Settling In

Posted by on November 11, 2015
Snug as a bug

Snug as a bug

We are settling into our little slice of the oil patch.  It’s a bit unsettling not knowing how long they’ll need us here but we are hoping (and praying) for the best and enjoying the income while it’s flowing.

We got rain both Friday and Saturday.  Nothing terrible….just enough to knock down the dust and make the road a bit muddy and uncomfortable.

The temps have been anywhere between the high 60s to mid 70s….which is great.  However, today we’re looking for a high of 88…lets just hope we don’t get the humidity to go with it.

The view from the front door.  Wells on the right, oil/water tanks on the left.

The view from the front door. Wells on the right, oil/water tanks on the left.

Over the weekend we had some issues with the oil separation process.  It seems that this oil is quite thick which doesn’t allow the water to separate from it very well.  Since a certain percentage of water has to be removed from the oil before it’s trucked off we had several drivers come in only to leave without a load due to too much water content.

The guager has been here a lot over the last few days trying to adjust this and tweak that, in hopes that they can get things worked out so that the ‘bad oil’ will become ‘good oil’ ready to be hauled off.

I mentioned in my last post that on this gate we are using a Samsung tablet to log the vehicles coming and going.  We’d heard from other gate guards what a headache they could be…so were a bit apprehensive about using one.  Pfffft!  No worries!  Using the tablet is a little slice of heaven in my opinion!

Still in love with my south Texas sunrises

Still in love with my south Texas sunrises

We enter the same information into the tablet that we did on a paper log sheet – License plate number & state, drivers name, company and then take a picture of their HDS card.  The next time that vehicle comes in we just type in the license plate number, hit ‘search’ and all the previously entered information populates!  How awesome is that?  The only ‘glitch’ is that if multiple drivers use the same vehicle only the name of the last driver pops up.  Not a big deal as you can change any of the information that needs to be changed.

Michael had an appointment at the VA clinic (in San Antonio) to have his hearing aids adjusted on Monday at 8:30 am so he left here just after 6:00 am for the 90 mile trip and made it with just a few minutes to spare.  The appointment didn’t take long and he was on his way to the next errand on his list.

He stopped at the DAV office at the Audie Murphy Hospital to see his rep.  Nothing important really…he just wanted to see if he had anymore advice on how to ‘organize’ his medical records for future use. Unfortunately there was a long line and after waiting an hour and a half he gave up when the rep went to lunch and left without seeing the rep.  He’ll try again another time.

A quick stop to spray off the truck since it was covered in mud (see below) and throw our trash in the dumpster and he was onto the next errand on his list.

He stopped and picked up a few groceries to tide us over – might as well get what we need while we’re out since we’re quite a ways from the nearest grocery store – 21 miles to the nearest dinky grocery store in Dilley (over horrible road) or 40 miles to the nearest nice grocery store in Uvalde.  Hopefully that will prevent us from having to go out for a while.

Shoot the Bull BBQ

Shoot the Bull BBQ

He made a stop at King Buffet (probably my favorite in San Antonio) and picked up Chinese and then made another stop in Dilley at Shoot the Bull BBQ to pick up brisket and ribs.  What a treat!  We had Chinese for dinner that evening when he got home and had enough left for 2 more meals.

Interior - just a tiny place...but GOOD food

Interior – just a tiny place…but GOOD food

We had BBQ for dinner on Tuesday night.  I made a couple of side dishes to go along with it and it turned out to be a very good meal.  Michael was very happy with the brisket (you know how picky he is!) so if we’re here long enough I’m sure we’ll have more BBQ from Shoot the Bull.  We still have enough for another meal too!

The road that we’re on, FM 4757 (also called Leona River Road), stretches from US 57 on the north to FM 117 on the south…about a 10 mile distance.

A crop duster buzzing overhead...this wasn't even close...he got WAY closer!

A crop duster buzzing overhead…this wasn’t even close…he got WAY closer!

When we came here we were directed to come from the north as the road was much better.  That meant driving over 8 miles of dirt road.  The road wasn’t too bad…certainly not like Cameron Road last year!

A few days after arriving here Michael decided to get rid of our garbage.  We don’t have a trash trailer here but were told that there was one on ‘A’ pad (we’re on ‘C’ pad) which is south of us.  Michael headed that way only to find out that there is no trash trailer there either.   Hmmmm….anyway he decided to explore the rest of the road to FM 117…remember it’s just 2 miles from our gate to FM 117.

Michael left with a white truck and came back with a brown truck – I didn’t even recognize the truck when he got back.  He said that little stretch of road was so bad that water/mud flew up over the hood of the truck more than once.  Pot holes are not pot holes…they’re canyons.  He also said we wouldn’t be going down that part of the road anymore.

A group of men conferring over what to do about the plate dragging on the ground from underneath the truck

A group of men conferring over what to do about the plate dragging on the ground from underneath the truck

A lot of our traffic comes from that direction.  I realize it’s shorter…but wow…you really punish your vehicle.  I’ve had two trucks (1 big one and 1 pick up) lose their license plates coming down the road and the pick up also lost some metal plate from the underside of his truck.

So I guess if we have to go to Dilley we’ll go the long route (42 miles) versus the short route (21 miles).




2 Responses to Settling In

  1. Victoria

    Kelly if you like cajun food cajun shack on 85 going to charlotte

    • Kelly

      Thanks for the suggestion, Victoria! If we’re ever in the area we’ll keep that in mind. It’s over 50 miles one way from here though.

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