Monday, November 30, 2009

Cowtown

Fort Worth was settled in 1849 and became the last stop on the famed 'Chisholm Trail' where thousands of cattle were moved north to cattle markets in Kansas. With the arrival of the railroad, Fort Worth was a major shipping center for livestock in the 1880's. Fort Worth continued to grow in the 1900's with the discovery of oil in East and West Texas and now is the fourth largest city in Texas.

We wanted to see some of the interesting spots and decided to go to the National Historic District Fort Worth Stockyards on Saturday and spent a couple of hours walking around.
Fort Worth still maintains a western heritage and keeps it alive through a very strong educational and visitor center program. The cowpokes shown in the following pictures work for the city Visitor/Tourism Bureau. They were great and even stopped to talk and point their horse toward the camera for a better picture.
There are a lot of shops, hotels, eating establishments and historical points of curiosity at the Stockyards. We walked by the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Cowtown Coliseum which is near the Stockyards.

There were a lot of street vendors, entertainment and curiosities along the main street. I have never seen someone ride a Texas Longhorn!We stopped an talked with some posers. 'Phineas Navida' hammed it up a bit with Kelly and ended up wearing her sunglasses for a picture.

The corral was at one end of town with the Longhorns. Those cows are quite impressive beasts. Twice daily the cowboys round them up and run them down through town from the stockyards to the coliseum, so folks can get an inkling of what it might have been like back in the day.
Did you know that there are seven types of Longhorns?

Kelly and I took turns seeing it we could stretch our reach to that of the Longhorns spread.
We had a good time and learned some things. I have been coming to Fort Worth for 30 years but have never been to 'Cowtown' and the Stockyards. It was a very interesting place. We have to go back and spend more time.

Hope you have a great week. We'll be leaving Benbrook Lake/Fort Worth and heading east for our appointment in Red Bay, AL.

Before I go, I want to thank you all for reading the blog --- appreciate it! We also love the comment, keep them coming! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Repairs Day

While Pam and Kelly ran errands and did some shopping in Fort Worth, I got a couple of repairs done; namely Pam's bike and my laptop. I also had time to do some other chores around the Roadrunner back at the Army Corps of Engineers campground.

Early in the morning I got a call from the Dell Technician who was going to replace my hard drive. He said he'd be there after noon.

That gave me some time to work on the bikes. Pam's bike needed a new inner tube so I replaced it.
That didn't take too long and I pumped hers and mine up to the proper psi and put it aside for a while.

Next, since it was such a nice day I decided to get some work done on the Apple outside. A little while later Ray, the Dell technician called. I directed him to our campsite and he was ready to go.
He swapped out the hard drive in about 5 minutes and then spent about 25 minutes doing the paper work so he could ship parts back to Dell. I am pretty impressed with how their repair process works.

I went online with Dell Support on Monday night. They determined I had a hard drive failure and sent parts to Ray. He called Friday morning and set up an appointment with me and I am all set up. Hopefully in the next few days I can get my old laptop fixed up with all my software.

After Kelly and Pam got back by mid afternoon so I decided to clean Kelly's car. It was pretty dirty and I used The Solution. It took about an hour to clean it up and looks great, so she was pleased.

While Pam was cooking some lasagna for dinner, I went for a short bike ride around the campground.
The campground has some hills and goes along Benbrook Lake . I see a number of groups of cyclists every day riding through the campground. My ride was only about 30 minutes and I needed to get back so we could go over to Brad and Sue's.

We had a nice dinner and watched some TV for a while. We saw a portion of The Proposal but the DVD player messed up. It was about time for us to go back to the campground so we said good byes and returned home.

We watched the remainder of the movie back at the Roadrunner. The coach has 'Surround Sound' and we enjoyed the movie. It was a late night for us and we headed to bed after 11:30.

We had a good day of getting some things done and enjoying the day. Pam and Kelly made their way through some stores on Black Friday and picked up a couple of bargains.

That's about it for now. Hope you are having a good weekend. Thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles! Hope to have you stop by again!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Days

Hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving Day!

The last few days have been beautiful here at the Holiday Park, COE campground at Benbrook Lake.

Pam and I went for a little hike the other morning and had a good time. The park has a modest 'Nature Trail' we hiked. Then we walked around a large section of the campground and enjoyed the good weather and nice day. We need to walk more often.
After our hike we had lunch and Pam ran errands. While she was gone I decided it was time to 'wash and wax' the Roadrunner. It was pretty dirty and it has been a while since I cleaned it. I bought Protect All from Camping World but don't like it as much as The Solution.
When we were with Mark and Dortha the other day, I bought some from him. I like the way it cleans and it has a very thin film to wipe off compared to the heavier, more 'wax-like' Protect All. Both are waterless cleaners.

It took me about 3 hours to finish most of the coach. I will do the windshield and front cab when I have more time to get all the bugs and creatures off. After I finished the rest of it, the Roadrunner sparkled and looked great. Plus I got some good exercise. Kind of like mowing the lawn except not the same. :)

While were in Canada this summer we saw Ladderball, an outdoor game. It really intrigued us. Later, in Sioux Falls we saw the game again and bought it at Menards. Ladderball is really a lot of fun. I set it up and we played in the backyard yesterday while the turkey was cooking.
Each player has three 'balls'. They are actually a set of two balls that larger than a golfball and smaller than a baseball and soft plastic. They are connected by a 12 inch rope. When you throw them, they wind themselves around one of the blue/red/white bars.

Brad came out the big winner and retired undefeated. He had help from the cheering section on the sidelines where Sue watched.

Our Thanksgiving Day spread was buffet style. We put the food on the coffee table and ate on TV trays and a card table in the living room. Meanwhile, the Cowboys played pretty well and won again on Thanksgiving Day.
As usual we ate too much (who doesn't on Thanksgiving Day). Kelly is staying with us and we returned to the Roadrunner before the 10:00 curfew. We had a nice Thanksgiving but missed our boys (Adam and their two sons, Mark and Drew).

That is about it for today's edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thank you for viewing! We appreciate it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Reflections 2009

Thanksgiving may be my favorite Holiday of the whole year. It signals the beginning of the Christmas Season ... and people generally seem to be in a happy mood.

Thanksgiving started early in our American history in the early 1600s. 1607? 1620? It was given its own specific holiday in 1789. I am glad we have the holiday -- it causes me to reflect and meditate.

I should be thankful more often and not just this time of the year. It is contagious. Just as being critical, grumpy, always dissatisfied is contagious, so is having a thankful, grateful heart and expressing it.

With our world of information overload and to other situations around the world and in our close proximity, it doesn't take long to see how blessed we really are. A lot of folks out there have it tough.

For those of us that grew up in middle suburbia, it is sometimes hard to comprehend. To those of us that had parents that modeled good values and good life choices, it is heartbreaking to see others that don't have that...

So I love this time of year. I am thankful for many things, but here are a few:

* God's Grace and Mercy to me
* My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
* Pam, a wife who has no equal
* Adam and Kelly, two amazing kids
* Family and extended family
* My own heritage
* Health
* Being able enjoy this RV lifestyle
* Friends who don't think like I do, nor hold the same views
* Those who take the time to engage with us on the blog and in person

No matter what your position and state in life, I hope this day finds you content and at peace with things in your world. And I hope you have a good Thanksgiving Day!

Thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Full-timing in Fort Worth...

One great aspects of being full-time RVers is having the opportunity to be with friends and family. This one of the many things about this lifestyle we are very thankful for. We don't take this for granted and are so grateful things worked out so we be out here.

Pam and I spent 17 years on the East Coast and a large part of my family is west of the Mississippi. We have taken a few trips over the years to see family but never got see to our family as often we would like. Now - we look forward to setting up trips and expect our visits to increase. Right now we get to spend a few days near Brad and Sue for the second time in six months.

Yesterday before we went over to Brad and Sue's, we hit the gym. We used the Fitness Center at Naval Air Station, Carswell Joint Reserve Base. It is about 20 minutes from the campground.
We had a good workout and then ran a couple of errands before we met Mark and Dortha for lunch.
We got to meet them for the first time in June when we were here and continue to follow them on their blog. We had a ton of questions about their summer trip to the Midwest and Northwest. Recently they also took a trip to Red Bay (Tiffin Factory).

They have a beautiful 2009 Phaeton and invited us over to take a look. It is a beautiful motor home! They have a lot of different options and have had some custom work done in Red Bay.
Dortha picked up a little laptop table that looks nice and is very functional. It is near an ottoman/storage bin they had made at Red Bay. Both fit very well and look great.

We talked for a time and we had a thousand questions about things. They were glad to answer them all and our time passed too quickly. We look forward to seeing them again!

Next, we picked up some Thanksgiving food
before we went over to Brad and Sue's for the rest of the day.

Jo and Andy dropped by for a few minutes. Sue and Jo have been friends for a long long time. Sue continues to make very good progress. I am amazed at how this whole knee replacement process has gone...

Later, Pam fixed Sloppy Joe's and we watched TV before we back to the Benbrook Lake, COE Recreation Park and our campsite. We stayed up a bit, but went to bed pretty early (9:30 PM).

That wraps up another day in the life of the full-timing Warners! Thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out of the Hospital

Our big deal yesterday was having Sue return home from the hospital after knee replacement surgery. Her lab results were better today and she was understandably eager to get home.
She left about 11:30 so Pam and I looked for a place to grab a quick bite.

We had never eaten at a Taco Bueno so we gave it a try.
It wasn't anything special but did the trick.

We headed over to the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, Carswell. Years ago it was Carswell Air Force Base but it closed for a time. Now the Navy is the primary tenant and it is a Joint Reserve Base with Air Force and Navy units assigned.

We were hoping it had a Campground or RV park for future stays but we couldn't find it if there is one. Our next stop was the Commissary.
We loaded up on a few Thanksgiving groceries including a pecan pie and a mince meat pie. Kelly is going to join us at Brad and Sue's for Thanksgiving and make a pumpkin pie.

After the commissary trip we stopped at Walmart for a couple of things, then went over to Brad and Sue's. I cleaned the Honda with Protectorant while Pam started on the wash. Sue was resting comfortably and had a couple of visits by a nurse and a physical therapist. Brad was working (he is an architect) from home.

We had another very good casserole for dinner and got a head start on the Thanksgiving pies. :)

I brought my Dell laptop and went through a number of diagnostics with a help desk guy. I used Pam's Apple to converse with him on the Dell Support Chat. His conclusion was that I have a hard drive failure. It won't boot up although I can bring it up in the Safe Mode.
He said he would have another hard drive overnighted to me and have a technician install it. I am not sure the timing is going to work on this since we leave Monday, November 30 for Red Bay. We will see.

So ends another post on the Roadrunner Chronicles. Hope your Thanksgiving Week is going well. And thanks for viewing!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Foggy Sunday Over the Lake

I was up a little after the sun came up. It was a nice morning so I poked my head out of the Roadrunner. Next think I knew I was snapping pictures. Something about fog over the lake makes for some good photos.
Ed (Kelly's dog) and I went for a walk and took some more pictures. I don't know what kind of bird this is but he took off in all his majesty and found a perch on top of a tree. And posed for a couple of pictures. :)
After our walk, the sun was coming out so I took a few more pictures of our camp site.
Then Kelly and I went over to Jo and Andy's. They are good friends of ours from our Air Force days in San Bernardino CA in the 1980's. They have a home near Aledo, TX. Shown below is Kelly (with Dante who is Katherine's son) Andy, Jo and Katherine.
Jo has a knack of making pastries and offered to make some cinnamon rolls if we'd come by and pick them up. That was a no-brainer...they were great.

We then spent most of the day at the hospital with Sue. She was going to be released yesterday but after a blood test they found that it was not thick enough (my non-medical description). After being on blood thinners for the knee replacement surgery, her blood was not coagulating enough to suit the doctors. So that was a disappointment.

Otherwise she is doing remarkably well. She looks great and can swing he leg around pretty well when she gets up to go to the bathroom or goes for a walk around the hallways. Her spirits are up (no surprise) and she is ready for home!

We stayed there most of the afternoon, then met Brad at his house to fix dinner (Pam heated up a casserole and made a salad). After I did the dishes we watched football for a few minutes. Brad went back to the hospital for a while and we went back to the Roadrunner.

The thunderstorm of a couple of days ago, knocked out DirectTV signal out of whack. We watched Sunday Night Football on NBC with our antenna and it came in great. I'll have to call Direct TV to see what's up with not being able to lock on to the satellite.

That finished up our day.
A special hello to new followers Rod and Debbie Charette-Detweiler.
And thanks to you all for taking a peak at the Roadrunner Chronicles!
Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back to Fort Worth, More Time at the Hospital

We spent the night in Round Rock, and had a lazy pancake breakfast and coffee time with Terry and Joanne. Then we said our goodbyes and left for Fort Worth.

But first we had to stop at IKEA and waited until IKEA opened. It gave us a some time to stop by the Honda dealer and pick up some wiper blades. Then we picked up a rug for the Roadrunner there and drove back to Fort Worth.

We went directly to the Plaza Medical Center Hospital to see Sue. Brad was there with son Drew and we stayed a couple of hours. Friends from Sue's High School came by as did long time friends Jo and daughter Katherine.

Sue is making terrific progress. The original prognosis was a four day stay in the hospital but now they are talking about maybe letting her out on day 3. She looks great and the knee is working out well. It is amazing to think after two days she can get up and walk down the hall on a knee that has been replaced! Boggles my mind but it is a regular occurrence in the field of modern medicine.

We stayed a couple of hours and headed over to their place for dinner. They have tons of food that folks brought over. Pam made a salad and we warmed up a great casserole Sue had made ahead of time. We finished that up and Brad headed back to the hospital.

We came back to the Roadrunner with Kelly and Ed (her dog) and had a birthday celebration. Kelly's was on the 15th and Pam's was on the 17th.

Pam had mentioned to Kelly she needed a tool belt and she got one.
Now she's ready to tackle anything!

We had a quiet evening hanging out with Kelly and doing some reading before we turned in.

That brings another post to a close for the Roadrunner Chronicles. Many thanks for viewing!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hospital Visit and Birthday Dinner

The thunder and lightening on the lake made it for a tumultuous night of sleep. The quaint pitter patter of rain on the roof usually doesn't put us to sleep, rather it keeps us awake.

So when the lightening and thunder started in earnest, it was time for me to get up and read. Ugh--- 2:45 AM is early. But I read a few chapters of 'Texas', fell asleep again and finally went back to bed.

By the time we both got up we were a little worn out if you know what I mean. We had a big day ahead of us: Hospital Visit in Fort Worth and then dinner and a sleepover in Round Rock, Texas.
We were goint to so see my sister in law Sue at the hospital and knew there was a Cracker Barrel restaurant along the way. Nothing like a big breakfast to get your strength up. :)
Pam and I found Cracker Barrel's 30+ years ago. In fact, I proposed to her in a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Knoxville TN. But I digress....

After breakfast at Cracker Barrel we went over to the hospital to see Sue. She was looking much better the day after her left knee replacement surgery.
Brad had been there for a while already and was about to go in to work. We stayed until the Occupational Therapy nurse came in to run Sue through her paces.

On the way down to Round Rock we saw a Camping World store. We have been looking for one for a couple of weeks so we stopped in a bought a few things.
We have looked for a refillable 5 lb propane tank for our grill and determined the cheapest one we could get was at Camping World so we picked one up. We also picked up a portable refrigerator fan and a bottle of Protectant RV cleaner.

We have been friends with Terry and Joanne since our days in Albuquerque 20 years ago. Joanne called earlier in the week to see if we could come down to Round Rock for dinner and to spend the night. She was going to fix dinner for two other couples to celebrate Terry's upcoming birthday.

They moved to Round Rock 17 years ago and have a very nice place off I-35. We got there about 4:15PM. We had time to spend with them before the other guest arrived. Joanne had everything ready and was waiting to cook the meat.
She really put on a great meal. The menu included: seafood casserole (scallops Mornay) beef tenderloin, mashed potato casserole, carrots and broccoli,
salad, bread and two kinds of wine. It was a terrific meal.

Added to that --- we got to get to know the other couples: Chuck & Libby and Phil & Susan.
It really was a great time. They are all neighbors and good friends who go to the same church.

Dessert was delicious, too.
We had two choices: raspberry & green chile cheesecake and tiramusa. It was a fantastic meal.

Afterwards, we gathered around while Terry read cards and opened presents.
We talked some more with Joanne & Terry after everyone left and got to bed kind of late. But it was a fun time.

That was our day---thanks for viewing.
And a couple of special thanks to new followers
Doug & Sue and
tmelle
for his 'first time' comments. I understand it is not exactly intuitive on adding comments if you have never done it before, so thanks for taking the effort to figure it out.

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Knee Replacement and Such

We were up early and I had a chance to take a few 'Sunrise Over the Lake' shots. Here is one of them:
Not bad for being 5 feet outside of our RV... :) This campsite definitely has the 'it' factor. We are at Holiday Park, Army Corps of Engineers (COE) Recreation Area at Benbrook Lake.

We got ready, had a quick breakfast and headed over to the Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth.
Sue was scheduled to be there by 6:00 AM and got into surgery at 9:00 for a left knee replacement. Brad was going going to hang out in the waiting room so we met him there.

There is a lot to be impressed about with this hospital. In the waiting room a 'Patient Liaison Representative' met us and kept us updated on the progress and movement of the patient.

I also liked the hot coffee and breakfast muffins and danish rolls in the waiting room!
When I went back to the car mid-morning for something I noticed 'Complimentary Valet Parking' was in progress. It was a nice facility. And the people were very nice.

The cafeteria was very nice too. Quite a big selection for lunch. I had the catfish, Brad and Pam had fajita salad. While were eating, the doctor called Brad and said the surgery went off without a hitch and basically was a boring, uneventful procedure. (The way we like them.)
Sue was in recovery for another hour plus so we had time to finish and Brad went to be with her. We dropped in later in the afternoon and she was pretty groggy but looking great. Mark and Drew, (their sons) drove in from Houston and arrived while we were there. We said our goodbyes and will check in again on the weekend.

Back at the campground, I had a couple of minutes and took some evening shots of the lake near our campsite.
Nice place. We read our books (Texas and Centennial) for a while and hit the sack.

For all the 'silent majority' out there, we really appreciate you taking a few minutes to check out the Roadrunner Chronicles! That goes for 'Followers' and 'Commenters' too - Thanks!
That's all for now...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to Fort Worth for Thanksgiving

We left the Foretravel factory in Nacogdoches, Texas about 10:30 and pointed the Roadrunner toward Fort Worth.

It was a glorious day to be on the road. Spectacular actually. I never knew how beautiful the countryside is around Allen, Texas. Rolling hills, cattle ranches--it was gorgeous.

We arrived at the Holiday Park, COE Recreation Area at Benbrook Lake (Fort Worth) about 2:30. We were here in June and it is near my brother and his wife. We will be spending the next couple of weeks here.

Sue has had knee issues for years and is having knee replacement surgery. Appreciate your prayers for her on that.

It took a while, but we found a great site with 30 amp electricity and water.
We swept out the coach, set up the flag and worked on the bikes a little bit before dinner. We cooked some pork on the grill and finished up with enough time to run over to Brad and Sue's.

They are getting ready for Sue's stay in the hospital. Friends were nice enough to pack their fridge full of frozen casseroles since she will be 'out of commission' for a few days.

We got back well before the 10:00 PM curfew. We also got a campsite that is closer to the front gate. Four months ago we were late, the gate was closed and we had a mile + walk to our campsite. If that happens this time, we it is more like a 300 yard walk. :)
Not a whole lot to say today except that thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles!