On the Road with the Princess and the Frog

Follow our full-time RV travels with the two of us and three dachshunds.

Needless to say, it’s not much of a blog when my last post was in September of 2016! I’m sure some of our “followers” quit doing so after weeks and months of no new posts. Well, this post is an attempt to bring you all up to date. And I will do my best to stay up to date, at least on a weekly basis. So, here goes.

We did, indeed, head back to North Carolina the first of October. We stopped at the KOA in Wilmington and had a nice visit with our son, Matthew, his wife, Jen, and our grandson, Mason. It was about this time that hurricane Matthew began threatening the east coast, so we decided we had better move on upstate.

Connie’s horse was now being boarded at Painted Sky Ranch a few miles out of Mooresville, NC. This is a beautiful 10 acre horse farm newly developed by Debra and Jeff Shook (Debra has been Connie’s friend and equine instructor since Connie has had her horse, Midnight Lady). When Debra and Jeff were expanding their barn before moving horses in, I suggested that they include a full RV hookup in their plans. Well, they did just that, so we “moved in” at the horse ranch.

Connie decided that she would begin helping out by cleaning stalls for 7 horses in return for our “RV site.” Meanwhile, we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather, taking a couple of road trips in the Jeep to see the fall colors in the mountains, and generally just taking it easy.

As December approached, it be came evident that I needed to have some surgery to remove some kidney stones. I wasn’t in pain, but they were in my kidney, too big to pass. Arrangements were made for laser surgery in mid December to remove the stones. The surgery went well, and I was able to go home the same day.

That’s when things began to go south. I had a bad hip to start with, but after the surgery, it was much worse. I could hardly walk, and the pain was excruciating. One day after surgery, my foley catheter stopped working, and I had to have it replaced. Two days after surgery, it stopped working again, and I was admitted to the hospital. What happened for the next three weeks is a blur in my mind. Because of the problems with the catheter not functioning properly, my body went septic. Because of the sepsis, my AFIB went haywire. In addition, I required three pints of blood to replace what I lost through the catheter, and I was hallucinating due to some medication. Finally, after almost three weeks in the hospital, including Christmas, I seemed to have stabilized, but I wasn’t going home.

Remember when I said I couldn’t walk? Well, I was transferred to Genesis Healthcare, a nursing home/rehab center in Mooresville in January. There I would stay for three months as I underwent daily therapy to help me walk. I started in a wheelchair and managed to walk out with two canes in April. The therapy continued for four weeks through home healthcare nurses.

During all this, my wife, Connie has been a real trooper. She even learned how to dump grey and black water tanks and has taken great care of me, our doggies, and the RV while continuing to clean horse stalls 6 days a week (now for 9 horses). God has truly blessed me with a wonderful wife.

I am still walking with two canes, and it is painful at times, but I am getting stronger each day. I am also working hard to lose enough weight to have that bad hip replaced. I have about 12 pounds to go to reach my goal. We are planning to stay in North Carolina at the horse ranch until I have lost the weight and have the surgery. Don’t know how long that rehab will be, but we’ll be right here at Painted Sky Ranch until the doctor clears me to travel again.

I hope this brings things up to date. Not exactly the way we wanted to begin retirement, but God works in mysterious ways, and we are looking forward to whatever God has in store for us in the future. In the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers for my continued recovery and future surgery as well as for Connie as she continues to look after me, our home, and the horses.


The Princess and the Frog


My sincerest apologies to those of you who might be following us (or trying to) on our blog. It has, indeed, been two months since our last post. I will try to bring you up to speed, and hopefully we can keep things current in the future. It’s a pretty long read, so bear with me.

  • We closed on our house July 8 and had to “vacate the premises.” Problem was Connie had a wedding to play for July 9, and our RV would not be ready to occupy until July 27! Solution: Rent a 6 x 12′ U-Haul trailer and load all our worldly possessions in it, which we finished only 30 minutes before closing. After spending two nights in Candlewood Suites in Mooresville (for the wedding) we headed to Wilmington to bunk at Matthew’s house until we would go to Elkhart to pick up the RV.
  • Time to head to Elkhart, Indiana after more than 2 weeks at Matt’s house. But things didn’t go quite as planned. Check engine light came on in the West Virginia mountains. Had to stop and purchase a new battery for the Liberty. A while later, the coolant boiled over (we were working her pretty hard pulling what was probably an overloaded trailer. Finally made it to Elkhart with no other problems.
  • Arrived at the Nexus factory the morning of July 27th to meet our new home. Had a nice parking space next to the factory for us to make our transfer from trailer to motorhome over the next couple of days while getting used to motorhome living. Oh that it was that easy! We had waaaay too much stuff in the trailer to fit in the motorhome. We managed to trim down the load with a couple of trash pickups and two trips to Goodwill. Unfortunately, we gave a wrong bag to Goodwill which had most of my favorite t-shirts in it, you know, the Mast Store t-shirts.
  • Okay, we’ve moved in, dropped off the trailer and figured out how to hook up the Jeep Liberty for towing. Let’s start our full-time journey with a drive to the Amish country in Berlin, Ohio. On the way to Berlin, we ran into torrential rain and discovered that we had a leak in the bathroom vent. On top of that, our refrigerator quit working! We had to buy an ice chest to keep things cold. Too far to go back to the factory, so let’s try the nearest “factory authorized” service facility, which happened to be due north in Loraine, Ohio. Spent the night in their parking lot so they could see us first thing the next morning. Well, contrary to what we expected, they had no agreement with Nexus, but they were kind enough to find and fix our leak and check the fridge. Said they fixed it, so we headed south to Mooresville. Spent the night on the way in a riverside city park in St. Albans, WV. Nice.
  • You guessed it! Fridge still on the fritz. Checked into the Statesville, NC KOA for a few nights so Connie could see her horse, Lady, and we could see about getting the fridge fixed (still a warranty issue). Called Camping World, but that was a joke. Might be able to work us in in two or three days. Yeah, right. So I called a mobile RV repair service out of Hickory, NC. He said he’s stop by the next morning, which he did, in the pouring rain. Seems we had two problems with the fridge. The circuit board was defective and would not run on 110 volts, and the gas valve for gas operation was almost closed. No wonder it wouldn’t run on gas. He opened the valve but didn’t have a circuit board. We decided we’d wait ’til we got to Florida and let the Nexus Clearwater dealership fix it. It was working fine on gas. This fella drove 40 miles to our location and spent an hour checking out the fridge. Only charged us $40!! Gave us a handmade cross to boot. Time to head to Bushnell, Florida to establish our residency.
  • On the way to Florida, we boondocked at a Wal-Mart near Alpharetta and got to see Mike, Allison and Nora. They brought us supper. Nice. Still had 7 hours to go to Bushnell, so we “Wally-docked” again, this time in Valdosta, GA. Fridge still working!
  • Arrived a Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell, FL on August 8. Older park, but very nice with live oak trees full of Spanish moss all over. This is our “official residence address.” First things first. I called the Nexus dealership in Clearwater, FL, told them our fridge story, and they said they would order the part and we could drive down and have it installed when they got it in. Next on the agenda was to get Florida based insurance and go to the Sumter County Tax Office to declare our residency, get Florida driver’s licenses and register our Jeep and RV in the state of Florida. That’s right, it’s one stop does it all in Sumter County Florida! Only downside was having to pay Florida sales tax on the motorhome, even though it was expected ($7,000). We also were able to visit with our daughter Melinda, her husband Ben, and Haden and Landen (our grandsons) a few times during this first stay at Sumter Oaks. That was nice! By the way, that fridge part still had not arrived by August 18!
  • Mike, Allison and Nora had made reservations for a cabin at Live Oak Landing in Freeport, FL, north of Panama City. They were coming down for a greyhound event at the greyhound track in Ebro, FL. Mike and Allison are really into the greyhound rescue program, and they have three greyhounds themselves. Live Oak Landing also has RV spaces, so we checked out of Sumter Oaks and drove to Freeport to meet Mike and Allison for a few days. Saw our first greyhound races in person and enjoyed some beach time and a day at Gulf World (Connie got to kiss a dolphin!).
  • Last day at Live Oak Landing we got the call that our refrigerator part was in, Hallelujah! So, we made a beeline for Clearwater, FL, spending the night at a Wal-Mart in Hudson, FL before showing of at the Nexus dealership first thing the next morning. Patrick at Nexus fixed our fridge as well as a few other items that needed attention. Then it was back to Bushnell on August 26 (had to pick up the tag for the Jeep).
  • We have been chilling here at Sumter Oaks RV Park since August 26. We survived hurricane Hermine, along with a tornado warning and a tornado watch (not to be taken lightly when living in an RV). The doggies are doing fine since they get to play in the dog park at least once a day. Biggest casualty so far has been my right foot. I was dumping our black tank the other day (RV’ers know what I’m talking about) when I looked down and my foot was covered with ants! I had inadvertently stepped on an anthill. Fortunately they were sugar ants, nor fire ants, because I got stung over 25 times! You should see my foot!! On a less painful note, we finally have made our RV a home with some personal touches, pictures, etc. And we have our satellite up and running. We’ve also seen Melinda and the boys again. Not sure when we’ll leave Florida. We’d like to stop by Wilmington, NC so Matt, Jen and Mason can see our new home, and then we must go back to Mooresville, NC for a time. Connie’s horse, Lady, has moved into a new barn, and we need to see her new home. Until next time…


The Princess and the Frog


The countdown has begun for our Estate Sale which begins at 9:00am this Friday, July 1. The estate sale crew has been hard at work this week and last week preparing to liquidate our life as we have known it in this house for the past 25 or so years. It is unbelievable how much “stuff” you can accumulate without realizing it. The amazing thing is how God is enabling us to part with so many memories while opening new doors ahead for us. Of course, all things are possible through Him. If you are in the Mooresville, NC area this Friday and/or Saturday, stop by. You might find something you can use. Here is a link to some preview photos of our sale on the estate sale company website.

The other date fast approaching is our closing at 9:30am July 8. We will be able to stay in the house until then (hopefully without furniture save for our campground chairs and a few other things). Everything we’re keeping or have purchased for our RV is stored in a POD in our driveway until July 8. Then everything goes into a U-Haul trailer that we’ll keep with us while we stay with one of our kids until we get the go ahead to drive to the Nexus factory in Elkhart, Indiana to pick up our Phantom 32P to begin our new lifestyle. In case you’re wondering, here are the latest pictures of our RV taken last week. The factory is closed for the industry-wide mid-summer break until July 11.

We have established a Bushnell, Florida residence address and a Livingston,Texas mailing address through Escapees, and we still have a 2014 Alien Green Kia Soul to sell. So, until next time, blessings to you all.

~The Princess and the Frog (Connie and Kermit)

Lots of things going on this week. The Jeep Liberty is headed to Tom Johnson Camping World tomorrow to have it’s baseplate, towbar, braking system and wiring installed. Probably going to be an all-day trip. Then later in the week we’re have a backup camera installed.

The folks from Estate Solutions of the Catawba Valley will be coming in Wednesday morning to begin preparation for our estate sale coming up July 1st and 2nd. If you are in the area, we’ll have a bunch of great stuff for sale including furniture, a pump organ, a grand piano, other musical instruments (fiddle, guitar, cello, banjo), LP records, artwork, knick-knacks, bunches of Nativity sets, Department 51 Dickens’ Village pieces, books, a computer, three TVs, assorted tools, artificial lighted Christmas trees, full set of tent camping gear (LL Bean, used twice), complete stained glass studio, dishes, Calphalon cookware, cooking utensils, and the list goes on!! If you’d like to preview some of the items, click here. More pictures will be available as the sale date draws near.

Speaking of pictures, here are the latest progress pics of our RV. They are trying to get a lot done before their two-week holiday break. Completion date will still be sometime in mid-July.

(Click on any photo for larger image/slide show.)

Blessings. Have a great week!

~The Princess and the Frog

Sorry, I been having some problems with my latest posts, so I decided to delete them and try again.

Here are all the photos so far of the build progress of our Nexus Phantom 32P. Estate Sale is July 1-2, and house closing is July 11. Hope to pick up RV in Elkhart sometime in mid-July. Look out, Full-Timing, here we come!

(Click on any photo for larger image/slide show.)


~The Princess and the Frog

Greetings. Just got word today that the foundation trussing has been completed on our Nexus Phantom 32P. The factory rep sent pictures and will be sending us pictures of the progress every few days, and I will be sharing them on our blog.

Click on an individual image to view slideshow.

On the down side, the unit will probably not be ready before the two-week 4th of July break that all the RV manufacturers in Elkhart, Indiana take during the summer. That means completion sometime around mid-July or so. Now, that’s not so bad, unless you consider that our sell-everything-we’re-not-taking-with-us Estate Sale is July 1st and 2nd, and the closing date on the house is July 11th. We may end up homeless before we’re able to pick up our new house. Guess we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.

Blessings until next time.

~The Princess and the Frog

Just a short entry today but a good one. Our house was listed for sale Friday, May 13th. We had one showing Monday, four showings Tuesday, and three scheduled for later in the week. One of the Tuesday showings paid off! They made an offer, we made a counter-offer, and they accepted! Contract was signed Thursday evening. Our closing is scheduled for July 11th, or possibly a little earlier. The Estate Sale (Link)  is still on for July 1st & 2nd.

This was definitely an answer to our prayers, and to those of many friends praying for us. Even the circumstances surrounding the family buying our house point to God’s hand in all this. And I suppose St. Joseph had a hand in it, as well. We are grateful to God for what has taken place so far, and we are more determined than ever to follow His leadership as we begin our full-time life in July.

Princess and the Frog

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