Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Set for the winter season in the south and heading north for the holidays

October 24 – December 5, 2015 

Wow, almost Christmas!  We are in our final week before we head back up north from our winter place in South Texas. This will the first year we leave the RV up and running on the same site (rather than in storage) while we are gone.  We will be up north for 20 days this time, one of the shortest times of our trips north.  This time we will be spending the holiday with Chas and his girlfriend Lisa (Patty’s son). 

Patty's cardinal that visits here most mornings.
This her view from her computer window in the RV.

Just a random picture from down here in south Texas.  Sort of a normal picture of a truck towing a pony, a horse, and a donkey.

Diesel prices have really come down!  $1.92/gal here.
When we started out full time RVing it was as high as $4.90/gal

I look forward to going North over the holidays, but I hate flying in the small plane from here to the connecting planes in either Dallas or Houston.  I am claustrophobic and my ultimate worst place to be is a 3 seater Regional Jet. Probably the second worst is a crowded elevator.  I can mostly handle the small space once we get in the air and while the plane is moving. It’s the whole unknown part of just how long we will be trapped in the aluminum tube that gets to me.  Fears of the reported airplanes stuck on the tarmac for 5-12 hours just unnerve me!   Anyway, I get myself as close to comatose as I can with tranquilizers before I get on and hope for the best.  I also pay to get the farthest seat up front as I can.  So far I have been pretty lucky and have gotten the first seat in the plane.  It’s weird that while seated in the first seat and I get to feeling good, all I have to do is turn around and look at the people seated behind me and the panic returns.  My hands are sweating just writing this!

The weather has been mostly good this season here in the south.  So far we have had 5 days below 70 degrees; 3 in the 60s and 2 in the 50s as highs.  Right now we are back into a long string of days in the 70s and 80s just as we are preparing to head north, figures.  It has been wet too, but not so much as to hamper any of our activities but enough to keep everything very green.  That is unusual here, everything being so green at this time of year.  The golf courses look like the ones up north in the summer time.

So, in the past month we bought a stationary gas grille to use while we are here for the winter.  Now that we have a shed we have  a place to store it while we tour during the summer. We also bought and installed an ornamental backlit sun for the top of the shed.  We got the sun decoration on one of our many trips to Mexico.  We also filled in the space between our lot and our neighbors lot with rocks. That space was mainly just weeds and mud. We filled it in so we wouldn't have weeds to mow down and to make the area look nice. We have been to Mexico several times this year too, probably as many times as all of last year.  But mainly we have just settled into our winter life here in south Texas.
Our new grille.  It is an infrared type.  I just love this thing!  Not sure what I am going to do when we start traveling again in the spring.  I will need a new portable grille for sure.  This one sears meat like nothing I have ever had before.

Our new sun decoration.

Crossing the bridge over the Rio Grande and border on our way into Mexico one day.

This was that Mexican border the other day so we got our picture taken.

One of our many lunches in Mexico.  This was a real cool looking margarita.

We got lunch from this street vendor.  

He is making huge baked potatoes filled with cheese and grilled meat.

The potato is served with fresh corn chips (just fried with lard).  The potato guts had been turned into sort of mashed potatoes with cheese and grilled meat.  It was very good and only $4!  Then wash it down with a dollar beer.

Just a funny sign advertising a bar.  It says "have you found out panties?"  I believe it should say our panties, but whatever!

Patty getting a haircut in Mexico this week.

The Mexican Bud Lite girls. Note that the beer is imported.

Beer girls strutting down the street in Nuevo Progreso.

Cool car in Mexico.

This horse got loose in the street and was really spooked!  I was a little worried it was going to run me over!

We learned on our most recent Mexico trip that it was "Welcome Winter Texans" Day. It was surprisingly light with Americans. 

We can now report that we are starting to be in a good place with Patty’s health.  This has occurred mainly since we seem to have her diabetic symptoms under control.  We still have a few things to do but her extreme low blood sugar swings are much less common now.  She still has lows, but just like yesterday on the golf course, just a little food and she was back to normal after just a couple of holes.  Before we would have had to end the round. We have learned that most of her severe symptoms started to happen after her diabetes doctor here tried to dramatically lower her Hemoglobin A1C blood readings. That was when we first arrived here 2 years ago.  Her doctor has now started over in trying to find a happy normal for her blood sugar levels.  This has greatly reduced her very low blood sugars (30s) and her very low blood pressures that caused her to pass out.  In the past couple of months she has had some low blood pressures but they have not caused her to pass out. Consequently, her mood and outlook have greatly improved. Whew!

There was an incident, however, when she went out for lunch with a group from our resort and passed out due to a low blood sugar. The Paramedics got her under control and all was well. Our friends were a little frightened, but called me for assurance that a hospital transport was not necessary. Another Whew!

Our schedule here while wintering consists of the following:

Mondays: Golfing for me.  Patty goes to choir practice at night (she is auditioning for the Sweet Adelines female barber shoppers here in the area)

Tuesdays:  Wii Bowling and out for wings and beer

Wednesdays:  Golf for Both of us and then Happy Hour in the park

Thursdays: Bridge for Patty.  

Fridays: Laze around

Saturdays:  Darts

Sundays:  Lazy again

Most all days, weather permitting, I play water volley ball in the afternoons.

There also is usually some sort of large event each week in the park like music, dance, BBQ, craft sales, and the like.

The next time I post will be after we get back from our trip up north and most probably just after New Year’s Day 2016.

Full moon over our site last month.

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays with love and peace. 

Our RV decorated for Christmas along with Patty's craft work

Setting up for the winter in South Texas

October 05 - 23, 2015 

It’s been awhile since we have made a post and so much has happened since the last one!  I am figuring that we will post probably just once a month while we are wintering at our site in south Texas.  Mostly, while here, we enjoy staying warm and doing summer type stuff like playing golf and social events in the resort.  So, most of the time it’s the same fun stuff over and over, it’s a tough life!

However, the last few weeks have been full of some new stuff for us.  We left Goliad TX and headed to our new site 19 in Nature's Resort near Edinburg TX, about 200 miles straight south of Corpus Christi.   The trip took just under 3 hours and was uneventful but pretty hot.  The temperature was hovering around 95 with full sun, nice, nice! 

Nice rest stop near Edinburg TX on 281 south

This is our 4th time making this trip and I think we have done it different each time.  I didn’t recognize anything until we were just 4-5 miles from the exit on to Monte Cristo Road (FM 1925).  After the exit it was just like coming home again!  I never thought I would say that this was our home area but it is becoming that.  In the past 3 years we have spent more time here than anywhere else. 

Now I just want to say that our intention for now anyway is that South Texas will not be our only home area.  Our plan for the future is to eventually become snow birds between New Jersey and here in South Texas.  At some point, after a couple more years traveling the US, we plan to leave the RV here in South Texas and either buy or rent a place in NJ, prefer to seasonally rent in NJ over owning.  At that point we plan to travel/tour more outside the US as well as some destination trips.  OK, now that we have settled that, on to what has happened the past few weeks! 

It’s nice to pull up to the resort gate and our password still works!  It’s the small stuff that gets you.  We knew when we purchased the lot improvements that we now own a set of wooden RV stairs from the previous owners.  We also knew that these stairs are now laying across the concrete part of the site so that we will need to move them before we can pull in.  Knowing about these stairs, we pull into one of the pull through transient sites temporarily until I can get the stairs out of the way so we can pull in.

Our new to us site 19 with the heavy stairs across the entrance.

The stairs are tied down to anchors in the ground and are very heavy.  They are way too heavy to move or lift by myself.  At this time of year it is very hard to find anyone who can help with lifting these stairs.  It will take at least 3 maybe 4 guys to lift this thing!  I walked the park looking for anyone I can volunteer to help and finally found a guy who volunteered the use of a bucket truck.  That will work!  With a little effort we got the stairs up and out of the way so we could move in to our new site.  Thanks to Brad for the help!  By dinner time we were set up and ready for the winter here.

Bucket truck to the rescue!

The site, as we took it over, has concrete on about half of it.  It also has an 8x12 metal shed as well as the heavy wooden steps.  Our plans are to concrete the entire site ASAP.  We really do not want to perform yard and shrub maintenance, been there and done that!  We really don’t mind doing yard work, just not at this time in our lives.  First though I need to get the stairs to fit our RV.

The first few days we are back I worked on the stairs.  The original owners had an RV that didn’t have slides on the front so the stairs are on both sides, one of which goes into our slide.  At first I thought that I might get away with just some slight modifications and leave the second set of stairs on and let them sit under the slide.  Nope, that didn’t work. Need to completely remove the stairs and half of the metal roof.  I also had to raise the roof of the stair unit. Seems that the original owners RV sat lower so our higher RV entrance door hits the roof!  Anyway, after some help from neighbor Ken, the stairs are now functional!  OK, first project done!

Our site in it's original form with us on it.

These are beautiful butterfly plants with hundreds of butterflies on them.  This was for us very difficult to have these removed and replaced with concrete.  However, a few in the park took alot of them and replanted.

We also have hummingbirds here!

Now, on to concrete the entire site.  The only thing is, what the entire site is and how much are we allowed to put concrete on.  The only thing we made sure of when we purchased was that we could completely fit on the site with the 5th wheel and the truck and we do fit.  The way you find out here is to ask the park owners where you can put the concrete and where the site boundaries are.  That happened real quick, within 2 days we knew where we could put the concrete and where we could put temporary stuff or landscaping (rocks for us).  Basically, the site can have concrete 33 feet wide by 45 feet long.  This leaves approximately a 3 foot piece on each side and in the rear for an easement.  That is completely good with us!

The next day, the 13th, Joe the concrete guy came and gave us a very reasonable estimate to do the concrete work. Before the concrete work can be done we need to have the shed moved off of the site.  This is something that is done here all of the time.  An employee of the park and an owner moved the shed for us within a couple of days.  A week later, on the 20th, Joe came and did all of the concrete work.  By 2 in the afternoon it was all done!  We have been here exactly 2 weeks now and we have steps and new concrete!

On our way over to Mexico for lunch and to get our site number
19 in ceramic tiles to put in the concrete.

Good thing the concrete was done this week as the weather is calling for rain and a lot of it!  After the concrete had set for a few days we moved the shed back on to the new concrete. The shed is wired for electric so I reconnected the electric and put the small refrigerator back in.  Now we are ready for the rain.

Removing the grass before the concrete is poured.

Adding the rebar.

Waiting for the concrete truck.  It is now about 92 out!

Concrete truck has arrived!

We added another foot to the west side too.

These guys work real hard!

Adding the final touch, our site number 19 ceramic tiles.
We got these over the weekend in Mexico.
All done!

Patty would have liked the numbers to be closer together, but this is the way it is!

Now for a nice dinner of steak and asparagus.  The asparagus is being cooked on the grille with olive oil, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

Just need to say that the area down here is absolutely green right now!  They have had a lot of rain this summer so everything is very lush and green.  The golf courses are really great too.  I have not got back to where I was yet at just under 100 but I have broke a hundred on an easy course and just this week got a 100 on our usual course Los Lagos.  My goal this season is to score around 90.  We shall see!

Not sure of the name of this bird but it is very common here.
It was trying to attack it's reflection in our rear window 

That's him smashing into our window!

We are now caught up to the present time with this post.  We are sitting inside and watching the heavy rain coming from 2 fronts.  We have the original coming from the west and now we have the remaining rain from hurricane Patricia.  We are forecasted now to get from 4 to 11 inches of rain!  We are in the end of the park that floods but we think we are up high enough that it won’t affect us too much.
View out the back window during the storm on the 24th.  We were almost an island!

View from the front window.  The water was just past the rear tire on the truck.  The park posted a "No Wake Zone" for our end of the park.  

Some update about Patty’s health.  We came back to south Texas a month early so we could get here in to see some doctors.  She has seen some doctors but we have not had much in the way of progress yet.

We have seen her primary care Doctor, her endocrinologist, and the neurosurgeon.  She saw her primary doctor 2 times because the first time she passed out due to low blood pressure while seeing him and had to be sent to the ER!  I am used to this and knew that after giving her some IV fluids she would be fine and released.  And she was in fact released after 5 hours.

Patty is scheduled for a new test for determining if she has diabetic gastroparesis.  Yet another diagnosis but little in the way of help!  The neurosurgeon now thinks she doesn’t have a nerve issue (arm scratching) related to her spine compression.  Now he has no idea!  He is, however, doing a few blood tests to determine who knows what!  As for diabetes, her endo suggested that she will just need to learn to determine when these low blood pressures are about to happen and act accordingly!  

With all of this happening to her, her depression has worsened and she has been manic at times.  She has not been able to get in to see a psychiatrist until the end of January.  

That’s it for us now.

Stay tuned!