Friday, May 31, 2013

Tornado Zone

One would think we are nuts. We intentionally drove into a major tornado zone. But it was the only way to get to our final destination of KY.  So after waking up up late (we slept to 8CDT) and got on the road by 9:30 we left NE cut a corner or IA and drove across MO. Right into the "zone".  Our camp is onto of a mtn so we are pretty safe from most tornadoes but the T-storms are all lined up and ready to keep us wet all night. At one point the tornado sirens went off and the family went to the camp shelter. I stayed with the animals in the RV.   I road out a storm that looked big on the Doppler but was mild when it hit. It was the start of a long line of storms that will continue through the might. We are safe, for now, and God willing will stay that way. We drove from beautiful morning sunshine straight and directly into the storm zone. We saw the clouds 100 miles away but we drove into them anyway.  That is the nature of our job.
The Park we are performing for had their advert people call and a billboard with our pix will be going up on the hwy outside of Bowling green. Cool. Our first Billboard.
We will be doing some news shows in BG when we arrive as well.
We want to make this a big turn out for the park.
The ANti-Monkey Butt art on our trailers and RV have been getting crazy response. One man told me the road we were on was once part of the Oregon Trail. He said the biggest problem back then was chaffing and baby rash.  We were 200 years late getting there with our powder. I have some video of people's reactions to the art as well as some getting samples from us.  Coming soon.
Cheers, Blessings and sleep tight.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hail the size of ping pong balls.....

 You always hear on the news about big hail. "as big as quarters" "as big as golf balls".
Well, we experienced them as big as ping pong balls. And three of our four skylights in our RV were broken as a result.  RV glue and heavy vinyl is our stop gap (literally) fix until we can find an rv supply store.
We are in Lincoln, NE. We woke up in Laramie, Wy to 39 degrees with a wind chill of 31. Layered three shirts deep we took off east...into the dark clouds of eastern Nebraska.
The trip was mostly uneventful except after we arrived here. (the picture above is Laramie last night.  It was so cold and the wind so strong I gave up walking Tator tot and i took the shivering pooch back to the RV.
We've been video taping more than still photo shooting so in a week or so keep an eye out for the video...including the hail that broke the skylights.
For the most part gas is cheaper than Cali. We've paid as low as 3.45/gal. But occasionally there is that one station in the middle of nowhere that has to give Cali a run for her money.
Amelia was car sick and used the RV sink to rid herself of her stomach contents a few times. Titus woke up at 4AM so Victor Jr. got no sleep so he slept in the back of the RV most of today.
Ryan, the intern, is working out very well. He is volunteering to do just about everything and though he can't drive he is keeping James awake and alert.
Not sure if it will publish that way but the pictures seem to be a bit distorted (squashed up). Maybe the connection at this camp...not the greatest.  But I am grateful we have it...I don't have to use my phone's hot-spot data (that can be expensive).

 Little girl on my lap...peek a boo.
 attack of the poodles.
 These hail stones were from the first storm....only big pea size.  We videoed the larger hail.
Below is a picture of the dammage from one of the skylights.  A little rv glue and heavy vinyl and we made a patch (not shown). Camping World here I come.  The hole below is 3.5" long. The hail stone was ping pong sized and took 30 minutes to melt in the skylight screen in area. drip drip drip.

This is our national symbol. I've seen it in every state. And out of respect everyone slows down to pay homage to it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the Road From Californi it is a hard and hideous Journey (not really but I didn't want to change the lyric too much.

It's cold.  Has been since we left. We've hit light weather but all around us we have seen storms in the distance.  The pictures show it.  It's been smooth sailing so having nothing to report is nice. I hope, with the exception of cool things, we have an uneventful time driving. 
Both vehicles are ranging from 6 to 10 mph and gas is crazy. By far the worst gas prices in 4 years. But we shall endure. 
AS we enter each state Mami pulls out history and social studies books and reads  all kinds of facts about the state. Homeschoolers always.   We learned about the Pika, a rodent that looks like a bunny without long ears. See I even learned something...btw they live in the Rockies. 

We did see a few interesting things.  A nice rainbow (sadly the camera didn't capture the splendor or deep colors we saw. )  We also saw a strange device on a looked interesting so we snapped a shot.  Then there was the tent trailer that looked like it was driving itself.  It took quite a while until we saw the tiny Toyota truck in front of it.  It was freaky. 

Did I mention it's cold. James woke up last night and feeling sorry for Buttercup he took him to the shower and gave him a steaming. That was in Wendover, NV. Tonight is Laramie. And it is still COLD. I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a fleece over it.   

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 8th "D" in Departure.

We will be taking off for our summer tour staring this coming Tuesday.  After a quiet Memorial Day (we hope to have all things packed and ready to go by Sunday) we will jump in the vehicles and hit the road for 4-6 months.  I say 4-6 because we have bookings set for 4 months and some still being worked out that could take us out for a month or two more.   May has been insane with dentist check-ups, doctor appointments (gotta get those check-ups and stuff done), car appointments (rotations, oil changes, repairs, etc), house preparation, yard preparation, and self preparation.
We have taken the time to have the kids learn how to fish in various environments and with various styles so we can enjoy our Omega-3s while on the road. Since we stay at RV parks and rural fair grounds there is always a creek, river, pond, or lake near-by. And since I am a dunce about the art of fishing my god-brother , Steve, has been teaching the kids. They love it.
This past Sunday we had the opportunity to have a farewell lunch with our bestous buddies JC and Clidean. And no better way to do it than the bestous Chinese food in most of the US, Tong Fong Low.  You can't meet two of the nicest people. And no one can out do JC for energy, enthusiasm for life, and kindness. He and I were on our best behavior at this lunch because the wives were there....but when I get back from tour JC and I sure to get a little crazy.
Cynthia made it to NAIA Collegiate Track Championships today.  She ran the 400 hurdles (has to be the hardest race of all 400 meters sprinting then they added hurdles to it.   She ran against 17mph headwinds. No one got a personal best at that race. The top 9 would move on to finals on Saturday. Unfortunately Cynthia ended in 11th. But she moved for 12th to 11th seed. And that's a good thing.  
Miles is taking summer classes and will meet up with us in Bowling Green, Ky when he is done. He is the RA for the summer dorms at the college. It's kind of like being a dad for a bunch of kindergardeners.  He's coping.
By the way a young man named Ryan has joined on as our intern for the summer....more on him as the summer progresses.
Not sure if I posted the parade pictures. But here are a couple pre parade pictures from two weeks ago.
Here are some pix from the week:

 Jim and Ryan taking time for a pose.
 Jim's new haircut

 Group birthday...all in the pix will have a birthday on tour...."Happy Birthday, Y'all"

 Steve and Victor
 Berry Creek School fundraiser show.

 Victor doing tricks on the wire in cast!

 My garden before we leave...who knows if it will be alive when I get back. 

 This big Horehound was a tiny spring I found by the river and transplanted here.  Fortunate because a week later rangers weed whacked the area for fire-safety.  

 Happy Burrito before it is rolled. 
Since we are going on tour the doc took Vic's cast off early (one week). He is wearing a wrist splint for the next two weeks.  But yay, he gets to shower w/out a plastic bag. 

 John on Jim. 
 College life?

 A friend found this old wedding picture of Mami and I and posted it on Facebook so I repost it here. 

Don't ask, I have no idea!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Weekly Update of The Kent Family Here There and Everywhere.

We just finished a mini five day tour that included us setting our circus show up (trapeze and all) at a school in Marysville, CA and do a single 90 minute show. (That one lead to an invite back next year.) We then drove to Livermore to be a part of the Wine Country Festival; that went extremely well with invites to further events in Livermore. Then we started a three day Christian program for Kids in Paradise, CA.  That was all day Sunday, and then the evenings of Monday and Tuesday. We snuck a show in for a senior center in Yuba City (A repeat customer) which was a lot of fun. We took the poodles and a bunny so that afterwards the folks there could pet our pets.
On Monday we were able to sneak a trip to the Lake Oroville visitors center where once a month they have a program for homeschoolers. This week was the final for this season.   The girls were even able to rush off over to the church for girls choir practice.
On Wednesday I planned on staying in bed all day and recover from sun and wind and show burn. You know that exhaustion from going from a slow spring season to a busy summer season....the first couple of weeks kills.  But instead we went to the free event at the Historic Chinese Temple in town and had tea and cookies while we toured the place. Chinese played an important part of Oroville's early history, in fact, it's birth. The kids and Mami went to the AWANA Banquet that night. That was the closing program for this season. Olivia got a plaque for finishing a book this year.
This morning the girls went to White Cross. That is a program where women from our church make bandages for folks in poorer lands.  Amelia and Olivia love to help and the older women love to see them there.
Jim had his weekly radio show in KVOR 91.1 on Tuesday.  We listened to five minutes of it as we drove home from our last night at the Paradise Church program.

Tuesday was also Mami's Birthday...she will be older than me for a little under a month. Yesterday the kids and I gave her 5 bottles of Kim Chi. some berries and other food goodies....she is not a jewelry person (thank God) makes her happy. This Sunday we will celebrate for real.

Below are the pix of the week. I've included pix from Cynthia and Miles at college.  They finished with finals. Cynthia has to wait around to the end of the moth for the National Championships for track and Miles is taking some summer classes. We will meet up with Miles in June and Cynthia in August. She is interning at a camp in Michigan.

 Visitor center program. The younger kids (olivia) made a treasure chest or jar and the older kids did a power point program. Theirs was about foraging.

 A kid from the Church in Paradise did a trick for us.
 Our stage in Livermore
 Anti Monkey-Bott on the move

 Forgetful Bear meeting and greeting.

 Jim balancing Excalibur.

Circus at a school 

They called this a junk food party...but there is today!?

For a few months I thought I was just being lazy because all i wanted to do was rest. Then i took my yearly physical and blood test and it turns out I am a little anemic with low-t and slightly high cholesterol. Whew, in a way that is a load of my mind I thought I was suffer the onset of depression or just laziness. So now bacon is but a dream, iron tablets, b12, oats, grains, nuts and fish is on the menu in quantity (what am  I a bear?) and no alcohol. My energy should be up enough to handle the tour.