Monday, January 29, 2018

A Week Off Before More Company

On Sunday Ted took John to Mission Skeet Club and met up with a half dozen others to shoot skeet. When they came back we went to the Riverside Club on the Rio Grande for lunch and then headed east to show them what else is around here.  We visited Victoria Palms and while getting out of my car I slipped off the running board, twisted my ankle and down I went.  I broke my own rule "Stay Upright."

I skinned my elbow which wasn't bad but my ankle puffed up pretty good.  When we got home I iced it and on Monday I stayed off it and kept the ice on it.  It didn't really hurt except a little when I came down stairs.  Going up "toddler style" was no problem.  If it didn't go down by Tuesday I planned to go to Urgent Care for an X-ray though I thought it was just a sprain.  

Ted fixed dinner making chicken tenderloins and French fries in our new Farberware air fryer.  Before I took my spill we had gone to the Mexican flea market and bought it for $25.  Apparently they buy Service Center returns.  I don't know if the Center refurbishes them or just passes them along with notations of what was reported as being wrong.  The first one we had them plug in and it didn't work.  The second one had a basket a little hard to get out at first but it worked fine once you knew there was a lever to push.  All the notation said was "Doesn't work."   We plugged it in and it passed the test! The food was awesome with no grease and easiest clean up ever!  That and my Instant Pot are revolutionizing the kitchen.  

Tuesday I kept my foot up and iced it with great results.  When the time came for mahjong I was able to walk to the clubhouse with no problem.  Later in the evening we headed to Greengate Grove park to see Goldwing Express.  They are here for just six weeks because the rest of the year they work in Branson, MO at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and The Baldnobber's show.  Texas Boomers from Missouri recognized us and came over to say hello.  What great memories these folks have!  The show was great and we took some chances on a beautiful quilt.  It would work well in the RV.

Ted shot in a competition on Wednesday.  He tied with a fellow who then bought a second sheet and tried a second time, beating Ted.  Whoever heard of giving a Mulligan in shooting?  

 I chose to work on my Swedish weaving.  Beverly came over after mahjong and helped me get back on track.  I have ripped out more yarn than I have left in!  We went to Sam's, had dinner and then watched TV.

Ted's brother Tom and my brother-in-law Ron both had surgeries on the 31st.  Preliminarily they have both been given a thumbs up.  We pray things stay that way.

Thursday Ted went shooting at Mission Skeet Range and Sue and I took off.  I ended up replacing the blanket on our bed.  The old one was one of those thermal loose weave ones and it kept growing!  It was dragging the floor on both sides!  Sue found a pair of pillows for her couch.  We stopped at Chick Fil A for lunch and had a nice, long conversation before heading home.  

Tom called from Phoenix saying he was home and feeling fine.  Ron's daughter said he was feeling pretty good that day too though he was still in the hospital.  Ted fixed dinner and we went for a DQ ice cream and watched TV in the evening.

I played mahjong on Friday and had two mahjongs but should have had three.  I had to change hands when my 8 Dot went dead and lost my concentration.  I was late on a call for a tile, threw away a tile I needed then threw a tile I could have changed for a joker.  I told them I didn't deserve to win that game and they agreed! 

That evening we went to Bentsen Grove for a dance, there were about 40 or so from our park in attendance.  Ted calls it American Bandstand For Old Folks!  Everyone had a good time.

I was up early Saturday to make my homework, apple crisp.  We had to make something using the slow cooker setting on the instant pot.  I didn't want to get up at 2 am so used a recipe that only took 3 hours.  All in all, once I had it all together, I wondered why anyone wouldn't just put it in the oven for one hour instead of 3 hours in the slow cooker.  

We went to Mass, grabbed a pizza on the way home and eventually went to the clubhouse to play Card Bingo.  We are not allowed to go next door to play anymore so the social committee decided to do our own.  They weren't sure how well it would be attended.  The count was 92 people.

We went on time which translates to "you are on time so you are late and most seats are taken" in old folk language.  But it was a success, I had a good night winning two games for a total of about $25.  They only play 11 games so winning twice was something.  The first game I had to split with Bonnie but I was the only winner in the second.

Our company is arriving Monday so I have laundry and other things to do on Sunday to get ready.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Well it Is Wednesday

I have had a week of Sundays!  Every day has felt like Sunday ... since Sunday!  Tuesday night I was wondering why the stock market had been open!  I seldom know the date but usually know what day it is!  So today is Wednesday.  I am going shopping this morning, grouting my table this afternoon and to another park for a show this evening.  And tomorrow will be Thursday.  Got it!

Monday we joined a large group (54) of our neighbors for lunch at the Republic of the Rio Grande restaurant.  It was a lively group and the restaurant did a decent job of serving everyone.  Ted did not get his Diet Coke and as I looked down the long table I saw no one had a drink other than water.  What are the odds no one had ordered a drink?  Oh well, water is better for you anyway.  

I am usually up by 7:00 but on Tuesday, when I had a 9:00 o'clock meeting, my 8:00 o'clock medicine alarm on my phone woke me!  I had to start getting ready.  All the fashion show models were meeting with the ladies in charge for directions on where and when to go for choosing outfits, where we will dress that day, where we will walk, how to display points of the outfit as it is described, etc.  Echo, Belinda and I are assigned to 10:30 am at Lionel's in Weslaco, a western wear store.  Good thing I brought my boots with me!

Ted was shooting and then gave instructions on shotguns to a couple who had requested his help.  They were rained out last week.  By the time he came home I was going out the door to play mahjong.  His afternoon errand was to pick up three prescriptions at Walmart, two for me and one for him.  Before I made it home he was back at the gun range and had a bobcat sighting.  I ate a salad for dinner and he fixed a couple grilled cheese sandwiches for himself.  It was a real in and out day!

Eileen and I went shopping for a bit on Wednesday morning but I had to grout my table at 1:00 so we only hit two stores.  When I returned I grouted my table which didn't take too long.  For dinner we went to Souper Salad! with Tom and Eileen followed by a show Timeless Treasures, a one man show singing all the hits of the past.  He was okay but I wouldn't run out and see him again anytime soon.  

Thursday I met some neighbors for lunch and then hurried home to seal my table. Such a time commitment for one little patio table.  Here is my finished product.

It was cool and drizzly and we stayed in the rest of the afternoon.  After dinner we played another game of Mexican Train in the coach house.  

Friday was mahjong again and a trip to London Grille for dinner where we all had some of the best BBQ yet.  I had turkey but the others had beef and pork.  London??

I had to make my bread pudding for cooking class and I also included vanilla sauce that got too thick but we spooned it out anyway.  Next week's assignment is to make something in the Instant Pot using the slow cooker setting.  

John and Vivienne arrived just as I came out of the clubhouse so we gave them the grand tour (they were very impressed) and drove to the gun range and the palapa on the river.  Two Texas patrol boats had pulled in and we talked to them about what else, the guns.  Our company was excited to see Mexico on the other side of the river.  Before we left I gave them 7 bowls, 7 spoons and 7 napkins and the rest of the bread pudding.

We went to church with Tom and Eileen and had to fight the traffic caused by the Citrus Fiesta Parade. Just as we tried to leave after Mass there were floats, horse trailers, school buses, etc. attempting to get their passengers at the end of the route which happens to be near the church.  We finally made it to Cracker Barrel and met up with John and Vivienne.  After dinner we said a final farewell to Tom and Eileen who pulled out this morning.  The four of us went on to see Southern Anthem at Bluebonnet park.  This young man who plays a mean fiddle pulled me from the audience to take me on stage to serenade me.  When Ted was fussing around trying to take this photo I told him "These old people take so long taking a photo."  He said "I understand!"  LOLOLOL

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hoping This Cold Weather Goes Away!

This global warming stuff has got to stop.  It was not only icy down here, there was snow and ice at home again!  We were using the tower heater, fireplace and the furnace to stay warm.  We have only filled one bottle of propane but I am sure the next candidate is coming up soon.  I warned our "landlord" the electric bill will be a doozy but just send me the amount.  It is what it is.

I finished the stained glass part of my table on Wednesday.  The yellow and green were larger easy pieces following a pattern.  The center brown pieces were small and free hand.  That took a long time. I was the last one done and sort of rushed those last few pieces because the quilters were coming in to use the craft room.  Next week we grout and seal.

Thursday I spent the morning with Sue and Dortha.  We stopped at the shoe repair since the ticket said Thursday but Ted's wouldn't be ready until 5 pm so we will have to make another trip.  We ended up having lunch at Pollo Loco (Crazy Chicken) which was ok but I liked Cowboy Chicken better.  I made some calls to family members to check up on my brother-in-law and to inform them I had received word our cousin Wayne had died.  He was 78 and had battled a brain tumor for some time.  He now will rest in peace.

Friday was more of the same weatherwise but they said the weekend would start normal temps again.  I sure hoped so.  Ted had errands to run so I took advantage of his absence to do some cleaning.  There isn't a lot of room to clean but there is a lot of bending and reaching to get to all the nooks and crannies.  Ted had stopped for his shoes and then had to return in one hour, four trips to finally get his shoes!

We had leftover bean soup from the freezer for dinner and then played Mexican Train in the coach house again.  I cannot get a break playing.  I pick up every large number out there when I don't have a play.  

Saturday dawned foggy and a few showers.  Ted went to the Gun Garage Sale at the clubhouse.  I think there were more sellers than buyers though.  I went to my Instant Pot cooking class and agreed to the assignment next week of making bread pudding!  Wish me luck.  I will practice a time or two before then.

While waiting to be picked up for church I got my Swedish weaving out and finally figured out the area I was stuck on.  I can't ask Beverly to help me finish the edges if I don't have the weaving done!  

Fr. Roy was in fine form again and we enjoyed his homily as always.  From there we went to Ranch House Burgers for dinner, the best place for burgers.  I ordered the kids' burger though, the others are too big! 

Then it was off to the Jason Coleman show, grandson of Floyd Cramer, one of the best piano players ever to accompany musicians on recordings.  He invented the "slip note" bringing the harmony sound to the piano.  His grandson certainly inherited the music gene.  His grandfather's history starting with Louisiana Hayride out of Shreveport in the 50s to his successful move to Nashville was all part of the show interspersed with well known recordings we all recognized.  It is mind boggling to see someone play so beautifully without a single piece of paper in front of him.  All in all, a wonderful evening of entertainment. 

Sunday Ted went shooting and sold one of his shotguns!  He gave me an envelope filled with money.  We probably won't need to go to the bank for the rest of the time we are down here.  I went to the Clubhouse and played mahjong.  

I had gotten a frozen package of cubed beef out and when I returned I made what our Instant Pot teacher calls dump soup.  Just put in whatever you have, fresh or frozen.  We floured the beef and then browned it.  I sprinkled an envelope of onion soup, then a can of diced tomatoes, a cup of water, three peeled potatoes, 1/3 of a package of frozen pearl onions and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.  We set it on Soup/Stew and once it built pressure it counted down 35 minutes and stopped.  We let the pressure release naturally and then enjoyed some really good vegetable beef soup.  It was all cooked in the one pot so clean up was a snap!

Ted watched the playoff games and I find it ironic that the Eagles and Patriots will represent our nation in the Super Bowl.  Two beautiful symbols of our freedom that the NFL has allowed to be sullied all year.  I have no interest in the games but respect others' rights to watch or not.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Losing More Time

I last wrote on Wednesday and it is now Sunday.  Thursday we both got desperately needed haircuts.  We have been going to Carmen for several years but she was on vacation this week so we used Letty who did an excellent job.  That evening we played Mexican Train in our coach house because it was too cool to sit outside and too crowded inside the RV.  It is winterized so we don't use the bathroom or washer/dryer but we are permitted to put our excess "stuff" inside.  So we put a card table up and used two small chairs and brought in our two.  I still haven't won at Mexican Train.

Friday we played Mahjong again.  In the meantime Ted has been shooting every day, the reason he likes this park and area so much. I attended my Instant Pot cooking class Saturday, we attended Mass, went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and then to see Murder on the Orient Express with Tom and Eileen.  Our tickets were $2.44 each!  

Lots of football this week and Ted talking to the TV but I am used to that.  I have to admit some games have had exciting ends!  Eileen and I played Mahjong in the afternoon and then I watched the Vikings/Saints game with Ted.  I had no horse in the race so I didn't care who won.  But what a finish!!  

Our granddaughter Morgan and Kara's husband Bill will be Confirmed this Spring in Michigan,   They had to do an outreach program over the weekend and were at a nursing home.  My grandson, Sam, along to make it a family event, helped Miss Davis play bingo and win a bag of chips and a lottery ticket.  She held his hand the entire time.  Such a sweet picture.  

Monday I was planning to go to my Swedish weaving class but instead we went to find a shoe repair store and then made a stop at HEB.  Not exciting but it was nice to just spend unhurried time together.  We go in so many different directions so much of the time.

Tuesday dawned cold with a bit of freezing rain.  Shooting was out so we donned our down jackets and joined Tom and Eileen at the Texas Expo at McAllen's convention center.  I think everyone had the same thought because it was so crowded.  We heard some great entertainment, picked up lots of info and a zillion handouts - eyeglass wipes, key chains, toothpaste, pill boxes, lots and lots of pens, etc.  We got a few bigger items too.  Each of us received a window shade cover for our vehicles (for when normal Texas weather returns), a 6 pack cooler plus an HEB coupon book with great coupons, the kind you can use - $2 each off eggs, milk, meat, fruit, etc.  Eileen won a door prize (again!).  Last year was a Sleep Number pillow, this year a decorative metal container but I am not sure what all was in it.  I remain in zero territory not only in Mexican Train but door prizes too!  Collectively we won a double cheeseburger, chili cheese hot dog, a sundae plus a $2 coupon for Star's Drive-In restaurant.  We'll go there when the weather is better.  For fun we had our photo taken!

We received a B1G1F coupon for Cowboy Chicken, a place I have wanted to try.  After showing Eileen where the shoe repair was and dropping off her shoes, we headed to the restaurant.  Great rotisserie chicken and fresh vegetables.  And a first - a sink in the restaurant to wash and dry your hands!  It was getting colder by the minute and the wet was going to turn to ice before too long so we headed home.

Ted had leftover meatloaf for dinner, I just had a yogurt and some crackers.  It was icy outside so everyone stayed put. Eileen sent a photo of the chicken soup they made with their lunch leftovers.

Just another week, albeit a cold one, in the valley!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Back In The Valley Again

On Friday we made plans to go to Mexico.  I have lists from Kara and Carol of meds they want.  I bought a leather pouch with high end colored pencils from an artist here for Morgan and I found a gift for Carol's birthday.  I figured it was best to get their things, put in the gifts and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, at the post office.

Our first stop was at Almost Free Pharmacy where I got 3 of Carol's 4 items and checked prices on other things we needed.  Next was the dentist where Eileen made an appointment.  In the meantime Ted went to get his first annual pedicure.  His second will be in March before we leave.  For some reason he will not get one in the US.  

Eileen, Tom and I made our way down to where he was and then went to Pancho's for a margarita before heading to Jessica's for the rest of our meds.  

Carol's 4th item was going to take a bit to get so we were invited to have a free margarita in the restaurant while we waited.  We had our free drinks, lunch (four longches for me for $5), free soup, and a free cut up cinnamon roll for dessert.  When we went back to the pharmacy, our pile was waiting - Carol's 4th item, Kara's 2 items and the things we needed.

We made our way through the vendors and across the bridge to Customs.  We claimed our items (less than 3 months' supply) and headed to the car.  We came home after being gone 6 hours!  It was close to dinner time but we weren't hungry!

On Saturday we returned to BB&B for Eileen to return something and I decided to buy the cloth Christmas napkins I had passed on.  I actually got two sets, 8 of the ones I wanted 12 of (but there were no longer 12) and 16 of another to cover a bigger crowd when necessary.  I also bought two copper grilling mats for Ted.  Eileen has a plethora of coupons and with them and the 70% after Christmas discounts I saved almost $75!

Then we stopped at HEB because I was buying that birthday gift inside their boutique.  Only another Texan will think nothing of that!  Eileen wanted to stop at Bath & Body Works too.  We finally made it home and I had only 5 minutes to get to my Instant Pot cooking class.  After class I had a bit of time before going to church.  We learned poor Nacho the llama passed away this summer.  He has been replaced by Philomena.  She played the part of the camel who came with the Magi in the gospel presentation. She even knelt at the part where it says they "prostrated themselves before the child." Her only problem now is she is scared to death of the dogs. They had to all be cleared out of church so she wouldn't be swinging from a ceiling fan if she saw one! 

We had dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse before coming home.  I left my phone in Tom's car but I called it using Ted's phone and they turned right around and brought it back!  

Sunday was an open house here in the Village.  I promised Kathy I would gladly show the coach house for her.  There was moderate attendance but everyone commented this coach house was one of the best ones they had seen.  A real interested party would certainly consider it.  I hope she receives some calls!  She did note on the handout that the property was rented until 4/1/18 which we appreciated.  Don't want our spot pulled out from us!

Ted had gone to Coyote Shooting Range with 6 other fellows to shoot Sporting Clays.  He was really hungry when he returned and suggested we use our Cracker Barrel gift card and bake the meatloaf on Monday! 

Well here it is Thursday and I have lost three days!  There was ladies lunch on Monday when I drove Judy and Tanya to the restaurant.  I played Mahjong on Tuesday after mailing our packages off and attended my Sunflower stained glass patio table class on Wednesday.  I finally was able to sit down next door with Marilyn and have a nice chat.  Then we went to Bar B Cuties for dinner with Tom and Eileen.  

Such is life in the valley!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Alone Again

The house seemed so empty on Saturday morning so I said "good morning" to Alexa and she answered me.  On Christmas she sang but that day she just greeted me.

Ted was going shooting and I needed to get things ready for loading the RV on Sunday.  But first I put all my appliances to work.  Roomba vacuumed the whole house, the dishwasher was doing the dishes and the washer was doing our bedclothes so we would come home to a clean bed when we returned. I was gathering all the paperwork and financial stuff I would need.  I will still need to do the Communucations for bunco, neighborhood ladies luncheon and the nursing home Valentine's party while gone.

Next up were my clothes.  With this crazy weather I needed to cover all the bases.  Too many years I had warm or cool clothes, this year I have both!

We went to church and then out to dinner with Terry and Carol before heading home. On Sunday Ted left to pull the trailer to the campground while I started packing the food.  When he called I filled my car and took all the pantry, refrigerator and freezer items over.  Then we went back for the clothes.  I stayed inside the trailer while Ted handed things to me so I didn't have to go up and down the steps and start my back acting up again.  It was doing pretty good and I wanted to keep it that way.

In the afternoon our next door neighbor drove over to see the RV.  He is from Israel and was curious.  He proclaimed it a land yacht and seemed to be very impressed.  We had a nice visit with him before he left with the promise to put our garbage cans out this week.  We both have remote openers so we can get into and out of the garages for that reason.  

We were tired and hungry by then but I was in no mood to get cleaned up so we had our New Year's Eve dinner in McDonald's attached to the Shell gas station.  With the bright lights inside and the empty restaurant and dark night outside, I told Ted I felt like a character in the Boulevard of Broken Dreams painting.  We came home, turned the fireplace and furnace on and spent a quiet evening.  I went to bed at 11.  I was awakened by fireworks at midnight but just turned over and went back to sleep.

We pulled out a little before 9:00 and drove to Mission, arriving about 3:30.  To save Ted a half hour of jockeying the trailer back and forth, Niles, a semi truck driver, put it in with no trouble.  Palm trees and planters and a 90 degree angle can be a real nemesis for some!  Niles would rather just do it than direct Ted.  

It was bitter cold and I wanted to get inside.  The electric cord was in my car so was pliable but the hoses were not!  I had to go out and hold ends while Ted got them connected.  It wasn't long and we were settled.  Tom and Eileen, our neighbors from the last time we lived in Florida, arrived next door the day before,  so we picked them up and took them to LaPatio where we enjoyed dinner and the GA/OK game.  What a nail biter end!

It was a quiet night and we were comfy and warm when we went off to bed.

Tuesday Ted attended the rifle meeting and I went to get my nails done.  In the afternoon, Sandy and Rusty came over for a visit.  It was cold and rainy so we just hunkered down inside.  

Wednesday Ted attended a presentation on what to do if you witness a gunshot and need to render aid.  He even received a certificate.  I straightened up, got dressed and went next door to play Mah Jongg.  I had put our Christmas dinner ham in the crockpot with great northern beans and that's what we were having for dinner along with cornbread.  But first I was invited next door to visit with my two neighbors to our right.  Ted chose to go to the left and and visit Marilyn and Ed.  With the lousy cold, wet weather, we haven't said hello to too many people yet.  But we had sun today and mid-40s so those suffering cabin fever started coming out.

After our tasty dinner we watched Amazing Race and then what the kids call "Daddy's dead people shows."  We were hoping the predicted weather improvement was really coming.

Thursday dawned sunny and warmer.  It was a vast improvement over the past two weeks.  Mimi and I picked up Coco and Dale to meet the group for breakfast.  There were about a dozen ladies present and I know them all.  It was a great time catching up.  

When I returned home I called Eileen to see if they wanted to run errands with us.  We stopped for gas and then hit Bed, Bath and Beyond to exchange a present, buy new salt & pepper shakers since I broke mine that match my new dishes.  Our can opener wasn't working right so we bought a new one and replaced a rug in the RV kitchen.  Next we deposited a check at Wells Fargo.  Then we went home and played a game of Mexican Train at the table outside.  

When they left for home we came in and had leftovers for dinner.  Another great day in the valley!