Sunday, March 19, 2017

Our Last Week

Sunday was our second last one to be here.  We are pulling out a week from tomorrow.  It is a sad time to leave our second home but exciting to get back to take care of things.  We leave in the darkening days of winter and return to full blown spring.

Ken called to say our armadillo is back and has torn up our backyard pretty badly.  Obviously the grub treatment, coyote urine and dried blood only worked so long.  Hopefully getting the fence repaired may help.  There are all kinds of critters in the easement beyond the fence.  Fence first, grass second!

I did my last load of laundry for the season in the morning while Ted went skeet shooting.  When he returned we went to get coffee since we were out.  Groceries have been put on hold so we have less to carry home from the trailer but no coffee for a week just won't do!

At 2:00 I went to play Mah Jongg.  There were 9 players so we had 3 tables of 3 players.  We named our ghost Phyllis and played 4 games, I won 3!  I tried hands I had never done before and did well.    Made me proud of how far I have come.

I came home to find Ted doing some prep work for leaving.  I brought the extra dinette chairs, my Instant Pot and countertop oven in from the coach house and redid the closet I had removed them from when we arrived.  It just made life easier with them more readily available and less stuff in the closet was nice.  Ted did most of dinner and I did the dishes.  

We are trying to fit all that needs to be done into this last week.  The car and truck need to be detailed, our RV washed, I am shopping with Karen on Wednesday, our last Couples Lunch is Monday, I have to pick up my medical file to take home with my MRI disc, the shooters dinner and awards is Saturday! Of course I will try to fit my last 3 days of Mah Jongg in and one last time to attend Mass with Fr. Roy.  

Our reservation is in Victoria for one night and two nights at the one close to home.  It is too hard to pull in one day, get it empty and cleaned by the next morning to put away.  We need to empty the refrigerator and clean it first thing so it can dry out totally since we cannot open the freezer at all when closed up and we don't want a plugged defroster drain again.  This time we need to shampoo the carpets too so that will be done second so they have over 24 hours to dry.  The rest is taking everything home that needs to go and cleaning really good.  It wears you out.  Having that second day just makes things easier.  We just aren't as young as we used to be.

Breezes was our Monday lunch location and there were over 30 people present.  The food was good and the luncheon menu well priced but the noon lunch was just being served to the last third of the group at 1:35!  I am sure there were lots of unhappy campers.  We arrived early and were served quickly, at least three of us were.  As they delivered our food they asked Charles how he wanted his mushroom burger cooked!!  We were done eating when his came but it was long before the 1:35 serve time.

We stopped and made appointments to have both the truck and car detailed before we leave.  They are both dirty as can be.  Ted helped Mark move his outdoor furniture to the new house while I went to the nail salon.  So long, Gina. See you next year.  

We ate leftovers for dinner and watched the premiere of Dancing With The Stars and I only know 5 of the 12 "stars."

I didn't sleep well Monday night, woke up at 3 am and heard Jonathan and Shelly pull out at 5:00 am and never did go back to sleep.  We didn't have anything particular to do so I wasn't concerned.  I have years of sleeping just a few hours a night, not just recently.  Maybe it is my medicine.  I did my straightening up, ate breakfast and lunch sort of as one meal and played Mah Jongg at 2:00. Got a Mah Jongg and Sue got two.  

Ted was at Niles when I got back so the four of us sat out until it was time for dinner - more leftovers.  

Wednesday I drove to the Imaging Center to pick up my medical file then proceeded to pick up Karen.  We stopped in Weslaco at Wells where I bought awesome shoes for the wedding and 3 other items.  

Ooh La La!

Next we stopped at Sam's for beans for Saturday night then on to TJ Maxx where I bought a baby gift and two more tops.  I have a nice start to setting aside my cruisewear.  If I wear and launder it all summer it will be all faded and worn so I will set it aside.

We met up with the fellows eventually and went to El Patio for a late lunch/early dinner.  Our night meal was an orange while we watched Survivor.

Mimi drove to breakfast Thursday morning and only five attended.  So many have left for home.  But it is so nice to have good conversation without a big crowd.  When I returned home Richard was just arriving to wash and wax the RV and I followed Ted to the detailer to leave my car.  When it was finished, Ted took the truck to leave and picked up my car.  He stopped at the store for ketchup, brown sugar and bacon for the beans I am making for Saturday's Shooter Banquet.  

Eventually we went to get the truck and then went to Mark and Dortha's for pizza and to see their new house.  There were 7 couples and we had a good visit.  We came home about 8:00 and closed up for the night.

Saturday we went to get our hair cut.  Then we returned a flashlight to Ford left by a serviceman when he worked on my car.  For our gesture we were given a coupon for a free oil change!  Since we hadn't had anything but coffee, we stopped for lunch at McDonald's for more fish!

Niles came over and asked Ted to take him grocery shopping.  He wants Ted to show him how to make pulled pork.  Then Sue came over to say she will stop for me when it is time to play Mah Jongg.  In the meantime I was sorting my clothes (stay vs. home) and dusting all the wood in the bedroom. 
I drove me and Sue to the clubhouse because her golf cart needed to be plugged in.  It was hot and we were late.  We ended up with three tables but only 3 at our table and we all got a Mah Jongg.  When we came home I fixed grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Just a few Friday's left!

Saturday I fixed the beans and put them into the refrigerator.  It was two big 13 X 9 pans full.  At 3:00 we took them to the clubhouse and put them in the oven, leaving instructions for them to be taken out at 5:10. Then we left for our last Mass of the year with Fr. Roy.  He was in rare form and we enjoyed our last sermon.  Dinner was served just as we returned.  The beans were great from all accounts and just the right amount.  We watched a highlight video of activity at the range this year but we didn't win any door prizes or the gun so eventually we came home.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Less Than Two Weeks To Go

We were up early to make our 8:30 appointment with Dr. Flores in Progreso to have our teeth cleaned. Afterwards Ted went for a pedicure and I enjoyed my only pastry of the season with a cup of coffee at Renee's while I waited for him.  I bought a purse at one of the small stores before going to Jessica's for the balance of the eyedrops we need to get through until we come back in January.  We took advantage of our free margarita even though it was 11 am.  Someone said it was 5:00 in Poland!  The music was playing great songs to dance to but no one was dancing!  We were not going to venture out there on our own!!

When we came home we went to the grocery and the post office to get small boxes to send the pills out that we had purchased for others.  After dinner we watched the finale of one of the strangest seasons of The Bachelor.  

Tuesday was our normal routine, Ted took the clay pigeon thrower down to the gun range but only he and Mark showed up so he worked with him again.  While he was gone I vacuumed and dusted.  It is a constant fight especially with the fields being plowed and the traffic of the Border Patrol on the unpaved levee road.  Mah Jongg was at 2:00 and we four neighbors, Kathy, Sue, Linda and I, were at one table.  Kathy is in charge of the St. Patrick potato bake and we are all helpers.

Dinner was beef stew made in my pressure cooker.  It turned out well again this time.  Wednesday was going to be another early day so we went to bed earlier than usual.

My Wednesday morning appointment was with the doctor who has been seeing me and managing my medicine and shots.  The second shot did not do much and the pain is starting back up.  Instead of receiving a third shot, he adjusted my medicine and will have my records available for me to pick up next week.  Then I can see the pain doctor who took care of Ted prior to his back surgery when I get home.  

We had invited our Lark neighbors for dinner Thusday night so we had to go to the grocery.  We did that after Ted came back from the skeet club.  He rubbed his pulled pork to sit overnight.  I made a chocolate eclair cake because it needs to sit overnight.  We watched Survivor of course.

Thursday was busy!  I picked up Joanne and Ginger for breakfast and got the Cafe Lechero.  It fascinated me watching them make them all winter.  No one warned me how hot the glass would be!  It was good but nothing to write home about (though that is what I just did, didn't I?).  Our numbers are shrinking because so many folks are heading home.  

When I arrived home Ted was shredding his pork. 

I made shell macaroni salad and started to make cole slaw but the apple I bought to put in it and the bags of chopped cabbage were nowhere to be found.  We obviously didn't get one bag off the belt or out of the cart so Ted went back.  There was a long line at Customer Service so he just bought it again.

Ten of our Lark Drive neighbors came over at 4:30 for drinks and appetizers before dinner. It was a nice time to relax before we kicked into gear for the St. Patrick's Day Potato Bake.  The Lark Drive group was in charge.  

Friday we were scheduled to go up at 1:00 to set up tables and do whatever else needed to be done.  I did a load of laundry and when I got back Ted said everything was done and we weren't needed until 4:00.  Things were under control and we fed 131 people in 20 minutes!  I was serving butter with a scoop from my right hand and sour cream with another scoop from my left.  Who knew I was ambidextrous?

Ted and Mark ready to serve pulled pork on top of the potatoes.

Sue, Linda and Bruce at their station that duplicated mine and Bob's.

 Some attendees all decked out.

Saturday was quiet.  Ted took my car to the Ford dealer because there was a wet spot on the floor on the passenger side and appeared out of nowhere.  It was just water but was not dripping from under the dash.  Turns out a critter chewed on the drain tube from the heater core that collects condensation from the AC.  Or something like that!  Anyway we had to hang around waiting for it to get finished.

We asked our potato crew if they wanted to go to Dirty Al's for dinner after all our hard work for the potato bake so all 10 of us met there at 5:30 after we went to church.  I was bummed because I was looking forward to the coconut shrimp I had last time but it isn't on the regular menu!  Only fixed occasionally as a special.  We had a nice time and Dortha invited us all to their new house on Thursday because they are closing that morning.  No furniture so bring your own chair and pizza will be served!  They will leave their motorhome on their RV site until the furniture has been delivered so it doesn't block the way.  

They have their RV lot for sale and have purchased a port home.  They tried to get us to buy it, or do a 6/6 rental but we said no, we are happy with a 3 month rental.  We are set for next year!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Time March(es) On

While Ted shot skeet on Sunday, I went next door to do two weeks of laundry.  The machines are so large I can get done in two hours.  When I came home I had time for a sandwich before heading to Mah Johgg.  I finally got a Mah Jongg, it has been a long while!  I also took a bunch of nothingness and managed to make a good hand (but not good enough!) and when my hand went dead I was able to switch gears but not in time!  Progress!

When I returned we left immediately to pick up Jay and Stella.  We had plans to eat at Cheddar's.  Being it was Sunday, 4:30 was a really busy time and we waited a little over 30 minutes for a table.  Service was not slow but the sheer volume of food being prepared made waiting longer than usual. It was all very good as it always is.   We had a nice visit and it was dark by the time we got home.  We stayed in for the rest of the evening.

Monday was ladies lunch day.  Just as I was leaving, Ruth came by to collect $3 for the Survivor pool.  I picked Zeke from last season.  Hope he does well!  Ted had called the AC place and learned our unit was in and they would be over to install it.  I picked up Marissa, Joanne and Bev but Coco was stuck at the doctor and Ginger simply forgot!  We had about a dozen ladies and a good discussions of things we have made/are making.  My recent list was not very long but when the kids were young, I baked and sewed many things in their school days.  Coco's husband dropped her off so we gave her a ride home.

My tire light came on when I drove home and Ted checked them all.  My right front one had a big nail in it.  He had been getting tire prices because my tires were ready to be replaced so there was no time like the present!  So off we went to Pueblo Tire.  All four tires were replaced with new Firestone tires.  We came home, made dinner and watched TV while I worked on my table runner.

Tuesday was Mah Jongg again.  All four of us each got a Mah Jongg and there was one wall game.  Two ladies are seasoned players so it appears we newbies are moving right along.  As soon as I got home it was time to go to the clubhouse for the fish fry and wine tasting sponsored by the lawn service.  This has to be a major contract for them and it was a nice gesture.  We started saving a table for 8 and ended up with over 20 by continuing to add tables.  It was a beautiful evening to be outside on the patio overlooking the pool.

There was fried catfish, tator tots, hush puppies, Cole slaw and brownies plus wine.  There was a big turnout but I think the food held out.  It was another nice night.  

On Wedneaday Linda and I drove to Mercedes to the Outlet Mall and also stopped for lunch at Outback Steakhouse.  After soup and salad we headed to the stores.  We were disappointed that there was no Chico's anymore.  We both bought things at Hanes, I bought a pair of cute Crocs that don't look at all like Crocs and a few items at BonWorth.  I really like their clothes - reasonable, comfortable and launder well.  Then I treated myself to a new Coach purse.  My last one is getting a bit shopworn.  It rained really hard and we were walking in a few inches of water.  There weren't any other stores we needed to visit so we came home.

Thursday is still Ladies Breakfast day so off we went to Rosie's.  I am going to hate cooking again when we get home!  There wasn't a big group but a few new ladies made it interesting.  People are from all over and it is entertaining to exchange stories.  Biggest topic now is "when are you leaving?"  Some live here full time but travel to get out of the heat and folks like us travel back to our "bricks and sticks" as regular homes are called in RV lingo!  It started raining so we pretty much stayed in all afternoon.

Friday was a very nice day and we had errands to run in the morning.  I will take a stained glass class next year and make a sunflower patio table.  Our first stop was Target to buy an 18 inch glass top folding patio table.  I can leave it here with Kathy until I return.  Next we stopped at Hobby Lobby to look for yellow glass but we had no luck.  I will try at home.  We went to the bank, then McDonald's for a Friday fish sandwich for lunch.  We returned home in time for the hearing test set up in the clubhouse.  He said I could hear grass grow but Ted misses 3-4% of spoken words.  He advised him to be checked in one year.  Then it was time for Mah Jongg.  I had no Mah Jonggs but got within one tile a few times.  We completed 6 games so our play is speeding up.  

When I returned home Ted said he called the lady who owns this lot to make arrangements for next year and she told him she had rented it to someone else for 4 months versus our 3.  I understand her decision but don't understand why in the month that has passed she didn't tell us.  We started scrambling because it is late in the season.  With the help of a good friend here, we were able to secure a lot on the same street but the opposite side and a few down.  It was not in the rental program.  We told her if she was more comfortable just renting the spot without access to the coach house, that was fine.  Hers is beautiful and she doesn't know us so that is the deal we struck.  There is more room including a pergola covered patio with nice outdoor furniture and big grill.  We will be OK there.

On Saturday we drove to the flea market to pick up three things we needed.  It will be our last trip there this year.  Then we had lunch at Freddy's, a newly opened chain.  The burgers are a bit thin so I would recommend getting at least the double.  However, their custard is to die for.  We tried a mini sundae just to check it out.  

Later in the afternoon we went to church and there were six huge balls of flowers, mostly pink roses.  By big I am talking 3 feet in diameter.  There was a 7th spray of pink roses at the feet of a wall hanging of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I knew in an instant a wedding was happening at 5:15!  I would have liked to see the procession of what I bet was an incredibly awesome bridal party.  

We came home in time to change clothes for a dance with Ralph and the Cruisers again.  Or as Ted says, American Bandstand for Seniors!  About 12 couples attended.  We danced some and enjoyed all of the music.  It was over at 10:00 and we came right home.  I needed to turn the clocks back!

Sunday was our usual skeet for Ted and Mah Jongg for me.  I had a Mah Jongg on the first hand but went downhill from there.  I had not taken my phone so did not get Ted's text that we were due at Bonnie's at 4:30 for happy hour.  She had invited the folks that will be our neighbors and the folks now on the lot we will occupy next year.  We know the first couple and met the other one when we walked down.  But it was a very nice gesture on her part to be sure everyone knew one another.

It was after 7:00 so dinner was late!

I wanted to share some photos Sherman took over in the park recently.  The flowers, butterflies and birds are all coming back.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Beginning of the End of Our 2017 Stay

March started on Wednesday!  2017 is flying by!

Gerre, Barry and Tucker took off a little before 8:00. She gifted me a Mah Jongg set she had brought with her for us to play.  When I tried to give it back to her, she said it was for me to keep. It is absolutely gorgeous.  Instead of plain white, the backs have blue flowers in clear plastic.  I can't wait to show the Mah Jongg gals.  What a wonderfully special gesture.  I know two groups play at home but it will be so nice to have my own game.  

We wasted the whole day waiting for the AC repairman.  Instead of enjoying Smokin' on the Rio BBQ cook off events, we stayed close to home because no time was given.  It was about 3:00 when he came.  After much stopping, starting, pushing, clicking it was determined that the unit is shot.  Our extended warranty company was closed on Saturday but they had opened a claim on Friday.  Ted called the info into the repairman's office so they can file the claim Monday.  We have no idea when this will all get done.  The one AC is doing a decent job with the door closed at the stairs.  When it cools down at night we open it and use a fan in the bedroom and we are comfortable.

So we missed church at 4:00 and had to find another Mass later.  Our neighbors had invited us to dinner at Wallbangers and we were glad we didn't offer to meet them!  We ended up at a 6:00 Spanish Mass!  We came home to leftover meatballs and spaghetti and then put our feet up.  It was a busy week, well worth the effort, but kicking back felt good!

On Sunday Ted went to Coyote instead of Mission Skeet to shoot sporting clays with his group.  They just wanted to do something different.  I putzed around making myself an omelette, straightening up, getting ready, etc.  As soon as Ted came home it was time for me to go to Mah Jongg.  I didn't take my set because I need to get a special bag for it.  I was one tile away in two games and nowhere near in the third.  We all continue to learn as situations arise and we need verification on a rule.

Ted was across at Sue and Nile's when I walked back so I joined them.  We stayed there until way past dinner time so we asked if they wanted to go to Soup and Salad but they declined.  While we were there Stella called and invited us to her birthday lunch on Monday at Kurai Chinese Buffet.  I don't know what I ate but I liked it!  There were 10 of us in all and only one couple was new to us.  It was nice to see everyone.  

Tuesday, while Ted shot clay birds, I had my nails done.  Sure wish I could take Gina home with me!  I went to the grocery afterwards and made it home just in time to go play Mah Jongg.  No one won any game, they were all wall games.  Not sure if that means we are that good or that bad!  I fixed dinner so we could be outside to watch the Mardi Gras parade.  We ended up with Niles, Sue and Dortha joining us in our drive.  Beads, candy and doubloons were thrown during the parade.

The Border Patrol led the parade! 

After the parade we were all invited to the Clubhouse for drinks and dessert.  The Line Dancing Class provided a bit of entertainment.

We had another beautiful sunset to end the day.

Wednesday I had a doctor appointment at 8:30.  He decided I should get one more shot, continue my meds until all the pain is gone, then back off the meds gradually.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  The one concern he raised was a notation in the report of "stenosis in the central canal."  That could involve an ablation or worse, a laminectomy.  But let's hope it doesn't come to that.  I am doing much better and hope this lasts for a long time.  

We stopped to see Sandy and Rusty's new furniture in their Mobile Suites.  It was purchased in Shipshawana IN, made by the Amish.  They build it from frame to upholstery.  It was really nice and confirmed our plan to go to Lambright as soon as we arrive.  That will give us a week for them to come up with what we want.  Sandy chose a set off the showroom floor.  If we can't get it then, we can go back through there in August on our way south.  Let's hope it works out.

Ted went to shoot skeet when we came home and I did all the work I hadn't done before we left at 7:45.  Late in the afternoon we went to McDonald's for fish sandwiches for dinner.  Just as we finished Bob and Kathy came in.  She had cataract surgery in the morning and had a clear patch plus dark glasses on.  We decided to stay and had a nice visit with them.  It was dark when we got home.

Thursday is breakfast out so I picked up Marissa, Joanne and Ginger.  We arrived first so got to choose where to sit versus taking leftover seats.  Remember - if you are on time, you are late!  We had a great conversation about ancestry with Joanne who is adopted, Ginger who was adopted by an aunt and uncle, me who was raised by grandparents and Marissa who is Spanish and has 8 last names!!  We encouraged Joanne to take the DNA test.  She could have siblings she knows nothing about!

We had to tell our neighbors we couldn't go to Poncho's for dinner because we had to leave at 5:00 to get to Weslaco by 6:00.  Construction starting on 23rd Street exit slows the traffic down.  We made it in 35 minutes though.  I apologized to our neighbors because it seems every time they ask us to eat out, we can't!

I had another shot(s) in my back.  First it is really cold numbing lotion, then numbing shots and then the medicine so I don't know just what they do back there.  The pain in my leg stops instantly!  We stopped again at Luby's on the way home.  It is a cafeteria and we can get whatever we want.  I had chicken fried chicken and Ted chose Salisbury steak with grilled onions.  We both cleaned our plate.  Eating at 7:30 will do that to you!

Friday we whiled away the whole morning before even getting dressed.  We had some lunch and I prepared to go to Mah Jongg while Ted left to see about getting tires on my car.  He came home shortly after me and we had pancakes for our first meatless Friday this Lent.  After an evening of TV, we headed to bed.

Saturday it rained!  The first hard rain we have had since coming January 2.  We stayed in, eating a late lunch, then went to church.  We called Linda and Bruce to see if they wanted to play card bingo next door.  They agreed and we picked them up.  I won the first game, Ted the second and that was it!  Since we only had one meal we decided to go to Dairy Queen.  The four of us talked until 10 pm.  We enjoy having one on one time with our friends here.  Mostly we are in groups and it is hard to have these good discussions.

We are down to three weeks before heading home!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Eight

Tucker is here!  Gerre and Barry arrived a little before 2:00.  We got Tucker's things all settled and took a ride around the area.  Then we sent them off to get settled into their hotel and I finished up dinner.  When they returned we ate in the coach house because it was too windy at the patio table and too crowded in here.  Around 8:00 Barry suggested they head home, it had been a 7 hour drive and he was tired.

Tucker was fine all night.  He started out in bed with us, then followed me to the couch when I got too warm, and eventually went into his opened crate and slept in his bed.  It rained through the night and he didn't want to go out in the morning so I had to carry him to the grass.  He went fast and hurried back to the steps to go in.  

We picked Gerre and Barry up later in the morning and proceeded to Arturo's for Retama's Couples Monthly Luncheon.  Don, Trudy, Mike and Marion sat at our table and we had a terrific lunch with great conversation.  Afterwards we headed to Mexico for the afternoon.  The weather had turned beautiful and we stayed there for quite some time.  We spent a good deal of time in Pancho's Bar listening to music and enjoying margaritas.  

Once back on US soil we went to Cracker Barrel for some dinner.  Gerre asked for us to just drop them off at the hotel, which we had to pass, because she was tired.  Poor little Tucker headed right to his water bowl when we got home.  I took him out and he marked every tree and bush around us!  Then he was ready to eat!  Ted took him out for the last time in the evening about 11:00.  

Tuesday we headed to the Travel, Health and Wellness Expo at the convention center.  It didn't have nearly as many vendors as the Texas Expo but was fun anyway.  Barry won an opportunity to enter the Wind Tunnel where dollars and monopoly winner dollars fly around and you get 15 seconds to grab as much as you can.  He grabbed $8 and a winner dollar that gave him a portable phone charger.  Ted won an infuser and two different essential oils to use in it by spinning a wheel somewhere!  We also all won free admittance to Matzalan where we hope to visit if we find time.  

We left there and had lunch at Chik Fil A.  Mah Jongg was at 2:00 so Gerre and I had an opportunity to play.  We were able to get in 5 games with Gerre winning one and Jan another.  The rest were wall games.  Gerre thought I did just fine when I exposed my hands and explained where I was heading and where I fell short.  Apparently I am acquiring a good understanding!

The guys were down at the gun range shooting and then Ted helped Barry take his gun apart and clean it.  They needed Niles to help them get it back together at the end.  He has two of that type so he knew right off how to do it.

The weather remains close to perfect.  Ted grilled burgers and we had dinner, finishing up with the key lime pie I made for Sunday night but we hadn't cut yet.  Everyone wanted a tiny piece so we have enough left for another go round.

They left about 8:00 and I did the few dishes, Ted walked Tucker and we settled in for the night.

Wednesday we attended the Mobile Suites luncheon with Gerre and Barry as our guests.  We were delighted to see Sandy and Rusty, wagon masters of The Texas Boomers Camping Club, folks from next door and Retama neighbors among the guests.  There were door prizes and Gerre won a nice canvas cargo tote bag and I won a DRV ladies golf shirt but it is 2X and drowns me.  I posted on the group's FB page and will be sending it to another member.  Two of the bags had $100 bills in them!  Rolling Retreats out of Elk City, OK sponsors the luncheon and are amazing folks to do business with.  Afterwards we went to the Flea Market to look around but it was late in the day and not much going on.  We ate at El Patio that evening.  They had stuffed avocados which they pronounced excellent.

We took a boat ride on the Rio Grande on Thursday.  The Mexican side is very nicely developed but the American side has pretty much been left undeveloped in the area approaching the dam.  A jet ski went zooming by us and the captain said he was a smuggler and there were lots of chuckles.  He said he wasn't kidding.  He had taken the jet ski off a trailer attached to a rattletrap truck that was still in the water.  Went up the Mexican shore like a bat out of hell.  Someone jumped on, he zoomed across to the US side, dropped him off and zoomed back to the trailer and was pulled out of the water and gone!  Right before our eyes!  The BP agents say the flow has slowed down considerably though since Trump was elected.

At the edge of the dam.

Afterwards we returned to Mexico so Gerre and Barry could buy some pottery for their pool area and fence.  We had been invited to a gathering here in Retama later in the afternoon but we got back late and found one of our two AC units was not working.  It gave an error code so we knew what was wrong and Ted spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get an appointment for a repairman.  We were all tired and just called it a day.

Gerre and Barry took Friday to do a bit on their own including visiting Quinta Matzalan, a preserved area and home in McAllen.  Once Ted had secured an appointment for the AC repair for Saturday, we headed to Harlingen.  We stopped at the Marine Museum to view the documentary on the Battle of Iwo Jima and to view the memorial that served as the mold for the bronze memorial located in Arlington National cemetery.  The grave of Harlon Block, the young man shoving the end of the flagpole in the memorial, is from Westlaco, TX and he was moved from Iwo Jima, to a Weslaco resting place and in 1995 was interred in the park in Harlingen.  

Having had enough Mexican and BBQ food, we opted for a nice Italian restaurant in Harlingen for dinner.  It had a nice ambience and was a great farewell dinner.  Our last activity was seeing John Sager perform.  He teased Gerre quite a bit but pretty much did his audience carousing in the seats behind us.  The folks loved it.  He recruited four men to be a The Village People which was funny since the guy being the C just couldn't seem to get it right!  It was very entertaining.

This morning Tucker got packed up by me and picked up by them for the long ride home.  There is a street sale going on in Retama so after they pulled out Ted and I borrowed Niles's golf cart to ride around.  I bought a muffin tin, spatula, two cheese spreaders and a cheese slicer for the grand sum of $1.  I have plenty of these things at home but now I have them in my trailer too.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Week Seven

Saturday was cleaning day.  The dust from the fields here is awful.  I am glad I have no more to clean than this 38 foot RV!  While I did my work, Ted went to have my oil changed and get a haircut.  At 4:00 we went to church and then picked up Susan, Tommy and Bill (Alana - not Ornell - was not feeling well -- I had the wrong couple coming down!) and then we picked up Stella (Jay cannot eat just yet but encouraged her to go).  We had a good Mexican meal at La Patio.  Bill and Stella took soup home to their ailing partners.  We rode them around Retama so Bill could see it.  

Sunday was warm but WINDY!  Ted went to shoot skeet.  Then we went to the flea market with our company when he returned.  Sunday and Wednesday are the only two opportunities they will have to go there.  Ted was waiting for his watch that was getting a new clasp.  Now the fellow is in the hospital.  He checked on it last week so he wanted to stop again.

We split up in the market and eventually met back at the pavilion where the music was.  Susan and I had made several purchases, Ted had rescued his watch since the gentleman had a stroke so chances are he won't be fixing clasps anytime soon and we then headed to the produce barn.  From there we went to Ace's BBQ for an early dinner.  Afterward we showed them our gun range, the Border Patrol station and the palapa on the river so Alana could see Mexico.  She had walked her dog and thought she was in Mexico when she crossed an irrigation canal.

I have kept our calendar open but the health issues of 8 seniors and 3 dogs is keeping us hopping.  My back still flares up and walking at the flea market set it off.  Jay tried to eat a baked potato and had to stop after one bite.  All the mouth surgery is still bothering him.  Stella uses a cane at times and Tommy usually doesn't walk too far.  Alana's dog had to go to the emergency vet with ant bites or chiggers all over so we have to keep reassessing what we can do!

While Bill was in Mexico at the dentist, Alana was at the vet and Jay & Stella took a day of rest, I chose to do laundry.  I used the one by Susan's spot so we could visit while we waited.  While the washer ran we picked up my slacks from the seamstress but I never did make it to the grocery or my Swedish Weaving class!  

Ted had tactical shooting at 5:30 and we had agreed on pizza for dinner.  So Ted was gone, Jay & Stella weren't with us all day, Bill ate after the dentist and Tommy didn't want to be the only guy so Susan, Alana and I went to Titto's by ourselves.  See what I mean?  The best laid plans of mice and men ......

Tuesday Ted went to the range to run clay bird shooting.  Trying to get myself ready for the day set my back and leg off.  It hurt so bad I hesitated going to the grocery by myself so Ted went with me when he came home.  The clubhouse was being decorated for the Valentine's party so we had a little neighborhood game of Mah Jongg in Kathy's coach house that filled a couple of hours.  Ted called the pain clinic and moved my appointment up to this Thursday instead of next Thursday.  

At 4:30 we picked up Jay and Stella to meet the four from next door at Fuddrucker's for their Valentine's Special that Susan knew about.  Two burgers, two fries and two milkshakes for $20.  

Jay still can't eat so I promised him my milkshake to drink and I just had water.  It was very good and a nice celebration for the 8 of us on Valentine's Day.  We spent the rest of the evening at home.

We didn't do anything in particular on Wednesday.  The girls were going to the flea market and ropas, something that would have me on my feet for hours ... and that wasn't going to happen!  But we did go to dinner with them minus Stella and Jay.  He is having a hard time still.

Thursday was breakfast out and then my MRI follow up appointment.  He said I have an old, healed coccyx fracture and neither of us can think of anytime this could have happened.  It also showed two arthritic or herniated discs around L5 and S1.  One said herniated, the other said arthritic.  A facit injection was ordered and they got me in on the evening schedule.  

I returned in time to take Susan on the state park tram tour.  In about six weeks the birds will be flying through but there was not a lot of activity other than the chakalakas that gathered at the feeder when the guide shook out seed.

Another stop was a lake created by backwaters from the Rio Grande River.  It now has tilapia, Asian carp and alligator gar due to the flood waters from 2010.  Mexico is the other side.

Our last stop was an original survey marker that remains on the U.S. side and has a partner just like it on the Mexico side.  The guide was very knowledgable and we enjoyed ourselves.

A little after returning home we left again for Westlaco for my injections.  It wasn't too bad and I am hoping and praying this gives me the relief I need.  I have a follow up appointment on 3/2 unless after 3-4 days I don't have relief.  I will get my MRI and treatment file to take home with me before I leave here.  We stopped at Luby's for dinner since I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was 8:30 pm.

Friday I worked upon my SIL's taxes but I need her AGI for 2015 to support her identity and it is in her file at my house.  She will have to wait until we get home.  Once I put that number in I can file electronically for her.

That night we went to a dance at Bentsen Groves up the street from us.  Ralph and the Cruisers, advertised as the best rock and roll band in the valley, were playing.  We managed three dances but mostly enjoyed the music and watching the dancers.  

I decided not to participate in the gun competition today.  Standing around could get too painful for me  to shoot effectively but by the scores Ted said were posted I could have helped most teams.  It was shotgun, rifle or pistol.  I could have shot any.  Ted's team came in second but he is questioning their scoring.  Rifles and pistol are timed.  Shotgun is hit or miss.  And they put it all into software that can't measure both methods.  He shot with no misses but they gave him a 30 second time which makes no sense.  Stay tuned!

We went to church and a wedding was just finishing up.  The flowers on the altar and in the main aisle were very pretty.  A policeman interrupted the sermon to announce four cars were illegally parked in the alley and had the wedding folks blocked in.  Anywhere else they would have called the tow truck instead.  Several men popped up quickly!  We chose Dirty Al's in McAllen for dinner.  It is a lot closer than their South Padre Island location.  I had the special - coconut shrimp, zucchini and red potatoes.  Excellent!

My injection has not been as effective as I hoped.  However, they said it could take 3-4 days and even Don, the anatomy professor said 72 hours so I am being patient.  

Tomorrow Gerre and Barry arrive and Tucker will stay with us.  The Holiday Inn doesn't allow dogs.  I hope the weather and my injection all work out to a great week for us.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week Six

What a Super Bowl!  It was the Falcon's to lose and they did just that.  Jim, our bet keeper, had to divide the money by 5 instead of 4 to cover 5 different scores versus 4 due to the historic overtime play.  All were in agreement that this was as fair as you could be in this situation.  Neither Ted nor I won anything!

Ted went to shoot skeet and I played Mah Jongg on Sunday.  Kathy finally got not one but two Mah Jonggs.  She won both games.  However we were told you would normally play 8 games in the time it takes for us to complete two!  I had figured out what hand Kathy was playing and determined she needed a 2 or 4 crak for a pair to win.  I reminded her she could pick a discarded tile to make a pair to Mah Jongg, something you can't do during normal play.  She had forgotten that.  I had her tile and held off as long as I could but eventually I had to throw it or ruin my hand where I was waiting for a joker or 9 crak for Mah Jongg.  It was 50/50 whether she needed the 4 I threw versus a 2.  It was the 4 and she was delighted!  I made fresh chicken tenders for dinner before the Super Bowl came on.

Monday was the Ladies Off Site Luncheon at Peppers.  It was a really nice restaurant with a great menu.  I picked up Joanne, Cathy and Bev.  I was stuck on my Swedish Weaving so I picked up Bev first who explained what I needed to do.  When I came home I had to pull out a whole row but am now on the right path.  Ted was gone to the gun range when I got back so I did two rows and all is well.

The next day was Pat's birthday potluck so I used my Instantpot to steam eggs to make deviled eggs (the free ones from HEB!).  I put water in the bottom, set 6 eggs on the rack and chose Fish Steam since it was the lowest setting with Steam in it.  When it pressurized it went to 10 minutes but I was told to stop it in 6 which I did.  I let the steam escape on its own for 6 minutes, then released the rest and put the eggs in ice water for 6 minutes.  Perfect!  So I did it again with 9 eggs.  Same perfect results.  Once The Bachelor was over I mixed the filling and my 30 halves were all ready to go.  I forgot to mention the eggs peeled easily, every one of them.  

My sciatic nerve, or whatever it is, is still giving me fits.  The orthopedic doctor who did my hip has a "not my job" attitude about it.  Dr. Chang hasn't had any suggestions and the neurosurgeon who gave me four prescriptions and PT last year had sent me to the hip doctor.  And so it went.  So I have made an appointment at the pain clinic and just maybe someone will order a CT scan or MRI to have a good look.  Ted insists it is stenosis that he was operated on for in 2006.  I am just tired of the constant pain from sometimes not at all up to excruciating.  I am convinced it is nerve related because I have discovered different "moves" that will relieve it.  Putting my foot up against a wall and stretching my quads, placing my right ankle on my left knee and pushing down on the right knee, doing squats, etc.  I think it is a pinched nerve that I can sometimes get unpinched.  This getting old isn't for sissies!  Wish me luck!

The doctor at the pain clinic listened to me!  I explained how I have had this pain for two years, had my second hip replaced and I still have the pain.  The neurosurgeon gave me 4 prescriptions that sent my BP sky high and ordered PT.  Nothing worked well so I have been just dealing with it for some time but there is something wrong.  This new doc agrees with me, the sciatic nerve is getting pinched and inflamed and the piriformis muscle it runs through spasms at times.  That is why I can go from zero pain to excruciating so quickly.  He gave me two muscle relaxants, one for day, one for night to hopefully give me some relief until he can order an MRI.  When I returned home I received a call and an MRI is scheduled for Friday.

Thursday was breakfast out.  I picked up Barb, Cathy and Joanne and headed to my favorite place for breakfast, El Estacion, complete with bakery which I resist!  When I returned I took my new slacks to a lady advertising in our clubhouse that she does sewing.  She was a hoot and it turned into a fun visit.  My slacks should be ready on Monday.

That evening, 11 of us went to Saltgrass Steak House for dinner.  Their 4-6 pm specials are priced really well.  My getting one of them, and using our $25 reward on our Landry's card, made our bill not bad.  By the time we got home there was an email thanking us for eating there and saying we have 61 points toward another reward.

Friday was my MRI.  It took about an hour and a half because they did 3 "photos."  I should hear from them this week.  If not, I have another appointment on 2/22 but he had indicated I probably would be coming in earlier.  I hope so.  The muscle relaxants are helping.  

I returned just in time to go play Mah Jongg.  We played 5 games in 2.25 hours.  It just depends on who you play with on how fast you can go.  I got a Mah Jongg on the last game but had been one tile away on another two.  I am just glad I can reason my hand out enough to play to "close" even if I don't win.  I guess that competitiveness will come eventually.

We stayed in for the evening and talked to Susan.  They are due in today at the campground next door.  Plans are made for dinner after church tonight.  Bill and Ornell are due in too so I hope they and Jay & Stella can join us. He had 3 hours of dental surgery in Mexico yesterday and may not be up to eating yet.

Our weather has been terrific and on some days unseasonably warm.  

The sunsets continue to delight us all.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week Five

It got cold overnight!!  I woke up curled into a fetal position totally stiff from being so cold despite plenty of covers.  I got up and turned the furnace on.  Two hours later I got up and turned the fireplace on which allowed me to turn the thermostat down to 68.  Later in the day the AC came on!  Crazy!  

Ted met Don and Dave at the skeet club and I headed to the nail salon for a mani/pedi which was much needed.  I really like the girl who did my manicure last time and she was there and available.  She is not only good but quick!  I was back in time for Mah Jongg.  We all made mistakes while playing but we learned a lot of new things today.  I defrosted leftover meatballs and sauce for dinner and we stayed in for the evening.

Monday I went back to the salon to get a chip in my nail fixed.  Gina didn't just fix the nail, she took everything off and did the nail completely over and put another clear coat on all my nails.  Then I went to HEB for groceries.  It was beautiful weather and a pleasant, unhurried day.

 Ted grilled burgers for dinner then went Tactical Shooting with the group.  

Tuesday morning was leisurely, no rush to get ready.  I played Mah Jongg at 2:00.  I am not sure I will ever get good at this game but I do enjoy it.  When we were finished we went to Kathy's coach house and prepared 144 bags for casino night.  It took about an hour and a half to do so with six of us working.

We had plans to get together with Karen and Dave on Wednesday.  Ted, Dave and Don met at the gun club and I picked Karen up there.  Our destination was Bec's to look for a dress for me for Ally's wedding.  The first one I tried on was exactly what I was looking for and was on sale.  Karen and the ladies there picking out outfits for their fashion show all gave it a thumbs up.  By the time the saleslady came by to check I was already dressed and heading to the cash register.  I am so glad to get that out of the way.

We continued on to Macy's and Dillard's where I bought a pair of black dress pants ($115 on sale for $33!) and a top.  Next Tuesday we are invited to friends at Bentsen Palms and it is Pat's birthday so I stopped at Bath and Body Works for a little gift.  By then it was time to head to Cheddar's to meet up with the fellows who picked up Trudy on the way.  The six of us had a great time visiting over our really good meals.  

On our way home we stopped at Cottonwood Park to welcome Jay and Stella who have finally arrived and then went to Bentsen Palms to give Vern his hat back.  Not sure how Ted ended up with it but when we pulled up, John and Diana were walking by so we all six ended up inside the motorhome and had a nice visit.  We finally made it home just before dark.

Trudy had asked me to go to the fashion show next door so she could talk to the stores about hosting one here at Retama next February.  Since the models go to the stores and choose their outfits, the clothes would all be different so I agreed.  However, I forgot it was breakfast day for Retama.  So I went to breakfast, ate lightly, then went to the lunch and fashion show.  The lunch was light so I didn't overeat at either place, it was just close together.  Trudy and I will set a shopping date in Weslaco in the next week or so before more company arrives.

The only thing scheduled for Friday was Mah Jongg.  Kathy and I walked up together since we couldn't find Sue.  The door was open, the dog was inside, the car was gone so we were a bit concerned.  Turned out a quick trip turned into something much longer!  We were glad to know things were ok. 

The good news is I got a Mah Jongg!  It isn't my first but they have been hard to come by for us newbies.  When I returned home Niles, Sue, Dortha and Mark all piled into our car for the promised return trip to El Patio.  It didn't disappoint and they thanked us for the recommendation.  

Saturday was Casino Night so we went to Soup and Salad for a later lunch because we knew we wouldn't eat dinner.  It isn't Sweet Tomatoes but still is a good salad bar and soups choice.  Church was at 4:00 so we were a tad late for the talk for the dealers at 5:00.  Ted was assigned to Chuk A Luck and I served as cashier for Higher/Lower.  Neither of us had a chance to play any of the games.  

"Cigarette girls" walked around offering snacks and appetizers, and margaritas were available.  Can you tell they are all from Canada?

At the end of the evening we pooled our money to buy Bonnie, who was the chairman of the event, an antique box by Winchester Western with targets, ammo, holsters, etc inside.  Bonnie does so much for so many that we were happy to get this for her even if it was with play money!

I have been working on my Christmas runner.  Progress is being made.  I usually do one or two rows a night depending on what time I start.

Next week Tommy and Susan arrive for a week followed by Gerre and Barry for a week.  I'm sure we will be busy.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week Four

Ted went to the Mission Skeet and Trap Club with Dave, John and Don on Sunday morning.  I went to the laundromat!  I finished up just in time to go play Mah Jongg.  We had a seasoned player at our table who played much faster than Sue, Joanne and I could play.  She was the only one who won.  The other games were a draw, or as they say Wall Games.  There is just so much to consider and trying to do it so quickly is frustrating.  When I returned, Ted was watching the football playoff games and we just had a salad for dinner. 

Monday was the Couple's Lunch at Republic of the Rio Grande.  There were about 24 couples.  We sat with Kathy and Gary who we know and Tanya and Tom who live across the street that we had not met yet.  Sitting on the outdoor patio was delightful!  We came home, changed clothes and headed to the gun range.  I hadn't shot since we arrived and Saturday is a competition.  I shot my .22 first, then switched to the 9mm to practice with it.  Last, I shot one handed with the .22.  Here are my results.  Wish me luck!

The Tactical Shooting is going to be just on Monday night now and not Wednesday.  So we skipped dinner and Ted left for Shooter's Alley with the others.  I watched The Bachelor which is really weird this go round!  My interest is waning.

Tuesday I played Mah Jongg and didn't win but I was just a tile or two away in most games.  At least I am not getting lost and can head down the right path.  For dinner I made ribs in our pressure cooker.  Ted had removed the membrane and rubbed them with pork rub.  He cut them into 2 bone pieces.  Using the browning setting I browned them a bit, then set them on end in a circular pattern.  We added one cup of beef broth and one cup of BBQ sauce.  Using the Meat setting they cooked for about 22 minutes.  Fall off the bone delicious!!  I am liking this new gadget.

Wednesday we headed back to Victoria Palms for the Skymed luncheon.  We have had this travel insurance since 2011 and the peace of mind it gives us is immeasurable.  Our present policy runs out in October and we were informed we can renew at the original 2011 price which we will do.  It provides emergency medical transport to wherever you want to go for treatment (not necessarily the nearest medical facility) wherever you are in the world. It will send someone to you, return your grandchildren home if traveling with you, return your pets and the biggee, return your rig home.  It will return remains if that becomes necessary to your choice of location, not necessarily to your home if that's your need. I hope we never need to use it but if you travel it is a good thing.  If they have to land a helicopter in your front yard to evacuate you, they cover that.  No need to be 100 miles from home.

The funny thing you learn when dealing with retirees ... if you are on time, you are late.  Lunch was scheduled to start at 11:30 and we arrived at 11:10!  Here is the room with everyone eating their salads when we entered.

Thursday is breakfast day so Joanne, Mimi and Cathy joined me for the ride to Rosie's.  These gatherings are always enjoyable.  They showed me a back way to go north and now I need to show Ted!

We were invited to Don and Trudy's annual Brat Fest so I made 5# of hot German potato salad.  There was a big crowd and my crockpot liner was empty in no time.  Lots of desserts and green salads so the substantial food went quickly.  Next year I will make 10#!

Prayer before eating.  No one objects to "in Jesus's name we pray."

Our summer plans are all discombobulated.  So far we have 5 nights in Pigeon Forge at the Rowdy Ruhe Reunion followed by 3 nights in Nashville with two couples.  From there I think we will spend the week of the 4th in Cincinnati.  That gives us access to the family cabins at the lake in KY over the holiday weekend and a few days to do some visiting.  We will return July 24 for a week leading up to the more sedate Rogers Reunion.  The two weeks in between will be spent in St Marys OH, Shipshewana IN and at the factory in Howe getting our kitchen lights changed out.

The tops of these snap and break allowing them to swing when traveling.  Because the refrigerator on the slide is just a foot away when the RV slides are in, our refrigerator has dings.  I always say there is an earthquake going on inside every time you go down the road.  The exact timing for these things will depend on our factory appointment date.  

Saturday's shooting competition was moved to Friday due to the prediction of rain on Saturday.  But the fashion show luncheon at Mission West was Friday and 26 of us already had our tickets.  Ted went to the gun range and I picked up six others for the short ride to Mission West park.  We had a good time with lots of laughs.  They had an hour's entertainment that made the total program way too long! Linda was ready for two martinis by 3:00 when we left!  Our table from each end.

At dinner time we picked up Tom and Eileen to have dinner at the Riverside Club.  It is the first time we got there in the month we all have been here.  They left Saturday morning so it was "now or never."  We said our goodbyes about 8 and headed home.

Saturday dawned rainy and cool.  We had nowhere we had to be so I took the opportunity to vacuum and dust.  Later on we left to get gas, buy some hangers and get to church while hopefully parking was available.  It is the day of the Citrus Parade and the road we use to go to church is closed to traffic.  So we need to come in from the west.  Then there is the problem of parking because so many parade watchers take the spaces.  We found a spot but were 40 minutes early for Mass!  Fr. Phil (aka Speedy Gonzales) said Mass and we got caught in church AND parade traffic because both ended at the same time.  We wound our way around and eventually made our way to Cracker Barrel for dinner.

Our Lady of Guadalupe won First Place in the float competition.  The orange and yellow you see are grapefruit and orange slices.  Notice Fr. Roy's dogs in the last photo.  He was riding a horse but we didn't see him.  Maybe he had a specific place to take the horse.