Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fickle Finger of Fate

Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX
Texas is cold too!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...Alcoholic lemonade that is!
The weather has been all over the scale. The other day it was near 80°. Today it was 29° this morning and may not get out of the 40's all day. This is my own homemade adult lemonade. Some simple syrup, fresh lemon, true lemon powder, grapefruit vodka and tonic.
When I use up a bulky item, it makes me happy. Living in an RV, every little bit of extra space helps. With our truck engine woes, I have been enjoying more alcoholic beverages than usual. My norm is probably 2-3 glasses of wine PER WEEK. But these past 3 weeks, I've been adding Irish Cream or Frangelico to my coffee. I've been having wine more often and later in the evening. And, my hard liquor consumption has risen. With that, my large bottles are disappearing. My bottle of gin is now gone and my bottle of Absolut Ruby Grapefruit vodka is also now gone. Ahhh, some vacant space in the cabinets! Since we don't have a vehicle and are dependent on the  kindness of others to take us into town, we dare not also request a stop to the liquor store. That is not a necessity at all. Besides, I've still got 4 bottles of wine left.
I'm sure you can deduce from my above drinking habits, that the truck is still not fixed. Although Fernandez Auto may not be the fastest, you can't blame this delay on them. We had to order an engine and get it delivered. We are hoping it will arrive tomorrow and they'll start working on it. The mechanic picked me up today to bring me in to pay for the engine. Sigh....$5000.00 on my personal charge card and $9400.00 on our joint charge card. Sigh....and that's just for the engine (+tax). Scott has been researching online all about the engine troubles. There have been MANY cases and the price we paid is the general going price everyone else has paid. This is JUST FOR THE ENGINE! I think we'll have to do what Carla, of Cozy Be Gone has been doing. Just stay in one spot that offers a monthly rate. We'll save on park fees and diesel gas fill ups.
From Scott's Facebook: "Just found out that we missed out on a Ford 6.0 diesel engine class action lawsuit by 3 weeks. 3 of the things in the suit we've had. Papers had to be filed by 12/31/13. Guess the Fickle Finger of Fate (how many remember that?) has decided to poke us a bit. Poke, poke, poke."
So because of this engine dilemma, our plans have drastically changed.
Corpus Christi-Cancelled
Alabama Gulf Coast & meeting up with Carla, of Cozy Be Gone-Cancelled
New Orleans visit with Mickey and her great Cajun food-cancelled
Dina's adoption transport-Cancelled by a week
So we just wait, keep working on our state of mind to deal with all this and go on. RV life is still good.

Since today is on the cooler side, I think I'll make myself a comfort drink...hot chocolate with fluff in it! Maybe I'll add a little Frangelico to it, maybe not.
And since cocoa comes out of a tree, that makes it a plant, therefore chocolate counts as a vegetable right? That means cocoa is really a veggie drink! OK, I know, I'm stretching.  I'll have my real salad later, but for now I'll relax with my hot chocolate.
By the end of the week, it should be in the 80's again. 
I've mentioned this newsletter before and I'll mention it again... Roadtreking Here is a very handy tip for those that driveway camp. You can use the stick & brick house sewer to empty your tanks. Check out the how to here. Maybe we'll try this out while we're in NJ staying in my in-law's driveway, in the Spring. I'll update if we try it.


I thought of something else that I was missing. Good coffee. I just ran out. Scott's light roast is ugh. While Scott was at the grocery store the other day, he picked up Starbucks Sumatra. Starbucks? You picked up Starbucks????!!!!! My eyes grew wide and flames started seeping out. Scott started trembling because he could see the "wrath of Debbie" was about to be thrown on him. My mind is whirring. Starbucks! How could he? But at least he tried, with the little choices he had. What a guy. He gathered our groceries and got almost everything on the list. Calm... easy... quiet... Deb. Ok, I'm good. The dragon has been contained.
"Thank you honey. I'll give it a try. I hope it's better than your coffee. I love you." 
Why you ask? Why does the word Starbucks have such a negative effect on me? Do you know what you are asking? The dragon is about to come out and rant!
I am not a "label" watcher. I do not pay the extra money to show off a label. In fact, I'm just the opposite. I am anti-label. I did not buy Calvin Klein jeans in the 70's/80's. I will not ride a Harley Davidson, I could not care less about "Coach" bags. I do buy name brand items if I like the quality, usefulness, design & no hype.
While I was still working, I went out for a cup of coffee on a cold Winter's day to the local Starbucks shop about 4 blocks from work. Having never been there, I was almost too overwhelmed by the strange language, but decided to order a cappuccino with whipped cream. I walked back to work thinking about the yummy drink I'll partake while on my break. I get to the lunch room with a good book and take off the lid.
Ugh Grrrrrrosssssssss! There was a 1/4 inch layer of OIL on my cappuccino! Bull crap! I paid all this money only to be given fake cream???? I have boycotted this establishment ever since, which adds up to at least 10 years. Their practices may have changed, but with all the hype of how wonderful Starbucks is and the snobs who order  their fancy worded beverages, I have no use for Starbucks. (Unless I'm stuck in Fort Stockton, with no other coffee available.)
For those that enjoy Starbucks coffee,but need help ordering. Here is a how to guide.
Choose a size. Starbucks is known for having their name-specific sizing. Fear not getting the sizes down is "easy" Yea, right. .
Short is the equivalent of 8oz
Tall is the equivalent of 12oz
Grande is the equivalent of 16oz
Venti is the equivalent of  20oz
Trenta is the equivalent of  24oz
 ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!! Don't you think small, medium, large, extra large, giant would work???
This is what our rig and truck will soon look like if I don't curb my yarn purchases!!!

We had our mail sent here and I received more yarn and an assortment of beads. I already have a use for this yarn. None of my stash yarn was right for my February Mystery Knit-a-long, so I HAD to buy yarn.
It is getting to the point, that I am knitting just for the pure challenge and enjoyment. I'm really enjoying knitting with speciality brands of yarn, instead of big box craft store yarns. There is nothing wrong with big box craft store yarns. They are less money and usually more durable, but more generic. I am realizing I LOVE silk blend yarns and mohair. The silk gives a slight sheen and drape to the fabric. But it's gotten to the point that I don't know what to do with my knitted items. My recent projects are made with quality fiber that needs hand washing. Who wants to deal with that, unless you are a fiber enthusiast? I will continue to knit and continue to try to sell my beautiful (yes, I'm proud of my work) items, or if the opportunity comes along, I'll give them away to an appreciative recipient.
Doris, in Illinois, wearing her sweater I made for her. Keep warm sweetie.
I've finished my Indian Feathers shawlette. I used up the beautiful mohair, wool, silk yarn from the lace scarf I recently made. I really really love this Luna yarn. It feels like a cloud. Hmm, do I know what a cloud feels like? You know what I mean. This shawlette which is really an arched scarf is so light, lofty, soft, squishy and beautiful! Too bad I have no reason to wear it. I'm lucky to get out of my PJ's these past few weeks. This scarf is for sale for $60. Yep, big bucks, but it IS SILK AND MOHAIR, plus the time it took for me to knit it. 
Can you see the Indian feathers on the bottom?

Unfortunately, I have yet to take a photo that shows it off correctly. It is beautiful! It has just a few blue beads near the points of the feathers on the bottom.

When blocking the shawlette/scarf on the picnic table, it was soooo windy, I had to use all kinds of items to hold it down and keep it from blowing away.
This was all the yarn I had left over. 
Where is Devin's head? It's on the arm rest on the left side of the photo. Devin covered his eyes with his feet when I turned on the light when I got out of bed. I guess he wasn't ready for the day to begin.

Somedays I spend my days in the bedroom. The reason is usually because it's so cold outside and the bedroom is the warmest and coziest spot in the RV. The other reason is shown above. There's no place for me to sit! So I head to the bedroom and within minutes, all 3 dogs are upstairs joining me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A run of bad luck...or the exclamation mark post!!!!!!!

Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX

We have our blog address in big white vinyl letters on the back of our RV and on the back of our truck. For being such a private, shy, and semi-nonsocial person, that is an odd thing to do. But having our blog "advertised" is an easy social opener for someone to approach us and start a conversation. It is also a great way for our neighbors to be "nosey" and learn about us without approaching us. To me, these are not bad things. But, I've realized there are a couple of downsides to my rig and truck advertising.
Susan has mentioned problems she is having with her current neighbor and she is free to write about it and let her frustration out without consequences. Now if I were to write about my neighbors, there is a good chance they may end up reading it, because our blog addy is very visible. Also, if I'm going to give a bad RV park review, I wait until we are gone from that park before posting. Again, I don't want the "offended party" to retaliate. 
So, I guess anyone following our adventure is wondering about our truck? If you've been to Scott's facebook page you already know, the news is not good.
From Scott: "I got a ride into town today with the camp host to pick up supplies. Also stopped by the mechanic to see the damage done by a piece of metal the size of my pinky fingernail, that broke off of the fuel injector and rattled around in the cylinder. Not pretty."
See the hole? How can you miss it?

More damage.

Poor truck! POOR us!
I know, I know, you all fee bad for us. But inside you're thinking, "Phew! I'm glad that's not us!". Yes, this really sucks, stinks, blows, etc. Now for the REALLY bad news...a reconditioned engine from Ford is going to cost us $13,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, those zeroes are correct, $13K. I must say, some things happen for a reason. Haven't figured out what our reason for truck problems are, but I'm thankful for the neighbors we had last night. Ft. Stockton RV park is mainly just an overnight stopping spot. Around 2pm the traffic begins and by 4pm, there is usually a small line of RV's waiting to register at the office. In the morning, the park is quiet again. So almost every day we have a new neighbor. I've mentioned many times that I am a loner, not a socializer, etc. So with each new neighbor, I just keep to myself and knit. I turn off my audio book in case new neighbor speaks to me, but I don't initiate conversation, EXCEPT FOR YESTERDAY. What got into me???  Our neighbor pulls in and is setting up. I know when we are setting up, I really don't want to talk to anyone, until the slides are out and the dogs are secured. I am in my usual sunny afternoon spot, knitting and making sure the dogs don't bother our neighbors (like Susan's "bad dog" did. Wink, Wink). Next thing I know, I ask if they are only staying overnight! I NEVER initiate conversation! I must have been taken over by the spirit of our dead engine! They say yes and I then continue to talk! My mouth is not my own! I state we were supposed to only be overnight, but now it's been 8 days. His answer is Oh, you must like it here. Of course I say no way! That's how the conversation about our truck and his truck came about. They have a 2008 Ford 350 truck. Ours is a 2006 Ford 350. They had to have their engine replaced. Total cost for engine and labor....$17,000.00!!!!! Noooooooo! This was prior to us hearing our estimate. About 1/2 hour later, our mechanic calls with the $13,0000.00 engine replacement cost. If I had not spoken to our neighbor, I would have thought we were being ripped off. I was thinking $5K to $10K. So it's a very good thing that I spoke to our neighbors. Not only because we now knew the $13K was a "reasonable" price, but also to know someone else had to go through this and dealt with it and continued on. 

Oh what a waste. Both Scott and I keep thinking that if we had or could have stopped earlier, the damage would have been minimal. But we were 1.5 hours away from El Paso on Hwy. 10! Anyone who's driven this stretch of the USA, knows there is NOTHING here. No RV parks, no Ford dealers, no civilization, until you reach Ft. Stockton. And even here, there is little to choose from. So whether we turned back to El Paso or continued on, the damage would have been done. This too shall pass. Our needs are few. We have pretty much what we need here. Enough dog food for another 7-10 days, decent internet, direct TV, 50 amp electric, space to tie out the dogs, space to walk the dogs, enough yarn to keep me busy, & enough wine to keep me happy. Only a couple of things I'm missing...good whole grain bread and natural peanut butter for my breakfast. I only have enough PB to last maybe 3 days. Oh no!!! While Scott was out gathering groceries, he looked for my PB but with no success. Yes, this is a rinky-dink town, with no SUPERmarkets, just a grocery store.

Yesterday I was sitting outside wearing short sleeves. Today I'm inside "nesting" in the bedroom snuggled under the covers. Temps have dropped to only reaching 45° today with a frigid wind. Dina is my constant companion. I'm sure going to miss her after she is adopted.
Now the we have restocked our pantry and fridge, Scott can enjoy making comfort food on this chilly day. Chicken and Dumplings will fit that need. Depending on where you were raised, dumplings can mean different things to different people.

I'm from Central/North Jersey. I was brought up with the basic Bisquick dumpling. As an adult, I now add some onion powder and dill weed to the batter.

Scott is from South Jersey aka "Mayberry". His version of dumplings are the flat pie crust or noodle type. I prefer my childhood memories Bisquick dumplings, but there are times when the noodle type will do also. After all, Scott is the cook, so he gets the 75% of the voting ratio.

Biscuit dumplings
Chinese dumplings

So, Scott not only is cooking the chicken stew, but he is also making the flour noodle type dumplings from scratch!
Courtesy of my bro, Rob.
As I've said before...what a guy! I'm very lucky to have him in my life.
Black Hills Simple Life  is an on line magazine I subscribe to. The interest began when we were in Custer, SD and looking at property. I found the "Farmer's wife" article interesting and enlightening. The article spoke of the freak snowstorm, called Atlas Blizzard in late Oct. This was the reason we had to leave SD. Otherwise, we may have stayed and bought property.  I am feeling much more comfortable about buying property in more familiar Tennessee. 
Anyway, Rancher's wife is a great article giving 1st hand knowledge of life on a Ranch. I only thought of the snow coming early was unusual and never gave it a 2nd thought. But for the ranchers this was devastating. The cattle free graze during the summer months and then as Winter nears, they are gathered up from acres and acres of land. This is no small task and can take days to get all the cattle corralled for the Winter. In Winter, the cattle are fed hay by the ranchers since there is not enough grazing areas once snow falls. Thus, the panic of the unexpected blizzard. I think (as a non rancher). "Well, gee, they have 4 or 5 days to plan for this blizzard".  That's time enough for us to pack up and leave, but for a rancher to prepare the corralls, gather enough hay, get the help on quick notice to help bring in the cattle spread out over the vast land is just not enough notice. 
Many cattle were not able to be brought in to safety and died of hypothermia. Some ranchers lost over 50% of their herd! Devastating! It's going to be a hard winter after this loss. 
Just brings to mind the "easy" life I've had with a steady job with good pay and benefits. Even with our engine woes and the huge hit to our checkbook/savings/emergency fund/house fund, it does not affect our livelyhood. We will continue to get our pension checks each month. I am very thankful.
OK, enough downers.

I subscribe to Paw Bonito Best Animal Videos. Every day or two, I get a link in my mailbox to open doggie videos that are sure to bring a smile to any dog lover. Of course videos of cats, etc. also.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX

Scott receives the hunter-gatherer award this month. Scott took the 5 mile bicycle ride into town. He picked up a catfish dinner for me, checked on the progress of the truck and caught a bobcat!
Check out the photo below to show some perspective at the size of this cat.
This cat may be as large or larger than Dina!
It's one thing to be told there are coyotes, wild cats, etc. around, but now having seen one, you realize the danger around us.
We think Dina, being a loose dog on the reservation was well aware of what this animal was. She was very cautious until she realized it was dead, then she was more curious.
Goofy Devin just thought it was something to play with..."Oooh, a big cat! Let's play!". You can see me leaning back trying to hold Devin away from the cat. Devin's leash is wrapped around my waist for more strength.
Today, my husband will once again go into the populated area and gather food for us. He bartered for a ride into town. As we were paying for another 2 days here, Scott mentioned he rode into town on his bicycle. The camp host offered to drive him in. She mentioned she was trying to ride her bicycle also, but her brakes didn't work. Scott lubed up her chain and adjusted her brakes. He took a test ride and all are working. What a guy!
Ahhh, you may be wondering why we had to book another 2 days? Because we need a new engine! Oh crap! Money, money, money. I figure we're feeding some families pretty good this week, with what we'll have to dish out. Ugh! Now we hope we can find a refurbished diesel engine within a reasonable amount of time.
From Scott's Facebook page: "Well, looks like we'll be stuck here in Fort Stockton, TX a bit longer. Engine has piston, cylinder and valve damage. So, I guess we'll be ordering a rebuilt engine."  
So with that news, we both had a quiet afternoon, each trying to deal in our own way, with the delay & the financial hit we are experiencing. I listened to a book on tape and knitted. Scott napped and played a computer game. Surprisingly, we are dealing ok with it. Neither one of us are moping around. What good would that do? It is, what it is and we have to accept and continue on.

No what if's...we had stopped sooner, etc. It's a done deal. We get it fixed, hope Fernandez Auto doesn't rip us off and finally escape from Ft. Stockton. This is not a place I'd want to live.
I asked Scott if he still wanted to head to Tennessee, even though the property is not listed. He said a definite yes. I think he may be ready to settle down again. I think I am.
Anyone considering full timing...it is a wonderful experience, but it is not as easy as it seems. We are so dependent on our vehicles, Scott is always maintaining, fixing or improving something on the RV. Just like a stick and brick house, there's always something. He still has a "honey do" list, but at least he's retired and is not so pressured to get his list crossed off. I thought the "cavalry" had come to save us last night! Two Cedar Creek RV's pulled in. I was hoping one would stop by to say hello when they saw our Cedar Creek RV Owner's Club sign hanging up. But alas, no one stopped by to offer us support in our time of need.
I must confess, we are not the best groomers of our Setters. This blame is spread out 3 ways.              
Scott's fault: I can't speak for Scott, but he rarely brushes the dogs and NEVER brushes their teeth. He will clip their nails when I beg (nag).
My fault : I am not normally a procrastinator, but with the dogs I am. I'll brush them later...then the day is over. But I am the one that does most of the brushing. Scott will cut out mats. I brush their teeth. I THINK ABOUT their nails and end up nagging Scott or bringing them to a groomer or vet for nail cutting.
Dogs' fault: If only they would enjoy the attention of grooming. If only they wouldn't try to bite the brush. If only they wouldn't wiggle out of the way. If only they wouldn't run to the corner and hide.
When I had a Keeshond, she loved being brushed and I loved doing it. It felt very therapeutic. But my Setters have always hated grooming. It is a very frustrating process, so it gets put off, and then they get mats and look terrible. Lyla is always thought to be doodle because she is so curly.
So Debbie's Mobile Grooming Service arrives (idea taken from Susan).
During (Scott is just holding her in place)
What a mess!

Still needs brushing, but she looks thinner.

I've really been enjoying working on the Mystery Knit-a-Longs. They are great to work on in between my own projects.

I'm currently working on a shawlette, which is a small shawl that can be worn more as a scarf. That is much more practical than making a whole shawl. I just want some home made burst of color and beauty added to my blah normal wardrobe.
The current MKAL is called Follow Your Arrow. The reason for the title is because with each clue/set of instructions, there are two options. You can choose whichever option and your shawlette will take on a whole new direction in design.
My felted project bag is essentially complete. I think I will sew in a lining so items won't get caught in the felt.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dust in the wind....

Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX
Not much of a view from our site

Our plans have totally disintegrated.
1. Truck Repair
2. TN property may no longer be available
3. Scott's parents not doing well
We've had to cancel two reservations.
We are still stuck here in Ft. Stockton, TX with no truck. We hope to find out on Monday whether we need a new engine. If so, we'll be here even longer. If not, the truck should be fixed by Tuesday.
We've been paying day to day for our site. We finally paid for 4 more days to get us through this past weekend. The park gave us a 20% discount on those 4 days. That was nice. They also said that there is always someone going into town and we could hitch a ride with someone if we need things. There are quite a few permanent rigs here.
Courtesy of my little bro

Scott fixed his bicycle flat tire today and he plans to ride the 5 miles into town on Monday. I think it's all flat terrain and the temperature has been ideal for bike riding.
Hopefully, he won't get lost or have a bicycle breakdown. He can't call me for a ride because we have no truck!
The property we are so interested in, in TN is now not for sale. It doesn't say that it's been sold though. Maybe they are just going to re list with a new realtor. So we don't even know whether to go to TN now or not? Our foster dog, Dina is supposed to start her way to her adoptive home from TN to NJ, so we have to be there for that, unless we change the starting location for her.
And finally, Scott's father had to go into assisted living. He has Alzheimer's and it has gotten too bad for Scott's Mom to continue to care for him. Scott's Mom is hoping to get into the same facility soon. Scott has been feeling pretty guilty for having a good time traveling the country while his siblings have had to deal with their parents' declining health.
So, we may head to NJ earlier and stay longer (ugh!) to help get their house cleaned out, fixed up for sale. We're thinking of just parking in their driveway. Then we can take care of their pets and start dealing with the house. Gee, it'll be like getting ready to full time all over again!
So the hours I spent trying to plan our journey from NM to FL to NJ to MA to MO in June has been swept away. That's fine. I'm still in a settling down mode.
Do you see what I see?
Hot tub! 
Looks like a good idea to save some shelf space. Just take spring curtain rod and use to hang spray bottles.
Unless something changes, Dina will be getting adopted in February. She is SUCH A GREAT DOG! I hope she'll be happy in her new home. She seems to adjust fairly easily to new situations.
The Gray Man (Court Gentry, #1)The Gray Man by Mark Greaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Narrator did a very good job.
The Gray Man is ex CIA and now a hired assassin with some morals. He is choosy as to what jobs he takes. The targets must be deserving of the deed.
The Gray Man still has some connections with former CIA members to help him out when absolutely needed.
The story reminds me of the "Die Hard" series or "Rambo". How much can the Gray Man handle? How much can his body be abused? Can he outwit his enemy because he is certainly outnumbered.
The Gray Man is a likable, lonely character. I think us ladies will find him attractive because he comes across as not only a "bad boy" but also has a soft side too.
As I was surfing the net, I came across someone's email that was PNR lover. Hmmm? What could that mean. I searched and found out it was something to do with a type of book, but couldn't find what it actually stood for. Finally found it...PNR: Paranormal Romance, which I guess I could include myself as a PNR lover. I've been enjoying the vampire and witch books with romance between the species added in.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stranded and Tortured!

Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX
The bad:
Ugh. The truck was taken away by a bunch of Mexicans that didn't even have a tow truck! Just a hitch. Haven't heard back from them. Should we be worried?
The good:
Good Sam Emergency Svc. lists the Mexican Auto repair as a place to use.
The bad:
We're stuck in Ft. Stockton RV park.
The good:
it's not too bad a place to stay with good WiFi.
The bad:
We are stranded without a vehicle.
The good:
Not much to see in this area anyway.
The bad:
Devin is being tortured by all the feral cats in the park.
The good:
The cats keep Devin on alert, so he doesn't need to run around to release energy.
The truck was picked up on Tuesday. It is now Thursday with no truck back. Maybe the RV Park and Auto repair have a deal and the Auto repair gets a kick back for detaining us here, so more revenue for the park. We are paying day by day, so no weekly discount if we are stuck here that long. 
Just got some bad news. The tip of the fuel injector broke and is somewhere in our engine.  May have to get a new engine! Depends if the piston is bad or the valve. Ugh. Another day at least.
I swear, are we not supposed to buy property? When we were thinking of purchasing property in South Dakota, a freak snowstorm came and made us leave. Now that we are trying to get to Tennessee to look at property, we have this delay!
It's difficult to stay upbeat with a huge truck repair bill, wondering if the truck will be tow worthy after this repair. Scott already wants to trade in for another vehicle.  My thoughts are, it's been repaired, so use it.
Scott is now moping in bed, I've eaten a 1/2 container of Pringles. Sigh. Gotta think about all the good things & just "deal". This is just a set back. 
We bought a Grill Guard for our smoker and grill. This is a aluminum device, blocks wind, which helps keep get the temperature up faster and stay more even. The guard also protects the picnic table.
Well, I've found another use for this.

I use it as a computer sun block! I'm on the computer a lot and hate to be stuck inside on a beautiful, sunny day. But the sun also makes the computer screen impossible to see. I've tried blocking the sun with an umbrella which ok, but the wind easily moves it. I turn the Grill Guard upset down and place the computer under the protection of the Grill Guards and bam! I can see the screen.

Can't go very far since we don't have a vehicle. There is a hiking path/narrow dirt road right next to the campground. It's just a straight path with side "streets", which are also straight. All there is to see is dirt, cactus, and low bushes. But the dogs enjoy the new smells.
Still knitting, especially now with plenty of time on my hands. I'm all set. I have plenty of yarn and wine. What else do I need?
Another Mystery Knit-a-long began on the 13th. A shawlette in two colors.  So far an easy start and love the squishy fingering yarn.

Sorry for the white highlighting. I don't know why that happened and not in the mood to proof read or fix.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Warrants, but detained!

Jan. 13 - ?, 2014
Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX
Monday 1/13/14:
I am typing this as we are driving. Wish I could say our 320 mile trip to overnight in Ft. Stockton was uneventful. About 200 miles into our trip we were stopped by Texas State Police. In NJ, we are supposed to stay in our car and have our license, registration and insurance ready. In Texas Scott was called over to the police car. Hmmm, what could we have been stopped for? We don't speed in the RV, our vehicles are current on inspections and registrations.

I was able to watch what was going on in the rear view mirror. Scott looked nervous and there were TWO cops. One was talking to Scott and the other about 10 feet away observing. Creepy. 10 minutes later, Scott and Mr. Officer are still conversing. Now they keep looking at the RV? or Truck? Are we towing wrong? Is something flying in the wind? Well, nothing I can do, so I just sit back and TRY to relax. Policemen are our friends, policemen are our friends, policemen are our friends....
Tap, tap, tap, and I jump and the dogs gather to my side of the truck. The cop wants to talk to me. Oh crap! Policemen are our friends. Will we have to stop here? Are they going to take Scott in? What do I do with the dogs if we have to go with the cops? All irrational thinking, of course.
With heart pounding and driver's license ready, I open my door to the nice Officer. Are we carrying any illegal substances? No sir, not even a gun! Why did I even say that???? Mr. Officer goes back to his ve-HIC-le (that's always how they say it on TV), to check my creds. The other cop is watching Scott and asks him to face him and hands out of pocket. Oh crap!
See the black above the exhaust pipe?

Finally Scott returns without any handcuffs, but a new slip of paper. Phew, only a warning.
For what you want to know???? Maybe taking dogs across the border without a health certificate? Or maybe our RV is overloaded? Nope. It's our diesel truck.....AGAIN! Diesel engines may last a long time, but it seems every couple of months we have to bring our truck in for service (besides oil changes). Our truck was blowing black smoke for an extended period of time. Oh crap! So we were served a warning for bad emissions. Looks like our Ft. Stockton stop will be more than just overnight. A good reason not to make reservations, therefore they don't have to be changed.
Of course we were stopped on the Western part of I-10 which has nothing along the way.
Then, not 10 minutes later, we had to go through a Border Patrol inspection station. Will THEY also stop us for emissions? Nope, just had to wait 10 minutes for the vehicles ahead to get through and we were finally on our way.

Tuesday 1/14/14: Scott mentioned maybe our truck is having these problems because it's NAKED! We usually have a bunch of dog related magnets all over the truck. It's fun to watch people in the park stop to read our truck. I took the magnets off on Sunday, so Scott could get the truck washed. We had red/brown dirt all over the truck from our time in New Mexico. Now we have a nice clean truck, but a broken truck.
Today is "Dress up your Pet Day". I think in our case it will be Dress up your vehicle day.


We call the Ford dealer THREE TIMES and were put on hold two of those three times with no background music, so we don't know if we are holding or cut off. First call 5 minutes, 2nd call 7 minutes, 3rd call we asked if they had background music and that we had been waiting for someone to pick up for a long time. No background music, and we finally got through to the service department. They have only one diesel mechanic and he is booked for three weeks! We do not want stay in Ft. Stockton, TX for 3 weeks.

We are supposed to be looking at property in Tennessee by then. Ford dealer gives us a phone # for a private mechanic. Scott calls and the person doesn't speak English. The Spanish speaking person gives us another #. Ugh, what are we getting ourselves into. Finally, we got a hold of Fernandez Auto. He'll be picking up the truck sometime today. There are decent reviews on Yelp! for them, so I feel ok about this.
Scott has been in a great mood through all of this. I think he is just happy we made it to an RV park and not stranded with no place to settle.
Our neighbor is also having troubles. Misery loves company? They had to get their motorhome towed to fix the transmission

Red tow truck to pick up motorhome. Brown pick up to pick up our pick up.

Our Travels