Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday February 28, 2010-Hill Country RV Park

We woke and drank some coffee in the trailer, waiting for the kids to call and for us to decide where we were going for breakfast. About 9:30, Jennifer called and said they had decided on the Union Street Station. We went by and picked up Grandma Willie Mae and went to restaurant. There were several people waiting to get in when we got there, but they serve breakfast all day.

This is a very small restaurant with a huge breakfast menu. They have the largest selection of omelets, from the usual omelets to a peanut butter and jelly job that none of us tried. The food was very good but due to the packed atmosphere, the service was somewhat lacking. When Jennifer called to check on this place, they were short and curt with her, but the menu sounded so good, we came anyway and were glad we did.

From there, we took Ian to Landa Park to play and run off some of his breakfast. I'm afraid his Pop and his Great Grandma gave him things that he normally doesn't get like coffee (with sweetener, like I drink) and some strawberry jam from GGM. He liked both of them, but just in case, he was allowed to run and play at the park while we waited for the small train that runs around the grounds got opened up for the day. The weather was great, with cool breezes and sunny skies and we all had a very nice day. Ian enjoyed himself and even got a visit from the train engineer. Ian really enjoyed the train and the park.

Melissa got her first taste of being called "that LADY" by some teenagers. She had said something to a couple of girls and later overheard them saying something about that LADY, referring to her. I told her to get used to it because it only gets worse the older you get.

After the train ride, the kids decided that they really needed to start back home, so after handshakes and hugs and lots of love from Ian, they left. We went back to the house with Grandma Willie Mae. She insisted on making coffee for us, so we had a piece of her special cake that she has made at Christmas. It was some sort of almond cake that was very good. She said the lady that makes it has been making it for her for several years and will not give her the recipe. It is an old family recipe, so she won't share it. I don't blame her because it is very good.

After we had our coffee and cake, we came back home to start getting things ready to leave tomorrow morning. I took down the porch and stairs and put away the other things that are non-essential, leaving out only the basic utilities for tomorrow. We must return to the Stephen F. Austin state park for another park host job there.

So long.

Saturday February 27, 2010-Hill Country RV Park

Today was the day that we met with Jennifer, Jay, their two year old son, Ian and Melissa to go surprise my Step-Mom Willie Mae. We had planned this out earlier in the month and had changed our original plans to come here at the first part of February because Grandma Willie Mae was going to be tied up that weekend.
Today is Stella's birthday, so please join me in congratulating her on making another year. At her age, that is quite an accomplishment! Remember, she's a LOT older than I am. There is no need to remind her of that because I tell her about it all the time.

When Jennifer called this morning, they were out of bed and ready to go visit so, after dropping by the motel where they were staying, we stopped off at Naeglin's Bakery to pick up some of their delicious pastries for a late breakfast. We followed them to Grandma's house a couple of minutes behind them and the surprise was complete. She was totally surprised when we walked in. We all had coffee and our pastries at the kitchen table and had a very nice visit. Grandma Willie Mae was so surprised and happy that we were all there. We even made her cry a little bit, but it was a happy cry.

Let me tell you, if you haven't been around a VERY active 2 year old boy in awhile, they will wear you out! Thank goodness Jennifer, Jay and Melissa were good about following Ian around and keeping his little fingers out of places they shouldn't be. I was surprised that Ian took to both me and Stella, since we haven't seen him all that much, but he readily came to his Pop and MeMaw. He is all boy and quite a handful!

Later in the afternoon, we went to Oma's Haus German restaurant for supper. They have authentic German food and we all enjoyed it. After supper, we came here to our trailer so they could all see this palace that we live in. Grandma Willie Mae was surprised to see that we have a king size bed and all the amenities found in a sticks and bricks house. I guess she thought we were living in an old-style trailer with little inside it. Ian was fascinated by the upstairs bedroom and bathroom and climbed the stairs several times with Mommy and Daddy in pursuit.

We returned to Grandma Willie Mae's house and stayed there, looking through her many many picture albums and talking about old times. She had catalogued many of my Dad's pictures of his family and it was very interesting. We stayed over there until after nine o'clock when Ian began to get sleepy, and of course, his Pop agreed with him. It is late for us!

I should tell you a little about New Braunfels. My Dad and Willie Mae moved to New Braunfels 34 years ago and bought a house up in the hills above the small town after he sold out the Ford dealership in Galveston. He then worked for Bock Motor Co. for several years until he went to work for one of the McCombs Ford dealerships in San Antonio where he worked until his death in 1997. When they moved here, NB was a sleepy little town with a good tourist trade for the two rivers, the Comal and the Guadalupe, both popular for swimming and tubing down the rivers. It has exploded in growth to a very large city that is still very popular for vacations and weekend trips. We can't believe the changes in NB since we started coming up here. Many of the old restaurants and stores are now closed but there are plenty to choose from.
We enjoyed our time here and will definitely return.

So long.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday and Friday February 25 & 26, 2010-Hill Country RV Park

We didn't do too much the last couple of days, their entry will be combined. The weather here is still cold at night but it has been warming up nicely in the daytime. We have been enjoying it after all the cold weather this year.

I have gotten back into my walking routine every day. This is a very large park and easy to walk in. Thursday, after taking my walk, we went around to some of the Heartland trailers to drop off the contact cards given to me at the luncheon. I have some nice people by doing this.

We had to take our new coffee pot back to Wal Mart. The switch was apparently bad because when it was brewing, the light would go out for a few seconds and then it would come back on. The coffee made just fine but we noticed that it was very hot. I don't know if this is a setting for the coffee temperature or if it is just how it is made, but you can't drink the coffee for several minutes until it cools down. There is seldom a problem when returning something to Wal Mart and today was no exception. No questions asked and we were on our way to buy another coffee pot. This time, Stella won out on buying a regular coffee pot. We can always buy another 40 cup pot if it becomes necessary.

Stella wanted to have a pedicure, so I took our new coffeemaker to the truck and read a book while Stella's feet got all prettied up. While sitting there, I saw a Wal Mart security man take a shoplifter into custody. The man had apparently just walked out with a big screen TV in a shopping basket, but the scanner had caught him and set off an alarm. The police soon had the suspect on the ground and handcuffed and he was off to the jailhouse. They'll never learn!

We went to eat at the Taste of China Super buffet that Stella had seen yesterday. I'm beginning to dislike oriental food. It all tastes the same, the beef is stringy and the chicken tough. I ate it, but I'd rather have had some good old Tex-Mex.

Friday morning, I got out in the warm morning and had a nice walk around the park again. It is so nice to be able to get out and stay outdoors without freezing something off...

Stella worked on her computer today on client's stuff and I did some computer work on some contacts for the Heartland rally in April. I tried to send out some private messages on the forum, but twice after I got eight or ten entries made, I got kicked out and lost everything I had done. It was maddening but I finally got a message out, trying to attract more Houston area Heartland owners to the rally.

Stella cut my hair-what? I didn't tell you I'm letting my hair grow out? I must have know what they say about the memory. We stayed outside for a little while after the haircut and enjoyed the day, but came back inside and went back to work. We ate in the trailer for the first time since we've been here tonight.

Jay, Ian, Jennifer and Melissa are coming in tonight for a weekend visit. It will be good to see them. We have a surprise planned for their grandmother tomorrow and I will tell you more about how that goes.

So long.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday February 24, 2010-Hill Country RV Park

We woke this morning to cold temperatures but no more snow or ice. Everyone is tired of winter and ready for spring and summer and the warm weather. This is the craziest winter ever!

We ate breakfast here in the trailer and Stella got some work done for her clients. It was too cold to go outside, so we just stayed in and I watched television while Stella worked. She wanted to get her hair cut and her nails done, so in the afternoon we went out to find her a salon. She decided that we needed to go over to San Marcos, which is about 16 miles away, to the huge Tanger Factory Outlet mall to shop. We both needed some new tennis shoes, so thats what we bought. There are many stores in the mall, but we found some bargains and came on back. We both decided that we were hungry, so since we were already out, we stopped off at another Furr's Cafeteria and had our lunch/supper. This restaurant is set up like the old style cafeteria, but allows customers to go back for as many refills as they wanted. One time through was enough for me, although I did ask our waitress for a piece of coconut pie. Stella had to call Donna to tease her about what I was doing because she had not been able to get a piece of coconut pie while we were in the valley.

I hope tomorrow is a little more active day. I don't like sitting around inside all day long.

So long.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday February 23, 2010-Hill Country RV Park

Wow, what a difference a day and some miles make! Yesterday it was 60 degrees when I went outside and it warmed up to the upper 70's before we left Mission. Today I woke to a temperature of 36 degrees and rain that soon became sleet and snow. None of it stuck to the ground and only a tiny bit stuck to the metal step at the base of our porch. I just pulled the step away so that we wouldn't slip and fall.

Yesterday when we got set up, I had found that my sewer hose wasn't long enough to stretch to the sewer pipe in this site. Also last night, when we returned home from eating, we found that one of the propane tanks had run out. I don't know who designs these portable tanks, but they are uncannily accurate in running out of propane when it is freezing cold and usually late at night. Tonight was much too early, it usually happens about 3 o'clock in the morning and I have to run out in my skivvies to switch tanks. During a lull in the snowstorm, we drove over to the Camping World store to buy the sewer hose and to see about propane. Luckily they sell propane to the public, so we got everything we needed at one stop.

When we finished at CW, I brought the propane tank back and installed it back into the trailer, and we went for a short ride around New Braunfels. It began to snow even harder, so we didn't go too far and we returned home. After the snow let up a bit, I went out and put the new sewer hose in so we can drip a little water tonight if it gets cold enough. We stayed inside the rest of the evening, warm and dry.

So long

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday February 22, 2010-Moving Day, Mission to New Braunfels Tx

We woke pretty early this morning and made our coffee. Bob had told me that he would come down for coffee again this morning. He had knocked on the door at 7:30 yesterday with his cup in hand, and we had a nice morning sitting around and drinking coffee in the warm early morning. Today it was a cool 60 degrees and foggy when I went out at 7:15 but the fog soon burned off and the morning warmed up. Bob didn't come down until almost 8, so we didn't have much of a visit this morning.

I had already taken the porch down last night, so the only thing I had to do outside was the utilities and the Dish. I worked steadily but was stopped a few times when our neighbors stopped by to say goodbye. This is a very friendly park! Everything came down pretty easily but Stella had a lot to do inside today. We finally got through and left the site about 11:20. By the time we stopped by the office to turn in our electronic gate opener and paid for our electric use, it was about 11:45 when we pulled out the gate. My friend Lenny had told me about the Pueblo Tire Service to check my tires, so we stopped in. It only took a few minutes to have the tires topped off, and we were on our way.

We stopped in George West at the Country Store to pick up a snack to eat and again at a rest stop for a break and to transfer some fuel. We like being able to stop when we want to so that we can stretch our legs and still make good time. We pulled into the Hill Country RV Park a little before 5 and got all checked in. Wow, this place has changed a lot since we last stayed here! We left our trailer here when my Dad was sick back in about 1995 or 1996 and it was only one pretty good sized park. Now there are two separate parks that are run by one office. I suppose they added the second location when they outgrew the old park. It's not a bad park but some things need improvement. Someone had run over the water pipe, so it is leaning; the concrete patio has been broken, and the site is actually more gravel than concrete. We've been in worse, but we've certainly been in better, much better.

We went out to eat supper because Stella didn't feel like fixing anything. We needed to get out anyway to buy a new coffee pot. Our old one had finally stopped working, so we needed to get a new one. I finally convinced Stella to buy a bigger coffee urn that makes 40 cups. We frequently serve coffee for our friends, so now we have a big enough pot for everyone. When its only Stella and I, we can make a half pot or even less.

Today was a nice trip and we had a good day of traveling. I hope our upcoming travel days go as well.

So long.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday February 21, 2010-Mission West RV Park

We woke to much warmer temperatures this morning. Bobcat came over for coffee a little after 7 this morning, but I was already up and showered. We sat around outside drinking our coffee until he had to go home to get Pat up to go to church.

Our friends, Jim and Bette left this morning for home. They don't live too far from here in George West where Jim is on the city council. We were sorry to see them go too, but they must get back home.

I carried the clothes down for Stella to go to the washateria to wash up our dirty clothes while I stayed home and got caught up on the blog. I watched my car shows on TV as I typed, and when she called me to come get her and the clean clothes, I washed my truck. It was filthy because of all of the mud on it from the rainy weather. I checked the weather forecast before I did it, so don't blame me if it rains!

Later in the afternoon, I put the porch away and called Ken, the builder of the porch to see about bringing it back to him to be checked over and then he will get it to Bobby to be re-powder coated.

It was such a nice night, Stella and I sat outside for awhile and Bobcat came down to visit. Our neighbor, Lenny came over and we had a nice chat with him. He told us that his computer just died, when he was in the middle of getting registered on the Heartland Owner's club. I hope he gets it up and running soon so he can get joined up.

There are so many nice people in this park and we will miss it. We are trying to work out the details of returning to Mission in September with Tommy and Susan and Ted and Donna but we still have some details to get done.

So long.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sunday February 14 through Saturday February 20, 2010-Mission West RV Park

I am sorry for getting so far behind in my blog entries, so today will catch me up for the last week. When you're busy, as all retirees are, there is little time to sit down at the computer and make an entry.

On Sunday morning, we went into Donna with Ted and Donna to eat the breakfast at Furr's Fresh buffet. The food was very good but we came in at the end of the breakfast serving, so they ran out of food a couple of times and made little effort to refill. Bill and Ornell arrived in the afternoon, having driven in from Lakeview RV park in Houston where they had been visiting with Tom and Judy and Jim and Sheila. They had gone to the Houston RV show yesterday, but they all had been strong and resisted the impulse to buy a new RV. They were tired from driving all day, so we decided to meet Ted and Donna at Cheddar's restaurant. Today was Valentine's Day and the restaurant was packed with people standing outside so we decided to go back to Furr's in Donna. It is very quick to eat and the food is good, so thats where we went.

Monday, we stayed around here because Bill and Ornell were still kind of tired. Around eleven o'clock we went out to ride around the area to go to the Ropas to show them to Ornell. Bill and I just looked a little bit but didn't buy anything. I used this time to drop off some more fliers on the Heartland events this week at some of the local RV parks. We did a little grocery shopping before returning here for the hamburger meal in the afternoon. The burgers are great and CHEAP! After the burgers, there was a jam session in the rally hall. Many people from here in the park as well as others that like to play music get together to play and sing. Some are very good and others, well, not so much. It was still fun but we didn't stay too long.

Tuesday, Bill and I went to Airhorns of Texas to get my air horn looked at. The horn hasn't been sounding too good for awhile and I could tell that one of the trumpets wasn't working. Jason, the owner, was out but as soon as he returned, he slid under the truck and found that there was oil and junk in the horn, so he had me blow the horn and he held the diaphram open manually and blew the trash out. He also found that one of the trumpets was loose and tightened it up. The oil leak that we had was the cause of the junk accumulating on the horn. We are fixed up now! I dare you to cut me off now! We returned home to rest up before we went to the Heartland "meet and greet" at Retama Village. The meet and greet was a great success and we had about 45 people in attendance. After it was over, many of us went over to the site where Jim was parked to look up close at his new demo rig from Heartland. The paint job is absolutely beautiful but Stella is unsure of the floor plan. Our friend Buddy and his wife Maurine arrived here at the park. Sadly, they were too late to come to the potluck dinner at Retama, but we are glad they got here.

On Wednesday, we went out to eat breakfast with Jim B. and Kathy A. and Bill and Ornell at the IHOP. We stayed about two hours, just talking and visiting with Jim and Kathy. When we left, we drove to Progresso to the border crossing where Stella and I went to buy some more medicines. We weren't over there very long, and when we came back we went to the Don-Wes flea market. I bought a few more tee shirts because some of mine are looking kind of threadbare. We came back home and fixed some mexican food for supper. While sitting outside, Jim and his wife Bette came over. They had arrived earlier in the afternoon to go to the luncheon tomorrow. We had a nice visit with them before turning in. It had been a busy day.

On Thursday morning, we got up and fixed some biscuits and gravy with Bill and Ornell before we went to the luncheon at Ron Hoover RV in Donna. We had a great turnout of about 200 people including over 150 Heartland owners. It was very nice to meet so many people and we got a free lunch to boot. Ron Hoover has a nice facility in Donna and we are planning to do this again next year. We stayed there most of the day and returned home to rest.

We woke to more rainy and cold weather on Friday. Bill and I went out to see if we could help Buddy get ready to leave, but he had gotten everything done before we got out. Buddy is the Pastor of a church in north west Houston and also a retired Houston Police officer. He had to get back to prepare his sermon for Sunday. We had planned to drive over to the hand-pulled ferry near Los Ebanos today but wanted to do some other thing first to see if it would quit raining. We went over to eat at Gonzales Burgers in Donna. These burgers are HUGE, with almost a pound of meat in each hamburger patty. Bill wanted a double meat/double cheese with bacon and believe it or not, he actually ate all of it! None of us, Bill included, could believe he ate all of it. After lunch, we went to a Croc's show store and bought some more shoes. We had heard that they had some very low prices but we didn't find them. We then went to the ferry, but when we got there, it was not running in the rain. We were not even allowed to go out to the dock area, so we weren't sure if the river was running high or that they just don't run in rainy weather. We came on back home and didn't eat any more after the burgers. We also saw that Bob and Pat had arrived.

Saturday morning began very nice. The weather has warmed up some and the sun came out, making it typical Valley weather. We were sorry to see Bill and Ornell leave, but she has to go back to work (ugh, that word!) on Monday and wanted to stay overnight in Victoria which is about half way between Mission and Port Arthur. We had learned that Jim B. wanted to meet with some of us for lunch before he left on Sunday. Stella and I, Jim and Bette and Bob and Pat as well as Lenny and his wife from here at Mission West all met Jim at Tio Chuy's restaurant for lunch. We had a long lunch and visit afterwards, and after handshakes and hugs, we all left. Stella and I went to Ron Hoover RV and got the Heartland banner that we had used and then went to the Don-Wes fruit market and bought some more fruit. I bought a large bag of oranges and grapefruit to take back to Stephen F. Austin when we return there on the 1st of March. We stopped off at HEB to buy a few groceries and came back home. We invited Jim and Bette and Bob and Pat to a concert tonight at the rally. There were two groups, Keith Ross, a fiddle player and his band and the Wes Thibodeaux and his cajun band played and everyone enjoyed the music. We walked back home and everyone turned in since it was so late. Not much sitting out up here.

So long.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010-Mission West RV Park

We have had the craziest weather this year. It has snowed more this year than ever before in my life. This picture is Ian, my almost 2 year old grandson who lives in Garland, outside and enjoying the snow there last week.

It's still cold down here in Mission, but not freezing and snowing. It is pleasant during the day when the sun comes out, but we're supposed to have several more nights down in the 40's. I;m ready for winter to be over.

Today we went into Donna to a place called Gonzales Burger for lunch with Ted and Donna. Gonzales Burger is a small family-run hamburger restaurant that is in an old store in a residential section of town. They serve huge burgers and fries or onion rings that are delicious. We are told that they only serve from about 11AM until the meat runs out, about 2 o'clock. The place fills up very early. We got there about 10:30 or 10:45 and there were probably 25 people ahead of us. After we ate we went to the Don-Wes flea market where we walked around a lot but didn't buy very much. I bought a new trash can because ours blew away on one of the windy days. I looked around for it but couldn't find it.

We came back home after finishing our shopping and rested before we went to the People's Choice talent show. We had bought the tickets in advance and Stella had been told that the show started at 7, but when we showed up, we learned that the showed had started at 6:30 and we missed the first two shows. We had a real good time and listened to some very good music. The group that we voted for, the Link Family, won the award for best in show. I would like to find them performing again in the valley and go see them again. Those people can play! We came on home and Ted and Donna went to their park after a very nice night.

So long.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday February 12, 2010-Mission West RV park

We woke to warmer temperatures again this morning. It is still chilly in the early morning, but it warmed up nicely during the day.Stella and I ate breakfast in the trailer this morning so we could go over to Mexico today. We left here about 9:30 or so and went down to Progresso for the border crossing there. There are still problems with the drug lords on the Mexico side in other areas and crossings, but this is where we had been across last year when we were here and we knew there is a large military presence at Progresso.

We found the Almost Free Pharmacy where we had gone last year, and again bought a year's supply of our medications for little over a month's cost on the United States side. The medications are exactly the same, so I don't understand why they are such a lower price in Mexico. This one trip across more than paid for our passports that are now required to come back to the U.S. I'm not going into a rant on the illegal alien problems that we have. The problem is actually a political one that we have, not just the illegals that come here.

Our friend Christina and I had made a bet on the Super Bowl, and my team won (Who Dat), so today I used my winnings to buy myself a new Rolex watch. Actually, my winnings only paid 1/3 of the cost of the new watch, but I got a new watch just the same.

I went to a dentist while in Mexico since I have heard how much cheaper they are over there, and by golly, it's true. I got an estimate on some extensive work that I need to have done that is less than half what it would cost from an American dentist. Am I contributing to a problem of taking my money across the border? I don't think so. I doubt that any dentist will lose his practice because I used a Mexican dentist. Remember, I'm living on a fixed income now and have to make every penny count, so if I can save a lot of money across the border, so be it. More dentists will lose out if the government goes on with this ridiculous healthcare bill that they are forcing on us, but there I go again on my political rant. I HOPE to see the CHANGE in government that NO INCUMBENT will be re-elected and EVERY "professional politician" will feel the wrath of the American voters and be sent home. I promise that this is my last political statement today

When we finished up in Mexico, we came back and stood in the long line to come back into the United States. It took much longer to get back into the US than it did to leave, but that's okay, we're back.

We went into some more of the RV parks in Weslaco and Donna to try to find a new one for next time we come down here. I met some more Heartlanders and invited them to the events next week at a couple of parks.

Ted and Donna had stayed home this morning because they forgot their passports so they couldn't go across, and Ted had made an appointment with a man to wash and wax his trailer. We called them this afternoon and decided that we would go eat at Cheddars restaurant. They have never been to one, so it was a treat for them. The food was good as usual and we had a fine time together. We had thought about going to a performance tonight at our park, but we stayed in the restaurant too long and missed it. We will see this guy tomorrow night with his family at our park, so we'll be able to give you a review of him then. We just came back home and relaxed, for tomorrow is another busy day.

So long.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday February 11, 2010-Mission West RV park

We didn't do too much today. We ate breakfast here at home and Stella began looking for other parks for us to stay in next year. Although we like the friendliness of this park, it is just too far away from the activities. I got caught up in my blogging which I had let lapse. I am now all caught up!

In the afternoon, we began going around checking out some of the parks that Stella had found. Ted was tied up with business again and had to take one of his clients out for lunch which kept them busy. As we went into parks to check them out, I stopped by at several Heartland trailers to invite people to the luncheon next week. I made contact with several people and left fliers at some other trailers and actually had five people that signed up to attend. One couple from Iowa was real excited at the invitation, but when they checked their calendar, they discovered that they have to go back home on Wednesday for a grandson's wrestling tournament, so they will have to miss it. I am sorry because they were so fired up about coming to this event.

We eliminated some of the parks that Stella had found because they were too tight to get around comfortably in or they had too many full-time residents. We have found that the full-time residents try to take over everything in the parks and are snobbish toward us "winter" residents.

We stopped and got fuel today and took 25.5 gallons to go 409.3 miles for a 16 MPG average. I guess that's not too bad for in town, stop and go driving. I'm just glad to have good oil pressure again in the truck.

Stella had put some pork ribs in the crock pot, so we had our supper already prepared when we got back home. She fixed some coconut rice to go with it, so we had another great meal here.

So long.

Wednesday February 10, 2010-Mission West RV Park

Today was more Ropas shopping. We woke and made breakfast and went over to pick up Donna at Bentsen Palms Village and set out in search of more cheap clothes, but today we had a much better idea of where we wanted to go. We soon found two strip malls with stores in them and spent a couple of hours there. Together we spent almost $200 but got about $500 worth of clothing. It was a good day.

Because I had driven her around for two days, Donna said she would buy our lunch at the Furr's Fresh Buffet. They have a great selection of foods and best of all, they have some killer coconut cream pie, but sadly, they never put any out while we were there. Make no mistake, we all got plenty to eat. I even had some pieces of a pie that had come apart in the pie plate. I read somewhere that when pie breaks up like that, just like when cookies do, that all the sugar molecules evaporate and they become good for fat people with diabetes. Lets look a little closer at a piece of lemon meringue pie for instance. The pie crust is made of flour (grain), lemon (citrus fruit) and egg whites for the meringue. Take the sugar out and everything left is good for you.

After we returned home, we rested up and went to Ted and Donna's park for a margarita "mixer" and hung around there for a "Bentsen Palms Has Talent" show. It was a really good show and we enjoyed it. Best of all, we were home by 9:30, so I wasn't out too late.

So long.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010-Mission West RV Park

Tuesday morning, Ted flew out to Ft. Worth on business. I had told Donna that we would go shopping at the Ropas stores in and around Hidalgo. There are Ropas Usadas or used clothing stores and Ropas Nuevos, or new clothing stores. Donna and Stella wanted to go to the Nuevas stores, so we set out in search of them. We went to a couple of them last year in Hidalgo, so we went back and found one. The Usada stores are much easier to find but the women there seem to have their areas where they look for clothes of a certain size and/or style. One of them glared at Donna when they both tried to pick up the same item. I think Donna could have taken her, but it would have been ugly.

We shopped in two or three stores and decided to leave and try to find some more stores. Donna called Ted, who had landed in Ft. Worth. He told us to go down FM 1015 near the Progresso bridge. None of us remembered a store there, but off we went anyway. It turned out that we were right and Ted was wrong, so nah nah nah...We searched and searched but couldn't find a store.

I had called to check on my computer and learned that it would be ready this afternoon. We went to one of our old favorites for lunch, Martha's in Donna. You may remember that this place is right beside the Casa Del Sol RV Park where we all stayed last year. We all had plenty to eat and the food was delicious as usual. We stopped off at Mr. PC and picked up my computer which was as good as new.

We dropped Donna off at her trailer and we returned home. I had a big bunch of emails to look through, so that took me most of the evening and night. I am behind, as usual, but at least I have my computer back. You never realize how much you miss this contraption, but it's easy to get attached to them.

So long.

Monday February 8, 2010-Mission West RV park

We woke to warm weather at last! We enjoyed 80 degrees today, but we are hearing that the cold weather is returning later in the week. I had found out that some of the guys in the park meet in one of the small meeting rooms for coffee, so I went down to meet them this morning. I knew one of them because he is a Bighorn owner and I had already talked to him and his wife about the luncheon next week.

When I returned to the trailer, I found that the power cord in my computer had broken, so I had to take it to get it worked on. I took it to Best Buy, where the computer was bought, but learned that they do not work on any of the hardware in the store but send them out for repairs. One of the main reasons I had bought from Best Buy was because of their "Geek Squad" service workers, but I found out that they only work on software issues but not hardware. The clerk recommended the Mr. PC in McAllen. I took the computer there and they said they could have it repaired by tomorrow. Thank goodness...

I came back home to find our friends Jim and Gina from Rayford had come by for a visit. They are in the valley to find a place to come possibly next year. We had a nice visit and made a couple of suggestion of parks for them to look at. It was good to see our friends from Rayford and to catch up with some of the news from there.

I had met a man named Gary at the flea market who was selling tank vent covers. These are similar in action to the "whirly bird" vents that many use, except that these use no moving parts. When the wind blows over the vent, it creates a vacuum that removes the odors from the tanks and are much more efficient that the older style covers. He came by the trailer to install three of them on the trailer; one on the black water tank, and two on the gray water tanks. These should help in venting these tanks, and actually, two of the vents including the black water tank, were not even connected to the vents that were installed from the factory.

After Gary got through installing the vent covers, we left and went to run some errands including going to Ron Hoover RV's to see Dalia there about the Heartland luncheon and to pick up some flyers to hand out to RV parks in this area. I also met with the Parts and Service manager to get some details worked out for the luncheon. We dropped off some of the flyers at individual trailers in the area and will go back out to drop off more.

Stella and I went to the Furr's Fresh Buffet in McAllen for a late lunch. While walking into the restaurant, we saw Marv and his wife leaving. They are also Heartland owners and we stayed near them in Goshen. He is also very active on the Heartland owners forum. We talked briefly to them but there was too much traffic in the parking lot to stay long. We went in and had a fine meal and soon returned home.

Ted and Donna came over to see a jam session of music played by some of the park residents that wanted to play. Some were good and some were not so good, but everyone had a good time. It has always amazed me of how many people down here in the valley that either sing or play music.

We left the show before it ended but we were all tired and wanted to go home to rest. Ted is flying out to Ft. Worth tomorrow, so I have to entertain both Donna and Stella. I guess I'll say a lot of yes dear for the next couple of days.

So long.

Sunday February 7, 2010-Mission West RV Park

We ate our breakfast here in the trailer this morning, but went over to pick up Ted and Donna to go out visiting friends and scouting around the area. They had been to church and were just returning to the park when we got there.

We went over to the Retama Village and saw one of our Heartland friends, Kathy, who owns one of the Super RV lots there. Kathy's house on her lot was actually featured on the advertising for the subdivision because she had furnished it so well. We drove around into the RV/houses so Donna could take some photos for Tommy and Susan, who are interested in this type of place.

After finishing up at Retama Village, we went over to the Don-Wes flea market to walk around a bit. We didn't buy too much but soon returned to Ted and Donna's park for the Super Bowl party. They had a meal of hamburgers with all the fixin's before the game started, and we had a great time watching an outstanding game. It was especially good for me because I had made a small bet with Christina and won the bet because she is an Indy fan. Who Dat? Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and to Drew Brees, the MVP of the game.

After the game, we came home for the night. It was a good day and we got a lot done.

So long.

Saturday, February 6, 2010-Mission West RV Park

Today we woke and ate breakfast at home. We stayed here in the park in the morning and I cleaned up the truck. The difference in the two parks down here is amazing. At Casa Del Sol last year, we didn't really meet anyone near us and most of the people didn't speak. Thats not the case around here. Lots of folks stopped by while walking, and it makes us feel more at home here.

Ted and Donna came down today from Victoria in their brand new Hitchhiker trailer. Ted found the trailer on E Bay from a tip from someone on the Hitchhiker forum. The trailer is a brand new, never registered 2008 36' Champagne. They are thrilled to get the trailer, although Ted said it has some options that he wouldn't have ordered but the floorplan is exactly what he wanted. It was a big relief for Donna because it didn't cost as much as she had anticipated, although he is probably going to buy a new truck to pull it. Its good when things work out like that...

We went over to their park, the Bentsen Palm Village RV Park to see their new rig. We stayed over there with them, oohing and aahing over the new trailer for the afternoon. We all got hungry later in the afternoon and went to Tio Chuy's restaurant for supper. We had a very nice meal and since Ted and Donna were tired from their drive up from the Woodlands, we all went to our homes for the night.

So long.

Friday, February 5, 2010-Mission West RV park

We woke to warm weather again, thank goodness! It has finally warmed up down here, so we took advantage by staying around here today. I walked around the park a couple of times today, enjoying the clear skies and warm temperatures.

We went to Wal Mart to do our weekly grocery shopping in the morning. There are at least three Wal Marts pretty near this park, but there are several grocery stores just as close. Of course, down here in the valley, everything is in spanish for the heavy mexican population here. I'm not a racist, but I get tired of people talking in Tex-Mex instead of English.

I have forgotten to record my fuel here. I filled up both tanks on the 3rd because I had found some "low" priced fuel. I took 35 gallons of diesel to go 406.9 miles for an 11.6 MPG average. Almost all of this was pulling the trailer mileage, so it's not too bad.

The young man who washes trailers came by this afternoon. He washed and waxed the trailer for $80! He worked by himself and did a great job, although it took him about 3 1/2 hours. The trailer looks much better now. It had rained so much on us coming down here. it was filthy, but now it looks brand new.

So long.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday February 4, 2010-Mission West RV park

Today was a relaxing day. We had errands to run and chores to get done around here. Stella fixed us some breakfast and we just hung out here. We went to get a propane tank filled near the park. We had a choice to wait until Friday when the propane truck comes into the park but we decided to try the store. It is only a couple of blocks away and much cheaper than we have been paying. Thats one of the things I like about coming down here, the lower prices.

We came back home and got the clothes ready to go to the washateria in the park. Len, another Heartland owner came by to talk about the meet and greet at the Retama Village RV Resort and the luncheon at Ron Hoover. We had a nice visit and he signed up to come to both events. This luncheon is shaping up really well and is larger than last year's at Furr's Fresh Buffet.

I took Stella over to the washateria in the park and dropped her off there. I came back home to watch TV and surf the net and of course, took a short nap in my chair. Just about the time Stella was ready to be picked up, Jeremy called and asked me to call Cameron when he got home. It seems that Mr. Cameron is not doing well in school and needed a little pep talk from Pepaw. I went and got Stella and called Cam and talked to him for fifteen or 20 minutes. I hope our little chat does some good with him. Time will tell, he'll be getting his report card next month, so we'll know then. I will be very disappointed in him if he doesn't improve his grades and his attitude.

So long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday February 3, 2010-Mission West RV park

On our first full day in Mission, we got a lot done. Stella fixed us a good breakfast to start out and we got started pretty early. It was still raining and cool here this morning, and we started out by going to Ron Hoover RV where we were having the Heartland luncheon on the 18th. I had exchanged emails with Joe Diaz the sales manager at the store and today was my first meeting with him. We worked out several details with him and another store employee, Dahlia Ramirez, who had been assigned as my contact at the store. We were there for about two hours working out these issues and I hope everything goes off well.

From there, we went to visit with an old friend that we had made last year at the Casa Del Sol RV Park, Trula and her husband Kermit. When we arrived, Trula was home alone but said she had been sick for a few days. Kermit was out running errands, so we didn't get to see him. I invited them to the luncheon and after a nice visit with her, we left. We stopped off at the Don-Wes flea market but didn't buy anything there but some oranges and grapefruit. I did make a deal with a vendor to come out here and install some vent covers that will improve our holding tank's performance. He will be out on Monday.

We went to our favorite oriental food restaurant in the valley, Lin's. The food was again very good and we had a great meal. On the way out, we met an older gentleman who said he is a preacher. We visited with him for over 30 minutes in front of the restaurant and finally had to go so we could get home before dark. We decided to go back home on Business 83 instead of the freeway 83. This was the most frustrating road I have ever been on. Not only did we have to navigate through the little towns of Weslaco, Donna, Pharr, McAllen and Mission, the road actually came to a dead end and turned us around going the opposite direction from where we had come in on. We ended up getting back on the freeway and went straight back home.

I almost forgot to mention that Ted and Donna have bought a new Hitchhiker trailer. Ted found it on E Bay after he was told about it on the Nu-Wa forum. They are very excited about their new rig and will be here on Saturday. Their trailer is being delivered from Mesa Arizona, and the driver will take their old trailer back with him as a trade-in. I will be very interested in seeing it when they get here.

I also accomplished something else today. I found a trailer washing service that will wash and wax our trailers for $80.00! That's right, $80 for a wash AND wax. I had this one washed at Rayford for $100 for wash only. How much work could this guy get if he was in Houston? Rayford Crossing alone would keep him busy.

Since we had eaten in the middle of the afternoon, we weren't hungry, so I went to bed pretty early. At least the rain had stopped!

So long.

Tuesday February 2, 2010-Moving Day, Lazy Longhorn to Mission West

We woke up this morning and had a bowl of cereal before leaving out of this park on our way to Mission. There was little to do, and we got away about 9:30. We were in no big hurry because we don't have that far to go. We stopped a couple of times along the way for breaks and pulled into the Mission West RV Park about 3 o'clock. They escorted us to Tom's site that he just bought and got his improvements made and I got backed in without problem.

This park is much friendlier than Casa Del Sol where we stayed last year in Donna. Our neighbors all came by and introduced themselves and even people from the next street over came by to say hi. Some of it may have been due to this being Tom's site and he and Judy have made many friends here.

We were all set up by 4:30 with everything done except the Dish being tuned in. It had rained on us all day again and it was raining here, making the Dish alignment difficult because of the cloud cover. We went in and set up the air antenna for the local channels, so we had some entertainment. Of course, I had set my computer up and was furiously returning and answering emails. I am co-hosting a luncheon for Heartland in Donna on the 18th, so I had a lot to get done in the first couple of days. I had several people that had signed up and had to be added to the list of attendees.

We went to a local mexican restaurant, Tio Chuy's which is right around the corner from the park. It was delicious, and we enjoyed our meal. We were served by the grand daughter of the founder of the restaurant and she helped us make our choices from the menu. For instance, she recommended that we try their corn tortillas instead of the usual flour ones, and she made the right decision for us. The corn tortillas were the best I have ever had! The entire meal was delicious and she referred to us as "her" winter Texans. We didn't have the heart to tell her that we are both Texans by birth. She was cute and we will be back there.

We came back home and watched a little television before I turned in. It was still raining lightly, so the sleeping was good again.

So long.

Monday February 1, 2010-Moving Day, SFASP to Lonesome Longhorn

Since we were relieved of duty yesterday afternoon, you would have thought that we would have had everything put away and be ready to go at sunup, but you would have been wrong. We visited with our friends that we had made, Bobby and Debbie, A.D. and Dee, as well as Larry and Ann. We got NOTHING done on Sunday, so it all got done on Monday morning. We had originally planned to go all the way to Mission today, but we had already reconsidered and planned to go to Victoria to the Lazy Longhorn. We had heard good things about this park, and although the sites were a little tight, it was nothing we couldn't handle.

I woke early, as usual, and decided that Victoria was too close to us and that we should push on a little farther today. I picked out a small park in Sinton TX with some alternatives in other cities, but Stella wasn't too keen on stopping at a little park with all back-in sites. It wouldn't have mattered to me, and we would have been 50 or so miles closer to Mission, but she said no. Then when we started getting packed up, things seemed to go at a snail's pace and we didn't get away until about 11:30. We actually made good time on the road, and stopped once for a break. While there, we picked up a couple of sandwiches and some coffee for Stella and went on down the road. We pulled into Victoria about 2 o'clock and got the water, cable and electricity set out. It had rained on us much of the way up here, and the weather was still cold, so we went inside and just watched television. Stella fixed us something to eat for supper and we went to bed pretty early.

I had sent an email to one of our Heartland couple friends, Jerry and Diane, who are spending the winter in Victoria, but unfortunately, he didn't get my email until after we had already left. As it turned out, they were parked just across the street from the park where we were, about 200 yards away. I wish I had known it because I had walked up to the street in front of the park and actually looked over at the lot where they were but didn't see their trailer. We'll catch up to them another time.

At least the rain was soothing and we got a good night's rest.

So long.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday January 31, 2010-Stephen F. Austin SP

Today is our last day in this park for awhile. Did I tell you that we re-upped for park hosting here next year from January thru March? We did, and Ann, the assistant manager, apparently accepted us because she wrote our name down in their book. We may change our mind after we return in March, but it can't be all that bad can it?

We checked the bathrooms and gave them a thorough cleaning for the last time. After we got through, Larry came by and told me that if we were through, I could bring my gear and the golf cart back to the shop sometime before 5 when he was getting off work. I guess we've been relieved.

We watched a little television and saw a couple of trailers come by to go park around on the other side of the circle. I wondered then if one of them was my replacement. As it turned out, one was. A.D. came by to say goodbye and said that the other two trailers were a friend of the new park host that parked on the other side, Jerry and his wife Diane. We never met the two new rigs, but Larry came by later and said that he would go talk to the new folks, and that I could just load everything on the cart and bring it over to them. He never called me to bring it over, but came back to tell me they had gone for a hike down one of the trails and to bring everything up to headquarters. I took all the gear up and dropped it off in the office and had a little chat with Ann before Stella came to pick me up. We went to Tony's for one last meal and some more of their great pie. We came back home with nothing to do for the first time in a month. It felt pretty good.

So long.

Saturday January 30, 2010-Stephen F. Austin SP

We got up this morning and ate a quick breakfast and checked the bathrooms early so we could run down to the Lakeview RV park where Bill and Ornell had come down for Bill medical treatment and to visit with Tom and Judy. We have also planned to go to the Houston Car Show this afternoon.

When we got to the show, we waited for Bill and Ornell's son Tommy, his wife Jackie and their son Tanner. Tanner is 7 and really seemed to enjoy the show. The first thing we saw at the show was the Toyota display, where they drove some of their cars around the lot, showing off different features. We didn't drive because we were afraid that these cars might be a part of the big Toyota recall and have a sticky accelerator.

When we did get inside, we were disappointed that neither Ford nor GM had brought a dually truck to the show. In fact, both brought a 3/4 ton truck with a diesel motor, but the Ford is a new model and they wouldn't let it be inspected except for walking around the outside. The truck was locked and could not be opened, nor would they allow the engine to be viewed since it is a new design that is not released yet. The GM is the same-old, same-old thing, so it was really nothing new. There are a few new whistles and bells, but nothing out of the ordinary. I don't understand corporate thinking. People pay for parking and then an entry fee for a car show, yet not all models are present, or they won't let you look at it because it hasn't been released yet. Sales are down across the board, yet they don't care about the buyers that are looking at their products. It doesn't give me a very warm and fuzzy feeling toward GM and FoMoCo. Dodge, however, had a dually and a couple of 3/4 ton trucks with the new Cummins diesel engine. Guess which one I'm looking at when I think of a new truck?

Judy started getting tired, so before we got too upset, we left the show and went to Judy's favorite restaurant, the Adobe. We had another fine meal and everyone enjoyed it. Tom and Judy had ridden with Bill, so when we finished eating, we came back home and they returned to Lakeview.

We got back to the park in time to make our late afternoon check of the bathrooms. Everything was okay there, so our thanks go to our friends A.D. and his wife Dee for taking care of things for us. We have made some good friends while we have been here, including them and also Bobby and Debbie and Don and Nita. We all have different duties but we are friends so when one needs some help, we are there for each other. Nice to have friends...

So long.