Christmas Day – 2015

Aggieland RV Park 12252015

Christmas Full Moon in Bryan, Texas

We have been enjoying a laid-back Christmas Day this year, our first Christmas in Texas since 2009.  When I checked the outside temperature earlier, it was 76F.  Crazy, especially for us being accustomed these past six years to snow or at least temperatures 30-40 degrees colder. 

Christmas decorations 3 12132015

Had to find a new spot for our wee display this year, as we no longer have a dining table.

We have A Christmas Story on DVD; that’s what is on now, having been preceded by It’s A Wonderful Life.  Both films have been televised over the past week, but Dave’s work schedule has prevented him from catching them.  Besides, it’s sort of a tradition of ours to play them Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  We watched White Christmas last week, so I had my “fix” already.

I made sausage balls and olive/cheese puffs on Wednesday – 4 batches of the first and 2 of the latter.  That’s another holiday tradition around here.  Today’s dinner was ham and other dishes.  We exchanged cholocate yummies as part of our gifts this morning and, combined with some other goodies acquired during the week, our fridge is packed.  Needless to say, we won’t be hard put to find something to gnosh on for days.

The park has been pretty darn quiet today.  Just about all the long-term folks are gone, although their rigs are still here.  There is a handful of short-term rigs; two of those look like they’re pulling out tomorrow; they hooked their “toads” to their Class A rigs this afternoon.

Dave got out for a bike ride this morning while I was putzing around in the kitchen.  The weather was oblinging, and he enjoyed his holiday ride. 

Winter will be making a comeback Monday after storms roll through here tomorrow and Sunday. 

Hoping your Christmas Day was a pleasant one! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Enough.

This is what Wundermap looked like for us last night.

Storms and Front 12122015

Turned out to be a pretty wild night and early morning.  That system of storms moved through yesterday, taking all day and into the night to do so.  At 4 AM this morning, I was awakened by the first gust of the front on the left coming in.  Whew.  Glad that’s all done.  The rig was shaking and shuddering with some of the heavy wind gusts associated with both storms.  There were tornado touchdowns in Lindale and Willis, Texas.  Apparently the one in Willis flipped some RVs.

Aggieland RV Park After Storms 12132015

View from our patio this morning. Neighbor next door pulled out today, as did some others.

Although my training was going well from the company’s standpoint, I decided to resign from the medical editing job for a variety of reasons.  I found editing to be cumbersome and disjointed and, for the life of me, I simply could not see it being a profitable means of making any sort of decent income even when I would get up to speed.  There were several other factors playing into this which I won’t get into here, so let’s just say it wasn’t for me.  I think I am just too much of a medical transcription purist.  It is sad to see that professional being reduced in both skills required and compensation.  When you dread going to work, it’s obviously not a good match.  I had navigation of the platform conquered and my skills as a medical transcriptionist were absolutely spot on and never in question.  It’s the editing, the way it is done and the “face”of that job today.  It’s just not for me.

If I want to venture back into that arena again in the future, I’ll seek out a smaller company which still does straight transcription, true medical transcription.  Those jobs are few and far between, but there are still some out there at this point.  For now, I’m done with it.

I will say that I cannot recommend anyone putting in the time, effort and expense to go through training for medical editing and to think of it as a viable way to make a living.  A least not without too much time spent with job-related activities that are not compensated (and therefore it will be a struggle to realize a viable income) and to live with a good deal of stress.

Okay.  That’s my viewpoint.

I agonized over the decision for days, perhaps even a couple of weeks.  I picked up a second virtual assistant client last weekend, and that cemented my decision. 

Enough.

I now have two VA clients and am hopeful these will be long-term relationships.  I resigned the MT job and next day devoted myself entirely to my VA clients. 

I actually had fun!  I felt like a weight had been lifted off me.  I was thinking, being a bit creative, learning new platforms and being intellectually stimulated while enjoying myself.  I was productive and energized.  I also made some $$.  I felt like I had a brain again.

It’s been a busy week in that regard, changing gears and setting up some systems (Dropbox, etc.) for work, organizing my email inboxes, phone call meetings, etc.  It’s been work, but I am enjoying it.  I enjoy the interaction with my clients and colleagues.

Perhaps – and hopefully – I have found my niche for this stage of my life.

Dave continues to enjoy his job, and we continue to await word on whether or not he’ll be kept on.  It is a seasonal position, but it would be great if they had a spot for him on a permanent basis.  We’re in a nice groove with the routine and schedule.

Two techs from the RV dealer came out a couple of days ago, dropped the rig’s underbelly and determined the type/brand of gray tank that needs to be ordered.  Seeing as it has to be shipped from Indiana and the holidays are pretty much here, we’re doubtful it will be installed before Christmas.

Now that we’re in a decent environment, we are doing a few things that need attention.  One of those was removal of pine sap spots from our truck which we acquired in May.  Rubbing alcohol and cotton makeup pads did the trick!  Dave did a superb job and our truck looks great again.  So glad that nastiness came off with no ill effects on the truck’s paint.  We are close to the water hookup here, so Dave got a 6-foot hose and some insulation in preparation for heat tracing it now that colder weather will be imminent.  The longer hose is great to have a spare for washing the rig, dog, patio, whatever.

Since I’m caught up on work pretty much today, I may go ahead and put out a few decorations inside.  Or not.  We’ll see.  Hate to put up decorations and then have to take them down if we get the rig into the shop before Christmas.  I’ll see if I can put up some things in such a way that they could remain in place if we boogie down the road to the shop.  We might as well add a bit of holiday cheer and festiveness to our home, eh?

Hope you’ve had a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, and stay safe out there!

Around the Neighborhood

It’s an absolutely sterling day out, so I had a wee stroll around the neighborhood.

Aggieland RV Park 1 12052015

On the end of the row, we have no neighbor to the right in the photo.  The folks on the left are rarely there.  In fact, we have only seen someone there just for an overnight on one occasion.  This gives us a bit of privacy, actually, with their rig acting as a “wall” of sorts.

Aggieland RV Park 3 12052015

That’s us in almost the center of the photo with the door side facing this way.

Aggieland RV Park 2 12052015

See the pink RV?  That’s a wee Winnie with a breast cancer ribbon on the back.  The lady’s best friend died from breast cancer.  They have no problem seeing which RV is theirs! The building on the right is restrooms, and there is a wee pool in front of it.  We are just to the right and on the other side of that building and the pool. This view is from the front of the park looking back.

Aggieland RV Park 5 12052015

In almost the same spot as the above photo, now looking forward.  There’s the office, laundry room, and restroom/shower suites.

Aggieland RV Park 4 12052015

Having walked past the office and on the other side of the loop, this is looking back at the spot where the previous two photos were taken.  One of the many things I like about this park is the amount of grassy areas, not just from a dog owner POV, but that it’s nice to see green. 

You are also looking out at Highway 6 in the above photo.  The park is on the frontage road, so it’s easy to get out and about.  There is traffic on Hwy 6, of course, but it’s not noisy traffic and the minimal amount we hear inside is really like “white noise” and not at all annoying.  Being on the northern side of Bryan, it’s more like true highway traffic than “city” traffic.

We are in the front section of the park where there are long-term rigs on the perimeter and short-terms inside the “circle.”  We are the exception to that rule, as our spot is inside that perimeter.  Nice!  The other section of the park is pretty much dedicated to long-term stays.  It is a long, wide, straight road with back-in sites on each side.  Parking spaces are lined and in front of each rig.  There is a laundry and restroom building back there.  Even though long-term stays, it is still very well-kept and nice.  The owner/manager has been known to request to see a rig if it is older than 10 years.  You won’t see any beat-up RVs with tarps on them at this place.  At the very back of the park, there is a one-way gate with coded access.  That’s very handy, as it takes you out so you can cross Hwy 6 if you are wanting to go south.

Okay, that’s the neighborhood tour!  Have a groovy weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Two Weeks and a Day

Wow.  We have been here at Aggieland RV Park 2 weeks and a day as of today.  It sure seems like a lot longer to both of us.  That’s not a bad thing, really, it’s just that we have been busy.  The days seem to fly by and run together.  Dave has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so our days get a bit blurred; our “weekend” starts Monday night. 

Let’s see.  He survived Black Friday, although it sure was crazy, especially Thanksgiving evening and Friday, and he did work some overtime.  Crazy.  He’s getting a firsthand glimpse of the retail world during the holiday season.  Yes, he worked Thanksgiving, and so did I.  This was the first time in decades that I did not prepare a typical Thanksgiving dinner.  Oh well.  I did cook bridies while he was off that week, so we had a nice meal.  He is settling in quite nicely with his job, even enjoying it now, and we hope – but not expect by any means – that he will be kept on after the holiday season. 

Although I’m still in training on my MT job, I am making good strides.  It’s not the medical terminology/knowledge part, it’s becoming familiar with and implementing the specs, the software requirements, etc.  Things have changed re: formatting, punctuation, etc., since I was an MT 8 years ago, and the specs of the company/accounts are quite different from the “old school” way I was taught and used back when I worked before.  I am still not enamored with voice recognition and being a medical editor; I really still prefer straight transcription.  Well, I’m giving it a whirl, and it is getting better.

My virtual assistant job is percolating along nicely, and I am picking up some additional responsibilities.  I really am enjoying it!  Honestly, if I had a couple of long-term VA clients with ample work, I would seriously consider ditching medical transcription/editing.

I believe I mentioned my work laptop crashed and burned.  Yep, turns out it needed a new hard drive.  It had been in the shop but is home now, and this evening I have it set up to be put back into service.  I’m composing this post on it.  There is still some additional tweaking to be done – getting things back on it – but at least it’s usable again.  I sure missed my larger screen!

Our gray tank is being ordered, being delayed by some issues pinpointing with Keystone exactly what type of tank is needed.  Hopefully we will be having the replacement work done in the next couple of weeks.  They might be able to do it on-site . . . that sure would be nice, although they are only about 10 miles down the road.  We are thankful the facilities are nice here, so it’s a short stroll down to the showers near the front of the park each evening.  Each is a suite unto itself, so one has privacy when showering.  Nice.

Our allergies are finally getting under control.  Yay!  I was able to actually sleep prone in bed last night for the first time in a couple of weeks.  My recliner is comfy, I slept well in it, and I can watch TV from there if I want, but Maggie sure appreciated me being back in bed.  Me, too, I tell ya.  Dave was suffering equally, with the added frustration of plugged ears.  We both are much better with regards to our noses, and his hearing is much improved.

We are even having evening meals together twice a week, the 2 days Dave is off.  I had taken some Mexican lasagna out of the freezer the other day, so that was last night’s dinner accompanied by a green salad.  Tonight was baked fish, wild rice, and sweet corn. The rest of the week, we’re on our own, obviously because of work schedules.

Mr. Sun finally made an appearance today after being AWOL for 4-5 days.  We have had definitely chilly weather – highs in the 40s and 50s – with miserable, drizzly, nonstop rain.  Ugh.  Sure was nice to see sunshine today.  I made a run to a self-serve car wash and washed off a lot of mud from the truck.  It could stand detailing, but at least it looks presentable again now.

Last week I went over to Suddenlink (the park’s ISP) and purchased a modem and then to Walmart for a wireless router.  We now have a direct “pipeline” into the Internet service here at the park, and it is a secure connection via our own router.  Pretty darn speedy, too.  Yay!  We’re wireless and secure in the rig!  Woot!  This is wonderful, as my iPhone is getting a well-deserved rest after serving as a hot spot for a couple of months.   (Note:  The park WiFi is actually quite good, but not secure.  Getting one’s own modem and router is suggested by the park owner/manager if one wants a direct connection and secure network within one’s rig.  If I wasn’t working online from home or we were just here short-term, we would not have done this.  It is groovy, though, eh?)

We have had issues . . . gray tank, computer crashing, Internet and cable going out for 24 hours, miserable rain, allergies, yada, yada, yada, (yes, all in 2 weeks and 1 day) but we truly are liking it here and thankful that we are both working and have landed in a nice environment for our home.

Have I mentioned I really, really appreciate stepping out onto concrete and not mud?

Thanks for stopping by!