Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I needed to pick up a couple of things at Walmart, so I left Jim here and went on my own. It was crowded, but probably not any more so than any other day I've been there.
I got our reservations made for the next week or two. We're leaving here on Monday and will have the oil changed and transmission checked at a facility in Temple, Texas. Then we'll spend a few days at Granger Lake with Karon before heading down to Port Lavaca, where we'll be set up next to Sandra and Gordon for a week or so. Then we'll be heading over to Rockport for a little over a month. We are certainly looking forward to staying where it's more peaceful and quiet after our time here on the interstate!
We did a little shopping this afternoon and went to see Ruth and Wayne for a little while, then we met Dortha and Mark for a dinner at Applebees.
A big New Year's Eve celebration hasn't been part of our routine for many years, and this year is no different. Jim is watching college bowl games and I'm just enjoying the quiet evening.
We hope you all have a very Happy New Year! May all your resolutions be easy to keep and may your 2009 dreams come true!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Jim found several blends that he wanted to try, so we added to our already large spice collection.
One of our favorite spices is called Foxpoint, and is a blend carried by Penzey's spices, which has several locations all over the country. We were introduced to Penzey's by some friends we visited in California, and now we have an extensive collection of thier spices.
Their store in this area is located just a little north of Dallas, so after we'd shopped at Pendrey's, we headed over to Penzey's:
We tried to use some restraint in Penzey's, but still came away with several new spice treasures, including a huge, 2-cup jar of Foxpoint. I'm set for awhile with that one! Even though we can order from Penzey's online, I love to shop in their stores because they have "sniffing jars" of their spices on the shelves, so you can smell the spice before buying. I could spend hours in there, just sniffing away.
Lunch was next on the agenda. In the same shopping center with Penzey's, we spied a Spring Creek BBQ, so that was the natural choice. Their BBQ sauce is some of our favorite, so we stocked up on that, too. Dortha and I enjoyed a southwestern grilled chicken salad and the guys had regular meat meals.
On the way back over to Fort Worth, Mark drove us by the old Texas Stadium, then the new stadium, which is almost finished. The new stadium is going up right next to the apartment complex where Jim's mom lived before she became ill. We watched the very beginning of the construction, but had not seen it for more than a year, so it was interesting to see all the progress.
We made a stop at Costco and then headed back to Dortha and Mark's place.
A great day, for sure!
Monday, December 29, 2008
We did our usual morning routine. I'm trying to establish a habit of doing my Wii Fit every morning after the dog walk, dog feeding and coffee drinking. That Wii time sure cuts into my morning computer time, but I have a feeling it's more healthy for me! I've heard that you need to repeat an activity for at least 21 days before it starts to become a habit, so I have 18 more days before it's set.
Jim wanted to get the car washed - including the engine. We recently got the oil changed at Walmart and they made quite a mess of the job. They didn't get the filter tightened very well, so we had oil all over the place. He left in search of a car wash where he could hose off the engine.
While he was gone, I worked on cleaning the floors. I had not mopped them since before the kids came, and I'm sure I could hear them crying to be cleaned. With all the blowing dirt around here, there's always a layer of dust on everything, so I took care of the dusting too. Jim got back with a clean car before I was finished, so he worked on putting away the Christmas boxes and rearranging some compartments while we waited for the floor to dry. By this time it was sunny and very warm.
We talked to Aunt Ruth and made plans to meet them at Red Lobster for a late lunch. Uncle Wayne's sister, Sue and Jim's cousin, Glenda joined us. Lunch was really good - grilled shrimp, rice and broccoli. Oh, yes, and one cheese biscuit, which cost me as many points as the rest of the meal. It was worth it, though.
This is the whole gang, Sue, Wayne, Ruth and Jim in the front, and Glenda in the back between Sue and Wayne.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
My big event for the afternoon was a long walk with the dogs around the campground. The fierce wind of the last few days finally settled down. It's been in the high 50's, so it was just right for a good, brisk walk.
Jim has spent the day working on pictures. Santa left him a digital picture frame in his Christmas stocking, so while he watched football, he went through pictures on his computer to pick the ones he wanted to display.
Tonight we'll be watching the Broncos and Chargers.
Just a typical day, kickin around here!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This morning we experienced a quick weather change. It was around 72 degrees when we got up at 6:30 this morning. The wind was still blowing hard from the south. All of a sudden, at around 8:30 or so, a huge burst of wind occurred and the clouds looked really threatening for awhile. The wind changed direction and started blowing out of the north and the temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. It was eerily interesting to watch, but it sure looked like a tornado wouldn't be out of the question! It rained for a little while, but then the sky cleared. It has stayed cool and windy all day.
When I downloaded pictures this afternoon, I found some from Christmas day. Here are Jas and Mr. BoJangles, excited about what might be in their stockings. They had already gotten their new squeaky toys (a cow and a frog). This turned out to be new Nyla-bones!
In Ruth & Wayne's backyard, I was talking to family back in Colorado:
Today is Jim's cousin, Rusty's 50th Birthday. We went over to Ruth and Wayne's house for a birthday celebration.
When we got back home, I started undecorating the motor home. It's been too windy to put away the lights and get out our little Christmas tree storage container, so that will be a task for tomorrow, or maybe the next day. No big hurry.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Today has been a day of getting back to our "normal" routine. I went to the Weight Watcher's meeting this morning. I was happy to see that I lost a little over a pound this week. After the meeting, I came home and Jim & I went to Walmart to pick up my prescription and a few groceries. It was pretty crowded, but things moved along pretty well in spite of that.
I stayed home and cleaned a little while Jim went back out to do the laundry. Since we've had some really cold weather, we've gone through our warm clothes, which means we had an extra load or so to get done. The wind was blowing really hard all day, so I didn't put a lot of energy into cleaning because it seems as soon as I dust something, it's covered with dust again!
Jim talked me into using one of our Christmas gift cards at Applebees for dinner tonight, which I was glad to do. With all of the activity around here lately, I'm finding that I'm pretty tired and ready to have a night of relaxation!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I cooked a pot of spaghetti while Josh, Jacob, Robin and I took turns playing songs. Robin told me later that they are pretty impressed with my playing skills - I told them, "Mom Rocks!"
Late this afternoon we piled into the car and went to Ruth and Wayne's (Jim's aunt and uncle) house for drinks and dessert. We enjoyed the visit with them and the sugar free goodies they provided.
We aren't sure what the plan is for tomorrow, but it doesn't really matter. The kids are here and all is well.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Joe and Sherri met us at the casino for lunch and a little gambling on the penny machines. We managed to find some reasonable food at the buffet, like salad and shrimp. We had a good time visiting, then it was time to move on to the main event. The casino has been greatly expanded since the last time we were there, so we walked through a lot of it before we settled into an area that has a lot of penny machines.
We played penny and nickel machines for several hours. I know Jim and I actually came out with more money than we went in with, so it was a good day. We all had fun, it was great getting together again. When we came outside to head home, though, a cold wind greeted us. Wow, another cold front. One of these years, we've got to get somewhere warmer for the holidays.
Two of our kids and one grandchild are on the road as I'm writing this, on the way from Colorado Springs. They will get in late tonight, so we'll see them tomorrow!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I found the meeting location with no trouble and had just gotten there when Dortha pulled up. We went in and got checked in. We both had a loss, but she's not supposed to be losing any more because she's in her 6-week maintenance program. I still have a ways to go, so I was happy to see a loss.
We enjoyed the meeting, it's been a few weeks since the two of us attended a meeting together. I've always liked going to those meetings with friends, somehow it makes a difference to me. I've discovered I do much better sticking to the program if I'm not feeling like I'm all alone. Yes, I know, there are lots of people at the meeting, but still, it just makes it easier if I already know someone. After the meeting, we went our separate ways to the mall across the street. I still needed to get a little more Christmas shopping done! I got that taken care of and found my way back home just fine.
Dortha brought a couple of things Mark made for Jim, a box that sits on the little ledge by the steps coming into the motor home, and a rack to hold the little propane bottles we use for our portable Coleman 2-burner cook top. Thanks so much, Mark, very nice work!
This afternoon was spent catching up on my blog reading, playing a couple of computer games and going on two walks, one with the dogs, one with Jim. While I was gone this morning, Jim got the laundry done and a few things handled around the house.
We met Ruth and Wayne, and Jim's cousin Glenda, at The Rig, a local steak house, for dinner his evening. We had a good time visiting, but the food was just average. It's not a place I'd probably return to.
Tomorrow, son Josh, daughter Robin, and grandson Jacob will be driving from Colorado Springs to spend the holiday with us. We don't expect that they'll get here until pretty late, we probably won't wait up. They'll be staying at a local hotel just up the road.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Mark indicated they'd pick us up because they wanted to get a look at the RV Ranch. However, I think it was really so he could see Jasmine! He and Jas really hit it off, and she was so excited to see him!
After we visited for awhile, we went to the restaurant, which is located in downtown Burleson. It's a local favorite, well, at least as far as Mark is concerned! Vegetables, including mashed potatoes, corn and green beans, are served family-style. Each person orders the meat they want. Choices include fried chicken, mesquite smoked chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken fingers, pot roast, or fried catfish. See a trend there? About the most WW friendly choice was the mesquite smoked chicken, which Dortha and I both ordered. Mark had the fried chicken and Jim got the chicken fried steak. We continued our visiting while we ate, getting caught up with each others' activities over the past few weeks.
When it came time for the check, our waitress explained that the gentleman at the table behind us paid for our lunch! It seems she thought we were part of their very large group and put our bill on their tab. When she pointed out her mistake to the gentleman, he told her to just leave it that way. Thank you, whoever you are! We will certainly "pay forward" your generosity.
After lunch, we visited the shops that are located in the same building with the restaurant, then went to a nearby shopping center and looked at several stores. Jim and I bought an electric blanket because I'm tired of being cold at night! Jim doesn't get so cold, and we leave the thermostat turned kind of low at night. I plan to be cozy and warm all night now!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Yesterday we braved Walmart to get groceries. We also got our few Christmas decorations put up. It was very windy all day, but it was warm enough to have the door and windows open.
I roasted a turkey breast for dinner while Jim watched football. It was a laid-back, relaxing day. Here's our decorated motor home with lights around the windshield and along the patio:
We left soon after eating so we could hopefully beat the rush hour traffic and the freezing rain that was threatening.
We've got the water hose disconnected and put away for the night, as the temperature is expected to get down to the low 20's. The good news is that it's supposed to warm up again in a couple of days. Can't wait!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Today we traveled 111 miles and got 8.7 mpg. We left Cedar Ridge at about 10 a.m. and pulled into RV Ranch about 12:15.
This park is right on I-35W, so we will be getting used to traffic noise for a few days. After the quiet time we spent at Rainbow Plantation in Alabama and Cedar Ridge at Belton Lake, this is major culture shock! We're parked in the new section of the property, where the sites are arranged so that 2 rigs share a triangle-shaped yard. Right now there isn't anyone parked in our "Buddy" site, we'll see how that works out if someone does move in. In the picture below, you can see our Phaeton pulled in facing the camera. If someone does take the other site, they would be parked facing the opposite direction.
After we got set up, we called Jim's aunt and uncle and arranged to meet them for an early dinner at a Cracker Barrel not far from their house. We got caught up with their activities since we saw them last summer, had a decent meal that I didn't have to cook, and then came back home to relax.
With the wind blowing dust all over the place, the sky put on some nice colors at sunset:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Today just seemed to slip on by. It was about 27 degrees this morning when we got up, but it warmed quickly and turned into a nice, warm day. I did my Wii Fit, caught up on some blog reading, listened to some Christmas music, made soup, walked, and visited with Karon. She made 2 pecan pies - one using Uncle Bubba's recipe and one a lower calorie version. Jim wrapped up all the outside stuff, like chairs, yard art, bird feeder, water hoses and so forth.
I made dinner for the 3 of us, Dan was not up to joining us. We celebrated Christmas with Karon, exchanging gifts. She and Dan gave Jim a selection of True Texas Salsa and a little chocolate, and they gave me the Smithsonian Handb00k of Birds - what a wonderful treat!
Thank you, Karon and Dan!
We gave Karon a basket with various aromatherapy products, which she was going to try right away. I can't tell you what Dan's present is, because he hasn't opened it yet!
The peace and quiet, birds and deer have reenergized us too, now I think we're ready to get back to "City Life" for a little while. See, another thing I love about this lifestyle is we get to have both - peace and quiet in the country and the hustle and bustle of city life when we want that.
The sunset over Belton Lake from a few days ago:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Later this afternoon, Karon came by to see if I'd like to ride along with her to check their mail and make a quick stop at - you guessed it - Walmart. I said sure, so we started to leave. When we went outside, "One Horn" was waiting around, looking for his handout. Karon encouraged me to see if he'd come up to me, since he sure doesn't act afraid of us.
I threw a few kernels of corn out for him, and then held the dish out and stood still, and here he came:
After we got back from Walmart, I practiced Guitar Hero for a while and then fixed dinner.
Even cold, windy days like this are good days.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
We both showed a weight loss for the week. My total loss since the end of September is approaching 20 pounds, so that's encouraging. We got the low-down on the new program aspects and got new books. I also bought some blueberry crunch snack bars which they are discontinuing. I got six boxes, so I'll have them for awhile. Well, as long as I don't go off the deep end and eat about 3 boxes in one sitting, anyway.
After the meeting, we went geocaching. I'd downloaded about 9 caches in the Temple area, and several were close to the meeting location. We found the first one with no problem, gave up on the second after quite a while poking around the exterior of a fast food place, then went the the third location, which just happened to be right outside the local mall. We found the geocache and then went in to the mall.
Karon needed to exchange an item for a gift she's sending a friend, and I wanted to walk and browse. We shopped for awhile and stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch. As far as fast food places go, that's one that has a few reasonably healthy choices.
After lunch we headed out for a little more shopping and one last geocache before we headed home. That cache just happened to be right outside another store we both love to shop in - Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The weather started out nice and warm this morning, but by the time we'd shopped and geocached for a couple of hours, the wind was up and the temperature was down. We were both dressed lightly, so we decided to cut short the geocaching and head home.
After a brief stop at home to change clothes and get Jim, he and I went back out to do a little more Christmas shopping and decided to eat out. I managed to find a healthy option at a local barbeque restaurant.
I got to combine two of my favorite activities today, shopping and geocaching - always fun!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Here are a few of the deer who regularly show up for their handouts. We've had up to 18 deer right outside our door.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Who says deer aren't smart!
We've been having pretty chilly weather the past couple of days, I'm ready for some warmer temperatures! It was just under 32 degrees when we got up this morning, and the same is predicted for tonight. I know I shouldn't complain, we have friends "up North", but I really do not like it even this cold! Oh well, if that's all I have to complain about, it's a pretty great day!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Today I spent attacking ants! While I was out and about yesterday, Jim took advantage of the warm weather and washed the motor home. I guess the water attracted the ants, and they marched right up our water hose and made themselves entirely too much at home in our home! We took care of their entry point, and then I cleaned them out.
One of the major activities here at Cedar Ridge is the daily deer feeding. Most of the campers around us have big bags of deer corn that they put out early in the morning, and again in the evening. The deer wait in the trees and then come out to enjoy their meals.
These are either playing or having a little territorial dispute:
A nice, young buck:
The buck and the one we call "One Horn":
Night before last, Jim set up his tripod to get a picture of the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus, and the moon. This is how it looked to us. Pretty awesome!
I interuppted my cooking this evening to capture the colors of the sunset:
Does it get much better than this?
Monday, December 1, 2008
Here's how I really walk the dogs in the morning, and here are Karon and I with the Schnauzer Brigade after a 2-mile walk this morning:
After our walk, it was time for a shower and a quick breakfast before a shopping trip to Walmart to stock up. Karon went along with us to the store. Jim went off to the hardware and who -knows-what section, while Karon and I shopped for groceries, talking about Weight Watchers ideas and checking points value of food as we moved through the aisles.
Back home, time for lunch and a little break before my practice session on Guitar Hero. I'm going to be moving up from easy to medium difficulty pretty soon!
I baked an angel food-pineapple cake this afternoon. I had a request to post the recipe, it's pretty easy to do:
After another dog walk, Jim and I wandered over to sit awhile in this "porch swing" that sits in the field behind our site:
We enjoyed the sun and looking at the lake for a little while, then wandered over to these stairs...
...that lead down to this fishing dock:
We went down to the dock and looked around at the view from the bottom of the cliffs. If you look closely, you might be able to see the fence along the top, that's the edge our back yard:
It's been a fun, busy day!