What’s Next….Texas Freeze of 2021

Today it is a beautiful day, 70’s and sunshine. Two weeks ago we had a Devastating Winter Storm come through. The Polar Vortex swooped all the way down to Mexico encompassing the whole US and all of Texas. This hasn’t happened since the 1980’s. The temp fell to the low 20’s at night and only raised to 30’s and 40’s during the day. This freeze continued for almost a week. People started to panic shop again. The grocery store shelfs were empty in no time. The freezing rain started, and people don’t know how to drive. The weathermen told everyone to stay home, and announced the warming centers. Schools, business and events were canceled. Just when you thought you’d seen and experienced it all…..The Craziness began again….

Then the electricity started going out across all of Texas including the Valley. People started sleeping in their cars cause that was all the heat the had. Lines at the Gas Stations were blocks long. A few people died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in their garage. The Texas Power Company, ERCOT, which I found out is owned by Texas, started declaring rolling black outs. The news reported later we were a minute or two away from a total devastating power collapse or black out. Next devastating thing that happened was water pipes started breaking. People had no water. Pipes are not wrapped and insulated like up north. Even hospitals were in trouble. It was reported one was melting snow for water to flush toilets. Mid week their were over 3.5 million people without electric across Texas, many for 4-5 days. Homes, business and Utilities are not constructed like they are in the North. Apparently the Power Company’s don’t build their Power Grids efficiently either.

Dead Bushes at the Office. They were a beautiful green.

So how were we all in the Park. Actually we were very lucky. I kept waiting for the rolling blackout that never happened. We had electric the whole time. We were warm but Rvers weren’t as warm. Many Rvers heat with Propane. Usually the Propane truck comes around several times a week, but not this week. Everyone was running out and franticly taking their tanks into get filled. One place had no electric, and the other had lines several blocks long. Fortunately their tanker truck came, in a timely manner to refuel their underground tanks. Many were afraid their water pipes would freeze so we all kept our faucets trickling through the night. We had a few breaks in the park, but again we were lucky. A few of our RV Pvc water hook ups broke as they became so brittle. Maintenance was pretty good at staying on top of it. I still went up to the office everyday and huddled in front of my electric heater. We didn’t have any snow, only freezing rain. But not that far north they did have snow. Lots of snow and people who don’t know how to drive in it. Obviously many accidents.

This was a Beautiful Banana Tree. The branch’s should be more upright. I don’t know if it will come back.

Everyone was covering up their plants to try to keep them insulated and dry from the sleety rain. But, to no avail, we had a lot of devastation. We covered some of our plants in the front of the park with tablecloths, and I covered some of mine. I put my Desert Rose in the She-Shed along with my Asparagus Ferns. We lost some plants in the front entrance but actually they did better than we thought. My Asparagus Ferns were fine, but my Desert Rose in the shed even froze. The plant experts say to water now and wait several weeks to see if the roots made it. I see many of mine now starting to sprout new growth. It might not be so bad. Theirs a lot of plants and trees in the park and around town that have died. Unfortunately the Citrus trees and the Vegetable crops have been hit hard. They say it will take years for the trees to come back. They have lost most of the vegetables for this season.

This is a Rubber Tree plant. It is now cut down, but they think it might sprout out.

So now several weeks later, ERCOT is in trouble. The top 2 directors have been fired, and an investigation is ongoing. The grocery stores took awhile before their trucks delivered for restocking, but its now almost complete. They said their was more hording this time compared to the onset of Covid. Many people are still having water problems and bursting pipes have caused much damage in some homes. Some people are reporting huge electric bills for that time. We are locked in to a plan so we are fine. All across the state the motels were full as people had no heat at home. Then the price gouging began. One report said a family was charge almost $500 for a single night. Their are investigations into price gouging as this is unacceptable for people who are suffering all these hardships, especially during a Covid time also. Govenor Abbott has declared Texas a State of Emergency, it should help some of the people receive the help they need to recover. So many have damaged homes from the water breaks and lost food and other items due to no electric.

A cactus that has been frozen. Its big erect leaves are now collapsing down. Many have fallen off from their weight.

So this was my flower garden before the freeze. Everything was lush green. Even in winter most everything stays green except for a few trees.

This is what it looks like now. I’ve trimmed up a lot of things. Everything is brown and dead looking. Just like a normal Illinois winter.
Tammy and I went to a Nursery. They were throwing some plants away, so we asked to take them…..So those pots in the picture are free plants. Well see if they grow.
In this picture you see some green. Its Clover and weeds. Nothing kills weeds. They looked dead and came back in the first sunrays.

So what is the State of the World today.….Their are now 3 different Vaccines out. Two of them are 2 doses and one is a 1 dose. Everyone is scrambling to get them. Rich has his first dose. I don’t want one….At least not yet. Covid cases count is going down but theirs’s still many. But now we have a new strain that is a Variant of the old one traveling around the world and US. Texas Governor Abbott has just declared as of next Wed., masks are not required and all businesses can open at 100 per cent. Many people are not happy about that. They say its to soon in the Valley. Our hospitals have just reached a lower more acceptable occupancy. The borders are now starting to bring the immigrates over who lived for a year or two in encampments across the border in Matamoros. They had started the court process and were waiting their day in court. They are coming over, but not tested and turning up Covid Positive. Some have been bussed out to family members across the US. Now Greyhound is requiring a Covid test before they board. Fortunately the Judges for Cameron and Hidalgo County’s have also said they don’t agree with the governor. They are still recommending masks and Social Distancing. South Padre Island is getting ready for Spring Break.….HERE COME THE KIDS…...Everyone is waiting for their Stimulus Check. President Biden has barely got it through Congress. The Democrats and Republicans are still not getting along. Trump is still lurking out their in Maro Largo Florida. He has managed to have been Impeached Twice…….But not convicted…..He says he’s gone, But not forgotten……

Will 2021 Improve?


2020 Humor…We Need It

The struggle will continue in 2021 but their are some things to consider as we close the door on one of the most challenging years of our lifetime.

The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.

I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing.

2019…..Stay away from negative people

2020…..Stay away from positive people.

The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!

This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house and told my dog. We had a good laugh.

“After my business breakfast, I’ll be going directly to the office.”

Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?

This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars and keep men at home.

I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 10-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.

Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.

Just a little bit of humor to end 2020……

2020 The Year From “HELL” Is Over

At last 2020 is over. All year long, it was another disaster after another. Every time something awful happened, we said “That’s it, It can’t get any worse”. But it did. Now we’ve had our election, and we thought that it would settle down….Has it???…..Hell No….Its just gotten worse. Its now the second week into 2021. It should be better…..But no…January 6 was the day the country should realize how dangerous Donald Trump is. Trump was defeated for the next term as President of the United States by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Biden received 306 Electoral Votes to Trumps 232. He has refused to concede to Biden and has filed over 50 law suits to try to prove the election was rigged and stolen from him. In his 4 years as President he has lured the silent majority to listen to every angry word with his speeches, and all his tweets. They started following and felt empowered to do his work.

Finally on January 6, the day Congress was to declare officially that President Elect Joe Biden was the next President, Trump organized and attended his “Save America Rally” in Washington DC. For over an hour he spoke to his followers, working them up into a frenzy. His final words were, ” So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”…….He promoted this rally by saying….”LETS GET WILD” “Fight for Trump” Save the World-Save America……. And so thats what they all did. They marched down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capital.

Such Disrespect

This is copied verbatim from Wikipedia:

On the morning of January 6, protesters assembled on the Ellipse for a “Save America” rally;[27][28] Trump, Donald Trump Jr.Rudy Giuliani, and several members of Congress addressed the crowd.[29] Trump encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” to “take back our country” and to march towards the Capitol,[30][31] while Giuliani called for “trial by combat,”[32] and Trump Jr. threatened the president’s opponents by saying “we’re coming for you.”[33] As the rioters entered the Capitol by breaking through windows and doors, Capitol security evacuated the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated, and all of them were locked down.[34] Rioters broke past interior security to occupy the evacuated Senate chamber while federal law enforcement officers drew handguns to prevent entry to the evacuated House floor.[35][36][37] The evacuated office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was occupied.[38] Improvised explosive devices were found on the Capitol grounds during the riots; explosives were also found at offices for both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, and in a nearby vehicle.

Five people died from the events and others were seriously injured. One woman attempting to enter the House chamber through a barricaded door was shot by police and later died.[39][40][41] Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick died after allegedly being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.[3][14][42] Federal authorities launched a murder investigation to examine Sicknick’s killing.[43] Three protesters suffered fatal medical emergencies during the event.

Trump reacted slowly to the storming, first resisting sending the District of Columbia National Guard to quell the mob,[44] and eventually praising the rioters as “great patriots” and telling them to “go home in peace,” while reiterating claims of election fraud.[45][46] The crowd was dispersed from the U.S. Capitol later that evening. The process to certify Electoral College results resumed that evening and continued to its conclusion the following morning, with Pence declaring Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the victors and affirming that they will assume office on January 20. Under pressure from his administration, including many resignations, Trump committed to an orderly transition of power in a statement.[47][48][49] On January 9, The New York Times reported that Trump had told White House aides that he regretted committing to an orderly transition of power[50] and would not resign from office.[51]

The events prompted widespread condemnation by political leaders and organizations in the United States and internationally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the storming of the Capitol a “failed insurrection”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Trump to be removed from office, either through the 25th Amendment or by impeachment.[52] Facebook responded by locking Trump’s accounts and removing posts related to the incident, and Twitter responded initially by locking his account for 12 hours, then permanently suspending it.[53][54] The riots and storming of the Capitol were described as treason,[55] insurrectionseditiondomestic terrorism,[56] and an attempt by Trump to carry out a coup d’état or self-coup.[57][58][59]

So this is where we stand in 2021.…Its only January 10th…..Can it get any worse????….Now their are reports and calls of Violence being intensified ahead of Inauguration Day. They are expecting the worst to happen. This country is in shambles. We have less than 2 weeks to Biden’s Inauguration. Will Trump be removed through the 25th Amendment, or by Impeachment. Or not at all…….Beginning to think were living in the “Twilight Zone”

Capital Police trying to keep the Rioters out.
Destruction in the Hallways

Today is January 11 2021, and more news has come out over the weekend as to the damage the rioters managed to do. The rioters barreled past the barricades, clashing with the police. They broke into the Capital building by bashing in doors and breaking windows. The news is full of videos and photos. It was all captured on camera. They swarmed through the halls fighting and chasing the police.

Senators were told to take cover before they were evacuated. Some even put on Gas Masks.

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was on the House floor as they were doing the counting of the Electoral College vote. The police with guns drawn were able to hold them off as they evacuated the House and the Senate as well as Vice President Mike Pence. The rioters broke into the Senate and damaged and destroyed so much. One person was photographed sitting at the podium. They roamed the building and broke down the door into Nancy Pelosi’s office breaking mirrors and destroying so many things. They stole her computer and took pictures of themselves doing all these heinous things is if they were on vacation.

Rioters walking through the Hallowed halls stealing items.

So the investigations have begun. They are chasing thousands of leads. Over 70 arrests already made, and hundreds more predicted. The are using all the video and photo footage to track down the rioters. Also using tracking money, travel records and movements of people and communications and many tips from people. Most of these people seem to be from out of state. Not very many locals.

Rioter sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair with much disrespect
Nancy Pelosi’s Office ransacked

Now its January 12. Eight days from inauguration. Trump hadn’t talked to his Vice President Pence since Wed. Trump had asked him to throw out the states in the Electoral vote counting, that he had discrepancies with. He said he won by a land slide. Certain states were lying and giving rigged election results. Pence told him he couldn’t do that. Trump turned on him. After the Wed. riot, Trump pretty much stayed in isolation at the White House with his aids staying away from him or spending little time as possible. He started losing many of his aids and dept. heads due to resignation. They had had enough of him. Trump finally talked with Pence on Monday discussing his next week planning. Facebook and Twitter has barred him for life and also a Social account called Parlor. Now all of a sudden he has decided to come down to the Rio Grande Valley and visit his Border Wall. He arrived in Harlingen today at VIA, Valley International Airport. I went out to the airport to see what was happening.

All Trumps followers waiting near the Valley International Airport in Harlingen Tx.
Air Force One…..I was right under it as it landed…..It just glided in….Very quiet, like a Bird

Of course their was all his followers. So many flags and cars. People cramming up by the fence to get a glimpse of him. I drove a mile out of town were the plane would cross on its approach. I always wanted to see what it was like to be under a plane on its approach. It was as good as a time as ever to do this. lol I actually thought it was fascinating. It just glided like a bird right over the top of me. So cool…..They flew him by helicopter over to Alamo by the newly constructed wall. He gloated over the construction of course, but had to also downplay his involvement in the Wed riot. “He believes in peace, and no violence.” lol…..Whatever….

So as it stands today, Jan 11th, The Articles of Impeachment have been drawn up and presented. The House of Rep. is expected to vote on asking Pence and the Cabinet, to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would remove Trump immediately from his office. It would affirm that Trump can not successfully perform the duties of the President of The United States. If that does not work, they will vote tomorrow to Impeach him, which would be the 2nd time. Now is that a wonderful thing to be known for. His legacy will be, The only President to be Impeached twice. Nancy Pelosi says Trump is deranged, unhinged, and dangerous as President and we need to protect ourselves from him. He has done something so serious, he needs to answer for it and be prosecuted. He is definitely suffering the consequences. Deutsche Bank announced it will no longer do Business with the Trump organization. He owes them 340 million in loans due in the coming years. Many other banks are following suit. The 2022 PGA Golf Championship has been pulled from the club he owns in Bedminster NY. He is livid with anger I’m sure. This has got to be the beginning of the end for him. Now it will be a race against time as to how it will go. President Elect Biden will have his Inaugural on January 20, with the Capital being heavily guarded. They are trying to figure out how to do this, with Biden still having time with Congress to get his people up and running in the White House. Reports today say their is info on violence happening in all 50 states on Inaugural Day. The country is preparing. We need to unite and feel peace. We also need the threat of Trump to go away. So, Congress needs to get this done once and for all. We don’t need him coming back in 4 years.

Ohhhh……Lets not forget…..Our Country is in Crisis……Covid has killed 380,555 people in the US as of today.

22,835,071 people have been infected. Every day over 200,00 cases are positive.

Our Hospitals are maxing out in many states. The nurses, doctors, and all medical personnel are so tired and stressed. They have been working nonstop for months and months.

How many of those rioters will now turn up positive. Some of the Congress are already turning up positive because they were all locked in a room during the rioting.

The Vaccine is finally here. It is getting dispensed to all the states. Its a huge learning curve but it is improving……..Their is HOPE for a better future…….Its About Time.…..

NYC 2019 Versus NYC April 2020….Covid

I have been thinking about the changes in New York City in this past year.  Will it ever be the same again? Last year, Thanksgiving 2019, Tina and Ed took the kids to New York City for the first time.  Austin’s birthday was on Dec 1, and he had wanted to see the Lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the Macy Day Parade. 

Streets are full of Traffic and sidewalks full of people…
The Official Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.  It was lit up the following weekend after they left.

NYC was alive and brilliant with lit up marquis, Christmas lights galore, and lots of people.  The Marquis lights were so full of colors, and flashing the Broadway and TV shows all the way up and down the blocks as far as you could see.  The skyscrapers were towering high above with some of their office lights still on.  The tall beautiful 77 ft Norway Spruce, from Orange County Florida was placed at Rockefeller Center to be the official Christmas tree for the season.  It was 46 ft in diameter and weighed 14 tons.  Christmas lights and displays were everywhere.  The sidewalks were full of bustling busy people with their winter coats and hats, and the streets were full of vehicles including carriages giving tourists rides and policemen directing traffic. They signed up to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and had to wait till 10PM for a time slot.  They had so much fun.  If you listen, you can almost hear all the noise in the background, the music, car horns, whistles, sirens and all the people laughing and talking. 

Rockefeller Center Skating Rink
Ed and Austin skating in Rockefeller Plaza with the Tree in the Background. 
Austin loves the Pokémon
Macy’s Day Parade….2019

The kids stayed at Crown Plaza on Times Square in Manhattan

Little did anyone know what was about to happen in several months………..

View from Tammy’s’ hotel window at the Marriot Marquis on Times Square in Manhattan

About 5 months later Tammy arrived.  She stayed at the Marriot Marquis also on Times Square in Manhattan, only about a block from where Tina and the kids stayed.   When she arrived the city was shutdown.  Governor Cuomo declared Shelter in Place, and all business closed.  The city that never slept at night grew silent……No traffic, no people on the street, No car noises, no tourists.  The marquis were lite up, but they displayed messages,  ‘Thank You To Our Frontline Nurses”   “Thank You to Our First Responders”.  Tammy had answered the call for RNs to work in NYC.  What a contrast it was from 5 months ago when Tina and the family was their……

Standing in the middle of the street….No people….No traffic

She was assigned to a Bronx Hospital.  The city was reeling in panic.  Covid-19 was infecting people by the thousands.  Many business’s let their employees work from home, otherwise, you simply did not work.  Just think of all the business who employed workers to service and sell to customers.  No work? ….No Money?….You still get bills…..Many business’s closed permanently and people lost jobs.  We all watched NYC from all over the USA.  The virus was starting to travel across the US, but  we never thought it would come to our home town too. 

When Tina, Ed and the kids were in NYC, The Corona Virus was just beginning overseas, but on its way to America.  In just a very few months it would take over NYC bring it to its knees and screeching to a halt.  NYC would fill its hospitals up to over capacity, and the morgues would be full of bodies, with refrigerated trailers rented or purchased to help hold the overflow………The Year of 2020 will be born with the Beginning of the Coronavirus taking over the world.   It almost seems like a bad sci-fi movie…..but its todays reality.

Tammy and her friends from Illinois on the streets of NYC
New York City Honoring the Front Line Workers

The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in NYC in March of 2020.  They said it had probably already been their for awhile.  23,000 were confirmed by March 27.  2 days later on March 29 it had risen to 30,765……Wow, those numbers are mind boggling…..Tammy was hired by Krucial Staffing Agency, _{Emergency Agency} on their 2nd wave of hiring.  She arrived and started working on her birthday April 6.  By that time they had over 2,000 deaths.  NYC had become the worst affected area in the country.  The dead were dying to fast for the funeral homes to take care of them.  Some homes bought or leased refrigerator units.  Even the Crematoriums were booked and couldn’t keep up.  They began burying bodies in mass at Hart Island……Potters Field, for the poor.  Today, New Years Eve, their is 430,597 confirmed cases in the city for a total.  Todays daily count is 4,207.  They have had a total of 25,042 deaths with 41 for their daily count.  New York have brought the counts way down and had started opening the city in the summer, but the counts are on the rise again. 

The virus is on the rise again all over the country and the world.  California is suffering terribly.  Their hospitals are overfull.  They have nowhere to put new patients.  They are running over 30,000 new cases a day.  Illinois was bad for awhile.  Governor Pritzker shut down much of the state.  It is now declining.  As of today Illinois has a total of 963,389.  the daily count is 7,374.  Texas has been bad up north, but its heading down south  again.  Todays totals are 1,766,410 with a daily counts averaging around 15,000.  We are hearing reports that our local hospitals are filling up, and their is a medical staff shortage.  Down her in the RGV our first wave was this summer. The hospitals were so backed up, they set up emergency units for the overflow.  Now Texas is starting to heat up again.  Many areas are now having their 2nd wave.  We are told to expect a new wave because of the holidays.  People really have a hard time respecting Social Distancing.  Masks are a must.  It’s been a tuff year.  Everyone is tired of Social Distancing.  They are getting together for all the holidays.  That can spell disaster.  We also have those people who don’t believe.  They think the government is infringing on their rights.  They want the freedom to make their own decisions on mask wearing.  Also, many say,…. “It will go away when the election is over”……Come on, Really?….How does the election affect the people dying, and those filing up the beds fighting for their lives on ventilators. 

Now we have 2 vaccines finally available with a 3rd one almost ready to be approved.  They are rushing to have it dispensed all over the country.  This is a huge feat which is already having problems.  Hopefully this is the answer.  All we need is time.  But is everyone taking the vaccine?  I am not….I’m a bit skeptical because it’s new.  Even though they say it’s not been rushed, I still feel it has.  Of course I don’t take any shots, flu shot neither.  So that is my choice. 

So Here it is, the end of 2020, and the beginning of 2021.  Everyone is hoping for a better year.  The virus is still running rampant all over the world.  We are just now hearing of a new Coronavirus Variant entering the states. 2 vaccines have been approved and being rushed around the country to be dispensed. So many people have lost their jobs. We have weekly food lines for family’s who can’t feed their families. People are being evicted from their homes because they can’t pay rent. We wear face masks every time we go somewhere. We practice Social Distancing, no matter what we do. Even the check out lines in the stores. Our White House is in shambles. The leadership and dissention between the party’s and the president are not only embarrassing but devastating to our country. Can we put everything aside when the new President comes into office this month? This is what we must do as a country……UNITE…..AND HEAL…..Their is so much for the New president to do. The people are reeling and suffering from this Coronavirus tragedy. They need some compassion and help. The small business’s have been destroyed. The Economy has ruined so many people’s lives. We need Unity and a plan. A plan for a new beginning. Hope for the people to begin to live once again. Let’s hope we get through these next several months, and 2021 is the start of our NEW BEGINNING….

Merry Christmas…Winter Solstice

Today is December 21, the Winter Solstice. So what is the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and the official start of winter. Tonight will also be the night for the “great conjunction”. That will happen when Jupiter and Saturn, the two biggest planets of our solar system, will look like one bright star, the “Christmas Star”. It is a rare celestial event that hasn’t happened for 400 years. So many people will be out watching tonight with their binoculars, telescopes or naked eye. We are now only 4 days from Christmas and our daylight will again begin to lengthen. Oh how we all love the longer days to be outside when spring and summer arrive.

So here is this cute little poem. It was written definitely with the year 2020 in mind.

T”was 3 weeks before Christmas, And all through the town…..People wore Masks, That covered their frown.

The frown had begun, Way back in the Spring,….When a Global Pandemic, Changed everything.

They called it Corona, But unlike the beer…..It didn’t bring good times, It didn’t bring cheer.

Airplanes were grounded, Travel was banned…..Borders were closed, Across air, sea and land.

As the world entered lockdown, To flatten the curve…..The economy halted, And folks lost their nerve

From March to July, We rode the first wave…..People stayed home, They tried to behave.

When summer emerged, The lockdown was lifted…..But away from caution, Many folks drifted.

Now it’s December, And cases are spiking…..Wave two has arrived, Much to our disliking.

It’s true that this year, Has had sadness a plenty…..We’ll never forget, The year 2020

And just “round the corner” The Holiday Season…..But why be merry? Is their even one Reason?

To decorate the house, And put up the tree…..Who will see it, No one but me.

But outside my window The snow gently falls…..And I think to myself, Let’s deck the halls!

So I gather the ribbons, The garland and bows…..As I play those old Carols, My happiness grows.

Christmas is not cancelled, And neither is hope…..If we can lean on each other, I know we can cope.

Surprise Thanksgiving with the Kids

The 3rd of November I headed north to Illinois to surprise the kids, grandkids and especially Cameron for Thanksgiving. Tammy has been working in Texas since July decided to go, as well as Cassidy who has been with me for the last month.

Rich has been up north working Harvest again this year. Cameron closed on his new house in early Sept. He wanted to have an early Thanksgiving at his new home before Grandpa left for Texas. Rich asked me about flying up for a surprise. That sounded like a great idea. Really nothing much is happening here at the park for Activities because of Covid. The halls are closed down. So plans were made, and I bought my ticket to fly into Midway in Chicago on Tuesday November 3rd. The dinner was planned for the following Sunday. Tammy decided to take time off, so her and Cassidy packed up their car and drove up.

Tammy dropped me off at the Harlingen airport on a beautiful sunny morning and then headed north for her long drive. The flight up the coast to Houston is always so beautiful. After a 3 hour layover, I boarded my next plane and flew into Midway Airport in Chicago.

It was a beautiful flight landing at night seeing the Chicago skyline in the distance. Rich picked me up and we headed home to Mcnabb. Tammy and Cassidy arrived the next day. She usually drives nonstop in 21 hours. Now I thought this was a secret, so Tammy and I was very careful to not go outside so the neighbors couldn’t see us. Then we found out Rich had told Brandy. Of course Brandy told Scott. And he also told Sandbergs, who he works for…..lol…..He just can’t keep a secret. So Thursday night we went up to the bar since it wasn’t a secret anymore from the locals.

Tina knew we were coming because Tammy was going to take Carly for the week. Fortunately they were doing a week of E-Learning so school wouldn’t be a problem. So Grandpa went over to Tina’s and told Carly they were going to do some errand’s. When Carly came walking into the house, we hid under the blankets on the sofa. She was so surprise when she finally figured it all out. She was excited to have her Mama home.

Still Cameron didn’t know we were home, so we decided to “prank him“….lol…This was going to be so much fun… He works all day, so Tammy felt safe to drive over to Hennepin. Carly and her hung Christmas decorations on his lights on the house and on the garage. Carly was having so much fun, being part of the secret. We waited to see if he would call somebody, but……nothing….

So the next day was Friday. What to do!! What to do next!!! The girls brought Tammy’s large flocked Christmas tree over complete with tree skirt, and decorated it with lights and ornaments. They put it right in front Cameron’s garage door. They hung lights from the tree to the garage lights on each side. They also decorated his little white corner fence at the end of the driveway.

We decided to sneak over and hide in the garage that night and surprise him when he came home. We were so excited to see his reaction when he seen us. We had grandpa call him and see when he was going home. We were sitting in the living room at home when Tammy seen lights out of the corner of her eye. ….. OMG….He wasn’t suppose to come here! We ran for the bedroom and hid. Grandpa met him at the back door. Cameron said later he wondered why Grandpa didn’t seem to want him in the house….Cameron noticed a car in the driveway which was Tammy’s rental car. Now grandpa has a very hard time lying….lol. ..He said it was the neighbor’s company. They didn’t want to park at their house….“Cameron, lol why on earth did you believe that…..That car had Texas plates”? That was really a dumb answer. lol Finally he had to go down stairs to get some clothes. Carly and Tammy layed on the floor and listened. Finally he said he was going home. After he left the 3 of us got in the car and flew down to Hennepin hoping to beat him. We parked across a grassy area from his house…..We hurried up and ran into the garage….It was 6:30pm and dark.

This was the sight from the inside looking through the rollup door window. We waited……and waited….It got cold, remember I’m used to Texas weather. It was probably in the 50’s. We called Grandpa and asked him to call Cameron. He called back, Cameron was at a friends and would be home soon. We waited….and waited…..We got colder….We called Ed, Tina’s husband at 8pm. He called and told Cameron he had the chairs and table for Thanksgiving to set up in his garage. Cameron said he was going through Granville and would be home shortly……We waited…… and waited…..Finally about 8:40, I was watching out the window and ………FINALLY……headlights rounded the corner.!!!!!

We ran for the bathroom. Tammy and Carly hid behind the door. Tammy had her phone ready to video him through the crack by the hinges as he walked in. We watched him slowly, ….slowly. …. approach the garage door. He stopped and sat their for a few minutes. I was sure wondering what he was thinking. I was looking through the crack of the door. Finally he got out, left the car running, walked ever so slowly to the walk in door. He opened it and flicked the lights on…….He made a phone call as he started walking around in the garage. He called Tina. He asked her if she had been over to his house yesterday or today. Then he proceeded to tell her angrily, how somebody had put Christmas decorations on his lights yesterday, and today he just pulled in and in front of his garage was a big F…….ing Christmas tree all lite up and decorated…….Thats about the time we all lost it.!!!!

Carly was laughing and giggling and trying so hard to stop. Cameron said in the phone….“Wait, i hear someone. Theirs kids in the bathroom”…….OMG…..We were doubled over in laughter. He came walking back to the bathroom. I think he was a bit scared as to what he might find. As he finally seen me, his face was priceless……..He said….“How did you get here”….and then his mom came around the corner. He was so surprised. He was very happy to see us, but not happy about the decorations. He made Tammy and Carly bring in the tree and take all decorations down. But it was all so worth it.

A “Thanksgiving to Remember”…..

On Saturday we went back to his house to clean up for Sunday. The family was all invited, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. and some friends. We had so much food.

Finally we took family pictures.

Rich and me on the Left…..Brother John on far right. His son, Jon and Steph and the rest is our family.
Cousins……Jon, and our kids….Tammy, Scott, and Tina
Grandkids…..Cameron, Miley, Cassidy, Carly, and Austin
Scott relaxing after dinner
Aunt Connie teaching Austin about rocks
I made Tina this box for her Putnam County Clerk Office cause I had to pay for postage to send my Voting Ballet by Mail…lol

We had a wonderful afternoon. The weather was beautiful, so I walked around and took pictures of Camerons new house. It sits right on the edge of town, on a dead end street a block from the Illinois River. Next to the back hard is a huge ravine that winds down to the river. It is full of huge trees and brush. A haven for birds and wildlife. When I walked back their, I seen several white tailed deer run up the hill on the other side. It is so pretty. Cameron said he has deer in his yard all the time, even wander up at the windows of the house. The lady who he purchased it from said deer would come right up to her flower garden in front of her picture window. Wouldn’t that be so awesome to watch them as you sat in your recliner!

Big Ravine, winding to the Illinois just out of view
Back of his house and garage. He has car doors on both ends of the garage. Really nice
Front of his house.
Front living room with French doors into the Kitchen
Sliding doors to the front outside….
Kitchen with stairs going up to 2 bedrooms behind wall on the right
Other living room that he wants to convert to a dinning room

Cameron has found a home perfect for him. It was recently remodeled. It has 3 bedrooms, 1 down and 2 up. 2 living rooms, 1 could be closed off for winter if he would choose to, simply by closing the french doors and the other could be a dinning room. The garage is huge, 3 car I think, with a bathroom, 2 large garage doors and a wall of kitchen cabinets. It is like living in the woods at the edge of town. His job with Humpty Dump, driving and delivering dumpsters is only blocks away. He has come so far this past year. He continually keeps amazing us. Before we left, we celebrated Ed’s Birthday.”Happy 41st Birthday Ed” ……We had a cookout at Cameron’s. His garage is going to be quite handy for family gatherings.

Before we left I had to have Taco’s at “One Pawz Pub”. These are deep fried Tavern Taco’s. You can’t find them in Texas like this. Is this a northern thing? But they are so so good. Brandy was cooking and Scott was their also, so we all got together for one last time before leaving.

Finally we left, Tammy and Cassidy left first as she needed to get back in Texas to see where they would send her next. I road home with Rich and we took several days. Time to relax and take our time.

Then we Quarantined for 2 weeks cause it was the right thing to do…..

2020 Dolder Family Photos

Every year Tina has family photos taken. This year is certainly no exception. They are so Awesome that I decided I should put them into the blog. This has been a year like no other. Covid-19 arrived this year. It has caused a Pandemic across the world. Tammy felt that she had to answer the call for nurses in New York City. With in 3 days, Carly had moved to Tina, Ed’s and the kids. She became one of the family. So this year Tammy has been traveling on and off working with the Emergency Staffing Agencys. Carly has spent most of the year now with Aunt Tina, Uncle Ed, and Cousins Miley and Austin. Of course the Family pet Deedee. So this year Carly is included in their Family Album. These photos are so beautiful. The colors of the trees and leaves are so vivid. Carly looks so happy. Then theirs Deedee, you have to be fast to get a running picture of her. So here they are……

Pictures taken at Canalport Park in Morris Illinois by Jacquelyne Rochelle Johnson

Deedee is such a Doll…..3 years old
Deedee and her Dad
Deedee and her kids
Carly…..So Cute 8 years old
Miley looking so grown up……..Just turned 12
Austin….Almost 10….Watch out Girls
The Kids

On her way home this summer, Tammy found these T-Shirts

Gimme Me 6 Feet

Definitely a Sign of the times.

…….Aren’t They Just So Beautiful…..

Pictures taken at Canalport Park in Morris Illinois by Jacquelyne Rochelle Johnson

Carly Visiting the American Girl Store in Chicago

When Tammy was home, she decided to take Carly to Chicago to visit the American Girl Doll Store. American Girl Dolls are almost every girls dream. Carly had received an American girl doll for Christmas the year before. Santa gave her a WellieWisher doll named Willa

Unfortunately one her her legs had broken off, so they decided to take her to the doctor. So the planning for an exciting day began. Tammy received her text for their appointment.

Carly was so excited the night before. They got up early and headed for Chicago downtown by Watertower Place. Carly had her rolling backpack with Willa packed inside, and she dressed in her favorite Unicorn outfit.

It is about a 2 hour drive to the heart of downtown Chicago. They arrived a half hour early and walked around a bit and then came back for their appointment.

They finally went into the store. They waited her until they were taken and seated in the Cafe.

Carly was able to pick out the high chair that Willa would sit in. Then Willa was served her own little Hot Dog and drink…..“Isn’t it so cute”? Tammy said they cut of part of Carly’s straw for Willa’s glass….lol Willa needed a straw also. Cute....

Carly was served her lunch. Just look at all that food…..So Much for an 8 year old. lol.

She visited the X-Ray Station and the Eye Station. Finally she seen the doctor for Willa.

They said Willa had a defect, so they would exchange Willa for a new one…..“Really”…..”Wouldn’t be great if we could do that with our kids”. “We have a defect, lets exchange for a new model”….lol But, Carly went for that idea, she look Willa’s clothes off and exchanged her for a new doll. Finally Carly went shopping.

Look at all the stuff she bought. Boots, doll clothes and 2 new dolls.

WellieWisher……Kendall She is so pretty…
Nanea and a Book about her.

Nanae is an Original 18″ American Girl Doll. She is from Hawaii. The dolls actually came out in 1986, but Nanae was added in 2017. These dolls are every little girls dream. They are not cheap but they are so realistic. Their eyes open and close when laid down. The company has sold more than 159 Million of the books and more than 33 million of the different styles of dolls. They have many different lines and styles of dolls sold in their different retail stores, catalogues and website.

This is the WellieWishers line. Carly now has 2 of them. Willa and Kendall

Finally it was time to go after a very “FUN AFTERNOON”…..I’m sure this has made memories that she will never forget.

Wow……What a Shopper…..She looks like a Pro

This is one of her purchases. Nanea and Carly have matching outfits. “So Cute”…..

Tammy came back down to Texas to be on stand-for the next job. During that time she took up crocheting. She made 3 sleeping bags for Carlys dolls. She didn’t even have a pattern, she just designed, added subtracted stitches as she went.

She sent them home to Tina,s and Carly loved them. Nanae is in the blue, and Willa is in the pink. Kendall wasn’t their, as she was on a sleepover at home. Carly loved the little decorations that Tammy sewed on. They are little mermaids, unicorns, turtles, etc.

Tammy also crocheted a blanket for her. You can see a portion of it.

Carly loves her dolls. She does a lot of role playing with them. She is so creative in so many ways. Such an imagination. “It is a Gift”…..

……She is a Very Special Little Girl…..

Catching Up With The Family

This past June, we had lots of company. Tina, Miley and Austin came down again for a visit. Ed couldn’t get out of work. My Niece Julie, and daughter Jaylea, also came for a short week. It was her High School Graduation, and her 18th birthday. We all had a Great time. Tina and the kids arrived first.

They boarded a Southwestern plane in Chicago at Midway Airport. They had a stop in Houston but without a plane change. They went to get something to eat and drink and on the return the Captain invited them in the cockpit.

Of course Tina was shocked. The pilot actually left them alone for a few seconds and Tina was afraid that Austin would do something and push some buttons…..lol. That would be just like him too. Way to curious on what things do. But it was so nice of the Pilot to let the kids do that. I’m sure it seldom happens. Tina was so excited to get here. She loves the sun. We did quite a bit of swimming in the pool. They all love the water. She took Dad shopping for Fathers Day. She bought him New Shoes, A Blackstone Grill, and Accessories.

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Caption says “#1 Daughter and Son in Law” Shoes and Grill…..Yes, she is a Character….
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These were all the accessories to the grill for cooking.

Rich has been cooking on it ever since and loves it. He said it was the BEST FATHERS DAY present she ever bought. Rich and Tina decided to go to Progresso. She had some dental work to do and also pick up some meds. The border is open to essential travel. So as long as you are going for medical, dental or meds, they don’t bother you. I stayed home with the kids and we went swimming and also got out the electric trike.

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The kids love my Electric Trike. They were racing it with the golf cart.

Julie and Jaylea finally came on the weekend. They drove almost straight through. They had never been down here before. This was actually the honeymoon period of the Covid. We were through our initial lockdown and were opening. Our restaurants had just opened at 50 percent. I kept Julie and Tina informed ahead of their arrival as to the changing rules and our counts. We all felt safe enough to still have fun but be careful. We tried to cram in as much as possible. Julie wanted this to be a very special vacation for Jaylea. She was a Senior this year and had missed all her activities and Graduation parties because of the Covid shutdown. Furthermore, she was going to be 18 while they were here. So we headed to South Padre Island.

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We boarded this boat for the Dolphin Watch and Eco Tour
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We rode clear out beyond the breakers. You can see the white beaches on the other side.
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A Family of 3
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They dragged a net to the bottom for about 15 min. Then they showed all the fish and things….lol… they caught. They gave a description of each one.

I always enjoy the Dolphin Watch cruises. It is always so interesting to see what they find. They cruise around for a long time trying to find the dolphins. They are usually pretty successful. After that we went to Pier 1 to eat. It is a restaurant built on the closed pier. This is where we decided to celebrate her birthday to her surprise. When we were done, The waiters and waitress’s brought out a piece of cheesecake and candle and sang “Happy Birthday”.

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Jaylea was so Embarrassed. We all enjoyed the surprise
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Happy Birthday Jaylea…..#18…. A Big Step. Now your an Adult. Your parents don’t have to be responsible for your any more……lol
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This is the doorway to one of the touristy shops. We went shopping for beach toys, and souvenirs
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View from the inside…..lol….
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We stopped at Claytons to have a few drinks. Julie, Jaylea, Miley and Austin went to the beach.
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Julie and Jaylea at the edge of the mat at the Beach Patrol truck was coming by.
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From Claytons we drove down to the end of the road. The sand is always blowing and drifting on the roads. They use snowplows to keep them clear. It is so beautiful. Many people just park and walk over the sand dune to the beach. The public beach access points cost now. So that’s what we did.

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They all had such a great time. everyone has fun at the beach.

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The beach was busy that day with many of these trucks running up and down the beach selling soft drinks and ice cream.
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Down the road aways, is the horse stables. You can rent a horse and go for a ride. They come across the road and ride up the beach and back. Its a very popular thing to do

Now their was one thing Julie really wanted to do. Parasailing. Tina wanted to do it also. I was not sure, and we thought Jaylea would go also. We had to wait for the weather to be good and the wind to not be to strong. Finally after being canceled once, our chance came. Julie actually parachutes out of planes. She is not a novice either. She belongs to a club in Illinois. She holds a “Class B” license issued by the United States Parachute Association. Student License are rated A-B-C-D and continue from their. She even holds a license # B48666. She has already done 216 SkyDives. She is amazing. I could never even begin to do that. Julie was so excited to do this. So we set out on the shuttle boat to take us to the boat that would take us up. We all had life jackets on. We decided Tina, Miley and Austin would go together and Julie and Jaylea would pair up. I chickened out and decided to be a spectator. We arrived on the boat and climbed aboard. Tina and the kids strapped into the harness apparatuses that you wear.

They release the shoot and the boat takes off. The Parachute gently takes you back and up and Awaaaayyyy…..

You ascend to 350 feet I believe. Now when the kids went up, I thought Tina had wanted to get dipped. I told the boat driver to dip them in the water. So we watched and they gently came down and Yes……They were dipped. When they were reeling them in Austin was crying. He lost one of his water shoes….lol….OMG. He had other shoes in the car, but he wanted that one. It turned out, Tina didn’t want to get dipped….lol…..To Late……...So Now it was Julies and Jaylea’s turn.

Julie was ready, but as the girl was putting the apparatuse on Jaylea, she got scared and so no. We tried everything……but no…she didn’t want to do it. So last minute decision…..Julie said “Do you want to go”? Yikes….Quick thinking…..Now or Never….”OK”….

So up we went. I was so glad I did it. It was fabulous. I will admit I felt a little sea sick, but it was fun. I would do it again. Julie was just elated with joy. She was giggling and laughing. She loves the heights. But I guess for me, its another check on the bucket list. We had 1 more important trip I wanted to show them. Boca Chica Beach, a beautiful untouched beach on the gulf. On the way is what’s left of Boca Chica Village.

In the 1967 the town was founded and called Kennedy Shores. Around 30 small ranch style homes were built. The settlement was devastated by Hurricane Beulah later that year. It destroyed the restaurant and public utilities. Electricity was restored but the water system never was. They have huge storage containers and have water trucked in at each home. In 1976 it was renamed Kapernik Shores. By 1990-2000 the population was only 26. As of 2008 only 6 people were permanent residents. Many of the houses were seasonal or some were rented out for seasons. In 2014 Space X owned by Elon Musk, selected the Boca Chica area to be the location for their new Space Port and Control center. Little by little, they are trying to buy out all the residents. Many did not want this, as this was their forever retirement home. But Space X is slowly getting their way. The sleepy little desolate town is now surrounded by a growing construction site. The Launch site is up the road several miles.

One of the rocket pieces in the Construction yard.
This is the Spacehopper. It was their first successful flight on August 19, 2019. It flew up to hover altitude and then moved sideways to land on a landing pad. Entire flight was 57 seconds.

They have moved the Spacehopper to the side of the road, so everyone can see it as they pass. It reminds me of a flying silo or grain bin. Something out of Wizard of Oz and the Hurricane. Their is a great Video on You-Tube. Now just a block past the launch site is the opening to the Boca Chica Beach. We parked on the sand and spent the next several hours playing in the water and sand. Many people were out their fishing and spending the day.

Pretty picture of Jaylea

Some of you might remember, Miley got stung last year by a Jelly Fish. It happened again.

Miley was in the water and came running up to me saying she was stung again. We went down by the water, and their it was. They can sting even when they have just died, so that is probably what happened. It was washing up on the sand and had just died. So what do you do with a Jelly fish if your Austin? You put it on your fishing pole as bait.

What a kid. It tolerated several casts of the line until it finally fell off and disintegrated.

Finally the morning came for Julie and Jaylea to make that 24 hour drive back home. We managed to be able to do many of the things I wanted to show them. But theirs more adventures for the future.

The girls look really happy.

The girls had to be exhausted. We crammed so much into their days. We even made it to the “Wall” at the Mexican Border. Now that is something everyone should see. They had a safe trip home, and Hope they had a good time…..

Please Come Back Again…. Their so much more to see and Do…..

Austin managed to get more fishing in. He so loves to fish. He really thought he would catch a shark….So Tina and I made 1 more trip back to Progresso.

We got up early one morning and left the kids at home with Grandpa. We didn’t want to take the kids with the Covid situation going on right now.
She so enjoyed eating in Arturo’s…..Illinois had their restaurants closed when she came down. So this was a treat to eat inside.

After we purchased the last of the things we needed and we ate at Arturo’s, we got in line to leave. Of course, being the Rotary person she is….and President now actually, at her home club….She spotted a Progresso Rotary Garbage Can.

Who knew they had Rotary in Progresso Mexico….I’m surprised she didn’t want to go to a meeting.

We spent the rest of the time swimming, shopping and packing the Motorhome for our trip back to Illinois. We were all heading back for a month.

This is the sight you see as you Float in the pool…..It is hard to see, but the leaves just glisten and twinkle in the sun as the wind blows……So pretty. So relaxing to float in the pool and look up to this beautiful site as the clouds slowly drifty by….

Kitty Has Crossed his Rainbow Bridge….

About 2 weeks ago, on August 6, it was time for out beloved Kitty who was 18, to cross over the Rainbow Bridge. He was our Kitty, our best friend, and even our little boy who never grew up. He had developed such a personality in his retirement years. He had learned to communicate with us by his actions and just how he looked at us. We carried on conversations with him as if he was talking to us. You know he even “cussed” at us at times when we didn’t serve him properly. Lol He was such a good friend and companion. He had been very sick in May, and we thought he would leave then, but he healed and went on to have a great family vacation with us in the MH, heading up to Illinois and visiting family. He enjoyed the trip, seen all the kids. He had a good time traveling and came back home and had 4 good days, sleeping in bed with us, sleeping on Dad’s (Rich’s) lap draped over the arm of the recliner. That has really consoled us as we know he had a last trip visiting his home he grew up in and visited the relatives. He felt good and had 4 more days back home sleeping in our bed, spending time on Dads lap and on top of me as long as I was covered in a fuzzy blanket.

Kitty’s last photo, laying on Dad’s lap, on the arm of the recliner. His favorite way to end the evening….actually also their way to spend the day watching westerns.

Kitty came to our house in the fall of 2002.  He showed up on our porch one day and never left us.  He was already full grown, so we assume he was probably a spring baby.  We didn’t want a cat, as we still had a dog, Draven.  He did not like cats.  I feed him on the porch and found a Styrofoam box for him to stay warm in.  He didn’t really use it, he just wanted to come in.  I checked all over town including the vet to see if anyone was missing him.  He was a beautiful cat.  He had beautiful white and black hair, and was plump and healthy so I assumed he had belonged to someone.  Well to no avail, nobody claimed him.  I started letting him in.  I would carry him to the sofa.  Draven would bark and was not very happy.  Soon they both learned to tolerate each other and Kitty became a house cat.  Because we couldn’t think of a name, we just kept calling him Kitty.  

During those years, Draven and Kitty learned to get along.  They were never really friends as they did their own thing, but they learned to respect each other.  When they both entered a room, they would go and run up to each other and either smell or bump noses.  I assume it was their way to say “Hello”.  

This was his life in the house…….SLEEP…..
Our Draven…..He was part Beagle, and Lab.

Draven was also a very beloved pet in our house. He slept with us and patiently waited everyday at the door for us to come home from work. Dogs have so much personality, just like little people. But after a long good life, he passed away also just before Christmas in 2010. It was a very very sad occasion. But he was ready. He had a stroke several years before, I would carry him outside and hold him up to pee. He knew what to do, but just couldn’t stand or walk. Little by little he started to gain his strength back in his little legs. I remember how excited he was to be outside standing weakly on his own. He would stubble along excited, sniffing the smells in the grass. When he came to a very slight hill, he stumbled like a drunken soldier to stay on his feet. Finally his strength came back, and he could run and play again. He developed a tumor under his leg after that, but he kept walking. They say a cat has 9 lives…..Well so do dogs…..

Kitty Playing on the Bed

After Draven passed, Kitty had the house to himself. He didn’t need our attention like Draven did. He played but really not lot. He wasn’t a climber, so we didn’t have to worry about him getting up on shelves and counters much. Sometimes he did, but he was a quick learner. He didn’t like the grandkids when they were little. He would take so much and then nail them with his claws. lol. When they became around 7 or so, he decided they were Ok. Yes, he made most of them cry and bleed a time or two. He had very sharp claws. I would buy him the cardboard scratchers and he would make such a mess. He loved them. He could shred them in short order. His only really bad habit was scratching on the wood work. No matter what we did, he would sneak and still do it. He destroyed our new wood work in the living room doorway. He spent time in our bow window in the living room and watch the birds in the tree. He loved looking out the entry way window also. But he never had a real strong desire to go outside. When he did, it would scare him.

He lived a good quiet life in the house. He was so quiet that one time we thought he was lost. We hadn’t seen him. I called and called his name. Searched all over in his hiding places even down basement. I walked around outside and around the block calling his name. I thought somehow he got out and ran away. About 3 days later, I needed to get into the hall closet. It is a very small closet. I opened the door and their he was laying on the bottom on a towel. He slowly got up, and simply walked out as if he had just got up from a nap. Now we had all walked by him many, many times and he never meowed. Crazy cat. But he never meowed, he was so quiet. The best behaved cat ever. Always used the litter box also. He was happy to just exist in the house. Then we decided to retire in 2014, and go full timing in the Motor Home.

Kitty wasn’t to happy about this. We started to train him by taking him on short camping trips. I remember the first time we left the driveway. He had never been out of the house, nor did he want to be held and carried. It was shock enough to go out in my arms, as he struggled, but you should have seen him when the MH moved. As we drove out the driveway, we twisted and turned to make the curve. He was looking up and I thought he was becoming the Exorcist Cat. He head was going 240, and his eyes was bulging and he was making an awful shrill loud “meoooooow”…… Can you imagine what he was feeling and thinking as he felt his world moving and churning and seeing trees moving out the windows that had never moved before?. Poor Poor Kitty. But he soon learned to love the traveling.

He started to explore his new world while traveling down the road.
He would explore but not stay up their very long.
This was his favorite place when traveling….He loved to sit by Dad on his footstool.
He always wanted Dad to pet him. He never asked me when I was in the passenger seat. He always wanted his Dad, the man who never liked cats……lol….
When we were parked his footstool was by Rich’s recliner so they could sit together. Then he started to become a lap cat. He would paw at him and then crawl up in his lap. lol..
He liked sitting on me when I was covered with the fuzzy blankets. This was his favorite in the MH. He loved his fuzzy blankets.
He also loved sleeping in bed during the day. This little stuffed animal was left by Cassidy for us when we left. Again, he liked the fuzzy.

The summer of 2016 we went to work for Adventureland in Altoona Iowa. It was a Fabulous summer. We decided to buy a yard fence so he could spend time outside in the lush green grass.

Poor Kitty, he looked so sad.

He never liked that idea, nor did he like the grass. He didn’t want to lay down. He didn’t know he could even jump over the top, as it was open. We tried several times but it just wasn’t something he liked.

We tried to train him to a leash and halter. Nope, he hated it too. He would pull backwards and back out of it. ……..But isn’t that such a pretty picture of him…….

While we were at Adventureland, we decided to take a long weekend, leave the MH and travel in the little S10 truck home. Oh how he hated that trip. The truck was so small, he was hyperventilating. We stopped and tried to give him a break outside and I thing it made him worse. It was a rough 5 hours for him. And then we had to go back……But he survived. In 2017, we went back to Illinois in the car from Harlingen Texas.

I bought him a soft sided carrier and left it on the seat open. He crawled in and decided he liked it.

We used the carrier for the trip. We put the back seat down and had his carrier right in the middle so he could see between the seats. His cat litter was in back and his food and water on the floor. I was worried that it would be a repeat of his little pick up truck trip. Only this would be a 24 hour trip. He was so good. I kept him in until we passed the check points about an hour away from Harlingen. After that, he roamed the back seat and enjoyed the trip. All our luggage in the back gave him a mountain to explore.

Of course he had to close to Dad, so he climbed under the seat between his legs while Rich was driving……Such a character.Their feet are touching
Here is Christmas Kitty…..He was NOT IMPRESSED with us at all.

When we moved into the trailer he had so much more room to explore. We started putting up the Christmas tree again. He has always been good around the tree. He liked to lay on the tree skirt.

Or if a bag or something was laying on the floor, he had to lay on it.

I found this note on my door one morning……so Hilarious…..From Kitty’s Lawyer, Roberta….lol..

Kitty had a babysitter here at Eastgate. Roberta would come in a feed him and spend time with him. We used her several times when we were gone for a week or more. She was so good. She knew just what he was thinking. Like a CAT WHISPERER. Roberta called him Dash for Dashboard Kitty. ……lol….After we bought the trailer, Rich built a Mancave on one side for him. This spring, he built me a She-Shed. So one morning when we got up, this paper appeared on the door. So Funny, Kitty had filed papers on us for the house…..He even gave us rules on his litter box and food. That Silly Roberta, she wrote up the petition for him and posted the paper. Kitty like any other cat was always experimenting to find new places.

This is the shower in the Motor Home
I walked into the Kitchen, and their he was sleeping on folded towels.
This was a row of 12 stapled solo cups. I was making Sparkle Balls. He had to climb in the middle.
We received something from Amazon…..He loved the big box. We saved it until the styrofoam was destroyed. He would lay in their and flex his toenails.
He liked little boxes too.
He thought he had a new friend.

The last year or so, he started slowing down, but I think he was getting smarter and smarter. He was communicating with us more and wanting much more attention and petting. He loved his neck, nose and forehead scratched. When I was laying on the sofa, he would put his paw on my arm and gently flex his toenails until I either petted him or feed him. He developed so much more personality. He started to eat more table food. He never cared before. He liked cracker and potato chip crumbs. Kitty wanted to lick our ice bar and popsicle sticks. Then it was lick our Ice Cream bowls. He liked to sample things. Not much but he would taste several licks or bites and then be done. He started to be demanding about his food. He had dry food as well as treats. He wanted more and more. He would stand in front of you and just stare. I told him he had to meow for food. So I started to meow. Low and Behold he started to meow. So that became his new thing. He would stare and then start a soft meow until you moved. I was his food person.

He learned how to ask for water. After all these years he even learned how to put his foot on his plate when eating so it wouldn’t move away…

When he got sick in May, he vomited and had severe diarrhea. He was so bad, I thought he was going to die. He slowly got better. I took away all dry food and treats and gave him only wet canned food. Pet Smart recommended Pumpkin Puree. It is good for the Digestive System. He loved that also. He finally felt better again and acted normal, but he lost so much weight. He started demanding more food. Every time you moved or got up, he went to his bowl. I started to feed him more often but he never gained much weight back. If it wasn’t for his long hair, he would have looked so skinny. But he was feeling good when Tina and the kids came. They were here for 10 days and then we all went back in the Motor Home to Illinois. He had a good time with the kids. He got to see all the kids and they all petted him. We stayed at Scott and Brandy’s one weekend to house sit. They have 2 big cats, Seymour and Clyde. I usually keep him in the bedroom, but I let him out to explore the house. Twice he found one of the cats. It was so funny, his hair went up, he became a lion on the prowl. He chased them around the living room. I bet he felt so good…..like a BIG FEROCOUS CAT…...He enjoyed the trip.

Sleeping in the area over the cab. He looks so comfy and peaceful.
He was so relaxed and content on the trip.
This photo was taken on the way home after a long day of driving. Kitty had to lay close to Dad again.

After we got home, Kitty had 4 good days before he got sick again. He ate good. He slept in bed with us. In fact one morning I got up and he didn’t even hear me. He was sound asleep. He usually starts his nite sleeping next to his dad. So you know what that means. Rich moves over closer to me so Kitty can lay next to him and spread his legs out. lol. Rich would have to pet him and then tell him it was time to go to sleep. He would be happy, lay their awhile and then move to the foot of the bed. Thus was his routine for most of our retirement years.

Sometimes we would catch him in our bed taking his day time naps.
Such a cute face.

Around day 5 after being home, he as usual demanded his breakfast. Late morning all of a sudden he started to violently vomit. He started to arch his back and stand their. Then the diarrhea started. He slept under the kitchen stool all nite and didn’t leave the area. He was having severe diarrhea all morning . He was so much sicker than in May, so we made the decision that he should not suffer anymore. After seeing him get so sick last time, we knew it was his time. So August 6th in the afternoon, he made his way across the Rainbow Bridge. It was a very very hard decision, but we knew it was the right one. We never dreamed when he came into our lives 18 years ago, we would grow to love him so much. Kitty retired with us and had 6 great years being a traveling Retired Kitty. He was never to old to learn new things to do. He would spend hours sitting in our laps, especially Dads, as we watched tv. He became so loveable but yet independent.

I’m sure if he could talk, Kitty would say, he had a very long and a very Happy Life….. He gave us years and years of love and companionship.

Love That face…..He would cover his face with his paw when he was in a deep sleep.