Wednesday, March 07, 2018

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Hi everyone!

Our plans this spring will be different. Normally when we leave Texas, we travel across the south to Florida to see our son and family, then up to Virginia to see our daughter and family. This year will take us straight to Virginia, bypassing Florida. After Virginia, we head to Indiana for our 6 month doctor appointments. After that, we head to Florida for an extended stay. Our son's MIL has just gone on dialysis and is not well enough to babysit for their 4 year old. Brandon earned an incentive trip with his company, so he and his wife are going to be gone for a week and we agreed to babysit. That's why we changed our trip around, so we could get our doctors out of the way. We have decided to spend more time in Florida once they return, maybe getting some windows changed out on the coach and some other work done. At 12 years old, she's starting to show her age. We decided to spruce her up rather than buy new again.

We will hang around in the south until Terry's family reunion in Mississippi in June, then gradually work our way back to Indiana for 3 months. We still have one rental and hope to begin cleaning it out and getting it ready to sell.

Last year we both had surgery, so our travel was extremely limited. But this year we are both in great shape and will be able to do what we want!

Until next time. . .


Monday, January 29, 2018

Not much going on....

We've been fairly sedentary for the past few weeks. Last Wednesday we took in the lunch buffet at The 2nd Street Bistro at the Double Tree in McAllen, turned out to be a very good Tex Mex offering. It was 2 for 1 with 2 beverages, which made it a fairly decent deal. We also have been hitting some of the country and rock and roll jams at local parks. The weather is forecast to be much better in the coming days, into the high 70's to mid 80's.

Dale's been busy with crocheting classes and Spanish classes, here in the park, seems to be enjoying both. Also she has made a lot of headway on getting our tax records sent off to our preparer of many years in Indiana. In the mean time, I have been basically a slug doing only what needs to be done and catching up on my sleep, which has been hit or miss about every other night. Either waking up at 2:30-3:00 for the day or sleeping until 7:30.

This next weekend we have entertainment at a local park by Adam Pope and The Rebel Roots. They are a 3 piece rockabilly band fronted by Pope, who is a songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. This will be our 4th show with him performing and we hope to not miss it.

Yesterday started off with the second “dead” battery in the past week on the Flex aka Oster Toaster. I used my compact jump start and it fired right up. I checked the voltage at the battery while running and found 14.5v from the alternator. After about an hour of running and charging, I turned it off and found 10.43v at the battery terminals. At this point it was off to the local Walmart for a new battery, This morning all is well the Flex fired right up without any hesitation, but I had a low battery alarm from our, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, driver's side rear needed a new battery. So that interrupted my planned early morning nap, as I replaced the battery which should make that sensor good for a year, just have 19 more batteries to replace over the two motorhomes and two toads.
I think Duchess and I will wait for Dale's return from one of her classes at the patio table, take in some sun, read some and more than likely, both doze off.

Until next time...Terry

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's a New Year......

So far this year we've experienced three cold snaps here in the Rio Grande Valley. We've had a couple of nice days, high 70's to mid 80's then back to the refrigerator. You notice I didn't say freezer, because not like northern Indiana, ice cream will always melt here if left outside overnight..We have had a few nights of low to mid 30's but that is much better than what the northern US has been receiving. This morning it's 51 with a high in the 60's – low 70's.

We've been hanging out close to the RV for the most part, other than the few days it was in the shop for annual maintenance and a perky repair. Dale had been seeing low fuel pressure/boost error/engine shutdown message on her command center screen. It started out as a seldom event and had started displaying every time we started rolling for 2-4 seconds then disappear until the engine shutdown and restart. The excellent folks at Holt Cat RV Center in Edinburg, Texas came through again and corrected the problem. It took a few hours of diagnostic work but all is well. My Silverleaf engine monitoring system which runs as we travel had 20+ error codes showing in the “diagnostic history” section. . . the Cat ECM computer at Holt showed two codes maxed out to 255 instances. Now our turbo, waste gate and fuel systems have been all checked out and we have a new boost actuator valve and a new boost sensor. All is well. A rather cheap repair as diesel engines go from past experience, $390 in parts and around $450 labor. So at 131,225 miles Phaeton Place will be ready to roll when we leave the Valley in a few months.

Dale Ann and her Mom have been attending park dinners, with me staying at the RV to fend for my self, just too much salt for me in these “home cooked meals,” which I don't care for anyway. If I'm going to gain 3 pounds from eating a meal overnight, then work for 3 days to get rid of the “water weight,” it's going to be something this boy likes.

Well that's all I have maybe Dale will add some more....Terry

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year End Wrap Up

It's the last day of 2017; we're thankful that all and all it was a good year with surgeries and all.

We saw the kid's families once during the summer in Indiana and again in the fall on our way south.

On the downside once we reached the valley for the winter I contracted the Texas Crud which lasted for 2 weeks, 9 boxes of Kleenex, 2 boxes of Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold, 3 bags of cough drops, NyQuil, DayQuil and a ¼ bottle of Buckley's Mixture, which Dale ordered off the web. In the past Buckley's has usually put an end to any cold I get in short order. This time it took multiple doses, which is awful. A commercial that stopped running a few years when the company was sold touted, “It Tastes Awful, But Works!”

BTW the contents of this mixture, that is Canada's revenge for some unwarranted transgression, is as follows according to the “Wired” website:

This cough suppressant acts on the brain, not the throat. It breaks down into a sedative, making your nervous system more tolerant of tickles that would otherwise cause coughing.

Makes inhaled air feel cleaner and cooler, but it doesn’t actually decongest you. You only think you’re breathing more easily.
Canada Balsam
A fancy name for turpentine made from the resin of fir trees. It functions as an expectorant, helping you hack up the gunk in your respiratory tract.
Ammonium Carbonate
In smelling salts, the fumes of this volatile compound irritate your lungs to jolt you awake. Here, it causes mucous membranes to produce less-viscous phlegm that’s easier to cough up.
Tincture of Capsicum
After the ammonia and menthol flavors have faded, what’s that burning, tingling taste that remains? Probably this preparation of ground-up peppers dissolved in at least 80-proof alcohol. It supposedly helps prevent nausea from all that turpentine.
Pine Needle Oil
Very big in aromatherapy circles, where it’s described as “invigorating” and “uplifting.” Here it’s used to uplift phlegm and mucus from your bronchial passages.
Buckley’s calls this seaweed extract a “viscosity-suspending agent,” and it thickens many processed foods. But certain types of carrageenan also have antiviral properties. It seems that the gummy goodness can block the cold virus from entering your cells and replicating.
Another thickener. Americans expect that syrupy mouthfeel in their cold medicines.
Sodium Saccharin
In Canada, Buckley’s is sweetened with cyclamates — legal in most countries but not the US, where a dodgy 1969 study said they gave bladder cancer to rats. In the US, they use saccharin. Cowards.
As you can see one dose is usually all it takes more than one is normally more than your body will tolerate. We were introduced to this concoction, by Dale's parents from their trips to South Texas, the Canadians in their park pushed it upon them as a cold cure all or maybe just a nasty joke, I feel for it. I would usually buy 3-4 bottles on my fall business trips to Ontario, and subject the entire family to this cure for a cold. Usually for the kids just the sight of the bottle was enough to make sniffles disappear, well at least while home. At one time before the sale of the US operations we could purchase it at E&S Sales a bulk food store that caters to the Amish in Shipshewana IN

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cruising along. . .

We spent the next few days cleaning up our place in Mission. I cleaned Mom's trailer inside and out and then I tackled the Texas Room. Terry got the golf cart running and then powerwashed both the Texas Room and Mom's trailer.

On Tuesday we went to the airport to meet my sister Nita and Mom. They arrived on time and had good flights all the way from Indianapolis. I had made homemade vegetable beef soup, so that was waiting for us when we got back to the park. It worked out well and Nita helped me clean up from supper. They then went back to Mom's and rested before bedtime.

There wasn't much for them to do since we had gotten everything cleaned so we visited mostly during the time Nita was here. She walked with us every morning and I took her to garage sales in Hidden, one of our neighboring parks. We didn't find anything. . . there was very little even out.

We did a little grocery shopping and made sure we had all our ingredients for our park dinner on Thanksgiving. We chose to do that instead of have to cook all day for ourselves. LOL I actually do have a turkey, though. H.E.B. had them on sale for 98 cents a pound for a Butterball, so I bought a smaller one and put it in the freezer for some later time.

We have had a couple cool days and today turned cool and windy again after having an 84* day yesterday.

Nita left early Monday morning. Terry and I took her to the airport and before we left the drive, she had already checked her bag, so we left. McAllen is a very nice, small airport which is easy to get to and easy to negotiate. It was nice to finally settle in with just Terry, Mom and I, but I do miss Nita. It's fun to have "sister" time occasionally.

Sunday Terry started getting sick with what is known down here as the "Texas Crud." He is still coughing, sneezing and gagging and not eating much. We have both been down this road before and he should be starting to feel better soon. I think he surely has had his worst day already. He probably won't be able to go to the dinner tomorrow though. I may bring him something back.

I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all and may God bless you and your family.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We have arrived in Mission, Texas!

We arrived in the RGV for the winter on Saturday afternoon. So far all I have done is clean and organize the stuff we had stored in the Texas Room. My mom and sister are flying down today. Mom's place is right behind us, so I cleaned it good yesterday so she wouldn't have to do that. I know my sister would have done that, but they will surely be tired when they get here. Mom is 92, but still going strong. We will pick them up this afternoon. I then cleaned the Texas Room which is actually a 12 x 28 efficiency apartment, did laundry, etc. We put up our swing so Mom has a place to sit and watch the park activity. My back is pretty achy today. It will be fine, but I probably did too much yesterday. All the nerve pain is gone for good though, so a brisk walk later should help with the achiness.

The day we got here I spent several hours with a lost dog. My dog is a Scottie and when I was over checking out things at Mom's a neighbor pointed to the wandering Westie and asked if he was mine. I had a white Scottie, but she is gone now. I have such a soft place for Westies and Scotties. He had THREE tags on him, but no name tag and no owner phone number. A dog tax tag, a vet tag and a chip tag. I called the chip and vet tags, but late Saturday afternoon no one was home. I went home and got the leash and he was sooooo friendly and walked so good on the leash. At least I knew he would be a park resident. Our park is all fenced and the open gate was quite far away from this little guy. The neighbor, a full year resident, got her golf cart and we took him through the park to find his owner. His tags were Wisconsin, so we hunted for Wisconsin plates. Two streets over a lady on her porch said she saw a "big guy" walking this dog earlier. New residents on the same street are from Wisconsin and Carol, my friend, knew him to be a big guy. We went to their place and their porch deck had all kinds of dog stuff on it, but the gate was open. Knocked on the door and no one was home despite their golf cart and car being there. But no dog came to the door either, so their dog was lost or they had it with them.

My friend had the guy's phone number so she called. No answer so left messages. Another neighbor a couple houses down said she was sure it was their dog and knew some other people in the park they hang with. So off we went to Gigi's house. She knew the dog and his name is "Chance." He is such a lover. When I hugged him he would give me kisses. Fortunately Gigi has the woman's phone number so we called. They had just left church and were headed out to eat. Was sure this wasn't her dog because they had left him in the house. Well, guess what? Gigi assured her it WAS Chance. They came home and got their sweet, sweet boy. They said when they get ready to leave he goes under their bed. Dick had stepped out on the deck for something and they figure at that moment Chance ran out with no one seeing him. They were so upset that he had gotten out. Chance is 13 years old, but appears much younger. He is really is good shape and you can tell he is well cared for.

I had met Chance last year when they first came down and rented. Dick remembered me because of my Scottie. We had a good visit and even though we had taken good care of Chance, he was glad to see his Mom and Dad! LOL. They are going to get him a tag and put their owners number on it along with his name. And they are going to be more careful of checking on Chance before they leave.

Chance is a rescue. They had a Westie who had died. Chance came into rescue and they agreed to foster him for a day or two. When they were cleaning him up, they found him to have multiple bee bees imbedded in his face and back. They decided them they were keeping him to keep him safe from ever being abused again. So glad we got to meet them and keep Chance safe for them. I'm sure it won't happen again, but we certainly did love on him while we searched for his owners!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Free Time!

The kids left Friday for a Disney cruise. It was a surprise for Brynlee. While we were out for dinner Thursday night, she got a call from Mickey Mouse himself telling her all about the cruise and the fun she would have. I still don't think any of that had sunk in even though Megan showed her a picture of the ship they would be on.

The cruise took them to the Bahamas, but a tropical storm threatened to dampen their plans. But I know there is a lot of stuff to do on those ships, especially one set up for family and lots of kids, so I'm sure she is having a blast. They are due back in port tomorrow morning and will be home after that.

We have been collecting packages at their house, as I order their Christmas stuff and then bring it back to the motorhome to wrap. I will have that all done today. As a matter of fact, we are going over there after lunch. I am going to get caught up on my laundry and we will watch the race there on Brandon's big screen TV. That is if Terry can figure out how to run their system! LOL

I also am going to try and update all my GPS programs. I never have a place to do that, so will try to do it there.

I have gotten back to walking and walked two miles this morning faster than I have been doing it. I don't necessarily try to walk fast, but just try to keep up a steady pace. It was not quite 70* this morning with a breeze and very nice for walking. It's not supposed to rain today, but it certainly has clouded up and looks like it could.

Yesterday we drove down to Okeechobee, Florida, to look at RV lots. By the time we got there it was pouring rain. I guess it was not the right day to do this as that is the tropical storm that is putting a damper on Brynlee's cruise. We did do some looking around and picked up a magazine, so we have some stuff to look at. Had hoped to spend some time in Florida looking at stuff, but Mom decided to come to Texas earlier rather than later, so we won't have time to do it now. But there is one place up near Tallahassee we are going to look at on our way out of Florida.

Had some excitement in the campground yesterday. We were getting ready to leave when a man walking a dog came up to us and informed us there was a woman out in the woods who said she had been on the ground for two days and needed help. He had called 911 and was taking a bottle of water back to her and asked if we would stay and direct the ambulance to the path right in front of our motorhome.

This may seem crass, but this couple had been through here two days ago. I also was concerned when I saw them stumbling and pushing a grocery cart and another two-wheeled cart filled with their belongings. They were trying to negotiate the water-filled ditch in front of our motorhome and pushing their stuff through the sand. It wasn't working and as they struggled they eventually both collapsed. They were drunk and incapacitated. At that point, I called the park office. A ranger came out and addressed them by name. Seems they are known in the park and have quite a history. They came in after Irma and a church paid site rent for one week for them. Then they pleaded with some campers to camp on their site while they were there. When those people left, they moved. The park had them in two different sites, but eventually they quit paying anything and the park asked them to leave. She claims she has a bad hip, but the ranger said he has seen her walk all over the park and even ride a bike all over the park. He said they have money for booze and cigarettes, but won't use that money to help themselves. He tried to convince them it would be easier to move their stuff if they would move it over to the paved road, but they refused. He told me they want to go into the woods and camp which is illegal. But he said if they do and nighttime security finds them they will be arrested.

Eventually the woman collapsed again, so the ranger called 911. The man immediately took off leaving his "friend" behind. She remained on the ground until just before the police got them, then walked off into the woods, leaving all their stuff behind. The police and park security went into the woods and brought the man out. They checked him out and then let him go. Eventually he pulled their carts back into the woods and we never saw them again.

Until yesterday morning. When the camper asked us to direct the paramedics, we stayed on site till they got there. They all went into the woods and brought the woman out on a stretcher, but she was sitting up talking and appeared in good condition. The man was no where to be found. So it's a good thing they got her out so she will have a nice, clean, warm place to spend a night or two in the hospital. The storm that rolled through last night dumped a lot of water in the park. I'm thinking that is the last we will see of her. I'm sure social services will try and help her out.

So things are going smoothly here.

Till next time. . .