Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farewell to Luby's

The phone ran at 8:00 am this morning.  Being that I went to bed at 3:30 am I was still very much asleep.  Why do people insist on calling us early, we are not morning people and all of our friends and acquaintances know that.  In this occasion it worked out for the best as I needed to go to the courthouse (that is where the license plate renewal office is located) to get new tags for “Terlita” my beloved van.  In and out in 5 minutes as there was no one in line.

Drove dad’s old car into town and it had a strong smell to gasoline.  Swung by the library to check out a couple of newspapers and found out they closed our local Luby’s.  No notice to employees, no nothing and calls to the headquarters from the local media had not been returned.  This is where the mechanic’s wife works.  I am sorry for her and all the people that lost their jobs.  In a small town like Del Rio employment is hard to find.

I don’t normally go to Walmart on Wednesday but glad I did, as there were very few people at that hour.  Have you all noticed how much paper products have gone up?  I find I get better prices in Houston but looking at the local ads online for stores there, I might as well buy them here.  I need to order checks and was surprised to see that the price has not doubled but tripled.

Looked in the camping section for some mark downs but found none.  Maybe after Labor Day they will start slashing prices so I can find a couple of things for my upcoming trip to Terlingua.

I cannot believe I actually took a three-hour nap late this afternoon.  I guess the heat (dad’s car does not have a/c) the lack of sleep and all the running around took its toll.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Texas Journey

Got my copy of the September/October 2011 edition of Texas Journey (it is the magazine for AAA members).  On its cover was the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off and a nice cover I might add.  Was looking forward to an equally good article but it was a rather disappointing.

I might of guessed it would be one sided since on the cover it also says “CASI’s annual chili championship heats up the Big Bend”.  While I too attend the CASI event there is another chili cook-off going on at the same time called “The Original Terlingua International Chili Championship Cook-off”.

While the majority of the people in West Texas have heard of Terlingua, that is not the case in the rest of the state.  This would have been a great opportunity to showcase both cook-offs being that they are right around the corner.  November 4th to November 6th to be exact. The writer  Dan Oko barely touches on the history of the event and dedicates a short paragraph to the competition down the road.

Mr. Oko mentions the 2009 and 2010 events and even makes reference to the fact that he interviewed a cook who was working on his laptop (This is the desert, but, heck, it’s 2011- this chunk of desert is Wi-Fi equipped”….hello???  The 2011 cook off has not happened yet ((me rolling my eyes)).

He also calls CASI de los Chisos, the formal name of the “scrappy desert property where the cook-off is held”. 

It could have been a great article but in my humble opinion it was junk.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cedar Cabins

When I finally make my move to Terlingua I will be going solo and I do not have any building skills to fall back on and there is no hope I will learn any before then either.  I have therefore been looking into ready-made housing such as 5th wheelers, trailers and pre-fabricated structures.

The problem with 5th wheelers and trailers is that I would need a truck to take them out there.  However with the strong winds that are prevalent in the area I am afraid they might topple over with me in them :D

I found these cute cedar cabins that would be perfect for me and the price is not too bad either.  Here is a link

I think it would be a great business opportunity for someone with building skills to offer these little cottages and cabins in the Terlingua area.  I know I for one would be interested.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Burning Man 2011

A couple of years ago I was researching how to make my ice chest more efficient in extreme temperatures.  I came upon a thread from the Burning Man website which had some excellent tips.  I became intrigued by the name of this event and set out to research it further.  I was blown away by all the preparation, effort, imagination and expense that people go through just to be able to participate in this weeklong festivity.

It is an event of grand magnitude that takes place in Black Rock City, Nevada in the middle of the desert.  It is located on an old ancient lakebed, which is commonly referred to as the playa (it means beach in Spanish).   People not just from the United States but  from all over the world attend this annual gathering.

This is not for everyone.  The environment is harsh from extreme high temperatures (it is the desert after all) to extreme nighttime drops; hurricane strength windstorms that cause white outs.  This is also a leave no trace event, which means you, take everything you brought with you including your trash and gray water.  Only amenity provided is port-a-potties.

If you are still reading this you are probably wondering, who would want to go there?  I sure would!!!  But due to circumstances beyond my control I am not able to do so at this time.  However it will go in my list of things I would like to do before I die.  Forgot to mention that it is a clothing optional event, and NO if I ever go I don’t plan on getting naked :D

Burning Man 2011 begins tonight at 12:01 a.m. and concludes on Labor Day.  Here is a link to their web page:

Here is a link to pictures of past Burning Mans – if you are offended by nudity then perhaps you might not want to look at the various albums on this link.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Darn Cookies

Those of you, who “know” me from the various blogs that I read and comment on, are probably aware that I know absolutely NOTHING about computers.  So I am very proud of myself for “finally” having solved the issue with third party cookies.   Now I wont have to change computers just to be able to post comments.  If only I could figure out how to make the letters bigger on my netbook maybe I could actually read my e-mail without squinting, lol :-D

I could not believe the phone rang last night at 2:06 am it was my best friend who was a little tipsy.  Was trying to ask her how her daughter faired during the earthquake in Virginia and now with hurricane Irene but she fell asleep on the phone.  Hope she and all the folks being affected are hunkered down in a safe place.

Pretty much a boring day.  Did two loads of laundry.  Billy Bob if you are reading I also used the hulla hoe on a couple of weeds but not many before I broke out in a sweat and came back inside.

I hope you all had a great day.  Good night and may you have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Where did the day go?


For the life of me I could not go to sleep last night, finally dozed off around 5:00 am so it was no wonder I did not wake up until 12:25 p.m.  The only reason I woke up was because the aroma coming from the kitchen was delicious and made me hungry.

Mom asked me what time we were leaving.  I asked leaving to where?  That is when she reminded me I had to drive her to her doctor's appointment.  I could not believe I actually forgot something as important as that.  Sleep depravation or CRS syndrome?

You know how it is, you go to your appointment but it is usually hours later until you actually see the doctor.  Picked up a Texas Monthly magazine I believe (don't quote me, you know how my memory is) and it had an article on all the state parks that were acquired since the 1960's to present day.  Of course one of those parks being Big Bend Ranch State Park.  Made for interesting reading and finished just in the nick of time before they called us in.

While in town I noticed that the price of gas had gone up at HEB from $3.51 yesterday to $3.55 today.  However across the street at Stripes it was still at $3.51 so I did not hesitate for one minute and pulled in to fill up.  I thought the price of gas was going down not up.

On the plus side the clerk told me I could get a free 64 oz drink.   It is a promotion they were having for filling up your vehicle.  So if you are in Del Rio fill up at Stripes, we have three stores in town to serve you.  That is my chamber of commerce plug of the day :-D

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Afternoon Showers

Been busy this week so had not gotten around to doing laundry.  Put a load to wash and then turned on the weather channel.  Said there was a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain, rats!!  When they give that kind of probability it usually means 90 to 100 percent chance of rain.

Went outside to check and sure enough it was getting cloudy. Went through my usual preparations, put the cars in the carport, moved delicate plants to the porch, etc. etc.  You have to understand that exactly two weeks ago we had a 30% chance of rain and we got 4.47 inches.

We had a wonderful afternoon shower.  Temperature dropped from 96 to 79 degrees.  It was a welcome respite from the suffocating heat.  Thank you rain gods.

On another note picked up mother’s car and bid adieu to that worthless mechanic.  I felt like a great weight was lifted off my shoulders.

All in all not a bad day.

Have a good night, and may you have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Small town newspapers


Living in a small town can be a double edge sword.   Everyone knows each other or if they don't know who you are there is always a neighbor, co-worker or someone who does.  While in the big city chances are no one has heard of you or your relatives and what's more they don't really care.  Ahh...the anonymity of the large metropolis.

Then there are the small town newspapers.  Wednesday in particular because the crime blotter section is very popular.  You see even though I do not want to admit it, I want to read  who was arrested for fighting at the local watering holes in town, who is the jealous boyfriend who stole his girlfriend's cell phone so he could read her text messages or the boyfriend who broke into his girlfriend home to confront her because he did not like what she posted on Facebook.  These things might sound trivial to most but in small communities where nothing much happens, well it is the talk of  the town.

If the name of the perpetrator sounds familiar but you are not sure, they have a picture of the person's mug shot and if that does not dispell your doubts, well not to worry they publish their address too :-D

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lying Mechanic


Another sleepless night, finally forced myself to go to bed at 4:00 a.m.  The phone woke me up at 9:43 a.m. it was the mechanic saying mom's car was ready and I could go pick it up.  I told him "did you not say it would take at least 10 days to get the part?"  he gave me some story that I am not even going to relate because I am sure it is a lie plus it makes me angry just to think about it.

Told him if he could bring mom's van and then come start dad's car.  That is when he informed me that he came by yesterday and started it but we were not home.  I asked him why did you not leave me a message ?  Told him that when we got back I noticed  the car had not been moved, therefore I figured he had not come by. I would of assumed he would of at least have taken it out for a test drive.  Claims he was here 45 minutes and got it running so saw no need for it.

Went to see if the car would start and yep you guessed it....car would not start.  Called him and told him so.  Said he would bring the van and then take the car to his shop.  Remember he claimed it was the carburater?  Now it is the gas pump plus probably a defective battery !!  Tomorrow who the heck knows.  I have promised myself that this is the last time I am going to use this mechanic.  If you are ever in Del Rio and have car problems do not take your car to a mechanic on Frontera Road...find someone else.

On a positive note Mom saw how upset I was and to cheer me up she sprung for a pizza. Thank you Mom :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

For some reason I could not sleep last night so started sorting through my computer pictures.  Mom could not sleep either so she and I looked at pictures for about an hour then called it a night.

We got up early this morning (for us) since she had a doctor’s appointment.  There we ran into this lady we know, who in turn introduced us to another couple.  I have yet to decide if I like going places and always running into familiar faces or whether I prefer the anonymity of the big city.

Afterward we went to Billy Bob’s favorite store, Wally World.  Actually she stayed in the car and I just went in to buy us some Blue Bell Ice Cream.  There was no way in the world I was going to go near the place this past weekend being it was the tax free holiday and millions of people were going to be shopping for back to school.

I was surprised there were so many kids there, thought school started today.  I asked the cashier and he said those were the kids that did not get their shots in time. No shot records, no school and indeed today was the first day of school.  I ask myself, how lazy can a parent be when they had all summer long to take care of this.  I believe the city even had a couple of free vaccination clinics...oh well it’s their kids future not mine.

I was so tired I even fell asleep during the news, guess my body really needed a nap.  Tonight I also got back to the task of watering all the trees after taking an eleven day break after the 4.47 inches we got back on August 11th.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My dream land is under contract


My dream land is under contract...unfortunately not to ME :-(

I had found what I believed to be the perfect parcel of land.  Situated right off the highway so  I would not have issues finding it or entering in a low clearance vehicle.  When I finally make the move to Terlingua I will be going at it alone and I do not want to be in some remote region of desert by my lonesome.

I knew the price but most importantly the location were too good to be true.  Here is a link

http://www.westtxrealty.com/listings/index.php?action=listingview&listingID=342

Oh well, it was not meant to be.....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hide and Seek


Have you ever had to pretend you are not home rather than put up with, how can I put this delicately?  Humm...let's say less than stellar company.

There is a gentlemen from my mother's church that likes to pop up unannounced and stays for hours on end hoping to be invited to dinner.  He talks about everyone in church knowing fully well my mother is a serious person who dislikes gossip.

On one occasion he had the audacity to say " I don't smell food, aren't you going to have dinner?"  Mom's house is small so I could not help but hear him from my bedroom.  Little does he know my mother eats at two o'clock and not at five like most people.

I distinctly heard the door to dad's car close so I figured it was the mechanic who had finally come start the car.  I peaked out the window and to my surprise it was this gentlemen.  Why did he open the car door?  Did he think we were hiding in the car? :-D   More importantly what the heck was he doing in our backyard?

Lucky for us since Mom's car is at the worthless mechanic's shop, he must of thought we were not home and he left.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Are there any trustworthy mechanics?

When my father was alive he always took care of servicing the family vehicles.  By that I mean he took them to the dealer or the dealt directly with the mechanic, as he had no mechanical knowledge.  When dad could no longer take care of that a friend of the family referred us to our current mechanic. A man we have been doing business with for about 15 years.

He is expensive but does all the work himself, which is something I liked.  I don’t like having to pay high wages so they can turn around and use “helpers” whom they pay minimum wage to.

His shop was well located about half a block from the international bridge.  He had customers from both Mexico and the US.  About 3 years ago Homeland Security decided to close down this busy street so they could built the new international bridge station.  The people in historic South Del Rio protested since there was now only one outlet and you had to take a 4.1 mile detour.  Homeland Security promised them a new street and to this day they are still waiting.

As expected this pretty much cut his business in half if not more.  People from big cities might not think much of driving an extra four miles to a dead end street but in a small town that is too much.  That is why I would think he would value his loyal customers.

 I had my mom’s car towed there on Tuesday and I did not hear from him until today.  Said her car is old and parts are not readily available anymore.  He had to replace some part 4 times but they did not work as they were used.  So he had to order a new part, which he was able to find in New York but it had to be paid for in advance plus shipping.  He quoted me a price and said he wanted me to come down and look at other things that were wrong with the vehicle ( like I would really know).

Mom and I went and when I asked him how much we needed to write the check out for to cover the part plus shipping and handling he quoted us another price!!  Then he asked if we could pay for the other parts he had already installed and his labor.  Is this legal or for that matter ethical?  I can see paying for the part he needs to order but he has not even fixed the car and wants money up front?  I was fit to be tied but I want him to do a good job and giving him a piece of my mind would not have been prudent.

To add insult to injury he said he would be by this afternoon to start up my dad’s old car, which he said could easily be fixed if the carburetor was replaced.  Hello???  If that was all it needed why in the heck has he not done it in all these years?   He called the parts store and they told him that they no longer make parts for that vehicle!!   Do I believe this man?  Guess he would just rather come out and get the car started at $50.00 a pop. 

I guess this mechanic is on Terlingua time because he never made it and didn’t even bother to call.  While I am not a betting woman, I would be willing to bet that he ran to my mother’s bank to cash her check.  Like Ben in Texas would say, GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Ok, I will get off my soapbox now.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

What was the first blog you ever read?

Back in October of 2007 an acquaintance of mine sent me a link about a fellow and his dog that vacationed in the Terlingua area.  I was busy preparing for my annual trip to the chili cook-off so I did not read it until my return.  His blog is called "The Oasis of my Soul"  and it is a very personal and at times painful journey of a man trying to recoup after the untimely death of his only child and son.  His sidekick and faithful companion is his dog Spirit. That was the first blog I ever read.

In December 8, 2008 he did an outstanding article entitled "Visiting A Soulful Neighbor" which was about the now well known John Wells http://theoasisofmysoul.com /?p=5268  that was the second blog I read and where I "met" the majority of the bloggers that I now follow or whose nicks are known to me because I read their comments.

What was the first blog you ever read?

Good night.  Terlingua dreams.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trash Day

Living in Houston I am used to having trash pick up twice a week.  It was the same here but a couple of years ago an out of town company was the successful low bidder and was awarded the city contract.  They provided us with a big trash can and cut back pick up to only once a week. 

I am not an early riser so I usually set out the trash the night before rather than risk not waking up in time and having to wait another week, but not last night.  I had to find a way to trick myself into getting up early and cleaning up the carport and all the stuff that floated downhill last week.

I finally decided to throw away the spare keys to the car that I LOVED and was my faithful sidekick for twenty years.  It was the car of my dreams but I knew it would start having problems because of the age and mileage and it had to go.  So today’s trash had a little bit of a treasure in it.  Sometimes it is hard to let go but after two years it was time…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What ever happened to punctuality?

No, I am not referring to posting my blog on time...being trying to login to Blogger for over an hour and now it's officially Wednesday August 17th, so technically this is yesterday's post.

Made arrangement with a local towing company yesterday to have them take one of the cars to the shop.  Lady told me the guy would be here at 9:00 am sharp and gave me his name and cell number just in case.  We live out in the county and our house is not easy to find so I called him to make sure he was not lost.  Good thing I did because the guy was ASLEEP, said he FORGOT and that owner NEGLECTED to remind him.  What an irresponsible jerk, I hate when people do not take responsibility for their own actions and blame others.  As Ben would say grrrrrr!!!!

Went to the post office, a few stores and lastly to HEB to pick up mom's medications and a few groceries.  Looks like I will have to drive back into town tomorrow as one of the medications had to be ordered from San Antonio.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Computer Challenged

I knew this blog thing might prove challenging but not in the first post, lol.  It took me several tries and one re-write to do yesterday's blog.

I am still having problems with my laptop not accepting Google Blogger's third party cookies.  How does one go about fixing that?  I can only post on blogs that allow anonymous comments.

I have to use my netbook and the screen is tiny as well as the keyboard.  My uncle bought it for me so I would not have to log around my old heavy laptop since I suffer from a bad back.  Hope I don't mess up the cookies on that one or I'm fried :-(

This morning I got up early and cleared the storm debris that was clogging the front gate and driveway since we had an appointment this afternoon.  That is as far as I got on the clean up though.  Had not left the compound since Thursday.  The city streets are all pretty much caked with mud.  Found out the north side of town was without electricity or water for several hours at the height of the storm.

Got an e-mail from my best friend in Houston.  Seems her daughter in Virginia was surfing for camping gear and found a testimonial for a sleeping bag signed Belinda - Del Rio, Tx.  She told her mother it HAD to be me.  My friend told her, do you know how many Belinda's there must be in Del Rio?  Went to the link and sure enough they posted my comments from a satisfaction survey I took after I received my new sleeping bag.  All I know is that this year I am NOT going to freeze at the chili cook-off.

Good night.  Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I took the plunge

I have been tinkering with the idea of starting a blog for a while now.  Today I decided I would take the plunge.

It is a hot and humid day in Del Rio, Texas.  Thursday night, August 11, 2011 around 10:50 p.m. the sky opened up and put an end to the drought in this area, at least temporarily.  It rained 4.47 inches in 55 minutes.  We live outside the city limits in Val Verde county, so there are no storm drains.  The water kept rising on the cinder block fence and for a while there I was afraid it would come into the house.  The front and backyard were a lake.  Wish I had had my camera but I think I either left it in Houston or I lost it.

The driveway, the carport, front porch and back porch are covered in mud and storm debris.  Was hoping it would rain once more as the weather channel predicted but alas it has not happened.  Really need to start the clean up but hate to waste water to do so...that's my excuse and I am sticking to it :-D