Weekend in the Yard

I didn't make plans to go and do anything special this weekend. I had plans to mow my yard and my parent's yard. But when I got home from work on Friday, my Daddy was already mowing theirs. When he got done, I got my yard done to. With all the rain we've had lately, I could  have baled it! For the record...I HATE Bahia Grass! I took a shower and headed to the local Watering Hole (actually, that's its name) for a little liquid refreshment and then back to the house to have the steaks that I got Daddy for his birthday. A big, full, beautiful moon came up. Cell phone cameras just never do it justice. 

Saturday morning, after coffee, I picked up one of my Gal Pals and we headed to Buffalo to check out Bobo's Nursery. Even in mid-summer, they had nice healthy plants and great prices. I came home with a Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia patens), Cigar Plant (Cuphea), Mexican Heather, a couple of Moss Rosses and a fully-blooming pink Penta for my Mama. They do carry more native plants, but it is mid-summer and the supply is a little low on those. I need to check them out earlier in the Spring.  They also carry pottery and metal art items. We saw a whole family of Sasquatch there! 

We asked them where their favorite local places are to eat. They gave us a couple options and of course, we chose Mexican food! El Corral Mexican Restaurant had good food and good tea. Several patrons had a pink/reddish margarita that looked wonderful, but since I was driving...Sweet Tea always works. They even brought out individual bowls of salsa. Double-dip to your heart's content. 

We then hit up Woody's Smokehouse on the southbound side of I-45 in Centerville. I haven't been there in a while and I typically hit the northbound side. If you can put it in a jar, they probably have it. Seasonings, rubs, dressings, jellies, marinated veggies of all kinds, cobbler and more. They have a nice meat market with cuts of meat, summer sausage, sausage, jerky, etc. Beef, pork, venison, elk and buffalo too. They do sell kolaches. The cream cheese ones looked good, but since we just ate, I skipped those. They have quite a few bathroom stalls and they were clean. There's also non-edible goodies too. Towels, decor, Brumate drinkware and beverage holders. Woody's was like the pre-Buc-ee's of I-45 in that area. They even have Beaver Nuggets (with a different name, of course). You can get barbeque or deli items to eat and there are tables inside. It's a nice alternative and definitely less crowded that the larger, more populate counterpart. 

Then we headed down Hwy 7 to Marquez (pronounced Mar-kay for you non-Texan folks) and went to check out my cousins' hardware store there. D&D Hardware carries most things you'll need for home, farm and ranch. Their plan is add more western wear and other things as well. I didn't need anything specific, but I came home with a few things. They had their plants (mostly veggies) on sale for 75% off. More plants made the trip back home!  

When we got almost to turnoff to my friend's house, we ALMOST  traded paint with a little car whose driver was not paying attention. He tried merging right into us and missed us by mere INCHES. If I wouldn't have swerved into the large shoulder, it would have been bad. I drive a Crew Cab Chevy Silverado. I'm not hard to miss! Thanks to our guardian angels for keeping us safe!

Sunday, I spent time in the yard in the morning. I put a couple of the plants in the ground and potted one up in a hanging basket. There are a lot of Purple Martins in the yard and filling up my Martin house. I love their sound AND the fact that they eat a ton of mosquitoes and other pests! I love being out in the yard. 

I pulled some weeds. Crabgrass is another PITA weed, but for the most part, it's not too hard to pull out if you can get it at the base of the plant. I watered some of the plants still in pots and some of the newly planted ones in the yard. I have a policy with most of my plants in the ground. I'll get them started and then they are on their own. They can grow or go in the compost pile. Their choice. 

I have always had trouble getting certain plants to ever take hold and I have tried multiple times with each. Mexican Bush Sage, Plumbago and Purple Coneflower. Most chose poorly. But as of right now, I have all three growing in the yard and two  the the three have flowers on them! These have chosen wisely. 😁

I filled the bird baths, seed feeders and hummingbird feeders. I have had a few hummingbirds here and there throughout the summer, but it's about time for them to be coming back through and filling up before they make the long flight across the Gulf for winter. Those tiny little flying jewels amaze me, they truly do. I also have several plants in the yard that serve as natural fuel for them as well. The sages and Flame Acanthus are putting out a buffet right now. 

This yard has been 17 years in the making and it's coming along nicely. It was just a scraped dirt lot in 2004 and I now have several trees that cast decent shade. I have plants for wildlife and my enjoyment and I tend to the Texas natives. It's just better for all of us. I have 3 areas that I like to sit in and enjoy the yard including the back porch. 

The frogs and crickets reward me in the evenings with their serenades. The birds sing their songs all day, but mostly in the mornings and evenings. I have a few geckos that help with the bug population as well. I can definitely do without the high-pitched sound of the 'skeeters and their accompanying bites. Some of the birds have "planted" a few things along the fence line that I have allowed to continue growing. I have a Gum Bumelia tree and a couple of "Toothache" or Hercules Club trees coming up. The yard is one of my favorite places to relax when I'm not out camping near water somewhere.  

Camping at Rocky Creek Park

This was a nice park and had lots of Spanish Moss hanging on the trees. Site 144 was great! Plenty of room around it and space between the neighbors. I had a perfect view of the sunset.  The shoreline here has a few rows of concrete bricks with room for grass to grow in between. Past that, the lake bottom is nice. If the water goes down some more, the blocks will be out of the water. The park has lots of deer that roam around at all times of the day and there were a few fawns at this time of year. I would definitely come back to this section again. 
South Shore
10550 Rocky Creek Park Rd., Burton, TX 77835
979-596-1622

July 16-18 - 2 Nights
Type of Park: COE
Check In: 3p    Check Out: 2p

Site #144 - Back-In

πŸ’²28 per night
• Water
• 20/30/50 amp - pedestal looks pretty new
• Grill - good condition
• Fire Ring with flip over grate
• Metal mesh picnic table with cover, far enough away so awnings came out fully
• Site Pad: Level, crushed granite. Slopes up at the roadside.

πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:

• On the shore of the lake facing west
• Trees for some shade
• Covered picnic table
• Close to restrooms/showers
• Plenty of room between sites
• This site is aligned perfectly. Sit at the picnic table and watch the sun go down between the trees
• Extra parking area across from site (mostly unused and starting to grow up)

πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:

• No sewer hookups
• Site slopes off steep on edge of site. Watch small children
• Some of the trees around the site have been cut down. They still show on Google maps though.
  • Watch for ants

πŸ“ Park Notes: 

• Gates closed and locked from 10p to 6p - can get out, but not back in
• 2 Dump Stations - the one closest to the entry gate has you facing into the park
• Restrooms / Showers
• Playground
• 3 miles of Nature Trails
• Boat ramp is closed - under reconstruction
• Group shelter for rent
• Lots of dumpsters throughout the park
• Sites on the east side of this loop are closer together
• 60s-90s loop was pretty full
• There are Munzees and a Geocache here

🐦 Wildlife:

• Birds: Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets
• Quite a few deer

🚘 47 miles round trip - 9.1 mph  

Friday

This was a beautiful spot. It was perfectly aligned so that you can see the sunset from the picnic table in between the trees. The trees around the site were draped in Spanish Moss and it gave me the feeling of being in Louisiana. Deer were plentiful and there were several fawns around although they were hidden in the grass most of the time. I went out to Wild Bill's to get something to eat because I wasn't in the mood for sandwich stuff. This is a neat little convenience store/grill/bar. The countertops and support posts are cedar. The beer is cold and the burgers were fresh. The hand cut fries were tasty. I went back to the campsite and watch a gorgeous sunset. The sun just dropped and faded so I watched it until there was nothing left. I made a fire and watched it for a while. Yes, it was 82° at 9:30 pm, but who cares? That's one of my favorite camping activities.

Saturday

My neighbors were pulling out early and left firewood for me. It was good split wood too. Score! I made my coffee. Had to bring out The Mug since this is the Same Trailer, Different Park. The water was so calm this morning. I would have been perfect for kayaking or even a paddleboard. My friend showed up and I made us breakfast tacos and then ran a couple errands while he fished. Mama & Daddy came out in the early afternoon. We made a fire and did the steaks and baked potatoes on the grate. 

Daddy brought his drone and got some aerial shots for a new perspective. After they left, I aired up my River Tube and floated for a little bit while I watched the sun go down. I need a little anchor so I can just float in one spot. The catfish were coming to the surface after the minnows. I didn't get my tackle out though. Made another fire and watched it for a while. Took a shower to wash of the humidity, lake water and smoke. There are restrooms and showers nearby, but I just used the one in the camper since I was leaving the next day and had plenty of tank capacity. No need to drag everything out.

Sunday

The deer were grazing near the site and didn't even look up when boats came around. I made bacon, eggs and cheese grits for breakfast. I got my new Posse Pioneer shirt from RV Texas Y'all and this was a perfect time to wear it. I found a Geocache on one of the trails in the park. Haven't done one of those in a while since I mostly concentrate on Munzee. I got on the tube and floated for a little while to catch a little sun. Then it was time start the teardown processes. I've kind of got it down to a science, but I still refer to my lists to make sure I haven't forgotten things. I do a couple of "final" walk-arounds both inside and out to be sure. I remembered to turn off the hot water heater switch this time. 

After I hitched up, I headed to the nearest dump station (which is headed out in the right direction). When I got there, I was 4th in line. This ain't the line to Disney World, kids! Had time to briefly visit with the couple who came in 5th. Watched some of the deer and a fawn while I waited. I would prefer full hookups, but I'd be glad to come back to this park. This was a last-minute trip and I'm glad it all worked out. 



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Independence Day Weekend 2021

Big Creek Marina & Campground, Lake Somerville

Had a lovely weekend camping with friends and relatives. The lake is still up just a bit and we had off and on showers, but we made the most of it. We ate good and were able to relax. Big Creek Park did not have their own fireworks display this year, but we had a great vantage point for the displays at Welch Park. Due to the rains, I don't think the temps even got up to 90°, but the humidity felt like it. 

North Shore, Park Road 4
979-596-1616

July 2-5, 2021 - 3 Nights
Type of Park: Private-owned
Check In: 4p    Check Out: 3p

Site #54 - Back-In


πŸ’²35 per night ($105 total)
  • Water
  • 20/30/50 amp
  • Picnic Table on concrete slab
  • Close to restrooms/showers

πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:

  • No trees to avoid
  • Good area for camping in groups
  • Right on the shore of the Lake
  • Good swimming areas
  • Restrooms/showers nearby

πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:

  • No shade
  • No fire ring
  • This loop's sites are closer together and seems to be more of a party crowd

πŸ“ Park Notes: 

  • Lake is still up just a bit
  • Gates closed and locked from midnight to 6 am on weekends. Closed at 10 pm on week days. 
  • Can bring golf carts, ATV's (machines with steering wheels, not handle bars)
  • Dump Station - a little hard to get to for big rigs. Also hard to leave the park from there. You may have to go back into the park to turn around.
  • Park Store - has fishing bait and supplies, too. Beer, bait, but no ammo.
  • There is a Places Munzee here
  • πŸ’‘ Sites 55 and 52 are larger sites

🦌 Wildlife:

  • Birds: Mockingbirds, Osprey, Killdeer, Great Egret
  • Deer
  • Party animals
🚘 44.5 miles round trip - 9.4 mph
 
I'm going to rant for a moment... 

People...seriously?! Don't leave your trash and cigarette butts behind for the staff, or worse yet, the next campers to find and pick up. This is just nasty! Think about a couple with a small toddler arriving after you...EVERYTHING goes in their mouth. YUCK! Do you want to be responsible for that? And, let's turn it around...couples with children in diapers, DO NOT leave them around the campground. I had to pick one up on my last outing. It's disgusting! Be a better camper! Don't be the reason that campgrounds close or have to enforce common-sense rules. 😑


Friday

We had a group of four RVs this trip. I put out the painted rock that I got from the RV Show USA. I hope it brings a smile to the person that finds it and I hope they post a picture on the Be a Better Camper page. 

We had sausage wrap-arounds for supper and set up the Cornhole boards. More friends came for a while and brought the Littles to stay. I added pool noodles to the slide and it was a good visual to them as they were running around playing. The mosquitos were present, but not terrible. The flies, on the other hand, were awful! 🦟

This was the first trip with the Clear2O inline water filter. I actually drank water from the faucet. It filters down to 1 micron, but I didn't notice any reduction in water flow rate. 


Saturday 

The lake was quiet and calm this morning. I took a little walk towards the store. I love mornings in the campground while most people are sleeping. We had our coffee and sat around for a little while. Later, we had biscuits and gravy made
 in the Dutch oven over coals for breakfast followed by Mimosas. Good eats!  

We got a pretty good downpour for a while, so it was a good time to take a nap. It cleared off and we were able to get out in the lake for awhile and then there was a long-running cornhole game. We set up two canopies between my trailer and the 5W so it was our kitchen/dining room/entertainment area. We took all the kids for a slow ride on the Mule around the park. We had more day visitors. We had little bits of sun, but mostly overcast with a few sprinkles throughout the day. There were a few lightning bolts, so we stayed out of the lake for a while...and then the kids were back in. 

Saturday nights are our typical BYO Steak night. I love it! We had lots of food to share! There were lots of fireworks going off at Welch Park and we had a good view of them across the lake. Somebody somewhere was shooting off some large fireworks about 4am. So much for quiet hours!

Sunday

Sunday morning was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. Nice and calm in the morning. We had cowboy coffee and breakfast tacos - and mimosas. I like a little coffee in my cream. Brewed camp coffee is the best! It's so much better than drip coffee. Sorry Keurig!

Camp hair. Don't care! 

We got in the lake again for a while. Alternating sun, clouds, light rain. There was a full rainbow that appeared later. It's cool to see the whole thing from end to end. 🌈

We did BYO Meat night. The guys had the Weber Kettle going and a small cooker. Of course there were jalapeΓ±o poppers (it's a camp staple in this group). We had quail and a young turkey, Tablitas and a Mexican dish that was soooo good. LOTS of good food. We had country ribs and pork chops but we put them back in the refrigerators because there was too much already. All the kids had fun playing in the water while the adults sat around or played Cornhole. 

πŸŽ† The fireworks at Welch Park started just after dark and we all went around the other side of the 5th Wheel for a good view point. We were disappointed to find out earlier this week that Big Creek wasn't doing their display this year. That's why we booked these sites so early. There were lots of boats in the water watching the displays. We could others on the Washington County side of the lake as well. 

Monday

Another peaceful morning. A few people had left yesterday afternoon. I had just enough OJ and champagne for one last Mimosa. We had leftover breakfast tacos for a simple meal. Most of the group started packing up to head home. We are all weekend RVers, so there's the pack up, dump, go home, set back up and unload to think about.


My cousins and the kids came mid-morning since they had been in Austin for the weekend and then Mama & Daddy came a little later. We made hot dogs and had a picnic lunch with them before they had to get back on the road to Louisiana. After they left, I stowed everything and closed up Matilda Mae and had a few sprinkles in the process. Daddy helped me hitch up and then followed me to the dump station. They followed me home. Unhitched and turned on the AC and went inside to take a nap. It was a nice relaxing weekend, but with the sun and activity, I was bushed. I never even got to put a hook in the water this weekend. 


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