Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm

I guess it's time to make a blog entry, although there is not a lot to talk about.  We stayed in TN until the 15th and then drove home in one day.  It is about 850 miles but the weather had turned cold and we did not want to sleep in the truck because it would have to idle all night.  That is a lot farther than I like to drive, but the big truck is made for covering long distances.

Since arriving home we have not been very busy.  We have both gotten our Dr. appointments out of the way and I have finished a couple projects around the house, but nothing noteworthy.

One of the interesting things about North Texas is that it is located where Arctic cold fronts battle with warm onshore gulf breezes and moisture.  It results in wild swings in temperature during the winter.  We have a few days of high 70's followed by days when it does not get above freezing.  This week we had one of the freaky weather conditions that happen occasionally.  A front brought very cold weather on the surface, but with warm, wet conditions above the cold layer.  The result is freezing  rain when the drops fall through very cold air which causes them to super cool and flash to ice when they land.  It results in an ice coating on everything.

Yesterday we had such a storm.  There were some icy spots in the morning, but by late afternoon it got worse and continued until about one AM.  When these storms hit everything comes to a halt.  Schools were closed yesterday and today.  Almost everyone stayed home from work and we did not leave the trailer at all Monday and Tuesday.  We finally ventured out this afternoon after the sun had melted the ice everywhere except some shaded underpasses.

I have lived in winter climates and have no problem driving in snow.  Ice storms are a completely different story.  It is not even possible to stand up, much less drive in these conditions.   If you have never experienced one, my recommendation is don't.

We plan to be here until the 23rd.   We will make our way to Phoenix again for a few days, and then most likely out to the Quartzsite dessert.  If Don and Betty can get away for a few days we may have a Lafferty Boondock Party.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tennessee Trip

We are in Cleveland, TN to visit Darin and Diane for a few days.  We brought our boat to him since we just don't use it much anymore.  It needs some work done on it that he will have to do before he can use it.  I bought new tires before starting out (the ones on it were 20 years old) but he will have to do the rest.  Much of the wood in the seats and engine cover has rotted, so he will have to repair or replace it.

We both had Dr. appointments on Thursday.  Dianna had her annual woman's exam at her usual clinic, and I had my first annual checkup with the VA.  They have a very nice facility in Denton and I was impressed with  the care I received. The best part is that it did not cost me anything.  Well, nothing more than 3 years of my life.

We left Friday in the truck and spent the night in Jackson, MS at a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Since we do not have the trailer with us it is much easier to find places to stay.  Wal-Mart is a good choice since we can use their restrooms and there is always something we need to buy.

We are parked in Darin's driveway while we are here.  I ran an extension cord to the truck so we can plug in and run the little electric heater to keep warm.  It is cold today and not supposed to get a lot warmer for the next few days.  It is supposted to get even colder in a couple days with lows in the upper teens.  No fun.  We need to get to warmer country, and soon!