08.13.14 First day of school, victorious Saints, and beautiful butterflies!

10592924_888246874536144_3531076100874874366_nSaints fever is spreading throughout the South in these weeks leading up to the regular season.  Time to get the plastic bag and tub containing all our Saints paraphenalia, clothes, signs, etc. out from under Dora.  Near the end of last season we bought our Sproley Oley tin can man to hang outside.  Since Sproles is no longer a Saint (can I say what a sad day that was!) we’re going to convert him to another Saint before the regular season gets here.  Gotta see who rises to the top during the pre-season before making that decision though!

The long awaited first Saints game of the pre-season was victoriously won last week and the second was also a victory by our Boys in Black and Gold!  We’ll be more properly attired for the game next week since Roy, me, Chip, Kim, Madisyn, Braxton and Bentley now have new Saints Socks!!!  I believe we must be Saints outfitted for every game so now we’re complete! 

Madisyn came to stay with us one day last week. After dinner we went to Baskin Robbins which Madisyn use to call the special place that Paw Paw takes her to. It’s still a special place but she definitely knows the name of the place now. They allowed me to go with them this time and what a treat it was.

She and I spent the evening on the floor making homemade Christmas gift cards for her to give some of her family this year. I’ve always loved making them for our family and friends and now that she’s old enough and getting quite crafty we can do them together!

She spent the night with us and in the morning we went shopping for Saints clothes for her (she’s now wearing a precious Saints cheer leading outfit with pompoms) and grocery shopping with Grannie (half of the things I needed are still at the store).

madisyn roses cheerleading saints

We picked up fried fish dinners at Marcus’ fund raiser and came home where Chip (her daddy, our son) was waiting for us with a bouquet of roses! While we were shopping I even got my first “Oh Grannie you embarrassed me” comment (which she properly told me in private) from something silly I did. When she left I napped for two hours which I never do. I think it’s the Madisyn after effect!

Madisyn starts Kindergarten on Thursday and it’s so terribly hard to believe it’s been 5 years since she was just a tiny baby.  I’m sure she will take the school by storm and pray that Chip doesn’t get those calls from her school I use to get about him!!! Here’s some pictures of this very special event!

10599351_824321034259392_7900065225115363511_n madisyn kindergarten madisyn kindergarten2I sure hope her school is ready for this one!!!

No house showings this week but our real estate agent posted two pictures of a butterfly visiting our lantana bushes today.  I’m looking out the RV window right now watching this very butterfly and it is so beautiful. 10440714_10152611242207486_517008494434595231_n10455320_10152458433278903_387111309761223217_n

Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

04.18.14 Good Friday is Here!

10259994_10151973443605946_2265143770221909712_n“Good Friday is here. Mary is crying her eyes out, The disciples have hidden. The sky is blackened and the earth quakes while officers gamble over his garments. And the dreams and hopes of many are dashed against the rocks.

But it is only Friday. SUNDAY’S COMING!”  — Dr. Randy Davis

Bro. Randy (our home church pastor) began this Facebook post noting that this is not new but I felt it stated what10262092_654413707941372_7162460908465024290_n was happening on the day of Jesus’ death very simply and beautifully.  These days in the history of Christianity are days Christians think deeply about what Jesus’ death did for us.  We should think deeply about this every single day but too often we don’t think about it enough during the year, and let the world and our daily lives take precedence over this amazing display of sacrificial love when God sent his only son to earth to die to take on our sins. I have no deep theological thoughts to share but have a simple love of Jesus Christ and what he did for me to let the significance of today go unnoticed before I start babbling about what’s going on in our lives in Texas!

On to my babble!!

Roy and I went to the shooting range when we were much younger and both enjoyed it.  I was actually a pretty good shooter and liked posing like Charlie’s Angels!   There are some targets set up on the ranch for the hunters to practice their shooting.  Now that the hunters have stopped coming Roy and I took our gun out and practiced.  Well at least Roy did, he’s very good.  I however stunk and am not allowed to hold a gun again…..  Having had carpel tunnel surgery on both hands reduced the strength in my hands/fingers.  It was so hard for me to pull the trigger back that when I did and it shot I freaked out.  I tried it twice and was so in shock I didn’t think of where I was pointing it until I saw the horrified look on Roy’s face. Yes I was pointing it everywhere include at him……  So that’s why I’m not allowed to hold one again and I must say I now have no desire to, since it was no longer easy.  I’ll use one if I have to defend myself but only then.  Here’s pictures of us shooting.  The expression on my face in one of the pictures was me freaking out.

shooting4 shooting3 shooting shoot 2This is the view out our front window.  I love it!  The owners of the ranch left for Europe this morning so we’re in charge of the animals and plants on our own now!

front window view

 

 

Here’s hoping everyone had a blessed Good Friday! Please remember what Jesus did this day so many years ago, for you and for me.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

04.15.14 Flowering Desert Cactus!!

10170985_774873542525748_6351603609984478836_nRoy discovered how to have our blog appear on his Facebook page, as well as mine.  Some of you readers may be new to our blog because of this.  If you’d like to “follow” the blog by having an email sent to you each time a new post is available, go to the right hand side of our main page and scroll down until you see “Follow Our Blog”.  Type in your email address, you’ll shortly receive an email, please confirm it and you’ll be a “follower” of Dora and the Explorers.

On to what’s been happening at our little temporary home in Southern Texas and other things I want to share.

This coming Friday is Good Friday. The day we  honor the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins.  If that isn’t one of the deepest displays of love, I don’t know what is.  He’s not going to stay in that grave, however! We celebrate His resurrection on Sunday, Easter Sunday! We will miss being in our home church that day.  It is our tradition to welcome someone with “He is Risen” and they answer “He Is Risen Indeed!”

The wonderful choir there is singing a cantata called  “Save in the Cross” this Friday night and Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Trinity Baptist Church, 42062 Pumpkin Center Road in Hammond.   I sang with the choir when we originally sang this probably 10 years ago and the message is still strong and accurate.  They would love to have you attend one of those nights and hear the true message of Easter.  Better yet, join them for Worship on Sunday at 10:45 and receive God’s message through the sermon and music.  I was told by someone recently, “God doesn’t want someone like me in church.”  What???????  God wants someone exactly like that in church.  What would he do with a whole bunch of perfect people.  Each and everyone of us are sinners.  Christians are only saved by the Grace of God.  You’re never too bad, too old, too whatever to turn to God!

Galatians 6:14: “God forbid that I should glory [boast], save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world was crucified unto me and I unto the world.”

Roy came back from his evening ride around the ranch yesterday and said “Come with me, the cactus are flowering!”  I quickly bundled up (its’ now cold here) and we rode out to where he saw the flowers.  I previously thought that what turns out to be a bloom, was a new cactus growing on the old one.  Shows I’m not very desert flower savvy! After a rain like that we would have seen puddles everywhere in Hammond but didn’t see any standing water as we rode around last night.

Here’s some pictures of the blooms.  This is so amazing that these cactus grow rose looking flowers! The heavy downpour we got yesterday probably helped these beautiful blooms come to life.  The heavy winds (around 40-45 mph) however, probably blew away a lot of the water away.  God has a way of making this beauty out of what should be dead dry land!

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I wrote last time about the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.  In case I didn’t emphasize how big this event has grown to, they estimate that over 300,000 people attended.  Here’s some aerial shots of the area.  The festival  now spreads throughout Ponchatoula and isn’t limited to just the Festival grounds.

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Hope you have a beautiful Tuesday and enjoy this possible last bit of cool weather for a while!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

04.13.14 Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, West Main Baptist Church and EGGGGSSS!

1422429_10152309338555851_864448269580519493_n 1966811_10152300858010851_4223900959512613505_nIn Southern Louisiana, particularly the Hammond/Ponchatoula area the biggest event around is the Louisiana Strawberry Festival.  It was held this weekend and we weren’t there.  There is nothing like the delicious sweet taste of a Louisiana strawberry with the juice dripping down  your arm while you savor its special sweetness!  They serve everything that can possible be made with a strawberry.  Lots of churches, schools and organizations have booths selling food and drinks all day.  The famous Strawberry Festival parade rolls down the main street in Ponchatoula throwing a lot of things including an ample supply of strawberry candies.

This is the beginning of many many weeks of festivals in Louisiana from the Crab Festival, Seafood Festival, Italian Festival, Shrimp Festival, Tomato Festival, Catfish Festival, Gumbo Festival, French Quarter Festival, Jazz Festival and many more!   It is absolutely the truest thing I know that Louisianans LOVE THEIR FOOD!!!  These festivals aren’t just a small event, they are weekend long music, food, games, dancing, and visiting times for family and friends.  Every weekend all spring and summer long!

Hope all our Hammond/Ponchatoula friends who attended had a great and safe time.  Our son Chip and his girlfriend Kim worked at their church’s food booth most of the day yesterday and had a great time serving Our Lord at the fair!!  Roy and I are more and more impressed every day with Kim, the young lady our son has given his heart to.  She’s an amazing mother of two  precious little boys, holds down a full time job, is a wonderful female Christian role model for Madisyn and an blessing from God for Chip.

Texas is losing some of its charm with the day after day high temperatures and hurricane force winds! They forecast the temperatures to be lower this week starting tomorrow afternoon!  I think God’s been listening to my prayers!

I’ve felt better since I’ve been staying inside more and I did buy nose/mouth masks to wear when I’m outside.  I can still feel my asthma when I breathe though it’s not as bad. I use to have serious asthma problems but allergy shots and other changes in my lifestyle had gotten that totally under control.  At least I do know how to handle it, but I don’t like it!  Good thing I love living in this tiny house we call home!  I will be starting my plant and yard watering responsibilities tomorrow so I’ll know all I need to when Bill and Ann leave on Friday.

1510447_10151916775920806_1100571717_nToday is Palm Sunday.  We went to West Main Baptist Church in Alice (about 35 minutes away) this morning for the first time.   Very friendly church about the size of our home church.   The children of the church (called the Almost Music Group) presented The Easter Story.   It was a wonderful depiction of the true Easter story ending in Jesus rising from the grave and the children all rejoicing.  These children really understand that Easter is truly all about Jesus. What a special day we picked to visit that church.

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Roy has taken on a project that is oh so Roy like!  Bill (the ranch’s owner) gave Roy a hand sketched map of the ranch.  After trying to follow it on a recent outing around the ranch we realized there were way more roads on the ranch than the map shows.  Roy threw himself into creating for Mr. Bill an accurate map of the map plotting where all the deer blinds and feeders are located (with their names).  Starting with a Google Map Satellite View of the ranch he’s divided the ranch into quadrants and will work on getting one quadrant accurate before moving on.  Since I’m having such bad allergy problems I can’t go out with him too much as he rides around to verify spots on the map.  I’ll go with him on his final round in each quadrant after he thinks he has it all right so I’ll get to see it all but not be too exposed to all the allergens.

That’s all there is for what’s going on around here!  We asked for on Facebook and received several great recipes for cooking with eggs.  Since we’ll have an abundance of them while we’re here if any of ya’ll know of some good recipes please send them to us at rosalyn@selu.edu!

Thanks, and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

04.11.14 Long dusty road, dead carcass, the calechie pit and allergies!

According to Wikipedia, Caliche is described as:

Caliche (ka-lee’-chee, or sometimes klee’-chee) is a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate binding other materials such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt. It is found in aridisol and mollisol soil orders. Caliche occurs worldwide, generally in arid or semiarid regions, including in central and western Australia, in the Kalahari Desert, in the High Plains of the western USA, in the Sonoran Desert, and in Eastern Saudi Arabia Al-Hasa. Caliche is also known as hardpan, calcrete, kankar (in India), or duricrust. The term caliche is Spanish and is originally from the Latin calx, meaning lime. Caliche is generally light-colored, but can range from white to light pink to reddish-brown, depending on the impurities present. It generally occurs on or near the surface, but can be found in deeper subsoil deposits, as well. Layers vary from a few inches to feet thick, and multiple layers can exist in a single location.

This lesson was just brought to you courtesy of our experiences here on this unusual road bed material.  As you’ll remember when we first got here at MEW Ranch we traveled down 9 miles of road that was made up of this stuff.  A lot of other roads on the ranch are made of this and some are made of just dirt.  We learned from Mr. Bill that this is valuable material that is used by highway construction companies as a solid road bed before pouring on whatever the top coat is. Now that we know what it’s called and how to spell it I thought I’d share!

When we first got here I took pictures of the residue on our bicycles and the truck windows to show ya’ll.

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Day before yesterday we went on an ATV ride and came across a giant pit in the ground that at first looked like a dried up pond but upon closer looking at it we realized it was a hole that Caliche had been dug from.  Here’s some pictures of the pit, the sun setting behind the pit, and us of course.

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On one of our trips to town we came across this skeleton and head.  Getting out and taking the pictures was very creepy and I never could figure out what it was.

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Well that’s today’s “Day in the Desert” update!

I’ve been fighting what I originally thought was a cold our first few days here.  It’s gotten progressively worse regardless of what I took or did.  Yesterday was the worst with respiratory issues, body aches, feeling worn out, bad cough and my voice got hoarser and hoarser and the only thing I can come up with is that I may be allergic to the live chickens or maybe some plant or pollen particular to Texas that was never covered in my allergy shots in Louisiana.  I called my allergist this morning to get someone to look at my allergy test results from years ago to see if chicken feather or live chickens were on the list.  I’m going to ask for a list of what I’m allergic to to be sent to me so that I’ll have it for wherever we travel.  The allergist’s office is closed on Friday but I left a message hoping for an answer on Monday.

Roy went into town last night, bought me a bottle of Claritin and Benadryl and I started on it as soon as he got home. To help figure out if this is what’s wrong with me Roy took care of the chickens this morning and I stayed in sleeping later. I’m not leaving the RV today and am taking my medicine.  I feel much better this afternoon but more time will be needed to see if I stay feeling this way.  If I am allergic to the chickens Roy will have to do our chicken duty each day and I can water the plants so it’s not a deal breaker problem with us working here.   I, for sure, can’t stay inside the next 4 weeks, 24 hours a day, so I might be sporting a cool looking painters mask when I make outdoor visits!

My brilliantly talented hubby, Roy created the web ad below for the national company Workamper News. The ad went live on RVillage today!  Workamper News is the website that connect RVers with jobs.  Our job in Minnesota and this one in Texas as well as our RVillage job were all through Workamper News so we felt very privileged that Roy was asked to do this one.  And it turned out great so they were quite happy!

roys workamper news ad

Here’s hoping ya’ll have a great weekend – get outside and enjoy where you are!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

04.09.14 Road runnnnnnnnnnner……… whoosh………….!

1978852_294507440699312_163807793_n We keep seeing road runners on the ranch but they are so fast we never get a picture.  Today I managed to get two very pitiful pictures of them!  You’ll have to click on the pictures to enlarge them enough to see them and even that’s not a good picture! It’s so cool to be in road runner territory!  This is what it looks like when standing still – photo was obtained from a website about road runners!

roadrunnerThe pictures below are my none too great attempt at capturing one with my camera from a far distance using a zoom.  It may look like a small stick or even a big dot but that IS a road runner in both pictures.

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Click on the photos to enlarge them enough to see the tiny speck on the road that is a roadrunner!

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It was a beautiful breezy warm day for riding around the ranch. I picked some of the purple flowers shown below for our RV.  Roy took us off the road to get an up close look at this flowering yuca (I think that’s what it is).

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Rough, rough riding today especially the off road trip!  It is about as bad for my neck as all those rides in Disneyworld were! That’s why they make muscle relaxers and pain patches for us old folks who still want to live like kids!1912092_830267696988762_655833202_n

 

Yesterday’s RVillage.com total membership was around 4500. Today it’s inching close to 5000! Businesses are signing up almost every day to advertise on RVillage.com.  Since our work comes from advertisers we love this growth

We just came in from a evening ride around the ranch as the sun is setting.  Check out this beautiful Texas sunset!

sunset3 sunset1 sunset

Okay, final decision on the ya’ll vs. y’all issue. Y’all might be the correct spelling but my brain keeps typing ya’ll so ya’ll is what it will be!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

04.09.14 Meet the chickens, peacocks and guineas! Happy Birthday Harriett, Bentley and Braxton!!

1890510_297944303696803_416314983964727295_oWhat a beautiful morning it is here in Southern Texas.  Breezy but warm and the sky is crystal clear.  Woke to the sounds of Mr. Bill outside on his monster tractor plowing some fields up and what a wonderful sound that was.  Spring is alive all over with new growth and beautiful flowers.  Oh how blessed we are to be right in the middle of it!

Our ranch training was yesterday and I took lots of notes.  Typed them up last night and Roy taped them to the door of the feed shed so we’d remember how much of what to give to who!!!

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Today we were on our own with Ms. Ann standing ready to help if needed.  Roy’s the head feeder of the two of us and I’ll be tending the plants mostly.  For now we’re doing it together and enjoying this new adventure.  Ms. Ann filled their water up yesterday so we’re just feeding for now.

We fed the peacocks, then the two cages of a hen and a rooster, then on to the big cage of chickens and finally the two noisy guineas! Ms. Ann was out with us this morning spraying the cage for chicken fleas.  That’s her with the hat on!

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Roy collected three eggs from the nests and we learned we need to wait a few weeks before eating them so they will peel properly.  Guess I’ll have to write today’s date on these three!2014-04-09_08-43-29_136 2014-04-09_08-48-22_768

As we were leaving the daddy peacock starts yelling “Help, Help, Help”  It’s so funny to hear that because it really sounds like that word but he’s fine, well fed and watered!

This is our view back at our place from where the chicken’s live!

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We got a lot of
RVillage work in yesterday.  Roy created a few ads and I did a lot of Excel spreadsheet work.  They have hired some new salespeople and more area will be covered.  If you’re an RVer and you sign up with RVillage please be sure to send us a friend request so we can connect!

Yesterday was my big sister Harriett’s 74th birthday!  Happy Birthday Sis!

Granny Hen Rosie
My sister Harriett the birthday girl, mama Jo and me – long ago!

It was also Chip’s girlfriend Kim’s little twins Bentley and Braxton’s first birthday!   Chip considers them his own boys and we love them already like their our own grandchildren and have enjoyed getting to watch them grow this last year.  Happy Birthday boys!

bentley and braxton

 

Okay, so two of my friends have confirmed that I’ve always spelled ya’ll wrong.  It’s not ya’ll, it’s y’all.  Doesn’t look right to me but I don’t want to compound the error I’ve been making all my life by continuing to spell it wrong so here goes!

We’re heading out for a ride around the ranch on the ATV!  Woohoo!!

Y’all come back now, ya’ hear! But look!! The sign says it like I do… Now I’m so confused……….

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04.03.14 Riding around the Ranch!

2014-04-03_13-01-01_220Mr. Bill let Roy and I take his ATV out for a ride around the ranch and what a beautiful sight it was!  It is overwhelming to me that such beauty is growing in this hot, dryness!  Around every corner of the trail was another beautiful scene.  This is early in the growing season and I can’t wait till the bushes and flowers are in full bloom.  Many of these bushes are highly desired by garden centers who sometimes come here to dig them up for resale!

Names like Blackbrush Acacia, Big Bend Bluebonnet, Common Canyon Daisy, Texas Mountain Laurel, Prairie Fleabane meant nothing to be but we saw them all today while on our ride. I have grown Creeping Lantana with a beautiful lavender bloom in Louisiana but haven’t seen it in abundance like it is in the wild here!

Get ready for a lot of pictures taken from our ride.  We saw some of their hunting blinds (which are named after famous hotels), wild hog and deer feeders, tons of amazing cactus, beautiful bushes just starting to bloom and lots of wildflowers down the middle of the road, on the side of the road and in the beautiful meadows!  The big meadow is where Roy will be flying his airplane and helicopter (if the wind ever dies down!).

We saw their cow, bull and calf up close, the pond and a big hill called Look Out Mountain!  Gotta love Mr. Bill’s clever naming of things around here! These last things are right next to our RV as you can see in the pictures!  So very cool to look out our window and watch the cows grazing by the pond.  Last summer was Minnesota lakes and this year it’s Texas meadows!  Loving this RV life more and more!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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03.27.14 Yard makeover!! Madisyn playtime!! and RVillage update!!

 

1960053_633679430014800_1036471047_nStoop, bend, pull, dig….Stoop, bend, pull, dig… Stoop bend, pull, dig

That’s been our routine the last three days.  Plants have been pruned, dug up and replanted, a lot of weeds and winter killed parts of plants cut and pulled, and baby pine trees pulled up.  We only took one set of before and after pictures of a tiny portion of one garden.

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So much work going on we forgot about the picture taking!  Roy is now returning all the gardening tools we borrowed from Harriet and George so the yard work is officially done!   The finished result looks good but should look great when all the cut back plants start to bloom and the flowers are in abundance again!

We’ve been able to see some of our neighbors and catch up with them.  We’ve also enjoyed getting to know the lovely family that is renting our home.  Their children played with Madisyn a couple of times and she really enjoyed that.  Madisyn was amazed at getting to watch the chickens lay eggs and getting to collect them with the children.  2014-03-26_16-10-03_368 2014-03-26_16-10-43_99

Their dog Dixie enjoyed climbing all over me while I pulled weeds which I loved since it reminded me of how our dog Nacho use to do it when she was alive.   Nacho would have loved traveling with us and we often think of how much we would have loved having her with us on the road.

On Tuesdays the Hammond Chick-Fil-A has family night where they have a different craft for the children to make each week.  This week’s craft was a clay pot that the children colored and they filled with dirt and a plant.  Madisyn was with us Tuesday so we took her there and she made one for Chip’s girlfriend Kim’s birthday! The pink Chick-Fil-A cow was also there and took a picture with our little princess!

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UPDATE!

 

 

Capture

In just two weeks RVillage has grown to 3,605 members!  It’s definitely the place to be for RVers!

 

Roy recently re-created our business cards which we use to share our blog and contact information with RVers we meet.  He added our RVillage contact information to the card and a beautiful rainbow background.  Now instead of our cards being okay, they are very colorful and are printed on photo paper!  I love his graphic abilities especially when he uses it for something like this!

Dora and Explorers business card

 

Looking forward to a couple of restful days before we hit the road again.  Ya’ll have a blessed Thursday, and  ya’ll please come back again!

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After I posted this blog just a few minutes ago I got this news release from RVillage and wanted to share.  Side note is that I created (at least the original which was a little revised by the professionals) the ad shown below.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

RVillage is hiring sales associates – great for enthusiasticRVers! Earn an income, be part of something big – while traveling wherever you like in the US (with internet)! You’ll also be contributing to building our service directory of RV-friendly businesses across the country!

Interested? Click on the new ad on the right hand side of any www.RVillage.com page, and submit your application! (Not seeing the ads/service directory? Make sure you have your ad blockers turned off for RVillage.)