Texas resident !!

NC & TX license platesTexas T@B license plateNew Year's Eve 2013

Finally!! It was frustrating but I finally have Texas plates for my KIA and T@B. I think that makes me–officially–a Texas resident.

(Slightly under $400.00 to get licensed. To be specific: $399.75.)

Hung up my apron !!

Calendar January 2014Hung up my apron

Around Rainbow’s End Escapee RV Park, folks talk about “Hanging up the keys” when they give up traveling. So I am adopting the expression to say “I’m hanging up my apron.” ~~ It’s 7:25 PM and I finished my last shift (in the CARE kitchen) about twelve minutes ago. ~~ I’m beginning a brand-new lifestyle for 2014.


Exhausted woman with battery chargerPostscript, Monday, December 30, 2013, 12 noon: Last night, I went to bed shortly after 9; I did not awaken until 8:34 this morning. To say I was (am) “bone weary” is an understatement! (I need a “boost.”)

From volunteer to resident !!

My RV site.

Moved to my new site

Last few things from site #10 to site #9

Ready to hook up electricLong story (I’m not sure you want all the details). I had just returned from a trip to public scales to have the T@B weighed. Texas wants weight certification or picture of the “tag inside the door.” Because my T@B came from Germany, there is no “tag inside the door.” ~~ On my first visit to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, I encountered numerous problems attempting to register the T@B. The clerk rejected the inspection paperwork, demanded weight, wants to see the title, etc., etc. Why? Because the T@B, from Germany, was titled–in Indiana–as a “home” (home made) trailer. The VIN (vehicle identification) number was issued in Indiana and inscribed on the tongue. ~~ Yesterday, I was able to register the KIA. Then I drove to the inspection station and asked if they could write new paperwork so the trailer inspection information corresponds to details on the title. “Yes.”

With the appropriate paperwork, the next challenge was weight. I unloaded several items (including two plastic containers full of clothes), hitched the KIA and T@B and drove to a place with “public scales.” The owner said they have never received a complaint about their non-certified documentation. (Lord knows how far I would need to drive to find a truck station with scales.) The original advertisement for the 2004 T@B says unladen weight is 1250 pounds. My laden weight was 1720. **If** I had off-loaded the composting toilet, and drained the five gallon water tank, I might have lightened the load by 100 pounds.  I doubt the license fee would be much lower if the weight was lower.

Back at CARE, I moved to the new site.  I shifted things from the former site to the new site. I borrowed a broom and swept the patio and sidewalk.  Here I am, twenty-four hours later, the vehicles are still hitched. If all goes well, I should be able to get the trailer licensed on Monday. It’s Friday; I’m actually “on call” and therefore on duty (with a few minutes to compose this message). When I have time (and energy) I’ll unhitch the vehicles.

Smiley face winkingThere is a delay with delivery of my new (used) 5th-wheel trailer. I’m going to be extremely patient because it is well worth waiting for!! Minutes (or hours) prior to its delivery, I’ll move the T@B to the grassy area adjacent to my site.

Lorraine's picture on the resident boardMy personal possessions will be delivered–from North Carolina–about the middle of January.

I officially become a “resident” of  CARE on January first (but my picture is already on the board).
Twiddling thumbs

Happy Christ’s Birthday !!

King size bed

This will be my most enjoyable Christmas in decades!! There is no pleasure celebrating all alone; the holiday is commercially geared for families. It’s 8:45 AM and there are twenty people in the dining room enjoying breakfast–and socializing. We expect 80 to 85 for Christmas dinner. The dining room will be the center of lots of activity today.


SN853900Maybe one of the coldest nights of the year. Thick frost everywhere!! I made the mistake (earlier this morning) of having the small electric heater on AND the electric hot plate to heat water for coffee. It blew a fuse!!  Later today (mid-afternoon) I’ll have to move my unique composting toilet, and unload the closet to get to the fuse box. (Picture taken yesterday through front window of my T@B trailer.)


ExhaustedPostscript, Friday, December 27, 2013, 4:30 PM: I was blessed with a couple of hours of sunshine, and warmth, mid-afternoon Christmas Day (between meals). I managed to restore electricity BUT found I had lots of mold in lower kitchen cabinets. Whew, what a big job that was!! Remove items, sit on the floor and maneuver into uncomfortable positions, and scrub away the mold. Then I positioned the little electric heater so it would dry out the cabinet. Later replace items. ~~ Too much exercise; too many gymnastics!!

TracFone service at long last !!

After entering seven “code” numbers, my TracFone was finally activated!! It was 11:18 AM–exactly six weeks after I first attempted to activate a new phone (with old number).


STEPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


You are about to program your TRACFONE.

After following the steps below, and your TRACFONE display indicates “CODE ACCEPTED”you MUST click the “Code Accepted” button on the computer screen below for your phone to be properly programmed.

      If your phone turned OFF and back ON, start from Step 1. Otherwise, please start from Step 3:

      1. Press the OK key.
      2. Using your navigation keys, go to “Code Entry Mode” then press the OK key.
      3. Your screen should now display “Code.” Please enter the following numbers:

8931  7599  1742  9137

2892  9851  5166  0711  1201  6736  7288

1795  5228  0707  1032

3341  8785  5025  873

6860  1152  6972  8887  2852  8506  8540

7752  0137  7263  1202  3296  504

     3179  6836  3049  4942  0692  9409  2742

      1. Press the OK key.
      2. Your TracFone screen should display “Code Accepted.” If yes, click the ‘Code Accepted’ button below to continue. If your TracFone display reads“Invalid Code,” click the ‘Invalid Code’ button below and press the OK key on your TracFone to continue.
      3. Now press the red PWR/END key to exit and return to the Main Screen. If the phone powered OFF, wait until the phone turns back ON.
Code Accepted Invalid Code





Smiley face thank you


If this is your first visit to my blog messages regarding TracFone, please be sure to read TracFone NightmareTracFone Nightmare–Part TwoTracFone Nightmare–Part Three, TracFone Sleuth, and TracFone response (finally)!!

Comment: I received an LG 236C cell phone. They are selling for $19.99–or less. Rhetorical question: In the interest of “good will” for a longtime customer, why didn’t they send that phone five weeks ago??


Postscript, several days later: In my humble opinion, the height of ignorance; I missed the call and it went to voice mail. Heather phoned to ask if I received the phone. The fact that I did not have service apparently did not register with alledged “customer service.” Remember, no reception with the old phone. If I had not received–and activated–the new phone, I wouldn’t know she called. Obviously it never occurred to her to call my land-line contact number or send an email message.

Jitterbug Jubilant !!

K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Senior

Smiley face with phoneJitterbug info on box

After my TracFone Nightmare, a Jitterbug phone was–by necessity–my next purchase. It works on Verizon networks. Folks using Verizon phones–here at CARE and the RV Park–are very happy.

It was absolutely, positively necessary for me to have a cell phone for my volunteer responsibilities!! Our Facility Director (Administrator) wants all the residents to have a Jitterbug phone withFive-Star service.

Gospel truth: Activation of my Jitterbug phone (on-line) was very simple and took less  than one hour. After activation, I did not read the manual; I relied on previous experience to set-up. I could not figure out how to get the phone off vibrate so it would ring. I called Customer Service and immediately had a bona-fide, warm-blooded, English-speaking representative. She knew (knows) her product and quickly provided the answer. (“When all else fails, read the manual.”) ~~ I affirmed her repeatedly for prompt and thorough service. I shared with her my “TracFone nightmare.”

The Jitterbug is very “senior friendly.” It is extremely easy to use (IMHO)!! I recommend it (not that I carry any clout). I speculate Jitterbug lives up to their message “We’re people you can count on.”


Savings dollarsComment: For obvious reasons, I did not publish this message until my TracFone was finally activated. If representatives at (and for) TracFone knew I had a working cell phone they might have prolonged my agony?! ~~ I did not want to sacrifice 1800 minutes (thirty hours) and service until May 30, 2015.

TracFone response (finally) !!

Here’s the latest facts regarding my battle with TracFone.

Be sure to read TracFone Nightmare, TracFone Nightmare–Part Two, TracFone Nightmare–Part Three, and TracFone Sleuth.


On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM, Heather Johnson <hjohnson@tracfone.com> wrote:

Good Afternoon Ms. Edwards,

We would like to send you a new sim card, please verify your address. We have two address on file.


Heather D. Johnson


Executive Resolution Specialist

Tracfone Wireless Inc.

1.800.876.5753. Ext: 6128


From: Lorraine Edwards [mailto:lorraineeedwards@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2013 5:48 PM
To: Heather Johnson
Subject: Re: TracFone Wireless

Heather, a very sincere THANK YOU !!

My address is:

Lorraine Edwards

155 Care Center Drive

Livingston, TX 77351

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!


Dec. 17, 2013, 11:44 AM

I will be sending you a card today via FedEx and you will receive it tomorrow.




Dec 17, 2013, 12:14 PM

Please call me Tomorrow to fix your phone issue.

Heather Johnson


True story: Heather had not read my blog!! The SIM card arrived…; I called…. My first question: “Heather will this SIM card pick up a signal from a Verizon tower?” I continued by saying “It will be a waste of our time to install the new card if I can’t access Verizon.” ~~ Heather said “You have service….” ~~ “If you’d read my blog, you’d know there is service in Livingston but not six miles out in the country.”

To her credit, Heather was very pleasant. She said she would send me a CDMA phone and mentioned one model by name and said “It has tiny keys.” I said I’m so desperate to have service I’d take whatever CDMA was available. I added “I’m almost 79 and it might be difficult but better than no service at all.” ~~  Heather said “Oh, this won’t do at all. May I call you back later? I’ll check the stockroom to see what we have.” ~~ She called to tell me a new phone would be coming “overnight” via FedEx. (She had the CARE Center land-line phone number.)


Looks like Heather, or someone, visited my blog (see copy from my StatCounter). ~~ Again, contact from the Philippines. ~~  Headquarters in Florida??

Philippine Long Distance Telephone ( [Label IP Address]    0 returning visits
Philippines FlagPhilippine, Benguet, Philippines
18 Dec 12:53:12 AM
18 Dec 12:53:57 AM


The phone arrived this morning–Thursday, December 19, 2013. (An LG 236C.) I followed instructions on the package: insert battery, charge the phone, etc. Then I called Heather’s number and was told her hours are 8 until 5 Eastern Standard Time. I said “It’s only 4 o’clock there; 3 o’clock here.” The operator said “She is not available. Her hours are 8 until 5.”  (Like a broken record, a voice with an undetermined accent.) ~~ I attempted to “activate” via the TracFone website but the process must happen from my “active” phone to my new phone. IMPOSSIBLE!! I don’t have service!!



Postscript, Friday, December 20, 2013, 12:10 noon:

Some progress. Waiting for actual activation. Below is information copied from the computer screen.

Welcome Lorraineeedwards!
Fri Dec 20 13:06:02 EST 2013

My Account Summary

Registered Phones Display All Details


(I deleted my serial number & removed the active links.)
Add Nickname
Account Owner
Phone Tutorial
What would you like to do now?
Activate Phone
Go to Apps & More
Check Balance / Service End Date
Your phone number is in the process of being switched between carriers. Please click here to check on the status of your ticket.
(I deleted my serial number & removed the active links.)
Add Nickname
Your phone number is in the process of being transferred.
Phone Tutorial
At this moment there are no options available for this phone. For more details, please refer to the message displayed above the phone’s picture.



Smiley face with tongue hanging out

Note: One day short of six weeks since I received the first “new” TracFone.

Today is  Friday, Dec. 20th; cell phone arrived Saturday, Nov. 9th.

Wishing you a blessed Jesus’ birthday season !!

December calendar with Love, Peace, Joy Half the month of December is history. I will not have time to prepare cards this year. I considered a Holiday Newsletter but that, too, seems unlikely. Reading my blog is the best way to discover the activities that have kept me extremely busy since late August. Briefly: Decided it was time to leave my volunteer position with JAARS, began to “downsize,” and pack.  I was utterly exhausted because the tasks seemed endless. (“This old lady” had recognized the need to participate in a “caring” community.)

Easy chair on the truckLate September, personal possessions were loaded into a truck and placed in storage. My little T@B teardrop trailer was hitched to the KIA and we three (T@B, KIA & me) headed for Livingston, Texas. (Arrived at the CARE Center on October 8th.) I was immediately recruited to help with the semi-annual “garage sale.” First: pricing; second: sales. I love to shop thrift stores and yard sales; “working” one was a lot of fun.

Lorraine at CAREI didn’t have time to draw a long breath (ha) before I was busy with the numerous activities of CARE volunteers. Too many to list. I’ve been extremely busy for more than two months–and loved every minute!!  What a difference three months makes!! My volunteer job at JAARS was a “do nothing” lack of gratification experience.  My volunteer job at CARE affords dozens of opportunities each day and I know my efforts count.

Christmas NativityI am richly blessed at this precious time of the year: JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. My Heavenly Father provided the gift of a beautiful 2003 trailer for my “until I die” home. It will be moved to my RV site shortly after Christmas. Early in January, or middle of  the month, my personal possessions will be transported from North Carolina to Texas. I’ll then have a major downsizing project because  it will be impossible to get three rooms of things (from the apartment) into the trailer.

My new RV site.My RV site.Truthfully, I think I still have many years of volunteering left in me. I jumped (prematurely?) into CARE residency because I love to garden. The site came available and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to claim it. There is a large open area at one side of my (yet-to-be-delivered) trailer home. I’ll set up bird feeders, bird houses, planters, etc., etc., and return to gardening similar to my backyard in North Carolina. (Perhaps I’ll attract another Bluebird couple?!)

In three short months, CARE residents, volunteers, and staff become “family.” I’ve gained wonderful friends!! There was an awesome Thanksgiving dinner; there will be an awesome Christmas dinner. Christmas stockingsThere are sixty-five stockings hanging in the hall to accommodate cards and small gifts. A hay ride and caroling is planned for one evening; a party and gift exchange for another evening.

To become a “resident” of CARE, I needed a complete physical exam and doctor’s evaluation. She wrote “Extremely healthy for seventy-eight years.”  (I attribute that to my holistic life style.) I came to volunteer; I don’t need the services offered here but that day may come. **If** I need assistance, I’ll be able to call–and receive–help from a staff person, or volunteer. (Sad to say, twenty-seven months as a volunteer at JAARS  and not a soul I could call.)


Dear blog followers: Specifically wishing you a blessed holiday season. Thanks for reading my messages. ~~ This blog was prepared in lieu of a holiday newsletter. I’ll attach a link to this blog–in numerous email messages–so friends and family know where I am and what I’m doing.


CARE Christmas tree

Care signComment: Click on each picture to enlarge it. Click on the links–in red–for additional information.

The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas

The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.

So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
“Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/soldier.asp#LmQiHxBXP6AacfZS.99

TracFone sleuth !!

Smiley face detective with blue hatIt has become a challenge to HOPEFULLY receive TracFone service for my investment (1800 minutes and service until 5/30/15). I have been doing numerous searches of the Internet and learned beneficial information. Most recent: How to unlock your TracFone. Also: How to Get TracFone to Work on any Network.

The more articles  I read the angrier I get!! If you read all the messages from the customer support department–on my earlier blogs– TracFone Nightmare, TracFone Nightmare–Part Two and TracFone Nightmare–Part Three –you’ll understand (as I now do) that they are playing games with us.

How to Get Tracfone to Work on Any Network

By Sam Surgalski
How to Get Tracfone to Work on Any Network

Tracfones are great prepaid cell phones that anyone can use, whenever they want. There are no contracts, monthly bills or hidden fees. You can buy minutes when you want to use the cell phone. Tracfone is a very popular prepaid company, and many people are now trying to get their cell phone to work on any network. Unfortunately, this is quite a complicated process, as Tracfone specifically made their phones to stop this process of unlocking from happening. While it is possible, it is very difficult, and it is not recommended if you are afraid of breaking your cell phone. If you are courageous enough, go ahead and try to unlock your phone. If it works, you will get unlimited use on all of the wireless networks.


  From an article titled Which TracFones are CDMA?

Warning: New CDMA Tracfone devices are not sold in areas that have GSM service. If your location has GSM service, you will need to purchase a CDMA Tracfone when you are in an area without GSM service. Another option is to purchase the phone at the Tracfone Web site. When asked to enter your ZIP code before you begin the search for phones, insert the ZIP code of a location without GSM service. If you enter your own ZIP code, the phones offered will not include any CDMA Tracfone devices.


Be assured, I will add interesting information as I find it. (How do you like my detective clip art?)




FYI: Someone at TracFone Headquarters read my blog. The following was copied from StatCounter that records visitors to my blogs and website.

Tracfone Wireless ( [Label IP Address]    0 returning visits
United States FlagMiami, Florida, United States
(No referring link)
9 Dec 09:43:06 PM
(No referring link)
9 Dec 09:43:28 PM
(No referring link)
9 Dec 09:43:39 PM
(No referring link)
9 Dec 09:43:51 PM

Comment, Thursday, December 12, 2013, 11:00: Someone read the blog messages but nothing has changed!!

Postscript, Friday, December 20, 2013: Please check TracFone Response (finally) !!