“Home” Again

Well, we’re home again.

Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned… (So you’ve noticed that too!?)

After our South American Cruise ended last week, we spent a few days in Santiago, Chile.  We got up Monday morning at 2:40am, to meet our 3am scheduled ride from the wonderful hotel to the airport.  That all went well, our flights went well – Santiago to Panama City, and then on to Houston.  We even got bumped to first class for that second leg!  But it was over 10 hours of flying, and many more waiting around, so we arrived in Houston Monday evening rather tired.

My original plan was that I would have most all of the week to go through all the pictures we’d taken, and get at least the first half of the trip a little better represented than I have so far.  Here’s where it started going a bit differently.

We have never left Fudge Ripple, our “home with wheels” for this length of time before.  I’m not usually too worried about things going wrong while we’re gone, but I try to take the usual precautions (Water shut off, nothing loose outside, windows closed except for a couple rainproof windows cracked open, etc.).  I will admit to a bit of worry when I got an email from the park where we left the motorhome saying there was a huge storm forecast, and to take needed precautions.  What could I do while away?

Turns out the storm was a wimp and nothing happened.  But while we were so glad to see our home, we found out the water heater was not working.  We have a really cool water heater (Too cool if it’s not working!) that heats the water on demand; technically giving an endless supply of hot water, if you are hooked up to the water in the park.  Tuesday the first priority was hot water.  The weird thing was the heater was actually hot, but we couldn’t get hot water in the house.  I looked all over for blown fuses or thrown breakers, to no avail.  So I called the manufacturer.  They were very helpful, had me do a bit of diagnostic work and told me quickly that I needed a new “Summer loop pump”.  There are three pumps that send water through the hot portion of the heater – two for the furnaces; front and rear, and one for the hot water.  We ordered the pump, second day air, with the hope that I could install it myself.  He asked if the main hoses from the burner go up over the frame rail, and when I affirmed that, he said “Too bad – you’ll have to empty your storage area, take out a wall, and then get to the distribution box with the pump.”  The good news is that all our junk stored stuff is on slide out trays, so I can slide them out, climb into the “basement” storage area and reach the partition wall which had to be removed to access the box with the pumps.


The recalcitrant pump is in the spotlight on the left.


Thursday we got the pump, and I was able to install it pretty easily, considering.  Great to have hot water again!


A major distraction this week was my dulcimer.  Around Thanksgiving I got myself a Christmas present – a kit to build a Mountain Dulcimer.  They are easy to play, and I thought it would be fun to create my own.  So I spent a fair bit of time on it instead of pictures.

Here I have glued the front and back onto the sides, and using a few spare books in lieu of clamps.


This is after the glue set – waiting for the edges to be further trimmed and sanded.


Now all sanded, ready for applying the finish.


First coat of finish oil applied, it will get to dry enjoying the view out the window.



Another fun thing this week was Cherryl getting invited to join some of the ladies in this park for a daily exercise session.  While there, they invited us to a regular Thursday evening get-together at a crazy local hangout called the “Train Wreck”.  It was fun to meet lots of the folks who are staying in this park pretty much full time.  We had fun meeting lots of them, but I will admit it was so loud that shouted conversations were needed, and a guy with my poor hearing didn’t have much of a chance!  Fun anyway!



There were other paperwork distractions during the week, (Naps!) so guess what – my week devoted to sorting through pictures didn’t work out that way.  I have gotten them culled from all the photo gadgets… it works out to slightly under 4,000 pictures!  So NEXT WEEK, I PROMISE, I will get started showing you a few of my favorites!





One comment

  1. You have been busy and the dulcimer is beautiful. Do you have a book to help you with the learning? We will be happy to see the pics of your trip, but in the meantime, hope you don’t have any more plumbing problems…tx for taking us along.

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