Saturday, June 30, 2012

Surprise! Especially For Me


               Bye, Bye to Mr. Road Runner that finally came close for a decent pic.

Late yesterday morning a big Class A and toad pull up to my gate.  “were here to relieve you”.  What?  This is the first that I heard about it.  Earlier I had talked to Roger to let him know that I was running low on diesel, not a word.  They told me that he has known for a week.  When I called him about it, he said that he forgot they were coming back this soon.  It would have been nice to have a little notice so that I would have been ready to move when the got here.  I guess, such is the life of a gate guard contractor.  You’re only in one place as long as they need you there.  The new couple were really nice, Sharon took over the gate and Grant helped me with the outside stuff after I got everything put away inside.  I had a bit of trouble getting my slide pulled in and after talking with a tech at Coach Net we got them in.  I had to get power from the truck instead of the generator. 

By 3:00 pm I was heading down Highway 468 back to Carrizo Springs, to the Gate Guard Services Yard.  I backed it into the same place where I was last May when I started with the company.  Yes, I did it all by myself, not another soul in sight.  I hooked up to shore power and water, but I’m not putting the slides out, at least for now.  I finally spoke with Roger this morning after 10:00.  He says that it will be today or tomorrow before he knows where I’ll be.


                                Gate Guard Services Lot in Carrizo Springs.

At least here in Carrizo Springs, I have a good internet signal and the time to catch up on blogs and maybe do a little more research for this Fall/Winter. I also have feelers out for any gate guarding jobs near Fort Worth (different company).  I understand that that there are some there, however nothing open now, but if they have any thing they will let me know.  The reason that I’m looking in the Fort Worth area is because that’s where my daughter lives.  If I find something close enough she could get licensed and relieve me. then she could make a little extra money too.

Gee, right now I’m kind of glad I’m not at that gate.  It is pouring with lightning and thunder.  I certainly won’t miss the mud or the wet log with the ink running so that you can’t read it.  Little Miss Angel doesn’t like the storm, but she happy that she can lay in my lap while I type.  She’s pretty cool about it as we are rocking to and fro.  Maybe I should just crawl into bed and take a nap and get rocked to sleep. tee hee  or maybe get out the fifth Harry Potter movie before I read the sixth book.

Ooops, the lights just went out. so I guess that I’m doing this with the battery for now, and just downloaded some pics from my camera.  I’ll post a few and then close and keep you post as to where I go next.

Stay cool everybody.

Thanks for visiting

DSC01489Soaking up sun before the rains come.

Susan and Angel

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It Is Way Too Hot


                             Even at sunrise it looks HOT. 

It has been a while since posting.  The only excuse that I have is that I just haven’t had the energy to do anything.  I’m behind on keeping up with my fellow bloggers,  but I promise, I will catch up.  It is tough to write about  what’s going on when there’s nothing going on.  The gate is very slow, so I am pretty much reading, watching movies and napping during the day.  I ‘m not a couch potato, nope, I’m a recliner potato, although,  I do get up to refresh my ice water quite often.  I am lucky that the safety guys bring me ice when I get close to running out.


Angel is taking the heat the same way as I am.  It has been over 100* all week.  Today it reached 108*.   I have the A/C on, but by mid afternoon it just can’t keep up, so I turn it off and turn on the fantastic fans and sit in front of a couple of other fans, just to keep the air moving.  When there is shade on the east side of the coach, we move out side.  As long as there is a breeze and no traffic, it’s not too bad.  When the temperature starts to go back down, I will turn the A/C back on and go back inside.  When I lived in Phoenix I didn’t turn on the A/C until it hit 110*.  I guess I’m becoming a wimp lately.  Oh well, it is what it is, I’ll deal with it.


         In the morning, we were reading until Angel got to work being a Guard Dog. 


         That’s her sticking her head out of the back of the chair and barking

                   See the dark spot in the middle of the picture above?


                                     This is what she warned me about.

I am still doing the research to decide where I will be going from here.  I submitted an application to the USACE (US Army Core of Engineers) at Canyon Lake, North of San Antonio.  There are a couple of other campgrounds that said to call back later near the end of July or in August.  If I was smart, I would find someone that can relieve me on a regular basis so that I can get out of here a couple of times a month and stay right where I’m at,  to increase my emergency cushion after I get those taxes paid.   That’s one thing about this lifestyle is that we have a lot of  options.

In the meantime I have plenty to do (when the heat doesn’t wipe me out).  I finished the “Outlander” series a week ago and have started rereading the “Harry Potter” series.  Only this time I am reading the book and then watching the movie and comparing the two.  So far I have just finished reading the 4th book and the movies have followed the books fairly close, other than the books have more in them.  Has anyone out there done that, compared books to movies?

I have finally figured out how to get the printer to work  with the computer, so maybe I can start working on some projects that I need to finish.  No promises there though!

That’s about it, not much else going on here.  Enjoy your week and keep cool.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lights Out ! Longest Day! Jaime’s Back?


I have doing research, not only for where to go but to also get my awning upgraded to one that is automatic with a motion sensor.  I called Folsom Lake RV back in CA where I purchased “My Spot”.  Harry,  in the service center, asked what kind it was.  Some can be upgraded, some can’t and I would have to replace it.  He needed the model # or at least a picture of it opened.  Frank, one of the safety guys came over during his lunch  and  helped me with it. I took pictures of the model # and of it out with my iPhone, so that I could just email it to Harry.  (I’m having problems emailing from my laptop over the internet)   Then I just put it back in, because the wind picks up in the evenings.   I don’t like putting it out by myself, mainly because if I need to get it back in quickly, it is so high and if the wind picks up, I could lose control of it and then what?   I know everyone says it’s easy, especially my son, but I’d rather just push a button. 

Last night the lights went out, not in the coach, but out by the gate, and the bell didn’t ring either.  Called roger and he said to reset the outlet at the generator.   Okay, they came back on and when it actually got dark they went off again.  this time they wouldn’t come back on.  I tried unplugging each light to see who the culprit was, no luck there.  As all this was happening  a tanker truck came in, he had driven right by and had to back up to come in.  He got out and tried to help. Nope, Nada!   He went to the well to load and as he was leaving Roger got here to figure out what happened.  As it turned out, there is a three way plug connector ( If that’s what it is called) that got fried.  The extension cords for the lights and the bell were laid out in front of the coach, but slide was over the wires and I didn’t see it.   l Earlier in the day I thought that I smelled something like a burned electrical wire,  but couldn’t find anything, it went away, so I thought it was something that was on the wind from somewhere else, and forgot about it.  that didn’t  take too long and by the time that same driver came back for another load, he could find me.  Thank you Roger for being so prompt.


Did you know that today is “The Summer Solstice”, or “Beltane”,  the day that has the longest daylight hours, the official first day of summer?  As far as I’m concerned, it is summer when the temperature hits 100*.  While doing a bit of research I found that there are many celebrations and festivals all over the world.celebrating  the solstice  (summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere).  This year, I am just celebrating the short but welcome downpour that we had and my  Air Conditioner. LOL   Believe it or not it really rained, just enough to clear the air.  It smelled so fresh afterwards, but then it got hot again.


The sun’s almost down and it has been a fairly normal day other than, The ranch owner came today with Jaime.  He is only back for the day.  There are a couple of other of his buddies that came too,  I guess he is having a BBQ tonight and then they will need to get some things done around the ranch.  They are staying the night and leaving tomorrow.  Jamie will be going back to Mexico for a while longer, he still has  more business to take care of there.  It was nice to see him and give him all the numbers that I have accumulating for him.  Of course, he had to get his Angel “fix”.  He doesn't like to admit it, but he likes Angel.

Enough rambling,  I hope that you all had a great Thursday.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_0015time to cuddle

Susan and Angel

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Experiment and He Posed For Me


You all have heard how dusty and dirty it can be  here in the oilfields of Texas, well I am trying a little experiment.  Does it make a difference where I park my truck?  Before I left Saturday, I had to rinse it off in order to even see out of the windshield.  Maybe if I park it facing away from the road and let the 5ver block the wind, it won’t be so bad.  We’ll see.

It has been a little bit busier today with 8 count ‘em, 8 oil tankers (correction, make that 9 and he may be back too) and 1 water tanker so far and he says he’ll be back. 

   DSC01437   DSC01439

This morning it was overcast and stayed cooler a lot longer, so I stayed outside and fixed this planter.  That planter doesn’t weigh much and gets blown over in the wind, so I anchored it with a stake and rocks, I hope that works.  I brought the camera out and took pictures of my favorite subject, Angel. 

               DSC01440  IMG_0029  IMG_0005


There’s that Roadrunner again (on the far left side).  I got up and tried to see where he went, but he disappeared into the brush.  That’s as close as it gets.  That road is where the tankers go.  It doesn’t look like it’s very far until you see the perspective of how small that tanker looks, and in the 2nd picture, it’s not even at the top of the hill.  You can also see how much dust and dirt gets stirred up and then the wind brings it down the road.

  DSC01443   DSC01444


Another part of the job is to fill out a log with drivers’ names, their truck license #’s and times in and out.  I would wait until I went back inside to get the time, but while in SA, I found this clock on a chain, which I clipped to my clipboard and then taped it so it doesn’t move around.  It works for me.  That grey thing on the bottom is the gate clicker.  I am sooooo lucky to have this gate.  When the trucks leave, most of the time, I don’t even get out of the coach.

             DSC01448  DSC01449

                                             View from my door.

The wind picked up a little bit and this fellow decided to rest awhile.  He must have been


                                  this was zoomed in all the way

tired, because he was still there for nearly a half hour.  He let me get quite close.  I took several pictures, each one closer and closer.  This was the closest, and he was still there for another ten minutes after I took it.


                                this one zoomed in only a little

           Isn’t he a handsome fellow?  I think this may become a painting!

Hope that everyone’s Tuesday was great, mine was.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day and I’m Connected Again


                                           Dad and Mom 1941

First of all let me wish all of the fathers a very happy day.  I hope you can be with your children and their children and in some cases their children’s children.  Even though my father is no longer here, I think of him often and thank him for his love and influence in my life.  Thanks Dad!!!                       


It was this busy when I left, but twice as busy when I went in.  It was a sea of blue shirts helping people

I’m back among the connected again, with a lot of gratitude to Susan and her husband Bob (Travel Bug).  Bob manned their gate so that she could relive me at my gate, while I went into San Antonio to the Apple Store to have my iPhone restored and get some questions answered about the phone, iPad and laptop.  I can’t remember their names, but the two fellows that helped me were extremely helpful and answered all my questions. (although there was so much information, I hope that I can remember and apply most of what we went over)  I didn’t feel rushed by them, only it was so busy and noisy that it was hard for me to concentrate on the technicalities.  I’ve said it before and my kids know it, I am technologically challenged.  From there it was off to Best Buy to take my laptop in to have the #2 on the keypad put back on.  Several months ago Miss Angel thought she would help me write my blog and one of her claws got caught on the key and it came off.  It has been taped on because I was so busy with retirement and not being somewhere long enough to leave it to be fixed.  Last time they had it for four weeks.


This time I got a picture of Curtis at Best Buy, again very helpful.  He went out of his way to find a little speaker that I can use with my DVD Player.  (and it works great)  Thank you to all the fellas that helped me resolve these issues.

Susan was gracious enough to tell me to take the time that I needed to get some shopping done too.  Unfortunately by  the time I got to Costco, they were closed.  I did make it to HEB and Wal-Mart to get some shopping done and fill my water bottles.

    IMG_0002          DSC01432

          This me a bit “frazzled”         and      the two angels holding down the home front.

It was late when I got back, I hate driving in the dark.  She had no problem and even got a couple of hours sleep.  I did say that this is a slooowww gate, didn’t I?

As Susan said “We help each other out.”      Thank you so much,  I am so blessed to have friends like these.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Phone And Internet Woes


Now that the gate situation has evened out, there has to be something else that tries my patience.  Wednesday I was trying to do an update, my IPhone frozen during the process and can’t post, because I tether the phone to my lap top for internet,  then it dawned on me that I can at least write it in Live Writer and post it later.

A couple of times I have borrowed someone else’s phone and I at least have my iPad which has it’s own WiFi, so that I can send emails.  I sent one to my son in San Francisco, who tried to help reset it.  I had already tried most of the things that he suggested to no avail.  He called Apple support for me and they told him that I would have to bring it into the Apple Store in San Antonio.  I also have to bring the iPad in to have it updated too.

He then called Roger to let him know what was going on and he will see if he can get me some relief so that I can leave to take care of this.  Roger will call him so that he can email me with the results.  While out I might as well get to Costco and Pet Smart.  Since Jaime isn’t back yet I will have to get more water and ice. I have considered getting a portable ice maker.  The one in my refrigerator doesn’t work and although, it is covered through Coach Net, there is a deductible for each visit and if I go back to Garner, I wouldn’t want to use the water there in the refrigerator’s ice maker.     

Before I leave, I will have to at least rinse off my truck.  It seems to have an inch of caliche dust and sand all over it. (can’t even see out the window)  I’m sure a lot of you can relate.

Yesterday, I pulled out all the stuff in the kitchen cabinet and sprayed Bug Stop to get rid of some really tiny reddish colored ants.  I have no idea where they came in as I have already sprayed outside where anything touches the ground.  I will also need to really clean before I move on.  It gets a thin layer of caliche dust on everything.  I keep the furniture covered, so that part’s easy, just run a load for wash.  It won’t take long.  That too is another reason for this life style.  I remember that when I was in a S&B and working 40 + hours, every Saturday was spent cleaning before we could go or do anything.  By then 1/2 the weekend is gone.

I will be so glad when I leave this gig and go one to another and be able to go and do other things.  Would you say that I am beginning to feel a little bit of hitch itch coming on?

Hopefully I can get this posted soon

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Knew It Was Comin’


Multiply that by 2 + 1, that’s not even counting the water tankers and all the other vehicles that came through the gate.  Needles to say yesterday was my busiest day. Overnight, 2 more came in.  The last one left at 4;05 am.  Two of the drivers said that they would be back several times. True to their word, each did 3 loads. (those were the ones early this am).  Knowing this I just slept in the recliner getting sleep and hour at a time, but after the last one left, I slept like the dead and woke up at 6:15 am.  The sleep didn’t come easy in the evening as I could hear every sound as the rig was rocking and the slide covers making noise, with gusts of wind.  As soon as I would doze off, the bell would ring for me to get up and open the gate.  I only have to push a button to open it, so if they are leaving I don’t even have to get outside, just see who they are and enter their time in the log. As I’ve said before, job easy, resting Not.  It is what it is!

Yesterday I had asked Frank to bring me some ice and he is usually here before 6:00.  I thought that he may have let himself in, but he was late too.  So now I have some ice, definitely needed at 102 + temps.  Today will be another hot one.

Just waited to finish the day to see if there was anything interesting to note.  It wasn’t quite as busy today, only 17 vehicles, of which 10 were tankers.  I did get a call from Jaime to see how things were going and to let me know that he will be gone for a while. Just a few minutes ago, Kevin left after filling my diesel tank. 

I guess that I would consider this an average day for this gate.

Hope that you all had a good Wednesday.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gotcha! More Pictures!


I finally got a picture of that elusive Roadrunner.  It’s not a good one, but proof that he is around.   I was actually talking with Orlando, the company man as he was leaving and there was a wee cottontail right by the gate.  Of course, I didn’t have by camera, and went inside to get it.  The bunny ran in front of his truck, and that’s when I saw the RR.  Maybe, now that he is coming closer, I might get a better picture on an other day.  After Orlando left I went in  search for the bunny and found a pair of them on the other side of the gate.


As long as I had the camera in hand,  I took a few more pictures of my sight.

         DSC01423    DSC01424

Walking around the back, there is a cleared area behind my rig used as a little road to park or turn around, so these are from the other side.   Just to give you an idea what my site is like.

  DSC01425      DSC01426

Hwy 468, looking back towards 85    and    turning around, looking towards Cotulla.

Gate update:    Yesterday, the generator stopped and I was sitting in the heat for about 3 or 4 hours until Roger could get here to fix it.  Just stayed inside (not as hot inside as it was outside), fanned myself (at least my wrist got some excersize) and alternated reading and napping.  It wasn’t fun, but I survived.  I used to live in Phoenix and survived 122* in the shade.

It is    Rrrreally sloooooow    today. It’s almost like I am babysitting an inanimate object or an art gallery (been there done that too).  Some one just has to be here, but I’m not complaining.  I’m sure production will pick up soon.

Jamie has been gone for a week now, so I miss his daily visits. I’m not sure when he will be back.  The owner’s son came out a couple of days ago and left the next day.  I guess to check on things for the ranch.

At 6:00 pm, it is 108*, so far, the generator is still working. so I have A/C.  It is cooler in the living area, so I slept in the recliner last night and got about 6 hours.  Nothing else is happening.

Enjoy your day.

Thanks for visiting

DSC00401“Eeuhh! Yucky water!

Susan and Angel