Monday, September 6, 2010
From April through August we have been busy literally every day. Full but fun, we're also exhausted! We look forward to fall and cooler weather. We had a mishap with our awning on the RV a couple of months ago and instead of replacing it for approximately $1,000 we repaired it for very little and now have it out. We purchased a patio table with 6 chairs and umbrella and some new lawn chairs, 2 being loungers. They now sit on a 39 x 12 ft. piece of indoor/outdoor carpet that we also purchased and that lays along the entire length of the RV. It keeps dirt down as well as allows us to walk outside barefoot. With plants around and some solar lights it is more of a porch now and all our neighbors have come and commented on how nice it looks.
Being in our RV semi-permanently we decided that we wanted to be able to expand our living area somewhat. We have located a subdivision we would like to live in and build a home but await the sale of our home in Arkansas and/or other monies to come before doing so. We could go ahead and build now but we are very content in the RV and it's paid for. So for now we wait and watch what the Lord is doing.
In March I started Weight Watchers and in just the 1 month before the move I lost 10 lbs. When we decided to lease our home and had to move so quickly, I sold or gave away all my dishes, pots and pans and anything that I would need to cook. I didn't have time to cook or think of anything except getting out of that house in 10 days. So we ordered lots of pizza and burgers and just worked like crazy to move. I thought to myself, "Oh well, I guess I can always start the diet over again when I get to Texas!" When we got here the RV had to go into the shop for 3 wks, we lived haphazardly for a while, so dieting was not on my agenda. Long story short, after a summer of grandkids and other company and traveling, I figured I had regained that 10 lbs. SURPRISE! I bought a good scale and I hadn't regained a pound!
So 2 wks. ago I decided to start my diet again - 1 wk. before my cousin and hubby came for a week long visit...great....we'll be eating out again! I lost a few pounds before they came and ended up keeping it off as well. Back on the diet again and so far, since March I've lost 18 pounds! Now I'm really inspired and know that I have conquered some of the basics and know how to eat in a more healthy way. My goal is to loose 62 more pounds and maintain that weight. Being realistic, I know that I look and feel so good at a 40 lb. loss, so I'm not going to be disppointed if I don't attain that original goal by my son's wedding in May.
On day I will post before and after pictures, but not yet...I can feel the 18 lb. wt. loss, but it doesn't show in pictures. I look forward to swimming in the pool and biking with Bill or my friend Jody, now that the weather isn't so hot. Swimming won't be for too long though probably - October at the latest.
Jack has enjoyed the air conditioning this very hot summer and Barney has even given up on a lot of his roaming to come lay on the vinyl flooring and cool off. Speaking of Barney, he brought us two presents inside the RV through his little kitty door...2 female LIVE cardinals he caught. He let them go, I caught them and let them fly off...I sure hope they made it. Bad cat, Barney!
Tomorrow all the campers will leave by noon and the park will be empty for a few weeks until we have a Fandango in the park. There is a large open field in the park where Jack runs and it will be filled with various bands playing Texas Swing music and the park will be full again. Then in November there will be a Chili Cookoff and the crowds will be back. But other than that, the park will be empty other than the occasional camper and we will have a time of quiet to contemplate, read, relax, shop, prepare for the holidays and love one another. I look forward to having girl time with Jody and shopping. Fall cometh! Thank you Lord!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Anyway, we took off for Arkansas for a week. We drove to Houston, left Barney with our daughter Melody and with Jack in tow we left early on a Monday morning and drove over 8 hrs. to camp. We dropped Jack off at our friend's house, took the kids to camp and got them all set up and returned to our friend's home for the week. They have a bed and breakfast in their home and since they are good friends we stayed there so Jack could run their property and not worry about being leashed all week. He thoroughly enjoyed the river behind their place and we enjoyed not having to worry about him.
We played a game (Joker) most of the week, and drove over to Tulsa from Hot Springs on Thursday to visit with our youngest son Mark and his fiance' Kim. We returned to Hot Springs on Friday and Saturday after camp we drove 8 hrs. back to Houston, spent the night and then back to Canyon Lake on Sunday morning.
Some people think we're glutton's for punishment, but we consider it a joy to have our grandchildren around us. When we returned to Houston I realized that our daughter Melissa was going to be gone with her 3 to a family reunion for her husband's family and that Melody's 3 kids were just going to be sitting around all week while their mom worked over 40 hrs. that particular week, due to extra training. So we gathered Madison and her 2 sisters back up and brought them back to our RV or a whole 7 days.
Movies, swimming, swimming and movies, cookouts, games of Joker, late nights talking, another run to Yogi Bear campground for the 2 youngest made for a full week. When their mom came and got them on Sunday we were two pooped grandparents!
The following week I felt bronchitis setting in slowly - so slowly that I knew no doctor would give me antibiotics until it was full blown. That happened on the weekend (of course.) So Monday I went to the walk in clinic and there was a 2 hr. wait...uh, no...So I went home and suffered another night in the recliner sitting up, got up early on Tuesday and went back to the clinic and got meds. So last week I spent recuperating from bronchitis.
Now I've had our daughter Melody's 3 kids this summer (1, twice.) But Melissa's 3 had not been here at all and being a fair minded grandparent I knew that would never do - for me or them. This being the last week before school, I asked to bring Eden, Andrew and Oakley here, so last Sunday their dad met us 1/2 way between Katy and Canyon Lake - about an hr. for each of us.
So we've had the 3 kids for a few days, swimming, movies, picnic, watching the stars through the telescope and playing Joker of course. We were to meet their mom 1/2 again tomorrow afternoon, but she called today and said she needs to come get them today. So she's on her way right now and I've told the kids "I have a really, really neat surprise for you!" They of course are all excited and I told them they'd have to wait a couple of hours....so mom will spend the night and we'll grill burgers and roast marshmellows and they will leave in the morning to get ready to start school on Monday.
So a very full summer for us all - Jack and Barney included. Jack has enjoyed the kids (he loves to play chase and herd them!) Fall is on it's way (Praise GOD!) Only 3 weeks left till Labor Day and my friend Jody will be finished with her job here at the campground and we can go play! I'm ready for some adult company! My cousin and her husband will come after Labor Day and we'll explore the Texas Hill Country together in the cooler weather!
Then we can Hit the Road Jack...again! See ya down the road!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Madison is my photogenic grandaughter - the camera loves her! However, she also loves the camera! She's the one brunette out of 8 grandchildren - all the rest are various shades of blonde. She's also the spitting image of her Dad's side of the family with one exception - her height. She's going to be a petite little thing like her mom and aunt. Melody calls her "my creamy middle", like the inside of an Oreo cookie - except the blondes are on the outside and the brunette's in the middle!
Being a middle child has it's challenges, I'm sure. Being the baby of my family I don't know, other than having a middle child of my own. But he was the oldest boy as well, so that had it's own advantages. Madison is one of 3 sisters and is smack dab in the middle. Her "little" sister, Miranda, is basically the same height and size as Madison and McKenzie, the oldest, towers over her (and her mother!) We're all just praying that Miranda doesn't pass her clothes down to Madison - that would kill her!
So as you can see, being "special" and the only one with us this week is going to be really good for Madison. She gets all the attention without having to share it with 5 others - we usually have all 6 together, giving their parents a break. It also piles the entertainment factor all into one week, rather than spreading it out over the summer.
I guess times are changing though...this week Maddy, and in a few weeks we'll probably have a couple of others and then 3 others later on in the summer. It also breaks up the cost as well...we tend to go out and "do" stuff with them...and that costs money of course.
When you have grandchildren you want them to have happy memories of you playing with them, so you do things with them that you didn't do with your own children, mainly because you were busy supplying all the necessities of life for them. That's a parents job. But it's not a grandparents job. Our job is to play with them! And we try to do our darndest, that's for sure!
So far, per Madison's request, I've taught her to knit and she's made 2 headbands and plans on making another tonight. She wants to learn to play the drums and since I was a drummer for 8 yrs., that's on the agenda this week (teaching her how to bounce the sticks and do a "roll".) I'm also a quilter and she wants to learn how to use the sewing machine, so I'm working on something for her to sew.
Tomorrow we curl hair, get pedicures and go get "glamour shots" at Walmart. She looks great in hats and brought a cute little fedora to wear that's going to look awesome in pictures.
Right now she's with her Poppy at the campground right down the road that is more kid friendly than the one we're in. It's Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park and they have hay rides, Candy Bar Bingo, Indoor and Outdoor swimming pools, Lazer Tag, Crafts, a Bouncing Pillow, Rocket Launches and gosh, I don't know what all...panning for gold...stuff! She's having a ball. If she's not too tired we'll go eat Chinese Food and take in Toys Story 3 in 3 D, but if not, we'll grill burgers and crash. (That sounds wonderful to me!)
I know a lot of grandparents that don't do much with their grandkids and I find that sad. I understand that they get tired - so do it...but I tell myself "it's just for a week..." I can do anything for a week! But we give them their alone time too - that's why we have the Disney channel on the satellite TV! Cartoons are great! Kids don't ahve to be entertained all the time, don't get me wrong. But when they visit you once or twice a year, you want to make the most of that time and it gives them some times to remember, rather than just sitting around all the time.
Our puppy Jack and cat Barney also help out in the entertainment department. Lots of rocking takes place with the requiste tickling of course. They'd think we didn't love them if we didn't tickle them...
But the best part of having your grandchildren with you is having the opportunity to share your heart with them. We tell them what's important to us and we talk about life in general and how to treat people and what God expects from us. We want them to know their heritage and the family stories, so they can pass them on to their children as well. My grandparents didn't share any of these things with us and that's why it's important that we share with our grandkids.
So to all the grandparents out there, we say, "Embrace their youth"...you won't regret it! Do it like us - in an RV! We've had all 6 for 1 week in the RV and it was great. And I even set up my sewing machine and made panchos for the 5 girls and a scarf for our grandson! Cramped? Nah! It's called CAMPING! Two were on a pallet at the foot of our bed, 2 on the hide a bed couch and 2 in the recliners. They all fought over who's turn it was to sleep in a recliner! It's not the norm and kids love adventure! They can sleep in a bed anytime! Also, an RV is in a campground and there are trails to hike, bikes to ride and hamburgers to grill, campfires to build and marshmellows to roast!
See ya'll down the road...with Jack of course!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Barney came to us in my son Mark's pocket about 5 yrs. ago. He found him on top of a tire at our oldest son's house. He was covered with fleas and I mean covered, as well as with oil. He was very small and was starving.
A barn was nearby our son's home and we figured that Barney had wandered into Mike's yard and climbed on top of a tire. Mark came along and found him and brought him home to me saying, "Look what I found, Mom!"
Friday, June 18, 2010
We are currently sitting stationary in our 5th wheel trailer at Riverside Resort in Canyon Lake, Tx. The resort is nice enough - not fancy, but more than adequate to fit our needs.
We chose this campground basically for one reason - our cat Barney. Most campgrounds will not allow your animals to be off leash. Even here all dogs must be on leash. But since the owner has a big fluffy cat that runs the campground, she understands that cats aren't like dogs. Besides, she knows Barney from when we were here in 2008. Another campground we stayed at is a bit nicer (all roads are paved, more activities for the grandkids, etc.) but Barney has to stay inside. So, Riverside won out thanks to Barney! The other campground is within site of Riverside and we can take the grandkids there for extra activities...we know the owners and they like us! :)
We have 2 large oak trees on 1 side of our trailer that casts a lot of shade and we have a larger than normal campsite. The picture shows us in the early stages of setting up, so it doesn't properly show the final results. Our awning is extended and we have our indoor/outdoor carpet on the gravel. Our door faces a green yard so Jack doesn't have far to go when he takes a trip to the "John".
On the awning side of the trailer there are no trees, so we purchased 2 sunscreens and sewed them together. They attach to our awning and it's staked to the ground. The picture only shows 1 of the 2 sunscreens, but we found that we wanted another to go all the way to the ground. It is sewn to the bottom of the one shown and provides the necessary shade to keep us cooler in the heat of the day, but it also provides some required privacy. Eventually I will have some beautiful Bouganvilla potted plants as well as others to dress up the "porch" area.
Living in a campground isn't for everyone, obviously. Your neighbors change constantly and some are better than others. Some are loud, some are quite. But overall we have found that most of our neighbors are quite friendly and even chatty, especially in the early evening as things begin to cool off. Everyone's out walking their dog and dogs greet dogs, which leads to conversations with perfect strangers.
Here's an example of a neighbor we met yesterday with his 11 month old "puppy", Brutus. I drove by and stopped and he walked up to my window and rested his head on the bottom of the window! He has the prettiest blue eyes I've ever seen...sorta looks like a ghost dog! He was Jack's worst nightmare and the first dog our cat Barney didn't like...I can't imagine why!
For the next month we have next door neighbors out our front door that are from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where we just moved from! They retired about 4 yrs. ago and have been full-time RVing ever since. After this month they will be moving to Glen Rose, Texas to be Workampers at a campground there. They even attended the same church as us a few times! What a small world, huh?
For those who do not know what a Workamper is, that is usually a couple that works at a campsite either in the little grocery store, the office or being a grounds keeper for the price of their campsite, which includes wi-fi, cable and electricity. The required hours are usually 20 hrs. a week per couple. Not bad, huh?
In our particular situation we do not need or want to be a workamper. We want the freedom to come and go at will and even workamping ties us down. For those who haven't discovered this about us yet, we are very impromptu people. We do not care for schedules, particularly at this point in our lives. We lived according to someone else's schedule all our lives. We retired to be able to travel and we intend to do that once we get settled.
Moving back to Texas has been our dream for several years now. We enjoyed our time in Arkansas and know that the Lord called us there, but we feel that season of our life is over. Of course we will always be back to visit our son and his family and our many long time friends there.
Texas has always been home to us and still is. This particular part of Texas, the Hill Country, is one of the prettiest parts of the state. The large oak trees provide valuable shade from the desert heat and bring back memories of the times we both climbed those trees.
Since moving back here we feel that we're on vacation because everything is new. New restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, malls, friends, the atmosphere and climate. So for now, we don't feel a need to travel. We've arrived at our destination! We've Hit the Road with Jack and we're waiting to see ya! Ya'll come!