The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

A Big Day!

My friend Birdie had a major event happen this week.  I couldn't be there on Monday when the big event happened but I made up for it as soon as I could.  What was the big event?  Well, if you have been following my blog, you will know that Birdie has been looking at RVs for over a year now with me as her faithful sidekick.  Now don't misunderstand, Birdie is already an RVer.  She is a full-time RVer and "Bunkie", 30 foot Class C, has been her home for a while now.  "Bunkie" is a very nice RV but maybe just not right for a full-time single since he has two sets of bunk beds in back and a queen bed over the cab not to mention a couch and dinette which can also sleep a couple.  The thing "Bunkie" is missing is a slide to give a little more space to a full-timer.

Monday about noon "Bunkie" was replaced by "Suite Pea" an absolutely gorgeous Winnebago Vista Class A.  We looked at this beauty a while ago and Birdie made up her mind last week.  Two other RV friends were on hand Monday to help move all Birdie's worldly goods from RV to another.  It was a very big job even though things were boxed.  She spent the night at the Crestwood RV dealer's park in Buda so she could give everything a good run through.  Tuesday morning about 11:00AM I headed up to give her a hand with stowing all her goods away and getting the RV ship-shape.  Here she is with her Suite Pea!

We worked really hard all afternoon and I was invited for a sleepover as she needed to stay one more night so they could install a fantastic fan in the bathroom.  It took a lot of labor to get to this point.

We were both exhausted when we headed to bed about 10:00PM.  I think Birdie fell asleep right away but I wasn't so lucky.  I had a nice comfy bed on the sofa airbed but was a little hyper I guess.  Too bad because by midnight, we were both awake.  The storm that blew through Buda was horrific.  Even with the  heavy duty automatic levelers we could feel a slight shudder with all the wind.  The thunder was absolutely deafening and the lightning awesome.  About 3 AM Birdie had the weather channel on TV (watching TV is something she never does!)  just to see if there were tornadoes.  The thunder was so loud that I'm not sure that we could have heard the typical freight train noise of a tornado.  At least the heavy duty bathroom was right across from us.  Anyway, we survived with no damage but not a lot of sleep.  We spent the morning putting things away and arranging some more.  Then we headed back to Potter's Creek where Birdie is staying.  Another friend, Liz, was patiently waiting for us to arrive.

Doesn't this look like a happy new RV owner getting ready to head out on the road?

Once we arrived, the three of us began tackling the outside storage.  Of course, we found more items that needed to go inside.  Liz and Birdie were still at it when I headed home at 6:00PM.  There is still more arranging and stowing to do but that will go on for a while until Birdie finds just the right location for everything.  Enjoy your new home my friend!

Another Birthday, another great day!

Today is Steve's birthday.  Since he has been in San Antonio for a few weeks, Helen flew in on Saturday to help celebrate.  While I was out at Potter's Creek, they were hitting the mall and their favorite restaurant, Cheesecake Factory.  Today we headed down to the San Antonio Riverwalk to see a few of the sites.  When we started out, it was warm and projected to hit 80 degrees but it was overcast.  Sunday's are a great day to hit the downtown area because you can often find parking without resorting to the parking lots which have gotten a lot more expensive over the last few years.  We parked about three blocks away and walked down past the Alamo to the Hyatt Hotel which has a nice walkway down through the hotel to the Riverwalk.  There are lots of plants and water features.

For all of you sitting in the frozen north, we have flowers blooming along the Riverwalk!  And outside tables at the restaurants.  I love this kind of winter.
 I had to take a photos when I spotted this unique flag draped building.  I haven't seen this before.

There are still twinkling lights in the trees and I also spotted this Christmas wreath which one of several decorating another building.  The red "balls" are cactus buds.
 We stopped to have a margarita along the river bank.  By now, Helen had to take her long sleeve top off and she is usually cold.
 Across from us, some diners were being serenaded.  It sounds much better across the river than when they are doing it right next to you as the horns can be a little loud, at least for me.
 These trees have lost their leaves for winter but otherwise, you would never know it is January.
 Later on at home, we cooked some steaks and had birthday cake.  It was great having Steve here for his birthday and even better that Helen was able to be here too.
Hope you have many more happy birthdays and a long happy healthy life ahead of you!

RV Visiting

This afternoon turned out to be a great afternoon to visit a couple of my RVing friends out at Potter's Creek.  They had a couple of errands to run so we arranged to meet about 1:00PM.  All three of my dachsies headed out the back door to play while I was getting ready to go.  Willy came in first while Harley and Gretchen were still occupied with the squirrels so that made my decision about who was going to go visiting with me real easy.  Grabbed Willy's leash and headed out the door with him hot on my heels.  All of my dogs are always ready to go anywhere.  We had to make a quick stop at HEB for salad fixings for lunch so Willy waited for me in the car.  I don't know if he has ever done that before but he was real good.  I opened the sun roof and he was happily looking out the windows when I returned.  Of course, there is now some "nose art" on the windows but that is not a big deal.  When I rolled up at the gatehouse, I told them I was on my way in to visit Birdie and Liz and gave their site numbers.  The woman said she wasn't sure if they were home but I told her that they were either right ahead of me or right behind me.  Since she recognized me, she didn't have a problem with that.  I figured that if they were right ahead of me, she should have known that so I decided to take a quick turn around a couple of the other loops to check them out.

 Lots of visitors here and here.  In fact, not too many open sites even though it is the middle of January.  Some of the people are here for longer periods of time in the winter but some of them are just weekenders.
 Pretty sure these people are just weekenders but there were actually a number of sites occupied by tents.
 Now, if you are member of the WomenRV forum, you will recognize this vehicle the "Silver Lining".  In fact, the picture on the forum was taken here at Potter's Creek in the site I occupied a couple of months ago.  Bandit's outdoor pavilion is right out front. Two of the sides are screen so Bandit the cat has a great view of everything going on around him.
 Right next door is Birdie's "Bunkie".  You can see Willy and Simba lapping up attention.  They did have a good time together.  Liz gave them each a "greeny" which Willy (being a dachshund) promptly inhaled.  Simba is still learning the tricks so he was trying to bury it in the gravel around the table.  He notices Willy eyeing him and decided to move it out beyond Willy's reach.  Smart kid--he's learning already.
 We had a great lunch, salad and barbequed chicken sandwiches, out at the picnic table.  Then there were a few chores to do.  Birdie is in the process of doing a bit of reorganizing.  You'll hear more about that in a few days.  We were looking at a vent that might need to be removed and Liz popped right up there saying "I can do that".  She got all the screws out and all the goop around it cleared away but it just wouldn't budge.  Then Birdie remembered that the installer might have put some purple stuff around the vent before he put the cover on.  Glued!  So Liz patiently put it all back together again.  Birdie and I were busy reorganizing bins but I took the picture of Liz because that was much more interesting.
 Here is Birdie back playing with the dogs.  She needs one, she just doesn't know it yet. lol.
 She was going to hook up the hitch on Herbie but once again, we caught her playing with the dogs.
 You can tell they love her too and she did eventually get the hitch back on.  See that 5th wheel in the background?  That is where the WomenRV's photo of the Silver Lining was taken long before I got to meet Liz.
It was beginning to get dark so it was time for me to head back into town while I could still see the deer meandering across the road.  Wish I was out here in my RV too but I am really enjoying having my oldest son around for a while so wouldn't want to miss a minute of that either.

Followed by Birthday Cake and Presents

What better way to follow a fabulous roller skating party than to have birthday cake and presents?  Okay, in our excitement we almost didn't get a photo of the birthday cake.

No, Grandma didn't bake it.  Hey, have you seen how busy we have been when the kids are here.  Morgan pronounced it delicious even though the colors are kind of scary.

Her brother Cameron thought it rated pretty well too.

A pile of presents and a big hug for Daddy.

Barbie doll clothes from her big brother.

A horn for her bicycle here in San Antonio.  Now everybody better watch out.

The end of a long day but everyone had a good time and it's past time for bed.

Morgan's Roller Skating Party

Morgan's 6th birthday party is next weekend but we are celebrating early.  I'm sure she'll have another party back in Brownwood too.  In November, Steve and Helen took the kids ice skating for Cameron's birthday.  This time we are giving roller skating a whirl.  Grandma had to stay out of the mix to act as photographer. :)


And here are the prospective skaters!

The birthday girl gives the rink a whirl.

And she loved it but needed a little more experience.  I've never seen these before but somebody made a mint with them.  $5 an hour for a few pieces of PVC pipe and three wheels built into a wedge shape.  Everyone from little kids to adults were using them to learn how to skate.

The two natural athletes on their first go round.

And a few minutes later.....

Also have a couple of videos of the big event. Here are the intrepid three out for a whirl.

Morgan skates up a storm.

And finally, Cameron's big race event.  They had a lot of special skates and when they called out a race for boys 6-12, Cameron surprised us all by heading right out to compete.

They all had a really great time.  Steve hadn't been on skates since he was 14 and he was whizzing around backwards.  The kids both did well and had fun.  They said they think they like roller skating better than ice skating.

3-2-1 Cakes for the RVer or Grandchild

Okay, I admit it.  I'm having RV withdrawal symptoms since I haven't had the RV out since right before Thanksgiving.  I've checked on it, I've winterized it, but mostly I've missed it.  So...

Here is a great recipe that I learned from a bunch of RVing ladies.  Believe it or not, some people don't use the stove let alone the oven in their RV.  I definitely do.  But, most people do use the microwave as long as they have electric power or even generator power or super-duper solar power.  You can fix some nice little individual cakes as easy as 3-2-1.

You need an angel food cake mix.  You also need another cake mix of your choice.  Any flavor you like will do.  Strawberry is great.  Mix the two cake mixes together.  You can do this right in a gallon size plastic ziploc.  Okay, the hard part is done.  (NOTE:  angel food cake makes the other cake mix rise.  You need both.  One or the other won't work alone.)


In a coffee cup or similar size container, stir together the following:

3 tablespoons of your mix
2 tablespoons of water

Try not to get the mixture all over the cup.  Do not grease the cup.

Pop in the microwave for 1 minute.  Let cool for a minute and the mini cake will come out of the cup with nothing more than a knife run around the edge.

Easy right?  Easy as 3 - 2 - 1.  Can be served plain, with a dab of cool whip, or some fruit, or even frosting.

Now this is the kind of baking project that works great with your grandchildren too.  Easy and instant gratification.

It was a Pretzel Kind of Day

Morgan got a kit for making pretzels for Christmas.  Time flies when the kids are with their Dad so Steve decided that this would be a pretzel making day.  First, Morgan got to open one of her upcoming birthday presents.


Grandma got her an apron of her own since she really likes baking.  Steve's wife Helen always plans some baking when the kids get to come and visit.  She has the patience of a saint when she tackles this.  You can see Lasagna making in a post from this summer.

This is one happy baker ready to get started on the pretzels.

Dad is armed with instructions, ingredients, and lots of help from Morgan.  Grandma wisely stayed out of the way.

I have to admit that I looked at the directions as the work went on.  The directions were ridiculous.  They were written in four completely separate parts with other info in between so that it made them difficult to follow.  On top of that, the ingredients were not provided in the amounts you actually needed so it kept looking like you left something out.  But Dad and daughter persevered.

Checking things out one more time just to make sure.

Here is the happy baker after the whole process was completed.  As her Dad said, the yeast didn't bubble like they said it would, so the dough didn't rise like it should have.  Morgan didn't care, she had fun doing it and nobody's teeth or stomach were harmed in the eating of them.

Bubbles and Balls

Sometimes the best of fun can be had for little money and some time.  A bottle of bubbles and some blow nets gave the kids an hour of fun.







On the other hand, balls can be lots of fun too.  Just ask Harley the ball hound.


Can you tell he is obsessed with balls?

I'm ready, I'm waiting.  Please kick the ball so I can chase it.

Willie is busy observing both the bubbles and the balls.  Gretchen is in the house.  She retreats when Harley is playing ball with someone.