Sunday, January 21, 2018

Honesty? Honestly!

I did the laundry on Thursday.  It took until today for me to notice that my laundry soap and jar of quarters weren’t where I store them.  Really?  4 days?  I looked in the truck.  No joy.  I walked to the laundry.  There they were—even the jar with $12 in quarters!  Awesome!  This place really is a nice place to stay.

In the previous blog about our riverboat trip along the Rio Grande, I stated the fact that 8 out of 10 illegals crossing the river from Mexico are from countries other than Mexico. That information came from our boat pilot who was also our narrator.  I stated it that way on purpose, thinking about how such “facts” fill our daily lives.  How often do we question such things stated positively and emphatically?  I wondered how, where and when he obtained this information. (I wasn’t curious enough to ask him, though.) 

Pictures tomorrow.

.Louise and Duane

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Straddling Countries

This morning we drove west to Mission, TX to meet long-time friends Paul and Marsha.  (The last time we saw them was in Ohio Amish Country in July of last year.)  The Riverside Club is a large restaurant whose owners also operate a narrated riverboat ride on the Rio Grande.



The boat holds about 50 people on three rows of seats.  Duane and Paul are in the lower left corner, while Marsha and I opted for the window seats to take photos.


Along the Mexican side of the river there was lots of new construction of elaborate private entertainment venues. There were five or six of these with buildings for indoor activities, outdoor open areas, playground equipment, and docks.  Some even had exotic animals in cages.



There were several workers taking breaks.  They all smiled and waved.


Our trip took us south east with Mexico on the south and the US on the north.  At one point we went around a big loop which put this Mexican public park on the north.


Within the loop was this dam, jointly built and operated by both countries.  The barrier is a safety precaution.  Just beyond the dam is a 30 foot waterfall.


In contrast to the beautiful Mexican venues, on the US side of the river are a couple of defunct venues, one with a watchtower,


and some rustic riverfront houses.


Most of the land we passed was wildlife refuge.  (This overgrown area is a popular crossing spot for illegals because it can’t be seen from the surveillance camera and it is easy to hide in the foliage.  The Rio Grande Valley is the most popular place for illegals to cross.  An interesting fact is that only 2 out of 10 illegals are from Mexico.) 


There is also a large sugarcane field.  Every year after the harvest, the field is burned to clear it for replanting.  Before setting the fire a warning is broadcast in English and Spanish—for obvious reasons.


We didn’t see a lot of wildlife on our one hour tour, but we did see a few birds.


Blue herons





Back at the restaurant we visited another hour or so during lunch.  When we went outside again,  the weather had changed completely from overcast, damp and 55 degrees to sunny, clear skies and almost 80 degrees!


We always enjoy spending time with Paul and Marsha, even though our time with them is always too short.

Back on the pickleball court tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

Friday, January 19, 2018


This guy looks way too cozy!  Somebody needs to return to his own space!


Don’t worry, as of this posting the weather has warmed up to 50 d, and the low for tonight is only 46.  I have moved the computer back to it’s home in the garage.  The temperature will stay above 45 for the foreseeable future. The cold snap is over!  Yay!  The price for our warmer air is moisture.  We had mist and drizzle all day.

Duane went out to play pool.  There were a bunch of people playing table tennis and was invited to play.  After an hour or so his pool buddy showed up and they played for a while.  I sat on my couch and enjoyed my space.

Tomorrow we are going on an excursion.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Two Days

Yesterday and today the weather was the same. but our activities were different.  Yesterday we braved the icy wind for a trip to the activity center,


where we joined a lot of other people for the (free) Welcome Back ice cream social.  Lots of people were sitting around eating their ice cream and visiting, but there were a couple of beanbag games going.


We were disappointed with our ice cream.  We ate it standing and walked back home to gather trash and recycling. 


After we dropped that off Duane played pool for a while.  I worked my jigsaw. 


Today we stayed in all day.  Duane didn’t even try to work in the garage.  We shared the living room all day, trying to keep warm.  In spite of having no picture to use, I managed to finish my puzzle.  It is described in the little story.  The main items are the end of an army cot, a chair, table, bookcase, chair with a dark lantern  an iron safe with a dish of milk and a whistle, and an ornate rug.  There are a lot of little details that make this picture very tricky. 

Anyone who is a Sherlock Holms fan will know what I mean when I say that the story of the Speckled Band is based on some incorrect information that was thought of as true at the time the story was written.  O still had fun rereading the story and finishing the puzzle while Duane enjoyed stretching out on the couch and commandeering my remote.

Tomorrow the cold weather is supposed to start easing out of here..  I hope so.  We want to get back on the pickleball court.

Looking forward to some exercise..

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


I have a thing about proper English, and listening to ads and newscasters on tv drives me nuts.  It seems that no one can use pronouns properly.  I hear a lot of me n him want this or him and I do that, that’s for my wife and I, and on and on.  I also hear a lot of “got”  as in what have we got and I have got to have this.  Lately the misuse of “get” is creeping into commercials such as the meaningless phrase “get knowing”.  I blame this bad language on news writers, ad writers  and  tv show  and movie script writers.  I even heard Sherlock Holmes on Elementary say that something was “for Watson and I”.  You’d think that a British genius could use his native language properly.  Other things that I find amazing are the overuse of the word “amazing”,  and I mean like how everyone like says starts sentences with like “I mean” for like um or you know, like you know?  I blame those two on movie stars and professional athletes that need a script to speak like adults.

Duane tells me to not let it bother me, but it does so much that one day I screwed up my nerve and told a minister in church that he misused his pronouns.  I figured, that since he spent years in school and was a shepherd of the flock, that he would humbly thank me.  He told me to get over it.  I won’t because I can’t.  To me, bad use of language is like fingernails on a blackboard.

Perhaps I should just turn off the tv and listen to music or books on cd while the cold weather lasts.

Tomorrow will be another cold one.  I wonder what else I will fine to bug me.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What Else?!

The weather was horrendous all day.  30mph Arctic winds blew in a freezing front which lowered the air temperature from 50d this morning to around freezing for the low, although the wind chill factor makes it feel about 20d.

We hunkered down inside with both electric heaters until dark when we had to have help from the propane furnace as well. 

Here’s what we did to try to keep warm and to entertain ourselves.

This is my new puzzle.  It has three stages.  First you read the mystery.  Then you assemble the puzzle and look at the clues, then solve the mystery.  This is the Sherlock Holmes story called The Speckled Band.  There is no picture of the puzzle because it holds all of the clues, so that I have no idea what it looks like.  Very tricky, but I’m up to the challenge, especially since today’s weather is predicted to continue for the next two days!


Duane stayed as long as he could in the ‘garage’, but it isn’t as insulated at the main part of the house, and by late afternoon was too cold.  It is chilly in front too.  Poor ole fella.


That blanket will end up on our bed tonight to help our electric blanket.

We are very glad that we’re retired and don’t have to go outside for anything!

Louise and Duane

Monday, January 15, 2018

Constantly Changing

I’ve heard people say,”  If you don’t like the weather, just give it an hour.”  This is especially true of this area of the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas.  When I got up this morning at 8:30, the sky was gray, the air was still, and the temperature was about 55d. I put on long pants and a long sleeved shirt.  When I went to play pickleball at 9:10, the sun was out, the air was warm and the wind was blowing about 10-15 mph.  I changed my clothes to shorts and a t-shirt and went out to play.  After 2 hours I was ready to go home.  The sky was clouding over again and the wind was gaining a bit of a bite. 

Tomorrow afternoon the temperature is predicted to drop steadily and there’s a 50% chance of rain (as of now).  With that in mind, we ventured out to the grocery.  At the Texas Information Center the wind displayed all of the flags.


We don’t go out very often, but it’s a resort—there’s very little need to go out.

Louise and Duane