A Bittersweet Adventure

On the way to Wichita Falls, TXWe had planned our next vacation for later this summer in August to go up to Oregon and visit with Harold’s family after we had gotten some other obligations taken care of. But we received word that Harold’s dad wasn’t doing to well after being diagnosed with an aggressive stomach cancer. So we decided we needed to make a trip to Oregon as soon as possible.

We decided the best thing to do was to take our own truck and head out as soon as possible. so we took our truck in to the shop and get the new water pump installed, then Thursday morning we finished getting the oil changed and everything checked and loaded up. After running a few last minute errands we finally got headed out about 6pm.

We got as far as Wichita Falls, TX Thursday evening before shutting down for the night.

Till Next Time,

Rachele T.

Time to Rescue Holly!

As I posted a few days ago, our daughter’s, that we just moved 3-1/2 hours away to Dallas, car broke down. We had a feeling it was the battery and we had planned on coming up this weekend to fix it, but Harold’s work told him that even though it was his only weekend off for the whole month, he couldn’t take it. So as soon as we got paid we sent Holly the money to buy a new battery. She got some of her friends to help her go get a new in and get it in and she reported that everything was fine.

Till Friday afternoon. We get a call about 3pm and Holly was sitting in the side if the road about a mile from the house, car dead! Well, work or no work we couldn’t leave our baby girl stranded, so we had her call a friend and take her to work while we loaded up dad’s tools that he thought he night need and headed out.

We arrived late Friday night. Luckily I thought to call ahead to the hotel to book a room as we got the last room. Holly lives down the road from The Texas Motor Speedway and there was a classic car rally there this weekend

20130317-064717.jpg One of the cars at the hotel where we were staying.

Saturday I got up at 4:30am to go pick up Holly to get her to work. Then after daylight dad & I went to see what was wrong with her car. As soon as dad opened the hood the look on his face told me someone had screwed something up. Her friends meant well trying to help her, but it was very apparent none of them, including Holly, had a clue. First off she had the wrong size battery in. And because it was to big it was jammed up to the alternator fan. The cables were not attached to the posts and the battery cables, because of the wrong size battery, had gotten shoved up into the alternator fan and the blades of the fan had chewed through the protective coverings and into the bare wires. We were so lucking it died before it caught fire.

Dad was able to rig it back together temporarily so we could get it the mile back to her house and start making a list of parts we needed. Once we had our list together we made a run to the nearest O’Reilly Auto Parts store, which was about 20 miles away. We ended up going to 2 stores to finish getting all the parts and new battery, cables, terminals, etc. by the time we were done it was time to pick Holly up from work and have some lunch.


After lunch we headed back to Holly’s to get to work on her car. One of Holly’s friends was there and he got right outside with dad and helped him get everything fixed back up. They got all new cables and terminals put in. Secured the new battery & cables so it wouldn’t slide around or bump the alternator. Thank goodness it didn’t mess up the alternator as we just replaced that a month ago. (Of course I suggested to dad back when we replaced the alternator to go ahead and put in a new battery, cables & clamps & secure it as it looked like it needed to be done & I didn’t want her to get all the way to Dallas and get stuck :/ hmmm maybe someone should listen time a little more often).

After dad got her engine running good again he and Holly’s friend checked all her brakes and tires to make sure she was doing good. So she is up & rolling again.

After we got all cleaned up we were talking to Holly’s best friend and roommate and she confessed when we asked her how her car was doing, that her car had been acting funny & stalling out in her. It’s a good thing we planned on staying two nights, after breakfast this morning dad is going to check out her car and see if we can’t get her running good again.

So it has been a busy but productive weekend. And I’m just so thankful my husband knows enough to keep all our vehicles running.

I took this picture of The Texas Motor Speedway from Holly’s front yard. Yep she is that close.

Till next time,
Rachele T.

A fun-filled weekend

Sugar enjoying her swim

With the weather being so nice we decided to take our dog, Sugar, down to the meadow to go for a run. She made a bee-line for the water and jumped right in like she had done it a million times. It was fun to see her swim all over the lake and explore all the sticks and rocks and chase the birds and turtles.

Proper Bucket Food Storage
How to properly store dry foods using buckets and Mylar bags.

Saturday Canning Class

Saturday we attended a “Canning Class” held at one of the local Cowboy churches. In the morning we learned how to properly store foods using buckets and Mylar bags. KETK was there to film our class. I think she learned as much as we did.

Dry Canning
Learning to “Dry Can” using the oven and canning jars.

After that we learned how to “Dry Can” dry goods using the oven and canning jars. This process works great for dry goods such as flours, cake mixes, corn meal, rice, and such.

Vacuum Sealing
There are many uses for a vacuum sealing system

After the dry canning demonstration we learned all the different ways to utilize a vacuum sealer to seal canning jars and items in vacuum bags. Vacuum sealing also works great to seal first aid, band-aids, toilet paper, diapers, matches, etc., for camping and survival kits to keep your items dry.

Homemade Laundry Soap
Learning how to Make Home Made Laundry Soap


Learning to can figs and make Cherry Jelly
Learning to properly can figs and make cherry jelly

The next demonstration was how to make homemade laundry soap and all-natural deodorant. I can’t wait to try these out. I’ll post my results when I decide to try these.

We then learned how to can figs and properly prepare them for canning using the water bath technique. After the figs we learned how to can prepare and can cherry jelly using the inversion method to create the seal and preserve it. It was yummy!

Stormy's Barters
These are the items Stormy bartered for. She did really good!

Whew! It was one busy morning full of learning new things. We even had two ladies go over techniques for saving money using coupons! That was one I knew all about as I used to be an extreme couponer. 🙂 It was nice for a while, but I am trying to rid my home of toxins and items that are not all-natural or organic. My bartered ItemsUnfortunately about 90% of what you buy using coupons is not on my buy list anymore, so I gave up couponing.

After lunch we had a barter event. No money was exchanged, it was only item for item. It was a learning experience in learning to trade for what we wanted. Even Stormy got into it and made some good trades for several items she wanted. I got some good items also. We are looking forward to next month’s event as we will be learning about gardening, having a seed swap, learning to can meats, and doing more bartering.

Hoping you all have a great and blessed week!

Till next time,

Rachele T.

Propane Problems

Propane Problems

Wednesday evening right at bedtime our second propane bottle ran out. I thought no big deal, I had another 30lb on the grill. So I pulled off the two empties and loaded them in my truck to take to get filled first thing Thursday morning. That didn’t last long, maybe about two hours :/ then that tank was empty two. Brrrr! That was a cold night!

Chocolate Lava Cake

I sure was glad the propane store opened at 7 am! I was sitting there with three empty bottles to get filled. After getting home and hooking everything back up I thought yeah, we’ll be warm in just a few minutes. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was like trying to get my diesel truck started after running out of gas, not easy. An hour later the pilots finally stayed lit and we had heat again. It was 10 am before we finally had the heat back up to a normal temperature and me and my girls had thawed out. I definitely didn’t feel like cooking any breakfast so I took my girls to IHOP for pancakes. 🙂 Yumm!

The rest of Thursday was just pretty normal, cleaning, dishes, laundry and a girls night with pizza and chocolate lava desert from Dominoes! MMMMMM!!! there were yummy. Then we settled down for a nice warm night!

Frozen Regulator

About 3:20am Friday morning I was woken up when a pack of coyotes starting howling and yipping just behind my RV. I could hear them running and playing around our RV. I listened to them howl and play in the field around the RV park for a little then they ran off and I could hear them in the far off field toward the pond toward the back. As I was trying to go back to sleep I noticed it seemed chilly. So I got up to check and it was cold! The heater was blowing cold air and it was about 50 degrees inside. Oh no! Now what? There was no way I was out of propane already! AND I could still hear the coyotes howling out in the back field! Oh my! I was not looking forward to going outside! Thankfully no run-ins with any coyotes, but I also couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I was getting no propane out of either bottle. The only thing I could think was that some condensation had gotten into the regulator and it was froze up. I remember last year our old regulator did the same thing and we had to wrap it to keep it from freezing. So I grabbed a couple of bath towels and wrapped the regulator to see if I couldn’t get it to thaw. After a few trips inside and out, I was still not getting any propane inside. It was now 4:30 am and I was freezing! So i locked everything back up and curled back up under the covers to try to stay warm till morning.

Cool car Stormy took a picture of at the Hallsville Brookshires

Later Friday morning I was woken up this time by sirens blaring just down the road. It was one siren after another, I figured there must have been an accident. I found out later that a poor kid was killed about a mile up the road. 🙁 So sad. Since I was awake I started back on the propane. As it started to warm up outside I started getting more propane inside. Finally it was enough to keep a flame lit and we were back in business again.

Stormy’s Wonderful Treasure

Friday was a busy day once we thawed out. One of our errands took us to Hallsville. We made a stop at the Brookshires and Stormy spotted a really neat car that she just had to take pictures of. She absolutely loves cars! Our real reason to stop at the Brookshires was because Stormy had seen a Brave doll there a few months before and had been saving her allowances to buy it. But as we started looking we couldn’t find it anywhere. Stormy was starting to get real sad. But, there was one more place to look. Way in the back of the store was a small end cap of clearance items. As we looked we didn’t see anything. They must have sold out. Then as we turned to walk away something caught my eye behind another product. As I reached for it and pulled it out, it was the Brave Doll my Stormy was looking for. There was no price on it, it was originally $7.99, so we knew it had to be less than that. After it was rung up the cashier announced her total was only .80 cents. Stormy was so happy.

Corner store on fire

At the end of the evening we were finally on our way home. As we came around the corner toward the RV park we noticed a bunch of emergency lights at the convenience store. I guess they had a fire. A few minutes later half of the emergency vehicles turned on their sirens and tore off down the road. (I later heard that there was a double fatality a few miles down the road. 🙁 Very tragic. )

Propane tanks wrapped up for the night.

After we got home I decided to wrap up our propane tanks and regulator. It’s supposed to get below freezing again tonight, but hopefully it will not freeze. But we are definitely piling on the blankets anyway, just in case.

Time for Bed!

It has definitely been an adventurous two days. But it is time to cuddle up under the covers and say goodnight to all our friends.

Till next time,

Rachele T.


A Chilly January Morning

A chilly January morning.

Woke up this morning to a chilly icy rain so we decided to spend the day indoors.

homemade beef stew



Got the RV all cleaned and a yummy beef stew going in the crock pot.


Working at home


Sugar staying warm

One of the things I love about homeschooling our daughter is that we don’t need to worry about the weather outside, or getting into an accident trying to get her to school.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more icy weather, so it will be another day inside. Of course our dog Sugar won’t mind. She spent most of today under the girls’ bed covers. She poked her head out from under the covers for a few minutes to say hi.

Monday Nights Moon


I didn’t get a chance to post last night, but I caught this pic of last nights moon while walking Sugar. I wish I could have really captured the full view, but my camera just didn’t catch all the differences in light. It was breathtaking.


Till next time, remember life is a journey we all live one day at a time.


Rachele T.

Sunday January 13, 2013

I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere. I worked at my storage unit this weekend getting stuff rearranged so I can start going through everything. I’ve got one climate control unit I’ve set up as an office with space to work.

Now that we are back to homeschooling I’ve got my daughters desk set up too. I worked on her lesson plans this weekend and got everything ready for tomorrow.

I’m also getting ready for my first big swap/ barter event in two weeks, so we’ve been going through our storage units pulling out everything we know we won’t need or won’t be worth storing for a few years till we need it again. I’ve already made some pre-swaps from contacts I’ve made. It’s actually kinda fun! I feel like a kid getting ready to go to six flags.

We did realize that instead of keeping our boat we would really like to trade it for a trailer. If anyone knows of someone interested in swapping an enclosed trailer for a boat you can find the details here….
click here for info on the boat we want to trade for an enclosed trailer
It would be great if we could get a trailer for our move westward.

Tonight as we laid down we could here the owls hooting in the trees out behind the RV park. It was really neat. I don’t hear them anymore so I guess it’s time for us to drift off to sleep too. Goodnight friends.

Till next time,

Rachele T

Finally back in East Texas

Welcome to Texas!

Well we made it back to East Texas Sunday afternoon. We were able to find an RV Park in Hallsville, Hitchin Post RV Park. It’s a small park, no pool or playground, but they have facilities, a laundromat, a 24 hour gas station next door, and their rates are really good.

So far everyone here is really nice and the owners even welcomed us our first day. It is very laid back and comfortable here, so I think we will stay for a bit.

Till next time, enjoy your journey,


Rachele T.



Day 1 – Finally on our way… Well Almost!

Brakes fixed and ready to go!
It was hot out there. My husband wrapping things up after fixing the brakes.

My hubby finally got the seals all swapped out and everything greased and brakes put back together so we could head out. It was about 8:40 pm when we finally left Kilgore. Brakes were working and we were hoping to arrive in Vicksburg, MS about 1 am. I was able to call and confirm our late arrival, and I’m so glad we did.

Even our dog, Sugar is ready to go!

We made it almost to Waskom when we got hit by one heck of a storm. Wow! It was really coming down, hard and fast. We could barely make out the road in front of us and it slowed us down to a mere 25 mph on the interstate. So we exited off the next exit which took us around to Hwy 80 to bring us up to a truck parking area just off the Interstate, but when we arrived the lot was a small lake. We decided to stay on 80 coming into Waskom to try and find somewhere to pull over, but everything was flooded or we couldn’t get into it.

Girls are ready to go!

So we continued to crawl along at about 20 mph until we suddenly hit a low lying area flooded from the massive amounts of fast falling rain that we couldn’t see was flooded because of the sheets of water masking the road in front of us. All of a sudden a giant wave completely engulfed us. We couldn’t see anything at all and could feel the truck tires sliding off the road. My heart leaped into my throat, we could see nothing at all and could only hope and pray we weren’t heading straight off the road and try not to panic and scare our daughters any more than they already were. Finally we emerged from the wall of water and caught a glimpse of the road again. That had to be the longest minute I have experienced in a long time! My husband was able to keep control of everything, get back on the road, and keep us going. Unfortunately we hit two more low lying areas, thankfully not as bad as the first, before we were finally able to find a place to pull over and wait out the rest of the storm. After about an hour we were able to resume our journey.

We could definitely tell when we passed into Louisiana! My goodness, the roads were awful. Our trailer about beat us to death from bouncing up and down on the roads. I think Holly and I got a bit of motion sickness. Fortunately we came out of all the rain and finally arrived in Vicksburg, MS at 3:30am to get some much needed rest. But, that had to wait! Once we got the trailer hooked up to the power and got the girls in bed we had to pull all of our bedding and take it up to be dried. Evidently in the downpour earlier water snuck its way into our bedroom and soaked all our bedding. Lovely! So we took advantage of the situation and were able to freshen up a bit, finally getting to bed about 4:30am.