Saturday, April 25, 2020

Moments of Days Gone By Here in Texas…

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As we continue to hide out here in Central Texas at Canyon Lake we have fallen into a daily routine. The best part of each day is when we sit outside for happy hour and catch up on the daily news.

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Another great part of the days as they creep by is dinner planning. We have been fortunate to be able to get most anything we want at either HEB or Walmart via their curbside delivery. We are too far out in the boonies to have anything delivered.


Another nice thing about this COE park is the smokers located at each campsite. We were able to make our own Texas BBQ using the one in our site.

Since dinner preparation is a fun “to do”  we have also enjoyed making some new recipes. We have been eating pretty good and the above picture of a spicy pasta with bay scallops and shrimp was especially tasty.

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We usually go for a daily walk of two or three miles within the park. The park is big enough that we never have to leave and as an added luxury we occasional see some wildlife since there are so few campers in the park currently

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It is always fun to see an armadillo in Texas and each morning as I open the front windshield curtains I am usually treated to groups of deer feeding on the forbs outside. I’ve seen as many as 15 in one group one morning… I call them my coffee buddies!


Also, since we are here so long I decided to tackle an annoying problem that  came up over the last couple of years which is the black paint kept peeling away from our awning cover. Several times I sanded and painted over these peeled areas. Well I decided to just scrape all the old paint off and put on a new coat.

The challenge here is that the cover is aluminum and paint doesn’t really want to stick to it. I have finally gotten all of the paint scraped off and after doing a lot of research on the web I found the paint  I needed to get the job done. I bought an acid etch spray paint on Amazon and just received it the other day. Now all I have to do is wait for a day where it isn’t so windy so I can paint it…


NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Groundhog Day and Another Drive…

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It hard to believe we have been at Canyon Lake for a month already during this pandemic. It certainly reminds of the movie Groundhog Day as each day is seemingly a blur and mostly repetitive of the day before. We find ourselves checking our smart phones to verify what day of the week it is.

Though it appears the mitigation factors we Americans have undertaken appears to be having a remarkable impact on the spread of this disease we still have a way to go before we have this under control anywhere. In the meantime we will continue to do our part to social distance and help prevent the spread of this nasty virus.


Every now and then to break the monotony we need to make a grocery run to pick up groceries for the week. As such we turn this mundane act into a country drive. Given we are in the Texas Hill Country in spring, there are still an abundance of wildflowers to see. My favorite color of the spring is the “fresh green” we see in the new growth of the trees and shrubs.


It is magnificent how bright green new leaves are when they first grown. Over time in the harsh sunlight they darken and take on a more weathered look. However in spring everything is so vibrant and fresh which makes these spring drives not only very enjoyable but soothing to our souls being the hermits we have now become.

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Pictures in todays blog are from one of those drives and the header picture is another of one our Groundhog Day pastimes of watching the hummingbirds gorge themselves at the hummingbird feeder affixed to our window. We are certainly glad we bought a window mounted feeder from Amazon.  We, like you I am sure, are anxiously watching and waiting for an end to this horrible plague….

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NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Our New Washer and A River Drive…

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There is no better way to start any day than with a great breakfast. This morning the fare was Biscuits and Gravy a dish I love but don’t get to eat very often. However, when I am exceptionally nice Sharon will make it for me. The days simply pass by as we have settled into our new routine. Yet every now and then we decide to get out for a drive to see the Spring wildflowers of the hill country.

Spring is always the best time to visit Texas because of the abundance of wildflowers  blooming along the roadways. One of our favorite drives is along the River Road from Canyon Lake to New Braunfels Texas.

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At the end of this particular scenic drive I had a little surprise for Sharon as we drove north to San Marcos Texas where I had that morning called Aqua brew Brewery to discover they offered curbside service We parked out front and called to ask them them to fill two of our growlers with their IPA’s. A guy came out and grabbed the growlers from the open back hatch of our CRV, made the transaction with the credit card we left back there and brought back our card, the receipt along with the freshly filled growlers! Excitedly we headed back to camp for a super special happy hour after proper sterilization and hand washing of course.

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We also received our new ZENY Portable Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine from Amazon and took it out of the box to give it a whirl. The directions were minimal but with a few You Tube videos I was able to figure out how to use it. We did about four loads of laundry in it and were quite impressed.


Most amazing to us was how quiet it is. We set it up in our shower so we could fill the wash tub up with water and then later we could easily drain the wash tub right into the shower floor. The only caveat was I used a small extension cord and looped it over the top of the shower enclosure to make sure the plug was off the bottom of the shower to ensure the cord didn’t get wet during draining.


We overloaded it the first time around and then figured out that about 2/3 full was plenty to ensure the clothes cleaned properly. The spin cycle is especially awesome. We have to put less items in the spinner but after only a minute or two the clothes are nearly dry just from the spin cycle. We are certainly happy with this purchase and it will keep us out of the laundromats for a good while as we endeavor to stay safe. We continue to social distance to help prevent the spread of this nasty virus… 

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Friday, April 10, 2020

Laundromats, Groceries and Anxiety…


With this new normal that has crept into lives comes new challenges. Our first challenge was going grocery shopping.  I will have to admit that I love going grocery shopping… but that was before Covid-19. We remember not long ago going to a grocery store every three days or so to leisurely peruse for goodies to make at home.

Well times have changed and now we “fear” going to to the grocery store. Crazy isn’t it? Now we find ourselves trying to figure out how NOT to go to the grocery store but of course the time would come when we would have to go. Our first venture out I was the only one who went into the local Brookshire Brothers store. I had a vastly different mentality once inside..

As I grabbed my grocery cart I searched for sterilizing wipes to use on it to wipe down the handles. Once inside my mind went into radar mode trying to ensure that I wouldn’t get within 6 feet of ANYONE while hurriedly going from needed grocery item to needed grocery item all while trying to minimize my time in the store.

That trip the plan was to pick up some basic essentials to keep us from having to go again for week or so. When I returned to the car Sharon was waiting with sterile wipes and hand sanitizer so I could clean up before getting back into the car. Groceries neatly tucked into the back of the car on top of a blanket I had laid out.

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Once home we used a two percent homemade bleach solution to spray down the groceries on our picnic table outside. We let the groceries dry and then took them inside for a quick rinse and stored them in the RV. Before doing anything though I washed up with soap and water the appointed 20 seconds on my hands and exposed arms. Feeling pretty safe about our first trip to the grocery we relaxed.

Who knew going to a grocery store would create so much angst and anxiety. Well a few days later we realized we needed to got to a Laundromat which created more anxiety and angst. Like many RV’ers we don’t have an onboard washer and dryer so we have always gone to Laundromats.

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Discussing having to do laundry with each other we decided it would be best just to do like our Grannies did “back in the day.” So we have a 10 gallon gumbo pot I keep for special occasions that also serves as a bucket for washing the rig. We simply filled it halfway or so with water, added some laundry detergent and a 1/4 cup of vinegar to the water. Then we put the clothes in and washed them the old fashioned way.

Why the vinegar you might ask? Well in the past whenever we hand washed some clothes to dry outside on a line the clothes would often dry rather stiff and lacked any softness to them. Not so pleasant for the towels we dried. Reading online we discovered vinegar would act as a softener so we tried it. Yes, it does work and we were happier with our dried clothes afterward.

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Whew, another task done minimizing our exposure to people and places. However we have to admit it was a lot of work to do 12 days of laundry and we were both tired from wringing the water out of clothes. That experience prompted me to go online to try to find a solution to our laundry challenge. I came across this  ZENY Portable Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine on Amazon and we ordered it. I will write up a blog on how it works and how we like it once it arrives…

Thank goodness for happy hour where we can look out over Canyon Lake and let all the anxiety dissipate… Stay safe everyone and join us in continuing to social distance to prevent the spread of this nasty virus… 

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Settling into our new normal…

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When we first arrived at Canyon Lake Texas back on March 18th the park was full with campers. Given the Coronavirus situation most were keeping to themselves but a few were not and those were the folks we avoided. By this time I was on full alert to the details of the virus as I am a news junkie… There I said it! Yes, I am a news junkie!

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With all that has been going in the world there certainly is a lot of news to digest. As I was reading and absorbing it I realized we would soon have to develop a new normal. Sure enough only a few days after we arrived as mentioned in the previous blog, the Corps of Engineers closed down our park and while most campers left, the Corps graciously allowed us as well as a few other full timers to stay until May 15th.

Over the next week or so we began to fall into a routine. We arise (me early, Sharon not). I grind some coffee beans and enjoy my morning coffee. Once Sharon is up it is time for breakfast and later I spend a few hours on the laptop reading all the worldly news and catching up on blogs.  During this time Sharon watches TV, plays computer games and calls to check in with Katie, our daughter.  Our son Jason also chats with us pretty regularly when he is not at work.

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Lunchtime is next followed by more reading, working out with weights and then a walk around the park or occasional bike ride. Before we know it it time for happy hour followed by dinner. A little night time TV and it’s back to sleep to repeat this groundhog day again the next morning.

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The beauty of all this is that it hasn’t been too difficult to adapt to this new normal. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact we have been retired and on the road for over nine years thereby having learned to adapt to most any situation. It certainly helps that we have a fabulous view of Canyon Lake right out our RV windshield. Something about water certainly calms the soul…

Stay safe everyone and continue to social distance to prevent the spread of this nasty virus… 

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

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This post will bring us up to date as we are still camping at Potter Creek Park at Canyon Lake Texas. We originally had reservations for 13 nights and then planned to move on over to College Station for a much longer stay. We were really hoping the Coronavirus wouldn’t change our plans.

Well we hadn’t been at the lake for 5 days when we received word they were going to close all the Corps of Engineer Lake Campgrounds at Canyon Lake. We made a call and found out that those of us already in the park could stay to the end of their reservation even though the park would close to all others.

Well, we dodged that bullet and were allowed to stay as originally planned. However, we had a reservation at Lockhart State Park and the main reason we go there is to gorge on their wonderful Texas BBQ.. With four really good BBQ joints we annually go there to sample the wares and get our fill on Texas BBQ but with the virus all over the place these BBQ places have shut down so we decided to cancel our reservations at Lockhart.

Next we called College Station and asked if we could move up our reservation there and add another month just in case. They agreed so we were set for when we had to leave Canyon Lake. So why are we still at the COE park in Canyon Lake now?

Well a few days ago we received notice the four RVs in the park (there are also two workcampers) would be allowed to stay until May 15th if we wanted to so as to ensure our safely and not require us to travel with so many places on lockdown. Therefore we called College Station and told them we would delay our arrival until we felt it would be good to travel there and have decided to stay here until then. They were very understanding for which we were very thankful.

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It sure was nice, and unexpected, that the Corps of Engineers would allow us to stay  longer but we are sure glad they did. While we would have been fine over in College Station, by staying here we have better views and better access to nice walks not to mention it is also very easy to social distance here. Staying at this beautiful location brings a more calming effect on our psyches, much more than had we been locked down in College Station and fortunately we are well stocked on Texas craft beer!

So here we are until either May 15th or whenever we feel it is right to move to College Station. Stay safe everyone and social distance to prevent the spread of this nasty virus…

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…