Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday January 29, 2015-Cottonwood RV Park

The warm weather continues and I am truly sorry if you are enduring snow and ice or just cold temperatures. I'm really not trying to rub it in, just reporting the facts...

We had our annual dealer open house at the Ron Hoover dealership and had a good turnout of approximately 100 people. Attendance was down a bit, but we got down here late and then got sick, so we weren't able to get out and invite people as usual, but it was a fun time. We saw many Heartland friends and a good group of non-Heartland owners. We hope to generate some sales for the dealership, but we'll see how that works out.

This morning we took Cassie to the groomer. At the last minute we decided to take Tramp with us, so he wouldn't be freaked out when we took her away without him and we learned just how attached those two really are. When we arrived at the Doggy Daycare, Tramp immediately went into the back seat to get out with Cassie, but Stella fought him off and hooked Cassie up to take her inside. Tramp jumped back into the front seat, standing on his hind legs and looking toward the building. He cried a bit and seemed to call out "where are you taking my sister?" He got into Stella's seat and continued to look out the window at the building where Cassie had gone. He didn't cry or whine any more, but I could tell he was puzzled at why she had left him behind. When Stella returned, she put Cassie's leash in the back seat and Tramp went back there to look and make sure that she wasn't somehow hiding back there.

Below you will see what happened when we went to pick up Cassie. 

Where is she?

I think I see her!!

She is coming outside!

Doesn't she look nice?

She's getting into the truck...

Together again!

I know that you are probably thinking- "old Jay has finally lost it. Writing about his dogs and putting words in their mouth". They're our kids and it's what we do...

So long.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday January 27, 2015-Cottonwood RV Park

The weather has been great down here and has improved (warmed up) every day since we've been here. Today's high was 82. All I've seen on television have been the blizzard predictions for the north east. I am worried for our friends there, but come to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. 

Soon after arriving, the group of us (Dave and Nancy, Corbin and Flora & Larry and Mary Ann) went to Mexico to get started on our dental needs. Stella and I just made appointments but others actually getting work done. We had a very nice day and ate at Elsa's, a very nice little cafe.

Stella and I returned a few days later with Ted and Donna to buy our medicines and to do a little shopping. While we were gone, Larry and Corbin washed all the trailers. I had the only wash bucket and long-handled brush, so they used my equipment and washed all the rigs. What a nice surprise!

Yesterday, Monday, we picked up our friends Mike and Linda to take them to eat a Gonzales Burger, but unknown to us, they were closed on Sunday and Mondays. We decided to go to Martha's and about the time we arrived, I got a call from Dan and Karen, who had just arrived yesterday from Aransas Pass. Stella and I saw them yesterday while we were putting out fliers for the dealer open house but we didn't hook up. They decided to meet us here, so we had chips and salsa while we waited for them. When they arrived, we started interacting with a new employee named Denny, who gave us a million laughs. We all had a great time cutting up with him.

Today was our appointments for our dental work. As we got into Progresso, I noticed a wet spot on the sidewalk where someone had apparently tried to clean the walkway. I slipped on the walk and went down, hitting my forehead on that hard concrete. It knocked me silly for a few seconds, but a group of men around the area helped me up and I sat in a chair until I could get around. After recovering, I find that I also sprained my right elbow when I tried to catch myself, but suffered no serious injuries.

We went on across the street to the dentist where I had x-rays taken and my teeth cleaned. I will have to return to have my actual work done and now we have a plan of action. Stella had her teeth cleaned and had a loose tooth removed, and it was serious enough to need stitches and she is on a liquid and soft food diet for a few days. We stopped on the way home and got her some ice cream, so now she is happy. 

So long.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday January 18, 2015-Cottonwood RV Park

Another warm night here in the valley! It was a little chilly at 57 degrees when I woke but I vowed to wear shorts until the temps go down into the 30's, so I toughed it out. 

We went over to another favorite, the Furr's Fresh Buffet in McAllen for their great breakfast buffet. As usual, the food was great and plentiful and we made it in before the crowds showed up. We left the restaurant and went to the Don-Wes Flea Mkt. in Donna. It gets it's name from being in Donna but near Weslaco and it has been here for many years. I noticed that the market seems to be a little smaller this year, but since we didn't come to the valley last year, the stores may have been closed then. I also noticed that some stores have for sale signs on them. Most of the owners are about age, so I guess it's just a normal transition of the business. younger people will buy the established businesses and life continues.

The parking lot is terrible at the flea market. Lots of mud, standing water and mud holes make for difficult parking and walking around. We went across the street to the fruit and vegetable stands and found even more empty booths. The fruit stands seem to be doing a good business and we bought some grapefruit to bring home.

We came on back home to get ready for some football. I would like to see Green Bay who knocked out the Cowboys, go to the Super Bowl and am rooting for the Patriots to join them. We'll see how it works out...

So long.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday January 17, 2015-Cottonwood RV Park

Our first morning here, the temperatures were 44 when I woke up but about ten minutes later it was 46, so it's warming up quickly. It was clear and nice outside, so I decided to scrape off some of the road grime on my truck from our travels. I went through three buckets of soapy water to get it clean. It was as filthy as its ever been and I still have the trailer to wash. 

After taking a break to rest, the group of us went to the Border Theater in downtown Mission to see Ralph Kuster do an Elvis impressions. When we arrived, we learned that he did many 6- and 70's era  impressions, including everyone from Roy Orbison to Neal Diamond to Peter, Paul and Mary. After singing for an hour and a half, he took a short break and began his Elvis show. He is a very talented man if you ever have a chance to catch his show. He included several members of the audience including all the girls from our group and he even let me sing along with him for a little bit on one of the Elvis songs. I wasn't the only one to get to sing with him, but I did get the chance. It was a lot of fun and killed all afternoon. We decided to go out to eat after, and went to one of our favorites, Martha's Tacquiera Del Sol. Everyone had good food and we enjoyed ourselves. We're making plans on what to do tomorrow, but you'll have to tune back in for the next chapter to find out.

So long.

Friday January 15, 2015-Moving Day-Gateway to the Gulf to Cottonwood RV Park

We were up and going pretty early this morning and actually pulled out at 8:30! We were proud, especially because we don't have that far to go today and we were on the road early. I guess the mood kept on going because we only made a quick pit stop just outside Corpus Christi and kept on moving. It was a beautiful day for driving with just a few clouds and warming temperatures. 

The only thing that happened that was notable was a crop duster airplane that surprised me (a lot) when he zoomed over the highway at a low enough altitude that he would have hit the trailer if we had been in his path. Of course we were not near his path and nothing happened. He could obviously have seen us coming, so we were not really in any danger but it was still frightening.

I did notice a huge amount of police presence on the highway.We have always seen many ore police, sheriffs and highway patrol marked units but today they seemed to be traveling in packs of two or three units. Maybe there is some news about smugglers or other criminals. Anyway, it's not my business any more but I thought I'd mention it.

We got here to the Cottonwood Park and soon found our friends. With their help I was soon backed into my space. I did rut up the yard when I had to cut in ti avoid a big orange tree. That's right, we have an orange tree in our yard and tangerine trees across the street, all loaded with fruit. Let's see, good weather, free fresh fruits on the trees, inexpensive site and good friends. How much better can it get?

The rest of the group had made arrangements to go play bingo this evening, but we were tired and stayed home. Ted and Donna dropped by but I was inside and didn't know and they had to leave, so I'll catch up with them later. Mike and Linda also dropped by and I got to see them but they were pressed for time and we'll get together another time. 

Stella and I spent the rest of the afternoon resting up from our two day drive, happy to be here and looking forward to good times.

So long.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday January 15, 2014-Moving Day-Center RV Park to Gateway to the Gulf RV Park, Victoria TX

We have both come down with a bug of some sort, with heavy coughing and our noses being stopped up. Once we got up and started to work, we began to feel a bit better and we were away about 9:30. Traffic was light and we made good time through Center and Nacogdoches and we were heading south on Hwy. 59. The first pit stop was at one of the new TXDOT rest stops. I guess the state is really going through with making US 59 into I-69, the NAFTA highway. Rest stops are limited to interstate highways and the new signs are up along the roads. I thought that the NAFTA project was dropped years ago...

We made our second and final stop at the Buccee's in Wharton. Gotta get my Buccee's fix! I capped a few Munzees while we were stopped and even made enough points to go up another level. It was a great way for me to shake out all the driving kinks and get some fresh air. Both Stella and I had been getting warm in the truck because we had bundled up when leaving Center, where the temps were in the upper 30's. When I got out, my sweater felt pretty good and even better when I got out in the wind. Apparently, this morning we're going to have the same issue. It's 37 degrees as I am writing this and it's supposed to be in the 60's in Mission. I certainly hope so, I'm tired of winter.

So long.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday January 12, 2015-Moving day-Inks Lake state park to Center RV Park, Center TX

I have been keeping up with my uncle Gail for the last few days. He has been really ill for awhile and he took a turn for the worse. Early this morning I got a text from my cousin Linda that Gail had been transferred to ICU due to some blood clots. We were scheduled to go to Mission TX to meet some Heartland friends and later this month, to host a dealer open house at the Ron Hoover dealership, so we continued with packing up and were on the road about 9:30. We made good time but about 10:30 I got another text from Linda that Uncle Gail had passed away. We immediately pulled over and changed our destination to the Center RV Park. I love my Aunt Janie and Uncle Gail and want to go help them in any way I can and of course, to pay my respects.

We made pretty good time but we don't usually travel back roads with only two lanes. It was tiresome for me, but it will be worth it once we get there. We traveled a long way in the Davy Crockett National Forest where I had hunted in many years ago. Stella said that I hunted with Davy himself but I'm pretty sure he was gone by the time I got there. The point to all of this is that we had no cell service for most of the day.

We got here just before dark, about 5:30. Have I told you I HATE to set up in the dark? Stella and I often remark that these days are over for us, but today was the exception to the rule. First of all, most of the sites are covered with standing water in them. Stella said she would like a site with lights for her to walk the dogs after dark. She picked out the perfect site with no water, nice lights, so I pulled up and began setting up.The very first thing I did was connect the electricity, which was a good thing. We have a surge protector to keep our equipment safe and it wouldn't hook up the electricity to our trailer. There is a built-in timer on the protector, so I used that time to pull out the water hose and sewer hose. When it wouldn't work, I stopped what I was doing and went to another site and checked out the electricity, which worked perfectly. Luckily for me, I had not unhooked the truck from the trailer so it was easy to move over a couple of sites and got back to work. It wasn't long before everything was again hooked up. Now the water hose sprung a leak! It's one we had just used at Inks Lake but I was so aggravated by now that I just changed to another hose and all was well. 

Did I tell you that I HATE to set up in the dark? 

So long.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday January 10, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

We had been planning to leave yesterday for Mission in the Rio Grande Valley but when I went out about 7:30 to start packing up, it began to sleet. I knew it was very cold and that rain/ice pellets had been forecast but really didn't expect it until this afternoon. I came back inside and told Stella what was going on and she immediately cancelled today's trip. I can't say I disagreed especially when we had at least two more sessions of freezing rain fall during the morning. There was no accumulation of ice here and the temperature hovered in the 30's all day.

We didn't get out much all day. Stella took the dogs outside but they didn't dilly-dally and came right back inside. I went out in the afternoon and talked to John for a little while. He said that there was no reason for me to come out to help feed the deer in the morning but I may still go out in the morning. 

John also came over to the house later to ask Stella if she wanted to go for a boat ride with him but for some reason, she declined "LOL". John has his pontoon boat up here and it is anchored behind our spaces in the lake. 

We did hear from our friends Dave and Nancy who are on their way to Mission. We invited them to come up here but they already had reservations made at another park near San Antonio so we'll see them down in the valley on Monday.

Now it is Saturday morning and it's raining and 32 degrees. We have no plans to get out today. It seems like a good day to stay inside in sweats listening to the rain. Occasionally I hear the tap-tap of sleet  in the rain, making me glad for our decision. We'll sit tight and on Monday, when everything is thawed out and dried somewhat, we'll be on the road again.

So long.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday January 8, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

I am just finished with the third deer hunt that I guided for here at Inks Lake. It is very cold again and I took some time this morning to take some photos of some of the attractions in the area.

This is Falkenstein Castle, which is approximately miles from Inks Lake. It is a privately owned residence that is available to rent for weddings and receptions. 

This is one of the buildings on the Longhorn Cavern state park grounds. 

Another of the outbuildings at Longhorn Caverns. 

An oddly shaped tree at Longhorn Caverns. I just thought it was cool looking. 

An ice patch on one of the campsites, down the street from our site. Every time there is a hard freeze, they turn on the water to keep the pipes from bursting.

I'll bet these tent campers were chilly last night. They have a very nice site with a great view of the lake but with that wind last night, well, lets just say they're tougher than me.

This is a group photo of the youth hunters with some of the deer that they took. 

We (I) had another good time here and we are looking forward to returning next fall. Stella enjoyed her time to relax. We move south tomorrow to the (hopefully) warmer Rio Grande Valley.

So long.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

Happy New Year!

Since my last entry, I have been very busy with the deer hunt here in the park. We have had some very nice people with their children and grandchildren this year and everyone had a good time. I was assigned two Conroe Police officers and their sons and both boys got deer. It was a cold hunt but very successful.

There was one something that happened on one of the hunts that I want to tell you about. First of all, the hunts began on Monday with an afternoon (2P-6P) hunt. Tuesday there was a morning (6A-10A) and evening hunt and Wednesday is a morning only hunt. On the Tuesday evening hunt, one of the boys got two deer one doe and one large buck. Both deer ran into the woods, so by hunt policy, they waited until I came to pick them up and returned to the park before we went back out to search for the deer. We do this for safety reasons, so that everyone has been returned to the safety of the park and then return to find the deer. It lessens the chance of someone getting lost in the woods and we have some very skilled trackers. I took the four hunters and Chris-the hunt coordinator, Chip-another park host, and Spider-the son of the park's assistant manager to search for the deer. It was very cold and we walked what seemed to be miles and miles, up the side of the hills, scrambling over rocks, avoiding cactus and barbed wire and other pitfalls but we found the first deer. Soon after finding the doe, as we were walking back out of the woods, I hung my foot and went down. I was very lucky because I hit my head and bruised my hand-when I tried to catch myself- but really only embarrassed myself because of my clumsiness and of course, the weariness of climbing. I was shaken up but not really injured and after a short rest, I was good to go again. As it turned out, we were only a few hundred yards from the trucks, so after loading the deer into one of the trucks and we resumed the search for the second deer, the large buck. He was much more easily found, so we were soon on our way back to the park. I didn't spend much time admiring the deer and came on back home for a nice warm shower, some aspirin and was out like a light. It had been a long hard day. 

We had a small host get-together last night for a Happy New Year celebration. We all brought snack foods and something to drink and had a great time sitting around and visiting. John brought his guitar and we sang a few songs and told lots of stories. It was a great way to end the year and best of all, we didn't have to drive anywhere to have a nice party. 

Today would have been my Dad's 94th birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy!

So long.