A few quick updates

I worked from home on Friday and the timing was good because they finally really began to work on the driveway. About two weeks ago they had punched a bunch of holes in the driveway but didn’t really do much else. Well yesterday, they made some real progress.

Looks like hail damage

And the work begins

Ready for concrete

The other update is that today was son Scott’s last day at Bunge. For the last two years it has been my pleasure to work with my son. He started as an intern an was then hired on as a regular employee. He was not looking for a different job but when was offered he really had no choice but to accept the offer. It was a good offer. Below is a picture of Scott at his desk on the first day in the new building. I will miss working with him.

Scott on first day at new building

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The countdown begins

Had a meeting with my manager today and talked about a date. I was trying to get the end of February but he was leaning towards the end of January. And, in this case it is really the company’s decision. So, I have a date. After January 31, 2018 I will be unemployed. I have not been unemployed since I started working at Central Soya on December 16, 1968. I really have mixed emotions about it. The package was really good (especially for me) but it took the decision and timing away from me. But, I’m sure after I get past that last day all will be good. That last day is bound to be emotional for me.

This did help us with our planning though since now we are going to plan on going to the FCRV Retiree Rally in Tallahassee FL in March. It will be our first one and from what I hear it is better than the regular FCRV Campvention. So, I now have 50 more calendar days until I retire. Taking out weekends and a couple of vacation days during the holidays and there are only 32 more work days remaining. Yipppeeee.

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Not even going to try to catch up

The best laid plans of mice and men… I don’t know the rest of this quote. But, you know what I am talking about.

We had a great summer of camping that included a trip to Lima OH for the FCRV campvention followed by a week in Fort Wayne. We managed to make all but one of the chapter campouts and both state campouts. We made two trips to Fort Wayne on back to back weekends. Each trip was for a wedding and both of the brides had the same first name. Our camping season ended in October with two Halloween campouts. The first was a club campout at Big Creek RV Park. The club decorated one of the campers and we won first place for scariest. The next weekend Beth and I were at Lost Valley Lake Resort and participated in the costume contest both as individuals and then as a “group”. We won first place for scariest in the “group” division. Had a lot of great fun.

In late September the company I work for presented about 330 employees in North American with a Voluntary Early Retirement Plan. The documentation was rather self explanatory but I waited a week and Beth and I sat in on a web conference where the plan was explained in great detail. I signed the form accepting the VERP and turned it in the next day. The VERP was perfect for me since I was planning to retire at the end of 2018 anyway and now I get to go out early but with a very nice separation package. The only downside is that I won’t make my 50 years. On December 16, 2018 I would have celebrated 50 years with Bunge (and it’s predecessors). The best comment on this came from daughter Kelly when she said “Just round up.” I have not received my separation date yet but the agreement states that they will let me know before December 31, 2017. I am hoping for the end of February. I would like to know because we would like to attend an FCRV Retiree Rally in Tallahassee FL in March but can’t really make plans until I have a definite separation date. I have been training a replacement for over a year but the training has picked up since the date has moved up.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving the company moved into a new building. It is a really nice building and I’m glad that I get to spend a few months in the new building before I retire. As the time passes I get more excited to find out exactly when I get to retire. After over 50 years of working it will sure be a big change.

Son Scott had been working for the same company but he gave his notice on Monday, December 4. He wasn’t really looking for anything different but was offered a job with quite a nice increase in pay so he accepted it.

Guess that is about it for now. When I get more details I’ll be sure to let you know.

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Nothing really to post

Other than celebrating Christmas in Missouri and Indiana there has really not been a great deal to post. I kept thinking that I needed to post something but than realized that I really didn’t have anything to say of interest. BUT, that will change soon. We will soon be entering the camping season and then there will be something to post. If anything exciting happens I’ll let you know.

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Halloween weekend and beyond

We spent Halloween weekend at LVL. We took Friday off but instead of going down Thursday night like would normally do we went down Friday morning. It was a nice leisurely drive. Normally we rush down after work and try to get set up before dark – especially this time of year. Maybe a taste of what retirement will be like. A friend of ours came in later on Friday afternoon. We had not seen him in almost three years. His girlfriend came down later and we sat and talked. Saturday morning we drove them around for a tour. He has a membership but had not been down for three years and she had never seen the place. We went to the Halloween costume contest. There were a lot of costumes but none that I felt were really outstanding. We went to their RV for lunch and then sat there and gave out candy. We estimate that we had about 400 trick or treaters before we ran out (after 40 minutes). The trick or treating went on for another 80 minutes.  Saturday evening we had them over to our camper for dinner and then talked some more. It was an enjoyable weekend. On Monday, which was actually Halloween, we were not able to give out candy because we had church. Pastor Bob’s sermon was done in the first person as Luther talking about his 95 theses, etc. Very interesting.

On November 4 we went down to LVL and winterized the camper. It was really nice weather and almost made us wonder why we were winterizing it. But we got it done and drove it home and parked it in storage. Sad day. The next day, Sunday, Beth had to get up to sing at both services. I met her along with April, Brian and the boys at church for a sausage dinner. It was quite good. Since Beth had already gone to church twice on Sunday she didn’t go Monday night but I picked up April and the boys and we went. Even though camping season is over we will still go to Monday night service. Tuesday morning I stopped to vote before I went to work. Normally at that time the lines are short but this time the lines were rather long but they got us through quickly. I stayed up until about 11:30 pm that night watching the election results. I was fairly certain that Mr. Trump had won before I went to bed. I woke up about 2:30 and looked at my phone and found out that he had indeed won the election (although some people are still not convinced.) Guess I will stop at this point and try to post about last weekend later. Almost caught up.

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A few updates for October

Well, I got behind again but I will try to hit the highlights. On October 8 we had Window World come out and put in a new entry door between the kitchen and garage and also a new sliding glass door in the basement. They did a great job on both. The kitchen door has been hard to close for over a year. I had tried to adjust it but just could not get it to fit correctly. In addition all the other doors on the first floor had been changed out to 6 panel doors and this one really needed to be changed also. The basement sliding glass door had a shattered pain on one of the inside pains. We had priced the cost of replacing the glass but that would be almost as much as a new door. Since I can work from home occasionally it works out well. We also scheduled a pest control outfit to come out and spray for spiders. We had seen some brown recluse in the basement and decided it was time. Since then we have not seen any. Time and money well spent.

On October 7 -9 we went down to LVL. This was again a bit of a working weekend. We spent most of the weekend waxing on the camper. We got the front done as well as all of the decals. But we did take time off for relaxing around the campfire.

October 13 – 16 we went on a chapter campout to Pin Oak Creek RV park. We went down on Thursday night. On Friday we drove into Union and ate lunch at the White Rose Cafe.  The sign on the window said “Landmark for 80+ years”. The food was good and the company was even better. On Saturday we drove over to a flea market just off I-44. Really didn’t see much we wanted although I did buy a Confederate flag. Not because I wanted or needed one but mostly because the liberals tell me I can’t have one. Saturday evening was trick or treating in the park. The whole group sat in a row and gave out candy. After the trick or treating we got together for a desert pitch in. I did spend some time off and on trying to put the tire monitoring system on the MH. But I found out that I needed valve stem extensions on the tire so I’ll try again next weekend.

October 21 – 23 we were back down at LVL. Friday night we went down to Gentry Hall. One of the members of the resort is a pianist and she played the score of Phantom of the Opera. It was quite enjoyable. There was just a bit of humor. Her husband would sit by her side and turn the page. He would then bend the next page just slightly to allow him to turn it easier when the time came. At one point he turned the page and she had to flip it back because he had turned two pages. I leaned over to Beth and whispered “He had ONE job…” She cracked up. On Saturday we went back to Gentry Hall for an Elvis Tribute Artist. He was good. Better on some songs than others. It cost us $2 per person but he sang for almost 2 hours straight without an intermission. Good, inexpensive entertainment. One song in particular was outstanding. He sang “My Way” and everyone was on their feet cheering. Sunday was a bit of a downer because all of the other campers in our group were winterizing their campers. Always sad to see the camping season end. I’ll finish up with one more post for October later this week.

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September 30 – October 2, 2016

We are home this weekend. We had reservations but Beth wanted to participate in a craft show at church on Saturday so we canceled the reservations. I worked late on Friday night. Bunge, the company I work for, sponsors Safety Days at local schools. I stayed to help pack backpacks for an upcoming safety day. It was really a lot of fun. That evening, after I got home, Brian came over and power washed the railing on the deck in preparation for painting it. Beth and I left for a bit to take a table over to church for her craft display.

Saturday morning Beth got up and went over to church. I watched a little TV and then went to Menard’s to get some parts to fix a leaking toilet. Stopped at church to see how Beth was doing (not good) and then headed home. I got distracted by updated the FCRV MSCA web site and also updating the blog.

On Sunday we went over and got some paint for the desk railing and also some wood to replace a few of the boards in the deck. Spent quite a bit of the day working on the boards. Not easy to do when the screws don’t want to come out of the old boards. But we will get them… eventually.

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LVL – September 23 – 25, 2016

We spent this weekend at LVL. We got a good start but still arrived after dark. Beth took me up to the storage area so I could take the MH to the site while she went to registration and checked us in. I got up to the site and backed in without too much problem until I went around to where we hook up the water and electric and found about an inch of water on the ground. I had reported a leak the last two times we were on the site but nothing had been done. When Beth came up I showed her the issue so she went back down to see if we could move. She texted the new site to me so I moved it down two sites. By this time it was really dark but I put out a couple of LED lights on the edge of the patio and used that to back in. We finally got set up and went to sit by the fire for a while.

Saturday we got up and began to wash the camper. The awnings took most of the morning. The big awning and the two over the slides did not get washed in the spring so they were quite dirty. Got them looking very good. We took a break to eat and also went down to Gentry Hall to a Wings of Love show. It was very interesting. They had an eagle owl there. Looks very much like a great horned owl but bigger. They had if fly around the hall to show how silent it is. The rest of the birds could have drowned out any sound if it was making any. They didn’t like this large predator bird flying around. After the show we went back and washed the rest of the MH. Looks good. The next time we are camping we are going to wax as much of it as we can. Saturday evening we went down to the lodge patio for fireworks. The fireworks were in celebration of the 32nd year of the resort.

We got up Sunday morning and broke camp and headed for home. It was supposed to rain and also get hotter so we wanted to get home before it rained. Had a good weekend even though it was only a two day weekend this time.

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September 16 – 18, 2016 – Hidden Valley Outfitters – Lebanon MO

Friday morning we got up and headed to Lebanon MO for a chapter campout. This was a campground called Hidden Valley Outfitters. We had planned to go down on Thursday evening but Beth had a retirement thing to go to and considering it was a 3 1/2 hour drive we decided to go down on Friday morning. We had quite a bit of rain on the drive down. The sites on the campground are all level but the trees were just planted so it was essentially all sunshine lots. Friday afternoon the campground manager came around and told us that we should be ready to evacuate if the water kept coming up in the river. It had rained all day and there was concern that the campground might flood. Most of the group went to a restaurant at Bennet Springs State Park. They had an all you can eat buffet. We there about 1/2 hour and one of the members got a call from the campground stating that they were closing the campground and we should evacuate. We quickly finished what we had on our plates and headed back. We got the motor home ready to roll and about that time the manager came around and talked to the group and said that there was a misunderstanding and that we did not have to leave – just be prepared. We decided to stay. We put the jacks down, hooked up the electrical and put the bedroom slide back out. Since it had stopped raining the group sat out for quite a while and talked. I made several trips down to the river and could tell that the water was dropping.

When we got up on Saturday the skies were clear and the weather was beautiful. Beth and I and another couple decided to drive to Bennet Springs State Park. We looked at the gift store, checked out the campground, the trout hatchery and finally went to the springs. It was an interesting visit to the park. From there we drove into Lebanon and ate dinner and then went to the Case Knife store and finally to a candy store and antique store. Saturday evening ended with a pitch in dinner followed by a campfire.

Sunday morning we took the motor home back to LVL since we would be there the following weekend and then spent some time with a couple of our camping friends. From there we drove the car home. The weekend didn’t start out too great but it turned out to be a nice weekend.

Click on this link to see pictures from the weekend.

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MSCA Fall Campout – September 9 – 11, 2016

MSCA stands for Missouri State Campers Association. This is the Missouri FCRV. Since Beth and I are 2nd Vice Presidents of the association we had a very busy weekend. This means we were responsible for the planning and execution of the campout. The campout was about an hour from the storage lot at Lazyday Campground. This is the third year in a row the the fall campout has been at Lazyday. We left on Thursday night. Since it was close we got there in good time and got set up and relaxed in preparation for a busy weekend. We slept in on Friday morning but woke to a nice weekend. We spent part of the morning taking the campout schedule around to people that had arrived earlier in the week for the Slow Travelers campout. The Slow Travelers are the Missouri Retirees chapter. They usually have their spring and fall campouts coincide with the state campout. For lunch we drove into Montgomery City with a group of about 10 people and ate lunch at Oliver’s on Sturgeon. We ate here last year and it was very good so we went there again. I had a breaded tenderloin sandwich and it was huge. Really, really huge.

Friday evening we had a potluck followed by card bingo. The turnout was good and everyone had a lot of fun.

Saturday morning started with a breakfast prepared by the Slow Travelers. Pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice. Yummy. Breakfast was followed by a board of directors meeting and that was followed by the general membership meeting. Beth and I were reelected as 2nd Vice President. No surprise since we were unopposed. After the meeting preparation began for the Chinese auction. At 2:00 there was a hospitality put on by the Pitch ‘N Pull chapter. They are celebrating their 50th year as a chapter. A presentation was made to one of their members who is a founding member and has been a member of FCRV for 50 years also. Following the hospitality the talent portion of the teen queen contest was held. After that there was nothing going on until about 4:30 when we started cooking burgers and hot dogs for the evening meal. After a great meal the evening gown portion of the teen queen contest was held, followed by the crowning of the teen queen. That was then followed by a first person presentation by Jan Repart who does Civil War reenacting as a Civil War nurse. It was really interesting. Finally, after her presentation be held the Chinese Auction and called it a day. It was a busy day and we were worn out.

Sunday began with a devotional service held by Beth along with a hymn. After the service we loaded up the canned goods and paper products that we collected and took them to the church in Montgomery City. This is the second year in a row that we have done this community service event and given to this church. For lunch most of the members went to the Senior Center in Montgomery City for an all you can eat chicken. It was quite good. When we left there we went back to the campground, closed up the camper and headed for home. It was an enjoyable weekend but it certainly was busy.

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