Monday, May 22, 2017

Sweet Caroline Gets a New Home -- Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sweet Caroline had her own garage nestled under the roof of our house in Port Isabel, but when we moved to Houston, she was too big for our parking spaces under the condo.  What to do?  Maybe our RV'ing days should wind down, and travel become another mode.  

With reasons to travel to Avinger in Northeast Texas from time to time, it makes sense to have accommodations there.  The town is too small to have a hotel, so Sweet Caroline will become our condo there.  On Wednesday, March 15, she says Goodbye to Lisa, Angela, Joe and Rita at Advanced RV Park and points her nose north.













Herb parks her alongside our building in Avinger to leave the area behind available for the concrete man to assess.  She takes up many parking spaces on our lot that we allow guests of the steak house restaurant a couple of door down to use during the evenings. Herb opens the garage door to access the electrical for power.  Soon full hook-ups are available and we are 'home' once again.



Our friend Pam, City Secretary, parks her black car at the corner, which is convenient to her office at City Hall next door to our building.




Potholes at the end of our property seem to be getting worse.

















As a safety measure, Herb strings caution tape across the sidewalk to warn people who are used to using our sidewalk that there are slides out, so they should go around the outside and not risk bumping into a slide.


Herb and I had this mural of the old town Avinger painted on a billboard to add to the flavor of the annual Wildflower Trails festival held in April.














Work begins on Sweet Caroline's new home.  First a concrete slab will be poured.  I am amazed at how many steps it takes for this project.

















Some of the asphalt parking lot had to be broken up.  Strong men take turns slinging a sledge hammer.  I'm sure they will sleep well tonight.


The Bobcat drills to help the demolition process.




















Bobcat does a wheelie.



Not only will Sweet Caroline have a smooth site on which to sit, she will have a fence for privacy.  Posts are being set now.
















When the asphalt pieces are cut, some are lifted by a shovel and then carried by hand to the truck for hauling away.























Rebar is placed for reinforcing.

























Finally, concrete flows.



















And flows....























Rubber boots wade in the mix.
























Smoothing begins.


Cutting expansion joints.















Did I forget to say just how hot the temperature is on this Spring day?  These men have worked so hard, and we offer them water.  Herb has a good idea, also; he offers them a 'coh beer.'  Several accept -- one refuses, as he says he is the designated driver when they go home.




Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, March 15, 2007
















Saturday, May 20, 2017

My Costco -- Monday, February 27, 2017

How wonderful to get a phone call from our friend Craig from the Seattle area telling us he is coming to Houston on business and we should get together for a visit.  We invite him to our home and try to calm down from our excitement.

Then we hear that his meetings are keeping him busy, but he invites us to join a tour for some International guests at the Richmond Avenue store, where we shop.













As we enter the store we are met by Craig and several managers who are waiting to greet folks from many countries all over the world. It is soooo good to see him again.  He directs us to the back of the building, actually into the warehouse, where a slide screen and chairs are set up for a presentation.



Someone has done a nice job of displaying tote bags with the Costco logo, and the guests will enjoy having a remembrance of the meeting.



Passing the registration table, we get our name tags and take a seat in the back of the room.















Craig welcomes the group and begins his slide show.  I am very impressed to learn the history of the company, and the philosophy of safety first.  Safety for the employees and safety of the customers who buy the products.



















The food inspection program exceeds federal guidelines and standards.  
















Costco offers training to its employees in five languages -- English Spanish, Cantonese, Japanese and French.  The International guests take photos and write many notes to bring home.




















The Houston Chronicle sends a professional photographer.  I try to stay out of his way, and at one point he jokingly takes a photo of me as I shoot a scene from the meeting.

















A manager of one of the local Costco stores points out items in the bakery section -- sure smells good here!



















Ready to heat and eat dishes are prepared right here in the store.


























We take care to stay out of the way of the customers.  This lady gives permission and can't believe I want a photo of her.

























Employees Joaquin, left, and Daniel load boxes of wine from the warehouse to take to the large display inside the store.

















A couple of the guests on the tour examine a Dyson Hot+Cool fan.
















One of my favorite areas of the store is the Deli.  "Herb, what would you like for lunch today?"  "Willie, Let's go to Costco and eat the sandwich we like.  Then we can shop."

















We are excited to meet Matt, manager of the Richmond Avenue store.



















When I tell him how much I like the store, he gives all the credit to his assistant manager, Christine!  


Herb and I usually both get the awesome turkey/provolone sandwiches on a ciabatta roll, but today's lunch after the tour is sandwich for Herb and pizza for me.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, February 27, 2017