It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny

This is my blog about life - travel - new experiences - growth.
Please join me in my journey.......

August 01, 2011


August, 2011

By nature I'm a trusting person. I like to believe that people are good human beings, deserving of my trust in them. I believe in "The Golden Rule" and try to live by it.

I'm starting to believe that my "trusting nature" is more a character flaw rather than a positive trait and it's depressing.

I also find that when I'm really upset or depressed I write. It helps to put things in perspective when I get my thoughts on paper. It helps me purge the negativity inside of me.

I recently returned home from a long motor home trip. It was the trip of a lifetime and I'm so glad I did it at this time in my life. I didn't want the years to pass and regret not doing something I'd always wanted to do. I had my health, the funds to travel with and I was jobless. I bought this motor home two years ago with plans to travel and see the country. I was so excited with my new purchase.

The next few months were spent fixing it up - always something to buy that I would (or might) need for the trip. Unfortunately, I also found I had a leaking roof and had to spend unexpected money to replace it, along with new vent covers and new new wing backs but in the end, it was like having a brand new motor home. I was excited to hit the road.

I'm so glad I did.

I found out that I was much stronger mentally and emotionally than I thought I was. Things happen on the road. You are alone, even when you're traveling in a caravan. You make decisions and hope they're the right ones.

I found out that I could drive a motor home by myself AND tow the car behind. That I could successfully set up and break down camp. That I could manage finances while on the road and stay connected with loved ones. That I could learn and manage new things and that they would become second nature to me.

I found out things about myself that I didn't really know. While I loved being in the motor home and on the road, I missed having a home base. I like to nest and therefore I was always happiest on the road when I was stationary for a period of time - usually for a month at a time. I wanted some sense of belonging - a routine.

Even though I'm introverted by nature, I found I really missed the camaraderie of good friends to hang out with. The routine my daily life at home - all the little things I'm familiar with.  I am a home body at heart.

I loved re-establishing a relationship with my parents. I've been away from their home for a long time and sadly, I don't often take the time out to connect with them over the phone or in person. It was nice to have so much face-to-face time with them. I learned so many things about managing a motor home from my dad, who knows so much about it. That being said, I often felt like a motor home was just a big money pit. There always seemed to be something that needed fixed or attended to.

So though I had a great time on the road, I was happy to be back home again.

I knew I was probably going to have to re-enter the work force, since I'm about 7-10 years from collecting any retirement income. I didn't have a place to store my motor home without paying a storage facility and I didn't want to do that. Even though I might someday like to travel again, I may do it differently next time - in a different type of rig - in a different way that I did this time.

Therfore, I knew I was probably going to have to sell the motor home for many reasons. I had so many other things on my plate when I got home that I wasn't looking forward to cleaning and fixing the small things that happen to a motor home while on the road. I was in a "window of opportunity" for a successful sale - just entering the summer months when people are out looking. Since I'm not good at fixing things myself, I knew that I would have to find someone reputable to do the work for me, therefore wasting precious "selling" opportunity.

Late afternoon, the day after I pulled in the driveway, I received a knock on the door of the house. Outside stands a young man asking if my motor home in the driveway was for sale. He, his wife and three very small children were looking for a motor home just like mine. He led me to believe that they needed it to live in for a period of time. Could he please look at it?

My first red flag should have been that he didn't seem as interested as I would have been, didn't really pay close attention to all the little things I was telling him about the coach, etc. Wanted to make sure the title was clear and that I was the only one on it.

He wanted to make me an offer and said that he really needed it for his family that night, if I could manage it. He made me an offer that was about $8,000 less than what I was thinking. But then who was I to know. I hadn't even had the time to look up Blue Book on it. He said he'd take it "as is" and they would clean it, fix it up, repair things.

Second red flag. I was the one to mention that maybe his wife might want to look it over herself. So he got her out of the car and she looked it over but when I was talking to her outside, he said from the car that the baby was crying for her so she went back to the car and didn't get out again.

Third red flag. He had a wad of money so he was going to pay me cash. Now, that's not a bad thing but who goes around the neighborhood with a wad of cash just hoping to buy a motor home? He says that this wad of cash was all he had to offer me and would I consider it? I did. I took his offer from my own generosity in wanting to help a family in need. After all, it's the economy we currently live in, right?

There were three of us at the house at the time and all were trusting of this man. We all hurriedly unloaded the motor home and because I felt he was needful of "things" and he certainly encouraged that mindset, I let him have many, many items with the sale.

While I went inside to get the title, the other two with me counted the money at the patio table with the seller also there. At the end, he begged $500 less, saying that if he gave me the whole amount it was all he had and he needed a little money for gas and food, etc. So again, i trusted and let him have the cash.

I gave him the signed title.

Red flag. He didn't want to sign the back, saying that he would do this at the DMV. So he drives away with my motor home an hour later, with the title signed by me but that was all. In the end, I got a first name from him and a phone number saying that since everything was done in such a hurry I might have forgotten to give him something or tell him something important.

It wasn't until he drove away that I remembered all sorts of things I'd neglected to do at the time. Like a Vehicle Bill of Sale! I didn't have one piece of useful information and for all I knew at that moment, his phone number and his cash was bogus and I had just let him drive away.

When I really began to question and mistrust this individual was when I went back inside and recounted the money. I was another $1000 short. We either counted wrong or he was very clever in pocketing one of our $1000 stacks on the table while we weren't looking. In hindsight, that's probably what happened.

But still - i wanted so badly to believe this family was deserving and that I was really helping someone in need of help.

Fast forward a few days and I decided to contact the phone number he gave me. I had neglected to because I really didn't think it was really his number but he answered. I wanted the Bill of Sale. I already knew that I was short money in the deal but there wasn't much I was going to say about it at this time since it was already done. He promises to get me the Bill of Sale but had some excuse as to why it couldn't be done immediately.

The weekend goes by. Another day of calling. Another day of him stalling with excuses.

So I do what any normal person would do. I Google his phone number and what do I find?

MY MOTOR HOME FOR SALE ON CRAIG'S LIST for $15,000 more than I sold it to him for!!!!

I'm still without the Bill of  Sale. I need to go to the DMV to see if he's even transferred the title yet.

I really hate being scammed. I really want to trust people and believe that they're good, and honest, and believable. But I've learned a big lesson. I hope what goes around comes around in the end.

I choose to forgive his deceitfulness. I choose to forgive myself to being deceived and gullible and too trusting.

.....and I hope I've learned a valuable lesson in the process.

March 24, 2011

Land of the Saguaro

March 24, 2011

Being in Arizona is like being home. In fact, this will be my home for the last month of my trip. I love the desert, the quail, the heat of the southwest in the winter. When everyone up north are still huddling in their blankets, it's been a comfortable 80 here. Am I rubbing it in? I sound like I'm rubbing it in! I know that all too soon I'll be the one trying to stay warm up north so - I'm gonna rub it in a little bit!!

Spent a little time in Tucson. Took some nice walks of course! Went to the Desert Museum and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Tried to go to a restaurant I've been trying to go to for quite sometime and was unsuccessful once again so went to restaurant number two and it was surprisingly good, although probably twice as expensive as restaurant number one would have been. We could have waited the hour to get into restaurant one (at 3:30 in the afternoon, no less) but we'd already left our dogs for 6 hours alone in the motorhome and to chance another 2-3 hours?!

I had to get the cooling unit in my refrigerator fixed in Tucson. It went out while I was still in Big Bend so I'd been bagging ice for the last week until I could get it fixed. Cooper and I spent the day lounging around in the parking lot while they serviced my fridge. I'm happy to say it works perfectly and unhappy to say I'm in-the-hole with my budget!

 After leaving Tucson I drove to Gila Bend to meet up with mom and dad for the night. While they stayed on before moving west, I chose to drive north to spend the month of March in Buckeye. So this is the part in the trip where we had to part ways. It's been great traveling with my parents over the past year. I chose to take advantage of an opportunity to be able to travel to Alaska and the Gulf Coast with them while we were all still able and willing to do so and I don't regret it one bit. It's been a trip full of learning experiences and memories and even though the price of gas was a budget breaker and the weather was "40 degrees below normal", I'd do it all again. I mean, look......sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer screen or driving the vast and open road.....from the great Mount McKinley in Alaska, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the miles of solitude walking the beach at Padre Island, the very friendly Winter Texans in Del Rio, Tx the desert sunsets of Arizona.  Which would you choose?

So now I'm really on my own! The RV park where I'm located is nice. It's big with full hook-ups. I pay electric once a month. They have a pool, a rec hall (which they call The Barn), a laundry, secure bathrooms, a convenience store. Not a lot of tress, but what can you expect in Arizona?

There is a lot of land around the park where I can let Cooper run off leash. He loves to chase all the rabbits and quail - like he thinks he can really catch them! Cooper and I do a LOT of walking, since I'm living the life of luxury and have little else to do during my day. I've caught up on my reading and lately I've taught myself how to crochet a blanket. Thanks to Google and U-Tube, I've mastered the double crochet cross-stitch! So far my blanket definately looks like amatuer crocheting but I figure practice makes perfect. During the one day of rain last week I spent all day practicing!

I have friends arriving by plane on April 2nd. They own a home around here and so I'm going to park in their driveway so we can catch up and party! I'm so excited to see everyone I haven't seen for 6 months and to have real adult conversation! Cooper is great but doesn't talk back. (hum....maybe that's a good thing!)

After a week with good friends I'll be heading north again, leaving the warmth of the desert for the rain of the northwest. But all good things on the road must come to an end I'm afraid. This has been the trip of a lifetime and I've learned so much about owning and driving a motorhome. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Unfortunately, this girl has  to earn back the money she spent in gas to travel the country and therefore must find a job.

While this adventure is almost over for me, there are new and exciting things on the horizon. Life is always an adventure. Life is good.

Hasta la próxima vez, mis amigos

February 19, 2011

Back to Mexico

Since we enjoyed our first visit to Mexico we decided to do it again on Wednesday, this time taking mom and a friend from the RV park with us. (she needed an adjustment to her prior dental work).

We basically did it all again although I did pay back the supervisor at the Border and dad paid Dr Sanchez the $2.00 he owed him from his previous visit!

We ate at Crosby's and were serenaded by Buki, we shopped at El Patio but didn't buy anything. I wanted to though! We bought more pastries at the bakery, which I've already eaten! However, we did not buy any more liquor at the duty free shop!

***All the photos of the past few posts are courtesy of dad because I neglect to bring my camera! Thanks dad!

Jail Time

One of the tours we took this week that I thought was interesting was a visit to the Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio. It's a privately owned, for profit, business that is owned by the Geo Group out of Florida. It started receiving prisoners ten years ago on January 15, 2001 and currently has 1407 beds, after an 576 bed expansion in 2007.

 I came across this You Tube video, filmed in 2007,  protesting inhumane treatment at this facility.

I thought the video was interesting because it sharply contrasted my own observations. I  have to get on my soapbox a bit and proclaim that these prisoners are here for a reason - they broke the law! I can't stand it when I see people protesting the inhumane treatment of prisoners. This is not a hotel. This is a place you don't ever want to go to - period. Give me a break.  

Ninety-Nine percent of the prisoners at this border town facility are Hispanic. Many are illegal aliens crossing the border for various reasons. Del Rio is one of the few facilities in the country that prosecute illegal aliens before sending them back home. This is a detention facility where prisoners are awaiting trial and most are housed from a few days to maybe 2 years. Consequently there is high turnover of prisoners. Many would be considered minimum security but there were some that were in for capital murder, some Mexican Mafia, drug cartel, smugglers (drugs and humans). They segregate these men from the minimum, low risk to the maximum, high risk. Some are monitored 24/7. Some are isolated in single cells. They have effective ways of nipping problems in the bud before they escalate. Both the warden and the deputy were quick to point out that this facility was quite minor in comparison to some of the prisons they worked at before. They liked working here.

The facility was exceptionally clean. The Warden talked to us at length and answered any questions we had. The deputies and guards seemed very well organized and everything seemed to function flawlessly. The commissary was very well stocked with whatever you could imagine. The most popular items were Chili Pepper Top Ramen Noodles and Hostess-type Cupcakes. We asked where the prisoners get the money to buy all this stuff and were told it's mostly through family members, who put it into an account for them. Prisoners are allowed to come in a couple of times a week (i think) to buy anything from calling cards to toothbrushes. They have excellent medical and dental care and each prisoner is medically checked out during the intake process.

Each cell can house two prisoners. They separate the men from the women. The guards (and one of them was a women we spoke with) think the women prisoners are a "pain in the ass" and they couldn't emphasis that enough! (we didn't get to see the women) I was told they are currently being sued by one female prisoner for $2 million because her finger was slammed in a door. The women fight amongst each other. Both sexes are housed in separate cell blocks but the men are more freely able to roam outside of their cells into the common area and the women are only allowed out once per hour and then must return to their cells. I must say there is a very small percentage of women here, the majority are men. Each cell block has a medical center, a case manager, a chapel/library, an outside exercise area - and other stuff I probably forgot about! There were many instances during the tour where we mingled amonst the prisoners - the commisary and the kitchen to name two and the prisoners were very quiet. I was told this is largely due to their culture. (the women may be a different story!)

Each block has two floors of cells, each cell housing two prisoners. There is a common area in each block, where the prisoners eat three times a day. It also has a large flat screen TV and an industrial microwave (where they can cook all those noodles). Other than the noodles and cupcakes they are fed three hot meals a day. There are two shifts that work the kitchen (which we were allowed to see). With slight differences in the menu (the prisoners diet consisted of more Mexican items like beans and rice) we ate the same menu for lunch that the prisoners ate. And I have to tell you, it was my favorite lunch out of all the lunches I had this past week. We had chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, homemade rolls, peach cobbler dessert and iced tea. If I ate three meals like that every day I'd easily weigh over 200 pounds. Someone told me that these guys consume around 4200 calories a day. I don't know if that's acurate - seems like a lot to me, but considering the meal I just had, it could be true!

The kitchen also cooks special meal for diabetic prisoners and they do not cook any pork at all because the Muslim Islamic faith prohibits it. Never mind that this facility is 99% Hispanic (and most likely Catholic) - maybe it's a federal mandate. I thought it was amazing. Don't get me back on my soapbox!

I would like to take this tour again someday. I'm sure there is much that I missed the first time around. The warden and deputy that spoke with us seemed very proud of their facility and I can see why. I was impressed as well but that doesn't mean I'd ever like to live there.....well.....maybe for the food anyway!

Ciudad Acuna

I can't believe I've been in Del Rio, TX for almost a month. Next week we plan to leave and head west. I've grown to like it here! The people are great, the RV park is great and the weather finally (FINALLY) warmed up to a balmy 75-80 degrees - you know I will never complain about that! Lots of walks with Cooper - shorts - t-shirts - grilling - rum get the idea.

This past week has probably been our busiest week since we arrived - cram every little bit in before you leave, that sort of thing! We went on a few tours last week when the weather was still cold - The Border Patrol (i have new found respect for these hard working guys) and the Customs & Border Protection which was held at the Port of Entry. Both were very informative and I enjoyed them.

Many of the Winter Texans in our park take advantage of the good dentists/low rates in Mexico. If you need any sort of dental work done you quickly find out who you need to see.  Word of mouth is that Dr. Eduardo Mandujano Sanchez is the dentist to see in Ciudad Acuna. He even has a U.S Cellular number to call for an appointment. He and his son work together and both speak fluent English. Dad and I both made appointments to be seen - Dad on Monday and me on Wednesday. I was hoping to be seen earlier, so on Monday dad and I took off for our little trip to Acuna. When you arrive at the Port of Entry you are required to pay a toll to cross the International Bridge by car into Mexico ($3.00 to go into Mexico and $2.00 to leave Mexico) We paid our money, crossed the bridge and entered into the small border town of Ciudad Acuna.

It's unfortunate that media attention of the drug cartel and the requirement of passports has caused the lack of Americans in this (and most) border villages. Del Rioans used to cross the border at will to shop and receive dental work but now most stay in Del Rio rather than obtain a passport for the whole family. It's expensive. Then stories of the drug cartel has many American tourists afraid to step foot into Mexico. Acuna has taken pains to ensure that their village is a safe one and I found it to be extremely so. Although I must say it seems eerily deserted. Many, many shops and restaurants have closed down due to lack of business. There seem to be many thriving dentists however!

Dad and I debated on whether to drive over to Mexico (there are many that won't) or to walk across the bridge. We decided to drive and we found a small parking lot adjacent to the drug store which is adjacent to the dentist's office. As is usually the case in our family, we were early. No problem. They are very laid back here and dad was seen shortly after we walked in the door. The appointment didn't take long and he was through before his actual appointed time! Since dad's appointment was a two-stage process we needed to return later in the afternoon and therefore had 5 1/2 hours to kill! We decided to walk - first around town (that didn't take long) and then back over the bridge. There is a pedestrian walkway on both sides of the bridge. We found out that it cost $.25 to cross from Mexico and $.75 to cross from the U.S. We paid our quarter and walked approximately a mile over the bridge, went through customs....nothing to do there so decided to walk back over the bridge into Mexico. We noticed a Duty Free shop on the U.S. side of the border and made a mental note to stop there to pick up some liquor before heading back to the RV Park.

Walking across the bridge back into Mexico we noticed a lot of garbage that was all the same....big bags that said "Homeland Security" on them, empty paper lunch bags, remnants of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, chips, orange peels, even some discarded clothing. We wondered what was up? We found out later. Del Rio is one of the few places that prosecutes illegal aliens instead of just sending them back over the border. After prosecuting them, they give them back their freshly laundered clothing (in the Homeland Security bags) and a sack lunch with beverage and send them back over the bridge into Mexico. That's what all the discarded garbage was. Every day or so someone comes along and sweeps it all up.

After walking back to Mexico we were understandably hungry and word of mouth said that Crosby's was the place to dine in Acuna. It was just down the street from the dentist. It's a very nice restaurant and the food was quite good. We met a woman from Oklahoma (the only other patron in the restaurant) who was dining alone and we asked her if she wanted to join us for lunch. She had also been to the dentist. Before we were served our lunch we were serenaded by Buki, a local resident who was missing quite a few teeth, but it didn't seem to inhibit his singing ability at all! Our waiter was a wonderful gentleman who didn't speak English but was quite excited when I ordered a Tecate beer!

After lunch we hit the local bakery. I love Mexican pastries, especially the empanadas, and since I don't know how to read Spanish, the filling in each empanada is a surprise to me. I pick up one of each, just to make sure! Of course, we each had eat a pastry right then - dad a lemon curd-filled cupcake and me, one of my empanadas! Apple - I think! It was a short walk back to the dentist for dad to finish up his appointment. After dad was finished the dentist was able to fit me in. Did I say they are very laid back here? My cleaning appointment, with an x-ray, cost me $40.00. By the time we were ready to head back to the states it was about 4:30pm.

We crossed customs without a problem and then headed to the Duty Free store to buy our liquor. After payment, they bagged it up and then said they would meet us at the bridge. Huh? We thought we were just going to get back in our car and head home. seems that the thing to do when you're buying Duty Free liquor is to get it BEFORE you enter Mexico, not after. So we had cross the bridge, and pay the toll, once again. Only there was a slight problem this time. We'd given all our money to the dentist and our pockets were completely empty. Nada. While we were pleading our case, hoping they were going to be lenient with us, (I've heard plenty about those Mexican jails!) a supervisor came out of the building next door and ended up giving us the $3.00 to cross. I promised I would pay him back!  We went through the toll and then promptly made a u-turn to cross back into the U.S. Had to go through customs again where we then declared the liquor we just bought. The officer proceeded to put a bright yellow tag on our windshield as a notification that we were to stop and pay the Texas tax on our liquor. Only there was that same problem of no money. I offered to run to the market down the street to obtain enough to pay the taxes ($6.00). They agreed but kept part of our stash as collateral. Off to the market, where I bought a pack of gum in order to get cash back, which the clerk didn't want to give me, (not authorized to give cash back or something to that effect) but after pleading my case I guess he felt sorry for me because I was finally able to leave with $10 in my pocket. We drove back to the booth where I paid up and got my booze in return. Live and lean, I say. That was quite the adventure!

January 28, 2011

Del Rio, Texas

Where to start? I have a lot of catching up to do since I last posted. I must say that the weather finally warmed up some on Padre Island and I was able to enjoy a few really nice days of sun and sorta warm weather! Cooper and I walked and walked and walked! I found that each day presented something different, especially at the beach. It all depended on weather conditions and the tide. One day I found so many shells along the beach, a lot of them were fairly large ones. I filled my pockets with them. Then I ran out of pockets and had to hand carry them. I don't quite know 'why'....whatever will I do with all those shells? But they were just laying there, when they usually aren't, so I picked them up like I was finding great treasure! The next day there was nothing. The tide water had completely washed the beach clean!

I miss Padre Island in that it forced me to just 'be'. To live quite simply and to learn to enjoy it. To live with less, to be able to enjoy what the day has to offer and not be bogged down with computer, TV, phone, which I can allow to take up much more of my time than it should. I think maybe the soft lapping of the water against the shoreline has something to do with the tranquility aspect. It's meditative and soothing to your soul.

But, alas - everything must come to an end and so we left for Del Rio, Texas on Monday the 25th. We're staying at an RV Park about 8 miles west of Del Rio across the highway from Lake Amastad, which is Spanish for friendship.  Mom and dad have stayed here in the past and liked it so wanted to return - and I can see why! These folks have got to be the friendliest bunch of people I have ever met - seriously! You can't walk 10 feet outside  your door before someone says hi to you or asks you to join in on some upcoming function or to tell you about all the great happenings around town!

The park is a family owned business that was started about 48 years ago and is now run by the grand kids, who have followed the super helpful, friendly attitude instilled by their grandparents. There is a rec hall where they have line dancing, exercise classes, pot luck dinners, bingo, Bible Study, Women's coffees. They have a big screen TV (upcoming Superbowl party), exercise equipment, a commercial kitchen. Outside is a 'park' with play equipment, a fire pit, grills...

There are trees and birds and owls. (and ticks) Full hook-ups, cable TV, free WI-Fi. All this for $230/mo plus the cost of your electric. No wonder there are so many "Winter Texans" (what Texans call snowbirds).

So far I've participated in a hot dog roast by the campfire, exercise class, Bingo (I won twice and came away with five bucks), and a Mexican Pot luck dinner (I've never seen so many Mexican dishes!)....and I've only been here four days! Cooper and I have taken some nice walks but not like the ones at Padre Island. Win some, lose some....

We've signed up for some upcoming tours. The tour to Laughlin AFB was full so we're on the wait list for that one. We were disappointed so I hope a few people cancel or they decide to add another tour. We signed up for the tour of the prison - they even feed you prison food! We signed up for the Border Crossing & US Customs Tour, where I guess they tell you what their job duties are. There is a winery and a museum we want to go to. Lots to do - I have gone from one extreme to the other!!

In the front office they have shelves full of books. I exchanged the books I read on Padre Island for some new ones. I picked up a copy of Steven King's "The Stand", the complete and uncut edition with over 1100 pages. I figured what better time is there to read a book of that magnitude? Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the time I did a week ago - but I'm sure I'll plow through it non-the-less!

The weather here so far has been near perfect. Cool nights that dip into the low 40's - daytime temps that are sunny and mid to high 60's. Great for walking or washing the motor home or grilling or just reading in your lawn chair!

Aaahhhh...what a life!

January 12, 2011

Cold Front on PINS

What a difference a day makes - especially when you're dry camping! A cold front blew in from the north on Monday night and Tuesday hovered around 40 degrees outside and inside! Since I'm at the end of my allowed 14 day stay at PINS (Padre Island National Seashore) before I have to move out of the park for two days, I'm low on gas to run the generator and propane to run the stove/water heater/furnace. The holding tanks are full however! 

I stayed inside yesterday and bundled up until 4pm, when I couldn't stand it any longer and cranked on the generator. It was touch and go for awhile as she doesn't like the cold weather any more than I do but I finally got it going and left it running until 8pm. Then I went to bed to get warm. Up until 4pm, Cooper and I took a few 3 mile walks just to warm up. After the first mile I started to thaw out a bit and then by mile 2 it wasn't too bad! The hardest part is just opening the motor home door against the north wind!

Today, rather than spend another cold day bundled up inside the motor home, I opted to spend it at the laundromat again. I brought the computer and all my little devices to plug in and charge up while I'm here and I can easily spend 5-6 hours in air warmed by many large dryers! So far I haven't been kicked out from loitering! A fellow customer even saw Cooper sitting in the driver's seat of the car and brought me a Milk bone to give him. Someone else asked me if that was my morning snack!

Tomorrow we have to leave the park for a few days so I've made a 10:30 appt to meet mom and dad at the dump station where they're camped and we'll made a decision on weather to camp out close by and hit round two at PINS or rather to call it a day and head toward warmer climate.

Anyone know where that might be? Seems we're not alone with our cold front - much of the U.S. seems to be in far worse shape than here and for that I count my blessings that I am where I am!! But I must say, Arizona has been calling to me of late and I'm trying not to be impatient and just hitting the road with the thought that I might be able to make it there by tomorrow!

PINS really has been a nice place to stay and my days have fallen into a simple kind of rhythm. Without easy access to electronic devices I've had to come up with other ways to pass the time. When I have electricity it's way too easy to spend most of my day hooked up to the computer, the cell phone or the TV and then wonder why I don't get anything productive done or even have the time to do the relaxing things I enjoy, such as reading or knitting (or gardening when I'm at home) It's nice to step away from all that now and then and I hope to incorporate "no electronic device days" into my life once I return home!

I leave you with a few scenes from the past week:
Our afternoon walk on the Gulf

Cooper at play!

Gulls outside my MH window

My fresh caught Black Drum Fish dinner

Sunset fishing at Laguna Madre


Knitting when it's cold in the MH!

Cooper's way of passing time on a cold day!