Friday, March 15, 2019

And a fun time was had by all . . .

We visited at Cousin Gary and Jo's on Wednesday. His sister Shirley and her daughter Vikki were visiting from Mississippi, so we had a little mini-family reunion! It was good to see them.

Thursday, we girlies all left in the late morning and went shopping. We went to craft stores and I got some more yarn. . . hmmmmm imagine that! We ate out at Cowboy Chicken which was good. At least what I got I really liked. I had been wanting to try this restaurant as they have one in Mission, Texas, that we had never tried.

Today Shirley and Vikki left to go back to Mississippi and Gary and Jo drove over to our camp and picked us up. We ran a couple errands and then ended up at a restaurant called Middendorf's in Akers, Louisiana. It is between Lake Maurepas and Lake Ponchartrain. It is famous for its "thin fried catfish." It was thin and it was very good. Another case of too much food. We got the "small" plates and once again brought half of it home to eat another day. But since we are embarking on traveling for a few days, it will give us "road food" as we like to call it. After our meal, we walked out to the deck and the pier that juts out into the water.

On our way back, we went through Ponchatoula which is known as the strawberry capital of the world. I don't think they are the only place that makes that claim, but they did have fresh strawberries for sale on every street corner. So we made the guys stop and we walked to one vender and bought a flat of the biggest berries I have every seen. Jo and I split them and I did get mine all cleaned tonight and we had some fruit for a snack. Yum yum.

We eventually ended up back in Amite where they were having the 2019 Oyster Festival. Jo was excited to go since they had never been and, of course, neither had we. So we walked around a bit. It wasn't very large, but there were some food venues. Jo wanted me to try to things, so I tried the shrimp and grits. The grits were actually pretty good, but I didn't care for how the shrimp was prepared. She said different people do them different ways and I might want to try them somewhere else. She also had me try charbroiled oysters. Oh my. . . now those I really liked. And Jo seemed to think those weren't the best she has had, but they were very good.

There were two music stages and there was a young man playing when we arrived. He actually was very good. A single guitar, but very talented and didn't seem to be very old. It was an enjoyable end to a wonderful day and we enjoyed spending it with Gary and Jo.

We returned to camp and said our goodbyes. It's been a fun few days, but we will return.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Love Louisiana!

We arrived in Louisiana after leaving the valley and spent our first night here in Breaux Bridge at Cajun Palms. This was actually our second time to visit this camp. It is a very nice camp and we enjoyed a seafood dinner at Crawfishtown, U.S.A. near our campground. I can't believe how much food they gave us. We should have gotten one meal and split it. We got the seafood platter and it came with a stuffed crab, a stuffed shrimp, oysters, a catfish filet, shrimp, french fries, coleslaw and hush puppies. We brought over half our meal home and then put them all in the freezer because we knew we wouldn't be eating any of it any time soon.

We left there on Wednesday morning and planned a relatively short day of driving to Amite, Louisiana. We wanted to visit cousin Gary and Jo and we normally stay in his yard, but they have had so much rain that Gary worries we may get our rig stuck in the yard and that would be no fun, so we stayed at a camp we have stayed at before when we visited them. It is 39 miles away and takes 55 minutes to travel, but it is a nice, clean camp and much larger lots and cheaper, albeit farther away, than the KOA over at Denham Springs. So we signed up for three nights.

We had the worst traffic we have every had coming out of Houston and across I-10 in Louisiana. There were times all the east-bound traffic stopped and there appeared to be no rhyme or reason why. No road construction, no wrecks, etc. There were even two times when road signs posted that the right lane was closing ahead, so we all dutifully got over into the left lane. The lane closure never materialized. Me thinks someone is playing head games with us! LOL When we got to Baton Rouge, the traffic stopped about five miles from the bridge. Then it was stop/go/creep all the way up to and over the bridge. I really didn't want to cross it. . . I don't like traffic stopped on bridges. I like it moving, but we stopped right at the apex. Fortunately it was a quick stop and then we proceeded on and made it over the bridge. Hope the traffic on eastbound tomorrow will be better. Should be since we have Houston, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans traffic out of the way. Another reason we decided to stay here is because we are about an hour east of Baton Rouge, so it will be a quicker and easier getaway.

Till next time. . .


Friday, March 08, 2019

T minus 3 days and counting. . .

That's right. . . we are getting things ready and going to be leaving the valley for the year on Monday. You might know. . . after a pitifully cold and wet winter, it is starting to warm up. We still don't see the sun too much though. I don't know if it's all the pollution spilling over from Mexico or what. But it sure has been a gray winter.

Yesterday we went to recycling for the last time. Got that stuff all emptied out of the shed. We got home and went for our walk. Two miles every day, but we sometimes walk the mall. We have walked the mall over one-third of our time here this winter. Some days we wait till it warms up in the afternoon, but neither of us likes waiting till so late.

After we got back from our walk, I swept out the car and cleaned the backend out. Terry loads the back with the motorhome spare tire, boots, hoses, grill, etc. So I wanted to sweep it out before he put all that stuff in. I swept out the seats too and put the dog sling back in. The sling was great for Duchess because it kept the seats clean and was protection for her to keep her from falling down into the footwells. It works now to keep things organized and the back seat clean.

This morning we went for our walk early and then came back and waited for propane to top off the motorhome tanks. Then we defrosted the motorhome freezers and brought everything from the refrigerator/freezer in the Texas room to the motorhome fridge. We have everything in it, so we won't have to eat ourselves silly getting rid of stuff.

I have started laundry for the day and I'm going to work over in the Texas room getting things cleaned and covered for the summer. It really can be a big job to do all of this, but we work at it over a two week period, so it really goes quite fast.

I just got done picking up the "bling" in the yard. Our site numbers and name placards. Put all that away. Getting ready to cover the windows in the Texas Room. Putting bubble wrap in the windows has really helped to eliminate damage from the sun during the hot summer when we aren't here.

Got all that done, ate lunch, and did the dishes. Now to go out and finish the laundry, then I will dust and sweep the Texas Room and start dragging stuff into it.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Wastin' away in Margaritaville. . .

Well it seems like that. Here we sit in "warm" south Texas where it was 37* yesterday and promises to be about the same today. Years ago, Mom always said they had two weeks of winter around Christmas time, but that was it. Winter has lasted here this year. . . well. . . ALL WINTER. Is that so bad? Well, yeah. We want to be warm. I suppose there have been other bad winters here,  the last 3 out of 5 winters have been bad, but this year it has lasted ALL WINTER. Yuck. We have had very few nice warm days. We finally washed the motorhome two weeks ago. . . first day nice enough for Terry to get out and play with the water. He's washed the car twice. Will it never end? I know people have it much worse further north, but for those of us who travel 2,000 south to avoid cold weather, it's still the pits! My arthritis has kicked up big time and it has made me miserable.

So, we are about to blow this popsicle stand. Actually it is time for us to leave anyway, so we are heading out next Monday and going to Florida to see Brandon. We plan a stop at cousin Gary's in Zachary, Louisiana, first to touch base with Terry's family, then heading over to the Sunshine State to see Brandon, Megan, and Brynlee and their new dog, Lily. Can't wait to see them all.

We haven't done a lot this winter because it's been too cold for Terry to get out most days, but we still have managed to get to a couple rock 'n roll jams. We enjoy the music. Last weekend our friend, Danny and his new band, Poison Ivey, played over at Sleepy. It was three hours of great, great music. . . rock, ballads, Tom Petty, Beatles, Doors, Bob Segar, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. They are really great musicians and did a wonderful job entertaining us all. They are just recently formed, so we are hoping for many more play dates next year.

We also accomplished a first for us this year. We haven't been to Mexico in probably ten years, safety being the obvious issue. There have been many incidences in the border towns in the last few years and we decided not to get caught up in it. But, for lack of anything else to do, we decided to head down to Progreso to maybe get some medications, etc. We left early one morning and, of course, it was overcast and misting on us, but we went anyway. Figured it wasn't raining hard and maybe there wouldn't be big crowds. We got there about 8:30 in the morning and walked across with no line at all. Everything is just as we remembered it, and if possible, it was even dirtier. The sidewalks are all taken up with vendors outside the regular stores and it is tight to maneuver your way through from one store to the next. That is more congested than we remembered it. We ducked in a few stores to buy souvenirs for the grandkids and then walked on to find the pharmacy that we always liked to do business with. It is a couple blocks down, so once we found it, we crossed the street at the corner and walked back up. We got some medications that we like to have in stock and then headed back to the bridge. It was only 10:30 in the morning, having accomplished what we went there for, and there was no line at the bridge. We showed our passports and walked back across the border to our car. It was a good time and is still an interesting event.

After leaving that area, we drove on east and headed to South Padre Island. We wanted to go to Louie's Backyard and take in their seafood and prime rib buffet. It didn't start until 4 p.m. so we had to find something to do. We drove out to the convention center as they were having Market Days, which is like a big Flea Market, but with new products. We spent a couple hours there looking around, but didn't buy anything. It was fun though. Afterwards, we drove as far north as we could drive. The road even then was getting covered with sand as the winds whipped around. It was still misting and foggy and on the bridge coming over, we couldn't see the water. Couldn't see the tops of the hotels either, but as the day wore on, vision did improve.

Eventually we made it to Louie's and we weren't disappointed. The buffet was wonderful and delicious and we both enjoyed it. After stuffing ourselves, we headed back to Mission and got back around 7 p.m. It had been a long day, but we enjoyed it and it was something different from what we usually do.

In other news, I did sell Mom's place. Took a month to get everything signed, sealed, and delivered, but it is done finally. The couple who bought it are from Illinois and they are not yet retired, so planned to spend one week here, three weeks working, etc., during the winter months. But they just this week bought another place over in Hidden right across the street from their friends. It is a bigger place, with a casita and garage. Extra living space for visitors who come down, etc. It is a larger lot and a newer park model. They bought it really cheap and I cannot blame them at all for buying it. I would have too if i had wanted to be down here with my friends. So now they have put Mom's place back up for sale. More people have been looking lately and the word is they won't have any trouble selling it. It would be nice to have someone in the place. When I look at it empty, it reminds me of Mom and Dad not being here. When people are there, it's a different mindset. So hopefully they will be able to sell it soon.

I have gotten a lot of projects done this winter. I have been doing a lot of crocheting, trying to learn more and become more skilled. I've done several blankets. I also did a shrug, a kind of modified sweater, but I didn't like it once it was completed so I just took it apart and made a throw out of it. Looks great for that. I also crocheted myself a hat and a scarf which I have actually used. LOL  I also made Jocelyn a new cape. Her first I made is about 25 years old and becoming threadbare, so I bought new fabric last year and got it made while we were down here. I also got a lot of mending done, which I hate to do, but actually finished! We've both done a lot of reading.

We miss our Duchess, for sure. I don't miss the getting out when it's so cold to take her to the dog park, but I miss the time we spent with her. She was miserable the last part of her life. Being blind and deaf would be difficult for any being and she was not happy. When she last got sick, she couldn't even stand up, so she is now in a better place. But we still love her dearly, as we do all our departed pets.

This year we have been sprucing up the park a bit. New windows replaced the old, leaking ones and the entire outside was repainted. The paint had faded so badly and had turned a pinkish color, so the new paint really looks great. Some of our very talented residents repainted the Restful Valley Ranch sign and did an outstanding job. And in the valley, they have started placing "Butterfly" statues to signify the "Butterfly Capital of the World." There are a lot of butterflies down here and this is pretty cool. 

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Duchess Diane of Dundee, 4/12/2006-1/15/2019

Duchess Diane of Dundee, affectionately known as Duchess or "Duckie" passed away on Tuesday, January 15, 2018, in Weslaco, Texas, at Border Animal Hospital. She died in the loving arms of her human.

Duchess was born on Killdeer Farm in Tanner, West Virginia, and lived on the farm until she came to live with Terry and I along with her sister, Miss Butterscotch of Killdeer, aka Butterscotch. Her parents were Mister Dickens II of Killdeer and her mother was Chantilly's Midnight Lace. All three preceded her in death.

Duchess had enjoyed good health until her sister Butterscotch died and then shortly after she developed diabetes. It took some time to get this disease under control and as a result, she developed cataracts and became blind. Late last year, she also seemed to become deaf.

Last week Duchess became quite ill and refused to eat. Attempts were made to remedy this but eventually she refused all food and became very week. She seemed to have no joy left after the blindness and deafness, so we decided to help end her pain.

She is sadly missed by Terry and I and life will not be the same.

R.I.P. sweet girlie. We love you. Our hearts are broken.

It was decided to donate all her beds, toys, dishes, food, medical supplies, etc., to a no-kill animal shelter in Edinburg, Texas. We are assured that new adoptees will get to choose toys that once belonged to our girlies.

Rest assured that she and Butterscotch are running free at the Rainbow Bridge and will be ready to greet us when we get there.

Till next time. . .


Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter musings!

We come to south Texas in the winter for warm weather. We are still looking for that today as the temperature dips to 44 for the morning low. It's been like that off and on since we got here. Only a couple days have been warm enough to wear shorts. Still haven't washed the motorhome as it requires it to be warm for Terry to help with that task.

We came to this park twelve years ago and established our place right behind my mom and dad, so we could "watch" them and be here for them. Daddy is gone now and Mom (93) decided last year not to come anymore. She wasn't able to sell her place last year, so that has been our job this year. Other places are selling, but for some reason we couldn't get any takers on Mom's. Then one day some people came and went through, looking for friends of theirs a place to spend the winter. The friends called, but immediately decided it was too small. Then a couple days ago they called back and made an offer which I accepted and are sending earnest money. They are coming the second week in January to sign papers. Nervous I am because they haven't seen it. It is a nice place, though, and clean, but one never knows exactly what they are expecting. So I continue to show it and will take backup offers in the event the first one falls through. Wish me luck.

Terry is doing well and getting his strength back. We are walking 2.2 miles every day. Many times we drive to the mall to walk. It is a beautiful mall and is 1.2 miles around the inside to walk. . . really large. Today will be another mall walking day as Terry can't walk outside in such cold temps. Then we have a rock n roll jam to go to later.

Duchess is doing well and is walking to the dog park again. For a long time I had to take her in the golf cart as she just stops and won't go anymore. But lately she hasn't wanted to spend as much time in the park. It's just an empty lot and a neighbor says coyotes have been coming through some, so perhaps that's why she doesn't want to go there. She does spend a lot of time with her nose up sniffing the air.

We will go to Christmas dinner at the hall on Tuesday. It's always a great meal and fun times. We've been asked to join our neighbor at their table. Great people.

Merry Christmas everyone and God bless.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Back to traveling!

A week or so ago, we closed up the house and took off in Phaeton Place for the Warsaw fairgrounds. We stayed there for a couple nights and visited with Mom and sister Nita and husband. We enjoyed a great visit. Mom is in great shape for 93 years old with no real complaints.  She is living in her own house, a park model in Nita's woods, and is as independent as she wants to be. Nita visits every day and sees to it that she has what she needs. All the same things we did for her when we would be with her in Texas for the winter. But Mom has decided she will not return to Texas anymore. Our job is to sell her place when we get there and we hope to get that done pronto.

After leaving Warsaw, we went to New Castle and set up camp at Summit Lake State Park, near our former home in Mooreland. We stay there and do the rounds of our doctors which we kept when we went fulltime and travel all over. You gotta' be somewhere for doctor's appointments, so we stick with our old providers.

We managed to have some fun at the same time by visiting with a colleague of mine. They have a Scottish Terrier, Baxter, and he and Duchess got to visit. Didn't really do much together. . . they are like two ships that pass in the night. But it was a change of scenery for Duchess and she does enjoy their back yard!

Our yearly doctor appointments went well. Terry's doctor reinforced our thinking on his medical problems, particularly his heart issues. He confirmed that Terry can build his heart back up from where it is now and perhaps get back into the same physical condition he was in prior to getting sick last winter. That illness really dragged him down and reduced his heart function, but he is already doing better. It will just take time and we are working on getting his stamina back. Walking daily has already improved that, so we are hoping to continue.

We then saw his cardiologist in Indy. He made a couple med changes which we hoped he would. One med he takes is a rhythm drug and the doctor had scaled back on it. Other doctors have tried that, but it seems they all want to give it a go. But it doesn't work for Terry. So they are increasing that again. At least we know from the tests they did this summer that the med, previously suspected of causing lung problems, has not in fact done anything to his lungs, so they were okay with increasing it again.

So we are back on the road and heading toward Virginia to see the kids. . . at least the first round! We will get into Charlottesville on Sunday and visit with Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan, Aenea and Pepper for a week! Whoo hoo! Can't wait to see them. It's been a long summer without my grandkids fix.

We are currently camped at Camp Creek, West Virginia, which is a neat little state park we found a couple years ago. We even have a full hookup site and it's paved. There are streams and waterfalls all around us and it's quite loud when we step outside. I was concerned about the level rising as these streams are raging pretty good right now what with all the rain they have had here. But they assure us the worst is over. The picture on the left and the picture on the right are the same MashFork falls, two years ago and yesterday.

We will go make a supply run today before leaving tomorrow. And do a little hiking.

Till next time. . .