Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Big Changes

I know, I know, it’s been 7 months since I last blogged.  I usually don’t blog much once we get home from our winter south, but this year I was particularly negligent.  But I still check and read everyday, all the bloggers that I follow. 

Summer wasn’t the greatest in this neck of the woods.  Other than our Jackson whose was in almost everyday, our pool was only used maybe 6 times.  Grandkids are getting older and have other things to do in the summertime.  And the weather wasn’t really the greatest either.

Over the years we have been looking for a home out in the country with acreage and away from the city.  Our little town here is not so little anymore.  When we moved here 22 years ago, it was almost like being out in the country but not so now and we hate that.  So in late summer we starting looking in earnest for our country home.  We wanted it at least 1 1/2 hours away from Toronto, so that people weren’t commuters that live there thus it should be less busy.  We travelled several times to go look at homes.  We almost had one built but that fell through.  So we continued looking.  It was somewhat a pain because as I said it was at least 1 1/2 hours away from us.  Fortunately, we have a wonderful agent to kind of speck the place first and if she thought it met our criteria we’d drive down.  We saw some nice places, some not so nice.  And just when we had given up and were going to put it on hold until we returned in the spring, we found one.  Offers were written up and before we knew it, the place was ours. 

It’s just a few miles north of Belleville Ontario on a 2 acre lot.  Nice backyard for Jackie to check out.  It’s only 3 years old so is in great shape.  We will have a rec room/bathroom and a guest bedroom built in the basement during the winter.  We put our house up for sale and it sold in just over a week.  We are doing our own packing but having movers to do the furniture.  This Friday the house becomes ours and we will make several trips with a rented UHAUL trailer to bring all the smaller things and boxes down.  Our house here closes December 10th so we have a nice overlap.  We are knee deep in boxes right now. 

Exciting times, lots of work, but we’ll get through it.  We had to cancel our trip south to Panama City Beach this year.  We will have just too much to do to get settled, but we have booked for next year. 

There is room on our lot to park our RV, another criteria we had.  But we are not looking forward to our first winter back in Canada since 2008.  Jackson loves the snow, but us, NOT.

This is a picture of our new home….




Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Finally Home

I know, I know it’s been forever since I blogged.  Honestly, my fingers just wouldn’t co-operate and type anything.  I think you call that ‘lazy syndrome’.

The last month in Texas was a bummer for us.  The weather was nasty.  We were stuck inside for 3 days on one stretch.  Several of our friends and Jackie’s friends went home March 1st.  Although why, I don’t know because the weather wasn’t any better where they were heading.  We just wanted to go home, but the weather back home prevented us.  We are not ‘4 month’ snowbirds.  Three months is just perfect for us and of course maybe if we had had nicer weather we wouldn’t have been so antsy to leave.  Even Jackson was fed up.  So on the 24th of March we headed for San Antonio.

We had heard that the Alamo and the Riverwalk were a must see.  Since we were so close and would probably never get back down this way again we decided to spend a few days there.  It was worth it.  We really enjoyed both.  From there we headed home.  Texas sure is a large state and takes FOREVER to drive through.  But once out we made a beeline home.  We had a lot of rain on the way and our lovely clean truck and rig is absolutely filthy.

Alamo San Antonio (4)
Alamo San Antonio (6) 
Alamo San Antonio (7)
RiverWalk San Antonio (3)
RiverWalk San Antonio (15)

It is still quite chilly here at home and I really don’t want to winterize again so we will leave the rig sit in our driveway until the weather starts to warm and we are running the furnace which is ducted to the water areas of the rig and hopefully keep things from freezing.

We had a real scare with Jackson just before we came home.  He had gone to the dog park in Texas and played quite robustly with one of his buddies.  A very short time later after a nap when he got up he yelped and wouldn’t put his weight down on his back left hind leg.  We figured he had pulled a muscle.  He favoured that leg all day.  That night I put the heating pad on him, which obviously he liked because he didn’t move for hours.  The next day he seemed a little better and progressively improved over the next few days.  Then after we left and arrived in San Antonio he started limping quite badly again.  The heating pad went on again and this continued for a few days.  We were worried sick.  Contacted my vet and made an appointment for the instant we got home.  But the last couple days on the road the limp disappeared.  We think maybe being in the backseat of the truck all day kind of cramped up his muscle again.  But we took him for his appointment anyway.  Not a limp in site, AMEN.  She examined him in earnest and couldn’t find anything.  We suggested a x-ray but she said if he were her dog (she has 2 goldens herself) she wouldn’t.  But if he starts to limp again get him in immediately and an x-ray will be done.  He would have to be sedated for the x-ray and I know vets really don’t like to drug them up if not 100% necessary.  Touch wood!!!! he is ok.  She feels that he pulled a muscle.  We, of course, thought the worse, cruciate ligament or God forbid the dreaded ‘C’ word.  Retrievers have a higher risk than other dogs.  Having gone through 2 cruciates with our Lab, Maggie, I could have handled that.  And we were so pleased with all this walking and romping while we were away he lost 7 pounds.  Yipee!!!!

So we’re home, what an absolutely great feeling.   There really is no place like home.  I have little piles of ‘stuff’ here and there trying to figure out .. now where does that go?  We have to clean the rig inside and out, but that can wait until the weather gets a wee bit warmer.  I really want to get this puppy back into the storage lot.  She’s a monster size!!!

We’ll still trying to figure out how we can only spend 3 months south.  Problem is if we wait until after Christmas to leave we risk the chance of nasty weather on the way down.  Been there, done that.  And of course we cannot come home March 1st, because home at that time of year, and the way home is a bigger gamble.  Ah the trials and tribulations of retirement!!!

All in all at least we didn’t suffer the winter that they had here at home.  We had cold, but no ice, snow or sleet.  Next year we are headed back to Panama City Beach.  Texas is just too darn far, especially where we were.

So until much later…take care and if you’re on the road, keep safe.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Pet Parade

Today they held their Pet Parade at the park.  We weren’t going to bother entering Jackson because I really didn’t have anything to dress him up in.  Then Ken suggested we put one of his Hawaiian shirts on him with a baseball cap and sunglasses.  So we did put a shirt on him and sort of got the baseball cap on him but we figured the sunglasses must might get damaged so we didn’t bother with that.  The proceeds go to the local no kill dog shelter.  That is always a  bonus in my book.  The shelter even brought in several adoptable dogs.  Oh so cute and I sure hope they find their forever homes soon.  I don’t know if anyone here adopted one.  Last year they said 3 were adopted here.  There was one wee pup there that I had my eye one.  But we’re not ready to adopt another dog at this time.  It’s a good thing Ken is there to give me ‘the eye’ when I say, Look at this one!.


I believe there will be several rigs pulling out at the end of the month.  Some head home, some head to another campground.  They say it gets very hot here in the month of March.  We have decided, depending on the weather, if it’s too hot we are going to head up to San Antonio.  The weather up there is a little cooler and we have heard such great things at that area.  For us to head home at the end of the month wouldn’t be a good idea.  It is basically still winter back home and we could run into snow either at home or on the way home.

This little bird comes to our suet feeder everyday.  Also his mate..does anyone know what it is?


We took a trip over to the Mexican side, Progreso a few days ago.  You park you car on the US side and walk over.  Oh my, dentists, dentists, and more dentists.  And Pharmacies, load of them.  I had 2 things I had to get.  This cream that everyone raves about Gelmicin, that can only be purchased in Mexico.  You can get it in Canada, but only by prescription and it’s expensive.  I got a tube for $2.50.  Check it out online.  Jackson had a sore on his tail that he had aggravated by biting it.  I put it on in the evening and next day it was gone.  And a bottle of single malt, 20 year old scotch that my son said he wanted.  But as you can buy anything there in a pharmacy without a prescription I picked up some Nexium, dirt cheap.  Even though I have a plan at home, they only cover so much for this product.  There is absolutely nothing you can’t get there. 

We make our own wine at home, have done for 22 years now.  Personally, I think we make some pretty darn good stuff.  Anyhow, this year we brought 4 cases (48 bottles) with us.  No issues at the border, and we told them.  It’s hanging on pretty good, and it will ‘almost’ see us to the end.  We will probably have to pick up a few bottles, but not a lot.  So glad because we really do prefer our own wine to store bought.

Well that’s it…until later..take care.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Window Screens

When we had our Class A I had window screens for the outside of the big front window and the 2 side windows made.  I could not believe the difference they made on hot, sunny days.  Of course they went with the rig when we sold it as they were custom made.  We have a ton of windows in our 5th wheel and sometimes when it’s very hot and sunny we have to close the blinds on that side so the A/C won’t work so hard.  I really hate my blinds closed during the day.  A few weeks ago while out riding my bike in the park I came across a fellow who has making customs snap on screens for a 5th wheel.  I stopped and talked to him and asked him to come over and give me a quote.  I had investigated purchasing the roll down sunscreens that you can buy at Camping World and for our biggest window it was around $200 for one.  And I wanted 5 of them!!!  This gentleman was in business for himself and he made them in his utility trailer right on site.  He quoted me $345.  for all 5.  And they are big windows.  He does a really good job and I like that I don’t have to worry about them becoming unfurled like the other kind, while driving down the road.  I just unsnap them, roll them up and put away.  If anyone is in the Rio Grande Valley area and is interested, I would recommend him.  He not only does 5th wheel windows but the big front windshield windows on Class A’s.  Just remember during the day you can see out but people can’t see in.  Not so at night, so close those blinds at night!!!!

This is what it looks like inside.  It does make the side with the existing window screen look really weird though. 
The other side of the rig

This is his business card..

That’s all I have for until later..take care.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Aren’t you going the wrong way???

Today we went for a pontoon ride on the Rio Grande River.  There were 4 couples aboard and the ‘captain’.

For the most part the scenery wasn’t all that spectacular.  Kind of boring really, but I always enjoy a boat ride of any sort.  There is just muddy banks on both sides really.  We did see some cars that they dump on the sides in the bushes.  Not cars anymore really, just rusted out hulks.  We were told they were put there to hold up the bank of the river so it doesn’t erode anymore.  Saw no alligators but was told there’s a big guy near the boat launch.
Pontoon Ride  (7)
Rusted cars used to stop erosion
Pontoon Ride  (3)

There was several buildings on the Mexican side but were all totally deserted.  In 2010 hurricane Alex (according to Bing) came through and the river rose about 15 feet.  We saw on some properties the water line mark.  Amazing.  The ‘captain’ doesn’t know for sure but thinks those buildings on the Mexican are still under repair from that hurricane.  Apparently our RV park here was under 3-4 feet of water from the river.
Pontoon Ride  (5)

We saw several deflated, abandoned rafts on the US side.  These were used to escape from Mexico to the US.  The border patrol is very much in evidence, either by racing speedboat, foot patrol or helicopter.  And we saw something very, very interesting.  From the Mexican side this fellow sets off in a inflated raft with 1 paddle racing for the US side.  We’re thinking oh yeah he’s making a run for it.  Our captain called border patrol.  But…..he gets to the US side and picks up at least 6 people and transports them back to Mexico.  What the heck??? Hey buddy, aren’t you going the wrong way???  We find out later he is picking up people who have been transported to the US to distribute drugs and he’s picking them up so they can get more drugs and go back across again.  I think you call them ‘mules’.????  They had so many in that tiny raft I’m surprised the raft wasn’t swamped.  A few minutes after the phone call to the border patrol we saw them racing off in that direction.  Man have those boats got power.  I’m sure the border patrol does a good job, but that’s a might long river and I have to wonder how it is possible to patrol that especially at night.  The widest section we saw was about 1/4 mile wide, with most sections being about 500 across, an easy swim, or whatever they use.  We saw a discarded life jacket that the captain said was NOT there yesterday.  There are a couple Mexican communities close to the river which will give sanctuary to those that make it across the river.  It was interesting to see first hand the stuff you hear about on the news.
 Pontoon Ride  (1)
Pontoon Ride  (10)

We are still planning a trip across into Progresso on the Mexican side before we leave.  We will leave our truck parked on the US side and walk across the border.  See what they have in the way of some good, cheap hooch!!!!.

So until later…take care.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Goodbye to one of Jackson’s Best Buddies, Koby

Today our dear friends, Tee and Lois had to say goodbye to their beloved Golden, Koby.   It’s such a very hard thing to do, saying goodbye and making the decision to do so.  It takes a deep, deep love for your friend to do that and not wanting to see them suffer any longer. 

Last year in Ocala, we met the 3 of them for the first time and we were supposed to meet up again this year here in Texas, but just a few days before they were to leave Koby had a nose bleed.  They made the decision to stay home this year as it appeared that he would need further tests and medical supervision.  As it turned out he had cancer and there was nothing they could do.

Tee and Lois, our hearts are breaking along with yours.  Koby was a great guy, gentle soul and a wonderful friend. 

Goodbye Koby, run free and happy my friend.

Jackson & Koby (7)Jackson & Koby (4)Jackson & Koby (8)Jackson & Koby (14)

Monday, 20 January 2014

A Success .. I Think

Yesterday the campground held their very first Progressive Supper.

The campground here is laid out a little different than most.  There are 6 circles with a Palapa in the middle of each.  Our palapa has the pool tables, the next one over has the clubhouse and so on.  You can book your palapa for a private event if you like.  There are sites all around the circumference of the place too.  So this progressive supper was held in 4 of the palapas with the residents of each palapa (if they wanted to of course) would supply the course for that particular circle.  Circle 6 had the appetizers and wine, circle 5 (this is ours) had the salads and wine, circle 4 (the clubhouse) had the main course which was baked potatoes with ALL the trimmings and wine, circle 3 had the desserts and wine.  And the other 2 circles also contributed to the eats also.  It still amazes me what people can do with such limited cooking resources.  The food was fantastic.  We could have stayed at the appetizer table for the duration.  By the time we had consumed the baked potatoes with the sour cream, butter, cheese, chili, onions, and whatever you dumped on it we were done.  We didn’t even venture over to the dessert section.  I was very surprised that Ken didn’t because he just loves his desserts.  I probably would have had something and that would have been a big mistake as I was uncomfortably full already.  So it was a very wish decision to pass it up.  Too bad though cause the people here just out do themselves when it comes to the food.
In line for the appetizers
the good stuff

The management was wondering if it would be a success and I would definitely say that it was.  I think just about everyone here participated.  It was lovely.  Everyone brought over their lawn chairs to their own circle so people had somewhere to sit down, and tables were set up also.  They asked to spend no more than 45 minutes at each circle and then to move on.  It stated at 3PM and the timing was just right.  Sure hope they do it again before we head home, it was fun.

I bought myself a new bike.  The gears on my old one were shot and not being very handy people we didn’t know how to fix it and taking it to a bike shop would cost alot.  so I opted to buy a new one.  I love it.  It does ride so much smoother.  Now..what do we do with the old one.  I would like to find someone who wants a bike and is handy and could fix it.  Think I’ll ask the host here at the campground.  Maybe some organization.  Other than the gears it’s in great shape, it’s a Schwinn.

There’s a little bird that comes every single day and sits on our neighbours dish.  He will sit there for hours, literally.  Don’t know what he is, but I took this picture.  Maybe Judy might know.  He’s a fat little guy too.


Well until later..take care.