It’s Good To Be Among Friends

Jim & Nancy and Kevin and Nelly arrived at the park mid-afternoon on Monday.  They were supposed to be in the same area as Lou & Bette but it didn’t work out that way and they’re all scattered throughout the park.  Kevin and Nelly ended up just down the road from us.

Nelly stopped by and we had a nice chat until it was time for her to go home and have a video call with their oldest grandson.

The rowdy bunch

After dinner we all converged at Beletti’s to visit and discuss the strategy for Tuesday’s sojourn to Big Lou’s Pizza.   Big Lou’s makes a 42 inch pizza that Jim’s been hankering for and with our large crowd it was finally within his grasp.

Chilaquiles….oh.my. gosh. Good stuff

Tuesday we had a couple of  appointments (blood work for me & hearing aids for Michael).  After getting my blood taken we headed over to the Blanco Cafe to grab some breakfast before Michael’s 10:30 am appointment.  We both ordered the Chilaquiles (eggs, tortillas, Serrano peppers, tomatoes, onions and cheese…yummo!

Getting the new hearing aids set up…

Michael’s appointment was for the issuance of new hearing aids that are blue tooth capable.  Now that he is on the phone so much these should improve the quality of his phone conversations.  The old hearing aids (which didn’t work worth a darn) gave a lot of feedback and Michael ended up removing them quite often in order to speak on the phone.

The blue tooth technology allows Michael to basically to speak hands free and hear the phone conversation through his hearing aids.  Plus he has a phone app that he can use to adjust the volume and to adjust where to focus his hearing.  So like we’re in the truck he can adjust his aids to concentrate more on his right side (where I’m sitting) or if he’s in a restaurant he can adjust them to focus on the person in front of him (or beside him etc) and kind of drown out all the background noise.

He hasn’t had much of a chance to test drive them yet…but I’m excited to see if they’ll work like they’re supposed to!

After his appointment we took in this week’s movie…Den of Thieves.  It was an action packed, bank heist-type storyline and we both really enjoyed it.  IMDb rates it at 7.1 stars and we both agree it earns every star.  The plot twist at the very end is pretty darn good!  Check it out.

10 for dinner

For dinner, ten of us gathered at Big Lous’s for the BIG pizza!  We had the usual suspects:  Beletti’s, Wolbeck’s, Dicks, us and we were joined by the Ray’s.  For some of us, it was the first time to really meet them while a couple of others had met them in the past.  They’re fulltimers as well and here in San Antonio to get some work done on their coach.

Thatsa BIG pizza!

The pizza…all 42 inches of it…was huge and pretty darn good too.  We each had one piece…which was plenty!  LOL  We were given plates that were about 10×16 inches in size and a piece of pizza filled it up!  It was great fun to order that monster and now we can all say we ‘did it!’

Wednesday morning Michael had a follow-up ophthalmology appointment at 8:30 am which meant we had to hit the morning traffic…in the rain.

We hit the road about 7:30 armed with breakfast (breakfast sandwiches and fresh bananas and strawberries) ready to eat in the truck as we traveled.
Michael’s appointment went pretty quickly and we were soon headed over to see Andrew to pick up our mail (new sheets!).  We chatted with Andrew for quite a while before we headed out for our next stop.

A relaxing indulgence

Time to get the old hooves pampered!  A good time to tune out the rest of the world and relax.  I enjoyed reading my Kindle ( normally reserved for bed time) while my toes/feet relished the attention!  I had the friendliest person do my mani/pedi that I have ever had do them.  Mary was very friendly and we chatted about a lot of different subjects while she did my manicure.  Plus, she provided one of the best mani/pedi’s I’ve had in a long time.  I’ll be looking for her in the fall!

Today’s lunch crew

Thursday we had another ‘Meet Up’ with Heartland friends…just 9 this time (our Nelly was under the weather and stayed home to rest).  We met for a late lunch at Mr. & Mrs. Gs Homecooking Restaurant…also considered ‘soul food’.  You know…fried chicken, pork chops, mac & cheese, black-eyed peas, corn bread, greens, banana pudding, etc.  What I would consider ‘southern home cookin’.

Kevin, Lou, Bette & Mike making their choices

The restaurant is cafeteria-style…you go through a line picking and choosing what dishes you want and some on the other side dishes up your plate for you.  Today’s entrees included fried chicken, baked chicken, pot roast, fried pork chops, smothered pork chops, beef & gravy, bbq ribs and ham hocks.  Sides included sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, cabbage, sweet potatoes, rice, greens and black-eyed peas.

Check out that serving size!

Our group sampled a variety of dishes – bbq ribs, fried pork chops, smothered pork chops, baked & fried chicken, sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas and a few other dishes.  Most everyone liked their choices although some like them more than others.

They also offer a variety of desserts:  German chocolate cake, cheese cake, pound cake, buttermilk pie, sweet potato pie, cherry pie…just to name a few.  Everyone chose a dessert but several of us brought them home as the food portions were pretty large and there was no room for dessert after finishing our meals!
Michael and I felt the food was ‘good’ but didn’t match up to Sweetie Pie’s in St. Louis where we visited last fall and waited in line for nearly an hour…but it was worth every minute of that wait.  You can read about that visit HERE.

Pinup or Mentor…whichever the case…a good friend!

After we all got back to the RV park, Jim came by to ‘talk shop’.  He gave Michael and I lots of good advice regarding rallies and vending at them.  Jim’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to that kind of thing and we really appreciated him taking the time to chat with us.

We still have about 10 days left here at Ft. Sam…and our friends are all here until then too!
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Burgers, Movies, Putzing & Advertising

Yep…I’m behind…this working stuff kinda gets in the way!

We tried a burger place that was recommended to us by several guys when we first visited Burger Boy last fall.  Chris Madrids has been around since 1977…serving burgers and nachos.

The temporary dining room

When we arrived we were surprised to see that the building was cordoned off but across the street there was a fenced in area with a food truck and a big tent.  We learned that there was a fire back in October and they are still getting the place back up to code and ready for business and won’t be open again until approximately May.

Delicious!

In the meantime, they decided to open the food truck restaurant and it had been open for about three weeks.  They have a good set up with plenty of seating and service was fast.

The burgers were excellent…every bit as Gonzalez Burgers in the Rio Grande Valley, in my opinion…Michael was kinda on the fence.  The burger was huge…Gonzalez Burgers might have a bit of an edge on size.

After enjoying our lunch we headed back home, making a stop at the barbershop on post to get Shaggy a MUCH needed haircut.  He, once again, looks like a human being, which is nice.  LOL

Since we missed a couple of weeks of seeing a movie while we were out in Arizona we decided to go for the gusto this week and do a double-header.  We saw Maze Runner:  The Death Cure and 12 Strong…both good movies.  I think I preferred Maze Runner but probably only because after spending the last 33 years of my life with a soldier I’m kinda ‘war movied’ out.  The thing that saved it for me was that it was a true story.

Lobster Bisque…the star of the show

Since Valentine’s Day was also Ash Wednesday we decided on Pappadeaux’s for lunch.  They were pretty busy when we arrived and we had about a 30 minute wait but the weather was nice and we sat on the porch in a couple of rocking chairs and whiled away the time.

Moroccan Salmon & Shrimp

We both started with a cup of their lobster bisque….oh it’s so yummy…I could have a meal of just that.  Michael ordered the Moroccan Salmon and shrimp with couscous and really enjoyed it.  I tasted it and while it was ok…I’m not sure that I could have handled the seasoning for an entire dish.

Shrimp & Scallop Orecchiette Pasta

I ordered the Shrimp & Scallop Orecchiette Pasta with jumbo crab meat and asparagus which was delicious.  A little on the rich side but yummy just the same.

While out we stopped and picked up our mail from Andrew.  We gifted him with some chocolate covered strawberries which he tried right away and loved…score!  We also made stops at the Container Store (filing box for work), Walmart and Lowes.  We didn’t end up getting home until after 7:00 pm and had only planned on being gone a couple of hours.  Ugh!

Nice for bare feet to walk on! LOL

While we were in Quartzsite one of the items Michael picked up from one of the other vendors was some ‘rugs’ for out outdoor steps.  The plain metal didn’t work for him and these were reasonable and pretty cushy.  However, the didn’t have the size we needed but he purchased them anyway, with a plan in mind.

He used a straight edge and a razor knife to cut them down to size and then took them to a local seamstress just off post and had them stitch a small area on each for a total of $10.00.  He put them on the steps as soon as he came back home with them and they look really nice and are really comfy on bare feet!

My Master-Putzer

Michael was in putzers heaven on Saturday as the phone was fairly quiet which gave him a chance to putz to his heart’s content.  It also gave me a chance to get caught up on my ‘girl’ TV shows without him hanging around being a nuisance.

Getting the word out!

We finally got all the sand and road grime washed off the truck from our trip to Arizona!  Dan had ordered some car magnets for our truck advertising PTB and Michael wouldn’t put them on until all the grit was gone for fear it would scratch the truck (smart man).  So with the truck nice and clean we applied that magnets and can now officially be called the PTB mobile.

Sunday afternoon brought Bette and Lou to the park.  We spend several hours visiting with them (and Milo!), catching up on each others lives since we last saw each other.  They’re here until the first and will be joined by Kevin & Nelly and Jim & Nancy on Monday (today).  The three couples have had plans to meet her for several months and we just so happened to be here too.  We’re looking forward to spending time with our Heartland family over the next couple of weeks…but we’ll have to find a balance between work and play!  LOL

Speaking of work…it’s been going good….busy but good.  For the month of January we saw an increase in sales over the previous year and so far for February (midway through) we’ve already surpassed last years numbers.  Dan is happy….which makes his Mama happy!  Now just to keep that going!  So…if you know anyone that needs disc brakes put on their trailer (camper, utility, stock, boat, etc)…LET US KNOW!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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Too Many Appointments!

This week has been ridiculously full of appointments!

Tuesday 2/6

Strangely enough…this model is almost identical to the nodule on my thyroid.  That’s the nodule on the lower right.

I had an appointment with an Endocrinologist to discuss a nodule that was found on my thyroid during a scan a couple of months ago.  I really liked the doctor as he was very informative, upbeat and just gave off a good vibe.

The nodule is roughly one centimeter in size and isn’t causing me any discomfort and I have no history of cancer in my family really.  I was given a couple of options:  remove it, watch it or biopsy it.

I decided to just watch it for now and will have it rechecked in November when we’re back in the area.  I can always change my mind and go back in to see Dr. Uy but for now we’ll watch it to see if it changes in size.

Dr. Grant giving Michael’s eyes a workout!

That same afternoon, Michael had an appointment at Lackland AFB with a Opthamologist to discuss the ‘laziness’ of his right eye which will most likely need surgery in the not so distant future.  The doctor wants to make sure that the eye is ‘stable’ and not continuing to move before he does the surgery.  Michael will go back to see the doctor in November to see if the eye has changed or not.

Michael had corrective surgery on his eyes way back in 1989 and the eyes both did well for many years.  It’s only been in the last few years that the muscles (that were corrected) seem to have begun weakening again and the eye tenders to wander out…especially if he’s tired.

What a LONG day that was as we didn’t get back home until after 7:00 pm!
Wednesday 2/7
Only one appointment today!  This appointment was with the DAV to discuss the appeal Michael has had with the VA since January 2014 and have not really heard anything.
The gentleman we saw told us that the appeal in the system was only for one issue and the appeal that Michael started was for about 10 issues!  This gentleman was very helpful and will be sending a letter to the ‘coaches’ in Houston to get the remaining issues added to the appeal (considering that the original appeal letter is in the VA system listing everything).  Plus he will be filing a separate claim for one of Michael’s issues that needs to be addressed.
Crossing our fingers that this helps…as it’s been over 4 years waiting on this appeal.
Since we only had one appointment today we decided since we were already out we might as well go see our movie of the week!  This week we chose ‘The Shape of Water’ which had a 7.8 IMDb rating.
Hmmm….the movie was ok.  Not bad…just really different and not really what we were expecting.  It’s kind of a ‘Monster from the Black Lagoon’/love story type thing.   That description makes it sound really dumb, I suppose…and it wasn’t dumb or bad….just different…that’s my best description!  LOL
Thursday 2/8
Another two appointments scheduled for today!  The first was scheduled for 8:00 am and was a Visual Fields test for Michael.  He was called back about 8:15 am and before I knew it he was done – less than 15 minutes later.
His next appointment (same building) wasn’t until noon so we decided to go grab some breakfast.  But before leaving the building we stopped in the Optical Shop to check on some glasses that were ordered for Michael.  He had an optometry appointment on December 5th and apparently the request for glasses was just approved LAST week.  Geesh…nearly two months after his appointment.  Good thing he wasn’t in dire need of those glasses, eh??

Nice place!

The Original Blanco Cafe was nearby and convenient with good reviews so we decided to go there for breakfast.  The restaurant was nicely decorated and taken care of, which was a plus.

Michael’s chilaquiles plate

We both decided to order dishes we’d never had before.  Michael went with the Chilaquiles plate:  A mixture of eggs, tostadas, serrano chiles, onions, tomato, and topped with cheese
Served with beans, potatoes, and two tortillas.  Which was really really tasty and well probably both order it the next time we’re there for breakfast.

My machacado plate

I ordered the Machacado Plate:  A mixture of eggs and shredded beef Served with beans, potatoes, and two tortillas. (No beans!)  The eggs and beef were very good too…but Michael’s dish just had more oomph.

After breakfast we had some time to waste before Michael’s appointment so we wandered around a Dollar Tree store.  Not long after arriving we got a phone call from Michael’s noon appointment telling us that they didn’t have the blue tooth device for his hearing aids and needed to reschedule for next Wednesday.
Before heading back home we stopped by our ‘mail box’ to pick up some mail and were back home before noon…which felt really good!
Next week should be much less hectic as we only have one appointment and that’s the appointment that was rescheduled.  Awesome!
Thankfully, our weekends are much quieter than weekdays which gives us a chance to get some household chores taken care of and also to make some follow-up phone calls/emails for PTB.  I was even able to bake a cake!
The weather has been pretty icky here in San Antonio.  Today we’re looking for a high of 45…with wind.  Yuck.  Looks like the possibility of some 70 degree temps toward the end of the week, which sounds really good!
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Travel Day: Ft. Stockton, TX To San Antonio, TX

After spending several weeks in the Mountain time zone our sleep schedules were a bit goofy so we were almost always up between 6:00 and 6:30 so it felt good to sleep until 7:44 am this morning!

Oilfield gate guards – our old life!

The nice thing about this RV park is the cafe and the ability to have dinner there after a long day or grab breakfast before hitting the road.  We headed over to the cafe about 8:15 or so.  The cafe does a good business but we didn’t have to wait long before our meals arrived.  It was good but I’m looking forward to a good home cooked breakfast.

We were able to say a quick goodbye to Herb before we left and he went to his ‘Ham Radio Operators’ meeting.  We pulled out of the park at 9:08 am.  We had just over 300 miles to travel and we were anxious to get ‘home’ and get settled in as we are here until March 5th.

Miss the oilfield guys…not the work!

As we traveled through west Texas we saw more and more oil field activity.  Drilling rigs, gate guards, workover rigs, etc.  Of course, there was much discussion between us as to memories and whether we miss it or not.  The short answer is we miss the people but we don’t miss the round the clock work, not sleeping together, not being able to go anywhere together or the dust.  So, no, we don’t miss gate guarding.  LOL

As we passed by the high bluffs along I-10 we were surprised to see three ‘mountain’ goats climbing along the bluffs.  Wished I’d had my camera ready as it was really a site to see.!

Lunch stop!

We stopped to fill up with diesel in Sonora and decided to also grab some lunch at the local Dairy Queen.  The place was dead and we were the sole customers when we arrived….ahhh nice fresh hot food.  Nope, our order was luke warm and pretty unremarkable.  Thank goodness they weren’t able to goof up the blizzards we took on the road.

We made really good time today which provided Michael with the opportunity to get the truck and coach washed at the Blue Beacon on the southeast side of San Antonio.  Both vehicles were absolutely nasty after spending time in the dust of Quartzsite and acquiring normal road grime.

Rub a dub dub

We arrived at the Blue Beacon at 3:30 pm to find quite a waiting line but we bit the bullet and got in line.  The line actually moved fairly quickly and our wait ended up being about 50 minutes.  We kept ourselves occupied listening to music, scanning Facebook (Michael) and playing games on our phones (me!).

That’s us!

We pulled into the Fort Sam Houston FamCamp at 5:00 pm and found our reservation on the board outside the office as the office was already closed for the weekend.  We made our way to our assigned site and will go over to the office on Monday to pay for our month’s stay.

Ft. Sam Houston – site 2. We’re here for a month.

Ironically enough, we are in site 2…the very same site we left 26 days ago!  The same coach is on our door side that was there when we left.  I wonder if this site was empty the whole time we were gone!  Probably not as turnover is pretty high here….in some cases.

We have several appointments this coming week and hope to get several chores out of the way while we’re here.  Plus, of course, we plan to continue our ‘movie of the week’ dates.  We have some Heartland friends that will be here later in the month, so we’re looking forward to that as well.

 

 

 

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Travel Day: Deming, NM To Ft. Stockton, TX

Believe it or not we got a lot of work done while we were in Deming.  Wednesday Michael’s phone rang off the hook and emails seemed to pour in.  I got several invoices sent out and had several payments come through too!

We took off about 3:00 pm on Wednesday and head to the China Restaurant to get an early dinner.  You’ll remember that we both loved this placed and Michael was good enough to take me back again.  So we now have several meals of leftovers in the refrigerator.

After our early dinner we went to the StarMax theater and watched ‘Hostiles’.  Hostiles is a ‘Army/Indian’ movie, which takes place in the mid-1800s.  It had good ratings on IMDB….but in my opinion the ratings could have been higher.  The movie was absolutely excellent in my opinion…keeping me engaged the entire time.  Not a dull moment to be had.

So glad we’re back to our weekly movie date as there are several good ones out there that I can’t wait to see.  Stay tuned to see what we take in next week!  LOL

The gorgeous birthday girl!

Thursday our oldest grandchild, Paityn, turned seven!  Time passes so quickly.  By the end of this year we will have two seven-year olds, two five-year olds and a three-year old!  Our oldest son will be 32 and our youngest will be 30!  Plus, Michael and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage in May.  We’ve been blessed with so much and the blessings seem to continue each and every day.  Not to say we don’t have bad days…but the blessings out weigh the bad ten fold.

Anyway…we had 345 miles to travel today and had a dinner date with our friend Herb to make so we left a little earlier than we might normally have.  After getting our move day chores taken care (easy peasy stuff) we were set to hitch up and pull out of the Roadrunner RV Park in Deming at 7:30 am.  However, that’s when we hit our first snag of the day.

Bah humbug!

The tire on the front passenger side of the truck was flat.  Michael had adjusted all of the tire pressure sensors yesterday and apparently this one let out all of the air in the tire.  Ugh.  After a bunch of ‘messin’ around getting the jack, the air compressor hose, turning on the generator, jacking up the truck, etc etc Michael got the tire aired up and everything tucked back into their homes and we were ready to hit the road a little more than an hour after are planned departure.  (And of course you know the guy next door had to stop by and say, ‘If you’ve got time, let me tell you a story…’  Really? Does it look like we have time?  LOL

Anyway…we got hitched up and are ready to pull out of the park when we realize that one of the back tires on the drivers side is low on air.  Oh boy!  So Michael decides to take it just a couple of businesses down to a gas station and air up the tire there.  We get finagled into a spot near the air station and Michael tries and tries but the tire will not take air.

Next step is to go a few more businesses down to a tire shop who were very helpful and got the low tire filled up and checked ALL of the remaining tires and topped any off that needed it.

Look at that sky!

We finally hit the road about 9:30 am but ended up stopping at a Love’s about 45 minutes later to fill up with diesel ($2.94 a gallon, ouch!) and also to fill up with DEF as it was low as well.

Thought it was a pretty back drop – Kelly’s Kitchen location

We stopped for lunch east of Van Horn but ended up just eating in the truck…too cold outside to enjoy it at a picnic table and too lazy to go in the house.  Only hung out for about 40 minutes as we were trying to make up some of the time we lost with the dumb tires.  It was a working lunch as Michael got four phone calls.

We made it to the Ft. Stockton RV park just before 5:00 pm and our friend, Herb, checked us in and sent us to our site with the promise of meeting us at the cafe for dinner about 5:45 pm.

Site 2 – that’s Herb’s ‘hut’ behind us

We pulled into site 2 and didn’t even unhitch.  We just plugged in the power, put the front jacks down for a little stabilization and that was it.  We did a little work before heading across the way to the cafe.

We had a nice visit with Herb before he had to head home to give his dog some medicine.  Michael and I finished our meals and then headed back home to finish up the days work and then called it a night.

Tomorrow we head back to San Antonio…our ‘home’ of sorts.

 

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Travel Day – Claypool, AZ to Deming, NM

We slept later than we have in weeks…7:30…in a parking lot nonetheless!  And it felt good!  Before pulling out of our overnight parking spot we answered a few emails that came in overnight and relaxed in our recliners for bit.

Judy’s in Claypool, AZ

Before heading out of town we stopped at Judy’s Cook House, which was just past Vonnie’s Pizza, to grab some breakfast.

Michael got his usual: 2 eggs, pancakes, bacon and hash browns.  His eggs were a bit too done but he enjoyed it nonetheless.

That’s a lot of food!

I ordered a bit different from normal:  2 eggs, smoked sausage, pancakes and hash browns…I never order pancakes but something tugged at me this morning.  They were nice and fluffy but huge so I barely ate half of them.  My eggs and hash browns were perfect and the smoked sausage was quite tasty.

We pulled onto the road about 9:40 am and with just 235 miles to travel today there was no big hurry.  I’m pretty sure that we’ll be traveling this route again when traveling to Quartzsite as it’s a very interesting area.  Lots of copper mining goes on here and it’s easy to view all of the mined areas in the area.  The hills and mountains surrounding the area are pocked with operating mines as well as abandoned ones.

Such cool terrain along this route!

We stopped in Thatcher to top off with fuel…enough to get us to Deming as it was $2.89 a gallon.  We’ll fill both tanks when we find a better price.  Plus we’ll need to add DEF at that point too.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful although we fielded a lot of PTB phone calls.   Michael takes the call while we drive and I take notes and then follow-up with an email to the customer afterward….that is if we have internet reception…and today we did nearly the entire trip.

We arrived at the Roadrunner RV park in Deming about 1:45 pm and got checked in lickedy split and made our way to site 67 where well be for the next three nights.

Back again…Roadrunner RV Park – Deming, NM – site 67

Michael had a bit of hassle getting the satellite dish tuned in but eventually got it squared away.  He thinks that meter he’s been using for nearly 7 years might be the issue…guess we’ll have to think about replacing it.

By 2:30 pm I had the laundry sorted and a load going.  We did a couple of small loads while we were at Quartzsite but since we were on limited usage we let the biggest majority of it go til now.  Still only have about 3 loads to do…not a big deal.

After dinner, Michael hung out in the living room to watch the State of the Union address while I buried myself in the bedroom with a good book and the door closed.

 

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Travel Day: Quartzsite, AZ To Claypool, AZ

Our last two days at the Quartzsite RV Show were excruciatingly slow…however, the slowdown was welcomed in more ways than one.  We were able to get completely caught up on returning phone calls and emails for PTB and we were also able to get some pre-travel day chores done and get a good start on packing up.

Shows over…time to pack up and hit the road!

The show ended at 5:00 pm on Sunday and there were vendors chomping at the bit to pull out at 4:00 pm.  However, because there were customers still walking around on the midway they were not allowed to drive on the midway until the show closed.  As soon as the announcement was made that they could pull out…there were quite a few that fled as quickly as they could!

We spent our last night on the midway eating pizza and watching TV and it felt good!  I was up about 7:00 am and Michael followed about 45 minutes later.

The plan was to pull out about 10:00 am Monday morning.  No hurry as we were just heading to a Walmart in Claypool, Arizona for the night.  Most of our travel day chores were done.

Michael just had a few items to stow and the satellite dish to take down and I had a few inside chores to complete.

Hard heads crack hitch covers apparently!

As we were hitching up I noticed a crack in the hitch cover that wasn’t there before.  A couple of days ago when the ‘dump’ crew came to dump our tanks one of them bonked his head pretty good on the hitch…I’m guessing that he also cracked the cover.  Poor guy.  He really did a number on his head and knocked himself silly too.

We ended up pulling out of the show grounds at 9:56 am and had no issues whatsoever.  We thought we might have to deal with other vendors trying to get out but…nope…nothing.  We just cruised right out and hit the road.

A lone 5er in a sea of Class As

We made a stop at a rest area about 11:30 am and found it funny that we were the only fifth wheel in a sea of class A’s…with one other fifth wheel waaaayyyy down on the end.

Smooth sailing…

We hit Phoenix right about noon but traffic moved pretty smoothly so there was no slow down at all.  We breezed right through and ended up deciding it was about time for lunch so we pulled off when we saw a sign for Walmart in Apache Junction.  It was another parking lot that was very segmented with curbs everywhere but we were very careful and got parked in an area where there were few cars.

We enjoyed some yummy salads from our recliners…no need to turn the generator on today as the temp was hovering near 80 so the house was pretty temperate.  We relaxed for a while before we headed into the store to do some shopping rather than waiting until Wednesday when were back in Deming, New Mexico.  Now we can just relax.

After an almost 2 1/2 hour stop we were back on the road easily enough.  Michael scouted out an easier way to get out of the parking lot which was much easier than having to avoid the various curbs and cars.

We only had 53 miles left to travel for the day and our destination just happened to be another Walmart…but this one was in Claypool, AZ.

Approaching Superior, Arizona – how pretty!

The drive between Superior, Arizona and Globe, Arizona is through the Superstition Mountains and is absolutely phenomenal!  Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the beauty that I didn’t take any pictures…not that weren’t any opportunities!

We arrived at the Walmart in Claypool about 4:45 pm, checked to make sure it was ok to spend the night and then got the coach settled in.  We didn’t stick around long as we planned to walk three tenths of a mile down the road to Vonnie’s Pizza as they had good reviews.

Vonnie’s Pizza – good stuff!

Vonnie’s is read by a husband and wife team who were both very friendly and we enjoyed chatting with them while we were there.  The reviews were spot on and the pizza was very good…Michael insisted on get a 16 inch pizza and we each only ate one piece of pizza so we have LOTS leftover!  We also ordered bread sticks which are stuffed with cheese…oh my gosh…good stuff!

Thank goodness I always keep my last pair…just in case.

On our way back home we walked through a dark parking lot that had an ‘invisible’ speed bump in it and since it was dark out and the dang thing was ‘invisible’ I didn’t see it and ended up flat on my face!  Scuffed up my toe, knee, hands, a finger and knocked my glasses off my face and popped one of the lens’ out!  And if that wasn’t enough…the cup of soda I was carrying landed underneath me so my pants were drenched and my soda was a goner.  🙁  Good thing I can laugh at myself!  Geesh.

When we got back home we each had work to do – just a few emails to reply to, some data entry and some filing.  About an hour and a half or so and we were done.

Tomorrow we head to Deming for a few days of respite.

 

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Baby Got New Shoes!

Wednesday 1/24 

Dennis just starting to get our brakes installed

Wow!  What a busy day!  Dennis was here about 8:00 am to begin working on converting our electric drum brakes to electric over hydraulic.  Dennis was such a sport!  He stopped and started working numerous times throughout the day while customers stopped him to ask questions.

Even after fielding LOTS of questions, Dennis finished up just after 5:00 pm.  The install took him a couple hours longer than normal but he was so awesome with the customers, I was really impressed.

We’re looking forward to pulling out on Monday to see the difference in our braking power!

We made several sales and had quite a few people show interest as well.

Dennis fielding questions from his admirers

We had plans to go out to dinner with Dennis and his family but after such a long day we all decided we weren’t up for it so we decided to do it Thursday night instead.

Michael and I went to La Casa Cafe for dinner.  Every place you go here has a wait this time of year.  We drove by this place and it didn’t have a line out the door so we decided to try it.  We waited for about 15 minutes before we were seated

Michael ordered turkey and dressing and I ordered a taco salad with shredded beef.  Michael enjoyed his meal and mine was ok…just nothing special.  Maybe it was because I was so tired.  Whatever it was it’s not a place I’d write off as the staff and service were all very friendly.

By the time we got home (8:00 pmish) we were exhausted and went straight to bed!  I even took a muscle relaxer to help me sleep as I hadn’t been sleeping very well.

Thursday 1/25

It was a quieter day.  We were both able to work on some follow-up emails/phone calls that need to be taken care of….but still weren’t able to take care of everything.

We’ve been blessed to make some good friends here that we’ll hope to catch out on the road during the year.  Both couples we’ve really connected with have Wisconsin roots, which is pretty awesome!

Delicious hot roast beef open-faced sandwich

We were able to get together with Dennis and his family for dinner.  We too them to the Times Three Family Restaurant, where we went the first night we were here.  We all ordered something different and I think everyone enjoyed their meals.  Ok…well Michael and I both ordered the same meal.  They were out of turkey for turkey Manhattans, so we both had the beef Manhattan,  which was very good as well.

We enjoyed spending time with Dennis, Mavis and their two youngun’s – Kevin and Madison.  They were so well-behaved and kept themselves occupied while we old folks visited.  We chatted for a long time before heading to the local Dollar General to pick up a couple of items before heading home for the night.

Friday 1/26

Dennis stopped by this morning on the way to do his last install here in Quartzsite.  He’s done an install every day since last Thursday, except for Sunday, which he took off.

He stopped by on his way to his install to pick up all of our left over product.  Rather than shipping it back to our warehouse in Oklahoma, he’ll buy the product from us and have it on hand to sell to customers he may find on his own.  Win/win!

This is Bob. He and his wife Becky have been working the show for several years and we are blessed to have been able to meet them here!

There was a whole lot less traffic.  However, those that stopped by had been by earlier in the week and placed orders.

The benefit of less show traffic was that we both were able to get caught up returning phone calls and emails, filing contact sheets and getting a little organization back into our life.

It was so nice to be able to close up shop at 5:00 pm and pretty much be done for the night.  We hadn’t been able to do that in nearly a week.

I made dinner and we relaxed in our recliners while watching TV for several hours before calling it a night.

We have just two days left of the show.  Hopefully we can get a couple more sales squeezed in!

 

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Quartzsite RV Show – A First For Us!

So that I don’t get too far behind in posting, I thought that I’d do a quick post to help you keep up to date with our first RV Show

Friday 1/19 – Our day was filled with more prep work.  Opening kits that we had shipped here straight from Dexter and making sure that all the necessary parts were there and that the studs could take lug nut without any trouble.

Arvin & Vicki

Dennis, the installer here with us, dropped by to pick up a kit for the install that he was doing on Saturday.  Arvin & Vicky, fellow Heartlanders, who we met while we were in San Antonio stopped by to visit.

Saturday 1/20 – The first day of the show.  It was cold and windy, with light rain in the afternoon.  For my northern friends and family our 60 degrees may not have been considered cold…but we’re in Arizona!  It was COLD!  With the sky in the distance looking like it was bringing a BIG storm we rearranged the merchandise onto pallets and covered with tarps – once we did that…the sky cleared up pretty much!  Wouldn’t ya know it?!?!

Set up and ready to sell!

We didn’t make any sales, but several people stopped by to ask questions or comment that they already had disc brakes and loved them.  There was quite a bit of interest in returning on Wednesday to see our disc brakes get installed.

We took turns taking a walk around the show grounds checking things out.  Not a whole lot that we need or want but we both found a few things we’ll pick up before we leave:  new outdoor chairs, wooden domino holders, BBQ sauce and rub, etc.

 

Discussing the benefits of disc brakes

Sunday 1/21 – The day started off slow as I think some people may have been attending church.  But once church hours were over we got a LOT of customers stopping by, asking questions, relating stories, etc.   Today’s customers seemed more interested and we had our first sale of the show.

It was still chilly today but the wind wasn’t nearly as bad and we dressed warmer than we did yesterday.  Faces are wind blow/sunburned.  Skin is very dried out….might have to take stock in a lotion company!

Lots of interest in the install being done on our coach on Wednesday so we should have quite a few coming back to see that.

Our first customer ever, Kevin, stopped by.  He had his disc brakes installed back in the very beginning of November at the fairgrounds in Norman, Oklahoma while we were there for the sale of the company.

Pump out service!

All of our install days (during the RV show) have been used up so we now have to either refer them to another installer elsewhere or have them DIY.

Part of the fee we paid to have a site here on the midway included power, water and a pump out service.  Today was our first day to be pumped out (they’ll come again on Wednesday and Saturday).  They do the pumping after hours, of course…and they were here about 5:05 pm!  (the show closes at 5:00 pm!)  That’s what you call service!

Two days down…seven more to go!!

 

 

 

 

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Travel Day: Buckeye, AZ To Quartzsite, AZ

Bah humbug!

​6:55 am  – We pulled out of the Walmart parking lot and made our way through the maze of lots to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  It was a pretty tight parking so we moved into the Lowe’s parking lot where single cars we’re interspersed here and there.  A combination of that, partial darkness and tight turns we caught the front passenger bumper of an employees car.  Another employee saw it happen and called the car owner who came out and swapped info with us.  Not the best way to start the day.

We finally got to Cracker Barrel about 7:20 am.  We both ordered our usuals and pretty much ate in silence, feeling pretty crappy.

DOUBLE bah humbug!

Michael didn’t want me to mention anything here because he thought it would make him look bad.  But I don’t want to ‘sugar coat’ our lives.  We love our lifestyle but it’s not always roses…shit happens and we have to live with it.  Besides, we have the best friends, family and followers and I know you’ll all give him/us words of encouragement rather than criticism.

We texted the kids and told em of our mishap.  We felt bad but they were good about not making us feel worse and telling us to ‘move on’ and not dwell on it.  No one was hurt.  We have insurance.  A lot worse things could happen.

As we closed in on QZ we started seeing more and more boondockers in the BLM lands…LOTS and LOTS of them!

We pulled out (extra carefully) of the parking area at 8:16 am and we’re back on I-10 at 8:18 am.  The GPS showed we had 99 miles to travel and would arrive in an hour and 24 minutes.

Stopped quickly for a potty stop and Michael remembered that he left his hearing aids on the dresser.  He went to check on them and found one where he left it and the other one was gone.  He searched the floor and the bed, both possibilities as to where it might have fallen.  Just as we were about to give up, Michael checked the top drawer, which some times pops open when we travel…and there it was!  Whew…thank goodness.

Being escorted to our midway site

We ended up pulling into the RV Show are about 10:00 am and immediately went to the check in trailer where we waited in line about 25 or 30 minutes for our turn. We chatted with a couple of other vendors, who were also here for the first time, which was nice to know we’re not the only newbies.

Parked but not set up

After a quick check in we were escorted to our spot right on the midway…a nice spot right on the end.  Someone was supposed to be next to us on the end but someone else cancelled and they moved them across the way so we have the whole corner to ourselves!

Two of the four pallets we received.

We pretty much hit the ground running as our deliveries started coming as soon as we were parked.  We started trying to get some organization going and sort through the merchandise (we have a LOT more to do tomorrow).

We had a customer come to pick up his kit that will be installed tomorrow and in talking with him he suggested we stop by the Grand Design rally (just three miles away) and introduce ourselves…he thought we could grab some extra sales.

Grand Design rally-goers

We followed him back to the rally area and he introduced Michael to the rally organizer who agreed to introduce us and anyone that wanted to chat with us was welcome to do so.  We just hung out by our truck and they came to us and asked questions, etc.  We ended up setting up two more installs (Monday and Tuesday), possibly one for Sunday and another for the southern California area in a few weeks!

By this time it was after 6:00 pm and we hadn’t eaten since 8:00 am so we were pretty hungry and decided to go into town and get some grub.  We found the Times Three Family Restaurant…it had good reviews on Yelp…so that was good enough for us.

Delicious!

We both ordered the Hot Turkey plate…pure comfort food for me….and it did not disappoint!  Real turkey…real mashed potatoes…tasty gravy and cranberries on the side.  Ohhh….a little piece of heaven on earth.

The restaurant was packed but we came just at the right time and got a table right away and our server took our order right away.  Good food, good service…can’t beat that in a town of 3500ish people who grows to nearly a million this time of the year!
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