Friday, July 31, 2009

Monday July 27 thru Thursday July 30, 2009-Green Caye

This has been a very boring week for us. We stayed around here and worked on cleaning up after the trip to Onalaska and cleaning out the house. I washed down the truck and trailer on Monday and Tuesday and got both of them sparkling clean again. I plan to wax the trailer again before we leave for Colorado late in August. I used some Dri Wash and Wax that I found in the garage at the house and it sure makes clean-up a breeze! I intend to use up the wax that I have and then buy more of the Dri Wash for the future.

The house is moving along but it is SLOW!!! We have to be careful about what papers that we throw away because of identity thefts. I managed to break our old shredder but I am thinking about buying another one. Yesterday Stella used the fire pit to burn some old bank records but because it was so windy she had to be very careful to keep the burning ashes from blowing out and setting something on fire that we don't want to burn like out house or the neighbor's house. Its a shame that it has come to this but that's the way the world is nowadays.

Last night I started planning a long trip for next year with the boys. The IRV2 National rally is being held at Williams Arizona which is very near the
Grand Canyon, so I think both of them would enjoy going there. We can take some of the group tours which might save us a little money. From there we can go to Las Vegas to show them the sights there. We would drive up through Utah and on to Island Park Idaho, and Yellowstone National Park, where our good friends Ted and Donna went along with Rick and Brenda. We're sorry we missed being able to go with them, but we had to come back here and work on the house. We would have to fly the boys back from Idaho because it is pointless to drive all that way and come all the way back down to bring them home and then continue our trip after that. I have the preliminary route laid out, so now its up to Kim to look it over and approve us keeping them for that long and still be able to get them back down here in time for school.

So much for this week,

So long.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday July 26, 2009-Travel day back to Green Caye

We all got up this morning and sat around enjoying the cool breezy morning. I remarked that we should have been working on getting things put away while it was nice and done our sitting around after getting through with our work, but of course, I didn't get anything done either. We sat around drinking coffee and visiting until about 9 o'clock and then started to work in earnest.

We took our time and left the park a little after 11. We went back the way we had come up on Hwy. 59. It was an easy trip and we only stopped once at the Love's station in Splendora to get coffee and transfer some fuel. I really love this transfer tank, and being able to go well over 1000 miles before having to fill up. It allows us to be a little more picky about where we buy fuel.

We made it home about 1 and got everything hooked up again. I didn't take my sewer hose for just a two day stay and had dumped all the tanks before we left, so the only thing I had to hook up again was the water, Dish and slide the porch back into place. I still worked up a good sweat, but it was much easier to do it this way.

I came inside and was amazed at how cool it already was in the trailer. This Bighorn with two air conditioners really does a good job. This time there was no drama with the television like when we returned from Camping World. Knowing what to do with the TV really makes a difference. I sat around and played some games, read some emails and just chilled (literally) for awhile.

Today was Kim's birthday, so we had to go down to celebrate with her. Jeremy had given Kim a new cell phone, so she had gone to the Verizon to get it turned on. When she got back home, we went to Cheddar's in Webster for supper. We had been to another of these restaurants in the Woodlands and we knew it would be a great meal. We were right and we all enjoyed the time together.

It was a very nice way to end our weekend.

So long.

Saturday July 25, 2009-Riverside RV Park & Marina

This is a photo of the sunset over the RV park.

When I woke this morning I out the coffee on while I took a shower and cleaned up for the day and went outside to talk to Bill. He had gone back inside his trailer, so I took a walk around this park. My only complaint about this park is the turns to navigate to the sites. The turns are pretty tight and I expect that this won't be the last complaint about this. The three of us are pretty skilled at driving and we all had a problem getting around the corners without running over the curb. The park had filled up a lot since last night, so the word has apparently gotten around about this place. Several rigs pulled in last night with a boat in tow and the marina was busy this morning. When I got back around, Dee was outside and wanting to go fishing. I sat out with her for awhile but went back into my trailer and got some more coffee. Stella had come out and sat down with us and she didn't even offer to go get me some more coffee. Can you believe that?

When I came back out, I saw Ornell outside with peanut, so I went over to chat with her for awhile. We had a nice visit and Bill soon came back out and joined us. Everyone else came over and we all sat around until we decided to fix breakfast. We had a breakfast pizza, covered with eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy and about two pounds of bacon. It was a delicious meal, and one of our regular things to do when we get together.

It soon got hot so we all went back inside our trailers to get out of this heat. When I came back out, Ricky and Dee were fishing at the marina, so I hung out with Bill and Ornell. We moved our chairs up onto a hill behind Bill's trailer where there was some shade and a nice breeze. We stayed up there until some dark clouds rolled in and we could see lightning in the distance. When it got closer, we decided to go take our awnings down and watch the weather. It got cloudy and the sun went behind the clouds, so it cooled off a bit and it never rained on us, so we lucked out.

While sitting around watching the weather, we noticed a group of people gathering behind the office on a spit of land behind the marina. The girls went over and found that they were setting up for a wedding this afternoon. The people continued to arrive but the weather didn't cooperate. It would have been a gorgeous photo to have the beautiful sunset (that the park advertises) behind the bride and groom exchanging their vows, but it was too cloudy for the sunset photos. In the photo above, you can imagine what it might have looked like if the weather had done them right. Oh well.....

The groom and groomsmen and one of the bride's attendants arrived on the back of a fire truck. The bride later arrived in a long limo that was escorted by a police car. I can only assume that the groom, groomsmen and the one attendant were all firefighters and perhaps the bride works for the Police Dept.

We had planned to cook hamburgers on a grill this evening, but none of us was really hungry. About 7:30 we went over to the park restaurant and sat down to eat. Our meal was delayed because the wedding party was having their reception in a back dining room at the restaurant. We didn't get our food until about 9 o'clock but the food was excellent so it was worth the wait. When we finished eating Bill went out to smoke and I went out to look at a nice custom motorcycle that had been parked there. It was a beautiful bike but I really couldn't see that much because there were no lights in the parking lot. I can tell you one thing, it was loud!

After everyone finished their meal, Dee, Ornell and I went for a walk around the park. We went back to the trailers and sat around visiting until about 10:30. For the second night, Bill was the first to turn in instead of me. Yipee!!

It was very pleasant sitting out at night and early in the morning. There was a nice breeze coming off the lake and there were no mosquitoes at all. We did have a small problem with ants, but some ant spray took care of that.

Even with the threatening weather this afternoon, it was a very nice day.

So long.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday July 24, 2009-travel day to Riverside RV park

This is a photo of the marina and office at the Lakeside RV park.
Here is my trailer parked between Ricky and Bill's trailers at the Riverside RV Resort and Marina.

We got up this morning and began getting ready to travel to Onalaska to the Riverside RV Park and Marina. It was hot in Dickinson making toe load-up a sweaty job, but it began to rain soon after we got out of Houston. It didn't rain very much but enough to make it messy on the road and of course to dirty up the truck and trailer that I worked hard to get clean.

We got to the park about 2 o'clock and got set up soon. Ricky and Dee had gotten here first, so when we got set up, we sat outside and talked to them. Bill and Ornell arrived around 4 because Ornell had gotten off work a little later than she expected to. While they got set up Ricky and I went to the store and got some fish bait for Dee to fish with and some ice for the watermelon we had brought.

When we got back, Bill was finished setting up, and we sat around talking until supper time. I went in and took a quick shower and we all went to eat at the restaurant here at the park. We had a really good meal and joked with our waitress about opening tomorrow morning for breakfast. She said she would probably have trouble getting in to work at 11 in the morning and could not be here at 6 for us to have breakfast. We enjoyed out meal and the joking with Jenny the waitress.

We came back to the trailers and sat outside for awhile. Dee and Ornell went for a bicycle ride around the park to work off some of the supper. There are a lot of hills and rises in the park and there is another section that they are working on to add more sites. After riding for about 30 minutes they tired out and came back to the trailer.

About 9 we decided to go back to the restaurant to have some dessert. They advertised a key lime pie as well as other desserts, so we decided to try them out. While there, I met the manager of the restaurant and got her to go along with a joke on Jenny the waitress about coming in to serve breakfast in the morning. We couldn't hear what was said, but at one point it looked as if Jenny was quitting because she began to untie her apron. It worked out well, and she ended up coming by our table saying "You're the one who did this to me" and throwing her pen at me (in fun). We all had a good laugh about this and came on back to the trailers. We sat outside until about 11:30 before turning in. It was nice to be back among our friends.

So long.

Thursday July 23, 2009-Green Caye RV park

Today was a stay at home and work here day. Stella worked on her doctor's files and I worked on the upcoming October Heartland rally. We talked about going over to the house to work today but there were so many other pressing issues that we needed to get taken care of, we just stayed here.

I sent out several emails reminding people about the rally and made a list including email addresses of attendees from the April rally to see who has signed up and who is missing. We have reserved the entire front section of the park for the Heartland group and I want to make sure that we fill them. It will be the largest group I have ever planned for and hosted a rally for, so it will be a lot of work.

We will be in Dolores Colorado for the entire month of September, which may make it more difficult for me to coordinate things. I plan to spend a lot of time outside in the beautiful Colorado weather and plan to get some work done there while enjoying myself. We'll see how that works out.

I also worked on our routing to Dolores. I think we have decided to go our normal route through Durango Colorado with the only deviation being to stay overnight at the RV Ranch in Burleson. I am still wrestling with the dates and stops, but we will get it worked out. We are looking forward to going to Dolores. It is such a beautiful park and our site is right on the river. I will add a lot of photos when we get there.

In the afternoon, I got bored being inside all day and went out and cleaned up the front of the trailer in preparation for leaving tomorrow for the Riverside
RV park near Livingston. We will meet Bill and Ornell, who set up this weekend trip and Ricky and Dee. We are worried about Ricky because he suffered a fall last weekend while moving some furniture for their daughter. We hope that he is all right and able to go on the trip to Dolores at the same time we are going.

It was a very uneventful day for us. So long.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monday-Wednesday, July 20-22, 2009

Monday was a stay at home day. It began raining and rained off and on all day. We did things around the trailer until about noon, when I decided to go up to the International truck dealer in Houston to have some work done to the truck or to at least make an appointment to have the work done. I had tried repeatedly to get through on the telephone but no one answered in the service department. I needed to have the transmission serviced by an Allison dealer, since it has not been done by a dealer since I have owned the truck. I checked on the website for Allison transmission service and had found the International dealer as being the closest location. When we got there, I realized why they had not answered the phone, this is a very busy place! We made the appointment for tomorrow morning, so we came back home.

Tuesday morning we got up and left for Houston about 8 o'clock. When we got into Houston, there was a serious accident near the 610 loop, which is where we needed to go, so it was very slow going. We arrived a little after 9, and dropped the truck off in their preventive maintenance shop. We went to the customer waiting room, but were soon called out to speak with the CSR that had waited on us. He told me that there was a serious problem found with the front end of the truck, so since we were leaving on a trip soon, I told him to go ahead with servicing the transmission and to do the work on the front end. About 12:30, I went out to check on the truck progress. I learned that the transmission work had been done, but the front end work had not begun. The truck had to be taken into another shop to have this work done, so I checked with one of the CSR's there. He did not know anything about my truck, but soon found out that the service manager had been told about it, but had apparently forgotten about it. He said that as soon as he could he would have someone start the work. He came back after more than an hour and told me that the GM dealer did not have my part in stock, but that an O'Reilly Auto parts store had what I needed. He said that if I wanted to go pick it up, they would install it for me. The savings for me picking the part up was about $300, so of course I went and got the part. By the time we got back, we had lost our place in the production line, so it was almost 5 o'clock before we left. Wow, what began as a routine service ended up taking all day long and cost about $800. I'm just glad they found the problem and got it repaired so we weren't broken down on the side of the road. The transmission shifts perfectly again too, so it was a good day.

We stopped off at the Luby's restaurant for supper, since neither of us had eaten all day. The food was good, but very over priced. The thing that attracted me to stop there was their sign that they had lowered the price of 100 items, but I didn't eat any of those.

Wednesday we went over to the house to work. Stella worked inside and I cleaned up the yard. I wanted to stay on top of the grass and not let it get into the same situation it was in when we got back. Man, I don't know how those yard guys do it, I couldn't work more than 45 minutes to an hour before having to stop for a short break to cool off. Of course, they are younger than me and used to doing this type of work in the heat. I think the yard looks good and it didn't cost me anything other than a lot of sweat. We came home about 4 o'clock after getting a lot done. Stella fixed us some of her delicious tacos for supper.

Although we didn't miss the television when it was out, it is nice to have it back.

So long.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Friday-Sunday, July 17-19, 2009-Dickinson

Friday was a very boring day. Stella worked at home for a meeting in the afternoon with her clients and Eric. She began working in the morning and was supposed to have had the meeting after 3, but at the last minute, she got a call cancelling the meeting. We weren't able to get anything done at the house but she did make a little money, so that was a good thing.

We went to Fairfield on Saturday to meet Jennifer and Melissa for them to get the items that they had asked for from the house. There were four big boxes of keepsakes and just general "stuff" that they remembered and wanted. We met at Sam's restaurant in Fairfield, one of our favorite restaurants. There is a seasonal fruit and vegetable stand beside the restaurant and we went over and bought some peaches.

The waitress at Sam's certainly cooperated by putting us in a back room. while not exactly private, when several other patrons left, we were alone in the room. Ian was his usual cute and very entertaining self. I fed him some of my okra and other small bites and he seemed to enjoy them. I am sad that we don't get to see him as much as we want, but it looks like I have another "boy". He loves his Pop.

When we left, we stopped off at Rayford to visit Tommy and Susan who were staying for a month there. They were excited about us having gotten a month-long stay at the Priest Gulch RV Park in Dolores Colorado. They had told us about this park where they have been going for several years and we had all gotten a two week reservation to stay there. Tommy had called to tell me that another friend had to cancel his reservation and I had called the park and extended our stay for the entire month of September. It will actually be cheaper to stay for the month than to stay two weeks at two different parks. We all can't wait to get going.

It rained very hard while we were at Rayford and when we left, it rained on us all the way home. It was a very hard rain at times but we made it without incident. We need the rain very badly, so it was really welcome. The grass is brown and crunchy when you walk on it and there are huge cracks in the ground so the rain is good to see.

Sunday we stayed in and I finally got to watch my car shows on TV. It has been so long since I have been able to watch them but it was good to catch up. We invited the boys to come over in the afternoon to play games and hang out with us. Tyler has started playing golf and of course, Cameron wants to play too. Jeremy bought them a set of clubs and they brought them over in case we got to play. It was very cloudy when we got back here and it started to rain soon after we got inside, so we played a game of Tri-Ominoes to pass the afternoon. We met Kim and Jeremy at the Baytown Seafood restaurant but when we finished eating, the boys still wanted to play golf. Since there's a course next door to the RV park, I agreed to bring them back with us to play on the driving range. After stopping at the trailer to pick up some tees, we went to the club. Both of the boys hit the ball well but Cam hit it further than Tyler. Tyler said that he didn't hit the ball as well as he did the other night when Jeremy brought them over here to play on the lighted course.

It was another nice day with the boys and the perfect weekend for me. I got to spend time with my daughters and all of my grandsons.

So long.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday July 16, 2009-back to Dickinson

We got up this morning on the Camping World parking lot and drank some coffee before putting everything away to go back to Dickinson. The new loaner television worked well, so we are good to go for now. We didn't want to fix breakfast this morning because we want to be on the road as early as possible, but not too early to avoid the bad Houston traffic. We did leave our spot about ten minutes until nine, but had to stop at the service desk to get Stella's keys back. They had to search for them, but soon found them at the technician;s bench. We ended up getting away about 9:15, or close to our planned time.

Traffic was not bad until we got to the exit for the Beltway 8 when there was a slow down. We made very good time back to Dickinson, in just a little over an hour travel time. We pulled into our site and in less than twenty minutes we were set up again including the porch and steps because we had left everything in place. We timed our return perfectly because the yard guys had just cut the grass in our site as well as others in the area. They did come back and blow off the concrete to remove the grass cuttings.

It was hot here but I think it was hotter in the CW parking lot. I guess it is the blacktop parking lot. We came inside to cool off-the Bighorn doesn't take long to cool down-and I soon fell asleep in my chair. When I woke, it was raining! Yes, cooling rain! It was nice outside after the rain but the sun came back out and it got hot again, though not as hot as before.

I took Stella down to the washateria this afternoon. It was a good day to get the wash done since we had spent all morning moving back into our spot. One bad thing that happened was that our Dish Network antenna didn't work. Of course, we had a different television but it wouldn't work. I programmed the air antenna and we got about 30 channels. I had to take out many of them because we didn't speak their language, but we still had the local channels. It was enough to keep Stella happy for the night.

I got sleepy and went to bed just after nine. Stella got a telephone call and came in and told me that Jeremy and the boys were playing golf right behind the trailer on the lighted golf course, but I think I was asleep before she finished telling me about them.

So long.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday July 15, 2009-Camping World Katy

We woke this morning and showered and drank a little coffee and were out of the trailer by 7:45 in plenty of time for the workers to come get the trailer and begin working on it. We had a free breakfast from joining the Flying J savings club so we decided to eat there. It was a good choice. I had the buffet breakfast and Stella had the free pancake breakfast, so we both got what we wanted.

I got fuel while we were there. We took 25.7 gallons to go 297.6 miles for a 11.5 mpg average. I noticed that our fuel mileage has dropped off and have also been seeing a lot of black smoke when we accelerate, so I figured it was time to have the truck serviced and to have a new fuel filter put on. We found the Texas Oil Express on Hwy. 6 in Houston and Mike, the young man working there said they could change the fuel filter if I supplied the filter since they didn't have them in stock. I had one in my tool box from our experiences in February, so we were good to go. Soon after he began changing the filter, it became evident that he wasn't sure of how to do this job. He got the old filter off after a little trouble with it, but then the fun began. He couldn't get the new filter on with the gasket in place but after calling his boss Jeff to help him out, they got it on. They kept on dropping the round gasket at the top of the filter off, and about three times it fell all the way down into the work area below the shop floor. It would have been comical to watch except that this was our truck and after selling the Blazer to Jeremy the other day, our only vehicle. They finally got the filter and gasket installed but didn't know how to purge the filter of air and prime it. I had to show them how to do it but it didn't go too well. Somehow air kept getting into the filter, so the engine would lose prime and die. It took about 20 minutes of them trying to prime the filter and it not starting for them to realize that there must be another problem. I forgot to mention that I had to loan them a variety of tools to get the job done too. By now, I was doing anything I could do to get the truck running.

Mike was wrenching on the cap that is used to allow the air out of the fuel filter and apparently broke or split the plastic screw cap. When it broke, there was a lot of pressure on the filter, so he was drenched in diesel fuel. He was very embarrassed about damaging my truck and was searching for the broken parts and trying to get the broken cap out when I told him to go wash his eyes out because he had gotten diesel fuel in them. He did, but again was very apologetic. Mike went across the street to an auto supply store but they didn't have what he needed. They ended up having to go to a Chevrolet dealer nearby where they located the part. The new part was installed and the truck finally started, so all was good. We finally left after about a 3 hour stay. They didn't charge me for the labor for changing the filter and probably learned a valuable lesson in how to install a fuel filter in a GM truck. I know I learned a valuable lesson in not letting someone that I don't know and may or may not be trained to work on my truck.

The good news of the day was that we went up to Stephen F. Austin State Park just to ride through the park and look around. We have stayed at this park several times in the past but have not been here for a couple of years. While getting permission to drive through, I asked the nice lady in the office how to go about becoming a park host there. She gave me an application which I filled out while we were in the park and dropped it off on our way out. I really figured they would take the application and tell me they would call me, but I was very surprised when she pulled out a book and began telling me when she had openings. She could have used us in August through January, and March. We have plans for August through October, and didn't want to interfere with the holidays in November and December, so I took January and March. Just that easy and we have a job! Wow, I figured it would be a little more involved than this to find a park host job. This will give us a chance to learn something about the job and is something we think we want to do.

We came back to Camping World and learned that the TV is bad (like I didn't already tell them that!) but that it will be sometime tomorrow before they know how Heartland wants to handle the replacement. I told David Booth, the Service Manager and Jim Ferris, General Manager of the store that if I didn't get a television soon, I would have to start talking to Stella, so to avoid any marital problems, they decided to loan me a television until my replacement comes in. One of their technicians installed the new TV and one of the forklift drivers brought the trailer over to us. He offered to set it up for me, but I told him that I could handle it. It didn't take long to hook up the electricity and water line, so I was able to come inside and set up the new TV.

Television to soothe the savage woman I live with.......

Sorry this is so long, but it was an eventful day.
So long.

Tuesday July 14, 2009-Camping World Katy

Today is the day that we must take our trailer to Camping World in Katy to have the television repaired or replaced. The service writer there had insisted that we bring the trailer in to check for any other problems related to the trailer instead of it being a bad television. He had originally wanted us to bring the trailer up there on Friday and to camp out in their parking lot until tomorrow when they would look at the TV and decide what to do with it. I sweet talked them out of that idea and we will bring it today and return here tomorrow.

We made the trip without incident and arrived there about 2 o'clock. I checked in with the service writers and found a place to back the trailer into. We were between a big motorhome and a little Airstream trailer that was being readied for delivery to a customer. I got backed in without too much problem and we got all hooked up with water and electricity. I set up our computer network for Internet service, so we were in business.

We were both hungry, so we went to eat at Red Lobster at the Katy Mills Mall. We both had an appetizer and exchanged some of our food with each other, so we were both full. We came back to the Camping World store and found that the trailer had cooled down very well. By six o'clock, the living room a/c was cycling on and off which was unheard of before having the second air conditioner in the bedroom.

We played on the computers until bedtime and called it a night. We are supposed to be out of the trailer so that work can begin at 8 o'clock, so we need to get a move on in the morning.

So long.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday July 13, 2009-Dickinson

Today was another slow day around here. Stella needed to go to work this morning, so I took her over to Dr. Merritt's clinic in Webster. I came back to Dickinson and did a little bit of work at the house. I came back home and kept Cassie company in the afternoon until Stella got off work.

She came home and fixed us some ribs and potatoes for supper. It has been so quiet in the trailer since we don't have a television, but all that changes tomorrow when we go to Camping World to have this one removed and a new one installed.

We went down to see the boys and Kim and Jeremy after we ate. Stella filled out all of the papers to transfer the title of her Blazer to Jeremy and we signed them over to him. It is a relief to sell her car, but its a done deal now. On to sell the house!!

Tyler has expressed some interest in playing golf, so Jeremy went online and found him a set of two irons, one wood and a putter to get him started. Of course, when we got there he had to show off his clubs and Cameron, always the star athlete, had to show PePaw how he could hit the ball. They both did very well, considering they have never played golf before. Now I guess they'll want to come over here all the time so they can play golf. There's a nine hole course next to the RV park that is owned by the same man. Guess we'll see how this works out.

So long.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, Saturday & Sunday July 10-12, 2009-Dickinson

Friday was another day of working at the house but Stella had an appointment to get her hair cut. She has been cutting mine for a long time and I have offered repeatedly to cut hers for her but she won't let me. I don't know why....

We went over about 1 o'clock and got started working. Stella worked inside the house and I worked in the yard and the garage. Jeremy had taken much of the deck down, so I began carrying boards to the front yard to be hauled off by the trash men tomorrow. I had a large number of boards out in front on Tuesday when they picked up trash and they didn't get all of them. I guess they'll take a certain number or weight of wood and leave the rest until next time. I put out a lot of boards and went to work in the garage. That working outside in the hot sun really takes it out of you.

We had a lot of stuff out of our old Mobile Scout trailer that we had taken out and put into black garbage bags in the garage to store them in. We had never needed them or wanted to get them out, so I began going through some of the items to see if we can still use them. I salvaged some items and made a small dent in the stuff in the garage. I was pretty worn out from hauling lumber across the yard when I quit about 4:00. I went home and cleaned up and came back to pick up Stella.

We decided we both wanted a Kelly's hamburger tonight, so we went to League City to eat. We had a very nice supper and came back to Dickinson. Stella picked up her Blazer from the house and drove it back here. I haven't heard any more from Jeremy about his wanting to buy the Blazer so I guess he backed out of this deal too.

Saturday was a day of running errands. We had to go to Sam's club to pick up several items and to the grocery store as we are out of most everything. We didn't get back home until after 2, so it was time for a little rest. When Stella put away the groceries, she discovered that the new milk carton was leaking, so we had to go back to the grocery store to exchange it. We came back home and ate supper and stayed in for the rest of the night.

Saturday was a very uneventful day for us.

Sunday we went back to the house about 11 o'clock and got started. Since I had already pretty much filled up the lumber pile, I first trimmed the trees around the front door and cleaned that up, then started working on the garage. I made a lot of headway on the bags in the garage and one side of the garage is completely bare! I am proud of the amount of stuff I've gotten rid of. Some of the stuff is very used, but still usable so I've started leaving items of some use out by themselves in the yard and passersby will go through them and take what they can use. That way, these items won't just go into the landfill but will find a good home and be useful to someone once again.

I came inside and helped Stella with moving some things around in the living and dining room. She has done even more than I have with cleaning out and throwing away, but then she's inside in the air conditioned house and I am working like a dog in the heat and humidity. Don't you feel sorry for me?

We got several boxes ready to go to Jennifer and Melissa's next weekend. They have pointed out things that they remember and want to have and we have accommodated them.

Kim was supposed to have come over and started wrapping some dishes and glassware that she is getting but she didn't show up. Stella woke her about 1:00PM and she said she would over. I called her back about 2 and she said she would "be there soon" but we never saw her.

I went home about 4:30 and showered and got cleaned up. I came back and picked Stella up and we went to Gringo's restaurant for supper. I knew that if we didn't let the boys know where we were, they would want to go eat with us and sure enough, we had just gotten back home when Cameron called. He wanted us to go eat with them at Casa Ole, but I had to tell him we had already gone to eat. We are in trouble.....

We stayed home for the rest of the night and rested up for another day of cleaning tomorrow. We have to take the trailer to Camping World on Tuesday and spend the night there for them to work on the television on Wednesday. We won't get anything done those two days, so we have to work hard tomorrow.

So long.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday July 9, 2009-Dickinson

I had gotten a call from John Blankenship, the Chief Investigator for the Brazoria County District Attorney's office about coming to testify before the Grand Jury this morning on a felony theft case that I had filed. Since I was now
staying in Dickinson, I agreed to come. I got up early (it's amazing that now that I'm retired, 6 o'clock is early) got all dressed up in my policeman's clothes, and went to Angleton. Of course, I stopped off to visit with my coffee drinking friends at the Chevron in Manvel for a few minutes before stopping by the PD to pick up a copy of my report. I saw Mattress Frank, owner of Manvel Mattress, who told me that they had just moved back into their store after Ike had damaged it. He had to move his warehouse area to another location and is happy to be back. I also ran into Mr. Manvel, Johnny Lowe. Johnny owns a large real estate firm in Manvel and has told me repeatedly to come by his place in Colorado when we visit there. He said it is about three miles the other side of Ridgeway on Hwy. 550 and is called Lowelands. He said if the gate is open, they are there and to stop in.

I made my way down to the county courthouse and found the fifth floor Grand Jury room, where I found another old friend Fay Copeland. Faye is retired but spend two or three days a week sitting outside the room and directing folks to where they need to be.

My testimony went well. It was made even easier since the suspect had confessed. The actual Grand Jury actions are secret until they return a true bill or a no bill, but I am confident about this case.

When I finished testifying, I went to John's office to visit with him. He is an RV'er and is traveling to Elkhart Indiana soon to pick up his new trailer, a Rockport. He also helped me out with getting the paperwork for reimbursement for me for coming to court. Those of you that follow this blog will remember that I went all the way from Port Arthur to Angleton for court testimony on another case. I was reimbursed on that case too, but only from my home in Dickinson, not from Port Arthur. The state only pays from your home of record. I wonder what they would have done if I had been like many full-timers and changed my address to South Dakota?

It took longer to find the forms used for reimbursement than anything else, including my testimony. It didn't take long for me to do my part on the form, filling in my address and signing in two or three places, but we got it done.

When I left the courthouse, I stopped off at a Buccee's store for fuel. I had been checking prices all the way over here, and the cheapest prices were at a Texaco in Texas City where they had diesel for $2.30 per gallon. The Buccee's in Angleton had it for $2.29, so I stopped and filled up. I went 883 miles and took on 73.5 gallons for a 12.0 average. Not too bad for a 7 year old truck with 188,000 miles on it!

I got back home around noon and Stella fixed me something to eat. She and Cassie had been piled up in the bed when I left this morning, so I hadn't eaten yet. I sat down in my chair with my computer in my lap and she came in and started working on doctor's stuff, and before you know it, it's 4 o'clock. Well, I may have drifted off to sleep a time or two....I am retired you know and all that grueling testimony this morning wore me out.

We sat around and ended up eating our leftovers from yesterday. That fish I had was just about as good today as it was yesterday. We went for a walk around the park after eating and came back and sat outside until about 8:30. Surprisingly, the skeeters aren't too bad.

Another nice night for us.

So long.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday July 8, 2009-Dickinson

When we woke on Wednesday morning, Stella had more Doctor stuff to do, so she worked on their books so she can meet with them later in the week. About 10:30 we went over to the house. Before going to the house, I went to the hardware store and bought some more string for my trimmer. At least now I can cut the tops off the grass with the weedeater and then complete the cut with the mower.

I got all geared up and started working on the grass while Stella worked inside. I chopped on it for over an hour before the heat got to me and I had to come inside. I wasn't making much headway, even using my new method with the weedeater. After cooling off for a bit, I decided to move some of the old deck boards. I moved 20-30 boards that are up to 10 feet long. Try that, walking 2-300 feet carrying heavy lumber in the 97 degree heat! That wore me out more than the mowing had done. I took a long break and decided that I would try to find a professional to finish the mowing. I had a couple of business cards to try. the first had a disconnected telephone number; the second had a wrong number. I went to the phone book and didn't have any better luck. Only two of the five listed in the yellow book worked. One only did acreage and not small residential lots and the other didn't speak English. Imagine that......
I hauled more lumber until I was exhausted and went back home to shower. I told Stella I would come back and pick her up since she was doing so well with her work inside. I went about a block down the street and found a man and his son mowing there. I stopped and talked to them and he agreed to come cut my grass with his large commercial mower. I went on home to clean up and when I returned to the house, Stella said he was already done and gone. It doesn't take long with the right tools! At least now I can keep up with the grass.

We came home and Stella got cleaned up and decided that she wanted to go to Kelly's for supper. We did and I had a great fish dinner called Fish Galvez. It is a fillet of fish smothered in mushrooms, tomatoes and onions and it was delish! I brought a lot of it home with me because I was too tired and hot to finish it.

We just chilled out at the trailer the rest of the night.

So long.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday July 7, 2009-Dickinson

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Here is a photo of the back yard showing a small section of the uncut grass. See, I told you it was tall.....
I would never have let the yard go to this extreme, and I'm ashamed to show it, but I was told that it would be kept up.
When we woke this morning, it was raining. Not really very hard, but raining still. It rained off and on until about 11:00 and by then we had fixed breakfast and were at the house working on stuff there. Stella worked in the dining room and I worked in the garage. It's slow going because we want to look at and remember everything as we pick it up, some of it for the last time. I;m getting better at just pitching things into the trash, but I still take, longer than I want to decide what to do with it. I cleaned up a lot in the garage today and swept it out, so it looks a lot better. I've been trying real hard not to "salvage" too much but its hard. I did set some pretty good stuff out by the curb so that passersby can look through it and take what they wish.
Stella made some good progress in the house today. Together we filled up two of our four trash cans and since today was trash day, we'll probably fill the other two tomorrow.
After a few hours outside in the heat and humidity, I had to come home and take a shower, I was just too dirty and smelly to go on. I came back in an hour or so and took all of my hanging-all of them! and took them out to the truck. We will take them to a Goodwill box where they will be put to good use. I had to go through everything and make certain that I didn't throw something away that had a law enforcement logo or other identification on it. I will dispose of those item separately. I kept only the better looking shirts and some long sleeve shirts that had been in a back closet. We later took them to the clothing donation box and dropped them off.
We came home and ate some of Stella's leftover chicken noodle soup. The noodles were from Shipshewana, Amish country and were very tasty. I don't know how they make their noodles but they are good. I wish we could find them down here. Since the true Amish don't use electricity, I guess it's unlikely that they have a website.
We still don't miss the television except for the background noise. I did learn that I don't have a warranty from Samsung but will from Heartland and Camping World. Samsung sold the unit to Heartland and they in turn delivered it to Camping World. The year's warranty has run out but my year warranty from Heartland is still valid. Heartland and Camping World will have to prove when I bought the trailer for Samsung to extend the warranty. Or so I was told.....we'll see.
So long.

Monday July 6, 2009-Dickinson

Today was a run errands day. We got up this morning and Stella made us some delicious breakfast croissants with link sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast, so we got a good nutritious start to our day. We had to go to Dues Campers here in Dickinson to look for the vent cover for the trailer. They didn't have the one we needed, so we went to Lone Star RV in Houston. They didn't have one either, so we stopped at Holiday World in League City and lo and behold, they had one that looked right. When we got it home we discovered that it wasn't exactly the right one, but it will do for now. I'll call CW and order the right one, so hopefully it will be in by the time we go in for service next week.

While out, we went to Wal Mart and did a little grocery shopping. There were a few items that we needed, so we made the best of it while out. Wal Mart is so addicting, we always find something that is not on our list there and spend more money than we intended to.

After coming home and installing the vent, we went for a walk around the park. There is a Sundance trailer down the row from us that I hadn't seen a vehicle around. Tonight when we walked by, the man was just getting out to go inside. We stopped off and met Domingo Gill, the owner of the trailer. He said he is retired from BP Amoco in Texas City but due to his wife's illness, he has had to go back to work for Johnson Instruments and is working in the same plant and in the same area where he worked before. He said that all the faces have changed since 2000 when he retired but the plant is the same.

We visited with Sid Clinton, our next door neighbor when we returned. He is leaving either tomorrow or Wednesday for Rockport where he will visit some friends. He just retired in April and doesn't know where he wants to spend his time yet. We heard some thunder off in the distance but it never rained. Stella and I sat outside until about 8:30 hoping to see/feel some rain but nothing....
We really haven't missed not having a television. I think it is a comfort to have the noise. We try to keep up with current events off the Internet. I always check the obituary column in the local papers first thing in the morning to make sure I didn't die and nobody told me.

So long.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday July 5, 2009-Dickinson

Here we are at home at the Green Caye RV park in Dickinson.
We stayed home again most of the day. I went over to the house this morning and chopped away at the grass some more. I think that the only thing that I am doing is wearing me and the lawn mower out! It started out all right until about 9 o'clock when the temperature started rising. It didn't take long to get hot and for me to work up a sweat. I worked steadily at the grass, but it's so high, I have to hold the front of the mower up and cut off three or four inches, then lower the blade (which usually kills the mower) and cut down the rest of the grass. I worked about two and a half hours but when I cut off the bottom of the plastic piece that prevents rocks and other debris being kicked out the back, at the back of the mower, I quit. I did finish up some of the small areas and got a lot of the really tall grass cut but it's a lot of work.
I came back home and took a shower and worked on the computer. Stella fixed us some potato pancakes for breakfast that were very good, but filling.
I attached captions to a lot of photos, made new folders of places we've been and generally straightened up the Picasa album. As you can see (above) I've added my first photo to the blog. I'm learning....
I did chores around the trailer. I cleaned up some stains on the back of the trailer, ran the vacuum inside (who else is gonna do it?) and dusted around the television, which incidentally is still not working. It sucks to have a lazy day at home and no television. I had to spend my off-chore time surfing the net. I did get caught up with the new posts on a couple of the RV forums. I'm calling Samsung tomorrow to get someone out to check on the switch.
Stella fixed us some delicious home made chicken soup and baked a loaf of bread for our supper. She gave me a taste of the soup and you should be sorry you're not down here in the heat with us because it's goooood! Now we have some leftovers to munch on tomorrow.
Stella asked me to take her down to the washateria tonight. She said she had some large items to wash that won't do well in her home clothes washer, so I was happy to oblige her. We hadn't been told where the washateria was, so we had to search a little bit to find it. We did locate it and I dropped her off to do her chores.
Cassie is able to rest better today. Yesterday, being the 4th of July, bothered her because of all the fireworks being set off. There is little that could be done about it because we are just outside the Dickinson city limits and there are no laws or ordinances against fireworks in the county. I am so glad that little dog can rest for a change.
Kim and the boys should be on their way back from Ft. Worth today. I hope they have a safe and uneventful trip. Traffic wasn't bad yesterday and the papers said that a lot of people stayed home for the holiday because of the economy. Of course now the states are going broke with less fuel taxes being collected because people aren't traveling. Let me sell the house and I'll do my part.
So long for now.
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday July 4, 2009-Dickinson

Tommy and Susan invited us to come up to Rayford for the day to celebrate Tommy's birthday and to see the fun at the park for the 4th of July. They had called Ricky and Dee to come along to celebrate with us also. We got there a little before noon, and went inside their motorhome where it was nice and cool. We had a couple of drinks and some snacks and Dee called and said they would be arriving in a couple more hours from Canyon Lake where they had gone to visit Rick's dad. We stayed in the MH until Tommy had to go out to a dunking booth to take photos of all the staff including Gwen and Billy getting dunked. It was great fun watching them fall into the water and the kids that were throwing the balls had a great time.

There was a Foretravel motorhome from Motorhomes of Texas in Nacogdoches that came down for a show this weekend. I went inside it but was not all that impressed. It is a 2007 model and looks brand new, but it's still a high dollar ($229,000) coach and I'm not interested at all.

We came back to the motorhome and Tommy fixed us some hamburgers and hot dogs for our dinner. As usual, the food was delicious and there was plenty of it. Food just tastes so much better when fixed outdoors on a grill,

When we got through eating, we went outside and sat around talking about our upcoming trip to Dolores Colorado in September. We are all looking forward to going to get out of this Texas heat.

We came on home and made very good time through Houston, arriving here in about an hour. There was little traffic on the highway and luckily, no accidents to put up with.

Our television is out. I had turned it off early this morning, and now it won't come back on. When you push the remote control button to turn on the television nothing happens, both on the Dish network remote and the standard Samsung remote. I put up a post on the Heartland Owner's Forum and got some instant replies, but none of the suggestions worked. Another suggestion was to contact Samsung and have then send someone out to look at it. That will be my project for tomorrow or Monday.

So long.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday July 1st-3rd-Dickinson

Wednesday we decided to take a day of rest after the long trip. We stayed inside and rested before we went to the grocery store for the first time in some time. We came back home and I got the Dish set up and receiving. Tyler called and asked to come over and of course, we went and picked them up from the karate school. We came back here and waited for Kim and Jeremy to get off work so we could meet them for supper. We met them at Uncle Chan's Oriental restaurant and when we finished, went by their house for the boys to pick up some clothes to spend the night. They are leaving tomorrow for Ft. Worth for the 4th of July weekend.

Jeremy let me use his lawn mower to cut the grass tomorrow while I have the boys to help me. We dropped it off at the house and came back to the trailer.

Thursday we got up and the boys and I worked in the yard at the house while Stella worked inside. The front yard was cut a couple of weeks ago by Cameron and Jeremy but the back yard has not been cut in some time. The grass behind the deck is at least knee deep and very hard to cut. The three of us alternated between carrying old lumber from the fence and deck out to the street to be picked up by the trash service, mowing the front yard and using the weed eater to edge and trim the front yard. Because of the extreme heat, we worked for 30-40 minutes and took a break inside to cool off. We got through with mowing and edging the front and the blower wouldn't work. I brought it inside and worked on it and got the switch to finally work, so I was able to blow off the sidewalk and driveway. Just before we got finished edging around the driveway, the weedeater ran out of line so we didn't quite get through edging.

Stella made some good progress with sorting out the items that Jennifer and Melissa wanted and boxed them up. She also boxed up some items for the boys and Kim so we took it out to the truck. The boys and I were pretty much exhausted so we stopped after about 4 1/2 hours of work. We came back home and took showers. Both of the boys wanted to go home to swim before they left for Ft. Worth, so I agreed to go with them when we got to their house. We had only been in the pool about 45 minutes when Kim and Jeremy got home. I got out and changed clothes and we came home.

Friday we got up and ate breakfast in the trailer. Stella had some doctor work to be done, so we put off going back to the house until about 11:00. I worked in the back yard and Stella continued her work on separating stuff for the girls. I worked outside until about 2:30 and got a lot of the back yard cut. Not only has the yard not been cut in a long time, Jeremy drained the hot tub into the grass, so it has been watered and in places is waist high. This grass is all that I have left to cut now, but the rest has been mowed. I came inside and took a break and Stella decided to take off with me. I picked up a few items to take to storage and put them in the truck. I also loaded up my old Adirondack chairs that we've had for years. They are very large plastic chairs that I love so I decided to bring them over today. I loaded them up before Stella came outside because I know she won't like it that I brought them.

We came on back home and Stella didn't say anything about my chairs until we got here. I unloaded them and set them up outside, but came on in and rested up after working in the yard. We stayed inside the rest of the day.

So long.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuesday June 30, 2009-Moving day-Terrell Tx-Dickinson

Today was our last day in Terrell. We like Bluebonnet Ridge-it has full hookups, cable and wi-fi but it's just too far from everyone that we come here to visit with. It is a 30-45 minute drive into Garland and Mesquite to visit the girls and 2 1/2 hours to Center. We're trying to find something closer to both families but haven't had much luck.

We took our time getting things put away today to get ready to go. I guess it was a combination of being tired from the long drive from Center yesterday and not really wanting to leave. We didn't leave the park until 10:30 and made good time down the freeway toward I-45.

We decided that it would be a good idea to wash the truck in a Blue Beacon truck/trailer wash because the drought has put a water restriction on lawn watering and car washing. We didn't know whether the Green Caye RV park had rules against washing either, so we stopped and had the truck washed. Actually, they sprayed a wax on both the truck and trailer for an extra $8.00. They both looked much better after.....

We continued on I-45 without incident. We stopped for lunch at Sam's Restaurant in Fairfield. This has become a regular stop for us when we travel this road. I have been stopping at Sam's since I was in college in 1965-66. We stopped at the original location on the old highway when the restaurant was still in the original barbecue pit location. The food was as good then as it is now.

We stopped again to transfer fuel at the rest stop near Huntsville. We probably had enough in the truck's tank to make it to Dickinson, but we wanted to stretch our legs and it was as good a time as any to refill the tank.

Welcome back to hellacious traffic.....As soon as we got to Conroe, we found the usual freeway construction and the resulting traffic slowdown. It was slow going all the way into Dickinson, since we didn't plan very well and hit Houston during the going home rush. We didn't get to Green Caye until about 6 o'clock. The office was closed, but Stella had called ahead and found out the site number where we were pulling into. It was after 7 before we got all set up. I set the Dish up, but we were too tired and frustrated to fool with it tonight, so we just came in and turned on the air signal television. We have 21 channels to choose from, all in digital format, so we have a good selection to choose from.

I talked to one of our neighbors and learned that he just retired in April and has been traveling a bit since then. He has been enjoying himself as we have. Hopefully someone will buy our house soon so we can get back out there on the road.

So long.