2020 The Year From “HELL” Is Over

At last 2020 is over. All year long, it was another disaster after another. Every time something awful happened, we said “That’s it, It can’t get any worse”. But it did. Now we’ve had our election, and we thought that it would settle down….Has it???…..Hell No….Its just gotten worse. Its now the second week into 2021. It should be better…..But no…January 6 was the day the country should realize how dangerous Donald Trump is. Trump was defeated for the next term as President of the United States by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Biden received 306 Electoral Votes to Trumps 232. He has refused to concede to Biden and has filed over 50 law suits to try to prove the election was rigged and stolen from him. In his 4 years as President he has lured the silent majority to listen to every angry word with his speeches, and all his tweets. They started following and felt empowered to do his work.

Finally on January 6, the day Congress was to declare officially that President Elect Joe Biden was the next President, Trump organized and attended his “Save America Rally” in Washington DC. For over an hour he spoke to his followers, working them up into a frenzy. His final words were, ” So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”…….He promoted this rally by saying….”LETS GET WILD” “Fight for Trump” Save the World-Save America……. And so thats what they all did. They marched down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capital.

Such Disrespect

This is copied verbatim from Wikipedia:

On the morning of January 6, protesters assembled on the Ellipse for a “Save America” rally;[27][28] Trump, Donald Trump Jr.Rudy Giuliani, and several members of Congress addressed the crowd.[29] Trump encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” to “take back our country” and to march towards the Capitol,[30][31] while Giuliani called for “trial by combat,”[32] and Trump Jr. threatened the president’s opponents by saying “we’re coming for you.”[33] As the rioters entered the Capitol by breaking through windows and doors, Capitol security evacuated the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated, and all of them were locked down.[34] Rioters broke past interior security to occupy the evacuated Senate chamber while federal law enforcement officers drew handguns to prevent entry to the evacuated House floor.[35][36][37] The evacuated office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was occupied.[38] Improvised explosive devices were found on the Capitol grounds during the riots; explosives were also found at offices for both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, and in a nearby vehicle.

Five people died from the events and others were seriously injured. One woman attempting to enter the House chamber through a barricaded door was shot by police and later died.[39][40][41] Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick died after allegedly being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.[3][14][42] Federal authorities launched a murder investigation to examine Sicknick’s killing.[43] Three protesters suffered fatal medical emergencies during the event.

Trump reacted slowly to the storming, first resisting sending the District of Columbia National Guard to quell the mob,[44] and eventually praising the rioters as “great patriots” and telling them to “go home in peace,” while reiterating claims of election fraud.[45][46] The crowd was dispersed from the U.S. Capitol later that evening. The process to certify Electoral College results resumed that evening and continued to its conclusion the following morning, with Pence declaring Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the victors and affirming that they will assume office on January 20. Under pressure from his administration, including many resignations, Trump committed to an orderly transition of power in a statement.[47][48][49] On January 9, The New York Times reported that Trump had told White House aides that he regretted committing to an orderly transition of power[50] and would not resign from office.[51]

The events prompted widespread condemnation by political leaders and organizations in the United States and internationally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the storming of the Capitol a “failed insurrection”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Trump to be removed from office, either through the 25th Amendment or by impeachment.[52] Facebook responded by locking Trump’s accounts and removing posts related to the incident, and Twitter responded initially by locking his account for 12 hours, then permanently suspending it.[53][54] The riots and storming of the Capitol were described as treason,[55] insurrectionseditiondomestic terrorism,[56] and an attempt by Trump to carry out a coup d’état or self-coup.[57][58][59]

So this is where we stand in 2021.…Its only January 10th…..Can it get any worse????….Now their are reports and calls of Violence being intensified ahead of Inauguration Day. They are expecting the worst to happen. This country is in shambles. We have less than 2 weeks to Biden’s Inauguration. Will Trump be removed through the 25th Amendment, or by Impeachment. Or not at all…….Beginning to think were living in the “Twilight Zone”

Capital Police trying to keep the Rioters out.
Destruction in the Hallways

Today is January 11 2021, and more news has come out over the weekend as to the damage the rioters managed to do. The rioters barreled past the barricades, clashing with the police. They broke into the Capital building by bashing in doors and breaking windows. The news is full of videos and photos. It was all captured on camera. They swarmed through the halls fighting and chasing the police.

Senators were told to take cover before they were evacuated. Some even put on Gas Masks.

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was on the House floor as they were doing the counting of the Electoral College vote. The police with guns drawn were able to hold them off as they evacuated the House and the Senate as well as Vice President Mike Pence. The rioters broke into the Senate and damaged and destroyed so much. One person was photographed sitting at the podium. They roamed the building and broke down the door into Nancy Pelosi’s office breaking mirrors and destroying so many things. They stole her computer and took pictures of themselves doing all these heinous things is if they were on vacation.

Rioters walking through the Hallowed halls stealing items.

So the investigations have begun. They are chasing thousands of leads. Over 70 arrests already made, and hundreds more predicted. The are using all the video and photo footage to track down the rioters. Also using tracking money, travel records and movements of people and communications and many tips from people. Most of these people seem to be from out of state. Not very many locals.

Rioter sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair with much disrespect
Nancy Pelosi’s Office ransacked

Now its January 12. Eight days from inauguration. Trump hadn’t talked to his Vice President Pence since Wed. Trump had asked him to throw out the states in the Electoral vote counting, that he had discrepancies with. He said he won by a land slide. Certain states were lying and giving rigged election results. Pence told him he couldn’t do that. Trump turned on him. After the Wed. riot, Trump pretty much stayed in isolation at the White House with his aids staying away from him or spending little time as possible. He started losing many of his aids and dept. heads due to resignation. They had had enough of him. Trump finally talked with Pence on Monday discussing his next week planning. Facebook and Twitter has barred him for life and also a Social account called Parlor. Now all of a sudden he has decided to come down to the Rio Grande Valley and visit his Border Wall. He arrived in Harlingen today at VIA, Valley International Airport. I went out to the airport to see what was happening.

All Trumps followers waiting near the Valley International Airport in Harlingen Tx.
Air Force One…..I was right under it as it landed…..It just glided in….Very quiet, like a Bird

Of course their was all his followers. So many flags and cars. People cramming up by the fence to get a glimpse of him. I drove a mile out of town were the plane would cross on its approach. I always wanted to see what it was like to be under a plane on its approach. It was as good as a time as ever to do this. lol I actually thought it was fascinating. It just glided like a bird right over the top of me. So cool…..They flew him by helicopter over to Alamo by the newly constructed wall. He gloated over the construction of course, but had to also downplay his involvement in the Wed riot. “He believes in peace, and no violence.” lol…..Whatever….

So as it stands today, Jan 11th, The Articles of Impeachment have been drawn up and presented. The House of Rep. is expected to vote on asking Pence and the Cabinet, to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would remove Trump immediately from his office. It would affirm that Trump can not successfully perform the duties of the President of The United States. If that does not work, they will vote tomorrow to Impeach him, which would be the 2nd time. Now is that a wonderful thing to be known for. His legacy will be, The only President to be Impeached twice. Nancy Pelosi says Trump is deranged, unhinged, and dangerous as President and we need to protect ourselves from him. He has done something so serious, he needs to answer for it and be prosecuted. He is definitely suffering the consequences. Deutsche Bank announced it will no longer do Business with the Trump organization. He owes them 340 million in loans due in the coming years. Many other banks are following suit. The 2022 PGA Golf Championship has been pulled from the club he owns in Bedminster NY. He is livid with anger I’m sure. This has got to be the beginning of the end for him. Now it will be a race against time as to how it will go. President Elect Biden will have his Inaugural on January 20, with the Capital being heavily guarded. They are trying to figure out how to do this, with Biden still having time with Congress to get his people up and running in the White House. Reports today say their is info on violence happening in all 50 states on Inaugural Day. The country is preparing. We need to unite and feel peace. We also need the threat of Trump to go away. So, Congress needs to get this done once and for all. We don’t need him coming back in 4 years.

Ohhhh……Lets not forget…..Our Country is in Crisis……Covid has killed 380,555 people in the US as of today.

22,835,071 people have been infected. Every day over 200,00 cases are positive.

Our Hospitals are maxing out in many states. The nurses, doctors, and all medical personnel are so tired and stressed. They have been working nonstop for months and months.

How many of those rioters will now turn up positive. Some of the Congress are already turning up positive because they were all locked in a room during the rioting.

The Vaccine is finally here. It is getting dispensed to all the states. Its a huge learning curve but it is improving……..Their is HOPE for a better future…….Its About Time.…..

Happy Birthday Tammy….Coronavirus..Day 1 in New York City…

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY” Today YOUR “42”

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…Just 4 days ago, I was thinking if I should send Flowers or Balloons for your Birthday. Then the realization, that I couldn’t even do that, because its not an ESSENTIAL Business….Then Thur. you called me….“How would you feel about me going to New York”.….I took a moment to pause…..I know she is a devoted nurse, but even “THAT” I didn’t expect….I finally said “I don’t want you to, but I understand why and will support you if you go”. So 3 days later she arrived in New York and today is awaiting her assignment.

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The Staffing Agency that is recruiting the medical field put out a call for 550 RN’s. This is the 2nd wave of hiring that I am aware of. Two of Tammy’s friends from Peoria were already their. On Friday the phone lines were opened and they were to stay opened until they hired the full amount. Tammy and her friend Brittney kept trying and finally made it through and were hired. They wanted them their by Sunday for Orientation..…Wow, that’s only 2 days. So plans happened fast. She talked with Tina, as Carly, who is 8 has been staying with her since the Virus broke out. Tina was on board with her going also. Tina has been an Amazing Sister. She has helped Tammy out so much with Carly. It is so hard finding a babysitter when you are a Nurse. Tina has always been their for her. Lately, Carly has been staying with Tina full time because of the Virus. Tammy could easily be a carrier as she works 2 different hospitals. So now Tina has Officially taking the responsibly of Carly while Tammy is gone and this Health scare is going on. Tina got to work and started lining up supplies.

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She found a local supplier of Alcohol Antiseptic Solution. It cost her $255. Quite a bit. She is gave Tammy and Brittany each a bottle and a small spray bottle to refill.

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She personalized each bottle with their name and tinted Brittney’s blue. Tina also managed to get Clorox wipes, gloves, and masks from her Rotary friends.

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Aunt Connie also made her some masks, and also gave her a “Spirit Bag”…..It is suppose to keep her safe. Of course she had to stop and see Carly. Of course Carly doesn’t know she is leaving. All she knows is that her momma is saving peoples lives. It has to be very hard on a child to understand what is happening right now in the world. I can’t even imagine what a child would think when its her mom trying to save people. That had to have been so hard on them both…..Such emotional times. She also had to stop and say Goodby to Cassidy, her 16 year old, who was staying with friends. Then she went and seen her friend Kathrine who is a nurse in Peru. Kathrine had made her a GORGEOUS Birthday Cake.

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It is FABULOUS and so detailed. The Statue of Liberty even has a mask on it. Katherine, it is so Beautiful.

So finally Sunday morning after packing all her supplies and clothes, Katherine and her mom came by and Tammy along with Cameron, her 21 year old son headed to Peoria. They stopped and picked up Brittney who is also a nurse, and then the 2 of them flew out on Delta, heading for NYC with a small layover in Atlanta.

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They arrived around Noon at JFK Airport. Fortunately Brittney is Uber and Large city savy……lol….They took an Uber to the hotel for around $55. The Agency has put them in a Marriot in private rooms right on Times Square.

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Times Square….Notice all the gratitude’s on the Marquis for all the help they are getting

This is her view from her window on the 17th floor. Brittney is on the 21st floor. She said that one of these buildings is where they drop the ball on New Years Eve. Her other 2 friends from OSF in Peoria are at a different hotel. One is in the Bronx. Their Orientation was 5pm Sunday nite. She had told me that she thinks they will be working 21 days straight. The bus will probably pick them up around 6am and they may not get back till 9pm.

So Today is Monday, April 6. It is her 42nd birthday. I talked with her this morning. They had to go to the Lobby and sign in. They don’t know if they will get an assignment today. They were told that once on the job, they might not have time to eat, so fill your pockets. They took a cab to Target and filled up on Groceries for their rooms. Their were many nurses in the Lobby waiting for their assignments. Tammy thinks they are a bit overwhelmed right now and they have more nurses arriving today. But they will get it together. I’m so glad she has Brittney with her and she is not alone. Times like this you need someone to talk with and lean on. At Orientation, they made it sound pretty grim. It was going to be difficult for them. They would see things and might be forced to do things that were not the norm. I’m sure they laid it on the line. When you watch tv and they interview the medical staff, it is really scary. The first Coronavirus case in New York was reported on March 1. Now as of April 6, their are 122,911 cases and 4161 deaths. In New York City alone, their are, 67,552 cases and 2,472 deaths. New York is scared and desperate. They have a shortage of ventilators, masks and other equipment. They are having to make judgment calls on life or death with many of the patients. So I hope that I will be able to talk to Tammy daily. She set up a family chat group for us all. My hope is that she will at least let us know every day that she is ok. It will be a long 3 weeks. We all Hope she stays safe and Healthy.

So Happy Birthday Tammy…..A Birthday to Remember…

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Tammy Graduated in the Summer of 2014 with her BSN. It was a long 5 years. She decided when she was in her 30’s and with 2 kids (single parent) that she wanted to do this. Scott had had an accident and lost his arm, and Ed, Tina’s husband had been in a 4 wheeler accident. Both were lucky to be alive. That’s when she decided she knew what she wanted. It became her passion. Of course being a single mom and no money she turned to the family. She formulated a plan. We all took turns Babysitting. Scott put her on his payroll so she had living money. Whoops #3, Carly showed up…..Small delay, but she persevered. Right after Carly was born, her Ex Boss Rita, from First Student Bus Company came to the house and took care of Carly. We also had a Baby Shower for her….All Diapers and Wipes…..lol…She had 2 years supply….It was Great…...Tina did her share of helping and babysitting. Brandy had her day to take Carly. I was babysitter/Taxi for Cassidy and Cameron after school. Even Aunt Connie helped when needed. On weekends she had friends help so she could study. Every semester we would get our new schedules to help her…..It was a Long….Long 5 years.….But she did it….Because she wanted it so badly, she applied herself and persevered……

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The whole family was behind her….”We ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU”…

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But it was a TEAM EFFORT……This is my Favorite Picture of the Kids….It was taken almost 9 years ago……..Tina, Scott, Tammy.…Their birthdays are all March and April. If it wasn’t for all 3 of them working as a team, Tammy would not have been able to achieve her dream. Now, I’m not implying they all get along….lol….You know theirs’s always sibling rivalry. I could go one forever with stories on that subject.

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SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY….STAY SAFE….YOUR COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE WILL PULL YOU THROUGH. WE ARE ALL HERE PRAYING. THEIR ARE MANY, MANY PEOPLE PRAYING FOR YOU, FOR ALL THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Well all this happened in just 4 days…..Whew…..Everyday is a Roller Coaster….

Day #8 ….of Shelter in Place

This morning I woke up as usual before dawn.  I have never gotten rid of that work mode in my internal clock.  When I was working, we had to be at work at 5:30 am.  If I don’t get by 5am, the cat is in my face and pawing my arm.  He knows what time it is.  After I got up, I feed him his first meal of the day.  Then I opened the interior door.  Its going to be another beautiful day.  It is in the low 70.s and will heat up to the mid to high 80.s.  The air is so fresh in the morning, and theirs a gentle breeze blowing in.  As the sun rises, the rays of light start shinning in and the birds start chirping.  They are starting their day as well.  Such a beautiful morning.  The birds have no idea,  all seems so calm and pristine, but theirs a health crisis looming and shutting down the world.  Nothing in our lifetime has ever happened like this before.  It is a Coronavirus Pandemic.  Then I turn on the TV and check the news on my phone…..Reality sets in…..

In the State of Texas, only essential business are open through the month of April.  Schools are closed till May 4.  Social Distancing protocols, will also stay in effect through April.  Our curfew is still in effect.  All of these things are so important to slow down the Virus.wp-15858549143722686363279323240655.jpgwp-1585854954721101216782641203866.jpgwp-15858548763953078875991208905843.jpgNew York is suffering the worst.  In the past 72 hours their death toll has doubled to over 1900 people.  New York City is running out of hospital beds and ventilators.  Some of the bodies are being loaded into refrigerated reefer vans.  The hospitals have no room nor do the funeral homes.  The news says that as soon as a person dies their is another person waiting for the ventilator.  In Central Park, they have set up a  68 bed field hospital to treat the overflow of patients.wp-15858558279184311807881984732883.jpg

Good Samaritan Purse is a Christian organization from North Carolina.  This hospital is composed of a Respiratory Care unit with ICU capabilities.  The whole world is shutting down and suffering with this virus.wp-15858622341711704446949918497497.jpg

This is a chart of the top 4 countries.  We are #1.  Almost a million people have been affected.  Over 50,000 deaths.  All of this has happened in such a short time.  Just several weeks ago, life was still normal…..How fast it has changed.  Here in the Rio Grande Valley, it is just starting.wp-15858426863556327225060947358458.jpg

As of last nite, we had 106 cases in the RGV, which is these 4 county’s.  We live in Cameron County…..Hidalgo is to the west of us.  Cameron County went from 26 to 37 overnite.  9 of those are in Harlingen.  So it is now here.  Here at the park, our Club Houses are now closed as well as the pool and spas.  Everyone stays home, but we still walk around the park and practice Social Distancing.wp-15858576016314529557232778584838.jpg

One of the couples in the park are making light of the situation.  They set up these chairs so Social distancing can be practiced when your walking…..lol….We also decided the other day to open the North Hall.  We have a nice Library and lots of puzzles that people can take home.  So now on Tue and Fri, 11am to 12noon, they can come in and exchange their books and puzzles, so they have something to take home to do.  They will be sanitized and set in quarantine for a week before being put back into circulation again.  They were pretty excited about that.  Many people still like having the book in their hands to read rather than a Kindle.

Last nite (April 1), we all joined the group “Let Their be Light”.wp-1585858527353512650935258282025.jpg

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Anyone who had a porch lite, turned it on.  Many lite a candle outside their door.  All for the support of our Medical personal working to help save the lives of those afflicted with COVID-19.…They are all putting their lives at risk.  This also includes my daughter Tammy.  She is a RN working in 2 different hospitals in Illinois.  Her youngest daughter, Carly is now staying with my other daughter Tina full time.  They decided since Tammy can be, and has already been exposed, you never know if she may come down with the virus or pass it on.  Tammy brought presents the other day and visited through the screen.wp-15858596841861096119929631148787.jpg

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She brought lots of different treats, matching pajamas for the girls and of course …..”TOILET PAPER”…..  Carly sure misses her momma, but she is also having fun with Miley and AustinShe is in the very good care of Aunt Tina. wp-15858597000025264867740975538780.jpg

This had to have been so hard on both of them.  I’m sure their were tears.  I know Carly wanted to run into Mamma arms…..But this is for the best for right now.

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So Aunt Connie had to get into the act also.  She brought the kids Dirt and Worms...Yum…Everyone loves them…wp-1585859609552821834631707233100.jpg

Of course DeeDee had to see Aunt Connie also.  wp-15858596367927797351413898385405.jpg

These are the strangest times.  Some strange and bazzar  memories these kids will have.  Theirs been nothing like this in our life times.  In years to come when the kids read these blogs, they will remember these stories and how it felt.  Sad Sad times we live in.  But on the other hand, families are now spending much more time together.  They are doing homework, playing games, going out for walks and eating together.  So their is a lot of good also.  They world is on pause.  Maybe this will be a good thing and have lasting benefits for families.

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The unemployment claims have doubled in a week.  It is unheard of.  The families are going to have such a hard time.  Anyone in an non essential job is now laid off.  They are all staying home.  You can’t look for a job as their is none.  The government has passed a 2 trillion dollar stimulus plan, that will provide money for everyone according to their tax filling of 2018 or 2019.  A single will get $1200, couple $2400, and each child is $500.  The checks should be Direct Deposit with in 3 weeks.  That will help but not for long.  The stimulus will also be helping out the small business owner and the Airlines.  Their is much more that is being planned to help.  But its going to be a Looooong Road…..So here we sit….Watching tv….Rich worked on the She-Shed again today.  He put in some more shelving for my crafts.  Only 2 shelves left and I’ll finish painting inside.  But no sense doing it today…..Their is Tomorrow....Tonight, we will sit outside and enjoy a beautiful evening on the patiowp-15858617036986614637159220367896.jpg

It will be a Beautiful Evening…..Just like always….Tomorrow we will get up and do it over again….Thank God for ……RETIREMENT…..

Day 1 of 14…..Tomorrow…. Shelter In Place..Harlingen Tx.

The Cameron County officials has decided to put us in the “Shelter In Place” phase for 14 days. That means we are suppose to stay home. We can go outside but stay away from others. We can go to the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Appointments, or any essential personal activity that is necessary for you. All bars, restaurants, schools churches and theaters are closed. Restaurants are doing carry outs only and the schools are going to do lessons online for the kids. So the world goes on. People are still binge shopping but it is getting better. Walmart and HEB (Howard E Butts), our Texas based grocery store, is now having a better supply of meat and other products. We still are having a problem with eggs, wipes, and antibacterial soap. I went to HEB the other day at 1pm and had to stand in line. They let in 50 people at a time, sprayed down the carts as they came into the store from the parking lot and handed each person a wipe. The purpose of this whole quarantine is to slow the spread of this disease.

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The curve needs to come down. The worry is that to many will get sick at one time and the hospitals are not equipped to handle a mass of sickness. We need ventilators, masks, as well as other medical equipment to fight this disease. New York is a mess right now. As of today their are about 23,230 total positive cases of COVID-19 and 188 deaths in New York State, with more than 13,000 of those cases and 125 deaths in New York City. They have such a shortage of respirators, masks, and the things the medical community need. The hospitals have no room. They are converting other areas into make shift medical facility’s. Last weekend, they closed the Mexican border for tourists. You can only go over for a medical or a work reason. It is open for all the Commercial trucks so as not to hurt commerce. Not shopping or visiting. So that is the purpose of all of this, To Slow Down the Spread of The Disease.

So here we are today. Our freezer is full. I managed to get a loaf of bread yesterday. I have several pkgs of toilet paper and paper towels. So we have it all. Our day now consists of getting up when we please. watch the Today Show, Dr. Phil and then Price is Right. During that time, I take a shower. Today we went out and worked on the She-Shed. I painted the back and Rich worked on the wooden sidewalk. That was about an hour or so and called it quits. It was over 90 already. Back in the house to watch tv. Later, supper and then sit outside in the evening when it cools down. News at 10 and go to bed. Wednesday, do it all over again. So what’s happening in Illinois.

Tammy of course, being a nurse is busy. She is expecting her hours to go up. Little Carly is staying at Tina’s when Tammy is working. I think they are all having fun.

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Carly wrote this cute poster. It is so AWESOME that that she knows her Mom is making a difference for other people. Miley, Austin and DeeDee of course are enjoying themselves also.

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Austin has been spending time with Ed on weekends in the camper. Tina has also tried to start a Scavenger Hunt Game with the kids in town.

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This is such a cool idea. Kids can go for a walk with their parents and start watching other peoples windows. A great idea to do to keep their interest and get exercise. Ed is still working also. He works for Air-Products, which is a supplier to Hospitals etc. Tina works at Putnam Co Court house, and she is still their several days a week. She must be Essential workforce.

Scott and Brandy are out of work. They had to close the bar, and Scotts season in the truck hasn’t started up yet. Staci, Brandy’s daughter is home from Chicago also. So they are having their fun in their big machine shed garage.

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Around 7 or 8 years ago or more, I bought this yard tent for Scott. He just now put it up. Looks like a good place for Brandy to keep safe and keep her distance….Brandy, where’s your cooler with refreshments.

Scott is having fun on his Hover Board. This was a video and they had the music cranked up and he was dancing. He also had a beer in his hand…..

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Scott and Staci took a ride up in the Scissor Lift. They both had their beer in hand, singing Karaoke. When your bored, I guess you can have fun anywhere. Today, the local Fire Departments have decided to help kids celebrate their birthdays. Tina posted one today. The little girl was out on her porch. The fire engine pulled up with their lights one. They sang Happy Birthday on the Speaker. How cool is that. They made it a Very Special Birthday.

Illinois is also on a Stay At Home order from the Governor. As of today the have had 16 deaths, and 1,535 cases. The streets of Chicago are empty.

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State Street

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Marina Towers by the Chicago River

It seems like most people are taking it seriously, and having fun with it. The kids are doing ok and their is so much more family time. This is really a blessing in disguise. Family’s are home schooling online and entertaining their kids. Its really so nice to see.

But not all are really taking it as serious as they should. Their was an incident in the park the other day. We had a number of people in the pool. A resident came in with a guest they never registered. Of course the people in the pool began questioning them. They got in the pool which put the number over 10. So several of our people got out so the number came back to below 10. They talked about the quarantine issue and said that some parks had closed their pool. The guest said yes, she came from a park that had closed their pool. Of course that stirred them up and I agree. If your park has closed their pool, why do you come over to ours. We are suppose to stay away from people. Stay home at your park. That’s where you belong. The person who brought her over said, But their are no cases in her park…..I said to her….You can be a carrier and not know it….Educate yourself. This is a 55 plus park. We are really the higher risk. It is stupid to bring in a guest when this serious health threat is happening. She never really got it. She called everyone rude. “No, many are worried and taking this seriously”…..Why can’t she. She was more concered about the rudness. We are really lucky to have our pool still open. People need to follow the rules set down for us. They are all for a reason. Do what the government officials want us to do.

So much stuff is going across FB, that is funny and trying to help make this go by easy. I need to share a couple with you.

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Do you need a Vacation????….Here are some choices of places to go…..And its Cheap…

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“Coronavirus”…The World is Going Crazy

Look back at 1 week ago today. What were you doing? Did you ever think we would be in the state of fear that seems to be possessing everyone? One week ago, I was planning for our Farewell Potato Bake. Ordering our potatoes, setting up the grocery shopping list, butter, sour cream, veggies and dip etc. We were excited for our final concert show of the season. It was Leslie Blassing from the Island. She has such fabulous vocals. A gifted singer, who makes it look so easy. She was singing a Sunday Matinee at 2pm. She sings at the Island mostly, but it is Spring Break for the month of March and she likes to leave. lol. Tens of thousands of the college kids come from around the country and party. Concerts are set up at different locations and bars. Different weeks bring different groups of kids according to their Spring Break from college.

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I was of course aware of the Coronavirus. I had watched it from the beginning in Wuhan China. I watched the news on the Princess Boat in the harbor with the passengers all quarantined. I have an airplane tracker App. on my phone, so I even watched as the first 2 planes that flew home with the Americans from China. One went to Alaska and the other California . Then they came to San Antonio. Soon the US was reporting the Coronavirus was breaking out in different states. Finally it hit Texas but it was only in the northern part, so what’s the worry?

And then reality set in………Friday morning one of the lady’s from the park came in. She just left Dollar General. They were buying toilet paper, paper towels and water like crazy. She said the line was all the way to the back of the store. Wow….I had no idea they were hoarding. So I decided to immediately go out and join the band wagon…lol...My excuse was….”The Cat Needed Food”….I went to Dollar General, the parking lot was full. They were grabbing the carts from the people who were done shopping and loading in the car. So I grabbed a cart from some guy and went on in. I headed straight to the back. Went around the corner and a bunch of people were grabbing 24 pks of water off the rolling cart. By the time I got to it, the half of cart of water was almost gone. I got the last 2 pks. They had plenty of toilet paper and paper towels, but they were picked over. So I picked up 2 big double pks of toilet paper and a large pack of paper towels. Wow, couldn’t believe how people were shopping. That night I went to a Concert at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

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Cici and I seen Burlap to Cashmere. 3 guys, 2 guitars, and a keyboard. Very talented. I suspected that their would be some empty seats, and their was, but not to bad. Saturday was when I realized what hoarding was going on. A friend was at Walmart and took a bunch of pictures….

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No Water

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No Dish Soap, cleaning products, Wipes, Diapers, and Anti-bacterial Soap

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No Beans….Really, even the Pinto and Navy Bagged Beans were gone.

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Even the Flour was picked over….The sugar was worse

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Bic Lighters……Why…Oh Why….

The people are panicking. Even all the Cooking oil, Canola and Wesson Oil was totally gone. Hand Sanitizers and Baby Wipes are gone everywhere.….Everyone wonders WHY all the Paper products…..But I seemed to join them to an extent. I’ve made sure I have doubles of all paper products and Laundry detergent. I figure if I have to be quarantined for 14 days, we should be fine. Rich and I have both been shopping at different times to load on a few things, even for the cat. He is set with his treats and regular foods. Rich even went to Progresso and loaded up on Meds for couple of months.

On Monday the CDC had started addressing the area with limitations on restaurants and social gatherings. We can not have over 50 in a group, and later it became 10. The upper management made the decision to close all Park functions. So the St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage was canceled. All activities, Bingo, Dances, Cards, Exercise classes and the Farewell Potato Bake have been canceled. So the season is now Officially Over. All the Parks in the Valley have now official canceled all activities. The Canadians have received letters from their insurance company’s. They have been given 10 days to get back home from the time Canada declared a National Emergency, or their insurance will be no good. Many of them are leaving this week. The Valley is emptying out. The Winter Texans are heading north towards home. Some stay because they say we are safer. Some are bored because nothing to do. Some have their family’s calling them to get home NOW…..Today many restaurants are closing dining rooms, only offering drive through and carry outs. All schools are closed.

Down at South Padre Island, all beaches, beach access points, and community buildings are closed. All Concerts canceled. They have 24 hours to move out their equipment. The kids are their already for Spring Break so now what…..Do they party in their rooms??? I really don’t agree with closing the beaches. At least on the beach, they are out in the open. They are not congregating together. They would be safer as far as passing the virus. But that is only my thoughts.

Now the Country is in panic. The Stock Market is Crashing, Canadian Border is Closing. Mexico has talked about it, but so far its open. The Hospital ships are moving to large cities to help. Their is a huge shortage of masks, ventilators, and other medical equipment. They can’t even keep food in the stores. Schools, restaurants, social functions, and many business are shut down. Even churches are holding services online. Unemployment is on the rise. The Cruise ship industry is in shambles, and the Airlines are flying with half empty planes…..

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So

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So now here we are. Our frig is full, we are practicing Social Distancing in public. We are told to wash our hands at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do not shake hands or touch your face. We are in good shape. But we are on Social Security. Our check will still come. I feel bad for the young parents. They are trying to maintain a living and pay bills and feed their children. Many of them have jobs in the food industry, so now they are done for 14 days. Many are still working but now their children are home and they need child care.

So where and when will this end. At this time the Government is seriously talking about sending out relief checks to help. Right now they say this is 14 days, but the president makes comments that we really don’t know. It could last till July or August. It is going to destroy many business and lives.

In one week, we went from….Normal”…. to ….PANDEMIC”…. Definition….A disease Epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or world wide.

Who Would Have Ever Thought This Would Happen …. One Week Ago

Mancave, She Shed, Kitty’s Jealous????

I think it’s time for a Fun Blog. Too much uncertainty in this world right now. This morning we woke up to a Note on the Door…..It was taped to the outside. Rich went out and got it, and said….Official Notice.…My first thoughts were….Ron closed the pool, spas and both halls. How will the residents handle that…..MUTINY….Their will be Bloodshed..

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Rich looked really confused as he read it to himself….He finally gave it to me and I DIED LAUGHING…..I knew who wrote it. Lol…..

Official Notice

This House Now Belongs to Dashboard Kitty.

Papers have been filed at the County Court House. Due to Rich Bergen having his own Man Cave and Margaret Bergen Having her own She Shed, I DK (Dashboard Kitty) am laying claim to this residence. You may bring in food snacks and clean the litter daily. Leave the remote on the couch…

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Now you can see why he is called Dashboard Kitty. Now really only 1 person calls him that, so now I know who Kitty asked to draw up the Eviction Notice.…lol…Is He Jealous.?….Well Kitty, Sorry, You don’t scare me. I’m not leaving. You’d miss sleeping in bed with us. Nobody to scratch your neck. Besides this house is bigger than the Man Cave or the She Shed. Your going to have your Buddy (Roberta), take us to court….lol..So why is he Jealous??…….He must want his own house with the name “Cat House” on it….

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Pouring the Foundation for the Man Cave….Dec. 2018

Rich built his Man Cave about a year and a half ago. It started out as a nice shed and evolved to a pretty nice Man Cave. Roberta and Ken were at a Flea Mkt and found this sign made of Styrofoam and already painted….

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He has everything in it needed including a Frig and Kegerator. But it started to accumulate totes of stuff. Stuff we brought back from Illinois. Stuff from the Motor Home, Christmas Stuff and Craft stuff. So we decided this year to build a shed for my stuff. It started out as a regular shed for storage….But as we always seem to do, our imagination takes over.

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Cameron came down for 3 weeks and helped Grandpa build it. Rich started letting his imagination take over and he decided to make it look like a General Store.

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Cameron did a lot of the roof work as it was easier for him. They worked faithfully for several weeks. It was pretty neat to see Cameron working with Grandpa again. Rich started thinking about the Insurance commercial on tv about Sheryl’s She-Shed. So it became a She-Shed.

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This is what it looks like finished on the outside. We have had so many comments about it. It so darned cute. Rich is going to build a wooden sidewalk and connect with the concrete patio. Then the area that is dirt and grass will have a gas fire ring and finish it off with red mulch, joining the flower garden. Cameron worked really hard while he was here. He also finally got to go on the Deep Sea Fishing trip that he has wanted to do for years. Him and Grandpa went out for around 8 hrs with a group. Guess it wasn’t the right time as they didn’t catch much. But he had fun. Finally after 3 weeks Cameron went back home to the Cold, Cold weather. We put some lights on the She-Shed posts, so here is what it looks like at night.

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We turn the lights on every nite and enjoy it. So now while we all seem to be quarantined at home. We are loving the evenings sitting out in our own little fantasy world. The weather has been so nice. Beautiful evenings. So for the next several weeks, we are living the Real Retired Life. Every day is the same. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just relaxing and sitting on the patio in the evenings. “What Day is It???

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So Kitty, I’m sorry we are not moving out. Your Eviction Notice means nothing to me. It is Null and Void. You will have to have your friend file a restraining order I guess. All you get is 1 bedroom, and we share our living room and kitchen with you. You even sleep in our bed. So don’t be so Greedy….

“This Case is Closed”

….By the Order of the County Court House…

Vacations Over, Everyone is Home…..Part 5

Tina and the kids returned home just before Easter. Is really funny how much kids pick up. The are so impressionable. The day after they return home, Tina walked into the kitchen.

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Their was Austin wiping his shoes. Tina asked him “What are you doing”. He said “I’m shinning my shoes. That’s what all the little Mexican boys do.”…..lol…..Can you imagine of all things, that is what he picked up in Mexico. He watched the little Mexican boys walking the streets with their box of shoe shine products and a stool, trying to make a dollar. Easter was the following weekend. Tina went shopping and amongst all the things she bought for Easter….Guess What….

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Shoe Shine Kit….Everything he needs to wash, wax, buff and shine shoes….What a nut…lol…Look how excited he is.

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So he proceeded to shine Mileys shoes and then the boots. He is such a character. They went camping out at Fish and Fun, and he got to do what he loves best…..

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He’s a Fisherman. This is what he loves to do…..Like Father….Like Son….He is a true Dolder.. He loves fishing, hunting, and the great outdoors. Ed and Grandpa Dan are teaching him well. Now Miley had an assignment at school to write a paragraph using contractions for English.20190616_2054356957540398378968055.jpg

She fell in “LOVE” with Texas……This is what it says……………….

“I’m hoping I can go back to Texas to see family. My mom loves it there. She’ll say yes. We’re gonna have such a fun time. I can’t wait. My dad hates heat so he’s not gonna go. Isn’t it fun in Texas? Aren’t you gonna answer me? Anyway won’t Texas be Fun.”

I hope they do come back soon. We Will Have A Fun Time.

Now Carly came home from school one day and wrote a story. Her First grade class was learning about Authors. Carly had picked out Gail Rollo, my friend here at the Park, as she met her the last time they were here. Gail Rollo wrote and published her book Gorilla of My Dreams. In fact her 2nd book in the series has just been released for sale on Amazon. Tammy made a video of Carly reading her story.

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It was a full page, front and back. It was so cute. She really did good. I sent the video to Gail, and she was so happy that she used her imagination. Meeting Gail and learning about Authors had allowed Carly to unleash her imagination a write a story. Something she probably never thought about before.

Tammy decided to order some T Shirts to remember the trip. Her and Connie had some ……Quality…… Time …..lol….. in the car on the way down, and on the way back…..The official saying that became a JOKE was…..“Get in the Car Connie”…..

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So these cool shirts finally came in. Tammy surprised Connie with hers. They all had a good laugh.

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So Texas Mexico “2019” is now OFFICIALLY OVER…….Hopefully they all come back again. But I bet it will be separately next time…..lol…..

“GET IN THE CAR CONNIE”

Connie, Tammy and the Kids Last Days of Vacation…….Part 4

Now that Tina and the kids had left, things quieted down a bit.  I took a day to take Connie site seeing and shopping.  Our first stop was the Museum of Arts and Heritage.  It contains the actual house belonging to the founder of Harlingen, Lon C Hill.  Also their was the first Hospital of Harlingen and the Stage Coach Stop that was moved in from several miles out in the country.  Then on to the Iwo Jima Memorial.20190418_1158548738467382576573432.jpg

This is such an impressive site to see.  It is the original first sculpture.  It is the clay cast that was made to mold the bronze Memorial in Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC.  It was a picture that was taken by an AP news photographer, of 4 soldiers raising the flag of the United States at the battle of Iwo Jima against the Japanese in WW II.  It was later in years made into a sculpture to honor our soldiers in battle. 20190418_1159311359531357824814867.jpg

One of the flag raisers was Corporal Harlon H Block, just a young man from  a little town west of here, Weslaco Texas.  He is buried at this site.  20190418_1208047820625982269052270.jpg

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Little did he know he would be killed in battle 3 days later.  This sculpture was given to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen for several reasons.  1.  The Marine Military Academy was across the street.  2.  The street in between was already called Iwo Jima Blvd.  3.  Harlon Block was a home town boy.  It arrived on 10 semi flat beds in 1981 and was reconstructed.  In between the sculpture and the Military Academy lies a beautiful parade grounds used by the Academy for Military Parades.  Many visitors from Harlingen as well as far away including the students families come to view the Parades.  Nearby is a small but wonderful Museum filled with a wealth of historical memorabilia from World War II.  Also we seen a 32 minute black and white slide show, many actual shots of the Battle of Iwo Jima.  I never get tired of watching it.  It is so impressive and informative as to the reality of the war.

We drove across the street and slowly drove thru the Marine Military Academy.  I showed Connie the dorms, Gymnasium, Cafeteria, Class rooms and many others.  The school is a private college preparatory academy for classes 7th – 12th.  It is extremely expensive to attend therefore I have been told the average stay for a student is 2 years.  If the student attends all 6 years, they will likely graduate with an entrance into West Point or any other High ranking college, graduating with a very high rank.  Next we went shopping.  Amongst others Connie wanted to do Burlington Coat Factory.  First time for me.  We seen lots of bargain stuff.  I bought Carly an outfit.20190418_1711324737293413788877434.jpg

Of course we found something else.  This cool unicorn trunk to put stuff in.  We also went back to the Island to the new Sea Turtle Inc.  They rescue and treat the injured and keep the ones that cannot be rereleased in the waters.  It is a new building with a number of huge tanks for the ones that have found their forever home.20190419_1307384700962464836390273.jpg

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This one is Gerry.….Hes been here since 1980 and was on Johnny Carson.

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This one is Allison, she arrived in 2005 and has rudder attached to her back.  She is missing 3 of her 4 flippers. 20190419_1340591719390303973342248.jpg

Their was a very interesting display on the garbage that is found in the ocean waters and how dangerous it is to animals.  So much plastic is thrown overboard or washed out to sea.  The turtles think it is food and take bites.  It is so dangerous for them to ingest.

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The girls found a tank with a bubble in the bottom.  They crawled in from underneath.  It looked like they were in the tanks.  From their we went to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center.20190419_1437415067563501753533916.jpg

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It is a beautiful place full of birds, butterflies, and some alligators.  Its trails are all boardwalks that are built above the ground.  The birds, gators and wildlife have so much area to roam and be free and we are above them and…..SAFE…..20190419_1458192968984700477143471.jpg

This was a sleeping Alligator.  Or at least he looked like it.  He never moved.

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This was a beautiful walk out to the pier.  This was all shallow water full of crab, fish snails and ducks. 20190419_1515471042480478050570140.jpg

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Such a beautiful view of the bridge coming from Port of Isabel to the island in the distance.  On the walk we seen several turtles.  They loved to dig in the mud. 20190419_1552485231534597102920834.jpg

Many bird watchers were their with their binoculars.  The area was full of lush foliage that was a home and haven for birds and wildlife.  We came across 1 more pier and found another sleeping alligator.  He was right next to the post and never moved.  He was much smaller than the other one.20190419_1603116609505219380753557.jpg

Finally after a full day, time to head home.  The next day we took off to Boca Chica Beach again.  Tammy loves that place because she can drive down the beach in her jeep.  We went through Brownsville and past the Border Patrol check point, past Space X again and right down to the beach entrance.  I wouldn’t let her go south as that was Mexico.  So we went north on the beach.  It was such a beautiful day.  I had also checked the Tide report.  I certainly didn’t want to be marooned on the beach.  We drove 4 or 5 miles on the beach, watched the ocean waves beside us, passing  vehicles fishing and grilling out.  Just enjoying a fun day of sun and water.  We approached the end and found ourselves in front of the Port Of Brownsville inlet.  Just across from us was South padre Island.

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It was so pretty.  We parked the Jeep and climbed up the big concrete/stone retaining wall.  Right in front of us was South Padre Island and one of the Dolphin Watch Cruises.

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It was windy but so pretty.  Behind us was a number of houses on a hill.

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These houses do not have any utilities to them.  They are all owned by private owners.  All water has to be trucked in from Brownsville.  They all require generators for power.  We are told when you take the Dolphin tours that if these houses are ever demolished in a hurricane, the government will not let them be rebuilt.  They don’t want them their.  So far they seem to be fine.  What a great Vacation home away from civilization.  But I bet the weather is brutal at times.  It gets the direct wind and rain from the Gulf.  We turned around and started driving back slowly.  Tammy, Connie and Carly started walking the beach while I drove the Jeep.

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It was so beautiful watching them walk, listening to the waves roll in from the ocean.  The wind blew and the sea gulls swooped and fly from the shore line to up in the air, chasing anything that looked like food. 20190419_1911514184852462720873849.jpg

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I came upon a log that had been washed to shore.  It had apparently been submerged for a long time.  It was full of barnacles that had attached to it.  I had never seen them before.  Pretty interesting. 20190419_191923165950046638024157.jpg

It was nearing time to go.  We still had to go over and visit my friend Gail Rollo.  She has written a series of Childrens books.  I bought Carly one last year and now her and Tammy wanted to purchase one for her First grade Class.

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Gail was so Happy to see us and Carly Gail dedicated a book to the first grade class.  Carly was so excited.  She read the whole book to Gail and all of us.

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She really reads well for only first grade.  Gail has just released her 2nd book in the series.  Its called …..”Gorilla of My Dreams”……Its a dream she had as a little girl and has never forgotten it.  She has self published her books and they are available on Amazon as well as many book stores.  She is an ….”Awesome”….. lady.  You can also check her out on Facebook as well as Amazon.  Finally it was Easter Sunday and time for them to go.  We went to Golden Corral for Breakfast.  When we came home guess who had been their…The Easter Bunny…

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Carly was so happy.  She thought the Easter Bunny might miss her.  She got her bag and started collecting all her eggs and surprises.  The Easter Bunny left Cassidy her new hair iron that she has been wanting.  Now they had to pack.  You  would never believe all the stuff they had to pack.  The little trailer was so loaded down.  They had bought so much, including bags of fruit.  They also brought back the things Tina had bought that she couldn’t put on the plane. 20190421_1251364733610969203983122.jpg

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Finally it was time for them to leave.  Their was just enough room the kids to sit.  After Hugs and Good Byes they took off loaded to the hilt.  24 hours later they pulled into home again.  I can’t imagine driving with her,  packed in tight like the kids were, but it is what they do.….lol….. and Connie survived….

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“GET IN THE CAR CONNIE !!!!!”