Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thanks Friends & Family Who Read My Blog!

I just wanted to take a minute to tell all who have commented on my blog, "thank you so much!" A lot of people who write blogs never get comments, and I am so lucky that I have friends and family who do take the time to comment on here. If you're not inclined to comment on here, please drop me an email and let me know that you have read it. It is not easy to get the hang of putting a comment up on here, and I have had my share of difficulties here in blogger world, so I do understand. So far, I have heard from several via email that they are enjoying reading my blog. My main purpose of starting this blog is to let my friends and family know where we are and what we are up to. Also, I have a journal of sorts for my own records later on. A few people that we used to have frequent contact with, we rarely hear from, so just to let you all know, we would love a call or an email from you! We miss all our friends and don't want to lose touch with any of you! We love each and every one of you!

Thanks again,

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Eagle Lady-Birds of Prey Presentation

Crested Caracara in Flight

American Kestrel

Great Horned Owl

Doris Mager and her Screech Owl

Al has a chance to hold the Crested Caracara

Here at Goose Island it is a birding paradise. Lots of people who come here are birders. They have a bird walk a few times a week at 8 am. It's not really my thing and it's a little too early for me. The other day our neighbor, Wayne (he and his wife Julie are camp hosts here) knocked on our door and said we can't miss the presentation they are having at 4 pm at the rec hall. He and his wife went last year and it was fasinating.

Well, we had nothing else to do, so we headed over to see what it was all about. Doris Mager was the presenter of this program. Doris is an amazing lady and she is a character we will never forget. She has been traveling all over the country visiting state parks, and schools, speaking about the importance of these birds. She travels with her birds in a her van. You may think it's no big deal, but this woman is in her 80's. She has been all over the world. She once stayed in an inactive bald eagle's nest for 6 days and 5 nights, not in protest, but to raise funds for an Audubon Center in Florida. We also learned that she bicycled across the U.S. when she was 60.

In 1983 she founded S.O.A.R. which stands for Save Our American Raptors. The purpose of this organization is to educate people regarding Raptures or Birds of Prey. She brought with her a Screech Owl, an American Krestel, a Crested Caracara and a Great Horned Owl. She presented to us each of these birds and told us their history. The Great Horned Owl has been with her for over 27 years since shortly after his birth. Many of her birds have been injured and many can't be returned to the wild.

Doris wrote a book titled "RJ: Tribute to a Golden Eagle" RJ was a very special Golden Eagle that was in her care for 15 years. RJ was her constant companion and her soul mate visiting many schools fascinating children and adults all around the country.

Doris Mager is one interesting lady. I believe she is around 83 yrs old and as you can tell, still very active. She returns every year to this park and stays in one of the campsites here in her custom van. I'm told she prefers to sleep in her van with her birds even when she is home and even though she has a house.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saying Good-Bye to New Friends

My new hairdo!


Al, eyes closed for the camera

Georgia and Robert

Georga and Robert left yesterday headed west toward San Antonio and eventually to Big Bend National Park and then to Arizona. We enjoyed our visit with them and will miss them! You meet a lot of people when you travel in our fashion, and every so often you meet people you really click with. We had some good times and shared a couple of nice meals together. We are thinking of going to New Mexico, Arizona and California next year, so we hope to connect with them again.

Not too much is new here, but we are still enjoying it here. We plan to stay here until sometime next week and when we know for sure there will be at least 2 or 3 days of straight sunshine, we will go to North Padre Island National Seashore. There we will try out our solar with no electical back-up. We found out that we probably need another solar panel and maybe two in order to do all the things we like to do for a few days. Unfortunately, with our set-up, we can't run all the things we want to run. We use the electric coffee pot, toaster, hair dryer, TV, 2 computers and a router, etc. etc............Our friends Robert and Georgia have been at this for a long time, 9 years or so. The whole time they were at our site (5 days) they didn't plug into our electric, except on the last day when they needed to vaccum. They have special LED lights they use that don't use a lot of power. They go out in the Arizona desert on Government land and do a lot of boondocking out there. They don't even have a TV and prefer it that way. They stopped watching TV 9 years ago. They do a lot of reading and they hike a lot. I have to admire them for their life style!

I managed to get a picture of the sunrise one morning, out our door, just thought I'd share! Most of the time I can't capture how pretty it is here overlooking the water! It is so relaxing, we don't want to leave.

The other day I got my hair cut into a different style. It is a lot shorter than I'm used to, but I needed something easier. Well, she did a good job, but it's shorter than I wanted and I'm actually thinking I might not need a haircut again til I get back home! One of the minor little things that you put up with when on the road. I miss my hairdresser back home!

Today is another sunny day, so I'll say bye for now so I can get outside and enjoy the day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Goose Island State Park, Rockport TX

We arrived here on Monday and are really enjoying ourselves. We had stopped by here last week to check it out and decided this is where we'd like to go next. It looked like there were a lot of open spaces right here on the bay last week, but when we arrived on Monday, we were told all the bay sites were taken, but we could take a site in the wooded area until one opened up. Luckily, by getting to the office at 8:30 am the next morning, we had our pick of a few sites.

In order to get here from Mustang Island, we had two choices. Either drive a short way to Port Aransas and ride the free ferry over to Rockport, or go all the way around, (a much longer distance) to get here. We had taken just the truck over on the ferry with no problem last week, but were a little apprehensive about taking the truck and 5th wheel. We decided to go for it, as it saves on fuel and time. However, after arriving there, we found out that due to low tide they wouldn't accept any 5th wheels that day, so we drove all the way around and it was even further than it would have been, because we had to back-track.

We are having a great time. We met a really nice couple while at Mustang Island, Robert and Georgia from British Columbia. Al went over to talk to them because he noticed they had solar on their truck camper. Anyway, they came over to check out Goose Island and are staying here right next to us. We are having a great time getting to know our new friends. Al is learning more about the solar and how it works by talking to Robert who has had his for several years. Robert and Georgia do a lot of boondocking (camping with no hook-ups).

It is really beautiful here on the bay. Last night I captured the sunset just after it went down. I'll try to get a better picture next time. The first couple of days we were here, there was so much fog, I couldn't get any good pictures. Luckily, yesterday was beautiful all day, sunny and in the 70's.

Meanwhile, back in New York little Will has been in the hospital recovering from a respiratory illness. We are so thankful he is doing better and hopefully, he will be going home today. He only has 2 1/2 more weeks to go until he takes his last Chemo medication. Go Will!! You showed that evil Luekemia who's boss!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New York Cowboy

When I first met my husband, I knew I had met a truly unique guy. He was born on Long Island, NY where he also grew up. He moved to upstate New York as a young adult. On our first date he wore cowboy boots. He still has a few pair that he used to wear, but like most of us, our feet change and he has not been able to wear those pointed toe boots any longer. While in San Angelo, he decided he wanted a pair of boots he could wear comfortably. So off we went to the "Man's Shop" in downtown San Angelo. If you want to buy a good pair of western boots or any other type of western wear, this is the place to go. The pointed toe boots are no longer in style. The square toe and rounded toe boots are more popular now. As you can see from the pictures, he now has a handsome pair of boots that are very comfortable. Oh, and I bought a pair also, but haven't worn them that much.

Maybe next year, we'll buy hats!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mustang Island

We arrived here at Mustang Island State Park on Sunday. Mustang Island is a barrier island on the Gulf Coast in Texas. The town of Port Aransas is located on the northern end of the island and the State Park encompases most of the southern end, and has 5 miles of beach. The city of Corpus Christi also is on a small part of Mustang Island as well as North Padre Island. The beach here at the campground is really beautiful. We were disapointed that we didn't have a site that overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, but the barrier is very thick here. You need to take a short walk down to the beach to really enjoy it.

We decided to take a trip and explore the area a little bit, so on Monday we went out to The National Seashore on N. Padre Island. It almost seems like a continuation of Mustang Island, but it is connected by a roadway, and is considered separate. Both Mustang Island and N. Padre Island have beautiful beaches. You can drive on the beach and you can also camp right on the beach. We will have more about the National Seashore on a later post as we plan to go back there in a few weeks and stay in their campground.

We stopped back at the camper for lunch and then headed back out in the other direction to Port Aransas. Port Aransas is a cute little town with little shops, restaurants and a nice beach. So far, we are really loving this area.

Where we are staying, we are only about 5-7miles to Corpus Christi, and we can easily get any groceries or other supplies we may need. Yet, it's nice and quiet here, so it has been very relaxing.

We went to Rockport and visited Goose Island State Park yesterday. This will definately be our next stop. We are hoping to go to Goose Island on Monday and plan to stay there for at least a week or longer. I didn't take any pictures while there, knowing we'd be going back.

Pictures shown above are of the beach here at Mustang Island State Park and our campsite. We were hoping for a more picturesque campsite, but we are very comfortable here and it is only a short walk down to the beach. Today was a rainy day, so we stayed in and just relaxed. After all the touring we did the past couple of days, we were tired!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy 101 Award

Every so often someone comes along and offers you words of encouragement. I have been struggling with blogging! I'm not the greatest blogger as I still find it difficult out here in blogger world figuring out how to do some of the things other bloggers know how to do. I'm not exactly a natural here. Things don't come that easy for me. I'm used to working with numbers but I'm not a particularly literary person. I really only started the blog because I figured it was a way for family and friends to be updated on what was going on with us in our travels. So you can imagine my excitement when I was awarded the "Happy 101 Award" from my friend, Carol over at "Reflections From the Fence." Carol and her husband are fellow Montana owners, who we have gotten to know through the Montana Owners Club. We have met some of the nicest people though this club and are so happy we met them. They are very special people!

So, now I am supposed to name 10 things that make me happy and pass this award on to 10 deserving bloggers who haven't received this award yet. Since, I'm new to the blogging world and haven't read many blogs, I'm postponing the later for the time being.

I can't possibly list all that makes me happy, so here are 10 that instantly come to mind in no particular order.

1. God, who loves me no matter what!

2. My loving husband, Al who thinks I'm cute!

3. Our wonderful children and their families

4. Grandchildren! They deserve a special mention, because they are so special!

5. All the rest of our families, brothers, sisters, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

6. This opportunity to travel this great country of ours

7. Wonderful friends, old and new

8. A sunny day and even sometimes a rainy day

9. A place called H O M E where I can go when this trip is over

10. All the great memories of Mom and Dad

Sunday, January 10, 2010

San Antonio Riverwalk

Yesterday was a nice sunny day. It was only in the 40's but it wasn't windy and it was very pleasant. We decided to venture out for the day. We first stopped at another RV park near SanAntonio, Hidden Valley RV Park. We got a reply on our blog from Mark and Teri who manage the park. We decided it would be fun to check it out as we will be traveling back through San Antonio in March. We met Teri and had a nice conversation with her and she let us drive through the park. It is a small park with only 35 sites and we saw a few sites empty that would easily accomodate our rig. We found out also that Teri was originally from New Rochelle, NY, a town we often drive through on our way to Long Island. It's alway nice meeting new people. She was so nice and we look forward to stopping back there.

We had debated on going to the Riverwalk as we heard they were cleaning out the river. It was being drained and cleaned which is a week-long process they do every year. We had been to the Riverwalk a few years ago. It is a really beautiful place. However, not so pretty right now. Christmas is over so all those decorations are gone and it is winter so all the beautiful flowers are missing. It has been so cold at night that some of the plants that were there were covered up with plastic. Also, because of the cold spell the outside eateries show just a bunch of unoccupied tables. I snapped a couple of pictures of the process. You'll see lots of mud.

We had a nice lunch at a Mexican Restaurant,and just walked around watching the men work. On our way back to the car we decided to look for a place to have a cup of coffee. We saw a sign for the Buckhorn Museum. Inside was a place you could sit and eat. We both had coffee and pie. We didn't go through the museum, but really enjoyed the western style saloon. I took some pics of it as well as a cowboy that hangs around the place. His name is Billy. He is from New Jersey and says he is a born again Texan! Actually, he works there, but I'm not sure what he does. It was a very interesting place.

Today we are headed toward Corpus Christi , and are planning on staying at Mustang Island State Park.

Friday, January 8, 2010

On the way to San Antonio

We arrived at a RV park in San Antonio yesterday afternoon. There is a cold spell griping most of our nation. It has been raw and windy so it's hard to do anything touristy in nature. So, we have been hanging out here in San Antonio for a couple of days. We are not sure we will even visit the Riverwalk on this trip through. We will be going through here again in March, so we'll save it for then. We had no water again this morning and they are shutting it off tonight. They don't want to deal with frozen water lines. At least we have a fresh water tank, so we are fine. We plan to leave here on Sunday and head toward the Corpus Christi/Rockport area. It is also very cold there, but is supposed to get better next week.

We plan to venture out for dinner in a little while. We have been just relaxing here, and taking care of some necessary paperwork that needs to get done.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of pictures I took on the way here from San Angelo. Pictures of a small little town called Mason, TX population just over 2000. It is so typical of the many small towns you see in TX. Notice the Western style in the downtown buildings and the streets are wide. Can't you just picture horses drawn up to the sidewalk instead of cars and trucks.

OK......It's all I got right now, I'm cold and I don't feel like taking pictures right now. Later...

Monday, January 4, 2010

We're Still Here!

We planned on leaving San Angelo yesterday, but have now postponed it for possibly another week. There is always something, and again it's the solar. It hasn't been working just right, still. So our Solar guy back in Troy, NY is having another controller shipped to us. This will be the 3rd one.

Well, it's not so bad! We have been having fun here and have really enjoyed our stay here. The 5 E's have been fun to be around. They actually come to our camper and sit down and talk to us. Erik, 11 even came over the other day and helped me clean. He vacuumed, swept and even mopped my laminate floors. He was bored he said and he likes helping old people. (I loved that comment) We are happy the kids always find time in their day for us old people.

When they're not doing chores at home, they actually play outside! I didn't think kids did that anymore! What is the secret? No video games! My son and daughter-in-law have seen what kids are like when they become addicted to them, so they don't have them. I guess that's one reason we get to sit and visit with them. They are allowed limited use of the computer and I'm sure that is carefully monitored.

It is a totally different lifestyle here. This family gets down to the basics. The kids are home schooled, but they do network with other home schooling families and are involved in the community. They do team sports, musical instruments and the girls do ballet. They go to church every Sunday together as a family. They are expected to do chores. Everything from dishes, laundry, vacuuming and picking up around the house is shared. They even help with the cooking. One of the kids favorite TV channels is "Food Network".

Mom, Deja, never sits down during the day. She cooks mostly from scratch. She even grinds her own whole wheat flour and bakes her own bread. (Emma can bake bread too). A lot of what she has to do as far as cooking, is to provide tasty meals for Erik, who has severe food allergies. He is allergic to so many things that are in processed foods, that this is a better way to go for the whole family. She runs a produce co-op on Fridays and the kids help with that. They have a vegetable garden in summer and she does a lot of canning. We all do composting. That seems to be pretty easy and it really does make a lot of sense.

In many ways, it's a simpler life, but also a healthier lifestyle. I just bought a bread machine and at least I can now make some homemade bread instead of buying that expensive kind that doesn't taste all that good anyway. I'll still use some convenience foods in this small space I have to cook in, but boy that homemade bread tastes good!!!