Woohoo! Another gate!

We got a call from Shawn early Friday evening telling us that a position at a gate was opening up on Sunday morning and he wanted us to go check it out to make sure that we’d fit.  We took a ride over on Saturday morning to check out the location.  It’ll be a bit of a tight/strange fit but Michael can handle it.

The gate is just around the corner from the gate we worked this past Spring over near Cotulla and is with the same oil company we worked with at that time too.  It’s also a rig…the same rig we worked with this spring…with the same Company men!

We talked with the female half of the gate guard team that was on the gate and found that they’re moving to a gate in west Texas.  She gave us some information about the gate…like the fact that there are deer on this particular lease and the gate needs to be closed unless we are right outside to keep the deer from jumping ship.

It started raining Friday morning about 6:00 am…but only just a little bit and then it rained off and on over the course of the day.  But then starting about 9:00 pm it really started raining….in sheets…and it rained nearly all night…and all day Saturday…and all day Sunday!

Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to go out to eat together for a while we went out for breakfast at Andy’s on a dark, dismal Saturday morning.  Still amazed at how nice the inside of the restaurant is compared to what the outside looks like.  Just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover.  Our meals were just as good as they were in the past.  We’ve never had a bad meal at Andy’s.

We also had a few errands to run:  the post office to mail a couple of packages to our sons, HEB for weekly grocery shopping and Walmart for a few odds and ends.  That should do us for a while.

Elaine & Charlie

Elaine & Charlie

While we were out running errands I got a message from a fellow gate guard who we met via Facebook but not yet in person.  She let us know that they’re in Carrizo Springs for the night and invited us to stop by for a visit.  We stopped by and spent several hours visiting.  We could have chatted for several more hours, I think, but it was getting late and we needed to get something to eat.  Hopefully, our paths will cross again soon.

While we were visiting with Charlie and Elaine I got a message from Shawn saying that we might have to postpone moving to our new gate for a day or two because it’s so wet from all the rain we’ve had.

My hand stitched Amish quilt

My hand stitched Amish quilt

Since we didn’t move on Sunday we went back over to Charlie and Elaine’s and visited again for a couple of hours.  Elaine is an awesome crafts person…sewing, quilting, crocheting, etc.  With that in mind, I asked her if she’d take a look at an Amish quilt I have but is a little too small for our king-sized bed…hoping that she might be able to add some material to it to make it big enough to use on our bed.

We took the quilt over to her and she had great suggestions on how to enlarge it and agreed to work on it when she has time as there is no rush since we haven’t been able to use it in 5.5 years and we just purchased a new bed covering anyway.

It finally stopped raining sometime overnight Sunday/Monday but it was still too wet to try to pull our coach onto the wet, soggy, muddy, grassy area of the new gate we’ll be working.  Shawn said probably a couple of days before we’ll move now.

However, he asked us if we’d work the day gate we worked last week…for at least one day, Monday.  We had no problem with that…it’s easy work and brings money in just the same.  Shawn called at 8:23 am and we were gone within 20 minutes.

One of the worst areas on the road

One of the worst areas on the road

Leona River Road, the road the gate is on was in horrible shape last year when we were there.  Terribly muddy, rutted…so bad they had us bring our coach in via a much longer route.  We knew it had been worked on since then but wondered what kind of shape it would be in after all the rain we received over the last few days.  Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad…just one area that was completely under water.

Our 'Go' bag

Our ‘Go’ bag

Michael suggested last time that we should put together a ‘Go’ bag so that we’re ready if/when day gates arise.  I thought it was a great idea so we through it together last week.  It contains toilet paper, paper, pens, cards, snacks, water, soda, garbage bags, paper plates, utensils, napkins, etc.

With all that already in the truck and ready to go all we had to do was gather our electronics (Kindle, tablets, laptops), some ice and lunch makings (bread, cheese, lunchmeat, may0) and we were on our way!  Great job, Mikey!

Ready to work!

Ready to work!

We arrived at the gate at 10:00 am and got settled in.  The workover rig and it’s crew were already down on the pad so we didn’t have a whole lot of traffic… a total of 19 vehicles for the day.  We were surprised when Zack (the Company man) left at 1:00 pmish and told us we were done for the day…just needed to wait for the rig crew to come out and then we could leave.  Awesome-sauce!

Yummy fresh oranges

Yummy fresh oranges

Enrique gave us a half-dozen oranges fresh from Weecho’s tree.  They’d shared some with us last year and they were pretty tasty so this will be a nice treat.

They will need a gate guard again tomorrow morning for a few hours while the guys finish up but we’re not 100% sure if we’ll be going or not.  We’ll be going back again tomorrow and then hopefully it will be dry enough for us to move to our new long-term gate on Wednesday.

Wish I could have gotten a better picture!

Wish I could have gotten a better picture!

The highlight of the entire day…perhaps even the week was when I heard a vehicle coming and looked up to see that Enrique was on his way out….but he was following what I thought was a goat…a BIG goat…that was running down the side of the road straight for me.  I was almost out of the truck when Michael told me to get back in as we didn’t know what this BIG animal was apt to do.  When I closed the door he turned around and headed back up the road.

We’d been on this lease before and have never seen any exotic animals before…strange.  Enrique said they think he must be from next door and got into this ranch through a hole or something.

After a little research I found out that this cool dude is a Scimitar Oryx is originally from Northern Africa but has been extinct in the wild since 2000.  They are now bred in captivity in a few places around the world and one of those places just happens to be in Texas!

Itty bitty baby buck

Itty bitty baby buck

Then if that wasn’t enough….as I was writing about the exotic creature who visited I heard sloshing outside and looked up to see a pretty little buck walking through the standing water (small pond!) in the lease next door!

Staying nice and dry in my cool red boots!

Staying nice and dry in my cool red boots!

Since it was nice and muddy I took the opportunity to wear the rain boots I’d gotten from Dan and Amanda for Christmas last year and they were awesome!  Comfy and no sloshing around in the mud or water and ruining my shoes or pants.

I’ve been doing some blogging for Heartland, the manufacturer of our 5th wheel, and have had 5 posts published at this point. If you’re interested in reading those blog posts you can find that HERE at this website.  There are a few others bloggers making posts, as well, but mine are labeled with my name.

 

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Got a Gate…

Our gate this time...

Our gate this time…

We got a call from Shawn at 7:20 Monday morning letting us know that he need us on a day gate immediately.  It just so happens that the gate was one that we worked January for a couple of weeks (out of our coach) and then in March Michael worked there a couple of times when it was a day gate.  A day gate is just that…usually only open during daylight hours, so roughly a 12 hour day.

This job was with a workover rig (that’s pretty much what we worked with last spring when we worked day gates) that was getting a pump jack up and running.  The wells over in this area only flow freely for so long before they need a little boost to help the flow and the pump jack is that boost.

...and same gate 10 months ago

…and same gate 10 months ago

We weren’t in ‘gate guard’ mode at all but got ourselves together pretty quickly.  I threw together snacks and food while Michael gathered other supplies:  internet card, tablets, chargers, chairs, drinks, etc.  We ended up pulling out of the yard about 25 minutes after we received the call.

We made a stop for diesel and a stop for breakfast sandwiches and were on the road for the 50ish mile drive by 8:00 am.  We arrived at the gate about 9:00 am and got settled in before our first vehicles arrived about 15 minutes later.

Love those south Texas sunrises

Love those south Texas sunrises

We had a very pleasant surprise when one of our old regulars, Enrique, showed up.  He used to have a crew of three others with him but now rides alone as he is in a supervisory position.  He’s a ‘talker’ so it was good to catch up with him.

We had a shortish first day, getting done about 4:40 pm.  But that was nice as we planned to make a couple of stops on the way home.  We wanted to get some small bottles of propane and cough syrup from Walmart and then we wanted to pick up some lunch stuff from Walmart so that we were ready for a week of living out of the truck.

Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day!

The second morning we arrived at 6:30ish to find a beautiful porta-potty had been delivered….all thanks to our friend Enrique who reminded the Company Man that gate guards have to ‘go’ too!  Such a nice boy that Enrique.

Our days were pretty quiet with only 50 vehicles going in and out both Monday and Tuesday.  We passed the time by using our tablets, phones and laptops (thank goodness for electronics).  I also finished a book, started and completed another and started a third…all with my handy-dandy Kindle!

Michael’s back has been acting up so I did most of the opening of the gate as at this location the gate needed to be closed at all times and then just opened for each vehicle.  Not bad actually….especially since the traffic was light.  It was a great way to get my ‘steps’ in!  Michael was a great chauffeur!

Another time passer is wildlife viewing.  This particular gate has a lot of Cardinals…which I remembered from the last time we were there.  They’re so vibrant in the brownish background!

Meep Meep!

Meep Meep!

We also had a roadrunner come by to visit…not much fear in him as he would wander within a couple of feet of us and I’ll bet he would have come right up to us if we’d had any food to offer him.  When we were here last time I fed him/her (or a relative) raw meat and they loved it.

Tuesday we worked a little bit longer….until 6:30 pm as the rig crew was finishing up the job that they were there to do.  So that left Wednesday to be a very short day.  The rig and it’s crew pulled out at 9:20 am and we left about 11:30 am as we had two trucks coming in to pick up a pump and a tank.

Desi's

Desi’s

We decided to stop in Batesville at Desi’s Restaurant and get some lunch before heading home.  We’d been there once before and I knew that they had pepper steak and I’d been craving some.  Pepper steak in this area is a hamburger steak stuffed with cheese & jalapenos and I had them add some grilled onions and green peppers too.  Yum!  Michael went with his usual chicken fried steak.

We were home about 1:00 pm and spent the rest of the day vegging.  It felt so good!  This was just a three day gate but still pays the same and now we wait to see what’s next!

After a little more than a week Michael’s bronchitis seems to finally be waning.  He finished all of his meds (cough syrups, cough pills, steroids, antibiotics, inhalers) several days ago but it didn’t seem that there was much improvement.  But finally last night was the first night of no coughing fits.  Let’s hope that we’re over that hump!

The bronchitis has kind of hindered the results of the CPAP.  With all the coughing and getting up to takes meds, etc it’s been hard to tell if the CPAP is actually helping.  Although, Michael has said that when he was able to sleep he slept good.  I also noticed that it was very (almost too) quiet on his side of the bed.  No snoring, no purring, no puffing…kinda eerie actually.  No that the bronchitis seems to been on the mend lets hope we’ll be able to get a more accurate view of what the CPAP can do.

Installing the piano hinge

Installing the piano hinge

One thing that Michael was able to accomplish before we were sent out on this gate job was to fix one of my ‘barrel’ cabinets on the kitchen island.  We’ve been having trouble getting one of the cabinets to stay shut for a while.  At first we could lift up on it and coax it to stay closed.  But in recent weeks it just would not latch any longer.  Before we left San Antonio I made Michael promise that he would fix it when we got to Carrizo since he’d already purchased the replacement parts for it….and the came through!

I emptied all of the spices out of the cabinet and Michael removed the old hinges from the cabinet.  There were originally two hinges with 4 screws each holding the cabinet in place.  Michael purchased a single piano hinge with THIRTY screws to hold it in place.  He would like to have had a center punch to make the job a little easier but he got it done with just a trusty screw driver.  The cabinet, once again, opens and closes perfectly!

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San Antonio Wrap Up and Moving Day

Our stay at Ft. Sam came to an end today.  We always enjoy our time here as we get plenty of rest and an equal amount of chores done.

This past week Michael finally got all the bugaboos cleaned off the front cap.  He’d wanted to get it done since we got here and he just never was able to get to it.  But now it’s done….just in time for us to hit the road and get it covered with bugs all over again!

My handy Mikey's on the job

My handy Mikey’s on the job

Recently the pull handle for the gray tank (kitchen sink) stopped working.  Thankfully, it was stuck in the ‘open’ position so it wasn’t a rush job.  Michael got under the coach, took the underbelly down in the area that the cable for the valve handle is located and checked out the issue.  He found that the sheathing on the outside of the cable had slipped out of the valve.  While I opened and closed the handle in the UDC he manipulated the sheathing and got it back to where it needed to be and after a short while the handle was, once again, in working order.

The wall going up to our bedroom is covered with pictures of us with each of our grand babies.  Our daughter in law, Kelsea, gifted me a set of light-weight picture frames a few years ago…when we had just 4 grandbabies (now we have 5).  This summer we got 2 more picture frames and Kelsea decorated them for me.

A wall for our sweet grandbabies

A wall for our sweet grandbabies

The pictures of all the babies needed to be updated as most were about 3 years old…plus our youngest grandbaby, Zoe, needed to be included.  I worked on getting new pictures of everyone and got those printed while we were here and then Michael added Zoe’s frames to the wall and I added the new pictures to all of the frames.  Our grandbaby wall is now up to date!  It’s one of my favorite things.

We also finished up our medical appointments this week.  Plus made a visit to the Emergency Room at Audie Murphy.  Michael’s asthma/allergies really kicked into high gear and he used his inhaler so much (he seldom needs it) that he needed a refill.  When he went to the clinic to get a refill they suggested that he go to the ER to be checked out.

At the ER he was told he should have come in sooner.  He diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis.  They gave him a breathing treatment, cough syrup for night, cough pills for day time, 2 inhalers, Prednisone and an antibiotic.  This was on Monday…it’s now Saturday and I’m not sure he’s improved a whole lot….maybe a little…lets hope there’s a dramatic improvement very soon.

Get a lesson in using his new machine

Get a lesson in using his new machine

Michael also had an appointment at the VA Hospital to pick up a CPAP that had been prescribed.  The gentleman that helped Michael was very helpful and explained how to use the machine very well.  It’s much smaller than I thought it would be and (thankfully) much quieter.  I was afraid it was gonna be some loud obnoxious thing that caused me to lose sleep.

Michael used it for the first time last night.  He had some issues with wheezing due to the bronchitis/asthma and was up nearly every hour for a while.  But when I asked him when he’d last used his inhaler he realized it had been quite a while so he used it then.  After that point we slept MUCH better.  He felt that he had a much deeper sleep when he was actually able to sleep.  We’ll see how things go in the future.

Now just to get some flowers from my husband....

Now just to get some flowers from my husband….

The last of our medical appointments was for me….a mammogram.  :-/  I used a different office from where I normally go.  Even as a new patient the visit went very smoothly and very fast.  Michael waited in the truck and I don’t think I was in there more than 30 minutes from start to finish (including filling out paperwork!).  Then to top of the experience I was given a rose as I left…how nice was that?

While in San Antonio we also took the opportunity to make an appointment at the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) office so that they could help file some paperwork to have Michael’s sleep apnea and now the issuance of the CPAP machine added to his claim.

The woman we met with was very helpful and informative.  She got the paperwork filed and told us we should hear something fairly soon.  She also confirmed that I was listed as Michael’s dependent in the VA system.  I hadn’t been listed prior to Michael going online a few days earlier and updated the information.

We also ran multiple errands in preparation for heading down to the oil patch.  It’s not always easy to get things accomplished while either working on a gate or waiting for one so we try to plan ahead.  Things like haircuts and pedicures are much easier to have done while in the civilized world.  Buying materials for projects to be done while out in the middle of nowhere is very helpful.  Stocking up on groceries at the commissary is also something we tend to do as the variety and quality is much better than what we can find down in the little tiny towns of south Texas.

This time we also got new Samsung S7 phones (these are not the ones that are having issues) on Black Friday as they had a pretty decent deal on them.  Our S5s were a couple of years old and starting to show their age…slowing down, doing their own thing.  The new ones have more storage capacity and better cameras.

Nice AMC Theater in the Riverwalk Center Mall in San Antonio

Nice AMC Theater in the Riverwalk Center Mall in San Antonio

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in one of our favorite ways.  We went to the AMC Theater down on the Riverwalk and watched 2 movies.  The first was ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.  It’s kind of a Harry Potter spin-off and we both enjoyed it.  The second movie was ‘Arrival’ which was about the arrival of aliens.  Michael really enjoyed it but I wasn’t real sure how I felt about it.  It was good but I think I needed ‘more’…more what….I don’t know.

After the movie we went to Golden Corral for our Thanksgiving meal.  We’re partial to Ryan’s so we didn’t enjoy the food as much as we would have…but you win some you lose some.

And that brings us to today.  Today we moved from Ft. Sam to the Gate Guard Services yard in Carrizo Springs, Texas.  It’s not a long trip…just about 125 miles or so.  We stopped at the Blue Beacon on the way and had both the truck and coach washed and then were on our way.  They must have had some kind of special going on as they only charged us $47.50 to wash both the coach and truck and normally pay around $75.  Normally Michael has them add RainX but today he didn’t….I can’t imagine that would make that much of a difference in the price though.

We had a smooth ride except for one incident.  A semi nearly ran us off the road!  As we passed an on-ramp the semi was in the lane closest to the ramp and we were in the inside lane beside him.  He tried to move into our lane to allow room for the oncoming vehicle and we must have been in his blind spot as he nearly picked us off.  Thankfully, Michael is a very good defensive driver and was able to keep us on the road with just a small swerve, letting off the gas to slow back and laying on the horn to let the guy know we were there.  The semi served back into its lane and all was right with the world!

I was concerned with what the inside of the house was going to be like but it wasn’t bad at all.  The recliners had move a bit and few other things shifted…but not much.  The biggest sign of movement was a small stack of plates, in the cabinet, that had ‘jumped’ up onto another stack…lol…really strange actually.

All set up for who knows how long

All set up for who knows how long

We arrived at the yard just before 1:00 pm.  After stopping to chat with Shawn a bit we pulled into an RV spot and got settled in. While Michael completed his outdoor chores I started a load of laundry and started getting lupper ready to throw on the grill.

There are 2 other RVs here in the yard.  One belongs to Shawn and the other to a gate guard we know but he’s down in the Valley because his daughter is having a baby.  So…hopefully when/if a gate becomes available we’ll be the first to head out.

We decided to celebrate our return to the oil patch with steak & shrimp on the grill along with grilled potatoes and steamed veggies.  Ahhh….what a great way to start our wait for a gate.

 

 

 

 

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Home Just in Time for a Colonoscopy!

Tuesday 11/15

On the way to the airport we stopped at Jimmy John’s to pick up sandwiches for the flight.  Our first flight (from Madison to Detroit) was at 12:30 pm so we left home about 10:00 am as we like to be at the airport a couple of hours before our flight leaves.

We had to change terminals when we arrived in Detroit but the airport isn’t real big so it wasn’t a crazy far walk between gates.  We had about 15 minutes once we arrived before we boarded our flight to San Antonio.

2ps flying high

2ps flying high

Both flights went smoothly.  We didn’t have much of a wait for our luggage to arrive in baggage claim and we pretty much walked right out of the baggage claim area and onto the shuttle bus that took us to the rental car place.

We rented from EZ Rental Car this time as Enterprise didn’t have any cars and this was fairly inexpensive.  I’m not sure we’d go with them again or not.  For being ‘easy’ it took longer than it should have to get a car considering we were the only people there.  Picking up the car at Enterprise took less than 5 minutes while EZ Rental took closer to 15 minutes.

It was close to 7:00 pm by the time we left the rental car place and we to Ft. Sam with the idea of grabbing some dinner at the food court, on post, near the FamCamp.  The food court is near where all the young medics stay while they go through AIT (Advanced Individual Training).

We arrived just at the time that they were released for dinner!  Yikes…talk about young soldiers EVERYWHERE.  We got in line at Taco Bell and when we finally arrived at the counter we were told there was a 30-45 minute wait….scratch that.  The lines at 4 of the other eateries were super long but Dominoes wasn’t crazy at all so we went there and found that a pizza would be about 15 minutes…that we could do.  By the time we got our pizza the place was clearing out and by the time we finished it was nearly empty.

After a long travel day we arrived home about 8:00 pm.  We unloaded the car and decided to wait til morning to unpack.  We spent the remainder of the evening relaxing before calling it a day.

Wednesday 11/16

The morning that we left for Wisconsin, Go RV came and removed our leaking gray tank so that they could have it repaired while we were gone.  They came back this morning at 8:30 to reinstall the repaired tank and were gone about 10:30.  Now to wait and see if this fix holds.

Shortly after Go RV left we headed out as we head several errands to run:  return rental car, lunch (no food in the house after 2 weeks of being gone), pick up end table tops, Walgreens (soda), Walmart (colon prep prescription fill) and food shopping at the Commissary.

Check out that awesome end table...designed by my favorite Mikey!

Check out that awesome end table…designed by my favorite Mikey!

The solid surface end table tops were the last item to make our living room transformation complete.  After 5+ years of living with no end tables in the living room we now have 2 awesome end tables with storage space (can’t every get enough!) beneath each of them.

Thursday 11/17

Since I was scheduled for my first colonoscopy Friday morning I spent the day prepping my poor colon for the procedure.  The morning started with a 10 ounce bottle of magnesium citrate….ugh…talk about nasty….and after about 3 hours things started ‘moving’.

Had to drink two of these containers

Had to drink two of these containers

I was given Movi-Prep to help clean out my colon.  It’s mixed with 2 quarts of water (twice) and has to be drank every 15 for an hour until it’s gone (twice).  I was told to drink the concoction at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm but after consulting with the pharmacist I decided to drink at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm so that I might be able to get a bit more sleep since I had to be at the clinic by 5:30 am the following morning.

While I did my prepping, Michael did a few chores of his own.  One of which was to return the suitcases to their home behind the ‘bulkhead’ wall.  While he was doing that he also pulled out some items we’ll need for gate guarding and did some organizing.

Friday 11/18

We arrived at the clinic about 5:15 am.  I got checked in right away and then was taken to the back where I filled out some paperwork and answered some questions.  Once I was given a bed Michael came back and waited with me until they took me back.  We had a bit of a wait but once they took me back to the procedure room things went fast!

I'm baaaaccck!

I’m baaaaccck!

The last time I looked at the clock (before falling asleep) it was 7:13 am, I woke up in recovering at 7:30 am (Michael came back just minutes later) and we were walking out to the truck at 8:00 am.  Whew!  What a whirlwind!

As for the results of the colonoscopy…no polyps, everything looked good!  I have a few diverticuli (pockets in the lining of the colon) which I guess is normal as you age and some internal hemorrhoids which I know I developed during my first pregnancy (Thanks, Zack!).   The best news of all?  I don’t have to go back for TEN years!!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

Just a few blocks from the clinic is Lulu’s Bakery & Cafe.  We’ve been there in the past to partake of their huge 3 pound cinnamon roll but today we were just looking for food to fill our tummies.  Breakfast was good but nothing spectacular.

Once back home we both headed to bed for a nap.  We ended up sleeping for about an hour and a half though I think we both probably could have slept longer but that’s when we woke up so we got up.  This way there was no chance of ruining our chances of a good nights sleep that night.

We spoke with Shawn from Gate Guard Services to let him know that we’re back in the area and will be ready for work starting next Saturday, November 25th.  He doesn’t have any work right now but we’ll go down and wait…just as we have in the past.

Our site here at the FamCamp is paid until Friday, November 24th and Michael now has an appointment at 9:00 am that day so we checked with the office to see if we could extend our stay by one day.  Baker (who works in the office) originally said we’d have to move for that night but after some finagling of sites she was able to make it so that we didn’t have to move after all…she’s pretty awesome!

 

 

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Piano, Sports, Craft Fairs, Sisters & Fish

Our last week in Wisconsin has gone quickly and now it’s almost time to board a plane and head back to San Antonio.  We’ve had a good time spending time with our Wisconsin babies and grandbabies.  Unfortunately, the time always goes much too fast. Our current travel plans include being back in this area in early April for a couple of weeks.  So knowing that helps this Nana’s heart ache a little less.

Alex practicing

Alex practicing piano

Alex (5 in December) is taking piano lessons and is doing really well.  He holds his hands just right and is able to play keys without looking at his hands.  He even gave us an impromptu concert one afternoon when he played “Twinkle, Twinkle” for us.

We were able to go to Alex’s first football lesson of this fall season.  He’s a bit of a peewee compared to some of the other boys but he had a good time nonetheless.  He’s got a good throwing arm but seems to be a bit afraid of the ball when it’s thrown to him but I’m sure soon enough he’ll be catching the ball just as good as he throws it!

Ben practicing soccer

Ben practicing soccer

Ben (3) had his first soccer lesson of the season too….and we were able to attend that too.  He didn’t have a big ‘hurry’ in him as the others ran from one end of the indoor field to the other…he kinda ‘turtled’ it…but that’s our Ben…he marches to the beat of his own drum.  Nothing wrong with that…that’s kinda what makes him so darn cute!

Lunch with Bennie

Lunch with Bennie

Michael and I picked the boys up from school separately on two separate days and took them to McDonald’s for lunch.  They seemed to enjoy the one-on-one time with Nana & Papaw and Nana & Papaw really enjoyed spending time with each of them away from the rest of the world.

Lunch with Alex

Lunch with Alex

On Alex’s day we ran into one of his friends, Henry, from school and sat with him and his dad and the boys chattered away and then played on the play equipment before Henry and his dad had to leave.

Michael’s back has been acting up again.  It was in sad shape when we flew up here but was feeling considerably better while we were up north.  Unfortunately, when we came back from our weekend in Rhinelander he was quite uncomfortable again.  He seems to be improving a bit and I’m hoping that by the time we fly tomorrow he’ll be even better.

Amanda and I went to a craft fair at the area High School this weekend and I came home with more than I planned.  I actually had no intentions on buying anything but ended up finding a Christmas gift for Ben and a couple of items that will work well for us at home – a small Christmas wreath, a dish towel holder and 2 placemats for our dining table.

The spread

The spread

That afternoon my oldest sister, Janice, and her husband Mike made the drive from the Milwaukee area to visit us for a few hours.  Amanda and I put together a lunch of deli meats & cheeses, pasta salads, chips, pickle wraps, cheese and sausage, etc and Janice brought a homemade apple crisp which just so happens to be one of Dan’s favorites.

Lunch with my big sister

Lunch with my big sister

We had a nice visit, although too short, but Janice and Mike had to get back so that they could let the dogs out.  They’d not seen Dan’s new home yet so they got a chance to do that and we were able to do some catching up on our kids and grandkids.

We enjoyed our last Wisconsin fish fry at the St. Joseph’s Church in Dodgeville.  This was the church we attended while we lived in Dodgeville and the fish fry is very yummy.  It’s all you can eat fish (& chicken while not in Lent), french fries, baked potatoes, cole slaw, green beans, bread and dessert.

Amanda’s mom and step dad joined us which is a treat for the babies to have all of their grandparents with them sitting around the same table.  I don’t have any memories like that and hope that we’re making lasting memories for Alex, Ben and Zoe.

Michael all snuggled in, ready for the show to start

Michael all snuggled in, ready for the show to start

Michael and I went to a movie Sunday afternoon at our ‘old’ theater.  The theater went through a renovation last summer and now has recliners for seating.  We’d not been there since they renovated and wanted to check it out and ended up really liking the new seating….quite comfy!

We saw the movie “Hacksaw Ridge” which is a true story about Desmond Doss who was the only Conscientious Objector awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.  He enlisted and served as a Combat Medic while never touching a weapon as it was against his personal beliefs but he wanted to help with the war effort.  He ended up being a true hero during the battle at Hacksaw Ridge where he single handedly brought 75+ men to safety.  Absolutely amazing…go see it!

 

 

 

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A Family Kind of Weekend

Friday 11/4 /6

All seven of us piled into Amanda’s Explorer and make the 200+ mile trek to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  It was actually a fairly comfortable ride.  We made a stop in Plover for lunch at Panera Bread and one other bathroom stop.  We arrived at the Clear Lake Inn, where Dan had rented a cabin/lodge/condo thing for the weekend, just before 4:00 pm.

20161104_161345The cabin was breathtaking!  Four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large open living room, dining room and kitchen with a whole wall of windows looking out over the lake.  Plus it was furnished and all we needed to bring was paper towels, toilet paper and bath towels.  Awesome!

Awesome windowed wall for great views!

Awesome windowed wall for great views!

We spent some time checking the place out and then went down to the lake to check things out there too.  Before long it was time for us to head out for dinner.

Waiting for our table

Waiting for our table

We had a party of 15 meeting at the Al-Gen Supper Club.  My oldest brother, John, sister Vicki and her husband and Vicki’s oldest daughter Tara with her family and then of course, the 7 of us!  We took up three tables in the back corner, same place we sat the last time we were here with a group.

Visitin' with cousins

Visitin’ with cousins

The majority of us had the all you can eat fish fry and it was as yummy as ever.  It’s served with french fries, cole slaw, potato salad, tuna salad, bread and potato pancakes.  It was a nice meal but hard to communicate with everyone at three different tables…even though they were all right next to each other.

We invited everyone to come back to ‘the cabin’ so that we could visit a bit more.  John wasn’t feeling the best so he went home instead.  We had a good visit hanging out in the living room…getting caught up and reminiscing about the past too.

Saturday 11/5

Couldn't get enough of this view

Couldn’t get enough of this view

The ‘cabin’ had an upstairs/downstairs and we had a thirteen month old with us…not necessarily a good situation…even if you barricade the stairway.  Luckily, my niece, Tara is a childcare provider and had an extra baby gate that we picked up Saturday morning.  She’d brought a pack and play to dinner the night before too!  Both made life much easier!

There are certain places we have to eat at while we’re in Rhinelander…it’s just a must.  The Northwestern Lounge is one of those places.  It’s a bar that serves sandwiches but the sandwiches are out of this world yummy.  The meat is piled high…like 2+ inches high!  On top of that they’re extremely reasonable!  Roughly $5.00 for this massive piece of goodness.  You just can’t go wrong.

Auntie Vicki & Ben looking at each other through spy glasses (Vicki's happens to be a toy car)

Auntie Vicki & Ben looking at each other through spy glasses (Vicki’s happens to be a toy car)

Anyway…we stopped at the Northwestern and picked up sandwiches to take home for lunch.  We enjoyed our sandwiches while we played a game of Canasta while enjoying the gorgeous lake view.  Doesn’t get much better.

Tara with her cup full of leaves and stones

Tara with her cup full of leaves and stones

As we were finishing our card game our first round of visitor’s arrived!  Brother John, Sister Vicki, Niece Tara and her daughters Tori & Tia.  We had such a nice visit sitting around the kitchen table.  Alex and Ben kinda fell in love with Cousin Tara, I think. They kept having to go outside and get her more fall leaves and even a few stones and she LOVED it!

Dinner for 19!

Dinner for 19!

That evening we had a total of 19 for dinner at ‘the cabin’!  My nieces Tracy and Karrie (my brother David’s oldest kids) and their crews brought dinner!  How awesome is that!?  Tracy made Ravioli Lasagna and Karrie made Chicken Tetrazzini.  Both dishes were quite yummy and I’m waiting for the recipes for both.  We provided a garden salad and garlic bread and we were set!

Happy Birthday, Joey!

Happy Birthday, Joey!

Karrie’s three kids celebrate birthday’s on November 5th, 9th and 14th so we enjoyed ice cream cake to celebrate the first of those birthdays.  And birthday cake wouldn’t be complete without a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’…..and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’…don’t ask!

Me and nieces Tracy & Karrie

Me and nieces Tracy & Karrie

We spent several hours catching up, laughing and watching the kids run around.  Alex really enjoyed learning that he had SO many cousins….big and small!

Sunday 11/6

3 of our 6 siblings

3 of our 6 siblings

John invited everyone to join him for breakfast at Papillon’s although Vicki and our group of 7 were the only ones that were able to make it.  But that was actually kind of nice as it was much easier to carry on a conversation without having to shout over the din of chatter.

Sweet Alex took it upon himself to remove the leaves and pine needles from his ancestors grave

Sweet Alex took it upon himself to remove the leaves and pine needles from his ancestors grave

After parting ways with John and Vicki we headed north to the Woodruff area.  Our first stop was Evergreen Cemetery to visit my mom, step dad and maternal grandparents who are all buried in the same plot.  While there we always visit the graves of my other relatives too:  My maternal great grandparents (both sides) along with several great aunts and uncles and cousins.  It’s kind of an ‘All in the Family’ kind of cemetery!

The main goal in visiting the area was that we were headed to my cousins home and we arrived there about 1:15 pm.  Jean, who is 91, and two of her daughters, Jeannine and Jalaine live on Whitefish Lake.  Vicki and I normally visit them when I’m in town but Vicki couldn’t make it this time.

The babies enjoyed playing with the toys Jeannine took out for them.

The babies enjoyed playing with the toys Jeannine took out for them.

As always we had such a nice visit.  Jean really enjoyed watching the babies play and even played a bit of a game of ‘I’m gonna get you’ with Alex.  It was the most animated I’d seen Jean in quite a while and it was awesome!

Today's crew

Today’s crew

We had a tasty lunch of sloppy joes, cole slaw, chips, deviled eggs, etc and enjoyed brownies for lunch.  These ladies always know how to spoil their guests.

 

Dan and Amanda's newest work of art

Dan and Amanda’s newest work of art

Jeannine is painter whose works are displayed at one of the gallery’s in Minocqua and there are quite a few of her works around the house.  Dan and Amanda saw them and decided they’d like to own one so the ever gracious Jeannine showed them all of the work she had around the house and after a  very tough decision they came home with a gorgeous water scene.  Now they just need to find a frame for it.

She didn't want him to leav

She didn’t want him to leav

As we were leaving Dan went to give hugs to our hosts and when it came time to hug Jean she wouldn’t let him go!  Six foot tall Dan was hunched over and she had one heck of a grip on him.  The girls kept telling her ‘Mama, you have to let him go’ and she just kept shaking her head ‘no’.  When they finally asked her why she wouldn’t let him go she said, ‘Because, I like him!’.  So sweet.  The rest of us were already outside so I was able to get a couple of pictures through the window.

Monday 11/7

Chilly at the lake

Chilly at the lake

Check out was 10:00 am so we were up and moving fairly early.  Amanda wanted to get some pictures down on the dock so we all headed down to the water once the car was packed and the ‘cabin’ got the once over.  It was a beautiful morning for pictures…especially on the lake.

Pointing at the Big Bad Wolf up in the tree!

Pointing at the Big Bad Wolf up in the tree!

Our little Ben has quite the imagination and kept us entertained all weekend telling us stories about the ‘Big Bag Wolf’ being outside the cabin and that he was stuck way up in the tree and couldn’t get down.  Poor wolf was still up in the tree when we left the cabin!

Friends for life

Friends for life

I got a message from my friend, Linda, who I worked with at Walmart for several years while we lived in Rhinelander.  The note said that she knew we were busy but that we’d better not leave town without at least stopping at the store (she still works at Walmart after almost 25 years!) or I’d be on her ‘list’.  Well….with that looming over my head what more could I do than to stop at the store to see her!?

When we arrived she was in a meeting but I got a page as soon as she got out of the meeting.  We had a brief visit with promises to make it longer the next time we’re in the area.

Our last family get together...  :-(

Our last family get together… :-(

We had one last family get together before leaving town.  This time it was with my niece Nikki (Vicki’s youngest daughter).  It seems that our go to meeting place is always Peking Chinese restaurant and this time was no different.  We had another good visit and enjoyed some of the best Chinese food around.  The only thing missing was Nikki’s husband, Joel, who had to work.  Joel’s been one of my best friends since I was 8 or so…so having him marry my niece was a double blessing.

After lunch we hit the road south.  After an uneventful trip we arrived back at Dan & Amanda’s home about 5:00 pm and Amanda immediately threw 2 Jack’s pizza’s (so so yummy!) on to cook while we all got things unpacked and put away.   After dinner we sat down to watch the latest episode of the Walking Dead…the perfect way to end and already awesome weekend!

 

 

 

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Wisconsin Bound!

Tuesday 11/1

Tuesday morning before we left for the airport we met the guys from Go RV outside the post gates and then, once again, escorted them onto post.  They were back to remove the gray water tank so that they could take it with them and repair it  while we were out of town.  They had the tank removed by the time that we left but still need to put the underbelly back up and clean up before they left.   They come back when we’re back in San Antonio to reinstall the tank and we’ll pray that this fix holds.

Our flight left San Antonio at 11:30 am.  We had an hour layover in Minneapolis (which went really fast!) and then arrived in Madison about 4:30 pm.  Madison is a very small airport and as we came down the escalators to the main part of the airport I was extremely surprised to see three of my most favorite boys (Dan, Alex & Ben) waiting for us at the bottom of the escalators! We normally just text them that we’re ready and they drive around from the cell phone lot to pick us up.  I got some really awesome big hugs from both Alex and Ben before we went over to grab our luggage.

Amanda and Zoe were waiting for us in the car and once we were settled in we headed for dinner.  We went to Hu Hot for dinner…a Mongolian Grill restaurant.  You’re given a bowl and then go through a buffet line picking out your meats, veggies & noodles which you top with various sauces.  When your masterpiece is created you take it to the ‘chef(s)’ and they stir fry it on a massive grill before handed the completed dish back to you to enjoy.  We’ve been to Mongolian Grills before and have always enjoyed them and this time was no exception.  It didn’t hurt to have a grandson on either side of me either!

After dinner we made our when to Dan & Amanda’s home and spent a little time with the grandbabies before it was time for them to head to bed.  Once they were in bed the adults spent a couple of hours playing Hand & Foot.  It always seems to take a long time to finish a game so we didn’t get to finish our game before we called it a night.

Dan has been wanting us to start watching Game of Thrones but since we don’t have HBO we haven’t been able to.  Since they have Chromcast we’re able to watch the show from the beginning…however, we’re six seasons behind!  We watched the first episode the night we arrived and enjoyed it enough that we plan to watch as many episodes as possible while we’re here.

Wednesday 11/2

Our first day here I woke early and was able to see Alex before his Mama took him to preschool and promised him I’d come with his Mama when it was time to pick him up so that he could show me his class room.  When we got there to pick him up he was a bit shy about showing me around but showed me a few things before we needed to leave.

On our way home from ‘school’ we made a quick stop at the post office so that I could drop our absentee ballots in the mail so that they could reach their intended recipient before election day.  We’d had our ballots mailed here and they were waiting for us when we arrived.  I will be SO happy when this whole mess of an election is over with!

Michael, Amanda and I played a game of Racko in the afternoon and I was the big winner!  We always play a lot of game when we’re with Dan & Amanda…love it!

Thursday 11/3

I slept a little later so I didn’t see Alex before he went to school but was able to see Bennie before Mama took him to ‘school’ and told him the same thing I told big brother Alex the day before…that I would come with Mama to pick him up so that he could show me his classroom.

When we arrived Ben was outside on the playground and unfortunately was crying.  He’d fall on the ‘climber’ and hit the side of his face on the climber.  It took a while for him to settle down and at first he didn’t want to show me his classroom but by the time we got to his room to get his backpack he was quite ready to show me his room.  He showed me ‘the weather’, his ‘feelings’ for the day (which he changed from sad to excited), he showed me the tent area, his cubbie and the kitchen among other things…all while chattering away.

He had so much fun he screamed the whole way down!

He had so much fun he screamed the whole way down!

After naptime/quiettime Amanda and I took the babies to the ‘Castle’ park in Fitchburg and let them run.  Ben loved going down the swirly slide while Alex made some friends and had a blast on the tire swing.  Over and over he declared that the tire swing was ‘sick’.  Where the heck he learned that phrase…who knows!?  Alex had me go through the maze in the ‘little’ kids area with him…where the doorways were about waist high…needless to say, Nana had to crawl through the maze on her hands and knees!

"That's sick!"

“That’s sick!”

Back home we enjoyed a yummy dinner that Amanda made…pork carnitas.  It was a new recipe she was trying and I think it turned out really good.  I actually made a salad and put the pork in it and it was really good.  Everyone else put theirs in tortillas with toppings and seemed to enjoy it as much as I did my salad.

After dinner we played a game of Canasta…much like Hand & Foot but it seemed to go much faster than Hand & Foot does.  Dan and I were partners and ended up victorious!  However, I’m not sure that Amanda will partner with Michael again…he kinda messed them up a couple of times.  LOL

We finally headed to bed about 11:30 pm and after doing a little ‘surfing’ on our phones turned off the light.  It didn’t take Michael long before he was asleep….I on the other hand….took forever to fall asleep…at least it felt that way.

Even Zoe got in on the action!

Even Zoe got in on the action!

It seemed like I hadn’t been asleep long when BAM!  There was a terrible crashing sound from upstairs (our bedroom is in the basement) and both Michael and I flew out of bed and immediately started upstairs to see what had happened.  We were met on the first floor by Dan, who was on his way downstairs from the 2nd floor.

We searched the first floor (where the Roomba was quietly doing it’s thing throughout the house) and finally found that a large shelf in the dining room and crashed to the floor taking everything that was on it, with it.  We’re kinda thinking that the two cats (Jordy & Erin) jumped on it and brought it down.

The dining room is directly above our bed and that would be why the CRASH was SO loud.  Wow…what a way to wake up at 1:15 am!

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The Week in Review

Wednesday, 10/26

  • I had my six month follow-up appointment with my doctor. It was a quick and semi-painless appointment.   I’m down 36 pounds,  the nurse did a blood draw (my April blood work was good), got a flu shot.  Unfortunately, Dr. Shaw figured out that I turned 50 in March and hit me up for a colonoscopy and on top of that it’s time for another mammogram.  :-/  I’ll try to get both of those things scheduled for when we get back from Wisconsin.
  • While we were out we ran a few errands.  Our kitchen faucet has been giving us some problems the last few months and has just continued to get worse as now the stream of water is almost non-existent.  We stopped at Lowed and picked up a new Delta faucet.  Have you seen how expensive faucets are!?!?!  We picked up some new hinges for our kitchen barrel cabinet as one no longer wants to stay shut.  Plus we got a can of spray polyurethane so that we could finish up Miss Zoe’s stool and have it ready to take with us to Wisconsin next week.
  • Old LP sensor needing replacement

    Old LP sensor needing replacement

    Our LP gas detector started going off and Michael found that it says to replace 60 months after retail sale –  Nov, 5, 2010 is stamped on back  and our coach was built in March 2011…so it’s time.  Michael easily found the item on Amazon and we ordered it right away.  Unfortunately, I forgot to change the shipping address so it will go to Zack and Kelsea’s and we’ll have to have them forward it to wherever we happen to be…

Thursday, 10/27

  • Michael finally had a follow-up appointment for the sleep study he did a year ago!  His results were lost and the VA in Salt Lake City finally found them and let us know that he was diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  They couldn’t get him in before we left Utah so he made an appointment here in San Antonio.  He will be issued a CPAP unit to wear while he sleeps which should give him a better nights sleep once he gets used to it.  We just have to wait for someone to call us so that we can make an appointment to get the CPAP….hopefully when we’re back here in SA next month…but it doesn’t sound likely.
  • Just a small business but great service so far

    Just a small business but great service so far

    Before Michael’s appointment we stopped at Universal Form Tops to see about ordering some solid surface material to put on the tops of the end tables that Michael built while we were at Zack & Kelsea’s.  We had a very helpful and knowledgeable woman work with us that was able to find some ‘scrap’ material that would work just fine.  With her help we tweaked Michael’s design somewhat, went home and got some more measurements and emailed the new information to her and we’re hoping that with their backlog they’re able to have the table tops for us before we leave San Antonio for the oil patch on November 25th.

  • GOOD Chinese food

    GOOD Chinese food

    The highlight of the day (for me!) was that we had dinner at King Buffet.  It’s one of the better buffets that we’ve found and after dealing with Utah’s strange Chinese cuisine it was a real treat!  We took our time eating so that we missed the worst of the rush hour traffic and were able to have a nice smooth ride home.

Friday, October 28th

  • Day at home working on projects inside and out.
  • I will be doing some blog work for Heartland RVs, the manufacturer of our coach soon.  I worked on putting together my first post and will include a link when it’s published.  I’m excited but nervous to have others read my work.
  • Good home cookin'

    Good home cookin’

    I tried a new recipe…no not for the Instant Pot!  LOL  This one was an easy skillet recipe for Swedish Meatballs and it turned out quite yummy.  I froze half so that we will have another easy meal in the future.

Saturday, October 29th

  • New installed...old ready for the trash

    New installed…old ready for the trash

    Michael replaced the old kitchen faucet with the new one we purchased at Lowe’s on Thursday.   The new faucet is fairly similar to the old one except it’s a hair shorter than the old one.  The biggest difference is that the new one actually sprays water!  The old one was pretty much down to a dribble.  Yay!

  • We got the majority of our packing done for our trip to Wisconsin on Tuesday.  All that’s left is the last minute things…laptops, Kindle, tablets, chargers.

Sunday, October 30th

  • Made the drive to New Braunfels to meet our friend Lee for dinner at Rudy’s.  Last year, about this time, we met Lee and his wife, Linda, in Gruene for dinner at the Alpine Haus.  Sadly, Linda passed away in August but I know she was with us for this dinner as she still lives in our hearts.  Even though there were a few tears over dinner we had such a wonderful visit with Lee.  He will be going on a few mission trips with his church next year and I’m looking forward to hearing about the trips the next time we get together!
  • Since we were in New Braunfels we made two stops.  The first stop was at Camping World.  Michael needed a couple of different sewer fittings, a water regulator and a 30 to 50 amp adapter.  Of those items he only ended up finding the adapter and a sewer cap.  The hunt for the other items continues…
  • We also stopped at Buc-ee’s to fill both fuel tanks up with diesel at $2.11 per gallon.  Of course, while we were there we had to pick up some beef jerky and Buc-ee Nuggets.  Never tried Buc-ee Nuggets?  You can get them on Amazon!  Click HERE to get yours….however, they’re only $3.99 at Buc-ee’s and they want $11.99 on Amazon!  LOL

Monday, October 31st

  • Three guys PLUS Michael under the coach checking things out

    Three guys PLUS Michael under the coach checking things out

    Michael met George and his worker bees from Go RV off post and then escorted them onto post since they don’t have military IDs.  George and crew came to check out one of our grey tanks.  He’d ordered a new one for us in the spring but it took too long to get here so we had him hold it until we got back in the fall.  He wanted to verify that he had the correct tank.  It’s good that he did as he’s pretty sure what he has is too big.  They took measurements and will verify and if it is wrong he will order another.  We’ll either stop by their shop in Three Rivers when we leave here to have it installed or they will come to us in Carrizo Springs when we get there.

  • Little Red Corvette...errr...Accent!

    Little Red Corvette…errr…Accent!

    Just before noon we drove over to the Enterprise by the airport to pick up a car that we rented to get us to the airport Tuesday morning.  We’d decided we didn’t want to pay to leave the truck at the airport and renting a cab (there’s only one company that can come on post) was more expensive than renting a car.  We were in and out in a flash with our little red Hyundai Accent.  We’ll probably put less than 20 miles on it…but oh well…at this point it’s the cheapest and most hassle free option.

  • Surprise visitors Tandee & Victoria!

    Surprise visitors Tandee & Victoria!

    We had a nice surprise in the early evening when we got a knock on the door and it was one of our gate guarding friends, Victoria and a friend of hers.  Her friend is just 3 sites down from us and Victoria was visiting.  We chatted for a bit before they had to head out for dinner.

We’re all set for out flight to Wisconsin and ready to spend time with our Wisconsin Barnett’s.  We’ll be Wisconsin for two weeks if you’re near Madison or Rhinelander…give us a shout…we’d love to try to get together with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moving Day: Ft. Stockton, TX To San Antonio, TX

Nice pool!

Nice pool!

We took the day off yesterday and didn’t do much of anything other than laundry.  In the early evening, we did go over to the pool for a quick dip once the sun had set some and it wasn’t crazy hot as there was no shade over the pool.  We had a nice time just lounging in the pool…just the two of us…not another soul.

Since the restaurant here at the park serves breakfast we decided to take advantage.  At 7:30, when the café opened, we walked across the street for some grub.  We’d gotten up at 7:00 and what chores we didn’t do yesterday we did this morning so that all we had to do was hitch up and pull out when we got back from breakfast.

Delicious breakfast!

Delicious breakfast!

We each had a yummy breakfast…biscuits, gravy, eggs & sausage for me and pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon for Michael.  We also had nice conversation with the waitress and one of the locals.

We said our goodbyes (and I got hugs) from Herb with promises to keep in touch and recommend the park to our friends and readers.  So if you’re ever in the Ft. Stockton area and need a place to stay look for the Ft. Stockton RV Park.  A very nice park for short and long-term stays.  It’s very well maintained with a really nice pool to boot.  The on-site café serves tasty home-cooked meals and the staff were all super-duper friendly and helpful.

Today was a bigger travel day for us with 316 miles to go to San Antonio.  That many miles usually takes us somewhere between 7 and 8 eights depending on traffic and the amount of potty stops we need to take.

One of many mesa's along I-10

One of many mesa’s along I-10

Believe it or not but west Texas actually has some pretty cool scenery!  You might not see much in the way of trees or greenery but the magnificent mesas along I-10 are just awesome!  Just like the flat ground was pushed up to the sky by some unseen force and stayed there.

Solid rock!

Solid rock!

What’s even more interesting is that appears that those cool plateaus are made out of solid rock!  Obviously, we didn’t check each one…but those right along the highway that had to be cut through so that the highway could pass through were.

A little bit different view of a green covered mesa

A little bit different view of a green covered mesa

Once we moved into the Texas Hill Country it greened up and trees and bush sprouted.  The mesas didn’t go away they were just a bit harder to recognize because now they were covered in trees and greenery.

It was overcast when we left the park but we could see that the sun was just about ready to pop through the clouds.  The sun finally reached us about 2 hours after we hit the road, in Ozona.   From that point on we kinda played hide and seek with the sun for the rest of the day.

My Mikey is the best at finding parking while towing our home!

My Mikey is the best at finding parking while towing our home!

We could hear Whataburger calling us since we crossed over the border into Texas and today we just couldn’t ignore the call any longer.  We found one in Kerrville off the beaten path but found parking in a church parking lot right across the busy road.

Our burgers did not disappoint!  They were yummy as were the fries and onion rings that we shared.  Our stop was roughly 45 minutes and then we were back on the road for the remaining 70 miles of our journey.

We arrived at the Ft. Sam FamCamp at 3:00 pm.  We stopped at the office, paid for our month long stay ($440.00) and got our site assignment (site 56).  We’ve been in nearly every part of the park, at this point and now we’re in an area we’ve never been.  We’re kind of in a nice out of the way area, away from the train tracks, which will be nice.

Home for the next month.  Ft. Sam FamCamp - site 56

Home for the next month. Ft. Sam FamCamp – site 56

Michael and the DirecTV satellites in this area don’t normally get along very well (about the only place that that happens) and today was no exception.  However, today it only took about 40 minutes (compared to the normal 1 hour plus) to get locked in on the satellite.  That’s improvement!

I don’t know why it is but whenever we arrive here at Ft. Sam it feels like we’re home.  Although, just being in Texas has the same feel.

We’ll be here for a week for doctor appointments and whatever else and then we’ll be leaving the coach here in the safety of Ft. Sam while we fly to Wisconsin to spend 2 weeks with our son, Dan and his family.  Then we’ll be here for 10 days before we head to work in the oil patch.

 

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Moving Day: Carlsbad, NM To Ft. Stockton, TX

Sunday, October 23

With another fairly short (164 miles) journey today we didn’t pull out of our site until 10:40 am so that we had time to dump our tanks and hit the road by 11:00 am.  We made sure to do our pull/tug test and check our lights before leaving the site….might seem redundant…but we do both EVERY time we start towing.  Dropping the coach on the back of the truck once…was enough.  You can read about it HERE.

As close as Michael could get without going over the curb on this side and hitting something on the other side.

As close as Michael could get without going over the curb on this side and hitting something on the other side.

Unfortunately, the campground must have been created when campers were much smaller than they are today.  The dump station is quite tight (as is the actual entrance to the park) and Michael had to squeeze in enough so that he could get the sewer hose to reach the sewer drain.  If he had pulled forward any further the 5er tires would have gone over the curb.  So once he was done dumping he just backed out of the dump station and back onto the road while I guided.  Thankfully, there was no one else waiting to dump.

We took US 285 all the way from Carlsbad to I-10 just west of Ft. Stockton, Texas.  Let me tell you…285 between Carlsbad and Loving is not a nice road but it really gets rough between Loving and Malaga New Mexico.  It gets better once you get into Texas but there are still rough patches.

When we travel roads like that all I can think is, “My poor house”.  I know that things are shifting way more than normal.  The bedroom door has more than likely slammed shut.  Items that normally don’t fall over, have fallen over.  Ugh.  I hate crappy roads! Surprisingly….the house fared very well and the bedroom door didn’t even shut and there was only 1 glass on its side! Go figure!

We crossed into Texas about 1:00 pm CST with NO fanfare at all (boo!).  After being gone for 6 months we’ve returned to our adopted ‘homeland’!  Michael decided that he’s a ‘Native Winter Texan’ since he was born and raised in Dallas until he was about ten.  We should be in Texas now until the first part of April…minus a little sojourn to Wisconsin here in a little over a week.

Potty stop! See the oil rig in the distance to the right of the truck antenna??

Potty stop! See the oil rig in the distance to the right of the truck antenna??

We made one brief potty stop along the side of the highway.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…”It’s so nice to carry your home wherever you go!”  We even had an oil rig off in the distance reminding us that it will soon be time to go back to work!

Sure wish we'd see this kind of activity in south Texas!

Sure wish we’d see this kind of activity in south Texas!

As we traveled from New Mexico into Texas the oil field work was still quite prevalent.  We started seeing more and more oil rigs…near the highway and off in the distance.  At one point we even saw three working rigs clustered together.  Kind of unusual.

We arrived at the Ft. Stockton RV Park about 3:10 pm.  The manager is a friend we met on Facebook via a Gate Guarding page we belonged to.  We’d never met Herb in person…until today.  He hasn’t gate guarded in over a year but we still follow each other on Facebook.

Settled into site 2 for 2 nights

Settled into site 2 for 2 nights

Herb left word at the desk for them to call him when we arrived and he came right over to greet us.  It was so good to put a face to a name!  Herb took it upon himself to show us our site, tell us about the park and grounds and to make us feel right at home.  It was awesome to get such great service…but I think that that’s normal around here.

Herb put us into site 2, right across from his place, the store, the pool and the restaurant!  Awesome.  I just might have to utilize that pool while we’re here.

After we got our chores done (inside and out) and relaxed for short while we headed over to the Roadrunner Café, on the premises, for dinner.  Herb had so highly recommended the food that we couldn’t resist.

Dinner with Herb at the Roadrunner Cafe.

Dinner with Herb at the Roadrunner Cafe.

We were pleasantly surprised when Herb joined us for dinner.  We had such great conversation over an equally great meal.  We ordered chicken fried steak and BBQ ribs and then split our meals.  Each meal came with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.  Everything was home cooked and very tasty.  On top of all that…the meals come with dessert…in this case it was a scoop of vanilla ice cream with or without chocolate syrup.  Hoping we can get some more time in with Herb before we pull out on Tuesday.

To top off an already great evening we went home to watch the season premiere of the The Walking Dead!  Ahhhh…

 

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