Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Sprinkles

This morning I was rudely awaken at 9:31 a.m. not to yapping Chihuahua’s but by the sound of a weed eater.  Tried to ignore it but then I asked myself…could it possibly be Mata Gatos (Cat Killer)?  It would fit his M.O. of showing up on a day with crappy weather and with thunderstorms looming.

Got up and informed Mom that her hired help was back.  Was surprised he stayed for two whole hours, heck weeds are already growing in the area he last mowed a couple weeks back.  Only reason I am even mentioning it, is so I can have a cyber record of his “work schedule”.

It started sprinkling just before noon and kept on for about three hours. This was a great day to stay home and just chill but alas it was not to be.  Mother asked me to drive her to her friend’s house to pick up some items.  Once in town she decided she wanted to go to HEB and then we swung by the P.O. Box.


Could not help but notice that gas is now $3.38 a gallon. That is 20 cents more than what I filled up at just last week.  Glad we have an economical vehicle.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lazy Sunday

I forced myself to go to bed early last night (early for me) 3:30 a.m. woke up to the yapping of the neighbors two Chihuahua’s at 9:00 a.m.  Well at least they slept in because they usually start their barking much earlier during the workweek. Why do little dogs bark at nothing?

It was rather chilly this morning but needed to do laundry.  My room is a mess and mother “suggested” that it might need cleaning.  Lol, sometimes I feel like a teenager.  Actually the room is clean, what it needs is de-cluttering.
 
This is the smallest of the sheds they have at Home Depot


This would be the ideal size but it was locked and it did not have a price.
This month marks three years that they broke into my home in Houston.  They took everything of value and them some.  The sad part was that the original thieves took the things they could easily pawn…my computer, my LV purses and duffle bag, 15 cases of laminate flooring, and a lot of remodeling supplies that the person I hired never got around to installing.

My next door neighbor “the town crier” alerted the neighbors to the fact that my house had been burglarized and that it was now unlocked.  So it was open season at my house and they took everything else, towels, sheets, a folding table, bags of charcoal, a floor jack, my silverware, blender, the molcajete my grandmother had given dad, the food in the refrigerator and whatever else I had in the pantry.  Not to mention the neighbor kids that went in and stole trinkets, nail polish, perfume, costume jewelry, make-up, even my electric hair rollers!!

This is a good option as well, not so the price.
It has lots of room for my boxes but ofcourse the shelves are extra.

Since that time I have brought a lot of my files, important paperwork and clothes to Del Rio.  The problem is that mother’s house is small and the only place I can put my boxes is in my bedroom.  My bedroom also doubles as a guest room so if we have company, those boxes have to be moved or there isn’t sufficient space for them to maneuver around.  I have been looking for alternate solutions such as purchasing a storage shed, but the price has been the limiting factor, isn't it always?


In an ideal world and if I won the lottery, I would definitively consider this barn shed.


Though I must admit, it might be overkill.

No telling how long before I could not climb these stairs to the loft area
Today I only mustered the strength to move around a couple of boxes.  Like Scarlett O’Hara would say “tomorrow is another day”.

Hope you had a great weekend may your workweek be even better.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Observant Readers



Guys you all have made me chuckle with some of the e-mails I have received regarding the header picture.  Actually I was not able to locate that particular photo the other day when I did a post entitled “My Cyber Journal” and wanted to illustrate how even in the desert I bring along my Wal-Mart spiral notebooks to document my trip.

Some have asked if I work for Border Patrol…jajajajaja, no, I don’t.  Actually I purchased that hat at the cook-off back in 2006 just for laughs.  I bought it at Krazy Flats (the spectator side) where you will find more “off the wall vendors”.

One person wanted to know where I bought the milk in the cardboard container and why it was not in a cooler when the temperature gauge in the tent shows it to be 94 degrees.  Boy that one really surprised me; even I had not noticed that…you have good eyes.  That milk is one of the best kept secrets as far as I am concerned.  It does not have to be refrigerated until you open it and the four containers that I took did not expire until February 2012. This particular brand is Nutri Leche but there are many others.  I bought them in Bodegas Aurrera in Acuna but you can buy them anywhere in Mexico for just under a dollar each.

In the desert ice is neither cheap nor abundant. This year I only brought along one good ice chest and it was reserved for my beer, so the less I had to refrigerate the better.

One inquired about the DQ (Dairy Queen) beverage glass in my tent and if there was one in Terlingua.  The nearest DQ is in Alpine which is 80 miles away; I had stopped to eat dinner there before heading south. I normally do not throw anything away until the last day just in case I might need it.  I used the beverage container for drinking ice water.  You didn’t really think I drank beer all day did you? jajajajajaja…don’t answer that!!

For once in a long time Blogger is not giving me headaches and the problem I had with Cricket seems to have been resolved (knock on wood) so it has turned out to be a good Saturday. Hope you all had a great day as well.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.
  

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Blogger, now Cricket…HELP!!!

Just when I thought all my blogging issues had been resolved my ISP decides to throw a wrench in it.  I have been trying to answer comments on my blog since 8:30 p.m. it is now a little past 2:00 a.m. and after multiple conversations with Cricket customer service, I am finally able to respond.

I had the same thing happen last week.  Could read my blog as well as other blogs but as soon as I tried to respond to a comment or leave a comment the page was re-directed to a Cricket page with a banner that read “It appears that you may be using your phone as a modem” your plan does not allow Tethering…WTF (excuse my French)…I don’t even own a cell phone!!! Only plan I have with Cricket is a broadband connection that is no better than my former dial-up and just as slow!!!

According to one of the customer service guys (out of three that I spoke to tonight) Cricket is promoting a new service for an additional $10.00 a month to use your Cricket cell phone for tethering and it is affecting a lot of customers even those that do not have a cell phone plan like myself.

Sure hope they get their act together.  Last week I was able to get a live operator.  Today I had to cheat, if you have the same problem choose the option START NEW SERVICE and you will instantly get a flesh and blood person.

I wanted to welcome Abby to my blog, thank you for signing on.

Would also like to thank all the people that read me whether you follow me or not.  I try to answer all comments whether on my blog or my e-mail.  I think I owe all my readers the courtesy of a reply.  Sometimes it may take me a while since I do not go online every day but please bear with me.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Windy, Cold, Gloomy and a Love Story

Windy, cold and gloomy pretty much describe yesterday and today, with the exception that we had severe thunderstorms last night that made the electricity go out a few times.  Since my computer is pretty old as is, I did not want to take any chances with it so decided to power it off and post my blog afterwards.

Afterwards never came as I thankfully fell into deep slumber.  For those of you who have no problems going to sleep you will never know how fortunate you are and how many people would love to be in your shoes, me included. 

I had not left the compound since Thursday when we went to Mexico.  True to my procrastinating ways I had to go into town to pick up some items at HEB since it was the last day of the specials and as you know, I tend to leave things to the last minute.  I also needed to mail a condolence card to my friend who recently lost her brother.

With the news that gas was expected to go up this week, decided to fill up even though I had more than half a tank left. Lucky for me the price in Del Rio had not gone up, it was still $3.18 a gallon.

Can’t leave you without a Terlingua story:

In the sixteen years that I have been attending the Chili cook-off, I have met many people.  Some I only get to talk to for a few minutes others much longer. The “A” Brothers camp is comprised of guys from different Texas towns as well as out of state.

Their older brother Jr. is from Fort Worth and he always brings a lot of his buddies down to the event.  One night I was talking to one such buddy, a guy I had met in prior years but had never had a chance to talk to at length.

We were discussing foreign soap operas and how some love stories are really far fetched. This particular night he confided in me that he fell head over heals in love with a very beautiful and popular girl while in High School who was also crowned homecoming queen.  He had became friends with her brothers just so he could visit their home and hopefully run into her.

He was never able to profess his love for her since she was in love with someone else who would later become her husband. Even though each had gone their separate ways, he had never forgotten her.  He would frequent her brother’s restaurant just so he could hear what was going on in her life. Mind you almost forty years had already gone by and she still held a special place in his heart.

Coincidently she was living in Houston like I was at the time.  One thing lead to another and to make a long story short, she turned out to be one of my dearest friends!!!  Boy this is a small world.  He made me take a bunch of pictures of him so I could show them to her and implored me to bring her the following year.

That encounter never happened as my friend in not “the camping type” and there is no way she could survive a day much less a week in the desert. The girl of his dreams is my friend who recently lost her brother.  She called to tell me that HE had attended the funeral.  He had held her hand as he lovingly looked into her eyes and asked if she remembered him, to which she replied "I am sorry I do not".  He introduced himself and added “didn’t Belinda show you the pictures and tell you about Terlingua?” lol….always the Terlingua connection.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bikers

Got an e-mail saying how much they enjoyed the different header pictures that I feature in my blog specially of the bikers, as they themselves would like to attend and ride their motorcycles to the cook-off.


They wanted to know if a lot of bikers attend the Chili cook-off.  There are usually a fair number of them. Some set up camp as you come into CASI on the right side beneath the hill.  But one can camp wherever one pleases as there are no designated “biker camping” areas.

As far as availability of supplies in the area is concerned…it is very limited and expensive. I presume most bikers that attend have a supply vehicle that carries their camping gear, ice chests, food and most importantly their beer much like the guys I featured.  Here is a link to local area amenities. http://www.chili.org/documents/Services%20Available%20on%20Site%20at%20Rancho%20CASI%20de%20los%20C.pdf

Hope that answers your questions, if not feel free to e-mail me or leave me a comment on the blog.  Don’t be shy, I don’t bite.

Just wanted to let the readers know how special the folks that attend this event are.  My friends with the new toy hauler (to the right of my tent) ride bikes.  Before they had the toy hauler he would ride his bike from Austin and she would follow in their truck and pull a trailer. What I am getting at is that they both know how exhausting it can be and then to arrive, set up camp and have to cook a meal.


Wanda and Jeff's new Toy Hauler

Saturday morning at the adjacent camp

When the bikers from San Antonio showed up he took them under his wing and to our other friend’s camp (the ones across from my tent).  The guys had cooked a lot of food and they shared it with them.  Some were shy at first but he got them all to eat.  I think the guys from San Antonio were a bit incredulous at their generosity.  Likewise next morning after we ate breakfast we had a lot of leftover tamales and they invited the guys to help themselves.


Note the silver pickup on the left.  That was their supply vehicle.

Our new friends, the bikers from San Antonio, Texas.

Much has been written about the gifting culture of people that attend Burning Man and while neither my friends nor I have ever been to Burning Man I can certainly attest that Chili Cook-off attendees are just as generous and genuinely give of themselves and what we have with no strings attached.

Jeff (the host) his wife Wanda and Toni who brought the tamales, menudo and  mouth watering steaks. Thank you guys, you all are great.

These are the "A" Brothers and their friends who are some of the nicest people you will ever have the privilege to meet. They unselfishly shared their food with our new San Antonio friends as well as old timers but specially "virgins".

My friends and I are partial to “virgins” and go out of our way to show them the ropes and make sure that their first experience is as memorable as each of ours was when we attended our first cook-off.

If you are considering attending, stop considering and start making plans.  I promise you, you will not be disappointed and you might just make some new friends for life.  http://www.krazyflats.com/

Wanted to welcome Joe Baker to the blog.  Thanks you for your readership.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Trip to Mexico

It has been a while since our last trip to Mexico.  I avoid going the last week of November, all of December and the first six days in January.  It is at these times when more people cross at both sides of the border and the traffic congestions can easily rival Houston rush hour traffic.

With the above exceptions we tend to go every month or so.  From my mother’s house going to Mexico is closer than going to Lake Amistad.  For those not familiar with Texas, Del Rio is a border town across from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico.

Many people cross the border to buy groceries, medication, liquor, and cigarettes.  Others visit the hairdresser, barbershops, dentist, optometrist or doctor since these products and services are much cheaper in Mexico.  The peso has not been doing well against the dollar so your US buck goes a lot farther at this time.  Thursday the exchange rate was 13.05 Mexican Pesos to sell dollars and 13.55 Mexican Pesos to buy dollars.


This particular day (Thursday) we went to buy groceries.  By groceries I mean fruits, vegetables, pasta, fresh fish, meat, beans, lentils, rice, candy, cookies and my mom’s favorite freshly baked sweet bread.
  
Ciudad Acuna better known as Acuna has a population of about 135,000 and is one of the few remaining “safe” borders along the Rio Grande.  It cost $3.00 USD to cross to Mexico and $25.00 Mexican Pesos to cross back to the USA.


The toll booths to cross into Mexico.  Notice black wrought iron fence, that is part of the Border Fence, will do a future post on it.

View after paying your toll.

About to enter Mexico

Main street after passing Mexican customs

Main street, there are a lot of bars and curio shops but this is around their siesta time so not much movement.

There are four major grocery stores Gutierrez, Merco, Soriana and newcomer Bodegas Aurrera (owned by Walmart).  Depending on what’s on sale we might hit all four of them but on this day we only went to Bodegas Aurrera and Merco.  I swung by Soriana to take a picture and also to check out the dollar exchange rates.  There is an exchange house adjacent to it that has the best rates that we have found so far while still being in a safe location.






We had no problems crossing back, only had to open my trunk after I declared all that I brought back and he simply looked in my cooler and send us on our way.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blogger is driving me nuts

Why is Blogger making so many changes?  Why can’t I have the option of not “upgrading” to their new format?  This week I have gone from not being able to read or comment on other blogs to not being able to reply to some comments in my own blog. 

Tffnguy suggested I switch to Google Chrome and that is what I have in my netbook but I still have problems with Blogger. Hope they get their act together soon.

Drove into town to check the P.O. Box, swung by the library, stopped to pick up the free paper and lastly picked up a few items at HEB.  When I came out of Stripes I noticed a billboard that I had never seen before.  It was funny because it was an electronic billboard that I would have expected to see in San Antonio or Houston but nope it was in Del Rio and it was the first one I have ever seen …how ironic.

Had a lot of ads but I only took a picture of three.





Wanted to welcome Ron from the Old Geezer Blog. Thank you for reading me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Cyber Journal

I have always been the type of person that likes to keep a written record of events in my life. I was 9 years old when I purchased and began writing my first diary. Would carry my little keys with me on a chain at all times so no one would decide to read it apart from the fact that I would hide my diary in different locations.

I faithfully wrote a daily entry until I was sixteen.  Only reason I quit was because it was now too dangerous to have someone get a hold of my written journal and read my thoughts and feelings.  Not that there was anything out of the ordinary that was going on in my life. However, I don’t think parents want to read about what their 16-year-old teenagers are up to and I was not going to give them the opportunity either.

When I became an adult I took up writing a journal again but only of special events in my life. When Wal-Mart had their back to school specials, I would purchase a box of spiral notebooks which back then sold for a nickel each.  When computers became commonplace I started writing on those. I still have those huge black floppies along with disks that you would need an old computer with the accompanying old software to read.  Glad I never got rid of my Wal-mart spiral notebooks.

Computers can crash, be lost or stolen.  Spiral notebooks can end up in unopened boxes in the attic, storage spaces or burn in a fire.  That is the main reason why I decided to start a blog.  Another reason being that I now suffer from C.R.S. (Can’t Remember S#*t) syndrome and wherever I am in the world or in the great State of Texas I can easy access the data from any computer.  Provided that Blogger does not go under then I can pretty much be assured that I will have a cyber record of my life until I die or decide to quit writing.

My journal writing is a running joke in Terlingua.  My friends will say “ Oh no, she is going to write it in her journal”.  Thank heavens for my written records or I would not remember half of what has gone on in the past sixteen Cook-off’s.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In the Beginning

I don’t know if I have mentioned that the first time I attended the annual Terlingua Chili Cook-off was with a guy I used to date (we were no longer dating but remained friends).  A mutual friend called me at work to warn me that he was probably going to be calling me because he had exhausted all his “male acquaintances”.  He had tried to no avail to get them interested in attending this wild gathering in the desert so he was going to try his “female pals”.

I asked our mutual friend where exactly this gathering was and when he said “Ter something” I said, “was it Terlingua?” he was surprised and said, “you know about this place?”  My reply “Of course I know about Terlingua I was there once when I was a freshman at Sul Ross (Sul Ross State University) and always wanted to go back.  Maybe one day I will blog about my first visit there but don’t hold your breath :D

Back to the story… I could not believe my ears; this was just too good to be true.  I think I just hung up on him and dialed my friend, could not take a chance that he could find someone else to accompany him.  It was Friday afternoon around 3:00 p.m. when we left Houston and drove all night.  Have you ever driven in the Big Bend area at night?  It is pitch black. We got to the cook-off around 4:00 a.m. but he could not find his buddies and he came to the conclusion that we were at the “wrong one”.  I did not know that there were now “two cook-offs”.

We finally found the CASI Cook-off where his friends were.  It was about 5:00 a.m. when we parked and this place was huge in comparison to the other event so he decided to wait till sun up to find his buddies and went to sleep. I had drunk a couple of cups of coffee and was wide awake besides with
his god awful snoring, who could sleep?

At 6:00 a.m. he was tired of me trying to wake him so he got up and went to look for his friends. Saturday is the last day of the event and I had such a magnificent time.  I could not believe how in one day I was able to forget all my troubles, dump the stress and enjoy myself to the fullest.  I went hiking along the creek bed, climbed the hill above the dance pavilion, went to sample the chili, took in the entertainment in the afternoon and attended the dance that evening where even though I do not know how to country dance (I 'm a disco duck) I danced till my feet hurt as well as the poor guys who had the misfortune to ask me to dance.

I went from knowing no one to having made the acquaintance of so many wonderful people by the time we left Sunday morning, his friends had became my friends.  I was totally hooked after only having spent one day in the desert and I knew I would be back…but this time by myself in my beloved Terlita (my camping van).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cold and Windy

I woke up at 3:33 a.m. to the sound of a heavy downpour. Got up and looked out the window and was thankful that the rain predicted finally materialized. However, the heavy downpour only lasted five minutes and then it was just a light rain that ceased by 3:50 a.m.

For some unknown reason every time I have to go somewhere or do something important I cannot go to sleep…I hate that.  Early this morning I went to start up the car and brought it around the house.  Man, it was cold and windy!!  

This is not the type of weather that I would choose to go out in but we did not have much choice as mother had a doctor’s appointment and multiple errands to run.  Just as we were going out the door I heard the sound of a weed eater.  Yeap, it was Mata Gatos (Cat Killer) who finally decided to show up to finish cutting mom’s lawn (weeds).  Of all the beautiful days we have had since he came in December he decided to show up today on pretty much the worst day possible…go figure.

I am happy to report that I officially have a new checking account at IBC or should I re-phrase that and say “the gentleman and I whom unknowingly shared the same account number for four and a half years, now have separate new bank account numbers”.  I sincerely hope that this has served as a wake up call to their internal audit department as well as their management.

I do have to give credit to their branch manager who is a true professional and who addressed all my issues and concerns and made no excuses for her personnel.  I like people who are straightforward and honest. She is a great asset to the institution she works for.

You might ask, “Belinda why didn’t you open up an account at another bank?”  Have to admit that it did cross my mind, but up until the aforementioned incident I have never had any problems.  They are opened 7 days a week and most importantly they are the only bank in town that have a physical presence in Houston.

“Why is a physical presence in Houston important?”  I rarely if ever carry cash on me and if I have to pay to have my lawn mowed or do some repairs in my home I like to pay with a check.  The people that do this type of work usually do not have bank accounts thus the need for a physical presence so they can go cash them.

Mother and I were gone for about four hours.  When we came home I fully expected to find the lawn mowed, but he only weed ate around two trees and a bougainvillea shrub.  This is just totally unacceptable but I am going to stay out of this only because I do not want to upset her and she is after all the one who hired him and who is going to pay him, that is if he ever finishes.  Worthless, worthless, worthless…

Good night, it has been a long day.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Health Fair

The local newspaper Del Rio News Herald has a very limited free online edition.  It only allows you to read the first paragraph of whatever the cover story might be that day and if you want to read more…well you have to pay.

Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico (the border city across from Del Rio) has a GREAT online section not only covering Del Rio events but also happening all over the various border towns on the American side.  The name of the newspaper is called El Zocalo and they let you read the complete story and most importantly they do so for free.

Reading El Zocalo I came upon an article that invited people to a Health Fair today at the local Casa de la Cultura.  With me not having health insurance I jumped at the chance.  Showed up punctually at 10:00 a.m.  The article mentioned that this would be the third year of them hosting the event.  However there were very few people there and I can’t help but think that if the local paper had mentioned it in their online edition there might have been a better turn out.


This is historic Brown Plaza in the neighborhood known as San Felipe,



As I was waiting in line to take my blood pressure I struck up a conversation with an elderly couple and I asked how they had heard about it and they told me that the priest mentioned it in the last church service they attended.  Another lady said she read it in El Zocalo.


This is La Casa de la Cultura ( the House of Culture) where the Health Fair was held.

Murals painted by local artists at La Casa de la Cultura across from Brown Plaza


The reason I attended was to get my blood glucose level checked because I live in morbid fear of becoming a diabetic.  I have one of those pricking monitors but I hate needles and poking my finger is just something I cannot bring myself to do.  While the health fair was limited in offerings: glucose check, blood pressure, and weighing you…I am grateful that they have these types of events for the general public and that for now I am not a diabetic.

Wanted to welcome David H who signed on as a follower.  Thank you for reading me.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Company

Got up early this morning and started cleaning house as we were expecting company.  In between cleaning I also managed to do three loads of laundry.  It turned out to be a beautiful day in the low 70’s and wanted to take advantage of it before lower temperatures and rain move in later on this week.

At four o’clock we pretty much decided that perhaps her company was not going to show so mother went to take a nap and I went to start her mini van before the battery dies.  This is the car the worthless mechanic “fixed” and whose brakes failed when I was on my way to the DPS office. Just then mom’s friends drove up so had to make a mad dash inside the house to wake her up.

One of the ladies had moved out of town and we had not seen her in about five years.  It was great to see her again.  Today we found out the reason her friend had moved back to Del Rio was because she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Learned that the lady that drove her to the house is a breast cancer survivor as well.

I had not blogged about this because I do not like to do ''downer posts" unless there is a reason for it (like the recent four elderly deaths).  However this week I have had bad news on two fronts.  On Tuesday we called a very dear friend in Argentina and found out that her daughter who is a year younger than I, has cancer and her prognosis is not good.  Then yesterday a good friend of mine called crying early in the morning to let me know that her brother had passed away after a long battle with this horrible disease.

Mother too is a cancer survivor and is thankfully in remission.  My question is WHY is cancer so prevalent now days?  In my grandparent’s days did it not exist or did people just not know about it?  It seems more and more people we know (mostly elderly widows) are getting diagnosed with this life sucking disease. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend and may you enjoy doing whatever it is that makes you happy and brings joy to your heart.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Val Verde Regional Medical Center

The weekend may have started off slow but this week sure has gone by in a flash.  Got a call from mother’s doctor’s office that she needed to go take some X-ray’s at the local hospital before her next appointment.  One good thing about living in a small town is that I can drop her off at the main entrance and then not have to go very far to find a parking space.  In San Antonio or Houston it is a nightmare to do so with the added burden of having to pay to park.


This is the newer section of the hospital.  I say newer but it is over a decade.







When I was a kid I don’t ever remember going to the hospital.  When my parents friends were hospitalized they went by themselves, I never accompanied them.  It took me 38 years to ever set foot inside the building and that was only because my dad had a stroke. 

This is the original part of the hospital.  It now houses the accounting office, cafeteria and supply warehouse.






Many people come to this hospital from surrounding towns such as Eagle Pass, Uvalde, Brackettville, and Comstock as it is the largest of the hospitals in the nearby counties and many people don’t like having to drive to San Angelo or San Antonio to visit the radiology department.  It is a pretty busy hospital that is why I have learned to make two trips, one to pre-register her and then the actual appointment.  Experience has taught me not to try to do both on the same day.





Last month I got a Christmas card with an accompanying free oil and filter change from the local Toyota dealership as well as a free car wash.  Can’t beat that with a stick so decided to take advantage of them both.



Could not help but notice that there were hardly any customers today.  Maybe they sold a lot of cars during the annual Toyotathon and the salespeople are taking a break?  Not too many people getting their cars serviced either but that worked to my advantage as I was in an out in about an hour.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lazy start to the New Year



Stayed up late last night on fireworks watch.  Everything pretty much settled down by 1:00 a.m., which was surprising for this street.  I am happy to report that this year I did not hear any guns go off at midnight.

I still remember when I lived full time in Houston that I had to go hide out in the master bathroom ten minutes before midnight and stay there till ten minutes after.  This due to  irresponsible people who would fire off their guns despite heavy media coverage against it and hefty fines.  It was like I was in a war zone.

I was hoping to be able to spend New Year’s in Terlingua, something I have wanted to do since back in 1999 when we greeted 2000 and all the hype about Y2K.  But alas we were so busy they cancelled all of our holiday vacations that year but allowed us to carry them to the next year.

If we got rid of cable, which is something we are serious considering, the only cable channel that I would miss is HGTV.  I have been enjoying marathon sessions of House Hunters International.  It is like going on vacation from the comfort of your living room sofa.

I have often wondered how these people can afford to live in such exotic places and pay such outrageous prices for their homes.  In many of these locations you have to come to the table with cash money, as there is no financing.  In those countries where foreigners cannot buy property they rent at very elevated prices, or at least in my book $5,000 USD a month is elevated to say the least.

Oh well, they can keep their wonderful and exotic locations…I will take Terlingua over any of them.

Hope you are well rested and may you all have a wonderful start to your New Year.

Wanted to thank Ben in Texas for signing on as a follower even though he has been reading me since almost the beginning.