Living Our Dream

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Going to The Dogs

At the end of yesterday’s blog entry, I mentioned we would be going to the dogs today. After breakfast we went to the Amarillo Civic Center to watch the last day of the Panhandle Kennel Club Dog Show. As with many AKC sanctioned dog shows, there are three main events: Rally, Obedience, and Confirmation. The Panhandle Kennel Club Dog Show did not have Agility, Tracking or Field Trials events.

  • Rally is an interesting event that is gaining popularity with many dog lovers. The dog and handler navigates a course that tests the dog’s ability to follow the handler’s silent instructions. Carol and I participated in Rally several years ago. The orange cones identify the stations and are marked with instructions that the handler must read, then instruct the dog on how to act. Points are assessed based on performance.


  • Obedience is similar to rally except there is no course to navigate. Instead the handler follows the judge’s instruction and signals the dog to behave accordingly. Some of the instructions are simple like, left turn or about turn. Some of the instructions are more complicated such as finding an article with the handler’s scent on it. In the following photo, the dog was released to go find the object that has the handlers scent on it. A well-trained dog will find his handler’s scented object. This level of competition requires many hours of training and dedication.


  • Confirmation is (in my opinion) the most complex and tedious competition for dogs. You may be familiar with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. Entrants in these two nationally televised shows are by invitation. Smaller shows, such as what we observed today is open to all AKC registered breeds. There is no way I can justly describe the confirmation process other than to say, you should attend a local show or watch one of the national shows.

Today we saw plenty of pampered Poodles of all sizes.DSC_0009We also saw cute and adorable wiener dogs better known as Dachshunds like this pair.

DSC_0016And a rather large Neapolitan Mastiffs, like this ‘friendly’ fellow.

DSC_0019It was an enjoyable morning watching all the dogs being primped and prepped for the judges’ sharp eye. And it was enjoyable watching the different breeds interact with each other. If you are a dog lover and have never observed an AKC sanctioned dog show, I urge you to contact your local kennel club and volunteer. They always need help at dog shows. I believe you will find volunteering very educational.

After a morning with the dogs, we came back to our home on wheels. Today was moving day. We have been parked in a temporary site since we got here. A couple of the summer workampers have left making room for us to move into our winter site. It was a short move, just across the street. After a couple of hours, we were set up in our new location with our yard sign and flags posted in the yard. Our new site faces north instead of west. We may need a blanket on our windshield when Mother Nature decides to send her cold arctic air southward. At least we will be a little cooler when the setting sun no longer hits the windshield.

IMG_2006Tomorrow starts another work week for us. We work the 1:00PM to 8:00PM shift for the next five days. We are enjoying our time here and are making new friends with the other workampers and RV park manager. Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.

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A Day With The Cow Ponies

Well, not quiet a day. How about a morning at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum in Amarillo. This is one item on our Amarillo Bucket List.The museum, which opened in 1991 and was expanded in 2010, receives between 20,000 – 30,000 visitors per year.

The mission of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum is to preserve and interpret the history and modern uses of the American Quarter Horse and cultivate future enthusiasts. The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum houses the living history of the American Quarter Horse. The Hall of Fame showcases the people and horses who shaped and changed the breed and the American Quarter Horse Association.

DSC_0983Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by this beautiful statue of a typical American Quarter Horse.

DSC_0981The ground floor of the museum is filled with art and exhibits depicting the life and care of the American Quarter Horse. Also on display, from Ruidoso Downs Race track in New Mexico, is the original 4-horse gate from the straight track where early cow ponies were raced.

The second floor houses a timeline exhibit that showcases artifacts, attire, tack, photos and many more interesting pieces from each inductee’s life. As an example, Robert J. Kleberg, Richard Kleberg and Stephen “Tio” Kleberg (from the King Ranch),  Helen Michaelis (first woman inducted into the hall of fame in 1985), Louis Pearce, Jr. (better known as “Mr. Houston Livestock Show”) are just a few of the many people represented in the exhibit.

The saddle in the following photo belonged to Louis Pearce. It was crafted for the 75th Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo in 2006. It looked as if it was never used.

DSC_0979The museum preserves the history of the American Quarter Horse and highlights the people and horses who had a significant impact on the breed. Thanks to the donors and contributions to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, entry cost make it affordable for anyone to visit.

Carol pauses for a brief rest as we get ready to leave the museum.

DSC_0976Before we visited the museum, we paused for a selfie at one of the many painted quarter horse statues that are placed around Amarillo and Canyon. This particular statue is owned by the Amarillo Globe News and is called Nay-boring Vistas. We will had a few more of these as we pause along the way.

DSC_0973Tomorrow we are going to the dogs!

Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.



After breakfast we drove through downtown and then headed for this attraction.


Modifying an RV Mod

A few weeks ago I modified a stock cabinet for our motor home. This gave us a place to store cookware and other items. There was only one problem with the cabinet. Well, actually, there were two problems.

IMG_1968First, I did not install the shelf at the correct height. This meant the file box would not fit in the bottom as was the plan. The second problem was the doors on the cabinet opened the wrong way. In the photo below, you can see the middle doors open from the center, which just happens to be directly under the table. What we wanted to do set the larger pair of doors to the left and the smaller pair of doors to the right.IMG_1954To do this, I had to remove the vertical pieces around a bit. Fortunately, I have the tools to do this job so removing the two stiles. After removing the vertical pieces, I had to attach them in the correct position.

IMG_1996I attached these using pocket hole joinery.  When I cleaned out my wood shop, I decided to keep my hand tools since I knew there would be a time when I would use them. The small blue gizmo attached to the end of the board (below) guides a special drill bit into the wood at the precise angle that allows a special screw to be used to attach the piece to the cabinet.

IMG_1995Once the holes are drilled, I just need to screw the vertical pieces into their new locations. One down, one to go. Oh, yeah, I also had to trim the width of the second board as well.

IMG_1997With the vertical support in their new locations, I then raised the middle shelf so our file box could fit on the bottom shelf. Carol was a good helper with this task. With the cabinet back against the slide wall, Carol could not organize her craft books in the bottom of the cabinet. After she finished that, I arranged our cookware on the middle shelf. We had great weather today for this project. We opened the windows so we had a chance to air out the motor home. IMG_1998Cabinet is all loaded and the table top is back in. Time to sit back a relax a bit, then cook supper. I am glade to get that little modification to our RV mod completed.

IMG_2001Now, where did I put that skillet?

Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.


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Amarillo – What A Town!

With a population of 195,210 (2012) Amarillo is the 14th largest city in Texas and the commercial center of the Texas panhandle. The Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad began building across the panhandle in 1887. Along this route, J.T. Berry arrived from Abilene and platted the town along a well watered area along the railroad right of way. By the end of the year, the town became the county seat for Potter County and the railroad made its way through. Thus provide a path for increased commerce for the cattle industry.


Amarillo dropped its Hispanic pronunciation (Ah-mah-ree-yoh) and over the next few years it developed into a thriving community. From 1890 to 1900, the town grew in size from  482 to 1442. Ten years later, the population grew to over 9,000 due in part to increase railroad traffic from Southern Kansas, the Pecos and Northern Texas, and the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf railroads. Gas was discovered in 1918 and oil just three years later. Unlike Grit, Tx, Amarillo grew. By 1928 gas, petroleum, agriculture, and cattle became Amarillo’s principal sources of income.

In 1929, Amarillo College was born and held its first classes in September of that year. The college grew and added vocational courses in 1942. In 1958, the college had its own Board of Regents and by 2009, it served 11,000 students regionally.Amarillo CollegeThe Dust Bowl of the 1930’s led to economic depression but U.S. Routes 60, 87, 287, and 66 merged at Amarillo bringing life back to this thriving city. Between 1950 and 1960, Amarillo’s population grew from 74,443 to 137,969. Today, Amarillo (195,210) is larger than Abilene (118,887) and smaller than Lubbock (236,065).

Some interesting facts about Amarillo:

  • The city gained national media attention in 1998 when television talk show host Oprah Winfrey was unsuccessfully sued by local cattlemen for comments made on her show connecting American beef to mad cow disease, costing them and their industry millions of dollars. In order to attend the trial in Amarillo, she temporarily relocated her show to the Amarillo Little Theater for nearly a year. During the trial, Winfrey hired Dallas-based jury consultant Phil McGraw to aid her attorneys on selecting and analyzing the members of the jury. McGraw would later become a regular guest on Winfrey’s television show and subsequently started his own talk show, Dr. Phil, in 2002.
  • Amarillo is home to the world’s largest helium reserve (over 1 billion cubic meters).
  • In 1920, West Texas A&M University was founded; today it serves the entire Texas Panhandle, a region the size of Indiana.
  • The runway at Rick Hubbard Amarillo Airport was designated as an alternate landing site for the now defunct space shuttle program.
  • Amarillo ranches and feedlots produce 25% of the nation’s and 88% of Texas’ beef.
  • The American Quarter Horse Association, located in Amarillo, Texas, is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization.
  • If you were traveling West to East from Bakersfield, CA to Chattanooga, TN (2,150 miles), Amarillo is the mid-point.
  • If you were traveling North to South from Casper, WY to Corpus Christi, TX (1,342 miles), Amarillo is the mid-point.

Some of the places we plan to visit during our stay here:

Hope we can get all this done in the six months we are planning on staying here. Thanks to Wikipedia, Texas State Historical Association, and various other on-line sources for the information. And thank you for stopping by – y’all come back now.

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Playing Tourist

We had a wonderful day playing tourist. Who knew there was a great RV museum in Texas? We certainly did not know that. Fortunate for us, Jack Sisemore Traveland is home to a cool RV museum that is free and contains a small sampling of iconic RV’s from the past. Located in a large building in the back of the dealership, Jack Sisemore Traveland Museum is a hidden gem. And we learned today the Jack Sisemore Traveland is the largest Winnebago dealership in Texas. That may come in handy while we are here. They have friendly staff and from what we hear, a great service department.
DSCN0709From vintage motor cycles
DSCN0666To a replica of Jack Sisemore’s service station (before he got into the RV business)
DSCN0708Visitors can take a trip back in time to see how early RVer’s traveled. And they can see the 1948 Flxible that was used by he Gornike family in the Robin Williams movie “RV”.
DSCN0669For a quick view of the RV’s we saw today, click here. It was really a cool trip back in time.

We also took a quick trip out to the infamous Cadillac Ranch on I-40. The weather was wet so the grounds were muddy. We decided this would be an adventure for another day.
DSCN0710There are other cool places for us to visit while we are in Amarillo. We will have plenty of time for that.DSCN0707Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.


We’re Home!

Home is where we park it and we are now home at Amarillo Ranch RV in Amarillo, TX, way up North in the Texas Panhandle. Elevation is 3605 feet. In fact we are closer to Albuquerque, NM (287 miles), Colorado Spring, CO (365 miles), Hot Springs, AR (563 miles), Branson, MO (578 miles), than Corpus Christi (656 miles) and Sugar Land, TX (603). We are parked in a temporary site until the 10th, when our permanent site will be ready for us.

Our first stop from Corpus Christi was Potter’s Creek where we had a relaxing evening and a chance to have dinner with Carol’s brother at Italian Garden. Next we headed north to San Angelo where we spent the night at Spring Creek Marina and RV Park. Price was a little high but the location was good. We had a great TexMex dinner at Henry’s. The place reminded us of Kiko’s in Corpus Christi. Next stop was KOA in Lubbock where we had dinner with our friend Donald and Raye Nell Hanna. I worked with them at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. Final stop was Amarillo Ranch RV.

When we pulled into KOA in Lubbock we were greeted with a hard but quick cold shower from the north. Of course that made things a bit muddy around the RV. We also notice our right rear stabilizer did not extend. We had the stabilizers worked on back in September ’13 in Moscow, Iowa. The replace the solenoid that controls the right rear stabilizer so it should be a warranty repair. The we notice the right front also would not retract. That could have been a problem had we not been able to get it retracted on Friday AM. We got on the road Friday AM for our final destination.

We met our managers and a couple of other workampers. They were all very friendly like we experienced at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO in 2013. We are looking forward to getting to know them better. Building relationships is so important when working in a new environment.

Something in the air caused Carol to have an allergy reaction when we arrived. Saturday AM we drove to a walk in clinic so she could be treated. With meds in hand we came back to a pretty warm motor home. The AC was not working at all. SHEESH! The air handler fan came on when I switched it from Auto to On. That told me the compressor shut down. After turning off the unit for a few minutes, i turned it back on and everything came back alive. Sunday I will need to give the condenser coil a good rinsing since it looks pretty dirty. The humidity is low up here but we still have temperatures in the mid to high 90’s. I am guessing the compressor overheated due to poor air flow through the condenser. Hope that does the trick since replacing our A/C would be expensive.

Our managers took us to dinner at The Big Texan last night. We had a chance to get acquainted even though the restaurant was very noise. We got our paper work and schedule. Monday we will be ready to get back to work. Meanwhile, today I will give our rig a good washing while Carol takes care of laundry.

Driving along the highways we often come across small towns. Most of these towns sprung up when a few folks decide they want to band together and perhaps enjoy the benefits of a structured community. Many of these small towns never incorporated so they remain an unincorporated community. Farm and ranch operations that required large acreage meant these families lived far apart. Often times, they joined together to form a church or school. As the communities grew, next came banks and general store, blacksmith and saloons. Some of the communities grew and prospered but in many, that never happened. As we passed these small towns, I often wondered about their history and more importantly why they did not flourish. Here are just a few that caught my attention as we drove.

  • Whitsett, (pop. 98) on US 281 just a few miles west of I-37. Construction of Choke Canyon Dam in 1986 was supposed to increase the population of Whitsett but that never happened. Whitsett is best known as being the setting for the 2008 horror film The Wild Man of the Navidad.
  • Oakville, (pop. 260) on  I-73 exit 65 is home to Van’s BBQ. Van’s has some of the best BBQ you can find and delivers it’s brisket plate on butcher paper to your table. After finishing what is served, they will step by to ask if you would like a second helping.
  • Lukenbach (pop. 3) located on US 290 a few miles north of Fredricksburg, the town was made famous in 1973 when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded the album Viva Terlingua  live at the dance hall. Later, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson memorialized Lukenbach with the song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” Today, the dance hall still hosts a variety of musical events.
  • Cherry Springs (pop. 75) located on US 87 between Fredricksburg and Mason, this small town is home to the infamous Cherry Springs Dance Hall. This dance hall has hosted many of the greatest legends of country music such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens, Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubb, and George Jones, It was here on October 9, 1955, that the Louisiana Hayride Tour played, with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson and Porter Wagoner.
  • Grit (pop. 30) located on TX29 just north of Mason. The community was probably named Grit because of the area’s gritty soil. Originally settled in 1889, Grit grew to a whopping 63 people by 1968. Not sure why it never grew.
  • Van Court (pop. 125) located on US 87 Southeast of San Angelo and is the county seat of Tom Green County. Not much is known about this small community other than it is the county seat.
  • Posey (pop. ?) located on US 84 between Slaton and Lubbock. About all that is left in town is a Lutheran Church and a grain elevator. The railroad does not stop in town any longer. The town is now considered a dispersed rural community.

I am sure there may be other small communities that we passed along the way. Sorry I did not post photos, since I did not have but a few. Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.








R&R and MoHo Mods

Our last work day at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, Tx was Tuesday 8/12. We took a couple of days to get packed up and to get a hitch installed on or Ford Edge. Friday morning 8/15, we pulled out and said Good Bye! to Yogi Bear. Our first stop was my brother’s place in Burton, TX for a few days R&R and to get our dining room cabinet finished and moved into the RV. The cabinet project started off as a standard 60″x24″ sink cabinet from Lowe’s. That was too deep for our need so I reduced the depth of the cabinet to fit our space.

Then I had to cut a slot in the faux drawer in the center of the cabinet for our table to slide into the cabinet. Plus reconfigure the two side drawers to fit the 16″ depth. Add a top and place a trim edge that would keep stuff from rolling off when we are on the road. And add a shelf on the inside.

My brother helped me get it into the motor home. After removing the day/night shades and crappy valances, here is where she stood when we left Burton.

I still have to alter the legs on the table and hang new roller shades and curtains on the windows.

Monday AM we pulled away from  Burton and headed for Corpus Christi. We stopped in Schulenberg for lunch and fuel. As we approached Corpus Christi, we encountered strong southerly winds and a little rain. Fueled up again in Corpus Christi so we would not need to do that when we leave in a week. We pulled into Colonia Del Rey and got our assigned space. No shade here so it will be hot in the afternoon. Our daughter planned supper for us, so as soon as we got set up, we headed to her apartment.

Tuesday we spent the day with our grandson, Gage. This was his last day of summer vacation. Carol washed clothes while Gage and I played a couple of board games. He and I made a couple of trips back to the RV park so we could walk our fur babies, Cody and MeiLing. After a great TexMex meal at Acapulco. Next, Carol and I headed to Lowe’s to get the new roller shades.

Wednesday after breakfast, I got worked on installing the new shades. It took a little trial and error but they work fine. There are two different roller shade hanging brackets. The ones in front are standard and place the center of the roller about 1″ away from the wall. The ones in the back place the center of the roller about 1.5″ away from the wall.  Unless you have them made, most roller shades come in standard 74″ length. Big box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, etc.) can cut the roller shades to width. We opted to go that route instead of custom ordering for width and length. We had to get longer brackets to keep the shades from dragging on the RV’s window frames. We also opted to get the room darkening shades instead of those that let in a little light. They really make a difference on blocking heat.  The day/night shades we had sorta work but not as well as the shades we installed.

Carol made curtains for the windows last summer when we where at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO. We are using standard curtain rods. This makes mounting a little tricky because the rods are mounted close to the overhead cabinets.

Here is the final photo of the cabinet in place with new legs to support the table and the new curtains. Sometimes it is the little thing that make a drab RV feel more like home.

We are still thinking through the process of replacing the carpet with laminate flooring. Until we do this, we still need to vacuum the carpet. Our 3-year-old trusty Dirt Devil finally broke down. We wanted something like the Dyson Canister but could not see spending almost $500 for a vacuum. So we went to Walmart and got a Shark Navigator instead at 1/3 the cost. I vacuumed the carpet 3. First pass got all the dog hair from Cody, second and third pass got the dust/dirt that was in the carpet. I can honestly say the Shark really sucks – in a good way. And it is easy to empty and clean the canister.

While on the subject of RV mods, we purchased a solar screen for our windshield. We have seen many motor homes with these solar screens and decide if we were going to survive Texas heat in August, we need one. The solar screen blocks the sun and allows us to still see out. RV Sunscreen out of Winter Haven, Florida make these shades along with other products for RVs. They come in all sizes and color configurations. Plus they ship fast. We got our just before leaving Lone Star Yogi in Waller. We will order some for our side windows when we get settled.


Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.



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