Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018 - Pancakes; Leftovers; Shopping; More Leftovers

Friday, January 19, 2018 - Pancakes; Leftovers; Shopping; More Leftovers

Well I have a feeling this is going to be another slow day but we do have some things we need to do.  I woke up about 5:30, went down the steps and started the coffee.  Dean joined me a short time later.  Of course I also read my emails, blogs, checked Facebook, read a devotional, etc.  

It is beginning to warm up so we decided to walk here in the park today.  It seemed just a little damp out and we didn't want to be too far from the rig if it starts raining.  We made it around 3 times, just shy of 1.25 miles.  The main thing....we walked! 
This lady is here every morning as we walk by.

I forced myself to weigh this morning - expecting it to be bad since we've ate so much food (or so it seems) the past week or so.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it had hardly changed since I weighed over a week ago.  Of course I want to keep losing, but just knowing you haven't gained is a big plus.  Tomorrow the temperatures are supposed to be back in the 70's and later today it is supposed to hit 60, so I think we'll be back to our morning walks!

I ran out of yogurt, so I suggested we have pancakes this morning.  Dean agreed it sounded good.  We bought this 7 grain pancake mix in Indiana back in August.  We've used it 2 or 3 times.  I keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh.  The pancakes are pretty dense and heavy.  I made us each 3 small pancakes topping them with real butter and real maple syrup.  These are some pretty awesome pancakes.  

Our yummy pancakes!

The oranges we bought at Don Wes Flea Market a week or so ago ripened, so I put them in the refrigerator a day or two ago.  Dean was going to have one and asked if I'd like one as well.  I sure do!

Fresh oranges
We did the normal pickup/cleanup routine after breakfast and before I knew it, it was noon and time to eat lunch.  The time flew by.  We are trying to use the leftovers in the refrigerator before cooking anything else, so Dean ate the last of the chicken and noodles and I ate the rest of my red beans and rice from Dirty Al's.  Perfect lunch.  We did spend some time in between breakfast and lunch watching a crew paint, and put up a small outbuilding for our neighbor.  It was interesting, since it was a little damp out, but it looks great and they had it finished in less than two hours.  

We are having another group meal with our Heartland friends on Sunday and I will be making bread pudding.  I needed a few things for that, plus a few other groceries that should pretty much get us through the end of the month.  We needed to make a stop at Lowe's to get some tape that Dean could use to fix our shower door.  A couple of people I know (you all might know them too) both missed the fact no one secured the shower door when we moved from Johnson City to Mission.  We are very lucky the shower doors were all okay, and we didn't find them shattered all over the bathroom floor.  The handle on the door that holds the shower doors in place fell off but nothing was broken.  Dean will need tape to put it back on.  The door had tape on it that the handle fit over the tape on the door, but when ithe handle came off the tape tore.  Hopefully, when he applies the tape he purchased to replace the tape that was there, it will be thick enough to hold it in place and will do the trick. 

I was also out of hair spray.  I wanted fragrence free so we stopped at Sally's Beauty Supply and low and behold they have the one I use.  I was happy about that.  Of course neither one of us enjoys driving in the traffic here, but I have to admit most everything we might want to do as far as shopping is pretty close to us.  

Our final stop was at Walmart's.  One of the things I wanted to get was a small pork roast.  I looked the smaller roasts over, finally selecting one to put in the cart without even looking at anything bigger than about 2-2.5# roast.  Dean said there are some others down here that are only only 1.79 #.  Because he took the time to look, I was able to get a 5 # one for $1. more than the 2-2.5# one I put in the cart.  We'll cut it in half and freeze half for another time.  Nice bargain thanks to Dean!  

One of the things Dean and I want to start doing is taking in a movie every other week or so.  He loves to go to the movies - I'm not sure if it's to really see the show or just to eat their popcorn.  He loves the popcorn at a movie theater.  I'm going to do a little research to see if they offer senior rates and if so, is it any particular day.  Update:  It seems Monday's the tickets are less so we plan to go to the matinee (between noon and 4) which works great for us.

I just looked out the window.  Coming down the road are three owners walking their dogs, about 1/4 block apart.  Shortly after that here comes one... no two more - about the same distance apart.  Almost looked like an orchestrated doggie parade!  I took a picture; unfortunately, it was too blurry to use.  

We are still waiting on Gabriel to come and repair our gate valves - so we've tried to stay somewhat close to home, and the guy who wanted to wash and wax the truck and RV has never shown up either.  The wash and wax you can somewhat understand with the drizzle we've had - we would prefer it be dry when he does that work.  We really expected the gate valves to be repaired by now.  Hopefully soon!

We cleared some more food out of the frig this evening - it looks like I might have to cook again by the first of the week!  

We do have some plans for tomorrow so check back to see what we will be up to.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - Breakfast Toast; Laundry; Grilled Cheese; Financial Update; Blogger Contact

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - Breakfast Toast; Laundry; Grilled Cheese; Financial Update; Blogger Contact

The last two mornings I woke up early again - around 5 am.  I don't mind this at all as I actually prefer this to begin my daily routine.  

When Dean got up about an hour later we drank our coffee and then we had breakfast.  Along with his cereal and my yogurt, we decided we try out the Harvest Farm bread we bought yesterday by making a piece of toast, and I added blackberry jam to mine - THANKS AGAIN BETSY!!!  Oh, wow it was delicious.

We didn't get around early enough to go to the laundromat at 7am like I mentioned I'd like to do in yesterday's post, but we left the RV park about 10:15 or so with 2 loads of clothes.  I had to end up using three washers to keep them from being overloaded, but the dryers were nice and big and we only needed two of them.  The dryers work well here.  They only run 12 minutes on .50, so we did have to run them twice to get everything dry - or at least to my satisfaction.  I prefer my clothes be slightly damp when I hang them up and allow them to finish air drying back at our rig.  I just hang them in the bathroom shower and around the bedroom.  By the end of the day they are dry and I can put them away.  

By the time we returned to Bentley, Dean was hungry so we tried some more of the Harvest Farm bread and made grilled cheese sandwiches.  We used slices of Muenster and American.  First time I've tried that and we both loved the flavor of the two - and it won't be the last time we have it. 

While Dean takes the truck to have the oil changed at a Chevy dealership nearby, I will be posting our expenses for the first half of the month to our monthly budget report.  It will be interesting to see how we have done so far. 

Well, now that I've updated the report, overall we've done pretty good - we've used a good part of  the "Dining Out" catgegory, but we are still under budget.  I don't think there is any doubt we'll be over budget in this line item by the end of the month.  We are way under in some other categories though so hopefully our bottom line will still be okay. We will be keeping a closer eye on the "Dining" category next month though.  One thing for sure we have to get back to our walks, or all of this food is going to be taking a toll on us.....or maybe it will be "making a roll on us"!  We must keep that from happening!

We had some hamburger left over from the meatloaf I made a couple of nights ago so I made good old fashioned hamburgers in my frying pan.  I hate the greasy mess it makes, but they taste so good!  In a little while we'll have a piece of our coffee cake, warmed up with a little butter.  

Last Saturday while we were at Bentsen RGV State Park, the ranger we talked to was telling us about a bobcat that caught one of the birds near the feeding area earlier in the day. I kind of forgot about it and didn't even think to mention it in the blog, but the morning after I blogged about visiting the park and purchasing our park pass, I opened one of the blogs, Where's Weaver, that I read regularly and the Weaver's were there in the park when the bobcat captured the bird, a dove.  Of course, I had to comment on their post, letting them know we were there later in the day and while talking with the ranger, she had relayed the bobcat/bird story to us.  Marsha was very nice and commented back.  I love being able to have a connection with the bloggers that I follow.  Hopefully, our paths will cross at some point in our travels, and we have the opportunity to meet in person.  

We just had that piece of wonderful coffee cake and that's it for today folks.  I'm going to get my laundry put away, do my dishes and then set down and watch TV with my dear, sweet husband!  Hopefully, we can get out and do something tomorrow.  We need to find somewhere to walk inside and I need to take some pictures!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - Dr Appointment, Tamales!!!!, Bread Store & Lunch Out,

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - Dr Appointment, Tamales!!!!, Bread Store & Lunch Out,

I told Dean last night to make sure I was up no later than 6 in the morning so I would have time to drink at least one cup of coffee before I showered. I have an appointment at 8:30 with the chiropractor, and need to be sure I allowed enough time to get ready. No worries though, as I was up on my own about 5:00.  That gave me plenty of time to enjoy my two cups of coffee.  We left here at 8:00 and at 8:15 they were ready to take me back.  I love that if you are early and no one else is there you get moved up.  Today, they used the pads on my back right below my shoulder blades and then my lower back.  It was some pretty hard shocking with regular, steady spurts, and then longer spurts, and then a really long spurt.  I could feel it working and slightly pulling the muscles in my neck - which are always really tight.  Afterwards they massaged my back with what must have been a pretty good sized massager and the backs of my legs.  The doctor came in shortly after that and adjusted me again.  He also "stretched my back".  He strapped my ankles so they would not move on the table, and then loosened the table in the area where my lower back was and swung that part of the table to the left and then the right.  It was really neat because I could feel the tightness there as he moved it.  It didn't hurt but you could tell it needed some attention.  I really feel much, much better.  

When we left the Dr.'s office I asked Dean to stop at Delia's so we could try some of their tamales.  I thought I would be able to purchase one of each kind, but you can only buy them by the 1/2 dozen or dozen.  Since we certainly do not have room to put 12 dozen tamales in our freezer (they must have at least 18-20 different types), today we chose 1/2 dozen each of the pork, and chicken & cheese.  I asked what type of cheese they used and it is Philadelphia Creme Cheese.  They were both very good but the pork tamales were WONDERFUL!!!!  I will definitely be getting several of these to bring home with us - as well as more to have while we are here.  Probably my favorite Mexican dish!!

We were back at the rig before 10.  I wanted to try and get yesterday's blog posted before we leave for lunch.   One thing I wanted to be sure and do today was call Lynn at UPS in Pittsburg and have them send our mail to us here at Val's.  Apparently we have quite a bit of mail - including a number of Christmas cards that did not make it to us before we left.  She is going to mail it to us by first class mail so we can see how long it takes to get here and then we'll determine if we want to do that, or send it by UPS in the future.  

I stopped working on the blog long to do the breakfast dishes and sweep the floor.  As I set back down at the computer, I noticed Dennis and Pam were just pulling up, so we grabbed our jackets and headed out to meet them.  We have a couple of stops to make today.  The first was at "Breadsmith" a bread store where the bread is hand made and hearth baked.  We had a few samples while we were waiting our turn, and everything was amazing.  I bought one of their original coffeecakes that is loaded with pecans/walnuts on top; a loaf of Farmer's Wheat bread, which they sliced for me (full of nuts and grains) that we will use for toast and sandwiches; and a loaf of Rustic Italian that I am going to use to make bread pudding.   We may need to visit this place a few more times while we are here.  Why didn't I remember to take pictures of all of the bread inside?  I think it was so I would HAVE to go back!  

But once I got home I did take pictures of what we purchased so here it is:

"Breadsmith"- Hand Made, Hearth Baked (On top of the box the coffee cake was in.)

Farmer's Wheat

Rustic Italian

Original Coffee Cake - Lots of pecans/walnuts on top - cinnamon like inside.
In the store they had one wall of bins with various types of breads, muffins, coffee cakes, and cookies, on display.  It was really a neat place.

Just on down the road we pulled in to the parking lot of a restaurant called , "Dirty Al's".  This is a favorite of Dennis and Pam's.  It is mostly seafood but they do have burgers and steaks on the menu as well for those who are not that crazy about seafood.  We all ordered shrimp or shrimp and fish.  I ordered fried shrimp and fish, with okra, and a cup of red beans and rice.  The cup looked more like a bowl.  The shrimp, fish and okra was amazing.  The coating on all of these was very light.  I like lemon on my fish, but they only had lime.  I tried it and you couldn't tell much difference at all.  The red beans and rice was good but not as good as some I've had.  In fact, I really think some of the best I've ever ate was at Popeye's - a fast food restaurant.  I look forward to warming it up for my lunch tomorrow with a nice piece of buttered bread, or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich.  

Dirty Al's Bayou Grill - McAllen, TX

My meal!

Pam and Dennis dropped us off at Bentley around 4.  Our neighbor Mike was outside so we stopped to chat a minute before going on in.  He asked us if we had found a place to do laundry yet.  We haven't really had a chance to look but if the dryers here are not working any better I need to find someplace to go because I am out of jeans.  I have a pair of sweats left to wear tomorrow.  So, Dean and I decided to go see what we could find close to us.  We stopped at three different laundromats, but the one closest to us - about 1.5 miles away looks like it would be the best.  It opens at 7am and closes at 10pm.  I told Dean I'd like to be there at 7 when it opens so I can be done and back home by 9 or so.  I'll share this information with Mike and Peg too.

We were not very hungry so we just had a snack of some sausage, cheese and crackers, and later we ate a small piece of the coffee cake.  The first bit of the cake and I mentioned it seemed a little dry.  Dean told me that Dennis said they usually but a bit of butter on it and microwave it - and I remembered that Pam told me the same thing, so we tried that.  It was perfect - between the butter and the warming, it moistened the cake just perfectly.  It was delicious.

Dean watched TV the rest of the evening while I read and responded to some blogs, and checked Facebook.  I decided I was spending too much time on FB, so I have deleted almost all of the things I followed except for our family and friends, and just a few other pages that I really enjoy.  I eliminated 40-50 business type pages that I was following and I'm not sure I'll miss them at all.  Facebook is a good way for us to stay in touch with many of our friends and family members, now that we are on the road, so I do not want to delete it entirely.  

They are calling for rain tomorrow and again on Friday but by Saturday it's supposed to warm up.  We are ready to get out and about and see some sights!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - Bleak day in Mission; Computer Work; Instapot Dinner

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - Bleak day in Mission; Computer Work; Instapot Dinner

The weatherman told us it would be colder here in the RGV today and he was telling the truth.  Now, granted it is not as cold as it as home and for that we are thankful.  But the wind is blowing very, very hard and it's in the 30's.  That information is enough for me to know I will not be going outside today.

It's really overcast and grey looking outside.  The wind is out of the north this morning - and the flags are hardly moving the wind is blowing them so straight.  I wish I would have taken a picture of this, as it was the exact opposite of Monday when the wind was out of the south.  The wind picked up so much throughout the day that our Heartland friends with flagpoles on their rigs took them down.

Monday when the wind was out of the south.

Today - no flags at all!

Since it is so cold and I've already determined I won't be going outside, I decided today would be a great day to get caught up on some things.  I made a reservation for the Heartland Regional Rally in Branson for May and a reservaton for our May Casual Campout near Branson.  They are back to back, so we'll just move from the KOA to Old 86 - less than 22 miles from each other.  Two great groups of people that we love spending time with.

I noticed I had an email with Explanation of Benefit notices for health claims from Cigna.  I was startled to see I'm going to have over $500 in invoices coming my way soon.  One for our new physician - that first visit is always high; and the other was for the ophthalmologist for the field vision test.  I'm thankful I have insurance but with a $1500 annual deductible (that I have almost met again for the second time in 2 years) it hurts the old wallet.   I'm also very thankful we set up a Health Savings Account shortly after I retired and we were able to build it up before we were hit with all of these medical bills the past year.  God is good and always seems to know our needs before we do.  I'm thankful he takes care of us.

I also caught up on all the RV blogs I follow and cleaned up both of my email accounts.  The cleaning really needed to be done.

For Christmas our son Jarred and wife Andrea gave me an Amazon gift card that included a little extra for my birthday.  I finally got on line today and placed an order for a few things I was wanting for my Instapot and my RV kitchen.  I purchased a springform pan so I could make cheesecake, two silicone muffin pans (6 muffins each), a 5 qt. mixing bowl and a bundt pan.  I can use both the springform and bundt pans in the Instapot - as well as the propane or convection ovens.  I look forward to making use of them all in the next few weeks.  Cheri's Bakery will be open!!  Lol!

Gabriel, the technician who is going to replace our gate valves for our waste water and one of the grey water valves called today.  Evidently I gave him the wrong number to contact for our extended warranty company as he received a message the number was disconnected.  Oops - I sure hope not!!!   I took a look and fortunately I found the right one and it wasn't too long when Gabriel called us back to let us know they had approved the repair work.  He advised we would need to pay him and the warranty company would reimburse us.  I've never had that occur before but we've mostly dealt with our dealer, so I decided to call and check to make sure he had understood correctly since the cost altogether with our deductible figured in is almost $644.  The agent I spoke with assured me the company would reimburse us, less the deductible, if we pay the technician but it may take 30/60 days to receive the payment.  He explained I needed to submit a written explanation of what the problem was, that we were on the road when it occurred, and repairs were needed. I should also include a copy of the final invoice with the explanation.  We are to send it to the attention of the mechanical claims department.  Our final cost for this will be our $100 deductible.  Our extended warranty is with Wholesale Warranties.  We've only used them 3 or 4 times in the past 3 years - all have been small claims but they have added up and we are glad we decided to purchase the warranty.  They have been wonderful to work with.  They've never given us any flack about paying - any problem we've had has always been approved.  I'm thankful for that.  When you have a problem in your RV, it's just like at home, you want it fixed as soon as possible.  With the cold weather we are experiencing, we do not expect Gabriel to be here before Thursday.  The valves have gotten even worse since we've been here.  The last time Dean went out to empty the tanks, he could not get the cable pulled out to open the waste valve at all and had to crawl under the rig and push the cable through in order to empty the tanks.  He will be very happy he will no thave to worry with this anymore.  

Yesterday another Heartland friend moved into the space behind us where Phil and Cec pulled out of a couple days ago.  Jay and Stella are the South Central Region Leaders (covering Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and 3 Texas {South, North & West} Chapters).  Man, I felt sorry for them, it was so cold when they arrived and it started snowing while they were setting up.  Brrrrr!.  I know they must have been glad to get inside, get the rig warmed up and relax.

You can see where the snow has hit our back window and melted while Jay is getting set up - on the right.  Brrrr!

Our friend Pam texted me this afternoon asking if we wanted to go eat lunch tomorrow at Dirty Al's - a local seafood restaurant.  Since we do not expect anyone to show up to work on the rig tomorrow with the weather like it is, we said yes.  One long day inside and Dean is ready to get out.  If I would have gone with him somewhere today, he would have found something to do, but it was just too cold to get out as far as I was concerned.  Pam told me we would be making a stop at the Bread Store first - that sounds interesting!  I've not done a very good job of taking pictures lately but I will try to do better tomorrow!

Peg and I were discussing bread pudding at our potluck meal night before last, so I might get some bread and make some to share with our friends.  It sounds really good, doesn't it?

A little before 9, Dean went outside to turn on our second propane tank, just in case it needed to switch over in the night.  He discovered our steps were very slick!  I sent a text message to Nancy and asked her to let the others know to be aware when going out.  I would hate for anyone to slip, fall and hurt themselves.  

I tried a new Instapot recipe tonight - meatloaf and buttered carrots.  It was not a fail but I did have to cook it twice.  I used my new pot in a pot pans.  Since it was the first time I've tried cooking in them it's possible I didn't do something right.  I'll have to do a little more study on this before I try it again.  I put the meatloaf in the bottom pot.  I put the carrots and butter in the second pot that will sit on top of the meatloaf, and then placed the lid on the carrots.  I then locked the two pots in the cradle that came with the pans.  I put two cups of water in the Instapot inner pan and set it on manual for 20 minutes.  When it was done I released the steam.  Neither the meatloaf or the carrots were done, so I reset it for another 12 minutes.  The meatloaf was done but the carrots were still only about half done.  I finished cooking them in the microwave.  All in all, the food was still done in half the time or less compared to cooking in the oven.  The food was still good - we just ate a little later than originally planned.  See my pot in a pot below:

After thinking about this a bit, I wonder if I put too much meatloaf in the pan.  Maybe I should have cooked half of it and froze the other half for a second meal later.  With less volume in the pan, the carrots probably would have cooked better as well.  I might try doing this next time with the original time frames.  If anyone else uses the Instapot and has tried something similar let me know what you think?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018 - Doctor Visit; Truck Repair Quote; Shopping; Another Potluck

Monday, January 15, 2018 - Doctor Visit; Truck Repair Quote; Shopping; Another Potluck

Dean was up early this morning - before me!  I heard the coffeepot going, so I figured the coffee would be ready soon, and I finally drug myself out of bed.  I found out later I forgot to make the coffee yesterday, which I always do right after I've cleaned the kitchen up each morning.  Not sure what sidetracked me yesterday that I forgot, but I'm really glad I didn't get up first.  Dean handles things like that much better than I do!  LOL!!  He wakes up cheerful every morning, ready to talk.  I like to wake up slow and for things to be quiet, which is why I prefer to get up first - unless I forget to make the coffee before I go to bed!  😃

This morning on Facebook my niece, Nikki, posted a picture of a coffee cup with this saying:
         I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning....
         and I love the sound of no one talking to me while I drink it.    
That is me!!!!  I think it runs in our family!  HAHA

Dean is playing golf again this morning with Dave and Lin.  They are picking him up at 7:45.  My appointment with the chiropractor is at 8:30 and since Dean is golfing, I am driving our dually, Max, all by myself to get there.  I left a little early to allow some extra time in case the traffic was busy.  I arrived about 8:15.  Last week Dean backed the truck in the parking along the street side of the lot, so that is what I did too.  With the back up camera it is pretty easy since you can see the white lines.  After I was checked in, the office manager told me, I was watching you back your truck in.  You did a good job.  Woo-hoo!  I decided early on that if we were going to do full-time travel there would be times I would want to go somewhere by myself and that meant I needed to be able to drive this vehicle too.  The first time I drove it by myself outside of Oswego, which was in Branson, I was a nervous wreck.  I've made myself drive it several times since then and I'm feeling much more comfortable!  

My appointment went well and I was back at the rig by 9:45.  While I was working on the blog I received a text message from sister Crystal with a picture of the snow today in Oswego.  Brrrrr!  I called her and we were visiting when someone knocked on the door.  It was Bernie, the guy who took our picture the night we arrived here in the park.  He had the thumb drive with pictures of all of the people in the park, with their names and lot #'s, so I could load it on my computer.  He asked if my computer was on and I said, yes it is.  He asked if I wanted to load it now, so I took it inside, put the thumb drive in USB port and nothing happened.  My computer had shutdown and it would not restart.  I told him what had happened and gave him back the thumb drive, and he will now email it to me.  I tried several times to restart the computer - nothing happened.  I took out the battery and reinserted it and tried to restart it - nothing happened.  I unplugged it, moved it to another plug in and tried to restart it - nothing happened.  I continued to try several times over the next couple of hours to no avail.  

Dean finally got back about 12:45.  I told him about the computer, he came in here, took out the battery, messed with it and within minutes it was working again!  Errrr!  Well, at least it's working, right?

We had a few errands we needed to do this afternoon, but before we left I received a text from Nancy saying they were going to have another potluck tonight at 4 if we wanted to come.  Of course we do, and I'll take the leftover cornbread and some brownies.  I'm glad I made those brownies last night!  

Since it was almost 1:30 we didn't have much time so we headed out.  Our first stop was at an auto body repair shop to get an estimate on the truck bumper repair.  Wow, it costs so much to repair vehicle damage.  Almost $700.  We'll give it to the neighbor so he can turn it in to his insurance.  

We are still looking for a clothesline, and we found a hardware store on google maps nearby so we stopped in.  They didn't have any in stock but would have some in a week or two.  The manager gave us their card and we'll check with them next week to see if they are in or not.

By the way, while we were looking at Mike and Peg's new rig last night, a big motorhome pulled in next to our site.  When we returned home, we noticed their slide was very close to where our clothesline would be.  We were not sure if there would be enough room to use it.  I was pretty disappointed.  This morning Dean went out and measured it - there is just under 4'6" from the center of the pole that will hold the clothesline, to their rig so we think it still might work.  The hardware store didn't have the dimensions but hopefully that information will be on the box.   Dean wants to visit with the new neighbors as well and let them know what we plan to do before we make the purchase, as well as knowing the exact dimensions so we know it will work.

Our last stop was at Walmart to get a few groceries.  Well, at least I thought it was a few.  We ended up leaving with 4 bags full.  By the time we got back to Bentley, I had to get things put up right away.  It was time for us to gather our stuff and head to Dave and Nancy's.  Nancy made pulled pork in her Instapot and it was delicious.  In addition to the leftovers from last night, we also had potato salad and cole slaw. Another delicious meal. 

Dean and I were talking after we returned home about what a good time we have with this group, always lots of laughing and great travel stories.  We feel so blessed to count them as friends.

Shortly before we left for Dave and Nancy's a gentleman came to the door and wanted to know if we were interested in having our rig and truck washed and waxed.  They are offering a special price and it was less than any pricing Dean had found.  Dean looked at me and I said if you want to, that's fine, so tomorrow morning he will be back to take care of it.  Bentley and Max will be clean boys again!!  They definitely need a good bath!

We haven't heard back from Gabriel yet on the gate valve repair - our luck and he'll want to come tomorrow in the middle of the rig getting washed.  Lol!

It is supposed to get cold tomorrow afternoon and stay cool through Friday, but then it is supposed to warm up with Saturday being back in the upper 70's. I have another appointment with the chiropractor on Wednesday morning and we have plans for Thursday.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - Church; Cooking; Get Together with Heartland Friends

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - Church; Cooking; Get Together with Heartland Friends

I think we have settled into a new routine for waking up here in Texas.  Again it was between 5:30-6:00 when I woke up this morning.  Since we are going to church this morning, we will not be walking today, so I took my time reading emails, devotionals, and facebook this morning before having my breakfast.  While Dean showered, I made the bed, then washed dishes from last night and this morning, and had things straightened up before I showered.  I decided I would take the time to clean the shower as well.  Once I was finished with all of that we still had a little time before we left for church.  

I received a text message from Nancy asking if Dean would want to golf with the guys in the morning.  I have a doctor's appointment at 8:30 tomorrow with the chiropractor, but I told Dean to go ahead I could drive myself.  I know he's a little concerned about me going by myself, but it really isn't that far from our park, and I don't have to get on any expressways, interstates, etc.  It's a pretty easy drive from here so I'm sure I'll do just fine.

Dean and I left our rig and walked to Gary & Janice's (the couple who invited us to church) so we could ride in the church van.  We picked up two couples and Darlene on the way out of the park.  One of the couples was our neighbor - if we had known that, we would have waited and they could have just picked us up too.  Lol!  We'll know for next time.

Nancy sent a second text a short while later inviting us to come over to their place this evening for a potluck meal. One of the couple's will be leaving tomorrow and another couple will be coming in this afternoon so we'll be able to enjoy an evening together.

We enjoyed the church service.  They had two gentlemen from the Gideon's there this morning.  I always think of Leon Pearce, when I hear about the Gideon's as he was active in the their Association.  What a wonderful organization they have in providing Bibles to folks here in the US and all over the world.

Afterwards, we drove to the Texas Rest Stop - Dairy Queen for lunch.  I ordered a cheeseburger, and Dean had a combo meal.  I thought we were getting small burgers so I was surprised when they brought them out to us - they were huge.  I'll know better next time.  We returned to the rig about 1:30.  Soon after we got back, we drove down the road to Dollar General so I could get a few things to make my Mexican cornbread.  When we got back I made a batch of brownies and the cornbread.  I baked the brownies in the convection oven and the cornbread in the propane oven.  I'm glad I have the option of both.  Most folks do not like or use the propane ovens in their rigs because you have to either get on your knees, or practically stand on your head to light them, but I've got it down pretty good now.  I like the propane oven when it is cooler outside, as it helps to warm the rig up.  By the time they were done, it was almost time to head over to Nancy and Dave's.

The couple I mentioned that arrived this afternoon is Mike & Peg.  They just purchased a new Landmark 5th Wheel RV and we all got to take a tour after they arrived. What a beautiful rig. By the way, Peg is a wonderful seamstress and has already made some of the cutest decorations and wall hangings to personalize their rig.  

After our tour of the rig we headed to Dave and Nancy's.  Our menu for the evening was Nancy - jalapeno poppers; Cec - chili; Deb - queso; Flora -salsa; and me - Mexican cornbread.  We had a few other things as well, such as chips, cheese, crackers, and some sweets.  What a wonderful meal it was!

About 6 or so it started cooling off and everyone was ready to head back to their warm rigs.  We all said our goodbyes to Phil and Cec since they are heading back home early tomorrow morning.  It was our first time meeting them and just like all of the other Heartland folks we've met they are a great couple.  So glad we had this opportunity to spend time with them.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018 - Cool Morning; Bentson RGV State Park; Meeting Our Neighbors; Comfort Food for Dinner

Saturday, January 13, 2018 - Cool Morning; Bentson RGV State Park; Meeting Our Neighbors; Comfort Food for Dinner

It was almost 6:30 when I got up this morning.  It was pretty cool and I do think I sleep better when I'm snuggled down in the covers where it's nice and warm.  Dean got up before me and the coffee was almost done by the time I crawled out of bed.  

It was 8:30 or later before we finished our coffee and I was done reading my emails.  We had a little breakfast. I did the dishes, made the bed, and picked things up a bit.  My back was bothering me a little this morning, so I got out the ice pack Dr. Whitaker gave me and I laid on it for almost 20 minutes - the recommended time.  Dean laid down and talked to me while I was laying on the ice pack, and we decided we would go buy our park pass today at Bentson RGV State Park.  We ate a sandwich and the last of the pineapple we bought at Don-Wes last week.  It sure was good.  We are still waiting for our oranges to ripen - and they are getting close.

It still felt cool in Bentley, so I pulled on a sweatshirt and Dean pulled on a long sleeved shirt before we headed to the State Park.  We purchased our pass at the Park Office, got our wristbands and then headed out to walk into the park.  From the Office you walk about a quarter of a mile before entering into the park, crossing an irrigation canal on the way.  Shortly into the park, you pass the ranger station, where we stopped and visited with the lady ranger on duty.  I noticed there were several feeders out and while we were talking to her these beautiful birds started flying in - it was the green jay we had heard about.  What a beautiful bird.  Unfortunately, my pictures did not come out so I'll take some others next week to share with you. 

We found out from the ranger that Dean should not only carry his park pass with him but also the receipt.  We will put these two items together and leave them in the truck so we are sure to have them with us when we go walk each morning.

The park was quite nice and has a number of trails, as well as a tram that we can catch if needed to return to the park office.  Here are several pictures I took as we walked approximately a mile in today and then back to the main park office.  

We are walking into the park from the Park Office (looking back towards the office).

It was much warmer outside that we realized and we were soon wishing we had not worn heavy shirts and jeans.  

We also talked about trying to find a couple of good, used bicycles that we can use to ride in both our RV park and the state park.  All together there are about 10 miles of trails within the park.  It would be nice to walk some days and bicycle on other days.  At least with the tram we can walk as much as we want and then catch a ride on it, if needed.  

We wished we had remembered to bring our binoculars with us, and definitely need to make sure we get them in the truck with us before we come back.

We walked a little over 2 miles this afternoon before returning to Bentley.  I noticed our neighbor was outside so I told Dean I was going to go over and ask her where she found her clothesline.  He walked over with me and about an hour later, we were still visiting when her husband returned from a shopping trip he made.  They found their clothesline in a local hardware store and while they couldn't remember the name of it they gave us an idea where it was located so we'll be on the lookout for it.  They did tell us it was locally owned and not tied to a chain store of any kind.

We had planned to drive over and visit our Heartland friends at the park next door to us, so once we left our neighbors, we loaded up our trash to drop off at the dumpsters.  As we drove by we checked to see if they were outside...and no one was, so we came back home.  We'll plan to do that after lunch tomorrow if they are around.

While we were talking to our neighbor Kim, she mentioned Gary had asked us to attend church.  I told her yes and I was waiting to see if Dean would go with me....and while we were there Dean said he would go too.  Kim and her husband David also attend.  Gary, the gentlemen I met yesterday, borrows the van from the church and takes people here from the RV Park.  On our way to the dumpster, we also stopped at his site to let him know we would be going with them tomorrow.  We will walk over to his trailer a little before 10:30 tomorrow and leave from there.  Afterwards everyone goes to Dairy Queen for lunch.  This will be a great opportunity for us to meet more folks here in the park.

By now it was getting close to dinner.  At first I was ready to go find somewhere to eat, but since we are going to DQ tomorrow, I decided I would cook.  I made chicken and noodles in the Instapot.  This is a very easy recipe I found on Pinterest, that I adapted slightly.

I used 2 cups of frozen, chopped rotisserie chicken (from chickens I had purchased at Sam's), 16 oz. of frozen noodles, 32 oz. chicken broth, 1 t. salt, 1 t. pepper, 1 t. thyme and 2 T butter.  I made sure the broth covered everything and then manually set the Instapot for 8 minutes.  Once the 8 minutes were up, I let it naturally release for 5 minutes, and then I released the rest of the pressure.  I thought the noodles needed a little more time, so I just put the lid back on and let them set another 5 minutes (no further cooking).  That was just about perfect.  They were quite good and we will definitely use the recipe again.  The recipe also called for a bag of frozen vegetables (peas, carrots) but I didn't have those.  I think next time I'll try adding those and we'll decide if we prefer it that way or the way I made it today.

While I was working on our dinner, I glanced out our window and noticed the sunset.  It's not as pretty as the sunrise we see here in the park each morning, but it is still worth sharing.

Dean has settled into watch TV. I want to get this posted tonight.  I hope you've had a wonderful day.  I enjoy hearing from you...hint...hint!