On being thankful… tis the season!

As I sit here tonight, I’m struck with awe that I have an Internet connection that is not konking out every 5 minutes!

Seriously, I have many reasons to be thankful. We have a good way to earn extra money to supplement Bob’s retirement income. Especially since I cannot draw my checks for 4 more years. Granted, doing what we do is a grind at times, but it’s still a lot better than  cleaning toilets for a parking spot or minimum wage!

I’m thankful that I was able to meet the love-of-my-life on the Internet in 1997. Think back to that time, dial-up (broadband was not even born yet) was not 56K yet, I believe it was 33.5K (or something like that). Match.com, eHarmony, PlentyOfFish.com, ChristianMingle.com (and about 10 variations thereof), FarmersOnly.com, and the latest trend for seniors, SilverFishing.com did not yet exist. The only way you could fish or surf for a prospective partner was to locate personal ads. Imagine trying to do this without Google or Bing or MSN!

You’d have to know my Bob to appreciate just how miraculous it is that we met at all. You see, he is a very shy & quiet person. Once you get to know him he has a refreshingly unique sense of humor and a cozy, loving nature.

So, back in January of 1997, I decided to try to find the kind of person I was looking for in the Houston area. That’s where I lived back then. So I trolled the online personal ads. I met a couple of frogs in public places, and resolved that if I was going to find my ideal match, I would need to cast a bigger net… so to speak 🙂 I never once doubted I would meet the person I was looking for… I just did not know where… yet…

I included Dallas and San Antonio in my searches. I knew I was looking for an RVer and a boater. He needed to be less than 10 years older than me and be good with kids since I still had my daughter living at home. I also had my first grandchild on the way.

One week I had sent out several inquiries/responses to ads. Out of those I received one reply and I could tell he was not the one.

One week later, I received an email profusely apologizing for taking so long to respond to my inquiry. And who was this weird person (just kidding Honey)?

Bob. Up until this point no names had been mentioned so I had no clue what he was responding to since it had been at least a week prior.

Long story short, we corresponded via email and telephone for two months before we actually met in person.

We agreed to meet at the Cross-Eyed Seagull in Houston at 8:00 pm on an agreed upon night. Well, we were tested from the git-go! Bob was living in Denton, Texas at this time. The night he came down he did so during the worst rain storm I’d seen in a good long time. Remember, we did not have our handy cell phones in 1997. Bob had to periodically pull over to a pay-phone and find out the conditions he was driving into.

Finally, I-45 was flooded so I had to guide him into town using the Hardy Toll Road. At that time it had recently opened up. Our good fortunes were holding.

With all of this inclement weather I figured he would be at least 2-hours late.

To this day I don’t know how he did it, but he arrived with a goofy grin on his face and 5-MINUTES EARLY! The goofy grin was because he was extremely nervous. (And I wasn’t?)

And the rest is history… we got married in March of 1998.

How did I know he was going to be such a good match for me?

Easy… he worked for an RV dealer and he owned a boat. Cha-ching! We had things in common. He was also divorced and the father of two girls and a boy, and I had two boys and a girl. Brady Bunch!

We went on to become full-time RVers in 2008. And today we have 10 grandchildren. 5-boys and 5-girls. Funny how that worked out 🙂

And we are gate guards in South Texas.

We are in good health as are our families. And for all of this, we are thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all 🙂

Till next time,

Vicky

Ever wish you could make time slow down?

I do! We left our first gate (which we worked for three months) on March 29th. We only intended to be gone for a month to six weeks. While we are talking about intentions… I also intended to write in my blog several times a week while we were off.

Here it is May 23rd and we will not be back to a gate until June 13th and this is my first post since we left. So much for intentions.

Being back with family plus catching up on things like dentists, doctors, and repairs can eat up time in a hurry. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

Corynn, Lily and Bobbi came over for a wiener roast and smores!

Bobbi, Lily, Katelyn and Capt. Jack are ready to roast them dogs!

This is what the RV lifestyle is all about! Great fire Bob 😀

Cooper’s Farms is located nearby in Fairfield. They produce wonderful peaches and pecans. With the wet spring this year these peaches are juicy and oh so sweet! Love ’em 🙂

This is a great way to be out in the boonies and still enjoy great ice-cream. Make your own!

One thing we enjoy both on the job and when we are in “civilization” is making our own ice cream. I make a batch for Bob with cows milk and cream. I make mine with coconut milk and coconut cream. YUM!!!

We’ve been busy watching our little Texas Tornado, Lily. She is an 18-month-old female version of Dennis the Menace… if you don’t pay enough attention to her. She can also be oh-so-snuggly. Her parents are getting ready to sell their home and move to the Houston area.

That’s me coming out the rig door, and Corynn (11) then from left to right, Katelyn (5), Aidree (5) and Bree (6). Lily was asleep.

One weekend we took Bobbi and her three girls (Corynn, Katelyn & Lily) with us to the Lake Conroe KOA. There Bobbi met up with her husband, Brandon who has been transferred to the Houston area in his work. We also spent time with son James and his two girls, Bree & Aidree. We all enjoyed the indoor pool during the days and spent our nights roasting hot dogs and making smores. Life is good!

We’ve also been busy getting ready for our move to the Houston area. Actually, it’s like moving back home for me since I lived in Katy for 16 years. We’ve been going through storage and getting rid of more stuff. Every year since 2008, when we went full-time, we have been paring down stuff. I always find it interesting what we thought we could not live without the year before. And I claim not to be a packrat!

Last week we moved Bob’s 98-year-old mother from the nursing home in Teague to a personal care home in Katy, Texas. We are so much happier with her level of care in the new place… and she is too. Dementia is taking a toll on her and it is good to see her calm and as pain-free as possible. That was not happening before. At least now she truly has as much dignity as possible in her life.

I remember watching the movie “Grumpy Old Men.” When someone they knew died in their sleep they would say, “Lucky dog.” After watching my grandmothers and now Bob’s mother, I agree. I don’t want to live beyond a good quality of life. My opinion of course…

On a different note, we have been tech junkies again. We bought a new ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime tf201 Android tablet. And yes, next month it will become obsolete as a new one will come out (this one just came out in January!). Geesh!!!

ASUS Transformer Tablet 201 attached to its keyboard/docking station. It can be used without this, much like an iPad.

The Transformer pad and keyboard docking station detached.

We were going to get an iPad, since we both love our iPhones. But, my wonderful researching partner (Bob) did his homework and found that this new up & coming tablet star has a lot more functionality than the iPad does. First, we can expand the storage capacity with a Micro SD card. We can also use a USB device on it to transfer things.

One of the cons has been that since the Android market is playing catch up with Apple, they are more limited on their apps, especially for the tablet market. But they are working feverishly to get up to speed in this department. Crack that whip!

My poor little Nook is feeling displaced lately!

Comparing it to my Nook Color, the tablet is a bit easier to use and the screen is bigger to read. I love the touch screen on both of these gizmos 😀

I’d love to find some players for Scrabble. Or, Words with Friends. Is anyone playing these on their phones or tablets?

So that’s what we’ve been up to. I’ll try to do better at keeping in touch in the future.

Till next time,

Vicky

We escaped… they can’t get us now!

Seriously, we finished our first assignment as south Texas gate guards in the Brush Country near Cotulla & Artesia Wells, Texas. It was an eye-opening experience to say the least. Now, when we hear about pipeliners, fracing (everything from Frac to Finish you might say), we know exactly what is being talked about. Been there done that.

First, this job was supposed to be a 3-day job. March 28th marked our 3-month mark on that job and we were finally released (they closed the gate) on April 3rd.

One thing we will not miss is the 9.2 mile caliche road from the highway to our gate. That got old. In fact, our first stop after leaving the ranch was the San Antonio KOA. While in SA, we went to Firestone and put new tires on our soon to be 3-year-old car. They still had some tread life in them, but they did take a beating on the roads, plus we needed a front end alignment. Like the new tires much better, they are not so noisy.

We took advantage of being in civilization and treated ourselves to a belated anniversary celebration at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Man, they do have good food there! I found my new favorite wine too… Movendo Moscato, Italy. I usually like Moscato wine, but this stuff has a sparkling kick to it. YUM!!!

Bob and I at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in San Antonio, Texas. Celebrating 14 wonderful years together!

We left SA on Monday after getting some repairs done on the Silver Bullet, at Iron Horse RV. We’re visiting my best friend in Katy, Texas tomorrow so we are staying at a nearby campground in Brookshire, Texas. That whole west Houston area has grown so much since I move away in 1997. It’s amazing!

Then Thursday we will mosey on up to the Lake Conroe/North Houston KOA for a few days. My son James and our two granddaughters, Bree & Aidree, live in an apartment across the street. Looking forward to seeing them. It’s been a while.

Saturday we will head on up to our home-base in Teague. We plan on heading back to the gate guarding lifestyle around the end of May/early June. Yes, it will be hot, but then again… it’s hot all over Texas. What else is new?

Update on Captain Jack: As I wrote about earlier, one of our Chihuahua companions, Captain Jack, developed epilepsy recently. He has been on Phenobarbital for a month now and is doing very well on it. We had our vet in Mexia (Dr. Bennett) call in a refill on his medication to the Katy Walmart today. We did not want to risk running out of his medication as that would probably bring on more seizures. I’m so glad we can get his medication on the road.

I’m going to Whole Foods in Houston tomorrow. The store in San Antonio sells out of their grass-fed beef as soon as they get it in. So I’m getting to the Houston location on Wilcrest & Westheimer tomorrow morning… they get their shipment in on Wednesdays. Grass-fed beef is actually quite healthy for us to eat. Much better for us than grain-fed beef, and God-forbid… the pink slim we’ve been hearing about in the news!

That’s a wrap for now.

Till next time,

Vicky