Thursday, July 10, 2014

NEW WHEELS..Over and over again...STILL ROLLING

IT HAS BEEN AWHILE, we are still Airstreaming, just a different ride. To say we have been going through a few changes is an under statement. Since we last talked our lives have completely been turned upside down. Pat and I have both retired, down-sized, sold our house, at a nice profit I might add, bought a villa in an Airstream Park, bought a new tow vehicle, bought a new car for Pat, have bought another Airstream that was 20 years newer than our vintage 1973 and six months later sold it and now are the proud owners of a 2002 Safari Airstream and before I give you all the details, did I mention WE ARE DEBT FREE, Thus through all we have gone through WE HAVE DONE SOMETHING RIGHT. SO, let talk about it.

PAT just looked over my shoulder and said, "I don't feel right about telling people we are debt free" and my response was these people don't know us. I guess some might, but I don't know what difference it makes, so I'm leaving the statement in. After all it's my blog and I can say what I want. REMEMBER, it is He Said, She Said, so she can tell her own thing. So where was I. oh yeah, I was catching you up.

PAT is the only one in this family that has worked in the last couple years, since I retired two years ago and she retired in the last few months. Pat worked as office manager for a gated community called NTAC or North Texas Airstream Community. This a is a private park for owners of Airstream Travel Trailers with about a 100 villas and 15 brick homes. Most of the villas are two story and there is enough space to park your Airstream with extra space for a couple of vehicles and usually room for a patio setting. Since Pat worked there and we already owned an Airstream it seemed like the ideal place to live. We had plans to travel and this is the perfect environment to allow us to do so and have property secure and nearly ZERO upkeep around the villa. We waited and the right opportunity came along and here we are. This is a great place to live, with all kinds of activities to do, like bean bag baseball, joker, bridge, other card games and pool. I guess by now your saying, damn this sounds like a retirement home and as I think about it, it kinda does. No it isn't but we are kind of the young people around here with some of the residents in their 80's and 90's and one dear lady 102. I know your thinking that you sure hope these people aren't out on the roads pulling trailers down the highway. SORRY, I DIDN'T MEAN TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT. Really, this is a great place to live and mainly gives people a base camp so they can travel and have a place to lay their heads between the traveling.

During the period we were moving to NTAC, one of our new neighbors had her Airstream for sale and made us a great offer and we bought it. It was a short move only about 50 yards from where we lived, like right across the road.This Airstream was a1989 and the top of the line for that particular year. We were used to twin beds in the middle of the trailer and this one had a full bed in the back, a great setup. RIGHT, The bed sat in the corner with one side open and if you needed to get up in the middle of the night you had to crawl over someone to get out. It doesn't make for a good nights sleep. The only person that didn't mind was MAGGIE, our 100 pound lab that filled the aisle beside the bed. She would crawl in to sleep and had to back out to leave. You do get the picture don't you? All the interior of this trailer was beautiful hardwood and much nicer than our old one. We dolled the place up, put a couple of flat screens in it and had actually figured out how everything worked. If you remember in the past, not to sure how certain things worked, like gas and hot water, thus we were really just using the trailer for a roof over our head as we camped. Pat would use the shower with cold water and me I always used whatever facilities available where ever we camped. I really am ashamed to admit that, but it's true. Even the bathrooms, well I to this day,still don't like to take dumps in it. You do realize someone has to clean those lines out and I would prefer it not be ME.

I am going to end this post telling you about how we sold this Airstream less than year after we bought it and talk at a later date about the new one and all the cool things and stupid stuff I did along the way. WELL, there is a website called Airstream Forum that you seek information about repairs, or information about anything Airstream or use for listing of Airstream for sale or to buy. All you do is take a few pictures, give a description of your Airstream and post it. BOOM, we sold it in two days, sight unseen and the buyer sent a driver to pick it up and transport it to Atlanta. It was such a simple process until we arranged payment. Atlanta had just been hit with a huge ice storm and everything was closed down, schools and banking institutes. The buyer asked how we wanted payment, so I said cashiers check. He said great and we agreed that when the check came, I would release and sign title. This is where the comedy of errors started. He said they released the funds and he was sending check and we just wanted to make sure. We couldn't get through to his bank because we were told it was closed because of weather. this went back and forth for three days and finally got it cleaned up the day before the transporter came for it. IN THE SAME AIRSTREAM FORUM, we found a 2002 Airstream like we wanted. Turns out this Airstream, notice I like to say Airstream, was located right here in the park and we already knew the people and they gave us a great deal. in conclusion, I will say it has great hot water and we are back to twin beds and all is well with the world. HOWEVER, since a recent trip we have been talking about motor coaches. I'll tell you later. My normal style is to really talk about my screw ups and believe me I have had plenty with these last two Airstream, but I'll tell you later. So until then REMEMBER, HE SAID, see what SHE SAID.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


   Well, been awhile, we are still out there visiting parks, chillin... but we are pulling around a new rig. Well, I get ahead of myself, alot of water has gone under the bridge since I last communicated. Yes, I am using bigger words and able to stay up later and I guess I'll just say it...I RETIRED. I retired from Frito Lay two months ago and it has been a big adjustment. BIG ADJUSTMENT... It is kind of like learning to walk all over again. WELL, I guess that is kind of overstating it.
    I have gone to work at 3AM, five or six days a week for the last 30 years and now I get to sleep in. You say, that is great, hope you are enjoying it and what is the big deal. WELL..I used to go to bed around 8:30 or 9:00 to get up at that early hour,so now I am staying up watching late night television and getting to bed around midnight or later, just so I can sleep later. It has worked to some degree, I usually sleep until 6:00 when my lady gets up for work, then just lay around until after 7:00. I failed to mention Pat hasn't retired yet, so most of the day I'm home alone, except for the pets, MAGGIE and SADIE.

    To be fair, I have taken over most of the household chores except for cooking. I really never learned to cook. My specialties are smoking on the grill and ordering take-out. You do realize there is a science to TAKE-OUT. You can mix it up and if the variety is enough, your spouse will actually forget that your doing nothing more than hiring someone to do your job.We generally do a night out on Friday for dinner and a movie. Hillsboro, where we live, is so movies...very few restaurants and those there are nearly all Mexican food, which is my favorite cuisine, however Pat's taste vary abit. Since there is nothing here, we can go 30 miles in any direction and have a major city with all it's entertainment and  The Big City Lights.........

     My chores include laundry, KP duties, keeping the 10 or 12 trash cans empty, not to mention cleaning the nasty kitty litter pan. I'm wondering out loud, if I feed Sadie little or no food at all will that make my litter box job easier. I wish I could win the lottery, then I would throw that damn box away daily...UNTIL THEN.....Oh, did I mention I have to make the bed everyday with its 8 to 10 throw pillows..just never have figured that one out.

      Well to our new Rig. To refresh your memory, we had a Vintage 1973 Airstream and just upgraded to a 1991 model but still an Airstream. HOWEVER...this one is way cooler with much nicer digs inside. It actually has plumbing that we don't have to repair all the time, doors on the bedroom and the bathroom. I don't know why we always worried about that because it was only Pat and I. Closet spaces are abundant, storage compartments outside and even propane where we can cook inside..oops did I say we, I meant Pat. Remember I don't cook. We have had friends over to explain how some of the appliance work, especially anything to do with gas. I know your saying to yourself, just read the manuals...anybody can do that, we just want our friends to feel wanted. Sure hope none of them read this...especially CARL

    Well,this was just to let you know we are still here and I'll try to write more often cause I've got alot to say. WELL, since you know WHAT HE SAID, see WHAT SHE SAID, if she gets around to saying anything at all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finally...INDOOR PLUMBING.....

We have camped a couple of times since I last wrote anything and they have been fun times without the use of running water indoors. I must take the time right now to comment on the fact that I can't put any bold print or extremely odd fonts that I have used in the past, because they have seemed to have gone away. I am a total computer dummy that always has depended upon my extremely talented and gifted daughter "Tomara" to make my final product look good.....well I can't figure out all these details because all my settings seem to have gone away and I simply can't find anything. I do realize that this speaks volumes for my lack of computer knowledge. SOOOOO... back to what I was talking about.
Pat has gotten advice, tools, parts, and we have decided to do the repairs our self and save our self a huge $$$$$$$$ repair bill. These Airstream trailers are built so conservatively and everything runs underneath along the floor and you have to disassemble beds, toilets, just everything. We have three sizes of tubing, requiring three sizes of hose to replace, three different clamps and we have used two different sizes of copper pipe cutters. You have to try to reach into a 4 to 6 inch space to cut then patch with hose...install the clamps. Here is a word of advise if you ever undertake this kind of project....put the clamps on before you connect the hoses. This is such logical advice that it seems almost ridiculous to do anything otherwise, but I did it two of four repairs. NOTE... If you would like to hire me for repairs, I am diligent,BUT I work my the hour.
You need a very patient wife that is supportive of your endeavors and who will actually do most of the work. We would complete one repair, look over our work, pat ourselves on the back, then turn the water on and cuss because we find another leak more challenging than the last. Another trip to the plumbing store, more hose, more clamps, another type gizmo and another couple of stupid questions. Well, I'm sure you are as tired of hearing about this as I am about telling you, so I will just say we went through this process four times and we are now proud owners of an Airstream with INDOOR PLUMBING. We will be undertaking the propane someday and I'm real sure you have some good chuckles ahead.
I will say, we were real proud that we fixed it ourself and rewarded ourselves yesterday. I will not elaborate, just let your minds wonder. Our next camping trip is a Vintage Rally of Airstream owners with old units. Ours is nearly 40 years old so we qualify. This should be fun, we will be able to go to different forums about topics we need MUCH information about. We just hope we don't really dumb down the whole crowd. I'm sure I'll have plenty to talk about the next time we talk...So until then THIS is what he said, and see WHAT she said...if she ever says anything again...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mother Nature..Make Up Your Damn Mind

Well, it has been awhile since we last talked. We are the same couple, stumbling, fumbling along in the world of RV'ing and camping. It seems like if there are any mistakes that can possibly be made, we do them and EXCELL very well. If we are anything, we are consistant. Before, I go any further, I will tell you this fast saturday was our anniversary..26 years...been great years and I Love Pat to death. We seem to be getting more organized each trip, just manage to make new blunders. Pat made reservations and we had a great location, no incidenses, boom we are there and we unhook...the levelest spot we have ever had. We put down our mat, unload our brand new lounge chairs, even get Maggie the dog staked out, hook up the electricity, THEN BOOM....we hook up the water and nothing happens inside, faucets don't work, toliet don't flush....and water just started leaking out underneath, not inside in the floor thank god, just underneath. WELL, we turned the water off and did the bottled water thing all weekend. WELL, that wasn't too bad. We just acted lazy all day, gave our new recliners a good work out and tried our new alcohol beverage of choice. You would think at our age, we are not easily impressed by some new product....however the new drinks you find at the checkstand area in Walmart with the alcohol just freeze, squeeze, and boom a slushy strawberry marguaritta. I'll be the first to admit they definitely take the edge off your day. Saturday, we went into the town of Whitney...had a great anniversary meal at a restaurant I hadn't been to before, but Pat had. Very, very good food topped off with a ice cream shop across the which we probably made a new enjoyed some BLUE BELL!!!! It was a very nice day and we topped it off with some television. The weather was great, it got up to 90 and had cooled down and was a little breezy, so we put our canapy up and turned off the air and opened all the windows and fell into a deep comfortable sleep. YEAH RIGHT....the wind blew, the temperature dropped bigtime..and the next thing we knew it was in the 40's. We started closing windows, piling under covers and just trying to keep warm. OH, DID I MENTION..we still haven't gotten the propane checked out, so the heat wasn't an option. The poor people camping in tents were pouring out early all morning. We put on all the layers we could, but didn't have anything but shorts. I did have the sense the pack a light golf pullover and my TEXAS RANGER longjohn top. We got everything hooked up and got the heck out of Dodge. We made it home without incident, unhooked and then I had a do alittle work for my job getting ready to start a new week. We both bragged about how good Maggie was this weekend and how so well behaved she was. I went to work...Pat went shopping at Walmart and MAGGIE ate a whole loaf of bread. OH WELL...We had now you know WHAT HE SAID....SEE WHAT SHE SAID!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MAN... Those Mountains are HIGH!

Well, the time had finally arrived. All the work, planning, organizing was done, so it was time to basically poop or get off the pot.

New Tires. New Mirrors. Truck checked out with oil change, new brake controller, and all the other things that are necessary to get on the move.

Everything we have done to this point was done with the intent of making a long trip in the Airstream. We now have a hard copy check-list to make sure everything is done properly (hook-up), and I wish it was possible to just turn it upside down to unhook it.

We have made several short weekend trips, practicing and trying to get comfortable with the equipment and all that goes with it. We still have a way to go to be proficient at everything, however, we have gotten REALLY good at Margarita consumption.

This trip was just Pat and I; no Maggie. It was difficult leaving her behind, but we felt it was the right thing to do.

We decided to avoid the freeway until we got past FT. WORTH. I swear, mile-for-mile, there is more construction on I-35 through Ft. Worth, than anywhere in the state.

We pulled out at 7AM in the morning headed toward Colorado Springs to visit Pat's son George and his family. It was going to be about a 900 mile trip, but we aimed to make it to Dumas, TX that evening--we were told they had a city park with free electric hookup for overnight parking. The price seemed right so we stayed there. The only thing we had to put up with was all the railroad tracks that went by within a block. The AC DROWNED that out.

We walked a couple of blocks to a fast food restaurant and fed our faces. IT WAS AT THIS POINT, we discovered the first major thing that we had forgotten. While we had the NEW flat screen TV and NEW HD antenna... NO COAXIAL CABLE!

So much for television that night.

Well, with an early start, we were on to Colorado.

We weren't to sure what to expect when we started climbing in New Mexico at Raton Pass. I'm sure Pat was much more nervous than I was, however, my attention was glued to the road. I was extremely happy to reach the top on the Pass, and I remember saying to myself as I looked at the traffic going the other way, Wow! That is going to be a Bitch to get up on the way back.

We made it to Colorado Springs without incident, and went directly to the RV park where we had reservations. We thought we had reserved a pull through space, which I was soooo ready to use, but no... NO pull through--just a crowded space that I had to back into.

Small ordeal but we got through it.

DID I fail to mention, it was 106 in Dallas the day we left and it was now about 80 degrees in Colorado?


We were even able to sleep at night with the AC off and the windows open.

We got to visit a few days with our kids and beautiful grandchildren. Since they had jobs and the kids were in school, we went sightseeing in the daytime. Everything was beautiful and overwhelming. We saw The Garden of the Gods, Manitiou Cliff Dwellings, and beautiful mountain ranges; as well as visted quaint little shopping areas.

Pat had a spiritual reading and I TOOK PICTURES.

Everything was great... then the rains came.

We had backed our Airstream into this space, and we were right up against a creek bed with soothing light flow of water that was actually nice to fall asleep listening to it.

RAIN...RAIN...RAIN....I was getting a little nervous because it was about to crest. We would look out the back window, look at each other, and say "this doesn't look good."

I went to the office and inquired, and was told by the little oriental woman, "Nothing to worry about."

We didn't wash away and all was well with the world.

We DID have a little ordeal with a spider bite, but I'm not getting into that. Two days of pain and itching!!!

We left for the trip home Wednesday, dreading the Raton Pass that we were going to have to climb. To make this story short (too late), we were white knuckled and tense.

The incline actually pulled us down to 40 mph, and that was on the FLOOR. It was smooth sailing after that. We spent the night at the Free Park again, and were on to Hillsboro, Thursday night.

We had a little trouble backing into the driveway when we got home--it was dark and everyone in town stopped to watch. I think they were actually driving around the block just to screw up traffic.

To sum it up: We had fun, and I just loved it. We will be doing a lot of this traveling when we retire. There is so much to see in Texas, we could have a lifetime of travel.

BIG BEND anyone?????????

So until later this is what HE SAID, see what SHE SAID..........

Monday, August 9, 2010


Friday, this is the busiest day of the week for me, and normally I methodically pack out my accounts for weekend business, However.....this is our weekend to go camping. We are in tune-up mode...for the upcoming vacation. We are still learning all we can about this process, and still make mistakes...however none have put us in harms way. We have laminated hard copies....HITCHING and UNHITCHING by the numbers. One would think that after you have followed the procedure number by number hitching the Airstream to the pick-up, that when you unhitch, you would start at the bottom and work to the top. WELL, is confusing doing it that way. We remedied this with another laminated list to stop some of the confusion. And you thought this camping stuff was simple, WELL buying the RV AND TRUCK is the easy part. Then there are the check lists, know how manuals, maps, brochures, regulations,etc.........

Pat and I chose a park we haven't been to a little further away.... only criteria was it needed to be a Corp of Engineers Park, because, WE being old geezers, get a discount. The park was nice and hardly any crowds at all. We had reserved a PULL THROUGH space... HOWEVER, it had very little shade. The heat was terrible, so we stayed inside most of the day watching videos and sucking back MARGARITAS. I failed to mention that as we checked in at the gate, they handed us some literature that we stuck with our reservation and didn't bother to read. We parked, got set up.... noticed alot of little ants, then more ants, more ants, ANTS...ANTS..EVERYWHERE! If we had read the literature we would have known that they have an ANT PROBLEM.......Be sure to spray around your tires, your water and sewer lines and in general EVERYWHERE...Now these aren't fire ants that bite the crap out of you....these are just a nuisance. They got inside, we sprayed. they THRIVED!!!! You could feel them crawling on you..not a fun thing. We survived this.

I mentioned the park wasn't real full, but right across from us was this big rig with a toy hauler. This black guy....I only mention he is black because he was a black man, rolled off the back of his toy hauler with a tricked out four wheeler with a huge AMERICAN FLAG on the back, and I reached the conclusion that he was a VIETNAM VET. He had army stickers all over it and it was decked out with a killer sound system....on which he played 60's & 70's music all evening. I'm talking PETER, PAUL& SHAFT !!! I kept expecting to see a rifle and camouflage at any time ...but no just WAYNE NEWTON....

Well the week ended..we got back home, had a nice rain while gone....grass good neighbors mowed the lawn for me... so I guess I got to get that done sometime this week. We won't be doing anymore weekend getaways for awhile.. ..We are going to Colorado Springs, for our first long trip later this I should have some good material for you...SO...if you don't hear from us for could be because of several things....AND MOST OF THEM AREN'T GOOD.....SO until then HE SAID.....see what SHE SAID.......

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping with Papa

Pictured from left to right: Danni Sottile, Brynn Armstrong, Gabriel Bell, Ella Sottile, Bill Lovelace