Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 59, Feb 28, 2010: On the road...again!

By 7:15.....both of us were up and moving around. The coffee was done, but I didn't take the time to drink it then....just put it into my VERY old Stanley Green keep it warm for later. 8:20, we, with TheHowserHouse, were on our way out the security gate of the resort and a few minutes later we were pulling onto the highway.

Harlingen, Raymondville, Kingsville, and we reached our halfway point for the day at Victoria, TX. We stopped to refuel, grabbed a couple of burgers, and were off again......moving northward. For most of the morning the winds were giving us hell......blasting us from the side which would then slightly push us sideways.......something we had to correct which made it necessary to stay aware of these little problems......very intensely!!!

About 2pm or so, we reached the outskirts of Houston......and for about the next hour we moved at a 60 mph pace through Houston. was a piece of cake!!!! No problems and the traffic while there, was not heavy nor jammed.......probably because today is Sunday!

We arrived just a few miles outside of Beaumont, TX a few minutes after 4pm.....pulled into this very neat and clean rv resort where we had reservations for over-nighting for tonight. LARGE concrete pads for our rigs, plenty of room to get into them without any problems, free Wifi, good cable tv, free continental breakfast each morning, pool....but a bit too cool, ......and, all of this for $17.50!!!!! Yep.......a great deal!!!

Tonight, rains are supposed to move in and we should be in them all day tomorrow.....UGH!!!!! While today was a 450 mile day, tomorrow should be about 100 miles less over to the Biloxi, MS, area. And that is good to hear!!!

OK.....a good day, a bit of a tiring day, but we are relaxed this evening in our den, watching a movie on TV, the fireplace taking the chill off in here, and soon......we will head upstairs to get some rest. Another day of driving tomorrow.......(in the rains??).

LIFE IS REALLY REALLY GREAT!!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58, Feb 27, 2010: REALLY busy, busy day......preparations for leaving the RGV

WOW.......from the hurrying around after getting out of bed, the rushed pace continued throughout the day until about 5pm. WHEW!!!!

After a quick cup of Fr. Roast......I went over to Doug's to see how things were going for them in their packing and preparing to leave for the NW San Antonio area. With their large, double door fridge on the outs for the past 10 days or so, they are hoping to get the problems resolved at an RV Service Center outside of San Antonio. I had called to see about getting the oil in the truck changed and was told to try to get there quickly as the lines were getting longer and they close at noon on Saturday.

Sooooo, we said our farewells.......we have spent the past two months together,......just an incredible time each and every day!!!! If they get their fridge repaired/replaced without toooo much of a delay, then the Porters will continue on out to Arizona for about a month before heading north to the Edmonton, Alberta area and their new condo. They have been gone for a LONG time.....and will have spent six months on the road be the time they return.....if not longer than that.

I do not think that I have announced our new, modified travel schedule for this summer, have I???? Doug and Diane have invited us to spend a week with them in their condo over in British Columbia at Fairmont Springs. This is at the headwaters of the Columbia River in a gorgeous valley surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. Soooo, the 1st Lady and I will fly to Edmonton from STL in late May, arriving a few days before we all drive over to B.C. and to Fairmont Springs for a week in that incredible area. Then we will return to Edmonton for a couple of day before flying back to STL the second week of June.

We are tentatively planning then to go to Lebanon, TN for a very big square dancing weekend at the Fairgrounds there. This time we will take our RV and join many, many others there for that weekend of great fun!!! Hoping that our Kansas friends, Tom and Pat, can stop by our stick and brick on their way there, also!!!!

Then, we plan to do spend some time with the grandchildren during the next month, perhaps taking them on a short camping trip in Missouri. We will then go to Hannibal, MO for the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club Rally in that historic town/area. It should be fun to meet with out CC friends there......!!!!

Returning to F'town then we will only be there for a couple of days and then it is off to the Lake of the Ozarks for the "Howser Music Fest".......the much anticipated and expected large reunion of all of my former students from all 30 years of my career which will be the fourth weekend in July. When that emotional weekend is completed, we will return to F'town, load the RV, and head to Thayne, Wyoming to our RV site in the Star Valley Ranch RV Resort.....the site we purchased last summer!!!! We plan to be there until about the 1st of October when we will return to Missouri for normally the best month of the year there!!!!

Sooooo, there you have it!!!!! Obviously, there will be some there are always many things that can occur that will require some changes in these tentative plans. We are still trying to make some decisions about flying to New Zealand for a couple of months after the 1st of the year......???? Time is getting shorter for both of us.....and there are soooo many places that we have on our "To See" list.....we are beginning to doubt that we can get all of them seen!!! DAMN!!!!

Sooooo, today??????????????? After bidding farewell to the Porters for three months, I went over to Alamo and got the oil changed. Returning to the Resort, the 1st Lady had some problems with her new bike's chains/gears, so I called the shop in Harlingen....and they told me to bring in right down and they take it right in and repair it. Soooo, off we went to Harlingen. We were at the shop for about 10 minutes........and then headed back to Llano Grande. Deciding to go purchase some fresh beef, we went over to Donna to Rey's Meat Market where we purchase four huge rib-eye steaks...almost an inch thick. We also picked up some freshly ground hamburger to take with us as we leave the RGV.

Back to the resort........the 1st Lady went to the laundromat shortly after lunch. Myself??? I began to store things away in the basement, packing things tightly, and finally getting most everything loaded and put away. Late afternoon, I went to the resort office, checked out, paid our electric bill, and then went over and had another bottle filled with propane, realizing that we are going to run into some more cold weather along the Gulf Coast.

The 1st Lady spent over an hour at the pool, swimming and enjoying the warm and very sunny weather. Then when she returned, we cleaned up just a bit......and went to Cortino's Ristorante Italianio for dinner......our favorite place here in the RGV to dine!!!!!! Again, we enjoyed the Seafood Combination.....seafood(mussels, shrimp, scallops) laid gently on top of some linguine prepared so delicately with such a rich alfredo sauce on all of this. Sooooooo wonderful.....such a great restaurant!!!!!!!!! We will miss this little tiny place...........

Believe things are ready to leave, but one never knows what will occur. Been traveling too long to not realize that there are always unexpected bumps in the road....but, sure hoping I covered all bases in the preparations.

It has been two fabulous months down here, albeit the worst weather we have experienced in the four winters we have spent here. However, the friendships, the fun, the gatherings we have had......WOW...WOW...WOW...WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! They just can't be beat!!!!!!! Rather sad this evening....knowing this is all coming to an end..........

Tomorrow we have reservations at a nice RV Park just outside Beaumont, Texas.....east of Houston on I-10 for the night. Should be an OK day weather-wise....and hopefully, since it will be Sunday, the drive through Houston will not have to much traffic!!! I should have wifi so I can write tomorrow night while we are there. Biloxi, MS will be the stop for Monday and Tuesday evenings....and then on to Mobile, Alabama where we will store the RV for the week, as we have reservations at the Holiday Inn Downtown until Sunday afternoon. More on all of the wedding week's social enagagements next time................

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT.....REALLY!!!!!!!!!.......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Randy and Debbie.....leaving for Florida and then to New York.

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"Are we friends????"

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"Those claws and beak really hurt!!!"

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A very intense discussion......

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Petie LOVES to eat our nibblies!!!!

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Teaching us a new game(?) !!!!!!

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Same profiles?????

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"What do you think???"

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"Our Gang" !!!!!!!

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Days 56/57, Feb 25-26, 2010: Two days of......catch-up!

Yesterday......Thursday, I awakened and felt mucho better. Went downstairs, fixed my Fr. Roast coffee, and enjoyed the beginning of the return of my normal health status. I looked outside and saw that our next door neighbors, Randy and Debbie who are from the state of New York, were just about ready to pull out and begin their trip over to south of Tampa, Florida. Sooooo, I went outside, walked over, and we chatted briefly, as I knew they had their prescribed routine to do to finish getting closed up, hooked up, and ready to roll. Before very much longer, they were ready to go, and as they began to pull out, I ran out to grab a couple of more pictures, having taken one of the two of them when we first chatted. The 1st Lady came out quickly and they stopped and Debbie and Marsha chatted for just a moment before they pulled on out into the street......and away they went!!!!! We were saddened to see them leave, even tho we are leaving on Sunday.......we had just enjoyed the two of them soooooo much and felt like we really got to know them......two new friends that we hope we can maintain contact with as our Lives go "down the road".

Returning inside TheHowserHouse to finish my coffee, I rejoiced again at how good I was feeling. the morning went by, I decided that I would go outside and work on getting a few outdoor items stored inside the basement compartments.....all in preparation for our own departure on Sunday morning. And.....the damn winds had become stronger and stronger.......and it was quite an effort just to get the basement compartment doors to remain open as the winds were soon reaching 30 mph. Before long.....I realized that I was coughing my head nose was like two faucets turned wide open. Sooooo, I decided to quit and get back all of a sudden my "feeling good" turned to "beginning to fell bad" again!!!! DAMN!!!!

And........for the remainder of the day, I found myself staying out of those murderous Texas winds, trying to shelter myself from them, as I found my congestion in my lungs was loosening quite a bit, but my head was now quite filled up......UGH!!!! The day progressed rather quickly.....and I just kept my aging body "cooped up" like a recluse!

Late afternoon, the 1st Lady and I did go over to the Porter's Phaeton(motorcoach brand) and sat outside in front of their coach to block the winds...........discussing the Health Care Reform Summit, comparing our health care to the health care in Canada...specifically the Province of Alberta where they live. Each province has a different health care plan from their respective provincial governments.......and in our discussions, we compared our costs to their costs, our "waiting periods" for appointments for those not in danger of death, and many other issues. All said, we pay twice as much as they do for our insurances for myself, the 1st Lady, and my Medicare. And.......the "waiting times" are not that much different. Hmmmm...........I find myself thinking about the tons and tons of "horror stories" that we are "fed" down here by sooooo many who wish to keep the status quo here in the states.........! As it began to cool down, we moved inside their coach and played a couple of games until darkness descended.

Returning to our RV.......we just kicked back and I laid on the sofa for the remainder of the evening.....not feeling too good, but wanting to watch the Olympics......particularly the figure skating finals. I think it was the best skating of any Olympic finals in ladie's figure skating that I can remember......with the Korean young lady just doing an amazing job.....WOW!!!!


WOW.....this morning I felt even better!!!!! Almost as good as ever!!!!!! Sooooo, after the 1st Lady was up, I quickly took care of the morning rituals.....and we then threw our bag chairs into the back of the truck, picked up Doug/Diane with their chairs, and we all had bags of "nibblies" and our wine, as we all invited to the RV of Tom and Pat, following the morning square dance.

Ahhhh....we had such incredible fun at the dance this morning. And, as it finished, we had many of our friends come over to wish us farewell, knowing that this was our last dance this winter down here! From there......we went over to Trophy Garden's RV the site of Tom/Pat's motorhome. Charlie/Katherine and Dave/Jean were also well as "Petie"...their gorgeous Macaw!!!! He very quickly became the "star" of the afternoon's party!!!!!!! So beautiful, soooo friendly, and soooo enjoyable to watch and to "play" with!!!

We were there all afternoon, having a few drinks, eating waaaayyyyy too many nibblies, and just having a wonderful, laughing afternoon together. We "toured" their motorhome......a beautiful coach.....just a wonderful way to enjoy Life in retirement.

It was sooooo hard to say goodbyes this afternoon.......we have all grown soooooo close this year, just like members of one extended family!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who have not had the opportunity to spend time here in the RGV with soooooo many others who come from the states and Canada to winter down cannot possibly imagine in your minds what it really is like down here.....the fun, the day-to-day living down here, the fabulous fun times, but....most of all the "rest of our lives" friends that we make, that we enjoy, that we love sooooo much. There is absolutely no place like this.......and there absolutely no group of people like those of us who winter down here in our RV's!!!!!!! WOW.....WOW....WOW....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sooooo, two days of Life wrapped into one post tonight!!!! I am really torn about having to leave this it here soooooo much!!!!!

LIFE IS JUST ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!!!......And,, I hope it is for ALL of you, also!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

1st Lady in front/back of the ridiculous border fence being built along the border(shades of the Berlin Wall)

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1st Lady enjoys a REAL BIG Margarita!!!!!!

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1st Lady leaving the Red Snapper Restaurant after a very good lunch!

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1st Lady gets a Pedicure!!! ($10 for almost an hour of personal attention to her feet!!)

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A bright new plaza in Progreso, surrounded with well over a dozen Dentist Offices!!!

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Elotes: corn on the cob which is grilled in the cart for soooo many who love them!!!!

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Day 55, Feb 24, 2010: Too busy for my own good.........

Since this is actually Thurs morning.....I will just briefly touch on yesterday. The sun was out, the skies were blue, and the winds were not all. I really thought I was feeling better so the 1st Lady and I went over to Pharr to the square dance which we usually attend. Ok.......

It was great to see our friends that we have not seen since I became ill!! However, after the 1st tip, I really was dizzy and had to sit out the next tip as I was really short of breath.......still too much congestion, I guess. Soooo, we did dance most of the morning, but I was not feeling that good.....and, actually got to feeling worse.

BUT.....we had planned to go to Mexico for the final time this winter to pick up a few items. 35 minutes later from when we left the dance, we were walking across the Rio Grande River into Mexico. We did some shopping.....slowly, as not only was I dragging my body from place to place, but there were thousands of Americans of ALL ages over there yesterday.....very young and very old, children being pushed in strollers and seniors being pushed in wheel chairs. (I began to think perhaps I needed one of those mobile conveniences as I walked more).

We went straight to the Red Snapper, we were seated within five minutes, even with the huge crowds that were there enjoying the live music and the outstanding Mexican meals!!! Great fried shrimp, even tho the batter was a bit too thick for my was great when hot, but mushy when it cooled down. However, the shrimp without the batter was VERY fresh and the shrimp were butterflied and very big.....!!!!!

We walked the main street, shopping......making purchases from a new sq. dance skirt for the 1st Lady, a bottle of "1921" Creme de Tequila for friends of ours in Misery, a bottle of Tequila for ourselves, a gift for the upcoming birthday of one of our granddaughters, some vanilla for the 1st Lady's sister, some vanilla beans for ourselves, some snacks for Happy Hours, another bottle of Z-pack meds, and several other items. As it was our hands were full of bags, as well as my dayback on my back!

We were there longer than usual......and didn't get to the border until after 5pm. Very few people were on the US side going through Passport Control.....and with only a couple of friendly questions, we breezed on through......getting back to TheHowserHouse about 10 minutes later.

A quick trip over to the Porter's Phaeton for a review of our day and their day, a glass of wine for the 1st Lady and Doug/Diane.....I sipped on water as I have not had any alcohol since I started taking meds for this Texas Crud. And then.......we returned to our RV to settle in for the evening Olympics show.

Not feeling good,...NOT AT ALL......I didn't write this little blog. Enough said.....I, all my Life, have not enjoyed being around people who talk about nothing beside their ills and enough said from this sagging hulk of Me!

REALLY enjoyed the Canada victory over Russia in hockey last night. Sure hope we meet them in the finals?????!!!!!

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54, Feb 23, 2010: And another day of this "Texas Crud".....but, a bit of improvement...

OK......another day of hanging out here in TheHowserHouse, trying to isolate myself from our friends, but also just trying to lots of rest and be able to rid my sagging hulk of Me of this congestion. I said, I do feel better than yesterday......but by this time this evening, I am worn down from coughing, even tho it is much less than yesterday. And......the "crud" is loosening....not nearly as tight and painful in those aging lungs.

As I said......I laid and sat around most of the day. An ugly one to say the that damn cold front came roaring down upon us this morning....with high, strong winds blasting us between 30-40 mph ALL day long, driving the damn damp cold right through us. I did go out and set out one of the propane tanks on the side of the street as the propane company trucks come around each day and will refill your bottle right on the curb......good for them!!!! So, tonight I am really glad it is full.....and the other one is more than half full. Tonight the temps will drop into the mid-30's with these high winds continuing into the night.......BRRRRRR. Southern Texas has never been like this for soooooo long during the past three winters we have been down here.

Soooo, not much to say.......the 1st Lady did not go over to Mexico this afternoon....but, hopefully I will feel like running over there tomorrow.....sun and in the 60's......and get my hair trimmed back just a bit. I do not want to look like a peeled onion next week in Mobile, so I will have to keep a good watch to make certain the guy doesn't take off to much.

Thanks to one of my readers....and a very good friend.....I plan to apply some Vick's Vaporub on the bottom of my he sent a suggestion he had seen before. Check out the comment on yesterday's blog for this technique.......

No pictures today.........guess I have could have taken one of myself laying on the sofa????? Perhaps tomorrow........

And always, and even with this chest congestion.......

LIFE IS REALLY GREAT!!!!!!!........And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53, Feb 22, 2010: Another day of......coughing!!!

Hmmmm......most of yesterday was spent inside TheHowserHouse.....a bit of time sitting in the bright sunshine on the patio.....and then later as the sun began to set, Doug/Diane and Randy/Debbie came over to enjoy Happy Hour. I attempted to sit not tooooo close to them with my constant coughing.....whew!!!!

This morning, nothing was improved.......and I continue to take different kinds of meds on a regular schedule. This afternoon I spent most of that time laying on the sofa experiencing a fever (I HATE to have a fever!). The 1st Lady went up to the pool and spent the afternoon.....temps were in the mid-70's for a brief time during the afternoon, but the winds changed direction and a cool front pushed through later this afternoon.

Doug and Diane were in TheHowserHouse for Happy Hour, even though I am not drinking anything....well, tons and tons of water.....I enjoyed their company, even though this very, very sagging hulk of Me was not a very good host, nor a very good conversationalist!!!! Sorry...guys!!!

It has gone quickly from a few hours of nasal drips straight down to my lungs/chest!!!!! And....when I do get a cold that same progression always occurs! Guess it comes from having pneumonia three different times during my evolving Life.....????

This evening......I spent most of it in a recliner.....reclining. Tomorrow......wish I knew!!! I will miss square dancing in the morning, meaning the 1st Lady will also miss it. Tentatively, we ALL have planned to go over to Mexico, but for this coughing old guy.....I will just have to see how I feel...and the status of the weather, of which rain is predicted with considerably colder temps blowing down upon us!! DAMN!!! Being "under the weather" (where did that expression ever come from?) not the way I wanted to spend my last week down here along the border!!!!

Soooo, time for some I watch the Olympics. It is drizzling outside....yuk!! Oh always....

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!