A non-standard day

The part that could potentially fix our refrigerator problem arrived Monday. I put it in and I immediately heard the propane fire up and the flue gets hot. Sounded good. However, when I got in the trailer the display was still not working. The light was on inside the fridge which was a good thing. About 5 minutes later it all shut down. That is some progress. I spent many hours trying to find the other part. One RV part store said they could get the part the next day but by the time they returned my call it was too late to get it next day. We decided to order the part and have it sent to my mother’s house and leave on Tuesday, the non-standard day.

We knew this was the day to leave. We went through our normal routine at breakfast but then it all changed. We had to ensure that everything was out in the truck or trailer. Take multiple passes through the house and we still managed to miss a few things. Our son can get those to us though.

We said goodbye to our neighbors and she took a few shots of us (her name is Tatiana Ruelas and does photography if you are interested). Here is one in front of our old house (right) and the new house (left):

And us driving down the street, leaving for our adventure:

Off we go! May 2, 2017 10:25am

Since heat was descending on us, and Arizona, I was hoping to find something cooler I was thinking Kingman as it was higher in elevation and about 10 degrees cooler. CA99 to CA58 to I15 to I40. A path we know very well.

We ate lunch late in Tehachapi after a bit of driving around because I missed the main road. Barstow was next for a fuel stop. More driving around because of a new stretch of 58 and a misinterpretation of a detour sign.

We eventually got on I40 and saw the famous mileage sign:

We will probably get there sometime.

2 hours of extremely boring driving before exceedingly boring Needles to eat. Fortunately, we tow our own toilet because there is not much on that road. But without everything working right in the trailer (refrigerator), it feels more like we are just towing this:

This is the first real test of the new truck and it did great! I love the engine braking going down hills. The dash is mostly a flat screen so Ford can put up whatever information it wants. Normally the gauges are the standard analog (along the top) but when it goes past the mid-point, Ford puts up the actual numbers:

Other than me being unemployed, leaving our home of almost 23 years, our town of 31+ years, getting confused twice while driving, having the rig loaded the heaviest I ever have, and driving 400+ miles in one day, there was one more non-standard.

We were out of California. At 9:25 pm we crossed into Arizona. Some 11 hours later. Another non-standard for us, not being California residents.

I hope that the days to come bring many non-standard days as we have had many years of standard days and it is time for a new part of our lives.


End of the Year Trifecta!


We celebrated at home this year and it was very enjoyable. A couple days after Thanksgiving we decided to put the rest of our rain gutters back on the house. We took them all down when we had the house painted. We were working in the front of the house (me, Roxie and our son Aaron). I went to the back yard to get up on the roof to get some leaves off the roof. I setup the ladder and started up to the roof. When I reached the top rung the ladder slipped out from under me. Down I came, hard!

Roxie heard a crash and me moaning and rushed to the back yard. I was on top of the ladder and writhing in pain. I was checking arms and legs for any major injuries and wanted to stand up. She didn’t want me to but I was able to. We knew the next stop was the ER.

After about 3 hours in the ER I was found to have 2 displaced broken ribs (not fracture but completely broken), a very sore tailbone, two gashes in my elbow (even though I had a coat on) requiring 10 stitches. The rib pain was manageable but I developed a cough shortly after which was pretty painful.

Here is the ladder that I landed on:

A couple of days later I realized that we had a surveillance camera right where it happened. Here is the video:



This is the first Christmas with Atlas. We knew we wanted to celebrate with him, Hannah and Lukas. However, we are not the only set of Grandparents. He has Lukas’ side that lives in Auburn. Luckily we were able to spend Christmas with the Prassinos family.

This turned out as an opportunity to tow the trailer on the truck’s maiden tow. It did very well and I had a heck of a spot to get the trailer in there. It was down their driveway and a hard 90° into their spot. It was pouring rain and there were people watch so it was a double hex. I was able to get it on the third try and just chewed up a small portion of their ‘lawn’.

It was really cold and we had both of Aaron’s dogs in the trailer but we did just fine. There were 10 people and 7 dogs to make a grand old time! We were able to spend Christmas with both of our kids and both of our grandkids. Win!


I started working at the Tulare County Office of Education on August 26, 1985, as a Programmer Analyst programming on the HP3000 minicomputer in COBOL. 4 positions and 31 years later, it was time to retire. I was planning on going a year earlier at 55 but we were in the throes of building a new building and were given a 4.5% COLA. That was enough to push it back. It worked out well. It gave me a chance to prepare for the afterlife a bit more.

It was a bit surreal to retire at 56 but you never know how much time you have. It also felt like the right time to do it.

As I write this entry it has been over 1 month of retirement and I don’t regret it at all. I have achieved a milestone of sorts, I don’t really remember what day of the week it is now.

Retirement allows us now to move off to our travel plans, but we have to finish our shower in the house first. <sigh>