Thursday, March 8, 2012


I read all the blogs and listened to everyone's warnings and knew that living in Texas in the oilfields meant the possibility (or probability) of running into a rattlesnake.  But, I didn't think one was thinking of moving in with us!  Last night about 8pm I had just started to open the screendoor to put something outside when I noticed a strange shadow across the drive just a few feet in front of our steps.  I had to stare at for a few seconds because I didn't remember a shadow like that in the flood lights before.  Then it moved!  I yelled "what the h--- is that" and Jim ran over to look, sure enough it was a 4' rattlesnake moving towards the steps!  He went outside, it stopped and then he grabbed the shovel and tried to hit it, it coiled up to strike and then headed for the brush, he finally hit it and then cut it's head off.  Don't get me wrong, we don't want to kill something even a snake if it stays out in the brush, but when it heads for us, whose to say it won't again so we had to kill it. 

The creepy thing is, that even with it's head off it moved and coiled and tried to rattle for over half an hour.  I read that you put mothballs under your rig so we did that several days ago so that didn't work.  David, our field service tech, came to fill our diesel tanks about 9pm, he took the snake and said that maybe they like the heat generated by the motorhome or generator, who knows, maybe?

David weed wacked the taller weeds where we walk the dogs and I can't tell you how careful we will be from now on!!  Jim will go into Cotulla to the Ace Hardware and get us some 1/2" mesh fencing that we can put along the step side of the motorhome so maybe we won't have to worry so much stepping out of the rig.

As for the well, traffic has slowed down now that they are finishing up odds and ends and the latest guess is that it will be another 3-4 weeks but again, that's just an estimate.

Take care and watch where you step!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Interesting Things...

Ok, so it's been an interesting couple of days.  First of all, Jim went to Dallas to visit our son Ben who has come from Vancouver, WA to do some training for his company.  Since we are on a gate that doesn't have night traffic it's probably one of the few times this would even be possible.  We miss everyone so this is a special treat!

The next thing is that they seem to be winding up here at the Crescent C well so the water trucks have been going back and forth hauling the water out of here and over to another well down the road a bit. In addition, folks I haven't seen before are here checking things out and deciding what to do next.  I'm assuming that we won't be at this gate much longer, but of course, we won't know that until time to leave.

Yesterday I checked in one of the guys, Jason, who told me to look in the back of his truck which I did. He had the biggest rattlesnake I have ever seen!  He measured it at 6' long and it was as big around as my arm.  It had been run over down the road so he stopped to pick it up.  Then, later in the afternoon just after I logged some guys into the gate they stopped down our drive about 50 yards and killed a rattler.  Now, I'm not a rattlesnake fan (though I do like some snakes) and can't see killing something just to be killing it but...I have to admit having it that close to us made me a bit nervous!  Now I have to start watching the dogs even more closely.

Then to add to the excitement, last night about 11pm while I was on the phone talking to my daughter in law, Cari, I heard my gate clink, then the dogs started growling.  I looked out the door and there was a guy in a cowboy hat with a pistol on his hip and carrying two rifles accompanied by a large dog coming through my gate.  I only had the screen door closed which was locked but you all know that doesn't mean much so I called out to him.  He said he had rolled his truck down the road and my lights were the only ones he had seen which makes sense! I told him to go back to his truck and I would call 911 and have them come to him.  Turns out that someone knows him and he's an alright guy and I feel bad  not letting him hang around here to wait but when I'm here alone and someone comes in with guns, call me silly but it makes me a little nervous.  Of course it didn't help that one of the trucks coming in saw what they figured were illegals on our dirt road!

Jim should be back this afternoon and things will probably calm down and nothing exciting will happen but that's Murphys Law, right? 

Be safe and watch for snakes!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Darn Slow Internet Service...

I shouldn't complain at all actually, at least we have internet!  But after a time you kind of forget that and revert back to thinking you are in civilization and it should be faster.  Oh well.  I'm going to post some pictures here because I can't get them posted on facebook so I hope you can see them.

As for the gate, we've heard a couple of different things which neither of them could be the way it turns out of course.  Supposedly the deadline for this well is March 15, we'll see if that happens.  I know that we have lucked out with this gate because it's a slow one with no night visitors but I have to say, it sure is relaxing.  The problem is that we are getting spoiled which is going to make it tough
when we have a normal busy gate! Lol! 

Oh, yesterday, David our field service guy saw a cougar just 3 miles down our dirt road!  Thank heavens the dogs can't run loose!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not Much Happening...

Thorny bird nest!
I'd like to post more often but there's no sense in doing it if there's nothing to say!  We've been watching the birds building their nests which is kind of interesting since one pair is making a nest out of thorns in the bottom of a cactus plant.  We also have a red cardinal (don't know the proper name though) that has been hanging around with it's mate, what a beautiful bird!  That's one thing I have to say, Texas or at least this part of it has the most beautiful sounding songbirds!  I mute the tv every so often just to hear them sing, love it!

A roadrunner just came to visit or at least to eat up as many of the resting moths that it can.  We were enjoying watching it until River, our Parson Terrier, spotted it and went into hunt mode and the roadrunner took off.  Darn!

I've been reading in everyone's blogs to make sure you get to know the company man, which we would like to do but could never figure out who that might be, until yesterday.  David with Murphy came by and when I checked him in I asked what he did and he said he was the production foreman and that this was his field.  So, I asked him if that made him the company man and he said yes, finally, after a month on this gate we finally got to meet him.  Very nice guy by the way!

So, that's it for now I'll post more when there is more to say.  I'll just leave you with a picture of some of the wildflowers that are starting to bloom.  Be safe!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still Settling In...

Not much has been going on, trucks come in and then trucks go out.  We haven't been busy on this gate which is probably good since we are still learning the ropes, but I worry that we might become too complacent!  We haven't had any rigs come in past maybe 9:00pm or earlier then 5:30am but just incase I do sleep on the couch fully dressed, can't hurt to be prepared.  Jim gets up about 5:45am and takes care of the gate until I wake up about 8-9:00am and then we both kind of take turns, then we might take a short nap in the afternoons.

Pretty relaxing actually but having read everyone elses' blogs I know that certainly isn't always going to be the case!  To be honest, we are looking forward to a gate that is busier and I'm sure that will happen.  I'm trying hard to learn the regulars names but I'm awful at names, I swear it took me 10 years to remember my husbands!  Not really of course but that's the story I'm sticking to, I don't want the drivers to think I don't care, I do but I remember faces better so I just call everyone "hon".  Cheesy, but friendly.

The only other thing is that I have read in other blogs to get to know your "company man" which is a good idea, but how do you know who that is if they don't introduce themselves that way?  We have met a couple of the inspectors who seem to be in charge back there, and I did meet and talk with their boss (maybe that's him?) but still aren't sure.  I've read it in other places and it is certainly true here, what a nice, polite bunch of guys!  Oh, I just heard from one guy waiting for his water trucks to exit the gate that some of the guys refer to my husband, Jim, as okie.  I don't know why and he hasn't heard that but if that's true then it has to be because of the old straw cowboy hat (obtained in California) that he wears sometimes.  I don't like the hat and it sure isn't "Texan" so it looks like we'll have to get him something else.  Too funny!

Only downfall is that we sure miss the kids and grandkids!  Usually we can get some of them to visit but I'm doubtful that will happen while we are here, so we might have to take a couple of weeks off to visit.  That's it for now, time to walk the dogs.  Be safe!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Girls Day Out and Wild Pigs...

Ok, two events but not connected!  Barb and Rachel from the other two gates at our well and myself decided to have a girls day out in Laredo; shopping, laundry and lunch, what a treat!  Don't worry, we brought pizza home to the guys for watching the gates for us which made them happy.

While I was gone, Jim called to say that there were about a dozen or more wild pigs about 50 feet behind the motorhome.  You can imagine how that drove the dogs crazy!  He said all three of them were running from one end of the motorhome to the other checking each window to watch all the pig action outside.  I had a good day in town but I would have loved to have seen them myself.

We normally have about 12 trucks go through the gate each morning but on Monday it ramped up a little so now there are about 25 going through.  From what we have heard the pipe they are laying is coming our direction, since we're still learning, I don't know if that means they are nearing the end or not. 

Today we met the man in charge of the well and he mentioned that about 150 more wells were scheduled to go in, but I don't know the timeline or what part of Texas we're talking about, regardless, I thought it sounded like job security anyway.

Our plans at this time are to work through the summer which should be interesting since heat is not my friend!  I'll work the night shift so that I can stay out of most of it but I will have to give Jim breaks during the heat of the day which means I won't escape all of it.  We'll see, I'm thinking positive!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not Much Happening...

Yesterday was quiet as you might expect for superbowl Sunday, but I still thought there might be someone come through the gate but knowone did.  Weather was cold and the ground still covered in sticky, muddy caliche!  With three dogs going out several times a day to do their "business" we had to come up with a better way to clean their feet!  We tried hanging a handtowel by the door and wiping their feet but it took forever and didn't get them that clean, so we decided to put them in the shower and rinse their feet with the handheld shower nozzle.  We put a wire gravy strainer over the drain to try to keep as much of that mud as possible from going down the drain, at least their feet were cleaner!

The game was good, we made tacos and then watched The Voice, all in all a good day.

Today is also quiet, a few went through the gate and then a couple of cars came out and said they had nothing to do in there, he also said he thought they were about 1/4 done (laying pipe I think).  Still pretty cool out but at least the mud is drying up!

I've been reading everyone's blogs and want to figure out how to put their links on my blog too.  We're still new at this of course and haven't gone through a summer but so far, we like what we're doing.  Pluses for us is that we work together so we don't have to worry about finding jobs seperately that would require us to have two cars and we can be with the dogs and take care of their needs.  I like the solitude, bird sounds, even the coyotes howing in the distance, as long as they stay in the distance! 

Milford, who works the 3rd gate on our road made us a coke can wind spinner which we really like and then today, BJ who works the 2nd gate brought us a beaded hot pad that his wife Barb made for us, so nice of all of them!  Now I have to find a hobby so I can return the favor!!!

                                                       Our first roadrunner!

Jim is napping and I have to figure out something for dinner so I'll let you all go for now.  Be safe!