Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My last Blog for 2009

This will be my last Blog for 2009. Here it is December 30TH and we will be celebrating the New Year in the Rio Grande Valley near McAllen,TX again for the 3RD year in a row. Tomorrow is New Year's eve and as usual, I'm sure we will be sound asleep when midnight comes. Then on New Year's day, we will have Champagne and our usual  "traditional" Southern New Year's dinner of Black Eyed Peas, Collard Greens and Ham. We have done that for as many years as I have known Ms Pat and it has become one of my favorites. She is the world's most wonderful cook and I love her "southern" traditions.  BTW....the Black Eyed Peas are for "good luck", the Collard Greens are for "wealth" and the Ham is one of my favorites.  I only get it on special occasions.  :-).  

On these last few days of the year, I can't help but look back over the past year at all the things we've done. All in all, it has been a GREAT YEAR! A lot of interesting things happened, but the thing that I am most thankful for is that our health has remained excellent. That's mighty important at any age, but especially important at our age.  Looking back at the daily records I keep, I see Ms Pat is 16 lbs lighter than she was last year and I am 8 lbs lighter. Our daily exercise, careful planning and food management program continue to pay off. It takes a lot of will power and determination, but those kind of results make it all worth while.

We finally got our little building on our lot at North Ranch in Arizona stuccoed. We had been wanting to get that done for several years.

We got our Toy Barn at Custer electrified and a 50amp RV plug installed as planned. That along with this little patio extension project has about been the extent of our construction projects for the year. Oh,and I forgot to mention that we completed the patio project just before Christmas.....Thankfully!!

I was getting a little tired of this project. It took over a month to complete. About 3 weeks longer than expected. We kept getting rained out and things don't dry out down here very fast.

This dirt pile has since been removed and we are happy with our "little" project. It will be nice to have a place to get our trash container and a few other items out of sight.

Another accomplishment we made this year was getting back into the Harley corner by purchasing the Heritage Softail Police Officers Special Edition Motorcycle. That made me real happy!

We also purchased a great Polaris 500 Sportsman 4-wheeler to ride in the Black hills. We enjoy 4-wheeling in the Hills very much.   Plus, we bought a cargo trailer. We have that all fixed up and prepared to haul the Harley or the Polaris. We are looking forward to taking our Volvo truck as a motorhome and pulling the trailer with the Harley up through Montana to Glacier National Park next summer. We'll also make a stop in Idaho.  I have always wanted to take Ms Pat to Coeur d'Alene. I think it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

We had our Re-Baptism at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. That really was the most meaningful event that happened all year.

However, I think the next most memorable and enjoyable thing that has come into our life this year is Ms Megabyte2. The Joy and Happiness that little gal has brought us is nothing short of a "miracle".. It was Sunday evening, Feb 1ST, when we made the decision to take her with us the next morning on our move to Arizona. Right up until then, we planned on leaving without her. How we could have even thought of such a thing is now amazing. When Kathy Detweiler told me that she was an "Angel Kitty", I broke! I knew then that she was ours and going with us. I had always had the feeling that Scott sent her to us, but for someone else to confirm it, I knew it was true. She is truly an "Angel Kitty", Thank You Scott and Thank You Kathy!

Here she was on the day after Christmas last year. She was still sleeping out under an old shed out back and she was coming over and visiting us a lot. The night before we departed a month later was the first night she ever spent inside with us. She has only been away one night since.  That was when she spent the night at the Vets after her cesarian operation. She is such a joy.

So thats about it.  There is more but these are the highlights and I'm sure you are bored by now.

One more Football game this year.  TODAY the Nebraska Cornhuskers play Arizona in the Holiday Bowl at San Diego at 7pm tonight (Central time). I'll be cheering them on as long as I can stay awake, so I hope it's a good game. It should be.  Nebraska is ranked 20TH and Arizona is 22ND. It's on ESPN.
Then on FRIDAY (New Year's Day) Florida State plays West Virgina in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville. That is going to be Bobby Bowden's final game. We will be cheering them and him on at 12pm (central). Its on CBS. Bobby is a Giant of a man and I respect him whole heartedly. He and I came to Tallahassee about the same time and we both left our mark on the place. His much more noticable than mine! I met him several times as he and Ann used to eat at the same Restaurant lots of times and I attended many Monday "quarterback" luncheons after the football games where he was usually the speaker. We had season tickets for years...


Happy New Year to you all..

God Bless.......Remember to tell your loved ones you love them.... they may not be around forever.


This Blog is published every Sunday and Wednesday.                          

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It was a "COOL" Walk on the Beach.....


Christmas Day came and we carried on with our traditional "Walk on the Beach" that I mentioned in my last Blog. We left home about 8:00 am on Christmas morning and headed East towards South Padre Island. We had been invited to stop and see our friends Larry and LaVila Lawrence at their RV Resort in Mercedes, TX. We stopped and said a quick hello, Merry Christmas greetings and hugs.  We hadn't seen them yet this winter as they have been very busy building a shelter and outdoor kitchen on their place. Then we continued on to the Beach.

click on "Christmas 2009" on right to view the entire album                                                                                                              From Christmas 2009

Click on "Christmas 2009" at right to view entire album...                                        From Christmas 2009
We managed to "Walk on the Beach", but we didn't linger. It sure wasn't as nice as it was last year or the year before.The place wasn't overcrowded that's for sure but there were a few people mingling around. We drove on the Beach for several miles and found a quiet little spot and just sat back and watched the waves roll in. It was beautiful inside the car and out of the wind. We had a little Champagne toast to the occasion, reminisced old times and reminded ourselves how lucky we are and how much we have to be thankful for. Topped that off with a lunch of Cheese and Crackers, which made for another memorable Christmas Day.

Christmas eve we had our usual fun get together at the Club House. Of course, also as usual food was plentiful.

Ms Pat and Dale Bruss are enjoying themselves.

Here is Ms Pat modeling her new Harley Davidson knit jacket that Santa found way down deep in his sack and presented to her just moments before we came to this celebration.

On my way home from the Clubhouse, I wanted to get a picture of our good friends Greg and Bonnie Gheyssen's Christmas decorations. I think they have the BEST!

Greg and Bonnie have a beautiful Volvo Truck and Escalade Toy Hauler 5TH wheel all paint matched and they keep it looking sharp. They haul 2 Harleys in the back of the Toy Hauler and even have a Harley for Santa.....

Here is Santa on his Harley posing for my picture.

Well, that's about it for this week, only 4 more days left in this YEAR. Then we start all over again...2010!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

A special greetings to our friends and neighbors Doug and Jutta Franks who left here just a few days ago and flew to Germany to spend the Holidays with Jutta's family. Have fun guys, enjoy and safe travels back here toTexas. We miss you but we'll see ya in a few days.

God Bless you all.....and I know Jesus had a Happy Birthday!

See ya Wednesday for one final 2009 Blog post.....


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's a Christmas Tradition!!

Way back in 1977, my Company transferred me from Denver, Colorado to Tallahassee, Florida. I didn't want to go... I was having too much fun skiing Vail and the back bowls of the mountains. Every weekend I was high up in the new fresh powder snow, having a ball.  Sometimes in Corporate management, they need you to do a project so bad that they don't care how much FUN you're having. Such was the case in this instance. I found myself meeting a Moving van in the town of Tallahassee, Florida. Never been there before in my life and didn't know a thing about it. Didn't matter, I was there anyhow and had a job to do.

I set about my assigned tasks, happy or not.  The job was so tough and involved I didn't have time to even think about it.  I was so busy, good thing I was single at the time, because I was working 6 days a week from sunup until sundown.  That was a good thing, too, because whenever I did stop, even for a minute, I became so lonesome for my 3 boys back in Nebraska that I would become deeply depressed. My only salvation was to get back to work. With the amount of time I was putting in, it wasn't long until the project showed great improvement and with that it became a lot easier.It didn't take near as much of my time and I at least had weekends and holidays off

When Winter came and Christmas was nearing, I couldn't believe it. I had never been anywhere that it wasn't very COLD and SNOWING in the winter. The City of Tallahassee put up Christmas decorations and the stores started playing Christmas Music.  I was in my shirt sleeves in hot, humid weather,  listening to "Jingle Bells" playing around town.  I couldn't get the Christmas Spirit at all.  This was my NEW WORLD.

Christmas day came and, of course, I was alone.  Talking to my boys on the phone hours on end didn't seem to cut it.  I missed them very much. Christmas Day was a beautiful. sunny day and I had nothing to do. I wanted to get out and go somewhere.  I thought about where to go but I didn't know the area very well at all yet.  I finally decided I'd go about 45 miles South to the Gulf of Mexico.

I drove down to Alligator Point and stood astonished staring out at the Gulf of Mexico. The Beaches were deserted and I wandered up and down them all afternoon and only saw a few other people. I had never seen so much water in all my mid- western life. This was too much and I only wished my boys were there with me to enjoy it. As I was walking on the Beach, I was thinking "you know, people back home in Nebraska,South Dakota and Colorado just wouldn't believe this"!  Walking on the Beach in my barefeet, T-shirt and shorts,  looking at all that beautiful water.   It was then and there that I made the decision that whenever I was close to a Beach on Christmas day, I would go there, walk and make it a "Christmas Tradition"!

Since then, except for 3 quick years when I was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah to correct another problem, I went to the Beach every Christmas Day. The closest beach to us here in the Rio Grande Valley, is South Padre Island on the West side of the Gulf of Mexico. That's where we are headed Friday. It's about 90 miles and we have gone there the last 2 years.  It's not near as pretty as the Florida Beaches, but the water and beach are there and it's very enjoyable. We thank God for all we have.

Here we were last year.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and go walk on the BEACH!!!

God Bless you all....


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 is about over!

Soon 2009 will be History! It went very fast for me.  How about you? This is our 3RD winter down here in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas near McAllen. It has also been our coolest. Not that it's real cold, just Wet, Cloudy, Foggy and plain Dreary. We had another 3.5 inches of rain this week and every morning it is extremely Foggy and it's mid morning or noon before it burns off and then it is still quite cloudy. The Sun has peaked out a few times but not near enough to satisfy me.

However, from what I hear it's been that way a lot of places. This wet cold is the worst.....seems a lot colder here at 45-50 deg than it is in AZ or SD at the same temp. It reminds me of Florida. I always said I got as cold in Florida as I ever did back home in Nebraska. But to look at the good side, we never did have to scoop any snow in Florida, nor have we had to here in South Texas. I've sure scooped my share in Nebraska!!

Cool, Cold, Foggy or what ever, we still manage to get in our "walk in the park". Every morning at 6:30 we head out in the Black Dark Fog to do our 1 hour 4 mile walk in the Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, about 2 blocks form where we live.  Almost every morning we see several Javelina's. I have some pictures below:

They like to eat the food that the birds waste out of the bird feeders.......

 They let us get fairly close, as they are used to people.  Cute little guy, isn't he?

We have seen as many as 13 in a group. One morning we saw 2 tiny little babies.  They were following their "momma" and getting breakfast when ever she stopped for a moment.

Remember this couple? I showed you a picture of them way back in 2007 when we first started walking this Park every morning. This is Red and Louise, Winter Texans from Michigan. They have been coming down to the Rio Grande Valley for over 25 years. They come to the park every morning and arrive at 6:00 am. They are professional "Bird Watchers".They know their birds! Much of the time they carry a large spot light.. What a lovely couple they are!! We have gotten to know them quite well. They seldom ever miss a morning. Rain, shine, cold or warm, they will be here. They are both 85 + and walk several miles every morning.

Each year when we come back we always ask each other, "Will Red and Louise be here"? Back in Jan of 2007 when I took this picture it was super cold.  We were all bundled up and still freezing to death but Red and Louise were still out there. They started out years ago in an RV but have now downsized to a Park Model.  However, they are still very active and a great inspiration and idol to Pat and I. We sure enjoy them.

I'm hoping it will clear off enough that we can get get on the Harley for a little ride this morning. It's still real dark out there, but I went out and walked around, it looks promising. Although there is no place to go here and absolutely nothing to see, I still love to ride.

We don't send out paper Christmas Cards anymore but here's a special card for all our readers.  Just click on this link:                    

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by.   


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our "SPECIAL" Christmas Tree......

This is the "SPECIAL" Christmas Tree I was telling you about.  Isn't it beautiful?  It is special for us because my Mother made it. It is "Ceramic". She made it many, many years ago.  How many years, I'm not sure. Maybe some of the Grandkids can remember, but I'd guess 25, 30,,,maybe more?  I remember it every Christmas at her house and in their RV when they used to go to Arizona every winter. Ms Pat always loved and adored this little tree. When Mom went to that Great RV Park in the Sky 3 years ago, we put this little tree in storage. We really didn't have room to carry it in our 5TH wheel, but this year we brought it to be a part of our new Coach House. We will probably be here every Christmas, so we'll leave it stored in the Coach House.  I just love it, the way all the little colored lights glow and the Star sets on top. I enjoy sitting in the dark with it on, just looking at it and remembering Mom.  God Bless her.  I know she is smiling down on us and her Beautiful Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, it is raining "buckets" outside.  It started at Happy Hour yesterday and rained steady all night long.  So.......our little project is still on "hold".  We started it before Thanksgiving...maybe it will be finished by Christmas??? 


It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toys for Tots,,,,,,

In hopes of making Christmas a little more enjoyable for some youngsters we bought a couple stuffed Animal Toys and took them to the local Harley Davidson Dealer.

This is a wonderful program and most all Harley Davidson Dealers across the country participate and collect thousands and thousands of Toys for Tots. When we arrived with the Toys, there were 2 Marine Reservists on hand receiving them and giving out "I donated a Toy" pins and other gifts to those that brought toys. They had a lot of toys and I'm sure lots more will come. It's a good feeling to think you might make some deserving youngster happy and their Christmas a little more enjoyable.

We started back on our "Project" this week, but it was so wet we had to wait until it dried out. Therefore, we still didn't get it done.  Like I said, you just can't get in a hurry around here!  Here are a couple pictures of what we got done.

The area behind our Coach House that includes the fence to conceal our trash can and other items is almost done.

 This will be a nice place to "hide" a few things. Oh ya, maybe we can even put our BBQ grill in there and the wind won't blow it out all the time! I think we should paint the fence to match the Coach House.  What do you think?

We have completed 12' behind the Coach House and have 40' to finish. it takes a lot of sand to get it level.. I have already hauled 48 sacks of paver sand from Home Depot and may have to go for more.  Hopefully, we will be able to complete the job next week.  I'm getting tired of having this mess on our Patio.  Why do these "Projects" always take longer and cost more than you think they will? I guess I'll never learn.

As Christmas nears, decorations are going up all around town and in the RV Park. I'm going to have to venture out after dark one of these nights and see them. Don't get out after dark much anymore, except early in the morning when we go out walking. Some of the Christmas lights are still on at 6:30 am when we head out on our walk, but not all of them..  Ms Pat put up our Christmas Tree about a week ago.  I'll have to remember to take a picture of it for you. It's a "special" Christmas tree.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you too are getting the Christmas spirit and will join us in contributing to the Toys for Tots and help make this Christmas a little more special for the little ones.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

     Time for me to again remind you to be sure and tell your loved ones that you love them, they may not be around forever....God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More FIRE pictures....

More pictures of our friends Bob and Kathleen Gomez's Motorhome Fire.  Fires are not pretty, but these pictures sure emphasize the mess and problems involved. Since Bob and Kathleen knew Ms Pat was involved in Insurance as an Agent for many years and I had 30 years experience as an Insurance Adjuster, they ask us to give them some assistance. I first took a lot of pictures to substantiate the damages for them and explained what the adjuster would do.  They called their Insurance Co and were advised an Adjuster would be out to inspect the damage Monday.

Here are some pictures in an album of their Motorhome after the Fire.  Note the dripping water and foam drenching everything.  This picture is blurry for some reason but when you look at it in the album, it clears up.
          (click on picture to view the album)

Bob and Kathleen Gomez fire 2009-12-05
I feel so sorry for anyone involved in a fire. It is such a mess. When one is a full time Rv'er, he has gotten rid of most of his "stuff", except for the most important and memorable "stuff". Now they must sort through what is left and determine if it is salvagable or not. Soaked clothes, furniture and many, more personal belongings. What a job!

A few years of handling these type losses was enough for me. I started specializing  in Automobile Personal Injury and Litigation. It was much easier for me to settle lawsuits with Attorneys and direct lawsuits in Litigation than it was to sit down with folks and go item by item through all their prize personal, memorable belongings.  That was a SAD job.   I loved wrestling and haggling with Attorneys.  Sometimes I even beat them in their own game.  That was especially enjoyable.  It wasn't fun and I spent a lot of sleepless nights when we were trying lawsuits and playing Russian Roulette with a Jury, but it paid well so I stuck it out. When I retired at age 57, I was a nervous wreck.  My health was bad.  My blood pressure and every other bad health item was way too high.   I was overweight and I drank entirely too much.

Strangely enough 6 months after I left the business, my blood pressure and weight went down and my general health improved immensely. The Dr told me, "I don't know what you're doing, but keep doing it". I told him that I had just gotten out of a quite stressful job. He said that getting out may have saved my life.

I must say that I always envied people that loved their jobs. I never could figure that out. All my years on the Highway Patrol, I dealt with mostly BAD people and in the Insurance business I dealt with mostly MAD people.   It wasn't fun. If I hadn't been paid for it and needed the money, I wouldn't have done it..:-).   Love my job?  I don't think so.  Are these people for real?

The weather has sure done a 180 down here. Yesterday morning we went on our walk at 6:30 am before daylight and it was 70 deg. We were in shorts and T-shirts.  NICE !  Now we remember why we are down here!!! I see it's "-15" in Custer, SD this morning!  Wow!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Blog.  I'm getting 150 + hits a day. Bless you all !!  I need ya!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside!!

The Weather Forecasters down here are usually pretty accurate.  They had a freeze warning out so we knew it was going to be cold. Yesterday it was 31 deg down here in Mission, TX. when we got up. Frost was definitely on the Pumpkin and everything else!! We never sleep with any heat on, so it didn't take me long to get dressed.  Too cold for the heat pump, so both electric heaters were activated and I continued putting on clothes....3 shirts,  my hooded sweat shirt and sweat pants. My insulated coveralls were in the basement or I would have put them on. The Blue Flame Heater is also put away, but I sure could have used it.

The sun is just coming up,  Frost is on the grass, all the roofs and my poor ole Truck is saying "You promised to take me where it is warm". Well, we are as far SOUTH as we can get in the US. Just a mile South is Mexico, and I'm not about to go there!

Our friends, Larry and Jeri Gustafson, from Custer, SD, who have been visiting us and touring the south, decided this was the morning for them to head on West towards Arizona. The cold didn't bother them much, they are used to it. Above they are all prepared to HEAD WEST!! We certainly enjoyed having them with us and wish the weather could have been better. Except for the first afternoon and evening they arrived, the weather has been LOUSY to BAD. Several days we were confined to the inside as it downpoured outside. They enjoyed Retama RV Park, the Pool and the Exercise room, but I think they had seen about all of the Rio Grande Valley they wanted.  Seminole State Park West of Del Rio is their next stop, then on to Big Bend National Park, south of Alpine.  Safe Travels Guys.....see you in Arizona!

Wouldn't it be shocking to be across the street in the Club House having coffee and hear sirens outside and see Fire Trucks pull up in front of your RV?  Yes....shocking, but not FUN!!  That's what happened to our friends and neighbors Bob and Kathleen Gomez. Shortly after Larry and Jeri had left, I noticed smoke at the West end of our Park but they burn Sugar Cane often around here and I assumed that's what it was. At the same time, I heard several sirens in the distance, but since there is a lot of Border Patrol activity in this area, that also happens regularly. It crossed my mind about the smoke being an RV Fire since it was so close and when I saw this Firetruck pull up down at the other end of the Park, I knew something was up. I hollered at Pat and got on my bike and headed that way.

I saw that it was Bob and Kathleen's Motorhome and was told immediately that they were not in the Rig. Soon there were 3 Fire Trucks, several Police cars and an Ambulance. The smoke was really bellowing up by then.  Darn!  I ran off without my camera....fine Photographer I am!!

The fire started somewhere around the Furnace, which is right below the Refrigerator and between the damage the fire did and the damage the Firemen did, I personally feel the Coach is definitely a "Total Loss"... no question. See the Fireman on top of the Motorhome in the picture? What's he doing you say?  Well, he's chopping a hole in the roof!!  One of the others was knocking out the windows with a sledge hammer!!

The Gomez's are in a mess right before the holidays and our hearts go out to them. The inside of their beautiful home is water and foam soaked. Its a wet, slick, slimy, burned and smokey mess.  They have lots of friends here and everyone is helping out but it has to be devastating for them. The most important thing is they are OK and their little dog Cookie is OK.  We thank God for that. 
After hearing about Nick and Terry Russell's robbery and now the Gomez's fire, that's about all the excitement we could stand for this week.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  It's 50 deg this morning, so we are looking forward to some warmer weather and getting ready for our weekly motorcycle ride.


My CONGRATULATIONS go out to the NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS for a Superb Football game with the #3 Texas Longhorns last night in the Cowboy's Stadium. What a GAME!!!  Texas was favored by several Touchdowns.  The entire game was CLOSE!  UN was ahead the entire first quarter....then Texas managed to kick a field goal in the last SECOND and win by 1 point. 13 to 12....Big Red is Comin' BACK!!!!

Yesterday was a great Football day.   I also watched, and was pleased to see Alabama STOP the #1 ranked Unversity of Florida.  Being the Florida State Fans that we are, that was good in our book...LOL.
Sorry Tebow and Gator fans!!  I know the loss was tough.

God Bless You All !!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Socked in!,,,Rain steady for 2 days.....

If I was a Carpenter, I'd be working on building an Ark. It started raining early Monday morning and it didn't stop until last night. It reallycame they say in "Buckets".   I checked my rain gauge last night and there was 3 inches.

By Tuesday I was beginning to get cabin fever, so I suggested to Ms Pat that it would be a good day to go to a movie. We have been wanting to see "Blind Side" since we have heard so many great reviews about it.  We have a large Movie Theater just a few miles down the road from our place. So we went to the 11:30am early showing. The parking lot was a Lake. In order to get to a parking area we had to go through water that was so deep it came up and slightly over the bottom of our doors on the Honda CRV!.....part of the street was even closed.....WOW!

I will add to the GREAT reviews of this movie.  It was superb!! It's been a long time since I've seen a movie without any sex and violence.  It was well worth the price of admission and I would suggest you all see it.

A lot of you will recognize our friends Larry and Geri Gustafson, Owners and Operators of the Broken Arrow Campground just South of our place in the Black Hills. Many of you have stayed with them at their "superb" Campground.  I'm happy to report that they are parked right next to us down here at our place in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. They arrived Sunday afternoon and we are so glad to see them. 

Unfortunately, the next morning it started raining and continued for 2 days straight.  However, we were able to get some good "visit" time in. Now if it will just clear up so we can do something!   So far they are enjoying the Swimming Pool and the Hot Tub, along with the Exercise Room. Today we hope to get in a Hike in the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park next door.  I notice that the sky is CLEAR...Hallelujah !!

That's it so far this week and it's a GREAT WEEK!!!

It's 45 deg here this morning, dark, damp and we are freezing to death.  We have the Heat Pump and the little electric heater running. However, I notice that it is 12* up in the Black Hills.  Now that makes me feel warmer!!

Thanks for stopping by.  We would love to have you leave Comments below:


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cruise the Rio Grande River.....Saturday Nov.27,2009

Mike Rhodes, owner of the RV Park here, purchased a nice Pontoon boat so we could take Cruises on the Rio Grande River. Yesterday 8 of us reserved it for a nice little 3 hr Morning Cruise. It was a gorgeous day, the weather was perfect. At 8:30 we arrived at the boat docks and met Captain Bob and his wife Karen and boarded for the cruise.

Below are a few pictures of the trip. Take a look across the river into the Mexico side of the Border.

From Rio Grande River Cruise 2009-11-28

Above is the Boat Dock, click on the link at the bottom of the picture to view the entire Album. We all had a great time and enjoyed our little cruise down the river.

Our little Project is slowly moving along, which is par for the course down here in South Texas. Nobody gets in a hurry around here.  We did get the corner posts set in concrete Friday. They will set-up over the weekend and hopefully Monday or Tuesday, we can get it finished up. But like I said, if it doesn't happen, I won't be a bit surprised. Here in "Tex-ico" it's always Manana and that doesn't mean Tomorrow. It means "someday".

Meanwhile, today we are expecting our good friends and neighbors from Custer, SD, Larry and Geri Gustafson. They are stopping by for a few days to visit the Valley. We found them a place to park right next to us. They are the owners and operators of the Broken Arrow Campground just south of us near Custer, SD in the Black Hills. It will be great to see them and spend some time together when they are not so BUSY! Oh by the way, I just happened to notice, it's 19 deg in Custer this morning. Burrrrrrr,That's cold! It's 70 deg here.  We continue to give thanks for the wonderful life we have.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published every Sunbday and Wedensday..

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What ??? Another Project........

Well, there isn't much interesting going on around here to Blog about, so we had to do another "Project". Thanks to all of those that tried to guess what it was. I received dozens of emails and some of you were extremely close.

We needed a place to conceal our trash can. Good friends David and Sue McCarron set the presidence and requested permission to put a concealment fence behind their Coach House to hide their garbage can, etc. They waited and waited.  No response.  So they built it anyhow! Good for you David and Sue.  Now finally after the fact, it has been approved. The idea has grown like "Wild Fire".  Now everyone is building one....including us.

This is the back of our Coach House and where we will put the concealment fence. Since we were going to extend the patio by 4 ft, we decided to go all the way! Most everyone so far has only gone to the end of the Coach House but we decided while we are at it, we might as well go the entire 50 ft on ours. The above mark is where the bricks will entend to. The fence will only go to the end of the Coach House, where we will put a gate.

First, all of the underground lawn watering lines had to be removed and redirected. Then the Sod had to be removed. Our water pipes and inspection box were too low, so they had to be removed, the pipes cut off and shortened so we could raise it up even with the pavers.

Rocks were placed under the inspection box so it would drain better and it was raised to the proper level.

Then a quick trip to.....Where else???    Home Depot !!!

We got them to load the paver blocks and sand on the truck with a fork lift.  That was easy, but "WE" had to unload them ourselves.  UGH!  It took 200 of the 12X12 concrete pavers. The pallet with the paver blocks and the leveling sand weighed over 4000 lbs.  It was HEAVY!  Good thing I had a BIG truck... it didn't even flinch.

Shortly after we got them home, they were unloaded.  Whew!!!  That's a lot of 23 lbs each.. Suddenly it started to rain.  Then it POURED!!!!  Wow, we got that done just in time!! Soon the above area was FULL of water!  Hopefully, by the end of the week the job will be completed and the pavers will all be down.  But don't be surprised if they aren't, with Thanksgiving, the rain and all.  Anyhow, that kept us pretty busy for the last few days.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by,,,,,,,Happy Thanksgiving to you all from Ms Pat and I.    God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Harley Davidson Grand Re-Opening, McAllen, Texas

From Harley Davidson Grand Opening RGV Texas 2009-11-21
Yesterday, the Harley Davidson Dealership in McAllen, Texas had a Grand Re-Opening. Actually it was a new owner taking over this dealership and the Satellite Harley Dealership in San Benito, TX. Since we have been hanging out at these dealerships quite a bit lately, I'm on their emailing list for any excitement that is going on in the area. This was a big celebration and actually started on Friday with a big blow out dance and party Friday night. It didn't start until 8 pm and since we have done most of our "partying" well before that time, we passed on that. Saturday was the actual Opening Ceremony with a "Ribbon Cutting" and a Harley Davidson Fashion Show.

Ms Pat thought she might enjoy the fashion show and I wanted to see all the new 2010 Bikes on display, so we decided to ride the 10 miles and take in some of the festivities. There were quite a few people around and we got to meet the new owner and his son. Strangely enough, he comes from South Dakota. Having that in common, we had a nice enjoyable chat with him and even sat with him at the Fashion Show. He seems to be a nice fellow and not too far from my age...(an old guy!)  Pat saw some real nice shirts, blouses and jackets that took her eye. The little kids dressed in Harley clothes were very cute. Course the young ladies weren't bad either...;-) 

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure not looking for a new Harley.   Our lovely Heritage Softail is mighty enjoyable and exactly the Bike I want.  However, I still like to look at "whats new". After all, mine has nearly 8500 miles on it now. Pat and I have put nearly 1500 miles on it since's not even broken in yet.

After the Fashion show, there was a Police escorted ride to the other store in San Benito for the same Ceremony at that store. San Benito is about 40 miles East on Hwy 83. Since we were just there week before last, we decided we wouldn't make the ride.  However, over 100 other bikes did.

If you click on the link below the picture above, it will take you to the Web Album of the pictures I took of the activities. You will note that in the picture of the Policeman that he is riding a Kawasaki.  I had a long chat with him about that and he informed me that the City Fathers of McAllen bought 5 Kow's as a trial about a year ago. They were of course "Cheaper".  They also have several Harleys. 

The officer said that they have Harleys ordered to replace the Kow's, because the Kow's won't stand up like the Harleys do. He said it's mainly the clutches.  They are hard on clutches because they do a lot of slow riding. The Harley clutches are well known for their durability.  Nothing against Kawasaki's in any way shape or form. They are a great Bike. In fact, my son Pat is an avid Kow rider and he has been all through the formal Motorcycle mechanics training. He loves them!   But he did tell me jokingly one time "Oh Dad, one day I'll own a Harley too,,,when I'm "OLD"!

After listening to the Bad "Los Lonely Boys" play for a while, we headed on home as we had to meet the DirecTV guy that was coming out to check the LNB on our 5 LNB "Slimline" HDTV dish.  Something keeps cutting off our signal. After much investigating and testing, including moving my tripod about 5 ft and having a tree cut down, I found out that if I just tap on the LNB's, it comes right back on.  So after we explained all of this to Marcos, the DirecTV guy, he did some testing and installed a new LNB yesterday about 2 pm.  It worked all afternoon and up until 10pm last night fine. Maybe that was it.  Hope so...those intermittent things are aggravating.

I had to have Satellite TV to watch Nebraska Football last nignt on ESPN.  I enjoyed that...especially since they WON!!!   Congratulations Cornhuskers and congratulations are also in order for the FSU Seminoles of Tallahassee.  They won a CLOSE one. It wasn't on TV in this area, but I sure wish I had seen it.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by and thank you GOD for allowing us to have everything we have.

We are about to start a NEW project.  So stay'll hear all about it.   Care to guess what it will be?


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ms Megabyte2 in a Harley sack,,,,,say what?

Sunday we rode the Harley over to Donna, TX about 40 miles West and attended a small Flea Market. Then we proceeded back East to Alamo, where the Bibleville RV Church is that we had heard about. We were just going to check it out, but happened to be there at the exact time the services were starting. We decided at the last minute to walk our leathers, T-shirts and all.  We weren't sure how we would be received but what the heck, we were looking for a place to worship. God had invited us and we didn't figure they would throw us out.  It was a large Service, well over 100 people, all older folks just like us. The sermon was great and we were welcomed with open arms. Glad we stopped.

From Bibleville we headed North for a few miles on rural rural as they get around here. It seems you're right at the edge of town because it is so heavily populated around here. Then we turned West and circled around and came south into McAllen. Just happened to be going by the Harley Dealership,,,what a coincidence. I wanted to look at some parts, so we stopped.

Pat found a neat shirt she liked, it was even "on sale". She is wearing her little girls "Harley Hat" that she found last week at the San Benito Harley shop. Plus, I found the parts I was looking for. Then we headed on home. Another great day for Bike riding and we lucked out and got to attend Church....traveled about 88 miles.

This is Ms Megabyte2 just about a year ago shortly after I met her. She loved to lie on the back of my truck. Here she is looking into my eyes saying "I want to be your kitty and live with you".  Can't you see why I fell in love with her? She has such a sweet, convincing, innocent look.  I couldn't resist but I still had to convince Ms Pat. That was not going to be an easy task but we shall give it a try.  It wasn't long until Ms Pat couldn't resist either.  Come on're in!!!

Pat accidently dropped the sack her Harley T-Shirt came in on the floor. Mega2 immediately became fascinated with the sack. It was a stronger, clearer, crisper sack than most of the Walmart sacks we usually have. She enjoyed playing with it.  After a while she became quiet and I looked around and found her completely inside the sack...resting!!! She even let me grab my camera and get a picture.  She liked that sack!!! We had a good laugh.

This little Kitty brings us more enjoyment than anything in this world...

"I love the good ole U.S.A !"......ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thank you so much Scooter for sending us this little "Angel Kitty".

It is a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by.....


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Installation of Deliberant CPE 2 - 2.4 GHz High Powered WiFi Radio System.......

Yesterday afternoon I got up on top of the roof and took this picture looking West towards the Clubhouse. You can see how a lot of the RV spots are filled up. Just a week or so ago most of these were empty.   It will fill up even more by the first of the year.  Hundreds of other RV parks are the same way.....all filling up. The local businesses are loving it, too.  There are "WELCOME WINTER TEXANS" signs up all over the Valley.

Recently, I've been playing around with a little project and I have about finished it up. I am installing a WiFi Radio system that will enhance my reception of WiFi anywhere we are when we are traveling and I can use it to broadcast a "hot spot" of my own WiFi for guests when they visit us in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mainly, I got it for my own reception.  Many WiFi signals are so weak in campgrounds that the signal keeps dropping out; thus dropping us from the Internet.  That aggavates the heck out of me, so this should help. Plus I had FUN building it...

This is the Marine mast with the Omni 2.4, 12 db gain antenna mounted on top. The mast is easily folded over so it is laying down when traveling or not in use. The mast and antenna are a total of 8 ft high.  I put the mount at a close proximity of the ladder handrail because of the strength of the roof in that area. It is extremely stable and strong. The white block you see just a few feet ahead of the mast is a hand made PVC hold down for the antenna when it is folded down...

Above is a picture of the "Marine Mount".  It is made of nylon and is unbelievably strong. My friend Mark Bruss has a mast like this that he has been using for a couple years and I've seen it withstand some very heavy winds.  The neat thing is the manner in which it folds down so easily....just flip up the lever on the right and fold it down.  That's all there is to it.

Above is the "Radio".

I mounted the Deliberant 2.4 GHz High powered CPE 2 "Radio" right behind my King Dome. The Radio is connected to the Antenna by Coax, which was pre-made and came with the Antenna. I am thankful of that because I learned from previous experience installing "N" connectors on the coax for my Ham radio  antennas was TOUGH.  But it has been several years since I have been using them with 9913 semi hard line coax and they have no doubt improved them.  The unit is connected to our Cradlepoint MBR 1000 Router with smaller, easy to handle, CAT5 connector wire. Now it's ready for the "Smoke" test. I  will rely on my friend Mark Bruss for that and want to thank him very much for his help and guidance with this project.

This little project was about the extent of anything outside of the normal stuff this week.. We did ship out a couple PressurePro Systems and received a large stock order from the Company. It takes me quite a while to check and inventory the order along with boxing everything up and packaging it for shipment. Sure enough, we were short 6 of the small Rubber Duck antennas. Ms Pat called and reported the shortage and it was agreed they would ship them immediately.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Meanwhile we are planning on leaving in a few minutes on our 5TH Motorcycle ride in the Valley.  Where are we going? Oh, we have a couple options.  When we head out the gate we will make a quick decision and let you know where we end up.  It's getting mighty hard to find a different place to go, but we will just GO!!!! Might even end up at a Harley dealer...who knows!

God Bless you all....


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last Sunday's Bike the RGV. Nov.8,2009

View Bike ride to Harlingen, TX Nov 8, 2009 in a larger map

This was our 4th Sunday morning bike ride since we came here to the Rio Grande Valley in the deep south of Texas. Last Sunday we went North, then West. This Sunday we went North to Puerto Rico, then East to Raymondville and proceeded South on US Hwy 77 to Harlingen.  There we stopped at a large Texas Welcome Center at the junction of US 77 and US 83.

This is the most beautiful Welcome Center I have ever seen!  It was SUPERB. No wonder Texas doesn't have any money to spend on their State Parks.... they spend it all on Welcome Centers.  This one was out of the ordinary. Maps and brochures of points of interest in not only this area, but also every other area in Texas. The Patio area has a Garden that was like a well manicured top-rated hotel. A very pleasant stop.

From the Welcome Center in Harlingen, we proceeded Southeast for a short distance to San Benito, the home of the Road Runners Harley Davidson shop. It is right along Hwy 83, so we decided to stop. It seems if you ride a Harley, it is just custom to stop at all the Harley Shops that you are close to, look around, talk to people and see what's going on. Right Stu and Donna?  We found out that this is the home of the quite active chapter of the "Road Runners" H.O.G. group. (that's Harley Owners Group)
This Dealership is not a large one, as it is actualy a branch of the RGV Harley Davidson in McAllen. Ms Pat found a nice Harley Cap she liked and I found a Harley drinking glass that I just had to have.   Now I can drink in STYLE !  OH, it is so good to be back in the Harley corner.  I love it!  That Suzuki was just not ME.  Now I feel American....not that their aren't some other brands of nice bikes, but Harleys are just "AMERICAN" all the way.

It was threatening rain, in fact, it had been sprinkling off and on since we hit Raymondville, so we headed south on Hwy 509 after asking some of the locals for directions.  We got back down on US 281 and headed for home. We planned on checking out "Bibleville", a Bible study and Church RV Park in Alamo, Tx on the way home but it was getting late and it started sprinkling rain.  Plus, we were getting beyond our ride limit so we decided to call it a day with 180 miles chalked up. That was our LONGEST ride so far.  Wow!  Remember when 50 miles was our limit? It was another great ride.

Not a lot is happening around the home front here ar Retama Village, everybody is just kinda doing their own thing. Lots of Winter Texans are showing up here and in all the other RV parks down here in the Valley. They just seem to keep rolling in up until Jan 1st, hang around until March and then start heading out to other destinations.

I'm working on installing a new WISPs Wi-Fi radio system in the Teton. It's a fun project and will enhance our Wi-Fi reception when traveling and I can use it as a Hot Spot at our place in Custer so visiting friends can use it. So now, ya gotta come see us in the Beautiful Black Hills next summer.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by..


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday.. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bike trip Nov 1st to Los Ebanos, TX

Last Sunday morning was our 3rd Sunday Bike ride exploring the area. We traveled about 130 miles total. The weather was beautiful again and below is a map of the trip:

View Harley Ride to La Gloria, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos Ferry, Nov 1st, 2009 in a larger map

When we left our RV home in Retama Village in Mission, TX, we rode straight North on Texas Farm Road #651 to McCook, then up to Hwy 1017 and over to La Gloria. These are all very small towns with very few people. The picture below was our first stop at the junction in La Gloria at an old Service Station.

It was around 9:00am and we were about 40 miles into our trip....nice time for a short break and walk around. As you can see, at this time of the day on Sunday morning, there is very little traffic....a wonderful time for a ride in the country. This was again very, flat and wide open country. Not much to see but lots of fresh air and it's nice to get away from the "Concrete Jungle" around Mission.  From La Gloria we headed South on State Road 755 to Rio Grande City where we stopped and filled the Harley with gas. From there we headed east on busy highway 83 towards home.

On our way home, we had one more stop we wanted to make. We had heard about the "hand drawn" Ferry that crosses the Rio Grande River at Los Ebanos, TX.   Los Ebanos is about 16 miles West of Mission on Hwy 83 and 2-3 miles South, right on the Texas-Mexico border.  We wanted to see this famous Ferry Crossing....the only one left in existence.  A lot of Winter Texans take their bicycles down, load them on the Ferry and ride them around the little town of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.

It was starting to warm up and the sun was beating down, so we found a nice shade tree to park under and proceeded down to the Ferry.  This is a legitimate border crossing and there is a customs booth.  Walking down to the edge of the Rio Grande River border cost a mere 50 cents per person.  We didn't want to cross.... just walk down and watch the "muscle powered" Ferry   It was busy going back and forth across the river carrying 3 vehicles and several walking passengers.

The Ferry was loading from the U.S. side as we approached.  Soon the vehicles and a few pedestrains were loaded and headed across....

It dropped those off, picked up a load on the Mexican side and here they come back.  I would say the river is no more than 90-100 yards wide here.  They say it is about 15 ft deep in the middle.
(click on all pictures to enlarge)

Here is a picture of the MUSCLE powering the Ferry....

The owners then drive their vehicles off the Ferry and the passengers walk off and up to this little customs immigration check point. We didn't have to stop since we didn't cross. They were watching us very close tho!

This is a neat little attraction tucked way off the beaten path and would be hard to find if it were not for the "Historical Marker" signs on the winding streets of Los Ebanos.   Someday we will come back and take the Ferry over into Mexico and walk or ride our bicycles around the little border town.  I understand there is a good restaurant there, but I can't go the language barrier.  Oh, if I could only speak Spanish,,,,,I wish!!!

As we got ready to head on back home, I got a kick out of this Bumper Sticker I saw in the parking lot...LOL

We rode the last leg of our 3rd Sunday morning ride. This was the best ride so far.  Now today we're  planning another ride if the weather is good and it looks like it is.  Tune in next week to see if we made it and where we went. We've been, East, then West and last week North, where next? South is all that is left,,,,,,,NO WAY!!!! HOSEA!! (Jose).....?.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Remember to tell your kids you love them, they may not be around forever......

God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published Every Sunday and Wednesday..