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Friday, September 21, 2012

Renovating Mikey & Audrey's Winter House



I have no idea how I missed the folder called Mike & Audrey's House Renovation. I make folders of Pictures that I want to do a blog for. Better late than never I say. When back in Mission Texas last winter, Mikey our Boss knew we were trying to sell one of our Generators so we could finance a 2nd air conditioner  for the 5th wheel. He came to Dann and asked him would he stay for a extra week or 2 to help him renovate his little house. He offered to give us $400 more than we were asking for it. Dann accepted. We would have stayed and helped this wonderful couple either way.

Dann, Mike, and a few others got busy pulling the siding of the house while a few of us woman got busy painting the sides and the shutters.  I have to say , Audrey did a wonderful job painting, she's a natural for some one that said “Audrey Does Not Paint”.

dann aud

Audrey and Dann taking a quick break from painting


Frenchy turned up every day.


Mikey and Dann  with Frenchy in the background

dann and aud

Dann sneaking 40 winks and Audrey wondering why her phone isn't working after she washed it in the washing machine, that's my Swedish weaving on Audrey's knee.


The lady her self, doing what she don't do Smile


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mission San José


Six weeks on the job with out a day of-it was time for some R & R. We decided to take  a week off and head up to San Antonio and park up at the Lackland Air Force Base

I am sure the weather man knew we were coming and gave us some nice cool temperatures.

There is quite a bit to see here, the most popular being The Alamo and The River Walk. There are a few Old Missions scattered here and there. The biggest being the Mission San Jose and the most beautiful.





Before we went inside (last smoke)

Known as the "Queen of the Missions", this is the largest of the missions and was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s. Spanish missions were not churches, but communities, with the church the focus. Mission San José shows  us the visitor how all the missions might have looked over 250 years ago. It was Founded in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús



The first thing you see as you walk through the gates is this huge oven with the Mission as a back drop.


Mission San José

mission front


old wall

A beautiful old wall


living quarters

Living quarters


A beautiful  old Statue

Everyone that comes here, comes to see

“The Rose Window”

The window, was sculpted in 1775, has been the object of both legend and admiration. It is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. The meaning behind the name is currently unknown, but legend has it named for Rosa, the betrothed of Juan Huizar who many believe created the window. He build it for his bride to be who is supposed to have perished at sea.

rose window1

rose window

I to came to see it.

On the way home we called in and quickly visited The Alamo. We got a phone call and had to leave, so we didn't get to see it all-next time !!


The Alamo

mexican man

I snapped this while driving past in the truck – A front for a Mexican restaurant, it was very colourful and pretty. Didn't eat there, don't care for the old Mexican tucker



I saved the best for last. On the way to the Mission we went past this and I just had to get a picture.


Take note – the size of the vehicles driving past these boots

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Only So Much You Can Blog About


There is really only so much I can write about while we are gate guarding. Its the same shit day after day. The day never really ends, it goes on and on and on. 24/7 We don't get any days of while doing this job. Since we started this job 6 months or so ago we have been to quiet a few gates. we got fired from one gate and asked to be moved from another. Cant say there has been a favourite gate.

I have come to realize that the Oil company's  down this way are responsible for all the dust. They have made so many roads that wind through the bush to get to their wells. They put this white dirt on top of the roads and after a few hundred trucks have pounded up and down it a few times, it slowly turns to this white bulldust,it's just horrible. It always blows right into the 5th wheel. .


Average day

I cant believe how important it became when we arrived at a new gate to see what side of the road they were going to set us up on. 2 things became important, the wind and the sun. I know Texas needs rain but we also prayed it would never rain again while doing this job. The dirt turns to this real sticky mud that sucks your shoes off, not to mention your paper work gets soaked and is rendered useless. Are you getting the feeling that we hate gate guarding yet.The reason why we stayed for so long is so we can pay off a few bills that have been hanging around our neck.

We get paid $1,700 every 2 weeks. Out of that we have to keep back at least $600 for tax. PLUS I think its 15% for Social security. The rest is ours to live and pay our bills.We thought we were well set up for this job before we got here. While in Mission Texas we installed another air conditioner on the roof to handle the extreme temperatures they have here. Installed a new awning, because we needed shade. When we got here and it was time to crank up the 2nd air con, it was dead, so we had to buy a new one. Just cant survive with out 2 on the roof. These 5th wheels are only 20 degrees cooler in side than the out side air. Also while in Mission we were shown by this nice old fella how to secure your awning so it will take very high winds with out getting damaged. It worked great to. It couldn't handle a mini tornado tho. 2 days ago I was under the awning logging in a truck when this funnel appeared from no where and just sat right on our 5th wheel. I had to stand still because I couldn't see and I was hanging onto my paper work for dear life.The wind lifted that awning up and flung it straight over the 5th wheel like it was a piece of tissue paper. I couldn't believe what I had just seen. My heart sunk. there goes our new awning I remember thinking. Around $1,000 for another one. Lucky we are insured but now one of the 2 important things you need out here is gone. Our Shade. There are no trees to park under, just the hot sun.


It’s legs and frame are on the roof


Holes where the frame tore from the side


Its not all bad, I am very lucky to be able to see some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, met some great workers that I have grown to admire. Those guys work in 120  degrees plus ground temperature conditions with no complaints. All they say when I ask them about it is—That's  Texas For ya Ma'am  I take my hat of to all the Oil Rig workers and Fracking Crews. There is no shade where they work either.  Below are a few pictures of events that happened at the different gates we have been on.

At one of the gates we were across from a field that had cows in it. These little Dung Beatles (Tumble Beatles) the locals call them use to cross the road to the other field on the other side to bury their little dung piles.  I got so bored one day i actually stoped traffic so that they could cross the road with being squashed. They all thought I was mad. If you touched his little ball, thy would immediately leave it and go back to get another one. amazing little critters.

The day I filmed them dragging the rig 15 feet,I actually filmed them attempting to do this a few times, every time there was something not right and they would stop and fix what ever wasn't right. I eventually got it on film when they actually dragged it, when I was deleting all the extra videos i accidently deleted the one I wanted to post in here..so this one is of them setting it up to drag.


These are the caterers that use to deliver our meals twice a day


these trucks are HUGE


Here they are lined up waiting to be logged out


Getting ready to put this rig on a truck.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our New Gate Job


Our old Gate guarding job lasted about 2 weeks. The company decided they weren't going to start drilling until around June some time, so that means we are outa here and on to a new site. We had a 3 day break, enough time do do the washing the modern way, stock up on some food and get some sleep. Sleep has not been coming easy for me while on this job. First night shift I have done for a few years and it was taking some time to get in the groove of things so to speak.

Finally we were packed up and on our way again, this time following some one from the yard. No chance of wrong turns this time. We arrived on site and met the husband and wife team that we were taking over from. They wanted some time off to spend with family. We quickly set up and took over the reins. All done in about half an hour. Boy were we in for a shock !!  After the slow pace at our old  gate this was like rush hour. I think we logged in 60-70 vehicles in our 1st hour. Half of the trucks I had a hard time reading their number plates (Tags) as  they call them here, because of the dust. It was bad.  At least now while doing night shift I will actually have something to do other than sit on my laptop and play my game to pass the time away. Our last gate we were about 3-4 miles away from the action, here we are right in the thick of things. Bloody noisy to.  Below is a picture of us set up close to the rig.


Even have a Mail Box

This is how they get the drilling rods to and from the rig.


The above link will show you what is happening under ground, I know my dad will be interested in this.

oil light

All around us are Oil Rigs busy drilling. This  is behind us. I have no idea why these burn. I must find out.


A few days ago, we had a really bad storm pass through. I managed to take this picture with the door slightly ajar. The rain made the dirt turn into  a sticky mud that stuck to your boots and just kept building up until they weighed a ton. I  might add that the creamy coloured carpet in our 5th wheel changed colour. Its wrecked.  I wanted to lay tiles down anyway. This just hurried up the process. This storm lasted for about 3 hours. The rain continued all day. Wasn't easy getting out there  signing trucks in. Had a harder time trying to keep the sign in sheets dry.  I hate to say this but I hope it never rains again while were are gate guarding. It is no ones  friend out here except for the Station Owners (Ranch).


One good thing about this job is that I get to see the sun come up every morning. Some beautiful sunrises as well, this morning I took this as the sun peeked over the trees.

morning sunrise1

Another one a few mins later. The actual colours of this sunrise are much richer when I was looking at it.  Still beautiful tho.


Me in front of the safety signs no one ever reads.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Death Of Huey


My mate Shirley Head Goddard back home in Australia sent me a horrible Garden Gnome when we were in Panguitch Utah doing some work camping. She knows I hate them and her front garden is full of the horrible little critters. It dates your yard and does nothing to enhance  it, especially if you are trying to sell your home. I am 100% sure that's why they have had no offers on their house.  I told her to get rid of them.Smile

Anyways, he has travelled well with us since summer last year. He even survived the bad storm we had in Mission a few weeks ago. I was wishing, I tell you.He lives out side, I wont let him in the 5th wheel.

Yesterday while I was having a nanny nap, Dann was guarding the gate as usual. After I woke up, he told me about this huge gust of wind that came from no where and nearly wrecked havoc with everything out side. The small table  that the fridge is on collapsed, chairs went flying,he said it was a bit of a mess. He then told me to come and have a look at something else that was  broken.  At first I didn't recognize it. Then I seen his little one eye that was still in one piece.  He had been sitting on the bottom of this heavy steel sign.





Flat AS !!



Monday, April 23, 2012

My New Cloths Line



As I have no washing machine out here, I have to hand wash, don't have a problem with that. I got a good system going, I bought a real BIG bucket..A Strong BIG bucket, I fill it with HOT water and washing powder, add a few cloths, stick it in the shower  recess, let it sit for a day, rinse and then add some fabric softener, let it sit for another day, then ring it out the best I can and hang it out on my new cloth line. My friend in Mission Bell RV Resort was making these and he made me one. I just knew it would be perfect for down the road a bit.  I wasn't wrong !! Below are some pictures of it in stages.


Piece a wood about 4 – 5 feet long, these cut outs are designed to fit onto your ladder that's mounted on your 5th wheel.


This is it mounted and it actually stays put, does not move around.


Grab a few coat hangers, poke undies and what ever in the holes and Bobs your Uncle. Works great !! last Long Time !!  This is better than a string and 2 poles, trees, and cloths pegs, might not be those mod cons where we are. This I unhook, throw  it into the storage  area and get her out when needed. I hear ya saying, Well you can’t hang much on it, well you cant, BUT I cant wash a lot at once either.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Gate Guard Job


Around 8.30am we finally set of to find our Gate we had to guard, we were given a piece of paper with the directions clearly marked. Along with some verbal instructions. Some one  was to  be waiting for us there to set us up, and he was. We took of and only had travelled about 5 miles I would guess and we came to a intersection out in the middle of whoop whoop, looked at the map and it wasn't on the map..Mmmmmm, decision time quick because a car was fast approaching from behind.  Dann made the executive decision to turn right,it made sense cos that was the direction in which we had to go. WRONG !!!  Now to find a place to turn around, Not easy on a single lane road towing a 5th Wheel.  We set the GPS and threw the instruction on the floor of the truck. She was going of and chucking  such a tizzy fit, she actually started to annoy me..RECALCULATING, RECAULATING..MAKE A U TURN WHEN YOU CAN, over and over..Finally found a area that we could turn around. I was happier now and so was the little voice in the GPS.

oil lit

That's one big cigarette lighter !!

While Dann was driving I had his phone in my hand watching the bars come and go as we travelled up and down the hills along the highway. I could see the odd phone tower here and there but not like you see on the big Highways. As many miles as we have travelled only once I couldn't connect to the internet while moving. YES, I play my games on Facebook while Dann is driving. I look up occasionally and give him a smile and then I am back at it.He doesn't mind. It wasn't looking good for a internet connection out here. I am beginning to get worried now. How was I going to survive out here with no internet. Man I am going be bored shitless. My mind was racing. I said to Dann, if we got no internet, we are outa here, he just smiled at me and gave me a vegemite sandwich. Don't ask me where that came from, it just popped into my mind LOL  The GPS was telling us we were close and I was watching them bars like a hawk. 5 BARS..YAH !!! One happy Camper I am. We are about 500 or so yards from a phone tower. The only one for miles. Below are some pictures of where we are actually camped.

our home

That big green tank is for our sewage.At the back behind the 5th wheel you can see the big Jenny on another trailer.


No need to even use our hoses here, they connected this little tank straight up to our 5th wheel. All the sewage and shower water/kitchen water flows through this, when it gets full it over flows and runs out that other pipe on the right.


Then a pump pumps it into this tank, which they come and empty for us.


Back View of Our set up. Our Home !!


Day 1 –Set up and on the job


This is what you see as you drive through the gate, the Oil Rig will be up that road about 2 miles.


Our Dirty Truck in her carport.


This is the Gate we are Guarding


1st Truck for day 1


2nd Truck Day1


A smaller truck, still day 1- That was it for traffic for day 1- Day 2 wasn't much better.That gate is right near our front door.

I have no idea what I am ever going to blog about while here, I don't have a US drivers Licence and don't intend on getting one either, So I can never leave here.


Beautiful HUGE cricket, they are in a abundance here. He's about 3” long, double that with his long feelers


A beautiful Roadrunner that sits every day on the back of Danns Truck. Been told to encourage these little fellas to hang around, They eat RATTLE SNAKES..        MEET MY NEW BEST FRIEND !!

roadrunner 1

Relaxed, cleaning himself. Very small bird.

He would jump up on our Truck and do this for most of the day. Cute little fella Smile


It was so hot out here that the this is what happened to the drivers side window

smashed window

It just shattered.