Monday, January 3, 2022

Another Day Closer to New Shades for Sweet Georgia Brown

 Day 4 - Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

It is another cold day in McKinney, 38 degrees when we wake at 5:30, but Sweet Georgia Brown has a really good heater -- she burns diesel!

Brian comes out to tell us that he has seen our shades, which are still in process, and he can probably begin the installation tomorrow, Thursday.   He assures us he will be done by Friday, so we can head home.    The photo below shows a room inside the factory, where magic happens.  

Another truck comes in this morning loaded with material used in the factory, and I love seeing the skilled forklift driver slide the forks under a couple of sections and then set them aside on the driveway.

Below is a photo of Sweet Georgia Brown's driver side living room window, showing the existing shade.  I actually like this shade and it works well, but we should have them all match the new ones.

The shade on the narrow window behind the coffee maker definitely needs to be replaced, because it doesn't work; the cords are broken.

We take a break from cooking and search for the What-a-burger restaurant we had seen on our trip north to McKinney, and which is one of our favorite eateries. The GPS finds it, and we get our orders to go because of the pandemic, and bring them home to dine in the safety of our home.

Early December is the time we decorate for Christmas.  Hint to What-a-burger:  How nice it would be to have a festive styrofoam cup for our drinks during holiday seasons!

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown,

   and of Walldog and Willie

   December 8, 2021


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

They Work -- We Wait

 Day 3 - Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

Yikes!  It is 32 degrees in McKinney at 5a, but thankfully, it warms up to 43 by ten o'clock.  Yep, we are using the diesel heat furnace, because heat pumps don't work below 40 degrees.

Brian brings Herb a package delivered by Amazon to this address, then returns to the shop where we can hear saws and drills working on our shades and trim.  Nice to know that you can run, but you can't hide, from that Amazon truck.   Smiles can find you no matter where you go.

It is evident from all the deliveries that MCD Innovations gets, that it contributes to the economy.  A FedEx truck comes here three times; Old Dominion comes twice; a packaging truck comes once, and late in the day a FedEx 18-wheeler comes in. UPS comes once and I notice the door it backs up to is labeled for UPS-FedEx.

I assume all of them bring supplies necessary for the manufacturing process, but what is the packaging for?  I would love to have a tour of the facility, but fat chance on that!  Maybe I could put my journalism hat on and interview Brian or Bill.  (Willie smiles with the facitious remark.)

We take advantage of the free time to run an errand to Costco for some items we need, then relax for the rest of the day, enjoying a lovely orange, yellow and pink sunset at dusk.  How beautiful the scene is with the leafless trees against the sky.

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown
   and of Walldog and Willie
   December 7, 2021

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Step One of Four of the Shades Project

Day 2 - Monday, Dec. 6, 2021

At MCD Innovations in McKinney for our shades installation, we wake at 5 in the morning to 55 degrees outside and 69 inside Sweet Georgia Brown, a few degrees difference from our home south of Houston.  However, the temperature quickly drops to 45 and it becomes very windy by 9a.  This causes the window awnings to make a lot of noise, and we think it is time to retract them. 

Brian and Bill, employees of MCD, are in charge of shades installation and come over at 9:30 to see what we would like them to make for us.  Bill is shown explaining to Herb what they will do, which includes measuring our windshield and windows, then showing styles and fabric to allow us to make our selection.

He and Brian investigate where they should put the controls for operating the motorized windshield shades, with Herb's approval of what will work for him.  They also give recommendations for where manual operation would be the best practice. They 'talk us out of' some of the high dollar things we had in mind, and explain why.

Once all is decided, we go into the showroom to see some of the window treatments that are on display.  This is also a good opportunity for Brian to show us the 'over and under' roller plan that should give us more warmth in winter.   The one he uses is for demonstation only, and not the one we choose.

On one wall of the showroom is a display of various models of RVs that they can accommodate - from very large Class A's to many sizes of Class B's and C's, as well as Fifth Wheels.  To the left of the clock is one of the photos of several restaurants in the area where we could have lunch or dinner while in McKinney.    The lady at the reception desk, Jonquil, names a few restaurants and begins to tell us how to get to each one.  We ask her just to write them down, and we will simply use the GPS to get us there.

Hmmm...I wonder if they give discounts if you say MCD suggested them. 

Bill also shows Herb a screwdriver they have for sale that has a magnetic tip for retrieving nails and screws that happen to fall into small spaces during installation or repair work.    He holds a screw in his hand, and asks Herb to grab it with the special screwdriver.  In the second photo you can see the screw on the tip.

Seeing me check out another wall of products, Bill tells me that their sister company produces them.  The small firepit gets my attention, and I can see where it could fit beside Sweet Georgia Brown in her canopy at Livingston.  As a famous politician has been known to say, "We'll see what happens!"

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown,

   and of Walldog and Willie.

   December 6, 2021

Monday, December 6, 2021

Sweet Georgia Brown has a Vision

 Day 1 - Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021

Sweet Georgia Brown didn't like the windshield shades that were factory installed, so Herb was happy to remove them and leave the occupants with a clear vision to the outside world.  He then makes an appointment with MCD Innovations in McKinney TX to install motorized shades, which include a day shade that lets in 90%  of the light.  We can see to the outside, but no one can see inside, making us totally private.  Of course, the night shade is a blackout, also totally private.

Before and before:

Here is a nighttime photo through the left side of the windshield showing some Christmas decorations on coaches parked in front of us at the RV park;  the right  side is mostly a reflection of our kitchen.  No privacy screening.

The photo below is taken at daybreak.

With good weather for travel -- 68 degrees and partly sunny --  we leave Livingston at 8:30a, driving Sweet Georgia Brown for 6 hours, stopping an hour for lunch,  and arriving to McKinney at 4:30p.  

There are 15 parking spaces, but only one other RV here, so this speaks well for the individual attention MCD gives its customers.

Tonight we sleep well, while visions of progress on the shades project dance in our heads.

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown,

   and of Walldog and Willie

   December 5, 2021

Monday, November 1, 2021

You Can't Get There From Here

 Day 32 -- Monday, August 30, 2021

In less than four hours Sweet Georgia Brown should be back to her home in Livingston, completing the trip to Santa Fe and the Enchanted Circle of New Mexico.  We leave Navarro Mills Lake around 10 o'clock in the morning, saying "Goodbye" to our friend at the check-in gate.

Driving on Hwy. 31 East, and guided by the GPS, we take the exit to Corsicana.  But we don't go very far before -- Oops! -- the road is closed!  There is no where to back up, no re-routing, so there is no alternative but to drive a few feet forward, then a few feet backward, repeating about six times until we get turned around and drive the wrong way on the exit ramp to return to Hwy. 31 East.  I was beginning to think, "You can't get there from here!"

Tire tracks show that we are not the first ones to be fooled by thinking this is a real exit.  

Could this have been done a different way?  I think we need to alert the Texas Department of Transportation. 

We do find our way back to Livingston.  News on TV shows some storm damage as Hurricane Ida is still battering the Gulf Coast.

I think Sweet Georgia Brown is glad to be home, but looking forward to her next trip.

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown,

   and of Walldog and Willie

   August 30, 2021

Friday, October 29, 2021

Texas Smoker

 Day 31-- Sunday, August 29, 2021

Today is our third and final day at Navarro Mills Lake, a Corps of Engineers RV Park, located between Waco and Gun Barrell City in Texas.  We are returning from an awesome vacation in New Mexico, where the highlight of the trip was a visit with friends, Cathy and Skipper.

With not much time left to explore the area, today we would like to find the boat launch for the kayaks that we see paddling in the stream bordering the park.  More fishermen arrive and relax in lawn chairs on the pier while they try their luck at hooking a fish hiding in the water below.

It is hard to see from the distance the photo was taken, but the two are sitting in red chairs.

Our map shows that it is too far to walk, so we take the Jeep, passing a pavilion set with tables and chairs for group gatherings.  I can imagine my family reunion here at this time of year when the weather is so nice and cool.   Nearby is a BBQ grill and smoker which appears to have had lots of use.  Herb could definitely prepare some delicious steaks here.  If you look carefully, you will see the main reason I took a photo from behind the smoker.  On top there is a cutout in the shape of Texas, but from this angle, it is reversed.

There is a nominal fee for staying in the campground, and a park attendant checks guests in at the gate.  He doesn't have far to walk to work, as his Fifth-wheel camper is just across the road.  He waves to us as we exit to go around to the next entrance.

Not far down the road we find what we are looking for.  At 7 o'clock in the morning, it is apparently too early for the children to be outdoors playing, so that explains the empty playground.   As we get near the boat launch, we see a duck taking its morning bath, then swimming lazily away.  This is the same body of water that we see in front of Sweet Georgia Brown's campsite.

Kayaks are beached at the launching area, again too early for recreation.

Around 10am the boat parade begins.  How wonderful that nature provides so much for us.

Oh, yes!  Nature provides rain, also!  Around 3 in the afternoon we get a hard downpour, so we spend the rest of the day inside the motorhome.  We turn on the TV and see that Louisiana is getting way more rain than we are.  Our hearts sink as the effects of Hurricane Ida (Category 4) approaching the coastline in the Gulf of Mexico are shown.  New Orleans, much of which is below sea level on dry land, gets a storm surge of 12 - 16 feet, with isolated tornados predicted.

Louisiana was hit by Hurricane Katrina (Category 5) in 2005.  There was much devastation.

It is a sad day, and when we see all the area of Louisiana that so far is affected, we know we should check on Karl and Emily, hoping they have cell service and are high and dry!

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown,

     and of Walldog and Willie

     August 29, 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

It's All About Fishing!

Day 30 -- August 28, 2021

Our next stop on the way back to Texas is at Navarrro Mills Lake, which is northeast of Waco and southwest of Gun Barrel City.   We choose a campsite not far from the shore of the lake where we can see the fishing pier extend out over the water.  Herb (seen at the right of the center photo) takes a walk to see what he can see; then I go out only one time, because it is scary to me.

Today I take my early morning walk on the roads around the campground and notice that this area is much different from yesterday's camp at Lake Waco.  Joyce Kilmer wrote the poem, "Trees," the first stanza of which is "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree."

I agree.  

There have been pecan trees on several properties Herb and I have owned, and I can very well identify the leaves I have raked.  Here I see pecans green in the shell, and I long to come back in November to see how they have ripened.

Late in the afternoon when the temperature cools a bit, different groups of people arrive to fish.  Some set their ice chests on the ground and fish from the bank.  Another group chooses the fishing pier.   We hope they fill their ice chests.

Willie of Sweet Georgia Brown   

and of Walldog and Willie

 August 28, 2021