Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A new tow bar connection?

One of the things on the list of "to-dos" is to implement a different tow bar receiver that will raise where the tow bar attaches to the back of the bus.
I was pretty sure that plans were in place for the new tow bar riser, because I had seen it in the place where it should end up on the back of the bus...

But then I saw Dwayne being used as part of a towing arrangement...

Hmmm... Is Dwayne part of the tow bar solution?

Nope, they were just planning for removing a couple of the house batteries...

And wanted to get the trailer over there - and the pickup was going that way, so it saved a few steps, I guess!
 Those batteries are very heavy! The lower tray that the batteries were on was not rolling easily, so Jimmy and Dwayne took the batteries off and then took the tray out and cleaned up the rollers. A task on the "list" completed!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fixing the entry door

Over the past few months, the entry door for Miss Doozie had become more difficult to enter from the outside - often requiring two hands - one to pull the latch and one to push in on the door. To some extent, we figured it was almost a security benefit as someone might try to get into the unlocked door and assume that it was locked because the latch did not release it... but... it was unhandy if you had anything in your hands, and we didn't want it to get to a point where we could no longer enter the bus!

I mentioned it to Jimmy (it wasn't on our list!), and he took a look at it... determining what the problem was required taking off the decorative covering on the inside of the door...
Removing all the fasteners that connect the decorative panel to the door.

There it comes off!

There were additional metal covering pieces that had to be removed to get to the mechanisms.
 Jimmy found a couple of items that he could adjust and the door is SO great now - it hardly takes any effort at all to use the latch to get in from the outside. SO nice!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A farmer/mechanic in training

Young Joseph appears to be well suited to be a farmer/mechanic in training:
Ricky, Joseph, and one of the dairy calves

Who is that on the tractor???

Why, I believe it is Joseph with his Granddaddy!

Yep, it sure is!

Now he is helping with finding the right tool...

All ready to start cutting hay!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A neat story for Memorial Day weekend

I was reading through Facebook messages and came across one from a lady whom I met through my cousin and aunt. Her son was seriously injured in Iraq in 2006. I remember Aunt Libby telling me about him sharing "the Roman Road" to salvation with those caring for him - I think in Germany. I got to meet Andy's mom, Carole, in New Jersey after Aunt Libby's death as she provided prayer and emotional support for cousin Susie and me.

Carole shared that Andy has a Memorial Day message:
I think it is a neat story - I thought some of my readers may also find it interesting and uplifting.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Journey to Virginia

We made it to Virginia in about 2.5 days - leaving the DFW area about noon on Tuesday and arriving at the farm in Virginia Thursday evening.
One of the rest stops where we stopped for a few minutes...

So many of the rest stops had only parallel parking for trucks... and we don't parallel park very well with the Jeep attached (can really only go forward). And... we ended up having to bypass many of the rest areas because they were full.

Jimmy taught us that Miss Doozie likes to go fast! (a picture from the moving truck of Miss Doozie in front of us)

Wednesday night, we stopped Miss Doozie in a parking area near the hotel where Jimmy and Regina were staying - there were a number of Bluebird school buses in the lot, so Miss Doozie "nested" with her cousins...

Miss Doozie passing the moving truck in the rain on I-64 in Virginia.

At the farm in Virginia, Grandma gets some "Joseph-time" as Ricky and Kendra look on. What a little charmer is young Joseph!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A fish story

I saw this fish for sale at Sprouts the other day,

and it reminded me of a "Gary" story:

Gary told this story “on himself” – we wouldn’t have known about it unless he had shared it.

He was with a group of folks in San Francisco and they all went out to a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant served the food “family style” on a large lazy Susan in the middle of the table. One of the folks had ordered fish, and it came whole – so the fish was laying there on the plate, staring at whomever the lazy Susan had it in front of. One of the ladies, I think it was Stacy, was not very pleased with this, so she would turn the lazy Susan whenever the fish ended up in front of her. Of course, everyone else tried to ensure that the fish would end up in front of her.

At the end of the meal, Gary had the bright idea to continue to make use of the fish – the hotel they were staying in put the newspaper into a plastic bag and hung it on the room door in the morning. He would get up early and put the fish into the newspaper bag and hang it on Stacy’s door. So, he wrapped up the fish in napkins and took it back to the hotel.

When he got back to his room, he was at his bathroom sink unwrapping the fish. After being partially eaten, and then wrapped in napkins, the fish was really not recognizable anymore, and Gary decided that this was not an idea that would make sense to continue. Since he was standing in the bathroom, he tossed the remainder of the fish into the toilet, probably immediately realizing this wasn’t a great thing to do. Regardless, he flushed the toilet. It *kind of* went down. He flushed again. The toilet was stopped….

He wondered if he could make it through the night without making use of the toilet, but decided that was probably not reasonable, so he called the front desk, and they sent a maintenance guy up with a plunger. The maintenance guy gave one “plunge” on the toilet, and to his amazement, a fish popped up into the bowl!

Gary looked at the maintenance guy, with a pasted on look of amazement and said, “Wow, I didn’t know they could swim that far either!”

 Gary recently passed away, and his memorial service is today, Thursday, May 25. We are sorrowful for our loss of his physical presence, but look forward to seeing him again one day in heaven.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


After returning to the DFW area, we rented a storage unit and put the remainder of our belongings in it.
We rented a unit from LifeStorage on MacArthur. We really enjoyed working with Doreen there.

It seemed pretty full - a 10'x15' storage unit. We had rented a 16' moving truck... we figured if it would not all fit, we would rent a trailer to pull behind the moving truck.

It was looking good in getting the things into the truck...

Our good friend Clif was an invaluable help!

And, of course, my brother Jimmy's packing skills were put to great use!
It all fit and now we're on our way to Virginia. We had planned to leave on Wednesday (today) but left yesterday and made it into Arkansas for the night. Had the first issue we've ever had on staying in a WalMart parking lot last night, so ended up at Cracker Barrel and they were very friendly and kind in letting us stay.

We hope to make it through Tennessee today!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Praying for healing

I found this blog post, and particularly the video at the end with Joni Eareckson Tada to be convicting and instructive.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lewisville Lake and Lake Dallas

The place we stayed for the last two weeks of April in the DFW area (and where we will return on Monday for a couple of nights) was at Willow Grove Park in Lake Dallas. There was an information board there with some interesting information about Lewisville Lake and the town of Lake Dallas.
History of Lewisville Lake
Lake Lewisville's origin dates back to 1928 when construction began on an 11,000-foot-long dam near Garza, which impounded the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Known as Lake Dallas, its purpose was to provide flood control and water supply for Denton, Dallas and other cities, as well as soil conservation and recreational opportunities. In 1954 the 33,000-food-long Lewisville Dam was completed downstream and the Lake Dallas Dam was breached, resulting in a much larger reservoir. The larger lake initially named the Garza-Litle Elm Reservoir and finally Lewisville Lake. The Lake covers nearly one-fifth of the land area of Denton County. It has a maximum depth of 67 feet and has a shoreline of 183 miles. Lake levels fluctuate 8 to 10 feet annually. The U.S. Army Corps of Enginners oversees lake operation.
This area of the lake lies in the Eastern Cross Timbers vegetational area. The post oak and black jack oak trees in the park's higher elevations are indicators of the sandy, neutral soils that characterize the Cross Timbers. Other trees in the area include hackberry, cottonwood, cedar elm and American elm.
This observation blind allows visitors a quiet place to observe wildlife activity on and around the lake. The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area in Lewisville (near the dam) offers additional opportunity for nature study.
Note: I don't know what "observation blind" it was talking about. The sign was just there at the entrance to the campground.

A map that shows the relative boundaries and sizes of the original reservoir ("Lake Dallas") and Lewisville Lake.

Willow Grove Park (the campground) is within the town of Lake Dallas.
I had noticed that Dwayne sometimes called "Lake Lewisville" by the name "Lake Dallas" - I guess folks who have lived here for a while, and particularly who had family members in the Dallas area who had lived here earlier in the 1900s, would know the lake as "Lake Dallas".

Friday, May 19, 2017


We have had our Fitbits for about a year. We like that they track our steps and sleep patterns, but have kind of wished we had the heart rate monitor. A couple of months ago, the band on my watch developed a "bubble" and a couple of weeks later, Dwayne's did the same. Both of them developed into a situation where the watch itself is barely held onto the band (the pressure of the watch being worn on the arm keeps it together when we're wearing them - but when we charge them, the watch component is almost lose from the band).
You may be able to see, especially the watch on the left, that there is a part that is coming loose from the band - that's the watch part - it had a screw that held it into the band, but that wasn't really catching in the band anymore.

When we had dinner a couple of weeks ago with Bud and Wanda, since we had found out about the sale on the watches at the AT&T store a year ago from them, I asked if they had had any problems with the band coming apart. They had not, but knew someone who did, and indicated that Fitbit would replace it if it was under warranty.

So... I checked with Fitbit. We had purchased them one year ago almost to the day when I called - we had one day remaining before the watches would be out of warranty! They offered to replace them for free, or to provide us with a different watch (upgrade) for 50% of the price. So... we both opted to upgrade to new watches with a heart rate monitor included.
We both got new watches. Dwayne's is the same "model" as before but with the heartrate monitor. Mine is a different model.
 One added benefit to the new watch is that it not only shows wake times and sleep times and restless times, but it categorizes the sleep as REM or light or deep.