Thursday, February 28, 2013

illegal aliens and gate guarding

This is for fellow gate guards out there and those who are thinking about doing it.

Most of you know our traveling buddies, Linda and Jim Mossman.


They had a harrowing experience the other night while gate guarding outside of Pearsill, Texas…..not close to the border at all, but about 40 miles southeast of Pleasanton.  Read their story on their blog.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

El Campo and Beaumont, Texas

We left Tropic Winds RV Park in Harlingen, Texas, Tuesday morning and got to the Elk’s Club in El Campo, Texas, by early afternoon.  The club was suppose to be open from 4-7 p.m. and have 15 amp electric available.

Well, 4 p.m. came and went as did 5, 6 and 7 p.m. and no one showed up, so we just spent the night in their parking lot anyway.

Breakfast was coffee and kolaches at the local Bu'cees. The drive to Beaumont was uneventful…just the way we like it. 


Poncho fell asleep on Jim’s leg for most of the trip….Poncho has to always be touching either Jim or I when he sleeps.






Now we are at the Elk's Club in Beaumont. Since we are only 137 miles from Abbeville, LA we might just spend another night here because we can't get into Betty's till Friday anyway.  This is a nice RV park the Elk’s have here.  There are about 15-20 full hookup sites…you park on grass and they have a cement pad as a little patio beside you.

Marty Cassidy drove down from Livingston to visit and have dinner with us.

CIMG1563 CIMG1564

We haven’t seen Marty since the deserts outside of Yuma, Arizona, last winter.  Marty is another person we seem to see once or twice a year somewhere during our travels.  He is also part of the Escapees RV Club Class of 2007, so we’ve all been on the road six years now.

This Elk’s Club opens at 4 p.m. also, but this time I called them ahead of time last night so I know there will be someone here. We’ll go in and have a complimentary drink and pay $10 a night for our stay.  Then I finish up dinner.  I’ve already made the base for Shrimp E'toufee. All I have to do is add the shrimp and cook up a batch of rice.

Want to come over and join us?  We have plenty.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Monday, February 25, 2013

Harlingen, Texas & South Padre Island

We’ve had a fun time here at Tropic Winds RV Resort in Harlingen.  Saturday Jean Watson, Paula Nankivell and I went to Hobby Lobby and spent an hour picking out yarn for several projects we each had.  It sure was fun having a friend to help you select the right yarn for a project.  I seldom have that luxury and so very much enjoyed this outing.

Sunday Jim and I drove to Brownsville to check out an RV park as a possible selection for next winter.  Then, since we were so close, we decided to drive to South Padre Island.

We drove across the Queen Isabel Causeway Bridge.  It was a overcast day thus the bad photos.

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (3) So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (4)

Here we are by one of the beaches.

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (13)

South Padre reminded us very much of Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. The buildings were very much the same.

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (22)
So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (24)

We enjoyed seeing the gulf waters again.

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (8) So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (12)

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (14)We didn’t know that the area is known for dolphin watching.  There were several boats out and about doing just that.  Jim saw a dolphin jump out of the water….neat.

So. Padre Island-Port Isabel (17)


We saw this cute sight….a seagull showing only one leg sitting atop a handicap sign….how appropriate.





When we returned to the park we watched the Daytona 500 routing on Danica Patrick, happy to see her place in the top ten.


Next we joined Jean and John at the park’s Potato Bake.  Jim made a big pot of sausage gravy and there wasn’t much left afterwards.

After putting our stuff away back at the rig, we returned and joined Paula and Tom for the ice cream social and then participated in Card Bingo.  Have you ever heard of that?  We hadn’t, but it was easy to learn.  Our table of 16 people set up in four people per deck of cards won three of the ten pots for the night.

We were going to leave Monday, but there was a big wind storm predicted for this area, so we postponed leaving one more day.  Fellow area managers with American Land & Leisure (our summer camphosting job) Brian and Carol Thompson winter in Harlingen and they called and invited us for lunch.  So we met them today at Jason’s Deli.


By being here on a Monday I was able to attend the park’s twice weekly knitting and craft gathering with Paula and Jean.  It was very enjoyable being with other knitters and have the availability of more experienced knitters to help when needed.


Then later we joined Jean and John for  dinner at Whataburger.  I like their Apple and Cranberry Salad. It was sad saying goodbye to them, but we see them at least once a year somehow, somewhere.  Hopefully we’ll see them back here in Harlingen next winter.

Now we’re off to say goodbye to Paula and Tom with promises to see them again next winter, if not sooner.  We seem to bump into The Nankivell’s at least once a year also.

We’re off tomorrow morning moving towards Louisiana.  Stay tuned for reports along the way….

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Harlingen, Texas

We moved from Mercedes to Harlingen yesterday.  Not much of a move, for sure, as they are next to each other.  We are at Tropic Winds RV Resort, another Encore park.

We parked just down the street from The Nankivell’s and pretty close to The Watson’s. After getting settled in we went to lunch with Jean and John Watson to a place called The Pizzeria. 


This place serves New Jersey style pizza.  The Pizzeria is a really neat place where they have baked pizzas of a great variety in a glass case and you pick out what you want and they reheat it in a pizza oven.  Very, very tasty.

Place your order
Nice selection
Lots of pizzas
Jim’s meat lovers
My stuffed veggie
Big salad

CIMG1438The pizza slices were $2.25 and that salad was only 99 cents.  I even bought a pizza with eggplant to have for dinner…sorry about the bite taken out…didn’t think to take a photo until after I bit into it LOL.

We got together with The Nankivell’s and the Watson’s for happy hour.  It was nice talking about where we’ve all been since last we saw each other.  We’re all thinking of coming back to Tropic Winds next winter.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Friday, February 22, 2013

Impromptu Party

Wednesday I was surfing around facebook and a friend commented that Hank was at the same RV Park we were in.  I called the office and sure enough, Hank was here so I called him and he came over.  Conversation brought forth information on several other friends also in the area.  “Well, let’s have a get together for happy hour.”

That was at noon and by 4 p.m. we had ten people in our rig for happy hour.  Mercedes was in the middle of a high wind condition so being outside was out of the question.  Here’s the Newby’s, the Coleman’s, the Nankivell, Hank and us.  During the conversation we were talking about Bob and Molly Pinner and no one knew where they were located, so we called Molly and chatted….made here part of the party as well.


Then our dear friend Fay stopped by; we were so glad to see her.


We all had a great “what have you been doing” talk and the wine and snacks were scrumptious.

Later Jim and I went out with Fay to Sunrise Mexican Restaurant for a really nice dinner.

Thursday we had errands to run (Poncho got a new dog harness) as our truck docking station for our XM radio went on the fritz and we went to Best Buy in Mcallen for a new one.

We moved to Harlingen Friday….more about that tomorrow.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Microwave/Convection Oven

Back in December I heated up a couple of tamales for lunch.  When I took them out of the microwave I noticed a pile of ash in the back bottom of the oven with a plum of ash across the back wall.  When I cleaned it up this is what I found…an inch opening in the sealant.


So I contacted our RV Tech buddy, Dennis Sides, who was working his magic in the Mercedes, Texas, area.  He said if we ordered the unit he’d put it in for his usual fee.

So I ordered the Sharp unit from (where I buy most everything) and when we finished our gate guarding we drove here to Mercedes to see Dennis.

Yesterday morning we drove to his park and where his wife, Colette, is heading the kitchen.  We had breakfast together


After breakfast Dennis and his helper came over to our rig and installed the new unit.  Doesn’t it look nice?


Now we have to learn all the buttons and capabilities of this new unit.  It is exactly like the Mossman’s unit so I can always call them for help LOL.

We had an impromptu party later in the day…but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow….stay tuned…..

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mercedes, Texas

We both slept in late and didn’t get out of the Gate Guard Services Whitsett yard till 10 a.m.  We had an uneventful drive southeast to Mercedes. 

We checked into Paradise South RV Park and relaxed a while before going to Golden Corral in Westlaco for dinner.  Boy I ate a huge salad and then a plate of cooked veggies with a piece of baked fish.  I was even good with my dessert choice….three strawberries….OK….yes, they were drenched in chocolate….you caught me.

Had to get home to watch NCIS and NCIS-Los Angeles.  Jim is snoozing…..Poncho is snoring….life is good.

Remember, you are loved
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Monday, February 18, 2013


We got released a day earlier than expected, so after we parked in the yard this afternoon we hightailed it over to Linda and Jim Mossman’s gate to have a good visit.

It has been four months since I’ve seen Jim so it was really nice to be around him.  This is such a cute photo…especially with Walker peaking down from the back of the love seat.

After our visit we stopped at Yummy’s Buffet in Pleasanton and had a good Chinese dinner.  Tonight we’re in “the yard” enjoying having the windows opened, cool breeze and the quiet…there isn’t a generator running in the background.  Ahhhh, this is nice!!!

I made reservations at a Mercedes RV Park that accepts Passport America starting tomorrow.  We’ll be there three days…then we’ll see what we’ll do.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Been Released

I couldn’t sleep last night…guess changing sleep patterns takes more than one day/night.  So I got up and watched TV for a while.  At 3:00 a.m. Jim got up and I was basically told to “go to bed, Woman”.

I felt my foot being gently shaken and opened an eye to see Jim there “wake up, Sweetheart, we’ve been released so we need to get ready to go now”.

So I hurriedly got dressed and started in on our “departure checklist” and put things away for a move.  Our company was notified but I called them anyways to confirm we’re ready to go.  So now we’re just sitting around occupying our time waiting for the shop men to come and disconnect us.

We’ll park in the company yard and then go see Jim and Linda Mossman this afternoon.  Probably move out tomorrow for Mercedes if we get off this gate anytime soon.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Life has been going at a whirlwind pace the last few days. 

Friday I had my last “girls’ day out” with Linda Mossman and Nancy Doyle.  We ate at Chili’s, Linda and I shopped at Walmart and then I got a perm … note- new glasses as well.


When I woke up Saturday Jim told me everyone was going to be gone that day and the company man said we could close the gate and go out to dinner if we wanted.  “If we wanted?”  You bet your britches we want to!!!

Before that though I had received an email from folks we met in Quartzsite January 2012, Kati and Tim Mangan.  They were in Austin area and had signed up to be gate guards with a different company than ours, and wanted to drive down and talk about the job.



The day was gorgeous so we sat outside and soaked it up while talking about gate guarding…giving advice and answering questions.


We met Tim and Kati during our Escapees RV Club Class of 2007 Fifth Reunion.  Our class name designates that we went fulltime RVing in the year 2007.  Tim and Kati had just retired (Class of 2012) and were “adopted” by the Class of 2007.


Later on we met local friends, Sue and Tom, at Pepe Boudreaux Restaurant for dinner and a last visit before we leave the area Wednesday.

Because there wasn’t anyone left at the pads I didn’t have to stay up. Jim closed the gate and we got to sleep together….Yippee!!! First time in four months.

Jim got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning to open the gate.  When I got up at 7:00 a.m. I got to see this……..

I hadn’t seen a sunrise since last November….and what a beautiful sight to see……

Our next couple of days will be very quiet. All the personnel have left.  The last of the equipment will leave tomorrow and then we leave here Tuesday morning and move to the company yard for a couple of nights.

It’s been a busy couple of days…..a whirlwind of activity.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Thursday, February 14, 2013

End of Our Gate Guarding

We knew we were going to stop gate guarding near the end of February so we could spend a month in Louisiana at the infamous Betty’s RV Park.  But we found out today that we will be released from this gate next Tuesday. The rig has already pulled out and the other flow back well will go to “production” (capped). So we’ll just close it out then.


We’ll spend a couple of days in the Whitsett yard and will go visit The Mossman’s for sure.  We are awaiting the delivery of a new microwave.  We’ve been without a microwave since it broke down back in December and haven’t been able to get the one and only RV tech in this area to come out and fix it/order a new one.  So we ordered a new microwave/convection oven from and once it arrives we’ll go down to Mercedes and have our buddy and RV Tech, Dennis Sides put it in for us.  We met The Sides when we all worked at amazon in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Then back in 2010 when Jim and I drove to Rapid City to become South Dakotans and this microwave started falling out while we were driving along. We called Dennis for help as he and Colette where at the Hart Ranch.  Dennis and Jim spent a good three hours bracing in the microwave and solved the problem.  So Dennis “knows” this microwave.

So we’ll spend a few days in Mercedes and get to visit Jean and John Watson whom we met when working for amazon in Campbellsville, Kentucky, in 2010.  Then we’ll “shoot from the hip” and just wander around between there and Abbeville, Louisiana.

So we have a few more days/nights to work and then Jim and I can do things together again.  

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Recent Happenings

Friday I met Linda Mossman and Nancy Doyle in Pleasanton to do laundry and then lunch at Whataburger.  They had a real nice salad selection.  Afterwards it was Walgreens’s to get a passport photo taken….ours are due…then Walmart and then H.E.B. .... yes it was a busy day.

One of the companies out here has been barbecuing a lot and they have been very nice and always shared a plate with us.  We wanted to do something for them, so last night I prepped a dinner for them and finished it up tonight.  There’s only six of them so I made up a tamale casserole, homemade refried beans, Mexican rice and a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies.  Jim delivered it down to them and they seemed to enjoy it all.


Today we also had a nice meeting with one of our blog readers, Tom and Lynn….you may have seen their comments on some of our blog posts.  Tom and Lynn have been gate guards before and are back to do it again.  We had a nice conversation and enjoyed being together.

Tom Lynn Brashears

Yesterday being Fat Tuesday I got out my Mardi Gras hat and wore it all day.  Sure did get some fun comments.


Yes, that is a spot on the very tip of my nose.  Would you believe I got bit by a bug while I was sleeping???? Well, I did!!!! This is the third time I’ve been bit by the same type of bug.  So I’m walking around with this stupid spot on my nose till it heals.  UGH!!!!

Well, that’s been my last couple of days…’s been your day?????

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cove-San Antonio

Linda Mossman and I drove to San Antonio to “attend” a virtual wedding shower for her niece, Ally, who lives in San Antonio. Ally’s sister, Ashlee, flew in from Virginia to “attend”.

We all met at The Cove Restaurant (a DDD place) for lunch.  It is a very eclectic place….use to be a gas station and it still operates the attached laundromat and car wash.

Outdoor seating behind the restaurant
Note the car being washed as we approach the restaurant

The Cove serves organic food with a wide selection of burgers, including lamb and bison burgers, and they are known for their fish tacos.  They also serve many different types of sandwiches and salads.


You place your order at the counter and are given a number on a stand, so your food is delivered to you by servers. You get your own drink and find a seat.  How the servers find you amongst the hundred people there I have no idea, but they do.

There’s inside and outside seating.  We got there around 11:30 and there was already a line to get in…but it moved fast. 

Here’s Linda regular burger
The other three had bison burgers which they said were very good…looks the same doesn’t it?


I had the seafood taco sampler which was a grilled fish taco and a grilled shrimp taco both topped with cabbage with a spinach salad on the side…..very, very good.

Ashlee knew Linda was coming to lunch, but we surprised Ally and her fiancé, Paige.


 After lunch Paige had to go back to work, leaving the ladies to have our virtual wedding shower.  Ashlee had arranged for friends and family members to send her checks and gift cards so she and Ally could go together and get items from her registry.  This is a virtual wedding shower because Ashlee also put together a PowerPoint of the emails and videos from those friends and family members giving Ally wedding wishes in their own words.  It was wonderful and very touching.  

Ally opening the bag full of greeting cards
Here’s Ally listening and watching the PowerPoint with Linda and Ashlee watching her reaction.

We had a wonderful time in San Antonio and realized it is only a 40 minute drive north of Pleasanton.  Too bad we didn’t know that earlier or we would have been going to San Antonio more often.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind this saying HERE

Thursday, February 7, 2013


We like lasagna but most recipes just make too much for the two of us to consume readily.  I bought a package of whole wheat lasagna noodles at Target in Oklahoma City.  The recipe on the back looked easy and called for using a loaf pan and only four noodles. OK, that will count down on the quantity.


Instead of making the recipe’s pasta sauce I used my favorite Giada de Laurentiis’ Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.


This was a compromise dish.  For Jim I used ricotta and mozzarella cheese (dairy) and for me I didn’t use any meat but used lots of veggies instead.  I put in spinach, mushrooms, onions and carrots.

Using the loaf pan to stack up the lasagna was very easy and provided four good-sized servings.  Plus the servings kept their shape better than a nine by thirteen pan.

I’ll definitely will be making this dish again. Jim said he didn’t even miss the meat. Next time maybe I’ll use tofu and nutritional yeast (tastes like cheese, honestly) for the ricotta and mozzarella cheese and see how far I can get Jim away from dairy.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying HERE