Friday, March 23, 2012

Pepe Boudreaux Restaurant

Two of the property owners and their wives took Jim and I out to dinner last night….except Jim couldn’t go because someone always has to be on the gate. But they bought him a wonderful Gulf shrimp dinner complete with a piece of the best carrot cake I ever ate!


We went to Pepe Boudreaux’s in Three Rivers on west Hwy 72.  It is a Tex-Mex-Cajun restaurant that also serves pizza!  Kind of all encompassing.  LOL  They have a lot of Cajun dishes like Crawfish Ettouffee, Shrimp Po'boys, Boudin and Gumbo, but they also have steaks and burgers. Great place. 

But they serve the best Gulf shrimp imaginable.  The coating is so light and tender….yummo.  But I had the flounder that was lightly coated with Italian seasonings in the flour and cooked on the flat top.  They also have an interesting butter, lemon, basil sauce with tomatoes and mushrooms on top with sauté fresh zucchini and broccoli. It was so delicate and flavorful.

Here’s photos of the two meals we had.

This is the small order of shrimp
Here is my wonderful flounder.

Here is our dinner party with Shirley, Tim, Tom (yes, they are twins), then Sue and I. We had such a good time together and were so sorry Jim couldn’t come with us.


Jim and I enjoyed our meals so much we plan on eating there again when we return from Port Aransas when we are going to stop and visit the Mossmans and Scarbroughs before heading to Colorado.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bad Storm

We get local channels with our Dish satellite TV and knew to expect bad thunderstorms Tuesday morning, so we put away our outside chairs and barbecue grill in preparation.  I sent Linda Mossman and Rita Scarbrough a text to turn on their weather radios to be aware of what was coming next. 

Tuesday morning at 3 a.m. the wind started blowing hard with gusts of 45 MPHIt then began to rain hard, then the hail fell and then the thunder and lightning.  It was quite a storm with a lot of thunder booms scaring the dogs.  Jim woke up and sat with me; the dogs burrowed beside us and hide their heads. We watched the storm through our large back window and sipped coffee. The light tower swayed quite a bit in the wind and I was worried it would topple over, but it didn’t.  After about an hour the worst of it passed and we were left with just the wind.  I continued to text Linda and Rita (we all work nights) to make sure they were OK.

The next day we watched the local news and saw all the damage in the surrounding towns.  Even CBS Nightly News talked about the storm and the damage in nearby Devine.  Check out the story in online newspaper about a gate guard whose travel trailer was “picked up” and tossed about 10 feet across the street.  Yes, he worked for Gate Guard Services.  He is OK, but this RV was destroyed.

It was a horrendous night, but we got through it alright…thank you Lord.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interesting Gate Guard Blog

I’ve been reading various gate guard blogs for a few months now.  This post on blog, Adventures of John and Terry is something I think anyone considering becoming a gate guard should read.  He brings up some very valid questions that are you should consider before becoming gate guards. 

John is also starting a Gate Guarding 101 course on his blog. So check his blog often and learn…like I’m going to do.

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: Gate Guard,Gate,Guard,Blog,Adventures,John,Terry


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Building a Road

Boy have we been busy with all the dirt trucks required to build the road to the next well sites.  Monday Jim had 180 trucks, Tuesday was 130 trucks and Wednesday only 39 trucks to finish up.  But they completed the road and one well site.  Luckily we were able to keep the gate opened and Jim just sat outside and wrote down the license plate numbers and then made hash marks for repeat trips each truck made.

Each trip took about an hour turn around, so each truck made about eight trips.  After they stopped about 6 p.m. the nights were pretty quiet.  I only had the occasional oil crew member going out to town for dinner.

Since Wednesday it has been really, really quiet as they finished the road and first pad in only three days instead of the anticipated five days.  So Thursday was basically dead.  I drove to Three Rivers and did laundry and a little grocery shopping. 

When I returned to Whitsett our friends, Nancy and Chuck Geno (Class of 2007) had arrived.  They drove from South Carolina stopped to visit family in Ft. Hood and came to Whitsett to work as gate guards. I stopped and picked them up at the yard and brought them out to our gate to visit and do a little OJT. It has been since 2010 since we saw them in Quartzsite and then again at the Parker 425 Off Race.  I forgot to take a photo but said I’d do it Friday when we were going to get together with Linda Mossman for lunch….wrong.

Nancy needed to find a doctor to renew a prescription Friday so didn’t make lunch and then low and behold, they got assigned a gate so off they go Saturday towards Tilden to their first gate.  We are sure glad we had a couple of hours Thursday to visit, as we probably won’t see them again before we leave.  Thursday night I only had two folks after midnight, so I made some cole slaw and potato salad.

Friday was again very quiet so I went ahead and met Linda for lunch and when I returned Jim put on some ribs to barbecue. Along with the cole slaw and potato salad we had a mighty fine dinner.  Those were the best ribs Jim’s ever grilled!!! He grilled them till about 3/4 the way through then wrapped them in foil and put them back on the grill to finish up.  They were so moist and tender….that’s the way to do them.

Tonight is again quiet so I’m knitting and watching some recorded TV shows to pass the time.  Saturday and Sunday will also be quiet which will be nice as Monday it all changes with more dirt trucks to build the pad on the second well site.

Hopefully we will be gone before they start on the four mile road they will be building for the next four wells.  They anticipate using 1,500 truckloads of dirt.  By then we should be sitting on a beach in Port Aransas and enjoying a lot of fresh seafood dinners!!!!

Well, it’s time for my 3 a.m. snack…want to join me?

Remember, you are loved.


Blogger Labels: Port Aransas,Three Rivers,gate guard,dirt truck,truck,Whitsett,friends,Nancy,Chuck,Geno,yard,Quartzsite,Parker,Linda,Mossman,Tilden,beach,trucks,ribs

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dirt Trucks

OMG - dirt trucks all day looonnggg!!! We had over 165 dirt trucks in and out today plus all the regular companies coming in and out. It was suppose to take 2-3 days to build the newest road and they did it in one day! When I got up this afternoon Jim was wiped out.  The trucks were coming in and out in bursts of 3 and 4 trucks at a time and he hardly had time to go to the bathroom.


And these are big trucks…..


So tomorrow is suppose to be really busy as they start to build the two pads where they will drill the next wells.  We were told to expect three times the traffic of today….oh boy.  It was a little easier with my calling out the license numbers while Jim wrote them down n the form.  Even with that I was tired when it finally got quiet about 7 p.m. (with daylight saving time they can work later).  Then I made a salad with shrimp for dinner and Jim went right to bed….poor guy.

Oh, well, only 11 days to go and we will probably be busy right up till the end.  Oh, well……

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: Dirt trucks,Dirt,Trucks,road


Vehicle for the Ranch

One of the property owners bought a new Kawasaki Mule.  It’s has two benches so will seat 4 people.  It is really cute.

TomSue New Mule (3)

Tom and Sue wanted their grandkids to have a way to get around the ranch.

TomSue New Mule (1)


I finished knitting a wool hat for me to wear at nights in the cool wind.  All my other hats are made with acrylic yarn and it just doesn’t hold in the warmth like wool does.

WoolHat (2)


Sure has been quiet with the fracking being completed.  We’ve only had about 35-40 vehicles a day but that is still 70-80 trips to the gate to open it.  But it is easier than the 160 vehicles coming in a day and opening the gate again when they leave like we did when they were fracking two wells one after the other.  Tomorrow they start bringing in dirt trucks to build a road to the next two set of wells, #5, 6, 7 and 8.

We did give our official two weeks notice with our last day being March 25th.  We do plan on staying for a couple of hours and training the new gate guards with the specifics of this ranch.  We’ll spend the night in the Gate Guard Services’ Whitsett yard and then drive to Port Aransas on the 26th for a week.

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: hat,Port Aransas,Gate Guard Services,Ranch,Kawasaki,Mule,wool,yarn,gate,dirt,road,Whitsett,yard,owners,vehicles


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Really Big Truck

They are laying pipeline along the adjoining property.

CIMG9612 CIMG9613

These require the use of large trenching machine.  Those machines are transported on huge flatbed semi-trailers. The flatbed driver needed a place to turn around to be facing the correct way and asked if he could come through our gate and turn around. Jim said sure if it was driven by a supervisor, because the flatbed was 110 feet long and needed to negotiate some tight corners.

So here it is in close up….biggest truck I’ve ever seen.


Here are some photos of him going through the gate.

CIMG9635 CIMG9638
CIMG9639 CIMG9643

Here’s the supervisor … boy did he do a fine job!


He actually brought two separate flatbed semi-trailers through the gates to turn around.  Good day’s work.

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Crazy Weather

We have had the craziest weather the last couple of weeks.  Our fan sits right next to our electric heater and we’re using them both!!! In one day, we have run the air conditioner all day with temps of 88* and then the temps drop to 39* and I’m running the heater at night.

Last night it rained, we had thunder and then the lightning started flashing.  Oh, my, it sure was fun going out to open the metal gate with lightning flashing!!!  Scared me silly, it did!!!!

Sure was happy we bought a mini voice recorder so we can just “say” the information we need for the log-in form instead of messing with paper on a clipboard out in the rain.  Even the truck drivers are having a good time seeing me use the voice recorder.  Tonight one driver asked if he could say hello into the recorder…ah, yes, sure so I reached up the recorder for him to say hello …. to me LOL.  I then go inside and “play” the recorder and fill out the log-in form with that information.

Because of this crazy weather I go through at least two and usually three sets of clothes a day. I start out with a sleeveless tee and capris with the air conditioning running. Then the clouds roll in and the temps drop so I change into a short sleeve tee and jeans.  By midnight it is really cold and I put on a sweat shirt and a jacket.  I sit inside with a jacket on all night because I don’t have time to put it on and take it off each time someone comes to the gate.

I’m so glad we bought all the extra throw rugs to cover our carpet as it helps to keep things clean.  We wear our shoes inside now, again because we don’t have the time to put them on and take them off. We try to get out the door within 5-10 seconds.  The rain makes very slick mud out of caliche rock and it is a mess.

Fracking is finished so it has been pretty quiet the last couple of days and it will continue to be quiet till Tuesday.  Then about 300-500 trucks will come in with caliche rock and dirt to build a road to the next well sites.  After that we’ll get 1,200 to 1,500 truckloads of dirt and caliche to build the well sites themselves.  We only have two more weeks here so I don’t know how much we will be a part of, but it will be busy up till the end of our stay.

I’ve taken to fixing our next night’s dinner sometime around midnight. When the fracking stopped I lost my nightly catered meal so I’m back to cooking.  Yesterday I made clam chowder and tonight I put the fixings together for a pot roast in the slow cooker that Jim can start around noon.  It helps to get the dinner going and not have to think about what to fix when I wake up at 1 or 2 p.m. 

When we finish here we plan on taking a few days in Rockport or Port Aransas as kind of a “vacation”.  Then we will head for Santa Fe to see our daughters and grands for a week or so.  After that it’s on up to Alamosa, Colorado, for a month before we start our summer job camphosting in national forest campgrounds in South Fork.  We also look forward to going up to the Denver area and visiting Bill Borger and Lesle Thomas for a couple of days.  It’s been about two years since we’ve seen them…too long. We will get to see Rich and Terri Deacon again as they wintered in Monte Vista, Colorado, staying close to their aging moms.

All in all we like this gate guarding job and will probably come back next fall to do it again.  At least this time we “got our feet wet” and know what to expect for a longer stay.  We’re thinking of doing a two month stint and then taking a couple of weeks off before working another couple of months.  We’re not real sure about doing this gate guarding for 5-6 months straight. The work isn’t hard but you are always “on” with someone always having to be here.  I miss driving with Jim and doing things together like shopping and going out to dinners together.

Well, it’s 3 a.m. and Dish Network is going through its nightly rebooting procedure.  Time for a cup of coffee.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Glad We Bought This!

When we came out to this gate (our first) our Gate Guard Services maintenance man suggested we buy a portable surge protector.  This was in case the 15,000 watt generator “threw” a belt and send a electrical surge to our rig.  We had talked of getting one before but we don’t spend much time with hookups so we rationalized that we didn’t need to spend the $400.  But we went ahead and bought this one from and boy are we glad we did!

Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable Electrical Management System

Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable Electrical Management System, EMS-PT50C





Last Sunday Jim and I were sitting outside “guarding our gate” when all of a sudden it got very, very quiet.  The generator had stopped.  Sure enough, Jim found that the generator had “thrown” a belt, but the surge protector had protected our rig and we didn’t suffer any damage.

We called our company contact and Jamie came out and replaced the belt and we were back in business within an hour.

Sure glad we bought that surge protector because I’d hate to think how much it would have cost us to repair the damage and/or appliances.

So……how many of my RV buds out there have a surge protector for your electrical hookup???????  If you don’t I highly recommend that you look into it.  Like Nick Russell once wrote in a blog post, it only takes one time to do all the damage.

I just downloaded and installed a plug-in for Windows Live Writer that automatically generates tags for your blog posts.  I like it…pretty cool!!

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: Nick Russell,Progressive Industries,surge protector,Gate Guard Services,gate guarding,maintenance,generator,Electrical,Jamie,appliances

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tornado Up Close and Personal

My brother, Mike Stone, and his wife, Debbie, live in Murphy, North Carolina, down in the southeast corner of the state nearly touching Tennessee and Georgia.  They live on a beautiful piece of property in the middle of the woods.  They have a two story log home and  have two rental cabins nearby.  Mike works in the meat department of the local grocery store and he was at work when one of the tornadoes hit Friday.

DebbieStone and Us
Jim-Me-Debbie Stone
My brother, Mike Stone

Yesterday when I couldn’t reach him by phone I emailed him concerned because I could see where the spread of tornadoes were heading. Mike emailed me back with his account of the events and with his permission I am posting his email here for you all to read.

Watching the shots on TV and hearing the quick sound bits of people being interviewed can’t take the place of an eye witness account put into written words. It was very meaningful to me and I hope you will also be moved.

“Bobbie ....................well to answer your question.............yes we are ok, but it was a wild Friday to say the least.

Friday evening while i was closing down the meat dept, the skies turned ugly and the news came that we were under a tornado big deal it happens 10 times a year.........we are ringed by mountains and only had one and that was 1974.

well the good lord corrected all phones all over the store gave folks the news that a twister was on the ground and headed towards downtown..............2 minutes later the building shook like jello...........i yelled for everyone to get in the  meat coolers and then all hell broke loose as people ran for their lives.............the power went out............the windows blew out.............and skylights all over the roof got sucked out taking groceries thru the two minutes it was over and we went outside to see cars over turned, light poles lying in the parking lot.............smashed windows and shopping carts jeep was tuned sideways and except for some debris dings...........ok.

the sheriff got there and announced that another tornado was on the ground in polk county near us and headed towards murphy............i called debbie and she already was packed up and headed downstairs for the basement............hurry home mike.

well i drove as fast as i could towards a wall of rain, dodging roofs and sheet metal pieces all over the i turned into our country road, lightning flashed every second, the rain turned to hail and the jeep rocked like a boat.

as i approached my valley.........a ambulance was off the side and waved that the tornado was headed towards us............the sky lit up and a half mile ahead towards my home a tornado loomed bright in the sky moving at a angle towards our home.................i jammed on the brakes, pulled over and prayed that debbie was ok.

when it turned back to rain after 2 or 3 minutes, i drove towards our gravel road only to see trees lying down blocking everything.

i was a half mile away from the end where we i backed up and took the atv trail at the cabins hoping to avoid the blocked road............drove thru the cabin yards and was stopped by a dozen trees in the my gut i knew this was very bad and just jumped out of the jeep where it sat and ran/walked to the house..........between lightning flashes the landscape looked like a war zone with trees  everywhere.............i walked thru the woods best that i one point i was wrapped up in what i thought were thick vines..........only to feel steel and rubber..............power lines.............i got untangled and ran for the house.............and started yelling for debbie as i saw a flashlight beam.....................she yelled back and said she was ok and just scared to death and crying.

we surveyed the house and it was untouched...........trees were on the carport and shed..........and huge 100 year old oaks were pulled out of the ground and lying everywhere with massive root balls 8 ft say were were blessed was a huge understatement.

after collapsing to sleep...........we woke up to a war zone scene outside, no power, debris everywhere............trees crushed the fence in six places...........gates were blocked and crushed...............trees crushed my  neighbors rv...............

My neighbor also had a tree come thru his roof, tear the porch off his house and had his pristine property turned into a barren landscape...........

i called the power company at 3am hoping to get thru as it was busy all night.............and a half hour later we heard the howl of a dozen chainsaws.............that morning deb and i walked down to the cabins thru what was a nice country road to what like berlin after the war................the cabins were both spared..........trees had fallen against # 2 but otherwise was ok.

Saturday afternoon, my local best friend tony came over with ropes chainsaws and a few cousins and made short work of the trees.........only damage was 20 shingles that need to be replaced and tony will have his carpenter brother fix have friends help like that reminds me why we moved florida its fuck yourself brother...................we were floored by all the help.

meanwhile with choppers flying overhead, fema, fire depts from 3 states, sheriff deputies..........highway patrol.............and no shit..........homeland security..........out of asheville all stopped to ask if we were about response.

last night i drove to town to see about the store where i worked will be closed for 2 to 3 weeks..............they told me to report to work later this week...........and they will send me to ingles supermarkets they own in blueridge ga........andrews nc.........and hayesville nc................30 mile drive............but it saves my job and budget.

i also stopped at the abc liquor  store for some bottled stress reliever.............what the locals call............and "evening with uncle jack"..................waynes 80 year old feedstore was demolished, as was the sears store......brothers restaurant,   save a lot, and the kfc and taco bell were heavily damaged..............when i was in town there was national guard humvees everywhere  and even the red cross and news crews...........say what you will about the south..............but when the shit hits the fan here in the mountains............there’s just a boat load of help.

we have a 630 curfew and an order to stay out of town...........much to the dismay of all the fast food joints................folks were jovial and backslapping and lots of hugs all around.

debbie and i settled in for the night...........sat on our back porch and raised glasses to the sky............thankful of our blessed day, good friends and guardian angels..................the evening with uncle jack..........and a home made pizza............was the best meal of our lives.

we love y’all..............mike and debbie”

I am very happy my brother and SIL are well and unharmed and that their home came through the tornado unscathed.

Remember, you are loved.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Little Lull

The gate the Mossmans were guarding closed, so they were in the Whitsett yard for three days.  Jim C. got to sit with Jim M. for a few hours and catch up.  I went over Friday and saw Linda for an hour and then on Saturday they got assigned a new gate and off they went again.  The are still in the area so we’ll see them again.  But it sure was nice to see them both face to face.

Today there was a breakdown on well #4 so the fracking had to stop, and when there’s no fracking there’s no sand trucks and our traffic basically stops.  So today was very quiet and serene…a nice change. I had time to bath both the dogs, clean out the cutlery drawer and make a nice dinner.

Today a different catering company came in so when I woke up at 12:30 p.m. Jim presented me with a rib eye steak, garlic mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans.  It was very good.  We are sure being fed well on this job.

The other night one of the land owners gave us more New York strip steaks and Jim grilled a package of two.  It was more than we could eat, so I saved one steak for another meal.  Tonight I sliced it up and added it to sautéed mushrooms, onions and red peppers, added some beef stock and sour cream and made beef stroganoff over noodles.  Oh, it was so good.  That beef was so tender.

I’ve cleaned out all the half eaten catered meals we’d accumulated so I think all the leftovers have been taken care of and we’re back to zero again.

Around 5 p.m. they “fixed” whatever was broken at the well and fracking started up again so the sand trucks all emptied and left the gate.  That means in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours they will all be refilled and coming back in…about 10 or 12 trucks arriving separately.  Well, that will keep me busy after midnight.

Again the weather is being very fickled with one day with highs of 88* and nights around 65*.  Then this afternoon we were in shorts and me in a sleeveless tee.  Then tonight it is barely 51* and I’m freezing. I shut off the fan and turned on the electric heater.  We keep having to have handy our rain coats, summer jacket and a winter coat.  Tonight I am wearing my sweats and even wearing my ear muffs!!! LOL

Jim told a couple of the land owners that we would be leaving the end of March and going back through Santa Fe and on into Colorado.  They were NOT happy.  They didn’t want to lose us…it was nice to hear and know we’ve made a positive impression and they would like us to return in October.  We’ll see if that is possible, as we’d like to come back.

We’ll I’m going to make myself a cup of hot tea as I need to warm up. Hope you are well and safe and away from the tornadoes that have been plaguing so much of the country. So much tragedy…..

Remember, you are loved.