Sunday, February 27, 2011


Friday, Feb 25 – Marsha's basket hobby is taking over Paul's life. He spent most of the day making new basket bottoms for Marsha's future projects......PHEW!!! Not only did he have to cut our various shapes and sizes, but then had to drill a million holes in them and sand them.....he doesn't have time for his own hobby!


Marsha's basket is all done! She put several coats of shellac on it and that is the final step. Now which shape and size will she start next?

Tonight is the 50's Sock Hop at the Activity Center. Of course, Marsha volunteered us to help with the bubble blowing contest and the hula hoop contest, and we are in charge of the popcorn machine.....SHEESH! does she get me involved in these things??? Oh well, being a judge means I don't have to compete!

Mr. Popcorn Man


Getting ready to cruise.


Carol in the mood.


Dig the hair.


Marsha doing the hand jive.


Elvis even made an appearance.


Mike and Lynn were the organizer of event. Thanks you two. Great job!


Saturday, February 26 -
Back to Louisa's house for the second coat on the drywall. This project has turned into a two man job......only John and I are working again today.  Hopefully, he can get the drywall done today.

We are expecting some friends this evening.....Barb & Bruce. We met Barb & Bruce in Livingston, TX, at the Escapee Headquarters when we first started full-timing. They are from Two Harbors, MN – where they spend their summers at their cabin on the lake. They do some pretty extensive traveling in the winter and are here in the RGV to see how Winter Texans live. Bruce writes a wonderful blog. Great sense of humor.

B & B arrived safely around 4 o'clock. We met them along the road to guide them effortlessly to their site. After they settled in, we had a quick happy hour to do a little catching up and then gave them the nickel tour of the park. We decided to go out for dinner.....this turned into a questionable decision. Marsha and I are not big “eater outers,” so where do we go? Gave our friend Norm a quick call and he gave us a place. Friends Betty and Jay were also going. So the six of us loaded up and headed to the restaurant.......opps, CLOSED! So leader Paul heads down the road looking for someplace to eat. Next thing we know, we are out in the boonies, it's getting dark, the road ends, the Border Patrol is cruising around, ...WE BETTER GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE! Eventually we found a place to eat. Not the greatest but we enjoyed our friends! Another memorable experience.....ha! Ha!

Lt.-Rt…Barb, Betty, Jay, Paul and Bruce. Marsha took the pictures…waiter didn’t speak English, so who knows what would have shown up in the picture. Possibly something like the next picture?


That is right…GOAT. If you look at the picture above, see the window in the upper right corner, that is where it is hanging.


Jay and Betty actually had goat in their Enchiladas. Marsha tasted them. They were GOOOOOD!

Before we close, we would like to thank all those who have left us comments. Thanks for your support with Louisa’s project. Sometimes, when the comment is sent it has a no-reply address. We don’t have all our followers email addresses, so this is our way of saying “Thanks”.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Wednesday, February 23 – Back to work on our little construction project. John, Dave, and I.

paul outside

We then tackled the hanging of the drywall.


Jay stopped by for a short time and insulated the hot water tank.


Marsha worked all day in the yard. Marie and Louisa joined her for awhile.


Dry wall finished. Louisa is thrilled. Look at the new air conditioner. It looks so nice.


Louisa is so excited with her closet.


About 4 o'clock we called it a day. We only have a few pieces of corner bead to install on the corners around the windows and well be ready to mud. Paul and John are going to put the first coat of mud on the drywall Thursday morning. The guys will sleep well tonight!

Marsha, with some help from Betty, helped the men by cleaning up the work area of drywall dust and debris – Twice! By cleaning up a couple times, they at least minimized the dirt that gets tracked through the rest of the house. Louisa will have less cleaning to do when we are finished.

Thursday, February 24 – As planned, John and Paul put the first coat of mud on the drywall this morning. Everything went well, and they were done by ten o'clock. We'll need to put at least one more coat on and maybe a third in a couple rough areas......don't know exactly when that will happen????

Marsha went to her basket making class this morning and of course everyone raved over the progress she's made on her first basket. She wants to share some of Karen’s, teacher and friend, work. Her basket are amazing. She draws a design on the bottom of her baskets, her husband burns the image and then Karen paints them. EEEEEEgad…this gave Marsha too many ideas. She wants to go shopping later. There goes the income tax return.




She finished the weaving today, and it is ready for a coat of shellac tomorrow. So we headed to Home Depot to get the shellac and some other materials for making more baskets.




Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Monday, February 21 – We are involved in a community service project today helping a local Hispanic girl, Louisa, with some needed home improvements. Friends, Betty & Jay, met her several years ago and have been doing some home projects for her the last couple years. They are also teaching her English. This year's project involves adding insulation to part of her home. She lives in a cement block home. The walls are built with cement blocks and are simply painted inside. This is accepted practice this far south. The problem is Louisa doesn't make enough money to heat her home so she gets pretty cold when temperatures fall in the lower 30's and even the upper twenties like they did recently.

Along with three other couples, we will be working several days to give her a warmer place to live when temperatures drop. Our team will be adding 2x4 stud walls along the two exterior walls of her bedroom, replace a deteriorated window, insulate her hot water tank, build a wall to close off the utility room from the bedroom, build a closet, insulate these walls, then hang and finish drywall to finish the project. We will also do a few exterior jobs to repair a collapsing carport.




Open holes to the outside were just stuffed with rags.


We put in a full day of....WORK!! We got all the stud walls built and are ready for the electrical work. Not much electrical to do except run a few new outlets. Then we'll insulate the walls and be ready for drywall.

Paul was the only one with a  construction background. Guess who was reluctant foreman by default. OH YES…one more item to note. No one else had ever used an air nailer either.



First-day’s finished work


While we we building walls, the ladies were outside doing yard clean-up. Things are shaping up pretty well. They will finish up outside on our next work day, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Louisa brought home pizza for lunch. We are responded .....”Oh you didn't have to do that,” but it didn't take us long to gulp down those pizzas....ha ha!

WEATHER NOTE: Heard on the National Nightly News that McAllen, TX (that's where we are located) had the nation’s high temperature today.....95 degrees. We even turned on the AC for the first time in 2011. The dag gone wind finally quit blowing too!

MARSHA'S BASKET UPDATE: Bella loves helping Marsha with her new basket making hobby. The Sinew string she use is soooooooooo much fun to chase!!!! How cute!!!


Tuesday, February 22- Today is the park wide Garage Sale and Craft Show. Marsha made a cherry cheese cake for the bake sale.


We have pretty much stuff we are going to try to sell at the Garage Sale. Norm & Donna, the owners of the lot we're renting, brought over some things so it should be a very attractive stop for people looking for bargains. Hope we sell EVERYTHING!

Well.....didn't sell everything but did OK! It was very busy for the first half of the morning but by 11:00 business fell off pretty dramatically. We closed soon after. There were only a couple of the larger items we really wanted to sell, so we think we'll try selling them on Craig's List.

Went to social hour at our neighbor’s, Angie and Rick, house. All the volunteers for the sock hop met. We went over our duties, ate, drank and laughed. This is a great group of people to be with. We are very lucky to be part of their group.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Wednesday, February 16 – After our morning exercise routines, we toured the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle. There is a well-written history of the shrine on the website.



For centuries Christians have made pilgrimages with a spiritual purpose to holy places. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, hundreds are drawn to the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle, and the number of pilgrims continues growing. Averaging more than one million visitors a year (20,000 a weekend), it is one of the most visited shrines in the United States.

This beautiful Catholic church has an architectural design approaching a dome. It is quite large and seats 3,500 worshipers. It has a minimalist feel compared to the many ornate churches we've seen.


One of the unique architectural features we observed is the altar. From the seating area of the church one doesn't see that the rear of the altar begins one story below the floor of the actual worship area. Accessed by ramps on both sides of the altar is the candle lighting area and prayer rail. An interesting feature.



As we were leaving, the Father was about to bless those who came.


Outside the church is a paved walk of about a mile with life-size bronze statues of the Stations of the Cross. It appears the minimalist theme is repeated here in that the statues are simply done and don't seem to express the suffering Christ endured in other artistic impressions of the Crucifixion we have seen in other areas of the country.


To see all the Stations of the Cross, please click here.

There is a large area where people can fill jugs of Holy Water for free.


The Shrine also has a large bookstore housed in a separate building on the Church grounds.

We spent the remainder of the day talking with our neighbor, Mike. Marsha decided to do two things at one time…something she is very good at doing…she talked and worked on her basket. It is looking really good.



Thursday, February 17 - One of the criticisms of the RGV one must endure while staying here is the relentless WIND! Last evening and overnight was one of our worst nights. It just blows, and blows, and blows. Never stops. The awnings over the slideouts continuously flap in this wind making sleeping difficult. Unfortunately, the forecast does not show any let up in the foreseeable future....YIKES! The 80 degree temperatures are wonderful, but the gusting wind makes enjoying it difficult.

Marsha's computer is on it's last leg.....she needs to “re-boot” constantly, the lid has nearly fell off, and other fatal signs has spurred her to think about a new computer. So with the wind squelching enjoying the sun and 80 degree temps, we went to town shopping. After comparing similar computers at several stores, of course, we returned to the first store, Office Depot, and purchased an HP Computer. Now Marsha has to spend several days getting it ready to use (Editorial: that's insane....spend several hundred dollars on a new computer and it's not ready to use out of the box......JEESH! ....and she needs to spend another $100 or so on software that she has on her old computer and uses on a regular basis, but it can't be transferred to the new computer.....CRAZY!).


Saturday, February 19 – Just saw on the news that diesel fuel in California is at $3.99/gallon and rising. It is predicted that the price of unleaded gasoline will be over $4/gallon this summer and diesel fuel prices will approach $5/gallon. That's not good news for someone hauling their house around the country. We've already curtailed driving plans once for this summer and may have to reconsider our adjusted plans. We originally planned on touring the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon) but cut that idea and decided on South Dakota (Mount Rushmore) area instead. Now with the threat of fuel prices reaching five dollars we may need to re-think those travel plans.

We are investigating work camping as an alternative to traveling. We would work or volunteer in exchange for a camping site. The research we've done thus far shows most couples work about twenty hours per week. We are going over to friends (and work campers), Jay and Betty's, on Sunday to discuss ideas with them. Hopefully, we'll come up with some ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back real soon. Have a great day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Tuesday, February 15 – We headed back to Progreso, MX this morning for Marsha's final dental visit. It was suppose to be a short time in the dentist's chair, so we had additional sightseeing plans.

Well, our plans didn't pan out as expected. Of course, there were delays at the dentist, and we didn't leave Mexico until after 1 p.m. Since we were only ten miles from Harlingen, TX ,we decided to go see a couple sites.

Our first stop was the Iwo Jima Museum and Monument.



Easy Company had been fighting 4 days. They had 40% casualties to date. On February 23rd, 1945 they were raising this flag on Mt. Suribachi when photographer Joe Rosenthal shot this the most reproduced photograph in history.  

This is really neat! We saw it lit up at night the evening Marsha flew in from Ohio and wanted to go back during the day for a closer inspection. The Iwo Jima Monument is the original full-sized creation of the renowned artist and sculptor, Dr. Felix de Weldon, and was used for the casting of the monument erected at Arlington Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.


After completion of the monument in Washington, this sculpture was placed in storage until the early 1980's when it was donated to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas by its creator.

The Marine at the base of the flag pole is Harlon H. Block. He is from Weslaco, TX, which is the neighboring city of Harlingen. Just six days after the flag raising, Block was killed along with two other Marines that helped hoist the flag. Marine Block is buried next to the Memorial.



It is amazing. We toured the museum and watched a video on the Battle of Iwo Jima. This is a nice stop. We recommend to anyone in the RGV.

Our next stop was in the city of Harlingen. They have over a dozen murals scattered through out the city. 

Celebrating 30 Years Of LUV


The Early Days


The History of Mexico and Mankind


Tropical Playground Of Texas


Golden Age Of Hollywood and Mexican Cinema


The murals were nicely done. Only suggestion I would make it to prohibit parking in front of them. It seemed like there was always one big pickup truck parked smack in the middle....GOSH!

Arrived back to the MH about 5:00, just in time for the news. Watched American Idol and called it a day.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!