Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Slow Morning and Eye Doctor Visits In The Afternoon

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. mostly cloudy, SE wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Partly sunny with isolated showers in the morning...then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Highs around 90. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

Not much going on around here yesterday, the CG is really quiet. Neither Jim or Linda seemed to have much ambition and I think part of the problem was that they knew they had to go to the eye doctor in the afternoon.

I don't know what it is about appointments in the afternoon, but it seems like you don't want to get started doing anything because you know you'll have to quit what you are doing to go to the appointment. If the appointment is in the morning, you can go, get it over with and do what you want to do without having to stop in the middle of something.

Well, anyway, about 2:00 Jim and Linda took CLT and headed down to Champaign to see the retinaologist.
CLT said that there was all kinds of construction on I-57 and he was almost late getting them there. Once there, it didn't take too long until they were being examined.

The examinations consisted of a scan of the retina and a complete check of the eyes. I'm happy to report that Linda's eyes are doing fine and she's good to go for another year. : )  Jim, however, has some problems. : (  In fact, the doctor wants him to see another eye doctor before we leave here and his receptionist even called the other eye doctor and set up an appointment for this Friday.

Needless to say, Jim is not a happy camper about this. Now, he's worried that we won't be able to leave here on the 15th of September like planned. He also isn't fond of going to doctors in general, so this is adding to his apprehension.

I don't think he's going to be in a very good mood the next few days. : (

Did you know that the eye can process 36,000 bits of information every hour?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Empty Campground, Batteries and A Little Shopping

Rantoul, IL.

59 deg. clear, N wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Increasing clouds. Highs in the lower 80s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

The Campground is empty!!!  : o

Well, not really, but it sure seems like it is after all those RV left the last couple days. There's probably about a dozen or so RVs here and it's just about like it was before the Farm Show, but it sure seems empty.

It's not going to stay that way for long though, the CG is completely booked for the Labor Day weekend, (only 1 RV to a site), so by the end of the week it'll be pretty busy around here again. ; )

Jim checked the electrolyte level  in my batteries yesterday morning and added some distilled water to the cells that were low. Then he sprayed some yellow stuff on the batteries that turned pink wherever there was acid and finally hosed off the batteries to wash away all the yucky stuff. Now except for a visual inspection once in awhile, they should be good to go for a couple months.

After that, he tackled a little problem I was having inside. One of the fluorescent lights in my bathroom quit working so he took it apart and decided that it was one of the bulbs that had burned out.

Now, he knew he had a couple new bulbs someplace, but he couldn't remember where he put them when he moved them from Myrddin into me. He looked in quite a few of my cabinets and went through a few tote boxes in my basement, but couldn't find them. : (  So, he decided that it would be easier to take CLT and go over to Rural King and buy some, rather than to keep digging through boxes.

I'm sure he'll come across them one of these days.

So, off to Rural King he and CLT went. He found the bulbs he needed and then because it was time to pick up the mail at the post office, they swung past there. Then as long as he was out, he went to the County Market grocery store and bought a few groceries he and Linda were out of.

All of this only took a little over an hour and soon he was back here and installing the new bulbs in my bathroom fixture. : )

While he was gone, Linda was cleaning up, putting away pots, pans and dishes that had been used when Mike and Jodi were here and eating breakfast.

Not much happened during the afternoon and then about 5:00 Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to the Pizza Hut for dinner.

Oh, I made a mistake yesterday when I told you that Linda and Jim were going to go to the eye doctor this morning. The appointment is actually this afternoon.

Hmmm! I could have sworn that it was this morning. : (

Did you know that in 1748 Benjamin Franklin first coined the word "battery" to describe an array of charged glass plates?

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Farm Show Pictures and Mike And Jodi Come For A Visit

Rantoul, IL.

63 deg. N. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast - Sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Light east winds.

They were doing field demonstrations in the field right next to the CG yesterday, so Jim walked over there a couple times and took some pictures.

These are a few of the pictures that Jim was able to get from the CG

This is an old single row picker that was picking the rows of corn right next to the fence.

A 4 row pull-behind picker

The 4 row picker going the other way and actually picking corn.

After the field was harvested it was time for the plowing demonstrations. This is a huge tractor that pulls a 15 bottom plow. Don't know how practical is actually is, but it brought a lot of attention.

Another picture of the huge tractor and it's plow.

This is the kind of tractor that Jim drove as a teen-ager when he worked out on the farms around Peotone during the summertime and after school. It's a Farmall model "M" tractor and was one of the most popular tractors in that area.

Back at the CG they were starting to load some of the tractors on trailers as this was the last day of the show and it was time to head back home or to another show. During the afternoon, I would guess that about 3/4 of the RVs here in the CG left. The show was over and it was time to head home or to their next destination.

Then, about 4:30 Mike and Jodi pulled up in front of me with their Motorcycle. You don't see too many cycles with side cars, so it was neat that they brought it here to show it to me. After they got their riding gear off, Jim brought them inside of me and gave them the "tour". They seemed to really like me and made some very nice comments. : )

After they talked for awhile, Jim fired up the grill and cooked some burgers and brats while Mike, Jodi and Linda brought the rest of the food out to the picnic table. Mike and Jodi brought some salad, and some beer and that along with chips, sweet corn and tomatoes made for a very nice meal.

After they finished eating they all came inside and talked for awhile. (The bugs were really bad outside). They hadn't seen each other for a whole year, but you would have never known it by the way the conversation picked up.

About 7:30 they had to leave because Mike had some things he needed to get done, so after h and h, (hugs and handshakes), they put on their riding gear and rode off on their Ural Motorcycle. : )

After they left, Jim and Linda were talking about how much they enjoyed having a meal and visiting with them. They're a really nice couple and I know I'm looking forward to seeing them again next year.

Oh, and guess what? Jim forgot to take any pictures of them so I looked back at last years photos and found this one of Mike and Jodi with their motorcycle. I'm pretty sure it was taken up in Michigan at the CG where Jim and Linda met them.


Not a whole lot planned for today, but tomorrow morning, both Jim and Linda have an appointment with Linda's eye doctor. He has an office down  in Champaign so it won't take CLT (Cute Little Truck), too long to get them there.

Oh, Joe called from Virginia Beach. They had lots of wind and rain, but no damage and everyone is OK. When he called, the power was still out but they have a good supply of flashlights and batteries so they should be all right. Needless to say, Linda was very relieved to hear from them. : )

Thanks for calling, Joe.

Did you know that 1954 was the first year more tractors were used on farms than horses and mules?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Nice Surprise, The Farm Show and Company Coming

Rantoul, IL.

62 deg. clear, N. wind@ 8 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

About 10:00 yesterday morning, Louise stopped by and asked Jim if he and Linda would like to go over to the Farm Show? The show operators and the city had arranged for her to have 4 golf carts to use and also some VIP passes that she could give out to anyone who wanted to come and see the show.

Jim told her that he and Linda would like to go, so she let Jim and Linda use this cart along with 2 passes to the show.

Wasn't that nice of her?

So, as soon as Linda got ready they took the cart and headed over to the show to see what was going on.

On the way over there, they saw some field demonstration. Here, there's a bunch of old corn pickers picking corn. Click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can see them better.

In this patch of ground there were a couple old tractors plowing. This picture is of an old 2 cylinder John Deer pulling a 1 bottom plow.

Once they got over to the main show area it was kind of like a carnival or fair. There were people everywhere and tents and booths set up in rows with people selling everything from tractor and implement parts to food.

This old manure spreader and a Standard Oil tanker wagon were on display along with many, many other pieces of farm equipment.

This is billed as the "Largest Flying Flag In The USA It's 120 x 65 feet, weighs 200 lbs and costs about $7500. Because there is not a flag pole large enough to support it at the farm show site, it is suspended between 2 cranes. All money raised from donations go to toward the United Veteran Projects.

Jim and Linda were over at the show for about an hour and a half. Most of the time was spent riding around on the golf cart and looking at things, but they did stop at one stand to buy a corn dog. ; )

A little while after they returned here, Jim and Linda got a call from Mike and Jodi who live down in Champaign.

Now, Mike and Jodi are not to be confused with Mike and Jena or Mike and Sandy, or Mike and Terri. ; ) 

Jim and Linda met Mike and Jodi at a CG up in Michigan last year, found out they were from Champaign, had dinner with them when they all got back here to this area, and have become good friends. Some of you long time readers of Myrddin's Blog may recall that Mike worked here in Rantoul, and he has a Ural motorcycle with a sidecar that he and Jodi had ridden up to Michigan.

Anyway, Linda had called Mike about a week or so ago and asked him if he and Jodi would like to get together some time while we were here. Jodi was gone on a business trip but Mike told Linda he'd call back when she returned. So, yesterday he called and it was decided that they would come here to the CG today for a cook-out. : )

They should be here about 4:00 or 4:30 today and I'm really looking forward to meeting them. Jim is planning on cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and brats on the grill and Mike said that they'd bring something to go with them.

Hmmmm!! I wonder if they'll be coming on their motorcycle?

Did you know that the first rubber-tired tractor wasn't introduced until 1930?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Few Pictures Of The Tractor Ride and Hurricane Irene

Rantoul, IL

64 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. North winds 10 to 15 mph.

Here's some pictures that Jim took of that "Tractor Ride" that they had the other day. I don't know the make of all the tractors but maybe you can figure it out if you click on the picture to enlarge it.

This one I know is an old John Deer.

Have no idea who made this blue tractor.

This is just a picture of a bunch of tractors heading down the road. I would guesstimate that there were about 75 tractors that passed by the CG.

As you can see, this guy took parts of an old truck and mounted them on a tractor. (Looked pretty neat). : )

Can't tell what kind of tractor this is? (Maybe a ford)?

This is a Minneapolis Moline and it looked just like new.

There were many, many more tractors, but this gives you an idea of what it was like watching them go by.

Hopefully Jim will be able to get some pictures of the "field demonstrations" that they will be having today in the fields right next to the CG. If he takes some I'll post some of them here, so stay tuned! ; )

I'm happy to report that hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a category 1 as it heads directly towards Virginia Beach where Joe and his family live. As of this morning the winds have dropped down into the 90 mph range which is much better than what they were.

Needless to say, both Linda and Jim are very concerned about the situation out there. : (

Did you know that the first gasoline farm tractors were introduced in 1910?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Before and After and More To Come

Rantoul. IL.

61 Deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Light north winds.

As promised, here are some pictures that Jim took here at the Campground. The first ones were taken this last weekend before any of the RVs started coming in for the Farm Show.

The main road in the CG.

Sites across the street from where I'm parked.

This is the street that runs along the West side of the CG and is behind me.

Another picture of that street.

The next pictures show what it is like here in the CG now, and when these were taken yesterday morning, there were still 30 more RVs scheduled to come into the park.

Sites across the road from me. Notice that the 5th wheels are parked back to back. One is hooked up to the 50amp circuit and the other one to the 30 amp circuit. A "Y" adapter is used on the water faucet and they take turns using the sewer connection.

More RV packed in. These are also 2 to a site but are parked side by side facing opposite directions.

These trailers parked behind these 5th wheels were used to bring golf carts and ATVs to the park.

Remember that empty street running along the West side of the CG? These RVs are all dry camping.

More dry camping

We even have a few tenters.

Looking down the main street of the CG

If you don't have a pick-up to haul your truck camper, Just load it on a flat-bed truck and come anyway. ; )

Speaking of RVs, there are all kinds here. All the way from Prevost Buses to pop-up campers to the tents.

Some of them are brand new but there are also older RVs like this classic Airstream MH.

The tractors that were in the "Tractor Ride" all went past here yesterday morning and Jim took some pictures of them as they passed by. I'll try to post some of them here tomorrow.

Oh, Linda called Joe in Virginia Beach last night. She wanted to talk to him before Irene hits the area. They've already got the windows boarded up and have put everything outside away.They're in the process of stocking up on water, food, extra batteries and all of the other stuff recommended. As of right now, the storm is fore-casted to pass right over Virginia Beach.

We're all hoping that the storm will turn and head out to sea before it gets up there.

Did you know that it was 1844 before the first mowing machine was patented?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Appointment and A Visit With Adeline

Rantoul, IL

60 deg. clear, NW wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. Not as warm. Highs in the lower 80s. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

Jim and Linda left here about 8:30 yesterday morning to head up to Peotone for the appointment with their financial advisor. CLT said that the trip went well and they arrived about 10 minutes before 10:00. The meeting lasted longer than expected and so it was a little after 12:00 by the time they finished.

They had told Jim's cousin, Adeline, that they would be there sometime between 11:30 and 12:00 so Jim called her as soon as the meeting ended and told her that he and Linda were on their way. She said "Not to worry" as she was having Italian roast beef sandwiches and the meat was in a crock pot so it would be fine until they got there.

CLT said that it didn't take them long to get there and by about 12:30 he was parked in her driveway. : )

It had been a few years since Jim and Linda had seen Adeline so it was really good to see her again. I think I mentioned yesterday that she had lost her husband, Robert, recently but Jim and Linda both said that she seems to be doing fine and her 2 sons are helping her.

She is a little older than Jim and when he was very small, she used to play with him when they visited. Jim said that it was fun talking about the "Old Days" and all the things they did as kids. ; )

It was almost 3:30 by the time they said their good-bye's with lots of hugs, so it was almost 5:00 by the time they returned here to the CG.

I know that the CG had to look completely different to them when they returned because bunches of RVs came in yesterday. Most of the sites are full with 2 RVs on many of them and the road behind me is almost full, (on both sides) with RVs that are dry camping.

Jim took some pictures the other day of the CG before anyone came in for the farm show, and as soon as he can, he's going to take some "after" pictures to show you what it's like now. If he takes them today, I'll try to post some of them on here tomorrow.

Did you know that the McCormick reaper was patented in 1834?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some Much Needed Rain, Hot Again, Lots Of RVs and Today's Plans

Rantoul, IL.

70 deg. hazy, SW wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Hot and humid. Mostly sunny. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 90s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent. Heat index readings 101 to 106.

As you can see by the forecast above, the heat is back. : (  We had almost 2" of very much needed rain yesterday and it didn't get too hot because of the cloud cover, but today is supposed to be a real scorcher.

Because of the rain, Jim and Linda didn't go out until about 3:00. Walgreen's had called and told Linda that her prescriptions were ready, (the doctor had called them in), so they headed over there to pick them up and purchase some other items.

Other than that, Jim and Linda didn't do much else. (Linda did some laundry but Jim just played with the computer and took a nap). That's not to say that it was quiet here at the park though. Bunches of RVs have been coming into the CG for the Farm Show. Many of them were pulling trailers with golf carts and ATVs on them, or there was another vehicle following the RV, either loaded with golf carts or pulling a trailer loaded with them.

At one point, there were so many RVs waiting to get checked in that they were backed all the way up out onto the road. (There had to be 7 or 8 of them).

Today, should be real crazy around here with many, many more RVs coming in because at 7:00 tomorrow morning the gates open and the fun begins. You can click here if you'd like to see the schedule for the show.

Today, Jim and Linda will take CLT and head up North to Peotone, IL. (where they used to live in a stix and brix house before they went full-timing), to see their financial advisor. They need to be up there by 10:00, so being that it's 80-some miles up there, they'll be leaving here about 8:30. Then after their meeting, they're going to stop by and visit with Jim's cousin, Adeline, who lost her husband not long ago. She lives in Manteno, IL. which is about 7 miles South of Peotone.

Jim says that he doesn't expect to be back here much before dinner time.

Did you know that America has almost one billion farmland acres?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meeting Mike And Sandy In Hoopeston

Rantoul, IL.

60 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny in the morning...then partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.

Jim and Linda headed over to Hoopeston, IL, yesterday morning to meet up with Linda's cousin, Mike and his wife Sandy. Mike hadn't been to Hoopeston for over 20 years and had forgotten where the family grave sites were in the cemetery. So, being that Jim and Linda go over there almost every year they showed him where they were.

The above photo is of Mike and Sandy, taken at the cemetery.

After they were finished there, they took Mike's car and headed down to Rossville, IL. (which is just South of Hoopeston) and had lunch at Meritas Restaurant. After they were finished eating, they went to the Rossville Cemetery were there are some more family grave sites.

Then, it was time to say good bye so they headed back to Hoopeston where there were hugs and handshakes.  Jim and Linda picked up CLT, (who was parked at the City park), and headed back here while Mike and Sandy headed further North up to Knox, Indiana, where Sandy's family is from.

It was about 1:00 by the time they got back here. Both Jim and Linda had a good time visiting with Mike and Sandy and showing them where all the grave sites are located.

After they returned, they both took naps and then just relaxed for the rest of the day.

Did you know that there are over 14,000 cemeteries in Illinois? Many of them inactive.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A New Computer? and Going To Hoopeston

Rantoul, IL.

60 deg. clear, NW wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Light northwest winds.

I didn't know it, but Jim and Linda are considering getting a new computer. Their old desktop is really out of date and Jim is worried that it may die one of these days and they would lose all the stuff on it.

Yes, Jim backs it up once in awhile but the program that Linda uses for her family tree stuff is very old, and in fact it is an old "shareware" program from way back before I was made. Linda has hundreds of names, dates, places and details of family on that program and now the problem is going to be getting it to run on a new operating system. (I think it was originally designed to run on Windows 95.

Anyway, while Greg from Geeky Guys was here removing the virus from this laptop a week or so ago, Jim and Linda started talking to him about getting a new computer and the problem they may have transferring the program. You see, Greg builds desktop computers and sells them. Since Linda would really rather have a desktop, they told him that if he could get the program to work on a new operating system, they would purchase a computer from him and pay him for transferring the programs.

Greg has been doing some research and yesterday, he stopped by here and copied a bunch of files from the old desktop to a flash drive. He has found that the author of the family tree program is still around and there are some newer versions of the program that "should" work on the latest systems. So, he's going to contact the author, download a new version of the program and try to transfer all the data that Linda has put into the old program to the new one.

Hopefully it will work. If it does, Jim and Linda have made arrangements to have Greg build them a new computer.

Other than Greg stopping by, not much else happened around here yesterday. Some of the RVers that will be going to the Farm Show have already started coming in. I lost count, but I'm sure there were over a dozen RVs come in already.

Today, Jim and Linda are going over to Hoopeston to meet up with Linda's cousin Mike and his wife Sandy. They're going to meet them over there about 9:00, and since it's about 40 miles over there, they'll have to leave here around 8:00 or a little after. I don't know how long they'll be gone but I'm sure they won't be back here before 1 or 2 O'clock.

Did you know that Hoopeston is known as the "Sweetcorn Capital of the World ”?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Few Phone Calls

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. hazy, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

We finally had a little rain last night. Don't know how much, I can't  see the rain gauge that Jim has over by the fire pit, but I don't think it was very much.

Jim and Linda made some phone calls yesterday. Jim ordered a few items from Camping World and Linda made calls to some people they want to get together with before we leave here.

One of the calls she made was to her cousin, Mike and his wife Sandy, who live over by Indianapolis, IN. He had said that he'd like to meet Linda and Jim over in Hoopeston, IL. sometime, (where Linda was raised), and go to the cemetery over there so that Linda could show him where some of the family grave sites are located. So, plans were made and tomorrow morning, Jim and Linda will take CLT and head over there to meet them.

Another call that Linda made was to Mike and Jodi, (a couple that Jim and Linda met in a CG in Michigan), who live down in Champaign, to get together with them. Tentative plans have been made to meet up, (possibly here at the CG for a Cook-out), on the 28th of this month.

The rest of the day was spent just doing "things". Jim did a little trip planning and Internet surfing, Linda did some reading and caught up on the budget, and they both watched some TV.

Did you know that the first bird domesticated by man was the goose?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nothing To Write About and The Farm Show

Rantoul, IL.

65 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Everyone who writes a blog knows that some days there just doesn't seem to be anything to write about. Today is one of those days for me.

Very few RVs came into the park for this weekend. The only reason I can think of is that everyone will be coming for the Half Century of Progress Farm Show that starts this next week. It's over at the airport, (which is adjacent to the CG).

From what I can tell from listening to people talk, this is really a big deal in this part of the country and almost every farmer from the area and many others from across the country come to see the vintage farm equipment and  field demonstrations.  They're even having a "Tractor Ride" where many, many tractors drive through the countryside for about 50 miles before coming back to the show. Jim says it's kind of like a parade where everyone comes out of their homes and watches the old tractors go by.

Hmmm!! I wonder if they'll be going past here so I can see them?

Well anyway, (and I think I've mentioned this before), this CG will be completely filled, (actually overbooked) with 2 RVs sharing many of the sites.

Now, you're probably wondering how they can put 2 RVs on a site. Well, from what I'm told, the RVs will be backed up to one another, (or in some cases kind of along side one another facing opposite directions), One will be hooked up to the 50amp outlet and the other will be hooked up to the 30 amp outlet. "Y" connectors will be used for the water connections, and the 2 RVs will have to take turns dumping their tanks.

Along with all the RVs there will be many golf carts and ATVs in the park and many of the folks will have trailers (that they brought their golf carts and ATVs on), that will be parked someplace in the CG too. And Jim says that there will probably even be some tractors here in the park from time to time!!

Now, beside all the RVs in the CG sites, there will be many RVs that will be boon-docking along the side streets, both in and near the park. (Louise is estimating that there may be as many as 50 to 75 RV boon-docking, and possibly even more if the weather is good).

So . . . . this next week should be very exciting and probably pretty hectic at times. It'll be a completely new experience for me and should be very educational! ; )

Hmmm!! I guess I did find something to write about!! ; )

Did you know that in the 1930’s, 25% of the U.S.population lived on a farm, now it is less than 2% ?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Groceries and The Weather

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. hazy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Not much to report on except that Jim and Linda did go to the grocery store yesterday morning. There weren't as many groceries as I thought there would be, so they didn't have any problems getting them put away in my cabinets and fridge.

It's getting hot here in Illinois again. The temperatures have been moving back up towards 90 degrees during the days and the night time temps have been getting warmer also. Along with the higher temps, the humidity has been rising too.

I really don't know how it works, but even with the higher humidity, we haven't had any rain and the .8 of an inch we got awhile back has long evaporated. The grass is very dry and brown, there are big cracks in the dirt, the trees are looking wilted, the corn leaves in the fields are all curled up and I understand that some of the other crops are not doing too well either. : (

I don't think there's any big plans for today. From my basement, Jim brought up a box that has pictures in it. They are the ones that Jim and Linda want to hang on my walls, so maybe they'll put them up today. I also need a little cleaning inside of me so that's another project they can do.

I'm sure they'll find something to keep them busy. ; )

Did you know that today is "Black Cow" Root Beer Float Day?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good To Go and The Illinois Bunch Is Coming

Rantoul, IL

66 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s. Light west winds. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

By 9:00 Jim and Linda were out of the door and on their way to her doctors appointment in Fisher, IL where the doctor has an office.

After examining Linda the doctor told her she was good to go for another year, wrote up new prescriptions and wished her safe travels. : )

From the doctor's office CLT took them to the Village Garden Restaurant, (in Fisher), where Linda and Jim had breakfast before returning back here to the CG.

The rest of the day was spent doing normal day to day living.

Oh, Jim got a phone call from the last of the Illinois Bunch. Bev had been trying to contact Jim by e-mail, but as you know, Jim's Hotmail account is not available to him. Anyway, all of the Illinois Bunch will be coming, (some on the 7th of Sept. and some on the 8th), and they will be here until the 11th.

That should be long enough for me to get to know them and their RV's!! ; )

Today, Jim and Linda are planning on going to the grocery store. I saw the grocery list and it's pretty long so it's going to be a pretty big project.

 A Point to Ponder :  If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feeling Better, Hotmail Problem and Dr. Appointment

Rantoul, IL.

61 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny. A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. South winds 5 to 10 mph.

Jim felt much better yesterday so he headed down to Urbana to the Farm & Fleet store. It's not very far down there so it didn't take long before he was back here with all the things he was looking for.

Once back here, he did a little more rearranging of a couple of my basement compartments, (this will be an ongoing thing for awhile), and then came inside and helped Linda with a few things.

Oh, if any of you have been trying to e-mail Jim using Hotmail, there's a problem. After Greg got rid of the virus that was on this computer, all the passwords had to be used to get back into the various web sites and e-mail accounts. Well, Hotmail has decided that the password that Jim is using is not right and refuses to let him have access to his account. This means that, for right now, all the cards that Jim and Linda have given people throughout the years with that e-mail address on them will not let the people contact him, all the contacts that Jim had on that account are no longer accessible, and the MSN home page that Jim has had for years is no longer available to him.

He has filled out a questionnaire to try to gain access, but has not received a reply as of yet. If he doesn't get a reply soon, he says he'll set up a new account and try to let everyone know the new address.

Today Linda has to go see her doctor. She's dreading going there and I'm sure will be happy when it's over.

Did you know that the world's first Skyscraper was built in Chicago, 1885?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Best Laid Plans, Most Sites Empty and The Illinois Bunch

Rantoul, IL.

57 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Light southeast winds.

Well, the best laid plans .   . . . . . . .  Jim was going to go to Farm & Fleet yesterday morning, but after he was up for awhile, he got a stomach ache and spent most of the morning close to my "little room".  : O

Don't really know what caused it, but he didn't feel good for most of the day so the only thing that got done was to go to the Post Office to get mail in the afternoon and stop at the grocery store for bread and a few essentials. He seems to be feeling better this morning so maybe he can get down to Farm & Fleet this morning.

Most of the sites are empty here at the CG. There were 4 Motor Homes across the street from me but now they have left in the last few days. Right now there are Motor Homes on each side of me, but the folks on my left are gone most of the time and the ones on my right don't seems to want to be very friendly. Oh there are a few RVs down at the other end of the park but I never see much movement down there.

If the weather holds, there should be some RVs coming in for the weekend though. and then of course there's the Farm Show starting on the 25th and then Labor Day right behind it, so maybe I should enjoy this quiet time. ; )

Oh, I've found out that some friends of Jim and Linda's are coming to the CG on the 7th of September. Myrddin always called them the "Illinois Bunch" because they're all from Illinois and they all go down to a CG in Florida for a good part of the winter. 2 of the 3 couples have said they are coming on the 7th, but we're still waiting to hear if the 3rd couple can make it then or not.

I hope so. I'd sure like to meet all of them. : ) 

Did you know that it was on this date in 1977 that Elvis Presley died?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Computer Problems

Rantoul, IL.

61 deg. clear, N. wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Light north winds.

You may have noticed that I haven't posted here the last 2 days, well, there's a reason for that. You see, Friday night, Jim was using this computer and just surfing the Internet when all of a sudden, he started getting messages saying that "Your computer is infected with a virus", "Your data is in danger", "Your firewall has been removed" and other statements of the same nature. Also, some program that Jim didn't recognize started doing a scan on the computer.

Well, Jim knew something was very wrong, so he quickly shut the computer down.

Since he's had computer problems in the past, he knew exactly what to do. He called Greg at Geeky Guys. Greg couldn't come to work on the computer on Saturday but told Jim that he could come Sunday morning. So, about 11:00 Greg pulled up in front of me, and proceeded to do his magic. : )

Yep, there was a virus, it had already got into many different files, and as Greg found out, was a real problem to get rid of. In fact at one point he thought he may have it removed, only to have it start to re-install itself. : (

Greg said that he has had a couple clients get a similar virus. He said that if you let the virus scan your computer, it will inform you that it could not completely remove the virus and that you need to buy an additional program to get rid of it. Of course to get the additional program, you have to give them your credit card number, and that's when the real trouble starts. They then proceed to charge all kinds of things to your card, and can run up a big bill in no time. : (

If your happen to be in central Illinois and have a computer problem, give Greg at Geeky Guys a call. His prices are very fair, he's good at what he does, and is more than willing to answer any questions you may have about your computer.

So, what's been happening around here besides computer problems? Well, not a whole lot. Jim and Linda have been re-organizing some of the cabinets inside of me, putting up some decorations, going out to eat and watching RVs come and go from the park.

Oh, we did have a pretty good storm come through here Saturday night. We finally got some much needed rain, (almost and inch), but there was some wind damage. There wasn't any damage here, but by the time it got into Indiana, the wind blew down a stage at the State Fair which killed 5 people and injured many more.

Today, Jim is planning on going down to Farm & Fleet. He's got a list of things he wants to look for. Then, he and Linda need to go to the Post Office to pick up their mail and then to the grocery store.

Did you know that today is "National Relaxation Day"?

Friday, August 12, 2011


Rantoul, IL.

57 deg. clear, SE wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Increasing clouds. Highs in the lower 80s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Awwww!!! Mike and Terri decided that they needed to head up to Northern Illinois so that they would have a chance of getting a site in a State Park up there before the "Weekend Warriors" came in. ; ) So, after getting everything ready to travel and coming over to say good-bye with h and h, (hugs and handshakes),  they left here around 11:00.

Here's a picture of their rig parked in the site next to me.

While Jim and Linda were having a great time visiting with Mike and Terri, I had a great visit with their Excel 5th wheel and I'm sure if we had a little more time together, we'd become very good friends.

Oh, and just before they left, Mike said that they may be coming back through this area after they spend some time up North. He said that if they do, they'll stop by again,  if we're still in the area. Mike's plans are written in pencil like Jim's though, so he was very unsure if they be coming back this way. : )

This afternoon, Jim and Linda took CLT and went to an Office Depot down in Champaign. Jim wanted to get a new lap desk to use with this computer, (the old one cracked), some printer ink cartridges and some printer paper.

He found everything he needed.

Then before coming back here, they stopped at a Steak & Shake Restaurant for dinner.

Since there wasn't anything on TV that they wanted to watch, the evening was spent reading, doing Sudoku Puzzles, playing with the computers, and trip planning.

Did you know that today is "Kool-Aid Day"?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Test Completed and Company Arrived

Rantoul, IL

55 deg. clear, no wind

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs around 80. Light northeast winds.

Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to the doctor's office in Fisher yesterday morning, got the blood test and then stopped at the Village Garden Restaurant to get something to eat. Then on the way back here, they stopped and bought some sweet corn from the farmer who sells it here in town before coming back here. Once back here they straightened  up the inside of me a little and Linda started getting things together for dinner.

About noon, Mike called and said that it would probably be about 5:00 by the time they got here so the afternoon was spent taking naps and getting a few more thing ready for dinner. Then, about 4:30 I heard Jim tell Linda, "They're here!" as he grabbed his hat and went out my door. In just a little while, Mark led Mike and  into site #3, (which is right next to me) and Terri drove their car into one of the parking spaces out by the road.

After they had their 5th wheel pretty much set up, Jim fired up the grill and Linda started getting the rest of the food ready inside of me on my stove and in my convection oven.

Jim cooked some steaks on the grill while Linda cooked a green bean casserole and fresh sweet corn on the cob inside. That, along with some french bread, Mellon and a butterscotch desert that Terri brought made for a very tasty meal.

At least everyone said that it all tasted really good. : )  

The evening was spent visiting until about 9:00 when everyone started getting tired. Jim was trying to talk Mike and Terri into staying another day, but they're really wanting to head up to Northern Illinois today so that they can go to an antique car show. They were still talking about staying longer when they left here though, so you never know.

A Point to Ponder : What does OK actually mean?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Zitttttttt!!!!! BOOM!!!!! and A Phone Call

Rantoul, IL

62 deg clear, NW wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Becoming partly sunny. Not as warm. Highs in the upper 70s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Zittttttttt!!!!!!! BOOM!!!!!!!

Wow!!!! That was exciting!!!!! About 8:30 or so yesterday morning there was a sound of electricity arcing and then a big bang!!! The sound came from the sub station that the electric company has just East of the park and after the noise stopped and the smoke cleared all the power in the CG was off!!

Jim was outside at the time and didn't even flinch! Come to find out, he had heard that same sound here before and knew exactly what had happened. (A transformer had blown).  That was not the case for the couple sitting outside in the site right across the street from me though. I think the lady almost had a heart attack!!!

So, Jim walked over and explained that this happens every once in awhile and that the repair men would soon be there and fix the problem. He also told her that the electricity would probably be back on in about an hour. The lady looked a little skeptical, but sure enough, in almost exactly an hour, the repairmen had come, repaired the problem and the power was back on. ; )

After the electric was back on, Jim asked Paul if he would help him get the rest of the totes and boxes out of the storage room in the bath house and bring them over to me. Paul said "sure" and hooked up the little trailer to the back of the ATV that they use to escort RVs to their site. Then he and Jim went over to the bath house, got all the stuff, brought it over to my site and unloaded it all onto the picnic table.

Then, Jim started unpacking boxes, condensing totes, bringing some boxes inside of me, and putting the totes and boxes into my basement compartments. Meanwhile, Linda was going through more boxes and totes inside of me,and putting stuff into cabinets,

By about 2:30 the picnic table was empty, the boxes from inside of me were empty and Jim was taking all the empty boxes and stuff to be thrown away down to the dumpster. : )

About 8:00 last night the phone rang and it was Mike and Terri Young. They are relatively new full-timers who Jim and Linda met at an RV Dreams Rallies a few years ago. They're going to be coming through this area today and called to make sure that we'll be here because they would like to stop by for a visit. Jim assured Mike that we'd be here and would love to have them stop by, so sometime this afternoon they should be here. : )

Mike didn't say how long they would be staying, but I'm hoping that it will be more than just one night. I really like meeting Jim and Linda's friends and their RVs. : )

This morning, Linda has to go get her blood test. CLT said that he just has to take over to Fisher, IL., which is only about 12 miles from here. It shouldn't take long and they should be back here by 11:00 or so. Then, I imagine they'll want to neaten me up a little so I look my best.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keys Made, Making Room and Doctor Appointments

Rantoul, IL

68 deg. overcast, NW wind @ 9 mph.

Forecast = Becoming partly sunny. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Had a few storms go through the area, just North of here yesterday afternoon and evening. This CG and the surrounding area are in desperate need of rain, but here at Prairie Pines, there was only enough to make the street slightly wet at one point and then just sprinkles at other times.

Jim finally got hold of the locksmith yesterday morning, (called him on the phone), and made an appointment to meet him at his shop at 10:45. Then, at about 10:35 he headed over there and finally got the keys made. Now, he has 2 keys for all my locks and a few spare ones that he put into one of those magnetic "key safe" boxes that he stashed it away at a hidden location on me, known only to me, him and Linda.

Now, if he should lose his keys, he and Linda will either be able to use the keys that Linda now has ot at least gain entrance to me with the hidden keys. : )

He also worked on going through some of the totes in my basement to make more room and ended up with another empty one. I now feel pretty sure that I'll be able to handle the remaining totes and boxes that are still over in the storage room in the bath house here at the park.

Oh, speaking of that, Jim says that as soon as Paul and Louise have time, he wants to get all of that stuff out of there and bring it over here. He says it either has to fit in me or he and Linda will have to get rid of some of it.

Linda called her doctors yesterday and made appointments to go see them. She has to go get a blood test tomorrow morning and then in a week or two will see her regular doctor after she gets the test results. Then, on the 30th of Aug she and Jim both have appointments with Linda's eye doctor/retinologist. Linda will be going for her yearly check-up and Jim will be going back to see him so he can check on a problem he has had with one of his eyes. Jim says that he doesn't think the problem is getting worse but wants to have the doctor check it.

Nothing much exciting happening here at the CG. In fact, it's pretty empty right now. All of that will change on the 25th of this month though. That's the beginning of the weekend when they're having a big Farm Show over at the airport and I'm told that the campground will be completely filled. In fact Jim says that if it's like it was 2 years ago, many of the sites will have 2 RVs on them and there will be RVs boon-docking on the surrounding streets.

Wow!!! That should be interesting!!!!

Did you know that Kermit the Frog is left-handed?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jim's Trip Planning Procedure and Plan "A" Is Born

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. Light north winds.

We tied the record high of 90 deg. yesterday so Jim decided that it would be a good time to start trying to figure out some plans for this fall. He started by laying out a route on the Streets and Trips program based on places he and Linda want to go on the way down to Florida, then started figuring out where we would be stopping along the way. He has the Streets and Trips program set for 3 hour driving time per day with a 1 hour leeway, so it gives him the general area we would be staying at each evening. Then, he uses RV Park Reviews, Campground Directories and park web sites to find suitable parks in that area.

As you can probably guess, there aren't always parks in the area where Streets and Trips says we're going to be at, so sometimes he has to juggle previous stops so that we don't have a really long travel day getting to a decent park.

All of this takes quite a bit of time, but Jim seems to enjoy the planning and research. ; )

After he figures out about how many days it's going to take us to get down to Florida, (with all the stops at friends and family's houses figured in), he has to determine when he and Linda want to get to Florida, and then count backwards from that date to come up with a departure date from here. Then, after all the planning, he and Linda discuss it and if they both agreed, it's written down in pencil. ; )

So, what did Jim come up with? Well, it has been determined that we should be leaving here no later than the 15th of September. From here, we'll work our way to North Carolina, then to Virginia Beach, down along the coast to Beaufort SC, and then down to Florida, getting to Lakeland on or about the 11th of November.

In Lakeland, Jim and Linda's mechanic will check me out and repair any problems I may have. Then, we'll head to DeBary, FL and spend a couple of months there.

So there you have it. Plan "A"! But, as most of you know, plans change and many times there's a plan "B" or "C", or even "D", "E", or "F", so we'll have to see what develops between now and the 15th of September.

Hopefully we won't get to plan "Z" ; )

A Point to Ponder : If your plan is having no plan, do you have a plan?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Settin Up, A Little This And A Little That

Rantoul, IL.

72 deg. hazy, no wind.

Forecast = Patchy dense fog early in the morning. Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 90. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Afternoon heat index around 100.

It was kind of lonesome around here yesterday with Big Herb gone, but then in the afternoon, some RVs came into the park. It's always entertaining to watch their owners set them up in their sites. Some of the owners seem to know exactly what to do and which order to do it in, but others randomly do the things necessary for the set-up. I suppose, for the most part, it's the people who don't RV often who are the ones who don't have a system. I would think that anyone who does it frequently would be more organized so it didn't take them so long.

Take for instance the RV that came in across the street from me yesterday afternoon. I think it was probably less than 20 minutes before the man was sitting out under his awning. Once he parked the MH, it was just a matter of minutes before he had the electric, water and sewer hooked up, and was getting out his lawn chairs and putting out his awning.

Then, there was the MH that came in a little later and is parked 2 sites down from me on the site right next to the road. His owner fiddled with the sewer hose first, then hooked up the water, (after untangling the hose), and finally plugged the MH into the electric. I'm sure it was over an hour before the man finally went inside of his RV and he never did put out his awning or get out lawn chairs.

Jim did a little more re-organizing of my basement compartments yesterday. He also went to try to get some keys made for my locks at a locksmith on the other side of town, but the store was closed. He says that the store doesn't seem to be open very often, but he got a phone number off of the door and will try to call tomorrow. You see, when Jim and Linda bought me, there was only one key for a few of my locks and he also wants get and extra door key made to hide someplace on me, to use in case he and Linda should get locked out.

After lunch, Jim and Linda took CLT (Cute Little Truck), and headed over to the County Market Grocery Store. They were getting low on quite a few items.

The rest of the day was spent doing laundry, watching TV and playing around with the computers.

Did you know that on this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the "Badge for Military Merit," a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver? The badge was to be presented to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action" and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree's name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a "Book of Merit."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So Long For Now and Safe Travels, Doug

Rantoul, IL

72 deg. scattered clouds, no wind.

Forecast = Patchy fog early in the morning. Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.

This is not what I like to see, but I know that Big Herb had to leave to  take Roland and Louise back to North Carolina. 

Yep, it was kind of sad seeing my new friend heading out of the CG, but the way it sounds I may be stopping by his place this fall. ; )

Before they left, Jim did manage to get this picture of Roland and Louise standing in front of Big Herb.

Thursday, Roland and Jim went to the store to buy some steaks to cook for dinner and then on the way back here, they stopped by the farmer who is selling sweet corn along the street. It's been so hot and dry back in NC that the sweet corn there is not even good to eat, so Roland is going to try to get some Illinois sweet corn back there for them and their son and his family to eat. (He bought 2 dozen ears).

For dinner, Thursday night, Jim cooked the steaks that Roland bought, Linda prepared some green beans and bacon, and Louise brought a blueberry desert.

Of course, I can't tell you how it tasted, but it sure smelled good. ; )

After dinner, Linda and Louise talked for awhile and Jim and Roland sat outside and talked until dark.

This morning, Roland and Louise were up early getting ready to leave. Roland did find time to come over to my site and have a cup of coffee though, and then he and Louise came back over here and talked for about 1/2 an hour just before they left. Then after hugs, they got into Big Herb and headed down the road. : (

After they left Jim and Linda came inside of me for awhile and then Jim went out and started to reorganize my basement compartments. He made pretty good progress and at one time, had  the whole patio area and picnic table setting full of totes and boxes before putting it all back into my bays the way he wanted it.

Oh, and on a very sad note, Jim and Linda's RVing friend Doug passed away yesterday morning after fighting cancer for many years. Jim and Linda want to wish JoAnn and the rest of Doug's family their condolences.

Safe travels Doug,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Little Relief and Big Herb's Last Day

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Light northeast winds.

We finally got a little relief from the very hot, humid weather. It's still getting up into the 80's but the humidity is much lower and now if you're in the shade, it's bearable outside. : ) And, as you can see by the current temperature above, it's dropping down into the 60's at night instead of the 70's or 80's.

Nothing much to report here. Roland and Jim have been spending a lot of the day solving the problems of the world, ; )  Louise and Linda have been visiting some and every evening, they all get together either inside of me or Big Herb for a meal.

Today will be Big Herb's last day here. Tomorrow, he has to start back towards North Carolina so he can get Louise back there in time for a doctor's appointment. It'll be sad to see him go, we've become very good friends during the last 6 days and I'll miss having him to talk to.

Hummm! Maybe this fall we can stop by his place in NC on our way to see Jim and Linda's boys who I understand live in NC and Virginia.

I don't think that there's any big plans for today. I do know that Roland and Louise want to pick up some of that fresh Illinois sweet corn to take with them when they leave here. I also heard Jim and Roland talking about going to Wal Mart.

Did you know that the first week of August is "Simplify Your Life Week"?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weather, Visiting and Getting To Know Big Herb

Rantoul, IL.

78 deg. hazy, NW wind @ 10 mph.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. North winds 10 to 15 mph.

Nothing exciting happening. The weather continues to be very hot, the grass and even the trees are starting to show signs of stress from lack of rain, and I would imagine that the crops in the fields are suffering too. The next 5 days or so, it's supposed to be a little cooler, but still in the upper 80's and they are forecasting possible rain tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Jim and Roland have been doing a lot of visiting. Linda and Louise don't know what they can find to talk about for hours on end, but it seems that they never run out of things to discuss. ; ) I personally have heard them talk about everything from weather to RVs to crops in the fields to airplanes to travel plans.

Last night, Roland and Louise brought some hamburgers over here and Jim cooked them on the grill. That, along with potato salad, a little chili, some chips and deviled eggs, made for a very nice meal that was topped off with some ice cream for desert. : )

Being that there hasn't been much going on around here, Big Herb and I have had a good opportunity to get to know one another. He's hasn't been traveling much lately because Louise has been having some medical problems and needed to close to her doctors. In fact when they leave here, they have to go back to Forest City, NC so she can have some more test.  He's hoping that soon she'll be feeling better and they can travel more. He'd really like to head out West for awhile, but right now that doesn't seem possible. : (

Maybe next year.

I don't have a clue of what's going on today. Probably not too much.

Did you know that Oak trees are struck by lightning more than any other tree?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Yeah, I know and Just Too Hot

Rantoul, IL.

74 deg., hazy, SW wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast : Hot and humid. Sunny. Highs in the mid 90s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the afternoon. Heat index readings 101 to 106.

Yeah, I know, I didn't post yesterday! : (

Not a whole lot to write about, just getting hotter every day, Jim and Roland visiting, Linda and Louise visiting, eating dinner together, watching TV, and going to bed.

Oh, Jim and Roland did go to Farm & Fleet yesterday, bought a few small items and came back and sat out under my awning and talked while trying to stay cool int the 90 + degree weather. Then for diner everyone got into Roland's car and they went to Monical's Pizza for dinner, After dinner, Jim and Roland sat outside for a little while until the wind died off, the bugs came out and the humidity started climbing.

So, as you can tell, I didn't really have anything to write about today, but I thought I'd better so you didn't think I had forgotten.

The weather forecasters are saying that it's supposed to be even hotter today, so I don't expect much to be happening. I must say though, I think everyone is having a good time just visiting and spending time together.

It's just too bad it's so hot.: (

Did you know that August was named after Augustus Caesar who took over the Roman Empire when Julius Caesar was assassinated?