This morning we needed to do some shopping. We had a few things on the grocery list, Denice needed that "Oval Cutter"from Michaels for here scrapbooking and we needed some more food for those throngs of birds(Mostly black birds) that we are attracting. They sure seem to eat a lot!! So off to HEB and buy the few things on the LIst. We had a $100 worth of goodies,I'm sure, before we ever started on the "List"
Super HEB is a great store here in Mission. There is also another one, of many in the area, not too far away, but it does not seem to be as clean and organized as well as this one. Once out of ther down to McAllen and buy Denices "Oval Cutter" as well as a few other things. Yep, just a few I might add, then back home and put everything away. Now its's starting to get more and more difficult to find homes for all these "necessities" we are buying, But Denice is a master at re-organizing shelves, cupboards, fridges, and freezer compartments. I kid you not, when you open our freezer compartment you would swear it was one big block of meat, but she has it like a jig saw puzzle. Each package fits perfectly with the one beside it. Not a bit of space left. And I thought the Egyptians were good at arranging the blocks on the pyramids!!!
Once everything stored away, it was now time for me to return to my stained glass project. Get all my paraphanelia out of the compartment and lay it out on my table one more time. The order of the day today is to copper foil all those pieces of glass.
|Tools of the Trade|
|The "Foiler" at the bottom|
|The Glass ready to Solder - I Think!!|
Jan 24th (Tuesday)
Some excitement today around here. Friend Tom, from Warner had sent me an email a few days ago showing a new boat the Texas Hiway Patrol had built for use on Falcon Lake for Mexican deterrant. Here are some of the specs of it:
New 36 ft. Patrol/Gunboat powered by three 300HP mercs
armaments include 5 - static mounted [2 dual & 1 single] FN M240B 7.62×51 mm NATO
Light machineguns, 2 - Barrett .50 BMG Sniper Rifles, and other assorted
5.56 rifles, 9mm sub machineguns, and grenade launchers.!
Tom had asked if the boat was near where we are, and I responded that no it was not here but Falcon Lake is only about 60 miles away as the crow flies. Well Guess what, this afternoon what shows up but, not one but two of the subject boats. They were launched into the Rio Grande for what I am sure was a test run. They cruised around for a couple of hours, mostly testing the engines and manuverability. No not the guns !!! They did give one pass at a much higher rate of speed, likely in the neighborhood of 50 mph, but I think those big engines were still only at half throttle. They did create a tsunami wave the washed right over our cock and drenched a couple of our local fishermen
But what a sight!!! What Boats!!! Great photo opportunity and I got many shots. Even a great video of them screaming by!
|Check out that fire Power|
|Not to be challenged|
|Some Power eh!!|
|And they are off|
|Back up Support|
|Check out those Bullets - Don't think they are blanks!!|
- ensure all foil covered with just enough flux, not too much, not too little
- Cutting precision pieces of glass the fit together with a minimum of space between them is very important
- Foiling need to be accurate with equal amounts of copper folded over each side of the glass
- Need to initially solder each individual piece temorarilly together with a drop of solder before starting the real soldering program
- The soldering iron does not need to touch the copper foil to produce a copper bead on top of it
- fine finishing can be produced by going over the entire project and remelting the solder already placed there. This can be accomplished by just gently touching the solder and keep moving along to keep a melted bead behind the iron.
End of the day a fairly good representation of the sail boat I was working on, except this was only with clear glass
Now the real test with colored glass, Maybe tomorrow??
|Another GREAT Sunset!|
|The "Chimney" at Chimney RV Park|
Nope, never got back to the stained glass at all today. Last night was a windy night all night long. I had used those tools I spoke of a few days ago, and had added more grommets along the bottom of the awning skirt, and bungeed it down better, but all night long just kept hearing tho flop flop of the awning and envisioning having it torn off. Both of us were up at about 2:00AM and talked about going out and taking the awning in, but now its quite a large deal with all the tie downs we have. AND we would have to get dressed to do it. Don't think it proper to be out in the wind with nothing but a house coat on, in 20MPH winds. I know we are seniors, but REALLY!! Anyway we wandered around a while and finally deicided to go back to bed and see what happens. Guess we must have gone back to sleep, and when we awoke again some time near 400AM the wind was calm.
Just a note about staying in one of these parks were most of the RV'ers are long term: We originally had some concerns about staying in one place for 3 months as we have never done that before, and we have never stayed in a park that catered as much as some of these do to the long term residents. We are still unsure if this is for us!! Most of the people around us have been coming back here year after year for 5, 7, 10, or 20 years. This makes them all friends and any newcomers (US) are sort of out siders. Seems that a lot of them get just a little cliguey, and although maybe not unfriendly, do not go, in any way to be friendly, to us. Not really a big deal to us as we would just as soon travel around, just the two of us, and see whatever there is to see in the area, but already we are soul searching to see if this is our niche. Need to give it more time to see!
The big Highway Patrol boat returned to here again this aft and had a helicopter and TV crew filming what they tell me is to be a PR video for them. Only a single one of the big boats was here, but together with 2 of the smaller ones made many trips up and down the Rio Grande, with the helicopter circling overhead. There was lots of photo ops, and I took advantage of a lot of them, but how many pictures can you take of the same boat at different angles, going and coming, fast and slow. etc, etc. Someting like Denice and her birds. Not just a good picture of each species, but a shot of evey individual. Well, what can I say? I have a hundred pictures of the same boat in an assortment of different positions, and kept looking for more opportunities. But it did keep me busy all afternoon, so never got to the stained glass again.
Jan 26th (Thursday)
Today is Thursday and "Pot Luck" Supper tonight. At the last grocery shopping day at HEB we bought a ham with a big bone in it. Funny how they can camoflage that great big bone in a little ham with no part of the bone showing and just a minimum amount of meat surrounding it, but in this case it was what Denice wanted as she is making Beans and Johnny cake to take to this supper. Well the bone went in the pan to boil on the stove for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. Then about 11:00AM the broth from it, along with a plentiful amount of white beans, and a whole bunch of other ingredients, that I am unsure of all went into the crock pot and simmered away the rest of the day. Late afternoon came the making of the Johnny Cake. First batch was a mix. Flopped!!! Once baked was rather thin and not quite the taste that the chef was after. Next batch, Oh shit, need canola oil instead of olive oil. Dennis the gopher off to HEB to buy. Then home. No more than sitting down and Oh Shit! again. We have no baking powder. Gopher back to HEB again, And back. Batch a success this time, and now it is time to take all to the rec room for the gathering. Another Great meal with many, many choices. Johnny Cake and Beans seemed a real favorite, at least very little came home.
Jan 27th (Friday)
After a healthy breakfast this morning we took off and drove to Estero Llano Grande State Park to see more birds. Spent several hours there wandering around through the park that has a tropical area, a wetlands zone, Butterfly gardens and Alligator pond.
|Really have not seen too many of these guys yet|
|This bird falls under the "Not Sure" catagory|
|Pretty Flowers Too|
|And another Green Jay|
|View of one of the Ponds|
|Looks bored doesn't he?|
|Some sort of a "Shoveler." Not to be confused with Roseate Spoonbill!|
|And there was this butterfly"Brown Longtail"|
|Another of the Ponds|
|Just standing here thinking about "Goin' Fishin"|
|"Holy Shit" didn't mean to scare ya!|
|Anyone for Turtle Soup?|
|OOHHH Big stretch!|
Then on the way home stopped off at Hobby Lobby. I needed a set of "Running Pliers" for my stained glass project. You use the Running Pliers to chase the crack along the glass cutter scored line, as it has a concave set of pinchers on the end that put pressure on the exact score point. I was able to find them here, as well as a "Fid" and a set of safety goggles. Don't be shy, a "FID???" Yes that is what it is called. It's no more than a small plastic pressing, smoothing tool for the copper foil, but I needed one. Funny thing, when I go to Home Depot, Denice never want to accompany me into the store. She would just rather sit in the jeep and read until I come back, but at Hobby Lobby, she is out in a flash and about tramples me,to get to the store. Once inside she goes her way, I go mine, but when we meet at the till she always seems to have her hands full. Usually I can pass my stuff to her for her to pay, but today that back-fired and I had to foot the bill.
Then returned home.
Jan 28th (Saturday)
All of a sudden lots of birds at our bird feeders. First time we have had the Orioles there.Today two of them kept coming back to feed on the oranges we have out. At one time we had Green Jays, many Kiskadees, Golden Fronted Wood Peckers, three differnt kinds of Doves, a Titmouse, Mockingbird, and a thousand Blackbirds. Lots more photos!!!
A few days back I had been searching the area on the web looking for a possible source of Texas Ebony and Mesquite wood for my "Turning" hobby. I came across a man by the name of Gerardo Garcia who sells on Ebay and the good news is that he lives right here in Mission. I sent him and email asking if I could buy direct from him and he immediately responded affirmative. I said I would come by and see what wood he had, so he gave me his location in town, so today had made an appointment to drop by at about 1:30PM. We easily found his address and he was out in his yard cuttingup various pieces of wood he had salvaged from different plces in the area. He was very accomadating and he has lots of wood. Some cut in various lengths, widths, and depths of planks. from mesquite and Texas Ebony as well as some others I was not familiar with. We wandered around his full yard of collected pieces and finally chose 1 plank of each species about 4 ft long and 12 inches wide x 3 to 4 inches deep. Enough to make some great bowls!! His charge was really quite reasonable, I thought. The ones I had chosen were already advertised on Ebay, so I agreed to pay that price. He had said his price was negotiable, but I thought I was getting a good deal so did not quibble. In the end he threw in a couple of smaller pieces of Texas Ebony, another Mesquite and a piece of Huisache. Huisache is a smaller tree seldom getting a trunk more than 6 inches in diameter, but the wood has a nice pink coloring. Should make an interesting bowl! Now all I have to do is get them back to Alberta. At the border: "To claim or not to claim" that is the question.
On our way over to Gerardo's we were traveling up Conway, and noticed all the side roads shut off. It was then that we remembered today was the "Citrus Fiesta" Parade. We contimplated stopping along the way some where and waiting for it to come by, but since we had a 1:30PM appointment decided we should just continue on. We made our purchases, and headed back only to find the parade had not started yet, so we found a place to park and walked a half block to the parade route. We were there by about 2:00PM. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. When we first arrived, few people were in the immediate viciniity, but as the day wore on, more and more showed up.
|Looking north along Conway|
|Looking south along Conway|
|Finally, here it comes|
|Lots of Floats - all with a citrus theme|
|And Pretty Girls|
|Each Representing some citrus type|
|Military was well represented as well|
|And More Girls|
We watched and took pictures until it got too dark near 6:00PM, and we elected to get on the move before 100,000 people had the same idea. We did some circling around to try to find our way home on an open route, but made it without incident. Glad to be home.
Jan 29th (Sunday)
Over to Walmart and HEB for a few things and some bird food to keep our feathered friends happy