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.