February 10th, Really?

Well, I’m just about falling off the grid when it comes to blogging.  Once again it’s a record time in between posts, this time being almost a month.

Our days (and weeks) seem to pass by in somewhat of a blur.  I find myself occasionally stopping to ask myself, “What day is today?”  Crazy.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Our weekends are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Dave is still working at Walmart, really being “one of the gang” on his crew and even one of the long-timers by comparison.  I continue with my telecommuting as a virtual assistant and still enjoying that.  Our days and evenings are full, making the time we spend together before and after work (and our weekends) more special. 

Dave is now a fully permanent employee, so we’ve enrolled in health benefits and he is now accruing vacation time, although he won’t be eligible to take any time off until next year.  The health insurance is sort of a good thing and not so good thing.  A bit more expensive, but we’re now in a PPO vs. an HMO (via the Exchange) and there are some nice aspects of the plan we’re in.  It’s a bit scary . . . giving up some of our independence, so to speak.

One thing about this location; it is windy at least 9 days out of 10.  It’s reasonably flat here and quite open and, hey, it is Texas . . . so it’s windy. 

We’ve had a few warm days already, and I am really, really not looking forward to the summer months.  Mr. Sun hits the driver side of our RV all day; we’ll get to Lowe’s for some of the insulation panels we used to skirt the rig in Jersey, cut it to size and put it up on our big windows on that side.  Long before temps heat up.  I’m really only talking the side-facing windows in the slide-out on the street side.  There’s a small section of the big window that opens, so we’ll not cover that up.  Yes, it will make it darker in here, but that’s the idea.  Darker = cooler.  The door side of the rig is in shade all day.

Did I mention that we have changed out our interior lights to LED?  That’s excepting a couple of wall lamps.  The others that we use regularly are done.  I like the quality of the light much better and those puppies sure are a lot cooler, not to mention more energy-efficient.  Even though we don’t pay separately for electricity here, increased energy efficiency is a plus.

All that being said, I may be establishing my own private nudist camp in here during the hot summer months.  Well, not totally.  How about semi-clothed camp?  Ha!  And lots of quick cold showers.

The weather for our “weekend” (yesterday and today) this week has been pretty icky with nonstop rain.  So much for washing the rig again this week.  I did get out during a lull yesterday and headed to Office Depot in College Station.

Desk chair 03082016

A bit hard to tell from the photo, but that’s an ergonomic desk chair.  After snooping around on the internet, I found this model at Office Depot at a greatly reduced price.  I tested the display model, really liked it and was lucky enough to get the last one that was boxed.  Yay me!  I had an ergonomic chair prior to our full-timing in 2010; I sold it, as our rig had no desk and I didn’t need it any longer.  Well, now I have a desk and am spending quite a few hours each week working.  So.  Chair.  There are adjustments for height, seat tilt and lumbar adjustment and the armrests are height-adjustable.  I like it a lot so far.  I’ve always like the mesh-backed chairs, as they stay cooler and really are more comfy.

Maggie 03082016

What else to do on a rainy day?

One other item I picked up at Office Depot was something for Dave’s cycling documentation.  At this point, he doesn’t have a proper desk, but uses a small computer table that is just big enough for his laptop and nothing else.  He keeps stats on his cycling, so his “stuff” was ending up on the floor beside his recliner.  Ugh. 

Dave holder 03082016

Now everything is tidy and handy for him to use.  It looks neater in his area and the hassle of moving all this stuff every time I vacuum is eliminated. 

Every now and then, actually just about every week lately, I go through another drawer, another cabinet, take a sweep through the closet . . . and am sorting through/organizing items with the result that some go out the door. 

Seems I am feeling burdened by too much stuff these days.  From 2011 up until last October, we had an office at our work locations.  We could spread out a bit, and we acquired some items that were necessary in our line of work, including heavy clothing and outerwear for the harsh winter conditions in New Jersey.  Our lifestyle has changed, we no longer have an office and, at least for the foreseeable future, we certainly are not experiencing harsh winter weather here in Texas.  Being outdoors was an integral part of our security jobs, and that is no longer the case.

That being said, I can’t (yet) bring myself to toss out expensive insulated overalls, heavy outwear and other items for extreme weather conditions.  Heck, most of those items weren’t cheap and I have worn/used them now and then even in our new way of life. 

Maybe it’s just the onset of Spring.  I’ve even measured living room furniture and our space in here with the thought of rearranging our furniture configuration. 

My measuring tape says that ain’t gonna happen.

I look at what folks are doing to their interiors on some social media groups and . . . sigh.  Oh well.  Ours is comfy and not disgusting . . . just not “spiffy” like some I see.  Of course, I wonder about the added weight of some of the furniture additions these folks make and I’m really not into painting the walls or cabinets in here.

I also wonder how folks keep the interior of their RVs looking like a showplace.  Really?  Do they actually live there?  Do they put the toaster away somewhere when not actually using it?  Do they realize the added weight of that wood wine cabinet and all those bottles of wine?  Perhaps it makes a difference that we eat at home all the time and that we are still working vs. being retired.

Ah well.  In the meantime, I did pick up a new comforter for the daybed that ties in better with the colors we have going on and a new doormat that does the same.  Whoohoo!  I’m glad I put in curtains while in NJ and that we have changed over to LED lighting.  Those things help.

Still . . . I’d love to be the winner on a program “Redo My RV Interior.”  Ha!

No, I don’t want a new rig.  I like ours and there’s nothing wrong with it.  I’d just like to do something with the inside.  Hence, new comforter, new doormat, etc.  Little things can make a world of difference.

But . . .

If you hear of a program like “Redo My RV Interior,” let me know.  I just might apply!

Stay safe out there, okay?  Thanks for stopping by!

What Day Is It?

The nature of the work I’m doing these days usually has me able to keep up with the date, but the day of the week sometimes escapes me.

A month has passed since my last post.  I’m pretty sure that’s a record.  We haven’t been doing anything but working, keeping the household ticking over and indulging in relaxing on our days off.

No complaints, though, really.  It’s just routine, and we’re grateful to be working.

Dave’s days off for the past few weeks have been Sundays and Thursdays, so our weeks have been a bit disjointed.  He grabs some bike time and some kickin’ back time (which usually includes dozing in his recliner) on days off.  We, or I, go out for groceries usually on Sundays.  I’ve spent a few of those days off cooking – for our partaking that day and concoctions for him to take as dinner at work.  We have decadently indulged in carry-out pizza a couple of times.  With him on a Sunday-off schedule, we have been able to catch most of this season’s Downton Abbey together. 

Brakes and oil change 01282016

On the lift at College Station Ford

Our truck was due for an oil change and systems check, so I spent one Thursday at the local Ford dealer.  Turns out the truck needed a brake job on the front, so I went ahead and had that done while there.  College Station Ford has a Quick Lane for oil changes, etc.  I was dubious at first, but it really was a no-wait situation.  Drove up, checked in and they got to work.  I was pleased with the experience all the way around.  Okay, it turned out to be a bit more of a whammy to the wallet, but I had known for a while the brakes would need servicing at some point in the near future, and this turned out to be it.  The back ones will need it before long, and we’d have them done before we’d hit the road with the rig on a long trip.  Just can’t take a chance with things like brakes – or anything, really – on the truck.  As Dave said, it’s our lifeline . . . for work, for moving our home, etc.  Gotta keep Truck happy and safe.

I tell ya, my two clients are keeping me busy, and I’m loving it!  I received a raise from one and my responsibilities with that client continue to grow.  My second client seems to be pleased with my work, and our relationship continues to become more comfortable as we get in a groove of working together.  I enjoy both clients and the work I’m doing, and I appreciate the opportunities with both.   The money comes in handy, too!  Yes, it’s turned into a “real” job; last week I logged 28 hours between the two.

Having worked from home for years in previous careers, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to do this again, albeit in different roles from before, this time around as an administrative assistant to both clients.  Seriously.  Trust me, I’m very thankful opportunities are out there for the finding and that I have marketable skill sets and related experience.  I’m grateful that I don’t have to go outside our home for work, that I’m making decent money, that I’m doing work which keeps my brain active and . . . I’m loving what I do!

Morning sunbathing 01222016

Maggie morning sunbathing.  She really enjoys this spot.

Although we have been stationary for periods much longer than the almost three months we have been here at Aggieland RV Park, this is the longest we have remained in an RV park.  I have had conversations with a two neighbor women, one who also works from home on their family business, and another who invited me to get together for walks when the weather becomes nicer.  We have seen some “interesting” human behavior but, all in all, this is a peaceful place.  The aforementioned behavior is typically exhibited by weekenders, not the long-term folks in residence.

While I’m typing this, one of my clients just added files to my Dropbox.  Yoinks!  Next project.  Sweet!  Never a dull moment.  Speaking of never a dull moment . . .

Faucet mishap 02102016

Impromptu fountain this afternoon.  The front end of our rig is peeking out from behind the Class A on the left side of the photo.

One of the two guys in the 5th wheel to the left of the “fountain” ran over the water connection in the empty site on their door side with his big pickup.  I heard a crrrrrraaack! and then the sound of rushing water.  Oops.  Park owner got plumbers out pronto and they fixed this, but it was rather impressive for a while. 

Who knew living in an RV park was so exciting?

We usually don’t have anyone parked beside us, but there is a rally of Class A rigs this coming weekend, so I think the short-term area (where we are even though we’re long-term) will be packed.  Those two Class A’s in the above photo arrived a few days early prior to the coming rally.

Dave felt rather punky a couple of days last week and I got hit with it yesterday, continuing into today.  Bones hurting, headache, bit of an upset tummy, low-grade fever and just feeling blah.  Not enough to go to bed, but enough to find me dozing in my recliner yesterday morning.  That’s unusual; napping after getting up?  Bizarre.  Still rough today, but work was pretty much caught up so I’ve had an easy day.  Tomorrow’s a day off, so hopefully I’ll kick this bug quickly and be feeling chipper again Friday.

Today was a gorgeous day out, but we’ve had numerous blustery ones lately.  Ugh.  It’s a rather open area here, so I think it is going to be windy here more often than not.  Oh well.  Thank goodness we’re on a concrete site with a patio and concrete streets when it rains!

Until Dave gets two consecutive days off each week, our life revolves around our work with a bit of chillin’ when we can.  We are ever hopeful that a security assignment may come up; we enjoy that work, find that we enjoy our solitude after being around people more lately and that our temperaments are suited to the responsibilities that come with those assignments. 

In the meantime, we’re hanging in!

Thanks for stopping by!  There’s no spell check, so excuse any errors!

Maggie silly

Maggie silliness

2015 – Done and Dusted

This past year was one of changes and traveling, some good times and some challenges.  It was a very unsettled year for us; seems like we just couldn’t find the “spot” for us, sort of like Goldilocks looking for the right bed.  Some of our decisions were better than others.  We logged a lot of miles; well, for us, at any rate.  We faced some challenges and had some good times along the way.   

Georgia Rest Area 06282015

I took a multitude of these types of shots at various rest stops during 2015.  Wish I had the patience to go back and tally up the miles we traveled during the year.

Darlington SC 07012015

We started the year doing security work in Darlington, SC.  This was a tough gig.  Night shift did not agree with Dave; he was getting 1-2 hours of sleep every 24-36 hours.  Cycling was dangerous with him being run off the roads, chased by extremely aggressive stray/wild dogs and coming off the bike (crashes) three times.  We had no way to properly empty our tanks and experienced our first ant infestation in 5 years of full-timing (and numerous years of camping before that). The tree over us was unkempt; a storm brought down large branches which barely missed our rig.  We were also experiencing frequent fluctuations in power to our rig, with our “big black box” shutting us down due to low voltage.  This was definitely not a good thing.

Vicksburg MS Visitor Center 03172015

We received an offer to manage a park in Texas, so in March we headed that way.  We took our time and did a bit of sightseeing.  Here we are in Vicksburg, MS.  We stayed at Ameristar RV Park and would recommend it.

KOA Mt Pleasant TX 05022015

While the job itself would have been okay, the circumstances were not.  We resigned our management position but stayed on as workampers for a while.  If we had remained as managers, more than likely we would still be there attempting to run the place by ourselves with extremely limited resources.  Not a good scenario.  We learned a lot from this experience, though.

We stayed at numerous RV parks in 2015 in our trekking around the eastern third of the country.  I haven’t included photos from all of them, just some of the memorable and well-liked ones.

Shady Pines RV Park Texarkana TX 06082015

We really like Shady Pines RV Park in Texarkana, TX.  This was our second stay here, this one in June.

Camping World Anniston AL 06242015

Another second stay at Camping World in Anniston, AL during June.  Skies were threatening and we were treated to an extraordinary light show courtesy of Momma Nature, but it never rained.  I like this photo.

Prairie Creek COE Beaver Lake AR 06132015

We gave a try at being gate attendants at a COE park in Arkansas in June.  A brief try.  The site looks nice, but had many issues, including an uphill sewer connection and a dirt hill right next to our rig which became a mud river during rains.  A quiet park?  Hardly.  A young girl was killed on the lake the day before we arrived.  Weekends were nonstop traffic, to the point of parking being full in all areas.  Law enforcement screaming through the gate with lights flashing at all hours.  People coming up to our rig (when we weren’t on duty) with questions, etc.  It was also a 6-day work week and turns out one had to go the bank and post office on one’s day off.  This was not a good decision and not as described.

Country Boys RV Park Madison GA 06272015

A repeat visit to Country Boys RV Park in Madison, GA in June.  Certainly adequate for 1-2 nights.

We agreed to return to South Carolina and the security gig as the relief team for 3 months.  While we had questioned our decision to leave there earlier in the year, the return visit served as affirmation of that decision. 

Office area 08262015

While in SC the second time, we removed our dining table and chairs (which we rarely used) and turned the area into a workspace/office for me. 

We were there from July 1st until October 1st, at which point we were headed back to Texas.  Changes in our health insurance predicated this move.  I was still working part-time as a virtual assistant, and we were hopeful Dave could pick up some work once we arrived in Bryan, Texas.

Barnyard RV Park Lexington SC 10012015

We planned a 2-night stay at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC following our security gig.  We thought this would allow us to resume normal sleep patters and chill a bit before hitting the road to Texas.  The stay stretched into 5 nights due to massive rainfall and areal flooding.  We were grateful the park did not flood.  It wasn’t very relaxing, however, as we were in emergency preparedness mode the entire time.  Management was totally accommodating and helpful as we (and a couple of other neighbors) kept extending our stay day-by-day due to weather.

Montgomery South RV Park 10122015

Landed for a week at Montgomery South RV Park, we sort of began catching up on some R&R.  Dave really enjoyed the cycling here; however, the park was infested with loose dogs and, just because of that, we would not return.  Otherwise, it was a fine park in the process of expansion during our stay.

Ever closer to Texas, we stayed a few nights in Beaumont at Gulf Coast RV Resort.  Looks like I didn’t get photos . . . hmmm.  Dave enjoyed the cycling and I enjoyed really relaxing, catching up laundry, etc.  Our friend Rachelle, whom we had not seen since 2010 prior to our embarking on this lifestyle, came to spend a day with us.  So good to see her again, and we really appreciated her making the trip.

Traders Village Houston TX 10182015

From Beaumont, our next stop was Traders Village on the northwest side of Houston.  It was okay, but nothing spectacular.  I couldn’t believe Highway 290 was still under construction.  No, wait, I can believe that, actually.  It was pretty darn warm when we arrived and shortly after landing . . . it was a really warm day . . and . . we had no power to the rig.  Turns out a mobile tech working on the RV next door was terrific and got us powered up again.  Remember that low voltage issue in SC?  He suspected that’s what fried the . . . um . . . I forget what it was but it had to do with the gen set.  Since we don’t have an onboard gen, he just bypassed it and disabled that.  He showed it to us and, yes, it was fried.  Another affirmation that leaving SC was a good decision.

The next day, we headed to Bryan, Texas and what we anticipated as our home for the long term.  I had checked reviews, talked at length with the manager and made a month’s reservation at Primrose Lane RV Park in Bryan.  We didn’t have much selection, as it was football season in Aggieland and nary an RV space to be had.

Primrose Lane Bryan TX 10192015

Primrose Lane long-term site.  Mud pit. Bad “neighborhood.”  Worst place we have ever stayed.  Our front landing gear were sinking.  We asked for more gravel, correction, gravel on the site but it never materialized and we realized after a while that it just wouldn’t.  Standing water all the time around our rig.  Electric shore connection so low to the ground we had to unplug so it wouldn’t short out.  Residents letting dogs run loose and dog “deposits” all over the grounds, including sidewalks.  Ugh.

Good news is that during our time there, Dave secured a seasonal position at Walmart.   I still had my virtual assistant client and had landed a medical editor job.

We had been looking at other RV parks and ended up being third on the waiting list for Aggieland RV Park.  With our November rent almost due at Primrose and not wanting to be there any longer, the owner/manager at Aggieland found a spot for us.  We moved here the early afternoon of November 17, following horrendous storms which got us out of bed around 3:30 that morning.

Aggieland RV Park Site 43 12132015

Concrete streets!  Concrete site!  No mud!  Tidy neighbors!  Decent laundry facilities!  Great owner/manager!  Yay us!

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

The site on our door side is only for short-term and is not used often.  We have an open grassy area on the other side.  Lovely.

We experienced a split (and leaking) gray holding tank in November and it’s been a saga getting the correct tank ordered, etc.; however, we have an appointment next week for installation at an RV dealer less than 10 miles down the road.  I sure will be glad to have my own shower again, but am grateful for the facilities here during this time.

My medical transcription skills are still excellent after all these years away from the profession; however, I found medical editing to be very stressful with a good deal of “extras” one has to do for which one is not paid.  I dreaded each work day, which was totally opposite to my experience with traditional MT work; I used to love my work as an MT; however, the profession has deteriorated and really is not a profession where skills are paramount these days.  The MT company owner called after I resigned wondering why I did, stating “You’re such an MT!”  Perhaps that’s part of it . . . I’m a purist.  Today’s environment just is not a good fit at this time. 

Long and short . . . I picked up a second virtual assistant client which also may be a long-term relationship.  I resigned the ME gig and, upon doing so, felt a great sense of relief.  I now have two clients and really enjoy the work and my interactions with them.  The resulting pay is much better, and I am utilizing my brain and skills.  Yay me!  Minimal stress, maximum rewards.  I’m good with that.

Dave’s seasonal job is turning into a permanent position.  He’s working hard, but it’s certainly not as rigorous as pipefitting on ships or in the mines of Minnesota.  He enjoys his interactions with coworkers and most of the time even the job itself.  Yay him!

Dave works 2-11 PM Thursday through Monday.  I go to work when he leaves a bit after 1 PM.  We both take Tuesday and Wednesday off to run errands and do whatever.  This schedule seems to be a nice fit for us.  We’re both sleeping very well here, and that’s a good thing.

I know Walmart gets a bad rep, but so far Dave and others are treated decently at this store.  He worked overtime around Thanksgiving, but management had a huge dinner spread for the team.  There was a gift discount card during that time, freebie holiday decorations, more food and treats for them at work (and to bring home), etc.  There are other “small” things that have been positive so far, too, such as opening up a check-out lane for Dave when he was purchasing some items on his dinner break.

Dave was a pipefitter with the Royal Navy in Scotland.  He remarked once that he’s gone from working on nuclear submarines, where the lives of sailors literally were in his hands and relied upon his skills.  Now he’s working at Walmart.  But you know what?  At this point in our lives it’s not about our jobs or building careers.  It’s just about having work which pays what few bills we have, putting food on the table and living a comfortable life. 

It’s about our life together, not about our jobs.

We had a delightful impromptu visit this week from two dear long-time friends who live about 60 miles away near Bellville.  Had not seen them since 2010, so it really did my heart good to get some hugs and spend time with them.  Talking on the phone is great, but it’s just not the same as being together.  We hope to get out their way before long, as I used to do occasionally when I lived in Brenham.

Yes, 2015 had its challenges.  Just to end the year with a bang, my bridge failed the other night, so I’ll need to find a dentist after we see how insurance is going to shake out in the coming weeks.  Oh yeah, it’s been a whiz-bang year, alright.

Radar Bryan TX 10242015

This was an all too often recurring theme in 2015.  We believe we experienced more days in rain/severe weather than not.

We made some decisions which seemed questionable at the time, but we learned from those experiences.  We traveled, saw some sights and had some good times.  The end result is that we have landed well back here in Texas with jobs and a comfortable, pleasant environment for our RV home.  (Yeah, well, check with me in July/August when it’s 2275 F outside!  At least the pool is nearby and electricity is included in our rate here.) 

I am grateful for those experiences and for all the miles we traveled in safety and comfort with no breakdowns or accidents and, even in severe weather, we were never in immediate danger.  We try to be careful and alert, but we have also been very fortunate and watched over, I’m sure. 

If all continues favorably with work, our plans are to remain here for the foreseeable future.  We’ll see what 2016 brings, but I’d be good with just “being” right here.

Hope your holiday season has been safe and joyous.  Happy New Year!

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!

24-Hour Rollercoaster

Yesterday until early evening we were pretty darn blissful.  We have been feeling so relieved and grateful to be in this park. 

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

Our site at Aggieland RV Park in Bryan, TX

Dave was off, so we spent the day pretty much settling in here; he even managed a bit of a bike ride in the afternoon.  He cleaned off the mud and organized our storage bin, spare propane tanks and his fixed-gear bike.  They “reside” at the front of our rig in a tidy fashion, and they are clean once again!  With our work week commencing again today, we went to H.E.B. for a few items and I did laundry, vacuumed and tidied up the inside.

We had a nice stroll around the park in the early evening, feeling relaxed, grateful and settled.  We like our site and the park in general.

Then . . . my work laptop crashed.  Long story short, I was up until 5 AM this morning being extremely disappointed in the remote diagnosis/repair service by Geek Squad.  I have had very good service with resolution of issues in the past via telephone assistance (actually speaking with a tech who walked me through things) and dropping off machines at the location in Best Buy.  The first tech disappeared/disconnected after about 1.5 hours.  I hooked up with another tech, whose last action was performed a little over an hour into the session.  Five hours later, I terminated the session.

Both service notes I received today indicated there was something wrong with the Internet at my end.  I am simply not buying that, as I periodically checked my connection, and it was up and running just fine with no blips or hiccups on my end.  If there had been a connectivity issue, they should have contacted me; my phone number was in the records and I indicated I would be available.

So.  First chance I get I’ll drop it off.  In the meantime, much of today has been spent in a sleep-deprived and stressed state getting my personal laptop set up for work both as a virtual assistant and as a medical transcriptionist.  This laptop has a smaller screen with corresponding smaller fonts, and I am finding it much more of an effort to see what’s on the screen.  sigh

And . . . along about mid morning, I noticed a puddle of water under our rig.  Our bathroom gray tank had split and was leaking.  It will have to be replaced and, in the meantime, we will be showering in the facilities here.  Thank goodness they are nice.  I contacted a dealership/repair facility less than 5 miles down the road.  A mobile tech is supposed to come out tomorrow to check it out, do measurements, etc.  They will order the necessary tank and parts.  Once they have everything, we will roll the rig over to have the replacement performed.

The good news is, things could be worse.  No one died today.  That’s always a bonus.  These issues are worrisome and stressful but, in the big scheme of our life, they are bumps in the road.  Having them occur back-to-back like that just freaked me out a bit.  I’m really not complaining, but 2015 has been a tough one for us.  We carry on, though . . .

Today marks 1 month of being here in Bryan.  I think we have done very well to have both landed jobs and moved to a nicer park which is looking good as a long-term spot.

Thanks for stopping by!