Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This 'n That

She knew.
She knew there were dogs on the other side of that fence.  It's been kind of hard on Shasta as we've been traveling.  Not nearly enough outside time.  She wants out all the time, but she also wants me out there with her.  When we do sit out with her, she'll roll around on the grass and rub her face in it.  It's obvious that she misses the companionship of Wilson too. Yeah, he would bug her sometimes, but she loved him.

It's been interesting to see which birds are the most plentiful as we move from place to place.  Southern TX was cardinals.  Wichita Falls had mostly mockingbirds.  So far in Amarillo, in this park anyway, there are many robins and house finches.  There's also a large population of pigeons that are like a swarm going by in the morning and evenings, round and round. When my boys were young, their father got them involved with racing pigeons. Built the coop, shopped for birds, and would drive distances to release them to see how long it took them to return home. Some would not make it home, probably picked off by hawks, but the majority made it. It was a great lesson in responsibility for the boys. I think they have good memories of it.

I actually saw a prairie dog yesterday!  Just standing up at attention just like you see them on tv.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to take some pics of them. 

We woke to bright sunshine this morning, but on the horizon, a line of fog!  Within about 3 minutes the fog had covered as far as I could see.  The only place I've seen it move that fast is on the ocean.  No ocean here.  Bizarre. 

Have you read Life of Pi?  Did you like it?  I loved it.  Really, I thought it was just brilliantly written.  Well, when I found another book by Yann Martel, I was excited to see what it would be.  I bought Beatrice and Virgil and began reading immediately.  Uh huh, it would be another spectacularly written book.  The man is a very unusual storyteller.  However, as it turned out, it was disturbing.  So disturbing in fact, that I almost wish I hadn't read it.  Almost.  Anybody else read it? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gotta Love Texas

Other than the severe weather, we are loving Texas! It's so beautiful, the people, even in the grocery stores, are polite and respectful, and they say Y'all!!! Every woman is Ma'am, and I saw a man with his little girl in a grocery cart that answered her dad, with yes, sir. Who couldn't love that? I admit that I didn't teach my kids that respect for elders. Not in that way, anyway.

We also saw a billboard that said:
Awl Change $29.95! (or whatever amount it was). Then underneath it said, "That's Oil Change for you Non-Texans! Love the sense of humor.

There was a bumper sticker that said:
"I wasn't born a Texan, but I got here as quick as I could!" Love it!

OH! and then I saw a billboard announcing the store in the next town...Guns & Gifts! ONLY in Texas! No matter what you think of the gun issue, that cracked me up! WHO would have a gun & gift shop?

Garden Tuesday

It's a pretty safe bet that I'm the only one with a garden like this one!
This is my garden view this morning in Wichita Falls RV Park.  There are 16 fire hydrants out there.  At first we thought it designated a pet walk area, but the owner says no, they just collect them!  I can see how it would be fun to paint them different colors.

For more Garden Tuesday photos, check out Sidewalk Shoes!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All about the weather

I am ALL over the weather.  Can't seem to help myself.  I probably check the weather 4 or 5 times a day.  Especially since we've found ourselves in this alley of questionable storms. 

We've spent hours today talking about leaving to our next destination first thing tomorrow morning.  But, um...then tonight in our NEXT destination...

Alert Thunderstorms likely, some strong, especially during the evening. Damaging winds, large hail, and possibly a tornado with some storms. Low around 70F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%.  TWC

That forcast is for tonight.  Perhaps we'll wait another day before we move. 

I have to say though, I will be happy to be out of this area.  I worry about you, my World Renowned Author friend!

All God's Creatures Sunday

Lakes in Texas seem to have lots of turtles. And I mean LOTS of turtles.
This guy is probably around 8-10" across. There are also some big fish along the shoreline that have very long snouts and appear to be laying eggs. No idea what they are at this point. I'll have to take the better camera down there. Maybe I can catch a lucky shot.

Lake Tawakoni
The reservoir's primary purpose is to provide a municipal and industrial water supply for the surrounding communities and the City of Dallas. With a shoreline of approximately 200 miles, stretching through Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt counties, Lake Tawakoni provides water-oriented recreation for much of central northeast Texas.

There are no natural lakes in Texas; they are all man-made.  Considering how hot and humid it gets here, I think it was a good idea.
The Grackles have been having a blast bathing in the puddles!  The sun has managed to come out today with just an occasional puff of cloud sliding by.  91* with 36% humidity.  40% chance of thunderstorms tonight.

If you're brave enough, click on this link to see a Giant communal spider web at Lake Tawakoni State Park.  EW!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving Day to Lake Tawakoni TX

This is the view out my window this afternoon.  We had planned on leaving Livingston TX yesterday, but the weather in our destination (here) was awful, so we put it off a day.  Well, actually, we hemmed and hawed about whether to leave today as well. 

Yesterday, Lake Tawakoni had huge thunderstorms and wind.  In fact, the dark spot in the grass is a bog-y area left over from the storm.  This spot is nothing compared to other areas in the park.  What we've discovered about that spot, is that the birds LOVE that spot!  Hopefully we'll be able to get some good shots of the different birds attracted to it.

There are many of these areas in this park, and there is still a 30% chance of thunderstorms tonight.  We walked along the boat launch area with Shasta this afternoon and saw GOBS of turtles in the launch area.

I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow.  I'm so surprised at how wooded central Texas is!  Really, it's just beautiful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Think I'm In Love

Hubby has been making some commercials for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk "Bands on the Beach" series, and one of the artists to appear this year is Eddie Money.  So I've been hearing the song "I Think I'm in Love" a bazillion times as he edits the commercial.  Ha ha!
But actually, I think I do love this new Kindle!
When we bought our first Kindle, we got the 3G that has a built-in WiFi since we had only a limited amount of download through Verizon MyFi. (sp?)
And since Hubby ordered it, but was presently reading a hard cover book, I got to order a book on it.  I liked it, but one night when I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I was going to read in bed with my lighted  My bad; I misunderstood the lighted thing.  Okay, and as I continued to read the next day, I enjoyed it but missed the feeling of "holding" a book.  Weird, I know, but it's who I am.  :)

Long story short, we upped our download capability (since we kept going over our alloted amount just working our business anyway) and some books on Kindle are much less expensive than buying real books, I decided to get a Kindle of my own.  It had to have a cover so I could hold it like a book, (I ordered the steel blue and it turned out to be not quite the color I had anticipated, but whatever!) and the cover comes with a light that slides out of the back of the cover.  I would have tried that last night when I was awake for HOURS, but I hadn't downloaded a book yet.

Which brings up another point!  We had spoken with a couple different Amazon tech support people and were assured that we could download books on the $139 Kindle, with Verizon, no problem.  Well, turns out, Kindle is not compatible with Verizon MyFi.  Um, okay.  But don't be alarmed!  There is a workaround if you go through the computer and use a USB to transfer to the Kindle.  Yea!

I am sooo hoping that I'm not awake at 3:30 tomorrow morning, but if I am, I'm prepared!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One More Thing to do...

I can hardly believe that I have not blogged for so long. I've not gone this long since I started back in 2008.

Along with crazy, wonderful, busyness with work, we've been going through the process of becoming Texas residents. It's turning out to be much more time consuming than previously thought.

It starts with getting Texas insurance on the truck and the motorhome. Next thing is getting all of our vehicles inspected.  Don't even think about getting a license, or anything else until that's done. Then off to the Tax Assessor's office to register vehicles. And be sure to bring a photo of the motorhome, plus proof of insurance and inspection. Oops, forgot address of bank that co-owns our home on wheels. Another trip in to town with that information.
We had printed out the Special Requirements section of the Department of Public Safety manual which you have to study in order to pass the written exam. Next day, we took the said manual over to DPS because I couldn't believe that I needed to know about pole trailers, cylindrical bales of hay, and animal husbandry vehicles. "Oh yes," she says, "it all involves big trucks, and that's what you're driving." All spoken with the very think twang of southern accent that I am really enjoying!  okay... study, study, study, write it out, study some more.

This morning we were nervous, but determined to get it done today. Traipsing in to DPS, papers spread out in front of us, original birth certificates, actual social security cards, and proof of everything else, she says,
"Okay press your forehead to the machine and read me line #5."
Me: Line # 5?
Her: Yes, line #5.
Me: I can read two-thirds of it, and do.  But the left group of numbers I can't read, and she had me try, like, 5 times!
Her: You have to be able to read it allll the way across or I can't give you a license.

If you are still reading by this point, I'll give you a break of involved a trip to an optomatrists office in which the OD is only present ONE DAY A WEEK! Just happened to be his day. Whew. He tested me and said he didn't think I needed glasses to drive and wrote me something to the effect that his opinion should override the little machine's opinion. The woman in the DPS office reread that form a few times, leaving me sweating, wondering what she would do.
Her: Okay, press your thumbs on that glass there for your fingerprints. Stand against the blue screen for a photo, and here's your written test.

Gulp. Twenty questions all about disabled vehicles, load limits, and how many trailers can be hooked up to an unloaded vehicle that exceeds 2500 lbs. Missed three.

Me: Was it the trailer questions?
Her: Naw, the poundage. (whatever that means)

So tomorrow we have to call the DPS office to set up a time to take the driving test in the mh. No, you cannot do it the same day you take your written test. Evidently someone has to come in from another town to give the test. All of this is because we are from out of state, wanting to drive a motorhome over 26,000 lbs. in Texas.  I guess if we want the benefits of being TX residents, we must work for it, right?

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Garden Tuesday

Playing in the garden...
These guys don't seem to have much fear of people.  The first day we set up here, there was a large bunny nosing around these bushes, and I do mean large.  He looked like a cottontail, but big, with one ear that hung down.  Possibly someone's pet.  I was hoping he would be an everyday visitor, but so far...nope.
On another garden note, I broke down and bought a hanging basket of petunias. I was longing for them. Yes, really, longing.  A little touch of home on the road.
I was looking for the light purple, Sugar Daddy I think they call them.  But no.  This was the only pretty good looking pot of petunias in the little Wally World here in Livingston. They're not perfect, but with a little TLC they should be gorgeous. They already smell great. And, speaking of smelling great, we got a sweet basil & a thai basil plant yesterday too. Probably should have bought a cilantro plant too since we use it on everything. Anyone have any tips on how to keep cilantro for more than a day or two in the fridge?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Black Vulture

Bird nut that I am, I was very excited when I saw this black vulture next to the road.
Shasta was sitting in the passenger seat wondering if I was going to let her get up close and personal with this fellow.  She didn't make a peep, but was so tuned in that she was devouring him with her eyes.
After getting my shot, I noticed a car coming up behind me, so had to move on. As I looked over my other shoulder in the other direction, I saw a whole flock of these guys just hanging out next to the road!
The black vultures have white on the underside of the wing feathers, but only on the tips, unlike the turkey vultures that have white feathers running the length of their under wings.
We've been so busy with work that I've not had a chance to spend much time in blogworld.  I hope you all are well!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bird Brains

After taking Hubby to the airport in Houston, I didn't drive the truck for a couple of days.  On the third morning, I started to take Shasta out for a walk and noticed that the mockingbirds had been very busy again.  This time it was a new pair and they had their eye on the perfect place (or so they thought) to build a nest.
Knowing that I was going to be leaving later on that day to pick Hubby up at the airport, I had to pull all of the twigs out before they got too comfortable. What was so fascinating about the beginnings of their nest, was that the foundation twigs had been worked down in to the tread of the tire! Pretty smart, I'd say! That nest was not going anywhere in the wind!
Off Shasta & I went for about a quarter mile, then came back to find that the birds had begun to rebuild. Poor things.
Again, I pulled the twigs out, and upon my next outing noticed that they were quite determined that this would be their new home.
Okay, I'll take the truck for a spin around the park, and when I got back, the two of them were waiting by the pile of twigs.
Then I had a brainstorm. After Shasta's walk I had a plastic bag of doggie poop that I placed on top of the tire. Sure enough, I had ruined the neighborhood, and they moved on. They probably flew off insulted!