Winter Texan Expo

Good morning. With yesterday being an overcast cold rainy day, we thought we would go see what the Winter Texan Expo was all about. We are now officially Winter Texans, so why not. It is held every January (this is the 26th year) in the McAllen Convention Center. The event is free and parking is free. We like free (but, so does everyone else). This years event was being held on both Tuesday, January 15th and Wednesday, January 16th from 9am to 3pm.

This was our first time in McAllen. The convention center was easy to find and there was plenty of parking (even for the amount of people who were there). There was a long line to get into the expo, but the line moved quickly. Once inside we found it extremely crowded. Shoulder to shoulder, people everywhere. Everyone was very nice and friendly. But, the number of people was overwhelming. At one point Clyde and I got separated and couldn’t locate each other. It is a good thing we had cell phones. I don’t know how we would have found each other without them. Even with the number of people that attended this event, we bumped into a couple other couples from our park. It is a small world.

As with other types of expos, this one had different vendors pitching their products and giving away small tokens to entice you over. If you filled out a questionnaire you could be entered into a drawing to win a bigger prize. As I am not a person who gives out my information freely, nor do I want phone calls or emails etc. after the fact, I do not participate in these drawings. I guess it’s my loss. We did come away with a few new tot bags, pens, mini flashlights, etc. as well as some reading material (that will probably be recycled).

The best part of our trip was our late lunch/early dinner at Cheddar’s. There was a slight wait to be seated, but the service and food was very good.

Loving our lifestyle.

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Night Activities

Good morning. What a cold, windy, dreary day it was yesterday. The sun was nowhere to be seen. It looks like today will be more of the same, only we will be adding rain in the mix. We could use some rain for the lawns.

It was a good day to get some errands done in the morning. In the afternoon Clyde went to play shuffleboard. The park has two large buildings to accommodate many different activities. One of the buildings has about 10 shuffleboard courts marked on the floor.  He had never played the game before but decided to see what it was all about. It was a good day to go and do an inside activity. He was welcomed into the group and had a very nice time. I think he will go again.

While he was busy playing shuffleboard, I was putting together a dish to take to the weekly potluck. You don’t need an invitation to attend, but we had been asked by more than one couple to come and join them. You really don’t need to ask my husband more than once to go to a potluck. He loves trying other people’s recipes while enjoying getting to know other people.  Being it was a blustery cold day, I decided scalloped potatoes and ham would be a good dish to take. We’ve been hungering for it anyway.

The potluck only had about 20 people show up (we were told they usually have more), but the company and the food was very nice. Everyone welcomed us with open arms and repeatedly asked us to come again next week. Yep, I think we will.

After the potluck a group gets together in the fellowship hall to play pinochle. It’s a card game we have enjoyed for years but haven’t played in a long time. We decided to go and see if they had room for 2 more. They did. They ended up with 6 tables of 4 players each. It was a nice size group. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. It didn’t take us very long to remember the rules and get right into the game. Each table played 4 rounds. The winners of those 4 rounds moved on to another table for 4 more rounds. They played those 4 rounds a total of 6 different times. At the end of each of the 4 rounds you switched partners. It was a fun evening.

This park has enough activities scheduled that you could be kept busy all day everyday. I’m not one to have my life scheduled that tightly, but I do think we might make our Monday evenings a potluck and pinochle night.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Living the Lifestyle

Good morning. What a perfect summer day we had yesterday. Oh, wait. This is January. It’s winter. That is one of the many reasons I love our lifestyle. When you live full-time in a motorhome you can go wherever and whenever you want (well almost).

We chose this lifestyle so that we could see our children, grandchildren and friends more often. We would also be able to see and experience other areas of our wonderful country. We have been living in our motorhome full-time now for 485 days. Oh, we have had our problems and issues (no hot water, hooking and unhooking the toad, stink bugs, etc.). But, you have conundrums living in a stationary home too. You just go with the flow and deal with it.

So, while I was outside, in the sunshine, sitting in my lounge chair reading a good book, watching my husband water the lawn, my daughter was up north outside, where the snow was coming down heavily, watching her new puppy happily prance and play for the first time in the snow. Even though we weren’t there to enjoy the moment with her, we were able to face-time and watch the cute little puppy play. Life is good.

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Sookie -13 weeks

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Modern Conveniences

Good morning. Today I get to use a modern convenience that has been very missed over the last couple months. I get to do dishes without heating water in a tea kettle, turn on a faucet to wash my hands with nice warn water and best of all I get to take a shower in my own motorhome. No more trekking off with a bag of toiletries, towel and clean clothes to shower in a public restroom. I do have to say that most of the public shower houses have been nice and clean, but it is so much nicer to be able to stay in my nice comfy home to get ready for the day.

I give much thanks to our good friend Steve for all his tenacity and hard work in locating and fixing the problem with the hot water tank. It seems, no matter what your problem, it is never an easy one to figure out or locate. And, when you do know where to look and what to do that still doesn’t make it any easier to fix.  He spent all day yesterday and most of Monday working on it.

We ended up needing to replace only a $7.52 piece of plumbing connector (a thing-a-ma-jig). The problem was rust/clog up inside that had to be drained/blown out. Lesson learned; always use a filter when filling your water tank. Even if you do not use your water for drinking. Yes, we have a couple of filters and we do use them, but we have not replaced them as often as we probably should have. We did just buy a new filter, so we will be more conscientious from now on about replacing it sooner. Again, thank you Steve.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Park Place

Good morning. We had another beautiful day here in the Rio Grande Valley. I spent the entire day outside and enjoyed every minute of it.

Once a month the park holds a craft fair and breakfast. Yesterday the breakfast was biscuits and gravy; which Clyde thoroughly enjoyed. We walked around the craft fair and admired some very beautiful projects. Clyde loved the wood working items that one man had for sale. I admired some beautiful necklaces that another woman had. My purchase was 5 used books from the library sale for $1.  You can’t beat the price. When I have finished reading them I can donate them back to the library for resale another month.

I spent part of my day relaxing in the sun, working on my pine needle basket, reading and visiting with friends. Clyde took Patty Pepper to the dog park where she can be off the leash. He also worked around the motorhome getting a few more things checked off his list. Steve came over to check out our hot water tank issue, as we still have no hot water. He determined we have a bad valve. Monday Clyde and Steve will see if they can find one. He also, with great effort, located our HDMI outlet on our TV. We got a Fire Stick for Christmas and need the outlet to install the app. The outlet was hidden behind the TV. The TV had to be unbolted and taken out to locate it. And, apparently all RV TV’s are extremely heavy for safety reasons while traveling. Not a fun job, but I greatly appreciated his help.

As promised, here is a picture of our site. I will probably be moving furniture around quite often until I come up with just the right set up. We have an awful lot of dirt, so we will be spending time watering the area to get some grass back.

o 12 park place

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Harlingen, Texas

Good morning. And a very good morning it is. We have arrived to our winter Texas home. We are now officially what is well-known down here as being “Winter Texans”. We will be staying here for the next 4 months. Yes, that’s right. You heard me correctly. Four (4) months. Let me explain. When I was in the office registering us, I inquired about what an additional month would cost. The longer you stay here the cheaper it is. I was told because we registered and paid for 3 months the 4th month would be free. It is a one time only offer. If we come back again next year that offer would not apply. I was shocked and surprised thinking how can we pass that up. I asked if I could talk to my husband about it first and she said sure. We decided we can’t pass up a deal like that. So even though we will have to re-think our summer plans, this is going to be a very nice winter for us.

Everyone here is so friendly and nice. They are making us feel at home and very welcome. While we were setting up we met a few of our neighbors. I will never remember everyone’s name. I am very bad at that.

I can’t believe how dirty the car got from being towed. It was the dirtiest it has ever been. I think all that rain we drove through did it. The first thing we did after setting up was find a car wash. She looks much better now.

The park also has a vegetable truck come through every Thursday afternoon. We timed it just right. I had just come out of the office and the truck was there. Oh my, what nice looking produce. I got a little of everything. We will be eating healthy for sure.

When we got back to our motorhome and were putting things away, our neighbor came over and invited us over for “happy hour”. It was a nice chance to get to know them and a couple other neighbors as well.

When we left there we headed over to our friend Steve’s for “happy hour” at his place. We took Patty Pepper who was perfect. She must remember being here last year, as she settled right down. What a nice time we had. It’s so nice to be back.

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I took a picture of our site. Our patio isn’t set up yet. We will do that today. But, don’t you just love our Yucca plant and the street is lined with palm trees. Our son pointed out that we have a sidewalk.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Last Day of Nice Weather

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We were able to face time with our 5-year-old triplet grandchildren while they opened their gifts. It was nice to be a part of their excitement. They are at such at fun age. We also enjoyed a tasty potluck dinner with other campers in the park. Clyde loves potlucks. He gets to try other campers favorite dishes.

This is our last week here in Gulf Shores. We leave here New Years Day to make our way down to Harlingen, Texas where we will spend the next 3 months. I am looking forward to the warmer weather and time with our friends.

The weather forecast for the remainder of our time here does not look good. Rain and thunderstorms start tomorrow with no stopping in sight. That just means we need to enjoy today outside.

I plan to collect my last batch of pine needles for basket making. I hope to have collected enough to make a few baskets throughout the year. The Longleaf Pine needles are best collected in the fall and the Longleaf Pine trees are only found here in the south. Our pine trees up north do not have needles ideal for basket making. They are much shorter. This park has many beautiful trees perfect for collecting the needed needles. The more we collect the better we get at finding and knowing which needles will work best.

After collecting we have been taking time to take the ends off the needles and clean them in hot water to remove any dirt and bugs. We then have to dry them thoroughly so they don’t mildew. Who knew the dashboard of the motorhome would be the perfect drying rack, full sun and out-of-the-way.

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Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Christmas Crafts

Good morning. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This year sure has gone by quickly. I have no idea what we are doing for dinner tomorrow. Our little convection oven isn’t big enough to cook a turkey, nor do I want to eat leftovers for the next month. It is only the two of us.

I have a couple of thoughts in mind. We can grill chicken or some other small fowl and have sweet potatoes, dressing, and other holiday foods or we could go to Cracker Barrel and just eat out. Clyde read that Thanksgiving is their busiest day of the year. He hates crowds and hates to wait for a table.

If we stay here we can watch football. We like to watch football, especially when the Lions play the Bears. Both teams are favorites of ours as we have lived in both Illinois and Michigan for our entire lives. If we go out I don’t have to cook and we get more of a variety but, there are no leftovers and there will be a wait.

I had a nice time with the craft group yesterday. There were about 20 of us crafters; two large round tables full. I took a beading project to work on but one of the ladies brought a project for all of us to make if we wished. Most of us worked on her Christmas craft project. We made little trees out of circles of fabric gathered together with a dowel in the center and a star glued to the top. She had all of the circles of fabric already cut out for us. It was a perfect project for the time allotted and easy enough that we didn’t have to think about what we were doing. That enabled us to sit and chat. Which is why we get together. I made the gold tree, but I love the little green ones too.

Next week one of the ladies is bringing the supplies to make angel ornaments that are very cute too. It is always nice to see and get new ideas.

Another lady makes pine needle baskets that are absolutely beautiful. I wanted to take her class last year but she didn’t come to the campground until January and we were already on the road by then. She is here now and is offering a class on December 7th for a limited number of people. I signed up immediately. Now Clyde and I will have to go around and collect long pine needles. I was told they need to be 15″-18″ long. The longer the better and not to take them off the trees. And, we need to watch for snakes as they like to burrow under the fallen needles. Oh boy. Once I learn the basics of basket making I will be able to make them on my own. (Big Grin). I just need to gather enough pine needles before we leave here.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Off to Ohio

Good morning. It is a comfortably warm sunny morning which is always nice for a travel day. Our time here in Peoria is over. It sure went by quickly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we never seem to have enough time anywhere we go. I hate saying goodbye. We always have such a nice time with those we love.

Today we are on the road heading to see our daughter Melissa in Ohio. We will be staying in a state park we have not been to before. There is a KOA very close to her home but they want an arm and a leg camping fee which is not in our budget. Besides, we like state parks much better. Caesar Creek State Park is only about 20 minutes from her home, which isn’t bad. We have always had to travel that far for shopping anyway, so we are used to it.

The weather is nice now, but looking ahead I see rain.  Some rain is ok, I just hope we don’t run into high winds and bad storms. Maybe we will get lucky.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Full-Time Lifestyle 1st Anniversary

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Jubilee College State Park-Site C21

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Jubilee College State Park

Good morning everyone. This post is a few days late as our 1st anniversary as full-time RVer’s was last Saturday the 15th (also our daughter Karen’s birthday). I’ve just been so busy having fun I haven’t had time to post. I guess that’s the way it should be.

We have completed one full year of living the RV lifestyle. It sure has gone by fast. Looking back I had my doubts we would ever be able to start our adventure. We had so many road blocks that kept getting in the way. My health being the biggest one. But, here we are living the lifestyle with no regrets.

Many people have asked if I miss not having a home. My answer is always the same. Winnie is my home. I do not miss owning a large home or do I need all that space. I have everything I need right here. I do not have to pack and unpack a suitcase or sleep in a strange bed. We are always home wherever we are.

The best part of living this lifestyle is that we get to visit our children more often. With our grown children living in 4 different states we didn’t get to spend as much time with them as we would have liked. Now, we are trying to divide up our time equally between the states and we still have time to see family and friends who live farther away.

We have been asked many times which of the many places we went was our favorite. I can honestly say I don’t have one. We enjoyed so many of the places we went and saw for different reasons. We enjoyed the Corps of Engineering campgrounds for the wildlife and wilderness settings. We love any campground that is by the water. I mean, who wouldn’t.  And, we love any place that gets us closer to our friends and family.

Another question we have been asked numerous times is what has been downside of living this lifestyle. The answer is not too much. The same things you find unpleasant living in S&B home you will find just as unpleasant living in a motorhome. You still have to clean, things breakdown, the weather is not always pleasant and you sometimes have to deal with unpleasant neighbors. We just get to move if we don’t like where we are.

We have learned a few lessons along the way. First, take your time and don’t try to rush when setting up or leaving an area. Second, don’t try to do things when you are tired. That is when accidents happen. Just ask Clyde.

We have had a great first year living this lifestyle and I am so happy we are able to continue living the dream.

Until next time,

Kathryn