Red Rock — under construction

My,  I would be a rich woman if I had a dime for every person in Texas that I told I was going to Red Rock. The first response was, "Oh, Colorado."

I would say, "Nope."

"Oh, then you mean Round Rock near Austin."

"Nope. Red Rock is a tiny town SE of Austin." 

"Never heard of it," they would say.

Well, I now know why they never heard of it. It is truly in the boonies. I have no cell service. If I drive about a mile up the road I get service. No cell service is the boonies to me. Luckily, I have access to the Internet.

I arrived on January 2nd at Esperanza Farm. Hermes and Shannon are my hosts. It is an aquaponics farm. Their daughter Evelyn is 3 and a half. Residing at the farm are also 4 French bulldogs, 2 pit bulls, 3 dwarf Nigerian goats and thousands of tilapia. The French bulldogs are Lucy (mom), (children from one litter) Luna and Jellybean (boy), and Ichi. Ichi is the number 1 in Japanese. She was the only puppy in the litter. Is it still a litter if there is only one? The pit bulls are much older, Ben and Libby. They fluctuate living between this farm and the house next door. The goats are Wobbles, Fiona and Midnight (only male). The fish do not have names, as a matter of fact, they all look the same to me. They are the closest things to a school that I have been since the end of May.


Houston — under construction

November 20, 2017 to 1-2-2018

I arrived in Pearland, Texas, on November 20th. It was a long drive from Strawn, but good farm roads and little traffic. BB did not shut up most of the way. It was exhausting to listen to her cry and whine. I called and talked to several people to help pass the time while driving. Blue tooth is wonderful. Hank is the first vehicle to offer such a service. He is a good provider!! Anyway, everyone commented on how noisy and relentless BB was. I swear she got even louder when I was on the phone as if she was pleading with someone to please rescue her.

Pearland is south of Houston and west of where Rachel and Nate live in League City. I had a very difficult time finding an rv park or campground with available space that wasn't an astronomical price. It appears that many of the victims of Hurricane Harvey were living in rvs and many of the people that came to help the community were in rvs.

Harvey's visit was still very evident in the area. There were houses with huge piles of debris still piled along the street in front of them. It was sad to see the height of the water in some of the homes. I had no idea the severity of the impact of being flooded. Most of the houses were torn back to the wall studs with some having to have studs replaced. The homes needed new plumbing, new electrical wiring as well as walls and floors. The black mold appeared quickly and was very hazardous to people doing demo work. I heard so many stories of the community coming together and amazing things happening. It all brought tears to my eyes many times during my visit. Many people are still not back in their homes or living on the second floor of their homes.

The evening before Thanksgiving Rachel and Nate had a littlesurprise happy retirement, you are a Texan get together.

Strawn — under construction

I stayed in Strawn at Zfarmski until Novemebr 20th. The time flew by. In Strawn I officially became a Texan with a Texas driver's license and Texas plates on Hank. This was bittersweet. It  was interpreted by many friends as the final step in my going away. It was awesome to me because now I pay no state tax! Yee Haw!! The bittersweet part was also that Henrietta was unable to join us as an official Texan. She was a bit perturbed and she seemed to sway or wobble more when I walked around inside of her than before Hank and I became Texans.

Strawn, Texas

I arrived safely and am all set up in a courtyard like area. Gary and Diana, hosts, seem like very interesting people and the history of the farm is going to be amazing to learn and share.

 

 

Here I am. It may have been a parking lot at one time. Behind the trailer you see a portion of the old 5 room motel. There is even a HUGE fire pit!!!

 

 

This is a pic taken from the doorway of the trailer.  (I should refer to her by name, not the generic noun of trailer. Henrietta.) The little branches at the bottom of the picture are the top of the heap of the burn pile. You see the private gate behind my truck. (Oops, I mean you can see the gate behind Hank.) My own private Gated Community. Community members are Marti, BB, Eddie, Hank, Henrietta, and although not visible to the naked eye in the picture is Hannah. Oh, I almost forgot. Peacocks have a nest in the two trees to the left in the picture, so they are community members as well. To the left of Hank you see the bottom floor back corner of Zim's Market & Cafe. To his right you see the remnants of an old bottling plant for soda. No such luck that it was a brewery or winery bottling plant.

Where Next

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is one of my favorite poems. I think I memorized it in Jr. High or High School for a class. If you have never read it you should give it a read.

This is in Pinson Mounds Park. The path is asphalt, but you can barely make it out for the leaves. The sight just made me pause. What is around the corner???

I am feeling that way as I begin my retirement travels. Which direction?? So many opportunities.

Tomorrow I head out to Strawn, Texas. It is about 100 miles west of Dallas. I will be wwoofing. The wwoofing website has the farm listed as Zfarmski. You can check it out at Zim's Farmers Market and Cafe. The farm is an old Dr. Pepper plant. I have not decided how long I will be there. I am REALLY ready for a schedule and structure. Well, schedule and structure that leave plenty of time for quilting.

Pinson Mounds Park and Cotton in Jackson, TN

This is a beautiful park. It was perfect weather. Some pictures to tell of my visit.



The museum was under or inside a mound. I thought the sign was hilarious.
This canoe was on display in the museum. My first thought was of the time, skill and effort it took to make it. How long did it take? My next thought was, "It is so narrow that my butt would hang over the sides."
These steps lead up Saul's mound where you can see for miles.  There are benches on the landings for out of shape old women with arthritic knees. (Well, I am sure they allow other people to sit on them too.) I wonder what the landscape looked like when the mounds were built.
This is an image looking off in one direction. Looks like snow in the distance.
Closer look as I exited the park. I know TN is in the south, but I never expected to see cotton fields.
I cannot imagine picking cotton.
This field was down the road and had already been harvested. I would like to have seen that, but the biggest thrill was seeing what is in the next picture.
Bales of harvested cotton. After seeing the fields I began noticing all the pieces of cotton along the sides of the roads. I should have picked it all up and made myself a sweater.

10-19-17

I learned by lesson from the drive to Jackson and downloaded several audio books from the library on OverDrive before starting out yesterday. If you have never used this I suggest you check it out. I put the books on my phone. I think the drive went by much faster. You can get ebooks as well. I thought it best to listen and not read as I drove.

The park in Texarkana is a Good Sam member, so I was thinking it would be better than the Jackson site. Oops, it is all gravel! The bathhouse is awesome. No fire ring and the pool is gross. It was in the 80s yesterday and today and I would love to have been able to rub it in that I was swimming.

No cooking out tonight. This delightful fire is from the backyard on Jackson Blvd in Uniontown. Tom can testify to my powerful fire starting skills.

I wasn't in the sightseeing mood today, so I ran in to town to Walmart, Goodwill and the post office. Funny post office story. The line for the Texas/Arkansas border runs right through the Post Office/Courthouse building. So, I asked the sweet clerk as to the state postmark that would be on the package, Texas or Arkansas. She laughed, you will too. The postmark will be Shreveport, Louisiana. That is where all the city's mail goes to be distributed. Check out the postmark if you get a note from me.

The other hilarious post office story is that I used the map app on my phone for directions and as I neared my destination the poor lady was going crazy…now you are in TX, now you are in AR, now you are in TX, etc. I wanted to keep driving the roundabout around the post office just to hear the poor voice go on and on.

I wonder if people already knew that I never know where I am or if I am coming or going? How odd to have a split city. Does that make it schizophrenic?

10-17-17

I am in Jackson, TN, this morning. I had to turn the furnace on for a few minutes to take the chill off.

I am feeling at home in the trailer. I was concerned that after ALL the space and action at Abby's that it would be an adjustment to be small and quiet. It wasn't. I do miss being a part of the "gaming" action and hugs at Abby's.

General Butler Park in KY was beautiful. The drive, 6 hours with potty and gas breaks, to Jackson seemed really long. BB was pretty unhappy until I stopped and got a box out of the trailer to put on the front seat and put the special pillow her cousin Abby gave her on top of the box. She was happy with her "elevated" seat and status and quieted down. It is amazing to me how long she can voice her opinion without going hoarse. Eddie came out from under the seat to look around a bit. That is a 1st.

I am truly truly grateful for hands free phone service. Barb and Rachel kept me company for a bit on the last leg. Rachel shared about a speaker at her staff lunch meeting at CCCC. The speaker had some great insights. I am sure Rachel would be happy to share them with you.

Back to how beautiful the camp ground was… I am currently staying at a place where RVs are temporary stop overs. Notice that I said stop overs, not campers. I couldn't tell that by the advertisement, but I am in a small parking lot with lanes that have access for each RV to electric, water and sewer. No sitting outside or campfire last night. Lesson learned.

I am going exploring today. There are a lot of Civil War sites nearby. The Civil War sites made me think of Pastor Craig and his obsession with baseball and the Civil War. Casey Jones' house and a small village are here. Trains made me think of Amy's sweet husband and his obsession with trains.

I am working on an efficient way to get pics off my phone and camera on my computer to post pictures. Any tips on that would be greatly appreciated as well.

It Has Begun

7:45A Thornville, Ohio, I say goodbye to Abby, Tony, and Joey.

10:00A Camping World in Green, Ohio. Henrietta is ready to roll. Her toilet is fixed, she has a new 10" foam mattress, a new roof and side damage is fixed. It has been a long separation, but a joyful reunion. My friend Kari surprised me by appearing at the trailer door while I was looking around. She was a big help and it was nice to chat while waiting for the final go-ahead to take Henrietta. Henrietta has her new smell back after being closed up for awhile.

11:00A I arrive at Barb and Tom's to pick up my generators, they have yet to be named. Any good "H" name suggestions? Heather was there to say adios amiga as well. Got all loaded and chatted for a few minutes, but I was very antsy to get the expedition on the road.

I thought this gig would begin on June 8th, but alas God had other plans. I have seen him working in my life in many ways during this time.

  • I have learned: 
  • *"take a breath" before putting Hank  in drive                                                       
  • check to make sure  Henrietta is willingly following Hank  
  • enjoy each the moment for all it is worth                                                                
  • that people have at least one more surprise in them to share with you            
  • that I am "cherished" by God and more people that I ever imagined
  • let people help you, it isn't a sign of weakness
  • probably a lot more that I won't realize until later

I spent two months hearing awesomely convicting sermons at VGF on Rt 13 in Heath/Newark, Ohio. Pastor John sure gave me a kick in the pants and lots to think about.

12P Believe it or not the time has come. I was feeling such mixed emotions.

2P My first time at a gas pump with Henrietta in tow. I like 1st time experiences.

5:30P We arrive at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky. Beautiful park. It was packed. I am glad I made a reservation. October is a big camping time here. Jack, a kind camper, gave assistance in backing in to the spot. It is a great spot in a cul-de-sac, so, lots of room to maneuver. My first time backing in at a camp ground.

The evening was spent unpacking and trying to rearrange a bit. Eddie was delighted to be out of the truck after 8 hours and headed right for his safe spot behind the futon type couch. BB spent lots of time checking out the view from all of the windows and door.

Saturday I shopped to get staples and frig foods, I put up my hammock and kept pinching myself that I was really doing this!!! It was 83 degrees. October weather??

It is Sunday morning as I write this and I am having coffee, I ate all of Barb's delicious cookies for breakfast yesterday, and getting ready to go to the church service at the campgrounds. It won't be Pastor John, but I sure do have a lot to praise God for and about besides His love and sacrifice for me, well sacrifice for everyone. I hope they sing.

I am trying to get the hang of Word Press, so excuse any wild formatting. If you have any tips, let me know.