Saturday, December 31, 2011

Completing 2011

We are completing another year! It is really so unreal that time has passed so quickly. Lots of things happened this year. Many good, a few sad, and some really bad.

I pray for all of my friends this new year that God will bless each one, provide them with the strength to make it through each and every day that might be painful, provide them with the knowledge that He has a plan for each of us, that His will be done in His time, that he will cause us all to be kind and strong.

I am looking forward to a great 2012 with lots of new adventures. I hope you all have great adventures in your life too. See YA NEXT YEAR. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

It has been a busy Fall. Lots of things have gotten done and lots more to do now during this winter time. I am reducing 'things' in the RV. I am in the planning stages for a trip to Alaska this summer. I don't want to be dragging more weight than needed. So I have been going thru every drawer, every closet space and all of my electronic goodies. I really don't need all of my CD's and DVD's in case my laptop(s) crash.I only need about 4 for each one of them. So all the others must be covered and placed in the storage unit. I will need warm clothing as the 'warm to them' days will be cool to me. Don't want to feed the skeeters so will need long legs and long sleeves. Good walking shoes and some wet shoes too.

Need to practice with the kayak and do more walking. Then I need to do more walking. I will hope to update the in between dates with photos for the blog and then get back on schedule. My plan is to publish at least once a week if not daily. So here is hoping I can Just Do It.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday with sprinkles

So I did awaken to the first sprinkles at 6:30 a.m. That was great. Had some coffee and that was great to start the day. Breakfast was cheerios and some blueberry yogurt. We managed sprinkles on and off most of the day...mostly off. But about 6:00 the rain started moving up from the south, across the lake. I was visiting my neighbors, so we all jumped up. I folded the chair I was sitting in, that is when I cell phone rang and it was my sister, and told her to hold on a minute, and then I left my neighbors and started running toward my rig.

My sister asked me if I won a lot of money....So I knew it was the rival football game. If I remember right it was 77 to 17 or 55 to 15 or something equally silly. A royal tromping. I told her it sounded like basketball score.

Meanwhile it was raining really hard. Was about a 15 minute rain. Nicely soaked into the ground. No water left out any where.  They promise us lots of rain for the next 3 days. Nothing happening except rig stuff until the wetness stops. So good to see the rain. Hope it does continue for the next 3 or 4 days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birds 2010 and 2011

Okay this is way out of sync - my blog I can do it. Some are from my trip to Mass in 2010, some are while in AZ 2010 and others are 2011 in Texas.


Plain Chachalaca

Tri-Colored heron

Black Bellied Plover - reflected

 Silly Roseate Spoonbills walking the high wire!

He did make the pass as you can see above.

A sleeping Common Paraque

Look hard and you will see the Common Snipe

Sunset at Amesbury and this is 2010 just off Plum Island, MA

Rookery at High Island

Cerulean Warbler

Snout Butterfly

King Rail

The Common Paraque in camo position.

Rail thinking the hood has gone to Bud.

White Eared Humming bird - 2010 Arizona

Flower High Island

Least Bittern with lunch.

Crested Caracara on a cactus

Green Heron looking mad.

Audubon Oriole - 2010

Common Yellowthroat

Chestnut Sided Warbler - 2010, Plum Island, MA

Lizard, I think Anole, not sure

OKC is cool

Last night the temps were in low 60's. Was that nice or what? BUT...will get up to the mid 90's today. This heat simply will not be denied it's turn to torch us.

Will run out today and have lunch with some friends with whom I used to work. That will be fun. We did this back in June and had a really good time. Then on Saturday another GTG with a couple of friends. Aaahh the friends are what this life is all about....retirement! I love it. Each day is just a little bit better.

Trying to get the webcam to work on this computer of my friend and it just isn't not that easy. The system doesn' recognize that it has a webcam. So to get it turned off, did she just uninstall it? She doesn't know. So I'll continue working on it for a bit, then I'll in the big dogs. (I'll go to their web site!) So it goes......

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Here I come....Will hit the road Monday to Oklahoma. Will go by and visit with my sister for over night and then on to OKC to visit with friends and get my hairs curled. Will only be gone for a week. Should be fun.....Hhuummmm since the tornado tore up the RV Park where I stayed earlier this year for my Mom's funeral, wonder where I'll go this time. May have to dry camp at the farm. Weather should be great.

Friday, September 23, 2011

IHOP in Schertz

I met up with Colleen and Vicky at the IHOP for breakfast and visiting. Had a really great time. Hopefully I'll get caught up with the whole of the blog and then you'll see what I mean.

Maybe it is this away! Ya think?

Or maybe this away!

 But they both respond to "Hey ya'll"!

Vickie says read my shirt!
"I may not be as normal
as I first appear"

After the visiting we picked up books at Colleens and took them to Vicky and picked up a monitor at Vicky's for my friend Pam. Then I had to make a stop at my brothers for mail, a trip to the CU and then to Wal-Mart and back to my brothers to await my SIL.

Dinner at Chesters...very good hamburgers and fries. Then had to run takes about an hour to drive back to my place.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Potters Creek-COE camground

Decided to make a trip to Potters Creek campground. I like it most of the time. On the weekends it can get loud and roudy, but mostly it is nice a quiet. Made it in good time and all conditions were pretty much a go. Got parked and sitting in a nice spot. It is one of my favorites.

I have noticed only 3 of the Egyptian Geese. Last year there were about 12 or so. There are lots more deer. Looking pretty skinny and several young fawns are still sporting spots. They really need to thin them out. Before they will start being sick and then not making it thru the tough times.

Hopefully it will cool off here before long and then rain they keep promising will come to sit on our roofs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goliad State Park

Left Goose Island and spent two nice days at Goliad State Park. The first days I decided to mail my binocs off to the manufacturer to have them serviced. I have had them ten (10) years and never had them serviced. While I was at the Hummer Festival a couple of the Swarovski reps suggested that I send them and have them serviced especially before I head out to Alaska. They indicated the wait time could be a couple of months but to not send them in around hunting time as they are always sooooo busy. So I called Monday and talked with the Customer Service folks and sure enough they had a 3-4 week turn around. Now in my little mind that is nothing. After I got set up at the park I took off for the local discount store, Dollar General. Picked up a role of bubble wrap and then went to the local pharmacy to get something for my fire ant bites and then around the corner to the Post Office. Got a box, tape and label got everything ready and find out that there is a 'communication failure' here in Goliad. Now I new there was something wrong because I could not pay my camping fee at the State Park as the system was down. But alas, I had Cash. So I could pay my fees. Some folks had to go home and get their check books because they only had debit or credit cards. Anyway I got mine shipped. Can't wait to get them back.

Will do some maintenance things tomorrow. Then I'll get ready to head back toward the home base.
Communications problem is making my cell phone and data card very slow. Good strong signal, but over loaded. Won't get things posted while I am here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Last Day of Festival

Currently in Rockport for the Hummingbird Festival. It ran Fri, Sat and Sun with some early home shows on Thursday. Lots of hummingbirds down here. The most I have ever seen. I come down as frequently as I can for the festivals. When I lived in Texas I came a lot, then it wasn't so easy. Last year I was tied up and this year was make up time. The Ruby throated HB's had a great year by the looks of the birds we are seeing. They are plump too. Was worried that with our drought and the one in Oklahoma that they would doing poorly. They are quite voracious little buggers too. I have been filling my llittle feeders about one liter every two hours. Of course, if I had those huge feeders I'd just be filling them 3 or 4 times a day. Have had some really nice Buff bellied HB show up. A very few Rufous/Allen's type show up, too. They are really out of range, while the Buffy's are now year round here.

Will be leaving here on Tuesday and headed north. Has been a really nice stay here at Goose Island State park. It is always a nice stay, unless the mosquitos are bad, so far they aren't but it will only take a few days and a new batch will hatch as a result of the rains the last two days.

Ron and T left and got home about 3:30. They had a blow out on the Jeep about George West on I-37. They had the Hi-Lo which is 22' travel trailer. Glad that wasn't me. I need to be sure to check my air tomorrow so I can air up before I take off.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 2 of the Festival

Okay, here it is Saturday and we are going to go around to some of the houses here in Lamar, Fulton and Rockport to see the humming birds. We made a trip around the Lamar bay area and saw a nice flock of Wood Storks. Quite a surprise. Had we not come up the back side we would have missed them. Good for us!!

Our first stops will be around Lamar. The houses on Tomahawk always have great landscaping and are so friendly, you just love going there. This trip was no different. The first house has made a lot of changes in their landscape, but not for the better. He has 'cleared' out a lot of trees and shrubs that was beautiful. Now he has a 'bay view'. Needless to say, he has the house on the market. The second house, next door, is much the same as she has always had it. It is just great for HB's and other birds. We had orioles, dickcissels, and sparrows that moved to quick for ID. She also had 3 types of HB's. Really a great stop. It took us most of the morning - well okay it was only 10:45, but we had planned lunch a Charlotte Plummer's and decided to head on over that way. They open at 11:00 and if you don't get there, you get seconds...well not really, but you don't get chicken in the soup. So we went to lunch and then took the left overs back to the rigs for refrigeration.

Afternoon our first stop was in the 'ritzy' section of town that currently have two families that have their place open. The first couple are friends of my brother and sister-in-law. They had a nice sort visit with them and we got to see some gorgeous Buffy's eating at the Fairy Duster. A great shot. We left there and went to a house that had at least 40 feeders out both front and back. They too had a Buffy. We left there and went to another house that was a little way out of town. They had a huge lake in their back yard. Probably nice until the bugs get after you. They had a lot of hummers, but probably less than the other folks. They had a star bird though - an adult male Rufous HB. The others that we saw looked like they were hatch year birds. This guy was a beauty. Lovely landscaped yard.

Okay it was time to gas up and stop for dinner - didn't want to drive out to the campground and then come back in. So we gassed at Wal-Mart and then stopped at K-Bob's for steak. It was really good - at least mine and T's was. Ron got the ribeye and it looked pretty sorry. Both T and I had a too go box and we shared a dessert.

Tomorrow Ron and T will head for home about 10 a.m. Should get them home by 2 p.m. I'll make a last run thru the Vendor area to see if they have any good things on sale, then head back to the rig. Probably have HB' sitting on empty feeders shouting at me because the juice will be gone.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 1 - Hummer Fest

Today is the start of the Hummingbird Festival. My brother and sister-in-law came down yesterday and today we went over to Port Aranasas to Paradise pond, Birding Center, the jetties and Charlie's Pasture to check out the birding. It was damp over there as they had just gotten some rain that morning. About 4:30 they got a real down pour and it was still evident as some of the places that were dry when I was over there two days before were now wet with pools of water. YAY!

On the way back to Rockport we stopped for lunch at the Big Fisherman's restaurant. They have fairly good seafood/fish. Used to be fried only, but now they grill and char-grill the food. We then went by the school to pick up the various things we would need to making the rounds of the houses to see the birds. It was really packed. This Festival brings in a lot of people and they do a really good job sitting it up. After we finished this we decided that we needed to make a stop at HEB and get some items that were forgotten or used up. Decided that leftovers were going to be dinner. Will get ready for another day of going from house to house watching and shooting the HB's tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Padre Island National Seashore

I really like the National Seashore. It is so cool...well normally it is cool. I decided to make a quick trip down and check to see if I would want to stay here for any period of time. It would be dry camping. The sites look quite level and though they do have some weeds growing up in them, I am sure it wouldn't cause any problem. Today, the temperature at 11:30 a.m. was about 99*. I decided that I really couldn't dry camp with that high a temperature. The closer you get to the ocean waters, the cooler it gets, but even at the camp ground you are about 20 to 30 yards from the shore. But you do have the dunes to help protect you. Breeze blowing in the evening would be cool. However, I won't be make that a camp ground this time around. Certainly glad that I went down there because I forgot how great the sand is between your toes and how many shore birds and water birds you have down there. That goes in my bucket list for a cooler time with less chance of storms being able to brew up on you.

Stopped at Port Aransas on my way back just to check on some old friendly places. Pretty quiet all around over there.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day Trip to Presidio La Bahia at Goliad, TX

A nice drive west of Victoria is the town of Goliad. I have known for quite some time that the Goliad State Park is one of the jewels in Texas. It is a very old town and the State Park is part and parcel of the whole of Goliad. The town center is a beautiful square with the Courthouse and the various offices and huge huge oak trees around the building.

Today I toured the Presidio, a fort. It was important as a holding point east and south of San Antonio. It was used to defend against Santa Anna and his troops. However, it fell shortly after the Alamo. The troops led by Fannin left too late to return to Houston and his troops over at the Brazos. They were caught about Coleto Creek, about 12 miles east of Goliad. They were brought back to the Presidio and shortly there after 'massacred' by their captors. Surprising to me was the fact that there were 350 men here. Much less than the Alamo.

Now another interesting fact is Coleto Creek Reservoir and Dam. It has a nice RV park there, too. It is open year round and you can stay there for extended times. They take reservations and are usually full by November. Looks to be a nice bird spot. They don't have sewer hooks up but do have a dump and in the winter they have a honey truck!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rockport Day Trip

I left Victoria about 8:15 headed to Rockport. It is about 60 miles SW and the roads are quite good. I made good time getting there. Stopped to look at birds a couple of times. One time the birds were largeish black birds but they weren't large enough for crows or TV's so I thought they might be a family Ani. A little out of place, but birds do travel, too. Ended up they were "molting" Great Tailed Grackles or better put Great NonTailed Grackles. They molt the end of August and first part of September. It makes them 'ground' more frequently and their flight is a bit off.

First stop was Goose Island State park. It was very dry, of course, and as I drove thru the campsite area I noted only about 3 campers and two hosts in the slots on the tree side. Of course, the bay side had about 6 folks up there already on the left side toward the fishing walkway. The right side is closed as they are making some repairs.Bayside I saw some peeps, turnstones, willets, gulls and a couple of brown pelicans. Tree side I saw a Black and White Warbler, White eyed and Yellow Throated Vireos, Cardinals, Titmice, White winged, Mourning and Inca Doves, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds (only 2). Not too much for the 45 minutes I was there.

My second stop was Ancient Oaks RV Park. It is a Passport America park located on the far west side of town. They have some very old 'side by side' sites and a few new concrete pads. It would be nice if there were some shade at the concrete pad sites. The older sites have some shade from the very old oak trees, but they look pretty unlevel. Would do if you weren't staying more than a couple of days.

My third stop was a drive thru of the Sand Dollar Motel and RV Park. It looks like they are really taking care of it. My first ever trip to Rockport was a birding trip on a chartered bus and we spent the night at the Sand Dollar. This would be my first choice for a short stay.

My fourth stop was the Rockport something or other RV Park and they were just way too proud for me to be able to stay with them. $40 per night......So then I proceed to the next stop.

My fifth stop was Charlotte Plummer's on the bay near the fishing boats. The tortilla soup here is really very tasty, just a bit 'spicy hot' but it goes down so well. We be really great with hot tortillas and butter to go with it. Nice salad bar and today I had the soft shell crab. It was very good. Nothing left on my plate, well not true, the vegetables of the day was squash both yellow and green, carrots, (old) brocolli, onions and they were pretty much left as I did dig out some carrots and brocolli and then stopped.

After than I drove thru town and decided I needed to get a couple gallons of gas 'just in case', the gauge said less than 1/2 and even though I get great gas mileage, there is only 1 gas station between Rockport and Victoria, better safe with an extra 3 gallons of gas than sorry if there is something that causes you to be stopped and run the a/c and worrying about the gas. My Story and I am sticking to it.

Still want to visit Seadrift and La Grange before I take off for Rockport and the Hummer festival in two weeks. Also need to tour the old houses here in Victoria and get some pics. Need to upload pics for my other blogs too. Ah well, Ms Scarlett said it so well, there is always tomorrow.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Victoria old houses

The Victoria Historical Houses Tour is really great. Here are just a few and for this part of the world they are quite old.

This is the Victoria County Courthouse made of limestone and completed in 1892. It replaced an earlier 1849 courthouse. This is one of the ten favorite courthouses in Texas. It underwent restoration in 2001 at a whopping cost of $5.6 billion - yep that is not a typo B and in billion dollars. 101 North Bridge Street

C. L. Hewitt House - Old Casino Hall, 408 West Forrest. Once part of old Casino Hall, built in the 1850's. The hall was the center of social and cultural activities of that era. The building was moved in 1875, and in 1910 was divided into three renthouses by chales L. Hewitt, a local grocer. This residenceis the only one of the three which remains.

#24. The John Donaldson. Okay, this is going to blow you away. It is a stone house. It is set on a huge block. The backyard takes up half a block square and has a huge oak tree.  It is one block long and about 3/4 of a block wide.

#26. Joseph Vandenberge House 301 North Vine. This is Neoclassical Revival built in 1908. Vandenberge was an attorney and one of the founders of Victoria Bank and Trust. It sits on a corner so one front of the house has an elliptical entrance and the other an oblong entrance.

#22. Guy Mitchell House, 402 West Goodwin. It says it is Georgian Revival and built in 1914 and of special interest is a Palladian window centered above the entry.

 James a McFaddin house, 207 West Commercial. The grounds of this is very large. This is the house proper. The grounds and garages take up another block.

 William H. Smith House, 408 West Goodwin. He was a tutor for the John Welder children. Neoclassical Revival built in 1911. The front of the wrap around and look at that big oak tree limb.

Lander Hopkins House built in 1910 is Neoclassical Revival architecture. 202 West Power Street.
 This is such a grand building. The far end is St. Mary's Catholic church. This close end is the Old Nazareth Academy, 105 West Church Street. Built to house the convent school of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, a French order. Sisters from the Lyons (France) order came to Texas in 1852 and to Victoria in 1866. What brave women they were! Today across the street is the Police Station of Victoria. (just think about all the 'happenings' behind all of those windows)

 A different view of the convent school of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

Lorenzo Dow Heaton house, 307 South Bridge Street. This dates from 1877. Mr. Heaton, one of three brothers who operated "drug stores" (their quotes) in Indianola, Victoria and Cuero. The orginal house was remodedl circa 1945 at which time the second floor porch was removed. (What a pity!)
J. Ferdinand and Emily McFaddin McCan House, 401 N. Glass. Constructed in 1908 it is a Neoclassical Revival. The McCan clan still occupy the house. Look close because it looks a lot like the next one.

Thomas Marion O'Connor house, 303 S. Bridge Street, this was completed in 1889. T. M. died in 1920 and his wife Mary Ellen, in 1931. Their son Lawrence Wyer O'Connor remodeled to Neoclassical Revival and this home is still owned by the O'Connor clan. Looks similar to the one above.

Joseph D. Mitchell house, 301 S. Bridge Street. Completed in 1893 (Queen Anne dwelling) he was a rancher, naturalist (an entemologist and conchologist {The scientific or amateur study of mollusc shells. Conchology pre-dated malacology as a field of study. It includes the study of land and freshwater mollusc shells as well as seashells.}) He also served in the legislature and was civic leader. Oh, yeah he served for years as a mortician. Great house, uuhh office building now.

#8. St. Mary's Catholic Church, 101 West Church Street, is a Gothic Revival building completed in 1904.

 These are the Six Flags that have flown over this part of Texas. Know what they are? Nice breeze that day with over 100* temps.

On the Road in Victoria, TX

Currently I am sitting in Victoria, TX. This is a very old, by Texas standards, town. Here is some town history to get you going. This is taken from a Welcome to Victoria booklet. My comments are in brackets [ ] as some of their comments are in parens ( ).

In 1494 the Spanish Crown claimed lands in the New World, from Florida to California, but for over two centuries the Texas Gulf Coast remained unsettled and essentially unknown - except by pirates.

[Can you imagine this great place was totally unknown....well you know about it now. I am going to give you some history too. After those two centuries - yep that is 200 years - things got to moving a bit. For those of you that have done the Port Lavaca boondocking some of this will fold right into what you have already learned.]

In 1865 the location of present-day Victoria County [currently referred to as the Golden Crescent - my input] was the site of a significant challenge to Spain's sovereignty over Texas, when the explorer Robert Cavalier de La Salle set up a French Colony at Fort St. Louis. La Salle's expedition left France in 1684, had a trying journey through the Caribbean Islands, missed the Mississippi River, then landed at what is now Matagorda Bay in February of 1685. Once establishing Fort St. Louis on Garcitas Creek in southern Victoria County, the settlers endured loss and hardship - La Salle was murdered by his own men during a trip inland, and the settlement was destroyed in 1689 when the remaining adults were massacred by hostile natives, the Karankawa. [Remember reading about those fierce warriors down at Indianola - white folks ended up wiping them out by our diseases but it took a little bit of time and they took out a bunch of us in battles before we subdued them with illnesses.]

Because of this French intrusion, the Spanish deemed occupation of the Texas territory necessary to prevent future foreign incursions, and the need for establishing missions in East Texas became urgent. In 1721 Presidio La Bahia was built on top of the ruins of La Salle's Fort St. Louis, and the Spanish flag flew of Victoria County.

[For those of you who have stayed at Goliad State park if you remember the Presidio was just down the highway from the park.

Did you notice how urgent this task was for those politicians in the late 1600's? Took them about 30 years to getting around to making this "new Spanish" settlement. Sound about right time wise for us today?

Now let us jump forward from 1721 to 1824 - just a measly 103 years in the life of Victoria here.]

In 1824 Martin De Leon [not related to the earlier other De Leon] was granted permission to found a colony on the Guadalupe River, at a site then known as Las Sabinals (Cypress Grove). The town he founded was named Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria, after the first president of Mexico. Together, he and his ten friends began colonizing Victoria. Main Street at that time was called Calle de Diez los Amigos (The street of Ten Friends) because all the friends lived together on this street, directing defense, commerce and beginning the early development of Victoria. From the start of this community, Victoria has been a friendly comfortable city.

This is the real six flags over Texas, Spain, France, Mexico the Republic of Texas, The United States and the Confederate States.

So now I have to go do a house tour and take pics for you ladies.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shiner, TX home of Shiner Beer

I had my rig washed today and after I paid the gent I went on a sight seeing tour to the town of Shiner, TX. That's right my friend Sharon (Sprinter) would have loved being there as I toured the Spoetzl Brewery. They brew Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, Shiner Light Blonde, Shiner Black Lager, and this time of year Shiner Octoberfest except I think it is Oktoberfest. What a neat place to tour. We had a very small group about 8 people and it was very interesting. You can get most of the information off from their web site but it was neat to see what I had previously read about. In the lobby area they give you, upon your request, a 4.5 or 5 oz small cup of your choice of beer and three wooden tokens that you can turn in for another cup of beer until all you tokens are gone and you have consumed about 10 or 12 oz of beer. Good and COLD beer. Have to say my favorite was Bock with Light Blonde second the Oktoberfest was made my lips tingle.

I made a tour around a couple of blocks in the down town area and would like to go back and spend some time walking around and into and out of the stores. They have really done a great job in taking advantage of the tourist, most were other Texans, coming into their town.

Will try to either Rockport or possibly Refugio which has a winery later this week. Need to decide if I want to stay here another week. It is a Passport America park at $13.88 a day. May have to get to see everything seen I want to see.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday and a trip to Stephen F. Austin State Park

Today is a day off from the volunteer job and I am so stressed out. My blood sugar has been going up since I got here. Part stress, part food, part not exercising appropriately. So since one of the volunteers that had taken a trip got back he and I talked about him filling in for me this week. Head of volunteers said go ahead you don't need me here. So George agreed to work my shift until Thursday when I get back. Blood sugar this morning was 159 which makes it about 40 above my normal and 10 above yesterday.

I did notice a stress decrease pretty quickly after I hooked up here. Just felt like a load off my shoulders. Was pretty hot here, but not sure just how hot. I moved my outdoor thermometer from the back ladder on my rig and hung it on a bolt where the mud flap is down closer to the ground. Then I promptly forgot to move it back and it is laying on the road somewhere! Dang I hate it when that happens. Oh, well. Will make a run to WalMart tomorrow and see if I can find a replacement.

Took a stroll around the camping loop and counted 5 rigs plus the host are here. Pretty quite.

Have had the animals and birds come up - 7 deer, 1 raccoon, 5 american crows, 4 male and 4 female cardinals, 3 squirrels, and lots of little birds cheaping away in the trees. Will see if I can change sights in the morning. This one has lots of nice wildlife, but I got totally roasted in the afternoon sun. Since I don't do satellite trees are good. I wanted this side because of the little birds always seem to be on this side. But I decided it wasn't worth the heat buildup.

Geraldine gave me an interesting trip down here. I was going to take I45 to 610 to I10, but took off to avoid traffic and ended up seeing some parts of NW Houston. So going back I think that I will just drive through Houston and take Hwy 156 North to the Care Center. That will probably be quicker.

Tomorrow should be another hot day. There were some nice thunderstorms down south of here this evening. I drove into Sealy and saw that there was some serious rain falling south of here. Never got up here to the park.

Good Night!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Still hot here in East Texas. About 113 right now (4:45 p.m.) at the back of my rig at the bottom of my rig just inside the area where the rock guard is located. That means it is awful hot. I took the thermometer off from the back ladder and put it in the shade where it would not get direct sun or reflected heat from the ladder.

Today was my day off and I took a trip over to Spring to the Smart Financial Credit Union to take care of some business. It was about 55 miles. However, I had an ulterior motive for the trip. I needed to find some 'rubber cement' for a project and I thought that an Office Depot would have it. Sure enough it did. So while I was over there I went on ahead and had lunch at the Pit Master BBQ spot that Martha, Paulette and I had lunch about a month ago. So I had lots of LO's that I brought home for later. Popped them into the freezer. For dinner tonight I am doing penne pasta with white sauce with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and broccoli. One glass of Cab wine will top it off.

My project with the rubber cement is to put fiberglass screening on the exterior refrigerator door to keep the dirt daubbers out. So will try to get that put on there soon as the weather cools down a little bit.

Certainly am thinking about where I will be going after I leave here. If it is still this hot, I want shade !!!!

Driving tomorrow, then root beer floats, then on call at night. Life goes on.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cool night!

Well, it has cooled down a bit here and we are quite glad for that little temp drop. Made a run to Wal-Mart go pick up some salad things. Found some 'fresh' corn on the cob and picked up that so I can grill it. Will take a look at doing that Sunday if it doesn't get too hot.

I did show one of my co-workers the Wilson signal booster that I use for my cell phone and my data card. AT&T has very weak coverage at the RV park and this really helps with that. We took the measurements of the data card. Off the booster the data signal is -107 to -101. On the booster it is -75. That is pretty good and makes the connection fantastic. The cell phone goes from 1 bar (and sometimes none) and soars to the top. So I am happy with it. He will research what he can get for his mac. Back of my mind says they didn't have one for the mac, but that might have been something else.

Okay, will have a SF popsicle and call it a night.

Saturday Hot, Hot, Hot end of July

Here we are on a Saturday. Just sweltering in a giant kettle. On the back of my rig it says it is now 118*. Was 120 a bit a go. Need to move that before it breaks. Had a couple of ladies over for lunch today. We had a great time. Visiting with co-workers is fun part of the job. We are all here for different reasons. Some will come back and some won't. Have spent the afternoon writing and doing some computer updates.

Later found out the schedule had changed and I had dish duty that I missed. Oh, well. Will be on time for dinner dishes at 6 p.m.

There is a greater flamingo resting at night at Lake Livingston and I need to find that spot so I can try to get this bird in my binocs. They are such neat birds and this one has been here before. I think they said this is the 3rd year for it coming here. It has been farther south on the coast. I'd like to make a trip down to the White park for some birding too. Then at Woodville there is supposed to be a board walk with birds. That is possible too.

Got a site for a live cam in South Africa called Pete's Pond. It was really neat. Would like to get a dawn sighting on it. Maybe later this p.m. as there is 5 hours difference in time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Monday

Made a trip to Anahuac today with a new friend, Shirley. We had a great time. Not much in the way of birds but what we had was pretty great. We watched a Reddish Egret do his 'canopy' fishing and that was really a neat display. I had hoped for a Bittern but got neither one of them. BUT, a Wood Stork flew in. I couldn't believe it. Hopefully the picture will turn out nice. Will try to get it up tomorrow or Wednesday. We saw baby Barn Swallows, Grackles, and some neat Common Nighthawks flying around and one landed on a limb but photo wasn't in the works. RWBB (red-winged black birds) were all over as were Cattle Egrets.

On the way home, we saw a really neat new item. Rice farmers were out havesting the rice. It is harvested much like wheat. We stopped and watched them for a few minutes and Shirley walked over and pulled up some stalks for us. What a neat souvenir.

We came back to work to a new schedule and looks like I am up for 52 hours. Wrote a note to the boss man asking him what his fix was. I signed on 24 hours a week. I may well get my tail kicked out soon. Won't be the first time. But if I am going to put in those hours, I will get me a paying job. But, that isn't going to happen. I retired because I didn't want to work a bunch of hours with lots of responsibility and pressure. May have to do that again.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wow Sunday

Just finished, nearly, a week of work. Did complete my first 24 hour on call session. That is quite grueling. Not that the work is difficult, but it is that the responsibility is tremendous and there is no staff person on call for decision making. You make it on the fly.

The management team is operating in a bit of a fog. It's like they just 'give it to a volunteer' kind of attitude. This week will be over 50 hours of "being available and or working". If and that is a big IF I make it thru August, I certainly won't make the mistake of coming back to volunteer, unless the hours are more manageable. I was not prepared for this uncaring attitude for the worker bees.

The program is a superb program. The management of it, Top Down, is one of the worst that I have experienced. I have seen some doozy's but this is in the top 3 of poorly managed.

The best managed program I have volunteered with was a Mentally Retarded organization in Oklahoma City. That organization has grown tremendously, and though I know some of the folks that were on the board with me, I am not sure who was responsible for the overwhelming growth. But it is fantastic.

Okay enough whining...need to get ready for a trip to Galveston Island on Monday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday 7/22 and a trip to Houston

Made a trip down to a hospital in Houston today. Took quite a while to get there. We left around 10 a.m. and got down there and dropped off Mary Ann and pulled out of the hosptial parking lot around 12:45. We drove about 8 or 10 miles and decided to have lunch before heading on for Galveston. We finished eating about 1:45 and it was pouring rain. We decided that it would not be a good idea to go to Galveston because we would then be really late getting back to Livingston. So we turned around and went back to pick up Mary Ann and head out to the House.

We made it back here about 4:15. So we have decided to try Galveston on Monday by way of the east road and across the Ferry. We can then decide if we want to come back using US59 or IH45 or the east road. Will try to make a stop at Anahuac for one of the ladies to pick up a T-shirt with butterflies on it. I think I'll check tomorrow and see if they have any in stock and see if they will be open Monday.

The rain in Houston cooled it down there, but it was still hot here and no rain.

Okay, get the shoes out and start the rain dance.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tempest Tuesday

Well it is certainly nice and cool here today. Temps around 11 a.m. is 75*. Can't beat that for July in East Texas. I have driver duty all day today. That means I need to be available to drive anyone anywhere. First drive was to have been to Kingwood, but it got cancelled yesterday. So I have an appointment for a couple and left at 1:30 and got back at 4:30. Then a resident fell, paramedics called, came and took him to the ER. As driver, I took his wife. Yep broken hip/leg. Really too bad and he doesn't know what happened. One minute standing up and the next laying down. Tomorrow will get the 7 to 2 driver job.

While out driving I ran across Catfish King....woohoo. I love fried catfish and I intend to partake of that soon.

I have gotten my whirlybird Blue Jay, the wrought iron pink painted flamingo, the drink in hand flamingo, the whirly painted bunting, and the gambel's quail all out surrounding the rig. The solar hummingbird is showing it's colors most all night and the lighthouse is lighting up too.

I do need to cover the tires with the white covers....just haven't gotten to it yet. Looks like I'll need to get the grass cut by the door too. Rain has made it grow quite well.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday afternoon rain

Well today was my day off. I went to the Post Office and mailed a couple of items. Moseyed around town and found WalMart. Had lunch at a Cajun restaurant - quite good. Went to Lowes and got a couple of items for storing the nut drivers and various pieces of hardware that goes with that. Then when I got home I fixed them up and put them in the holder.

Came in to fix dinner and it started thundering and wind blowing pretty good. I went out and put the awning in - that was fun. Was going to fix a big salad and some ramen soup. But just ended up with big salad and threw in a piece of garlic toast. Finished with that and ready to do dishes.

Will email Mtngal and let her know the banner is on it's way to her for the Oregon GTG in August. Dang! cost $10 to send it...oh well, that's the way it goes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Explaining Where I Am

I decided earlier in the year, that if it was possible I would volunteer some time at the Care Center in Livingston, TX. This is a Center for RVer's and other individuals who are unable to care totally for themselves for either a short or extended time. The ability to not care has some parameters, but overall the individual either has to be able to care for themselves between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. or have a caretake with them during those hours. The Care Center provides three meals a day 7 days a week. The individuals who help the professionals, cooks, nurses, administrators, are all volunteers. I am scheduled for 24 hours a week.

Volunteers drive clients to doctor appointments, shopping, to pick up meds, serve meals, make some meals, wash dishes, sweep floors, clean tables and chairs. In return, we not only get our full hookups (we get to pay our electric), we meet some of the neatest people imaginable. As I move along in this experience, I'll tell you about some of these gentle, loving, people. Well, yes, there are a couple of folks that are on the 'bad' side of dementia, but it isn't really who they spent their lives being - it's just their current spot in life.

I am volunteering to help, in what ever capacity that they need, until the end of August. I may be able to assist a week into September, but that depends on if they need me and whether my plans that were started earlier this year gel.

Comment with any questions that you might have about this place and what I am doing.


Started this morning by putting out the awning; hooked up the propane tank; went for coffee; attended Volunteers Staff Meeting. (Thought I was through with "Meetings".

Decided to hook up the cell booster to see if I could get a better signal for my data card. Seems to be working. Having problems publishing post from compose window. Looks like a problem with the Java Script. Guess I will try to save as a draft and post from there. It allowed posting earlier, but I couldn't edit and post. Oh, well....
Need to make a trip to Lowes and get some stuff and then tool around town so I don't get lost. Forgot to take Geraldine when I went yesterday, so I was careful where I went. Off to work the Java problem.

Success fixed the problem and can now publish. Off to do something constructive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday at the Care Center - Day 1

Had the alarm set for 5:40 so I could take my pills, brush my teeth, put on my shorts/t-shirt and get a cap. Then off to meet Shirley at the side door to go around and open all the doors to get ready for breakfast. She and I had morning duty, too. In addition, we had 4:30 kitchen duty this evening. I had orientation scheduled for 9:30 and after that was completed I went for groceries. Found a frozen box of Shrimp Etoufee and got that for lunch. It was just okay, probably wouldn’t buy it again. But got some apples and a couple of Bertolli dinners plus some sweet potatoes. Put the awning out on the rig and put the de-flappers on each end. Took a nap before I went back to work.

Played Mexican Train this evening with a four residents and Shirley C., Shirley E., and Sara. It was fun. We played two games before I left and I won both. Beginners luck.

Came back to the rig and did some catch up work. Kept hearing the awning flap, so even though it was de-flappered, I went out and put it up. Most folks have their’s up, but then they have them ‘grounded’. I didn’t have the energy to do that yet. May try for Thursday or Friday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday - Schertz to Livingston

Wow it has been a really hot week following me around. I had a very pleasant drive over to Livingston from Schertz. Very small breeze most of the way. Got pretty warm about Onalaska which is about 30 miles from Huntsville. I had planned to stay at Huntsville State Park but decided since I was this close, it just made sense to drive on in and not wait until the following morning. However, it was really hot when I arrived at about 1:45 p.m. I was shown to my site and then I unhooked my toad from the rig and started the hookup process. When I got the power hooked up and started working with the water, I noticed that the outside thermometer was ready 114*. Needless to say, by the time I completed the hooking up I was soaked in sweat and totally bushed!

The Volunteer Coordinator, Bill, came by and gave me forms to complete and asked that I come to the dining room to meet the folks at 4:30. I showered and found that though the level says I am level and the athroom door is doing fine, the shower pan says I am about ¼ off level. I’ll need to fix that sooner or later. So at 4:30 I met George, Ken, Sara and Shirley. I am to shadow Shirley for a few days and then I’ll be at it on my own.

Started shadowing Shirley by helping to clean the dining area. Vinegar water with rag for table top and another rag for the chairs. Then, get out the vacuum cleaners and get everything up off the floors. Shirley invited me over to her rig for conversation and a glass of wine. Shirley and I met at 8:45 to close up the building and made arrangements for the building opening at 6:30 in the morning.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday on my way to TX RV Supply

Called TX RV Supply and they told me to come on it and they’d look at the propane tank. So I parked the car and got ready to drive down there. I stopped by the office and told them I might need to stay 1 more night but I’d not know until the work was done on the rig.

The propane leak was apparently two-fold. Propane expanded from the heat and the pop off valve didn’t pop off. They looked at the unit and ended up removing the hose and using the plug at the site. So that is what I must do in the future. The cost was not bad.

It was nearly 11:30 when they completed. I decided to spend the night and then get up early, hookup and drive on Tuesday. Figured I would spend the night at Huntsville State Park.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday at Schertz

Picked up things out of storage and got things pretty well ready to leave on Monday. Decided if I could be on the road by 9:30 or 10:00 that after I hooked up the toad, I’d drive to Bastrop State Park and spend the night. That would be about 80 miles and then I’d have about 180 miles the next day to get to Livingston. Broke down the rig and then played some more on the computer.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday - pick up vacationeers

Went over and left my car at Ron and T’s and picked up the jeep. Headed out to the airport, forgot my water, So I stopped at a gas station and got water for all 3 of us. I was about 10 minutes early, so I stayed in the cell phone call lot in the car waiting for the call. When I drove in for the pickup I ended up in the wrong lane and had to go around. Got them on the 2nd pass. Ron was glad to be off the plane and nearly home. I think T was wishing she didn’t have to think about W O R K in two days time. I left them at home and drove back to the campground. About 7:30 two young men knocked on the door saying my propane was leaking and they turned it off. So I was without the stove for a bit. I decided to call ( Monday morning) TX RV Supply and wait to see if they could see me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The New Toy - small one

While I enjoyed myself attending the Fleetwood National Motorhome Rally in Shawnee, OK, I attended some interesting seminars. One that I attended was on getting the most out of your cell phone and data card. Boosting the signals. This was presented by Durand. His products were mostly Wilson. They have been around for quite awhile. So I went ahead bit the bullet and purchased the "Universal Booster" and the accessories to hook it up both using 12 volt and 110. So I am trying it out today using the 110. I am at my brothers and the signal for AT&T here for data and cell is pretty awful. Maybe 1 bar for cell and -95 or -101 for the data card. I am here to tell you that with my setup currently I have the data card touching the booster and I am getting a consistent -71 and it is running fast. The cell on the other hand is running all the bars (5) if I touch the booster and 4 if it is laying beside it 3-4" away. That is using the antenna as a magnetic mount on the metal railing around the steps on the back of the house. I haven't tried using the suction cups and mag mount on the window. I'll try that at the rig tonight.

So today, I got up early and ran the carpet cleaner on the bedroom floor and the dining and living room floors :). Left the two fans running and came over to do the house duty things at my brother and sister-in-laws. The day before yesterday when I came by, in checking all the rooms, I walked into the pantry/laundry room and smelled an awful smell. I thought it was either a rotten batch of potatoes, or a dead mouse. So today it was still smelling. Ii walked out into the back yard and it was there too. So I thought maybe a squirrel got in the attic and died near one of the soffitts. While feeding the birds and watering the plans in the back, I noticed it was a really strong guessed it. Dead squirrel in the back yard. So I managed to dispose of it and now the smell is just barely. Will be gone in a bit.

The "b" on my keyoard is acting up. So I think I need to do the upside down shaking to see what I have dropped into it. Tomorrow, I'll make another trip over here and do the Birthday thing for them. They will enjoy it, I am sure.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day Trip to Gonazles - July 2, '11

I had arranged to pick Colleen up and 10ish for a trip out to Gonzales. She called me at 7:45 and said she was up and at 'em if I wanted to go early. So I picked her up at 8:40 and we took off. We drove down Hwy 78 to Hwy 46 and then took Hwy 90 thru the old down town part of Seguin and about thru town we turned on Kings Rd and went to pick up ALT Hwy90. The park was about 35 miles east of Seguin and 12-15 west of Gonzales. After looking at the park, we drove on to Gonzales and made a pass thru the bypass area, came back and then decided to 'lunch' at Mr. Taco. It had to be either quite good, or lots of cheap food. Cars said good. It was good.

After lunch we drove toward downtown and stopped at a cemetrary (I know that is spelled wrong but I am not going to look it up!). It really warmed up while we were walking around and we decided to call it a day and go home.

On the way home we stopped at a roadside stand and got some peaches, tomatoes and cucumbers. A little farther down the road we saw another roadside stand and stopped for cantaloupe. Speaking of which I need to get it cut and ready to eat.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Back home again

Colleen came over and picked me up and we went to Denny's for breakfast. We talked a lot, but really enjoyed both the talking and food. After breakfast we went to the airport parking so I could pick up my sister-in-law's jeep. Then we went by Barnes and Noble and sit and talked until about 2:30. Realized it was time to eat. We went to La Madeline's just across the parking lot. Since we were in the middle of the afternoon, our food was not the top notch that it normally is. The quiche was a little dried out, but with the soup it was quite eatable. After eating, I drove the jeep home and Colleen picked me up and we went back to the CG. Made plans for a day trip to check out an RV park east of here.

Should be a fun day tomorrow.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ray Roberts Lake to San Antonio via 281, June 30, '11

Pulled out of Ray Roberts Lake St Pk about 8:15 a.m. as I didn't want to go thru Ft. Worth, I-35W and 820W during 'rush' hour. That worked pretty good. Made it around to get off 820 with very little traffic. The rest of the road was pretty good. Decided to stop in Granbury for gas because you get captured after that town. Made pretty good time. But I really don't like coming that route. It just takes so much longer. I swear, I will only take that route if I absolutely have to do so.

I arrived at Stone Creek cg, Schertz at 4:30 p.m. They recognize me when I call and come in now days. Will be here until the 5th.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rally over now OK to TX - June 29, '11

I was up and ready to go for the walk at 6:45. However, there was thunder and lightening to the West. I told the walkers that if it looked like it was getting closer, that I'd bail out. I'd not walk in storms that had lightening. Sure enough there was a big crack of lightening and then thunder, so we turned around and came back to the Center. Shortly it started raining. So I waited around and when it stopped raining, I walked down, unplugged my rig, hooked up the car and drove on up to the large parking area.

Went in and had breakfast and when I went back out the rain appeared to have given up the ghost. So I headed out by way of 270 to 9 to 35. I drove until Ardmore and stopped to gas up. It was hot. I called Ray Roberts Lake State Park and asked if they had a campground with pull-thrus available for the night. So I stopped about 1:00 p.m. Had lunch, took a nap, swept out the rig, took awalk around the campground, walked thru the bathroom/shower house and then came back and got ready to pull the plug and travel the next day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Fleetwood - June 28, '11

So this morning, I went for the early morning walk with Judy and Walt. It was nice an easy. Came back and had breakfast, visited with Judy then went back to the rig. I started the breakdown and dumping procedures. I got the tanks dumped and the hoses put away. Was able to break down the bedroom, bathroom and wash the dishes. Cleaned the patio rug and the rubber mat. Went out and waited for the Patriotic Day Parade. It was a blast. Seemed to be a parade just for me. Most everyone else was either participating or had driven over to the tent earlier.

Completed the breakdown after hot dog lunch. Attended the farewell dinner and came back for early bed. This was interesting and I might do another one, but won't drive to Indiana for next annual, or Fl for the Eastern US. Will look at the Western one.

So plan to meet up for the walk again tomorrow and then have breakfast then hit the road.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Fleetwood Rally - June 27, '11

A good day Sunday attending seminars and then getting stuff self-installed in my rig. So the next item was a top for the black water tank. I had bought that and there was a gentleman and his wife there and he said he would help me install it. So I took him up on that. But, I really didn't expect to see or hear from him again. However, about 9:30 there was a knock on my door. The man was there!

This installation - well it was a real doozy. We had to get some conversion pieces because I have a Maxx-Air cover on my bathroom vent. The new top would rotate and hit the cover. There was a need for a coupler to make the top PVC pipe a little taller, then two ‘street L’s’ to move the top up and over. We went back over to the vendor area and picked those items up and the man purchased one of those for his rig and his wife got the shower setup. Now the black holding tank odor-out really works well. It made an immediate difference. I don’t normally have an odor in the rig unless it has been really hot and that tends to bake it and it will smell. Especially it will smell if you hold the flusher open to let extra water run in to it. Well it didn’t happen today. We will see about tomorrow.

We worked so long on installing those two items on my rig then his rig (since we were experienced) but his rig only took about 10 minutes, that I missed the "Getting the Most out of Your Dash HVAC" seminar. But I did make it to the Progressive seminars on "Tire-Minders" and "Protecting your Electronics". I had purchased earlier the 30 amp portable protective device. If I get a Class A, I will end up getting the Tire Trakkers, not just for the low tires, but for the heat build up too.

Will be going out for the 6:45 a.m. walk, too. That was good today. Should be cooler tomorrow. May end up storming Tuesday night, but then back up hot Wednesday. Just hope the wind slows some.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fleetwood National Rally Shawnee, OK - June 26 '11

Well, here I am. Sitting in Shawnee, OK. In a nice semi-shaded spot in the campground at the Heart of Shawnee Expo Center. Really it is a nice campground. It appears that some of the spaces out in the front area would be available while traveling through the area.

I am attending the Fleetwood National Rally. This is a first for me. It has been quite interesting so far. I arrived on Wednesday the 22nd and checked in. They had me undo the toad out front and drive the rig in. I hooked up the electric and then they ferried me back out to pick up Herbie. Was nice and cool Wednesday and Thursday. But by Thursday night it was warming up. Friday was 3 digits. Saturday was upper 90’s with a pretty swift wind from the South. Sunday was hot with the temps in the upper 90’s again. The winds have been pretty strong today. Blowing sand against your legs as you are walking. Oh, well, no storms.

Wednesday, I arrived at about 11:45 a.m. I left OKC about 10:30 and thought I’d get here after noon. Didn’t take quite as long as I had expected.

On Thursday I went to Van’s Pigstand and had ribs. That was good and I had some LO’s that I ate on Friday. Stopped at Big Lots and found a 12 volt fan that can be clipped in the cab.

On Friday I had a 4-hour “Next Level” RV basic driving class. That was very interesting. I was using a 42 ft diesel pusher. That was a lot different from driving a 30 ft gas engine. I did learn a lot. Lots of different opinions out there regarding driving and what license are required. Like did you know if you are living in CA and buy a 40 ft or great RV you have to get a Housecar License. My personal opinion is that has merit. I’d be willing to bet that more states pass that law. There will be one or two that will be renegades and lots of folks will rush to those states to register their vehicles and selves.

Saturday Harryette came out and we went to the other Van’s Pigstand and had sandwiches, visited some more and drove thru the OBU campus. Managed to re-live some memories for her there.

Sunday, lots of interesting seminars today. One was on cell phones and data cards and how to bring the signals into your rig when it is very minimal or of bad quality. That was interesting and I think I’ll pursue that one. It is Wilson and I’d prefer another manufacturer, but we will see.

Tonight I fixed penne with shrimp, asparagus and tomatoes in a garlic sauce and had garlic cheese toast with a small Barefoot Chardonnay. That reminded me why I don’t like white wine.

Monday….should be some nice seminars going on today and will have time to walk thru the vendor areas and the display motor homes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Visiting in OKC

I finished putting clear plastic (Wal mart window covering) over my screen door where I didn't have plexiglass. So I now have a fairly weather-proof screen door that I can leave open in the heat. I expect that I will eventually have the plexiglass "mounted" on the exterior with some type of screw that is easily removed so I can take it off during the cool spring and fall days and easily put it on during the cold winter and hot summer days. What I tried is working for right now, but isn't going to be a long term solution.

Catching up with friends is a really neat thing. I have been catching up with my good friend, Harryette and will meet up with another one, Pamela, tonight. Then Saturday, there will be several of us getting together. We used to work for the same company and will do lunch and chatter. That will be fun. I need to check and see if one of the gals is back from her trip to Ireland (her family still lives there) and then a cruise in the Med. I do hope she is back and rested enough for lunch.

No hiking and not much birding here. Too hot for the hiking and babies for the birds. Babies makes it too dangerous for you to go looking for them as you can lead predators to them. Another 2 or 3 weeks and they will be out flying around on their own.

We had one whopper of a storm in OKC Wednesday evening. Hail was huge, not a lot where I was, but I got a photo Thursday of a couple pieces we put in the freezer. There was some larger than what I photo'd. But I am smart when it is hailing, you don't run out and pick up the largest prize - the next largest prize might hit you in the head, dummy. I need to get the photo on here. Will go figure that part out.

Talked with folks in Arizona and there is another fire going in the south at the Coronado Monument. It is south of Sierra Vista and headed that way. Has already claimed 40 or 50 houses as of Thursday night. Expected it was started in the Monument area - it has been closed for quite sometime for fire reasons. Illegal immigrants are suspected by the locals. If you are fighting fires you aren't looking/catching illegals coming across the border. Also appears more locals are arming gotta wonder where this is going to end up.

Wind is really blowing again and looks to be from the southwest today. Had a front of some kind come thru early morning hours and the wind was probably 40-50 mph. Rigs are pulling out this morning. Really windy today and if you don't have the wind at your back you are going to sucking gas. But it might be worth it to get out of the heat.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On the road to Burns Run

This started out a very cool day with the winds from the south and lots of clouds. I had planned on leaving Stone Creek Campground around 6:30 a.m. today so that I could travel through both Austin and Dallas when the traffic would be lighter. Due to many circumstances, it didn't happen. But I did pull out about 7:30 a.m. Thank God for the southerly winds today. I made very good time with that tail-wind and made great gas mileage too. I drove a lot of the way with the windows down and the satellite radio blaring on "The Message" station. It was great music to drive to. I made a pit stop at the Belton Rest Stop and decided to have brunch and take a 15 minute break. I still had the southerly winds after the break and drove to Carl's Corner and got gas as I was at about 1/2 and it was 3.479 which is a very good price on the highway even if prices are begining to drop. That station is a PITA to pull in and out of. But I made it and left 100 big ones with the low price anyway. From there the next large town was Waco but it is easy to drive thru even with the construction. So the next area was Waxahachie (Woks a hatchee) and I stopped at the rest stop, started the generator to cool off the rig and fixed an ice cold drink. After this stop I am about 20 miles from South Dallas. So now I am cooled off, got a cold drink and am ready to blow through Big D. I managed to make it from South Dallas to North McKinney, which is totally across the metroplex, in about an hour and 20 minutes with stop and go traffic for about 10 minutes (a stalled car) in Plano. That is really pretty good time and I think for those of your who know Dallas you would agree, especially driving an RV and pulling a car. My destination was Burns Run West COE Park near Cartwright, OK. I made it to Cartwright and stopped for catfish and Windy's Catfish Cafe. Bought a cantaloupe from a farmer in the shade of a big oak tree.

Made it to the COE park and it is really nice. Very large spaces with concrete pads which, of course, make the sites very level. Lots of space between camp sites. Many, many large trees and of course they are mostly oak with elm mix. I will spend one night here and then will find another park on the way on to OKC. Will add pics of the campground later.

Just noticing the gas price changes in the last couple of months. Since the first part of April the prices I have paid have varied from a high of 3.939 to the low today of 3.479. I find it quite interesting to watch the fluctuation based on what the media reports as important events. I believe I need to pay more attention to that part when I am traveling. Just from a point of being curious...what item of the day caused the prices to drop or increase. On 3/24 I paid 3.339 for gas and within days it was skyrocketing and by 4/11 it was 3.759.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Final Friday

Here it is the Friday before I head out for Oklahoma. Completed cleaning out the back driver-side large storage area and reorganized it. Got the towing parts cleaned up and on the car. Dumped the grey and black water this a.m. Finished packing the inside for the most part. Just have a few things left in the dining and kitchen area to be put away after I finish using them; dishes left to dry over night. Dropped some magazines off at the laundry.

Need to fix, on Saturday for Sunday, a lunch bite and snacks for on the road. I'll finish all that up and move the rig forward a little way and hook up Herbie and be ready to just pull the plug and store the hose and take off on Sunday. With a little bit of luck I'll be able to pull out early on Sunday.

Today was another toasty 98* day. Cooled down to 88 by 9 p.m. ACKK! A/C turned off about 10 and hasn't turned back on yet.

Need to charge the cell, the ear piece and the hands-free over the blind piece so that will be ready to be hooked up. Need to start the rig and let it run in the morning for a bit. Checked the tires today and they are all okay. Will double check the batteries on the rig in the morning...just did that 2 weeks ago, but it has been hot and evap does happen. Checked the fresh water tank and it appears okay.

Just about ready to hit the sack.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's over - finally!

So I have now completed the transition from a 10 x 20 storage unit to a 10 x 10 unit. Today the organization GRASP, in Converse, TX, picked up the HHG's that I had left from my sorting.

During the loading of the material I accidentally gave the memory broom I had gotten in 1999 as a house warming gift from a very dear lady. I called and asked them to please look for it and hold it for me. Jennifer said they would look and call me when they found it. So here is hoping they find it.

Now I am getting the rig ready for travel on Sunday morning. I defrosted the freezer and mopped the floors this morning. Will dump the tanks Friday morning and arrange some of the things in the car. Need to finish loading what I can into the rig today and Friday. Leaving Saturday for final shopping before I hit the road and hooking up the toad so Ii can leave really early Sunday morning. I have a reservation at Lake Texhoma Sunday night...That is a really long drive. I expect to be going thru Dallas about 3 or 4 p.m.

My friend, Colleen, is supposed to give me a call and we drive up to Potter's Creek, Canyon Lake, to see how a GTG might work out up there. Waiting to hear from her.

Time to work on the outside stuff and get it packed inside.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Okay, I have been chastised by one of my friends for not posting to my blog. She says that since I shall start traveling again, during this hot summer, that I should document my travels. So I shall try to do that. It is the discipline that I lack in getting this done daily, or even every other day or once a week! But I am going to once again give it a go.