The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tuesday continued….

We arrived at Auntie Avril’s around one p.m. Our GPS was having spasms of some sort and kept wanting us to get off on exit 127 and I know that it should be 129. We followed the voice on the GPS and made a nice big circle around Lebanon. Jeesh. We were right back on I44 and just a bit frustrated. We stayed on I44 and then exited at 129…there was Wal Mart and the Ice cream store like we remembered. Grrrrr.

She must have been waiting since 7 am. We had a nice visit while she cooked the pork loin Peggy had dropped off. We laughed and talked all afternoon. Finally, Peggy got there about 5 and we headed for the farm. Peggy and David have named it the “Economical Farmette” which is a standing joke…Peg had to go back to work to keep it running as she so aptly states…”it costs money to feed these ‘pets’. “They have goats and chickens and a few guinea hens to keep the tick population down. It is a lovely place and her house is very beautiful. She has a love of antiques and has many fine pieces around her home. I had never met David and it was fun to finally meet him. He took Paul and me to see brand newborn baby goats. They are so cute. Goats are very curious and were climbing all over the ATV’s and jumping in the feeding troughs. The twin babies were still “wet” meaning their Mama was still trying to get them cleaned up and standing in order to nurse. I guess that’s what she was doing. (She sure looked fine after popping out two babies…I remember what I looked like after Zack and I certainly didn’t look that good.) It was raining and freezing out so Paulie and I headed back to the house. David and Peg have several Great Pyrenees dogs as goat herders and protectors and one had developed a hot spot which required the vet to shave off her back end of hair. While they tended to her, Auntie, Paul and I sipped on some local wine while dinner was in the oven.

We hod wonderful pork loin roast marinaded in orange juice of all things; rosemary flavored sweet and white potatoes; steamed broccoli, and Auntie made wonderful brownies and lemon bars for dessert. It was delicious.

After dinner we just talked about folks and things and Paul and David talked trucks. We did get to see Lisa Gibbons get kicked off Dancing with the Stars…should have been Clyde the Glide…he’s just to damm tall and awkward to be any kind of dancer. Plus his partner is a real peanut….how stupid is this?

We said our goodbyes around ten, as Peggy has to get up around 5 a.m. to get ready to teach school. David gets up and works the “farmette”. It was quite dark when we drove home, but we made it. Paul and I headed to bed in the rig and hit the sack without even turning on the news or anything.


We were up around nine and as Paul readied the rig for our last leg home, Auntie made us breakfast of bacon and eggs. After we ate we talked for a while and finally around 11 we pulled out. It is so hard to say goodbye to family that you love dearly. I miss her already! It was great to see all the Texas and Missouri relatives that we rarely have a chance to visit. There is something somehow wrong with not seeing a cousin or part of your family for 30 years. Yes, we do keep in touch with Christmas cards and such, but really getting to know family…well, life just gets in the way unless they are close at hand. Sad…but we like many folk have family all over the place and it’s just hard to make a trip when other things crop up. That’s why I am looking forward to RVing almost full time. I can look up old friends, relatives and new friends during our travels.

Well, after we left Lebanon, we headed northeast thru St. Louis and arrived in Edwardsville around 3. Zack has class til 4:15 and he will probably go home and change then drive to meet us. We parked in the Wal Mart lot near the campus. We noted no overnight parking signs, so I guess we will head home after our visit with junior.

We went to Lackawana something or other for dinner. Paul and I split prime rib and Jr. had a steak. It was a delicious dinner and we enjoyed visiting with Zack. I just don’t know how much I miss him until he’s sitting across the table from me! In another year or so he will be off on his own, teaching someplace. Well, our home on wheels will visit him often.

We had to co-sign some lease papers for this apartment for Zack and his friend/roommate Greg Eddings. Neither make over $1500 a month so the management company requires both kids to get parents to co-sign. I hope I don’t regret this…I am sure he will honor his promise and continue to work next year. Heck, if he works Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the country western bar, he will have plenty to make his rent…it is only $325 and then about $50 for electric and internet. The boys have already paid the deposits and have even purchased the washer and dryer the previous tenant’s parents had bought for the kids in the apartment. This way they can save a bit on laundry costs…$1.50 per load plus at least .75 cents for a dryer. Zack already took the pizza oven we had at home. He will be taking Grandpa’s leather loveseat and recliner, and his favorite recliner that Paulie had been using from his old room. It is tattered and unbelievably hideous but they both just love the damm thing. I will give him pots and pans left over from Grandpa’s place plus some extra dishes and silverware I have. We are set in the rig and also in the Valley.

We left Edwardsville around 8:30 and arrived at the Ziaja homestead around ten. The wind was terrible and Paulie had stiffened up in his shoulders trying to keep the rig on the road. We pulled into the drive and just parked the rig. We plugged into the garage and went to bed. We are home.



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday....lazin' in Cathage...

It's 9:45 and we are still camped at Ballard's campround. We slept late...9 am.
We prolly won't get to Aunt Avrils til noon. She'll be pacing around all worried like if I don't call her and let her know we've been pokies. Oh well...Peg is gonna make us dinner at the farm and she gets off work I would guess around 2 or three. We have plenty of time in my mind!

We both were asleep before Letterman's show even started! I guess we were tired. Well, I will make this one short...we have to store stuff so we can get the
Aslyum movin' on down the road.



Monday, April 09, 2007

New posts since we left San Antonio...

Friday...the road to Borger in the Texas Panhandle...

We left the Traveler’s World Campground around nine. We have a long day of driving the length of Texas today. We are hoping to get about 200 miles from Borger before we stop. Then the ride Saturday will be an easy one.
We programmed the GPS and off we went. We followed the directions until we found ourselves heading towards Corpus Christi….wrong way in my mind. We thought, heck the GPS knows what it’s doing…who are we to question the great satellite in the sky? Well, finally we decided to pull over and get out the map. We were SOUTH of San Antonio, and we obviously wanted to go north…well, duh…

I whip out the map of Texas…now this sucker is bigger than the windshield. I can hardly handle the damm thing so I start folding it and folding it and folding it to get to the center where we are. Forget the atlas…there’s pages of different parts of Texas and the sequence of the pages is asinine. I start to map out a route that will take us northwest. No main highway from San Antonio to Amarillo the closest city to Borger. Hmmmm. So we hit the big I10 and head west. We will be able to catch a “red road” (which is usually a four lane type road but they go thru small towns) which will take us to San Angelo and then we can hit another going up to Amarillo finally catching I40 to go back east. Thinking that would add hours and miles to the trip, I plot out a new course that will take us thru Abilene. It appears to be a staight route but all state roads which means small towns. *Sigh*. If we were herding stupid cows it would be an easier way to to across the countryside. I keep thinking of Abilene as a cow town and am thinking we will stop and take a look at any neat historical stuff we can find. (noted later...Yeah, right...the road we were on went on the outter edge and all we saw were gas stations and cows.) After getting off I10 we now head due north. We are in Texas Hill country. I have heard a lot about how beautiful it is with the bluebonnets blooming. It really was a nice drive, not as scenic as I thought but better than what I know is ahead as we go towards the panhandle. The bluebonnets were lovely and they went on forever. We drove right thru Fredericksburg which is a well known German town with really cool shops and cafes. Paul didn’t want to stop. Putz. There are BAKERIES there you fool! Real baked goods…not supermarket crap like they pass off as bakery for heaven’s sake! The GPS was not helpful…we didn’t know where it was gonna take us so we stayed with the map. So far I am NOT impressed with Garmin.

We drive thru the next 400 or so miles and all we see are a few cows, some stumpy tress and cactus. Then we didn’t even see that. No wonder General Santa Anna traded his life for this part of the Texas Republic…its pretty worthless looking to me too. (Now you know I am kidding right?)

We are noticing gas/diesel prices are jumping higher as we go farther north. We were looking at $3.09 for diesel. We paid $2.40 in Weslaco. Crap.
About 6, we pulled into a town called Childress. There is a brand new Super Wal Mart with a Murphy gas station. Diesel is $2.66 so with our discount it would be $2.63. Paulie pulls in and fills up. There are several trucks and a motorhome in the far side of the parking lot. I note a sign that states Truck and RV overnight parking HERE. Wow. Camp Wally World inviting us to spend the night. What a great sales tool for Wal Mart. They know RVer’s spend money so they invite them to spend the night.

Paul went into the store and picked up some tacitos for supper. We were both tired. We watched a bit of TV and were dismayed to hear that we were heading into 4 to 6 inches of freakin’ snow. Great. We went to bed hoping we didn’t wake up to a winter wonderland.

Saturday April 7

We were up early but decided to sleep a bit more. The anticipated snow had not arrived. We got up around 8 and got dressed and got back on the road. I had a taste for some eggs so we stopped in a little town cafĂ© off route 287 and had some breakfast. I had called Aunt Karen earlier and told her where we were and it was about 100 miles from Borger. We arrived following her directions. By the way…the GPS broad was turned off…her voice is grating…but then I knew it would be.

We had a nice visit with Aunt Karen and then my cousin Kim and her son Cade stopped by. We had another nice visit, then Cade got a phone call that some friends wanted him to join them to watch a pay for view event of some type, so he and his mom left. We had a sandwich with Aunt Karen and then my cousin Sue, her husband Bobby, and their daughter Liz and her husband Darren arrived. We talked and laughed and visited for quite a while. We finally headed back to the Asylum to hit the sack. It was cold, and it had flurried a bit but no accumulation of snow thank goodness... We slept like rocks, nice and cozy in our rig with the heated mattress pad on full blast. Paul had dropped a line to Aunt Karen’s house so we had a bit of electric thereby avoiding running the generator all night. Aunt Karen made us biscuits and sausage for breakfast on Sunday. She had prepared ham, brisket and potato salad, along with a pecan pie to take to the Easter dinner. It would be at Kim’s brand new house, which we have heard was very beautiful. Kim and her husband Danny had only been moved in for three weeks. About noon, we all got gussied up and headed over to Kim’s. House was right out of Architectural Digest or House Beautiful. It was lovely and open, spacious and had very high ceilings. It had granite and marble, glass and crystal and some hardwood floors that were really beautiful. All the cabinetry was custom built and it had some really neat features. For example, they have two Chihuahuas and their own “room” has a heated floor. Then they have automated doggie doors where the dog stands in front of the door and the door automatically opens…the dog has an opener device in it’s collar. Too cool. They also had a lovely outdoor kitchen and a huge outdoor fireplace on the spacious patio. I told Danny when I decide to build my dream home; I would call him to design it. He and Kim picked out everything down to the light switch covers. Incredible.

Danny’s parents arrived from Amarillo and right at one we sat down to a delicious Easter dinner. Ham and brisket, mashed potatoes and potato salad, mac and cheese, rolls, baked beans and veggies. It was wonderful. We were so happy to be there to help share the holiday.

After dinner, we just sat around and talked, I showed a few pictures from the computer to Sue and Aunt Karen. I had put most of them on a disk, but there were still plenty for them to see.

After dessert (I passed…I was sooooooo good….) everyone began to pack up. We went back to Aunt Karen’s house, got jackets (it was freezing out) and then went out to the “ranch”. Uncle Wilbur had purchased 25 acres many years ago and had built a horse facility and roping corral there. Before he died, he and Aunt Karen had hosted roping competitions there. Bobby and Sue have taken it over and made a lot of improvements. They have done a lot of work and it shows. Bobby competes in Team Roping, and has won a national championship. They mainly use it for practice and there are several teams that practice there. I asked how they practiced….they rent Mexican bulls…I am NOT making this up…$30 a month per cow! After freezing our asses off, we headed over to Sue and Bobby’s place to visit for a while. Sue has just finished redecorating and the house is really pretty. They have a roping and cowboy theme which is really cute. We looked at pictures of both her girls and their husbands. Both girls are tall, dark haired and are beautiful. They have great jobs and lead exciting lives. Liz is a dental tech and her husband Darren is a lawyer. Julie and her husband Tommy both work for CareMark and travel a lot. They have just transferred to San Antonio and are having a house built. Tommy is already there and Julie was by herself, kinda bummed out being alone on the holiday, in Florida where their current house is for sale.

We left Sue’s around nine as Bobby has to start work at 5 a.m. (that’s just beastly) and we were all pretty tired. Talking nonstop can do that to a person I guess. Paul said he never know I could talk that much….hahahahaha….where has he been for the last twenty three years?

Monday, April 09, 2007

We were up and about at 7:30. We readied the rig for our trip leg to Aunt Avril’s house in Lebanon, MO. It will most likely be a 10 or 11 hour drive so we will see how it goes and what the weather has in store before we decide to drive it strait thru or not. Aunt Karen made us bacon sandwiches for breakfast and we talked for a while. I wish she was coming along with us, but it was too short a notice and there were some things she had planned or were in the works. Not many folks can just pickup and hit the road like we can. We said our goodbyes and were on the road by 9. The GPS broad is still giving bum directions so it’s back to the maps….gee that’s a toughie…take I40 to I44. It’s a no brainer….

Well, I have only a few minutes left on my battery so I will pick up later.



Later Monday….evening in Carthage, MO

We decided to pull into a small RV park for the night. We need to dump the tanks and this way we can sleep in and shower before we get to Auntie Avril’s house. I called to let her know. We are like an hour and a half away, but I am not feeling too good, so it’s good that we can stop and have hook-ups.
We have some lunch meat we can make sandwiches with and just veg out.
We will have breakfast and then be off to Lebanon. I have free wifi for today…can you believe a $17 a night campground with FREE wifi? The KOA is $35 and you have to pay. There are no brats running around and the sites although small are adequate for an over night stop. Hmmmm.

Will catch up more with our visit to Aunt Avril’s and visit with Peggy and David out at the farm. We missed them on our Thanksgiving visit. Peg says she has three new baby goats. Can’t wait to see her menagerie.

I'll post more when I get wifi access again...maybe when we see Zack in Edwardsville later this week...



Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hope this link works to the rest of the pictures we took today...



Paulie and me at the Japanese Gardens... all day tour...

Right now I am exhausted....was up at 6:30 a.m. (OMG why do people get up with the birds....?). We got dressed and went to a little place across the street for breakfast. I ordered two pancakes. I just don't know why I continue to do stupid things like this...I can't eat two...I can barely eat one for heaven's sake. Paul ordered a breakfast taco of egg and sausage. With a coffee and his coke, the bill was $5. And I only ate one pancake.

The tour bus and our guide, Philip arrived right on time at 8:35 a.m. We headed downtown for our day long tour...we would visit the Japanese gardens, see a movie about the Alamo at the Imax Theater, take a boat ride on the River along Riverwalk, visit the Alamo, have lunch, and then visit The Mission of San Jose, and the Mission Conception, and then finally spend some time at Market Square.

I promise I will write more later, but I have to sit in my recliner for a while and recover. I haven't walked this far in quite a while...Paul is already asleep on the couch. I will download all the pictures we took but won't post them here except for a few...the rest will be uploaded to Yahoo photos...there are just too many for the blog.

more when I recover a bit....


I was finally able to get on and upload our pictures from the Riverwalk from last night....

Here is one of the tour boats....

One of the many many restaurants to choose from...I think this was Joe's Crab Shack

A view from up on street level....

A good shot of the back of Paulies head...and the guys who charged us six bucks to sing happy birthday to us and then forgot the words....

I don't know why I think I look good with my hand on my chin...all it does is move my turkey neck to one side and make me look stupid...

A great shot of of the bestest yet...grrr. The new camera just takes too long to take a photo with the flash and of course being the expert I am at taking photos, I never hold the button down long enough...

This one I couldn't resist...wish I had the camera on when the bird actually pooped on the table of women seated behind us. I would've barfed...all they did was scream...ick ick ick.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Paulie....Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Today is our birthday as if you all didn't know with all the hints I've been dropping, LOL!
What's the old song...another year older and deeper in debt....yep, that's us!

We left grandpa and Weslaco at 9 a.m. He finally admitted he was gonna miss us (well, maybe Paul, certainly not moi and my liberal rantings that occasionally erupt when Dubya shows up on the boob tube....OK I won't go there for the sake of my more conservative friends and loved ones...I need all the friends I can save yanno?) We have a new GPS so it was an interesting trip. Mapquest had told us to go EAST on 83 to 77 and then catch 37 to San Antonio. The GPS took us WEST on 83 then north thru Edinburg on 281 to T92 then to T16 and then back onto 281 which once you reach the city is called Roosevelt...which is where the RV park Traveler's World is. I think that's how we got here...we took Texas state roads(black not red on the map) and made great time....5 hours and we stopped for lunch for a half hour. That's my story and I am stickin' to it....

Once we got settled into our spot and got the Asylum set up, I had to take a nap while Paulie went and purchased some tickets for an all day tour tomorrow. We will get picked up about 8:30 by bus and visit the Missions, the Alamo, Riverwalk and see the movie at the IMax. Great price of only $42 with the campground includes all entrance fees and the boat ride on the River.

We both actually took a nap...I woke up late about 6 p.m. and Paulie was asleep on the futon. We both changed clothes and took off to see the Riverwalk and get some Birthday dinner. We parked and found our way quite easily. The campground advertises itself as the closest to the attractions and it really is a quick 10 minutes to the Riverwalk area. We walked a while and then crossed over and headed back to find a place to eat. The place was hopping...lots of folks dining along the river and tons of folks just walking the route. We decided on Michelinas Italian and sat right at the water's edge. Our waiter had a spiky hair cut and it was burgundy on the tips...and this guy was an older fella. We ordered the house margaritas for starters, a Caesar's salad and veal parmigiana with fettuccine. We also stuffed our faces with the homemade bread and the tasty olive oil dipping stuff with herbs in it. Oh. My. Goodness. Heavenly. For once we agreed on what to eat and split the dinner which is the best thing for us to do anyways. It was wonderfully delicious...more than enough for the both of us. Our waiter then surprised us with a huge piece of chocolate cake that we only ate a few bites of. We had a very nice time and the strolling mariachi guys serenaded with Happy Birthday in both Spanish and English. After dinner we strolled back to the entrance (good thing we both remembered where we came down from) and back to the car.

I will try to upload some pictures....not having any success with this pay per use wifi called Tangonet. It stinks, and I am paying for the darn thing...

I'll keep trying...I have 24 hours of useage.



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday 10:45 p.m.

Darn blogger was down when I went to update last night. Paul is out hooking up the car to the rig so he won't have to do it in the morning...supposed to rain. Ick. Oh well, Paulie is a good driver in any kinda weather. We will try to get to San Antonio by late afternoon and have our birthday dinner on the Riverwalk. We picked up the rig this afternoon and it looks really sharp with the black tuff coat on the front. Almost looks like a rich man's rig, lol! At least it covered up the dings and nicks from our previous outings and looks brand spanking new.

I am going to blog on Word since I am not sure when I will be able to hook up again...hopefully tomorrow night we will be safely camped in the Traveler's World Campground and I believe they have wifi...hope it's free!!!

So, until I post again....see ya on the road! Will take pix along the way...I still haven't figured out how to get the damm videos up on youtube, but someday I will!



PS...put on your thinking caps folks...I have decided to graduate to a full fledged web page and I need to think of a nifty name for our .com site...we can also do .net or .us....I love but Paul hates it....he also shot down as he says a tin can is an airstream....hmmmm
I don't thing our blog title is gonna cut it...I plan on doing some ads...and have some links to various RV sites and stuff about full let me know if you have any good monikers we could use that are catchy and reflects what we are gonna on the road most of the time. Thanks!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Well, our trip to Padre Island with Barb and Arnie was cancelled. We were underway and almost to Harlingin when I got sick. Paul and grandpa had similar problems earlier in the morning with the stomach ickies, I guess mine was just a bit later. We stopped at a What-A-Burger, but the bathroom was kind gross. Paul just called Arnie and said we couldn't make it. They were also having some difficulties so I guess it was just fate. When we got home, I planted myself in the bathroom. I really was glad we had come home. I didn't want to feel this terrible while playing tourist.

Paul and grandpa decided to check out and play with the GPS and find the place that will be doing the Tuff coat on the rig tomorrow. I laid down for a while (that is between bouts in the bathroom). When they got back, Paul started up the motorhome and moved it closer to the house. We started staging things yesterday and started putting it in the rig today. Clothes, food stuff, my knitting, and some of the small appliances we had taken into the house. Tomorrow when Paul gets back from Brownsville with the rig all spiffied up, I will load the rest of my stuff. Can't do without toothbrush, meds, etc. So that is last minute stuff just as the computer is last minute. Gosh, I hope we don't forget something important. Like my keys or some such thing.

Hopefully departure will be Tuesday morning. I think we should prolly make San Antonio. I really would like to spend a couple of days there...I have never been to the famous Riverwalk or even the Alamo. I'll see what Paulie wants to do when we are actually on the road; I don't think it will matter to Aunt Karen when we get to Borger. Besides, Wednesday is our birthday and I think since we had such a bust for our anniversary, we could use a celebration. we have a lot to do, and I guess I am just anxious to get started and move on.

I'll post more tomorrow with an update.