Quiet New Years Eve

Three hawks were spotted hanging out together in the park, it explained why there weren't a lot of other birds around. We think the hawks were juvenile Harris hawks.

One of the hawks.

Today is Lorna and Harold's 25th anniversary so a bunch of us went out to dinner at Denny's (the happy couple picked it) to celebrate. When we got back from dinner Ed announced that he was getting a cold and laid down on the couch ... he did feel well enough to go to the rec hall to play games. We did manage to stay awake till midnight to see the new year in.

Shortly after dark we started hearing fireworks which continued sporadically through the evening. At midnight the fireworks really got going and continued for about a half hour. We could see a few of them but mostly we heard them.




This morning we went out for breakfast with Bob and Jean. On entering the restaurant we noticed a sign that said ....Wanted Experience Breakfast Cook. When the eggs arrived we knew why .... the eggs weren't cooked properly. Lucky for me I didn't order eggs.

Today was overcast and a bit cooler but still comfortable to be outside so Ed, Zaph, our neighbour Jean and myself drove over to the Bentsen state to look for birds and we found them.

The Kiskadees were plentiful and playful today.

This woodpecker found himself a nice tasty treat.

Another kiskadee this time getting a drink.

We saw three types of doves in the park today. The small one is the common ground dove and I think the large one is the white tipped dove.



Merry Christmas

I tried to get Zaph to hold his Christmas stocking in his mouth but he just didn't want to do it so I tucked it into his collar.

Very convenient door knobs.

This morning Zaph had a great time opening his presents. I think he pretty much got everything that he wanted .... a squeaky toy, a soccer ball, cookies and chicken treats. Oh, he also got some new bandanas .... but I think that's like getting underwear, needed but not exciting.

Think the duck was a big hit

I volunteered Ed for turkey carving duty (thanks for the photo Jean)

The hall was packed and smell oh so good from the turkey, ham and goodies that everyone had brought.

The hall just starting to fill up.

Santa Clause paid us a visit.

Jose (he does maintenance at the park) and his family were invited to dinner. Several people purchased gifts for his children.

Michelle was very happy with her gifts.

Jose, his three sons, daughter and wife pose with Santa



Getting Ready for Christmas

We had a nice surprise first thing this morning. Our neighbour Jean knocked on the door carrying fresh baked sticky buns ..... hmmmmmmmmm good. After that tasty treat I got organized and baked a double batch of chocolate chip cookies and my famous mashed potatoes. Some of the cookies were going down to the hall as my contribution to "finger food" for tonights program, some went in a cookie jar for Ed and I gave the rest to our neighbours (Jean & Bob, Everett & Linda .... we're expecting more neighbours after Christmas). The mashed potatoes are for the Christmas dinner pot luck.

The program at the hall was very good. Betty, the entertainment director out did herself again. The theme this year was "Traditions of Christmas". The hall was darkened at the start of the program and when the curtain opened we saw a light nativity scene. At the same time Lorne was reading the Christmas story. When he was finished we heard Ginger and Ray singing Silent Night, first quietly then slowly gaining volume. After that Betty told us about different Christmas traditions intermixed with Christmas carols led by Bob with Jean accompanying him on the piano. When the French Canadian traditions were talked about, Paul (he's from Hull Quebec sang a French Christmas carol. After the program everyone enjoyed the finger food and visited.

Bob singing with his silly hat.

We lit candles and sang Silent Night.

When we got home Zaph decided to show Ed how much he had missed him.



Cool for Texas

This week Ed and I have been a little busier with park related activities as we are "street reps in training" --- at least that's what I'm calling us. Before we left last spring we were approached by the club president and asked if we would be interested in being "street reps" for the "south field". Ed though it might be a good thing to do so we said yes. The rest of the street reps get a street but as we are in a more transient area we're given the entire section --- not sure if that's good or bad. This week I'm helping another street rep so I can figure out what to do when it's my turn. So far we've helped set up Saturday coffee, serve ice cream on Sunday, organize cakes and servers for Tuesday Jam and made sure the tables and chairs are set up when needed. The street reps don't need to do all the work, they need to find people to do it. So far it doesn't look too tough.

Sunday and Monday were a little deary. The temperature dropped all day Sunday and stayed cold on Monday. Thankfully it warmed up today and is suppose to be pretty nice for the next ten days. Hopefully some of this warmth will work it's way north. We've been watching the Walkerton weather forecasts and I'm not sure that we would have been able to dig the trailer out if we had stayed home for Christmas.

Even the birds weren't enjoying the weather today. The grackles were sitting on the wire facing into the wind.

The only way to spend a cold deary afternoon.



OK Entertainment

Can't believe it's already Friday.

Earlier this week I was a little surprised when Ed asked if I thought we should decorate the trailer for Christmas as it's been years since we've decorated the house or trailer. After a bit of stunned silence I said sure.

The trailer and palm tree decorated for Christmas. A work in progress ---- more to come next year ..... I hope. Ed decided on blue lights for the trailer as he thought they could be used in "the theatre" in the basement of our house.

One day this week, Ed heard a plane fly over the trailer and went out to investigate. When he saw that it was a crop duster he decided to take a few photos. Unfortunately it was a little foggy.

They were harvesting one field and dusting another.

It's incredible how low the crop duster can fly.

Friday evening generally means entertainment and tonight was Terry Porter Roewe from Hope Arkansas. I think Ed and I were the only people in the audience who knew where Hope Arkansas was and that was only because we stayed one night at the Hope Wal-Mart RV park otherwise none as the parking lot. Terry was OK but his voice was a little week. He said this was due to a case of laryngitis. He was a good entertainer though and kept us amused with funny stories between songs.



Hosing Down

We've been at Oleander for almost a week so it's time to start doing some of the activities. Saturday morning was coffee, chat and meeting, where you get updated with the park happenings and the activities for the next week. That evening we went down to the clubhouse for supper --- for $5 we had salad, biscuits, turkey a la king, cookies and ice cream. Even Ed had enough to eat .... seconds were available as there was lots left after everyone had firsts.

This morning I went to exercise class then to bridge. Oh how I missed playing bridge. The brain was a little rusty so I think I need to read my Joy of Bridge book and see if it is the required lubricant. Shortly after lunch our friends Jean and Bob arrived --- we have neighbours!!! We helped Bob park the trailer .... Ok Ed did the directing but I did help. I was the maker of how far to back up --- that is important too!

Very embarrasing...... while we were saying hi to Jean and Bob, Zaph had a very wet one getting some of the stuff on his tail feathers. A hose down was the only way to clean it up. Thanks for the photo Jean.




Our friends Colin and Margaret are also staying in the valley for the winter. The park they are staying at is about a half hour away from the park we are staying at and the Estero Llano Grande State Park is between the two. So, when Colin and Margaret invited us to dinner we also planned a stop at the state park. As it was very windy it wasn't the best day to be looking for birds but it was a nice spot to stop for a walk and Zaph is always ready for a walk.

Margaret prepared a delisious dinner while Splash and Mexi provided the entertainment. After dinner Margaret, the dogs and I went for a walk to look at the Christmas light but we had left it a little late (10pm) and most of the lights had been turned off.

Our trailer looks a little lonesome as it's pretty quiet in the south field. One trailer with friends is expected to arrive on Monday. More are due after Christmas.

Estero Llano Grande State Park has a butterfly garden that had a lot of butterflies visiting the plants.

As it was windy a lot of birds were hunkering down. We found a some of them in the canal which is protected by the levees.

Colin and Margaret's trailer.

Splash and Mexi really like chicken treat. It didn't take them long to figure out that I had some in my bag.



Getting Settled

It took us a couple of days to settle in especially if you include grocery shopping and laundry. Our refrigerator was pretty bare when we left Ontario (makes it a lot easier to cross the border when you can say no to the meat, vegetables and fruit questions) and we had only purchased enough to get by during our travels. There is still lots to do like washing the truck and trailer but that'll have to wait for warm preferably cloudy weather.

Today we decided to take Zaph for a walk at Bentsen State Park and see what birds and critters were around. Turned out there wasn't a lot of exciting things but we still had a nice walk.

One green sitting on the feeder and a second one coming in for landing.

Zaph and I were looking through an opening in a bird blind and heard rustling behind us. When we turned I saw this guy walking toward us. Deciding retreat was best, Zaph and I hurried away.

We heard a lot of singing and finally spotted this little guy singing his heart out.



Arrived at Oleander RV park

We packed up once more and hit the road. Today our destination is Oleander RV park in Mission where we will stay for 3 months. We're looking forward to seeing friends though we're going to arrive before most of them. It'll be different being the greeting committee instead of being the greeted. The thermometer in truck was reading 31C when we arrived ... a little warm but a welcome change from the minus readings we left at home. When we finished setting up we ate some dinner and collapsed for the evening, grocery shopping and laundry will have to wait for another day.



Hill Country

We decided to hang around Blanco another day and enjoy hill country. We walked into the small town of Blanco (population around 1300) to see the historic buildings. The town was settled in 1853 by pioneer stockmen, former Texas Rangers, immigrants and their families. In the afternoon we went for a drive and found out why the area is called hill country .... yup there are a lot of hills. The area didn't have a lot of roads but seem to have a lot of large ranches though we saw more sheep than we did cattle.

The courthouse was built in 1885 but only served the community for four years before the seat was moved to Johnson City after a controversial election.

Another one of the old buildings in town currently under restoration. Currently it houses an art gallery and a restaurant.

The town of Luckenbach is basically a store / restaurant where concerts and jam sessions are held. You can tell it is very popular with concert goers by the size and quantity of parking lots.



Blanco Texas

As it is a 10 to 11 hour drive from Tyler to Mission we opted to drive about half way and stop at a Texas State Park that we have not yet visited. Blanco State Park is about 45 minutes west of Austin and about an hour north of San Antonio. It is one of the smaller parks, is situated on the Blanco River and has about 30 RV sites. As we arrived on a Sunday evening there were sites available. After setting up we took a tour around the park enjoying the river scenery and the rustic charm of CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) structures.

One of the dams on the river.

That's one big picnic table and it's not going anywhere .... Ed tested it out and the benches are the correct height.

Ed and Zaph trying out the bench.



End of the Visit

Yup.... first pass of trailer organization has been completed. That's a very good thing as search time as decreased considerably.

I think the visit with my sister and family was a success as we were able to spend time with everyone especially the great niece (Sarah) and nephews (Omar and Timmy). Sarah had such a great time romping around her backyard with Zaph that she cried when Zaph had to leave.

Darryl heard there was a car show this weekend and not knowing anything more than where it was we decided to check it out. It wasn't what we were expecting but interesting none the less. This show was full of low risers and a few really jacked up trucks. The main objective of a low riser appears to be how close to the ground you can get the chassis and how big of a stereo you can get into the vehicle. Now I must admit I was impressed with many of the paint jobs and it was fun to watch the drivers raising and lowering their car sometimes one wheel at a time but I could have done without the music that made my entire body vibrate.

Dad and son .... Tim with Timmy

Me holding Timmy while he is having his bottle.

Not sure what this was all about, but Zaph kept his paw on Andy's head for at least a minute.
Later while Ed and Zaph were playing tug, Andy gave Zaph an open mouthed bite (more like a poke with his teeth) on Zaph's back --- think Andy wanted Zaph to stop playing tug. Dogs certainly have interesting ways of communicating.

Sarah and Omar with their new books. Sarah is learning to read and was very interested in the new words.

Omar, Zaph and Sarah playing in the backyard.


Sarah and Zaph playing tug with a stick

Grandpa and Timmy

Yup, even Ed played with Timmy

Timmy hard at play

The car show.

This car was on three wheels .... the suspension could be raised and lowered with the push of a button.



Arrived in Tyler, Texas

Ed and I both had been watching the weather forecasts for at least a week before we left which was probably a big waste of time. Every day the extended forecast changed sufficiently that it changed our plans mentally. In the end we left on Sunday November 30th even though the forecast for Sarnia and south wasn't the greatest. It was overcast with no precipitation in Walkerton when we left .... we even saw the sun for about 5 minutes as we drove toward Sarnia. After an hour wait in line to cross the border (it was the end of the American Thanksgiving weekend ... have to remember to avoid holidays) the snow started. At least we had the consolation that the border guard was friendly and didn't hassle us at all. As per normal you get the worst weather in the largest city you are driving through on a given day and that was definitely the case as the snow was coming down fast and furious as we drove through Detroit. Luckily, as we drove further south the snow changed to rain and at times even went away. Sunday night was spent at a Wal-Mart in Troy, Ohio. Monday was a fairly easy drive though it did rain some. We spent the night at a campground just outside of Nashville where we got out of winter mode and filled our water tank. Tuesday was a beautiful sunny day with double digit temperatures --- Ok it only got has high as 11C but that's a nice change. A Wal-mart parking lot in Hope, Arkansas was our home for the night. This Wal-mart's parking lot was set up slightly different than other Wal-mart parking lots we've been in. The main lot had height restrictors to keep tractor trailors out of the main parking lot (motor homes and trailers could still get in) but had a section off to one side set up specifically for them. The truck section was full the night we stayed.

Today we drove to Tyler, Texas where we will spend a few days visiting with my sister and her family. It is a little weird as we just saw my sister and brother in-law a week and a half ago but it will be nice to see them again as well as the niece, nephews and grandniece and grandnephews. It will also give us a chance to organize the trailer. As this is the first time the trailer was packed for a long trip we didn't have a clue where anything should go so we just put things in the first open space we found. I'm sure we'll go through this process several times over the winter as we get use to this trailer. The temperature was 24C today .... very nice.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]