Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Am I the Only One?

We saw American Sniper yesterday because the weather was cold and drizzly so it was a good day for a movie.  While the battle scenes were truly remarkable in their authenticity, I felt like very little credence was given to what his family was going through at home.  They also rushed through his treatment when he returned home even though it was apparent he had issues.  I felt like there were three stories to be told - the war, the family, the return.  And though the war was covered realistically, I found how they portrayed the family situation and his PTSD very nonchalant.  Ted complains I am not fun to see a movie with because I am too logical.  He always tells me "it is just a movie."   But this was a true story and too much of it was left out.

We went to a 3:00 show so I did two loads of laundry and made a pot of chili before we left.  It was even colder when we came out of the theater so it was nice to come home to a warm, dry spot with dinner ready to go.  Add in The Bachelor and Castle and it was a good evening.

Tuesday was Couples Lunch Out so we decided to attend.  It was a very nice restaurant, good food and enjoyable conversation.  The weather was still chilly so we just came back home.  At 3:45 Ted and I both went for a haircut ($10 each!) and spent the evening at home.  I had forgotten to post on FB that we would be at the Clubhouse to play Shanghai so we didn't think anyone would be there.

The sun returned on Wednesday and Ted helped Niles with gates, concrete, raking, etc. on the gun range then he left to shoot at the gun club with Don and Dave at 1:00.  I cleaned some, took the afghan to Jan for the last hem and after lunch Eileen and I headed out.  Jan said I needed to add a tag to my afghan to put my name and date on it.  We found them at Hobby Lobby but now I need a fine tip waterproof marker to write with.

I used my new crockpot for a pot roast that was a jumble of my normal recipe.  Usually I use onion soup, mushrooms and red wine.  After trying a "3 envelope recipe" I have been including a ranch dressing envelope.  We are trying to use up what we have so I made do.  I had the two envelopes but replaced mushrooms with a small can of carrots along with a whole, cut up onion and white wine for red wine.  I was able to use a slotted spoon to fill a bowl with cooked onions and carrots and thickened the broth into gravy.  No seasoning was needed.  Ted loved it!  I made some noodles and he had a great dinner (his words!).

Thursday we headed back to Mexico to try the nail salon.  Eileen got shellac nails, Ted had a pedicure and I had both.  I just wanted it done so I don't have to do it as soon as I get home.  There is too much else I have to do.  Entire cost, $40 for all.  It was a wonderful pedicure and Ted liked it even better than the other salon.  He and Tom spent time at the Rose Garden outdoor bar waiting for us.  When we came back through Customs there were two ladies so drunk their husbands were holding them up.  I guess they got through okay.  The drinks are pretty potent I understand.  Ted said he had a beer for breakfast and a margarita for lunch!

We decided to try Cheddar's for dinner because we were in their 45 minute lull time period.  We were seated right away and by the time we left around 5, they were out the door waiting.  Survivor and Amazing Race started their new seasons so you know how glad that makes me.

Friday continued to be cooler than average.  We went to the grocery for a few necessary items and then Ted took Sue to the gun range.  He also took advantage of a box of grapefruits put out in the neighborhood that said FREE.  Nice Ruby Red ones.  He has all our tires checked, chairs stored and tanks dumped.  We are getting ready to roll.

Tonight was a baked potato bar supper.  Since it was cool, all 120 people ate inside and now they know their capacity.  We were home in time to watch the second episode of Amazing Race.  

We have a garage sale neighborhood wide tomorrow, finish packing up, church and card bingo.  We don't need to leave real early Sunday since we are going to San Antonio.

Here are two photos to finish out the week.  The first is my finished afghan, the second is Sweet little Miss Jemma who is already one month old but still not up to 10 lbs.  isn't she the cutest thing?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Last Week Here

We left early Friday morning for Mexico and Dr. Flores, the dentist.  They took Ted's plate and told him to return in an hour.  We went to Renee's for coffee and pastries then went to look for Ted's belt guy.  He moved from his original location and we asked around until we learned his new place.  Ted bought a new black dress belt.  We also found the optical place and nail salon highly recommended by people we know here.  We will be using them in the future.  We also needed to check the price of liquor but determined it was no cheaper than buying from Feldman's in the U.S. which is less trouble.  We bought some vanilla, eye drops and analgesic cream before returning to the dentist.  In no time Ted was out with a new tooth on his plate and a bill for just $80.  We walked back across the bridge, went through Customs and came home.

I hadn't slept well so wanted to take a nap while Ted and Niles took a table to the gun range and bought wood from Home Depot to build a counter to lay guns on.  After a short nap I started pulling the horizontal threads at the end of my afghan to make the fringe.  I didn't think this would take so long!  The selvedge sides need to be hemmed and it will be done and I will lay it out and take another photo to post.

We went to the Riverside Club for their fish fry dinner before going next door to see Link Union perform.  It was a great performance from Mule Skinner Blues to Bach on the banjo.  The young lady  of the family was so talented, played several instruments and had a great voice.  We really enjoyed the show.

Saturday was Eileen's birthday and to go with the throw pillows I bought for their motorhome couch, we got her a boot jack to allow her to take off her boots by herself.  She had a quizzical look when she opened it and we had to explain what it was and how to use it.  

We spent the day in Edinburg at Pioneer Days.  There were lots of folks working with wood and leather, churning butter, spinning wool, baking biscuits in dutch ovens, etc.  We also had access to the South Texas Historical Museum which was very interesting.  The entertainment was so good.  The Mexican dancing seemed to be a combination of tap dancing, clogging and flamenco.  Truly a melting pot example in dance.  The costumes were beautiful.  And no celebration would be complete without a cowboy poet.

Afterwards we went to Trevino's Restaurant.  The decor was gorgeous and the food outstanding.  When Eileen and I sat our purses next to us on the floor, a rack (looking like a short hatrack) was brought to our table and the purses were hung up.  I have never seen that.  

We returned in time for church at 4:00 and then went to Card Bingo over at Bentsen Palms.  I won about $10 in quarters which is always helpful on laundry day.  All that fresh air got to me and I was in bed early.

We planned to go to Art in the Park on Sunday but when Dave texted to confirm the time for shooting he said they wanted to go to Pepe's afterwards to dance.  Well OK!  Dave, Karen, Trudy, Don, Eileen, Tom, Ted and I all went after they were done shooting.  We ran into Randy, former sales manager for HitchHiker out of Chanute KS, and ended up sharing a couple tables with their group.  What a fun time we had!  On the way home I asked Ted what he thought kids and grandkids across the Midwest would think if they saw all these "seasoned" folks in leather (bikers), boots and jeans, etc. drinking and dancing the afternoon away.  We laughed about a song neither of us knew where everyone joins in the chorus "Alice, who the hell is Alice?"  Neither of us had ever heard it but it gets the crowd going.

Ted invited everyone back for brats and I had to scramble to put a meal together.  Dave and Karen had tickets for a show so they didn't stay.  We were outside until it was dark.  There were no plans for the day and it turned out to be a great fun day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And the Cold Returns For A Day

Monday was warm enough for A/C and within a few hours you needed the heat on!   The rest of the country is gripped in cold, snow and ice so we will turn on the fireplace, get out our jeans and sweatshirts and deal with it for a few days.  Anyway, I can wear my new boots!

The fashion show luncheon at Bentsen Palms Village was very nice.  There were three stores modeling clothes and I wanted to go to Becs the next day and look for an outfit for our anniversary Mass and dinner.  A beautiful lady with gorgeous white hair modeled two outfits from this store and she looked absolutely stunning!  I will settle for looking "very nice."

It was so warm as Eileen and I walked back that I took off my white slacks and changed to shorts when I got home.  Ted had put a load of laundry in and we were getting ready to get it out when Kathy knocked and asked if I wanted to play Shanghai with her, Linda and Sue in the coach house.  I left Ted to deal with the laundry and went over.  We started with fans whirring all around us and by the time we finished we had a heater on.  Sue won again!  

We had leftovers for dinner and settled in to watch The Bachelor and Castle.  I think this farmer guy is a player.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

All four of us went shopping on Tuesday.  Eileen and I were dropped off at Becs and the fellows went looking for a jeweler to fix Ted's chain and to buy a boot jack for Eileen for her birthday.  In the meantime I found an outfit for our anniversary party and two tops to wear with jeans.

Tom loves Mexican food and found a restaurant nearby to try.  Most of the menu and specials were in Spanish so we weren't exactly sure of what we ordered but it was really good!  After a stop at the post offfice we brought the guys home and Eileen and I went back out to buy two baby presents.  Babies, babies and more babies!  I finally sent Jemma a gift card (she is one month already) but the two gifts I just bought I can take to the family reunion in June.

There was a Mardi Gras potluck and we attended though we only ate dessert.  It is a nice way to meet new people or get to know the others a bit better.  Eileen and I are in purple with our backs to the camera along side Tom and Ted.  Lots of King Cakes!

Eileen wanted to play cards so we told them to come over to our trailer after they took their things home.  When they arrived we received our first anniversary present, a new crockpot.  Last year the handle broke on mine and Bill made a makeshift wooden one that worked fine.  But Ted broke the lid while making his pulled pork so we really needed the new one!  They are flying to Houston for our anniversary dinner so that is one less thing for them to worry about.  We really don't want or need anything other than friends and family to help us celebrate but a new crockpot is great!

Wednesday got a little crazy.  Ted went pistol shooting at 11 and skeet shooting at 1.  So I did my walk around the neighborhood getting errands done.  I stopped at Sharon's who showed me some fringe stitches for my afghan.  Then Eileen and I went to Jan's to show her the T-shirt braiding technique but she was getting a haircut.  We met her 47 oz. Yorkie who is so tiny!  Tucker at 6 lbs. would look huge next to her.

Since we struck out I went to the laundry room to iron two pair of pants before heading home.  Jan came over eventually so Eileen came back so we could work on T-shirts.  Jan offered some more insight into the fringe question.  Kara called in the midst of this and Ted returned from shooting.  Then Niles came over to give us Don's shooting prize right before Don appeared with 15 packages of brats to put in our refrigerator for Thursday's German fest.  Grand Central Station!

It was pizza night so we left for the clubhouse where we ate our meatless cheese and pineapple pizza before leaving for a 7 pm liturgy with distribution of ashes.  There were 8 services and ours was totally full so I assume they were all full.  We stopped at the grocery for green beans for the German fest and called it a day.

Today we joined 17 ladies for breakfast and then went to Jan's for her to sew a line in the afghan so I could pull the horizontal threads for the fringe.  I tried doing the stitch with pulled threads but I couldn't discern where I had stitched because it all matched.  I tried using the yarn but it was too thick.  The machine zigzag stitch seemed the easiest answer!  Ted came along with me to meet Harold so they could talk about Harold joining Ted on the shooting range to try his hand at shooting. 

We came back so Ted could take the brats to Don and I could prepare my green beans.  At 3 we went next door for the German fest.  There were close to 80 people in attendance.  We had a great meal and an enjoyable time.  

Unfortunately Ted broke a tooth off his upper plate and Lord only knows where it went.  We have our suspicions but I am not even going there!

So tomorrow it is back to the dentist in Mexico to see if we can get it fixed quickly.


“You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Great Weather Week

We opted not to go to the HitchHiker luncheon Monday much as I would have liked to have seen Bill and Judy.  I'm not sure they were going and we can stop by their park if we get the time.  Instead Eileen and I attended the T-shirt braiding class.  Eileen is in front in pink, I am over her left shoulder.  The T-shirt I bought had a curve at the bottom so mine turned out a bit different from everyone else's.  It gets pretty wrinkled with all the pulling and I assume after it is washed it will look great.  These are fun things you could do with grandkids, girl scouts, church groups,etc.

We shared DiGiorno pizza for dinner and retired to our respective rigs for me to watch The Bachelor and for Eileen to watch The Apprentice.  We all have our little vices!

Tom was having his motorhome washed so Eileen and I took the car to the nail salon and to do some shopping.  Ted took Sue from two doors down to the gun range to practice target shooting with her shotgun.  It was late afternoon when we all reconvened.  After a sandwich for dinner we went to the Clubhouse and had two tables of Shanghai with a few observers.  I hope we can get this on the schedule as a regular activity next season.

It was ladies potluck day on Wednesday so I made banana bread to use up some of the many really ripe bananas I had on hand.  It was going fine, Ted mentioned it smelled good and then nothing.  The electric went out on a circuit.  Ted managed to pull the breaker but he needed to go get a new one.  My bread was a half baked mess and I tossed it.  I figured I wouldn't go to the lunch!  Niles came down to take a look at the breaker and told me to go anyway because there is always too much food.  Sue stopped and asked if I wanted to walk with her so I did.  There wasn't a real big turnout but it was a pleasant time with my neighbors.  Eileen and Tom had gone to Mexico for her dental appointment.

Ted was meeting Don and Dave at 1:00 to shoot skeet so he planned to go look for the breaker afterwards.  He came home and after much fussing and fuming in such a tight spot, he got the new breaker in and secured.  Meanwhile I was finishing the very last row of my Swedish weaving afghan.  Tomòrrow I can corner Beverly at breakfast and set a time to get the rest of the instructions for finishing the sides and fringing the ends.

Our list for guests on Friday kept shrinking!  Four succumbed to the crud and had to bail.  Eileen and I went to breakfast with the group on Thursday and then came home to get the fellows.  We had several errands to run including Safe Lite glass cleaner from the nearest service center.  Ted uses their cleaner ever since they replaced a windshield for us.  Then we stopped at Feldman's to price Scotch to compare it with the Duty Free and Mexico prices keeping in mind there is Texas tax when you bring it in.  A stop at Walmart got me new pillow inserts to replace the crappy ones that came in our rigs' toss pillows!  No wonder I could never punch them into a square!  I never did identify just what was in there.


We all bought groceries but Ted and I were buying more for the meal on Friday.  When we came home I started cleaning so I didn't have so much to do on Friday and could concentrate on the cooking.  He went to a gun class of some sort at Niles site.

Friday was another nice day and our pulled pork meal went great, just with fewer people!  The fellows sat at one table, the ladies at another.  It was almost 7:00 before they went home so I think everyone had a good time.

We had turned down an invite to Victoria Palms on Saturday.  It was a good thing because I had a go round with my diverticulosis and spent the day on the couch recuperating from my bout in the bathroom in the early hours of the morning.  I was feeling better by bedtime and woke up Sunday feeling fine.

We had Fr. Speedy again at church.  Then Tom and Ted went to the gun show in McAllen.  Once finished there they came back for me and Eileen to head to the flea market.  Tom had his name sign refinished, had a new battery put in his watch, bought flashers for theirs bikes and filters for his RV furnace.  I bought a sympathy card.

We stopped at Wallbangers for a burger and then Eileen and I went to the clubhouse for bunco.  It is our last time to play this season since they changed it to every other week.  There was better flow this time and people are understanding better.  I have promised to send Ginger the sheets that I use for my group.  They have been in use for over 20 years and it is hard to argue with that success I think.

Ted is off to the gun range and I am going next door to Bentsen Palm Village for a fashion show and lunch.  Trudy is modeling and maybe I will see some former neighbors from the last several years.  

Our time here is drawing to a close.  It has been a marvelous two months filled with new friends and adventure.  San Antonio is our next stop but my brother Dan who we were meeting has had to cancel his trip to have a melanoma on his nose surgically removed.  Please remember him in your prayers.  It will require three surgeries in all.  Tom has not been to San Antonio so we will go but for a shorter period of time.  

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?  It's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

Thursday, February 5, 2015

This Is More Like It

Our weather has been way better than last month.  The temps have been pleasant, the rain has stopped, but the sun sure likes to hide out.  But recently even the sun has been peeking out more and more.

Jan picked me up after Julia for breakfast on Thursday and then we picked up Eileen and Becky.  When Other Donna returns next week we will have to split up because there will be six of us going to breakfast and no one has a car or truck to seat 6.  I think 31 ladies were there.  

We came home for the fellows then went to Academy for Eileen to buy cowboy boots.  Then we went on to Skecher's where we all bought two pairs of shoes each except Ted.

Tom and Ted went to Riverside Club for a late lunch and Eileen and I went to finish our mosaic piece.  The teacher, Kathy, is right next door to me so it was convenient.  Here are the 24 pieces completed this time.  

Here I am with mine.

There is going to be a prom after we leave in March so later in the afternoon we went to the clubhouse to see the formals brought by a ropa store that sells them for $10-15.  There was lots of modeling going on and many dresses were purchased for the big night.  The fellows will wear dark pants and a tuxedo T-shirt.  I am sorry we will miss it.  The ladies made corsages too.  It should be a fun night.

Friday we met up with Stella, Jay, Mike and Linda at the bridge into Progreso, Mexico.  I needed to replace the pills we both had taken getting rid of the crud.  Ted also had his teeth cleaned, Stella had her stitches removed and Eileen made an appointment for her cleaning for next week.  We all had coffee and a pastry at Renee's then split up for more shopping.  I bought a slide and earrings but that was all.  We walked around for several hours before coming back across the bridge and headed to Mid Valley Boots to pick up my new boots.  Now I can get my new black jeans hemmed and I will be ready for the rodeo!

We asked Jose at the boot shop for a lunch recommendation and he suggested Fiesta TexMex but since it was past 2:00 the buff-it (that's how he said it) was over.  It was a great suggestion, the food was really good.  We skipped dinner that evening since we ate so late.

Eileen and I spent Saturday morning at a salon where she had waxing and eyebrows done while I had waxing and a dermabrasion facial.  Next up will be our nails and before we leave, another haircut.  We came home and both did things around the house until time for church.  Ted came back from the gun range and helped me by vacuuming.  Fr. Roy was in San Antonio so we had Fr. Speedy Gonzales for Mass and were out in record time.  So we took advantage and went to Riverside Club for a bite to eat before card bingo.  None of us won anything but it was an enjoyable evening.  But winning would be better.

Don called Ted Sunday and he begged off shooting because he was under the weather.  So a phone call to Dave to come earlier got them to the club and back in record time.  I had the laundry ready to go and we finished that up quickly.  Then it was off to Pepe's on the River (the Rio Grande River) to enjoy the 84 degrees, sunshine and light breeze.  There was a good crowd but we found a spot and enjoyed margaritas and a few dances before coming home.  

Ted grilled steaks and I made a salad and baked potatoes for dinner.  At 6:00 it was time for the new bunco group.  There were 24 women but the leader was trying to tell folks how to play by reading rules off the internet.  She wasn't too interested in help from several of us well versed in this so I just went with the flow until she hit a wall.  You can't keep score without a sheet of paper, there is no point in passing around a fuzzy dice when you bunco if there is no prize for having it at the end, why would losers leave a table and keep moving to the head table instead of winners?  She got most of it settled with a little help but the confusion soured some on the game.  I only have two more Sundays here so I will play and keep my mouth shut unless I am asked!

Even a fish wouldn't get in trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cool and Dreary Again!

We woke to cool and cloudy weather which the weatherman had predicted.  We walked to the mailboxes to mail Bill's birthday card and stopped at Eileen's motorhome.  We decided Ted and Tom  would spend some time at the gun range with Tom receiving instruction from Ted while Eileen and I went to our mosaics class.  It took us a bit longer than time allotted so afterwards we came right home to have dinner and settle in for this weeks The Bachelor.  It is my revenge for all the football I have to watch.

Tuesday was no better weatherwise so we went to the Winter Texan Extravaganza at the convention center.  There were very few vendors and was mostly seminars.  We happened in just when the entertainment/seminars broke for an  hour's  lunch.  So once we hit all the vendors we left for Gonzales Burgers for lunch.  They were on #41 and we got #60.  We had to wait for a table anyway so we were able to get a spot and get settled before our number was called.

We must have just missed our friends Jay and Stella because we saw on Facebook that they were there right before us.  I also received four calls in the time we were gone regarding bunco and the upcoming fashion show.  It is getting to be like home!

Eileen wanted small decorative tile put in the half bath of their motorhome so we drove to Penitas to the tile store.  They have what she needs and people to do it.  We decided she needed to take a piece of the counter back to be sure she chose the right color.  

Happy Hour was set for Tuesday evening but the weather just wasn't inviting enough to coax us out early before we left for the Mickey Gilley show.  What a fabulous performance!  It was like visiting with an old friend.  He sang everyone of his 17 number one hits, shared photos and clips from TV shows and movie performances, duets with ladies and told the story of his entire career including mentioning his cousins Jimmy Swaggert and Jerry Lee Lewis.  There were even news clips of firefighters trying to extinguish the fire that destroyed Gilley's in Pasadena, TX.  The highlight for me was when the clips of Urban Cowboy were run, up popped the wedding scene and there was our friend Tommy in the movie!  
I have never enjoyed a concert more.

Today we went back to the tile store and arranged for the chosen tile to be installed in the motorhome while Ted was shootiing with Don and Dave.  As soon as we got back we went next store to Kathy's coach house to grout our mosaic plates.  Because it was margarita night I needed to make an appetizer but Eileen and Tom couldn't go because the tile was being installed.  We met up with Don and Trudy and met a couple from Indiana.  The folks who arrived at the park 2/1 make much better snacks than the other folks did.  Nice spread!

Tomorrow is an early start with the ladies breakfast at 8:15.  Time is just flying by!

All the girls all get prettier at closing time
Oh, they all begin to look like movie stars
All the girls all get prettier at closing time
When the change starts taking place it puts a glow on every face
Of the fallen angels of the back street bars

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Rancho El Charco

Tom had to move his motorhome from his temporary stop down the street from us on Lark to his February spot on Mallard.  Ted went shooting with Don while they got settled in again.  I took my time getting ready.  This coughing is just wearing me out and keeping both of us from sleeping well.

When the dust settled we headed to La Joya to Rancho El Charco to see it when it was open and to take the wagon ride.  There wasn't a big crowd but people told us that was probably due to the Super Bowl because normally the place is packed.  It overlooks the Rio Grande River and is quite picturesque.

We listened to some pretty good music and had a margarita that was potent!  Two of them and they would have had to carry me out!  The wagon returned and we got on.  

It was pulled by mules that were a cross between a donkey and a Clydesdale.  We never had seen such a combination.

We rode through some very primitive Texas terrain to other venues within the ranch.  We came across this deer who was so used to people that it never flinched.

We came to an outdoor chapel that is used for weddings.  The primitive altar was done mostly in wood.  There was no indication of its age.

We continued on to the waterfall that had a nice atmosphere.  We walked across a rope bridge one at a time.  It rocked quite a bit but I just stopped whenever it started rocking and started up again when it stopped.  Ted has such height he had more difficulty but made it.

We continued on and saw a pool area used for picnics and such in the summertime when children are out of school.  Our guide said he does many nature programs for children.

It was getting close to Game Time so we came home.  Eileen fixed Skyline chili and we sat outside watching the TV embedded in the side of their motorhome.  I was so tired that I left the three of them there watching the Super Bowl and came home to my couch.  The Z Pak seems to be working but this coughing is so tiring.

Ted came home at half time  and I got up to watch the last of the game with a finish that was just unbelievable.  I had no horse in the race but can certainly enjoy a good game with a great finish.  Congratulations to the Patriots.