Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Water Woes Fixed!

In Spring, Texas (Houston)…

This post memorializes the replacement of Phannie’s fresh water pump. The tiny and miserly version installed at the factory was woefully inadequate to supply the multiple outlets in the coach when we are in a travel mode, but we limped along with it until a few days ago, when the puny little stream it produced slowed to a trickle from one faucet and nothing at all in the others. 

Old pump pressure (ugh)

This was a situation “up with which we would not put!” (A tortured phrase attributed to Winston Churchill in his effort to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition.) Sandy's idea of proper RVing is for the coach to be indistinguishable from, well, a hotel suite and, I must say, so do I. And no hotel, even in Death Valley, ever had water pressure this low.  It remains a mystery why Tiffin thought it was a good idea to equip their expensive coaches with an anemic little pulse-style pump retailing for $65.

Completely fed up, I strode into the parts department of nearby DeMontrond RV and told them I wanted the biggest, baddest water pump they had. I told them I wanted one  that would produce a stream of water that would power a jet ski.  They looked through their inventory and came up with this one, made by Remco and ringing up for over 200 bucks:

New pump!

After a quick installation by Johnny Besier of Northwest RV in Tomball, TX (281-370-0060), we fired up the pump and marveled at the water flow that now rivals or beats that of any city water source we’ve used:

Now, that's more like it!

Problem solved!  (Now I’m thinking about renting Phannie out as a fire truck.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Guys' Turn to Treat the Ladies: First Monday Trade Days in Canton

In Spring, Texas (Houston)...

I’m getting close to recovering from the girls’ annual pilgrimage to First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas last weekend.  I’m not entirely sure how it was that I got roped into this unnatural (for guys) shopping orgy the first time three years ago, but it wasn’t due to a threat of blackmail. Fortunately, I lead a boringly clean life, so there’s not much out there about which I might be embarrassed through public disclosure (I think).  This, then, leads to the troubling conclusion that I’m just stupid.  But so is Bubba.

Bubba and I bring our rigs each November to Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort in Canton, occupying spaces that must be reserved two years in advance.  (Yes, it’s that popular during trade days.)  This bucolic place has RV sites and cottages for rent, and we usually secure a cottage along with the RV sites.  This ensures room for any females who might stow away in one of the vehicles after learning of the impending shopping trip.  Sandy, LouAnn and Mindy do their best to keep this trip quiet, but the word usually gets out. And it’s really poor form to have to use pepper spray on their own friends to keep them off the bus.

First, let me make clear that it is only the ladies who actually enter into the teeming masses flowing in and out of the countless trading sheds.  Bubba and I claim agoraphobia; I don’t think the girls buy it, but whatever works, right?  (Actually, I’m pretty sure they had just as soon not have us there.)  We do provide support, however--as cooks, chauffeurs and bankers.  Fortunately for my wallet, Sandy and I are well beyond the ‘acquisition’ period of our lives and have been downsizing and discarding stuff for years, so her purchases are usually confined to things for Mason and our other soon-to-arrive grandson. 

Here are some photos of Mill Creek Ranch Resort that attest to the attractiveness of this facility:

The Grand Lodge (Borrowed From Mill Creek Website)
Mill Creek Office
Rental Cottages

Mill Creek Pond

Bubba's Coach Woody (don't ask) and Phannie

“First Monday,” as this madness at Canton is called, occurs on the weekend just prior to the first Monday in every month but, oddly, not on Monday.  Confused?  So am I.  It would be incorrect to call it a flea market; I think it would be more accurate to call it a craft market. But then, I’m not an authority; I think I walked around some of the pavilions about 20 years ago, so I might have to (shudder) go out there again next year to gain a fresh perspective and some representative photos.

Here are some photos from the girls' camera phones during their shopping frenzy:

First Monday Main Gate

Aprons in a Shop (All of the children and grandchildren represented by the shoppers are boys; if there were any girls, I would surely be broke.)
LouAnn looking at--well, who knows what.

As you might imagine, all of this ‘carrying on’ that we guys do is just in fun. It’s always gratifying to see the girls having such a good time during this one weekend trip when it’s all about them.  Tyler took Mason to a weekend outing with his family in Huntsville, so Sandy, LouAnn, Mindy, Brenda, Sarah and various others who rotated through the group had a grand time without having to tend to the kiddos or any household chores.  Now that it’s over, they need to get back to work taking care of us guys, as is the way nature intended, right?