Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Its May, It's May...."

Spring has sprung; the grass is "riz"
We can see where the flowers "is"
Opening up the camper--lots of work to do :-)

On (to) Wisconsin!
Andrew celebrated his 11th birthday on May 4th, 
so we went bowling and played tennis.
Matthew made his First Communion on May 7th.
 Andrew was the only student chosen to read 
at the First Communion Mass
 Kelly and I cleaned and "organized" all week.
Jimmy came home from his spraying work in N.D.
on the train with Bob on Saturday.
 Father John, Matthew, and Pope Francis
Awesome chocolate cake :-)

Monday, April 3, 2017

April Fools

I drove to Iowa on the 27th for the All Saints
Art Fair and "Read Out." Jett, Caiden, and Annika
had several art entries and also read the stories
they had written.  On the 28th, Ariana was
in the Regis Middle School musical,
"Thoroughly Modern Millie."

Headed to Ana's on the 25th--a day early 
because of a predicted ice storm in Fargo.
Had to stay overnight in Alexandria because
of the weather, but made it to Ana's on the 26th.
We swam and then ate at the
Mexican restaurant next door to the motel.

Happy Easter!
 Chocolate cake hiding under the frosting!!! :-)
 I found the Paas Easter kit in the cupboard.
I am sure it has been waiting for five years to be used.
Can you tell which of these eggs are raw???

We flew from Texas to Minneapolis on Thursday, April 6th.
Then we went to Wisconsin for one day, Iowa for one day,
and Minnesota for one day.
After almost four months away, we arrived 
home to read two weeks of mail
 The two suitcases came from Texas with us;
the rest of the stuff was in the pickup at Ana's all winter
 Corey, Ana, and Cecelia just got back from DC Sunday.
Claire and Lydia stayed home with Grandma Martin
 Trina was in Chicago with some friends when we got to Iowa,
so we visited with Tom and the kids.
Annika and Jett helped make the crepes on Sunday morning.
 We were all pretty relaxed after those crepes
Jimmy left for Killdeer to spray some crops after lunch on Friday.
We stayed to visit with Kelly and the kids.
Note what Bob is doing....(the hand on the right...)
 Andrew found a couple of quarters 
for his National Parks map
Bob and Luke analyze the news :-)

When this group arrived at the Brownsville Dome 
on Wednesday morning, the power was out, but
the emergency lights came on...and off...and on...and off...
I took a pic of the pickleball net anyway, 
so we can get one at home

 Harold and Pat invited everyone left in the park
to an empty-out-your-fridge potluck on Tuesday

Lawyer's office and sign across from the Harlingen
Community Center where we play pickleball

On Monday, Bob dropped me off at school
and drove to Mexico to get the tv tray that
Alfonso was painting.
We have a security camera on the garage at home 
and can view what's going on in the yard.  Bob
took this winter pic with the camera.  The
cart is Alfonso's street studio!!!
 At Alfonso's home in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico,
with our tray and his easel with his next painting.
 On the way back from Mexico, Bob spotted
the farmers harvesting their onion crop.
 When he picked me up at the school, he saw
smoke and decided to investigate. The farmer 
told us they had harvested the cane while it
was still green and were burning off the rubble.
 Green sugar cane field on the left; post-harvest on the right
A water pump next to the cane fields

 Sunday afternoon, I looked at the thermometer
and decided it was time to go to the pool
This is the temp at the pool!
Jerry and Wendy headed out on Sunday, April 2nd
Trying to clean out our fridges, we had an April Fool's
 "potluck" to get rid of a lot of food before everyone left.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March 2017

Thursday, March 30
We took a boat tour to watch the 
Sea Turtle Rescue staff release some turtles
We were on the Double Sunshine
Jerry F., Kathy & Jerry B., Diane, Wendy, Bob
Coast Guard station at South Padre Island
We saw a few dolphins on the trip--
they are hard to "catch" with a camera
Part of the staff
 The hospital is where the injured turtles
are placed until they are ready to go back to the sea
 Nine turtles were relased that day
Free at last
 The turtles were released from two boats
which were back to back so we could 
see the release from the other boat
Ready or not...
Here we go!
We ate at Pelican Station after the turtle release

Sunday, March 26th
We decided to get some "culture"
This was our first play at the theater
in Brownsville....really funny!
Saturday, March 25th
We drove to the Sugar Processing plant 
west of Santa Rosa to watch the trucks
carrying the cane being unloaded.

The trucks (not just the box) get lifted to unload

Fun to watch them go up and down
A growing cane field across from the factory
A young sugar cane field being irrigated  
with the sugar processing plant in the background
After watching the trucks unload,
Bob decided that we should follow a truck
to find the field.  When the truck turned onto a
dirt (not gravel) road, we stopped following it.
The field was a mile off the road.
While we were following the truck south
of La Feria, we passed the gun club....

Pickleball in Harlingen
The low ceiling limits the lobbing!

 March 24th at Boca Chica 

 Trail and beaches

 Never thought about the Civil War extending down to South Texas
 A windy day on the beach

 The entire village was one street

 History (or not) made here

March 21st: Winter Texan Day in Mexico

March 20th
Another day at South Padre Island

The three biketeers: Jerry, Dennis, and Bob
Closing out the day with a brewery trip

End-of-season park picnic on the 18th
 Dennis & Nancy, Charlotte, Wendy, Ron,
Kathy (behind Jerry), and Bob

 We had a band at the picnic...
here's part of the conga line :-)

Doin' the polka
 Parking lot
 I won a free trip on the Pirate Ship (one of the door prizes)
Cane sugar fields are burned out before harvest

Pickleball on St. Paddy's Day
The Brownsville court is in the hurricane shelter

Wednesday, March 15th
Back to South Padre Island
There were lots of kids there for Spring Break.
One of them asked how long were were staying
and was shocked when we said, "three months!"
 Pope Francis went to the Island with us.
When we were leaving, the lady waiting for
our parking spot said her nine-year-old son wanted 
to know why the Pope was on the bike.  He wanted
his picture taken with the Pope before we left!
The kid went to a Catholic school in Brownsville.
Dennis held up crackers to feed the birds,
but this one got a cracker 
and a bit of Dennis's finger!!
 The little boy next to us was smarter--
he threw the crackers up and the birds 
grabbed them in the air.
Last line dancing class with Lois from ND
and Paul the instructor and his wife Carrie.
Paul worked for the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania
and said he got free candy when he was at work.

Driving north and west of La Feria
The Hidalgo County Detention Center
 Orange grove along the road
 The Santa Rosa boys' basketball made it to State
this year, but lost in the semifinal round.
 Cane sugar is a huge ag industry in the Rio Grande Valley.
This is where they process the sugar.  George, the father
of Luis (our bee man) has worked here for over 30 years.
He keeps the machines running.

 Harvesting equipment

 Views of the factory....we wanted to watch the trucks
unload, but they were not working that day 
because it was too muddy.

Tuesday, March 14th
 Charlotte, Diane, Kathy, Nancy, and Wendy
helped Delores celebrate her birthday
We had lunch at Colletti's.  This is my chicken salad!

Luis, who brings his bees to our farm in the summer,
did a presentation at the Audubon Society

On Monday, the 13th, we drove out to the "Salt of the King"
lake north of Alamo.  The water is ten times
as salty as the ocean. (Yes, we tasted it).
 Salt was like gold in the 18th and 19th centuries

 Bob rode his bike down the trail to the lake.

 Actually, we saw one deer before we entered the park--
and no wildlife after that.

 The "salt dune" in the lake
 We arrived after a hard rain, but salt buildup was evident
 I walked to the lake from the gate--about 1/2 mile
 and enjoyed the "flora"

 Salt became trapped in debris when the water receded
 I loved the patterns in the salty sand 
made by the rain and receding water

Awesome--can you see the animal tracks?

Sunday, March 5th
Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show
 Bob met someone from North Dakota
in the Antique Farm Equipment Museum
 I liked the miniature farm displays the best
 "Tote that bale.."
Cotton harvest

Friday, March 3rd
After pickleball in Brownsville, we went to South Padre Island
for lunch at the SPI Brewery.  Then we drove to Clayton's
to see if many Spring Breakers had arrived yet.

We tried to catch up with this car to get a better pic, but...

Our neighbor Terry organizes a ladies' luncheon
once a month at local restaurants.  This month
we went to Stefano's--can you guess what
kind of food they serve??? :-)
I'm in the back with the cowboy hat....
(note the carry-out boxes...I belong to the "clean plate club")

Nephew Doug the fisherman sent fish to Texas with his parents,
so they hosted a fish-fry this week. Yummy!

 We found the Lebanese Bistro in McAllen on Sunday
 I ate the grape leaves before we took the picture.
The food was great!!!
Sam, the cook, created this Madonna and Child
using silver and mother-of-pearl inlay. 
He also did ones of Bill Clinton and Michael Jordan.
He wants to sell this one.

On March 3 we went to see "The Good Vibrations,"
who do "Beach Boys" music
The Vibrations were good
 The "real" Beach Boys
The concert was at Llano Grande RV Park in Mercedes,
a little town west of La Feria