Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

Today has been a just-right kind of day. We slept in a little bit, took our time getting up and around, and slowly got around to making a plan for the day. Of course, by that time it was nearly afternoon!

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

Some Spicy Shopping

Yes, we've gone to the wild side - of shopping, anyway! Today, we drove to Dortha and Mark's house and left our car over there. Mark drove and the 4 of us went spice shopping. They know of a place in downtown Fort Worth, Pendery's. They specialize in all types of chili blends, as well as "regular" spices. They've recently relocated to the little house pictured:

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

Out To Lunch

It was chilly when we got up this morning. We knew it was Monday from the traffic and the construction workers that were back on the job right behind our motor home this morning. The rv park is having more cabins built, and the guys working on them are on the job almost every day, rain or shine.

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.

After lunch, they all stopped by the motor home for a while to visit.
Jim is feeling down tonight because there's no Monday Night Football, but at least there's a bowl game on, so he can wean himself gradually. Whatever will we do on Monday nights now!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just Kickin Around in Texas

Today has been a nice, quiet day. I walked the dogs, did my WiiFit, cooked breakfast, accomplished my clean-up chores, and went to Walmart this morning.

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

A Day In The Life...

We continued to get back into a semblence of routine today, although figuring out just what that means in this lifestyle isn't easy to do! It seems like our lives are never routine, but on the other hand, we aren't always quite so busy as we have been the last week or so.

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.
Here are Jim and Rusty out in the back yard. Happy Birthday, Rusty!

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

Back to "Normal"

The day after Christmas...I had many comments on my little poem, and I thank you all! We had a great time with our son, daughter and grandson. But the time flew so fast and they are already back in their own homes this evening. We visited with Jim's aunt & uncle on Christmas day, then came back and played all afternoon.

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

Tis the night before Christmas, and all through the RV,
All the creatures are snuggly, even the dogs and me.
The stockings are laid on the dashboard with care,
In hopes that dear Santa can find them all there.
The children have grown and are just visiting us now,
And still, to celebrate with them we vow.
They have their own lives, all busy each day,
But we’re glad they had time to travel this way.
Our friends are scattered ‘cross the country tonight,
We wish them all a blessed Christmas that’s bright!
Whether in wind, rain, but hopefully sun,
We hope to visit with them soon for some fun!
And so, as the campground settles down for a time,
We quietly thank God for His gifts so sublime.
And we thank Him as well for the wondrous Love
That is bigger and greater than all the stars up above!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Christmas Wish For You All

As we approach the most special night of the year, the night of the birth of Love, our wish for each of you is to celebrate in the way that means most to you.
May you be with those you love, if not in person, then in spirit. May you experience peace and comfort in your lives and joy in your heart.

We are thinking of all the wonderful people we have met through our travels this year, new friends, as well as old friendships renewed. We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

They're Here!

I guess it's true, no matter how old our children get, we still worry and fuss over them. At least, I do. I knew they would be getting in late last night after a long day of driving from Colorado Springs to Burleson. The last time I talked to Robin by phone was around 10:30 last night. They were not far out of Fort Worth, so I figured they'd make it before midnight, and I went on to bed. We'd arranged for them to stay at a hotel just up the road from us, and I'd e-mailed detailed instructions on navigating the access roads on the interstate to get there. I told Robin to call if they had any problems, and if I didn't hear anything I'd know they were in safely.

Josh called me this morning, earlier than I thought I'd hear from them. They came on over around 10:00 this morning, and we spent most of the day playing Guitar Hero amidst visiting and catching up on all the news.
In the middle is grandson Jacob (Robin's son), with son Josh and daughter Robin in the background, watching the screen as Jacob plays the song.

Here's Jacob, trying to impress his Uncle Josh by playing the guitar behind his head!

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

Day Trip

We'd made arrangements to go with Dortha and Mark to the Winstar Casino today. The casino is located just on the Oklahoma side of the Oklahoma/Texas state line, about an hour and a half from Fort Worth. We met them at a Cracker Barrel on the north side of Fort Worth at noon, and they drove.

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

Friday in Burleson

Today was the day I'd decided to go to a Weight Watchers meeting, the one that Dortha attends. I planned my route and left a little early because I didn't know for sure how long it might take to get there. I'm definitely not used to driving in big cities by myself any more!

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

Thank You, Kind Stranger!

It sort of warmed up a little today. At least, the motor home wasn't covered with ice this morning, but it was still foggy and drizzly all day. The plan today was to have Mark and Dortha come by around 11 for a little visit before driving us to lunch at Babes, a local eatery, for lunch.

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

Life in the Big City

Well, ok, we're not actually IN the city...but we're certainly not out in the country either. We're starting to figure out the routes here on the interstate access roads and where everything is.

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:

Today was also windy, but about 40 degrees colder! No windows were open today for sure. Even the dogs wanted to be bundled up:

We got out and did a little Christmas shopping, but got back home as soon as we could. I used leftover turkey to make a King Ranch Casserole which we took to Jim's aunt & uncle's house in Arlington for dinner this afternoon. Here's Ruth and Jim, getting ready to eat:

We left soon after eating so we could hopefully beat the rush hour traffic and the freezing rain that was threatening.
Here's a view of I-35W southbound from the entrance ramp off I 20 West in Fort Worth. We're very grateful that we don't have to make this drive every evening!

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

Travel Day to Burleson, Texas

We don't say "Good-Bye" in this lifestyle, instead we say "See You Later" to friends we've traveled with. Karon and Dan moved across Belton Lake today, and we moved to the RV Ranch at Burleson, Texas. We'll miss them, but we know we'll see them again before long. Oh, yes, now I can report on Dan's Christmas present - we got him a new fishing rod and reel, and a T-Shirt. For those who've met Dan, you may know he likes to wear T-shirts with "interesting" statements. This one has a little stick figure on the front, and it says, "It's funny you think I'm listening."

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:

Now we're settled in for the evening and the dogs have quit looking for the deer!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winding Down Another Adventure

Today was our last day at Cedar Ridge COE Park in Belton. Tomorrow we'll be heading North (!) to Burleson, Texas. This has been a good time, we've enjoyed reconnecting with our friends, Karon and Dan. We've had some fun, as well as providing some support while they face some challenges with Dan's health. He seems to be doing well, and Karon is renewed and reenergized a little bit.

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:

On to the next adventures!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mostly an Inside Day

Yes, I know, I said I would stop complaining about the weather in Texas, but sheesh, we don't like this cold wind. I ventured out to walk the dogs this morning, and we were all bundled up, including the dogs. We didn't spend much time outside today.

I worked on some sewing projects, which took most of the morning. Jim made his daily trip to Walmart.

We watched the wildlife, including this little fellow who has adopted our motor home as his perch:

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

Girls Day Out

Karon and I took off for our Weight Watcher's meeting at 9 this morning. We have to drive about 10 miles to the meeting location. Part of the route is on a loop that is being built around Temple, so we have to negotiate the construction zone on the way.

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

Wax On...Wax Off...

It was a fine day to wax - cloudy but warm, windy but not too windy. We worked on the driver's side today and got the whole side done:

In case you might think Jim has to do all the work by himself - I take the lower sections since it's easier for me to fit under the slides. Looking pretty shiny!

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.
This afternoon, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things. When we got back just after 5, there were 2 deer already in the yard, waiting. They just stood there and watched as I put my things down and opened the sack of corn to get a scoop. They didn't seem concerned at all as I spread the corn for them, and as soon as I came in, about 8 more showed up.
Jim is hoping he'll get a day off to go fishing tomorrow while Karon and I go to our Weight Watcher's meeting. She and I hope to get in some geocaching too, as it's been awhile since we've gone.
What a great day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday at Cedar Ridge

This turned out to be a beautiful day, once it warmed up from the 23 degrees we woke up to.

Jim took care of the laundry while I stayed behind to do my Wii Fit and some cleaning.

We filled the bird feeder yesterday, then again this morning. I spent quite a while this morning watching the various birds taking advantage of the free breakfast.

I know this is a woodpecker, but I'm not sure if it's a red-bellied or some other kind, and I never could get a better picture:

I'm not sure if this is a good enough picture to identify, but I'm wondering if this might be a black crested titmouse:

A beautiful cardinal:

By this afternoon, the bird feeder was empty again. Some of the birds come to the feeder and knock a lot of seed on the ground, then we get a crowd of birds around the ground, I saw as many as 20 there at a time.

Why did the turkeys cross the road? Because that's where the food was!

I made a pot of Weight Watchers vegetable soup for lunch. This soup has zero points and is pretty good, so it makes a great meal starter. In my previous life when I actually went to an office every weekday, I'd take a container of this soup for lunch several days a week, now I hardly ever make it. It just may become a staple around here again, though, as we both like it.

This afternoon, Karon and I ventured to Walmart. Neither one us usually likes to go there on the weekends, but we decided to brave the crowds today. It wasn't too bad, and I did come home with more birdseed, so our little friends will be happy again tomorrow.

We went out to eat this evening. Dan had a craving for Mexican food, so off we went. Karon and I both did pretty well with our choices and managed not to go over our points. She had banana pudding waiting at home, so we stopped at their house on the way home to have our dessert. Yum!
Another great day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Deer and a Day Out

We had a quiet day at home yesterday. While Karon and Dan were at the VA hospital for Dan's tests, I watched KD. It was quite a sight, I'm sure, with me walking the Schnauzer Brigade by myself.

I had a few questions posted on my last entry, so I'll try to answer those.

Regarding the planets/moon picture: That was shot using the bulb setting and holding the shutter manually for about 3 seconds. It was taken between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. Central time.

And, yes, Jenny, you can borrow the picture! Just be sure to put it back when you're done!

Jenny, putting cornmeal on the floor wouldn't work here, because the dogs think any type of food matter on the floor is their exclusive property, put there for their culinary enjoyment, but thanks for the idea!

Joe and Sherri, we'll be in Burleson on Dec. 13, so anytime after that will be great to take a drive up to the casino!

Ok, I think that covers the questions!

Karon "loaned" us their deer corn while they were away yesterday. I put some out last night and this morning. After they'd eaten all they found on the ground, this little buck decided the bird feeder would do for an additional snack. We found a higher branch in the tree for the feeder after he emptied it!

We got out and about for awhile today. It's about time to get a little Christmas shopping done, so we made our way across Temple to the local mall. Getting there was the biggest challenge, because there is road construction in town that has things pretty congested. The mall itself wasn't bad at all. We picked up some "stocking stuffers" and a couple of gifts. We no longer do a lot of gift exchanging, but we still gotta have our stockings stuffed!
This afternoon, we saw "One Horn" go to the motorhome across the street, pick up their near-empty bag of corn, toss it out to the street, and begin his evening meal a little early:

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

Dogs, Deer, and Night Skies

It's been a pretty full couple of days here in Texas. Yesterday was our Weight Watchers meeting, but before that, Karon needed to take Dan to the VA Hospital in Temple for an appointment. I needed to take the dogs to the groomer. Yes, it's true, I gave myself and the dogs a break and took them to a professional groomer. It's the first time that Jasmine has ever been to a groomer, and many years since Bo Jangles has been. They were pretty excited, that is, until I left them there!

On to Weight Watchers. Karon and I drove separately and met there. We both celebrated a loss, so that was good. We had a fun time at the meeting. I enjoy getting different perspectives as we travel across the country and I get to attend different meetings. I always feel welcomed at the meetings and I learn something new each time I go.

Karon went back to get Dan after the meeting, and I decided to get some errands done while I waited for the dogs to be finished. This is the same groomer that Karon took KD to last week, and I liked her, so decided it would a good idea to take Jasmine and Bo Jangles. She had KD done in about an hour and a half, so I didn't think it would be more that 3 or 4 hours for my two. I spent the time shopping at Petsmart for new food dishes and food for BoJangles. Then I had a sandwich at Subway and headed to Target to see what I could see there.

I made a few purchases and was just checking out when the groomer called to let me know my "kids" were ready. I went to pick them up and spent a few minutes visiting with Michelle. She did a very nice job on both dogs. She gave me lots of detail about how they behaved and so forth, which I really appreciate. They both need a little more nail trimming, and she encouraged me to take them back to her before we leave here and she will do a nail trim for no additional cost.
Jasmine and Bo Jangles relaxed after their appointment:

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

Busy Day at Cedar Ridge

For those readers who were at the RV-Dreams rally in Branson last June, you might remember a little number I did in the "Fashion Show" about how I walk my dogs in the morning. Lately, if you've been reading this journal, you've read about walking the Schnauzer Brigade.

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:

1 Box of Angel Food Cake Mix
20 oz. can of Dole Crushed Pineapple in its own juice
Add the pineapple to the dry cake mix (do not add the water that the cake directions call for)
Mix according to box directions
Pour into 13" x 9" glass baking pan
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until top is crusty and dry to touch.
The cake turns out more dense than regular angel food cake.
Cut into 12 servings for 3 WW points each, or 15 servings for 2 WW points.

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:

Then we came back and fixed our supper. While we were waiting for our meal to be ready, we saw these deer, waiting for their supper. Campers often put out corn for the deer.

It's been a fun, busy day!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We Move to Cedar Ridge

We were up and around, had breakfast, walked dogs and packed for moving by around 10 this morning. The only problem was, the people who were in the site we had reserved at Cedar Ridge had not left yet. Karon promised to call as soon as she saw them getting ready to leave.

By 12:30, we still had not heard from Karon, so I called her back. Finally, just as she answered the phone, the guy started wrapping up the electric and water. Ok, we’re on the way. We stopped at the dump station and got that little chore taken care of, and made the long drive to Cedar Ridge, not quite 7 miles from campsite to campsite.

We hardly missed a quarter of one football game! We were set up and settled in around 1:30. Karon came over to greet us and let us know she had white chicken chili cooking for dinner. We agreed that she would bring the chili over here at 4:30 for an early meal.

This is the view behind us toward the lake:
We have a little path to our picnic shelter:
Right on schedule, Karon brought our dinner and joined us for a delicious meal of white chicken chili, cornbread, tortillas, and banana pudding, yum!

We visited with her until she needed to get back home.

Pefect travel day!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last Day in White Flint COE Park

Today was our last day in White Flint COE Park at Belton Lake, but not the last day at Belton Lake. Tomorrow, we'll make a big move, all of about 6 or 7 miles, over to Cedar Ridge COE Park. Karon and Dan moved today, but the site we have reserved is occupied until tomorrow.

We drove over there this morning to take a look at our site and make sure Jim knows where the turn off is. It's a bigger and busier park than White Flint. We'll be a little further from the lake, but it's still a nice park, and we're still next to the lake. The sites are very long, with an extra space for parking the car. Each site also has a covered picnic table, just like this park has. The COE parks in this area are really very well maintained and run. They have 50 amp electric and water. Cedar Ridge also has a laundry room, although I'm not sure how many machines they have.

We'll be there for the next couple of weeks, and then we'll be going to Burleson, Texas, just south of Fort Worth, where we'll stay until mid-January. Then we will be heading down to Rockport, Texas.

Today I also got the floors vacuumed and the tile floor mopped. I walked the dogs around the park several times and played on the computer while Jim spent the day in football heaven. I'm sure he's watched about 50 college football games over the past few days. And tomorrow - well, the NFL teams will take center stage!

I fixed hamburger packets for dinner tonight, gee, it sure seems strange to cook for 2 again! These are the same kind of packets we all learned how to make when we were kids in girl or boy scouts, with onions, a hamburger patty, potatoes, mushrooms and veggies. We didn't have a camp fire, so I just used our oven, but they still turned out pretty good.

All in all, not a very exciting day, but a good one anyway!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving and The Day After

Our Thanksgiving day was spent quietly. We talked to family and friends by phone in the morning. Karon and I walked our Schnauzer Brigade around the park. I made a broccoli slaw and crustless pumpkin pie.

Jim heated the brisket, and around 2:30, Dan and Karon arrived with their contributions of potatoes and pea salad. We enjoyed our dinner, stopping to give thanks for all our blessings, especially being together with special friends.

Missing was that overstuffed feeling, thank goodness! Karon and I carefully managed our portions, and were able to enjoy snacks later on. That felt really good.

Today has been another quiet day. Karon and I made a trip into Belton to check mail, pick up a few groceries and check out a couple of rv parks. While we were gone, Jim got our laundry together and made his own trip into town to the local laundromat.

While we were out, Karon and I did some exploring. She took me to the little ghost town of The Grove, known as a "museum town":

The general store:
The well was drilled right in the middle of the main street - either that, or the street was built around the well:

Looking out from the inside of the well cover:

Post Office and another general store. The doctor's office was upstairs:

This afternoon, Karon came over and trimmed my hair for me. She has some training to do this, unlike me. She was very kind in telling me that I've done a good job of cutting my own hair, there wasn't much she had to "clean up"!

We've taken our Schnauzer Brigade out for several walks around the park.

We're covered from both directions with our guard dogs:

And that's about it for the day!