By the first part of our title, you would think everything is Hunky-Dory. Well, it isn’t!!! It was before but it’s not now! Rats & Crap! I am in crisis mode...big time! I wrote this blog yesterday...reflecting on events on Thursday. Remember we are working off our time machines. Got the entire verbose blog completed...I hit some stupid little symbol at the bottom of my page and PRESTO....my blog vanished! Noooooooooooooo! I’m in panic mode. I frantically do everything I can think to do to find it....Zip, Zero, Nada, Nothing! It’s dead meat! Lulu was trying to comfort me but I was beyond that. I was heading into Zoombie land and down the black hole. Cory just stayed his distance with sympathy in his eyes. He tried to locate my straight-jacket. Don’t forget I’m also trying to deal with the loss of my Big Bang Theory. That’s a load I’m carrying with me every minute of the day. I was sick, just plain sick. Of course, this was one of my longer blogs....we had a lot to share and I had a lot to say - so what’s new? I have spent all morning in McDonalds using their WiFi so I
could talk with Apple Support. First, when I called from the RV, I spoke to Neil. He sounded just like Raj on TBBT. I had to be hooked to a good WiFi so said good-bye to Neil/Raj and Cory drove me to McDonalds. He sped along as if driving an ambulance....this was an emergency. Whew! Made it! Some scruffy guy sitting behind us was using his headphones with his laptop. He was listening to music. Got back on with Apple Support, chatting with Vanessa. Scruffy guy (actually a homeless critter with numerous plastic bags all packed around him on the seat, table and floor) is now singing (caterwauling) to his country music. Between his howling and the racket of the ice machine, I felt like Helen Keller trying hear something. God help me! Vanessa and I got on “screen time” so she could find my blog and recover it for me. I had searched everywhere! She did the same....no luck. After a lengthy time and some hesitation & confusion on her part, she said it was gone. I said I would just have to suck it up with quivering in my voice. I’m was at my deepest spot. I wasn’t
totally comfortable with her advice and knowledge because she did nothing more than what I had done and then seem very unsure about another question I asked. Being polite and gracious, I asked to speak with another, more experienced tech. No problem except we got cut off?? I called back and eventually got Brittany this time. She was good, very good. We actually found the beginning of my blog under a search on my entire Ipad. It just wouldn’t show up anywhere.....back to step 1. Suck it up, Buttercup and redo the entire blog. Hurl & Puke! So here we are folks.....rewriting the whole thing. You may luck out cause I can’t remember what I wrote before (it was so leighty) so this one may be a tad shorter....maybe... maybe not. Go with the maybe not.....this is a winner....one of my longest. Nothing I can do about it. I’m beside myself...just like you. So climb back into that time machine when I tell you to and let’s getting moving.
“Okey Dokey...let’s get this blog up & running. Tons to update you on.” Remember I wrote this yesterday (Friday) and am now rewriting it today (Saturday). Please try to keep
it all straight. I’m such a mess. I can’t help you.
Start your time machine engines running and turn it on now. Set it for Friday. We are at the paint shop in downtown Red Bay. He’s going to paint the little swirl design on our new, little outside door that goes over our heater “something”. He is also going to paint our white marshmallow satellite dome. Great! Cory removed one of inside cupboard doors so we can get it signed by Bob Tiffin. It seems to be the thing to do. We hike over the factory....next door to the paint shop. We are given visitor tags and a bright, neon strap-on vest (fits like a twisted fishing net). As we skip (exaggeration cause remember I can’t skip) to Bob’s (first name basis....we’ve met before) office. “Sorry, he’s not in...he’s in Gatlinburg, TN. He’ll be back on Monday.” No problem... we are here for at least a week. So we go to The Mason Jar for breakfast. Good...they already remember us after just one visit. We checked out the open shops along Main Street. They seem to open only one or two days a week. We hit them all!
Went in everyone! Even found an indoor yard sale. Too hot to be outside. 86’ @ 8:30 AM.
Checked back with the paint shop. Our big, white marshmallow now looks like a burnt, blackened marshmallow. Wonderful! He also sealed around our small top lights on the front of the RV....remember we had the new drip coming here? If that doesn’t take care of it, we’ll just ride along wearing rain suits and holding umbrellas. He did the little door paint job but didn’t like it....looks like they made a big crease in it when putting it back on. He got a new one and repainted the whole thing. He put our old one on so we could leave. We are leaving the new door there until Monday so it dries completely. We moseyed over to our new best place: Java & Jazz. Later in this blog, I’ll expound about this place. Laura & Kenny (owners) are like our new best friends. Enjoyed my white chocolate coffee frappé again...this time I got a medium size rather than a small. I’m getting hooked on them.
Okay...that’s enough for Friday FOR NOW. Reset your time machine to Thursday. We are at
Bay Diesel for our assigned appointment. Remember on Wednesday, they got us in and started with the basics. Here they inspected everything possible on the chassis and around. This is when they found the bad fan clutch & sensor. We are waiting for the parts.
Be sure you are set on Thursday. They are going to check our leveler system. They got the parts for the fan clutch so that would be done, too. We felt we should pay them even more money (HAH!) so had them install the SafeTplus steering system. Last “lost” blog, I described it thoroughly....this blog: google it. We feel so much safer with it plus with everything Bay Diesel did on & for our coach. A complete and thorough check and follow through with whatever was needed. We reviewed everything with them. Honest people. Of course, we paid them enough money so the owner could buy a Porsche. With the SafeTplus, now he can build a garage for it. We are very satisfied. We had them change our fan belt ... just as a preventative measure. We had them do a ton of stuff! Someday I can list it out if you are interested.
Just let me know. No more white knuckling it as we travel. Smooth sailing all the way.....we hope and pray, anyway.
Hey, Guenter, get back on track!! Fine, fine! Let’s talk about the levelers (hate them but necessary). Our new levelers that Dave put on we’re all fine! They all worked perfectly. They praised Dave’s work. Bay Diesel put on the fourth new one (we brought it with us) in replacement of the old one that we had Dave put on before we left TP. Remember how we had a problem with that one leveler and thus, left all our levelers in a retracted position for a month so we wouldn’t have to contend with any issues? Well, just before leaving TP, we had the issue anyway and Cory disconnected everything associated with them until we could get here to Bay Diesel. What was wrong with our leveling system was a “faulty auto control dump module”. It’s located somewhere in our first basement compartment. That’s why our system wouldn’t work. That’s why Dave was certain his work was perfect (as it always is) and we still couldn’t find out why the system wouldn’t work. This module was the reason.
Bay Diesel, of course, changed it and said the system works great now. We haven’t tried it (nervous) cause we want to be sure we get up to Custom RV & Brannon on Sunday afternoon for our 7:00 am appointment on Monday. We’ll try them up there. So there’s the saga of our levelers! How would we ever found this issue, Dave? Everything is so complicated.
Next problem: the broken fan clutch & sensor. They replaced them and all is hunky-dory. Years back, going home from Florida, we broke a fan belt on 1-75 around “The Villages”. Had to be towed and had to replace the fan belt, obviously. The breaking of the belt caused other damage under the RV. One was a leaking hose or something going to the radiator...I think. Anyway, whatever all of it was, we had to take our RV to a Cummins place in Elmira, NY. After mega bucks, they said all was good to go. Remember how we would overheat at times? Boy, do I! Now I feel nauseous just recalling those episodes. Anyway. Long story short, Bay Diesel said it was never fixed right...parts just tied together?? Said we had been ripped
off and should never go there again! Hard lesson learned.
Without question, Lulu bid our techs a big, fat thank you and an intense farewell. She had chills up & down her spine (the pretend one) as one tech gave her a loving smooch. She is getting to really like all this attention by men. We have sat her down and talked to her about it but....it continues.....just like that damn smoking she’s doing! I’m thinking I may have to get her some counseling. She needs something. She’s starting to go down that slippery slope.
In between, all this “going ons” at the Bay, we have been exploring our area for things to do. If you get lost, don’t panic.....I’ve got this blog on back up! Just try your best to stay with us. It jumble time in Red Bay, Alabama.
Thursday. We located the old storm shelter, behind the Tiffin shops, we had found in 2012, Lulu checked it out. She tried it out, too. Read a passage from the Bible left inside. We need all the help we can get it. We stopped at a small yard sale on one of the side streets. The
friendly folks sat on their dilapidated porch chawing on something....tobaccy...maybe. Their items should have been destined for the landfill....not being critical but it was worse than junk. For a sympathy purchase, I inquired from the old fellow, “how much for this little stature of a monkey made in a China”. Whyyy....that would be $1.50, little lady....it’s an import! I didn’t have that much sympathy anymore. We chatted a bit....the old fellow went to school with Bob Tiffin. Hubby to the toothless, wrinkled daughter perched on the porch rail, works at the Tiffin plant. I asked him his speciality. Lavatories, Ma’am....lavatories. Nice. Nice chatting with you...y’all have a good day! See what I’m picking up with all this chatter? A southern accent! Y’all!
Let’s go back to Java & Jazz. Still on Thursday. It’s a new place (as of one year) where you obviously get fancy coffees. The owners, Laura & Kenny, are so friendly and welcoming. I ordered a small, white chocolate coffee frappé on this day. Fabulous! Billy Boyd was there. He runs the local Red Bay museum when it is open in the afternoon on Tuesday & Thursday. We went there before in 2012 and it is
excellent. Red Bay stuff on the first floor. Everything Tammy Wynette on the second. She called Red Bay her home. Anyway, Billy also plays the guitar and sings. He’ll be playing here next Thursday at 6:00 pm. Hope we can make it. Today (Thursday 5/16) he sang “You are my Sunshine” specially for Miss Lulu. She loved it....and him! She was quivering in excitement. This place is warm, welcoming and comfortable. I could sit there all day but we have things to do and other places to go. We’ll be back, though.
Now where are we? Ah, yes. We can hear our borborigamus. It’s still Thursday.
Oh, before I forget. This is a tidbit of info for you RVer’s. At the Tiffin repair place, the techs get $92/hr./per tech. Just about all of the RV’s are assigned 2 techs and sometimes more. You sure can’t own a motor home and maintain it if you collect state welfare. It just can’t happen......unless you train yourself to be an RV tech and do it all yourself. This is when it’s a blessing to know friends like Dave, Jon and John. They are the lucky ones! They can fix their own
problems. Oh, lucky, lucky them! Parts...hmmm...that’s another issue. Lulu is thinking about signing up for a course.....her limitations could be a problem. She can’t even push a button! We’ve decided to name our RV “Pretty Penny”. It’s very fitting as of now. We’ll call her “PP” for short. Lulu approves.
Where are we now? We can hear our borborrigimus calling out as I mentioned earlier. Where shall we dine? I’ll give you a hint where we are going.....Swamp. Anything? We went to Swamp John’s. Remember how we checked it out when we first arrived and figured it had closed down and it was left abandoned? I went into shock. ‘member? WRONG! It just looks that way. “Go early, they say....it’s fish nite”. It’s Thursday....stay with us. We are used to the “early bird special time”, so we pull up at 4:00 pm to this rather run down old gas station....turned restaurant. Cars! Good sign. Every cell in body is bursting with excitement. Such fond memories of this place when we visited in 2009 & 2012. I ran in, with Lulu and Cory in tow, “We’re Back!” Silence! Yeah, ...okay ....was the long awaited response. Must be new employees. I
told them all about the t-shirt I bought here in 2012 but forgot to bring it. ”Yeah....nice”...their response.
It still had its unkempt look about it.....like a dirty old gas station. I raced to the fancy back dining room. Whoa! Whaaaat’s happened here? It used to be decorated with wall-size murals that looked like they had been painted by a 4 year old, blind orangutan. They were special. One alligator looked like a green hot dog! Where were they now? Someone, and I’d like to know who, painted over them and all we have are just plain, blank walls.There was a very small rectangle piece of one of the murals...looking like nothing! Seems to be covering up something. Maybe a hole in the wall. Probably from a former customer, who was equally upset as myself about the missing murals. He must have kicked in the vacant wall! This is almost too much. I thought I was depressed and stressed before. I’m a real mess now! I blubbered to the only couple in this room as it filled with smoke. That’s common here. Not sure what causes it but it seems to be coming from the kitchen. A brief chorus
of 🎼🎼Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Platters🎼🎼seems fitting. Lulu belts it out. I drag myself back to Cory sitting in a booth in the front eating area....the rough one. He sees I’ve met with trauma. Suck it up, Buttercup....change happens...so does sh_t. Sorry about that, folks, but how much more can I take? Tell me! I’m still looking forward to the food here. I order the Fish Buffet and Cory orders a Delmonico steak. To each, his own. It looks good. Catfish: excellent. Shrimp: bad....only crusty, hard, fried-to-a-crisp batter to naw on. Hush puppies: ok....they taste like fish cause they are fried in the same grease. Fish puppies: we’ll call them that. Baked potato: very good. I gave the Big Guy my cole slaw. I tasted his steak: yuck! It tasted like it was dredged in salt. He liked it...not me. I had to inhale my ice water. Many folks came in...some stayed, most did take-out. One lady had a t-shirt on that read Custom RV. That’s where we go for the remodeling next week. She was Brannon’s mom. We praised him up & down (even before he has worked for us)....always good to get on Mama’s good
side, y’know (southern talk).
Not sure how well my buffet photo will turn out. The sneeze protector was quite greasy and smeary. That’s Swamp John’s. Not too excited to go back. It has changed.
Taking the back, twisty, turning road to Red Bay, we came upon a place we visited in 2012. It was said it was where the bootleggers worked their stills. It is called Cypress Cove Farm. There’s nothing here but a little dirt parking lot and the sign. Before, we rambled through a nasty swamp to a huge mansion. They said a Congressman lived there. Now, a wrought iron gate blocked us from doing that. Had a sign next to it about horses. An old looking pup came up to me. Friendly guy. He was wet so must have been in the swamp. Good...it was so hot out! Lulu had stripped down to nothing....no one could see her in the car....she’s short. I pet the old (but really was young) pup...he stunk and so now did I. He came from across the road ....a tumble down roof with a log saw was all that was there...and a white truck. Hopefully, the owner of the truck
& dog was off doing “something” and would be back. We passed the big cotton fields. This trip, they are just little green stubs. Last visit, the cotton balls were all present. Quite a sight to see! Lulu posed in the middle of them.
Did I tell you Cory found a latch for our window? He went to the Tiffin Window Bay and a crusty old guy listened to his story. He found him one and gave it to him. Wow...sometime free! Unheard of! Thank you, Crusty Man.
Let’s see. You should have your time machine set for Friday @ 3:30 pm. Cory found a Tiffin guy who works after hours who would replace our front door, fogged window. Remember last year, when we took it to Lazy Days to fix it? They messed it up even more (it looked like a cloudy vagina on our window after it was done) so I covered it with a balloon decal. They charged us an arm & a leg...we will never got back! We should have listened to Jon in the first place! Live & learn. Get back on track, mouthy!
It’s Friday. The glass guy, Shane, arrived with
his Dad, Curtis. Snap, grind, make other noises and the window was in and done. Perfect. Very reasonable, too. He got a tip from us! Lulu was right there, again. Never misses an opportunity to be held by a man, I tell you, this gal has a problem! A bad one, too! She plastered her face up to the window, showing her approval. I wish we had him do other windows. Next time??
Feeding time again. It’s Friday, still. Back to Belmont and to The Fish Place this time. Mostly set up for take outs but had a small attached room for a few dine-in folks. Cory got something called a Spud Platter. Ended up being a big baked potato with all the fixings plus chicken stuck in it. I had a shrimp po’boy. Darndest one I have every seen. Two slices of soft bread (I like that) with 4 little flat, fried shrimp and tartar sauce on it. Not new Orlean’s style...that’s for sure. But it was tasty...like I said, I like soft bread. Lulu made herself right at home. She always does.
We went next door to The Old Country Store/gas station. Bunch of scruffy men
hanging outside the doorway chatting....more rugged guys inside where they had a long table where you could get a breakfast....at breakfast time. Rest was a small inventory of grocery necessities. See y’all, ‘ge-an.
Oh, my. I think we have done it! I think we have rewritten this blog.Hallelujah! I can’t believe it. I’m sure I’ve left out something important but that’s life. I can always add it to my next blog. Yes, folks...there’s always a next time...always another blog in the works. You can hoot and whistle if you want.
Before I lose this baby, I’m closing it and publishing it. I think you did quite well sorting the days and events out. Good for you. Thank you for your patience. I think we are going to The Rattlesnake Saloon this afternoon. Y’all gonna like tha-at! Enjoy your day and your relaxing reading. I wrote this under great stress & pressure so now Im going to relax, too. Cory relaxed so much, he fell asleep waiting for me to bring this to a closure. Bi!
Take listen...there are 54 photos here. That means scrolling way down as far as you can go, then clicking onto more pages...many
of them. I couldn’t help it. So much to share.
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