Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Today...

Where am I today???

Traveling from south TX to Denver

TexasPlainsTrail.com

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014



Wishing everyone a

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2014

*     *     *     *      *     *     *

Here is some good advice from a blog I follow.

(click on this link)



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Waiting...

I guess we are all in this together, not too many places to hide from the cold weather.



Waiting..... There are several things I wanted to do this month, but the cooler weather has messed up my plans.

I was thinking about moving south, along the coast or maybe even over to Big Bend for a week or two. I want to be back in San Antonio for Christmas, so now I will just stay put instead of traveling in this cruddy weather.

After checking out the 10 day forecasts, I don't see anywhere worth traveling to. I have read reports of icy roads and lots of wind along the highways. No way am I driving in that. Florida is too far to go and then come back for Christmas.

So now I wait... to go to the Winnebago dealer/service center in Kerrville, TX (the roads around hill country have been icy).

I wait... to ride my bike along the river trail to the San Antonio Missions.

I wait... to go back to a little village of shops to pick up a few Christmas presents.

When the weather is good, San Antonio is a great place for walking and biking.  I have been to the river walk area downtown. I also like the Mission Trail which goes along the river, starting downtown heading south past five Missions, part of the National Park System. (see the link above)

And I really should wash the RV again. I washed it right before I left South Padre, but it needs it again.

I was really, really hoping for warmer weather in San Antonio. 

I visit with the kids and play with Sophia (which is a good thing, but it will be hard not seeing them for a few months at a time while I am workamping and traveling). So, I spend a lot of time indoors reading and planning future trips and future workamping jobs.

Sophia likes Santa


I am also waiting... for news about a job for January-April.  It is not a typical workamping job, so I had to find a RV park close to the job site. This particular RV park has an application process for monthly renters, so I am waiting to hear back from them. I can't take the job unless I can get into that park.

What are you waiting for?
















..

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lost Maples State Park

Lost Maples State Natural Area is located about 5 miles north of Vanderpool, Texas and 71 miles west of San Antonio. The park sits along the Sabinal River in western Bandera County and far eastern Real County. There are several hiking trails and RV and primitive campsites. It is a popular place for "leaf peeping".







On Monday we went for a walk at Lost Maples State Park. My daughter planned this day for my birthday. We had a nice drive in the hill country of Texas, the park is almost 2 hours from her house.  Li'l Sophia loves to be outside looking up at trees and this is a great place for a walk.





Sophia was fording the creek in her 4x4 (3 wheel stroller)



We had dinner at the Old Spanish Trail Restaurant in Bandera

and Lemon Meringue Birthday Pie 

Thanks Diane, Karl, Liv and Sophia for a great day!


Sophia is 14 weeks old



Liv, Sophia and Diane

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goodbye South Padre, Hello San Antonio

Sunset @ South Padre KOA 9-30-13


I love the beach, watching the waves, feeling the energy of the water and walking on the sand. I will miss the sunsets.


I am now in San Antonio......
It felt great this morning to sit outside the RV, under several shade trees, a cool breeze, listening to the birds sing and watching the squirrels running around.

So grateful, my house has wheels and I can experience all of these different places.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

High Tide @ Sunset


high tide at Isla Blanca County Park


Report from the National Weather Service: High tides at 7:36 pm will combine with strong northeast winds and high waves that will wash up to the dunes on the beaches of South Padre Island and Boca Chica Beach.







An answer to a comment from my last post.

There is a very small refrigerator in my RV. It runs on electric only. No propane or 12V switch. It is not a typical RV refrigerator and there are no vents on the outside of the RV behind the refrigerator. For one person, this size has worked out fine, it holds enough food between shopping trips. But, I do miss having a freezer. The tiny freezer in the top corner of my fridge does not really keep things frozen.

And thanks for the info about where to run the wires. I didn't think about the vents. I do not have an antenna, there was no TV equipment or cable hookups in the RV, which is fine with me. I have not added these things.

When I purchased this "different" RV - I said I was thankful that it did not have the things that I did not want.  I did not have to pay for things that I did not need.


Friday, September 20, 2013

RV Solar Panel Systems

I'm looking for referrals for RV Solar Installers, located in Texas.

I am totally ready to have my RV finished while I am in Texas this winter. I have lived in this RV full-time for almost 2 years and "think" "I know" what I want and need (do we ever ?).





photo from rvsolarsystem.net

As part of the interior remodeling, I want to make sure that I incorporate whatever is necessary to have a solar system installed in the RV.

I need to work with a solar installer at the same time that I make changes to the inside of the RV to accommodate the inverter, controllers, etc.

I don't want to add new furniture and then find out that it's in the way of installing the solar components.

On some blogs, I have read reviews of installers in Arizona and California and I think as far as Oregon. I have also read that, usually, the wiring is fed from the roof through the back of the refrigerator space. I do not have an RV refrigerator, no refrigerator venting. How will the wiring get from the roof to the inverter and batteries? 

I really do not want to drive thousands of miles to have this work done. And, NO, I will not try to do it myself.

I am hoping that someone reading this blog knows of a place in Texas.

Thanks for any comments or information.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Where to Next???




It's time to leave South Padre Island, we will be leaving on September 30th. I have 6 more work days at the KOA.  I have been in South Texas for almost a year, 5 months at the wildlife refuge and 6 months at KOA.


Saturday night outdoor movie screen at the KOA

Pirate Ship sails in the Laguna Madre behind the KOA

Staying in one area, for almost a year, is good for my savings account.
I purchased less than $200 in gas for the RV since last November and still have 3/4 tank. I did not pay rent at the Wildlife Refuge. The rent at the KOA was only $140 a month, and I was paid for every hour worked - some campgrounds only give you an RV site for the hours worked.  The rent would have been $850 a month if I did not work here. I was going to stay here anyway, waiting for my granddaughter to be born.  I am very grateful that I was able to get a job at the KOA. (I bugged them, sent emails several times, and then finally a job opened up) It was not difficult work, I learned a new reservation system, and I had fun working with the kids activities. 


My daughter and son-in-law have found a really nice house in San Antonio and I will follow along. I'm sure they will need some babysitting help while they get settled. 




 Li'l Sophia is growing ~  almost 13# at 5 weeks


It won't be easy to live in a big city in an RV, but I found an RV park that is only 2 miles from the house. There is a bus stop in front and a bike trail is alongside the RV park.


I will probably stay in Texas through the winter months and then move on to a job, hopefully in a National Park,  for next summer. I don't think I will be working this fall and winter. 


Since November 2011, I have traveled for about 6 months and worked for about 18 months. I still have boxes, in the outside compartments of the RV, that need to be sorted. The word for this year is "FINISH". I want to get everything done and start fresh in 2014. 


I need/want to get the remodeling in my RV finished.  I finished the bed in April. It's the other side of the RV, where the larger dinette is, that needs to be changed. I took out the table and just have the 2 benches and a folding table. It really needs to get done, it is driving me crazy.



I want to install an L-shaped desk along the drivers side of the RV, starting about a foot behind the drivers seat and all the way to the kitchen cabinets. This will give me a wider "aisle". The aisle was only about 20" wide, and after I took out the small dinette and added the bed, it is now 25" wide. When all the changes are done, there will be even more space in the center of the RV.  

I just need to find someone reliable to move the fresh water tank for me.  I purchased the RV at Lazydays in Tampa, they have a location in Tucson and I have been in contact with them. I sent pictures and a description of what I want changed and am waiting for a reply.  If they can do the job, I may take a trip there to get it done. Otherwise, I need to find someplace in Texas to get the work done. I am also waiting to find out if it is possible to have my passenger seat swivel around to face the center of the RV. 

Time to move on to new adventures........................ 
I will probably purchase a Texas State Parks pass and visit many of the parks this fall and winter. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

RV Awnings

So, I have never used the awning on the side of my RV. It was opened one time, in 2 years, and that was by the installer of my window sun screens.



I suppose the awning may shade the window to keep it cooler inside. The solar shades serve the same purpose and are much easier to put up and take down. I can reach the tops of my windows without a step-stool or ladder. 

The awning is a pain for one person to open and close. I have thought about having the awning converted to an automatic awning but am not sure it would be worth the expense.  

I would prefer to spend that money on solar panels. 

I walk around the RV park and see awnings open and no shade under the awning. 

If I park my RV with the windshield facing North - the RV creates shade on the passenger side in the afternoon. 



I would like to know how often you use your awning and what your thoughts are about RV awnings in general and automatic vs. manual. What if yours was damaged? Would you care enough to replace it? That's another concern. I have read about sudden winds destroying awnings.  

Resale value does not concern me. I do not plan to sell my RV. 

I may have the awning removed. If anyone is interested in purchasing an awning send me an email.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sea Turtle Hatchlings


Friday, August 16


Set the alarm for 5:30am to check for this announcement
Good Morning. It's Friday 8/16. Yes a public release this morning at 7am. Releases are located at Cameron County Access 3 just 1/4 mile north of Sea Turtle Inc. on the beach. This is 1/2 of a loggerhead nest. The other nests hatched through the night and have been released.
 We'll see you there!!!!!




I was surprised at how many people showed up,
this picture is 1/4 of the crowd.

I decided to stand in the water so that I could get some pictures.
The tide was coming in, so I got soaked with each wave.

Loggerhead Turtle Hatchlings


Going home...




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Baby Sophia

Posting from my phone.

Baby Sophia Marie born August 10th at 12:00 noon.

8 pounds 5 ounces. 21 3/4" long.

Baby is doing good. Diane is feeling better. She had a problem with blood pressure, but she is improving.

Grateful for a great hospital staff and a happy and healthy baby girl.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little girl today her 1st birthday as a Mommy!










Thursday, July 25, 2013

Journey

Just a few things I have read recently and wanted to save..............


Not everyone
will understand
your journey
That's fine
It's not their journey
to make sense of.
It's yours
-Zero Dean



Start where you are
Use what you have
Do what you can

*     *     *


Do the next thing!



*   *   *


Many people QUIT digging right before they are about to hit GOLD.
Don't be one of those people. When times get tough, when you start to question yourself, your life, your dreams, just KEEP GOING. This feeling of uncertainty is vital for you to experience, it is part of your necessary growth. It is a character test sent to see if you are serious about your chosen path, not an excuse to become a quitter.  Dreams don't work unless YOU do.   -Freelee




If we are not willing to confront the truth about ourselves that a loss unearths, we squander a rare and precious opportunity for transformation. Our grief, while deeply felt, runs the risk of becoming a sentimental escape from the most meaningful part of our journey.  If we do the hard work when we lose someone we love, then we find ourselves BLESSED with more love than we ever knew existed.
                                 from "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser




we must be 
willing to let go
of the life we
have planned
so as to have
the life that is
waiting for us
-Joseph Campbell






















Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stormy Weather




Moody weather

We had strong winds and rain on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.  I got drenched walking to the office on Wednesday morning (even though I had an umbrella and wore a windbreaker). The rainy weather has given us lower temperatures (woo-hoo) and mosquito's (boo). 

The rain is welcome because of ongoing drought conditions, there were puddles all over the campground, but most of the puddles are gone this morning. 
The weather.com shows that we will get more rain all week and weekend. The rain finally stopped by 5:00 pm when I walked back to the RV after work. I went for a walk in the evening, even though more rain was predicted. I knew I would be able to wait out rain under the pavilion at the beach or at the boat docks.






The "energy" of the water and air is different after a heavy rain.  It felt soo....good to walk barefoot along the edge of the water. I wanted to stay out there all night.  It would be great to park the RV near the shore overnight, but that is not allowed in the County Park where I was walking.








All of these pics in this post were taken between 7:00pm and 8:30pm during my walk. Turn around facing any of the four directions and see a different sky each time. So far, we have not had any additional rain. If you look at the radar at "weather.com" it is raining???  

The southern end of Padre Island is about 40 miles long, north to south, the city of South Padre is only about 5 miles long. A lot of Padre Island is off limits to vehicle traffic and the island stretches north to Corpus Christi (Padre Island National Seashore). The KOA is on the south end and my daughter lives about 3 miles north of the campground - and we have different weather on some days. She will text that it is pouring rain at her house and there will be no rain at the KOA.










Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A "Virtual" Baby Shower

The countdown begins...........................
only 22 more days until her due date.


On Saturday, I hosted a "virtual" baby shower for my daughter.



We are currently living on South Padre Island and the rest of our families and friends are spread out around Texas, Colorado and Illinois. Karl's family from San Antonio drove down for the shower and everyone else joined us via Skype.



Of course, we would have preferred a traditional shower, but it was not possible to get everyone together. We are hoping that many of our friends and family will visit after the baby is born.



I discovered the concept of this type of shower while searching for shower ideas online and decided this would be the best option. We used Skype, I signed up for a premium account so that I could host a group call. We also posted some pictures on Facebook for those that could not participate on the Skype call.



I am making a quilt for the baby
and hope to have it finished before she is born.

I think the shower turned out very well.  We had a few minor technical problems, but we were able to get everyone on the call. The only call that did not work was when my brother hooked up his computer to a big screen TV. Computers worked fine, but one phone using the Skype app had a few problems.

I charged my camera battery on Friday night. After the shower, I realized that I did not take any photos during the shower because I was monitoring the Skype call, making sure everyone was connected, etc. We were all sitting around the laptop so did not get any photos. We have photos of the setup beforehand and photos of the presents that we posted on Facebook.

I'm wondering if there was some way to record the Skype call to save it.






Thank You to everyone that participated to make this day a success. Thank You for the beautiful gifts for the baby. 




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How heavy is this...........

Found this on Facebook and had to share



A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an 

audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked 

the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she 

inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.



She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I 

hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll 

have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and 

paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I 

hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life 

are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. 

Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about 

them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”


It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as 

you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and 

into the night. Remember to put the glass down!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This was a sore point between my late husband and me, he was a worrier and 

always had a hard time sleeping and letting things go.

He said I did not care because I was able to put things aside and slept well.

               
If you are a worrier, don't put that guilt on your partner, don't try to change 

others, change yourself.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wildfire Season

Be careful out there.

Last summer when I worked at Mesa Verde, I was less than 20 miles away from one of the wildfires. I unhooked my sewer and water and only had the electric hooked up.  I made sure my counter was cleared off and that my RV was ready to move at a moments notice.

Unfortunately, today, there are several wildfires burning in Colorado again.

Keep this website handy:

          www.InciWeb.org for information about wildfires.

The Echo Canyon Campground near Canon City was evacuated today.

Is your RV ready to move? Do you have extra water and food aboard? What other things have you done to prepare for these types of weather related disasters?





Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sewing

Nothing new and exciting to report about traveling. I am still participating in the Turtle Patrol, I have not found any nesting turtles, but they are still being found on both North and South Padre Islands.


I am enjoying Island Time. I started my job at KOA and all is going well. I work weekends on Children's Activities and work a few days a week in the office.  It is fun planning events and craft projects for the kids.  We have standard activities, such as S'mores on Friday evening. On Saturday after dinner we serve ice cream and then in the evening we show an outdoor movie, complete with popcorn. I fill in the time on Saturday afternoon with an outdoor activity and a craft project.


getting ready for Friday night S'Mores


Some of the planned activities are kite flying, holiday parades, Pirate Treasure Hunt, scavenger hunt, nature journals with sun printing, carnival-like fun and games, Sea Turtle Days, paper airplanes, decorating and flying a Frisbee, sand art and Candy Bar Bingo.





made a pillow to use in the RV

My sewing machine is humming along, making all kinds of fun things for the baby girl that will be joining our family in August. Now that I am living only a few miles from my daughter, we spend time together sewing on our days off or sometimes in the evening. I don't have any pics of what we have sewn for the baby. We have made bibs, and some soft baby blocks and are working on a quilt and some clothes.




I made a shower curtain and window curtain for the RV. 




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Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb