The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Day three continued…

After Jan and the graduate left, Grandpa got up and then lay down on the couch and promptly fell asleep again. I watched a bit of TV (the only station we can get is NBC and they have the worst soaps I have ever seen…the acting is really bad…I didn’t know what was going on so I just watched in amazement at the fugly actresses and really tacky and trashy wardrobes. Now I know why I watch all the ABC soaps. For all of you NBC soap fans, tough…they really stink, so there)

Paul busied himself cleaning the air ducts and filters and then vacuuming the floor vents. Grandpa woke up and said he felt better. We decided to go to Cumberland so I could upload my blog and get some groceries. Paul called Damon and spoke to one of their service folks to find out how to get the wipers fixed. The Damon rep promised that the regional Damon guy would call and give us some information on where we can get the parts or get it repaired outright. We piled into the car and then drove around the campground to find out where the beaches and the fishing docks were.
We stopped at a local RV/Truck/Bus repair place off I68 and they told us to bring in the rig tomorrow morning. Meantime, the Damon guy called back and told us there weren’t any local dealers in this part of Maryland. We were ok with that as we felt we had found some seemingly knowledgeable repair guys. We then drove to McDonalds and since we hadn’t had any lunch and it was now almost two, we decided to have a bite to eat there. Even though I hate fast food, I didn’t really want to search for another place to eat. I was able to connect to SBC Freedom after about ten tries…so aggravating. I love wifi, but it can be really a pain in the tush to get logged on. After uploading my blog, we decided not to go all the way to WalMart as it was raining again, and just go to the local market, Martins. I really like Martins…it is like a Schnucks and has a wide variety of stuff. Paul went to the service counter and got a discount card, while I had a field day looking at all the food stuff that I have never seen before. I now have at least 20 discount shopping cards in my wallet from all of the places we have shopped while on the road over the years. Then I wonder why my purse weighs a ton. Paul does all the grocery shopping. He says I buy too much stuff we’d never eat. Yeah, right. Actually, I have a difficult time in grocery stores as the fluorescent lights combined with the high vertical shelving and long aisles make me spin. I have actually scared the hell out of lots of people in grocery stores. I am so wicked. My favorite Meniere’s trick is to have a drop attack. These actually have a medical name…Episodes of Tumarkin. No, I am not making this up! It is as if someone comes up from behind you and pushes you down. It is very freaky and very dangerous if you hit something. I can usually get right up…ok so I have to work at getting up with my bad knees but there is no vertigo or spins and so I don’t barf. So far I have only broken ribs and had some serious sprains. Plus I have as I stated earlier, I give a lot of folks a scare.

After we shopped, we headed back to the campground and unloaded the groceries. Paul called the Rocky Gap Lodge to find out how much the fishing licenses cost and where they could be purchased. He and grandpa headed out to buy the licenses and I decided to lie down. My bad hip was giving me grief and I had a headache from the stupid rainy weather. My ears were doing chimes in both ears so it was time to take a break. Pepi and Snickers decided to join me in the bedroom….Pepi snuggled between my feet and Snickers plopped her fat butt on my stomach. I couldn’t nap as my hip was nagging me to death so I decided to just get up. About then Paul and grandpa got back from the license dealies and I decided to go to the beach area and dock to watch them fish. I grabbed my trusty can of insect repellent and bottle of water and we were off on a fishing adventure.

We settled on the dock, Paul at one end and grandpa on the other. I sat in a camp chair and read USA Today and bird watched. Since I have no clue to the particular species here (or any where for that matter…) I spotted what I think was an Oriole. He sat on the driver’s side mirror on the car and excitedly pecked at the bird he saw reflected. He jabbered at it several times and then flapping his wings, he began to peck again. I do enjoy watching birds, they are fascinating. Suddenly, the sound of thunder came rolling in over the water. No lightening. I am not an outdoorsy person and truly believe I will get struck by lightening before I can win the lottery so I scurried back to the car. After a short time it stopped and I ventured back out to the dock. Poor choice. As soon as I settled into the chair, it started to rain again. Undeterred to enjoy watching the men in my life feed worms to the clever little fishies, I go back to the car and get my golf umbrella, the one that covers a small village. Once again, I get settled and back reading the paper. Now, Mother Nature plays one of her wicked scare the humans trick and a flash of lightning and the downpour begins anew. I grab my water, my trustyy insect repellent, the umbrella the paper and I am in the car before you can say chicken. So much for fresh bass cooked over an open fire for dinner. Paul and Grandpa load up the car and its back to the rig. It is completely dry at the campsite.

Paul warms up some ribs for me and grandpa for dinner while he finishes off the chicken sandwich he didn’t finish at lunch. All of a sudden, the storm arrives. Pepi pulls his usual scared sh*tless routine, diving under the couch pillows while Snickers calmly gives herself a bath. With the sound of rain upon the roof we all settle in to pass the evening watching TV with terrible reception. Ah, camping. What an adventure.



Day Four

After listening to the rain fall all night, morning came all too early for me. Paul had set his alarm for 7 so he could get up and go shower at the shower house. I got up after he left, made up the sofa bed, made coffee and then a warm protein and sat down to watch the Today show for a couple of minutes. Grandpa got up and then Paulie came back from showering and took little fat Pepi for his morning constitutional. I got dressed and did up the few dishes we had in the sink. Time to clean up and secure everything for the trip to the repair shop to fix the windshield wipers. Grandpa and I went in the car and Paul followed in the rig. We got to the repair shop right at nine as scheduled. We piled into the car and off we went in search of breakfast. Paul mentioned McDonalds which I quickly shot down as a really, really bad idea. I wanted my eggs and bacon and dammit, I was gonna have ‘em! We found a place called Penny’s Diner which was just outside the mall. The boys ordered Farmers Omelets and I got two over easy with bacon. When the waitress arrived with the platters, we all started to laugh. All three of us could have feasted on just one of the omelets! They were HUGE and came with toast and hash browns. The Farmers omelet had bacon, sausage, ham, green peppers, onions and mushrooms all topped with cheddar cheese. It would feed Paul for two days. We dug in and enjoyed the good food. As I was about to take a sip of coffee, two flys that seemed to be doing some sort of mating dance around my head, swirled in the air and plunk! Right smack into my perfectly good cup of coffee. Well, killing two insects with one cup of joe was good, even the waitress was impressed. We finished up and headed towards WalMart for grandpa’s prescription…which he “forgot” to fill when we were home. Paul had spent the better part of an hour calling Walgreens back home, AARP and the program druggist getting it all taken care of.

I wanted to get a headset for my laptop so I could practice my Spanish learning tapes without disturbing anyone. I found those, got some face cream and some sleeping pills and the boys found some “swim/shower” shoes
for the shower house. Of course, the reason for our trip to Walmart was to get the prescription, but due to some snafau with Grandpa’s insurance the prescription was on hold. After WalMart we picked up the motorhome and headed back to the campground. We set up camp for the second time in record time. It was nice that we had cleaned the rig before we left this morning and had a nice clean house to come home to.

Later that day, WalMart called to let us know the prescription mess had been straightened out at long last. We all piled back into the car and off to WalMart we went. After picking up the prescription, and leaving the store, Paul noticed that grandpa had his new tennies on…with the PRICETAG still on the shoes! It’s a good thing we didn’t get nabbed for shoplifting! No one would believe that we had purchased the shoes earlier in the day. Grandpa would have been off to the pokie for that!

We stopped at the Cumberland Elks Lodge for some wings and hamburgers. We watched the “league” shuffleboard challenge (!) for awhile…not MY idea of a fun Friday night to be sure, but, heck I not in charge, yanno! After dinner we walked around the downtown area for a while. There is a seasonal Cumberland After Five celebration every Friday night throughout the summer. Various types of entertainment and bands perform, and the local restaurants serve alfresco to diners. Even though the weather was threatening, there were a lot of folks enjoying the evening. Paul bought me a sugar-free mocha from The Daily Grind. After out little stroll we headed back to camp, and by the time we had arrived, the rain had come back with a vengeance. Jan was supposed to attend Josh’s graduation party after the ceremony, and then stop by to visit afterwards. Grandpa turned in about 9 p.m. At 10:00 we hadn’t heard from her, so Paul and I were just about to pull out the sofa bed out where headlights flashed into our campsite. Jan apologized for not calling and we talked for about an hour. We made plans for her to drive over in the morning to pick me up. We would have some breakfast, and get our pedicures.

After she left, Paul and I settled in for the night to the comforting sound of rain on the rig’s roof.

Day Five…Saturday

The sound of my cell phone woke us up at 7 a.m. Paul reached for the phone which was on the side table above his head. He reached just a bit too far and promptly fell out of bed. It was Jan, asking US what time it was! She thought she was late…Paul assured her that she wasn’t late and that she had said she’d pick me up at 9:30. Paul told me he was ok and we both fell back asleep. I awoke about 9:00 and got up with all intentions of going to the shower-house. I had purchased some hair stuff that I wanted to do but thought better of it knowing what the shower house was like. I decided to just put some clothes on, pack some more clothes to change into after I shower over at the house and get ready. Jan showed up about 9:40 and off we went. We went to a local place for coffee. I ordered a waffle and she ordered an English muffin. My waffle was awful. How can you screw up a freaking waffle? Easy…blacken the edges and let it get soggy. Serve with two small margarine packages and crappy syrup and there you have a nasty tasting waffle. After a nice long visit and a couple of coffee refills, we were on our way to the toe palace for our pedicures. Of course, it’s now about 11 a.m. and the gal tells us our appointments are for 2 and 3. Ooops. Jan strikes again. She obviously had changed the appointments when she had gotten the day off. However, since she had made these appointments, her day off was taken away and she must have thought she had changed them. So we head for the mall where there is another nail place. We get there and do some window shopping at BonTon’s. What a nice store. They had a 50 to 60% off sale so there were some nice bargains available. I don’t need anything since I had just replenished my summer wardrobe at Wally world the other day!

I asked her if there was a good hair salon in the mall as I wanted to have my hair trimmed in the neck area. Before I knew it, I was in a salon chair, my hair was being colored and cut. Since the front part of my hair is grey, most colors in the blonde range won’t cover the greys. I would have to go dark, and then have it streaked in order to color up the grey. I decided to just do the blonde as Paulie is always bugging me to “go blonde”. Well, I now have two toned hair in two really blonde shades. Hmmm. As they say…”it’ll grow out…”. Good. I can’t wait. The stylist did show me how to better use some hair “glue” to really maximize the style I was now the proud owner of. It’s very similar to what I always wear, just fuller. After picking out shampoo, conditioner, and styling products I was done. Jan insisted on “treating” me. She wanted to tell me how much she appreciated my help when she needed me last year. I told her that’s what sisters are for…to be there for each other. She wanted to do something special to thank me. It was very nice. From the hair salon, we went to the nail spa and I had a pedicure and a manicure. I am sporting some pretty good looking nails if I say so myself. All the protein and vitamins I take! By the time my nails were dry, Jan was running late for work so we rushed off so she could get changed. I had a quick half a peanut butter sandwich on Weight Watchers bread and a WW lemon twinkie type thing. Jan went off to work and I watched General Hospital on soapnet until Courtny came home from work. She had plans for a picnic but was happy to take me back to camp. Back at the campground, Paul was gone exploring and grandpa was sleeping. I sat with fatty Pepi and Snickers. I tried to nap, but my hip was bothering me. That’s what I get for chasing Jan all day! When grandpa got up when Paul got home, I slipped into the bedroom and promptly fell asleep. Paul woke me about 7 when he had dinner ready. We had a really nasty steak, overdone sweet potatoes and some really good salad! I am now sitting here trying to stay awake enough to write this!

Tomorrow we think we will go to Jan’s and have a BBQ. That’s the plan.



Day Six…

Another rainy crappy day…this time the air is much cooler. We all get up around 9 or so. I make coffee and Paulie makes grandpa some breakfast. After my coffee I am just feeling terrible. Grandpa asks me if I am ok…he tells me that my eyes are going in different directions. I decide to go lay down in the bedroom. Paul and Grandpa go off to fish again. I sleep. And I sleep…all day. Jan did call and ask how the boat ride was, and I tell her that I was so dizzy this morning all I have done is sleep. She tells us to come to her house for dinner around four. OK, I agree and then it’s right back to sleep. Paul and grandpa return, fishless once again. I tell them we need to be at Jan’s about 4 p.m. Paul says, well, its four now. Ooops. I get dressed, they wash up and we head over to Jan’s house. It is still rainy and very cool. We sit out on the back patio for a while. Jan and Jordan are making mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and steak. Paul and I bring veggies to roast. I show Jordan how to slice the veggies then I season them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Paul grills the steaks and soon we are chowing down some excellent fool. After dinner we just sit around on the patio until it is too cool to stay outside. We all sit in the living room and Courtny sets up the DVD. We all sit around and watch The Wedding Crashers. Paul and I have already seen it but it still is very funny. After the movie, Jan serves fresh fruit and Weight Watchers Key Lime pie. After our late dessert we pack up and head back to the rig. Grandpa goes to bed and Paul and I watch the news. About 11 we head to bed ourselves.

Day Seven…

I can’t believe we’ve been gone a week. Too bad the weather has been so dismal and wet. It has really put a damper on our get together with Jan and the girls. Alex has been sick since Friday, and Jan had to work on two of her four days off. Well, tonight is the graduation and then we shove off for Boston tomorrow morning. I wish we could have had better weather and been able to cook out here at the campground with the girls. Oh well, maybe next time. After we had breakfast and coffee this morning, I went and took a shower. My hair was making me crazy so it was time to wash it, color or no color. I have decided I am going to get a rinse to cover this blonde. I guess I will have to go dark to cover the grey. It’s a pain to be old I guess. I had gotten a call from Jan this a.m. and said she’d call me when she got back from picking up Alex from school and picking up the cake. That was at 9:30 and its now 11 and I haven’t heard anything yet. I am hungry since I didn’t eat any breakfast. I think I will make a sandwich. Paul and grandpa left about ten minutes to try one more time to fish. Hmmmm. They must be using the wrong bait or they are not very good fisherman.



I made a wonderful ½ sandwich of swiss, honey ham, tomato on white with mayo. I could eat this sandwich til the cows come home. Jan called and is on her way to pick me up. Need to run some errands for the graduation gig tonight.

We head into town and get the van washed, pick up the cake, order ballons and then run into the market. I get Court some flowers and the strawberries grandpa loved from dinner at Jan’s on Sunday. I also bought some new salad dressing since I don’t care for ranch all the time. $27 later, we go back to Jan’s house. I attempt to help her put up a shelf and mirror. I totally screw up the entire thing and leave two huge gaping holes in the wall. I thought we were using toggle bolts but these were screw-in type I had thought I had used before however, I was wrong. Gosh I hate goofing up something so easy. I will have to make it up to her somehow.

Courtny is really excited about graduation. We get to the gym at 6:10 and it’s already standing room only for the ceremony that starts at 7 p.m. Climbing up to the top of the bleachers almost does me in. My knees don’t work and the hip is hurting enough to make me cry. I feel like a 100 year old cripple as folks reach out and help me up. Paul is late. He was packing up the outside stuff and discovered carpenter ants had begun to consume the firewood we had from the inside out. He needed to de-ant everything before packing it away in the basement storage. We don’t need carpenter ants gnawing on our rig now do we? He arrives at the graduation and there is absolutely no room for him to get up to where we are. After a really hoaky beginning the graduation ceremony got better. Then the choir sang a terrible rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Jeesh the seniors who sang the solos were so very off key! Then came the interminable awards (which should have been done at a separate ceremony in my not so humble opinion….) and scholarship presentations. Good golly, they went on forever. Then, finally the awarding of the diplomas. Courtny was in the third to the last row so it took a while. After Court got her diploma I had to get out of there. I was hurting so badly I took some of my hoarded pain pills. I had to go to the bathroom which was down two flights of stairs. Geesh I can’t wait to get this damm hip taken care of. Paul and I got in the car and booked. We stopped at Taco Bell as both Paul and I were starving. We arrived back at Jan’s house and then proceeded to the Ullery’s house where the graduates will gather to have some cake. We stayed about an hour then made our goodbyes. It is always hard to say goodbye to my sister. This time I didn’t cry. I miss her a lot and wish she lived closer. Maybe when she is able she will move closer.

Paulie and I crashed as soon as we got back. We got up about 8 or so. By the time we had packed up and dumped it was ten before we got on the road.
I developed a nasty headache as we hit the highway. Must be incoming rain. We saw some beautiful scenery. Certainly is more scenic than central Illinois by a long shot. We drove through the mountains of Maryland and Pennsylvania. We continued north through PA and on to New Jersey. After NJ we sailed into Ct. After a lot of hours on the highway we decided to find a campground. We had stopped at a McDonalds about 6 to have some dinner…well, it you call fast food dinner. I had a hot dog and the boys had chicken sandwiches. Eh. I would have preferred some authentic Italian lasagna or pizza but beggars can’t be choosers while traveling. We pulled into Riverdale Farm Campground about 7 pm. There is a trout stream just below the campground and grandpa is chomping at the bit. We could easily stay here another night so he could get some fish. I don’t think Maureen and the kids would mind as they are in school and work when we would arrive. Hmmm…I’ll call tomorrow and feel them out.

We have city water, cable tv and 50 amps. Heaven on a RV pad, LOL!

Well, I am going to finish the gin and tonic grandpa made for me…more tomorrow.



Day Eight….

Noah and the flood…

It has rained everyday since we started out. I am sick to death of rain. It is supposed to rain every day until Sunday. *Sigh*. Nothing I can do about it however this trip so far has been all wet. Literally. I have no pictures to speak of from Cumberland and Rocky Gap because it rained the entire time we were there. We stayed at a beautiful park in New Haven Ct and I have no pictures because it rained again. And again, and again.

We finally got to watch some TV as the park has cable. I would have much rather been outside enjoying the scenery and the view, but because of the rain, we were once again stuck inside the rig. We had an ok night, actually grandpa and I slept ok as he makes one hell of a gin and tonic. We finally decided to move along about 11 am. No use staying here in the rain, so I didn’t even call Maureen to see if us being a day late would be ok. By the time we got unhooked, attached the car and got moving it was almost 11:30. We are in no rush. We only have about 180 miles to Maureen’s house so we should be there by the time the kids are home from school. What fun. Rain.



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