Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
CASI Chili Cook-off - Terlingua, Texas

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I’m beat

Remember the packing pictures from my last post?  Well forget about them… I spent all day Saturday unloading the car and trying out new arrangements so I could fit all the stuff I am taking and I am still short of space :-(

The choice was take the stuff I need to spend 7 days in the desert and only two cases of beer or re-arrange to fit all my beer and then pair down on the clothes and miscellaneous.  Guess which choice I went with? :D

My aunt arrived today (Saturday) to stay with my mom while I am away so I think I am going to be hitting the road later on this morning (Sunday) after I get some much needed rest.  My back is killing me.  The good thing is that Terlingua is only a five-hour drive from Del Rio, six if I stop to eat in Alpine, which I definitively plan to do.

If you have never been to the cook-off and you would like to get away for a couple of days why don’t you join me and a couple thousands other folks and spend some of the best times you will ever have.  I promise you will be hooked.  Here is a link to the CASI cook-off  http://www.chili.org/

Hope to see a couple of locals out there.  The official page says you have to have a wristband by Tuesday but they don’t start enforcing that until Thursday so come by and visit and I will treat you to a cold beverage.  Ask around for Belinda from Houston almost everybody knows me or just ask for the girl that screamed SNAKE last year, lol.

If all else fails just look around for my tent as far as I know I am the only one that has one…but then again I could be wrong, it has been know to happen.  We will see you in a week or so.

May you all have Terlingua Dreams…I know I will tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tweaking


Half the fun of going on a trip is planning for it.  While I can only speak for myself, as a diehard chili cook-off attendee this is an event that I plan and look forward to since the moment I leave the campgrounds.
All year long when I happen to be out and about or thinking about purchasing something in the back of my mind I think, how can I use it in Terlingua?  Is this something that I can incorporate into my campsite?  I have a container in which I start putting my purchases and little things that I might forget along with an updated packing list that I seem to revise all the time. This year I have managed to fill up three containers so I have to pair down a bit.  If I had Terlita it would not be a problem but with a sedan I have to be rather selective because I don’t have much room to work with.


Last year I took two medium size coolers in the back seat, one for my beer and another for my food.  The only problem is that I then had to pile on all my clothes, chairs, full-length mirror (hey I’m a girl!) my zero gravity chair, along with a 6-gallon water container.  It is rather difficult to move all that out of the way when you are trying to get to your beer.  So this year my beer is going in the trunk where I can have easy access to it.


The trunk if pretty much packed with my folding table, tent, tent shower, shower stand, and garden sprayer as well as all the necessary paraphenalia to set them up.  Will also fill up all the nooks and crannies with miscellaneous items. 
Just in case you might be wondering, why a garden sprayer?  That is one of the best tips I got in the Burning Man Tips and Tricks forum http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewforum.php?f=3&sid=270da2d902088d4586714cf2c275c784 you can save a lot of water using them to take a shower.  Remember this is the desert and water is not readily available neither in Terlingua nor in Black Rock City.  You can go into town to bathe at the coin showers but the lines get pretty long later in the week plus you also take a chance of being stopped by the DPS which swarm the area starting on Wednesday.  You will be pulled over for the most minor infraction as they are really looking for drunk drivers, so if you are drinking don’t even think about driving or you will get a free ride to Alpine. 



Packed my back seat with my 120 quart ice chest where I was hoping to fit 10 gallons of water but it takes up too much space.  I had placed my old sleeping bag to keep it from sweating on to the seats as I was also going to buy a couple of bags of block ice but I think I will make do with one ice chest this year.  But make no mistake about it I am taking TWO sleeping bags this year as I do not plan on freezing to death like last year.






Tomorrow I will go through Terlita to try to find my winter stuff and complete my packing.  I bought all my can goods (since I do not cook) while I was in Houston as things are much cheaper there than in Del Rio.  Just need to go buy bread and beer and I am pretty much set.


While the CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) is officially only a three-day event…Thursday, Friday and Saturday people get there way before.  Some of the people that camp around me arrived tonight and some will be arriving Friday and Saturday.  The latecomers will get there Sunday or in my case, I hope to get there on Monday.


Halloween has always been a fun holiday for me and while I am no longer a child I still enjoy it.  The local towns people bring their kids to trick or treat. There are actually more people at the cook-off than in their respective towns of Study Butte, Terlingua and Lajitas.  It is fun to see the kids smiling and showing off their costumes.  Remember if you decide to come, don’t forget the candy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Will I get it all done in time?

I have so much to do to get ready for my trip.  For one I need to go through my winter stuff that is in Terlita (my camping van) as you never know what the weather will be like and NO you cannot believe the weather forecast.  Last year I about froze to death on Tuesday night and I am NOT exaggerating.  Of course I am to blame as I choose not to pack my sleeping bag or enough warm blankets in order to save space. 

Except for the first year that I rode to the chili cook-off with a friend I have always taken Terlita as she is a full size van and can carry everything including the kitchen sink.  Sadly after 20 years of faithful service Terlita is experiencing transmission problems and I now have to make do with a sedan.  Obviously I cannot fit everything I am accustomed to taking and it is creating a dilemma.

When I was in Houston I went to the dollar store to buy some mothballs and died laughing when I saw that they made the box the size of a box of baking soda.  That will not do, need a very large box to place all around my campground as I do not want to experience another “rattling” moment like I had to last year.

Remember I mentioned that I was freezing to death on Tuesday night?  Well I could not wait till Wednesday morning so I could drink a warm cup of coffee at my friends camp even though I don’t particularly care for coffee but I needed to unthaw.  As soon as they were up I went to their camp and did not even bother to dress (get out of my pajamas) or put on my glasses…that is how desperate I was!!

After a wonderful breakfast I walked back to my camp when I thought I saw something move by my tent. Remember I mentioned I did not put on my glasses?  I froze on my tracks and then I saw something about two feet long and the color of dirt slithering.  I camp all around my friends and the nearest camp was like 20 feet from me.  I screamed but I could not hear myself screaming and I turned and ran toward their camp but I felt like I was running in slow motion and could not get there fast enough.  I yelled for everyone to help me as I hollered SNAKE, SNAKE!!!

The guys came with a shovel and another one with a rake (he was just going to flip it over the ravine) glad my friend with the shovel did not share his sentiments and he cut his head off…love you Hector!!!  It was a baby rattler but make no mistake they are just as poisonous as a full grown one.  My thoughts were if this was a baby, surely he or she has sisters and brothers and a mother and father, YIKES!!!

Needless to say I had to go back to my friends camp and calm my nerves with a stiff adult beverage.  There they told me that in fact I had yelled quite LOUD.  Next day some people were riding around and when they saw me they said “you were the girl that was screaming about the snake yesterday weren’t you, we are camped across the ravine and heard you” :D

So you see I am not taking any chances and I am buying as many mothballs as I can carry as I am told snakes and critters do not particularly like their scent.

Want to thank Shoeless Joe and Jimmie Lane for signing on as followers.  I appreciate you taking your valuable time to read me.

Nine more days to Terlingua!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Looking forward to my trip

When I am feeling down or “life” gets in the way I find great comfort in looking at pictures of events and happy moments and it undoubtedly makes me feel better.  Tonight is no exception to the rule.  Was looking at last years pictures of my trip to my favorite place in the whole wide world and I found the picture up above.

El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican celebration that has become a tradition in many Texas towns and Terlingua is one such town.  The couple up above are husband and wife and each year they dress up for the occasion.  I had read about this event from Ara and Spirit  http://theoasisofmysoul.com/ but I did not get a chance to attend until last year.  If you have the opportunity to go by all means do so.  It takes place on November 2nd just before sunset but due to limited parking try to get there an hour before.











They usually post signs around town and ask that you bring a potluck plate as well as chairs and your own beer.  They also have a small bonfire.  What I really wanted to see was all the tombs lit at sundown but since I was riding with someone else I unfortunately had to leave before that happened.

In Mexican tradition families go to the cemetery and bring the favorite food and drink of the deceased and leave it for him as an offering while they also eat by their loved ones tomb.  The exception to the rule is if your loved one died as a child, then it is celebrated on November 1st.

One thing I found intriguing was why all the tombs had coins (dimes, nickles, quarters) and when I asked they told me it was to pay for their "crossing to the other side".

Good night may you have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am climbing the walls

I feel like Hobo Joe  http://hoboroad.blogspot.com/  he is climbing the walls because he is trying to give up smoking and I am climbing the walls trying to do my taxes.  You might think that one thing does not have to do with the other but nothing could be farther from the truth we are both feeling desperate, helpless and edgy at least on my part.  I apologize to Hobo Joe if I put words in his mouth.

It does not help that I also drank a 16oz cup of coffee this morning so I could be bright, alert and focused.  Well the truth is that all I am is nervous, in a bad mood and hating the IRS.  Mind you, I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes; I just hate all the forms and the gathering of information.  I KNOW it is all my darn fault for waiting till the last minute, so if anyone is to blame…the fault is all MINE.

I have gone through a zillion boxes and finally found last year’s return in a nice little binder that my CPA prepared for me but it’s like 30 pages.  Did I screw up by trying to save $220.00?

At Hobo Joe’s suggestion went to Walmart to get TurboTax but they don’t have that anymore as everyone but ME has already filed their taxes.  Did go online but the version I require cost $74.95 and the point here was to save money.

Will try to complete it myself and read that dumb thick book but if not will have to buy the download version.  Have until Monday October 17th at 11:59 p.m. PT to decide even though since I live in central time zone perhaps not.

I apologize to all the blogs that I follow as I probably wont be able to post until this nightmare is over. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bloggers Meet

I have been mentioning the past couple of days how I wanted to meet Billy Bob http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com/  and Barney http://ofmadventures.blogspot.com/ but was afraid I might give them my cold/flu. Today I finished my antibiotic regiment and decided to take dad’s old car for a spin to the San Pedro Campground in Lake Amistad.

I made a sign that said “I’m MsBelinda” in case Billy Bob decided to go firing off his gun :)  I spotted Billy Bob sitting outside by the shade of a tree (ok sort of a tree) honked my horn and waved and he waved back but I don’t think he had a clue who the heck I was.

Made a turn and parked in the camp next to his just far enough so if dad’s car went up in flames (read prior post on worthless mechanic) I would not catch “Sally Da House” on fire.  Just as I got off with my sign Barney came out of his Castle and we sat and had a very enjoyable conversation.

I took the following pictures just bear in mind that the date on my camera is not working properly and it is obviously NOT April 30th nor was it 6:42 a.m.




It was late in the afternoon just before five o’clock so it was not hot and we had a nice breeze and cloudy skies.  It was relaxing and I loved hearing their stories.  Would have liked to stay longer but I left at 7:00 p.m. because the lights on dad’s old car are rather dim and I cannot see well at night.

Forgot to mention that I also met Sadie Mae, she is such a sweet dog, did not even bark at me.  Barney woke her up out of her nap to let her know there was a little rabbit and she took off chasing after it.  We also saw three doe’s and alerted her of them but I don’t think she saw them and went back to napping.

Billy Bob, Barney have a nice and safe trip wherever your next adventure takes you and know that you have a friend in Del Rio, Texas.

So Many Projects, So Little Time

I am overwhelmed to say the least with all the projects that I need to complete this month.  The one weighing the most on my mind is my income tax return that I found out last night is not due Friday th 14th but Monday October 17th.  It gives me a little wiggly room but I am going to pretend that it is due Friday anyway.

I have not prepared an income tax return in years as I have mostly had a CPA do it.  Reading that thick book is torture but I think having to gather all the stuff is even worst.  Good thing is it bored me to sleep so I didn’t even have to take Nyquil.

We had slow steady rain all of last night.  I put out a few buckets to capture some rainwater for mother’s other plants.  I don’t know why I kept on waking up every two hours or so.  Most people that know me know that I am NOT a morning person but today I got up 5:00 a.m.  Again I think it is from just worrying about all I have to do.

Friday the propane guy finally showed up.  Said he had gotten his truck out of the shop on Thursday.  I took a picture but I don’t know how to fix the date.  Was messing with the camera and instead of getting it to post the correct date it now has the erroneous date stamped on the picture to boot….grrr!!!  



The mosquitoes are really bad, we even have them in the house but I cannot use any kind of sprays or chemicals because of mother’s allergies.  In another blog I had read that the author used eucalyptus oil on his dog.  I wonder how effective that would be in humans?  Has anyone ever tried it?

Thank you for the e-mails concerning my bout with the cold/flu.  I am feeling much better but I still have a cough especially at night.  My uncle is also feeling better but he gave the flu to my cousin.  This is surprising since they had both had flu shots.

Would very much like to go to San Pedro campground before Billy Bob and Barney leave but I don’t want to take a chance in making them sick.  Maybe I can drive by, honk and wave??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My American Doctor

I don’t want to give the impression that I only go to the doctor in Mexico.  Having been raised in the Texas/Mexico border it has always been cheaper to go to Mexico for minor stuff like a cold, getting your teeth cleaned or having one pulled. 

It is always a good idea to have an American doctor or some people call them your primary physician.  Let me explain why…when you are young you don’t think you are ever going to be sick or perhaps you are a very healthy person and do not feel you need a doctor.  Such was the case with my dad.  All his life I only remember him being sick once. 

My father refused to go to the doctor or for that matter the hospital after he had his first stroke and his left hand went limp.  When he got his second and then third stroke he ended up in intensive care and the attending physician informed mother and I that we needed to find a doctor for him.  I called all the doctor’s in the phone book including one that was his friend and they all turned me down.

Do you know that you cannot even get in a nursing home without a doctor’s referral?  The nursing home also requires or at least they did back in the mid 1990’s that they have a primary physician they can call in case he gets sick.  I learned that very few doctors like to make nursing home visits because they feel old people complain too much.  This I was told by the nursing home administrator.

The only doctor that the nursing home helped me find for him was a young lady doctor that had just started her practice and I was grateful to have her.  Would have liked a more experienced physician but beggars can’t be choosers.

When it was clear mother was NOT going to move to Houston to live with me, I decided to move to Del Rio to live with her.  I also decided to look for a doctor now that I was healthy just in case something happened to me.  Mother’s doctor is a P.A. and he worked under this wonderful doctor.  When she was in the hospital he took very good care of her.  I was very impressed with his bedside manner and his warm and friendly personality.  Turns out he is the husband of the lady doctor that treated dad.

I went to see my American doctor today.  He is aware that I do not have insurance; I am what they call “self pay”.  Turns out I have bronchitis and he gave me a prescription and told me I can have it filled in Mexico.  He knows many of his patients including myself cross the border to buy our medications and he has no problem with that.  My bill today was $59.00 cash.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Neighborly Deed

Got up early for me 7:00 a.m. to open up the gates and move the trash bin in case the propane guy comes by.  Mind you he was supposed to come Monday and we are still waiting for him, grrr!!!!

Mom has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon so was busy getting all her medications and paperwork ready when I heard a lawn mower very close by.  Ignored it but it got louder and when I looked out the window mom’s neighbor from across the street was mowing the street portion of her lawn that due to the recent rains have grown at least three feet tall.

I thought that was very nice of him.  He is a likeable fellow who always says hi unless his wife is with him or she is anywhere in the vicinity.  She has probably said hi to me twice in the twelve years since they moved here.  Will only greet my mother if she is alone.  This in spite of the fact that her mother and my mother go to the same congregation and are friends.  I have no idea why, but I don’t particularly care either.  Mom and I will have to thank him when she is not around.  Thank you Joe, we really appreciate it.

On another note fellow bloggers Billy Bob http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com/
and Barney http://ofmadventures.blogspot.com/ are in Del Rio, at the San Pedro Campground in Lake Amistad.

I am hoping to be able to pay them a visit as soon as I finish my antibiotic regiment, as I do not want to give them my cold.  God forbid I make Billy Bob sick he will be writing about it for years. :D

Have a nice day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why do I procrastinate?

Its not like I want to or do it on purpose but I always seem to put off things to the last minute.  First the income tax preparation, every year I promise myself that it will be the last year that I put myself in such a bind but deep down inside I know I will do it again next year.

We live in the county so we have to buy propane, as gas is not available.  With all the things that went on in September I forgot to check the tank.  Called the propane guy on Friday only to be told that he had to put his truck in the shop but would be here today.  Waited for him until 3:30 p.m. but he never showed up.  Hope we don’t run out soon or I will never hear the end of it from my mother.

Only reason I had to leave was because I forgot I had to send off my car insurance payment and had to make a mad dash to the post office so it would be postmarked with today’s date.  Why couldn’t I have sent it off last week?

I have been griping about the cost of paper products, paper towels, toilet paper, napkins and specially checks.  Well I had no other choice but to order checks because I am down to my last five.  Decided to do it online so they would be processed sooner.  I know I am “computer challenged” but I think they are fooling the public or at least they are fooling me.

Case in point, decided I would order 4 boxes so I would not find myself in a bind in the future.  It clearly said that four boxes of duplicates would cost me $61.80 a rather outrageous sum but since I was a first time customer I would get 20% off making my new price $49.44 still a lot of money but what can I do?  Processed my order then put in an additional coupon I had for $2.00 off.  Then it re-calculated and told me that my new price was $16.50 plus $7.80 for shipping and handling for a grand total of $24.30????

How it the world did I go from owing $49.44 to now only owing $24.30…well I could not argue with the computer so I just hit the complete my order button and was grateful for the savings.

Still catching up on laundry, did two loads today.  Had to put on insect repellent just to go outside as the recent rains has brought a swarm of mosquitoes. Flies have also inundated us, darn things are everywhere.

Hope you have a good night.  28 days to Terlingua :D

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wasted Month

I feel like I wasted the whole month of September.  It came and went so fast and having to sandwich in two trips to Houston did not help any.  One of the main reasons for going besides getting my home security system fixed was to go get forms and instructions at the local IRS office.

I was lucky at that since I figured I had to go downtown but found one close to my house.  For the past twenty or so years I have been having my taxes prepared by a CPA and paying a pretty price for it.  Sure his report is pretty and all that but now I need to cut down on unnecessary expenses, so this year I will prepare them myself.

You are probably wondering, weren’t taxes due back on the 15th of April?  Well, technically yes as well as your payment if you owed taxes but if you filed an extension like I have done practically all my working life you have until October 15th.  Since it falls on Saturday this year I guess I only have till the 14th of October.

To make matters worst I have no idea in which of my zillions of boxes I have my tax information.  Guess I will be going through a lot of boxes L

I am trying to catch up on all the laundry as well.  It would go much faster if I could go to the Laundromat but my mother insists on having the clothes dried on the solar dryer (clothesline).

I think I had mentioned before that I did not know if I had lost my camera or left it in Houston.  For a while there I could not find it in Houston either until I went to the garage and found it on top of my clothes dryer.  Figured it was fried after all it only spent the hottest months in terrible heat but after I changed the batteries I got it to work.  Only problem is that the date got messed up and it now thinks its April.  Well Belinda why don’t you read your manual?  As you might guess, it is also in one of my zillion of boxes…

Yesterday I spent a good deal of the afternoon clearing weeds and trying to remove baby mesquite trees which unfortunately have a very deep root system.  Billy Bob if you are reading this THE HULLA HOE DID NOT WORK.  That thing is useless.  Finally got a square shovel and used it to remove the weeds with less effort on my part and most importantly less stress on my back.

Hope you all have a good Sunday.  Twenty-nine days to Terlingua :D