Thursday, May 31, 2012

Winter Workamp

We have completed two months working at Windy Valley Llama Farm and have had a blast. Pam and Jerry Fink are more like neighbors or family than boss for us. What a blessing to be working with such wonderful, open and trusting people. In four months, our time will be up here and we will begin traveling west and south as we make our way back to Texas for winter.

So, it is time for us to line up a workamp gig in Texas that will carry us through the next chapter of our amazing retirement journey. We've narrowed our target in Texas to be around the west side of San Antonio. This map pretty much shows the places we are considering.
  Texas RV Possibilities
The route map means nothing. The green pins help us see the locations in relationship to San Antonio. So here are the initial locations:
A. Top of the Hill RV Resort in Boerne. This place is located just off I-10 which means it will probably be a noise place.
B. Pomarosa RV Park  in Bandera
C. Riverside RV Park in Bandera
D. Lake Medina RV Resort in Lake Hills
E. Harbour RV Resort in Lake Hills
F. Quiet Texas RV Park in Hondo
G. Castroville Regional Park a small city park in Castroville
H. Hidden Valley RV Park small private location in southeast San Antonio
These places made the initial list because of their proximity to San Antonio. We can add other places to this list as well.

Next step is to prepare a list of questions to ask these folks. If any of our readers have an interview form or list of questions you typically ask workamp locations that you would be willing to share with us, please let us know. You can use the "Contact Us" form on the right o this blog page to do that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catching up

Memorial Day snuck up on us and left just as quick. Monday is a normal day off for us so we did not get an extra day off.

We have some new additions on the farm. Pam and Jerry (not me) drove to Savannah, GA on Saturday to pick up 3 llamas and a baby. Please say hello to the new additions,

Ricky is the black/white on the left and Indy is the brown/white on the right. Ricky is adapting to his new home very well. Indy is another story. He will need some training. It almost looks like Ricky is giving Indy some special instructions.

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Then we have Arkie and her baby Domino. Like Ricky, they are adapting well to their new one. Domino is about 3 months old. Ricky and Arkie were born here. That is our Golden Retriever, Cody, looking on in the foreground.
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With the new additions, we now have 6 boys, 9 Ladies, and 3 mommas nursing babies. That is a lot of feed and a lot of - well you get the idea. Needless to say, they will keep us busy.

This weekend, I worked on some minor repairs and maintenance stuff that I've put off for a while. In the bedroom, we have an second A/C unit. There are two filters that slide out for easy cleaning. Unfortunately, the filters could not be removed because a fluorescent ceiling light fixture was in the way.

For project #1, I turned the light fixture 90 degrees. This makes room for the filters to slide out. I knew the filters where dirty because of reduced air flow. Now that I had access to filters, I cleaned the filters. Yea! Now we have better air flow from that A/C. We will need that during the summer.

Project #2 was rotating a different fluorescent ceiling lamp fixture so the power switch can be reached with out stretching over the steps leading into the bedroom. This was not a problem for me, but for Carol, she had trouble reaching the power switch on that light. Simple fix made for a happy Carol.

Project #3 was the roof. We have had our RV for one year now and have never cleaned the roof. I can't say why other than that is just the way it was. Anyway, it was time to clean the roof. I think what motivated me to do this was I got over the anxiety of getting up on the roof when I replaced our living room ceiling fan. I also saw how dirty it was. Dang, I sure wished I had a hat on my head.

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Several folks from the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club recommended using Simple Green to clean the roof. The key is the rinse, rinse, rinse. So I did just that. I wet the roof, sprayed on the Simple Green cleaner, scrubbed the gunk off, then rinsed, rinsed, rinsed. Only one time did I get Carol wet. Here are before/after photos of the roof. I was impressed with the results. I do need to get back up there to clean roof around A/C as well as pull covers off A/C so I can clean the coils.

IMG 0258 After IMG 0269
The roof felt solid as I walked on it. I did find a spot in the center of the roof that was tagged "Winegard". I would think that is where the connections for a Winegard Traveler satellite would be found.

My next project is to scrub the sides of the RV so it looks good, then polish and wax the front and rear fiberglass caps. That will happen before we take our vacation to Tennessee in June. We are excited about that trip.

I've made reservations for us to spend two nights at Waldens Creek Campground in Pigeon Ford. Then it is off to Bristol where we will spend three nights at Lakeview RV Resport in Bristol.  Our last stop will be at Yogi in the Smokies in Cherokee, North Carolina. There we will get a chance to meet Alan and Marilyn McMillan since this is where they are working this summer. Their blog is Bless Our Voyage - Tales of the McMillan's Travels. We've been following them for a could of years now. We picked a variety of places to stay so we can get a feel for the type of RV park we may want to work at next year.

And finally, we are beginning to get serious about looking at RV parks and other workamping locations in the San Antonio area for the winter. If you have recommendations, I am all ears.

I think that just about brings you up to date on our lives. We are loving it and making plans to do this for a long time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

If you had the day off today, I certainly hope you took time to say a prayer for a soldier who worked today protecting your freedom to enjoy your day off. If you worked today, I hope you also took time to pray for a soldier who worked today protecting your freedom to work.

If you have never witnessed The Changing of The Guards at Arlington National Cemetery, please take a moment to do so now.

This is a photo of my Great Uncle Earnest Pearson. He died December 15, 1918 while serving as Private in Company I, 360th Infantry stationed in France during World War I.

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This is a photo of my dad taken on Feb 28th, 1944. He served in the Headquarters, 42nd Service Group, Army Air Corps.

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I was young, newly married and on November 27th, 1967, took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

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As this Memorial Day weekend draws to a close let us give thanks to all veterans.

 Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Busy Day

WOW, what a busy day. No nap time for me. It is a good thing I moved hay yesterday.

After morning chores and breakfast, I stepped out of the RV to get started on some mowing around the trailer. Pam, our boss, was at the fence line so I went over to see what was going on. She was waiting for a fellow to show up with a load of dirt. We discussed where the dirt should be dumped. When the driver arrived we asked if he could get his truck in the gate and down the hill about 10 feet. He said sure - but he would not get it back out with out the help of a tow truck. OK, just dump it in front of the gate.
  IMG 0261
Pink dirt - pretty cool. Now that may not look like much dirt but I can assure you it is. Over the next several weeks we will be spreading this dirt and grass seed in the pastures. That means shoveling it into the back of Chuck Wagon, dumping and spreading it in various spots. More physical exercise that will burn off my stored calories. After the dirt dumping I cut the grass in front and behind the RV with a Troy-Bilt String Mower. So when the mowing with the tractor we do not need to get too close to the RV.
   IMG 0262
Then I had a short break before I tackled my next project. We purchased a Fan-Tastic Vent fan with remote control a week ago. Today it was going in. We have a few days of no rain in the forecast so now is the time. Here is the fan that is coming out. The interior trim has been removed. It is controlled by a thermostat located on the main control panel in the center of the RV. The new fan will draw air in as well as exhaust air out. Plus it is much quieter than the other fan.
  IMG 0253
Here is the top side view of the old fan.
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Yep, that is a lot of caulk around the vent. Hopefully it will come off without tearing the EPDM roof and hopefully the roof clean up nicely. Here are before and after photos.

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Cleaning up the old caulk was a royal PITA. I got it as clean as possible without using harsh chemical on the EPDM material. The new fan came with a closed cell foam gasket. I used DICOR 501 lap sealant  on both sides of this gasket and recaulked after everything was screwed down on top.

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Tomorrow I'll check it to see if I need to add additional caulk. More on tomorrow's work later. From the inside, it looks pretty nice now that I have a skylight in the living room.

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By the time I got that done, I was beat. It was time to fix the grilled pizza I mention yesterday. Carol got busy chopping up the toppings and I got the grill ready. It is party time. Let's get'r done!
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Tomorrow's project is to climb back up on the roof and give it a good scrubbing with Simple Green. Between that and moving some pink dirt, I am sure I'll be tired by the end of the day. I'll try to take some photos of Carol's quilting project tomorrow so ya'll can see what she is working on.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waffles and Other Stuff

Waffle can be a noun or verb. As a noun waffle is a crisp golden-brown pancake with deep indentations on both sides. As a verb, waffle is to speak or to write in a vague and wordy manor. For an example of the noun form, take a trip to a Waffle House and order a waffle breakfast. For an example of the verb form, take a trip to Washington DC and listen to any congressional speaker.

While working on our morning chores today, I really felt like I wanted waffles for breakfast, then I decided on french toast, then back to waffles. It should not be this hard to decide on breakfast. So a compromise was in order. As Carol i talked about it, we agreed to have french toast made with thick sliced Texas toast cooked on a waffle iron. So here is the new food item from breakfast, French Toast Waffle - Texas style.

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That was a pretty yummy breakfast. Plus I was able to enjoy waffles and french toast at the same time.

Today was hay restocking day. The hay is stored in barn 1. Barn 2 needed restocking so I moved 10 bails of hay from barn 1 to barn 2. I almost forgot to take a before photo. So here is before after stacking two bails.

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Here is the after photo with 10 bails stacked.

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Not to be outdone with breakfast, I decided to carry the waffle theme into dinner. Actually desert. Can you tell what this is?

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That is a Chocolate Brownie Waffle Strawberry Shortcake.

After today, I think it is safe to say that I've had my fill of waffles. Come back tomorrow and I'll let you know how the grilled pizza works out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Versatileblogger113Thank you Betty Barnes (Phoenix Once Again) for mentioning me in your recent blog post on this subject. By the fact you mentioned our blog, I accept the Versatile Blogger Award.

The origin of the award is somewhat vague. Googling Versatile Blogger Award results in almost 5,000,000 hits dating back to 2010. Carley Eason Evans started Versatile Blogger Award to blog roll award recipients. This task soon became overwhelming so Carley stopped adding recipients.

So what is it?  The award appears to be a method for bloggers to recognize their peers in blog land. Doing a little research on the origin, I discovered some feel like this is something like chain mail while others feel it is a way to recognize bloggers they enjoy. I prefer to see this as a means of recognizing bloggers who have impacted the life of the award giver.

If you have been awarded the Versatile Blogger award, you should:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog on your blog. That’s also common courtesy,
  • Select 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can simply notify them via email or other media.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
I've decided to select 15 blogs/bloggers that have had some impact on my life. I chose this criteria because as we go through life, we impact people. Sometimes we receive a "Thank You" or some other form of acknowledgment. Many times we have no clue that we have impacted others at all. So the next several blogs will contain the names of the 15 blogs/bloggers I select for the Versatile Blogger Award and how hey impacted me. For this blog, here are 7 facts about me:
  1. I am a Christian by choice - meaning I choose to maintain a personal relationship with Jesus by praying, attending worship and studying the Bible regularly.
  2. I was born in Rosee, Belgium, and am a naturalized US citizen.
  3. I remember the name of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Pearl Allen.
  4. I am working on my fourth vocation. I spent 10 years in the US Army, 18 years in technology/engineering, 15 years in corporate education, now I am a full time RVer.
  5. I have been married 44 years - to the same woman.
  6. I wear two hearing aids. Without them, I would not be able to hear sufficiently to communicate effectively.
  7. I am skilled in technology (computers, networking, programming), general carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanics and now in llama ranching.
I look forward to writing about the 15 blogs. And, once again, thank you Betty Barnes, my friend and  fellow Houstonian.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What Was That?

Today is Friday. It was supposed to be an easy day. Not that any day in our retirement is really a hard day. Carol was going to a quilt class so she can network with some folks with common interest - quilting. Me - well I had a date with the llamas. We have a lot in common, we have attitude, we eat and we poop. That's about it.

Anyway, while Carol was off to her quilt class and networking event today, I helped owner Pam with the ladies, then took Chuck Wagon down to the boys. I cleaned up their barn, fed and freshened their water and hay. All of that took about an hour.

Then with broom, rake and scoop (tools of the trade) I hopped into Chuck Wagon and took of to clean the pastures. While I am cruising the pastures looking for fresh dung beetle dirt piles, I also check the ground for ants. With all the rain we've had this past week, the ants are coming up for dryer dirt. I have special food for them that sends them to their final resting spot. Additionally, I check the fence line to make sure the lower wire (electric fence, remember) is free of excessive grass or weed growth. This took an additional hour to complete.

Yesterday and this morning I recognized it was time to utilize the Round-Up sprayer. So, off I went. I actually got pretty good at spraying the fence perimeter while steering Chuck Wagon and maintaining forward motion. When I got to the back side of the property, I could see the need to get the Troy-Built Walk Behind String Trimmer Mower to clear some overgrown grass from the fence. I parked Chuck Wagon at the RV and decide I would do that later in the afternoon.

After cleaning up from brunch I felt a short nap coming on. I kicked back in the recliner, sipped my last cup of coffee and let Mr. Sandman take me away. About an hour and a half later, I heard this large thunder bolt. Oh SHEESH, God is talking again. A quick check on the iPhone WeatherBug app confirmed what I heard. A peak outside also confirmed sunshine was about to change to the liquid form. 

OK, change of plans. Put Chuck Wagon back in the barn and get back to RV before the rain starts. I almost made it. The worst part - the rain also brought wind. I quickly stowed our outdoor stuff, got into the RV and retracted the awning just about the time the bottom fell out. About an hour later, the rain tapered off to a sprinkle then quit. I thought What was that?

The local weather guru from WBS Atlanta said the rain was caused by a cut off low. A cut off low is a low pressure system that has disconnected from its steering currents. Normally, lows are steered by the jet stream. This cut off low is just floating between Georgia and North Carolina. That means until a different weather system pushes the cut off low out of the area, we will have unstable air in the area for the next few days. This sounds to me like a weather forecaster's nightmare. Accurate forecasting requires stability. This cut off low is anything but stable. Good luck with the forecast. For me and my house, I think we will just expect rain.

Carol's quilt class was a refresher on the Cotton Theory Method of quilting. She had pre-cut the fabric she took to class, and she completed one of 4 reversible place mats which will adorn our dining table. Carol is using this as a refresher to help her design and make a new quilt for or bed.

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Yesterday, Carol took a tumble outside and hurt her left wrist. She did not tell me until today as she was headed to the local hospital ER to have someone look at her wrist. Thankfully nothing is broken. Her wrist is sprained and she needs to keep her wrist wrapped for a could of days. Since we are off for the weekend, this will give her wrist time to rest.

It is OK for retired folks to take a vacation so we are also planing a vacation trip to Piney Flats, TN to visit my former boss. We are going to spend two nights at River Plantation RV Park in the Sevierville, TN; three nights at Lakewood RV Park in Bristol, TN, and two nights in the Cherokee, NC area. We'll let you know more as we get things firmed up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


WOW! It has been a few day since my last post. Work and no break makes for a dull blog writer. No excuse - just the facts. So let me get you caught up on our activities since Friday.

Saturday, after morning routines and breakfast at home, we headed for town. We both needed haircuts so we went to O'Neal's Family Barber Shop. This is not a hair salon and it is not a quick cut place. This is a genuine full service barber shop complete with barber chairs and cool folks. This is the kind of place where you walk in, take a seat and when called, you tell the fella behind the chair what you want. While you wait you chat with others who are waiting. This time, I decided I wanted a shave in addition to the hair cut. I figure if Carol can get pampered with a mani-pedi, then I can get a barber shave. I am almost embarrassed to say that this was my first ever barber shave. Will I do it again? You bet.

Then we went next door to Joe's BBQ for lunch. Carol had a Pulled Pork Sandwich while I had a pulled Chicken Sandwich. The pork was better then the chicken. Joe also greeted us a let me finish off his jar of Wickles Pickles. These gems are like a Bread and Butter with a kick.
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Sunday was a very wet day. We abbreviated our morning schedule because with the rain, we could not get to the pastures at all. After cleaning up and eating a quick breakfast snack, we went to the "church that may be for us", aka Crossover Community Church. This was our second visit there so it is more like the "church that is for us". The pastor started a four part series on Nehemiah. Next week we are visiting a Bible Study class.

After we got home, a short nap was the order of the day. Feeling refreshed, I got started on dinner. Even though it was raining, I decided to fire up the grill. Carol's special Mother's Day dinner was Almond Coated Flounder with Roasted Corn on the Cob and Roasted Cauliflower. The selected wine was Signet from Habersham Winery in Helen, GA.

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By Monday morning, we had received over an inch of rain. That means dirt turned into mud; red dirt = red mud. Very messy and slippery. The pastures where way too wet to get Chuck Wagon out so we abbreviated our chores once again. Two days with no scooping means the third day will be lots of scooping. After our abbreviated chores we had home made breakfast tacos. Our usual order is sausage, egg and cheese. Monday I added chapped bacon to both and refried beans to mine. YUM! I just have to improve on the store bought flour tortilla's. Maybe I should learn make my own.

After breakfast we took off for a drive to Blairsville. Of course we stopped at Walmart to pick up a few necessities. Shorts for me and summer work clothes for Carol. I also picked up a BluRay Home Theater system for the RV. Currently we have a DVD Home Theater system plus a BluRay player. So, I am replacing two pieces of electronics with one.

Then we drove around Lake Nottely and made a side trip to find Lake Nottely Dam. This earthen dam controls the Nottely River as it flows to the Hiwassee River. First two photos are from the bottom and top of the dam. I am shooting in the direction of the out flow of the dam.

Nottely Dam Down Nottely Dam Top
Next two photos shows the spillway bottom and top side.

  Nottely Dam Spillway Down Nottely Dam SpillWay Top 
Next is a photo of an impending storm that was headed to Blue Ridge. It arrived shortly after we god back home.
  Nottely Dam Storm
Today, (Tuesday) after an abbreviated morning session and breakfast, I figured out how to get Chuck Wagon out. I was able to get the pastures scooped, dumped the collection and got Chuck Wagon parked. As I walked back from the barn to our RV, God spoke with a loud thunder clap saying, "I ain't done yet." I replied, well, thanks for letting me get done. The the clouds burst open and we had one more heavy shower.

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Well, that's about it for us. I will leave you with a parting shot of our two newest additions to the farm.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Big Tour

Friday we abbreviated our chores so we could take a wild tour of the area led by our boss and owner of Windy Valley Llamas. I'll tell you in advance that I do not have any photos since we spent the majority of our time in the car. The purpose of the tour was to show us some interesting places for us to visit during our stay here.

First stop was the point where North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia state lines merge. We took Wolf Creek Road from GA-60 to the tri-state intersection. Since that intersection is nearby we will investigate that area more closely and get photos when we go back in a few days.

We continued on Wolf Creek Road into North Carolina, connected up with US 74 and headed west through Ducktown to the Ocee Whitewater Center. This was the location of the Canoe, Kayak and Slalom events during the 1966 Summer Olympics. We drove past this area when we went to Chattanooga. Now we have it our our schedule to go back when the water flows during the summer.

From there everything gets fuzzy - too many places to remember. We drove through Morganton Point Recreation Area which appears to be an under used National Park Campground. That is partly due to low water level in the lake.

Next we moved on to Lake Nottely north of Blairsville. We look at some property that would make a nice investment. Property was foreclosed and now bank wants to move it. Property can be had for about 35-40% of its value, it currently has hook ups for 4 RVs that could be increased to 8.

Then it was on to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, GA. This is a pretty cool place. George Jones will be there on May 26. They also take Workampers who work in various areas during the event season. After lunch in Hiawassee, we drove through several private campgrounds where sites are owned by individuals. Pretty cool concept - like a co-op. Very nice sites and nestled in some pretty quiet areas. 

Finally we headed back to the farm. We were tired from the 6 hour trip. Fortunate for us, the llamas did not leave us a big mess to clean up so we finished our evening chores in less than an hour.

UPS delivered a couple of packages for me today. One was a Fan-Tastic Vent 6600R fan to replace the one we have in the living room. This fan is supposed to be quieter plus it draws air in or out and comes with a remote control. I get to install that in a few days. Our living room fan works but it is sure noisy. I may keep the old fan to see if I can make an exhaust fan for keeping the refrigerator vents cooler in the summer heat.

The other package was a Western Digital 1T external hard drive that will allow us to record programs from our Dish Receiver. After a simple install, I can now record lots of HD hours. By the way 1T = 1 tera bytes. That is 1,000 giga-bytes. Found it for $99 at Newegg.

Oh yeah! I also got the fence fixed. I found a spot where the electric fence wire was wrapped around the fence fabric. Once I cleared that, the fence was hot. The jolt was not as bad as I thought it would be. The pocket fence tester also told me it was working. I know I should have turned off the controller. Had I done that, I would not have known the fence was fixed. There are two places where the fence is not hot. One is in front of our RV so our doggies will not get jolted, and the other is a section of the fence near the other RV site. That is one more item check off the list of other stuff that needs to get done.

Tomorrow we will have a busy day of cleaning the pasture. I've been watching the llamas and can say they have been doing their part in giving me job security. FYI - scooping poop is better than any day in an office or cube. Also tomorrow I will get a haircut and barber shave.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yo Yo Weather

Welcome to our new follower Dawn.  I met Dawn years ago when I first started working as a computer trainer at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi. Dawn joined our company and was setting up computer training at Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi. She has since left Corpus Christi and is now living her adventure in Hawaii. Welcome, Dawn.

Today was a weird weather day. We knew there would be some rain because of a cold front coming through. We just did not know how much or how intense.

Tuesday we got some light rain in the afternoon. Nothing serious but enough to keep me from working on the electric fence. (More on that later.) This morning while I was enjoying a cup of coffee, I heard rain beating on the RV.

By the time we were ready to head out to the barns, it was raining pretty good. The llamas are pretty good about not making a mess in the barn over night. With the morning rain, the darlings where waiting for us. The two new moms and their babies where waiting for Carol in Barn 1, and the other 9 where in Barn 2. As I made my way through the gate to barn 2, Dolly decided she did not want to cooperate. In the rain, she decided to head out to pasture. Once she figures out that I am the hand that feeds, she will be back.

This is an example of how they just mingle in the morning.

IMG 0198 This is how they are supposed to be lined up for breakfast. Six of them would be harnessed for breakfast and three have a stall. These photos are from a sunny day, not this morning.
   IMG 0736 By the time I got 8 harnessed or in a stall and fed, Dolly decided she wanted breakfast so she was last to be harnessed and fed. I told her I run a tight ship. When it is time to eat, she needs to be ready. I am sure she will cooperate tomorrow.

Carol finished up in Barn 1 and Barn 2 while I walked down to the boy's barn. Normally, I am taking the Chuck Wagon down since I would be cleaning pastures after the boys are fed. Not today. By the time I got to the boys, I was drenched - not from rain, but from sweat. My rain jacket keeps me dry from the rain but does not breath so it is like I am wearing a sauna. If any of you know of good rain gear that keeps the wearer dry and is not like wearing a sauna jacket, please let me know.

The boys were waiting and cooperated just as I expected. Of course the rain kept them in the barn. They are such wimps - can't stand getting wet.

As the day progressed, the rain lightened up and the temperature began to fall. By 3PM, it was 58 degrees outside. We had the doors and windows open in the RV so you can imagine it was getting a bit chilly. By 5PM, the sun came out and the temperature came back up about 10 degrees. Tonight, the forecast low is 47 degrees.

For the next few days, we will have cooler temperatures. That suits me just fine - as long as it is sunny and not raining. That will be perfect weather for me to walk the line to make sure the electric fence is clear of debris and not shorted anywhere. I have already found several places that have bad splices. I wonder if I can work on a hot fence while wearing my heavy duty rubber gloves. I'll let you know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life On the Farm

DSC 0062Literally, today there is new life on the llama farm. Dee had her baby at 10:35AM. Say hello to Baby Girl.

This photo was taken at 1:25PM. Yep that is right, this baby is three hours old.

Carol and I had finished our abbreviated morning chores about 9:30AM. We were sitting under our awning enjoying the morning view when she noticed Dee acting a little strange. Dee was at the bottom of the basement pasture. Carol decided it would be a good idea to lure her back up hill to the basement porch next to our trailer. That would make it easier for us (her) to proceed should today be the day for the birthing. She coaxed Dee in and closed the gate. Carol chose to remain on the porch where she could keep an eye on Dee.

About 10:15, she called out to me asking me to bring the camera. By the time I got it together, this is what I found.
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This was at 10:34. About a minute later, Carol was holding a brand new baby llama in her arms. She took baby to barn 1, I followed with Dee. Within 30 minutes the baby was up on her feet and with in the first hour, she was walking around checking out stuff.

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By 6:30PM, she had learned how to get up, lay down, follow momma, nurse, pee and poop. That is pretty amazing for an animal that spent the last year growing in her momma. Gestation period for llamas is over 300 days.

The more I thought about that the more I felt a deep sense of God's presence on the farm today. Sometime in the last 24 hours, this baby positioned herself in her moma's womb so she could make an appearance today. As she was making her appearance at 10:34 she began breathing on her own. When she was completely out of the womb, the birth sack was already broken loose around her head so her mouth and nose could breath. And the umbilical cord was already severed. Babies are born every day. People babies and animal babies. Seeing this baby llama today affirmed once again something I already knew. God is the giver of life.

I do not know what you believe about God. All I can say is I would have trouble believing that a big bang put in order all the rules of life that brought this new born llama into the world today.

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The joy of a day like today makes all the other hard work easy. Life is good.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Henley's

First Saturday in May has been the date for the Henley Reunion since before God made Adam from dirt. Well, maybe not that long, but that has been the date for as long as I can remember. Pap and Grandma Henley came from somewhere and ended up somewhere near Boswell, TX.

The Henley reunion was held at the church in Boswell for some time. For the last several years, the reunion has been held at the South Forty RV Park in Giddings, Texas.

Pap and Grandma (Elva) Henley had 9 children. Adel, Addie, Alvin, Blanche, Donald, Johnny, Fay, Mildred, Nannie. Blanch is the person I am focusing on in this blog.

Blanche, aka Momma B, married Bill Barrett a long time ago. They had 5 children. Billie Jean, Ollie, Robert, and twins Linda & Glenda. Momma B and Granddad lived in Giddings, TX where they owned Barrett's Beauty Shop on Main Street. Ollie and her husband Jimmie still live in Giddings.

Of this family group, let's focus on Billie Jean. Billie Jean married Maurice 'Babe' Heck in the 40's. They had three children: Carol, Jay and Donna. For me this is the important family group because Carol is my bride.

The photo below represent the first time all of Billie Jean's children, and grand kids have been together in a long time. And there is still one person missing. Bryce is one of the grandchildren who spent that weekend with his dad. The guy on the top row in the green shirt is me. The red head next to me is my wife Carol. Third person from the right on the top row is Jay, Carol's brother. On the bottom right, the guy in the striped shirt and blue shorts is sitting in front of Donna, Carol's sister. All the other folks in the photo are kids and grand kids belonging to either Carol, Jay or Donna. It would be quiet a sight to see everyone together at one of the Henley Reunions.
    DSC 1096 Some of us are on FaceBook so we are able to keep up with family life through social media. Since we were not able to attend the reunion today, I asked one of our cousins to let the others know what we were doing and to freely share our blog address with the group. This morning we found out that our two daughters were able to attend the reunion. It made me feel good know that the Pearson's were represented.

By not being there, we missed good family fellowship. We missed a chance to catch up on what everyone has been doing. And we missed some good Texas country cooking and BBQ Brisket.

Next year, we should be near Giddings on the first Saturday in May and hopefully we will just park at the South Forty RV park in Giddings, TX.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RV Mods, Schedule Shift and Other Stuff

It would appear we are shifting into another season. Summer is not far away. We get a fairly strong morning sun pouring into the RV on the dining room slide. Our awning is forward of the dining room so the bedroom is shaded in the morning. My engineering mind is cranking up a solution to have a portable awning on the dining room slide that can be put up or taken down as needed. When it is up, it needs to be secure. When it is down it needs not take up much room. Now I know I can order an awning from camping world but before I go to that expense, I want to try out the idea to see how big a difference it will make. Tomorrow I may get started on it. I'll keep you posted.

Since it is starting to warm up, I think I will be shifting my work schedule a bit. I am normally up and about between 6:00 and 6:30AM. Rather than start at 8AM with working in the ladies barn before I feed the guys and clean the pastures, I think I'll start earlier so I can finish earlier. I should be able to get the boys fed and pastures cleaned up by the time Carol is just about done with the girls. This would mean we are done earlier and can have breakfast before 11:30 or noon.

We finally got the Winegard Carryout and Dish working as it should. It took a conversation with two tech support people before they understood Livingston, TX is our permanent billing address, while our service address is now in Blue Ridge, GA and will change. So far we are please with the service.

One more RV mod is on the table. I plan to move the satellite receiver and BluRay surround sound controller out of the over head cabinet and mount them above the TV under the cabinet. This will serve two purposes. It will give us more storage room in the overhead bin, and it will give the equipment more air circulation which means they should remain cooler.

We are beginning to look for workamp assignment for November 2012 through April 2013. Our plan is to spend the month of October moving back into Texas and then get settled for the winter. I found a position at a ranch in Conroe, TX that sounds very much like what we do here. The work is with horses not llamas. The other workamp assignment I found was in Ft. Worth. Not sure I want to be that far north in Texas during the winter. That area can be pretty cold and icy. Ideally we would like to be somewhere near Houston or San Antonio. Or perhaps as far west as Kerrville or as far east as Livingston. Conroe is north of Houston and close to Livingston.
    Central Texas We have time to decide. If any of you have worked in the central Texas area and can recommend a location, we can check it out.

Thanks for stopping by.