Friday Feb 1 Mission, Texas
A Not Much Happening Day
Some days not much happens. Today was one of those days. What can I say. Linda had another doctors appointment, her third of the week, the report was that she had no problems, to celebrate she bought an aloe plant which I planted. In the evening we had a great Happy Hour over at Roger and Dianne's as first Brenda, then Jim and Sue stopped by. Much laughter, much wine, much fun. Life is Good.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Some people think they will do it tomorrow. Everyday life ends for some people and so tomorrow never comes. As the saying goes: “Life is tough, then you die.” The choice is yours.
Saturday Feb 2 Mission, Texas
Appalachian Linda Didn't See Her Shadow To-Day
I have to say that some days I don't understand what is going on. Today was one of them. Look at those two big soft creamy white mounds that move gently to and fro in this photo. Sometimes the mind drifts and one finds oneself thinking about what once was. Groundhog day used to be something special, now it isn't. Thoughts of creamy mounds used to be something special. That hasn't happened for a number of years. As Bob Dylan said, Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.
Never, ever, underestimate the power of a woman to bring a smile to your face. Back to the past, every year there are Girl Scout Cookies. Every year that girl I married buys some Girl Scout Cookies. Every year my wife asks me what kind of Girl Scout Cookies would I like. Every year I say, "Why does it matter, you will eat them all anyway." This year wasn't any different, and I love her all the more for her being her.
This is just a test, but it is looking very good. We bought an LED recessed light today at Home Depot, and after dark we gave it a trial run to see if it was what we wanted. Looking good, maybe tomorrow night we will have a trial installation.
We had a quiet night out on the patio with Jeff and Val. Life is good. One of our friends has learned he is suffering from congestive heart failure. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Sunday Feb 3 Mission, Texas
A Not So Exciting Day
Linda was proud of these tomatoes, then I had to go and ask why she had cut the stem with the one that wasn't ripe on it. Some day I will learn that there are things that don't make sense, and because they don't, it is far better not to say anything about them. Sometimes we make mistakes and it isn't something the whole world needs to know. Good Bob for not pointing out Linda's mistake.
Linda also took a photo of the flower bud that has appeared on her Christmas Cactus. Any conclusions you draw concerning this photo are your own.
Once upon a time I had a workbench. Every house we ever lived in I had a work bench. Even the apartment we lived in when we were first married, had a workbench, though it was only a 4x4 sheet of plywood on saw horses. Looking at the workbench of today, I can only think: How far the mighty have fallen.
I had to smile when Linda giggled at the size of my workbench, but when the grackles started up, the only thing I could do was to join in and laugh along with them. Like Erma Bombeck said, if you can't make it better, you can laugh at it.
A little construction work today, the installation of an overhead light at the back of the coach house. To Linda's repeated skeptical looks, I would say, "I haven't ever installed one exactly like this before, but it can't be that hard. Don't worry, I'll figure it out, and besides the next one will be much easier." She was very sweet about it, especially so, since she never added, "And it will probably look a lot better also."
I had to admit that the look we wanted was the look we achieved. Now I just have to install the others.
Just to prove we watched the game, or at least the commercials. We didn't rate them but Linda mentioned something about having something better than this she could see every day.
This was about the only part of the half time show we saw. Nothing there to get my attention as they were all show, and I have the real thing near me every day.
The best gift a man can give to his woman is his time, his attention and his love, and the best gift a woman man can give to her man is her time, her attention and her love. And that is why we watch a few of the Superbowl commercials together and I never pay attention to the game. Your Sunday evening may have varied.
Monday Feb 4 Mission, Texas
We almost shopped till we dropped today. Academy for shoes, Sam's for cheese, Lowes for lighting, Home Depot for electrical and Walmart for a few other things. Besides including a lot of driving, a lot of walking and a lot not finding what we were looking for, it was also very hot. Some days just aren't as much fun as others.
We did get something other than cheese at Sam's, an outdoor rug that was made in Turkey, and was similar in style to the rugs we had been looking at online. The red goes well with our furniture, and the geometric design invokes memories of traveling in Muslim countries. All that and the large size means that Linda really likes it, which is very good indeed.
Installed the other light at the back of the coach house, and the small saw I bought made short work of cutting the hole. The instructions say the recessed remodel can we bought was supposed be the correct one for the LED trim. The only problem is that the trim almost fits all the way into the can, just not all the way. Luckily on the Home Depot website, a review of this trim tells how to modify it by filing down two rivets so that it fits. Took a little time, but it fits perfectly. Tomorrow I'll have to modify the one I installed yesterday.
We do love the way the light washes down the wall, lighting the bar and also the area by Weber grill, while spilling further back across the patio. We are having a slight disagreement concerning just how we should light the back section of the patio, Linda wanting one row of LED rope lights parallel to the coach house, while I think we should have four rows perpendicular to the coach house. Something tells me we are going to do it her way, but if it isn't enough light, well I will just have to get used to it.
Tuesday Feb 5 Mission, Texas
Another Great Day
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the little woman had snuck in a photo of the six tomatoes she had picked this morning. Tomatoes that were picked based on the information she had received from someone calling himself "Good Steve."
Another photo and it only got worse. In fact I couldn't imagine anything worse. She had denuded our wonderful tomato vines on the say so of a Daily Journal reader. Doesn't Linda know that I, her perfect Life mate, am the supreme authority on all things pertaining to such things. Whatever such things might be. I just hope Linda doesn't get a case of slashers remorse, making this a case of: Sad Linda.
Linda loves her Palomas tablecloth, the one we have used for years. Today her newest one arrived, exactly like she wanted, all the edges double seamed, everything perfectly sewn. I thought we would be taking up the old one and installing the new one. Didn't happen. No way, no how. Something tells me we will be using the new one as a tablecloth and the old one as the cover for the bar. Truth be told, I never expected it would turn out any other way.
I should know better than let Linda go shopping by herself. How was I to know she would find a dog to bring home. She has named it Bugsley. Never in all the history of man's best friend has their ever been a woman's best friend with a worse name.
Within a few minutes of me asking Linda to spell the name of this dog, there were multiple spellings and multiple names being offered. Linda was the prettiest girl in her high school class. Linda was the key employee at every business that employed her. Linda has me twisted around her finger, willing to do whatever she asks, but when it comes to naming dogs, she is the very bottom of the barrel, the worst of the worst, the baddest of the bad. I'll take the 99.99% good and let the 0.01% of the bad pass by. Though I have to wonder how she could ever come up with such a stupid name for a dog, even if he is just a hunk of metal. And upon further reflection, how does she even know it is a he?
Nothing like a butchered tomato plant to put things in perspective. Is this the tomato plant of someone who professes to love tomatoes more than even her husband? I will let you decide.
Some actual work was done today. I installed the LED lights at the front of the coach house. They were different from the ones I installed at the back of the coach house yesterday, but I have to say they were far easier. I will not go out on a limb and declare one better than the other, as each was perfect for the location we installed it at. Everyone's idea of what will work best for them is different. We love the lights we installed. If you face the same opportunity, may your LED lights be as good for you as they were for us.
Life is Good. If you don't think so, return to the first sentence of this paragraph. If you can't do that, look again at the above photo. If Life still isn't good, take a look at this quote by Oprah Winfrey: "The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." The amazing thing is there are times when we get to live beyond our dreams. Life is Great.
Wednesday Feb 6 Mission, Texas
A Very Hot Day
Imagine my surprise when I learned Linda was making only white sangria for the little get together we are hosting tomorrow night. I saw several Spanish style spreads being prepared, and there are the appropriate cheeses, but what is it with the white sangria? No red sangria? How can it be a Spain theme party? Is it going to be a pain party, or maybe a spai segue, maybe a span soiree, or how about a pan partaker?
Leave out a letter or two and it no longer makes sense. Leave out the red wine from sangria and what do you have? Linda's sangria. It won't matter because when she asks me how the sangria tasted, I'll say it was awesome, just like she is. I may not understand women, but I do know when to say she's the greatest there ever has been. Good Bob.
Big doings down the street at Tim and Bonnie's place. It was builder day, and it went up so fast the trucks almost couldn't deliver the materials before they were needed. Their motto seemed to be: get it done. Meanwhile two doors to the west I spent most of the morning trying to determine where to put several more light fixtures. By the end of the day the most dreaded words Linda could hear were, "I need your opinion."
There were several discussions regarding my seeming inability to make a decision. The problem being that if I decide without consulting her I am wrong for not consulting her. If I ask her opinion I am wrong for not making the decision myself. This is what is known as a win-win situation, one where she wins no matter what I do. It's no wonder that I have lost all the hair on top of my head. You would too if you were faced with scratching your head over things like this.
In the jungle, the mighty jungle the the lion is caged today, Near the tomatoes, the tasty tomatoes, the lion lion feeds today. And she was outside feeding them even though it was over 70° and 80% humidity before 7 this morning
What makes it funny is it is not the lion (aka grizzly) that is feeding, it is the lion that is doing the feeding. A box of Miracle Gro magically appeared near Linda's tomatoes compliments of Dianne, and it didn't take Linda long to make good use of it. The directions say to water the foliage. After yesterday's slasher attack there wasn't much in the way of foliage to water, but a little lack of foliage never stopped Linda from giving her baby's all her love.
Why I needed to buy new sandals a few days ago. Gorilla tape holding the toe together, a strap pulled out of the back, and a sound when I walk that goes slap, slap, slap. I really don't want to give these up, but Linda is telling me in no uncertain terms that I must throw out the old and embrace the new.
I really do understand what she is saying because it was just a little over seven years ago that we threw out our familiar old life and embraced the new Life of full timers. It was the best thing we ever did, and while there have been a few ups and downs over the years, the only thing we would differently, should we return to the past and be faced with that decision again, would be to do it at least five years earlier. As always: Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Thursday Feb 7 Mission, Texas
It sure didn't start out as a good day. No sooner did I get dressed, make Linda's breakfast and do the dishes, though not necessarily in that order, than I was told to take out the trash. Maybe I was going to take it out without her telling me, still it was what she told when I started to take the trash out that made me sad.
"And make sure you throw away those Teva's," was what she had said. She wanted me to throw out my beloved Teva's? Teva's I had been wearing all through our full timing adventures. Teva's that had brought me safely to the end of many a trail, no matter how treacherous it was. I had literally worn the soles off them as they had served me well. Now she wanted me to cast them aside like a used baby wipe?
In the end I was so taken aback by her callous disregrade for the little dears that I wasn't thinking right. Instead of putting them on my feet for one last trip out to the dumpster, I sadly carried them out along with a bag of garbage. They are gone now, replaced by some cheap made in China sandal that will likely fall apart at just the thought of taking me to the places my Teva's safely did. As I came back in the door, Linda looked up, smiled at me, and said, "You'll get over it." She was right, but that didn't change the fact that at the moment I was Sad Bob.
Big doings at our place tonight and Linda was going to try and pass her non-red sangria off as the real thing. She has put a lot of effort into decorating the patio area, and it seems to get better by the day. Since I installed the dimmer switch for the back lights today it will interesting to see how it looks once darkness settles in.
You can not have a get together without almonds, at least Linda can't. Not pictured is the corn, sour cream and Mexican spices dip that Linda made. I was surpised she even had to wash out the bowl it was served in, the dip was that good. As for her sangria, it was fantastic. It was perfect. It proved that sangria doesn't have to be red to taste great. Good Bob for being able to admit it. Better Bob for having married Linda. Best Bob for realizing what he has in Linda
You get a group of not old enough to be old people together, and it isn't long before the various ailments of advancing years begin to enter into the conversations swirling about. There is always one person whose comments are the "highlite" of the discussion, in this case, my wife. Excited that for once her foot had not hurt even once during the day, she boldly revealed the secret to overcoming the pain of plantar fasciitis. Maybe there is something to the adage about giving a women a roll of duct tape and there is nothing she can't mend.
Some sangria, a few bottles of beer, a patio full of friends, just another night at the place called Retama.
You're probably not familiar with this quote:
“Some people see things that are and ask, Why?
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.”
It is attributed to George Carlin and in a way it is better than the one that most people are familiar with. For us, sometimes well intentioned people ask us, "How can you live the full timing Life?" They don't understand and the best answer we can give is just that, "You'll never understand."
Friday Feb 8 Mission, Texas
A What In the World Day
Everyday is a new day, everyday Linda does something to amaze me. Usually it is her reaction to something I said or did that pissed her off, but there are occasions when she does something different. Today was one of those days. Ever frugal, she was melting down old candles and pouring the wax into a glass candle holder with a new wick. But this isn't all of the story.
Like mother, like daughter, but fortunately it isn't the case with Linda and her mother. I have to say that her mother was the most wonderful mother I ever knew, but she had one idiosyncrasy that drove everyone crazy. Every photo she took had anything on the right side chopped off. Gone, Disappeared. Not There.
Linda's photo of her candle making had shades of her Mom. Not that the right side was gone, but look at that twist to the photo. Is this the early onset of right side chopped off disease? I hope not. Still, Linda's Mom was so special I guess I could tolerate a little right sidedness from Linda. One of my college room mates, a fellow named Tom, cautioned me about checking out a girl's Mom before I married her because daughters turn out to be like their Moms. He may have been right, but notwithstanding his advice, Linda sure did turn out alright, even if she does have shades of her Mom. Lucky Bob
Linda doing her thing. We get bills from the Rhodes office, the people who operate Retama, and like I always say, "How could any company employ such an incompetent billing department as Rhodes does?" It more than upsets Linda as she tries to make sense of the bills we are sent. They can't even get the right name on the bill, meaning she can't pay it online but must go over to the office.
Let's just say that Linda was less than pleased with me this afternoon and let it go at that. We were trying to decide where the walls should go in the interior of the coach house. I was told at various times that I couldn't make a decision, that I couldn't express an opinion, that I couldn't agree or disagree with anything Linda said. Other times I was accused of talking over her, of paying no attention to what she said, and deciding what to do with no regard to anything she did. I believe that is what is known as a lose - lose situation. And that is exactly what I did. As for what I am doing in the photo, lets just say I was pretending to be sitting on the pot, all the while catching a bunch of crap from Linda.
Nothing sums up what I went through this afternoon better than the little plaque that hangs besides Linda's seat in the coach. How true it was. You would think that by now I would know better. The sad thing is that all the years I knew Linda's Mother, I never once heard her raise her voice in anger. So what happened to the: like Mother, like daughter thing? Bad Linda.
I just couldn't leave today's post with a "Bad Linda", so I will leave it with a "Bad Roger". Our neighbors took their coach in for new tires and to have a leak checked out by the local RV repair place. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but the fun started when it came time to back their RV into their site. Let's just say there were several miscommunication issues where Dianne communicated and Roger's "Roger" wasn't exactly in reply to what Dianne had communicated. In the end they got it worked out and their RV was backed into their site.
It is good to know that Linda and I aren't the only ones who have "communication" problems. Today there were people who asked their spouse's how their day at work went. Then there were the spouses who had a discussion with each other over backing their RV into a site. I don't know about you, but I know which one I'd rather be.
Saturday Feb 9 Mission, Texas
A Play Day
This afternoon we put on the mystery dinner, something we have been working on for over a month. What follows is a series of photos taken by Linda.
As you might expect we flubbed a lot of lines and had a fantastic time. May your day have been just as fantastic.
Sunday Feb 10 Mission, Texas
It Was Sun Day
On a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon looking out the front window.
Those are Border Patrol SUV's and they were just down the street from our place. Why were they there you ask? Maybe it was because of the two young men walking up our street. The ones dressed in dark clothes and sweatshirts that definitely weren't Retama residents. They may have a passing resemblance to some of the workers we see all week long, but unfortunately for them this was Sunday and no work was taking place.
So what that we have a few international visitors who walk by our front door. Life is too short to worry about things we can't control.