Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Patty in Buffalo, NY and me holding down the fort!

March 23- 28, 2014 

I am holding down the RV in south Texas while Patty is up north with family. Patty was on her way to be with family as her Aunt Carol was close to death and was in hospice in Buffalo NY.

I took Patty to the airport in McAllen on Thursday the 27th for a flight at 5:15am.  Yeah, it was very early and it would be a very long day for Patty.  She flew to Philadelphia and was picked up by her brother Tom and his girlfriend Kat.  They all rode together from there up to Buffalo NY a 6 hour drive.   While Patty was in the air her Aunt Carol passed away. Wow, what timing!

It now looks like the service will be on Monday the 31st. Patty had reservations on a flight back for April 7th. With the service on Monday the 31st, we were able to get her on a flight back here on Tuesday the 1st of April.  This has been the longest we have been apart since I was working and traveling, 3 years now! 

I plan to do a lot of work around here so we can do more fun things when she is back.

So Sunday and Monday were basically veg days.  The weather was a little cool, in the low 70s, so we just did our normal routines.  

Monday night was the last dance of the season for the winter Texans as we are called here.  It was an all country band that played. We are not big fans of country music but they were pretty good.  We didn't dance at all.  Most of the dancing was the line or 2-step variety which we have not learned to do. We will probably attempt to learn next year. 

Anyway, I will be the one attempting and Patty will have it learned in the first lesson.  We took a Ball room dance lesson when we were first married and I couldn't even get the basic steps down. After about an hour with me the instructor had me sit down and Patty took the rest of the lesson without me.  

I think the dance issue for me has to do with me being taught right handed living (writing, bowling, and golf) but am left handed.  I have to consciously think about where left and right are. I instinctively reverse left and right.  I know the difference but I need to spend a split second finding left to know where right is. I am not looking forward to frustrating the instructor next year :(

On Tuesday the 25th Patty had a morning Dr. appointment in Edinburg for the cyst on her hand.  This is the cyst she had tried to have removed before.  After the last attempt the cyst has gotten smaller but now she has pain from it.  The Dr. wants her to have an MRI of her hand to see if there is an aneurism.  Looks like that will be sometime next week. 

So, since we are out early we went out to Denny’s for breakfast.  We really like Denny’s for breakfast; however, it is a little expensive.  Anyway, it is a treat for us.  

We then went to a HEB (the only decent grocery here) to get a few important things like salsa.  We have been out for a couple of days now!  I believe salsa is the most common food item we have with meals and as a snack.  It’s been so bad without!

Wednesday the 26th Patty had another Dr. appointment with her ENT.  We like to combine things when we go outside the resort so we left early and Patty got her hair cut.  She actually won the haircut as a door prize the other night at the dance.

This where Patty got her haircut. She got it for free but the regular cost is $8!
 A cut and color is just $34.

Patty has had 2 sleep studies done now and the outcome is she needs to use a CPAP machine for the next 90 days and see how things go.  

Patty believes that having her uvula removed will be as good and without the burden of the “face sucker” attached at night.  So she is going to have the CPAP before we leave here at the end of April.  She will actually have the device for longer than the 90 days because we won’t be back here until the end of December.  This is a work in progress, we shall see.

Since this was a late appointment we decided to go to a restaurant we have wanted to try, Pappaduex in McAllen. Pappaduex is a New Orleans inspired seafood restaurant.  It is a chain in the south primarily; however there is one in Chicago.  We both liked the food.  It was a little expensive, but still, we liked the food so we would go back.

Patty had the very delicious bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp.  
The stuffing was jack cheese with a jalapeno pepper slice.

My dinner was the crispy salmon with crab on top.  Damn was it good!

We got back a little early around 7pm so we decided to see what was happening in the clubhouse.  Happy hour should have been over but seems it was a good night so it was just breaking up.  We got invited to a neighbor’s place and had a few drinks, and we were back to our place by 9pm.  We were going to be getting up at 3:15am to take Patty to the airport so we needed to get some sleep.

Thursday the 27th we were up at 3:15am!  This is the earliest I have been up in who knows how long.  Even when I was working I didn’t get up until 4:15am.  

Patty’s flight was at 5:15am at the McAllen airport about 40 minutes away.  We left at 3:50 and arrived by about 4:25. We even had a little mix up with road construction and still made it faster than what we had planned.   It seems for some reason there is nobody on the roads at this this time in the morning!

I got back to the RV by a little after 5am.  I should go back to bed but no, I had another cup of coffee and did a little of my usual internet stuff.  Then at around 7:30 I tried to sleep.  I did manage to sleep a little and toss a lot for the next 3 hours.  

I got up and went back on the internet to see where Patty was.  We both use Google software on our phones so we can see where each other is by using the Google location service.  It is really cool, you see a map and everywhere Patty has been is on the map. This might freak some people out but we really don’t care who knows where we are at any time.  Anyway, Patty was in Philadelphia and it looked like she was stationary at or near her brother's house in South Philly.  I know she has made it, or at least her cell phone has made it.  

I also got an e-mail message from the manufacturer of our RV about one of our recliners.  We have 2 recliners and mine has basically fallen apart in the past 18 months.  I had a fix done a few months ago in Buffalo but that has now failed.  I was afraid that the recliner would completely fail before we got to Colorado where we are having the last of the warranty work done.   I sent a message and pictures to Prime Time Manufacturing a few days ago and they responded today saying they would drop ship me a new recliner here at the resort.  Way cool! 
This is the recliner that is being replaced.  Note that the arms are falling off of the chair.
Also note the position of the seat cushion.  I am now sitting on the wood frame of the chair.

For contrast, this is the other recliner that is fine.

I was back in bed reading by 9 that night.  Patty must be exhausted!

Friday the 28th I got up at 6:30am full of pep and I was going to get a lot done, which I did.  I started the day after my usual internet stuff with a fast walk.  At 8am I went for a 3 mile walk at a fast pace of 15 minutes per mile.  Sometimes I do a slow 16 minute per mile followed by a fast 14 minute and then back slower to recover.  

I had a pick of 2 things I wanted to get accomplished today; wash the truck or reorganize the basement of the RV.  I checked the weather and there was no rain in the forecast for the next 7 days.  Also, the sky was cloudy and the temp was still at 72.  So I decided to wash the truck.  After washing the truck I decided to hand wax it too.  I haven’t waxed it in over 2 years.  I use a wash and wax soap that really works.  Water always beads up on the surface of the truck so I just have not spent the time waxing it.  Today I decided to actually hand wax the truck.  Washing and then waxing took me just over 3 hours and it looks great!  Just as I was finishing the wax removal the sun came out and wow! The temperature climbed up to 99 this afternoon!  It was really hot!  It was still above 90 at 8pm.

Our clock and weather station in the RV. The outdoor temp is on the right.
Tomorrow I plan to get the basement a little more organized. Probably play some water volleyball and darts too.  

We are now starting our last month here.  We leave the 28th of April.

Stay Tuned!

Patty Traveling to Buffalo, NY; New Grille, another Bike Ride, and Summer/Fall Travel Plan

March 19 - 22, 2014 

OK, this should be a short post this time.  There are a few things that I thought would be worthy of a post now.  

First, Patty’s aunt Carol is now in a hospice care facility and Patty has decided to fly up to Buffalo, NY to be with her mom Shirley (Carol is her mom’s younger sister) and family. Patty leaves this Thursday the 27th and will return a 10 days later.  I’m sure there will be more on this in a future post.

Now, on to other more trivial items of interest.  

We finally broke down and purchased a new grille.  The old grille still works but has completely rusted through to the bottom of the grille.  When I put it in the truck for travel it leaves chunks of itself all over the truck bed.  The new one is a table top unit so we are using a table we already have (that we rarely use) to put it on.  This grille is also fully stainless steel so hopefully it won’t rust out on us.  The price was also right at just $99 at Lowes.   The old grille is going into the yard sale that the resort does every year both in the clubhouse and out on the road in front.  The proceeds go toward the entertainment expenses here.  

New Stainless Steel Grille with our first meal cooked on it.  It did a really good job.
This past Thursday the 20th we went on another bike ride with 8 others from the resort.  This time we went to a Texas state park, Resaca de la Palma, in Brownsville.  This was just a nice bike ride in the woods, nothing special.  The bike trail was just short 3 mile circle that we decided to go around 3 times for a total of 9 miles.  

Entrance to the park.

One of the foot trails and part of our bike gang.

Another foot trail in the park.
As for our future travel plans, we have planned a round trip from here of about 6,000 miles. This trip covers our family and friends from Indiana, NY, NJ and then down the east coast to visit friends in NC, then on to GA before turning back west.  This is what we have so far.

  • We leave here, Edcouch TX, on the 28th of April and head to Colorado Springs, CO (1,100 miles)
    • We will stop in Ingram TX for a few days to visit friends on the way
    • Arrive in Colorado Springs on the 8th of May and stay for 2 weeks
  • Leave Colorado Springs on May 22 and travel to Crawfordsville, IN (1,100 miles)
    • Arrive Crawfordsville, IN on the 5th of June
    • We will stay for 3 weeks at the Sugar Creek Campground (Reserved)
  • Leave Crawfordsville, IN on the 26th of June and travel to Sunny Rest Resort in PA (685 miles)
    • Arrive at Sunny Rest on July 2nd.
    • We have a reserved site at Sunny Rest for a week (friend’s party time!)
  • Leave Sunny Rest on July 9th and travel to Newtown Battlefield in Elmira, NY (168 miles)
    • Arrive Elmira on the 9th and stay for 6 days (visit friends)
  • Leave Elmira on the 14th and travel to Grand Island, NY (150 miles)
    • Arrive Grand Island on the 14th and stay for 4 weeks (Patty’s Family and HS reunion)
  • Leave Grand Island, NY on the August 11th and travel to Keyport, NJ (400 miles)
    • Arrive Keyport, NJ on around the 15th of August and stay 4 weeks (Friends and Beach time!)
  • Leave Keyport on or around September 12th and travel down the east coast of US to Savannah GA. (800 miles). We are planning around 7 weeks for this part of the travel. Stops right now include (This part of the plan is still under development somewhat):
o South Jersey to visit friends
o Baltimore, MD to visit friends and sight see
o Washington DC to sight see
o Ocean Isle Beach, NC visit friends
o Myrtle Beach, SC Golf
o Charleston, SC sight see
o Savannah, GA sight see
  • Leave Savannah, GA around the 31st of October and travel back to South Texas for the winter (1,400 miles)
    • We have around 3 weeks for this part of the travel, no real plans yet for this part but will most likely use I20 instead of I10 so we will visit other sights that we have not done before.
    • We need to be in the Brownsville TX area by November 22nd so we can store the rig and fly up north for 3 weeks at the holidays. 
  • We are again reserved at the Natures Resort here in Elsa, TX from December 17, 2014 to April 18, 2015.

Rosey really likes the weather we have been having. This is most blooms she has had this year. Her record is 6 blooms at once.

That’s it for this post.  

Stay tuned!

Golf Outing, Buying Stuff, Fishing Village Bike Ride and Texas BBQ

March 10 - 18, 2014 

Sitting still like we have for almost 3 months allows us to catch up on a lot of things we don’t do while traveling.  By having a direct mail address we can have stuff shipped right to us.  We had shipped to us new Califon pots and pans to replace our old Corning glass ones.  We also had shipped to us a new outside LED light for the RV and new rear mud flaps for the truck.  I even was able to take my time installing the new RV light and the mud flaps.

Sitting for this long we have also fallen into more of a routine life style.  We walk most days, Patty practices Tarot, and I do Spanish lessons.  I also play water volleyball most every day too.  This resort has so much going on all of the time we almost need a vacation from constant active fun.  

We are expecting the activity to slow down drastically in April as most of the people here move on back north for the summer months.  For us, we leave here at the end of April.  

We are going to use the time in April to get ready for our 2014 travel season.  We plan to completely wash the rig including the roof and seal it with UV protectant.  I am planning to disassemble the 5th wheel hitch on the truck for inspection and lubrication, general maintenance.  We are also having all of the tires replaced on the truck as well as the rear brakes.  Lastly, we will steam clean the floorsand carpet inside the RV. We are planning to get a little more golf in with just the 2 of us.  We plan to get to Mexico one more time too. 

We have our general travel plan for this year pretty well set now.  In the next few weeks we will finalize some of the details for the first couple of weeks after we leave here.  We usually don’t make detailed plans until just before we leave somewhere.   So far we have reservations at 2 places we know we will be staying during the summer, Crawfordsville IN in June and PA for the 4th of July week.  We need to make one more for the Buffalo area ahead of time because it is tourist season near Niagara Falls.

The 10th (Monday) I was going to play golf with the resort group.  However the weather turned bad again.  It was 45 at 7am with 25 mph wind and spitting rain.  Not a good day for golf at all!  We stayed inside all day and hibernated.  We took out some frozen chili to eat and watched TV. Sometimes it is good to be non-active.

That evening we attended the owner’s appreciation dinner dance.  There are 4 owners here at Natures Resort.  Near the end of every season they put on a dinner dance with catered food.  It was a fun evening.

Tuesday the 11th I spent much of the day replacing the RV outside light.  Most RVs are built with an amber light to light the door way at night.  These lights just do not give much in the way of lighting except for just the door.  
New light fixture installed.

So we purchased an LED fixture that is motion and daylight sensitive.  It also has a clear lens so that we have white light at the door.  This light also illuminates all of the area under the awning.  This is much better for grilling outside at night.
It’s sort of cool how the new light works.  There is no new wiring to install.  Flipping the original light switch on will turn on the outside light.  Flipping the switch again will put the light into the motion sensing mode.  Also, if it is daylight the light will not turn on in this mode.  

So far we really like the light.  It is real nice to have the light turn on as we approach the RV.  There is also a sensitivity setting that we have on the least sensitive right now.  This seems to be fine for now but could be a touch more sensitive.  We want wait and see how it performs in other campgrounds before we change the sensitivity.  We don’t want to have it going on and off every time a car goes by.  We shall see.

Wednesday the 12th we made cheese fondue for the regular happy hour in the park.  We graded all of the cheese first in the RV and assembled the ingredients.  We then took everything to the clubhouse and used the kitchen there to make the cheese dip.  We wanted the cheese to be freshly off of the stove as it can sometimes set up if you wait very long before serving.  It worked very well but not sure we would do it again.  It was very hard to keep the cheese from clumping unless someone was stirring it all of the time and we didn’t want to do that.  Anyway, for us, this was an experiment to see if this would work for a large group.  We live and we learn.

Thursday the 13th we finally got to go on the bike ride to the fishing village Port Mansfield TX.  The village is 50 miles mostly east from our site.  There were 9 of us from the resort that left at 9 am to make the trip.  We arrived a little after 10 am at Sweet Gregory P’s restaurant to start the bike ride. They were smoking meat when we arrived and it smelled very good!

Port Mansfield is basically a non-commercial fishing village with lots of rental houses.  It reminded us of the Jersey shore with a few exceptions.  Unlike the Jersey shore Port Mansfield is somewhat remote.  There is only one way in and out of the village.  The village is also remote; must be 25 miles to a grocery store.   One of the things that make it interesting is all of the deer that inhabit the town.  There seems to deer everywhere including the small downtown area.

Riding into the village of Port Mansfield TX.

Port Mansfield with the Gulf in front.

A view from one of the fishing piers back to the village.

Some deer hanging out.

Riding through a newer part of town.

A little hard to see, but a heard of deer laying down along side the house in the shade.

After the 10 mile bike ride around the village we had lunch at the restaurant we started from.  The restaurant only serves Texas BBQ of brisket and pulled pork that they smoke and cut right there.  They mostly sell by weight.  We both had sandwiches.  Patty had the pulled pork and I had the brisket.  Both sandwiches had ½ pound of meat!  It was so good that we left nothing and maybe due to the bike ride, we really didn’t feel stuffed either.  This was a very nice trip and opportunity to eat real Texas BBQ.
Entrance to the restaurant. 

Making my brisket sandwich.

The back of their business cards.

Friday the 14th Patty got her new Caliphon pots and pans. We had been planning to get new ones to replace the old Corning glass stuff for a while.  Then a couple of weeks ago the handle broke off of one of the Corning pots.  We wanted the new pots to be lighter than the Corning glass too.  So Patty did her usual internet shopping for the lowest prices and found the Caliphon for under $150.  The old Corning ware we are giving to her son Chas when we get up there in NJ this summer.

The new pots and pans.
Patty had another sleep study session Friday night.  This time she slept with a CPAC (face sucker) on.  Evidently she slept with no sleep apnea or snoring while wearing the device.  She really doesn’t want the “face sucker”, she wants her uvula removed.  This coming week Patty is seeing the Doc and we shall see what the insurance will allow her do.

Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th were great days for hanging at the pool and that is what we did.  I also put on the new mud guards for the rear of the truck.  Patty had originally got some guards that were a little too small for the dually tires in the rear.  I wasn’t in any hurry to replace the small ones but then good old Amazon sent me an e-mail with the correct size guards for just $36.  I couldn’t resist so I purchased them even though I would need to supply my own hardware to install them.

New mud flaps.  Now maybe we can keep the RV a little cleaner during rain.

I went to Lowes in Weslaco to get the hardware I needed to install the mud guards.   Of course while I was there I picked up a new hose sprayer, a hose Y connection (I have left 2 of these at campgrounds along the way), and whole house water filter replacements.  

I also stopped off and looked at new BBQ grilles.    Our current grille just didn’t hold up like we thought it would.  It is one of those Coleman tailgater portable types.  I love the grille but it has completely rusted out in the bottom.  It still works but it now leaves chunks of itself in the truck when we move it.  I found one that I believe we will pick up in the next few weeks before we leave here.  It is a table top that is completely stainless steel with 2 burners.  The best part is that it is only $99.  The Coleman cost around $150 and only lasted 18 months.
Maybe our new grille.

All beautiful stainless steel.

Monday the 17th Patty and I played in a golf scramble with players from our resort Natures and from the Sandpipers resort just up the road.  It was cold start at 48 degrees at 8:30 am tee off.  We had 8 foursomes who played.  The foursomes were picked in advance with a random draw.  I was on team #4 and Patty was on team #8.  My team won with a score of 71, one under par! I won a free round of golf!  We had fun so it was great day again.
Lining up to tee off. Patty is on the right standing near the cart.

First tee.
Monday night there was a St. Paddy’s Day party at the resort.  Patty was not feeling well, probably due to the long day on the course so we didn’t attend.  We heard later that this was one the most attended parties of the season.  Oh well there is always next year.

Tuesday the 18th was another beautiful day.  Temps started out in the mid-60s and went up to the low 80s.  There was a lot of wind though which seems to be usual here in south Texas.  We did our usual walk in the morning.  Patty and I walked 2 miles together and then I walked one more as fast as I could go without running, just under 14 minutes and 20 seconds now.  Just a note, our neighbor here walks about 4-5 times a week like we do.  However, he walks 6 miles at about an 11 and a half minute pace.  He is around the same height as me so he really is moving.  I just can’t make my legs move much faster.

This coming week we will start to see people leaving here for the north.  We really don’t have any plans right now except to relax and enjoy.

Below are some pictures from the area outside around the resort.
Farmers Market near our resort.

A typical road side food stand.  These are all over the place.

A food stand with a tire repair place attached to it.

Patty really likes this pink car.

Typical water station.  It costs $.25 cents for a gallon of water.
These are also all over the place down here.

Cool mural in Raymondville TX about 25 miles east of our resort.  The scene is depicting 3 Spanish ships that sunk in a storm with $10 million in gold and silver in 1554.    

Center of town in Raymondville TX.  This is typical of south Texas small towns.

Stay Tuned!

Talent Show, Marti Gras Party, and a Bike Ride

March 2 - 8, 2014 

Sunday the 2nd the resort had a talent show that Patty participated in.  Patty sang 2 songs and, of course, one was White Rabbit by Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane (her signature song).  The other was the acappella version of Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin.  Patty received many compliments on her singing and especially for singing that song without music.  She did a great job on both!

Monday the 3rd I took the truck into the Ford dealer near here in Edinburg and had the steering gearbox replaced under warranty.  I dropped it off at 7:30 am and they took me back to the resort.  Then at about 3:30 pm it was done and they came back and got me.  I was really hoping that the steering would be dramatically better, but it wasn’t.  It is better and probably like it should be, it’s just not super tight.  It’s probably just the way big trucks drive.

During the day, Patty and ,I with some help from others at the resort, decorated the clubhouse for the Mardi Gras party we were hosting on Tuesday night.  Most of the decorations we used were already at the resort in the storage room.  We added a large Mexican PiƱata we purchased back in November in Mexico.  We originally thought we would take it to Indiana and give it to the grandkids.  It was just too big to transport in the RV so we donated it to the resort.  We added a couple of themed items to each side so it looked more like it should for a Mardi Gras party. 
The Clubhouse after we decorated for Mardi Gras. The pinata is hanging from the chandelier.

Tuesday the 4th, Fat Tuesday, we hosted a Mardi Gras party from 7 – 10 pm in the clubhouse.  We both did a lot of running around giving out door prize tickets and playing cards; more on the playing cards later.  Patty did all of the announcing with the DJ.  Patty is good at that sort of thing.  Patty also recruited a few guys to stand in the balcony and toss beads to the women.  That worked out well too!

A selfie of us dressed for the party. Patty was the emcee.

We used the playing cards to pick a King and Queen for the party.  We tore two decks of cards in half, removed the jokers and all of the Kings and Queens except for one from each pile.  The decks were blue and red.  We left a black King in the blue deck and a red Queen in the red deck.  Then we handed out blue cards to males and red cards to females.  We had to make sure that the queen and king were given out as we didn’t know how many people would attend.  We had around 110 show up for the party so we just made sure that the king and queen were closer to the top than the bottom.  It worked and the couple did a great job of leading everyone around the clubhouse in a conga line dance. 

Wednesday the 5th we had happy hour and decided to bring cheese fondue.  The weather was a little cool again at around 68 so we had the happy hour in the clubhouse instead of outside since it was cooling quickly.  This was perfect for making and having fondue as appetizer.  We made a 3 cheese fondue with Swiss, cheddar, and smoked Gruyere. It was good but not fantastic.  We love fondue but a little goes a long ways. We made way too much fondue though.  

Seems everybody had the same idea as us and brought lots of food.  There was pizza, chicken nuggets, key lime pie, egg rolls, and much, much, more stuff. 

Thursday the 6th we went on another bike ride with a group from the resort.  This time we went to the Palo Alto Battlefield in Brownsville TX.  The battlefield is where the first battle of the US-Mexican war took place in 1846. There isn't much there but it has been preserved as it was during the battle.  The area is in a low lying flat area covered in thorny mesquite bushes and cactus.  It must have been very hard to maneuver in such terrain with someone shooting at you.

A scenic view on our bike ride

Note the pink flowers blooming from the cactus. They are trumpet shaped.
Patty cruising on the trail

We really only spent a little time in the park and then rode out and into Brownsville on an old railroad path that has been converted to a foot and bicycle path.  We rode for 8 miles and then stopped for lunch at a cafeteria near the trail.  After lunch we rode back to the battlefield for a total of 16 miles on our bikes.  It was good ride but not very exciting scenery along the way.

A huge sugar cane plant in the area

A sugar cane field. When those stacks are in full cycle they produce "Texas snow", black flakes floating even in our resort!

San Benito, home of Freddy Fender as written on the water tower with his likeness

Friday the 7th I washed the truck.  The valley is very windy and dusty making it very hard to keep a vehicle clean.  If we can keep from driving when it is wet out then the truck stays sort of clean.  We have had rain every week we have been here in South Texas so the truck gets real dirty.  When I wash a vehicle I really wash it.  This is probably the only thing I am obsessive about, a clean vehicle and cleaning it. Well, it took me 3 hours to wash and dry it!

Saturday the 8th I played water volleyball in the afternoon and we both played darts in the evening.  This was the first time I played volleyball in a few days.  I wanted to make sure that I played as the next few days are going to be cold and wet again.  

Sunday the 9th is cold at only 51 as a high.  It is also raining on and off.  We seem to have had way too many of these type days this year here.  Keyport NJ 1500 miles away is 45 and sunny!  Patty and I just decided to stay inside and veg all day!  We are doing a fine job of this too!

The site we reserved for next year, 5,000 sq ft

Tomorrow is to be just like today.  I have a golf outing at 8:30 in the morning and the temperature is to be 50 and raining. I really don’t believe we will be going.

Stay Tuned!

Truck repair, German Dinner, and 2014-15 Winter Destination Thoughts

February 24 - 28, 2014 

We sort of slowed down the past few days.  The weather got cold again for a couple of days and again spoiled the bike trip to the fishing port on the Gulf.  The temperatures got in the low 40s to highs in the upper 50s.  It’s just not very good for doing much outside.  So we mainly stayed inside  for a couple of days.

Monday the 24th we had the FITS awards.  I was on the winning team for 3 for the events; Wii bowling, corn hole, and darts.  It was pretty cool as my team awards were given out in the beginning of the ceremony so it looked like I was on everything for a bit of time. Patty and I also won the "Best Effort" Award!
My winning team certificates suitable for framing - maybe not!  The #4 is our site number.
Tuesday the 25th we took the truck in to Hacienda Ford in Edinburg to check out the left front tire wear issue.  In the past 2-3 weeks I noticed that the left front tire was wearing on the outside edge.  At first I thought it was just my imagination.  Last week I determined it wasn't my imagination. The front tires are just now 2 years old and I don’t want to replace them this year; probably next year though.

Hacienda Ford was the closest Ford service place to us so we took it in see what was going on.  We got it in and we headed off to breakfast at IHOP a 15 minute walk from Hacienda.  After we got back and a couple of hours later we were told that the left front was out of alignment and that we needed a new steering gear box.  The alignment was the actual cause of the tire wear and we got that done.  The steering gearbox is what causes play in the steering wheel. We have had the loose steering for a while and were living with it.  Anyway, we decided to have that replaced under warranty.  It will be a few days until they get the gearbox so we will need to go back another day.

Wednesday the 26th it got cold again.  We got up at 7 am and it was 71 outside.  That was the highest temperature for the day.  By evening it was 45! We stayed inside most of the day.  I managed to get our taxes done which were real easy this year.  This was the simplest taxes I have ever done. They were pretty easy before owning a house when I was 20 years old but I had to do state taxes then.  Now I just do the federal simple form and no state.  Really, really easy and simple.

We now make our own fajita seasoning.  We have either chicken, beef, or shrimp fajitas at least 2 time a week.  We need to keep a lot of fresh peppers and onions around at all times!

Another very tasty creation, bacon wrapped cheddar meat loaf.  Very good!

I also spent some of the day burning pictures on to CDs.  I keep pictures on an SD card in my phone and on the hard drive of my computer.  This way the pictures are backed up by being in 2 places.  Now my phone is not working well when I try to copy or move pictures from it due to the large size of memory I am using on the SD card.  I have just under 3,000 pictures on the phone!  These pictures are from just the past 7 months.  The only way I could get the pictures off the phone was to take the SD card out and put it in an adapter and then into my computer.  I was doing this with just a cable between the two.

Wednesday evenings the resort has a happy hour usually at an outdoor site called Sandy’s Bar here in the resort.  Well not today, we had happy hour inside the clubhouse.   It was way too cold and very windy.

Patty had a ganglion cyst drained.  It's that raised skin above the band-aid.  I could see it hurt like hell when the Doc drained it.  It also hasn't gone away!
Thursday the 27th we were going to have the bike ride into Port Mansfield that was canceled a couple of weeks ago due to the cold weather.  Well, here we go again, it was cancelled again due to the cold weather.  We are inland about 50 miles from the Gulf so we are warmer here.  Still, the temperature was only 55 at 9 am when we were going to leave for the Gulf.  The high was only going to be 55 in Port Mansfield, too cold for biking especially with the wind.
Our poor new flag!  The wind here is so strong it has already frayed the bottom corner.  Patty sewed it back up so we shall see how long that lasts.
Friday the 28th was a back to normal good weather with a blue sky and 88 degrees.  Friday was a walking day for us. Our routine is we walk together for the first 1-2 miles at Patty’s pace and then I walk another mile at a faster pace.  I challenge myself to walk the mile faster each time. I use a GPS app on my phone to record my pace and distance.  So far my fastest mile walk is 14 minutes and 51 seconds.

Water volleyball is at 2pm so I went over to the pool and played 2 games.  Then Patty had another appointment with her ENT Dr. about removing her uvula.  She had a sleep study done a week ago and now the Dr. was to go over the results.  Well now she needs to do yet another sleep study using a CPAP face sucking machine.  The Dr. said that the insurance company requires this.  The Doc said that no matter how minor the surgery, the insurance company wants to keep you from getting surgery by any means possible.  Patty will have this scheduled in the next few days.  What I am afraid of is she maybe told she has to use the CPAP machine instead of ever getting the surgery.

After the Dr. appointment we went out to dinner at a German restaurant, Schneider’s in McAllen.   According to our GPS, this is the only German restaurant within 250 miles of here. We rate the place a C+.  Fridays they have schnitzels as a special.  I ordered the onion schnitzel with spatzle and red cabbage and Patty had the mushroom schnitzel with german potato salad and red cabbage.   My schnitzel was great and Patty’s was very tough and no taste.  The german potato salad was the worst we had ever had.  The red cabbage was OK.  The spatzle was just OK but was tasteless.  They had live music which was good and the outdoor surroundings were very comfortable.  We would probably not go back though.

Schneider's Beer Garden with a Texas twist, note the cowboy boots just behind the entrance.

View of the beer garden.  It was a very nice evening to sit out side and have a beer and dinner with my honey Patty.
Saturday the 1st of March was a nice warm day of 80 but with no sun.  Patty went to the clubhouse to rehearse her songs for the talent show on Sunday.  I went for my 3 mile walk while she rehearsed.  I did the 3 miles in 45 minutes and 50 seconds which was a real good workout for me. 

After my workout and Patty’s rehearsal we went to a Pad party just after noon.  Two couples that are new friends here have new concrete pads poured and now are having a short party to celebrate.  Then once again, Saturday night is darts night from 7 – 10 pm.
We have learned that South Texas does in fact have snow, black snow.  It is actually burning sugar cane ashes.  The cane ranchers around here burn the left over cane material and black particles float down everywhere.

After our walk the sun was blotted out of the sky by the clouds of burnt cane ash.
A bit of scheduling news for us.  We are starting to believe that we will return here to Natures Resort next year.  We were going to go to Sandpipers just up the road instead.  We visited there again this past week to check out a site but we remained undecided.  We feel that since we made so many friends here and we have been to Sandpipers already, we should come here in the winter until we feel like doing something else.  It will depend on if we can get a good site for next year here.  We don't really like the site we are on.  It was very difficult to get into and the ground is filled with sink holes.  Also this site floods if there is a lot of rain.  We will see what can be done in the office on Monday the 3rd. 

That does it for this installment post in our blog.  Next week I hope to have truck steering fixed. Also, we are hosting a Mardi Gras party here in the resort Tuesday night.  Patty is singing 2 song at the talent show here on Sunday night.

Patty got her nails polished in a Mardi Gras theme by a girl here at the resort for $15!

Stay Tuned!