Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Monday, December 28, 2009

Alligator Alley

There's a whoooole lot of water in Florida, and you know what else? Alligators! Cammie and I took a drive down to the Alligator Alley area near Everglades National Park hoping to see some alligators, and boy did we hit the jackpot. We had heard that alligators could be readily seen at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park on Highway 41, and we did see some on the other side of the canal at this stop. But they were pretty far away and hidden in the trees and bushes. It was when we drove up Turner River Road that we found the really good photo ops. All of the photos here were taken from this road when we pulled over right next to the canal. Some of these creepy-looking guys were as close as eight feet away -- and no barriers.

The photo below looks like Siamese twins alligators, but it's just a really clear reflection.

These guys were everywhere, and some of them were pretty large. Cammie and I were both thrilled to see them. It was well worth the drive.

Rylie's Notes:

I don't like the water, and now I know why. But I DO like The Junior Staff, and boy was I happy to see her. She brought me treats and a frog that makes noise, but I would have been happy to see her even if she didn't. But don't tell her that.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

...and to all a good night. I hope you are enjoying your family, friends and feathered and furry loved ones. And for those that don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So Long Texas..Hellooooooo, Florida!

It was a sprint to the finish line, and I didn't get everything done that I wanted to before I left, but at least I finished my work before I had to make a dash for Florida. Only I didn't get to dash very far before I ran into problems and delays. I had an electrical problem and a broken tire valve stem, so that gummed up the works a bit. I still don't know the full extent of my electrical problem, but at least I made it to Florida so that I can pick Cammie up at the airport. I'm so excited to see her!

It's nice to be in warmer weather. I think I'm going to enjoy being in Florida for the winter. Anyway, I'll post more later -- I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still alive, and I made it.

Rylie's Notes:

The Staff tells me that there are snakes and alligators in this park. Something tells me they won't be as fun to chase as squirrels.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Old Orange Cafe Christmas Tree

I had lunch with some friends at the Old Orange Cafe in Orange, Texas recently, and I was impressed by their Christmas tree. My photography skills could not do it justice, but it was the most unique Christmas tree I have seen in awhile. It was decorated with bird of paradise and orchids.

And now for a bit of movie nostalgia: Do you remember the old movie The Birds? I saw that movie when I was a kid, and it made quite an impact on me. Well, the other day when I was working, I stopped at a Beaumont business establishment to make one of my work calls, and I was reminded of that old movie. The photos below were all taken from one parking lot. You might have to double click on the photos to get the full impact.

These birds were everywhere! After my business call I was sitting in my car for a few minutes getting my next photo ready, and I could hear the birds starting to land on the roof and trunk of my car. I felt like I was in the movie. But I'm happy to report that they did not peck my eyes out and I was able to carry on with my work.

I figured I couldn't leave Texas without getting a photo of the Texas longhorns. These two beauties were sitting in front of one of the homes I had to visit while working:

Texas Longhorns

Rylie's Notes:

Now I'm pretty good at herding birds, but even I might need to call in reinforcements with all of those birds.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What Profanity Is This?

As I have mentioned before, I have a severe allergy to the cold. That's right, I'm a weather wimp. Maybe it's because I spend so much time outdoors, walking Rylie for an hour almost every day, and then knocking on doors for work. I don't like to post four letter words on my blog, so I'll post a photo instead:

That was what was left on my car Saturday morning after our storm on Friday. It didn't last long, but it made for some chilly temperatures. Snow is not very common in these parts, and the temperatures are normally in the mid to high 60's at this time of year. Now before you call me a whiny baby, you should know that motorhomes just aren't insulated like homes or apartments are, and we had some days with highs only in the 40's.

I didn't want to run my furnace because I'm low on propane and they don't deliver it at this RV park. I was hoping I could make it last until I leave here in a couple of weeks, so that I don't have to unhook everything, pack everything away, bring the motorhome somewhere to get the tank filled, and then hook everything up and unpack again, only to do it all over again in a couple of weeks. It takes a lot of time. I have just been running the heat strip on the air conditioner and the little portable heater I picked up when I was in Duluth, because they run on electric. Even with running both of those, I couldn't get the temperature in the motorhome up to normal. But at least the power didn't go out.

More rain today, and I guess tomorrow too. It sure does rain a lot here. I don't know how the folks in the Northwest handle it. I'm getting lonesome for the sun. I'm waiting for the motorhome to start floating away, with how flooded it gets around here. Rylie seems to be getting pretty tired of it too. He didn't want to perform on his evening walk because it was so wet and flooded.

Rylie's Notes:

I don't know what The Staff is complaining about. I'm the one trudging through the rain, sleet and snow without a raincoat or an umbrella. I'm not thrilled with the conditions of the outhouse lately.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Beating the Black Cloud

You know how you have those annoying days when lots of little things go wrong? Not the major tragedies that change your life, but just the doggy doo on your shoe kind of stuff that ratchets up your blood pressure a notch. Well, when I first got to Beaumont, I had about two weeks of those days. The following is a general accounting of my doggy doo days:

First, my work in Beaumont was delayed for about two weeks due to scheduling problems with the photographer, mistakes made by the office, and delays due to weather. The RV park where I am staying was flooded from all of the rain, including my campsite. Because it was so muddy and slippery, I slipped and fell when I was walking Rylie one morning and hit my head on the concrete, giving myself a royal headache. When I was washing my screens and wiping off my vent lids on the motorhome, my finger poked a hole in the plastic of one of the vent lids -- that's how much the plastic had deteriorated from the sun and other elements. Then my water heater wouldn't start any time it rained, my car had problems starting and required hundreds of dollars in repairs, I got a nail in my car tire, my GPS stopped working, a rock hit the motorhome windshield and damaged it in two places, I got the stomach flu, I stepped on an anthill and my foot was attacked by fire ants, and a dog snuck up behind me and bit me in the leg when I was working. Then I really did step in doggy doo. I could have gotten upset or depressed after this barrage of annoyances, but it got to the point where I just had to laugh about it all, it was so ridiculous. After all of that, things started going really well.

I met a couple of co-workers for lunch this week, and boy did we have fun. LaVerne and Bob are working in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area, and this is the first time we have met. It was almost a three hour lunch, and we ate at LaHacienda in Port Arthur. I had some really tasty seafood enchiladas. I know that it's a big no no to write about what you had for lunch on your blog, but I'm the boss of this blog.

I have to say, the weather in Beaumont is strange, and changes quite drastically. On Sunday the high temperatures were in the low 70's, and tomorrow they are forecasting rain, sleet, and snow. The highs were only in the 40's and low 50's this week. That's quite a bit below average for these parts, so I'm hoping it warms up again soon.

Rylie's Notes:

Dogs don't have bad days, or bad weeks. Even when our staff forgets to restock the liver treats, we still welcome her home with tail wags and kisses. Ahem.