Sunday, February 28, 2010

Port Lavaca with Tom and Shirley

Formosa Wetlands Walkway in Port Lavaca
Wednesday, February 24, up at 7:00 to a sunny but chilly morning with a low of 37 degrees. I put out my St. Pat's decor and put Gertrude in her Irish green, mostly just to keep warm this morning as the living room heats up now that I turned the heater on. We have Crispy Thingies for breakfast except they were not very crispy as we did them in the microwave. There was no way we were turning the heater off to use the toaster oven.

Bob, Shirley and Tom pause on the Formosa Wetlands Walkway

Nan calls before 9:00 to say it's too cold for her to walk. We're trying to get out of here by 10:00 anyway. I find the bikes laying on their side down under as I put the trash out by the curb. Bob and I remove the cover and right them. There seems to be no damage to the bikes; just our freezing fingers.

I finish the dishes and clean myself up. I try to get on-line to get a map to Green Iguana Deli in downtown Port Aransas that Bob saw the other day. But I can't get a connection. All I do is waste my last 20 minutes before we leave and raise my blood pressure:-)

White Ibis in Formosa Wetlands Lavaca Bay

We leave at 9:45, stop for fuel at 35 Bypass and get a San Antonio paper. Then we head north on 35 all the way to Port Lavaca, waving at Tivoli for my friend Holly. We take 87 through downtown Port Lavaca to 238 to Lighthouse Beach Road. A gal is in a little shack collecting a $3.00 day fee. So we go to the parking lot on 238 to call Tom and Shirley. They are in Point Comfort just across the bridge. We tell them to meet us in the YMCA parking lot and we go down 35 a few blocks looking for possible restaurants. Shirley calls just a few minutes later and asks "Where are you?" We hightail it back there in a few minutes. I didn't know they were that close. They were here before checking out Indianola (there's one near them in Iowa too) which is now under water here.

Tom, Reet and Bob huddle on the boardwalk in the cold wind

We have hugs all around and then move our trucks to the front parking lot of the Visitor Center across the street where we collect a bunch of brochures and use the facilities. We decide to eat at Bayside Seafood Restaurant on 35 just across the street. Their slogan is "Best Seafood in Town." And it was pretty good. tom can't find a fish sandwich on the menu (the only one is catfish) so he settles for chicken fried steak that turns out to be huge. Bob has Red Snapper and Shrimp. I have Grilled Seafood (snapper, oysters-yes grilled and heavenly, shrimp and very sweet scallops.) Shirley has some nice looking shrimp. It was all very good. Those guys insist it's their turn to treat for lunch. How nice!

Half Moon Reef Lighthouse, Port Lavaca, TX

After lunch we drive to Lighthouse Beach Road and pay $3.00 for one carload of us. We park and walk out on Formosa Wetlands boardwalk along Lavaca Bay where we spy white ibis, egrets, a blue heron and a 'turtle glove.' The day is pretty in the sun but there is a cold wind. The walkway was a bond and environmental grant project in cooperation with the Formosa Plastics Corp. and Texas parks and Wildlife. At the time of its construction it was the world's longest boardwalk made entirely of recycled plastic. The metal railing on the farthest point of the original jetty is gone; perhaps a surge. There is a nice RV Park along the beach.

We walk back to the truck and drive downtown but there is not much to see. So we head back to the Visitor Center, use the restrooms and then find the Indianola bells. Shirley was looking for them and at last we spotted them around the front side of the Half Moon Reef Lighthouse. Constructed in 1858. This three-story hexagonal cypress lighthouse was originally located in Matogorda Bay, at the southern tip of Half Moon Reef. It sat on a platform supported by piles out in the Bay. Supplies were brought twice yearly to this lighthouse whose beacon extended 12 miles. The beacon served as an aid to ships trading in Port Lavaca and the nearby town of Indianola (14 miles southeast). During the Civil War the light was disabled by Confederate Troops in an attempt to disrupt Federal efforts to captures southern blockade runners. The lighthouse was restored to full operation in 1869 and remained in service until 1943 when it was moved to Point Comfort (7 miles northeast.) It was relocated to this site in Port Lavaca in 1979.

All too soon we said our farewells. We hope to see them as we cruise through Houston in a few weeks. Their son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby in mid-March. Of course I showed Shirley Ethan's pictures that are on my phone.

Bob and I drive through downtown and browse a few antique and decor stores. I find a $3.00 silver bicycle charm at De Ja Vu on Main. We look at a folding teak table but it's $69.00 and heavy with holes in the top. We also liked a metal palm tree sculpture but pass on it too. It is only about an hour (60 miles) back to Fulton. They drove 45 or 50 miles from Bay City. We stop in Fulton at HEB to get peach pie and red velvet cake for Bob's birthday celebration Friday. We stow the groceries and I make two braunsweiger Balls. We read the paper and enjoy leftovers while watching the Olympics. I try to call Linda but get no answer at home or on her cell. She must be playing 'grandma!' It's 9:25 p.m. and 49 degrees with 55% humidity. The high was 56.

Cold at Los Comales!

Tuesday, February 23, I was up at 8:15 after staying up late for the Aerials on the Olympics. Those people are crazy who do that stuff. It is 46 degrees and that turns out to be the high for the day! Nana and I walk at 9:00 just before the cold front hits. Ann and Jerry from Washington invite us in to warm up in their cabana outbuilding. What a great laundry room. It's nice to visit with them and to warm up for a bit. My ears are frozen by the time we get back. Nan gives me the address of the pet food general store they want to check out. Bob Googles for it and it turns out to not really be in Corpus; it's at I37 and 77.) So we meet at 12:30 to go to lunch here in Rockport instead at Los Comales. They'll take The Smart to get the pet food another time. I send an email to try to get our RVing friends in other parks in the area together for a birthday lunch and dessert/happy hour on Friday for Bob.

The motorhome on our curbside left early this morning. That guy must have been from way up north as he packed up in shorts. Yikes! It is really raining as we pick them up. There are puddles in the holey parking lot as usual. I have the seafood-stuffed chicken breast, Bob has Red Snapper Lanostinos and Tom has Shrimp-stuffed Avocado. Nan finds a Mexican plate that has her happy on cold day. Mexican--the ultimate comfort food!

After lunch we drive to the Rockport Post Office so we can mail our Income Tax Return. Yeah! I'm done. Bob cruises through Laguna RV Resort nearby in Rockport. We get a San Antonio paper at Stripes and then drive through Rustic Cove, our RV Park we stayed in last year. Then it's back home in the cold rain. I work on journal pages and pictures all afternoon/evening.

Long, lost Dave returns our call. He and Marty will be here for happy hour on Friday. Old Bob and Frank are in Kansas until Saturday. Bob and I watch the ladies figure skating and women's Ski Cross. It's 7:50 p.m. and 40 degrees with 75% humidity. We hope to meet our Iowa RV friends, Tom and Shirley, in Port Lavaca tomorrow.

The Peddlar show, Robstown, TX

Sunday, February 21, I was up at 7:00 to sip coffee, get on-line and work on journal pages. First I send emails to Glenda and Holly regarding my new Great Nephew! Holly's son is named Ethan Edge (his middle name is her maiden name.) At 9:00 I walk with Nan and Roxy. It mists and then gets worse so we only go around once. My hair gets drenched anyway. Back home I clean up so we can leave at 10:00 in The Smart (as they call their Smart Car.) It is my first time to ride in one and I find it very roomy and good for my back. They have 20,000 miles on it in just over a year.

We cross the bridge to Corpus and go north on I-37 to SPID to 44 west to Hwy 77 (in spite of the Garmin wanting us to go another way. We find the Fairgrounds at 77 and 44 but can't find the right building until we drive around back. We arrive at 10:45 so we have a 15 minute wait outside. It is not raining and soon the gates open. We use my coupon to get in 2 for $5.00. First stop of course is the restrooms and then we browse the booths.

There is some great jewelry here. And we try all of the dips, cheese ball mixes, jellies, etc. We get New Canaan Farms Cherry Preserves and Pumpkin Butter. Roasted nuts and Chocolate Amaretto nuts catch our eye so we take a break and get Cokes and munch on popcorn on the bleachers above the crowd. After our break we find a whole other building in the back. So we have another pit stop and take our packages to The Smart and head back in to do the rest of the booths.

Nan gets a unique black fossil medallion, silver blue earrings and a buffalo charm (Oops, perhaps I'm blabbing as Tom will probably read this! But she has already worn two of them as of a week later when I'm posting this.) Everything I buy you can eat; cheese ball mixes, dip mixes and jams. We head back to the car in bright sunshine at 3:15. A guy waiting for his wife in a truck parked next to us says "Everybody that comes by sure takes a look at your little car." Nan says "Yeah, I get that a lot!" Nan is nice enough to stop in Portland so I can hop out and get a newspaper.

We check with the guys about going for Mexican. Everybody's in for 5:00. Bob set all of the clocks to the same time. We are having trouble with our Atomic clock so he's trying to synchronize. He did various other things on his list while we were gone today. It's 4:46 p.m. and 70 degrees. The high was 71 and the low was 59 with 68% humidity. I have a new picture of Ethan from my nephew Travis. What a cute baby boy!

The four of us head to Pepito's where Bob and Tom have the Shrimp Tacos. I have one of my favorites; Cucumber and Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas, Nan has a tasty looking combo. Back at the RV Park Tom joins Bob for beer and the Olympics while Nan and I go for a walk with Roxy. We join them to watch the Men's Ski Cross. I show Nan the jewelry my friend Marilynn made for me. We see the first set of Ice Dancing. US defeats Canada's hockey team. We all call it a night.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Great Nephew Ethan Thomas Arrives!

Ethan sleeps on Dad Casey's shoulder-so precious!
Saturday, February 20, I slept like a rock until 7:30. I check the phone but no news yet on my new nephew. We have a light breakfast before I walk this morning but first I check email. No baby news. I Google for Robstown and find a map. At 9:30 I walk with Nan and Roxy. It is so great to have walking partners. We stop at the clubhouse for free coffee and donuts this morning as part of the grand opening. We both have coffee and I sneak an oatmeal raisin cookie. Nan tied Roxy to the front door handle and I was so impressed that she never moved.

At 11:30 Bob dumps the holding tanks as we get a new neighbor streetside in a Holiday Rambler Presidential. Seems to be a single guy from South Dakota. We leave and let him get set up. Hope to meet him later. Nan and Tom join us and we all pile in Big Bertha to head to Port Aransas. There is only a 15 minute wait for the ferry. We have lunch at Trout Street Market and Grill. It is open again this year after remodeling last year. We think it looks the same. Maybe they put on an upper deck. I have my favorite Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce. Tuna on Focaccia Bread for Nan. Tuna Salad and Pasts Salad with sweet sun-dried tomatoes for Bob. Fish Corn Tacos with citrus vinaigrette for Tom. It was all good.

My brother Mike, Gramps, looks pretty proud!

Next we hit a couple of gift shops on the main drag. Nan finds a Larimar stone pendant to match her ring. Tom finds beach shoes. I get postcards. We feed gulls on the fishing pier then drive to the beach and feed more gulls. We get mobbed by them there. A guy on wheels is being pulled by a huge glider kite. We tell a guy in a Class A who pulls out in front of us on the beach road that his steps are still down. The Maritime Research Center is closed Saturdays so we head back across the ferry with not too bad of a wait. I have a voice message from Tom and Shirley our IA RV friends; I was so sure it was news of my new great nephew!

We stop in a dive kayak rental place near Lighthouse Trail Park and the folks were not very helpful. We stop at HEB to get produce and almond bark. Then we go home and Nan and Roxy and I walk. When I get back I have a text message from my brother Mike who is a new grandfather! My niece Megan and her husband Casey are the proud parents of Ethan Thomas; born 10:30 a.m., 10 lbs. 3 oz. Mike's picture shows Megan holding Ethan and looking very good. Then he sends another picture of Linda, the proud grandma,holding Ethan. I try to call Mike but have to leave him a voice message. I'm so happy for all of them.

I call Tom and Shirley and catch them in a Chuck-E-Cheese kind of pizza place so we can hardly hear each other. They are in Victoria until Monday when then move to Bay City for a week before heading to Houston to await the arrival of their grandchild. We'll have to try to meet them somewhere while they are nearby.

I warm up the cheese dip and take veges over to Tom and Nan's. We can't see their front door now that the Presidential is in between our rigs. They have salmon dip, cream cheese and jalapeno jelly, humus and crackers. What a feast. Nan has us finish off Roxy's ice cream birthday cake as a fog rolls in at dusk. We get to watch some curling on the Olympics as they have a satellite dish. Bob calculates the electric usage based on their readings and Nan turns off the water heater. We decide we better get our readings tomorrow. We watch the Women's Super G and head home at 8:45.

Linda looks like she's in grandmother heaven!

I have a picture of Ethan from my nephew Travis who is now a new uncle for the first time. I call him and get his voice mail but he calls right back saying he was giving his friend Cody directions to the hospital. Travis and his Aunt Mari Bess went down to Dallas from southern Missouri on Thursday. They go back home tomorrow. How wonderful that they could be there for the big event. Trav says Ethan has Megan's nose ad looks a bit like Casey too. He declares his hair to be brown.

Brown pelicans wait like vultures above the fishing pier in Port Aransas

It's 10:00 p.m. and 60 degrees. The high was 66 after a low of 56. The humidity is 91% and it is very foggy. The windows on the RV were completely drenched on the outside this morning. I have no clue how to get pictures from my phone to my blog. But I'm posting this a few days later so I'll post some pictures of Ethan after he gets home on Tuesday. So he's four or five days old in these shots. What a cutie!

Bob, Tom and Nan brave the swarm of gulls on the beach in Port Aransas

Tom and Nan make the gulls happy with leftover tortillas from Los Comales

Reet and Bob dodge the diving gulls

Reet tosses tortillas to the gulls on Port Aransas Beach

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grand Opening Clubhouse at Southern Oaks

Billie, Bob, Rita and Bud pause by the pond on the way to Southern Oaks clubhouse grand opening
Friday, February 19, I stayed up late last night to watch the Olympics and got to see my first skeleton competition. I was still wide awake at 3:36 a.m. I woke up on a board at 8:30. After breakfast and a stretch I put the trash out barely in time for that guy that comes by and picks it up at the curb. It rained all night and all morning. There is a little pond on the road two sites over from us. We can't believe they didn't put us in that site. This morning the laptop won't fire up so we let the battery run down and try to reboot.

Nan calls at 9:00 to cancel our walk due to inclement weather. I lounge around getting ready for our happy hour at 3:00. Nan knocks at 11:45 to say folks are gathering at the club house. I had no idea a catered lunch was happening from 11:00 to 3:00.I thought the food was tonight with the DJ. tom goes over there and gets a sandwich while Bob and I are still getting cleaned up and dressed. At last we are presentable and go over to roust Tom and Nan around 1:00. We all walk down to check out the Grand Opening. We get a mini-tour of the unfinished clubhouse by Gary, a local who has a house in Rockport. He points out where the library, laundry and showers will be.

We go in the meeting/community room for a brisket sandwich, Cole slaw, potato salad, pickles and lot of desserts and truffles. Ann and Jerry from Washington state who we met at the chiminea christening the other night join us at our table. Lois is serving in the chow line. We see Terry at the door on the way out. All of us walk to the parking lot by the office to tour the three 5th wheels they towed here this morning for the guests to view; Big Country and Big Horn by Heartland and a Montana. They are all 39-plus feet long. We still love The Titanic.

Back home at 2:30 I make my queso. Nan makes her salmon dip. Bud and Billie arrive at 3:00 with a bottle of red. I pour butter nipples for everyone. We put out snacks and view Bud's Haiti CDs. It is very interesting to hear his comments. What an experience! We chat until 5:30. Bob and I go with Bud and Billie to view the three RV models. Nan joins us for another look. We pick up Tom on the way and walk to the clubhouse for DJ music and dancing. Bud and Billie know this DJ from the Valentine's Day party at Drifters where they are staying. There is lots of Texas two-step and line dancing, even some polkas. Terry and Jerry join us to chat and we visit with Lois. We leave around 7:00 like the old folks that we are.

Nan invites me to walk with her and Roxy. It starts to rain and we're glad to get home. Bob and I watch the Olympics. It was a fun day. It's 8:25 p.m. and 58 degrees. The high was 63 and the low was 54 with 88% humidity.

Antiques Corpus, Walk Golf Course and Happy Hour with Tom and Nan

Thursday, February 18, I got up at 7:00 to a cloudy day with a low of 47 degrees. The high gets to 60 later but the sun never really comes out. I send a postcard to Ken and Vivian our Minnesota RV friends who are down in Fulton for the winter. At 9:00 I walk with Nan and Roxy. I email Bud and Billie about happy hour at their place on Friday.

Nan is taking a rest today. Bob and I decide to go to Corpus via I-37 to Ben's Mini Mall but find it is out of business. Then we go east to Worth Repeating second hand store where we find three hardback presidential books for $2.00 each. I find two plastic clear bowls for 50 cents and three small potted plants for $1.00 for all three. We stop at Betty's Trash to Treasures but find nothing. We head home for leftovers for lunch.

Tom and Nan knock around 4:00 to say Kelly and Heather told them the Grand Opening for the clubhouse here at Southern Oaks is tomorrow at 5:30 with DJ music. So I email Bud and Billie and invite them over here for Happy Hour and the Grand Opening. Nan and Tom head to Wal-Mart. Bob and I go for a walk around the golf course-to-be here. Mosquitoes mob us as we walk four of the five existing holes that have been laid out. Our walk lasts 40 minutes but the mosquito bites hang around for a while.

We watch the Olympics and then take a look at one of Bud's Haiti CDs he left for us to look at. Tom and Nan come over bearing (Whew!) liverwurst, onions, horseradish sauce, crackers and wine. How fun! I add Crispy Thingies and Ritz PB Cookies that send Nan over the edge. What a fun evening we share watching the Olympics. They head home at 8:00. It's 8:06 p.m. and 56 degrees with 72% humidity. We see on the news that some nutcase in Austin crashes a plane into the IRS building. It seems he's mad about having no job and paying taxes, etc.

Happy 7th Birthday Roxy!

Sandie finds a cozy spot in my Euro chair.

Wednesday, February 17, I was up at 7:30 after finishing my book at 2:00 a.m. The low is 44 and the high gets to 59 today although it feels warmer as the wind is out of the ESE. When Bob gets up I do a quick vacuum after checking email. Yesterday my niece Megan's Facebook said she was gardening the day before as it helped her Mom with getting the baby to come. All she got was an aching back. I sent a comment that Uncle Bob hopes for a fewmore days for a fellow-Pisces!

Bud and Bob aboard The Titanic

At 9:00 I walk with nan and Roxy. Nan says Roxy is seven years old toady and we have a mission to get an ice cream cake! It is a nice, sunny morning for a walk. How fun to have a walking partner. Tom's propane bottle is out front as they need a refill. I mention to Nan the place we got it in Fulton in past years but I didn't realize how far back north that is on 35. So when he knocks to ask directions Bob tells him to go for the place the office told him about in Aransas Pass by Wal-Mart.

Windmill blades embedded by past hurricane in live oak tree just off Aransas Bay in Fulton, TX

I stretch while Bob showers. Then I do dishes and make Ritz PB Cookies. I squeeze in my ironing and get myself cleaned up. Bud, Billie and their dog Sandie arrive at 11:45. It sure is great to see them. We give them the tour of The Titanic. Tom and Nan come over and we have introductions. Bud tells us stories of his recent three weeks in Haiti after the earthquake. It sounds like a lot of trauma and seems like an incredible experience. Sandie makes himself at home right away in my Euro chair.

Nan shows Roxy her birthday cake as we all sing Happy Birthday!

Soon we head to Charlotte Plummer's Restaurant on Fulton Beach Road. Billie and I have to have the Shrimp Sholten. Nan gets the shrimp sampler. Tom has a seafood combo platter. Bob of course has the oysters. And Bud enjoys the oysters on the halfshell. We have a nice visit and enjoy our waitress from last year. We all walk over to TJ's Beach Shop afterwards. Billie gets some gift certificates and her and Bud leave with a promise to meet for drinks on Friday.

Roxy had way too much DQ Ice Cream Cake!

Roxy never did read her name on the cake but it sure looked pretty!

The rest of us tour the Beach Road and find the windmill in the tree behind Fulton Mansion, deposited there by a prior hurricane. Bob drives out to view the homes along Paradise Key. And Tom gets to snap a picture of the leaning live oaks that form an umbrella-like canopy as they lean away from the salt spray. We stop for bird viewing at the now-defunct Off the Hook Restuarant that we loved so much. And we stop at HEB in Aransas Pass for beveages, produce and snack food. One last stop at the DQ in Aransas Pass for Ice Cream Birthday Cake for Roxy, the black lab. Tom has to hide while Nan has them write Roxy in icing on the cake. Bob comments that the dog probably won't know since she can't read. Nan says "But I'll know!"

Roscoe gets ready to pounce!

Back at Southern Oaks we join them within the hour to celebrate Roxy's 7th Birthday. I take pictures as Nan lights the candles. Yikes, Roscoe takes a flying leap onto the tablecloth to inspect the candles and almost knocks the whole works on the floor. I have visions of the RV going up in flames. Bob looks around for the fire extinguisher. Fortunately tragedy is averted and we calm our nerves with ice cream and chocolate fudge cake. Roxy only gets the vanilla ice cream part on top. We have a nice visit until 9:00. Oh my, how did it get that late?

Roscoe never did get any cake but he enjoys a nap by the fire anyway

We watch the Olympics; Men's Ice Skating long program and Snowboarding. It's 9:55 p.m. and 61 degrees with 51% humidity.

Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi with Tom and Nan

Nan and Tom on the seawall along Corpus Christi Bay

Tuesday, February 16, I slept like a rock and got up and 7:30. This morning I caught up on correspondence and thank yous from our visit in Bastrop. After a light breakfast I go for a walk. First I went to the office where they pointed out the out-going mail on the far end of the parking lot. The mail lady is not here yet so I go home and get my letters. As I walk back I meet the mail gal on the parking lot. Perfect timing! It's 9:45 so I have to remember to get my mail out there before then.

Reet and Bob pause on the seawall in Corpus Christi Bay before walking out to the fishing pier behind us.

I proceed on my walk and meet Roxy and Nan coming back from their morning walk. Tomorrow we'll coordinate better. I didn't even think of mentioning it yesterday. Her sister calls so we say we'll meet at noon for lunch and I continue on my walk. No one is out and about over by the deeded lots. Back home to stretch, iron and shower. We go outside to put the back seat of Big Bertha up. Tom and Nan join us and we're off. The low is 41 degrees, no where near freezing like they said even though Bob shut off our water. The high gets to 57 degrees with a north wind the air feels chilly but the sun is out making it a much nicer day.

Nan, Tom and Bob enjoy the Corpus skyline

We head to Railroad Seafood Station in Corpus. Nan takes a cue from me and tries the Baltimore Crab Cakes. Drum for Bob and Crawfish Etouffe for Tom. We all enjoy the delicious broccoli slaw and we have 'go boxes.' Then we take Shoreline and Ocean Drive tour admiring palm trees and mansions where the other half lives. I take a photo of a Mom, daughter and grandson's first trip to "The Beach" out on the fishing pier in Corpus Bay. Nan notices our shadows on the water as we lean on the railing so I snap a shot of our silhouettes. I try to explain how rare this non-windy day is for this area. In a few days they will know what I'm talking about.

Bob, Tom, Nan and Rita cast shadows upon Corpus Christi Bay from the fishing pier!

The road is still closed by the Convention Center so we go across the Bay down by The Lexington. First we browse a beach gift shop. Nan finds purple and black beach shoes at a reasonable price. We walk to the front of The Lex for a photo op and then down the beach to the water's edge where a jellyfish floats by. The water is chillier than we thought it would be; a tribute to this harsh winter.

Nan poses by the huge Lex prop

I hop out for a Corpus Caller-Times at a gas station and we head home to Southern Oaks admiring the blue of the water with the sun out for the first time. We sit outside on site 202 concrete between our rigs at the picnic table after Bob and Tom move it to the pavement. I just had to snap a picture of their rig to show there is more than one way to 'Move on Down the Road!' We enjoy my friend Jean's Argentina Malbec wine-thanks so much! I bring Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly and cream cheese and trail mix. Nan adds nuts and crackers. By late afternoon we move inside to their Grand Junction as the wind is brisk.

Bob, Nan and Tom with The Lexington off shore

Roxy and Roscoe (their black and white cat) entertain us. Roscoe lets himself out the screen door! We have a nice chat until 7:30 when Bob and I head home. Our RV is chilly as we had the top vent open. We watch the Olympics--Snowboard Cross and Men's Figure Skating. It's 8:10 p.m. and 50 degrees with 42% humidity.

A jellyfish floats by

Bob, Tom and Nan gather for Happy Hour at Southern Oaks

Tom and Nan's Grand Junction 5th wheel, The Big Truck and The Smart Car!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Summer Ohio Friends Join Winter Texans

Monday, February 15, the wind blew terribly last night. I got very little sleep. The gusts were 40 mph and caused loud flapping of our awnings. I woke up for good at 4:00 a.m. and just gave up on sleep and got out of bed at 4:45. It is 62 degrees in the living room. The high gets to 68 after a low of 41. The wind blows until 8:00 a.m. from the north and keeps it from warming up. The skies clear early and we have nice sun all day. I read for three hours until Bob gets up at a normal hour. After a light breakfast I clean the bathroom.

Bob works on the digital picture frame. I make the first run through our Income Taxes for 2009. Around 12:30 we go to lunch at Pepito's. Tilapia with verde sauce for me. Fish Tacos for Bob. Afterwards we check out an antique store just south of Pepito's that we liked last year. I found a cute little wicker/wrought iron shelf and Bob found a lure. We got a paper at our second stop and headed back to the RV Park. Lo and behold, Tom and Nan just pulled in ahead of us with their Big Truck, Grand Junction and Smart Car. We stop in front of the office to greet them. How fun to have them here! And the day is young; it's only 3:30.

We let them alone to check in and get set up. We go home and read the paper telling them we'll meet for drinks later. They maneuver the circle at the end of our row and end up taking slot 201, two sites over, as it is easier to get into. They get all settled in and come over with cheese, crackers and and excellent Mark Twain wine. I love the cranberry cheese they introduce us to. I add my trail mix and we chat until 8:30. It is so fun to catch up on what we've all been doing since our time in Ohio last summer. They just left a 51-rig RV rally in Kerrville, TX. We watch pairs figure skating this evening. It's 10:33 p.m. and 47 degrees with 50% humidity. Bud called to say they would meet us here for lunch on Wednesday. He has been in Haiti for three weeks after the earthquake to help with electrical utility service there. I cant' wait to hear about his experience.

Valentine's Dinner at Los Comales, Rockport, TX

Sunday, February 14, I slept like a rock after only four hours of sleep last night. Our big move day tired me out. It is sunny and warm when I get up at 8:30. I open the day/night shades to our gorgeous view of the live oaks lining golf hole-to-be #1 here at Southern Oaks.

One of the happiest times of RVing is the day after you move and you plan to stay for a while! Bob gets a great connection this morning on-line (I had nothing last night.) So I hop on to do some banking and check email. Our Ohio RV friends Tom and Nan will arrive tomorrow night from Kerrville, TX, to be our neighbors for a month. Our Wyoming RV friends, Bud and Billie, are nearby at Drifters in Rockport, site #93.

Before breakfast I put up all of my decor so it feels more like home. Afterwards I stretch and wash the bugs off the front of the RV. They come off easily after Bob's wax job in Bastrop so that paid off for me big time! While I'm out front I meet John who is in the 5th wheel Montana down the road. They are from Spokane, WA, and have their little dog Emily with them. They tried to go to a membership campground in Rockport but got stuck in the mud there and had to use 4WD to get out. They came here instead and are staying until Wednesday.

The sun is great today with no wind--we'll pay for that later. The high gets to 68 degrees! This is more like it. Bob has a round with the new DVD recorder. The cable button is still pushed on the infamous black box since we needed it in Bastrop, but we have no cable here. He perseveres and gets the channels to scan in at last. After showers and checking email we head to Los Comales around 3:00. We have the windows open in the RV and it's 79 degrees in here!

There are two big tables full of people with a large trophy on one of the tables. They are celebrating something and keeping our waitress hopping. At last we get to order. I have my favorite here-El Yuccateco (eggplant with scallops and shrimp.) Bob has fish with sauteed veges. We take big go boxes home but first stop at HEB for fruit and chocolate cake for a little Valentine's celebration.. After reading the paper we picked up at the second place we tried, I take a walk. It's one mile around the permanent sites circle and back here.

No one is out and about on this gorgeous day; must be due to Valentine's. We watch the Olympics-Pairs skating short program. About 9:30 fierce wind gusts blow in with a cold front and rain. Our living room slide awning sounds like it will rip off. It scares me enough that I put my shoes on--a sure sign that I'm ready to run. Bob goes out to check the bikes that are parked in the 'down under' carport. They are not covered, just chained to the front jacks. Amazingly they are still standing upright. It's 9:55 p.m. and 47 degrees with 81% humidity.

Movin' On to Aransas Pass, TX

Big Bertha and The Titanic at Southern Oaks, Arnasas Pass, TX
Saturday, February 13, I read until 2:00 a.m. (37 degrees) before I could finally fall asleep. Got up at 8:00 to 34 degrees. Bob has the internal water pump on when I get up so I thought the outside water faucet froze. But he got up and said the low was 34 so it can't be frozen. he thinks the RV Park shut the water off. It must be true because a couple of hours later it's back on. I'm so glad. i can't imagine a frozen pipe and no water as we try to pack up and move for the first time in two months.

We have Joyce's Crispy Thingies for breakfast and I stretch. I must be getting used to our new RV because our packing up was pretty smooth. We have a few new things on our checklist, like the ditital picture frame that has to be stowed. But now our 'down under' is all organized. We left at 11:09 and took the same route we always do to The Coast; Hwy 71 to 609 to 2436 to 77 south to 239 through Tivoli to 35 south. We didn't have to stop for gas as we have a bigger tank now and we get better fuel mileage with the diesel. So we pulled into a picnic area along 35 just before Aransas Wildlife Refuge. I sure needed a restroom break-we used our own as this is just a turnout in the road.

The view of the sunset and pond on the soon-to-be golf course out the front of our RV

We find the turn into Southern Oaks Luxury RV Park, 1850 Hwy 35 ByPass, Aransas Pass,TX 78336, (361) 758-1249, after 184 miles. We remembered it being more like 200 so maybe our tires are a different size. Who knows? It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes. Heather in the office takes our $100 deposit. We'll settle up for $350/month plus electric usuage at 14 cents per kilowatt when we move out in a month, or whenever we decide to leave.

Terry poses with their Holiday Rambler on the lot they purchased here at Southern Oaks

I had called Heather from near Victoria on the way down and she said they moved us and Tom and Nan from sites 211 and 210 to 203 and 202 respectively. As we pull in we make the circle at the end of the row and Bob backs in. We are set up by 3:09. Without further ado we head to Charlottle Plummer's in Fulton; our favorite seafood place here. I have the Shrimp Platter and of course Bob has the oysters. We go back home along Business 35 and stop for a San Antonio paper at Valero. Have to stop twice as the place we got fuel at 35 Bypass and Bus. 35 had no paper. We only had four gallons of fuel left. Then we drop off our go boxes at home and go out for a walk around our new RV Park. I snap a picture of our new RV site and the pond out our front window.

Jerry brings more wood for the fire as Bob, Richard, Lois and Terry look on.

We pass the clubhouse which will have a Grand Opening next weekend and wander through the resort ownership lots. About a dozen are developed. A group on the turn at the end calls us over to help christen their new chiminea they just purchase from Lowe's. Terry and Jerry from New York have built some improvements on this lot along the golf course where they park their Holiday Rambler motorcoach. Terry gives me a tour of their out-building with a fridge, storage, and bathroom complete with a shower.

We also meet Ann and Jerry from the State of Washington, along with Richard and Lois who we walk home with at dark. They have a Pommeranian and a mix. They are in a 5th wheel just down the way. What a fun visit; they were all friendly folks. They were drinking Blackstone Merlot and were a few drinks ahead of us. I snapped a picture of Terry by her RV as she gave me a tour of their lot.

Jerry babies the fire as the other Jerry, Lois and Bob gather 'round.

It is chilly after we leave the warmth of the fire. Back home I get on-line and send emails. My brother Mike says the 12.4" of snow in Dallas is an all-time record. Bob scans TV channels and we watch the Olympics. It's 8:30 p.m. and 52 degrees. The high was 64-Yeah we must have come far enough south-with 79% humidity.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kay's Cafe-Farewell to Glenda

Friday, Feb. 12, Low 36: H 44, cloudy with a glimpse of sun late afternoon. After dishes I pack up the decor in prep for our move. It looks barren on The Titanic. We stayed so long in Bastrop my items on the soffett need dusting. It must be time to move on down the road. Bob dumps the holding tanks. Late last night I paid bills on-line and caught up journal pages (good things as it is eight days later before I post again!) I sent the Oven Parmesan Chips recipe to Joyce that we discussed. I check my niece Megan's Facebook (a daily event as her time gets near for Baby Frank) and discover Dallas has an all-time record 12.4 inches of snow!

I print the move check list; we have new items since our rearrangement here. We leave at 12:40 for Kay's Cafe on Hwy 71 to meet Glenda for lunch. Bob has Goodwill items in the truck that we want to drop off. Glenda is already on the parking lot when we pull up; we spied her Minnie Mouse on the antenna.

We browse the special board and order at the counter. Green Chili chicken Enchilada Casserole for me and Glenda with creamed spinach and avocado black-eyed pea salad. Bob has Cottage Pie (like Shephard's Pie.) Bob and I split Sweet Potato Pie for dessert. Glenda goes for Evil Brownies. We sure had a nice visit over lunch. Her son Dan and his wife Cheryl found a place to stay in New York. I'm glad about that.

The cold weather outside saves us from a long, sad goodbye so we have a quick parting. I really enjoyed our times together here over the past two months with Glenda. Bob and I stop at Goodwill by Pizza Hut and drop off a load of stuff we cleaned out since our move to The Titanic. We get diesel at Shell and a paper.

Back home I go through the mail again and get most of it filed, paid and recorded. Bob checks the air pressures, etc. and we bring the bikes in so we can tie them down. Tonight we enjoy opening ceremonies of the Olympics from Vancouver, BC. It's 7:20 p.m. and 40 degrees with 71% humidity. Three of the four monoliths leading to the cauldron come out of the stage floor. Oops! Wayne Gretzky, "The Great One"lights the torch. Sadly, a 20-year old Luge Olympian from Georgia died in a training run on the course today. Snow is on the ground in 49 of 50 states; only Hawaii has none. They looked on the mountains there but no go.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Laundry and Gracie's One Last Time

Thursday, February 11, I wake up on a board at 8:30. It drizzled all night but never froze, only got down to 38 degrees. It rains all day and accumulates quite a bit in the pond. I get some birthday cards ready this morning. After a light breakfast and a stretch I pack up four loads of laundry and head to the laundry room in a light rain. No one is there so I come back for two of the laundry bundles. By the time I get back there a guy comes in with his two loads so we share the machines. Bob gathers up our Goodwill stuff for a dropoff tomorrow and fixes the pull on my purse zipper. What a guy! And he Velcro's down the DVD recorder which we are pleased to note has successfully recorded White Collar last night.

When my first two loads are in the dryer I go back home and get my other two loads. The only problem is a lady comes in and puts a bunch of bedding in one of the two remaining dryers so now when my two loads are done I only have a dryer for one. She can't figure out the coin slot and after she leaves we realize her machine is not running. So we retrieve her stuck quarter and add three more for her and she's back in business. Some delivery truck pulls up and tries to deliver a new Rv refrigerator. He finally finds the mobile RV repair guy.

After all of that we get out of there by 2:30. We drop the laundry off at home in the rain of course and head to Gracie's for lunch. At this time of day we are the lone diners. We both have the Pot Roast special that comes with chocolate cake today. Next stop is the Post Office in the rain where our packet of mail is waiting for us. The postal employee actually knew it was there when I asked for it.

Home to open the mail and read the paper. I'm happy to see several Christmas cards. And all of our Income Tax stuff arrived so that's good. Sad news from a long-time postcard pen pal who lost her husband in December. My heart goes out to her.

We have soup and watch our recorded show and tonight's The Mentalist. I have an email from my brother Mike. Dallas has four inches of snow and it's still coming for a projected total of ten inches; a record! I'm glad all of ours is just rain. But I keep thinking of how nervous my niece Megan must be as she's nearing her due date.

We get a surprise call this evening from our Iowa RV friends Tom and Shirley. They are in Benson, AZ, heading back to Texas to visit their son in Houston. They wanted to know the RV Park we met them at in Bay City. Bob can't find it in the campground book but I get on-line and find it in my journal-Bert's on 35. Wow, that was in March 2006! Nice to chat with both of them. It sounds like we may be able to meet them as they swing back through Texas. How fun!

It's 11:12 p.m. and 38 degrees with 89% humidity. The high only hit 43 today. It's not supposed to freeze tonight here. Sure hope they are right as Bob did not unhook the water. I can't believe we leave the day after tomorrow.

Ponytail Canasta with Joyce and Dan

Bob enjoys Newcastle Brown Ale

Wednesday, February 10, I'm up at 8:15. The morning speeds by; light breakfast, skipped my stretch-unusual for me. The low was 34 so it never froze but Bob leaves the water unhooked as we leave at 11:20 for Cedar Hills. We stop at Steve and Elaine's to drop off their Lasko heater. Nice of them to loan it to us. We chat for a bit and bid them farewell until our next return to Central Texas.

It is a quick drive to the other side of the neighborhood to Joyce and Dan's place. It's great to see them. The house smells heavenly as Joyce is cooking away. She shows me her microwave convection oven as well as her range convection oven. It adjusts recipes automatically. If you put in 350 degrees for a regular recipe and hit convection it goes to 300 degrees. Bob and Dan chat in the living room as Joyce and I chat in the kitchen while she puts the finishing touches on lunch.

Soon it's all served and it's way more than lunch it you ask me. Delightful chicken breast in a burgundy mushroom sauce, mashed potato/cauliflower casserole, green beans with chestnuts and turkey bacon, spiced apples and warm bread. It was all outstanding. She brings out a huge trifle for dessert with bananas, strawberries, pudding, cake and whipped cream.

Bob and Joyce are ready for Ponytail Canasta

Their little puppy, Titch, is so cute. He dances and plays dead for us. Dan deals out the Canasta cards. We play a practice round of Ponytail Canasta and then dive in for real; guys vs. gals. Joyce and I have St. Genevieve red wine and Bob has a pub ale. Joyce goes outside to get the beer and reports sleet. The guys win in a squeaker. What a fun game. Joyce copies the instructions for us so we can keep up our skills until we see them again. Their newly remodeled bathroom is wonderful with warm, rich tones.

Dan and Bob deal out the cards.

We enjoy coffee and my key lime pie before we bid them farewell. I'm so glad we were able to get together again before we leave town. It is misting as we head home at 5:00. We get a paper on j71 and then stop at Best Buy to get some new DVD discs to see if that's the problem with our DVD recorder. We head home to try therm but it still won't format the discs. Back to Best Buy. They tell us to bring in the recorder. So we go back home to get it and drive back down the hill where Best Buy refunds $70 (since the only one they have left is an 'open item.') We go back home, Bob hooks it up, re-scans the channels and Voila! The disc formats and records!

Titch wants to play too!

We watch Human Target, read the paper and record White Collar from 11:00 to midnight, thankfully. It's 9:35 p.m. and 39 degrees with 70% humidity. The high was 45. It was 52 inside when we got home but it is now 72 in the living room. We brought the bedroom heater downstairs until 9:00 and then moved it back to the bedroom. It seemed to work out better.

Trip to Austin and Cyclepath Comes Home

Tuesday, February 9, I'm up at 8:15. The low is 37 degrees and the high gets to 45 with a sharp north wind and sunny skies. I had to clamp the cover back on my bike first thing this morning as it was about to blow off. There is too much excess material now that Bob's bike is in the shop. My hands froze and I had to go back out a second time to get it right.

We have a light breakfast and stretch. Bob hooks up the water. It never froze last night but better safe than sorry. Another Big Freeze is predicted over the next two days. I send an email to Glenda to ask about lunch on Friday instead of Thursday as we may not be able to leave our pipes on Thursday. I find an email from Tom and Nan-Marie. They will be our neighbors at Southern Oaks in Aransas Pass. They made reservations for a month and will arrive shortly after we do. They got a discount for the clubhouse not being open just like we did. They mentioned a new Thousand Trails membership that they will take advantage of in their new lifestyle. Many RVers we run into have invested in this way of getting reduced campground fees.

Before heading off for the day we fill our freshwater tank. The hose flips out so it wasn't filling up but we finally 'got er done'. At 11:30 Bob and I leave for Austin taking 183 to 290 to Airport to eat at China Palace. This favorite spot of ours was especially good this year. I enjoyed the new Seaweed Salad. And as always their Summer Rolls with Plum Sauce and Pot Stickers with Soy/Ginger Sauce are excellent. They have the best tofu here.

After lunch we stop at Capital Camera on Lamar. We found a battery for our bathroom scale but a snarly guy behind the counter said we'll have a hard time finding the old-style Memory Stick for my five year old Sony camera. He says we'll probably have to have an adapter stick and use a new SD card. And no, they don't have any, and good luck finding one; maybe Fry's or something. The bike repair guy calls while we're in the camera shop and I can barely hear him. Bob's bike is ready and he's open until 6:00 tonight.

On a whim we decide to kill 45minutes across the street at Central Market. We love that place. As we drive across Lamar I remember there is a Wolf Camera store next door. We find the adapter and a 1 meg memory stick for $19.99. Sold!

It is nostalgic browsing through Central Market. We sure miss this place and didn't realize just how much until we roamed up and down the aisles. We found a 9-grain honey bread for $2.49/lb. We couldn't find our favorite chicken sausage. But we score the last of the season's Honeycrisp apples and Oolong and Prince Edward Breakfast Teas. We try Pinata apples for $1.49/lb. And I'm happy to find the Kohana coffee beans that Blair told me about; I try Flores Bajawa. Bob finds a paper on the second try by the express lane.

He drops me off at Dr. M's front door and parks on the roof of the parking garage to read the paper. I'm out of there in 45 minutes after hearing all about Dr. M's three-week cruise to Alaska with a Denali side-trip. He wants to go again this year and take the kids.

Bob is enjoying a view of Central Austin from the top deck of the parking garage after I run up the stairs to the top level. We take Lamar to Ben White all the way to the bike shop in Bastrop where we part with $28.00 for a spoke replacement and the handle bar bushing work. Bob chats about kayak trips on the Colorado River with him. I browse some nice bike shorts/cycle pants for $52.00 but pass on them.

We toss the bike in back after opening the tonneau cover and skipping the bike rack since it's a short trip home where we stow the bike in the 'garage.' Now maybe the cover will stay on since both of our bikes are home. Cyclepath and R2D2 have been reunited. We read the paper and watch both NCIS episodes as well as the Good Wife. Leftover stoup for dinner. It's 8:37 p.m. and 41 degrees with 42% humidity. There is a freeze predicted tonight.

Eye Guy and Omelettry with Glenda

Monday, February 8, I wake up at 7:15 on a board to a cloudy morning. I have a quick light breakfast and coffee. I'm out the door at 8:45 to pick up Glenda in a light rain. The sky gets brighter as I near Cedar Hills, arriving at 9:08--record time to her place so I'm early. I use her restroom while she takes Benedryl for her allergies. Her lawn guy, Mr. S, is a no show with the rain so we're off.

We get to Austin 40 minutes ahead of my 10:30 eye doctor appointment so I stop at Karavel and get some of my favorite socks-Ecco. Glenda waits in the truck in a pouring rain. The salesman tells me about one of the gals who works there with eight, yes eight, neuromas on her feet AND she's a runner. She just wears the right shoe, with a wide toe box and these special inserts with a high spot in the center. Sounds painful to me. My one measly neuroma is killing me.

We forge on to my eye guy. I have to circle the lot for a parking space but manage to squeeze Big Bertha into a tight spot on the side. I leave Glenda in the lobby. Dr. U can't get a good reading on my left eye as it is very dry. What else is new? She gives me drops and wants me to use them for four days and come back. Not! We're leaving on Saturday. She finally gives me last times' prescription, back up one power.

Michael at the optical counter orders a new left lens, take my bottle and says he'll call me and find out where to mail it to me when it arrives. I pick up my new glasses that are ready and he says they are paid for. That's confusing because I thought I only paid for my contacts when I was here a few weeks ago. But he check twice.

The sun is out as Glenda and I leave; she left her sunglasses at home. Fortunately the car next to us has left so I get out of my tight parking space easily. We head south on Lamar to The Omelettry, an Austin institution and one of Glenda any my old haunts. We get a table in the back after parking in the empty strip mall next door. She digs out four quarters for me and I get a paper out front and put it in the truck while making sure I lock up.

We split our favorites; gingerbread pancakes and Popeye's omelet(bacon, spinach, sour cream.) We're in heaven with several coffee refills. It was nice of Glenda to treat me to breakfast. Next we're off to Target at Peyton Gin. She enters the 'mothers' name in the baby registry up front and prints a list. We find a baby monitor and then browse in the Valentine and baby cards. I find small paper plates and napkins.

We're outta there and head home in blackening skies. Rain is building and it is dark in the northwest behind us. I drop Glenda off and we make plans to have lunch before we get out of town. I head home in a pouring rain with a sultry humidity, strong north wind and lightening. Bob is tying down my bike and the cover on the back of the RV. It is about to blow away. He has the entertainment center in a jumble of wires. Our new Panasonic DVD recorder is working but it won't format or read our blank Memorex RW discs. He has it all hooked up and communicating with the TV. It will play a pre-recorded movie disc we have. We put it all back in the hole and feed the wires. All we have to do is Velcro it down but we'll go visit Best Buy and see why the blank discs won't work first. Another electronic mystery!

The bike cover is making noise so we go out to investigate after we have leftovers for dinner. We read the paper I brought home, watch House, Castle and Triple D. It's 6:30 p.m. and 49 degrees with 77% humidity. The high was 65 and the low was 48.

Super Bowl with Glenda

Sunday, February 7, I wake up to clouds and a chilly morning. I stare at the digital pics next to my Euro chair and sip coffee. I read for a while and then go for a walk, stretch and have breakfast. Bob and I make Stuffed Cabbage Stoup and Nacho Cheese Dip to take to the game tonight. Marilynn calls as she pulls up out front to give me my completed tiger-eye necklace. It is beautiful! She rushes off to go home and make 'wings' for her Super Bowl Party tonight.

Bob gets the pictures loaded and edited in the digital picture frame and packs up the laptop to take to Glenda's. I call Patti to see how her birthday was yesterday. We had a nice chat. It is cold and snowy there. I left another voice message for Megan (I have a message from her when we return from Glenda's late tonight! She says she is feeling good and is 'on schedule' for Baby Frank on Saturday!)

I call Southern Oaks RV Resort in Aransas Pass around noon and make a reservation for one month. Then I sent an email to our RV friends Tom and Nan-Marie who we met in Ohio this summer as they may join us on the Coast. How fun!

Around 3:00 Bob and I head to Glenda's with our food and stuff. She meets us at the door saying "Who dat saying what day when dey do day?"...or some such thing that I never could get to roll off my tongue like she can. We have soup and nacho dip before the game. Poor Glenda is suffering from the high mold count in Central Texas and just doesn't sound like herself. Here I was thinking it was The Hill Country's famous Cedar Fever. I try to ten the fire in the first half but it is much better when Glenda and I switch seats at half-time and she takes care of the fire.

Bob loads photos of Bellingrath Gardens' Maids on her digital picture frame before the game starts. The Colts jump out to an early lead but the Saints prevail in a good game. One year ago Bob and I were with the rowdy bunch trying to cheer the Cardinals to victory in Toulouse Latrec Theatre on Carnival Conquest cruise ship. I was seasick and had a rough night until my drugs kicked in as the seas were unusually high for most of our cruise.

We pack up our food and bid Glenda farewell. She's going to Austin with me tomorrow. I'll pick hr up at 9:30 in the morning. It's 11:02 p.m. and 51 degrees with 82% humidity. The wind is out of the southeast. The high was 58 and the low was 42. We crash in bed and read the paper and work the puzzles until we doze off.

Maxine's, HEB and Journaling

Saturday, February 6, the sun is out for the first time in weeks. A cold north wind is blowing but I walk and stretch anyway. I called Marilynn. She can't go to the movies on Monday and the rest of my week is full. What a bummer; I really wanted to see Crazy Heart with my favorite music buddy.

Bob and I go to Maxine's around noon for lunch. They have a big crowd; we sit at the front for once and get a different waitress. I have the Reuben and Bob has a Chicken Taco salad with chipotle ranch. We split a mile-high Key Lime Pie.

On the way home we stop at HEB for my Weight Watchers version of Key Lime Pie ingredients for Wednesday at Joyce and Dan's. Back home I get on the PC and renew Bob's driver's license successfully. It's always a relief when we can get these things done on-line. The next time we both have to show up in person for new photos and an eye test. I also pay some bills on-line and Google for Southern Oaks RV Resort on the Texas Coast--our next destination.

We relax with the paper and puzzles. Then I work on my journal for several hours. I'm almost done putting 2007 on the Good Sam site. Bob works on the digital picture frame off and on all day. We now fight for computer time. I put some pictures on his file from the 'lost ' time period that I found on my journal pages.

I watch Inspector Lindley Mystery on the TV in the bedroom. I tried to call my very pregnant niece Megan but had to leave a voice message. Her due date is 2/13! The high was 58 degrees today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Rising Phoenix Adventures-Bikes and Kayaks

Friday, February 5, the sun streams in the windows this morning as I open the day/night shades. I feel better already just seeing the sun after so many days of rain. I sip my coffee and read The Klondike. All of a sudden I realize that after only 45 minutes the sky has completely clouded over again. The wind is blowing from the north and blew in some clouds. It stays that way until late afternoon when the sun returns. Bob got up about 10 minutes too late to see the sun.

We are both in a funk about the readout of our bathroom scale over the past two weeks. Finally Bob snaps and investigates--the battery for the digital readout is almost dead so we are getting up and down readings. At least that's our story and we're sticking to it. We get a number off the battery and hope to pick one up in town later. Then we'll have no excuses. It seems to me whoever engineers these things should just have the battery go dead instead of giving false readings. A person could get depressed; especially if the sun hasn't been out for a month!

After breakfast I get a wild hair and decide to rearrange two or three kitchen cabinets. I need a taller empty shelf for my sugar, flour, etc. cannisters. So I make a two-tiered shelf above the sink smaller and make a taller space up there. This shoves my pots and pans closer together and makes it harder to get them in and out. I also can't find room for a big plastic bowl I dislodged. Oh well, I'll try this for a while. I can always put it back the way it was.

At last I take a walk (my darn neuroma flares up after being good for a week while I wasn't walking) and I come back home to stretch. We get cleaned up. Bob loads his bike on the back of Big Bertha to take to the bike shop Steve told us about. He finds a hole in the bag over his bike seat so it is all wet from the rain.

The guy at Rising Phoenix Adventures (Bicycle repair and Kayak rentals) across from Lost Pines State Park gives us an estimate for Bob's rear spoke and a bearing on his front fork. He asks how we heard of him and we told him it was our neighbor Steve. We'll check back on Monday.

Gracie's for lunch. Big crowd there. I try Ham and Banana Pepper sandwich that Katie had. It is really good. Big slabs of country ham on a huge Kaiser roll with cream cheese dill spread, cheddar cheese, mozerella, tomato, lettuce and gob of sliced banana peppers. Bob has the Mahi-Mahi.

We stop at Walgreen's on the way home but they only have packages of two of the batteries we need for our bathroom scale. I get my contact solution and a newspaper and we go home to read and relax. Bob checks the map for a way around Houston when we leave the Coast. I work on journal pages. It's 5:32 p.m. and 54 degrees and 71% humidity; the high for the day now that the sun is out.

Kay's Cafe with Peggy and Michael

Thursday, February 4, rain on the roof woke me up in the middle of the night. It turns out that it rains most of the day too. The low was 47 degrees and it only gets up to a high of 50. Light breakfast in anticipation of lunch with our friends from our old Cedar Hills neighborhood. Afterwards I make Holly's Lemon Squares in the convection oven and am very pleased at how brown they got. I did not adjust the baking time on the recipe. I stretch while Bob loaded bicycle museum pictures on the digital frame. How fun! He found a new 'random' mode that does not include the clock. We get cleaned up and put the Goodwill donation bag 'down under.' Then we head out at 11:30 in a cold rain, stopping for a paper at Chevron.

We found Kay's Cafe east on 71 just past Colo Vista. We though Peggy (and Steve and Elaine last week) had called this new place Kathy's. So I tried to find a cell phone number for Peggy to call and make sure we had the right place. Unfortunately I only have her home phone. About that time Michael comes out the door. They are already inside. The decor is cute. I love the little girl's play kitchen stove, fridge and sink in bright red over in the corner. I can't believe I didn't take a picture.

Kay's has 6 or 7 daily specials with a list of sides. Michael and I both try the Chicken Kathryn (owner's name according to our waitress in spite of the Kay's Cafe sign--go figure!) This special of the day is chicken breast in wine sauce over rice with 2 sides and a beverage for $7.99. We both opt for green beans with tomatoes and Avocado Black-eyed Pea Salad-a tasty concoction. Peggy has the chopped steak special and Bob goes for a cute individual casserole dish of lasagna. We chat for a bit and learn they leave on Monday for El Paso to stay with their three grandchildren through Feb. 20th for their daughter who plans to join her hubby who's in Virginia for their anniversary. We eye the great-looking sweet potato pie but dessert is aboard The Titanic.

We adjourn to the RV Park where we give those guys the grand tour of the inside as it is still pouring rain outside. They both seem to like our floorplan. They have a travel trailer and have looked at quite a few of them. We have a nice visit and enjoy lemon squares and coffee. We say farewell in the late afternoon after viewing 'down under' outside with only a light mist falling. I'm sure glad we were able to get together before we all leave town. I hope we can meet up on the road sometime.

We read the paper, have leftovers and relax. It's 6:40 p.m. and 47 degrees with 91% humidity--yes, it's raining! We watch the Mentalist at 9:00. First I leave a voice message for my niece Megan again. Then I have a nice chat with Mom and Dad. They have had temps in the single digits and strong winds with sub-zero chill factors (-30 per Dad.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maxine's with Glenda

Wednesday, February 3, I woke up at 8:15 on a board after tossing and turning and reading until 2:15 a.m. It rained all night and rains and mists most of the day. The high gets to 55 after a low of 48 degrees.

After breakfast I vacuum and clean the whole place. Bob copies CDs of old pre-digital pictures to the PC. For some reason the laptop can't read the Wal-Mart disc. Hmmm. Bob's back started hurting him in the middle of the night and really flares up this morning. At 9:00 I just catch Glenda as she's leaving for the food pantry. She will call us around 1:00 to meet for lunch at Maxine's in downtown Bastrop. She has to take Dan's mail to the post office in Bastrop and is waiting for us in Maxine's with a table as we pull up in the rain.

Burgers for Bob and Glenda; vege plate for me and Bob and I share. We have a fun lunch. It's always great to visit with Glenda. She is tenacious and finds me four quarters for my dollar in her purse for a newspaper out front. We return to our respective vehicles in the rain and she meets us at the RV Park. We have a nice chat and visit. I show her the earrings Marilynn made for me. We don't need them but we have Ghirardelli Symphony Brownies and hazelnut coffee. She leaves before the rush hour.

Bob and I read the paper. But first I find the photos on the Wal-Mart disc by opening our browser on-line. Bob loads the rest of the CD pictures and puts the only Maids from my journal on the digital picture frame. At 7:00 we watch the new Human Target and have leftover soup. It's 7:33 p.m. and 49 degrees with 89% humidity--Yes, it's raining.

We have an email from our Iowa RV friend Shirley about her encounter with the Naked Bookseller in Quartzite, AZ! I had heard about this guy but apparently Shirley had not and had a most abrupt encounter! Check him out at Naked Bookseller

The Austin paper had a cute story and photo of an armadillo in Texas acting as the official Texas groundhog yesterday.

Discs, HEB and Starbucks with Marilynn

Tuesday, February 2, I slept like a rock and was up at 8:30 on this cloudy morning. The low was 42 degrees and it gets up to 55. We have a light breakfast with whole grain pecan bread. I spend the rest of the morning until 2:00 scanning CDs and old floppies of pictures and backed-up documents. My lost photos I thought I found were never copied correctly. The discs are blank. What a bummer. It has been a roller coaster of emotions with these travel photos. We verified that we have everything we can get off the discs for copying to our external hard drive. Then Bob destroys all of the old discs and cleans out our box of technology parts, wires, software, manuals, etc. Man, that stuff can really accumulate. This will never do in the RV lifestyle.

He takes a break and ties down the new shelf we put in the laundry closet yesterday so it doesn't fly out of the cabinet as we go down the road. Marilynn called this morning and we agreed to meet later after lunch. Bob and I have leftovers and then go to HEB to get fruit and ingredients for two soups. Back home Bob checks our Steadyfast package that picked up from Glenda's to ensure we have all the parts. I call Marilynn and meet her at Starbucks down the hill. She's on her way to HEB when I call. We have a fun afternoon break of Cinnamon Dolce Latte and lemon bread.

She added tiger-eye stones to my necklace and I love it. She also redid several pairs of earrings and gave me some new doohickeys. She has to 'close' my necklace so I won't have it for a few days. How nice to get it custom made. We had a fun visit and it was great to see her again. How I miss all the times we had, especially on the Austin Music Scene. Speaking of which UT is trying to close the Cactus Cafe, an Austin music institution. The cry of outrage is coming from all quarters. We'll see what happens. That's where Marilynn and I saw Jimmy LaFave and acted like complete groupies!

I head home to read the paper and Bob and I chop and chop for Ham Hodge Podge Soup. Peggy, our neighbor from Cedar Hills, called and I thought I hung up on her while getting my phone out of my purse. So I called her back and she had actually hung up because she had someone at the door. Anyway we agreed to meet her and Michael on Thursday for lunch. Then I returned Joyce's voice message. We're invited to lunch with her and Dan next Wednesday and they will try to teach us Ponytail Canasta.

Our soup is simmering. It's 6:30 p.m. and 54 degrees with 71% humidity.

Wal-Mart and Chili's, Hutto, TX

Monday, February 1, wow! It's Feb. and we're going to The Texas Coast this month! I tossed and turned for several hours last night and finally slept like a rock. I was up at 8:30. It is cloudy with a low of 35 degrees and misty skies all day.

After Herb Cheese Bread for breakfast (Thanks Elaine!-another great one from the lady at Bastrop Farmer's Market.) I cut up the breads in smaller portions to freeze. I do my stretching and strength routines. Then I search for my lost five months of digital pictures (Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, AL and St. Pat's Parade in Waveland, MS--what a bummer!) I finally found a box of CDs that I thought were new, unused disks, behind the printer in the entertainment center. I'm so happy I didn't lose the early months of our travels right after I got the digital camera. Bob can now load the colorful Bellingrath Gardens Maids onto the digital picture frame.

Time to get cleaned up and we leave at 12:30 for lunch. We need to go to the Super Wal-Mart in Hutto so we hope to eat the the cafe there. On the way an 18-wheel dump truck of dirt turned over on the entrance ramp off Hwy 95 onto Hwy 79. We got around it and discovered the cafe in Hutto is closed on Mondays. Bummer. We continue west on 79 and find a Chili's near Lowe's and Home Depot (all new since we were here last.)

This Chili's has a bunch of new menu items. I have a cup of a new Chicken Green Chili and a new small Asian Salad with Salmon (soy beans, wontons, and peanut sauce-a new favorite!) On to Wal-Mart after the hostess at Chili's tries to send us to 685. But we find it on 79 west of 130. We spend several hours in there but find the perfect hamper and shelving for our laundry closet in the bathroom. At least we hope the dimensions are correct.

It's 3:45, dangerously close to rush hour, as we head home. We sure hate to by-pass 130 Tollway. We need to get a toll tag one of these days. But we do remember to take the 1660 cutoff from Hutto to Copeland. What a nasty, wet and cold day. The high only gets to 46. When we get home we go to work right away on the laundry closet. Bob puts the wire shelf together. He declares it to be a sturdy bargain for $19.99 and weighs much less than if he built shelves out of wood. Voila! It's the perfect size and the shelves adjust up and down. We put the divided hamper together and it is also a perfect fit. We are now officially organized!

We deserve a rest so we read the paper and work the puzzles. It is still cold and rainy but Steve and Elaine's Lasko heater allows us to quickly recover the heat we lost while we in Hutto all day. We have leftovers for dinner and watch House and a Castle repeat after Headlines on Jay Leno. Then at 10:00 we watch Triple D. It's 10:20 p.m. and 45 degrees with 86% humidity. Federer winds the Australian Open; Serena Williams won the women's' on Saturday.

Ricoco's and Dominoes

Latin grill in Taylor, TX
Sunday, January 31, I woke up at 7:45 on a board to 58 degrees in the living room after a low of 32 degrees last night, but I was toasty under three quilts! I don't really know where the morning went--the NY Times crossword puzzle probably. A new travel trailer arrives at the Park at 8:30 in the morning. That seems early--what in the world time did they get up to pack up, drive and arrive here that early? We had a light breakfast around 9:30 and then I stretched. I rehung Manny, Moe and Jack Frost. Then I got myself cleaned up as Bob searched for Bellingrath Garden Maid pictures. We can't find them on the laptop.

With the temperature at 35 degrees at 12:30 we leave for Steve and Elaine's. Their dogs are sleeping on the job as they do not greet us when we pull up out front. It's too cold for them I guess. Elaine has us pick out two loaves of bread from the Bastrop Farmer's Market; Multi-grain Pecan and Cheese & Herb. They both smell heavenly. What a bargain for $4.00 per loaf.

We all pile in their car and head to Ricoco's Latin Grill in Taylor, TX. We get a table in back and start with a vinegar/slaw salsa and red picante with chips. I try the Shrimp Enchiladas Verde. Bob has pork tips with a verde sauce. Elaine has a very spicy chicken stir-fry and Steve has a great looking chicken breast. What a cute place. I take a picture of a Shrek bowling ball for sale in the lobby for $100.

The high only gets to 42 degrees today as we head back to Cedar Hills for Mexican Train at Stave and Elaine's. She serves Andres Mint Chip Brownies. These are heaven and I have to try to make them. I get on such a chocolate high that I win the dominoes!

Shrek bowling ball bargain!

Steve and Elaine are nice enough to lend us their small Lasko space heater for the next few days to make it through the cold snap. We head home by 7:30 as the thermometer reads 38 degrees. We stop and find a Sunday paper at the second gas station we try on the way home on Hwy 71.

Back home we blow the circuit breaker two times with the addition of a second heater on one circuit. We finally get a doable setting for each one and life settles down. We read the paper and have a snack. It was 48 degrees in the living room when we got home but an hour later it is up to 59 degrees. It warmed up much faster with two heaters in the living room and one in the bedroom. It's 8:32 p.m. and 37 degrees with 71% humidity.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Ladies at Morelias and UPS Stop at Glenda's

Liz, Rita, Peggy, Valerie and Marilynn at Morelia's in Elgin, TX
Saturday, January 30, I'm up at 7:45 a.m. to a low of 32 degrees! It is cold and windy, remaining partly cloudy all day so that it never has a chance to warm up very much. The high only get to 39. We finish the jigsaw puzzle we started yesterday first thing this morning so we can eat breakfast at the table like human beings.

I check my email around 10:00 as I realize I never even got on-line yesterday. I find an email from Elaine saying the bread lady is at the Bastrop Farmer's Market on Saturdays beginning at 9:30. I call Elaine right away and she's already down here on this cold morning, just arriving at the Farmer's Market. It's too bad I didn't see her email, Bob and I could have picked up the bread on our way to Elgin. Elaine says the lady has her delicious bread at Elgin's Farmer's Market by the Depot on Tuesdays. She says it is a slow crowd at the Bastrop location on such a chilly Saturday morning. I'm impressed that she's out and about so early.

I stretch and do my weights, then Bob and I get cleaned up. He takes Manny, Moe and Jack Frost off the wall so I can take them to Glenda's. And he brings our digital picture frame's memory stick so he can download the new Chihuly glass pictures to Glenda's frame.

Peggy shows off her new necklace to Valerie

We left at noon for Morelia's in Elgin. Valerie calls as we're on the way up Hwy 95. Liz, Peggy and her are meeting to come together and they will be about 15 minutes behind schedule. Bob and I pull up out front about 12:20 and Marilynn is right behind us. We get a table for eight. Marilynn and I go over my jewelry choices and changes. Around 12:50 Liz, Val and Peggy arrive. We have hugs all around. Liz and Val surprise me with Dunkin' Donuts French Vanilla and Starbuck's coffee. Peggy is looking great and I'm so glad she could make it. She has a sporty hat on and tells a fun story about trying to get her hubby to notice her hair growing back out. Liz says Lisa stayed home with Scout, her daughter, who just had knee surgery.

We order after our waiter's slip of the tongue when he asks "Are we ready ladies?" Bob gets up to leave. I can't say I would blame him as all of us gals get to cackling. What a great visit with my long-time pals. Liz tells a great story about the Medieval-themed birthday party she gave for Connor. HEB couldn't find her turkey legs she ordered and when they did, they didn't cook them like they agreed to. She discovered this two hours before the party. Talk about stress!

Glenda's baby quilt top

After we eat all of us gals ooh and aah over Marilynn's jewelry. She just keeps taking what seems like a hundred necklaces out of her box. Peggy finds a nice piece made of Aventurine, a form of translucent quartz, that she can't resist using her 'lunch money' for. I snap a picture as she tries it on. Bob captures all of us and all too soon we say our goodbyes.

I call Glenda before we leave to say we're heading to her place to pick up our package. She turns down my offer to bring her enchiladas, etc. As we pull up we spy our package on the porch that Glenda has covered along with her dead fern! She has a nice warm fire going inside, her sewing machine, ironing board, and her baby quilt top laid out on the floor in the den. I snap a picture of the bright yellows and greens that we worked so hard to pick out at Joann's Fabric a few weeks ago.

We have a nice visit. Bob tried to load Chihuly picture on her digital picture frame but our memory card reader won't fit in the USB port near her wireless mouse on the back of her PC. So we'll just bring our laptop next time.

At 7:30 we head home as the temperature is down to 35 degrees and we don't want our pipes to freeze. The living room is a chilly 50 degrees but all is well. It's 8:45 p.m. and 35 degrees with 65% humidity.

The Big Chill

Friday, January 29, we both woke up at 2:00 wind and pouring rain. The front has arrived but the wind is not too bad--the wind is the worst part in an RV. It rains for hours and the pond is much more full when we get up and look out. The low was 41 degrees. It gets up to 50 or so but a chilly north wind blows and makes it feel colder. I stare at the digital picture frame while I sip my coffee. Bob loaded new pictures from the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, IN, last spring. It is fun to see how the car pictures mix in with Chihuly's glass picture when the frame is on random view.

I get on-line for emails. It is just rainy, dark, cold and windy--yuck! We have a light breakfast and I stretch and do my weights since I can't go out for a walk. Well, I guess I could but I choose not to. I'm waiting for the water to come back on; the RV Park turned it off unbeknownst to us. Bob starts a jigsaw puzzle while I reorganize the space underneath my closet now that we got rid of the big Windberg painting that we had hanging in The Beauty, our old RV (wow, that's the first time I said that and it sounded weird.) Anyway, that huge Windberg had no place to hang in our new home-on-wheels so we stored it. I'll miss it as it hung over the fireplace in our last two brick-and-stick homes. We also stored the folding chair that Bob used at the vanity in the bedroom in The Beauty, or should I say his fly tying desk? Plus we stored some paperwork and some boat things that were in the back of the camper shell on The Beast. We are pondering what to do with the extra space in the laundry closet in the bathroom. We need a 'big picture' plan on how to most effectively utilize our new-found space.

While I'm rearranging the closet the optical place calls and says my glasses are ready! We decide not to go anywhere as it is 41 degrees out at 12:30. We'll lose 6 to 8degrees if we turn the heaters off and leave. So I call Glenda and tell her we'll get our package on Saturday on the way back from Morelia's. She is snug with her quilting in front of the fire and opted out of her trip to Bastrop with her friend today.

Bob and I do drive down to the Shell station for a paper and scoot right back here. We have leftovers for lunch and dinner. It was good to clean out the fridge. We read the paper, work the puzzles and make progress on the jigsaw. It's 8:15 p.m. and 38 degrees with 51% humidity. There is snow and ice in the Texas Panhandle. Lubbock got hit hard. I hope Bob's Aunt Delphine is not buried under snow.