Down on the Border

Although this is our third season gate guarding, this is by far the southernmost point we have been.  Initially I didn’t mind being this far south, because the weather is better and I was told we were less than three miles away from a border patrol station.  My thought process (and what was insinuated) was we would be pretty safe because of the proximity.  I will say that we do feel safe, but I should also mention there has been a ton of activity.  We see border patrol vehicles several times a day and one stopped and an officer told me that directly across from us was a common immigrant pickup spot.  This morning Lee had five border patrol vehicles come in his gate because they were chasing illegal immigrants on the ranch.

The illegals pickup spot is at that gate

Oddly, I am not nervous, although I do find it interesting that even three years ago most of these extreme south gate guard positions were armed ones.  The landscape appears to have changed though and we were told no guns were allowed on our post.  It’s not just border patrol because this evening one FBI agent and two DEA agents came to search the ranch for a suspect.  Again they had difficulty because the ranch was so big, even though they knew the company the gentleman worked for and his approximate location.  Thankfully our role in these situations is to simply let people in.  And truly it sounds way more scary than it is, although I have requested some more light for our RV area.  We were only given two relatively small light stands and I would feel better with a little more light on the backside of the RV. So all together we have seen Border Patrol, Homeland Security, DEA, and a helicopter of some sort hovering over the property.  Let’s just say there is lots of presence.

Our boss came and added a couple of light stands. He;s a really good guy

Aside from that things have been going well.  We discovered we couldn’t get any TV at all here but Lee did some research and now we are using Hulu. It’s $40 a month and so far at least the streaming is working great.  I can watch football, which was my major concern, and also see lots of other programming they have in their archives.  It’s a nice alternative with an unlimited plan and since there is no contract we can start and stop it at any time.  I’m also impressed by how solid the signal is even though our cell signal isn’t always that strong.  They seemed to have solved many of the issue with freezing pictures, etc.

Jack’s also doing well and definitely settling in.  He is sleeping with Lee now and waking up at 4am and for the last two days has hung out with Lee outside.  Lee keeps him on a lead and has his cage outside, and aside from Jack getting bored he seems to be doing OK.

Bored puppy


Chew a little


Take a little nap

Lee tries to keep him occupied with chew toys and lots of walks and at least he is with one of us almost all of the time.  He has also learned how far he can go on his lead and in the evenings he zooms around a bit to get some exercise.  The herd of cows has been getting closer and closer since we moved in and Jack likes to go outside and bark at them.  It’s effective and they readily scamper off, which cracks me up up because he is so small.

Lee and Jack taking a walk


Chew Toys and dirty face


Hanging in the chair.  He’s a bit camera shy.

Jack aside, Lee’s shelter is working awesome and the heater is great because it does get pretty cold once the sun goes down.  It hasn’t been too unpleasant except for one evening when it rained buckets.  That was definitely not a fun night.  I’ve adjusted to evening shift with relative ease and since Lee blacked out our windows in the bedroom I am sleeping well.

The shelter


The propane buddy works great and we can also use an electric heater. Lee built a Ipad stand and sits outside and watches TV shows and movies.


Rainy Day


And of course the water pooled right where we had to open the gate. We pulled out our rubber boots and it was fine

The only bad thing is I started having some stomach complications after the rainy night.  I tried some over the counter meds but wasn’t feeling better so on the fourth day I went to an urgent care.  This is only the second time I have gone to an urgent care since we have been on the road.  The first time in the Outer Banks and that was a really good experience.  This time not so great.  There was no wait which was a good thing, but after a cursory exam my choices were to try over the counter meds and wait 24 hours or go to another facility and get more tests.  My deductible is paid up for the year but I decided not to go the test route and instead opted to take the over the counter meds and see what happened.  It seems to help some, and I get why the nurse practitioner was being cautious but I also think the treatment plan would have been different if I didn’t have insurance. That really continues to bug me and I am just really glad nothing serious has happened to us on the road.

Other than that, things are going fine and I am glad we should be getting paid soon.   I’m not sure how much I will have to write about in the near future, so don’t be surprised if these posts slow down a bit.  I am getting tantalizing close to finishing the book,  I completed the final edit, but Lee wants to take a crack at it so we are making one more pass.  It’s amazing how every single time I find new things.  Definitely NOT my favorite part of writing.  My goal is to hopefully get it out before the end of the year so I will be pushing to get that done.  That’s all for now and I’ll leave you with the absolute cutest picture of Jack.  Yep I know lots of Jack but seriously how can you not love this!

I adore this picture of Jack. He’s a super tough gate guard dog now!


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12 thoughts on “Down on the Border

  1. ” It seems to help some, and I get why the nurse practitioner was being cautious but I also think the treatment plan would have been different if I didn’t have insurance. That really continues to bug me and I am just really glad nothing serious has happened to us on the road.” That comment really confuses me. You think you’d get BETTER treatment without insurance? Or just different options? Please elaborate….or am I misreading that? Thanks!

    • Well it’s a double edged sword. On the one hand they wouldn’t recommend an expensive test if I didn’t have insurance. I don’t know if they wouldn’t recommend it because it’s a waste of money or I’m poor. I just am always wondering in these situations how they would treat a relative I. A similar situation

      • Interesting. We’re not quite there…still about a year out from full-timing, but will be going from corporate-funded insurance to an ACA plan. I worry about these types of things too! Thanks for your response!

  2. Thank you for clarification on the insurance, as I wasn’t completely sure what you meant. I, too, often wonder if my kids are being shortchanged with their Medicaid coverage.
    I have been thinking about your book and am surprised/excited that you’re closing in it!☺️

  3. I call it “running the tab” when it comes to health insurance when if you have insurance, they want you to come back for more visits, get tests, etc., and without insurance and paying cash, they do what is basic and sometimes give a cash discount. I don’t think one is shortchanged on care when paying cash, as it appears to be what my doctor would have done 5 decades ago and I’m still here. Paying cash – illness takes one visit, with insurance they want you to come back in to see how you are doing, spend 2 minutes asking and that is an office call charged. As one ages, one does have to tweak their diet and watch their stress levels a little more closely to avoid the stomach/intestines throwing a fit. A few things like soy, magnesium stearate, etc can cause upset in quite a few people, me being one of them. Take care, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • That’s a good point but we aren’t exactly paying cash. We submit through insurance and get the higher rates but then still have to pay as it goes towards our deductible. Maybe paying cash would be better

      • If the provider is in your network, at least you get the negotiated, discount rate. For example – Broke ankle, had cast applied, we have $7500 deductible: Paying cash (according to the invoice) would have been $425; we paid $146.69. We never came close to hitting our deductible or out of pocket max, but at least we got that discount.

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