Monday, August 31, 2009
Stella fixed us some frozen biscuits with sausage and eggs that were very tasty. She cooked enough for us to take one to munch on later in the morning. We like to do this because we can make better time and not have to stop to eat.
What was kind of strange was that after the oil leaks at Rayford, I found none on the pavement under the truck. Maybe the problem with the truck is not as serious as I first thought. I will have it checked when we get back in October.
It was kind of a boring drive except for the scenery. Stella took some pictures that haven't been downloaded to the computer yet, but as soon as they are, I'll put them out here for you to see.
Stella called ahead to the Cottonwood RV Park because she had heard that the GPS directions will take you to a dead end street. She wanted to make a reservation and to get good directions so we wouldn't go astray. With that done, we went through Santa Fe without a problem and pulled into the park about 2:00. I don't like this park and cannot recommend it to others. They are advertised on Passport America yet they don't give the discount until November. I'm sure that there are some folks that come to the mountains of New Mexico in November but I am not one of them. The park needs some serious grading of the roads and some of the sites and the sites themselves are very tight. They seem to cater to long-term stay rather than travelers.
I washed the truck and trailer since they were filthy from the road grime and the few showers we had run through. The showers were nothing more than little spits of rain that didn't even require the windshield wipers, but put water on the road which kicked up on the sides of the truck and trailer. During the first day of our journey, I had discovered that the mud flaps were hitting the pavement at times, and the bottom of them had been ground down. Not only was this hard on the mud flaps, it put the tine flecks of rubber all over the trailer; lots on the front under the overhang and quite a bit down both sides. They both look much better now.
We got three channels on the television, so we relaxed inside for the rest of the night.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I didn't set up the Dish because we are trying to set out the minimum of equipment in these overnight stops. I miss the TV guide on the dish, but we have cable here and good reception on the regular channels on the batwing antenna. The regular channels are better than the cable because they are digital channels and the cable is analog.
We did meet another nice couple here in the park. We went for a walk around the park after supper and found a Heartland Big Country trailer parked a couple of rows away. We stopped in for me to give them one of my Heartland cards as well as one of our own cards and we had a very nice visit. Dean and Suzanne just bought the Big Country a couple of days ago along with their brand new truck to pull it. Their trailer has a very similar floorplan to ours, and so far they love it. They traded in a Monaco motorhome, which they had for several years. They retired about a year ago and have been traveling.
It is nice and cool here. The temperature was 68 at 9 this morning when I finally went outside, and only got to about 84 with a nice breeze all day long. It got windy in the late evening and we should sleep well. Another travel day tomorrow.
Friday, August 28, 2009
We made good time on the road today. We only made one stop at the rest area near Richland. The Coke machine took my money and didn't give me the product, but I guess they needed that dollar more than I did. I won't make that mistake again.
We came on back to the park and stopped off at the Valero to buy some drinks for Ricky and Tommy who were coming to visit. We got back to the park and I put the beer and some sodas on ice to chill them down. Unfortunately, Tommy had decided not to come up this afternoon. He said he has been working hard and just wanted to rest. I can vaguely remember working hard, but it's a very dim memory, and one that I don't want to relive.
Ricky and Dee came over to visit before we went out to eat. Dee is all excited because they can leave next week instead of the week after. They are planning to go to Blue Spruce for three days before coming to Priest Gulch, so we will go visit them there. Blue Spruce is one of our favorite parks and I want to talk to them about workamping there. Did I say that we are excited about going back to Colorado?
While we were visiting at the park, I noticed some oil that had dripped of of my truck. It was fresh oil but I hadn't noticed any oil before, so I moved the truck to make sure it was coming from mine. I moved it twice, and verified that it was indeed coming from my truck. It was too late in the day to get it looked at tonight, but I will take it somewhere in the morning.
We had a nice meal at Hooter's and talked a lot about the trip. Since they are going to Blue Spruce, we could tell the exact way to go. They had thought about going to Albuquerque to spend the night, but that's about 50 miles-one way-out of the way. We showed them a better route and I think they will take it. They took us back home and we looked at my oil slick under the truck. I sure hope this is something simple (and cheap) to fix.
We went home and got the trailer ready to leave. We didn't get away from the park until almost 5 o'clock. When we left the park, I had been worried about hitting the post of the gate at the back of the park. You have to hug the left side of the gate to keep out of the ditch on the right, and I was worried about hitting that post all week long. I pulled up and stopped for the gate to open. When it opened, I got about 3/4 of the way through with the trailer when the whole rig just stopped! I immediately thought the worst had happened but ran around to the back of the trailer and saw that I was some distance from the post. Stella checked the other side and it was fine too. I got back into the truck and tried to get it out of the gate's path and managed to get it out into the street. Even though I was blocking half of the street, I got out and tried to figure out what had happened. We soon found that one of my blocks that I put under the jacks had rolled over, pulling the emergency brake cable and locking the trailer brakes. Let me tell you, those brakes work! I got the pin back into the slot and all was well. On the road at last!
We stopped by the house to pick up some groceries that we had bough and left there. When we arrived, Jeremy was there and had let Jackie and her husband and a friend with a truck in to get the water bed out. We didn't stay long, since they were having so much fun wrestling the mattress. We made good time going up the beltway and arrived at the park a little after 7. We got all set up and went to eat at China Bear because we were both hungry for oriental food, but it was so late the food was pretty bad. We like the China Bear because it has a huge buffet and is in an enormous building but don't get there late at night and expect fresh food. We were full but unsatisfied.
We came back to home and crashed because we were both tired out.
We'll start fresh again in the morning. We are supposed to be going to Rayford tomorrow so we can leave for Burleson on Friday and our Colorado trip.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Another day of running around gone by.
I told you these two days were boring!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This person made a homemade utility box on the back of his trailer out of corrugated metal. Pretty sharp!
We learned that Cameron is going to a new baseball school, the Wheelhouse Baseball School for advanced training in baseball. This school is staffed by former professional baseball players that will give these kids a class twice a week and at least 2-3 tournaments to play in every month. It is expensive but if it makes Cam a better player, especially if he can play professional ball someday. I hope he remembers his PePaw when that day comes. Maybe he'll buy me a new truck or trailer.
Kim and Jeremy came back to the trailer after Cam's baseball school and we had a nice little chat about the schools the boys were going to. Tyler is going to his last golf camp tomorrow and is going to San Antonio with a friend of his and his father to Six Flags after he gets out. We will have to take him home so he can go to his friend's house. Tomorrow may be a busy day for them.
We continued to work in the house until about 12:30 when we decided to take some items to the storage room in Texas City. We also went by the boy's house to get some things they had forgotten.
We picked up Tyler from his golf camp and came back to the trailer. Stella fixed a snack to tide the boys over until supper and we hung out here for the rest of the afternoon. I had called Kim and gotten permission to set up both boys with a G-Mail account. I got both of them done, along with a small contact list of family members and sent their information to Kim as she had requested. This way she will have all the information she needs to monitor both boys and their emails sent and received.
For several days, it has been clouding up and thundering but we have not gotten any measurable rain at the park. Apparently it has rained a few times at the house because the grass is in much better shape than this at the park. The grass here is very dry, brown and crunchy and I have been watering the front yard for a couple of days. Even though we are leaving in a week, I want to see if I can make the grass at least turn green if not growing. I know, why am I worrying about someone else's grass? I'm just trying to make the place a little better for the next person that comes in, and beside that, I don't have to mow the grass, so if I can make it green and grow, I don't have to worry about it.
That's what I like about this lifestyle, I have a big yard that I don't have to take care of.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Cam and I worked on the yard and got it cut pretty quick. Cam pooped out because of the heat but I guess I'm getting used to it and kept after the yard. When I got through, I went inside and helped Stella and worked some in the garage. We have an old dining table in the garage that I would like to get rid of, so I cleaned it off. We worked steadily and knocked off at 2 when we had to go pick Tyler up from the golf course. He said he was learning a lot about how to play the game. I hope it works out for him. He will spend all his time inside playing on the computer if he doesn't have some kind of sport to play.
The rest of the day was spent at the trailer, chilling out from the hard work in the morning. Stella fixed us some supper and we had a nice night.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday afternoon after the ball game, Stella and I went to Sam's club and the grocery store to buy supplies for us and for the boys, who come visiting next week. Tyler is going to a golf lesson school at the 9 hole golf course next to this park, so they are coming to visit us for the week.
We came back to the trailer and relaxed after a full weekend of getting sunburned and watching a lot of baseball. It was a nice weekend.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Before going to the mini-storage, we dropped off some paper back books at the Rayford Crossing library. We have accumulated so many books that are still in good condition I hate to get rid of. I checked by at a used book store in Dickinson to see if there is a market to sell them, but learned that they only give in-store credit and I would rather give them away to other RV'ers. We had a nice visit with Gwen and stayed there much longer than we should have. WE changed our site for the rally from number 61 to premium site #74. I think this will work much better for the rally.
We picked up a truck load and took it down to Texas City and put it into the new storage room. This room is much larger than the one we had in Spring and or truck load looks tiny in this big room. We came back to Dickinson and stopped off at Keyworth's Hardware and had some more keys made to the padlock for Kim and Jeremy.
By the time we got back, it was after 3 o'clock and both of us were hungry so we came home and fixed something to eat. We weren't all that tired but had spent all day and didn't want to go back to Houston in the traffic.
Friday morning we slept a little later since we didn't have that much to do this morning. Man, the time just gets away. By the time I watched Jerry Springer it was time to go. I have told Stella that I will work on taking her to see Jerry in person but we'll have to go to New York, so I don't know when that may be. You've got to admit, that would be a real treat to be able to see the Jerry Springer show as it is being filmed. I'm such a good husband.....
It was more of the same when we got to the storage lot. We finished up with all of our stuff and stopped by the office to tell them we had moved out. The lady in the office was out running errands so we had to come back, but we got it done. We took our stuff down to Texas City and dropped it off, but when Stella tried the new keys, none would work. We took the keys back to Keyworth but they didn't have the right blank. We ended up going to a locksmith in League City to have the keys made. Again, we killed all day but at least we got the storage problem taken care of.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
After picking them up, we stopped off at a storage lot in Texas City where we are going to split a storage room with Kim and Jeremy. They are supposed to be taking some of our furniture and of course we have storage in the Woodlands that we will move. There are some other items that we can store there too, so it should work out well.
The boys decided that they wanted to play golf as soon as they got here in spite of the heat. I didn't argue with them about it but it was soon very apparent that they had made a mistake of coming out at 3 o'clock in the afternoon to play golf. They stuck it out and played until about 5 when it clouded up and actually started to rain. All of the regular golfers had come in on their carts to avoid the rain and heavy lightning. We left and went to the local Pizza Inn for their buffet. It was pretty good but I've had better. The boys liked it, and thats all that matters.
We brought the boys home and told Kim about the storage room that we got. She said they would try to come over either tomorrow or Friday and get the items they want to take to storage. We'll see how that works out.....
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Stella spoke with one of her client doctors and made an appointment to meet with her this afternoon. She also had to go by the doctor's office to meet with Jackie there, so we made a round trip to take care of her business. It worked out very well, because instead of her having to go into the hospital to find the doctor, when we drove up, Dr. Gulde was getting out of her car in the parking lot. Stella was able to just meet with her and give her some papers right there in the parking lot, so we weren't there five minutes. It seemed like a waste of time to go there for so short a time, but it was something that had to be done and she did get paid for it. Of course, me being her chauffeur didn't pay anything.
When we left, we went to a truck lot in Dickinson to look at some trucks. I don't really want a new truck but like to look. They showed us a Dodge 3500 that was equipped like we want but it had a lot of rust on the frame around the front seats. He then showed us a Ford F-350 that was also pretty much what we want but it had some cigarette burns on the front seat and Stella said the back seat smelled like a disinfectant. We thought both of these trucks may have had some water damage, so we kept on looking. I told Stella that it will take a lot of work to change out the accessories, the air ride for the rear axle, the fuel tank, the tool box with the air compressor and of course, my favorite toy, my air horn.
We came back here and she continued to shred papers. We had five large trash bags full of shredded documents for the trash man to pick up. Stella has been working hard on getting this done.
I've been keeping tabs on any storms that are brewing in the Gulf or Caribbean, so we can make a quick getaway. I told Stella that if a storm brews up and comes into the Gulf, we're out of here, no matter how how big or small the storm is. We're not taking any chances and I'm NOT going through another hurricane.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Since we were out before 9, I decided to go get my blood work done at the lab near Dr. Merritt's office. When we got there, we only waited a few minutes before they called me back to stick my arm. I have always had deep veins in my arms and it was no surprise when the lab technician couldn't find one she could stick. She ended up using the back of my hand, which was much more painful for me, but at least I got the sample taken. Now I will make an appointment with the doctor to be yelled at.
We stopped off at the house and picked up the rest of the papers that Stella had pulled out so she can get them shredded. When you think of how much money we pay for checks and simply the cost of paper, she has probably shredded several thousand dollars in the past couple of weeks. This should keep her busy for a few days.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Our friends Tommy and Susan came up for a visit this morning, arriving right about 11 o'clock. Tommy is very punctual; when he tells you he will be there at a certain time, he is there. We didn't stay here too long but went to get something to eat at a local seafood restaurant. It was good and we returned to the trailer. Tommy wanted to make a short video of Stella and I for his blog http://www.phaetonplace.net/Phaeton_Place/Welcome.html
Tommy is a professional photographer and has a beautiful picture of the Priest Gulch RV Park where we are going soon. We will meet them there about the middle of September. You will see more about that when we arrive on Sept. 1st.
Tommy, being the professional that he is, used a special filter on his video camera to make me look not so fat and not so old. I appreciate his efforts to improve me.
We sat around watching the rain clouds go around our park, but other areas around us got some rain. We need the rain very badly. I'm sure it will rain cats and dogs after we leave and my grass will be waist high again. Maybe the grass fairy will visit my house and cut it for me. In reality, I'm going to find someone to cut the grass while I'm gone. Tommy and Susan left about 2:30 after a nice visit.
Sunday was a day of rest for both Stella and the shredder because she didn't destroy a single check or document today. I'll get her up early tomorrow to start the new week out.
I surfed the net and watched television all day until Stella almost wore out the new shredder. I had to drop what I was doing, get dressed and take her to the Office Depot store to get some lubrication strips for the shredder. I told her that I could just squirt some WD-40 on it, but she said no. Women shouldn't have a say in mechanical things, but being the good husband I am, I put my computer aside and took her to the store. I came back and struggled to get back inside, exhausted from the physical exertion of driving her about 15 miles to the store. Whew, it makes me tired just remembering it.
I came in and took a well-earned nap.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
We went to the grocery store this afternoon. It's amazing how often we have to go to the store for the essential items, and of course, I didn't usually go to the store before we started living in the trailer, so was not aware of this and the prices of groceries. Wow!!
We came back home and hung out here for the rest of the night. It's different in this park. The people here don't hang out in the morning and evening like they do in a resort-style park. Since this is a working park, they pretty much just get up and go to work and come home and stay inside. We still enjoy watching the golfers across the fence from us. I am surprised at how many are our in the heat of the day playing golf. I guess if you are a serious player, a little hot weather doesn't make any difference.I'm just glad its not me that's out there playing in the sun and heat.
Friday, August 7, 2009
This house was a MESS! The shredding had left many little strips of paper on the floor but I ran the vacuum and picked them up. We got the place all cleaned up and then Bill and Ornell got here and we sat outside under the awning (in a nice breeze) and had a nice visit. Bill has changed his medication and was feeling kind of funky, and was ready to get to the doctor and get his medications.
I am so thankful that I haven't developed any other medical problems other than diabetes. I get checked quarterly by my doctor and so far, my kidneys, liver and heart are fine. These are very common problems for diabetics but so far, I've been lucky.
We stayed in today and Stella worked some more on the papers to be shredded. We have given away probably 100 paperback books in the past couple of days. these are books that we bought and read and put into the book cases at the house. I tried to sell some to the Half Price Bookstore but didn't get anything for them, so I decided to just give them to the various parks that we visit. Most of the parks have libraries that their guests can use to get new books to read. I took one big box to the Via Bayou park where we stayed in May and are planning to stay in again in November and an even bigger box to the library here. selling books in a garage sale is such a hassle that I'd rather give the books to libraries for fellow RV'ers for their use and pleasure.
I contacted the Disabled American Veterans organization about picking up the furniture at the house. I had sent them an email over a week ago and had not heard from them, so I sent another email. We'll see what they tell me about picking up the furniture.
Stella made a corn chowder soup and baked a loaf of bread for our supper. The soup was very good but the bread didn't rise and was very heavy but I ate it anyway. the bread had a good flavor but was heavy.
It was a pretty good day although we didn't get anything done at the house.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Why didn't the state legislators pass some useful laws, like secession from the United States? I think this might be something whose time has come. Even if it was brought up for discussion, maybe someone in Washington would start to pay attention. We are the only state to come into the Union as a republic, and we can secede with a positive vote of the people. If we were successful, other states might just follow.
Off my soapbox and back to the blog. Monday we went to the house and made some progress with getting things out. I worked outside on the yard and Stella worked inside. Since getting the grass cut initially, it is not that hard to keep up. It's just that the heat is so bad it makes it miserable to work outside without many water breaks. Better to be safe than sorry I say.
Kim called and asked us to come over to stay with the boys while she and Jeremy went to Ron Carter Chevrolet to look at a car for her. They soon returned because the salesman never showed up. She had called ahead and gotten approved for the loan, so there should not have been a problem, but Todd never showed. They asked for him at the receptionist desk and they paged him but he just never met with them. After about 30 minutes they left and while leaving, he called. He said he had gotten tied up but they were already gone and didn't return. It was nice to spend the time with Tyler and Cameron and eat some pizza with them.
Tuesday was more of the same. Going over to the house and working and getting the receipts and papers together to bring back to shred. I loaded up several boxes of papers to be shredded, but we left them in the truck for now.
We will bring them into the trailer tonight to get them shredded. It's messy but its the easiest way to get rid of old papers with confidential information on it.
Wednesday was just another day of working in the house but we are starting to see less and less papers to destroy. Stella has been working on them a lot and of course, the trailer shows it. It is almost impossible to shred without some of the tiny pieces of paper to fall on the floor. Sine we no longer have a maid to clean up, it is up to us to keep things in line.
We did go back over to Kim's house to keep the boys while Kim and Jeremy went to look at the Avalanche again in Alvin. She had gotten a call from the Internet manager for Ron Carter who promised her that it would be worth her while to come look. This time they stayed longer, but came back in the same cars they took with them. The monthly notes would have been $800 on the new Avalanche and she simply can't afford that. Stella and I had another nice night with the boys and Kim even bought our supper. We went to Ryan's and had a good meal. We went back to their house and watched a little television before Kim got home.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Wal Mart. We made our grocery purchases and looked at shredders but decided that the first one was a better buy and went back to Sam's and bought it. Man, this comparison shopping is rough and it took all day! We were tired and hungry and came back home and Stella made us some Sloppy Joe sandwiches. We had not had any of these in years and they were very good.
While she cooked, I laid out a route for a trip next summer with Tyler and Cameron to the IRV2 national rally in Williams Arizona at the Grand Canyon for a week, over to Las Vegas Nevada for a couple of days since the boys can't gamble anyway, and then up through Utah to Island Park Idaho where we will visit the Yellowstone National Park for a couple of weeks. It was fun and pretty easy to use the sources online to map out the route. Since we will be somewhat of a time crunch because the boys will have to start back to school in late August, we will drive further at times than Stella and I would have driven if it was just us. We will drive 300+ miles on two days, but it will be worth it.
I later talked to Kim about the trip and she thought it was a great idea. She had gone to Yellowstone with a couple that had kept her when she was very young and we had stayed in touch with. She said she still remembers that trip and she was about 8 or 9 years old when she went with them.
I later talked to the boys about the trip. It was worth it to hear the excitement in Tyler's voice. He thought that going to that many states and the different locations that we will visit was "cool". Cameron was a little excited about it, but he's not really able to grasp this long of a trip. He didn't think too much about flying home from Idaho but there's really little choice. I could leave Stella in the trailer alone and drive them back, but it would take four days of 400+ miles a day and a stay in a motel plus meals and air flight costs $172 per person. Even if I had to fly with them, it would be cheaper to fly and of course, much faster. Even if I stayed overnight at Kim's house and flew back the next day, I would be back before I could drive through Colorado.
I am certain that there will be much more discussion and changes made to this trip. It's a year off and things will likely change before we leave.