January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Friday, April 30, 2010


Not me, my computer.

I have been having "issues" with it for some time now. Finally yesterday it gave up the ghost. So, off to Radio Shack and home with a new Toshiba laptop. Today I am finding my way around Windows 7. Old puter had XP.

Later I will attempt to transfer my stuff. I will try to do it through Carbonite.com. Since I paid for a years membership, it had best be worth it. My whole life is on spreadsheets, etc. I NEED THEM TO LIVE! LOL!

If I can't figure it out, I will have to take the hard drive to a local computer expert and hope he can help me. Then I need to learn how to operate the built in web camera. Len had bought me one for Christmas but every time I took it out of the box to install, I became overwhelmed. We will probably give that one to our oldest daughter so we can talk to granddaughters Charlotte and eventually Abby.

Now, my "old" laptop was only about 5 years ago. One would think it would not be so obsolete.

We are still attending to the needs to Len's mother. Days can be very long. Monday we were on duty 7 am through the night to 1 pm Tuesday afternoon. Then 7 am to 7 pm Wednesday. Thursday it was 7 am to about 3 pm. Today it is 6 am until about 7 tonight. Not sure about the weekend yet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Texas Welcome Center

Entering Texas from Louisiana on I10 you cross over the Sabine River. We have passed this welcome center for many, many years but never stopped. Len grew up just off the last exit in Louisiana. In fact, his family house was moved when he was a teenager to make room for I10. Most of our shopping is done right over the border in Orange, Texas.

Last week we stopped at the center because we wanted a full size Texas map. We found a lot more. In addition to the usual travel information, there are clean rest rooms and a staff that is very helpful and informative.

But the real treat is behind the main building. There is a long boardwalk stretching out over a swampy area. Along the boardwalk are benches for sitting and signage relating to the history of the area and its abundant wildlife. To be sure, there must be times visitors are able to spot an alligator or two.

We had a break from our care responsibilities this past weekend. On Saturday we traveled about 130 miles to Clear Lake, Texas (just south of Houston) and visited with Len's daughter D'Juana, her husband Joe and our grandchildren Alex, Jared and Lindsey. We arrived back in Louisiana around 3 on Sunday. It was a nice respite and always a pleasure to see our family in Texas.
Most of this week we will be caring for Mom. We came over this morning at 7 am and will be here until tomorrow night until 7pm. Then back Wednesday from 7am to 7 pm. Then Thursday 7am to Friday night 7 pm. After this , we ask that we have the weekend free.
Len's Mom is still having semi-good days. However, we notice that she is not able to urinate as often as she did. She thinks she has to, but then is unable. It might take three trips to the bathroom before she finally is able to go. Some days she sleeps most of the day, others she is awake most of the day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A few hours here and there.

On the positive side - my mother was released from the hosptial two days ago. I talk to her frequently and she sounds good. She agrees that she will work with the physical therapist coming to the house to help her improve her walking capacity. I reminded her that Len's mother refused to cooperate with the therapist two years ago and now cannot use either legs or arms. They tell Mom that what put her in hospital may or may not reoccur.

Today we had time off from sitting with Len's mother for a few hours. We did our grocery shopping and then visited about an hour with his cousin Russell and wife Margie. We always enjoy seeing them. We had to be back at the house by 2:30.

We are here now until relieved by his brother Jerry and wife Irene. Then we have to be back by 7 tomorrow morning. We are hoping to have most of this weekend free.

It is very difficult for Len and I to sit around all day. He watches TV, I read or get on the computer. We are both used to being more active and not accustomed to being tied down. This is a challenge for our patience.

There are times when we feel really frustrated. We have been planning our life on the road for a few years. Early last year it was delayed due to our own personal reasons and it looked like we would never live the Fulltime RV Life. Then we decided to take off October 1 only to be told Len had skin cancer. (Thank God that was not the case). Then we decided to take off Jan. 11 but I ended up in hospital Jan 5. Then the date was January 31. Don't you know a snow storm hit, causng a one day delay only. So off we went February 1. Looking back, we have been "on the road" 12 weeks. But only 4 1/2 of those weeks we have been free to travel.

Will our day ever come? As many people of our age have come to find, there can be many obligations and circumstances beyond our control causing the best laid plans to be put on delay or cancelled. Will we eventually travel? We can only hope to be able "some day".

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My sister called me yesterday from NJ. My own mother is now in the hospital. Seems she was in a lot of pain - first chest, then stomach and back. They believe it is pancreatitis. A gall stone between pancreas and gall bladder. Possibly she will have to have gall bladder removed. I talked to Mom twice yesterday and again today. She sounds good. Yesterday had no discomfort, today some but bearable.

I asked if I needed to return to NJ. Sister, brother and Mom tell me no. I will take it day by day. If I need to go, Len will have to stay here to continue care of his mother.

Len's mother had a good day yesterday, when we saw her this morning not so good. She might be tired from yesterday. As far as I could tell, she got up early and did not take any naps all day.

Starting tomorrow Len and I will be sitting with her all day until the weekend. We will stay over in the house on Tuesday night. Len has told his family we will have to go to South Dakota for a week in May to get our drivers licenses. We also plan to return to NJ for a month in June. However, this is all up in the air as if we are not here during weekdays it leaves one sister-in-law to provide all the care during those hours. It is too much for any one person.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A schedule is set

We arrived back in Louisiana mid afternoon on the 14th. Our sister-in-law Susie was at Mom's along with family friend Christina. Susie really needed relief as she has been here most days tending to Mom.

We are parked next to Mom's house. There was water and electric available and Len ran pipes to get us sewer hookups as it appears we will be here for a length of time.

Royce and Susie stayed with Mom Wednesday night. We stayed all day Thursday. Brother Bobby and sister Laura stayed with her last night and will today. We met with brother Jerry, Laura, Bobby and sister Sissy last night. They worked out a schedule until late next week. We will stay in the house next Tuesday night. During the weekend various siblings will stay with her. Starting Monday the days will have to be covered by Susie, Len and I along with help from Christine.

As we are right here, even on days when it is not our full responsibility, we will be in and out checking on things as will all other siblings when their schedule permits it. Most of the siblings and in-laws work so their responsibilities will be mostly nights or weekends.

Len is again, trying to find work to supplement our meager income. If that happens, I will stay with Mom weekdays. That is fine as long as Christine is here too. She is able to lift Mom. I would not even attempt to try. I have seen times when Len has difficulty. Mom is completely limp when moved. Her legs drag and get tangled up causing a tripping hazard. Each time she is moved it takes two people, the stronger one to lift and the other to move her legs.

I am proud of how the family is getting together and each helping in their own way.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hill Country of Texas

Sunday, April, 11. We left Seguin late morning and drove to Big Chief RV Resort at Buchanan Dam about 10 miles outside Burnet TX. This is a view of the lake from our site.

This is clearly the best time of the year for wildflower sightings. Looking across the lake, we see a mass of purple. These are Texas Blue Bonnets. Why they are called Blue, I don't understand. They sure look purple to me. Whatever they are called, they make an amazing display.
This is a picture of bald mountain at a State Park outside Llana, Tx.

A field of Blue Bonnets.

Monday, April 12. We went to the Post Office in Burnet then called Granddaughter Tiffany. We were only about 9 minutes from her house. We visited with her and Great grandson Alec for a little over an hour. Needing to stock the larder, we stopped at the local HEB for supplies.

Tuesday, April 13. We drove about 70 miles to Fredericksburg, TX. This is a town of mostly shops and resturants. Many of the buildings were quite interesting. This building is now a store/wine shop, but according to the old signage on it, it was once a hospital.
Our cell phone reception was very poor at the campground. A call would come through but as soon as answered, we would lose coverage. We had to run into town or up a hill to make call backs. Early in the day, Len had called his brother Jerry to check up on his Mom. He indicated everything was under control. Late in the afternoon, Len's phone rang and he saw it was Jerry calling back. We hopped in the truck and found an area we could call out. Jerry said we were needed back in Louisiana to help out. We packed up and pulled out of the campground Wednesday morning.
Wednesday, April 14. We set up "camp" in Mom's side yard. There is water and electric service already. Len worked to give us sewer. We will be taking rotations staying in the house at night but most days we will be here in the house sitting with Mom.
We have several commitments in the next few months. I will cancel them as necessary. Our most immediate obligation is a NOMADS project in Missouri. We were scheduled there on April 24. I will call Carla at the office later today and let her know we will not be available again for the forseeable future.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seguin, Texas

Week of April 5 to 11, 2010. We spent this week outside Seguin, Texas at the home of Terri's friend Sharon Smith and her friends Anne and Marcia. Below are two of their goats who "play" like this several times a day.

The front deck of their home.
One of our meals on their back deck.
That is Sharon with the big smile and her mother, who also came from NJ for a visit, left of her. Anne is in the blue and the back of the head of Marcia.
Three of their four horses. Two are ready to foal in two months.

April 9, 2010. This is Peggy and David. I have been talking to Peggy for a few years on the Weight Watchers RV and Campers thread. Peggy and David are also fulltimers. They are working for a year at the Escapees Park in Hondo, Texas. We met in San Antonio at the Little Red Barn for a steak lunch. It is always nice to meet people I have "talked" to online. We do hope to meet again down the road. Perhaps we might stay for a while in Hondo later in the year or early next year.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Braunfels and LBJ Ranch

Wednesday, April 7. We drove into New Bruanfels, TX for the day. The weather was at first drizzly and overcast but as the day progressed, the weather improved. We spent time outside New Bruanfels at the Guene (pronounced GREEN) historial district.

The most exciting part of the visit was being in Guene Hall. This is an oldtime country dance hall but more important it is where George Strait got his start with his Ace in the Hole Band. He played there most weekends for a number of years before heading off to Nashville. As some of my friends know, I am a fan of George.

Thursday, April 8. We drove up to Johnson City and on to LBJ Ranch. Len and I had been there several years ago. When we were there before, tour buses took visitiors around the ranch. They now provide a free CD directing guests on a self driving tour.

We stopped in Johnson City at a small cafe for lunch. For the first time I tried Buttermilk Pie. It is to die for! Yummy.

President Johnson is buried in a small family plot on the ranch right across from the house (a reproduction) of where he grew up. This is his and Lady Bird's simple headstones.
The house he lived in on the Ranch is not elaborate nor ornate. Just a simple home. At the time of his presidency it became known as the Texas White House.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crawfish boil followed by the Alamo

Hello and welcome to this blog - Happy Campers!

Sunday, April 4. Easter Sunday. We attended church at Vinton United Methodist church. When we arrived back at Len's mothers, all three of his children, 9 grandchildren and our one great-grandchild was there. We had moved our fiver from the campground into Mom's side yard Saturday morning. Above is the group. It includes us, daughter D'Juana, son Lennie, daughter Cassie, their spouses, and their children.

Here are our five generations. Mother Alice, Son Leonard, Grandson Leonard Jr, Granddaughter Tiffany and Great-Grandson Alec.

Following our day with family and extended family including Len's four brothers and spouses and two of his sisters, one brother-in-law and their children and grandchildren, we hit the road headed to Seguin, Tx. We stopped along I10 at a Texas Rest area for the night.

Monday, April 5. We arrived in Seguin about 9 am. After finding our "home" for the next several days we were greeted by daughter Terri's friend Sharon. Shortly after we arrived Sharon and her friend Marica left for the airport to get Terri and her husband Steve and Sharons mother Marge. We were taken on a tour of the property by Annie. They have 4 horses and four goats and three dogs. The property is about 11 acres back a gravel road almost to a deadend. They had installed electric and water hookups for us. Most of the day was spent visiting.

Tuesday, April 6. Len, Terri, Steve and I had breakfast then went into San Antonio. First business was touring the Alamo.

After the Alamo, we did the River Walk, stopping to have a great lunch at a Mexican Restaurant. The weather here has been somewhat humid but bearable. We now need to make plans for the next few days.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Met with Hospice Nurse

Yesterday the Hospice nurse met with most of the family. Mom had had a good nights sleep, got up very early but became tired around 1. She slept in her chair most of the afternoon. Around 4 she asked to be put in her bed. The nurse came around 5:30.

He said that she will have spells of being awake and spells of sleeping long lengths of time. This is due to the changes in her heart's pumping blood. He can not predict how long this will continue. She might live days, weeks, months like this. More and more she is living in the past and her conversation makes no sense to us. We are told this is usual.

The family is preparing for a large crawfish boil in Sunday. Len and I had planned on leaving the area Sunday afternoon headed to the San Antonio area. Terri and Steve are flying in on Monday and we will be staying at Terri's friend Sharons.

Len and the family tell me that we all need to continue with our lives and do what we had planned. We will be only 4-5 hours away for the next three weeks.