Friday, December 31, 2021

Can We Go Back To NORMAL Now??? Mom is under 'lock-down' again.

 

It is nearly 11 pm, fireworks have been going off since 7 pm, with more and more going off as it gets closer to midnight.  Indy is sleeping in her bed, not giving a darn about the fireworks going off.  This is much like the behavior Bubba had.  Skruffy, on the other hand, would be cowering in one of our laps or under the bed or chair...anywhere she would feel safe at.  She had the same behavior with Thunder.

Our celebration of the year's passing was having lamb for dinner.  I get boneless leg of lamb from Sam's Club.  This was a six pounder.  Marcia does all the seasoning preparation, I am in charge of the Crock Pot where we cook it.  On high for the first hour, then added the mushrooms and the green beans, put it back on high for 30 minutes, then it was on warm for the next 4 hours or so.  When it reaches 130, turn it off and let is sit for another 15 minutes still covered, then uncover until you are ready to cut it.  The white stuff is Cauliflower blended with an emulsion blender with butter, minced garlic, Cheddar Cheese, Pepperjack Cheese, and a few other spices to taste.  As you can see, we like our meat Medium Rare....just add more time if you want it cooked more, such as leaving it on high for an extra 30-60 minutes at the start.  Once it gets up to 100 degrees, it does not take long to get to 130...today it took 45 minutes to go from just over 100 to 129 degrees.  Now we have two big chunks of lamb in the freezer and one large (over 2 pounds) in the fridge for future meals.

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

Well, are you as tired seeing images like this one above depicting the Coronavirus that causes Covid?  Here in Florida we had around 230,000 new cases in the last five days (over 75,000 today), yet Covid hospitalizations in the state increased by only 484 on Friday, reaching 4,485, according to the Florida Hospital Association. That total is nowhere near the peak of more than 17,100 hospitalizations during the summer delta wave.  There have been reports where medical staff said that many of the Covid hospitalizations now are not nearly as serious as they were back in the summer.  The death rate still remains low compared to the summer outbreak.  Some have described this outbreak as like having a bad cold.  No doubt this is hard on people with other health issues.  A little over two years ago dad caught a cold, and it was too much for his weaken body to handle and lead to a total system shutdown just days later.  This was in November, by February we had our first cases in the U.S.  So when mom called today and said that the Independent Living Facility she is in has had a few cases of COVID according to tests given today, I did not panic.  They have locked down the facility again, isolating everyone to their rooms for at least five days.  If others don't come down with it, they will let up their restrictions...if not, I am sure the restrictions will stay in place.  Mom and most of the people at the facility have been vaccinated and have been given their booster...but this does not stop one from getting Covid, but it does, for the most part, make it easier on anyone who does.

So, WHEN can we get back to normal again????  Soon, I hope.  I hope no one dies in the facility, and I hope they open the dinning room up again real soon.  It is not easy being confined to a room for a long period of time...but it does help control a breakout from spreading uncontrollably.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Yummy Yummy YUMMY

No, NOT the 1968 song by the Ohio Express, that is about love, well, their idea of love.  I am talking about food, in particular, Prime Rib.  By the time I was 17 years old, I was the head cook at a Steak House about a mile from my house.  Eventually I was the General Manager of another store within the chain in Sacramento, but in reality I had worked at all three as either head cook, assistant manager, manager and at one, General Manager. (Well, at the one I was General Manger of I never was the Assistant Manager, but I sure trained enough of them while I was there for other locations.)  Bottom line, I learned to cook at an early age, and learned how to cook beef in just about any form or fashion.  So it was very easy to cook the Prime Rib for Christmas, and we enjoyed (after tonight's dinner) Prime Rib Sandwiches each night since Christmas which just melts in your mouth.

There is one of the sandwiches...Carbonaut  Low Carb Seeded Bread (2 carbs per slice found at most Sprouts Grocery Stores, among other places) with Pepper Jack Cheese and thin sliced Prime Rib with fat removed where possible.  Toast the bread, add cheese, quickly pan fry the meat to warm with some juice from the cooking, put together, cut and serve with a veggie on the side.

I needed to go to Sam's pretty bad since it had been nearly two weeks now.  Left at 11 am, did the gas first, which worked out well.  $2.979 per gallon brings it back to under $3 per gallon...but surrounding stations are still in the $3.20 range.

Saw this gal in front of me put her gas cap onto her Audi Gas Door.  Well, we are going to have to think about getting an Audi...until it was my turn, I opened the Gas Door and sure enough, I had a hook there for the gas cap too.  Always wondered what that hook was for!  Never too old to learn something new.

A week before Christmas I ordered a DNA test for Marcia from 23andMe, and it arrived Christmas Eve.  Marcia decided to wait until today to do the actual test, which involves spitting into a container.  There are many DNA testing places out there for finding out where your Ethnicity is from...we used this one because her half-brother on her mom's side had used it.  Of Greek Heritage, like Marcia, "HIS" DNA test came out with his number one Ethnicity match being Turkish, followed by Italian, followed by Greek.  Marcia had a different father, and she was wondering if hers would be different.  In a few weeks we will know...

Indy got a new Chew Stick for Christmas (along with a nice thin slice of Prime Rib, which bothered her little tummy a bit leaving me a little mess in the 2nd bedroom two nights later.  Gee...she is just going to have to keep on her Pork which I cook up, and her dry food which is chicken based, along with the occasional Hot Dog chunk.  (I get a large pack of Hebrew National Beef Hot Dogs which get placed in the freezer with one being pulled out just about every week.)

Indy also enjoyed watching Pick-A-Puppy on Christmas morning.  Pick-A-Puppy, Lucky Dog and any of Cesar's dog programs.  And there is still all the commercials.  I have seen her sleeping, a commercial will come on, she will open her eyes, listen, get up and attack the TV as soon as the dog appears.  It is the funniest thing.  I also took her to the Dog Park over the weekend, and again today.  Only one dog today, another arrived as we were leaving, but she still enjoyed it.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas - 2021

 
 
 
Merry Christmas to Friends & Family
 
 
On our trip home from California, I found a Christmas CD at Cracker Barrel that I thought Marcia would enjoy...it was by Josh Turner.  On this CD is this amazing song called Soldier's Gift.  As we heard it, I thought about the Christmas that my Brother Bob was in Vietnam (called Viet Nam back then), and how we awaited his phone call home.  Then I thought about when Dad was in the Navy, 1946, and how mom (before they were married) must have felt with him overseas.  And then I thought about Grandma (mom's mother) and how on Christmas Day, 1941, she did not even know if all her Navy Boys were safe and sound, especially Uncle Harold who was at Pearl Harbor on that dreadful day.  And how grandma would spend another 3 Christmas Seasons wondering if her Navy Boys were still safe and sound.  And how she must have felt on Christmas 1945 when she knew that she had lost Jimmy in May to a Kamikaze Attack.  Yes, this song can bring out all these thoughts and emotions...I hope you take the time to listen to it and watch the video that plays along with it.  
 
Enjoy your Christmas, and remember what is it all about.
 
 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Indy + New Phone + Bad Weather + Sick Neighbor

 

Here is Indy, sitting next to me, checking things out at the Tarpon Springs Dog Park.  We thought Marcia was going to get her hair cut on Saturday, and I had planned to take her to the Dog Park during the hair cut...but her hair lady canceled out on us for Saturday...wasn't feeling well.  So Saturday I mentioned to Marcia my original 'plan' and I used the words "Dog Park" out loud, and Indy lite up like a Christmas Tree!  Within seconds she was jumping from chair to chair, running over to me and then back to the chairs.  Well, cat is out of the bag, so I took her Saturday.  

Above are three of the five dogs that were at the Dog Park on Sunday...yes, I said Sunday.  On Saturday there were eight or nine dogs, and she had a BLAST.  When we got back Marcia said her hair lady called and she can do her hair on Sunday...so Indy got a double dog park weekend.  Talk about one happy dog!


On Monday Marcia had her Bible Study with the ladies at church, and this is when I normally go to the motorhome and charge up the batteries by running the engine for 45-60 minutes.  Well, her phone had busted on Thursday.  The phone still worked, but with a broken hinge, it was not going to work very long.  We decided to order a Kyocera DuraXV LTE E4610 like I have, which came on Saturday.  It is a very durable phone, but it requires a sim card, so Monday I went to Verizon while she was at Bible Study and would do the motorhome on Tuesday.


On the left is my phone (taken with Marcia's new phone), which I got in February 2020...on the right is Marcia's new phone (taken with my phone).  So that we can tell them apart, I put light blue tape on her phone.  The GOOD thing about this change is that now I can help her with questions about how to use certain features of her phone, where her old phone was like CRAZY bad on how to do certain things.  Already this phone is much more to her liking, and it only cost $20 more than my phone cost 22 months ago.

On Tuesday as I was traveling to the motorhome I got a picture of the remains of the storm that went through the Tampa Area.  Little did I know, that just 100+ miles south of where I was...

(This picture taken from Internet)

...a minor Tornado went through the Fort Meyers area.  Now compared to the Tornadoes that went through Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and other states on the 10th, this was very minor.  One person hurt, a few cars were damaged, a few roofs damaged, a few car ports damaged...it was very minor.

We live in a corner unit, so we only share one interior wall with one neighbor...Mary.  Before we left California we knew that Mary had a heart by-pass.  She had been in rehab for about 6 weeks, and we knew two of her sons were coming out from New York to get her and take her to New York for home rehab.  They flew out Tuesday...not sure if there were any delays or not due to the weather, but I doubt it.  We saw her for just a few minutes on Monday as they brought her out of the rehab to select what she needed to take to New York.  We HOPE she gets better and is able to come back...only time will tell.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Tucked Away for a Florida Winter

 

Here she sits, tucked away for a Florida Winter.  Although both of my 'neighbors' cheated toward my side of their site, I am right in the middle and fit into it without a problem.

I ALWAYS take pictures after I park just in case someone says something about the parking spot, about damage to their unit, etc.  Notice the guy on the driver's side (left picture) has his steps out...that is a big no no...Hope he remembers to put them in if he vacates the spot before we leave.  (We are hoping to be in Sacramento Area again for mom's 92nd birthday in late April.)  On a typical Monday I drop Marcia off at Bible Study with the older ladies at church, then Indy and I go by the motorhome and turn on the engine for a good hour to keep everything charged up and in working order.  Once a month or so I take it for a drive.  Seems to work out well for us.

Our BIGGEST disappointment coming home is that our favorite Greek Restaurant, the Original Mama Maria's, did not make it through the COVID era.  Found about it on our way home when I looked on Google Maps and saw that it said it was Permanently Closed.  Marcia contacted her brother and sure enough, it was gone.  The sign says, "Coming Soon, Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant".  Ahhhh CRAP!  Yes, there are other Greek Restaurants around, but this was by far our favorite...we will miss it.

Had to wait for a good half hour, but got gas at Sam's Club today for $3.019 per gallon.  Talked to Arny as I was waiting in line and he said COSTCO and SAM'S in Citrus Heights was around $4.159.  Other gas stations around here are around $3.15-3.20...so the $1 difference between Florida and California still holds true.  (However, the most expensive stations in California are over $5, and I have not seen anything over $4 here.)

Inside Sam's I found Full Prime Rib Roasts USDA Prime for $335-$350 and USDA Choice for $225, although a 4.5 pound USDA Choice Rib was only $60, and a 6.5 pound leg of lamb (no bone) was $44.  Not too long ago I could get a 6 pound leg of lamb for $30-35.  Anyway, $270 later, and another $30 for gas and I was headed back home with my tail between my legs!   

Boy, sure wish I knew how she does it...sleeps like an angel until she hears a car door, someone's condo door, or a bit of talk by residents nearby at which point she turns into a devil of a dog.  We sure do love our little lump of fur...she is such a good little girl.

So far we are just about settled into the Condo...and our muscles are starting to ache just a little less each day.     


Sunday, December 12, 2021

It Is "Fricken Thirty Tired Time"

Yes, another no picture blog...

We left the Cracker Barrel about 8:00 pm.  I had a hard time sleeping, not because it was loud, because it was not...not because it was hot...it was not (although the humidity was up there for sure)...It was the extra cup of coffee I had AND the extra can of Diet Pepsi.  That caffeine got us where we were, but got me wound up that I could not sleep.  Woke up at 7, laid back down, got up at 7:45 and by 8 we were off.

HOWEVER, and there is ALWAYS a HOWEVER isn't there?  It was SO FOGGY that I could hardly make out the stop lights all along Highway 54 until I got to US-19.  The further west we got, the more it let up.  Luckily we did not have any incidents, and only saw one AH who drove like it was a sunny day in May....

We stopped just short of the Condo in a parking lot and packed everything we could into bags.  An hour later we pulled into the Condo and I unloaded while Marcia started putting away stuff.  By 12:30 i took the RV over to the RV Park, the other folks just pulled out while I pulled in, and there it sits ready for a deep cleaning and there are still just a few things to unpack (isn't there always???)

Indy was SO HAPPY to be home...ran from room to room to room, found an old chew stick and just had a blast.  Outside to turn the water on she started running back and forth and back and forth.  She is one happy girl.

As for Marci and I...we are TIRED.  Ready to sleep and it is only 11 pm!


Saturday, December 11, 2021

30 Miles From Home...Cracker Barrel Here We Are

Internet is SO SLOW right now due to congestion that I am not having any pics.  Started travels at 7 am, got here just after 5 pm, but lost an hour moving into Eastern Time Zone.  Our condo is 30 miles to the west-southwest of us, but we can't park there, and the RV park next door can't get us in until Sunday.  We are in the right time zone, even the right county...so close but so far away.

Today the traffic got heavier and heavier as we neared Tallahassee...stayed that way all the way here.  Two accidents slowed progress to 25 mph for a mile or so, not bad considering how it could get.

Paid $3.029 for gas in Quincy Florida, just off I-10 west of Tallahassee.  Saw one sign for $2.99, just one...

Hope to write more tomorrow, but realistically, it might be a few days later.  Glad to be ALMOST HOME!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Wilderness RV Park, Robertsdale, AL

 

We stayed here at the Wilderness RV Park back in April 2019, and nothing has changed much since then.    There's around 75 sites with most them pull through.  Twenty sites are for large rigs, 50 amp, no trees to contend with.  The other sites may have trees which need to be maneuvered around.

The park opened up in 1990.  The owner checked me in and he said that he has been here since 1989...so from the beginning.  Above are the bathrooms...I did not step inside so I don't know if they have showers and what type of condition they are in.  There are many folks who 'live' here, and I don't have problems with that as long as they are peaceful and quiet, and they are.  All of the RVs are in good shape, although some have a bit too much stuff outside for my liking.

Above is the 50 amp area for large rigs...fairly easy in and out for parking and there is ample space between them, as RV Parks go.


One of the 30 amp areas.

Hey dad, why are you putting my picture in this blog, when this picture was taken back in Texas?

Well Indy, it is because I FORGOT to add it to that blog and just now remembered I had this.  When I take pictures with my phone, like I did here, they don't always turn out...but this one did.

Well, with all that rain last night, and this humidity of over 90%, I don't think YOU would want to sit outside with me anyway here in Alabama.

So true little one...although I did take you over to Buc-ee's today.

Ya, and you sat in the car while I wandered the grass looking at all those dogs.  You were right when you told mom that I would do my business there because of all the smells.  You know, I think I must have p....

Indy, I don't think the people reading this want to hear the details of your bodily fluid releases...

But Dad, I think I set a record...didn't know I had that much liquid in me.

Ya, and it wasn't just liquid either, now was it?

I thought you said the people did not want to hear about this stuff dad???

Gotcha Dad!


Tomorrow we will quickly be in Florida, plan to make it to one of our favorite Rest Areas, which is about 25 miles from our Condo (which takes about 45 minutes to get there though from there), but over 400 miles from here...so it will be a long driving day.


Thursday, December 9, 2021

14 Miles Shy of Florida

We had a very restful night at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center in Louisiana, as we have every time we have stayed there since they finished the work on the Welcome Center.  The first time the cars, RVs and Trucks all gathered on the 'other side' of the freeway where the trucks now have their own resting area.

We did not want too early of a start since Baton Rouge is only a half hour away.  So we were off around 8:15, and driving into Baton Rouge by 8:45.  Yes, there was traffic, but it did not last very long.

Above is a picture of the Mississippi River.  The 'red' arrow is pointing out LSU's "Kitty-Cat" stadium.  (My long time blog readers know that I have two children who graduated from the University of Arkansas, and for many of those years the LSU Tigers were our rival (now it is Missouri according to the SEC...but there is still a non-SEC rivalry between the two schools), and my Rotary Club in Pine Bluff at the time had a few die-hard LSU grads who always got my attention...better known as 'ribbing', despite the fact LSU typically beat the UofA.

It is always to see patriotic billboards...this one is by DOW.

Gotta give Louisiana credit, they were working on a lot of the roadway, but nothing slowed us up for the most part.

The gas prices slowly go up ever since we left Texas...Here is Louisiana it is $2.79.

In Mississippi the same type of Love's Truck Stop was up to $3.07!

And at Buc-ee's here in Alabama near the Wilderness RV Park we are at it was only $2.97.

(NOW that I have PO'd all my friends and family in California who are paying well over $4!  SAM'S in Citrus Heights is currently $4.19, and with a LONG LINE!!!  Marcia says "YOU ARE BAD Dave"...I have to agree)


We have had pretty good weather for our entire trip...until we got close to Mobile, Alabama.


As we got closer and closer to the tunnel, it was really raining.

As we got through the tunnel and at the start of the causeway across Mobile Bay, Marcia got this shot of the Battleship Alabama, shrouded in mist from the rain.  It rained from Mobile all the way to Buc-ee's Gas Station, when it suddenly turned into a sprinkle.  After getting gas, we continued the three miles to Wilderness RV Park,  another Passport America park which, for two nights, came to under $40 for full hookups, which is why we stayed 14 miles short of Florida!  When we arrived, the sprinkle had turned to a mist...and the rain held off for a few hours so I did not get wet setting up.  Tomorrow I will take some pictures of the park providing the rain (which is pretty hard right now) lets up.



Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Atchafalaya - What a Mouth full

 

880 miles later, we are OUT OF TEXAS!!!!  Now just so you know, I don't hate Texas.  It is a VERY Independent state, and I appreciate that.  "IF" I was to live in Texas, it would be in Canyon Texas, just below Amarillo. It is a very conservative, isolate, freedom loving area and it is only 80 miles from New Mexico, it is only 115 miles from Kansas, and only 125 miles from Oklahoma.  Even better than that, it is only 150 miles from Colorado...but many more miles to the "good part" of "Colorado"...the mountains of Colorado.  But still...they are not that far in perspective of life.  In other words, not a whole lot matches up to the Colorado Mountains down in the lower 48.

 

Twenty miles later we are climbing the bridge leading to Lake Charles.

After a few hours of travel, we enter the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.  The rest area we are staying at is at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center.  The cars are on one side of the overhead highway, the cars and RVs are on the other...so it is fairly quiet.  We have stayed here at least three or four times already.

As of 9 pm, we have only one neighbor, Our WiFi is fairly good, and we are streaming movies from Amazon on our new Kindle.  We have abour 250 miles to go tomorrow, so we won't have to get up too awful early. 

FYI: Atchafalaya means Long River.  It is pronounced...well...I will let you look that up if you are interested.
 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

We are at Now...

 

First, recap of yesterdays hard drive through San Antonio and Houston...

Above is one of the first pictures of the day...look at those flags...they show you that we had a strong wind, and it lasted throughout the day, but was not as windy as we got closer to our destination, Baytown.  Now and then the wind was behind us...most of the time it was hitting my side of the motorhome and knocked us about left and right (left is my steering, right is the wind).  We also had a touch of rain throughout the trip.

As we came into San Antonio a decision needed to be made as to using the 1604 loop (bypass) or just stay on I-10 through town.  There is a message board which pretty much said that both routes were within a minute of each other.  I first decided to go I-10, then changed my mind and picked the 1604 loop...and that is what we did.  Immediately we hit stop and go traffic for about 2 miles, then it opened up the entire rest of the way back to I-10.  In total, it took about 35 minutes to travel the 26 mile route.  Most of it is freeway, but the last 8 miles is more a highway with some stoplights which you need to be ready to stop for...one of which made me come to a very hard stop, but we stopped just at the line where you are suppose to stop at.

After we stopped at Love's for fuel and a doggie run, we got back on I-10 and just a few miles later come across a Buc-ee's Gas Station.  This Luling location was built in 2001, Buc-ee's first travel center. Two and a half years ago we came across our first Buc-ee's in Alabama, and you can read that blog posting here.  The COVID era slowed down Buc-ee's growth a bit, but it has still opened a number of stores since my post was written 2 1/2 years ago.  As we got closer to Katy, we saw another Buc-ee's which was three times the size (my estimate) than this one in Luling.

A few miles after passing Buc-ee's we stopped at our first rest area and had breakfast and let Indy out again.  Did not see any ants at this stop...did not get pictures of the rest area later that we did see Fire Ants at...but the mounds were a foot high!

Coming into Katy, Texas, population 21,000.  Its population nearly doubled in the last ten years.  The highway widens, a HOV starts up in the far left lane, and they are ready for another 50,000 in population between Katy and the other feeder cities to the west of Houston.

Here is a picture of what I like when they do it...put the Interstate Embalm on the highway to let you know what lane you are in...if you are smart enough know what Interstate/Highway you are suppose to be on.  Sure helpful for us.

Here is a picture Marcia took of downtown Houston.  I-10 hugs the northern portion of the downtown area.

Well, we are past Houston now.  This Flying J is the first place we fueled our 40' American Eagle way back in November 2011.  We have bought two motorhomes in Houston at a place called PPL, a consignment dealer.  Less pressure, good website, honest folks.  Found the American Eagle to be bit big for my liking, and the cost to fix was going to be too much for our blood.  Traded it in for a 32' Jayco Melbourne in 2013, which burned down in a RV Storage Fire in the early spring of 2014, then bought our 28' Dynamax Isata a couple of months later and we have traveled in it ever since..

Here we are parked at the Bayou Bend RV Resort, $50 per night but only $25 with Passport America with 3 night max at discounted rate.  When I checked in the clerk told me that the park is heavily filled with Oil Industry workers.  Some work four days per week, travel back home for three and come back to work again.  He said that with the current political climate, the industry is in a huge flex...and about 25% of those who stay at the park have gone home through Christmas time...he hopes they will all come back in January.  That building on the other side of our motorhome above is the bathrooms/showers and Laundry...a very modern building.

The park is concrete and grass.  There are few trees within the park.  The Internet is awesome, they must have eight WiFi antennas putting out the signal.  First time I had a park say, "It is ok to hook your TV up to the Internet and stream movies if you wish."

I have noticed that some of the RVs don't have cars in front of them day or night, so some have left and kept their RV here at the park.

Of course, sometimes family is going to come and visit, and there is a nice playground for the kids.

Along with a few areas to have small group gatherings for a BBQ or whatever.

Here is the swimming pool right next to the office.

To compliment the 100+ RV pads, they have 13 cabins at $130 per night (3 night minimum), or $500 per week, or $1,300 per month + electricity.  There is a full kitchen, small living room, a bedroom and a loft.  3 person max with one being a child.  

Near the RV park is a Super Walmart, numerous eating establishments, gas stations, emergency health clinics, etc. etc.

A call to the RV park near our Condo found that the earliest we can get into the park for three nights is Sunday.  Tomorrow we are going to pull out late morning and go around 200 miles to a place in Louisiana that we have parked before, way away from trucks, near the Atchafalaya River Basin (America’s largest freshwater swamp).  Then we will go through Mississippi, enter Alabama and stay at another Passport America park which we have stayed at before, this time for 2 nights.  Not sure what we will do Saturday night, but we will be within an hour or two of our Condo and finally be home.  So that is the situation we are at now...close to home, but a few days delay.