Feb 062011

I ate so much yesterday that I may not go near a refrigerator for at least a week! Well, okay, but at least not for another hour or two!

Miss Terry was up early, making cookies and carrot cake to take to her sister Lisa’s house for a family dinner to celebrate her parents’ birthdays. She let me sleep in, because she has learned over the years that it’s easier on her if I’m out of the way. Apparently it is not okay to lick the bowl while the cake batter is still  in it! Who knew?

My friend Phil Botnick, from Phil and Ann’s RV, called and we talked for a while about high fuel prices, boondocking, RV rallies, and the fulltime RV lifestyle in general. Phil will be at our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in Yuma next month, and I know he’ll be busy making repairs for people. At our rallies, Phil is always busy doing important repairs for attendees to get their RV systems up and running, and he usually doesn’t have time for routine things that can wait until you get to an RV repair shop. If you are going to be at the rally and need some work done, e-mail Phil at annphilrv@gmail.com and let him know ahead of time what kind of problems you are having.

I have a goal to hold a rally just once where I don’t have to call on Phil to fix something for me. In the past he has replaced the starter on the Onan generator in our MCI bus conversion, fixed our water heater, worked on our HWH leveling jacks, and once he even replaced the sparkplugs and fuel filter on my motorcycle to get it running!

In the early afternoon, Terry left to go to Lisa’s house to help her get things ready for the dinner, while I stayed home and worked on laying out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal to get it ready to send off to the printer this week. While I was doing that, I was thinking about the early days of publishing the paper, when we had to carry a portable drafting table, a heavy electric waxer and a supply of wax, rolls of border tape, Xacto knives, and huge sheets of grid paper. Now it’s all done on a computer with no muss or fuss! Of course, I can still remember my first newspaper job as a kid, cleaning up lead type after a press run, and setting type by hand for small jobs like business cards and letterheads. 

While I was working on the paper, I also fielded several telephone calls about the rally, and talked to a nice fellow in California who was trying to get his Ford Explorer set up for towing. He was delighted to learn that he didn’t have to spend over $350 for the elusive Neutral Tow Kit that is no longer made, when a simple $5 LED light from Radio Shack would do the same thing. We have now towed our Explorer almost 2,000 miles since we got it, with no problems at all.

I managed to knock several pages of the newspaper out before Pete and Bess came by about 3:45 to pick me up to go to Lisa’s house. We had a nice little family get together, with Pete and Bess, Lisa and her husband Jim, Terry’s other sister, Dani, and Dani’s beautiful daughter Andrea. Here is a a picture of Pete, Terry, Lisa, Dani, and Bess. Obviously Terry got her height from her mom, while her sisters got theirs from Pete.

Terry family picture

We had a wonderful meal of prime rib, pork loin, twice baked potatoes, and lots of other goodies, along with Terry’s yummy carrot cake and monster cookies for dessert. Just as great as what was on the table was the fun family chatter that went on as we dined. Pete and Bess love having all three of their daughters together at one time, and it doesn’t happen that often.

Besides the good food, I also got a puppy fix. Yes, this huge critter really is a puppy! Her name is Peaches, and she is Andrea’s lovable year old Akita. Peaches and I quickly got acquainted, and as you can see, it was love at first sight. I’m a pretty good sized guy, but when a dog that big wants to lick your face and head for an hour or so, all you can do is stay there and enjoy it!

Nick and Peaches 3

Nick and Peaches 4 

Today I hope to get a big chunk of the paper finished, and sometime in the afternoon we are supposed to get together with our friends Orv and Nancy Hazelton, who are in Phoenix on one of their volunteer missions, to help those less fortunate. Orv picked up a nasty rock chip in the windshield of his Tiffin motorhome on the drive over from California, and he wants Terry to take a look at it. She ran a commercial glass shop before we ran away from home to become RV gypsies, and though she no longer repairs windshields, she can look at it and tell Orv if it’s worth trying to get the chip repaired, or if it is likely to spread into a crack that will require a windshield replacement.

Thought For The Day – Old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Food, Fun, And Family”

  1. and they call it puppy love. what a beautiful puppy. A little to big for a motor home though.

  2. Luke thinks Peaches should be called Fluffy. For me, it was nostalgia time thinking about manually pasting up your newspaper. I remember how excited I was when a hand-held roller waxer came out which meant I could layout publications at home or on the road (assuming I had a large enough work and storage space to keep everything in place). Then the Mac came along and I had a new career in teaching Desktop Publishing.

  3. Technology has made many jobs so much easier, but I do recall with fondness the layout sheets from my college newspaper days and the long nights at a small town printer when we read galley proofs, rewrote copy to avoid “widows” and became adept at reading type upside down and backwards. I finally got rid of my old “pica pole” about 10 years ago.

    If you’ve never stood in front of a Merganthaler Linotype machine and watched and heard the slugs come chattering down the chute, you missed out on an early mechanical marvel.

    And there was the fascination at watching those sheet fed presses running and wondering just how those gas flames never set the paper on fire. It was a really great experience.

    But the best part was seeing the results of our “labors” on display all over campus the next morning and getting feedback from peers. You are in a truly unique position, my friend, and I understand why you keep on doing what you do so well.

  4. You look so happy with the puppy. Its always fun to get your puppy fix. You should borrow him when the nights are cold – he can be an extra blanket.

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