Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dogs and Taxes

The last couple of days have been so hectic We have been boondocking in front of Jennifer's house and trying to get on with our trip to Louisiana.  Naturally we will be delayed again.  I don't know what it is that we are missing, but it seems we never get where we are headed. 

I would like to take a moment to thank God for our motorhome.  I know that the debate rages on what is best: bumper tow trailers, 5ers or motorhomes.  My response to that is there is no one perfect RV.  For some it is the trailer, some the 5er and others a motorhome.  We have had a trailer and a motorhome.  We love the motorhome.  It has given us the ability to just stop anywhere and be comfortable.  It does not matter if we have hookups because of the generator and large fresh water tank.  If we do have hookups, it only takes 15 minutes to be set up.  We have sacrificed some room, we only have one slide out and the front 5 feet is the driving area, but even that is not bad because I love the large windows and the view while driving.  I would be interested in hearing about any of your rigs and why you love it (or not).

Tom has spent days working on our taxes.  It is so different from any other year with retirement income, 401k withdrawls, 2 rental properties, self employment and regular employment as gate guards...  can you spell A-U-D-I-T?  So we have delayed a couple of days to meet with an accountant to review Tom's numbers.  Blech!

While Tom does the taxes I am re-loading the MH.  After living in it for 6 months I now know that I don't need about a 1/4 of the stuff I have 'stuffed' into it.  While here we are packing up things we have not used since we loaded it originally and are putting it into Jennifer's attic, if we think we may ever use, or just plain throwing it away.  I don't know why I was hanging on to so much stuff.  We don't need anything except a few clothes, some cooking stuff, our computers and my sewing machine.  If it is not connected with those four categories, away it goes.  I am telling you, folks, things are becoming less and less important, while memories and moments are becoming more and more important.  God is speaking to us every day about that.  I have decided to listen.

I know you all know that we lost our beloved German Shepherd Dieter last November.  It has been real difficult for Tom and me.  I am the one who needs to have a dog in my life and we have been going back and forth on when to get one, what kind to get, etc.  Well, Dieter came to us through Tony, Master Trainer in Corpus Christi, TX.  So I called him and asked if he had any rescues that he was training and would fit into our RV lifestyle.  I told him we were looking in the 40 pound range as a maximum.  He said instead of one at 40 pounds, how about two at 30 pounds maximum.  He offered two little bundles of energy that were so bonded that they needed to stay together. 

Female pug and Male dachshund, Called Mrs and Mr X.
Well I could not resist so I drove to Corpus from Houston and picked up the dogs.  They are about 1 1/2 - 2 years ole and, so sweet and lovable.  We have been looking for names for them.  The little male we are calling Sonny.  The female pug started out to be Cher but has kind of turned into Uggy.  Not sure how that happened.  Anyway, I will fill you in on the process of integrating two little dogs into a RV household used to having a 100 pound big dog.  It is a real change.

I hope you all are enjoying what to us is a wet weekend.  Happy Traills to you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cleaning and the Cardinals

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being at Jennifer's house is restful. We are parked out in the street of her cul-de-sac and will sleep in our own bed while we are here. Now it is time for the outside of Flipper - talk about dirty,  ewwww.
The dirt came off as mud.  Tom won the war.
With the cleaning came the need for a nap; had to be rested and ready for the Cardinals opening game of T-Ball.

First game of the season - Go CARDINALS!
Proud mom and an excited Bryce were read to take on the Jays.  Watching those little guys (and gals) play is a hoot.  They just as often listen to the coach as they don't listen to the coach.  Tom told me after the game that he admired the patience showed by the coachs.  I just laughed.  Tom caught the picture below after a long throw to home for the second out.  Bryce, on second base, danced the happy dance.

Two outs, Take that!
It was a great 2 hours.  An exhausted Bryce is hugged by a proud Grampy after the game.  We hope to catch another game on our way back to the valley at the end of the month.

Proud Grampy, Happy Bryce- Cardinals 22 - Jays 11
I am so excited to see the quality of the pictures we are getting from Tom's new camera.  SO different from iPhone pics.  ROFL.  We are planning to stay here an extra day and leave on Thursday for Louisiana.  Tom has to get the taxes done so we can see how much money we have left for the casinos (ugh). 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Taking a slow day today.  Tom met his old friends at Dresser for lunch today. We are getting some stuff out of the RV to leave in Jen's attic and just general re-arranging that needs to be done.  Laundry and normal stuff preparing for the trip.

Debbie Wilson and Tom outside Dresser, Inc.

Not much else happening today.  We wish you all well and Happy Traills to you!

Busy travel day

Donna, Tom, Jay, Shalmir
Sunday, March 4, 2012

Whew! What a busy day yesterday was.  We started out in Canyon Lake, TX saying good bye to my awesome brother and his wonderful wife.  We had a great time with them even though it was fragmented.  We had so much to do.  My arms are sore from scrubbing the baseboards and cleaning the RV of the dirt we accumulated during our stay at the ranch.  In some places it turned into mud. Yech.  Tom was busy fixing little things and cleaning the outside compartments.

Jay, Shalmir and Bernie at the ranch
 While there we got a call from the couple that are renting our house in Katy, TX (outside Houston) saying they had bought a house and would be leaving by April 15th.  That was not really good news because they were great renters and took very good care of the house.  Hmmmmm, now what?
Once things were buttoned up, we headed to San Antonio and our daughter Kimberly's house.  We decided to leave the car with Kim and Julius while we head east.  We went to lunch with them then headed to Houston.

It was the first time I had spent any time in the motorhome while it was moving.  I have always driven the car.  It was really nice to be able to look out the giant windows and see everything we passed.  Another great thing was being able to log into the internet to find a real estate agent while we were moving.  Using the Verizon MiFi, I just used my iPad and searched for realtors in Katy, TX.  I found the phone number and called. It worked out great!  After making an appointment for two hours later with the agent, I went to the bedroom and took a nap while Tom drove.  I really love the motorhome.

The meeting went very well and we are pleased with the agent God led us to.  He is knowledgable and very personable.  He agreed with the price point we were looking for and we signed the papers.  Now we all need to pray for a quick sale.  The market has improved so much in the past 18 months, we are encouraged that we can sell and get that off our shoulders.

By this time it was 8:30pm and we were tired, hungry and out of gas. We filled up the motorhome - $200 - grabbed a Whataburger and headed to Jennifer's house.  We will be staying with her a couple of days (really Grandpa will be staying with Bryce hehe).  Our bed was calling and we crawled in about 9:30 and crashed.  It was a good day.  Thank you my Lord Jesus.

Happy Traill's to you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The best laid plans...

The beauty of being retired is that when outside forces interfere with your plans you can just make new ones!  After leaving the ranch last week, Tom and I went to the St Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio for a couple of days.  It was really wonderful to be able to relax and just not hear the 'ding' of the bell saying someone was coming or going from the gate.  We ate, slept and shopped.  And we laughed.  That was the best part, we were able to just enjoy ourselves being responsible for nothing.

Tom lost 41 pounds while we were at the ranch.  He is looking pretty good!  We bought clothes 5 sizes smaller for him while shopping in San Antonio.  He even went down a shoe size.  Pretty kewl. I, of course, did not lose any, but instead found some of the pounds he lost.  There is just no justice in that.

When we left San Antonio and arrived at Live Oak Ranch, my brother's place on the Guadalupe River we continued the do nothing attitude.  A lot of time was spent thinking about where we were going to go for March. We had planned to go visit a couple of states west - New Mexico and Arizona with a short jaunt into Nevada for Las Vegas.  Being Texan born and bred, we did not consider that March was still winter.  Soooooo.....

Tom said lets go east to Louisiana and Mississippi. That is what we are going to do.  We are leaving tomorrow to go to Katy and sign up a realtor to list our house there.  The couple that was leasing it bought a house and will be moving April 15th.  We will list to sell or lease. Pray for a sale... it would be nice to not have that responsibility hanging over us.  Anyway, after we take care of that we will spend a couple of days with Jennifer and Bryce.  He is starting shortstop of his T-Ball team with the first game Monday night.  Rah rah for the Cardinals.  Grampy will be there with his new camera to record the game for posterity, win or lose.

Speaking of new cameras, Tom got a Canon Rebel t2 something or nother Digital SLR for his birthday.  Hopefully we will be adding some great pictures to the blog. And speaking of birthdays, today would have been Dieter's birthday - 9 years old.  Hope he is celebrating in doggie heaven. I miss you, big dog.

We will be updating frequently now that we are doing something other than gate guarding or sleeping.  Stick with us and we will try to amuse and entertain you.

Happy Traills to you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Time to Move

We made the decision yesterday to move on down the road. Working at the Rocking 5 Ranch as gate guards for the past 5 months has been great, terrible, restful, stressful and exhausting. The past couple of months have been mostly exhausting for Tom and he is really burned out.  My crusty curmudgeon needs some rest!

We don't have long term plans yet but have been thinking about what we want to do this summer. Our first stop on Tuesday (02/28/2012) will be Eagle Pass, TX.  It is not too far from here and has an Indian Casino. We thought we would check it out and do a little shopping before going to Canyon Lake and Live Oak Ranch for a couple of days.  We will decide then what, when, where and who.

I have been neglectful of the blog because there has been nothing to report. The weather is getting better every day and we see the beginnings of the wild flowers that are so beautiful in March and April in Texas. Hopefully the rain we have seen lately will cause an explosion of color along out highways and biways. I love Texas in the Spring. God Bless Texas!

Will write again soon,  Happy Traills

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Morning from South Texas, 13 miles from the Rio Grande river and the Mexican border. Today has started out cold, overcast, windy, and basically gloomy. Even the sun was having a problem peeking through.

The vehicle traffic is up and down but averaging about 75 a day. There has been a lot of time for me to mope around and be bored. It's a good thing that I have recently taken up 'reading' fiction books. My daughters bought me a Nook for Christmas and I am loving it. So far I have managed to read through some Tom Clancy, a lot of W.E.B. Griffin, and now am on 3rd book from Vince Flynn.

Sunday, January 15, 2012
A couple of nights ago, the ranch owner came down and walked into the 'bush' about 125 yds. from the gate and 10 minutes later he took down a nice 10-point buck. He took it back to his ranch house, skinned it, and brought back some nice tenderloins for us to BBQ.

This is Mr. S. tending to the delicious steaks and Jenn (my helping relief guard) helping him by fanning some air into the coals.

Friday, January 13, 2012
This past Friday we were blessed with a new granddaughter. Her name is Kayla Rose and she was 7-1/2 lbs. and 19" long. Mom had to have a C-section and everything went very well. Momma and baby are back home now. This is my DW (grammy) holding Kayla when she was only 10 minutes old. Donna has been with Kim and family since ?? and I am sure missing her but she won't be back with me until the 28th. Miss you Boo...143.

This is a family picture of Julius, Kimberly, Evelyn, and newborn Kayla on Saturday. Everyone is doing well.

Well, that's about it from here, for now. I hope that you all have a wonderful day and that God is blessing you daily.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012

Wow! We got a great New Year's Surprise when our daughter Jennifer braved the roads on Friday and came to see us at the ranch site. Tom was totally speachless when he saw her at the gate.  She said he was just staring and then shaking his head to stare some more.  I was sleeping so they had a nice visit till it was time to wake me.  She came in the room and rubbed my feet to wake me up, but when she spoke and I heard her voice I was like a Jack-in-the-Box and came up out of the bed so fast. 

The hardest part of this job is being away from our children and grandchildren.  We have always been a close family and missing the holidays with them was tough.  Having Jennifer here for a couple of days has been wonderful. She is going home today, time to get back in the grind, but God bless her for her visit and protect her on the way home.

It has been very slow at the gate over the holidays and we have enjoyed the respite.  I believe it will pick up now that everyone is back to work. We will see.

Tom and I wish you all the Happiest of New Years and blessings in the months to come.