Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This

I was going to write about Sugar Snap Stir Fry tonight but other things came up.

Momma said there’d be days like this…

It was very hot.

Then the rains came and that was a good thing. The temperatures dropped into the 90’s and the caliche tamped itself temporarily down.

Then the wind changed. The rain rained itself sideways right into the vent on the kitchen slide making the refrigerator go out.

Heidi still had the phone number of a roving RV repair man that she talked to a few months ago when the rig washers were washing oil based mud off the RV and soaked the vent, knocking the frig out the first time.

He had talked her through a magical magnet resetting trick over the phone. We sent him a thank you check for $25. She called. He called back and said he’d forgotten how to do it. Maybe we should have sent $35.

She asked him how we could prevent this from happening in the future (it rains sideways a lot on the Oregon coast).

He said, next time you buy an RV, get one with the vents on the top.


While I was sleeping and Heidi was running back and forth between the gate and the soggy vent, one of our guys stopped by and offered to help.

He accidentally dropped the magnet inside the vent where it found a metal home and he lost it completely.

When I woke up yesterday afternoon, that much of the drama had unfolded. I hobbled out with the umbrella that we were surprised to find still tucked under the front seat (not really much need for it in Texas between the wind and the drought). I held it while Heidi fished around with dueling screwdrivers, trying to grab the magnet.

The sun broke through making the umbrella even more superfluous than usual so I worked the gate while Heidi continued her vent project. She found the magnet, took a guess and, viola! the frig came back on!

We were relieved not to have to haul all of our food down to the Company Man’s extra frig (we did have to do that after the rig washer incident). We were celebrating Heidi’s magnet magic with a close game of Whist when we heard a LOUD thunk.

Heidi went out to find water gushing out from under the RV. She came inside with this:

The filter canister cracked and plunked right off. We called our dealership in Iowa to see if we could still use internal water. Well, that would be a no but they did assure us that it was an anomaly, a defective part and  it wouldn’t happen again.


Next we called the other roving RV repair guy who had just replaced our grey water valve and toilet this month and our micro/wave convection oven last month. He never called back. Heidi will start the phone calling over again this a.m. The part will have to be ordered so we’ll be waterless for a while (we have plenty of drinking water – just no tap).

Sooo, Heidi bleached a bucket that had previously held who knows what – probably rattlesnake heads – and filled it from the tank outside so we’d have water to do dishes. While she was beaching the snake and scorpion remnants out of the bucket, our mud logger stopped by to tell her to tell me to be careful tonight because they’ve seen 5 rattlesnakes in the past 2 nights under their trailers (about 100 yards from us).

Heidi came in with the bucket and the snake news.

By this time we no longer cared about health and fitness so we ate an entire DiGiorno’s thin crust pizza. Heidi was pretty tired by all this problem solving and went to bed.

A little later, I opened the freezer to get an ice pack for my knee. When I opened the door, a bag of ice cubes fell out on Henry’s head. It wasn’t a very big bag but he doesn’t have a very big head. It didn’t hurt him but it did scare him. He jumped backwards, into his water dish and flipping his dog food all over the floor.

Seeing his dog food all over the floor didn’t make him hungry so I picked it up. But seeing his water all over did make him thirsty which led to Henry drinking a quart and needing to go right outside where the rattlesnakes are gathering in the dark to rumba. They call a group of rattlesnakes a rumba. I have no idea why.

Momma said there would be days like this…

Just  now, as I was finishing writing, there was a knock on the door. I’m used to the bells but a knock on the door at 3:30 in the morning is always a little startling. There was a man with all gold teeth standing on my fake green carpet perilously near the potential rumba. He said in a semi-desperate voice:

Ma’am, I don’t suppose there’s any chance you have jumper cables? There’s gotta be at least 50 men on this site and not one of them, I’m not kiddin’ now, not one of them has a set of jumper cables.

Our frig is iffy, we can’t take a shower or flush the toilet (well, we can but without water so it’s more of an inside outhouse) and I suppose, before it’s all over, we may smell a little ripe, but by golly WE have jumper cables!

I got them out of the truck and he said:

Ma’am, you just saved my life. I mean it! Really!

I’m not sure why the cables were a life line but hey, any day that ends by sharing life saving jumper cables is a really fine day!

The Day Company Came a Callin’

I don’t feel like myself tonight. Isn’t that an odd saying? It’s not like I feel like someone else. I’m not exactly sick or entirely well. I guess I’m just a little more off than usual, so I promise to keep this short.

We had company yesterday! I think you might have to be a gate guard in real rural Texas and have nearly all your friends and family 1200 – 2200 miles away to really appreciate how wonderful it is to get company!

On a few rare occasions, we’ve had an opportunity to meet other gate guards, which has been great fun! And we’ve had tons of company with multiple legs, which I’ll write more about, another time.

But yesterday, people who already know us, came to see us on purpose! 🙂



We met Mike and Casey in  Oregon where we were workampers together. Mike converted our gas- only water heater to give us an electric option in the Class A. They taught us how to tie down our awning and then taught us to never put out the awning on the Oregon coast unless we wanted to go para-sailing!

We were new to RVing, new to workamping, new to the coast; which is just a nice way of saying we didn’t know anything and they taught us everything! We were so poor, they even bought us a space heater. You’ve gotta love folks who keep you warm and keep you laughing! Thank you so much, dear friends, for spending 7 hours in the car to spend 4 hours with us today!

I’m not sure what Mike and Heidi talked about while Casey and I walked Buttons and Henry, but I could tell things were different after they left.

We played cards, as we do almost every night. But it wasn’t cards as usual. Maybe that’s why I don’t quite feel like myself? We generally always (yes, that’s how they say it down here) play 2 hands of Whist, 2 hands of Gin Rummy and 1 game of Cribbage.

I usually win. 🙂

I don’t mean to, it just happens. That fact that Heidi’s only been playing cards for about 4 years and I’ve been playing cards since I was 4, may be a factor. Anyway, I think Mike must have given her a pep talk. She won tonight! In my defense, it’s hard to maintain any strategy with a gun in your face. Just sayin’. 😉



To celebrate her massive card annihilation, we watched Heidi’s favorite TV show: Swamp People. Ever since our trip to Louisiana  and our wild air boat ride through the Bayou, she loves to watch Swamp People and yell out Shoot him! which I’ve gotten used to but still startles Henry. The shooting is a reference to the alligator, not to a person, but that’s a story for a night when I feel more like myself. 😀


This 10 footer was about a foot from my foot. My toes haven’t felt quite the same since…

North by Northeast?

I’m longitudinally challenged. Today was our 9th day at the new site near Smiley. It was the first time I’d left the rig since we got here. There’s a reason for that. Several, actually, but the main one is that I’m void of all sense of direction. Neither maps, nor hand-written directions, nor GPS (no signal available) seem to guarantee I’m facing in the right way.

35°45′38.81″N 119°33′41.52″W / 35.7607806°N 119.5615333°W / 35.7607806; -119.5615333. These are the longitude and latitude markers for Hitchcock’s  famous Cary Grant being chased by a crop-dusting plane scene in North by Northwest. In the movie, this supposedly took place in northern Indiana but it was actually shot on Highway 155 near Wasco, CA.  The shots of the cliffs high above the ocean that were supposed to be in Long Island were really shot on the California coast. This was partially for “national security”‘ reasons and mostly because there are no cliffs high above the ocean in Long Island. Just goes to show, you aren’t always where you think you are. I’m often not where I think I am.

My agenda for a trip to town today was the usual: laundry mat, car wash, library, and a brief stop at the grocery store for coffee and creamer. Should have been easy. It’s 4 miles of dirt road and 3 miles of blacktop to Nixon. Smiley doesn’t have a laundry mat, a car wash, a library or a Super S.

Nixon is a town of a just over 2000. The laundry mat is next to the car wash. The two stall, $1 car wash is apparently the central gathering place for teens in town. The Super S is right on Main. I was gone for 4 hours. I could have hit the River Walk and a Mall in San Antonio and been back in less time.

I drove 31 miles. 8 miles to get there and 23 to get home. I got to see a lot of the county-side.  And gosh, it all looks pretty much alike. Cactus, cows, lots and lots of open ranch land, and dust, no need for a crop-duster.

I left here around 2:00 and made it home in time for a few hand of Whist before Heidi needed to go to bed (7:00). Our guys rotated out last night and today. That means we have our second group of 7-ers. While I was getting familiar with the area,  Heidi had the Camry boys (we only have 1 car on the site) spell F L O O R for her. After 2 months, we know all the guys, so Heidi thought she’d find out what each one does. Andrew and James tried telling her several times before resorting to spelling. They’re floor workers. They’re also very southern. Turns out floor is spelled the same way in Texas as it is back home. I guess tomorrow, I’ll stay here and talk to the guys and Heidi will go to town and get groceries. Probably will work out better for all of us.