Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday December 26, 2008

First of all, thank you for following our little blog. You must be a good friend or family. I'm going to stop recording my daily activities unless something happens of note until we go on the road.

We woke this morning to the sounds of high winds. We had very high winds all day long at the park. We are out in the boonies, with nothing around us to block the wind. It's amazing how loud a trailer is when the heater and air conditioner is turned off. There are creaks and pops that sound like someone is coming in. Of course, the little flap for the vent hood in the kitchen makes a lot of noise, but I went out and clipped it shut.

The floor creak is getting worse. It's right in front of the stairs in the kitchen, so its impossible to miss when you come into the kitchen from either outside or from the bedroom. This will soon become Camping World's problem when we trade this one in on an '09 Bighorn 3370 in a week or so.

I called Melissa this morning to find out when they are coming out here to visit. She said that when Jennifer and Jay get off work, they will go by their house and get all of Ian's stuff to come over.

I just piddled around the trailer today. I tightened the legs of the front porch, but its hard to do on gravel. The stones constantly move around, so it makes the feet uneven and the porch shaky. Hopefully we won't be parked on many gravel sites.

Stella and I ate leftover soup for lunch that she made a couple of days ago. It was more tasty today than when she originally made it, but that's the way it is with soups. After finishing the soup we decided to cut Cassie's hair for the first time. The first time for us anyway....
Cassie didn't like it very much, but it went pretty well. Stella brushed out many of the tangles in her hair, then gave her a bath in the shower. After they both took a break, we started trimming her. I held her still on the dining table while Stella cut her hair. Stella is the only experienced hair cutter in the family, since she's been cutting my hair for years. It has saved us a lot of money over the years and will really come in handy now that we're retired. Cassie's hair looked good when we got done and she was pretty well-behaved.

Jennifer, Jay, Melissa and Ian arrived about 7:30. Jennifer had been to the doctor this morning and was diagnosed with hives. She had to go by a pharmacy to pick up her prescriptions. Hives is usually caused by an allergy, which I have been lucky enough to avoid in my life.

We ate our sandwiches and had a very nice visit. Ian crawled all over the trailer, checking all of Cassie's toys, her food bowl and of course the water bowl. Jennifer snatched him up when he got close to all of these, so no damage was done. He's such a good baby, never cried or fussed. He loves his Pop.

Jennifer decided that Ian will be my first grandchild to call me by my grandfather's name, Pop. My mother's father, O.L. (Pop) Chandler, was called Pop by everyone that knew him, even the family. It is an honor to be called by this name, although I love being Pepaw to Tyler and Cameron.

Until another day,

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday December 25, 2008

Christmas Day has arrived! I woke up early this morning to check if Santa had come, but he must not have been able to find us because there was nothing to be found here. It COULDN'T be that I've been a bad boy!

Melissa texted me to come pick her up around 10 this morning. Since we made the trip the other night, we knew the way and got there in no time at all. We went in and had a cup of coffee in her apartment before leaving to go to Kay's, my ex-wife and Jennifer and Melissa's mother. We used the Garmin to navigate to her house which amazed Melissa. She had never been down the street that we were directed to. When we got there, Kay was fixing our breakfast, so I went into the living room and hung our with Melissa until Jennifer, Jay and the guest of honor, Ian, got there. Kathryn, Jenifer and Melissa's step-sister arrived and hung out with us. We started to eat breakfast before they got there; I guess Ian had been checking out all the loot that Santa brought him.

After they got there and ate their breakfast, we had a gift exchange. Kathryn was kind enough to frame a picture of Jennifer and Ian for us. Of course, the floor was completely covered with wrapping paper, and Ian got even more loot!

We had a nice visit, but we all started to get drowsy and in need of a nap, so we gathered up all Melissa's stuff and loaded it into the truck. Jay came out to check my air horn, which I'm sure the neighbors were happy to hear sounding off. They were probably glad to see us finally leave. We dropped Melissa off at her place and came back to the trailer for the night.

Our first Christmas in the trailer is past, and was very nice. We had a very good time with the family.

Wednesday December 24, 2008

Well it;s Christmas Eve, the day lots of kids look forward to all year. It was chilly here, with temperatures around 45 degrees. When we get started traveling, maybe I'll be able to figure out how to attach that site here so everyone will be able to see the temperatures where we are.

We got up this morning and just stayed inside where its warm. We drank our coffee and ate some pigs in a blanket this morning for breakfast. We decided not to go to the big family Christmas celebration this evening. I called Melissa and told her that we wouldn't be by to pick her up, and that she had to make her own travel arrangements.

We just stayed in the trailer all day, and went for a ride around the area in the afternoon. We stopped and got diesel at a Valero where we found fuel for $2.19 per gallon, the cheapest we have seen. We came back home and stayed inside all evening watching the tube and relaxing.

Thats all for now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday December 23, 2008

I woke this morning for my usual coffee with the guys. It's a good time to get together with friends and fix all that is wrong with the world. The new President should send someone to sit in on our coffee meetings so he will know how to run the country.

I went back to the trailer and started putting things away for the trip to Terrell. We got away about 11 o'clock or about an hour later that I wanted to leave. It was a nice trip, but the weather was bad, again! It was cool and rainy but soon warmed up but stayed cloudy all the way north. We stopped at the rest area in Huntsville for a potty break for all of us including Cassie. It's good to stop and stretch our legs. We stopped again for lunch and fuel in Fairfield. Any time we go through Fairfield, we try to stop at Sam's Barbecue restaurant. We got fuel at the Chevron next to Sam's and paid $2.21 a gallon including an .08 per gallon discount for showing our receipt for the restaurant. At least fuel prices are down. I had filled up over the weekend in Alvin when we went home, for $1.97 a gallon, the cheapest we have seen in a long time!

We pulled into the Bluebonnet Ridge RV park about 4:30. This is a nice park, with gravel roads and sites. It had gotten colder as we went north, so I just set up the outside items. The new steps went together well, but will take some getting used to. The rails still need some work, but I can get it figured out. The little wrench that Ken made to tighten the handrail posts is not really long enough to turn the posts, but I will have to figure something out there.

We went over to Melissa's apartment where we met Jennifer, Jay and of course Ian, the newest member of the family. We went to the Jalapeno Tree for supper. It was a nice time and we went back to Melissa's house for a visit with her. We came back to the trailer about 11.

We made plans to meet tomorrow to go to the girl's family for their Christmas celebration. It is nice of them to have offered to let us attend their party with them.

Monday December 22, 2008

We woke to a cold day, the coldest of this winter. I went down and had coffee with the guys at the rally hall, then went back to the trailer, where we just hung out and stayed inside out of the cold. It turned out to be a "stay inside and read or watch tv day" because of the weather. Stella went to the laundry and did our dirty clothes. We still would rather do this than have a washer/dryer in the trailer.

Ricky made some chili and warmed up some tamales that he had picked up when he went to his ranch in south Texas. We ended the meal with some no-sugar cheesecake and sugar-free pecan pie which were both wonderful. Chili is the best thing to warm you up on a cold day.

We went back to the trailer and started to get things picked up in preparation for our trip to Terrell for our Christmas visit with my kids there.

Sunday December 21, 2008

We were scheduled to do the "Rayford Shuffle" today, moving from site #80 into site 35. It was cold and damp again today and I stayed inside until almost 9. When I went out, I found that Tommy and Susan had already packed up and left. I wanted to see them before they left, but will catch up with them another time. Tommy told me that he has reserved his spot at Rayford for 2009, so we will see them again.

I found that the rig in our new space had already moved, so I went back to the trailer and told Stella. as soon as the trailer was ready, we moved into our new site. While setting up, we met the couple that are in site 36, a very nice couple that retired about 6 months ago. I had a nice visit with them while getting everything plugged in.

We left the park about 1 o'clock to go to the house in Dickinson to pick up the mail and get anything that we had forgotten. After getting that done, we went to Manvel where I picked up our porch/steps where my friend Ken Caldwell had made some modifications to our unit, which was one of the first prototypes that he had built. He made ours a new-style fold up side frame with screwed on handrails. He also repainted the thing. It has taken a beating from bouncing around in the bed of my truck, but it was good for him to be able to check it for any rust or damage.

We went back to Rayford where Ricky came by soon after we got back to invite us over to eat with them. They had some leftover sausage, a stuffed pork chop and some leftover potatoes, so we all had a good meal and cleaned out their refrigerator.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wwe got up this morning and went to the pancake breakfast in the rally hall. It was good food prepared by our friends Frank and Nancy who live in the park. We will try to make these a routine.

We didn't do much of anything all day Saturday. The weather was cold and damp, which made it hard to get outside and do anything.

Tommy and Susan came over about 5:15 to pick us up to go to Sandy and Rusty's Christmas party at their house. It was a nice time with several of our Boomer friends. Bob Wurch was there and said he will be at Rayford for the New Years Eve party. We left the party about 8:30.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Friday December 19, 2008

We got up today, expecting to have to go home for the night to take care of the boys while Kim and Jeremy went to a Christmas party for Jeremy's work. We left the park around 10AM and along the way, we decided to stop at a Sam's store on I-45 near Airtex. We stopped there because it was a store that we had never been in, so there might be something there that we really needed!

We got inside and began shopping when Stella had to call Kim to aske a question about a gift for Tyler. Kim told her that the party had been cancelled and we didn't have to go home. That was fine with us, so we continued to shop. We really didn't buy all that much at Sam's so we decided to stop at Gallery to look at recliners to put in the new trailer. We searched the store buy couldn't find anything we liked. It was disappointing that a store that big didn't have any more selection than they did.

We didn't know where there was a Lazy Boy store in this area. I know that Lazy Boy has some chairs of the right size for us, so we decided to drive up past Rayford-Sawdust to see if we could find a store. When we got to FM 242, we gave up and stopped at the Wal Mart store there. We spent a lot of money ($130.00) but it was all stuff we needed, with a few groceries thrown in.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday December 18, 2008

Today was a very slow day for us, but I guess thats to be expected for an old retired man....

I slept in this morning and didn't have coffee with the guys. I guess I was up too late last night running the roads for Cameron's birthday. It was very foggy this morning and we just laid around all day long. I went for a walk this morning around the park. Today was the first day that the weather cooperated enough for me to walk. We just stayed in and watched tv all day today.

Ricky came by late in the afternoon and asked us to come over. Dee said she had lots and lots of leftovers to eat, so she cooked up some stuffed pork chops and warmed up the leftover sausage and potatoes from the other day and we had a nice meal. We watched a little bit of television on their HD TV. I can see the use of high definition, but there is still not too much on tv.

We're supposed to go home tomorrow, so I should be up early packing stuff up. Ricky volunteered to go pick up Dee's parents in Louisiana, so he'll be gone the first thing in the morning.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday December 17, 2008

I got up this morning and had coffee with the guys in the rally hall. Stella had gotten up and taken Cassie for her morning walk, so that was already out of the way. We had a few things to pick up and put away this morning, so after this was done, we loaded up the few things that we were taking with us and left for home. Stella had some things to do in the doctor's office today, so we had decided to go home for the day. It is also Cameron's birthday, so we were taking him out tonight.

We got home without any incidents, but found that Stella's car wouldn't go into gear. We had found a transmission fluid leak last week when she had the oil changed, and it apparently had leaked out since then. She just took the truck to go to work. I stayed at the house while she was gone. I played on the computer and watched some television (napped) until about 4 o'clock when I took a shower and got ready to take Cam out. Stella came home and we gathered our stuff up and went to Texas City to get Cameron and Tyler.

He wanted to go to Gringo's restaurant for his birthday dinner, but when we got there, the parking lot was completely full with several cars parked across the street in the mall parking lot. We gave him the choice of where else to go and he chose Ryan's. We had a very enjoyable meal with the boys.

We went back to their house and watched Cam open his presents. He got a new game for their Wii, a radio for his room and a video game.

After going home to pick up Cassie, we made an easy trip back to the park, and arrived a little after 10. I stayed up until almost 11 o'clock tonight. I'm getting better at staying up, and slept until after 7. I guess I'm finally getting the hang of being retired and changing my sleep habits.

So long for now.....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday December 16, 2008

Today was a pretty slow day for us. It is cold again, with a light rain falling and making it miserable to be out in the weather. I am rapidly getting over this winter weather!

I got up this morning and had coffee with the guys in the rally, then came back and took the stairs and porch apart to take it back to Ken to have some modifications made to it. He is going to change the way the rails attach, from a slide in connection to a screw-in design. He said he will sand it down to check for any rust damage and then repaint it. He is doing all of this for me because I bought one of the first units so he is willing to update it for me.

The first thing I had to do was to go back to Soundjamz in Pearland to have my air horn repaired. When I got there, their installer was running late, but as soon as he showed up he began working on it. He found that a relay under the hood had shorted out, which may have caused the ignition problem last week. Rick, the owner of the store, said it is impossible for the installation that they did to have caused the problem, but when the horn was unplugged, the truck worked fine. He replaced the relay and put it in another location under the hood so no water will splash onto it. The installer also found that the switch on the air compressor was bad which caused it to pump constantly and the over pressure switch to open to relieve the air pressure. He replaced it at the same time, so we'll see how long this lasts.

I returned home and we just hung out until late in the afternoon when Ricky came over to check on us. We hadn't seen them for a coulple of days, so he just came to check on us. We decided to visit the new Ace Hardware store which was opening today. Ricky went and picked up Dee and came by and picked us up. We walked around the store for awhile and of course, Stella and Dee bought a couple of items. Susan and Tommy called to say they were going to James' Coney Island for their supper. We decided to go with them, so we all met there. We came back home and hung out here for the rest of the night.

Til next time......

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday December 15, 2008

I went down to the rally hall for coffee with the guys this morning. When I went down there, the temperature was in the upper 60's. I hadn't been there 20 minutes when the temperature stated to drop and by the time we left, the temp was in the 40's, quite a change in so short a time! A cold front had come through and the temp continued to drop for the rest of the day.

We were supposed to have packed up to leave today. I had planned to take the porch and steps back to Ken in Manvel to have some modifications hade to them and to have them cleaned up and painted and to take the truck back to Soundjamz in Pearland to have the air horn repaired. I was also planning to take the truck by Manvel Auto Care to have the brakes looked at while I was there. We decided that since the weather had turned so bad, we really didn't want to go home today, so Stella called the park and got permission for us to stay 'til the weekend. There is a rally coming in and we will have to leave by Sunday.

Bill didn't want to stay, so he packed up and took off by 10 o'clock. I was glad to have had some time to spend with Bill and we won't see him again until we go to Cut N Shoot in January.

Stella wanted to get her hair cut, so I took her to a hair place near the Kroger store. While she was there, I took the truck to Ripley's Car Care on Rayford Rd. where I got a price to get the rear brakes repaired. Mark, the manager, gave me a price which I thought was very reasonable, and told me to bring it in today if I wished. This is quite a difference from many repair shops, who require a wait to have repairs made. I went and picked up Stella at the hair shop. She went next door to an AT & T store where she bought a new cell phone. She has been complaining about her phone for a long time, so maybe this will satisfy her for awhile. I bought a new battery for my phone, since it won't hold a charge any more.

After getting her phone, I dropped her off at the trailer and went back to Ripley's to have the brakes repaired. the right brake rotor was completely pitted and actually had three places on it where it had been broken by the brake pads being worn out and "skipping" over the rotor and causing it to break. It was a good thing that I had gone in to have them repaired. They also found a rear axle seal that was leaking that they repaired, making the total bill $623, a far cry from the $1,200 that I had been quoted at Gay Pontiac for doing the brakes only.

I came back home to find that Rick and Brenda had come over. I had left my phone in the trailer to charge the new battery that I had bought, so I was not aware that they were here. We decided to go to the Sweet Tomato restaurant for supper. We all like this place and I believe I could eat there two or three times a week.

We returned home and I finished up these entries.

Sunday December 14, 2008

Stella fixed some pigs in a blanket for Bill and I to eat out on our picnic table today. Bill and I had just been sitting around drinking coffee and enjoying the day. Breakfast was very nice and Bill and I went in to (nap) watch the football game on TV.

Our friends Rick and Brenda came by to visit and while they were here, Tommy and Susan came in. They pulled in to their normal site in the premium site, so we just hung out with them for awhile. I came back to the trailer to watch the football game and promptly fell asleep in my recliner. When I woke up, Rick and Brenda had left, so I went outside to check on everyone else.

Ricky and Dee had come home. Ricky had taken his Dad from his home on Canyhon Lake down to his ranch in south Texas for a deer hunting weekend. Ricky had gotten sick almost as soon as he got there, so he didn't hunt but he said they had a good time there. He stopped along the way home and picked up some pork sausage that he wanted to fix for supper. Stella and Dee went to the grocery store and got some potatoes and corn to fix for supper.

I called Melissa to sing Happy Birthday to her, which is something I have done for all the kids since they were little. Melissa appreciated it, and we always have fun with it. It's hard to believe that my baby girl is 35 years old!

We went over to Ricky's trailer and ate supper, which was another good meal. Tommy had left before we started eating to decorate around their motorhome but Susan came back before we finished eating. She ate a little bit and fixed a plate for Tommy, so everyone ate well tonight. I went in about 8:30 to watch the Dallas football game. I must have gone to sleep as soon as I sat down, and woke up about 2:30. I went to bed but couldn't go back to sleep, so I got out of bed and came back in the living room and played on the computer. I had to find out who had won the football game! I wasn't in here long when I got cold and went back to bed. I slept until 7:15, when I jumped up and went down to the rally hall for coffee with the guys.

So long for now,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We got up this morning and I went down to have coffee with the guys in the small rally hall. Before I got there, I saw that the lights were off and figured they had overslept or just didn't have coffee on Saturdays and went back to my trailer. I hadn't been back here 15 minutes when my phone rang and it was Bill asking me if we were going to eat the breakfast. I told him that we didn't kow about it and would be coming up there to have coffee with him and to eat. When I got there, Frank and Nancy had just started to cook the waffles but the coffee was ready. I had a cup while we waited for the waffles to be ready. Of course, they were worth the wait! Bill and I sat down there in the rally until Stella came in to eat. Just before we finished eating, Jim came over and asked us to come to a Christmas potluck that the snowbird residents of the park were having tonight. He said to be here at 6 o'clock.

Later, Bill, Stella and I went to Kroger to buy the food that we were going to bring to the potluck dinner. Stella made her potato casserole and Bill bought a coffee cake for dessert. We came back to the park and just hung out until time to go. We had a great time at the potluck and it was very nice of them to invite us, since we're not full-timers and certainly not snowbirds. They had a gift exchange after dinner that was moderated by Frank. He did the "stealing" of gifts different and allowed them to be stolen every round but limited the steals to 3 times per round. The most popular items in the exchange were some mini bottles of liquor in chocolate, a bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey and a glass thermometer. One of those three items were stolen just about every round, and everyone had a good laugh about them. We ended up with a box of Cee's lollipops that Stella got and an old 50-30 amp adapter that I won. It was all fun and I think everyone had a good time.

We didn't sit out tonight because it was so windy and chilly. We all went in about 9 o'clock and went to bed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008

I woke this morning wishing I had my truck back. Not only because I could do whatever I wanted, but that I had missed a night of sleeping in my trailer at Rayford. I was proud of myself for not calling Gay Pontiac to check on it, but when Stella went to work, about 9:30, I asked her to go by the dealership to see if it was inside being worked on. Sure enough, it was still in the same place it had been yesterday when it was brought in by the wrecker. I waited to call them until about 11 o'clock but was told that John, my service writer was out of the office and would call me back. He never did, so I called him about 1. He said they had just found the problem, which was a short in the ignition switch caused by the air horn wiring. He said they could fix the truck to start and stop again but without a schematic diagram they could not rewire the horn back in. I told him to check the rear brakes because it sounded like they were grinding. He said he would call me right back, but right back to him means at least two hours. He called me a little after 3 and said that the truck had been repaired but they weren't able to work on the brakes and have it finished today. Now, keep in mind that they had the truck all day yesterday and did nothing to it. Then he quoted me a price of $1,200 if they used aftermarket parts and $1,900 if they used GM parts, so I was glad they didn't have time to do the repair.

We went to get the truck, so I sent Stella on back home, believing the truck would be ready to go. Nope! The truck showed a battery problem with a large red light on the dash. I marched back inside and of course, John was gone again, so the other service writer went to find a meter to check the batteries. While he was trying to figure out how to hook up the two wires on the tester, John showed up and together they were able to hook the meter up but it showed a loose connection. They acted like they didn't know what to do now, so John went inside to get someone with some mechanical knowledge to help them out. A young man came out that knew what he was doing but he didn't have a wrench with him to tighten the battery cable with and went inside to get one. While he was gone, another man came up with a very small crescent wrench and he tightened the cable. Both batteries showed to be good, but the light was still on the dash. John just shrugged and said that maybe something in the dash had burned up too. He never offered to get the technician that had worked on the truck to come check it out, so I left. On the way home, I noticed that the amp gauge showed a discharge, so when I got home I checked and sure enough, the alternator had not been plugged back in. As soon as it was plugged back in, the light went out and the truck started showing a charge. I went in the house and called the dealership back to tell John what I had found. Of course, he was not available so I told Dwayne what I had found. I told him that I had just paid $201 and had to plug in my own alternator to make the light go out. I asked him why whoever had driven the truck out of the shop to park it in the parking area had not noticed the red light and asked a question about why it was on. He could not answer.

Car dealers bring on their own problem by overcharging using the excuse that you "get better service at your dealer". This experience will not bear that argument out. I feel that the arrogance of both dealers and the manufacturers are why the auto business is failing and although I feel sorry for the people that will lose their jobs when GM, Ford and Chrysler go under, they brought it on themselves. I'm sure that my Dad, a former Ford dealer himself, is turning over in his grave.

We drove up to Rayford without incident and met Bill there. We went out to eat at Pit Masters barbecue and came back to the park where I hooked up my water line and cable and came inside for the night.

Thursday December 11, 2008

I woke this morning with dread over the repairs to the truck. I called my buddy Barry who is the Parts and Service Director for Ron Carter in Texas City but when I told him about everything that happened last night he recommended taking it back to the GMC dealer, Gay Pontiac in Dickinson. Barry is the former shop foreman at Gay Pontiac so he is familiar with their service. I called Charlie who owns R & R Wrecker and is going to tow the truck and told him where to take it. I called Gay Pontiac and spoke with John about working on the truck. He said he would try to get it looked at today and would let me know what was wrong. As it worked out, he wasn't able to get a technician to look into my truck but promised to get to it tomorrow.

It sucks not having transportation! We were supposed to have gone back to Rayford today to meet Bill Sims who was coming over for a medical treatment in Houston. I had to call him and tell him what had happened and that we wouldn't be at the park today.

I did get my RV'ers Notebook software installed and set up. I had bought this softeware package after reading good reviews of it in a couple of RV forums. So far it has been easy but we'll see. I just hung out today and watched a little bit of television.

It sucks to not have transportation!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Today was our travel day back to Rayford and then to our house in Dickinson. Stella needed to go to her office tomorrow, so we decided to just drive home after dropping the trailer off at Rayford.

When we woke up this morning we found about 1" of snow on the picnic table and on the truck. We knew that snow had been expected but it was not supposed to have been cold enough to make it stick, but we had the proof. We saw a lot of snow in the pastures and in sheltered areas all day long. It was quite cold too, probably in the upper 20's. When I started the truck, the thermometer showed 32 degrees and that was around 9 o'clock.

We didn't get away as early as we'd hoped to and hit Houston in the beginning of the rush hour traffic. We decided to come in on I-10 and by going that way we shaved an hour off our travel time. We didn't drive any faster than normal but maybe the cold wind hurried us along. We got into Rayford about 3:30 and it started snowing on us again. It had rained off and on from about Katy on, and because of the cold and snow, the only thing I connected outside was the electricity. We weren't staying anyway and I wanted to get on the road as soon as possible.

Along the way home, the snow turned back into rain which stayed with us all the way home. I guess the cold front had not completely caught up with us yet. We met Kim, Jeremy and the boys at Ryan's for supper. Of course, Tyler told me that I didn't have an excuse not to come over to their house now, so we had to go. When we got to their house, the weirdest thing happened! The truck, which we had been driving all day pulling the trailer and all, would not shut off when we got to Kim's house. It was weird because I even took the keys out, then tried everything I could think of to make the motor shut down but it wouldn't. I just locked the truck and came inside to get out of the snow, which had started again and was getting harder and harder. After staying for a short time, Jeremy came outside to see if he could think of anything to do when we got home, but we really didn't try real hard for fear that the truck wouldn't start again. We decided to just try to get on home with it when I found that it wouldn't go into gear but stayed locked in park. I found that if you turn the key back past the off position, the gauges on the dash would work but it still wouldn't go into gear. Then I turned the ignition key onto the run position, the truck would go into gear, but it had no power. Then I found that it would not go into reverse, so I knew there was something seriously wrong with the truck. Jeremy brought out his tool set and we found that by disconnecting both batteries and the alternator, we could make the motor stop by touching the battery cable to the terminal, apparently shorting out the ignition circuit. A diesel has no spark plugs or source of ignition, so something in this "shorting" method worked. We hooked everything back up and the truck started normally but again would not shut down. We used the same method to get it to shut down, and went back inside. Kim knows a man who owns a wrecker service. Charlie promised to have a tow truck at her house the first thing in the morning. I have an old friend that I recently ran into who is the Service Director for Ron Carter in Texas City. I will call him tomorrow to see about getting the truck fixed.

Jeremy took us home in the snowstorm. I've been telling everyone that we're going to have a bad winter this year after the storm hit. I guess a snow in December proves it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2009

Today was a do-nothing day for us. Stella took the dirty clothes down to the laundry and got them all cleaned up to take back and Cassie and I just laid around the trailer. I walked around the park a little bit to get some excercise and when Stella called, I went back and got her and the truck and we came back to the trailer. She and I took Cassie for a walk around the park and we returned and just hung out for the rest of the day.

Monday December 8, 2008

I got up pretty early and watched Ricky and Dee as they packed up to leave. Dee had to be back in Houston for work (ugh, that nasty word!) so they were leaving today. They had thought about leaving yesterday, but we had gone all day to see the Pearl Harbor day celebration in Fredericksburg and the lights in the area, so their trailer was ready to go. They pulled out around 9:30 with no problems.

Since we are in the area, I decided to go to New Braunfels to see Grandma Willie Mae, my step mother. We have not seen her for a long time, since my Dad died in 1997, so I thought it was time for a visit. We called her and told her that we would be there in the morning and then barely made it before noon, but we got there none the less. She looked very good and we had a nice visit. She had gone to Naeglin's Bakery and bought some rolls and a half of a strudel, a German pastry that was delicious. We also took care of some family business that has been hanging around since Daddy passed, and that was a good thing.

Grandma Willie Mae has a little chihuahua dog that Adam, her grandson gave her after her other dog died. The little dog barked and barked and she told me to be careful of him because he bites. I didn't get too close to find out, but I think he had learned to tolerate me before we left.

We returned to Boerne and stopped at the Walgreens and got some items there. Stella's refill required a visit to her doctor before it could be filled, so it will wait a few days until we get back into Dickinson.

I went ahead and picked up our outside chairs and the other items that had been put out over the weekend in preparation of leaving on Wednesday. We stayed in the rest of the night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Boomer Rally, Sunday December 7, 2008

Today we woke to watch most of the other Boomers leaving. Again this is a new experience for us to be able to just sit around and watch everyone else leaving. More handshakes and hugs were given to me and best wishes in my retirement.

Ricky, Dee, Stella and I went over to Fredericksburg for the day. It turned out to be a wonderful day with great weather. Since this was our anniversary, Ricky bought our lunch in downtown Fredericksburg. We had seen the large turnout at the Chester Nimitz Museum commemorating the Pearl Harbor anniversary which was also being observed today. Soon after finishing our lunch, we saw an awesome flyover by four F-14 fighters which was followed by flyovers by other WW II aircraft. I am not enough of a historian of these flying warships but I recognized several models. I did a little research on and found some of the models that we saw:
F4F Wildcat
F4U Corsair
P-36 / Hawk 75
P-38 Lightning
P-51 Mustang
P-47 Thunderbolt
P-63 Kingcobra
B-17 Flying Fortress

I am sure that there were many more models seen, but these were the only ones that I could positively identify.

We walked around the shops in Fredericksburg until we were all tired and left to go over some of the other Hill Country cities to see their Christmas lights. First we went to Dripping Springs to the New Canaan Farms where we sampled and bought some of their jams, jellies and salsa. We drove up to Marble Falls where we saw their great display of lights. They use a large area down by the lake in the middle of the city and have millions of lights on display. I'm sorry to say that I didn't bring my camera but did take a few shots with my camera phone but the quality is not that good. Maybe Dee will send me some of her's that I can add here.

We then went to Johnson City where we saw a large display at their electric company. Standing under this display was just like being outside in daylight. We also stopped in Blanco but their light display was not nearly as large and extensive as the other city's.

We ended up driving about 220 miles today. At least diesel fuel prices have come way down! We got home to our trailers about 9 o'clock, tired but very satisfied with good friends, good food and great lights on display. It was a fitting end to the weekend.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Boomer Rally, Saturday December 6, 2008

Friday December 5th is the first day of the Texas Boomers Christmas rally. Of course we came in early by one day so we could be here watching most of the others arriving. It was very nice to be able to do that for a change, especially since its in Boerne. We wouldn't have been able to do this if we were still working regular jobs unless we took a vacation day.

Stella asked me to set up the front porch this morning so I went out and began putting it together. Ted came by and helped me get it set so it cut my erection time a little bit. It usually only takes me about 15 minutes to get it done.

We just sat around watching as the others came in and got set up. David Shodrock came by and invited us to come by later in the afternoon for some tortilla soup but we had already made plans to go downtown for the night Christmas shopping in the downtown area. We rode with Ricky and Dee with Harry and Judy following in their truck. We met up with Jerry and Diane who are from Canada and visiting at Rayford. They came to the Boomer rally at Ricky and Dee's invitation.

Harry told us about his bad luck last week while getting ready for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday he noticed a small amount of water under his truck, so when he got home he saw more water that turned out to be coming from his water pump. His neighbor asked him if he would like for him to change it out for him, and he agreed. It was a much cheaper fix for the truck. Then as they got ready to go on Wednesday morning, one of the trailer legs broke so they were not able to make it to Rayford for Thanksgiving.

We ate at the Hungry Horse cafe again. I had an enormous bowl of Frito pie and a slice of apple/cranberry pie. It was delicious, just like last night's meal there. After walking around the downtown area for awhile in the cold, we returned to the park. We sat around in Ricky's trailer having a drink until the party at the rally hall was ready. Sandy had arranged for a "mini" retirement party for me. It was very nice and they furnished a delicious retirement cake that Sandy brought. After the party ended we went out to sit with Don at his "far" for a little while before turning in about 10:30.

It was a very nice day and I am very blessed to have such good friends.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Boomer Rally

Although I haven't posted anything since retiring, don't be misled, I haven't stopped writing, I've just been enjoying my first days of being retired. We laid around at Rayford for almost two weeks before coming to Boerne for the Boomer's Christmas rally.

We didn't get away as early as we wanted to but finally pulled out at 10 o'clock. We met up with Ted and Donna at the Magnolia high school, where they had pulled over to wait for us. It was a very uneventful trip with only one stop at the nice rest area at Columbus. We agreed there to turn off at Hwy. 46 to go around through New Braunfels to get to Boerne and arrived about 3 o'clock. I immediately found the 50 amp plug on my pedestal was burned up. I reported it to the office so they sent their repair man who changed it out for me. I learned that another Boomer, Harry Nevedomski, had the same problem, and when Dutch and Sandy Dinwiddie arrived their 50 amp plug was burned too. They had already changed out Harry's plug and Dutch only needed a 30 amp, so he was good to go.

We went out to eat at the Hungry Horse cafe. The food was very good, homestyle food with plenty on the plate. The downtown area seems to close up at dark, but they were nice enough to direct us to the Hungry Horse, a great choice if you're ever in Boerne.

Boerne is a very old town, originally settled by Germans. One of our old friends, Patti Kerlin, moved here from Wimberly after Tommy passed away. She told Donna that she lives in a new house that was painted to look old. I'm sure we'll see her house before we leave.

Since we didn't think to check into signing up for Internet service when we checked in, I did that this morning. At $3.00 a day, this could get expensive if we ever decided to stay at this park (doubtful) again. I also checked into the burn ban that is on for the county. The nice lady in the office told me that as long as I had a cover for the firepit, it should be fine. I hope that is the case because there are several that are expecting to have a fire this weekend.

Stella slept in this morning until almost 9 o'clock. I got up early as usual, and went out to take a walk up to the office. It's gonna be another beautiful day but cold all day.

So long for now.