Sunday, November 29, 2009
We came home to relax before this afternoon's happy hour/band. Michael Maker was playing this afternoon and he always puts on a good show. I got an email from Tommy and Susan saying they were coming up this afternoon. It has been awhile since we have seen them, and I knew they were coming in on the 4th for a week or more stay. It will be good to see our friends again.
I went down to the rally hall a little early and helped Michael and Billy unload Michael's equipment. Billy soon had to leave to go pick up some pizza for the kids in the rally hall, so I ended up working by myself. Michael did help me some but I hauled up most of his equipment. He rewarded me with a cold beer and later recognized me for helping him, dedicating the first song to me for my help. I didn't know I would become a roadie after retiring.
I watched Michael play for over an hour when Tommy and Susan arrived. They came in and watched Michael playing. A large group of the winter Texans had gone into the Lone Star room to get away from the loud playing by Michael. Susan went in and talked to them for awhile but came out and said she was hungry, so we went to eat. Tommy and I are good at obeying our wive's every wish so we were glad to take them to eat. We went to El Palenque again and had a very nice meal.
When they brought us back home, there was two groups sitting out, one at Warren and Judy's and the other at Jerry and Diane's. We went over and sat with Warren and most of our friends. We had a great time listening to Pete tell his stories. He keeps us laughing at the things that has happened to him. We sat out until about 9:30 when it started to rain a little more. Another nice night in the park.
Eddie and Kelly reserved one of the new Deluxe sites. The park has recently converted four spaces into Deluxe sites with smaller tables and two nice swivel chairs in them. They will also have firepits and possibly water fountains in each site, but for now, Kelly's site is the only fully equipped site. The others have the tables and chairs and fire pits.
Eddie and Cody went to their deer lease yesterday after dinner, so Kelly fixed supper for us as well as her nephew Michael and his family and her old boss Marty. It was one of those all-in-one meals where you buy the entree and the rest is free. It was supposed to have been a pork roast but turned out to be a pork loin. It was all very good and we had a nice time visiting with everyone. While eating, Kelly's cousin Belinda came up to spend the night with her. I was not feeling well after everything we had yesterday, so I left to go back home soon after we finished eating. Michael laid a fire at his site and Stella decided to stay at the fire with them. It was pretty cold tonight, so they didn't stay out very long.
The park is full today and a few "weekend residents" came down to have coffee with us. After finishing up coffee, I returned home and Stella fixed us some breakfast. She had already begun preparing her dishes for lunch, so we stayed in at home until time to go down for the Thanksgiving feast.
There was a very good turnout for Thanksgiving, an estimated 90 people. I know that both of the rally rooms were full but there was still some empty seats. One of the round tables had been set up near us and no one sat at it. We had a great meal and had some nice conversations with Kerry and Patti, Rhonda, and Eddie, Kelly and Cody who sat at the table with us. Everyone had a good time, although there was a report from Frank that some of his family got sick from something they ate. No one else reported this, so I don't know what they ate that was bad for them.
We came home and I watched football on television all afternoon. It was a nice way to end the holiday celebration.
Friday, November 27, 2009
We went down to play in the rally hall at 7 but sadly we didn't win any money tonight. We still had a good time with our friends and congratulated the winners. Our friend Peg won the big pot tonight, and her grand daughter was cute, playing the game. There were several people playing tonight with children which is normal for a holiday time.
We went over to Eddie and Kelly's where they had started a fire. Kelly's nephew Michael and his wife Becky came over with their two children. The kids are very cute but it was cold for them to be out, so the kids didn't stay out too long. It was nice to catch up on Brazoria County news with Eddie since we worked a few cases together. Eddie is an Investigator with the Sheriff's office. Eddie and Cody, their son are going to the deer lease tomorrow after the Thanksgiving dinner, so I invited him to come have coffee with us in the morning.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Merritt this afternoon, so we left about 10:30 so Stella would have time to go see Dr. Gulde for a consultation. I stayed in the truck while Stella and the doctor were talking at the hospital. Stella needed to go by Amegy bank to order new checks which took a lot longer than we expected. We just drove around Dickinson after finishing at the bank to kill a little time before my appointment. I got to the doctor's office and was soon brought in. A nurse took my vitals and started running an A1c test for the doctor to review. When Dr. Merritt came in, she scolded me because my test was high. I promised her that I will get better on my eating and will turn these results around. She gave me a prescription for a new medicine, so we'll see how that works out.
We went by the house on our way back to Rayford to pick up a few items. We didn't get away from the house until almost 5 o'clock, which meant it was almost 7 before we got back to the park. After walking Cassie, we stayed inside for the rest of the night.
We went to a Margarita Monday at 4 in the rally room. These are sponsored by the park and we bring snack foods to munch on. These are all about us just getting together and visiting with the winter Texans here in the park and anyone else that's in the park and wants to come. I am disappointed in the number of people in the park that don't come to these activities. They are free except for whatever food is brought, so money shouldn't be a factor. I guess there there are people that are not all that sociable. We enjoy getting together with friends. We sat at a table with Bob Anderson who is giving a seminar on Thanksgiving Day on writing your memoirs. He is an interesting man who ran a newspaper in Missouri before he retired. We enjoyed meeting him and his wife Carol. They are staying here until March, so I hope to see him again in the park before we leave. Its hard to believe that we've been here over six weeks and only have about three weeks left to stay here.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Today is Tyler's birthday. He turned 13 years old today, can you believe it? It reminds me how old I am getting because I sound like my Grandaddy when I say I remember the morning that Tyler was born and how much he has meant to me since then. Tyler, the first-born son and grandson, and he will always have a very special place in my heart. I love all three of my grandsons but I guess like a lot of folks, the first one is a little bit special.
On our way to Texas City, we stopped off at Dickinson to pick up our mail and to check the yard. We had hired a company to come cut the grass and we needed to look at their work. The yard looked good, so after picking up the mail we left. We had plenty of time, so we went by the Via Bayou RV park where our friends Harry and Judy were staying. Judy recently had some foot surgery and we wanted to check on her. We have not seen our good friends in a long time but will soon see them at the Boomer rally at Rayford. We will also spend New Year's Eve with them in Louisiana.
Like many, we have a family tradition of letting the birthday boy choose where we go out to eat. Tyler chose the Texas Roadhouse, but changed his mind to Logan's Roadhouse. Kim, Jeremy and Cameron had eaten there on Halloween weekend when Tyler was with us at Rayford, so they convinced him that Logan's was better. The food was okay but I have had better. Tyler was surprised when the crew from the restaurant came out and recognized him for his birthday. It's not every day that a young man becomes a teenager.
We went back over to their house and Tyler blew out his candles. Kim only had three birthday candles-you know how it is, these special days just sneak up on you-but somehow Tyler blew them all out. Jeremy made a delicious cake from scratch, so we all had a piece of cake before we had to come home.
We had been gone most of the day, so Cassie was glad to see us. I still miss Ralphie but maybe someday I'll find another little Schnauzer/poodle and will name him/her Ralphie.
When Frank arrived, he immediately complained that someone had changed his timer and that it had not come on at the time he set it for. Neither Jim nor I even knew that Frank had left his timer in the cabinet and we were the only ones that were in the hall since he had left last night after bingo. He had a hard time finding a lot of his supplies, but he finally got it together and breakfast was prepared. We all had a good time at breakfast but several, including me, were a little disappointed that we didn't have breakfast burritos as promised but the pancakes were good.
It was cool and rainy today, so we just stayed inside. I watched my car shows on television and Stella did stuff for her doctors. I know she uses her phone a lot to exchange text messages with Dr. Gulde. Some time in the middle of the day, I had an idea to go to Mel's Diner for supper. I went around and spread the word to our friends in the back of the park, and ten of us agreed to meet around 5 o'clock. Carl and Faye rode with us, Pete and Jean rode with Warren and Judy and Jim and Rita brought their two grandsons from their school where they had gone to watch them play soccer. We had a great time at Mel's and while there, I remembered that today was exactly one year since I retired.
This has been a wonderful year for us. We left our house the day I retired and have only slept in the house twice since then. We have taken some nice trips, one to Tyler to visit my Aunt Frat who later passed away; to Albuquerque New Mexico for the Good Sam rally; to Elkhart Indiana for the Heartland rally there, then over into Ohio to meet our friends and back to Dickinson, visiting many interesting cities on the way. If you have just started reading this blog, please feel free to read past entries to learn about the places we've been. We went to the awesome Priest Gulch RV park in Dolores Colorado and after leaving there, stopped off at Albuquerque again for the Balloon Festival. We had to come back to Dickinson at the end of each of the trips because of the house. We did get almost everything out of it but left enough behind to sleep there if we need to. Now if we can just find someone to buy the darned thing!
Our first year of retirement has been great and we are looking forward to the next 20 or more years of retirement traveling.
We had another large group for coffee this morning and had to set up another table to hold everyone. I guess the entries onto the calendar are paying off. I came home and Stella was working on her doctor's work again, so we just hung out in the trailer again. I walked a lot today because I have to go visit the doctor for my quarterly checkup next week and I don't want to get yelled at.
Diabetes is a fearful disease because many victims are not ill and have few symptoms. I have type 2 diabetes which is treated with diet control, exercise and oral medications. I have been diagnosed with it for over 10 years and so far have been able to control it with a variety of oral drugs. I will find out next week how I am doing.
We had an unscheduled committee meeting this afternoon. There were some changes that I had talked to Diane about such as changing bingo night to another night to leave Friday nights for our "street parties". I want to include rallies into our parties because I know that there are a lot of people that come in on a Friday night for a rally, have worked all day and then had to drive to the park. They set up their rig when they arrived here and many times don't want to fix supper. Instead of going out, why not invite them to our party? It seems like a win-win situation to me. We would have more people for the parties, they will appreciate the efforts of the park to include them which will hopefully bring in more business for the park, and we will make many more friends. The street party will be listed as weather permitting, but we will have to contact the wagonmaster of the rally to get permission to use the rally hall for our party. I also suggested that Michelle contact the wagonmasters so there are no privacy issues over one or more of the committee members contacting someone without permission. Also the wagonmaster would be asked for a tentative head count for the party. We will ask anyone attending to either bring a dish to the potluck dinners or to pay a nominal fee for the party. I think that's only fair.
We also had a lot of discussion over a suggestion from Frank that the committee buy him a Sam's club card so he can buy the breakfast supplies there. The idea was nixed because it would be issued to a specific person who could use the card for their own personal purchases. It didn't take Frank long to find out that his card was turned down because about 10 minutes after the meeting ended, he was knocking at my door to go to Sam's to buy for tomorrow's breakfast. I don't mind taking him to the store and had offered to do so in the meeting.
We played bingo tonight. I usually don't play but decided late in the afternoon that I would play. I'm glad I did because I won the big pot of the night. Billy won the first two games and everyone joked that the fix was in, but when Nick won the third game there were really some eyebrows raised. Of course, Gwen calling the numbers made it even funnier, but I pulled out the win in the final game. We all had a good time and it was nice to play with many of our friends here in the park.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Together we have traveled pretty much around the world and in every state of the union. Of course, the military guys have spent lots of time overseas, keeping us free and safe, but a lot of their time was done in wartime, so there wasn't much time to sightsee.
It is a real treat when we start talking about where we have been and what we like and dislike. We have discussed going on a group trip, and that may work out. Where would we go? Well, we talked about Alaska, but personally I would rather stay in the lower 48 states. I know that our friends Bob and Christina have an Alaska trip planned for next year and I'm sure I will talk to them when they return to find out how it went. I intend to keep in touch with all my winter Texan friends and keep them up about where we are.
There was not much doing in the park today. Stella worked on the computer and I piddled around. I went by Diane's trailer and talked to her about the committee. She asked me to talk to Joe Alessi who is staying right behind her, about doing a newsletter and email notices of upcoming events. When I went over to talk to him, I learned that he is the guy that hit a rock last year and drug it around by the office. He said he did about $5,000 worth of damage to his then-new Phaeton motorhome. It is all fixed now but he made a mess of it back then.
Stella and I have been doing good with our food intake. She has been fixing us a good breakfast, just a snack for lunch and then a good supper. I think we both feel better when we don't eat as much and I know it is healthier for us.
I've had a few comments about my new hair-do or should it be called lack of hair-do? Thanks to all of you. I don't know how long I'll keep it this way, but so far, I like it and as long as my friends are battling cancer, I'm keeping it.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I walked around the park this morning after doing the "shave job" and was surprised at how much difference it made to be outdoors without hair and how cold the air felt. I stopped by and visited with Jimmy and Dana, one of the cancer victims here in the park.
Stella stayed inside and worked on her computer for her clients. She has been working a lot for them lately and I am very proud of her for doing this. Not only because we can use the money she brings in, but simply because she can remain focused on them and stick with their program and not just sit back in a retired mode and forget about the doctors and their practices. She could easily just sit outside and visit with people in the park but she stays inside and after her work and I am thankful for it.
About noon, I took the clothes down to the washateria for her. She read her book while our clothes washed. When she got through washing, she called me and I walked back to carry our now-clean clothes back home. It wasn't long after she got back home that we had to get ready to go down for the happy hour before the baked potato supper that was put on in the rally hall. We sat with our friends John and Jan and their daughter Ann who brought her children, ages 1 and 4. We had a nice time visiting with them and fun to watch the little ones with all their energy. John and Jan used to go to Durango Colorado so we had those locations and attractions in common. After finishing our meal, we sat around talking to our friends and came on back home to watch a little TV before going to bed.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We had gotten an email about an open house on "work kamping" that was being held today at the Woodlands Marriott hotel where a KOA convention was being held. We are just starting out in our work camping experience, so we are looking for any information we can get. We found the hotel after parking a couple of blocks away, following the directions of our GPS that I named SWMBO-She Who Must Be Obeyed. I don't know why she directed us to the parking lot where she did, but we had a short walk to the hotel.
We were immediately put off by the number of people wearing KOA shirts or vests that did not speak or would not even make eye contact with us. A few were friendly but many were not. There was no one at the table in front of the room where the open house was being held, so we just walked in. There were numerous tables in the large meeting room where different KOA locations had set up to talk to prospective work kampers. We spoke with one from Montana and were told some of the details of working at their location. We continued around the room but were soon directed to a lady who was the greeter. She explained the KOA policies to us. She said that We would have to pay $35.00 each if we wanted to work for their company to access their website to find job opportunities. We would be paid minimum wage, which is $7.25 for between 20-35 hours weekly. We were also told that the fee would also get us a card worth 10% off at any KOA park. After talking to her for a bit longer, we went back inside the room and talked briefly to some people from a park in Oregon, but I think our minds were made up at this point. Why would anyone pay to get a job for minimum wage? Most of the people we know are not big fans of KOA anyway, so I don't think we are interested in work there, so we left.
We decided to go to the Post Office to get our passports for a trip over to Mexico when we go back down to the valley in February. Stella had put her birth certificate away somewhere in the trailer for safekeeping and could not find it, so she had looked up the Harris County Clerk's office where we went and got certified copies of our birth certificates. We took these and the applications that Stella had already filled out to the Post Office in the Woodlands where we met a very nice lady there who took all of our information as well as taking our photo for the cards. It took her about 45 minutes to get everything done, but now we are finished and should have our passport cards in 4-6 weeks.
All in all, it was a very productive day. We learned that we don't want to work kamp for KOA, and got our passports squared away. The problem was, I forgot about having a committee meeting this afternoon. I'll make it up to them somehow.
We came home and Stella fixed us some leftover beans and cornbread and I watched my TV show. I went to bed early tonight so I hopefully won't oversleep in the morning.
Stella cleaned the big pot that we had used for the hobo stew after we had breakfast and worked for her clients all morning while I surfed the Internet. I am working on another Heartland luncheon in the valley in February and was in contact with Jim B. about some of the arrangements. This past Feb. we had 63 people at the luncheon in McAllen but I don't know how many to expect this year.
This afternoon, Stella cut my hair off. I have been wanting to go with a bald look for awhile because I like the look and because so many of my friends have been diagnosed with cancer and this is my way of honoring them. After I shave my head, I will take a photo to show you what I look like with a bald head.
I'm told that a man inherits his hair from his grandfathers. Grandpa Coffman had white thick hair and Grandaddy Chandler was almost completely bald with a small amount of white hair on the sides. I guess it's true because mine was a combination of the two; was very thin on top and most of what I had was white or silver. It is very very short now while I get used to it. I took a little kidding from my friends here in the park right after she got through but I like it so far.
We stayed inside and watched television for the rest of the night. Another peaceful night in the park.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Stella and I decided to go out for breakfast this morning. She wanted to go to IHOP, but when we got there, the parking lot was full and there were people standing outside waiting to get in so we decided to try somewhere else. We ended up at Skeeters, the restaurant that Cameron doesn't like. Kim told us that the last time we took the boys there, Cameron came home with a list of things he didn't like. There was some good that came out of this review. He apparently shared his dislike with other kids in his school, so when his class started doing a newsletter, his teacher made Cam the restaurant reviewer. He now reports on places in and around Texas City. Perhaps he'll grow up to be a newspaper reporter. Cameron would have given another bad report on Skeeters. The biscuits, sausage and bacon were all cold and the orange juice was lukewarm. I sent in a comment card to the company. It will be interesting to see if I hear back from them.
We came back home and while I caught up on my blog and surfed the 'net, Stella got ready to go to Melissa's shower. I watched football all afternoon while Stella and most of the other women still here in the park went to the shower. When she returned, she said Melissa got many nice gifts. She is having a little girl this time (she has four boys) so she needed almost everything for a girl. It sounds to me like she pretty-much got it. We're happy for her.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Here is everyone getting ready to eat the Hobo Stew. Thanks go to Diane, Judy, Faye, Valle and Stella for fixing the stew and to all the other cooks that brought both ingredients for the stew and prepared food.
Everyone enjoying their food. The weather was just about perfect, with cool dry weather at night. The skeeters didn't give us too much trouble as long as we stayed out of the grass. When we didn't, they got all stirred up and bit the heck out of everyone around, so we pretty well stayed off the grass. When Jerry lit off the fire pits, that got rid of a lot of the skeeters too.
Diane and Jerry brought out their small Margarita machine. There were some leftover 'ritas that we had gotten out of the freezer, so everyone that wanted one had a cocktail.
Here is Judy serving up some of the stew. Actually, she gave this one to me and it was delicious. I put some of Stella's cornbread on top and chowed down.
We sat out by the fire until after nine, proving that retirees can stay out late. I still hate this new time, but I guess I'll get used to it eventually. Probably in April when we change back to daylight savings time.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We stayed in again today and Stella worked on her client's books all day long. I just walked around the park, talking to people. It was a very nice day again weather wise, so it was nice to be outside. I walked down to the dog run and the children's play area and saw that everything has been replaced that was damaged from the storm. This was the last area of damage to be repaired.
I worked on the water filter in the afternoon. It has been awhile since I changed the filter cartridge, so I turned the water off and changed it. Later in the afternoon, Stella started getting ready to go to play bingo and while taking her shower, the water just stopped. She had been in the shower for a few minutes when it stopped, so I went outside to check everything. I didn't find anything wrong with the lines or hose, so I disconnected the filter, thinking something must be wrong with it. The water came back on and ran fine, so I don't know why it cut off. The only thing I can think of is that there was a kink in the hose that I didn't notice and somehow it got straightened out.
Stella went down and played bingo and of course she didn't win. Everyone knows those games are rigged! Our friends Warren won one game, his wife Judy won another and another family split the last two games. They're rigged I'm telling you!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I stayed in the trailer all afternoon, working on the computer and surfing the net. We ate supper at home and went for a walk around the park. We stopped by Jim and Rita's to visit with them.
Ted and Donna and Rick and Brenda were supposed to have come over tonight to play a game but Ted had to go out of town for work, so they had to cancel. It was just as well because Stella has some projects that she is working on for her clients, so we called Rick and Brenda and cancelled altogether. We will re-schedule the game playing for another time when we can all get together.
They plan to drive about halfway to Harlingen and stop for the night. They can sleep in the truck, using their small generator and air conditioner to keep them comfortable. They really do have all the comforts in the truck, but I'm still not going to get one.....
After they pulled out, Stella and I went down for her to see Dr. Gulde at the hospital in Texas City. I sat in the parking lot and read a book that I had brought along. Let me tell you, the weather is spectacular this time of year. No rain, just a very few clouds in the sky and about 77-78 degrees with a nice cool breeze blowing makes it easy to sit in the truck reading. When Stella got through, we ran some more errands in the area. We went by the house and picked up the mail and called a company to check on getting the yard mowed. Since we have decided to keep the house until the market comes back a little more, we need to get it and keep it mowed.
We picked up Tyler and Cameron at the karate school where they go after getting out of school and took them home. Tyler wanted to go to Uncle Chan's for supper, so that is where we went. I can tell a definite difference in the boys and they are growing up. They still insist on whispering around me, so nothing has changed there.
I am so proud of these boys, they have their adult lives and careers all planned out. Tyler wants to be a veterinarian and of course Cam can't see anything other than playing baseball. Both of those careers make a lot of money, so perhaps they'll buy me my big truck. Maybe I should try to stay on their good side?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I started out the day in the rally hall. We are having 11-12 guys down for coffee every morning. When I came home, Stella fixed us some breakfast while I talked with Bob as he loaded his motorcycle onto the trailer behind their Landmark trailer. They have decided to leave tomorrow instead of Thursday as they had planned. We will be very sorry to see them go but hopefully we will see them again soon when we go to Stephen F. Austin state park in January.
We had told Bob and Christina that we would go for a ride around Houston one day before they left, so we knew today would have to be the day. We got loaded up and took off around 11:00 and decided to go up to Huntsville to the Texas Prison Museum. Before we got there we stopped at the huge statue of Sam Houston which is on I-45 just before getting to Huntsville. The statue is modeled on a 10:1 scale, and since Old Sam was 6'6 or 6'7", the statue is 67 feet tall and sits on a 10' base.
Sam Houston was a very interesting man. He was the first and only man to be elected governor of two states (Tennessee and Texas), was elected to Congress in both states, and was the first President of the Republic of Texas. We toured two of his houses and the small museum on the grounds. When we got through there, no one wanted to go to the Walls prison unit. We did go spend over an hour at the Prison Museum in Huntsville on I-45. It was very interesting and I was able to give some more insights into some of the prisoners and events that have happened over the years when I was in law enforcement. I probably put more than 50 people in the penitentiary during my years as a cop. It was always very satisfying to lock someone up because I was always positive that they were guilty. Most of the time, they confessed or there was positive evidence that linked them to the crime, fingerprints or DNA.
We returned to this area to eat lunch/supper at El Palenque. Bob and Christina both wanted mexican food and this was probably the best in the area, so we went there.
We came back to the park in time to go to the ice cream social. This is something that the park scheduled and is manned by volunteers from the committee that I serve on. I wasn't needed for this one, but will be soon.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
When she got home from the games-she said she didn't win-we went to meet Ted and Donna and later Rick and Brenda at the Sweet Tomato restaurant in the Woodlands. It was a good choice because we all enjoy the restaurant. We came back home and watched television for the rest of the evening.
I didn't mention yesterday that I met another Heartland owner here in the park. I met Mary Ann, who had just come in from Eagle Colorado. She and her husband plan to stay here for awhile. They are the owners of a Bighorn 3055, similar to our old trailer that we traded in for this one. She said that they haven't had any major problems with this trailer but haven't been able to use it as much as they wanted to. Until now, that is. I gave them one of the Heartland contact cards and also one of my personal cards for contact information. I look forward to seeing them around the park.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
We stayed inside most of the day and watched football. It was very relaxing and that new television is GREAT!! I'm so glad we decided to upgrade. The picture is unbelievable and I haven't even had to do anything to "tweak" it.
In the early afternoon, more of our friends arrived. Pete and Jean arrived from Livingston where they ran into one of our Boomer friends, Barbara Spade. They had been expected to arrive yesterday but had a problem with their Hitchhiker trailer. In the spring when they took the trailer to storage, Pete had run off the road and had to be pulled back onto the road by a wrecker. Apparently when the wrecker pulled him back onto the road, it had damaged the suspension. When they pulled it into the park today, the entire left side of the suspension was loose and one of the tires had rubbed against the shock absorber. Pete said he had pulled into a veterinarian's office overnight and he had to sleep in the truck. They made it in today but will have to take the trailer back to a shop to be repaired.
We went to El Palenque again with our friends tonight and it was a great time. This group can certainly get rowdy! Kim once said that she couldn't believe what us "old people" do and talk about, and this group is the poster child for that!
We came back home and watched the Cowboys beat the Eagles, which Stella loved! I like to give her a hard time about her "Boys" but I'm secretly glad when they win. Sadly the Texans lost to the Colts but it was not unexpected. It began to rain just after I went to bed and it rained all night long, not a heavy rain but a soft rain. We really don't need any more rain but the farmers are probably glad for it.
I went back to the trailer to check on Stella and saw Jerry and Joanne as they drove past on their way out. I stayed around the rally hall for breakfast and as usual, had a great breakfast. I've never gotten a bad meal at a potluck. You can tell from my belly that I've been to a lot of potlucks.
Stella and I came back home and got ready to go visit with our good friends that are being treated at the Medical Center. Bob and Christina were supposed to go with us, but Christina woke up feeling ill and decided not to go. Both Jim and Judy have lessened immune systems due to their chemo treatment, so it is better that Christina not go to keep from the possibility of infecting them.
When we got there, they were all sitting outside of Bill and Ornell's trailer. Bill had fixed some chili for everyone, so after visiting for awhile, we ate. Some ate chili pie with Fritos and a couple ate only the chili. It was good and we all had a good time. Both Judy and Jim ate well, which was good.
We had a very nice visit with our friends and left about 4:30. Traffic was bad and it took us about an hour and a half to get back to the park. Rick and Brenda called to invite us to go to the Opry in Conroe, but it was too late by the time we got back for us to go. We'll try to go later.
There was nothing going on in the park when we got home, so we went inside and relaxed and watched television for the rest of the night. It is cool and damp enough to sleep well under the covers but not too cool to require the heater on for comfort. This is my favorite time of the year.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I came back to the trailer and Stella fixed us some biscuits and sausage for breakfast. Stella washed clothes most of the morning and came back home in time to cook her corn dish to take over to Bob and Christina's where we were having supper. It was Jerry and Joanne's last night in the park. They are leaving tomorrow for Red Bay Alabama where they will get to see their new Tiffin motorhome being built. They are buying another Phaeton but this time will get one a little longer and having a tag axle. I didn't ask Jerry too many questions about his new rig but it sounds very nice.
We went over to Bob and Christina's trailer and had a delicious meal. Christina said she had been up at 4 o'clock in the morning getting everything ready. Bob cooked the steaks on the grill and we all enjoyed our time together. Stella left to go play bingo in the rally hall and I went to check to see if there was anything I needed to do to help get the game going but there wasn't. I returned home and watched some television.
You know, I want to rant a little bit about the new time we switched over to last weekend. I can't get used to the new time and every night about 8:30 or so, I get really sleepy and several nights have actually gone to bed before 9 if you can believe that! It gets dark by 6 and it seems so late by 7 o'clock. Maybe after a few weeks of the new time I will get used to it.
Daylight Savings Time has been used by the United States and many European countries since World War I. The plan was not formally adopted in the US until 1918 and was observed for seven months. The law was so unpopular, it was repealed. DST became a local option and was adopted by a few states and several local cities. During WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round daylight savings time for the duration of the war. From 1945-1966 there was no federal law regarding DST so states and localities were free to choose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time and could choose when it began and ended.
On January 4, 1974, President Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973. The laws and dates of the time change has been altered several times since, and was last modified to take effect in 2007 where it remains now. Now you know a little bit about the DST law.
I still don't like the standard time and wish we could switch over to DST and stay on it year round. Why do we only need to conserve time and energy in the summer? So much for my ranting and the small history lesson.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Stella and I had some errands to run today, so since it was another beautiful day, we went down to Channelview Supply to look at some director chairs. They were higher here than anywhere we had looked so far, so we didn't buy anything. We then went to Texas Direct Auto Sales which had been on Hwy. 90 in Missouri City when I worked there but they have moved to the Southwest Frwy. in Stafford. This place is HUGE!! and there are more used cars and trucks than I have ever seen in one place. We went to one of their computer terminals and looked up the truck that we wanted to see and took the stock number over to the receptionist desk. She called a salesman up to show it to us, but it seemed like it took 10 minutes for him to get there. When he got there, he went to get the keys but came back and said their key machine was messed up and he couldn't get the keys but would be back as soon as he found them. After another 10-15 minute wait, he came back and told us the truck was in the blue lot. We went to the blue lot but it was mostly cars and few trucks. He never introduced himself to me, but said he needed to go back inside to find the truck. He soon found some lot porters who immediately went to the opposite side of the car lot and found the truck. When they brought it up, it had a low right front tire, not flat but very low. Upon looking the truck over, I noticed the back tires were very bad and would need replacing before I would consider this truck. It met all of our other criteria for a new truck, and we could have been interested in it, but when I told him about the equipment that I wished to move over to the new truck, he said he would have to check and would call me back within an hour. No one called me for about four hours, but the man that called-not the same salesman-said they could not accommodate me. He said they don't have a facility to do this kind of work. Now keep in mind that this is what appears to be a closed-up Dodge dealership so it appears to me that they have plenty of room, they just don't want to do it. I made it plain to this man that I might be interested but the changeover of my equipment would be a condition of purchase. I don't know if wwe'll hear from these guys again or not. Apparently customer service is not in their vocabulary.
We came back home and went out to eat with Bob and Christina and Jerry and Joanne at Cheddar's restaurant. It was not all that packed and the food was delicious. It was a nice time with good friends. Jerry and Joanne are leaving on Saturday to go to Red Bay Alabama to watch their new Allegro Bus being built there. We will all miss them when they leave.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
To remind you what was going on with the television, back in July, while staying at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, the Samsung TV had gone out. It would not turn on at all, so after checking everything out myself, I called Camping World to see about a replacement unit. Their service writer told me that I would have to bring the trailer in the next day, which as I recall was on a Thursday so that they could put me into their system for service. He said they would not even look at the trailer until Wednesday, so I asked him why I would have to bring it in a week in advance and stay in their parking lot (I told him that we are living in the trailer). He said that this is their policy, so I hung up and called my friend Joe French, one of the sales managers. Joe talked to the general manager of the store who approved me to bring the trailer in on Tuesday. They said they had to check the plugs in the trailer to make certain it was something wrong with the TV and not the trailer. Whatever....
We brought the trailer in and on Wednesday morning we went out for an all day ride, since they didn't know when they would look at the problem. Of course, it was after 4 before they looked at the TV, and guess what? The TV was bad.....I didn't say I told you so, but.....I told them so! By then it was too late to call Heartland in Elkhart, but they told me it would likely be two days or more before the decision would be made about what to do with the TV. I asked for a loaner TV, thinking they might take one out of a trade-in, but Jim Faris (General Manager of the store) and David Boots (Service Manager) took me into their stock room and took out a brand new Dynex TV and had it installed. Now keep in mind that I had said it was a loaner and both men were in the room at the time.
About two weeks went by when I called and left two messages for someone to call me back about the TV. When no one called me back, Stella called for the service manager.
He told her that "Heartland had told them to let us keep the Dynex" which is an off-brand, much cheaper TV. She told him that this was not what we had agreed on, and hung up.
Long story short was that we learned that Heartland had paid Camping World almost $1000 for the Samsung. Now tell me why they would pay for the more expensive TV but then tell them to give me the cheaper one? We finally worked it out that we would bring the Dynex back in and get a check to buy what we wanted, which is exactly what happened. I met with David Boots who seemed to be as caught-in-the-middle of this as I was, and he got me a check cut after we brought the TV into his office. We stopped off at Best Buy and bought a very nice Samsung TV and installed it in the opening. All is well now with our television.
Now for a nicer story. There is a rally in the park this week that is made up of older folks in motor homes. One very nice lady, who is staying right across the street from us, could not find her way down to the rally hall. She was confused about the buildings, so since I was going her way anyway, I walked her down to the rally hall and went to a meeting. When I came out of the meeting, she was near the pool but didn't remember where she had parked her motor home. Bless her heart. I walked her back to her motor home but she still didn't know how it had gotten there. I don't know where she came from but know that she will leave on Friday by herself. I hope she makes it!
We had a good meeting of the committee for the Winter Texans and made some good plans for some of the activities that will be held here in the future. It looks like its going to be a fun winter at Rayford.
The television has been going on for a long time and we are tired of fooling around with it, but we didn't want to remove the TV and then not have one tonight for the only night of viewing that I really care about, so we didn't take it today.
Around 11, we went down to see Gwen at the office. She wanted to talk to us about working at Timber Ridge, the other park they own near here. Our friends Rick and Brenda are working there now but will leave in March. We will be working at Stephen F. Austin state park in March, have a rally scheduled for Rayford in April and with our warranty issue trip to Elkhart for repairs in April, we can't come to work for her until some time the first week of May. We worked it out to work there through July so we can still get out of Texas in August and September to avoid some of the heat and of course, the hurricanes.
When we finished up with Gwen, we went to the Wal Mart to do some grocery shopping and to do some other shopping and returned to the park about 2:30. There was an "All-Y'alls" get together this evening. The All Y'alls are headed by the winter Texans in the park and are open to everyone in the park, hence the name All Y'alls. We had a good time and there was a very good turn out of about 60-70 people. We talked about everything that was planned for the rest of the year. We also decided that the committee that suggests activities will meet tomorrow morning at 10.
We came home and watched TV until bedtime.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
We went over to see Lin and Peggy before they left this morning. They had invited us over for supper yesterday but we had to take Tyler back home and then take the boys out to eat. We didn’t get back to the park until about 8:30 so they were inside already.
I want to talk a little bit about this guy that lives at my house that seems to be going deaf. Well, maybe not deaf, but close enough. I guess there were just too many times he went out shooting guns without hearing protection or had siren blowing right over his head that it has affected his hearing. It would be an admission of getting old for him to admit he is deaf and break down and wear a hearing aid, but he just simply can’t hear all that well.
His grandsons seem to take great delight in whispering, especially when they are not right in front of him where he can at least try to read their lips. He watches these ads on television about cheap hearing devices, but they seem like a toy, and really, how good can something be if it only costs $19.95 and if you call in the next 20 minutes or was that 30 minutes, the shipping is free. He thinks that offers like this should be written on the screen so he would know just exactly how long he can wait to get free shipping.
I expect that someday his children will get tired of hearing him say Huh? Or what’d you say? And buy him some kind of hearing assistance device. See I didn’t call it a hearing aid, so don’t call me old either. So much for my speech about hearing.
Our good friends Warren and Judy came in this afternoon about 2:30. I went over to see them when they came in and helped Frank to move their old trailer out of their space into another space. It didn’t take long and they will soon be all set up for the winter.
Johnny, the repair guy from Northwest RV came by this afternoon to repair the refrigerator. It didn’t take him long to replace the circuit board but he asked me to pay him for an additional 30 minutes of labor for the 4-5 trips he has made out here trying to figure out what is wrong with the fridge. I guess it’s worth $55 for me not having to take the trailer into a shop to have the fridge worked on. He showed me how to remove the front “eyebrow” cover to get to the circuit board. I think that even I, with my very limited skills for repairs, can do this one. Especially if it saves me $165.00. Living on a fixed income and all that…..
Bob said he needed to take Big Mama out to “exercise” her and invited Stella and I to go with him. I was very impressed with her; the power, smoothness and stopping ability are obvious and I could certainly see the reasons for getting one like this, but Stella isn’t buying it. With her bad knees, getting up into the cab would be very difficult for her, the need for a second vehicle is another strike against her and I can’t really justify buying this big a truck. I guess I’m going to be driving my truck for awhile.
Well I guess I better go now, I’ve got to make a telephone call to make to save some shipping costs.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Our friends Tommy and Susan were among the first to leave but they just began the rush to leave. Almost all were gone by noon but there were a few stragglers that arranged for late check outs.
We stayed around to watch the football games-both Houston and Dallas won their games-before we left to take Tyler home. I had learned that Cam's team had lost all three of their games this weekend but that he had gotten the best hit for his team. That was about the only good news for the team's debut. I know that it is their first game as a team but the parents paid a lot of money to watch the team get beaten-badly!
We came back to the park about 8:30 but everyone was inside their rig so we just came back home.
When I got done eating, I came back and got my camera and took photos of some of the decorations that had been done for the rig decorating contest.
Here is a motorhome right across the street from ours that has a giant figure on the back to scare off all the little kids. I guess it worked because I didn't see too many kids around it.
The weather was just about perfect this weekend with cool nights and warm sunny days.
There was a lot going on in the park this weekend for the kids, a hidden pumpkin contest, crafts for kids and of course, just getting out and enjoying the weather and the other kid's company. Tyler met another boy about his age who is also named Tyler and goes to the same school as he does. They didn't know each other prior to this weekend but I bet they look each other up in their school now. The other Tyler's parents are friends of ours from previous camping trips and his mother works with one of our dear friends who used to live next door to us.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
We left for Texas City to pick up Tyler about 2:30. The drive was slow because of traffic delays but we made it okay. Cameron was very upset because he couldn't come to visit, but he doesn't remember that Kim and Jeremy spend a lot of money for him to play with this baseball team and had to pay for the tournament this weekend. I felt bad because he started to cry but he made the decision to play ball this weekend instead of coming to visit us.
We got back up here about 7:30 and Tyler decided we needed to go to Red Robin for supper. We got back home about 9 o'clock and went down to Peggy and Lin's for a little while to visit with our friends. Of course, when we came in, Tyler had grabbed my computer, but he did give it back to me after I threatened him LOL. He's a great kid and I am very proud of him.