The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Friday, December 19, 2008

Good grief...

another couple of days have slipped past me. I been buzy, yanno. Making cakes. Making cookies. Making chocolate covered cherries. Sleeping. Being dizzy. Same old stuff I guess.
Paulie went to his group meeting at the VA Wednesday and I made a cake for him to take. I just don't know what happens some times. Things start off so well, and whhooosh! Things are outta control. In the middle of doing the cake, Grandpa lost Patty(she had surgery that morning, to get "fixed" at the shelter where he got her.) Paul is off playing Mexican train or some other old person time killer...anyways, grandpa comes into the kitchen and asks me where his dog is. 'Scuse me? I'm making a freakin' cake here, not babysitting a recovering puppy. He goes around looking for her. So, I put aside what I am doing and help him go find the missing Patty. I go into his room and the dog is in her bed. And on top of grandpa's bed is a nice foamy pond of doggie barf. Ugh. Grandpa says, "Your dog threw up on my bed!" Ummmm, no Mack cannot JUMP up on anybody's bed, he is too which he responds..."Then it was YOUR cat!" Noooo, Snickers kitty barf is chunky, what goes in comes out looking the same way...not my cat. Well, he says getting louder by the minute, "It wasn't MY dog, she is in her bed." Just a minute ago, she was not, or why was he looking for her. I suddenly realize this is deteriorating into the absurd and say, ok fine, lets take off the bedding. I strip the bed(it was soaked) and take it into the laundry. Gross. I start dry heaving myself even tho I am at this point steaming. I stuff the blankets and stuff into the machine and then go and scour my hands. I go back to the cake and in comes grandpa into the kitchen, still mumbling about the barf my cat did. I don't say anything although I am bleeding from the tongue biting so hard! I drop the pastry bad with green icing in it. Splat...the darn thing which is plastic, splits and green goop is now oozing all over the kitchen floor. Clean up goop. Wipe sweating brow. Ignore old man. Grab red pastry bag, and begin piping on cake. Red goop runs out the top of the bag. Gee, ya think I am squeezing a bit too hard. Red goop all over my hands. Grrrr. Clean up red goop. Swear in my head. Cuss under my breath. Paulie walks in door. I pounce....attack. So I start to tell him what's going on and in comes grandpa wanting his sheets...which are still in the wash cycle! I give Paul the evil eye and he takes grandpa into the family room. My hands are shaking so badly for whatever reason and now the cake looks like some 5 year old did it. Here is a picture...

and another...
Yanno, I am supposed to get better...what this cake is I am at a loss to poinsettias...what was I thinking? Oh, I know...get the cake done, lol!
Well, that's all my complaining for today. Zack arrived yesterday. He and the Prince are off to shuffle board. What a nice kid...plays games with the old guys.
til later...

Monday, December 08, 2008


Here is a picture of my very first cake that somebody actually PAID me for...well, I only charged her for cost, not for my time. Time would have been outrageously expensive as I am a slowpokey cake decorator. I made up the flowers, so if you can't identify them other than the roses, its not just them Ziaja blooms, available for a limited time only...until the decorator gets a heck of a lot better at this!

This is an 8" double layer Ultimate Chocolate cake(I use the Barefoot contessa's chocolate cake recipe here.
I just love the chocolatey flavor of the cocoa in this cake...and it takes LOTS of cocoa to make this puppy. I now buy my cocoa at Sam's....a small canister at the dollar store was $2.65....I got a jumbo at Sam's for $6 something and it four times the size....also been buying my confectionary sugar there...7 lbs for $4 something...#2 at Wally world is over $2.50. Gotta save the Polish Prince some money somewhere LOL!
Well, that's about all I have been doing...having a fibro kinda day after baking and decorating yesterday. Will never, ever do that big a cake with basket weave hands are ready to fall off!

Here is the mini cake and cuppies I got with the extra batter...

And here is the other cake...for our dinner tonight! This is a two layer 6" cake...

Started guitar lessons last Thursday and haven't practiced a lick! Think anyone will be able to tell...LOL! I am also going to go the Brushwackers meeting on the 15th to attend a daisy coaster class. Will post when I get them finished. Not sure if I will continue with the painting...going from doing nothing to a whole lot may be more than the old body can take!



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that this day finds you all in good health. I had a bit of an off day yesterday, as did grandpa. He has a cold. You would think he was preparing to meet his maker the way he is acting. I swear, if it wasn't a holiday, I would let him have it with both barrels. Its a freakin' cold, snap out of it! Sure you feel crappy, but hey, this is a bit overmuch yes? Grrrrr.
I finished by Wilton course 2 the other day, and I did a fairly ok job on my are some pictures.

For all of you critics out there , the little creature is supposed to be a bear holding a pumpkin...the technique is called color flow using some of this chemical stuff tasting goop to creat a picture out of icing...not something I think I will do in the future. Stupid.

The cake is the recipe I mentioned the other day, my fav choc cake in the world. I tried to do fall colors rather than what the Wilton course book showed...a white cake with spring it was spring, well then I would have copied it. I also think the chocolate buttercream looks good in the basket weave, which is on the sides of the cake. I hated making the royal icing flowers, would have preferred buttercream, but hey, that's the course. I also make up a cupcake collar for the cuppies from the other day, and packaged one to see if it would work in the treat bags I have. I was planning on doing the craft show, but I have declined. I think I will wait until the spring when I can do spring flowers and cookies. I just don't have the confidence to make that much stuff in so short of a time. The cuppies are already stale and they were baked Tuesday morning...they don't last long without refrigeration and I don't have any fridge space.
Here are some pictures of my "designs".

The cupcake bouquet...5 cuppies in a little tin flower pot...

Here is a cuppie with a doily collar...cute no?

Here is a wrapped cuppie...artistic background is the kitchen table with a candle draped in a Thanksgiving napkin...

Here are the two together...

Well, it's 11 am and we have to be at the hall to eat at noon....waaaayyyy to early for me...why not like 2 or three? That's dinner time...what are we gonna do at 6? McDonalds is closed...soup and grilled cheese I guess. That is the bad thing about potlucks...all you get for leftovers, if there ARE any is what you brought...I am bringing risotto with butternut squash and the above cakes and cuppies, (stale or not, LOL!).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I had some extra batter from the cake I was making for my last Wilton class. So I made some cuppies...
aka cupcakes. I don't like the way Wilton makes their flowers...they look ok, but I can't tell an apple blossom from a violet, and I don't think anyone who hasn't taken the course does either, LOL! So I did some freehand flowers...I love the style of the cuppies sold at Cupcake Cafe in NY...the owner was on Martha a few years ago and I was amazed at how simple these that I have been learning cake decorating, I have found out what Martha knew all along...this looks easy but it's really stinkin' hard! My decorated sugar cookies looked like a 5 year old made them, and that is insulting to the kid! Practice is necessary...piping along the outline of the cookie is a PIA and is not easy. Oh well, I guess Zack will be getting more samples in the future while I hone my skills.

This recipe is my fav chocolate cake recipe...Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten from Food Network makes this is wonderful! Some photos that make even my mouth water, and I am sick of cake and buttercreme!

How artistic is this?

this little cake is my class cake...I made FRESH, yes fresh blackberry filling, but forgot to put it in the cake! Brainless at times.

Well, gotta go get stuff ready for class tonight. I will post my final cake pictures tomorrow I guess.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just a quick note to let everyone see our new family member...Grandpa picked out a new puppy from the Oasis Shelter...he named her "Pat"...don't ask me why...he defies logic at times...

The shelter thinks she is about three or appears that she has been preggers, but no evidence of any puppies delivered (I wonder how they know this?). She is about 15 lbs, and is all black with a white triangle on her chest. She looks to be a real Heintz 57...I see maybe miniature pinscher and doxie...she is very sweet. Paul and I just started to call her Sweetie before grandpa named her and it really fit well. She likes to play with both Snickers and Mack, well, let's just say he is in 7th heaven. She is scheduled to be spayed next week so we won't have to worry about Mack becoming a child daddy!
Finishing up my second Wilton class...learning to do all kinds of flowers...having a great time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We are going to visit Petsmart this afternoon. They have a dog and cat adoption every Saturday. Grandpa seems to be depressed over Pepe even though we kinda laugh about the poor little bugger every now and then. I think even though he adores Mack, he is not HIS dog. He wants an older dog that is housetrained. We need one who gets along not only with people, but other dogs and cats...

Snickers hated they are BFFs!
Will post later if we have a new addition to the family.
I have been invited to participate in a craft show at Llama Grande RV Resort. Much larger place than where we are. I will do some cupcakes, cupcake and cookie bouquets, bagged sugar cookies, some choc chips and I would do spritz if I could find a cookie press like the old ones! The new ones get horrible reviews...where is my supershooter when I need it! Prolly in sombebody's house in Rochester, IL waiting to make Christmas cookies! Why did I let him sell all my stuff? I KNEW I'd need that stuff! I worked on practice cookies yesterday and have some cupcakes ready to give out as samples...the Prince doesn't seem to understand that I need to PRACTICE recipes and decorating in order to get better so the stuff doesn't look HOMEMADE. What is so difficult about understanding this? Grrrr.
Will post more later.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wow, November 13th! I can't remember the last time I blogged. Not much to talk about...well, we did have one thing happen last week that is quite sad. Well, it's sad depending on your point of view. You see, last week, grandpa's fat little taco dog, his obese Chihuahua , Pepe went to the great doggie heaven and is waiting for his master at the rainbow bridge. Unfortunately, he did not go peacefully in his sleep, or mercifully put out of his doggie Alzheimer's fog via the tip of a euthanasia needle. He got run over by a golf cart. I am not making this up! Poor Pepe. Head crushed like a walnut under the turning wheels of that demon golf cart, driven by another demon, Prince Paul who was chauffeuring grandpa to the spa. Pepe loved to sleep in the sun. Or if it was hot, under grandpa's car on the concrete where it is nice and cool. He never went near the golf cart, unless of course, Chica, his longed for paramour happened to try to evade him and run under the cart. Well, long story short, Pepe for whatever reason, decided to sleep with his head UNDER the rear wheel of his master's golf cart...laying out in the afternoon sun, lazing away another day of eat, sleep, bark at nothing and poop. Ah, the life of a dog. I know there was something wrong with the dog. He would stand for hours standing still, looking out into space, no expression on his little apple face. I think it was old pooch dementia or doggie Alzheimers. Poor thing. Well, for whatever reason, and we shall never know, Pepe lay down with his head, as I explained above, just under the left wheel. The Prince and grandpa always go to the pool and hot tub around 2. They got in the golf cart, put it into reverse and the Prince swears he didn't even give it the gas...they felt something drag, and thought it was the breaks hanging up. They kept going and felt something again. It was then they saw the poor fat little body on the drive. It was quite tragic from my perspective of that day. Grandpa came running into the house yelling that they ran over Pepe and I should "say goodbye". I step outside and the Prince yells at me to go back in the house...I see blood and get all hysterical. I really didn't HATE Pepe, he was a PIA but he was just an old cranky dog. That didn't come when called, sit when asked to, barked at nothing, but was my late mother-in-laws comfort lap dog when she suffered from Alzheimer's herself. It was very sad. After the shock had worn off, it actually was kinda funny. Poor Pepe. Gone, but not forgotten. Grandpa is doing okay, now that a week has past. He talks about getting another dog, but I don't know if he will or won't. He wants an older dog, under ten pounds. Hard to find around here.

Finally the elections are over. I am glad of the outcome. America needed a change, and let's all pray that President Obama can get things back on track. I am a bit tired of Sarah Palin, aka Yukon Barbie, but that is just me. Her voice grates on my nerves. Yanno? Hehehe.
I won the contest at the park Halloween Party...can you see why? I scared the crap outta a couple of folks. It was fun. Too bad I didn't get better pictures, but the Prince is no Ansel Adams if you know what I mean! Can you believe that even with a white face of makeup and hair covering my face somewhat, my face still looks FAT? I hate it.

Here are a few pix of some cupcakes I had done...they were just leftovers from a cake I had made and fozen. I think I overbaked them a bit, as although the cake was really tasty it was a bit on the dry side...its called White Sour Cream Almond...oh, so good! My favorite cake is the Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate cake. OH MY...sour cream, buttermilk, tons of cocoa and butter. Delish.

Sorry the images are so blurry...but I was in a hurry...the roses were crappy looking anyways. I am getting better with practice tho!

Well, I guess I should get up off my tush and accomplish something today. The weather stinks, a new front coming in and it is cool and rainy right now. Has been not to warm and sunny the last few weeks. Winter Texans continue to make their way south the the valley and the place is once again filling up with ENGLISH speaking people. LOL! More activities, dancing and music jams on the horizon. Thank was so boring here!



Friday, October 31, 2008

Cake, Cake and ick, more CAKE!

Well, I have graduated from Course I of the Wilton Cake decorating Universe...I say this because Wilton is the only name out there, they have NO competition per se, and their prices are really really ridiculously expensive...but they own the market.
Here is last week's cake... the class was doing those freaking clown figures...they really gross me out so I just practiced the flowers and shell borders. This is all you get to see...

I bought the pastel colors before class so I could experiment. I don't like the bright colors, they are really tacky. (OMG, you should have seen the clowns my classmates made...I shoulda brought the camera...good thing I don't have a clown phobia anymore, I would have had some kinda nightmares after seeing what I saw!) The pix don't do it justice...and of course, I took the side of the cake I started on...the flowers got better on the other side after I got the hang of it...

This week was as I said, graduation. Plus, we learned flowers. Roses. Yep. I suck at roses. You will be able to see it in the pictures below. The girls who produced those fugly clowns in bizzare colorscapes made beautiful vivid purple, navy (yes navy!) blue and RED...blood red. They were gaudy, but they were ROSES...unlike moi's pitiful cabbage like globs of buttercream. *Sigh*. I have downloaded a couple of videos so I can practice. I am not in despair however...I just signed up for Course II...that is all flowers! Yeah! I can feel foolish for another month! Class starts Tuesday so I have little time to get up to par on those roses.
Here's a pix of my pathetic roses and final cake....This was a 9" two layer banana walnut cake per the Prince's request, made with cream cheese buttercream

Those are little "dots" on the side of the a pretty light green, but I didn't take my time, we had like 5 minutes left in class when I started them, so they are a bit off and not uniform. And, the cake does list a bit to one side...hmmm. Prince perfect pointed this out to me RIGHT I guess I missed part of one edge...well, all I can say is PRACTICE is in my future!
Not much else going on here in the RGV...we have a Halloween party tonight...I will make sure I get pictures of me and my costume...I am going as a ghost...
More tomorrow
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Still not a lot going on here in the Valley. I did my first cake at my cake decorating class on Thursday. Here are some pictures.

The mistake I made was to make the nose pink...the one pix I have shows yellow(?) but should have done it black. It was a fun class...all the gal in it are Hispanic and they all slip back into Tex Mex when talking...kinda funny after a while...maybe I can learn Tex Mex at class!
Gave Mack a bath this morning...his front leg fur is still not growing in from his disastrous walk with Paul when leaving the keys. He looks a bit odd...but he is still a cutie. I just sent some pictures out on email, so here are some more.

It's hard to get him to stay still for a photo, so they might be a bit blurry.

Not doing anything this weekend, although I did want to go to Padre Island for the Sand Castle competition. Oh well.



Monday, October 13, 2008

OK, I hear all of I am. Sorry. I have not been the most sociable or nicest person to be around lately. Guess I am still pouting about having to go back to Texas. Call me spoiled, insensitive, or just a bitch, but I didn't want to LIVE in TEXAS the rest of my life! I prefer just to spend a couple of January and February max...Being in the Rio Grande Valley from April to Nov is like being in MEXICO...English is the second language. Oh well, I will quit my complaining.(

Not much happening around here. I am taking a cake decorating class at the Mcallen Michael's. Boy, is this one expensive little hobby! I have always enjoyed doing the gingerbread houses, and have tried once or twice to decorate a birthday cake...not terrible but certainly not inspired by any stretch. I just purchased supplies...we do our first cake on Thursday...and I am over $100! Of course, I did have all kinds of decorating supplies in Rochester...where they wound up, I can't say...somebody prolly paid Paul a buck for all of it...he was quit the flim flam man when it came to MY stuff.

Zack is doing fine...complaining about all the homework he has to grade. That'll teach him to give journal assignments every week(like 80 journals to read and comment on....!) and those quick little 25 essay question "POP" quizzes! is really amusing to find that he really does have to work to keep up....too funny.

Well, nothing else to talk about. I am making a special treat for Zack's birthday that I plan to FedEX next week. I will post pictures soon. Mac is recovering from a bad landing after jumping down from grandpa's lap on Saturday...stupid dog thinks he can fly...or is underdog. He hurt his right back leg and gimps around on three paws...he still can fly around the house with amazing speed for only three legs the stinker. He was caught red handed pulling out a whole room sized runner/thread of know how Berber pulls....he is always on the lookout for a piece of tuft to be sticking up. So far I have kept ahead of him with the scissors, nipping the threads before he finds them. Guess I missed one.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

We left Key West, Thursday September 19, 2008 at 9:05 a.m. It was the end of what could have been an ideal workampers position. It is not that we wanted to go, nor were we asked to go…we left because poor Paulie wasn’t able to keep up with the job requirements. *Sigh*. Nothing to do but admit we had erred in thinking general maintenance would not include climbing trees, fixing automated sprinkler systems and learning the art of Japanese gardening. Perhaps we erred in not asking more specific questions although I had listed them carefully, and when asked about the physicality of the maintenance position, some things were not clearly defined. Paul feels terrible. His replacement shoulders were shot after just two days on the job. He was expected to cut palm fronds with an implement that was heavy and had to be held above his head. You all know Paul cannot lift his arms past his shoulders due to the severity of his shoulder impairments. He pulled dead plants for four hours in heat of over 95 degrees and 95% humidity. He was lost when the other workamper disassembled a professional grade refrigerator in one of the million dollar lots, cleaned and repaired it and put it back together again. He was flummoxed when the other workamper revamped the tubing in an automatic watering system in another million dollar lot. Nope. This was not a job for Paulie! For the first time, I was confident my part was a snap…checking emails, responding to inquiries, making reservations and keeping the accounts all on a kool pc program called Campground Master. We were provided free wifi, a cell phone and even the laptop. The 13 sites were privately owned and managed by our boss. We were here as on site assistants, so we were parked on a $500,000 site with lush tropical landscaping, a Tiki Hut and lanai with an outdoor kitchen, and our own private dock on the canal. It truly was paradise IMNSHO! I really was crushed when we had to decline the position. How can I fault Paul…never once did he ever voice impatience with me when I had problems (with cleaning the bathrooms in Branson mostly…not hard, but difficult for me with fibro…).

We drove back up north through the beautiful Keys, stopping at a sandal and t shirt factory in Islamorada. While I was looking for bargains (which was a joke…some discounts…$20 per shirt and $149 Berkies) Paul took both puppies for a walk. Pepe was fine. Mack walked into some kind of “plant eating puppy” plants and in seconds, he was covered with stickers, burrs and some exotic things that wrapped around his legs and clambered up his chest onto his face, neck and ears. Poor Baby! I walk into the rig and there is my baby just crying. I look at Paul and ask WTF? OK, he bellows, I made a mistake. I swear after dropping the poor baby on his head, letting him fall off the table and other misdeeds, I told him he must leave my baby alone! He is a hazard to Mack’s health!

For the next hour I tried to get out all this sticker things. Mack’s fur is soft and these suckers wouldn’t budge. Out came the scissors and whack, whack there goes my baby’s pretty little fur coat! He looks like an escapee from a puppy prison! I had to clip almost all the fur off those lil’ chicken legs. He looks pathetic…but, it will grow back!

We stopped Thursday afternoon in Naples, just down the road from the place we stayed in two years ago…at a place called Kountry Kamping…an older park with older seasonal rigs that were not gosh-awful but will be soon. Off season, it was $3l per night (!) in season….$65! Jeesh! Pricey here in Naples…but I LOVE Naples…it is so clean and well kept…well maintained landscaping and buildings…I am sure there is a slummy part, but I haven’t found it so far!
We slept in on Friday, and Paulie and I went out, grandpa wanting to stay in the park. We were walking through the Tin Can Mall, my phone rings and grandpa tells me that my puppy LOVES the pool! He took my little puppy to the pool and threw him in!!!! I told him through gritted teeth I think, that if anything happened to my puppy he’d better start hitch hiking back to the RGV!

While shopping I found the deal of the century….SILK Capri’s and SILK tops (all washable silks BTW) on sale, marked down from $70 to $15 each. I could only buy one pair of bright lime green Capri’s and one kinda celadon top. Wow…I wish I would wear a size 4…I could have gotten a new wardrobe for under a $100 bucks! And NICE stuff…I told Paulie I couldn’t find this kinda deal at Wally World…Capri’s and top for $30! He just stared at me…and the sales clerk then castigated him to my utter delight…she told him I was a bargain shopper and just hit the jackpot. Riiiigggghhhht. LOL!

Later in the car going home, we had an argument to beat all arguments…for those of you who know us…arguing with Paul is my favorite past time…he gets so flustered when I nail him with facts that he sputters stupid words in order to refute me. Silly man. Anyways, this was a corker. We finally stopped to grab a bite to eat at, what else, Taco Bell. Local delite abound in Naples and I hafta eat fake tacos? Arrrgggh! We finally get home and I have a headache and a tummy ache from the tacos so I lay down for a while. We just spent the evening watching TV…

We slept in again after deciding to stay at KK for another night. I wrote my new article for Bella, did some emailing and started to update the blog. Paul wanted to have lunch/early dinner at a local place called Cracklin' Jacks. Grandpa had fried oysters, Paul had fried catfish, and I had fresh fried grouper. Oh my. Very good. I ended my meal with a slice of homemade Key Lime pie...not too sweet, not too tart...icky plastic whip cream...what's up with food service places lately. The whipped cream is "stabilized" is like marshmallow fluff mixed with Cool Whip...its really disgusting! Give me the can of Ready Whip and I am happy. Ugh...I never order anything with whip cream nowadays...even Dairy Queen is using the plastic make believe stuff. And forget about buying a cake in the store bakery. UGH UGH UGH. The butter cream is crisco and marshmallow fluff. Looks beautiful as it stays firm and doesn't melt. However it cannot be DIGESTED either! What happened to bakeries? God I miss Chicago and it's neighborhood bakery shops. A dying figment of my childhood I guess. I am gonna look up how to make real butter cream and start making my own cake. Then I can put raspberry filling in it and pig out to my heart's content...yellow cake, raspberry filling and creamy buttery icing. Ah. The stuff of my dreams!

We are now on the road…I75 moving towards the Tampa area. We plan on staying at the SKP park in Bushnell. It is about an hour from Tampa but we may park for several days there. Grandpa is flying out of Tampa around 11 am tomorrow, Monday. I hate to say this, but I am glad it will be just the two of us again…there is too much tension with him around. Paulie waits on him hand and foot…he seems to want to make him an invalid and the old fart is far from that stage. He drinks beer and smokes cigars daily…he’s NOT an invalid! He is a bit demanding also. Well, I won’t burden you all with my complaining…I am just about done with taking care of old people…its been over 8 years since grandma got bad and it has been a LONG 8 years. Thank goodness I have three sisters to help with my mom. We had just ourselves to care for Paul’s folks. Oh well.

So, that’s it up to now. Paul is very down on himself for throwing in the towel. I told him to grow up and deal with it…and he better get his ass to the doctor…those replacement shoulders should NOT be a source of agony for him…that’s why I thought he had surgery…to relieve the pain!

hugs to all


Monday, September 15, 2008

Here are some photos of the site...I just snapped a few shots last night before we lost the sun...this is the front of the lot looking out towards the bay(Sugarloaf) . The grassy area is the "people park" and just down the street is the puppy park. Quite a lovely view.
The third shot is of the side of the rig looking towards the Tiki Hut. Paul and Gene having a beer. The last shot is Gene fishing...caught nothing but a lot of fish stories.
Tune back in later...more pics I promise.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh's Thursday already! We arrived at Blue Water Key RV Resort yesterday around 4. A incredibly long day I might add!

Here's a brief recap since I last posted on Saturday.

Sunday...Paul had made contact with Tommy, his friend from St. Louis who had been living in New Orleans. We would stop outside Slidell, north of NO and visit with Tom and Sue at their retirement/lake home near Picayne, Ms. They have had the lake house for a while, but are now living there after selling their house in Gretna, a suburb of NO. We found a nice campground SunValley RV Park, and got settled around 4. Both Paul and I showered and off we went, GPS in hand to find the lake house. We arrived and had a nice visit and Sue, a fabulous cook made a to-die-for(!) meatloaf dinner with buttered noodles, broccoli and brownies for dessert! It was heaven after two days of junk food on the road. Such great folks. We will stop by again on our way back who knows when, LOL!

Monday....We all slept in!!! It was ten by the time we were up and about. We were packed up and on the road by 11 am, heading towards Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. I was getting a bit snarky like I always do when relegated to the back of the rig...the old man had planted his boney arse in the co-pilot's seat and refused to give it up. Cripes, I thought that his freakin' back hurt and the sofa and chair were "best" for him. Fibber. Paul insisted on driving and he and I had words several times. He just doesn't get it. If one is not sleeping on the sofa, there is little to do or see in the back I don't mind spending my share of the time in the back mind you...I just wish there was a reciprocal attitude yanno? I had mentioned to the old fart that I wanted to drive and he was quite serious when he said he didn't WANT me to drive...he would be uncomfortable. You know my answer to that...I won't post it here but it was not nice and had a few cursy type words in it. We decided to try to get to Ft Lauderdale as there were a couple of campgrounds there. Unfortunately we were on the FL turnpike and the campgrounds were off I95. It is now getting dark, I can't read the jumbled up mess of a map for the Miami area to find anything and the FL state map is just as bad. Grrrrr. The gps is useless finding a campgound by the way...We finally find the campground and get settled in around 8:30. Again, Paul pushes the envelope and along with it, my nerves.

Tuesday...We hit the ground running from Ft. Lauderdale and continue to head south. The winds that are leftover from Ike are starting to get stronger. We finally get out of the lovebug infestation we've been traveling in for the last thousand miles or so...since outside of Houston, actually. Gosh those things are disgusting. Ick. Ick and Ick again! Paulie's arms are killing him from cleaning the windshield.

The drive on US 1 is quite nice. The water is a aqua tone that is really neat. We are in touch with Rita, the Site Administrator and she tells us to stop in Marathon if we want groceries. We do and then top off the tank with some diesel...only $4.59 a gallon here in the Keys! The cheapest fuel we found was $3.89 at Flying J somewhere in the Gulf Shores area. We finally pull into the Resort and get set up. We are in Site 3, one of the rentals. We would normally be in Site one, which is the workampers site, but our other workers are there. Rita takes us around for a quick tour...she has two golf carts that are in great condition! What a pleasure...

I was very tired and I went to bed around 9 pm. Paul would be working with the gardener, Javier from Bolivia on Thursday. I will just recoup til Friday when I will begin training. I'll be getting trained on Campmaster so it should be fun.

Well, that's about all. I didn't take pictures of the park yet...I'll try to get my arse out there tomorrow. Oh, we did take a ride into Key West around 4 this afternoon. Same old laid back place, but pretty deserted still...lots of shops and places shut down for the evacuation from over the weekend. Glad we are not in Corpus Christi this week!



Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday update...

We are currently at the Paradise Cove Rv "resort". I am not sure why this place is called a resort. It is mostly seasonal or permanent residents it looks amenities to speak of other than a three tub wash-it-eria. I am such a snarky person when I am tired, LOL!

We are about 20 miles out of Houston. We left Weslaco at 12:45 p.m. this afternoon. We made one stop in Odem for a quick "lunch" at a Subway around 3. This way we won't have to do dinner...we can just do snacks.

We are tracking now appears that the storm has weakened somewhat, but according to most of the weather stuff we watched, Ike is still scheduled to hit the Keys. We will check the weather channel as we continue our trek around the Gulf.

The kids were so-so on our first leg. Pepe still thinks all the food and water is his and gets really ugly with both Mack and Snickers when they want a nibble or a sip. Since he bit me yesterday, I have been a tad po'd at him so my sympathies for him have diminished greatly. He bites me one more time, it is curtains for the little SOB. He will find himself living at the first rest stop we come to...and I'll tell grandpa he was last seen running from a giant armadillo.

I am not sure how far we will venture tomorrow. We will probably be up and about by 8 and on the road soon thereafter. I have a "hankering" for some eggs and bacon with biscuits and grits, but I need to convince the two gomers that we should do this...they tend to gobble those doughy bagels...too many carbs for my taste....the biscuits are carb heavy also, but hey, ya gotta eat, right?

Well, I have had a long day...I am trying so very very hard to be know this traveling situation is certainly NOT my idea of an fulfilling experience. However, Paul was quite firm that he would not go with out his dad. Grrrrr. I will say no more.

hugs to everyone...
more soon...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Here are some photos of Gulfwaters RV park. We stayed here over the holiday. It is right on the Gulf coast shore...over the sand dunes is the water. Nice place...a bit pricey, but very very nice!

The view from our rented door was identical to ours...

Nice little ponds dot the fishing but there are loads of catfish and carp in them....

Looking back towards the dunes...this is a new section of the park...unsold lots so there is little to no landscaping.

A beautiful sunset...



We have accepted the position in the Keys and we leave for Florida on Saturday morning. Grandpa will be going with us. So will Pepe. So will Snickers. Three animals, and three adults in a motorhome is somehow not such a pleasant thought. But, we will have to manage somehow. Once we get to the Keys, our new boss told us we can put Grandpa in her ToyHauler travel trailer. But, he can't take Pepe with him. And he can't smoke cigars. Maybe I will take the toyhauler!!!!
We will keep in touch with the boss regularly as the severity of hurricane Ike won't be known until Saturday or Sunday...the path is still up in the air. So we have to plan accordingly. We will have a lease copy and a utility bill for one of the lots in Bluewater Key so the authorities will let us continue down, if there is any problems due to the hurricane. We will meet in the Tampa area at a campground if the Keys are evacuated.
We really hadn't unloaded a lot from the rig, which is a good thing for us now! All we need to do is get the clothes we need, a few staples that we had brought in earlier like cereal and coffee/tea. We are going to keep the amount of clothes to a minium...when we packed for Branson I think we went overboard.

Here is a new picture of Mac...

Here is him getting a bath while we were in Corpus Christi and...looks like a skinny little poodle to me!

His ears are the only thing that is like the Yorkie...he has longer legs and the longer nose of the poodle. He really is a cutie, but oh my gosh he is such a stinker! He runs around the house like his butt is on fire! He just tortures that fat little Pepe...who I think has doggie Alzheimer's...he will stand and look at nothing for literally hours. He can't get up or down the stairs due to his enormous weight and skinny legs that can't hold up the beef...*sigh*.
We will keep you posted on the road if we can get a good signal from the aircard.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pictures coming soon...promise.

Now, breaking news and headlines.

We may be on our way to Key West by Saturday. For those who may not have been privy to what's happening in our neck of the woods, here's a quick synopsis...

On Wednesday while on our way to Port Aransas, we received a call from a woman in Key West...Sugar Loaf Bay, about 10 miles from Key West, actually. She had read our resume on Workamper and offered us a position for workamping. Yes. Workamping in KEY WEST! A workampers dream job! We would be one of three couples...we would be in training until Dec 15th. Next year the months we would work would be determined. The current workamper couple prefers to work the summer...the new couple just hired is doing Dec thru April 15th for this year. So we would be looking at either Sept thru Dec OR Dec thru April next year. I guess it all depends on if this couple works out (they are from Canada) and if we like it. We may alternate or whatever.

The park is called Bluewater Key RV resort and the lots are individually owned. This gal owns 13 lots and 4 rental houses. She rents the RV and houses out...the winter of Dec thru March brings in about 5 grand per lot. And we would get one of the lots , waterfront on the canal, with tiki hut and private dock for workamping 20 hours each a week. Woh. Boy. A million dollar lot for four months in Key West. No brainer from my perspective. Grandpa can come down and visit anytime. He can fish on the pier all day if he likes! I would be doing reservations, phone, computer work and handle the money. Paul would prepare sites before arrival and cleanup pick up some palm fronds if necessary. Get the folks parked and be a "presence" for the owner. The summer time is when most of the upkeep work is done...piers worked on and stained, sites/tiki huts/furniture power washed and stuff like that. There is a gardener who does property upkeep weekly, but the weeds are prolific and would need to be sprayed daily. It's like I am making this up! Really! Sounds perfect to me. We are waiting until tomorrow a.m. after talking to the two longer term workampers to make our decision. Sounds like a go to me, if they tell us the job is ideal. The only thing that would make me wonder is if this gal was a PIA...and she sounds very professional and up front to me.

So...I will post more about our conversation with the workers tomorrow and upload the new pictures. It was great here in Port Aransas...will write more about that too.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wow, another week has passed and I haven't been posting. Shame on me!

Right now we are at Gulf Waters RV resort in Port Aransas, Texas. We are here for a bit of a break and to get Paulie to his VA appointment of Tuesday. Of course, we are here just as Hurricane Gustav is roaring towards land...they just don't know where he's headed yet.

We did a quick tour of Rockport Texas today. Nice little town, not a whole lot to see or do.
We had dinner last night at a local hangout called Doc's. Paulie had fried shrimp and I had the seafood platter....crab cake (oh my! it was wonderful...) shrimp and talapia. I was in heaven...crab cakes are a real fav of mine. The shrimp were also delish, but I was stuffed and didn't get a chance to sample the talapia. Oh well...leftovers are good!

I will take some photos of the RV resorts and the landscape tomorrow. I was busy all evening getting my new article up at Bella. I had no problem's getting the thing uploaded with the correct html coding I have a problem with. Argh. It took me almost an hour to get a pix of the book I was reviewing up on the site! I've lost whatever memory of creating html for my other web sites long ago!

Well, off to's after midnight and I should'a turned into a pumpkin long ago!



Friday, August 22, 2008

I have created a monster...

Of course, it's my fault. Monday night, Mack started barfing...again. He barfed all night. By Tuesday morning, he was dehydrated and listless. Round two of this in the 6 weeks we have had him...I fussed over him most of the morning and he just slept, not eating, not drinking. Deja vu all over again! Finally, Paulie said lets go to the vet, so off we go to the puppy doc. A stool sample is taken, his temp was I have no idea what a dog's temperature at normal is, so I certainly didn't have a clue what an elevated temp was! Tight lipped Tech said nothing of course. Doc comes in looks at Mack...feels his tummy, checks his eyes, etc. Gives Mack a shot of anti-nausea stuff. Fecal test comes back negative for bacteria. Doc says he thinks puppy ate something outside that upset his tummy. If it can't run away from Mack, he will try to eat it yanno. Except what's in his food dish...finicky little pest. I wouldn't doubt that he ate ants or licked up some bird doodoo. Stinker. OK, that little trip cost $60.

Wednesday...armed with a fresh bottle of Pedialite and a dropper full of anti-barf meds, the Prince and I are ready to tackle whatever the day offered. Again, Mack refused all food and we force the Pedialite and meds into him. Mack is a nasty little shit when he is pissed off, I might add. Those cute little teeth have sharp edges that can draw blood, if you know what I mean! And my attention! Later that evening, almost 11 p.m., he did eat some steak...yes, there, I said it....steak. We had steak for dinner, and I, overprotective mom to this little beast, becomes terrified that my lil' muffin will not make it thru the night...feed him tiny bits of steak. He's now got me right where he wants me. I don't realize this at the time...I just want him to eat and drink!

Thursday...still a holdout, Mack starts to become listless...and just wants to sleep. Grrrr. Force feeding him more Pedialite I offer him steak. No deal. I offer him the Lamb and Rice stuff we use for training treats. No deal. I offer him chicken breast. Again, his little nose is up in the air and he refuses. The Prince scrambles him an egg. He will eat little tiny bits, but only off my fingers. OK. More meds and Pedialite are in this little stinkers future. We needed to get the rig to McAllen for service, so we pack up the little stinker and hook up the car...of we go. He continues to sleep, very listless, but I know he is not dehydrated since I keep shooting him down the throat with Pedialite which he really hates. After dropping off the rig, the Prince took me to Barnes and Noble so I could browse the books and magazines and have my fav Cafe Americano with SF vanilla. While I was in the book store, the Prince treated himself to a Ben and Jerry's Ice cream cone which he shared with the bowser. Guess the sugar in the ice cream woke up the taste buds. After a nice walk near the new convention center, they came back to pick me up. From the bookstore, we visited a local palm tree nursery...we lost our Queen palm in the hurricane and I wanted to get a studier variety for the same spot. The one I want is called a Canary Island Palm. You can see a picture here...

Ok, after the guy told us he'd bring some palms in next week, we went to find a restaurant we had heard about in LeJoya. Supposedly, it is in a residential area with a lake and the dining terrace is out on the water. We found it and went in. I couldn't leave the baby in the car, so we sat out on the deck/terrace. The barmaid spotted Mack and it was love at first sight! She said no problem to him staying in his "puppy purse"...then she brings him a slice of chicken breast lunch meat, which he proceeded to devour in record time! What a stinker! Here I am telling the girl that my poor puppy is sick and won't eat anything then eats this fake pressed chicken...I had offered him chicken breast at home! Grrrrr. We had a great dinner...I had a huge grilled salmon steak on a bed of fresh spinach. All I wanted was the salmon, so I brought home the spinach salad for grandpa. The Prince had a quesidilla and a margarita...I was good and had a diet coke.

So, how have I created a monster you may ask? Well, this morning...Mack was listless and sleepy even after a trip and walk outside. I tried the leftover chicken roll from the restaurant which he turned his nose up to! Grrrr again! So, instead of going thru the whole gambit of leftovers, I get a piece of baked ham and dice it up nice and small. This he ate with relish...but ONLY from my fingers. I tell the Prince and he says...I have ruined the dog. He will now only eat people food and only if I hand feed him. Part of me is angry and thinks I will do anything I can to get the little stinker to eat! Now if this scenario was someone else's problem...I prolly say, put the puppy food down and if he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat right? He'll eat when he's hungry right? Well, since he is only a whopping two pounds, this is more difficult than it seems. He gets that limp, listless sleepy stuff which is a sign of dehydration and hypoglycemia. What's a puppy mom supposed to do? I know the trainer at class tomorrow is gonna tell me I blew the Prince already told me. *Sigh*. Never had this problem with other dogs we've had...they were all chow hounds to the max. This little booger exhibits anti-normal doggie instincts...figured I get a finicky little stinker that drives me nuts. Altho he is the cutest lil' puppy on the planet...he is also too smart for his won good! Has me figured out...hold out til he gets something
new and exciting!

And I have no one but myself to blame.


Friday, August 15, 2008

You are all probably wondering what has become of us since we arrived in Texas. Well, my battle with a weeks long Meniere's attack continues. I am not sure if this is the last hurrah for the bad ear or evil bodes ill for my good ear. The heat has been unbearable...for me anyways. All the permanent residents complain but go about their business.
The week we arrived, which was just after the hurricane, Uncle Ben was hospitalized for heart irregularities...both he and grandpa were probably doing what they shouldn't be climbing on roofs and picking up debris. Anyway, the heart doc said Uncle Ben needed surgery...stints. Then they said he needed open heart surgery and valves replaced. Ben has a history of heart problems especially with the aorta area and he was almost not allowed to have his knee replaced last year. Well, surgery was set for Wednesday July 30th. He was scheduled for 6 am. His oldest daughter Maryann arrived on Tuesday, and visited with her dad that night and then again Wednesday morning after Ben's surgery was delayed due to an emergency. After 8 hours of trying to save him, the doctors let him go. His heart was just not repairable. Each patch or sewn area would spring additional leaks...the doctor said around 200 leaks. He and the other doc had finished the surgery within two hours, but spent 6 hours repairing the leaks. They could not stop them. We are all very sad that Ben is gone. He was such a part of our lives down here, and Paul has so many memories of his childhood of Ben taking him fishing and camping. He will be sadly missed. Of course, his daughter were devastated, and his special lady friend Bev is heartbroken. Bev went to St. Louis with Maryann for the funeral. We had his memorial in the park on Wednesday. It was very nice and even tho there are few full time residents here right now, over 70 people attended. Ben was a Pearl Harbor survivor, a working man who adored his wife and daughters. Ben's wife Cecelia was Paul's aunt, sister to his late mom, Katherine.

I have a few pix to post. As I said early on, this has not been a very good time here in Weslaco for us. I am frustrated with my relapse, but think that perhaps the stress of the situation with grandpa and the hurricane and then Ben's death affected me more than I had thought.
Here is what the front of the rig looked like after we hit miles and miles of some icky sticky moths that were swarming after the hurricane along the gulf coast.

Mack's favorite traveling position....

We were getting ready to move out and he was terrified of the diesel noise...poor little guy...

Finally Mack gets used to grandpa's house....

Some skinny puppy gets a bath...but then he is dry and fluffy again!

There's peace in the least for the moment...

When Mack rests...Pepe and Snickers get a break...the little guy terrorizes them constantly. Hmmm, both getting payback in the scheme I life I figure!
More later.