Sunday, January 29, 2012

Visiting and Shopping

This will be a short post tonight.  I need to start posting more often again, so no time like the present to get started.

Friday I ran into Cotulla to pick up our mail.  Nothing very interesting in that.  Tax documents and statements mostly.  Picked up a prescription and stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items and washed the dirt off of the truck.  That last one took me 30 minutes and still didn't get a lot of it off the undercarriage!  I wasn't crawling on that wet, muddy ground to get under there.

On the way out I went north on Johnson Road and stopped to visit Jack and Mary Neal, our closest gate guard neighbors.  Jack subbed for us one evening when the ranch owner invited us to dinner.  It was great to get out together, so a big THANKS to Jack and Mary.

Went another few miles down the road from them to drop in on John and Terry Duncan whose blog I have been reading.  They are temp sitting a gate for another Sitewatch team while they are on vacation.

Go on over and take a look at their blog.  John is an excellent writer and I have really enjoyed reading their adventures.  Just click on their name above.

Today Mary and I drove over to Uvalde to the BIG Walmart and also big HEB.  We both got much needed haircuts, looked around, bought a few things and headed over to HEB.  Stopped at Sonic for a cherry coke (for me) and a vanilla cherry coke (for Mary).  It was fabulous!  In my old life I had way too many Sonic trips in a week but haven't seen much of any in the last few months so that was a real treat!

On the way back we planned on stopping to see how Maury and Susie were doing.  They are friends of the Neals from way back and started working their first gate just 2 weeks ago.  Their gate is about 40 minutes away from us and a good middle stop from Uvalde to here.  Mary introduced me to them last week when she and I ran over to visit them.  They are still in the adjustment stage...still trying to get into their sleep routine.  Been there, done that and remember how rough it was.  Other than that they are doing great.  

Before we got there, we made a quick stop at another LOMA gate and introduced ourselves to Danny and Erma Bird.  They have also been at their gate since early November and like us have comfortably settled into the routine.  In fact, just a few days before, Erma drove down the rode and introduced herself to Maury and Susie.  AND, Danny and Erma introduced the people to gate guarding that introduced Jack and Mary to gate guarding.  This gate guarding world is small indeed.  Sorry, silly me didn't even think to take a picture.

We are making so many new friends here in the oil fields and along with the ones we are making at festivals our email world is growing and growing.

Well, I thought this was going to be pretty short, but turned out to be a little longer.  OK, I am off to bed.  Dave is leaving early in the morning for San Antonio to get the truck worked on.  That will be a post for tomorrow night.

SHOUTOUT:  To our grandkids; Destiny, EmmaRae, Erica, Jaxson and Jacob!  Along with your parents, I SURE do miss you!!!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Game Survey

So Saturday was Game Survey day here at the Circle Y.  The ranch owner here hired a helicopter for the game survey and, I think, general screwing around.  He invited Dave along and Dave was just thrilled.

Camera all juiced up and ready to go

Run er up!

There they go!

Loadin up

Frack Pond

Hi Doris!
Hi Dave!

Well Site

So long!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I think I'm going to blog tonight

I've been saying that for the last 4 nights.  I hate to wait so long between blogging, mainly because my kids comment "Mom you haven't blogged lately!"  And they are right to feel that way because I started this blog as a way to share our life with them now that we are not in the same area.  But it's a little difficult to write when there really is almost nothing going on.  My name is not Jerry Seinfield.  I have a hard time writing about nothing.

I'll take a stab at it though.

It was a pretty quiet week at the Circle Y ranch.  We heard at the beginning of the week that the Work Over was going to start and we should expect to be very busy.  Not.  Of course no one ever really tells us what is going on.  We'll know the Work Over is starting when the traffic gets heavy.  That's the only warning we get.  I'm pretty sure that's the way it is for most gate guards.  We're only here to open the gate and log em in and out.

The ranch owner invited us to dinner last night.  Jack from around the corner was nice enough to come over and sit with the girls while we were gone.  As a reward we shared our leftovers with him.  Shish kabobs, succatash and some yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  We were gone for about an hour and a half and really enjoyed our time.  They are usually here each weekend working on the place, hunting and checking on the sites to see where they're at in the process.  Next weekend he has rented a helicopter to do a game survey and they have offered to take us up.  Dave said yes, I said no way.

Dave started out his Army career as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief, so he welcomed the chance to go up again.  Me?  I HATE flying!  Don't plan on doing it EVER again!  I'll be sure and have pictures though for a blog next week.

The animal population of the ranch seems to have a routine.  We see the cow herd about every 4 days.  There are two deer herds across the way.  Mule deer (I think) and Red Stag deer.  We see them about once a week for 2 or 3 days in a row.  The two horses across the way are out most every day.  Caitie was feeding them carrots and apples while she was here and I guess they expected me to keep up the treats.  I did go over one day last week and give them some carrots, but I don't want them to expect it every time!

Today I saw my first Pyrrhuloxia.  And, no, I don't know how to pronounce it.  I guess it at peer-hue-locksee-ah.  Couldn't get a picture today but it does look just like the top picture in that link.

So, other than those things the week was pretty routine.  Cleaning, laundry, grocery store and the post office.  We did finally get a post card our grand daughter EmmaRae mailed to us in December.  She addressed it herself to Nana and Papa. It's a good thing I asked the postal workers about it a few weeks ago and explained it was addressed to us that way or they never would have known who it was to go to.  No last name, just "to Nana and Papa".

Speaking of the post office, I just love this one in Cotulla.  I ran into town knowing we had a priority envelope waiting for us. Got out of here in plenty of time to get there before the Noon closing.  Surprise!  They close at 11:00 on Saturdays and it was already 11:30.  BUT, the nice gentleman postal worker hollered out to ask me what I needed and brought my mail out to me!  LOVE them over there!

Well, that wasn't too bad for nothin.  

Ok gang. The gate is locked and the news and weather are over.  I'm pretty sure the company security man is coming tonight so I will doze until he does.

Happy January!

Friday, January 6, 2012

What day is it?

This is a commonly asked question in our new life.  One of us will invariably ask this question each day. A (very  nice) consequence of a life not on the clock.  No more 8 to 5 job with weekends to mark the time passing.  In fact my daughter asked me on the phone this morning "what are your plans for the weekend?"  I wanted to say "are you serious?"  But instead I merely commented that every day is the same for us, so no plans!

Dave said earlier that it was Friday and "you know what that means!"  (Ahem, get your mind back on the subject.) I had to think a minute and then realized that the company security guy would be coming through tonight.  That means I have to stay up late.  He came last weekend at 2am Saturday morning.  The chime going off scared me out of a very deep sleep!  But, I was up and out in less than 30 seconds!  Dave, God bless him, didn't hear a thing.  Thomas showing up on Friday threw me for a loop because he had been coming on Sunday night right around midnight.  Apparently they changed the guards schedules, so tonight I'll probably stay in my clothes and fall asleep in the chair.

We have a little Border Patrol sticky backed calendar hanging off the window frame in front of our desk and I look at it quite keep reminding myself what day it is of course.  One of those very handy little things people give you.

Another handy little thing is the 3 inch flashlight Thomas (the security guy. pay attention) gave me as a Christmas gift.  Until he handed it to me I didn't realize I needed it!  Our lights are on the opposite side of the gate then where the driver's side doors on the vehicles are, so when I'm standing over there it's hard to see my board with the shadow from the vehicle.  Voila!  Problem solved!

Back to "what day is it?"  I have taken to entering reminders on my phone for birthdays, anniversaries and anything else I need to remember associated with a day/date, with an alarm so I don't forget them.  Between that, my google reminders and facebook reminders if I forget one of them my friends and relations have every right to call me out!

We do a little better in the summer with that job as there are specific dates we have to be specific places.  But we still wonder what day of the week it is quite a bit.

With this winter gig we forget what day it is on both ends of the spectrum.  There are times when we are soooo busy we don't know where we left our heads and when we are soooo slow the time just drifts pleasantly along from one day into another.

We know it's Thursday when the ranch owner shows up and it's Sunday when he heads out.  If he skips a weekend, we're screwed! :)

OK, enough about the days.  Today I was practicing with my camera by taking pictures of the birds on the bird feeder.

I set it up around the other side of the gate fence.  I can still see it out my desk window, but I do have to use the binoculars sometimes to see what that bird is.  Most of them are LGB's or LBB's.   (Little Grey Birds and Little Brown Birds)   Sparrows mostly, but there are a couple of Cardinals that frequent it also.

You'll probably have to click on the picture to make it bigger in order to actually see the bird.

That's all the pictures for tonight.  They seem to be uploading slower than usual.

SHOUTOUT: to my DIL Jennifer, my grandgirls Destiny and Erica, Jennifer's friend Jenny and her daughter Abby.  They are spending a girls weekend in Kansas City for a dance competition.  Have fun girls!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas, being busy and visitors

For not being home with our kids and grandkids, we had a pretty good holiday.  Our youngest was here, as you probably read in the last blog entry.  She did a damn fine job with her guest blog!  We sure enjoyed having her here and were sad to see her leave.

We are NOT busy.  Fracking on both sites has been completed for awhile and the first site just finished installing the tanks.  It's been nice to be able to slow down and enjoy the holiday.  This week they should be coming in to install the tanks on the second site.  Even so, there still will not be much traffic.  6 or 7 trucks a at about 6 or 7 am and out by 7 pm.  So we are still getting to sleep at night AND at the same time...mostly.

The first few days after Christmas found caliche trucks (7) and a road grader to fix that big puddle problem shown in the picture from Caitie's guest post.  Only rain will tell if they actually fixed it or made it worse.

Our ranch owner was here all week.  WHAT a nice guy.  He told Dave on Thursday that we are like family.  It's good to have a nice owner.  We met his family over the last few weeks.  ALL as nice as him.  We would love to come back here next fall.  I guess we will have to see what next fall brings.

We've put our proposal in for our summer gig and hope to hear something this week.  There is a chance we may be traveling to Canada for a couple of festivals. If that turns out to be the case we may get to stop in the Seattle area for a few days to visit my Sister and Brothers and Boise for my other Sister.  It's been 4 years since I've seen them, so that would be great!  I'm not holding my breath though just in case.

Today I got Skype up and running and watched the kids and grandkids open their presents.  Since the oldest  and her family were gone over Christmas and Caitie was here they had the family Christmas at my son's and his family's house today. Even though the picture was blurry most of the time we could still tell who was who and enjoy the show.  We are receiving just below 3g service on our aircard but it apparently is steady enough to hold onto the Skype.  It certainly made me feel better to participate (so to speak) as I was feeling a little teary eyed this morning.  This is the first Christmas we weren't all together, but all in all I think it turned out OK.

We had deer across the way last evening and I decided to walk over and see how close I could get....pretty darn close!

This was actually about 10 feet away.  I had the telephoto lens on, but at the lowest.  This fellow didn't like me being anywhere near them.

Good thing there was a fence between us.  Here's the rest of the herd.

They seem to come around at regular intervals.  Usually in the evening for 3 or 4 days in a row and then we don't see them for another 4 or so days.

I forgot to post my Christmas cookie baking pictures I took, so here they are.

I see a lot of the other blogs have done a "year in review" post but I don't really see us doing that until we have been on the road a year.  That will be March 25th.  Since we plan on leaving here March 26th, I may have to do it a day or two early.

From the Circle Y ranch outside of Cotulla Texas, we wish everyone a Happy New Year!