Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Friday, October 26, 2012

Down to the wire

My back is feeling much better.  It is over whelming all the stuff I need to take and the limited space I have to do so.  No sense crying over my camping van Terlita, have to concentrate on the vehicle I have to work with.

Today I concentrated on the vital things I have to take such as water, beer, and shelter.  Tried out a lot of combinations using empty beer cartons and water jugs and finally came up with a workable combination. The problem is that I still have to take a bunch of other stuff such as clothes, toiletries, shoes, folding table, chairs, tent shower, coolers and miscellaneous items.

My tent and my little 3 day ice chest
Weather report is saying it is going to be cold for the next couple of days and Tffnguy was also nice enough to give me the heads up on the weather.  If you are a virgin going to the cook-off bring plenty of warm as well as hot weather clothing...remember it is Texas and the weather changes at the drop of a hat.

Have I convinced anyone to attend this year?  If so please drop by and I will treat you to a beer or two.


The only black cloud of my trip is leaving Walter at the mercy of his owners.  I went to visit him this morning like I do every morning and noticed his water barrel was empty and downed.  Fed and watered him.  This afternoon I went to check up on him again and noticed they had filled his water barrel but no signs they fed him...so fed him again :-(










Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sore back

Yesterday afternoon I took down my canvas tent but had to clean the area underneath the washtub floor as it has been through rain and mud these couple of weeks that I have had it up in the backyard.  Prolong bending is not good for my back, neither is lifting boxes.  I woke up in pain and it did not help any that I had to also take down the first night/last night tent that I have decided I am not taking even if I have to sleep in my vehicle on the nights in question.


I had been kneeling down for a spell cleaning the underneath of the tarp when I found I could not get up. My poor mother had to bring me her walker!


I always vote early so went to take care of that civic duty as I will be in no shape to do so when I get back from my favorite desert.  My back hurt so much I could barely walk...this is not what I wanted before my trip...to be in pain :-(

Went by Wal-Mart to purchase a couple of last minute items and some beer.  Darn I soon discovered I could not lift a 30 pack!  It about killed me to place it in the shopping cart.  I will have to enlist my uncle's help to accommodate the adult beverages I am taking.

The new zero gravity chair I bought earlier this year is much bigger than the previous one I am used to taking to Terlingua.  It is taking up a lot of valuable cargo space but I definitively need it.  I am seriously thinking of making do with only one ice chest and a small one at that.  We will see how that plays out.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Busy Tuesday

One of the benefits of living in a small town is that you can make an appointment at the local dealership and get in the next day.  An acquaintance of mine that was a service tech at a local dealership in Pearland or was it Alvin?  told me to never schedule an appointment on Monday, Friday or Saturday as most of the mechanics were either hungover, sleepy, tired or looking forward to the weekend and to also try to not be the first customer.  Since then I have heeded his advice.  Passed up an early appointment and settled for one at 10:00 a.m.



A couple of months back I blogged about a little girl going into convulsions at the laundromat.  Her dad is a salesman at the local Toyota dealership and I sought him out to see how she was doing.  She is doing fine and has not had anymore seizures.  In that post I mentioned that as bad as my CRS (it stands for can't remember doodoo) is I was surprised I remembered his name. He happens to have the same last name as an old classmate of mine, turns out she is his aunt!

Val Verde County where Del Rio is located gives its taxpayers a small discount in their property taxes if they are paid before the January 31st deadline. On my way to the courthouse saw that a local church was having its annual pumpkin drive.



I then headed to the P.O. Box and wanted to scream!  If I had come to get the mail first, I could have saved $20 in the car services I had performed today and gotten a free car wash (sigh).....I can just see Billy Bob laughing as he reads this...for some reason he thinks I am cheap :D

I do not know when they opened the local Derksen buildings lot but it must not have been long ago.  I am so happy they are in town as I was going to have to pay some mileage charges if I had bought it in the Uvalde, Texas lot.

Maybe Santa Claus will be generous and buy me one of these?



Swung by HEB to check out beer prices but they were not to my liking.  The new specials start tomorrow so we will see if they will lower them enough to make it worthwhile. Even though I guess even our high prices are better than the Study Butte or Lajitas prices.

Was going to fill up but the news people say prices at the pump are starting to tumble so will wait a while as I do not know when my departure date will be.  I am waiting on my aunt and uncle to get here so I can pick them at the bus station as my mother no longer drives.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hot Sunday

You would never know it is fall with the high temperatures we are having in West Texas. It was 93 degrees this afternoon as I was setting up my first night/last night tent.  Loved that I did not have to drive so many stakes in the ground like I do for my Kodiak Canvas tent. Finished too late to take a good picture.


My friend called to tell me that she and her friend practiced setting up three tents in her backyard as well as tables and chairs and did it in about two hours. However she is well aware of how difficult it is to drive stakes in the ground in Terlingua and factored in an extra hour for when they do the actual set-up.


They are pretty much packed up all they have to do is load the vehicle.  Being the slow poke that I am at least I was able to tell her that my second tent is set up so I can take down and pack the main tent as soon as I take the car in for servicing.  If you are betting that I have not even made an appointment yet, well what can I tell you? I am the eternal procrastinator :-(

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day so I plan to go to bed early (for me).

This is totally unrelated but just wanted to document it in this cyber journal of mine...I think I flooded dad's old car Friday and now it will not start.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Disappointed

I barely have had Road Runner service for one day and I am already disappointed.  I think the Internet Gods have decided that I have not suffered enough with bad service and are making it difficult for me. The Time Warner Cable post on Tuesday night took me hours to complete because of "dormant issues" with Cricket, so I said no more!!

Decided to order the service online to see if I could bypass the "death certificate" issue which I did.  The Road Runner guy showed up around 11:00 a.m. and spent the majority of the time trying to no avail even with the help on his technical support department and changing out the modem he installed to make my old laptop hook up to the service.

After two hours he finally asked me if I had another computer. Told him I did but that I used my old computer for everything as it has all my bookmarks, pictures and documents.  He told me to call TWC and schedule a follow up appointment and he would come with a computer expert to trouble shoot the issue as early as Monday.

I had an appointment on Thursday that was re-scheduled for Friday so was glad he left just in the nick of time for me to get there.  Got home late and decided to call this morning to schedule a follow-up visit but was told that the technician had not made such a notation on my file...WTH?  I had his cell phone so I called him but he did not answer and he does not have voicemail set-up...definitively we are starting off on the wrong foot!

Time Warner Cables promotions do not last long so I jumped at the chance to ditch Cricket but it would only occur to me to do it before my trip to South Brewster County knowing fully well that if things are going to go wrong they usually do right before my trip.

On the other hand I am quite proud of myself, I have not started panicking yet.  Got two calls today from my friends who themselves say they are calm and collect but fear that by Monday or Tuesday that may not be the case. This is known as the "Pre chili cook-off jitters".

I sure am looking forward to my trip and leaving the default world behind even if it is only for a couple of days.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trip to Ciudad Acuna

Took my mother to her beauty shop appointment and the subject of conversation is still the murder of that young man Eduardo Moreira that took place two weeks ago.  Her hairdresser said that since then her clients from Del Rio have not been back and was surprised but glad that we ventured to her shop.

We went to visit an old friend of the family that owns a photography studio and whose wife has been ill.  He said “you two are the only American tourists in town today”.  He noted that since the senseless murder his Texas clients have been non-existent.  It is a shame what the drug cartels and corrupt police have done to such a beautiful country and its people.

Stopped at Gutierrez (grocery store) and bought a couple of items but there were no to die for bargains this time.  Stocked up on tomato, onions, cilantro, squash, cauliflower, serranos, cabbage, bananas, mole, bottled hot sauce, rice, sopitas, yogurt and for my trip to South Brewster County the milk that does not require refrigeration until it is opened and lasts three months Nutri Leche.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time Warner Cable

As most of you know I enjoy watching foreign soap operas.  If I am going to make a six to nine month commitment watching them I expect to be able to see them free of any kind of interference.  While in Houston all the basic channels are free…in Del Rio you have to have basic cable to be able to watch anything…at $63.72 monthly I expect a lot more.

Friday I sat down to watch my soap and while I could see the image I was getting voice interference from a Mexican wrestling match. I immediately called to complain but they were closed. I was fit to be tied, uttered a little more than a few choice words and had to put up with it for 43 minutes.

The cable guy came by this morning and explained that it sometimes happens when the wires have been exposed to the elements or chewed on by squirrels and birds.  Being close to the border it allows those channel signals to be picked up by the exposed braids (that is what he called them).  He installed new wires, an outside cable box and a new connection to the television.

We got to talking and I asked him how come all the specials are geared toward new customers but they do not offer any good promotions for their existing ones. That is when he told me about a new special that includes cable and Internet for a lot less than what my mother is currently paying with a one-year commitment.

Went to the main office to contract the new plan but since the service is under my late father’s name they could not let me have it without presenting his death certificate so it could be transferred to my mother’s name or mine.  Has anyone ever had to do this?  Seems ridiculous to me.  Whose account do they think they have been drafting for the past twelve years?  My mother’s of course!  It has not seemed to bother them that it wasn’t my dad who was making the payments.

I dislike Time Warner Cable and this just pissed me off even more.  Who do I like the least Cricket Communications or TWC?  It’s a toss up!

Wanted to welcome Greg to the blog roll.  Thank you for reading me.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rebates/ Dad’s Car/ Irvin’s Twin

I think I am just a lost cause.  Why do I say that?  Because I always leave to the last possible minute everything I am supposed to do.  Back when I was in school, term papers and assignments were done just prior to, would put off studying for a test and would end up cramming all night for it and the list goes on and on.

Remember when I bought the Staple notebooks for .01 cent as well as printing paper?  True to form waited until today (the last day) to fill out the rebate form for the printing paper and of course I forgot my password so now I am going to have to wait six weeks for my rebate to arrive since it will have to be mailed instead. At this point in my life if I have not changed, I guess I never will (sigh).

We took dad’s old car for a spin to HEB.  Was loading up the groceries when a man started honking at me (we park in the handicap section).  I walked up to him and told him I had not finished putting my groceries in the car but that there was another parking space and pointed it out to him.  He said, “I do not want to park…I want to buy your car!”.  I told him the car was not for sale.

Guess he did not believe me, he parked and went to talk to my mother and asked her if she remember that he had tried to buy her car twelve years ago.  Why does everyone want to buy the car but never tender an offer?  Even though my mother would sell me first before selling her old cars jajajajaja :D

Turned on the TV to watch the news and fell asleep, took an almost two hour nap.  I guess I really needed the rest.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot…when we were inside the store I spotted a gentlemen that could have been Irvin’s double.  Who is Irvin you might ask?  He and his wife Betty are well known Terlingua residents.  I asked him if he was from Terlingua and he said “No, but I wish I was”.  He told me he was heading out that way soon.  I inquired if he was going to the cook-off; he said, “No, he had business to tend to in the area.”  I so wanted to take his picture but was embarrassed to ask!

This is Irvin and Betty

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Duck Tape – A Fix All

Now that I no longer have any looming tax deadlines, life seems to have slowed down some for me.  Today I took down the tent shower I put up a couple of weeks back, cleaned it and patched up its battle wounds with what else but Duck Tape one of the best inventions ever.


This shower is a veteran of many chili cook-offs and because of its flexibility did not suffer the same fate as my newer one, which succumbed to the fierce Terlingua winds of last year.


Need to put up the first tent I ever owned so I can transfer everything I have in the canvas tent in order to take it down and prepare it for its annual trip to South Brewster County.  Wish my Terlita (camping van) was still running so I could get a head start in loading it up.

Why would you want to load it up when you still have two weeks to the cook-off you may ask?  I have back problems and I am not able to lift a whole lot of weight or over-exert myself without having to pay a dear price for it.  The last thing I want is to be in pain when I really want to be having the time of my life.

I cannot load the car at this time as we still have an out-of- town doctor’s appointment, I  need to take the car in for servicing and I have yet to decide whether or not I want to go to Houston before or after Terlingua.

Speaking of Terlingua dreams…on two different occasions I have dreamt that I get to my campground but I have forgotten to pack my tent, my beer and my clothes!  Then I tell my friends that I have to go back to Del Rio after having just arrived…talk about a nightmare!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Evil Deed is Done

Worked all day Monday and Tuesday until I finally got my taxes done.  Had paperwork strewn all over the coach, coffee table and the folding table that I set up. Took my paperwork to the CPA on Wednesday and picked them up yesterday (Friday).  He filed them electronically so the information has been received by some IRS computer and now all I have to do is wait for my refund to arrive in the same fashion.

While I was working on my taxes I heard a lawnmower close by.  That elevated my blood pressure that was already through the roof, thinking that it might be Mata Gatos (mother’s worthless yardman) as I thought I had made it clear that we did not need his services anymore.

Fortunately it was NOT him but Joe, mother’s nice neighbor from across the street that was mowing the grass on the street side of the fence.  He had done that for her last year as well.  We need to thank him but I have not seen him outside since then.

I am currently sitting on the back porch swatting flies and mosquitoes and with the winds from the south getting a whiff of Walter’s poop from his corral.  He disappeared Sunday and did not show up until today.  I think his owner took him to some relative’s house.

Heard through the grapevine that his wife is not too happy with the visits from the sheriff and wants him to sell Walter but he pretty much told her that is NOT going to happen.  She does not care if he gives him away, sells him or whatever…she just wants him GONE.  That explains a lot.  I now know why they do not feed him or water him when the husband leaves to go work out of town.

So why am I sitting outside under these conditions?  Because only outside will the ISP give me a half decent signal and just as I typed this the darn thing went dormant again!

You have no idea what a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders since the taxes have been completed.  Now I can concentrate on other issues like whether or not to go to Houston and my upcoming trip to Terlingua.

Have a great Saturday.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Worm is Back!!!!

With the nice cool temperatures I hit the stores early.  Saw several elderly men in shorts and short sleeves and knew right away they had to be snowbirds.  Most of the locals had sweaters and warm-ups.  I wore a sweater and coat…I am not taking any chances on getting sick just three weeks away from my trip to Terlingua…no sirrie!

Unlike in Houston I do not frequent fast food establishments in Del Rio because I am fortunate to have my mother cook for me.  Since I had skipped breakfast decided to try a new sandwich I had seen advertise at Jack in the Box.  Did you know they now have this ordering machine or kiosk for lack of a better term in which you enter your order?  I really did not like that.  My Houston store does not have one since it is only a drive-thru.



If you are a Terlingua virgin attending your first cook-off one of the most important things out in the desert after plenty of water is having some form of shade. I have a screen room but it takes more than one person to set up and after the gale force winds of last year I think it would have bit the dust like my tent shower did.

I saw this a few months back and after lifting it up I do not know how they can claim it is light and can be used for backpacking.  Whatever I pack it has to be small enough to fit in a sedan and light enough for me to be able to carry it.  The reviews are 50/50 but I guess it too could not stand up to Terlingua winds even if I were to ratchet it down.


Remember a couple of months back I saw a fast moving dark brown worm in the back bathroom/shed/storage room?  Well this afternoon I saw it in the kitchen but could not find anything to beat it with.  It looks like a fat centipede about 9 inches long and fast moving.  In lieu of killing it I opted to scream and almost scared my mother to death!

It went in a back cabinet and try as we did, it did not come out.  I am freaking out as I sit in the kitchen, as it is the only room in the house where I can get a decent Internet signal. What bait do you put out for a centipede?

With the outrageous prices California residents are having to pay for gasoline, I guess I do not feel too bad for what we are paying in Texas.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

The Return of Walter

Friday – October 5, 2012

I was so happy when I looked out the window and saw Walter grazing. His owner had not brought him back since the day back in July when he escaped from our yard. He was here all day and just as my favorite show was about to start, he once again decided to gallop at full force.


Mom was in the back porch when this happened and she said it startled the neighbor lady.  She then saw his owner quickly come get him.  He was up in the roof of the cinder block room he is building putting up rafters. After this I figure I would not see him again but he brought him back the next morning.

The worthless plumber finally showed up at noon on Saturday and took care of the leaks.  I sincerely hope I never see this individual for as long as I live!

Later on that afternoon I saw Walter once again galloping but this time I saw the reason why.  He saw his owner coming to get him so he took off the opposite way.  I ran outside to calm him down and I saw his owner looking at me like…why is he paying attention to what SHE says?

It is amazing all the things I can come up with to keep from working on my taxes.  Decided to clean out my closet instead.  Was it necessary? It certainly was…has been on my To Do list for a couple of months now, but I guess it could have waited a couple more weeks, lol :D

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sad Day in Ciudad Acuna

Thursday – October 4. 2012

Still waiting on mother’s plumber to show up to fix the leaking tub fixture.  All I can say is that this is the last time we will call him if I have anything to do with it!

I ran a lot of errands on Wednesday and was hoping to finish them today.  However when I turned on the TV…the one not hooked up to cable (they beam two free channels from Mexico City to the border)…was sadden to hear about the murder of Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, a young man with a bright and promising future that was murdered on Wednesday night on his way back home to Ciudad Acuna.

May have gone unnoticed had he not been the son of the ex-governor of Coahuila as well as ex-national president of the PRI (the ruling party that won the last presidential election) Humberto Moreira Valdez and also the nephew of the current governor of Coahuila, Ruben Moreira Valdez.

He was a state employee in charge of social services that helped many people in need.  Was loved and highly respected by everyone I ever spoke with.  His crime?  Being a member of a powerful political family.  Per the national Mexican media was killed in retaliation for the recapture of a cartel member who fled in a massive prison break last month in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

He was ambushed and shot twice in the head inside his pick-up.  In the national Mexican news they said just about the whole town showed up for the funeral, mass and burial.  I guess one gets immune to hear about all the lives lost to the war on drugs but when it is a young person who led a clean life and was so loved you cannot help but feel outrage.

Should you come to the border specifically Ciudad Acuna if you are a tourist?  Yes, as Ciudad Acuna is still the safest border in Texas and the federal government has sent in more troops, members of the Mexican Marines, Federal and State police as well as other police entities to make sure his murderers are caught.

Not exactly a feel good post but something I wanted to document in this cyber journal of mine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Up Early

Gee, I can hardly believe it is already October 3rd…where has the time gone?  Three days have gone by and I have not even made a post.  It is not that I have nothing to write about but more to do with the fact that my back has been hurting from all the boxes I have been moving around and the leaking tub fixture that has me busy hauling water.  I thus have been going to bed early.

Last night (Tuesday) I went to bed after the evening news but woke up at 2:13 a.m. when I heard the water overflowing.  Got up to fill more water jugs and then could not go back to sleep.  At 4:00 a.m. decided to just get up.  It reminded of Ben in Texas who used to wake up at ungodly hours of the night.

I need to run so many errands today so I can concentrate on what is really important…Yes, you guess it…I have not even started gathering the data for my income tax return and the October 15th deadline is fast approaching.

I know, I know…I said last year that I would not subject myself to this last minute torture but on the positive side at least I did not wait until the weekend before to even get started.  I have called the CPA and he is aware I will be coming in to his office any day now.  When exactly will be that day?  Well, I can’t answer that yet (sigh)!

I cannot wish you Terlingua Dreams as it is already morning but do hope you all have a great day.