Thursday, January 28, 2016

Annie Oakley Live

Wednesday was rainy so we just hung around the house.  Two ladies came by to ask Ted if he would take them to the gun range and teach them how to shoot clay birds.  They did not know what skeet, trap and sporting clays are.  He explained our gun range is just a clay bird thrower and they agreed that would be enough for them to learn about safety, the gun and taking aim.  He agreed they can go down when Sue and I go and practice and use my gun.

Later we left for Shooter's Alley for a bite to eat before Tactical Shooting started.  I had two good runs but my gun jammed on the first run and by the time I got it unjammed I was over 80 seconds and didn't take the second shot on the target where the jam occurred.  I had 15 "A" shots and a miss.  I didn't miss it, I simply didn't take the shot in the confusion.

My second run went smoothly but I didn't see my scores.  I scored better overall than Ted in hits but came in with two folks behind me (still not last) and Ted's time was way better than mine putting him way in front of me.  My second run was 40 seconds.  I hope my time gets better as I get more comfortable with all the rules and they become second nature.  I still have to tell myself - finger off the trigger, gun ALWAYS pointed down range, never turn around holding the gun, don't wave it around when picking up your magazine, etc.  Ted told me the Safety Officer told Billie to change her magazine after 9 shots so there is one in the chamber and you can start shooting again as soon as the magazine is in instead of having to chamber one.  I will practice that at our gun range first.  

Our first run, probably about 7 yards back.  The second run was more like 15 yards.  You get a penalty if you shoot the black or white.  You can't tell but the white target has the A space in brown in the middle.

Pat videotaping JoAnne during her perfect run of 16 "A" shots.

Our Wild Bunch, some shooting with their fingers (a no no in schools nowadays) and the un-PC "hands up, don't shoot" pose.

And a stop at Dairy Queen finished the night.

Thursday mornings are always Ladies Breakfast.  This week was Cracker Barrel and I drove Marisa and Lenchen.  We had a good crowd and I enjoyed the American breakfast without tortillas, refried beans, migas, etc.  I can always find scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, etc. at the Mexican restaurants but lots of the ladies like the other.

In the afternoon I went to Linda's and she went over the Hand and Foot differences from Canasta.  I play Canasta and played Hand and Foot once at a HitchHiker rally in Nashville.  I think I can join the group here with no problem.

The helicopters are circling which means the Border Patrol is playing Hide and Seek with some illegals who have made it across the river.  Ted thought they were going to land at the end of our street.  He questioned the need to get his AR out to help them out.

I went outside to take a photo of the helicopter and right after this first photo, he landed in the field at the end of our street.

Of course a group gathered.  We saw an agent walking along the fence.  He told us a van of illegals rolled over on a road down the way.  They had all the illegals but the coyote driver got away.  All they want to do when they get this close is to keep on going because we are surrounded by Border Patrol so we don't get too concerned.  And then the helicopter took off.

Our excitement for Thursday.  It will probably be more than exciting than tonight's debate.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Home On The Gun Range

Saturday was rifle and pistol shooting playing tic tac toe.  But the squares were cut diagonally into triangles, one being X and one being O and it was on 8.5 X 11 card stock so it was harder than it sounds at 7 yards.  JoAnne won our coin toss and hit the O triangle in the middle top.  She said she was aiming for the middle box.  So I aimed for the X triangle in the middle box and hit the O which went to her.  She shot the bottom middle O and I was done.  For my efforts of shooting only one shot and being eliminated I won the following special award for my conservation of ammo.

Since we had many more heats, I helped Kathy keep score.  She used binoculars to spot the shots and I recorded them.  It also helped shooters determine where to shoot to get tic tac toe since they couldn't see the shots either.  Many heats were decided by a shooter inadvertantly giving their opponent a score.

When pistols were finished, we had lunch followed by rifles.  Our friend Don won the Overall title for the day.  I picked up a lot of brass off the ground in between heats so I got my exercise in for the day.

We went to church at 4:00 and came home to ribs I had cooking in the crockpot.  Later we went to play card bingo.  We didn't have any luck again but both Linda and Bruce won.  We are having a real dry spell this year in the winning card bingo department!

Sunday as Ted walked out the door to meet Dave and Don at the Mission Skeet Club, he announced we were due at Bonnie's at 4:30 with an appetizer and our drinks!  Luckily I had shrimp in the freezer and cocktail sauce in the pantry so I was covered there.  I went to Walgreen's for hair color and colored my hair before showering and getting ready for our afternoon soirée.

There was a nice group at Bonnie's and only one couple we did not know.  I did learn they own the two lots behind us that they rent out.  Owners are getting a bit antsy about next season's rentals because so many Canadians did not come back or have stated they are not coming back due to the unfavorable exchange rate.  They may also see some Northerners not coming back if the 401s and IRAs don't recover.  Retama is the most expensive park that I know of but that is because you are not getting just a strip to park on.  We have two drives, patio area and a coach house.  This also includes a beautiful large pool, hot tubs, community patio with grills, craft room, pool room, card rooms, TV lounge, laundry room, kitchen, bike trails, gun range and planned activities.  We also have access to the activities next door at Bentsen Palm campground.  That is where we see some shows and play card bingo.  When Eileen arrives we will probably go to Margarita nights too.

Monday was a laid back day.  Ted had to cancel clay target shooting because of work being done in the area.  I had a long phone call with my good friend from home.  At 3:00 I had yoga that I continue to enjoy.  After "breakfast for dinner" I hunkered down to watch The Bachelor.  I have read the spoilers and the girl they say he picks is nowhere near the limelight yet.  If you follow it, Olivia isn't the one!

Tuesday I did some financial things including setting up a link between our brokerage account and our bank account.  This will make it easier to transfer funds when necessary.  The sun was shining and we were both wearing shorts.  I cleaned up around the RV dusting, sweeping and cleaning in the bathroom.  Ted had been out with Niles and they decided we would go to lunch at Firehouse Sub.  A cold front was due to come in and by the time we were finished eating outside, we were all cold.  I had made haircut appointments for both of us so that was about it for our day.  We turned the fireplace on and settled in.  Wednesday is to be cool and rainy so we will just stay home or find an inside place to go during the day.  Tactical Shooting will happen in the evening at Shooters Alley.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our First Month is Over

It is hard to believe our first month is over already.  We haven't done lots of things we normally do right away.  Shooting has occupied a lot of our time and we are spending a lot of time with another whole group.  We had to turn down an invitation to join the HitchHiker group for a gathering and beg off a BBQ at Niles because we are having dinner with our old Bentsen Palm friends and Ted had a Border Patrol gun seminar to attend.  Our calendar is crazy!

Tuesday we went out with Jay, Stella and two of their friends.  We started at Gonzalas Burgers and thankfully Stella split a burger with me and Ted and I shared an order of fries.  It was a perfect amount and I wasn't hungry the rest of the day.  Nancy and Dave went off on their own while we went checking  out the ropas.  I bought a throw, tablecloth, two scarves, a Christmas decoration and a Fall decoration (bingo prizes).  Total bill $3.05!  Our favorite ones have closed down and we haven't been able to locate really good ones yet.

We took advantage of the tangerine trees and grapefruit tree over at Jay's.  Stella said the oranges were sour so of course I tried one.  Boy was she right!  Our fruit drawers are as full as they can be and that is after Ted shared some with Bob and Niles.

Neither of us wanted dinner so Ted emptied our tanks and then took off to Academy to buy bullets for Bonnie.  She was only allowed two boxes so Niles, Bruce and Ted went with her to buy two each for her.

Wednesday was the Winter Texan Expo and I picked up Jay, Stella and Nancy.  Wednesday and Sunday are Ted's clay shooting days with Don and Dave so he came late and left early.  We enjoyed entertainment by Southern Anthem and Bernie and Red.  Both shows were great.

There were lots of booths and we collected candy, cereal bars, coupons, had our BP taken and eyes checked, etc.  There was something for everyone.

I dropped the group off in the Cottonwood park and came home in time for my yoga class.  I think it is helping my back and teaching me movements to continue exercising it.  I am sure most of us don't look too graceful but we are 70 and moving and stretching and that is good!

Thursday morning I was reading my email when there was a knock at the door.  Lenchen was at the door waiting for a ride to breakfast.  I had completely forgotten!  I clicked to unlock the car door and asked for 5 minutes.  It probably took me 10 but we made it on time.  When I returned, Ted and I went to Mexico.  After coffee and a pastry for Ted at Renee's and a Light Coke (not sold in the US) for me, we went to the salon for pedicures.  Our next stop was the leather shop for two belts for me and lastly our drug store stop.  We will go back a few more times when Eileen gets here.  Ira is having extensive dental work done so that will necessitate several trips.

At 6:00 we met Dave, Karen, Trudy and Don at a local German restaurant.  We have gone here every year for several years but a good many of our other friends who made up our original group have either moved on or aren't here this year due to parental illnesses that require their presence.  The food was good and we all cleaned our plates.  The spätzle and red cabbage are really good but they serve their Getman potato salad cold!  That's a mortal sin in my book.

Today I ate all day for $2.50!  My breakfast was a breakfast bar given to me at the Expo.  Lunch was a Caeser salad from a free Dole salad coupon.  We had a $5 Little Caesar's pizza for dinner but I ate less than half.  My nighttime snack was tangerines from Jay's trees!  I thought it was funny when I realized what I had done.

Friday evening we went next door to see Southern Anthem, the group we saw at the Expo.  It was a great, fun show and Ted won a CD of their Gospel music after identifying The Judds as the singers of the song Why Not Me.

Wish me luck shooting in tic tac toe on Saturday.  I really don't expect to make it past the first round but stranger things have happened.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Expensive Gun Show

Saturday was the gun flea market here in the park.  I went for the coffee and donuts!  Ted bought some ammo and sold a holster.  I don't know how well the others did.  I eventually left to go make copies for Bunco but before I even hit the expressway Ted called and said to go to Firehouse Sub, save seats for 7 and I would be taking Sue home.  Well all right.

Thank goodness for GPS because I would have never found it along the frontage road.  I found it easily enough using it and sat at one table of four and set my purse on another.  It wasn't too crowded but I wanted to be sure no one sat at either of those tables.  We all had some lunch and then everyone but Sue and I went to the gun show at McAllen Convention Center.  She and I stopped at Office Depot then headed home.

In a few hours Ted returned carrying a long gun bag and I knew that infamous knock of Niles had come to fruition.  We were going to church but Ted and Niles had to go over the gun and discovered the bolt was missing.  They are required to remove it to bring it into the convention center and had forgot to replace it.  So we went back to get it and then went on to church.  Because the gospel was the wedding feast at Cana, Fr. Roy spoke about ordinary people having extraordinary love.  With so many Winter Texans there I am sure thousands of years of marriage were represented and confirmed what Father had to say.

Our evening entertainment was seeing The Red Head Express with Jay and Stella.  The performance was great.  We were happy to see Meghan who is a particular favorite of Ted's.  We had a chance to visit with her and their photographer took our picture with her.  Trudy and Don attended too and we all sat together.  It was our first show this season.

Sunday was another gorgeous day.  Ted went early to shoot skeet with Dave and Don.  Dave came home with Ted to hang our pendulum light replacement.  It is 12v and we weren't sure how to hook it up and we wanted to be sure it was done correctly.  Ted had a little bit of time before heading to our gun range to shoot pistols and his new rifle.  He wanted to get the sight set correctly.  I was due at the clubhouse for Bunco at 6:30, though I had received only one phone call about attending, and I stayed behind to have dinner ready early.

Only Diana, who had called me, and I were at the clubhouse so by 6:45 we locked up and went home.  Last year they had a good crowd but it was so disorganized I think it soured people on it.  Oh well, I offered to help Ginger and I did so she will have to decide where to go from here.

We had a couples lunch at Republic of the Rio Grande restaurant on Monday.  About 30 couples took up the entire patio of the restaurant.  We met a new couple who are traveling around the country full time looking for a place to retire.  We had a lot in common and I was sorry to hear they are leaving on the 31st.  She showed me a Verizon app that lets you see at a glance how much data you have used.  I was glad to get that downloaded because we are using our Verizon jet pack as our hotspot while down here.

Ted had moved the clay pigeon shoot to 3:00 from 2:00 so he took off shortly after we came home.  I used the time to go buy a $70 half gallon of milk.  That's what I ended up spending when I went into HEB!  I made a chicken salad sandwich for myself for dinner and Ted ate the leftover ziti from a day or two ago.  Then it was time for The Bachelor.  

We have been here a month already and that doesn't seem possible.  it won't be long until Eileen and group arrive next door at the campground.  Ted may have to curtail some of his gun activities while they are here.  We'll see!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Eyes! Ears! Range is Going HOT!

Wednesday night I competed in my first tactical gun shoot.  My aim is fine, handling the gun quickly and safely is a whole other ball game.  We had 3 scenarios the first round, two the second round.  It wasn't too difficult.  There were good guys (white targets) you don't want to hit being held in front of bad guys.  One station was somewhat around a corner, another through a window.  AND it was 18 shots so you had to remove and replace your magazine after 10 shots.  You are timed and it affects your score a lot.

The Range Officer knew it was my first competition and was very nice and instructive.  I know the first round I got 13 A shots, and 1 C shot.  I only got a glimpse at the sheet so I didn't see anything else.  But at the end of the evening I came in 9th or 10th out of 13 shooters.  Some of the guys are so fast!  Boom, boom, boom in under 10 seconds.  I think Ted was 4th.

All three range employees came up to me to say I did very well for my first time.  My goal was to not embarrass myself or hurt someone and hopefully not be last.  Mission accomplished!

On Thursday Ted went to the Border Patrol gun cleaning seminar while I did my normal chores and some paperwork.  By noon it was time to head to Donna (nice having a city named after me!) for a Skymed appreciation lunch.  On the way we stopped in Pharr to buy tickets for the Moe Bandy concert.  We bought six because Eileen, Tom, Lee and Ira will be here and want to attend too.  

When we arrived at Victoria Palms it was 1:00, starting time was 1:30 and folks were already eating their salads!  It is true about seniors, if you arrive on time you are late.  The lunch was delicious and we enjoyed it.  Then the testimonials and info meeting started.  You are invited to this because you have Skymed insurance!  After an hour and a half of listening to them preach to the choir, we got up and left, giving our door prize tickets to the lady next to me from Iowa.  I hope she won something.

Dave and Karen are in this park and we had promised to stop by which was the biggest reason we left but honestly we had heard enough.  We visited with them for a couple hours, and then headed home.  It was a beautiful sunset we drove into heading west.

Friday was gorgeous.  I wore shorts and eventually turned on the roof fan and even thought about firing up the A/C!  I headed out to get my nails done plus doing a little grocery shopping.  Ted went to play tic tac toe with guns.  He lost to two people shooting red dots.  I don't think it is fair to mix open shooters and red dot shooters but again, I don't make the rules.  We were asked to join our neighbors at Niles' for a shrimp boil but I had dinner started and shrimp isn't our favorite thing.  Ted wandered over to Niles' place after we ate and I eventually went looking for him.  We stayed until it got too cool to sit out and then came home.

Monday, January 11, 2016

In Full Swing

Sunday I fixed breakfast for the first time in a long time.  Ted normally doesn't eat in the morning and I am a bowl of cereal, a yogurt or a half bagel person.  So we had a nice start to the day.  Later we went to the gun range with the group to have a competition that mirrors what we will be doing Wednesday night at Shooters Alley.  I had great accuracy but my time is slower than the others and that lowers my overall score.  I hope I do well on Wednesday!

After shooting, we stopped by the boat dock but didn't see the mama alligator and 8 babies so we decided to stop and see Jay and Stella who just arrived Saturday evening.  I was thirsty and there was a huge tangerine tree in the field across from them so I picked one to eat.  It was so good that before we left we picked a bag and shared them with Kathy, Sue and Bonnie.  There are many trees all over this area laden with fruit that doesn't get picked.  We stripped the orange tree behind our spot.  What was on the ground was thrown away and what came off the tree went into the refrigerator.  Letting it rot on the ground brings unwanted critters around.

I had a chicken in the crockpot so we left for home for dinner and stayed in the rest of the night.  I saved the debris in the crockpot and carcass of the chicken to take to the alligators to see if they will come to the surface to eat it.  We know they like tortillas!

Monday was the present and previous HitchHiker owners' luncheon.  There were 55 in attendance and we knew a good many folks and it was great seeing them all.  We are being strongly encouraged to come to Ingram, TX in April for the Haulin' HitchHiker rally but we may not be able to fit it in.  We are heading to Michigan for our grandson's Confirmation on 4/20.  

We left there to get back in time for Ted to go to the gun range for clay bird shooting.  However, the red flag was up on our way in so we knew there was work being done in the area and shooting is not allowed.  He went down anyway to tell anyone that showed up why there would be no shooting.  In the meantime I changed my clothes to go to my yoga class.  It is doing my hip good in helping extend my range of motion.  Taking the steps in and out of the trailer and up and down to the bedroom also has been helpful.  It was to be part of my PT but we don't have any steps at home!  

That evening Ted had to go back to the clubhouse to see the Alabama-Clemson football game.  He texted me that the couple whose son is visiting was playing the piano and was very good.  I asked if he could hear the TV but he never answered but he never came home either!  I watched The Bachelor.  When he came home he said it was a great game and was glad Alabama won.  Great nephew Michael attends Alabama and nephew Ken covers Alabama for the Dothan Eagle.

Tuesday dawned early with me having a 9:00 meeting about running the Bunco group.  I also needed to give the Powerball pool our $10.  They ended up with 340 tickets.  $1.5 billion divided by 68 is still a great windfall!  I came home and headed next door to the laundromat.  When that was finished I came home to clean.  Eventually I ended up at Linda's and had a visit with her and Sue.  When I got back home it had been decided we were going to Shooters Alley with Niles, Sue and Bonnie.  I did okay but still have trouble pulling the slide on the gun.  I found it easier to load the magazine with it open and then click it closed to load.  Since their cafe was not open we went to eat afterwards at a Mexican restaurant. 

Here is my target of about 60 shots.  Four wayward ones but the one on the forehead was deliberate.  My friend Susan told me she was going to be sure not to p*ss me off!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Instant Pot, Range Maintenance and Brazilian Steakhouse

Ted went to the gun club on Wednesday with Don and Dave.  The trap shooters were going to be there and he wanted to see if he could sell his original trap gun.  There were no takers but there is a gun garage sale here next week so he will try again.  Otherwise he will put it on consignment at the gun club at home.

While he was doing that I straightened up and made my raspberry cobbler.  At 4 pm we went to Nedra and Al's for frozen chicken cooked in the Instant Pot in 15 minutes.  Nedra made oven crispy potatoes and a salad and voila the chicken was done.  Amazing.  I may be getting one of these pots.  Imagine buying a roast at 3 pm, putting it on at 3:15 and by 4:30 it is fork tender.  Ted left to go to the Shooters Station with Niles and I  stayed since I didn't want to eat and run.  It was a most enjoyable dinner and visit.

Ted finally rolled in about 10 pm.  He was late because he had broken a safety rule so had to buy everyone a DQ ice cream.  His infraction was loading his magazine at the safe table.  I guess no weapons or ammo is allowed there.  So now we both know!  

Thursday is breakfast out with the ladies and I picked up Dale.  It is so nice having my car!  There was a good group and I saw a few more ladies from last year that have recently returned.  I am so thankful for name tags.  When I returned, we opened up the shades and the door to let the sunshine in.  We are scheduled for some nice weather this week and are using the fireplace just for a short while in the morning.

Niles and Sue we're hosting a cookout Thursday late afternoon and I needed to make a dish.  I had frozen a lot of the nut topping from my Christmas sweet potato soufflé and asked if that dish would be okay.  Given the green light, we bought four big sweet potatoes and I got it all ready.  When we went across the street for Happy Hour I put it in the oven.  By the time the grill was eventually up and running, the potatoes were done.  Kathy proclaimed them awesome!  We came home after dark and laughed when we saw it was 7:05 pm.  We are officially old, going to parties at 4:00 and being home 3 hours later.

Our anniversary photo book arrived from Kristin and Larry so I took it over to show Kathy while Ted was gone.  He and Niles bought lumber to replace some of the shooting range backboards since they get shot up quickly.  I guess sawing and drilling was involved.  They also filled sandbags for rifle shooting and finished off with a beer!

Card bingo was moved to Friday because there is a band next door at Bentsen on Saturday night.  We went over and I did get to stand three times with one card remaining but I never won.  Sure hope our luck improves soon.

Saturday was a Charity Shoot that was attended by a lot of our shooting group.  It was very windy and no one did any good except raise money for the Benefit of Children of South Texas Shooters.  It helps the kids pay for their expenses when they go to shoots.

In the evening we went to a Brazilian steakhouse with Kathy, Bob, Niles, Sue, Bonnie and Lex.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it but I didn't think the meat was all that good.  The ribs and Parmesan chicken were the best in my book.  None of the beef was to my liking so I went to the salad bar twice and just didn't say anything.  It was a fun group and we enjoyed spending time with our neighbors and shooting buddies.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Crappy Weather Returns, Then Leaves

Saturday the rain came in earnest.  It was cold, raining and just plain nasty out so we were content to stay inside until we left for a late lunch/early dinner before church at 4:00.  Fr. Roy had his dogs in King clothes complete with crowns, the llama dressed as a camel and a moving star for the Kings to follow to celebrate the Epiphany.  His sermon was about the three kings representing us and seeking God in our loneliness. He feels we all have an emptiness in our heart that we can fill with loneliness, unhappiness, unkindness or fill the void with love, understanding, or kindness.  His cowboy song was Oh Lonesome Me and he asked if there was an engineer who could figure out how to keep the moving star straight instead of sideways as it moved toward the stable.  

Father Roy preaching.  Note the cactus ornament on the tree.  There are also cowboy hats and boots that size.

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  Our daughter's church n Winter Spring, FL uses a real baby and then invites anyone in the congregation who was the baby Jesus in the past to come forward.  What a lovely tradition.

Nacho the llama substituting for a camel.  He stayed until the end and was very good.  As long as he can see what is going on, he behaves. 

Two of the dogs dressed as kings who slept through the whole service.

We came home for a bit and then went next door to play card bingo.  Again we did not win but our partners won twice.  We need some better luck this year!

Sunday dawned with a bit of blue sky and sunshine so skeet shooting was on.  Karen texted that she wanted to shop if I did so I picked her up at the gun club and we headed to La Plaza.  We hit a couple stores where I bought a Michael Kors blouse and some designer shorts and I can't even remember who right now.  I am such a non-shopper but it is Karen's big thing!  If I was a size 4 I probably would feel differently!  Dave and Ted met us at Cracker Barrel and we had a nice dinner with them.  As soon as we arrived home, the TV went on for Ted to see the rest of the football games.  Another Sunday night shot to h*ll!

Monday dawned with blue sky and sunshine!  Yeah!  I had 5 ladies to pick up at 11:15 for our monthly luncheon at Lemon and Grass, a Mediterranean restaurant.  I needed a cheat sheet to remember who I was getting and where they lived.  There were no problems and we arrived first to the restaurant where 25 were expected.  I had my mind set on souvlaka but it wasn't on the menu.  Since their gyros only said "meat" and not lamb, I ordered an Oriental salad with chicken.  It was very good and everyone seemed to enjoy their selections.

It was just beautiful when we came outside around 2:00 pm.  I dropped everyone off but Ted was shooting clay targets starting at 2:00 and I just missed him.  I knew he wouldn't have my Remington with him, I didn't know about ammo and I dreaded taking my car down the muddy roads, so I stayed put and did a little housework.

He came home for an hour or so then left with Niles for Shooters Station.  They were participating in Tactical Training.  I chose to watch The Bachelor. Tuesday morning there was a seminar on holsters, carrying concealed and open carry.  We both think open carry is just asking for trouble and would never do it without a good cause.  I saw no reason to go with Ted.

When Ted came home we went to the grocery.  There was a Happy Hour at the clubhouse and I wanted to make pizza bundles.  We are also having dinner at Nedra's tomorrow and I am making a raspberry cobbler.  It is hard to keep up with all this socializing especially when you have to bring something!  When we returned, Niles came over with a price on a gun Ted wants before Obama totally tramples on his rights he said!  Thanks Niles, that was an expensive knock!

There was a big crowd at the Clubhouse and so much food no one would ever need to go to dinner afterwards.  We enjoyed catching up with a couple that workamped next door when we stayed over there.  Don and Trudy sat with us and a new renter couple we met for the first time.  It was an enjoyable evening.