Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Tis CHRISTmas 2011

This is Tom and my first attempt at making a post here. Be gentle with me...LOL.

Christmas Eve, December 24th - This afternoon and evening turned out to be trying, at best. We still have winds, rain, and cold temperatures.
 The day? Woke up to only 40 gallons of diesel left for the generator and 20 gallons of water left in the big tank. I called 2 days ago asking for refills before the holidays. Our 'field supervisor' dropped the ball, as usual, so I had to call the company man on the rig. Within 2 hours I had 550 gallons of water and 200 gallons of diesel fuel...PTL.
  • A little later the main water pump went out so I switched over to our pump and 100 gallons of onboard water. Tech came out around 7 pm and got the pump working with a new pressure switch.
  • At 10:15pm the main generator just shuts down. Say what? I called the tech and he said check the oil. Dip stick says NO oil, just black, runny residue. I got lucky and found a new case of diesel engine oil on the trailer so added 3 quarts just to get a mid-level stick reading. After tromping around in the mud some more I tried to start the generator and it started...back to 115vac on their nickel.

 I had to endure all of this in the rain and mud...I need a shower just as soon as Donna gets up, which is almost NOW. It's been a trying day but I kept my cools, if anyone can believe that. It's CHRISTmas eve, for only another 38 minutes, and then we celebrate the birth day of our saviour Jesus Christ, so to ALL a wonderful day of celebrations. I love and miss you all...special hugs and kisses to my wonderful children and grandchildren. :)
Christmas Day, December 25th - I woke up this morning at 10 am to sunshine, a beautiful blue sky, and 15-20 mph winds. You can see my 'streamer' in the picture here, blowing straight out of the north. The temperature right now is 39°F. with a mighty windchill...brrrrrr, it's cold.

 The awning is tied down really well so the frame doesn't move an inch. My concerns are always with the awning material itself, whipping around, even with 2 straps on each side. I have found that unless the NOAA weatherman predicts 25 mph winds I don't need to worry about it. Our Gate Guard Services field tech, David, was busy working on the generator, doing oil and filter changes as well as releveling the trailer after the tongue support cratered with the soft earth underneath plus they had just added said diesel and water mentioned above (lots of weight there).
  Use local materials laying around but get it Level!! Mission accomplished. He's a great guy with morals and a conscious. He didn't feel comfortable leaving things undone that could cause a bigger problem in a short time. So, he did what he felt was right and he came out to do the service work and repairs. My hat is off to him today.

 He also replaced about 75 feet of the air hose, for the incoming traffic, which is for the pressure bell that lets us know that someone is coming in or out. The previous length of hose was in really bad shape and sometimes it didn't signal us at all.

 Traffic is very slow today and it actually gave Donna and I some quiet chat time. I made my world famous waffles and eggs for breakfast/brunch. It is now 2:30pm and she has gone to bed to read herself to sleep since she comes back on shift at midnight.

  DW was able to have a video conference with all the kids and grandkids on SKYPE before I got up this morning. She commented on how much fun it was to watch them open their gifts even if it was on an intermittent streaming video.
  We hope that you all have had a wonderful Christmas or as best as you could under whatever your situation is currently. We miss our family and this is the first Christmas in 42 years that we have not been around any family for the's sad but acceptable at this point in our adventure. So, to you all, Merry CHRISTmas and I wish you all a very healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year in 2012.

Until again, Happy Traill's to you all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Requiem to a German Shepherd

Our beautiful BigDog

It is day five since Dieter left this world and left Tom and I.  There are no words to express the sorrow we feel. The last few days have been filled with tears at inappropriate moments and dreams of the event while sleeping.  Tom and I compared notes yesterday and discovered both of us have been seeing the same things.  Going out the motor home door and seeing him across the street, ears up, listening for the coyotes; signing in a service truck, looking for him to be sleeping across the road; coming in the MH door and looking to see him under my desk. Yesterday I even apologized to him out loud when my chair caught on the rug and I thought I ran over his tail. Those things are making me crazy.

Long tail makes great propeller
 On the other hand, I can look down the road and see him running flat out barking at the wild pigs that live there. When he was running with purpose, his tail went round and round like a propeller and Tom and I would laugh at his silliness. Dieter really loved this ranch.  He could sleep in the sun, bark at the animals, protect us from all evils, real and perceived.

Waiting for waffles
 He always knew when it was Sunday because he would not go outside until Tom took him a waffle outside to feed him.  He would lay on the floor and stare at Tom while he cooked. His eyes never left Tom as he waited somewhat impatiently for the treat he knew was coming. 

And then there was Thanksgiving a few years ago when he decided to herd the ducks.  Of course, the ducks took to the water and Dieter followed them in.  It took 6 people and our beloved son-in-law, Chris, getting in the water also, freezing his butt off for 45 minutes to get him out.

Dieter with Jonathan and baby Bryce
 Dieter loved his family. He never growled or snapped at the little ones no matter what they did. He would just get up and move when he was tired of them laying on him.  He was a gentle giant.

He will be loved and remembered for a long time.

I have had many pets over the years.  We always had a dog when we were growing up and have had one most of our married life.  Dieter is my one in a lifetime.  If you have had one of these, please share it with me and tell me how you made it through. I am already looking at dogs online because of the emptiness I feel.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dang it's been a long time since I updated this! 09/15/2011 - 11/20/2011 Catarina, TX

Hello you all!  Thought I would take a little time and update you on our status.  We have been gate guarding in Catarina, TX since September 15th. This is a great site and we have been treated really well by the managing company. When we first got here, was only one rig and the processing facility.  It was real easy to get into a rhythm. Since then we have had up to 4 rigs and anywhere from 200-300 incoming vehicles a day.  Tom checked out the logs and figured out that we have logged over 8,000 semi's. trucks and cars in 2 months. For each of those incoming is an outgoing.  So that is more than 16,000.  We were both really surprised by that.  We will be back to only one rig after Thanksgiving and I bet we will be really bored!

This is me in my security vest and windblown hair.  

This is Tom actually reading a book while eating breakfast. He has lost a lot of weight since we have been here and learned how to read.  I remember all those years with him complaining about me reading at the table.  ROFL  Note the security vest and skull dew rag!

We work shifts, me from midnight to noon and Tom from noon to midnight.  We don't have time off together because the gate has to be manned 24/7.  This is the worst part of the job. The best part is the paycheck.  We are planning to stay through January 20 and then will go to San Antonio to be there when grandbaby #6 arrives. 

We wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  May memories, family, friends and good food surround you this year. 

Happy Traills to you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Waco Lake - Sunday 8/07/2011

When thinking about full-time Rving I was picturing waking up to a beautiful view out the windows and a feeling of peace and happiness.  Today is the first day that dream came true.  This is the view out the front windows.

We are on a little peninsula with two coves around us.  Walking about 50 feet from our front door puts us on a beach for swimming or fishing.  Tom had to wet a line last night.

We only moved 37 miles yesterday but it was worth it.  We will be here for 6 nights.  The heat will be intense 105-108 this week but the mornings are really breezy and comfortable.  Going outside now. 

Happy Traills...You All

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just a Swimming - Lake Whitney State Park 08/05-06/2011

Nothing much going on for the past couple of days.  It was great to just hang out at the park and go swimming when the mood struck. It has been too hot to do stuff in the afternoons so we got some silly computer games we could play to pass the time.  We have no television service here so it is really quiet in Flipper. 

I thought we would be really bored without television, but I don't even miss it.  There are very few shows worth watching so I find myself reading or computing most of the time.  Who knew?

We spent a full afternoon deciding where to go for the rest of the month.  It was really fun researching the areas in and around Austin-San Antonio.  Our family reunion is at Potters Creek Park (Army Corps of Engineers Park) on Canyon Lake Labor Day Weekend.  We have four weeks to get there, and it is only about 150 miles, so we are taking the scenic route.  Waco Lake, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Granger Lake and Lake Somerville, each for about 6 days before heading to Canyon Lake.  Lots of lakes to see and fish.

This is short because we are traveling today.  Hope you have a blessed Sunday.

Happy all

Friday, August 5, 2011

Did you say real Dr Pepper? Dublin, TX 08/04/2011

It is too hot to go outside so Tom and I decided to go day tripping yesterday. We drove up to Granbury in the north central part of Texas.

The visitors center there had a lot of information on things to see and do in Texas and we loaded up.  It is interesting to see the diversity of our beloved state.

The drive there took about an hour and a half.  I have to admit that is was very depressing to see everything burned and dried out.  The drought has devistated the scenery.

Granbury has a great town square around its courthouse with shops and restaurants all over the place.  It is a pretty little town along the Brazos River.  Nice place to visit.

We decided to stop in Dublin, TX on the way back.  This little place has the distinction of being the only place in the world to get original Dr Pepper.  That means it is made without the sweeteners used today, corn syrup, etc.  It is made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar from the plant in Sugar Land, TX.  They can distribute only 24 miles in diameter from the plant so if you want to know what REAL Dr Pepper tastes like you have to come to Dublin.

They have tours of the factory and a soda shop for you to buy it in. It was a great stopping place.

I loved this sand sculpture just outside the factory.

We were really tired when we got home but it was a great day.  We will see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Traills ... You All

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Relaxing in Lake Whitney State Park - Whitney, TX

Hi friends, long time no talk to!  I feel bad about that but you gotta give me a break. To be honest, I just plain did not want to post.  We have had SO many trials in the past 6 weeks that it was just too depressing. We had medical issues, breakdown issues, work issues, issue issues and it was DID.  Even after I healed from the surgeries, I was just too tired. But I am feeling a lot better now and decided to just skip over those things I don't want to think about.  Just like Scarlett - I'll think about it tomorrow, or the next day, or the next...

We are at Lake Whitney State Park just south of Fort Worth, TX. It is 108 deg. this afternoon so we are inside. The mornings are really nice here. Temperature is mid 90's and a breeze off the lake makes it pretty nice.  Very low humidity so getting under a tree is helpful.  We spent about an hour and a half just sitting in the lake this morning.  I will take pictures tomorrow.  Dieter just loved the water and went in immediately.  We were shocked because other than one memorable Thanksgiving Day swim he has stayed away from the water. 

Took a picture of Flipper and Pumpkin that will be a favorite I think:

What a difference it has made since we started driving the coach instead of our little trailer.  While we both miss our big truck we are happy to have the room this one gives us.  And I love everything about it. It is old - 1998 National Dolphin, with one slide and 58,000 miles on it, and we know repairs will be coming up all the time, it was a good deal that we just couldn't pass up.

We are going to make some day trips around here and will be taking 4 weeks to get to Canyon Lake in San Antonio for our family reunion Labor Day weekend.  It will be the first relaxed time we have had since March 18, when we decided to do this.  I am looking forward to the stress free time. 

Until next time,  Happy Traills to you!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back in San Antonio. TX

When we last heard from the Happy Traills they had just had a wonderful weekend at Goliad State Park, Goliad TX.  Time to get back to New Braunfels for a new generator.  A lot has happened since then. It is hard to decide what may be of interest and what would be just too much information. Here goes.

We got back to New Braunfels and (#1) had to wait an additional 2 days for the generator to get in and when it did, we took a hotel room till the generator was changed out. All this time we had been talking to a company that does gate guarding for oil drilling sites. It is a couples job and they hire RVers to man the gates.  They had been calling and calling all during this time to see if we could go to work. We decided to take a job for a month or two to replenish the bank account after so many unexpected expenses.

When the generator was done, (#2) off we went to Carrizo Springs, TX:  also knows as Rattlesnake Flats, Scorpion Heaven and on the underground railroad for illegals coming in from Mexico.  We took over officially at 8:00 pm on  Friday night. (#3) At 3:30 am on Saturday morning I woke up with a Kidney Stone. I have never had one but Tom was sure that was what it was, having had two.  By 8:00 I was in such pain I was throwing up. I called another gatekeeper couple and asked if one of them could man the gate while Tom took me to the hospital.  Doctor ordered a CAT Scan and sure enough there was a big stone. He said drink lots of water and check back in a couple of days and gave me pain pills.

On Tuesday I went back to hospital hoping they would remove it. I did not know that Carrizo Springs did not have a urologist. They don't do surgery.  I was going to have to go to Laredo, San Antonio or Corpus Christi. (#4) I picked San Antonio because the kids are there. They shot me full of pain killers and I made the drive to San Antonio in about 2 1/2 hours, a very long drive for me. Tom had to stay on the gate.

It took them a while to get to me in the ER, but Kimberly came and got them on the case.  They admitted me for a procedure on Wednesday. I did not even know what procedure. On (#5) Wednesday they put in a Stent from kidney to help relieve the blockage that had developed. I went to Kim's on Thursday and spent the weekend with her.  On Monday (#6) I went back to the doctor to find out what was next. I finally got a plan from him.

At this point I wanted Tom to come back.  All this time he had been working in 110 deg heat on 16 hour shifts getting very little sleep and less food, no time to cook.  It had been Hell week for him. This is a whole other tale. I just said come back, I don't care if the gate is guarded or not. So he came back in time for surgery #2.

Seems the stone, about the size of his fingernail, was stuck real high up and was causing a blockage. This had really agitated the kidney and it was too inflamed to mess with.  He put in the Stent to give it time to rest and heal. (#7) This led to second surgery to remove the stone yesterday.  YAYAYA they got it all. He had to blast it apart and it took quite a while but that part is done.  He left in the Stent and will remove it (#8) on Tuesday 7/5/11 if I have no complications.

So that is the Saga of the Stone. I am praying for no complications.  We have parked in a very nice RV park and will be staying a month. I want to be completely healed and Tom wants to piddle around the coach, doing stuff for a while.  It has been a very hard month and we just need down time. Hopefully I will have good tidings when next we meet.

Happy Traills to you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Goliad State Park, Goliad, TX – A weekend of rest

I know it has been a very long time since I have posted. I just did not have the heart for it. We have had one issue after another trying to get on the road in our new/old motorhome. From parts that were sent to Florida rather than Texas, to the latest, bad rings in the generator requiring replacement. That was Friday’s issue. We have been living in the Camping World parking lot in New Braunfels, TX waiting for the last parts to come in. Our light at the end of the tunnel said we were almost done. We were one circuit board away from Freedom. Then Tom saw the oil leak under the generator.

Upon closer inspection we discovered oil in the air filter compartment. There is not supposed to be oil in the air filter. Yesterday, when the MH was in the bay having that circuit board installed, Tom showed them the leak. Oops. Our tunnel light just went out. The General Manager at CW was really great and said he would pay the greater part of a new one but they had to order it and it would be next week. Not another week in the CW parking lot! That was not an attractive proposition. I called my sis to complain and gripe. She is pretty good at listening to that from me. She said don’t stay there; meet us at Goliad State Park for the weekend. I said ok.

So, she and J hooked up their Cedar Creek 5th wheel and headed north. We buttoned up the MH and headed south. The trip should have been great but remember we could not use the generator. With temperatures close to 100 we really needed to use the front air conditioner with the dashboard air to be comfortable. No such luck. Now remember we were going south. That meant the west sun was coming in directly on me with these great big windows. I am not sure how he always works it that way… Anyway, Tuesday morning we will head back to get the generator installed. That means we will be headed north while the sun comes in my window again.

This is a really nice park just a mile from the city of Goliad. We have full hook ups and are parked close together. Today was a great day. We got cleaned up after breakfast and went to Market Days at the city square. It is a typical Texas town with a courthouse square. It was hot but fun walking around looking at all the crafts and stuff. After nap time (did I say it was really hot?) we were treated to a great grilled mahi mahi and steak dinner. Jerry is a great cook. Tomorrow is our turn. We still have quite a bit to re-organize and put away in the MH but that is for tomorrow. Today was for no stress, no pressure and no worries. Thanks to Carol and Jerry for that. /hugs

I always share something personal or embarrassing so here goes. Sleeping with Tom is like sleeping with poured sugar. Now we have been married more than 40 years and due to my traveling we have not really slept together all that much in the past couple of years and when we have it has been in twin or king size beds. Now we have a queen. Neither one of us are really small (cough cough), so it is real togetherness. All of you who watch Food Network Challenge have seen the sugar sculpture competitions. When they pour the liquid sugar in to the molds it kind of creeps around filling every crack and crevice. If something is in the way, it moves it aside or surrounds it. That is Tom. This is going to take some real getting used to.

I will try to check in more often. Pray for a generator to be sent to Texas and not Florida!

Happy Traills to you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

OMG we bought a Class A Motorhome

The past several weeks have been really frustrating. Except for Jay and Shalmir's wedding, which was totally awesome.  I am so happy for them. The wedding was totally beautiful (as was the bride).

 They have been off to Jamaica for a week in the sun and surf.  Enjoy you two.

So, we were planning to leave after the wedding for Cagle Recreational area of Sam Houston National Forest for Memorial Day weekend.  Well that is what we planned. While at Potter's Creek Park we kept having breakers pop.  Oh no!  We called a RV repair service that makes RV calls and were told the breaker box needed to be replaced. This was on Monday. We will order the parts, no problem.

Tuesday, we will order the parts, no problem.  Call from repair guy, should we order the parts? Yes, darn it. (Tom talking,  expletive's changed for Gage).  Order the parts!!!

Wednesday, We take the RV to shop for work to be done and check into Howard Johnson's for 2 nights, just in case.  The parts were ordered and arrived at 5:30 pm.  Oh no, they did not send the circuit board with the box.  How could they miss that little detail?

Thursday, we are still at HOJO's but call to see if RV will be ready.  Oh no, they did not deliver the circuit board until 7:30 pm.  The repair shop was closed... jeez who knew they would knock off so early??

Friday, we check out of HOJO's and go to breakfast.  What are we going to do today? Oh no, no RV, no hotel, temperatures in the low 100's and the dog in the car.  We could drive around all day but with gas prices as they are...

We decided to go look at 5th wheels.  Just for fun. In the course of our travels we ran across a used 1998 National Dolphin. This is an immaculate 35' Class A Motorhome. New carpets and floors, 53k miles, nothing needed but someone to drive it.  Tom volunteered.  It is really more than we ever asked for. It is a consignment sale that is priced just right for us.  So we bought it.  I am still in shock.  Tom is happy with it as well. 

Now we have several issues. We have to sell our current truck, buy a toad, arrange for our son in-law to take our current baby RV and store it for us. On top of all that, we got hired by a gate guarding service that wants us to go to work next week.

We are going to be busy this weekend.  I would like to say, however, all this was accomplished with only one DID.

When Tom went to answer the door for the RV service tech he tripped over Dieter and out it came, "DID this place is too small for us and him." I did NOT say, "Come on now, surely you can see something that big when it is in front of you!!!"

Luckily, God answered this prayer pretty quickly, before it became the Dog or Me.

We are now at Kimberly and Julius' house in San Antonio until we can take possession some time next week. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Travel Day - Lake Corpus Christi State Park, Mathis, TX

Our first camp.  It is really lovely here and they have sewer connections. That was our number one priority yesterday. We stopped at CCRV and bought some high powered deodorizer for the black tank and within minutes it was a 100% improvement.  Lesson learned:  no boondocking without dump stations reasonably close by.

The drive here took about an hour and we stopped by the grocery store and got food for a couple of days here at the park. There are not many here this week so we were able to pick our spot.
We have Wed and Thur to get the rest of the cleaning and putting away done and I am looking forward to a little down time while we are here. No television service and we don't have a satellite yet so we are just reading, watching DVDs, taking walks and reading (at least I am reading).

Nothing really special going on. That in itself is sufficient to make our stay a good one. Will check in again before we leave. 

Happy Traills...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Renovation is finished at last.

All the work we started in San Antonio is finally finished.  I will post pictures soon on a special page I am going to do on renovations. It is still to messy to actually let anyone see.  LOL.

It has been a whirlwind the past couple of weeks here in Corpus with Carol and Jerry. Not just the construction, but several milestones were reached as the month has passed.

We held a craft supply sale last Sunday afternoon.  Carol and I have been quilter/sewers since the early 70's. As such it has always been necessary to have every gadget, ruler, book and fabric on the market. It has long been many a DID around our house whenever Tom actually looked at the incredible stash of stuff I have collected over the past 35 years. Carol is the same.  We decided to have a sale. With my 8 moving boxes full of stuff and her unknown amount stretched out on tables on the driveway it was truly a moving moment. We saluted the past and awaited the throng. And so they came.  We did not think to take a picture until most of the stuff was gone, but here is a glimpse.

We were incredibly successful and both of us made bunches of money. Still it was a little sad seeing our collections leaving us.  After taking the money I told the ladies, "From our stash to yours, with love."  They humbly understood the sentiment.  All quilters are a little nuts.

Saturday last we were privledged to watch as our niece Laura crossed the stage to receive her degree magna cum laude after years of working, being a mother and studying. It is always such a joy when we can watch our progeny succeed in their life. Below is L-R - Michele Houk (my niece), Laura, Carol

Attending our youngest grandaughter, Evelyn's first birthday party the week before started the month of milestones. We will surely miss seeing the grandkids as we adventure forth but it is not so bad when we can webcam with them. Technology is grand!

One last milestone is coming up. My big brother, Jay is getting married this coming weekend. I am so incredibly happy for him.  He has been single for many years looking for the right woman to share his life with. He was smart enough to grab her quick when he finally found her.  Jay and Shalmir, I am looking forward to watching you exchange your vows on Saturday.  God bless both you and your marriage till He comes again. 

So milestones galore. They are wonderful but Tom and I are ready for some peace and quiet on the road.  The past couple of months since the decision to go full time was made has been exhausting. Now it is our turn. Going where we please, doing what we want. And right now what we want more than anything in the world is to dump the black tank.  We have only used it sparingly since being at C & J's but it is full. I mean ... FULL ... full. The fragrance is starting to permeate and we are checking out of the C&J RV Resort and Used Car Lot today and moving to Lake Corpus Christi State Park and its lovely dump station.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Corpus Christi, TX - Work and more work

This week has been extremely busy getting more of the interior construction done on the RV. We are camped in my sister Carol's driveway as we finish up the remodel of this little home of ours.

We thought we had reduced our possessions enough but are still throwing stuff away. At least it is little stuff. I have a rather peculiar method of organization. I put things away and live with it for a little while. If I don't like it I move it somewhere else.  That, of course, is a little frustrating for Tom.  Nothing stays in the same place very long, so he can't find anything. Today I moved his socks. That was a DID moment.

I hurt my wrist pretty badly today and that slowed down my moving stuff. I have a weak wrist from an injury several years ago that never healed properly and sometimes the littlest thing will irritate it.  Today it was lifting the laundry basket. Just that after all these weeks of using it was enough to put me out of commission for a couple of days.  It is some better now, but I will be pretty much useless for a couple of weeks. That is bad news for me, but good news for Tom.  His socks are safe and will probably be stationary for a while.

It was a red letter day for Carol and Jerry. They left on Wednesday and drove to Oklahoma to pick up their RV.  They got a great deal on a Cedar Creek 5th wheel.  It is a real beauty.  I am so happy for them.  They will be on the road soon as well.

Tomorrow is our youngest granddaughter's first birthday.  We are going to make a day trip to San Antonio to celebrate it. She is such a beauty and is very close to walking.  Being the exceptional child she is, she really loves her Grammie (that's me).

I know this is short but I just can't type anymore tonight.  Take care all.

God bless and keep you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Travel Day - Corpus Christi, TX

Our first Travel Day. We made the drive to Carol and Jerry’s house (my sister and brother-in-law) in about 3 hours. We took it slow and made several stops along the way. It was a beautiful day for driving.

It was really odd leaving San Antonio, pulling out of the driveway knowing we would not park there again as residents. While we may go visit the kids there, it is not home anymore. We are officially address-less. We are not homeless. We have a true mobile home now.

In true DID fashion, the departure was not without its mishaps. I will not list them at this time as I am really tired. Tomorrow looks to be a sleep in day with multiple naps possible in the afternoon. Evening will be a planning session for identifying the final projects required and scheduling of same.

The month of May looks to be a busy one. We have a birthday, graduation, and wedding followed by a holiday weekend. I must admit I did not know we were popular enough to get that many invitations in one month.

I have neglected to take pictures of the RV but believe me when I tell you, it is stuffed to the gills and more stuff will have to be purged before June 1. Tomorrow will be the naming ceremony for the RV. I will have pictures for that. I love the blog name suggestions but want to leave it open for now. If you can think of anything appropriate, shout it out.

All in all it was a good day. God gave us good weather, little traffic and a few laughs along the way. Who could ask for more?

God bless and keep you.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ready to rock and roll!

After long thought and not knowing what the future will probably bring, I have decided to rename the blog but have no idea what to name it. If you have any suggestions, just let me know. I would like your input.

Today is the first day of our Retirement adVentures. We have officially moved out of our San Antonio home and spent our first night together in the newly revamped RV. We laughed a lot as we fought through the stacks of stuff still waiting to be put away. Tired and aching from moving and using muscles that I thought had atrophied long ago, we fell into bed. Tom turned over and immediately I heard, “Ouch! Damn it, Donna, I just hit the cabinet with my knee.”

Yes, it is really close quarters in our rolling home. It will be very interesting to see if we can actually live together, in this togetherness. ROFL. Today was spent organizing and reorganizing and trying to find just that little niche that will hold just a little more. There is not a muscle in my body that does not ache today. I am looking forward to a couple of days of rest.

Tom has the truck packed and tomorrow we roll. First stop Corpus Christi. We will be there a couple of weeks doing the finishing touches on the interior. Minor things like cabinet doors to keep our clothes from falling out at each move have to be finished.

I spent the day re-organizing the kitchen and pantry storage areas. I think I probably have at least 20 items that can be thrown away but who knows. It is hard to decide what is really necessary. The day ended in ecstasy. No, not what you are thinking. Lizz came with her table and gave me a massage that worked out a lot of the kinks! She has magic in those hands. Thanks, darling for the gift you gave me.

I am done in and going to bed in a few minutes. God bless you all.

DATE: May 1, 2011

Current Location: Kim & Julius’ house, San Antonio, TX

Mileage: 31402 starting adventure

Weather: 90’s with a 20% possibility of rain

States visited since May 1, 2011: Texas

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time out for the Royal Wedding

One day left till we start our RV adventure. One day till the Royal Wedding.  Both have great significance.  My friend Herbie asked what the big deal was with the wedding and was it a girly thing?

That really started me thinking. I am 59 years old and the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana held me rapt. That was my Royal Wedding. Now, looking back on the years following that spectacular event, I can't help but feel sorry for anyone who marries into that dysfunctional family.

For all the pomp and ceremony that will occur while we sleep, it marks the beginning of a new monarchy. Yes the Queen is still there, Prince Charles is still next in line for the throne, but the reality is Prince William and Princess Catherine will have all the publicity and intrusion the British press and paparazzi can possibly print.

William may want to protect her from the peasants but my thought is he should mainly protect her from his family. The Queen decides what her title will be and whether or not anyone likes it will control her from her appearances to 'encouraging' an heir and a spare.  Don't think I would like Her Magesty asking if I was pg yet.

Anyway, I wish the very best for them both. I won't be watching the wedding. That is for the new generation to experience.

Instead I will be sleeping (or not), excited and stressed to get the final things packed, stored and/or loaded into the RV. That is what is significant to me. That is what makes me feel like Royalty. King Tom and Queen Donna Lou, heading into the future, reigning over our little home on wheels.

God bless.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tired but resolved - Donna and Tom will finish this race.

Sorry to be so long in getting caught up. We have been pressing on. Three days to go. We shall prevail.  Tom and I finally got the last of the construction done in the RV a couple of days ago and are loading up now.  We had to change our plans last week when the table and desks we were planning on installing were way too heavy to use for the kind of travel we are planning.  Thursday was a DiD day.

After weighing the RV and determining that the interior design we had agreed on would no longer work... "Damn it, Donna, these don't fit in here? You got a plan B?"  I always have a plan B.  I didn't want the dining room table in there anyway, so had a plan to replace when Tom realized it would not work. (Don't tell him. I don't want to hurt his feelings.)

You guys are really going to get to know us intimately before long.  ROFL MAO. Tom is not a shopper. If it is not sold on the Internet, in his book, it does not exist. Well, I like looking online but only to narrow the search area. So I narrowed the search to Wally World and OfficeMax. I had an idea. After convincing Tom I could not figure this out without actually seeing the furniture he agreed to go with me.  There was a couple of "we could make do with this" kind of things at Wall mart, but nothing that really rang our bell.

Now we have a 45" x 150" slide, so size is as important as weight. Our RV is 27' so that is a lot of togetherness. In addition, I am overweight, Tom is overweight and Dieter (the dog) is overweight. We had to decide what we really wanted and needed as far as furniture goes.  We are never in the living room watching TV, so we don't need a sofa. Our entire lives are lived on our computers, eating in the dining room and sleeping in the bedroom.  Makes me wonder why we had a 2400 sq. ft. house. Well we are down by 2000 sq ft now.

In the end we chose a couple of rolling computer cart type desks and comfortable chairs for the living area. They secure tightly to the walls for traveling but when we are settled they can be rolled into whatever position we want them to be.  Sounds good, huh?

 They are 36" wide and made of tempered glass.  Yes, we had the glass discussion. They are pretty durable and the lightest weight desks we could find that would fit into the space we have. Next purchase are large blotters to cover the glass.  Anyway, that was one problem solved.

The last couple of days have been spent going through stuff we thought we needed when we moved last year. It is amazing how much we did not need after all.  Bottom line is we have been working hard, going to bed exhausted and looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.

I am hoping the next post will be the RV packed and ready to pull out on Sunday.

Happy Traills to you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter - My Testimony

I know it is not politically correct to express ones religious, political or financial beliefs. I also know that we all have them.  It is not my intention to condemn or judge anyone elses beliefs, only to rejoice in expressing mine.  (DISCLAIMER).

I am a Christian, I am proud of that. It gives me hope, confidence and much comfort. Jesus came into my life when I was a young, unhappy girl. My father was an alcoholic and he took a bribe and was fired from his job. Our mother could not make enough money to support three kids while he sat in bars in the afternoon saying he was looking for work. We were doled out to relatives, my sister, brother and I. I was really angry. I went to live with my great-aunt and uncle who had no children.  After me, there was no way they wanted any kids.  I was mean, spiteful and hated everyone and everything.

My great-grandmother Henley also lived with us.  She was ancient (at least to me) and she kept snuff in her closet. I thought that was the funniest thing.  She would go in there and get a dip while I snuck around watching.  She ate cereal for breakfast most mornings with me before school.

One day she started talking to me about my meanness. She kind of intimidated me so I didn't smart off to her. She introduced me to Jesus at the breakfast table as a friend I could always rely on. I did not understand the saviour part for a long time, but it did not matter. Here was someone who would never leave me, never send me away, and loved me even if I was a terror. My Grandma gave me a gift that day that has never left me. Jesus is still with me today. He is still my friend, but as I grew up he became more. He is my healer, of both body and spirit. He is my comfort in times of sorrow and fear. He is my joy in times of happiness. He is my saviour who offers eternal life.

Thank you for reading to here and letting me share the most important moment in my life with you. We celebrate Easter with bunnies and eggs, baskets and hunts, and that is okay. For those of to whom Easter means more, we celebrate the Risen Saviour who died for the sins of the world and rose to give us eternal life.  All He asks is that we accept him. I am glad I did.

Tomorrow I will go back to the amusing adventures of Damn it, Donna.  The last couple of days have been trying. God bless and keep you in His loving arms, today and always

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 33-YOD It is coming together

The living room emptied out after the garage sale and so did the master bedroom. Furniture gone, the only thing left is dog hair in the carpet. Progress is being made. Then Kimberly brought some of her furniture and the living room and master bedroom is filling up again.

We are down to Tom's room and the kitchen and pantry. With 12 days left we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Like a jumping toad we go from milestone to milestone. Up next is getting the pantry and kitchen sorted.

What condiments to you really need?  If you bought the thyme when your youngest child was born and she just turned 31, should you throw it out or just move it again?  And please tell me, who bought sauerkraut and put it in my pantry. Yuck.  I have nightmares of my childhood when my dad stunk up the house with the stuff.  That is definitely not going. Just the necessities:  Flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder - okay, I can bake a cake.  Oatmeal, raisins and pecans - cookies. 

And when did I get 7 skillets? Oops, my bad. Alton Brown would say at least one is a saucier ( french pronounced sauc-e-a).  Considering I stopped cooking seriously about 25 years ago I really don't need 3 dutch ovens. Maybe I should let Tom pick out what he wants, he is a much better cook than I am anyway.

So, that was my plan last night. It is a good think I didn't post it because today was a Damn it, Donna Day. For those of you not intimately knowledgeable with Tom and our mutual dynamics, I am sure you are confused by Damn it, Donna Days. Those of you who know us well are just nodding in agreement.  I will attempt to explain.

I am a bit of a free spirit. Tom is an engineer. I am always coming up with "scathingly brilliant ideas" which usually gives Tom work to do.  He is a planner, plotter and precision performer. This means everything takes twice as long as I think it should and he feels like I am always rushing him.  I tend to be impulsive and he is totally plan oriented. Plan the work, work the plan. That bores me. How in the world have we stayed together 41 years? God only knows. And I mean that sincerely.

Anyway, today was a "Damn it, Donna you are overloading the RV day. You can't keep putting more and more stuff in there, we won't make it up a hill."

"We took out the heavy stuff with the queen bed and hide-a-bed sofa," I say sweetly.

"But you are putting twice as much back in there and the weight distribution is way off!"

"Am not and there is nothing wrong with the weight distribution." I reply.

"Are too and you don't understand weight distribution." he yells.

It continues from there but you get the picture.  So to solve the issue I tell him, lets just go weigh the darn thing.  That will give us a starting point and we won't be yelling at each other (scathingly brilliant idea).

That will take hours! Well, it took two hours. And worth both of them.  You see, after weighing the RV I still have 1,000 pounds to play with.  Na Na Na Na.

So, tomorrow will be pantry day and hopefully not another Damn it, Donna Day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 30 - YOD Garage Sale OVER

Okay, I survived it.  It was pretty bad though. Made about $1,000 which is good, had people asking about guns and jewelry, which is not good.  I just told them with 3 daughters any jewelry I might have had was gone and if I had a gun I would have shot Tom for making me have a garage sale.

We did get rid of a lot of the JUNK I referred to in the last post. It is really amazing that people would buy some of the stuff we had out.  Of course, I did use my one dollar back up price. If I did not know what it was worth, it was one dollar.  There is an emotional cost to getting rid of things.  It was hard for Tom and me as well, to let some of the stuff go.  I had a pottery bean pot that belonged to my great grandmother Henley that went to a neighbor. I could not sell it for money so I gave it to her as a gift. She will use it to cook frijoles.

Tom watched as gifts we had received from the kids went to new homes. One was a carving of a dolphin jumping a piece of driftwood that our super talented son-in-law Chris made for us.  It sat on our mantle for years. Tom had to leave the room. 

We also sold our second car today. Our niece needed a new car and we had one we were planning to sell so we sold it to her.  It was a real joy to see her excitement and to watch as she and her son drove off in a good, dependable car that will last her for years.  It is a Buick Rendezvous CXL, a perfect soccer mom type car with all the bells and whistles. 

That was one of those decisions that make you feel good. Could we have gotten more for it selling it to someone else? Of course we could. Would we have been smiling and laughing with the buyer as we explained how to turn on the seat warmers? Probably not.  She will enjoy the car and we will enjoy knowing she has it. God Bless you Laura and Gage.

The decisions we are making now will impact the rest of our lives. We have chosen to minimize the number of 'things' we have in order to maximize the number of experiences we can have. When making a decision like that, there are always trade-offs. We believe the material things we are getting rid of now will be replaced with memories that will fill our hearts and our days.

I am going to call American Veterans or Purple Heart and have them come get what we have left. I am not going through the stress of another garage sale.  If it won't sell on E-Bay or Craig's List then it gets donated.  We have 13 days till we are gone from here and off to Corpus Christi. I would rather spend them loading and re-loading and arranging and re-arranging the RV than face another round of people rummaging around. 

Our prayer is that God will continue to shine His light on us, help us to make wise decisions and encourage us to move in His direction. If you have a moment, agree with us before God as we go on.  Thanks. 

The Traill's continue...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 28 - YOD Have I said I hate garage sales?

The past couple of days have been pure hell-o for me and Tom. Getting ready for a garage sale (in our living room), when I really hate garage sales, has us back to the Damn It Donna stage. We have gone through every closet, every drawer and every cabinet. What I discovered amazed me.  We have spent years collecting JUNK!

J is for Justifying the purchase when we knew we did not need it.
U is for all the Ugly pictures, nick nacks and plastic things we have stuffed everywhere.
N is for Nothing we have should be priced more than $5.00.
K is for we should have Known better than to waste money on this stuff.

We had a couple of people call and ask if they could come early and take a look at what we had.  Of course, I say.  I did not realize what I was saying. We were not ready. These were professional Garage Salers.  They came in threes and anyone could tell by the look in their eyes as they surveyed the disaster area they were ready to deal.  They started pointing, how much, is this for sale, will you take $3.00 for it? I was so confused that I did not remember what we said on this and that.  They may have taken advantage of the garage sale virgin.  I hate garage sales.

Today was spent creating order out of chaos. I think we have it now. We have a plan for pricing and strategy for out-witing, out-lasting and out-playing these professionals. Everything is a dollar! VCR = $1.00; TV  = $1.00; sauce pan  = $1.00; you name it  = $1.00.  I think it will work because I learned how to count in 1st grade and no one can out-count me!

I am tired and my back hurts so I am going to bed. Tomorrow is the big day. Tune in next time to see if the plan worked or if Tom saying Damn It, Donna are you going to give away everything we own? Have I said I HATE GARAGE SALES!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 24- Just catching up. It has been a fast week.

It has been a while since I caught you up with the Traill doings.  Sorry about that.  It has been a very busy week. Most of the week was used up just sorting stuff for the Running Away From Home Sale. There has been nothing amusing, dramatic or even interesting to share.  We did make a trip to Houston on Friday to see the Pirates beat the Philly's. 

Our 5-year old grandson Bryce is a Pirate in Pearland, TX Tee-Ball. It was an exciting game with the Pirates willing 22 to 11. Bryce is about a foot shorter than the rest of the team but what he lacks in stature he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. He struts his stuff everytime he gets up to bat and while the ball rarely goes past the pitcher, he does get to first base. It is intense sports action for the discerning fan.

Bryce's 5th birthday party was on Saturday and we bowled up a storm.  We really had a good time and the kids scored higher than we did.  We both had bumpers up so it was kind of embarrassing.  That will be something we will miss while on the road. Trips home to see the young'uns will have to be worked in there somewhere.

We stopped at PPL Motorhomes in Houston for some things we had been looking for to finish out the RV purchases.  That place is really a gold mine of "stuff."  We found the bicycle bumper mount racks we had been looking for on sale, which is always good.  One of the things we were told was a must is a Tote-Along.  We want to stay in State and Federal parks most of the time and they usually do not have sewer connections.  I am not an expert on waste materials but my DH seems to know quite a bit about it.  Anyway, we got a good deal on a 4-wheel 32 gal. tote that hooks on the trailer hitch ball of the truck to take to the dump station.  Finish that off with a sturdy, comfortable folding chair for Tom and it finished up our shopping list.  If you are passing through Houston and need anything RV, check out PPL.  They have everything there.

Guess that is about all for today.  See I told you it was not even interesting.  Thanks for hanging in there though.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 18 Year of Decision-Construction Update

After a rush trip to the nail salon for an emergency manicure, I am able to type again.  You just have to take care of these things quickly so they don't escalate. 

The weekend is over and a new week begun. We have made so much progress on the RV revamp that I thought I would post some before and after pics.  It is not completely done yet but the difference is really amazing.  This is what the dinette area looked like as Tom took out one of the seats:

That area is being converted to a desk area for me.  We are very computerized and both of us require space for our computers, monitors and stuff.  We left the seat against the wall and built in a desk that sits on top of 2 file cabinets.  Tom's file cabinet faces out and mine faces left.

I think it turned out great.  There is very little leg room but anyone who knows me knows I always sit indian style anyway.  A leftover from being short and my feet rarely touch the floor anyway.

The bedroom is quite different now.  We originally had a queen sized bed that took up most of the area and was really hard to get in and out of.   The drawers under the shirt closets and the under bed storage area were removed

The carpeting was removed on the basement frame that is used as bed support and the plan to build supports for twin beds is developed.

The two beds have storage underneath the matress support.  The half wall is actually a headboard that will be completed when we get to Corpus Christi in May.  Notice the entertainment center on the right.  This was revamped for our electronic equipment and flat screen TV.
Turned out nice.
There is still a number of small projects to get finished.  There will be a cabinet in the bedroom that will add additional storage for clothing. It has a cedar floor to help keep bugs from taking up residence with us.  We have decided not to share our sleeping space with anyone or anything.

There will be more to come. It is really exciting to see it come together.  26 days to move out.  The adventure continues...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 17 Year of decision - Ouch

Short post tonight. Smashed my finger and really hard to type.  Tom and Jerry have been busy in the RV and I am thrilled with the result.  The bedroom is complete except for the new cabinet doors which will not be put on for a couple of weeks. The dinette was removed and a desk built in for me. I am hoping to get some work to do from the RV occasionally. The entertainment center has been rebuilt and is great. 

As the documentrix, it is my job to take pictures documenting the work being done.  I did take pictures and tomorrow I will post some.  I broke my nail about 1/4 inch from the quick. It hurts and I just want to keep ice on it.  So will let you know more tomorrow.

The adventure continues.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 15 Year of Decision - The Adventures of Tom and Jerry

Picture yourself in a little house beyond sound and space. Tape measures lay about, sawdust flies through the air and the sound of drills fill your senses.  Tada: You have entered the Construction Zone.

The past couple of days have been so very hectic. Evelyn was here for three days which means I did very little. Tom was out of town. At least the floor in the kitchen is finally in and looks great.  Thank you Julio.

The front porch is being re-built for safety reasons. Thank you again, Julio.  But the work on the RV has ground to a halt.  I keep saying, we have 5 weeks, we have to do the RV first. Now we have 4 weeks, we have to do the RV first. So we called in the calvary.  My sister was nice enough to marry the calvary about 43 years ago.  His name is Jerry.  So for more than 40 years we have been Donna and Carol and Tom and Jerry. Go ahead and snicker.  Everyone does.

Anyway, Jerry is now doing the construction on the RV while Tom works with Julio on the safety issues that we can't leave undone.  Step 1: starts with a discussion; Jerry on left, Tom on right.

Step 2:  Always have to get those measurements.  Measure 11 times cut once. It is interesting to see that the RV is so small that they don't even have to stand up to measure where the beds are going:

Step 3: How many engineers does it take to change the blade in a circular saw?

Step 4: Keep him penned until he goes cross-eyed and then buy him a Shiner Boch.

Stay tuned folks, for more Adventures of Tom and Jerry.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 12-Year of Decision It is Never Easy

The past two days have been pretty difficult.  Tom was in Houston until earlier today and Julio was here to replace the kitchen floor.  A mobile home is a little different in that when you take out a floor to replace it, you see the ground underneath.  Underneath our mobile home is dirt, feral cat nests and the occasional possum.  For this reason the floor has to be taken out and replaced all the same day or be done in stages.  We are doing in stages, it appears.  Tomorrow will be day 3 of replacing the floor. It would be finished now but I did not buy enough tiles and had to go at the last minute tonight to get some more for tomorrow.  I am not going to tell anyone that I bought the amount Tom told me to buy.  That would be counterproductive.

I also have Evelyn for the next couple of days so not much is happening on the sorting front. You would think that I am unhappy and frustrated. It is weird, but I am not.  You have to break eggs to make an omlet, you need friction to make a pearl and time to make a diamond.  All of these things are special.  Well I have destroyed the house, had a fight with Tom and have 5 weeks to get everything done.  I seem to be right on target!!

I actually believe I am right smack in the middle of God's will for Tom and me. That is a wonderful feeling.  Today I have felt stress (so much to do), relief (DH was coming home today), frustration (isn't that dang floor ever going to be finished), joy (Evelyn actually hugged my neck and grinned at me today. Not bad for 10 months), anger (DH should not be mad at me, he told me how many boxes of tiles to buy), and now peace - Jesus' peace - that one that surpasses understanding.

I know I will have more of these days in the next month, year and lifetime I have left.  I just hope God reminds me, as he did tonight, as long as I stay in the center of his plan for me, the rest is just noise.

Good night all, the adventure continues...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 10 Year of Decision - March Madness

(San Antonio, TX)  For those of you who think March Madness is about basketball, think again.  March Madness is deciding to go full-time and giving yourself 7 weeks to get 'er done!

I did not post this weekend because I was up to my arse in alligators. I told you on Friday that my sister Carol was coming in to help me sort my craft stuff to get it ready to sell.  Well we have only made a small start and this is what my living room looks like:

Tom will be back from Houston tomorrow and he is going to croak! I can hear it now, "Damn it Donna (btw that is his pet name for me), I thought you were getting rid of this stuff! Between your crap and the dog I can't even walk across the floor." Yes, honey, I know.  When we sell the living room furniture there will be more room to stack my crap.

NOTE:  I should tell you that I have these conversations in my mind all the time preparing for the real things.  Sometimes I get pretty close.

The plan is to get all my stuff sorted and priced for a craft sale we are having in Corpus Christi on May 15th.  That will give us time to do the same thing at Carol's before then.  She and Jerry (her DH) are going full-time next year sometime. After seeing the disaster facing me, she decided to get a much earlier start on clearing out her crafts. 

Of course, today there is someone coming to replace the kitchen floor in the mobile because it has started to buckle and we can't lease it out like that.  He may run away screaming when he sees the mess. He will need to pull out the refrig and dishwasher... hmmm maybe I can move the dinette table against the wall...

The moral of that story is: (1) Buying stuff on a whim will come back and bite you. (2) Selling stuff on a whim will make you get rid of that one thing you really needed to keep. (3) And finally, Damn it Donna, at least stack that stuff against the walls so I can walk from the kitchen without breaking my leg.

The adventure continues.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 7 Year of Decision - Errands and Family

(San Antonio, TX)  Friday, March 25, 2011 - Today was really busy from start to finish.  Tom left early to drive to Houston to spend the weekend with his 2 brothers.  Bill flew in from South Carolina and the three met at Mike's house in Spring, TX.  It has been a while since they spent some time together so all were looking forward to it.  Tom left his garment bag with all his shirts in it and had to stop and buy shirts for the weekend.  He was complaining that he was planning to get rid of shirts, not buy more!  I however, believe he has a lot of shirts that could do with replacing and this was a good thing.  :)

I stayed home and waited for my sister Carol to get here for the weekend.  We were planning to get a head start on going through my craft room and deciding what I just can't live without. Of all the jobs I have to do in the next month this will be the hardest.  I am a quilter/sewer (I am really offended that sewer and sewer are spelled the same.  Making quilts with a needle and a waste disposal system have very little in common. I believe sower and sower would be better.  One creates things with fabric and thread and the other grows plants and trees and ideas).

I have been collecting supplies, rulers, fabric, thread, basically a stash of things for years. Now I am limited to taking a small box that holds only the essentials and multi-taskers. Linda Payne of told me a couple of years ago that it would be hard, and I believed her. Now I am beginning to really understand the emotional cost of going full-time. Belief versus understanding. The head acknowledged a long time ago that most of our possessions would be gone one way or another. It is very easy to say, we are going to sell all our stuff and live in the RV. It is quite another when you finally get down to the nitty-gritty of what to keep and what goes. Hmmm... Enough of my personal sob story.

Anyway, we did not get that head start because the water to the park we are living in was shut off for the day. Since we could not throw stuff away, we went shopping.  That makes sense, doesn't it? Ok, we just really ran errands and purchased things that were on the list to buy and we had a great time doing it.  It is my personal opinion that sisters make the best friends.  They are required to love us no matter what we do or say!

After coming home and getting dinner we just collapsed and went to bed early.  We will get that head start tomorrow... or Sunday...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 7 Year of Decision - More of the same

Today was another of those days where I got nothing done.  I sort of remember having babies in the house and maybe I am wrong, but I did get some things done during the day. Gramie gets nothing done while Evelyn is in the house. I think two days a week is plenty.

Tom, on the other hand, had a good day. He ran the cable from the cable box to the center of the overhead cabinet in the bedroom and ran power there also.  Instead of the bedroom TV being in the back of the Entertainment Center, we moved it to be in the middle of the room facing out.  We are putting our heads on the other end of the beds than usual.

Then he and Evelyn decided to go ahead and take out one side of the built-in dinette.  That and the table will be replaced with my office/desk. 

Tom has come up with a nice design so that we will both have computer space and a place to eat. We will not have recliners or a couch but I think this suits us much better.  We have never really been the sit on the sofa and watch TV people.  We sit at our desks, play computer games and watch TV out of the corner of our eyes. 

A couple of other things were settled today as well. We are having the kitchen floor replaced before we move out and got that set up for Monday.  Also, I think we may have found a buyer for our Blue Leather living room set.  I am hoping to hear from them this weekend. 

Carol, my sister, will be here tomorrow while Tom goes to spend the weekend with his brothers.  Tom's older brother Bill is coming in from South Carolina and they will meet at younger brother Mike's house.  Should be fun for him.  No telling when they will get together again. 

Carol and I will be cleaning out closets, sorting crafting supplies and just enjoying each other's company.  Sometimes you just gotta have a sister fix.

In the meantine, I am hoping these baby steps we keep taking will add up to a giant leap toward getting everything done in time.  Stick with us as we brave the trials of getting rid of more stuff.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 6-Year of Decision - A Day Off?

(San Antonio, TX)  Today was supposed to be more demolition but it just didn't happen.  Neither Tom nor I slept worth a darn last night.  So many things going through our heads.  He finally got up about 3:00 am and worked on logistics and a time line of what needs to be done when.  I kept pretending I was asleep until about 7:00 then got up to take care of the grandbaby for the day.
First thing on today's agenda was to determine which debts were going to be paid off.  We will be hitting the road pretty much debt free and hopefully will be able to get an occasional work camp or gate guarding job to supplement our income. I still have a ways to go before Social Security so we will be living on Tom's SS and Dresser Pension for the most part. With that decided the day went right downhill.

We were so tired and Evelyn was so awake.  Today was one of those times when she just had to be with me every second.  We decided to not work on the RV and just work around the house.  I have started sorting my books and crafting stuff to see what I can get rid of.  I don't want to get rid of any of it.  ROFL

We got a call from a very good friend who is in Korea tonight - Hi Lora! It was great to hear from her.  She made a great suggestion for the demo and construction work we still have to do. We should get Tom some knee and elbow pads and a helmet to protect him from all the cuts and scrapes.  Tom just wants me to stop taking pictures of his butt while he is working.  I happen to believe he has no butt so what difference does it make, really?

I am going to get a good night's sleep and hopefully tomorrow will be more productive.  Take care all and God Bless.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 5 Year of Decision - Demolition continues

Scratches, scrapes, punctures and cuts, these describe our day today.  Demolition on the interior of the RV continues with the removal of the drawers and carpeting in the bedroom. Tom has this tradition of never working on a project without donating at least a little blood.

There is not much room in the little bedroom, our RV is 27' and the bedroom is 81" deep x 96" wide. The twin beds are 78" long and 40" wide.  When you do the math it is kind of a "what?" moment.  Not much room but the design is pretty good.  Tom cut his leg, arm and one hand removing the drawer in the picture.

The other side contributed with scratches on his arm.  Me?  Well my job was ripping out the carpet which meant my hands were in constant contact with the staples they used on the carpet.  However, due to my expertise and careful attention to detail, I did not damage my nails at all!

The next step was to reverse the doors on the overhead cabinets so they would open from the center rather than the side.  We had expert help with this from our youngest daughter, Kimberly.

And Evelyn was in charge of the water supply:

We felt really good about the day. Demolition in the bedroom is finished.  Design for the bed supports is complete but we plan to do all demolition this week and build the new stuff next week.  Tomorrow, on to the dinette!  Grampy gave Evelyn a lift back into the house in time for dinner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 4 Year of Decision - Misunderstanding Moments

It has been a whirlwind weekend and the list of things to do just keeps getting longer. The house is a wreck because we have been selling furniture. My clothes are in a plastic bin on the floor and I can't even find my purse.  Still, we have emptied some more from the house and we are one day closer to our dream.

I have to tell you about a discussion Tom and I had today.  I think about it now and laugh but at the time I was really ticked and so was he.  It all started with 4 inches.  Well, really it was 8 inches first.  Then it got divided by 2 and became 4 inches.

We were sitting in the RV after taking out the storage area under the queen bed that we removed yesterday.  Tom started explaining how he was going to build the storage under the twin beds we are putting in. Well I am not really on the same page with him when he gets into his 'engineer' mode.  I just know what I want and expect him to figure it out.  So...

He said, There's an 8 inche overlap over the storage box. I think I am going to equalize them and put four on each side." 

I said, "You can't do that because that will leave a hole against the outside wall. "

He said, Doing that will support the mattress better and keep it from sagging."

I said, "No you can't do that because it will leave a hole against the outside wall."

He said, "Damn it Donna, I am not going to put any holes in the outside wall because I will bring it in 4 inches from the wall."

I said, "No you can't do that because it will leave a hole against the outside wall."

He stared at me and then started yelling that I didn't know what I was talking about and blah blah blah.  Well, that is pretty typical so I paid my usual amount of attention to his ranting (none really).  After 41 years of marriage I can pretty well predict how these things are going to go. I let him ramble and show me how I was wrong and told him to do whatever he wanted to do.

He said "Your going to have an extra 4 inches of storage between the storage box and the outside wall."

I said, "There will be a hole that things would bounce around and in and out of while we were driving.

He said, "Damn it Donna, there won't be a hole, the top would cover the hole.

I said, "No, the top would not cover the hole because the hole would be in front."  (I bet the women reading this get the picture.)

Well about 30 minutes later he got it!  There would be a hole in the front against the outside wall. It was in front of the box not on the top of the box. 

He said, "I will put in a  f***ing plug to cover the d*** hole against the outside wall."

I said, Thank you, honey.  That is all I wanted.