Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Jenelle

Saturday June 26th was our daughter Jenelle's 23rd birthday. We met dad at her house to spend the day. I spent the first few hours putting together a BBQ Grill. There is a lot of screws holding them things together.

Jenelle had invited a few of her friends, Dad, Marcia and myself to her house. The plan was to cook some dogs and burgers and hang out. We got dad hooked on bowling on the Wii game. He really enjoyed it and I enjoyed watching him. I hope he isn't too sore tomorrow.

It was great spending the day with her, we even coaxed dad into trying a jello shot. After he had downed one he said there was something in it, we had to confess, and he decided one was enough. Then the water balloon fight got started. I am glad I am old and the "youngens" showed enough respect, (or fear) to avoid getting me and dad.

Happy Birthday Jenelle.............I hope you had a GR8 day.............

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot but I'm not complaining!

Marcia and I grew up in this area and I can't ever remember it being this hot this early. We have had 90 degrees + for the past two weeks. It has really been too hot to do much, but the pool here at Raccoon Valley has been a life saver.

Now to top off the heat wave, Marcia ask me Monday afternoon why I had the heat pump on! Everyone knows I like it hot, but not even I would have the heat pump on in 90+ degree weather, so I started checking the CCC (Climate Comfort Control). A fancy way of saying thermostat! Everything was A O K with the CCC, the problem was the front A C unit was blowing out HOT air.

Tuesday Corey brought the kids over and we spent the day at the pool, but after they left we returned to the rig to find it HOT inside. The rear AC was keeping the bedroom cool, but wasn't doing anything for the rest of the rig. We called a service tech, but they wouldn't be able to come until tomorrow.

Joe Myers runs a mobile RV service and he and his partner were here before noon. We found a burnt compassitor, and he happened to have one and put it on. Well that didn't fix the AC. After a call to Dometic, it was decided that the unit was JUNK, and would need to be replaced.

After doing some checking on-line and talking to Newmar and Duo-Therm I needed a SPECIAL AC/Heatpump, one like we put on the Santara last year wouldn't work. The Kountry Star doesn't have a hole in the ceiling like most RV's do so we had to order a unit that has the control board up on the roof.

Expressway Mobile RV Service could get us one, and for $60 more for express shipping we could have it by Friday AM. I was disappointed when the AM part turned out to be about 1 PM, but I was just happy to get the new AC installed today. So now we are cool inside again.

Just another rock in the road to shake up the etch-a-sketch.....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Etch-A-Sketch

As many of you know we write all our plans on the etch-a-sketch and they often get bumped around and changed on us. Our plans to spend a couple weeks in SC during June got bounced around so much that we will be spending June at the SKP Park near Knoxville TN.

The first bump was getting a base plate installed on the jeep. $700 for a base plate and to have it installed was a waste of good money in my opinion, but that is what camping world, and a hitch shop in Lexington wanted. Me being the cheapscape that I am I wouldn't pay it.

First off I think Blue Ox is way over priced on everything they sell, and second I think any shop involved with RV's charge too much. Like $100+ an hour to change a headlight, or to fix a broken sink. I can understand why the RV industry took such a hit.

I went to a machine shop and had the guys there design a baseplate for me. Well I guess I designed it and they built it, and unlike the Blue Ox baseplate the one I designed doesn't cost me any ground clearance. But the best part is it only cost $150.

Then Fathers day was right around the corner, and since we were this close to my dad, (and two of our kids) I couldn't see us leaving town just yet. I cherrish every fathers day that I get to spend with my dad. I know too many people that don't have that chance anymore, and I really miss mom on mothers day. So if there is any way possible I will be with my dad on fathers day.

Now that fathers day has passed we have a daughter that will be celebrating her 23rd birthday on the 26th. I missed too many of her birthdays in the past so now I will try not to miss anymore if I can keep the etch-a-sketch from fading out.

Cheif Neon, a real friend and class mate, (full timing class of 07) told me recently that there are three holidays we should have a place picked out to be parked on. Memorial Day, Labor day, and the FOURTH OF JULY, and since the 4th is just a few days after Jenelle's Birthday I guess we will stick around Raccoon Valley until it has passed.

After the Fourth the etch-a-sketch shows us heading towards Nashville for a couple days before winding up at Fort Knox. Fort Knox is close enough to Lexington for my doctors appointments, but far enough away that we won't get caught up in the rat race around the KY Horse Park. (something about the world horse show) Just keep in mind that the ETCH-A-SKETCH can get bounced around and cause us to change our plans.

So I think we will hang out here enjoying friends and family through this heat wave......

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

We had a good time while in Lexington, and my doctors appointments went pretty good. I will have to go back for a CT scan, and a sleep study the 12th of July, and a few other appointments but the CT scan will show about the cancer.

Monday we did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There are six distilleries between Lexington and Louisville, and if you visit them all, have a card stamped at each one, and mail it in they will send you a Tee shirt.

Our plan was to visit them all, but two of them are closed on Mondays so we will have to go back next month when we are in that area again.

Our first distillery was closed, so we went on to Wild Turkey. We did the tour there, and us not being bourbon drinkers, we didn't enjoy the sampeling like a bourbon drinker would have.

We left there and stopped at the Four Roses distillery. We electred not to take their tour, but we did get our book stamped so we can get their tee shirt some day.

Our next stop was the Jim Beam distillery. I think this had to be the largest one of the six. The grounds were spotless, and very neat, but again we chose to skip the tour.

The next one was closed so it was on to Makers Mark. This is the road we drove on to get there. Maybelean, (our GPS) might have taken us in the back way, but the road we took on the way out wasn't any better.

The Makers Mark distillery was nessteled in a beautiful valley. Everything was neat and well groomed, as we approached the visitors center. A house had been converted into the visitors center and the tour explained why, along with a few other really neat things in and around the house. This old firetruck was next to the visitors center.

On the Makers Mark tour they allowed cameras unlike the Wild Turkey tour. Here is a shot of the machine they use to fill the bottles.

If you look close in this picture you can see they hand dip each bottle in a red wax. It is a Makers Mark trademark, and every bottle is hand dipped in the wax.

This next picture isn't one of my best shots but it does show the stills used. You can see the "white-lightening", or moonshine, running through the tops. This is just a part of the process of making bourbon. we were told to make bourbon you must first make beer, then whiskey, before you get bourbon. I would do better with the shine before they age it in the barrels.

Here is a picture of the mash working in the vats before it turns into something they can sell to drink.

Here is one of the vats.

After the distilling, cooking, and mixing, they take the white-lightening and age it in barrels. It ages anywhere from 2 to 12 years. In the time it is in the barrels it is rotated, rolled, and stacked in large warehouses.

I'm sorry this is kind of backwards but that is how the pictures came up and I have had so much trouble with our internet service and my laptop that I wans't going to change it, and my spell checker has vanished on me so there are some misspelled words you have to deal with.
We put about 200 miles on the jeep that day, did 2 tours, got our cards stamped by 4 distilleries, and went to 2 that were closed on Mondays. If you are ever in that part of KY and decide to take the tours to get the tee shirt, allow 2-4 days. It can be done in 1 day, but that is a rush, and remember two of them are closed on Mondays, although they are all open on Saturdays, and a couple are open on Sundays.

Here is a picture of an unusual site in KY. A castle we passed outside of Lexington.

I hope I find out how to use the new laptop and find the spell checker soon. With the problems we have had with our Verizon aircard, and the problems I had with my out-dated laptop updating my blog was only a dream. I am trying.......