Old Diary

The Urge for Order

To outward appearances I can give the impression of being laid back, but don’t let me fool you.  That calm exterior doesn’t like disorder. It might be that what I call “order” may not jive with the common meaning of the word — but I do crave that sensation that comes when all of one’s “stuff” is where it belongs and one can find it. The key concept being that the one who organized it can find it, not that anyone else can!  I’ve had a lifelong problem with categorization — seems my brain doesn’t categorize things the same way as others — including my dear wife.  But I can still find most things in spite of what might appear a messy desk.

That being true…  certain life experiences come along to reinforce for us just who we are as individuals.  I’m finding this move to be one of those.

I find it odd that I can be completely spontaneous about some things; but not everything.  I need certain touchstones in my life; if those are in order I can be loosey-goosey about everything else.  But when those few touchstones are missing or in disarray I get very cranky and obstinate.

On Thursday we were supposed to have a Time-Warner installer here between 8 and 9 a.m..  I’ve dealt with Time-Warner before so I know that their idea of on-time has it’s own aspect of loosey-goosey!  But when they missed their appointment time I could feel my blood pressure going up. I don’t care about time.  If they had given me a three hour window instead of a one hour window I wouldn’t have minded — and I’d have been fine waiting for however long it took the technician to arrive.  But give me a schedule and I’ll expect you to keep it.  Make that a one hour window and I actually expect you to be there within one hour.

Which points out the fact that as I age I tolerate uncertainty more and more poorly.  Not all that much about RV’ing has changed over 5 years; oh there have been changes, but what’s mostly different is my willingness to deal with them.

As we started setting up housekeeping in the new place I was wondering about how we will utilize the space that we now have.  Peggy’s big thing about getting the house was she felt I needed space for my office — she felt bad seeing me scrunched into corners of the RV with hard drives and wires and such.  I appreciated her concern and while there were inconvenient aspects of RV’ing certainly I was happy enough about the many ADvantages that I put the drawbacks out of my mind.

Well, I now have the space she wanted for me but organizing an office is a work of art and I wasn’t wanting to rush to get it done. Which didn’t convince my brain not to rush. I knew that some parts of my new space won’t come together till Kathryn and Mike bring some things down from Milwaukee, but I was still wanting to putter and putter and putter until things were sort-of-right.  All because I needed my world to have some semblance of order!

I guess it’s been 12 years or so since I’ve been through this nesting thing on this scale.

  • With our first coach — Journey — everything just seemed to fall into place.  Settling in was super easy.
  • With our second coach — Serendipity — the process wasn’t as simple.  I kept looking for the-same-places in Serendipity that we had in Journey and obviously they did not exist.  Finding alternatives seemed to be harder.  Or was it because I was making it harder by not being as flexible as once I might have been?  That’s the big question!

The mobile home — which by the way we think will be named Rehoboth (an old Hebrew word that you can find in the Bible meaning “God has found room for us”) — is an animal of a different sort than either of the RV’s. Walking in the door the first time I already knew we would not use it the same way we used either of the two RV’s. Our life will be different here. We are planning on that difference and we are arranging our space to take advantage of that difference.

In the coach I had to find order in other areas — not so much in my physical space.  I compensated by scheduling and by planning.  Effectively I was putting the world in order instead of my space which kept getting bigger and smaller every time we extended and retracted the slides and everytime our campsite faced a different direction with differing amounts of light coming through the windows.

Here we are located.  No slides to retract.  My office window will always face West, the entry is always on the North, and the head of the bed will always be on the South wall.  There is more solidarity to this new house — it’s the nature of a “house” or “mobile home.”

I’m not really talking about furniture arranging.  In fact Peggy and I have always had a sort of reputation for arranging and rearranging furniture in the public rooms of our home fairly frequently.  Just for fun.  No, this is about state-of-mind.  About knowing things to be true without thought.

I’ve said it before, that the most fundamental tenents of society are so fundamental that a society does not even have words to express them.  Why should they be expressed — everyon accepts them.  I think there are aspects of a person’s ‘living’ that are just as fundamental.  We have expectations that we automatically assume are going to be fulfilled.  Sometimes I think this accounts for spouses failing to communicate about their problems — they think there should be no need to talk about such basics, that everyone knows what’s expected of them — and the fact of the matter is that everyone does not share the same expectations.

Since going full time as RV’ers I have talked a lot about finding places that feel comfortable — those feelings are really what we are talking about whether it’s living in an RV or a mobile home or a stick built home or a high-rise condo.  There are unspoken expectations that bear more weight than all the listed criteria for a new home.  How you are dealt with as a human being.  How you cope with the world around you. Whether the physical locale syncs on some subliminal level with who you are and how you see yourself.  We did not find that in Oregon — even though we loved Oregon dearly.  We did not find it in Florida — a place we didn’t love as much but lots of other people love dearly. In truth this has been the only place we’ve foun in our 5 years on the road that spoke “home” to our heart — even though I never in my life would have expected to live in Texas.

Order is finding me gradually.  Sometimes instead of things “falling into place,”  I am the one doing the falling into things; I find different ways of interacting with my environment.  I learn to think smarter, or to work smarter.  The way I wanted something to be is proven not to be the best way after all and I concede defeat — or perhaps I welcome growth — all depending on how stubborn I want to be on a given morning.

So there you have another day of transition!  Thanks for stopping and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat.  Why not stop and say hi!

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Old Diary

Tipping Point

Thursday appears to have been a tipping point for us. It’s the culmination of lots of conversations and more “looking around” than might have been apparent.  We’re in agreement that it’s time to make some changes.

The two of us are excited about new prospects and to be truthful we are not entirely sure what we’ve set in motion:  there’s a good deal of “unscriptedness” going on right now with altered calendars,  uncertainty, and all the jitters and nerves that go along with any new undertaking.

After 5+ years as full timers we’re going to buy a permanent base; and the coach will go up for sale as soon as we get moved in and get her cleaned and spruced up. A lot of things will feel funny.  You get accustomed to things like slightly inclined floors and those unconscious twists and turns that we unconsciously make getting around inside the a familiar living space.
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It will feel strange to walk further than 12 steps from one end of the house to another.  Full timing has been very good to us and with thanksgiving we’re ready to close one of life’s chapters and open the next.  No sense hanging around until things go wrong or until we realize we should have taken this step a year or two sooner.  This is the right time.  For Us.

At the moment we aren’t sure about a lot of things.  Like timing.  How soon will we move in.  Or how long might we have to wait? We have a few more people to talk with and a timeline to sort out. But the plan is simple: there’s a mobile home here at the RV park where we are right now that is for sale, it suits our needs, the price is decent for what we’re getting, and I think we’ve reached a purchase agreement with the prior owner.

There are a lot of reasons behind this change.  I’ll explain them soon enough but the bottom line is simple:  it’s the right decision for the two of us at this time. It’s not an emotional decision. Nor is it one that we’ve been forced into because of immediate circumstances.  We’re acting positively for the future.

We have lived our primary objectives for RV’ing.  We found the right home for our needs in the right place.  Between our visit here two years ago and this visit we toured and shopped almost 60 different RV parks and we’re happy with what we have here.

This may change our daughter’s visit here later this winter.  It may change our travel plans for ’17 — heck…. it WILL change them. I expect we’ll spend the next 16 months primarily in Texas with a few trips out for various reasons…..

We’ve got a lot of choices and decisions to be made.every-story-has-a-tipping-point

More to come soon enough…..

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Old Diary

Light through the side of the wall…


the-price-of-freedom

What does it mean when you’re sitting in the lounge and you see daylight underneath the sofa?  Clearly, it’s not something good. That was what I noticed the other day.  A quick walk outside and a maintenance problem appeared that was easy enough and inexpensive enough to fix.  I like that kind of problem!

After a quick trip to Home Depot for the proper size screws I refastened the piece of weatherstripping that wipes the bottom side of the lounge slide-out. Over the last 11 years that in and out motion of the slide (extended, retracted, extended, retracted) had stressed the few attachment points of the rubber gasket and pulled a few of the screws loose — allowing the gasket to move away from the wall and allow a little light to come in — and a little cold as well — and potentially little critters also — but we have not had that problem.  There really should have been more attachment points.  I could see that easily. And now there are.

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a couple of the added fasteners – the old fasteners simply weren’t adequate to hold the weatherstripping with longterm use.

The Price of RV freedom is eternal vigilance!  If you own an RV you just have to keep checking and checking to make sure that all is well with your ride, your house, your little bit of heaven.

In over 5 years we really haven’t had a lot of things to fix with our RV.  Some of them were shear wear and tear worn out — the toppers over the slides were like that.  And 11 years use from a piece of fabric out in the wind all the time is — I think — a pretty reasonable expectation.  And of course there was the Norcold replacement.  I’m sure we could have had the old one repaired but I was tired of the inadequacies of the Norcold system so that was a personal choice on my part.

But my point is that you find little things that need attention.  Caught early they are small repairs; left to worsen they can steal your bank account.  It’s all up to you.

After fixing the weatherstripping at the bottom of one slide I did an inspection of all four slides and there were no more problems.  Little things like that happen on a vehicle that might not happen on a house.  RV’s are subject to a lot of shaking and vibration. A few months ago I found a lower body panel shaking in the wind — it was right by the wheel well and when I got down on my knees and looked up at it I saw that a machine screw had fallen out.  Replacing the old screw with another of the same size (and a little Lock-Tite) and all was well again.

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Oriented Stand Board (or OSB) may be a wonderful product, but when subjected to water it puffs up and loses it’s strength

Most RV’ers I’ve known have discovered problems with the gaskets around their slides when leaks occurred.  But it’s not that hard to inspect the gaskets every few months and insure that they are sealing correctly.  After all, sometimes it’s just a matter that the gasket material has curled under and running your awning hook up and down the length of the gasket will un-curl the gasket — returning your RV to the “land of all is well.”  The problem can be bigger — weatherstripping does get old and brittle — sometimes it needs replacing (not often, but some of these RV’s are still on the road 20 years after manufacture). No one wants to wake up and find a puddle of water in the RV!  Worse… no one wants to deal with the damage that water can do to OSB — the material so many RV manufacturers seem enamored of!

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The layout of our coach roof was not simple BEFORE we put 900 watts of solar panels up there. Now it’s even more congested. It pays to check on that stuff from time to time.

Among the many checks that are worthwhile to do are a regular inspection of your roof.  You know, most people can’t see what’s going on up there on top of the RV.  I know I’m not tall enough to do so!  And a lot of RV shops will do a free roof inspection when you have the RV in the shop for routine maintenance.  If you have a motorcoach like we do you are going to want to change the oil (at least) annually — what better time to have someone get up on the roof and look for leaks, cracks that aren’t yet leaks (in caulking), etc., before little maintenance issues become much bigger repair bills!

I like maintenance.  Maintenance is cheaper than repairs.  Maintenance is good.  Us RV’ers should repeat that like a mantra, “maintenance is good, maintenance is good, maintenance is good…”

Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here to chat tomorrow.  Why not stop and see what’s up!

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Old Diary

The things you talk about…

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a scalding trough at the fall hog butchering

Tuesday we were floating around in the pool and the conversation drifted to “Pan Haus.”  I swear, a person never knows what kind of conversations you’re going to get into with retirees!

For example…

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tubs of pon hoss cooling – in this form it’s not the most appetizing thing in the world, is it? turns out it’s pretty bland, just pork, flour, salt, pepper, and water (with the collagen from boiled pork)

Yesterday we got to talking about Pon Hoss or Pan Haus.  Someone knew it was Amish — that was where they had seen it — in an Amish community in Iowa.  But more than that no one knew.

Now, I’m no chef, but I know a few things about food and Pon Hoss was something I’d never heard of before.  And the thing I love is a challenge.  What the heck is this stuff?  We’d been to Pennsylvania Dutch Country and we’ve eaten Scrapple — a close cousin to Pon Hoss I now find.  But they aren’t the same. pon-hoss-2

Pon Hoss is usually served as a breakfast item, fried.  But with the limited ingredients and seasoning in the recipe it’s no wonder that the resident here didn’t care for the taste.  Scrapple is more likely to include sage, thyme and/or savory — so this stuff is lacking apt to be lacking on tastebud appeal.  Gives me the shivers — but hey — when you’re a farmer you eat everything but the squeal, right?  🙂

It’s a good example of the things you can get to talking about when you’re with a gang of folks from all over the U.S. and Canada.  And speaking of Canada….

One of the winter residents was saying that when they came across the border they changed $10,000 Canadian into U.S. currency.  With the current rate of exchange what they got back was only $6300.  Now THAT is a hit!  Makes it harder for our Canadian neighbors to enjoy the winter down here.

We get our share of political conversations.  And there’s always talk about doctors and lawyers.  The state of the park — or the disrepair of the park — depending on the resident’s frame of mind (cheerful or bitchy).  We hear travelogues and family histories.  Of course with men around there’s golf, football, and more about cars than I ever wanted to know.  And the “nice” thing about it is that most of them only stay for a few months out of the year — you don’t have to listen to the same old stories all year long.  Fact is,  the gang who stay here year round is pretty small — which also means that by the time the Winter Texans show up they are ready and rarin’ for some good conversation.    It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s human….

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat. Why not stop by and say hi!

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Old Diary

Playing at being the Pool Boy…

img_4123Someone didn’t show up to clean the pool the other day so yours truly decided to step in, or maybe step-OUT of the water and get the job done.  We’ve had high 80’s and 90’s for a few days and before a cold front comes through folks are getting their share of Old Sol and water therapy!

The owner is coming down in a couple days — to talk with his lawyers about the road paving.  We’re hoping that the work might actually begin soon.  But now that the park is filling up for the winter just how that’s going to work with people needing to park cars where roadwork is not being done might be interesting!  I’m sure the ultimate improvement will be worth it but you know how people like to complain — I’m sure the grapevine will be humming with discontents.  And people wonder why I keep to myself.  It gets old in a hurry listening to old people complaining!

There’s a mobile home here that’s been for sale (the couple who had it had health issues recently — you know how that goes!).  We were told that there were winter renters coming down to spend the winter there; now it seems that their plans have changed and it will be empty.  We’ve been thinking about making a change and now we have something more to think about.  We never wanted to own real estate — because of the the need to do landscape and/or snow removal — but the idea of owning a mobile home on someone else’s property has some appeal.  We’ll see what happens.

I checked out one of the local small business butcher shops today.  Their prices are quite good, and considering that they are only a couple miles away it’s a tempting option to the large H-E-B store in Brownsville or the Walmart here in Los Fresnos (which we avoid, just because we try to shop local).  But… I’m finding it challenging to wrap my lifetime-conditioned-brain around the cuts of meat favored in the Mexican community. It’s the same doggone cow/pig — how come they can’t cut it the same way in different parts of the country? I need to learn how to cook a few new dishes!  And maybe get a Mexican cookbook!

I”ve been looking into the tax structure here in Texas.  Sure is different from Wisconsin. But there’s no personal income tax here — just sales tax.

Then again, there’s also not much public television.  We are accustomed to living in states where the public tv includes more stations and more diversity.  That loss I’m feeling quite acutely.  I miss my British sitcoms.  Sigh. Life is tough.  But then the sun is shining and there’s no snow to shovel so I’d best shut my mouth and be thankful.

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Old Diary

No Intention

What’s the difference between traveling by train/airplane compared to traveling a trip by car/bicycle? Psychologically there’s an  extreme differnce; and that’s what I’m thinking about this morning.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.”
– Lao Tzu

For just a moment, allow me a little hyperbolic generalization.

  • If you purchase airline tickets or a train ticket you commit to a specific route and schedule.  You pre-determine before leaving the house what you shall see and make it difficult to see anything en route in detail. The thrust of your trip is on the destination. Clearly, Lao Tzu wasn’t made for airline schedules or cruise ships!  And I think you realize that what we’re talking about is the difference between the “traveler” and the “tourist.”
  • Auto or RV travel are altogether different experiences.  A route plan doesn’t necessarily determine anything. It can change at any time. In fact, a route plan can be nothing more than a suggestion than a limitation — depending on your state of mind.  Come to think of it, maybe state-of-mind is the travelers biggest asset.

Why are you traveling? Or, are you traveling at all.  Perhaps you’re a tourist and not a traveler.

This trip you are taking, is it all about the destination?  Do you want to see something along the way?  Do you want to see what’s there?  Do you want to meet new people and learn new ways of living?  Or do you want to see what you already know about? Do you want to refresh acquaintance with characters who are familiar?  There is a difference between being a traveler and a tourist.

We are here for at least 4 months but we are still traveling. I dare say that when we turned the nose of Journey westward on Ramsey Avenue some 5+ years ago we set off on a Lao Tsu odyssey with no fixed plans and no intended destination.

Living 2600 years ago Lao Tzu didn’t have the choice of traveling by airplane. People living then didn’t move from place to place the way they do today.  In feudal China I don’t think very many people were allowed to moved around very much at all.

The basics of human behavior haven’t changed in 2600 years – or a lot longer than that.  We have the same mammalian brain that Lao had, it’s just that we think we’re a lot more sophisticated today than they were then. (but then don’t people always think that they are better than those who went before them?) What has changed is not us; it’s the opportunity to travel, the potentiality of being different than we were born to be.  Along with opportunity we’ve all been exposed to massive amounts of conditioning:  all that advertising on TV you know.  There are all these things we’ve been told we need; and all these fictional characters we think we know from TV;  and all the destinations that the rich travel to that we’ve learned to lust after.  The subliminal result is that we convince ourselves that there are all these places we need to go, and things we need to do while there. route-66-map The result:  a lot of us are tourists who don’t travel. Destination — fulfilling those promises we’ve made to ourselves about all the things we need to see and do — destination has become all important.

One of the great joys the RV lifestyle brings to me in particular — I’m saying this after a lifetime of goal orientation — has been breaking out of the destination mold. It’s possible to travel — in Lao Tsu’s sense — for the purpose of meeting people & experiencing the journey, and who cares whether there is a destination at all.  All of which sounds weird from a guy who has issues being around too many people for too long, but that doesn’t make it any the less true.

What we get out of RV’ing isn’t Yet, it’s true.  Our personal enjoyment in RV’ing is not going to tourist destinations, nor amusement parks;  we don’t visit many museums or historic sites.  In most cases the ones we care about we saw decades ago. And the ones we don’t care about… well, why bother?  Most of the time we’re quite happy finding ourselves in a new place and getting to know people we’d never have met otherwise.  It’s all about people. It’s all about the way they live; what they value; how they intereact — how being where they are has made them into who they became!

“The traveler was active;
he went strenuously in search of people,
of adventure, of experience.
The tourist is passive;
he expects interesting things to happen to him.
He goes “sight-seeing.”
– Daniel J. Boorstin

I’ve been thinking about this aversion I have to large groups of people.  One factor has risen to the fore, and I suspect it has a lot to do with why we do what we do.  After all, in our early years I think I was a lot more sociable than I have become.

As we motor around the country I’m often struck by how many huge churches we see;  specially in the South — otherwise known as the Bible Belt. I know I’m a maverick but one of the lessons I learned during 25 years as a bi-vocational pastor is that when you look at the New Testament record of Jesus life you find a few occasions where Jesus taught large groups of people, but more of the specific interactions recorded about Jesus concern him teaching one-on-one or in small groups.  It’s almost as if the message the unspoken message about how to live your life is : “more time with fewer people” And perhaps that’s why I am the way I am. I embraced mentors and mentoring in my youth. I focussed on exerting greater influence on a few folks rather than minimal influence upon many. There were times that I’d speak in front of hundreds, but those were not the times I lived for:  I lived for one-on-one interactions.

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this might be the best travel plan I’ve ever come up with. 🙂

Now as an RV’er I find that is how I continue living.  We have a few friends and a lot of acquaintances.  We don’t get involved with a lot of things, but the ones we do get involved in we usually get involved passionately. And we pay attention to what’s going on around us.  How do people live?  What do they do?  What do they value? None of these things involve train schedules.  Boarding times don’t enter into my awareness.  When we’re ready we move, when we aren’t we stay in one place.  Sometimes we commit to a departure time and almost inevitably we find that the date becomes an annoyance.  We’ve either planned too long a stay or too short;  either we have learned what we want and are ready to move on, or we discovered more to learn and we wish we’d planned a longer visit.  Intention on destination always seems to get in the way.

I wonder how you plan your travels?  Or whether you travel at all.  Perhaps at your point in time in life you’re still a tourist, and there are things you need to see/do.  Whichever it might be — safe journey!

 

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Old Diary

Lusting after an Oven

Last year it had been our plan to volunteer at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. We were hired and set to spend the winter there until our doctor put the kabosh on that plan and we had to cancel that plan. It’s funny that while I was looking forward to the volunteer work that what I kept thinking about was the fact that volunteers there have access to a completely equipped professional level kitchen — and I was looking forward to being able to bake! We were willing to forego a pleasantly warm winter in exchange for birds, cold, snow, and a few perks like — access to that oven! vulcan-gas-range

I know that’s a terrible thing to say.  But it’s true.  And one drawback of our particular RV is the lack of a real oven.  I know some Class A coaches do have a propane oven as part of the propane stove.  Ours does not.  We’re limited to that Sharp microwave/convection oven mounted overhead.  And, for a combination unit I guess it’s ok.  We’re limited to anything that can bake/cook in 90 minutes or less. It takes a long time to pre-heat anything over 350º — so making a from-scratch pizza is challenging: the oven just doesn’t get hot enough. And there is the size limitation.  Any container over 11 1/2″ is out of the question; which includes most cooky sheets.

I don’t care whether it’s gas or electric — not really — I just want something I can use without recalculating recipes or timing; an oven that behaves the same way consistently.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Who would ever have thought that one of the things I like least about RV’ing is the lack of a real oven?

I use the combination oven from time to time. I’m a make-do sort of guy when I have to me.  I have even tried using a toaster oven — but that is even smaller (making cooking anything worthwhile baking even harder), and keeping it hygienically clean is a nightmare.  Most everything we eat I cook on our double Induction hob and I’m mostly happy with that.

But there are those moments…

There are those days….

There are those weeks…. when all I want is an oven.  A real oven.  something 4 or 5 cu. ft. in size that comes up to temp on time, and that stays on temp, I don’t care if it doesn’t have bells and whistles… I just lust after an oven….

Thanks for stopping.  Tomorrow I won’t be so despondent (no — seriously — I’m just having fun with this — I’m not despondent at all).  Stop by in the morning and see what’s cookin’!  I’ll be here.

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Old Diary

Gone to the Birds

What a difference a season makes!  We’ve been back out to the birding center every few days this trip. And we’re having a ball. Two years ago we hardly bothered because of the weather — and everytime we did go we didn’t see anything worth having made the trip. This year it’s very, very different and we’re loving it.  My first birding trip to S. Texas was in 2009 and I always look forward to being here whether or not I see new birds because there’s enough to see and even if they are doing the same things I’ve seen before I never grow tired.

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preening

That being said, we’ve written off the bad roads en route to Laguna Atascosa.  With the auto route closed it’s just not worth it to me, to beat up the car getting there. So, we’ve been burning up the highway to the SPI Birding Center instead and there’s hardly any difference in mileage.  There are other places on the island to see birds comfortably — including the boardwalk at the Events Center (access to which is free).  With our recently purchased annual pass, though, the birding center is an easier choice.

We’re watching the tides more carefully this year — and timing our visits closer to low tides — when the shorebirds and waders are most likely to be seen in the shallow waters of the marsh.

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hunting

These guys have their own personalities.  Some of them seem to favor the same spots and day by day you can find them in their hangouts.  Sounds like some Wisconsin drinkers I know!

Sometimes you see things that are different, like this heron sunning himself.  From a couple days ago when I only had my iPhone it’s not as good an image but I’ve never seen quite this behavior before.  20161123104646455

We are here about a month now.  Oddly enough we both commented the other day that all of a sudden it feels as if our winter “vacation” has begun.  Seems there were enough irons in the fire right after our arrival that we never really got into relaxation mode… but like one of those lightbulb moments — it was off, and now it’s on!

Word on the grapevine is that the group Thanksgiving meal was glorious. More than enough for the dinner.  More than enough fro grazing that night by anyone who wanted.  More than enough desserts leftover for the group Happy Hour on Friday!  I’m glad they had fun — but that makes me all the more happy I didn’t go because I’d be ten pounds heavier today instead of just about even with my pre-holiday weight.  A guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

I think we finally sorted out Kathryn’s visit.  We have dates (at the end of Jan and beginning of Feb) and a plan for whom she’ll visit (Corpus Christi, Los Fresnos, Austin, Hill Country & Galveston) and what days she’ll be spending in Texas — and managing to get most of that time covered in her 2016 company vacation — so it will seem to her like “free” time off (not giving up any of 2017’s vacation.  It’s a good plan for us too — a couple iterations of the plan had included a lot more driving — and when we have her with us it’s nice to be able to enjoy her, not just drive around all over the country.  🙂

That’s enough for today.  Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow. Why not stop and say HI!

 

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