Saturday, December 28, 2013

Our Christmas

Lavon, Texas
Lavonia Park
Weather Condition; High 48 Low 34, Clear

We spent Christmas evening at my brothers. It was really good spending the holiday with family.

My family is kind of difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.

My mother married early (@13) at 16 she had me and was already divorced. She remarried again and had another child (Kay). That marriage didn’t last long either. At 22 mom was remarried and had another child (Brenda), that marriage lasted thirteen years. That gives me two half-sisters by my mom.

My dad remarried and had three children, Becky, Dana and Troy. That adds two more half-sisters and a half-brother. My dad died in his forties and his second wife died early as well.

I could write a book about my family!!!!!!!

Anyway, I’m proud to say I have four sisters and a brother.

My Brother,Troy and sister, Becky 


I don’t see my siblings very often. This Christmas was a rare occasion and I was able to visit with a sister and her family that I haven’t seen in about year. I’ve been lucky enough to stay in close contact with my brother and his family for the past few years.

My brother invited everyone over to his house for a wonderful feast. Everyone brought covered dishes and he cooked a ham and fried a turkey.



The food was delicious and the chance to see nieces and nephew with their children was wonderful.



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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ice, Ice and more Ice

Lavon, Texas
Lavonia Park
Weather Condition; High 46 Low 26, Clear

We haven’t posted lately because things have been kinda of crazy.

We opened the park up on the 18th of November.

We had a close friend that was hospitalized numerous times and suffered through several surgeries in a short amount of time. We are happy to report that he is now recovering and getting better every day.

We had early ice storm that left us without power off and on for several days. Luckily we have really great friends that brought us their generator to use. We were also lucky enough that the roads had cleared enough for them to bring the generator to us.


The ice stayed around for several days and did a good amount of damage to the trees here in the park.

We had five other RVers in the park that suffered with us. Those people are from the far north and this weather didn’t bother them much at all.

Today the ice is all gone and the temperatures have warmed up to a tropical 46 degrees!!!

The following pictures show some of the ice and tree damage.





Lots of naps seem to help keep you warm! Abbey takes a nap wherever she can get it


Odis just snuggled up with a favorite toy to keep him warm!



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Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Storm in Northeast Texas

It has been sleeting and we've had a good amount of freezing rain in the last 24 hours





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Monday, November 18, 2013

Now We're Winter Gate Attendants Too!

Lavon, Texas
Lavonia Park
Weather Condition; High 69 Low 46, Clear

Plans have changed for us once again! We were asked if we would consider bidding on a winter gate attendant contract here at Lavon Lake. We bid and were awarded a contract.

Looks like we’ll be staying here this winter.




We’ve had a great time working as gate attendants here at Lavon Lake and the extra money really came in handy when I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery back in May.

Staying this winter it will afford me the opportunity to completely pay off my hospital debt and spend more time with friends and family.

We plan to get back on the road and do some traveling this summer.

It will be interesting to see how well we do here this winter. The winter doesn’t normally last very long here in north Texas but it can get cold. We will definitely miss all our winter Texas friends and the milder weather.

We sent an email out to our winter Texas friends and called family to let them know we would be staying put. Needless to say, our friends and family here was very glad to have us stay. Our winter Texas friends made us feel missed.

This park has been closed since the government shut-down and it finally opened back up today. Dawn and I spent the first part of the day cleaning the gate house. We have checked in two campers today.

Dawn took a few pictures of our new park this afternoon.  







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Monday, October 21, 2013

Hint of Fall

We are spending a couple of week with friends in north east Texas with friends. The fall colors are starting to slowly appear.




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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Things Change!

Lavon, Texas
Lavonia Park
Weather Condition; High 92 Low 72, Clear

Where do I start?

Well, I’ll try to make this explanation as short as possible. Back last winter Dawn and I bid on a gate attendant job at Lavon Lake through Our Lands and Waters Foundation. To our surprise, we were awarded a contract at the lake’s smallest camping park. Clear Lake Park only has 23 camping sites, 2 boat ramps and a day use area with picnic tables.

We learned a lot and had a great time being gate attendants. Clear Lake Park is not open year round. The park is only open April 1st thru September 30th.  On September 13th we received a call from Our Lands and Waters telling us that they no longer had a contract with the U.S Army Corp of Engineers, which meant that we no longer had a contract either. After review made by the Army Corp legal team the Army decided that the contracts were not legal. They have been working like this for four or five years!

Anyway, Dawn and I agreed we would stay on and finish out the season for free. They do provide us with a site, electric, water and sewer.

Then we were asked if we would consider moving to another year round park across the lake to help out a gate attendant that need to have some time off.

We said sure. On September 28th we packed up and moved to Lavonia Park. Our new site sits up on a hill with a view of the lake and great views of the sunset.


We now have a covered site which is really nice too. The only real problem is the railroad track behind us. Luckily the train doesn’t run that often.


We got all setup at our new site and ready to go to work when the government shut down.

The campers had to leave and the gates were locked. Now we sit here with a park all to ourselves with the exception of the other gate attendants and a couple of volunteers.

We were told we could leave if we wanted but we chose to stay.

So now we are sitting here waiting to see if the government is going to reopen before we are due to leave.
  

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Plano BalloonFest





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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Strange Night

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 94 Low 76, Cloudy

Things have been kinda hectic around here this past week. I’m not able to go into details about that right now but, I’ll explain as soon as we know for sure what’s going on.

We had another one of those strange encounters last week.

It was about 9:00 P.M. Dawn and I was on duty in the gate house, watching T.V. Someone walked up and knocked on the window. Dawn nearly jumped out of her chair. We both looked up and saw a woman standing at the window. Dawn opened the window and said hello.

The woman said hello, she asked what it cost to enter the park.

Dawn told her the day use area closed at sunset.

The woman said she really wanted to go swimming and could pay the $4.00 fee.

Dawn told her she was sorry but the park was closed and we couldn’t let her in.

The woman said she had walked all the way from Hedgecox to go swimming.

It was very warm out, so Dawn offered her bottled water.

The woman said she would love bottled water.

I took the bottle water out of the fridge and handed it to Dawn. This was my first close up look at the woman. She was a nice looking woman that looked to be in her mid to late 40’s. She was wearing a nice dress, beaded necklace, earrings and had her hair pinned up. She was carrying a ladies wallet

Dawn gave her the bottled water.

The woman took the water and walked back towards the road. I watched her out the window. She stopped when she got about twenty feet from the building. She looked up to the sky for a few seconds. She then took the lid off her water and poured some of it over her head.

I decided I needed to call a park ranger. I continued to watch this woman as I talked to the ranger on the phone. He told me it would be best to call the sheriff.

I then watched the woman pour water down the front of her dress.

I looked away for a second so I could hang up my phone. When I looked back out the window, the woman was gone. Gone!

Dawn asked me where she went. I told her I didn’t know, she just disappeared!

Dawn got in the truck and drove over to the trailer to get our spotlight.

She also shined the headlights down the only road in and out of the park and there was nothing.

I continued to watch out the window when I noticed a bright light on top of a telephone pole at the park entrance.

I told Dawn there was a strange light at the top of the pole. She looked out the window. Again, the top of the pole lit up and then went away again.

I went outside with the spotlight and shined the light up on the pole and show nothing.

OMG! Are we going crazy?!

The following morning we called the electric company and ordered a driveway senor alarm.



Stay Tune for Updates!!!    

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Another Day, Another Dollar!

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 104 Low 80, Sunny

We’ve been spending our off days with friends and family. That is definitely one of the perks of being so close to home this summer. We have friends that drop by for visits. My brother also stops by every now and again.  We sometimes meet friends for dinner or lunch. It’s been great catching up with them while we’ve been here.

The local people in this area are very nice. They stop by and give us fresh fish that has been cleaned and bagged, ready for freezing. One man comes by on a regular basis and brings us produce from his garden, another brings us his extra newspaper. We’ve had people invite us to their campsites for dinner.

Yesterday a local couple that camp here on a regular basis stopped by and gave us popsicles.

We look forward to coming back next summer.

It’s been kind of slow here because both our boat ramps have closed due to low water levels. The entire lake only has a few boat ramps open. It’s getting bad.

If we don’t get some decent rain here, the lake is going to dry up.

The Labor Day weekend was busy. All the campsites were reserved. There were however, many that didn’t show. People didn’t come out because it was too hot and the boat ramps were closed.

Oh, and we are under a burn ban too. We NEED rain!!


We did have one incident last week that was funny;

Last week an older gentleman came to the gate house and paid his $4.00 day use fee and said he was going to do some fishing. We gave him a day use pass and let him in the park. A short time later Deputy Dawg (Dawn) was doing her morning rounds when she noticed a truck parked down on the water’s edge. This is a No, NO. There are signs posted that read; No Driving on Grass.


She approached the man and told him politely that he couldn’t drive his truck to the water’s edge and that a park ranger would write him a ticket for that. He begins to complain to her that he has difficulty walking and there wasn’t any place for him to fish. He told her he wanted his $4.00 back. He told her it was ridiculous that he couldn’t park at the water’s edge. He was ranting and raving so Deputy Dawg turned and walked off.

Well, needless to say, he was pretty upset when he arrived back at the gate house. He got out of his truck and marched over to the window, yelling about how he was run out of the fishing area and wanted his money back.

I politely explained to the gentleman that his money had been receipted and that I could not give him a refund. He shook his figure in my face and told me that he hoped I liked my job because he was about to have it.

I asked if he wanted the phone number for our headquarters and he told me he didn’t want to bother me with that. He was going to look it up himself.

He marched back to his truck and told me I was a DUMBASS as he drove off.

I didn’t get the chance to tell him that I’ve been called worse in better places then this!!!

This was before 7:30 A.M. We hoped this wouldn’t be an indicator of what kind of day it was going to be!!!!!


Luckily, the day ended up being pretty pleasant. 

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on cruzin2some.blogspot.com is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of cruzin2some.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Friday, August 16, 2013

Loud Children and Louder Parents

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 89 Low 70, Sunny

I’ve always admired people that had a good listener’s ear. I’ve often wished I could be a good listener instead of a talker. I’m finding with age, that I’m a better listener.

Dawn is one of those people that is a good listener. That is one of the great traits she inherited from her mother. For more than twenty years Dawn has listened to me run my non-stop mouth. She has watched me put my foot in my mouth on many occasions because of my non-stop mouth.

I don’t talk near as much as I did when I was younger and thought I knew everything. That was back in the day when I really thought everyone wanted to hear all about me because that was what it was all about! My jaws could flap from the time I got up until I went to bed. It occurred to me one day that even though I was talking all day, nothing I said was of any importance! I must have driven everyone around me CRAZY!

As I stated earlier, I’m getting somewhat better with age.

Now days, Dawn talks almost as much as I do. She says that’s only because now she has more of a chance!

A major difference is that now days I’m more apt to speak my mind. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

Here’s an example;

Dawn and I stopped into a local restaurant the other day for some lunch. It was a little after noon on a Wednesday and there was a line to order.

We patiently stood in line and placed our order. The small restaurant was crowded and the noise was loud.

After placing our order we found a table in the corner of the restaurant. The noise intensified and people were looking around. I stood and looked over a divider wall behind me and across the restaurant were five women setting at a table and beside them were two booth full of children ( at least 8) The oldest child looked to be five or six.

These women had placed their children in the two booths and were sitting almost with their backs to them as they talked.

These children were climbing over the tables, under the tables and jumping up and down on the hard booth seats.

Dawn and I sat in the corner trying to talk and enjoy our meal but it was almost impossible. The noise was so loud. The noise was not just from the children but from the mother’s as well.

These women were talking over the noise of the children. Across the restaurant we could hear the entire conversations these five women were having.

No one else in the place was talking; they were just watching these children and the mother’s that were ignoring them.

Several times I stood to look over the divider wall to see what the children were screaming and yelling about. Dawn told me to sit down and eat my lunch.

I did as told.

We finished our meal and I went to get a refill on my drink and could not pass up the opportunity.

I walked over to the table were the mothers were sitting and leaned over and told them, this is a perfect opportunity to teach their children how to behave in public.

Boy, did I get some strange looks! One mother told me that she was sorry if their children offended me. She said, they’re just children.

I told her that her children didn’t offend me. What DID offend me was that fact that they were talking so loudly to each other so to be heard over their children. I then said that everyone in the restaurant could hear their entire conversation and that no one else in the place was able to have a conversation because they were talking so loud.

They looked at me as if I were some scary being from another planet.

I smiled and walked to the counter to get my drink refill. I noticed the manager standing on the other side of the counter looking as if she was on the verge of exploding.

While at the counter one of the children ran past me to the self-serve ice cream machine and stuck his figure into the spigot of the machine. He had his figure stuck as far as he could get it. His mother told him he needed a cone and didn’t bother to tell him not to touch the spigot. I decided not to have my usual cone before leaving!

Dawn and I were shocked at the behavior of the children, but even more shocked by the behavior of their mothers.

We just can’t understand why these women thought that any of this was appropriate behavior in public.

I would have been so embarrassed if my children even looked as if they were going to get loud or act up in a restaurant.  I would have been more embarrassed if someone approached me to tell me I was being loud.

Maybe it’s just me!


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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another Day as Gate Attendants

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 101 Low 77, Sunny

Where does the time go? There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day for us lately.

We must be doing a decent job as gate attendants because we were asked if we’d be interested in working here this winter. Would love to but have plans to be in Rockport for at least one more winter. Plus, we’ve bought my mom a plane ticket to visit us in Rockport this winter.

Let’s see, where do I start? We’ve been busy girls to say the least.

The weekend before last, our good friend and her family camped out here at our park and we spent time visiting with them over the weekend.

This past weekend on Saturday we co-hosted a house warming party for a dear friend that bought her first house. That was a lot of fun. Dawn and I prepared the food for the party.

On Sunday we did a bar B Q dinner for some friends that volunteer. They’re leaving early this year in order to attend their grandsons wedding. We had a nice dinner with Jerry, Billie and Joe. Dawn smoked a brisket. She also made cole slaw, cheesy potatoes, baked beans, rolls, apple pie and strawberry cake. Man, it sure was good!

Sunday evening there was a drowning at our park. We had all kinds of emergency personnel with sirens and lights entering the park. We didn’t find out until later that a 49 year old man and his son had gone fishing. The man tied his boat up in three feet of water and swam around a couple of minutes. He went down and never resurfaced. EMS did CPR but he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Very sad.

On Monday late afternoon we received a phone call from my son. He said he was in the hospital with a head injury. “WHAT” He said he was playing hockey and a guy took a cheap shot at another player and hit my son in the head with a hockey stick knocking him out. He ended up in the hospital the following day with a severe headache.  He is 32 and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was having a hard time making sense of what was going on when I talked with him. He was given pain killers and really wasn’t sure what was going on either. A mother’s worst nightmare!

He was making more sense this morning and told me he was fine and ready to get discharged from the hospital.

Also on Monday our rear A/C unit started making a squeaking noise and we had to call an RV repair service out to check on it. Today they cleaned both units and said the fan motor on the rear unit is going out. Of course it is! It is the hottest month of the year!!!

Anyway, he cleaned the units and will be back next week to replace the fan motor $$$$$$$$$.

The fan motor is cheaper than a new unit!

Besides all that, we are working at the gate house and trying to keep cool.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on cruzin2some.blogspot.com is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of cruzin2some.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day Four

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 83 Low 71, Overcast

As usual we’ve been busy. We’ve been working most weekends until now.

It’s been business as usual until Tuesday night. I’ll make this as short as possible!

On our fourth day we have reports to print and cleaning of the gate house.

Anyway, on Tuesday night about 9:30 P.M. we were busy taking care of our duties when Dawn noticed a car slowly approaching the gate house. As it got closer it pulled towards the exit. Dawn said this car is about to drive through the exit.

I looked out the window and watched the black sports car jump the curb and come to a stop about twenty feet from the front of the gate house.

As we watched out the window we wondered if we were about to be robbed or was this another drunk. We continued to watch the car and a moment later the car door opened and an elderly gentleman stepped out.

He walked around the gate house to the window and asked Dawn if he could pay her twenty dollars to use her phone. Dawn told him she wouldn’t take his money but she would be happy to make a call for him. He told her that he was lost. He said he was trying to get to his daughters house. He said he left his home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas at one this afternoon and must have made a wrong turn. That drive should have taken 3 to 3 and half hours.

He gave Dawn a phone number but it was two digits short. She asked him to repeat the number. He did, and this time he was one digit short. He repeated it again, this time he had enough digits. She put her cell phone on speaker so the gentleman could hear. It rang a couple of times and then a recording answered repeating the number dialed and said it was not available. The gentleman leaned forward to the phone and said Wendy, its dad and I’ve been driving around trying to find you. Dawn hung up the phone and I stepped into the restroom with my cell phone and dialed Collin County Sheriff dispatch.

When dispatch answered, I told them who I was and told them an elderly man showed up here claiming to be lost and seemed disoriented. The dispatcher asked the gentlemen’s name.

I stepped out of the restroom, asked him his name and he called out his last name several times. I repeated his name to the dispatcher. The dispatcher said, thank god. We have been looking for him. He told me to keep him there and do not let him leave. He said a deputy was on his way.

Meanwhile, the gentleman asked Dawn if she could call 911. He said his daughter lived next door to the Princeton police department and he was supposed to meet her there. Dawn told him that I had called someone for him.

I stepped out of the restroom and nodded to Dawn to let her know someone was on their way. I then stepped outside and began talking with the gentleman.  Seeing him in the light, I could see he was frail, shaky and appeared to have problems with his balance.  Dawn offered him bottle water. He said thanks that would be great. We grabbed a chair from inside the building and pulled it outside the door.

He sat in the chair and drank the water. I did my best to keep him talking so the wait wouldn’t seem too long. He told us he was going to spend a couple of days with his daughter. He seemed to enjoy the conversation and was talkative.

It took roughly a half hour before the deputy drove up.

The elderly gentleman seemed relieved to see the deputy. The deputy asked to see his driver’s license. The gentleman said his licenses were in his car.

I told the deputy his car needed to be moved. The deputy asked if one of us could move his car for him. He said yes and handed me his car keys.

This is a new model black Chevrolet Camaro with dark tinted windows.

I got into the car, started it and then prayed that the front end wouldn’t get hung on the curb as I backed it up.

I backed off the curb without and damage and backed around the landscape island to the proper side of the gate house. This type car is difficult to see out of in the dark.

The gentleman opened the car door for me and I got out of the car. The deputy again asked for his licenses. The gentleman reached inside his car and retrieved his wallet. He handed the deputy his license. The deputy looked at them and then told the gentleman he knew exactly where he needed to go and would give him a ride.

I told the gentleman he needed to get his overnight bag and lock his car. He said he didn’t have a bag. The deputy asked if he was sure he didn’t have anything in the car he needed to take with him.

The gentleman said he didn’t have anything. He then locked the car and we helped him into the back seat of the deputy’s car.

The deputy told us thanks for our help and drove off.

The following afternoon a woman came and got the car.

We’re not sure what the real story was with this gentleman but we are grateful that we were able to help him.

Never a dull moment, REALLY!!!!!


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Field of Sunshine

There are several large fields in the Allen, Texas area loaded with some beautiful sun flowers. It's like a field of sunshine!





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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stepping Easy!

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 93 Low 71, Sunny

It’s startling to get really HOT around here. Even though we both grew up in north Texas, neither of us cares for the heat of the summer. It might be we’re just getting old!

We are still enjoying our gate attendant job but we are looking forward to returning to Rockport for the winter. We both miss south Texas.

Rockport is a sleepy little town with friendly people and we feel at home there. Today we bought my mom a plane ticket to Corpus Christi. I told her for her Christmas gift we would be flying her down to visit us in early December. She is very excited and wants to see the beach and see all the sites.

It will be fun to show her where we spend our winters.

We are almost half way through with this year’s summer gig as gate attendants and I can say it has been fun and interesting!

We sure miss Teddy and Barbara. They are the first partner gate attendants we had the pleasure of working with. They were only subbing here until the other gate attendants (Joe and Dorothy) arrived from Arizona. They didn’t get here until mid-May. The delay was due to Joe having heart surgery.    

Joe and Dorothy are nice people and have been doing this work for many years.

We have met some really nice people while doing this job. We have met people from all over the states and many from this area that frequently camp at this park.

We are looking forward to returning here next summer. 

We are busy on our four days off. This week we had doctor appointments, picked up eye glasses, grocery shopping, laundry, lunch with friends and built new steps.

That’s right, I built new steps. The indoor steps in our fiver are steep and high. There are only three steps with a rise of nine inches each. That’s tall for short legged people. The steps are only eight inches each.

To remedy this, I took some free lumber and built steps over our existing steps. I framed them up the have a six and half inch rise with ten inch steps. The framing work wasn’t very pretty but it works. Remember I’m NOT a carpenter!


We spent ten dollars on carpet which almost matches our existing carpet and twelve dollars on screws and nails.

This is the finished product.



Dawn loves them and it’s much easier to go up and down now.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on cruzin2some.blogspot.com is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of cruzin2some.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tire Spikes !

Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 83 Low 62, Partly Sunny

Things here have been kinda laid back until last night. It was about 11:45 P.M when Dawn and I both woke up to the sound of a vehicle speeding past our fiver. There is a circle drive in front of our fiver that is used for a turnaround for vehicles that decide not to enter the park. We’re use to the occasional vehicle driving through at night. People do get lost!

This is the circle drive

Last night the vehicle drove around the circle several times kind of fast. We were watching out the window when the vehicle finally stopped in front of our fiver. A woman stepped out of the SUV. She walked past our fiver and went to the fiver behind us. That fiver belongs to our partner gate attendants. She knocked on the door. The sleepy gate attendant opened the door slightly. We couldn’t hear the conversation but it didn’t last long.

She soon returned to her SUV and sped off to the exit side of the gate house. Dawn and I watched as the woman drove past the DANGER – Tire Damage Sign and put the pedal to the metal. She drove right over the tire spikes going the wrong way. All four tires blew. She drove half way to the boat ramp before coming to a complete stop.

This is the warning Sign which is by the way, Very Bright at night!

Dawn and I just looked at each other in shock! What on earth is going on?!

We watched out the window waiting to see if she would walk back to the entrance of the park. About forty-five minutes later a deputy drove through the circle drive very slowly. We turned on the porch light and the deputy stopped in front of our fiver.

I went out to meet him and see what was going on. He told me the department had received a call from a woman saying she was lost and that she had driven over something that had flattened her tires. The deputy said they knew exactly where she was. He asked if we saw anything. I told him what we saw and told him she was in the park near the boat ramp.

He asked me to unlock the gate and to keep it open so the tow truck could also get in.

I unlocked the gate and the deputy drove in. It was approximately thirty minutes later when the tow truck arrived.

Thirty minutes later the tow truck left the park with the SUV. The deputy stopped to help me lock the gate and to tell me that the woman was very lost and very upset. He said he believed she might have been drinking earlier in the evening. YOU THINK!!!!

Needless to say, it was 2:30 A.M before Dawn and I got back into bed. We got up at 5:30 A.M this morning and already had a line of fishermen waiting for us at the gate house!


Like I said before, Never a Dull Moment Here!!!!

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on cruzin2some.blogspot.com is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of cruzin2some.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Travel Channel- Rock My RV

Interesting new show premieres Sunday May 26th at 9:00 P.M. EST.

From the creators of Overhaulin’  and the producers of Extreme RVs comes a new series on The Travel Channel called Rock My RV!



Monday, May 20, 2013

Being a Park Gate Attendant


Being a gate attendant for the US Army Corp of Engineers is sometimes trying! We didn’t go in without doing our research.

We are actually contractors with Our Lands and Waters Foundation who partner with the US Army Corp of Engineers. This is the web site in case anyone is interested in checking out the gate attendant bidding process (http://ourlandsandwaters.org/index.html)

We’ve read articles and blogs written by people that have been gate attendants. Opinions range from it was a lot of fun to we’ll never do that again.

We both have a local government background and are very familiar with all the red tape, rules and regulation that working with the government entail.

Getting a contract to be a gate attendant is no easy feat. First of all, it is difficult to learn anything about the bid process. You must bid on the gate attendant jobs as a contractor. You must be bonded by an insurance company with a VIP (Volunteer in Parks) bond.  The bond is not expensive, cost $75.00 to $100.00 per year. The purpose of the bond is for theft. We ran into a problem getting bonded because NOT all insurance companies have an underwriter that does VIP bonds. It took us a while but we finally found an insurer in Rockport, Texas.

You also have to provide your own office and cleaning supplies. The office supplies needed are minimal. We use permanent markers, ink pens, highlighters, staples, stapler and tape. One a week we mail a money order and a report to the government. We have to pay for the money order and stamp. 

Once a week we drive 17 miles to headquarters to pick supplies and turn in more reports. We have to travel the furthest distance to headquarters than the other gate attendants because we are across the lake from headquarters.

We bought cleaning supplies so that we can keep the gate house looking good. We clean windows, sweep & mop floors.


The office supplies, postage, and mileage are all tax deductible. In 2 months here we have used maybe $20.00 worth of supplies.

What we were not prepared for was the lack of training on the reservation software and the first impression of the park rangers attitudes that the gate attendants were all a pain in the butt. We have since learned that the park ranger are very nice guys and generally deal with the same gate attendants year after year.

We are the youngest gate attendants at this lake and most of the other gate attendants are older than my parents.  Most of them have been doing this for a good many years. They all seem to enjoy the work. Some of the gate attendants are full-timers and about half are not.  Some do this to supplement their incomes and some do it because they don’t care to travel during the heat of the summer.

I can tell you that the gate attendants at this lake are some of the nicest people we’ve met.
The reservation software is very easy to use. If you do have a problem, you can call any of the other gate attendants and they are more than happy to help.


We are enjoying the job. We are meeting a lot of nice folks and having a great time.
We will work from April 1st to Oct 1st. The hours are long. We work four days on and four days off. Our hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. We’ve been told that we’re only making about $2.50 per hour. That’s fine with us. We’re not really doing it for the money as much as a necessity. We had to be in this area this summer due to a few medical appointments, school dedication, and wedding and family visits. If we have to be in the area, we might as well be getting paid for it! The extra money is nice to have too.

We’re paid for each day worked once a month via direct deposit and are provided a nice roomy site and all utilizes.


We work in a nice brick air-conditioned gate house with a restroom. We have our TV and a recliner.  I’ve had a lot worse jobs for much less pay and it didn’t kill me.

I realize this kind of work is not for everyone but neither is living in an RV!

Every day is a learning experience. We’ve met a lot of nice people and some really strange people too. We are looking forward to returning next summer. After that, we might check out other Corp parks for future jobs.


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Recovering


Princeton, Texas
Clear Lake Park
Weather Condition; High 75 Low 62, Cloudy

We’ve been busy girls lately. As I mentioned in my last post, Dawn had to rush me to the emergency room a week ago Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. That wouldn’t been such a bad thing except for the fact that we are 30 miles from our preferred hospital. Dawn suffers from severe night blindness and the roads here are dark, rough and very curvy.

She did a great job and we made it just fine. I was in terrible pain and the waiting room of the ER was full. I went in sat down and waited as Dawn parked the truck. I watched as the ER nurse took several people ahead of me. Dawn came into the waiting room and filled out the needed forms. The ER nurse again opened the door looked down at me and told me to come with her. She took me directly to a room and they began running an EKG and blood pressure.

My EKG was good. They moved me down the hall to another room. They did blood work and a sonogram. A short time later a doctor came in to say I had an infected gallbladder and would be admitted to the hospital in order to have surgery the following morning.  He then ordered pain meds and I was feeling much better a little while later!

At 2:00 a.m.  I was moved to a regular room. They folded out a recliner bed for Dawn. Needless to say neither of us got any sleep.

The following morning I had surgery to remove my sick gallbladder. It was late afternoon before I was released. We got home around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Luckily this happened on our first night off so we had 3 days to recover before going back to work. I relaxed for the next few days while Dawn ran like a chicken with her head cut off! She had to go to the laundromat, grocery store, bank and take our reports to headquarters.  She was running on very little sleep.

Thursday night she realized she must have left a load of laundry in a washer at the Laundromat. She called and the attendant said they found her laundry earlier in the day and put them in a dryer. When they were dry, they folded them. Dawn drove back to the Laundromat at almost 9:00 p.m. and picked up our clothes. She left a nice TIP for the girl that took care of our laundry.

On Saturday we went back to work. I didn’t do much. Dawn all the work. We weren’t that busy and that was a GOOD thing.

Yesterday was our first day off and we both slept in! We made a fast trip to Wal-Mart and came back home.

Last night there were constant weather warnings for severe thunderstorms and tornados. My brother who lives about twenty miles away sent us a text and told us to load up and come to his house for the night. We packed a bag, loaded up our fur kids and drove to his house around 9:30 p.m. There were 16 tornados in the north Texas area last night. We got a lot of rain and some wind but that was it. Dawn and I loaded back up into the truck and drove home a little after midnight. We finally got in bed about 1 a.m.

Needless to say, we slept in this morning! Today we did laundry and some grocery shopping. We were exhausted by the time we got back home. Now we are kicked back watching some TV. We need to get rested up before we go back to work on Sunday.   


Copyright Notice All text and photos found on cruzin2some.blogspot.com is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of cruzin2some.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010