Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Getting Behind

I think my Error 400 may involve my Safari not being updated.  This I-Pad will not support the higher versions and now my banks are saying they are moving up and I need to download the new app.  I am in a pickle on so many levels.  First, there is no Apple Store here.  I know I can buy elsewhere but I have a few things I need help with.  When I changed my email address which was my Apple ID, the old one remained somewhere.  It keeps asking for me to connect to ITunes on the old ID.  But that password won't work and when I try to change it they say there is no Apple ID named that!  A vicious circle.  So I can't update to higher versions anyway and I can't connect to the App Store to update my games and things that don't need the higher ISO versions.  Yikes!  So just realize I am doing the best I can.

Monday I spent the day shopping and having lunch with Trudy.  We hit Macy's, Chico's and then drove to Wells where I bought some things and picked out what I want to wear in the fashion show.  Leah, the owner, has final say but we get to have a say too.  I will take Marilyn and Karmen over next Saturday and we will make our final selections.  It is not just clothes but hats, scarves, jewelry and shoes!  Quite a production from three different stores.

I played Mahjong on Tuesday but did not win any games.  We were invited to Bonnie's for dinner so before I left for Mahjong I peeled sweet potatoes, put them in the baking dish, got the dry ingredients together in one dish and the wet in another.  I left instructions for Ted to put it all together and how to put it in the convection oven and when.  It was cooking away when I arrived home.  

We had a nice meal and evening.  I spent most of the night talking to Pat and Kathy.  My sweet potato dish was just about empty.  We think they were a hit.

I attended an Instant Pot class on Wednesday.  It was soups and stews, something I am pretty well versed in, but it was enjoyable talking to those who are new or are thinking about buying one.  We finished with a delicious vegetable soup, made from scratch with fresh vegetables, in 30 minutes.  When I got back home Ted and I headed to HEB to get what I needed to make my finger foods for the fashion show.  It was cold and rainy as the day went on so we just hunkered down inside for the evening.  

Thursday dawned cool and rainy.  I picked Cathy and Gayle up for breakfast with 7 other ladies.  I had a vegetable omelette and an English muffin and it was still less than that plain omelet from two weeks ago!  When I returned, Ted suggested we go to Mexico to pick up some more of the meds we need to get for him and some others.  It stopped raining so we had a good time walking around to various drugstores finding the best prices.  We had coffee at Renee's and a margarita at Jessica's while they got our order together.  

I was really tired so I took a nap when we got home.  Since it was still cool out, we just stayed in.  On Friday all I did was play Mahjong.  Still no wins!

Saturday I returned to Wells with Karmen and Marilyn.  It took the three of us three hours to pick out two outfits each. I had my casual one (top and bottom) picked out but then had sunglasses, earrings, necklace, purse and shoes added to it!  I tried on a zillion dresses but apparently they weren't on the list to be worn!  Finally we agreed on a long skirt in dark blue and green, a white tank top with a lace blouse over it.  Earrings, necklace and shoes were added.  I bought one of the dresses anyway!  

We had gone at 10 am so by the time we left we were thirsty and hungry so we stopped at Bubba's since none of us had been there.  There were 15 TVs in the bar area, loud music, but good food.  They let me order the kid's burger plate!  I arrived home in time to get ready for church.  Ted grabbed a Subway on the way home since I wasn't hungry and then we went to the clubhouse to set up for card bingo.  It was Ted's turn to call!  I had rotten cards all night and didn't even get close but then won the last game and won $20!  

Back at y'all after the Super Bowl!  

Friday, January 25, 2019

I Hate Not Posting Photos!

I am once again unable to post photos - but I am not alone!  After deleting history, clearing cookies, etc. I found a huge help page with everyone complaining about the Error 400 we are receiving.  Other than switching to WordPress not much else was suggested.  But many suggestions were given to Google so just maybe I can wait this out and hope they fix their end.

We have been a bit busy so I am losing track of days!  We played Mexican Train one night with Tom and Eileen, we went to Cheddar's to eat and then went to see The Redhead Express, a family group we have followed since 2007, on Monday.  We also saw them in Pueblo CO and Plant City FL.  Kara's family saw them in Ann Arbor MI.  We sure enjoy visiting with them before the show.  

Tuesday we had a Fashion Show baker's meeting to decide who was bringing what and how much then followed up with a DOG lunch. ( DRV Owners Group - our brand of RV).  Our Texas Boomers RV club wagonmasters organized it, Dale and Donna who we parked next to at Bentsen Palm years ago were there and John and Diana, also from the crowd at Bentsen Palm, attended.  The 8 of us sat together and had a terrific time.   

We spent a chilly day Wednesday at the DonWes flea market gathering info and photos.  My Forum class of 2009 is responsible for two gift baskets on the silent auction table at our March gala.  There is no better place to look than the game booths at the flea market.  I bought some ground nutmeg at the spice booth to take home.  Then I bought a summer sausage and cheddar cheese spread to keep on hand for those impromptu last minute gatherings.  I sent the game info off to the basket chairladies and await their thoughts on what they want to include!  We played Mexican Train again and I won!  We all have trouble beating Tom!

Thursday was our breakfast again.  Different restaurant $6.40 for plain omelet, toast  and coffee versus last week's rip off.  In the afternoon we went to see an ABBA tribute show.  I had two tall people in front of me so I moved and met a new friend!  We both had a great time getting into the music while Tom, Ted and Eileen said they didn't recognize the music!  Really?  Teri and I had a selfie taken with the guitarist but it won't post.  

We stopped at Applebee's on the way home then settled in to watch A Million Little Things.  If you haven't watched it, give it a try.  However, there are many story lines and it may be hard to catch on unless you start at the beginning.  

On Friday I attended the model's meeting about what we have to do, where and when we go to get our outfits, etc.  When we were finished I popped into the card room to play mahjong.

I was running out of time to get my January WW weigh-in taken care of.  My December one was on the 19th, the day before we left for Hawaii.  So I opted to go to a 7:30 am meeting on Saturday.  I was delighted to be -.8 from my last weigh in!  I decided to stay for the meeting and was glad I did.  I met some nice ladies and stayed afterwards to continue our discussion.  Later that day we went to church with Tom and Eileen, then to El Patio for dinner, and on to see The Goldwing Express.  We really enjoyed their performance!  

Today I played mahjong and got a mahjong!  We were using Linda's brand new game and I got the first ever mahjong with it!  Since 28 ladies left for a cruise today, Ted invited 3 of the "bachelors" for dinner.  He went to the store, fixed sloppy joes, and was setting the table when I returned.  I helped him finish up with baked beans, Cole slaw, chips and peach ice cream.  They all sat in the coach house talking afterwards while I did the dishes.  We are invited to Bonnie's for dinner Tuesday to feed the "bachelors."

Our total for the Border Patrol Project was $16,800 in one week!  When the government reopened we had 23 cards left.  We will see how many approach us this week and will continue to hand them out as they are requested.  We are not collecting any more money and if cards are left we will wait until the three weeks are up and decide what to do.  If all goes well and the government remains open, they will be turned over to a food bank.  What a terrific group of people who live in these two villages next to each other.  Of course we see first hand what a hard job these agents do.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Busy Weekend

Friday was girls' day at the nail salon.  Eileen, Patricia, Vivian and I availed ourselves of a little pampering.  We were back in time to give Mahjong another try.  I got a mahjong and at least knew where I was headed on the other hands even though the tiles didn't come my way.  On Tuesday I was in left field!  The new 2019 cards come out in March and I will barely have finished learning the 2018.

Shortly after I returned, Niles knocked and told us to come over in a few minutes for a drink.  Six couples gathered under his pergola and had a good time catching up with some good natured bantering going on.  When the group broke up we took Sue and Niles to dinner for all the help they give us when we are here.  We certainly enjoy their company.

Our plan for Saturday was a trip to Mexico to show John, Vivian, Pete and Patricia the ropes on crossing the border.  Eileen and Tom went too.  

We stopped at our first pharmacy to check availability and prices.  Then we moved on to Renee's for coffee, pastries and mariachi live music.

Next up was the leather shops to order a custom holster for a specific gun John owns.  Then we all shopped along the way back to Poncho's bar for a drink before heading to Jessica's for lunch and more drug pricing.  I threw in a dance with one of the waiters!

I spent $400 on meds for three people but we are not done yet.  We will get the rest next time over.  With Trump speaking at 2:00 CST, we wanted to be back across the border before then.  But that didn't happen.  There is now a checkpoint at the boundary on the bridge to keep those without Passports from entering the USA between the boundary and Customs.  Once in, it is a different story.  Maybe everyone had the same thought about the timing, maybe it was just a busy day.  The line stretched all the way to up on the bridge.  

We drove right to church with all eight attending although only four of us attend regularly.  We all enjoyed Fr. Roy's take on the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Card bingo was starting at 6:30 so it was not too long and we were out the door again.  I won a quarter game (39 quarters) so now I have laundromat change.  As soon as the people at the end of the 
street got home, they reported the Border Patrol was in here chasing down illegal crossers.  We had seen the helicopters but they were up pretty high so we didn't realize they had detected activity.  It is a pretty common occurrence anymore.

Sunday I was under the weather.  I just stayed home and Ted went shooting.  I felt better Monday morning.

Ted was being picked up by Mark to start the distribution of about 140 $50 HEB grocery cards to give to our Border Patrol.  They are doing a thankless job without pay!  Tom suggested we do something, Ted and Niles talked and came up with the gift card idea.  By the end of the weekend they had $7000 and not all from down here!  The officers have been so grateful!  I remember the days when a late paycheck would have been a catastrophe let alone not knowing when there would be a paycheck!

It isn't much, but it is something and they all know we have their backs and appreciate their efforts.  If you want to find a group knee deep in this situation regarding a wall, these officers are definitely for it.  Ted came upon one agent and couldn't figure out what all the gyrations in the car was.  Turns out he was changing clothes after crawling around in the mud of the sugar cane fields that morning.  Like I said, right now the job is thankless.

I stayed home to get things done and was interrupted twice.  Once by Norm who was looking for Ted to go to Academy.  Norm was taking Richard who can no longer drive and I think Norm was thinking "safety in numbers."  Next was Mimi reminding me we have a bakers' meeting Tuesday morning about what finger foods we plan to prepare for the fashion show to benefit the elementary school in this area.  Last year we bought coats to have at school for when a child arrived in cold weather without one.  Recently a group went to the "ropas" to search the clothes mountain for used coats.  Many get donated because they are not needed here too frequently.  And I was put on the list to model!

Eventually I went to the laundromat and while standing at the dryer watched an elderly gentleman try to figure out how to make the dryer go.  I told him to insert the quarters, choose the upper or lower dryer buttons, push heat temp then Start.  The lady with him, who later said they help each other out so must not be married, whispered to him, "I told you someone would help us and she did!"

I am feeling so blessed down here with all the things going on that ultimately help someone.  We enjoy the shows, playing card bingo, playing mahjong, partying, etc. but volunteering and helping out makes me happiest!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Our First Week of Nine

Monday dawned a bit cool so I stayed inside.  There was vacuuming and straightening to do and I managed to get our garbage can front out.  It needed a repair to the wood and Ted arranged to take it to the wood shop.  He also went to the grocery.  We watched Outlander on my IPad since we don't have Starz and Tom and Eileen stopped by again.  They received an Instant Pot as a gift but have no idea how to use it.  I was making ribs so I told them how I would do that and gave her a Cheat Sheet on cooking times.  It was late when we finished dinner and we just settled in to watch TV.

Tuesday dawned cooler and rainy, worse than Monday!  Ted picked up our garbage cabinet front and the wood shop guy did an excellent job.  All they asked for was a donation!  He spent most of the day with Niles.  I picked up Vivian and headed to the hair salon.  She was so happy to have an appointment as soon as I arrived since this is her first time down here.  We made a stop for batteries at Dollar General before I dropped her off.  I was home just a short time before it was time for Mah Jong.  I sure am rusty and have not played much with last year's card so the hands are unfamiliar to me.  But it is all in fun and I should get better!  After dinner, Tom and Eileen asked us to go to a movie but Ted was settled in and didn't want to go back out.

I put our before-Christmas dinner ham bone in the slow cooker overnight.  Then I soaked navy beans in water overnight.  We had plans to attend the Expo on Wednesday in McAllen so I got up early, removed the ham bones and fatty lumps from the crockpot and after cooking the beans in the Instant Pot for 8 minutes, put it all together and set it to warm.  Tom and Eileen picked us up and we were able to get a good parking spot and covered a few aisles before the crowd grew.  We came home with over 10 bags, a dozen pens, magnifiers, pill boxes, glass wipes, mini flashlights, coupons, candy, T-shirts and lots of info on parks here in the valley, info on traveling to other states, scheduled entertainment, and lots of medical information and assistance.  We missed a door prize by one number!  

Tom and Eillen stopped during their walk and he helped Ted put our couch back in the "stoppers" to keep it in place.  It not only had slid out but had jumped in front of them so it took some muscle to lift it back over and into the slots.  It was probably a pot hole that sent the couch up and over the wood blocks!  

We had bean soup and cornbread for dinner followed by the Border Patrol in the neighborhood rounding up illegals.  Nine were apprehended.  Depending on their point of origin, they may be deported ... or given a court date two years out and roam freely until then.  However, there are few that return for that court date.  But no crisis here!  

I opted for the ladies breakfast Thursday morning.  When I tried to order the kiddie breakfast plate I was told I had to be under 12.  I told her I was 11.  She had no sense of humor!  My understanding has been that it is age discrimination to deny you access to something on the menu based on your age. I didn't want to make a fuss so I ordered a plain omelet which is what she brought.  And charged me $9, 50 cents more than a Hombre Omelette that had 3 vegetables, a meat, potatoes and toast!  When I questioned my bill the owner said it isn't on the menu ala carte because no one asks for it so he didn't have a price but knocked off $1.  I told him that maybe people don't ask for it because it isn't on the menu!   I should have ordered two orders of eggs all cooked together. 

Tom and Eileen came over to play Mexican Train Thursday night and twice we heard the helicopters go up.  I love people in DC and NY telling the world we have no crisis on our southern border.  Last night's TV had a report on $22.5 million of cocaine confiscated in this area as the perpetrators rammed a gate, drove into the river and then swam the rest of the way back to Mexico!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Hawaiian Photo Shoot Published Photo

This is the photo Becky chose to publish of Sam.  I had to laugh because he kept referring to that shirt as his "weed" shirt!

Home for the Weekend

We stayed up most of Thursday but did take a two hour nap in the afternoon.  We unpacked and got things put away.  Thanks to laundries at the condo and Aulani there was little laundry to do. I didn't get quite finished so I was back at it Friday.  We went to bed and got up at reasonable times.  

I stacked my clothes on the twin bed in preparation for loading the trailer.  The hard part is knowing it can be hot and cold over the time we are gone so choosing what to take is a crap shoot.  Ted picked up our mail and I attended to all of that while doing everyday chores.  Just to make me feel better I ran Rhoomba in the whole house.  At least the floors are clean!  I would get to dusting the furniture later.

By Saturday we were sleeping normal hours, had finished up our chores and did not do much of anything until time for church.  The Texans were playing terrible in the playoff game so it was easy to turn off the TV and head out.  After Mass we headed to our Mexican restaurant to eat with Terry and Carol.  

It took no time for my week to fill up.  Irene texted and asked me to go shopping with her Monday and I agreed.  I bought three spools of red and gold ribbon for her to make me three big bows I needed to replace in my Christmas decorations.  She already has them done!  Then we went to the Outlet Mall where I hit Chico's sales racks and also bought a birthday gift for my sister-in-law Carol.  We were gone a long time.

Tuesday I went to the cardiologist who gave me an A+!  She made a follow up appointment for June for an ultrasound on my left leg.  She agreed that collapsing the vein isn't necessay at this time.  I was scheduled to get a haircut but just as I pulled into the drive to drop Ted off and go, I received a call asking to move it to 10 on Wednesday.  This constant switching is getting old!  

Wednesday my hair appointment was cancelled again!  I called Becky in the valley and scheduled a haircut for Tuesday.  I will be looking elsewhere when I get back home. 

Thursday was our neighborhood lunch gathering followed later by dinner and cards at the country club for Carol's birthday.  We played 4 of our 6 rounds, had dinner, then finished the last 2 hands.  I came in second!  My dimes are in good shape.

Friday morning Ted pulled the trailer to the campground so it could be inspected for our extended warranty.  That went quickly with no problems but Ted couldn't turn the TV on and asked me to bring batteries for the remote which didn't help.  When the bedroom remote worked fine it was apparent it is a bad remote.  Hopefully a phone call will have a replacement on its way.  

We finished loading the trailer Saturday, went to Mass, grabbed a bite and then went to play cards.  I came in first!  $13 plus lots of dimes was added to my purse.

At 7:45 Sunday morning we pulled out of the campground with me following Ted in my car.  With only two potty stops, we pulled in to Retama Village at 2:30.  Our truck driver neighbor Niles prefers to just park the trailer in 3 minutes versus talking Ted in for 30 minutes!  In no time we were set up despite stopping frequently for "welcome back" greetings and short visits.  

Tom and Eileen came by about 5:30 and we eventually went to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  It was after 10 when we got home.  It was so good to spend time with our BFFs from our Florida days.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Last Day in the Sun

We talked of leaving the Resort and heading to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the North Shore but the kids wanted to stay and swim.  So Ted went to save our chairs and everyone else got their things together.  We had to vacate the room by 11 am and the pool by 6 pm.  This necessitated two sets of luggage for the bag room ... what we had packed for the airlines and what we needed to dress for dinner and the flight home.  

We called for a bellman to take the packed bags to storage, put our food items in the Ice Room and posted on the net what was there and when we left with our remaining items, the food had been taken.  As an example of food prices in Hawaii, the 88 cent yogurt we buy here is almost $4 there.  A lunch of burgers, fries and Coke for 5 ran $140.  People love getting a crack at food that would otherwise be thrown away.  

Everyone but me spent the day going down the rock slides.  I chose to just get in the water when I got hot.  

A Mickey Shave Ice

Stitch came to the pool.  He was the only character I saw but then I really wasn't looking.

Around 3:30 we called it a day.  We rescued our bags and headed to the lounge to shower and dress for the trip home.  Ted went to get the car, Bill called for and met up with the bags and I bought an Aulani bathrobe.  We had to put our last minute things in the bags to be checked and it was 5:15.  We wanted to leave for the airport  by 6:00 so we were running short of time for dinner.  We talked the kids into just taking us to the airport where we would grab a bite and they could have the evening to have a relaxing  dinner and explore a little bit more.  So that's what we did,  

Our flight home was uneventful, no food, but drink service twice!  The cold weather and rain were not a real welcome home greeting!

Forgot Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl

Not sure how I forgot our main reason for spending a night and day in Honolulu!  I use the photos as reminders and I just passed over them.

This is the tree of life sculpture that appears on the Arizona Memorial and I had never noticed!  They have changed the area quite a bit since we last were there.  The deck to disembark onto the Memorial will not be repaired until March so we were only able to circle it on a boat.

The fellows loved looking at the war mapping of the South Pacific.  We closed the park down.

The view of Diamond Head from Punchbowl.

We did this after checking in to the Embassy Suites but before the morning we walked Waikiki Beach.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Second Last Full Day

I finally fell back to sleep at 4:30 and got up at 7:00.  Kara was up but everyone else was still sleeping.  She had answered a Disney Vacation Owner inquiry asking for teen models while here this week.  It was a Michigan teacher and her scheduled model backed out.  She dabbles in photography and wanted to try out a new camera.  The four of them met up and did a photo shoot and the two families hit it off.  

Their young daughter and Morgan spent the day together swimming and the mother gave us all their food that was left.  They had vacated their room to leave that night so I sort of became the clearing house for people and things.  They bid us goodbye late in the afternoon only for us to find the lady's purse under our chair.  Kara headed to the room where their bags were stored and shortly after the lady came running back.  We finally got it all straightened out!

We spent the entire day at the snorkel reef, pools and lazy river.  It was windy and a bit cool for me in the morning so I kept my Mickey Mouse cover up, bought on our Disney cruise, on for awhile.  As the wind died down and the sun rose higher it became terrific swimming weather.  Ted and I had lots of laughs trying to get into and out of the innertubes on the lazy river.  He especially liked the slide and had a great time with the kids.  

Snorkeling in the reef

We were getting ready to go back to our rooms and a whistle blew.  Someone had "dropped a Baby Ruth" as Ted described it, in the big pool.  They immediately shut down the pool and it was being cleaned as we left the area.  I am sure that happens frequently with so many little ones.  

Ted and I didn't want any dinner, the kids were going on a menehune hunt and having a pizza and Kara and Bill went to dinner.  We threw our last load of clothes in the washer while Ted watched the Sugar Bowl, thrilled with the Texas win!

A few more resort shots.

Off to Oahu

We were up early, did the last minute packing, stripped the beds and started a load of towels as requested and headed to the airport.  Bill dropped everyone and the bags off while he returned the car.  We were sitting next to the gate that said 8 but it had machinery of a security check so Ted asked where we were supposed to line up.  The gate attendant asked if we would like to pre-board and showed us where to stand.  It has to be Ted's gray hair, what he has of it, that got us a jump on everyone else on the plane!  That's my story and I am sticking to it!

It is a short 47 minute flight and we landed, got a minivan for the 6 of us and headed to the Embassy Suites on Waikiki.  We were given guava juice and a box of cookies while we were checking in.  We emptied our glasses!

Our room was actually a suite with small kitchen bar, LR, BR and bath.  The kids had the same but we had a king bed and they had two queens.

Once settled we went to the happy hour where you could have anything you wanted from the bar and some light snacks.   I had just a Coke because I could feel a migraine coming on and hoped the caffeine would help.  Music was playing and my head was getting worse so I went back to the room, took a pill and went right to bed.  

I was fine in the morning and we all had a complimentary breakfast buffet.  An Asian lady helped Morgan negotiate chopsticks because she wanted to learn.  She took some home to practice.

Then we took a walk along Waikiki Beach from our hotel to the Moana Surfrider, the grey lady of Waikiki.  Ted and I have stayed there as well as the Royal Hawaiian (pink hotel) in the past.  We walked on the concrete path when we could and the sand when it ran out.  Diamond Head is always visible from any spot on the beach.

To return, we went in front of the hotels, and walked through the Royal Hawaiian Center.  The inside and outside are all one.

We found another Christmas tree!

Morgan wanted to stop at a particular store so we checked out after having had the bill corrected.  Paying $40 a day to park is highway robbery but charging us twice was a bit much.  There was no problem getting it fixed.

We had a devil of a time finding the store because it was in a strip mall where there were several buildings and addresses were hard to ascertain.  We had to wait for it to open at 11:00 but Morgan found what she wanted and used her money from Aunt Marilyn to pay for it.

Finally we were headed to the last stop of our two weeks in Hawaii, Disney's Aulani Resort.  It looks like a cross between Kidani and Polynesian Resorts at Disney in Orlando. 


They stored all our belongings while we waited for our room and gave us leis, welcome buttons, wristbands, fruited water and a place to change into bathing suits.  After a bit of lunch at the Ulu Cafe, Ted and I opted to sit in the shade on lounge chairs at the adult pool so the four of them could ride the lazy river while we attended the various phones, purses, shoes, cameras, etc.  Just as they decided to change, we received the text our room was ready.  

Kara had requested the Ewa Tower, floors 7-9, because she knew we could watch the luau show from any of our 3 balconies.  We were on the 9th floor and it was perfect.  They had two queens and a bath, we had a king and a bath and Morgan slept on the foldout chair in the LR.  There is a dining area, kitchen, washer and dryer and a half bath too. 

We didn't want to spend a lot of time going out for dinner so I started some laundry while Ted and Kara went to a nearby grocery.  Sushi, orange chicken, pasta and meatballs, etc. were brought home and we finished up just as the luau entertainment started.

We all went to bed about 9:00 and I was awakened at midnight by the fireworks.  I watched most of them but then could not get back to sleep.  We will be so screwed up when we get home!