Happy New Year to All……What a Year It Has Been…..

 2014 is Almost over…..So many milestones have been reached this year.  I have been thinking back at the first of the year.  January 2014.  Where were we.  I was working everyday at Advantage Log.  Rich was hauling mail for URSA.  It was a horrible winter.  I decided after the first of the year, if the weather was bad, I wasn’t going in.  I used my sick days up really fast.  If I didn’t value my life, would they?  We were still expected to go to work if we could make it.  If we didn’t show up we received points.  Oh Well, so that’s the way it was…..I call it the Corporation Thinking…Can’t change it…..

Rich was hauling mail over the road.  Sometimes going from Dixon to Des Moines.  Sometimes LaSalle to St. Louis, sometimes to Wisc.  He ran many miles of snow and ice.  He was shut down by state police for blizzards and accidents.  He was lucky enough to remain still a driver with a perfect driving record.  So at that point, we said……….NO MORE WINTER……WE HAD ENOUGH…..Plans were made for this winter to be in sunshine.   The call and Emails went out down her to East Gate and the process began….

Also much happened with the rest of the family.  Little Carly was the first birthday of the year.   She was 2.  She is growing so fast and is so cute.  I must say, she is so smart.  These kids just get smarter every year……lol…..This year we will miss her 3rd birthday.  Cassidy was 10 in March.  She is a preteen by every sense of the word.  lol  She is growing prettier every year…

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Our littlest one…Carly

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Cassidy dressed for the father daughter dance…

Tammy had been attending Nursing School, and She graduated in May with her Bachelors of Nursing from St. Francis School of Nursing in Peoria.  Now this was a very proud moment for the whole family.  She was the first to graduate with a degree.  A moment, a Milestone in her Life……She was on Cloud Nine.  and she so deserved it.   For 5 years she has worked toward this degree, for many different reasons.  It was a good job that she could support her family in the way she wanted to.  It was also her DREAM.  The dream kept her going through all those years of stress.  I still don’t know how she accomplished such a Feat.  Raising a family and studying at the same time.   She has so many friends and family, that have been their and supported her the last 5 years.  I would stop after work and check in with her….lol…thank goodness for texting……She would get home anywhere from 5pm to sometimes much later.  Brandy, Scotts girlfriend, would pick up Carly from Bettys Daycare, on her day, and take her home.  Tammy would pick Carly up on her way home.  Cassidy would go to her dads couple of times a week.  Tina was always their for her.  Tammy could call her at a moments notice and Tina would take the kids.  She also did her share of running to pick up the kids.  She was just a phone call away.  Always supportive of Tammy’s Dream. She also had a babysitter come once or more a week….Cameron would also help out when needed.   He also needed a ride home form school, so that would be my first stop after work…lol….Taxi service….Every semester the plans changed……….Today she has a job as a Nurse at the Mendota Lutheran Home.  She is enjoying her new life as a nurse and is an awesome nurse.  She has all the attributes to make a wonderful and caring nurse.  We are all so Proud of her.

Tammys Grad Pic... (2)

Tammys Grad. Pic. Grad from OSF Peoria, Ill May 2014 Tammy Bergen RN BSN

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Tammys Grad. family and Connie, Richs younger sister

Along come June, not only did we have Tammy’s Graduation party but, it was also Cameron’s 16th Birthday……Oh is he excited…..He did his class room Drivers Training and is now doing his driving to complete his first step towards his license.  Grandpa is giving him his truck….It is in his driveway and he sits in it a lot dreaming…..hahaha….The life of a Sixteen year old….He has now started his first job at Steak and Shake..

Tina and Ed has also had there share of accomplishments this year.  Ed is doing Awesome, at his job at Marquis.   Tina has been also been attending College.  She has completed another semester at Illinois State in Bloomington and now is taking some courses at IVC.  She is now employed as an Assistant Probation Officer at the Putnam Co Court house…..She is also on the Village Board in Granville…..She has made HUGE Accomplishments and has some wonderful goals in mind….What a Beautiful Family she has.

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Scott is also doing wonderful.  Him and Brandy have their Beautiful country home, he is doing good with his Trucking business and hosting several parties at their home this year….Yes they love a good party…..haha….He also has recently bought some Karaoke equipment …..Going to have a Great New Years Party at his house….lol….From Party bus’s to Karaoke….Never a dull moment in his life….Brandy’s daughter Staci is also attending Nursing School….Staci is in her 3rd year, heading for her Bachelors also….So another Nurse in the family soon…..Look out for that party….hahah…With Scott and Brandy planning it,…..It will be a Blast…

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In June, I walked out of work one day and I received the Wonderful Call…..YAHOO….Debbie from here at Eastgate Rv Park, called and accepted us a Workampers…..Ohhhh Myyy….how excited I was…I called her and talked to her and then immediately called Rich…So onward with our plans…All this time I have been trying to clean out the house.  Over 30 years of Stuff….Wow….Selling items on Garage Sale facebook sites.  I would get out of work and meet these people with the item they bought and then go and do Taxi service or babysitting….haha….Sometimes they even met me at work at lunch hour….So little by little, I got rid of some of the more valuable things in the house.   They don’t mean so much later in life now do they.  Just an accumulation of STUFF…..

On Sept 1, I went part time.  I probably would have been fired for rate if I hadn’t.  Now when you work for a corporation,  it seems like it doesn’t matter that you have been their almost 17 years….My seniority was under 10…..doesn’t matter…….If you can’t make rate …….out the door you will go…..So after some decision making, part time it was.   Thanks to Obama Care, I could still keep health ins. on Rich and me.   The whole object of still working.  So I filed for SSI…..YEAAAAA…..Then along came the New Teeth….Now that is a Blog in September you must read if you haven’t.   So hilarious.   New dentures….lol….Oct. 1…RETIREMENT…..Enough working….Teeth were done….lol…Nov 1. Rich…..RETIREMENT…..Filled for SSI also…..Now OFFICIALLY RETIRED…...And Let the Fun Begin…..lol….

Our Miley also had her Birthday Party.  She is 6 now and growing up so fast.  So so smart. The things she says just baffles her mom and dad.  She is in gymnastics.  We went to her meet in Rock Island just before we left.  She is so tiny and pretty and so so good.   Amazing.

 

The one Birthday we missed this year is Austin.  He was 4 …..This past year, he has grown from a toddler to al little boy.  He is now in his first year of school.  He is doing so good.  Learning so much already.   He just smiles all the time and you can just see the oneryness in his eyes….Such a Cuttie…

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Also have to mention Connie and Brian…Rich’s younger sister….She has been family since we were married.   She has always been here for us and with us at all family gatherings….They were their the day we left helping us pack and get away….She has always been the PET babysitter when on vacations, and  ” Connie….ya know what I noticed? lol….I was looking for pics of Austin and Christmas….Guess who has taking over the picture taking on special occasions…..lol…YOU….I went to your Facebook page to find them and steal…”  Thank goodness for the new phone and joining facebook….Actually Thank You Mindy…..

We had Thanksgiving Dinner with all the family a week before the Holiday on a Saturday and then Sunday we left for Texas.  Just before the first snowstorm on Monday, I might add….hahahaDay 2 8

….What a whirl wind day it was.  Tina, Ed, Connie and Brian, came to help us….We so need help.  All the last minute stuff we still needed to pack.  And all the last minutes things we never got done.  They all said…..”Just go we will take care of it”….AND WE DID….We left on schedule on Sunday afternoon…Took our time getting down her…..Arrived on Friday after Thanksgiving….

So now….We have been here 1 month…..It is everything we had dreamed of and more…..Were still waiting for the feeling of….”Vacation is over, go back home and go to work”…..to be over.  It seems like vacation.  We have done so many fun things already.  I love the office work.  Its not work ya know.   I also get to talk all I want….hahaha….I don’t get in trouble anymore for talking….haha…Rich is doing maintenance and loving it.   Done by noon or 1 and were free.  So many activities to do.  I am playing pool and also doing the Wood carving class.  We hosted the Christmas Dinner.  I was even the MC….with the microphone in hand….What a Day…We have the best neighbors one can have….We are the Hood on Albatross Lane….haha….We all represent 25 states and 4 provinces of Canada.  Amazing isn’t it….

So now all I have to say is ……..WOW….WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR…..2014…THE YEAR OF CHANGE….There is life after Retirement….We want to THANK all of the family…..I have been reading so many fb sites and blogs these last 2 years….So many people write that this is their dream, but their kids won’t let them do it.  The kids insist they stay home …..They are so sad and torn between fighting with the kids and wanting to travel…That is so sad isn’t it…..Never never did we ever hear that form our kids….They have been so supportive of us during this whole process.  They have wanted us to go have our fun….They have be so Wonderful…Of course their is also much saddeness at times…..We all miss each other, but now we have downloaded Skype, that has helped. but still not the same.  Neverless they are wanting us to enjoy and have fun….AND WE ARE…..So heres to a Wonderful 2014……………….and Wonder what 2015 will Bring……

Thank You to all our Family and Friends…..HAPPY NEW YEAR……....

THANK YOU ALL, FOR READING OUR BLOG…

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2014 Review of My Blog….Interesting Numbers….Thank You All For Following

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Trip to Padre Island Today…..Dolphin Watching….Amazing

This is Saturday….It is an overcast but nice day…..The temperature will probably reach 75 degrees today.  We got ready and went to 8 am breakfast this morning at the South hall.  We have a little neighbor hood of 8 now….lol…We all sat together.  After that we had decided to take a trip with Cici and Larry, back to Padre Island.  This time we went Dolphin Watching.

We drove over to Padre Island and stopped first a Port Isabel, which is on this side of the Causeway.  We stopped at a Dolphin Watching port to check their prices.  Then we decided to drive over the causeway to Padre Island and check all the boats their.  There are plenty to chose from.  You can just Dolphin watch, or go fishing on some of the fishing boats.  Then your choices are fishing in the Laguna Madre, which is the water between the island and the mainland or Deep Sea Fishing.   You can take trips of  2 hours or 4 hours….Deep sea fishing can be 20 to 40 miles out, for half or a full day.   Its all just your choice as to what you want to do and afford.  So we decided to take the 2 hour Dolphin Watch Tour from Isla Tours….It was only $10 a piece.   What a Bargain.  It was a fabulous 2 hours.

We boarded the boat and set out.

First the deck hand let out the net.   They dropped a net into the water to catch fish.  Then they brought the net up and put the fish they caught in a bucket of water.  He then proceeded to describe and explain each fish.   He only caught 4, 2 were the same and then a starfish and something else that resembled a blob….lol…

 

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Then we went out father to see the Dolphins

 

Along the way they were Parasailing.  We finally got to the area where the dolphins were and suddenly they were starting to surface…..One time we seen as many as 5 and 6 in a group….

They were so Awesome…..I took so many pics of them far away, that by the time they got close the phone went dead….Imagine that. I was so disappointed.  But we will be back….I’ll get some better ones yet.  After that the pilot took us over to the end of Padre Island where it opens to the Gulf of Mexico.   It was so beautiful.  The beach’s were beautiful.   It was still overcast.  I just can’t imagine what it looks like on a beautiful sun shiny day.  The sky and water would be so brilliant blue.

Here are some fun pics of us and Cici and Larry.

The Pirate Ship was docked near the restaurant where we ate dinner.  It was leaving so I ran and got a pic.   They are a dinner cruise.   Pretty neat ship…

And here is a pic of the fish that Rich Caught……….

Hahahaha…..He wishes…..He wants to do Deep Sea Fishing…..It is a Dream of his….His Bucket list…

After all of that we were hungry again…..Imagine that.   Back across the causeway to a restaurant by the bay.   Right across from the lighthouse that was built in the 1800s to guide the ships.

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We will be going back again.   Especially on a nice sunshiny day.  So much still to see and do.

So what to do tomorrow????…..grrrrrrrrrrrrr…..Its laundry time….

Merry Christmas to All…….

 

 

Merry Christmas to ALL….Hope it was a Wonderful Holiday for Everyone…..This was the first Christmas away from the kids and family.  I think we all survived pretty good after all.   Thanks to Skype, we have been starting to talk to them and the kids love seeing us.   We talked to the kids some on Christmas Eve as they all got together at Tina’s house for Christmas.

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Tammy, Carly, Cassidy, Cameron………………………………….Ed, Austin, Tina, Miley

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Brandy, Scott, Staci………………………………………………Aunt Connie and Uncle Brian…lol

They seemed to change some of the traditions of Christmas.   Instead of the regular Christmas dinner of ham potatoes and all the fixings….They ordered out Pizza….Oh Well, a new tradition is born.  Easy that way.

 

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All the little kids opening their presents….

Aunt Connie plays Santa every year and hands out all the presents….She is Awesome…

Santa even Arrived…..lol…..Ahhhhhh, gees he looks familiar……Cameron?….lol…..

The kids had another Great Christmas.  Tammy bought a new computer for the family so they installed Skype.  We skyped with her and the kids on Christmas Day night, and then later with Tina and Ed and Austin….Miley already went to sleep…..lol…Too much Christmas…

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Tammys Living Room Christmas Eve….Isn’t it beautiful…She has our mantle shelf and displayed is the Mr and Mrs Santa from when they were kids…..So pretty…

Our Christmas was Celebrated at the Hall…..The Activity board usually co-ordinates all dinners and activities at the halls, but this year, they were all leaving for Christmas.

Nobody to cook dinner?      The park owner even supplied 7 spiral hams to cook….

Guess who opened up their mouth and offered…..ME….and Rich agreed….So Rich was in charge of cooking the hams.  One of the board members had the template for the help that we needed.  So she printed it before she left.  So the Organization began.   Before you know it, people were signing up to help and also to come to the Christmas Party.  Everyone was so happy their was going to be a party…..Now the one thing we noticed.  These people….. EAT and Run…..Now really, everytime their is an occasion in the hall, like breakfast or the ice cream social, these people come early….and leave as soon as they eat…..Ice cream can be served at 6 and by 6:30, the hall can be empty.   So I decided to have activities after….Try to keep them their….I decided to have An UGLY SWEATER CONTEST……also TABLE DECORATING CONTEST….It went so well…

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We had 5 people participate in the contest….the Lady second form the right won…..Hahaha….so much fun….

Here is some of the table decorations……some elegant…some more religious…some just fun…but everyone had so much fun.  You would see everyone  walking around after they ate, looking at everyone’s table so they could vote later.   Then I also compiled some interesting facts….Where do all the people come from….How many states are represented etc.  I could not include the Texan people as most of them are now permanent residents that have moved here from another state and change their address to Texas…..So other than Texas,    There are 24 states represented here.  Upper Midwest is the highest….Wisc, Minn, Mich, Iowa, Ill, and Ind,…..and also have one from Maine and one from California.  Many Canadians also…..4 provinces with Ontario being the highest.  We also found out their is someone from Brazil in South America.  Such a vast grouping of people…..We all had a wonderful time…..and guess what…..WE KEPT THEM FROM 2 till 3:30.….hahaha…..I consider that pretty Awesome…..I even had to microphone in hand….Now those of you who know me, you know I am not a public speaker….I FREEZE……but I managed…..I even brought the Bose and played Christmas Music…..Its just not Christmas without music…..and then the clean up crew went in gear and had the whole place cleaned up and ready to shut down before dark………..

PS….It is Rich’s 65th BIRTHDAY…..Christmas Baby…..I announced it at the dinner….The whole room sang Happy Birthday to him and then he stood up and took a bow….lol……Pretty cool….He is now a Ward of UNCLE SAM……He received his first Social Security check Wed….lol

Another Christmas has past…..

Merry Christmas to All…..Onward…..Happy New Year Next…..

Ho Ho HO

Our Trip to San Antonio to see the Riverwalk Decorated for Christmas…Amazing….

Last year when we came down in late September, we seen the city workers climbing the trees in the Riverwalk area and hanging lights….I was hoping I would be able to see them lite before we went home that week end.  lol….Well It turns out, they start over 2 months early.  Its all for Chrismas.  It is quite a process.   At that time I wished I could see them some day all lite up.    Well my chance came, and its only a year later.

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A little history on Riverwalk. The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río) is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right. The Riverwalk is a pedestrian walkway, one level down from the automobile street.   The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery.  In 1939 the WPA  was in charge of the initial construction of a network of some 17,000 feet (5,200 m) of walkways, about twenty bridges, and extensive plantings including some of the bald cypress (others are several hundred years old) whose branches stretch up to ten stories and are visible from street level. In 1968 San Antonio hosted the Worlds Fair.  It was called Hemisfair 68 and the construction of the Convention Center and Tower of Americas was completed as well as many other buildings and sites.   The expansion extended the Riverwalk beyond its natural banks at the horseshoe bend to the new convention center and theater by excavating much of the block bordered by Commerce, Bowie, Market and Alamo Streets.  Today the Riverwalk consists of over 15 miles….It is really a place of Magic….below the streets of bustling traffic and city busses.

So we decided to leave Saturday morning.  We went up for breakfast with the other neighbors, Duanne and Cheryl.  After we came home we packed for an overniter and took off.  Now of course we decided someone should come in and check on Kitty.  Here we are abandoning him again, now in the Camper.   Who else better than my neighbor Roberta.  She has such a gift with animals.  She is the momma of the birds Maui and Lovelove, from one of my other blogs.  She was very gracious and said of course she would come over.  Roberta came over the nite before and fell in love with Kitty.  We felt safe that Kitty would be looked after with love and care.  So we took off for our 5 hour drive to San Antonio.  We got their around 3 and got a room at Econolodge.  Then we Looked up the nearest Longhorn Steakhouse….So away we went to feast on a Steak….

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Thank You Advantage Log.  Darden Resturants #1 gift card……lol….We feasted on a $41  Porterhouse for 2….It was a 24 oz. steak…..mmmmm mmm good….Bill came to $51 plus tip.  Not bad at all.  Left with a doggie bag.   One for me…..baked potato and steak for breakfast and another one with the left over bone for our neighbor dog, Jill.  Jills mom and dad are Cici and Larry.  lol.  After that we headed for down town…..OMG….the crowd.

Now we were their last year and had it all figured out, but this year we lost our bearings.   Traffic was backed up every corner….wait….wait wait….stop…stop…go …stop…lol…Finally we found a $5 parking lot.  We waited for people to leave and then raced to see who could get it first.   Took us about an hour to park.  Finally made it down to Riverwalk.   OMG.  The people, but it was so beautiful.  The trees were all lite up and so were all the bars resturants , etc.  Now the trees lites all start in the top of a tree in a clump and then fall down in single strands….So much time and care to lite all the trees.  Their were over 6,000 luminaries lining the sidewalk by the river.  It was just DAZZLING.  We decided to buy tickets for the boat ride.  We took it last year and enjoyed it.  So we went to by tickets and then searched for the end of the line…..Wow….finally almost over a half a block later, we found the end.  While we were waiting, some of the boats were loaded with carolers singing Christmas carols as they floated by.  All laughing and having fun.

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It moved much faster than we thought, and finally got our seat.  It is the best way to see all of the touristy area of the river.  It is magnificent.  The tour guide gives the tour and tells you all the facts, down to the building of the new parts of the river for the Worlds Fair.  Meanwhile you are just sitting their meandering down the river with the gorgeous lights overhead in the trees and the sounds of the people and the restaurants on the sidewalks.  Many of the restaurants have entertainment, like Mexican music or something jazzy.  It is a little bit of heaven.  A fairy tale.   Finally we got back to the boarding area, and the line was still long….Our guide told us their is over 42 boats for the river, and at least 40 were out.  So we finally made our way back to the truck and made our way out of the mad rush and back to our motel.  In the morning, I looked at fb and Roberta, who was watching Kitty posted a Wonderful post.  I have to repost it….So Beautiful…

They all worry about us when we don’t come home…there was a warm spot on the couch but Kitty must have heard me coming for he jumped off the dash when I opened the motor home door (he’s allowed) looked behind me for Mom and Dad but I was alone. The catnip mouse was nowhere in sight – I’m sure he knows where it is. He’s eaten, drank each time I’ve been there but the only solid matter left behind was from the first time. I tried to reassure him as best I could, verbally, he allowed me to pick him up and snuggle with him on the couch – even accepted a kiss on his head – for a few minutes he was a sweet little kitten again – then caught himself and jumped down to do figure 8’s around my legs and have ear scratches. But a couple of times he thought he heard something and ran to sit by the door and a couple of times he checked the bedroom as though to tell me they were supposed to be there… bless his heart! Now he’s fine, temperature inside comfortable, has a nightlight and filtered light from outside, and he’s somewhat of an independent fella. He would not have enjoyed himself had they taken him along. I asked that they leave the bed unmade so he could snuggle in the covers and be comforted by their smells – done. But it’s not the same of course. They did the best thing by letting him stay in his own environment. Wish there was more I could do – he’s such a sweet Spirit! He’ll sure be happy to see them walk through the door tomorrow. Wonder if they’ll be in trouble after he figures out they’re OK? Stay tuned….

Isn’t that just Beautiful……She is so Special.   She can read any animal and she loves them all.  So homeward bound…..Stopped at our favorite Restaurant on the way home….Choke Canyon Barbeque.  We got 4 sandwich’s of barbeque brisket….2 for us for supper and 2 for Roberta and Ken.  Finally returned home before dark.   Seen Roberta and gave her her sandwiches.  She so enjoyed Kitty.  He had the best of care, probably better than we give.  lol.   And then I went and gave Jill her bone….Of course she loved it.   Visited with Cici a bit and Now……….relaxing….

 

Christmas is almost here and we have downloaded Skype with the kids.  Here is a Pic of Austin, and Carly talking to Grandma and Grandpa….They were so cute.  They were so excited to see us and talk to us.  Carly kept looking under it and saying…..”Grandma, come out of their.”…so so cute…..So we will be Skyping with the kids for Christmas, and we have a Dinner planned here.   Rich is cooking for Christmas dinner for the Campground….I guess you can say we are the organizers……lol….That’s a whole nother Blog…….lol….

 

Christmas Golf Cart Parade at the RV Park….And Of Course Santa Too….lol…

Another week half over.  Deb and Ricks kids and grandkids have come down from the north for a week, so I have been spending a lot of time in the office myself.  Getting the hang of daily routine and learning the campground program on the computer alittle more.  Rich has most of the repairs done in the trailers that people have rented after Christmas.  By the first week of January, most of the people should be here.   We have a pretty full park.  Their are over 300 sites.   More Mobile homes the RV sites.  Some Mobile homes are rentals but most are owned by residents.  This year the owner ran a special and we are about 98 percent full.  Its really nice having a full park.  Its like our own little town.  So tonight, (Wed.) was the Golf cart Christmas parade.

The reindeer pulled Santa in the Golf Cart.   The reindeer were our ladys with antlers and had reins that helped pull Santas Sleigh.  Rudolph had a blinking nose.    I rode with one of the other ladies Bev.    They stopped at a number of trailers and sang Carols.   It took almost an hour to cover the park.   It was so cool cause many people were sitting outside in front of their trailers and some of the carts threw candy.  It was so FESTIVE.

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This first picture is Bev.  I rode in her golf cart with her and her bear Beau.  lol…She is a workamper also.  She is in housecleaning.   She is a Sweetheart, so nice.  The second pic is of some of the people who the carolers sang to.  After the parade we had Ice Cream.  Everyone brings their own bowl and you can have as much as you want….Oh gees, Not the best thing to eat at nite…..lol….

As we walk around the campground, we are finding many more neat plants and flowers.  The first is a cactus growing in the gutters….Christmas lights are strung around it….What a conversation piece, at least with us northerns.  The second is a Bougainvillea.  It is growing wild all over down here and thriving like a weed.  I bought one once and killed it….lol….If any one at home was at Peru Green house or looked in while passing, you would have seen the huge pink flowering plant growing to the ceiling.  That is what it was a Bougainvillea.  They would take starts off the mother plant and sell them.  Only grown in the north as a house plant.

We also found 2 Banana Plants on the other side of Cici and Larrys Camper.  I couldn’t believe how long they were.  I bet they are 4 to 5 feet long.  The bloom on the bottom is so interesting.  I will be watching and taking more photos of them as they ripen and grow.

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I don’t know what this is, but has a bunch of fruit growing at the base of the  upper trunk of the tree

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Also the end of this blog, I am adding 2 pic.   My Cat of course with his Christmas attire…..lol…and a puppy who rode in the parade in his Christmas hat.  Everyone is a pet lover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful Day at South Padre Island…..

 

Today is Saturday….Day of Play…lol…Guess that’s every day though isn’t it.   We decided to go to South Padre Island with Cici and Larry, our neighbors.  We’ve heard so many people talk about the island so we have been anxious to go.  We of course had to go up to the South Hall and have our Sat. morning breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon or sausage and pancakes.  After we ate, we all walked back and left for the island about an hour later.  Its only about 45 minutes to Paradise…….lol….On the way we passed through a town that turned out to be the home of Freddy Fender…..Would you believe it was San Benito, right up the road,  where I bought my Western dressing at Walmart…lol….Anyway, they had the info on the water tower.  Freddy Fender was a Country singer, who died in 2006.  Two of his hits were  Wasted Days and Wasted Nights…..and Before the Next Teardrop Falls…..

Not to much farther we arrived at Port Isabel…

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The Queen Isabella Causeway is the second longest bridge in Texas at 2.37 miles long.  It is the only bridge connecting Port Isabel mainland with the Island.  It also carries all the fiber optics for electrical service.  South Padre Island is at its widest point is a mile and a half wide and has 34 miles of beach’s.  Our first stop was the visitor center.

Fabulous Sand Castle….Then on to Sea Turtle Inc.   At Sea Turtle Inc., our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species.  We seen many turtles who had been rescued and are now permanent residents and some that are being rehabilitated to be released.

The first turtles we seen were in a huge pool.  Merry Christmas and Allison.  Merry Christmas was rescued in the late 1980s on Christmas Eve.  She will not be released due to some genetic defects.  She is the largest female sea turtle resident and is very friendly.  Allison is an Atlantic Green Sea Turtle.  She survived a predator attack on 2005.  She only had one remaining flipper.  She would swim in circles until in 2009, they designed a prosthesis for a rudder.  That enabled her to swim with her one flipper, but she will never be released.  She is a permanent resident also.  She is now on her 5th version of her prosthesis.  She has been featured in People Magazine, Discovery Channel and Today Show.   They were so awesome to watch.  They were together and needed a babysitter to watch them.  Merry Christmas likes to crowd Allison sometimes and hang on to her rudder.  She has had it pulled off.  Then an intern is called and has to go into the water and pull her to the surface and put it back on.  The sea turtles also need air to survive and if Allison looses her rudder she may not be able to surface.   She is allowed swim time for a certain amount of hours in a day, and then she has her own little tank to go in that is shallow and safe.

The next resident we met was Gerry.  He is in the largest tank their (20,000gallons) and Has a glass in the side for interaction from people and also be fed lettuce.    We all took our turns holding the lettuce in front so he could see it and then toss it up and over into the tank.   Gerry loves lettuce.  He eats over 500 heads of lettuce a year.  He is used as an educational turtle.   Gerry is world famous and has met Johnny Carson and David Letterman.  This is a fabulous place to see.  They are on fb and are in the process of  raising funds to build a much large educational center and hospital.

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Next we went to the beach and just walked a bit.   It was a beautiful day.  Not a lot of people out, but it is really off season right now.  There best time of the year is Spring Break and of course summer.10846952_10203076641904633_1738863518_n

 

Our last stop was Birding and Nature Center.  It is situated on 50 acres of land.  It is their natural habitats, consisting of trees, streams, waterfalls, and marsh and sand dunes.  It has an elevated walkway through the areas all the way to the shore line and back.  We didn’t stay long, but we will be going back.  While their Cici and I went in and went to the top and took a few pics.10841522_10203076678025536_445482398_n

 

 

10841651_10203076671945384_2114704748_n      Of course by that time my phone died.   lol  We did see a huge gator sunning himself.  (Pic #2)  I thought he was fake but Cici said she seen it move.   Thought she was seeing things but finally…..She was right….He yawned….Later after we walked out, Rich and Larry had talked to someone, and we found out, that was the big daddy gator.   If we had taked the walkway around to the other side, we would have found the mom and 5 babys.   She had hatched 35, but daddy was hungry I guess.  They have him separated now.  This is a great place to go back to and just walk the boardwalk.  We also forgot our binoculars.  We did see many birds and butterflies.

 

I,m going to add just a few more pics.   Some homes and the water tower.  After that we were all so hungry, we stopped at an Italian Restaurant for sandwich’s and then headed home.   Now we have lots and LOTS of pamphlets for the next trip.   and Their will sure be one…….

At Last…….I Found Western French Dressing…..

 

Week 2 of work is done….lol….not really work.  Actually we are both enjoying it.  I,ve have been answering phone calls, filing, taking rent payments, trying to help people with all their questions.  As many of you would agree, I am doing what I do BEST…..lol….Talking……….This week I started sorting mail, and working on the lot map, which consists of labeling all lots with peoples names.  It is used for the post man or the residents, to know where everyone lives.  Rich has been doing many repairs.  Now he is running to the hardware store himself to get what he needs.   Many people are coming in to the park after Christmas.  The park has over 20 mobile homes that are rented.  Their is always repairs to be done.  He has been doing some electrical repairs  now.  It seems like everyday in the office, someone comes in and has some problems with electric or water or something….

Standing in line for ice cream.        Rich is on the right, 2nd person….Seated in the back is Cici and Larry.   Our neighbors and good friends from Excelsior Springs Mo.  We went to McAllen with them to the parade last Saturday.

Wed. nite is ice cream nite.   Bring your own bowl and spoon and for $1.50, you can fill your bowl with handipped yummy ice cream.

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After ice cream was Karaoke.   Now that was rather fun.  Not to many people went up to sing, but the ones that did were good…. Thursday nite was potluck.   Now last week , I decided to make Taco Salad.  I went to the store to buy Western French.   Well guess what…..They don’t sell it here.   We went to Walmart and H.E.B.   Their are no Krogers, Hyvee, or Save Lot or Aldi’s…..NOTHING…..only H.E.B.  and  Walmart.   And would you guess what H.E.B. stands for?……lol Harold Edward Butts…..hahaha…..Harold Butts started it in 1919.    What a name….They are all over the southern Texas.  I stewed about this all week.  Back home in Illinois, it is in all grocery stores.  Even the restaurants’ serve it.  The name of the dressing is Western.   Now I consider Texas to be south West…..Why isn’t it for sale here?…..It became rather a joke around the friends.  lol  They told me to let it go…..hahaha…..Of course I said…..NO….. Well the other day I took another workamper, Lyn, with me and went shopping to San Benito Walmart,  ……I found WESTERN FRENCH DRESSING…..YES….I bought 4 bottles.  I was so excited, I ran to Cici’s and told them…..So I made the Taco Salad for the Potluck and nothing came home….lol…It was all gone.961416_10203070233304422_1162811146_n

 

I will tell you about some of the people here.  The Park is run by Debbie and Rich.   Awesome Park Managers.  They have been very kind and lenient with us.  We can participate in anything we want to here and if it interferes with our work, we can just do our hours later.  They are so easy to work with.   But they are so busy.  They have over 300 lots and rental units to manage.  When they are in the office, they are being pulled in many different directions.  The other workamper that works in the office is Lyn.

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She is the Activity director.  She is trying to put together the Camp Directory right now.  Very overwhelming.  She is doing her workamping as a single person, so she is working 22 hours plus.  She drives a motorhome but does not pull a vehicle.   So the other day I took Lyn shopping with me to San Benito, when I found the Western.

Now across from us is a couple who live here permanently.  Roberta, and Ken.   They are on disability and use to be tattoo artists in Missouri.  They also worked for animal rescue in the past.   They are a lover of all animals.  They have 2 birds

Lovie is a cockatoo….a beautiful little yellow bird.   But Lovie was stepped on as a new baby and had his hips broken.  He cannot stand or get around.   She holds him and takes care of him like a baby, even down to wiping his butt cause he can’t.  But he can fly and they have to be careful of that.    The other bird is a Beautiful McCaw…….

.Her name is Maui and she is 16 years old.    Now his wings were clipped as a baby, so he can’t fly.  They take him for rides on the gold cart to the trash bin.  So so gorgeous.

Cactus growing in the gutter….lol….Isn’t that crazy..

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Now this looks like a Norfolk  Pine.   I don’t think it is but never know

This is pictures of the entrance from the office at nite.

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And of course, here is Kitty again….He is really starting to enjoy this life.   He seems so much more active and happier since we are with him so much more…

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Of course I have to finish up with a picture of me.  This is my office…..Haha….or my window……Today I attended a Woodworking class, and also played pool with some ladies.  They play 6 days a week from 4 to 5;30.   I might be playing with them as a sub.   Like I said before their is so much to do all the time.   Tomorrow is breakfast again at the South hall.  Pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, bacon, and eggs…..I think we might be going to South Padre Island with neighbors Cici and Larry.   Now that will be fun.    Let the sun shine for another day…..lol

 

 

 

McAllen Festival of Lights Parade….With 14 Large Helium Balloons

 

 

Yesterday was a pretty fun day.  Started the day with Breakfast at the South Hall (Main Hall)….For $3.50 we had Biscuits and Gravy, eggs, bacon or sausage, pancakes and orange juice.  Had some great company.  Everyday you meet new people, and visit with the old.  The trouble is you forget all the names unless they wear their name tags.   Everyone gets name tags even us….Ours have our names and Workampers….Everyone else has their name and the state they are from.   Rather nice I think, to know where everyone is from.

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After that, we went to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot and a Thrift Store.   I got out my craft stuff to make the mosaic bricks and found out I forgot all my tools….lol…go figure…It was the last thing we packed, about 2 hours before we left.  I just threw it in.  We are having a Christmas Craft Bizarre coming up, and I am going to try to sell some.  So Rich made me drive so I could get my directions down pat.   All the shopping is done at the other edge of town by the interstate.  It is rather congested, but not to bad.  I managed quite fine.  After that we came home and I started getting my bricks ready for my projects.  At breakfast we had decided to go with our neighbors to McAllen for their Festival of lights Parades.  They have been advertising all week on tv.  They had 14 large aerial balloons and 40 floats.  So at 4 we left for McAllen.   Traffic was horrible the closer we got, and the funny thing none of us knew where we were going.  Rich had been their and hauled produce many years ago, so we headed for downtown.  When traffic stopped, we parked and started walking….About a mile later, we arrived….lol…Took our chairs and sat down.  So here are the pics from the parade…..

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These were the pics from the walk along the Boulevard where the floats were lining up.  The Budweiser Clydesdale Horses were  their.  3 Semis were parked along the curb  and the horses were all out hitched up and getting groomed and ready for the parade…

Next we past the big balloons in a parking lot ….ready and Waiting…\Dusk arrived around 6 and the first parade events started at around 6;15.

The Budweiser Clydesdales were first and the Santa Balloon…

This guy just didn’t want to stand up….He kept falling over…..Nemo was really cool…

The turtle was so cute….The second one was from Frozen…

The second pic is of 3 ornament balloons….really cool…

Don’t know what this guys name is, but he was really awesome…

The Shrek, he was really big….and one of the Angry Birds

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How about the Grinch…..He was another really huge one….Notice the guy standing at the base of him trying to keep him standing….lol

The first one is rather hard to see but it was a River Boat, complete with smoking stakes….It was really nice….

My Absolute Favorite is Kermit the Frog….He was huge and so cool….

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Bringing up the rear of course…………SANTA CLAUS……

They had some trouble with some of the balloons keeping them up.  The wind would blown them around.  But so so cool. Many of the Balloon’s had spot lights on them….They had spotlights mounted on motorized carts in-between the floats and balloons shining in the sky and on the balloons  The local TV station had advertised that some of the balloons had been in the Macy Day parade.  Another thing really cool but I don’t think it showed up very good in pictures, was the bands.   Many very good bands, and they were all decorated with lights.  The kids had lights around their hats, necks, down their arms and legs around their waists and even their instuments.  The big horns had lights around their largest part of the horn and down around their instrument.  Towards the end of the evening, my phone was running down, so missed some of the balloons.  There were many others I never took pictures of….But I got the Best ones I think…

It was a great evening.  Then we had to walk all the way back….Whoah…so far and we were so tired.  Finally got back to the truck and Larry made his way out of town.  Just as we started driving, it started raining….It rained hard all the way back….Oh No….remembered I left the jeans on the line at the laundry room outside….Hahaha….I guess , Pray for sunshine today…..

 

 

 

First Full Week of ….WORK?….lol…and Play

First week of work done….Wow….Now we sure don’t call that work.  Monday of this week we had the day off.  lol.  Tuesday Morning we showed up at the office at 9am.   I stayed their and Debby showed me simple things like taking the payment checks that were coming in, stamping them and putting them away in the drawer.   Then started answering the phone.   haha….didn’t know a lot but I took messages.   Talked to Lots and LOoooots of people.  So friendly.  Rich started his maintenance job and he has to go to the trailers that are rented, for the people who haven’t arrived  yet,  and do minor repairs.  He has a golf cart to use.  He has been fixing things like repairing light fixtures, towel bars, toilet bowl seals, and will also be fixing a drawer that has been ripped apart.  At noon time Deb tells us to go home.   Wow.   Such a long day.  We worked Wed. also.  Attended the Ice Cream Social Wed nite.   Home made ice cream…….Mmmm….Chocolate, Vanilla or Cookies and Cream….Yummmm….Oh….Almost forgot.  Tue was Bingo nite.   A card was only 50 cents for all evening.  haha…At that rate you can afford several.  Of course we never won.  If you did the prize was 50 cents for you and 25 cents for your neighbors.  Our neighbors never even won.   lol  That’s our luck……

Thursday we took the day off already…lol….Some very good friends of Tammys have been coming down here for a number of years.  Cheryl and Linda.  They were bus drivers for Tammy at First Student.  They are in another park.   Tammy had introduce them to us, and Cheryl said, give them a call and she would take us over the border….lol…So that is what we did Thur.  Cheryl picked us up and took us to Progresso.

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In this picture we were just starting to walk the bridge….

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We parked and walked over.   Rich was able to fill all his meds for a small fraction of what it cost in the states.   Also see many neat things for the kids, but this was just a learning trip. Cheryl was a great guide and took us all around and showed us how to navigate in Mexico…lol…another words,  where to go and where NOT TO GO…..Actually Progresso is really not a bad town to cross over to.  I never felt afraid.  It is full of tourists and the Pharmacias are really clean and well organized.

On the Mexican side, the people were holding their hats through the bridge and asking for money.  Some were just asking to throw money over.

First Picture, we were on the Mexican side getting ready to walk back, 2nd Pic.  Back on USA side.  Pic of Progresso border.

After that Cheryl took us to a Resturant in Donna on the Texas side.   It is a place where word of mouth has made it popular with the Winter Texans.   That is our name ya know…lol..It is called Gonzales Grocery…..but it has only one shelve of grocerys and it is really a grill restaurant.   They only serve hambergers, cheeseburgers, fries and onion rings….but OMG…they are huge.   I took some pics but not the best.  We will be going back again.  We had so much fun with Cheryl and learned a lot.  She was a great tour guide.

So today was the last work day of the week…lol…Imagine that.   I don’t even think I put in 11 hours.  But next week, I’m sure I will.  People are still coming in and they won’t be full till everyone shows up after first of the year.   Everything is almost rented.  Only several good sites left and then they have some others they might rent, but the pads haven’t been redone.   All the pads are concrete 10×40, A really nice size.

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There are so many activities going on all the time.  Your as busy as you want to be.  They also have a Woodcarving group that meets twice a week.  I thought I would show you some of their work on display.   These Hummingbirds and Morning Glorys are wood and absolutely beautiful.  Love the shades of blue.

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Now this aquarium is AWESOME.  It has no glass and is made up of mostly wood fish.

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Tina this is your kind of Aquarium.  lol….only have to dust it.  It is so neat.  So much work in all these fish.  When you first look at it you don’t realize their is no glass.

I am going to start posting some of the flowers and trees around the park.  So beautiful.  Everything is blooming….

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This is a grapefruit tree, just full of fruit.  They are all over.  The next picture is a house plant up north.  Rubber Tree plant I think we call it.  I never had any luck with them.   They are growing all over as bushes.

First picture is of the huge cactus and the second is an interesting tree with fruit near the top.  Don’t know what it is, but I will be finding out.

They have had a good rainy season, which is not normal they say.  Usually when some of the people come down in Nov, the grass is brown, but it is a nice healthy green.  Every morning it is really wet and full of dew, very humid.  But it drys up pretty fast.  So now the weekend is upon us.  Don’t have any plans yet.  Just take it a day at a Time.