Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving and family traditions go hand in hand. Since we have an empty house and our RV is chaotic and disorganized, it was decided that we would celebrate Thanksgiving with our youngest daughter.  She planed, prepped, cooked and did a wonderful job of hosting all of us today.

Before I go on about today, I would like to tell you a bit about Wednesday. Carol and I decided to make a drive to Catarina, TX for a pre Thanksgiving feast with Donna and Tom, Carol’s sister and her husband.  They are full time RVing and are currently working with Gate Guard Services out of Corpus Christi. Current assignment is the Rocking 5 Stanley Ranch where Anadarko Petroleum is drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Monday of this week, the trails lost Dieter, their wonderful fur baby, in an accident involving one of the 18-wheelers. Dieter was a wonderful companion and loved people – especially children. He will be missed by all who knew him. Needless to day, Monday was a dark day for Tom and Donna.

We got a late start out of Corpus Christi, so we did not get to their gate until around 12:30PM. Their gate is about 7 miles off  US 83 on a very rough road. Posted speed limit on this road is 20 MPH, so the last 7 miles took forever.    We were blessed with a 2 hour lull that allowed us to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal with no interruptions. After the visit, that was way too short, we headed back to Corpus Christi. Our fur babies where glad to see us.

That brings is back to Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for that the list would just go on and on. Instead of doing that, I would like to say that I am most thankful for my wife’s maternal grandparents. Blanche Barrett (aka Mom ‘B’) and Bill Barrett. Mom ‘B’ was the person who planted the seed of Jesus in my heart in 1966, one year before my wife and I married in 1967. Their Christian walk had a tremendous impact on my life and spiritual growth. So, I close by saying I am thankful today to have been so richly blessed by Mom ‘B’s’ compassionate heart, and by Grand Daddy Bill’s strong Christian witness of what Jesus had done in your life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

50 Days and Counting

With certainty, I can say accumulating stuff is significantly easier than getting rid of stuff.  And S T R E S S? This phase of getting rid of stuff has been the MOST stressful thing we have ever done. Many of our RVing friends have warned us of that.

We survived empty nesting a second time when our beloved daughter and grandson moved into their own apartment after living with us for three years. We have survived watching some of our stuff leave for another home. I survived selling my 900+ square feet wood shop. My wife survived reducing her quilting space from 200+ square feet to under 15 square feet.

Our house sparkles to the point that if we were looking for a house and saw this one, we would buy it again. All walls have a fresh coat of paint, the floors shine for the first time in years and the counter tops are empty of accessories. Our home has become a house again – we no longer live there even though we are parked on the RV pad in front of the house.

Colinial Del ReyNext weekend, we officially move to Colonia Del Rey RV Resort in Corpus Christi as we finalize our transition. By moving off the pad in front of the house, we get sewer connections. People driving by our house will actually be able to see it instead of an RV. We can finally work on a little curb appeal.

Thanksgiving weekend will be a time to gather with our family as has been our tradition.  This year, our youngest daughter is hosting the family in her small apartment. This year we will not have a big out door project like taking down a couple of trees or pulling carpet out of the house. Instead, I think we will look for opportunities to take a bunch of family photos.  This will be the year for fun family fellowship mixed with fabulous food.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 11, 2011

R&R #2 Part 2

Friday was veteran’s day. The following is from The History of Veterans Day published on line by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
For many people, Veterans day is just a day off. I certainly hope you had a chance to celebrate Veterans Day with honor and dignity.

From one vet to another, I salute you and say, “Thank You!”

Friday was day 2 of our 2nd R&R weekend as well as the first day of our estate sale.  The phone started ringing at 7:45 AM with our Leslie calling to verify how much we wanted for some items that had not been tagged. I am glad I was not there to deal with the throng of bargain hinters.  By the end of the day, Leslie said the garage was just about empty (sigh) and most of the items in the house were also sold.

designer_I_USBWe chose to come to San Antonio area for this R&R so we could bring Carol’s Designer I embroidery machine to the Viking dealer for cleaning and adjusting.  After a simple breakfast, we headed to Alamo Stitching Post to deliver Carol’s machine for servicing. While we were there, we drooled over the updated version of Carol’s Designer I machine.

We also had some family heirlooms that needed to be delivered to one of Carol’s cousins who lived in Schertz, just one exit from where we were parked. Carol had arranged a lunch date with Beverly and her hubby Bob. After dropping off the embroidery machine, we had a little time to kill before lunch. Since our truck was D I R T Y, I searched for a DIY car wash that was near where we were headed. The truck just looks better when it is clean.

We enjoyed lunch with Beverly and Bob, got caught up on family stuff and left for a mid afternoon siesta. Remember we are on R&R so w*rk is not a good word. After a restful afternoon, we headed to Clear Springs Restaurant for an early dinner with Carol’s brother Jay and his new bride Shalmir. The meal was good and the company was even better.

By the time we got back home, Carol allergy issue was getting the best of her. Hopefully she will get better soon.

Thanks for stopping by. The R&R continues.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

R&R #2

Welcome to our new followers. Knowing others are interested in what I have to say is encouraging. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday 11/10 was a crazy day. It actually began on Monday 11/7. We have been frantically working toward a deadline of getting the house ready for market and for the estate sale at the same time.  We had three days to get everything done that needed to get done.
DSC_1864[1]Carol and I had been taking care of our almost 2 year old grandson Jayson.  If you need a reminder, 2 year olds take a lot of energy. Since most of the work to be done was in my department, Carol took care of Jayson. Wednesday I picked up a U-Hall truck so I could get it loaded and ready for our Houston daughter Michele and hubby Martin to take back to Houston with the last of the big stuff we were giving them.

DSC_1868[1]After Jayson help me get the ramp placed back into the truck, M&M got Jayson loaded in their car. Off they went into the sunset with what was our refrigerator, a couple of antique clocks, and my best every gas grill. I was beat and ready for a little nourishment and rest.

Thursday, I had to finish sorting and tagging stuff in my rustic man den, cut and edge the yard, get itched up and head to RR at Stone Creek RV Park. We finally got away from the house around noon. I needed to fuel up the truck and stop at Discount Tire to get a good tire on the ground. 100_0625[1]I found a blister on the side of one the RV tires and just did not feel comfortable getting on the highway with that. I pulled into Discount Tires and told them what I needed.  Well after 2 1/2 hours, we were finally on the road. The good part was they did not charge me to get the spare on the ground. (FYI-Cedar Creek is sending me 4 brand new tires and wheels to compensate me for the bad tire. I’ll get them next week.)

CaptureBy the time we got the truck fueled up, it was 3PM. Fortunately we only had 150 miles to go. We hit the east side of San Antonio at 5:30PM. The red line on the map shows our route. This section is normally congested but at 5:30PM it grinds to a halt. It took us 30 minutes to idle through this section. We hit two more super congested areas before arriving at our destination, (Exit # 177, IH35). I stopped at the office and found the note they left me telling me which site was ours. Fortunately it was a pull through; unfortunately it was not level side to side. It took about 30 minutes to get the trailer positioned and leveled in the site. The rest of outside hook up was easy. I came in to help Carol finish the inside stuff. 
We were tired and hungry. Carol was also dealing with a scratchy throat, heavy congestion and 100_0640[1]stuffiness. I made a quick trip to Wal*Mart to get a few things we needed for the night and morning, as well as some meds for Carol. We finally got settled in, ate dinner and watch the 10PM weather report. Weather man forecast the low temperature near 36 degrees. Tonight would be a 2 quilt night.

More RR#2 to follow. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

R&R #1

Thursday (11/3/11)
We are finally off to a little R&R in Houston. We pulled out of Corpus Christi at 1:03pm, mileage was 89,738, and Gertie (GPS) says we would be at the park at 4:25. She doesn't know we will not be driving 70 mph today.  Thursday was a travel day to Lake View RV Resort in Houston. We left Corpus Christi later than expected which meant we arrived later then expected (6:00) . That turned out OK because our daughter called to let us know dinner was going to be about an hour later than planned.
Brenda Marshall, our real estate agent, took photos of the house for MLS listing. Monday (11/7/11) the house will be posted on MLS. Leslie Green, a professional organizer and estate sale planner, is finalizing the prep for the estate sale next weekend (11/10-11/12).
We got set up and walked the dogs. Then made the short drive to Michele’s house.  We had a relaxing evening sharing our journey with Michele’s in-laws and filled up on lasagna. The doggies were glad to see us when we got back. We took them for a walk, set the heater to come on around 60 and grabbed an extra quilt for the bed since it was pretty cool (by Corpus Christi standards) and went to bed.
Friday (11/4/11), Our44th Anniversary
Started the day with 50 degrees in the RV. One of two propane tanks was empty. Switched tanks and warmed up the RV. After breakfast we headed downtown.
Part of the reason for the Houston destination, was so Carol could get to the Houston Quilt Festival at the George R. Brown Convention center. We spent 5 hours walking around that huge convention hall and still did not see it all. We saw big quilting machines, small quilting machines, lots of thread, and zippers. Did I say the center was large? There were 20 rows of vendors that filled about half of the facility. About 10% was set aside as a food court with the remainder set up to exhibit every kind of quilt imaginable. Carol loves fabrics and anything related to quilts. However, since she is now on the other side of collecting, she didn't buy much. Carol had a good time looking, though.
After HQF we took a drive down Main Street. Boy has downtown Houston changed since the 60's. We drove by the Mecom’s Fountain at Fannin &Main. The hotel where we spent our wedding night is still there but has a new name. It used to be the Warwick hotel. After driving past, Carol asked me to turn around to get pics of those landmarks so I  turned thinking we would be able to just turn left again and go back. Not so easy! We had to drive through the Herman Park to get there. But we got the photos. Fueled up the truck at $3.57/gallon for diesel. The red dragon took 27.28 gallons after 247 miles. Average 9 mpg or 39.5 cents/mile.
Then we continued on to have supper at Pappadeaux’s. When we got home, the dogs were really happy and ready for a walk to the potty spot. Rested a bit, reflected on how tired we were, then decided we should just go to bed early.
2011 11 Quilt Festival
Saturday (11/5/11), our day of rest
Slept until almost 7:30. By my standard, I overslept. I truly enjoyed it. The doggies took me for a morning walk. The crisp cool air was refreshing. I was ready for a cup of coffee by the time we got back. That’s when I realized I did not turn on the coffee pot.  Sheesh, I got to get it together. Finally had my coffee after I got doggies and the cat fed.
Carol slept in real late this morning. So after a late breakfast, the doggies and I went on a long walk around the place. They needed some exercise and I wanted to take some photos of the place.
We were planning to do some organizing in the RV today but decided against that.  Instead Carol is teaching me how to wash clothes in our Splendide. Sunday will be a travel day for us as we head back to Corpus Christi. If we don’t take a day to really rest, we will be tired again by the time we get back to Corpus.  So, Saturday is veg day.
2011 11