We got to Illinois and it was raining. Decided to set up in the rain and then take a shower. Got set up and the rain quit. Figures. Oh well, I needed the shower anyway. :>) We had a week before we had to be in S. Illinois for our appts. So this week was mainly visiting with friends and spending time with my brother. We did have a couple of appts in this area also. I did bid & win my bid on EBAY for a new camera. Itís an Olympus C-740 with 10X zoom. Our other camera did a good job but was lacking in zoom. Especially when in wildlife areas. New camera has more features and pixels than Iíll really need but really wanted the zoom.

Then on to Effingham, Il, Kayís hometown. We setup in her brotherís yard with full hookups. New camera arrived around the same time. Been playing with it and so far it is great.

Then we started our trips to Marion, Il VA Hosp. On one of them I had to get a shot in my knee. They started doing that 2 years ago but this time my knee felt good when I went in but hurt when I left. And for about 2 weeks afterwards.

Our friends from Merced, Ca (Bill & Norma) have a timeshare deal and this year they were going to Branson, Mo. They ended up with a 2 bedroom unit and asked if we would meet them there. The timing was right. We had 7 days before the next VA appt. Kayís dad watched the dog and off we went. When we visited them in Merced they were talking about getting a digital camera so I packed up our old one and surprised them with it when we arrived. They had already signed up for a digital camera course that was to start in a couple of weeks. What a coincidence!

Sat night we went to eat & then took in the Mickey Gilley Show. I enjoyed the show, it had the songs and humor. Kept you from getting bored. We didnít bring the cameras as we were told none would be allowed. Found out after we got there that they were referring to video cameras. Afterwards we returned to the condo & played cards (Pitch) and drank beer.

Sunday was a lazy day for me. They did stuff but I hung around and watched the NASCAR race. Bill & Norma have a lot on Fairfield Bay and they wanted to go down there to check it out. Would make a nice day trip so off we went. Uneventful drive except where we stopped to eat. The place was next door to a livestock auction but had no flies inside. We noticed a clear plastic bag half filled with about a gallon of water hanging from the entrance door and asked about it. They said it keeps the flies out. We thought we were being put on but they swore by it. And as I said there were no flies inside and the restaurant was next to a livestock auction that was taking place that day. As we were driving thru the rest of the town we noticed that quite a few businesses had the same thing on their doors.

Next day we went to the Shoji Tabuchi Show. But if you ever get there be sure to check out the men's room. Very elegant plus they had a pool table in there.The show was an extravaganza type but I actually enjoyed Gilleys more.  After an intermission, as people were taking their seats they announced that they had some Medal of Honor recipients present. As I looked up to see them I noticed a familiar face among them. It was Joe Marm who earned his medal in Ia Drang Valley. I had met Joe at some of our Veteranís day banquets but it was in passing. After the show was over I went up to shake hands with some of the recipients and talk to Joe. I have to say that shaking the hands of these brave men was the highlight of the show for me.

Next morning we headed back to Illinois. We stayed in a motel in Marion as Kay had to fast and be at the hosp early the next morn for some tests. Tests went OK and we headed back to Effingham.

Kayís brother John was having a porch added to the back of his house and asked me to do the wiring for him. BRAVE MAN!!!! Actually I enjoy doing this sort of thing as long as Iím left alone to think it thru. Donít confuse me with facts!!! I had to do some stuff in the ceiling before they closed it off. I think John had his fingers crossed that when we hooked the wiring to the breaker box that it would all work. IT DID!!!!

Friday of the next week Bob & Donna arrived. We did our thing visiting all the food & drink places in town. Then on wed Kay & I went down to Harrisburg, Il area as I had an early morning appt to have a tooth pulled. It is a 2 hour drive from Effingham which is not bad for late morning or afternoon appts but itís a pain for 7 or 8 AM appts. B&D had paid for a full week in Effingham so they came down on Friday.

Fri afternoon Kay hollered into the MH and said I needed to come outside. After some moaning & cussing under my breath I went outside. The owner of the motel where we were parked (they had 2 RV spaces) was backing a beautiful 1966 Corvette Coupe out of his garage. It had 37,000 original miles and everything on it was original including the paint job. This car was awesome. Of course I am a Vette fanatic.

We took B&D to the Elks for dinner then around to the old haunts to see friends. On Saturday they were having a Ďchili cookoffí where we got to see lots of our old friends. That evening we went to the new AMVETS POST #911 in Eldorado. My friend Bill Doring and his wife Betty started this Post this past summer and they have come a long way. Great job guys & you should be proud.

Sunday we all went out to Richard & Kathyís (our former neighbors) for some burgers. Monday B&D headed out towards Nashville. We will connect with them again this winter.

Tue we took LZ to his vet, Dr. Troop. LZ has been going to him since 1994. He is not only LZís vet, he is a friend. He also participates on RV.NET and moderates a pet forum there. On the way back we stopped at the local Chevy dealer. At the cook-off I ran into Bo Clark and he told me his restored 1967 big block Corvette was parked on the showroom floor. This was a super restoration. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

On wed Kay & I headed towards Tunica, Ms with a stopover in Covington, Tn. Our good friends Larry & Arlene Ford live there. We parked in their driveway for 2 nights and had a nice visit. It had been a long time since we had seen them.

Then on to Tunica. Another RV.NET Rally. A few of the people we had met in Kerrville, Tx were going to this one also. We met at the Hollywood Casino campground. It was great seeing some of them again and meeting some of the new faces. Fri night we had jambalaya cooked by one of the participants. Never had it before but it was good. Sat night was a potluck. Too much good food. I think the final tally of rigs attending was around 60. Thatís about 120 people. I didnít get to meet even half of them. Too much going on in too short of a time. But it was a good time with a great bunch of people.

On Monday we headed back to Effingham. Then I emailed Don & Pat Farlow (the ones whose daughter invited us over for the 4th July in Ca. We got together on fri nite for a fish fry at one of the local places.

Last couple of weeks of the month was spent fixing and repairing on MH and Johnís house. Nothing major, just nickel & dime stuff.

Heading for DC next week.