Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monday December 26, 2011-Moving day-Serendipity Bay RV Resort to Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Another cold morning on the bay here. It was in the upper 30's this morning but with the cold wind off the water it seemed colder. Again, we weren't in a very big hurry to leave but got away around 10 o'clock. While packing up, I went down to a Bighorn trailer when I saw the owner coming back home. The lady, Carol, told me that her husband John was out hunting and then I remembered him. I met him a couple of years ago, right here at Serendipity. If you've been following me that long, you might remember him. He designs and cuts out duck and goose decoys and is a very interesting fellow. Small world...

When we pulled out, I decided to stop off at a new park in Sweeny that has been advertising for work campers in their park. When we got there we had a nice short visit with the managers but I've slept since meeting them and can't remember their names. The job description wasn't bad at all and we hope to hear from them.

We pulled into Rayford about two o'clock and it only took about 30 minutes to get everything set back up. Several of our friends came by to welcome us back and it was good to be back. We're going to miss this place. Our good friends Pat and Lorie are back also, and its good to see them again. I'm trying to talk them into full timing and perhaps traveling with us. We're planning to spend next summer with them or at least with their trailer in Creede CO. Our plans are still being worked on and I'll let you know more when we figure out what we're going to do. At least we'll be nice and cool at Creede.

So long.

Sunday December 25, 2011-Serendipity Bay Resort

I just thought it was cold in Spring... It's REALLY cold down here with the breeze off the bay! It was in the low 40's but if certainly felt colder than that. We stayed inside for most of the morning and Stella made her famous baked beans for our Christmas lunch at Henry and Elaine's house with the family. We went over there around noon, driving about 15 miles to their house.

We had a delicious lunch and visited with family for most of the afternoon. As I sat there in their house, I reminisced about Christmas times past. I guess that sometimes I go into "old man" mode and think back about the good times when I was a kid. My family consisted of my mother, father, brother Phil and sister Bobbye Sue, Momma's mother (MeMa) and father (Granddaddy), and her sister Janie, husband Herbert and their kids Betsy, Nancy, Steve and Linda. We were a close family and all of us grandkids were very close to MeMa and Granddaddy. On Christmas eve, we would eat together and then go to the individual houses for the gift exchanges. Then we would come home to try to get us kids to go to sleep for Santa to come to visit. It was nice to not have to travel very far during the holidays like we do now. Those were the good old days...

Stella and I came on back to our latest "home" in Palacios. So far, we haven't gotten tired of our nomadic traveling lifestyle and hopefully we won't for a long time.

I hope that everyone has a very merry Christmas.

So long.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday December 24, 2011-Moving day-Rayford Crossing to Serendipity Bay Resort

We got up to cold and rainy conditions this morning. I went down for coffee with the guys again and just stayed in the rally hall for Stella to come down for breakfast. Frank and Mack made pancakes and bacon for breakfast which was free this morning. I guess it was a Christmas thing, but it was good and a great way to say bye to several of our friends. We were ready to go about 10:30 and pulled out without any problems.

We are going to Palacios today to visit with family in the area. Its only a little over 100 miles so we aren't in a hurry. I don't remember if I told you but we took the trailer in for some service work and the motor on the electrical cord reel was found to be bad. They had to order the part and it hasn't come in yet. Its a big pain to hand-roll the cord onto the reel, so I got the bright idea to go to see my friend Joe at Ron Hoover to borrow an extension cord. That way, I can leave my cord rolled up on the reel and simply plug in the extension, so that is what we did. Its a few miles out of the way but it certainly will make traveling easier for me.

It rained on us all the way to West Columbia but we still made pretty good time. Traffic was heavy around the malls and shopping areas in Houston but we pulled into the park about 1:30. That included our little stop at the dealership, so it wasn't too bad. Let me tell you, they haven't done anything to improve upon this place. With the exception of the new sites put in about 6 years ago, nothing else has been done here. The roads are still bad and the sites hold water which was especially bad today because it was cold and wet feet made it feel even colder.

We got set up and came inside to dry off and warm up. Stella fixed some barbecued sausage to take over to the feast at Jana's house. It was nice to see the excitement in the faces of all the kids as they opened their presents. As usual, they popped about 10 zillion firecrackers and rockets but everyone had a good time. The good thing for us is that we get to celebrate Christmas so many times. We'll have another one at Kim's house later in the week and with Jennifer and Melissa at a later date.

Merry Christmas to all....

So long.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday December 12 thru Friday December 23, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

It has warmed up considerably but it is still chilly in the morning, about 46 degrees this morning. We are having 10-12 guys at coffee every morning and today was no exception. I am gonna miss the guys when we leave.

We went to Clear Lake to meet with Eric, the CPA that Stella worked for, to go over one of the client's taxes. April 15th will be here soon! Before we left, I was loading everything into the truck that we needed but couldn't find my phone. I looked inside but couldn't find it and went out to the truck to look. I couldn't find it there either so Stella called my number. We could hear the phone ringing but couldn't find it. I remembered that I had my hands full last night when we got home but couldn't locate it now. I pulled things out from under the seat and console but it wasn't there. I finally found it in my right side pocket. I guess when I came in last night I put it in the wrong pocket and didn't look there today. I know, I know, you're saying poor old Jay is losing it.... Stop Laughing!

Okay, it's Friday the 23rd. I intended to get busy and get all caught up today and found that I had started this log back on the 12th and hadn't finished it. Maybe there really is some truth that I'm losing it! I don't want to listen to Stella complaining about me asking her what happened two weeks ago, so I'm just going to skip over all that time and hit a few highlights from the past couple of weeks.

Last Saturday, the 17th, was Cameron's birthday so we drove down to Texas City to spend the day with him. He had decided not to go out to eat for his birthday and wanted a home-cooked meal so we stayed at their house and Jeremy cooked. He made chicken picatta and pasta and it was delicious. He also made a pie of some sort that was really good. It was a cross between a regular pie and a cheesecake with a white icing. It was very good but very rich and filling.

Sunday we met Tommy and Susan at the Monument Inn for our anniversary dinner. Our anniversary was December 7th and theirs was on the 4th. We have talked about doing this for a couple of years but just never got around to it. This year we did it and it was a grand meal with good friends!

This whole week has been cold and dreary. It rained a lot the other night, all night long. I know we need the rain but I get tired of weather like this very quickly. The old bones get stiff when the weather isn't warm. Old Arthur (itis) comes to stay with us too, so it makes for a lousy time in this house.

Speaking of old, I got my Medicare card in the mail the other day. Stella filled out all the forms for me and sent them in a month or so ago, so now I would be a card-carrying old man with his Medicare card except that she kept my card. I guess its because I'm not official yet and won't be until the 3rd of January when I turn 65 and a real-life oldster! She's a LOT older than me and I guess is jealous when youngsters like me make the grade to being aged. I'll probably show off that card all over town when she does let me have it.

Also along those same lines, I want to tell you that it used to bother me when youngsters in their 40's and 50's called me sir. Wait a minute, I'm not old enough to be called sir, that's for old folks! I guess I've earned it though. I've been down a lot of roads in my life and not all of them were paved. I earned every one of those gray hairs, worrying about all those people and the bad guys that preyed on them. I put a lot of villains away in my career and can look back on it with pride. At least I don't have to pack a gun around any longer, worrying about someone from my past sneaking up on me.

I'm sitting here watching the news on television and watching all these kids breaking down doors in malls to get in to buy the latest Air Jordan shoes. They waited in line all night long to buy these shoes for $200 and are hoping to sell some of them for up to $400. First of all, I've never wanted anything bad enough to stand in line in the cold all night. I used to dress pretty stylish but of course, those days are gone, but I wouldn't consider paying $200 for tennis shoes, and certainly not $400! There I go again, showing my age.

That's about enough for me right now but hang in there with me, I'll get back on track and keep the blog up better.

So long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday December 5 thru Sunday December 11, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Monday morning was rainy and cold. I went down for coffee but there weren't too many of the regulars there. Guess the weather kept them home. The rain finally let up and we all walked home. It remained cold and damp for the rest of the day. It was a good day to turn the fireplace on and stay inside.

Tuesday morning was just cold. No rain this morning, but the temps were in the high 30's but we had a good turnout for coffee. We went to Tewbeleaux for lunch. They have a special of 20 wings (mixed flavors) for $10. I don't really care for wings that much but they were pretty good and best of all, Jerry and Diane picked up the tab for everyone. We stopped at Kroger and picked up some essentials and came back home. Another afternoon of fireplace and furnace.

Wednesday was another cold morning, 29 degrees here! At least it wasn't a hard freeze- down in the 20's -so hopefully no one will have any broken pipes. Our neighbors, Mark and Rebecca, have been having trouble with their propane heater in their Montana. Our friend Mack has been coming over to help them and has replaced their propane regulator which made the heater work again but they still have a propane smell. Today we got it fixed. There is another regulator on the other side of the trailer on the second propane bottle, that we discovered was bad. I took Mark and Mack up to Lone Star RV and bought the parts needed to make the repair, and now it seems that all is well! Mack had also worked on Roy and June's motorhome heater that had stopped working. He found that a reset switch on the CO detector had been kicked and was keeping the propane from coming on to light the heater. Friends have certainly been keeping him busy!

Stella and I went to eat with our Heartland club friends Tom and Marti at El Palenque. They are interested in taking over the south Texas chapter when we are ready to step down so we talked about it and decided to let them be the wagonmasters of the October rally next year. It will give them a chance to "test the waters" of organizing and putting on a rally. We are looking forward to working with them on the rally. I hope they will have as much fun as we have in being chapter leaders.

Thursday was another cold morning, below freezing which is unusual for this area this early. We typically see these temps in late January and February but not in December. After coffee and breakfast at home, I took the clothes down to the washateria for Stella. It turned out to be another cold and dreary day, so we just stayed inside and tried to stay warm. That evening we went out to eat with Jim and Reta and met Ed and Sharon at Tewbeleaux for their chicken-fried steak night dinner. We all had plenty to eat and had a fine time together.

Friday morning wasn't as cold as it has been but still chilly outside. We were invited out to eat with our neighbors Mark and Rebecca at Furr's buffet and had a very nice time with them. Mark is a retired US Marine, so he got his military discount as well as the senior discount, so he graciously bought our lunch. That made our meal even better!

Saturday morning the temp was a little warmer and I slept in this morning. We went to breakfast with the group to El Bosque mexican food for their buffet breakfast. We had a really good time at this outing and hope that there will be another one before we leave. After breakfast we went shopping for some of the Christmas gifts that we have to buy. I say "we" went shopping when it was Stella that went to the stores. I stayed in the truck to make sure that the truck didn't get stolen or broken into and read in the Kindle.

Sunday we ate a quick breakfast before leaving for Bill and Alena's house in Fulshear. They had stayed at Timber Ridge and Rayford after moving down here from Chicago. They bought a huge house and got moved in during the past summer and have been making improvements since then. They put in a beautiful pool and hot tub and just finished up on their outdoor kitchen. Tommy and Susan came up from Deer Park and we all had a great time visiting after touring their house. We took our doggies with us to play with Bill and Alena's dog Anya. Anya has recently been diagnosed with a tumor, so it was a bittersweet visit. Cassie and Tramp enjoyed exploring the new house and yard and were tired out when we left. While there we watched the Houston Texans triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals in a real nail biter of a game. Congratulations to the Texans for their best season record and winning their division. We hope to see Bill and Alena again when we return from our summer trip. Bill wants to go to the valley with us in January and I hope this works out. I will introduce him to my dentist over there. I am looking forward to getting mine finished up.

So long.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday December 4, 2011-Moving day-No. Houston KOA to Rayford Crossing RV Resort

We woke this morning to cool temperatures and rainy weather. I put off getting started in getting things ready to leave for as long as I could but it quit raining long enough for me to get everything done. I did get to go around and speak with many of my friends as they got ready to leave, and we pulled out about 11 o'clock. It only took about 45 minutes for us to get back to Rayford and after a very short time we were again hooked up and going.

I came inside when it began to rain again and we watched football on television all afternoon. It was nice to spend the afternoon watching TV with the fireplace keeping us toasty warm. I saw a few of our friends here during the afternoon, but it was a good day to stay indoors.

We are back here and not doing much, so please don't be disappointed if I get behind again. I think I will do as one of my friend does on her blog (thanks Karen) and jot down some notes daily and post once a week. We'll see how that works.

So long.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, 2011-North Houston KOA

This was the Boomer rally weekend and it was good to see some old friends from the group. We were in the last site in the reserved group of sites and were surrounded by several of our original Houston Area Boomers group members. Seemed like old times....

This was the shelter that was beside Harry and Judy's and across the street from us. Most of the chairs belong to us but everyone brought chairs over to hang out with us. We had a nice campfire on Friday night after the gumbo dinner. Harry and Judy fixed us a great big ol' pot of sausage and shrimp gumbo and it was GREAT!!!

We had a "mini rally" with our trailer and Dan and Connie's Bighorn beside us. Jodie and Larry also have a Bighorn and another couple have a North Trail but they weren't parked beside us.

Here is a shot down the street showing some of the Boomer rigs. There was a total of 51 rigs present for this rally and many of them are new folks since we were active members about three years ago. Our friends Mike and Patrice weren't able to make it because a tree fell on their truck and trailer! Luckily no one was hurt but it sure messed up their travel plans. Another couple that didn't get to come was Alan and Jennifer, who had some electrical problems. This was to have been their first Boomer rally and maybe they'll be able to make another one in the future.

Here is a happy group sitting outside Larry and Vickie's trailer. L & V had some friends that came in after dark on Friday and I went down to help them get set in their site.

There was another rally of "beer can trailers" (Airstreams) in the park this weekend. There was probably 20 or 25 of these in the park. They were not a very friendly group but there were lots of them!

Madame Boomer put together another good rally. She had planned a get-together on Friday night but we stayed around our rigs and ate gumbo. Saturday morning we had a potluck breakfast and supper that both went pretty well. Don had a Texas Hold 'Em tournament on Saturday and Ted was the big winner and got to take the huge trophy home. I don't play poker and after seeing the big trophy, I'm glad I don't! No place to store and carry that big thing.

We have changed our plans and will be leaving Rayford at the end of this month to go to Louisiana for New Years Eve. We went there a couple of years ago and had a great time and are looking forward to going back. We'll be back to Rayford in April for the Heartland rally and will begin our summer trip after that. Looking forward to it!

So long.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thursday December 1, 2011-No. Houston KOA

Today was the first day of arrival for many of the Boomers but we went for a ride with Tommy and Susan to explore the area.

It was pointed out to me that I haven't put up any pictures of the new trailer, so here one is! We are really enjoying this new "home".

It is so sad to see the lakes so low, and here is an example of people that bought waterfront property but now have beachfront property. I would be really upset if I had bought an expensive house on the lake and had this happen to us.

I would also be very upset if I had a business with a boat gasoline pump and it ended up in the mud.

The shallow-non-existent-water goes to both sides of the lake. I wonder what they did with all the fuel in the tanks?

Many of the Boomers arrived today and it was good to see them again. I will post more pictures of them and their rigs later in the week. A large group of us went out to eat mexican food at the Rancho Grande restaurant. The food was very good and we didn't overwhelm the staff because Madame Boomer (Sandy) called ahead and warned them that a large group would be in.

It would have been a good night to sit outside but everyone was too full, so we all retired as soon as we got back to the RV park. It was a great way to begin the rally.

So long.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday November 30, 2011-Moving day-Rayford Crossing to North Houston KOA

Today was the day that we moved from Rayford Crossing to the North Houston KOA in Montgomery, a distance of about 30 miles. We were in no hurry at all this morning, but I overslept and didn't make it down to coffee. My friend Bill drove over from his home near Katy and brought donuts for us all and luckily he called me to wake me up and I made it down right away. When we finished up the coffee, I took a couple of the donuts to Stella to keep me out of trouble with her.

After my breakfast of coffee and donuts, I went back home and finished catching up on some blogs and other computer work. We didn't begin to get ready to leave until about 10 o'clock because we didn't want to get in too early and have to pay for an extra day for an early check-in. We left around noon and made the grueling drive north, making it here before 1. Tommy and Susan were already here and just after we got pulled into our site, who should drive up but Ted. He was in the neighborhood and decided to stop by. He and Donna will be up tomorrow but it was nice of him to stop by to see us.

We are here for the Texas Boomer Christmas rally. We have been members of the Boomers since about 2004. I was the Houston area leader for about three years and got my start with being the wagonmaster for rally groups with them. We always have a good time with the Boomers and we are looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends.

As soon as we got set up we all decided that we needed to go eat a good lunch, so we went to Vernon's Kuntry Catfish in Conroe. Along the way we all noticed the very low levels of the lake. I didn't have my camera but will take it with me tomorrow and take some pictures of what was once waterfront properties that is now beachfront property. This drought has called unbelievable damages in Texas!

More to come in the next few days.

So long.