Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Summer in February?

The trees are in full bloom, the weeds and what little grass Mom has seems to grow in uncontrollable increments with each passing day.  I need to do something about it while I still can.  With that in mind I got up early so I could go check out the local stores to see if the weedeaters and/or electric lawn mowers were on sale.


Why electric?  Because in my estimation they are lighter and easier to use than gas powered ones.  One thing I wish I could find is a light weight gas weedeater but they are all very heavy and with my bad back it would put me out for several days and NO, I am not calling Mata Gatos.





Remember that shed that I liked at Home Depot the last time I was there but was closed?  It was open today.  I really liked it but when I looked at the price the first thing that came to mind was “I could buy ten acres in Terlingua”.  Maybe I should get rid of all of my stuff and then I would not have anything to store or transport from Houston to Del Rio.




This is what my little shed in Houston needs but alas I don't know how to install it :-(

The flowers at the garden shop in Home Depot and Wal-Mart were absolutely gorgeous and at a good price, but I was strong and decided to pass up on them.  Billy Bob I did buy me a folding table like you have but in black so I can go down to the local park and try to see if I can get a better reception when I use my Magicjack, if not I am not going to renew my service. Of course the table will also be used at the next chili cook-off !!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Telephone Etiquette

All my real life friends as well as my internet ones know that I am a night owl.  I have no problem getting telephone calls late at night usually from my not so sober friends that are making their way home from some beer joint and want to fill me in on the latest gossip of our mutual acquaintances.  That does not mean that when the telephone rings that late at night I don’t get a kind of sick feeling knowing that something might be wrong.

However I have a problem with people that call past 10:00 p.m. and with whom I do not have a close relationship with.  The phone rang tonight a little after 11:00 p.m. saw my Houston neighbors name (the town crier) on the caller I.D. and immediately picked it up.  You know what they did?  They hung up on me!!  Is it too much to say, “sorry I got the wrong number” or “I dialed your number by mistake?”

I went into a panic because I was burglarized three years ago. Let me tell you, one never gets over arriving at your home to find the front door ajar and everything ransacked.  All kinds of thoughts went through my mind…did someone just break-in, did my house catch on fire?

Waited what I considered a prudent time to give them a chance to call back.  I could feel my blood pressure rising and this is not a good thing.  Finally broke down and decided the hell with the late hour I was going to call them back.  Did so and since it was a cell phone it went to their voice mail.  I left a message but I have yet to hear back from them.  The name on the caller ID was her husband’s but I think her son has the same name and the cell phone number is different from the one I have.  So maybe her son who works the night shift dialed me by mistake?

Then I snapped and remembered I have an alarm system and they have not called me, nor has the police or my best friend who is the second person to call in case they cannot locate me.  All this grief caused by an individual who was not courteous enough to say “sorry wrong number”.

At least I hope they dialed me by mistake either way I don’t think I will be having Terlingua Dreams tonight, more like Houston nightmares.

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UPDATE - The neighbor lady called me at 9:36 a.m. to say that when she called last night  her cellphone battery ran out.  Was wondering why I had not been home in so long and if my mother was alright.  For this she had to call me after 11:00 p.m. on a weeknight?  I thanked her for her concern but the whole neighborhood knows she is just a gossiper.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Trip to Eagle Pass, Texas

Eagle Pass is about an hours drive from Del Rio. Though they have approximately the same population, Eagle Pass has two international bridges less than a mile apart and very busy.  The old bridge known as Bridge #1 is opened from 7:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.  The toll is $2.50 USD or $40.00 Mexican Pesos. The weekend toll rate which applies from Friday at 7:00 p.m. to Sunday at 7:00 a.m. is $3.00 USD or $48.00 Mexican Pesos.




 





During the Mexican War a company of Texas Mounted volunteers under the command of Capt. John A. Veatch established an observation post on the Rio Grande opposite the mouth of the Mexican Rio Escondido and beside an old smuggler’s trail that crossed the river at this point.  The crossing, known as El Paso del Aguila, was so named because of frequent flights of Mexican eagles from the wooded grove along the Escondido. Even though it was abandoned by the military at the conclusion of hostilities, it still remained a crossing point for trappers, frontiersmen, and traders.



Eagle Pass vibrant downtown area



The village, named after the crossing on the Rio Grande, changed from El Paso del Aguila to Eagle Pass as the Anglo presence grew.  Eagle Pass was the first United States settlement on the Rio Grande. Eagle Pass is one of very few cities that I have visited  that still has a vibrant downtown area.  I believe this is do to the fact that Bridge #1 is right next to downtown and people from Piedras Negras can easily walk there.  We saw a lot of people shopping on this day.


This is the view of Bridge #1 towards Mexico. Note the long lines to cross to the United States side.



There are two ways to cross to Mexico; one is entering the old part of the city with its stately old mansions on Ceylon Street that bring you to the downtown area. This is usually the route we choose to take. Took a lot of pictures of these majestic homes but unfortunately many of them were littered with political propaganda. I respect my readers and I do not want my blog to take on any kind of political connotations. 


Managed to crop a political sign on this majestic mansion so you could view its splendor








The other is to go down FM 375 also known as Bibb Street where most of the newer homes and businesses like the mall are located.  This route will take you to International Bridge #2.  We have never crossed into Mexico on this bridge but do take it to return to the US side as it has more lanes and personnel than Bridge #1.  This bridge is open 24 hours.



This old mansion had a Texas historical marker




Tried as I did my little cheap camera could not zoom in close enough to make out the marker



This weathered mansion has been vacant and for sale for as long as I can remember.  Bet the owners do not even know it is covered with political banners.
  


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DISCLAIMER:  I do not endorse or support any of the candidates that may appear in pictures on today’s post.

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$3.57 for regular was the going rate at a gas station in Eagle Pass on 2-23-12


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Blame Game

We got back late last night from Eagle Pass, Texas and its border city Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico.  Took a lot of pictures but as you know my Cricket broadband connection that is really like “dial-up in disguise” takes hours to upload pictures to Photobucket.  Hope to do a post on it soon.

Today we had an appointment with the Betty Boop hating ophthalmologist and I cannot say that I am happy about it.  Seems the medication that he gave mother had a substance that caused an allergic reaction and instead of taking responsibility for it, he now blames HEB pharmacy for not letting him know that it had said substance.  Hello??? Aren’t you the doctor?  Shouldn’t he have told the pharmacist to make sure said substance was not in the substitute medication?

It has been a very exhausting week both physically and emotionally.  We have had to attend a wake, a funeral, two doctor’s appointments and a trip out of town.  Hopefully things will slow down some but it does not look very promising, as I still have to somehow fit in a trip to Houston.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Governors Landing – Lake Amistad, Texas – Part II

Governors Landing is the only campground of the five that we have in Lake Amistad that has a separate area for non-campers and where locals can come fish, swim, cook-out and  enjoy a nice family outing.

This particular day, it was only this lady and I.





What a difference two years makes.  Back in 2010 there was so much rain in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua that it flooded the border city of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico and to some degree but not to the same extent its American counterpart Presidio, Texas in the Chihuahuan desert of west Texas. All that water made its way to Lake Amistad and it was a beautiful sight to behold.


A local family out for a swim

Those heads in the background are people swimming


The public section was flooded and closed but that did not stop people from parking their cars and climbing to the camping section and then down the amphitheater steps to go swimming.  Many of the picnic tables were underwater and this time out I noticed that they had new roofs.



Back in 2010


Now

As I mentioned on my prior post, I was very surprised that a new Land Port of Entry was being built.  Del Rio has two ports of entry, the main one and the one at Amistad Dam.  Unless you live by the lake and work in Mexico which many American citizens do, as they are managers or hold important positions at the Maquiladoras in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico then most likely you will not be using this border crossing.





Only time most of us use this crossing is during peak tourist seasons like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas when the lines to come back to the US on the main bridge are backed up to Mexico and where you can easily be in line for an hour or two. Though it is about a 20-mile drive to this bridge it is well worth it.

Another plus is that you do not have to pay a toll to cross either coming or going.  If you are like most Americans that like to buy a bottle of your favorite Tequila or other liquor of your choice (the limit is 1 bottle per person-must be over 21 years of age) you do not have to pay a Texas Liquor Tax of $1.25 a quart.  This is because there is no Texas Tax booth at that facility but you must declare you are bringing it or you could be subject to fines and the confiscation of your liquor.

The Amistad Dam Port of Entry is situated close to the American and Mexican eagles and they allow you to walk to there since it is still US soil without having to show your US passport or US passcard.  They can do this because they can see you park your vehicle and walk the short distance.



I ask myself now that the new Port of Entry is not on the dam itself will the same apply?  In its new location you have no choice but to stop and show proof of your citizenship.  I guess the Eagles will not be visited for long without having said documentation.  So if you want to see them you better hurry up and get down here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Governors Landing - Lake Amistad, Texas

Of the five campgrounds at Lake Amistad, my favorite has got to be Governors Landing.  It is located high up on a hill and though not suited for larger motor homes do to its narrow clearance, it is ideal for tent campers, small trailers or medium size motor homes.





My favorite campsite is #5 because it is at the very back and gives you more privacy.  Not that I was going to be camping today but I needed some alone time.  Took my netbook so I could make some long distance calls using my MagicJack.  However with my severe case of CRS (Can’t Remember Nada) I forgot to bring an old fashion corded phone, and the telephone number of my HOA.









Decided I would go online but there was a very weak signal and not even my blog page would load.  Back to my CRS…I have got to remember that Cricket Broadband or for those that have a Cricket cell phone the signal ends when you cross the bridge over Lake Amistad and I was at that very spot.







Lake levels have noticeably gone down as you can tell by looking at the bridge pillars. Was wondering how low they looked from the dam so set out to find out.  About three weeks back they released a lot of water to help levels at Lake Falcon; I guess the International Water Commission knows what they are doing.








I was very surprised to see that they are building a new Amistad Dam Land Port of Entry and how far along it was (more about that in a future post).



When you head out to view the lake from the dam you are in essence heading to Mexico that is why you see the cigarette as well as the firearms warnings on the way.








You can walk to the middle of the dam where the statue of the American as well as Mexican eagles are located but as you can tell from the pictures it was cloudy, gray and  on the cool side so will get pictures on another occasion.







On the way back to town I stopped at the Exxon on the left side of Highway 90 East if you are coming from the west.  This is the only gas station by the lake that has reasonable gas prices and the only gas station in town that has free air and water like in the old service stations. 


Price at Exxon in Lake Amistad

In the picture it shows regular selling for $3.47 but when I got to the pump they had lowered the price to $3.45 the going price today inside the city limits of Del Rio. They have very clean restrooms and a friendly staff.  I highly recommend them.


Price at Exxon in Del Rio city limits