Sunday, January 29, 2012


Saturday, January 28 - FINALLY…Marsha has found some time to do a blog on all her baskets that she gave for Christmas gifts. She worked days on each of her baskets and made each one different. She used some of her dyed pine needles, sinew, special thread, beads and each one had one of her special gold pine needles from the moon tree. (If you don't know about the moon tree, you can read about it here.)She said every one that received a basket was thrilled to have one.

Chris, our sister-in-law, told Marsha…"If you ever think of making me a basket, I would like coasters. Can you do that?" Marsha said, "Is that a challenge?" Here is a little secret about Marsha…she loves challenges. She made Chris four and put cork on the back of each. We tested them with ice in a glass, and they kept the water off the table just fine.



This is her first cracker basket with handles. Marsha used walnut slices in each handle. She gave this to her brother, Mark's, girlfriend, Christina.



For a special friend, Red - that we taught with for years, she did her first three-level wrap design. She gave it to Red before Christmas, but he saved it to open Christmas morning. He called Marsha and told her how much he loved it. Glad you are enjoying it, Red! Miss you!



When our daughter, Kelly, saw Marsha's first baskets, she said she would like a smaller one. Marsha kept this in mind when she made Kelly's. She also wanted to do something special. This is her first basket using beads and an agate (stone) for the bottom. She was very happy with the finished product. Kelly was thrilled to receive this gift. (If you look closely, you can see the special gold pine needle in the top left area.)


She also puts her name on the bottom of each basket and dates it.Kelly

Carrie received Marsha's first attempt in making her biggest basket. This is her first attempt making these types of handles and a new stitch called the split stitch. Marsha thought it turned out just like she envisioned it. Carrie can't wait to have her next party and show it off.



Two happy girls.

Now she is biting at the bit to get started on her next basket using the tiles we had painted in Mexico. Before she can begin, we are in the process of deciding what best to use as the mounting material. When the first one is completed, you can be sure she will take some photos. We can share it because she is actually doing one for US to keep. This is a FIRST!

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


Thursday, January 26, 2012


Monday, January 25, Part 2 - While are tiles were being painted by Alfonzo, we headed down to the Mercado for lunch and some famous Margaritas.


Who should we meet outside the restaurant but Jose, Alfonzo's brother. He is also extremely talented. He too paints only with spray paint, cardboard and plastic bags. Can you tell how bashful he is…LOL


Well, of course Marsha had to stop and look. Thirty-five dollars later we walked out with five more tiles and a beautiful black/white bottle to decorate the motorhome. She will be using the tiles in her baskets so we can't show you all of them. Some of our readers might receive them as a gift.




We really enjoy Arriba Restaurant and Bar.


We share a customary bowl of taco chips and a plate of Enchiladas. Of course we took part in the two for one price margaritas. Our favorite entertainer was there blaring out the tunes.


Marsha had to get into the action right away.

The margaritas must have been working their magic, because Paul got up and did the chicken dance. Yes, that is him in the blue shirt and grey hat.



We finished up our shopping and headed back to the border. We paid our 25 cents to pass through the turnstile, had our passports scanned, and returned to the USA without even a “welcome home” from the security folks.

As soon as you enter the USA, there is a little ice cream store. On our first trip here with our friends, Norm and Donna, we stopped there to have some ice cream. It is a tradition of theirs to stop and have a 2 for $2 banana split. Not wanting to break tradition, we stopped and had one. There are lots of people in there. Paul was looking back to be sure I hadn't left him.


For $1 each, they give a really good banana split.32-sundae

It was a wonderful day. We had great check ups, super shopping, danced with the locals and ate our way through Progreso. We will probably go back at least one more time before heading out the end of February.

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Monday, January 23 – We're off to Nueva Progreso, Mexico, this morning to visit the dentist. For all those who have never visited Mexico or want to, here is a quick tutorial to entering the country.

Take some quarters with you. You need one to enter the country and one to get out.


Next step is to walk across the bridge.

As you walk across, you can see the Rio Grande River that many illegals try to cross over to the USA. This is a view of the USA side.  See the wall in the background?

You also see lots of hats sticking through the fence.

If you have a large head like Paul, you can be in two countries at one time.


You are now in Mexico.

We went to this same dentist last year, Dr. de la Rosa Saenz, and was quite pleased with his service.


We both have appointments for cleaning. Marsha only needed a regular cleaning but Paul received a deep cleaning.

Everyone asks us questions liked…Does he speak good English? Is it clean? Does he take credit cards? etc.  Answers…Dr. de la Rosa was educated in the United States and lives in Mission, TX. He speaks excellent English. The place is very clean and sterile. There is plastic on everything.



He also takes credit cards, checks, and cold cash.

With a “clean” smile on our faces, we headed out to try to make a deposit in the Mexico economy. And a deposit was certainly made! Paul purchased a belt and got a hair cut that comes with a free massage…both for a mere $5.00.



Marsha found the Mexican tiles she was in search of for her basket-making hobby. Not only did she find finished tiles, but we found a family of painters that would paint scenes on tiles for her. These brothers, Jose & Alfonzo (in two different locations in Progresso), use spray paint and little bits of torn paper to complete these amazing paintings.

They are so good that we wanted to show you how they paint a tile. This Alfonzo starting one of the tiles.

He uses no brushes just cans of spray paint, pieces of cardboard and plastic bags.14

He drew to cactus with the cardboard and now is using the plastic bag to make the flower beds.




He made ten for Marsha. Each one is totally different. Since several of her readers may receive one of her baskets with a tile, she only wants to show the one we are keeping.


It's unbelievable!

We will share with you the rest of our visit to Mexico in our next blog.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Friday, January 20 – It has really been hot here. Here is a photo of our weather gauge. Notice the time…5:28 p.m.


Saturday, January 21 – Hidden Valley Ranch had a park-wide garage sale this morning, and we had a few items we decided to put out by the street for sale.


This is the smallest garage sale Marsha and I have ever had.....we've had some humungous sales in the past....LOL. We sold most of our treasures and made about $55 which Paul managed to use by purchasing a Pressure Pro tire monitoring system from the neighbor for $50 – a real steal !!! It's something Paul has always wanted but hasn't bought because of the high price. If you are unfamiliar with tire monitoring systems, they keep a watch on your tire pressures (in this case our Honda CRV) while being towed behind the MH and gives an alert if there is a blow-out or leak. It would be easy and a catastrophe to tow the car down the street with a flat tire and not even be aware of the problem.

We closed up the garage sale at 10:00 a.m. because Marsha was participating in a Ladies Style Show Luncheon at the Leisure Valley Clubhouse. She was modeling “Ropa” ware! Of course, she got Paul to work too! He was a server for the ladies luncheon.


Have you ever heard of “la Ropa” style show? Here in South Texas (it may be in other areas too) you can go to the Ropa store and purchase new or lightly-used clothing at unbelievable low prices. It comes in bales and you open them up and pick-out what you want. Then you normally purchase the clothing by the pound!

Well, the ladies select outfits from the Ropa and put on a show for the park. It was a sold out show and luncheon. Attendance reached 200 people. Each model wore an outfit and then carried one or two additional ones. The outfits were auction off to the highest bidder with some items going for over $20 and some for as little as $3. Marsha did very well and helped raise some big bucks!!! She looked smashing....don't you think?

First outfit

Second outfit

Third outfit

Our friend, Rick, was our auctioneer.

The decorating committee did a great job. There were three of these on each table…


You guessed it. Marsha was a lucky winner of a door prize….AGAIN!!!

Later in the evening, we attended another Country Dance at the clubhouse. The group was the Renaissance Rockers, a musical group made-up of doctors and other health professionals. They perform a mix of country and oldies. We've heard this group in the past and they are always well received. Another good time in the Rio Grande Valley.

Sunday, January 22 – Our friends, Angie & Rick, recently purchased a home here in Leisure Valley Ranch. We actually arrived here back on December 30 just in time to help them move. As a thank-you to all the helpers, they had a brunch this morning at their place. It's breakfast “in-a-bag.”

As Angie demonstrates

each person was given a plastic bag. We broke two or three eggs in the bag. We then went around a table and placed what ever items (bacon, sausage, mushrooms, asparagus, cheese, etc.) in the bag. You scrunch it all up. We then gave the bag to Rick, who placed them in big pots.


They cook for about 15-18 minutes. All the fixin's come out as an omelet. It was so much fun. They had tons of other stuff for us to eat, even Mimosas! It was a great breakfast and a fun time.

After enjoying the fun at breakfast it was time to relax at home and enjoy the NFL play-off games. A person can get pretty busy and exhausted here in the Rio Grande Valley having fun, so it's nice on occasion to just hang-out at the MH and watch some football.

Our landlord stopped in to visit. He has a Congo African Grey Redtail Parrot that rides all over the park on John's shoulder in the golf cart. Her name is Suzie.



She's quite the talker and it's amazing to hear her. She doesn't just mimic John, but thinks and creates sentences. For example: “John, Suzie says bye, bye.” She even tells John...”No John, you're wrong.” If she bites John, he'll swat at her (not really connecting) and she says, “Suzie is telling Martha (John's wife) and she'll put the stick to you!” She was chattering up a storm with us.

Don't run out and get one of these Parrots. John tells us they live to be 90 years old! There is a lady a couple blocks from the park that sells thousands of these birds all over the country. That might make a neat field trip!

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