Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mission TX - 3rd Week - 2nd Month

Feb 20th (Monday)
Went into McAllen to McAllen Glass thismorning for some more stained glass supplies. Framing fir the ones I have almost completed, more glass for a couple in the plnning stage, and some patina to change the color of the solder from silver to copper. Of course it can't just be that simple. You have to buy one kind to change solder to copper, one to change solder to black, one to change the zinc frame to copper, and another to change the zinc frame to black. Then there are three different widths of zinc frames and another frame of copper. Bought a range of all of them. Also needed a mitre box and a hack saw to cut the framing. I'm building up a fair stock of equipment and supplies for this simple hobby. Better not tire of it for a while!!!

Once home added some framing to my completed projects.
Feb 21st (Tuesday)

This morning went to the RV Park Town meeting. They just filled us in on coming activities. Seems as though the winter season is starting to come to a close, as little is planned for after the end of this month, After the meeting we pulled up our chairs to the street running around the park to watch the Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Parade, All the golf carts in the park were decorated and made one loop around the park. Actually quite good. Then a fair amount of action on the Rio Grande as the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was here inspecting the border defences. There were up to 6 Border Patrol boats and 3 helicopters making their rounds up and down the Rio, showing the committment and strength of her security in the area.

Feb 22nd (Wednesday)
One of the nicest days we have had here. Temp got up to about 90 F in early afternoon. Was away too hot for Denice, but I sure enjoyed it. In the morning started out at about 75 F and was dead calm. The Rio was like a mirror and stayed that way all day. I worked on stained glass outside a good share of the day and Denice stitched and read inside. She did come out in the evening and we ate out there with the mirror calm Rio as a backdrop.


It just doesn't get any better than that!!!
Feb 23rd (Thursday)
Denice up early and off birding with Laura from down the row a ways - I stay home and do the domestic stuff, at about 2:00PM I take a run into town and pick up a few groceries, and then oner to Home Depot for some chisels and a mallet. I need to remove the bark from the wood turning blanks that I had bought.. When I got home at 4 PM Denice was already there. Tonight there is no pot luck supper, instead there it a free Turkey Soup meal at 5 PM so we went up. It was very good!!
Feb 24th ( Friday)
Rather windy, light rain, but warm at 76  F when we got up at 7 AM. Had planned on going to the South Padre Island Craft Show today, but the weather is really not good. Forecast for South Padre is rain and wind, so will likely wait until tomorrow
Feb 25th (Saturday)
Still a little unsettled to go to Sourh Padre
Feb 26th (Sunday)
South Padre Island today. Its always a pleasure to go there. I love the beach and ocean waves. Left Mission at about 9:00AM this morning and headed east and south along the Military Highway or Highway 281. It goes all the way to Brownville, about 60 miles. A couple of reasons for returning once again to South Padre Island. #1, Denice wanted to go to the Craft fair that is an annual event at the Convention Center, #2 was to see the shore birds at the Birding Center, and #3 was to travel the up the beach a ways. Always enjoy that. It kind of an interesting trip to the Island. After you leave Brownsville, you travel along the canal leading to the Brownsville Port, but a couple hundred yards away. Occasionally you see an ocean going ship steaming along, but from the road it appears that it is just coming through the low bushes as no water is visible. The Port of Brownsville is an interesting place on its own. You would think it should be on the Gulf Coast, but in fact it is 20 or so miles inland, with the only water access by a 200 ft wide canal dredged to 40 ft deep, plus the complete port facilities all dredged to accomadate ocean going boats. A lot of the traffic is connected to the Gulf Oil Industry. Today was no exception. A large Jack Up Oil Platform was in port for some repairs, and it stood out high above the surrounding land.

 At the craft fair, we wandered around through the hundred or so booths and bought a few items that intriqued us. By then it was lunch time so we had to go to Schlitterbaums for all you can eat salad and all you can eat shrimp for 14 bucks, I believe. Money well spent.

 Then to the birding center for a look around and get some pictures of shore birds. Then my favourite, A drive up the beach. Winds had been strong for the last couple of days, and the tides high, so the water was pushing well up onto the beaches. "Men of War" jellyfish were in abundance. The beaches were covered with them.

Drivers, as they drove down the shore line kept running over them, and it was as if you were popping "Bubble Wrap"  Each one as you run over it, gave a very loud "Pop." We only went a few miles and the stopped for a few pictures, and then decided to head home, a two hour trip.

Mission TX - 2nd Week - 2nd Month

Feb 13th (Monday)
Woke up to fog this morning and still cool. Didn't do a whole lot today as we had the appointment for the UltraSound testing at 4:10PM  today. It was a rather simple test and only took about a half hour to complete. Now have to wait 2 weeks for the results. We'll see, what they have to say!!
Feb 14th (Tuesday)
Nice Day today - much warmer - Took a trip to Harlingen, as Denice wanted to go the the needlecraft store there. It about 40 miles away down Expressway 83, a good 6 lane highway with well defined exits all along the way. Was there before 11:00AM, and Denice spent a couple of hours there shopping. I waited in the car for her so that I wouldn't be advising her as to the best thread and material to buy - lol

Now after she returned it was my turn. There is a very good Bass Pro very close to her store so we headed over there. It was just after lunch time, and there just happens to be a "Uncle Buck's Fishbowl & Grill" there, so before we could go shopping, we had to parttake in their culinery charms. Denice chose the Quesadilla Salad and I had the Shrimp Scampi Flatbread. Both were very good and away more than we could eat, so we knew what supper was going to be as well. After eating all we could we wandered around the store for a while. There really was nothing that I was really wanting, but BassPro is just a neat store to visit, what with all the stuffed animals, birds, livestock, fishes, etc.

Their decore is outstanding!! Bought nothing and headed home and were there by 3:00PM
Feb 15th (Wednesday)
Finally nice and warm this morning at 72 F. Never went much below 70 all night

Activity for the Day - Grocery shopping at HEB
And I started work on second stained glass project - this one bigger than the first at about 10" x 17" It is a scene with water and cattails.
Feb 16th (Thursday)
Heavy Rain overnight at times - Light rain as we speak at 9:00AM, but warm at 70 F

By early afternoon temperature rose to 80 F. Overcast all day but very nice
Worked on my Stained Glass piece. Finished cutting out all pieces and grinding each one to a more precision fit with the one beside it. I have learned this is very important to get a quality piece by the end of the day.

While I was slaving away at this Denice was doing some serious stitching and inbetween times cooking up a big frying pan of Kung Poa Orange Chicken for the "Pot Luck" tonight. We sampled before we took it to the supper and it was delicious, and must have been well received as little came home after dinner was over. We do enjoy the Pot Lucks as there is such a choice of dishes and that are all GOOD!! The people that go to these seem like a little different type, from the most others in the park. Attendance to the dinners is quite small, given the large amount of residents here. Usually there are only about 25 to 35 at the dinners, and there is probably around 400 here in the park. A few that we have met are, a couple from Simco Ontario, a couple from Antagonish, Nova Scotia, then tonight we met a couple, Laura and Bill Schutter, who are birders, and they seem really nice, and are from North Eastern Oklahoma, not far from Tulsa.
Feb 17th (Friday)
Too wet outside to work on my stained glass so, as I am only doing the foiling of the individual pieces, I was able to bring them inside and work on them here
Feb 18th (Saturday)
Quite windy today, but warm so worked outside on my latest Stained Glass project. Did all the soldering. It turned out very nice but needs a frame to strengthen the structure. Have to waiy until Monday when McAllen Glass is open.

Late in day made a quick trip up town to buy some oranges and grapefruit from the local vendors. Need to feed the birds! I also enjoy the fruit. As soon as home I had a half of a very large grapefruit. Was it good, or what! Soo juicy and sweet! On the way home had stopped at DQ for a hamburger.
Feb 19th (Sunday)
Nice day today - sometimes hot, sometimes on the cool side. I had finished my latest Stained Glass project so really had nothing to do so decided on a nice easy "Sun Catcher" one. Cut out all the glass and ground it to precision fit. Maybe tomorrow will finish it after we come back from McAllen Glass.

Denice kept busy stitching up a storm

Mission, TX - 1st Week - 2nd Month

Feb 6th (Monday)
Take Denice to the Spa for some more "Maintenance!"  Pedicure and Manicure is the order of the day!  After that hour and a half of pampering she came out with a new look to her fingers and Toes. Women really seem go for this, but me, just give me an hour or so in a "Home Depot, ProBass," or computer store, and I am a "Happy Camper!" And that is exactly how I spent that hour as a Home Depot was just across the street. I wandered up and down the isles just looking at a myriad of things. Of course, once you start looking it's "Murphy's Law" that you are going to find something. And I did!  Another Weather Station! Always have had a "thing" about weather details. I have one at home in High River, but I bought this one for ELTORO, so we know what it really is like outside!  By now Denice was finished at the Spa,

and she wanted some more scrapbooking stuff at Michaels so motored over there, a few miles east to McAllen. Found her stuff and a glass container for me. Thats a container for my extra colored glass associated with my Stained glass hobby, not a glass container. Now once out of the door, what was just across the road, but a Applebee's Restaurant. And it was just after noon. Lunch was good with a Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad for Denice and Chicken Fetticini Carbanara for me with a White Queso Dip and Nachos as an appy for the two of us, all for 20 bucks. Not a bad deal! Once home I put my weather station together and mounted the outside terminal on a heavy piece of 2" x 12" planking and placed on the roof of ELTORO. That way I can just take it down when we move without a whole bunch of hassle.  Hooked it up and it WORKED. Almost amazing that something did not need modifying or changing.
Feb 7th (Tuesday)
Park meeting this AM. Very well attended with over 100 residents there. Probably due to the wet conditions out side that curtailed a lot of other outdoor activities. A couple of presentations from activity committees that led to quite a bit of discussion. As this was our first introduction to the meeting scenerio we just listened. Oh yes, speaking of introductions, The Park Manager did ask us to stand and introduced us to the group. We were, it seemed, the only ones there that were completely new to the Park. As I have said before, "all the residents here are multi year ones"

One other presentation was from a fellow with Integra Wellness. We listened and it seemed like a good deal so we made an appointment with him for Monday, They will do:
1. Stroke/Carotid Artery Test by ultrasound that will visualize any buildup of fatty plaque, the number one cause of stroke
2. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Test by ultrasound for any enlargement of the Aorta
3. Peripheral Arterial Disease Test to test for any blockages in the legs
And all for 90 bucks! Seemed like good deal so we went for it. I'm not sure that my doctor, when I get home in the spring, might not do the same thing under our free medical, but just decided it would be nice to give this a try. They also will do a Bone Density Test for 10 bucks but we think we did not need it. Denice has already had this done a couple of times before.
Feb 8th (Wednesday)
Rainy and wet this morning - Rained all night, at times quite heavy, and still raining!
Therefore to acivity of the day was mostly limited to computing and reading
Did run into HEB for a few more groceries. Needed some suff for tomorrow nights Pot Luck Supper
Feb 9th (Thursday)
Still wet and rainy - and cool at only a little above 60 F. Tonight is Pot Luck again so Denice cooking a very large crock pot of Swiss Steak, and Pasta. Now not ordinary Swiss Steak, my wife needs to Jazz that up a bit so how about "Italian Swiss Steak"??  She adds some Chorizo sausage plus a lot of other Italian seasoning. Different but as always very good!! Sure went over well at the Pot Luck anyway. Only a little sauce and one helping of pasta came home.
Feb 10th (Friday)
And still another dreary day although little rain, but heavy overcast and uncomfortably cool, with a high of only about 62° F. Again, too cold to much outside, so read some more from my Kindle. Decided in late afternoon to go to McAllen to a restaurant that had been recommended to us. It is a Chinese one called P.F. Chang's. We went about 4:00PM to be before the dinner time rush. We had a 4 course dinner for two. Start with 2 choices of soup, then  a choice of an appy, 2 entre's, and a choice of desert. We had egg drop soup, Salt and Peppar Calamari, Kung Poa Shrimp, Ginger Chicken and Broccoli, and then for desert a Banana Spring Roll. It was a banna deep fried and cut in sections around a large scoop of Pineapple/ Coconut Ice Cream and all covered with a variety of fresh fruit, Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries!! MMMMMM!!! Couldn't begin to eat it all our dinner, other than the desert, so guess whats on the menu for tomorrow?
Feb 11th (Saturday)
Nothing to report today - Cold and Wet again - Cold is relative - Cold in Alberta at O° F is Cold - Here at 50° F is cold - everybody wearing heavy coats and touques. An inside Day!!
Feb 12th (Sunday)
AGAIN cool and wet, but the weatherman is giving some hope - Tonight at near midnight the temperature is supposed to start rising and continue until noon tomorrow at 70°F and Tuesday at 81°F. About Time!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mission, Tx - 4th Week - 1st Month

Jan 30th - (Monday)
Light Rain and 65° F this morning so likely not do too much today

Rainy day so Denice says it's good for baking. I do cinnamon buns!!! Don't believe me do you??? Well I did!! But I must admit they were easy. You know Pilsbury. The ones that pop from the can!!! Still they turned out excellent and were delicious. Then while the Rival oven was hot Denice made biscuits so we could have sausage gravey and biscuits for breakfast tomorrow morning. Getting pretty domesticated around here !!!
Jan 31st (Tuesday)
Nothing to report in the AM, but after lunch took a short drive down to Anzalduas Park, a couple of miles from here. It is a rather nice, big treed oark right on the Rio Grande. It is between the river and the levy, so, like our Chimney Park is vulnerable to high waters. The park is immediatly upstream from the Alzulduas Dam that back water back to where we are. The Park being inside the lowlands is also the start of a flood water system, that during times of very high water can divert water away from the river and protect urban developments close by. It must cover a hundred acres or more and has lots of pinic tables under big live oak trees and well manicured grass.. We cicled to outside parimeter a couple of times slowly, giving Denice lots of time to watch the birds that are there. Then we left and as we needed some oranges for out birds. Drove up Shary Road to mile 7, north of Interstate 83, until we found a road side vendor. Paid $5 for a big bag of juice orangs. then started to circle back to Conway and home. Some how screwed up and missed Conway (We are just off Conway) and got onto Inspiration. A bit of a round-about way home, but it still worked out OK. Just a nice drive!!   
Feb 1st (Wednesday)
Back to the Stained Glass project, only with the real colored stuff today. Traced out the pattern on the various pieces of colored glass to make the design. Then came the cutting.  OOOPS slipped and broke another piece, by not where its supposed to break. Need some more practice with the cutting. With my broken throw away pieces do some test cuts- some reading about proper technique, then try again. There "that works better." Agin trace my pattern and start over. Much better success this time. Able to cut out all the pieces that I have glass for. Found I need just a couple more small pieces of a different color' so tomorrow will have to make a return trip. likely to Hobby Lobby as it is the closest source, and they seem to have fairly large selection of colored glass. Until I started this hobby, I had no idea how many different designs and colors of glass there is!!
Feb 2nd (Thursday)
Over to Hobby Lobby for some more glass. I just needed a couple of small pieces to be able to complete my first project, but what-the-heck, might just as well get enough for the next project. Maybe getting a little ahead of myself, but we'll see! Once home set up my equipment and fine tuned all the individual pieces I had cut out. I know now that grinding them to a near perfect fit is crucial for a good project.
While Denice was over at the laundermat today Rosemary, our next door neighbor came by to invite us to a small "Get Together" they are having tomorrow night. Some small snack to share would be most welcome.
Feb 3rd (Friday)
Lets see, what happened today?  Went into town  and bought a few things we needed for tonights "get together" a couple of doors  away. Denice is making some type of hors d'oeuvres using sausage in a sweet sauce. While over there she went to the spa for a little uplift- oops better re-phrase that, not uplift, but just maintenance. Then home to let her prepare the goodies while I read. My book, _______ got real interesting so read most of the day until I finished it. So much for the day!!  Went to the "get together" or "Happy Hour" about 4:30. Seemed all the neighbors there, about 10 couples. I guess over time we will get to know them all, but for now difficult to remember all the names, Rosemary and Bill, Ruth and Bob Anderson from Lincoln Nebraska,  Chris and Jeff from Manitoba,Sheila and Bill from Ohio, and _______ and _______ and ________. I'll fill the blanks later. Just a senior thing! Names! Remember!! Not good! Anyway had a great evening with lots of food. Returned home just after dark at about 7:30PM. Then Denice and I went for a walk around the park to get our exercise for the day.

 Feb 4th (Saturday)
Started out very nice warm and calm this morning, but at about 1:00PM a cold northern front moved in. Can't be an "Alberta Clipper" can it? Temperature dropped from 87°F to 72° F in about an hour and wind picked up to about 15MPH from the North. Blew hard for an hour or so and then eased off some, but now quite cool at 67° F at 3:30PM
Feb 5th (Sunday)
Rain all night and quite cool this morning at only 49° F. Did little except read and compute for the day. Skyped Kids back home. All good on that front!!