This has been the first day that I’ve really had a chance to realise how huge is the hole in my life now that my precious girl is gone. I’ve caught myself calling for her many times, from waking up alone to inviting her to join Neelix and me in a sunbeam. I keenly miss her comforting presence on my lap when I type. Neelix asked for my lap once today, but when he does that, he wants petting and is not content to lie still.

My sweet boy is such a comfort. He’s been increasingly affectionate in this past week. My favourite new thing he does is that he doesn’t just show me his belly to rub it, but rather puts both paws around my arm to hold it in place until he’s had enough! Too cute!


I’ve been taking it easy today and working on some projects. The day started off cool, so I wrapped my electric blanket around me in the morning, but I’m now in full sun and enjoying the contrast to yesterday’s gloomy tone. Later this evening, after the dinner rush passes, I will go try the buffet, which is $5 off for ladies on Wednesdays (so $7.95), and also play the free keno. I don’t intend to give them the $10 to get the free slot play, however.

Good Thing This Place Is Free

Well, it was another crappy night since the RV area is right next to the truck area and it was cold, so rather than a quiet night next to a creek, I got serenaded by reefers up until about 8:30 this morning. I am cranky.

I have no intention of staying beyond my two other free nights, but if a reason to do so came up, I would definitely argue for another freebie. This place is NOT worth $25, especially not to a customer!

Tuesday Night Social

This evening, I went back to Firelake Casino to pick up Linda in my toad. Yay for driving Moya! Not so yay for Moya losing a wiper blade down the interstate! This is the same driver’s side lost and found wiper blade from the last time that happened. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be enslaved to a vehicle. Go, wiper blade! Be free! Have a good life!

Linda was supposed to come here for dinner with some friends of hers, Carol and Steve, who is a casual reader of TWM. But the pair were running late, so the plan changed to my picking up Linda, coming back here to the Grand Casino for dinner at the sports bar, and us getting our food orders in while waiting for Steve and Carol who would join us belatedly for food then drive Linda home. It wasn’t as convoluted as that sounds. 🙂

I had what felt like a whole pig for dinner: a bacon, ham, and pulled pork sandwich! I brought half home for lunch tomorrow! It had just a little kick to it and was yummy.

While Linda and I were waiting, we were invited to play some free keno and were taught the game, which has to be the stupidest game of chance on the planet. I won $0.80! 😀 I still have my other free keno game from signing up for the player’s club, so I’ll try my luck again tomorrow.

I’m so glad I had a chance to meet up with Linda at very long last and it was a pleasure to be introduced to Steve and Carol.

I’ve met so many wonderful people this winter and I have at least two more social stops ahead of me (Wichita and Omaha) before I hit the border.

Pauls Valley to Shawnee, OK

It was a so-so night at Walmart. Because of the lack of parking spots, a reefer parked almost on top of me (not exaggerating; he had to go out his passenger door and I couldn’t open my house door!). I couldn’t fault the driver for that. He ran the engine for a few hours in the evening, then again in the middle of the night before finally taking off around 5:00 or 6:00. So my sleep was interrupted and I gave up around 7:00.

Since I only had about an hour to my destination, I thought of just taking off, but something told me to check my email. There was a comment from Linda Sand warning me that there are two Firelake casinos in Shawnee and that she was parked at the wrong one. Since it was on route to the right one, where I had planned to spend the night, I decided to stop there first and meet her since we keep just missing each other this spring. Onsite, I could check out the RV facilities and determine the best casino to stay at.

I arrived at the first casino, Firelake Casino, around 10AM, after circling around the complex a number of times before finding the RV park. I knew Linda is a late riser, so I sent a message to let her know I was on site instead of banging on her door, then had breakfast and did some online stuff. I called the casino to ask about the RV park and after being bounced around a bit, I was told it is $15 for FHU. Good deal and a nice location, but too much for me right now.

Linda got back to me around 11:30 and I went to check out her swanky digs (WOW, the things you can do with a class B when you custom design the layout!) and we gabbed for a bit. We will be having dinner tonight.

I headed out to the Grand Casino around 2:00 and was settled into a spot and had had lunch by 2:30. Linda had warned me I would have to unhook and back in, so I was prepared. Neither event took any effort. The slots are super narrow, but there is ample room to back in and they are perfectly angled for easy entrance. The view out the back is of a muddy creek, but the view from the desk is half into a bedroom window (I’m keeping that curtain closed!), one quarter onto an RV wall, and one quarter to the big rig parking lot.

In exchange for signing up for the player’s club, I get three nights with power and water and access to a dump station (each additional night is $25). With the player’s club, you get free keno, 10 entries to a draw, and $10 in match play (so you put $10 in the slot machines and they give you 10, but not on progressive machines). I have never played keno, but for the chance to win $100, I will try it out!

Three nights with power will be much appreciated since it is super cold and overcast. I’m running out of propane, so I have to ration until I find a place to fill and am grateful I can run the electric heater.

Gas prices in OK are much cheaper than in TX, to my surprise. Thank goodness for that. My gas mileage the last two days has been the pits and I’ve had to adjust my gas budget from $600 to $900 to get back to Canada from Dallas. *sighs* I’m just glad I’m not paying Canadian prices for fuel!!! Here, fuel is about $3.20 ($0.85/litre) a gallon and average Canadian prices are $4.90 ($1.30/litre) a gallon. So to fill the motorhome here (50 gallons), it’s $160 and to fill it in Canada would be $245!

I wish I could have had just one more month in the US to avoid getting back to Canada in this frigid soupy mess. I’m afraid that that’s what I’ll remember most about my winter, the cold humid last days rather than the hot sunny days walking barefoot along the beach with palm trees rustling in the background. Those days already feel like they belonged to another life. 🙁