Trump visits our town

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Overcast. High 70

The big news today is that Trump came to town. He flew in to our local airport, McAllen, about 5 miles from our house.

He was here, of courses, to talk about the WALL. It is scheduled to go within a mile or so of our house. So sad – will destroy a national butterfly center and bird center, as well as a cute original Spanish mission church. (The fiesty priest is fighting it). Our mayor is against the wall, and he had hoped to have a chance to speak with Trump, but I don’t think that happened. I saw on TV an interview with the Brownsville mayor (Brownsville being a major commercial border crossing). He is also against the wall, and was not invited to some sort of forum with the President.

Our community is divided on this issue. We have an unspoken agreement not to talk politics. Some of our community attended a protest along the street where he paraded. Some of us are concerned about how it might affect the value and vitality of our community. Some think that a wall would attract more residents, as they would feel more safe; others feel that it would be an ugly, huge distraction. We will see.

For now, McAllen is ranked one of the safest cities in the US. We have a strong border control presence. The only thing I have heard is that the illegals coming through our community are poor, bedraggled people begging for a drink of water and/or something to eat.

I went to water aerobics class, but no one showed up. I guess 69 degrees is too cool for these wimps!;-)

Other than the Trump excitement, we drove over to Harlingen airport to pick up our neighbor. We were afraid traffic would be backed up due to Trump’s visit, but it was fine.

When we returned, we had a cook-out get-together with our neighors. It was nice enough to sit outside. They have a nice pergola and fire pit.

Feeling virtuous…..

LOCATION: In tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER: Mostly sunny. High 70

What a busy day! I like to keep occupied, and didn’t have any trouble today. Here was my day….

Chair Yoga class 8:30 – 9:30
Community meeting 9:30 – 10:30
Line Dancing class 10:30 – 11:30
Rush home to make George’s lunch
Water aerobics classes 12:00 – 2:00
Internet work 2:00 – 3:00
Book club meeting/discussion 3:00 – 4:30
Happy hour tasting some wine that we bought through a NPR wine club.

I was feeling a little smug about my amount of exercise until I overheard two ladies at the yoga class saying that they walk 10 miles each and every day….on top of all these classes! Now I feel like a sloth….

On days that I’m not so busy, I read a lot and plan future trips. George pitched in and did the dishes….

DINNER: A new recipe that I won’t do again in the future – fairly complicated, and not all that good. It involved baking and mashing a butternut squash, adding the mash to a homemade spaghetti sauce which included baby kale, then stuffing it into big pasta shells, and finally drizzling with a cream sauce and goat cheese. It sounds better than it tasted.

Evening was topped with a Skype call with one of our daughters….nice

Keeping busy in Mission

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Very nice. High mid-70s

We took our neighbor to Harlingen, about an hour from here, to catch a flight from the airport there. That is something nice about Retama Village, where we live…..people are always willing to help others.

After dropping her off, we drove into the historic downtown and drove around a bit. Harlingen has seen better days. We stumbled upon a great Mexican restaurant. The parking lot was full, and there was a line waiting for tables – all locals, like police, teachers, neighbors. There was a sign saying that it is one of the top 50 best Mexican restaurants in the US. I had read that their flautas are good, so I ordered a platter.

We thought it would be enough food to share, but we didn’t want to appear too cheap, so we ordered a soup, thinking that it would be something small. NOT…….

It was called caldo de res – beef soup. It came full of vegetables, then a huge pile of unidentifiable beef to add as you eat. So much food!

While in Harlingen, we found a nursery and bought a new shrub for our front area. It is a plant that is supposed to attract butterflies. I couldn’t find any basil to replace my former plant (that died while we were in Asheville), but I did plant some seeds.

DINNER: I tried a new recipe – cauliflower Caesar salad. Similar to a regular Caesar salad, but with roasted cauliflower instead of lettuce.

Bloody…….

LOCATION: At our tiny house in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Sunny. High 75

I bloody well got my exercise today…..2 hours of line dancing, and 1 hour of water aerobics. I could have done an additional hour of each, but thought this was enough, after not having done much over the holidays.

Thanks to our government shutdown (not really), we visited a wildlife refuge nearby where entrance was free since there were no federal workers. We took a nice hike, along the chachalaca trail. Chachalacas are noisy, fairly large birds that don’t fly much. Here they are on their namesake trail….

Thanks to the internet, this is what they look like….

The Spanish moss along the river was very nice.

We took a route home paralleling the border. Lots of partial walls.

George has a cold, and he has blown his nose so much that he now has a bloody nose. Since he is taking blood thinners, the blood flow would just not stop.

DINNER: A great dish to do while camping….. I made a aluminum foil “tent” full of artichoke hearts, shrimp, herbs, lemon slices, lemon zest, and white wine. I closed up the tent and George grilled the packet on the grill. After cooking, I finished it off with a parmesan bread crumb crust. Very nice…..I will do again when we are on the road.

The bloody nose situation would not stop. At about 10:00, PM, George thought we might need to go to the ER. Oh no! We weren’t looking forward to that.. So, I went online and found the trusty Mayo Clinic site where it gave some instructions. They worked! Thanks, Mayo!!!!

Oh Happy Day!

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Beautiful! The sun has returned. High 70 ish

The morning was full of activities in the clubhouse – chair yoga, then the photography club where we saw thousands of bird photos from Australia. Then, computer time. I am corresponding with homeowners who would like us to housesit for them in their home in central Mexico. Small world – they also have a house right here in Mission, so we will have an interview with them in 2 weeks.

Then, an outing to Staples to make copies of bills/receipts to get reimbursed for George’s Quebec medical bills.

George had ordered a new antenna with hopes that our TV would catch PBS. After a lot of fiddling around, it worked! We are thrilled! Now we can watch evening programs in the house, instead of watching the TV in the Airstream.

DINNER: George grilled hamburgers on the charcoal grill, with baked potatoes and sauteed mushrooms. Great!

2019 – Year to be healthy and wealthy!

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Overcast and cool – 50s

They say eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day gives you good luck and good health. If so, George got a double dose today.

First, he went to a community get-together where he ate some black-eyed peas and some cornbread. I stayed home, as I have a bit of a cold, and didn’t want to be out in the elements.

Then, for dinner, I made Hoppin’ John, a dish with black-eyed peas, rice, sauted celery and peppers, bacon, and herbs. It was really tasty, especially due to the bacon that George had grilled earlier in the day.

Our Texan neigbors brought us over some cooked cabbage, and told us that in Texas eating cabbage on New Year’s Day brings one wealth in the coming year. So, we are all set for good luck, good health, and wealth.

Happy New Year!

LOCATION: Back in our “tiny house” in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Overcast and cool (for Texas). High 60

We had a layover in Houston, so had a late sushi dinner at a huge Japanese restaurant in the terminal. This was an entire wall full of those Japanese cats that shake their heads all the time….

We arrived late (11:30 PM) at our local airport, and our kind neighbors picked us up and took us home. All seems fine, except my basil, stored in our shed while we were away, bit the dust. There must have been some cold nights here when we were away.

We worked on the Quebec medical bills some more (not fun), then went to the grocery store to stock up empty cupboards and refrigerator. I think the entire population of Mission (80,000) was there. What a madhouse!

Then, off to a New Year’s Eve party. In the Rio Grande Valley (where we live), there are lots of RV parks full of Winter Texans (mostly people from the Midwest, Ontario, and Quebec). They like to party! Most of these parks have dance halls, with bands with music and dancing almost every night. We went to one park for tonight’s party. We went with another set of neighbors. They are native Texans, and are the “real thing”. We loved watching them dance the Texas 2-step…

Not to be undone, George wore his cowboy hat, too.

We had a great time, and did a lot of dancing. George made it until about 10:00; I stayed until the clock hit the 12:00 hour.