Friday, December 31, 2010

HAD TO PULL OUT THE HEAVY ARTILLERY TODAY

I said I wasn't going to do it.
I was determined not to do it.
But today I was forced to do it.
I had to dig out my WINTER COAT; CAP; GLOVES ETC.
I even had to dig out Bennie's coat. Well actually the BLUE one is Turner's that was always too big for him....complete with his matching BLUE leash.
And Bennie had his RED coat that was always too big for him......complete with his matching RED leash.
But the BLUE one fits Bennie better.
Bennie was actually giving his head a little shake right in the middle of taking this pic:

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I woke up this morning and it was 16F/-8C. Last night I had my electric heater going non-stop and the furnace going full blast as well.
The problem with these RV's is that they are not built for these kind of temps. As quickly as it heats up, the heat goes out just as fast.
We bundled up (including my long johns on under my jeans) and walked over to the Office to do laundry. I was running low on propane (read: need it for HEAT), so I asked the women at the desk where I could go to fill up. She's a 'local' so called a few places in town....remember this is a very small place. No-one was open !
On my way in here I saw several RV Parks and hoped one of them would have propane as many of the larger RV Parks do have propane right on site.
Off to Walmart we go to do a major stock-up and buy another electric heater as these cold temps are going to last for another few days.

When I left Walmart I tracked back to the way I came in and sure enough I came to one of the RV Parks that had a sign that they had propane. But would anybody be there to dispense it ?? WHEW - there was.
Other than that I had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening - with both electric heaters going mad - but the furnace has not cut in once.
I am glad for that because (1) it blows out COLD air in the beginning which freezes me to death and (2) it's noisy.
Dinner for tonight was a hamburger with mushrooms; mashed potatoes; cauliflower and broccoli. .

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ABSOLUTE WORST DRIVING DAY YET

Let's start with the beginning of the day - which was the best part. Woke up (again ! ) at 5:30AM. This has definitely got to stop !!

Planned my route for today and decided I wasn't going to go back to the HD store.....really.....seriously. But the T-Shirt I bought yesterday was too small so I had to go back and exchange it. I was so proud of myself for being so 'controlled' yesterday. Alas, the same didn't happen today.

RQ, Check out this tent sale. This is only one end of it:
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And this is the other end of it. And we're not even in the store yet.

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Oh, That's just me showin' off. LOL


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I mean c'mon ! I NEEDED some colour in my wardrobe. And this was regular $60.00, on sale for $20.00. What's a girl to do ??

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Got this sweat shirt for $15.00. Regular price was $42.00.

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Got this one also for $20.00. Regular price $60.00.

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It did start off as a beautiful morning, albeit a bit chilly. I eventually got on the road by about 11:00AM. The woman I spoke with this morning from the RV Park where I am staying tonight said it was a 'bit' windy so be careful.

Sweet mother of god, I was on the Highway no more than 20 minutes and it hit !! Not only windy whereby the steering wheel kept being ripped from my hands, but sand and dust flying everywhere making the visibility poor.

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And poorer:

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And poorer:

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It was all I could do to keep the rig on the road. Yet those 18 wheelies didn't seem to mind it at all. There were warnings all over the radio.

But there is hope......I am FINALLY out of Texas:

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Where I pull in to the very first rest stop. The ground looks like snow doesn't it. Nope, That's pure white sand:

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Got back on the road and just when I thought the driving conditions could not get any worse I ran into a SLEET STORM....along with all that wind:

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But thankfully that didn't last long. I had about 10 minutes to catch my breath when I started noticing some 'white stuff' on the cars/trucks coming from the other direction. Not possible !!! Oh yes !! FRIKKIN' S-N-O-W !! WTF ??

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And more SNOW:

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I was never so glad to get off the road and also know that I had a place to pull in to that wasn't far away.
It is a bitter cold night here tonight. I have my electric heater right up next to me going mad since I pulled in and the furnace still is kicking in every few seconds. It is currently 26F/-3C and the forecast is bitter cold for the next 3-4 days. I might as well be up North somewhere !! LOL
Tonight I am residing at the Low Hi RV Ranch in Deming, New Mexico and I'll likely stay put here tomorrow as well.
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P.S. I was just out with Bennie ..... BRRRRR
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" I'VE COMPLETELY LOST IT "

I just had to post this. I read this on another Blog and could oh so relate:

Unnamed person says:
"So Denise, What have you been up to ?"


Me: "Well not much. I think I might sell my house"

Unnamed person says: "Really ? Why ? I thought you loved your house ?"

Me: "Well I don't know if I want to stay in XXX anymore. I'm thinking about buying an RV and travelling around."

Unnamed person says: "Oh my God !! So, you have completely lost it !!"

Me: I had no response........

"Sure, I HAVE completely lost it.

I have lost the desire to be tied down in one spot.

I have lost the need to be chained to a house note.

I have lost the will to live paycheck to paycheck and never see anything outside of a local Walmart."

I am insane !!"
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YUP, STILL IN TEXAS

Did not want to over-stay my welcome at Wally's so decided to check into an RV Park yesterday (read: I wanted electricity !! LOL). So yesterday I pulled in to the Mission RV Park in El Paso, Texas. Once I had a wee nap (I had been up since 5:30AM) I FORCED myself to drop by the HD Dealership:.

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This store is MASSIVE. I never thought I would utter the words that a HD store is too big. But just when I thought I had gone through everything (quickly), there was another room to browse through.
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Then there was their outdoor Tent area where there were 10's of thousands of items, all about 75% off the regular price. I just might have to pop by there again today. But I was frugal and only bought the obligatory T-Shirt:
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And a baseball cap for those bad hair days:
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And a few decals - they were $1.00 ! Regular price is $7.95:
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I had planned on staying two nights here but now I'm thinking I might get back on the road. That may change as it's only 6:20AM as I'm writing this. This place is located right off the I-10 and while a few nights ago I was falling asleep to the sounds of the waves of the ocean, last night I fell asleep to the sounds of the 18 wheelies roaring by.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WILL TEXAS EVER END ??

I've been on the road now three full days and I'm still in Texas !! And don't forget, I was already part way in Texas. Arrived safe and sound with no 'incidents'. Currently residing at Wally's in El Paso, TX - with several other RV'ers I might add.
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Did notice on the Highway that I was entering "Mountain Time Zone". Didn't know if I was 'springing forward' or 'falling back'. I do confuse easily !! LOL Turns out I gained another hour. So when I pulled in Wally's parking lot, so very weary, at 5 o'clock, it was really only 4 o'clock.
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El Paso sure seems like a happen' place. I'm going to stick around here for the day tomorrow and get the bike out for a ride. The forecast is looking good. After tomorrow there's going to be deep freeze temps for several days.
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hmmmm Wonder what I will do to fill my time tomorrow ??






MY "BELTS" ARE FINE AFTERALL

First thing this morning (8:00AM !) I was at the mechanics place. He wasn't even there yet so while I waited I did the dishes that I hadn't done in two days (GASP !) and made the bed that I also hadn't done in two days (DOUBLE GASP !). Jeeze, Hope Aunt Theresa won't be reading this particular post. LOL
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The mechanic arrives and takes a look under the hood. No, everything looks fine. Because he knows I am concerned he goes in and gets a flashlight and took an even closer look. No, Definitely everything is fine. The Police Officer figured it was a 'belt' on it's way out mostly because there was a lot of 'spray' under the hood. I told that to the mechanic and mentioned that I had the RV Rust Proofed last year. Yup, That's what the 'spray' was all about. But he did find this ratchet tool in there:
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I explain to him about the converter thingie. The more I think about it the more I'm sure it was this thing that likely just got overheated (it's working fine today) and make that squealy sound.
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I'm overdue for an oil change so he sent me up the street to get that done. $50.00 later for the oil change I'm on my way to the I10 West again and it's only 9:25AM certainly feeling a whole lot better about driving.
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You know sometimes I wonder how I get out of bed in the morning and get dressed !! LOL When I was hooking up the trailer the other day getting ready to hit the road again, the little handle thingie on the hitch wouldn't go down. Oh (I thought), it's not supposed to go down when the ball thingie is in place. So I put the lock on and off I went - travelling 548miles/882kms with it like this:
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For 'some' reason it started to nag at me yesterday so I had another look, took off the lock and pushed on the little handle and down she went into place with no problem. When I think of what could have happened with all the bouncing the trailer gets......NO - squeezing my eyes shut and putting my hands over my ears - I refuse to think about that. Ya, right, like I could stop myself from seeing the little trailer bouncing off the hitch and rolling down the I10 smashing everything in sight. Oh Gawd !! Here's what it is SUPPOSED to be like:
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I'm forging on now to El Paso. Think I'm still about 130 miles or so away. Pulling into Wally's again for the night and then tomorrow I get to go visit the largest Harley Davidson store in the world ! I really should leave my credit card at home don't you think.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

TWO DAYS "ADVENTURES"

Left the beautiful Gulf Coast (The Breeze RV Park, Surfside Beach, Texas) yesterday morning and have now put 548 miles behind me. A few little wrong turns (that's just getting out of Surfside Beach LOL) but I eventually managed to get on the 36N route that I was looking for. My Mother calls and I know I only have 15 minutes left on my cell phone so I told her we'd chat and then would get cut off - which is exactly what happened. No problem, I'll buy more minutes at the next Walmart.
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I was doing fine until I went through the Town of Rosenburg where I wasn't paying attention because I was looking for a Walmart. I'm supposed to be able to add minutes through the TracFone website and even via the phone itself but for the life of me I can't get either to work !! Damn technology !!
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But I'm such an 'experienced' RV'er now I no longer go 20 miles down a country road before I realize I've done something wrong !! So I was not seeing the 36N signs anymore and while stopped at a light a guy in a truck stops in the lane to the left of me to turn left. I roll down my window and ask him how to get back onto 36N. He tells me to turn around (DUHHH) and then asks me where I'm headed. I tell him I want to get to I10. He says that's exactly where he is going and to follow him. OK. hmmmm
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This is not the route I saw on the map but he said it would lead right to the I10. I am following him and we're taking left turns and right turns but I'm keeping an eye on the signs. Suddenly I realize I have NO MINUTES to use my cell phone in case.....
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I have a moment of PANIC - I'm following this STRANGER down these roads where I have no idea where I am - I have NO MINUTES to make a call in case.....
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Every scenario possible went through my head. LOL But I am 'wise' now (throwing up LOL) and know that if he turns somewhere that doesn't have the sign saying going North then I wouldn't follow him and just boot it ! Ya, Like I can do any booting hauling 42' behind me.
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He took me right to the I10, even pointed to the direction I needed to go - and even put on his signal to ensure I got the message. We gave each other a thumbs up and off I went.
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I stayed in Sequin, Tx compliments of Wally last night.
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Once I got settled I started planning my route for today and soon realize there is NOTHING from San Antonino to Fort Stockford. And that was 345 miles of driving. Way over my daily quota. And I mean nothing, not even a Walmart. I checked out a few RV Parks in some small towns but the reviews were horrible. One I even did a population search on (I don't know why as I have never done that before) and read that there were something like 15 REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS in this very small town. OK NOT stopping there. Resigned myself to a very long days drive today and that's what I did.
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Other than getting through San Antonio the drive was great. San Antonio had a gazillion over passes and under passes and on ramps and off ramps I was getting dizzy. But the signage was good so thankfully I did ok.
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It's 4:30 by now and I had been on the road since 8 o'clock this morning. I'm about 35 miles outside of Fort Stockton, cruising along at 70 MPH (the speed limit btw was 80 MPH) and SUDDENLY I hear this loud squealing sound. I near had a heart attack. I pulled over as quickly as I could. Not 30 seconds later a Police Car pulls up. I look around the RV and under it and see smoke coming from underneath. I open the hood (like I would know what I'm looking for !! LOL) as the Police Officer was approaching me. He tells me it looks like a "belt" is on it's way out.
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I quickly check my belt and no I have not left it unbuckled - just kidding. I ask him if he thinks I'll make it to Fort Stockton and he figures I could and there are mechanics here that can look at it for me. So I have an appointment first thing tomorrow morning to get it checked out.
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But the more I think about it, the more I think it was the converter thingie I have to keep my computer charged while I'm driving. It has the same squeal when I plug it in. In my haste to pull over and turn off the RV and unplug the converter thingie I feel that it's really hot. It's never been hot before. This, BTW, didn't register in my old brain until later. And when I plugged the converter thingie back in, it didn't work ??
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Regardless, It was a long 35 miles and I was ever so relieved to pull into Wally's this evening.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Well that was quite the storm we had here last night. The RV was rocking so bad I was afraid it was going to tip over. It can't do that, right ???? Lots of puddles of water around today and COLD plus the wind never died down at all. I checked at one point and it was only 5C. So Bennie and I didn't get to go for our walk on the Beach today.
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Yesterday I finally got my 'States' Map done and put up. Now that was tedious !
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I made an "executive decision" (after all I AM the EXECUTIVE LOL) and decided to put the State stickers on the ones I 'passed through' also.
Then I proceeded to wash the RV. Now that was a BIG job. I tire easily due to Lupus and Fibromyalgia so it took me the whole day. When we were kids and Mom would MAKE us do housework (that we DID NOT want to do and therefore did half ass), she would say "that was a lick and a promise". LOL Well the RV got a lick and a promise. I couldn't give it a real thorough job like I wanted to. Then again, if I did that, being as neurotic as I am, I'd be at it until next year !! LOL
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Tomorrow I'm hitting the road again to (eventually - maybe) get to Arizona. I figure I'll make it as far as the San Antonio area tomorrow. I'll be doing a few Wally nights in order to keep the expenses down. So today, despite the sub zero (almost) temperatures I got the 'basement' packed up and the little pup packed complete with the bike tied down. I also secured the cupboards inside. Only thing to do tomorrow is empty the tanks, unplug the electrical and remove the water hose.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

NASTY STORM HAPPENING

WOW - Bennie was just out a few minutes ago and everything was fine. NOW (9:00PM) we are having a major RAIN, THUNDER, LIGHTENING AND WIND STORM. The RV is rocking !!! Of course the noise is magnified being in a motorhome.
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Guess I'll know tomorrow if I have any leaks !! LOL

GALVESTON, OH GALVESTON

I was talking with my Mother the other night and told her I was taking a run into Galveston. I could see (hear) her eyes light up 'cause FINALLY that name is familiar because of the Glen Campbell song which she mentioned immediately. LOL

Left Bennie home because he had been sick the day before besides it was a bit cold and fairly windy. Glad I did 'cause by the time I reached Walmart I was near froze to death. At the last second I had decided to put my long-john thermals in the saddlebags and I put them on while in Walmart. Made for a much more comfortable ride home. Also while going there the sand was blowing across the rode and hitting me in the face. It actually looked like snow drifts because the sand is so white.

Got a new kennel for Ben as the run over one was just not salvageable. But I was sure rotted !! At Walmart the identical kennel (different brand name of course) was $15.00, while the one I got at Petsmart was $23.00 !! What a rip-off !!
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Comes in handy for storing the things I bought:

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Jeeze I'm all bundled up as if I were riding in Newfie. LOL But it was a great ride home.
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Tried to take a few pics along the way, but I was heading West so therefore the SUN blinded all my shots. This one shows how close the road is to the water:
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

R-D-F

RDF is rain, drizzle and fog for my non-Newfie friends.

And that's the kinda morning it was.....well, without the rain or the drizzle and it was WARM !! LOL It was foggy here one other morning, but it burned off very quickly.

Today it stayed until almost Noon and then the Sun came out. But it was WARM. Not used to connecting 'Fog' with 'Warm'. I decided to wash the little pup. Ashamed to say this is the first time I've washed it - ever ! I think it took me longer to get everything ready to wash it than it did to actually do the job.


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Check out that fog:
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I took these two pics so you could see the difference on the section that was washed and the section that wasn't. If you look closely (and really who else cares but me - LOL) you will see a line down the middle of the side that looks more like a shadow:
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After that BIG job was done Bennie and I took a walk along the Beach. Here are some of the houses - many of which are For Sale !! Now remember people this is frikkin' DECEMBER !!


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I saw this on the Beach and haven't a clue what it is, but I thought it was interesting:
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Naturally Bennie didn't want to walk on the CLEAN, dry sand. Oh NO, he much preferred to go into the water and get all muddy !
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Ever since Troy (the Owner) told me that they were struck pretty bad by Hurricane Ike here I am fascinated that this seemingly calm water could produce so much damage for so many miles. Troy told me the entire Park and across the road was completely under water.
 

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During our walk I saw this. It's not a 'hand glider' is it ? It was motorized with a fan thing at the back and whoever was in it was going everywhere. He came really close and I took several pics to get a closer one but this is the best that I got:
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Pic taken on our way back from our walk:


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After all that work and walking it was SIESTA time and then I popped up the road to gas up the bike. I'm hoping to actually get to Galveston tomorrow as there is a 'cold front' coming this way on Saturday so it's going to be cool (high 50's only) for a few days.
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Then I made a cuppa tea and Bennie and I enjoyed watching the sun set. Well he really didn't 'cause he was more interested in chewing on his bone:
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