Terlingua Dreams

Monday, December 31, 2012

One more year for the archives

It just amazes me how fast the year went by.  I recall when I was a child and then as a teenager they seemed endless.

I live in the county and since fireworks are prohibited in the city, it seems like everyone comes to visit their friends or family members on any holiday that involves popping them.  Have been out since 8:00 p.m. watering the yard or perhaps I should say weeds?

As dry as everything is in West Texas any spark can set the place ablaze.  It took me two hours to really soak it down good including my tent that I have set up in the back yard.  Have the hoses ready just in case.

If you go out please be careful and if you drink please don't drive.  See you next year!

Good night.  May you have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My MagicJack Plus

Since Santa forgot about me again this year...I decided to get me my own Christmas present, that being a MagicJack Plus.  I already had a regular MagicJack but it did not work too well with my prior ISP and worthless broadband connection.


One good thing about our Road Runner service is that I can now use this device to call my friends back home since we do not have long distance service on our regular landline phone either in Del Rio or in my house in Houston.

With the MagicJack Plus you do not have to have your computer on to make calls. You just plug it to your modem or router and then plug a corded or cordless phone and you have a stand alone telephone to make and receive calls 24/7.


I slept like a baby literally after downing some NyQuil...woke up at 2:30 p.m. but did not actually get out of bed till 2:45 p.m.  Been a long time since I had done that, guess my body needed the shut eye.

There has been a flurry of activity by Walter's corral.  In the past couple of days I have seen his owner swinging a pick ax and clearing some brush. My mother told me he was at it since this morning and it appears he cleared a lot of brush on his side of our fence line.

I also saw him putting hay inside the corral...wonder what gives?  Did Santa grant my first wish but instead of giving him a new owner made this one more compassionate?  Nah...I don't think so either...shucks!

Wanted to welcome John and Ellen to the blog roll.  They have a very nice blog full of beautiful pictures. Check them out at http://connectedtothevinephotography.blogspot.com/

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Last 2012 Trip to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico

You would not know it from looking at my skinny cousin, but he can and does eat like a horse :-)  In a week he ate us out of groceries that last mother and I for a month. Had been wanting to go back to Mexico to re-stock for a couple of days now but I had been feeling a little under the weather until today. Been fighting a cough and sniffles with aspirin and NyQuil and hopefully I wont come down with a cold.

I get an e-mail at least once a week asking me if Ciudad Acuna is safe to visit.  I guess it all depends on what your perception of safe is.  My parents, friends and relatives were horrified when I announced 30 plus years ago that I was moving to Houston, Texas.  They considered it to be a very dangerous city and thought I had lost my mind.  Many people still wonder why I continue to live there.  Is Houston safe?  It is all a matter of perception...the same applies to Ciudad Acuna.


All I can tell you is that it is the safest border in Texas and that is not just me saying it, but many other sources, do a google search.  One thing for certain if it was not safe I would never take my mother with me or put myself in harms way.


I figured with Christmas over and done with, there would not be that many shopper out and about...but I was wrong.  There were tons of people and happy to say many American tourists in the bunch :)  Even ran into the guy that runs the computer system at the Val Verde County Library in Del Rio.  He was surprised to see me in Aurrera and asked if I shopped there often, told him I did and he said his family and him did as well.

Aurrera is located inside of Plaza Bella mall

With so many people shopping at Aurrera they were out of a lot of fruits and vegetables which are my mother's favorites so we also paid a visit to Merco.



Both Aurrera and Merco are located along Libramiento Emilio Mendoza Cisneros which is a fast growing section in Ciudad Acuna close to the Maquiladoras and to the new housing sub-divisions called Colonias for the maquiladora employees.  Even El Palacio Municipal (the equivalent of our City Hall) built state of the art installations and moved out of the central downtown area to this new location.

El Palacio Municipal de Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico.
They have free internet within their perimeters.
Guess I am so busy driving I had never noticed El Palacio Municipal had so many palm trees

If anyone is looking for a pinata for their New Year's party there are plenty to be had here.

The exchange rates have fallen some from last week.  The going rate today was 12.40 pesos to buy dollars, 12.95 pesos to sell them.




Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas Sales

I think my cousin and my uncle have a conspiracy against me...whomever is here at the time, always force me to drive them to the stores either to Christmas shop or do the after Christmas sales.  Have I mentioned how much I dislike to go shopping in December, unless of course it is for something I really really want?

I swear my cousin is worst than a woman when it comes to shopping...he can go for hours looking at crap...oh excuse me...meant "stuff" and not buying a thing.  I have many virtues but patience does not happen to be one of them!

It has been cold and the wind makes it feel even more so.  Yesterday I looked everywhere but could not find any evidence that Santa ever made it down to my mother's house.  Even looked outside and nope...no presents :-(   I think the wind most of blown them away ((sad face with a tear)) or he got confused and delivered them to my house in Houston...yeah that must be it :D

As I stood around waiting on my cousin, I recognized this gentlemen and greeted  him.  He smiled back but there was no recognition.  I said "you don't remember me do you? I am the person that snapped the picture of you holding the bass your mother-in-law caught at the 277 Campground."  He told me I had a good memory!  Told him that was not the case, I suffered from CRS...he laughed and actually knew what that meant!

I asked him about his mother-in-law and a lady behind me said "here I am". I inquired if they had gone fishing since then and they said no.  His wife then joined them and she greeted me as well.  A really nice family and what I liked most is that they included her mother in their outings...not too many men would do that and it speaks well of them both.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been extra good this year in anticipation of finally getting a visit from you.  Here are a couple of items I could sure use and while I do not ask that you get me all of them...one or two would be nice for as you know...I am not greedy.

1.  A kind and considerate new owner for Walter

2.  An acre or less of highway frontage in my favorite desert

3.  A rebuilt transmission for Terlita (my camping van)

4.  A new camera

5.  A small storage shed

6.  An adult bicycle (yes the one with three wheels)

7.  An electric lawn mower

8.  A Betty Boop purse (read my prior post so you know where to purchase it Santa)

9.  A good paying out-of-state but preferably out-of-the-country job for mother's worthless Plumber and Yardman so they NEVER return to Del Rio.

10. Last but not least a tall weathered cowboy :)


Santa I know last year I was able to offer you these:


I regret that this year the budget will only allow me to share the following with you...well look at it on the bright side...at least you wont have a hangover :-)

Nutri Leche (Mexican milk) and cookies

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Do I have a Betty Boop fetish?

In preparation of my cousin's arrival we decided to go grocery shopping in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico. For those new to my blog it is across the border from Del Rio, Texas where my mother lives.

Wanted to buy some pesos as it is preferable to pay in their currency versus US dollars as each store has a different exchange rate. Cruised down Avenida Madero where a vast majority of the exchange houses are located and where you will find more favorable rates than at the banks.





There are several grocery stores we frequent but today we only went to Aurrera (owned by Wal-Mart) as it was rather chilly.  The store was jammed packed but it was to be expected. Once again my mother bought out their fruit and vegetable section while also making a dent in the cookies and sweet bread department :D

Aurrera is located inside a mall. There is this little kiosk that sells the cutest Betty Boop purses. Maybe Santa will bring me one this year?



There is a beauty shop that I have always wanted to take a picture of but for some reason or another never had a chance to do so until today.


Crossing the international bridge into Mexico was not bad but the line going back to the USA was long, so we decided to cross back at the Amistad Port of Entry.  While it is about a 20 mile round trip, it is well worth it plus they do not charge a toll like they do at the main bridge.

The new crossing facility was not opened until recently due to construction delays and this was our first time crossing it. Wanted to take a picture but since it was only the car in front and us, decided not to as depending on the agent they sometimes tend to get upset if you photograph them or the facilities.

My cousin arrived last night (Friday) and today (Saturday) asked me to drive him to Wal-Mart as he forgot some things.  Asked him if he thought I was crazy?  There was no way in heaven or earth that I was going to go during the day or afternoon for that matter.  We went at 10:00 p.m. and it was tolerable except for the long lines to check out.  I really felt sorry for the poor cashiers...my respects to them for having such a thankless job!

Good night. May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Couple of Hours Before the End of the World

Is anybody really worried about the world ending tomorrow?  I must admit I'm not or for that matter know anyone who is.  Per television station WOAI in San Antonio if the world ends tomorrow, it should officially do so at 5:11 a.m. Central Standard Time.  So the clock is ticking...tick...tick...tick.... :D

My cousin is spending the holidays with us, so I have been busy cleaning house and getting everything ready for his arrival.  My bedroom doubles as a guest room and I am so tired of moving boxes back and forth, I think I will just leave it as is when he departs.

It is supposed to get in the mid 20's this evening a big change from just two days ago.  Poor Walter is out there in the elements with no shelter.  I don't know if reincarnation exits but if it does, I hope his worthless owner comes back as a horse and is treated just the way he has treated his animals.

Good night...it may be our last...jajajajaja.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Groovy Wednesday

The weather has been spectacular, as a matter of fact yesterday (Tuesday) we broke the old time record of 84 degrees for this day when we hit 85 glorious degrees.  Today was in the low 80's as well but tonight old man winter is on its way.

Have been busy going to the laundromat, watering plants (they advise you do it before a freeze) raking leaves, washing cars and this afternoon putting everything away as the winds are supposed to kick up to 40 plus miles per hour.

This morning I made a quick trip to the post office as well as to HEB.  There in the parking lot I spotted a groovy looking bus.  I spoke to the lady driver and she said they were from Ontario, Canada.  Takes you back to the 60's doesn't it?





They seemed friendly and I would have loved to have chatted with them but I was in a hurry to get back home in order to watch Jenni Rivera's funeral.

Gas went down some more but not to the under $3.00 level that I see in the news for San Antonio and the Greater Houston area.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Who says the economy is in bad shape?

Ross (the discount retailer) had been running commercials about their purses being on sale. When I went into town last Wednesday I decided to stop and take a look. All I found was barren shelves in that department. The sales lady told me trucks arrive every day with merchandise but they have not been able to keep them in stock, they sell out daily.

The Ross in Del Rio is located at the corner of the mall so you don't have to go inside the mall or I would have skipped it. Have I mentioned that I don't go shopping in the month of December if I can help it? However the discounted prices lured me...you know how I love bargains!

The mall parking lot was jammed packed and there were no shopping carts to be had. Noticed a lot of license plates from all over Mexico. From what I have read their economy is in worst shape than ours but you would not known it from their purchases at the mall.

While I did not find a purse to my liking, I was people watching. These four girls apparently sisters picked out like 20 purses. I discreetly took out my camera to document the event only for the darn camera to display "card locked" now what in the dickens does that mean? Turned it off and on, took out the card but it still kept on saying the same thing. Maybe instead of a purse I need a new camera? Too bad it is not in the budget.

A well dressed Mexican man was on his cell telling someone that they decided to skip shopping in San Antonio this year and drove to Del Rio instead and went on about the virtues of our little city. Said they were staying in a Del Rio hotel to avoid the long lines to cross the border and would drive back to Monterrey on Tuesday or until his wife maxed out their credit cards :D

Kind of glad I did not find anything because the lines were long and people had stuff piled sky high on their shopping carts. Who says the economy is in bad shape?

Good night. May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New battery / Mechanic/ Laundry

Remember back in October when I tried to start dad's old car and flooded it?  Well as you know I was busy with taxes and getting ready for the Chili Cook-Off so I put it off as usual.  Called Triple A this morning, even they could not jump start the battery but the guy was nice enough to remove it for me.

Went to the auto parts place where I bought it back in May 2011 only to be told that now they only exchange batteries up to 20 months and then they pro-rate them.  My procrastination cost my mother $38.97 but shhhh... I did not tell her that!

I then went to see the mechanic and had a nice visit with him.  Do not know what it is about the mechanics I frequent but they sure are talkative and know as much or even more gossip than lady hairdressers :D

He has a ranch out close to my mother's house and goes to visit it every Sunday, so I wanted him to swing by this weekend on his way back to town but he said he would come tomorrow.  I do not know if he will be able to or not since it was obvious he was coming down with a cold.

Went to the P.O. Box and saw this restored truck in mint condition.  I thought it looked pretty neat.




Ran a couple more errands while I was in town including going to the laundromat.  I was so surprise there were only three people and thankfully no screaming kids!  Too bad I have to make a return trip to do sheets and comforters :-(

Gas has gone down two cents in the past week.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jenni Rivera 1969-2012

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and set-up my Kodiak Canvas tent in the backyard in order to clean it out after my trip to Terlingua.  It took me 40 minutes to pound in the stakes but I used the heavy duty ones that came with the tent...in the desert I only use four of the heavy duty ones in the corners. Then I cheat and use the regular metal ones and even doing that it takes me between two to three hours to pound them in, in the heavy rock area where I camp.

I got it set up too late to be able to clean it out last night, so this afternoon as I was sweeping the tent I noticed little black specks.  Upon further examination it turned out to be the darn pesky flies that invaded the area and who Tffnguy had warned us about before our departure. Swept and mopped it real good but the bending over did a number on my back so I decided to quit while I was ahead and go online instead.

A note on Yahoo caught my attention regarding a missing plane with Jenni Rivera on board.  You might ask yourself, who is Jenni Rivera?  Unless you are Hispanic, Latino, Chicano or Mexican-American you  probably have never heard of this well known singer, composer, author,  business woman and  entrepreneur from California.


I knew of the one forum where I could get reliable and up the minute information and that is where I got to see pictures and video before it was broadcasted in the regular media.  Unfortunately  the news was not good.  After her sold out concert in Monterrey last night she and her entourage boarded a private chartered plane en route to Toluca, Mexico.  The radio tower lost communications after only 10 minutes of flight time.

Last known picture of Jenni aboard the plane that ultimately lead to her death
I became glued to the forum and then to the Spanish speaking networks that were frantically trying to beat each other to the tragic news.  Telemundo broadcasted live for four hours and Univision got caught with its pants down and did not chime till later with coverage until midnight.  I had never seen this extensive coverage since the death of another well known Mexican-American singer Selena back in 1995.

While not a fan of her music...I was a great admirer of Jenni the woman, mother, daughter, sister and over all great human being that she was.  Will not go into specifics on this post but I am sure if you care to Google it, you will agree with me that this woman overcame a lot of adversity in her life.  I know of no one in my circle of friends, relatives or acquaintances that has faced the kind of trials and tribulations this lady had to face in her lifetime and yet come out triumphant.

May you rest in peace Jenni!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Terlingualized Truck

I did a short post when I got back from the Chili Cook-off this year and had a message from Eddie Mo also known as Terlingua Ed as well as from Jim Tabor the owner of the Terlingualized Truck. http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2012/11/im-back.html

I finally finished sorting through my pictures and found I had taken four shots of the party truck from my campsite.  These were taken on Friday November 2, 2012 at 4:05 p.m.  Would love to hit them up on Facebook but I do not have an account nor do I think I would know how to navigate around that site.

Therefore if anyone knows them please let them know I have posted them on my blog.  Thank you.

                 




Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Unscheduled Projects

Mom got up real early today whereas I stayed in bed till 10:30 a.m.  Should of known she was going to rake the leaves that I have been ignoring!  So like it or not I had to finish the job.  Little good it did...a gust of wind came and many more fell...oh well!

I had intended to go to the laundromat but after raking the leaves got my second wind and decided to finally take down the tent, the folding table and the rest of the stuff that has been in the trunk of the car since I came back from Terlingua.  It only took me a month this time!  :D

The ice chests needed washing as did my chairs, it can get quite dusty in the desert.

That worthless plumber of hers finally showed up at 6:10 p.m.  I have said it before... I really hope I never see this character again in my life!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beautiful 82 Degree Day

Before calling AAA (American Automobile Association) decided to try starting the mini van one more time.  I will be darn...it started!  We decided to go for a spin in order to get it charged up.


The work on the new Stripes is going along at a fast pace.  This will be the fourth store in Del Rio and the third one along Veterans Memorial.  I have no idea why they would want three stores within two miles of each other and the other less than a mile.


Took a picture of the surprise gift I bought myself.  The other side is worst but I can't post it because it has my personal information and I do not know how to edit pictures :-(


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Speed Bumps/ Dead Battery/ UPS Delivery

Yesterday there was heavy duty machinery by the church on the main road not far from mother's house. My old time readers might recall this is where Walter almost got ran over.  Figured they were putting in new water pipes or something but when I went to close the gate last evening, I witness how unsuspecting vehicles hit the speed bumps that up until yesterday were not there. Must say they were really needed, now if they would only put them on our street, I would be truly grateful!

This morning I headed into town in mother's mini van but when I went to start it, it was dead :-(  It is my fault for not having started the van in a couple of days and besides that the Sears Die Hard battery has lasted a long time.  I'm thinking seven or eight years, so it was time.

My uncle swore me to secrecy, he told me that my mother called her worthless plumber to see why he had not been by.  Per my uncle he said he had been busy with church stuff but would come by this Thursday.  Do you think it would have been too much on his part to make a one minute call and let her know that without my mother having to call this individual?  Guess I am just asking for too much...

Shoeless Joe of Traveling with John fame http://travlinwithjohn.blogspot.com had ordered himself some Christmas presents but was going to pretend he did not know what they were.  I thought it was a great idea!  I would not have to pretend very hard what with my CRS and all :D

Decided I could NOT depend on Santa to bring me anything so I ordered myself a present and the UPS tracking said it was going to be delivered today.  Heard on the news that thieves in big cities are following UPS and FedEx trucks and then stealing the packages off front doors and porches.  Decided to set up a table and take my laptop outside as I did not want my present to suffer the same fate.  He showed up at 8:40 p.m. but the box looks like it has been through the wringer!

As you know my cheap camera does not take good night time pictures, so I am waiting until tomorrow to photograph the box in case my gift is damaged :(

Want to welcome two more new followers to the blog Jeff and Vanwrinkle.  Thank you for your readership!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday Good-byes

Got an inquiry from a reader wanting to know what goes on Sunday when the cook-off ends and how many people stay over. Thought it might make a good post.

My friend checking her map before driving back to Houston
I really hate good-byes and so do the majority of the people that comprise our camps.  It is sad that I will not see most of them for another year and some I may never see again.  This year Frank did not come back as he passed away a couple of months back.  He is the gentlemen I blogged about at last year's Cook-off that I danced with till the wee hours of the night, he was in his eighties and a darn good dancer I might add.


Some people leave pretty early like the camp with the food who are usually gone by six o'clock.  The guys camp leave soon after even though they do not have far to go...they want to get home in time to watch the Dallas Cowboys game.


I guess it all depends on if you have to work on Monday and how far you have to drive to get back home.  I would strongly suggest you take Monday off whether you plan on staying an extra day or not unless you are young and resilient.  You will need it to recuperate.


Early Sunday morning the local scavengers swarm the area.  They come pick up cans, wood, and all types of stuff that the chili heads do not want to take back home.  Since I stay for a couple more days, I go pick up the wood my camp mates leave me.  Whatever water, empty beer cans or wood I have left I usually save them for Betty and Irvin.  They are a local senior citizen couple whom I have known for many years and who work pretty hard to make a living.


As you know you have to stop at the Border Patrol checkpoint when you head back to Alpine and the lines are very long.  I guess that is one reason why some people do not leave till the afternoon or wait until Monday to do so.



Sunday Frann and a friend of hers (sorry I can not remember his name) stopped by Debi's camp and we had a long visit.  You can see some vehicles in the back of the above picture, they belong to people camped in the cooks section.  When they left they told us they had left some wood for us...that was nice of them :)



When everyone leaves there is just something magical about listening to the sound of...SILENCE...you can actually hear yourself think and at least in my case it is something very soothing and peaceful.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Profile Picture / Propane Guy/ Plumber

Wow, can hardly believe it is December already!  In preparation of the holiday season went to change my profile picture and I messed it up!  As you all know I am computer challenged and with this computer even more so.  Need to call Time Warner Cable and have them come out and make my old computer be able to connect to the network they set up for me. Yes, I said I was going to do it after I got back from Terlingua but what can I tell you?

For some reason I can not post an image from my Photobucket account to my profile.  Tried downloading the file to this computer but it downloaded as a zip file. When I go to open it, it tells me I have no pictures!

Been taking it easy.  My only trip into town was to the bank and the P.O. Box.  Called the propane guy on Thursday and he said he would be here Friday, I will be darn if he finally kept his word...he did not know it but this was his last chance...after the prior long waits, was going to change providers.  Bought 130 gallons  hopefully that will last us for a while.  He even said he would be by with a calendar later on this month!

Unbeknownst to me my mother called that worthless plumber of hers on Thursday, here it is Saturday and we are still waiting...not really a surprise.  Was making plans to go to Houston but until this character shows up I can not leave :-(

Here is where I usually wish you a good night but being that it is 11:05 a.m. I will wish you a good day instead :)