Sunday, December 31, 2023

Birds, Birds and More Birds...But First...


First, it is a day of reflection.  Here is Indy, looking out at the Library Cats, and this a reflection off the passenger outside mirror.  Don't know if she is reflecting upon the old year and looking toward the new year...but right now I do know she is wishing that ALL THESE FRICKEN FIREWORKS WOULD STOP!!!!  One of these days I hope to get a picture of the many cats that this lady feeds every day in the front parking lot of the Public Library.  Some of these cats are surly Ferrel Cats, but a few are owned by someone living in one of the homes on the other side of the fence.  Perhaps 2024 will the year I get that picture...

Here is the Library Pond that attracts all the birds.  "IF" all those trees were not there on the left, we could probably see the RV Storage where our motorhome is stored, and maybe even a portion of our Condo.  

These larger white birds are very common, but they don't hang around together in the numbers that the smaller white birds below do.  Now I could research and give the name off each of the birds ... maybe next year.  (LOL)

These small white birds have landed on the lawn at the condos, and especially the lawn by where the motorhome is stored.  When they do go to the lawn, it is normally after a good rain which brings the bugs out that they feed on.

This is at Anclote River Park today.  Took the short four mile drive over there to see how busy they were on a Sunday afternoon, with temps around 65 degrees with a light breeze.  Saw a number of families having picnics, many boaters, and some dog walkers and people watchers.  

I love these Pelicans, especially when they are flying.  When less people are around, they gather all over the boat launching docks.  When they fly, many times they fly just above the water by a few feet.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year.  Now, and anyone tell me when these fireworks will stop?  It is 9:45 and it sounds like it is midnight.  Well, you know what they say in Florida..."It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."  So today, it has to be midnight somewhere, so lets celebrate that time right now.  

Note:  Indy had a ThunderWunders about 90 minutes ago, and has settled down considerably.  Probably will give her another around 11:15, because when midnight hits, all hell breaks loose around here.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Mom's New Teeth, Visit to Crystal Beach, Christmas Plans


Mom's has been in need of having her teeth done for a number of months now.  But with all her illnesses, it has been hard to schedule it.  While we were still in California, I took her to one, perhaps two dental appointments.  Today they finally got everything done.  A permanent upper bridge, and a few teeth added to her lower removable bridge.  After 93 years, her teeth have sure been through the ringer.  She has been a trooper as far as I am concern in going so long with missing teeth in the front of her mouth.  You can see by the grin that she is a happy camper.  Of course, it all is not good news...she has another UTI which they put her on an antibiotic for even before the full results of the test came back.

Longtime followers of my blog know that when in Florida, one of my favorite spots to go while Marcia is at Bible Study with the other ladies at church is Crystal Beach.  We had a storm blow through our area last weekend...wind gust of around 50 mph.  Monday is Bible Study day, so it was still brisk and windy while Indy and I went to Crystal Beach. 

Here is a different angle of the pedestrian pier.

Here is Indy's view of the Pedestrian Pier with a person walking out along the pier.

Just a mile north of Crystal Beach is another area that includes Wall Springs Park.  There are some wonderful old homes in this area too.

As for Marcia and I, we are going to enjoy Christmas Eve together.  Have a Rib Eye roast which we will have for dinner (and a number of dinners/meals in the future).  On Christmas Day we will go over to her brother Mike and sister-in-law Sandy's house.  It should be a relaxing long weekend.

A tradition they have along the coast is Boat Christmas Parades.  I have never seen one (don't like to drive at night anymore), but the news typically covers a few of them and they look real neat.  Another Florida tradition is Golf Cart Christmas Parades.  So many retirement communities allow Golf Carts, and again, a few of these are covered by the local news too.  As for our Condo...they HOA has a nice display down by the pool, but residents cannot put anything outside.  Some light up the inside windows, and some open the drapes to their spare bedroom and put up a display in the bedroom.  One new lady has a large snowman outside her front door, and I am counting the days before she has to take it down.  She seems to have some bucks, so she might just pay the fine they will impose after 3 days.  Will know tomorrow since today is the third day.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Vado to Baytown

When we left Vado's RV Park we quickly came to the Texas boarder.  Our original intentions was to take the 375 highway to bypass going through El Paso...but they had highway construction going on and the exit to Highway 375 was blocked off.  Oh CRAP, we have to drive through El Paso after all.  Fortunately there were no problems, and a little bit of a slow down, going this route.

Here we are a good half hour past El Paso and we have open road, all is well.  We also filled up with gas at a Flying J, $2.79 a gallon, if I remember right, east of El Paso.   The lower the price the better in my opinion.  

From El Paso through to Sonora was very uneventful...just a lot of miles.

Going through the boarder check was interesting.  At first I did not think he was going to wave me through...then at the last second he said, "Go on through 'Dave' "  Now how in the world did he know my name?????????

Near the boarder check, stands this mountain monument.  It is called, in non academic worlds, Squawteat Peak, it is a breast-shaped hill in Pecos County, Texas.  In "common name" Squawteat Peak is a reference to the ethnic and sexual slur squaw, and is now generally avoided in academic circles.  Ok to have a CHILD (under 18) not be associated to this mountain, BUT it is OK to associate a child with sex change, with gender dysphoria, but HELL, we can't call a mountain Squawteat Peak because it looks like woman's breast!   What type of world has this become?????  That was the end of Wednesday pictures.  We got to Sonora and got our spot at the RV Park there, Elite RV Park.  Saw a BBQ establishment nearby and readily got BBQ for dinner.  Oh, it was good...nice to see young people in there working and running the place!

All day Thursday we had a light mist or slight rain through San Antonio headed to Houston.  Driving through San Antonio at 10 am was just for Houston.

When we got free of San Antonio, I looked to see how the traffic was doing in Houston, and it was great.  30 minutes later the same search did not look so great.  And 30 minutes later as we were getting closer, it looked like we would have issues.  The light misty rain turned into down pours.  The traffic came to a crawl as we came upon wreck after wreck.  

Due to heavier rains, we slowed way down, and crawled along the highway for over an hour. 

We had gotten through the worse of it, just to have these guys slow everyone up again.  The cars in the far left of the picture are having issues...and giving everyone else issues. 

We get passed that point and again we are laden down with slow traffic.  Because of the rain, which was coming down around 2-3 hours before we arrived,  it made for wet setup at the RV Park in Baytown, Texas.  

With steady rain when we got to the RV Park, I got a bit soaked getting set up, but the rain did finally subsided.  The timing of going through Houston was just perfect...predicting rain was not.  It took an extra 90 minutes getting through town to our destination, but we made it...can't complain about that.

We chose to stay at this park for two nights.  We both had a good nights sleep last night, and I did not get up until after 10 am!  Not much rain today until the evening hour, so Indy and I sat outside for a good 90 minutes.  She was keeping an eye on anything that moved...growling and barking as she seemed to feel necessary.

What better place to keep an eye on things but on top of the table!

She was such a good little girl!!!!

I did not unhook the car so I did not go around getting pictures of the park.  It is an older KOA park which is been well kept up.  The monthly rate is somewhere around $650 plus electricity, and the weather in Baytown is very nice as far as winter is concern.  Not a bad place to stay at for a few months during winter, that is for sure.  

Tomorrow we are off again headed for home.  Hope to pull in on  Monday, no later than Tuesday.  It will be nice to be home again, but we have sure enjoyed our trip this year, just wish mom was in better health to enjoy it with us.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Baytown Texas, 800 More Miles Down, 900 to Go

Ever wonder HOW did I do this or that when you were younger...but NOW it is like, "I wonder how I ever did THAT!   Case in point, when I was 22 years old, perhaps only 21, I left the Kansas City Missouri are, alone, and drove to Sacramento, alone, in about 28 hours...except for the 3 hour break I forced myself to take in Battle Mountain or Winnemucca so that 'Dad' wouldn't know how fast I was moving along.  This was back in '76 or '77.  National Speed Limit was a whole 55 mph.  States that decided not to follow, lost highway funds, so they all cooperated.  Following the speed limit would take me at least 31.5 hours.  Why did it matter at 'my age' back then?  Because he let me take his fairly new Toyota which got better gas mileage, was more comfortable, and very reliable as compared to my Chevy Malibu.  But my point is this....HOW DID I DRIVE THAT LONG, WITHOUT HELP, AND GET THERE THAT FAST???

Back in 1976/77 - 1,700 miles in 28 hours + 3 hour rest

Today we ended a two day, 800 mile trip.  WHY are we so beat up???  After setting up camp, I sat down in my reclining chair and 5 minutes later I said to Marcia, "I feel like the motorhome is still moving!"   I knew it wasn't, but in my hands and arms I could still feel it moving...


Today - 800 miles in 17 hours over 2 days with hour break each day

I will do a better post on these two travel days tomorrow...right now I feel like I need to 'veg out'.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Vado, New Mexico -- 1,200 Miles Done, 1,700 To Go

Before I get into the last two days of travel, here are a few pictures taken with the camera which I previously failed to share.

Mom sitting at the Thanksgiving Dinner table having her dessert.  She ate SO MUCH!

My wonderful sisters putting the food away after Turkey Dinner.

Headed to Arizona from Needles

The Colorado River and Arizona boarder

Coming into Kingman Arizona

Turned onto Arizona 93, headed to Phoenix

The other three picture above show various desert plants.  The desert is much more green this year than in the past.  That recaps our travel through Monday.

Monday afternoon we met Laurie, a longtime friend, at Cracker Barrel in Phoenix.  Her mother Joyce, one of Marcia's best friends, passed a few years ago.  The picture above was from our last meeting with her in April...neither of us thought about taking pictures Monday night.  After our dinner and visit, we decided to travel on to the Cracker Barrel in Casa Grande, getting us a good head start on Tuesday's travel, and keep us away from the morning rush hour.  

It was a nice quiet night at the Cracker of the quietest Cracker Barrel nights we have ever had.  Got up at the crack of dawn and got on the road.  

Picacho Peak caught Marcia's eye from a distance.  A state park resides there, and back in April 15, 1862, a battle of the Civil War took place here.  As we got closer, the sun was shinning bright upon the mountain...but I kind of like the distant, dawn pictures better.

The boulders in this area reminded me of Alabama Hills in California

There are dozens and dozens of these mountain monuments in Southeastern Arizona.

One of the boarder checkpoints.  I noticed the 'eastbound' camera array had shrunk to one.

Here is the famous Road Runner just west of Las Cruces

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument overlooking Las Cruces

We made it to the Western Skys RV Park around 2:30 pm.  It was a long 350+ miles and very uneventful.  Stopped for a quick snooze and break for about 30 minutes close to the Arizona and New Mexico border.  There were a number of police cars, and we saw at least four vehicles pulled over which had an officer up at their door.

This is our second time at Western Skys RV Park, the first was this past April on our way out west.  It is pretty quiet, a bit older of a park, and the staff are very friendly.  For $20 Passport America rate, it is hard to beat...however if the weather was warmer, we would have stayed at the Road Runner Rest Area for free, which includes 24 hour guard service.

We have two long days in front of us, and then we are going to take a break.  Wednesday is a 400+ trip from Vado to Sonora Texas.  On Thursday we need to get through San Antonio and Houston...a little under 400 miles but passing through 2 major size cities.  If we get to San Antonio after 9 am but before 10 am, then we should be able to get through Houston before the night rush hour.  

Before I close I want to provide an update on mom.  She was released from the hospital on Monday.  She has about a week of an antibiotic, which is an addition to the antibiotics she got while in the hospital. The delirium is gone, but the memories of what "she saw" are firmly embedded into her mind.