DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On The Road!

It's been a whirlwind couple of days for us.  Yesterday was spent doing last minute things in preparation to pull out and head down the road this morning.  DeWayne turned in his badge and security sticker, his cell phone and his truck.  And he came home at two o'clock, officially retired for good.  It was great! 

However, we didn't have the time to celebrate.  We waited long enough for the heat to let up a little and we set about washing the RV and the truck.  They were both in dire need of a bath.  We got Dad's pressure washer, a long brush and a bucket of soapy water and got to work:

I took this picture about halfway through washing the RV, then went back to doing the rinsing as DeWayne handled the brush.  Dad's camper is parked behind where DeWayne is standing in the picture and I was standing in the same spot when I took the rinsing duties over again.  Well, there was apparently a nest of red wasps in the tongue of his trailer and they apparently didn't care for the noise of the pressure washer, so you can guess what happened next.  One of them flew right over and dive bombed what it thought was the best thing to attack which was the hand on the p/w.  The little ^%#^*&^ nabbed me right on the knuckle of my ring finger.  Needless to say, I promptly dropped the pressure washer!  So after a few choice words, some baking soda, and some wasp spray, we went back to the task.  We were almost out of daylight when we finally finished the RV and did a quick wash job on the truck......whew!

Bless Eula's heart, she had a big pot of chicken spaghetti ready and waiting for us as soon as we got finished, and we were plenty hungry.  It was yummy!  I just love her cooking and she spoils me rotten every chance she gets.  Dang, I miss her and Daddy already!

Ginger and daughter Jana made a point to be there before we left.  Ginger was taking Jana to visit with her other grandmother for the weekend while Ginger was going to spend the weekend visiting with her brothers, so they stopped on their way through to send us off with hugs and "I love you's".  I'm gonna miss my girls!!!

DeWayne went out to get the satellite ready to go and unhook all the lines and hoses and promptly got stung by a red wasp!   After a string of, shall we say, "colorful" language on his part, he got back to work and set about hooking the RV to the truck and, of course Daddy was there to help, who ALSO GOT STUNG BY A WASP.  I think between the three of us geting stung, his camper has now be literally bathed in wasp spray. 

I laughed when I saw this picture.  It looks like Daddy is hugging the RV, but is actually operating the button for the stabilizers on the front.

So we were finally hooked up and ready to pull out.

We paused long enough to pose and say cheese:

Good thing we're heading for the beach.  I could blind somebody with those pasty white legs!

And it was back to work.  DeWayne pulled out of the spot we have enjoyed so much since September and onto the driveway.

While I took a parting shot of our gracious hosts that we will miss so much:

So we exchanged more hugs and "I love you's", loaded up and were off.

We took our time, didn't get in a hurry and had a nice leisurely drive to Jay, Oklahoma.  We plugged the coordinates into our GPS system, sat back and let "Maybelle" guide us and she did a great job.  However......
as we arrived in Jay, we were directed through a residential part of town, winding around through odd streets til we found ourselves on a two lane road that was little more than what I call a "cow trail" with no shoulders, "S" curves and roller coaster hills and Maybelle indicated we still had around 20 miles to go.  Egads!  The hills were so steep that as we topped them, we could only see the hood of the truck because the road dropped down so drastically.  We drove over hill after hill this way with those s curves in between.  It was hard to get enough speed up going around those sharp curves to tackle the next hill, so we crawled over a couple of them.  Needless to say, we were "white knuckling" it and praying that Maybelle hadn't sent us on a wild goose chase because if the road didn't improve, it would be impossible to find a place big enough to turn a 38' trailer around.  I snapped this pic along the way:

Imagine our relief when this finally popped up in the windshield:

Pulling up to the RV park office, DeWayne spoke to the person in charge who told him there is a much simpler way to get here on much better roads.  So, it's time to have a long talk with "Maybelle" who's sweet voice guided so expertly down the WRONG road today.  Okay, she got us here....I'll give her that much.  But from now on, we'll have a detailed yahoo map as backup, as well as the road atlas for clarification BEFORE we get led down the wrong route. 
Chalk it up to "learn the hard way" as well as a few other things we learned today.  I'll share my list:
1.  Do not leave a full bottle of olive oil in the top cabinet which will fall out, roll across the room, lose it's lid and leave a large oil spot in the carpet.
2.  Move the canned veggies to the bottom shelf of the pantry instead of the same cabinet that the olive oil fell out of.  I don't enjoy crawling around behind the recliner to retrieve yet another can of corn.
3.  Place the stereo on the floor and never leave it on the counter again for it to scoot around, pop it's little door open and empty out half of the 50 cd's that it holds onto the floor.
4.  Empty the paper shredder when it's been used so that when it falls over in the floor, it doesn't cough up a ton of little paper shreds all over the carpet.
5.  Don't go bouncing to the bedroom and jerking open the bathroom cabinet after a trip without steel toed boots and some kind of body protection against the various toiletry items that are sure to be raining down as soon as the cabinet door is opened.  (I think I broke a toe when the perfume took a dive).
6.  Secure the refrigerator doors as not to find frozen chicken in DeWayne's office chair along with a melting tray full of ice.

So, how's that for the first day of our full-timing lifestye?  I don't know about you, but I'm tired!  I think I'll shut up, get my "farming" done and get off to bed.  Tune in tomorrow for the latest in our adventure!

Oh, I almost forgot the puppy pic.  I'll leave you with this shot of "Sugar":

Happy Trails!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Two days? OMG!!!

Oh boy!  It's Thursday night and we're leaving Saturday morning.  We've given new meaning to making lists and checking them twice, for sure! 

We hooked the RV up to the truck yesterday and drove it to the nearest scales to get the weight of our loaded "home" and truck and make sure we weren't too heavy.  Well, it turns out we were too heavy and I can't say I was surprised.  We knew that our mattress was going to be an issue from the beginning.  Another culprit is this:

But "that" gets used three times a day by my wonderful husband who likes to keep in shape and "should" be used by me at least once a day, but isn't.  Anyway, it's heavy, so we'll be busy tomorrow going through our home sweet home to further eliminate extra "stuff".  That's not as easy as it sounds when you consider this is our permanent home now and there are so many things that you think you simply can't live without......WRONG!!!!  I think if I hadn't had all these months to get used to the idea, I'd be severely depressed at the notion of further trimming down my "stuff".  But at this point, I honestly don't mind.  I'm just too excited about finally getting started to get depressed now.

I had lunch with four of my co-workers and a board member today who gave me a warm send-off with hugs and well wishes.  What a great bunch of dedicated ladies who I will forever call my friends.  I love and will miss them all. 
Thank goodness for email, cell phones, facebook and blogs that allow us to keep in constant touch with our friends and loved ones.  Do I hear an amen?

The camera is ready for travel and I did a practice run with the computer and the internet gizmo in the truck yesterday.  I was online and on facebook in a matter of a few seconds and everything was working fine.  So I checked email and "farmed" on the way home from the scales.  I should be able to update this blog from the truck if I need to, so I'm a happy camper (pun intended).

It's late and I need to hit the floor running in the morning, so I think I'll try to get to bed at a decent hour tonight.  So good night and I'll leave you with another puppy picture:

"Tiny", our smallest puppy who grew to be almost 30 lbs.
Happy trails til next time. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's Upon Us

Wow, time is flying and we're down to six days before we hook up our "home" to the truck and point it in the direction of the east coast.  There are so many things that need to be done, so we will be busy beavers for the next few days, for sure!  But I'm getting so excited about our first trip into places we've never seen and ready to experience the diversity and atmosphere of the different locations of our great nation.  I'm ready to experience local cuisine, walk the beach and get to know new and exciting people. 

In other words.....I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

DeWayne made the drive to OKC on Thursday so that he could get the truck checked over on Friday.  I left Friday afternoon in the car and spent the night with Ginger and her family since she lives at the halfway mark between here and OKC.  Then I drove on into OKC yesterday (Saturday) to deliver the car to DeWayne's mother's house for storage in her garage until we need it again. 

The truck was in great shape except for a worn wheel bearing, so that has now been replaced, the rear end serviced, and the rest of it given a clean bill of health and road ready.  My "little red wagon" is now stored safely til our return, so that's a few things we can cross off our to-do list.  Whew!

This is my favorite time of year here in our "stompin grounds", when everything has finally turned green again and the flowers are blooming.  I walked the sidewalk between our "house" and the folks' house last night and the air was filled with the perfume of all the flowers blooming around the house.  It was heavenly!

I had the camera ready on the last leg of my drive to OKC yesterday because of the recent tornados that have ripped through that area.  Please excuse the inevitable bugs on the windshield, but I wanted to capture the lush green countryside that I love this time of year.

And I wanted to get a picture of the "Love's" convenience store that took a direct hit in the recent tornado outbreak as I drove by.  I managed to get a blurry picture as I whizzed by on the interstate.  We stop by this Love's very often and DeWayne actually stopped there the day before the tornado.  I was surprised to see they have already completely torn down and cleaned up the rubble, ready to build again.

Nothing left but the gas pumps.

I have a ton of things to take care of today and some visiting relatives to catch up with, so this is about all the news I have time for.  And before I forget, here is another sample of one of our "babies":

I hope you enjoy our puppies as much as I did.

That's all folks!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

12 Days and counting....

Wow, the time is flying by and it's getting down to the wire.  Less than two weeks and we're pullin' outta here!

Woooo Hooooo!!!

Okay, Joy.  Calm down.....deep breath....

Sorry, I got a tad carried away there.  Anyway, another weekend is coming to an end, our bellies are full of butterfly pork chops and the "Goodbye Girl" is on the boob tube.  The laundry is done and all I have to do before bedtime is put the sheets back on the bed.  Sounds simple, right?  Not so.  We have a heavy tempurpedic king size mattress that's crammed into such a small space that I almost need a fork lift to get the fitted sheet on the top two corners.  It reminds me a little of wrestling a bear.  Oh, the adventures of living in an RV, right?  Complete with bear, I wouldn't have it any other way.

DeWayne has been sorting and going through the cargo hold today and had the entire lawn covered for a while.  I managed to get a coupla pictures after he had most if it organized and returned to it's proper place.

And since my dad and myself have both fallen while coming down the steps from the RV, DeWayne decided to add a little insurance against any future such nonsense.

Daddy and Eula have been working hard around the place to keep everything mowed and pretty.  We have a big family reunion coming up here in July, so they are already hard at work to get ready for it.  Here is Daddy using the brush hog out by the garden this evening:

DeWayne and I will be doing what we can to help out until it's time to hit the road, then we will be back again a few days ahead of the reunion.  We've reserved our "spot" here behind the carport again for the big event.  I can't wait to see all my sisters (5) in one place at the same time again.  It's not an easy thing to do these days, so I know we're gonna have a blast.  There will be good food, good times, redneck golf, dominoes, farkel and poker.  And of course, more good food! 

The flowers are still blooming and everything is getting greener by the day around here.  It's a beautiful place to be right now.  However, the folks have killed two Cottonmouth Moccasins here in the last two weeks, which is a little unusual, they say.  I wonder if it's not because of all the rain we've gotten the last year, which is not typical either.  These two snakes were pretty close to the house, the second one was right behind the back door. 

Ugh.  Gives me the willies!

It's time for me to get some deep cleaning done here in the RV, as well as the outside that needs a good scrubbing.  I need to shampoo the carpet so it will be nice and fresh for our first trip.  DeWayne is working on his list of maintenance chores and we will be taking my "little red wagon" (the HHR in the above picture) to OKC where it will be tucked safely away in DeWayne's mother's garage until October when we come back "home" for the holidays with family.  DeWayne installed a small TV, DVD player, etc. in the bedroom today for those occasions when one of us simply can't tolerate what the other is watching on the big TV.  It does happen, although not often.

We discovered that the WII that we had in our sticks and bricks home just wasn't practical here in the RV, so we gave the entire system to Ginger and family last weekend.  I'll just do my "virtual" bowling at her house from now on.  It's a little hard to bowl or play tennis in an RV, needless to say.

I think I've run out of nonsense to talk about, so I'll stop and check out my farm on facebook, then go "wrestle the bear" once again.  In the meantime, here is another puppy picture from my collection:

Just Relaxing....

So, that's all for now, folks!  I'll post again in a few days, so happy trails til then and....

12 days and counting!


Monday, May 10, 2010

18 Days And Counting....

It's getting down to the wire and we're getting excited.  It's been a while since I posted (yeah Snookie, I took the hint), so I've decided to stay up all night if I have to and get an update posted.

DeWayne has his lengthy to-do list made out on paper and I have mine in my head.  That's the difference between he and I.  He wants everything planned out neatly and I fly by the seat of my pants.  What is it they say about "opposites attract"?  But we're totally in agreement when it comes to pulling out of here and heading east for our first official "full-timer's trip". 

I've been slowly but surely going through drawers, cabinets and closets to weed out the extra baggage that we don't need to haul around with us and working on getting what we DO need arranged and tweaked.  Such things as putting a screw in to hang that pesky funnel on that we use to re-fill the coffee creamer jug cuz it's always in the way, no matter where it is.  You know....those little things that drive ya crazy til you get em fixed?  Even tho we are a year overdue for this retirement, it's been good to have time to actually live in the RV a while to know about all those pesky little details that need addressing before we head off into the wild blue yonder. 

Who knew that my treasured bread box that I refuse to part with would be replaced by a toaster oven that is an absolute necessity?  And the ironing board that I was determined to take with me?'s in Daddy's barn and will stay there when we leave.  Wash and wear will have to do from now on.  See how much smarter I've become?  By the way, I still won't part with the bread box that my son bought for me when he was in junior high and my daughter repainted for me a few years ago.  But I've grown to live with it tucked safely away in storage for a while. 

Giving away my two "babies" (miniature schnauzers) was hard to do, but I was smart enough to know that hauling two dogs around that are as rotten as they were wouldn't be conducive to a full timing lifestyle.  But I found their registration papers in the storage shed, so I took them by to the new owners and was able to see Prissy and Junior in their new home.  They were so spoiled, happy and well adjusted that the visit left me feeling so much better and knowing I did the right thing.  Here is a picture of the "babies" last Christmas:

Prissy and Junior

Since my last update, we were busy getting ready for yet another garage sale here at the folk's place.  We only had a washer/dryer to sell and an area rug, but the folks had tons of stuff, so we set the sale for last weekend and prayed the weather would cooperate.  This time of year in East Texas if iffy at best and you never know when thunderstorms will pop up and ruin any occasion.  There was the threat and we actually had some rain on Saturday morning, but it stopped in time for us to get everything set up and ready to sell.

Step mom (Eula) and Dad (Art)

Notice Eula's pretty flowers in the foreground.  I've spent a lot of time admiring all her beautiful gardens full of luscious flowers this year.  She definitely has a green thumb and it shows.  It has been a great year for the azaleas and she has Iris of every color you can imagine.  Naturally, I've taken lots of pictures, so I'll share a few.

I hope you enjoyed the sampling of all the pictures I've taken.  I don't think we could find a more beautiful place to spend the Spring months and it's been great, but we are so ready to see places we've never been to before and experience all the wonders of these United States.  Can you tell I'm getting excited?  Surely not....

DeWayne gave his official notice last week and bought a set of Calloway golf clubs the same day, complete with bag and a new pair of golf shoes, so I know where he will be spending a lot of his time, wherever we go.  I don't golf, but might be persuaded to drive the cart once in a while.  I'll just take the camera and shoot the scenery while he whacks that little white ball around.

The office is running pretty smoothly lately, so I haven't worked much the last month or so.  Once in a while I'll get an email with "help!!" in the subject line, which is my cue to come running, lol.  That doesn't happen often and I will be attending the board meeting for the last time this week.  I feel good about the office and confident it is in good hands.  They do have a shelter for abused women, so I was able to bless them with all the women's clothes that didn't sell in the garage sale, so that was a good thing.  Shelter clients often arrive with only the clothes on their backs, so clothes that are new or in good condition are always welcome. 

I had a wonderful Mother's Day with cards, emails, calls and text messages from the kids.  I went to Ginger's house for the weekend while DeWayne went to OKC to visit with his mother.  Ginger cooked a yummy roast with all the fixins on Saturday, then biscuits with sausage gravy for Sunday breakfast.  Yummmm!  She presented me with the most beautiful necklace which is a heart with the phrase " a mother holds a child's heart forever" engraved all around the heart pendant.  Am I spoiled or what?  Thank you, Ginger, Kevin and Tommy for making my Mother's Day very special.  I love you all!

Oh, I almost forgot to post another "puppy" picture.  Here's another sample:


I promise I'll do better at keeping the blog updated.  Now that we're down to the wire, there will be much more to write about as we prepare to leave in just....

18 more days!

In the meantime.....Happy Trails to all!

Joy and DeWayne