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.