Tuesday, July 18, 2006


A few anxious moments today. During a thunderstorm around noon, I heard a "pop" but really couldn't determine where it came from. Neal is always chiding me for hearing little noises and thinks I'm paranoid, so I bravely went on with my day with no worries. Around 2:30, I noticed that it was getting quite warm in the house. (We like to call it a house...we're in our own little fantasy world.) It's very unusual for me to get too warm during the day, but I've been a little under the weather. I had been blaming a gas leak at the plant for Neal's congestion, coughing, sneezing, etc., but apparently I was mistaken and now have his cooties. Anyway, back to the "pop"....it didn't take this detective long to realize that the air conditioner was not coming on! Yikes! That's not good! So begins the adventure of looking for a breaker switch. Now, believe it or not, after more than 3 weeks living here, I'm still nervous about all the switches. I just know that I will inadvertantly flip a switch that will initiate the sliding in of our three "slide-outs" and I'll be trapped between the couch and the TV. Of course, nothing in the manual addresses the location of a fuse box or breakers. That would be WAYYYYYY too easy. I'm looking in closets, cabinets, bathroom, reading all the verbiage on each little switchplate. Finally, I look at this little odd coverplate just inside the door and it occurs to me that I've always wondered what that was. I take the cover off and there are all the breaker switches!!!! Hooray! One is even labeled A/C. How nice of them. It is now cooling off in our "house" and the crisis is over. For today.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Great Strides in RVing

First it was emptying the "Black Tank." For those of you who are RV-illiterate, that's the tank that holds...well...human waste. See, I was under the impression that if you were in a full hook-up park, you just kept that valve open and it automatically went into the sewer every time you flushed. Lesson number one--the instructions say that it's better to keep it closed and empty when full. Don't ask me why. I think it's a cruel joke the writer of the manual is playing on all of us city folks who are playing like we're camping. What was even more baffling to me was that Neal had actually READ the instructions, so knew about this little tidbit. The first time that there was an indication that the tank was full, Neal was at work. So I called him. He said "empty it." I said, "I'm scared." He said, "there's nothing to it just turn the handle and pull it out....but not too fast." "Not too fast?" "Or the hose will pop off and you'll have 'you know what' everywhere." Now I'm really scared. I wait for him to come home from work and I use the park's public bathrooms the rest of the day. I can now proudly say that I've emptied the Black Tank twice, with no unpleasant accidents. (I'm a pro.)

Next it was the oven. I've been doing quite a bit of cooking, believe it or not, but all on top of the stove or in the microwave or on the grill. See, the oven requires manual pilot lighting. Another scary prospect for me. Neal had explained in detail how to do it, but I asked my friend, KK (Killer Karrie) to give me more detailed instructions. Yesterday I bought a frozen pizza for dinner. No--I really have been cooking meals, but had a couple of dinner-time calls to make so I needed something quick and easy. After the third attempt the pilot was lit and voila! pizza for dinner.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Marble Slab

One thing that Oklahoma has that South Texas doesn't--Braum's Ice Cream. Anyone who knows me well, knows that ice cream is my biggest weakness. And Braum's knows how to do ice cream. So after almost three weeks in Texas, I was going through a bit of a withdrawal. Until......Killer Karrie introduced me to the Marble Slab Creamery. This place puts Braum's to shame. They make all their ice cream fresh daily in the store! Their waffle cones are also homemade and fresh, dipped in your choice of a variety of coatings. If that's not enough, you can choose any flavor of ice cream, then have them blend in any of your favorite goodies, from cookies, to cake to candy to fruit. After dipping your choice of ice cream, they use these paddles to fold in chunks of your favorite goodies. Last night, I had sweet cream ice cream with real pound cake and strawberries folded in, then topped with whipped cream. YUMMMMM!! I am now an official member of "The Slab Club" and after five purchases, I get a free ice cream!! How great is that?!

This morning Karrie and I had a good workout. I've gained 1.5 pounds since my arrival. I'm hoping it's muscle, but I have serious doubts after my visit to the Marble Slab last night.

Friday, July 07, 2006


It's really quiet around here since the kids have gone home. This RV seems really big until there are five people occupying it. I cleaned the closet mirrors today, erasing the last traces of evidence of Jacob's visit. He spent cherished moments singing into the hose of Neal's C-Pap in front of those mirrors. We already miss the little guy.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Astro's Game

Monday night we had great seats at Minute Maid Park to watch the Rocket win a game for the Astros. Jacob was not impressed. We took turns wrestling with him, feeding him popcorn and Papa even took him to shop for his own bat, ball and cap. He finally konked out in the 8th inning, and slept through the grand fireworks display following the game. Tuesday it rained again and after a late, big breakfast at IHOP it seemed like a good day for naps. A brief break in the weather allowed us to grill some steaks and brats for dinner, then we drove the kids to the airport to catch their 8:15 flight home. Wrong! Even though we checked the flight status before leaving, they were informed that it was delayed until 10:30. They called us and of course we turned around and went back to pick them up. Thank goodness for McDonald's that still have indoor play areas. Being a holiday evening, there was only one other child there when we arrived and a short time later we were the only ones in the restaurant. Jacob loves climbing, so he was thrilled. Hopefully he wore himself out enough to sleep on the way home. All in all, it was a good weekend because we were able to spend quality time with them, and they got some much needed rest.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Raining on our Parade

It's a pity you have to make plane reservations at least 14 days in advance to get a good price, yet you can't get a 14 day forecast from the weather service. I have been in Kemah for over a week without a drop of rain, but it has rained almost non-stop since Jeremy and his family have been here. We've spent a lot of time in the trailer, watching sports and comedies and letting Jacob entertain us. Trista, Jacob and I took advantage of a short break in the weather to get in the pool yesterday, while Neal and Jeremy got out the poles and caught a few fish in the pond. While Jacob took his nap yesterday, Trista and I went to some open houses in a new development near here to get some ideas for their new house. Of course some of the things we liked in the $1 million plus houses were a little beyond what they can incorporate into their house. But it was fun to look. Last night we ate dinner at the Aquarium on the Kemah Boardwalk. Jacob liked all the fish, especially the Nemo & Dora tank, and he wanted to get in the water with the sting rays. Thankfully, the rest of the evening was dry, and we were able to walk around and ride some of the rides. While waiting for the merry-go-round to start up, Jacob kept eyeing the "Pharoah's Fury" ride, which I wouldn't even dare get on. The child who screams in the shower (no bathtubs at this trailer park), wants to be a daredevil at the amusement park! Today we woke up to...guess what...pouring rain. We have a trip to the mall planned and the Astro game tonight--thank goodness for the roof at Minute Maid Park!