Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday February 27, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Today is Stella's birthday and I had a full day planned for her. I let her sleep as late as she wanted and went to the donut shop to pick up her breakfast. Hey, that's what she said she wanted....and she wasn't even a cop!

I had taken some bowls, spoons and forks out of our cabinets to take down to the rally hall and made an excuse to go to Kroger to pick up the cake and some ice cream. When I returned, I ran into Jim and Reta and offered to help Jim pick up trash this morning because Reta and Faye had told me they would dish up the cake and ice cream for the party. That was a big relief for me! Reta also said she would make up some punch for everyone. I made up the coffee pot, so everything was ready for the party to start. I talked to Melissa by text and told her what time to be here. I also talked to Kim and found out that she had a pretty good night after her low blood-sugar incident. She said that she would be here after she went to the hospital to pick up some medications that had been forgotten last night, so it seemed that everything was in place for the party.

I came on back home and continued on with the plan to surprise Stella. I had told her that we needed to stop by the rally hall to check on some banners that were being made for Timber Ridge, and she believed my story! She was completely fooled when she walked into the Rayford room and found everyone wishing her a Happy Birthday. We had a good turnout and estimated that we had 25-30 people at the party. Everyone had a good time and I spent a lot of time with Ian, taking him around the room to show him off a bit. Of course, everyone knows Tyler and Cameron, who spend a lot of time with us when we are here, and anyway, they were very late getting here, so Ian got the center stage today. Jennifer took him out to look at and pet the horses next door, and he seemed to enjoy them. He was a little afraid of them because they are so big, but he did pet them and talked to them.

Everyone had a good time visiting and the party finally broke up about 3 o'clock. All the kids came to our trailer and we about filled it up. Remember, there were 10 people and the two doggies in our small trailer, so it was a pretty tight fit. Ian didn't care for Tramp jumping up on him, but he was tired and needed a nap (takes after his grandpa!) and I think he will take to him better in the future.

Jennifer, Melissa and Ian left around 4 to make the long trip home. Kim, Jeremy and the boys stayed later and we went out to eat at the 88 Buffet for supper. We had a good meal there and before we knew it, it was time for hugs and handshakes and they left for Texas City. Stella and I came back home and relaxed for the rest of the evening. Stella had a very nice birthday and thanked me for a great day. The look of surprise on her face was enough for me! We stopped celebrating our birthdays several years ago but this one was special. She is now officially old and can file for her Medicare and Medicaid benefits. I'll be there next year.

So long.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday February 26, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

We are in the final weekend off before having to go back to work at Timber Ridge. We took full advantage of it today by going out to eat a big breakfast at Luby's with Jim and Reta and meeting Pete and Jean at the restaurant. We had a good meal and a great time with our friends.

We came back home and loaded up a few things like our cold weather clothes to take to storage, but planned to pick up several things that we had left there like my heavy duty ladder and a box containing some of Stella's maps and atlas.

We made the trip in record time because we drove down the brand new section of the Beltway that just opened today. By going this way, we cut about 30 minutes off our travel time and only had one toll booth. It was well worth it and we actually took it back home when the Mardi Gras traffic stopped up the Gulf Frwy.

We went to the First Baptist Church where we watched Cameron play in his next-to-last basketball game. This was his best game yet, with his best stats and some team-leading scoring. They give out stars when the game is over and I believe Cam got four stars, a pretty good game. I think his "career" in basketball is going to be short-lived though. He has told his Mom and Jeremy that he is okay with basketball but better in baseball. Luckily, baseball season has begun with practice and the season will start in a few weeks.

We all took Stella out to eat at Gringo's restaurant in Texas City for her birthday which is tomorrow. I was pleasantly surprised that neither of the boys spilled the beans on the surprise birthday party that we have planned for Stella tomorrow. Stay tuned for tomorrow's report.

So long.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday February 22 thru Friday February 25, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

The rest of this week we just ran errands and got all settled into our new site. I forgot to mention that last night Jim had a nice campfire outside Warren and Judy's site. They are in Louisiana for a few days, so we took advantage of their empty driveway and had good group. We had another fire tonight but I was late going out because of my television show. Can't miss Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS!

We went to Sams, the grocery store, Wal Mart and other places while we had time off from work. We went to the baked potato supper on Tuesday night but there weren't any other park activities this week except men's coffee every morning. We are having good groups of guys there and always have a good time together.

I did some work on the trailer and repaired the ladder that had been broken when it was not re-secured when it was removed. The bolts in the bottom had sheared off, making it impossible for me to carry my ladder, so I found some suitable bolts and repaired it. There were several other little things I worked on. We have an appointment to have some more work done at the factory when we get there in May, as well as having the Level-Up system installed by Lippert in Elkhart. We are looking forward to our trip and were sorry to hear that Tommy and Susan had to cancel their vacation due to family matters. With fuel prices rising like they are, we may change some of our plans but right now, everything is still a go as planned. We'll see how things work out.

So long.

Monday February 21, 2011-Moving Day-Buckhorn Lake Resort to Rayford Crossing RV Resort

We woke pretty early this morning, moving day, and because the time-consuming things had already been done, we got ready to go about 9:30. Tommy and Susan had already left but said they might see us at the rest area near Seguin where they planned to stop. We made good time through San Antonio but we got a call from Susan telling us that they had made their stop and were on their way. We decided to go on past the rest stop and stopped at Buccee's at Luling for our break. We both got a sandwich because lunch time was approaching and we knew we would be hungry by the time we reached Rayford. The only other stop we made was at the rest area near Columbus where we took the dogs out and refueled. It surprised me that we were almost empty in the big tank, but then we had refilled from it three other times and took a lot out of it every time.

There was little traffic on the road because it is a federal holiday, President's Day, so we made good time. We breezed through Houston and arrived at Rayford about 3 o'clock. It was good to be back! We saw many of our friends and visited while we got set up.

Stella learned that they had not scheduled her to work at Timber Ridge until the 1st of March, so we had a week off. We can get our errands run, clean up the trailer and rest up.

We had eaten so much during our time away that we didn't want too much tonight. We ate sandwiches and turned in early tonight. IT'S GOOD TO BE HOME!!!

So long.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday February 20, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

Sunday morning began like the rest of the week, with cloudy skies and cool temps. We went for a ride with Tommy and Susan and ended up back at the James Avery compound. There are several buildings there for different operations in making jewelry. The actual craftsmen work behind closed doors or perhaps in one of the other buildings, but I think they could show the work as it is being done, which might be very interesting to customers. Just a suggestion...

We all got hungry and since they hadn't been here on the night we went to Mamacita's, we decided to go there today. We learned that we had only seen a limited menu the other night, and the regular offering was much better. We all ate a large meal and Tommy and Susan left with food for the road tomorrow.

We went back to the park and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. I did some of my work before leaving tomorrow. I got the tanks drained and cleaned out and took the porch down, about as much as I wanted to do today.

There was a potluck dinner tonight in the hall but we didn't participate because we were all still full from our lunch. We did go down and chat with our friends there and when supper was over, we went down to Jim's trailer for another fireside chat without the fire. We stayed down there for awhile but my droopy eyelids sent me on home. It was a nice way to end the rally.

So long

Saturday February 19, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

Saturday morning was a little warmer but it is still cool outside. We went to the barn hall for a park-furnished breakfast with several choices. The breakfast was very good and we enjoyed our company at our table. That has been the pattern for this rally with many of our Heartland friends being there as well as some old friends from the Texas Boomers and new friends from this rally.

Stella and Susan went shopping during the morning and ended up at the James Avery store where Susan bought a couple of pieces of jewelry. Stella didn't buy anything but enjoyed looking around the store. They liked it so much, they made Tommy and I go back to the store, which is actually a compound for the Avery craftsmen to do their work and a display store for sales. Of course, we didn't see James Avery but it was interesting to see the property and buildings. I didn't bring my camera to take any photos, but it was an impressive location.

We came back to the park in time for Tommy and I to relax (nap) before getting ready for the big meal of the weekend, the Sweetheart Dinner. Tommy and Susan had not been signed up for the rally itself, but did get signed up for tonight's dinner. We had a choice of barbecue ribs or barbecued brisket and chicken. Stella had chosen the ribs of course, and I got the brisket and chicken and both of them were great. I'll say one thing for this park, they really have serving food down well. Everyone's food was served quickly and all the food was still hot and delicious.

Stella and I played games after the meal but Tommy and Susan decided to go back home. We played Triominoes with Kevin and Nellie and Bette and all had a good time. I returned home a little after ten o'clock to take care of the puppies and soon was asleep in my chair. It had been a good but long day for us.

So long.

Friday February 18, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

This morning we woke to the worst weather of the week. It was cold (upper 50's) and rainy all day long and was just a dreary day. The car wash guy was busy all day though, so I guess we started a trend for him. Maybe I should have asked him for a referral for all the others that had their rigs washed and waxed, since we were the first to have ours done.

We all stayed around the park all day long and some went to the hall to play games but we didn't go. They apparently change the rules of every game, depending on who is playing so we decided that we would just hang out and visit with friends.

We were to go to Mamacita's, a mexican restaurant for supper tonight but before we left, the park offered margaritas for a dollar, so almost everyone met at the outdoor bar for a drink before we left. One of the owners of Buckhorn made the drink mix using a regular margarita mix but included a small amount of beer to the mix. It made a very good, smooth drink and we all enjoyed them. I drank about half of my drink when one of my buddies, Jerry, called his wife who had gone to Wal Mart a couple of hours ago and learned that she had tried to call him several times because she had a problem with their truck. I soon took him to where she was and we got them going again. We returned to the park, but everyone had left the bar area and were preparing to leave for the restaurant. Jerry and Diane rode with us to eat supper, and we all had a lot of laughs and visited on our way to the restaurant and then back to the park.

It had stopped raining before we had met for drinks, but it was still too cold to be outside very long, so we all went inside for the night. We are having a very good time at this rally and will return in the future.

So long.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thursday February 17, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

We woke again to cloudy skies and a very light rain this morning, as has been every morning. The weather wasn't particularly cold, but it was cool. Again as usual, the clouds burned off and it was a bright sunlit afternoon.

The rally actually began today and a few more stragglers came into the park, including Tommy and Susan. It was good to see our good friends and we spent some time with them after they arrived. We went to the small meeting room for a meet and greet with the rally. They passed out small bags of gift items that will be used by all. It was good to see old friends and we will make many new ones here. Tommy and Susan didn't actually get signed up for the rally, but since they're in the park, I'm sure that they can participate in many of the activities this weekend.

Tonight was a huge steak dinner (32 oz. steak, two potatoes, two salads, brocoli, and a dessert and drink) that we had paid for. Tommy and Susan decided not to come and went out for supper, but we had a nice time. There were games after the dinner, but we went back over to T & S's motorhome and hung out with them until I got sleepy and went on home.

This is a nice, well-run rally and I am sure that we will be back here next year and many years after. This is a great park and well set up for rallies like this one. To us, it is not any nicer than Rayford, so we don't plan to change anything there. I may consider this area for another October rally, depending on how the Canton rally goes. I'm still thinking on this...

So long.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday February 16, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

The weather here has been the same every day. It is cool or even cold and rainy in the morning and clears off and is beautiful in the afternoon. At least its not freezing...

The rally doesn't actually begin until tomorrow, but several of the folks arrived today and we all went out to eat at a cajun restaurant named LaFour's. The food was pretty good but not outstanding and my order got missed, causing my food to be delayed to me until everyone else had eaten about half of their meal. When a couple of the people at my table asked the server, he said it would be coming out soon and I would not be charged for it. What a deal!!

We rode with our friends Jim and Bette and had a nice visit with them on the trip over. We came back here to the park and hung out, talking and visiting with the others that were here and turned in pretty early. We are having a good time so far, and the rally will get kicked off tomorrow.

So long.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday February 15, 2011-Buckhorn Lake Resort

We've been sleeping late in the last few days for some reason. I guess its because the weather has been cool and good sleeping weather. I've noticed more traffic noise in this park on this trip than I remembered, but when I go to bed, it doesn't bother me.

I had asked at the office about having the trailer washed. The man showed up today and we agreed on a price and he got started. We paid him and went over to News Braunfels to see my step-mom, Grandma Willie Mae. We had a very nice visit at her house and then went to Ryan's for supper. She said it was a treat for her and we had another good visit while we ate. We dropped her off at home and then made the long drive back here to Kerrville. It's farther than I remembered, and I had to drive carefully on the unfamiliar roads. We saw several deer along the road on the way back.

It had gotten chilly again tonight, so we hurried on back inside. The dogs were glad to see us but they too didn't stay out very long. The weather should be improving daily and we look forward to some warmer temps.

So long.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday February 14, 2011-Buckhorn Ranch RV Resort

First of all, Happy Valentine Day!

This is our first full day here in Kerrville and we stayed inside pretty late this morning. I guess we were all tired from the long trip up here. It was an easy drive up, just longer than we normally do in one day.

We only had a couple of things to do today but we didn't get started until about ten o'clock in the morning. Stella washed our clothes and I just piddled around here. The dogs and I enjoyed our time together. When the clothes were done, Stella and I went into town to find the Dodge dealer because I needed to get the oil changed in the truck. We found the tiny dealership but learned that they were full until Wednesday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Wow, who'd a thought it? We went to Wal Mart and did 0ur shopping and came on back home. It was such a nice day, I sat outside and read my book. Stella had downloaded a couple of books for me on her Kindle and I enjoyed the weather for awhile this afternoon.

Let me tell you a bit about Kerrville Texas. It was first settled in the 1840's by some shinglemakers. In the 1850's two German millers established a gristmill along the Guadalupe River, but the town was actually established by a Major in the Texas Revolution named James Kerr, who formally platted the town. It has grown steadily to a population today of about 23,000. In the mid-1990's the Wall Street Journal described Kerrville as one of the wealthiest small towns in America.

Kerrville is home the annual Texas State Arts and Crafts Show which features artisans and entertainers from around the state. It also hosts the Kerrville Folk Festival, an annual summer festival which features folk musicians from around the country.

There are several RV parks in Kerrville, the Guadalupe River RV Park, the By the River RV Park and the Buckhorn Lake Resort where we are staying this week. We think this is the nicest place in Kerrville, but each one has it's own attractions.

Thats a little bit about Kerrville.

So long.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday February 13, 2011-Movin day-Mission West to Buckhorn Lake

Today was the day that we all dread, having to break things down and leave for a new location. At least much of my time-consuming things had already been done, the porch, draining and flushing the tanks and putting all of that away, and putting away all the outside decorations. The work went well and we were ready to go at 9:20, somewhat of a record for us!

We pulled out and once we got out on the road, I noticed that I was getting better than 11 miles per gallon, according to the dash computer. It also showed that we had plenty of fuel to go the distance without transferring fuel. By using the GPS, which shows the distance to Kerrville and the distance to empty (DTE) I figured we would have somewhere around 50 miles to go until empty. As we got nearer to San Antonio the roads got hillier (is that a word?) and I began to notice a small drop in MPG and the DTE was dropping too. We pulled into a Loves Travel Stop for a bite to eat and a rest stop, but I was still confident that we could make it, showing about 25 miles of difference . After getting through San Antonio and then encountering some steep hills, I watched as the two figures came closer and closer. About 12 miles before we got to Kerrville, I saw a rest stop sign and decided to pull in and fill up. The distance to the park was 12 miles and the distance to empty was 13 miles, so I didn't want to risk it and pulled in. We did go 329 miles pulling the trailer, which is way more than we have ever gone before. Since I transferred from the big tank, I wasn't able to tell you how many gallons we took and the mileage we got. I am pleased with the truck otherwise, the power and handling and now the fuel mileage.

We got in here and got all set up without any problems, in fact, it was one of the easiest times we've had. It turned cool again after dark and we had to close all the windows that we had opened. It will be good to see some of our old friends from the Boomers and of course, Tommy and Susan and many of our Heartland friends, including Jimtoo and Jim B, Ray and Lin and the Bobcat! Maybe he'll fix us some more of his breakfast burritos. Hope so....!

So long.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday February 12, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

Well, today is our last full day here in Mission. Stella and I are in complete agreement that about a month is all we need to do down here in the valley. It's a nice and interesting place to come and of course, by crossing the border and buying our medicines, we save more than enough to make this trip, not counting fuel costs. These rising fuel costs are going to certainly affect our travels but we are still making plans to go places and see new things.

Stella and Donna found some coupons for a discount on the breakfast buffet at Furr's Buffet, so we all met there this morning for a great breakfast. They always have a wonderful variety of food there and today was no exception. We all ate more than we needed, but then we were planning to skip lunch, so it all worked out.

From there we went to the Don-Wes flea market. The day had begun again with cool temperatures but it had warmed up again and was a great day to be outdoors. We walked around the market and bought a few things, a replacement Triominoes game, some solar-light yard decorations and of course, some more of the RGV fruit. We had promised to bring some grapefruit back to some people at Rayford, so we stocked up.

After finishing up at the flea market, we went to pick up a check from the blind store. We had hopes to have had the new window blinds installed today but they weren't shipped in time to be delivered. We talked to Jose, the young man that had taken the measurements for us, and he seemed surprised that our money had to be refunded, but he gave Stella his personal card and asked that we call him prior to our next visit and he will personally see that the blinds are ready for us.

I was going to give Kevin and Nelly, the new Heartland Ambassadors, one of the banners that I had, but I had forgotten to get it out of storage this morning before we left so we had to go by and pick it up. I called Kevin and asked him to meet us along the road and he agreed. We also wanted to spend some more time with Tom and Judy today, so Stella called them and they went with us to meet Kevin. We invited Kevin and Nelly to go eat an afternoon meal with us at Martha's restaurant. I know it seems like all we do is eat here, but several hours had gone by since breakfast. We had another good meal at Martha's and enjoyed the company.

We came back home and I began to get ready to leave. I drained all the holding tanks, put the sewer hose away, put away our lawn chairs and took the porch and steps apart and put them in the truck, so my preparations were done. I relaxed in my chair and Stella went down to the rally hall to play games with Judy and some of the other ladies. They tried to get Stella to stay behind because they loved to play games together but she told them we have to leave. It was a very nice day to end our stay here in Mission.

So long.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday February 11, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

We hung out around here this morning. It was chilly out again but it warmed up nicely and by ten, the temperature was in the mid 60's with bright sunshine. I took walks around the park and enjoyed the day.

We went over to Kathy's house for a meeting of the Heartland Ambassadors with Jim. There is a new Ambassador couple, Kevin and Nelly who are new full timers. Kevin retired from the Navy about a year ago and they have been traveling since then. The meeting went very well and Jim gave us some brochures and some Heartland goodies, so we're all set to have some meetings.

After our meeting, we went to the Costa Mesa Mexican restaurant in McAllen. This is a great restaurant and we all had fun, visiting and chatting. It was a nice end to the day and we look forward to the future with our new Ambassador friends.

So long.

Thursday February 10, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

Today was the second open house that we have coordinated at Ron Hoover RV's in Donna TX. Below you will see the serving line as they got ready for the crowd to start eating.

We had a good turnout, better than last year's, with over 200 folks turning out. We saw many of our friends here today and made some new friends as well. Like last year, the food was very good but the people are what made this one so great! Hoover offered a 10% discount on parts and I saw lots of people looking around in the parts department. They apparently were making some good deals on trailers too because they sold 6 today!

The best thing about this event was that we neither had to set up the tables, nor take them down or clean up afterwards. It made all the work I did getting it set up worthwhile.
When the open house was over and almost everyone had left, we took off too. I had broken the clasp on my Superman necklace that I have worn for many years as a good luck charm, so we went and found a jewelry repair shop. Just about everything in McAllen is on 10th St. and it wasn't long before we found Shannon's Jewelry. They got me taken care of and we were soon on our way.
We have decided to upgrade our Internet service to Verizon's mi-fi, so we stopped in at the same store where we bought our aircard from a couple of years ago. We met a very nice young man there who told us that they were out of the mi-fi instruments but could order one to be delivered to us but it would take a week. We won't be here in a week, so we will get one when we get back to Rayford. We have a couple of days before the next rally starts, so we might be able to find one in Kerrville, our next stop. I'll let you know if we find one.
So long.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday February 9, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

We woke pretty early this morning because we had a full day ahead of us. We were going to the Chicken House Opry this morning for a big concert with four entertainers there and to the meet and greet at Retama Village this afternoon. We went over to pick up Donna to go with us to the concert. When we left, it was warm about 65 degrees, but cloudy. We went through the front with light rain on the way and immediately noticed a change in temperature. Neither Donna nor I had brought a coat or even a long sleeve shirt, so we hurried into the building where it was at least out of the wind.

This is the Link Family, one of the headline groups. They really put on a good show and if you ever get a chance to see them, go for it, you won't be disappointed.

The Red Head Express is another of the headliner groups. They also put on a good show, although I didn't like them quite as well as the Link Family. They are made up of the father and mother and four daughters who are all red heads.

This is the Walker Boys, made up of the three sons of the Red Head Express parents. The boys are 8, 9 and 11 and are phenomenal for their ages. They are also accompanied by their mom on stage.
This is the Harper Family, another good group. They are from Missouri as are the Link Family and put on a great very country religious show. They were not quite as polished as the first two groups but put on a good show.

This is the Alaskan String Band. They were good and the father of the group reminded me of John Denver.

The big activity of the day was the Heartland Meet and Greet that was held at the Retama Village Activity center. Here is the outdoor seating area, but the cold front had moved through with a vengeance, so we didn't spend any time out here at all. If the weather had cooperated, it would have been very nice.

There was a good turnout and at last count, there were 51 people that attended. Everyone had a good time and there was plenty of food. I don't think anyone left here hungry.

Another shot of the crowd. It was nice to have met so many Heartlanders and I am looking forward to meeting and seeing even more tomorrow at the dealer open house in Donna.
We really appreciate our friend and fellow Heartland Ambassador Kathy Adams in setting this up and getting everything ready for us. We also appreciate all the volunteers that helped set up the tables and chairs and then to clean up when it was over.
So long.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Saturday February 5 thru Tuesday February 8, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

The best thing about Saturday was that it wasn't freezing any more. It was cold in the morning, but it wasn't below 32 degrees. It warmed up nicely during the day and I spent the morning washing the ice grime off my truck.

Stella and Judy decided that they wanted to go to the Don-Wes flea market, so we loaded up in my truck and took off. Tom bought some paint brushes and looked at a lot of frames but didn't buy any. We all bought fruits and onions but Stella and I made the biggest purchase buying two heavy-duty lawn chairs, and a new mat to replace the old one that we are using now. It's about 10 years old and wearing out, especially with all the wind we have had here. A couple of the hold-down grommets are tearing out, and it won't last much longer.

When we finished up at the flea market, I had promised Judy to take her to Hooters so thats where we went for supper. After finishing our meal, we returned home. While unloading the stuff from the bed of my truck, Tom and I discovered that I have diesel leaking from the auxiliary tank filter. It was too late in the evening to do anything with it today, but I will look at it tomorrow.

Sunday we stayed home and Stella did laundry in the morning. We knew that Ted and Donna were coming up here today after they spent the night in Victoria, so I wanted to hang around in case they called with a problem. I did work on the broken fan blade in the living room and ran the vacuum. I also went out and worked on the leaking diesel fuel and found that the filter had been turned over upside down and that seemed to be where the leak was coming from. I wiped the excess fuel off the filter and put it back in the normal position and that seemed to stop the leak.

Ted and Donna arrived and after they got all set up, we went over to Bentsen Palms Village and picked them up and took them to dinner. We thought about going to Cheddar's but as usual they were too busy, so we ended up at Furr's Buffet. After our normal great meal, we came on back home. After dropping them off, we came home and watched the second half of the Super Bowl. It was a very good game and we congratulate the Green Bay Packers.

Monday we had to call the GT Blinds store to check on our wooden blinds that we had ordered. There had been some mistakes made because we had been told that they had the blinds in stock and would only have to be cut and made to our specifications, but we learned this morning that they had been ordered but no one could find who they were ordered from. We were pretty upset, but it is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it at this point.

Ted and Donna came and picked us up to go across the border into Mexico. We went over without any problems at all and made our purchases. I bought another Rolex watch for $15.00 after haggling with the woman in the booth. Of course its not a real Rolex, but it looks nice and should last pretty well. We also bought some medicines and looked at many other items. The best thing we got done was to consult with my dentist, Dr. Ernesto Flores about some dental work I need to have done. We will have to return at another time when we can stay longer, but at least now, we know what has to be done.

We came back to our park in time for hamburgers. They were very good and we had a nice visit with Ted and Donna while eating our burgers. We came back to our site and sat outside until it got chilly and they decided to go home. Our friends Ray and Lin came by and we sat outside with them for about an hour. It was a bit chilly, but not uncomfortable for us, but we had both put on jackets.

Tuesday Ted and Donna came by to pick us up to go eat at the famous Gonzales Burgers in Donna. We were the very first couples to place our orders, which was a first for us, and we again enjoyed these huge burgers. From there we went over to Hidalgo to the ropas stores. Stella and Donna had a lot of fun picking through the piles of clothes and they both made a few purchases. Ted even found a couple of shirts, a Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt hat would sell at retail for about $100.00 that he bought for $1.60 and another pullover shirt that he bought for a dollar. What bargains. I just didn't see anything in my size-they had a lot of 2X-4X shirts, but nothing for a little guy like me...

We came home and relaxed for awhile and I tuned in my TV channel to receive NCIS when Judy called Stella to go play cards with her and some of the other women. Actually they played Pegs and Jokers and had a good time. It was a good day today and we are looking forward to more good times the rest of the week.

So long.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday and Friday February 3 & 4, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

This will show you a little of the deep freeze conditions that we experienced at Mission West. This was not the coldest temperatures that we've experienced since our full-timing adventures began, but it was the most miserable time. The power went out at the park on Thursday evening about 5:45 and was not restored until around 6:30 on Friday evening, over 24 hours without any electricity.

While out walking around on Friday morning, this is the thermometer at the laundry room at the park. My own thermometer showed 25 as did another of the resident's. It was plenty cold!

My truck had a lot of ice on it when I went out. We had a light rain that immediately froze when it hit the ground. We had almost a half inch of ice on the porch rails, the step covers all froze and the top mat on the porch was crunchy when I stepped out on it. I went in and out several times during the morning, and on one of the times down the steps, my feet slipped out from under me and I slid down the stairs on my behind. Luckily I wasn't hurt but it would have been very easy to break a leg or arm if I had fallen harder. That big 'ol fat behind cushioned my fall...

One of the neighbor's trucks with icicles all over the front. Most of the other residents are "snowbirds" and used to this kind of weather or much worse, so they were only upset that this kind of cold weather came this far south. I told one of them that we should ask for our money back, since we had expected warm and windy weather, not icy and cold.

This is the John Deere man's shed behind his house. He said he had run a small heater inside all night, which caused the runoff and icicles. He is from Iowa, and very accustomed to this kind of weather. It's still cold!

This is the field across the street from us, covered with ice.
We didn't leave home until late Friday morning when we took Ray and Lin to Gonzales Burgers in Donna. The trip over to Donna was interesting because the highway was closed down due to ice on the overpasses, but as we got closer, someone had moved the barricades, so we followed the traffic flow onto the freeway. We did fine, except that there was still ice on the crest of the overpasses. We didn't have any problems making our way to the restaurant and when we got there, there was a much smaller crowd than usual. We enjoyed our burgers and went back home without incident. By the time we got back onto the freeway, most of the ice had melted on the overpasses. It was funny to watch large chunks of ice fall from the overhead wires and trees. I'm glad that none of them hit us as it would likely have left dents on the roof or hood when it hit.
We came back home to no power. We didn't know whether it had been caused by a rolling blackout, a problem with the power company and since the outage was confined to this park, it could have been something here in the park. When the power went out on Thursday, the office was closed and no one came down to inform the residents what was going on. I stopped by the office when we left Friday morning to inquire and was told that they didn't know anything except the power company was working on the problem. I said something to the lady working in the office about the handling of this outage and that it would have been nice if someone had been there to tell us what was going on, but she didn't like my criticism. I must have hit a nerve because when we returned, we learned that others had said the same thing and they had closed the office. True, since there was no power, there was little they could do, but I suspect they were tired of hearing guest complain.
Judy had not been feeling well for the past couple of days and had not been eating well, so when they asked us to go out to eat with them, we agreed to go. We went to Tio Chuy's mexican restaurant near the park. It was very good and we had an enjoyable time with them. When we got back to the park, we found that the power had finally been restored. HALLELUJAH!
The propane delivery guy was working overtime today and was still in the park at 7 o'clock. I thought I had missed him this morning and had taken my empty bottle to their store in the afternoon. The store was very busy with about 7 trucks ahead of me. When I pulled in, traffic backed up onto the roadway. At least someone was profiting from this cold spell. I guess it could have been worse, we could have been in Michigan or Wisconsin, shoveling many feet of snow...
So long.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday February 2, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

It was supposed to have been really cold today, so we had planned to stay home all day, and that's what we did! The temperatures didn't get as cold as had been forecast, which was a good thing, but there was the constant threat of rain, sleet or snow with cloudy skies and cold temps. It only got to 37 degrees, so it really wasn't a day to go out and wash the truck or trailer anyway. We enjoyed just hanging out and reading or playing games on the computer.

One odd thing happened today, the propane bottle ran out. That's not all that unusual, but it ran out during the day. It always ran out before in the middle of the night in the rain. What was even more unusual is that it ran out and soon after, a propane truck came through the park and agreed to fill the tank for me. Most other parks don't allow this because they want to make the sale themselves, but this park doesn't sell propane. Then on top of that, they only charged .25 more than the store does. That really makes it unusual and very convenient.

We didn't hear much out of Tom and Judy all day except that Judy is not feeling well and isn't eating. I hope it's nothing serious because she has been doing so well with her cancer recovery. I plan to invite her to Hooters and I know she'll be ready to go, that's one of her favorite restaurants.

It's supposed to be bad again tonight with 20 degree temperatures again and a high percentage of freezing precipitation tomorrow, so please wish us well.

So long.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday February 1, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

Today there is supposed to be a blizzard blow in directly from the north pole, so we made plans to get an early start. We decided to eat breakfast at the park's restaurant at the golf course, but when we got over there, there was a crew blocking off all the parking spaces across the street from the cafe. I don't understand this, but then no one called me to ask my opinion. Since the nearest parking was about a block away, we decided to go offsite for breakfast. We ended up at the Cracker Barrel and had a delicious meal.

We began our morning by going to some more RV parks to let people know about our activities next week. Again, we talked to several Heartland owners and no one knew about the forum or the events so I told them about them. I met a lot of nice people and hope that some or all of them will show up.

While we were out, I stopped for fuel and ran into one of the biggest screw-ups in a gas station that I have ever run into. There was a separate diesel pump island with four pumps. They were the old style pumps without any credit card slots. There were trucks parked all over the place, and one guy went inside and came back really upset. There were two Mexican men in the truck ahead of me that couldn't get the pump to turn on, so they moved. I moved up and went inside to pay for the fuel before pumping. The store was very busy and one of the Mexican men was inside settling up his bill. It seems that he had been sent to the wrong pump and when it wouldn't turn on, he became irate and stormed out. After a long wait, the clerk told me to lay my credit card on the counter and go pump my fuel. I didn't feel comfortable with leaving my card there, so I went out and asked Stella to go inside with her card and proceeded to pump my fuel. What should have been a 10 minute stop turned into about 35 minutes. Wow, what an ordeal!

I know that you will be crushed, but I am not keeping too many records on my fuel mileage as I was. The new truck seems to be getting pretty decent mpg's so I'll get an occasional mileage reading and will be sure to let you know what it is. Please don't cry, I know what a disappointment this is.

We went to a Lazy Boy store to look at some new recliners. They had very little stock, and weren't very helpful, so we went to another store where we found some chairs that would work. We were all set to buy them, but we couldn't get them delivered before we left, so we didn't make the purchase. I miss Mattress Mack and his delivery today policy.

We went to the grocery store before we came back home. the cold front never did arrive this afternoon like we had been warned. In fact, it didn't come in until after ten o'clock when I turned in. It was 33 this morning and the temp didn't get much warmer, but then on the other hand, it didn't get as cold as had been forecast. We'll see how the rest of the blizzard turns out.

So long.

Monday January 31, 2011-Mission West RV Resort

We've been sleeping later and staying inside in the morning. It's nice to be able to lay around instead of going to work, but we still like working at Timber Ridge. We like the variety of our life and take advantage of times like these.

After we ate breakfast, we went out to some more RV parks to distribute flyers for the upcoming events for Heartland, but the several people that I met today had not heard of the owners forum, the Heartland club, and of course, had no idea of the potluck dinner or the dealer open house. I told them about the forum and the club and invited them to the events and they all said they would talk it over with their husband or wife and see if it worked into their schedule.

We returned to the park in time to go eat hamburgers at the large rally hall. They only serve burgers on Monday afternoon, but man, they really do a big business of them. I was told that last Monday they served over 600! That's 60o orders, which generally consist of two burgers, so it's a staggering amount of food and gives you an idea of how much of an economic impact the winter Texans have on this area. This is a pretty small park, so just imagine what it could do if there were more advertising.

We came back home and sat outside in the nice evening air. We're told that its going to get cold later in the week, so we want to get outside as much as we can. Everyone that walks by always wave and are very friendly. That seems to be the way of most of the RVer's down here.

So long.