Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday May 29, 2009

Bill had told me that he went to the donut shop in the morning to drink coffee and visit with his friends. I told him that I had heard of a donut shop but had never been in one.....LOL. I did intend to get up and go with him and woke up in time but came in the living room and went back to sleep in my chair and didn't get up to go with him.

Bill and I went to the Petro so that I could buy a CB radio for our trip. When we got there, they had a nice Cobra radio on sale but had sold out of them. They had the Wilson antenna that I wanted but not the radio. We went to the Flying J on I-10 in Orange to get the items I needed. TxDOT has I-10 under construction between Bridge City and Orange, so we were delayed about 45 minutes. The bad thing was, they have the road barricaded off but no one was working on the highway. the only workers out there were off the road on the new section of road and nowhere near the actual road. Before we got to the store, Bill got hungry and took me to a barbecue restaurant that has some of the best barbecue I have ever eaten.

We went over to the Flying J store and found the radio I wanted, a Cobra 29LTD. This is the standard radio used by truckers and should be everything I need for traveling. Flying J didn't have the antenna I want, so we will have to go back to Petro tomorrow to get it.

As a demonstration of how a CB radio can come in handy, Bill had turned his on when we got held up on the freeway to find out what the problem was and which lane was blocked.

We came back to Bill's house and both of us took a nap this afternoon. Stella had made some beef soup and a loaf of bread for supper but no one was hungry yet. Ornell had decided to work graveyard shift tonight for a little extra money for out trip, so we all decided to wait a little while to eat. After we ate, we sat outside on the back porch until Ornell needed to go in and try to sleep before she had to go to work.

I watched television and played on the computer until almost midnight before I went to bed. I guess I'm getting used to being retired and can stay up later and later, and of course sleep later too. It is nice and quiet out here at Bill's house, so I slept very well. I am planning to go to the donut shop with him in the morning, so we'll see if I can wake up in time to go.

So long for now.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday May 28, 2009

We got up early this morning because Stella has to go to one of the doctor's offices to meet with her. We also had to close everything up for the service technician to work on the trailer this morning.

We got everything done and were away from the store a little after 8. We went to Dr. Longmire's office in Hitchcock for Stella's meeting with Dr. Gulde. I sat in the truck with Cassie and read a book while she was inside.

At least the weather wasn't too bad and I was able to remain fairly comfortable while waiting. Cassie slept through the whole thing.

When she got through, we went by Dr. Gulde's office so she could give some papers to Jackie there. We then went by the house and picked up our mail and to visually check on it. We get an amazing amount of junk mail addressed to occupant or resident.

When she got through, we started to go by Dr. Merritt's clinic in Webster but found out that the work wasn't ready so we started to go back to CW to get the trailer. Along the way, we got a call that the rig was ready, so we hurried back to get the trailer.

When we got to the store, we went in and signed the papers for the repairs. They had not been able to correct the problem with the landing jack because they had to order a part, but we were assured that it should work during our trip without a failure.

I went in and bought a part for my new sewer hose, so we are good to go now. We went out and hooked up the trailer and left. We had called Bill to tell him that we are on our way to his house.

He fixed us some shrimp etoufee for our supper. When we got to his house, he helped to guide me into the parking space where we will be this week. After taking a break to cool off, we ate our supper and sat around on his back porch until we went in for the night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday May 27, 2009 Moving Day

Stella woke me up this morning putting things away in preparation for leaving this morning. I went outside and got most of the outside things done early. We had a few more boxes to take to storage, so I took them over after the gates opened at 7. I stopped off at the Valero and picked us up a couple of breakfast croissants and brought them back. What a guy I am, to fix breakfast for my wife!

Ricky and Tommy came over and helped me get the porch down. Three pairs of hands made quick work of taking it down. We got it stacked up in the back of the truck and I continued to work outside.

Somehow the power cord for my computer had broken. It looks like it was cut, but I think I may have accidentally put the chair leg down on it, cutting it. Ricky and I repaired it and checked it out. It's working! Yippee.....

We got away a little before 10 to go to Camping World to have some minor issues taken care of. We made good time through Houston and got there right about 11 o'clock, which was right on time. I found out that they had overbooked on service work but since we had an appointment, they will get our work done. We set up the electricity and water, so we will be comfortable when we come back to the trailer this afternoon and will spend the night in the back lot. That way, we'll be right there for tomorrow's repairs to be made.

We stopped off at a Best Buy store to check on the power cord. I learned that they have an after-market power cord that only powers the computer but doesn't charge the battery. I really want one that does both but will have to go back to the manufacturer for that. We went to the HEB grocery store and bought several items that the boys had used up, including milk and cereal. Those boys can sure put the food away!

We returned to the trailer in the CW parking lot and hung out for the afternoon. It sucks not to have our Dish TV antenna set up, but that's a little too much trouble and besides that, its just one more thing to put away in the morning. Stella had some more work to do anyway, so we just stayed home.

I later went out and took everything out of our storage compartment and rearranged it. It was a lot of work but it's much more accessible now and looks a lot better.

I turned out to be a pretty good night, but noisy! I didn't realize the freeway noises would be so loud here, but it was bad. I had a hard time sleeping all night, but it could have been worse, we could have had to get a motel room. I'm afraid that may happen some day but at least it wasn't today...

See ya

Tuesday May 26, 2009

I woke up pretty early and went outside to see Ted and Donna off. They were supposed to leave at 7:30 and were right on time. I helped Ted check his tire inflation. He had a problem with his tire gauge and I brought mine over to finish up. We will see them again in Ohio or Indiana next month and go on our multi-state trip with them.

Ricky needed to go to Camperland to look for a part for his oven vent. His vent had broken off and he was looking for a screen to cover it so no bugs or bees will get in. They didn't have anything but I did buy some replacement bulbs for the light under the counter over the sink. When we got back to the trailer, I got real energetic and feeling very mechanical, changed out the burned out bulb.

The boys had spent the night again, even though today was a school day. This is the last two full days of school and both had missed school before now, so they weren't getting any perfect attendance awards, so they stayed here. Jeremy has a meeting this morning in the Woodlands and will pick them up when he's through.

I went swimming with Cameron again and we had fun playing horses with the basketball and throwing the football across the pool. We also went into the hot tub which made my back feel much better. We went back into the pool and I got tired of all the bugs in the pool. Cam found a small net and I swept up a pound or so of dead bugs out of the pool.

Jeremy was coming to pick the boys up about 11, so we got out of the pool and they gathered up all their stuff. This may be the last time we get to spend time with the boys before we leave and we won't be back in Houston until October. This is all assuming that the house sale goes through. If it doesn't, we'll be back to try to sell it again.

This afternoon, Stella wanted to get her hair cut (I offered to do it for her but she declined) and to get a pedicure (another offer). I took her to the new Kroger shopping center and found two shops right beside each other to take care of her. I dropped her off and went back when she was done.

We just hung out in the trailer the rest of the afternoon. I did get all my yard art and chairs picked up and put away. We will be leaving Rayford tomorrow.

A new Cheddar's restaurant had opened at I-45 @ Louetta, and Ricky has been watching it come along, so we all went there for supper. Bob also met us there. The place was packed and the service was very slow but the food was good and the prices not too bad. Stella and I shared a sampler platter of appetizers and there was plenty of food for both of us.

We came back to the park and sat out at Ricky's trailer. Billy and Gwen stopped by and visited with us for a little while. They were telling us about their new website It will be more interactive and they were asking about features we wanted to see in it. It sounds like a good site. It will be fun to see it when it comes online.

The skeeters started biting again and we all went in about 9:30 or so.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday May 25, 2009 (Memorial Day)

I got up this morning and went outside about 7, which is my usual activity when we are in a large group. I like to watch the early morning activities of all those that must leave today. Not many were out this early but the buzz of activity soon started. The kids were still out on their skates, skate boards, bikes or other wheeled vehicles, so I still had to be careful walking across the road without looking first.

Cameron and I played a game of ping pong and he beat me 21-19! I guess I have to give up my crown to him now. We had a nice time together. Cam, Tyler and I soon went for a swim in the pool for the first time this weekend. The water was surprisingly cold but we soon got used to it and enjoyed ourselves. We all got blistered in the hot sun, mine mostly on my bald head, but it was still fun.

We came back to the trailer and hung out for the afternoon and went to Tommy and Susan's for a cookout. Ted and Donna had some steaks, Stella made up some hamburger patties and some corn on the cob, but we also had sausage, chicken breasts, and Ricky and Dee brought out some sausage with jalapenos and bacon wrapped around them that were very good. We had plenty of food and everyone was full at the end of the meal. We sat around talking until about 10. Dee and Susan had to go to work the next day and Ted and Donna are leaving for Lufkin where they will have some work done on their trailer and then on to Texarkana for the night.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday May 24, 2009

Today is the big Memorial Day celebration here at Rayford. I got up a little early and when the boys got up, I fixed them some cereal for their breakfast. There were a lot of activities for the kids in the park, and believe me, there are a million of them. Every kid has a bike, a skateboard-either motor powered or leg powered-skates or some sort of wheeled mode of transportation. Nobody loves kids more than I do, but it sure is hard to love them when they run you off into the grass to avoid a collision.

Surprisingly, neither of the boys wanted to go fishing this morning. Of course, Tyler immediately went to the computer. Cameron didn't want to go outside either, so they stayed in for the first part of the morning. I finally got them to go out and ride their ripsticks. One of our Boomer friends, Mike Ellerbrock, came by and tried to ride with the boys, but he gave up before he fell and broke something. We had a nice visit with Mike and Barb before the threatened rain chased them away.

I got the boys to go for a walk around the park with me. Tyler rode his ripstick and Cam walked with me. When we got to the back part of the park, Tyler took a bad spill and of course, it was Cameron's fault-Tyler's version. Tyler did have to avoid Cam when he passed him going downhill, but he lost it when he hit a wet spot on the concrete, and made him fall.

Stella went down and played Candy Bar Bingo and surprised all by winning most of the candy. She threatened all of us over trying to get her Kit Kat, but said the boys could have the Hershey's candies.

We went over to the Rayford room where they served a coney island/frito pie dinner. All the guests had to bring was a dessert and a drink. We got there early and had our dogs, and then invaded the desserts. We should have waited because other desserts that came in later looked very good. It had rained pretty hard for fifteen minutes or so, which made a lot of folks late to come down, so we may have missed out on something delicious but we still had plenty to eat.

Cameron and I played a couple of games of ping pong while the rest of the adults sat in the soft chairs in the breezeway. When I finished beating Cam, I joined them there. We ended up staying there until about 9:30 when the skeeters made us leave. I did take a short break to play some pool with Ted and Cameron. Someone had taken the cue ball and Billy had gone into the office to find another one. He put Cameron "in charge" of the cue ball, so we had to play a game or two of pool with him. He is supposed to return the ball to Billy in the morning.

Tomorrow will be fun to watch most everyone leaving the park. It is the end of the long weekend, and always interesting to watch the others leaving. Ted and Donna will leave Tuesday morning and we will go to Camping World on Wednesday.

So long for now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday May 23, 2009

I slept a little later again this morning. We met Ted and Donna and Tommy and Susan for the park-furnished breakfast of pancakes and sausage. As usual it was very good. We sat around chatting until about 9:30 and came back home. Those straight back chairs make my back tighten up, so I went in and turned on the vibrating heating pad and that fixed me right up.

Bob had come back over this morning, and we all went over to check out a vendor that had come to the park this morning with some pulled pork sandwiches. Bob was hungry and bought one. He said it was okay but not anything special. Soon after, Stella went to the grocery store with Ted and Donna to pick up things for hamburgers that we were making this afternoon. I stayed in the trailer and took a very short nap while they were gone. Hey, someone could have been watching to see when we left so they could break in and steal something. I had to stay and take care of things around here.

Tommy & Susan and Stella & I went over to the Country Place RV Park in Cut N Shoot to see the small group of Boomers that had gone there for the holiday weekend. Eddie and Kelly Rogers had set it up and Ricky and Dee & Bernest and Pauleen had all gotten together this weekend for the fishing and fellowship. While we were there, I saw Steve and Evelyn Simmons, some old friends from the Boomers. Also there with them were Ed and Sharon Bowen, also from the Boomers. Steve said he has a couple more years to go before he can retire, but Ed and Sharon are retiring next week! Sharon is a schoolteacher and will retire at the end of this school year (7 days) and Ed has been a forklift mechanic and will semi-retire in 15 days. Ed and I have stayed in touch by email and occasionally ran into each other in an RV park where we were for a weekend. He had heard about my retirement from Gwen at Rayford. It was good to see old friends, and hopefully we'll continue to see them on the road. They plan to sell their house and full time as we are doing.

Ted and Donna had stayed in the park because they were expecting Donna's niece to come by for a visit. They had not shown up by the time we got back to the park, so we all got together and made hamburgers at Tommy's site in the nice new gas grill in his premium site. We were almost through with our meal when they finally showed up.

Stella got a call from Kim that they were not going to Louisiana with her Dad after all, so I made arrangements to go pick up Tyler and Cameron. I had a couple of beers at Ricky's and Stella and I had finished off a bottle of pina colada mix with our hamburgers, so I asked Bob if he would drive me down to pick up the boys. This being a holiday weekend, the Police were having a zero-tolerance weekend for DWI, so I decided not to risk driving after having a few drinks. Bob has been inquiring about some of the parks in and around Dickinson, so I took him by the Bay Colony RV Park and the Via Bayou RV Resort where we had just left. I think he realized that there are advantages to both parks but will have some time before he has to make his decision.

We made it to Kim's house and picked up the boys and came back here without incident. We did see a bad accident on I-45 where a car had turned over. I hope no one was badly injured. The boys were glad to get here and we all had some ice cream (no sugar added for me) and went to bed soon.

So long,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009

I slept in this morning for the first time in awhile, until about 7:30. I got some pigs in a blanket for my breakfast this morning, so it started out well. I went out and set up the new-looking porch and steps. The new powder coating looks great and I recommend it to anyone that wants a nice smooth finish that seems to last forever.

Ted arrived about 10:30, so I went over and visited with him while he got set up. Donna was not with him right now, but will come over with the many items they will take with them on their long trip. She took just about everything out of the freezer and all the perishables in the pantry and fridge. We will be gone until October, so there is no reason the leave them behind.

Just before Ted arrived, Tommy Hathcock had arrived. He didn't have a tow vehicle with him, so it didn't take him long to get set up. His most difficult job was getting the dish antenna on the roof aligned to pick up the satellites.

We just piddled around the park, watching all the others arriving.This will be a big weekend here in the park, and I'm sure that just about every kid in Houston will be here. It's fun to watch others get set up. One fifth wheel trailer came in and hit one of the large rocks at the corner in front of the laundry room. The driver apparently didn't know he had hit the rock because he dragged it for a long way before he got stopped. I was inside at the time but Ted was outside and saw it as it happened. He went over and helped the man get the rock out. Luckily for him, there was no damage to the trailer.

Mike and Barb Ellerbrock arrived for a little reunion with their family. We visited with them for a little while, along with Mr. Webb and Vickie who were also down for the weekend.

Things have really changed in the few months that we've been gone. They now require a hanger on the mirror showing departure dates, arm bands on special weekends, and have started using Jimmy Fayard as the night security man. He patrols around in a golf cart to check on things, and now locks up the laundry room. Someone tried to break into the Coke machine, and some kids had tried to get into the change machine a few months ago, so they lock up the laundry at midnight and reopen it at 7AM. I know there were several people that used to use the laundry late at night, but these thieves make that impossible now.

Stella and I took several things to storage this afternoon. I took my new tripod for my antenna to storage because I can't get the parts I need to make it work until after we leave on our trip. I got the tripod from
Ricky because he doesn't need it any more since they're not living in the trailer any more. He apparently threw the mast away and I will need to get a new one.

We came back to the trailer and left for Mel's Country Cafe in Tomball. We met Tommy and Susan and Bob there and had a great meal. We came back and went over to the pool where we had some coke/root beer floats at the social hour that was set up by the park. We sat around talking and visiting with friends 'til about 9:30 when the skeeters came back and went home to bed.

So long for now.....

Thursday May 21, 2009

Today we moved from Via Bayou RV Park back to Rayford for the Memorial day weekend. I got up and after eating breakfast, went outside and started putting things away. I got most of the "yard art" and bird feeders put up and came inside to see how Stella was coming with her work for the clients. She was making good progress, and when she got through she went to Dr. Merritt's clinic in Webster to drop off some files because we didn't want to further clutter the trailer with things we didn't need. It took her longer than we expected and she called me about 12:30 to come pick her up at the house. We are leaving her car in the driveway for now. When the house sells, she will bring it to her house or put it in a parking lot to sell it for us. We have talked about giving the car to Tyler for his first car, but I'm certain that he is going to want a new car, probably a Mustang or Corvette....

We finally left the park about 2:30 and made the long trip of about 50 miles, to Rayford. We made it in without incident and visited with Gwen for awhile when we got here. It feels like home here, and I guess it always will. This is beyond a doubt, the nicest park that we have visited, and our favorite park IN THE WORLD!!!

I got all set up except for the porch and the Dish antenna when I discovered that my phone had died and would not come back on. I had noticed it being off while driving up here and had plugged it in, thinking that it may have become discharged, but it was not to be.......
time for a new phone.

We went to the AT & T store near the Kroger where Stella had bought her new phone a few months ago. They were still open and fixed me up with a new Motorola Razor that is similar to my old phone, only with some new features. I also got a new bluetooth headset so I will be ready if/when a new "handsfree phone operation" law comes into being. I think this will happen, so I want to be ready when it does.

We met Bob Wurch at Donnelly's Pizza for supper. We had a nice visit at one of our favorite pizza places. They have a great buffet and will make anything you want. They made a buffalo chicken pizza for us that was GREAT!! One time, they made us a peanut butter and jelly pizza that was remarkably good. As I said, they will make just about any kind of pizza you want.

We came back home and sat outside with Bob. Bob and I fooled with the dish antenna but it took Stella to fix the problem. I had found the menu but she typed in the zip code and the antenna somehow found the settings needed, so we are good to go now. I also learned that as long as the dish receiver is in place, you cannot get air signals or cable. I guess I will have to figure out a way around this problem, with the long trip coming up. The skeeters came out, so Bob went home and we went inside for the night.

Another nice night in the park.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday & Wednesday May 19 & 20, 2009

We didn't do much on Tuesday, just stayed in and Stella worked on doctor's accounts. I took a couple of walks around the park, and visited with some of the other residents here. This is such a laid back place, and most of the residents work-probably in the plants in Texas City. There are a few full-time RV'ers in here and several of them have lived here for a year or more. We will likely come back here, but the next time we will pay the difference and get a waterfront site with the nice views across the bayou.

I watched the season finale of NCIS Tuesday night. Even though they don't portray the real world of law enforcement, I can relate to some of the characters. I really miss the show NYPD Blue that went off a couple of years ago.

Wednesday morning I got out and started cleaning things up and putting them away in preparation for leaving tomorrow. The birds have been eating a lot of birdseed, so I had to refill the feeder. I haven't seen the green parrots since last week, but i know they are around here somewhere.

I went over to Manvel to pick up my porch and stairs that had been powdercoated. They did a really good job and it should last us several years now.

While in the area, I stopped and got fuel. They still have the lowest prices in the area in Alvin, so I went to Buccee's and bought 22.6 gallons of diesel at $2.07 per gallon to go 357.5 miles for a 15.8 MPG average. I don't know why the mileage has dropped off, but it's still better than a gas engine.

We went over to watch Tyler's Willie Wonka play at his school tonight. It was a nice play, and Tyler did well as an Umpa Lumpa. We went to eat at Uncle Chan's at Tyler's request after the play was over. We had thought that the boys were coming to stay with us this weekend but Kim said they are going to Louisiana with her dad, and so they won't be able to come visit us this weekend. We hope we'll see them again before we leave.

So long for now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday May 18, 2009

Wow, what a change, it was 60 degrees outside this morning. Spring has returned, even if its for a few days. I made some cereal for my breakfast and watched Stella working on one of the doctor's accounting. She wanted to go over to the house to drop some items off and to go through some other clothes, and to go to the county tax office to get new license tags for her Blazer so she could drive it.

I went for a long walk around the park and came back to cool off before we left. We went to the tax office first and while there, I spoke with one of my former employees at Manvel, Steve Burt. Steve is getting a similar treatment to what I did in Manvel. He got hurt on the job back in December, twisting his foot and ankle. He said he reported it in a timely manner, and now, after being diagnosed as being permanently disabled by one of the city's doctors, has been told that after his six months of sick leave/worker's comp runs out, he will be terminated because he is no longer able to do the job. It is unbelievable how they treat their employees.

We went by the house and while I cut the front grass, Stella worked on the back bedroom, cleaning it up. She filled up another large trash can and two bags full of clothes before I got hungry and we came back home to eat our supper.

Tyler is playing Umpa Lumpa in the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory play at his school tonight, but Cam has what may be his last baseball game at the same time. Tyler will be performing again on Wednesday night and said it was okay with him if we went to the ball game and came to watch him on Wednesday.

We went to the ball game and like we were afraid, they lost 9-0. I think the boys are just tired of playing and with school ending next week, their minds are not on a ball game.

Jeremy is still getting the run-around by his financier for the house, and now has to wait on an appraiser to get two other comparative houses in my neighborhood. It seems to me that this should have been done a long time ago, but as Stella pointed out, with the deregulation of banks, things have changed drastically in the banking industry. There are new, inexperienced people everywhere in banks, and their lack of knowledge and experience make it hard on both the buyer and the seller. I am so frustrated right now I don't know what to do. It seems like someone should let a supervisor with the lender know what is going on with this loan, and step in and close this thing so we can all move on with our lives. I know Jeremy is tired of getting put off and he can't find a renter until the house belongs to him.
I hope we'll get this done in the next couple of days.

So long,

Sunday May 17, 2009

The boys spent the night, so it was pretty crowded in the living room until they woke up and folded up their bed.While they were getting out of bed and getting ready, I took down the steps and porch. I had located a friend of mine who is doing powder coating in his shop behind his house. I had run into Bobby when I went over and had coffee in Manvel last week and had made arrangements to take the metal items over to have them coated.

When the boys got up and about, we drove over to the house where Bobby is living. It turns out that he is living with another man I know, Scott Van Dusen, in Manvel. I have known Scott for many years and know he is very competent. I have seen a lot of his work on both his own vehicles and on MAVFD trucks and know Scott is very talented. When we got to his house, he invited me into his shop and showed me some of his work. He told me he puts three coats of powder on his items, and they are absolutely gorgeous when he gets through with them. I am excited about the finish on the porch, and am only worried about the time it is going to take to finish them before we are ready to leave.

After we dropped the porch off, we returned to Alvin where we stopped at Joe's Breakfast buffet. I had seen the signs for the buffet for a long time but we had never had a reason to come to Alvin for breakfast until now. The food was very good but there was a problem with the manpower in the restaurant. There were few servers and wait staff, and we had to finally just call someone over to our table to order the boy's drinks. The food was good but not great, and I would recommend that anyone in the area that wants a good breakfast buffet to try it. They may have had a bad employee day today, and it may be all better the next time.

We returned to the trailer and played games all afternoon. The boys wanted to stay and didn't want to go home, even when Jeremy called and said he had fixed some ham and scalloped potatoes for supper.

Jeremy's supper was good, and we all had plenty to eat. We stayed for a little longer at their house before we came back home. The boys are going to miss MeMaw and PePaw when we leave next week.

So long for now,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday May 16, 2009

We stayed in the trailer again this morning and Stella worked on client's work again. My back was still bothering me, so I sat in the recliner on the heating/vibrating pad to try to make it feel better. It has been bothering me for over a week now. I don't know how I injured myself, but it's not a muscle pull, it feels more like a strain of some sort.

We went to Cameron's first playoff game this afternoon, and luckily for them, they won! The final score was 12-3
against a team that they had beaten three times before. Our boys looked pretty good so far, but it is a single elimination playoff, so one loss and they are out.

We all went to eat at Gringo's restaurant, one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants. After eating, we took the boys to their house where they picked up some clothes and came home with MeMaw and PePaw. Of course, Tyler immediately found my laptop and started playing games online. We monitor the sites he goes to and are careful that he doesn't go into an innapropriate site, even if by accident.

We all got a good night's sleep, but I'm not sure how late Tyler was up playing on the computer.

Til next time....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday May 15, 2009

Stella got up pretty early and went to DeMontrond Chevy in Texas City to pick up Kim. She had dropped off her car for some warranty work to be done and needed a ride to work. It sure makes it easier to have both cars again. If not, I would have had to dress and drive over to pick her up, and as it was, I stayed here with Cassie and watched television.

After Stella got back, we stayed around the trailer until time to go to Discount Tires for the new tires for the truck. We met with Lupe, the young man we had talked to before about the new tires. He had told me that the BF Goodrich tires we had on the truck were as good a tire as the Michelins we were looking at, but the Michelins would be quieter, so this is the way we went. They got right on the tire change and didn't find any other problems, so we were on our way in about an hour. The technician that moved the truck did discover the air horn and had a good time with it in the parking lot. That's what it's there for guys.....

We went by the house to get the mail and at the same time, I went in and got our old shredder. Stella had several old documents that needed to be shredded before they were discarded, so after we came back home, I sat outside and got the job done. I filled up just about half the park's dumpster with shreds of reports and other documents, but now it's done and we're not taking up valuable storage space with 10-15 year old documents.

That chore took up a couple of hours in the afternoon. Stella had been steadily working on other work for her clients, so we took a lunch break about 2 o'clock. I ate the last two pieces of leftover fish which filled me up.

We went by the Post Office in Dickinson to drop off some mail that had to be postmarked today and went to pick up Kim at work to take her back to her car at the dealership. We went to pick up Tyler at his school, where he was practicing for a play. He is playing Umpa Lumpa in the Willie Wonka play next week. Jeremy had picked up Cameron, so we went to their house and took both boys to eat some burgers before Cam had his last baseball game.

Cam's team lost the game and didn't seem to have their minds on the game. I guess it's because this is the last game of the season and tomorrow the playoffs start. We'll have to see how they do in the playoffs.

We went home with the boys and played Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with them. We didn't leave their house until after 11, so it was a fun night, even if the baseball team lost.

So long for now.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday May 14, 2009

Stella had to meet Dr. Gulde this morning to go to Houston for an appeal hearing from a former employee who is appealing her termination. They have already been to the termination hearing and the finding was in the doctor's favor, but this ex-employee has appealed.

I stayed at home and did chores around here. I took care of Cassie, put away some of my stuff that I brought over from the house and cleaned up some around here. Of course, I took a couple of naps in my recliner, but that's one of the luxuries of being retired.

Stella was gone longer than we had expected, but when she returned, she fixed us a new dish for us, hot dogs with sauerkraut. They were very good, better than I expected them to be.

After the late lunch, we stayed around here until time to go to Cameron's baseball game. His team got blown out again, 12-4. They are apparently getting tired of the baseball season and didn't score a run until the last inning. Tomorrow is the last game of the regular season, so we'll see how they do in the playoffs.

Til next time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday May 13, 2009

Today was another stay at the trailer while Stella works days. She had made arrangements to go to Dr. Merritt's clinic in Webster today and left here about 10. She stayed there all morning but came home about 2 with hamburgers for our lunch. I love Whataburgers!

Stella had made arrangements to meet with Dr. Merritt this afternoon and left about 4 to go to her office. I cleaned up a little more in the trailer while she was gone.

A little after 5, Cameron called me and asked if we could come back over to play some games with them tonight. How could I refuse when he asked me "Please come over PePaw?" I called Stella just as she was leaving the office and she met me over at Kim's house. Looking back on it, I shouldn't have gone because I got beaten badly in Tri-ominoes. I had to pick up every domino in the "bone pile" after I couldn't play right off the bat. It was bad.....

We came home and my back started bothering me again. I took some more Motrin but spent another sleepless night in my recliner. I don't know what I've done to my back, but I wish it would fix itself. Without insurance I can't afford to go to the doctor and have very expensive x-rays or MRI's run.
Kids, take a lesson from me and try your best to have some kind of insurance coverage when you retire!

So long for now,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday May 12, 2009

Today we stayed at the trailer in the morning. We both ate cereal for breakfast and watched television. Stella needed to work on client's work today, so she took care of their business. She called Dr. Merritt's office and made arrangements to meet with Tina at the doctor's storage unit to take some files that Stella had at our house.

After we finished up there, we stopped at Discount Tires. I had found some suspicious marks on two of the tires on the truck and wanted to have them checked before we leave on our trip. The young man there told me that the indentions on the tires are completely normal, caused by the "clamshell" design of the tire mold. He said that a bulge would have been much more serious, but what I had found were nothing to worry about. He did suggest that since my tires are 4 years old, we might want to look at installing new tires since we are going to be on a long trip this summer. We decided to buy the Michelin tires and made an appointment to have the new tires installed on Friday morning.

We stopped at the Sam's club store to look around since we were in the neighborhood. When we started for home, Stella noticed that Popeye's Fried Chicken had a 5 piece dinner that she wanted for supper.

We came on home and stayed here until we went to Cam's baseball game at 8 o'clock. While sitting at the dining table, Stella noticed some green parrots feeding at my bird feeder that I had put up. There is a large flock of the green parrots that stay near the park, but this is the first time I have seen them at the feeder.

Sadly Cam and his teammates apparently had their minds elsewhere because they got blown out 14-0. None of the boys played well, although there were a few good plays. They have two more games to play and then go into the playoffs to detemine the league champion.

We came back to the trailer and I took some Motrin for my back pain and Stella put a heat strip on my back. I was able to lay down in the bed for a change instead of spending the night in my recliner.

So long for now,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday May 11, 2009

My back bothered me all night and I stayed up most of the night. Stella had told the boys that we would take them to school this morning but I didn't feel like going. She took the truck and took both of them to school. Cameron has to be in school at 7:30 but Tyler doesn't have to be there until 8:15, so she had to make two trips to the schools. By the time she got back, I was feeling a little better and I soon went over to the house and got some of her work papers that had been stored in the garage. She called and made us an appointment to meet one of the girls in Dr. Merritt's office to put the papers in her storage unit tomorrow. After leaving the house, I went and got some fuel for the truck. I went to the Conoco in Dickinson-they had the best prices-and got 22.3 gallons @ $2.09 per gallon to go 387.8 miles for a 17.4 MPG average.

I washed the truck off and cleaned up the trailer when I got back. We went over to Liggio's in Dickinson to pick up the Blazer. We had left it last week to have a transmission cooler leak fixed. It was good to see Jasper and Vincent Liggio again. I have been friends with them for many years and Jasper was on the City Council when I went to work for the Dickinson Police Dept. in 1982. I got my truck inspected, so now we are ready to go on our long trip with a fresh inspection sticker and new tags. Jasper gave me some conduit to protect my horn wires and tubing, which was nice of him.

Stella and I got hungry about 2 and ate some leftovers that were in the fridge, so we didn't eat supper. I worked on my blog all evening, to catch up from last week, and never really got hungry. We did eat some sugar-free ice cream about 9:30.

Another nice day in the RV park.

Sunday May 10, 2009

Today was the day that everyone (but us) had to leave and go home. Stella made some pigs in a blanket for breakfast, so we took them over about 10. Larry and Jodi were ready to leave, so they didn't have breakfast with us. We watched the others get packed up and leave, so Stella and I were on our own again.

We went down to Kim's house to celebrate Mother's Day with them. We took some games with us, and played with the boys all afternoon. We played Mexican
train in the afternoon and Triominoes after we ate. Jeremy made some lasagna and garlic bread and Stella made one of her ice cream sandwich desserts, so we had plenty to eat.

The boys enjoyed playing the games, and we went home about 9. They had to get ready for school the next morning of course.

Saturday May 9, 2009

Saturday morning we made another of our big breakfasts of biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon and eggs. We had lots of food, so everyone got filled up. Ricky and Dee fished some behind their trailer during the day but didn't catch anything. They talked to one of their neighbors, who agreed to put some lights out that night for them to fish at night with.

We all just sat around during the day, visiting and watching Ricky and Dee fishing. Stella and I went to Cam's baseball game Saturday afternoon and got back about 6:30.

Bill had brought some catfish fillets to fry up and Ricky went to Hillman's and bought some shrimp to throw in. We ended up with the fish and shrimp, hush puppies, fried potatoes and some slaw salad for a delicious supper. We all ate 'til we were stuffed, and again watched Ricky and Dee fish behind their rig. Their neighbor did set out some lights, but it didn't do any good and they didn't catch anything. We were all too full to sit out very late tonight, so we all turned in about 9:30.

Friday May 8, 2009

Today we all woke and went to Bill and Ornell's trailer for pancakes for our breakfast. Ricky and Dee brought bacon to go with the pancakes and we brought juice and other side items.

Larry and Jodi did bring their rig over in the afternoon, and got everything set up for the weekend. They too were in a back-in site on the water, near the other two rigs. Bill had a doctor treatment to make, so the rest of us hung out until they got back. When they returned, we all went over to T-Bone Tom's restaurant in Kemah. We called ahead and made reservations since there were eight of us eating out that night.

The band they had tonight was terrible and the food was only so-so. It was really crowded, which is pretty normal for a weekend night, but the service was slow. Ricky had asked the waitress about an appetizer, but she never answered his question (she didn't get much of a tip from us)

While eating, we saw several police cars, two ambulances and three fire trucks speeding by, going south on Hwy. 146. We later found out that there had been a very bad accident with three fatalities. We were all sorry to learn about it and just glad it wasn't us that were involved.

We came back to the park and sat outside between the two trailers, again until the skeeters got bad and chased us back inside, but it was a very nice night for us.

Thursday May 7, 2009

I woke this morning to a cloudy morning. I used the time to wash the truck and trailer. When I got finished, I came back inside and watched some television until about 3 o'clock when Bill and Ornell and Ricky and Dee arrived at the park. Ricky and Dee have been wanting to go somewhere to fish and decided to come here. They got into two waterfront sites, #44 and 45, so they could fish right behind their rigs.

Stella had made some 15 bean soup with some added sausage that she had bought at Froberg's, so they wouldn't have to cook when they arrived. She fixed some cornbread to go with the beans, so we had a great meal.

Dee had called our friends Larry and Jodi to come over to visit. They liked the park and said they might come back tomorrow with their trailer. We all sat outside their rigs until the mosquitoes got bad about 10 o'clock, but we all enjoyed our time together.

Another nice night in the park.

Tuesday & Wednesday, May 5th & 6th

Tuesday was a very slow day for us. We stayed at the trailer all day and went to Cameron's baseball game at 8 o'clock. They managed to win the game 10-6 but the season is almost over for them.

Wednesday, Stella had made arrangements to go to Eric's office to work with him. Before that, she did some work here at home for the other clients, and I took her to work about 12:30. I came back home and hung out here until she called me about 3:30 to come pick her up.
We went over to Froberg's Farms in Alvin and bought some good vegetables there. They have a big farm and have farmhands that pick and harvest their veggies and then sell them in a big market. They have been there for years and are pretty famous in the Alvin area.

We both got hungry from looking at all the yummy veggies, so we decided to go to Kelly's for burgers tonight. We returned home and put our purchases away and watched television until bedtime.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday May 4, 2009

We woke to cool temperatures this morning, but it warmed up soon enough. We had our coffee and cereal for breakfast and watched a little television this morning. Let me tell you, there is nothing on the regular TV channels!

Stella was working on some of her client's work, so I decided to drive over to Santa Fe to the Dish Network store there. We had used a Dish Network system a few years ago, so I knew Hal, the man who owned this dealership was trustworthy. He was out doing an installation so I made an appointment to come in this afternoon to look at the plans he has.

I went by Ron Carter Dodge in Texas City to speak to my long time friend Barry Caylor. Barry used to work for Gay Pontiac/GMC in Dickinson, and I had a service related question to ask him about my truck. I have noticed a drop in oil pressure and that the oil pressure gauge is quivering or fluctuating at times. I changed over to synthetic oil a few oil changes ago and was not satisfied with the performance of the synthetic and switch back and noticed this problem. Barry told me that it was normal for pressure to drop after using synthetic because of a Teflon-like film that covers all working parts in the engine. This sounds like a good thing to me, but he said that synthetics can cause a lot of problems with internal parts and are a lower density oil than what is recommended by the manufacturers. He said to stay with the quality conventional oil and no further problems should be found. He also said the quivering pressure gauge could be either a bad sending unit or a bad gauge.

I returned to the trailer and picked Stella up to go to Hal's TV in Santa Fe. When we got there, we looked at his offerings and took the 200 channel package as well as the HD package. Now I will have over 250 channels to choose from including over 50 HD channels. This is our only entertainment, so we decided to go for it. Hal will be over on Thursday morning to do the installation for us.

We were both hungry (I guess spending money makes us hungry) so we stopped at Kelly's in LaMarque for a burger. We have been going to this location for a long time and love the restaurant. The chain was started by a former Houston Police Officer, who wanted to give people more for their money in a home-style restaurant. It has become a chain of restaurants in and around Houston, and we like going there.

We returned home to watch network television one more night, but it will change soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday May 3, 2009

We only had time to drink a little bit of coffee and eat some cereal this morning before Jeremy called and wanted to go to the house to work. We got there about 10 but Kim wasn't with him. She is still having a problem with us leaving, but I thought we had worked it all out. Guess I was wrong.....

I started cutting the grass, Jeremy started taking the deck apart and cutting the boards up to be picked up by the trash service and Stella kept working in the back bedroom.

The grass was real high because it has been about three weeks since it has been cut and with all the rain we have gotten it has grown a lot. Hopefully, this is the last time I will have to cut the grass, so it is a historic occasion for me. I cut and edged the entire front in a little over an hour and a half, using Jeremy's new Honda mower. I have never seen a lawn mower that starts as easy as the Honda. If I were going to be mowing in the future, I would have to get one of these. The only problem that I see with it is that is has a very narrow cutting deck. I like a wider deck to cover more grass.

The old deck came up very easy because most of the nails had rusted out. The deck boards were in surprisingly good shape, considering they have been down for 23 years! Some of the boards were rotten of course, but many of them were in good condition and could probably have been resurfaced and reused. He is going to remove the deck and the framing around the hot tub, but will keep the deck next to the house including the arbor, which is also in good condition. We put some of the boards out by the street to see if the trash service will pick them up. If not, Jeremy thinks he can get a trailer to haul the rest off to the Biosphere in Texas City. There they will be ground up and made into mulch which will be returned to him.

Stella made some good progress in the bedroom. She found a few long sleeved shirts and a couple of light weight sweaters for me and a coat for herself. These will come in handy in our future travels and in the winter.

Delia came over to pick up some Amoxicillan that we had gotten for her while we were in Mexico. It was good to see her again. I hope she learns to pull the trailer and will come camping with us in the future.

We all were tired from our work, so we went home and got cleaned up to go out to eat for Jeremy's birthday. Cameron had practice at 6, so Jeremy called me when practice was over and we met them at the Salt Grass Steakhouse in Kemah. We all had a delicious meal and had a fun celebration of Jeremy's birthday. That big chicken Cameron wouldn't go on the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster. He heard people screaming on the coaster when we got to the restaurant and he wouldn't go on it.

We returned home for another peaceful night here in the park.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Friday and Saturday May 1 & 2, 2009

Friday we took care of Stella's car that we had left in the driveway at the house. She had a new radiator put in just before I retired, and a leak had developed at the transmission cooler which caused all the fluid to leak out on the driveway. We stopped by the house and picked up a set of keys to the car and dropped them off at Liggio's Goodyear to have the follow-up work done. It was good to see Michael Liggio again and to catch up on some local news that we had missed.

Stella had to go to see her clients, so she went to Dr. Gulde's office in Dickinson, to Dr. Merritt's clinic in Webster and to Eric's office in Webster. All of this running around took the rest of the day, so we went over to Manvel to check on fuel prices. There had been a price war going on between some of the Alvin stations and the Chevron in Manvel, so we went to check on prices. The best price was at the Wal Mart in Alvin, which is on our way back home, so we stopped in and got diesel there. We took 20.3 gallons to go 374.7 miles for an 18.4 mpg average. We ended up paying $1.96 per gallon, so we did save $.03 per gallon. Not too much of a saving, but some. We probably won't do this again.

We returned home and Stella made us tacos for our supper.

Saturday morning we woke and started drinking our coffee and thinking about fixing breakfast when my phone rang. It was Ricky asking if we wanted to drive over to Galveston with them. I found out that we did want to go, so they came by and picked us up. We spent a very pleasant day with them, driving over to the Bolivar peninsula to see how much damage was left and to check on camping/fishing sites there.

While there are several homes that have been repaired and seem to be back to normal, there are many, many more that are still damaged or gone completely. The Bolivar area has changed a lot since I have been over there, and since the storm, we found that most of the area has been destroyed. The folks over there are making do the best they can without most of the stores and restaurants that were there before Ike. We saw a couple of bars and restaurants that have reopened and one enterprising person has opened a grocery store in a fifth wheel trailer. They don't have much selection, but I'll bet they do a pretty good business.

The RV parks there are mostly filled with workers and are pretty run-down looking. I don't think either Ricky or I will be going back to Bolivar any time soon. The fishing areas that Ricky remembered are now gone, so we won't be fishing there either.

We rode back across on the ferry. The lines onto the ferry weren't too bad today. We didn't see any dolphins on either boat trip but we did see that Seawolf Park has reopened. There is still some evident damage to the building, but it is open.

We drove down the beachfront in Galveston. Much of the beach business has reopened and new pilings are in place for Murdoch's Pier. The Flagship Hotel has not been repaired at all, and I don't know if it will ever come back.

We drove all the way to Jamaica Beach to check on camping there. The Galveston Island State Park is closed and no work is seen going on there. The Dellanera RV park is closed but there is a park in Jamaica Beach that is open but almost full. The sites are very small and close together, but if one wants to camp near a fishing area, this might be a place to consider.

Ricky and Dee decided that they are going to try the park where we are staying. There is fishing here onsite, and the spaces are large enough for the biggest trailers, so we called Bill to see if he wanted to come down here next weekend and he said yes. I will check with the office tomorrow on the availability of some sites for them.

After Ricky and Dee dropped us off, we went to Cameron's baseball game. His team made some errors, so they ended up losing 7-6 but they tried real hard. The boys all voted on the All Star team. Cameron took a lot of time to consider who he would vote for and several of his teammates seemed to take his selections as theirs. It is good to see him taking his time in making these decisions.

My boy is growing up!

Stella and I hadn't eaten all day, so we went to Uncle Chan's for supper. The food is good there and its a very quick meal. We realized after we ate that we had missed the Strawberry Festival in Dickinson again..... We have missed it for several years because we were busy and had planned to go, but we forgot about it. Oh

So long,