2018 January 09 Tuesday

When I awoke at 6 a.m. the furnace fan was running but it was just blowing cold air. Which means I need to go out and turn on another LP bottle. It got down to 30 degrees last night outside but it stayed comfortable enough inside.

I sent a text to Ella. She said she was awake but had not gotten out of bed yet.

After breakfast (fortunately I had some roasted eggs already prepared so I didn’t need the stove) I exchanged the two empty LP bottles for full ones. There empties were loaded in the back of the truck and away I went..

My first stop was to top off the truck’s gas tank and run it through the car wash.

Next I want to the senior center and played games (Rummikub and Mexican train). I didn’t stay for the lunch if eggplant. Instead I went to Golden Chick for fried catfish.

When lunch was over, I stop to refill the LP bottles.

Next I went to the laundromat to do a couple loads. I needed to wash some denims.


When I returned home I started working on putting up more insulation around the RV.

2018 January 08 Monday

I spent the night at Adam and Leigha’s. The couch in the TV room makes into a bed. Once I found a spot between the support bars, it was alright. I didn’t sleep well though… different bed and no wife. I woke around four and shortly afterward Adam and Leigha left for their “gladiator training”. And at that time Dude came in and wanted on the bed with me.

After breakfast Tate, Emery, and I played Monopoly. I managed to loose everything by 9:30 while it took Emery until 10 to loose everything to Tate. He had hotels on Boardwalk and Park place

At noon I was on a video call with Ella when Adam came home for lunch. He was just leaving when Leigha got home. She’s not done working just going to finish the day making phone calls from home.

Tate is watching TV while Emery is doing something on her electronics.

Adam returned home and started supper. I left after supper and thanked them for having me over.

I stopped at the grocery store and purchased the few items that I hadn’t bought yesterday when Adam had called me back.

As soon as I returned home, I put together a peach cobbler to take to the senior center tomorrow.

2018 January 07 Sunday

I didn’t sleep well without my bed partner. I woke several times during the night and then again too early in the morning to get up and do anything. I didn’t have to fix breakfast because our church has a breakfast bar. So I just lay abed waiting for time to get up.

Once up, I attended worship and Sunday school.

Adam sent a text inviting me to come spend time with them and then watch Tate play football.

I went to Whataburger for lunch before going to the kid’s.

I got to here more about their trip to Mexico over the school holiday. It sounds as though there stored up a lot of memories. And as an added bonus, they missed the coldest week of the season in Texas.

My lack of sleep caught up with me and I took a nap just before it was time for the game.

Tate’s team won twenty six to nothing. He made a touchdown, an interception, and a lot of ”tackles” (flag football). He’s the one in the blue shirt and white headband.

When the game was over I left and headed home … stopping along the way to pick up some groceries. While I was at the store, Adam called to ask if I would stay with the kids tomorrow. He and Leigha have to work but the kids don’t start back to school until Tuesday. So I cut my shopping short and went back to their house. We spent a quiet evening talking. Before going to bed, I placed a video call to Ella so that I could hear what’s going on in Iowa. She is staying with grandson Nathan and family. Doug’s funeral service is tomorrow. Then we “kissed” goodnight and I went to bed.

2018 January 05-06

2018 January 05 Friday

I turned the new milkhouse heater on low before going to bed. As far as I know, the furnace never ran through the night. However, we woke to a pleasant 60° in the RV this morning.

We dressed, opened all the window shades (to allow as much passive solar heating as possible), and then drove to IHOP in Cedar Park for pancakes. IHOP is celebrating their 60th year by doing “endless” pancakes for $3.99.

We each got a stack of six pancakes. I generally do not eat syrup on my pancakes (diabetic) but after eating the first four with butter only, Ipancakes had the last two with a small amount of butter-pecan syrup. I finished mine and declined the offer of more. Ella ate most of hers (bathed in old fashion syrup).

While at IHOP, Ella began looking for flights to Des Moines so that she can attend her foster daughter’s husband’s funeral. She founds some less expensive flights but hot in the time frame she needs.

The next stop was the Senior Center in Leander. There were only 8 of us there for lunch and games. The new game that they are playing is Rummikub. 910ZRa5trxL._SL1500_I don’t care for it but the rest do. So I played canasta on my phone while everyone else played their game. Before lunch was served, Ella received a call from our grandson in Iowa. He said that he would book a flight for Ella if she’d give him her credit card info. We got a return call shortly after to say that she was scheduled to leave Austin around nine a.m. tomorrow and to return on the nineteenth just before midnight.

After lunch, we came home so that she could pack for the trip.

The temperature reached a sunny 58° today which brought our inside temp to 74°. On a somewhat related note: I recieved an email from the place I’d ordered the new thermostat saying that they were our of stock on that modle and not sure when they would receive more. They asked if I wanted to cancel or wait. I chose to cancel. To their credit, the payment was immediately returned to my PayPal account.


2018 January 06 Saturday

Well the furnace was running when the alarm went off at 5:30. Oh boy was it running…82°. I shut it off. 37° outside and I opened the door to let it cool inside.

“So, Tom,” I hear you asking, “why was the alarm set for 5:30?” I’m glad you ask. Ella has an 8:25 flight and you are supposed to arrive at hour early. Add in the hour long drive to get to the airport and factor in the time involved in finding parking, we needed to both be up.

I microwaved some bacon and then I microwaved some eggs and made sandwiches for us to eat as we went to the airport.

This was on the way back from the airport

I took the toll road all the way through town and it was foggy all the way.

It was foggy all the way back also.

I got off the toll-road at Whitestone because I wanted to stop at Home Depot. Even though I knew where I was, I couldn’t see what was on the edge off the road. I could have been driving a lonely back-country road instead of one of the busiest stretches of road in town. There is a huge shopping center to the north side of road and I couldn’t even see any lights from the stores and signs. I felt so unsure of my location that i activate Google Maps to tell me when to turn. At that point I was only a half mile from my destination.

Upon leaving Home Depot i decided to take Ronald Reagan Boulevard back toward Liberty Hill because there would be less traffic lights. Again, I relied on Google Maps to show me when I was approaching an intersection. That way I could slow down and look for the traffic lights ahead. There was a couple of times that I came upon vehicles driving without their lights. Yes, the sky had become lighter by then but there was still fog. Even if their headlights would have been little help in them seeing any further down the road, it sure would have made THEM easier to see.

I made it home in time to unload the items purchased at Home Depot, change clothes, and make it to church in time to sing in the choir for a funeral service.There was a luncheon afterward so I didn’t have to fix a lunch for myself.

After church, I returned home and changed into work clothes. I started putting insulation board around the base of the RV. I don’t know if we will have anymore multiple days of below freezing weather this season, however, my plan is to save the insulation when we store the RV for the summer. That way I can reuse it next winter.

The wind came up (gusts to 24 mph) which made it impossible to handle the insulation board. So I quit and went inside for a nap.

When I picked up my phone, I saw that Ella had sent some texts and was safely back in Iowa. I called her but was only able to talk for a short time because of all that was happening up there. It took her about 8 hours to get there and will only take her 3 to return. I guess that’s because Texas is “downhill” from Iowa. Grin.

The rest of my day was pretty boring. Napping. Watch TV. so I’ll stop here.


2018 January 04


Thursday. I know I said last night that I was going to use my electric heaters or night. However, the furnace / thermostat was working so well that I decided to forgo the auxiliary heat.

So it wasn’t too great if a surprise to awaken to a cold RV this morning. 52°

I turned on both the electric fireplace and the space heater then crawled back under the covers.

I lay there for about 45 minutes before once again rolling out of bed. Shortly thereafter the furnace came on. At that point I turned the other heaters off. Curiouser and curiouser.

I had a 9 o’clock appointment with my orthopedic doctor. So right after breakfast we left home.

The doctor did a series of x-rays of my left knee. I requested this because the orthopedic specialist in Iowa had suggested that it was time for a knee replacement. 2018-01-04_16.02.32

The new x-rays taken today do not show that degree of deterioration. This doctor suggested a series of deep joint injections of hyaluronic. This is a substance found in and made from chicken wattles and combs. Which is why it is sometimes called cockscomb injections. As I understand it, if I’m approved for the procedure, there will be a series of injections over a three to five weeks.

The hoped for result that I will be pain free for one to two years.

I have not discussed the cost difference between this and cortisone injections every four months over the same time period.

When we were finished at the doctor’s, we went to the Over the Hill Gang for lunch and to play Canasta with friends. We took the apple streusel pie, that I baked the other day, so we could share it.

Shortly after returning home we received call informing us the Ella’s stepdaughter’s husband had died. We knew that the time was near. He had cancer in his lungs and heart.

We are trying to find some inexpensive round trip tickets so she can go to the funeral and be with the family.

2018 January 03


2018 January 03 Wednesday means Grandies. But before we could get there, we had to get out of bed. 18° outside and 48° inside. Yep, the thermostat failed again.

So, we grudgingly got out of bed and dresses in cold, cold clothes.

I started the coffee perking and the bacon cooking.

Then I fired up the oven (with the oven door open). Yes I know that you’re not supposed to do that. However, I always have two windows partially open at all times. Plus we weren’t going to be there long.

We ate, turned the oven off, and left for Grandies. There we eleven brave souls there today. Three of us celebrate birthdays this month and today was when we had our cake and ice cream. After the meeting, we stayed to play Canasta while some played bridge.

For lunch Ella and I went across the tracks to Hobo Junction for lunch. It had warmed to 45° by the time we left at 12:30.

We stopped at Winkley’s to look for an electric space heater. Sold out. Went across the street to Tractor Supply. All sold out. Called Dollar General. “Yes we have many choices.” Well they had five choices and plenty of stock for each model. I bought a basic milkhouse style.

When we arrived home, I put our west-facing awning away so that we could soak in some more afternoon solar heating. It got to 73° inside without any heater other than the sun shining through the windows.

New Doc 2018-01-03 (1)_1.jpg

As I was getting ready for an afternoon nap, the furnace kicked on. I’m beginning to suspect that when the inside temperature gets high enough (68° with the fireplace turned off and the new heater still in the box) that the furnace isn’t really needed. However, it is predicted to drop below freezing again tonight. I’ll not take any chances with the “confused” thermostat. I’ll drip water to keep it from freezing again and I’ll use auxilary heat also.

However, the furnace continued to turn on as the RV cooled. It’ll be interesting to how it goes through the night.