Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A restful time. Canyon Lake, TX

Friday last was a real surprise to us. We got up early and headed to San Antonio. Tom and I were to meet an estimator to give us a price on what it will take to ensure the mobile is connected and stablized properly. When we got there we found the deadbolt lock to the door was broken. We could not get in.

We called Chris and Tammy, who had been in the mobile a couple of weeks before and they said it was working well at that time. They headed our way. Julius and Kimberly were in San Antonio because Kim had an appointment and they arrived shortly there after.  The estimator and his son came as we tried to get in. Then Charlie, our neighbor and air conditioner man arrived with his fiance, Michaela. It was a party by that time as we sat outside and tried to figure out how to get in without breaking a window.

As a SAPD sergeant, Chris has seen a lot of break-ins.  He grabbed a hammer and with a railroad spike [question: who keeps a railroad spike in their car?] he broke the lock casing and unlocked the door. After a couple of more hitches we were in.

Now we had a broken lock. Tammy called Chris' nephew, Sean, who is a locksmith and about 15 minutes away [God provides]. We got him busy replacing all locks on the outer doors. Another expense we were not counting on .

Once in, Tom and Julius went through every room deciding on the work to be done. There is quite a bit. If we are going to live there we want it to be the best we can get it.

After we were done there we all went our separate ways. Tom and I headed to Canyon Lake to see Jay. We ate and talked and did nothing else. It was a very restful time and we really needed it. Sunday morning we got up early and headed back. We had left Dieter outside while we were gone and I wanted to get back to him since the temperature had dropped to the 30's at night.  He loves the cold, but I was still worried about him.

Now it is time to get the house ready to sell. I am really dreading cleaning my office/hobby room.  It is a disaster.  LOL.  Until next time, God Bless and Keep You.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So many decisions. Katy, TX

Sorry for the long delay in posting our doings. There has been so much going on that I can't keep up. I got a contract a couple of weeks ago and have been working 12 hours a day. By the time I get finished working, I don't want to even look at the computer. It is mind numbing work and I quit each night with sore fingers and tired eyes. I am not complaining. It is a good company and I hope to continue to get work from them.

Tom has accepted a contract for a month's work with Dresser, Inc. It is 24 hours a week and he can work mostly from home. It will be nice for him to be able to be here to work and still be able to get things done here.  The clock is ticking and we are getting anxious.

Tom has been busy getting all the financial things done that happen when you retire. The retirement account had to be moved and that took quite a bit of research to find the right one. Also, since we are trying to sell the Katy house, there is a lot to be done around here.  We hired our son-in-law, Julius, to do the manual work. He and Kimberly just moved back to Texas from Oklahoma and we are taking advantage of that to get a lot of things done so we can put the house on the market, hopefully by Feb. 1st.

We also have to do something about the San Antonio house.  It requires quite a bit of updating before we can live there. New carpet, painting, plumbing repairs, the list seems endless. We have listed it for sale as well. If we can sell it we will just buy our RV and happily go on the road.  If not, we will have to move there until we are able to get it gone.  Only God knows what will happen. Sure wish He would tell us.

We have been on our diets for 2 weeks now and both have lost about 4 pounds each. It is a good start. If we can continue losing 2 pounds a week we will be really happy.  I really am, however, tired of thinking about food all the time. Seems like we are always planning what to eat, re-planning what to eat, preparing what was planned, trying to eat 5 times a day.  It is a nightmare. I guess that is a part of it.

The stress levels are pretty high right now. I have worked 17 days straight and Tom has been working on all his stuff.  We are going to take the weekend off and go see my brother, Jay, at his ranch on Canyon Lake. A more blessed and calm inducing place does not exist. I hope we come back refreshed and ready to hit it again.

We are still the Happy Traills, despite all the stress. God is good. His mercy is everlasting.  God bless and keep you all.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Catching our breath.

What a crazy week! It was a shock to be told this morning that it was Sunday. I don’t remember consciously identifying Friday or Saturday. Jennifer and Laura (our daughter and niece) had been planning a cruise for months and I told Jen that Tom and I would keep Bryce for a couple of days while she was gone. So on Wed night, we picked up the ‘boy’ to keep till Saturday morning. {A pic from Christmas}



Now Bryce is three, and he was three the whole time he was here. LOL. He is the sweetest, most curious, most active three year old we have has since his mother was three. To make matters worse, I got a call on Wednesday about noon for a job that started at 4:00pm that day. That meant I would be on the computer non-stop for at least a week. It is a great job that I can do at home and have been looking forward to getting some work from this company.

So now we have a different situation from when I told Jen we would keep Bryce. I usually keep him occupied so Grumpy (that is what Bryce calls Grandpa) can keep his sanity. Now it was Grumpy’s turn to keep him busy and away from me as much as possible.

Now Tom is not the patient sort, as most of you know. He is also an engineer, which means he likes all his ducks in a row. A three year old with the attention span of about 3 minutes was a challenge for him. His ducks were scattered all over the house. He finally found a website: http://pbskids.org that has great games for all ages of kids. They then sat happily [at least Bryce was happy] at the computer for hours counting dogs and cows, doing puzzles, playing word football and cleaning attics. I think this would also be good for those who think their minds are going. Tom told me his mind was going.

Anyway, Saturday morning finally came and we passed the tyke back to his father. It was a joy to have him and he had a good time. Jen, just a note: if he asks for ice cream every night before bed, he wants to eat it right out of the carton like Grumpy does.

I will be working on this project for at least another week so will be burned out on the computer and probably not posting. Until I do, God Bless and Keep You.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Losing Weight - Katy, TX

It is about 1:00 in the morning and I can't sleep. Tom and I have been talking about the need to lose weight. Between the two of us we have been carrying around another full adult. Eating for 3? Also, with our health issues we are both at risk for major problems. Ewwww, that was hard to write. So, I decided to do some research. Here is what I found.

Statistics say that more people in the US are obese than in any other country.  Knowing this and having been told for years by my doctor, I decided to look into this a little more. WebMD is a great source for information on all things medical, so I went there first. What I found was not encouraging.
  • Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat
  • A person is considered obese when his/her weight is 20% or more above normal weight
  • Morbid obesity is when a person is 50-100% over normal weight
  • The body mass index [BMI] is the most common measure of obesity
I did a little  more research and found a BMI Chart:



Wow, I am orange. Just barely, but still at 30.8 with a normal of 18.5-24.9 it is obvious I need to do something about that. I did Tom's also and it told us both to 'Take Action.' Another stupid chart showing Healthy Weight Range told me I needed to lose 44 pounds.

Now I have been the same weight for about 8-10 years. It varies 4-6 pounds, but inevitably when I weight in at the doctor's office it is the same over and over. I have told myself that I needed to get in shape, lose weight, quit smoking, blah, blah, blah for years. I have tried for a day or two then that breakfast at McDonalds or the fried chicken at KFC just called my name. It is hard and time consuming to even think about it. BUT, I have to try again.

Back to the internet. There is a website called MyPyramid.com that helps you discover healthy choices, makes a determination on what food groups and how much you can have, develop menu plans and encourages exercise. The problem is WebMD and MyPyramid differ on the number of calories I can have to lose 2 pounds per week. No one agrees on this. One says 1200 the other says 1600. Which is right? Well, I am going with the 1600. I don't have any idea if it will work anyway. I am going shopping tomorrow to buy healthy foodstuffs [that means rabbit food] and a food scale.  We are going to give it a try. Wish us luck.

Sorry to be on my soapbox, but sometimes I need to write down things I have learned, things I have to do, to get them straight in my mind. You are just the lucky recipient of these nocturnal musings.

For those of you who had to get up and go to work today after the holidays, knowing there is not another holiday until Easter, I feel for you. The first day back after New Years is kind of depressing. But remember, a new year brings new beginnings, new challenges, new accomplishments and new rewards. I pray God will Bless and Keep you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dreary Sunday - Katy, TX

It was cold and miserable today and I am still coughing like crazy. We had to get the RV moved to the driveway and set up so Julius can stay in it while he is doing work for us on the house. It is always a challenge when backing up into the driveway. It is steep and even though we have a 3-car garage, it has to be put in just the right position. Tom was backing it up and I was directing. This is always a  mistake. I have never learned the secret hand signals necessary to tell him which way to go. I have searched the internet for possible hints to this weighty subject, but to no avail.

When I am motioning him to come back we do fine. Otherwise it tends to be a disaster. Such was the case today. It did not help that I had on a very bulky coat with a furry hat to keep my ears covered. I think this was the problem. He thinks the problem is my directions. So after driving back and forth about ten times, he gets out of the truck and says, "Donna, we aren't communicating well. I need to explain to you how to let me know which way to go." If you really believe he said that, you don't know him. It was somewhat more emphatic than that. He had it a couple of times in the perfect place but just kept moving. We did, however long it took, successfully park the RV in the correct spot.

I think I am going to take a survey of RVers to establish a database of hand motions for backing up. Any contributions are surely welcome. All those wives who have obsessive compulsive husbands are encouraged to reply.

The rest of the day was spent on internet surfing and game playing. We are still looking for information on private health insurance. We have COBRA but it is so darned expensive. The policies we find are either too expensive or do not cover what we need covered, i.e prescriptions. I am a walking medicine cabinet and we would go broke in no time unless we get a break there. So, the search continues.

We ended the day with a game of Scrabble. It was an actual game, not a virtual one. It is really rare to sit down to a table and have to actually pick out the tiles and place them on the board. For those of you under 25, this is the way we played games in the olden days. :P I won by an amazing 4 points by catching him with a Z and V to count against him!   YAYAYAYA me!

So ends an exciting day in the life of the Traills. I know you just can't wait to hear more.  Until next time, God Bless and Keep you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quiet Day

Today has been kind of a nothing day for me.  I am getting over another cold and just taking it easy. I will be glad to feel better again.

Tom started back from Tulsa with the RV. It will be a hard day for him. Spending 2 days driving is really hard on the body.  He had our son-in-law, Julius, take a picture out the window so I could see where he was.




BRRRRRRRRRR. I told him to get back to Texas ASAP.

After 10 hours, Tom made it home with the RV. It sure was good to see it! [And him, hehe.] He did 1001 miles in 2 days. Quite an achievement. I hope the next time we take the RV on such a distance we can have a couple of months to do it.

Now we get some rest, tomorrow is a day for making decisions.  God Bless and Keep You.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Today is the first day of a new year. It is a time of new beginnings for the Traill household. Tom is officially retired now and we are making plans for the next couple of months. First and foremost is helping Kimberly and Julius move to San Antonio from Tulsa, OK. As I type this they are driving with Tom to retrieve their belongings and our RV to bring back to Texas. I was going but have a cold and the weather in Tulsa is too cold for this Texas girl.

In the coming months we will be selling the house in Katy, TX and moving to the house in San Antonio. A lot of renovation is necessary for both projects. It should be an interesting time. In this first post, I am including a picture of the whole family.



We spent Christmas at Jennifer's new house. It was a really fun time for all. God has blessed us all this past year. We are anxious to see what God does in the coming year.

With all the changes coming up, Tom and I have made a resolution to re-evaluate our spending (yech) and activities. Along with the usual, lose weight, get more exercise, quit smoking; we have added get some part time work for Tom and me. His company wants him to contract some and I have a couple of things I am looking at. The perfect scenario would be to be able to work from home, but who knows?

We are happy to share with you the things that we are doing and plans as they develop. In the meantime, may God Bless and Keep You.