Monday, February 25, 2019

Another Milestone

San Angelo, TX Concho Pearl RV Estates February 24, 2019

Another birthday has come and gone. I don’t feel any older today than I did yesterday (well maybe a little). I do have a few more medical hiccups than I did a year ago. I have discovered one thing though, I am impressed by a lot less stuff than I used to be. But as long as EJ is by my side, the weather is nice and there is a great view, I doubt that life could be any better.

EJ and I really don’t want to gain any more weight, meaning we try to manage portion size and our sweets intake. So we started the tradition of birthday cupcakes instead of birthday cakes. And as the years go by, it decreases the potential fire hazard too. (I mean you can only stuff so many candles on a cupcake)

70th birthday cupcake

And Gabby, my lil’ buddy, had to be right in the middle of things.

Gabby helping with birthday

Then EJ took me out on one of my favorite hobbies. Hunting for stuff other people have hidden, also known as geocaching. We have encountered some clever hides, such as a cache disguised as a bolt on a sign, or an official looking post that is the cache or an electrical cover on a light pole that hides the cache. Here in San Angelo though, you have to be tough because you  are fighting thorny bushes, goats head stickers and the occasional snake. Here is EJ holding one of the treasures we found on my birthday.

70th BD Geocaching

After a vigorous afternoon of hunting geocaches EJ took me to one of our favorite watering holes for a great big honking monster top shelf margarita.

70th BD Margarita

Here’s to another great year!

Monday, February 18, 2019

North San Angelo Report

Feburary 17, 2014

Howdy partners! We’ve been in San Angelo so long we are starting to look like the locals.

EJ Dad Frank Cowboys

It’s been almost 4 months since we arrived here and we have really enjoyed having the opportunity to spend this time with Dad. Miss Mosey has been stationary for too long so we’ll be leaving the first week in March. Dad is in much better health now and has given us the OK to continue our travels.

We’ve had a great time visiting with Dad. Here is  a view at dusk from his apartment.

View out Dad's Window at Dusk

His lofty digs have allowed us to watch the drama that unfolds in the neighborhood. One morning on our way to see him, Rio Concho Drive, the road that goes by the front of his building, was narrowed to one lane of traffic. A Cadillac had run off the road and plunged into the Concho River. Once we got upstairs we were able to watch them remove the car from the water.

Car in Water 1Car in Water 2Car in Water 3

My sister and her husband came over from California for a visit and Dad invited all of us to the Valentines Day Dinner the Manor ( apartment building where Dad lives) was hosting.

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The table setting..

Valentines Table Setting

And my sister Fran and her husband Gary.

Valentine with Frank and Gary

Meanwhile back at the RV one morning we woke up to frozen rain creating an icy mess.

Ice Tree

We even had a double rainbow following one afternoon rainstorm.

Double Rainbow over Pearl of the Concho

Least you think it’s been all fun and games, Miss Mosey has needed her share of attention too. Some of the drip guards on the windows had taken flight (disappeared) and several more were in the process of vanishing. One afternoon was spent cleaning and replacing those varmints.

Window Drip Hole Cover

It’s vitally important to go over your RV on a regular basis tightening things, replacing things that fall off and just generally making sure everything is still working the way it is supposed too. During one such scrutiny I noticed that a front shock had decided to disassemble itself. This was rather irritating as the shocks were barely a year old. So I ordered a replacement from Shock Warehouse. This is what a shock is not supposed to look like.

Broken Front Shock

I hate to say it, but the water here is San Angelo is terrible. One day shortly after we arrived I washed the front of Miss Mosey to get rid of all the bugs. The film and hard water deposits left behind took two days to clean off. Needless to say we haven’t washed her since and she is beginning to look a little ratty. I hope we find some soft water soon.  But, that hard water has also been rough on our water filters. So far we have replaced the whole “house” water filter and the under sink drinking water filter. The drinking water faucet had been running slower and slower. A new filter fixed that right up.

Sink Filter

We have managed to squeeze in a few walks and some geocaching. On one geocaching outing we met a police officer that was practicing with a drone. He said the fold up Mavic drone was his personal favorite. Here he using a stick on landing pad to keep the dirt and small rocks away from the drone as it takes off and lands.

Police Drone

A walk along the Concho River revealed some of the local artwork.

Mosaic Chevy PickupMosaic VW and EJ 

We even managed to find a local coffee shop that made fantastic mochas. Try Strango’s if your ever in town.

Strangos Coffee

And EJ has even had time to experiment with her new 3 QT Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Dinner

Another project we’ve been dabbling with as time allows is creating a map of potential boondocking/low cost camping locations. EJ watches the Boondocking Facebook groups and whenever she finds a spot that looks promising we add it to the map. I’ve been doing google searches and reading blogs looking for boondocking sites also. The main criteria is that it has to be big rig accessible. The map also includes city, county, and utility parks that may or may not have hookups that may be free or use a donation system. The idea being that as camp sites are getting harder and harder to find as more and more RVs are on the road having these locations in our back pocket will be a big help.

boondocking_map

Well, time to wrap this up as I’ve gotten a little long winded. Our next “planned” adventure will be in Quartzite Arizona where we will be attending the RV-Dreams Boondocking Rally March 24 to 31, 2019.

Warm Cat

Stay warm!!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Paying the Piper

January 2 to February 1, 2019 – Concho Pearl RV Estates, San Angelo, TX

Our bodies, like any car or mechanical device, require periodic maintenance to continue to be serviceable. After all, in the last year we have the changed the oil in Sunny twice, replaced his rear shocks, and gotten him a new set of tires. However, in that same year, neither of us have had any checkups. It’s true, we take better care of our vehicles than we do ourselves.

So while we are living in San Angelo in the motorhome, we decided that these old bodies would benefit with some minor tune-ups from the medical professions. It started off with EJ getting us set up with a life screening traveling group. In our case they were set up in a local church where they provided a menu of medical tests for you to chose from. We chose ultrasounds to see if anything was clogged up, body mass indices to see how fat we had gotten, blood pressure tests to make sure our hearts were still pumping.

It had been over a year since we had our skins checked out so appointments were made to have all our suspicious spots, warts and moles looked at. Fortunately EJ only had one tiny little spot that needed a squirt of liquid nitrogen while I (oh lucky me) had half a dozen spots frozen and a spot of basal cell along with a touch of squamous cell that needed to be operated on. I was a real sight by the time all that was done with.

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Oh, but we’re not done yet. My years of loving fried food, adult beverages and large meals seem to be catching up with me. Now gastrointestinal issues are getting in the way of me having a good time. So another doctor visit, this time with a gastro specialist and I end up back in day surgery again.

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Frankly I’m not sure they did anything. Oh they made a big show of making me sign papers and explaining things to me. I think everybody on the floor came by to say hi and introduce themselves. I’m sure all that will show up on the hospital bill. When the parade was finally over they squirted a little happy juice into one of the tubes attached to my arm. I woke up 30 minutes later wondering when we were going to started as I had things I wanted to get done back at the motorhome.

Then EJ walks in and tells me it’s all over. Not that I would ever doubt my lovely wife, but I’ve heard this procedure is down right uncomfortable and so far I haven’t felt anybody rooting around in my innards. At this point let’s just call me dubious.

Pretty soon a nurse shows up with some disgusting pictures of body parts and claims they are all of me. I don’t see any identifying marks on the body parts so I’m skeptical. I mean they shove a big honking tube down your throat and run all sorts diabolical instruments down that pipe to take pictures, poke things and carve off  little pieces here and there. I’m expecting some major discomfort. I haven’t even felt a tickle!

But nope, nada, nothing. I don’t know whether to be glad or offended. Have I been hoodwinked? Pretty soon they are making suggestions that this isn’t a hotel and maybe I ought to be moving along. I mean after all, they need that bed for their next victim.

So a week goes by and we enter the next phase of the story. The doctor can’t or won’t give the results of the procedure over the phone. I have to make an appointment and rack up another bill. But the good news is that medically, it’s nothing serious. But personally it’s a catastrophe.  They want me to stop drinking beer! This is major, I’d rather drink beer than drink water. Not only that, they want me to cut back on portion size, carbonated beverages, fried food and trigger foods (whatever that is).

Sigh! They are going to drag me kicking and screaming into a healthy lifestyle. However, the alternative doesn't look very appealing either.

The fun and games aren’t other yet. On February 4th I get to have a colonoscopy. I argued and argued that I’m too old for one and they weren’t having any of it. According to the doctor your should have colonoscopies up into your 80’s.

More on that later.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why living in an RV works for us

January 1 to January 12, 2019 – Concho Pearl RV Park, San Angelo, TX

Opera Snapshot_2019-01-12_180135_www.google.com

Yes, we are still in West Texas and as you can see in the picture above, we are in the only sizeable city for 90 miles or more. Abilene to the north and San Angelo have about the same population.

But, I digress, getting back to the title of this post, last year highlighted how important having an RV is to us. The spring of 2018 saw us spending about a month in San Angelo visiting with my father who is 96 years old. Because we have a motorhome, we were able to camp out in the parking lot behind the apartment building he lives in. There is also an electric panel with two 30 amp connections which when connected to Miss Mosey through an combiner allow us to power up anything we want to.

Then in June, when temperatures began warming up too much for our liking, having a motorhome allowed us to make the move to Colorado with its higher altitude and cooler temperatures. In fact, we spent 3 months at above 10,000 feet near Leadville, Colorado.

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Steve and Nancy O’Bosky, friends from our last Alaska Adventure, recently purchased an RV park in Wells, NV. We wanted to wish them well and stop by for a visit. Because we live in an RV we were able to make the trip, spend a week with them, and stop at a few interesting places along the way.

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October brings the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but trying to find a room or an RV park at a reasonable price at that time is impossible. Thanks to Miss Mosey we were able to dry camp a mere half mile from the location of the balloon launches. This allowed us to walk to the Fiesta grounds any time we felt like it. And also, because of where the motorhome was parked, we often had balloons flying right over us.

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Afterwards, we were going to slowly work our way to the Arizona desert for an extended stay, but while still in New Mexico we got a call that my father was in the hospital with pneumonia. Thanks to Miss Mosey, we were able to rush back to San Angelo and stay at Dad’s place in the parking lot while he recuperated.

EJ Dad Frank Cowboys

Then in December we both came down with the crud. It was nice to be able to stay in the motorhome and recover.

Since our stay in San Angelo has been extended again and again, we decided to catch up on some doctor visits. Thanks to Medicare and a decent supplemental health insurance policy I am able to get some overdue attention to some sun cancer spots on my head and EJ is able to get her annual skin check. Again, it’s nice to be able to come back to the RV and chill out while our wounds heal.

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Our home on wheels has allowed us to be very flexible. We can follow the cooler temperatures when it gets too warm. We can visit friends and sleep in our beds. If there is a family emergency we can respond quickly and stay as long as we need to. It’s a good way to live.