Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wi-Fi and Catfish

Kathi and I use our cell phone as wi-fi hot spots, since we travel and most places do not have wi-fi available. On the lake, there are not any wi-fi sources nearby, except other RV owners that do the same thing we do. We all have secure systems to prevent others from using our allowed data and driving up our costs. The last couple of months we have used all our data allowance and while I am trying to determine the source of the data drain, we are taking our phone and computers to locations that have free wi-fi available. We went to Starbucks on Monday and updated the apps on our phones. I had 34 updates and Kathi had 42, and it took a while.

One boat towing another across the lake
 We went to the post office afterward and mailed the first four chapters of my new book, “Memories of Larry” to Andrea Clark for review and editing. I hope she likes the way it is going so far. The book is a memorial to her husband Larry who passed away from complications of leukemia last year.

We did not feel like eating out and Kathi did not want to cook, so I stopped by KFC to get chicken and biscuits to bring home for lunch. I enjoyed mine very much and Kathi shared much of hers with me, so I assume I liked it better than she did.

Monday, we met my sister Carol and her husband Lloyd for lunch at Catfish Parlour. That will probably be their last visit for catfish before they leave Georgetown next week. The three of them had helpings of vegetables and I stuck with the fried foods. The catfish was good, but the popcorn shrimp were not as good as normal. They were fried with the tails and shells on them. That may be normal, but this batch of shrimp were larger than they usually are. We enjoyed the meal and the conversation, as we usually do when we are together.

Marines and Patriots

Camouflage tents for Marine children

We drove by the drug store to pick up a prescription that Kathi arranged for me. It is prednisone and she hopes it will help my aching knee and hip. I hope so, too.

We got home and a class C motorhome had moved in next door to us. The couple sat out on the picnic table for a while after they got here and appeared to be making phone calls. They were only there one day and were gone when I woke up this morning, so I assume this was just a stopover while they were traveling.

I spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning writing and this afternoon we went to Walmart to pick up some needed food and paper goods.

Another neighbor moved in this afternoon while we are shopping, but they were gone in their tow vehicle when we got home. Maybe we will see them tomorrow. I did notice a Frisbee by my car that was left by the Easter revelers that left on Sunday. I left it there for the next camper to find it. Maybe they will have a use for it. Kathi and I do not Frisbee.

An abandoned Frisbee looking for a friend

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter in the Park

We woke up Saturday morning and opened our shades to see the outside world. Our next-door neighbors had brought enough paraphernalia to move in for a month, but we knew they would leave on the weekend. There was a lady sunbathing right outside Kathi’s window, so she closed her shade. I am assuming she did not want me watching sunbathers all weekend. There were a lot of other activities going on, since they had five or six elementary school age children with them. They took their boat out on Friday, but it sat next to their RV the rest of the weekend. The kids were having a good time tossing footballs and other activities requiring a lot of movement.

Around noon, Kathi and I drove into Austin to have lunch with AJ. There was heavy traffic for a weekend, but considering it was Easter weekend, we probably should not have been surprised. When we drove by the University of Texas sports facility on I-35 there were cars parked in every space alongside the feeder street, so I am assuming they had a weekend tournament of some kind, maybe basketball.

We had a great lunch at Pappasitos and we were surprised it was only partially filled. I guess we beat the rush. We always enjoy eating there. Kathi had cheese enchiladas and AJ and I each had a combination of beef quesadillas and a beef taco. The food was excellent and we had a nice conversation to boot.

Sunday, our neighbors were packing up. It took them about four hours to take the tent down and get all the equipment they brought with them pack and ready to move out.  They did not seem to be in a hurry and they were still having a good time while packing.

Cactus in bloom by the lake
After the neighbors left we saw a new group of people walking around the area. After watching them amble around for a little while, we realized they were hiding Easter eggs. They appeared to be light plastic eggs, because some of them were nested on tree branches that would not hold a heavier chicken egg. Sometime later, the adults were back and this time they brought children with baskets, searching for the eggs. I hope some of the eggs had chocolate candy in them to make the search worthwhile.

Later in the afternoon another lady was walking around next door looking for firewood. The edge of the woods had been scavenged, so she went to the fire pit and took the unburned wood out of there to take to her campsite. People watching is really entertaining. I am going to start paying attention to who is watching me when I am outside.

Fishermen at work
My sister, Carol and husband Lloyd came over to visit in the evening. They have been at Jim Hogg Park most of the week and plan to travel again one day next week. We always enjoy our conversations when we are together. They have been traveling longer than we have and Lloyd remembers details about most of the places he stays. We relish our travel conversations.

Glad the Marine Corp is here with us
We need to make a trip to the post office this afternoon and afterward, I will spend writing. In a few weeks, I will finish the first draft of my new book, “Memories of Larry,” then I will start the editing, re-writing process. Kathi is a better editor then I am and she catches most of my errors.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Approaching Easter

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 was overcast and cool at Lake Georgetown. All our neighbors moved out Sunday afternoon so there were no next door neighbors. As we drove out for lunch, we saw a lot of empty spaces away from the lake and mostly filled spaces that have lake view. We had lunch with my sister, Carol and husband Lloyd Jackson at the Catfish Parlour. The place was packed at lunchtime. Lunch was good, as usual and our conversation was fun. There were two tables near us with people playing Canasta. They told me they played there every Wednesday. They were having a fine time eating lunch around their games. They re-shuffled partners just before we left.

A boat moving on the lake

Unusual trailer parked at Jim Hogg Park
Kathi and I went to Walmart for groceries and some Move Free for me. I have been taking glucosamine/chondroitin tablets I bought on line for a month or so and my knee and my hip have started hurting most of the time. I am not sure if the medication is the problem and the solution, but I cannot think of anything else I am doing differently. We also stopped by the AT&T store to change the sim card in my phone. We use our phones as internet hotspots while we are traveling and the last two months, our data usage has gone up 50%. Lloyd read on line that someone else was having a similar problem and it went back to normal when they changed their sim card in their phone. So far, I have not noticed a change with mine, but it has only been a couple of days. It is a mystery to us, because we have consistently used the same amount of data for two years and now, we are going over each month and we are not doing anything different. As a matter of fact, we have cut back on our usage to prevent exorbitant overcharges.

I spent all day Thursday writing my latest book, “Memories of Larry.” I will finish it before the end of the year and publish it when my editor tells me it is presentable. Kathi alternated her time between house cleaning, reading and TV watching. Late in the afternoon, spaces around us began to fill as we approach the Easter weekend. I expect the park will fill completely before the end of the day Friday.

Our only plans for the day are lunch with Carol and Lloyd at Dos Salsas in downtown Georgetown, then going by the post office to pick up our mail. Tomorrow we will visit our son, AJ in Austin.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gully Washer

We are still at the Jim Hogg Park on Lake Georgetown. Last Saturday evening the space across the park road from us was filled with tent campers. They arrived in pick-up trucks and SUV’s and pitched four tents. I saw one of the men wearing shorts, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and a rod and reel heading toward the lake. There were a few bicycles moving on the road and I saw campfires burning, but little other activity.

Sunday morning, campers around us started taking down their tents. They loaded one of the SUV’s with kids and left the pick-up truck and driver loading. He got his truck full and had three large carry boxes that would not fit in his truck. He got in his cab and took a nap. A few hours later the SUV came back and the two men put the boxes in the SUV and they left the park. That was near two o’clock in the afternoon and time for us to move.

We were moving from space 11 to space 18 about 150 feet down the road. First, we had to go to the dump station. As I was driving out of the park, I noticed a class C motor home following me, so I pulled over to let him pass, figuring we were in no hurry and he should not have to wait for us to dump our tank. We followed the class C to the dump station and there were four RV’s in front of him. Some were obviously not familiar with their RV’s, as it took almost an hour for the five RV’s to finish dumping and move along. Kathi and I have been to so many dump stations, we are fairly efficient. Those in front of us had smaller tanks then we have and it took them an average of 20 minutes each to dump. We usually get through in less than ten minutes. Of course, our valve system makes our chore easy. Trailers are harder and most of them are going home or to storage, while our motorhome goes back to a camp site.

While we were at the dump station awaiting our turn, my brother-in-law, Lloyd Jackson and my sister, Carol drove by and honked at us. They surprised us, as we thought they were going to Livingston. Lloyd was going to take a nap after their move from Green Caye in Dickinson, TX, so Kathi and I went to the Catfish Parlour for lunch. When we got back to the park, we drove to where they parked their motorhome to visit. We passed them walking down the road. They had come to visit us while we were still out to eat. We met at their motorhome and enjoyed conversing about current events and catching up on travel plans.

Boat dock inside Jim Hogg Park
Monday the four of us met at Longhorn Steakhouse for lunch. Lloyd and I had Nolan Ryan chicken fried steak, Carol had a sirloin and Kathi had one of the lunch specials. More good conversation and an enjoyable meal, then I took Kathi to a shoe store. We also planned on haircuts, but Kathi decided to postpone the haircuts for another day.

Cowboy art inside Longhorn Steakhouse
Tuesday, we drove into Austin to spend some time with AJ. It rained so hard on the way into town, we no longer need to wash our Jeep. We picked him up and ran a short errand, then had lunch at Olive Garden for more lunch specials. AJ and I had salad and Lasagna and Kathi had salad with fettuccine Alfredo. I had to get gas, so I got off US 183 and got turned around and ended up going north instead of south. Who cares, it gave us longer to visit. It was a fun day. We dropped AJ back at his apartment and drove home in the rain. We stopped at Starbucks to use their Wi-Fi to update programs on my phone. Fun times.

Deer lying beside the road going into Jim Hogg Park

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sunny Saturday

It is another beautiful morning on Lake Georgetown. Many of the empty spaces around us filled in since Friday morning. Out the window, I see leaning on the back of the trailer next to us a little green bicycle with 15” wheels. I haven’t seen any people, so I assume the family was up and out early this morning. We are used to children walking and riding in the streets of the park on weekends. We are a good way away from the lake and we are seeing no one outside anywhere.

It has been quiet and peaceful in our motorhome the last few days. Kathi was having problems getting her blood pressure regulated on Thursday, so I left her napping and reading in the motorhome while I drove to Austin to take AJ to get a CT scan of his chest, at the request of his cardiologist. On my way out of the park, not many people were moving around, but there was one boat on the lake moving slowly, like it understood how I was feeling.

Boat moving on the lake.

Nice boat wait to be put in the water.
After the scan was done, AJ and I ran some errands and ate lunch at Pizza Hut. I think I could eat their pepperoni and Italian sausage thin crust pizza for every meal, but Kathi likes a little balance in our cuisine. I took AJ home and drove back to see about Kathi. She was feeling better and even better after I shared a slice of pizza with her.

As I am writing the sun went away, the wind started blowing and it is beginning to look like rain. It is still cool in the low 70’s, so I expect it will be a nice day, rain or shine.

Yesterday, Kathi and I got caught up on our laundry. We go somewhere between 10 and 14 days between laundromats. We will be glad when we get to Utah and get our in-house washer/dryer repaired. It cuts way down on laundromat expense and time. Driving out of the park we saw one lone deer at the edge of the woods. After laundry, we tried to eat at Dos Salsa to have Mexican food, but there were no parking spaces available within two blocks and Kathi did not feel like walking, so we moved on.

We had lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse. Kathi had a small sirloin and I had one of their lunch specials, a salad and half a beef and bacon cheddar melt. It was enough to eat and we had some leftover to take home for later.

Coming back into the park we saw a deer standing by the road watching traffic and a few yards further along, two deer were laying on the grass about fifteen feet away from the road and looked as if they might be having a casual conversation. Vehicles behind me kept me from getting pictures. There was not a place to pull off the road.

The sun is back and I see a few kids and a bicycle moving down the street. All is well on Lake Georgetown. Kathi and I may feel like kicking up our heels later, you never know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sunny Day

What a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood right now is at Jim Hogg Park on Lake Georgetown and the sun is shining and it is mid-afternoon and the temperature just got up to 70 degrees from 50 degrees in early morning. Our next-door neighbors on the left of us moved out on Monday to continue their trip from California to Florida. The space has been empty since they left.

We drove into Austin and had lunch with AJ on Sunday and we have been home ever since. I spent most of my time writing and Kathi spent most of her time reading. We finally ran out of groceries, so we made a trip to Walmart this morning. Just after we left the park we saw a small deer on the side of the road watching the cars go by. After we passed, I saw another deer run across the street, pass the deer that was watching traffic and kept going into the woods. We figured the traffic watching deer missed the instruction from its mother to run when man is in the forest. I am glad, because I always enjoy watching the deer watching me.

This picture is about five years old, but the deer we say looked the same; even the same pose.

Buzzard on a light pole looking for lunch.
We made it to Walmart and back home and put up groceries, then went to Whataburger to drive-thru and pick up lunch. I had a double meat Whataburger with onion rings and could not finish it. Kathi had a Whataburger and French fries and she only ate half of hers. What is left will be my dinner.

We plan to drive into Austin again tomorrow and run a few errands with AJ and I am sure lunch will be involved sometime while we are together. Happy camping on the lake.


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Tejas Southwestern Grill

Friday was a cool and sunny stay at home day for Kathi and I. The only time we were out was for lunch at Catfish Parlour. She likes to eat there on week days, because she likes the self-serve vegetables. On weekends, you order from the menu. I ate fried catfish and popcorn shrimp that satisfied my taste and my hunger. After lunch, we dropped by HEB for Kathi to get the ingredients she needed to make her famous tacos on Saturday. I spent the afternoon writing.

A view across Lake Georgetown from Jim Hogg Park to Cedar Breaks Park

Saturday was another beautiful day and we did not go out all day. We can barely see the lake from the spot we are parked, but the trees and the atmosphere are adequate to fill our minds with pleasant memories. I wrote while Kathi made tacos. While tacos were simmering, she began editing the first four chapter of my new book, “Memories of Larry.” I saw a lot of red ink, so I have work to do. After lunch, I had to take a break and took a short nap to allow lunch to settle. I always overeat homemade tacos. Kathi put enough in the freezer for us to have tacos four more times – oh, happy days ahead. I continued writing after my nap.

Sunday, we awoke to a dark and stormy morning. We had plans to go over and take AJ for lunch, but the weather made Kathi have second thoughts. We agreed to wait until noon to decide and by eleven am the sun was out and the sky was clear. We called AJ to let him know we were on the way. Just after we left the park we saw four or five deer standing in the road. They moved and a few yards further, a small herd of sixteen deer were crossing the road. This was near noon in a neighborhood filled with houses and the deer felt safe. They looked at us, but kept walking. None of them looked big enough to be full grown, but all the deer in the area are small. I assume the morning weather was what caused them to be out at what seemed an odd time off day to see deer. I tried to get a picture, but the driver behind me was impatient, so I kept moving.

We got AJ a little before one and I told them I wanted Mexican food. I drove north on US 183 to find a Mexican food restaurant. I expected to see several, but mostly I found Taco Cabanas. That would have been fine for me, but Kathi has other favorites. We got out of the city and into the countryside and never found an adequate restaurant. I got off 183 and moved east and soon crossed Parmer, which I knew had several restaurants. I think the family was starving by that time and we passed a Tejas Southwestern Grill and Kathi got AJ to look it up on the internet to see if they served Mexican food. The internet said yes, so I made a U-turn and we arrived back at the restaurant. The parking lot was full and it made us hopeful.

We got seated and they gave us brunch and lunch menus. There was nothing that looked like Tex-Mex or any southwest cuisine I was familiar with, but we decided to stay and find something on the menu. Kathi ordered a salad, AJ wanted a three-meat skillet and I ordered breakfast quesadillas. The waitress returned to tell AJ they were out of one of the ingredients for his meal, so he changed to pancakes, which was fine with him. Our meals arrived and it looked like servings I had only seen in California previously – definitely not Tex-Mex. Kathi’s salad made a beautiful layout with all the items separated in wedges. Kathi did okay with her lunch and AJ loved the pancakes, but I will not return to Tejas Southwest Grill. It was a beautiful restaurant and they had a lot of business, but it was just not for me. Picky, picky, picky. The three of us together and enjoying being together was enough to make it a good day.

A view of the decor in the Tejas Southwestern Grill

These window were so clear it looked like there was no glass. It gave the place an outdoors atmosphere.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Shopping, Doctors and Pizza

After the fun family event on Saturday at John and Shanna Clark’s home, Kathi, AJ and I followed Andrea Clark to her sister Marikje’s house in Georgetown where she would spend the night before driving back to La Porte on Sunday morning. AJ came home with us to spend the night and I guess we were all tired, since we went to bed as soon as we got home and fell asleep soon after.

Sunday morning, March 26, 2017, AJ and I dropped Kathi off at Marikje’s house to go adventuring with Andrea, before her drive home. AJ and I went to Cracker Barrel in Round Rock for breakfast and both had the double meat breakfast. After taking AJ to his apartment, I drove back to the Ross store in Wolf Ranch shopping center to get Kathi and Andrea left for her home from there. We spent the rest of the day at home. Kathi called Andrea later to assure she got home okay. Saturday was a fun day for all of us.

Monday, Kathi and I spent at home. The highlight of the day for me was lunch. Kathi made us steak, baby potatoes and green beans. I had two helpings of each to keep my strength up.

I spent Tuesday working on taxes and we moved from Cedar Breaks Park to Jim Hogg Park in the afternoon. We had to move because our time was up at Cedar breaks and there were no spaces available there. Our plan was to move on toward Utah for RV repairs, but we need to stay in town for a little longer to resolve a medical issue. We will stay at Jim Hogg for a few weeks then move back to Cedar Breaks, where we will stay through the first of May.

Wednesday, AJ had an early morning appointment to see a dentist and we agreed to drive him. Kathi and I left the RV park just as the sun was coming up. On the way out of the park, we caught a deer and her fawn in our headlights, but their reaction was not like what I think of as a “deer in the headlights” glare. The deer never turn her head, she just kept a slow walk into the woods. The fawn gave us a casual glance and followed her mother at a saunter. The deer in the park and the surrounding neighborhoods do not fear humans, if we keep our distance.

We got AJ to the dentist and he needed to make a return visit in the afternoon, so we drove to the Cracker Barrel in Buda for breakfast. We stopped at Walmart to pick up a cushion for Kathi’s car seat. She tells me riding with me gives her back problems, but I cannot believe it has anything to do with my driving. It was mid-afternoon when we got AJ back to his apartment and drove back to Lake Georgetown.

Roses at the dentist's office

More rose bushes

AJ had another doctor’s appointment on Thursday and I drove into Austin alone. I gave Kathi a chore list to do while I was gone and she gave me “the look.” She did some housework of her own choosing while I was out of her way. I went with AJ to talk to the doctor, then we ran a short errand in the neighborhood, before stopping at Pizza Hut for lunch. I bought a large pepperoni and Italian sausage and we ate most of it. I had two left-over slices to take home. It was another fun week living the RV lifestyle and enjoying family.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Enjoying Family

We are still at Cedar Breaks Park on Lake Georgetown and enjoying the atmosphere. It has been sunny and warm most afternoons. We had a fun week visiting our son AJ in Austin a few days and attending a family get together on Saturday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017, we picked up AJ at his apartment, ran a few errands, then went to Rudy’s Barbecue for lunch. Rudy’s was crowded, so AJ and I found a place to sit and Kathi waited in line to get our lunch. Kathi ate a lean brisket sandwich and AJ and I had moist brisket sandwiches. Potato salad on the side and banana pudding for AJ made a swell lunch that we all enjoyed. We stopped by Walmart to pick up a few things before driving AJ home, then we went back to our motorhome on Lake Georgetown. We try to eat at Rudy’s at least once while we are in town, because their stores are too remote for AJ to get to using public transportation. It is a plus that all of us love to eat there.

Rudy's is hiring

A big crowd at Rudy's. Kathi is on the far left in blue with white spots waiting to place her order.

We were home on Friday except for a trip to HEB to pick up some food items for the family event on Saturday. Then, on Saturday morning, I drove into Austin to get AJ, then back to the motorhome to get Kathi and the food she was taking to the family event. We drove to our nephew’s house in Liberty Hill, which is west of Georgetown on Texas Highway 29, just across US 183. John and Shanna Clark have a nice home for entertaining with a large deck area in back.

John Brittany, Kathi and Carl

Justin in background, Austin, John and Brittany

Justin, Carl Andrea and Shanna tossing bean bags.

Both John and Shanna’s sons, Justin and Austin were there. Austin’s birthday was on Friday and we got to sing him the happy birthday song and watch him extinguish the candles on his cake. Austin will graduate high school in May and is now 19 years old. Justin lives in San Marcos where he recently graduated and is considering graduate school at Texas State University, formerly known as Southwest Texas University.

Our sister-in-law, Andrea Clark drove in from La Porte and arrived mid-afternoon. Justin’s girlfriend, Amanda and friend Aaron joined us for the festivities.

David Clark, John’s brother flew in from Colorado Springs. Their brother Ricky lives in Louisiana and was not able to attend. Their younger brothers, Jeff and Carl Clark were both there. Their father, Carl and his wife, Cheryn drove in from Wood Creek.

Brittany Straughn, David’s daughter, drove in from Houston with her two children Braeden and Peyton and two nice young ladies that are exchange students from Germany and Denmark that are staying with Brittany.

Carl and Cheryn Clark

David, Kathi, Arlon and Andrea
We had appetizers before eating hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. Desserts were banana pudding, strawberry shortcake and Austin’s birthday cake. Some of the people with younger legs played bean bag toss, with a lot of laughter, but not a clear winner. Most of the afternoon was spent in conversations as groups mingled and interchanged. John even stoked up a campfire as it began getting dark. Everyone had a great afternoon and we left about eight to get home and rest after a day of enjoyment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Visiting A. J.

We arrived at Cedar Breaks Park on Lake Georgetown on Sunday, March 19, 2017 on a bright, sun-shiny afternoon. We checked in at the gate, then drove to our site. There were several speed boats and two jet skis we could see on the water as we drove in. After we got parked I noticed a fishing boat sitting still in the middle of the lake and a boat pulling a young lady on a float. What fun!

View across the lake at Jim Hogg Park RV's

The water near the shore appears more green, with a blue spot of water across the lake.

There is a covered picnic table at each site.

We will be here ten days giving us ample opportunity to visit with our son, AJ in Austin. We were tired after the approximate 250-mile drive from Thackerville. We got our electricity and water hooked up ASAP, so we could go to eat. The parks on Lake Georgetown do not have sewer at each site, so we must go to the dump station every few days. After we had utilities, we went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. We both had six ounce sirloins with baked potatoes and salad. Dinner was great and we went home to crash. It was 86 degrees inside our motorhome with the sun bearing down on the west side. I hooked up our portable air conditioner to cool the place down so we could relax with ease, then sleep after the sun went down.

Monday, we drove to Austin and picked up AJ & went to lunch at Cracker Barrel. He and I had country fried steak and mashed potatoes, while Kathi enjoyed bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy. We all enjoyed our lunch and the lunchtime conversation. After lunch, we found an AT & T store to find AJ a new phone. His ZTE phone glass got cracked while he had it in his backpack. He decided against another ZTE phone with a thin glass screen. This time he bought a Samsung Galaxy Express Prime with 16 GB internal memory. It was reasonably priced and he seems to be able to do everything he needs to do using it.

Musical wall art at Cracker Barrel

More wall art -- love the mustaches
After that we ran a couple of errands that were out of the way for AJ. He does not drive and relies on public transportation. He can get most places, but it was easier driving with us. AJ had not slept the previous evening, so we took him home for him to get to sleep early.

Tuesday was overcast and we had a lot of traffic driving into Austin. AJ had an appointment for a medical procedure and it gave us another opportunity to get together. We went to Cracker Barrel again. The one we go to is in Buda and it seems to be AJ’s restaurant of choice when we are in Austin. He cannot get to a Cracker Barrel by bus. There is such a great variety of menu items and every one is good eating, so Kathi and I also enjoy eating there.

Today is Wednesday and after we had coffee, I drove Kathi to find someone to give her a manicure. We then drove to HEB so Kathi could pick up fixings for hamburgers and hot dogs when we visit John and Shanna Clark in Liberty Hill on Saturday. They are expecting about 20 family members to attend the gathering. It was overcast in the morning and bright sunshine in the afternoon – not unusual for springtime in Texas.

There are quite a few people in the park, but it is far from full. It will begin to fill on Friday afternoon and stay full through the weekend. It is going to be a great week for us on Lake Georgetown and the surrounding areas. We are enjoying each other and the RV lifestyle.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thackerville to Lake Georgetown

Calvin arrived at our RV door about 8:30 am on a Thursday, March 16, 2017 and installed our new shades, as he had told us he would do Wednesday evening. Kathi paid our bill and we were on the road to Thackerville by 11:00 am. We left the MCD factory in McKinney and drove north on US 75 to Sherman, then west on US 82 to Gainesville, then north on I-35 to Thackerville.

We were checked in at The Winstar World RV Park and were in the casino by 1:30 pm. We spent several hours in the casino, mostly in the Vienna section where Kathi’s favorite Hot Shots machines are located. After some time in Vienna, we moved north and east playing machines in Paris, Beijing and Rome, before arriving at Madrid, which is a ½ mile walk from Vienna. We stopped at the pizzeria for some hot slices of pizza. I had a slice of pepperoni and a slice of combination pizza, Kathi had the combination, then we played a few slot machines in Madrid before playing our way back ½ mile to Vienna near where our car was parked. We were home by 8:00 pm and worn out from the day of excitement. We watched some of the TV news before falling asleep.

Fountain and ceiling decoration in Madrid section of the casino. Matador Pizzeria in the background.
We slept late Friday morning and I took Kathi to the casino and I stayed home to write for a little while. I got a couple of Chapters written for my book, Memories of Larry, before I started getting hungry. I went over and found Kathi at Hot Shots in Vienna and sat down with her to play for a time, before lunch. She had a ticket for two meals at the buffet and I thought it was in the New York section of the casino. We walked south through Cairo into New York and no buffet. I inquired and found out the buffet was in London, a mile walk in the other direction. We changed our plans and went into the NYC Deli where we had eaten Nathan’s hot dogs on several previous occasions. This time they had added a steak finger basket to their menu. We gave it a try and both of us enjoyed the steak fingers, gravy and French fries.

New York entrance to the casino

An elevated train car above the gambling area of the New York portion of the casino.
We decided to use our coupon for breakfast at the buffet on Saturday morning, then get our RV and head south to get half way to Georgetown and find an RV park, making two short drives instead of one long drive on Sunday. We found the buffet and it did not open for breakfast. We played a few machines in London that were not much fun and then tried some Cairo machines and ditto, not much fun. I looked at my phone to get the time and it was 10:50. We went to the buffet for lunch and we were both glad we had free meals. Their price was $17 each and the food was not worth that price to us.

 I took Kathi back to Hot Shots and we settled in for a few hours, before drifting. Our funds were up and down all day, then Kathi found a Carnival machine with a nice Jester that got us back to even. A little more casino fun and bed by 8:00 pm, to close out Saturday.

Sunday, we drove to Lake Georgetown on I-35. There was a lot of traffic going our way when we left Oklahoma and most of the traffic dropped off when I-35 separated to I-35E and I-35W. Dallas must have a lot of gamblers that drive to Oklahoma on weekends. We stayed on I-35W and had construction from Fort Worth most of the way until Waco. We were bumper to bumper for many of those miles. The saving grace was the wildflowers. We saw a few pink buttercups, some new growth bluebonnets that looked like ground cover and a lot of Indian paintbrush that added color to the drive. It looked like someone drove down the highway throwing Indian paintbrush seed out of their car window. We thank them for it.

Through the windshield picture of Indian paintbrush
New shades, a short casino trip and on to see our son, AJ in Austin from our base camp on Lake Georgetown. We will spend ten days here, then make our way to Sunset, UT for RV repairs. We spent two years in Houston where we needed to be and now it is really great to be traveling again.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waiting at MCD

MCD Innovations is a window shade manufacturer. They not only make shades for RV’s but they make shades with logos on them for many business around the country. You can visit their website at

We had most of our day/night shades replaced with MCD shades four years ago. We opted for shades that combines two shades on two reels. One is black mesh that we can see out, but you cannot see in and the other is off-white material for privacy at night. We are having the shades in the driver’s compartment replaced on this trip. They cannot install the one across the windshield until we replace our CRT TV, so we can reduce the cabinet size on the windshield side. Our TV is old and the picture is bad, but I am cheap enough that I cannot force myself to replace something that works, but Kathi thinks it will be replaced soon.

We arrived on their property Sunday night and hooked up to electric service. They provide 50-amp service, but no water or sewer hook ups. RVers usually have shades installed by Wednesday, but they ask us to plan for one week. We are at their factory in McKinney, TX. There is also a 20’ Yellow freight trailer to pick up merchandise for delivery to RV dealers and businesses around the country.

Our RV backed in against the factory wall at MCD
A view through the side window looking through the black mesh shade

The same view with the opaque shade lowered

I checked us in at the office on Monday morning and found out five RV’s were ahead of us for installation. We are backed into our space so we can see all the other RVs and could watch the installer as he moved between RVs to take measurements.

It was overcast all morning, but the sun came out in the afternoon. The temperature was moderate, so we opened our windows to feel the fresh air. Kathi made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for our lunch and while I was eating, the installer arrived to take measurements for our shades. It took less than an hour to describe what we wanted and measurements to be taken.

Tuesday was an absolutely beautiful day in McKinney. The sun was out and it was cool. We had chili for lunch and I wrote, while watching for the installer to appear. We only saw him once in the afternoon when a new RV arrived and the technician only had to make an adjustment. We went to Walmart after they closed the shop and spent the evening in watching TV.

Today is Wednesday and it is overcast again, but still cool. We are running our heat pump to kill the chill. A truck with a 53-foot trailer arrived to pick up shades for distributors. The installer just came out to install shades on the first RV he measured on Monday. The RV here for an adjustment left this morning. We are hopeful that we can get away today and move on to the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, OK for a few days. We are killing time until a space opens for us on Lake Georgetown so we can spend a few days with our son, AJ. We are really looking forward to visiting him.

Thanks to all my readers that make purchases at by using their ad on my website, I make a small commission on each purchase that initiates from my website. I really appreciate your support.

Monday, March 13, 2017


We had a rushed, but fun three days in Livingston the first part of the week. We were glad to see friends and relatives, but we hated being at the Rainbow’s End RV Park. It is an escapees park, but the rates are still high. We use AT&T phone service and we use our phones as an internet hot spot. Kathi put her phone in the window and got a signal good enough to read the morning news on our computers, but most of the time we spent in the RV park we had no internet. Phone service was not quite as bad, but almost. Several phone calls cut off in the middle. One phone call we had to place four times to complete the conversation.

The other problem we have is with Livingston itself. There are few good restaurants to eat out. We had Mexican food at Jalasco’s that was okay and had lunch at the Catfish King. We had eaten catfish there on a previous travel venture and it was okay, but this time the catfish was bland. The salad bar was the best part of my meal.

After catfish, we went to do our laundry. We looked at two of the laundromats and the first was too filthy for Kathi and the second we used, but it was not much better. Over half the dryers were not working, so it took a little longer than usual, but we got it done. We will be very glad to get to Charlie’s in Sunset, Utah and have our washer/dryer repaired.

Menu at Catfish King
We did enjoy the blooming plants and trees in and around Livingston. There were several dogwood trees and many azalea bushes and a few red bud trees were starting to bloom. Combined with the yellow wild flowers growing alongside the road, we had color to lighten up our lives.

One of many azalea bushes in Livingston
Saturday was finally moving day again. We took US 59 north out of Livingston and went through the heart of the piney woods of east Texas. There were lots of green pine forests along the way through Corrigan, Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

We left Nacogdoches on US 259 through Mt. Enterprise, Henderson and Kilgore, then west on I-20 to TX 135, then US 271. We stayed on 271 through Gladewater, Gilmer and Pittsburg before stopping at the Ramblin Fever RV Park in Mt. Pleasant for the evening. We paid too much for the RV park at $34 per night, but it was Saturday and the office was closed, so we could not check on discounts. Their spaces were long enough that we did not have to unhook our Jeep. We had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and stayed in for the evening.

Sunday, we left Ramblin Fever about ten am and moved west on I-30 through Winfield, Mt. Vernon and Sulfur Springs, then took TX 302 through Greenville. We continued west on US 380 when TX 302 merged. We went through Farmersville and Princeton, then arrived at the MCD Innovations factory where they will install some replacement shades in our Alfa motorhome.

RV office in Mt. Pleasant
We parked at our assigned space and hooked up electricity before going out to find lunch. I got a burger from Jack in the Box and Kathi got Broccoli beef from Panda Express to take home. Now it is Monday morning and we are waiting our turn to measure for new shades. There are five other RV’s here for shades. We are thrilled to be on the road and traveling again.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Family and Friends in Livingston

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, we pulled out of our assigned parking space at Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX on the way to Livingston. We got our Jeep hooked up as our tow vehicle and headed toward the office to turn in our remote control for the gate. Normally when I go out the south gate by the grocery store, I pull through the automated gate on the left side of the street to have plenty of room for our RV. This time there was a large Coca Cola truck making a delivery to the store, so I used the right-hand path through the gate, until I heard a loud noise and looked in my rearview mirror and our RV was tight against the gate. There was a barrier on the left front, so I could not move further left and the same barrier prevented me from turning the wheels to back up off the gate. Kathi got out to direct me and we struggled for about ten minutes to no avail.

Fortunately, a person that works for the Green Caye facility came by and saw my predicament and stopped to help. He released the gate from the drive chain which provided us room to exit and we proceeded to the office to turn in our remote control, before getting on Highway 146 for our trip to Livingston. Driving north on 146, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the awning arm on the passenger side flopping in the breeze. The bolt that held that awning support snapping in two was the loud noise we heard when we first realized we were against the gate. I applied duct tape, so we could continue our quest for Livingston.

We arrived at the Rainbow’s End RV Park on Highway 146, just south of Livingston around one thirty in the afternoon and got checked in and situated in our site, then called my uncle, Tommy Harris to arrange for us to get together while we were in town. My call went to voice mail and I left a short message. I hooked up to the park utilities and came in to sit down and Tommy called me. We agreed to meet at Jalisco’s Mexican restaurant have a late lunch. The food was typical Tex-Mex and we enjoyed our conversation and catching up over the meal.

Azalea bush at Rainbow's End.
After lunch, we drove to Goodrich to see Tommy’s son and my cousin Brent at his business, Goodrich Antiques. It is located on Highway 146, one-half mile north of FM 1988 on the north side of Goodrich. Brent and his wife Diane were in the shop and we visited with them as we walked through and looked at their merchandise. It was a fun afternoon. It had been about four years since we visited Tommy and saw Brent and Diane. It was nice catching up again. Next, we followed Tommy to his home on Lake Livingston and enjoyed his hospitality for a few hours talking mostly about family members that are no longer with us. Tommy is a year and one-half older than me, so our relationship as kids was as playmates. It was a great day and we really enjoyed seeing all of them again as we passed through town.

Goodrich Antiques sign and memorabilia.
Toy tractors and cars on display
I do not remember seeing Lion products

A well preserved Gulf sign
Thursday, we arranged to see our friend Pete Chamlee and his wife, Linda. Linda was married to my younger brother Mike many years ago and we had a great time visiting with them. They built their house on a four acres property near Lake Livingston. They enjoy the country life-style and were proud to show us their home they built themselves. We had a great time reliving old times and finding out what was going on with our niece and nephew and their children.

We had a great time in Livingston and are ready to move further north tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Saying Goodbye

Kathi and I are taking our motorhome away from Green Caye in Dickinson, TX on Wednesday, March 8, 2016 and we expect to be gone from the Houston area for most of the year. We will move to Livingston tomorrow and be there a few of days. We plan to visit family and old friends there before moving to McKinney and the MCD shade factory. We are trying to see our family to say goodbye before we leave town.

We had dinner at the Pipeline Grill with our sister-in-law, Andrea Clark and our niece Amy Whitaker on Thursday night and lunch at Jimmy Changas with our youngest son, Christopher on Saturday. We spent Sunday at home trying to eat less.

Yesterday we met Kathi’s brothers and sister on the Jim Hathaway side of the family. We had a great lunch at the Olive Garden with Rick and Jon Hathaway and Becky Boyd. We do not see each other near often enough. We enjoyed pasta and conversation. Jon had soup and the rest of us shared a big bowl of salad before the main course. Jon reminded us it was the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. Who keeps up with this kind of information? It was just one part of a fun conversation. It gave us an opportunity to get caught up on their family and discuss our travel plans. I am looking forward to the next time we get together.

We keep contact with Rick and Jon through Facebook and Kathi talks to Becky occasionally by phone while we are traveling, but it is not the same as seeing each other. This was better.

Today we are having lunch at Tookie’s Seafood to say goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Lloyd Jackson. We ate at Tookie’s a week or so ago and enjoyed it enough to want to return soon. We are looking forward to a fun lunch conversation.

The groundskeeper at Green Caye drove the lawn mower all around us this morning under overcast skies. Now we are alternating between sprinkles and sporadic sunshine. They are not through with the grass, so I am hoping for the rain to hold up for a while.

We are really looking forward to getting our Alfa on the road tomorrow. We spent most of the last two years here with one trip to Lake Charles and one excursion across the border into Oklahoma in our Jeep. Alfa wants to see new territory. We hope to be at Charlie’s Service Center in Sunset, UT in mid-April. Happy trails.

This is a picture taken at Charlie's the last time we were there in April.

This picture is from our RV across Charlie's parking lot, past Hill Air Force Base to the snow capped mountains. What a great view to wake up to in the morning as the Air Force broadcasts Reveille.