Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cell Phone Amplifier Arrived

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 70 degrees, cloudy, misty early, windy

When I go for my morning walk, I pass by the Rio Colorado golf course, about a mile from the RV park. This morning, I happened to notice that one of my old working buddies, Dennis O'Brien, was getting ready to play. I walked over and said hello. We talked for a few minutes, catching up on what's been happening with each other and mutual acquaintances. It was good to see Dennis, and the social contact with friends like him is what I miss most about work.

Carolyn was feeling better today, even though there is still some pain and stiffness in her back. My challenge now is to keep her from doing too much too soon. She had an appointment with our dentist for a minor dental procedure on one of her teeth. Later in the day, she felt well enough that we took a ride down to Matagorda Beach to get our ocean fix. It's obvious to us that people are planning on the new bridge to generate a lot of business for the area. A number of new homes and condos have been built and many existing homes have been upgraded.

After lunch, the high school called and asked us to pick up our grandson Julian. He got sick at school, and didn't have a ride home. As soon as I saw Julian, it was obvious he didn't feel well. He had a raspy voice and a slight cough and complained of a headache. I asked him if he wanted to go home with me or go to his house. He decided to go to his house so he could take a nap.

Later in the afternoon after Carolyn's visit to the dentist, we went by to see how Julian was doing. He said no better, but he didn't need anything. On our way home, he called and said Fedex had just delivered the cell phone amplifier that I ordered last week. We hurried back and picked up the package. When we got home, I installed the amplifier, connected to the Internet, and noticed an immediate improvement in the strength and quality of the signal. Before the amplifier was installed, we were lucky to get one bar. Now we get three bars, resulting in a much better Internet connection. I'm amazed that this little instrument I bought cam make such an improvement. I should have done it sooner.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Shreveport, LA: Port City

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Air Card Amplifier Didn't Arrive - Slow Internet

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy skies, windy

Carolyn's back woes seem to be getting a little better. We made sure she didn't do anything again today in order to give her back every opportunity to get over this latest episode of pain and stiffness. That's not to say I didn't do anything. I had a long list of chores I needed to do, and they took a good part of the day.

My first thing to do was take care of breakfast, and Carolyn said I did good. Then, I went to the Driver's License office to renew my driver's license for another four years. I went by the post office and mailed the application for registration renewal on the truck. This year, we get new plates, rather than just a sticker to go on the windshield. Now I have to learn a new tag number.

When I got home, I called several doctors who had sent us bills for services that our insurance had already taken care of. Of course, we expect to pay a certain amount for our medical care, but I usually have questions when we receive statements. We cleared everything up, and I paid what we owed.

The next chore was to try to get the basement arranged to my satisfaction one more time. Everything was pulled out, and a couple of different schemes were tried, with one of them being used. At least for the time. I'm not sure why this basement packing seems so hard in the new RV for me. Maybe there's too much room. I could get a bunch of empty containers and put them in there to fill it up.

I went through ten years of old income tax records that our CPA gave me when I saw him last week. He recommended we go through them and only keep what was important from an investment records standpoint. According to the CPA, the IRS only goes back 6-7 years, and the records we reviewed today were dated in the 1990s. After our review, we had taken out several items that we will keep. The rest of the stuff will be shredded. Oh, by the way, I spoke to the IRS about records retention, and they said the same thing as the CPA. Since we are conservative, we will keep at least 12 years of income tax returns.

The air card amplifier did not come today. I'm hopeful it'll be here tomorrow. This slow Internet connection is aggravating. It seems worse than dial up. Supposedly, the amplifier will give us an improved signal. I hope so.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Montgomery, Alabama: The Capital City

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Golf Day

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 70 degrees, clear skies

The great weather continued today with the wind staying down until late in the afternoon when it started to to blow a little. It was good enough that I played golf with my brother Terrell this afternoon. More on that later.

The loud music from Friday night was not repeated last night. It appears that most of those folks left the park yesterday afternoon. As a result, I was able to get a good night's sleep. Carolyn wasn't bothered by the loud music, but then she could probably sleep through a bomb going off. Not really, but she does sleep soundly. I'm envious.

Carolyn's back problems continued today, so we stayed at home to try to let her back relax. She stayed on the couch with a heating pad. As much as possible, I tried to keep her from doing anything that might aggravate her back. Most people who know her will understand how hard it is to get her to settle down and let things get better. She doesn't think she can take the time to let things work their course. In this situation, she doesn't have much choice.

The last few days we have been watching the first year's shows for Dexter, filmed by Showtime. Lori has the entire first year's shows on dvd, and she suggested we watch them while here. The premise of Dexter is that the lead character is a serial killer in Miami. One little twist to this serial killer: he only kills other serial killers. It's an interesting concept that works well, and we enjoyed watching the shows. It also helped keep Carolyn down as she tries to get over this latest episode with her back. We saw the last two episodes today, and we're looking forward to more of this show.

This afternoon, Terrell and I played golf. It was a perfect day from a weather standpoint, with little wind blowing until about halfway through the round when it started kicking up. Anyone who lives here knows how rare a day it is when the wind is not blowing. The one negative to the day was that the course was covered up with people. That's not hard to understand with the weather like it was. We made the best of the day, and had a good time.

Speaking of golf, Tiger Woods won his first tournament since returning from an injury that sidelined him since last June. He is amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best to ever play golf.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Eustis, Florida: The City of Bright Tomorrows

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Loud Music Last Night

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies, windy

Today's weather was a far cry from the weather of the past few days. It dawned clear and crisp, with a low of about 45 degrees. What a change. I could stand weather like this about 360 days out of the year.

Carolyn's back started to give her problems yesterday, and it really grabbed her today. It was all she could do to walk a few feet. She stayed on a heating pad most of the day, and if this episode goes like the others with her back, she still has about three days before she will get over the pain and stiffness.

Lori is taking graduate courses in Houston on the weekend. She had a final exam in one of her classes this morning, and got home about 1300 hours. Shortly thereafter, we met Lori and her family at K-2 Restaurant for lunch. When we go to K-2, it's usually for lunch on Saturday because they have a hamburger special that we like. Today's lunch was good, as usual, and was made even better by the fact that we had part of our family with us.

After lunch, everyone went to our RV. After I gave a guided tour of the new home, we settled in the living room and caught up with what everyone has been doing. It's hard to believe that Julian will be a senior in high school next school year, while Zoe will be going into the seventh grade. Time seems to be flying by.

Remember in last night's post where I mentioned that a bar-b-que cook-off was being held in the RV park? They had been playing music rather loudly, but turned it way down at 2200 hours as required by park rules. Then, about 30 minutes later, the music was turned back up for about a half hour. Then it was back down. I managed to fall asleep for about an hour, when I was wakened from sleep by loud music. The loud music continued until almost 0300 hours this morning, when it was turned off for the rest of the night. Since I sleep so lightly, I did not go back to sleep until well after the music was turned off this morning. I was lying in the bed, waiting for it to start again.

When I went for my morning walk, I stopped by the park office to complain about the loud music. No one was around to complain to, and the office was not opened all day. About 1100 hours, we noticed two law enforcement officers walking down the street in the park, so I stopped them and explained the problem with loud music. Little did I know that the officers had been hired by the bar-b-que cook-off as private security to ensure the noise remained at a low roar. They told me if the problem persisted tonight, I should call the Bay City police because they have jurisdiction over the park. So, tonight I have the police number to call if the noise gets out of hand. I don't think we will have any problems tonight. Almost everyone from the cook-off has gone home. Yes!!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Valdosta, Georgia: Winnersville, USA

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tax Return Completed - Yuck!!

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 67 degrees, high 78 degrees, cloudy until late afternoon, then clear skies, scattered showers

I picked up our tax return for 2008 from the CPA this morning. After the CPA and I commiserated with each other about what we feel are punitive tax laws and rates, I brought the tax return home to review it with Carolyn. With a final review, the papers were taken to the post office and mailed. That unpleasant task is finished for another year.

We have been having problems with minor leaks under the kitchen sink and lavatory sink. These problems are not unexpected in a new RV, and today I purchased the needed parts to repair the kitchen sink. I had to take the basket strainers out and caulk them. Once that was finished, it appeared that I have repaired one of our problems. Next will be the lavatory sink. That's going to take an adapter to repair, and since we don't live here anymore, we'll have to find a store that sells what we need. The WalMart Mall didn't have it, one of the few times we haven't been able to find what we want.

Over a period of time, the cd player in the radio for the truck has been getting more and more balky about playing. About two months ago, it finally bit the dust. It crashed to the point that I couldn't get the cds out of it. Today, I went by a car stereo shop to see what could be done. The owner of the store told me it would cost more to try to repair the stereo than a new one would cost. Even if he was able to repair it, there would be no guarantee. As a result, I bought another radio with cd player and had it installed. The new stereo actually has a better sound than the old one did, and I was surprised at the price, which I thought was quite reasonable. One more little irritation fixed.

The bar-b-que cook-off is ongoing as I write this post. It sounds like they're having a good time. I hope they turn that loud sound system by the time quite hours comes. It wouldn't be so bad if they would turn the bass down. I'm going to walk over there tomorrow to see if there's anybody I know from my working days at the company I retired from.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Indianola, Mississippi: ‘Nola

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy, light showers in the afternoon and evening

Our visits to the dentist went well. Carolyn is choosing to have a small procedure performed next week that will make it easier for her to clean one of her teeth. We will call them in the fall to schedule our next exams and cleaning.

We left the dentist and had lunch at McDonald's, then took a ride out to Matagorda to see what kinds of changes have taken place. We can tell that there is some growth out there. The growth is probably due to the new bridge being built over the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Access over the Waterway is currently via a drawbridge that is closed every time a barge or boat goes up or down the canal. That means access to the beach area is somewhat restrained, and has kept the area from developing as might be expected. We didn't go to the beach today because of the weather, but there have been a number of new homes built along the Colorado River leading to the Gulf of Mexico, with more new homes built facing the beach. In addition, more homes have been built along the Waterway, so the area is experiencing a mini-boom. We noticed that the elementary school is being added to, with the size appearing to double.

We noticed the new bridge is still not finished. Somebody must be making a project out of the bridge. It has been under construction for about three years.

On our way out of Matagorda, I stopped at the Matagorda Cemetery, established in 1830. Many of the pioneers and early settlers from the area are buried here, and the cemetery is still being used.

As I walked into the cemetery, I was intent on reading the headstones and historical markers. All of a sudden, I realized that my legs were covered with mosquitoes. And my arms, and my back, and..... I quickly started slapping at mosquitoes, but found that the only thing that really helped was to walk quickly and keep moving. That kept me from seeing everything I wanted to see. I'll report on what I saw in another post.

The mosquitoes reminded me of when we lived here. At certain times of the year, the only way we could do yard work was to cover up as much as possible and use repellent. Playing golf here taught a person to keep their ball in the fairway, because if the ball was hit into the rough, the mosquitoes would rise up in clouds to attack. Not fun. I don't miss those pests at all.

At our current location, our Internet connection is very poor. Even with the external antenna, we barely get a signal, and get knocked off the Internet often. Today, I ordered an amplifier for the signal that help us out. The only problem is that it won't be here until next week. We'll suffer with what we have now until then. Technology is great until it doesn't work properly.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tampa, Florida: The Big Guava

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Visited Our CPA

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 77 degrees, cloudy skies, windy

The wind returned today, but was not of any concern, since we are settled for several days. It's a good thing we decided to take a chance on the wind yesterday when we decided to move on from Taylor.

As scheduled, I met with our CPA today to review our tax information for 2008. Our taxes are getting simpler since I haven't been working, so I may do them next year. In the meantime, it was good to sit down and talk to our CPA. As I expected, he had some views on the economy and government actions. Both he and I are conservative in our dealings with finances, and the stuff that has been happening just amazes us. How long can the government keep doing some of the stuff they're doing, and not cause hyperinflation?

When I left the CPA's office, I went to AT&T's retail office to check into adding another cell phone to our service. When I first told the salesperson what I wanted, she said it would cost about $10.00 per month. Then, she checked further, and found out that the cost would actually be closer to $20.00 per month for an extra phone. I feel that's too much, especially when the level of service we have now is more than adequate for our needs. The only problem with our cell phone is that we only have the one, so that if I'm gone from home and Carolyn needs to contact me, she is unable to. We thought the easy thing to do would be to add another phone. It would have been easy, but the conservative streak in me came out and screamed "NO!" to the cost. I think the easy and cheap path will be to periodically add minutes to a TracFone. Didn't I say I was conservative when it comes to finances? Some would call it cheap.

By the time I got home, it was lunchtime, which Carolyn had prepared. After eating and resting for a few minutes, I got busy wiping the road dirt off the outside of the RV. Once that job was finished, we decided to watch a DVD that Lori loaned us titled "Twilight", a movie about vampires based in Forks, Washington. It was a little different from the typical teenage love story, and made a ton of money last year. Some of the scenery looked familiar from our trip to Washington in 2004.

We went to Lori's late in the afternoon and visited until John came home. Victoria's Mexican Restaurant was the choice for supper, and everyone had a good time.

We have appointments with our dentist tomorrow for our six month checkups. If everything goes well, we should be good to go until the fall.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bay City, Texas: Together We Achieve More

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Calmer Winds

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 66 degrees in Taylor, Texas, high 78 degrees in Bay City, Texas, cloudy skies, light winds, scattered showers

When we first got up this morning, it looked as though we would have to spend another day in Taylor, waiting for the wind to abate. About 0700 hours, the wind seemed to almost stop blowing. We took a chance that the wind was calm or nearly calm along our travel route to Bay City, and left Taylor about 0830 hours. About the only weather event of any consequence was scattered showers along the travel route. We were glad to see the wind stop blowing so hard.

The trip to Bay City was uneventful, except for a mass bluebonnet sighting along Texas 71 between LaGrange and Columbus. It was a beautiful sight to see, and mixed in with the bluebonnets were primroses and Indian paint brushes. For those who have never been to Texas in the spring, the hill country puts on a glorious show of wild flowers that we have not seen anywhere else.

We called Riverside Park in Bay City to see if our reservation had been found, and it had. I asked for a certain site, but couldn't get it because of a bar-b-que cook-off taking many of the sites. We actually got a better site than what we had asked for. The cook-off is being held by a department at the company I retired from, so maybe I will see some old friends. And, just maybe, I can get some samples of bar-b-que.

We pulled into our site and set up the RV. That is, we thought we had set it up. Everything was blocked up, the slides were out, power and water hooked up. All done, right? Wrong!! When I walked inside, I thought I was going to slide down the hill. We were nowhere near level, side to side. Now, how did that happen? Okay, pull the slides in, disconnect everything, hook up the truck, pull forward, pull down some blocks on the road side, back up onto the blocks, put the jacks down, put the slides out, and we're level. Hmmm. Another lesson learned.

I called our CPA, and I have an appointment in the morning to go over our taxes with him. He has done our taxes for almost 20 years, so it'll be nice to see him. We usually have a good conversation, and I'm sure he will have some comments about the financial condition of our country, as well as the economy. I hope I get out of there with enough money to keep traveling.

We expect to spend a lot of time with our daughter Lori and her family when they're not working or in school. We'll also see my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy if they've made it back from one of their trips. And, it would be nice if I can see some of my old friends while here. Maybe a round or two of golf. So, a lot on the plate for the next week or so.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Giddings, Texas: Experience Hometown Hospitality

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 81 degrees, cloudy, windy

As we expected, the wind was blowing too hard for us to want to leave here today. The sustained winds were over 30 mph, with frequent gusts above 40 mph. We decided to stay another day here, and if we need to, we'll stay tomorrow, also. As I said in yesterday's post, the only thing on our schedule this week is dental checkups in Bay City on Thursday. We can leave on Wednesday if the wind doesn't abate tomorrow and still make our appointments.

The high winds had many RVers leaving the road early today. It may not be apparent, but driving or towing an RV in winds like these is very tiring, not to mention the chances for a serious accident increase a lot.

We had campground reservations in Bay City for this next week at the city's Riverside Park. I called them today to let them know that we couldn't make it today, but were going to try tomorrow. When I talked to the lady who answered the phone, she informed me that all their spaces were rented for this coming weekend, and she couldn't find our names on the reservation list. That is one reason I don't like to make reservations. It seems like many of the campgrounds don't keep their stuff straight, and the people who are hurt by their ineptitude or poor service are the people they're supposed to be serving. We may just take our chances on a place to stay when we get there.

The warm weather here has the snakes crawling. Over the weekend, three rattlesnakes were killed in the campground. One of the campground hosts told me about the snakes, and advised us to be aware when we're out. He said one of the civic clubs in town (I think it was the Lion's Club) has a rattlesnake roundup every year, and the campground folks have asked that the campground be the location for the roundup this year. I think I'll pass on taking part in that little activity.

That's about all we had from here today, beyond making a few little preps for hitting the road.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Missoula, Montana: The Garden City

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wind, Wind, Go Away......

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 81 degrees, partly cloudy, winds up to 30 miles per hour

The theme for today was wind. It started blowing early, and didn't stop all day. We had gusts up to 30 mph, and the forecast for tomorrow is for sustained winds to 30 mph, with gusts in excess of 40 mph. We are scheduled to leave here tomorrow, but we don't like to travel when the wind is blowing like it is. We may wait until Tuesday to leave for Bay City. We have dental appointments scheduled for Thursday, so we can wait until Wednesday to leave if we have to.

Since we didn't do much yesterday, we decided to get out for awhile today. I cooked breakfast (McDonald's), then we set out on a bluebonnet hunt. This year, looking for bluebonnets is like snipe hunting. There has been so little rain that hardly any flowers are peeking out. Just south of Taylor, we found a few little patches of bluebonnets, then no more until we were just west of Elgin, when we saw a few more patches. It's disappointing, because Texas usually puts on quite a wildflower show in the spring.

We did find a few little treasures in our outing, starting with Coupland, Texas. Coupland is an old town that was settled in 1887. Their biggest claim to fame at this time is the Coupland Dance Hall and Tavern, one of those old dance halls that feature live country music. One of the acts coming soon is Mark Chesttnutt.

The dance hall is located in this old building, which is one of the oldest and largest buildings in the town.

Just about the smallest building in town is the old train depot.

During our trip, we found a beautiful church located in Kimbro. This is a little seen treasure that is far off the beaten path. Here's a picture of the New Sweden Lutheran Church. As might be seen, we like these little treasures we find off the beaten path.

When we got back home, we found a couple of little patches of bluebonnets that had been covered up by campers this past week. I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. It was late in the afternoon, and the light was not very good.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Elgin, Texas: Old Town, New Spirit

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy First Day Of Spring

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 50 degrees, high 77 degrees, partly cloudy, windy

There must be good fishing on Lake Granger. Every morning when I take my walk, there are several boats putting in at the boat ramp, and more boats are usually in the water. In addition, people are usually fishing from the bank. This morning, almost all of the parking spaces at the boat ramp were filled, and several more people were fishing on the bank. About four miles away is a convenience store that has a good business selling drinks, beer, snacks, ice, and bait to folks going to the lake. Too bad I can't seem to get up enough energy to try the fishing. I have a feeling that if I went, I would spend most of my time trying to stay awake because the weather is so nice.

A few people left the park today. Tomorrow will be when the real exodus takes place because school starts again on Monday. As I walked around today, I noticed most of the sites show departure dates for tomorrow. I think the kids who were here can say that they have had a good time. Most of the parents seemed to be bearing up well.

I cleaned up the outside of the RV today, and it will probably be the easiest cleaning job I ever do on it. The fiberglass has a gel coat finish, as did our old RV. However, the new RV seems to have a better paint job, so I'm hopeful that it will stay easy to clean for awhile. I used some clean water with a clean rag, and the little bit of dirt came of easily.

Today is the first official day of spring, and the nice weather we have been having has continued. Spring is popping out everywhere at the park. The one thing we have been disappointed in is that the bluebonnets are not blooming as they usually do. The lack of rain has really hurt the wildflowers.

We plan to leave here on Monday, and it would be nice to be able to bottle some of this nice weather to take with us. It was so nice, we didn't leave the park today, choosing to stay at home and take it easy.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mobile, Alabama: The City Of Six Flags

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Families Having Fun

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 46 degrees, high 77 degrees, clear skies

The people on spring break that are staying in the park continue to have a good time. It's great to see kids out and about, riding their bicycles, playing hop scotch, walking the trails, having water fights, playing cards..... What I haven't seen is a kid with his head stuck in a video game of some sort. Remember your childhood (and mine) when we entertained ourselves. We would not have had any idea what a video game was, and there was no way we would have stayed inside watching television, even if our mother had allowed it. How many times have you heard your mother say "Get outside and play"? Cell phones and text messaging? No way.

Over the past few days, we have been making a list of little things we want or need for the new home. We started trying to find those things today, going to Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar (do you see a theme developing here?), the WalMart Mall, and Home Depot. We found some of the things we were looking for, and we'll keep adding to the list as we continue to look. Who knows, maybe some of the needs or wants will go away.

The new home continues to perform well. Still no problems that I would even come close to calling an issue. When we went through our different manuals and brochures, we noticed that a manual for the air conditioner was not included. I notified the dealership today, and they're going to order one and send it to our mailing address. It would be great if this is the worse that we have with this RV.

Oh, wait a minute. There is one recurring problem. As I said in earlier posts, I have been having a difficult time getting everything stored in the basement. It's not that we have that much stuff or that little storage room. The storage in this RV is very large. We have reduced the amount of our stuff by quite a bit, but I seem to have problems figuring out how to store everything so it will ride well without a lot of slipping around. I guess I'll have to go buy a bunch of stuff so I can fill up the space. Then there won't be any shifting of the load.

Late this afternoon, a gentleman knocked on the door and said he wanted to thank me for the fifth wheel hitch tripod that I put out by the street. He said he had been looking for one like that, and it worked perfectly for his RV. He offered to pay me for it, but I told him it wasn't for sale, enjoy it. I was surprised that someone would take the time to thank me for the tripod. We meet some of the nicest people in this lifestyle.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - San Francisco, California: Frisco

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Laundry Day

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 81 degrees, clear skies

We went back to the RV dealership today to pick up the counter extension that was ordered as part of our purchase. On the way back, we stopped in Georgetown to do our laundry. We found a nice, clean laundry just off the town square that had many washers and dryers. The only problem was that one of the dryers we used did a poor job of drying clothes. As a result, we were there a little longer than expected.

The WalMart Mall was our next stop as we were looking for a plastic container to store the central vacuum system hoses and parts. We found what we were looking for, plus a few more little things we needed. Then it was over to HEB for a few groceries that we like from them. As I have said before, HEB reminds us of the Publix stores, found in the southeast.

I rested a little while when we got home, then decided to try to do some more re-arranging of the basement. This is a huge basement in the new home, but I am having problems getting everything set up the way I want. I'll try again tomorrow.

We have a neighbor staying across the street from us that is from Missouri. He moved to Texas a few years ago when he retired, and was commenting that he was saving more than $800 a year on his vehicle registrations in Texas, versus what he was having to pay in Missouri. He was admiring our new home, and said we have all kinds of opportunities to visit Camper's World. Then he started listing all the things we needed to really make our new home a show place, such as an Amish electric fireplace, a new gas grill to pull behind the RV, an automatic awning...... He kept on for about five minutes with some of the driest wit and humor you could ever hope to hear. I am a real fan of dry humor, and this guy has it down pat.

We found some more stuff to give to charity, which I'll do tomorrow. Maybe I'll figure out something on how to organize the basement. Remember the tripod stand for the hitch that I put out by the street yesterday? It's gone, and good riddance to it. I'm glad I didn't pay much for it.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Flagstaff, Arizona: The Destination For All Seasons

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dumping Stuff

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 81 degrees, clear skies

Over the last year or so, I accumulated a lot more leveling blocks than we needed. I'm not sure how that happened. because we don't need as many as we had. Today, I went through the blocks and pared what we kept down to what was needed. That means we got rid of another 50 pounds or so of dead weight that we have been dragging down the road. On top of that, we took some old clothes and housewares to a local charity. Before we leave here, we're getting rid of more stuff. I don't know where this stuff comes from. It's almost like it's appearing out of a void.

On top of that, I had a tripod that attaches to the hitch of the RV we used to help steady the old RV when we were set up. We found that the tripod didn't really do as much for us as we expected. It was also heavy and awkward to handle. I stuck it out by the street with a "Free" sign on it. Maybe it'll go away tonight. If it doesn't, it's going to charity. Another 50 pounds or so out the door. Or out of the basement, in this case. If it seems like we're continually trying to get rid of weight from the RV, we are. Especially stuff we don't use. Sometimes, it takes awhile to find out we don't need something.

We did a little more re-arranging of stuff in our cabinets, and will probably continue this process until we get it right. We have plenty of storage. The problem is getting things in the right place, and we're still learning that in this new home.

Our neighbor beside us left this morning. Before he left, he brought over some homemade chocolate candy that he makes. It is outstanding!! How did he know I'm a chocoholic? Thanks, John Brown. See you down the road.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Magnolia, Arkansas: Discover The Difference

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Satellite System Is Working

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies

We started the day determined to get the satellite dish working or else find someone who could. My trip to Radio Shack yesterday was a complete bust, as none of the stuff that the salesman suggested I use worked on our system. I took those parts back and got a refund.

Prior to going into town, I looked on the Internet for Dish Network retailers in Taylor. Little did I know that the one I picked to stop at was the best possible choice I could have made to help us get our system going. This technician has set up systems for many of the movie producers that produce movies in the Austin and central Texas area. He has worked for several movie stars and singers, including Dennis Quaid and Johnny Knoxville.

When I walked into the store, the technician's mother was waiting on people at the counter. I told her what I needed, and she called her son to the front from where he was working in the back shop area. After explaining what I needed, I asked him if he thought he could help us. He said yes. The next question from me was when did he think he could come out to the RV. He asked me if I wanted to do it right then. My reaction to myself was "Is this guy kidding?" I mean, prompt service is almost forgotten anymore. Who helps someone as soon as they ask for help in this day and time?

While I waited, the technician got together a bunch of different parts, then followed me out to Lake Granger. With a quick look at what we have, he set to work. About 20 minutes later, we were in business. This guy was good!! There is no way that I could have done what he did, especially as quickly as he did it. At the end of the job, he offered some suggestions to improve our system. If we do the suggestions, this technician is the one I want to do it.

After the technician left, I took care of a few little chores, then set up the satellite system. Now, we have about 200 channels on the satellite system, plus about 40 channels more using the antenna on the RV. I would never have dreamed that digital TV would allow us to see so many channels with the antenna. On the old RV, the antenna might allow us to see 2-3 channels.

Just when we thought everything was hunky dory, a little kid running through our campsite got caught up in the cable running from the satellite dish to the RV. That messed up the connection at the dish, but I can repair that tomorrow. GRRRRRRR!!

So far, (cross my fingers) we have not had any problems with the new home. Well, other than the handle for the kitchen faucet being loose and falling off. That was easily fixed by us, and if that's the worse we have to deal with, we're happy.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Navajo, Arizona: Proudly Serving, Continuously Improving

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Visit To Radio Shack

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 86 degrees, clear skies

We had great weather today, just like what you would expect to see in Texas this time of the year. The forecast shows this same type of weather continuing the rest of the week. I'm sure that's good news for the families on spring break.

We had breakfast after my morning walk. Then I got everything together to show the folks at Radio Shack what I needed to get the satellite dish set up and operating. After explaining how everything looked like it connects on the different systems to the salesperson, I was told I needed to get a new satellite receiver. That may be, but what I want to try to do is use what I have. Once he understood that, he gave me an adapter that should at least give us a picture from the satellite dish to the TV. He couldn't think of a way to take the satellite signal through the home theater system, and then to the TV so we could take advantage of the sound system.

If needed, I'll get in touch with Dish Network to see if they can help me. My experience with Dish has been that support is coming from India or Pakistan, and they have a script to follow. If there is a deviation from the script, the support people are lost. Why can't we speak to an American? That's a rhetorical question. I know why the jobs were shipped overseas. It doesn't make me feel any better about it.

When I got home from Radio Shack, I pulled everything out of the basement and swept the basement clean. I went through everything, managing to get rid of a few things. It's hard to believe, but I still have stuff that we started with six years ago, and haven't used. I can see that I need to get really heartless about some of this stuff.

The new home has a central vacuum system. I got all the paperwork, hoses, and attachments out of the basement and gave it to Carolyn to read and learn how to use. The system works really well, with good suction. I used it in the basement, where there is a connection, to vacuum up what I swept in there. The great thing about this system is that I can pull the truck up by the RV and use the vacuum system to vacuum the truck carpet.

Carolyn did some more fine tuning of the storage inside the RV. I have a feeling that we will be fine tuning for a couple of months before everything is just right. We don't have a problem with lack of storage space. It's just deciding where to store it so it's most easily reached.

I didn't take the time to try to set up the satellite system today, which is probably to our advantage. Tonight, we watched a show on PBS that we may not have seen if the dish was set up. It was a concert by Roy Orbison a few months before his death in 1988. The title of the concert was Roy Orbison: Black and White Nights. One of the things that was unique about this concert was the supporting cast backing up Roy, including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, K D Lang, Bonnie Raitt....... We are fans of Roy's music, so we really enjoyed it. Maybe some day, we'll make it to Wink, Texas, Roy's hometown, and go to the Roy Orbison Museum.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Decatur, Alabama: The Ballooning Capital Of Alabama

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Little This, A Little That

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 56 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, light sprinkles in the morning

I slept so good last night. I guess the stress and work of the past week finally caught up with me. Whatever it was, I would like to sleep like that every night.

Spring break is occurring in Texas this next week, and the park seems to be full of families with kids having a good time. All manner of camping is taking place, from tents to expensive motor homes. I'm glad the weather is forecast to be good for them.

After breakfast, we lazed around the RV for awhile. I took my morning walk, checking out the park. This is a park that is about 10 miles from the nearest town, and appears to be fairly busy on weekends. They have playgrounds, a hiking trail, a picnic area overlooking the lake, boat ramps, and about 60 spaces for RV and tent camping, as well as a primitive camping area. The lake has a surface area of over 4,000 acres.

In the afternoon, we went into Taylor to pick up a few things at the WalMart Mall. That little task took longer than we expected, primarily because we kept remembering things we needed for the new home. Then we went across the street to the HEB grocery store for some groceries we like to buy from them. For a treat, we went to McDonald's for an ice cream cone. It's been a while since we had ice cream and even longer since we had it from McDonald's, and it was good. It doesn't take much to please us.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading the information on the different systems for the new home and filling out warranty cards to be mailed tomorrow. We are sticklers for wanting to know how everything works. One thing we didn't get done was setting up the satellite dish. I found where the satellite connection is behind the living room TV, but the connections on the TV are different than what I am used to. I think I will need some adapters to make the satellite receiver work. Tomorrow, I'll go to Radio Shack to see if they can help me get everything I need to get the system operational. In the meantime, we are able to watch the local channels, so all is not lost.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Portland, Maine: Resurgam (I will rise again)

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Order Out Of Chaos

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 40 degrees, high 48 degrees, cloudy skies

The cold weather continues, as well as the cloudy skies. The rain stopped during the night, and we may see some sunshine tomorrow. It can't be too soon for me.

After the hard day of work yesterday, we slept good. When we got up, the RV was still looking as though a storm had swept through it. We spent more time looking for things than we did on anything else. We thought we had come up with a plan to load stuff from the old RV into our new home so we could find what we needed easily. Hah! That plan didn't work. So much for good intentions.

So, the priority for the day was to get everything packed away in a place that was logical. We'll see how that plan works. By 1300 hours, everything was put away inside the RV. Remember my expression yesterday when I said the RV looked like we were trying to put 10 pounds of "stuff" into a 5 pound bag? It's amazing, but we put it all away and still have empty cabinets. I guess that means we'll have to go buy some more "stuff" to fill the empty cabinets. Not!!

We still have to sort and properly store the stuff in the basement. That task will probably happen Monday, when the weather is supposed to be warmer and drier. In the meantime, it feels good to relax a little. It feels as though as I have been on the run all week, with having to make a quick trip to South Carolina and all the work associated with the RVs.

I'll probably set up the satellite dish tomorrow. The new home has digital TVs in it, and we have already seen how good the picture is using the RV antenna. It should be really good with the satellite dish.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cullman, Alabama: City Of Churches

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Moved Into The New RV

Taylor, Texas

Weather: low 39 degrees, high 40 degrees, cloudy, rain all day

After several attempts at moving into our new home, we finally got it done today. The weather could not have been worse for something like this. Note that the difference between the high and low today was only one degree. It was cold, wet, and rained all day.

As I was outside getting everything ready to take the old RV to the dealership, it was raining and windy. My hands felt like they would fall off, they were so cold. We were scheduled to be at the dealership at 1300 hours for a walk through on the new home so the different systems, switches, and other things could be explained. We got there a few minutes early. Luckily, they were able to make room in the building for the old RV to be pulled inside next to the new one so we could move all our stuff without getting wet.

We received a thorough walk through on the new RV, and all our questions were answered. When we bought our first RV,the walk through took about 10 minutes. Today, we spent about 90 minutes on the walk through and getting our questions answered. I was very pleased with the attention the dealership gave to our questions and in explaining how to use our systems on the new RV. It was noticed by the person doing the walk through with us that the propane regulator was faulty. A serviceman changed it out with a new one before we left the facility.

Once the walk through was completed, we started the move of our stuff into the new home. We had everything moved in about an hour, but did not put anything where it will eventually be placed. The primary concern was to get everything moved, drive to the Taylor Park Army Corps of Engineers campground, located on Lake Granger, before dark so we could set up in the daylight. We accomplished our goal, but it was a job getting everything done.

At this time, the new home looks like we are trying to stuff 10 pounds of "stuff" into a 5 pound bag. We found things that we no longer need, so we'll be finding new homes for it. We have plenty of room in the new home, but have to decide how to use it to our best advantage. We will be here at this campground for at least a week, so everything will be squared away by the time we leave.

That's about all that happened with us today. It may not sound like much, but it was a full day of work. At this time, we are happy with the new home. It's more comfortable, and we can tell that the insulation is much better than in the old RV.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Georgetown, Texas: Red Poppy Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New RV Swap Moved Back A Day

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 39 degrees, high 45 degrees, cloudy, rain early, windy

After my late night getting back from South Carolina, I slept a little later than normal. It felt good to be back in our bed, and I was so tired that sleep came easily.

Once I was up, we called the RV dealership about picking up our new home. With all the rain and more forecast all day, we made a mutual decision to wait until tomorrow for the swap. Even waiting until tomorrow is taking a chance on the weather, because more rain is supposed to come through here tonight and Friday.

In anticipation of making the swap tomorrow, we reserved a site at the Taylor Army Corps of Engineers campground, located on Granger Lake near Taylor. We will be there about a week to check out all the systems on the new RV. That should give us some idea of whether we have any problems. We'll still be close enough to the dealer that it will be easy to get problems fixed. That is if the dealer stands by his promises. You just never know what they'll do until you actually need help. We were fortunate with the dealer we bought our first RV from. He stood by every thing he said he would do. That's all we ask the new dealer to do. Don't give us the run around.

We made a few more preps for the RV swap and went through our mail, which caught up with us today. Tonight, I cooked by taking Carolyn to Chili's, which is one of her favorite restaurants. About the only thing that we did beyond the things listed above was do some meditation. Oh, and I rested up from the trip. A slow day which I was glad to have. I was wore out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Austin, Texas: Silicon Hills

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back In Texas

Greenville, South Carolina

Weather: low 65 degrees, high 75 degrees in Greenville, clear skies. Low of 41 degrees and raining when I arrived back in Georgetown.

0900 hours in Greenville

I have problems sleeping soundly when I'm away from home. Last night was not an exception, as I seemed to wake every hour. There were several things causing me to wake up. A new bed, new sounds, different food than what I'm used to, memories... Does anyone else have this problem? I'll be home tonight, and I'll sleep good. A comfortable bed, familiar sounds, and Carolyn.

Part of this post is being written as I'm waiting for my cousin Kenny's funeral. When the funeral is over, I'll visit with relatives for a little while, then drive back to the airport in Greenville to get my flight to Houston and Austin. The weather in Austin is forecast to be wet and cooler. We're scheduled to pick up the new RV tomorrow, but may have to put it off for another day or two if it's raining too hard. We're not complaining about the rain. Texas needs it badly, with most of the state in a drought.

It's time to get ready for the funeral. I'll write more from the airport on my way out of Greenville.

1615 hours at the Greenville Airport

The funeral is over, but the memories are still coming back. The only thing I enjoyed about this experience was seeing relatives again. Am I the only one that notices that my relatives are getting older? Of course, that might be said about me, but I like to think that I'm getting seasoned. Sometimes, the seasoning seems to be a little overdone.

Looking at the weather in Georgetown, I noticed that the weather has made a change to wet and cool, with a high today of 48 degrees. The same front is apparently on it's way to the Greenville area, and should be here tomorrow. I hope we can make the swap of RVs tomorrow in between showers.

It's going to be after 2300 hours before I get home tonight. I have a feeling I'll be able to sleep better than I did last night. We're getting ready to load the airplane. If I have time in Houston before catching the flight to Austin, I'll write more.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Anderson, South Carolina: The City of Hospitality

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Traveling To South Carolina

Pelzer, South Carolina

Weather: low in Georgetown, Texas 70 degrees, high in Pelzer, South Carolina 75 degrees, clear skies

The day started early, with me being out and on the road by 0630 hours. I wanted to get an early start to the airport in Austin in case I had problems of some sort. I may have left home a little early, but at least I didn't have to rush, and had no problems. Actually, it was surprising how easy the trip was. Traffic was heavy, but moved right along, and the signs directing how to get to the airport were easy to follow. I had a couple hours to wait, but it has been two years since I have flown. It seemed harder getting through security the last time, and I wanted to make sure I didn't cut it too close.

We have rescheduled picking up the new RV to Thursday. Just when it seemed like it would never rain here again, it is supposed to rain on Thursday and for the next several days. That will make it difficult to swap out our stuff from one RV to the other, but we'll work through it. At least we should know whether we have any leaks before leaving this area. The forecast is for up to five inches of rain over several days.

I mentioned that Carolyn was staying at home while I went to the funeral in South Carolina for my cousin Kenny. She has problems with vertigo that she has learned how to control most of the time. Her doctors have recommended that she not travel by airplane because of the vertigo. I try to keep an eye on her to make sure she's not doing anything that would cause her to hurt herself. Obviously, I will be concerned about her while I'm in South Carolina. We talked about what she will do if she has problems while I'm gone.

At one time, I enjoyed traveling by air. Over the years, I grew tired of the cramped seats, the check-in procedures, fighting the traffic, the parking, and all the other things that make flying such a hassle. Give me our RV way of life with a slow pace that we can control as we see fit. If we want to stay in one place, we do it. If we want to move down the road to a new place, hitch up and go. We move as fast or slow as we like. In most instances, the pace is slow. And have you checked the price of traveling by air lately? Especially if you have to fly on the spur of the moment.

I arrived in Greenville, South Carolina about 1600 hours. That gave me time to check into a hotel and rest a few minutes before going to the funeral home for the viewing. What a sad time that was. I saw several relatives I hadn't seen for some time, and we caught up with what everyone has been doing. We also did some remembering of good times with family. It's too bad that it seems like the only time I see many relatives now is at times like this. Even with us traveling as we do, it is still difficult to see everyone as much as we would like.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Anderson, South Carolina: The Friendliest City in South Carolina

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy skies, windy

This morning, we received a call from Carol, my cousin Kenny's wife. She told us about the arrangements for his funeral, which will be held on Wednesday. I got on the Internet and made reservations to leave Austin Tuesday morning, returning late Wednesday evening.

We were supposed to leave the Army COE park we're in on Wednesday. I talked to the camp host and explained the situation about having to go to South Carolina. He told me not to worry about our current departure date. The park understands that circumstances occur which are not under our control. When I get back, we'll figure out when we need to leave.

Next on the list of things to do was to notify the RV dealership that we will not be able to pick up the new RV on Wednesday. Looks like that will be pushed back to Thursday or Friday.

The rest of the day was spent getting little things done that we need to do to swap out the RVs. We're about as ready for that as we can get. And we are looking forward to it so we can get on with our adventures. More drifting down the road.

The next couple of days, I'll have a computer with me in South Carolina. I'll do as good a job with the blog as I can, but don't be surprised if the content is a little lacking, considering the situation.

Oh, by the way - Carolyn is staying at home. She would like to go with me, but she has been advised by her doctors to not fly because of her vertigo.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Irmo, South Carolina: Home Of The Okra Strut

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Sad Day

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 85 degrees, mostly cloudy, windy

This morning, we received a telephone call from my cousin Kenny's wife. Last night, Kenny passed away while on a job in Mississippi. The news was a shock to us. Kenny and I always got along well, working together at one time. I can remember many times when we were younger that our families celebrated holidays and family gatherings together. Over the last several years, the only times we seemed to get together was at funerals. As I have said many times, this modern life seems to spread families around too much. If at all possible, I will be going to the funeral, which will probably be late this next week.

I called my brothers and sisters and passed on the news about Kenny. They were as shocked as I was. The rest of the day seemed to have a cloud placed over it.

Once I recovered from the sad news, I knew we would have to start making plans to go to the funeral. We gathered up the laundry and I took it to the laundromat. When I got home, we started a list of tasks we need to do to make the trip. Since it is over 1100 miles to Kenny's home, and we are supposed to pick up the new RV on Wednesday, I will probably catch a plane there and back. It's not likely Carolyn will go because of her vertigo. Her doctors have advised her to not fly because of the condition.

None of us knows when our time to pass on will come. The same holds for family and friends. We try to see family and friends whenever we can, because they are important to us. Every time we see them may be the last time. We should cherish the ones we love and that love us, and live every day as though it is our last one.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Greenville, South Carolina: The Textile Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Winter Is Over

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 84 degrees, cloudy, windy

Have you ever had a day when you feel like you can't get going? That was the kind of day I had, up until about 1100 hours. At that time, Carolyn got tired of me just slouching around, and asked if we could get out for a little while. Little did she know what she was asking for or getting into.

Since we hadn't been to Round Rock, we decided to go check it out. Now that we've been there, I don't think we will go again. Round Rock is not our kind of place. It is growing like crazy with a population near 100,000 people, traffic is bad, the roads don't seem to be keeping up with the traffic, and there's just too much scurrying and bustling for us. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any sign of a recession here. For those who don't know, Round Rock is located near Austin, and the corporate headquarters for Dell Computers is here. I'm sure the town is a fine place to live, and I don't want to put any one's home down, but we like the smaller towns better.

Once we had enough of the traffic and rough streets in Round Rock, we decided to head west to get into some less busy areas. Somehow, we got turned around on our direction (and this is with a compass in the truck) and found ourselves southwest of Austin at Bee Cave. Our route took us through some beautiful country, including the Lake Travis area. Some of the most beautiful hills we have seen in Texas are in that area. So, a turn the wrong way allowed us to see that area, when if we had gone the direction we thought we were, we would have missed it. There's usually something good that comes out of a mistake, if we look at it the right way.

We turned around at Bee Cave and started back to the north, looking for Texas 183, which would take us near Georgetown. Eventually, we got on to 183, and stayed on it until we were north of Leander, where we took some ranch roads across to Georgetown and back home. When all of that was over, I felt we had earned the right to slouch around the rest of the day.

One thing we saw that was interesting that I'm not sure I would have done was people having their pictures taken while sitting on the back of a big long horn steer. These cattle are big, but what's even more impressive is their horns. Check out what the typical long horn steer and cow looks like. The ones we saw today looked bigger than the ones in the pictures.

Every year, there's a big fuss made over a fat groundhog up in Pennsylvania. Supposedly, this fat groundhog can forecast how much longer winter will last. I'm not sure what the accuracy of this groundhog is, but I know a surefire way to tell when winter is actually over. Just watch me. When I start wearing walking shorts again, winter is officially over. That means as of today, winter is over, because I wore my walking shorts. Now, the reverse is also true. When I start wearing long pants again, summer will be finished. Just keep your eye on me.

Two years ago, a dear friend passed on. We miss her. We love you, Lola.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Round Rock, Texas: The Sports Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Change Of Plans

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 65 degrees, high 83 degrees, partly cloudy skies, windy

In last night's post to the blog, I mentioned that we were going to be moving to an Army Corps of Engineers camp ground near Taylor, Texas today. Guess what? There has been a change of plans. After discussing whether to move or not, we decided to stay at Lake Georgetown for another five days, leaving on Wednesday of next week. Wednesday is the day that we are scheduled to pick up the new RV. By waiting until then to move, we save the work of an hour or so of setting up the RV, and then having to do it again next Wednesday when we take delivery of the new home. It makes sense to us, and extends the time we can stay at Granger Lake in the event we need to have anything repaired on the new RV.

Once we decided we would stay at our current site a little longer, we went to HEB to buy some groceries. We were holding off on that little chore until we knew when the new RV would be ready. The HEB store in Georgetown is one of the nicest in that chain that we have been to. Overall, the HEB stores in Texas remind us of the Publix stores that started in Florida, and are now in most of the southeast. So far, the only place we have seen HEB is in Texas. By the way, we saw some bluebonnets at HEB, but they were in pots waiting to be sold. We think the dry weather is going to reduce the number of bluebonnets and other wildflowers this spring.

Does the fact we like HEB and Publix stores mean I don't care for the WalMart Mall any more? Not at all. The WalMart Mall provides merchandise not available at the other stores, and we like some of the products that they sell. In addition, the Mall tends to have cheaper prices on many items we buy from them. Essentially, the Mall provides one-stop shopping.

Whe we got back from HEB and put everything up, we kicked back for awhile, thinking that we would get out and about a little later in the day. Before we knew it, supper time was here. The day had gotten away from us as we took it easy. Looks like we'll try to do something tomorrow. We haven't had much chance to explore while here, so we'll try to have some adventures to talk about in tomorrow's post.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chiefland, Florida: Mother Nature’s Playground

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We Bought It!!

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 65 degrees, high 83 degrees, cloudy early, then clear skies, windy

Yesterday, we received a call from the RV dealership we have been talking to. They let us know that the RV we were interested in had been delivered. We went and checked it out this morning, and decided to go ahead and make the deal for the new RV. That's a big deal for us. We've been looking for another RV for at least a couple of years, and didn't find anything that grabbed us. The one we looked at today did the trick. Now, if we are as happy with the new RV as we think we will be, everything will be great.

While we were looking at the new RV, we had a pad of paper and pen to make notes of items we wanted to be corrected or repaired. After about an hour, we only found - get this - four items. We expected to find more than four, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality and finish of the RV. We thought our experience as RVers, plus our pickiness, would aid us in finding several more items. As a backup to our inspection, the dealership is going to test all the systems for a few days, as well as do a good cleaning of the unit before we pick it up. They understand that we are full-time RVers, which means we may not be back in this area for a year, if then. If we have warranty problems, there are numerous dealers across the country we can visit, but we are hopeful that any problems will show up before we leave here. We'll stay here for a week or so after picking up our new home. Hopefully, any problems will show up then. By the way, the new RV is a Heartland Big Horn.

Today was a full day, and we did not get home until almost 1600 hours. I was so tired I immediately did some meditation, while Carolyn took a short nap. As I have said before, I don't sleep during the day, while Carolyn will take an occasional nap. Like almost every day. I do admit to meditating almost every day.

It looks like we will be moving tomorrow from the campground where we are now to another one. We're limited to 14 days at the COE campgrounds, and with us waiting for the new RV, we will be running out of time at our present campground. Moving tomorrow will reset the clock to give us another 14 days. We want to try another COE park located on Granger Lake, near Taylor. So, tomorrow's post will be reported from near Taylor, Texas.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Red Stick

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bluebonnet Sighting!!

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 49 degrees, high 81 degrees, clear skies, windy

I was up and gone from the RV by 0530 hours this morning, on my way to Bay City to pick up the title for our RV from our safety deposit box. Being out that early brought back memories of many early mornings when I was working. I don't miss those early starts to the day at all.

With the early start, I was at the bank when it opened. Fifteen minutes later, I was on my way to see my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy for a few minutes. It was great seeing them again. Then on the road on the way back to Georgetown, where I had left Carolyn working on some things to get ready for the new RV that we are thinking of buying. Now, before anyone thinks I left Carolyn without asking her to go with me, she wanted to stay at home. She did not want to make that quick trip to Bay City and back. I can't say I blame her. It was very tiring.

As I was driving on Texas 71 headed north between Columbus and Lagrange, I did a double take. Did I just see bluebonnet flowers? Yes! The first bluebonnets of the year for me. What's so special about bluebonnets? Well, they're the state flower of Texas, and on top of that, they are beautiful. There's nothing like a field or hillside carpeted in these beautiful flowers.

When I arrived back at the RV, Carolyn told me that the RV dealership had called to let us know that the RV being brought in for us to see had been delivered. I called them back and told them we would be there tomorrow. I was too tired to go out again and go through the RV after the trip to Bay City. In fact, after I made the phone call, I did a little meditation until we left to go eat supper with my nephew Scott and his wife Chriselda.

Scott and Chriselda live in Taylor, located about 20 miles from Georgetown. It has been awhile since we have seen them, and we enjoyed the visit with them. We met for supper (dinner to some) at a Mexican restaurant named Ricoco in downtown Taylor. The food was good, but even better was the company. We enjoyed it, guys.

Today was another full one. I'm about ready for a down day, but I have a feeling it will be a few days before we can kick back.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Taylor, Texas: A Main Street Texas Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What A Busy Day!!

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 72 degrees, mostly clear skies, windy (agai

We did some more comparing of RVs this morning when we got up. After my morning walk, we went back to the RV dealership we have been talking to the last few days. We had questions about the pictures and invoices they had sent us over the Internet. Some of the information we have been getting did not seem to make a lot of sense to us. Talking to the salesman about it, he said maybe the wrong pictures had been sent with the wrong invoices. Well, that might cause some confusion. At least for old folks like us.

The salesman called his contact at the other store, located in another city. The confusion was quickly cleared up when the contact looked at what he had sent. Sure enough, everything was mixed up. In a short time, we had everything sorted out. Now, it made more sense to us, and we were able to make an informed decision as to which RV we liked best. As a result, another RV will be shipped to here from another store. If we like the new RV and everything is as advertised, we will be buying it. That means we have a lot to do to get ready for the swap out of our stuff into another RV, if the sale goes through. The major thing is that we will have to go to Bay City to our bank and get the title for our current home out of our safe deposit box.

With the possibility of getting a new RV, we talked to the park hosts where we are staying about swapping everything from the old RV into the new RV here at the park. The hosts gave us permission, and even made some suggestions on how to accomplish the swap out with a minimum of fuss.

Once we got back to the RV, I went to the WalMart Mall and had the truck serviced. I was surprised that they were able to get me in and finished in about 45 minutes in the middle of the day. I was ready to wait for at least two hours. By the way, I was able to find the Mall without any problems today. It was quite easy the second time around.

With servicing the truck out of the way, it was time to take the RV to the dump and empty our holding tanks. That took about an hour, with unhooking everything, pulling the RV to the dump and dumping the tanks, pulling back to the campsite, and hooking everything back up. Whew, it's been a busy day. I'm ready for some down time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Sevierville, Tennessee: Your Hometown In The Smokies

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chilling Out - A Little

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 28 degrees, high 60 degrees, mostly clear skies

This was a day to chill out. A little bit, that is. It seems like every time I try to do nothing or close to nothing, I always seem to find something that needs to be done. We replaced another window blind that had bitten the dust. At least that's done.

Then, I went back to the RV dealership that we have been talking to about a new RV and told them that the one we have been reviewing information on would not do. The colors of the couch and other items were totally wrong, and Carolyn said if that was all the dealership had, she was ready to go look elsewhere. I relayed that information to the dealership, and showed them what Carolyn wanted. The salesman got on the telephone, and in about ten minutes, he told me he had found what we were looking for. Pictures and the invoice were sent to us, and we will look at them tomorrow. We'll see where that leads us.

When I left the RV dealership, I decided to go south of Georgetown on I-35 to see if there were any RV dealerships down there. I found one, which I passed and had to go to the next exit. I backtracked and pulled in. The door to the sales office flew open and a salesman jumped out of the door, ready to go into action. I thought "Uh oh. This looks like a high pressure outfit to me." Have you ever noticed that many times, first impressions are usually right? In this case, I was dead on right. This guy wanted to sell me an RV. It didn't matter whether I bought what I needed or wanted, just sell me an RV. I do not like this kind of store. On top of that, they did not have anything that touched me. When I say touched me, I mean it didn't make me want to look further or even look at any sales brochures. Within 15 minutes, I was out of there and headed back home.

Yesterday, we found that my nephew Scott and his wife Chriselda live about 20 miles away. I exchanged e-mails with Chriselda, and it looks like we may get together for supper on Wednesday night. We're looking forward to seeing them.

We'll probably move to another Army Corps of Engineers park on Granger Lake, located about 20 miles east of Georgetown. That park is more open, with less trees. We'll have better views, and won't feel so boxed in like it is at Lake Georgetown. Not that the park at Lake Georgetown is a bad place to stay. Not at all. I think it's more a case of feeling the need to keep moving. Eventually, we'll be in Bay City, Texas, where we'll spend some time with our daughter Lori and her family. Maybe my brother Terrell and I can go chase a golf ball or two.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Port Angeles, Washington: The Center Of It All

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 32 degrees, high 60 degrees, light breezes, clear skies

We spent some time today comparing the RVs we have been looking at this past week in an effort to narrow the list down. We think we may have figured out which one is best for us, but have asked for more information from the dealership. We should have the information tomorrow, and if the information is useful, may start bargaining.

One of our window blinds was broken, so we replaced it this afternoon. Even though we are looking at different RVs, we still do what we need to do to keep the current home in good repair. We have no idea how long the search for another RV will take, since the last time we went through something like this, it took a year for us to buy the current one. There is no hurry.

After we repaired the blind, I went to downtown Georgetown to take some pictures of the courthouse area. Georgetown is the county seat of Williamson County, and was settled in 1848. The current courthouse was finished in 1911, and is still being used.

The dome on the courthouse appears to be copper with a statue of Themis, the Greek goddess of divine justice. Renovations to the building were completed in 2007.

The square around the courthouse is one of the nicest I have seen. Many of the early settlers of this area were from eastern Europe, and their impact on the architecture can be seen.

The area seems prosperous, and Del Webb's Sun City is located here. As a result of the weather and the natural beauty, as well as the city's nearness to Austin, the area is considered to be a desirable place for retirees to live. I didn't notice any signs that a recession was happening here. Overall, not a bad place to visit. We're glad we stopped here for a few days.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Georgetown, Texas: Georgetown, Texas: Retirement Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.