Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Big Projects Down And More To Come


Yesterday morning about 8:30 am I was setting outside enjoying the cooler morning and doing a little bird watching. I heard a scrapping noise coming from the front of the motorhome and I went to investigate. As I approached the front it was BIL James shoveling the area we were going to lay down the asphalt cold patch. I grabbed my shovel and began to shovel the asphalt into the section he had previously trenched out for his waterline. image

About midway through his phone ranged and it was the grass people advising they just had a big load of grass come in and did we want them to set aside a pallet. James said we weren't really looking for more grass but if they had a good price on it we might consider it. The guy on the other end said he would knock off $25 if we would pick it up today.

We hooked up the trailer and headed to Longview. Upon arriving we saw ten to twelve pallets of fresh Centipede grass. After talking with the owner we learned he had this brought in for a local landscape contractor and he never showed up. James being the negotiator that he is asked if he would cut us a better deal if we brought two pallets instead of the one and paid in cash. The owner thought a minute and said I really can't knock off anymore than the $25 per pallet. James then said okay just load the one pallet. The owner then said if we would take two pallets he would knock off $35 per pallet. Like I said "What a negotiator"!!! (Click photos to enlarge)


So, we came home to base with two pallets one in the trailer and the second on the bed of his truck. When we got to base we unloaded the pallets and said maybe we would attack the job of laying out the squares late that evening when it would be cooler. As I set in the motor home I set looking at the two pallets of grass and couldn't stand it anymore and went outside and laid down just about one pallet by myself.


This is what one and three-quarters of pallets added to our coverage. The remaining grass will be used to extend the width of the  sides. Evidently the landscape contractor was a no show today as the owner called James this afternoon and said he would really make us a good deal on the grass. Naturally we declined as we feel the area we have covered will suffice for now. Besides it is so darn hot we don't want to be outside anyway. I cant imagine what the water bill will be this month.









Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Progress Reports

Sandy is improving everyday from her gallbladder and appendix surgery on the 20th. She still cant lift anything over 10lbs. She has started driving again so my services are no longer required in that area. I know she feels better when she is  behind the wheel instead of me. She's doesn't seem to be as nervous as she was when I was driving.


Chucks, I'm really going to miss driving her around. Instead of "Driving Miss Daisy" it's been "Driving Miss Sandy". We are hoping she will be released to all normal activities by her Doctor when we see him on the 4th.

The next progress report is on our new base location. We haven't done a lot since it's been so blasted hot and Sandy's surgery has sidelined my help. Our new grass is coming along just great. (Click on photos to enlarge)


I even mowed it for the first time today. With the leaves falling like they are now, due to our lack of rain, I've been busy raking them into piles in order to burn them when our burn ban is lifted.

Tropical Storm Don is expected to reach landfall sometime tomorrow evening near Corpus Christi. I'm afraid this is a little to far southwest and probably won't do us any good. We were hoping to get some benefit from the storm to break our heat and drought spell.

Today would have been our first day of sales had we gone to Canton First Monday. It's feels real strange we are not there but with it so darn hot we are glad to be at base under the shade of the large oak and cedar trees. Also our voltage here versus Canton is so much better. Our two A/C's struggle at Canton due to the low voltage at our site. Here they hum along without any strain whatsoever.


BIL James picked up some asphalt cold patch for filling in the area between our patio and driveway. We also will use it to patch up the driveway where he had to dig up when he laid the waterline. We hope to do this project this Saturday. With the threat of rain (which we really need) it may be postponed.




Each day we make a little more progress toward getting everything like we want it to be.

In retrospect we've come a long ways from the abandon home that use to set here back in April 2009 to today a RV base for our motorhome.image


Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Two For The Price Of One

On Tuesday July 19th I took Sandy to the ER in Longview. She had been experiencing pain on the right side of the stomach area. Her symptom's pointed to a gallbladder problem. After several tests including a sonogram and CT scan it was determined her appendix was the culprit and needed to be removed. Since the gallbladder also showed it was inflamed they said we might as well remove it too.  Therefore two for the price of one.

Wednesday July 20th they wheeled her to OR and did Laparoscopic surgery to remove the two culprits . The total procedure lasted about 45 minutes.

Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) removes the gallbladder and gallstones through several small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon inflates your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly.
The surgeon inserts a lighted scope attached to a video camera (laparoscope) into one incision near the belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into the other incisions to remove your gallbladder.

They made a total of six small incisions in the stomach. She went through the procedure in flying colors. She did have quite a bit of discomfort. Her biggest pain while in the hospital was her IV needle.
They had a hard time finding a good vain and actually moved it twice during her stay. Her sister Pam brought her home Thursday July 21st. She is doing much better but still has a lot of gas though. Her stomach still appears to be blotted.

She can't lift anything over ten pounds and can not drive the car for awhile. So guess who gets to do the driving Yippee!!!!
Glad we are in a small town as I feel a little more comfortable when driving. Still make her nervous though particularly when cars are on my right side.

With the weather being so hot and Sandy not fully recovered, we will not do Canton First Monday next weekend. Our first time to miss in quite awhile. During the dog days of August we normally don't have that large of crowd anyway. If the outside temperature is in the 100's you can count on the temperature inside being 115F or better because of all the tarp back drops.

A big welcome to Kitty our 46th Blog Supporter. Glad to have you along.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Phase II ….. Our Grass Has Expanded

About noon today Sandy's brother James called and asked "How about some more grass?" He further went on to say the grass people had just called and they were holding a pallet of Centipede grass for him. Unbeknown to us he had ordered the pallet the same time he put down the half pallet  the latter part of May while we were in Canton.

Naturally we both were surprised and a little concern about paying for it right now particularly being faced with that big jump in the cost of our Motorhome tags. He said not to worry as we could reimburse him later. So, off he goes with his trailer to pick up the grass. No more than ten minutes after he left he called and asked us to join him at Big Dave's BQ which is in Diana TX about 22 miles south of Lone Star and 18 miles from the grass place in Longview. We joined him for some excellent BQ sandwiches and pork ribs.

After lunch he went for the grass while Sandy and I returned to Lone Star to do some more leveling of the areas where we would put down the new grass. About 2pm James drove up with the trailer load of grass. He positioned the trailer so we could tackle the job tomorrow morning while it was cooler.

I be dang no more than setting down to do some jawing James jumped up and started pulling grass squares off the pallet. Naturally we could not just set there, so Sandy and I joined in laying down the squares. Before you could say "diddly squat" we had laid down all the new grass. Looks pretty good doesn't it! (Click on photo to enlarge)




James said this grass was in much better shape and greener than the half pallet he purchased at the beginning of the month. Our weather climbed back to the century mark today with a heat index of 106F. Not good for new grass but we will water it like we did the first phase and watch it grow..

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

What A Shocker We Got In The Mail Today


We went to the post office today to pickup our mail. We normally do this once a week when at base. In the mail we had our Registration Notice for tags on the Motorhome.

When Sandy opened it I thought I was going to have to pick her up off the floor. She said surly this has to be a mistake! I asked if she would tell me what's going on she replied our new rate for our 2011 tags was $352. Now I nearly had heart failure as last year our tags cost $197 and has been around that for years. This is a 78% increase and surly this has to be a mistake. I know the State Coffers are in trouble but a increase this much is absurd! Are we becoming another California????

They gave us a number to call for questions which we did and the county clerk first said that it could be a mistake but she would check. Placed on hold and about 5 minutes came back and said the county has had no increase but she recalls something where our state representatives voted in some kind of increase starting in August. She said we should call our state representative. When we called we were told the number had been discontinued. Hmmmm I wonder why!

I don't mind an increase but this kind of jump is dam right ridiculous and putting the screws to the residences of Texas and particularly on us that live on fixed income. Do you think they put an explanation about the increase……..well nooooooo. With increases like this and with the higher fuel costs we might just as well park it and take the wheels off it. Then the city will want to increase our property taxes because of being a permanent residence. Just a vicious circle where does it end. Let's see how does it go "the only thing certain in life is taxes and death."

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Break In Our Weather Pattern........

Sandy and I were up at 5am this morning for our 65 mile trip to Tyler. I had an appointment at the heart clinic for some blood test. We checked in about 30 minutes before my appointment and were out of there in little under one hour.

We headed back to Longview for some grocery shopping at Walmart. Afterwards we had lunch with her sister Pam. We headed back to Lone Star about 2pm and on the way we saw some pretty nasty looking weather to our Northeast. I told Sandy we probably won't get a drop of rain out of it as we have seen systems similar to this and nothing never materialized……well  little do I know.


We got home about 3pm and unloaded our groceries before Sandy went over to her Mom's to get her ready for fish night at the "All you can eat catfish place". Once a week Sandy's brother James takes his Mom out for fish. Just after Sandy left the wind picked up and it really looked bad .

Before I could get out to let our window awing's in the bottom dropped out. We had a very nice rain shower for about 45 minutes and it felt so good to see it coming down providing the much needed moisture for our area. We are so thankful for not only the rain but for the much cooler weather. Our temp never quite reached the 100 degree mark but our heat index did climb to 102 just before the system rolled in. It's amazing how everything looks so clean after a rain storm. Even the trees and what little grass we have appeared to look so much cleaner and alive. We no longer have dust around us..... mud yes,  but we won't complain as we finally received some much needed rain.

This was our sunset tonight on our way home from eating fish. Yes, we decided to join them tonight as her cousin from Georgia on their way back from a 49 day Alaska trip in their 5’ere had dropped by for a visit.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thirteen And Counting. . . .


Today was our thirteenth day in a row where our temperature have been 100+. June was our hottest on record. The weatherman is saying he sees no relief for us in the near future. He's also saying that it may take a tropical depression to break this current heat wave we've been experiencing for the past several months. Our heat index's have been running from 103-112.

We are so dry it is causing some trees to loose a lot of their leafs earlier and the grass is just burned up. Most of the counties in this area are under a "Burn Ban". Even then we've had several grass fires in our area. Our lakes, creeks and stock ponds have just about dried up in many places. We've not been able to do a lot of work outside on our place due to the extreme heat. We can do a little early in the mornings and that's about it. Our air conditioners just about run continuous all day. For them to even cycle we have to run the thermostats up to 80-81.


I guess what I'm trying to say is we sure need a break from the heat and drought. We are not wanting a bad depression or a hurricane just something that will bring us the much needed rain and cooler weather. We water our new grass every morning and it's staying green and alive. I'm just thankful now we don't have a yard full of it as I couldn't imagine what the water bill would be like.

I spent most of my day at the VA Hospital in Shreveport under going test for a upcoming surgery. It appears I'm in good health for the surgery and all I have to do is set back an await their scheduled date. Waiting games are never any fun. LOL

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thanks To James…. We've Got The Starting Of Grass


When we arrived at base from Canton we went through the normal procedure disconnecting the Jeep from the motorhome. Due to the way we pulled into the circular driveway we had  difficulty of disconnecting one of the Blue Ox tow arms. As I was walking to the side of the motorhome to get my sledge hammer I noticed where grass was around our patio. I called for Sandy to come around for a look and see. We both looked at each other and said...... "James" at the same time.


That BIL and brother James had gone out last Monday and purchased some Centipede grass squares. As you can see he  planted it round the edges of our patio. What a guy! We quickly called him and in toying around with us he said "it must have been that fairy gardener" Yes, magic he he has been a miracle worker in helping us getting settled into our new base.

As we can afford it we will do a little adding of squares. We also have some Centipede seeds that we will maybe plant on the south side later this summer. Will wait until it starts getting cooler.


This evening with all the weather systems near us the weather has managed to cool off significantly allowing us to set outside and enjoy the patio. May not have to water this evening as we have rain clouds coming from the Northwest..

James came over this evening and gave us a heads up that we may have a trailer load of oil dirt delivered tomorrow. We will use this to patch some areas of the driveway and the area where it has cracked away from our patio when we put it in. He also brought our first electrical bill $132.00 for the month of June. Little higher than we expected but its been so hot with our temps beating all kinds of records for June.


As we set here we can hear the rolling of thunder to the west. The wind has picked up from the Northeast and our temps dropped nearly 20 degrees. Just had a hummer come up to the feeders. Life is good!

Until the next time . . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Only At Canton

Here is an article from the KLTV News on Canton's storm last night:

"Canton Trade Days open for business, despite storm damage
Story posted 2011.07.01 at 10:13 AM CDT
CANTON, TX (KLTV) - Vendors at Canton's First Monday Trade Days thought all they'd have to worry about was a big Fourth of July crowd.
That was until a micro burst of wind and rain hit the area, sending goods flying all over the site. Tents were destroyed, trees were snapped, and everyone was just trying to save as much merchandise as they could.
Rick Markey was just across the alley, helping a his friend get merchandise covered when he saw six of his friends tents being taken out.
"Everything was blowing everywhere...just a mess," Markey said.
Truman Brown stated he's been selling antique glass at first Monday trade days for more than 20 years, and never experienced anything like what he went through last night.
He says he was sitting in the back seat of his van when a big limb blew off and landed on the top of his van crushing the roof just inches away from where he was sitting.
Much of the city that lines the interstate was also without power until after midnight.
Police tell us no injuries were reported from the trade grounds, just a lot of scattered damage.
Most of the vendors all say that they will not let this storm set them back. They will be opening for the big Fourth of July weekend."

Sandy and I tracked this storm as it headed towards Canton. At the time we both thought nothing about it as it seemed like just a small pop-up storm. We debated if we should let our awing's in and boy are we glad we did right before the storm hit. Our neighbors two doors down had their large awing ripped off the side of their 5'er.

We had lots of small hail, very strong winds and heavy rain for a brief period. The home rocked and rolled several times. Our next door neighbors in a small travel trailer said they felt it moving as if it was going to turn over. Some dealers over on the city side weren't as fortunate as they had several trailers turned over due to the micro-burst of wind.

After this storm passed through we were asked to go to the restrooms as there was another small storm headed Canton's way. We walked over to the restrooms and there was a good crowd already there. All of us who had smart phones were tracking this other system. Fortunately it never materialized and dissipated about eight miles east of us.

I don't know what it is about this area but it sure seems to be a magnet for bad weather.

Happy July 4th everyone!

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.