12-14 Nov; A NEW BABY!, Coach Fixes, Lot’s of Mail

I mentioned in our last post that Meghan had been in the hospital because of some concerns about the upcoming birth.  She had some tests done on Tuesday, and on Wed when she went in for the results, they admitted her.  Early the next morning she went into labor, and at 11:40 AM we were blessed with the presence of Logan Emory Ten Haken!!

An awesome addition to the family!  Everyone is doing great!!

An awesome addition to the family! Everyone is doing great!!

A very caring big sister.

A very caring big sister.

Proud Grandma!!

Proud Grandma!!

And a proud Grandpa!!

And a proud Grandpa!!

We are very, very happy that we have been able to be here for this whole process.  The icing on the cake is that we have been able to spend so much time with Peyton as her mommy and daddy have been quite busy of late.  Getting to spend the nights with her, take her to school, go on walks…whatever, it is fantastic, and we could not have been able to do this had we not chosen this lifestyle.

While we were on “baby watch” on Wednesday, we were able to get some things done around the coach, along with doing laundry for a busy “almost” two-year old, and grocery shopping.

Tech Tip:  Rocker switches fail, and can be hard to find a replacement, especially if they are micro-switches.  Knowing that we would be facing some weather in the 20’s later in the week (record-breaking cold) I wanted to make sure our hydronic heater was all ready to go.  I knew something was up on Tuesday night, as I heard the pump for the system kick on, and I did not have it on!  I went out late at night, and messed with what I could, and thought I may have a bad on/off switch for the main controller for the unit.  On Wed morning, I pulled the cover on the unit and this is what I found inside:

The "innards" of the main control unit for the hydronic heater.  The rocker switch back side is at the lower left.

The “innards” of the main control unit for the hydronic heater. The rocker switch back side is at the lower left.

After I pulled the cover off, I messed with the rocker on/off switch a bit, and determined it was operating only when it felt like it.  So I pulled the wires off the back (after having to pull several others off just so I could get to the back of the switch) and removed the rocker.  I thought this would be an easy no brainer to replace, as there are several really nice hardware stores in town…WRONG!  I went to 4 hardware stores and 4 auto supply stores and no one had anything close.  I finally ended up at a small RV dealership in town, and they had something that looked like it might work, so I parted with $4.oo in order to give it a shot.  After doing some “re-sizing” with a hasp, I was able to get the new guy into his proper place, and get everything wired back together, and so far, all is well.  All of the test runs worked great, and I ran the freeze protection system early this morning just to make sure it would kick on.  That is the system I am really concerned with keeping active, as I don’t want my water systems to freeze up.

The screen door handle:  Well, I decided to part with the $17 to get a new handle, as out $.99c spring experiment did not work.  DUMB RON:  I really am getting to know Wally’s Hardware really well!  The folks at the counter know me by name and always ask about the baby when I walk in…do you think I may have been there too many times??  Well, after the initial trip, I had to go right back, as I picked up the wrong handle…a whole left/right things I guess.  They both look exactly the same, except for one minor difference in how the main door interacts with the screen door mechanism. So, I got the CORRECT handle, and also picked up the CORRECT end to fix the extension cord I mentioned in the last post.  I made some returns to the Ace Hardware (which isn’t nearly as kewl as Wally’s by the way) and was back late morning to make additional repairs.  The screen door was a real pain, as the previous repair was, well, cobbled together.  After having to drill new holes (and having to wait for my battery for my drill to charge up) I was able to get everything working after some minor modifications.  I still have some changes I want to make, but everything works fine the way it is, so it is not an urgent thing to do.  The extension cord repair was much easier (especially since I had the correct end!!)  Dumb Ron indeed!

Got all that done in time for us to get Peyton at her pre-school, and get her fed and a nap before we went to see her mom at the hospital.  The next morning (Thurs) we went up to the hospital early, expecting a baby…no such luck.  Around 11:15 we decided to leave because Peyton was tired, and so was Meghan, and there was not much progress on the delivery front.  We were not on the road more than ten minutes when I got a text from Jason with a picture of Logan…what the heck!!!  Apparently just after we left Jason was going to go down for lunch, and the nurses said they wanted to check her progress one last time, and they said “it is go time!”  Sheesh, that was fast!!  We continued home so I could feed Peyton and let her nap, and Terri headed back to the hospital to meet Logan.  Thursday was a great day consumed with all things “new baby”…followed by MAIL.  Our daughter in Orlando, Mandi, keeps doing us a great favor by going and checking on the house and grabbing our mail from time to time.  We had about a two foot stack this time, and quickly realized the great US Postal System did not deliver all of our mail the last time we had the hold taken off.  So…lots of unexpected items, but we got through it.  It works great this way, as Mandi and I FaceTime so I can see what we have, sort through the junk, and she forwards what we want or need.  What a great daughter, huh??

Friday:  Another pre-school day for Peyton, so we were up early and Terri got her ready to go.  I dropped her off at school and Terri went to do more needed grocery shopping and we got some laundry done.

Tech Tip:  I wanted to get to the coach to get things ready for the low 20’s tonight while Peyton was at school.  I filled the fresh water tank, pulled the fresh water hose off the outside tap, and removed the sewer hose.  From what we have experienced so far, as long as we get all the hoses in and disconnected from anything (other than electric) the underbelly and wet bays stay nice and toasty with the freeze protection on…fuller tanks are better too, thus the reason for making sure my fresh water tank was full.  NEVER leave your hose hooked up if it is going to freeze unless you have a heated hose.  I still have not picked one up, as I’m too cheap at this point in time to drop $130+ for one.

Dumb Ron:  Hey, a couples of time in this post..what gives??  Well, when I got back to the coach tonight, I switched on the fresh water pump, as I am not hooked up to city water right now with everything pulled in.  The pump would not quit, and I had nothing coming out of the tap???  Wutz up??  So…off I bolted out of the door in my fashionable cold weather sleeping gear (and Cabela’s awesome slippers) to investigate.  It just so happens that Dumb Ron forgot to close the fresh water fill valve after he filled the tank today, so the pump was doing everything it could, but was only pumping air.  Glad I got to it fast, because it would have burned itself out otherwise.  I closed the valve, and my cranky and noisy water pump was all cranky and noisy happy again…and so was Dumb Ron.

OK, sorry for jumping all around here.  After getting everything ready this morning (so I thought…water valve) I headed back to school to get Peyton, as Terri was busy still with groceries and getting the house ready for the baby to come home.

I’ve handed over my man card a couple of times since we started this whole RV thing, but I’m sure I will gladly hand it over many more times.  Everyone at the school, and everyone (with the exception of one other Gramps I’ve seen so far) are of the female persuasion.  I get to talk about what I’m bringing for the Thanksgiving Feast, Coughs, Diaper Rash…you name it.  It may seem an odd statement to some, but I love it!  I missed a lot of this with my own kids, and I’m glad I am getting to experience it with our grands.  I give Terri so much credit for all she did when I was on active duty, and while I was gone a lot to keep the home fires burning.  I also credit her for knowing that I need to see this other side of life I’ve never had much experience with so far.  The folks at Peyton’s pre-school are awesome.  We got Peyton home, and Jason was home for some re-charging.  We got everyone fed, and Peyton down for her nap.  Jason headed back to the hospital, and Terri had some things to do around the house, so I decided it was a perfect time to head back to the coach and replace the shower caddie that Terri ordered on Amazon.

Tech Tip:  Shower caddie replacement…easy peasy lemon squeezy, right!  Not so fast cowboy!  Nothing…I mean NOTHING is as easy as it seems.  As soon as I started to remove the old caddie (which thank God is the same exact model as the one Terri ordered) I noticed that there were some screws (yes SCREWS) under some silicone, that had the thing screwed into the side of the shower!  Hey folks…these are normally attached with 3M type stuff and silicone beads…not screws through a shower wall in an RV!!!  What were they thinking!  On top of that, they used two different sized screws, and both of the screws on the right side had the heads broken off!  What the heck!!  Here are some shots:

Remnant of some 3M "stick 'em" and three holes, and one "not hole" on the lower right.

Remnant of some 3M “stick ’em” and three holes, and one “not hole” on the lower right.

Close up of the lower right.  This screw will not come out.  Jason has a screw removal tool, but the screw is too small.  What was the Nimrod that put this in thinking??

Close up of the lower right. This screw will not come out. Jason has a screw removal tool, but the screw is too small. What was the Nimrod that put this in thinking??

Back to Wally’s!!  I got three new screws, and was questioned at length about how the baby was…I love that place!!  This is a project for tomorrow.  I cleaned the surface real well, and will use the 3M stick ’ems and silicone to attach the Caddie.  I then plan to put silicone in the holes that are already there and put the three new screws in, and will silicone all around the “non-removable” screw.  What a mess…but that is part of the life.

Remember the post in MI about the ceramic heater I bought?  Well, it is doing great.  It is almost 10:00 PM and in the high 30’s.  That little thing is seen here:

Very toasty!  Time to turn this baby down.

Very toasty! Time to turn this baby down.

Has it at 65 degrees in the coach.  The main heater has not come on yet.  I have the main heaters for the coach set at 60 degrees, which is real good sleeping temp, where is where I am headed now.

Happy travels all, and I hope and pray this finds you and yours as happy as we are!!

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