You are currently viewing archive for January 2011

2011/01/30: Busy Weekend

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Today we wandered around one of the many Mexican flee markets. This one was huge --- we only managed to walk around half of it in two hours.

We returned to the park to see the German band and the Senior Ambassadors Chorus. Four fellows from our park sing in the chorus and Rosetta plays the piano accompaniment and one of the fellows is in the German band. It was another excellent show.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
At the end of every January, Mission hosts the Citrus Festival and the event includes a parade. Each year Oleander enters a float on which our king and queen ride. This year was no different.

With Carol and John we headed downtown to enjoy some of the food and flavours before the parade.

Looks like Ed and John are thinking about becoming banditos.

Included in the festivities is a smoked meat cook off. At least a dozen groups set up camps, decorate to match the theme of the parade (this year it was "the railroad"), set up smokers and start cooking. Some of the groups only cook for themselves while other groups sell the fajitas. John is a good guy to go with to this type of show as he goes up to the people participating and starts asking questions. We purchased some very good fajitas but we also got some free samples..... yum.

All dressed up for the big event.

This fellow is one of the cooks. He claimed he was smoking elk. Not sure what to think but I do know the meat was very tasty.

The Oleander Acres float with King Glen and Queen Glee. Would you believe people in the park put the float together in two days?


I really liked this float even though it didn't follow the train theme of the parade. Borderfest has it's own parade so I assume the float is used more than once.

The parade also included many cheer leaders and bands...

as well as many beautiful horses.

2011/01/28: Gomer and Patsy

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Saw a really good show at the hall last night ---- Gomer and Patsy (Gary and Patsy Crain). Boy did we laugh a lot --- some really good jokes and some real groaners. Gary did a very good Gomer Pyle as well as Bill Clinton, John Wayne and Mr. Haney. He also sang a couple of songs as Elvis Presley. Patsy sang several Patsy Kline numbers.

During intermission Ed noticed a woman's name badge with the name "Carol Agnew" and Ontario on it. As Agnew is not a very common name he went and talked to her. Turns out her and her husband Norm are from Hamilton about 30 km from Ed's home town of Campbellville. Norm's family background is similar to Ed's so they think they may be related several generations back. Pretty small world.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Resaca de la Palma State Park has only been open for a couple of years and this was our first trip to the park. The park is just outside of Brownsville about an hours drive from our RV park.

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The park is rectangular in shape and the bright green lines is path we travelled mostly on foot though we did take the tram when we started out. Ed said we walked about 14 km --- no wonder I was tired by time we got back to the parking lot.

Caracara - bird of prey

There were some cows in the field next to the park. I'm not sure what happened but all of a sudden the cows took off --- a couple even waded through a few feet of water to get to whatever was calling them.

This butterfly landed on the tree and opened his wings so Ed could take a picture --- very co-operative.

Not sure what this guy is but he was very cute.

A view of one the resacas. The photo doesn't show it but there were several Kiskadees, a king fisher, a heron in the resaca.

2011/01/25: Fun Night

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Fun night is organized by two wonderful ladies in the park, Lois and Marvella. For the past 12 years they have been producing incredible shows. Unfortunately, they have said that tonight is their final show and it was a good one.
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Bob was a did a wonderful job playing "granny" in "don't sit in my pew. I thought the beard was a great added touch. Cheryl, was dressed as the Queen of Hearts and wandered the hall looking for fellow card players.

The cast from the show including an Elvis impersonator (who is currently living in a tent in our RV park while he is arranging gigs for next year), a fellow named Elvis who dressed up like an old Elvis complete with fake sideburns, a hill billy band, plus a number of other good acts.

2011/01/22: Progresso Mexico

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Progresso, Mexico is a border town that caterers to American's but mostly Winter Texans. As soon as you walk across the border people try to hand you business cards for dentists and pharmacies --- must be at least 10 dentists and 30 pharmacies in this little town all within a couple of blocks of the border. The reason for this, of course, is money. Dental work in Mexico is a fraction of the cost it is in Canada and the US. The same goes for many drugs, haircuts, alcohol, etc. There are also many restaurants and tourist stores. The reason for our foray across the border is to pick up "Revolution" for Zaph and alcohol for us.

We had heard that Progresso is not as busy this year as it has been in the past years. The parking lot on the US side seemed reasonably busy and when we first crossed the border we thought "this is about the normal number of people". The thought changed rapidly to "there's nobody here" when we crossed to the third block --- normally still reasonable busy. Seems like people are still going into Mexico but are being very cautious.

I'm writing this blog on the 28th, the day after an article appeared in the local paper about an American woman, a missionary, who was shot in the head because her and her husband drove through a cartel road block about 70 miles south of Reynossa (which would make it about 70 miles south of Progresso). Makes you think twice about going into Mexico. We definitely wouldn't drive into Mexico or go any further into Mexico than the little town of Progresso.

These should help brighten the downstairs bathroom.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Yesterday eight of us spent a couple of hours chopping vegetables and mixing meat so everything would be ready for this morning. Cheryl and I arrived at the rec hall just after 6:30 am .... yup in the morning, don't think the sun was even up. By 7 am five of our helpers had arrived --- the sixth one didn't need to be there till 11 am --- lucky lady. Given this group had never produced pasties together we became a well oiled machine, one person mixed the meat and vegetables together and made the pastry, 2 people rolled the pie dough out, one person weighed out the meat mixture, one person folded the dough and made the pasty look pretty, one person was in charge of the ovens, one person did the dishes and finally one person collected money and handed out the pasties. By 11 am 167 pasties had been made. By 12:30pm all had been baked and the kitchen was mostly clean. By 2:30pm the kitchen was spotless, all the pasties picked up or delivered and Cheryl and I sipping a well deserved glass of wine. Glad that project is done for the year.

Organizing the finished product.

The rollers --- John and Cheryl. John came to the park not knowing how to make pastry, he's leaving well trained.

Ray --- one of our many happy customers.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Hooray!!!!! The sun is shining and it's 20C (68F). You know the weather has improved when you start seeing people out and about. I think everyone was hiding on the cold days.

2011/01/15: Fun Night

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Fun Night is organized by two wonderful ladies in the park, Lois and Marvella. Unfortunately, they have declared this to be their final "fun night" --- they've only been doing it for 12 years.

2011/01/14: Happy Birthday Ed!!!!

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Forth day of cool weather and drizzle. Wish it would rain and get it out of it's system. I know I shouldn't complain as a little drizzle is better than a dump of snow and cool temperatures are more tolerable than -20C (-4F)

Ed and I had planned to go out for dinner tonight for his birthday but he decided he was coming down with something. I figured he must feel really bad turning down a steak dinner.

2011/01/13: Birthday Celebration

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Yesterday was Rosetta's birthday, tomorrow is Ed and Harold' birthdays and Zach's birthday is the 29th so we decided to go out for dinner and celebrate. Eighteen of us went to Ponchos for Mexican food. The dinner was tasty, the service was good and we even heard the Mariachi band.

Bob, Herb and Richard celebrated their 75th birthdays before they arrived at the RV park. I decided to surprise them with a cake.

The dye in the blue icing was deadly. The cake totally covered the cardboard it was sitting on and the cake was iced to the cardboard and beyond so I managed to get it all over my hands and my face --- took a good scrubbing to make all the blue go away. Plus we all ended up with blue tongues.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Cheryl and I decided to sell Cornish Pasties as a fund raiser for the club for the third year. Cornish Pasties are a mixture of ground beef, ground pork, onions, potatoes, carrots and rutabagas in a pie pastry shell. As usual some of our helpers don't return so we recruit new helpers each year. My neighbour John is interested in learning how to make pie pastry so we recruited him promising that we would do a trial run of making pasties to train him. Yesterday was our trial run and thankfully it went well and John is now trained to roll pie dough.

Two of the finished Cornish Pasties .... they were very good.

Someone was sad because he didn't get a pasty .....

The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock was shown at the rec hall tonight. If you haven't seen this movie you should. Ed and I are not football fans and loved the movie.

2011/01/10: The Singing Cadets

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Several of the men in the RV park including our friend Bob sing with the Senior Ambassadors choir and our friend Rosetta plays piano for the choir. Tonight the Senior Ambassadors are going to appear in a concert with the Singing Cadets from Texas A&M University.

What a wonderful concert. The singing cadets are a very talented group of young men and the conductor chose a good selection of music. Would you believe that they even sang a song from Queen?

The Senior Ambassadors joined the cadets for two numbers. Here Rosetta is playing the piano.

The Singing Cadets.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
So far this winter we've had fantastic weather and this weekend was no exception. On Saturday Ed went shopping with John and helped to spend John's money --- the best way to shop in my opinion. In the evening Ed and I attended the Chuck Waggon dinner held at the rec hall in the park. Following dinner we had three sets of entertainers who all reside in the park, two sets you could consider professional. We are really lucky to have so many talented people in the park.

Sunday afternoon Jean presented her slide show from Jean and Bob's trip to National Parks this summer --- 12 parks in 11 days. One of their stops was the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It was interesting to see pictures from the other side of the canyon.

2011/01/07: RGV Vipers

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The title does not refer to snakes but to basketball. The Rio Grande Vipers is a team in the NBA development league. As neither Ed nor I follow basketball we don't know much about the sport, the NBA and had never heard of the NBA D League. A representative from the team came to Saturday coffee a few weeks ago and told the group about a Winter Texan special. A bus would come to the park, pick us up, drive us to dinner at local restaurant, take us to the basketball game, give us a Winter Texan Viper T-shirt and finally drive us back to the park all for $25 a person. Ed was a little hesitant but I talked him into so we joined 30 other people from our park on the basketball outing. Dinner was OK but the restaurant did have a little trouble serving two bus loads of people at the same time. (There was a 2nd bus from another RV park). The basketball game was good though very loud --- my ears hurt for a couple of hours after the game. It really helped that I sat next to Carol who was fairly knowledgeable about basketball. Ed and John spent the game happily shooting photos and took some really good action shots.





I'm sure Ed would be very disappointed if I didn't post a photo of the team dance squad.

Several groups of young dancers also performed during half time. This group was very good --- I think there were 20 some girls and one boy.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
A number of 5th wheels and motor homes from Quebec have been arriving over the past week. Last night, Ed spoke with one fellow and he said the group was to have their engines running at 7am as that was the time they were leaving for Acapulco. We missed it but our neighbours were up at 6:30am to watch the thirteen units depart. This is the 3rd caravan from Quebec to leave for Mexico from our park in the last month and a half. We were told that the group had hired protection that would be waiting for them when they crossed the border and would accompany them during the three day drive to Acapulco. Given the current violence in Mexico and the number of banditos I don't think I would go even with protection. Hope they all arrived safe and enjoy their winter.

Ed called over to the local state park and found out that the majority of the park had been reopened. As it was a beautiful day, we decided to take Zaph and go for a walk. There didn't appear to be a lot of physical damage from the flooding but the plants were all very green and happy looking.

You can still see the high water mark on the trees. This is a flat area near a resaca (pond). The water in the resaca is a lot higher than usual.

A park ranger told us that a lot of the mammals (javelina, bobcat, etc.) have returned to the park but we didn't see any. We did see some birds.


2011/01/05: Geocaching - Part 2

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Today we got on our bikes and rode to the bike park a mile or so down the road from the RV park. Ed turned on the GPS and we were off ..... looking for caches. The first one was pretty easy to find --- a hummingbird just off the main trail. By the third cache we were off the main trail and the cache was really easy to spot as it was in a large blue bucket. Once we opened the bucket the challenge began. The note below explained how we were to get into the cache.

The cache needed to be shook just right to move the key from the first chamber through the handle into the second chamber. A little more shaking was required to get the key to jump into the tube that lead to the Tee and finally into Ed's hand.

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It took patience on Ed's part (though he did ponder picking the lock or dismantling the cylinder) but he managed to shake the key out. Once inside he removed the film container, removed a piece of paper from it and added his name to the short list of names on the paper. Then he put the monkey puzzle back together and we were off looking for the next cache.

The search took us into some areas of the park we had never explored. Including finding this fine looking tractor.

Ed finding another cache. In total we tracked down nine caches and road twelve kilometres. Not too long of a ride but it was fun.

2011/01/02: Geocaching

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Wikipedia writes "Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it."

While in Indio, California, Ed and I went hiking with our friend George. During the hike we stopped at a "cache" location and searched unsuccessfully for the cache. This event, however, got Ed thinking. He bought himself a new hand held GPS for Christmas and started researching.Today I was healthy enough to venture out and with co-ordinates locked into the GPS we went in search of two geocaches that are in walking distance from the RV park. The first cache was found as we carefully looked around a large patch of prickly pear cactus and the second one was found when Ed made his way through ten feet of scrub. Zaph and I waited in clearing to hear of the discovery. Ed has a lot long list of caches in the area so I know what we're going to be doing this winter.

2011/01/01: Happy New Year!!!!

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We decided to skip the park pot luck and went out for lunch to celebrate the arrival of yet another couple in the main group we hang around with. Bob nicknamed Ed's truck the "hospital truck" as I suggested that Bob and Jean ride with us as both Jean and I have the "Texas crud" and were trying to keep our germs away from the healthy ones best as we could.

2011/01/01: Happy New Year!!!!

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We decided to skip the park pot luck and went out for lunch to celebrate the arrival of yet another couple in the main group we hang around with. Bob nicknamed Ed's truck the "hospital truck" as I suggested that Bob and Jean ride with us as both Jean and I have the "Texas crud" and were trying to keep our germs away from the healthy ones best as we could.