I have been enjoying visiting blogs and decided to start my own, even though I don't know what I am doing or if anyone will even be interested in reading what I have to say. I am a 50 year old management consultant who has been married to the the love of my life for 30 years and have two grown daughters and a son-in-law who we are very proud of. We are blessed to live in Scottsdale Arizona and are enjoying getting out and experiencing it in our RV! Thanks for stopping by our blog and please consider joining us, who knows where we will go...Kevin & Tracy.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New and Improved Gate!

Glad to be home after my whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest and this week seems to be flying by quicker than most. 

I have been in the process of replacing the areas hit by termite damage over the last few weeks and I am happy to report that my neighbor did another great job, this time on our RV gate. As you can see in the pictures below, our gate was in pretty bad shape and I was always a little concerned that it was going to fall off the hinges each time we came and went in the motorhome.

The new gate included replacement of the two pillars which really makes it very stable and easy to open and close.

So the new gate is in, it has been painted and is looking great!
An added benefit is that I now have all of the kindling that I will need for this winter from the the old gate! Oh my daughter Sarah will be so proud that that I am thinking green and that the old gate did not make it into the landfill.

That's it for our excitement so far this week.  I have been dealing with a generator problem on the motorhome that I will update you on later this week...please keep your fingers crossed that I get is resolved without having to spend the big bucks!

Take care, enjoy the rest of this short week and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Unexpected Road Trip!

Well we knew that this weekend was going to be challenging because our oldest daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Randy were moving to Lake Oswego, Oregon. So we planned a long weekend getaway in our motorhome for some rest and relaxation.

We headed over to my in-laws house Thursday night to say our goodbyes and discovered that the tow dolly that Randy had rented was defective and that his car had partially came off the dolly during the 10 mile drive from their apartment to my in-law's house.

Randy decided that he was very uncomfortable towing his car the 1323 miles to their new home.  He decided that he would leave his car and fly back to get it in a few weeks. As we were standing outside talking about the situation, I think I had an out of body experience when I heard myself saying "I can drive your car to Oregon".  We had already packed our rig to head to Flagstaff for the weekend, so I couldn't believe that I had volunteered and that he had quickly accepted.

Within about two hours, I drove home, packed my bag, sent a proposal that I was going to send out on Friday, booked my one-way ticket home and I was off to Oregon...ready or not!

So our caravan of three cars, four people and two cats headed out at 4:30am Friday morning, with me driving a manual transmission, something I haven't done for 10 years.  I have to say, it was like riding a bike and the transmission made it just fine!
Heading out of Arizona

We drove 750 miles on Friday, which is well beyond what I am used to doing. We hit wind, rain, traffic and some beautiful scenery along the way. Saturday, we finished the trip off through some absolutely breathtaking mountains, lakes, trees and surroundings including the following...

Lots of hay along the way!

Lake Shasta...beautiful!
Mount Shasta
We arrived in Lake Oswego, Oregon about 5:30pm Saturday night and after quickly unloading the rental truck before the rain started, it was off to a quick dinner and then off to bed...wow, what a wild two days.

Today is our youngest daughter Sarah's 19th Birthday...Happy Birthday Sarah!

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Brunch with Stephanie and Sarah...Yum!

A hike to the falls!

It was extremely hard to get on the plane back to Phoenix this morning knowing that my oldest daughter and son-in-law will be living in Oregon.  This is going to be another new chapter in our lives that I hope will turn out well for all of us. 

On this Memorial Day, I certainly can't end today's post without thanking all of you who have served, or are currently serving to protect our freedoms in the military. Thank you all for your sacrifice! 

I hope you all have had a safe and enjoyable weekend and thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dads and Belly Dancing!

March, April and May are big Birthday months for our family.  Yesterday would have been my Dad's 91st Birthday, he went to be with the Lord last year and I am sure that he and my Mom were celebrating yesterday.

Happy Birthday Dad!
 My father-in-law's 75th Birthday is today and we are looking forward to celebrating with friends and family at their house tonight. 

Happy Birthday Chuck!
The highlight of tonight's party will be a Lebanese belly dancer that my in-laws have hired. We saw her dance at Christmas time at Granny's care facility and she is unbelievable.  She is 50 years old, which I find very hard to believe. The more time I spend with my in-laws and their friends, the more I realize that I am an old stick in the mud and they are enjoyning life.  I hope that I will make the switch soon and get the most of this life before it is too late.  

Can you believe she is 50?
Well enough of that, hope your week is going great and I will be posting some more belly dancer pictures later this week.  Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chomping Away!

Last summer we started to notice evidence of termite damage to our door that leads into the side yard from the garage.  They were chomping away on the door and door frame. Needless to say, we had the termite hit squad out to eradicate our little problem and so far, we have not seen any evidence of further activity or damage.

So we had to replace the door that the termites had destroyed before we were fully into the summer heat.  Remember my neighbor who helped me with almost blowing up our electrical system in our motor home by hooking up 240 volts to it, well, I hired him to install the new door. I have to say that I would most likely not hire him again for anything to do with electrical, he really does know his stuff when it comes to installing doors.

I could not believe how quickly he had the old door out and the new one installed.  Of course once it was installed, it was my job to paint it and get all of the old hardware installed. I have to say that painting is not my favorite do-it-yourself activity, but I think that it came out great, if I do say so myself.
The new door with a fresh coat of paint!

Looking good...

The old door...ready for the dump!
After the door painting, it was time for trimming and mowing and getting the place looking ship shape.  Although it is great that we live on 3/4 of an acre, which gives us plenty of room to store our motor home, it is sure not fun to take care of when the temps soar to over 100 degrees.

I started my work around 8:00am and finished everything up around 2:30pm.  By then my back was killing me and I was burning up.  So it was time for a dip in the pool to cool down and stretch out my back. The water temp was a little cool at 80 degrees and I think this was the earliest I have every been in the pool, but it sure felt good.  Of course after being in for about 5 minutes, I realized that I needed to take a stiff brush to the pool tile to get rid of the mineral buildup...just no rest for the weary I suppose.

I hope that your weekend was more restful than mine and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Hidden Treasure Discovered!

My business partner and I were keynote speakers for a group of 60 CEO's in Riverside California today and our client put us up at the Mission Inn in Riverside.

I lived in Southern California for 30 years and traveled throughout the state prior to moving to Arizona and never knew that this wonderful resort existed. Here are some pictures from our stay and if you get the opportunity, definitely stop by for a wonderful time.

On the road to California - 107 degrees
Views from our dinner table - 80 degrees

Views from inside the hotel

Back home again - 105 degrees
Always nice to get away and even better to come home.  Hope your week is going great...stay cool!

Monday, May 14, 2012

All Covered Up!

I have a client who always says "I'm all covered up" every time I call him.  As a result, I couldn't miss the opportunity to use that phrase for the title of tonight's post.

I have been going back and forth as to whether I should use a cover on our rig this summer to protect it from further sun damage.  While much of the rest of the country is getting ready for their camping season, we are shutting down for the summer, at least for local outings.

Before the RV Cover!

I've looked at RV covers that ranged in price from $100 -$700 and although I would have liked a better quality cover, this one will work fine at $140 all in, including shipping from E-Bay.

$140 All-In...

Although the cover is not the thickest I have ever seen and it doesn't have the fancy zippered panels like the higher end covers, I will see how it holds up this summer.

All Covered Up Now!
On another note, we are suffering with six forest fires throughout Arizona and the sky is full of smoke and haze this evening.  We are also headed to 107 degrees tomorrow and I can't imagine how difficult the firefighter's jobs are right now.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers for safety and success in ending these fires quickly.

Tonight we welcome JudynEd Rice as our latest followers, they are new to the blogging world and will be retiring and starting their own adventure in September.  Welcome aboard and we hope that you enjoy the ride.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week and be safe out there! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to wish all of you moms a very Happy Mother's Day...you are such a blessing to us all and we hope that you will all be pampered by those who love you and have benefited from your love and care in their lives.

My mom went to be with the Lord in 1997 at the age of 72, which was way too soon. She was such a blessing to us all during her life, she provided a warm and wonderful home, she cared and loved us all no matter if we deserved that love or not, she passed on her faith to us and taught us how we should live each day and I love and miss her very much!

My Mom!

I have been very blessed with a wonderful wife who is a great mom to our two daughters.  She has all of the loving characteristics that my mom had and more and I know that someday our daughters will be great moms too!

My Wonderful Wife Tracy

The Lord has blessed me too with a wonderful mother-in-law, and a grandmother in-law who went to be with the Lord two weeks ago.

My Mother-In-Law Pat

I hope you have a great day, don't forget to give your mom a hug and let her know how special she is to you and how much you love her. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avoided a Big Bullet!

Well the new converter arrived and I was very much looking forward to getting it installed to finally determine whether I did any additional damage to our rig's electrical system when we hooked it up to high voltage.

So I expedited my final meeting of the day to get home early to go through the installation process.  When I left my meeting, I couldn't believe my eyes, the sky was dark, the wind was blowing wildly and dust, rain and hail was coming down at me from every direction.  In addition, on the way home, I encountered thunder and lightening all around me most of the way home.

So I waited for the thunder and lightening to pass over our house and I decided to move forward with the converter installation.  My thought was that it would be much cooler installing it during the storm than when the sun was beating down all day on our motorhome. 

So I am happy to report that the installation was fast and easy, not the 30 minutes advertised, but more like 45 minutes, I am a little slow.  So everything wired up perfectly and I flipped the switch to test everything out and the power went out for blocks around us. 

Our neighbor came running over accusing me of shutting down the neighborhood with my installation and causing him to miss out on watching Survivor.  Well the power was down for three hours and it finally came back up around nine o'clock. 

The converter appears to be working perfectly and I can't find anything that doesn't work, I think we avoided a big bullet by not having any appliance damage, burnt wires or anything else that could have cost big bucks. The only thing that I have noticed is that the converter fan comes on anytime that I switch on a light, which is different than our old converter. Do your converters work this way?

Marked all of the wires after removing the old converter

Took longer than I thought to wire the power board

Everything up and running...flipped all the switches and no sparks!

Storm blowing out of the area

Cooking dinner in the dark!
That is it for the evening...I hope all of you have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.  I always miss my mom especially on Mother's Day, if your mom is still with you, give her a big hug this weekend and tell her that you love her. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Converted!

I am happy to report that our new replacement power converter arrived this morning along with a surge protector that many people suggested that I invest in, saying that my problem would have most likely been adverted if I had it in place. I was amazed that I ordered on Saturday and it arrived on Wednesday...great service!

Our New Protector!
So I can't wait to get the new converter up and running this evening. The instructions look simple enough and supposedly it should only takes 30 minutes.  Please think good thoughts and keep your fingers crossed and hopefully you won't hear any news reports about an explosion in Scottsdale, AZ this evening.:) I will let you know how everything goes, once the project is completed.

Ready for Installation!

Looks Easy Enough...
I am happy to welcome two new individuals to our little adventure this week. Karen whose blog I have been following for many months and enjoy very much and
sam livingston who describes himself as an old man who loves to eat and hike and who lives in Gig Harbor,WA with a sweet dog by the name of Bonnie...his words not mine. In looking at Sam's Google Profile, he looks pretty spry to me!  Welcome to both Karen and Sam, glad to have you along for the ride.
I hope that your week is going well, thanks for stopping by, be safe out there and enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Putting Things Into Perspective!

Thanks for all of the helpful comments and suggestions over the last few days, I know that I can always count on my RV friends when I face a challenge.

As you could probably tell from my posts, the last couple of days have not been fun. Something that should have been very good, turned very bad fast. I found myself lying awake last night worried that our rig had suffered major damage and based on one person's feedback that it had become "death trap on wheels" which is not the case.

So I went to church this morning and realized that my challenges are really nothing compared to challenges that others are facing.

Like our friends Jim and Sandie who are right down the street at Scottsdale Shea Hospital after having a successful surgery to remove a portion of his lung.  We are so thankful that the prognosis is very good for Jim and he will be heading home on Tuesday.

Then I thought about sitting with Granny Great last weekend as her life of 98 wonderful years ended and her eternal life began.  These types of events put my destroyed power converter into perspective.

The good news is that everything seems to test out just fine and now I just wait for the new converter to arrive and hopefully we will be back up and running by next weekend.

We had a couple of friends stop by for a little dip in the pool and a snack who really helped me put things into perspective. Is someone trying to tell me to slow down and enjoy the ducks?  Hope your Sunday was great and as always, thanks for stopping by!
First in for the swimming season!

Always need a little snack after a swim!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenging Day!

Yesterday was a challenge to say the least.  Because I only know enough about electrical to be dangerous, the smoking of our converter was both scary and confusing to me. 

I did post the problem on rv.net and almost immediately received a message saying that my neighbor hooked up two breakers and 240 volts instead of a single breaker which provides 120 volts.  That is exactly what he did and why the converter smoked.  I received the same feedback from Bob and Sam who follow this blog and are both much smarter than I am!

A couple of the posts did say that it was a common mistake, which made me feel a little less dumb for both me and my neighbor, but it taught me a valuable lesson that I won't attempt to do something like this in the future without doing my research and making sure that the person I hire is qualified.

At this point, I know that the converter is destroyed, but now I am concerned with the appliances within our motorhome.  I found a utility door in the cabinet next to the microwave and was able to unplug the unit and hook it up to an extension cord.  The clock came right on, which was a good first sign, so then I put in a cup of water and set it for one minute and it heated right up.  That's very good news!

Utility Door to Microwave Plug

So now I am testing the refrigerator by running if off the extension cord and hope that it cools down so that I can cross off another appliance from the concern list.  So far, the freezer is cooling down quickly, so I think I am out of the woods on this one as well.
A warm AZ day...may take a while to cool down!

I found this 45 amp converter kit when searching rv.net and am hoping that it might do the trick to fix the burned out capacitor and get us back up and running.

Hoping this will do the trick!

I was visiting the site for more information and it listed an 888 number that said call and ask Randy, so I did.  Mind you it was Saturday at 2:00pm and I did not expect anyone to answer the phone.  I was shocked when Randy picked up on the second ring and he assured me that I could install the converter myself and that it would be better than the one I have currently because it has a three phase versus a two phase charging process that will ensure that my batteries are not being over charged. 

So I placed the order for $218 and I will let you know how things go!  Maybe this situation will work out alright and I will have a better charging system than I currently do. This could all turn out to be a huge disaster averted.  Lets hope so!

I hope your Saturday is going well and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Big Mistake!

Well I made a big mistake and I have to admit it.  I wanted to have a 30 amp service installed to run the air conditioner when we are getting ready to head out or when we came home from a trip and my neighbor who installed our stabilizer jacks said that he could do it for me.

He installed another electric box because our current box was maxed out and he ran the cable out to a box near our motorhome.

Today was the day to flip the breaker and test everything. Unfortunately things did not work out well. The breakers tripped in the motorhome and smoke started to billow out of the electric box in the motorhome. Below is a picture of the converter.

Below is a picture of what I think is a capacitor that exploded when the power was connected.

I posted this on rv.net for some input on what I need to do next. I feel stupid that I allowed my neighbor to use our motorhome as a testing device and I have learned a valuable, but hopefully not too expensive lesson.

I hope that your day has been better than mine and that your weekend is great!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It was my job yesterday to go by the group home where Tracy's Grandma lived to clean out her room.  As I was removing her things, it struck me that she lived a very comfortable life with very few things in her room. 

It caused me to think about all of the "stuff" that we have scattered throughout our house, some of it in our shed, garage and attic that has not been touched for years.  So why do we need all this stuff?  We come into this world with nothing and we leave the same way, so why do we have these things that we neither use or need?

I know many of you who are reading this post full-time in your RV's and have gone through the process of de-cluttering your lives. Tracy and I need to go through that process now, in preparation for future. 

Thanks for all of the very comforting comments and prayers during this challenging time.  We are doing fine and we know that Granny after 98 great years is certainly doing much better than we are.  Thanks again and I hope your week is off to a great start!