Saturday, December 31, 2011

Answer to the quiz

Did you guess what this handy gadget is for?

You sweep all the dirt up to the slot, push the lever, and it sucks all the dirt into the DirtDevil that is in the outside storage area.

There is also a hose with implements that is stored under the inside steps that can be easily attached to a port in the stairs. This also goes directly to the DirtDevil.

Mark has already vacuumed the whole RV twice and we’ve only had it three days! I hope he will stay that enthusiastic for the next ten years or so!

Friday, December 30, 2011

HitchHiker - Part 2

Any guesses what this does? (Possibly one of the best top ten inventions of all time!)

Come back tomorrow for the answer.

When we ordered our new RV we explained to the NuWa folks that we had a very narrow window in which we would be between volunteer assignments and in the Austin area. They went out of their way to accommodate our timeline.

After we left LBJ we headed to our little place in Medina. There we spent a couple of days unloading the Mobile Scout.

Mark will put the solar panels on the HitchHiker this Spring.

Every cabinet and drawer completely empty.

It was really convenient to be able to unload the Mobile Scout while we were in Medina and then bring the HitchHiker home to reload everything.

Here are some more pictures of the HitchHiker:

Justin, from Camper Clinic II going over the various systems with Mark.
Hummm ... I think Mark was showing Justin what the various buttons and readouts were for!

This pictures shows the batteries and one of the many storage areas.

One of the upgrades that Mark thought was a little ridiculous but I sort of wanted, is the electric awning. We tend to put the awning out for a couple of hours while we’re sitting out and I thought it would be something that I would be able to do whenever I wanted to. Heck, even I can push a button! I’ve seen Mark playing with it a couple of times already so I think he’s glad we ordered it.

Mark also got a new hitch put in the back of the truck. It’s pretty awesome, we could hardly tell we were towing!

We’ve been carrying our bikes with us all over the US (I think we even rode them twice)! We had a hitch put on the back of the RV so we can keep on carrying them (we might even ride them once in a while).

Mark has been reading this huge instruction manual for the last two nights. I hope has it memorized because we’re heading out in the morning!

Our Mobile Scout was an absolutely wonderful RV. We bought it new in 2000 and had some awesome vacations.

Even though we are excited about our new HitchHiker, it was pretty sad to leave our Mobile Scout in the parking lot.

Tomorrow we will be leaving for our next volunteer assignment. We plan on staying at Choke Canyon one night then on to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

Stop by tomorrow to find out the answer to the quiz!

The end!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We picked up a hitch hiker!

About a year ago Mark and I started kicking around the idea of buying a new RV. We looked at a few and never found anything we really liked. Then, while we were in Maine this summer we thought about it a little bit more. There weren’t a lot of RV dealers in the area we were in but we looked at a few RV’s and again, didn’t find anything we liked.

When we got back to Texas, where there are a LOT of RV dealers, we looked at a LOT of RV’s. Mark started researching different brands that are best for full timing and after looking at lots and lots of RV’s we decided the NuWa RV would be the best for us.

Then came the hard part! As you might have noticed, I’m a little on the short side. This turned out to be quite a big problem. For some reason RV’s seem to have the microwave and the freezer WAY up high. Who designs these things anyway?!

So, after finding an RV that we liked, we contacted NuWa about rebuilding the kitchen so I could use the microwave and freezer without standing on a step stool. The NuWa folks are super easy to work with and told us they would get right on designing it and let us know the costs.

In the meantime we started looking at a higher-up model of NuWa (in which I could use the microwave and freezer) and decided that if we were going to have to pay almost as much to have a kitchen redesigned, we might as well just go ahead and get the higher-up model. Of course, we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted so again Mark got with the NuWa owner to make sure we could get the changes made that we wanted. Once we got the word that they could do everything we wanted, it was back to the dealer to order the perfect RV. And, I’m happy to say, since we ordered our perfect RV, we only made two changes to our order!

When you read the title of this blog post (We picked up a hitch hiker), you might have been a little worried about us!

So, let me introduce you to our brand new, custom ordered, NuWa 2012 HitchHiker Discover America 330 FK:

This is the surprise I alluded to a couple of days ago!

Some of the upgrades we made:

Wood laminate flooring

Larger refrigerator

King size bed

Microwave/Convection/Half Time oven

There was also some upgrades that Mark ordered such as heavy duty brakes and tires. Four batteries and an inverter (so we can have plenty of electricity when we’re camping without hookups). And, a lot of other things I’ll tell you about next time!

More pictures later and, a sad goodbye.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Sending wishes to you and yours

Mark and Teri

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last day at the park

Tuesday was our last working day here at LBJ State Park. We have had a wonderful time! The three months went by extremely fast.

The staff here is very friendly and treated us like old friends when we returned this year. We're going to miss them!

We start our next volunteer assignment soon, so stay tuned.

I'm still trying to find out why it is so hard for some of you to post a comment. In the meantime, we really enjoy getting e-mails from everyone so please keep in touch.

I'll have some very exciting news to share, hopefully, next week.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our last big event.

Sunday was the last big event we were scheduled to work. It was the 42nd annual tree lighting here at the park. We have been getting ready for this event pretty much since we got here! There was a lot to see and do.

The farm buildings were all decked out with lots of greenery. There was a traditional candlelit German Christmas tree in the parlor of the 1915 Victorian home.

Mark getting the farm ready. Lighting the candles on the farm tree.

Also around the farm was a chuck wagon on the trail and a harmonica player out at the barn.

There were also lots and lots of cookies.

At the visitor center/exhibit hall, where I worked, we had lots of things going on.

We put out 100 luminaries. They were very pretty along the walkway.

Two authors were signing their books.

Live music, the Polka Dots. Santa flew in.

A live nativity. Local spinners

One of many guests of honor, Luci Baines Johnson.

The reason we were there - the lighting of the tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Party at El Viaje

Last week we helped a couple here at El Viaje decorate the clubhouse for a Christmas party.

Most of the folks here in the resort come and go all through the year so we haven't met very many of them. It was nice to finally get together.

We had a wonderful time. One of the ladies collects Santa Clause dolls and set several of them around the clubhouse.

There was also a lot of good food - I can't believe I didn't get a picture of any of it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Longhorns and turnip greens

You might remember last month when I posted that Mark planted 5 pounds of turnip seeds for the bison and longhorns. Well, we’ve had about three inches of rain in the last few weeks and the turnip seeds and oats have really taken off. The longhorns have been lucky enough to get first turn at all the new greens.

Texas designated the longhorn as the official state large mammal in 1995.

The End

Monday, December 12, 2011

I think my quizzes might be a little too easy. Everyone guessed a cow nose. Although no one guessed her name was Harriet!

So, here is another quiz for you. This one was Mark's idea.

Any idea what this is a picture of?

I have been asked to post some pictures of the blacksmith shop and tool shed.

Blacksmith Shop

I was asked to look for a Disston Saw. We have several in the tool shed.

Henry Disston (1819-1878)
The medallions on Disston handsaws changed more over time than any other feature on the saw. By using the medallion, you can estimate the age of the saw. This one is from the early 40’s.

There always seems to be something that needs fixed around the farm. So far Mark has fixed many feeding troughs, replaced a window with authentic, reproduced glass, and replaced part of the barn door that the cow kicked out.

The tools used at the farm are from the time period (early 1900’s) and a lot of them were sold through the Sears catalog.

Remember the quiz? Here is Hint No. 2:

You will find the answer somewhere on this wall.
If you think you know what the quiz picture is, you might be close, but I’m guessing you don’t know “exactly” what it is.

There are a lot of tools in the shop:

Drill press

Hint No. 3:

It takes two people to use this tool.

Okay, here is the answer to the quiz:
Sheep scrotum. (Remember whose idea this was?)

And here is the answer to the question everyone is thinking right now:
Yes, they do shear it also!

Did anyone guess it?

The end!