Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beautiful Breezy Day

Having gone to bed so early last night it was to be expected that I woke up equally early.  Decided to once again treat myself to breakfast at the Sirloin Stockade.




Went to return an item at Home Depot and to check out the prices on the storage sheds that have gone down considerably since last April…wonder if the competition from Derksen Portable Buildings had anything to do with it?



Swung by HEB and it was wonderful to see almost no one there.  Went by the P.O. Box, stopped to buy the local newspaper and then came home.

Same shed a couple of months back
Speaking of the local newspaper…I stopped buying it a long time ago and now I remember why.  I recently decided to give it another chance.  I will be the first to admit that I am not the world’s best speller nor do I use what would be considered proper grammar.  However, I do not write for a living and this is just a cyber journal.  I hold a newspaper to higher standards and I cannot believe how many misspelled words I find in all the issues I read.  Del Rio News Herald have you all heard of spell check?  Do you not have proofreaders?

It has been a beautiful breezy day.  The sage has started blooming once more in the area but the wind is blowing away its petals.  I bet it is beautiful out towards the lake but I was not able to make out there today.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Plumber

Post for Saturday – Sept 29, 2012

Got a call around noon from the plumber that he was on his way.  He repaired the leaking sink in the back bathroom as well as part of the guts of the toilet (I wanted him to replace the whole darn thing).

However he could not fix the leaking tub fixture because he was unable to find the cartridge after having assured me that he had ordered an extra one the last time she had the same issue.  He will have to special order it Monday.

I really hate to waste water specially since it is around 18 gallons a day, but I am running out of containers and five gallon buckets.  In the past I would water the trees and plants but no sense doing that with all the precipitation we have had lately.

Not something worth posting about but as you know this is also my cyber journal and I need to know how long it will be before it once again starts leaking.

On a positive note, I learned how to close the water at the meter box and I am going to buy me the tool to do it in case we ever have a need for it.  I know it would have come in handy last year in Houston when we had that terrible cold spell and I was worried my pipes had busted.

Tonight I was watching the evening news when I fell asleep.  Mother woke me up to remind me to check my e-mails but I was too tired to go online and try fighting with my internet connection so I also missed making my post.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lots of Rain

Per the weatherman the rains were not supposed to start until Friday night but they were wrong…they started last night and lasted all day.  The backyard was a muddy mess, on the positive side my tent got a good soaking.







Want to welcome some new readers

I want to welcome some new readers:

Paul Cline

Susan

Sandy Burris


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I sincerely appreciate it :-)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mother’s Hired Help

As much as I love my mother sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out with the people she hires.  You see, even if they are incompetent like Mata Gatos or so call professionals like the plumber and the welder…they never show up when they say they are going to nor do they call to let us know they are coming.  It is not like they are doing it for free or giving her a discount…they are charging their regular rates and we would not have it any other way.

We have had a bad leak in the bathtub for a while now (I have been catching the water and using it to water the trees).  The plumber decides to show up Tuesday without calling. Checks it out and gives me a list of things to buy so he can come by that afternoon.

Then the mechanic calls to let me know her mini-van was ready and wants to come drop it off and for me to drive him back to his shop. Wouldn’t you know it, in that short time frame the welder showed up!  Well, on the positive side at least the gate is fixed.

The plumber called that afternoon saying that he would not be able to make it but he would try to come Wednesday…we are still waiting!  These people call themselves professionals?  They are her church people so as difficult as it is, I have to keep my mouth shut and remember that this is not my house!

After cleaning out my tent, I decided to put it to good use.  Set up my two four foot folding tables and starting sorting my plastic storage bins that I keep in Terlita (my camping van).  Made separate piles of clothes to donate, clothes to keep and the all-important…those that I will take to Terlingua.  For you first timers don’t take good clothes or those that you would hate to mess up.  There is a LOT of dirt and dust out there. Wear something you will feel comfortable in.

Another tip for first timers…pack both winter as well as summer clothes.  The days even in late October are still hot and the nights can be down right frigid.  Remember I almost froze to death one night two years ago!

Tonight we have had a few showers; mostly a lighting and thunder show but tomorrow night the heavy rains are expected for this area.  Hopefully it will wash off the rest of the dirt from last year’s terrible dust storm.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Moats / Set up Tent / Trip to Mexico

Fellow bloggers will not let me lie when I say that sometimes it is difficult to come up with topics or I have done nothing of interest that would merit a post.  As luck would have it when I could not access the internet, I did all types of stuff…go figure!


With the drought of 2011 and the fact that it just does not rain that much in West Texas I had not had a chance to dig moats (please excuse me as I do not know the proper terminology for it) around some of mother’s plants and trees.  With the welcome rains of last weekend I was able to dig six before my back begged for me to stop.


Last year I twisted my ankle at the chili cook-off and had a hard time getting around those last two days.  Unloading my car after I got home was no easy task so I rode around with the tent in the trunk for a good two months.  Ordinarily I will set it up when I get home and give it a good cleaning.


Well that did not happen until last Tuesday when I decided I better take advantage of the fact that the ground was still soft and I could stake down the 16 heavy-duty stakes that came with it.  In Terlingua, I cheat…I only use the heavy duty ones in the corners and ordinary steel stakes for the rest.  Staking a tent down in solid rock is a very arduous task not to mention time consuming.  No wonder it took me six hours to set up my camp!


I also set up the first tent shower I ever owned mostly because it needed cleaning but since I am not able to fold it no matter how many times I have seen the video, I cannot take it with me unless of course I was going in Terlita (my camping van).

Thursday we took a quick trip to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico across the border from Del Rio, Texas.  It is a ten-minute drive from mother’s house.  Was running short on my high blood pressure medication that I can purchase for 90 percent less in Mexico.


Remember back on July 31st we took a trip to Piedras Negras, Coahuila where we discovered Gutierrez?  Decided to visit their Acuna store…it is not as pretty as the one in Piedras Negras…but it does have good prices.


While I am not a liquor drinker I did purchase a bottle of Tequila for my trip to Terlingua.  If you are a first time goer you might consider purchasing one too as it is a tradition to open a bottle and to pass it around as you are enjoying a cozy campfire into the wee hours of the night or until you doze off…jajajajaja :D

Crossing back to the American side, I was in shock…first that there was no waiting line and second that the liquor tax is now $3.50 per bottle.  The last time I paid a liquor tax it was $1.25 (yeap had to get up and look at an old bottle). Poor man I bombarded him with questions.  I think he must of thought I was nuts and as if to make up for it he said “but now you can bring back four bottles instead of one!  To which my mother added, “I think the State should consider doubling or tripling it”…gee mother don’t be so helpful…wonder what he thought about us?  Nah, it don’t matter…will probably never see him again in my life, lol.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Mechanic/Busted Gate

For those new to the blog we have had issues with mother’s worthless ex-mechanic and after the brakes went out while I was driving her mini-man we decided to give him the boot.  It is not easy finding a knowledgeable and honest mechanic, or at least that has been the case with us.

This new mechanic is a definitive improvement over the old one but we seem to have a communication problem even though we speak the same languages, English, Spanish and Tex-Mex   Just when I think we have come to an agreement for something as simple as calling me before coming to make sure we are home…he shows up unannounced.


His was the first shop to link with AAA in this area and his son drove the wrecker.  Many times he came to tow mom’s old cars to her worthless mechanic.  I do not know what happened but apparently AAA and him had a not so amicable parting and he does not want me to use them…he would rather come and tow the vehicles himself, which is what he did.


Unfortunately the guy he brought to help him (an unpaid friend) hopped on the truck too soon without seeing if there was proper clearance and he hit the gate!  He was very apologetic said he could have the gate welded but if I had someone who could do the cement work?  WTH?  He knows I have been gone from Del Rio for thirty years!


He came Tuesday with someone who was going to take a look at it but since he once again came without calling, he made a trip for nothing because we were at a doctor’s appointment.  Even though in this case our presence was not required to give him an estimate.


Picked up dad’s old car yesterday and while the smell is not as strong as it used to be…you could still smell a gasoline odor.  Today we took it for a quick trip to Amistad dam and it seems to be running well.  Filled up at the Exxon (or is it a Chevron?) by the lake and took advantage that it is the only station in town with free air and a nice man helped me air up the tires.  Gas was selling for $3.55 there, $3.49 at Wal-Mart and $3.51 at HEB.

Oh forgot to mention that the first time I used him was to fix the brakes on mother’s mini van that her worthless ex-mechanic botched…well had to take the van back to him because they once again are falling to engage!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Never Ending Problems with my ISP

Ever had the urge to fling your computer across the room or to stomp on your air card until it has broken into a million pieces?  Well these past couple of days I have had both and in more than one occasion I might add!


Yesterday, Saturday- September 15th I decided I wanted to go eat the breakfast buffet at Sirloin Stockade.  For $7.99 plus tax you will more than get your moneys worth with their excellent selection of border plates as well as fruits and cereals. If you are ever in town, I highly recommend them (and no they are not paying me to write this) jajajaja :D


The Cricket store front is practically across the street so I timed it to finish breakfast just as it would be about to open.  I guess a lot of other people had the same idea in mind.  Would you believe there were people already waiting in line for the store to open?  Thought these things only happened for Black Friday sales.

In a nutshell they could not do anything for me because I needed to have come in when I started having problems with the air card going dormant.  Remember I was going to go to a less congested store in Houston?  Well I never got around to it and now I have to fork out for another broadband modem or air card or whatever you call it.  No doubt I am the queen of procrastination!

I remember when Barney (Old Fat Man Adventures) was in town he opted for a Sprint air card.  Went to check them out, it is also 3G (no 4G in this area) a little more than I am paying now plus I have to sign a two-year contract.  What to do, what to do?  Will have to give it some thought.

The promised rains finally materialized yesterday afternoon and lasted throughout the night.  They fell ever so softly and gave the area a much needed soaking.  Temperatures have been wonderful as well.  However, per the weather guy tomorrow they will be back up in the 90’s.


Need to upload my pictures to Photobucket but you guess it…it keeps going dormant! So no pictures for this post, sorry L but I will keep on trying. If you do not see me post or comment on the blogs I follow…you now know why.  Have a great Sunday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Walter Update

The last time Walter was at our house was on July 28th when he escaped through the downed back fence.  This is the post I did about it 

After that incident he disappeared for about two weeks.  When I inquired about his whereabouts the owners kid told me Walter had been sent to their cousin’s house.  They brought him back two days before I left for Houston thus had not had a chance to see him.


The day I returned from Houston I saw there was a new bale of hay outside of his corral.  Two days later mother and I walked over to see him and I noticed how thin he was and how sad his eyes looked.  There were flies around his eyes, his sores and practically everywhere.  His owner does not get rid of his poop instead he dries it out in the sun and then lays it as ground dirt inside his corral.  Is this an acceptable practice?

I try to make sure no trees grow close to the cinder block fence that divides our properties but two years ago I let some mesquite grow in that area to provide some shade for the corral.  At the time his owner had four horses and they had no shade to speak of.  Walter looked desperate and as I got closer I could see a barrel of water was downed and when I asked him if the other barrel had water…it was like he understood…he went over and knocked it down to let me see that there was none.


I came back with a hose, a five gallon bucket as well as my pruning shears and chopped down the mesquite limbs so I could hold the bucket to his face…of course I only put 2 gallons as that is all my back will let me lift.  I filled that bucket 6 or 7 times until he was full.  It made me wonder how long he had been without water and why.  Came back that afternoon and this time he drank about 10 gallons.

What really alarmed me was seeing that he had not been fed in two days and yesterday I saw him eating his own feces!  That is when I called Deputy Mendez but did not get a call back until this afternoon from Sergeant Lopez who informed me that Deputy Mendez was on leave so I had to go into detail once more with him.

This morning I walked over there and saw that they had given him some hay…a small portion I might add for a horse his size.  Noticed that his owner is either on vacation or he no longer works out of town.  This makes me even madder that being in town he does not give a hoot about his horse’s welfare.  People like him should not be allowed to own any kind of animals.


Oh yeah…that bale of hay…well it looks like it is still new.  Think it is just there to fool the sheriff’s that drive-by.  It is a shame that they cannot give animal abuse cases continuity in Val Verde County and offenders go unpunished to continue abusing their animals.  This particular individual has been doing it for years.

Good night.  May there be justice for Walter as well as other animals in the same circumstances as him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Truncated Plans

Woke up on my own before the yapping Chihuahuas had a chance to do it for me.  In Del Rio we only have trash pick-up one day a week and as much as they charge (more than the water) I try to make sure it is full, even if it involves having to rake mesquite pods.

The phone rang around 8:30 a.m. it was one of mother’s friends who asked if they could come by at noon.  As most people she likes for her house to look decent when she has company over.  On my last trip to Houston I brought down even more boxes to her house...well those boxes had to be relocated.  So no early trip to the Cricket store front.  Decided I would go after they left.

I have yet to decide what is worst…people that show up at your doorstep unannounced or those who call but show up hours after the accorded time.  Mother was about to take her nap when they finally showed up.  These people have cell phones, would it have killed them to take 30 seconds to call and tell her they were running late?  Like three and half-hours late!

Maybe if they had offered an apology it would not have ticked me off so bad…but nothing…no excuse offered not even a mention of it.  At least the new mechanic called to tell me he was sick and would not be able to make it.  Guess my plans are on hold for tomorrow as well!

Hope your day was much better than mine.  I have been on pins and needles about Walter.  Called Deputy Mendez but he never called back.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcomed News

Woke up early courtesy of the yapping Chihuahuas.  The weather was a spectacular 71 degrees and I went about the task of watering mother’s trees that I did not have a chance to get to last night.


There is a Laundromat close to her house that I had stopped at once but only to check out prices. It had been a while since I had actually needed the service of one so was a little taken back at the cost, as I had no point of reference (at the time her washing machine was not broken).

Today out of curiosity (ok due to my CRS, could not remember the prices) stopped to see how much it cost to use the dryers.  When I saw the price to wash and dry I was so surprised that it was lower than the one in town and these are brand new machines, so I guess I found me a new Laundromat.


Had to drive into town to go to the P.O. Box, pay the water bill, visit with the new mechanic about fixing dad’s old car and then swung by HEB to pick up a few items.

Needed to run one more errand but it was getting late and decided to head back and leave it for tomorrow.  Visiting the local Cricket store requires an early morning visit, as they have a very small waiting area and limited parking to boot.

This evening I got a call from a good friend that I had not heard from in a while. She gave me some welcomed news but I am still incredulous.  Turns out she and a friend will be joining me this year at the chili cook-off!!!

I guess I must of done a good job of selling the event back in 2009 when we camped out at the Renaissance Festival because her friend has been wanting to attend ever since.  Some other friends of hers that also heard me talk about Terlingua are thinking about renting an RV and coming down as well. The more the merrier!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finally Got To Sleep In

It has been a good “do nothing” weekend.  Saturday, I actually slept until 1:24 p.m. something I had not done in ages. This afternoon I felt tired (have no idea why) so I decided to take a nap in my zero gravity chair and fell asleep for four hours!


If you have back problems or difficulty sleeping I highly recommend you purchase one, they are worth their price in gold.  I love mine so much that it is the first item I put in my vehicle when I go to Terlingua…yes, even before the beer!

Last night I tried to get inspiration by watching a video on how to set up my particular tent but I guess it was not enough, as I never got around to actually doing it.  In my defense I did not wake up from my nap until 8:00 p.m. (my face blushing) so there was no more daylight to accomplish the task.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RInVfzICvE&feature=related

Been reading in the blogs I follow how the temperatures have fallen to autumn levels, not so here in Del Rio.  Take that back, per the daily e-mail I get from the Weather Channel it said it was 68 degrees at 7:07 a.m.,  too bad I was asleep and did not get to enjoy it.

Want to welcome Randall Small to the blog audience. Thank you for your preference!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I am all Giddy

I can’t help but be giddy as a schoolgirl who is looking forward to going to the prom.  In my case I am giddy at the thought that in a couple of weeks I will be spending my first night in Terlingua.

However I have a lot to do before then.  You might think all you need to do is pack up your camping supplies, clothes and food…but there is a lot more to it than that.  If I am fortunate enough to attend, it will be my 17th Chili Cook-off.

With the exception of the first year that I drove down with a friend in his vehicle…all the other years I have taken Terlita (my camping van) in which I could literally…even take my kitchen sink.  Unfortunately Terlita needs a new transmission so she has not been able to make the trip these past two years.

camping gear, ice chest and other stuff go in the trunk

Making the trip in a car has been a challenge because I have had to pare down on so many things I am used to taking.  No more ”I will take this in case I need it”.  I can only take things I will definitively use.  My first trip without Terlita was difficult, I almost froze to death one night because I could not fit my bulky sleeping bag and opted for a blanket instead…wont make that mistake again!








Last year we had a terrible sand storm that lasted for hours and tore my tent shower to pieces.  Had I been in Terlita it would have been no problem because I would have taken my extra shower tent (I have three).  It was a little tight but I managed to rig up a showering area inside of my tent.

Before

The same goes for clothes; you never know what Mother Nature and the desert are going to throw at you.  It could be hot as hell or it could be as cold as all get out.  Back in 2004 it was cold!  Remember it getting down to 18 degrees but I had plenty of anti-freeze in me and a ton of blankets so that was a non-issue.

After :-(

The most important thing to bring with you (besides beer) is water.  I use to take six green containers that hold 6 gallons each.  Now I can only fit one container in the car.  The difference is that when I started attending the cook-off they did not sell water in town and now they do.  My friend’s tent camped and now they have new trailers and motor homes so they are able to bring plenty of water with them that they have generously shared with me.

I like being self-sufficient and since reading a trick in the Burningman forum, I can take a shower with a garden sprayer and use less than a gallon and that includes washing my hair.  I therefore only accept their kind offer of water when they leave because they will dump their fresh water tanks anyway and I do not like to see water wasted in any way shape or form.  Have I mentioned that I stay a couple of days afterwards to decompress?  Well, more like I used to, two years ago I had to come back that Sunday and last year I came back on Monday.  Hopefully I can manage to stay a couple more days this time around…only time will tell.

I need to set-up my tent in the backyard and give it a good wipe down but with the temperature in triple digits I have been putting it off.  Maybe I will get to it this weekend? Or maybe not…

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Start Saving your Milk Jugs

With less than two months to the Chili Cook-off I want to offer a bit of advice to newcomers…start saving your milk jugs now!

You might be asking yourself…why would we want to do that?  Elementary my future chili-heads, you are heading to the desert where water is scarce and they do not exaggerate when they call it “liquid gold”.

You are probably saying…I am a seasoned camper, I know to take water.  Yes, a lot of people take five gallon jugs, I take a six gallon container some even take 32 gallon barrels but you need to empty your containers on to something and gallon milk jugs are manageable.

If you leave them outside your tent or camper they will be nice and hot, weather permitting, by lunch time and you can take a nice shower or wash your dishes and greasy pots without having to use your propane.

Another benefit is that once the cook-off is history and you no longer need or want the extra weight of the water you brought down, you can gift your water to the locals who very much appreciate it.

You don’t know how many times I have seen people just empty their fresh water tanks onto the ground because even though there were people willing to take the water they had no containers on hand to pour it into.

So start saving them and bring them with you.  If you do not have room in your vehicle to do so, just bring the plastic tops…you have no idea how many tops get lost out there.  If you can also bring a funnel, less water will be lost due to spillage.

If you are thinking about going but do not have anyone to go with, go by yourself!  People are friendly and we love to show virgins a good time.  Hope to see you there.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First a Bear, now a Mountain Lion

You can tell I live in a small city when the whole town is abuzz about the mountain lion that was shot this weekend when it made its way into town.  A couple of months back it was a bear who was tranquilized and later released in Big Bend State Park. 


Now it was a mountain lion that had to be put down because it was roaming around two school campuses (it was night, no kids were in danger).  They had to shoot him four times before he finally died.


Per the experts this is a result of last year’s severe drought that has made these animals come closer to the city limits looking for water and an easy meal of dogs and cats.  The newspaper made no mention if anyone had their pets victimized. Pretty big cat too between 125 and 140 pounds.

A part from a trip to HEB and Dollar Tree, not much else going on.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Few Campers at the Lake

Mother’s old mini van needed to be taken for a ride after sitting in the garage for almost three weeks.  I was a little hesitant to take it to the lake but knew the old girl needed to hit highway speeds to help charge up that battery.


It was a little late in the afternoon since I was waiting for the heat to go down some, as this vehicle does not have a working A/C.  Went to my favorite campground Governors Landing and was sadden to see that only three campsites were occupied.


I guess it is because school has already started and parents must have spent a bundle on clothing and supplies?  The news says that gasoline prices have gone up since hurricane Isaac but in my experience at least they have held steady from Houston to Del Rio around the $3.59 mark.  On this particular day Wal-Mart had the lowest price $3.57.

Only people enjoying the lake were locals in the public area
This morning I decided to tackle the mesquite pods that had fallen during my absence.  To give me energy I treated myself to some menudo and found it has gone up to $5.41 at the local eating establishment…if prices keep going up guess one of these days I will have to learn to cook it myself!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.