Monday, December 24, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!!!

I can't believe my poinsettia! I planted "Red" last year when we had to call her "Green." Nothing red on her and she was two years old. I planted her before we left in the spring and she developed some red leaves. When we got back this fall, she was all green with tiny leaves. Maybe I should call her "Red/Green"! I started to water her once a week and she developed some red leaves and they are getting bigger! Red. . . . YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! We have finally found a sofa for the Texas room. That was a real challenge because I needed a short sofa, but bigger than a loveseat. I wanted something that would seat 3 adults, but be no wider than 75 inches. I finally found it! And it is a hide-a-bed as well. Once we take the tree down, I will rearrange it a bit in the room, but the sofa fits perfectly! And I had to include a picture of my Alaska project. That's what I call the trip planning for the Alaska excursion beginning in May, 2013. I'm not really planning. We have roughed out a route, all subject to change, but we do have to plan for our ferries coming back down through the inside passage. What I am doing is just reading the guidebook we are using and highlighting important things. I'm actually almost done with that. I have made a lot of notes on what I need to check on, etc. Earlier today I made the two dishes I will take to the hall for dinner tomorrow. They are in the refrigerator ready to bake. Our dinner is at noon. Mom and I will take time in the morning to make up our relish trays we are taking. A quiet evening tonight will top off our day. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Till next time. . . Dale

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hidalgo, Festival of Lights

There is the smallish border town of Hidalgo here in the Rio Grande Valley. When the Valley was entering into farming, an irrigation system was needed in order to keep the crops watered.  The Hidalgo Pumphouse tells the unique history of the Rio Grande Valley's development from a semi-desert region to a green and fertile valley, all due to the introduction of irrigation. The pumphouse is now a museum telling the story of how pumps where used to bring water from the Rio Grande into the manmade irrigation ditches to bring life to the desert for growing crops. We will return to Hidalgo to visit the museum sometime and will share our experience.

This little community over the last 22 years has become a big attraction for the Christmas lights and displays they put up starting in October. There are parks, government buildings, etc., which all have displays as well as private residences. We purchased tickets for dinner, a musical show, and a trolley ride to see the lights. The dinner was actually good. It was beef brisket, mashed potatoes, beans, corn, a roll, dessert, and a drink. The entertainment was a local school singing Christmas carols. They were cute, but it seemed as though the children had never sung the songs before. . . nothing past the first verse anyway. After the show, we hopped on the trolley for a tour through the town to see the lights. Our narrator did not know the route or the displays and had trouble reading her lines, continually saying she was just "winging it." Well it showed and we were sorely disappointed in her presentation. The driver of the trolley actually offered more information about the various displays. We were in an enclosed vehicle and the dirty windows did not lend to taking very good pictures. We have been to the festival before and probably saw more by riding around in our car or walking through the parks. But it was an enjoyable evening and at $10 for dinner, entertainment and a trolley ride, it was a good value.

Till next time. . .


Monday, December 17, 2012

Beautiful weather. . .

We like south Texas because of the weather. Florida weather is nice in the winter, too, and a little wetter than Texas. We like Yuma, Arizona, in the winter, too; but it does seem to have sandstorms. And this is where Mom and Dad are, so we here for the winter. The warm weather is so good for Terry because we are able to get out and walk and bike ride. It's been 14 years since his problems started and we are glad we can travel to warm areas so we can stay active. That's very important as we get older.

The days have just been beautiful here. They start out cool, just below 70 degrees then warm up to the 80's. Last week we had some cooler days, but they don't last long. There always seems to be a breeze, so we can sit under our canopy and enjoy ourselves while reading or visiting with the neighbors.

We got word last week that my cousin's wife had passed away suddenly. This is the cousin and wife who live in Houston and helped us when we were there for Terry's cancer treatment. They entertained us with dinner numerous times (gourmet cooks!) and there were normally friends of theirs present so we got to meet new people. They also helped with medical referrals and just general assistance with the way the medical community works which proved invaluable to us.

Her memorial service was last Saturday and Terry and I wanted to go, so we drove up to Houston from the valley on Friday. After her service on Saturday, we visited with Jim and some of Lillian's family before heading back home to Mission. We arrived back at 10:30. We rarely drive after dark anymore. . . not that we have to avoid it, but we do most of our shopping, etc., earlier in the day. But going up to Houston we experienced more traffic than we have in years. Houston was mayhem traffic wise. I don't know how anyone got anywhere to do anything. . . holiday shoppers, etc. What a mess. So once it got dark, traffic coming back started to thin out and it was really an easier trip.

While we were gone, we had another family event. Our son and his lovely wife Megan are expecting their first child. They waited till their late 20's to marry and are very anxious to start their family. We are all excited for them and their new little bundle. It's very early in her pregnancy and on Friday (while we were driving to Houston) she began having pain. She called 911 and once at the hospital, they ended up doing emergency surgery on a "torsed ovary." A better description for us not "medically inclined" is a twisted ovary. It actually was enlarged and flipped over. At some point, there is no "saving" it and unfortunately that was Megan's case. So she went into surgery and they removed the ovary and Fallopian tube. Just before she went in for the procedure, she was able to hear the baby's heartbeat! Course, any surgery on mom at this stage is tricky for them both, but all indications are the baby and Megan are both fine and she is to be discharged today to go recuperate at home. Brandon was able to stay with her at the hospital and he has had some good practice now at playing nurse, so she should recover well in her own home. Brandon is going to be working from home this week so that should work well for them.

It's too bad we are so far away. I did think about hopping on a plane and going to help out. I think I could be a lot of help but I believe Brandon has it covered. I'm sure they will be bringing Jax home from the vet's. He took him in the other day as he was due for his yearly anyway and that way he did not have to worry about taking care of the dog and was able to concentrate totally on Megan.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with my cousin as he adjusts to changes in his life. We will hopefully see him again in March when we go for Terry's yearly checkup. We also continue to remember Brandon, Megan, and the new baby! Love to all!

Till next time. . .


Saturday, December 01, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We have made a lot of progress on the Texas Room the last couple of weeks. The front room and kitchen are totally finished. Closet is finished except for some paint on the baseboard and covering on the shelves. The laundry room closet is about the same. At least we have shelves in there so I can put stuff away. Just finishing up odds and ends.

Today I put up my Christmas tree. I had bought a white one last year at the end of the season. Got a really good price on it and got some ornaments too. I put it up today and put it in the corner of the room. It really looks nice. Mom and Dad came over to see it when I was finished.

I also put a tree up outside. I always admired those all white trees for outside, so I bought one of those last year as well and got it for a really good price.

 We have been riding our bikes every day as well as walking every morning. We put lights on our bikes this year. Since it gets dark at 5:30, we don't have much time to ride after dinner. So with the lights we can ride at night. It has been lovely to ride through the parks and look at the Christmas decorations. It's also nice and cool and breezy after dark. Perfect weather to be out.

Till next time. . .