Friday, January 7, 2011


I woke up the other morning when Tank, my 160 lb mastiff mix was trying to snuggle under the covers of the bed.
Now, it isn't unusual for the pugs to snuggle under the covers--nor is it unusual for Tank to sleep on the bed. It IS unusual for Tank to try to snuggle or get under the covers.
I quickly noticed that it really seemed cold in the 5th wheel. I like a cold room of 60-62 degrees--even 50 degrees is okay--for sleeping, but this was really COLD!
I hopped out of bed and headed for the living/kitchen where I noted that only cold air was coming out of the vents--EEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!! And, the air temp was a crisp 44 degrees! I thought, well darn, the heater must have malfunctioned. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes when the propane switches from the empty tank to a full tank, there is air in the lines and the furnace doesn't fire.
I threw on some warmer clothing and headed out of the coach to check the propane--EMPTY!!! BOTH of my 100lb tanks were empty! I have two so that when one is empty I have time to get it filled and back online before the second one is empty. Well Old Timers must have gotten to me because they were both definitely empty.
Being quite early, Drew (or He Who fills the propane at the campground) was still asleep and I am not one to interrupt someone's beauty sleep unless absolutely necessary, so I grabbed my wrench and unscrewed a 100 lb tank and connected one of my 40 lb onboard tanks to get some heat going.
I ran back into the coach to feel blessed heat coming out of the vents. Rubbing my hands and blowing to warm them, I also turned on the electric space heater. I rarely use the electric space heater as we get our electric included in our lot rent and I hate to run the bill up for the owners as that cost will surely be passed along to everyone camping here at some point as the owners are not running a non-profit campground (or in this case Kampground) for their utter amusement and enjoyment. This is how they eat and they must make a profit. All they ask is that we utilize the resources here as we would if it was our own home.
I quickly decided that were this my own home, the space heater would most assuredly be in use!
Soon, I was shedding heavy clothing as the coach warmed up to a toasty, normal 65 degrees and all was well. He who fills the propane filled the two 100 lb tanks and one of my 40 lb onboard tanks and returned them to me. All was well.
All the while, the Vanilla Ice song was running through my mind. Why? Am I a hip-hopper all of a sudden? Am I going through some sort of a second teenagehood--in the hood?
No--I was recently cruising through the channels and came upon the DIY program Vanilla Ice Project. What the heck, I thought, why not give it a try. I like programs about flipping houses and such and what is better than watching a burned out rapper/hip hopper flop--uh--flip?
I began watching and realized that this guy actually knew what he was doing! I also thought I saw something else that intrigued me...
I made Jim watch the beginning video of the show (he really HATES DIY shows, shows that are centered around tools, anything about fixing homes, cars or anything else!). He asked why I was torturing him and I just said watch!

He started getting really into the video and then said what I had been thinking--that looks like James! Our son! I didn't give him a hint of what I was seeing, I just wanted to see if I was crazy because Jim and I often see people very differently. Not this time! We both saw our James--uh sans the body art which thankfully James has not delved into! Now everytime Jim sees me watching Vanilla Ice Project, he just says--You're just watching because you miss James! Yep--probably. But, the show is okay too.

So, those of you who know James, have a look at these photos (of course Rob Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice is 42 and James is 28) and see what you think!


  1. hmmmmmmmmm....... what was Jim up to in 1968??

  2. In 1968, I was a freshman at Kansas State University. While I was no angel, I don't believe I ever knew Rob's mom. :)