Life with Coronavirus

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village, in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Very hot – 98 and humid

We took our daughter to Harlingen airport, about 35 miles from here, for her flight back to Minnesota.  It was so nice having her, even though it was a short 3-day visit. 

When she and I walked around our village, she was fascinated by the golf carts that some people use to drive around.  This one is especially cute….

It is getting quieter and quieter here.  Most Winter Texans leave our area, the Rio Grande Valley, at the end of March.  This year, many are leaving sooner, as they don’t want to get stuck here.  However, our neighbor, on their way to Illinois, spent one night in a crowded storm shelter due to a hurricane in Oklahoma.  Nowhere seems to be safe.  Here is our street, normally full of people, but now eerily empty.

Alexis was also intrigued by our beautiful sunsets and night sky, and took this photo of her last night here.

A bit of a rant here……Some blog readers have scolded me for seemingly not paying enough attention to the Coronavirus.  I just have to say that indeed we are cautious, but I just prefer not to write about it all of the time, as all of us hear enough about it already!  We keep our distance – 4 swimmers, each in our own corner of the huge swimming pool as we do water aerobics.  Or, 4 line dancers spread far apart in an all-purpose room.  When we went out to eat with Alexis, we were the only diners in a big patio area.  I think those actions are safer than those of people who crowd in long lines at Costco and Walmart to do their hoarding.  So far, we haven’t had any cases in our area, and the population decreases each day as people head north.   End of rant.

3/20 update…..Our community just closed down the gym, clubhouse, and all-purpose room.  Texas is closing all restaurants.  So, life will get even quieter.  Thank heavens for books to read!  (online of course, since that is our only option)

We hope to leave here at the end of April for our long, summer road trip, but now will just wait and see what the situation is.  We don’t want to stay here for the summer with temps at 110+. 

DINNER:  Now that Alexis is gone, it is back to leftovers.  Tonight I made a spaghetti sauce with onion, leftover hamburger meat, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms.  Served over cheese-filled ravioli.  Side was a salad full of fresh basil from my nice-looking basil plant. 

Good times with our visiting daughter

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village, in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Hot and humid

Another busy day in our clubhouse!  First I did my daily chair yoga.  It is such a nice way to stretch.  We even get some cardio built into the routines.  Usually on Wednesdays, a trained yoga instructor from a yoga studio comes to teach a floor class.  Since she was away on spring break this week, our daughter Alexis stepped in to sub for her.  She did a great job!

Then, we went out for lunch at our favorite restaurant in the valley – Lorettos. 

We enjoyed a nice lunch out on their patio, complying with Coronavirus social distancing….as we were the only customers eating outside.

Back in Retama,  Alexis finished up helping me set up my new tablet.  So much work!  She and George relaxed afterwards – with 2 kinds of pool!  🙂 

DINNER:  Mushroom risotto (vegan for Alexis) and a parmesan-topped version for us.  Very tasty! 



A mild St. Patrick’s Day

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Hot (90) and humid

George prepared for the day by putting on his bright green St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt, one he had picked up at an Irish pub in Florida.

After chair yoga and line-dancing classes, we headed off to an Irish pub nearby that George had located online.  Oops, he didn’t read the name closely enough…..ended up being a SCOTTISH pub, not Irish.  But close enough!

It was a very friendly pub. Being small, it met the guidelines of not having too many people together. We watched people drinking green beer.  We settled for the Irish options.

On our way home, we passed this sign showing that Mission is the Grapefruit Capital of the World.  There is a huge grapefruit processing plant near our house with divine smells wafting from it.

Back home, George and daughter Alexis enjoyed the sunshine. 

 

DINNER:  Shrimp/vegetable ramen in a tasty spicy soy marinade. 

A mild St. Patrick’s Day

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Hot (90) and humid

George prepared for the day by putting on his bright green St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt, one he had picked up at an Irish pub in Florida.

Afterr chair yoga and line-dancing classes, we headed off to an Irish pub nearby that George had located online.  Oops, he didn’t read the name closely enough…..ended up being a SCOTTISH pub, not Irish.  But close enough!

It was a very friendly pub. Being small, it met the guidelines of not having too many people together. We watched people drinking green beer.  We settled for the Irish options.

On our way home, we passed this sign showing that Mission is the Grapefruit Capital of the World.  There is a huge grapefruit processing plant near our house with divine smells wafting from it.

Back home, George and daughter Alexis enjoyed the sunshine. 

DINNER:  Shrimp/vegetable ramen in a tasty spicy soy marinade. 

Fun with our visiting daughter

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Hot and sunny.  High 92

We are so happy that our daughter is visiting us.  While she slept in, I did chair yoga.  She lay in the sun while I did water aerobics, and got really sunburned….

One of the main reasons she is here is to set me up on my new tablet (so I can continue to write this blog! )  We spent the afternoon working on the device using the clubhouse’s wifi.

After several hours of tedious and exhausting work on the tablet, we returned home for some tasty margaritas.  I make a really good one, I think, avoiding the pre-made mixes.  Much better!

DINNER:  Since our daughter is a vegan, we grilled Impossible (plant-based) burgers and brats.  Here is Chef George at work…

After dinner, we watched some old BBC shows on some sort of technical device she brought with her.  We made a nice bonfire in the firepit.

Life is not as we know it!

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Retama Village, in Mission, Texas
WEATHER: Hot again and humid.

It almost seems like the end of the world….everything cancelling, people here leaving for the North, as they are afraid they will “get stuck” here. So much fear, especially exacerbated by the media. And of course, politics has to squeeze itself into the foray. I don’t even want to mention the stock market!!!!! 😦

We went to our local supermarket to do our regular shopping today. We had heard horror stories of a crammed parking lot, scarce items, long lines, and rude people pushing others out of line. This was not our experience. The store wasn’t all that crowded….because there was hardly anything left!!! Aisle after aisle was empty. Not just the toilet paper. In the produce section, oddly certain things were still available, and others not. For example, I needed a stick of ginger, and it was sold out. Why? All of the canned goods were gone. Dried goods such as pasta, ramen, rice, and dried beans…..all gone. Of course, water and juices gone. The meat section was getting scarce, although you could still buy hog heads, although limited to 2!

Happily, most of the things on my list were still available — beer, wine, fruit, coffee, and vegan products for our daughter who is coming to visit us.

Frozen goods were almost all gone. Where do people store all this food???

On our way home, we saw this rattle snake on the road. People have found snakes in our village, too. That time of year, I think…

In the evening, we drove over to Harlingen, about 40 miles from here, to pick up one of our daughters visiting us for a few days. She was on a direct flight from Minneapolis. So convenient. She said the MSP airport was busy and that the flight was almost full — seemingly normal.

DINNER: I am trying to be gourmet and found a great cookbook focusing on vegetables. I made a pea and watercress pesto and served it over pasta.

BOOK: “Orphan Train” by Kristina Baker Kline. I had read it previously, but read it again to prepare for this week’s Book Club meeting. A historical novel, based on the real stories of children sent to the Midwest in the 1920s or so. 5 stars out of 5.

Sad morning and happy evening of dancing…

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Retama Village, in Mission, Texas

WEATHER: Summer-like. Hot (90), humid, and sunny

Saturday began with our regular 3 classes of line-dancing led by a faithful, very organized resident named Muriel. In our 3rd class, the most advanced (although not too advanced!), as she was teaching us a new dance, she got tripped up on some new steps and fell hard on the floor. Unfortunately, we dance in the craft room which is ceramic tile on top of concrete – very hard. She was in a lot of pain. Fearing that she had serious damage, we called 911, and they came immediately. Later in the day, we learned that indeed she has a fractured hip and elbow. It was heart-breaking to watch.

Craziness here, like everywhere else in the world. Our Cajun RV rally in Louisiana has been cancelled. I started making definite camping plans for the summer, but realize that I should hold off. Some campgrounds/RV parks are shutting down. This fear is making things worse, I think!

During water aerobics, a marketing group for our village did a photo-shoot. They took vidoes of us (especially me) doing exercises. I hope they look ok! A bit scared to look! 😦

Tonight we went to a fun dance at a nearby RV village. This one is famous for having the largest wooden dance floor in the valley.

The 6-piece band put on a great show and played music from the 50s and 60s. Personally, I wish they would move on to the 70s, but their music got people on the floor dancing!During their break, we did line-dancing. I was happy to join for the dances I knew.