It’s good to be back, but not home yet…

Last night we arrived in San Antonio and checked into Iron Horse RV. We bought a new water purification system that we want them to install on the Silver Bullet, complete with a UV light. We like to have confidence in local drinking water systems and since we go everywhere, we figured this was a good idea.

We will be taking a long road trip this spring/summer so we decided it’s time to change the old house batteries. Last year we bought two new chassis batteries (yes, this behemoth is a battery hog). When we were out at the Nye ranch south of Cotulla last year, for three months, our chassis batteries went dead. So until we could get our gate assignment completed and get back to civilization, we had to keep a battery charger on them. Not fun!

We’ve noticed that our house batteries, there are 8 of them (ouch), are not holding the charge once we disconnect from shore power. So, before our big road trip we are replacing them. Can you say EXPENSIVE!!! And since our household refrigerator is powered by one of the two inverters, which uses 4 of the coach batteries, we better not let them die! I have that freezer packed to the gills!!!

You never know, we might decide to boondock somewhere along the way on our trip and we will need something to power our toys (iPhones, iPad, computers and other electronics) without starting the generator all the time.

We thought we would be back in Teague by the weekend, but the shop has had one guy out on funeral leave and another out sick all week. So, we will probably be here until Wednesday. I called Bobbi, my daughter, today to let her know we will be delayed. She said, “Oh darn!” To which I agree! Our two-year-old granddaughter, Lily, keeps coming up to her mom, hands on hips, head tilted down, and bottom lip out saying, “I want my Nana!” Oops 🙂

Last night we joined our friends, Ralph and Karen Miller from New Braunfels, for dinner. We ate at Mammacita’s Mexican Restaurant. It was a great place to eat. Bob does not eat Mexican so he had hamburgers and steaks to choose from. And desserts were provided by the Cheesecake Factory. They were downright yummy!

In preparation for our road trip, we are getting new belts put on the Silver Bullet. We bought them two years ago when we bought the rig. We’ll keep the ones they take off in a box in the basement. It’s always good to have a spare 🙂

We are so looking forward to a leisurely road trip. You see, we started our journey as full-time RVers in 2008. We worked for three years doing guest guides at RV parks. It was fun, for a while. As the economy tanked the fun left and it became a JOB! We met many wonderful business people and campground owners, as well as fellow RVers. Many of which are still our friends today.

Next we tried out gate guarding. LOMA was by far the best company to work for, but the job is dirty, you are amongst wild pigs, rattle shakes, “tame” bulls, and coyotes… not to mention illegal drug runners. Plus, you can’t leave or have any life together since someone must always be at the gate. And the industrial generators were wreaking havoc on our coach.

We’ve had two deaths in the family in the last year. Bob’s mother who was 98. And his brother Richard, who was murdered by his own son. We just finished a 2-month stint in Las Vegas getting his estate in order. These events have caused us to reflect and reevaluate our priorities.

For now, our plans are focused on our big road trip coming up. Somewhere down the road we may decide to work part-time again. And I’ll be investigating what there is to do for full-time RVers who want to do just that. But for now, my posts will be more focused on our trip plans and experiences.

So sit back and enjoy the scenery! If you want to chime in with comments or suggestions, I’d be happy to hear from you. I try to reply to my followers who leave comments.

Till next time,

Vicky

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Bob & I enjoyed breakfast one day at the Colonial Pancake & Waffle House in downtown Hot Springs.

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This post was supposed to be more than a picture, and I just don’t know what happened the first time around.

My laptop computer hard drive crashed so I’m down to my iPad or iPhone right now.

As I write this..

We are enroute to San Antonio for the next few days to week. We are doing another round of upgrades to The Silver Bullet. After this week, no more old-fashioned tube TVs. Flat screens will replace them and storage behind them. I really need that!

Talked to LOMA and we will be hooking up with them as soon as we are finished at Iron Horse RV. If you need any repairs, painting, or upgrades made to your RV, we highly recommend this place. The owner, Daryl, owns a Monaco Dynasty himself so he is very in touch with RVers. He also knows of the special demands we place on our coaches out in the oil patch. They get you in & out and do the job right the first time!

They also have a guy who comes to their shop and washes (and waxes if you want) RVs. He’s reasonable and does a very good job. He will also do the roof for a little more $$$. We did it last time we came up from the oil patch and it sure was good to get all of that red sand removed from the coach exterior. And the roof was a MESS!

I’ll catch y’all up on our Arkansas trip when I get my new laptop… probably tomorrow.

Till then,

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