Daily Archives: June 12, 2024

Rushmore and 3D Turtles . . .

Last week I talked about our 2017 visit to the Mt. Rushmore area. Our first visit was coming back from Alaska in 2008, but Jan had lived here when she was 7 and her father was stationed at the nearby Ellsworth AFB.

One thing that I mentioned was that originally the presidential heads were supposed to be shown as full torsos, but it seems they ran out of money.

Starting with this,

it was supposed to look like this.

Here’s some more info about the History of Mt. Rushmore.

What can’t they 3D print?

I’ve talked about 3D printing a number of times over the years, especially since our grandson Landon got one.

And he’s done some fantastic items.

From things like these,

to an articulated Mechanoid Godzilla.

But now they’re 3D printing turtles. Or at least turtle shells.

Freddy, a turtle severely injured in a forest fire in Brazil, looked like this.

But with her new hand-painted 3D printed shell, she now looks like this.

More 3D Turtle info here.

Makes you wonder what they’ll do next.

They must read the blog.

In last night’s blog, I mentioned how an order shipped from Illinois via DHL ECommerce and the US Post Office just went into limbo. Leaving IL on June 5th, it got to Houston on the 7th. And there it sat. Until yesterday’s blog.

After I complained about our package just sitting there for 5 days, it suddenly showed up in our park mailbox today.

Coincidence? I think not.

Tomorrow we’re making 70 mile trip up to the Golden Corral in Conroe to meet up with Debi and Ed Hurlburt for the first time since April. We missed out on our May get-together since we were on our Alabama trip.

Really looking forward to it.

Thought For The Day:

The First Rule Of Passive Aggressive Club Is . . .

You Know What.

Never Mind.

It’s Fine!

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2013 – How We Plan Our Trips

2014 – Squamous Cell

2015 – Jerome And The Asylum

2017 – Trains At The Bailey Yard

2021 – Family Photos In Illinois

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

June 12, 2010

Last Day in Show Low…

Today is our last full day in Show Low. Tomorrow morning we start our 1000 mile trip back to Burnet, TX for our daughter Brandi’s wedding on the 21st.

We’ll get there on the 18th which gives us 6 days to make it, but we’ll only travel on 5. We want to spend an extra day in Amarillo to visit Palo Duro Canyon.


And Jan is still looking for exactly the right pair of shoes for the wedding so the extra day will give us enough time for both.

About 10 am Jan went shopping and left me to my own devices, which can be very dangerous.

Here’s Mister and Emma jockeying for a spot in the sun. But they don’t like each other, and can’t even stand to look at each other, so here’s the result.

Apparently cheek-to-cheek is OK as long as it’s the other cheeks.

Mister And Emma

About 3:30 Jan and I walked back to our rig and napped until about 5 pm when we headed out for supper at Native New Yorker, a really good wing (and other things) place. I had wings and Jan had chicken strips. All very good.

After Jan tried the Suicide Hot Sauce that came with my wings, she decided that we needed to stop off at Dairy Queen on the way home to cool things off.

We got back to the rig a little before 7 and turned in for the night, since I still had things to do for our trip tomorrow.

More tomorrow from Magdalena, NM…

June 12, 2011

Rain and Red Robin . . .

This morning started out sunny but deteriorated into rain later in the afternoon, but we still had a good time today.

I fixed coffee about 10 along with a warm muffin, and then we just enjoyed the view out of our windows of the surrounding woods.

About noon Jan called to check in with our son Chris. The family was on their way down to Galveston to spend the afternoon and eat dinner.

Around 2 we drove the 20 miles north to Bend, OR to have lunch and look around the area.

After checking our GPS for nearby restaurants, we headed over to the Old Mill Shops along the river to have lunch at Red Robin. We first ate at a Red Robin in Michigan last year and it was just as good this time.

We both had delicious burgers and steak fries and enjoyed the view looking out over the Deschutes River that flows through Bend.

Then after our great lunch we walked down the block to the Central Oregon Visitor’s Center that we’d noticed on our way through the parking lot. The lady was very helpful in giving us information and brochures on things to do and see in the area.

Leaving the riverfront area we drove into downtown Bend to check out some of the old homes along the river. They’ve done a great job revitalizing the riverfront and converting the old factories and warehouses into shops and apartments.

Then before heading back to the park, we checked out several bakeries to get some bagels, but they had all closed early in the day. We’ll try again tomorrow.

Coming back south we started hitting some rain, unfortunately not enough to really wash the car clean, but it helped.

After getting home and settling in, we put in the DVD for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 and sat back with bowls of popcorn to catch on Pt. 1 before Pt. 2 comes out later this year.

Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow. We’ll see.

June 12, 2012

But it’s a Dry Heat . . .

or, It’s Summer in South Texas!

When someone talks about the summer temperature in Yuma or Tucson, they always end by saying “But it’s a dry heat”. At which time I always say “So’s the inside of an oven”.

But the humidity does make a difference, believe me.

This was the temp here yesterday (Sunday). I actually saw 105 degrees for a few minutes but it was gone before I could capture it.

But note the humidity is 24%, not the 95 to 100% you’d see in Houston. And because of this low humidity, our misting system works to really cool things down. If you tried to use a mister in Houston you’d just end up hot AND dripping wet.

Sometime in the next few days I may try adding two more mister nozzles to my system for a total of four and see how that does. It did make a difference when I went from one to two nozzles.

And of course, no blog is really complete without a Landon pic.

Landon at th Park

Although we just saw him less than two weeks ago, we already really miss the little guy. It’s amazing how fast he’s growing up.

I’ve been trying to get more info on our next drill site location. I know the lease name, and supposedly those leases are back on the east side of I-37, somewhere between Karnes City, where we were last time, and the Gate Guard Services office at the Whitsett exit. Hopefully, this will mean we’ll have 3G cell service again.

Jan got in a baking mood yesterday and whipped up a big batch of her Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies.  Hmmm, Hmmm, Good.

And then this morning when the Company Man, Juan, and the Company Safety Man, Ryan, made a run to Tita’s Taco Stand, they brought us back 4 of Tita’s delicious breakfast tacos.

Tita's Taco Stand

Life is Good. Thanks again, guys.

That’s about it for now. Things have been kind of slow for the last few days. We only had about 30 vehicles a day through the gate for the last several days.

Good for reading and napping, especially for napping.

June 12, 2013

It’s Cinco de Mayo!

The Restaurant, not the Holiday. And boy, was it good.

First up, I thought I let you in on how I plan our trips, and since we leave here in Bend on Friday, I figured it was about time to figure out where we’re going. Actually, I know where we’re going, more like how we’re going to get there and where we’re going to stay along the way.

Between now and the 29th of June for the Escapade in Gillette, WY, we plan on staying 4 nights each in Jackson, WY, Cody, WY, and Billings, MT. And it will take 3 nights on the road to get to our first stop in Jackson, WY.

The trip to Jackson is only 720 miles, and normally we would do it in three days, two nights of travel. But when I started looking for parks every 240 miles or so, either there were none, or if there were some, the reviews were awful. But by keeping our day’s travels to 170 to 200 miles, we found 3 nice Passport America parks,

But the first park I looked for was the one for our 4 day stay in Jackson, WY. And at first, it didn’t look too promising. They were all in the $60-$80 range and RVParkReviews didn’t have good things to say about any of them. But looking at the map, I saw another park nearby in Victor, ID, only 22 miles away. And even better, the park, Teton Valley Campground, had excellent reviews, And even more better, it’s a Passport America park.

So instead of $250 – $350 for 4 nights in Jackson, I’ll be paying $49 for two nights at the PA price, and $89 for two nights at the Good Sam rate for a total of $138. A savings of $112 to $212.

Not bad for a $45 a year Passport America membership. For this reason, I don’t understand why some RV’ers say that a membership will never pay for itself. We usually get our money back on our first couple of nights at an RV park.

Once that was done, I was now able to lay out our overnight stops along the way. So our first stop Friday night will be at The Narrows RV Park in Princeton, OR. Saturday night will be at Garrity RV Park in Nampa, ID, right outside Boise, with the next night at the Village of the Trees RV Park in Declo, ID. All of these are Passport America parks and have good reviews.

And we end up with 4 easy days of travel, with 168 miles, 196 miles, 179 miles and 177 miles. Nice.

Now since these are parks we’ve never stayed at, I always like to double-check the park’s location and entrance using Google Maps and sometimes Google Street View.

I really hate driving down some country road looking for an RV park based on an address that maybe 1/2 mile off one way or the other, as country road addresses are wont to be. So I use Google Maps to find the park on the satellite view. Then I get the Latitude and Longitude coordinates for the entrance and plug them into my Delorme Street Atlas GPS program, so it takes me right to the park entrance.

Teton Valley Campground

In some cases the park entrance may be obscured by trees or other obstructions, so then I’ll use Google Street View to find the park entrance from street level.

Teton Valley Campground 2

Obviously this street view shot wasn’t taken at the same time as the satellite view.

Once we stay at a park, I enter the park name, address, and GPS co-ords into a master park file that I can display like this. These are all 284 parks we’ve stayed at for the last 5 and a half years since we started RV’ing.

Complete RV Parks File

When we’re back in an area we’ve been before, it’s easy to see where we want to stay if we liked the park, or where to avoid if we didn’t.

I also have similar files, one that shows all the Thousand Trails parks we can stay at, and another where we store places that we want to visit as we travel around the country.

About 3:30 Jan and I headed about 12 miles south of here to the small town of La Pine to have dinner at Cinco de Mayo, a local Mexican restaurant that came highly recommended, by both Yelp, and more importantly, our friend CoolJudy, who was visiting the area recently.

Cinco de Mayo - La Pine

And once again, the reviews were right. (Thanks, Judy!) We knew it was going to be great when we first tasted the three different homemade salsas that came out with the chips. A mild sauce, a hot, spicy, chunky style sauce, and a hot green sauce, they were all great. At least we figured the mild sauce was too, but we never tried it because the two hot ones were so delicious.

And it just got better when our food came. We both had the “Pick Your Own” Combo Platter, with Jan having the Chile Relleno, Ground Beef Enchilada, and a Ground Beef Taco, while I had the Chile Relleno, Ground Beef Enchilada, and Pork Carnitas Burrito.

We both agreed that this was some of the best Mexican food we’ve had since we left the Houston area in February. And we’re in Oregon!

Cinco de Mayo - Platter

The only unfortunate thing about this place is that we didn’t discover it earlier, since we’re leaving on Friday. But we’ll definitely be back the next time we’re in the area.

Our grandson Landon has been a little under the weather the last few days with his asthma, so we sent him this set of Jumbo Dinosaurs from Amazon to cheer him up.

Landon's New Dinosaurs

And it looks like it worked.

Landon and the Dinosaurs

Tomorrow we’ll start getting ready to travel on Friday with a visit to Wal-Mart and a final dinner at Baldy’s BBQ, and maybe a last try at driving to the top of Pilot Butte.

We’ll see how it goes.

June 12, 2014

And Now It’s My Turn . . .

As regular readers will remember, Jan had her brush with breast cancer a few months ago. And after some ups and downs, and an excisional biopsy/lumpectomy, everything turned out fine, with only more frequent mammograms needed in the future.

And now it’s my turn.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a sore on my head that wasn’t going away, so about a week ago I took this head selfie.

squamos cell carcinoma

Some internet research confirmed my suspicions that it was almost certainly skin cancer. and based on how it felt, I.e., a raised edge and a depression in the center, I was pretty sure it was a squamous cell carcinoma, one of the two skin cancers that are eminently curable. The other one is a basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the really bad one.

So this past Monday, I made an appointment with a local dermatologist for an appointment at 2pm today. We met with a Physician’s Assistant named Mariah who checked me over carefully, looking for any other lesions other than the ones on my head.

To Jan’s relief, she did confirm my squamous cell diagnosis (well, the internet’s diagnosis, anyway) as much as she could until a lab confirms it. And she also confirmed my thought that white area in the lower left of the photo is a keratosis, an area that sometimes can evolve into skin cancer.

Then after checking me over, Mariah first used a freeze spray to burn off any slightly suspicious areas, including a couple on my nose. It stung a little, but wasn’t bad at all. She also took care of the keratosis at the same time.

Next, using a syringe with a very short needle, she deadened the area of the lesion, and using a scalpel, she removed a small section to send to the lab. Although I didn’t feel anything at the time, I did feel a burning sensation for a couple of hours after the anesthetic wore off.

Mariah said that in a week or so, after the lab confirmation, they will go in and do MOHS surgery on the lesion. MOHS is kind of a computerized freezing and sectioning of the carcinoma, looking at each sample until they no longer see any sign of cancer.

I then asked Mariah how deep they would go, and she said, “Until it’s all gone.”


The reason they didn’t do anything today is that Medicare will not pay for it until there is a lab diagnosis.

So here’s how I left the doctor’s office looking.

Bandaged Head

So now we just wait to hear from the doctor in the next week or so.

Coming home, Jan and I stopped at Martin’s for a few things before heading back to the rig.

Jan said after everything today, she needed an alcoholic beverage, so about 4:30 Jan and I headed over to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

Jan got her a Long Island Ice Tea (really misnamed because there is no tea in it.) And I had a Hurricane ‘Rita with an 1800 Tequila Shooter. Both very good.

And about halfway through my ‘Rita is when the burning on my head stopped.

Coincidence? I think not.

Tomorrow, the four of us are going to do a walk-in at the combination FMCA GLAMARAMA/Fleetwood Rally down in Goshen to check out the vendors and check in with old friends.

June 12, 2015

Road Trip to Jerome . . .

Today we decided to make a road trip over to Jerome. We’ve been there a couple of times, most recently when we were staying at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails a couple of months ago. But we’ve never done it from the Prescott side, and the trip is supposed to be much more spectacular.

But before we left about 10am, I checked in with the service manager here at Affinity RV to see if we were still on schedule for Monday, and I also had a list of things that still needed to be done on the rig.

Besides the obvious windshield and airbag installations, the wheel well trim strip, wheel well guard flap, and the grab bar wiring, as well as a few other things, still need to be finished up.

Stan said that the glass guy wouldn’t be here until about 10am, so we don’t have to be up too early. And as it stands right now, they probably won’t have to move the rig into a repair bay.

But we’ll still have to go to a hotel for a couple of days, since we won’t have a front windshield for a day or more, plus Mister always wants to supervise like he did when the windshield was replaced last year.

Mister in Windshield 1

The approximately 30 mile trip to Jerome takes about an hour because of all the twists and turns. Lots and lots of turns,

Road to Jerome

but a lot of nice scenery along the way.

Jerome Trip 2

Jerome Trip 1

Our first stop was at the top of the hill to have lunch at The Asylum. A number of friends had recommended the place so we had to try it.

Grand Hotel 1

The Asylum, and the adjoining Grand Hotel, are located in what used to be the United Verde Hospital. In operation from 1927 to 1951, it was abandoned for 44 years before reopening as The Jerome Grand Hotel in 1996.

Asylum Entrance

Though called The Asylum, the restaurant is not located in the asylum, or as they say now, the Psych Ward, but in what used to be the Nurse’s Quarters.

Asylum 1

Asylum 1

We both had sandwiches for lunch, with Jan ordering the Mesquite Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, with Avocado, Garlic Mayo, on Marble Rye

Asylum Meal 1

while I had the Chipotle Turkey Sandwich.

Asylum Meal 2

Made with turkey, (of course) Chipotle Apricot Chutney, red onions, watercress, cream cheese, and lettuce on a toasted specialty bread, it’s maybe one of the best non-hamburger sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Both our sandwiches came with their hand-cut fries, perfectly cooked. All in all, a really good meal.

Walking around the grounds after our meal, we came across this 1928 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I.

Jerome Rolls

Strangely, it’s not done up as a show car, but looks like it’s driven every day

Jerome Rolls 2

We had planned to check some of the many shops in downtown Jerome, but after driving around the loop a couple times without finding a parking spot, we headed down the hill into Cottonwood. Our first stop here was at the Clemenceau Heritage Museum, a place we’d tried to visit before, but found it closed.

Built in 1923, and used as an elementary school until 1947, when it also became the Cottonwood High School. We spend a couple of hours checking out the many exhibits.

This diorama illustrates the typical kitchen of the early 1900’s.

Clemenceau Museum 2

And this is the height of a 1920’s home entertainment center.

Clemenceau Museum 3

Housing an AM + Shortwave Radio, plus a record player and record storage. it was what families did before TV.

We both found this classroom interesting.

Clemenceau Museum 4

The same teacher taught 1st grade in this classroom from 1923 to 1961, 38 years! And she didn’t die until 1996 when she was 100 years old. Wow!

Even more interesting, one of the volunteers at the museum, who looked to be in his 80’s, had gone to 1st grade in that very classroom, under the same teacher.

One thing I was really interested in was the model railroad diorama. Set in the early 1950’s it details the railroad lines crisscrossing the Verde Valley that served the many industries here at the time.

Clemenceau Museum RR 1

It’s even got RV’ers.

Clemenceau Museum RR 3

Nice Airstream.

It even details the city streets and businesses of that time period.

Clemenceau Museum RR 4

Very neat, and very well done.

Finally leaving the museum, our next stop was the Irish Rose Tea Room in Old Cottonwood.

Irish Rose Tea Room

But we weren’t here for the tea, but some of their delicious cupcakes. We’d discovered them when we were in Cottonwood a couple of months ago. We mentioned when we were up in Las Vegas last month, we checked out the famous cupcake place, Sprinkles, and found they were nowhere near as good as Irish Rose.

Our last stop was right down the road at Hog Wild BBQ, our favorite local BBQ place. But we weren’t here to eat, but to get some to take back with us to Prescott, since we haven’t found a good BBQ place here yet.

Finally heading back to Prescott, and taking the regular route, we finally got home about 3pm, just in time for a nice nap.

All in all, a perfect day.

June 12, 2016

Love and Freindship . . .

And no, that’s not misspelled.

I had planned to work on rebuilding my rig armrests today, but got rained out.

New Armrests 2

I wanted to work outside at the picnic table since I needed to drill holes in each piece, and then use spray-on adhesive to hold the surrounding foam rubber in place as I installed the leather cover. It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, so maybe later in the week it will work out.

Around 4pm Jan and I headed down to The Woodlands for a movie and dinner. The movie we wanted to see was Love and Friendship, a Jane Austen story.

Well, kind of.

Jane Austen did write a story called Love and Freindship when she was 14. And yes, that’s the way she spelled it. But the story that Jane Austen wrote, was not the story that ended up in the movie called Love and Friendship.

That story, not published until 54 years after her death, was originally called Lady Susan. But I guess the movie people didn’t think Lady Susan screamed out a Jane Austen period piece, so they borrowed the title from Love and Friendship, spelling it correctly, and echoing her other novels like Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. And then there’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Lady Susan Vernon is a recent widow, almost destitute, and now dependent on her husband’s well-to-do relatives, moving from one to another as she wears out her welcome.

Lady Susan is scheming to find both herself and her teenage daughter, Frederica, a rich husband. The story swirls around the rumors of Lady Susan’s scandalous private life as she uses her charms and wit to seduce and beguile her way through the cream of English society.

It seems like Susan’s plots are being stymied at every turn with Susan breaking up with her younger suitor, Reginald, and her daughter Frederica spurning her older, somewhat daffy suitor, Sir James.

But at the end of the movie, it all wraps up nicely, when you realize that this is all part of Susan’s cunning plan, with a happy ending for everyone involved. Well, almost.

One lady starts out unhappy, and stays that way throughout the movie.

Jan and I figured that the best way to describe the movie is that it has the manners and dresses of Downton Abbey and the backstabbing and morals of Desperate Housewives.

Check it out.

After the movie, we drove right down the road to Torchy’s Tacos for dinner. Since we had popcorn at the movie, we only ordered one taco each, but couldn’t pass up an order of their Chips and Green Chile Queso.

Torch's Tacos Queso

Jan had her usual Brushfire Jamaican Jerked Chicken Taco, and I had my Jalapeno Sausage Taco. All delicious, as usual.

Leaving Torchy’s, I wanted to get gas and then we were going to stop at Kroger’s up in Conroe, but looking around we found both a Kroger’s and a Shell station right across the parking lot.

So that sped up our trip home, wrapping up a very nice day.

June 12, 2017

Only One More To Go . . .

After sleeping late, we had our coffee, OJ, muffins, and a quiet morning, talking about what we wanted to see while we were here, and also our schedule for the rest of this trip.

We did some shifting around, dropping a couple of stops, and adding to a couple of others. The main one we dropped is a stop in Waco for a couple of days so Jan could visit The Silos and Magnolia Market of Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’. But we decided to do that as a day trip up from the Colorado River TT when we’re there.

I also got our reservations for the Riverside RV Resort in Bartlesville, OK so we can visit Ree Drummond’s Mercantile in nearby Pawhuska, OK.

About 1pm we headed out to visit the Golden Spike Tower and the Bailey Yard, something that I’ve wanted to do for a good while. And Jan was looking forward to it too.

But on our way, we first scouted out the station that I found on Google Maps Street View yesterday, and it looks like we’re good to go when we leave here on Wednesday.

North Platte NE Diesel Station

It has separate diesel pumps on the right side and plenty of room to get in and out, as well as hitching up the toad. Even better, as I said, they also have the cheapest diesel around at $2.25 a gallon.

The 100ft, Golden Spike Tower is visible from a long distance on the flat countryside so it was easy to find.

Golden Spike Tower

There are two observation decks here, an open balcony on the 7th floor, at 83 feet, and the 8th floor, an enclosed deck at 95 feet. Admission was only $6 each for us seniors, so a nice deal.

The stats for this place are amazing. With over 315 total miles of track, the Bailey Yard stretches over 8 miles from end to end and covers over 2,800 acres.

Bailey Yard

The yard handles about 155 trains a day, with over 70 of them coal trains, totaling over 10,000 railroad cars.

Bailey Yard 2

The Diesel Repair Shop handles over 750 locomotives a month, with each doorway leading to an area for a different type of repair.

Bailey Yard Repair Shop

And here are the finished locomotives lined up and waiting to be assigned to an outgoing train.

Bailey Yard Engine Lineup

This is the Sand Tower, where sand is loaded into the locomotive’s hopper. The sand is sprayed on the rails right in front of the wheels in cases where, due to rain, ice, or snow, the rails might be slippery.

Bailey Yard Sand Tower

This is the fueling area, going through over 14 million gallons of diesel a month. Now I don’t feel so bad about my 150-gallon tank.

Bailey Yard Fueling Station

One of the most amazing things here are the two Hump Yards, one for east bound trains and one for west bound ones.

A string of cars are pushed to the top of the hump, a 34ft high hill.

Bailey Yard East Hump 4

Then one or two at a time, the cars are released at the top and start to roll downhill.

Bailey Yard East Hump 3

As the car(s) come down they are automatically routed through multiple switches and slowed down as necessary by ‘retarders’, i.e. brakes along the rails.

Bailey Yard East Hump

Bailey Yard East Hump 2

At the bottom of the hump, one of over 3000 cars a day, they end up being routed into the correct train, ready to be assigned a locomotive.

Bailey East Hump Yard 2

And all that magic is done from this building, the Bailey Yard Control Center.

Bailey Yard Control Bldg

In this building, every one of the 985 switches in the yard can be controlled remotely. Even more amazing is that many of the locomotives moving cars around the yard are also under remote control.

Bailey Yard Control Room

When is why you see signs like these around the yard.

Remote Control Locomotive

Leaving the Golden Spike Tower we drove around to the backside of the Bailey Yard to get a side shot of the East Hump and the cars rolling down the hill.

Later, after driving around town for a while, we stopped off at Fort Cody, a combination Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and Gift Shop.

After it was right up the road to have dinner at King Buffet, a Yelp 4 Star Chinese Buffet.

King Buffet

And the reviews were certainly accurate.

King Buffet 1

A good selection, with small portions, constantly changed out, so everything was fresh and hot. Our favorite Hot & Sour Soup was really good, as well as the iced tea.

Even better, with our 10% Senior discount, it was only $7.50 each, plus our drink. If we were going to be here longer, we’d certainly go back.

But tomorrow night’s Italian.

With our stay here in Nebraska, we can now mark that state off on our ‘RV’d In’ list, leaving only Kansas, which
we’ll be able to mark off on Thursday.

Of course, that still leaves Hawaii, which we’ll do as soon as I can find a dry route.

June 12, 2018

Yard Work?

First up, some clarifications,.

Writing this blog every night, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what I was going to tell you, what I told you, and what I thought I told you, but forgot.

We are NOT coming off the road. Period. We’re not moving back into our house. Period. In fact, we plan on selling it in the near future.

We bought it in July 1979, right after we moved out here from Montgomery, AL when I went to work for NASA in December 1978. We had to buy it on the spur of the moment when we were not able to lease our rent house for another six months, and had to get into something quickly.

So we bought the first house that would be available in the new part of the subdivision. In fact when we signed the papers our house was just a concrete slab, and at only about 1400 square feet, was actually smaller than our house in Montgomery. But we figured that when we got settled in, we’d find something larger.

But time passed, Chris and Brandi grew up and left home, and suddenly we had more than enough room. So we never moved on. At least until we started RV’ing, anyway.

We had originally planned to sell the house toward the end of 2007 before we hit the road, but that was about the time the housing market collapsed. Also complicating things was the fact that both Jan’s mother and mine died in the month of May, 2007, mine on the 9th here in Houston, and Jan’s on the 29th down in Florida.

So we decided to just close it up and let our son Chris keep an eye on it until we returned from our travels. But then our daughter Brandi decided to move in. Then along the way she got married, had Landon, and then moved to Katy.

However, then it worked out that Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper moved in. But now Miss Piper is out on her own, and Chis and Linda are retiring and moving up to the Kingsland/Marble Falls area.

So now it seemed like serendipity. I mean just at the time that we had decided, after 11 years, to slow down our traveling a little, the house coming vacant, it seemed to me that Jan would want to move back into the house, and only use the RV for our travels.

But Jan brought that idea to a screeching halt. She said that our RV was our home and she didn’t want to move out. She said she could clean the entire rig in just an hour or so, and wanted to keep it that way.

Then she said the two words that brought me over to her side of things.

“Yard Work!”

Well, that convinced me.

So now we’re putting the house up for sale.

But with Chris finishing up their move next Wednesday, the 20th, and Jan and I leaving for Illinois the next day, and not planning to be back for almost three weeks, everything has to wait until we get back.

But since I don’t want the house to look vacant, I’m borrowing a car from my client to leave parking in the driveway, and for safety, I’m leaving the cameras inside to allow me to monitor for any problems there.

So that’s where it all stands now. Once we get back from our trip we’ll get on with putting it on the market.

With power washing the rig out of the way, I spend most of today packing up stuff to take to the storage room. And with today’s two trips, we’re getting close.

Then a little after 4pm we headed up to Webster to meet Chris and Linda at the East Star Chinese Buffet for dinner. Then it was on over to the house to look at what’s going to be left behind, and the furniture we’re taking with us to Illinois for Jan’s sister Debbie.

It’s getting close, with only a little over a week until we leave.

June 12, 2019

It’s Back Home . . . And Working!

I  thought that I had the website working this morning, but then discovered a problem when I turned on the SSL certificate. But I was able to get that fixed in just a few minutes after I got to the office.

And within about an hour, we had orders coming in. You can take a look here.

Texas Electrolysis Supply

About 11am I got a call from Mike’s Auto Repair with some good news. The problem with our Dodge Dakota was, as I had hoped, just a cracked water pump, and not something more serious, like a cracked block.

And the even better news was that the cost would only be $280, and it would be ready this afternoon. I was very happy with this since the last time I had the water pump replaced, in 2013 while we were gate guarding, it was almost $500.

And as soon as I heard back from them around 3pm, I put in a call to Enterprise letting them know that I would be bringing our Tucson back this afternoon.

The only regret about this is that I just filled it up yesterday, thinking I’d probably have until at least the weekend, especially since it was at about 1/8 tank when I picked it up. But unfortunately, they don’t give rebates on the gas in the tank.

Jan was ready to go when I got home at 4, so we drove over to Mike’s to pick up the truck. It runs nice and cool, but kind of rough. But I expected this since when the battery died while we were gone on vacation, it clears the engine computer settings. However, after I drive it for a few days, it should recalibrate and settle down.

I say, should. We’ll see. But at least it’s back home and working.

With me driving the truck and Jan following in the Tucson, our next stop was right down the road at the Red Dirt & Blue Jeans Café.

Red Dirt Cafe

A pretty unassuming location in s small strip center, it’s gotten really good reviews so we thought we give it a try. ]

Like Boudin Barn, it’s really small with only 4 tables, but they apparently do a lot of takeout.

Red Dirt Cafe 1

Jan and I both started out with a cup of really good Tomato Basil soup,

Red Dirt Cafe Tomato Basil Soup

then Jan got the King Ranch Chicken, with Green Beans and Squash Casserole,

Red Dirt Cafe King Ranch Chicken

while I got the Andouille Sausage with Red Beans and Rice, with the same sides.

Red Dirt Cafe Red Beans and Rice

Both delicious, though Jan says that her King Ranch Chicken was a little better, since she uses corn tortillas, and Red Dirt uses flour.

One of the things that the reviews raved about was their homemade pies, especially the Triple Chocolate Meringue Pie, so we shared a piece.

Red Dirt Cafe Triple Choc Pie

With our forks dueling over the last little piece, I think we both regretted the fact that we were sharing. It was that good.

Really, really good, and we’ll go back.

Then it was on over to Dickinson to drop off our rental car, and then back home.

Tomorrow Jan and I both have dermatologist’s appointments, mine in the morning for a checkup on my Devil’s Easy Bake Oven treatment

PDT Extra Crispy 468

for the pre-pre-cancerous lesions on my bald head. And Jan’s in the afternoon.

Which leaves Saturday for me to install the new brake pads on the truck before we drive up to Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon on Sunday.

June 12, 2021

He Brought His Own Couch . . .

Still trying to catch up.

Somewhere around 2pm yesterday everybody headed down the hill to Lake Robinson. Though Pond Robinson might be closer.

Small lake or big pond. It’s a toss-up.

Pond Robinson

Some were going to swim, and some were going to watch. And some walked (or ran) down the hill, and some of us rode in the 4 wheeler.

Debbie 4 Wheeler

Debbie Pond 1

Some swam while most of us just sat in the shade.

Pond Robinson Shade

Debbie Pond 2

And at any one time, there were also two or three speedboats zipping around the pond.

Debbie Pond Fast Boat

And of course, where you have boats, you will have boating accidents.

The first was one of those dreaded “long hair caught in the propeller” tragedies.

Debbie Pond Boating Accident Hair

And of course the “running aground” situation. Or more like “stuck in the weeds”, I guess.

Debbie Pond Boating Accident Aground

Looking back at Casa Robinson.

Debbie Casa Robinson

One nice thing about having 10 acres here is that Jim has his very own shooting range.

The closest berm is for pistols and it’s about 50 yards from the shooting stand, and the further one, at about 100+ yards, is for rifles.

Debbie Photo Session Gun Range

Jim also has a trap machine for throwing clay pigeons for us shotgun enthusiasts.

A really nice day.

Now finally catching up with today.

Today was another Robinson/White Reunion family tradition: The professional photo session.

And, yes, he brought his own couch.

Debbie Photo Session Couch

How’s that for ‘professional’?

Debbie Photo Session Wide View

It was already in the high 80’s by the time we started, and though we all started in the shade, the photographer ended up in the sun before it was over.

Debbie Photo Session Kibitzing

Debbie Photo Session Avery and Gwen

The photographer took a lot of photos of the different family groupings, and then ones with everybody.

Here’s the proof of our family grouping.

Nathan Photo White Family

Not too bad, except for that old guy on the left.

June 12, 2023

One Last Try . . .

Tomorrow I going to take one last pass at finding the mysteriously hidden radiator fan relay on our Jeep Liberty. I know it’s got to have one somewhere since the 40 amp has power and the fan doesn’t. So it’s got to be something in between, I.e. a relay.

But even if I actually find, or can see it anyway, that doesn’t mean I’ll be able to reach it. As I posted before, here’s what one description says.

The relay is under the right front headlamp assembly and bracket. You can access it in two ways. Remove the front bumper facia, headlights, and bracket assembly. The grill is part of the facia and the headlight bracket runs all the way across the front. Or you can remove the right headlamp and use a hole saw to cut through the bracket, it is a plastic material.

So it doesn’t sound too promising for a do-it-myself repair job. But it does mean that it’s more likely that this will be a job for Joe, my mechanic, to tackle.

But we’ll see.

In the meantime, my temporary fix is still working fine.

In other news, there’s still no good news about Texas Huddle Grille. As I mentioned before, they suddenly closed about 10 days ago saying they were having A/C problems, and since then it’s just been dead silence.

No update post on FB, no answering comments wondering when they’re going to be open again.

It doesn’t bode well.