December 20, 2015

Silly Sunday

If you combined a sheepdog with a charolais (a white cow, pronounced shar-lay):

You'd get cattle that can round up themselves!

Linking to Silly Sunday at Comedy Plus.

December 18, 2015

Friday Funnies

Buddy thought we needed at least one Christmas decoration, and I embellished.

"I can't believe she put a bow on my head."

December 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday

I don't normally join in Thankful Thursday. Not because I don't have anything to be thankful for, but because there is so much to be thankful for. But today I am especially thankful for a Texas Highway Patrolman who stopped to help me.

December 15, 2015

December Blooms

What a surprising fall this has been. Flooding rains followed by a few light freezes, and then days of warm weather. The plants don't know what to do. Spring bulbs are beginning to push green leaves out of the ground, and callery pears all over town are blooming. At the same time, foliage is turning brown and leaves fall from trees.

December 13, 2015

Sometimes I Wish It Was Still 1965.

In 1965, we had a black and white tv and we had to get out of the chair and walk over to the tv to change the channel. We only had three channels and none of them came on until about 6:00 a.m. and went off at midnight. We all knew it was midnight when the last program ended and a short clip of an jet flying through clouds and blue skies was accompanied by a narration of the poem "High Flight" followed by the picture of a test pattern and a long, shrill beep, and then static until the next morning.

December 01, 2015

Favorite Mug

Nancy at Wyoming Breezes posted about her favorite mug today and asked two questions of her readers:

Do you have a favorite mug or cup for drinking your morning tea or coffee?
How do you hold your cup when drinking your morning brew?

Yes! I do have a favorite mug!

November 29, 2015

Why Did I Say That?

Have you ever volunteered to do something that you had absolutely no intention of doing, and in fact had already told yourself you would not do? So why on earth did I open my mouth and actually volunteer to do it? Even while my lips were saying I would do it, half my brain (the smart half) was saying "No, no, no, I want no part of that!" But I guess the other half of my brain (the masochistic, stupid half) won, and here I am putting together quilt blocks that aren't square, aren't the same size, and some aren't even stitched together in places.

Well, I guess I do know why the masochistic, stupid half of my brain said yes. Making this quilt-as-you-go quilt was my idea. And it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The other ladies in our group became frustrated and wanted us to start meeting twice monthly to get it done. I didn't want to meet twice a month and thought I could get it done faster by myself, and that's when my mouth opened and those words tumbled out. So now I'm stuck with it.

I worked on it all day Friday and finally decided that some of the blocks were squared up so badly that the points wouldn't line up and wouldn't look okay even from the back of a speeding motorcycle, much less a galloping horse. So I made four more blocks and called it a day.

I'm not looking forward to putting the rows together either. And when I have finished this quilt, I will NEVER, EVER volunteer for anything else again!

******* In other news, Thanksgiving Day was pretty low key around here. Neither of the girls could come here and we had just been to see them, so we stayed home and so did they. We were going to go to a state park in the Texas panhandle and drive over to mom's house on Thanksgiving Day, but then a nasty three-letter word started appearing in the forecast: ice. The closer it got, the worse the forecast looked, so we cancelled. I cooked a small turkey and made a couple of pies and called it good. I actually enjoyed Thanksgiving without cooking and cleaning up all day.

It started raining Thursday evening, and that's when we had the first clue that something was amiss. If you have, or have ever had, a septic system, you know that bad things happen on holidays, birthdays, weekends, and rainy days. The only thing missing for us this weekend was a birthday.

Thursday evening, I turned on the dishwasher as Hubby went in for a shower. Afterward, when I was getting ready for a shower, I noticed that the toilet sounded funny when it flushed. So after my shower, I flushed it again just to see what would happen. What happened is that the water in the bowl got higher and higher, and just as I was about to grab the cut-off knob, it started going down. Whew! So I left a note for Hubby not to flush because the pump wasn't working. But in the middle of the night, I heard a flush. He forgot.

It rained all night, and when I woke up Friday morning, it was still raining. Hubby had already gotten up and when I searched for him, I finally saw him out in the yard digging up the septic tank. Now this isn't your normal septic tank with a little round lid on the cover. No, this is the one that the previous owner's broke by driving over it and now it had a solid concrete cover on it with no opening. To get to the pump inside, the whole cover has to be removed, usually with a winch on the back of the pickup. But after four inches of rain, there is no way the pickup is driving through the yard without getting stuck or causing more damage.

So there he was, kneeling in the mud in a pouring rain digging out the cover with a shovel so coated with mud that it looked more like a bowling ball on a stick than a shovel. Then he had to rig a block and tackle to get off the lid. He said it was so redneck that it even embarrassed him. But it was enough to see if it was the pump or the float and get it working enough to get us by until the rain stops on Sunday afternoon. At least we'll get by as long as we don't flush more than a two or three times a day.

Did you know that if you don't think about going to the bathroom, you don't need to go, but the minute you start thinking about it, you really need to go? And if you think about trying not to think about it, you end up thinking about it more and that makes it worse. So today we went on a day trip to Jacksboro to check out Fort Richardson State Park. There were quite a few people there, or at least there were quite a few RV's there. The people must have been holed up inside because of the rain. Fun times there.

Like it's so much more fun to dig up a septic tank in the rain.

November 19, 2015

Weekend Camping With A Little Quilt Retreat Thrown In

Last weekend, we took a long weekend camping trip with friends. They were long-time campers and share similar interests so we thought it would be fun to spend the weekend camping with our hobbies. We went to Lake Whitney State Park, and since we got there before the weekend crowd, we got some great spots. We had a nice, wide, concrete parking pad that was fairly level. There was a nice picnic table, also on a nice concrete pad and under cover too. On one side of us was a big wooded area and our friends were about twenty feet away on the other side. And on their other side was another wooded area. Not all the pads there were concrete or this far apart so we felt really lucky.

When we arrived Thursday afternoon, there were lots of deer in the trees beyond our campsite. And later, a big flock of turkeys came by. I didn't have my camera handy, of course, but thought I'd be able to take some good close-up photos later in the evening or the next morning. But once other campers started arriving, the deer and turkey disappeared.

After setting up the trailer, our friends came over to help us put up a ham radio antenna. Hubby met this couple at a ham radio club meeting. Mr.W. just got his license and Mrs.W. was just about to take her test. So when they talked radio, I was fairly clueless. Turns out Mrs.W. is a member of my quilt guild, but she said she hasn't been going in awhile.

The guys were pretty excited that the antenna worked. This was the first time it had been set up, and they talked to quite a few countries on a fairly short antenna.  It is a dipole and the actual antenna part are wires extending from the pole to tree limbs in front and back of the trailer.  Since Mrs.W. couldn't talk on the radio (no license yet), she set up her sewing machine on her picnic table, and I joined her the first day. On Friday, Hubby set up our screened room. Since it was a little misty, I put my sewing machine on a little table in there. We thought we were going to have to put the side flaps down and turn on the heater, but then the sun came out and it was pretty nice.

We showed them our little trailer and they showed us theirs. Hubby looked at their trailer and all the big trailers around us and said he was getting an inferiority complex. Their trailer is really nice with a big slide out, big dinette, sofa, and a couple of chairs. What I liked best were all the windows, especially the bay at the back. Most campsites have other trailers parked fairly close together, so windows on the sides usually have a view of another trailer. They had a view of the woods from their chairs. Nice!

Later that morning, Mrs.W. and I drove to Waco to visit Magnolia Market, the new store of Joanna Gaines (of HGTV's show Fixer Upper).

It was a nice store, but I didn't see anything worth standing in line. Mrs.W. had driven by the store a week or two before and she said the lines on that Saturday were out the door, and that was just to get in. We didn't have to wait to get into the store, but it was fairly crowded inside.

I don't have cable tv and have never seen their show, but I've heard it's good. The store is fairly new and I was hoping to find some information about it online but didn't find it. It looks like they bought a block that used to have something to do with grain. There are some grain silos on the property, and the store itself is in a building that was either a warehouse or feedstore. Since the silos were not removed, we wondered if they are going to remodel them for some commercial purpose too. Beyond the silos was a garden and pumpkin patch area. The sign said something about World Hunger Relief but I didn't get close enough to read it.

Across from the garden was a food truck food court. It looked good, but we wanted to wash our hands before we ate, so we went somewhere else.

Saturday morning was gray but Mrs.W. set up her sewing machine on her picnic table and I set up on mine. We both needed a little more room but we could still talk though we found that we were both making a lot of silly mistakes when we were sewing and chatting on Thursday. It got a little chilly and a light rain began, but with a view like this, I just couldn't leave.

The rain got heavier and the temperature dropped, so I did have to stop sewing and pack it up. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent reading (me), napping (Hubby), and watching movies (both of us). It rained all night but luckily stopped Sunday morning so we could load up and leave. We were surprised to see that we didn't get a drop of rain at our house while we were gone.

November 18, 2015

Never a Dull Moment in the Big City

I met a friend for lunch today in Arlington. As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, the tv showed a police standoff with an alleged bank robber just a few blocks from us. We weren't in any danger and couldn't see the standoff, but we did see the S.W.A.T. truck and police cars zoom by. Said in my best Gomer voice: "Well, Gollly!" We just don't see that out here in the sticks.

November 10, 2015

Dusting Off the Cobwebs to Post a Few Updates

I know it's been awhile since I posted. I've been trying to stay off the internet and get more done around the house. The internet is a siren, luring me to look at one more website, one more picture, one more post, until I have wasted hours doing nothing. Is it just me, or is it that way with you too?

I noticed that my phone's photo storage is almost full so thought I'd delete some pictures. Some were taken for the blog, so even though they're old, I thought I'd share them anyway.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Texas Country Reporter Festival in Waxahachie. Earlier in the week, we made plans to go, but Saturday began cold and rainy. The rain lasted most of the day, finally easing to a misty drizzle around 4 p.m. and Hubby decided he still wanted to go. I've never been to the festival before, and it probably wasn't the best weekend for a first time experience, but that's life. Hubby wanted to go because the band America was playing. If you are a child of the '70's you probably know some of their songs. Hubby was a big fan. I knew their name but that was about it. I always got them mixed up with The Eagles.

I checked the festival website and facebook before we left and saw that America was going on stage (open air) at 6 p.m. As we drove to Waxahachie, I asked Hubby what song of theirs I might know and he started singing A Horse With No Name and then I remembered them. When we got to town, I was hoping the rain kept enough people away that we could find a good parking place. Nope. We had to park a few blocks away and got near the stage a few minutes after 6 p.m. They had already started playing but I don't remember what song because I had to get a picture for my blog. Priorities, you know.

See those little heads above the umbrellas? That's them. I had to take several pictures before I got one that wasn't all umbrellas. Then I zoomed all the way and handed my phone to Hubby because he can hold it higher than I could standing on a chair, and he finally got this next blurry picture. (He also took a lot of pictures of umbrellas before he pointed the camera in the right direction - it's hard when you are holding the phone as high as you as you can reach and can't see the screen.)

Right after we finished taking pictures, the song ended, and the lead singer of that song thanked the audience for coming and standing in the rain, and then they left the stage. We thought they were taking a water break or something, but then the audience started clapping and calling for an encore and the band came out and sang one last song: A Horse With No Name. So at least Hubby got to hear them sing his favorite song.

On the way back to the car, I asked someone when the band started playing and she said they moved up to the 5 p.m. slot because of the rain.  That explains why we were at the back of the crowd.  It would have been nice if they had thought to update their website or facebook page with that info sometime during the day. Oh well. At least we didn't have to stand in the rain a long time.

That's about as exciting as our lives have been lately.

October 30, 2015

Friday Funnies

I set the ice chest in the sun to dry.

Can't get him to get inside a cat carrier and it's time for a vaccination. Think I should just take him in the ice chest?

Linked to Feline Friday hosted by the Burnt Food Dude.

October 29, 2015

Another Blog Change Coming

I'm going to change my url. I think. I found Google instructions that tell how to do it. I didn't change the url when I changed my blog name because I thought it might break all the links to my blog. The instructions I found don't mention that. So on Monday, if you can't find my blog, that's the reason. And if that happens, I'll see if I can change it back.

October 14, 2015

The Fall Garden

I love this time of year; the cool mornings and evenings show a glimpse of the winter that is to come, and warm afternoons give us a last look at summer. Soon we will be winterinzing our ponds just in time for the flurry of activity that is part of our holiday season.

Our adventure in water gardens began almost by accident. When we moved here, our eight year old daughter found a frog on the pation and just had to have a lily pad for it to sit on. I didn't have any idea where to get a plant with lily pads and just happened to drive by a nursery by our house and stopped to ask. I left there with not only a water lily, but a little preformed, peanut-shaped plastic pond. Instead of doing work on the house needed for us to move in, I was out in the yard digging a hole to put this little pond in.

After we got the pond installed and level, with lily in place, we found out that the frog was really a toad, and that it had no interest at all in sitting on a lily pad. But by that time we were hooked, and had to add to our little water feature. We bought goldfish, a water dog, more plants, and a little fountain. By winter, we were visiting the pond every day to see how the little inhabitants were doing. That winter we had a hard freeze and the little pond had a thick layer of ice over it. I was sure the fish wouldn't survive, but we could see them moving even under the ice.

When spring came, we were ready to start digging a bigger pond with a rubber liner. We still didn't know anyone with a pond, we didn't have internet access, and our library didn't have much in the way of pond books, so we blundered forward and put this pond under a fruitless mulberry tree. By then we had several favorite fancy goldfish, several lilies, and assorted marginals. Then, a neighbor thoughtfully brought some crawdads and put them in our pond while we were out. I noticed that the fan tails of the goldfish were looking a little ragged, and the culprits were discovered. We had to drain the pond to get all the crawdads out.

By summer, our daughter, who was then nine, wanted some frogs. Even though our street lies between two creeks, none of the neighboring frogs had ventured over. Hubby knew someone with a stock pond, so one night, armed with nets and bug repellent, we went frog hunting. We came home with several leopard frogs, a tree frog, and at least one bullfrog, and most of them decided to call our pond home.

A couple of years of cleaning leaves out of brown-stained water, and we decided to move the pond out from under the tree. By now we were on the internet and had a few books on pond-building, so this pond looked a lot better. We reused the liner, so it was the same size and shape as the previous pond, but the edges were finished better and we added shelves for the marginals. We also added a bigger submerged pump with a filter. After we finished this one, severla of our neighbors put in ponds and we shared plants and fish. Soon we added our first koi and our complete. Or so we thought. Next pond.

October 13, 2015

Back from Our First Big Trip in the Camper

The last couple of weeks have been really busy as we worked like crazy people to get ready for a ten day trip to Missouri. Four days before we left, we had new tires put on the pickup. The new water pump arrived that afternoon and Hubby cracked it when he put it on. So I ordered another one (cha ching). Luckily, we just signed up for Amazon Prime so didn't have to pay extra for the two day delivery. Three days before we left, Hubby picked up the new axle and put it on. The next evening the water pump arrived and he put it on the day before we left. Talk about bringing it down to the wire!

Meanwhile, I was prepping and freezing meals so we didn't have to spend a lot of time cooking and washing dishes. I also did laundry, loaded the camper, and generally got us ready to leave when Hubby got home from work Thursday. As we started to pull out of the driveway, I was thinking about all the things that had gone wrong with this pickup and hoping we had everything fixed. Then I remembered we hadn't prayed for this trailer and asked Hubby to stop so we could pray for the trailer, our trip, and all the people we would meet along the way. That may have been the most important thing we did on the entire trip.

We were hoping to make it to Lake Eufaula before dark on Thursday, but driving through Dallas rush hour (which is well underway by 4:00) slowed us down. But as we neared the Oklahoma state line, the sun was going down and we decided to stay at Eisenhower State Park. I'd tell you about the park, but we didn't really get a good look at it. I will tell you that the signs on Hwy 75 took us on an unnecessary route through winding residential roads instead of directly from the highway. So we arrived at the check in at dusk and didn't even bother to unhitch when we set up. Just enough to be able to get through the night. What we didn't realize at the time is that this park, and maybe all Texas State Parks, allow campers to come in after hours and use the honor system to check in. All the state parks in Missouri required 24 hour preregistration.

It took us a lot longer to get to Branson than we anticipated, and even longer to find the campground where we had reservations. Once again, we came in at dusk and it was full dark when we found the campground. The office was closed and as I searched for the phone number, Hubby drove past the office and down a gravel road which went around a curve and up a steep hill. And the pickup couldn't pull the camper up the hill. By then I had the park owner on the phone and he said he was on his way. Then, our friend who lives there arrived, and Hubby backed up and made a run at the hill and got up it this time, circled back around and pulled into our spot. By this time, Hubby and I were both a bit frazzled from driving all day, especially with the hills and winding roads in Missouri, and our friends wanted us to come over to their house. They had dinner waiting. So after a quick hookup, we left.

The next morning, Hubby set up the screened room, even though the site wasn't level enough, and we met our friends for a day at Silver Dollar City. It is Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City, where a lot of artists set up booth to sell their work and many of them demonstrate their skills too. Technically, it's Harvest and Cowboy Festival. Most of the art was cowboy or western. Buck Taylor, Newly O'Brien on Gunsmoke, was there with his artwork. And this is where I have to admit that I'm a bad, bad, blogger. I was three feet from him and it didn't even occur to me to take a photo. There was also country music bands, cowboy poets, square dancing and swing dancing. We caught a couple of country music shows, looked at all the booths, bought food, and walked a lot. All uphill. It was a cool 61 degrees that day and after we left the park, we had to go by Walmart to pick up a few items, one being a jacket for me, and a blanket for Hubby. We only brought windbreakers with us and one quilt for the bed and we were cold! That evening we went to Danna's BBQ, our favorite, and then went back to our friends' condo for a game of 42, men versus women. They won.

The next day we went to church with our friends and did some shopping. That afternoon we had tickets to see Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. Of course. Do we ever go to Branson without seeing them? See what great tickets we had? Fifth row!

Again, I didn't take a decent camera and my cell phone camera refused to take a decent picture of her on stage. So I cheated and took a picture of the big screen beside the stage. I think the spotlight was directly on her and whiting out the image on the camera. I noticed the man in front of me having the same problem. So his pictures of Rhonda Vincent show a white image where she was standing - he never thought to take a picture of the screen.

 Shooting at the stage:

Shooting at the screen:

These are all the pictures I took on our trip. I didn't take any with the good camera. I took it, I just didn't use it. Space is so limited in the camper that I found the perfect safe place for it - so safe that I couldn't get to it without pulling drawers out of a cabinet. So it stayed there the entire trip. I'll find a better spot for it next time.

That evening we went back to their condo and we taught them to play double pinochle. They caught on quickly and said they liked the game, so FINALLY, we have someone to play with! This time we played opposite each other's spouse and Gary and I were on the verge of winning when Maryann drew the hand of a lifetime and then pulled a card from the pot that made it even better. Beginners have all the luck! We told her she would probably never see a hand like that so Gary took pictures of it! lol

The next morning, we broke camp and headed for Saint Louis, specifically a city park campground in St. Peters. Once again, we arrived just past dusk. This park was new and nice but needs a few years for the "trees" to grow. They're more like Charlie Brown's Christmas trees right now. But the campground is on water (they call it a lake, but it's really a big pond) and we rented kayaks one day and paddled around until our shoulders were stiff.

Our daughter took a couple of days off and our son-in-law took a day off too. We ate out, visited with them, played with our granddog, and saw the movie, The Martian, in 3D. Good movie, but a bit long. After a couple of days with them, we took off again to visit our other daughter in Tulsa. We finally managed to arrive while it was still daylight even though we haven't got the hang of getting out of the campground before 10 am. This time we stayed at a park that was right beside the interstate. I was a little worried about the noise, but there was a berm separating the park from the highway noise so it was really just white noise, especially with the fan running in the camper. The only real noise came from permanent residents at the park leaving for work in the early morning hours.

We had less time in Tulsa, but still managed to see some sights, eat out, check out Brownie's radiator (it's cracked), and see the movie, The War Room. Great movie, I highly recommend it. Take kleenex when you see it. I didn't, and now I have to wash my jacket.

Even though I had most meals prepared ahead of time, breakfast was taking up a lot of time every morning. Saturday morning in Tulsa, we decided to make pancakes. And bacon. Since there is no counter space in this camper, I set the plastic lid of the bacon container at the back of the oven while I baked the bacon. When I picked it up later, there was a big hole melted in it from the vent at the back. I was bummed. I loved that Tupperware container. But live and learn. It's been awhile since I've cooked with gas. The meal was good, but it took awhile to cook and even longer to clean up. I've got to come up with a more efficient way of washing dishes. Sunday morning we just ate cereal, wrapped our dirty dishes in towels, and packed them in the sink for the trip home. It was 9 a.m. before we pulled out and we had battened down the cabinets the night before. Still, it was the earliest we had gotten out of the camper the entire trip, so it was an improvement.

What is normally a five hour trip (in a car, at least) took us almost seven hours. We were driving into the wind and tractor-trailers passing us felt like they were pushing us off the road. It wasn't a bad trip until we got to the outskirts of Dallas, somewhere around McKinney. That's where the road construction started, with concrete barriers inches outside the lane, and sharp curves where traffic was diverted to one side of the divided highway while the other was being worked on. There, the lanes were narrowed to make room for four lanes AND the concrete barriers. It was bumper to bumper traffic and white knuckle time; I was so glad I wasn't the one driving. I noticed that there were no other vehicles pulling trailers as far as I could see, not even tractor-trailers. Somehow, they all must have known about the construction and taken a different route. I was watching the space between the camper and the barrier and warning Hubby when the wheels of the camper came too close to the barrier. He didn't appreciate that, so then I just shut up and prayed.

Finally, after 30 or 40 miles, the construction ended, the lanes widened, and we could relax a bit. Then we merged onto I20, familiar territory, and breathed a sigh of relief that the hard part was over. The highway speed limit was 70 but we were in the outside lane getting ready to merge onto I35 and our lane was going about 50 miles per hour. Suddenly someone darted into our lane about 3 cars ahead of us, still going 70 and then slammed on the brakes when they realized our lane was going slower. Everyone behind them had to hit the brakes too and the sound of squealing brakes drowned out the radio. Despite having a good distance between us and the pickup in front of us, we knew we weren't going to be able to stop in time. I say there was a good distance, but anyone driving in bumper to bumper traffic knows there is never two car lengths between cars, much less the extra long space we needed to stop a trailer. I could feel the thumping pull of the trailer brakes and watched in fear as we closed in on the pickup in front of us. When we finally stopped, there were three to six inches between our bumper and the bumper of that pickup. Then I looked in the side mirror and the trailer was still straight behind us, not even a fish-tail. Thank God for electric brakes and His hand on us! With all the cars involved in that, both in front and behind us, there wasn't one fender bender.

When we got home (before dark this time), I was almost afraid to open the camper door. I was afraid I'd find food and appliances in a broken mess on the floor. But when I opened the door, everything was in place. And everything was in place in every cabinet also. Nothing on the trailer broke during the trip, and the only casualties of the trip was an outside light cover and a broken lid on the water filter. All in all, a good trip.

September 14, 2015

This Can't Be Good

This is what I saw when I walked out the door this weekend.

Thus far, in order to make the camper usable, we have made these repairs:

  • Replaced skanky mattress
  • Replaced a wheel and tire - because the previous owners didn't tighten down the lug nuts and the wheel rolled off while they were driving.
  • Replaced the tv and radio antennas - because the previous owner knocked them off
  • Patched and caulked the wall seam above the tires - because the previous owner had a blowout and damaged the fiberglass, which made the seam leak - something the previous owners had to have known
  • Replaced the fender over this same seam - broken in the blowout
  • Installed an equilizer/stabilizer hitch
  • Replaced broken hatch door clips
  • Replaced broken water intake ports
  • Replaced non-functioning pump check-valve which made water leak under sink - also something the previous owners had to have known
  • Replaced the string in the accordion shades over one window.
And now this. The axle is bent. Either the previous owners ran over something that bent it, or maybe the blowout caused it. In either case, they had to have know about it when they bought the new wheel to replace the one they lost.

We're planning a trip in October and are feeling a bit rushed to get this done now.

On the bright side.... nope, can't think of a bright side right now. But from here on out, I hope everything we do to the trailer is just optional stuff we want to do to make it better for us.


September 11, 2015

Friday Funnies - The Sacrifices Husbands Make

Hubby is an avid hunter. He seems to think it is a vacation to spend a week building stands, filling feeders, walking miles through tick-infested brush, and carrying heavy loads up and down hills. Obviously, we have not been on enough vacations.

September 02, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Wildflowers

These were blooming along the roadside at Cleburne State Park last weekend.

Linking to Wordless Wednesday at Image-in-ing.

August 20, 2015

Newsflash! It's Raining!

This is our first rain since June. If I wasn't dressed to go pick up Lil at the airport, I'd be out dancing in it.

Now if you listen to the Dallas tv stations, they say our last rain was July 8, but they only report weather from one official location at DFW airport which is almost fifty miles from us.

Speaking of rain, Lil likes to call and tell me when it is raining at her house in St. Louis. Last time we talked, she said she has only had to water her garden a couple of times this summer because it rains almost every week. That's when I hang up on her.


August 18, 2015

Caring For Your New Pet Armadillo

Congratulations on the arrival of your new pet armadillo. Here is a guide to help you give your amadillo a long and happy life.

A Safe and Comfortable Sleeping Space
Your amadillo will sleep all day and well into the evening, awakening in the night to eat and frolic in your yard. They value their solitude and prefer to be alone in the yard. This makes them a highly sought after pet by paranoid agoraphobic insomniacs who are up all night peering anxiously out their windows.

August 16, 2015

There Are Surprises, and Then There Are Surprises

We are still learning about this little Fun Finder trailer. A happy surprise is that Hubby found a Dometic Patty O'Room in the outside storage compartment. Never used! That is both good and bad.

Good because it had no damage at all, and bad because it had to be customized to fit the camper. Hubby spent most of last Saturday doing that in 100+ temperatures. The awning that came with the camper is in pretty good shape we decided. It just has one spot where it has worn through and Hubby picked up a roll of awning tape at Camping World to fix that.

So that is the good surprise.

Another surprise, not so good, is that the refrigerator vent on the roof is broken. Apparently, the previous owners liked to drive under trees. Hubby didn't think it could be repaired but he got out the glue and managed to get it back together, at least temporarily. The refrigerator doesn't seem to keep a consistent temperature, fluctuating from 32 to 47 during the day, and I've read that a fan can help with that. Some people use a fan inside the fridge that run constantly and some hardwire fans outside the unit that only run at certain temperatures. We discussed those options and then while Hubby was looking for a replacement roof vent, he found a Camco RV refrigerator vent system with solar panel and fan and that looks like a solution to both problems.

Then we had another surprise, a bad surprise.

Remember the picture of the bedroom end of the camper?

When we looked at the camper, I did think it was a little odd to have black sheets in a camper, just because they show every bit of dust, lint, and grass, and there is a lot of dust and grass in a camper. But each to his own, I thought. When we were doing our inspection, we pulled back the sheet to check the condition and look for signs of bedbugs, and it looked clean and even pretty new. What we didn't do, and what we should have done was pull the sheet completely off the mattress. But it is a little hard to reach the upper end of the bed because of the exterior storage compartment. The husband was in the camper with us when we pulled back the sheet and I'm sure he was inwardly cringing and then relieved when we didn't pull it back all the way. I bet they had a good laugh after we left with the trailer too.

Because just past the clean section we looked at, there was a huge blood stain. Hazmat huge. Ax-murdering Criminal Minds plot-line huge. The kind of stain that only a black sheet would cover.

While signing the paperwork, the wife told me they had only taken two trips in the trailer since they inherited it from his father.  She didn't mention that they had been kidnapped and held for ransom in the trailer, her husband shot while protecting their family, and she valiantly working to keep him alive in the bed until the ransom was paid.  Or that they were boondocking miles away from civilization and she stepped in a bear trap and lay bleeding and writhing on the bed while he drove the rutted roads at breakneck speeds to get her to the hospital.  Or that a cat, no, make that ten cats, gave birth on the bed, all at the same time.   Or even a more logical explanation.  None of that was mentioned.

Hubby managed to get the mattress out of the camper without having to remove the bench seat by the door, and then we started looking for a new mattress even though that was not in the budget. Thanks to a tip from my friend Missy who was a full time RVer for years, we got a 10 inch Night Therapy Elite Gel Infused Memory Foam Prestige Queen Mattress at Sam's Club for less than $400. Cheaper than anywhere around even with the membership fee, and it had great reviews. We slept on it last night and it is comfortable. We also bought a Serta Gel Memory Foam pillow at Sam's but neither of us like it. It's heavy and not very soft, kind of like sleeping on a bag of sand. So that was a waste of $25. But I hope it will be good for sitting against while reading in bed.

Here is the bedroom end of the camper with the new mattress and the overhead bunk (it looks like a cabinet over the bed) removed.  That bunk was just low enough to cause claustrophobia and a gash in the head when getting out of bed in the middle of the night.  We are outfitting this camper for two people.  If we ever have overnight guests, they can sleep on the dinette which makes into a bed.  Although we have talked about removing that too and putting in a couple of small, comfortable chairs.

The day after we discovered the mattress, the previous owner wife called. The reason they gave for selling the camper was because they were buying a house. In fact, they were living with her parents until they closed on the house. So she called and said the loan company didn't like seeing that much cash going into their bank account and would we give them a cashier's check instead? She drove down with the cash and met me at our bank, and I'm sure she was wondering if we had uncovered the mattress yet. When I told her we had taken out the fold down bunk over the bed, she blushed and then didn't look at me again. Awkward!

With our rural trash service, we are allowed two bulk item pickups a year. So I called and scheduled a pickup, and we made sure the mattress was stain down when we put it out with the trash. But I was watching when it was picked up and they gathered around to look at the stain before putting it in the truck. So I'm sure they think WE are the ax murders now. Awkward again!

Outfitting a camper from scratch is a lot like setting up house for the first time. I never thought I'd get tired of shopping, but I've found I've really gotten tired of spending money. I've also gotten tired of returning things that didn't work out in the camper, or just didn't work - as in broken or missing parts. Other than food and clothes, and the ocassional household item, I haven't bought a lot of things in the last few years. I've more than made up for that this week, and at least a third of the things are defective or missing parts.

Hubby ordered a Weight Distribution Hitch on the same day I ordered a Sunpentown 2.1 cubic foot freezer, both from Amazon. Hubby's hitch came in four days, albeit with a missing part. My freezer has yet to be shipped. The delivery date ranges from August 14 through August 19. I called Amazon customer service to see if there was a reason it hasn't been shipped yet and the guy in India just repeated what it says on my Amazon tracking, that the order is being processed and will arrive on time. I am not holding my breath. Meanwhile, Hubby contacted the seller of his hitch and told them the package was damaged and a piece missing, and they immediately sent back an email saying they were sending another and a pickup label for this one. Now that is customer service.

I'm sure there will be more surprises, some good and some bad, but maybe these are the extremes and everything else will fall into the category of usual maintenance. We hope.