Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29/2012 Today is THE Day!

Nearly everyday for the past several months I have been doing something online in preparation for today.

What is so special about today? Today Publisher’s Clearing House should be stopping down the street from Site # 187, gathering their balloons, adjusting the dozen long stemmed roses so they present perfectly and making sure my name is spelled right on that oversized, cardboard check.

I’ve done everything right. I’ve clicked this and clicked that and supplied my cross road. I’ve decided how I want my payment, what color new car I want if I win the extra special prize. I’ve done this every day for months. Sometimes several times a day. I never missed one of the strictly enforced deadlines for each entry.

I’ve been told that someone in my town with the initials MQ will be awarded $10,000! How many people with same initials, MQ, can there be in Mission, Texas? I looked in the local phone book and believe me there aren’t a whole lot of last names that start with the letter Q here in this part of the Valley. I didn’t see any Michael or Marian Quashne’s, I didn’t see any Mark or Melinda Quayles or even a Matthew or Michelle Quesenberry’s. It’s gotta be me, right? If I don’t win the BIG ONE then I should at least get the 10,000 bucks!

So today I wait. I won’t go anywhere. Laundry will have to wait, after all I don’t want them to have to chase me all over the RV park. Besides, who would want to be surprised on national TV with a million dollar prize while folding underwear?

I won’t shower today. What if they came in the middle of it? There’s no way I could hold a dozen roses, a handful of balloon strings, accept the oversized, cardboard check and hold my towel closed all at the same time!

I’ll make a dinner that is “neat”. Certainly not spaghetti! Oh my, what if they come right as I am making dinner and I had spaghetti sauce spattered on my shirt?

I hope they come early, it’s a sunny day and I’d like to spend the afternoon at the pool.

At day’s end……

Well, its been hours and hours since I started this post. Its dark outside. I don’t think they’re coming.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28/2012 I Had NO Idea!

Just a few weeks ago Bob and I got new phones. Just your basic phone, it folds in half, it takes pictures, it has a built in tip calculator and a handy dandy alarm clock. Ho hum.

Of course when we went in to pick up our new phones we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to a smart phone. Nah, we said, we just want ones that we can use to call friends and family and take a picture if the camera isn’t handy.

We have lots of friends with these phones that look like rectangular boxes, but we just never felt the need to be able to connect to the Internet to play Angry Birds and we have a GPS in the truck thank you very much. So we opted for free which certainly worked for this Queen of Cheap.

Mistake, big mistake! I didn’t know what a mistake it was until I found out about appSmitten. Blogher introduced this to me and even though I don’t have this phone (yet) I was curious as to what it is that is so darn special about these more advanced iPhones, IPads and even Droids.

Well little did I know what all can be done with these devices. I signed up for the newsletter to get my education and what I learned practically floored me. I had NO idea!

So what is this appSmitten that opened my eyes?

*appSmitten hand-selects the best apps and sends recommendations directly to people's inboxes

*appSmitten focuses on finding the apps that are worth downloading - the ones that will keep you organized, entertained and productive

*There are over 1 million apps out there and finding the best ones is like finding a needle in a haystack so appSmitten is doing it for you.

*appSmitten is a free newsletter that covers the best apps for iPhone, iPad and Android

*appSmitten offers bite-sized app recommendations from a trusted source so you don't have to go hunting to find good apps.

When I received my first newsletter I found out that while you are shopping you can scan the price tag with the phone or iPad and find out if you can get it cheaper elsewhere! Who knew?

I learned you can make the perfect to do list with TeuxDeux, An app that will keep you organized and little things in life won’t slip through the cracks anymore.

Want to know all about wine? There’s an app for that! Want to know if it’s the best time to buy new technology? There’s an app that tells you to go ahead and buy or if there is new technology that will be out soon it tells you to wait!

Need learning apps for the kids in your life? appSmitten can point you in the right direction. Learning apps or just plain fun and games apps, let appSmitten find the best of the best for you.

You can click appSmitten to sign up for your own free daily or weekly newsletter for the best of the best apps for the device you have.

Let appSmitten help you find your appy place!

I’ve introduced several friends to appSmitten and I’ve gotten Facebook messages and emails thanking me because they have found some pretty cool apps they didn’t know were out there.

In the meantime, I’m going shopping for an iPhone! In my best Independence Day, Will Smith voice, I’m saying, “I gotta me one of these!”

Disclosure: I am participating in an affiliate program with appSmitten and I will be paid a small amount for newsletter subscribers.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2/27/2012 The Doctor Finally!

It was him or me. One of us was not going to make it through the day if Bob did not get to the doctor today.

I called the clinic in McAllen and they said they took walk-ins to come on over. Great!

We get there and are told they booked solid for the day. Come back tomorrow. There was no arguing with them, believe me.

So Bob decides to go to the doctor I went to. I couldn’t remember where he was located. I knew the general area but that’s about it and Bob wasn’t in the mood for a wild goose chase. I went to the Internet and found his website and called to make sure he was in and the receptionist told me he was no longer with that practice and she didn’t know where he went and didn’t have a phone number for him. Come on lady, Mission isn’t that big!

So we went to the local pharmacy and asked if they had an address for him. They did and off we went. After we got there we realized it wouldn’t have been that much of a wild goose chase after all.

So Bob goes in while I waited in the truck. There were sick people in there and I didn’t want it again! He was back in five minutes only to say the doctor wasn’t in and would be back at 2:30. Back home we go.

At quarter after two he leaves to go to the doctor and again and 20 minutes later he’s back. The doctor will now return at 3:30.

This is not a good day, are you feelin’ that vibe?

Finally at 3:20 we both got in the truck to go once again. We decided that after the doctor visit we would go out and get something to eat.

Bob came out ten minutes later and all I could think was OH NO! not again. Surprisingly, he had seen the doctor. For a whole five minutes. The doctor listened to his chest and wrote out a prescription. No needles in the backside like I had. No cough medicine. No steroids. Just one scrip for amoxicillin and an over the counter decongestant.

It took a lot longer to get the prescription filled than he spent with the doctor.

After a dinner of Mexican food it was home for the night to get this medicine started.

He finally went to the doctor!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/24-2/26/12 A Little This, A Little That, A Whole Lotta Other

We were off during this period and as usual we didn’t do anything because Bob is still down with the Texas Crud or whatever it is he has. He IS going to the doctor on Monday if it kills me, or him, whichever falls first.

Spring has sprung here in the Valley. We have temps in 90’s one day and the low 70’s the next. The rain system we were in for so long seems to have moved out.

We still have oranges on the trees.


When I go to the grocery store I always have to park way in the back of the parking lot because of the size of our truck. As I walk towards the store I can’t help but notice my surroundings and the cars coming towards me. I would lay dollars to donuts that one out of every four cars has a long horizontal crack across the windshield. I imagine it is from the intense heat here in the summer. We’ll have to remember to keep the windows cracked the temps climb these next few weeks. On second thought, do windows crack due to intense interior heat? Anybody?

You may have noticed that I’ve added some more blogs to the list of the ones we follow. One, in particular, I would like to point out to you. Especially if you are new to RV’ing, a newbie fulltimer or are still a wannabe. The site, RVRoadTrip belongs to our friends Jerry and Cynthia (Bama) who are in this park with us just a few doors (sites) down. This website is LOADED with information on everything Rv’ing. They put their whole lives out there for you including how to RV on less than $1500.00 a month. Yes, it can be done, they’re doing it! Want to install solar panels? Jerry did it and gives you step by step instructions on how to do it. They even have a cute video about their dog but you’ll have to check it out for yourself. I’ll only say that I didn’t know dogs got embarrassed! (Look in February’s blog entries)

I’ve got several more blogs I’m going to add and when I get them up I’ll let you know. If you are an RV’er and write a blog and want to link to this blog just send me your link,,,,and I’ll send you mine.

As I mentioned earlier, spring has sprung here in southern Texas. Here is something I’ve never seen before and in fact never even gave it a thought until Bama pointed it out. I’m sure you’ve all heard of an aloe plant. You may have one growing in your home and when you get a mild burn or minor scrape or cut you might break off a piece and spread the juice over the wound to precipitate healing. I’ve seen dozens of these plants and have even grown one or two myself. What I didn’t know is that they flower.


They haven’t opened yet but when they do the flowers will be orange, pink, red or yellow. These buds are still pretty tight so I don’t how long it will take but I’m hoping to be here long enough to see them bloom.

To tickle your funny bone…..

This is a story which is perfectly logical to all males:

A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6." A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk. The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?" He replied, "They had eggs." (I'm sure you're going back to read this again!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2/23/2012 Is That You Snookie???

We enjoyed a sunny day in the neighborhood today. Any day it doesn’t rain is a good one. We didn’t do much of anything today as Bob is still down with the crud.

In the later afternoon I decided to go for a walk around the block just to get outside for awhile. I didn’t get far, just enough that I had walked around the corner and was on the back road that our place faces. Just walking along, minding my own business when I hear, “Snookie? Is that you Snookie?” I looked over to a woman now getting out of her car and I know who she is and I know where I know her from but the name is nowhere to be found. She told me that she and her husband, who is now out of the car too, are going to be workamping here next year and they were here to check it out and pick out what spot they want to be in.

I had met this couple last year in Quail Run. In fact, we had talked quite often and now I can’t think of her name! Ugh, I am so bad at names. So we talked for awhile and she tells me they had just gotten back from Mexico with none other than George and Jo Becker, more friends from Quail Run. She went on that they were in the neighborhood at a local motel and would be leaving in the morning,

We bid each other farewell and I went home to tell Bob that his buddy, George, was in town. I thought for sure Bob would say to hop in the truck and let’s go see them but he reminded me that he’s sick and that he didn’t think it was a good idea to go visiting. I was disappointed because I would have liked to have gone.

Well, I sat here and ran through the alphabet trying to put a letter to a name that would spark something so that I could remember this woman’s name. Nothing worked. I finally called the office and told the manager that a workamping couple for next year was just looking at the site behind us and she replied, “Oh, you mean Ron and Judy?” YES! Ron and Judy, now I remember! That was going to drive me crazy if I hadn’t called the office.

I got dinner on and was waiting for the potatoes to cook when there was a knock at the door. I turned around and who’s standing there, none other than George and Jo. They had called Judy for something and she told them that they had run into me and where we were.

We had a wonderful visit for about two hours. We ate waaayyyy late tonight but it was so worth it to see these two friends again.

You just never know when you are going to run into people you know when you are a full time RV’er,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2/22/2012 I’ve Got An Overabundance Of……


In the past few months I have been overwhelmed with address labels. I get them from the VFW, Disabled Veterans, and another military organization whose name slips my mind right now.

It started with the Disabled Veterans. With Bob being a Viet Nam and Desert Shield/Storm veteran and holding a Lifetime Membership in the VFW, we support these organizations when they ask for donations.

I had fallen off their radar screen in the last few years somehow and I hadn’t gotten any solicitations in several years.

The first one was Disabled Veterans, I got a few address labels with their solicitation for a check from me. Nice labels. All is good. I wrote out a check and sent if off.

The word got out, the Quinn’s are an easy mark. The address labels started pouring in.


Along with address labels came the requests for checks. No problem, we support these organizations anyway, we believe in what they do. I added their labels to my stockpile and wrote out a check.

And then…..

I started getting labels from organizations I’d never heard of before. I kept their labels, they got no check.

Now not only are we getting these handy-dandy labels for which I have very little use in this age of online bill paying and email but now I’m getting notepads too. Actually, I like the notepads, keep sending them!


A couple of days ago I got a very patriotic keychain, with a request for yet another donation. Granted, we didn’t write a six figure check to the VFW, heck it was equal to what I spend in laundry a month if the truth be known, but come on, I just sent you a check two months ago!


We also get fancy labels to seal our letters with!


Now they are really playing on my emotions. I got the card yesterday, it even had an American flag on it. Oh yes, I’m a sucker for anything with our country’s banner on it. I am a now an official, card carrying, ::drum roll please:: GOLD CIRCLE MEMBER for 2012! I’ve even got my own ten digit supporter number!


While I think all these little incentives are nice to receive, kinda, sorta, I have to wonder how much money these organizations spend on these freebies. Shouldn’t all the money spent on getting these cards bought, printed and mailed, not to mention all the correspondence that comes with it, couldn’t that money be spent on the cause?

Anybody need an address label? I’ve got an overabundance of them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2/21/2012 Are We in Mission……or Mayberry???

As the title asks, Mission or Mayberry? It was hard to tell today and I’ll explain why in just a little bit.

As I’ve mentioned previously Bob has been hit yet again with the Texas Crud and I think this is worst bout yet. Has he been to a doctor? No. “Why not?” you ask. I’d have to answer that with, “Good question!”. He gives me lip service every evening, “Yeah, I’ll go to the doctor tomorrow” but somehow he never seems to get there. It’s really starting to get on my nerves, I can tell you that.

Needless to say we didn’t do anything with him feeling this bad. I did attend another show over at the other park with “Bama” in the evening. I’ll explain that name. We have two Cynthia’s who work in the office and to differentiate between the two, workamper Cynthia, who hails from Alabama, is called Alabama or Bama for short.

So Bama, her husband Jerry and I went to see the Gomer and Patsy Show. This is a couple that do a comedy routine, sing and the fellow does impersonations. He has Gomer, of The Andy Griffith Show, down to a T! If you shut your eyes and just listened you would swear Jim Nabors was standing in front of you.

“Gomer” even dressed the part in his fillin’ station uniform of khaki pants and shirt, grease rag hanging out of the his back pocket and and a keychain attached to his belt loop and he wore the ball cap, cocked just so, just like Gomer.


He had lots of fun with Gomer, Goober and Barney. Oh yeah, he has ol’ Barney Fife down too, including facial expressions.

Now Patsy, actually her name, Patsy sings, well, Patsy as in Patsy Cline. She has a very nice voice and is a pleasure to listen to.


Gary (Gomer) does several other impressions that are spot on. Bill Clinton graced our stage as did Mr. Haney from Green Acres. Crazy Guggenheim also made an appearance as did Foster Brooks.

Mission Bell can also say ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING! Oh wait, make that GOMER IS IN THE BUILDING!


Actually, he does Elvis very well.


He certainly had the women swooning!


They did a couple of duet numbers and before we knew it the show was over and we were left wanting more.


It’s easy to understand why they one of the most popular acts in the Rio Grande Valley.


They hope to break into the Arizona snowbird circuit soon. I hope they do because Arizona, you’re gonna love ‘em!

Monday, February 20, 2012

2/20/2012 Round 3 – Down for the Count!

The Texas Crud has returned to Site # 187. Bob woke up this morning feeling horrible! Neither one of us got much sleep with all the coughing, hacking, choking. Sore throat, aches and he feels like he’s been through the ringer. It’s a workday for us and I told him to stay home, that I could cover what we need to do but he wouldn’t hear of it.

Luckily, there was a huge craft sale going on in the sister park so we really couldn’t do too much there because of the increased traffic. It made our day somewhat easier.

The shuffleboard players met us around ten o’clock this morning at the courts so a special cleaning could be done. The shuffleboard courts here have large mats made of hard interlocking plastic on them which is the playing field.

Click to view larger Shuffleboard Poly Court image...

The old cement courts were deteriorating and these were laid on top. The players here seem to really like playing on these courts but there is one drawback. Next to the courts is a very large tree. A dirty tree if you will. November, December and most of January it dropped thousands and thousands of leaves on the courts. The stems would get caught in the holes of the court and get broken when someone walked on the courts or if it rained and we took a broom to the courts to clear them.

Click to view larger Poly Court Tile image...

Over time, this debris built up and it was getting harder to blow the junk out of the holes. Today was the day to clean underneath. There were a half dozen of us or so that stood on one side and lifted the courts straight up on their sides so that Bob could take the leaf blower and get all the junk off the court underneath. We couldn’t believe how much dirt was under the courts!

If you want more info on these shuffleboard courts check out this site. Allen R. Shuffleboard Company (Pictures taken from this site)

Bob was glad when our morning work hours were over. He settled in for the afternoon but did manage to rally to go to the Golden Oldies Show over at the other park in the evening.

We had front row seats and we sang along and danced in our seats with the three singers who came to entertain us. Let me clarify that, we sang along, I danced in my seat. The singers, 1 woman and 2 men brought back lots of memories for everyone as they sang their way through the 50’s and 60’s. Nope, didn’t take the camera. I wish I had but I wasn’t thinking that there would have been costumes. After all, who can resist taking a picture of an Elvis wannabe, especially a height challenged, bald, paunchy, sixty something Elvis wannabe.

It was good show and we’re glad we went, however, Bob was really glad to get home as he was feeling pretty bad.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2/18-2/19/2011 My Little Brother Turns 50!

Note: I added more to this post.

We started back to work for another 4 days and skies are threatening to open up and pour buckets down any minute.

On Sunday, my little brother, Billy, turned 50.

Billy and Chelle.bmp


I like this time of year. There are six months that I can say I am eight years older than him. Once my birthday hits I am nine years older and he doesn’t let me forget it!

Bob woke up this morning with a scratchy throat, I hope we’re not headed towards round three with the Texas Crud with him. Bob has NEVER been sick this much. This is someone who rarely gets a cold.

We finally put our deep fryer to use. I had taken a 10 pound turkey out earlier in the week and now that it was finally thawed and the wind had died enough to get a flame to stay, today was the day!

Bob took charge of this whole operation and I made the side dishes.

I’d like to say this was without error but I can’t. It was our first time and it was a learning experience. Bob learned how to deep fry a turkey and I learned a whole new string of cuss words.

The turkey is ready.


Now I have to admit, I’m not real comfortable around these deep fryers. I have this fear of stumbling and falling into and knocking it over and being terribly burned. I keep my distance. This is definitely going to be a Bob project.

Slowly it gets lowered into the hot oil.


I stood back, even the sizzling sound as it gets lowered into the oil makes me nervous.


Some time later, we won’t talk about how much time later, this was a learning experience after all,,,,darn timer that couldn’t be allowed to run out ‘cuz you had to wait to re-light the burner.

Anyway, my side dishes were done and were cooling on the stove (take that as a hint) when Bob announced the bird was done. I quickly warmed things up and he brought the beautifully browned bird in. Did I take a picture? Heck no! I was so hungry the camera was the last thing on my mind!

Oh did that turkey ever taste good! I don’t think I will ever, ever, cook a turkey in the oven again. Bob never eats the turkey skin whereas I have no problem peeling that off in strips and gobbling it down. That changed! I had to practically fight him for it. Lucky for me he was satisfied quickly and left the rest alone. No, I didn’t eat it all, I know better, but darn if it wasn’t good!

Overall, I’d rate this a huge success!

Friday, February 17, 2012

2/16-2/17/2012 Hitch Itch Has Set In

It’s official! Hitch itch has set in big time. We just can’t take this weather much more. Rain and clouds and it just seems never ending. The forecast for the next four days is rain.

Speaking of hitch itch, Bob has our route planned out. I told you a little while back that he was working on it. Well, turns out he must be reading my mind because the places I wanted to go, but we hadn’t talked about, are the cities he’s plotted for our trip east. I can’t wait to get to some of these places! We’re not visiting new states but new cities in those states. It’s going to be quite the journey with lots of sights to see in each state.

I got something in email the other day that really brought something forth that I had no idea about. I think its important enough to share it here. I hope that if it isn’t circulating in your email list then you’ll copy and paste this and get it started.

Here it is:

Dr. Oz had a show on the fastest growing cancer in women,
thyroid cancer. It was a very interesting program and he mentioned that the increase could possibly be related to the use of dental x-rays and mammograms.

He demonstrated that on the apron the dentist puts on you for your dental x-rays there is a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped
around your neck. Many dentists don't bother to use it. Also, there is
something called a "thyroid guard" for use during mammograms.

By coincidence, I had my yearly mammogram the other day. I felt a bit silly, but I asked about the guard and sure enough, the technician had one in a drawer. I asked why it wasn't routinely used. Answer: "I don't know. You have to ask for it." Well, if I hadn't seen the show, how would I have known to ask?

We need to pass this on to our daughters, nieces, mothers and all our
female friends and husbands tell your wives.

Isn’t email a wonderful thing?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

12/15/2012 The Mattress Pad Story

I have been saving my plastic bag from HEB (my grocery store here in Mission, Texas) Walmart and the tomato store when I go there.

I have other bags already bagged up and ready to go.


I had heard about this project that takes place on the Mission Bell side of the park shortly after we arrived and I was excited about it from day one.

Today, I joined about 40 other men and women and did something so worthwhile, so important for the recipients, so fulfilling, so….needed.

Lets start at the beginning. Back in 1996, the children in St. John’s Vacation Bible School (Nebraska) made mattress pads for the homeless as a mission project. For fifteen minutes each day, each Bible School group, or class, would work by stuffing plastic grocery bags into the tubes of the mattress material that was previously sewn. Usually denim, or a heavier upholstery material is used as the mattress covering.

How exactly this project made its way to Mission Bell is unclear to me. I do know that it started back in 2001 with eight or so women gathered in a motorhome to stuff the approximately 510 plastic grocery bags into the tubes.

The finished mattress pads were then donated to Hidalgo Mission, which is just a mile or so from the Mexico border, and they would be given to anyone who had no bed. In addition, every week people would walk across the border with a list of 8 – 10 clothing items they needed for their family, they would have a meal, attend a church service and be given a sack of food before they journeyed home. When they returned the following week, their clothing needs would be met and given to them. Every Thursday about 160 people would make the trek. Ten years later, I would imagine the number is higher now for those who come every week.

The Winter Texans of this park save their plastic bags all year round. They make sure room is left in the RV or the trunk of the car to transport all the ones saved in the spring, summer, and early fall.

So today was the first of two days that the mattress stuffing will take place.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I walked in the room over at Mission Bell. I certainly didn’t expect to see huge black leaf bags stuffed to the brim with plastic grocery store bags, plastic sleeves that newspapers are delivered in, bread bags, bags from Sears, Penney’s, Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s and the list goes on. Bags of every size and color.

Here the ladies start fluffing the bags. Since they are all mashed together in bags when they arrive each on is fluffed.



The mattress pads are constructed from 56 to 60 inch wide denim, sailcloth or other firm material. For an adult size mattress pad it takes 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 yards of material. I was told that the material is bought by the Winter Texans here in the park. They are always looking for high dollar coupons and clearance on end bolts in their fabric stores at home. The material is folded in half lengthwise and the ends sewn. Then the tubes are made by stitching every four and a half inches leaving nine inches at the end for the pillow.


Let the stuffing begin!



Jeannette from Iowa has joined in this worthwhile activity for several years now.


Ladies, and gentlemen, came and went all day long, Delivering bags they saved, fluffing bags, stuffing, , sewing the mattress pads themselves. Some stayed for a half hour, others stayed all day.


After each tube is filled, and all the bags pushed as far as they will go with a stick, then the end is pinned until it can be sewn shut.


Note: When kids do this project, the tubes are made first so that kids can fill with bags from each side at the same time.

Shirley getting more bags for fluffing.


This one is coming along nicely.


Busy bees…..


My sweet friend Phyliss came over and fluffed for awhile.


Much determination goes into getting those bags in there nice and tight.


I didn’t lay on one of these mattress pads but I did lean across one and they are surprisingly comfortable. Light enough to be carried and comfortable too! That’s a good combination.

There was a good mix of men and women helping out today.


Gerald, of Iowa, was just tickled to be able to help with such a worthy cause.


The completed mattress pads will be picked up tomorrow by a gentleman from His Hands Ministry. In the most recent years this group here in Mission Bell has been donating them to this organization.

If you have a youth group, Scout troop, church group, senior citizen group or anyone at all that needs a project, I have the written directions on how to make these pads. I would be happy to share them with you. Leave me a comment with contact info. (I won’t publish your information)

I’ll close this with these thoughts. This was a very rewarding day in more ways than one. I met and got to spend time with some wonderful men and women I otherwise would not have. I got to fluff many bags that will give comfort to a man or woman who has no bed. I went home thankful for my soft sheets and warm blanket. Given the chance, I would do this again in heartbeat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

2/10-2/13/2012 Four Days of CLOUDS & RAIN!

A few things….

First and foremost welcome to new Frequent Reader, MVP8439. I wonder if we know you, your picture looks familiar. If not, welcome anyway and we hope you enjoy the journey.

I thought I had posted a picture of the ice maker we had for a day. I know I did but somehow it got lost somewhere between Live Writer and Blogger. So here’s a picture of the icemaker that we are now waiting for to be delivered. Again.

Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Bob cut off the eight inches of cord including the plug and peeled the sticker off the back and attached it to the invoice and I took it to the post office to get this replacement process started. Now remember what you just read here, this is important.

I never thought an icemaker with no means of plugging it in would make my blood run cold and make me think of a 1958 Plymouth Fury. I was in the house looking up something on the computer when I heard this very familiar noise. I knew the noise and I had heard it recently but I just couldn’t place it. For the sake of argument lets say the noise level was that of…oh,say… a washing machine in the wash cycle. I sat there and I listened and suddenly my blood ran cold. I actually shivered. I heard the icemaker! (Insert Twilight Zone music here) How could that be? I took the cord/plug to the post office! It was like Stephen King’s Christine all over again! The icemaker had grown a cord and come back to life! I jumped up and went outside only to find Bob standing before our outside table with the icemaker sitting there with the cover off and it was running! How can this be???? As it turns out Bob had another plug with some cord attached to it and he spliced the two cords together. He wanted to see if he could figure out what was making the noise and if it was fixable. If it had been we would have taken the original icemaker to the park model in Arizona. It seems as though the compressor was the problem and a replacement was just not cost effective. Darn thing scared me!

The rainy season has hit the Valley. We are so ready to move on now. It has rained so much that we couldn’t even move our truck for a few days. Our parking space on this lot is in a little valley if you will and rainwater settled in this area and our tires were sitting in about two inches of water. Our truck is sitting on dirt, or in this case, in mud, and we’ve seen the deep ruts other trucks have made trying to get out of their spaces. Luckily, Toni was kind of enough to run me to the store (and post office) to stock up on a few things, think beer and Crystal Light Iced Tea, until we could get our truck out without making a mess.

This rain has cut down on our work hours too. One day when everything was soaking wet we did what we could do and called it a day. Another it rained most of the morning with short breaks. On that day Bob went out alone to do what had to be done during those short dry spells.

We really need to get out of this park and go do SOMETHING. I’m even burnt out on games. As much as I enjoy the company it’s the same thing every day and its just gotten old so I’m taking a break from the game playing for awhile.

When we’re off for the next four days we were hoping to get out and about and maybe even take a daytrip to South Padre Island. Then Bob looked at the forecast, Rain.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2/9/2012 Ice by the Bucketful…or Not

Yesterday afternoon our new portable ice maker arrived thanks to our friendly neighborhood Fed Ex driver. It seems like we all know him, he’s in the park everyday.

I was excited to rip open the box and pour the water in to get those ice cubes churning out. Not so fast Bob told me. We have to let the coolant settle. We did take it out of the box and it fit nicely where we wanted it until we noticed the fan/vent on the side next to the wall was an intake vent instead of an output vent. Well, this spot wasn’t going to work. Regardless, since it was only sitting anyway we left it there overnight.

After a pancake breakfast that Bob made for us it was time to check our new ice maker out. We briefly looked at the directions to make sure we knew what we were doing as far as set up was concerned. As I read them out loud we determined that we were good to go, GET THE WATER!

Water tank filled, its time to plug ‘er in and get those ice cubes started. We should have the first batch in 9 minutes.

Bob plugged it in and we just looked at each other. Whoa, this is LOUD! Really loud. We have several friends who have these portable ice makers and I didn’t ever recall having heard theirs at all unless they dropped cubes. This is strange. I called LaVon and asked her if hers was loud when they first started. Nope, not loud at all. Oh great!

I can equate the level of sound coming from this table top ice maker to a washing machine in the wash cycle. Much too loud for an ice maker.

We gave it a few minutes and I called the company. Press one if you want to speak to someone in English. Press two for French. Press three for Spanish. Press for Chi,,,I pressed one. Press one if this is your first time calling this company. Press tw….I pressed one. Press one if you are calling about an air conditioner, a room air conditioner or any other cooling device. I had to listen until I could press 4, for all other small appliances. Press one if you are calling to check on your already placed order. This time I had to listen to five options until I got to Press five for all other questions. What happened to the days when you called a company, a real life operator answered and you said, “Customer Service please”? A click of her finger later and you heard a ring and Voila’ there was a customer service rep. I want those days back! This press one, press three is not progress to me.

“Hello, this is Giselle, thank you for calling Haier today, I hope your day is going well” is what I heard in an unmistakable French accent. Oh great, I called France. “Hi Giselle, my brand new out of the box ice maker sounds like a washing machine.” Quickly, too quickly, she responded, “Yes, it will be noisy for 24 hours and then will settle down.” Really? Really Giselle? “Uh, ok thanks.” Click.

I went through the instructions booklet again and couldn’t find where it said our brand new out of the box was going to sound like a washing machine and that it was perfectly OK for it to be very loud.

Nah, I’m not buying it will be noisy for 24 hours and then settle down. I called back. Luckily I remembered the order of numbers that had to be pressed and didn’t have to listen to all the instructions again. This time I talked with Rinald. I told him what it sounded like and he said right away that it wasn’t supposed to do that and that they would be happy to replace it. All we had to do was peel the sticker off the back of the icemaker and attach it to the invoice and include 8 inches of cord starting at the plug, pack it all up and send it to New Jersey. In 15 days they’ll ship us a new one. Hmmmm,,,,we don’t have to return this one?

That didn’t sound right. I made a third call. This time I got Lisa. She did confirm the sending the eight inch cord length, the sticker and the invoice. So, that’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

In the meantime, we put the ice maker in the basement because it was making ice. Yes, we could still hear but it was muffled so we let it go.

So, ice by the bucketful? For a day anyway.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2/7/2012 We’re Off and It’s RAINING!

Rain is in the forecast for every day of these next four days that we’re off. We are not happy about this as you can well imagine.


So we hung around the house today, playing games on the computer, watching TV, cooking, eating, reading, willing the time to go fast because we are bored out of our minds! We’ve promised each other that the first sunny day we have that we’re outta here! Out of this house on wheels, out of this park. We’re going somewhere where we’ll spend the day outside. In the sunshine.

We are in dire need of new pots and pans. Well, new pans, the pots are still certainly serviceable but they will be taken to the park model in Arizona.

Our local grocery store, HEB, has a chef that works in the store doing demonstrations every day. Since I almost always partake of his treats that he shares, I’ve spoken to him on several occasions. One day I told him I was in market for new cookware and asked what he recommended. He said that he would meet me in the cookware aisle and he’d show me what he likes and dislikes. HEB has quite an extensive kitchen area where all kinds of small appliances, kitchen gadgets, dishes, serving bowls, cookware and anything you could possibly imagine in a kitchen is sold.

He went over each type of cookware they had in stock from aluminum to stainless steel to anodized to Teflon coated and went further and explained the brands and which ones to stay away from. I had decided on a KitchenAid anodized ten piece set. Just my luck, they were out of them.

KitchenAid Hard Anodized 10-pc Nonstick Cookware Set

I researched and read countless reviews of this set on Kohl’s and JC Penney’s web sites. I checked these sites daily for their sales but this set never seemed to have the price discounted. Since it was the same price as the grocery store there was no advantage to buying from them.

I kept checking back at the store and the pots and pans were never re-ordered. I’m tired of waiting for HEB to get them in. So today I did some serious comparison shopping and found the exact same set for $30.00 less on with free shipping and no tax! That works for me!

While my mind was on pots and pans Bob’s was on red and blue lines on the maps he was using to plot our travel east when we leave here. He’s made a preliminary plan but it will change a half dozen times between now and when we leave. How do I know that? Simple, he didn’t ask me if there was something I wanted to stop and see or do on the way home. I do!

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/6/2012 Thirty One Years Ago…..

Thirty one years ago Bob and I went to my parents home to tell them some big news. Only my mom was home. We told her we had gotten married a few hours earlier and she didn’t believe us. Nope, she didn’t believe us. It wasn’t until she took notice that Bob was wearing a wedding ring that it really hit home for her.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

My dad was at the Officer’s Club and I called him and asked him to come home that I had something to tell him. Having not been anywhere except home and the hospital (for my mom) for the last three and a half weeks he wasn’t ready to come home yet as he hadn’t been there long at all and really needed to get out of the house. I didn’t want to tell him over the phone so I told him to stay there that we were on our way. Since my mom had had some health issues and was still dealing with it, he insisted that I tell him what I had to tell him over the phone. I could see where he was coming from because he was thinking something had happened to mom. So I told him, “Dad, I got married today.” He didn’t believe me. Mom got on the phone and told him it was true, Bob was wearing a wedding ring.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

I never did figure out why it was they didn’t believe me. I think they were sorry we just went off and got married. I really think Dad wanted to walk me down the aisle and now I had taken that from him.Well, we ended up at the Officer’s Club and we had quite the impromptu party.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Fast forward 31 years. We’re older, grayer, we weigh more, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve seen a lot, we’ve argued and fought, we’ve kissed and made up, we’ve had good times, bad times, rough patches and smooth sailing. We’ve had a marriage.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Through the years I’m sure there were times we both thought we’d go our separate ways. But we didn’t, we stayed and worked it out.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Marriage isn’t easy. Especially, when you stop working at it. We’re both guilty of that. Sometimes we take each other for granted and just figure the other will be there no matter how much we just assume that what we do….or don’t do….is okay.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Marriage isn’t easy. I’ve often thought that marriage should have renewable contracts every 5 years or so. But then that would be too easy to just throw the towel in.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Marriage isn’t easy but if its worth having, its worth working for.

Wedding Ring gold bands clip art

Nope, not easy. Hard work, lots of compromising, lots of forgiving, lots of give and take, but if you stick it out you end up living your dreams,,,,like us. And that makes it all worthwhile.