a cloudy day, so I thought that just maybe the match would be better on a bright day.  Nope, it is worse.  

The service department knows of this and has promised to fix it upon our return.  

Are we satisfied with Tiffin's service?  You bet we are!  

Sitting in the waiting room / customer lounge, we heard many horror stories about RV dealers making the sale only to be incapable of making proper repairs on the coaches they sell.   Each and every person said that they were pleased that they came to the home of Tiffin Motorhomes to have the repairs done until they, the Tiffin owner, was totally satisfied.   
                                                                                                       Speaking of customer lounge, there was no lack of dogs and cats on leads.  Each time a new fur kid came into the lounge they all had to get to know one another.  I think Oliver and Olivia thought they were the official welcoming committee. 
Oliver and Oliver with their new best friend, Harley.  

The Whippets came for a while.  And then there is Buddy, the friendliest pooch!  Everyone got along swimmingly, or doggily.

We have left Red Bay and are a bit further south in Montgomery, Alabama at the Gunter Hill COE campgrounds.  

In my next post I will be telling you about this campground, the Unclaimed Baggage Center and the Jackson County Park Campground there in Scottsboro, AL. 

hanks for visiting and for shopping at through the blog.  The link for Amazon is at the top right today's post.  

God Bless and keep you within his hedge of protection.   


Friday, January 10, 2014


 After leaving the plastic (fiberglass) surgeons, the coach was taken to a second surgery center, the orthopaedic surgery center in bay forty-one.  

Here in bay forty-one, we had not one, not two but three highly skilled surgeons:  Brandon Hester, Ricky Scott and Marion Haltom. 

As in our previous experiences, these three men were total professionals and deserve praise for all their difficult work.  

 Before surgery, another surgeon who had performed this procedure previously was consulted.  

Brandon and Ricky listened intently to his suggestions.

Ugg, what a mess.  

Getting that damaged water tank taken out was going to take some finesse and a lot of muscle and fire power!  

The floor under the water tank was going to have to come out.   


Armed with the second opinion, our surgeons, wasting no 
time, went to work.  
The surgical tools were rolled into place.  I saw some serious gizmos there.  

I discovered that these surgeons can also perform chiropractic adjustments!  

With this hydraulic jack, they were able to press down the rise in the floor and the frame.  

This work was all that was necessary in this area.  Of course, the door was another story.  

Then came the really critical portion of the surgery, the removing the damaged framework and the water tank.  

We all know that in a frame, water tank replacement, the damaged area must be cut away before the prosthesis can be installed.  

Out came the surgical saws.  Yes, saws is plural.  I saw not one, not two, but three surgical instruments.  

Each and every one was noisy.  

I have used one of these!  Not on the motorhome though.  I used it to cut a window in the side of our barn in order for the critters to have better air circulation during the hot summer weather.  Oops, I digress. 

Are we there yet?  

Just a little more over here!  That should just about do it.  

I'll fix that stubborn tendon!  

Okay, let's pull this baby out of here!  

On my count, one, two,  THREE!  

Mission accomplished!  

Now, to the next phase of the surgery. We need a renal specialist here though. It is time for Dr. Marion to do his magic.  

The wet bay must be dismantled.  

The walls are out of the wet bay and laid on the operating room floor.  

Sure hope they know how to put all that back together!  

Now, it is time to pull the water tank.  Out it came in record time!  Gee, that thing is large!  I had no idea it would be that big.  

Well, I had never given any thought to the water tank's size, only it's capacity. 

Here is the new tank waiting to be implanted into the cavity created by the damaged one. 

And here is the repaired space.  See all the shiny new framework?   

Water tank implanted into the cleaned cavity. And the framework painted with a rust inhibitor, undercoating has also been reapplied.  

Do you remember the wet bay?  THIS is the wet bay after the walls, hoses and wires have been removed or tied back.  

Doctor Marion has now cleaned the base of the wet bay. Thank you so much, Doc! 

That was not a fun job since some of the black water had leaked into the base.  

Now, he is going to put the wet bay back together.  

The days in Tiffin Surgery Center, operating room / bay forty-one are over.  Now, we wait for another plastic surgeon in the body shop.  Rumor has it that we will likely be called there Monday afternoon.  

At the end of each day, when all have gone home, the floors in the surgery center / service area are washed.  Amazing.

It is a good thing that we are coming to the recovery room soon! It has been a month and three days here at the Tiffin Surgery Center.  Of course, they were closed Christmas week, so that is not so bad.  But we are ready to travel, that's for sure.  
It was our plan to be in Quartzsite now, but you know what they say....."if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!"  He knows best.  

Thanks so much for visiting and for shopping Amazon through our blog.  Here are a few items that have been purchased through the blog:

Just Dance Kids 2014

God bless you all!  

Friday, January 3, 2014


Yesterday, we received a telephone call from the Tiffin service center aka hospital telling us to report to service bay four at seven o'clock this morning.  Our Bus was to be admitted for surgery and implants.  

Although the alarm was set for six, I awoke at three this morning and could not fall asleep.  My mind was a whirlwind of activity thinking of the work to be done on our Tiffin and where we are going following the "surgery."  

Seven o'clock found us sitting at the "operating room" door. At eleven minutes past seven o'clock, we rolled in and to our amazement our first 

view was of two brand new off the manufacturer's line bay/basement doors and a fender.  Yep, there sat our new implants all shiny and new. 


Dr. Ethan took a peek inside the bay door and uttered "Woah!"  What happened here?

"Well," I said, "John and a boulder had an argument. The 
boulder won.  Big time."

"I guess so," says Doc

He made the first incision by removing twenty feet of railing right above the doors on the side of the coach that was having surgery.  

Now that was quick.  I wondered if the entire surgery was going to go that smooth and quickly.    

After the damaged and very dirty rail is excised, the underlying area is cleaned and prepared for the new rail. 

Removing the doors from the rail was the next order of business.  I believe that was called a bay-doorectomy.

An exploratory process in order to locate the latch that would release the door for removal was performed.

"It is not in here"
  "Ah, here it it is, right in the center."  

"Nurse, I need the drill to remove the screw so that the latch can be removed." 

The two doctors, Dr. Joel and Dr. Ethan work well together as all Tiffin doctors do.  

"I'll push, you pull and we will slide the door down the rail."  

The operation continued.  Dr. Joel along with Dr. Ethan began to remove all the bay doors, one by one, starting in the rear and working forward to the injured doors.  Each door slides along a track in the railing.  You cannot just take a door out and replace it.    

The next part of the surgery was the fender removal.  As a result the tires were fully exposed.  

Do you see, on the right of the tires, where the frame is bent? Here is a better view. 

That part of the frame, the water tank, bay floor and wall must be surgically removed.  

A  straight  piece of frame, walls and bay floor will be welded in place.

A new water tank will be installed in the bottom space where you see the white smashed tank. Unlike some fractures, there will be no pins or rods.  

Here you see where the damage starts in the bay just in front of the tank bay.  

This bay is where all of our outdoor furniture is stowed.  

It is almost time to begin to finish this stage of surgery.  It has been a long day and the Tiffin surgeons are tired from a good day at the Tiffin Motorhome Hospital.  

They prepare to close the incision, the "rail implant."

An double sided adhesive is applied to the length of the back of the rail.  

The adhesive as well as screws will hold the rail snugly in place and provide the strength for the bay doors to hang onto and keep the incision scar from allowing moisture to enter. 

                                                                                                                                                                          Drs. Ethan and Joel apply the new rail to the cleaned section where the damaged section had been removed.                                                                                                  Look at the desert dust that was on the undamaged portion of the rail.  

We are really itching to go gather more of that dust.        
                                      The new doors are now on the hinge and the uninjured doors are back in place.  

The fender has been left off until all welding is complete.  That will make it easier for the welders to work.  After the welding comes the undercoating that came off in the battle with the boulder.  

After the welding, back to surgery to replace the fender and then we are off to the paint room.  Oh, how we would love a new paint job,  but it is not in our budget this year.  Maybe next or following year.  

Stay tuned Monday or Tuesday to learn about the welding hospital.  

Thank you for visiting the blog today.  It has been such an interesting day  that we did not wait in the nice customer lounge.  

We had a learning experience today. Now, if John will make wider right turns - waiting for any vehicle that is in the way to give him a larger, clear turning space, I will be happy.  

We did have to go get diesel after leaving bay four.  Believe it or not, another too sharp turn and fast braking.  It threw me onto the floor in the door way and I am quite sore tonight.  It took some time for me to figure how to get out of the steps. Not a pretty sight.  We will see how stiff I am tomorrow.  

John says he is done driving and it is up to me.  Good grief, in the last fourteen months with this coach, I had driven one other time.  Maybe he will reconsider, maybe he should not, maybe his bout with respiratory failure and on life support for six weeks has impaired his decision making, I do not know.  All I do know is that I have a headache.  

I am off to take some Advil.  I am trying not to be grouchy with him or show my deep concern.  Prayers are appreciated.  

On a happy note....Christmas and New Years day we spent with blogger friends, Bill and Kris Osborne of  Seeing the USA. You will enjoy their blog.  

They had their Bus in the Tiffin Service Hospital yesterday. Their slide needed a new floor under warranty.  He gave a great review of that repair. 

Thanks for visiting.  God bless you all!  

oh I almost forgot.  I took Pecan pie to Bill and Kriss'.  It was well received so I though I would share the recipe.  It was delish.

Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: About 12-16 slices


  • pie crust, partially pre-baked (learn more in this post on How To Make A Pie Crust)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 2 cups pecans (plus extras to line the top, if desired)


Partially pre-bake a pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan according to instructions, then heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; add eggs and whisk until smooth.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the butter turns brown and fragrant. Slowly pour butter into the sugar mixture, and whisk to combine. Stir in chopped pecans, then pour filling into the prepared pie crust. If desired, line the top of the filling with extra pecans.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set. If the edges of the crust begin to turn too brown, briefly remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust with a pie crust shield or loosely wrap with aluminum foil, then return to the oven. Once the filling is set, remove the pie and let cool completely on cooling rack, 3 to 4 hours, before slicing.