Thursday, September 30, 2010


Here is a better picture of us posing during Amelia's third performance of the Sword Suspension.
Today was a great day. The weather was perfect. Still trying to get used to no humidity. Our hands, lips and cuticles are all drying out. We've become accustomed to the eastern humidity.
Great news is our Tightrope. A little rig that stands 5' high and 10' long arrived today. Custom made for us. Though I think he made one for another act a couple of years ago. Everyone wanted to get on it and everyone did. Amelia, James and Miles are naturals and Nick is pretty good too. I sucked and my back ached all day for doing it. Mami was cute.

A pink gorilla (AKA Miles) strolls by as we assemble the rig.

It looks like I am doing well here. What you don't see is that I am next to the RV and one second after this shot I am holding the RV.

Mami loved it!

Olivia, with Nick's help made it across.

Jim was the first to get across with no help!

Look I seem to be a second later......
Nick is looking good too... one second later....
The dog show people have started to help work with Belle for our show. Tomorrow she will help a bit more on training tips and technique. We want to make her appear then have her do a couple of tricks.
I promised to mention a few things we have planned for 2011. One is the tightrope with Miles doing lasso tricks, James doing some juggling and Amelia doing an old fashion clown and umbrella crossing with it.
We also plan a high slack rope which will some traditional slack rope walking and stunts plus flips and since it will be high a couple of cloud swing stunts.
We will be adding Belle's dog tricks more aggressively.
Miles will be zip lining down into the audience to open his whip routine.
We will be developing a loose story to the whole show and perform our standard show with a bit more glitz. New circus costumes fro most of us. And here is the big thing...we are buying a complete trapeze rig set up, nets towers, and everything. A few of us will be going to train this fall and winter and we buy the rig in the spring.
Mami and I went looking at motor homes again today. We found a fantastic one, a class A. We will see what comes of it. We are liking the double RV situation we have here at this fair. It even beats out hotels. Even if our FEMA trailer the fair is letting us use leaks, and has a million little problems the concept has been great and we have been spending more time together.
Our audiences are some of the nicest in the country....Kentucky still wins with Maine and New Mexico in for second.
I also received a bunch of bills from my home (my folks) today....guess what I am doing after typing this blog.....yup...bill pay on line.
Oh, I sold my stage so we will hand it over to the new owner ( a great performer and friend from FL) when we get to OK. It will lighten the trailer by 1000lbs. Since we are expanding the show dand getting a taller stage it just makes sense. And since he will continue to use it in great spirit the slae was easy. We still have 7 - 4' X 8' X 24" sections in Cali if anyone wants to buy those.
Well, I will cap it off here tonight and will spend more time on the fair and our continuing development of new stuff tomorrow. God Bless.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Day of Shows In Las Cruces (The Crosses)

First Day of performances here at the SNMSF and we have had nothing but fabulous audiences. Really not a sour one in the bunch. We are doing four show today and the next couple of days for the school kids. Very polite people her in southern NM...sorta Kentucky-ish that way. Very warm and dray like home here. But the sweat is the same.
Since Cynthia ran off to college away from the circus the others have been taking over her slots. Here Princess Amelia is doing the sword suspension. She loves doing it. Normally we don't repeat a trick in a day but she wanted to do it again so here she is.

While in town today I found a Halloween store and went in with the intention to find an outfit Uncle Eddie had wanted. But they didn't have it. However I did find an MC Hammer outfit and since Jim does the "Can't Touch This" juggling dance routine I picked it up. I went over big at the show.

Belle got a new outfit too. The dog show trainer is going to work with us tomorrow and teach Belle a few new tricks.

Miles made up an improvised POI tying strings to reading lights. Nick snapped this awesome picture.

Here is our set at night.

Remember the carnival set up pix we blogged the other day...same angle but all set up.

Bug off the day....he was flying around our backstage annoying me like crazy. After taking his picture he left me alone.
The new ladder came for the RV. It says it is a universal Ladder but of course it needed all kinds of tweaking to really work for us. I had to use the old ladder's upper section and saw 4" off one part of another section. But it looks great now. I was glad I had the glassing putty as I needed to plug a few of the old ladder's screw holes. The paint I found was a good match too. That took much of my day.
The little ones did their homework and watched some of the other shows. Like the dog show. The folks there are nice and I hope to catch their show myself soon.
Mami's cold seems so much better today. She recovers quickly......humph! I still have cough fits from jealous ...but really I am happy for her.
We have been having a brain storm of new ideas for the show these past few days. Wait til you hear what we have coming for next year. it is going to be the best year ever! God has sure sent inspiration down on all of us at the same time.
This year is a record year for us and we will break the 6 figure mark in gross income from the show alone for the first time. However, it is also a record year in expenses as travel costs and other expenses have been through the we we still be poor even before the tax man comes for us. But this year has been the most wild, adventurous, crazy, exciting, stressful, fun year we have ever had. Too bad that Discovery thing didn't work out...they would've loved this year!
Interesting, when I started writing this a band was playing oldies form the 70s off in the distance and the lights and sounds of the carnival were all about me. But right this moment it's all dark and quiet. A bug or two have flittered by and the sound of RV water heaters are going full. We have string lings and RV porch lights on but I really want those plastic chili pepper lights for next year.
I forgot to mention, mostly because I was drugged, but yesterday I had around 15 minor back spasms then all night and today sciatica. Thank you Dr. Bowen for saving my sanity with the pain.
I picked up a Las Cruces chapter of the Tea Party T-shirt today. So far I have a Cincinatti one and a NM one. Wonder if I can get an OK one. It's sad that some poepl paint the Tea Party as racist and mean...haven't met personally a single one who was racist, mean or nasty. Most are just folks angry about BIG government. My cashier at Home depot told me she though we should do things the way Canada does's all free up there. She has no idea. So I asked her how she would like if say she made $100 and the government took 65% for those "free" programs...we she prefer to bring home $100 or $35. She's now a tea party girl.
Tomorrow our tight rope comes.....yeah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Before the shows

Did I mention Mami is a John Deere Girl?This couple Glenn and Debbie Johnson are Tractor Lovers and Glenn made up this trailer like thing for his wife to ride behind him. It even has a cup holder. Well, I rushed over and told Mami about them and I told the Johnson's about Mami loving John Deere ever since Iowa and her combine ride and they offered her a ride.
Amelia and Olivia even got to ride it. They had a blast. These things are what make each fair so different.

Here is our setup. Can you believe how long that banner line is getting. We have a big span a sauna and pool guy set up to our left (your right) and a air bubble water rider thigny on our right (your left) and a dog show on the other side of them. That makes our 3rd dog show we will perform with this year.

While Mami and I slipped off for shopping and lunch at Whataburger Victor did his studies and then did some origami.

Miles the cow tipping stud....wrong shirt for NM.

Bug of the day. A horn worm Caterpillar.

We drove past these guys and around these guys on the way up. Now they are setting up directly behind us. I think Nick stood on the RV to shoot this. By the way, Frank (Nick's dad) i still haven't old him you painted his room pink. Shhhhh
In stead of a hotel room the fair provided us with an RV trailer donated by a local RV dealer. Well, it is rumored to be one of those unused ones from Katrina. It has rust here and there. he water pump is broken, there was no hose to hook up to water, the lp gas line was broke and it had a few other problems. Victor got a loose staple stuck in his foot from the carpet in it. Well, the fair maintenance people got the water heater hooked up directly to the tanks, got us a hose, and fixed most of the other problems.
Our Rv set up next to the trailer RV and our box trailer closing in one end, our van the other has created a clown ally or court yard for us to sup and hang out. In fact I am there typing now. It's kind of nice not having to run off to a hotel each night.
The new hubcap for the van arrived...not brand fact, used....maybe it is the same one that was taken in Iowa. Hmmmmm. Conspiracy theorist. ;-)
A bunch of specialized diapers arrive too. We will get the new ladder for the RV tomorrow and our tight rope arrives on Friday.
Mami's cold is a bit better. At Whataburger she had a really good burger, some jalapenos and some instant Japanese soup she brought with her. I think the John Deere ride helped too.
Cynthia called and will see a doctor about her wrist Carpel tunnel? Tendentious? Keep her in your prayers. She misses her favorite store, Ross, and is looking forward to coming home Christmas to hit the 5-story SF Ross.
A belated Happy 69th to JC ...we love you man!
This fair we are at seems like it is going to be a great one. The facilities are filled with history and the people around here seem very nice. Our layout is perfect. PTL
Ciao for tonight.

Monday, September 27, 2010

videoblog1 28 foy

videoblog1 27 Berea 2010

Las Cruces-the Cross Roads

Below is an Indian Art image on the entry gate at The American RV Park in Albuquerque, a five star RV park. I know some people might find it hard to believe that RV parks can be high class. This joint was. Even the low end places are filled with rigs that cost between 100, 000 to a million dollars.

This image is the same as the one in the gate but someone made it in the gravel at the park. Pretty impressive work.
many of the workers at the park are RVers. Lifers. People who live in their Rv and exchange a space for work. Free spirits.

Victor and Miles met a couple of boys who were playing football. They were traveling with their folks and seemed to be into all kinds of sports; golf, football,ATVs etc.

They had fun as Amelia played water girl. I think she wanted to play too.

Meanwhile James and Nick try to change the Gas filter. Problem is the fuel system needs to be depressurized...none of us know how to do it. We looked it up on line but little help. We know we have to remove the fuel pump relay but couldn't find a diagram to tell us which relay it was! UGH

Mami proudly sporting her John Deere Shirt we bought in Dodge City at a dealership. Ever since the combine ride she is a John Deere girl. that will make it easy when I want to buy a riding John Deere Mower.

On our drive down to las Cruces we past the carnival driving down as well. Bunk houses, vendor shacks, rides, you name it.

Notice the town name on the sign.....Truth or Consequences. Love it. We got gas there.
Here at the fairgrounds, which is a former Army satellite , radar base....they still have the Gomer Pyle barracks and since it is a historic site, all the old buildings and structures. It is rather cool.
The fair is providing us a second RV. This one a trailer. It;s nice but it has several problems like the LP gas not working, the water heater element is rotted, and they had not hooked it hose either. We will have to fix all this tomorrow.
Mami is coming down wih my cold...keep her in your prayers.
Our stage setup is pretty nice. The boys had it up pretty fast. I will take pix.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Too lazy to move on today....

Too lazy to move on today. We are just hanging here at the RV park (pool, spa, trails, quiet...). We will go to an evening service at a church nearby at tonight. Otherwise very little to report.
Sure we went over and checked out a new RV...with slideouts and bunk beds. We will see.
The stress of the tour has melted away and life is easy today. PTL.
Looking forward to the drive to Southern NM tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the Road to Las Cruces-Bye Bye TX Hello NM

The sign I am holding below I bought for James at the Gift Shop at Ft Amarillo RV Park. A very nice place with very nice people. 5 magic hats! (My new rating system)
We had a great two days in Amarillo but decided to move on. We will spend the next couple of days in Albuquerque, NM then continue on to Las Cruces for the Southern New Mexico State Fair. From what I understand we will be getting out of Albuquerque not too soon as the Balloon Festival starts this coming week and the town will be overwhelmed with people, rvs, balloons, and the like.

If I may jump back a day. This is the start of the fiberglass repair I did on the RV. By days end I had it looking pretty nice. I will do the rest (the back panel) when I get back to Cali. There is a bent square tubing that will need to be straightened and that means pulling the whol panel off before I can do the fiberglass and bondo work.

As I mentioned yesterday I had Nick change the hose that runs from the gas tank inlet to the gas tank. here is what the hose looked like It's metal reinforced so it was nearly impossible to force open enough for gas to pass through. That meant fillups at the station took much time each time we had to put gas in.
It was quiet a job finding the hose though I think most auto parts stores had them They aren't listed under parts for my vehicle. An old timer at a parts store in Dodge City went in the back and brought a new one out guessing and cross checking in his head. The kids who work at the chain parts stores don't have practical repair experience to think like the old timer.
Nick did a great job changing it. I envy being able to crawl around under a vehicle like I did when I had a decent back. Oh well.
Today's drive went swimmingly and we had a great time. The little ones mostly studied. Mami got to see the painted desert for the first time. One thing nice is that it isn't Windy like Amarillo and Dodge City. Haven't seen a fly yet either...yeah! We gave Mami an break and had fast food for lunch. But for dinner Mami made a great Chili-soup and hot fresh cornbread. I made a salsa...not too spicy...but nice.
The Super Walmart here had green chili peppers for sales by the guni-sack. Then you take them outside and they roasted them for you. Smelt like pot smoking at first. Maybe the roasters were never mind.
The RV park we are at is probably the best one we have come to so far. I will write more about that tomorrow.
This town is very pretty and looking down on it during sunset was awesome.
Miles and Nick tired a Jalapeno (raw) just for kicks. It's been a while for both since they have had capsasin so the burn was tough on both of them . But they liked it none the less.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day OFF!

We are in Amarillo and we took the day off. The kids hit the pool and the playground. Titus even got some pool time. For that matter, so did Mami.
I got some body work done on the RV...I think it turned out pretty OK. It was just a small part of the back section that was damaged back in PA when I hit that cement thing at the gas station (see that blog). But I did some fiberglass and bondo work and it looks OK. It meant I had to make about 4 trips back and forth into town...Walmart, Lowes, Auto store, Petco (mice for Buttercup, and Lowes again.)
Nick installed the new gas hose as the old one was pinched nearly closed when we had the blowout of the duely back in CT last month. The gas will flow faster now during the fill up.
The park we are at seems to be a bit ritzy for a country family like us. Most of the customers are older is off season for families I suppose. Most of the rigs here are of the expensive type. Met one gent who turned me on to where one can stay at an RV park owned by the feds for $7 a night.
Forgot about a story that made national news and we were there in Dodge City. If you look back at that blog I mentioned the cops being all over the place. One of the incidents I referred to was six or so cop cars at Boot Hill five minutes after we left. I heard from the manager at the RV park the next day that what we missed by five minutes was a 69 year old man who wanted a great picture put his neck into a noose on the "hanging tree" at Boot Hill. (how he got up there?????) He fell unconscious and his lady friends couldn't get him down. He was rescued and is in the hospital in stable condition but he came very close to being Boot Hills most recent resident.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dodge City-Windiest City in the USA! Titus Turns 13!

Happy Birthday Titus. 13 years ago the Lord blessed us with Titus. We toured the town today and he had a special lunch with his favorites-pizza and cheese burgers with fries. He was very happy. Cake and ice cream is on the menu after dinner tonight. (Pics tomorrow).
We are in Dodge City. It is a windy, dusty, fly-infested town. I am not kidding; the wind has not stopped all day and every time we sit down in an area that not a single fly can be seen BAM a fly appears, then hundred....see the last picture.
We also visited a park to eat our lunch. Though Dodge is an old town where, over time, folks have built and added and connected newer parts of town, only to let them grow old and build on further, it has it's charm. It reminds me of Barstow, CA in some ways. It has a desert feel to it.
These things are constant here: wind, dust, flies, and cops. There have been bust going on all over the town. Unrelated, but part of the town is that most of the town is Hispanic. Most of the stores downtown are closed or now some type of Hispanic store.

The kids have enjoyed their stay regardless of the wind and stuff. They even took time to build a sand-dirt castle on the lake beach.

Boot was only a cemetery for 8 years or so but it is the most famous cemetery in the US. Sadly the whole area once known as Boot Hill has been built over with a replica of the old main street (Front Street) and an Applebee's. That's right the cemetery has been dug up and built into a tourist trap. There is a small section still available to see, for a fee. But the graveyard is now a fake ghost town...even has a gift shop with all kinds of trinkets built by cowboys and Indians in China.

There was a cool train engine we could crawl over, and we did.

Miles fell in love with Miss Kitty. Remember Gunsmoke? Well, this is Dodge!

James tries on a squaw hairpiece.

Folks of TV, film and reality have all earned a place on the walk of fame...kind of like the stars in Hollywood. But here it is medallions. If you were famous and did anything related to Dodge you have a medallion.

James performs at the Historic Doge Theater built in 1929. This was an interest to us. Eddie Foy performed in Dodge many times. Sadly most of the wood building from that era burned down in the 1890s so there is nothing left of anything from the old cowboy era except the church, the blacksmith shop and the jail from Ft Dodge at the Boot Hill Museum.

We found and bought this post card.
Ain't it the truth.

Flies anyone. They are everywhere.

We ate our lunch at a park in town that is very new and nice. It has an amphitheater and a zoo. The zoo was even free, so we went. Buffalo, tigers, monkeys, potbelly pig, llama, and more. It was a very nice day...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pictures! And we make it to Dodge City!

Here are a couple of pix that I was to sick to even try messing with a couple of days ago and yesterday.
Miles mixes pink gorilla and ALf.

Sayako gives her approval.

We pulled into Emporia, KS and nestled behind an overpass, unseen from hiwhways and byways is a very cute, clean RV park called Emporia RV Park. The kids loved the old fashioned merry go round thingy and ...

The pond with the had a bridge.

Our drive today started after a very long nice sleep. Still got my cold but it isn't as sniffly as yesterday. Hoping to wish it a farewell soon.
Dodge City is the perfect cowboy town. After crossing the windy plains (and boy were they windy; every time a semi passed us we werre hit with super strong walls of air. The RV shook swurved every time. ) well, after we crossed the wind swept plains we came upon small series of hills. Passing between two of the hills you are greeted by an awesome "welcome to" sign then you seen the town down below. You could easily imagine riding into town on a horse a hundred years ago.
Our RV park is on a little lake and this picture is the view from my back window.

The kids found dinner......sashimi!
Tomorrow we are tourists.
good night