Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday October 30, 2011-Mission West RV Park

We woke to another chilly morning down here but had made plans with Tom to go eat the big breakfast buffet at Furr's this morning. When I went outside just before 8, Tom was up and rinsing off his truck but Judy was still in bed and not feeling well. Tom still wanted to go eat, so off we went. After a delicious breakfast we decided to stop by the Don-Wes flea market again to see if any more of the vendors had opened yet. They hadn't, but we should have known when we drove up into the parking lot and there were on a handful of cars there at ten o'clock in the morning. We didn't stay long but did ask again about some card shufflers that Donna wanted for her card-playing group. A nice lady who owns a game shop told me that the only shufflers that came with metal "fingers" that held the cards never worked and that she had to send them back. She said she has been selling toys and games there for about 30 years (yikes!) so she should know what works and what doesn't.

We stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some fresh meat so Stella could fix her famous goulash later this afternoon for us. We returned home in time to watch football for the rest of the afternoon. After watching the Houston Texans win their game, I went outside to find that Judy was feeling a bit better and was sitting outside. The weather is just about perfect right now, so we all sat out under the clear blue skies and enjoyed chatting. Stella's goulash was ready to eat soon, so the four of us sat outside our trailer and ate supper. Judy and Tom enjoyed the meal and took enough of the leftovers for another good meal. I know how good that soup is much better the day after it has been prepared, and am sure that they will enjoy it. There isn't a much better way to get over a cold or the flu than with home made soup.

Tom showed me how to lubricate the new pin box on the trailer and later he and I made very short work of taking the porch and steps down in preparation for leaving tomorrow. We will be sad to leave but at the same time, glad to be returning to see our friends at Rayford again. The winter Texans are coming in soon and some are already there. We will miss them after this season.

So long.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 27-29 2011-Mission West RV Park

Three more easy-going days in the valley here. I did get my stitches out at the dentist office in Mexico yesterday, but that didn't take too long. Stella and I were up early to go over and were surprised at the lack of traffic on the roads at 8 o'clock in the morning. We made great time to Progresso and were actually about 15 minutes early for my appointment. We got started right away and again I was impressed with the care that they took for me. Every step of the process was explained and I was through in less than a half hour.

We had thought about going to eat a burger at the Gonzales Burgers but I got out too early for that, so we went to Martha's for breakfast. It was delicious as usual and we had a good time chatting with some of the other winter Texans that had come in to eat. It had turned chilly this morning and we were sitting right beside the front door, so we got a blast of cold air every time the door opened, but it wasn't that bad.

There hasn't been too much to report going on down here in the valley but we will be leaving here soon and then perhaps we'll have more to talk about.

So long.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 24th-26th, 2011-Mission West 1rv Park

Three more pretty slow days around here. Monday the four of us went to Mexico so that I could have an adjustment made to my dental work. I am still amazed in this doctor. We walked in, unannounced and I was taken into his office and within 30 minutes, we were on our way again with my mouth feeling much better. We did a little shopping and talked to an optometrist to get a price on some new eyeglasses but didn't buy anything. We were back on American soil soon. We stopped off at Fat Daddy's Bar B Q for a late lunch and found it an okay place to eat. It was my first time to eat "hard" food and it went pretty well. We did a little shopping including a grocery store before we came back home.

Tuesday Tom had to take Judy to a doctor's appointment and Stella and I went to visit Dustin Hoover at the Ron Hoover dealership where we are having an open house event in February. We talked out some of the details of this event and after leaving Dustin's office, we did a little shopping in the parts department. We ran a few errands and stopped by a Luby's restaurant for a snack, which was a mistake. Their prices are outrageous but lesson learned! We returned to the park and hung out with Tom and Judy for the rest of the afternoon. Of course, you know what Tuesday night is, yep, NCIS night. I got to watch my show and was a happy camper...

Wednesday we didn't leave the park all day. I got caught up on my blog and took care of a lot of Heartland business both online and on the telephone. Stella worked on getting some boxes of assorted things that hadn't been put away yet taken care of and we enjoyed a day of just hanging out at home. The dogs loved it too.

I learned today that we'll be starting a new work camping job at the Caddo Lake NWS park in February. We're looking forward to a new adventure there. More to come...

So long.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday October 23, 2011-Mission West RV Park

Today was another slow day around here in Mission. We stayed around the park all day and watched football on television. Congrats to the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys!

Our friends Ken and Maureen came over in the afternoon and brought our supper of baked spaghetti. Stella and Judy made a salad, garlic bread and a dessert, and it was all yummy! We had a nice visit with them in Tom and Judy's trailer and after eating the girls went outside to play Pegs and Jokers and we guys stayed inside and watched the end of the football games. After they left, we all sat outside in the cool evening breezes for awhile before getting tired from the day's activities. Another great day in the valley!

So long.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday October 22, 2011-Mission West RV park

The only thing we did today was go to the Don-Wes flea market. The flea market gets its name from the cities of Donna and Weslaco and has been here for many years. When the vendors are there and everything is running well, its a fun place to go but today, most of the stores and booths were closed. I believe that this is their first weekend to be open but none of us knew that this many vendors wouldn't be there.

We went for a long ride down to Hidalgo and the Mexican border there. I didn't realize that there are many small houses that literally have the border fence in their back yard. There are huge fields of vegetables, fruit and sugar cane, most of which have made it through the hot weather and drought. I expect that we will all see much higher prices for fruit and veggies because of the bad weather. Only time will tell.

Ken and Maureen, some friends that used to stay here at Mission West came by to visit when we returned home. It was nice to see them again after running into them in Ypsilanti at one of our first stops in Michigan. We had a nice meal with them in Michigan and planned another meal together tomorrow afternoon. Maureen said she will make some baked spaghetti, so Judy will fix a salad and we'll make garlic bread and a dessert. Can't wait for some yummy food!

We sat outside in the cool breeze with Tom and Judy after Ken and Maureen left. We stayed out until darkness fell but the skeeters didn't bother us tonight. I guess the breezes kept them away, but whatever it took, it was very nice to be out again.

So long.

Friday October 21, 2011-Mission West RV park

Today was another nice day for us and an almost exact opposite of yesterday. It has been delightfully cool in the morning, and today was no exception. It has been in the low 60's each morning and Tom and I took advantage by walking around the park a couple of times. It is still strange to me to have so few people here, but I am being told that they are on their way. We are planning to return in January and it will likely be here again.

Ken and Kathy came over here this afternoon to see Tom and Judy's new Mobile Suite trailer and of course, our new Landmark Grand Canyon. They liked both units, but I like to think they liked the Grand Canyon better. The MS is a very nice unit but I really can't see the price difference in the two. Well, maybe I am just a little bit slanted...

After they left, we sat outside with Tom and Judy for awhile until the skeeters ran us back inside. Another nice day in the valley.

So long.


Here are some photos taken at the rally lunch at the Explore USA store and the Paradise Lake RV Park in Nacogdoches. Sorry for the delay in posting them.

Here is the dealership in Wills Point, about five miles away from the RV park.

Here are the sales guys, hard at work getting the fish fry ready for us. They did a great job and it was a delicious meal.

The hungry crowd, ready to eat.

This is a picture of Paradise Lake that I took in May at the beginning of our summer trip. See how nice and full the lake is?

The same lake in September. The Texas heat and drought have really taken a toll on this lake.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday October 20, 2011-Mission West RV Park

We had a very laid-back, relaxing day today. Tom and I walked around the park a few times during the day and we went over to see our friends Ken and Kathy at their casita home at Retama Village. We dropped by but they weren't home so we left and went to see some other friends at another park. None of us were familiar with their park and we were never able to find the front gate, so we finally blew off that visit.

We need a new lamp for the trailer, so we stopped at the Wal Mart to shop but didn't find one that we liked and will keep looking. We stopped at the HEB store and Stella and Judy picked up a few items. When we got through shopping, we decided to stop by Ken and Kathy's house again and this time they were home. We had a nice visit with them and they were surprised to learn that we have the new trailer. After a very nice visit, we left to go eat supper. I decided to eat better but still try to stay with soft food. I did okay but my mouth did start to bother me, so I learned that I'm going to have to be more careful about my food for the next few days.

After a very nice day we returned home about dark. We have missed our friends.

So long.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday October 19, 2011-Mission West RV Park

Today was a day of recovery for me. I stayed inside for most of the day and rested up. My mouth was sore this morning from all the work done but I took my medications and felt a little better. I went for a short walk around the park in the afternoon and sat outside with Tom and Judy in the later afternoon. We decided to go to Dairy Queen for supper, but since I'm on a liquid diet, all I had was a malt. Its good to be back with our old friends.

The interesting thing today was the news that a man had let out "dozens" of exotic animals including lions, tigers and bears. Police officers had to kill most of these dangerous animals, which was sad, but necessary. The interesting thing for us was, that was one of our stops on our way back toward Indiana. As near as I could tell, we were about 5-6 miles away at the Wolfie's Campground. Glad we came back when we did!

Not much to report today, but at least I'm back on track on the blog.

So long.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday and Tuesday, October 17 & 18th, 2011-Mission West RV Park

Today was our first full day here at Mission West. This park is almost empty with only three or four sites filled, not including ours or Tom and Judy's sites. I'm sure that things will pick up around here soon.

Stella and I crossed the border into Mexico this afternoon for my first appointment with Dr. Flores, my dentist. We went over the plan for my teeth and he took impressions for the work to be done. We made an appointment for tomorrow to begin the work, which was much quicker than we had thought. I guess it was because there are so few winter Texans down here, but he accelerated the process. That's okay with me because we'll be finished sooner.

We returned on Tuesday morning for an 8 o'clock appointment. Man, I had forgotten how early that is. Been a long time since I've had to be somewhere this early. Dr. Flores didn't waste any time, and almost before I knew it, we were done. I was very impressed with the doctor and his staff. They took great care to insure that I was comfortable and in no pain. I know that is has been pretty controversial for American citizens to have dental work done across the border, both in Mexico and in Canada, but my experience has been very positive. And that isn't taking into consideration the amount of money I saved by having my work done here.

We came on back home before noon and I rested, taking my medications. My mouth was sore but I was glad to have it done. I will be on a liquid diet for a day or so and I am not looking forward to that, but the outcome will be worth it.

So long.

Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16th-Moving day, Ron Hoover RV to Mission West RV Park

Saturday morning we woke and after moving a few more items into the new trailer, we were finally done! We ate our breakfast of cereal, planning to leave as soon as the store opened. Before leaving, we went over a few things that are new to this trailer and discovered that the ice maker wasn't working. I told Tony, who came over and found a kinked water line that kept water from going to the ice maker. A quick fix and we were ready to go.

We ran into some friends, Jim and Sina, who have been to a couple of our rallies before. They are picking up their new Landmark Key Largo this morning, and there was another couple that were picking up a new Big Country that wanted to talk to us. We waited for this couple to get done with their document signings and talked to them about our chapter rallies and gave them information on joining the owners club and forum.

We were finally on the road about 11 o'clock and man, what a difference this trailer is between the Bighorn. It pulls like a dream, and I literally didn't feel it behind me. We had thoughts of driving straight through to Mission, but since we both were so tired from the move, decided to stop in Victoria at the Gateway to the Gulf RV Park. This would have been a very easy-in park except that I drove right by the exit for the park and had to drive another couple of miles to turn around.

We had so much stuff that was stacked on the bed and in the bedroom that we only moved the necessary things to get into the bathroom and slept in our recliners. Actually, I made the doggies move from the couch and slept there for a few hours. I don't think either of us slept very well, so we left pretty early for Mission.

We made an easy drive to Mission and pulled in here about 2 o'clock. This place is virtually empty because of some internal squabbling over the previous manager and some of the contracts he entered into. Our friends Tom and Judy are here and we pulled into a nice concrete site right next door to them. I can't believe how easy it is to set up the Landmark. Everything is electric or hydraulic and it only took me about fifteen minutes to get everything set. Gotta love it!

Tom and Judy took us to one of our favorite restaurants here, Furr's Fresh Buffet, for supper. It was good to be back with our friends and back in the valley.

So long.

Thursday and Friday, October 13 and 14th-Ron Hoover RV

We pulled the Bighorn over to Ron Hoover RV on Thursday morning. We did the walk-thru with Miguel, one of the top technicians at the store before signing the papers to take delivery of the new Heartland Landmark Grand Canyon. Wow, what a stack of papers!

We finally got through and began to switch our belongings into the new trailer about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I had made arrangements to sleep on their lot tonight, but when closing time neared, the store's forklift wouldn't start to move the Bighorn so they could close the gate. They had parked the two trailers door to door to make it easier. Since it was now impossible to secure the lot, I told them that I would block the lot with my truck and would keep an eye on the lot during the night. Stella and I worked until after midnight before stopping for the night. We finally got to bed about 1AM but were woke up by the Houston Police who had noticed the truck parked in the drive with an open gate. We were glad that he had stopped by to check. I have been in similar situations countless times in my career and know how dangerous this can be.

We went out and had a good breakfast before getting back to work. We spent all day again moving stuff from trailer to trailer. At least they had a wooden bridge that made it easier to walk between the trailers and keeping me from having to walk up and down the steps. We were still exhausted but we got it done. We didn't actually get finished moving until early Saturday morning, but the Bighorn was empty at last! I didn't realize how much stuff we had accumulated in the last couple of years. Some of it needs to go away and we'll work on that soon.

So long.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday-Wednesday, October 10-12, 2011-Moving day, Mill Creek Ranch Resort to Rayford Crossing

We woke pretty early on Monday morning and began seeing our friends as they left. We were glad that everyone had a good time, but were sad to see them go. We finally got everything put away and pulled out about 11:30. We drove over to Nacogdoches to the Paradise Lake RV Park where we had gone at the beginning of our trip. We stayed there one night so we could spend some time with my Aunt Janie, and we couldn't believe the difference in the lake! It is almost empty now due to the drought with dead or dying trees everywhere.

We only stayed one night in Nacogdoches before traveling on to Rayford Crossing in Spring. We surprised several people there by dropping in. It was good to see the friends that are either already back for the winter season or didn't leave this summer. I enjoyed having coffee with the few guys that are there.

On a sour note, I learned that we are not working at Timber Ridge any more. We began running the park for Gwen a couple of summers ago and knew all along that they wanted someone to work at the park year-round, but Stella had talked to Gwen about six weeks ago and was told that they were still filling in with girls from the Rayford office to run it, so we both assumed (I know what that word means) that we would still be working there when we returned, so it was a shock when I was told that someone else is now working there. We should have been told.

We stayed two nights at Rayford and left for Ron Hoover RV on Wednesday to pick up our new trailer. WE ARE EXCITED!!!

So long.

Sunday October 9, 2011-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

Sunday is always the saddest day of a rally because it is the day that most have to leave, and this was no exception. There were about 11 rigs that stayed after, but we wished everyone that was leaving good luck in their travels. Many hugs and handshakes later, we went inside to watch some football. We are glad to be back in Texas for many reasons, but pro football is one of them!

After the football games were over, a group of us decided to go eat some pizza at the local Pizza Inn. We all had a good time and had plenty of pizza to eat later. I forgot to tell you that it had begun to rain this afternoon and continued into the night. The rain cut down on our sitting outside, but it had been a good weekend and the rain was very much needed. Lets see now, since we came back into Texas, the weather got cooler and now it is raining. We probably should have come back earlier...

So long.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday-Saturday, October 7 & 8, 2011-Mill Creek Ranch Resort

This was one of our better rallies, if I do say so myself. We had a good turnout with 26 rigs and all were Heartland Owners Club members! The park staff is wonderful and showed us what a nice place Mill Creek Resort is. The weather was great and everyone had a good time.

Although many had already arrived, there were still some that didn't arrive until Friday afternoon/evening, so we all decided to go out on our own to eat supper and then return to the park to "meet and greet" in one or more of the sites. We had a good group at our site and sat outside until almost 11 o'clock, chatting and enjoying ourselves.

Saturday was another good day, thanks to our new friends at Explore USA. We had planned a good breakfast, but Explore offered to fix us a fish fry with all the trimmings, so we took them up on it. We looked at several new trailers and had a good meal. We are glad this worked out and everyone had a good time. Congratulations to Jim and Sheila & Rex and Stacey for winning the two 32" televisions that were donated by the dealership.

Saturday afternoon we met in the rally hall to talk about some new chapters in Oklahoma and north Texas. There was a lot of interest in the OK chapter and later discussion of co-leaders in the north Texas area. I hope these two new chapters take off!

Saturday night we had our potluck dinner, which was delicious. Potlucks are probably my favorite meal because there is so much good food. Some stayed after the meal and played games and the rest went out to sit outside with new friends. We had originally planned to use the nice pavilion for our gathering but there was a class reunion on Saturday night that used it, so we had to change our plans. It all worked out very well and all had a great time. We are looking forward to the next rally in April.

So long.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday-Thursday, October 2-6, 2011-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

It was amazing, as it always is, to watch the park empty on Sunday morning. It just makes us thankful all over again for our lifestyle of being able to watch others that have to leave to go back to work.

These few days were spent hanging out with our Heartland friends both old and new. There were five rigs from Oklahoma that all came in together and it was nice meeting them. They will be the nucleus of an Oklahoma chapter, so we will be looking forward to that.

Stella fixed some pancakes one morning for everyone but the GFI circuit went out in the trailer. The GFI circuit covers the outside plugs, and the refrigerator, so it is something that I will have to get working again soon. The fridge works on propane but thats pretty expensive. I later went to Wal Mart and bought another plug but that didn't fix the problem so I found the breaker for the circuit was weak. I located a breaker and Mike and I installed it but again, it didn't fix the problem. I got one of my new friends, Jim Hutt, to help me check out the individual plugs on the circuit but they all checked out okay, so I am at a loss about why it won't work. I was able to run an extension cord to the fridge to power it, so all is well for now, at least for the fridge. We moved the coffee maker inside to another plug, so we'll make do. You may as well hear it now, we've bought a new trailer, a 2011 Landmark Grand Canyon. We'll pick it up next week!

Bill and Ornell made some delicious gumbo on Wednesday night. We all enjoyed it but most of all, it was nice to sit around with our friends and visit. The weather has turned off pretty nice with cooler temperatures at night and in the morning, and we even had a little rain. Not enough to catch up with the drought, but rain anyway. Its a start!

We drove over to Nacogdoches to meet Janie on Thursday and it was nice to see her, as always. We spent a couple of hours with her at an oriental buffet restaurant and had a very nice visit. On our way back to Canton, I stopped to check on a fellow that had a blowout on his Big Country trailer. Since it's a Heartland trailer, I thought it might have been someone coming to the rally, but it wasn't. The man had called for a road service to come help him out, so we continued on our way back to Canton.

I'm sorry for the delay in getting this posted, but we've been very busy lately. Thanks for following along with us and I'll get all caught up in the next few days to bring you up to date on our adventures.

So long

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friday and Saturday, September 30 & October 1, 2011-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

These two days were pretty-much devoted to going to the First Monday sales here in Canton. Friday morning we got up pretty early and were on our way to the HUGE sale area with Mike and Patrice. We shopped hard all morning and broke for a lunch of the usual cajun food which was pretty good, but it was just a big relief to sit down for awhile to rest up for the afternoon's shopping. We stayed out shopping until about 3 o'clock when we all ran out of gas to walk any longer. I think we had walked 978 miles but my pedometer might have been off by a little bit.

We returned home and hung out inside the trailers, resting up from the mornings shopping spree. The only buying we did today was a couple of tee shirts for me. Stella couldn't find anything she wanted but we'll be back...

None of us were hungry this afternoon, so we just ate some cheese dip that Mike had made up and Patrice warmed for us. It was good to just sit outside in the pleasant weather (for a welcome change!) and just snack.

Saturday morning, Jennifer, Melissa, Jay and Ian were supposed to come over to the sale, but they ran late. I was expecting them about 9 o'clock but they didn't come over until almost noon! Stella and I had ridden the shuttle over because Patrice wanted to get an earlier start, but we all met up at the Arbors area and walked around for a bit before we all decided that we had enough of shopping and came on back to the park. Of course, as soon as I got home and relaxed, Jennifer called to tell me they were here and wanted me to come back over. I rested for a few minutes and caught another shuttle to go back over to the sale. I got there and finally found them-its very hard to find someone in hundreds, maybe thousands of people-but I got 'er done. I did a little shopping with them before Ian needed a nap and I volunteered to take him back to the trailer. None of us really thought he'd go with me but he surprised everyone by taking my hand and going with me. We caught another shuttle and rode home. Ian was reintroduced to Tramp and Cassie and after a short time, he was asleep in the bed.

I wish I'd taken some new pictures of Ian because he has really gotten tall! He's a good little boy but a bit of a handful at times. I had forgotten how active a three year old can be. When he woke from his nap, I took him outside to sit with our friends and he was constantly up and looking around for things to get into, but overall, he was very good. His Mom and Dad and his aunt 'Lissa soon came back from shopping.

We decided to go to eat at the Papadales restaurant again and again had a good meal. We had a nice visit with the kids and everyone left full and happy. It was good to spend time with them, especially Ian whom I can't spend enough time with. Monday is Jennifer's birthday, and I promised to give her a call on her big day. We brought them back to the trailer to get some gifts of Hershey's chocolates that we had bought for them and after hugs and handshakes, they left for home. It had been a very good day.

So long.