Park Place

Good morning. We had another beautiful day here in the Rio Grande Valley. I spent the entire day outside and enjoyed every minute of it.

Once a month the park holds a craft fair and breakfast. Yesterday the breakfast was biscuits and gravy; which Clyde thoroughly enjoyed. We walked around the craft fair and admired some very beautiful projects. Clyde loved the wood working items that one man had for sale. I admired some beautiful necklaces that another woman had. My purchase was 5 used books from the library sale for $1.  You can’t beat the price. When I have finished reading them I can donate them back to the library for resale another month.

I spent part of my day relaxing in the sun, working on my pine needle basket, reading and visiting with friends. Clyde took Patty Pepper to the dog park where she can be off the leash. He also worked around the motorhome getting a few more things checked off his list. Steve came over to check out our hot water tank issue, as we still have no hot water. He determined we have a bad valve. Monday Clyde and Steve will see if they can find one. He also, with great effort, located our HDMI outlet on our TV. We got a Fire Stick for Christmas and need the outlet to install the app. The outlet was hidden behind the TV. The TV had to be unbolted and taken out to locate it. And, apparently all RV TV’s are extremely heavy for safety reasons while traveling. Not a fun job, but I greatly appreciated his help.

As promised, here is a picture of our site. I will probably be moving furniture around quite often until I come up with just the right set up. We have an awful lot of dirt, so we will be spending time watering the area to get some grass back.

o 12 park place

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Harlingen-Day 2

Good morning. What a perfect day it was yesterday for being outside. The sun was out and the temperature was mid 70’s; not too hot-not too cold, just right. It really could be like that all year round and I wouldn’t complain.

We were able to get a lot accomplished, but still have much to do. We did get ourselves a mailbox with a key and everything. And, we have an address so if I want to order something it will come here. Almost like when we had a S&B house. Then again this is a park that has both permanent residents and those just passing through.

What I like about Park Place Estates is that it has an area that is all park model homes and another area that is mixed and a third area for only those staying a short while. It is a very large park with something for everyone. We are set up in the mixed area. Our neighbors next door and across the street have park model homes. They do not stay all year round. They too are Winter Texans.

Back to what we got accomplished. My mind does wander. We got our patio set up; awning out, mat down, chairs and tables out, grill out, etc.. I was going to take a picture to show you, but forgot. Sorry, I will do it today.

I think I’d like to buy a couple potted plants to put out to make it a little more homey. I’m not sure what kind to get. I did ok with the fall mum plant. I didn’t kill it. I do have a brown thumb. But then, we did have a lot of rain that helped keep it alive.

Clyde still needs to finish pulling everything out of the basement storage areas to check for dampness, rust, dirt, bugs etc. as we were by the ocean with the salt air and we had so much rain. Besides, it is good to do spring cleaning every now and again.

Oh ya, I was going to mention, we did get our propane and it was an easy in and easy out just like our friend said. We also found out that they will come to us in the park to fill us up if we need it again while we are here. Nice, huh.

This morning the park is having a craft fair. We will probably go check it out. It looks today is going to be just as nice as yesterday. I will for sure be spending it outside.

I did start my second pine needle basket yesterday while enjoying the outdoors. My, how I love this lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

Victoria, Texas

Good morning. We are here in Victoria, Texas where we spent the night in a Walmart parking lot. This is a huge parking lot. We had no problem finding a spot away from the crowds. We are also along the curb where we were able to put the bedroom slide out without any problems. That’s always nice.

We only drove 304 miles yesterday, but it was steady rain almost the entire day. Plus, driving through Houston during that rain didn’t help, nor did the construction cement blocks, which Clyde hates with a passion, that went on for miles and miles. It is still raining this morning. Hopefully it will have had enough by the time we are ready to leave. I know I have.

We also tried to fill up with propane again. We stopped at a Flying J, pulled up to the propane tank and Clyde went in to inquire about filling us up. When he came back he said you won’t believe this, the guy won’t come out in the rain. So no propane again. I’m not sure if it was a safety issue or if he just didn’t want to get wet. Thankfully our friend told us where to get our needed propane when we get down to Harlingen. He says it’s an easy in and easy out. That’s one less thing to worry about.

On the plus side, there is a Hobby Lobby in Victoria where we stopped just before settling down here for the night. I was able to find the artificial sinew I need to make the pine needle baskets with. Now I will be able to put some of those long pine needles we have been collecting to good use. See my big smile.😊

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Eastern Screech Owl

Good morning. Yesterday was another wet rainy day. Today should be a bit better. No sun, but thankfully the rain has moved out for a few days.

In-between the rain drops yesterday, we went up to the nature center to see a presentation about the Eastern Screech Owl. Her name is Archimedes. She has resided in the nature center for many years. As she only has one eye she is unable to survive in the wild. She lost her eye while hunting for a mouse. She wasn’t paying attention to what else was around and was hit by a car. The doctors were able to save her life, but not her eye.

Screech owls, unlike other owls, have perpendicular ears. Meaning they cannot tell immediately which direction a sound is coming from because a sound will hit both ears at the same time (like humans). With other types of owls their ears are at an angle so sounds that are coming from below are heard by the lower ear first and sounds that are coming from up high are heard from the higher ear first. This makes it quicker and easier for them to know where to look for both animals who prey on them and animals they prey on. Screech owls are also much smaller in size than other types of owls. They are sometimes mistaken for a baby Great Horned Owl.

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Eastern Screech Owl

I finished my first pine needle basket yesterday. It’s not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I still need to seal it with some shellac. Others have used bees-wax, varnish or Mod Podge to seal and protect their baskets. I’m not sure what is best or which I will use. I do know that bees-wax is very expensive but is natural and a highly recommended sealant.

I now know that each basket uses quite a few pine needles. Which means more walks on the trails looking for nice long clean pine needles. I also now know that each basket takes some time to create. With each stitch I take I need to add another pine needle. It is a time-consuming process, but very relaxing. I guess that’s why I enjoy doing needlework.

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1st Pine Needle Basket – 5″w x 2 1/2″h

I won’t be able to start on another basket until I purchase some waxed thread or artificial sinew. But that’s not a problem. It will give me time to collect, clean and prepare more pine needles.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a nice day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Pine Needle Basket Class

Good morning. This week sure has gone by quickly. I can’t believe it’s Friday already. Not that one day is any different from another for us. Today is going to be a bit warmer than it has been the last few days, so we may be able to sit outside for a while. A nice walk will be nice too.

Yesterday was my pine needle basket class. As I had mentioned before, I wanted to take the class last year when we were here but it wasn’t offered until January and we were gone by then. There were about 25 of us in the class. Two were men. The instructor had many helpers, who had taken the class in previous years, which was nice as they were able to give us the individual attention needed to get us started.

We were asked to bring some pine needles (or pine straw as the instructor called it). We were given a starter kit with a black walnut slice, needle and artificial sinew. She went over all the basics with us; how to collect and prepare the needles to work with. I was glad I had asked questions and looked online prior to class. I was able to have that part done. My needles were cleaned and ready to sew with. The time in class went by quickly. Basket making is a slow process. It takes time to collect, clean and prepare the needles. Creating a basket also is a slow process.

We were told that no two baskets are alike. Say you really like a basket you made and you want to make one exactly like it for someone else. Not going to happen. Even though you created the first one, no matter how hard you try the next one will always be a bit different.

I think I caught on pretty quickly. My previous experience with needlework helped. I already knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, quilt, sew, bead, etc.. This is just one more type of needlework craft to add to my forte. Will I stop doing my other types of needlework. No, making baskets is kind of messy. It is best to work on outside. But, I will be enjoying this craft now too.

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Start of my 1st Basket and prepared Pine Needles

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Alligators

Good morning. Another cold morning with a high of only 55º today. It will feel a bit warmer when the sun comes out.

Yesterday was cool but beautiful. The sun was out and not too much of a breeze. We took  long walk collecting pine needles for the baskets I hope to create. We found quite a few nice long ones. It is so relaxing and quite along the trails.

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Monday we went to the nature center and heard the presentation on alligators. They have a couple of babies about a year old on loan. They are so cute when they are babies. We still haven’t seen any in the park, but we are told they are here.

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That’s it for today. Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Christmas Crafts

Good morning. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This year sure has gone by quickly. I have no idea what we are doing for dinner tomorrow. Our little convection oven isn’t big enough to cook a turkey, nor do I want to eat leftovers for the next month. It is only the two of us.

I have a couple of thoughts in mind. We can grill chicken or some other small fowl and have sweet potatoes, dressing, and other holiday foods or we could go to Cracker Barrel and just eat out. Clyde read that Thanksgiving is their busiest day of the year. He hates crowds and hates to wait for a table.

If we stay here we can watch football. We like to watch football, especially when the Lions play the Bears. Both teams are favorites of ours as we have lived in both Illinois and Michigan for our entire lives. If we go out I don’t have to cook and we get more of a variety but, there are no leftovers and there will be a wait.

I had a nice time with the craft group yesterday. There were about 20 of us crafters; two large round tables full. I took a beading project to work on but one of the ladies brought a project for all of us to make if we wished. Most of us worked on her Christmas craft project. We made little trees out of circles of fabric gathered together with a dowel in the center and a star glued to the top. She had all of the circles of fabric already cut out for us. It was a perfect project for the time allotted and easy enough that we didn’t have to think about what we were doing. That enabled us to sit and chat. Which is why we get together. I made the gold tree, but I love the little green ones too.

Next week one of the ladies is bringing the supplies to make angel ornaments that are very cute too. It is always nice to see and get new ideas.

Another lady makes pine needle baskets that are absolutely beautiful. I wanted to take her class last year but she didn’t come to the campground until January and we were already on the road by then. She is here now and is offering a class on December 7th for a limited number of people. I signed up immediately. Now Clyde and I will have to go around and collect long pine needles. I was told they need to be 15″-18″ long. The longer the better and not to take them off the trees. And, we need to watch for snakes as they like to burrow under the fallen needles. Oh boy. Once I learn the basics of basket making I will be able to make them on my own. (Big Grin). I just need to gather enough pine needles before we leave here.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn