Gettin' My Girl On, Family Time, Rosas Cafe with Rose!

I spent this morning shuffling things around in the camper. The more time I spend in her, the more I see how things can be better arranged. I also labeled some of my bins so I know what is stored where!

I had a shopping list to fill, so I set out for Burleson just after lunch. At the top of my list was makeup. I forgot my makeup kit at home and it hadn't bothered me until I got to Texas! A girl can't do without her beauty aids here in the Lone Star State...especially with company coming! The helpful staff at Ulta Beauty helped me "get my girl on"! Thanks especially to Tanner, I'm now ready for anything!

A quick stop at Walmart for bottled water, Dr. Pepper, and a broom rounded out the errands. I didn't think I needed a broom in the camper. It's small enough that I can just clean the floor with a small whisk broom and a cloth, but I realize that I need a broom for the exterior. Often the area around the door of the camper is littered with leaves and branches and an outside broom would make it easy to tidy up the campsite so I don't track stuff inside.

Dexter and I took a nice walk while we waited for our company. This brilliant tree against the clear sky caught my eye...Auburn Leaves and Blue Sky.

My brother John and his wife Tracy arrived just before 5. We had a nice time catching up and they love the Wild Thing! They have a camper of their own and keep it parked in Matagorda, TX on the coast. I will have to visit them there someday!

John drove us to meet their daughter, my niece Robyn, her husband James, and their (adorable!) daughter Rose! We met at a gymnastics facility where Rose was taking her weekly lesson. She is quite a talented soon-to-be-4 year old! It was fun to watch her tumbling around, she is so full of life and joy!

After gymnastics, we met up at Rosa's Cafe and Tortilla Factory for a little Mexican food. I have been craving so good southwestern Mexican food and this was a delicious dinner filled with stories and laughter. It's so good to catch up with family!

 

Two beautiful girls with Auburn Hair and Blue Eyes!

Tomorrow I'll hitch up and head south. I'm meeting my friend Vonessa in Waco for coffee on my way through, then driving on to Kerrville where I'll set up camp at the Kerrville-Shriner State Park. Tomorrow night I'm meeting my friend Janice for dinner. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to catch up with so many people I care about!

The Things We Do for Love...

Today was a travel day. I left Hulbert, Oklahoma about 9 AM and headed down Highway 69. It was a bumpy ride with bad roads, construction, and heavy traffic. I stayed on Hwy 69 until it turned into Hwy 75 then continued on down to McKinney Texas where I turned on to Hwy 121. I must admit that it felt good to cross the line into the Lone Star State! I spent many good years here in Texas and it was a bit of a homecoming to be back. I was not, however, enamored with driving the camper through the DFW area! I am so grateful and happy to have the opportunity to see my brother John that I was willing to run this gauntlet to be able to spend some time with him.  I am very happy that I made it through the city unscathed if just a bit frazzled. The difficult driving is behind me now and I look forward to sharing a meal with John and his family on Thursday. I arrived at the Jellystone campground, just off I35W in Burleson, Tx around 4 pm where I was greeted by Mimi and Patti, two smiling faces that made up for the stressful driving day! I was parked and unhooked within an hour and have been enjoying the warm evening with phone calls to my DH, my sister Jean, and a nip of Jamison. Dexter has taken me on a few walks around the campground and now we are both settled in for the night. Who knows what adventures await us tomorrow?

 

Art Projects, Wizard of Oz, Homemade Pizza, and Hurts Doughnuts

It's 10:45 p.m., and after a full day with the Jones family, I'm settled back in the camper and beginning to repack things for my journey tomorrow. It was a full and fun day with lots of fun and laughter! Dexter and I arrived at the Jones house in Tulsa about 10:30 this morning. The kids were eager to share with me some of the art projects they've done over the past year and to spend some time drawing together. Last year when the kids visited Steve and me, we went for a long walk in a park. Jane picked up sticks and branches and brought them home. She used these to create these wonderful art pieces with the kids.  The branches she collected on our walk were used to form the outer circle and then yarn and ribbons were woven to create the trunk and the tops of the trees. What a wonderful way to preserve the memory and to enjoy a craft project with the kids. Each tree is so unique, reflecting the personality of the individual child.

Another art project they completed last year were hand-painted Russian Matryoshka Dolls.  Roman's, of course, were decorated as Apple Corporate Executives!

 

Then they got creative with the stacking aspect of the dolls!

And of course, that disintegrated further into the sillies! Always so much fun with this crowd!

No day is complete with kids without an injury...Poor Colin wrenched his ankle. It required ice and a few minutes of elevation before he was over it and back to his bouncy self!

Dexter is adjusting so well to the increased activity in his life. He and Chewy, the family Newfoundland, behaved very well together again today. Dexter even let little miss Laurel hold him!

Laurel wanted me to draw her a monkey eating a banana from a photo she found online so we sketched it out. The splotches on the side are Chewy Kisses!

 

Laurel then drew her own chimpanzee!

She is doing so well!

Jane fixed us lovely picnic lunch and we went to the local park to enjoy it and a romp at the playground. Dexter enjoyed running and playing the chase game with the kids, barking at other dogs, and chasing leaves.

After all the excitement of the morning it was time for a little quiet,  so we snuggle down on the couch to watch The Wizard of Oz. Jane let me use her washer and dryer so I got my laundry all caught up while we enjoyed the movie. It's nice to have that chore out of the way.

Jane has been knitting a beautiful lace scarf and it had gone a bit awry. She was having difficulty getting it back on track and I was able to help her sort it out. She's now ready to pick up where she left off and continue with this stunning piece! What beautiful work she is doing!

 

I was treated to Jane's famous homemade pizza for dinner. The crust was amazing, it was light and fluffy and so flavorful. For dessert, we had Hurts Donuts, a family favorite. This small company started a with a few stores in Missouri and now has one store here in Oklahoma. The donuts are so good, they're almost like having cake. Each one is a unique flavor! Mine was a chocolate cake donut covered with Butterfinger Crumbles. Yummy! It was worth the splurge!

Dexter and I are both pretty tuckered out after such a full an exciting day and we're looking forward to a quiet sleep here at the campground. We are the only campers left in the park after the busy holiday weekend except for one permanent resident and the Camp Host. Tomorrow morning I'll get this buggy hitched up to the truck and head on down to Burleson Texas! Yee Haw!

Walks on the Lake, Breakfast at the Lodge, Cookout with the Jones Family, and Colored Flames

What a spectacular day here in Hulbert OK! Dexter and I slept in a little, then took a nice walk along the shores of Fort Gibson Lake. I find the cypress trees so beautiful. They put their roots down in the shallows and look so stately and strong. The sun quickly burned off  the morning chill from the air and the sky was a brilliant blue.

After our walk, Dexter was ready to nap in the camper, so I I decided to eat breakfast at the Lodge Restaurant here in the Sequoyah State Park. I enjoyed an omelet with toast and hash browns for $8 and a pot of coffee for $2. What a bargain compared to the prices we see around Boston and Jimmy was an excellent waiter!

I have received terrific service her at the Sequoyah. Tabby helped me out when I first arrived, calling ahead to be sure my campsite would be ready and offering directions and helpful suggestions. Service with a smile!

After breakfast, I walked along the lake shore and down to the point. The rocky coast was quite beautiful and I saw fossils in the rocks along the path. The fish were jumping, there were hawks out feeding, and seagulls diving for fish. I've seen a heard of deer crossing the road twice while I've been here but haven't had an opportunity for a photo of them.

After my walk, I drove into town to fill my propane tank. I've been burning through propane at a fast pace since I've been running the furnace most nights. I also stopped at the Auto Zone where Jason helped me with the taillight of my truck. I had received a message on the trucks display that the passenger side taillight was burned out. Jason checked it for me and found it was working fine. He pulled the light assembly out for me to double check but everything seemed to be in order. Jason told me that the entire taillight assembly will need to be replaced if it does go out so I'm going to wait.  I'll have to figure out how to reset the error message but I'm happy the light is working. Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to help me today! What terrific service!

Back at the campsite, I got things ready for the cookout. I set up the Clam House, brought out the Weber Grill for the first time, set the table, hung my wind chime and Camper Sign (from my DH!!), and opened the awning! My next door neighbor here at the campground had some wood left over and offered it to me for a fire. I gratefully accepted!

 

Jane and the kids, Roman, Vinny, Laurel, Nicholas, and Colin, and their Newfoundland, Chewy (short for Chewbacca!) arrived full of fun and laughter. Dexter was a little unsure of Chewy at first, but calmed down quickly and they did well together. Dexter is fast becoming used to all the new stimuli of campsite living!

We had a great time touring the camper and getting the bar-be-que going. The new Weber grill connected to the camper propane with the quick connect adaptor I had installed and performed like a champ! Richard arrived just in time to eat... hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone!

 

With our bellies happy, we headed to the lake so Chewy could take a swim. Being a water dog by nature, she enjoys any opportunity for a dip! The light was just amazing as the sun started to go down on this beautiful day.

We ended the evening with a campfire, augmented with a colored flame stick! What a fantastic day!

 

Un-Hitched, De-Winterized, Boomered and Soonered!

What a beautiful park this is! Sequoyah State Park here in Hulbert, OK is quite a surprise. I don't immediately think of a lake and pine trees when I think of Oklahoma, but here they are! Here's a couple of short videos describing the ammenities of this park: [video width="480" height="270" mp4="http://wildthingescapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1380653180-sequoyahstatepark480x270800kbpstravelok.comdiscoveroklahomatv.com_.flv.mp4"][/video]

 

[video width="480" height="270" mp4="http://wildthingescapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1470751447-sequoyahstateparkandlodgeupdate480x270800kbpstravelok.comdiscoveroklahomatv.comimport.flv.mp4"][/video]

Once the sun came up and my camping space was vacated by the previous tenant I was able to get Wild Thing parked, unhitched, and de-winterized. The sites are wide and spacious and this pull-through site is on a cement slab. I did have to tweak the level with my Anderson Levelers but I'm an old pro at that now. Once I had everything set up I flushed all the anti-freeze from the water lines. The temps last night were a balmy 51F and rose to the mid 70's today. Heaven! No worries about freezing water lines here, at least in the next few days. Once I had the lines flushed out I filled the water tank and ran the pump a few minutes to clear out the last little bit of antifreeze. This antifreeze is non-toxic, unlike the type used in cars, but I still didn't want any left in the lines. With that accomplished, I took the water heater off by-pass and let the tank fill, then turned on the water heater. Within a half hour, I had plenty of hot water for washing dishes and taking a shower. It's nice to have a fully functional rig!

This park received a re-model two years ago and is quite something. They offer horseback riding, a pool, golf course, marina and boating activities, and much more. The campground I am in is quiet and on the edge of the peninsula. Dexter and I took a short walk down to the water. I will explore more of the trails and the nature center with the kids when they come tomorrow for a visit.

This afternoon I drove into Tulsa to meet up with Jane (DH's sister), her husband Richard (who was celebrating his 45th BD today), their 5 children (Roman, Vinny, Laurel, Nicholas, and Colin), and two of their cousins at Richard's parents' house.  Richards Mom, Stephanie, has a sweet dog named Bandit and he and Dexter were fast friends within minutes of our arrival. They kept us all laughing with their antics! We ate Jane's homemade chili ( yummy!), Stephanie's homemade biscuits with chocolate gravy ( super yummy) and of course birthday cake! OU Football is a staple in this household and I was treated (frequently) during this game to the "Boomer Sooner Touchdown Celebration Song" by the whole gang. Here's a video of the fun along with some photos from this afternoons fun!

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://wildthingescapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20171125_162708.mp4"][/video]

 

What a great time we had! Tomorrow, the whole gang is coming to the campground for a cookout in the camper. I can't wait to spend the day with the Jone's exploring this beautiful park.