I had hoped to sleep in this morning, but once I was awake at 6:20, that was it. I said, “Neelix?” and one of the lumps in my bed rose and came to cuddle with me for about an hour.

Ms. Cinnamon told me to have coffee with her this morning, so I didn’t have to touch the kitchen. I just packed the office, checked my email on the iPad, and eventually went outside to fill up the water tank as well as a bunch of jugs. Just as I was finishing this, Ms. Cinnamon came to get me for coffee.

We lounged for a bit then headed out to buy me a new sewer hose. Her favourite RV supply place had just gone out of business, so we ended up back at Walmart.

I needed about 25′ of hose to get to her outlet and mine and the kits were all 20′, with no couplings to put sections together. I finally clued in that I could connect my hose to a really nice complete kit with new fittings, so I splurged (all of $30) and got that. It is going to be so much nicer to wrangle than my current setup, except that it doesn’t fit in my new sewer pipe holder! 🙁

Back home, she helped me dump and then I unplugged so I could be guided out of the driveway. It took a bit of back and forthing and grass trampling, but I finally made it onto the street. I hadn’t driven my truck since I left San Antonio, so Ms. Cinnamon was worried it wouldn’t start, but the thought never crossed my mind. Moya happily roared back to life (I am sooooo looking forward to a prairie drive with her!) and I hooked up easily.

Ms. Cinnamon and I said our goodbyes and then I headed out through Dallas one last time. She gave me good directions, so I just had to watch out for the construction, mad drivers, and traffic. I was really glad to get clear of urbania and get into some easy interstate driving.

I heard Neelix meowing very loudly as we set off, which is unusual for him as he is a cat of few words. It’s almost like he was say, “Mom, wait! WAIT! We forgot Tabitha!” 🙁

My plan was to stop at a rest area in Gainesville, just before the Oklahama border, but it was just a picnic area and out in the open sun, so it wouldn’t have been a great place to spend an afternoon (but would have been a perfect stop last night). It was early, so I decided to continue on to my planned stop for today, the Walmart in Pauls Valley.

I was running really low on fuel in Gainesville, so when I spotted a Shell station that was an obvious easy in and out, I stopped there and got $99 worth of fuel, the maximum the pump would give me (odd number, no?). In Canada, I get the pump reauthorized in those situations since $100 doesn’t go far, but I get more than half a tank for that price in the US, so I prefer to just get that, which forces me to stop more frequently.

And then, without fanfare, I said goodbye to Texas. 🙁 I literally left a piece of my soul in that state and so it will always be a part of me even if the road ends up never taking me back there.

I stopped at the Oklahoma welcome centre for lunch and went in to get some OK City info just in case I decide to play tourist. I was offered coffee, which I gladly accepted!

From there, it was exactly one hour to my stop for the day. Customer service was very welcoming, but this isn’t a great lot for big rigs. I’m not crazy about how I’m parked and I may try to find a better spot if the lot thins out a little this evening.

Two Last Days in Dallas

Saturday, I headed out to ‘the ranch’, an RV community where Ms. Cinnamon keeps her rig. Most folks there have a structure with living space plus a covered area for the RV. It is operated condo style where everyone owns their plot of land and they share the operating costs for the common areas. I got some ideas for my RV pad should I ever develop it.

I knew about this place because one of my very few nemeses bought property there some time ago and is one of her neighbours. What a small world; huh? Thankfully, I didn’t run into him!

For lunch, we stopped at the Eastern Buffet in Lindale, a good all you can eat place that even had some (pretty bad) sushi. But it was rice and seaweed, so I gladly ate it. 🙂

It was good to get out of the rig so I could separate myself from Bitha and steel myself for the inevitable that evening.

Today, Ms. Cinnamon invited me out for lunch and then to run errands. She said we could go anywhere for food. I wasn’t feeling well and had a bit of an upset tummy, so I wanted to go for something familiar and comforting. I therefore suggested we go back to Bistro B and I ordered the lemongrass chicken again. This time, I specified that I wanted lots of lemongrass and the meal ending up being doubly delicious from the last time. YUM. For dessert, Ms. Cinnamon got us the boba ice coffee, for which there are no words to express its deliciousness. It’s really strong coffee with condensed milk and tapioca pearls. Mmm!

We then went next door to an Asian market where I stocked up on staples, like rice (said casually, but check out the picture and caption of it below…), sushi vinegar, sesame oil, and rice noodles.

Next, we headed over to Sam’s club, where I had never shopped. I got a few things on my list and was irked that they do not take Visa. Ms. Cinnamon paid (thank you!) and I stopped at the ATM upstairs to get some cash to pay her back.

I picked up a few more things at Walmart and then we headed out to Costco. I am definitely going to be getting a Costco card. I’ve been debating it since last summer and I’m doing it! They also don’t take Visa, grr, but I had cash so that was fine. I didn’t need much more by then and had reached the end of the budget anyway, but I got an incredible deal on cheese (more details below). Ms. Cinnamon and I split a package of two fresh baguettes, so that’s what I’ll be having for a very light supper later.

I’m wiped from all that shopping and grateful that Ms. Cinnamon prefers to be the driving. I haven’t taken my truck out once since I got here!

My sewer hose is too short to dump, so we’ll be going to an RV place first thing in the morning to get another section and a coupler. And then it will be time to take my leave of this place and head out into the frigid plains. Oh, Texas, I will miss you.

A Change of Plans

I’m overwhelmed by the response I got to my last post. Thank you very much everyone.

I was supposed to pull out this afternoon, but I’m much too tired to do so. Ms. Cinnamon happens to have the day off tomorrow, so we’ll get me onto the street late morning, after rush hour.

Today, we’re going out for lunch then will run a few errands, after which time I’ll finish packing and dump so that I have nothing to do after but get a good night’s sleep.

Later today, I’ll post about our outing yesterday.

And Then There Were Two

My beautiful Tabitha died today. She was 15 and had been my companion for 13 years.

When death comes naturally at the end of a good life and there is time to prepare for it, my grief at the loss is not lessened, but I have no trouble accepting this natural occurrence. I’m grieving tonight, but I’m okay. Ms. Cinnamon took good care of me.

I noticed last summer that Tabitha was beginning to feel poorly, so I took her to the vet for a full workup. Everything that could be checked for with routine tests — diabetes, thyroid, kidneys, liver, worms, etc. came back okay for a cat her age. She did have a slight bladder infection, which cleared up with a week’s worth of antibiotics.

She continued to decline in the next months, eating less and less, losing weight, and growing increasingly lethargic. I could tell her kidneys were shutting down.

When I adopted her in 2000, I was warned that because of major health issues in her kittenhood, she would not be a long-lived cat. The vet estimated that with proper care and a housebound existence, she might make it to nine or 10. She has far exceeded her life expectancy and she has had a good, rich life. She has been well cared for and cherished. I don’t believe in extreme measures. As long as she wasn’t in any pain, I was willing to let nature take its course.

She stopped eating in the last few days, but she was still happy to see me and cuddled, enjoyed sunbeams, and was able to get up and down from the bed in the back (forget the loft, she hasn’t climbed up there in weeks). I waited for her to tell me it was time.

When I got in tonight from a day out, she was just staring blankly at me and I barely got a purr out of her. She was breathing very heavily. I made a quick Google search and called a vet to ask about bringing her in.

You would think that a Saturday night would be the worst night for this decision to have to be made, but the Hillside Veterinary Clinic is open 24/7 and does not charge anything extra for after hours or weekends. The receptionist was wonderful and took me at my word that it was time to put Tabitha to sleep. She told me to bring her right in and that they would fit her in ASAP.

I had tried the shelter a couple of days ago to get information and the woman there was quite rude and said that Tabitha would have to have a full panel of tests before they would agree to put her down. Hillside did not question that I have been a good mom and was making the decision because it needed to be made.

The entire staff, including Dr. Smith who gave her the final injection, was compassionate. The cost was $75 plus $12.50 for disposal; the same price quoted by the shelter. I was allowed to be with her to the end while I would have had to surrender her to the shelter. I am so grateful that I ended up needing to make the decision late on a Saturday and had really no choice but to go to Hillside because I couldn’t imagine a better place for it to have happened.

My darling girl traveled the continent with me. We lived in five homes together and have had short stays in motels as well as my parents’ homes. In 13 years, she was only  kenneled once. In 13 years, I  lived at least six different lives and had as my only constant this raven beauty with piercing golden eyes.

From the first moment she laid eyes on me with those windows to her precious soul, I was her person. Aggressive and shy  with others, she always loved me. We slept together most nights of the last 13 years and could communicate efficiently. She was my girl and I loved her so much. Oh, how I will miss her.

The void in the rig is palpable tonight. Neelix seems to sense my grief. I am focusing on honouring her life.

Mercurial Weather

The day the code enforcer came, it was so hot and sticky that I finally caved and ran the AC. Then a big thunderstorm rolled in and the temperature dropped. Yesterday was chilly and damp in the rig. Today, it’s only 6C outside and it was 5C in the rig when I woke up!!!!!! BRR! At least the sun is shining!

Do I really need to go north? 🙁

Unrelated, people who mow lawns before 8AM should be forced to eat their mower clippings.