No Blog In a Month?…..What Have I Been Doing…

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“MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Where has the time gone.  My last blog was Nov. 22, the anniversary of President Kennedys assassination.  We have been so busy at Eastgate.  So much to catch up on.   Soooo……….Lets get started.  I do think it will take several blogs…lol…

We have been so busy, and the weather has been great, up until last week.  The temps have been from the 70s to the 90s.  Plenty of sunshine.  Rich is busy everyday.  He plays pool in the mornings and then begins his day.  Always plenty of repairs.  Eastgate has more workampers this year, so the work is getting done at a faster rate, but theirs always things breaking and many things to replace.  Always water breaks….When the park has a leak that requires the water to be shut off,  Victor, the maintenance man rides the golf cart around, blowing the siren.  That means the water will be shut off in 15 minutes……lol…Guess what,  that even broke….lol…someone had to ride around in the golf cart shouting……”Water Shut Off”…..Water Shut Off”….Funny…I guess you had to be their to hear it…..Now we have a New Siren too….

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The Craft classes have been very busy.   We have made Sparkleballs from Christmas lights and Solo cups.  They have been so popular, that we keep making them over and over.  We will be making some more after the rest of the people come for the winter.

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If your interested in making them the web site is,  sparkleball.com.

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SOME OF OUR CUTE SNOWMEN, ALL BUNDLED FOR WINTER

We also have made log snowmen.  We bought 7′ posts and cut them into 1′ sections.  painted them and dressed them with hats and scarfs.   They turned out so awesome.  Everyone had different ideas on how to paint faces and dress them with the hats and scarfs.

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OUR SPINDLE SNOWMEN IN PROGRESS. WE PAINTED HIS HAT BLACK, GAVE HIM A FACE AND BUTTONS AND A LITTLE SCARF FOR HIS NECK

The 3rd item we made, was snowmen from railing spindles.  I had over 20 the garage for years that came used from an auction.  I seen a picture on Pinterest that would be easy to do.  We cut them to length, and added the hat to the top and painted them.  A hole was drilled in the bottom and rebar was inserted.

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OUR MAGNIFICENT COOKS, RICH, CAROL AND LARRY, SUZI AND BOB ……I CUT UP THE ONIONS….LOL….

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone.  For Thanksgiving, we cooked 7 Turkeys, dressing and gravy.  The rest was supplied by the residents.  Each table has a card table at the end.  Each table holds 8 people.  They bring a dish to pass for their table only.  It is put on the card table.  One person from each table goes up to the kitchen counter and receives a plate of turkey, dressing and gravy.  That is also put on their card table.  Each table therefore acts as the family unit, as they pass their food from the card table.  It saves time, and everyone can almost eat at the same time.  If it was served as potluck fashion, many of the best dishes would be empty before everyone was served.  It has worked out so well.

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OUR CHRISTMAS COOKS…LARRY, RICH, CAROL…AND THE YUMMY SPIRAL HAM……X 7

For Christmas, we served Ham and glaze.  7 hams were purchased and almost nothing left.  We had 15 tables for Christmas.  The table decorating contest was a Great success.

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THE WINNING TABLE DECORATING CONTEST…..NOTICE THE CRAYONS AND THE COLORING TABLE CLOTH….VERY ORIGINAL…AND THEY CALL THEMSELVES SENIORS?

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……..THE CRAZY, JUVENILE WINNERS…..

Our neighbors, decorated their table in a very pretty, entertaining, and JUVENILE manner…..lol…They had a kids coloring table cloth with crayons and all.  They colored through dinner and guys wore silly hats.  They won a bottle of wine…as if they needed it.   They are a riot whether you see them around the park, or at the dinner table…..

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BARB….WINNER OF THE UGLY SWEATER CONTEST…..A HOMEMADE BADGE FROM EASTGATE WITH “UGLY SWEATER WINNER 2015” AND RIBBON

The hall was decorated so festive.  Many of the residents got together one Friday morning and got out all the decorations and the tree.  We turned on Christmas music and turned it up and away we all went.  It was so much fun to be a part of it and watch them enjoy the Christmas Spirit in the Air.

Another craft project we did for both halls, was to make paper snowflakes.  I seen it on Pinterest, and made one.  It was so easy.  That after noon we made many more.   I takes 30 sheets of computer paper.  5 sheets for each point.  The reasoning is to make it thick enough to hang and not rip.  They ended up well over 12″ in diameter.

I have also scheduled some activity’s that we have done.  We have had several Segway tours of downtown Harlingen.

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Their is so much history in this town and the art work of hand painted murals are all over town, depicting to history.  One of the most magnificent pieces is in a park.

A special area has been constructed for it.  It is a collection of 905 mosaic tiles that tell the history of Mexico.  It is stunning and beautiful.

 

One of my favorites…This mural covers almost a half block area on a wooden fence.   If was painted black and then painted with dots….Its magnificent.. The artists are Benjamin P. Varelo, and Celeste De Luna. During the Segway tours, we visited these murals, and many others and are given the history of the town.  It also takes us to Grimsells which I have written about before.  It a fabulous garden Center that is over 100 years old, situated almost in the middle of down town.

They have the tallest flag pole in town, so if your looking for its location, just look up over the buildings and look for the waving flag of the United States of America, and you can make your way to Grimsells.  This last time we were their, they had their larger birds out.

So so cool.

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About a week ago, 16 people from the park, carpooled downtown for the 1 1/2 walking tour.  It was a fun time.  We had 2 guides that walked us through the downtown area using a megaphone to tell us the story.  After we had lunch at a local Café.  We learned a lot more history as well as we found many more cool stores and boutiques to shop at.  One never gets tired of shopping do they?  lol…..These are just a few of the things we have been doing……

Next blog….Guess who came down for Christmas….The 2 older Grandkids….Cameron and Cassidy…..

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Great Time on a Segway and Seen a Terrific Raptor Show

Were been back at Eastgate now almost  a month already.  The weather has been so nice and warm. 80s’ and 90s’.  We’ve had some rain though.  We have been very lucky in Harlingen, as their has been much more rain to the east and west of us.  Many of the drainage ditches have overflown and homes have been flooded.  So far the new position is going well.  My official name is Event Coordinator.  I have been checking out some great things to do.  Sunday we are car pooling to the Local Theater to see a play of “Steel Magnolias”……Last Wed, I went on a Segway Tour of Harlingen.

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I have always wanted to do it.  We were at Don Wes Flea Market, last year, when the were advertising, and they let me stand on one.  It is balanced by a Gyro inside.  It stands on its own.  It is really easy to do.  This company has tours through out the Rio Grande Valley including South Padre Island.  I had attended a convention for Activity Directors and was able to sign up for this tour, so we could take our experience back to our Parks and book tours with a fabulous discount.

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Check out our helmets…..lol….

Our guide, Rachael, gave us some great instructions and was very patient with training us.  She also had an assistant, John with her.  He was awesome also.  He always followed us to make sure we were all safe.  After about a half hour of instructions and training we took off for the 1 1/2 hour ride through historical down town, focusing on the many murals.

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I didn’t take to many photos of the murals as I was a little nervous to take my hands off the handles.  Sure didn’t want to fall off and make an A***** of my myself……lol….Our first stop was a fabulous garden center, Grimsell’s Garden Center.

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It was so pretty, It had beautiful patios, and gardens.

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I heard some birds tweeting,  I sounded so pretty, so as I walked through, I came upon a garden with a cage of parakeets…..They were so happy enjoying the gentle breeze and singing happily.

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Their cage was on a set of wheel barrow wheels. That way they can wheel them in at nite and bad weather.  They are well taken care of and obviously so happy.

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I continued on enjoying all the beautiful plants on display, and for sale.  Such a beautiful, soothing and relaxing atmosphere in the middle of town.  PARADICE

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Next, back on the Segway’s for another mural.  This building is all the windows and downs painted.  Its is different and a departure from the other murals.  An artist actually has a shop their.

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On we go to Harlingen Lake.  It was huge, right in the middle of town.  I hadn’t seen it before.  It has awesome walking trail around the lake with many grassy areas.  We rode the walkways halfway around, and then got off to rest.  We had the opportunity to either rest or go play on the grassy hills nearby.  It was time to rest my feet as I think you stress your muscles at first.

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Several of us just sat and relaxed, enjoying the beautiful breeze from the lake.  This is a picture of Rachel (Owner) and John.  We had them pose for it.   Nice advertisement….lol…I want to give them all the plugs I can…lol….

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Onward to the Library.   They had a beautiful Plaza area.  The emphasis was obviously on books….The gorgeous arch, was structured with books.

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Some had rather comical names.  One of them, as you would be standing under the arch staring up was named….”Looking Up”…..lol

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This was a cool statue of Thomas Edison.

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.Rachael  and John were always their to help us get on.  So patient

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One of our last murals was down town.  The Lady from the Visitor Center welcomed us and took our picture.  Finally it was over and back to the parking lot.  It was a blast.  The next day I called Rachael and have scheduled 2 tours for our park, one for this Wed. and another in Dec.  I hope they have as much fun as I did.

We also had a Birding Convention in town.  The RGV is a huge birding area.  So many kinds, as we are on the main migratory areas.  They held Bird walks all over during the week, even going over 50 miles away.  For the weekend they had a great show at the convention center.  I went with my Good friend Roberta, who is a permanent resident of the park.  She has 2 birds…..”Maui” a beautiful Macaw, and “Love Love” a cockatiel that has broken hips.

They are awesome birds. Roberta found many books and contacts on birds.  They offered many trips all over the world, even New Zealand for Birding. People come from all over the world for these Birding conventions.   But my favorite was the Raptor Project.

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The Raptor Projects is an extraordinary and outstanding array of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls that have won the rapt attention of enthralled audiences throughout the nation. Presenting almost 1000 educational programs to over 10 million people annually, The Raptor Project leads the way in outstanding, top quality, professional wildlife education. Featuring 15-20 raptors from diverse habitats at each presentation, these dynamic fierce predators capture hearts of both young and old.

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Jonathon asked a little girl to feed meat to the eagle. She wasn’t even afraid

The Raptor Project founders, Jonathan and Susan Wood of New York’s Catskill mountains have assembled a traveling collection of feathered predators that is unrivaled in scope and size anywhere in the world. Jonathan Wood is a Master Falconer and Wildlife Rehabilitation, bringing unique insights, observations and humor to his exciting, riveting, nationally acclaimed shows.

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This Owl was so beautiful. At first he looked stuffed…lol…but He was real

Many of the birds in About Johnathan Wood - BiographyThe Raptor Project have
permanent handicaps and have been donated to his project by crowded wildlife centers around the country because they were unable to be re-introduced to the wild. Some faced euthanization and now have been tamed and trained to educate the public as charming ambassadors of their species and the environments they inhabit. Jonathan and Susan Wood and their staff operate the organization from a beautiful 14 acre, private facility in New York’s Catskill mountains. All birds are housed, exercised and cared for in spacious, state of the art aviaries.

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Jonathan Wood works with birds in a wide rage of sizes. From small falcons and owls weight 3-4 ounces to majestic eagles with 6-8 foot wingspans. He is honored with 35 years of handling experience and has produced and presented The Raptor Project to over 10 million people… up close and personal!

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These birds were so awesome to see in person and close up.

It has been a fast month already.  Time is flying by and its all most Thanksgiving.  We are doing our final plans on that now.  Thanksgiving menu will consist of 7 Turkeys, 2 roasters of Dressing and 1 roaster of Gravy.   Were on the cooking committee, Well rather Rich is, I will be doing other stuff.  Sure isn’t my forte…..lol….Till next time, which I have a Great Article on Veterans Day to write next, I will leave you a picture of Kitty in the shower…..He loves to drink the water…..lol12233369_10205026521490404_1724181842_n