Thursday, November 19, 2015

24-Hour Rollercoaster

Yesterday until early evening we were pretty darn blissful.  We have been feeling so relieved and grateful to be in this park. 

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

Our site at Aggieland RV Park in Bryan, TX

Dave was off, so we spent the day pretty much settling in here; he even managed a bit of a bike ride in the afternoon.  He cleaned off the mud and organized our storage bin, spare propane tanks and his fixed-gear bike.  They “reside” at the front of our rig in a tidy fashion, and they are clean once again!  With our work week commencing again today, we went to H.E.B. for a few items and I did laundry, vacuumed and tidied up the inside.

We had a nice stroll around the park in the early evening, feeling relaxed, grateful and settled.  We like our site and the park in general.

Then . . . my work laptop crashed.  Long story short, I was up until 5 AM this morning being extremely disappointed in the remote diagnosis/repair service by Geek Squad.  I have had very good service with resolution of issues in the past via telephone assistance (actually speaking with a tech who walked me through things) and dropping off machines at the location in Best Buy.  The first tech disappeared/disconnected after about 1.5 hours.  I hooked up with another tech, whose last action was performed a little over an hour into the session.  Five hours later, I terminated the session.

Both service notes I received today indicated there was something wrong with the Internet at my end.  I am simply not buying that, as I periodically checked my connection, and it was up and running just fine with no blips or hiccups on my end.  If there had been a connectivity issue, they should have contacted me; my phone number was in the records and I indicated I would be available.

So.  First chance I get I’ll drop it off.  In the meantime, much of today has been spent in a sleep-deprived and stressed state getting my personal laptop set up for work both as a virtual assistant and as a medical transcriptionist.  This laptop has a smaller screen with corresponding smaller fonts, and I am finding it much more of an effort to see what’s on the screen.  sigh

And . . . along about mid morning, I noticed a puddle of water under our rig.  Our bathroom gray tank had split and was leaking.  It will have to be replaced and, in the meantime, we will be showering in the facilities here.  Thank goodness they are nice.  I contacted a dealership/repair facility less than 5 miles down the road.  A mobile tech is supposed to come out tomorrow to check it out, do measurements, etc.  They will order the necessary tank and parts.  Once they have everything, we will roll the rig over to have the replacement performed.

The good news is, things could be worse.  No one died today.  That’s always a bonus.  These issues are worrisome and stressful but, in the big scheme of our life, they are bumps in the road.  Having them occur back-to-back like that just freaked me out a bit.  I’m really not complaining, but 2015 has been a tough one for us.  We carry on, though . . .

Today marks 1 month of being here in Bryan.  I think we have done very well to have both landed jobs and moved to a nicer park which is looking good as a long-term spot.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Moving Day!

We both awoke around 3:30 this morning due to the crazy wind, rain, thunder, and lightning.  Around 4 AM, we gave in and got up.  Wow.  Seems like that storm just went on and on and on . . .  I had a nice Canadian bacon sandwich for breakfast at an extremely early hour for me, probably around 6 AM.  The rain would slack off for a while and then boom!  Away we would go again with very heavy downpours and really gusty winds. 

Needless to say, our site at Primrose Lane RV Park was an absolute mess, a total mud pit.  We watched some TV, I made a bit of a start on the inside prep for travel, and we dozed a bit in our recliners.  Finally . . . finally a bit after noon, the rain slacked off and then stopped, so we could finally begin getting ready to boogie out of that dump. 

Hitched up and ready go roll, I put the truck in 4-wheel drive.  Moved a couple of feet and the back tires started spinning.  Nudged her back a bit and then forward and we were free!  Free at last!  Tires on pavement, switched the truck back into 2-wheel drive, and . . . nothing.  It stayed in 4x4.  The tow/haul light wouldn’t come on, either.

Ruh roh.

Okay.  No panic here.  Truck into neutral, got it into 2-wheel drive, and the tow/haul light was shining nicely. 

Whew.  That was exciting!

The short 10-minute (if that) trip to Aggieland RV Park was uneventful.  I managed to run the rig through a few puddles to try and get some of the mud off the tires.  Got a bit off, but we (the rig and us) were a bit of a mess when we arrived at Aggieland.

Mud from Primrose Lane RV Park 11172015

Mud spatters on our rig from the truck tires

Dave did a great job of cleaning off that mess above, as well as washing away the mud we tracked onto our lovely concrete site. 

Okay.  All set up and lookin’ good.  Lookin’ good, that is, until we realized we would not be able to park the truck beside the rig with the bedroom slide deployed.  We have our own parking spot beside our RV, but it’s just too small for our big 1-ton, long-bed diesel F350.

Ruh roh. 

We experimented with backing the truck into the spot and parking it at a slant in front of the RV.


The only thing to do was to hitch up again and move the rig back a bit on the concrete pad.  Once accomplished, we unhitched (again), and found that we can park the truck at a slant in front of the rig, get the truck out of the street, and have the bedroom slide open.  We just have to be careful on opening the truck driver’s door; there’s room to open it enough to get out, but not enough to open it all the way. 

We’re good.  Finally.

We resumed setup in our new space and, when finished, realized it had taken us about 3 hours from landing to setup completion.  That’s a new record for us. 

We have no TV reception tonight because I didn’t make it to the office for a cable box prior to the closing of the office today.  Oh well.  There’s tomorrow.

We are on an end site, so we only have a neighbor on our door side.  The small pool is close by, as are restrooms.  A dumpster isn’t far away, and there’s a street light across the street.  The distance to the laundry room isn’t bad, either.  We have a small patio, and our door lines up nicely with it. 

Although our neighbor is fairly close and I’d rather have a bit more room between us, I am just grateful to have concrete from here to the truck versus mud.  Oh!  The grass here is real.  By “real,” I mean it is well manicured and grass, not scraggly bits of grass here and there in the mud.  There is room nearby to walk Maggie without having to venture off into skeery parts unknown.

Oh happy day!

The forecast is sunshine tomorrow, so I’ll try to get some photos.  Dave has tomorrow off, too, so that gives us a chance to get some groceries, do a bit of laundry, and settle in at our new spot.  Yay!

Thursday will be back to work for both of us.  Dave is on a 2-11 PM shift.  I work my virtual assistant job in the mornings (and whenever) and then tackle medical transcription in the afternoons/evenings. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll stay safe out there, okay?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November Mid Point

It has been a busy 2 weeks since my last post.  Here’s what has been happening:

  • Dave is working his evening shifts after completing training last week.  He aced the 12 training modules (all training done via computer) and finished before the “youngsters” there for training.  Maturity rocks!  He has learned there is an entire universe of hair care products for us gals.  Ha!  He will have Tuesday and Wednesday off each week; that’s the schedule for now.
  • My MT training has been going well, and I feel better about it, like I am getting the hang of how this company wants things done, account specs, etc.  Seems I have developed a cold ? allergies ? and have been somewhat under the weather, so my mentor decided it best to postpone my training until next week in order for me to get over this.  Plugged ears are not conducive to hearing at one’s peak performance.  I agree with that, as it gives me time to rest (and I have been taking cat naps off and on, and even conked out totally for one entire day) and turn my attention to some other things I simply had not the time to tackle since our arrival here.  I am looking forward to getting back to the training, though.
  • On the virtual assistant (VA) front, I am having a grand time with this and have been given additional tasks.  Yay!  I am hopeful this will be a long-term relationship.
  • Although yesterday was Friday the 13th, we had a bit of good luck.  We decided to cruise over to the other RV park (where we are on the waiting list) to see if there was going to be an opening any time soon, as our rent here is due next Thursday. Lo and behold . . . yes!  I will check back Monday morning, but right now it looks like we will be moving next week, hopefully Tuesday when Dave is off.  I simply cannot express what a relief that will be.  I really think the amount of dust and dampness here is a major contributor to my allergy issues.  Aside from that, there is no good/safe place to walk Maggie here and . . . well, you’ve heard me talk about this place.  It has served the purpose as a landing spot here, but it sure will look good in the rearview mirror.
  • We have had only a day here and there with (perhaps) sunshine; the rest of the time it has been raining.  The ground has not had a chance to totally dry out; we are still stepping in mud to get to our kitchen dump valve towards the rear of our rig.  Ugh.  When it does dry out a bit, there is dust everywhere outside; this site is more dirt/mud than gravel.  We did have to hitch up and place another Lynx Leveler pad under one of our front landing legs; the bottom one had sunk into the ground.  Lovely.  It was lightly raining when Maggie and I were out just a bit ago, and there is more rain on the way beginning tonight through Tuesday.  Lovely, I say, lovely!  El Nino is supposed to bring us a wet winter, so being in a concrete site is really going to be a good thing.
  • Yesterday afternoon was devoted to getting us signed up for health insurance in 2016.  Not a difficult task, but tedious and time-consuming.  I certainly can see how folks might struggle to do so with little knowledge of how insurance works, all the terms, etc.

Heart, thoughts and prayers go to the people of Paris and all of France. 

Ya’ll be safe out there, please?  Be alert.  Be aware of your surroundings. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Whirlwind Days with Good Things Happening!

Yesterday I had a 3-hour training session via phone and Go To Meeting on the transcription platform I will be using in my medical transcription (MT) job. It was good training, but – wow – was my head reeling afterwards! Meant to provide a walk-through of the process, it was certainly not expected for me to remember everything. Everything that was covered in the session is provided in the 29 attachments I received the night before. Manuals on company guidelines, specs for each hospital account, platform and computer setup manuals, etc. Again I say wow!

Taking today off (to gather what wits remain in my head, run a couple errands, get my workstation and “stuff” organized, do some cooking and chill a bit), I’ll enter the mentoring process tomorrow and get to work! Yoinks!

Good things happening? Yes, indeed!

Dave had submitted applications to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart and some other places. This was all done online, which seems to be the trend these days. Monday he received a call from Walmart to schedule an interview the following morning (yesterday). We drove out to that store Monday evening in order to locate it, as it was a different one from where we had shopped last week.

The next morning, in dense fog, he left for his appointment. When he arrived home, he announced that he was offered a full-time position! We talked about it a bit (no real discussion needed), then he called back and accepted the job.

Go, Dave! You rock, sweetheart!

Woot! I am sooo proud of him!

  • This is his first application/employment process he has done on his own in the 10 years he has been in the States. Yes, he did work as a pipefitter in MN back in 2006-2007, but that was through the union local and pretty much a done deal from the get. (That’s not to dim the fact that Dave was an accomplished pipefitter, having entered that profession as an apprentice in his youth back in Scotland. He worked for the Royal Navy aboard nuclear submarines, carriers, and the like. The safety of naval personnel aboard those vessels was literally in his hands. Shoddy work could result in the loss of lives. Yep, he was good.)  The union was a brotherhood. Other than that, we have secured employment and worked together on a team basis. His landing a full-time job would be an accomplishment at any age but, especially at age 63, it is awesome!
  • He laughed, saying he used to work aboard nuclear submarines and now he will be working at Walmart. You know what, though? At our age and with our life priorities, we’re not building careers; the nature of our work is not pivotal in our lives. Our focus is on our life together and enjoying that life. Having a sustainable income that keeps us from dipping into our savings on a monthly basis until pensions become a reality in a few years is all we need.
  • Our work hours will mesh nicely, as he will be working 2 until 11 PM and I will be working 3 until 10 PM once I’m out of the mentoring phase.

I think we’re doing pretty darn well. In two-and-a-half weeks, we have both landed jobs with income that should meet our needs. Next up is moving to the better RV park, which could happen at any time; however, not likely until at least later this month or possibly into December. Still lots to do . . . settle in with our jobs, review health insurance options for 2016 and get us enrolled, schedule doctor visits, get my scan, wash/wax the rig once we have moved (impossible here, as we’re basically in a mud pit), etc.

We’re off to a good start, though, and are very grateful for the good things being manifested in our life.

Thanks for stopping by! Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?