Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Reunion 2012, Oregonia, OH

So, after the drive down from Van Wert Wally World Friday morning, we pulled into my sisters country hollow home in Oregonia, OH.  Where the heck is this place?
From Wiki:  Really?  Wiki has this place in their database?  I'm impressed!  Oregonia is an unincorporated community in northwestern Washington Township, Warren County, on the east shore of the Little Miami River about five miles northeast of Lebanon and six miles south of Waynesville.  Roughly, half way between Cincinnati & Dayton.  My Mother is sitting in the middle in the turquoise slacks.  She'll be 82 on her next birthday. 
Now, the "family" for these reunions include for the most part, members from the Clans of Biggs and Carriers, with the usual amount of marriages and offsprings from other clans.  Members traveled from Tennessee, North Carolina, Lousiana (I think), Wisconsin, Virginia, and perhaps other locations as well.
 And this the Matriarch of the Carrier Clan, Shirley Kilburn, my Mother and below, my Brother Greg sneaking a photo-op with her.
 Seems like each time we come to the reunion, there are more kids, some I don't even know or have seen before.  That's ok though, because that's whats reunions are all about:  Getting aquainted & re-aquainted with new and old friends and family.
 Kacy, my niece thinks she can catch her Uncles' curve ball (with a softball) (HA!).  Check out what happens when you can't get get your glove (Kacy, the glove is what you catch the ball with, not your shin) down quick enough.  Ouch!  A little bump & bruise.  Sorry Kacy.  I'll throw it underhanded from now on.
 There was a lot introducing and socializing going on for the first couple of hours.
 And all that can be tiring, so relaxing and enjoying the shade of the many trees in the huge yard was a welcome event from the sun, hot & humid July afternoon.
 And the kids seem to never run out of energy. 
 Typical female, trying to find the accelerator to get this thing going fast.
Now see, the boys like a much easier, slower pace, even if Pop Pop is supplying the go-power!
 "Big Brother, do we know these people?"
 Cousins Mason & Alexandra (Ali) congratulating each other for going down the slide together, without breaking heads.  Maxwell & Austin are cheering them on.  Max is going down backwards.  Ham!  Look Grandma, aren't we cute?  Take our picture.
 Auntie Brenda, I can go on this ladder. I do it all the time at home.
 Big boys playing cornhole, and little boys playing with a train set in the basement.
 Someone celebrated a birthday during the afternoon's events.  Not sure who, but I think it was Alena.
 I can just taste that cake.
 Natalie, my younger daughter, Austin, and Max, my grandsons, as is Mason, and Ali, the other grand daughter.
 The kids had a ball riding the trykes down the grade of the driveway.  And no one had a tumble.
 Cornhole game...
 And a little "how's it going these days" chat among family...
 Relaxing under the shade of the second floor deck above.
 Birthday party, and some serious refueling for the older folks.
 Below, Nancy, Joe, Debbie, Dawn, Lil' Walt, & Tabitha, barely.  Above, Holly, Mandy, Tabitha (white shorts) Brenda
 Evil Kneivals on their trykes...
 Where are the brakes on this thing?
 Juicing can get one disqualified...:))
 Nancy & Omani discussing how to solve world hunger...and even the girls want to be Evil Kneivals...
 Even Mason needs a little juice on a hot July afternoon...
 Walt, posing in front of Big John", his hemi-powered Farmall.  He takes it to shows & fairs throughout the local country.
So, on that note, I want to personally thank Walt & Debbie for hosting the umpteenth reunion at their beautiful country estate.  Can't remember how many this makes, but I think we have been doing these here since about 1990.  We will be here camped for several weeks, as we await our date at the Ryder Cup Golf Tourney in northwest Chicago, mid-September.  I hope I haven't bored too many folks here, but it really is a big deal, and it means so much the older we get to remenisce and be with family that hardly ever see or visit.  We'll be visiting different parks, museums, monuments and perhaps some small county fairs and old homesteads throughout the surrounding counties over the next few weeks.  So, till the next blog, Joe & Nancy just hangin'. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mall Of America, MN & Our Tires

After we left Medora, ND we drove to Jamestown, ND and parked the big wheels at the Walmart.  Shortly after arriving, we witnessed a little family feud right outside our window.  This couple were really going at it.  He was showering her with obsenities that cannot be printed here, and all in front of their two little children still in car seat restraints.  After a while, he pulled the two children out & put them into the camper next to the car, and after an exchange of a few more bad words, she drove off and he did the same, with the babies.  I also took pics of their licens plates, just in case they were needed as evidence later.  Let's hope not.
So we spent the rest of the evening in the parking lot with no further events.  We got up the next morning and headed southeast toward Wisconsin.  After about an hour on the road, I finally decided that something had to be done with this crazy vibration.  I pulled off the freeway I-94, in Eau Claire, at a Freightliner shop.  The manager came out & crawled under the coach and discovered, and I saw as well, that my drive tires were nearly bald.  WOW!  No wonder I had a vibration.  They were worn irregularly, and they only had 37K miles.
 It's hard to believe that this place is a mall, a real shopping mall.
 You don't realize it is until you leave this area and see the shops around the perimeter.
 We settled in at a county RV park just south of the mall in Leban Hills.  It was a very nice park, and had about 100 sites, nearly full with a lot of big rigs there.
 As hot as it was outside, it was surprisingly cool inside this large amusement park/mall.  And it was a Sunday afternoon, near closing time, 7 PM  Kids everywhere!  Imagine that!

 Neat place to drop off the kids and do your shopping.  Oh, that's right, can't do that these days.  Bad guys are everywhere.
 Big kids ride these things too.
OK, now I can say "I've been to the Mall of America".  No big deal, other than it is a very large mall and full of shops, for those who enjoy such amenities...:((
We got up Monday morning and pointed the big rig south east once again and down I-90/94.  ABOUT THAT VIBRATION:
 These are pics of out drive axle tires.  Aren't they beauties?  No wonder we had bad vibrations (sorry Beach Boys).
I should be ashamed of myself for not taking these off the coach before now.  But who would have thought that these things wear out so soon.  Well, they are not supposed to.
 We made it Eau Claire and the Baur Built Tires shop.  The other shop, which carried the Goodyears didn't have an opening for us so we had to settle for Michelins.  Darn the luck.  :))  Got these bad boys on in about 90 minutes, grabbed a quick bite at the local Mickey D's and hit the road once again.  Oh wow, what a difference. 
It was too late now to drive very far, so made it to a little burg, Portage, WI and camped at the Sky High Campground.  It rained for a couple of hours after we arrived, but it was quiet, dark and restful.
We got up and made our way to Elkhart, IN for our appointment to replace the windshield at Elkhart Service & Collision.  Well, we actually parked the rig at the Monaco factory campground in Wakarusa Tuesday night and got up Wednesday and drove up the road 12 miles to Elkhart.  They had the new one in by 830, but we couldn't drive it till the next day, as it takes 24 hours for the glue and seals to harden.
In the meantime, I got Monaco involved as to why we wore out tires in such a short period of time.  So, at 12 noon on Thursday, we drove over to Zolman Tires in Mishawaka.  After tjree hours on their alignment machine, and a test drive, they determined that that drive axle was aligned correctly, but the front axle wheels were out of camber (toe in).  So they aligned that, but at the very last minute, I noticed that tag axle was not showing any weight on the tires, like they were up off the pavement.  The tech opened up a rear door, and discovered that our tag pressure valve had broken free and was leaking air.  In fact, so much so that the tag had very little weight on it.  Translate"  All the weight was being born by the drive axle tires.  That wore them out.  And Monaco, Coburg, where have our unit serviced, made an adjustment on this tag last year.  Hmmm....
So, I contacted Monaco on Friday on our way to Oregonia, OH for our yearly family reunion, and asked them for some help on the cost of our new Michelins ($2745) Ouch!  As of today, Monday, July 30, they are considering helping us to some degree.  I'll keep you posted on what they do.
So, we are on our way to Ohio, but first, a last stop for some rest before arriving at my sister's house in Oregonia (I bet no one has ever heard of Oregonia).  We parked big wheels at the friendly Walmart in Van Wert , OH, just over the Indiana line.  More trucks than cars in here, and they all leave their generators or freezer engines running all night.
So, the next blog will be about our family renion in Oregonia, OH, which took place on July 28th.  So, till then, RVing Beach Bums rolling down I-75.