Oasis in the Desert

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today's Plan for the Future (a little of the past)

Today,  we discuss again our plan for the future. I think that all Americans are upset with the actions of our elected officials.  It is just not fair that we voted to trust them and a small minority is not thinking in our best interests.  Many of us are dependent to a degree on our Social Security and we DID give the gov our money and our employers matched those funds.  Entitlement??  I think not.  A savings account that we trusted.  It is surely irresponsible of those in office to scare elders about what may be their only source of income.  BEWARE,  those elected, can be ousted.

Anyway....we are paralyzed by the heat.  It is tempting to head back to central Mexico where the temps are moderate year around.  That reminds me of a day in our life in Mexico.

We worked for a travel agency in Guadalajara.  Viajes Vikingo.  Travel with the Viking or something of the sort.  One day I was sitting in the office and a man in a mask brandishing a gun came in the door and threatened us all.  The customer at my desk grabbed me and we both hit the floor.  The young Senora in the front of the office told him in Spanish to go away and did not seem even concerned.  I was pretty much scared out of my mind.

It seemed that they had been robbed before and kept no airline stock in that branch.  They were a large, multi-agency group.  She said afterwards that it was the same guys who came before and stole the airline stock.  It is just like money.  We all just went back to work, didn't even call the policia.  Whew,  first time I had a gun pointed at me.

Another exciting day in our travels.  Guess you can see why it is hard to settle in.
More to come....H, C, and Boo too

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Before RV Travel entered our life

Yesterday, I stirred up some memories of a great trip to Europe.  We have traveled many places in the world.  Our choice in travel now is in our RV.  We liked seeing the world in the "backpacker style".  That is the way you meet locals and are not just fed a diet of tourist sites.  Although, many of those places are famous and a must on any travel agenda.

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Today, in our space in this world, we are dreaming of places to go.  We currently have a class C 31 foot.  I do not think that it is big enough to live in on a full time basis.  In the past we have had large 5th wheels and a motor home.  The class C is perfect for boondocking.  Not too big or too hard to park.  Ah, the decisions.  We are pretty savvy by now and know probably more than we need to know.  It is our constant conversation companion.  Also, What about the house?


For now, we take a monthly trip to Dallas to visit RV parks there as part of our work with Camping World.  It takes off the edge.  Also, the cat just drives us crazy to get to go "anywhere"...He says megow.  All for now.  C, H, and Boo too

Friday, July 29, 2011

Travel to France

My daughter called yesterday and said that she and her husband were boarding a flight to Paris.  Whoa, I thought.  This stirred up a whole hornet's nest of memories.

Herb worked for a big airline in the 80's and we often flew across the pond to visit new and diverse cultures.  One of the first of fourteen trips to Europe was to Paris.  We were going to meet my sister in London (she was a veteran traveler by then).  Due to space available issues, we flew from Denver to Newark.  Then on to Paris because there were First Class seats available.

The flight arrived at Orly airport early in the morning.  By then we had been up for at least two days and had a bit of the wine in First Class.  Oh dear, how do we get to London.  The first order of business was to make a phone call.

Oh dear, how tired can two people be and how often do the French choose to use their English to help Americans who only speak english.  Not often, can you blame them?  We spent two hours trying to figure out how to use the public telephone.  Finally, someone took pity on us and told us to go to a newstand and buy a phone card.

We did finally find our way from Orly to Charles De Gaulle airport and eventually on to London.  When we met my sister with our FOUR large bags, she immediately sent us off to store everything not necessary for our travels by bus throughout England, Wales, and Scotland.

That was our first lesson in traveling light.  We can now go anywhere for any length of time with only a carry-on, even only a backpack.  Also, a good lesson on how little we really need in this life.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Down and Dirty


Yes, reminds me of the old song "Fever".  It just keeps getting hotter and drier.  Today, we had our favorite dirt digger (with a giant machine come and move dirt into the space Herb has created in front of the patio.  He put up a red rock wall last winter and we saved the dirt from our septic dig to make a "dirt" bed.


It was going to be a flower bed, hee hee.  Not his year.  I have one very healthy weed that I keep alive with water and it is now under the dirt.  Also, have one poke salad plant growing above the lateral lines of the septic tank.  Oldsters (older than I) used to boil the poke weeds and either use the water for a cure for constipation or throw the water out and eat the greens.  I guess if the US goes to hell in a handbag, I will have to collect poke for nourishment.


 The dirt guy says he has been down as deep as 20 feet and it is still just as dry as it is on top.  Says it is much easier than slogging through mud and he has been super busy.  One guy's hollar is another guy's dollar.  More to come.  H, C, and Boo too

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



We live in a country setting, surrounding a small lake.  When we first arrived, there was a scraggly cat managing our front porch.  Herb fed her once and she was "his".  Now, one cat if fine, but she seemed to have a following.  First, came a grey and white cat with a bobbed tail.  One more mouth to feed.  Then there appeared a large black and white cat.  He is spooky, but eats anyway.  In the meantime, the first cat, dubbed Mama kitty is really getting fat.


One day, a little grey kitty with white paws appears at the food "dishes" by now.  He is cuddling Mama, so probably her baby.  Wild cats tend to just keep one baby.  This one is really spooky.  Our house cat stands at the door and just waits for little grey to appear and takes great pleasure in scaring him.  We don't know that it is a he, guess we will know if "he" gets a baby.


It is time to get things done outside, sadly the weather has its own plan.  When it is 110 degrees in the shade, you risk your life just going from house to car.  So, we stay in the house and watch the cats.  Mama kitty makes one last beg every evening for more food.  Then she moves away.  One evening we looked out and there was a big raccoon with a baby feasting on the food as Mama watched from a distance.  The raccoons seem to have no fear and this goes on for several evenings.  The baby is cute, as raccoons go.
There are also geese and deer who wander down to the rapidly shrinking lake for water.  It is a strange season.  More to Come  H, C, and Boo too

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Global Warming??

07/11/11 marks our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Hooray for us.  We are celebrating over the next 3 days.  It will be party, party, party!


Many RV'ers supplement their RV lifestyle by working part or even full-time at a number of varied jobs.  For us, it means working five to seven days each month and receive enough compensation to pay for our RV addiction for the rest of the month.  It also gives us a social life.  We meet so many interesting people from millionaires to street people. We get to stay in the most luxurious RV Resorts.  It gets us out of the house to put our bodies into motion and lose the remote.


We left this morning (early for us) at 10 am.  The goal is to drive about 150 to 200 miles (a  four to six hour work day) and call on nine to twelve campgrounds each day.  Weaving in and out of the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth area presents its challenges.  Our GPS paints a pretty good picture of some of our roads.

Which lane do I take?
Do I go left or right?

The weather this year has been trying at best. We went out this evening for a 2nd day of anniversary celebration with a watermelon margarita and some nachos. When we returned to our car. This was the temperature at 8p.

Soon it will be winter and we will be lamenting the cold.  All for now.  C, H, and Boo too.  Waiting for us when we returned.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mexico Memories on the road


We made our drive from Oklahoma to Dallas easily today, even very little traffic.  It reminded me of many road trips we made in Mexico.  All of them without incident or even imagined danger.  I read in Yahoo today that there was a lot of violence in the state of Michoacan on the western coast of Mexico.  Drug related.  We took several drives along the uninhabited coast of this state in Mexico.  It is beautiful and rugged.


We were advised by everyone that we were not to drive on Mexican roads after dark.  The big trucks take to the road.  If they have a breakdown, they just put a rock in the road for a warning.  Cows, people, and any number of scary possibilities made us shut down at dark.  One night we were in the middle of Michoacan, a long way from any village and it was almost dark so....We stopped in front of what looked like a small hotel.  After looking at the rooms, I ask the senora who was seemingly in charge if we could just stay in our RV and pay them 100 pesos to park in front of their property.


The senora asked if we would like dinner?  She would cook for 20 pesos each (about $1.80 USD).  The meal was amazing.  Fresh shrimp and vegetables from her garden. It was one of the best meals we remember.  After dinner we retired to our Rig.  It was very hot and the windows were open.  Just about every minute a big rig swooshed by and made a breeze to cool us down.  It is hot and humid on the ocean there.  The next morning we continued on our journey.  The Mexico we loved had hugged us once more.  More to Come....H,C, and Boo too

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking a road trip!

We will leave on Saturday to do our work for Camping World in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (actually Denton and Fort Worth).  For those not familiar with Camping World, they have 89 stores nationwide and offer almost every RV product known to man, including RV sales and service.  What is nice about Camping World, one can work as Good Will Ambassadors on a seasonal basis in almost any state from Maine to California.  We normally would stay with our RV for the duration of our work, but the stone temporarily intervened on our usual pattern. 

What we do.  We are currently calling on 44 campgrounds in the Denton/Fort Worth market area promoting the stores, distributing catalogs and brochures, attending RV rallies, RV shows, and camping related events.  We do not actually work in the stores.

Yes, it is nasty hot there too.  It was 113 here today.  Normally, there is humidity in the Dallas area, but not this year.  We are staying in a very nice, kind of pricey resort (RV expenses are paid).  Our site is next to the club house, pool and sauna.  There are many ways to look for RV Park discounts these days.  There are lots of half price parks through Camp USA or Passport America.  These programs work for one or several days stays.  Since we stay by the month, we always receive the lowest daily price.

We take Boo, the cat, with us on the drive from home to the RV, so we can't get out and leave him in the car.  It is just too hot.  There was a call today over the speakers at Walmart.  Someone had left their pet in their car.  That's as bad as leaving a child.  Once we are in our air conditioned RV, he is one happy camper.

He also likes to go to the RV.  Just rides like a little man in his cage and I give him snacks if he says he want some...meow.

More to Come.....C, H, and Boo too

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doctor 1, Stone 0

Hola...oops, guess I am not in Mexico.  Too bad, mostly a nice place to be.  We visited the emergency room in our town. last night.  A really well run facility.  There was some concern about the amount of blood after the procedure to go after the stone yesterday.  It was interesting, in that, all of a sudden Medicare cares about what you are doing. Everything was okay and we were sent home.

The nurse who tended to us noticed that H had a scar on his nose.  It reminded me that he had visited a dermatologist in Mexico and she had removed a bump on his nose.  H reminisced about her, said she looked like Catherine Zeta Jones.  She was pretty and without any scruples about pain.  She dug into his nose and left a scar.  He had to wear a pointy nose bandage for a couple of days.  It was laughable, but not to H.
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Interesting about medical care in MX.  It is very affordable, unless you want a top Doctor in their system, in a private hospital.  Then....you pay.  We have done the math and so far, our system wins.  I hope they don't completely screw it up.

Still too hot here...113 on the car.  More to come H, C, and Boo too

Monday, July 4, 2011

RV or not to RV......


The real question is whether to go fulltime again or keep a permanent place to go "home" to.  I have really enjoyed having a new house, but it is a responsibility.  Lawns must be mowed (not this year, grass is dry dead).  Insurance, taxes, and other homeowner responsibilities enter the picture.  A house should be cleaned now and then.

It is easy to dispose of a housefull of goods.  I have done it three times, full throttle ahead.  Once to move to Mexico and twice to fulltime in our RV.  I had no regrets any of the times.  It is mega easy to refill a house....friends, garage sales, family.  Yipes, the house is full in a flash.


Always interesting, loads of fun, feisty, interesting people.  Tomorrow, Herb will hopefully part with his kidney stone and we can start to make these, the rest of our lives, decisions.  Until then.  More to Come   C, H, and Boo too

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks in Mexico


We spent our first night in Mexico on May 5, Cinco De Mayo.  A big and noisy day for a celebration.  The Catholic Church in Mexico sells prayer rockets to its believers for about $5USD.  They write a note with their most fervant wish in it and send it the Virgin Mary.  The sending up is the noisy part.  Kind of like an old time bottle rocket with the big boom at the end.  They seem to be most effective during the night...go figure.  So, we did not sleep too well that first night, but soon became used to the big bang.  Someone with a fervant wish or prayer.


Any other kind of event, birthdays of saints, certain holidays, weddings, etc. call for a particular type of firework that is built on a frame, usually in the town square.  Every town has a square because when the Spaniards settled Mexico, they required that each village have a square with a church on one side and the government office on the other.

The village square is a great gathering place in every township, large and small.  A fireworks builder is a specially skilled person who can build a rather interesting frame with some type of design incorporated.  When it is lit, the last part is always spinning fire.  Noisy and Smoky and always the last event of the evening.  Must be dark, you know.


It is so hot and dry here in Oklahoma that we will not have any public fireworks this year.  At least not legally.  Many RVer's manage fireworks stands for July 4 and the New Year's celebrations.  You can see ads for the work in Workamper Magazine.  It is luctrative work for a short period for time, if you can boon dock.  Even in this strange weather year, there is an RV parked next to local fireworks stands.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Driving in Dallas

This was forwarded to us from someone else and all content is not necessarily my opinion, but the driving part is right on.  We are currently spending 5-6 days a month and often twice that many days visiting RV Campgrounds in and around the Dallas, Fort Worth area.  Herb does ALL the driving and I clench my jaws.  We currently have our RV parked in Denton, North of the sprawling metropolis of Dallas. and often cross many of the streets mentioned, as we serve both the Denton store and the Fort Worth store (60 miles SW of the Denton store).  
The people in the campgrounds and other places are super nice and friendly.  The stores are great and well run.  Driving is another story and this is better than I could describe. 

Driving in Dallas

This would be funny if most of it weren't true.
First you must learn to pronounce the city name. “It is DAL-LUS” or “DAA-LIS” depending on whether you live inside or outside LBJ Freeway.
Next, if your Mapsco is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. If you live in Denton County and your Mapsco is one-day-old, then it is already obsolete. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. (Frisco has screwed everything up.)

Dallas has its own version of traffic rules....."Hold on and pray."
There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Dallas . We all drive like that.
All directions start with, "Get on Beltline…" which has no beginning and no end. (IT REALLY DOESN'T!!!)
The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10. The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.
If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.
Construction on Central Expressway is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. We had sooo much fun with that, we have now added George Bush Freeway and the High Five to the mix.
All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we're in Fort Worth !"
If someone actually has his or her turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect. Car horns are actually "Road Rage" indicators - and remember, it's legal to be armed in Texas !
All old ladies with blue hair in a Mercedes have the right of way. Period. And remember, it's legal to be armed in Texas !
Inwood Road , Plano Road, NW Highway, East Grand, Garland Road , Marsh Lane , Josey Lane , 15th Street , and Preston Road all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections (these are only a FEW examples). The perfect example is what is MOSTLY known as Plano Road . On the south end, it is known as Lake Highlands Drive . Cross Northwest Highway and it becomes Plano Road . Go about 8 miles, and it is briefly Greenville Ave , Ave K, and Highway 5. It ends in Sherman .....
The North Dallas Tollway is our daily version of NASCAR. The minimum acceptable speed on the Dallas North Toll Road is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. It also ends in Sherman .
If asking directions in Irving or SE Dallas , you must have knowledge of Spanish. If in central Richardson or on Harry Hines, Mandarin Chinese will be your best bet. If you stop to ask directions on Gaston or Live Oak, you better be armed... And remember, it's legal to be armed in Texas .
The wrought iron on windows near Oak Cliff and Fair Park is not ornamental !!!
A trip across town east to west will take a minimum of four hours, although many north/south freeways have unposted minimum speeds of 75.
It is possible to be driving WEST in the NORTH-bound lane of EAST NORTHWEST Highway . Don't let this confuse you.
LBJ is called "The Death Trap" for two reasons: "death" and "trap."
If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend. If it's 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, the Fort Worth Stock Show is going on. If it has rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Byron Nelson Golf Classic is in the second round (if it's Spring) or it is the Texas State Fair (if it's Fall)!!!
If you go to the Fair, pay the $15.00 to park INSIDE Fair Park . Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2,500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, and possibly a gunshot wound. If some guy with a flag tries to get you to park in his yard, run over him.
Any amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, racetracks, airports, etc. Are conveniently located as far away from EVERYTHING as possible so as to allow for ample parking on grassy areas.
Final Warning: Don't Mess With Texas Drivers .... Remember, it's legal to be armed in Texas !