2020 September 07

Monday at Cutty’s Des Moines campground

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  • We had breakfast with friends at Cutty’s this morning. We may not see some of them for a long while, or possibly never
  • Ella wrote: Today Cutty’s had breakfast at the Clubhouse. Not having transportation, we walked. Our trailer isn’t that far from the clubhouse the walk wasn’t that bad And good for us. We did get to see good friends we might not get to see for maybe the last time.

  • Today was more sorting. Things that were carried from the storage units to the trailer. Today those were sorted through. The small shed behind the trailer was emptied and sorted. Much of the trailer was also emptied and sorted. We have a good size pile of items that Arik and Jenny will take to Texas when they leave tomorrow. Those items they will store until we have a place for them. There are plenty of items to be hauled to the dump. Add still more that hopefully John will be willing to haul to Texas in a week or so. If he isn’t willing, I don’t really know what we will do.
  • I also fixed the broken awning support and got the awning or and secured.

  • This evening my niece Karla and her daughter Renee stopped to take us out to Texas Roadhouse for supper. It was nice to sit and visit for awhile. It was also nice to have ribeye.
Des Moines Iowa area
Liberty Hill Texas area
  • God bless and g‘day.
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  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

280.5lb

2020 July 06 Docs, Meds, Foods

Monday

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hough the golden Sunrise was beautiful to behold, it was but a harbinger of the heat that was going to come forth later in the day. As you can see in the screenshot below, the temperature was already in the 80s before sunrise, with the “feels like” temperature of 85°.

esterday I had posted about having pain in my eye since Friday morning when I woke. This morning, I set an appointment for two this afternoon. I will see the nurse practitioner at Liberty Hill Physicians. I’m also hoping that to get word from the pharmacy that my prescription has been okayed and filled.Ella has prescriptions ready for pick up already. After my two o’clock appointment I also may have an additional prescription issued from the Physicians here in Liberty Hill. So, hopefully, I can get all of those taken care of this afternoon.hen we returned to Texas from Iowa on October 1st, it was with a clear plan to go back to Iowa around the 1st of May 2020. This has been our yearly cycle for over a half-dozen years. We spend the best part of the year in Texas and the warm part in Iowa. We have family in both places and long to see both of them.This year the coronavirus changed those plans. We have now been in Texas for two months longer than we normally would be. We are fearful of the drive north, stopping to eat, or even drive through. Public restrooms, no matter how well maintained, cannot be considered a germ-free. I have always been skeptical of the cleanliness of motel rooms and, during this time even more so. Therefore our travel plans have been put on hold until we have better assurance that we won’t catch this disease, which could be deadly to the two of us.In regard for these facts, I have decided to stop posting how many days we have been in Texas. This year it may be a year or longer. Similarly I’m also no longer posting how many days we have been isolated because of the covid-19 virus. Partially this is due to the fact that we are no longer isolated in the truest sense of the word.We venture forth to pick up groceries or prescriptions, with were ordered online. We also have begun going out to eat, although those are at drive-thru restaurants not eat-in restaurants. Although we still do not gather in large groups, we have gone to family functions several times as well as worship and Sunday School.We are still hand sanitizing and wearing masks whenever we go out in public, but we are going out in public more than during the beginning of isolating.

e arrived a little early at the Doctor’s this afternoon. The entry door and exterior wall was broken. I didn’t ask and wasn’t told, but I am guessing that someone hit it with a car.Haley, the nurse practitioner examined my eye and declared it to be a bacterial infection. As suspected, a prescription was called in. That brought the total meds waiting for us to four. Three for me with one for Ella.ince we were now going to Wal-Mart, I placed the order for groceries to be picked up. The list was already in my online shopping cart. All I had to do was schedule the pickup times. The next available time was between 6 and 7. I took it. Since it was just barely 3 o’clock, I was going to go home. However, Ella said, “I guess we can find something to do for 3 hours.”he first thing we found to do was grab lunch at McDonalds. We took our sandwiches across the parking lot and sat in front of Lowes to eat. We sat there for about an hour and a half. Ella dozed for a bit. Then the sun broke through the clouds to shine on her.We went in search of shade and bathroom. The bathroom I found at QuikTrip gas and convenience store. The shade we found sitting in the pharmacy pickup spot at Wal-Mart. We called to let the pharmacy know which spot we were in. A young woman soon arrived but then she noticed she had left one of the meds on the counter. Before long, she returned with everything needed.Watch our videos on YouTube.It wasn’t quite time for the groceries to be ready, so we found another shady spot in which to wait. Did I mention that we don’t have working air conditioner in the truck? Checkout the forecast at the bottom of this post.The notification arrived that the groceries were ready for pickup. Since we were in the parking lot, it took us no time to be loaded and on our way.Once home, we managed to store nearly everything away in the cupboards.The sun was already setting when we pulled into our RV site.I put the eye drops in the say down to finish today’s journal.See y’all again tomorrow. Stay safe. Remember, we love you.

  • God bless and g‘day.
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  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

2019 December 12 Thursdayz

2019 December 12 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

trip in from Liberty Hill’s to work today was mostly uneventful. However there were a string of fire trucks that we’re coming up behind me but turned before they got to me. I wonder where they were going? I pray that wherever they’re going everyone will be safe.

or some reason unknown to me, the door to our dressing area has not only been unlocked but standing wide open for the last few days. Now I know that maintenance also uses this for storage. So I can only assume that they are the ones opening it. But I do wish they would shut the door again when they are done. Because if I sit out there in my Santa suit, and kids go by, it can be confusing to them.

hen Jessie, the set manager, arrived this morning, she was carrying a bag of groceries. She asked if I could use them. Both her mom and dad had, unknown to each other, bought groceries. So there were duplicates that they didn’t need. Most of the items were things that the local food pantry is asking for. This morning I ordered groceries from Wal-Mart to be picked up after work. Some Items were ordered specifically to donate to the food pantry. I will take Jessie’s and ours to Cross Tracks Church food pantry collection site.

had a grand day today. Several bus loads out special needs adults were in the mall shopping today and many of then came to see Santa.

hree years ago Ian, an 11 year old boy with Downs Syndrome, came to see Santa. Though he can talk, it was difficult to understand him, so he also communicated partially with ASL on a limited scale. I also knew a little sign language. After his pictures were taken, his mother went to look at the photos while Ian and I sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and pretended that the big Santa chair was a sleigh. When mom came to get him, he went over, hugged her, kissed her, and told her goodbye. He was going to stay with Santa.

ast year we were closing the set to change Santa’s when I saw him standing in line. I waved him in, got the pictures and again visited for a short time while mom looked at photos. Again, he didn’t want to leave. He told her he was going tho sleep in my chair.

oday his mom brought Ian for photos. Today, when she was ready to leave, he went with her. However, an hour or so later, she came to thank me for the joy I give to get son. I said that he gives me so much joy also. Ian parked himself on my lap and was ready to stay again. It took some persuading for him tho go with her.

n my way home I stopped at Wal-Mart to get the groceries that I had ordered online before going to work. I also went in to get Ella’s prescriptions. The pharmacist had been at the Wal-Mart back in Iowa so I told her that the temperature back there was 29°.

felt rather proud of myself for remembering the groceries AND the medications. That is until Ella asked where the pizza was. I had forgotten that she had ordered pizza for me to pick up.

art of the reason I forgot about going for the pizza was because I was a little shaken up by the guy whole pulled around me to run a stop sign. He came close to running head-on into a tractor trailer with a load of rock. I don’t know where he had to be in such a hurry that he could endanger so many lives. I hope he made it there without causing a accident.God bless and g’nite.

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  • Day 73 in our Texas home
  • 31 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 08 Sunday

2019 December 08 Sunday in Liberty Hill, Texas

o sunrise photo today folks. We were rushing around to get to the mall. We had a stop at our church tho drop of supplies for the breakfast bar. We grabbed some food and left.

t is odd not attending worship on Sunday. Five months of the year I preach on Sunday at our campground in Iowa. Six months out of the year I mostly listen to someone else preach … I occasionally fill in. And one month I miss worship service because I’m being Santa on most December Sundays.

his Sunday I was not preaching but I was still ministering. This was “Caring Santa Sunday“. This is my happiest day of the season. I get to bring some joy to the lives of some special needs kids (of all ages). They, in turn, fill me with so much joy.

his year Ella, as she has done many times in the past, assisted at the Caring Santa event. Which is why we were rushing this morning and why we both missed the worship service. Caring Santa starts a couple of hours before the mall stores open. That way there’s less noise and confusion for those who are very sensitive to these things.

ecause I began earlier, I also left work earlier. Santa Charlie took over at one o’clock today rather than the usual Sunday schedule of two o’clock.

mentioned sometime past that Elwin, a friend from Iowa, was visiting family in a neighbouring town. We were not able to make a connection earlier. Today, however, we spent some time with him at his daughter’s home. I told him that it was good to hear someone speaking Iowawegian again. We become immersed in or Texicana society, that when we get back you Iowa, the accent (or lack of one …. maybe?) sounds a little strange for awhile.

fter visiting with Elwin, we went to IHOP for a late lunch or early supper (you’ll never convince me that the evening meal is “dinner”).

his isn’t technically a sunset photo. But it’s not often that you can look at the sun without special equipment. Today all it took was a mystical haze in the southwestern sky.

God bless and g’nite.

ome of the over 150 letters to Santa that I’ve received so far this year. And, yes, I read them all. Sometimes I have to bring the parents in when the whispered request is for such as the “western hog nosed girl snake” that a preteen girl asked for. Or when a child asks for a trampoline, I will say that it is too big to carry in my sleigh when it is all assembled. I ask the parents if they could put it together of I had it shipped to them.

Here is a sampling of some resent days in the big chair.

December 6th

One of my first visits was with a young mask Man 4 years old. He would not come to see Santa unless he was wearing his red mask think Lone Ranger. He wanted a large hatchimal.
My next visit was with a very tall slim young special needs man with mental, physical, and hearing loss. He had a hearing aid and still communicated partially by sign. He was a very happy person. He has a twin brother with autism that mom willi bring some other day.

Next was a set of one-year-old twins boy and girl who are not at all happy to see Santa.

I next had a special needs man, maybe 40-ish, who wanted a real boat. I said I only have toys but maybe I could get you a remote control boat. That seemed okay.

A few crying babies, and a few happy babies.

5 year old Noah, with a learning disability, and his 1 year old sister came to see me. Sister would not get near me. Noah was a hugger.

I also had a three-year-old boy with his grandmother the boy refused to look at Santa or the camera. It turned very slop slow. At 1:30 there were four employees and no customers.

It turned very slow. At 1:30 there were four employees and no customers.

That afternoon I had a four year old girl with no hair, I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to spoil a visit with Santa. Around 3 we had a small Rush.

Around 3 we had a small Rush.

The trip to Lago Vista was uneventful. Finding the home was easy enough despite all the hills and twists and turns of the road. The children were a delight, especially Willoh who was the alpha child in charge. She was like lightning dressed up as a two-year-old.

The trip home was exciting. Those of you who are familiar with a Texas Hill Country and in particular the drive on 1431 west of Largo Vista, will appreciate that drive all alone on a dark night. I traveled every point of the compass and many changes of the altimeter.

December 7th

I drove to work in full Santa gear. I drove through Sonic for breakfast. When I pulled up to the window, I was told that the lady ahead of me had paid for my meal.

Every weekend there is a farmers market / craft fair in the mall parking lot where I park. That isn’t usually a problem for me because I have a handicap tag, however today there was a truck and trailer parked sideways and taking up all of the handicap spaces. He had no tag. My more vindictive side thinks I hope he gets a ticket for every space he occupies. But my better side just prays that he moves before someone comes who really needs it.

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  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 69 in our Texas home
  • 27 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 01 Sunday

2019 December 01 Sunday in Liberty Hill, Texas

hat a change from the 71° start with a high of 82° to 43° this morning!

he wispy mare’s tail clouds looked nice at sunrise. Often there are no clouds and the sunrise is rather plain and uninteresting. Sometimes the cloud cover is too thick and there is no discernable sunrise at all. So this sunrise was a nice surprise.

was able to go to part of the 9 o’clock worship service today. I was able to sing the hymns, though I sat in the back of the sanctuary, not with the choir. I was able to hear and record all of the sermon, “Silent Wings” before leaving for the mall. I wasn’t able too attend Sunday school which is after the first service.

anta was busy in spurts today. There was a line when I got there and it grew and shrunk for about an hour. There was a short lull. And then another line formed, grew, shrunk, grew again then stopped. After another break, the line formed again and lasted until about 1:30 or so. A had a few more in before I left at 2.

had a woman with two preteen boys come to see Santa. Being the usual mom, concerned that every pant leg was of equal length and every hair in place, she was focused on the boys, not Santa. When she went to look at the photos, she started to cry. She came back and said that I looked so much like her deceased father that it had hit her hard when she looked at the pictures.

lso today I had a woman come sit on my lap and say I reminded her of her husband that died of alzheimer this past year. I told her that I have 3 lists: the naughty, nice, and prayer list. She asked me to add her to my prayer list. I said that I would. And I have.

rounded up all my gloves and shirts and took them with me to the laundromat where Ella was waiting for me. I had left her at church this morning. After worship she went for lunch with friends at Cherry Creek Catfish. They then dropped her off at the laundromat. Since I had all the clothes in the truck, she had to wait about an hour and a half for me to arrive.

ne of our acquaintances, from the Grimes senior center in Iowa, is visiting his family in Georgetown, Texas. He called Ella and they set up a time to meet at IHOP. However, it didn’t workout with his ride. We did go ahead without him.

God bless and g’nite.

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  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 62 in our Texas home

2019 November 05 Tuesday

2019 November 05 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

he high for today it’s predicted to be not much warmer than the low (65) this morning or the predicted low tonight (63).

his is what sunrise looked like. As a matter of fact, this is what most of the day looked like.We spent our morning asst the Georgetown senior center. At 10:30 they fired up the big bingo machine and we played bingo for about an hour before lunch (chicken fried steak, mashed potato w/gravy, asparagus, and garlic cheese bread)

e stopped at Goodwill and purchased a second soft-sided tote bag on wheels. We bought the red one last week with the idea of using it as a laundry bag. It worked well, however our wasn’t large enough. So today we also purchased the blue one.

e came home and gathered up our dirty clothes then went to the laundromat.

he sun was already low in the sky at 4 pm and shining golden on the trees.

unset was much more beautiful and awe inspiring than our grey sunrise.God bless and gnite.

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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

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  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 36 in our Texas home

2019 October 16 Wednesday

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams

2019 October 16 Wednesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

Very nice sleeping weather … after midnight … up until then, it was kinda sticky.

It is Wednesday, which means there was a Grandies meeting in the morning.

And canasta after The meeting. We had enough for two tables of six players each and a table of four playing bridge. And not everyone stayed to play games.

Hobo Junction was the restaurant of choice for most of the Grandies after the meeting. It’s hard to resist their chicken fried steak. So I didn’t. The side of butter beans was wonderful.

The setting st sun before Choir practice.

This was Choir practice before everyone arrived and we started singing.

The amazing sky as we were leaving choir.

God bless and g’nite.

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Day 16 in our Texas home.