I got up early knowing that I had an ear doctor’s appointment, and I did not want to be rushed or late. I harnessed up the dogs as we usually do and then tied them to the table so they could watch as I brought out the bird feeders, which is a part of our normal morning routine. 

The usual group of Daniel, Malinda and Garry were over by the Break Room, and I wandered over just to say Hello. We chatted briefly before heading to the dumpster and then out and about. We wandered around trying to find as much shade as possible and then returned to the RV for breakfast.  

For a change, I ate a container full of fruit, berries and such for breakfast but did have the all-important coffee and then sat down to read the latest news. Moving on from that depressing stuff, I worked on the blog for a bit with one eye on the clock not wanting to be late for the Doctors Appointment. 

Saying goodbye to the dogs, I set off for the drive into Austin. The traffic was light, and I made good time arriving a bit early. I was quickly shown into one of the examination rooms and Dr Bittar soon walked in. We chatted for a bit as I had been coming to see him for over 40 years.  We first met after I broke my nose playing soccer and then he discovered my deafness and things moved on from there. I believe he is of Italian descent, and he too loves soccer or football as we know it. 

This time, it was nothing as serious as a broken nose but more about deafness and that I probably needed new hearing aids. The ones I have are getting old and no longer work as well as they should. Plus, of course, new technology has made huge strides in hearing. The only good thing about this enforced deafness is that it kept me out of the Korean war both here and in England. 

The Doc worked on cleaning both ears and got all kinds of gunk out saying that we should probably do this every three months instead of the current six. He uses a vacuum syringe that literally sucks the wax out of my ears. The right side went fine but as usual, the left side is much more prone to cause a whole lot of sneezing and coughing as for some reason, I am much more sensitive on that side.  

Dr Bittar wanted me to take another hearing test as I had not had one in a couple of years, and I went back to the Audiologists office. She put me through a series of tests and told me to come back tomorrow around 10:30 pm. 

I left Dr Bittar’s office and drove to Far West Blvd to PostNet and picked up my mail. I had previously called ahead to arrange the pickup.  

The next stop was at Walmart’s for groceries and a couple of RV items. One of which was a new septic hose as the current one has broken in half. I have no idea how that happened unless yesterday, the washing machines in the spin mode vibrated it off the support blocks. Normally, this would not be a problem as the hose is usually empty but because of using the washing machine, I had opened the valve so that the water could flow out through the different cycles. I thought that I had a spare hose but could not find it anywhere. As my stored possessions are now very few, I must have given them away. My grocery list was very small, and I got out of there for less than $100.00, $35.00 of which was for the new hose. 

On the way home, which incidentally was by what I call the back way through the country roads avoiding much of the traffic, I stopped at the “old” Starbucks that I used to haunt for a hot Latte and a piece of walnut cake to consume on the way back to the RV. 

Back at The Caboose, I was met by my two little friends but as the temperature had already reached 103 degrees, we did not go out immediately but sat indoors in the A/C to cool down from the exertions. I worked on the blog bringing us up to date. 

We sat around relaxing and listening to an Audiobook to pass the time before harnessing up and going out walking. It had not cooled off one little bit and by now, the temeprature had reached 103 degrees. Needless to say, we did not stay out very long before returning to the cool RV. 

We sat outside for a while as a bit of a breeze had picked up. I could see the dark clouds on the horizon and there was rain in the forecast. When I felt the first drops, I brought the deck chairs back inside and then scuttled down to retrieve the bird feeders and put them away. The dogs sat on the deck, and I swear, were cheering me on as I hastened to beat the rain. 

With everything put away and secured, we went back inside just in time as the storm hit us. Loud thunder, bright flashes of lightning and torrential rain made for an awesome sight. The storm continued for most of the night, but I was tired enough that I slept through most of it. 

Written 06/21/2023. Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com  

An Old Man and an RV. Henly RV Park,TX. Thursday 06/22/2023

I wonder if is the one that eats my flowers?

I used the restroom in the night and noticed that my balance was off but did not think too much of it, putting it down to having to get out of bed in a hurry. It had not improved very much as I got back into bed, but I managed to drop back off to sleep. 

When I awoke in the morning, my balance was a bit better. I thought it was caused by the ear cleaning yesterday as the ears play a big part in normal day to day balance although, this is the first time I have had any problems from this procedure. Just to be on the safe side, I used one of my hiking sticks when we took that first walk. 

Back at the RV, I knew that I had an appointment with the Audiologist to get new hearing aids so was planning my day around that. I had fixed breakfast and had settled in front of the computer and came across the card that Lisa, the Audiologist had given me and to my dismay, saw it was for 10:30 am which happened to be the time I was looking at the card. I quickly got on the phone and was full of apologies for the missed appointment. Lisa was very understanding, and we rearranged it for next Tuesday, this time at 1:00 pm. 

I continued to work on the blog and wondered what I would do now that my day had taken a different turn. 

We went out for a very short walk to the dumpster and then sat outside under the trees where it was cooler. The temperature has dropped quite considerably currently to 91 degrees, almost 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. I love it as it is a blessed relief. 

We walked back to The Caboose and sat outside for about an hour just watching the world go by. I did not even have an Audiobook open to listen to, just glad of the peace and quiet. We spent most of the time watching the bird feeders and at the many birds coming and going. The Hummingbirds are very interesting as they feed or in some cases, try to feed. Every now and then, a rogue Hummer will sit above the feeders and drive off any other Hummers that come along wanting to protect what he considers as “his or her property”. 

I suppose as with all species that size does not matter as much as determination. How anything that tiny can be so aggressive is beyond me especially as there is plenty to go around. There are bullies in all walks of life. 

I came back inside and sat at the table/desk and caught up with the blog. The day is passing really slowly for some reason, so I went outside and replaced the sewer hose that had split in half probably because of the rocking and rolling created by the laundry machine in the spin mode. Either that or the force of the water from the wash. That is the only thing I can think of that caused the problem. I bought a new hose yesterday in Walmart’s getting two for the price of one. The one I bought was two 6 footers in a box and I only need a 6-foot piece. I had noticed the broken hose the day before. 

Normally, the black tank and the grey tank valves are kept closed and then periodically, I empty the tanks using the grey tank to flush out the line after the black tank has emptied.  

For those of you that are unfamiliar with an RV tank system I will explain. RV’s are made to travel unless they are like mine, built tor a permanent spot. The plumbing system does not change even if they are considered permanent. Consequently, they have a three storage tank system. There is a clean water tank that is used for holding a certain amount of water based on tank size for “Boone docking” or in English, camping with no outside resources. These tanks can usually hold 60-80 gallons of water and can be bypassed when hooked up to a water supply. 

Then there is a grey tank that holds waste water from sinks, and showers. Finally, the black tank that holds the waste from the toilet. The last two are the ones that need emptying periodically sometimes when decided by gauges inside of the RV. These gauges are renowned for not working properly so the experienced camper keeps an eye on his tanks and opens the valves to release the contents, black tank first followed by the grey tank as he considers necessarily. Incidentally, I had a brand new RV earlier in my RV’ing career and the tank gauges did not work on it.

It is a pretty straight forward process. Obviously, if you don’t keep an eye on things, then you have the nasty experience of the tanks backing up inside the RV either through the toilet for the black tank, yuk, or the shower or sinks for the grey tank, another yuk. 

Incidentally, because of the tank system, it is not a good idea to leave the valves open to flush directly into the sewer system all the time. What this does is leave the solids from the toilet behind eventually creating a buildup which then needs to be backflushed out to clear it. Another messy and thankless job and really unnecessary with the proper tank management. 

Okay, enough of talking about the drainage systems in an RV although I should say that this process applies to even the most expensive RV’s on the market. You cannot compare an RV to a permanent dwelling in any way, shape or form. 

For some reason, the day is passing very slowly. My little buddy, Mikey, sits in the chair alongside me and usually goes to sleep. Today, he must have been having a bad dream as he squeaked and snuffled and shook a little as he slept. He eventually quieted down. I wonder what he was dreaming about? 

We sat outside under the awning, and it was a bit cooler with a breeze blowing through. Malinda stopped by as she had some paperwork that I needed to sign. At the same time, Peggy also stopped carrying a plastic container with a hot dinner inside. The girls have been cooking again and they often share with me, for which I am very grateful. Especially as I am not much into cooking myself and their offerings make a pleasant change from the straightforward fare that I normally eat. 

They both left and I settled back down to doing nothing, sitting quietly on the couch with a dog on either side of me. I was waiting to go to see my Audiologist but to my dismay, discovered I had got the times wrong and so missed the appointment. I at once got on the phone and, full of apologies, made new arrangements for next Tuesday. We sat there for a while and then harnessed up to brave the hot weather to walk around the park. Again, we took Henly Loop towards Hwy 290 because of the shade. We did not see an exotics this time. 

When we got back, we sat outside listening to an Audiobook that was not very good. In fact, it was bloody awful, but I stuck with it to the bitter end waiting all the time for the story to improve. I read the reviews and everybody that had commented all said how bad it was. Hope I do a better job of picking the next read. 

Finally, it was time to bring in the bird feeders and store them for the evening. Incidentally, it has given me much pleasure in watching the birds come and go, especially now that the birds are teaching their young the ways of the world. I had a Cardinal male with two offspring, and he fed then in turn, and I could see he was showing them how to do it for themselves. 

Another Mourning Dove was trying to break the baby bird of his help from his actions that was going on. Like all youngsters, the baby did not like this independence thing and wanted more from its parents. Pretty harsh to be abandoned just when you are getting used to being fed… Nature’s way of learning or suffer the consequences. 

With everything put away, we went back inside for the usual evening meal and then television. 

Written 06/22/2023. Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com