Monday, November 30, 2009

Packing up to Leave Enos

Monday, November 30, where did the month of November go? The sun is breaking through clouds on the eastern horizon when I get up. I spend an hour reading our DVD manual and learn a few things. I'm so happy to be able to listen to my music. Mike will never know how much I appreciate his help to get me on the right track (ha! ha!) It clears off to be a cool, sunny day. The low was 38 last night. We watch the forecast first thing and hear lows in the high 20's Wed. and Thurs. night on TV. But I go on-line to check out Lampasas forecast for south of here and they are predicting mid-30's.

So we decide to stick with the plan and go south tomorrow to Mustang Ranch RV Park. We saw it on the way north on 377 at Pilot Point. It's a brand new park and they have an RV dealership attached. Maybe we can get our furnace worked on. Bob tried to run it yesterday and the gas is not lighting now. Back to the drawing board.

Anyway, after leftover breakfast tacos I stretched and did my strengthening routine during which I found a burr the hard way! Then I tried to call Mustang Ranch but got their fax machine noise the first two times. Finally after I took a shower I reached them. She said they have a big site free for five days. So we'll head there tomorrow if the rain doesn't start too early in the morning. It's only about an hour south of here. They have a laundry room on site too.

I work on journal pages for a while. And I take down all of the decor items and pack them away. We have leftover pulled pork (thanks again Linda) for lunch. Then Bob goes out and does his pre-move stuff. While he's out in the burrs he hands the bikes in to me and we button them down for the move.

I spend another hour working on journal pages and get caught up through today. Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow and we can move south. It's 4:47 p.m. and 64 degrees. The high was 74 according to our fake-weatherboy but he was in the sun so I'm guessing more like 65. The humidity is 22%.

Mike, Reet and Bob vs. Surround Sound

Coozie from Linda's birthday party that never happened last year
Sunday, November 29, I slept in until 9:00 after a 4:15 a.m. wake-up for 45 minutes. This morning I lounged and sipped my coffee. Seems quiet after the hubbub of the holiday weekend. We had leftover breakfast tacos. It is almost 60 degrees this morning but by noon the temperature drops to 50 degrees and the rain starts up! It is very nasty. After breakfast I stretch and do my weights.

I spend some time hunting up CDs that Mike might want if he comes by later. Then I download my pictures from the camera. I have a nice one of our group on Thanksgiving that I post on Facebook. On Megan's picture Bob was the only one that didn't take a good shot. On mine, Megan is not smiling. If I was better at Photoshop maybe we could get one good picture out of it; or one really bad picture depending on your point of view.

Bob and I have Linda's chili with oyster crackers for lunch. Very good and it's a good day for chili. I spend a few hours backing up my pictures and documents to our external hard drive. It seems like I'm always behind on that. Mike calls after 3:00 and comes over around 4:00. He says he can't go outside in this weather so he may as well come over and work on my music. I'm excited.

First we copy WaWa 2005 through 2009, Little Feat, and Asleep at the Wheel to my hard drive. That was great of him to share. I'm excited about moving to and I-Pod and coming into the 21st century. We can't seem to get my Ian Tyson song titles to go to Mike's backup drive so he takes some of my CDs with him (Jerry Jeff, Ian Tyson, Robert Earl Keen and Dr. Hook) and will return them next weekend.

Bob and Mike have a go at the speakers/surround sound system. They make enough progress so that Bob and I can adjust the speakers and have music at last. Voila! Thanks so much Mike. A day without music is a day wasted.

Mike packs up his stuff and leaves just before 7:00. It sure was nice of him to spend so much time with us to get us set up. Especially since this whole DVD, CD, electronics thing is so frustrating for both of us. I appreciate his patience with us.

Bob and I have some more leftover soup. I call Mom and Dad. They were at my brother Dane and his wife Lori's on Thursday. Dad reports that their remodeling project on their home in Chesterfield, MO, is very impressive. They took out a wall in the kitchen and remodeled the whole thing. The bar is a pantry and they have hardwood floors from dining room to kitchen to family room. Sounds like it really opened things up. They christened the new kitchen with a turkey dinner.

On Saturday they went to my brother Jeff and his wife Diedre's in St. Charles, MO. Mom said they had Chicken Cacciatore that was really good. They both said it was nice to see all the kids and grandkids (even Nathaniel and Maria and Travis and Callie came.)

I spent another few hours until 10:00 p.m. working on journal pages and pictures from Thursday thru Friday. I got behind during the holiday weekend on my Blogspot page but I'm determined to stay caught up in the present time frame. My backlog is now complete through mid-Feb.2009 so keep checking back on my Earthlink site On the Road

It's 10:06 p.m. and 67 degrees in the bedroom and I have no clue about what it is outside since the thermometer is in the living room. But it is fairly chilly.

Brunch on the Titanic & Soup Night at the Lake

Lake Texoma heading down road from Mike's driveway
Saturday, November 28, I woke up at 7:40 on a board, about an hour later than I wanted to get up. So I really got in gear and garnished the Jell-O Salad, put my breakfast taco fixin's in serving dishes, made tea, hunted up a pitcher for Bloody Marys (Alas, not to be!)

I stretched, showered and multi-tasked while Bob started the breakfast tacos. I haul out the tray tables and unhook the other two dining chairs from their towing position. Around 11:15 the gang arrives here at Burr Central. We tour the Titanic. Linda notes that we have an 'upstairs' now. Mike opens his Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame t-shirt. Later today he says he will wear it for Sunday best only. Linda finds two postcards in the Chihuly International group that she will be near in Ireland this spring.

Breakfast tacos are served after Virgin Bloody Marys (Mike has the marshmallows that fell all over the garage in his bag but he doesn't have the Vodka.) Megan is probably amused as all of her Bloody Marys are Virgins right now. Crispy Thingies and breakfast tacos are a hit. We got four seated at the table and two in the Euro chairs. It's our first party on the Titanic and I didn't even take a single picture. I was a crazed hostess.

Birdhouse at neighbor's along Lake Texoma

Mike and Bob work on the surround sound and make some progress. He says he'll return when he can hear what he's doing. Travis calls to get names and spelling for 'save-the-date' notices. They are in St. Louis for the weekend; going to the Rams game tomorrow. I show Linda and Megan some Chihuly pictures I took in Columbus earlier this year and Ruidoso two years ago.

They all hit the road-and the burrs on the way out. Casey uses our brush to clear off his flip-flops. Bob and I put the Titanic back in order and try to finish the NY Times crossword from Friday. Around 3:00 we head to the Lakehouse after I make my Minestrone Chili. I also pack up the last cheeseball, braunswieger ball, Cherry Jell-O and Ritz PB cookies.

No one is outside when we arrive but we quickly realize they are watching the OU game. It is just over when we get inside-OU wins big. Linda has Smoked Turkey Noodle Soup, Potato Soup and Chili going. Sure smells great in here. Linda, Megan and I take a walk. We take Mary's 'go boxes' down to her. She doesn't answer the door at first and Linda starts to leave it in the BBQ grill to give her a call and let her know it's there. But then she comes to the door and says she didn't hear us at first. It is nice to see her again.

There's an app for that Casey!

We continue our walk down by the lake where a neighbor is piling leaves by one of the remaining trees on the beach. I snap a few photos of Lake Texoma on this gorgeous day. We walk to Scottie's to find Bennett but Phyllis and Reid say he's napping. A cat is on the lawnchair on their porch. It looks just like Killer. Reid says it jumped in the camper when they got here and it won't leave so they are adopting it and taking it home with them.

Megan and Gracie pose in front of the lake house

We meet Debbie driving in as we pass Renee's place. Nice to see her; she's lost weight and looks great. Megan returns home with Gracie while Linda and I walk to the first big metal garage at the entrance to Sandy Beach. Keith is relaxing after just returning from overseas. I told him we saw his big screen TV out here when we went home late last night. We meet Sandy with 10-month old Cooper. And it's nice to see Pat again.

Back home we join Megan, Casey and Mike around the fire that Casey is building. We listen to tunes and Casey finds Jerry Jeff Walker (Scamp) "Life on the Road" as I try to recall it for Mike after he plays Jerry Jeff doing Sloop John B. We have a big discussion on I-Pods and Mike takes us out to his garage to see how he hooks it up. We hunt for a jack in Big Bertha's dashboard but don't find one. Mike suggests a wireless adapter. We'll look into it and maybe we can jettison our heavy CD collection and come into the 21st century.

Guest begin to arrive for soup night around 7:00. It's great to see Bennett and Reid as we chat out by the fire. We get into a discussion of burrs at Tres Pinoles and how to keep them out of bicycle tires. Soup is on. Phyllis brought a great chicken gumbo with rice. Renee called earlier to say her and Frankie aren't' coming. It seems they have a crowd down there.

I eat myself into oblivion. Then sit at the table and chat with Megan, Phyllis and Debbie. She is living in a rented house in Rodgers/Bentonville, Ark. She has travelled to Puerto Rico on business several times. She lost weight on a supplement plan and sure looks great.

We clean it all up. Linda and I chat over coffee. Bob, Megan, Casey and Mike watch football. Bob and I say farewell around 10:30. Nice to share another fun Thanksgiving here with all of them. I sure am exhausted.

I only have a few burrs as we make our way inside at home. We stash the food. Nice of Linda to share her soups. It's 10:31 p.m. and 60 degrees. The high was around 75. It was windy, warm and sunny.

Lake Texoma heading down road from Mike's driveway

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Campfire at Lake Texoma

Linda, Casey and Megan survey the dinner spread
Friday, November 27, I get up at 7:30, wander into the living room where Gracie and I startle each other. She's on the corner of the couch but lets me share it with her while I sip coffee and browse ads. Megan gets up and has Raisin Bran Crunch before heading to water aerobics at 9:00. Bob gets up right before she leaves and we talk about how weird it is to sit in the dining room and not be able to see the TV or lunge chairs. Their house seems so big compared to our RV!

Megan leaves and we have showers. Casey gets up and has coffee with me. We watch a Yellowstone program on some nature channel so I tell my grizzly story. Megan returns looking revived by her swim. We have ham on rolls with spicy honey mustard. Megan enjoys my cheeseball. And we polish off Linda's Apple Fluff.

Bob and I pack up and hit the road at 11:05. What a fun stay with Megan and Casey. It is warm and sunny outside. It gets up to 75 degrees today. There is not near as much traffic on the way home. We get gas on 380 at QT and a Dallas Morning News. The gas gauge is working! It must have been the car wash! We stop at Lincoln RV Park and drive through. It seems doable but it is mostly a mobile home park. We stop down the road on 377 at the Ace Hardware in Pilot Point looking for Bob's big "o"ring but nothing doing.

We get home by 1:20. I can't believe how good it feels to be back here. I missed our new home-on-wheels, even it it was only for one night. We bring in the luggage and burrs too! We unpack and take the golf clubs and the luggage back out to the truck and downunder storage respectively. I make a fruit salad for tonight and a Jell-O salad for tomorrow. I read part of the paper and about 4:45 we head to the lake house. Mike calls just as we pull out of Tres Pinoles.

They are all out by the fire in front when we pull up. We chat and listen to WaWa09. Casey is into "Big Afro" by Chris Knight. I'm into a John Hiatt that I've never heard. Linda serves heavenly pulled pork around 7:00. She adds her marinated carrots, Megan's leftover sides and turkey, my fruit salad and cheese ball. What a spread! Gevalia coffee and Megan's Magic Cookie Bars finish off the meal. A few lucky souls get Julie's Symphony Brownies. Another fun day. We sure are tired as we head home about 9:30.

Brunch is planned at our place tomorrow morning at 11:00. I asked Mike to bring Bloody Marys and he said deadpan "Did anybody lose their marshmallows?" Go figure! It's 10:35 p.m. and 57 degrees. The low was 44 and the humidity is 38%. Sorry, we have no Weather Boy clothing to report!

Thanksgiving in The Big "D" 2009

Megan's tasteful fall decor on the buffet
Thursday, November 26, Bob and I have breakfast, pack up, unhook the water and hit the road for Dallas by 10:00 a.m. It is our first night away from The Titanic. We go south on Hwy 377 to Hwy 380 east and quickly spot Lincoln RV Park, a possible destination for Megan's baby shower next Saturday. We'll check it out on the way home tomorrow.

It took us exactly two hours in traffic that was heavier than we anticipated. We drove right to Megan and Casey's with no problem except for the young kid's whose vehicle was stalled in the lane on Buckner around a curve. Those crazy kids were sitting on a retaining wall way too close to their vehicle.

Megan's neighbor, Linda, was just walking back to her house after taking her dog Skipper for a walk. Great to see her again. She goes inside to get cleaned up after the Turkey Trot this morning.

Mike and Linda are here; Linda is cleaned up already after the Turkey Trot walk this morning and Megan gets in the shower right after we arrive. Megan looks so cute and is really starting to show as her due date is mid-February.

Gram Rood's yellow afghan fits in nicely in the new guest room.

Their house looks so lovely. I get to see the new guest room where I snap this picture showing how nicely Gram Rood's afghan fits in with her yellow and black decor. The new nursery is under construction but the walls are painted and Megan shows me her 'transportation' theme fabric. Very cute! Of course Megan has everything very organized. I get a kick out of her 'notes' on each serving dish--'mashed potatoes' or 'green been casserole' or 'salad.' Way too organized! I managed not to cry this year when I saw my crystal on her table.

We have a more beautiful day and it is warmer than last year. Casey has a huge ham and turkey on the grill outside. My crock pot burner on 'old brown' won't get warm (later we determine that is was the outlet I was trying to use.) But I just improvise and put my pot on the stove to heat up my Crockpot Corn Casserole.

Megan shows off 'transportation' theme fabric in the new nursery

It is great to see everyone; and of course Diddy and Gracie are here too. Linda next door arrives with her great Spinach Artichoke Dip. I put out Aunt Dotty's Cheeseball and a Braunswieger Ball. Megan makes her heavenly Sweet Potato Casserole while Mike makes Bloody Marys. She also makes Garlic Mashed Potatoes, her tasty salad with pears, Parmesan and grapes, broccoli cheese stuffing, rolls, cranberry, gravy and a big hit-Raspberry Chipotle sauce. Linda's Apple Fluff Salad is delightful and lite! We all have big glasses of Linda' Spanish red wine (well, Megan has a little sip) And we only had one mishap on the tablecloth/placemats.

Bob and Linda supervise as Casey slices the ham

We had it all eaten and cleaned up by 4:30. Megan and Casey get a good Christmas card photo on the front porch before it gets too dark. Their neighbor Linda says farewell. Megan opens her fall wreath and Casey puts his OU 'Carsters' in his hybrid's cupholders. We all pile in Linda's car at 5:30 with Megan driving and head to Joe and Julie's house. Julie's folks, Valerie and Allen, are there from Plano. They all had an El Paso Thanksgiving dinner-tamales et al. They all drive to Lubbock (5 1/2 to 6 hours) tomorrow for turkey dinner with family there.

Casey, Megan, Linda, Mike, Bob and Reet at Megan and Casey's in The Big "D" Thanksgiving 2009

It is so fun to get to meet little Eloise-what a cutie! And Trudy, their beagle, lies me now. Mabel greets us all too. Trudy chomps a few pecans, leaving the shells on the living room floor and looking very proud of herself.

Linda, Casey and Megan

Eloise has apple sauce and entertains us all. well, the guys are being entertained by the UT vs. TX Tech football game in the living room. Julie give me a tour of their lovely old Dallas home. Then she serves a cornucopia of desserts; Symphony Brownies (layer's of Hershey Symphony Bars layered in brownie mix poured into muffin cups, sprinkled with powdered sugar), a very rich cheesecake with whipped cream and sliced almonds. Linda's pumpkin and pecan pies and 'pretzel/Rolo/pecan turtles. And m,y Ritz PB cookies--Joe loved those.

Julie, Eloise, Valerie and Allen

We all head home around 8:30, except Casey is still inside using the facilities as Megan warns Joe and Julie as they say goodbye and shut the door. It sure was nice to see them again. I can't wait for Megan's baby shower next week. Casey gets gas for Linda on the way home. The Turkey Trot and allergies did Linda in so she heads home to Fairview and Mike follows.

Megan warns me she is donning jammies. What a great idea so we get our luggage out of the car and I put on my 'fat' pants. We lounge on the couch. Megan actually finds enough energy to download her pictures and post them on Facebook. She has a great group shot except for Bob. (When I finally get around to mine on Sunday I find this good one of all of us.)

For one last hurrah, Megan looks at the Black Friday ads in the paper as Bob looks at the puzzles but we can't find a pencil and it's way too late for a pen. Megan hits the sack after a big day. We chat with Casey until around 11:00. He sets the coffee pot for 7:30 and we all turn in. What a fun holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cooking and Catfish Haven

Catfish Haven on 377 south of the bridge over Lake Texoma
Wednesday, November 25, I get up at 7:00. Our little heaters kept it warm in here in spite of a low of 38 degrees. The sun is out so I open all the blinds and it quickly gets up to 77 in here. Now I'm hot!

I pack up my crackers and breads for my appetizers and take my cheeses out to soften. Bob gets up early and makes breakfast tacos. After all we have to try some of those peppers that smelled so wonderful when he was cutting them up last night.

After breakfast I get busy cooking up a storm. It is so much easier to cook in my new kitchen. I had my mixer, my food processor, waxed paper rolled out everywhere and several dishes going on at once. I love it!

I wrapped up some packages and hunted up postcards and got it all ready to go. We walked down to Earl's around noon to pay him. Bob rousted him out of his RV. He was up late to pick up his son at work. So he's catching up on his rest. Says bronchitis has him down. I give him a check for $80.00 for a week (50 amp service; 30 amp would have been $75.00)Bob asks him for a board for a walkway to avoid the burrs. He gives us a quarter sheet of plywood and says he'll look around for something else and bring it down later.

We plop our plywood down by the front door and head to lunch at Catfish Haven south of the 377 bridge in Sandusky stopping at Sherwood's Market on the way for a Dallas Morning News and hot sauce. Catfish Haven is one of our favorite haunts in this area. We always split the grilled catfish dinner and a four-vege dinner. Nothing better than their Green Tomato Relish-we use that for two of our veges. It's got a little bit of a bite to it this year but it is still very tasty. We're too full even for Pineapple Coconut Pie--next time.

Back home to read a 'real' newspaper. First Bob gets the luggage out from 'down under' (while we're outside in the burrs with our shoes messed up.) Not so hard to get out now that his fly-tying cabinets have been downsized. After I work the puzzles in the paper I do some ironing and we both pack for tomorrow.

I check the DeLorme and print a map to Megan and Casey's. At 7:00 we watch the Biggest Loser recap show from the first 8 years. I have two journal pages to catch up for the last two days. I finish that at 10:00 and am ready to go to bed. It's 10:14 and 49 degrees. My thermometer shows a high of 78 for the day but I think the sun was shining on the sensor because 65 to 70 seems more like it.

Movin' On to Lake Texoma

One of Mike's Mexicali Peppers-just a little bit of spice to them.
Tuesday, November 24, I got up at 7:15 after sacking out early at 11:00 last night. The sun is out but a chilly cold front blew in from the north to give us a low of 47 degrees. I check email and work on a journal page from February of 2009. Slowly but surely I'm getting caught up.

We are in no hurry to pack up and move since checkout time is not until 5:30 p.m. here at Lake Murray State Park. We have a light breakfast at 8:30. After the dishes I walk one last time around my beautiful one-mile trek through Cedar Cove and Elephant Rock campgrounds. I come home to stretch and then we move the bikes inside, do a little packing, and take showers. I call Earl at Tres Pinoles RV Park in Enos. He has a site free for the next week either in the back section or up front.

Mike's still has a lot of banana peppers!

We have leftover tuna from Interurban for lunch and pack up the rest of the way to hit the road at 12:35. Bob measured the hitch height at 49 inches and I back in and get a clean lock the first time. We go east on Hwy 70 through Madill. A weird road closure barricade caused us to miss 70F so we continued on 70 to Kingston and then took the wild right-hand turn (not too bad) onto 32 west back to 70F south to Enos and Tres Pinoles (Three Pines RV Park, Enos, OK (580)-564-3399). Our total trip was 41 miles, as opposed to last year's 40 miles, so our slight detour did not turn out too bad. We got here in less than an hour.

As we drive in we head to the back past the Quonset hut and Earl comes out and recommends we take site #5 in the front. There are a few low-hanging limbs in the back and he wasn't sure our 12'1" height would make it. So this means Bob has to back a pretty long way back out of the narrow drive with me on the two-way radio and Earl yapping in his ear through the truck window. But he does fine and backs right into site #5.

Earl finds a small issue with the sewer line being caved in (the lawn guy he hired this summer broke more than he fixed according to Earl.) So poor Earl dug it out with his hands, encountering quite a few burrs (more on that later.) Bob got out a hose to run water through and it seems okay. Earl has to leave and says so long 'til later.

Mike and Bob ooh and aah over fly tying treasures!

We get set up amidst horrible burrs all over the grounds. They cover our shoes, pants legs, tires; everything we set on the ground as we unpack. But we manage somehow and both set up the outside stuff then clean our shoes and remove them to do the inside of the RV. We put our shoes back on after we get the inside set up and go out to hang the bikes. It is very windy here. Fortunately it wasn't too bad on the drive here. Bob runs the TV scan while I put out the decor. It always makes me happier and I feel more like it's home with my decor out. I don't put it our for just a day or even for a week's stay sometimes.

While the TV is still scanning we have a snack. Bob polishes off one last shot out of the bottle of Irish Creme. That thing has been taking up room in the fridge since July! I call my brother Mike and we head over to his Lake house. Diddy greets us in the front yard and Mike comes out of the garage. Great to see him. Diddy is so happy with her new wireless fence. She doesn't have to be on a leash at the Lake.

Bob gives Mike two boxes of fly-tying stuff; some of it was stuff Dad had given to Bob. Mike said it was Christmas in November. He celebrates by donning these animal fur earmuffs! We have a few brews and chat.

Mike cuts bunches of peppers from his garden for us. We can't believe how many he still has on the vine. Megan, my niece, calls during the harvesting so Mike turns over the cutting to Bob and talks to Megan. I get to talk to Megan too and it's a good thing because she didn't get my email. She just left the grocery store and we talk menu items. I can't wait to see her and Casey for Thanksgiving.

The peppers are bagged and I missed my photo op by the time I get off the phone. We vote for pizza and head to Enos. We follow Mike since he thinks there's a new place behind Main Street Cafe. But he goes inside Vonnie's Bar and comes out quickly. The smoke bowls him over and they said they have no food. So we go to our traditional place and get a pizza. Mike gets a salad too but it looks smaller than the ones we had last time. Our pizza has a nice thin crust. At 7:20 I see the waitress looking our way and ask if they are closed. She says "Yes, at 7:00." We pay and slink out.

Mike stops by to get a tour of the Titanic. M.T. if you're reading this I'm sorry we dragged you into Monats vs. Surround Sound. I should have treated you better as a first time guest! He hits the road a little after 8:00. Bob and I watch the rest of NCIS LA and The Good Wife. Well, Bob cut up all of the peppers during The Good Wife so once again I didn't get a photo before he had them all bagged in the freezer.

I get lucky and get a spot out of my jacket that Mike pointed out over in his garage. I have no idea how it got there. It looked bad but came out easily. It's 11:04 p.m. and 55 degrees. They are predicting a low in the mid-30's tonight.

Mike tries on the animal fur earmuffs

Monday, November 23, 2009

Errands and Casa Roma

Monday, November 23, it was a chilly 48 degrees when I got up at 7:30. A fog has set in and doesn't clear off until noon. I read, sip coffee and work on a journal page. I skipped my walk but I see a lot of folks out walking their dogs. After breakfast Bob sees a 10 or 11 year old boy playing in the fire pit in the site the two guys across the road just vacated. Pretty soon the kid has a blaze going, lights a stick and tries to set a branch of the nearby juniper tree on fire. Bob runs out with a bucket and tells the kid not to set the whole State Park on fire. Then he fills the bucket with water and douses the campfire, which is what the two guys who left should have done.

I vacuum and then we leave for some errands and lunch. Even though we Googled for The Salvation Army donation center and the post office, we couldn't find either one where Google Maps said it was. Finally we spied the post office on 1st just south of Main. While I'm in line I get a text from my niece Megan and try to text her back but the pressure is incredible as I keep moving to the front of the line and my texting skills are nil. I send an incoherent message and step up to mail my package. The lady in front of me was choking on a Butterfinger candy bar while all of this was going on. So I just had to ask her where the Salvation Army was located. Take Washington to 12th she chokes out.

Back in the truck I give Bob the directions and we find it first try and drop off three grocery bags and a box full of stuff. We circle back to Main to eat lunch at Casa Romo's. We both have Camaroles Acapulco since we love it and we'll only get to eat here once this year.

We try to find a hardware store Bob thinks he saw on one of our trips into town. We never see it. We get diesel at Valero and I find a paper. We try to use the car wash across the street but we can't figure out the 'code' thing. So we swing around past Interurban along the highway and find another car wash. This one is attended and the guy gives us a good pre-wash by hand before we drive through so it all worked out for the best.

There is an Orchelen across the street and we stop in but they don't have the big 'o' ring Bob is looking for. Home by 3:15. Bob decides to go up on the roof while we have the bikes off the ladder and clean the three roof vents. I get on-line and work on today's journal page.

It's 61 degrees with 71% humidity at 3:36 p.m.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cooking and Cleaning

Sunday, November 22, I got up at 7:00. This is over 24 hours now that we've had a digital readout on our thermostat. We'll keep our fingers crossed. It looks like we'll have the sun today. I sip my coffee and finish reading yesterday's paper and work the puzzles. The low was 48 and the high gets to 62 but it feels warmer. After breakfast I start doing some pre-holiday cooking. Bob goes up on the roof to start on our first full RV wash, including the roof. Brian said yesterday it's okay to wash your rig here in the park as long as you tap into the water spout instead of your rig's water (that would be considered gray water discharge-go figure.)

It's a mess up there. He gets that done and the back and the streetside of The Titanic by the time I'm done with my cooking. I come out and finish the front cap and the curbside. Then I squeegee all of the windows. We're both exhausted. Feels like we washed Mount Everest.

We take welcome showers. My glasses break in half at the nose piece when I take them off (never put my contacts in yet today.) I planned on getting new lenses in Austin this year but now I need new frames too. We head to Interurban for lunch at 3:00; everything else in town is closed on Sunday except for fast food joints. We both have tuna; Bob a sandwich and me the grilled dinner. The convenience store at the entrance to the Park is out of Sunday papers. So we go home. Bob considers fishing but there is only about an hour of daylight. So he watches football while I work on my journal.

It's 5:26 p.m. and 60 degrees with 60% humidity.

Groceries and Campfire

View of Tipps Point Campground area at Lake Murray State Park, OK

Saturday, November 21, I was up at 8:00. I use my morning time to go through recipes for Thanksgiving. It is cloudy and the pavement is wet but it is not drizzling like yesterday morning. I walk one mile and return home to stretch. Before breakfast I pack up the puzzle to clear the table and add it to the pile for Good will. After breakfast Bob sorts through his fly-tying stuff while I make Ritz PB Cookies with candy corn on the top. Note to self: You cannot slice candy corn in half with a dull. thick knife blade.

Bob chains up the bikes and we go to lunch at Interurban. I have the Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine lunch special with a salad (World's Best Honey Mustard) and a muffin. Bob has grilled tuna, wild rice, veges and a salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. OU is losing to Texas Tech on the big TVs. Last year when we were here we were reading the brand (LG) on the big flat screen TVs in anticipation of perhaps changing the TV in our travel trailer to meet the digital age head-on. Instead we changed our RV!

Next we head to Wal-Mart for Thanksgiving Holiday groceries. I actually found all of the weird things I need for my favorite recipes. When we get home there is nowhere to stuff all of it. I go outside with my RV cleaning brush telescoping handle in order to open the microwave/convection vent on the kitchen slide-out. I say hi to Brian (CAT Man) who is building a fire. His wife, Kelly, comes out with Daisy, their Lhasa, a cute 10-year old that still looks like a puppy. She came from Moore for the weekend. She works for CAT there. They ask me to join them around the fire and I say Bob and I are going for a walk before it's dark. We'll join them when we return.

Bob checks the water level at his Tipps Point fishing spot

We walk over to Tipps Point about 4:15 p.m. They moved the floating cabins to the south side of the lake near the lodge. Brian says later they were supposed to be moved two years ago. They also tell us about a $15.00 Thanksgiving spread at the Lodge every year that is really popular. We are surprised to find Tipps Point Campground Area closed for the season. Last year it was open. We walk back and join Brian and Kelly by their nice big fire after digging our lawn chairs out from 'down under'. They share beer and wine with us and we chat until 8:30 when we say goodnight.

We return home, stumbling in the dark here with no streetlights, but we do have a quarter moon. We have leftovers and watch recorded Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, as well as a "V" episode. It's 9:02 p.m. and 55 degrees. The high was 62 and the low is the current temperature of 55 with 67% humidity. My brother Mike sends an email with the photo of his wonderful garden vegetables. Casey helped him get the picture from his cell phone to the laptop. I'll have to ask what that magic was.

My brother Mike's colorful vegetables from his garden on Lake Texoma

Friday, November 20, 2009

Work a Puzzle on a Drizzly Day

Lone Wolf 'shape' puzzle
Friday, November 20, I woke up at 5:15 with a stiff neck and the beginnings of a headache. So I just got up. We went to bed early anyway, around 11:00 (that's early for us.) And I slept soundly while I slept but once I woke up there was nothing to do but get up. It is really dark and quiet here in the State Park compared to our RV Park in Tulsa. Except Brian (Cat Man next door) left at 5:00 a.m. in his big CAT truck. That was pretty noisy.

I finished reading my book as I sipped my coffee. At 8:00 I opened the shades to discover an overcast, drizzly morning. But the low was 58; that's way warmer than Tulsa. It only gets up to 60 but the drizzle stops around 3:00. We make a command decision to stay in and work a puzzle. We found a Lone Wolf Shape Puzzle of 1000 pieces at River City Trading Post for $1.00. So we might as well work it and add it to the bag of Goodwill stuff before we drop that off.

First I took a walk before Bob even got up. I took my camera but I'm not sure why as I had to hide it under my sleeve to keep the water off. I thought I might see the two deer we saw by the road as we came back last night. One of the does is limping on her front leg. Brian says she has been that way for about a month. But I didn't see anything this morning except for a few birds. There is only one RV in the campground by the lake other than the camp hosts. I did take this picture of The Titanic in site 11a, next to the slot where I took a picture of The Beauty last year. Weird!

The Titanic in site 11a at Lake Murray State Park Nov 2009

We have breakfast, I stretch and we work our puzzle. I take a break for a shower. Then we have leftover Amici's for lunch. I spent several hours answering correspondence and getting a package ready to mail while Bob sorted through his fly-tying stuff. We had a brownie break and worked the puzzle some more. My back needs a break so I go for another mile walk over to Tipps Point. Nothing happening over there but at least the rain has stopped. Two RVs come in for the weekend as I'm walking.

I come home and send some emails. Our connection is on and off here. Seems to work okay when we have it but it drops off frequently. It could be the clouds. Our only TV show tonight is White Collar but we don't get USA here. We hope to watch some stuff we have recorded. It's 5:27 p.m. and 60 degrees with 69% humidity.

The Beauty at Lake Murray State Park Nov 2008

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movin' On to Ardmore, OK

The Titanic rests at a scenic turnout on I-35 in the Arbuckle Mountains near Ardmore, OK
Thursday, November 19, we packed up without incidence after a hearty breakfast and a pre-move stretch. As I backed the truck into the 5th wheel hitch, Sandy came by to say goodbye and give me the brochure for Twin Fountains RV Park in Oklahoma City that they like so much. I gave her a postcard and told her to travel safely. We may see them in their hometown of Marietta, OK, sometime.

We left at 10:28 a.m. The sun was out so it warmed up quickly from the low of 37 degrees this morning. Bob unhooked the water as they predicted 32. We left both heaters on medium last night since the guy in the office told Bob we were under the minimum of 70 kw and didn't owe them anything for the month's electric.

The day gets windier as we head south. But our new rig is not nearly so hard to control in the wind. The way the front cap is designed makes it very aerodynamic. Parts of 75 south and most of I-40 east on this route are very rough and need resurfacing. We remembered from last year how the truck and trailer were porpoising. The road surface is still bad most of the way but this rig takes the dips and valleys much better.

We tried to stop for gas as we turned south off of I-40 onto 377. We did a drive-by of all three gas stations on the south side of the highway but could not get to the diesel pump at any of them. So we continued south and pulled in a new casino parking lot near Seminole. But their gas station is not open for business yet. We took a restroom break in our own facilities and stretched our legs for a bit.

At Ada, OK, we got on the turnpike for 17 miles. Just before we entered the turnpike there was an unmanned gas station, credit cards only. So we pulled in and filled up. We started a trend as several people pulled in after us. No one was there when we pulled up and it almost looked like it was abandoned. Diesel was on $2.58/gal, about 13 cents cheaper than we've been seeing it.

At last we made it east to I-35 and headed south. We stopped for another break at a scenic turnout where I snapped this picture of The Titanic in the Arbuckle Mountains. Our exit is just 20 miles south of here. We quickly find Elephant Rock Campground in Lake Murray State Park where we stayed last year. In fact we are one campsite over from our spot last year. It's weird to see a whole new truck and RV in our spot this year!

On the way in the back road through the trees I hear a noise and look up. A branch is scraping along the side of the RV and looks like it may have gotten our roof too. What a bummer. We'll have to check it out when we get set up. We traveled 196 miles in two hours and are set up by 3:15. We were just heading out to lunch when the camp hosts come by to collect $23.00/day for 5 days (last year they gave us the senior discount without even asking but this year they asked if we were 62.) Bob said he didn't know if he should be glad or not. They are actually the hosts over at the next campground, Cedar Hill?, but are filling in for the folks who are usually here. They have been full-time RVers since Dec. 2004, just a few months after we started.

We go to Interurban Grill, one of our favorite places here. I have the Grilled Tuna Salad with lemon caper vinaigrette. Bob has the Barking Fish Sandwich. We'll be back. We get a paper at the convenience store at the entrance to the park after failing to get one in town.

Back home Bob gets on the roof and says he can see where a branch scraped through the dirt on the top along the edge but there is not damage thankfully. Bryan, the 'CAT man' (he works for CAT and drives a truck with their logo) next door in our old spot says hi and asks if the tree got us. Apparently there is a lot of that here. Some guy in the campground by the lake hit a huge log and didn't even know it. Scraped the entire side of his RV. The camp host was running after him to catch him. Wow. We were lucky.

We took a walk down to the lake. It is way up this year. And we're happy to see the laundry is operational now. We leave the bikes in the living room for the evening. Bob has quite a few channels on the TVs but we might miss Flash Forward tonight.

It's 6:49 p.m. and 64 degrees with 62% humidity after a high of 75 and a low of 37!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amici's and Laundry

Wednesday, November 18, I woke up to sunshine at 8:00. The low was 40 and the high gets to 64. It was a much nicer day than yesterday and of course the sun always makes it seem much better.

I skipped my walk, did a quick stretch after breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and sorted four loads of laundry. When I checked the laundry room someone had both dryers going and a load waiting to dry. So we decided to go to lunch first and try the laundry later. I work on journal pages while Bob takes a shower. I'm trying to take advantage of Tulsa's high-speed Internet while we're here in civilization. I've gotten a lot caught up on my backlog of journal pages while we've been here.

Our neighbors across the road from British Columbia left sometime this morning. I never saw them leave. And Don across the road has a red Jeep instead of his green pickup. Later I saw him with a gal as a passenger. I guess he's not single and facing his chemo treatments alone after all.

Instead of dropping our Goodwill bags off in Jenks, we said the heck with it and went to Sand Springs one more time to enjoy Amici's. We got our corner table and our favorite waitress. She put the coffee on when she saw me walk in. We both got lasagna and ate way too much of their homemade bread. Our waitress gave us more bread to take home with our leftover entrees.

We got diesel and a paper at QT across the street. Then I said lets hop in Homeland across the highway. I ran out of soy milk this morning. So $56.00 later we were back in the car. The nice checkout lady asked if I had a Homeland discount card (it's one of the only ones I don't have--my whole wallet is weighed down with the.) When I said no, we're just here for a short while she said "I'll give you the Oklahoman discount--how nice, that saved us $4.05.

Home to stow groceries and try the laundry room which is empty this time. I stay with the clothes and Bob goes and does his pre-move routine. While he's packing up he meets the guy in the big Cameo 5th wheel across the road. He's putting his short kayaks on top of his truck. Just got kayak and rack and are heading to Baja California to use them. Wish we had met them sooner. But they have kids and grandkids here. They have been RVing for six years; sold their Tulsa home after three years and their kids still aren't very happy with them.

We wrap up the laundry in a few hours and go home to stow it. Daylight is running out so we bring the bikes in and I pack up all of my inside stuff. We have leftover Thai and read the paper.

Patti sends me a link to an RVer's on-line journal. They met a couple from Ontario who have a Titanium! Oddly enough they are camped in LA near where Bob and I have been considering spending some time in the winter. Looks like a gorgeous spot on Lake Pontchartrain.

It's 6:32 p.m. and 53 degrees with 40% humidity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goodbye Lana Thai and Garner Used Books

Tuesday, November 17, I got up at 7:00 a.m. to a very chilly living room in spite of leaving the little heater on low. It could only keep the temp at 55 in the room with the outside temp getting down to 40 degrees. This doesn't bode well if it gets down to freezing before we get our furnace fixed.

I got serious this morning and read for two hours to finish my big fat hardback on Henry Ford since we plan to hit the used bookstore today and trade in two grocery bags full of books that we have been carrying around since our big 'move' in Ohio. I wanted to make sure to get the big Ford tome in the pile to be traded in.

After breakfast I brave a walk while the water heats up for dishes. Sure felt warm in here when I came in to stretch. But it is up to 67 degrees inside now with the heater on medium. I pay some bills and do some on-line work with the rest of the mail pile while Bob takes a shower. Then I get cleaned up and around noon we leave for one last lunch at Lana Thai. We can't believe we've only been here once in the whole month we've been in Tulsa. It is absolutely our favorite place here; maybe anywhere in our travels. Oh well, we have had fun branching out this year and going to some new places in Tulsa; notably Amici's!

We start with hot Jasmine tea to warm us up and Summer Rolls--nobody does them like Lana. For an entree I go with good old #50 a red peanut curry paste over chicken, sprouts and carrots with a ring of broccoli surrounding the plate. We always give it high marks for taste and presentation. Bob has the seafood dish; shrimp, scallops and calamari in a rich sauce with some kind of whole grain crust/stuffing surrounding the rim of the bowl. Very tasty. He ordered it #2 hot (on a scale of 1 to 5) and declared it to be very spicy. I ordered mine zero as last time #1 was way too spicy. It depends on the cook.

With 'go' boxes in hand we head north on Mingo to Garner Used Books where we have $14.00 on credit from two years ago! We give them two grocery bags of new books as a trade. While they figure up our total we browse the shelves. Both of us find a total of 10 or 12 books and end up owing them $2.92. We're just happy to have those two big bags of books out of our rig. I browsed the used CDs too but didn't find anything.

On 44 west we were stopped by road construction (the Interstate goes down to one lane) so we get off at Harvard and wind our way down to 71st to cross the River. We get a paper at Union and come home to 58 degrees inside with 45 degrees outside; which is the high for the day.

I pay another bill, work on my journal, read the paper and snack. Tonight is both NCIS shows, "V", The Prisoner and The Good Wife. It's 4:16 p.m. and the humidity is 64%. It rained during the night but is just cloudy and cold all day. We're hoping for warmer temps before we try to move south to Ardmore on Thursday. I guess I shouldn't complain as KS and MO got snow yesterday. Yikes!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Louies Revisited and Jigsaw Puzzle

Monday, November 16, I got up at 6:00 a.m. and it sure is chilly in here. Never gets better all day. Cloudy with a low of 41 degrees. Rains intermittently all day. I read my book under an afghan and suck down coffee. We get out Atwood furnace wiring diagrams when we discover there are numbers on the new digital thermostat this morning for the first time. The furnace runs for 7 or 8 minutes (doesn't raise the temp in here at all) and shuts off when the display disappears. We're going to need a plan to get that thing fixed if the weather is going to be freezing. Bob will go out and check a few things if we get some better weather. After breakfast I brave a walk but my ears, nose, fingers and toes freeze. That wind is something. As I do breakfast dishes, Bob gets out a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

We work it until 12:30 and then head to lunch. Tried to go to Hugo's in Jenks but they are closed on Mondays. So we opt for Louies again because it is close by. They have Wild Rice Chicken Soup for today so we both order that with blackened tilapia with black bean salsa. I have three-cheese macaroni and Bob has fried green beans. After lunch I hop in Walgreen's for sundries and a paper while Bob keeps the heater in the truck running.

Back home we work the puzzle. I take a back break and read the paper. Around six Bob finishes the puzzles while I peruse the health care enrollment mailout for 2010 that came in the mail. Sounds like the status quo for this year. Can't wait to deal with next year. We have leftovers and watch House, Lie to Me and Castle.

It's 6:50 p.m. and 42 degrees. The high only got to 56. The humidity is 61%. Found a long-time St. Louis friend, Jim, on Facebook and he confirmed me today. Glad to be in touch again as we lost track of him a few years back. Recognized his photo holding a bass.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

River City Trading Post on a Rainy Day

Red Rock Canyon Grill in Tulsa, OK
Sunday, November 15, I woke up at 5:35 and just got up. It is chilly and cloudy but not raining yet. I snuggle under an afghan, sip my coffee and read Henry Ford. Bob gets up at 8:30. A few sprinkles begin. I go for a walk quickly. Bill, Sandy and Brandy are out walking. Sandy says she's feeling okay now. They ask about our thermostat and I divulge the bad news. We're back to square one.

Home to reheat Union Street Cafe's big waffles, add scrambled eggs and fruit for a hearty breakfast. I go into cleaning mode and do the sinks, bathroom and vacuuming. Yesterday when I was roaming around on the Titanium users forum they were talking about a $10.00 beater head from Wal-Mart that fits the Dirt Devil RV whole-house vacuum. I'll have to investigate.

We finally get an answer at River City Trading Post in Jenks around 11:15. They are open from noon to 6:00 on Sunday. So we have a snack and a hot beverage and head down there as it starts to rain (90% chance today.) We browse forever and find some bargains. It's 4:30 and still raining by the time we check out. Found a 1,000-piece dog puzzle for $1.00. I found five spools of holiday decorative ribbon for 50 cents and one dollar per roll. Found a cute turkey that folds flat for storage. The other day I discovered I have lots of Halloween decorations but no Thanksgiving decor. Bob finds quite a few book bargain and he finds two sleeves of my Pinnacle golf balls for $1.00 per sleeve--a bargain too!

We decide to eat at Red Rock Canyon since it is relatively close. The place reminds us of Austin's in Fort Collins. The same smoked chicken rotisserie and kind of pricey. Bob gets 1/2 smoked chicken, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. I have the smoked chicken quesadilla. Very tasty with chipotle sour cream dressing and guacamole. There is a wedding reception going on in the patio room out back. It is a small wedding with a table for 20 or so. Apparently the sunset over the Arkansas River is a big deal here according to our waiter. Everyone claps as it goes down, much like the Oasis in Austin. Unfortunately we will not be seeing it tonight with the clouds and rain. But our waiter tells us they will ring the cowbells shortly and clap anyway. And sure enough, someone must check the official time and all the waitstaff ring the bells. The bride looks disappointed that her big sunset plan didn't work out.

Bike rack in shopping center near the bike trail that follows Riverside Drive along the Arkansas River

We head home, stopping at Union for a paper. It is cold of course when we get home and we turn our heaters on. We have new neighbors in a Class A streetside. Bob is watching Serenity, the Sci-Fi (or now I guess it's Sy-Fy) movie with the guy who stars in the TV show Castle. That's where we first saw him and liked him. Tonight is the premier of the re-make of The Prisoner. We loved that in the early 1970's when we were dating.

It's 6:08 p.m. and 54 degrees. The high was 69 and the low is right now! Humidity is 86% and yes, it is still raining.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Terrible in Tulsa!

Saturday, November 14, I slept like a rock after our tough cycle yesterday. Turns out I should have stayed in bed as the day gets worse as it progresses. I get up at 7:30 and take one more swing through the pile of mail. I go for a walk. No sign of Sandy and Brandy this morning; too chilly to be sitting out and it is kind of overcast.

I come home to stretch and get dressed as we plan to head out to breakfast before picking up our new thermostat at Dean's RV. Bob takes the old thermostat off so we can turn it in for warranty. I see Sandy and Brandy outside and go out to confirm our shopping trip at 1:00. I tell her we're heading out to pick up our part but will be back to meet her for shopping.

We go to Union Street Cafe and order breakfast. I'm pleased to see they have all of their Christmas decorations rescued from the heap they were in on the floor. They are all plugged in and glowing and moving and look much better; even if it is way too early for the. I have a huge waffle and oatmeal. Bob has a waffle as well with eggs and sausage. We both take waffles home. On to Dean's where Nick hands us our new thermostat (more white than the ivory one we have but no matter if it solves the problem.)

We're back home by 11:30 and Bob is installing the new thermostat when Sandy knocks on the door. She says she started feeling poorly so our shopping trip is off. I tell her to go home and rest. When I go back inside Bob has that look on his face. The thermostat is doing the same thing as the other one. Back to the drawing board. We remained bummed out the rest of the day.

I get on the Titanium users' forum on-line and find several references to Atwood thermostat and a/c and heater problems but nothing quite like ours. Wasted three hours roaming around on that site. Well, I actually found out some useful information about a ton of other care and maintenance items but I'm still bummed out. Now the cold weather is looming, the forecast looks bad for the next week, and we have no furnace. Bob cleans some mildew spots off of our awning that we discovered a few days ago but the wind has been blowing too hard to put the awning out. We left it rolled up after all of that rain in Cambridge and Edwardsville. We should have dried it out but we never thought about it. It looks good now though.

I go for a walk right before dark after reading the paper. Don't see a vehicle or any sign of anyone at Sandy and Bill's. Hope he didn't have to take her to the emergency room. I come back home and spend a few hours on the mail as Bob surfs the Net for bike trails in the sun belt. Not much happening; maybe some in Louisiana.

We have leftover Amici's and watch a recorded White Collar (love that new show.) It's 8:25 p.m. and 57 degrees with 72% humidity. The high was 71.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cycle 20 Miles on Midland Valley Trail and Re-visit Amici's

View of Tulsa Skyline from Centennial Park on Midland Valley Trail
Friday, November 13, it wasn't until the end of the day that Bob shouted out "Hey, is this Friday the 13th?" Good thing we didn't know or we would never have cycled today. Turns out maybe we shouldn't have. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I got up at 8:00 to wispy clouds but the sun breaks through after a low of 54. I work on journal pages for an hour and a half. I went for a walk but Sandy and Brandy were not out. I'll catch her later. On my last lap around the campground I stop at the office and pick up our big packet of mail. I think it was the second week of August the last time I ordered our mail. I'll have to do better than that. I still have a few late birthday cards though so that's fun. Home to stretch.

We have a big breakfast in anticipation of cycling. I called Dean's RV Store and Nick says our thermostat came in yesterday. They are open until 1:00 tomorrow so we'll go by and pick it up in the morning. No time to browse the mail now. I walk up to find Sandy. She is inside brushing Brandy and invites me in for a tour of their deluxe Newmar motorcoach. It is one of the most open motorhome floorplans I've ever seen. Their kitchen table is built into a credenza that they have their computer on so all they have to do is turn sideways and it's a desk! Her convection oven has a rectangular rack that sits on hooks on the side walls of the oven. Mine is a three-legged round rack that rotates. She says hers works well and she didn't really adjust any of her recipes. Love their like colors and oak cabinets. We settle on 1:00 tomorrow for shopping. I'm so excited that we worked out a day to get together.

Taking a break at the fountains along the Arkansas River in Tulsa, OK

Home to pack my panniers, put on my bike shorts and help Bob load the bikes. We head to Turkey Mountain and zoom down the hill at 12:30. It was smooth sailing as we went north but the wind out of the south is lurking to kill us on the way back. As we take the pedestrian bridge across the Arkansas River we get blasted with a side wind and I really had to hold on tight to my handlebars to keep control of my bike.

We take the ramp over Riverside Drive and head north on the Midland Valley Trail. We only rode this once when we took our 50-miles round trip to Skiatook, OK. Today we plan to just go to where the trail ends and joins the streets downtown. It is kind of hilly on this part and we make it out just over 7.5 miles before we turn around. We stop at Centennial Park where we saw a wedding party last year and detour around the trail that runs through the park. I hop off for a photo op. What a pretty little park with a great view of the Tulsa skyline.

As we head south the wind is a killer. Some young boy comes out of the shadows under an overpass wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans and riding a black bike. I never saw him and almost mowed him over as I made a left out of the park back on to the Midland Valley Trail. Whew, that was close.

We take a break at the fountain along the Arkansas River. I take some pictures of the sculpture and the Pedestrian Bridge. Little did I know how hard the rest of our journey would be. We turn into the strong south wind and I can barely peddle. It is about 1:30 and I thought we'd get back to the truck around 2:45 based on prior rides. But we can barely keep a pace up that will keep Bob's odometer working (the wheels need to spin around 6 mph for it to work.) Good thing it's on his bike because I fall way behind. I start to feel like I did on the second day of our 3-day trip in Minnesota. So I decide I might be getting dehydrated in spite of already drinking three bottles of water. So we break open the Gatorade and that really helps.

We still takes twice as many breaks on the way back. We stopped by a fence and the wind was blowing so hard you can see in my photo the big brown leaves were plastered up against it. Finally we get to the cliff along the RR tracks by the River and the huge wall of the cliff shelters a little bit from the wind.

School's out so cyclers are starting to fly past us coming down Turkey Mountain about 30 mph. They keep saying "What's the matter? Can't take the hill?" We just keep our heads down and keep pedaling. Those poor suckers will find out on the way back just what the problem is. We finally arrive at the truck at 3:3) after decompensating going up the 11% grades to the top. Three hours to ride 20.4 miles. Boy, I sure feel like I had quite a workout.

We load the bikes and head straight home. Sandy and Brandy walk by as we are chaining the bikes up so Bob gets to meet Sandy. Of course he and Brandy bond immediately. We haul all of our gear inside. Bob showers while I take a walk and stretch. Then I get cleaned up and we head to Amici's for dinner. That place is dangerous when you're as hungry as I am.

I had Chicken Puttenesca (grilled chicken, portobella mushrooms, black olives, capers in a wine sauce.) It was heaven. Bob had Pork Medallion Special of the day but it turned out to be completely different than the pork medallions he ordered off the menu last time and liked so much. But no matter..he said these were even better if that was possible. It seems to be pork stuffed with pepperoni and some kind of white cheese with a marinara sauce. We ate two loaves of bread I think and then just had to try the Italian Creme Cake. Very rich. We rolled out with 'go' boxes.

Bob checks his tires as I snap a picture of all the huge leaves blown smack up against the fence by the strong winds.

Got a paper at the busy QT across the street and drove home in fading daylight. I went through the mail to see if anything needed attention but it all looks pretty mundane. I spend an hour updating my journal and we plan to watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It's 7:14 p.m. and 66 degrees. The high was 71 with 59% humidity.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Golf at South Lakes and Louie's Grill & Bar in Jenks

Thursday, November 12, I woke up on a board to 47 degrees this morning. It's only 55 inside but with high humidity it feels damp and cold. I vege out with my coffee on the loveseat and don't even work on my backlog of journal pages this morning. I go for a walk before breakfast. I saw Sandy and Brandy out for a walk earlier but it's too cold for them to be sitting out this morning. The sun is trying to peek through a gray haze without much success. Back home to stretch and have Crispy Thingies for reinforcement before golf.

We head to Jenks around 11:00. The parking lot is pretty full. It seems they had a ladies event earlier. We get right on. It's cool when we start but it warms up. The sun never gets very strong but the high gets to 73. I played much better on the front and seemed to have found my iron swing today. But I lost my drive on the back. At #15 the two groups in front of us joined up to be a fivesome (3 carts and one guy walking.) Yikes! We scurried over to 16 and played the last three holes into the clubhouse finishing up by 2:30.

It was a short drive to Louie's Grill and Bar in Jenks. I had 1/2 of a Reuben Sandwich and Tomato Gorgonzola Soup. Both were very good. Bob had a Club Wrap and Chips and Black Bean Salsa. They had a huge bar in the dining room where we ate and another full-service bar in a room behind a glass door. The waitress told another patron it was the Smoking Bar. Interesting.

We got a paper at Union on the way home. Our bike cover was coming loose from underneath our tires. Too much wind today. I went for a walk and had a stretch to keep my back in shape. We read the paper, had showers, snacked and tonight we will watch The Mentalist and Flash Forward.

Had a nice email from my brother Greg in North Carolina. He talked to Mom and Dad. He always wishes Dad well on Veterans Day. He says they were both doing well. I haven't talked to them since last week. I also had a photo of my niece Megan, looking very pregnant but so cute.

It's 6:18 p.m. and 63 degrees with 58% humidity.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

India Palace and Home Depot

Wednesday, November 11, the sun greeted me as I opened the day/night shades at 8:00 a.m. to help heat up the RV. I worked on Jan. 2009 journal pages and photos until Bob got up and we had breakfast. On my morning walk I ran into Sandy and Brandy out sunning in their lawn chairs. I joined them and had a nice chat with Sandy about the trials and tribulations of moving your home down the road. She had some grand disaster stories; her own and those of friends. Makes me realize how lucky we have been. We're making a plan for a ladies shopping day soon.

Back home to stretch and shower. Bob and I head to India Palace for their buffet around noon. It's crowded today but same great food. Then we skirt around Southern Hills Golf Course, lying idle on this gorgeous day, to get to Home Depot on 71st. The have less pvc pipe than Lowe's did. Back to the drawing board.

Home to read the paper and work puzzles. Then I took another walk and ran into Bill, Sandy and Brandy again. We must be on the same afternoon schedule. He's going to Ponca City overnight soon for work so Sandy and I will plan our shopping day. I asked him about pvc sources in Tulsa be he didn't know of anywhere. I struck out on the Internet this morning. Bill suggested the real Yellow Pages so I stopped in the office and made some notes. Not too easy without my reading glasses.

Country Music Awards on tonight. Maybe I'll take a break from my journal and watch them. Had an email from my brother Greg in NC. My nephew Jason is coming home in 65 days from his overseas job in Afghanistan. Greg is making a count down flip chart and solicited input from family and friends. What a great idea. Also had an email from my brother Mike. He doesn't know how to get a camera phone picture to an email picture either. Maybe Casey will read this and have pity on us low-tech types. Stand by for Mike's garden photo.

It's 5:05 p.m. and 69 degrees after a high of 77 and a low of 52. The humidity is 41%. We're probably going to regret not taking advantage of this great day. But it stayed cool with a north wind until 2:30 when the wind turned around from the south. Oh well, we'll hope for more of the same tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Too Chilly to Cycle

Tuesday, November 10, I get up at 5:53 a.m. after sleeping soundly. I passed out last night about an hour earlier than usual while reading. I guess the golf tired me out. The good news is my back is no worse for wear after the golf. I work on journal pages and sip my coffee (love the Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut that my friend Liz in Austin introduced me to last Christmas.) It has been my coffee of choice when I can find it in the grocery store.

A Duchesne High classmate, Mike Wilkison, from my hometown of St. Charles, MO, sent an invite on Facebook to Sing Out St. Charles, MO. I was excited to sign up and I hope we can find some of our old local friends of this offshoot of the national "Up With People" organization. What fun we had. I even met my hubby of 34 years at one of these events.

Patti was on the Facebook chat line when I got on the second time and we visited briefly. I took a break from the laptop and went for my morning walk and stretch. We had a light breakfast and somehow the morning passed while I cleaned up the kitchen. We left around 10:30 to try to find black PVC pipe at Ace Hardware at 61st Street and Peoria. They didn't have anything in the over 4-inch diameter range. We browsed around and I found a small American flag for Gertrude for the bargain price of 79 cents!

On to Food Pyramid where we both drooled over another bargain cake in their bakery; this one was Red Velvet. We resisted. Bought a boatload of fruit instead. Today we had to buy our Tulsa World newspaper. Our last stop was The Delta Cafe where I enjoyed grilled catfish and that yummy squash casserole they serve. Their vegetable beef soup was a winner too. Bob had the turkey dinner and we both enjoyed jalapeno corn bread and wheat rolls on the side served with honey and butter.

Home to read the paper and work the puzzles. The sun refuses to make an appearance until about 2:45 when it finally gets up to 67 degrees. But it will be dark by 5:30 so we blow off our intended bike ride today. The wind has turned around and is out of the north so that chill factor is putting us off. Maybe tomorrow. It's 2:49 p.m. and 67 degrees with 62% humidity. I get one last walk in for the day and run into Bill, Sandy and Brandy. Sandy said they got their new eyeglasses today and did some shopping; too much for Bill's liking. She got a free phone upgrade as well but it took forever. She says Bill's job has been extended a week so they are staying. I sure hope we can fit in a shopping trip.

I go home to eat leftovers and watch V, NCIS LA, and The Good Wife.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Golf at South Lakes, Jenks, OK

Monday, November 09, I was up until midnight watching House reruns so I slept in until 7:30. Spent about an hour cleaning out my email messages. It is cloudy this morning but I'm surprised at how warm it is when I go out for a walk before breakfast. The low was only 59 degrees last night and the humidity is over 65% this morning so it feels even warmer. I try to mail a letter to Mom and Dad at the office but they are closed when I zoom by the first time at 8:30.

As I pass by Sandy's big motorcoach I spy her sitting out in her lawn chair with Brandy nearby in her own lawn chair. Sandy says her little Llapsa prefers it to the doggie bed they got for her. I sit down on the concrete to pet Brandy and Sandy and I chat for a bit. Bill is working but he calls to confirm that they are going to look for new eyeglasses today. We need to do that when we get back to Austin.

As we chat and she asks where we're going next I realize where I heard Marietta, OK, where they are from. It is very close to my brother's lake place on Lake Texoma. She tells me to check out Pelican's Landing in Cedar Mills. We did try to go there once and it was closed for remodeling. She says they had a fire but they are open again now. She raved about their catfish. I chatted so long Nancy arrived and opened the office so I went over to mail my letter.

Back home Bob was stretching and asked if I got lost on my walk. I joined him for a stretch and then we had Crispy Thingies for breakfast. My friend Joyce in Elgin serves these as appetizers and they are wonderful. So wonderful we decided they were breakfast food! I thought I had the recipe digitally but I don't. I'll post it later. (Oops! Here it is)

Crispy Thingies (Joyce Love, Elgin, TX, Christmas 2008)

1 lb. sausage, browned and drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 jars Kraft Old English Cheese
10 English Muffins

Mix first three ingredients and spread not quite to edges on 20 halves of muffins. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut each muffin half into quarters and serve as appetizers.

I like that you can make them ahead and freeze them as half muffins. Then thaw them and quarter them and reheat on a cookie sheet to get them very crisp. Joyce serves them as appetizers in quarters but we also heat a half muffin in the toaster oven and eat them for breakfast. Nothing lo-cal about these but they are very tasty and easy to make.

We head to the golf course in Jenks around noon. Each year we plan to play this course but we haven't yet. Today is the day. It's not very crowded and we get right on. He asks if we're 55 for the senior discount and we can now both say yes. We play this very nice course (almost has a country club feel) for $12.00 each to walk 18 holes. That's quite a savings over the $23.00 each if you're not a senior.

The fairways are in great shape. They have just sanded the greens but they are in good shape and quite fast. I play the Red Tees at 5,242 yards and a slope rating of117. Bob plays the Blue Tees at 6,413 yards and a slope rating of 119. My main goal today is not to get my back in an uproar. I can hardly make contact with my irons on the front and my score reflects that. Oddly enough I drive really well. On the back I adopted a new strategy and played mostly fairway and rescue clubs and did better.

We were both astounded by some old guy with a metal detector on one of the holes on the front nine. He was beeping that thing all around the green, actually walking on the green with it, while we were pitching, chipping and putting. I thought I had seen it all until he came along. On top of that the golf course abuts the airport here in Jenks. They were running some kind of training exercises for small plans doing bump and runs on the runway. That got annoying at they came very low over the fairways all day. But we survived it all.

Afterwards we went to Los Cabos on The Riverwalk in Jenks for dinner. Actually we were still in time for lunch. I had Mango Chicken Salad and was surprised when there was no mango in it. It did have hearts of palm and candied pecans that were tasty. Bob had Mahi-Mahi topped with mango shrimp. He shared some of his mango. As we walked in the heaters were on outside. Very weird since the high was 81 degrees today.

We got a paper on the way home. I took a walk, stretched and declared my back to have survived 18 holes of golf. I relaxed with the paper and took a shower. I just have time to update my journal before House.

It's 6:35 p.m. and 70 degrees with 55% humidity.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parachuting Santa at Union Cafe

Parachuting Santa at Union Street Cafe
Sunday, November 8, I slept like a rock and woke up early at 6:00 a.m. Got up and worked on my journal-Jan '09-as the sun paints a pink sunrise in the eastern sky. I work on-line continuously until 9:00 when we have a light breakfast. A quick walk and a good stretch and I'm ready to vacuum. Bob makes an adjustment to my bike brakes in anticipation of riding this afternoon. I am sad to report that OU lost to Nebraska last night. Bummer.

We go to lunch at 12:30 at Union Street Cafe. We sit in the halfway finished Banquet Room and have a new waitress. Today is her first day; well she has worked at the Sapulpa location but she's unfamiliar with the menu here. Finally we find daily specials that they haven't run out of. I have meatloaf and Bob has stuffed pork roast (stuffed with spinach or perhaps collard greens.) We split carrot cake, a huge piece for $2.25, that tastes more like a delicious spice cake to me. I was a little bummed out by shoddy Christmas decorations thrown on the floor and not really arranged very nicely. But we did see a Santa hanging from a parachute that was kind of cute and wondered if he moved along the wire he was hanging on. Sure enough, a few minutes later our waitress came by and asked if we had seen Santa do his thing. She gave him a shove and he traveled back and forth across the wire, kicking off with his feet when he touched the wall. He sang a song as he zoomed on his 'zip line.' How cute!

This is our bargain cake from Food Pyramid; originally $8.99 it had a $5.00 off coupon attached!

We got a Sunday paper at QT. It it so cloudy and cool and the wind is still blowing when we emerge from the Cafe, that we decide to blow off the bike ride. We relax in our Euro chairs and read the paper and work the puzzles. I go for a walk after we recover the bikes. At 5:45 Bob points out this red sky at night so I go out to take a picture. The guy across the road is walking his dog and says "It looks like it's on fire doesn't it?" Wish I would have taken a picture of my red sky at morning and I could have posted both of them.

I got a 'multimedia' message on the phone from my brother Mike at Lake Texoma. A colorful picture of his vegetable garden output. I'm too low-tech to know how to download it to get it to my laptop so I can post it here. Maybe he'll send it to me by email (hint, hint if you're reading this Mike!) It's 5:52 p.m. and 67 degrees with 63% humidity.

The sun sets behind The Titanic

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fish Daddy's and Lowe's

Patti's quilted wall hanging of the famous flag pole at Hay Lake. Blair framed these unique works of art and hung them in the bedroom of cabin four.
Patti's quilted wall hanging of the old log cabin #1 at Hay Lake.
Cabin 4 at Hay Lake on Angler's Isle in Minnesota
Saturday, November 7, I finally got a good night's rest. My back feels about 90% today. I got up at 7:00 and opened every day/night shade to let in the glorious morning sunshine. Worked on Good Sam journal first thing this morning. I had a walk and a stretch before breakfast. Saw Sandy walking Brandy. Told her Bob said the 3-star crossword the other day was a tough one; a hidden triple led to a type 1 unique rectangle. She said it was long since in the trash. Bill is working today so I asked if she was up for a shopping trip but they had plans to shop later. Back home I cleaned the bathroom and then had a manicure and a pedicure. I printed Patti's Fried Turnip recipe to mail to my Dad.

Bob and I left for lunch just after noon. Forgot it was Saturday and fought the heavy traffic on 71st over to Fish Daddy's. We should have taken the freeway but we wanted to hunt for hardware stores. I had Cedar Plank Salmon, one of my favorites, and Bob had the fish sandwich. On the way home we stopped at Lowe's to look at PVC pipe for our new sewer hose compartment. The 4" diameter is too small at $8.89 for eight feet. The 6" diameter is $26.99! We're going back to the drawing board. We get a paper at Union and go home to read it.

The old log cabin on Hay Lake

I take another walk. Then I try to call my youngest brother Eric in NC but get no answer. I did reach my friend Blair later in the afternoon at Hay Lake in Minnesota. What a nice chat we had. And I kept her from mowing and raking--too bad. I thought it was only appropriate that I post some pictures from Angler's Isle Resort on Hay Lake in Minnesota. What fond memories we have over the past 35 years there with Blair and her family and friends.

I'm cooking our leftover carrots and cabbage from the soup ingredients the other day. I'll add them to our Italian stuff for dinner. It's 5:15 p.m. and 80 degrees after a high of 86 and a low of 58. The humidity is only 29%! This is my idea of fall.

1929 Studebaker RV-check it out at this website. I'm currently reading the Henry Ford book that mentions him camping across America with Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone. One of my On-line RV Chat pals, Peggi, from Canada had this link on her travel blog. You can check her out at RVLiving

Friday, November 6, 2009

Amici's and New Brake Pads for R2D2

Tom, Bob, Reet and Shirley at Pizza House in Clyde, TX, Nov 2007
Friday, November 6, I was very pleased that my back is much better this morning. I had a rough night due to gastrointestinal issues. I must have inadvertently eaten something I'm allergic to. Had to get up in the middle of the night and take something to settle my innards. Feeling great this morning. It's sunny and warm already. Low of 57-I like that! High gets to 83 later with 35% humidity. Dad said they only had a high of 62 yesterday in the St. Louis area. A few hundred miles south sure makes a difference. Perhaps that should be our travel motto.

I take a walk after breakfast and faithfully do my back stretches. I've had no drugs since 11:00 a.m. yesterday and I'm pain free. Maybe this was just a blip and not a full-blown attack. I worked on Good Sam pages for a bit. Logged on and discovered it does not take 30 days to "un-maxout" my photo upload. I guess they get their count of 150/month day by day. So I can upload 20 more photos. That means I can create pages on my Good Sam blog from 2007 for a few days and let my Earthlink journal for Jan 2009 rest for a bit. I'm so far behind it is daunting but it helps to switch back and forth. Not so boring to use two different sites and different tools. I found this photo from Nov 2007 of our Iowa RV friends, Tom and Shirley. We drove 80 miles to meet them for pizza near Abilene. By coincidence I had an email from them today and they hope to meet us in Bastrop this year in December as they move their 5th wheel from Houston to Abilene. They come down to Texas every year to visit their son and daughter.

I called my brother Mike and caught him driving up to Lake Texoma. We had a nice chat in spite of the wind blowing in my cell phone and making noise. I was outside to get better reception but the wind is blowing hard. Bob had thoughts of playing golf today (I was going to walk along as my back isn't up to it.) But the wind deterred him. I'm kind of glad. It's depressing to not be able to join in. The walk would have done me good though. I ended up walking around the campground three times today.

For one of today's projects, Bob fixes the sight glass on the water heater. Just one a million little things that need TLC when your home moves down the road. Then he gets out his new Rhino collapsible sewer hose kit that he bought yesterday. Our storage pipe for it underneath the RV is 47 inches long. This hose advertises being 45" long, when collapsed (it is 15 feet in length when stretched out.) But that is without the fittings and connections. So it won't fit. Back to the drawing board. He wanted to get a spare 10-foot hose extension anyway for those times when you need just a bit longer than a 15-foot hose. So he'll put that in our current storage pipe and add a longer PVC pipe like we did to our last RV.

We go to lunch around 12:30 at Amici's. We get our same waitress and she laughs and says "I won't have to leave before you're done today." She gives us a new table this time in the opposite corner. It is busy in here at lunch time. We finally try the Fried Ravioli appetizer (Toasted Ravioli for all of us St. Louis folks who know how perfect it is on The Hill!) It was scrumptious, but a cheese ravioli, not meat. I like how it was smothered with their big shreds of fresh Parmesan. I've seen chocolate curls that aren't that huge.

I finally try the manicotti. Two with marinara sauce and one with Alfredo, both stuffed with ricotta cheese. Bob has the Italian sausage and peppers. A real winner. We roll out with a 'go' box. Our waitress begged us to have dessert (Bob thought she was trying to give it to us free since our bread came late-they ran out) but I was too stuffed to let her talk me into it if you can believe that.

Across the street on the way home we get diesel and a paper. The guy inside at QT points to the headline of "Twelve Killed in Killeen" and says it is thirteen now and the guy who did it was shot but not killed so there will be the whole mess of a trial now. I feel so sorry for all of those families. And there are over 30 wounded. What a sad thing.

Back home we read the paper. I go for another walk. Bob unchains our bikes and works on my rear brake on R2D2 (Reet's Raleigh; Double Delight or Double Devil, depending on if I'm cycling uphill or downhill!) He puts the new brake pads and spring on that we bought in Warren but it still isn't stopping correctly. So he studies the mechanics and makes a few adjustments and it is working better than it has for a while. We'll let the pads wear in and adjust it again soon. We oil both chains with our new self-cleaning oil and treat ourselves to a piece of cake for a job well done. One way or the other I was going to get my dessert today. First I took a walk. All that bending over with the bikes got my back talking to me.

I worked the puzzles in the paper and we watched our recorded season premier of "V" and a couple of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I'm taking a break to blog and later we'll watch the new White Collar. We're kind of enjoying that. It's 7:30 p.m. and 71 degrees. I read Bob's cousin Patti's blog Osage Bluff Quilter and saw her recipe for fried turnips. I'm sending it to my Dad. That sounds right down his alley and it's turnip season.