Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in Texas

It has been overcast for the most part this past week since my trip to Mexico.  I did get in the pool Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but nothing after that.  Today was the first beatuimous day we have had, but bummer for me, I had to go to my doctor down here this afternoon to pick up a prescription so no pool.  I can feel your sympathy for me now as you may well be reading this up north and would love to change places with me - except for the fact it is Christmas week.

I gotta say, it is really, really, REALLY hard to get in the Christmas spirit down here.  It is pretty warm for the most part and palm trees and citrus trees are everywhere.  It just seems wrong to see snowmen decorations down here!  We did not put up a tree because we had no room so this is our pathetic attempt at Christmas cheer in our 5th wheel!

Our stockings are hung above our fireplace.
We haven't been very good this year so we put up small, very small, stockings.
We didn't want too much coal to haul around.

Lights around the slides inside.
Old children's books across the top with elves.

This is my sad snowmen display.  They are lit up so a little blurry - sorry!

Lights over our kitchen slide too.

We don't know for sure what we are doing for Christmas.  They do have a potluck dinner here.  The park provides the meat and we all bring the rest.  Clark's gout is better, but then, he came down with a horrible cold and is still coughing quite a bit.  We won't make a decision about going to the dinner until Wednesday.  We don't want to cause anyone down here to get sick.  So, guess you'll have to read the blog to see how we spend the holiday.  

The one thing I do know is that it is much more difficult to be away from family at Christmas then I expected.  I knew it would be hard but I didn't know how hard.  I especially would have liked to have been home this year since it will be the first Christmas without my mom.  It will probably be easier for me than everyone else since I am away from all things familiar.  

My mom LOVED Christmas.  She would decorate every available spot in the house it seemed.  She was always so happy at Christmas time and was always so careful to be sure everything was even and that she had just the right gift for everyone.  In fact, she was usually finishing up on the 24th and wrapping presents until bedtime.  I think she actually enjoyed it that way.  

She was easy to buy gifts for because she was happy with anything.  But, she always said that having everyone there was gift enough.   I didn't want Christmas to go by without acknowledging the fact that I think of her often and miss her very much, just like everyone else does.  I can only say how thankful I am to know that as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who came to die for our sins, I know, without a doubt, I will see my mom again because she had a relationship with Jesus as her Lord and Savior, just as I do.  Thank you, God, for the free gift of salvation that is ours if only we accept it.

My mom at Christmas past.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I went to Mexico yesterday with a group of friends.  Clark was not able to go because he is suffering from a bout of gout.  

I know I went to Mexico as a child with my parents on vacation' but I do not really remember much about it other than my sister, Denise, bought an Indian blanket there.  I will admit I was pretty excited to be going and not the least bit nervous or scared.  But, I was cautious and stayed with friends.

We parked on the US side and walked over. You have to put 50 cents in the turnstile to cross the bridge over the Rio Grande River into Mexico.

While you are crossing, there are people under the bridge on the Mexico side of the river begging for money.  Kids and adults both.  It was so sad.  It made be feel awful to be tossing coins down to them.  I felt so small, like as if tossing bread crumbs to the birds.  Not a good feeling and yet, I couldn't NOT give them something.  One little girl came up to me on the streets at the end of the day when we were getting ready to leave.  She was 3 or 4 years old, I am guessing.  She didn't speak; she just simply held her hand a little ways out from her body with it cupped for coins.  I gave her a dollar bill because that is what happened to be in my pocket.  Boy did her face light up as she ran back to her mom.  I didn't take any pictures of any of that because I felt like that would be wrong.  

Can you believe it was December 12th and I am in light-weight capris and flip-flops?  It was a beautiful day - a bit overcast but not too hot or humid.

We ate lunch at the Red Snapper.  

I had the taco plate for $4.99.  It had 4 tacos with beans and rice.  It was yummy!  I didn't know what to do with my leftovers because Clark always eats them and he wasn't there!  I just left them behind.

They had lights made out of sombreros and had murals painted on the walls. It was a pretty cool place.

I bought a few items but didn't go crazy.  It was so weird to be walking down the street with all of these people calling out to you to buy their stuff.  

While we were there we got an extra treat.  The school kids were doing a parade for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

It cost 30 cents to cross back over or $4.00 in pesos.  I was careful to put my money in the correct slot.  We went through customs without any excitement at all.  I really enjoyed the day there and am looking forward to taking Clark over when he is better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ladies Auxiliary

Before I start, I wanted to post a weather update.  I have not been in the pool for several days as it has been too overcast.  I, in fact, wore jeans yesterday.  We have even had some rain.  The temps have been in the 60s with lots of clouds and lots of humidity.  Not heaven, but still better than Kansas at this time!

Ok...Ladies Auxiliary... For those of you who know me well, you are probably wondering what I am doing here among a group of women making quilts since I don't sew and therefore have never made a quilt in my life.  Well, a few weeks ago, one of the ladies asked if I would be interested in joining.  She said they make quilts for needy families for Christmas and they were way behind in getting them completed on time.  I told her I would be more of a hindrance than a help since I don't sew.  She said they could still use me in other areas, so I decided to give it a try.

They taught me how to tie the quilts.  I figured I could handle that, who can't time a knot?
 I do it all of the time when trying to tie my shoes (those velcro shoes are tempting)!  

I have helped tie several quilts now and they haven't kicked me out yet!

No, I am not confused, I have finished my part and am watching and waiting.

We have finished and are now removing the quilt from the frame.

While I am doing this, Clark is laying out with the ladies!

Laying out quilts, that is!

They LOVE having a man in their group.  They have him doing all the lifting and lugging, He gets out the sewing machines, tubs full of material, the quilt frame, tables, etc. and puts them all way again at the end of club time.  As a reward for all of his hard work, he gets to help lay out the quilts.  He really enjoys that part because he feels like it is artistic when they get to select the squares by color and design and lay then out into a pattern that is pleasing to the eye.

The club really has this down to an art.  They have a group of women who cut the squares; a group who lays them out; a group who pins on the batting and the backs; a group who sews the squares together and then puts a hem around the edges; and a group who ties the quilts together. It works like a well-oiled machine from what I can see.

We tied the last quilt of the year yesterday.  Next week, we will shop for clothes and toys and then wrap and deliver everything to needy families.  Then, after the first of the year, it all begins again in preparation of Christmas 2015!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Misc stuff - just catching up...

Wow!  I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted!  We went to Chad & Amanda's for Thanksgiving.  Doug & Morgan  weren't able to come due to his work schedule.  On Thanksgiving night we made s'mores in the fireplace - yummy!  Then we watched a Christmas movie.

When we left Lubbock, it was 19 degrees and very windy.  We were so cold because we don't have heavy winter coats anymore. We hadn't taken our gloves and scarves because we didn't realize they had a cold front coming.  On the drive home, we watched the temperature rise the whole way.  When we got back to the Valley, it was 75 degrees at 7 pm.  It was great to be home to much warmer weather.  

When we got back, we did a lot of this:

And then a little more of this:

It is pretty cool driving around and seeing all of the Cowboy fans.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture of this truck but we were driving behind him so this was all I could get.  The paint job was all Cowboy colors. It was pretty cool!  Hum...ideas for our next truck :)

 I saw these "pants" at Kohl's and thought, if you really loved donuts like I love donuts, you definitely could not wear these pants in public. Unless you were making a donut run!  

Sheryl, I thought of you when I saw these.  It reminded me of the card
 you sent me years ago that put such a smile on my face I kept it on the fridge

We did find a yummy donut place here called Shipley's. They have a filling that I thought was like the white cream frosting,but this was like a marshmellow cream.  Oh my gosh!  I was in heaven when I bit into that long john!

And speaking of surprises...when I checked our park mailbox, there was a small baggie of Friendship Tea in every cubbie!  I thought that was so sweet of them to kick off the Christmas season like that.  When I got back to the 5th wheel I showed it to Clark and then set it on the counter for later.  When"later" came, I opened it up to pull out the directions for making it only to discover that after making it you were supposed to dump it down the toilet for the septic system!  Oops!