Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trip to Padre

A little slow getting this post out.  We have been having issues with the internet.

Sunday was supposed to be warm.  Since the cold front had come through, I had not been able to get in the pool so I was looking forward to a warm day.  We decided to go to Padre Island.  It took us about an hour and a half to get there.

We stopped at the visitor's center to get some information.  There was this really cool sand castle out front.

 The turtle is in the middle of the sand creation and the pelican picture below is on the top right side.  The dungeon door in the picture we are in above is also in the photo below the sand pelican.  You can see the whole dragon's side profile of his head there as opposed to just the eye in our photo.

We found a public beach.  I could not wait to put my toes in!  A big wave came and it wasn't just my toes for long!

The water was pretty cold so we didn't swim.  Clark wouldn't even put his toes in the water! We sat in our lawn chairs on the beach and watched the waves come in.  Clark spotted dolphins jumping up and out of the water on one of the larger waves a little farther out.  Once he directed me where to look, I only saw them jump out once.  We didn't see anymore after that.

Next, we went to a nature center.

We saw our first alligator in the wild.  Look closely on that board! Actually there were about 4 babies in that area.

We also saw this bad mamajama!

On our way out Clark found another winter Texan.

We enjoyed ourselves at the nature center.

We don't have this selfie thing down yet!

We plan to go back to Padre again sometime to see more. We spent more time in the nature center than we had expected and we wanted to get home before dark.  We definitely want to go when we can really enjoy the beach!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Shopping on Saturday

We stopped at a produce stand and bought some carrots.  Five to be exact.  We didn't really even need carrots because we had just bought a 2 pound bag.  I haven't cooked yet since we have been here, but we thought we might start cooking at home once or twice a week.  Anyway, these carrots were 5 for $1.00 and I think I will only need one carrot for any recipe I would cook.

We also got one large tomato and a pineapple he peeled and cored for us,  and of course, who goes to the market and doesn't buy some Jicamas!  Not sure what those are but they talked Clark into it.  A woman in front of us bought three.  She said she cuts them and eats then raw with dip - loves them.  Hope we do too when we get around to eating at home.  Carrots, jicamas and dip.  Well there's a start!

Who really needs 5 carrots this size besides Bugs Bunny?

The carrot in the middle and the right were in a bag of carrots we just bought.  

We went to the mall for the first time.  It was so crowded we could not find a parking space.  Seriously, we parked at a store on the perimeter and walked to the mall.  It felt like Black Friday.  I cannot even imagine it can be much worse on that day but I don't think we plan to find out!  Stores were crazy busy.  We went to Bath and Body to make a purchase and when we realized the line was halfway out of the store we turned around and left.  We did find one store that I fell in love with!  Happy shopping!

Friday, November 14, 2014

This, That, and the Other


We went to the grocery store and when I opened the truck door this is what I saw:

It freaked me out!  It was obviously dead and yet I made Clark come around and kick it away from my door before I would get out.  I thought it was just a skin that had been shed, but Clark said no, it was a snake that had been run over.  I really, really hate snakes, more than spiders, I hate snakes.  I guess I just go through life oblivious to the fact they are here.


After buying $100.00 worth of groceries, we ate out on our way home because who wants to cook?  We stopped at a Jack-in-the-Box and saw this banner hanging outside:

How cool is that?!!!!

So guess what I ordered...yep and it was scrummy!!!


Clark broke a rule last night.  I smelled it the minute I walked in...

Yep, he was burning those wax scented blocks.  I told him I didn't want to burn any scents until the new RV smell was gone.  He just couldn't wait any longer so he decided to go ahead and do it now and ask for forgiveness later.  In addition to that, he was burning lilac (my favorite) hoping that would smooth it over.  I was not a happy camper.  His punishment was listening to oldies country music while I sang along.  He was very sorry indeed!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What is wrong with this picture?

What is wrong with this picture?  The 6:50 is PM not AM and it is only 48 degrees outside (the bottom number - the middle number is indoors) I thought this was Texas not Kansas!  A cold front is moving through here too, as it seems to be in most places, so I won't complain because it is still warmer than back home.  

I will say it took me by surprise to have such a cold snap. It was too cold for the pool so we decided to hit an indoor/outdoor flea market called Don-Wes.  We dressed in layers so we could handle the cold.  At the time, it was about 61 degrees.  I had on jeans and shoes and socks, no sandals for me in 61 degrees, a thermal shirt, a pullover fleece with scarf, and a fleece lined hooded jacket with gloves.  Oh, and those ear things!  I did say it was 61?  I felt dressed for a day in the snow!  How acclimated to the warmth we have already become.  But, in my defense, the sun wasn't out and the wind was blowing so it wasn't a balmy 61.  

By the time we got there, it was raining!  Most of the outdoor booths were closed so we stayed in, but  we never removed a single layer.  The sellers were freezing too.  They are opened on Wednesdays/Saturdays/Sundays.  They said they were hoping for sunny weather this weekend because no one comes out when it it is cold and wet.  (Just newbies, I guess.)   After finishing one building, we decided to give it up. 

We drove around some and ate in old downtown Pharr at a restaurant that has been there forever.  I didn't have my camera so I couldn't take any pix, sorry.  They served Mexican and American food so we decided to try it.  Clark ordered a t-bone steak with baked potato and salad for only $9.99! I ordered a burrito, ground beef of course - this comes as no surprise to those of you who know me.  They came out to say they were out of t-bones but they had ribeye, would that be ok?  Clark said yes.  The funny thing is they never asked him, either time, how he wanted it cooked!  Guess one way for all.  They brought our food out and I got such a kick out of the fact that they served his meal with Mexican rice which the menu didn't state, along with a serving of corn!  Boy, did he get his carb fix for the day :)  They served the steak with grilled green peppers and onions, which, again, was not on the menu but was a pleasant surprise for Clark.  He said it was all delicious!

I just could not shake the cold, even after we got home, so I decided what I needed was to warm my core with some hot chocolate!  We used the dried marshmallows (not the charms) from Jamesport, and they melted down and sweetened that cocoa up enough to put a rookie into a sugar coma - yum-my!  (Sheryl, it was definitely better than that gourmet cocoa Victoria had with the two rock-hard marshmallows!)  I didn't even want to get out for cards.  It just seemed a good night to stay in by the "fire".
The magazine on my lap is all about Christmas cookies!

Lulu was not pleased that I was in her spot in front of the fireplace and boy was she letting me know it.

So, as with any child, distraction is key!

Even Clark was cold!!!!  He is still wearing his fleece coat!

Tomorrow isn't going to be much warmer so I think I will get my laundry caught up - hope everyone in the park isn't thinking the same thing!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Clark's Niche!

Clark has found his niche here in the park.  I have had him in training for years to prepare for this important responsibility.  There were times he fought me on it, but I explained to him, over and over, it was for his own good.  And now, he has expressed to me how grateful he is for all of the years of experience.  Because of all of the years of practice, he feels confident in his new position in the park.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is Clark in action:

Seriously, Clark volunteered in the kitchen so he could avoid playing games in the park.  Then, when he found out he could eat free on the days he worked, I haven’t seen him since!

(This blog has been paid for and approved by Clark.)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I didn't want to do it...

(This all was from yesterday's activities)

I didn’t want to do it, no, I didn’t want to do it… (isn’t that a song, Sheryl?), but my personal trainer, I mean, Clark, made me do it (and yes, that is similar to the devil in this case – at least it felt like it at the time!)  I went to water aerobics at 10:00 am.
I didn’t want to go for several reasons; the first being the most obvious AND already stated – 10:00 AM The second, the disagreeable weather; it was cloudy and drizzling.  Ok – not a fan of exercise to start with.  I don’t have anything against watching it.  I always enjoyed watching The Biggest Loser while eating ice cream right out of the container, but to actually do it myself and at the early morning hour of 10 am – need I say more?  And, lack of sun – seriously – is there really a point to going to the pool when the sun isn’t out?  I mean that’s what indoor pools are for, and don’t even get me started on that!

But, once I shivered my way down to the pool and got in, it felt pretty good.  The water was actually warmer than the air.  Then a few other ladies showed up and we got started.  It was pretty fun and I managed to not drown myself. They had all done the first CD many times before so since they knew what they were doing they mostly talked through it while they did whatever the CD was saying.   I chatted along with them and just kept moving around in the water since I couldn’t hear the instructions on the CD. 

But the second one, you had to go to the edge of the pool so the chatting stopped and the workout really began.  Like any exercise class I have ever been to, I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time. But, you can’t really see what anyone else is doing in the water so they can’t see that you are a moron and can’t follow simple instructions.

By the time I figure out which arm is supposed to be going which way, I have totally missed what my legs are supposed to be doing!

 When class was finally over, I found that the water felt so good I just floated on my back for awhile and was the last one out.  Still no sun though.  In fact, no sun all day and it drizzled off and on all day long.

We went down to the volunteer office and Clark signed up for kitchen duty.  He will wash pots and pans, which he doesn't mind.  Especially when he gets to eat free on the days he volunteers!  He is signed up for a dozen or so times for the rest of the month.  I signed up for two events – serving ice cream.  That seems easy enough but I was smart and just did two.  I don’t want to get stuck doing it if I don’t enjoy it.  Besides, I am waiting to see what community events I can volunteer at through whatever church we end up attending.

We spent the afternoon trying to find the new library in McAllen.  It is an old Walmart they turned into a library and is supposed to be really nice.  It turned out we were on the wrong road and never did find it.  We stopped and ate supper and headed back to the park so I could play Pokeno.  We will look for the library another day, now that we know where it is actually located.

I had never played Pokeno before but I found it was very easy.  It costs 8 cents per hand to play.  In the end, I won 88 cents.  They play again on Saturday.  I will probably go because what the heck else am I gonna do with 500 plus pennies?!  I didn’t enjoy it as much as Dirty Sevens because you have to listen for the calling so you can mark your card, so there is only chatting between rounds.  It isn't as easy to get to know people doing that. 

P.S. This is how Lulu spends her days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Park so Far…

I realized I never said the name of our park.  It is Bentsen Grove Resort in Mission, Texas but it is really more in Palmview.  Pretty much runs together.  Monday, we wandered around the park, got our mailbox, gate pass, and list of activities.  We then went out for dinner but couldn’t agree on anything so it turned out to be a very long drive.  We almost made it to the Gulf before we turned around and headed back home.  We saw a Furr’s sign and agreed on that.  It was actually the nicest one I have ever been in.  It had all of the same foods it has always offered AND had it set up buffet style which tripped Clark’s trigger.

Tuesday was a much more entertaining day.  We started with 4 loads of laundry.  It only costs $1.25 for a wash and 50 cents for 15 minutes for the dryer, so about $2.00 for me to dry a load.  I even used the ironing board they provide.  It was in front of a window with a great breeze coming through.  The only thing that could have made this whole thing better would have been if I were getting paid to do it.

When we finished the laundry we decided it was time to play so off to the pool we went.  I floated on my blow up chair for a while just totally relaxed and Clark played in the water too.  
Pretty soon it started getting crowded with one woman after another so I got out of my chair and into the water like everyone else and had a good chat.  We got to know quite a few of them.  One, in particular was a real hoot.  We found out they do water exercise there in the mornings at 10:00.  Well, being a night owl, getting there  awake and on time will be an effort.  I hope I don’t drown myself, that would be embarrassing.  I told Clark he had to come along.  He said no, he thought he would wait to see if I survived first.  We’ll see who wins this one, I’ll let you know tomorrow.  Before we left, we got invited to play cards later that evening.  Of course, people here will learn, Clark does not play cards – period. 

I showed up for cards on time, Pepsi in hand.  The game was Dirty Sevens, which I had never before heard of nor played (obviously, if I had never heard of it).  They said it was like Hand and Foot.  Well, I had heard of that but had never played.  Canasta?  Now that I had played, years ago, so I thought I could figure it out as we went along.  We played 4 hands and my partner, Lola, and I won.  It was lots of fun.  I laughed so much my stomach hurt.  It was a fun group of people.  I then got invited to play Pokeno tomorrow night.  I said sure, never played that before.  Lola told me I had to bring 500 pennies but she had plenty so she’d bring them for me.  I told Clark that sounded alright, entertainment for 50 cents…he said how about 5 bucks!  Oops – always sucked at math J  

Clark went for a bike ride around the park while I was playing cards and then he met me and we came back home, put away his bike and went for a walk.  It is now 10:30 and the temperature is 74 degrees.  

Life is good in TEXAS!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

We Made It South

Our trip south to our winter stomping grounds was uneventful, which is a good thing.  We set our departure time for 9:00 am, which is really early for us night owls, and only missed it by 30 minutes.  We left at 9:34 with steps up, door rail tucked closed, antenna down, and LuLu in the back seat.
So far, so good.

We made it safely to our spot on November 1st which was our plan.  I am too tired to take any pictures or remember any details.  After we got set up we went out and ate at Luby’s cafeteria.  This idea of going through and picking your entrĂ©e and two sides was foreign to Clark.  What’s this?  You can’t keep going back for more?  What a silly rule!  Needless to say, between his meal and half of mine he was happily satisfied.  He came back, hooked up the water and then went for a bike ride around the park.  I, on the other hand, did what any normal person would do, I took a long nap!
The office to our park is closed for the weekend so we don’t have a schedule of activities yet.  I am going to take advantage of the pool for sure, but probably not until Monday because I am hoping my antenna will pick up the local channels down here and I can watch some football!

The weather is beautemous!  It was 87 degrees, with low humidity, at 3:30 when we left to go eat.  It is 64 now and the low is 61.  The park is quiet.  We are going to sleep with our windows open.  I love that!  We have been hearing the coyotes howling which does remind us of life on the farm. 

I will say that being home from April to October we never once regretted our decision to full-time.  We so enjoyed our time with family and friends but when the temperatures started dropping we were hearing the call to go south.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Update on my Mom

It has been a very long time since we blogged, and from the previous blog, you know why.  After spending all spring, summer, and fall at home with my family, I lost my mom on October 12th.  Anyone who has lost someone you love knows that feeling of heartbreak.  You actually feel a pain in your chest as if your heart truly has broken. 

My Mom and Dad on her 77th birthday.  She would be gone less than 3 weeks later.

I have so many things to be grateful for:

* First and foremost I am so grateful to God for sending his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and for rising from the grave having victory over death and then offering us all the free gift of salvation.  I am thankful my mom had accepted that free gift and could call Jesus her Lord and Savior, just as I have, so I have the peace of knowing I will see her again someday. 
*I am thankful that I was able to spend so much time with Mom and was “home” when she passed. 
*I am grateful for family.  There are five kids in our family and we are all believers in Christ, as is my dad and my husband, Clark. 
Denise, Sandra, Mom (without her wig), Sheryl, Debbie and our "baby brother", John.
My family is close and through this time with our mom we were strong for each other.  We spent more time together than before because we never knew when our get-togethers would be our last.  There were times we would play cards and Mom would join us with enough strength to enjoy a game or two.  Then there were times when we sat around the living room talking while Mom sat in her recliner listening but too tired and weak to say much more than, “I am listening”.

Sandra and Sheryl sneaking Mom a kiss!

*I am grateful for my family to send us on our way to resume our travels with their blessing.  I have had such mixed feelings of leaving but they all tried to make it easier for me. 
*I am grateful to Clark for being so supportive through it all.  He encouraged me to spend as much time with family as possible and took me anywhere I needed to go.  God truly blessed me with Clark for a husband.
I would like to close this blog with something one of my sisters, Debbie, wrote.  She spoke for us all when she wrote her thoughts.

Thank You, God, For The Time You Gave Us With Our Mom
It has been about 16 months since Mom was first diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.
The leukemia had progressed so quickly Mom was admitted to the hospital. While she was there, the doctor told us, “Some people never go home.” We asked You for more time and You answered our prayer. For that, we are thankful.
When they started Mom on chemo, we were told if the chemo didn’t work she would have 3 to 4 weeks to live.  We asked You for more time and You said yes. For that, we are thankful.
“If the chemo works,” the doctor told us, “she will probably have 6 to 8 months.”  Once again, we begged for more time - one more anniversary and birthday, the birth of another great-grandchild, another Thanksgiving. Please, God, one more Christmas.
You gave us all of that and more, more than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), and, again, we are so thankful.
You decided now it was time to take Mom home to be with You.
We won’t have to ask for more time ever again because we know that someday, when we go to Heaven and see our Savior and our mom, we will be there with them for eternity. And for that, God, we are extremely thankful.

Thanks to all of you for your prayer support for our family.  Believe me when I say we could feel God’s love through it all as He answered your prayers for us.  God bless you all.