Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hidden Valley in San Antonio

It was SO nice this morning to wake up to QUIET!  No sound here... we must not be the only ones here for the solitude.  We spent a quiet day here at the park.  We stayed inside until late morning, then we walked and visited neighbors, then late afternoon we drove up I-35 a few miles to a mall and H.E.B.  H.E.B. seems to be the Albertsons or Safeway in this area.  We needed drinking water and milk, and Jeff needed some new Levi's.  We had a good time out, but we were anxious to get back too.

This really is a hidden valley (as is the name of the RV park).  It's a bit of country in the city.  When we leave here we have decided that we want to visit the Gulf.  So the plan is to stay at Mustang Island State Park on the Gulf, outside of Corpus Christi.  The weather was beautiful, again today, and I guess we are fortunate... hearing all the bad weather all over the States.

We sold our Harley Fatboy!  That is happy and sad news.  Jeff may miss the bike a bit, but we didn't need the bike, so the money in the bank probably makes more sense.  It's not like we are without a motorcycle...  we still have two, and we will ride them during the months we are back in Oregon.

It looks like we may have another camp host job... its not definite yet, but we may be at Prineville State Park for the month of May.  If that is the case, we will be going back to Oregon in April.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Movin' Day!

After 43 days in the parking lot of Jims Restaurant on Culebra rd. in San Antonio, we moved out... 15 miles SouthWest.  We are a little closer to the downtown attractions, but we are in the country.  Trees, grass, horses, darkness, frogs... QUIET!  It's so nice.

Yesterday, the tent came down and the sewer tank was hauled away.  This morning they shut our water off!  that one was unexpected... apparently there is a misunderstanding, and the City has no record of approval to use water at the site. 

So after the owner brought our paycheck (Yeah!)... we hooked up and pulled out.  We've paid for 5 nights, to get us through our Anniversary, but may extend it a day or two.  Then we will move an hour North to Canyon Lake, where some friends will be.  We met these friends at Sugarite Canyon in New Mexico in June, and they met up with us briefly a week ago on our lot.

Before we leave here, we plan to visit the RiverWalk, the Alamo, and get together for a barbeque with some of the people that worked with us.  Oh ya... and Rest!  It was really warm again today, and hopefully the weather will stay nice for the rest of our visit.

Here's a few pics of the tent coming down...

Well... like last time, Im having trouble... so I guess thats all the pictures I can post right now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Well... WE DID IT!!

We finished loading our lot trailer today.  We had to call in experienced help, because it wasn't going to fit the way we were going.  Actually, it would... because it did... but we needed more muscle to git'r'done. 
Now all we need to do is a little remaining clean-up on the lot... not much... so we should be done with the clean-up in the morning.

We sold 756 trees, and had only 5 tabletop Noble trees left unsold.   We dont think we did too bad.  I guess we will know for sure when we get paid!!

This morning, we slept in... after going to bed early.  We may be tired for awhile.  We did more real work in the last 5 weeks than we did in the last year... or two... or five. 
We had planned to go to Crossroads Church, where John Hagee is pastor...but we got a phone call this morning telling us that help was on its way to help us load our trailer, so we didnt make it.  Possibly next Sunday... I think we will still be in the area.

I had to go out for a few things this afternoon, and we both will sure be glad to get out of this San Antonio traffic.  Its insane!  Its not like they are angry drivers with road rage... they're just mindless.  Its like they get in their car, disconnect their brain, grab the steering wheel and step on the accelerator!  Everywhere we go its like we just merged onto a race track... where anything goes!

This Christmas was definitely different than what we are used to...  but its all good.  The whole Christmas season was focused on getting everyone else their Christmas tree, and when Christmas day came, it didnt really seem like Christmas.

 Instead of getting up and putting the turkey in the oven and starting the other fixins, we got ready to go to the Holiday Hills Christmas Party.  We had a heck of a time getting there... it was about 25 miles away in the downtown area, and we havent been out of our local vicinity since being here.  I did my usual mapping while Jeff was driving, but we did a few... "take this", no, that was wrong, "try this". 

Right before we finally found it, Jeff was ready to give up and go home.  But we made it and we had a good time.  They had rented the Lounge, and it was open bar, so we all relaxed and had fun.  There was a gift exchange, and the gifts we bought for the names that we drew, were the only gifts we bought this year.  For both the guys names we drew, first we bought an Oregon beer...but Jeff drank the beer.  So we bought lottery tickets... but Sheryl scratched the lottery tickets... so we went shopping last minute, and they ended up with a knife and flashlights.  I think they were pleased, enough.

Here are a few pictures.  Its not a blog post without any pictures... right?

Thats not the end of the pictures... but for now I guess it is!  This blogger is not working too well right now!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Still here...

It's been awhile since we've posted a blog.  Did anyone notice??

We've sold 725 Trees, but still have 36 remaining.  Its looking very bare in our tent.  We decided we could finish up ourselves, so all our lot help is gone, as of last night.  We have only had one person on duty for a few hours each of the last few days.  Its slow enough that we can handle it, and we've decided that thecustomers can wait their turn if we're busy with another person.  It's not like any of us can go anywhere else without having to wait in line... right?
Sara dressed up yesterday in her elf outfit, and waved a Christmas Tree sign up and down the road in front of us.  There were constant honks and waves.  Then, helping a family last night, she actually had a young boy convinced that she was a real elf.  He asked her if she would please tell Santa "hi" for him.  It was a fun day.

We've started tearing our lot down and cleaning up... doing as much as we can, and still sell trees.

The owners told all the lot managers this morning, that we will still be selling Christmas Eve day, if the trees arent sold before then.  Boy, I sure hope they sell... but even if our trees sell, and another lots trees arent sold, they will probably bring us trees from their lot!

I thought I would help us out by taking one of our tabletop Noble's and putting it in our trailer.  We havent had any room to put it because we had crap everywhere!  BUT... I found time to really clean this morning, and found a space for our little tree.  Actually, some friends that we met at Sugarite Canyon, NM were coming by this morning to visit, and I didnt want them to see our new home in the mess it was in.  Its so cozy in there now!  I cant wait to go in and relax tonight.  We've had the AC on all day... its been very warm, but now its cooling off, so tonight we can go in and turn on the fireplace and enjoy our clean cozy home with Christmas tree!

Our little Christmas tree

Our creativity showing through here... with this tree with a broken top.  It sold!!

Sara the Elf

We cut a bunch of our trees down to a more popular size... BEFORE all the people came in asking for taller trees!!

Tearing down the flocking room  (before more customers come in asking for a flocked tree!)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Havin' Fun Sellin Trees!

All is going well, here in warm San Antonio.  Our hands are filthy, our arms are scratched up, Jeff's shoes are ruined from flock, our clothes are stained and sticky with pitch... when we close our eyes, all we see are tree branches and needles, and when its quiet, I still have Christmas tunes playing in my head.  We're having a great time!!  When we leave here, we are heading for the desert... where there are no trees!

Sara has started dressing up as an elf, and its a great hit.  She carries around glitter that we use on flocked trees, and throws it into the air as magic dust for the children.  She is a joy to have here... we scored with getting her.

Last night, a teenage boy decided he wanted to be netted, so Jeff pulled him through the netter, and stood him up.  Then his dad loaded him on top the car.  They were our last customers of the day, so we all had fun with it.

Here's a few pics...

I look very tired... I was.  This was this morning at 9:00, after closing at 9:30 last night.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sellin Christmas Trees!!

We managed to get our lot going!  We opened Friday morning, as planned... but we also got our first load of Trees Friday morning.  We had a full crew here at 8:00 Friday morning.  They unloaded, cut and drilled and stood about 100 trees..  and we opened at 11:00.   It was a cold and busy day.

We worked another very long day on Saturday and Sunday, but today has been SO much better!  We have hardly had any customers, so I was able to get some stuff done in the trailer.  Our counter was loaded with dirty dishes!  It has never been like that before.

Its 6:30 now, and I thought it may pick up after people got off work, but its not too busy... yet anyway.
so Im sitting here in my sales booth doing my blog!  It was very warm yesterday, we even had the air conditioner on during the night.  Today it was 86!  This isnt exactly the holiday weather we are use to.

Jeff has flocked about 10 trees and they are selling like crazy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gettin' There...

Still no Trees, but we have a fence and we have electricity!  We got fenced in on Monday, and got the electricity yesterday.  The first thing we did was turn on both air conditioners!  (and it was evening before we were hooked up!) 
It has been so hot and humid here.  Its been in the 80's during the day, and the low at night has been 69!  I love the sunshine and warm temperatures, but the humidity the last few days has been crazy!  We are sticky wet all day.
Our tent is ready to go... EXCEPT we have nothing to sell.  At 5:00 this evening, we were given the choice of getting a load of trees this evening, or starting early Friday morning.  Although we had expected to get trees today, we were exhausted.  There was no way we had it in us to get 65 big trees set up.  So we called our help and arranged to have our crew AND the trees here at 8:00 Friday morning.  We will open at 11:00, and will have some trees set up before opening, but will work through the day, setting up our first load of trees.  We only have Noble and a few Nordmann right now... the trucks of Grand and Douglas should be in Friday.
We have a large crew hired... but we will wait to see how they work, before we schedule them.  They all need work, but we may need to separate those who really want to work from those who just want to collect a paycheck. 
Here's a few pics. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweatin' it...

Still in San Antonio... although, we have considered running!  Our lot still is not ready for our trees... we don't have electricity and our fence isn't in, so we cant set up.  We can't sleep, and we are overwhelmed.
Oh ya... and they got a call today that there is a storm front in Oregon, and the next loads of trees will be late. 
Oh well... what will be will be... and we WILL survive it.

We are trying to get ourselves in the Christmas mood, by watching Christmas movies tonight.  Once the trees arrive, we will not have any time to watch Christmas movies or do anything else.  Tonight it's the Christmas Story (the Scrooge) 1930's version.

I will get away tomorrow to do our laundry, and get a few other things before we are so busy we can't.

Today, Jeff went to some training at the warehouse and I stayed here to go through my materials and prepare.  He was gone longer than we expected, and the generator is in the back of the truck, so I had no electricity.  I used up the battery on both laptops, and we ran out of propane, so the refrigerator lost power too! 

The days have been warm, and the nights havent been getting very cool.  Tonight the low is 66 degrees.  Hopefully the electricity will be hooked up tomorrow, so we will have air conditioning, or the fan for night.

Better focus on this good movie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


We're exhausted... and we didnt do anything compared to what we will be doing.  Maybe it was the stress of something unknown and new.   I trained with Terri today at the office, while Jeff trained and worked with Brian at one of the lots.  There are 14 lots, 8 are within San Antonio, and the other 6 are in other areas... one in Corpus Christi.
We have met only a few of the people, but we plan to make our rounds to the lots in San Antonio tomorrow, to meet the other manager couples, and see if they need any help.  It will help us to know what we are doing when its time to set up our lot.
This is a huge and professional operation... its not like the Christmas Tree lot's I am used to.
We even have to flock trees if they want a flocked tree!  I don't know how to flock a tree!!  I guess we had better figure it out!
At least I don't think we will have any trouble finding help.  We had 2 people come by our trailer today and ask if we were hiring.  How did they even know we were a Christmas tree lot??  We gave them an application, which they both filled out while they were here.  We called the first person, and hired her.   We are most likely going to hire the second person too, but only Sheryl was here, so Jeff needs to meet him.  We're so impressed with their initiative to find work.  We just dont know how much help we will need... this is a new lot, so we have no history to look back on.

We have a mailing address while we are here... I have posted it under the "contact us" tab on our home page.  So now you can send us a Christmas Card!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here we are... San Antonio!

We got in at a decent time, and a temperature of 85... very nice.  We only missed one turn!  They had us meet them at the warehouse, where we looked around and chatted, until we had an escort to our lot.  The owners are very friendly people, and we're looking forward to meeting all the other lot manager couples.

Our lot wasnt ready for us as we had expected, but that's okay!  Jeff and another guy ran pvc pipe around the lot so we do have water now, and hopefully the electrician will get us electricity tomorrow or Friday.  For now we are using our awesome Honda generator.  We just have to remember we are using a generator and it does run out of fuel. 

Our sales tent doesnt have its sides on it yet... not sure why... and we still have to  build our cashiers booth.  they have all the pieces and parts (like a kit).  We just have to assemble it!  They said another lot couple will come help us.  They couldnt put the fence up until we were in, and that is suppose to happen Saturday or Monday.   Once the cyclone fence is up, which surrounds the tent and our RV site, we will move back another 15 feet or so.  We just dont want to get slammed, while we are out in the open.

They gave us our bins of supplies and paperwork, and I have been going over it this evening, and I AM OVERWHELMED!  What have we got ourselves into??  We can do this... We can do this...

this is the warehouse where the trees will be delivered (from Oregon)

already loaded us up with supplies

parked beside our tent... for now.

The Road Traveled...
I-10 East, Texas. So much of the road has been cut out of the rock.

I-10 East, dont know the name of this mountain, but if its not squaw mountain, it should be tit peak.

RV Park - Ozono, TX

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

San Antonio... Here we come!

We hit the road at 8:30MT this morning, and at 1:00 Central Time, we crossed over into Texas.  We managed to miss our road twice this morning, but we were able both times to find a road to cut across to where we were suppose to be.  Hopefully we're done adding on miles to our day!

We had to give Callie back to her other mommy and daddy, last night.  We miss her... she was alot of fun.  We have requested joint custody.

We made one last trip into Roswell (alien town), but we still didnt look around alot.  Everything is alien.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doggy Sittin

Our friends, James and Laura, decided to go to the races for the weekend, so they left Callie with us!  We've had her since Thursday morning, and are having a great time.  She gets called "Lucky" as much as she does "Callie".  For those of you who didnt know me when I had my dogs, Lucky was my toy poodle. 

We're making sure she gets plenty of exercise, we go for 2 mile walks where we can take her off the leash.  She takes off running ahead of us, then back, then ahead, then back... sometimes bringing a stick for us to throw.  Callie got a bath yesterday, because Jeff threw her stick in a muddy pond, and she didnt hesitate to go in for it.  It stuck end down in the mud, and she couldnt get it out.  She tried... twice... then gave up.  By the time we got back, she was dry, but she wasnt getting in bed with us without a bath.

As soon as Callie's "parents" come back for her, Monday, we will be leaving for San Antonio, Texas.  We received a call yesterday offering us a job managing a Christmas tree lot there.  It will be work, but it pays good, and it will be yet another experience!  So that is where we will be for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It froze here last night, and we hadnt taken the precautions... but all is well.  We shouldnt have to worry about freezing in San Antonio.

We also decided that since we are going that far, we may as well keep going.  So after Christmas, we plan to go on to Florida.  I doubt we will stay long... we have someone we want to see, then we will make our way back to New Mexico by mid to late January, probably.

Now for some pics:

Jeff working on a bead project

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Laundry Day!

I didn't know what to use for a title since we're still in the same place... but laundry is on my mind, so there it is.  We're going into Roswell today to do laundry (it's been over 2 weeks), get a few groceries, and check out the downtown area. 

We drove into the little town of Dexter yesterday after our 8 mile bicycle ride around the lakes... much of it uphill.  I would tell you it was all uphill, but I'm not sure you would buy that.  Our lungs were burning.  Hopefully, soon... an 8 mile hilly ride will be no big deal.  But at this point we were real proud of ourselves... no motors on these bikes!  Not much in Dexter, but they had a post office so we could mail our property tax payment.

Monday was a really warm day, upper 80's, so we took the tahiti's out on the lake and paddled around.

Would love to hear from all of you.  You can comment here on the blog, or find our email address under the "contact us" tab on our blog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


What a beautiful day!  Sunny, warm, and no wind.  We walked the trails this morning, hung out at our site doing things this afternoon, then went for a good bike ride this evening.

This is Lea Lake and the campground from atop the bluff:

Yesterday, we went into Roswell... which is much more of a city than we had expected.  We only went in to get a few things and have dinner with friends, James and Laura.  We will make the trip into town every 5 days or so, and we plan to be here for awhile, so we will plan on one of our next trips to "see the sights". 
Laura made a really great dinner for us.

That's not Callie... I put Callie down, to see her neighbor friend.  Laura was sanding her nails.
 I dont remember her name, but she is a maltese mix... just  a few months old.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bottomless Lakes SP - Roswell, NM

There were way too many flies at Oasis state park.  So we drove the long 100 miles to Bottomless Lakes SP, out of Roswell, NM.  We still have flies, but not nearly as many... maybe we even brought them... I wouldn't doubt they hitchhiked the ride.

We like this place.  We paid for one week, but we will hopefully stay longer.  This is our site:

Lea Lake is right here... a few yards from the campground.  It is 90 feet deep, but not a real large lake.  It is suppose to be stocked with rainbow trout during the winter, but it hasnt been stocked yet.

It is suppose to be 80 this weekend, so we hope to take our tahitis out on the small lake.  It depends on how many day visitors are here over the weekend.

We went for a walk at Oasis park before leaving, and passed by a snake that Jeff was sure was dead.  To prove to me that it was dead, he poked it with his stick....

I TOLD him it wasn't dead!!