Oasis in the Desert

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Stuck Here


We must stay in our nice house and out of the terrible heat until after next Tuesday.  That is when the surgeon will once again try a get that bad bad stone.  Herb feels fine now.  No residual pain and he has a stent installed.

Our Resident Heron

I have enjoyed watching the wildlife in our neighborhood.  The deer are quite in evidence as food is not plentiful.  One doe has new twin fawns.  They are too cute.  Last night we had a visit from a raccoon with a baby in tow, looking for cat food.  Herb feeds a mama kitty on our porch and she also has a baby now.  It is skittish but, comes up sometimes and just sits with Mama.  Even if we leave for a month, the mama is back at the door five minutes after we return.

I am amazed and somewhat awed by these animals.  They survive in the woods behind our house.  Earlier in the spring, we had lots of baby geese.  They only stay babies for a couple of days.

We talked about where to go this winter but, it is all talk now except for returning to Dallas and Camping World until September.  Thank heaven for that.  It relieves the hitch itch just a bit.

Restless Souls C, H, and Boo too

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Travel Unravel

Bodega Bay Birds

Wednesday:  We read about a friend who is in Bodega Bay in CA.  It is hot and very unfriendly in Oklahoma now.  We spent a year serving a Camping World that let us travel to cool and oceanside Bodega Bay.  Ah, I can almost smell the ocean.

Cooler Days at Bodega Bay

H's kidney stone is still resting in it's seemingly happy home.  The Surgeon installed a stent to allow the ureter to enlarge and will go back another day for the stone.  We are very lucky as many tell us they have multiple stones and multiple procedures.  We will go again next Tuesday to try again for a permanent result.

We are suffering from serious Hitch Itch and want to go somewhere, anywhere.  But, we are grateful for our good health in every other way and know that this is something that is not life threatening.  Lovely cool places close to Ok.  Red River in New Mexico,  the mountains of Colorado and North toward Canada.  But, we are now in our home and grateful for the AC and good friends.  More to Come  C, H, and Boo too

Monday, June 27, 2011



I am thinking that one of the good things about living in our rig is that I found Herb's kidney stone simply because he forgot to flush the potty.  The deposit was seriously red and ran up a red flag for me.  He had no symptoms, no pain, nada.  A visit to the Doctor confirmed blood in the urine.  A cat scan confirmed a large kidney stone nicely stuck above the urethra.  The date was set for an ultrasound procedure, outpatient and under anesthesia.  After the event, the Urologist said that it had not even budged and they hit the bugger 2500 times at full power.  Herb's entire left side was black and blue.  So....three weeks later he goes back to surgery for a laser procedure, tomorrow at 7:45a.


The surgeon says he has not made a cut in the skin for a kidney for 15 years.  I know Herb will be nicely anesthetized and day surgery gives their patients a good dose of Versed when they leave their room.  It usually keeps him happy the entire day. I am awake to worry.  This event is filling our time so, I will get back to the people we met "along the road" in a couple of days. More to come

C, H, and Boo too

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back to the Future

Sunset at our Lake Home

We sold most all of our possessions and went full-time in our RV in 2005.  We workamped for a season at a KOA Campground in Springfield, MO.  The three month workamping was a trial to see if we really wanted to go full-time.  Five years later we enjoyed this lifestyle. 

Then we took a position as Good Will Ambassadors for Camping World in Valentia, CA.  Enjoying Southern and Central California.  After that, we went to work as field searchers for a company that built Family Dollar Stores in the Southeast USA.  That took us east to North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and many points between....fun travel.

It was then that we took two years to travel Mexico.  Thanks to Mike and Terri Church's marvelous book "Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping".  The "how to" travel in an RV in Mexico, we were safe and always well advised. After those two years, we again became GoodWill Ambassadors for Camping World in Branson Missouri.


Two years ago, due to family issues, we bought a lot on a lake in Oklahoma and built a great "green House".  That being finished a year ago, we sold our fifth wheel, sold our pickup and "settled down."  Long about Thanksgiving, we started yearning for a rig.  Let's see, we had a several fifth wheels, a class "A" motor home, and now we have a class "C".  It was parked in our back yard until we again became GW Ambassadors for Camping World.  This time at two stores in the Dallas Texas area.

Our Current Rig

We are happy with our house, but yearn for the freedom of "full-timing" again.  We have added a family member.  A black cat.  He sometimes answers to Boo Boo.  He is a fine traveler and will head for his carrier when we start packing up.

Kitty's View of Bay Saint Louis, MS
Leash Trained Kitty
We faithfully follow several souls of similar ilks with enjoyment and a bit of envy. We will still look back at "folks along the road" and keep you posted on our plans.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The very first person I met "along the way"


Today is my Birthday.  The number is what it is, I can't change that.  The interesting thing about my Birthday is that I was born on my sister's Birthday.  What a gift that must have been.  Our parents were in Alice, Texas.  Our father was a right of way man for Conoco Oil and probably why we both have the wanderlust.  My sister remembers everything about the day I was born, I don't.  Our Mother was 40 at the time and our father was 47.  In those days, that was old for parenthood. Our father died when I was 7 during a surgery to remove a  growth that turned out to be his only kidney.  In these times, that would be fodder for a lawsuit, not then.  I hardly remember him.


My sister is probably the most interesting person I have known in my life.  She was a flight nurse during the Korean War and went on to earn a PhD in nursing and sometime in between, the mother of five children.  She has received three Fulbright Scholorships, two to Africa, one to Nepal.  She ended her career teaching in Mexico and is now retired in Mexico.  We are very different, even though we were born on the same day.

Charlotte, Herb, and Cindy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mexican "Wild Man" vs Street people in others environs


Well, the guy who worked on the generator invited us to take him and his girlfriend (the lady who had encountered the wild man) on a nature hike in a local Catemaco park.  Following that, they would take us for dinner and drinks.  We had a car, they did not.  Now, we are not great hikers but were really curious about what had happened to her in the jungle. So, we said okay.


We endured the hike and were educated on the many kinds of flora and fauna that exists in that part of the world.  I am sure that it was good for us and we ended up in the courtyard of an abandoned hotel.  Catemaco, like many villages in Mexico looks somewhat weathered.  But, the work is over and we are off to one of the restaurants along the shore of the lake.

Margaritas at Last!


After several Mexican style Margaritas (strong and cheap), the story was told.  It seems that our young lady was walking on a daily basis down the street and into the lakeside jungle and encountering this very wild looking man on several occasions.  She felt that it was her duty to communicate with this grizzley character and felt that he was making gestures that indicated that he wanted to be her friend.  She took a sack of food with her to give to him and approached him to pass it on.  That was when he made a dive for her and she knew he was not having friendly thoughts or intentions.  She then whacked him with her walking stick and ran like H... she had scratches and bruises from hitting trees.  The Mexican policia told her she was very foolish, and that people like that do NOT want to be friends.  I thought it was interesting that she really felt like she was going to do a favor for this person who would probably be the antithesis of a street person, maybe not mentally all together.  The guy was not to be found and we did not hear of his whereabouts when we left a week later.  That is all of that.  More folks to come

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guacamole Man

Tour of Lake Catemaco

We are two people who need a certain amount of space in our RV or we are stepping on each other.  In Mexico, we often met couples who traveled in truck campers and they found them very comfortable, some even with King size beds.  We met such a couple in Catemaco, Mexico.  She was very petite, short in stature.  He was very tall and slim.  We gathered with them one evening for happy hour and he brought a large container of Guacamole to the hungry, happy crowd.  It was delicious, the best we have ever had!  Everyone begged for the recipe.  From that moment on, he became the fabled "Guacamole Man".


It seems that the cabinets in their camper were far too high for her to reach.  After much complaining, he said "we can solve this problem, I will just do all the cooking."  From that moment on, that is exactly what he did.  Now I would have jumped  for joy with a solution like that and it seemed to work for them.


He bought his green guys from one of the small home grocery ladies, common and readily available in Mexican villages.  She told him that once the fruit is slightly soft, you can refrigerate it and it will stay good for two weeks.  Keeping the seed in the dip does not keep it green, throw in away.  He would not share his recipe, but said that the fresh lemons south of the border greatly enhanced the flavor and he used a spice called Tajin, a red lemony flavored spice.  I bought several bottles in Mexico and have since seen it in stores in the US.


I have tried and tried again, but I have never succeeded in making guacamole that good and think about those folks every time I squeeze a little green guy.....more to come

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Traveler's comfort zones?

     I am on the road to my story about the "wild man of Catemaco", but I have a moment to digress to talk about my travel partner.  We have been together for 33, going on 34 years.  A second marriage with no children of our own....5 between us.  We both soon discovered that we have a gypsy spirit between us.  We owned 17 houses before we realized that maybe home ownership wasn't what we really wanted.  So, in 2005, we sold our 18th house and bought a fifth wheel.  Thus began the story of the fulltimer's.  During the next four years, we owned three more fifth wheels and one motor home.  The Motor home was the vehicle that was used for our trip to MX.

     My beloved is not driven to have the cleanest RV in town and only fixes things when they cause us not to move on down the road.  The brakes were the first sign of a bit of paranoia about the state of the RV.  There were many more to come.

     After the brakes, it became apparent that we might need the revive the generator on the RV and it just simply refused to start.  We are still in Lake Catemaco and here comes a nice fellow who is going to help with the generator.  He and his partner ( the young woman who met the wild man in the jungle) are now our new best friends and he is attempting the fix the stubborn generator or at least give my beloved good advice.  The oil is drained and the controller arm is adjusted.  Luckily,  our new friend has the same kind of Rig, albiet a big shorter.  The generator is running, a bit rough, and we are set for a trip to town with our new friends.  More to Come

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wild man of Catemaco

        The Lake at Catemaco, MX is amazingly beautiful and said to be haunted by many spirits. It is surrounded by a large area of jungle like vegetation.  The RV park we occupied was several blocks from the end of a road and we were told by everyone around our site that it probably was not safe past that end.

Lake Catemaco
     Early the next day after the big RV brake event, we awakened to police sirens.  We looked out our window and saw several cars with Policia on their side and even an ambulance.  We did not go outside and everyone soon went on their way.  Later on, one of our neighbors told us that a young woman from the park had taken a walk in the woods and been attacked by what was seemingly a wild Man in the woods at the end of the block.

     She had hit him with her walking stick and escaped back to the park in a state of hysteria.  That all sounded bad enough, but we were lucky enough to unknowingly become acquainted with this young woman and her traveling companion and we were the lucky ones who got to spend a day with them, including hearing the story of "the attack".  That is a story for another day.  More to come.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The "Brakemen" at Lake Catemaco

     We traveled along the eastern coast of Mexico and turned inland toward the highlands just past Veracruz.   The country is amazingly beautiful and the altitude starts to increase.  We were headed for Lake Catemaco, and about 15 miles away, the brakes on the RV began to steam, so we stopped.  I called the park that we were headed to and the owner was an American and of course, spoke perfect English.  Gracias Dios.  Espanol just seems to disappear from my brain in an emergency.  He said to just park until the brakes cooled off and we should be fine as it was mostly downhill for the rest of the trip.  The next morning he would have his brakeman come over and take at look.

      Early the next day 4 happy Mexicans arrived and walked around our rig just shaking their heads.  We had jacks on the rig, so we jacked it up and they pulled off every tire (6 on this rig) and began their diagnosis.  By then, we were seeing dollar signs flashing before us but.....They said we had one brake that was completely gone and the others would require cleaning.  However, they would have to get the new brake pads from another town,  maybe today, maybe not and they would need the money to pay for it.  As we held our breath, he said he would need 1,000 pesos, about 90US Dollars.  Whew, okay so far.

      They all left and returned about 4p with the part, giddy that it had been available so quickly.  Now the work began.  Sweating and talking, they cheerfully took about 3 hours for the whole event.  By then it was dark and we were really holding our breath.  The head guy apologized and shook his head and grinned and said we owed him another 1000 pesos.

     Oh my,  about 180 US dollars for good brakes all around.  These guys were our new best friends and oh yes, my spanish got us by as the American owner was no where to be found.  viva la Mexico....More to come

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Traveling.....How Long?

Beautiful Veracruz, MX.  Especially in the winter when the humidity subsides.  It was there that we met a couple who were spending their 30th winter in Mexico.  Both had an accent, seemingly German.  They seemed to be in every campground where we settled.  They were traveling in a pickup with a bed topper and pulling a small trailer, about 15 feet.  They were quite friendly and she spent her time reading and he would tinker with his equipment.  I was curious as to how long a couple could keep traveling in an RV, so I struck up a conversation with the Mrs.  She told me that they were in their young 80's and had gone south for 30 years, give or take.

Mid "sixties" river cruise in Veracrux, MX
      I asked her how happy she was with the small trailer and she said to me that it was the first year that they had towed a rig.  In years past, they just slept in the back of their pickup and cooked outside.  So, I asked what was wrong with the trailer.  She said,  it is just way too big to manage.  She hated it.  Ah,  reality check as I complained about the size of my 37 foot motor home. I was impressed and humbled.  More to Come

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mexico, the most foreign of all countries outside the USA

Ah, the memories.  We traveled the US and Mexico for six years.  We have been on pretty solid land for two years now (2011) and the "hitch itch" has begun its infectious invasion.  I have been thinking about all the interesting people we met along the way and Mexico was full of kind, helpful, and eccentric  people and I am fondly remembering some of them in my "people along the way" blog.

     We decided to enter Mexico on the East Coast.  Actually, we easily crossed the border at Pharr, TX, close to McAllen.  The crossing was easy and we headed down Hwy 59 along the Emerald Coast of MX.  It was January and fairly cool and rainy.

     At the end of a long bumpy, tope  (Mexican Speedbump) infested drive, we pulled into RV campground El Zorro on the Pacific coast, known as the Emerald Coast.  Being the only souls there, we picked our ideal spot and I went to the house on the grounds to "check in".

     I was met at the door by a young woman who took me into a fair sized dining room that was empty.  There seemed to be other women moving around close by.  Shortly, a stately Mexican Gentleman appeared at my table and we exchanged greetings in Spanish.  I had taken two years of Spanish lessons and felt pretty smug about speaking the language.  We talked about price, length of stay, and amenities....HA.  A 110 plug and interesting grounds...Mexico at its best.  After a seemingly long conversation in Spanish, he said to me,  "Well, my English is certainly much better than your Spanish, so we will converse in English from here on".  I had a little trouble understanding him, but I was humbled.

     We were invited for coffee the next morning and he was no where to be seen.  Just a number of young women.  AH...the surprises in Mexico...more to come

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Along the way we met a man who.....

The second we arrived in Round Rock, TX and parked our 5er, the man next to us came out his door and was ready to visit.  He was an elderly gentleman, maybe in his mid 80's, but perky and seemingly happy.  As Herb was setting up the sewer, water, etc, the "young" traveler was right behind him wanting to visit.  All it took to get him out the door was for us to appear outside.  We finally ask him why he was in the Austin area and he said he was visiting his son.  He said we drove to Austin three times a year from Nashville for a visit with "our" son.  Now, we are curious!  Is your wife in the rig?  Oh yes, he says.  She had a stroke 15 years ago, but we always travel together.  Will we get to meet her?  Oh no, he says.  She is being fed through a tube and requires oxygen to keep her breathing.  Wow, I think.  This is a happy man with a lot of responsibility.  Another interesting person we met along the road. The next IP (interesting Person) will be in Mexico.  So, stay tuned.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

RV people along the way

After selling our house, we took our virgin trip to a park in Eastern Oklahoma.  After the drama of setting up the first time, the next door neighbors came over.  WOW, a couple in their late 70's who had planned their full time adventure for many years and got lucky and inherited money that allowed them to buy their 1st rig.  A Winnebago, not the familiar, but a long tube that had air bags that went up and down.  They were very proud.  Even though, both had many health problems, they were on their way to Arizona to spend the winter in Quartzsite, AZ.  We patiently listened to their obvious joy of the freedom of full time RVing.  Still not so sure that this is a good way to live, we retired.  The next morning, there was a small rock on our steps, a memory of Quartzsite.  Thus, we began our adventures in fulltiming RVing. First fulltimers, a good omen.  More to come