Our Schedule

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A week to go and counting

Centerville, TX

One week from today and we will be leaving the Texas oil patch until next February or March.  It's been 3 and a half months and we are so ready.

So I started my "almost" gluten free diet three days ago.  So far, so good.   I have to admit I did have a slice of pizza yesterday.   My neighbor Gate Guard, Sandi, is also off wheat.    She gave me half a loaf of bread that is absolutely delicious.   She says she finds it in the frozen bread section.   It is called Ezekiel 4:9.  Sounds Biblical, doesn't it.

However, I just looked at the label and it lists Org Sprouted Wheat, Org Sprouted Barley, Org sprouted Millet, Org Malted Barley, Org Sprouted Lentils, Org Sprouted Soybeans, Org Sprouted Spelt, Fresh yeast, Org wheat gluten and sea salt.   Well to me that sure looks like lots of wheat.  I was wondering what the heck is Org.    Okay - guess it means Organic.    Reading further is says it has natural gluten.   Now, what is the difference between natural gluten and unnatural - the cost of the bread?

As of last night I lost ONE pound.   I know enough to know that means NOTHING.   We can vary by a few pounds each day.

I would love to be able to take walks around here.   However, 50 feet in one direction and there is a cattle guard.   50 feet in the other is the entrance to the well site where hard hats and other personal protection equipment is required.   The road by us is a country road with no shoulder and a speed limit of 75.   Lots of oil field equipment up and down the roads all hours of night and day.

These wells are is on private property.   The landowner man, Bob, comes by on occasion.  I recently found out the extent of his property.   There are 8 well sites at this gate in varying stages from the pad being constructed, some wells producing and others almost ready.    Down the road about two miles is another site where our neighbor gate guards are stationed.   Their road goes back about 2 miles and from what I can determine there are 10 or more sites back there.

At our location we usually have 8 to 10 loads of crude being removed each day.  At the other site it is that many or more.  Sandi was told each truck load of crude has a value of $18,000.   I curious what is the % given to the landowner.    He raises cattle but I am thinking raising crude is more profitable.  And a lot less work for him.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Can I live wheat free?

Centerville,  TX

I am well aware that with old age comes creaks and pain in these old bones.   Some days my knees let me down.  Literally.   One knee or the other will just collapse making walking a little slower and labored.

In my younger years I had low blood pressure.  Not any more.   Sometimes it falls in the normal range but often it is on the high side.   Don't even talk to me about cholesterol levels.  Mine is much higher than recommended.   In the inside corner of  my right eye I have puffy lose skin.  My doctor tells me it is due to high cholesterol.

I am also WAY overweight.  Actually into the obese category.

All these things combined make it difficult and tiring to do a whole heck of a lot.   Especially in heat and humidity.   About 10 years ago I had a bout with heat exhaustion.  Since that time the heat hits me really hard.

What to do.  What to do.

I have been hearing a lot lately about "wheat belly".  I have a granddaughter who has food allergies, among them wheat.   I got to thinking if a 7 year old can live with a diet minus wheat, why can't her 70 year old grandmother.

Today I give myself a challenge.  Two weeks.  Just two weeks without wheat.   Then I will see how I feel.

I am going to lay it all out here:

Weight:    195 pounds!!!!  on a 5'7" body.    That is only 3 pounds short of my all time high.  10 years ago I lost over 50 pounds on Weight Watchers.   I found most of that weight I lost.   Each year a little more.

My food log for today:

Breakfast.   My usual 1/2 cup of coffee with French Vanilla creamer
                   4 ounces Tropicana OJ with lots of pulp
                   Two scrambled eggs with green onion, 1 strip of crisp bacon, shredded cheese topped with                          salsa.   I tried to eat it like a burrito but the corn tortillas I bought fall completely apart.   Can                          anyone recommend a good brand?

Snack:        4 baby carrots with 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing

Dinner:         Crock pot roast beef with mushrooms
                    Brown rice
                    Black eyes peas

Snack:          Apple

Need to drink more water.  Time to get some NOW!

Can I do this while heading out in 11 days?   I hope so.  

Got any good gluten free recipes?  

Friday, May 23, 2014

A small project while we wait

Centerville,  TX

Only 14 more days and we will have completed our commitment this year here in the oil field.   We are anxious to get on the road.

In the meantime, Leonard started working a  project yesterday.    He had made the lamp post as seen below last year.  We've received many comments about it.

He is now in the process of making one for some special friends as a Thank You.   In addition he will make two more to be auctioned at our annual Nomads (www.nomadsumc.org) meeting to be held in Branson, Mo is September.    The auction is a large fund raiser each year.  It raises over $40,000 that is used to provide project funding for agencies who lack the money to purchase materials.

One step this morning was to get some tools from our basement. Some were in the basement, others in the huge toolbox he built for the bed of the truck.


Yesterday he drove the 50+ miles each way down to Huntsville, TX for the PVC pipes and the lanterns.  He could only find black lanterns.  No problem. An easy fix.

He will completely assemble the one lamp post for our friends.  The other two will travel in pieces until September when we get to Branson.

Our lantern always travels in a container and is added when at a site.  Oops on one of the project lanterns.

When Leonard spray painted the lanterns he removed the glass and laid them on a side table.   They were there maybe two minutes when he hit the table with his elbow.   Okay, gotta find a hardware store that sells and cuts glass.

As he was working on his project today, a truck driver stopped and asked him how much he wanted for one of the lamp posts.   Thinking this might be something worth considering in the future????

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thinking I started something.

Centerville, TX

A few weeks ago I made a favorite of ours.  A type of cheesecakie thingie.   I got the recipe off Facebook some months ago.   Everyone who has tried it, loved it.   The recipe can not be simpler unless one buys a cheesecake from the store.

Cody, one of the company men here at the gate always stops the talks to Leonard.   As I had just made the cheesecakie thingie, I gave him a hefty couple of slices.    Then he started strongly hinting about it most times he came through the site.  About the same time, one of the construction drivers asked what time was lunch. I told him no lunch!  But, being the sweet person I am, I gave him some cheesecakie thingie.

Leonard had been talking to another company man, Casey,  about Cajun Food.   He was making Crawish etouffee the next night and invited Casey to dinner.   So, ! make the cheesecakie thingie again.   He didn't have time to stay to eat so took the etouffee back to the site.  I sent most of the cheesecakie thingie with him on condition he return my pan.  (he did).

A few days ago Cody came in with some other workers in the truck with him.   He said  he told them how good my cheesecakie thingie is but they didn't believe him.   What do you think he was telling me.  The same day the truck driver told me the cheesecakie thingie was good except for one thing.  I didn't give him enough.

Yesterday I made another batch.   I gave some to Cody, some to Casey, some to another man (the pumper) who comes through the gate several times a night.   Leonard also gave two slices to a boss company man.  Never saw the truck driver yesterday  Guess he was out of luck.

When I went to bed last night there were two slices left.   This morning two ladies who do the catering when the various crews finish their part of the process came through the gate.    Len gave them the last two slices.   One was so glad to get it because she had tried the cheesecakie thingie that one of the guys had.   Glad she liked it because when she grills for the crew, we also get the benefit.

If interested, this is the recipe for the cheesecakie thingie.   No idea what it is really called.

1.  Take one tube of refrigerated crescent rolls and lay on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
2.   Mix together two blocks of cream cheese, one cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla.
3.   Spread cheese cheese mixture over crescent rolls.
4.   Cover with another tube a crescent rolls.
5.  Melt one stick of butter and pour over
6.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of sugar mixed with cinnamon.  I have no idea how much, I just keep adding until it       looks right.
7.   Bake at 350 until edges are brown - about 25 minutes.

There!  Easy cheesecakie thingie.   Just be careful who you give some to.  They might be hinting for more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saw him (or her) but didn't get a picture.

Centerville,  TX

Since I starting to coming to the Texas and Louisiana area in 1988 I keep seeing Armadillos.  Dead on the road.   The first time I saw a live one was last year when we were walking  a path in a National Wildlife Refuge down near Mercedes, TX.

Yesterday Len was checking in a truck when I heard him call my name. I went to the door and he pointed to an area about one foot from the gravel road that goes back to the well and is in front of our rig.   Yep, there he was, Armadillo digging a hole.    He was about twenty feet from our front door.

I quickly grabbed my camera.  I got it out of the case.   I took the lens cap off.  I flipped the viewer.  I pointed it to the area where Armadillo was digging.   I saw the back end as he ran off into the woods.   Maybe next time.

I did hang our Hummingbird feeder last week and we have frequent visitors.

Or another note:

I am starting to consider something.    Our 7 year old granddaughter has many allergies, among them gluten. I've heard often people talk about feeling better once they eliminate gluten from their diet.  Today I read an article about signs of gluten intolerance.   Got me lots of them.

A little earlier this evening a gate guard who started last night 2 miles down the road stopped by.  She had a few questions as this is her and her husbands first time as gate guards.    In conversation she remarked she stopped eating gluten some months ago and feels so much better.   I thought what a coincidence she brought this up as I read the article just hours before.

Can I give up bread?  cookies? cake? pasta? all made with WHEAT.   I tasted Charlotte's rice bread - no thanks.   However the pasta, noodles and some of her cookies are not that bad.   Thinking I might have to give this a try.

What are your thoughts?  Any of you on a gluten free diet?  Has it made a difference?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who designed these.....

Centerville, TX

We very much like several things about our 2014 Cedar Creek Fifth wheel model 36CKTS.   Love the residential type refrigerator, love the walk in bedroom closet, love the full size sofa bed instead of the air bed we had in the Montana.    Really love the self leveling system.

But there are some things you just gotta wonder!   Behind the sofa is a large window under which are two smaller windows that crank out.   The cranks LOOKED like this.

On our first trip out both knobs broke completely apart,  leaving the posts exposed and puncturing a small hole in the back of the "leather" sofa.   As we had to take the rig back to the dealer for some other minor issues we had them address this problem.   The fix?   Crank handles.   Notice we keep foam around them to be sure no further damage occurs.

A dumb, dumb design.  Hey guys - place the windows higher or install a sofa with a shorter back. Problem solved.

Next issue:   

Our entertainment unit.  On the right of the fireplace is a radio.   We like this as there are speakers outside under the awning.   On the left is the space for the satellite receiver.   BUT the outlet for the receiver is in the cabinet under the Radio.   Quite a bit of fun threading the electrical cables behind the fireplace and where the TV goes down while traveling.    Who thought this would be the right way to go?

Now this one is really dumb.   One thing we like about the unit is that the door comes with plastic panels that snap in over the screens.   I love this because summer, spring, fall and winter I like the main door open leaving in light.   But directly across the door on the wall is this:

The sun shines in through the door, and is heated by the plastic panels, hitting the thermostat.   On goes the air conditioner regardless of temp in the room.   Genius!

One thing I've disliked is having to open the slide on the screen/storm door every time I entered or exited.  Last week Leonard partially solved it by installing a handle inside. 

Now I only have to open the slide when exiting to get to the outside handle.  When entering I just pull the new inside handle.  I know some newer models come with a handle on both sides or some other modification.   Next time in Camping World or other large RV supply store.   I will be checking it out.

So, it leaves me with a question, do these people who design RV's ever spend any time in one?