Thursday, May 31, 2012

Days 32 & 33, More Banking Woes

Day 32

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day.  We did have a nice surprise.  It rained for 30 minutes. We have been on the road for 32 days and have only seen rain one other time.  We are in a drought here, so the rain was very exciting.
Rain as seen through our RV windshield
Dad came home and said "Did it rain here?"  Mama said it did for about a half hour.  Dad could tell because we still had a water puddle on the street, but the ground still looks as dry as can be.

Mama fixed sliders for dinner.  Sliders are just small hamburgers on small buns.  Mama thought they were good.  She used Hawaiian bread buns as per her recipe.  She thought they might be sweet, but they weren't.  She added onions and cheese to the burgers.

Day 33 - Today

Mama checked her bank account this morning and was shocked to see that the charges duplicated.  She called the bank and Kelly checked into it.  She said the charges went through last night, but the pre-authorized ones have not dropped off yet like they should.  She talked to her boss who said it is nothing to be alarmed about.  They will credit our account today for the money that was taken out last night and they will either force the others to drop off or will wait until they clear and then credit our account again.  Mama would prefer for them to force them to drop off and get this over with.  It's a good thing she checked it again today because we have bills that are being paid tomorrow and once again, our account is too low for those to clear due to this duplication of charges. Mama asked if they will try to find the crooks and Kelly said it is next to impossible.  The bank will charge the stores the money that was taken, but the crooks will probably get away with it. Mama told her she feels like she has been violated and it makes her very angry that people get away with stealing like this.  Kelly said she understood. She said they are a small bank and they have to deal with this from time to time, but the bigger banks really have it bad.

We are supposed to have storms today.  We like rain, but storms are scary in a motor home.  The weather man says the chance of tornadoes are pretty slim, so we hope he is correct.  Houston is close enough to the Gulf of Mexico that if a tropical storm or hurricane develop in the area, we will have to move inland.  I think we would be hit mainly with tornadoes and high winds, but I am not positive on that.  Nothing is out there right now, but the news here definitely pays attention to all the tropical storms when they develop.  I guess that is a way of life here.  It's something we don't have to worry about in Missouri.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Would Like To Catch The Crooks And Teach Them A Lesson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 31 - (Continued) - Our Debit Card Number Was Stolen

We had excitement yesterday afternoon.  Mama logged into their checking account and saw four unauthorized charges.  They were in New York!  They were for Pathmark and CVS.  Mama immediately remembered a strange phone call that Dad received on Saturday.  It was an automatic call and he didn't listen to the whole thing.  He just said "our prescriptions are pending".  Well, for one thing, Dad doesn't order prescriptions and the second strange thing is that his phone number is newer and no one would have it.  Mama thought it was very odd, but then decided the message was probably for the person who had the number before him. Dad gets messages for him all the time. After seeing the charges, Mama immediately checked their online prescription service and nothing was pending.  She then called them and they said they have nothing to do with those companies.  She then called her bank.  They checked the account and said that they had just put a hold on it.  I guess they figured that something odd was going on since we had made charges in Texas and New York at the same time.  They told Mama that they were deactivating her debit card so no one could use it again.  Dad has a debit card and they said his will still work. We hope so because we will need to get cash from time to time. They said they would fax her a form to sign.  She spoke with the park manager who said it was fine to have them fax it here.  So, they faxed it here and then the park manager was nice enough to fax it back to the bank.  The bank said that they have to let the transactions go through and then they will put the money back in our account. The transactions are not due to go through until June 2nd.  We hope it goes as smoothly as they say it will.  Mama went ahead and transferred money from savings into checking because she has some bills that are being paid out this week and she would be bouncing them thanks to the crooks.  The crooks spent $364 of our money.  Mama thought and thought about how that phone call and the debit card theft were related and she figured it out.  They went to the phone store to renew Dad's pay as you go phone two weeks ago.  The machine said it no longer took credit cards, so they had to use Mama's debit card. That is the only time that Dad's phone number and Mama's debit card have been used together.  We don't know if the crooks have actually received whatever they bought with our money yet since the transactions are pending.  Luckily, Mama checks her bank account daily just to be sure everything is okay.  She has been using her debit card a lot because it is also a Visa card. She uses in restaurants as well as at the store.  She will get a new one whenever we return home. It just seems to be a lot of trouble to have one sent here.  The bank person was very nice and made the process very simple.  It's a smaller bank with just four locations.  I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

On a happier note, Mama thought the dinner last night was really, really good.  It was also a very easy meal to make.  Dad really liked it too, so it is definitely on our repeat list.  It is called Easy Ham And Au Gratins.
 Ingredients:
1½ c frozen potatoes, O’Brien, Ore Ida®
1 c cubed ham
1 c cut green beans, drained
10 oz can cream of potato soup
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
¼ c sour cream
Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Mix potatoes, ham, green beans, potato soup and cheese and cook on low in crock pot for 5 to 6 hours. Stir in sour cream before serving and cook until hot.

What could be easier than that?  Not much.  There are no photos.  It was good, but it didn't look "pretty" in photos.  LOL

Our weather has turned steamy this week.  It is very humid and we are actually having a rain shower right now. That was not predicted.  We have had one rain shower in the past five weeks.  We miss rain.  It has been cooling off quickly at night.  Our evening walks are usually quite pleasant.

Joey
The Greyhound Who Still Needs A Cowboy Hat

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Days 30 & 31 Memorial Day And Today

We had a pretty quiet day yesterday.  Mama said it was Dad's day to rest, but by noon, she was ready to go somewhere.  They decided to go to Dollar Tree because she wanted to buy a muffin pan and some other things for the kitchen.  They also stopped by the Goodwill Select Store. Apparently, the select stores are an upgrade to other stores because the items were very nice, but they were priced about twice as much.  Mama saw a comforter that she thought would be nice for me, but they wanted too much money for it. Mama decided that she would just let me use the one that is in the Jeep.  You see, I have decided my favorite place is on the floor under the air conditioning vent.  It is between Mama and Dad, so what could be better?  Mama had been stacking a few blankets for me, but decided I needed more comfort.  You gotta love a Mama that doesn't want my body on a hard surface.
This is my favorite spot.  I have a comforter and a small blanket.  The pillow is there blocking that steel part that I banged my foot on last week.  This picture really makes me look pink and fat. I have been walking a lot and really not eating many treats.  It's really hard to hide fat when you are white.

This is Scout's favorite spot.  It's on the folk's bed under the AC vent.
The folks ate at Tailgaters Pub & Grill.   Mama had a rib eye sandwich and a salad.  Dad had a Bayou Po'Boy which is a blackened chicken breast topped with Andouille sausage, sauteed onion, cheddar cheese, creole mustard and served on a hoagie roll.  They had breaded mushrooms as an appetizer.  Mama said it was hard deciding what she wanted to eat.  She liked the rib eye sandwich, but should have added onions and mushrooms to it.  She would like to go back and try something else.  It is located really close to where we are staying.

Dad checked our electric usage and was shocked at our bill.  It is up to $95 after just two weeks.  Mama checked it after the first week and she thought it was only $17.  She either figured it wrong or we have been using a lot more.  We started keeping the blowers on our AC at night and we think that is the cause of the bill going up so much.  Keeping the blowers on has been helping us all sleep through the night because it is just a constant sound.  Dad got a fan out for their room last night and used that instead of the blower.  We are going to check our usage from yesterday until today to see how much we used. Most campgrounds make you pay for your own electric if you staying a month.  They give you a discounted site rate, but you have to pay your own electric bill.  We could pay a weekly rate and get the electricity for free, but it would end up costing us more.   Mama said it looks like we are paying as much for our RV electric as we do for our 1200 square foot house. Dad said it is because RVs are not insulated very well.  We have really been trying to conserve, so we are quite disappointed to see the bill be as high as it is.

Dad hung up the spice racks yesterday and Mama is very pleased with them.  She now has more room in the pantry and the spices are easy to reach.

The retired couple left yesterday.  They were really confused about how to disconnect everything.  They just starred at it.  We were headed over to help them when the park manage arrived.  He helped them.  We cannot understand how they were not shown how to do anything. Maybe they didn't pay attention?  We are not sure.  When we bought our travel trailer, the salesman showed us everything and gave us a DVD to watch.  We had another training session when we bought our motor home.  We hope they made it home okay. 

Day 31

This morning, Mama cleaned our carpet.  She tried to do it a few weeks ago, but realized she was missing a part to the SpotBot.  She found the part at a vacuum store this past weekend.  I didn't care much for the carpet cleaning, but it does look much better now.  It was getting really dirty.

Our dinner is in the slow cooker.  We are having Easy Ham and Au Gratins.  It looks like it will be good.  We will give a review of it tomorrow.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Stays Cool Under The AC Vent

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 28 San Jacinto Battleground (Continued) and Day 29 - Shopping Day

On Saturday, the folks visited San Jacinto Battleground. This is the battle where Texas gained their independence from Mexico.  A monument has been built to honor those who fought.  The monument is 570 feet tall.  The folks took an elevator to the top.  Actually, it is not to the top, but close to it.


View from the top of the monument.  You can see the Battleship Texas in this photo.

The reflecting pool. Battleship is in the back on the right side.

Another view from the top.




The star is at the top of the monument.  Mama couldn't get a good picture of it, so she took a picture of a  picture that is in the museum.  You can see the windows where she took the other pictures from.

Another picture of the battleship from the top of the monument. She did a zoom on this picture.

The monument, but the top is cut off in this photo.

A faraway picture of the monument.
White Pelicans in bay
We were asked what chicken fried steak is.  Chicken fried steak is not chicken.  It is a tenderized cube steak that is battered and fried like chicken or that is Mama's understanding.  There is a place that the folks are going to try that is supposed to have the best country fried steak in Texas.  It was featured on Food Network and one of the other campers told Dad about it last week.  Country fried steak is the same as chicken fried steak, I think.

Day 29

The folks went shopping today at Camping World. They bought some spice racks to hang behind the stove.  That will free up some much needed space in the pantry. They also bought a cover to go over the window in the door.  The sun shines through the window now even though it is frosted, so we are hoping it will keep it a little cooler.  Dad bought some covers for the tires on Goldie.  It's important to keep your tires covered if they are sitting in the hot sun and not moving like ours are doing here.   They visited a few other stores, but didn't really buy much.  Camping World is an hour away, so that was two hours just in travel time.

They ate at Spring Creek BBQ   Mama had ribs and Dad had sausage and beef.  Mama said it was good, but she would rather go back to the place they ate last week, Willy's, because it was really good.  No pictures of the food.  Mama forgot.
Spring Creek BBQ on Urbanspoon
After they got home, Daddy started talking about going to Sonic for ice cream.  Mama said we could go!  We have not been anywhere since we got here three weeks ago.  Mama packed our frosty treats and off we went.  It felt so good to feel the wind in my hair and to see something outside of the campground.

Here we in the Jeep eating our frosty treats.  Mama didn't want to buy us anything since our tummy's were so messed up last week.  We are back to normal now and she does not want to give us anything new. We didn't care.
Our view at Sonic.

After we got back from Sonic, we decided to drag Scout around the campground.  We met a newly retired couple who are camping for the first time.  They just bought their motor home yesterday.  Mama felt sorry for them because they do not have a clue as to what they are doing.  They can't even get their TV to work.  Mama said that Daddy could help, but they said that was okay. They would work on it when they got home. We think it is just something really simple because the TV is turning on, but they only get a blue screen.  They said they didn't know how to plug in the RV or anything when they got here and the park manager helped them.  Mama is shocked that the salesman didn't go over things with them.  I hope they do okay unhooking it tomorrow, but we will be here if they need help.  The lady is anxious to get home. She didn't know that people brought their dogs camping, so she left hers at home.  The husband is excited about camping, but the lady is not.  I think she felt a little better after talking to Mama and petting me and Scout. Mama said she bets they leave really early tomorrow morning.  The lady was ready to leave today. The husband ran over the light pole yesterday with his truck.  We hope they make it home to Louisiana okay.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Went To Sonic

Day 28, Touring Battleship Texas & SanJacinto Battleground

Yesterday, the folks left us to go sightseeing.  They toured the Battleship Texas. She was in service for WWI and WWII.  Mama thought it would be pretty boring, but she actually liked it.  She said it was interesting to see how the men lived.  Visitors are allowed to walk all over the battleship.  There were many steps to climb and Mama said they were scary to her. She wore sandals yesterday not realizing she would be climbing around the ship.
Texas Battleship - it was hard to get a picture of the entire thing.


These are the steps that Mama had to climb up and down. There is no way Scout could have done them. She still can't get in the RV without help.  :::sigh::: There were three decks and the bottom was the boiler room. They were allowed to explore all of them.

Some of the many guns on the ship.

This was the bakery.

A view of the San Jacinto Monument from the ship.

Executive's Office

Kitchen

Another view of the kitchen.

One of the many bunk rooms.

These bunks were just in the hallway. No privacy.

Dentist office.

Commissary - it was loaded with cigarettes and magazines.

Another view of the commissary.

Barber Shop
There was also a sick bay, operating room, prison, laundry and probably other rooms that Mama is forgetting. Some of the rooms like the bunk rooms, sick bay and laundry rooms had a strong odor.

Many of the sailors were said to be from rural areas and living on this ship was their first time having indoor plumbing and electricity.

Boy Scouts are allowed to camp on the battleship and Mama said she bets they have a great time. There were a lot of boys that were running around the ship and they were very excited. 

The battleship is located in the bay by the San Jacinto Battleground.  That was the battle that won Texas' independence from Mexico.  Many of the soldiers that died that day are buried there.  However, look at this poor guy. They put a parking lot around him.
Grave with parking lot around it.
Mama wanted to look at the other tombstones, but Dad got attacked by mosquitoes so they had to leave.  Mosquitoes attacked them at 1 p.m. on a sunny day.

They then drove to Monument Inn. It is a restaurant that Mama had read reviews on.  It is a seafood restaurant and even though Mama is allergic to shellfish, she wanted to eat there. It is on the bay and there are views of the bay from the tables.  They did not have a window seat, but they could still see the boats and the ferry taking cars back and forth.   They serve cinnamon rolls with their bread!  She ordered a chicken fried steak.  It came with fries and a salad.
Portion sizes seem to be large in Texas.
One time Mama ordered a country fried steak at a Bob Evan's in Missouri and when the waiter came by at the end of the meal, he said to Mama "I knew it didn't stand a chance!"  Can you believe he said that to her?  Anyway, this one was too big and she brought some of it home for us.  She said it was good, but we thought it was great!  Scout didn't even want to go to bed last night because she knew there was some left in the refrigerator.

Anyway, back to the meal yesterday... Dad had the fisherman's platter. Mama didn't take a photo because Dad didn't want her taking a photo of his food.  He's strange.  LOL   They had fried mozzarella sticks as an appetizer. They both said it was a good meal, but not great.  If they are ever in the area again, they might try it again.

Monument Inn on Urbanspoon After lunch, they visited the The San Jacinto Monument.  It is 570 feet tall.  It is a memorial for the men who fought for Texas Independence.   We will write about that later as this post is getting too long and Dad just said he is ready to take me for a walk.  Duty calls, you know.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Needs A Walk This Morning

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 27, Another Bad Hair Day

We are having another windy day and due to the wind and the high humidity this morning, our forecast is for a bad hair day. Mama walked to the laundry room and when she came back, you should have seen her hair!  She kind of looked like the cartoon that they use on the news when they show the "Hair Day Meter".

We are having a very lazy day today, so there is not much to report.

I rearranged my bed today.  
Scout is starting to like Mama and Dad's bed too much. She wants to sleep there all the time now.

I got Mama up at 2 a.m.  She was not happy with me.  She thought I was just bored, but I wasn't.  I think she felt bad after she saw I really needed to go.

Last night, Mama fixed a pork roast in the crock pot aka slow cooker.  She heated up Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes (pre-packaged) and corn.  It was a pretty good dinner.   Tonight, she is fixing chicken pot pie from her Emeals menu.

Tomorrow, she needs to go grocery shopping.  She does not like shopping here because the cashiers seem to move in slow motion.  It takes so long to get through the line.  She is going to go early in the morning in hopes that there are less people there.   After she gets back from grocery shopping, she hopes to stop at a vacuum store that she called today. They said they have the part that we need for our SpotBot.  She wants to clean the carpet, but we left an important part at home.  Then, the folks are going to do some sightseeing.  I guess Scout and I will just stay home and watch the world from our windows.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Knows How To Fluff A Bed

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 26, Wind Advisory - Bad Hair Day

We have a wind advisory for today. It should be interesting to see how much Goldie sways today.  The good thing is that we are not traveling in Goldie.  It is not fun traveling in a RV when the wind is strong.  The news has a hair meter and today is a "Bad Hair Day". They said that hats wouldn't help because they will just fly off your head.

We thought the park was filling up with holiday campers yesterday, but two of the campers next to us pulled out this morning.  I bet we will have new campers pulling in today or tomorrow.  It's always interesting meeting our new neighbors.

Last night, we went out for our evening walk and we met the people who live across the lake. They have a very nice motor home.  The lady bent down to pet me and spilled wine all over me.  The good thing is that it was white wine.  Can you imagine if I would have been stained with red wine?  She was a nice lady. She was wearing some sort a furry long thing in her hair or on her clothes and I grabbed it.  She didn't get mad, but she kept waving it in front of me while she petted Scout.  It was hard to resist.  She really liked Scout, of course.  Everyone thinks that Scout is the sweetest thing.  If they lived with her, they would see that she can be bossy.

Scout is feeling better now. Mama thought I had what Scout had, but I think it might have been from taking all the medicine for my leg.  I'm better today.  Scout didn't want to go to sleep last night.  Mama had to take her on two long walks after 10 p.m.  Mama was not happy about that, but we both slept all night, so that was good. 

What am I looking at?

It's a black cat in the woods.  Not a very good photo, but it moved fast when it saw the camera.
No pictures of last night's dinner.  It was good, but probably did not look appetizing.  Mama put stew meat in the crock pot and covered it with onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup and let it cook for about 6 hours.  She then boiled noodles and added those to the beef.  They also had garlic bread.  They were supposed to have green beans, but Mama forgot they were in the microwave until she was in bed last night.  Tonight, they are having a pork roast, mashed potatoes, corn and garlic bread.  Mama said the Emeals menu for next week looks really good.  She really likes food too much.  Scout takes after her, I think.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Was Bathed In Wine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 25, It's Beginning To Look Like Memorial Day

Our campground is decorated for Memorial Day.  We have flags at each of our driveways.  There are flags near the Texas star and we have red, white and blue ribbons at the entrance.  It looks really pretty.  Mama even decorated us.  We are wearing our flag collars.


I'm watching the flags because it's windy today.


You probably can't see the flags, but there is one on each post throughout the whole campground.

I'm supposed to be looking at the camera, but I refused.

Scout looked at the camera, but she was not happy about it.

See, she is really not happy about it.

"Fine, I will look, but I'm not going to look cute!"

The entrance all decorated.

There is a fire department located near us and we enjoy watching the firemen.
Scout seems to be doing better. She didn't get up in the middle of the night.  I, however, did wake everyone up at 3 a.m. because I was bored.  I didn't take a long walk last night to rest my foot and I guess I wasn't tired.  Dad said that I will be taking a long walk before bed tonight.  My foot is doing fine this morning.

Last night, Mama fixed Beef & Cheese Enchiladas and Refried Beans for dinner.  The enchiladas were made by cooking 1/2 pound of ground beef and 1/2 cup of onion and then draining.  Add in 1/2 cup of sour cream and a 1/2 can of corn.  Divide the mixture onto each flour tortilla.  Mama added mozzarella cheese to the filling because she didn't have a lot of cheddar cheese and she thought it needed more cheese. Then, add a few drops of enchilada sauce and roll up the tortilla and place it in baking pan.  Repeat and then add 1 cup cheddar cheese to top and add remaining can of enchilada sauce.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  The photo may not look that attractive because Mama used non-stick foil to make the clean up easy.  She added more sour cream to the top after it baked. She would have added black olives to it, if she had them.

She added salt and pepper and mozzarella cheese to the refried beans and heated those in the microwave.  Mama said it was a really good dinner.

Tonight, we are having a crock-pot meal.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Likes Walks Before The Sun Comes Up

All Is Well

Tropical Storm Cindy only brought us a few light showers.  Mom and I walked in the rain a few times, but it wasn't bad at all for us. ...