Thursday, December 30, 2010

Return to Retama

We were up early this morning and almost ready to pull out when


Brenda came over to say "see you later".   She was still


waving and taking pictures as we pulled out.  Hopefully, we get to see them again next summer or early fall.

The weather was a little dreary


when we left.  But, there was a promise of afternoon sunshine.

From San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley is the easier part of the trip, and there isn't


much to see as you travel south down 281.



Falfurrias, the Border Patrol was already busy this morning.  Before, we knew it, we were


back in the thick of traffic and almost to the McAllen cutoff.  From this point, we are about 20 miles from Retama.

We stopped for fuel, which by the way was only $3.09.  That was the cheapest we had seen since leaving Fort Worth.



a few miles from Highway 83 down Bentsen Palm Drive, to


Lark Drive...the sunshine was waiting to welcome us back.  In fact, it was 85 degrees today...which is just right for me.

We had only  one little glitch today.  Somewhere in the last mile


we picked up a piece of metal in the front tire of the Jeep.  Mark took it off and went to the Tire Shop, but they weren't able to fix it.  So, we had to replace our two week old tire.  Bummer...I am just glad it happened so close to our destination and not out on the road in the middle of nowhere.

Once, he was back from getting the tire taken care of, we finished setting up, got in a little visiting, and dinner.  We are now going to just sit back and enjoy our return to Retama.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Heading South

With Christmas behind us, we were both ready to get things packed up and head south for warmer temperatures.  So, yesterday, we finished up with a few errands, had our family good-bye hugs, and


were ready to roll.  Our destination San Antonio for a couple of nights and then on to the Rio Grande Valley by the end of the week.

As we headed out,


the weather was less than desirable.  The traffic through




Austin, and


San Antonio was crazy.  Did everyone want to go South today?

And, just as crazy as the traffic are the


fuel prices we saw.  I told Mark I was thankful that this year we were only going to the RGV and that it would only take one tank of fuel to get there.  Maybe by Spring the price will come down. LOL

It was


getting dark by the time we made it to the cut off to Brauning Lake RV Park.  The office had already closed, but our reservation was waiting for us on the door.  We wandered through the park, missed our street, and had to make a loop, but soon were settled into our site.

John and Brenda were there to meet us.  Brenda had prepared dinner…Taco Soup, Cornbread, and Spinach/Raspberry Salad.  After driving all day in the rain, it was perfect.  Thanks again, Brenda.

Jim, Ellie, Rod, and Deb were off on a day trip to the Fredericksburg and Johnson City area, but arrived back to the RV Park in time for a short visit before we all called it a night.

This morning Jim and Ellie were knocking on our door looking to make a plan for the day.  Soon, the others followed one by one.  It was decided that we would just hang out and gather later for


Happy Hour,


snacks, and


a little football.

Later, Jim


started a fire which led to


grilling hamburgers.

The evening chill ran us in, but that didn’t keep us from enjoying a great dinner with some great friends.  Thanks Jim and Ellie for hosting…and Jim, you haven’t lost your touch for grilling a great burger!

Our day passed too quick and soon


the sun was setting not only the day, but on our brief visit here with friends.  Tomorrow, Mark and I will be heading on to the Rio Grande Valley, while the others prepare for their journey West.

When, with RVing friends, we never really say good-bye, but, see you later.  And, we do look forward to catching up with this bunch again real soon!  We love you all and can’t wait until the next time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

The last few days that led up to Christmas were beautiful and unseasonably warm for the North Texas area.  We enjoyed temperatures in the upper 70’s and low 80’s.  The grandkids spent the week hanging out with Poppa and I.  They


rode bikes and


baked cookies.

The little ones, with Poppa’s help worked on


constructing gingerbread houses.

Kourtney decorated


pinecones with beautiful jewels.

And, before we knew it, Christmas Eve arrived…and as tradition goes, we all gathered at


my mom’s house, where all are


welcome and made to feel at home.

There is


cooking and


eating and


and picture taking.

And, when they couldn’t stand it any longer…


the gifts were passed out for all the kids.  And, soon, they were all enjoying


the clothes,


games, and



It was a great evening with family and friends.

Before the evening was over we took a few more pictures…

There was the


family picture….being missed this year…my brother, sister-in-law, 4 nieces, a nephew, and a great nephew. 

And, a special picture for me…


Four generations…

Soon, it was time for us to say goodnight, and all head home to wait for a visit from Santa.

Christmas morning dawned with cold temperatures.  But, that hadn’t stopped Santa.  I guess we made the nice list as the jolly old fellow delivered Mark and I Trek Pur bicycles.  We are looking forward to using them as soon as we get back to South Texas.

The day was pretty quite as all the kids were off with the own families.  However, by late afternoon, that quite turned into another


celebration…more food…more gifts…

Poppa even had a little fun with


the kids toys.

And, again…too soon, the evening and Christmas 2010 came to a close.  But, with all the food, fun, and family time, we take time to remember that


Jesus is the reason for season.

We hope that each of you had a blessed Christmas 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let’s Catch Up…

Well, let me see, if my calculations are correct, it has been about three weeks since my last blog.  And, after being prodded by several of my readers, I decided that I better try to catch up!

When I last blogged, we were on our way home from the Rio Grande Valley for the holiday season.  But, before landing at home, we spent a wonderful week at Cowtown RV Park with great friends.  I won’t relive that to you as…

Joe, Weldon, and JB, kept their blogs updated and you were all well informed of the fun we had while together.  The only thing I could add…is that Mark and I were so blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with in our hometown with a great bunch of friends.

The week passed by far to quick, and we soon found ourselves having to say  “see ya” until next time.

Mark and I traveled 3 miles east and settled in at Karen and Kenneth’s.  With Thanksgiving behind us, it was time to start with the Christmas decorations.

  So, it was out with


the tree and a


Santa here or there and I was done.

Then it was on to the shopping…and with list from five grandkids, it was going to take a little time.  Thank goodness for online shopping, which took care of several items I could not find.  Once all the shopping was finished, it was time to sort and



And, thanks to


Kourtney, who with help from her mom, got the big tree decorated.  Now, I have a place to put all those gifts.

  She also did a great job helping her dad


decorate the outside.

She also put up her nativity set…not sure how the


donkey got the angel’s job!

With the decorating, shopping, and wrapping behind me, it was time for Mark and I to start all the annual doctor appointments.  Mark managed to get his done in two visits, while I am still visiting doctors, labs, and imaging centers.  Guess it takes a lot of routine maintenance as we age. But, I can’t complain…I do report that so far all is good and hope that the rest of the appointments turn out as well.  We are so thankful to be blessed with good health.

In addition to the routine maintenance for ourselves, Mark has been staying busy doing a little routine maintenance on the motor home.  He changed


water filters and drained the hot water heater so he could change


the anode rod.  I think it needed it!

He also has spent quite a bit of time researching a water softener for the motor home.  We hook up to so many different water systems across the country and, because we know that the water in the Rio Grande Valley is very hard, we decided it would be beneficial for us.  So, after much research, he decided on the


Mark 8000 from Flow Pur.  It, of course depends on the hardness of the water, but, it should take care of about 800 gallons of water before going through the regeneration process which operates with a box of table salt. We are certainly hoping it will do the trick for us…I will have to report back in a month or so.

His list of “to do’s” also included getting the cover for the Jeep repaired.  It had with wear become torn in a couple of spots.  John Brown has the same cover as we do, and he told Mark to ship it back to the company and they would repair it for no cost.  So, we did, and all it cost was the shipping.  It should arrive back to us “good as new” in the next few days.  Thanks John!  

Then, with that project behind him, he started researching a bike rack for the Jeep.  I have heard from a reindeer that Santa might be delivering us a couple of new bikes.

Then, there are those projects that just happen!  Yesterday, as Mark was going out the door, the


glass in the front screen just broke right in his hand.  Not the first time this has happened to us.  The first time, we sent to Tiffin for a new piece of glass.  This time, we went to Ajax Glass, a local company, here in town and are having them make us a plastic replacement section.  Hopefully, this will take care of the problem.

Even though our days have been filled with lots of projects and appointments, there have also been fun family times.  We enjoyed having our


great-nephew home from Colorado for Thanksgiving.  In this picture, he is singing a song about a turkey.  His grandma, my younger sister, had to help out just a little.  Great song, Kyle, Aunt DD and Uncle Mark were sure glad you got to be home for a few days.

Then, there has been hockey with our three grandsons…


Andrew is playing on his first organized team, while


Zachary is taking skating and stick and puck classes and…then there is


Caden, who thinks he is as big as the other boys.  He will be starting skating classes after the first of the year.

Lauren is still playing


volleyball and loving it.

Kourtney is just busy being


a princess…entertaining us with song and dance.

Everyone is out of school tomorrow, and, I am sure that between now and Christmas, our days will be filled with lots of fun.  We have a baking day and a sleepover planned…and who know what else make take place when the five of them get together.  But, that is what makes the holidays special to us.

For now, I think…we are caught up on the news from here.  And, as I close this blog post, we hope each of you are enjoying the Christmas season.

See you back here real soon.