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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week Three

With my monk cloth in hand I headed to the craft room for Swedish weaving.  I am going to make a Christmas runner.  Trudy was going to sew my edges for me but Beverly had her machine and did mine.  Such a helpful teacher!  Every store seemed to be out weaving needles so Sharon sold me an extra packet she had!   I perused Beverly's pattern book, chose one and Jenn made me a copy.  As soon as I wash and dry my cloth I can start.  I feel like it is already a village project just getting me going.  Some of you may remember my first attempt that took me two winters to accomplish.  

When I came home we decided to make beef stew in our Instant Pot.  I floured and seasoned the beef cubes while Ted peeled potatoes.  Then I browned the meat in the pot on the browning setting. I poured in beef stock, celery, potato cubes and baby carrots plus onions and garlic.  I locked it and in 30 minutes we ate really good stew.  I put a couple rolls in the convection oven timed to be done when the stew was done.  Nice nutrious meal, little time, minimal clean up.  Afterwards we watched TV.

Eileen and I met up for yoga on Tuesday.  There is quite a crowd there now.  Ted went to organize the clay bird shoot and later in the afternoon we played Mah Jongg again.  It is feeling as hard as Bridge but you don't have a partner to get mad at you for bidding wrong!  I am learning something new every time.  
I tried to start my project but I found the directions unclear and add to that I am trying to go lengthwise versus their side to side and I went to Sharon's for a new pattern.  I have a row and a half done.  This will take a long time!

The Texas Expo was at the McAllen Convention Center and we spent a couple hours there on Wednesday morning.  I even had my photo taken with my two Minion friends.  Eileen won one of the first door prizes, a Sleep Number pillow!

We came home with so many bags, koozies, ads, coupons, pens, bottle openers, etc.!  I had to sort it all.  I have an apron, sunglasses, sewing kit, pens, visor clips to hold a pen, free eggs from HEB, samples of toothpaste, vitamins, antacids, granola bars, etc.  I threw a lot away, made a backpack up with all the cups, koozies, glasses, etc. for our casino night and stuck the coupons behind the visor in my car.  

We headed out about 4:45 for Longhorn Steakhouse to have dinner before going to see The Oakridge Boys in Mercedes TX.  It was a great show.  For being in their 70s these fellows can still sing and have a lot of energy.  They took no intermission but sang straight through for an hour and a half.  Of course they finished up with a rousing rendition of Elvira with the entire audience on their feet joining in.  Fun night.

Thursday I picked up Kathy and Beverly for breakfast.  We joined a dozen other women and had another fun time over coffee, omelettes and pancakes.  While driving home Ted called to say his brother Tom was told there was no Rogers Family Reunion group at the hotel in Lawrenceburg where I had just finalized the arrangements for the family reunion in July over the last three days!   I called when I got home and was told that we no longer had the 20 rooms they had promised.  I asked when they were going to tell me this and they said the manager would call me when she returned.  That was 3 hours ago and still no call.  In the meantime, I was scrambling.

Took me a good bit of the day but eventually found out the Jazz Festival is that weekend in Cincinnati.  There is a lot of unavailability or extremely inflated prices.  I am sure that is why our block of rooms at regular prices was tossed out.  But no one has ever called to discuss it with me!  I filed a complaint with Wyndam Corporate.  We have secured 9 rooms located conveniently at close to twice the normal price and 14 rooms at regular prices but 40 miles away.  We immediately reserved our RV spot.  I guess RVers aren't into jazz!

With that settled we invited Tom and Eileen over to play Mexican Train and have pizza.  Ted noticed a leak under the truck and we were hoping it was a hose.  We took it to the Ford dealer the next day.  Eileen and I put cardboard and two cups underneath, while the guys went to pick up the pizza, to keep the anti-freeze off the driveway.

Friday was Inauguration Day!  We joined a houseful of like minded folks and attended a party to watch the festivities.  There was absolute quiet for an entire hour and then loud whoops and cheers when it was over.  Dave made the most outstanding brisket!  After a light lunch we returned home.  Late in the afternoon the four of us met Dave and Karen at Willie's BBQ for dinner and then headed out to see The Redhead Express.  Over the last 10 years we have watched this group go from performing in the small clubhouse of Bentsen Palms to the crowd of close to 1,000 in the ballroom of Victoria Palms.  We took Meghan her dark chocolate, courtesy of our redhead, Morgan, who she met last summer in Pueblo CO and again this fall in Ann Arbor.  

Ted had taken our truck into Spikes Ford and $600 later, picked it up with a hose and another hose assembly fixed on Saturday morning.  There was a gun swap meet at our clubhouse he went to and then he, Tom and Niles went to the McAllen Convention Center to a gun show.  Surpringly nothing new showed up here!

After church we tried a new Mexican restaurant.  I estimate 75% of restaurants down here can be classified as such.  I perused TripAdvisor and Yelp before deciding to try El Patio.  The food we ordered was really good but the chicken fingers and burgers going by indicated we needed to come back a couple more times!  It is certainly a keeper!

From there we went to see John Sager.  He is a terrific singer, great entertainer and you just cannot not have a good time.  He has a lot of audience interaction and the audience Ioves it.  Bruce, Ted and I all got harassed a bit, but all in good fun.

The time is flying by.  We are hoping the folks that said they will visit in February are able to make it down.  If they all come, most of the month is filled!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Week Two

Monday we headed to Walmart to get a new water filter.  Our pressure was low so Ted also took off the regulator and now it is flowing better.  We also stopped to have one of our propane tanks filled because it ran out with the furnace running for 3 days solid.  It automatically switches to the other one so Ted always fills one up as soon as it empties. There was a Hangin' on Hummingbird get together but we opted not to go. We had chicken soup I got out of the freezer for dinner and then watched The Bachelor.

Tuesday was way busier than Monday.  Eileen and I went to yoga at 9:00 and the class is ramping up!  I was pretty tired after class but did hang in on the "plank."  I stayed up until 190 on a count of 240. My goal is to hold it the entire time but I have a lot of time to accomplish that.  I had to return home in time to dress for lunch.  There were about 24 of us attending.  It was a high end restaurant but the menu was very limited, there was one server for 24 people but we went with the flow and made the best of it.  The food was very good.  

It was past 2:00 when I arrived back and headed to the clubhouse for Mah Jongg and the three ladies acting as helpers started a new table when I came.  We played 3 or 4 games so our speed is increasing.  I got a Mah Jongg only to learn the two pairs I had have to be natural and not with jokers.  Still learning!

The weather was perfect and it looks good for the rest of the week.   

Wednesday we headed north to get tickets for Goldwing Express and John Sager.  We already have our Oak Ridge Boys and Redhead Express tickets.  Our weekends will be busy!  We stopped at Walmart to get my Swedish weaving material and yarn.  Since Ted was going to Tactical Shooting where they eat before, we stopped at McDonald's so we didn't need dinner.  We ran into Barb and Sherman and joined them at their table.  We had a nice visit!

Upon our return I took two loads of laundry to do while Ted met Don and Dave to shoot skeet.  We both came home and he went across the street in the middle of putting his gun things away.  I kept watching his bag on the patio table knowing full well he had walked across the street.  He claimed he told me he was going to help Mark make some shelves or something but that I would have remembered!!  He left eventually for tactical shooting.  Seems he came in second for the evening.  I had an evening to myself.

Thursday is breakfast day and I picked up Joanne at 8:15.  Only 8 ladies came to the restaurant and I got back just as yoga was breaking up.  We went grocery shopping and then played a game of Mexican Train in the afternoon with Tom and Eileen.  Ted won!  We spent the evening watching TV.

Friday we intended to go to the pool patio for a Wine and Cheese party but I was tired and we opted not to go.  I was into a book and preferred staying home to finish it.  

We were busy on Saturday.  First up was the Don-Wes flea market where I bought some cards I needed and cinnamon sugar at the spice booth.  Ted bought grapefruits and oranges.  We stopped at Chik Fil A for lunch.  We went to church at 4:00, had dinner at Applebee's then went to see the Goldwing Express.  They are a great group.  We really enjoyed the show and were so happy to hear they are joining Dixie Stampede in Branson.  The only touring they will do is 5-6 weeks here in the valley.

Sunday while Ted went with John, Dave and Don to the Mission Trap and Skeet club, Eileen and I went to our clubhouse to play Mah Jongg.  We only played two games because Laura has a hard time making decisions.  But I had a Mah Jongg on the second game and it was good, no mistakes!  Success!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Yikes! What Happened?

Thursday was a bit cooler but we are in for a huge change!  I drove to the ladies breakfast and about 18 neighbor's were there.  This restaurant also has a bakery but I resisted the temptation to bring something home.  Lorraine who lives three lots down from us chose to ride home with me and we made arrangements to ride together next week.

We picked Tom and Eileen up at 11:00 and drove to the bridge to Mexico.  We walked over to Progreso and the weather was nice.  Ted went ahead to get his pedicure while I bought the medicines I needed.  I couldn't remember the dosage of his eyedrops so didn't get them.  The three of us walked on down to the salon where Ted was almost done so we went next door to Renee's and again I resisted those pastries and just had a Light Coke (must be a Mexican thing because I have never seen them here).  Ted came in shortly and had coffee AND a pastry.

From there we wandered down the street stopping here and there.  Eileen bought a frog wind chime and eventually we made our way to the leather shop where they bought Ira two belts he had requested.  We made our way back towards the bridge and stopped at Jessica's where we bought Ted's eyedrops and Eileen bought some Retin A.  With our receipts we went into the bar for our free margaritas.  The live music stopped at 2:00 and it was 2:30 so no entertainment or dancing that day.  With our bags in tow we made our way through Customs and back across the bridge to the U.S. side.

We decided to have an early dinner and it was a bit before 4:00 when we arrived at Cheddar's.  Once it gets to be 5:00, the wait to get in can be long.  I had soup, salad and half a sandwich but I brought half of the half-sandwich home and ate it for lunch the next day.

Friday it turned COLD!  I turned the fireplace on when I got up but it said the temperature was going to keep dropping so I eventually turned the fireplace off and the furnace on.  Eileen picked me up and we went to the clubhouse to play Mah Jongg.  The first hand I didn't even get close but the second hand I was in great shape with a 4 dragon run complete and a 4 number run to go with it complete.  I had one more joker so it gave me leeway in how I was going to finish my hand ... and they announced it was 4:00 and we were stopping!  Bummer!

After dinner we went next door to hear the Williamson Branch, a family group.  They were okay but I don't think I would go see them again.  There are much better shows to see.  

Overnight was REALLY COLD and it got down to 27!  We left the furnace on, turned our 3 holding tank heaters on, used a second blanket, dropped the hose off the spigot and filled a gallon of water for flushing the toilet.  Morning came with sunshine but windy and the temp started creeping up.  We stayed in until 3:15 when Tom and Eileen picked us up for church.  Afterwards we went to Taco Ole for dinner.  

They dropped us off to get our change to go play card bingo.  In 13 years I have never had such an irritating night playing this game.  Volunteers are callers but this guy was terrible.  Everyone kept asking him to repeat and Ted constantly had to tell the four people at the end of the table what was called.  To make matters worse there was a guy bantering with the caller and he kept announcing if he had the card called.  I finally said loud enough for him to hear "we don't care!" and he shut up.  We are busy the next two Saturday nights so maybe they will get it squared away.  There were lots of unhappy people besides us.  It was warmer when we came out and is heading back up to the 80s in a few days.

Sunday was cloudy but warmer.  Ted met Don and Dave at Mission Skeet and Trap Club to shoot a few rounds of skeet.  I did my paperwork paying our Estimated Taxes, flood insurance, deposited a check using my IPad and then balancing my checkbook.  At 2:00 Eileen, Sue and I went up to the clubhouse for Mah Jongg.  We all are learning quickly but our play is slow as we wrestle with all the variables in this game.  I won one of three games and was one tile away from winning a second.

Ted had gone to the grocery and bought a roasting chicken so we took another shot at using the new digital pressure cooker.  It turned out really good and we are both learning a lot about its use.  I am not sure how much more this old brain can learn!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Such Warm Weather

After reaching 93 degrees on Monday, I figured shorts were the order of the day on Tuesday.  But yoga was at 9:00 so I settled on Capri pants.  I like this instructor's routine more than last year.  It seems more encompassing with lots of stretching versus some awkward poses.  I didn't bring my mat since the old instructor left for Florida so I was ill prepared when this opportunity came up.  Eileen and I both took beach towels.  That worked ok until we had to do the plank.  The towel kept slipping and I couldn't stay in position.  It is hard enough to hold but to be slipping besides just doesn't work.  I will buy a new mat today!

Ted was not home when I returned.  He was running the clay bird shooting down at the range.  Bonnie stopped by to "get the gun range stuff" out of our coach house.  Niles, Mark and Ted arrived right after her arrival.  I told them the stuff wasn't bothering anything.  Ted had his stuff stored, I had my two card tables set up with a tablecloth on them and six chairs around so we can eat or play games and Ted can do his gun thing and there is a coffee table in the corner that actually belongs in the furnished coach house next door but they don't want it in there.  So I covered it top and bottom and said this is my spot for bags when I buy things.  We all agreed we had the space we needed and all was good.  Ted ran his big spotlight and hung it from a rafter so we have light in there.  I don't know if the owners know people store stuff in there or not!

We were supposed to be across the street at Mark's this year with a finished coach house but they decided to use it themselves so we are back across the street where we were last year.  He did bring over a patio set for us to use which is really nice to have.  Ted put our rug down, Bonnie added her big umbrella and we are all set!  Cooperation at its finest!

At 2:00 it was time to go to a mahjong introduction.  I have tried to play this game several times and never really "got" it.  Roseanne explained things really well, her handouts made sense and with the little I remembered I didn't get lost while four of us played a practice hand with her husband as our coach.  I switched the "hand" I was attempting to play three times and in the end was victorious and mahjonged!!  I will attempt to hang with it since it is played at home by many ladies.

Monday night we had returned my new pressure cooker to Walmart because a gasket was missing and got a different one.  I made a meatloaf and we tried to cook it and everything seemed to be going as planned and then I got an E3 display.  Of course there is no explanation of this error message so I unplugged it, let the steam disperse, checked everything again and the same thing happened.  We called the hotline and they said it means it is defective, take it back to where we bought it.  I don't think I will replace it.  I could have baked that meatloaf twice in the time we spent messing with it.  

Today was much cooler and I put on jeans and a 3/4 sleeve shirt.  Ted went to the Skeet Club (which is different from our gun range) with Dave and I went to pick something up at the shopping plaza, had my nails done and then stopped to buy some greeting cards.  I go through a lot of them!

Ted had taken our pressure cooker back as instructed and bought a Farberware one.  I was ready to give up but he likes to try different cooking methods and loves soup so we gave it another shot.  These instructions made better sense and we were able to cook our meatloaf in 30 minutes.  I think if it was frozen and you could cook it in 40 minutes it would be handier.  They tell me it can do that so we'll see.

Wednesday night is tactical shooting and Ted went but I didn't.  While he was gone I was notified that the deputy shot in Lancaster County KY was my cousin David's son, Colby.  He was shot in the arm twice and it was not life threatening.  However, when one person is dead and the other airlifted to the hospital and that is all you know, it is definitely scary.  We have lots of first responders - fire, police, EMT, etc. in my family.  I worry about them all.  Praise God for this recent outcome.