Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 26 - 31, 2010 - "Happy Halloween"

Happy Halloween! And it was just that, early this morning. CC said she heard something outside the rig, and convinced me that if I went out to see what it was, that upon my return, she would reward(?) me. (ALL the guys know what I’m talking about, the gals as well; they just don’t like to admit to it.) Anyway, as I exited the rig, armed with my walking stick and camera, I heard a noise behind me, and as I quickly turned, unknowing to me, the camera activated. After that, things are a little fuzzy. All I can tell you it was a helluva tussle. As I ran back into the rig, CC asked, “What was it?”. To which I replied, “I’m not exactly sure, but the flash went off on the camera right before all hell broke loose.” To say we were both a little overwhelmed after seeing the picture would be an understatement.

Last week we left Childress, in route to Abilene; sightseeing in the area included Fort Phantom Hill, and the Texas Frontier Museum. Texas Frontier is an interactive museum, and was one of the most informative, enjoyable visit to any museum thus far; very well done. It told the story of how and why Texas was settled by the white man, and the implications to the natives.

Leaving Abilene and the grounds covered by the Texas state flower (sand burrs) behind us, we moved southward through hill country, and over nighted right next to the Llano River. Ahhhh, this is why we decided to live this lifestyle. Upon arrival, I had my customary “Travel Day Martini”, and relaxed next to the river, as CC joined me with her “Mexican Kool-Aid”; 76 degrees, a slight breeze, the sound of gently flowing waters; PERFECTO!

The next morning we awoke to 30 degrees. We’re outta here. I just cannot live by anything but “The 7 Second Rule”, so it was south bound to San Antonio.

We will close out the month here in sunny San Antonio, TX, and no visit here would be complete without seeing, you guessed it; The Alamo and The Riverwalk. We did those yesterday. Big mistake; should have waited until Monday or Tuesday as it was VERY crowded, and for those of you that know me, know I don’t do crowds.

I have mixed emotions after visiting The Alamo; one of which will be to again watch CC’s fav, John Wayne in “The Alamo”. Secondly, the President of Mexico, Santa Ana, was trying to limit immigration into Texas by the whites, and wanted to send them a warning that his laws would not be violated. Now I’m no politician, rather more of an observer, but it would seem to me if it worked for Santa Anna, the reciprocal would work for the US today. As they say, history repeats itself!

We also visited another of the missions here, Concepcion.  One of the most attractive of the San Antonio missions, the church at Concepcion looks essentially as it did more than 200 years ago, when it stood at the center of local religious activity. The mission was well known for its religious celebrations. Not visible today are the colorful geometric designs that originally covered the exterior surface of the mission. Inside, however, are original paintings of religious symbols and architectural designs.

That closes our adventures for October. Next month (+/-) will be spent in Weslaco, TX. Take care and stay well……………..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 16 - 25, 2010 - "Palo Duro Canyon"

We had a wonderfully restful five days stay at peaceful and quiet Lake Murray. Wednesday we headed to Childress on our way to ????; Childress, TX. We stopped off in Vernon, TX at the Rocking A RV Park. This is a great place to stop for one night especially since Wal-Mart is right next door – a short walk through the parking lot to stock up on provisions.

The next day the Cruiser made the short drive to Childress, TX. Thursday afternoon we were able to get the minor tire issue resolved, a slow leak in the tire losing a pound a day, ended up being a loose valve stem. As well as the exhaust system rattle, ended up being loose bolts that attach the exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold. While the Cruiser was getting much needed attention, Fester, my daughter Letta, her husband Billy and I went to the Childress Court House to exercise constitutional right and voted. Fester, Letta and I enjoyed an informative visited the Childress Historical Museum. We had a lot of fun learning all kinds of fun facts about Texas and the birth of Childress.

Saturday, Billy, Letta and a friend of theirs, Marty, Fester and I, all piled into Billy’s pickup and enjoyed a short (?), 2 ½ hour drive to Palo Duro State Park, the second largest canyon in the US, just south of Amarillo, TX. As Texans a 2 ½ hour drive is akin to a 30 minute drive in a major metropolitan city. Everything’s bigger in Texas. After a great dinner at Abuelo’s , ( we stopped off for a short shopping spree at Ross, a shoe store (to add to Billy’s dwindling shoe collection of 30+ pairs), and a Mexican bakery for pumpkin empanadas; Mmmmmmmm Gooooooood!
CC and Letta Jo
Marty (Being Marty) trying to attract a younger(?) female.

Please CC, that is your son-in-law, you Cougar!

Our visit included enjoying an abundance of Mexican food (my favorite) with family and friends. We enjoyed Fester’s quesadillas one night in our home, the rig. The following day a family pot luck at Billy and Letta’s eclectic , comfy home where the menu included scrumptious chicken enchiladas prepared by Letta, home style tortillas thanks to Marty (he claims he is Italian, but what the hell do Italians know about making tortillas), and Fester’s flavorful green chili. The food was exceptional, but being with family and friends was extraordinary. We would’ve had desert, but “someone(?)” ate all the ice cream. I’m not saying who, but I understand the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So we're now headed to Abilene for a couple of days, on to San Antonio for a week, then the Rio Grande Valley to assist the Border Patrol in apprehending illegals. We're retired, but we still need some "stimulation".

'Till next time...........

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 1 - 15, 2010 - "Oklahoma City Memorial"

We are still at Twin Fountains in OKC, tying up some loose ends at Mom’s house. It should come as no surprise to me that sometimes in “The South” things don’t happen when or as they should. Reminds me a lot of being in Mexico, where everyone lives on “Manana” time. With that being said, now all we have to do is wait for an offer, and get a little R&R.

Longtime friend, Ricardo, called and invited us to his lake home in NE OK for a little fishin’ , R&R, and some much needed, catching up and recanting stories of our younger days when we were invincible(?). Did we catch anything? ABSOLUTELY. In a little over 2 hours, we got into about 20 of these blue catfish, but decided to keep only 2 for dinner. I had the time of my life. Thanks buddy!

CC & I decided since we had been in OKC for all this time, we owed it to ourselves to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial.; a very somber experience indeed.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a place of quiet reflection. Designed by Butzer Design Partnership, this Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995. It encompasses the now-sacred soil where the Murrah Building once stood, as well as the surrounding area devastated during the attack.

The inscription on the outside of the 9:01 “gate” reads: We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.

Note the smaller chairs that symbolize the children that were lost.

Gates of Time
These monumental twin gates frame the moment of destruction – 9:02 a.m. – and mark the formal entrances to the Memorial. The East Gate represents 9:01 a.m. on April 19, and the innocence of the city before the attack. The West Gate represents 9:03 a.m., the moment we were changed forever, and the hope that came from the horror in the moments and days following the bombing.

Reflecting Pool
The pool occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. Here, a shallow depth of gently flowing water helps soothe wounds, with calming sounds providing a peaceful setting for quiet thoughts. The placid surface shows the reflection of someone changed forever by their visit to the Memorial.

While in the Oklahoma City area, we managed two more dining experiences from “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives”. The first being Leo’s Bar-B-Que, which I thought to be so-so. The lunch combo consisted of a rib, beef (brisket), or link sandwich with a baked potato. What the hell is this? Since when did baked potatoes become “soul food”, or for that matter, a compliment to Bar-B-Que. Where is the fried okra? Nowhere to be found on the menu. Doubtful if we return. Make that VERY doubtful.

Another of Guy’s picks in OKC, just happens to be across the street from Leo’s and down a block; Mama E’s. We decided on the two meat with 3 sides, wings and fried catfish with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and black eyed peas. They were playing the TV episode with Guy while we ate, and it appeared it was programmed to loop. Obviously the fame has gone to their head, IMHO for no reason. The food was overpriced and the catfish was greasy. We won’t be back.

We departed OKC in route to Lake Murray State Park, SE of Ardmore, OK. Very quiet here, compared to the traffic noise at Twin Fountains. We MAY have trouble sleeping, because it is soooooo quiet, AND, CC & I have been fighting an Oklahoma Cold. We’ll lay up here for a few days to get well, and plan our next journey. One thing we know, we will be headed to Childress, TX to cast our ballots, and hopefully restore this country to its rightful heirs; the citizens.

Until next time, take care and stay well.......................

Friday, October 1, 2010

September 8 - 30, 2010 - "Home Improvement"

Wow.............Three weeks since last blog. We have obviously been very busy.

Jefferson City to Carthage, MO – We departed Jeff City in route to Carthage where we would be staying a couple of days for a little R&R. Not much in Carthage you say? Eau contraire………………

Carthage – We took the time to visit 2 museums, the Powers and the Civil War Museum. And yes, there actually was “The Battle of Carthage” during the war. Not much of a battle, more like a Mexican standoff, but the locals remember it differently. Onward to my personal favorite (???), Precious Moments Museum and Chapel (and gift shop); don’t think for a “moment” that CC would be denied her inalienable right. For collectors of these ”objects”, I’m sure they could spend all day here, gazing at these dust collecting chotskies. I can only say I was impressed by the vast number of creations AND the amazing story behind the figurines; unfortunately, CC and I can relate to the inspiration.

Carthage to OKC – Tulsa side trip – We departed Carthage in route to OKC. By the time we hit Tulsa, it was lunch time. CC was piloting and I was navigating. With the help from Nuvi, she spotted a Cracker Barrel, which is one of our favs, not only because the food is good, but they cater to the RVer’s by providing RV parking. What started out as a great idea turned into a nightmare. We couldn’t turn into Cracker Barrel in the direction we were heading. Now if you’re in an automobile, a u-turn is no bigee, but in a 40 foot motor home, a u-turn just ain’t gonna happen. So………..we decided to look for someplace else to dine. But, the City of Tulsa had other plans. It seems EVERY on ramp to I-44 Southbound was closed for construction. We zig-zagged our way around Tulsa for over an hour, and FINALLY managed to get on I-44S off Lewis, right before the Arkansas River. Lunch consisted of a ham sandwich prepared by CC in a shopping center parking lot. It wasn’t gourmet, but what the hell, we were both hungry and a little stressed from the ordeal.

Twin Fountains Oklahoma City – We stayed here in July; week by week. This time we booked a month at a savings of $12 per day. This is a very nice park especially at the monthly rate. No stay here would be complete without a trip to Remington Downs to watch the ponies run.

Mom’s House – We spent 4 weeks here in July and completed many projects, but the weather was so miserable (HOT & HUMID & HOT Triple digits) we decided to head North while the painting was being done. So, with the  painting completed when we arrived, all that was left to do was just a few finishing touches:

1) Install 2 squirrel cage fans in crawl space to dry and allow access if necessary

2) Adjust and lubricate garage doors for proper operation

3) Weather-strip garage doors

4) Hang and adjust mini-blinds on 10 windows & adjust accordingly with Dremel

5) Orange Glo stained wood trim/baseboards/doors and clean outlets in whole house
6) Hang vertical Levelors in den

7) Caulk rear patio cracks

8) Paint thresholds on front and rear doors

9) Clean both bathrooms (CC scrubbed floor grout with toothbrush)

10) Caulk bathrooms were necessary

11) Clean 40 years of crap from workbench

12) Hang two garage mini-blinds

13) Monster vac all air ducts (They were REALLY bad)

14) Install new floor registers as the old ones were rusted

15) Replace one 75 watt light with 2 light fixtures in garage; 96” x 2 - 40 watt fluorescent lamps

16) Fabricate and paint new cover for crawl space and bolt securely

17) Install and caulk clothes dryer vent in kitchen

18) Mow complete 5 acres

19) Haul brush piles from 2008 ice storm to main brush pile by the barn

20) Adjust tension on outside clothes line so lines were tight

21) Remove, clean and lubricate all windows, including storm windows for smooth operation

22) Replace old passage door destroyed by cat with new door from garage to kitchen

23) Replace damaged bedroom door with new

24) Paint new passage door and trim

25) Stain and finish new bedroom door

26) Replace broken garage window

27) Shampoo carpets

28) Install new light fixtures in entry, hall and 3 bedrooms

29) Met with Realtor to list house

30) That’s all folks!

Now that we have the heavy lifting behind us, we can get on with living our dream. We can take some time to reacquaint with family and friends in the area. Although, one day as we were slaving away at Mom’s, the neighbors, Bob and Judy, came and kidnapped us and took us to the Oklahoma State Fair. CC and I haven’t been to ANY State Fair in 7 or 8 years, so it was time that we experience the same old thing again. State Fairs don’t change, they just get more expensive. $3 for a corn dog and $6 for a beer. At least the admission was free, as we were all able to get in as it was “Geezers Day”; anyone over 55 got in free. This was one time I appreciated looking older than my actual age ;-) They had me at free.

We were also invited to John and Vicki’s for a wonderful dinner and fine conversation. For those not familiar with John, he is our “adopted” son from the Bronx, which we met while attending OSU; Long funny story for a future blog. How about those Cowboys? Pulled it off in the final 2 seconds against Texas A&M last night. The damned OSU defensive coordinator should be castrated for his decision to play soft zone at the start of the fourth quarter with OSU up by 14. That idiotic move almost cost them the game.

Rick, another friend from OSU called and wanted us to dine with him and his special friend, Jennifer, at the one and only, Eischen’s Bar in Okarche, OK. You may have seen this culinary establishment on the popular TV show, “Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dives”. There is only 5 items on the menu, with fried chicken being their signature dish, and it did not disappoint. Simply delicious. At Eischen’s, you cannot order a piece or two; the only way they sell it is by the whole chicken. We ordered 2 and “somoker”. (For those of you not versed in Okie lingo, that translates as “some okra”.) We consumed all of the fried okra and only had 3 pieces of chicken left. Yes, it was gooooooood!

A special thanks to all that have helped us in preparing Mom’s house to be sold. In July, both CC and I were somewhat overwhelmed at all that needed to be done, but, as the old saying goes, “Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch”. Until next time, take care..................