Saturday, November 28, 2015

Been A'While. . .

We have enjoyed very good weather since we arrived here in the Valley. We have been in shorts most days except for like . . . today. We had a cold front come through last night and things really cooled down.

Mom and Dad are not here. Dad does not want to spend three days riding in the car to get here. I can't blame him. Mom doesn't want to fly, but they have considered it. Time will tell. It is much colder up there already, but I don't think it's a bad place for them. Their grandkids visit occasionally and they are just a few steps from Nita's place. They spent Thanksgiving there and they had a lot more people around them there than they do here. Daddy even says that he knows so few people here anymore and that's probably true because as people get older, they either don't come down anymore or they die. Unfortunately the average age of the residents in this park is "old," and that is happening more and more. We plan to spend our winters here with them, so if they do decide to come down we will be here.

They were able to attend a Veteran's Day program at one of their great grandson's school in Lafayette, Indiana. Dad got to stand and be recognized and he really enjoyed accepting the accolades from the crowd. He is very proud of his service in the South Pacific during World War II and we are very proud of him. There aren't that many WWII vets left anymore and Daddy is 91. 

We have been working on getting things cleaned up and I must say, we haven't taxed ourselves doing that. We walk every morning and ride bikes every afternoon, so we have been getting some exercise. We already visited with friends that we somehow missed all last year, so that is good. We went out to eat with them at the Riverside, for tenderloins of course, and it was very good.

The park is not very full. We probably only have enough people on our street to fill up one side. More will come in after Thanksgiving and then more even after Christmas.

Thanksgiving was good. We had a great meal down at the hall. This year I helped get the turkeys in the roasters and then went back a few hours later to carve them and get that mess cleaned up. It's not a bad job and both times, it was just about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of work. A lot of workers makes for a short session.

This week will be busy. We have been unloading the motorhome as it is going into the shop on Monday. We are having an engine problem and we need to get it fixed. In fact, we can't leave until we do. We talked with the CAT service center and they seem very knowledgeable about what was happening and the potential cause, so that was encouraging. And they will work with our extended warranty company, so that's a plus. They think they will just have it a week tops, so we are hoping that is the case. In the meantime, we will be living in the Texas Room. It will be cramped but comfortable with all the necessities. We have been hauling stuff out of the closet as they may have to get into the hatches to access the engine. That is a real job and the reason they charge motorhomes $140/hour labor. But it has to be fixed. We cannot run far until it is done.

While the motorhome is out from under the canopy, we are having it birdproofed. There was so much bird crap on the pad and around the Texas room that is is actually a health hazard, so we are having the purlins wrapped. It is expensive because they are using steel to do it and it's rather labor intensive, setting up scaffolding, etc. But when it's done the pigeons will have to find someplace else to roost. We are also adding some spikey strips on the shed and the Texas room. We are hoping that takes care of the problem.

Till next time. . .


Friday, November 06, 2015

Rio Grande Valley!

We made it down to our lot in the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday. We spent the night in Edinburg, Texas, at a park that is good for an overnight. That way, we only had 39 miles to drive in the morning, would arrived before noon, and be able to clean up the pad a bit before backing in. The pigeons love crapping all over the concrete. Not as much this year as in years before, but they hit the Texas Room worse this time. We are settled in and working a little bit each day to brighten up the place.

We had to start by whacking back our cacti. I love cactus, but I am continually reminded that they are actually a weed and thereby don't play by all the rules. My aloe plants are taking over and threaten to pierce the other cactus on the front, so I think I will be removing one of those. The prickly pear type  we planted is growing so fast. They had to be trimmed before we could back in. I will have to start picking up the leaves. I bought new leather gloves just to do that with, so hopefully I can save my hands. It is a fact that cactus grow the most during the hottest, driest parts of the the summer. They don't grow or bloom much in the winter. That is curious.

This morning we went to Quinta Mazatlan, an adobe home that is one of the largest adobe homes in Texas. It is run by the city of McAllen as a historical site. It was a single family dwelling owned by two different families until it was taken over by the city. The gardens around it attract a lot of native birds and insects. It is a lovely place and very well kept now.

Tomorrow is Pulga day, which is the Mexican flea market. We like to go there. It's just across the street and there are always lots of fruits and vegetables to buy.

We have all winter to get our work done. :-)

Till next time. . .


Monday, November 02, 2015


We finally made it to Houston. We arrived on Sunday in time to watch the Nascar race. It was raining pretty hard, however, and we weren't able to get the satellite to work. Once the rain slacked off, the picture came in and we were able to watch it.

Today we went to Terry's cardiology appointment. We were seeing the doctor who did the implantation of his new ICD last year. He is a really nice doctor and we really like him. We had to wait a bit to see him, but there had been a death in his family and he apparently had to take some time off, so they were squeezing everybody in. No problem for us.

When we got done there, we drove over to my cousin Jim's house. He was waiting for us. We had a lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup and it was really yummy. Jim is doing well and it was great to be able to visit with him this afternoon. We always enjoy touching base with him. His sister Pat will be arriving in a couple weeks and then they will both go back to Oregon for Christmas.

We are staying in a different campground this time. This is Advanced RV Resort in Pearland. We could not get a campsite at our regular haunt here in Houston. But this was a very nice camp. A bit further away from where we needed to be, but certainly do-able. I was able to do laundry here and got all caught up. With all the rain, I had lots of towels to wash from drying the dogs off, etc. I used my washer as well, but took two loads to the laundry here in the park. It was close by and cheap.

Tomorrow we head to the valley but will likely stop short of going in. We like a short drive the last day so we can get in and take our time setting up. It is dry there right now, so we want to get in before it starts raining again.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, November 01, 2015

New Camp

When we left Gary and Jo's, we traveled across Louisiana and to the town of Vinton, just 4 miles from the Texas line. We stayed in a county park called Niblett's Bluff County Park. They had 50 amp with water and a dump station. We stayed there two nights.

It started raining when we got there and continued to rain all the rest of that day and the next. There were flood warnings and we were sitting on the Sabine River. Across the river was Texas. We didn't think too much about it because we were sitting back a ways in the camp and we should have plenty of warning if the river should rise. And the river did rise. I'm not sure how much rain they got, but there was a pretty heavy rain for a day and a half. But also, the areas to the north got heavy rain, so that would all eventually drain into the river.

The day we got there, we went out and walked on the piers which were built in a "U" shape from the shore. They were not floating docks, however, so when the river came up, the piers went under. The boat ramp was the first area to flood, then eventually the piers and it was odd to see the pier benches seemingly floating on top of the water. The were actually affixed to the piers themselves. The fish cleaning stations were under water and the road to the boat ramp was impassable. But we were high enough it didn't bother us and we were able to get out and continue our journey to Houston.

BUT. . . not without stopping first at the Delta Downs casino. We were there less than an hour and walked out with just over $35 to the good. If we had had more time, we might have stayed longer, but we wanted to get on in to Houston.

Till next time. . .