Friday, March 12

1:52 PM 3/12/2004
Our plans have changed a little and that's the nice part of being retired. After doing a quick scan of weather in other parts of the USA we have decided to stay put for a couple of weeks. Last year the weather wasn't much good in Iowa until late May or early June. Relax we aren't waiting That long to come back. We are still going to Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri before returning to the fair state of Iowa to take care of the chores that await us like auctions, house sales and taxes.
The weather here is delightful and it was a long time coming so we hate to pick up and leave just as it is coming into its full glory. We have however been doing some preparation work such as cleaning up the screen room and putting stuff away that we won't be using. When the day of departure gets here it takes very little time to be ready to roll.

Wednesday, March 10

Written Tuesday, March 9th, 2004
My birthday turned out to be quite a day! First off I got a virus, more exactly a worm on the computer and spent the better part of the day getting rid of it. Yes, I know how I got it and it is just too embarrassing to admit how it happened. But it is gone now.
Anyway I was in the midst of getting rid of Worm-Bagel J when I heard a rustling sound on the plastic runner we have to protect the carpet. I looked down to see an 8-inch lizard looking back at me. Angel was in the screen room so I hollered at her and she came running, spotted the lizard and took after it. It was too quick thus escaping the cat claws and run for cover under the chair in which I was sitting! So I moved, deciding that Angel needed more room to do her magic. The lizard escaped Angels grasp and sought refuge under the dash. Butch was returning home from the flea market about this time so I suggested he do his "manly" duty and rescue either Angel, me or the lizard or perhaps all three. He failed to see this as HIS duty. Go figger! There was no way to retrieve the lizard at this point so we hoped he would find his own way to freedom. Time passes. I was working around the drivers seat when I glanced over and spotted our new reptilian resident. So we devised a plan involving two ice cream buckets and a broom. I said, " I'll poke him with the broom handle and when he runs your way trap him in the bucket." Butch said, " No, I will poke him and when he runs your way YOU trap him in the bucket." Butch poked him my way first and miracles happen and I trapped him under the bucket. We slid a flat piece of plastic under the upturned bucket enabling us to transport the lizard to his new digs about a block away. He lives to eat bugs another day. So my birthday this year will be known as the day of the lizard...and the worm.
On Sunday we went for a pontoon ride on the Rio Grande with friends Marge and Dave Scott. Pleasant Day-Pleasant ride.
Monday after golf Butch went to see Dr. Penalo about a sore throat. Now taking antibiotics for that condition and feeling much better. I must say he is never a wimp. He is like the energizer bunny, just keeps on going. When I am sick I lay down.
Today we went to the Santa Ana Wildlife refuge and rode their seven-mile bike trail. Very nice ride and we should have ridden it twice but it was getting plenty warm by the time we finished the first seven.
This afternoon we went to Mexico and Butch got a haircut. He got a "butch" and it is very short.

Sunday, March 7

Written Saturday, March 6th, 2004
Oh I used to be so good about blogging! It seems I either have plenty of time and must search for a subject or I am so busy doing things and taking pictures with no time for writing. The last two weeks have been the latter.
Last Saturday we went to Padre Island with Butch's sister Marlene and Bernard. We ate at Pirates Landing in Port Isabel. It has become my new favorite place to eat! I had shrimp, sauteed veggies and coleslaw and it was excellent! After our excellent meal we crossed the causeway to Padre Island and went to Market Days (craft show) at the convention center. Lots of neat stuff there. I noticed a booth with RADA knives. Boxed sets of three were selling for $28! The same sets at Don-Wes flea market sell for $7. Needless to say no one was buying.
We stopped at the Summit to say hello and goodbye to Jack and Jan Tallman. They were preparing to return to Iowa.
Then we went to Brownsville and Sam's Club to stock up on a few things. Returned to Harlingen to drop off the Kelley's and then home to Angel.
Monday night we finally went to a square dance. Jerry Story and Bobby Newman were calling together at the Encore Park in Harlingen. Dancing to these two enthuses me once again for square dancing. It was a very good dance. It used to be the hall would be packed for those two but I would say it was about half full. Square dancing in general is down in the valley and the quality of dancer isn't what it once was either. Sad, but true. It is still a boatload of fun.

Wednesday was a big and active day. The Magnolia Park bikers went to Los Ebanos to cross the Rio Grande on the hand-pulled ferry and ride to Diaz Cordaz in Mexico.
See Los Ebanos Website. And for pictures see Webshots.
Butch went with us for this ride and he tried to converse with one of the pullers but it was 'No Engleze'. The bikers helped pull as I am sure many touristas do.
There were some Mexican farm workers weeding cornfields with hoes. They were friendly, stopping long enough to greet us by waving their hoes in the air. The Mexican people may be poor but they do seem to be happy enough to be friendly toward us "gringos". Of course 14 senior citizens on bicycles seems to be a sight that amuses them.
Riding around the streets of Diaz Cordaz I noticed that only about half are paved. Fortunately it is dry most of the time. It is hard to get a perspective on the size but I would say it is larger than its counterpart Los Ebanos, larger than say Cumberland Iowa and perhaps about the size of Griswold Iowa. Everyone was friendly and helpful. There were dogs, lots of dogs everywhere. None of them on leashes but they paid no attention to us. We decided everyone should send their dogs to Mexico for training. It was remarkable.
We stopped at a bakery for treats. The young lady at the counter did quite well without speaking English. Butch kept laying down quarters until she said stop. We paid 75 cents for two pastries and that's not bad by our standards.
And then back across the river on the hand-pulled ferry. Butch and I had traveled over there on our own so we stopped at the Bentsen/Rio Grande State Park to check out their new bike trail. It was too windy to ride in the open so we stayed within the park to be sheltered by the trees. A sign says no bicycle riding on the hiking trails but there was no one around so we chanced getting chewed out...or fined? The trail leads down along the Rio Grande and we spotted inner tubes and beaten down grass where people have come ashore. They tell us the park holds Ocelot, Bobcats, Jaguarundi ad Javelina (wild pigs). We didn't see any but we did smell Javelina (stinks) and there was abundant scat on the trail and we assume it was Javelina scat. In Iowa it is raccoons that leave their scat on the trail. I think they are trying to tell us something.
The remainder of the week was used up with the usual, laundry, walking, biking, golfing and photography.
Today is my birthday. Another year older, wiser and on the right side of the grass. Life is good!