Old Diary

Reclined, Inclined, Declined

Good News!  Roger came by and we are sofa-less. He dragged the old one away in his Pickup and WoW, is there a lot of room now!

2014121909365105The recliner was easy to put together (10 bolts – using supplied allen wrenches) and fits nicely in the intended location.  One of these days I have to unbolt the now useless seatbelts that formerly came up through the seat of the sofa to make us an officially 4 passenger coach. Now we’re only an officially 2 passenger coach.

2014121909353303But we’re good to go! That is the last of our intended remodels for the time being.  And I’m very much more comfortable than I was sitting in that sat-out sofa.

It turns our that the folding computer table we found last summer at Bed Bath and Beyond fits in the space vacated by the sofa but I don’t think we’ll travel with that table assembled.2014121909351002

I really like the fact that this chair has a footrest but we don’t have to give up the real estate to an ottoman.  I get the convenience and comfort of an ottoman without the wasted space.

Given the forecast for rain for 6 hours this p.m. we opted to drive to Brownsville so as to check out the Border Flea Market.  We thought that because the Donna Flea Market was so interesting the others might be equally so.  We were mistaken.  There wasn’t much to see, or to purchase.  After a walk around the flea market that lasted about 15 minutes we chose to take a drive around Brownsville to get a little better acquainted.  There’s an active historic shopping district.  And similar shopping options to those in Harlingen.  WE had a nice look around, found some needful items at Home Depot.  2014121912410506Then, after being told by at least half a dozen Winter Texans that we just have to try Dirty Al’s resto we stopped in for a really fresh and tasty lunch that included their triple treat bread pudding.  The shrimp and scallops had to be among the freshest and best prepared I’ve had in a long time. I’m sure we’ll return.

I guess I’ll not get around to reading today.  🙂 But there is suddenly more room in the coach and I’m exhilarating illusion of newfound room.  A little bit of self-delusion is almost always a good thing. 🙂

In keeping with the forecast reliability in Los Fresnos the 6 hours of rain that were supposed to arrive — did not arrive.  As I said yesterday — a forecast here is of no value and you’re best off just living in the moment.

So, there you have it.  I thank you for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

GO! Moved In, Finally


Our site looking from the N.W. towards the S.E.  — notice we have two small trees to give a little bit of shade on the Car. Also — sitting in this orientation we will have shade on this side of the coach for most of the afternoon — meaning we don’t have to put out an awning in the wind in order to have a cool afternoon.


This is our site seen from the SW, looking Northeast. WE have our own light post.

Today was the day! Moving Day couldn’t have come soon enough.  We have more rain in the forecast for tonight/tomorrow and then again on Thursday, followed by even more during next week.  If we didn’t get moved today, chances were good we would have been here beyond Christmas.  Had that been the case we stood to run-amok by the arrival of the renter who has our temporary site for the duration.

So, We got moved and I beat my arbitrary projected deadline of December 18th.  Good for us on all accounts!

Edgar, the tractor driver from Niagara ONT, delivered a few buckets full of caliche before we moved.  The intent was protection from sinking just in case there was still too much water in the soil.  But we backed in without problem on the first shot — between the light post and the tree.  Our rear wheels (the heaviest ones) extended beyond  the caliche but we were fine.  I laid down our tire pads and backed far enough so all four wheels is resting on a 2’x2′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood.  I laid down our leveling jack pads and I thought we’d be set on the first try, but the driver’s side rear pad sunk right down into the ground until all three inches of the pads were level with the ground or below.  Hmmmm….. time to pull back and re-think this program.

I had four pieces of 1’x1′ left over.  So, being the maven of innovation that I am, we put a couple buckets of caliche into the hole to add some solidity and then spread out 2 – 1’x1’s and topped them with 2 more 1’x1’s on top of each other and this time the leveling jacks held — at least for now.  We may need to buy some more wood before the winter is out but I’m confident that we can pull out of the site when needed.

The new site has an 8′ x 20′ concrete pad alongside the coach — as much concrete as we need here.  We moved our picnic table over from the other site and put our lawn chairs out and sat down to enjoy life for  a few minutes before heading off to Vicky’s in San Benito for a celebratory lunch.

Now Peg can put out the rest of her knickknacks, maybe we’ll even get our screened-in-room out.  We can put our our indoor-outdoor rug if we choose; we’ve been debating about that — if the wet season continues we don’t want to be getting mold on the bottom side after rain — but we’ll see.  Normally there isn’t anything like a real ‘rainy season.’  So we’re waiting to see what the future forecasts have in store for us.

Winter_PercipitationWinter_2014-2015_outThe ERCOT forecast for the winter indicates that we will have more rain than usual. ERCOT is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas the primary scheduler of electric power to 24 million Texas customers.  They say we’re looking at 2-3º colder than normal and that we’ll have 150%-200% of their normal rainfall this winter.

No matter what we get — we’ll be drier on average and warmer on average than Oregon where we spent last winter!

But, the most important factor — for us — is that we are here for the winter, in our spot, and we’re done waiting — for a while.

The only big set-up detail still needing to be taken care of is the purchase of plastic gutter and then wrapping the drain hose inside the gutter so we have a nice solid downhill flow for our wastewater drainage.

This is the first time we’ve camped on turf.  And it will also be the longest time.  I have been concerned about the whole turf idea, particularly after seeing one coach who pulled in shortly before us, and right after the rain — who is currently sunk so far into the ground that they may need a tow truck to get out in the spring.  I truly believe that is the case because they didn’t wait for dry ground — so it’s their own fault — but seeing a heavy coach sunk down in the ground like that is enough to prick up my ears and say…. “Let’s not do that, shall we? ” But… we’re here and we’re in our place without any major complications — so maybe I can forget about it for a while.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


Old Diary

Get Ready, Get Set….

Organizing Success

2014121409070611 It took 8 months but we finally made a giant leap forward on our cabinet organization.  Peggy said, “Why not put the Salad bowl on the other side of the coach” and that was the beginning of the solution.  It’s fascinating the way ‘ideas’ take shape and sometimes a little kernel grows into a mighty cornstalk. Our mini-library has changed sides (mostly all cookbooks), all of our cooking utensils are all on the same side now (they had been spread out on both sides of the coach for some reason), and it just feels right.  Why is that?  Everything still takes the same amount of space but it seems right!

Moving Prep

Will tomorrow be moving day?  We’re still hoping.  In anticipation thereof I bought a sheet of plywood.  The idea that we have been waiting for the ground to dry before moving IN has given rise to a parallel thought:  what might happen when we want to leave?  If a Spring departure should coincide with Spring Showers we might find ourselves in ruts!

So, off to The Home Depot!  I bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood.  The Home Depot guy cut it up for me — I didn’t even have to pay for the cuts.  Out of that 4′  x 8′ sheet I now have 4 – 2′ x 2′ squares and 16 – 1′ x 1′ squares.  Along with plywood we bought 4 handles and 50 screws and now all I have to do is assemble my new jack pads.  A 2’x2′ sheet is large enough to sit under the rear tandems, and way big enough to sit under the steer axle as well so when we back in we’ll position those behind the wheels just before we reach our final position.  levelingBlocksAnd I will glue and screw 4 of those 1’x1′ sheets into a 4ply jack block to go under our jacks.

While out walking on Friday I saw at least one coach that had pulled into their site when the ground was wet and is now settling into the earth.  That put the fear of sinking into my brain and got me out of neutral and into gear to make new pads for our move.  We do have  pads — I talked a little about this recently — but they are both taller — which I don’t want, and narrower which may not be sufficient to prevent their sinking into the soil — so discretion was the better part of valor and set ourselves to crafting wider ones.

Concrete Nightmares (not ours)


This is a lot of concrete!


Whole Lot Concrete


These furrows are deep enough you could farm on this site!


A $3,000 slab….. Ok….

I have mentioned that RV’ers have been prevailing on the management to add more and more concrete to the park.  The concrete truck has been here 3 times in 2 weeks with a full load each time.

I’m befuddled by what is happening at some sites.  Some sites have a modest patio (perhaps 8-10 feet by 15-20 feet — nice enough to spend some time outside, set up your lawn chairs and BBQ and picnic table.  I understand that renters who return for more than one season have some leverage over the management team to pour an initial slab, or expand on that slab but things are loosey-goosey enough that any parameters about slabs are unwritten guidelines rather than documented policy.  And some people seem determined never to have to deal with wet grass in their lives (and also exacerbate the drainage issue at the same time. How much concrete is needed/wanted and that concrete should goes seems a very curious topic:

  • Some sites have just added a rectangle patio next to the coach.
  • Some sites have added a pair of pads spaced properly for the wheels of the RV to back in on, and rest upon during the ‘season.’
  • Some sites have concreted a patio as well as a full concrete slab underneath the entire portion over which the RV backs and rests.
  • And then there are the Complete Package RV’ers who have basically concreted their entire site.  Or are attempting to do so.
concrete truck

There’s a limit to how far that chute will extend!!!!!!!! And it’s NOT 90′

All of these shenanigan are ‘fun’ to watch in a mean sort of way. Some folks are hard at work, others are hoisted on their own petard.

The concrete site approach is causing one renter no end of problems.  It was agreed that their entire site would be concreted over that; and the workmen came and formed it all out.  ALL of it.  Now that in itself is a bit unusual.  You don’t normally see a single concrete form that is +30′ x +80′ in size.  In the midwest that would be several pours spaced out by the time it takes each concrete form to dry — adding a couple weeks at least to the time it would take to create a pad that large.  But,  they dug out the entire site, and laid it with rebar and forms.

Now, (and you have to be ready for this) when the cement truck shows up, the driver tells the workmen, and the workmen tell the renter, and the renter tells the park manager (because it’s the renter who’s over at the office commiserating with the management)  that in order to pour this LONG, LONG pad he is going to have to back up onto the neighboring turf to reach with his chute.


Not sure who’s gonna pay to bring in a bad boy like this to pump concrete for a tiny little job…..

And herein lies the problem.  For underneath where the weighty cement truck has to drive is a  typical modern plastic septic line and driving over it will most likely crush the line and cause problems for that site and the several others on the wrong side of the septic drain.    Now I have to say to myself:  why did no one think about this before now?  Pouring concrete isn’t exactly an elusive art — there are rules and guidelines and things you always do.  And there’s no concrete truth that has a 110 foot long delivery chute to pour concrete 90′ away from the street.  So why didn’t someone think about it.

The last I saw, the cement truck pulled away, delivered concrete to several other sites and left.  The RV site with the full site concrete form is still sitting with no concrete poured and the renter walked away from the office looking disconsolate.  I heard him mumbling that they’ll just have to rent a concrete pumper.  But I’m sure the contractor isn’t going to be in any big hurry to rent a truck that costs $100’s an hour.  Fortunately that site is on the other end of the park. We don’t have to look at it.  🙂


I’ve been seeing some of these awning ‘extenders and protectors. A curtain that comes down along the end of the awning front, side, and rear. You can even make an extension to your awning this way. Interesting.

And with frustration comes good news.  I hear that approval has been granted and some agreement reached to have roads repaved or repaired.  When, and how long that will take has yet to be seen, discussed, or publicly announced!

Ya know — it’s almost like working for the Forest Service.  <chuckle>

Christmas Spirit

We spent the last two days mostly within the Campground.  It’s nice just to be in a place.  And even though we’re renting, it’s nice to have a place to ‘call your own’ for a while.  A few of the chores on our list are not off the list.  I’ve gotten a little reading done.  We’ve schmoozed with the neighbors — it’s almost like living in sticks & bricks:  that’s a bit scary.

In addition, w2014121213390901e’ve been waiting on deliveries.  Also, our son-in-law Michael came through with his version of holiday spirit.  He sent both my prescription meds, and included in the package a beautiful holiday wreath to go on the front of the coach!

No Heat

Recall that we arrived in a cold spell.  We needed a little heat for the first few days, but since then we have had the space heaters turned off day and night.  Our overnight lows are mostly in the 60’s (for now) It’s quite nice overnight with a bedside window open and the lounge exhaust fan on low — moving our expiration humidity outside.  Humidity in an RV is something to be concerned about. And, in the morning we turn off the fan until the temps warm up and then we turn the fans back on to keep the coach comfortable in the 70º temps we have been having.  All in all we are quite comfortable.  And enjoying the quiet of Serendipity compared to the noisy heating system in Journey.

Eyes peeled
Ears to the ground,
Hand to the plough,
Shoulder to the wheel,
Nose to the grindstone

ears to the groundI’m not a nosey man, but when I choose I have a way insinuating into the intricacies of wherever we may be. Mind you, I don’t like gossip, I don’t like sitting around talking about people.  But I like to know where I stand, what’s expected of me and what I can expect of others — so I ask questions.  And I listen.  A lot.

Please don’t misunderstand.  On occasion it may sound like there are a lot of negatives in this park.  However, I’ve never found Utopia.  It seems there are trade-offs no matter what you’re doing and no matter where you are. The trade-offs may be larger when you don’t have a huge bankroll — for $$$$$ are always part of the tradeoff.  If you have enough of them you don’t have to compromise — but then if you don’t want to compromise it’s going to cost you more $$$$$ — which IS the compromise:  you pay for what you get.balance

So, what I’m doing (for ourselves — and you are listening in) is making my own list of pros and cons.  In our grand search for a ‘place’ to retire, we are still asking the question: is there a place we like or are we going to be unending vagabonds across the face of the earth?  We don’t know.  We’re looking.  Will there be such a place; or will there be such a place that’s good for 6 months a year.  So many RV’ers do that 6 & 6 dance and we don’t know if that’s for us.  So, my list is growing.  Little things here, little things there.

If you’ve been following for a while you’ll remember that this is really the 1st  winter that we’re really free to be ourselves.  The first two retirement winters we were still dealing with our old house.  Last winter we sort of weren’t retired:  we were volunteering for the Forest Service and we were too busy to just kick back and enjoy life.  To say nothing of the fact that in Oregon during the winter you don’t sit out on your patio and enjoy the sun.  And you don’t sit out on your patio and bask in the heat.  And you will spend more time dealing with mold and mildew than you ever guessed.  None of those apply here. We are LIKING this.

Still and all, the forever trick is to figure out what makes a place unique and decide whether you can work within that framework — or if you wish, try to change what you don’t like — but chances are the place was as it is now long before you arrived:  change may not be in the future.  We like this place.  Stop.  Now we are learning what makes it tick and whether the drawbacks are enough that they would send us looking elsewhere.  But remember, we put up with Wisconsin winters for 65 years.  Life doesn’t have to be perfect for Peg and Myself — it just needs to meet some minimums.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.  Let’s hope we’re in our chosen site by then!

Old Diary

And Darkness Descended Upon the Earth While Waiting for Stairs and Noisy Birds

Many people talk about escaping the weather. Not so many talk about searching for more sunshine. San Benito  But we know people with Seasonal Affected Disorder and the need for sunshine is real.Milwaukee

I live with a woman who CRAVES  her sunshine and one of the benefits of migrating South for the winter is an increase in the duration of sunlight. A lot of folks talk about the fact that as you go North the summer days get longer and the winter days get shorter;  I never hear people talk about the corollary:  the closer to the equator the less change in length of daylight  — and consequently the more the reverse of the above is true:  days stay light longer than if you were in the North, and nights aren’t as long as if you were in the North.

Having never lived in the South before we knew it would happen but we’ve never lived through the experience.  It’s such a simple reality; but if you crave sunlight and you are accustomed to the sun going down at 4 p.m. – before you even leave work – then there’s something actually thrilling about that extra 90 minutes of sun that we’re getting here. It’s funny the way the simplest things can give so much joy.  And so it is that I have a happy wife right now.  We’re less than 10 days from the shortest day of the year — and the beginning of lengthening days!  Hooray.

A few thoughts on Stairs

Our neighbors to the North got a new RV last August.  They had a Monaco coach — made by the same people who made our Holiday Rambler — and tooled around the country for 8 or 9 years.  But they’re getting older and the prospect of driving it South from Missouri each year has gotten the best of them – they sold their coach and bought a 5th wheel.  They don’t have a truck — so the dealer delivered it to their site for them.  And the Dealer didn’t put it in the right place so Wayne came over the other day to move it a few feet to the side and towards the back of the pad. AND THEN….

5th Wheel Steps

A typical 5th Wheel fold down stair

They decided a set of wooden stairs were mandatory.  If you don’t have an RV (more specifically a 5th wheel trailer) you may not be familiar with unevenness of RV steps.  In a sticks & bricks building who ever thinks about stairs — they’re uniform and they work.  But, as a matter of course the fold out steps on a 5th wheel (and many coaches) are usually quite narrow and steep.  Being narrow,  the depth of step you foot can rest upon feels stingy. Being steep they force you to actually think about how much of a step you are taking  in or out — and it’s fequently high and often not the same size as the step before it or the step after it.

The choice of stair builders here is limited:  they’re all geezers like us.  Well, when you have a bunch of geezers building your steps, you better be prepared for an interesting and lengthy process.  These guys have more than enough power tools — some of these guys have enough power tools to build an entire home.  So, you’d think that the process would go quickly.  Think again.

whataburgerWhen you have a bunch of geezers building your steps for you, you’d think it would be a rapid process.  With 4 seniors working on the project how can it not be done in a single day?

triple meat whataburger

Who in their right mind needs a triple meat burger?

But…. when you have a bunch of geezers working on your steps you have to expect pauses for the telling of stories, and 3 hour lunches at Whataburger.  Carl (our neighbor) would gladly have treated the guys to a better meal than ‘just’ a Whataburger but that would have meant working longer and us old codgers have a thing about how hard and how long we work — I guess.


Three geezers working and two sitting to inspect. Not sure which one is the union steward


It’s not a pretty solution but I might as well use this hole in the floor for something. Now we have access to another 20 amp circuit.

At the moment the pedestal is complete.  The steps are still in process.  And poor Carl is fit to be tied wondering where his crew got off to!

In between checking in on the workers, I  got around to running a cord through that unexplained hole in the office floor.  I attached a heavy duty female plug to the new cord and now we can access an extra 15-20 amps (depending on the wiring) when needed.  Cool Beans!

Whacked Out Birds


Not my photo, but they look like this

I need to get my bird book out and see if I can identify these birds.  Unfortunately my bird BOOK is of no help with bird songs — and these guys have the strangest alternate call.  I know there are birds like Mynas and Parrots that are adept at imitating sounds.  These guys look a lot like a Blackbird or Grackle but they sure don’t sound like any Blackbird or Grackle that I’ve ever heard before.  Their normal call is birdlike enough — but there are times when they seem to imitate sounds they hear — and in particular a sound that sounds like metal flexing.  It’s crazy.  Sure doesn’t sound like a BIRD!

Well, enough for today.  We’re hoping to get moved on Monday.  Fingers crossed that the rain stays in the clouds.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

On Birds and Un-Done Chores

I haven’t been doing my chores, there are jobs needing doing around the ‘house’ (read that:  coach) but I’m not in a big hurry to get at them.  Instead we made another trip to the Birding Center on Padre Island.  I guess I’m really retired — time was that I’d insist on finishing all these images before I showed them to anyone — now I’m just out there for the pure fun of it and you get to see the images just as they come out of the camera — maybe a little cropping, but even that isn’t too necessary when my long lens lets me get this close.

This little guy has a cute little rhytmn when he runs.  I couldn’t get a good shot of him this time but I will, eventually.  The thing about birding is you have to be willing to sit still long enough — and this one we caught after my stomach had begun growling for lunch and I just wasn’t patient enough.

The SPI birding center has a series of boardwalks and several different environments for critters.  The alligators had babies this year.  One of the visitors caught a shot of momma with a baby riding piggy back on her … duh… back.  I just got these.

It seems as how this should be a Common Rail.  It’s amazing how long the bill on these guys is.  They use it to go plunging into the soft wet earth in search of whatever it is that they eat: grubs, worms, little crabs?

Snowy Egrets are so elegant, even if it may look at times as if they have a broken neck.  This series I was luck with.  The first four are pretty much full frame.  He wasn’t all that far away.

20141210121201210Herons are fun too.  They have the oddest grumbling sound.  I sometimes feel a special kinship with them knowing that I must sound the same on those occasions when someone has rumpled my feathers too.   20141210120435194

Last time I was here  (not last week, but 5 years ago) I tried my darndest to get some shots of these Murr Hens — This isn’t perfect, but it’s better than what I got last time.

I think it’s a good thing that we are here now, and for a duration.  I think I’m a bit tired of going.  I want to slow down for a while.  I haven’t been reading (again) — a fact that isn’t completely the fault of our activity level — I started re-reading Studs Terkel’s Working and I find it so thought provoking that I can’t read too much at a time.  I’ll read one or two interviews and then I need a few days for the content to kind of settle in my psyche.  I guess I need to get out a couple more mysteries to jump start my reading again.

I have also been looking at my waistline…. the doctor wasn’t happy with my weight (in September) and I doubt I’ve done my waistline any favors since then.  I think I’m due for some serious throat-cutting  in the near future.  But I won’t bore you with the gruesome details on that front…. seems every American has weight problems of one ilk or another.

While Peg is off at the laundry here I unbolted both of my driver’s mirrors and pumped a bunch of penetrating oil into them to start loosening up those mirror-arms so I can reposition them.  Might take me several months to get the penetrating oil INTO them, and get them loosened but we have time. 🙂

I’ve been trying to figure out how to change the incline on our California Concept awning.  I think I need more than two hands.  I’ll have to try that again when Peg’s around to use her hands.

Well, the bread machine is humming along as I type and I have chores I cannot put off (says my wife) so I’d best call it quits for now.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.



Old Diary

Birding While We are Waiting

2014120510333817 2014120510333921 2014120510350136Just because we’re ‘waiting’ to get into our assigned site doesn’t mean we have nothing else to do.  We made another trip to Laguna Atascosa NWR and hung out at Osprey Point for a while.  This hawk is one of the current residents.

We’re still meeting more our neighbors — near and far.  Most recently it was the couple to our West who are Missourians, have been returning to Palmdale RV Resort for about 9 years and have stayed in as many different sites as the years they’ve been coming.  This year they sold their Class A and bought a 41′ 5th Wheel.  I guess they’ve decided that their traveling days are over and it’s a lot easier to make the trip back and forth in a car than in a coach.  It’s one of those things that happens with increasing age and we all have to face it.

We are having fun with the local groceries.  The big chain in this area is H-E-B.  Just to make sure no one gets upset, that is not a ethnic slur — those three letters are the initials of the founder, and using their current advertising program it can also stand for Here Everything’s Better.

Being so close to the Mexican border there are numerous specialties  that one never sees in a Wisconsin grocery.  For example, there are the End Caps at the registers.  Instead of having magazines and candy as we might in Milwaukee here we find a variety of Mexican snacks.  For example:

2014121015015209Sweet Potato Candy.2014121015020310

And it’s really just sweet potatoes and sugar.  We tried it.  Not bad.   We may have to try all of the offerings — and there must be at least a dozen varieties!

Loyalty Cards


Our Collection of Loyalty Cards

Then again there are those signs of faithful shopping — or are they signs of being cheap — anyway… a lot of groceries have their customer loyalty programs and we belong to a lot of them.  Every time we move, we check out the local store, pick up a loyalty card if they have a loyalty program and do our best to cash in on the savings.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Someone Finally Took Our Money

island-time It’s as if we are on Island Time without being on the island!  You know, Island Time don’t you.  That laid back, come-when-it-will, When we arrived a week ago Monday it was right after the deluge of December 1 and everyone was in a tizzy.  A coach had arrived just before us, there was a 5th wheel in the parking lot and a lot of hubbub in the office.  No one asked us to pay for our stay.

A week went by and no one said anything about money.

signsFinally I decided maybe I better go into the office and make inquiries.  Curiously enough they were glad to take our payment but there wasn’t a “Oh, my, we forgot to collect our rent,”  or “Why didn’t you check with us sooner,” or anything.  I like these people.  They seem to know that they are dealing with good and honest people and they don’t make the financial aspects of the stay their first priority.  It’s just another reason to like where we are.

Other than that, Tuesday was a bit of frustration.  We visited, Walmart, Target, Goodwill, Lowes and Home Depot and we came away with very little that we were searching for.  GRRRRRRRRRR!

gutterI did learn that Lowes does have my SYMMETRICAL gutter — but having stopped there first I didn’t want to make all those other stops with a piece of gutter hanging out the back end of the car.  Guess I didn’t think that one through very well! 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 7.26.48 AMWe also found a blanket.  It turns out that they are making knitted blankets that feel like a sweater and look like a comfy sweater.  This one is light enough for what we want — and most importantly it’s the right size.  The lightweight one we had was originally for a smaller bed and restless sleeper that I am my feet are always sticking out the bottom end and getting cold.

There are times when RV’ing is like setting up housekeeping all over again.  WE HAD BLANKETS before we downsized.  Where the heck all that stuff went is beyond me!

We won’t talk about the rest of the looking trip (we didn’t accomplish anything);  everything I wanted no one had.

I should clarify one thing about the moisture here.  There is no problem getting around in the campground — the water puddles dry up soon enough after a rain, and everything works.  But if you are trying to park on turf and you are as heavy as we are it just takes time for the water in the turf to dry up enough that you don’t make deep gouges in the process of back in.  Today, one couple trading out of a Class A coach and into a 5th Wheel, had their 5th wheel delivered to their site without regard to the turf and they left huge ruts — it’s really rather rude on the part of the tenant to do that to the owner’s property.

So, there you have another day in South Texas.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow. 🙂

Old Diary

That Pool is Calling our Name


Why have we not gotten into the pool yet?

One of the appeals to this park was the presence of a heated pool and hot tub.  I thought sure we’d jump in shortly after arriving but no…. We’ve been here over a week now and we haven’t  had time to even take a dip.  What’s the matter with us? 🙂

Oh well….. one of these days.

Still Learning

We are still adjusting to the differences between this coach, our Serendipity and our old one,  Journey.   By adding two more slides, and larger slides at that we have really increased the internal cubic feet of living space — and altered the science of heating and cooling.

In Journey  two small electric space-heaters got us warmer than we needed to be — even in the coldest -20º days in Oregon.  But, by contrast the single back-of-chassis mounted heat pump could not keep up with our cooling needs once the temps hit 80.

In Serendipity the story seems sort of reversed.  The dual heat pumps seem to do a fine job on everything we’ve thrown at them.  But heating (without turning on the propane furnace) is proving a minor challenge.  space heaterWe haven’t quite figured out how soon to turn on the space heaters and when the temps hit 55º as they did last night, and shall again tonight, we need a little heat in the lounge.  The bedroom stays pretty warm just with body heat and the heater doesn’t kick in very often if at all during the night there.   I think that we our air seal between the slide and the coach is not as positive as we had with Journey and there’s more cool air entering the coach than we are accustomed to — plus the fact that there’s just more inside space.

And so it is that another something disposed of during downsizing may make another appearance in our coach.  We’re looking at a lightweight queen size blanket — maybe today we’ll go out and buy one, if we can find one.  We looked the other day at Walmart and they didn’t have blankets!  Go Figure!  We have a lightweight but warm comforter that we have used for 3 years now with great satisfaction.  But this is the first time we’ve been consistently in +60º night territory and we would like a solution for those nights when the comforter is just too much.

In a house — you set the thermostat and forget about it.  For us, thus far, that hasn’t been the case with RV’ing — we seem to need to think about things a little more.  🙂  (Keeps us young and our brains more active I guess).

Jack Blocks

This area is supposed to have only 71 days of precipitation per year.  So, normally, water isn’t a huge thing here.  And yet, when there’s a lot of it the huge thing looms on the horizon like a creepy crawly monster.  And so it is that I’m re-thinking my approach to leveling jack blocks.

When we first bought Journey I had some 2″ X 8″‘s at home.  I cut them into pieces about 9″ or 10″ long and glued four sets of three of them together to make 4 – 6″ high jack blocks. (2″ lumber isn’t 2 inches, you know)

an example of a commercially bought Jack Block.

an example of a commercially bought Jack Block.  Mine aren’t that cute.

Serendipity has only THREE leveling jacks.  Not my favorite setup but it’s what she had when we bought her.  And with the tendency to softer terrain when it’s wet that we are experiencing here I’m considering using those old blocks for firewood and buying some 3/4″ plywood that I could cut into 12″ x 12″  squares and then glue and screw 4 of those together to give a broader foot upon which to exert all that weight.  Between the two of them, those rear jacks hold much of the 10,000+ lbs sitting on the rear axle.  I’ll have to see what I can get at Home Depot — or whether I should have them cut the pieces for me.  I think HD gets a quarter buck a cut — but I don’t want to go out and buy a power saw!  Pictures if we make a change.

So, today’s agenda is a little shopping and a little idea processing.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.