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December, 2007
December 3 - 9
Monday, December 3. It got cold during the night and the temperature was about 50 degrees this morning. The day felt perfect to make a beef roast in the slow cooker, complete with carrots, celery, potatoes and onion. It made the place smell so good throughout the day and it tasted great at dinner time too.

Mike made some calls about the microwave and we found that in order to get it repaired under the recall, we would have to take it to a repair center in Corpus Christi and that it takes about 3 weeks to repair. Even after the repair, chances are that it could happen again. Since the thing is 5 years old now, we decided to just replace it. As we were headed for Lowe's, we passed the Sears store just a few blocks from home, stopped and found one that would fit in the cabinet. That was so easy! After a few trials, Mike had it all installed in the cabinet and it fits perfectly.

This evening, we went to the opposite side of the park and joined a different group of people at happy hour. We didn't stay too long, as it got cold just as soon as the sun started to go down. It is nice getting to know people, everyone is very friendly.

Wednesday, December 5. As you can tell, not much is happening these days. We have been just hanging out. We did spend some time yesterday looking at new motor homes. Once again, we have decided we like what we have for afford ability and dependability. The new ones are nice and much more roomy, but are basically the same thing for lots more $$$$.

Last night, the volunteer fire department of Fulton hosted a free fish fry for winter Texans. We went with a couple that are parked across from us, Bud and Chris, who are from north Texas. They are recently retired and here for the winter. Nice folks. After standing in line for about 30 minutes, we were served a very nice dinner consisting of coleslaw, beans, fish, bread, cake and a beverage. They also gave out some door prizes and provided Christmas music. Not bad, certainly a friendly community that welcomes the support.

Today was spent cleaning up the car, washing windows, getting a few groceries, repairing a broken storage compartment handle, taking a few walks, and relaxing. It's back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8. Time is flying by - can't believe we are already in the 2nd week of December and I still haven't thought much about Christmas preparation. I have been working on the cards this week, as the office activity has been real slow.

Last night, we were invited to a fish fry put on by many folks in the park. Some of the fishermen have had real good luck lately and decided to share their catch. It was absolutely delicious. Had a nice time visiting with folks too.

The weather has been near 80 and very humid the last few days.

Frisco has a new job, riding on the golf cart with Mike while he works. He seems to love it and doesn't attempt to jump off. People approach him throughout the day and give him pets and attention. We're so happy that it is OK with the owners and managers, because he doesn't have to be kept in the crate all day. Our understanding is that he had 2 predecessors that had the same job.

After happy hour this evening, we were invited to have dinner with Lucy and Myron - delicious salmon on the grill and several complimentary dishes. We had a nice conversation and got to know them a little better. We both feel that it's going to be a good place to be for the winter.

Sunday, December 9. It was a day off for us because we switched a day with Lucy and Myron, will work tomorrow. It was hot and humid again, so we chose to go to the beach at Port Aransas on the gulf, about a 15 mile drive from here. The beach was beautiful, soft sand but not a lot of shells. You drive your car onto the beach, park and walk, walk, walk. Frisco loved it!
December 10 - 15, 2007
Monday, December 10. We worked for Lucy and Myron today, as they had plans for the day. It turned out to be fairly busy, but nothing special. We joined the happy hour group and had a nice conversation, then went home for a quiet night.

Tuesday, December 11. This morning, LaVonne (from Colorado Springs) and I took our dogs Frisco and Sophie (a cute Schnauzer) to Memorial Park for a nice, long walk. Sophie had been there before, so she showed Frisco the ropes. The park has nice, with paved walking trails that took us along a path that led around a small lake, and through the park for about an hour. It was an enjoyable time and we had a nice conversation.

In the afternoon, Mike and I finished getting our gifts to send off to Wisconsin for Christmas. This evening, we joined the happy hour group in the park and then went home for a nice, quite night.

Wednesday, December 12. This morning, I went to the Strand Salon in Rockport and had Ruby cut my hair. It's much shorter than what I thought I described to her, but will grow out. I think I like the cut, but its hard to tell on the first day. I sure don't feel as good about the cut as I did after having an appointment with Jill.

I also stopped at the library and at the Master Gardener's demonstration gardens. The gardens reminded me a lot of Ocala and the plants that were native to that area. I talked with the coordinator and got some information on future events in the area and was told that I was welcome to help them out whenever I had the urge to get my hands in the dirt.

Tonight, Manuel and Lenore (the park owners) took us to Los Comales for a very nice dinner, their Christmas gift to the staff. Before dinner, we met at Lucy and Myron's house for a *bleep*tail, then went to the restaurant and had a delicious dinner and some good conversation. On the way back to the park, we drove through Key Allegro to see the Christmas lights and to see George Strait's house - didn't realize we had celebrities nearby.

Thursday, December 13. Not much happening this week on our days off, but it seems we have been busy the whole time. I went to the park with LaVonne again this morning to walk the dogs. A cold front came through last night and it was a bit brisk, although nice weather for walking.

This afternoon, I hung around the house doing crafts and relaxing. Mike took his new RC helicopter to the rec hall to fly. According to him, it works well and he likes it a lot. It was a good afternoon to make a big pot of chili.

December 17-23
Monday, December 17. What a boring work-week it has been. If we're lucky, we have seen one arrival or departure each day and maybe someone to come in and pay rent. A cold front moved through here on Saturday, bringing high winds, some heavy rain and choppy waters. Yesterday morning right after I opened the office, the power went out and wasn't back on for a couple of hours, probably due to the high winds.

Before opening this morning, we had coffee and doughnuts in the rec hall, a regular Monday morning event. I hope the time flies today, as it's day 4 and we're ready to be out the door.

After work, I took Frisco to the fenced-in area just outside the park (I recently got permission to use the area belonging to the housing development next door). He had a wonderful time off leash, but he scared me. He also scared a Great Blue Heron that was perched on the seawall and it flew off quickly squawking very loudly. I could tell that he wasn't too happy about the interruption. I have to give Frisco credit for coming to me when I called him, although it was definitely a delayed response.

I joined the group at Happy Hour and had a nice time. Mike ran some errands after work, so he didn't make it. Having a glass of wine doesn't make you want to fix dinner, but I did, a quickie pasta and salad. After that, I joined up with some of the women in the park to help make paper snowflakes to decorate the rec hall for the New Year's Eve celebration. It was fun.

Tuesday, December 18. Day 1 of the next 4 days off period. We attempted to get chores done today, so we can play the rest of the 3 days (our weekend). The schedule sure gets confusing at times, but we like having the long stretches off. On Monday, it is our Friday and on Friday this week, it will be our Monday. Go Figure!

We had someone wash the motor home today, as it is such a big job. They did a real nice job and it saved us the effort and only cost us $2.00/foot - a reasonable price for the job. We have been talking about doing it ourselves for several weeks now and just don't seem to be getting it done.

Lavonne picked Frisco and I up this morning and we went to the park for a nice, long walk. Frisco and Sophie get so excited as we approach the park, it seems that they know exactly where they are going. Twice while we were walking, I dropped the leash and Frisco came back to me when I told him to come. I don't feel that I can slack off, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable that he will come when I call him and not run off. Several times, he has run out the door when we open it and he has come right back.

I cleaned the house and got groceries this afternoon - another interesting experience in this neck of the woods, considering we only have 2 choices for groceries. I've noticed that the HEB grocery store doesn't carry a very big selection of cereals, especially not good heart healthy cereals. I wonder what people eat for breakfast?

Today I thought I would give Walmart a chance, although I don't care to frequent that business. They carry plenty of good cereals but their frozen vegetable section is minuscule. I had the choice of large off-brand bags that won't fit in my freezer, individual single serving sized containers and peas, carrots, corn, broccoli, and green bean steamed varieties. Yuch!! It's a good thing there is a nice produce stand down the street from us, although they carry mostly seasonal goodies. The Farmer's Market in Rockport is discontinued through the winter months and will start up again in April.

I also went to a meat market that I had spotted when driving around. It is a nice store that has a large selection of beef products, a small selection of pork, and only whole and half chickens. The prices were good, so we will now have to see how the meat tastes.

Friday, December 21. It's day 4 already - what a drag. On Wednesday, we packed up and headed south to see what the Rio Grande Valley is like. We hear a lot of talk about it and many of the people here spend part of their time in "The Valley". The drive is about 170 miles and isn't very attractive. It takes you through Kingville, the home of the King Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States, encompassing 800,000 acres of land. At Harlingen, we turned to the northwest to go toward McAllen, Donna, Mesquite, and Alamo - places that are known to welcome the hordes of northerners that make the south their homes for the winter. We weren't too impressed.

From there, we headed west and then south on US 281, along the river, although we couldn't see the river, but could see some of the Mexican towns along the way. The towns that we did go through looked like they were part of Mexico anyway, the signs were all in Spanish. Once again, we weren't too impressed.

After crossing the bridge into South Padre Island, we started looking for a place to spend the night. The Wanna Wanna Inn, Restaurant, and Bar right on the beach was our choice for the night. It was clean, colorful and a little run down but it worked out just fine. We had a decent dinner and a couple of drinks, ended up talking with a couple from Illinois for a couple of hours and then had a nice, relaxing walk on the beach just before bed. My kind of life!

The next day started with a long walk on the beach for Frisco and I, where I gathered a few shells and thoroughly enjoyed the place. There weren't many people around - very enjoyable. South Padre is the land of condos and vacation rentals, restaurants, and t-shirt shops - the same as any other tropical place in America. It didn't take long and we had seen the whole island, so headed back home.

Lucy and Myron joined us for dinner tonight and we had a nice time. Mike fixed his grilled pork tenderloin that is always a big hit.
December 24 - 30
Monday, December 24. Happy Birthday, Big Sister Rita! We had a nice converation today, and the day before, and the day before - its so nice keeping in touch and talking on a regular basis.

Mike and I worked today and it was a pretty busy day - go figure. The weather was nice, a bit cool this morning but warming to the mid 60s.

Tonight, we joined several of the folks in the park for a Chinese gift exchange and lots of yummy finger foods. It was a nice enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, December 25. Merry Christmas to All! It felt so good to sleep in this morning - we were both awake early but managed to go back to sleep. When Frisco and I walked this morning, I was overdressed and had to take my sweater off before we left the park. It's a beautiful sunny day.

Thanks to the cell phone, we were able to have nice conversations with Pat, Mom, Rene, Dan and Sharon, and hopefully Ben later on.

Since Frisco is the work dog around here now, Mike discovered that the garage is a great place to play ball with him. It is a huge building with wide open spaces where he can run hard, not get hurt, and not get away. Before we went to the rec hall for dinner this afternoon, we took him to play ball in the garage. He is getting real good at playing fetch. In the motor home, he isn't interested in playing with balls and prefers the soft, squeaky toys. Maybe some day, we can let him loose to play ball.

Dinner was excellent; baked and fried turkey, ham, dressings, cranberries, salads, vegetables, and lots of great desserts. We sat with Larry and Debby from Maine, and Myron and Lucy the park managers from Iowa. After dinner, we took a nice walk along the shore, then napped.

Overall, it was a very nice, relaxing Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 27. Frisco and I started the day with a nice, long walk at Memorial Park with Lavonne and Sofi. It was a chilly morning, so we were all bundled up but it was comfortable for walking.

We took care of a few things around the house that needed to be done. Mike ran the generator, started the engine on the motor home, and adjusted the levels. I took down Christmas decorations cleaned Freddy's bowl, and made a big pot of Tortilla Soup. Somehow, soup is always good on these cool days.

Friday, December 28. Mike and I decided to go see the movie, "No Country For Old Men" this afternoon and found that the Portland 8-theater complex is very nice and a convenient 20 minute drive for us. The movie was good, very well done with superb acting (Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson) and came highly recommended from several people. It was quite violent and a sad story, but very good.

While driving home from the movie, Ben called with excellent news that the website photo album is fixed. He won't be bringing back onto the site for a few days yet, as other maintenance needs to be done. But at least the problem has been solved and I am so happy for that. Updating the website and maintaining the journals have become daily activities that I really enjoy.

I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight - Steak Strips with Spaghetti. It consisted of sirloin steak strips, onion, green pepper, tomato sauce and seasonings simmered until tender, then served over spaghetti with mozzarella cheese melted over the top. Very tasty, healthy, and best of all - easy!

Saturday, December 29. What a drag, I have picked up the illness that has been going around the park, in spite of getting on a regimen of my favorite immune booster, Esberitox. During the night, I started having that overall dragged out, feverish feeling and it is getting progressively worse.

Sunday, December 30. Today was a beautiful day and I sat outside whenever I got a chance. It was not a good day for Frisco as he got in a fight when a black lab on the loose got too close to the golf cart. Several people in the park were trying to catch the lab, but she was very evasive. Finally, it approached the golf cart once again and Mike was able to get ahold of her collar. It was another case of the owners having no control whatsoever, but we really canā??t say much about that. Who knows how Frisco would react if he got loose.

Later in the day, he was freaked out about the noise of a diesel truck. This is another one of our challenges. The behaviors we need to work on are his aggressiveness around some dogs, fear of loud noises, and tugging on the leash. Already, he is much better about the leash as we have been working on that quite a bit. This morning, we even walked past some squirrels and he maintained the heal position the whole time. What an accomplishment for little Frisco.

Monday, December 31.
Itā??s hard to believe the end of the year is here. It was another gorgeous day. Looking out at the water from the office, it was smooth as ice and there was a lot of people fishing off the pier and sailboats in the distance.

The park had a very nice New Yearā??s Eve party tonight and we thoroughly enjoyed the party. Several of the women worked to decorate in a blue and white color scheme. All of the Christmas tree decorations were removed except the white lights, then puffs of cotton and white ornaments were added to it. White and blue lights decorated the hall, with snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and in the windows. Finger foods were brought in and there was an abundance of goodies to eat.

We played a game where bottles of wine were passed from left to right, following a story that was read to us. Wherever the bottle landed at the end of the story, that person got to keep the bottle of wine. It was fun and we had a great time. ā??Name That Tuneā? was also played and our half of the room were the winners, although each table got a bottle of champagne to toast the new year. The toasts came a bit early and we were all cheering and drinking the champagne by about 11:00.

Mike and I left the party just before 11:30. We wanted to get Frisco out for a walk before the fireworks started, as he was a bit nervous from hearing all the noise. We also wanted to get to bed because we had to work in the morning. Oh, well, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Created on 12/02/2007 07:48 AM by bridge
Updated on 01/01/2008 12:10 PM by bridge
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