Friday, March 31, 2017


For several months (almost a year now), Dwayne has led us in praying each evening at 9pm. We have an alarm set on our phones to stop and pray. Dwayne recommended that we start this prayer time to pray for our country and its leaders (1 Tim 2:1-4):

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
So we pray for our governmental leaders, for those running for office, for police and military, our pastors and church.

We've expanded our prayer time to pray for leaders all across our lives - those in leadership in the RV organizations to which we belong, those who own or are maintaining the campground where we are currently staying, and others who might have an influence over our ability to "live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way".

We also pray for neighbors - those in whatever place we're camping, as well as former neighbors and friends. We pray for two boys that we are supporting through Compassion International - one in Haiti and one in Ecuador. We pray for those we know who need salvation - healing from spiritual sickness, as well as those who need healing from physical illness.

I am SO thankful to God that my sweet husband is leading me in doing this. It is amazing what God will do with a man who is submitted to His will, and wonderful to be the wife of one who lives his life first to do God's will, and then constantly expresses to me how I am God's precious gift to him. I am so thankful to God for giving me sweet Dwayne as my husband!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What's that animal called?

We had Jason Hunt from Jason's Mobile RV Service come out to check our washer/dryer on Wednesday. He confirmed that we have a leak in the water pump and that the likelihood of getting a replacement water pump is pretty low (the company last sold new ones in 2003, and used ones are... uhm... used and/or not available). His wife, Monica, came with him on the mobile call, and she and I had a very informative conversation (for me) on showing of goats.

Their two daughters (12 and 10, I think) show goats. I think they show Boer goats (a meat producing breed). She told me that they show "wethers" - I had not heard that term before, but it is a castrated male goat.

When I thought about it, it made sense - a castrated horse is a "gelding" and a castrated cow is a "steer", but I had not considered that there would be a different term for different species of animals.

Can you name what the term is for baby, adult male, juvenile male, adult female, juvenile female, and castrated male of each of the following animals?
  • horse
  • cow
  • goat
  • sheep
  • chicken
  • swine
 <play the Final Jeopardy! music to enable your thinking....>

Want the answers that I found?

Here is what I have learned from a small amount of internet research:

Young Male
Young Female
Castrated Male





Rooster / cock


The terms "bull", "cow" and "calf" are also used by extension to denote the sex or age of other large animals, including whales, hippopotamuses, camels, elk, and elephants.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sparkle Magic

I blogged about our "Sparkle Magic" light when we first got it in November of last year ( But, Sparkle Magic is not just for Christmas time!!! We have been enjoying having our Sparkle Magic light shining on the cedar trees around our campsite here at Lake Whitney. We've had a neighbor or two come ask what we've used to put the lights in the trees.

Dwayne did a timed exposure with his camera and his wide lens - 60 seconds, ISO1600, F/7.1, lens: EF-S10-22mm F/3.5-4.5USM.

Since the exposure was open for a long time, it makes the lights inside the bus seem a lot brighter. You may be able to see some stars in the sky too - each of them is a little elongated rather than a dot as they moved that much during the 60 second exposure. And, we think the elongated look to the lights on the tree are due to the tree branches moving some during the exposure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Additional information on ZIP+4

One of my blog readers, Don, sent me some additional information on ZIP+4 from the website It gives more information about how closely the value specifies the location (I added the yellow highlight in the text that I copied in below):
 What are those last four numbers in a nine-digit ZIP Code?  People  call and ask for the "Full ZIP Code", the "Last 4 Digits" of their ZIP Code, the "9 Digit ZIP Code", the "numbers after a ZIP Code", the "4 digit extension" and so on.  Even though they all mean the same thing, The U.S. Postal Service refers to these numbers as the "ZIP +4 Code".
To determine a ZIP +4 Code you will need to know an address. The last four digits are not specific to a city but to a street address or Post Office Box.
This is what an address looks like with the ZIP +4 Code:
zip 4 sample pic-1
zip 4 sample pic- 1st 5
The first five digits identify the area of the country and the delivery office to which the mail is directed. ZIP Codes start with a zero (0) in the northeast and gradually get higher as you move west. ZIP Codes in the far west start with a nine (9).
zip 4 sample pic-1st 2 of plus4 The sixth and seventh digits point to a delivery sector, which may be several blocks, a group of streets, a group of Post Office boxes, several office buildings, a single high-rise office building, a large apartment building or a small geographic area.
zip 4 sample pic-last 2 of plus4
The last two digits represent a delivery segment, which might be one floor of an office building, a side of a street, specific departments in an office, or specific Post Office boxes.
It's good to know your ZIP +4 Code. More and more companies are requiring it on paperwork and forms. The U.S.P.S. does not mandate that packages or letters need the +4 code. However, using the correct ZIP+4 reduces the number of times your mail is handled and can decrease the chance of a misdelivery or error. Click here to find your ZIP +4 Code! We are a licensed distributor of the U.S. Postal Service ZIP Code Data. If you are in need of a ZIP +4 Database, check out our U.S. ZIP+4 page. Our databases contain every street and address range in the U.S., along with the corresponding ZIP +4 Code.        
So, there you have it! It does point to a specific post office box (so, our ZIP+4 may point directly to our "pendaflex folder" at the Escapees Mail Forwarding Service), but it probably does *not* correspond to a specific house on a street.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sustaining power of God's Word

We've had some difficult news over the past week, not my news to share, but it has challenged me to "Bless the Lord at all time" even when I can't see the good in a situation.

On Saturday, the Verse of the Day from YouVersion was:
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalms 59:16 ESV
This was such a comforting verse for me to come at this time.

In our Bible Reading Plan, Sunday's scriptures included Psalm 136. I have started listening to the scripture being read for my scripture reading - it makes me hear/read every single word, which, in my normal reading, I know I don't always do. Especially in a psalm such as this one which has a refrain on every verse, "for his steadfast love endures forever". Listening to the reader just puts the words on my heart in a way that reading it myself doesn't:

I'm so thankful that God's steadfast love endures forever, even when it is hard for me to see.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


I was mentioning to my brother about having difficulty that we always seem to have some mail that does not include our "apartment" number - which means that the folks at our mail forwarding service must go through an additional step to determine which "apartment" (or folder number) Patti or Dwayne Cartwright are assigned to at 151 Rainbow Dr. When we updated our addresses, we always gave our full address: 151 Rainbow Dr 5103 -- but some of them don't seem to have stored it. It is puzzling to me why this is the case, and each time we get mail, I have 2-3 folks to contact to try, once again, to get them to update our address.

When talking with him, it occurred to me to wonder if they don't include the apartment number because the "ZIP+4" is supposed to contain that information... you know, the additional 4 digits after the 5 digit zip code. I had thought that the "+4" identified down to the house level so, theoretically, the other information is not important. We got to talking about whether 4 additional digits would be sufficient to specifically identify every house in the US, and both of us were going to do more research.

I used Wikipedia and found:


In 1983, the U.S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4, often called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. But initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance, and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader (MLOCR) that almost instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the even more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode (IM) on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
<<< this next paragraph is the part that made me wonder if we had the right ZIP+4 for our address that it would tell which "apartment" or folder the letter should go to... so if we made sure that the sender had the ZIP+4 then it would help the mail forwarding service folks >>>
For Post Office Boxes, the general (but not invariable) rule is that each box has its own ZIP+4 code. The add-on code is often one of the following: the last four digits of the box number (e.g., PO Box 107050, Albany, NY 12201-7050), zero plus the last three digits of the box number (e.g., PO Box 17727, Eagle River, AK 99577-0727), or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number (e.g., PO Box 77, Juneau, AK 99750-0077). However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box.
So.. I was incorrect that the ZIP+4 would get a piece of mail to a specific address in all cases. But it still may be the case that if I get the right ZIP+4 information on the addresses of mail sent to us, it may help our mail forwarding service folks... at least, I can give it a try! By the way... while our "apartment" number is 5103 (which is like a PO box within the mail forwarding service system), our +4 is 1051... so it doesn't follow the PO box "rule" that Wikipedia had documented.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Uh-oh... Jury duty... and you missed it!

Subtitle: your choice of domicile *does* make a difference!

We got our accumulated physical mail from our mail forwarding service on Thursday. In the mail was a Jury Summons for me for Monday, March 20 - this week, but I obviously didn't show up for jury duty when I was supposed to... uh oh!

One of the reasons that we decided to set our domicile for Polk County was that we had heard that they were understanding of RVers... I guessed I was about to find out.

I called them on Friday, and the lady whose name was on the summons was out the office, but the lady who answered the phone asked if she could help. I told her that I had just received my mail the day before and that I had a jury summons for last Monday and I obviously missed it, and what should I do now?

She said, "Oh, are you one of those Escapees, the RVers?" (as opposed to the "escapees" from the federal penitentiary in Huntsville, just up the road...)

When I said "yes", she said, "I'll just make a note on your record, that's okay."
I said, "Do I need to reschedule?"
She said, "We know that y'all travel a lot and we just ask that when you know you're going to be in town, you give us a call, and offer to serve on jury then."

And that was it!

I told Dwayne, now I feel more obligated than if they had forced me to come in as soon as possible! I am grateful for them understanding our lifestyle and willingness to help us comply. We may try to go when we finish our planned stay in the DFW area... (early May) depending on what is going on with the house, etc. Otherwise, we don't plan to be back in Texas until 2018... so we'll see what we can work out.

While I don't know what result would have occurred if we were still domiciled in Dallas County, this was certainly easy to deal with for which I was very thankful!

Friday, March 24, 2017

What a little switch, what a "power"-ful impact!

While I was cleaning the litter pans (as blogged about yesterday), Dwayne was vacuuming in the rig. He does a MUCH more thorough job than I do... which can cause challenges....

I was outside the bus when he opened the door and said, "The 12V lights are all off."

I came in and asked him what he was doing and he said that he turned around and noticed that the light in the bathroom was off. He went to turn it on, and it wouldn't come on. We also noticed that the center A/C (which we had had running) was off (which meant the rig was getting warm... and probably contributed to our lack of understanding what was going on...).

Unrelated tidbit: When we first arrived on Tuesday, I had reached in to the control panel right by the passenger seat to unlock the compartment doors. I got a mild electric shock, which I told Dwayne about, but we couldn't reproduce it, so we hadn't done anything more about it. That panel is a 12V panel and sure enough, none of its controls were working now either.

Dwayne started looking into the big box of manuals that we have with wiring diagrams to see if he could find a fuse that might be associated with that panel, thinking that it had taken the rest of the 12V system down. I started searching the Wanderlodge Owners Group (WOG) online to see if I could get any clues.

To some extent, the fact that *none* of the 12V was working made me think that it had to be "simple" - a fuse would probably only take out one area of 12V, not all of it. The fact that the air conditioner wasn't running was a bit troubling as the air conditioners are on 110V, and everything on shore power seemed to be working okay. We checked the display for the inverters and they looked okay, and we also checked the inverters in the bay and their lights indicated that all was well with them. So, no massive battery failure, we guessed.

While reading on the WOG, I noticed a mention of an A/T switch on the dash. I mentioned it to Dwayne and he remembered seeing it. He went to check for it and looked and looked and didn't see the switch. There are a LOT of switches and gauges on our dash...
Lower left

Lower right

Upper left

Upper right
Did *you* see the A/T switch?

This picture might show it a little more clearly...
In reading the manual, it seems that "A/T" stands for "Anti Theft" and that the coach won't start with this switch turned off.... I'm glad that God allowed us to learn about this switch through the 12V power system being turned off, and that we weren't trying to start the coach at the time!!!

By the way, as you probably have guessed, Dwayne's very effective vacuuming accidentally turned the switch off... but we have a VERY clean dash area at this point!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

1.5 baths

Some of the newer RVs have a bath and a half - usually a full bath across the back of the rig and a half bath somewhere in the middle. When we were looking at RVs in the summer of 2015, I thought it would be awfully nice to have a second bathroom, but it really has not ended up being an issue. One of my priorities was that the toilet should be in its own room, and that definitely is good (otherwise, it is in the hallway and access forward or aft is constrained if anyone is using the toilet). We have two sinks - one in the hallway and one in the toilet room, so Dwayne and I both have a place for our tooth brushes, hair brushes, etc., and it works out well.

But... we do have a "second" bathroom... under my sink... for the kitties! We established the "kitty privy" in that spot and it has worked out well. When I thought we would eliminate the washer/dryer machine, I had thought that we might move the privy to that space, but it works okay under my sink.

We've found a couple of things that make the kitty box work a little better, so I took pictures when I changed it today in case these ideas might be helpful to someone else. I know that I have some kitty lovers as readers, and even if you aren't in an RV, some of these items may be helpful!

We have a nice large plastic pan. Originally, we had used cardboard type litter pans and plastic liners, but eventually the plastic liners would get torn, and the cardboard pan would get messy and then we'd need to replace it. So... I went with a plastic pan, and... because I had some "pee pads" left over from Aunt Libby, I decided to try using one of them (actually 1/2 of one of them) in the bottom of the plastic pan. That way, when one of the cats tears the plastic liner, instead of the plastic pan getting messy, the pee pad absorbs it and can easily be lifted out and discarded when I change the litter. I've used up all the ones that Aunt Libby had, and got a package at Walmart - they are pretty cheap when you just use 1/2 of one per litter change.

I still use a plastic bag-type liner - even though eventually it gets torn during the kitties' use of it. I got Nature's Magic brand ones, which are supposed to reduce odor. I previously used Jonny Cat, and I can't say that I really see much difference. I do some additional work to make them fit the pan better - I take the two "bottom corners" of the liner and tape them to the side of the pan so the plastic doesn't bunch up at the ends. I then smooth the liner so it is very square in the pan. I pull the loops that are intended to pick it up for disposal, to cinch it tight around the pan. If I don't do this, the cats will eventually get the top of the liner scraped over into the pan... yuck messy!

This is the underside of the plastic pan - I've got the pull straps pulled tight around the pan, and then I tape them underneath the pan. You may also be able to see that I have two other plastic pans of about the same size that I have the litter pan balanced on...

I put the prepared pan into those extra pans - this helps to keep the plastic bag liner in place, and... gives me a place to put the side shields... coming up in the next picture. I put the kitty litter in outside - if there is a bit of a breeze it helps to disperse any dust that might be in the litter.

This is the litter pan under the sink - with the side shields installed. We found that the kitties would either spray the litter all over the cabinet when digging, or sometimes they would do their business just over the side of the pan. We had these inexpensive red plastic placemats that we had purchased for another use on the bus and Dwayne suggested using them for side-shields. I put the multi-pan contraption into the under-sink area, and then work the placemats in between the edge of the top pan and the pan underneath it. They provide a barrier almost all the way around the pan - just leaving an opening in the front where the cats go in and out from the door of the cabinet that I leave open. This has worked great to avoid issues of kitty litter or poop being distributed around the cabinet! They still sometimes spread sand out the front but... cleaning that up is part of the "joy" of being cat owners.
We use a "clumping" lightweight litter. The lightweight makes it easier to get the pan in/out of the area under the cabinet (the cabinet doors don't make it really simple so it is a bit of a balance to get it in without dumping sand myself!). The clumping means that I clean it about once a day and most of the time I don't think the smell gets too bad (people on RVing fora say that they always know when people have cats even though the owners don't think there is any smell, so I can't say for sure).

One of our RVing friends set up their litter pan cabinet with an automatic exhaust fan that, I think, is motion activated - so it comes on when it detects motion and stays on for a little while after - theoretically taking unpleasant odors away and exhausting them outside the rig. Other folks have access to the litter pan from outside the rig - the cats have a small door inside, but the cleaning activities take place outside. That would be nice for the major litter exchange, but would be inconvenient for daily scooping, I think.

One additional thing which would be nice is if we had the "foot cleaning" hallway that Dwayne had created for our kitty privy at the house - where the cats walked over a screen wire path for about 4 feet before re-entering the house. That really kept the amount of sand tracked into the house down... we might eventually figure out a way to accomplish that, but for now, the solution works okay for us.

So, now you know about our "half bath" addition to our rig!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Enjoying the campground

We have enjoyed just staying at the campground so far here at Lake Whitney. I took my "new" bicycle out for a ride around our camping loop.

A Siamese kitty from a nearby campsite came over to visit.

Then Dwayne took it out for a spin as well!

It will be nice when we both have bikes and can ride together!
We both like the "new" bike. It has 7 speeds - enough to help with hills but not enough to get us too confused. And being able to sit upright on it is so much more comfortable than the leaning-over forward type! The seat is an old fashioned broad seat that is also comfortable.

It is a little inconvenient to have the bike rack on the Jeep when we're traveling around in town (going shopping, etc. - just additional length to have to consider in parking places). But it is pretty easy to remove and put on the back of the bus when we're stopped.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dublin, TX

When I looked up a place to stay and found a City RV park in Dublin, TX, I looked on their city website information to see if they indicated the price of the park and how you paid for it... they didn't, but I found out that this was the place where Dr Pepper was bottled for many years, and where it was still made with pure cane sugar.

So, since we stayed in the city RV park last night, we knew we needed to go by City Hall and pay, so decided we'd try to find a place to park in town and walk around a little.
We found a parking place big enough for Miss Doozie and the Jeep on a side street and walked to City Hall to pay for our overnight stay. Since we had not used the electricity, she only charged us $10. The normal fee is $15 for electric+water hookups. I would recommend the RV park (other than we're not sure whether any of the electric is reliable) - it is within the city park complex with walking paths and baseball field, etc.

As we were walking to the Dr Pepper museum/store, we saw a Ben Hogan Museum. We didn't stop, but I had read on the website that this was his boyhood home.

A sign on the side of a building - with a painted scaffolding and guy painting on the left side, and a rickety bench and painted guy reading the newspaper on a bench on the right side. Dwayne is looking over the newspaper and balancing gingerly on the rickety bench.

Dublin Bottling Works - Site of the oldest Dr Pepper Bottling Plant in the World! Established 1891.

Drink Dr Pepper the year round!

"Old Doc's Soda Shop"

Sam Houston Prim (1863-1946) arrived in Dublin in 1891 with $680 worth of bottling equipment. Purchasing property at the southeast corner of Patrick and Elm Streets to house his bottling works, Prim bottled Dr Pepper, along with other products. Under an informal agreement until 1925, when he formally chose as a Dr Pepper distribution territory a 44-mile radius that centered on Dublin - an area that remains as the company's territory today. At the time of Prim's death, Dr Pepper executives noted he had bottled the soft drink longer than any other individual. The company has remained in operation since that time, making it the oldest Dr Pepper Bottler in the world.
 The sign's date is 2009. Other information indicated that they stopped bottling Dr Pepper here in 2012.
A statue of Prim (I guess) in front of the bottling works. I was asking for a bottle of Dr Pepper but he gave it to the other little girl instead....

There are still soda's bottled here, just not Dr Pepper.

You could purchase a case of sodas for $24 if all the same kind, or $30 for a mixed case.

Drink Dr Pepper at Ten, Two, & Four - Good for Life!

There are a few bottles of the last bottling of Dr Pepper available for sale (they are marked "not for consumption"). $4.99/bottle

Dublin Dr Pepper was sweetened with Texas Imperial Cane Sugar
 We enjoyed our visit to Dublin, and then drove on to Whitney, TX.

We are settled in at the Lake Whitney Thousand Trails. The sites are rather tight with cedar trees, but we managed to "thread" Miss Doozie in, and there is even enough room for the Jee-rage to the side.

Miss Kitty approved of the spot - there are some nice places to roll and a lot of neat things to sniff.