Thursday, July 30, 2015

April through July Gate Guarding in Cotulla TX

We got a gate through Riata Oilfield Services, just 5 miles out of Cotulla, TX on the Northcut Ranch.  We felt blessed, because our gate had NO mud, and very very nice oilfield workers, whom we got to know pretty well in the 4 months we were there!


We did have an issue with rattle snakes – we saw 5 in a two week period, two of which the workers dispatched for us because they were under and/or near our motorhome (as in behind the back wheels).  That was exciting, and we did see several more but nowhere close to us so they got to live Winking smileIMG_2582IMG_2584


While there I joined the Ladies luncheon in Cotulla at the Baptist church, the first Tuesday of each month.  They have a wonderful patron who pays for the lunches to be catered in, and it was always very nice.  The best thing about it was that we got to network with the other guards, from all different companies, so we learned quite a bit about them!  We also had a lunch the 3rd Tuesday at a different restaurant each month, which really was nice too.  It’s a Godsend when you can get away from the gate and enjoy the company of others in the same lifestyle!


My friend, Judy Mott and her husband Dick got a gate the same day about 8 miles from us, so she went with me about every other week shopping to a ‘big’ store, HEB, WalMart, etc., because Cotulla just has a small Lowes grocery, and a couple dollar stores.  When we would go we’d have a late lunch, (Dick slept until 2, but on our days out he got up so we could leave at 1), then we’d shop, and arrive home about 6:30/7:00.  It was always nice to get away and stock up the cupboards!


Of course we treated ‘our’ workers on holidays, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.  I decorated our gate and made brownies, sometimes they would get tootsie roll pops, sometimes donuts, no bake cookies, goodie bags of bite sized candy bars…something almost every week.  They really enjoyed it, and we enjoyed treating them! 


We had planned to stay on the gate through March of next year, but we got the call on March 21 that our gate was closing and we had until 5 pm to vacate.  Well, we put it in high gear and were pulling out by 11:45.  We got back to our lot in Hondo, TX and set up by 3 pm.  We went to the local restaurant, The Cowboy for our first meal out together in 4 months.  Woohoo!


Then, last Thursday, we went to San Antonio and bought our new car.  My ‘old car’ was a 2005 Chevy Malibu, with 140,000 miles on it.  It was a great car, but we put a refurbished transmission in it back in Dec in DC and it had a 6 month warranty on it.  It was starting to shift hard, and then the AC went out in it July 17th.  We are members of USAA and I used their car buying service to purchase our new ride.  It is a 2015 Chevy Equinox, LT2 with all the bells and whistles…more than I need that’s for sure. 


We’ve had several outings since being back.  I have my name in several places for guard positions, including for 12 hour guard shack jobs.  I sure would love to have something, but we can’t work a real busy gate, since David’s COPD keeps him down quite a bit…but a 12 hour or 18 hour gate would work as long as it wasn’t horribly busy.  We’ll just see what opens up.  We have several dr appts coming up, the last one is Aug 19th for David.  If we have nothing lined up by then, we’ll be packing the car and heading to PA for Sept and Oct…returning to TX for winter.


All for now – I’ll report again in a few months, unless something major happens before then!

January, February, March Hondo Tx

We arrived at Lone Star Corral January 18th.  Our friends, Lynn and Joyce Marlatt were already there waiting for us, and they were almost our back door neighbors!  We immediately started showing them the area, and joining the wonderful Escapee friends at LSC.  Some of the things we did:

  • The Alamo
  • LBJ ranch tour
  • Outlet Mall in San Marcos
  • Visiting gate guard friends and fellow LSCer’s Gene and Linda Moreau
  • San Antonio river walk
  • Bill and Rosa’s for country fried steak
  • Pulled pork dinner at LSC
  • Mad Dogs Pub in San Antonio
  • Coopers BBQ in New Braunfels
  • Lunch bunch tea room in Uvalde (fantastic jalapeno soup)
  • Trade days in Boerne
  • The Brazilian Grill in North San Antonio (highlight of the trip)
  • 5 Days in Rockport where we walked on the beach and pier, had breakfast on the bay, went to the boiling pot for a dinner, and since we were parked right on the bay had wonderful views every day!
  • Welcome Winter Texans lunch in Uvalde
  • Sabinal bean supper
  • Valentines dinner at LSC
  • German dinner in Fredericksburg
  • Breakfast and shopping at the Old Spanish Trail in Bandera
  • Omelets in a bag (Peggy’s kitchen)
  • Many days of ‘just driving around’
  • Car show at Womack Chevrolet in Castroville
  • Mercado in San Antonio (Mexican shopping plaza)


Before Lynn and Joyce left, our friends Len and Phyllis East came to LSC for a month, and they joined in on some of the fun stuff too!  Also we had visitors Joe and Sandy Fryberger from Longmont, CO came and stayed 2 nights.  We sure wish we would have had more time with them all!


On March 16th we left LSC for a gate at Northcut Ranch, with Riata Oilfield Security Services.  We were hoping to get a gate and just kind of fell into this one, and we love it.  It is now May 4th, and we are planning to stay here until at least next spring (if the job holds out).  It will be a long hot summer in south TX, but the kitty is crying the blues, and we have to make some money.  We really enjoy the Cotulla area, even though it is in the desert pretty much.  We’ve got some great wildlife here at the gate – cows, deer, turkey, eagles, rabbits, road runners, rattle snakes, coyotes, cardinals, and many birds we don’t know, but they’re fun to watch.  We’ve gotten to know quite a few of our ‘workers’ and so far I’ve made them brownies and no bake cookies. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jan 13, 14, 15 Magnolia Ridge COE Park


Tuesday we got up and got moving early – we had 240 miles to go to get to our spot at Magnolia Ridge where we had reservations for 2 days – hoping if we got in a day early we would be able to stay.  The drive was nice, we had no sunshine but no rain Smile  We got to the park about 3, which is the cut off for us…if we aren’t somewhere by then we find a place as quickly as possible! 


We got parked in site 40, which is an amazing site.  Actually, I don’t know if there is a BAD site in this park.  Of course it is a Corp of Engineers park, and we had 50 amp elec and water for the princely sum of $9 a day. 


One of the perks of this park is that friends of ours, Judy and Dick Mott were parked on site 40 – and we stayed here specifically so Judy and I could have some ‘friend’ face time Smile  Normally we would go to Livingston, but these sites are less expensive, bigger, more level and much quieter.  I really really like this park!  I expect it will be back on our ‘go to’ places again.


We settled in and had beef lo mein out of a frozen bag for dinner – and you know that doesn’t happen very often, but it was very good.


Wednesday we got around and headed into Livingston to pick up our mail.  Hadn’t gotten it since mid Nov so there was a lot – I haven’t even gotten through it all yet!  While there we had lunch at Taco Bell and I grocery shopped at HEB.  Also filled the car up with gas at $1.84 a gallon – Oh Happy Day!  We came home and got stuff put away, Judy and I got some visitin’ done, and I pulled out a frozen bag of homemade Taco Soup, and that was dinner!  Later on I went over to Judy’s and watched Criminal Minds and Stalker – both were excellent!


Thursday we got around pretty early ‘cause I had invited Dick and Judy for breakfast.  I did sausage gravy and biscuits, with eggs to order.  It was awfully yummy!  Of course, in true RV fashion, we sat and yammered for almost 2 hours Smile 


Then Judy and I went to visit with Lynette and her husband, Gregg McHenry, more gate guards with Gate Guard Services.  It is always fun to meet new folks in the same ‘business’ as us! 



We visited for a couple hours, then headed back home where I got a nap…and baked a cake!  I made a banana split cake for dessert, because Dick and Judy made us a wonderful dinner of shrimp gumbo and potato salad.  It was a true Louisiana feast and we enjoyed it immensely.  Thanks Judy and Dick for feeding us that amazing dinner!



We ended the evening on more laughter – which is the way it should always be!  We had a wonderful 3 days at a great park…who could ask for anything more!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jan 11, 12 Natchez MS

We left Jackson, MS on Sunday morning, at the late hour of about 10:30.  We were in no hurry since we only had about 100 miles to go.  We stopped for diesel and paid $3.45 a gallon, which was a great price considering on our trip North in May we paid $3.99 a gallon a couple times!


We got to Natchez Trace State Park about 1 pm, and although we stayed here before, I forgot about the road to get in here.  It is about 3 miles of twisty, turny, hilly potholed roads.  When we got here we realized that there was NO TV stations to be had, even though we’re only 8 miles from Natchez….gggrrr!  So we were unable to watch either of the playoff games, but we’re happy to have our Verizon hot spots and that Green Bay won their game, also the Indianapolis Colts won their game!  My kindle got a workout for sure while we were here!


Monday morning we got around very slowly, it was raining and had rained hard most of the night.  I got a big surprise when I took Cinder out – for the first time in about 2 months I didn’t need layered clothing, gloves and ear muffs!  It was a balmy 55 degrees…hooray!


About 11 we left to go 20 miles North to ‘the Old Country Store’ AKA Mr. D’s restaurant.  It is a buffet that we have visited every time we have traveled on the Trace.  Really the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a LOT!  Today was no exception, the food was amazing, from the salads to wonderful veggies, green beans with bacon, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, ribs, country fried pork chops, handmade biscuits that just about floated away they were so flaky…yummers!  We ate ‘til we were miserable…then David had blackberry cobbler with ice cream!!!   I had ONE bite, and it was SO good. 


We meandered our way back home, napped and played on the internet for a while.  Tomorrow we pick up the jacks and roll on down the road Smile

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jan 8, 9, 10, 2014 Timberlake Campground, Ross Barnett reservoir


Thursday morning we got a late start, it was only in the teens temperature wise.  We had bacon, egg and cheese english muffins to start the day.  As we went down the road, we thought we would stay in Canton at a campground, but then we did a little search and decided to try Timberlake Campground, in Ridgeland/Jackson MS.  Boy, we are glad we did!


This campground has well over 100 sites, and we had a waterfront site with full hook ups, on a beautiful cement pad, for $25 a night.  All paved roads, well maintained, pool, tennis courts, country setting – and you are less than a mile from a huge Kroger and several mini malls with everything you could possibly want in there.  WalMart is 7 miles away, but we did not need to go there!  NO cable TV, but we got about 20 channels over the air.  Free wifi!  Needed my external antenna but it was good, fast wifi.


For dinner we went to a place called the Lost Pizza Company and had a really good pizza and salad.  We came back and just vegged. 


On Friday morning I got my list and headed to the grocery store, while David hooked up the water and sewer hose.  First time I went for groceries since we left PA!  I did a little re-arranging of a kitchen cupboard, and made a nice dinner of salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, applesauce.  It was very good.  I got 2 loads of laundry done and since the weather was not too bad, Cinder and I went for a nice long walk.  That was about it for the day!


Saturday, 10th, woke to wonderful sunshine!  Cinder and I walked again, she loves scaring the Geese that are everywhere here!  Did more laundry…took a ride around the campground with David.  Dinner was fillet of beef on the grill, baked sweet potatoes, salad.  We head down the road tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 1–4, 2015


We left Berlin at 9:30 am, New Year’s day.  As we traveled down the road, we reminisced about last New Year’s day when we left Yuma AZ after spending a month there.  The weather was MUCH better then!  As we left this year, it was –18 degrees…with a wind chill!  Bbbbrrrrr!!!  We stopped at the Borough shed and hooked up the car, and then we were off. 


We drove miles down the road, and decided to stop to refill my coffee, and let some of the water out as well!  We had a cereal bar and kept on going.  We stopped about 11 and had egg salad sandwiches for lunch, in a nice rest area.  We continued down the road, and stopped for the night at the Robert Newlon Airpark RV park in Huntington WV.  We had stopped there before, and were very pleased with the fact that it was a Passport America park and it was $12 for full hook ups.  Imagine my surprise when the manager said they were no longer PA…and that it would be $28 for the night, even though we didn’t want water or sewer.  We most likely not stop there again, even though it has nice pull throughs.


We got up Jan 2, and headed down the road once again, where we once again stopped for egg salad sandwiches for lunch, got to Singing Hills RV Park about 2 pm.  Long days for us, another day over 270 miles.  We got set up and since it was a balmy 48 degrees, decided it was time to put some water in the unit.  That’s when we ran into trouble.  The city water was good, but when we tried to fill the tank, water sprayed everywhere.  What a mess!  Oh well, just another bump in the road of full time RVing. 


On Jan 3rd we slept in, got showers and headed to tour the JIM BEAM distillery, about 60 miles away.  We enjoyed the drive, and the tastings.  We each were to have 2 1 oz samples…so David got 4 1 oz samples.  He slept like a baby back to Cave City!  We had a late lunch at El Matzalan, recommended by our Host at the park.  It was excellent!  We then went to Mammoth Cave National Park, which was nice but we did not go into the Caves, as David is claustrophobic and only made it through Carlsbad Caverns because the grandkids, Branden and Ariel, held his hand the entire way Smile  Love them kids!  We came home and just relaxed with cheese, crackers and wine for dinner, during the playoff game between Steeler’s and Ravens.  Well, THAT didn’t turn out too good! 


Jan 4th, we were up and on the road by 8:15 am, with our anticipated arrival at David Crockett State Park, where there is an RV Tech that we used this past spring.  We arrived at 1 pm…called the tech, then had some lunch.  He came, took a look, said he needed to get some parts and would be back tomorrow.  So, off he went.  We had lunch and took naps, then just enjoyed the view out the window.  We finished some great ham, potatoes, green beans and cabbage, thanks to cousin Donna!  It was just as good as it was the first time!  Tomorrow I will be cooking something fresh! 


That brings us up to date…happy trails y’all!

January 5, 6, 7, 2014


Sunday - We arrived at David Crockett State park, and since I had paid for our spot, went directly there as the office was closed.  We camped in a handicap accessible spot which was great because it was level and lots of cement patio for Cinder to lay on and watch the squirrels!  As soon as we arrived I called Ray Barnett, and he came over and looked at our water issue.  He needed to get parts, and said he would be back on Monday.  We puttered around and didn’t do much at all.  We finished up the ham, beans, potatoes and cabbage that Donna made for us before we left.


Monday – it was a raw, cold day.  Since we had water hookups I did some cleaning, and of course took Cinder walking.  I did cook a bit, made stroganoff for dinner and it was so yummy!  David loves it, I use hamburger instead of beef chunks, less expensive and just as good.  I also use the butterfields pasta, since it is much lower carbs than regular pasta.  The good thing is my sugar is starting to go back to normal levels – 131 for the morning fasting BS.  I had a couple days there where it was 180 – 190.  Scary but I think it was the stress of getting on the road, worrying about the water, etc. 

Ray came over about 4 with what he thought he needed to fix our problem, and of course he did have to go get another part, and the fix is temporary, but at a cost of $75 including the part, we certainly can’t kick!  We had an early night, because we wanted to get on the road reasonably early.


Tuesday – I had planned to stop in Corinth and tour Shiloh National Military park, but we had a mix up in our communications – I thought David knew where we were going, he thought what I put in GYPSY was wrong, so we missed the turn off by about 50 miles.  SO we came on down the road until we got to Natchez Trace RV Park, just south of Tupelo.  It had mixed reviews, but is a PA park, so we got full hookups, pull through site for $18 per night.  I’ll take it!  We got a reasonably level pull through, and started the ‘set up for cold weather’ stuff.  We dumped the tanks for the first time since we left home, filled the fresh water tank 3/4 full of water, then put away the sewer hose, water hose, put a heat light in the bay, and were done!  Lunch was left over stroganoff, and dinner was homemade vegetable soup.  So good!  Looked at the weather forecast and decided to wait until morning to decide if we were going down the road or staying put.


Wednesday – when we got up we looked at the weather, which was calling for 30 – 35 mph winds, along with temps in the low 20’s.  Tonight it was to go down in the teens, so we decided to stay put.  Since we were staying I got busy and made a ‘big’ breakfast of bacon, eggs, grits and toast.  We’ve mapped out the next leg of our journey, and I rearranged our medicine cabinet.  It is always a juggling act to keep the stuff we use every day with the stuff we use once a week in some sort of order…then of course there is the hair/beard trimmer, the toothbrush charger, porter salve, antibiotic cream, etc…the stuff you only use when needed, along with mucinex, robitussin, etc.  And it all has to fit in a small medicine cabinet!  I got it done, but it will probably get redone again when we get to TX. 


I also moved some glasses, pitchers, etc. to an underneath bay because I don’t use them very often.  I also made a grocery list of things we are running low of or out of!  I guess our next stop we will unhook the car.  We’re both getting hungry for pizza, so I understand there is a good pizzeria in Canton…so we’ll see!


Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 catch up


We arrived in PA June 3, in time for my uncle Oscar’s funeral.  We spent the next 7 months enjoying family.  We had Ariel Bethelmy, our granddaughter for 7 weeks, and took her camping with us for a week, and cousin Donna Huston came down camping too.  A good time was had by all.


We also attended 4th of July activities with family, several family reunions, hot dog roasts, and let’s not forget, Daryl Bethelmy’s retirement on July 11th…we had a blast with all the family and friends that came.  We got to renew our friendship with Daryl’s mom, Irma and her friend, Peter, aunt Myrna from the Chicago area, his sister Solange and her hubby Andrae from New York City, Joe Krepelka and Vicky from NC, as well as tons of friends!  Nancy and Harry Gindlesperger, Angie and Alan Lepley and their children, Nick and Lauren came down from Berlin, so there was quite a houseful, as well as a great tour of DC on a trolley, and an organized trip to the Holocaust Museum as well.  It was a fantastic 5 days!

2014 07 11_5789


August the highlight was that we went to Williamsport PA to the Little League World Series.  What a blast!  We stayed there 5 days, then went north to New York state and visited with Bonnie Mason in Chenango Forks, New York.  We also went to the baseball hall of fame one afternoon.  It was a marvelous time that stopped us from having ‘hitch itch’ too bad!

Me N my kids

October Dawn threw a surprise birthday party for me, ‘cause I turned 60 on the 11th.  A lot of close relatives joined us at Oakhurst Tearoom…a great time was had by all!  Thanks Dawn!



Also October, we went to DC to watch Ariel sing in the choir for a concert – it was great. We also took Branden to his homecoming football game and the next night his homecoming dance.  Boy, he is a handsome boy!


End of October beginning of Nov found us visiting Gettysburg, PA with the kids in their motorhome.  We went on a haunted hayride, and had some quiet family time…love camping with them!  We left there and went to Weyers Cave VA to visit with Bob and Theresa Martin.  We stayed at the fairgrounds there and had a lovely 2 day visit.   


We got back to PA to SNOW…and had the motorhome winterized.  We went to DC for Thanksgiving with the kids, and before we went I made choc chip cookies, oatmeal scotchies, choc walnut fudge, choc pecan fudge, and peanut butter fudge, and pizzelles a loaf of banana nut bread and a pan of scotcheroos.  The kids were very happy Smile 


For Christmas, we once again headed to DC.  I took all of the above, PLUS peanut butter cup cookies, gobs, date and nut cake.  We had crab legs on Christmas Eve and the kids each got to open 1 gift, and Christmas day was so laid back and fun!  Dawn made a crockpot breakfast casserole, we all opened presents, (David got a bottle of 18 year old scotch, I got some Good on Ya lotions and potions, and we got a new portable safari grill for the motorhome – we were very pleased!  A couple days later we went to see ‘The Hobbitt, 5 Armies), and got back to Berlin PA Dec 29th.


We spent the next several days packing up the motorhome, thanks again to Donna Huston and her granddaughter, Mikayla, who helped load it up!  New Year’s eve we went to Hoss’s Steakhouse with Nancy and Harry Gindlesperger, Shirley and Len Gary, Mike and Jane Gary.  We all had a lovely time, we were home and in bed by 9:30 New Year’s eve!


And that brings us to the end…of 2015.