Sunday, January 29, 2012

Houston Space Center

Last Friday we were up early for our departure from Livingston.  While I stayed back to pay our electricity usage, Ed drove the motorhome to get propane.  I made it there just has he finished and while he drove on to get the motorhome inspected, I paid the bill.  He was just about finished with the inspection when I got there.  It all worked well and we were on the road to Houston about 9:30.  Halfway there, we decided to stop for breakfast.

The Houston Space Center has been on my bucket list for a long time.   Since its about 90 minutes from Livingston, we decided we would stop on our way south.  We arrived just in time to make the 1:00 pm tram tour.  The tram tour made a stop at Mission Control, the Training Facility and Rocket park.

                                              Mission Control


The floor here in the training center is made of a special material that lets the training chair float like you would in space. 


Approaching Rocket park on the tram, here are the Mercury rockets and the Gemini rockets.  The building we went into was all about the Apollo Program.  My father worked all his life for General Electric.  During the “Race for the Moon” many of the GE employees were contracted out to NASA.  We spent almost 3 years living in Huntsville, Alabama where my father worked on the Saturn Booster.  It took 5 of them to lift off the Apollo rocket. Here is one.  I couldn’t get far enough back to get all 5 together.


After the tram tour, we went into the Starship Gallery Museum.  Here they had timelines of all the different space flights, starting the Mercury Program. (Unfortunately it was also very dark inside so my pictures didn’t come out.)  It brought back memories of sitting in front of a TV during school (5th grade) and watching as Alan Shepard made history.  Then again, when John Glenn first orbited the earth.  I remember watching with my father as Ed White became the first person to walk in space during the Gemini flights.  (By the way, they named it Gemini, because there where 2 astronauts).  I remember Apollo I where we lost Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee as fire swept through the capsule while sitting on the launch pad.


And, I was one of those who were up in the middle of the night, clued to the TV, when Neil Armstrong first stepped on the surface of the moon, along with Buzz Aldrin.  Each step in the space program, every flight, was a learning step that led to that moment.  NASA is talking about going back to the moon.  Someday we may have a colony on the moon to be used as a stepping off point on the way to Mars or further.

One last picture…. Memorial Grove

Each tree here is a tribute to those astronauts lost in the Challenger and Columbia Shuttle flights. 

To infinity and beyond!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Busy days in Livingston

We come to Livingston once a year.  While here we have to get our vehicles inspected and have our yearly doctors appointments. 

We had so much planned for the first day and woke up to a very strong thunderstorm.  It really poured so we just stayed in the motorhome.  Oh well, one day down. 

We made it out on Tuesday and finally got to the car inspection. (In Texas, they can’t do inspections when its raining.  When they test the brakes, its about stopping distance. Harder to do when the roads are wet.) I wanted to go to the local library but they were closed for inventory until the 19th! I also picked up my lab order from my doctor.

Wednesday I had to get my blood work done. (I wanted to do this before my actual appointment).  Thursday we drove to Huntsville which is a town about 45 miles from Livingston.  There is a very nice used book store there and it was time for us to stock up again.   The weekend was spent watching football. 
This past Monday we were in the repair shop again.  This time we were having our roof resealed.  We had developed a few leaks and needed to get them taken care of.  Not sure they got them all, it rained a little since then, but only time will tell. 

Tuesday was Ed’s appointment with his cardiologist.  Ed has seen him every year since we retired.  Since he as A Fib, he takes a blood thinner.  Last April, we were able to get a machine to check this on a weekly basis.  We call in the results which to company then relays to the doctor.  It does fluctuate a lot.  We thought it might be the machine, but the doctor assured us that it’s the nature of the Coumadin.  Yesterday was Ed’s turn for blood work and the doctor also scheduled him an echocardiogram.  On Friday we have to go to Lufkin to have a nuclear stress test done.  He’s not happy about it, but his doctor wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything else wrong with his heart.  I am thankful.  We probably won’t know any results unless there is a problem.  Let’s pray there are none. 

My doctors appointment was today and everything is good.  Found out that a lot of the body cramping I have experienced is a side effect of the cholesterol medicine I take. I really like my doctor here in Livingston.  We sat and talked about my lab results for a good 45 minutes.  Not many doctors will take that much time.

We are here until next week.  I have wanted to go to the Houston Space Center every year we have been here and I think next Monday we will finally get there.   Of course, there is the Bingo!  We can play here in Livingston 5 times a week!! We’ve yet to win the big one, but we are winning enough to keep playing.

Hopefully, the weather will be good next week so we can get the motorhome washed and waxed before we head to Rockport for a couple weeks.  There is a lot to see in that area.  Looking forward to it!!

Friday, January 6, 2012


We finished our last day of work for Amazon on Wednesday.  It sure felt good to walk out that door for the last time for a while.  We will be back in October for the 2012 peak season.  It really hard to turn down this kind of pay.  Yes the work is hard and yes the hours are long, but they really appreciate the campers.  We have had a turkey dinner catered during one lunch and at another lunch we had baked potatoes and chili.  Once a week they played bingo during lunch…you all know I love bingo!!

We are headed for Texas and will be in Livingston by Sunday.  We should be there for a couple of weeks before we head toward San Antonio.  We have been there before but we have heard a lot about the “hill country” that’s close to that area and we want to check it out.  We will then spend a couple of weeks or so around Rockport, Padre Island and Harlingen.  I want to head toward New Orleans and Biloxi before starting north again to be at Beech Bend in Bowling Green Kentucky for the summer. 

It’s going to be great to be on the road again!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

happy new year

For the first time since Thanksgiving, we have had 3 days off!! We will work for 3 more days before we head for Livingston on Friday.  We have been here since October 5th and we are ready to move on.  These last 2 weeks have been hard.  The new job in ICQA (inventory control) is very hard on the body.  We are down on the floor, then up on a stool, up and down what a workout!! So glad we weren’t doing this for the past 11 weeks!!! Friday we spent doing laundry (it had really built up because we only had 1 day off in the past 7). We took a ride Saturday to Elizabethtown to get our coffee (Dunkin Donuts) and then on to Sam’s Club to pick up a few items.  Today, I will take down all the Christmas decorations while watching some football. We will have to tape the Rose Parade since we will be working on Monday.
The weather here has been very mild this year.  However, we do have a couple of very cold days coming Monday and Tuesday, so we have filled our water tanks and have the small heater ready to go in case our pump freezes.  There is no snow in the forecast thank goodness.

happy new year 2

Our plan for the next couple of months is to tour Texas.  There is still a lot there that we have not seen.  Then possibly New Orleans and Biloxi before we head to Bowling Green, KY for our summer at Beech Bend Amusement park.  This is going to be our year to save on fuel!
I also want to wish my son, Terry a very happy birthday.  My New Year’s baby has grown into a wonderful man whom I am very proud.

Here he is with his sisters.

Love you Terry!!!

Here’s hoping 2012 will be a great year for everyone!!