Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last day at Retama Village in the Rio Grande Valley.

Today will be our last day here at Retama. We have been extremely busy the last few days. We were able to get in one last Motorcycle ride with Gregg and Bonnie. We rode about 120 miles altogether and Gregg showed us a neat little place called Delta Lake and Park about 50 miles Northeast of Mission. We had a little picnic lunch, a good visit and cruised on back home. We are really gonna miss Gregg and Bonnie. However, they will be coming West to Arizona in April and we will get to see them again. Hopefully, we will get some more riding in then. There are a lot of neat places to ride near North Vulture Peak, Prescott, Sedona and even the Grand Canyon! Plus there is Parker, another beautiful area.

Ms Pat made us a cover for the Harley while traveling....

Not really,,,(just kidding!) I couldn't resist showing you this picture of how someone got carried away while crocheting.

Yesterday we got the Harley all loaded and buttoned down and ready for travel. Thanks Gregg and Rocky for your help.  You both really made the job easy.  I sure feel a lot better with the new cover. It kills me to leave it out in the open unprotected. The next best thing would be a "Toy Hauler".  But until Ms Pat is willing to give up at least 12 ft of her living room, this will have to do.

We have really had a run on PressurePro tire monitoring systems. We just got Jim and Sandy Cox set up with a system  yesterday when Sam Jones called and asked if we would come to the RV Park next door and check out his Motorhome for a System. While setting him up, Ron Eichholz stopped and purchased a system for his 5th wheel. We were finishing up with him when Ron Mertz stopped and purchased one for his Alfa "See Ya". Then we had to rush home and quickly get a couple systems packed up and shipped out.

Just a few days ago I had 16 full systems in stock. Now we are SOLD OUT. WOW, what a send off!! We also sold 8 Repeaters and 4 PowerTanks  during the week. We should just about have enough money to buy fuel to get to Arizona!

Meanwhile we continue getting things ready to go, including sealing up the Coach House, shutting off the water and covering the air conditioner, etc, etc. With another busy day today and a little luck, by tomorrow evening we should be about 400 miles West between Del Rio and Van Horn, on Hwy 90, with God as our co-pilot.

Who knows where we will be by next Sunday when I post again. Thanks for stopping by and come on back Sunday for more on "Mike and Pat's Travels".

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time in Texas is getting short!

Only 3 more days and we will be headed to our place at North Ranch Escapee RV Resort near Wickenburg, AZ. WOW, and so much to do getting ready to leave. So many things must wait until we are about ready to leave that it makes the last few days quite hectic.

Looking forward to one more nice Motorcycle ride with our friends Greg and Bonnie Gheyssens this morning. Then tomorrow, I will load the Harley and get it all secured and ready for the trip. After that, it's then time to prepare the 5Th wheel and the truck for travel and secure the Coach House for another year. As much as we have done this, we should be able to do it with our eyes closed. However, it still takes a lot of thought and double checking.

Chuck and Rhoda Roper from Tallahassee, Florida came and spent several days with us last week. They were our neighbors and good friends back when we were working and had a "stick" house. We have kept in close contact with them since we decided to sell our house and live full time in our "Home on Wheels". That was nearly 15 years ago. My how time flies!

Here they are in our Retama neighbor's driveway just before they departed for home. It was sure good seeing them again and talking about old times. They are the first couple that have stayed in our Coach House since we finished it and commented how much they enjoyed it. Come and see us again anytime guys!

We had one more little project that we wanted to complete on the patio extension before we departed. We found out about some special kind of sand called Polymeric Paver Sand. It is supposed to reduce weed growth, resist joint washout and prevent insect penetration.

In order to do this, we had remove some of the sand we had used to level the pavers and install the new Polymeric Sand. We got this all done yesterday.  Below are some pictures of the process.

First we had to clean it all up. I removed as much of the previous sand as I could by going down each joint with a screwdriver and then sweeping what was loose and Pat used the blower to further clean the surface.

Next, I slowly swept the sand into all the cracks. Note how much better the joints look on the right with the new Polymeric Sand.

Ms Pat hand swept each paver to get the excess off. Then I sprayed down the entire patio with a very fine mist of water. We had to respray it every 30 minutes for 4 times. This will make the sand set up and get hard, although it will stay somewhat pliable.

After we completed the portion outside of the patio fence, we started on the inside. Notice at the bottom of this photo how the finished product looked. We got it all done just in time to take a shower and get up to the clubhouse for the 1st annual Chili Cook Off. As usual the Buffalo chili was the best!! (IMO) But none was even close to as good as what my sweetie Ms Pat makes!!

So hopefully that's our last project for this year and we can move on down the road to new and different things.. I'll get one more Blog in on Wednesday, the day before we leave, and bring you up to date one more time before departure.

Thanks for stopping by. Please let me know if these larger pictures are hard for you to download or if they take too long. I know I'm going to have to change things when we leave and I get off this high speed data cable line.  We wil be back on our Verizon Air Card with a 5GB monthly limit. That really cuts us down. Pat and I will use that much in 2 weeks or less if we don't really watch our usage.  This Cable line spoils us!!

God Bless you all and remember to tell your kids, family and friends that you love them.  They may not be around forever.
We continually give thanks to our Lord for all the blessings he provides us. We are most grateful.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Great Ride to South Padre Island, Jan 17,2010

Sunday was a Beautiful day just as predicted. The skies were clear and the wind was not blowing, so we took off on a Bike Ride with our friends Greg and Bonnie Gheyssens. We headed for South Padre Island, about 100 miles East on the Gulf of Mexico.

Greg and Bonnie are long time riders and we were waiting for an opportunity to ride with them. The weather hasn't been cooperating a lot this winter, so I'm glad we had this opportunity. Bonnie has her own Harley Heritage Softail Deluxe just like ours. However, she is recuperating from a mean fall off of a ladder while she was cleaning their 5th wheel. She was in the hospital for about a week with a bad break in her left leg. She is still in therapy and has been for over 2 months. I mentioned her fall in my Blog some time ago when we called the Emergency unit here to the park. Thankfully, her hard work and physical therapy are working and she only has to use a cane now. Soon she hopes to be back on her own bike..

We arrived at South Padre about noon and were anxious to find some good Seafood.

We had heard a lot about Dirty Al's, so we headed there. It was very busy and there weren't any parking spaces.

It's never hard to fiind a spot big enough to park a Bike; in fact, we got both Bikes parked nearly at the front door.

Greg and Pat as we were leaving the restaurant after a great seafood lunch...

We took the northern route home and went past this Sugar factory. It was a busy place and trucks were bringing in the Cane one right after another.  As far as we know, it is the only Sugar factory in the area.

Soon we were back home from a great ride, our longest so far (200 miles), and our first with other bikers. We are so glad we finally had the opportunity to ride with Greg and Bonnie. Maybe we can get lucky and get one more ride in before we leave for Arizona in 8 days....

Meanwhile, things are quite busy around here. Monday morning we had our PressurePro Seminar for folks here and in the big RV park just south of us. I'm extremely happy to say that it was very well attended by over 50 Rv'ers.  They were there because they are interested in learning about PressurePro and improving the safety of their travels.  We almost sold out and only have a couple systems left. Plus, we sold 4 PowerTanks. Pressure Pro Tire Monitoring Systems have become very popular and PowerTank is catching on fast.

Then Monday afternoon our friends and old "stick house" neighbors, Chuck and Rhoda Roper, came all the way from Tallahassee Florida to visit for a few days. We have been showing them around and we'll be headed back over to Padre Island today.  Hopefully, we will even get to see our friends and fellow Church members, the Geetings, from Custer, SD. They have a Condo on the Island and just recently came down for some warm sunshine.  

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by......


This Blog is Published every Wedensday and Sunday..

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chief Crazy Horse

Although my body is physically down here in the deep south Texas Valley, my mind and heart are still up in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. I often think about Crazy Horse Mountain. When we first started going to the hills every summer about 15 years ago, Crazy Horse Mountain was just another Mountain. When you drove by it, you would not have known what it was going to be if it were not for the outline they had painted on the side. Many folks were wondering if it would ever come to be or if it was a joke. I remember going past it back in the 50's and thinking "NO WAY"!

Soon (50 years)Crazy Horse's head took shape and you could actually see it was for real. Maybe it wasn't just some sculptor's dream after all. Soon Ruth, the sculptor's wife started inviting people, especially dignitaries to ride in a van to the top and walk on Crazy Horses arm and under his face. This really got folks attention.  Plus it got them into the museum and brought attention to what was happening.

Part of the museum is a large movie theater where movies and pictures are shown of the progress made over the years and just how far they have come. It is very interesting. The project was officially started June 3rd 1948, over 60 years ago, and the private owner and sculptor,along with his wife Ruth, truly did have a vision and a dream. Things were real tough and it was rough going for many, many years in the beginning. They didn't have much equipment and what they did have was old and not in good shape. A lot of things were done by hand the old fashioned way. The famed sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski and his wife Ruth, devoted and dedicated their life to the project. The sculpture was their entire life.  They lived and raised a family of 12 children on the mountain. Mr Ziolkowski died on Oct 20, 1984 at the age of 74. His dedicated wife Ruth and the children are carrying on their plan and vision. Blasting continues on the mountain, just as Korczak would have wanted. Ruth, CEO and President of Crazy Horse Memorial, is quite well known and respected.

Our boss Rollie Noem, the superintendent at Custer State Park when we worked there, became close friends with Ruth and part of our job and experience was to take VIPs to Crazy Horse Mountain and drive them up to the top and walk with them out on the arm. The view up there is outstanding. Pat and I enjoyed it every time and Ruth was always there to go along.  We got to know her quite well. She appreciated what Custer State Park was doing and always welcomed us with open arms. What a lovely lady she is. Plain and pure with a wonderful personality. We took many Senators, Legislators, Governor's and other VIPs to her place and up on the "Arm". We also hiked up there several times when formal, well advertised hikes were held throughout the year.  I will always remember Ms Ruth and the kindness she showed to us. She would welcome us and tell us "Now you go to my Restaurant and eat while you are here".  She would insist that we go and tell us, "I will tell them you are coming, so be sure and stop". Sure enough when we walked in, the head cashier would greet us and tell us that we were guests of Ruth and we could have anything we wanted.

I won't go into much more of the history as you can read all of that you want on the different websites, or you can just google "Crazy Horse" and find out all the legends behind this young Indian Warrior and how he was respected by his people. Crazy Horse also has a page on Facebook and Twitter.  I do want to show you a few pictures of some of the dozens of Dynamite Blasts that we have witnessed at the Mountain.

Day Time Blast

From Crazy Horse Day Time Blast 2009
Night Blast

From Crazy Horse Night Blast 2009
Again click on the link at the right lower corner to go to the Albums. Use your back arrow to get back to my Blog.

This morning we are planning a nice long Motorcycle ride with out great friends and respected Bikers Gregg and Bonnie Gheyssens. We are riding over to South Padre Island, about 100 miles to our East. The weather is supposed to be the best we have had in weeks. It's been so cool and rainy that our Harley feels neglected. More about our trip on Wednesday. I smell Seafood on the menu!

Next week is going to be an extremely busy one. Monday morning at 10 am we are having a PressurePro Tire Monitoring Seminar at Bensten PalmVillage RV Resort right next door. Then in the afternoon, our old friends and "X" next door neighbors Chuck and Rhoda Roper  from Tallahassee, Florida, are arriving to spend a few days with us. We haven't seen them for over a year and it will be fun seeing them and getting caught up on the old home site.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by...


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OK 2010,,,Bring it on!!

Well, here we are almost 2 weeks into the New Year. They say as you get older, each year gets tougher and I suppose they are right, but I'm not old yet. So I say "Bring it on".   I'm ready and lookin' forward to it.

A few weeks ago, we had a Fireman from Massachusetts call and order a PressurePro System from us for one of their Fire Trucks. It was a big order and we were quite pleased to get it.  Monday, he called Ms Pat again and ordered 3 more big systems for 3 more Fire Trucks and Pumpers. He was pleased and happy with the first system and wanted more, which we were equally happy to supply him. Lets hope he continues to be happy with them and finds more Fire Trucks to put them on. The day after that, a Foretravel Motorhome owner called and ordered another big system.  Then, yesterday we shipped a system to Oregon which was a referral from one of our present customers. So that makes it already a good week. In fact, it makes it a good year! Plus, we still have over half the week left. So like I say, "Bring it on"!

It is getting a little "blah" as far as weather is concerned. It's pretty limited around here for things to do and places to go, but when the weather is dreary and damp and you're confined to the indoors, it gets rather boring. I'm getting way too much computer time for me. I did manage to get my hair cut yesterday and went to the Post Office. That was real exciting!

On the way home, I stopped at my favorite store to just look around. You're thinking Wally World, aren't you? Nope, my favorite store is Tractor Supply. We have one just a couple miles from us and I enjoy just looking through the stuff. It even brings back old memories. They have a section for horses and all type of animals. There are saddles, bridles, halters, breast collars and cinches. There are neat curry combs, hoof trimming tools, throw ropes, pigging strings, hot shots and you name it. They also have a good tool section, truck supply section, all types of hardware, a special section for western clothing, both work and dress, and all types of shoes and boots. I bought a nice western straw hat there a couple months ago. I could go on and on about what all they have, but next time you see one, you need to stop in and take a look.

The three main things I miss at this Park is something I enjoy very much. One is a Jam Session, where all the local musicial talent get together for a couple hours and just play and sing. Another is a "Swap" table. All Escapee Parks have a swap table where people put things they want to swap. I love them and I put stuff out and exchange stuff there all the time. The third is mountains or hills. Both are scarce around here.

However, in a couple more weeks we aill be heading to North Ranch Escapee RV Park in Congress, AZ. I'm looking forward to hiking the Vulture Peak mountain again this year and hitting the desert with our ATV where we can exercise our trigger fingers and catch up on some target practice (another favorite) and checking that swap table. Paul, Nancy, Pat H and Julie, we are looking froward to seeing you soon. Start your engines!!

We'll be there soon!!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I mentioned in my last Blog we were headed to Mexico with our friends and neighbors Rocky and Sheri Rhoades. We left home at 9am and spent the entire day about 10 miles south of the Border in Mexico. We toured 4 different Children's Missions that the Hero Makers help support. This is wonderful work these folks do. To see how some of these misfortunate Children live is heartbreaking.  "Hero Makers" is doing its best to make life a little easier for them. Rocky and Sheri are Missionaries and part of their work involves contacting groups and Churches all over the US and Canada for help and assistance for these Missions.  It was a real treat to see what they are doing and what they have done.

At one of the Missions, there was a group of College students from Tennesee working for a week as a school project.  They were sweeping, cleaning, building and just doing what needed to be done.  It was very heart warming to see these College students trying to make these young kids lives a little better.  If anyone is interested in making a donation to Hero Makers or would like to volunteer on some of their projects or know someone or some group that might be interested, you can contact Rocky at the following email address: .  Or, you can click here:  Hero Makers Donations

We also had a "REAL" Mexican dinner at a "REAL" Mexican restaurant.  They know how to make things "HOT".  If you click on the title below the picture, it will take you to my album of several more pictures. Click your "back" arrow to get back to my Blog. All pictures have a caption describing them. Take a look:

From Hero Makers Mexico trip to the Mission's.Jan2010

Cold weather is plaquing a lot of people all over the country right now and many have it a lot worse than we do but it still is getting on my nerves. It was 22 deg yesterday in this area, but the sun did finally manage to come out for a while and it got up to a quick 50. It sure felt good too! Friday the wind was so bone chilling that we went to the exercise room at 6:30am and worked out. We managed to work up a good sweat there, then about froze walking back home. I had to get out my BIG coat that I haven't had out for years. It's 35 here in Mission, TX. this morning at 4am and I see it's 46 in Wickenburg, you know where I wish I was! This time next month we will be out there, Lord willing. I'm getting real anxious to move.  That's why we have a home with wheels, so we can go.

Hope everyone is staying warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Birthday today to our son-in-law Randy and Grandson Gabe.  Hope you have a GREAT birthday!!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday.. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WHAT?? Another Cold Front headed this way!!!

Everybody keeps hoping it will someday warm up! They say this is the coldest winter they have had here in the Rio Grande Valley in at least 5 years. We have only been here 3 winters and it sure is the coldest one we have seen. It just seems to get cold and stay cold for days on end. Cold and Damp! It's getting a little tiresome.  Now they tell us that tonight another frigid cold front is going to hit us and it will be worse than any so far...Geeze!

I'll bet those folks up in my home land aren't feeling one bit sorry for me.  I see it's going to be about
20 deg "below" zero up there and maybe warm up to about 2 deg "below" in the daytime.  Oh well, I guess we don't have it so bad after all.   In just 3 weeks, we are going to head North and West to Arizona.  I'm sure it will be a colder there. It will be a lot dryer though and that makes quite a difference. I just don't want to be in SNOW. I've had my fill of that stuff....40+ years of it is enough. Although several winters ago, we did get stuck in Deming, New Mexico in snow drifts of about 2 ft deep. I don't want to see that again.

Last summer I showed a picture of my friend Mel Harrison's PressurePro Tire Monitor stand that he had built by one of the Mennonite wood crafters near Elkhart, Indiana. It is an extremely attractive mount and several have asked me about it, so here is another picture of it. I have several more pictures if anyone wants to see them. Just send me your email address and I'll send you what I have so you can check it out further. Mel had them make it out of wood that matches the woodwork in his rig. He gets a lot of compliments on it.              (click on picture to enlarge)

Today's Blog is going to be short. We have an exciting day planned and must hurry around and get ready for it. In a little while, we are going to Mexico. No, not to shop or replenish the liquor supply. We are going with our good friends and fellow RV'ers, Rocky and Sheri Rhoades. They are Missionaries working with HeroMakers and have several projects going on just over the Border. They asked us to go along with them and see what they have been doing. I know they are very involved in working with underprivileged and orphaned children and I'm anxious to hear and see more about it.  I'll keep you advised.

Rocky and Sheri Rhoades at our place in Custer, SD


It is a GREAT WEEK!!!
Thanks for stopping by.  See ya Sunday.
This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Blog of 2010,,,

2010 is here, just as we predicted.  All the holidays and celebrating is over and it's back to business as usual. In less than a month, we will be leaving the South Texas Rio Grande Valley and head West. I'm getting anxious and looking forward to getting out where there are some mountains. We plan on leaving here on Jan 28TH and stopping for a couple days at Big Bend National Park south of Alpine, Texas. We have been there before and want to hike some of the trails again and explore Big Bend Ranch State Park right next door to the National Park. After that, we will continue on to Arizona. We should arrive at our place in North Ranch at the Escapee Park near Wickenburg on or about Feb 3RD. We are looking forward to seeing our great neighbors and friends there.

Yes, 2009 is gone forever, gone but not forgotten. Here are a few pictures I put together of last year.

Great memories. 2009 was a good year!

Congratulations are definitely in order for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Florida State Seminoles Football teams. Nebraska beat Arizona in the Holiday Bowl and the Seminoles beat West Virgina in the Gator Bowl. Nice way to end the year for both teams and a wonderful way for the great Bobby Bowden to end his career of 57 years.

We are looking forward to another Great year. I'm sure there will be challenges, but we're up for them  and looking forward to it. ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER!! CHARGE!!!

It was a GREAT YEAR!!!

God Bless you all from both of us.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..