Friday, April 27, 2012

April...almost gone...

With just a few day left in this month of April, the days continue to


dawn with the promise of beautiful warm afternoons in the Rio Grande Valley.  And...

as it get closer to the end of April, more and more friends are pulling out.  This week alone, have had to say "see you later" to Doug and Laura, Gail and Bonnie, Harvey and Gayle, and just this morning, we visited with


Kathy and Bob as they


prepared to head home to Minnesota.  Tomorrow, Jim and Judy will travel towards New York, and Sunday, Mike and Penny will head home to Wisconsin.

But, no matter how many leave, we still manage to find enough to have a get together.  And, last night, we gathered at


Walt and Mary's house.  Thanks guys for a great evening, the


food was yummy, and


fellowship under the palappa was great.

I love the


remodel of the coach house...and the


the bathroom with the tile shower is going to be beautiful.

So, as April here at Retama comes to an end, and the


streets become a little less occupied, we will continue to enjoy those beautiful morning sunrises and warm afternoons...well, for a couple more weeks anyway!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Heat Is On...

After surviving


last Friday's storm system that brought hail to the valley for the second time in three weeks, we are enjoying beautiful days, but, they are beginning to heat up.

  And, the fun has "heated" up too!

I shared the photos of the gun range project.  So, I thought I would share with you the fun that most


of us are having using it.  Mark and Mike are really having a good time and enjoying the results of their hard work of getting the range finished to this point.

Then, there is


is "dead eye" Susie and her


side kick, Niles!

Now, as for


myself, who never even held a gun, I haven't exactly reached the "fun" part of this, but they tell me that me and my 380 are


doing just fine!  Well...maybe, someday, I will have as much fun as they seem to have.

But, in the meantime, I would rather organize a party.  And, a party we had.  Mark has been wanting to do a shrimp boil, so we decided it would be a perfect end of season party for our


afternoon swim group of girls and



So, while they enjoyed an afternoon at the pool, Mark


heated up the pans on his newly purchased burner and I started


lining up the ingredients.

When the water was boiling, he and his


trusty assistant kept me busy bringing them layer after layer of


potatoes, carrots, chicken, and corn.  Next came


the onions and the sausage.  And, finally,


the shrimp.  While the shrimp cooked, and the


swimmers gathered, Mary helped organize the


other side dishes.

Then, it was time to


dump the pots.  At this point, the only thing left to do was


say, "come and get it"!

It was a great evening and a fun way to spend time with friends.  For many of our group a perfect


way to end this season.

Today, dawned a beautiful day in the RGV, and along with several of the girls, we got together and rode our bikes over to the


National Butterfly Center.





we learned, and


we saw lots of butterflies....but,

before the day heated up too much, we made our way back to the park and headed to the pool!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

It has been almost two months since I last posted a blog. Gosh, I am not sure where the time goes.  Well, I do, but, when we are in the same place for an extended time, it is hard to write about routine days.  But, just to keep things straight, our routine days include beautiful weather, pool time,, and projects.

  But, here it is mid April and I realized that it was about time for me to catch up.  So, in the midst of those routine days...

We are still at Retama enjoying Springtime in Texas.  We have stayed busy with the everyday activities.  Tuesday is girl's day, Weight Watchers, shopping, and lunch.  And, now the guys are going out for their own lunch time on Tuesday and any other day they can get away with it.  We have water aerobics three days a week, but...

the weather has warmed up to the point that we can now get in and enjoy the pool almost everyday.  Not a bad way to pass away the afternoons.

And, of course, there is always


someone that wants to cook up a


a party.

And, as always, there have been a few projects.  The guys have been working on constructing a gun range for target practice.  There is a section


of land down by the river that belongs to our developer.  They were using this area to go and shoot, but it needed some cleaning and clearing.  So, after some discussion and approval from Mike, the guys put their plan in process.

  Thanks, Neto for mowing the property and for bringing in the materials to


make the road and parking area.

While Neto was taking care of this, Mark and Mike started the construction of


the shooting stations.



made sure they stayed nourished every morning, bringing them donuts...well, I guess donuts are nourishment!

Once the benches were constructed, they were installed


down at the range.

Next project...the target holders.  They found


these sign perfect!

They also have a section set aside for


shooting clays.

Mark, Mike, and Niles have had great fun putting all of this together.  And, now, there is a safe and nice place for them to go shoot rifles, shotguns, and pistols. But, they couldn't have done it without all the donations from Mike, Bentsen Palms, and the Retama guys!  Thanks to all of you.  Now, enjoy, and...

Stayed tuned for future improvements which are already in the planning stages.

I have had a few crafty projects going on of my own.  Remember when I took that mosaic class awhile back.  Well, that just ignited the creative side of me and I set myself up a


work table in the coach house and have made several more




crosses.  I even sold one of them.

I also made this


stepping stone for the front island.

Now, in between all these projects, we did take a day to rent the


Harley to go with the gang on a ride to Port Mansfield, which is about 90 miles Northeast of Mission.  We traveled along Military Hwy to 281 to Harlingen, and then on to Port Mansfield.  Along the way, we saw




corn, and


sugar cane fields.

There were


farmers plowing, and


crop dusters fertilizing the fields.  All getting ready for Spring.

Once, we arrived in Port Mansfield, it was straight to


lunch at Sweet Gregory P's Smokehouse for lunch.  Of course, if the truth were told, this was the whole reason for the trip.  But, let me assure you, this Texas girl thought this was some of the best barbeque I have ever eaten.  And, then, the homemade banana and bread puddings made it all worth the trip.

Lunch was so good that


Niles needed to take a nap.  So, while he recovered from lunch, the rest of us took a trip into town and down to the


docks.  This is the boat that the guys took on their deep sea fishing trip a while back.

We also visited


with a few of the locals.  Soon, it was time to return, pick up Niles, and head back to Retama.

And, it's also back to the projects.  As the days get warmer, we found that the water hoses are a great place for algae to grow.  So, Mark took this


hint from Bernard, and put our hoses and electric lines in this PVC to protect them from the UV light.

And, as the days get warmer,


a lot of our friends decided it was time to head North.  But, there are a


few of us still here,  We are just hanging out, enjoying Springtime in the RGV where


Linda's flowers flourish,


Kathy's new roses are blooming, the copper soap treatment


have made our Ixora's  beautiful, and the


hummingbirds are enjoying them all.

Yes, Spring has sprung in the RGV.  And, while we enjoy this beautiful weather here, we wish each of you a beautiful Spring and safe travels.