A quaint little drinking couple with a camping problem!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Unknown

Howdy folks,

Remember me, the faithful guardian of the Happy Couple and their guard dog Moejean?  I know, I know, it has been awhile.  I have noticed, with the invention of Facebook and texting, that anything I write about is old news so I just laid back until things happen that I can give you my prospective of what really happened.

I don't know if you have been around when the Village Idiot's cell phone has rung but it plays the theme song from the movie "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".  For some unknown reason that is his favorite movie of all time and it just drives my sweetheart, Shari, nuts.  When the Happy Couple got married 41 years ago and Laura was a sweet little thing of about 7 years old, Dufus would tell Laura that movie was about the clan.  He would tell her that he was the "Good", Shari was the "Bad" and she, Laura, was the "Ugly".  That is when the argument would start.  Anyway that is the theme of this post, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, plus The Unknown.


Back in mid-June the Frantz family had a cousins' reunion in Wapsipinicon State Park in Anamosa, Ia.  There was a sister, a brother, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, second cousins, an aunt, a lot of spouses, and a few dogs all of which were related to the Village Idiot.  (He says he doesn't remember any cats in attendance.)  All totaled, there were probably at least 50 to 60 people in attendance.  They came from all over the country.  The function was supposed to be on a Saturday, but the adult beverages started flowing on Thursday and quit sometime on Monday.  Dufus tells me the sad part about the whole affair is his Grandparents did not consume alcohol and really looked down at people who did.  From what I saw, William D. Frantz (grandpa) had a lot of looking down to do.  He probably had to go to a chiropractor to get his neck straightened out.  Dufus said it was great to see everyone; some he had not seen in 30-40 years and some spouses and second cousins he had never met.  For the ones who could not make it, because of prior commitments or didn't want to be seen with the wild bunch, you missed out on a good time.  A lot of laughs and a few true stories told.  The OTI (other than Iowans) in attendance had to have pork tenderloin sandwiches and I imagine they probably got their fill of them.  I think the Happy Couple should have had them come to Oakland Mills to Butch's for a real tenderloin but I don't know if SE Iowa would have been ready for all that.  I kind of had to laugh after it was over.  My best friend, Shari, was talking to a cousin of hers and the Hamil clan is talking about having a cousins' reunion next year in Mount Pleasant.  They put an invitation out on Facebook and put a response box in the invitation asking if you would attend.  The choices were yes - maybe - no.   Dufus checked maybe.  You can bet your bottom dollar Ms Shari will see to it he is there!


This spring after we arrived back from Texas, the Happy Couple went on their semi-annual trip to Cedar Rapids to see their favorite doctor, Dr. Nancy Angenend.  Dufus calls her his veterinarian.  During his appointment, the Village Idiot asked Dr. A. if maybe he shouldn't have a stress test since it had been about 7 years since he had done that.  She asked if he was having problems and he said no.  Just being cautious.  Well, since she didn't have to do the treadmill, she thought it was a good idea.  An appointment was set up for the following week. On appointment day the Village Idiot shows up and they did an EKG, stress test, and an ultrasound.   After the tests were over, the cardiologist read the results, came in to the exam room and announced "It looks like someone is a little out of shape."  The old heart rate went right up to the target rate about 10 seconds before the treadmill was turned on.  Other than that everything else was normal.  The Doctor prescribed exercise, and an additional blood pressure pill.  The Happy Couple returned to Mt. Pleasant, Thanks to Carl and Barb Zahradnik, Dufus now has himself a bike.  He says he feels like a prostitute; pedaling his ass all over town.

With all this my best friend, Shari, decided maybe she should do the same thing, so an appointment was made and back to Cedar Rapids they go.  They looked at her previous medical records, checked her blood pressure, took her off a pill she was taking and sent her on her way.  NO-EKG, NO TREADMILL, NOTHING ABOUT EXERCISE.  The Village Idiot has been calling foul every since.  He's thinking about a discrimination lawsuit.  I don't think it will make the Supreme Court but who knows.


I mentioned in the GOOD section that Dufus had a brother at the reunion.  That was his brother Ed  who was 3 years younger than Dufus and lived in Sioux Falls, SD.  On July 26, which was 6 weeks after the reunion, he passed away at the VA hospital, in Sioux Falls.  Ed had may medical problems, and had them for much of his life.  He probably spent as much time in the VA system as anyone.  I was talking to Dufus about Ed and he said, except when they were young and in school, he doesn't remember much time when he wasn't sick with something.  Dufus doesn't know for sure but he thinks cancer was the final blow.  Everybody was happy that Ed, and his wife Nancy, made the effort to come to the reunion.  I know, from what I heard, that had to be a lot of work for Nancy.  She was such a trooper to do so.  I know he will be missed by the Frantz family and the VA system.  Over the years, Ed volunteered at the hospital in Iowa City and Sioux Falls and accumulated over 35,000 hours. 


The Village Idiot has a new adventure coming up in his life real soon.  About 5 to 6 weeks ago he was in the house with me, turning on the air conditioners.  In doing so, he had to close the windows.  When he was closing the window at the end of one of the sofas, which is located inside one of the slide-outs, he had to crawl up on the sofa.  After he closed the window, he started off the sofa, and thinking he had cleared the ceiling of the slide out, he stood up.  Unfortunately for him, he is 5' 8" and the ceiling is at 5'.  He grabbed his head and sat down on the sofa. He sat there for about 5 minutes, holding his head.  Sitting in my usual spot on the on the back of the sofa I got to witness all of this and thought, OMG, he broke the watermelon.  I yelled at him "Are you okay?"  His response was "I think I hit my head!"  My thought; Well no shit!  We talked for a few minutes about what to do and he decided he was going to be fine, got up and continued to go about his business.  Being the tough guy he thinks he is, he never bothered to tell my friend, Shari, about what happened.  A couple days later I asked him how he was feeling and his response was he was feeling fine.  No bump on the noggin, no headaches, no nothing.  About three weeks ago, the Happy Couple were out walking Moe one evening and Shari asked him how come he was starting to shuffle his feet when he walked.  He responded he didn't know, but he did mention that he was starting to have trouble with his balance and he was fatigued all the time.  After a week, these things were starting to get worse, so the decision was made to go see the aforementioned,  Dr. A. The next Monday Dr. A. decided that a MRI was in order so one was scheduled for Wednesday morning.  After the MRI, Dr. A. called Dufus and told him he had an appointment with a neurosurgeon, Dr. Howard, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City that afternoon at 2: 30 PM.  During that appointment Dr. H showed the Happy Couple what the problem was.  The MRI showed his brain was surrounded by blood.  Beer or Black Velvet, I could believe, but blood? Dr. H told Dufus he couldn't do anything immediately because part of Dufus' daily pill intake was a baby aspirin, which is a blood thinner, and he wouldn't risk surgery until that was out of his system.  So after 9 days of pre-surgery testing and waiting, surgery is scheduled tomorrow, 9/11 at 3:45 PM.  From what Dufus tells me they are going to hit him in the head to put him asleep, drill a couple holes in his skull, put in a couple drain pipes with spigots so when the red stops and the gray starts they can shut off the flow.  I don't think I would want Dufus as my surgeon. They don't want to drain to much out as there isn't a whole lot up there.  I did ask the Village Idiot the other day if maybe he wasn't a little concerned about the MRI, that maybe they wouldn't find anything inside, that maybe he has just been carrying around an empty ball on his shoulders.  He said he was concerned about that and he asked Dr. A about this very subject.  She said she knew for a fact there was something inside the skull because he was breathing and his heart was beating and that is where the control mechanism is.  He then agreed to the MRI.  The reason I titled this as The Unknown is this is the first time Dufus has ever had any surgery of any kind.  So far he seems to be handling things well.  Actually he is currently napping on the very sofa that he was on when he hit his head.  He sure does snore loud.

I know my best friend Shari has told a lot of you she will be updating you after surgery, but just a soon as I get the word, I will be sending out a short up-date,  In the meantime I know Dufus would want you to follow the Most Interesting Man's favorite advice.  Stay thirsty my friends...


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post election syndrome!

Howdy Y'all,

Do you have post election syndrome?  I do.  I know I have it because my head is full of political ads and I am looking forward to seeing Viagra ads on TV again.  That last part won't last long but it will be a welcome change for a day or two.  The Village Idiot was up until midnight last night watching election results and now we can't pry him out of bed.  My best friend Shari is thinking about shoving him outside into the rain to try and wake him up.  I have noticed it is nice a quite around here without him yapping his trap.  Maybe we should just let the sleeping dog lay.

Well, did the election results meet you satisfactions?  I noticed in Iowa the state lost a long time politician, but, unfortunately, he will probably return from Washington and get back into his law practice.  I haven't figured out which is worse, losing a politician or gaining another lawyer.  Kind of a toss-up. 

The Happy Couple have had some happenings lately and they weren't all happy.  About 4 weeks ago they lost one of their best friends.  Long time Burlington friend, Mark Steingreaber,  had a massive stroke and passed away two days later.  The world lost a great gentleman.  I personally have been shocked about this as, without Mark, I would not have existed.  Mark, and his sweet wife Beth, were the ones who were instrumental in getting the Happy Couple into the RV life.  Mark had been talking to Dufus for years about getting a RV and enjoy the wonderful world of camping.  In 2005 the Happy Couple bought a used motorhome and, on one of their first trips, they journeyed to Davenport, IA to meet the Steingreabers and Ken and Judi Weinreich for the weekend.  While there, the group went on a little shopping trip to Kohls in Bettendorf, which happened to be where I was living at the time.  After Dufus took one look at me it was love at first sight.  He picked me up off the shelf, placed me on the dash of the motorhome, and we have been pals ever since.  If it wasn't for Mark I would have never known the Happy Couple, would never have been to all the great places I have been, would never have seen all the great things I have seen, and, most of all, would have missed the opportunity to have all you great people as friends.  Thank you Mark.  You truly are missed.

Things have gotten a little happier for the Happy Couple lately.  On October 22 the clan started the migration south by going north out of Mount Pleasant.  (I wasn't in charge of the GPS)  We traveled to Mount Vernon, IA and spent a couple nights in a state park.  While there, the Happy Couple went to Cedar Rapids one night for dinner, beverages, and jokes with the Hawkins, the Minors, and half of the Zahradnik clan.  (Carl thought farming was more important than eating.  Foolish guy.)  The next night the Couple went to Bata's Restaurant in Cedar Rapids and had dinner with the Quijanos and Shirley, of the Tony and Shirley Bata family.  (Tony joined us occasionally but was working.) Great food and great times were had by all.  The Village Idiot told me that all the stories told both nights were true stories.  Yeah, right.

From Mount Vernon the Happy Couple headed east (what happened to heading south for the winter?) to Long Grove, IA for two nights, staying at Scott County Park.  On Saturday they attended a wedding in Davenport of Cole Housman, a great nephew of Dufus.  The Happy Couple really enjoyed the reception as they got a chance to see Dufus's brother Ed and wife Nancy and all the Kimm kids and their spouses.  From what we heard later, the reception set a new record at the Blackhawk Hotel for the number of kegs of beer served at a wedding reception.  Just think, the Village Idiot was part of history.

The next morning, the truck was hooked up to the 5th wheel and we finally got to head south.  After a overnight stop in Illinois, I masterly guided the Happy Couple to Green Acres RV Resort outside of Savannah, TN where we are for about ten days.  The Happy Couple stay here as they really enjoy the hospitality and friendship of Larry and Diane Frisbie, the owners of Green Acres.  The two couples have taken a couple side trips as they went to the Rattlesnake Saloon out in the boondocks in Alabama and to an Amish settlement near Ethridge, TN.  After lunch in Ethridge, the couples went on a short detour to a shop that sold quilts.  My friend, Shari, wants a new quilt for the bed and she finally found a quilt shop.  After looking at all the quilts, she finally found what she wanted.  She yelled at the Village Idiot to get up to the cash register and pay.  I thought he was going to have the big one right there on the spot.  Fortunately for him, the lady that ran the shop noticed that the quilt was for a queen bed, the Happy Couple have a king bed, and the lady didn't have a king quilt.  Old Bozo lucked out again.  Larry was not as lucky. Diane found one she liked and Larry got to pay.  The Village Idiot did get a free bag of popcorn out of the deal.

If it quits raining here tomorrow as it is supposed to, we are going to continue out trek south.  I guess our plans are to land at Cajun Palms RV Resort near Breaux Bridge, LA for the weekend.  This will give the Happy Couple a chance to watch the Hawks and Gophers play football Saturday and indulge in some Cajun food.  From there the plan is to wander over to Texas and, after a stop in Houston, end up in Austin on November 16th.  If November 16 date sounds familiar, it is a national holiday.  It is my best friend, Shari's, birthday.  Being the gentleman that I am, I will not tell you how many years but will tell you she was a war baby.  You just have to figure out which war and which year. 

The reason the Happy Couple are going to Austin is the Village Idiot has taken a job at McKinney Falls State Park for the winter.  When he applied for the job he told them he could work anytime between November 15th and March 1st so they scheduled him to work from November 17th to March 1st.  So much for having part of the winter off.  The bright side is this will give the Happy Couple many opportunities to see the friends they met in Austin two years ago when my friend, Shari, was having her hip replacement.

Well, I guess that is about it for now.  Before I leave I want to pass on a comment I just heard about the new Chicago Cubs manager and their team for next season.  The comment was "to have a zoo you have to have animals".  I think the person that made the comment, and he is a Diehard Cub fan, feels like there is nothing in the pens.  The Village Idiot always says that the Cub fans wear their blue clothing all the time because, deep down, they wish it was Dodger Blue.

On that note, I will say good day for now, and you'll be hearing from me on the next go around.

As always,


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

bad dog - Bad Dog - BAd DOg - BAD DOG - BAD DOG

The above title says it all.  BAD DOG!!!!!!!  I think I am catching the lazy way of life from the Brain.

Well, how is everything going with you fine folks?  I hope you are healthier, wealthier, and wiser than the last time I wrote.  I am healthy, never been wealthy, but I am still wiser than my buddy.

As most of you probably know, the Happy Couple are once again in Mount Pleasant, IA.  The clan arrived in mid April after spending a wet and cool winter in Alabama, Florida, and Texas.  I guess Texas wasn't all bad as the weather was nice and dry the month of March in the Hill Country.

The Brain is again working at Crossroads RV Park doing his usual thing.  Nobody has figured out what his usual thing is but I am sure somebody is applying for a government grant to study what he does.  Actually the old boy has to work a little harder this year.  The park is running at about 80% capacity this year which means more work keeping the sites clean, the grass mowed and trimmed, the building clean, and answering the phone.  The park has been full quite a few nights and have had to turn people away.  The Village Idiot thinks this is all caused by his pleasing personality, his great demeanor on the phone, and his professional greeting to customers when entering the door.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there may be other factors involved.  The main factor that may have caused this influx of business is a $1.7 billion dollar fertilizer plant being built in Wever, IA which is about 30 miles from here.  Of the 34 sites available at the park, 24 of them are reserved for workers and those sites are generally full all the time.  I think I just burst the old boy's bubble.

You folks may want to be sitting down when you read this next paragraph.  The Happy Couple just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary about a month ago.  I know that is hard to believe but it's true.  My best friend Shari needs a medal for that accomplishment.  I am sure there are a lot of people that knew the Village Idiot when he was young and would have bet big money that he would never reach his 40th birthday, let alone be married for 40 years.  I asked him on their anniversary how this was accomplished and he say he attributes it to two things; the first was he learned to say 'YES DEAR" early in their marriage, and the second, he says, was because when he got married he was a 31 year old virgin.  With that statement I dropped my drink, fell off the sofa, and rolled on the floor in laughter.  Actually Moe is still laughing. I've heard him say some rather stupid things before but I think he just raised the bar.

You're probably asking yourself; "What did the Brain get his sweet, beautiful, loving wife for their 40th wedding anniversary?"  Well, besides a beautiful bouquet of red roses, together they bought a new 5th wheel to live in.  Now how many of you got a new home for your 40th wedding anniversary?  Or any anniversary for that matter?  Yup, they traded in there 2008 Montana Big Sky and bought a 2015 Montana Mountaineer.  It is really neat!  It is more like a small house than a trailer.  It has a separate front living room, separate kitchen, separate bathroom/laundry, and a separate bedroom.  The Brain says now he doesn't feel like he is watching TV in the kitchen or my friend, Shari, cooking in the living room.  The living room has two sofas, a recliner, and a big HD TV.  Even with all this room it is still cocktails for six, feeds four, and SLEEPS TWO.  The Happy Couple have a friend named Lester who would have said that last sentence a little different but this is a family show.  When the Happy Couple were moving from one trailer to the other, the clan thought we had lost the Village Idiot.  To make it easier to move into the new unit, they unloaded everything from the old unit into the meeting room at the RV park.  One day the Village Idiot thought he was having a heart attack.  He was carrying stuff to the meeting room and suddenly had terrible chest pains.  It was kind of warm that day and he had been making a lot of trips.  On this particular trip, he was carrying things from the kitchen and in his hand he had a small crock with utensils in it.  When the deep pain hit he got wide eyed and about dropped everything.  He looked down and saw a small meat fork stuck in his chest.  He pulled it out and the pain went away.  I never did find out how well he was cooked.  It's the little things like this that make me happy to be around these two.  You just never know what is going to happen next!

For those of you that are interested, Moe is doing just fine.  She gains about a pound a year and is about to go up another bra size.  That is what the Brain calls her halter she wears when she is outside.  She did have a sore on her foot and the Happy Couple had to take their free dog to the vet.  $87.00 later she came home with a bandage on her right front paw.  For five days she really hammed it up.  When someone was around to watch her she would walk with her sore foot in the air and walk three legged.  When she thought nobody was watching she would walk normally.  I'm not sure but I think she is a mite spoiled!

My best friend, Shari, is doing just great.  She has been busy all summer trying to keep the Brain in line, working on the itinerary for the Red Flag Tour, which is coming up in next week, helping around the campground, and making her coasters and lighted wine bottles.  The hip she had replaced eighteen months ago is doing just great.  Actually she is getting hard to keep up with.

From what I understand from the Happy Couple the winter plans are pretty much in place.  The clan will be leaving October 23 to go to Davenport, IA for three nights to go to a wedding on October 25th.  On the 26th the trek south will begin.  The first stop will be a week at Green Acres RV Resort in Savannah, TN to see Diane and Larry Frisbie.  From there it will be overnight stops ending in Austin, TX for much of the winter.  The Brain decided he needed something to do this winter and, through friends, got in contact with McKinney Falls State Park outside of Austin.  When he contacted them he told them he would be available any time between November 15th and March 1st of next year.  When they contacted him back about a month ago they said they had him scheduled to work from November 15th to March 1st.  The Happy Couple decided that it wouldn't be that bad even though the Brain had only planned to work for a couple months.  They have a lot of friends in the Austin area and will have a good time.  During the month of March the plans are to go back to the Hill Country of Texas.  The Village Idiot still thinks he wants to be a cowboy and is looking for the right ranch.  I imagine next summer we will be back in Iowa.

The Happy Couple have seen a lot of old friends this summer but not as many as they would like to have seen.  With the work schedule at Crossroads they really haven't had a lot of free time.  For the ones that got missed, they say they are truly sorry but thank the good Lord for social media!

Well that is about it for now.  I would say next time it will not be quite as long between updates, but who knows.  If I keep the Village Idiot as my mentor anything could happen.  Have a good fall and I will be back sometime.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tis the Season!

Hi everyone and Merry Christmas to ya'll!

We are in the sometimes warm and, like today, sometimes cold L.A..  That is Lower Alabama to all you Yankees.  How cold is it you ask.  Last night it got down to 34* and tonight it is supposed to be all the way down to 28*.  YIKES!!!  The Brain may have to turn on the old heating pad to stay warm.

The Happy Couple have been just fine.  We arrived here in Foley on December 2nd and have just been relaxing.  The Brain has even done a little work on the house that needed to be done.  As my favorite girl would say "It's about time!".  It wasn't anything major but some things he has been putting off for about a Carnie Burke were here this morning for brunch and all four of them could sit at the table and had room to spare.  The Burkes got sick of the cold weather in Iowa and stopped here overnight on their way to Destin, FL.  It was great that they came to the campground so Moe and I could see them too.
year now.  With the holidays here, Shari has slowed down on the craft making and we can actually see the table again.  In fact Jack and

I guess we leave here on January 2nd and start moseying our way to Texas.  The first question that comes to mind is, "Where in Texas?"  Well that is one heck of a good question!  Other than a few days in the Houston area, no one knows.  We have to be in Austin on February 27th and in Kerrville on March 1st.  It looks like I'm going to get to take the clan on a road trip.  If I'm guiding, they will just have to go where I lead them.  This should be fun on my part.  I might take them on one of those covert missions like I went on last year.  That would be fun!

This is going to be short this time.  My best friend Shari wants to do a little writing to you so I conceded to her.  One stipulation was that the Village Idiot was not to come close to the computer.  I don't trust him!  From me, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!  Don't forget to cheer on the Hawks at the Outback Bowl.

As always,

Hi everyone!  I can't believe I actually get to write - what an honor. Most importantly, I want to tell you how much Dave and I, and Moe and Tag value your friendship; some of you we see frequently, some occasionally, and some of you we haven't seen for months, even years.  But, honestly, we feel blessed to have you as our family and friends and we certainly enjoy letting Tag update you on our adventures throughout the year.  Our plan is continue this routine during the coming year. 

So for now, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!  AND, from our home to yours, best wishes for a wonderful 2014!!!

Love to all,
Shari and Dave

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We're Going on Further South!

Hi Ya'll

And how are things going in your part of the world? Our part of the world is cold right now.  We are still at Green Acres RV Resort near Savannah, TN and it was just a little cool last night.  It was down to 22 degrees with only a high of 38 today.  YUCK!!!!!!!!

And why are we still in Tennessee you ask.  That my friends is a very good question.  Larry and Diane (the couple who own the campground) are a great couple and I don't think The Happy Couple can bear to leave them.  That, and the fact that Larry and Diane asked the Brain if he would watch the RV Resort a couple of different times for them while they went on road trips.  One week they went to Knoxville to a campground owners' convention and another trip was to Nashville for shopping and visiting friends.  So, being the nice guy the Brain is, he agreed to stay and do some work for them.  Being a nice guy was not the only reason he decided to stay.  He found out there was going to be a nice Turkey day feed going on here and he can't resist filling up his belly on home cookin'. 

I have had a few inquiries into who is The Brain, Dufus, The Village Idiot, and all of the other names.  Well let me tell you a little bit about our little family which, by the way, consists of four different members.  The first, and I might add, most important member, is my best friend Shari.  She IS the leader of the pack.  Number two in command is Moe Jean, the faithful and loving mascot of the group.  Moe's responsibilities include, but not limited to, meet and greet at the front door, Head of Security at night, and cleaning up any food that may hit the floor.  I, Tag-A-Long, better known as Tag, am number three in the pecking order.  My job is trying to keep peace and order to the pack, guiding on road trips, and reporting to all of you, when I deem necessary, to keep you updated on our location and the happenings of the group.  Then we have the fourth member, known to most of you as Dave.  When I first joined the clan about 9 years ago, I too called him Dave.  After years of being around him I have learned his true identity.  He is as about as easy to keep track of as the numbered balls in the Lotto drawing machine.  Have you ever tried to keep your eye on one ball when they are drawing the Lotto?  Try it and you will end up just like the Village Idiot.  Anyway I change his name to fit the situation.  Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, he will do or say something that is about normal and he becomes the Brain.  Then he will turn around and do or say something that will makes your eyes roll and he becomes Dufus.  But normally he just acts himself and you look at him and say "What the h--- was he thinking?"  That is when the Village Idiot comes out.  An example was a couple years ago when he was in Bandera, TX and wanted to buy cowboy boots and a cowboy hat to wear with his shorts so he could become a cowboy.  My friends that was the Village Idiot at his best.  So, when you see me refer to someone in the clan that is not Shari, Moe, or myself, you can bank on it that I'm referring to you-know-who.

The Happy Couple have been having a great time here in Savannah.  The campgound is nice and will become nicer as Larry and Diane, along with their nephew Travis, are making a lot of changes and upgrades to it.  With a pool, the ideas they have for changes to the park, and the tourism in the area, it will become a destination park.  It will be a place where RV'ers will want to come and spend some time.  The Happy Couple are glad they have spent as much time here as they have as they say they really like the area.

One thing you want to do here in west Tennessee is learn to slow down a bit.  Dufus says he has figured out how slow they are around here.  He said the first couple times he went to Walmart (Yes there is a Walmart here or we wouldn't be) he would run into the automatic doors on the way in and out.  Well, he decided to stand back and try to figure out what was going on.  He stood back and watched the locals come up to the door and, at their pace, the door would open just as they got there.  Then he started walking with them in the store and noticed his pace was much faster than any of the locals around.  Then he figured out there was a delay in the door opening.  He went to the Customer Service Counter to inquire about the delay in the door. He was told that the locals are so slow they had to put a 6 second delay in the door opening because the store was losing all their air conditioning during the summer.  The cause was the amount of time it took for people to get to the door after the sensor started opening it.  He asked how Walmart figured out it was 6 seconds and not 5 or 7 and was told they got a $1,275,000.00 grant from the government to study the situation and that's what they come up with.  Isn't it amazing what links this country will go to to save energy.

So what are the future plans of the Happy Couple?  From what I'm told by the Brain we are leaving here Saturday November 30th and working our way to Johnny's Lakeside RV Resort near Foley, AL for the month of December.  We have been there a couple different times and like the park.  While there the Happy Couple will be going to Destin, FL for Christmas dinner with Jack and Carnie Burke.  The Burkes go to Destin every winter and the Happy Couple like to go pester them every chance they get.  In early January the trek will be made to Texas with a stop in the Houston area for a few days to see the Dusenburys.  After that, who knows.  My friend Shari has an appointment in Austin in late February to see the surgeon that did her hip surgery, and the Happy Couple have a reservation at Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville, TX for the month of March.  That leaves about a month or so that is undecided.  I'm sure Dufus will come up with something to get us in trouble. 

I hope life is treating every one just fine.  The Happy Couple are glad to see the Iowa Hawkeyes playing a little better in football and are looking forward to see what the upcoming basketball season may bring.  Hopefully the results will be better than last season.

The clan would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.  Try not to overstuff yourselves like I know Dufus will.  There will be another update from Alabama to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Until then, just try to behave.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preparation For The Migration South!

Hi Ya'll,

I said Ya'll because I'm practicing for when we start south.  I had this chance to use the computer so I am going to give you a quick update.

I got on the computer as my favorite girl Shari is out and about doing some work for a group here in southeast Iowa called the Red Flag Tour.  The group is a bunch of old guys that drive old cars and  need somebody to coordinate things for them.  They have hired Shari to do this for them and she really enjoys it.  Duffus says this helps keep her out of the bars. I think Duffus is out jogging.  He says he is in training to enter one of those Iron Man competitions.  That is a contest where you swim a long ways, ride a bike for an even further distance, and then jog home.  I figure by the time he gets in shape, people will be living on Mars and dying there of old age or the Cubs will win the World Series, which ever comes first.

I know we are getting ready to make a big move from Mt. Pleasant sometime in the near future.  The Village Idiot has started to make little repairs to the trailer and getting the truck cleaned up and serviced.  The water heater quit working on the electrical side this summer and I'll be darned if the Brain didn't figure out what was wrong with it all by himself.  The weird part of it is he fixed it by himself also.  And it works.  Miracles never cease.  We have a roof exhaust fan in the trailer that hasn't worked for more than a while and I'll be darn if he didn't get that running again.  The guy just amazes me.  He had one little problem that he didn't tackle himself.  The rinse system on our black holding tank quit working and he had to clean it out manually.  I think he using Shari's toothbrush and sticking his arm down the hole and scrubbing the inside of the tank with it.  He swears up and down that this was not true, but you never know.  Anyway, he bought a part and had a repairman come to the campground and install it for him. Now Shari's toothbrush can come back out of the lock box.  He took the truck in for a physical last week and the vet (or mechanic) says it is in tip top shape and ready to go.  Just a process of getting out the Dri-Wash N Guard and getting it cleaned up.  From what I understand we depart on October 13th and start heading south.  The Brain wants to get a head start on the snow birds as he doesn't fly as fast as they do.  I'm going to start sharpening up my navigational skills as Garmin is not that reliable.

The Happy Couple have had a great summer in Mt. Pleasant this summer.  The RV park has been busy all summer which keeps the Brain in the office and doing park maintenance as well as out of Shari's hair.  Shari hasn't played as much golf as she would like but enjoys knowing she has clubs in the trunk of the car just in case someone asks her to play.  The Village Idiot doesn't play golf anymore, which is a good thing for the golf courses, but occupies his time cheering for the LA Dodgers and rooting against the Chicago Cubs.  You do know the Dodgers are going to the play offs and the Cubs are going home to wait for the 2016 season don't you?  As you can imagine, Bone Head has turned me into a front runner so I'm cheering for the Dodger Blue this year.  Besides, Dodger Dogs are darn good.  The one thing the Happy Couple do agree on is their love for the Hawkeyes.  The Brain told me last night the Hawks finished their preseason 4 and 1 with a loss to Northern Illinois, and victories over Missouri State, Iowa State, Western Michigan, and Minnesota.  Michigan State comes into Iowa City Saturday which marks the start of the real football season.

Moe is doing just fine and she says "Thank you for asking".  She again has gained a little weight this summer.  This is not a good sign as she always gains weight in the winter.  I think she and Duffus are having a contest to see who can gain the most the fastest.  My best friend Shari insists that the two of them not get on the scales at the same time.  She doesn't want to have to buy a new one.  Moe has done a fine job this summer doing her job.  Jeff has hired her to be in charge of meet n' greet, and as head of security.  She has done both in remarkable fashion, although some people in the park think she may be a little on the spoiled side.  She insists on going everywhere the Happy Couple go or she goes up into the bedroom and pouts.  That, and she sleeps in until 9:00 AM, even though Shari makes the bed a lot earlier.  Shari just has to work around her.  At least the Village Idiot is already up!

The Happy Couple have most of their doctor stuff done.  They both go to the same doctor in Cedar Rapids and both needed to get their blood pressure checks so they could get their meds for the winter.  To do this, they made an appointment to get this done together.  Everything was fine; Shari's low and Duffus' high.  When they were getting ready to leave the exam room their doctor gave them both a big hug.  Duffus wants to know how many of you guys get a hug from your doctor after an appointment? 

The Happy Couple are finishing up getting together with many of their great friends before they leave.  They are having their camping buddies come here to Crossroads today for one last get together.  Then they are making trips to Washington, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Burlington this week and next to see some more.  They plan on getting a couple of more trips to West Burlington to see grandson, Luke, play football.  Luke's football season hasn't gone as planned but the Happy Couple enjoy watching the games anyway.  Granddaughter, Emma, is a sophomore at Iowa and, according to all reports, is doing fine.  She is living off campus with some other girls, which can be dangerous, but they haven't made the police blotter yet!!!!  The Happy Couple are sure that won't be a problem.

Well, as you can see, the Happy Couple lead a very exciting, and fast paced, life.  They can be awfully hard to keep up with.  "NOT"!!!!!   I suppose that is to be expected at their advanced age.  Moe and I wouldn't want it any other way.  All we ask is they just keep us in food and water and take us out once in a while to do our thing.  Another thing I would like is for them to quit knocking me behind the sofa.  It gets lonely back there.

I better be getting off this thing.  The Brain should be back from his daily morning jog shortly and he will probably want to check the police log to make sure he wasn't caught speeding.  I'll keep ya'll updated on what happens to us this fall and winter.  I have heard we are definitely going to Green Acres RV Resort in Savannah, TN first, but after that, I, nor anyone else, have any idea what will follow.  It is always good to plan ahead.  Until I get back to you, have a great one!!!!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Howdy folks,

It's me, Tag.  Do you remember me?  I'm the great little guy that travels around the country with the Happy Couple.  That is, when they travel.  Lately it has been sit and work.  More about that in a few minutes.  Where have I been?  It is a very long story.

We, the Family, left Austin March 30th and traveled to Highlands, TX.  On the way trough Houston we went by a company called Halliburton.  Just for idle conversation I asked the Brain  (who happens to think he knows just about everything) what does Halliburton do?  He said they were a big international contractor that works all over the world.  After we arrived at San Jacinto Riverfront RV Resort I was sitting on the couch thinking about Halliburton and the possibility of traveling the world instead of guiding the guy, who knows everything, around the same old roads.  One day when they took a trip to Kingwood, TX to see Jerry and Cheryl (Shari's cousins) without me, I decided to make my escape.  I got out on I-10 and thumbed a ride to north Houston and the mysterious world of international espionage.  After a very long interview, an in-depth background check, and a little training, I was inducted into a very secret and covert unit and sent to the Bahamas.  Due to the secret nature of the mission I am unable to divulge what, or where, our mission led us as it was highly classified.  You know what the policy is;  "If I tell you then I'll have to dispose of your body."  Besides, what happens in the Bahamas stays in the Bahamas.  Anyway, we completed our mission and our unit was sent back to the States.  After a very intense debriefing, I was put on an unscheduled jet and flown to Mt. Pleasant, IA to rejoin the Happy Couple.  They were so happy to see me again that they forgave me for my actions in very short order.  Don't bother trying to get any information out of the Happy Couple as they know nothing.  I did tell Moe but she has sworn to silence.  I think she wants to join me on my next mission.

As for the Happy Couple, they have returned to Crossroads RV Park in Mt. Pleasant.  For some reason, Jeff asked them to come back for another season.  I understand their return trip was both fun and also sad.  They met friends Ed and Debbie Romeo in Natchez, MS for a couple of days of sightseeing and then up to Vicksburg, MS for 4 days of intense touring and eating.  During that time they had a great time and had way too much food.  The day they left Vicksburg disaster struck.  About an hour north of Vicksburg an elderly gentleman pulled his pickup out in front of Ed and created a deadly accident.  Ed, Debbie, and their dog, Claire, survived unhurt physically but took the event rather hard emotionally.  The man in the pickup died of his injuries.  The Romeo's pickup and trailer were totaled in the accident.  As of this writing, they have given up RVing but, hopefully, sometime they will give it another shot.

The Happy Couple arrived in Mt. Pleasant on April 13th and started working at the RV park on April 15th.  Other than a few quick trips to Cedar Rapids for doctor appointments and trips to Burlington to see the grand kids and friends, they have been staying pretty close to Mt. Pleasant.  I think Duffus is afraid to venture too far away without me telling where to turn.  This happens to people when they turn 70 years old.
The Happy Couple have had many friends stop by the RV park this summer.  Some of them even brought RVs to stay in.  The ones that did not were reminded of the 10:00 PM curfew.  The Happy Couples' RV only sleeps 2 1/2.  Moe is the 1/2 and, because of my superior training, I stand guard at night.  One group that showed up were 5 couples that were at La Hacienda RV Resort last winter.  One couple even drove here from eastern Kentucky just to be in on the fun and excitement.  Actually, from what Moe told me, there was a lot of eating and afternoon naps.  The only down side of the weekend happened on the last morning.  One lady got into her motorhome to check the lights when she slipped on a throw rug, caught her leg under the driver's seat and broke her hip.  It was an ambulance ride to U of Iowa Hospitals instead of a leisurely drive to Clarion.  The last the Happy Couple heard, Ev is home and recovering nicely.

The Happy couple did have big bummer news this past Monday morning.  They got a phone call that a good camping friend, Al Hirschman, from the Chicago area, passed away Sunday night.  Al loved 2 things that the big Duffus really likes.  Camp fires and cold beer.  Al would get up early in the morning, light a campfire and sit and drink coffee, eat cinnamon rolls and tell stories to anyone who would listen.  Then comes the PM part of the day when it was cold beer time.  He loved the Bears, the Cubs,  the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and his wonderful wife, Pam.  Al will truly be missed.  Damn cancer anyway.

That wasn't the only thing that my best friend, Shari, was bumming about after the weekend.  Her beloved Cubs got swept by the Mighty Dodgers over the weekend at Wiggly Field.  Not only swept but shut out the last 2 games.  She was so despondent, she called her brother, John, to see if she could move in with him and his wife Pat.  John turned her down, reminding her that she married the Village Idiot and she was going to have to pay for her mistakes.  Or, maybe it was because the Cubs aren't playing well this year anyway and they were done for before they ever played the Dodgers!!

Other than all this, not much else going on except a lot of work for Duffus in a much busier park than in the past.  The plan is for the Happy Couple to be at Crossroads (they were overheard remarking about the nice summer they are having working this year - lots of nice people stopping in) until early October and then who knows what.  I heard they are going to Savannah, TN to stay at Green Acres RV Resort.  A couple, Larry and Diane Frisbie, who they meet in Austin last winter and were here for the La Ha reunion, have purchased the RV park.  Duffus wants to go snoop around and see if he can learn any new tips on how to better do his job here at Crossroads.  After that it will probably be off to Alabama or Texas or a combination of both.  Shari has to go to Austin in January or February to have her hip checked. (It is doing just great, by the way)  The Happy Couple will also be spending a month in Kerrville, TX as the have a month of camping paid for at Guadalupe River RV Resort.  They just love that area and may spend more time than just one month.  Duffus still wants to be a cowboy.

This is about it for now.  Unless I am sent out on anther secret mission, I will be keeping you updated in the near future.

As always,