Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oktoberfest 2010…Retama Style

Our day started with an early morning walk to the


to the club house where we were joining several others for Saturday morning breakfast.  This morning Becky made pancakes using some of my wild Maine blueberries.  Yummy!

After breakfast, it was time to start the food preparation for what would be dinner for about 60 folks and the annual Oktoberfest celebration.

We peeled about 30 pounds of potatoes and put them


on to cook.

Then came the


72 pieces of bacon and the


dozen or so onions.  Gosh, can you smell that


German Potato Salad coming together.



the ladies were busy getting that potato salad together, Doug was busy chopping


all this bread for, yes…my very favorite dessert…


Bread Pudding.

It’s a good thing, I got in a lot of walking today.

In addition to all the cooking we were doing, others around the park were busy cooking the Red Cabbage and boiling Brats.

And, after an all day group effort, it was finally time for everyone to start


gathering on the patio for dinner.

What a great time was had


by all.

After dinner, we had a great time watching our


Texas Rangers take game 3 of the World Series.  Go Rangers…

What a great conclusion to our Oktoberfest 2010.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More and More Color

We woke to a beautiful cool morning, but the day promised to warm to the mid 80’s.  With a great day in store, we were ready to get back to our painting, but needed to make a trip to Home Depot for a few forgotten items.


By mid-morning, we were back on the job.  Wow, the blue ceiling really showed up in the morning light.

The next color is


called, Winddrift, and is a muted green color.  It is for


the two side walls and the wall behind the washer/dryer.  Then, I picked an accent color called Prairie Smoke for


this little short wall, around the bathroom door, and beside the washer/dryer.  It is only a few shades lighter that the other walls.  If the light is just right


you can see the difference.

By mid-afternoon, we were all finished with the painting and most of the clean up.  We were both pleased with the finished project.  We decided that we would finish this room before painting the bathroom, which is good, since I haven’t yet given those colors too much thought.  So, I guess the next thing is to find just the right furnishings and wall decorations.  I am pretty sure that will mean a few shopping trips.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Splash of Color

When Mark and I decided to purchase a lot here at Retama, we had our choice of a finished or unfinished coach house.  We considered both and decided that we didn’t want to take on the total construction of finishing out the inside, therefore, opting for the finished one.

The one we selected is only two years old and Sarah and Richard did a great job in finishing it out.  It has a tile floor, full bath, a washer/dryer, ceiling fan, tract lighting and was furnished with the white set of patio furniture.    However, even with all of that, we knew that there were a few things we wanted to do to add our own personal touches to it.  The first was to add a splash of color.

Today, our project started to take shape.  I have been thinking all summer about just what I want to do and what color scheme I wanted to use.  So, this morning, with my paint samples in hand, we made stops at both Lowes and Home Depot.  I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t see something I liked better than my original choices.  I looked at some other paint samples, but decided to stay with my original thoughts.  For a moment, I think Mark thought I was coloring outside the box, but, I told him to trust me.

While I waited for the paint to be mixed, Mark gathered up the other supplies we would be needing.  After a quick lunch at Wendy’s, we headed back to Retama, unloaded the car, and jumped into our work clothes.  Then, we both tackled


covering the floor, taping off the woodwork, etc.

The ceiling would get the first


coat of paint…which is called


Illusion.  This is where he thought I had jumped out of the box…he never painted a ceiling any color but white!

Mark took the roller and I took the brush and before we knew it, we had


a finished ceiling.  I think he liked it.

It was too late to start the walls…so that will be tomorrow’s project.

This summer, I purchased this


cute dragonfly while we were in New Brunswick, Canada.  He has traveled with us all summer.  Hopefully, we will find just the right spot for him, but for now, I am working on that splash of color!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It’s A Start

We woke to a beautiful morning, but, with a forecast that promised to take the temperature to the 90’s.  So, Mark


decided to do a little cleaning and polishing on the motor home before the day heated up too much.  While he was cleaning outside, I did a few inside chores.  Then it was off to see about that low tire on the Jeep.  It was just a small puncture…no real problem.

By the time he returned, I had finished most of my indoor chores and we decided to get started on the coach house. After being closed up all summer, it needed to air out.  We got the foil insulation off the doors and windows and the water and breakers turned on.  I swept and mopped the floor.

Next on the list was


assembling the new patio furniture.  It didn’t take us too long and soon


we had the job done.  This is our front patio and


this is our back patio.

After getting the patios set up, Mark assembled the


table for the coach house.  This table is going to work great…thanks Mac and Lynette for the hand-me-down.  I think I might paint it a real pretty color.

After working all morning and part of the afternoon, we decided to head off to the pool for a little relaxation.  It wasn’t long before we were joined by a few others.  Great idea…the water was great and the hot tub was better!

Tonight, I wandered up to the club house and met with several of the other ladies from the village to learn about the RGV Chick Time group.  Basically, this group volunteers at the Rio Grande Children’s Home.  This Saturday, we will be going to the Home to paint pumpkins with the kids.  Sounds like a fun time.

We have now settled in to watch the first game of the World Series and make a plan for tomorrow’s coach house project…I am thinking a trip to Lowes to pick out paint colors will top the list.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Return to Retama

Again, what a great visit we had with Weldon and Sandy and our time with them came to an end way too soon.  Before, we left,


Sandy had to see if Dennis of RV Driving School was correct, and that our motor home could swing out only 4.5 feet.  So Mark told her to stand right in front while he pulled out.  Sure enough…Dennis was right and Mark didn’t run over Sandy.

As usual, we conferred with Streets and Trips to plan our route south.  It wanted us to backtrack on I-20 West to I-35 South and on towards 281. That seemed sort of foolish…so, we did just the opposite and took the back roads.  By choosing


the back roads, it allowed us to miss Waco, Austin, and San Antonio.  There was nothing really great about the back roads…they just made for a leisure travel day.



Texas prairie land, the


rivers, and


the small towns and the


old Texas court houses were a change from the busy cities that line I-35.

We made a couple of rest stops and one fuel stop.  We arrived


at Retama almost 10 hours and 600 miles later.  I know…I know that is not what RVer’s do, but, long travel days are no big deal to us, especially when we are traveling by ourselves and have a place we really want to be.  Today’s trip was uneventful…the only thing that suffered


was a rear tire on the jeep.  And, that happened somewhere in the last few miles of the trip…more than likely, just down the road where we went through a little construction.  Mark will air it up in the morning and go to the local tire shop.

We are both glad to return to Retama and anxious to get settled in our winter home and routine.  We are looking forward to some fun times and some great adventures.  We invite any of you to stop in for a visit if you are in the RGV.

As I close this journal tonight, I hope all of you that were in the middle of our country survived the storms that caused so much concern today.  And, to those who are dealing with various health issues and have had surgery or facing surgery, we wish you all a speedy recovery.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Before concluding our stay in west Fort Worth, we enjoyed getting to watch all the grandkids participate in their sports activities.  On Saturday, we finally got to see Lauren.


She is playing Volleyball for the first time and is learning and doing a great job.

Before we left yesterday,


Caden and


Kourtney had to show off their Halloween outfits.

Once we finished packing up, it was time to pull up the jacks, pull in the slides and head East for a couple of days.  Our destination was Canton, Texas, to visit with Weldon and Sandy for a couple of days.  They are vendors for the First Monday Trade Days, which will start on Thursday.  When we arrived at the grounds, we were not surprised to find


so many customers already gathering.  It is November and a great shopping month.  We used to be vendors here when I had my craft business.  This is one of the best months for selling and from the looks of the early arrivals, I think the vendors are going to have a great month.  Maybe they are all here to do their Christmas shopping.

We made our way through the parking lot, found a


parking spot and settled in.  We arrived in time to have a great visit with old friends.  Sandy had put together a taco salad which we all gobbled down.  We had just finished and started clearing away the dishes when the weather decided to turn stormy.  The weather radio was going crazy and twice during the evening we made our way to the shelter of a building, but each time the storms went around our location.

We said our good nights and made a tenative plan for morning.  As today dawned we were up and about and working on that plan.  We decided on breakfast at Whataburger and trip to Tyler.

We made a stop at Best Buy for me to inquire as to why my GPS stick will not communicate with my Streets and Trips program.  After talking with the Greeks, it sounds like I will have to have a new one.  Well, they don’t sell the GPS stick without the program.  They were out of the software, so, I put that on hold and will research the problem a little more before I decide what to do.

Then it was on to Ulta and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Sandy and I found what we needed at Ulta, but came up empty handed at Bed and Bath.  We made one last stop at Kohl’s…this time the guys found just what they needed.  By this time the guys were shopped out and were yelling “feed us” so we were off to Rudy’s.

After a yummy lunch, we headed the 38 miles back to Canton.  We spent the rest of the afternoon just visiting.  Soon, it was time to take the visit from our house to


Weldon and Sandy’s, but actually ended up at


Bob and Sandra’s, who are Weldon and Sandy’s next door vendor friends.

While we had a great visit, others were busy already getting


their booth’s set up.

Gosh, what memories this brings back…Mark told me don’t get any ideas.  I assured him not to worry.  I remember how I worked getting ready for this every month!

We continued our visiting with everyone until the chill of the night ran us in.  We are now putting things in place for an early morning departure.  We will start making our way South towards our winter home at Retama Village.  We are looking forward to catching up with our winter friends, settling in to the activities there, and starting our project of decorating the coach house.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quite and Routine

Not much to report for the last day or so.  Things have been pretty quite and routine.

Yesterday I played Moppa, and took Kourtney and Caden for their flu shots and then Poppa and I took them to breakfast before dropping them off at Daycare.  They both tried to figure out how to stay with us.  I had to promise them another day.

Afterwards, Mark and I headed to Verizon to get an additional phone added to our plan…this one for his mom.  Now, if you want a challenge, teach an 84 year old how to use her first cell phone.  I have warned everyone in her contact list, including the folks that answer the 911 calls!

After several other errands, it was time to swing back by and pick up the little ones.  They got in a little play time before Karen arrived home and whisk them off to soccer practice.

Mark and I then whisk ourselves off to Arlington to Zachary’s baseball game.

Today, Mark was off and about with his mom to run a couple of errands and practice a little with that new telephone.  I was off to run a few errands of my own.

This afternoon, we drove out to Loyd Park at Joe Poole Lake in Grand Prairie to meet several couples, all the guys being retired firefighter friends of Mark’s.  They are camping for a few days and since we weren’t able to join them for the campout, we decided to drive out for a visit and dinner.  It was nice to see each of them and visit for a little while.

Tomorrow, we are planning on getting a few things taken care of around the motor home.  If the weather cooperates, we will be pulling out on Sunday to make our way to Canton to visit with Weldon and Sandy for a couple of days before heading to the RGV.  However, before leaving there are still sleepovers for the little ones, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and hockey games to attend!

Gosh, did I say things were quite and routine?

Monday, October 18, 2010



So many of our friends have posted about the death of Bruce and Margie .  While we don’t understand the reason why these two people were taken from this earth…each of us will remember the words of encouragement that she posted on our blogs each day.  And, even though we never actually met them…I am sure that they made the most of their DASH!

   Now, here’s a poem written by Linda Ellis that explains THE DASH…

When we die – we will have three things on our tombstone.

1. The year of our birth

2. The year of our death

3. A DASH between those two years.

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke the following date with tears,

But, he said what mattered most of all was THE DASH between the years.

For, THE DASH represents all the time that we spend alive on earth.

And, now only those who loved us know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we live and love and how we spent our DASH.

So, think about this long and hard…Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real,

And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,

And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treated each other with respect, and more often wear a smile…

Remembering, that this special DASH might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say about the way you spent your DASH?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time To Blog

Okay, guess it is time to write a blog and catch up.  When I last posted, we were heading back to Red Bay to have a couple of new jacks installed.  We did get there and get two new rear jacks installed.  And, I have to say it was done in record time.  We then headed to Tunica for a couple days before making our way on to Texas.

Just outside Dallas, we made a stop for fuel, and Mark noticed that one of the rear tires on the motor home was missing a small piece of rubber.  Nothing that looked too serious or dangerous.  And, then somewhere between the fuel stop and Fort Worth, we got a chip taken out of the windshield.

  Guess Mark has his “to do” list for when we get to Fort Worth.


On October 2, after 4 months and 6,000 miles later, we arrived back in Fort Worth.  Wow…a great summer and lots of memories were logged along the way.

Once we settled in at our RV site at our daughter’s, it was time to start catching up with family.

Kourtney greeted us with the biggest news… 


Her announcement…”I am going to be a big sister”! 

Of course, we were excited with that news and will look forward to a new baby brother or sister in late May.

We have been busy with all the grandkid’s activities.  Lot’s of fun enjoying


Caden and Kourtney and their first soccer season.



Zachary hitting the baseball and


sliding into home…”safe”!

Andrew is


practicing hard for his first hockey game next Saturday.

Lauren is playing volleyball.  We will be going to her game next week.

And, in between catching all the grandkid activities, we have taken care of a few necessary items.  First, it was replacing my computer.  Which is one of the reasons I haven’t blogged.  But, now with my new Asus computer and Windows 7 and lots of storage for pictures I guess I don’t have any more excuses.  It has taken me a little while to get everything installed and up and running and a little tutorial to get here, but at last all is good.

Mark has been busy taking care of that “to do” list I was talking about.  Safelite came to the house to repair the windshield.  I wonder how many of those chips the insurance will fix before they make us get a new windshield?

Then, there was the issue with the rear tire.  He took the motor home to the tire service center and it was determined that there was not enough rubber missing to merit replacing the tire.  Mark doubled checked and they assured him that we didn’t need a new tire and that it was okay to save his $600.00.

However, I guess he was determined to spend some money that day, because, he then went to have the tires on the Jeep rotated.  And, while they had the tires off, it was determined that we needed new brakes.  Well, I guess $300 was better than $600 or $900 which ever way you want to do the math. LOL

We have also been busy with dental appointments and doctor appointments.

Then, on a sad note…we had to say “good-bye” to a family friend this week.  Wayne, a long time friend of the family was 85 and had suffered a stroke.  Not, only was he an old family friend, he was the one responsible for helping  Mark get on the fire department so many years ago.  He will be missed and our thoughts are with his family in the days that are ahead.  May God comfort them in their loss.

In addition to all the activities of the last couple of weeks, we have also been making our preparations for heading to Retama.  As most of you know, last season, we purchased an RV lot at Retama Village in Mission, Texas.  It is the lot in our header picture of the blog.  We are anxious to get there and put a few of our personal touches on the coach house.  Plus, we made lots of friends while we were there last year.  We are looking forward to getting back to the fun and fellowship and hearing about everyone’s summer travels.

So, for now, I think this catches us up…and, Terry, I do promise…to find

time to blog!