Winter Texan Expo

Good morning. With yesterday being an overcast cold rainy day, we thought we would go see what the Winter Texan Expo was all about. We are now officially Winter Texans, so why not. It is held every January (this is the 26th year) in the McAllen Convention Center. The event is free and parking is free. We like free (but, so does everyone else). This years event was being held on both Tuesday, January 15th and Wednesday, January 16th from 9am to 3pm.

This was our first time in McAllen. The convention center was easy to find and there was plenty of parking (even for the amount of people who were there). There was a long line to get into the expo, but the line moved quickly. Once inside we found it extremely crowded. Shoulder to shoulder, people everywhere. Everyone was very nice and friendly. But, the number of people was overwhelming. At one point Clyde and I got separated and couldn’t locate each other. It is a good thing we had cell phones. I don’t know how we would have found each other without them. Even with the number of people that attended this event, we bumped into a couple other couples from our park. It is a small world.

As with other types of expos, this one had different vendors pitching their products and giving away small tokens to entice you over. If you filled out a questionnaire you could be entered into a drawing to win a bigger prize. As I am not a person who gives out my information freely, nor do I want phone calls or emails etc. after the fact, I do not participate in these drawings. I guess it’s my loss. We did come away with a few new tot bags, pens, mini flashlights, etc. as well as some reading material (that will probably be recycled).

The best part of our trip was our late lunch/early dinner at Cheddar’s. There was a slight wait to be seated, but the service and food was very good.

Loving our lifestyle.

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Night Activities

Good morning. What a cold, windy, dreary day it was yesterday. The sun was nowhere to be seen. It looks like today will be more of the same, only we will be adding rain in the mix. We could use some rain for the lawns.

It was a good day to get some errands done in the morning. In the afternoon Clyde went to play shuffleboard. The park has two large buildings to accommodate many different activities. One of the buildings has about 10 shuffleboard courts marked on the floor.  He had never played the game before but decided to see what it was all about. It was a good day to go and do an inside activity. He was welcomed into the group and had a very nice time. I think he will go again.

While he was busy playing shuffleboard, I was putting together a dish to take to the weekly potluck. You don’t need an invitation to attend, but we had been asked by more than one couple to come and join them. You really don’t need to ask my husband more than once to go to a potluck. He loves trying other people’s recipes while enjoying getting to know other people.  Being it was a blustery cold day, I decided scalloped potatoes and ham would be a good dish to take. We’ve been hungering for it anyway.

The potluck only had about 20 people show up (we were told they usually have more), but the company and the food was very nice. Everyone welcomed us with open arms and repeatedly asked us to come again next week. Yep, I think we will.

After the potluck a group gets together in the fellowship hall to play pinochle. It’s a card game we have enjoyed for years but haven’t played in a long time. We decided to go and see if they had room for 2 more. They did. They ended up with 6 tables of 4 players each. It was a nice size group. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. It didn’t take us very long to remember the rules and get right into the game. Each table played 4 rounds. The winners of those 4 rounds moved on to another table for 4 more rounds. They played those 4 rounds a total of 6 different times. At the end of each of the 4 rounds you switched partners. It was a fun evening.

This park has enough activities scheduled that you could be kept busy all day everyday. I’m not one to have my life scheduled that tightly, but I do think we might make our Monday evenings a potluck and pinochle night.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Longleaf Pine Needle Basket

Good morning. The temperature has taken a nosedive. Our high for today and tomorrow is only 60º. 60º would be fine if the wind wasn’t blowing and the sun was out. But, the wind is blowing and unfortunately the sun is nowhere to be seen; so the “feels like” temperature is much lower. The heat even kicked on this morning. It will be a good day to do errands and be inside.

I did finish my 2nd pine needle basket.

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I used a wood scroll bottom I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.00 and about 48 yards of natural color artificial sinew I also found at Hobby Lobby. The sinew was a 50 yard spool for $7.99. I used a 40% off coupon to help cut the cost. I had the wooden beads in my stash. Using the longleaf pine needles we collected, prepared and cleaned in Alabama, making a pine needle basket is one of the least expensive of my hobbies. It just takes time, patience and some creativity. And, being able to find the right pine needles to use.

The bow is not permanently fixed. I’m not sure if I want to leave it or take it off. I could add a couple of beads to the bow ends. Just not sure yet. I also need to add a preservative to my baskets; like shellac.

Meanwhile, I’ve started another basket and finished reading a book. Life is good. Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Living the Lifestyle

Good morning. What a perfect summer day we had yesterday. Oh, wait. This is January. It’s winter. That is one of the many reasons I love our lifestyle. When you live full-time in a motorhome you can go wherever and whenever you want (well almost).

We chose this lifestyle so that we could see our children, grandchildren and friends more often. We would also be able to see and experience other areas of our wonderful country. We have been living in our motorhome full-time now for 485 days. Oh, we have had our problems and issues (no hot water, hooking and unhooking the toad, stink bugs, etc.). But, you have conundrums living in a stationary home too. You just go with the flow and deal with it.

So, while I was outside, in the sunshine, sitting in my lounge chair reading a good book, watching my husband water the lawn, my daughter was up north outside, where the snow was coming down heavily, watching her new puppy happily prance and play for the first time in the snow. Even though we weren’t there to enjoy the moment with her, we were able to face-time and watch the cute little puppy play. Life is good.

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Sookie -13 weeks

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Charter Fishing

Good morning. Today is going to be a perfect day to be outside; sunshine with a high around 80º. Unfortunately for our northern friends and family it’s not going to be as nice, unless you are a kid or adult who enjoys the snow.

Yesterday morning Clyde and a few of the guys here in the park went to South Padre Island to go fishing. Clyde is not a fisherman, nor has he ever been on the ocean to fish, so this was a first for him. The only other time he went fishing on a large boat was on Lake Michigan and he spent the entire time hugging the rail and emptying his stomach. It was not a fun experience. So when our friend Steve asked him to go with him and the other guys he was a bit hesitant. And, who could blame him. But, he said what the heck and was willing to try it again.

The guys went on Danny B Fishing Charters for a 4 hour trip. The charter provided a pole for those who needed one and bait to fish with. The bait they used was shrimp and some kind of fish. They will also clean your catch for a small fee, which most of the fishermen took advantage of.

Clyde had a nice time and didn’t get sick. He did catch a few fish, but those who knew what they were doing caught many more. Clyde said most of the fish the guys caught were whiting. I am told whiting is a good eating fish and after looking it up I found out it is what you get when you buy imitation crab. We have enough fish for about 3 meals. Now I will be looking up different ways to cook it.

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Steve asked Clyde if he would like to go again next month and Clyde said yes. Good, I love fresh fish.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Oh Poop

Good morning. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Yesterday Clyde went to dump our holding tanks for the first time since we’ve been here and I heard my name being called loud and clear. I came over to find him holding the sewer hose, trying to keep the poop from spewing all over. He needed me to close the valve. Apparently the sewer line was blocked.  One of our new friends (the couple who lent us one of their golf carts) stopped by and asked “now what did you break”.  He immediately called the office to report our problem. They send over a crew to work on the issue. Unfortunately the problem couldn’t be solved. They ended up bringing over PVC pipe to extend our line and connected us to a different sewer line. That’s fine with us. The problem is solved and we didn’t have to move to a different site. We like our site.

We haven’t got everything put back away in the basement storage areas yet from our water tank fiasco, as we are trying to get the storage bays thoroughly dry before doing so. But, I have moved our patio mat off the cement patio to enlarge our sitting area. It also will help make it a little more level, as the edge of cement and grass under our mat was a trip hazard.

It was a beautiful day yesterday with some sun. I was able to sit outside and work on my basket. I will post a picture of my basket when it is completed.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Conveniences

Good morning. Today I get to use a modern convenience that has been very missed over the last couple months. I get to do dishes without heating water in a tea kettle, turn on a faucet to wash my hands with nice warn water and best of all I get to take a shower in my own motorhome. No more trekking off with a bag of toiletries, towel and clean clothes to shower in a public restroom. I do have to say that most of the public shower houses have been nice and clean, but it is so much nicer to be able to stay in my nice comfy home to get ready for the day.

I give much thanks to our good friend Steve for all his tenacity and hard work in locating and fixing the problem with the hot water tank. It seems, no matter what your problem, it is never an easy one to figure out or locate. And, when you do know where to look and what to do that still doesn’t make it any easier to fix.  He spent all day yesterday and most of Monday working on it.

We ended up needing to replace only a $7.52 piece of plumbing connector (a thing-a-ma-jig). The problem was rust/clog up inside that had to be drained/blown out. Lesson learned; always use a filter when filling your water tank. Even if you do not use your water for drinking. Yes, we have a couple of filters and we do use them, but we have not replaced them as often as we probably should have. We did just buy a new filter, so we will be more conscientious from now on about replacing it sooner. Again, thank you Steve.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn