Thursday Feb 21 Mission, Texas
A Good Day
We had been notified a week or so ago they would be changing our electric meters. The new ones would "mail home" our readings and even automatically report any outages. While out riding my bike this morning I noticed that they were soon going to be arriving at our place.
We had turned on the inverter when we first heard they would be doing this so we would have no power interruption. Linda took it one step further, shutting down her computer. We now have a new electric meter and all is well. Our string of exciting days just continues.
The little fellow in the photo was a wedding present, so he's been around over 45 years. Seems like there are all sorts of rules and regulations about what you can and can not do in Retama. Looks like we might have to put in request for the little guy to be allowed to greet everyone. Like I said earlier, everyday at Retama is just filled with excitement.
Friday Feb 22 Mission, Texas
An Interesting Day
No more leaks. Never reuse a fitting. Notice how nice and shiny that top fitting is. Notice how it doesn't leak. Notice how Bob is not going to reuse any fittings like this again. What you can't see is the big smile on Linda's face now that the leak has been fixed. Good Bob.
Back a month ago or so which was when John and I had replumbed the water supply to the toilet to include a filter. There was not a leak in the any of the Pex joints we made, the leak was because the rubber gasket in this swivel elbow connector had apparently hardened when it had been used in the past. We had reused it in this installation and a small leak occurred. No matter how much I tightened it down it would stop leaking, so I replaced the connector with a new one. It was very easy to do and there is no longer a leak. Lesson learned.
If you guessed this looks like a woman searching for the tile she wants to have installed in the bathroom and floor of a coach house, you were right on. Our first stop was at a tile place that obviously catered mostly to contractors. And since we are in the land where most all of the contractors speak Spanish as their first language we were a little in the dark.
Linda was operating on the "I'll know it when I see it" principle. After a while that was changed to the "This looks interesting" principle. The problem was that we really didn't know what it was that wanted and the way the tile was displayed, it wasn't really helping. We therefore decided to head to the next store on her list.
Unfortunately for Linda, and because of that, for me, our GPS didn't recognize the address she had written down. It should be noted that I was of absolutely no help in this matter as I had forgotten to bring along my Droid, meaning we couldn't go online and check Google maps. Adapting to the situation as best I could, I simply drove down the road in the direction the address should be, an low and behold, after several miles we saw the sign for the store.
They had very nice displays, and we spent some time looking while the salesman was busy with another couple. It was then that I noticed that other than the commercial displays, every sign in the store was only in Spanish. I mentioned this to Linda, and so I wasn't surprised when the salesman couldn't speak English. We ended up talking to Juan from the warehouse who was very helpful and it looked like we might be be buying our tile from them when the time came.
Our last stop of the day was at Home Depot where we needed to buy a few more Pex fittings. Since we were there Linda wanted to take another look at their tile. We had checked HD out some time ago and nothing had grabbed us. Today was very different. I was walking ahead of Linda, having gone down another aisle when she caught up with me and said, "I think I've found what we need."
It was a mix of colors, it came in different sizes, it was what she wanted. Like she had said when she started, "When I see it I will know it." She had seen it. It was a most interesting day.
Eek! Squeal! Screech! Who would have guessed three woman who are no longer young girls could raise such a ruckus at the sight of a poor little mouse. Just because it practically ran under their feet was no reason for all the histronics. Lucky for them they had three big strong men to protect them from this terrible creature. Being such I nice guy I won't mention that Linda, Dianne and Val were who they were. Like I said, it was a most interesting day.
Saturday Feb 23 Mission, Texas
A Book A Day
Doesn't matter if we are at Retama or at an RV park when we are traveling, there is usually a library of one kind or another. Often at RV parks it is of the take one, leave one variety. Here at Retama it is like a regular library, but the selection books is so much better than the typical RV park. This was my book of the week, a collection of stories about Texas that was both easy to read and also very interesting. The best part, we have some additional places we can visit during our travels.
Do not think I am the only member of the family who is a reader.
Life isn't only sitting around reading books, sometimes you have to engage in actually doing something. This is two of our neighbors, Roger and Bandido, engaging in a little one on one training. It was a case on not knowing what the boundaries were, and the amount of patience shown as he was trained on the limits of the boundary he could and could not cross was amazing.
It was a lesson well learned and Bandido happily shook Roger's hand in congratulations of Roger learning what his boundaries were. I find it amazing just how easy it is for a dog to train a human in what his limits are. All of us enjoyed watching Roger as he moved from place to place around the chairs and stood still not moving any further out as Bandido continually tested him as to whether Roger would move outside those limits or not.
Life. It all depends on your point of view. Fortunately some of us realize Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Sunday Feb 24 Mission, Texas
A Cactus A Day
Finally got around to planting the cactus this morning, though the fact Linda had suggested as only she can, that it was going to happen today may have had something to do with it. The best part? No stickers in any fingers.
In the afternoon Linda attended the annual fund raiser for one of the local animal shelters. There were dogs to be adopted and prizes to be won. Luckily what Linda brought home was a couple of prizes and no dogs.
I'll leave out the big Border Patrol raid that took place this morning and my afternoon of recording what people have on and around their places as part of the changeover to HOA covenant self governance. It is just that some days the writing bug is fairly lethargic, and this is one of those days.
Monday Feb 25 Mission, Texas
You Never Know Day
You know that old saying, a day late and an international visitor short. That is what happened to me today. Up early to see if there was a big Border Patrol roundup across the way again, but is was a bust, the real bust having taken place yesterday. Darn, and I thought maybe I'd get to see them filming a Border Wars segment.
Don't think I was just camped out in the front of the coach watching to see in anything happened. If something had happened it would have meant I'd have to to go outside, unlock the coach house, get my bike out and then ride over. To make it easier, I got the bike out, then proceeded to wash the windshield, meaning I'd only have to jump off the ladder, jump on my bike, and I'd be on my way. The result of this was a clean windshield. Happy Linda, Good Bob.
My next task was to trim the roses. The only problem was that there were high wind warnings for today. After having the back of my hand look more like a pin cushion than anything else, I called it quits. Talking to our neighbor, Jeff, he posited that a glove would have been a wise choice. Canadian's are so practical.
On the other side of us is a man from Indiana. The wind was now blowing so hard it would take the hat right off the top of your head. Maybe it was because you always wash your car on Monday, or maybe it was for reasons that can only be guessed at but never known, but whatever the reason, he was out hosing off his car. The wind was blowing so hard the water was being carried away. Luckily our Explorer was the way it was heading. Our Explorer now looks much cleaner thanks to that water. Neighbor helping neighbor, Indianaian's are so practical.
Speaking of neighbor helping neighbor, while Craig and Marie live a number of miles away, they are neighbors in the sense they read the Daily Journal. Their Norcold was not behaving as it should, and so Craig stopped by to find out more about our experiences with our Notcold.
The wind made it impossible to have our usual outdoor happy hour, but that doesn't mean we didn't have our happy hour. All six of us gathered in Jeff and Val's motorhome where we learned that Maggie isn't just a, lounge around in the lap, type of dog. Talk about showing off, she had us all in stitches a time or two, and she also made sure Linda got her share of dog time.
What you miss in the morning just might happen in the evening. As we were talking Val noticed something very unusual out the front window. The photo is blurry, but the uniform is clear. Wow, Border Wars right in front of us! We heard later that the Border Patrol caught three up in Phase one and there were more rounded up in a nearby field. Think what you want, but living here sure beats living up north and shoveling snow. As Samuel Johnson put it: Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.
Tuesday Feb 26 Mission, Texas
A Fun Day
Poor Linda, as much as she looked, there was no activity across the way this morning other than the usual workers building the casitas. Then I got into trouble for taking this photo. I thought she looked really nice with her pony tail hanging down and her blue top, and I made the mistake of saying so.
There ensued a conversation that unfortunately, or maybe it is fortunately, I can not remember exactly what was said. What I do know is that her pretty blue top had been put on inside out, something that I had not noticed when I complimented her, but something that I will always check for in the future.
Same woman, photo taken at a later time showing blue top right side out. I do have to say that she was so taken aback by the discovery her top was inside out she immediately took it off, then turned it right side out and put it back on. I found it interesting she did this up at the front of the coach with all the blinds up. I knew she would be embarrassed if she realized that, so I didn't tell her she was on view for the whole world to see. Good Bob.
Most of the photos I downloaded off Linda's camera were ones she took of this chair, so I would probably be wise to post one. Turns out one of our StrongBack chairs was a WeakBottom chair. It was a case of the stitching being too close to edge and the fabric unraveling. She just noticed it, but how long its been there, who knows. The warranty is for one year, we got them in February last year so are keeping our fingers crossed.
This is another of Linda's photos. She really liked the pattern of light and shadow. She's not only brainy and beautiful, she also takes great photos, what more could a guy ask. Lucky Bob.
They sure do like to dust the grass around here. Later we learned why they did it today. Roger decided today was the day to hose off their back patio. No sooner was he done than they began mowing the common area directly behind our yards. A strong south wind blew all the dust on our patios. I hope he doesn't plan on painting his coach house because that will mean heavy rains for us.
I may be blonde, but I really am not a ditz. Look at this great wine I bought, and it even came packaged in its own box.
How in the world do you open this thing?
Wow, no wonder I couldn't figure it out. You'd think they would have instructions on how to do it.
What do you mean, the instructions are right here? If I don't look, I won't see them, then it won't be my fault I couldn't figure out how to open it.
Who says blonde's are dumb? I got Dianne to open it for me didn't I. (Spoken like a true Pelicanite. A Pelicanite being someone, most likely a blonde either at one time in the past or currently, natural or from a bottle, who lives on Pelican Way in Retama.)
Right now there are many people up north worrying about all the illegals crossing the border. We aren't one of them.
Wednesday Feb 27 Mission, Texas
A Less Exciting Day
Poor Linda, she likes her eggs just barely cooked, and as you can see, I let her down today. Yesterday it was not noticing her top was inside out, today it was hard fried eggs, I can only wonder what tomorrow might bring. Will I turn the corner and begin that long climb back into her good morning graces? Optimistic Bob.
Linda made another attempt at candle making today. I'll leave out all the comments about wax here, wax there, wax everywhere, and just point out that today's candle was just regular candle wax. The last candle making attempt had used a wax blend from a soy candle and a regular candle. Last time the flame on the candle was so pathetic you could barely see it. Tomorrow night the verdict of today's attempt will be in. My money is on her to succeed.
It is not one of those "What is it" puzzles. Big things happening around here tomorrow, the coach house build out is going to begin. The above is one of the many tile patterns Linda has been looking at as we, excuse me, she tries to decide what she wants in the coach house. I think the final conclusion was to just use 12 x 12 tiles on the floor in a diamond pattern. Of course there will be a different look in the bathroom, but that is more than a few days away.
Tonight's happy hour was at Tim and Bonnie's new coach house, two doors down from ours.
This is what could be called a nice spread. And a nice spread was what it certainly was.
The passage of time brings out jackets, sweaters and blankets. The temperature had plummeted to the low 70's, near arctic conditions for here. It's tough being out in weather like this, but our group hunkered down and endured it.
Thursday Feb 28 Mission, Texas
A Building Day
There was pretty much only one topic of conversation in the coach this morning and it dealt with what you see. If things go the way they should, what you see you shouldn't see come tonight.
While I plugged away at the computer Linda was busy fixing a dip for tonight's happy hour. She'd gotten the garbanzo beans out of the refrigerator so I knew she was fixing hummus. A little later she stuck her finger in front of me and said, "I'd like you to taste this and tell me what you think."
I know her hummus never tastes quite the same, but this tasted terrible. Having learned that critiquing her food is a place where one must step very gingerly, I offered up, "I doesn't taste quite right."
Her immediate reply was, "What do you mean."
"It doesn't taste like hummus, it's a little off, you've got to much of something in it."
"Well it's not supposed to taste like hummus because it's not hummus, it's a dried tomato dip. Don't you pay any attention to what I tell you?"
I didn't tell her, but all I could think of was 'I guess you right.' Poor Bob.
A certain woman told me to take this photo, so I had better use it.
I was also told to take this one. At least she can't accuse me of not paying attention to her.
I can always tell when what I have done has not been what it should have been. By the time she was done this mirror was spotless and I was outside the coach trimming the rose bushes. Of course the wind was again blowing and so my hand once again became the home for a number of thorns. However, better to there be a thorn in me than for me to be a thorn to Linda. Smart Bob.
The passage of a few hours makes quite a difference, no more blue lines. Linda is really going to get her Taj Mashower.
Hummus, dried tomato dip and sangria, this is something that Linda really enjoys doing.
As you can see, it was another of those cold nights. Tonight I want to leave you with a question. After carefully studying this photo, can you tell which person is from Canada, Manitoba to be exact?
As we always say: Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.