Preparing To Fly

We’ve been sporting a cracked windshield on the truck since shortly before we left the oil patch this past spring.  We kept putting off getting it fixed but finally decided to get it taken care of.

Bye Bye cracked windshield!

Michael called Safelite earlier in the week and set up an appointment to have them come here, to the RV Park, and have it replaced on Saturday.  We had an appointment for between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm and as with DirecTV the tech finally showed up about 1:45 pm.  However, the tech was very good about letting us know that he was running late and would be later than the appointed time frame.

It was interesting to watch him remove the old windshield as I expected it to be a very cumbersome job and hard to lift out that big old windshield…and it wasn’t!  He made it look easy.  The job took him about an hour long and we know have a crack free windshield!

Packing almost done

Strangely enough our weekends tend to be more quiet, work-wise, than weekdays.  Which is kinda nice as it gives us a chance to get caught up on work-work, house work and other miscellaneous tasks we may need to get accomplished.  Like this weekend was spent getting suitcases out of the basement and packing them for our trip to Wisconsin this coming Wednesday 12/13.

I also got a chance to reprogram our new DVR with our favorite shows, do some laundry, get some cleaning done so the house is nice and welcoming when we come back home from Wisconsin, purchase a couple more Christmas gifts and various other tasks that have been on the back burner.

Michael, too, was able to get some small chores done that he’s been wanting to do – he cleaned and checked the propane tanks, readied the last two boxes to be sent to Wisconsin, ordered a new pair of glasses from Zenni Optical and piddled with this and that.

Mail Call!

We had some errands to run before we head to Wisconsin for a few weeks so Monday was set aside for that.  We had mail to pick up from our mail service as well as a couple of small boxes to ship to Wisconsin.

Michael needed a little sprucing up as he was, once again, looking pretty shabby.  He got a hair cut and beard trim at the barber on post as he still likes more of a military cut…it’s not as short but its cut to his liking.

We also got our feet pampered….and it was very welcomed.  It had been a couple of months or more since we’d last indulged.  Just one of life’s little pleasures that we both really enjoy.  Not sure we’ll go back to this place as it wasn’t the greatest service….well at least the woman who did mine wasn’t…and the place is kinda run down and in need of some attention.

It was also the day that we had our ‘Movie of the Week’ date.  We took in the 11:55 am showing of ‘Lady Bird‘ at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater…one of our usual venues.   We chose the movie because of it’s 8.5 rating on IMDb and not really knowing anything about the movie we were hoping for the best.  Once again…we both enjoyed the movie…good story but the ending kinda left us wanting more.

Before…

…and after

After picking up the mail Michael was left with a couple of small projects to tend to on Tuesday.  First was installing a new leg on our steps.  Back in October when we left Ft. Sam we forgot to put the steps up and Michael pulled forward about 3 or 4 feet and bent one of the legs.  The replacement leg came in the mail!

We also go our new Texas license plates in the mail so Michael went ahead and changed out the old South Dakota plates and we are now official!  We should get our drivers licenses in the mail while we are in Wisconsin so they’ll be waiting in our mailbox when we get back.

Our ride for 17 hours!

Tuesday afternoon we picked up our rental car for the trip to the airport.  Rather than spending money to park our big ol’ truck at the airport we’ve been opting to rent a car to get us to the airport and another to get us home when we return.  It doesn’t really save any money but it works for us.

On our way to the rental place we passed a house that was decorated for Christmas.  The house is in a pretty affluent neighborhood.  The houses in the area are huge and gorgeous and this one was no exception.  It stood out enough to take a picture to share.

Our flight is at 8:00 am Wednesday with boarding beginning at 7:30 am. so we’re planning to leave home about 5:00 am in order to return the car, hop on the shuttle bus and get to the airport and checked in in plenty of time.

 

 

 

 

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Wow! What a Week!

We had a craving for some good ol’ Texas BBQ and since we hadn’t really had ANY since we’ve been back in Texas it was long over due.  We decided to try the Old Smokehouse BBQ and were happy we did.  The place had good reviews and they were spot on.

Darned good BBQ!

Between us we tried ribs, brisket and sausage as well as their green beans and cream style corn.  Everything had great flavor and the green beans were exceptionally good.  The ribs were cooked just right, tender but stayed on the bone when you took a bite.  The sausage was really tasty and actually can be found in area grocery stores.  The brisket was good and had a nice smoke ring but I would like it to have been just a wee bit more tender.

We both enjoyed our meals and will definitely go back when in the area as it is located on the northwest side of San Antonio.  Good stuff.

Between work and appointments we’ve been BUSY.

Getting put through the paces during his pulmonary function test

On Monday, Michael had to go to the Audie Murphy VA Hospital for a pulmonary function test.  He has asthma and other breathing issues and they continue to follow him.  Michael swears that a lot of his breathing issues are from the smoke from the chemical fires while he was in Kuwait during Desert Storm.  He makes sure that he mentions this to the doctors at his appointments so that it’s noted in his medical records so that in the future if there are other issues they can be addressed.

That afternoon, I had an appointment for a mammogram and an ultrasound of my thyroid.  Both my sister, Vicki and I have larger than normal thyroids and have had doctors follow-up with them over the years.  My new doctor wanted to have the ultrasound done just to for good measure.

The ultrasound showed a nodule on my thyroid that the radiologist felt looked benign but to be totally sure she referred me to an endocrinologist.  That appointment is for January 3rd…so we’ll see what they have to say.

We made time to see our movie of the week.  We have NO plans at all to stop that any time soon as we both really enjoy it and it’s our biggest entertainment outing.  This week we saw Daddy’s Home 2.  It was a good way to alleviate any built up stress and it was a good light-hearted Christmas comedy.  I enjoyed it but Michael really hooted…good thing we were the only people in the theater!

New York pizza…oh yeah!

What better way to end a movie date than to enjoy a pizza?  It’s been a while since we’d enjoyed a pizza from a ‘mom & pop’ type place and I found one not far away, Cappo’s Pizza.  The owner’s father is from upstate New York and he call’s New York his second home.  The father & son team work together to put out some excellent dishes, that’s for sure!

…and garlic knots…delish!

We ordered the Capos Supremo (sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms (eww…hold the ‘shrooms), onions, sweet peppers, olives) and it was Excellent – with a capital E!  They also offer garlic knots, something we’d never seen before ordering pizza in New York…and they were delicious – fresh, tender and the marinara to dip them in was nice and mild.  Another place you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll go back to.

On Tuesday, Michael had a routine optometry appointment to have his eyes examined and was also referred to a specialist to see if surgery is needed to correct the laziness in his right eye.  He had surgery to correct the lazy eye back in 1989 but the eye seems to be doing its own thing again.  We’re in the process of waiting for the VA to call to set up the appointment for the specialist.
On Wednesday, we were home all day waiting for DirecTV to show up to do an equipment upgrade on all of our equipment (dish, boxes, remotes).  Even after Michael explained to 2 different people that we were in San Antonio and not at our Wisconsin billing address AND having someone cancel the appointment that they made IN Wisconsin they STILL sent someone to the Wisconsin address.
While they sent someone to Wisconsin they also tried to send someone here to San Antonio too…however, that person was under the impression that we needed an international dish so he told us we’d have to reschedule even though we told him that we did not need an international dish.

Snow…in San Antonio!!

After much discussion with a DirecTV supervisor we were rescheduled for Friday morning between 8:00 and 12:00.  First thing in the morning we got a call asking about our ‘international dish’…really??  Michael was not happy and called DirecTV to confirm what the order was for and was told ‘an equipment upgrade’ nothing to do with an international dish.  Michael filed a complaint right then stating that he was pretty sure that this ‘sub-contractor’ used the international dish excuse to try to reschedule do to the weather as it was pouring all day on Wednesday and it was cold and we had snow (yes, I said snow!) on Friday morning.

 

Thankfully, after a call from a supervisor to go over his complaint our technician showed up about 12:30 (late…but better than nothing).  He switched out all of our equipment for new and everything works great!  One of our remotes wasn’t working the best and it really took some ‘mashing’ of buttons to get them to work.  The old dishes bracket was broken and made ‘locking it in’ troublesome.  Glad that is done!

Brand spanking new thermostat!

Wednesday brought Kenny from GoRV to the house to install a new thermostat for the main part of the coach.  The old one had been misbehaving for a while.  Periodically it just wouldn’t turn off and Michael would have to reset it to get it to ‘toe the line’.  Now we see if that does the trick!

On Thursday we were out the door about 6:40 am so that we could be to the driver’s license office by 7:30 am when they opened.  We ended up being the first in line and were seated and reps desk minutes after we arrived.  Unfortunately, our visit was short-lived as I didn’t have our marriage certificate with.  I had to prove who I was with my birth certificate (which I had) but since my name was different on my application (Barnett) versus what was on my birth certificate (Evans) I had to have my marriage certificate to prove the name change…no where in all the research I’d done did it say that was needed.  Ugh.
It didn’t matter anyway as we still would have had to come back because Michael has had a CDL for 20+ years and wanted to maintain it.  In order to maintain it he had to have a DOT physical.  Our service rep was very good about directing us to Concentra Urgent Care who was able to do the physical on a walk in basis.
To make a very long story short…we left the DMV office at 8:00 am and after going to get Michael’s physical done, running back home to get my passport AND marriage license (I wasn’t playing games anymore!) and a quick run through a drive through to get something to eat we were back at the DMV by 11:30 am.  Our rep was good enough to have us just let her know when we were back and when she finished with the customer she was with she took care of us.  By 12:30 pm we were done and now we wait for our Texas drivers licenses to come in the mail.  Whew!  Sure are glad that that is over.

Vicki, Arvin and Aurora

Friday morning we had a knock on the door and were greeted by a couple we had met at the Heartland National Rally and then again when we were at Wright Patterson AFB this summer.  Arvin and Vicky and their beautiful pup, Aurora, stopped by to say ‘hello’ and we visited for nearly an hour before they had to go tend to their laundry.  They own a Big Horn, are retired military and have been full-timing for three years.  Plus, Arvin is originally from Shawano, Wisconsin so we had quite a bit to talk about.  They’re thinking about going to the Quartzsite Show next month so we may see them there.

Good friends make a meal even more inviting

Our friends Prentiss and Virginia, who we shared a meal with while we were in Little Rock back in September are in the area for a month or so (they own a home in Canyon Lake) and we made plans to meet them at Sea Island Shrimp House for lupper on Friday afternoon.

Michael’s fish dish…

We had such a good visit with them in Little Rock that we were really looking forward to another visit with them.  Victoria had recommended the restaurant as they’d been there before and it turned out to be very good.  I got a shrimp platter with four different kinds of shrimp and it was very good.  Michael went with a cod dish that was covered in a lemon butter sauce that he really enjoyed.

We visited for nearly three hours before we decided we’d better get going as we had work to do and the restaurant was starting to fill up.  Just like our last visit we had such a good time that we’re already talking about trying to get back together after the holidays before we both leave the area for a while.
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Travel Day: Canyon Lake, TX To Ft. Sam Houston, TX

I was up about 6:30 am as I had a couple of things I wanted to get done for work and for myself before we hit the road for our amazingly long journey.

There’s a small restaurant down the road from us called, Granny D’s, and we’d planned to go there at least once while we were here…well the time slipped by so quickly that we never got there.   Michael suggested we go there for breakfast this morning and I agreed.  It’s nothing fancy…just good down-home cookin’.

Red, white and blue plates!

Michael ordered the Paw Paw Platter which is two eggs, choice of meat, hash browns or home fries and a biscuit & gravy.  I ordered the Mountain breakfast biscuit which is basically the same thing Michael had but served in a big heap with gravy over the top.   My breakfast was delicious and really hit the spot.  Michael’s eggs were a little under done for his liking but he managed.  We learned that our definition and their definition of ‘over medium’ is a little different…they serve over medium as what we know as over easy.

After breakfast we went back to the park and finished getting ready to move (not much left to do) and then hitched the truck up to the trailer and were pulling out of the park at 9:35 am.  By 10:05 am we were at Buc-cee’s fueling up.  Might as well get the better pricing while you can.

LONG line…

Rather than heading straight to Ft. Sam and the FamCamp Michael wanted to run by the Blue Beacon and get the coach cleaned up for the holidays.  When we arrived at the Blue Beacon at 10:45 am we were met with a fairly long line of vehicles…most of which were trucks and trailers from Mobile Maintenance, a copy we dealt with frequently while on our last gate guarding gig.

The line actually went fairly quickly.  Michael pulled out his laptop and did a little work while we waited…me…I played a game on my phone.  LOL  It took just a bit over an hour from the time we pulled in to the time we pulled out…which wasn’t bad.  And for $68, both the truck and trailer (and their tires) are all spiffy for the holidays.

Ft. Sam RV Park – Site 14

We ended up arriving at the RV park about 1:15 pm.  Baker, the normal person in the office was off today so we met someone else who works in the back office.  She got us checked in quickly and even was able to extend our stay by a couple of days to accommodate Michael’s abdominal ultrasound on January 2nd.  So now, rather than leaving here on the 1st, we’ll now stay until the 3rd when we start our trek toward Quartzsite, Arizona for our very first RV Show as vendors!

As seems to be the norm EVERY time we stay at Ft. Sam, Michael had problems getting the satellite to come in.  Poor guy has to fiddle with it for what seems like hours before it finally comes in.  Nowhere else does he have issues like he does here….just don’t quite get it.  Today was NO different.  By the time dinner was ready about 5:30 pm Michael was still messin’ with the dang dish.  He finally gave up and decided to try again tomorrow.  I don’t know how he hadn’t taken and thrown it across the road by that time…I would have.

 

 

 

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Pet Menagerie

After a rather quiet couple of days of the Thanksgiving holiday, Monday hit hard!

It was a crazy busy day!  We had to go into San Antonio (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hour drive depending on traffic as we had lots of errands to take care of – blood draw for me, Sleep doctor appointment for Michael, Mammogram and thyroid ultrasound for me, plus a couple of smaller errands like picking up mail, stopping at the office supply store, etc.

While in the city we took in our movie of the week – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  This was one that we’d seen previews for over the summer at other movies and I was looking forward to it.  The story line was interesting and had us absorbed throughout most of the movie.  However, the ending was crappy…just plain crappy.  One of those that just kind of leaves you hanging with no solid wrap up.  Bah humbug!

In between all of that, Michael was super busy with phone calls, receiving them and returning them.  Plus we got several leads via the contact form on the website.  It was a busy but productive day and we were able to lock down several sales and had several others close to committing.

The Pig Stand…right next to I-35

We stopped at the Pig Stand for an early dinner.  The Pig Stand was a chain of restaurants that opened in the 1920s in Dallas and then spread throughout the state.  The San Antonio location is the last location still open.   With that kind of history we had to check the place out.

Michael’s chicken fried steak was good.  I had fish and shrimp and should have gone with chopped steak.  I love cod…but not with cornmeal breading.  I should have listened to myself…there are just things you don’t order in certain regions…chicken fried steak in Wisconsin, deep-fried cod in the south…catfish, yes…but not cod.  Certain areas have their specialties and you just don’t go outside those parameters.  LOL  Oh well, it’s no the first time I haven’t listened to myself…and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Would I go back?  Yes, I would…but I’d try something they’re known more for…the ‘pig sandwich’ or a burger, etc.  The restaurant itself is very ‘diner-ish’ with small jukeboxes on the walls above the tables and pigs everywhere…big pigs, little pigs, ceramic pigs, metal pigs, pig statues, pig cookie jars….you name it!

We’ll be back!

We were blessed to be able to share another meal with Heartland friends Tom & Marti at Herbert’s Taco Hut in San Marcos.  Which was a completely different dining experience.  This is Tom & Marti’s ‘go to’ place for Mexican fare and it’s easy to tell why.  I ordered combination chicken & beef fajitas and oh my goodness…melt in your mouth tender, seasoned perfectly…wow!  Michael went with his mainstay…enchiladas and went as far as to say they were some of the best he’d ever had.

GOOD people!

We met Tom & Marti’s beautiful home…they designed it themselves!  We visited on the screened in back porch before carpooling to the restaurant.  When we arrived back at the house after dinner Marti was sweet enough to send a couple of pieces of chocolate meringue pie that she’d made.  We visited for a short while before we decided it was time to head on home.  We have so enjoyed spending more time with Tom & Marti and look forward to our next visit.

Sure gonna miss these guys…

With our time here at Canyon Lake winding down WAY faster than I care for we finally found the time to enjoy our first…and only…fire.  It was nice to just take an hour or so to relax and have some ‘us’ time.  As our business venture continues to pick up those kind of evenings might be fewer and fewer…so we’ll take ’em when we can get ’em.

Coincidentally enough, Michael had a gentleman call, who needed some new seals (which we were able to help him with) and he mentioned that he follows our blog!  How cool is that?   So here’s a SHOUT OUT to, Richard H.!!

When we were last in the area (November/December 2012) we stayed on the ‘Randolph AFB side’ and this time we’re on the ‘Ft Sam side’.  Five years ago we had a striped cat, who we called Abby, visit us daily.  She was a ‘ward’ of the park and just kind of made her rounds and visited each campsite.  You can read about her in this post,  ‘Meet Abby’

Charlie Tuna all snuggled in for the night

This time…we have another cat that visits us daily….and actually makes his bed on our folding stools each night.  If we’re not punctual enough in the morning he stands outside the door and meows.  He’s a bit skittish and doesn’t allow much petting…but he sure loves him some tuna!  When he first started visiting we gave him some tuna and he gobbled it up.  We picked some canned cat food up at the store and he refuses to eat it….won’t even give it a thought….just snubs his nose at it.  However, bring him some tuna….and it’s gone.  This one we’ve named ‘Charlie Tuna’….I’m sure you understand why.  LOL

Tomorrow we move…back to Ft. Sam in the big bustling city of San Antonio.  It will be nice to not have to commute the hour plus for appointments but I’m gonna miss the tranquility here.

 

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Almost There….But Not Quite…

Work has been kind of slow the last few days…perhaps it’s due to the holidays, as people are enjoying their family time.  Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to share a link to our WEBSITE or to our FACEBOOK page with your friends.

We’d be happy to discuss the benefits of having disc brakes on their trailers.  And keep in mind disc brakes aren’t just for ‘campers’…they’re beneficial for utility trailers, boat trailers, horse trailers, cattle trailers, etc.  Disc brakes will stop you 50% faster than standard electric brakes.

Ok…enough of the infomercial!

We continued working on getting our Texas residency established this past week.  On Tuesday, we made plans to get the vehicles registered and get our Drivers Licences done as well.  We wanted to be at the tax office as soon as they opened so we left home just before 7:00 am and arrived about 15 minutes after the office opened.

The ‘Tax Man’!

While any state we’ve ever gotten our licenses in we’ve gotten everything taken care of at the DMV, it’s a little different here in Texas.  It’s a process.  First, you must get your vehicles inspected.  Second, you must get your insurance switched to Texas.  Third, you have to go to a tax office and get your vehicles registered in the state of Texas.  And fourth, you will need to go to a Texas Department of Public Safety office so you can finally get your Texas drivers license.

When we arrived at the tax office it was fairly quiet and we didn’t have much of a wait after we were told which forms we needed to fill out…one for the truck and one for the coach.  I was very diligent the day before to make sure that we had all necessary documentation.  However, when Michael got the registration cards out for each vehicle I didn’t notice that he’d actually gotten out two for the truck and nothing for the coach.

Michael spent what seemed like forever on the phone with different offices in South Dakota trying to get someone to fax or email us a copy of the coaches registration.  He finally found a woman who was able to do it and she emailed a copy of the registration straight to the woman we were working with at the tax office in Texas.

Michael also wanted Disabled Vet plates but didn’t have his VA letter with him but he did have his laptop so I was able to sign in to E-Benefits, bring up the letter, save it to his desktop and then email it to our customer service rep as well.  Finally, (after about 2 hours) with all of the necessary paperwork we were able to get both vehicles registered.  We were given a Texas plate for the coach and a temporary plate for the truck (the DAV plate will come in the mail in a few weeks).

I want to take minute here to talk about the young lady at the tax office that helped us.  She was calm and patient as she explained to us what we needed to do.  She had us step out of line as we found a way to get the missing documents, allowed us to step back up to her window between customers to ask questions or provide her with information she needed.  She made what could have been a very stressful situation, much better.  We made sure to pull her supervisor aside and tell him how much we appreciated her help.

We left the tax office about 10:15 and made our way to the Texas DPS office about 2 miles away.  This place was busy!  Parking lot was packed, waiting area was crowded.  We had already filled out our drivers license applications online and each had a copy in hand.  However, when we arrived we found that Michael needed to fill out a different application because he has a CDL and wants to keep it.

Michael filled out the correct application and then we began our wait.  We watched the numbers get called and saw that our number was WAY down the ranks.  We waited for about an hour and finally decided to give up when only about 10 people were called in the hour we were there… we still had 60+ numbers ahead of us.  Not a big deal we’ll just go back another day…we’ll get their as soon as they open and we’ll also use the ‘Get in Line’ online feature before we arrive…that way we’ll be pretty much be moved to the head of the line when we arrive.  So…we’re almost there!

A big reason we didn’t wait any longer was because Michael had a doctor’s appointment at 1:30 with his primary care provider for his yearly visit.  It was obvious that we had at least a couple more hours of waiting at the DPS office and we were both hungry too!

So we grabbed some lunch at one of my favorite Chinese Buffets, King Buffet, which is conveniently located just down the street from the DPS office and Michael’s doctor’s office!

Crazy traffic on the way home…we finally arrived home 13 hours after we left.

Michael’s appointment went well.  Blood work was pretty good although his blood sugar was a bit high.  So we’ll keep an eye on that…just like we do mine.  He was given a new prescription for his acid reflux meds as the old one is no longer covered by Express Scripts.

Michael’s been having some tummy issues for a month or so…pains in his upper abdomen…kinda like where the gall bladder is but he had his gall bladder removed in 2008.  The nurse practitioner ordered an ultrasound to check things out…might be a hernia.  Now we wait to have ultrasound scheduled.

After all of the earlier errands we were ready to relax with our movie of the week…Wonder.  Wow!  What a good movie.  It’s definitely one for all ages and is a good learning lesson for all.  I’ve seen a lot of people who have taken their children to see it…and I commend them for doing so.

We had been invited to join a potluck here at the park for Thanksgiving but never heard another word about it and decided to opt out and go back to our old tradition.  When we moved to Alabama in 2009 and it was just the two of us for holidays we started going to a movie (sometimes TWO!) and then going out for dinner.  Most restaurants were closed but normally the buffets (Ryan’s, Golden Corral, etc) were open so that was where we went.

We haven’t been able to do our new tradition for the past few years because we were gate guarding and we both really enjoy it so we decided to go back to it this year.

Although, there weren’t many movies we were interested in seeing but after a little research we chose to see Roman J. Israel, Esq.  Neither of us had heard of it…nor had we seen any previous for it at the theaters.  It starred Denzel Washington (which was a big plus) but only had an IMDB rating of 6.2.  It just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  We both really enjoyed the movie and I think that the 6.2 IMDB rating is a bit low.  It probably won’t be a box office smash but it’s a good movie with a good story line.

A Thanksgiving ‘Usie’ – making the most of waiting in line!

For our Thanksgiving dinner we went to Golden Corral, which was just a few miles away from the theater in New Braunfels.  The parking lot was overflowing when we arrived but we weren’t in a hurry so that didn’t scare us.  We got in line and prepared for a long wait.  However, we only ended up waiting about 25 minutes as the line moved fairly quickly.  Once we paid for our meals we had another 5 minute or so wait to be seated at a table.

While there were a lot of people helping themselves to the various buffets, the food was fresh and plentiful and I was also very surprised at how clean the buffets were…no spilled food on the counter tops as it any spills were cleaned immediately.

Our server was very attentive – clearing plates almost as quickly as we finished with them, refilling glasses when needed and she was friendly too!

We were back home about 5:00 pm and spent the remainder of the day relaxing.  We watched a movie off the DVR, watched a couple of shows we were behind on.  It was a good day.  Hope yours was too!

 

 

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A Visit to Fredericksburg and Lee & Linda’s Home

I don’t get sick very often…which I’ve decided is a good thing because I don’t tolerate being sick well.  I don’t have time, nor do I want to deal with ‘sickness’.  I feel like a big ol’ whiner and need to suck it up…but it’s not easy!  Ugh.  All I have is a darn cold….but geesh, I feel yucky.  Weak, stuffy, congested, yucky eyes, coughy…BE GONE!

We went into town on Tuesday to grab a burger at the Horseshoe Grill where we met friends a few weeks ago.  It was just as good as the first time and we had a nice visit with the owners when crowd thinned out some.  We also stopped and had the truck inspected…another step closer to getting our vehicles (and ourselves) licensed in Texas.

Whoopsie!

As we were waiting for the truck to be ready after being inspected, we heard a loud ‘bang’ and looked to the street to see vehicles pulling to the side of the road.  After the cars had cleared and the drivers were able to safely get out of their vehicles we saw that the driver of the vehicle that had been hit by another vehicle trying to get onto the road was the female owner of the Horseshoe Grill!

It was a pretty minor accident but it was easy to tell that she was shaken so I went over to check on her…she was fine…just shaken up and the truck she was driving had a dent/scrape down the length of the passenger side.  The other driver had a messed up passenger side front fender and was ok too.

Our new friends

While we were out we also picked up a bag of deer corn!  We did this the last time we were in the area and we really enjoyed feeding the deer…we even got them to the point that they would eat out of our hand.  We broke out the corn as soon as we got home and got 9 or 10 in our side ‘yard’.

Thursday we took a drive to Fredericksburg for some touristy stuff.  We left home about 9:00 am arriving in Fredericksburg about an hour and a half later.

Very friendly and helpful butcher

Our first stop was at Opa’s Smoked Meats.  The first (and last time) we were here was in February of 2013, when we visited with four other couples.  Michael and I fell in love with Opa’s then and have been enjoying them ever since.  They’re sold at HEB and the commissary in the area but going to the ‘birthplace’ again…was a must do.  We sampled a few items and picked up sausages, brats and summer sausage to take home.

2 Ps at Friedhelm’s

Our friends, Hans & Helen, recommended the Freidhelm’s Bavarian Inn as a good place for authentic German food.  Fredericksburg has a rich German heritage so there are several German restaurants to choose from.  We decided to walk to the restaurant…a mile and a half one way.  By the time we arrived we were hungry, which was a good thing.

Savory Jagerschnitzel light on the mushrooms

We made our decisions pretty quickly – Chicken Schnitzel for Michael and Jagerschnitzel for me.  Michael went with pan-fried potatoes as his side and ordered the spaetzel.  We both ordered a house salad and went a cup of the cabbage soup.  Everything was very good – seasoned well, tender and tasty.  The soup, however, is one of those things I’ll be craving for years to come….absolutely delicious!

A small sampling of the hot sauces offered at Rustlin’ Rob’s

After our nice lunch we walked the mile and a half back to the downtown area where we wandered around Main Street – popping in and out of the various shops.  Sampling jams, sauces and spreads at Rustlin’ Rob’s, picking up some Jalapeno & Cheese Sausage Rolls (made with Opa’s!) from the Old German Bakery & Restaurant and reminiscing over all the trinkets from our childhoods at Dooley’s 5 – 10 & 25 Cent Store.

Prior to starting the walking tour

We had purchased tickets for the 4:00 pm Fredericksburg Historical Walking Tour, which was $15.00 per person and was scheduled to last two hours.  The tour started at a historical tiny home and made its way in and around the streets of Fredericksburg, making stops at many historical homes and businesses, most of which date back to the early – mid 1800s.  Our guide, a retired history teacher/librarian, was filled with stories about the early inhabitants (current inhabitants too!) of the homes and businesses as well as Fredericksburg itself.

One of several buildings we learned the history of during the tour

While we really enjoyed all of the information our guide shared with us, at least four of the seven of us in the tour wished the guide would either slow down and make the tour longer, make the tour into two separate tours or just shorten the tour altogether.  The guide walked at a ‘race walk’ pace and talked non-stop…so if you weren’t right next to her as she ‘raced’ along you missed a good portion of the information.  We ended up walking about 3 miles and the tour ended up lasting about 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Thankfully, we made three ‘rest stops’ during that time and each one was very much welcomed.

By the time we got back to our truck we were both exhausted, various body parts were sore and I even had blisters on the backs of my heals!  LOL

Michael feeding the deer before we left for the day

Thursday was ‘errand day’ starting off with Michael needing to be at the VA clinic in San Antonio about 8:00 am to have a fasting blood draw done.  By the time he was done we were ready for some breakfast so we stopped at Jim’s Restaurant, which has become one of our favorite breakfast spots…good food & reasonable prices!

After breakfast we picked up our mail from Andrew at Mylocalmailbox.com.  It’s so refreshing to go into a business and have the owner know who you are and automatically grab your mail without even having to tell them your name.

Movie of the week came next – Murder on the Orient Express, which we both enjoyed.  Not having ever seen the 1974 version or having read the book we didn’t have anything to compare it too though so if you’ve seen or read it before perhaps your thoughts won’t be the same as ours.

Blessed to have been able to spend time with these two newlyweds

That evening we were blessed to be invited to the home of our friend Lee and his new wife Linda.  Lee and Linda both lost their spouses of many years recently and then were blessed to find each other soon afterward.  This was the first time we met Linda and it was like we’d known her all along.  She’s very friendly and made us feel right at home.

We were given a tour of their home and property, fed a delicious home cooked meal with dessert and spent time enjoying each others company.   Already looking forward to the next time we’re able to spend time with Lee and Linda.

Michael and I have both been busy working our new business venture.  Michael’s phone has become an extension of his arm as he is taking a lot of calls from customers helping them decide if disc brakes are right for them (they’re right for most everyone – and so much safe!).  I don’t have to worry about phone calls so much but my responsibilities are more administrative so I do a lot of emailing, creating purchase orders, invoices, tracking inventory and work closely with our warehouse employee.  Life has changed a lot (for the better) as we’re always busy…not much time for doing ‘nothing’ anymore.

 

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Wurstfest

We have been busy learning our new roles within Performance Trailer Braking.  Michael’s had his phone glued to his ear (seems like) chatting with people interested in purchasing a system, answering questions or explaining how the disc brakes are a huge improvement over standard electric brakes.

While he’s been doing that I’ve been working more on the administrative tasks – invoicing customers, updating our data base, reaching out to rally organizers to find out what needs to be done to attend their rally as a vendor, etc.

While we’ve been busy…it’s been a good busy.  We both feel like we have a purpose…rather than just wandering aimlessly through life.  We might change our minds come spring/summer when business really picks up but hopefully by then we’ll both be more comfortable in our roles.

Michael prefers his BIG truck over this little one

Even with all of the newness we made sure to find time for our weekly movie date on Tuesday.   We had an appointment to take the truck to Jordan Ford to have some work done.  We were given a rental car (truck) so while we were already in San Antonio we took in Blade Runner 2049.  In our old age we’d forgotten we’d already seen the movie!  Geesh.  However, rewatching it was kind of a good thing because it clarified a few things and helped me better understand what was going on.  Guess we’re gonna have to start a list for movie’s we’ve been too so we don’t do any more repeats.  LOL

Remember when we were driving back to Texas from Oklahoma and we stopped at the Czech Stop in West and grabbed some kolaches?  We picked up jalapeno and cheese just like we always get from the Donut Palace, which we love.  These were made differently:  smaller, with a slice of sausage, some cheese and a bunch of sliced jalapenos…and boy, were they HOT!  The ones we’re used to are a whole sausage with diced jalapenos and cheese INSIDE the sausage…they have a little kick but nothing like these.  We’ll be sticking to those at Donut Palace going forward.  LOL

That’s our new gray tank in that box.

On Wednesday of this week, Kenny and his son Brandon from GoRV came out to replace one of our gray tanks.  Last year about this time they patched a crack in the same tank and it was no longer holding so it was time to just completely replace the tank.

It took the two guys about an hour and a half to remove the old tank and install the new and when that was done they moved on to replacing our leaky ice maker which took roughly 30 minutes or so.

Before they left, they checked out or thermostat as it’s been acting temperamental for a while and Michael has had to reset it more and more often to get it to behave.  They’ve ordered a new thermostat for us and will replace it when it comes in.

All of these items fall under the extended warranty we purchased with our coach and we are very thankful that we went ahead and added it on to the purchase as it has paid for itself and then some.

After dropping the truck off at Jordan Ford on Tuesday we got a call on Thursday that it was ready to go…2 new shoes (tires), oil change done, ‘shimmy’ fixed and parts to fix our navigation system issues are on order.

We picked up the truck late in the afternoon on Thursday and from there we headed to the New Braunfels Wurstfest.  New Braunfels has a big German heritage so why wouldn’t they celebrate ‘wurst’ and Beer!?
When we first arrived we wandered around and checked out the various vendors selling their wares – Wurstfest hats, shirts, koozies, buttons, you name it.  Then there were beer steins, German candies, Christmas ornaments and other goodies.  I thought about buy a ‘pickle’ ornament for our Christmas tree but decided against it as it would have weighed it down too much.
We also checked out all of the food stands…sausage, brats, potato soup, funnel cakes, potato pancakes, pork chops on a stick, deep-fried Oreos, sauerkraut, potato salad…there was a LOT of variety and most everything seemed to come on a stick!  Michael and I each had a sausage on a stick and Michael also tried a brat in a bun…plus we split a funnel cake because we were told we had to!  Our friend, Victoria’s, granddaughter was working the funnel cake booth.  We promised we’d visit with her…and we did.

Hans & Helen

We met our old safety guy, Hans, and his wife, Helen, who traveled all the way from Louisiana just to attend Wurstfest!  We met Hans on our very first gate back in January 2014 and followed him around from job to job for quite a while but haven’t seen him for over a year now…and this was our first time meeting Helen.

We met in the Wursthalle where there was a German ‘Oompah’ band playing.  We visited, enjoyed the music and watching people dance.  Hans and Helen even did a little dancing of their own.  We’re hoping that maybe we’ll be able to hook back up with them this spring when we’re in Louisiana for a rally…but somewhere a little more quiet as it was very hard to hear what was being said.

Whoopsie!

I forgot to mention that as Michael and I were walking from our parking spot a few blocks away from the fest grounds we came across a low bridge (11 foot, 8 inches) and I said, “Well we can’t bring the coach here.”  I know sooner got it out of my mouth and a bus came along.  He was driving pretty fast but slowed down pretty quickly when he saw the bridge and low clearance sign.  He had a LONG line of cars behind him and this was a very narrow roadway with nowhere for him to turn around.  He stopped where he was, let his passengers off the bus (all fest-goers) and waited for help…all with that LONG line of cars still sitting behind him.  LOL  Not nice to laugh but it sure brought back memories of our run in with a bridge.  You can chuckle along and read about it by clicking HERE!

It’s been chilly here in the Texas Hill Country.  Only had a high in the 40s on Wednesday (fireplace was blazing ALL day long!) and Thursday only brought highs in the 50s.  It doesn’t help much that it’s been overcast as well.  We even got some light rain Wednesday evening…didn’t really amount too much but we haven’t seen rain in a while so it was welcomed.
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Travel Day: Oklahoma City, OK To Canyon Lake, TX

Dark and foggy as we hitched up this morning.

We decided to drive all the way back to Canyon Lake in one shot rather than overnighting somewhere down the road, which meant a 440 mile drive.  Ugh!

With that long of a trip staring us in the face we did nearly all of our travel day prep work yesterday – outside:  dumped the tanks, put some water in the fresh water tank, unhooked and stowed the water hose, took down and stowed the satellite dish.  inside:  stowed items that needed to be stowed, locked cabinet and closet doors, pulled all the shades.

The plan was to leave about 6:00 am and we ended up hitching up and pulling out at 6:10, which isn’t bad considering it was dark and foggy.  We made our way to the Piazza gate on the south end of the airbase and then to I-240 which took us to I-35.  Then it was just a matter of following I-35 all the way south to New Braunfels.

Back on Texas ground!

We made a rest stop about 140 miles down the road at the Texas welcome center.  They had some nice rocking chairs that we relaxed in for about 20 minutes before heading back out to the truck and getting back on the interstate.

In my new role with Performance Trailer Braking I worked as we went down the road.  I responded to some emails, sent some emails, did a little scheduling of rallies etc.  It sure kept me busy and the time really flew!

Smooth sailing!

Passing through Fort Worth on a Saturday morning about 10:00, proved to be a pretty easy task.  Traffic wasn’t bad at all and what there was moved smoothly.  Just the way we like to pass through a big city!

We stopped at just about noon in Waco for lunch.  We decided to stop at Bush’s for some fried chicken, which we’d never tried and it was pretty good.  I would have preferred a little spice to it like Popeye’s but you get what you get.  All in all it would do in a pinch.

The ‘short’ line to tastiness

Another reason we stopped there was so that we could visit the Czech Stop.  I’ve seen advertisement for years about all of the Czech stops in this area and today was the day to check one of them out.  (there are a couple more I’d like to Czech out – see what I did there!?)  We wondered why there was a large parking lot designated for the Czech stop across the street but once we got inside we found out why.  The line pretty long but I’d bet it wasn’t as long as it gets when they’re actually busy.

Fruit kolaches, breakfast kolaches, cookies…

The Czech Stop offers all kinds of Czech delicacies – pastries, pies, cookies, sausage, cheese, breads, etc) We picked up a couple of small (individual size that we share) pies, a couple of cookies (highly recommended by the woman behind us) and a couple of different kolaches (jalapeno and cheese and bacon, egg and cheese).  The place is a bit on the pricey side so keep that in mind if you decide to stop.

Our stop lasted less than an hour.  Very unusual for us…but we still had a 175 miles left to travel and we wanted to make sure we got to our destination in plenty of time to get set up before it started getting dark.

Michael’s idea of a workout!

We made another ‘relief’ stop just south of Belton.  This rest area had an area for a ‘rest stop workout’.  Michael tried out each piece of equipment and stretched out his back in the process…now he’s concerned of how well he’ll be able to move tomorrow!

One of my favorite things about staying in this area…the deer population is HUGE!

We arrived at the Joint Base San Antonio Recreation Area at 4:30 on the dot.  Since we’d already paid check in was easy, just a matter of getting our site number and a map and we were on our way.  As we drove up to our site we were greeted by six deer that were feeding on some corn in the road in front of our site.

Home until December 1 – site 28

Michael backed in like a champ…in one fell swoop!  It was so smooth that our neighbors commented that he put them to shame!  LOL  Other than connect to the electric we didn’t do any outside chores…no satellite, no water, no sewer.  Michael was too tired and decided it could wait until tomorrow.

I got the inside straightened away and warmed up some chili for dinner and we plan to do nothing more than relax the rest of the evening…wouldn’t even doubt if we head to bed exceptionally early!

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Travel Day: Gainesville, TX To Tinker AFB, TX

Brrrr…..while we were nice and toasty in our bed under the covers getting out from under the covers wasn’t so pleasant!  The thermostat showed 46 degrees when I fired up the generator to get the heat pumps going.

While the heat pumps went to work I wrapped myself in my favorite shawl and covered up with a soft minky blanket and perused Facebook, worked on this blog post and played a game of Spite and Malice on my computer.
Michael on the other hand stayed beneath the blankets, in bed, until 9:00 when I finally went and asked when planned to get up.  He’d taken a couple of muscle relaxers last night and was out for the count!

We weren’t quite sure of today’s destination.  We hoped to stay at the Tinker Air Force Base FamCamp but since they don’t take reservations we had to have a back up plan…and that back up plan was the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Norman…about 15 miles south of Tinker.  Tinker is $107 per week for full hookup and the Fairgrounds is $25 per night for full hookup…kind of a no brainer…but the ‘no reservations’ thing kinda puts a crimp in things.

We headed over to the restaurant about 9:30 to get some breakfast and we’re surprised at how busy they were.  Lots of big parties of 6+ filled the dining room and the general store was hopping.  Thankfully we were seated right away, our order taken and then our food delivered very quickly.  As we are ate our breakfast the people kept coming and by the time we were done it was even busier than when arrived an hour before.

While at the restaurant I called the FamCamp to see if they had any sites available and was told they had one maybe two we’d fit in so I told we’d call again as we got a little closer to make sure the site was still available.

Look at that beautiful sky!

With just 133 miles to drive today we hit the road about 10:45 with beautiful blue skies to lead the way.

Before we got too far down the road we stopped to fill up with diesel so we’d be good for the remainder of the trip.  Fuel was $2.39 per gallon, which wasn’t too bad as we’ve paid much higher over the years.

Police escort…

About 45 minutes before we were due to arrive at Tinker AFB I called again to be sure there was still a site for us and as assured there was so we continued on arriving at the FamCamp about 1:45 or so after having to find a different gate to enter through as the one we’re used to using is no longer open on the weekends.  We even got a Military Police escort to show us the way to the park from the new gate.

Home Sweet Home in site 24

This is is a little and tight park.  We stayed here once before in September of 2014 but only for 4 nights.  So after first stopping at the office we then made our way to our assigned site, site 24.  The park is just one long oval and the side that we are on only has one row of RVs while the other side has RVs parked on both sides of the road which makes it even hard to get parked.

Tight quarters…

The Camp host normally has to go to all the neighboring sites and ask them to move their vehicles when someone new comes in to park.  We were lucky, in that, Michael was able to back right into our site without anyone having to move their vehicles.

Too bad Michael doesn’t have a pole…

Our site is right across the street from a small fishing pond, which makes for a nice view…not that we’ll have much time to enjoy the view while we’re here…but it’s the thought that counts, right!?!  We’re here until next Saturday (6 nights) when we’ll go back south to Canyon Lake and stay at the Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Recreation area on the north side of Canyon Lake.

It was 73 when we arrived here at the FamCamp and instead of making sure that the air conditioning was going full throttle I opened several windows so that we could enjoy the gorgeous day!  Better do it while we can as it’ll be back down in the 50s tomorrow!

 

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Travel Day: Canyon Lake, TX To Gainesville, TX

With about 320 miles to travel today the goal was to pull out of the park about 9:00 am and with a stop at the dump station that meant pulling out of our site about 8:40 am.

We had an audience as we hooked up, checked the brakes and lights.  About half the menfolk of a group of 9 couples were sitting around the fire across the road.  They watched us so intently I expected them to raise score cards as we finished up!  Of course, I would have expected nothing less than 10s across the board.

We pulled up to the dump station at 8:32 and with the 40 degree temperature, Michael didn’t hang out outside…he hustled back into the truck for warmth while the tanks drained.  LOL

We pulled out of the park at 8:42, but not before seeing a deer cross the road ahead of us and being wished a safe trip by the gate attendant.

The beauty that is the Texas Hill Country

Rather than take I-35 all they way north we decided to take highway 281 north toward Forth Worth where we then picked up I-35 for the remainder of the trip.  The drive was nice and scenic.  I love the beauty of the Texas Hill Country and this route took us right through the heart of it.

The Death of a King

We weren’t the only ones who saw deer this morning.  Zack and Kelsea happened to see a big buck lying down off the road.  He tried to get up but his back end was not working.  They were sure he’d been hit and his back was broke.  They watched him for quite a while and he tried to get up a few times but just fell back over.  They called the police and the DNR to come take care of him but by the time the police arrived he had died.  Zack and Kelsea were given the deer and Zack took it home to process.

Lunch time!

We stopped in Hamilton (about midway) for lunch at Subway.  We have several Subway gift cards so it was a nice way to utilize part of one.  At not quite 50 degrees outside it would have been a little too chilly to enjoy lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen.  We were back on the road about an hour later.

This we along with the message I received on Tuesday…he was ‘waiting…’

On Tuesday of this week I got a message from our oil field Company man saying, ” Shouldn’t you be just a few miles down the road from me by now?”. Apparently he was keeping track of when we were coming back to work as that was the day we had originally planned to go back to work.

I explained to him that we weren’t coming back to the oil patch due to our new venture and never got a response.  Yikes…was he that angry with us??  Today I messaged him and asked if he was still talking to us.  He immediately responded with, “I was waiting for the punch line. Because you got to be kidding me!!!!”. Gosh are we gonna miss him…but we’ll stay in touch.

Passing by Ft. Worth

The drive was nice and peaceful until we hit I-35 on the north side of Ft. Worth…then we hit the construction and congestion of the big city.  However, the traffic still flowed smoothly and before long all the hubbub was in our rear view mirror.

We pulled into the Gainesville Cracker Barrel just a few minutes after 4:00 pm, our overnight stop for the night.  We got parked and put down the front jacks for a little stability and almost immediately went into the restaurant for dinner….we were hungry!  We double checked with the manager that it was ok to overnight in the parking lot and he confirmed that it was.

Snug as bugs in the Cracker Barrel parking lot!

When overnighting at places like Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Flying J etc we like to thank them for allowing us to utilize their parking lot by patronizing their business.  It’s good karma.

Another gift card purchased our meals tonight!  Michael changed things up a bit and ordered meatloaf rather than his mainstay chicken fried steak and I went with chicken and dumplings.  It’s the second time I’ve had it at a Cracker Barrel and have really enjoyed it both times.

We were back home about 5:45.  We fired up the generator so the heat pumps and fireplace could warm the place up and so that we could watch some TV before we call it a night…as I’m pretty sure it’ll be a pretty early night.

 

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