3 Year Anniversary for the Blog….Aug. 25 2014

 

Hard to believe that 3 years ago I posted my first blog.  …..8/25/14….I know that date so well as it is also my …..”BIRTHDAY” ….. We had been planning on retirement for several years.  The date was coming nearer…..I turned 64 and I retired the end of Sept. 2014.  Rich worked till Nov. 1 and retired.  He turned 65, Dec. 25 2014.   We were so ready to sign up for Social Security, Medicare A and B and the whole ball of wax.  If truth be told, I would have probably been fired sooner if I hadn’t planned on a retiring date.  Things weren’t going well at Adv. Logistics…..I feel for all you guys still their……They pay a good wage, and good benefits, but they work you like a dog……They’ve lost lots of Really Good people through the years…..

So as the date came closer, we were getting so excited.  We had been accepted as Workampers starting Dec 1 at Eastgate RV & MH Park in Harlingen Tx.  I had been following several bloggers and asking questions about Fulltime Rvers for almost 2 years.  I started to think….”I Can Do That Too….I Can Write”…..This was going to be an Adventure that we had no idea how it would turn out.  What would we see, and do???  So I started to research on WordPress and set up my blog site myself.  I was rather amazed at myself.  I did it by trial and error and finally succeeded.  I wrote my first Blog and published it on Aug. 25 2014, my 64th Birthday.  My goal for writing these blogs was so that the kids and our friends knew what we were doing.  Hence the title…….And Let The Fun Begin……We wouldn’t have to explain to everyone our activities, they could just read about it.  As time went on, I realized  that someday these would all be lost in cyberland.  I needed a way to preserve them.  I also came to the realization, that everyone works back home.  The kids were busy living and working.  Time marched on, we were having fun with no schedules while they still had that regimented life style called work.  They weren’t reading all of them .  I found a company called Blog2Print that would print your blogs into books.  I pick the dates, the covers, set up the dimensions inside and they can print them to soft or hard back books.  So the printing began every 6 months.

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This was the first book that started it all.  First I printed them in paper back.  Every 6 months I print one, so I have 2 each year.  I try to make each one a different color and design.  Each book is running around 160 to over 200 pages.

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I decided with this last book to try a hard back copy.  It really wasn’t much extra.  We were so pleased with it.  I have been replacing them all now with the hard back.  The black one is the only one left.  I will be done before the year is out.  When I started printing them a book cost around $80 with shipping and handling…..They charge you so much per page after the initial 20 pages…..The last one just cost me around $130…..But they are so worth it….

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The pictures inside are pretty nice considering they are all from my phone.   I have the pictures made big and the paper is semi glossy.  Now as time has gone on my goal for the books has changed.

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At first it was about our travels and experiences.  Now I realize how much history we see.  When we are at a historical place, it seems so important to write about what we see and how we view it.  Take for instance the LBJ Ranch.  We lived President Johnsons time in office.  I want to take what I know from my time in life to what we see on the tour, and write about it.  Also the different anniversary dates that we pass each year.  We witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy on tv and in newspapers.  I feel it is important to write about that piece of history and what we seen and heard and felt during that time.  It is so important to tell the story of what we were doing at the time these events happened.  The kids nowadays aren’t really taught a lot of these things in history.  I try to research it and convey all the historical facts and what we witness to try to tell a full story.

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Also as family pictures and special events happen, they can be captured and preserved.  So many reasons to write these storys and make sure they are preserved for them and the grandkids.

This will be our gift to them, Our Storys……Our Legacy…..lol….(kids your not getting any money,  lol  you’ll have to be happy with these books)

But Rich and I are very “PROUD” of these books.  We hope that someday the family will enjoy reading them as much as we have enjoyed the experiences.  I really enjoy writing them.  I feel that its a talent I would have never realized if we hadn’t embarked on this adventure in life.  Life is good down here in Harlingen.  But only for the winter.  lol.  Sure is hot in the summer.  We do have so many other things to do yet.  We just renewed our Security License for Texas again.  We have other things we would like to do in the summers.  So time will tell what we do next summer.

………So Today I celebrate my 67th Birthday…..are we going out to celebrate????

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I’m afraid not…..Another 1st…..Hurricane Harvey……. is on its way in….We are not in the direct path, but we will be included in the outer bands.  Their calling for 4″ to 6″ of rain and up to 70 mph winds.  It will be landing as a Category 3 around Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.  They are doing evacuations right now.  Once ashore it could drop 22″ to 24″ in some areas.  South Padre Island campgrounds were evacuated today.  People boarding up windows.  Even though their not getting a direct hit, it is still front line to the Gulf.  Their expecting huge storm surges of water.  All beaches are closed and most people actually left for the mainland.  Today we took down our screen room, put in all the awnings.  Put away the chairs and everything outside.  The park went around and put away all the pool chairs and anything that could blow.  So we are all prepared.  So well spend my birthday enjoying ….Hurricane Harvey 2017….

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This picture is Thursday late afternoon, ready for the storm….Blue Sky overhead….Hard to believe that west of their behind the shed a hundred miles is  Hurricane Harvey 2017, developing from a Category 1 to a 3 at landfall.

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These are our new Personal Cards….Rather Cool I think…..Blog address on one side…..This picture was one I took last year as we left Adventureland….

Happy Birthday To Me….lol

Yesterday was my FRA Birthday.  I finally reached it….lol…What’s that you say?.  Well I just learned that from my good friend Randy, I went to school with.  His birthday was several days ago.   “FULL RETIREMENT AGE.   66   YEA”  Now you youngsters will have to wait later to reach your FRA.  I want to   “THANK EVERYONE”   who wished me Birthday Wishes the last several days.  It sure is nice to read and see all your messages come across FB.  It was just 2 years ago that I decided to start this blog.  It was my birthday, and I was in the final stages of working.  Wow.  So much has changed since then.  We have done so much.  It seems years since I walked out of Advantage Logistics for the last time.  Was It the Right Decision,  some of you may ask?   It sure was.  We have NO REGRETS.  It is the best thing we ever did.  We have seen so much and experienced so much in 2 years.  Their is such a big huge world out their.  So many wonderful places to see, and so many wonderful people to meet.  As I started the blog, the reasoning for it was so the kids would know what we were doing.  Since then, we have quite a following.  I’ll give you some statistics.   We have 424 followers, which isn’t a lot for some blogs, but I think its impressive.  In 2 years we’ve had 19,685 people read the blog.  So far I’ve written 108 posts including this one.  Most are about what we do.  A lot of history about the areas, and a lot about family happenings.  Also some thoughts on different subjects as to how I feel.  I always try to be fair and look at both sides of the issue.   After awhile, as I was writing these blogs, I was thinking that some day when we were gone, they would all be lost.  I felt their would be a lot of value in all of these to the kids, so I found a place to print them.  Its called Blog2Print.  It was a challenge figuring all this out but I did.  I now have received my 4th book of blogs.  I print them every 6 months.  This last one I printed in hardback.   So nice.  I sure don’t know why I didn’t before.  I think they are rather impressive.  Now I am happy that everything will be preserved for the kids and grandkids to hand down some day.

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So if any of you every wonder about life after retirement.  Remember their is a whole world out here to see.  Financially their are many ways to make it work.  You don’t have to be rich.  Workamping is a great way to make it happen.  You would be amazed at all the jobs and how many people are doing this.  It is also good for you to keep that schedule.  You need to have to do something everyday, or you could run into the danger of being a couch potato.  This is really a great life.  You can choose what you want to do.  Their are jobs to be found all over the USA, even Alaska.  Your retirement is what you make it.

So yesterday, on my birthday, we got up and didn’t really plan on doing anything, but then we decided to head north to Ankeny.  It isn’t far, maybe 10 miles.  They have an RV Sales their.  Our neighbor Dick and Mary Lou recommended it.  They have a little plastic thing that they use for hanging out socks and underwear.   It is sort of an umbrella looking thing with clothespins on the ends.  She loads them on from the washer and just hangs it out.  Perfect.  Many of us have washer dryers, but many of us hang out to dry. The weather has been so  warm it, theirs no need to run your dryer.  The convenience is huge.  I would hate to have to go to the laundromat with our schedules we had all summer.

So, we headed north to Ankeny.  Found the RV dealer.   We shopped in the store and found the clothes hanger thingy, lol, and also the rods you put in the refrigerator for traveling.  For those of you who don’t know, they make rods like suspension curtain rods to put in your frig. you put them across the shelves to secure your items on the shelves.  That prevents all your food from falling out when you open the door after you’ve been on the road.  We decided to look at all the new trailers and 5th wheels but they were all locked.  So much for that.  On up the road we drove and seen the sign for Saylorville Lake.   I had seen it on the map and it looked rather large.  So left turn and away we went.

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It turned out to be huge.  It was beautiful, the water was so calm and serine.  We drove in first to a deserted beach area, and then went on down to the Marina.   It was situated in a very large inlet off the lake.  The dock itself looked so steep and scary.  But all those house boats moored in the harbor area were so beautiful.

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We drove over by the side to an access road down to the harbor itself.

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Amazing large.  This was just a small part of the Marina.  Their was at least 3 covered areas of slips filled with boats.  Also a floating bar and restaurant.

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Their wasn’t much going on beings it was a Thur.  All people work on Thursday…..right….Except for us retirees…..We sat around for awhile, and watched 2 different boats unloading and loading their boats.  That’s always fun.  Things never go right and sometimes you can detect heated body language or overhear not so happy voices……lol…..Ive been their myself.  It’s so much more fun to watch.

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We followed the road over the dam and stopped on the pull off area.

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Their were a few fishing boats and a jet skier.  Onward down the dam and on the other side down by the spillway was a beautiful valley with a campground.  We drove in and parked down by the spillway.

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There were guys fishing on both sides.

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The guys on our side already had a pile of small fish.

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They used this net to catch the little minnow fish.

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They would throw it in the water and pull the draw string.  It would be full of the little baby minnow fish and then they would empty it into a bucket.  The minnows would then be used for live bait…….Free Bait…..Free Fish…..We watched them for almost an hour.  It was so peaceful, while the water from the spillway kept rushing and splashing down the river.  This river is the Des Moines River The Saylorville Lake is a reservoir on the Des Moines River.  It is 54 miles long, has a surface area of 9.27 miles.  It is 11 miles north of Des Moines.  The river then proceeds 214 miles to the mouth of the Mississippi River.  It was constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers for flood control.  We finally left and drove into Des Moines, visited a second hand thrift store…..Didn’t find anything…..Finally time for supper.   We ended up back near home at Prairie Meadows Casino. 

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They have a great buffet.  It was Barbeque nite.  We feasted on steak, ribs and all the extra, of course dessert…..Cherry Cheese cake for one…..ice cream….Mmmmm mmm good.  Last time we came, I put $20 in a penny machine and made $10….I cashed out and ran….So lets go do this again.   Their are 2 identical machines side by side.  They are Progressive slot machines.   I told Rich if there were people sitting in my machine I would leave.  We went up the escalator….turned the corner….It was empty…..We walked towards it and guess what…..just before we got their a man comes out of nowhere and sits in “MY MACHINE”……the other was empty……..I almost turned around, but decided…..Why Not….I put a $10 bill in…..started playing…..Wow guess what….with in 5 minutes I racked up $51.75.   hahaha…..The guy next to me kept loosing…..We cashed out and ran….again….

……….So Happy Birthday To Me………