We’re on-target & enjoying life along the way!

This is my first chance to sit down at my computer since we arrived in Teague a week and 1/2 ago. We are doing many things we just have not been able to do for the last three years… like relax.

Another thing we have not been able to do is organize our rig. Tomorrow will be our first anniversary in our beautiful Travel Supreme Select. Even though it is a 2004 model, it was like new to us and what we have always wanted in a motorhome. Unfortunately, it needed some TLC (a lot to be exact) when we first picked it up. In fact, it needed more than we had anticipated, but, I’m happy to say it has been all worth it.

For the first time in the whole first year we have the time to organize the Silver Bullet, as we call her, so we can maximize our storage space.

Normally, the hardest part of moving into and living in an RV of any kind is keeping the weight down… gee, I’m having that problem too…

Our former home was a 2006 Damon Challenger. While it was very adequate for our needs, it lacked the room and the ability to handle the added weight of any extras, like a washer/dryer and a dishwasher. That’s one of the biggest reason we traded for the TS.

Now, instead of watching every little thing we bring in the front door and adding up the weights, we are several thousand pounds underweight. And when we get done cleaning this baby out we will be even lighter! You see, in our last job (creating guest services guides for RV parks) we were packed to the gills with paperwork. We could not believe the amount of paperwork that job entailed. I’ve been emptying containers left and right. I can even see open spaces in the back closet now.

We’ve also put on our other hats since we’ve arrived in Teague, that of Nana & Grandpa. We have three adorable granddaughters in town, ages 11, 5, and 1. I’ve also been spending every moment I can with my daughter Bobbi. Katelyn, the 5-year-old, spent the night our very first night here. We took her a Dairy Queen lunch at her school last week. We all enjoyed that. We’d love to do things like this with 11-year-old Corynn, but she’s at the age where we are low on the priority list… for now anyway. I’ll look forward to the day when we are not so square (or whatever they say these days) anymore!

I’ve been reading comments and blog posts from other gate guards on my cell phone and I’ve gotten a big education regarding rodents and other pests. We are going over the Silver Bullet with a fine-tooth comb to seal all possible points of entry that we can find. I’ve bought stock in Comet Cleanser to put down around the rig. It’s good for keeping ants and other pests away.

Right now Bob is researching on the Internet to find the best sonic pest control device possible. We’ll put those in the basement and hopefully stop any intrusion from coming upstairs!

I’m rethinking how I will store food and already making modifications. For example, I have a big bin under the sink that I use to store cereals, chips, brown sugar, oatmeal, raisins, boxed mac & cheese, and items like that. Great fodder for mice to come in and gnaw on. I found a large container, I just emptied of paperwork, would fit perfectly in this bin. And it has a lid. So I took everything in that bin and put it in the container and placed the container in the bin. Voila! Great way to keep the mice and ants out of our food.

I’m going to measure the credenza next to the dining table and buy containers to put in there to hold all kinds of food items that mice would love to feast on. Those plastic coffee containers are good for things like noodles or snacks. Just take a magic marker and label it on the outside. Or, take a label maker and do it that way… that way when you want to change what is in that container, all you have to do is make a new label.

We are getting all of our annual medical things scheduled and checked off the list. Oops, still need to get the little doggies teeth cleaning done. Note to self–schedule this tomorrow.

We called Patty at GGS today to let her know we were on target for our mid-December report-for-duty time. She confirmed that we are good and just to call and let her know the final date. Will do!

Debbie will love this–I got me an BB CO2 gun to give me peace of mind at night. Of course I’m reading Nora Roberts, The Circle Trilogy right now. Will the BB gun kill the vampires that lurk in the shadows during the day and come out at night??? May not be the best choice of reading material just before starting a night job… OUTDOORS… in the middle of nowhere!!!

I better get busy whittling a wooden stake and picking out a silver cross–just kidding 😀

Vicky

Spending more time enjoying life…

Today I sent out an email to many of our friends and family members. I wanted them to know about our blogs so they can follow what we are doing… if they want to that is.

Since we’ve made the decision to change what we are going to do to earn a living as full-time RVers, we’ve both felt a great inner peace. Don’t get me wrong, we’re grateful for the work we’ve been doing, traveling all over and creating guest guides for RV parks. It does not pay quite as well as gate guarding, but we have had a lot of fun traveling around and meeting new people and forming new friendships.

Now we are ready to enjoy things at a slower pace. In writing this blog and the comments I’ve received from other bloggers, I just realized how much I have missed writing. I’ve also missed reading books and getting engrossed in a good movie. Over the last three years, we have been too busy with all the work involved in the guest guide job to just simply enjoy life. And with the economic situation we’re in now, the job of selling ads in RV park guides is getting harder all the time.

While I know we will be somewhat isolated out on the ranch land and will probably experience cabin fever from time to time, I have a whole list of things I want to do that I just could not get around to before. Fun things. And Bob wants to do some tinkering on our rig. We bought it last year as a used coach and there are things he can do to restore it to its original luster, but he has been swamped with all the paperwork that went with the other job.

In a nutshell, we are looking forward to slowing the pace down and banking money for travel. Then when we do take a break, we can truly be tourists. And the time to do it is now while we are young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it all.

In addition to writing my blogs, I’m looking forward to reading more of my fellow gate guard’s blogs. Each blogger has their own unique style and I love to read their entries and picture what they are like. These bloggers seem to be a close knit group of people and we are glad to be joining them.

We are in Amarillo, Texas tonight and will be staying in Burkburnett, Texas tomorrow night. Saturday we head back to our home base in Teague, Texas and start getting the rig and ourselves ready for our new journey. But first, we have three granddaughters to spoil for a while!

Vicky

 

On The Road Back To Texas!

Spending the last six days in Las Vegas was fun and seeing family was great! We did discover we are not “fine dining” literate though. One night we took Bob’s brother to the “Top of the World” restaurant in the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino on the strip. The view was a million dollar view as the restaurant slowly turns 360 degrees.

Back to the fine dining though. It’s real hard to know what to order when you don’t even know what is on the menu. I mean Asparagus with aged lemon*&@??? I asked the waiter what the heck is aged lemon? To which he replied–it’s just lemon. I asked him what Arugula (or however it was spelled) was and he said, “Oh, it’s a vegetable and it’s green. Okay… thank you for that. And for $55 all you get is the meat, no sides or drinks. My husband, the bean-counting-accountant was not amused. I don’t think we will be doing the fine dining thing again anytime soon!

Now, while this is happening, there are people strapping themselves to a line and jumping off the edge of a perfectly good building!!! Not in this lifetime.

This brings up another passion I used to have… until I heard the news over the weekend. You see, when we go to Moab, Utah I keep wanting to do the tandem sky diving. It looks awesomely fun.

Well, last weekend a well-seasoned skydiver took a 70-year-old student on a tandem jump. This guy had over 11,000 jumps to his credit. Guess what happened… the main chute malfunctioned so he pulled the back up chute cord and it also malfunctioned. Both of them hit the ground at 40 mph. Neither survived I’m sad to report.

I’ve noticed that as I get older, I become less adventurous. Wild roller coasters just don’t do anything for me anymore, in fact they scare the bejesus out of me! I’ve now crossed skydiving off my bucket list.

That’s it for now…

Vicky

Gone shoppin…

Getting to Las Vegas after spending six weeks in Moab, Utah is like getting back to civilization again. Moab is a beautiful, somewhat eclectic tourist town. Since its tourist season is primarily from March 1st to October 31st, they pretty much roll up the sidewalks over the winter months.

There are two grocery stores, but no Walmart… no Target… no Home Depot… no mall… and no Camping World for the everyday items we’ve come to count on. This year it got me to thinking about how I need to prepare for our new life as gate guards. With all the caleche we’ll be dealing with, we decided we need a good ground cover to help keep the amount we track in to a minimum. So we went to Camping World while we’re here in Las Vegas and bought a big indoor/outdoor carpet with grommets we can use to anchor it to the ground so it won’t blow away. Yes, Texas does get windy!

Next we bought a nice indoor/outdoor 37″ square folding table I can use to do my jigsaw puzzles since I will be the one up all night. And I do love a good, challenging puzzle! I figure I can also use it when I work on quilting for our granddaughters. We can also use it outside as a work table if we need to.

After reading other gate guard’s blogs and their problems with unwanted pests I’ve decided to do some more shopping before we get assigned to a gate. I’m going to put all cereals, chips, crackers, sugar (and other food items that could attract uninvited munchers) into containers. Ants & mice are not good for RVs.

If anyone has more good suggestions I should know about so I’m better prepared for living in the boonies, please feel free to share them with me.

Thank you!

Vicky

Getting Ready For A New Life Adventure

Sitting here wrapping up our current job in Moab, Utah is a bittersweet time for me.

We’ve just finished our third year as full-time RVers. During that time we’ve worked part-time creating site maps/guest services guides for RV parks around the country.

We’ve met some wonderful RV park owners, and some who were not so great. We’ve met some wonderful people who advertise in our guides. My heart has gone out to these business owners as some of them explain to me that they’d love to either take out an ad or renew their current ad, but with the current economy, they have to choose between advertising or paying their employees… you know the choice they’ll make.

We’ve created guides for some of our parks for three years. The park owners and advertisers are friends by now. In this job I’m the one who goes out and sells the ads and it was fun at one time. Today, it’s a tough job because people are hurting. It’s also a job that takes up a lot of our time. We want less stress in our lives so we’ve decided to make a change.

We’ve been doing a lot of “workamping jobs” research. We get the Workamper News daily and that’s how we learned about gate guarding in the drilling fields of Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Right now there is a real boom in this line of work in south Texas. Since we are Texans, this seems like a good fit for us. We also are very open to the other two states.

We’ve solicited wonderful advice from those who are currently working as gate guards. All seem very positive about their experiences. Yes, I know it’s going to be dusty, and of course it will be hot (we are already full-time Texans so we know all about HOT).

Bob is a day person and I’m a night owl so he will naturally work days most of the time while I work nights. It seems the only thing we have to provide is our time and our rig. The pay is pretty good and expenses low. Compared to what our expenses are on our current job, as a gate guard they’ll be non-existent!

We can work for a spell, then take off and go visit family and travel. Then go back to work and bank more money for the next time off. Sometimes we will be very busy, other times not so much.

Overall, we are looking forward to this new adventure. After the last three years, this seems like a good change for us. If we miss our old friends too much, we’ll just plan a trip to go see them.

So far we’ve contacted six or so gate guarding companies. Three have responded. One in particular sent us a package to fill out and send back. We are having background checks done (we’re already Coast Guard Approved so that should be easy) and we went to the local police department to get our fingerprint cards created. We took a test and filled out an application and sent it all in. Hopefully we’ll know more this week.

We will be leaving Moab next week and going to Las Vegas for about a week to visit family and be tourists. Then back to Texas. Before we get shipped off to south Texas, we need to get our annual physicals and all that entails, dental visits, dermatologist visits, special medical procedures that people our age need every few years, eye exams, and doggie dental cleanings. And most importantly, play with grandchildren!!!

Oh yes, we need a few things worked on in our rig and annual maintenance items taken care of. So we won’t be ready to start until mid-December or the first of the year.

We are looking forward to being able to pursue hobbies, like reading, puzzles, games and stuff like that. I’m looking forward to working on a writing career… something I’ve been wanting to pursue, plus I’d like to take up quilting one of these days. I was quite a seamstress in high school. With five granddaughters I can keep busy for a while making them special quilts. My daughter already has three projects in mind for her daughters.

I’ll keep you posted on our transition to this new adventure!

Vicky