North for lunch

One big reason that our life in the bus has been smooth and successful is that Deb and I divide the labor — she has her chores and I have mine. It’s not that we don’t help each other out, but the divide-and-conquer strategy has really paid off.

She takes care of the dogs at the end of the day, for example, and I assume that duty virtually every morning. When the dogs are done with breakfast, generally they retreat to the back of the coach and curl up on the floor next to the bed, where Deb remains for another couple of hours.

There comes a point when Dipstick emerges from the bedroom, followed by Scout. Both turn around and, expectantly, face the short hallway.

They’ve heard Deb stirring. They know she’s about to enter the world. I call it their “All hail The Queen” drill, preparing to welcome HRH into the light of a new day.


We hadn’t ventured north into Missouri since the first week of November. This morning we drove Mercy across the state line to keep a lunch date with friends who not long ago had enjoyed BBQ with us in Yellville.

In the small town of Hollister, just outside Branson, is Mr. Gilberti’s Place. It’s a cool little joint tucked down in an older part of the village, across the road from the shore of Lake Taneycomo and its trout-fishing lodges.

Mr. Gilberti’s offers a full menu of Italian cuisine and has a reputation for great pizza. It specializes in Chicago-style pies, in fact, so that’s what Deb and I went with.

I’ll tell you what — if we’d eaten there before I compiled my recommended eateries post last month, Mr. Gilberti’s Place definitely would’ve made the list. This was perfect, perfect pizza, one of the best pies we’ve ever had.

After that amazing lunch and great conversation we beat feet back to Arkansas for a quick grocery-shopping run, just to top-off the pantry ahead of incoming winter weather. We dropped by the local vape store (in case you were WTFing about today’s header image) and, on a whim, we stopped at a local used-car lot to ogle a military truck (pictured) they had for sale.

The price was $17,500, and that’s probably fair. But no, we didn’t buy it.


Rain will begin tonight. Temps will stay above the freezing mark ’til after dawn tomorrow, when they’ll start heading for the cellar quickly. Precipitation will turn to a wintry mix and then, after dark, become snow for the next ten hours or so.

Our propane supply, replenished a week ago and used very little since, still shows full. (It’s probably around two-thirds.) Ernie’s 7.5kW diesel generator will be pressed into service if we lose shore power. We have food and drink and all the supplies we need.

I think we’re all set.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon