Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Break Time

Nothing doing today. The weather was warm, but with intermittent showers, a good day to stay inside.   Duane sorted our finances and filed our tax return. I read a book.  To give the family a break we went to play pickleball  from 7-10pm.  There was a Mardi Gras theme this evening.  Strings of beads were hung at one of each net.  If you won a game, you took a string as your prize.  Halfway through everyone took a break and chose a piece of Mardi Gras cake.  The person who picked the piece with the (little 1/2” plastic) baby got to start each game with a two point handicap. This was the same group we played with Saturday morning (see Goofin’ blog).  They do a good job of circulating all the players and trying to make the play fun. (Of course, I took the camera intending to take some pix of the festivities, but forgot to take any!) This was our last chance to play for a while.  The wedding and all the attendant activities will be taking our time for the next week or more.

Later, gator,

Louise and Duane

Monday, February 27, 2017

General Business

Besides visiting family, we are here to help them get ready for (our youngest son) Jesse’s wedding at the house on Saturday March 4.  We started the day with fortifications at Denny's, a ritual we enjoy at least once every time we visit. (Jennifer usually opts for a sleep-in.)


While the grown-ups cleaned house and yard, I taught the kids a new card game.


Afternoon found Luke cleaning his room while Allie and I took a (1/2 mile) stroll to the river.


Along the way we caught a glimpse of the little pond Jeremy made (see Goofin’ blog).


The road stops at this little meadow above the river.  Jeremy is building a fishing shack here.  The bottom will be as is, the top (10’ above ground level) will be enclosed and partitioned into bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms.  The steps will go where the ladder is.


Right now the upstairs is a playground.


View to the left.  You can see where the ground drops off into a ravine.  At the bottom is


a little stream of clear, clean water.  He plans to dam this stream just a few feet from the river and make a clear water pond there.


View to the right.  That framework will be the front porch.  To the right you can see the top of the steps to the river’s edge and beyond that is the top of the boat ramp. 


View further right.  You can see the top of the stair rail on the left.  Jeremy says that the Sabine will flood this area about once a year, coming up about 40 vertical feet.  That black barrel (right rear) floated up there and stayed after the water receded.  The water reaches the top rail of the steps, but only reaches the base of the porch supports above.


View from the top of the steps


and from the top of the boat ramp (about 30’ down.)  The last time we were here we found water moccasins in the middle of this ramp.  None today.


View at rivers edge, upstream


and down.


Allie and I walked down, but Luke and I walked up.


We took a different route home, past the reading stand with swing underneath.  The house is on top the hill in the background.


We found some treasures along the way, but that’s another story.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, February 26, 2017



Saturday was a beautiful sunny and very chilly (l0w 50’s) day.  A good day to start out with some indoor pickleball.  On our return trip to the Glass Community Center in Tyler we found 10 people to play with. 

Action was hot and heavy all morning.  This group was very good about cycling all of the players in and out and took pains to pair different levels of players to insure a more even game.  Everyone played for fun.


Yup, that’s Duane in the bright orange shirt.


The afternoon and evening we spent with the family.  We cleaned up the yard and  stopped by this nice little pond Jeremy made.  The Granddogs thought the water delightful.


The dark one is Josie, a youngster.  Frosty is the old man.


Luke and I showed each other our latest rock collections.


Allie and I rooted through my book collection in the attic for interesting reading matter.



Allie sneaked one of the (outdoor) Grandcats into her room for a visit. She successfully sneaked him out again!


We rounded out the afternoon and evening with a board game interrupted by pizza for dinner.


A little tv  


and nighty-night!


More family fun coming up.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lots Of Things

We knew we were definitely not in Hill Country anymore when we encountered several differences:  more and bigger towns and cities,


and therefore, more people and bigger problems like construction and traffic.


There aren’t any hills to speak of, the short, sprawling, twisted limb live oaks give way to tall and stately white oaks, the junipers are replaced by tall pines. There are lots more green grass and water..



The main thing that East Texas has that Hill Country doesn’t is oil.  There are pumps like this everywhere, including in the middle of some very nice golf courses.


Shallow Creek RV near Kilgore (home of the Rangerettes and an oil muserm), is our new home for the next two weeks.  We return to this park every time we are in the area because the rent is reasonable, the sites are long and wide and concrete, and it convenient to our purposes


One of those purposes is pickleball.  We usually played at the Glass Recreation Center in Tyler, about 30 miles sw.


There were lots of people on three courts here in the gym.  (There’s a walking track on the balcony.)  This time, though we were the only two who showed up.  Turns out that since the last time we were here quite a few new courts have opened up in private housing communities in the area.  We were told that pickleball players show up here on Monday nights and Saturday mornings.  Most inconvenient for us.   O well, we practiced for 1 1/2 hours then went home.


After lunch we took the Eagle to Longview (about 20 miles ne)  It was a perfect day for a ride, but we took the bike out mainly to get it inspected, a Texas requirement for all vehicles/trailers before they can be licensed.  Our short stay at Roughneck H-D (roughneck refers to  oil workers) turned into two hours.  We had a brake light out.  Fortunately the service department wasn’t too busy to take a look.  We needed a new switch and a new bulb.  No prob., right?  Right, except to access the switch the tailpipe had to be removed.  O well, we learn to roll with it, don’t we? 


While we waited we looked around the store then walked across the street for some shoppin’ at Sam’s Club.  Finally released with a perfect inspection, we headed toward our last stop and the main reason we come to Kilgore,




family.  Son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jennifer, gkids Allie and Luke welcomed us with open arms, lasagna for dinner and some catch-up conversation before time for the kids to go to bed and for us to head home.


We will have lots more visits to this house before we leave.  Our son Jesse and his fiancĂ© Kaitlyn will be married here in a little over a week, so we will be seeing our other kids and grandkids as well.

Fun times in store!

Louise and Duane

Friday, February 24, 2017



Moving day on a brilliantly sunny Tuesday.  We said drove east out the beautiful Hill Country with our iffy electronics connections,


and into the land of interstates, large cities, big box stores, and traffic.


Buc-ees welcomed us back.



This is half the pumps.


Thirsty?  They have anything you want to drink including an extensive wine collection.


Hungry?  This is a small section of their snacks.  Don’t worry about parking,  there is a huge lot with room for everyone.


Temple was our stopping place for the evening.


With only a few missed turns we managed to find the Temple Elks Club, get signed up and


tucked in with water and electric.


Duane was frazzled from driving in traffic and construction. He wasn’t planning on unhitching but we were too sloped for comfort.  Since he had to unhitch he decided to find the local H-D store.  On the way we found this beautiful city park.



Inside Duane talked himself out of this really cool $26 tee shirt and into a $135 pair of new riding boots!


After deciding that we didn’t want to trade in the Eagle for a new bike, we maneuvered through the massive I35 construction project (it went for miles like this), fueled up and crossed the road to our last stop—dinner at Texas Roadhouse, compliments of a Christmas gift card from one of our kids.


Comfortable full of prime rib and steak fries we went home and rested up for the rest of our drive tomorrow.

Tomorrow—the Piney Woods of East Texas.

Louise and Duane