Category Archives: Home Life

Mystery Meat

I went grocery shopping yesterday. It was time to replenish our dwindling stock of nourishment. We are almost done. Deli meat was all that was left on our grocery list.

So, I am standing at the deli counter looking for my favorite brand of turkey. Well, maybe my second favorite brand. And I did not see the Mesquite Turkey Breast that I really like. I had to either go to another store or settle for my least favorite brand.

I asked Meat Slicer (counter help) if they had Brand B. She sweetly said, “If it is not behind the glass, then we do not have it today.” My better sense told me that I should just say thank you and leave.

Instead, I asked if I could taste the only Mesquite Turkey Breast they had. “Sure,” said Meat Slicer. She proceeded to cut a slice for me to taste. I inspected it, smelled it, and tasted it. With a look of skepticism on my face, I said, “HM! Interesting!”

Excuse me, m’am. Are you sure this is Mesquite Turkey? It really tastes like ham. Meat Slicer inspected the wrapping that came from the chunk of mystery meat and said, “That’s what the label says.”

Reluctantly I said, “OK! I’ll have 1/2 pound sliced just like the sample you gave me.” Meat Slicer proceeds to slice away to complete my order. When she handed me the packaged Mesquite Turkey Breast, she said. “You know, must folks have told me the same thing about that turkey tasting like ham today.”

Moral of this true story.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, It is probably a duck even if some one labeled it a chicken.

Next time, I think I will go to the store that carries my favorite brand.

Hey, Carol! Is this meat from the freezer chicken or pork?

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



Social Network Overload (SNO)

Have we reached a saturation point with Social Networks? I maintain accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, RVillage as well this blog on WordPress. There are times I feel like I am suffering from the effects of SNO.


FB StartI started Facebook in 2008 based on the suggestion of my daughters. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Now I use it daily to communicate with my friends. Next to blogging, Facebook is my most active social network application.


LinkedInI cannot remember when I initiated my LinkedIn account. I remember that it was a great way to network with my professional peers across the US and other countries. Prior to retirement, I was a corporate education manager and had a need to connect to other corporate education professionals outside of my home town of Corpus Christi, Texas. Since retirement, I still maintain connection with many of my pre-retirement professional network. I have expanded my network on LinkedIn to include several who are in the RVing world like I am.


Google+Shortly after Google opened Google+ to everyone in September 2011, I initiated my Google+ account. I already had an email account and a blog account on Google. It made sense to me to continue down Google avenue. I liked the idea of circles and felt Google+ was easier to use and manage than Facebook. The number of connections I have on Google+ are meaningless if my postings go unnoticed. At the moment with Google +, I feel like I am talking but no one is listening. Therefore, I am seriously considering closing my Google+ account. This blog post will auto post on my Google+ account. I’ll let you know if I get any feedback from anyone in my Google+ circles.

I have to be careful with that since Google has integrated most Google apps. I have files on Google Drive, photos in Picasa Web and Google+.


TwitterI know Twitter is the place to post short messages of 140 characters or less. I just have never gotten the hang of tweeting. Maybe one day there will be a Tweeting101 course like Blogging101.


InstagramInstagram’s primary purpose is mobile photo and video sharing. I got involved with Instagram in November 2013 after reading a couple of blogs focused on photography. I plan to keep this active because I do take a lot of photos with my phone.


RVillageRVillage is a social network designed for RVers. It is designed to make it easy for RVers to find other RVers based on location. As an example, I am currently in Amarillo, TX. Using RVillage, I can easily find other RVers in the Amarillo area. Or if I wanted to chat with RVers in Harrisonburg, VA, I could search that location in RVillage and find RVers who are in Harrisonburg.

One new feature just implemented in RVillage is MarketPlace. Members of RVillage can submit business recommendations on RVillage. Then when an RVer arrives in a new area, they can search MarketPlace for that area and see merchants that have been recommended by other RVers. That is pretty cool. I’ll save the details of RVillage for another blog post.

Are you experiencing the effects of SNO? I hope not. 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.


Miscellaneous Musings

We have had a couple of days of very mild temperatures. So mild that in the morning our temperatures start in the mid 50‘s and climb to a toasty 65 by 10 AM. By mid afternoon temperatures have soared into the mid 80‘s. Our friends from The East Heads West are in Ten Sleep, Wyoming where it is HOT. It is so hot, the folks working outside decided to start at 6:30AM to take advantage of cooler temperatures. Our family in Texas report it is still HOT. Temperatures vary from high 90’s to low 100’s. When we get back to Texas in October we will experience a temperature shock.

Baby Llamas

Saturday was breeding day at the farm. The boys and girls got a chance to play together. Ricky, Cricket, and Smudge where happy campers. Major Deal and Rudy where not so happy since they were not selected to be a partner.

We now have 2 llamas who are due very soon. Magic is due this month, Bonita is due next month. Plus we have three who hopefully will produce babies in about 300 days or so. The two babies born in May and June are growing up nicely and learning how to do things like wearing a halter and being led into the transport trailer.


No not mononucleosis. Mono as related to sound. I wear two hearing aids. This enables me to hear in stereo. That is a pretty cool thing because hearing in stereo lets me figure out the location of sounds. I like to think stereo hearing provides depth. Sunday I switched from stereo to mono because one of my hearing aids decided it was tired. After applying basic troubleshooting techniques, such as make sure the aid had a good fresh battery and the tubes in hearing aid were not clogged, I determined that one of my two hearing aids experienced a catastrophic failure.

Fortunately, I have one of my older hearing aids for such a time as this. Of course I had no batteries for it, so after church, we are shopping for hearing aid batteries. Insert battery, check. Adjust volume, check. I can hear you now. But wait, the sound is really strange. The old aid uses old technology so the sound alterations are pretty simple. The new aid does a much better job at adjusting sound. Needless to say, I will miss the hearing aid for a couple of weeks. I need to send it to my audiologist in Corpus Christi, who will apply hearing aid CPR. If she cannot wake it up, it will need to go to the factor for major surgery. The fee for this will be costly but not nearly as costly as a new hearing aid. I’m counting on major surgery at the factory not total replacement.


Carol continues working on her quilting project and I have completed a few minor projects around the RV. I will be ordering parts to repair the damage I did back in June. Plus I have to patch the dump bed of the ChuckWagon. The bed was repaired a couple of years ago but rust has taken its toll.

Well, that’s about it for life on the farm. The Olympics are over, football season is just around the corner and in six weeks we head back to Texas.

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

Tech Issues

Resolving tech issues can be exhausting. It has been days since my last posting. In my last post, I mentioned the problem with my DROID phone. It was slowly dying.

Carol and I have been talking about switching from AT&T to Verizon when our AT&T contract expired in July. At that time, I would also move from DROID to iPhone. Well, it ain’t July so what am I going to do. If I move to Verizon now, I will either have to pay a cancellation fee of $120 for the remaining unused contract time or get a new number and let the AT&T contract expire. Of course in the last option, I would be paying for the DROID that I would not be able to use.

A third option would be to stay with AT&T and upgrade my phone now. It was time to have a conversation with Verizon to determine if it would be worth the extra $120 AT&T termination fee to make the switch. Thursday afternoon, we headed to New Bern to visit the Verizon store to clarify how the Verizon network operates.

One of the AT&T network features that has been extremely helpful to us is the ability to look up information stored in our Google account while talking on the phone. The Verizon rep verified that this is not something their network currently does. They are working on upgrading their network to allow that but for now, that is not possible. Sounds like a deal breaker to me.

We walked across the parking lot to the AT&T store. Teresa greeted us at the door with a smile and asked, “How may I help you today?” I explained the problem with the DROID and told her I was interested in upgrading to the iPhone. We walked over to the iPhones where she explained features, benefits and costs. OK, let’s wrap up this deal. After completing the paperwork, she came to my side of the counter and explained how the transaction will appear on our phone bill. Then she brought out my new phone and demonstrated how it works.

I am not sure if AT&T has improved the customer service training or if this store is different. The experience with AT&T was certainly different than the last time I visited an AT&T store in Corpus Christi, Tx. I was certainly a satisfied customer this time and would easily recommend this store to anyone. I’ve not had any issues with AT&T service. The dead zones I’ve encountered is common to all carriers.

Thursday evening, I spent time with my new phone and can say that I am impressed with how well it works. Many of the features are common to those found on a Mac Pro so I felt right at home quickly with it. The only thing I’ve discovered is that I am not able to connect reliable to our Verizon MiFi with my Mac or phone. Carol also has issues connecting to the MiFi so I feel pretty confident that the problem is with the MiFi. We are currently on our third MiFi in less than 12 months.

Friday the 16th, Carol and I decide to head back to New Bern AT&T store to upgrade her phone as well. One of the benefits of us booth being on the same phone is that I can help her when she has a question about her phone. We specifically went back to Teresa since she was so helpful to me. Teresa’s manager comment that I should just use my phone in place of the MiFi. Not sure how that would work, but I will look into it.

While we are on a techy spending spree, we decided to head to BestBuy (Jacksonville) to get Carol her birthday present. We replace her iPad with the New iPad. She was a happy camper. So Friday evening and most of today, she spend getting her phone and iPad configured with her special aps. So what is going on with the deck project? Glad you asked. It is progressing nicely. We got the posts cemented and beams built on Friday.

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Today I got the joists connected to the beams. Yep, I measured twice and cut once.

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I brought Cody with me to the job site. He likes being with me and is my supervisor.

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Today, here is what the project looks like. I need to make a beam to support the steps coming off the end of the deck. This will give me a place to mount the additional stair stringers. Then add the decking and build the rail. As long as the weather cooperates, I should have it done by end of next week.
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That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by.