After years of renting and bumming cars from people to go to town for shopping trips we finally found and bought a toad! (towed vehicle)

    It follows us everywhere.

    It follows us everywhere.

    We couldn’t tow anything with Miss Lueffie and while the Queen’s Barge could tow it wasn’t really all that necessary; we could simply take the Barge to town. Now it’s a bit more difficult since we’re under a steel pole barn and it takes a 100-point turn to get in or out. Besides, an $8500 transmission and $3000 control box last September kinda put the damper on spending lots more money.

    In any event, the stars converged and we found a lightweight easily-towable vehicle right sorta nearby in Houston, a Chevy Tracker. It’s a little roller skate with four wheel drive and Mom’s sewing machine has more horsepower. It’s a bit squirrelly over 60 mph (it wants to swap ends) and it accelerates in furlongs-per-fortnight but it’ll do fine. It reminds me of my old VW Bug.

    I’d been looking for a Suzuki Sidekick / Geo Tracker / Chevy Tracker for a while and they’re thin on the ground; what I was finding was unsuitable models, too ragged out or hundreds of miles away. This one turned up nearby and two days later we adopted her.

    We borrowed Tiffany’s pickup for the jaunt down to Houston. Now understand, we’re not city people. Our idea of a big city is Navasota, Texas or Cleveland, Georgia. Houston is another planet, like Atlanta. And it was very much like Atlanta except that other drivers indicated that we were #1 only a couple of times. And their horns worked ok.

    All’s well that ends well and we ended up back at the ranch with a new member of the family. What’ll we name her, The Queen’s Dinghy? That sounds pretty good especially if you read it out loud a couple of times.

  • The F-up Fairy Visits Us Again

    May 26 – Underwater Texas

    On a rainless forecast in comparison to the Biblical floods we’ve been having (that was last night) the plan was to caulk a few seams and do a rotisserie chicken. Of course that was too easy.

    The biggie storms passed overnight with tornados and up to eleven inches of rain down by Houston. That’s more rain than a hurricane. So I was astounded to wake up to thunder this morning. Odd, I couldn’t see any lightning but I could hear thunder.
    I didn’t think much of it until I mentioned it this evening and Mom informed me that it wasn’t thunder, it was Smokey the cat bouncing around. He’s big, but geez…

    Progressing through the day, I taped up various seams and applied Sikaflex goop. Then things went sideways.

    Mom said that last time we gooped we let it cure a half-hour or so and peeled the tape off. Mom also said that she wanted a smart phone.

    I like my dumb phone. My phone’s so dumb it doesn’t even have sense enough to ring. I like that. But Mom was being a bit obstinate, and we all know the way to peace and happiness.

    So I found a smart phone and a plan on verizonwireless.com and all went swimmingly until it barfed on my credit card. I think the problem is that the website accepts only one address and we have two, a mailing address and a shipping address.

    So we do the obvious thing and contact support; support gave us a phone number. Mom called the phone number and it demanded a Verizon wireless number and when she couldn’t give one, it hung up. We tried Contact Us and it returned a 404!

    This is the future of communication!

    So we need to go 20 miles to a Verizon stix-n-brix to buy a Verizon communication device because the Verizon Wireless website cannot communicate…..

    And after all this, futzing around too long, much of the goop had skinned over and when I pulled the tape off the goop came off too. So much for nice and tidy.

    The chicken went on a couple of hours late. We’ll see.

  • Foxy Lightning!

    We’re still alive! Still kickin! Around and around we spin, with feet of lead and wings of tin! To our fan, thank you for tuning in!

    We’re still at Live Oak Resort in Washington, Texas, the home of Texas independence. We’re settled with a big steel pole barn, big deck (correct pronunciation and spelling, Mom) and shed. We’ve recently had big storms in East Texas with lots of trees down, a tornado or two and even a semi truck just tossed over.

    What we got in Washington was a dry lightning storm at zero-dark-thirty. Lightning wasn’t flashing; it was simply “on”. We could see the trees thrashing around in the wind because they were continuously illuminated. I’d only seen it once before, anchored off Anclote Key, and my 35-foot mast was the tallest thing for many miles around. Might as well hang out the hatch and watch…

    The other part of this story is that we have a family of grey foxes hanging around. They live in the wetland back past the bathhouse.

    Dad is a bit smaller than a standard hound-dog with a beautiful grey back and dark red flanks. He doesn’t hang around much. Mom’s a head smaller, again with a grey back and dark red flanks. She’s around more often, I suspect to keep up with Junior.

    Junior’s something else. He’s about the size of a big cat and he looks like a cat that got plugged into a light socket. Hair sticking out in all directions. And he hasn’t yet learned to fear humans; last night he toddled out and sat down in the middle of the street. And then he turned around, sat down and faced the other direction. And then he meandered up our front steps, checked out my flaps and went out the back gate. Junior’s a doofus; do we have to train him?

    I don’t mind having the foxes around at all. We’ll never have any problem with rats or mice. One thing I’ll need to check on is anti-rabies vaccination baits; it’d be great if we could vaccinate them.

    Speaking of roadkill (well, I guess not really), Bonnie and Tom had us up to their house for Critter Stew. Seriously. Squirrel and venison and something or other. It was good. Bonnie got a little flustered when I said “You guys are always driving around…”

    It’s an interesting community here among the residents (who are the only people who count). The mobile home area is known as Snob Hill although of course many are not. Over here in the RV Village (snort) we have the folks who are over by the wash, known as “Creekside,” and the rest of us, I’m not real sure what we’re called as long as we’re called for drinks and dinner. I’d like to suggest that “Hillbilly Holler” might be appropriate.

    While I’m in the word-smithin’ mood, let me paint you a little pitcher.

    We pull out onto Lone Star Road, a paved one-lane with drowned bridges to W.M.Penn Road. No, that’s not William Penn, it’s W.M. Penn. And we rattle a mile or so down to TX 105. TX 105 is a good road but apparently the powers that be want it to be a gooder road so they’re putting in new four-lane bridges etc. That’s one thing Texas does well, apparently because there’s a lot of land that can be taken via eminent domain; highways are four-lane with a big median plus two-lane each-way frontage roads.

    Navasota is a tired little town. It’s too tired to have potholes. It was, at one time, the absolutely real-life Wild West, and that wasn’t even 100 years ago. But now the bypasses have bypassed and the Wal-Mart is smaller than a Dollar General. It claims to be the blues center of Texas; I may just be professing my ignorance but I’ve never heard of the famous blues singer. But Navasota has Cooter’s Liquor Store and all’s right in the world.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!