Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
CASI Chili Cook-off - Terlingua, Texas

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An all around Rant day

Remember my problems with Allstate...the "you are in good hands with Allstate" people?  Well they are really beginning to piss me off!  It turns out that even though I had requested three times to have my address changed to Del Rio, then having paid the premium in full to avoid penalties...I now have to pay a $25.00 reinstatement fee, grrrrrrrrrrr!

Funny thing is that back in March the last time I went home and removed my mail box...I also filled out a change of address with the US Postal Service. Why is it that they never forward this very important piece of mail to me?

This bill was sent to me by my Houston agent because the policy still has the Houston address!  What a bunch of incompetent imbeciles.  If that was not bad enough I tried to pay it online only for their web page to prompt me that my policy number is not valid...WTH?  I am definitively dumping these idiots even if I have to pay more to go with another agency next year.

Got a call this morning from Val Verde Regional Medical Center with an appointment with the neurosurgeon that will be handling my mother's case.  He travels to Del Rio once a month to the see local patients at his office in the hospital.

Two hours later I got a call from his San Angelo office advising me that the doctor had reviewed her MRI. Was told she had a compressure fracture of the lumbar spine and will need surgery.  Asked her a lot of questions but was advised a nurse would have to get back with me as that is all she could tell me.  Had to cancel the errands I had to run today waiting on the nurse to return my call.

Needless to say it hit me out of left field as I was not expecting this. Surgery in my opinion as well as hers....is a last option.  I had all kinds of scenarios going through my mind.  Luckily the nurse answered all my questions and most importantly reassured me that she would NOT be cut open and then fused together.

I have never been to San Angelo, have no idea how to get around the city, nor where his office or the hospital are located.

The idiot Time Warner Cable guy that installed the Internet messed up the only computer that I could print from so I guess I will be spending time at our local library to get ready for this trip.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, July 29, 2013

MRI

Drove my mother to Val Verde Regional Medical Center for her MRI this morning.  Have been to the hospital so many times this month, I am on a first name basis with the admitting office clerks.  Hopefully this will be the last trip for a while.


I was a little apprehensive after I had read some things on another blog regarding this procedure. Fortunately my mother is not claustrophobic and today her pain level was low...unlike last week when she had her Cat Scan done.


Only the person having the MRI and the radiology technicians are able to cross through the door due to the strong magnetic field.  Even her cane had to stay outside.


While I have not had the best experience with the Emergency Room personnel...I have nothing but praise for the Radiology Department staff at Val Verde Regional Medical Center.  They are very professional, compassionate and caring individuals who are very considerate of my mother and her special needs.


Her doctor has referred her to a neurosurgeon.  The choice was one in San Antonio or in San Angelo, Texas.  If we chose one in San Antonio we would have to drive there for every appointment.  If we chose the one in San Angelo it is a surgeon her doctor is familiar and has worked closely with.  I would only have to drive there for the first appointment if her pain level rises again or we could wait for him to come to Del Rio which I believe he does so once a month.


If you are wondering why I did not consider a Houston neurosurgeon it is because she absolutely HATES Houston.  Besides her doctor does not personally know anyone he could recommend nor do my friends or acquaintances.

Read up on a lot of them but I have had prior experiences when my dad was alive and I chose one with impeccable credentials...yet had the worst beside manner, some whose English was very difficult to understand, others who were full of themselves and/or were pretty much AH's.  I apologize for my French but I call it as I see it.

I have received a couple of e-mails and I apologize for not being able to reply to them.  This month has been pretty hectic and I am pretty much beat come night time when I usually go online.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

CASI Chili Cook-off questions

I have received a couple of e-mails lately regarding the upcoming CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) annual Chili Cook-off that takes place on the first weekend of November in Terlingua, Texas... which as you may know is an annual pilgrimage for me.

The main question I am asked is what "virgins" to the event should not forget to bring with them.

That is a little difficult to answer because I am one of a dying breed...I am a tent camper.  As a matter of fact up until last cook-off that my friends from Houston joined me after a ten years absence...the only tent camper in my group.

Tent camping requires a person bring a lot more items than those in RV's and campers.  Since all the questions were from readers with RV's ...I will address that group in this post.

First and foremost you are headed to the desert, so bring LOTS of water with you.  If you can freeze milk jugs, water and soda bottles these can serve as ice to keep your beer and food cold and once they thaw out...can be used to brush your teeth, wash your hair, rinse off some clothes or to just drink them.

I would advise you to bring as much beer, wine and spirits as you think you might need and then multiply it by two or three.  You are going to meet a lot of people and have many guests stopping by afterwards. This is a festive place and you will find yourself consuming more than you would back in the default world.  Beer and ice in Terlingua are not cheap and last year due to the unusual high temperatures...they ran out of ice early Saturday morning as well as in Lajitas and Study Butte.  I do not know about you, but I personally like my beer to be COLD.

You might consider bringing one or several bottles of Tequila or your liquor of choice whether you drink or not.  People gather around campfires at night and pass a bottle around as they tell stories and shoot the bull until the wee hours.

People are very generous and will invite you to breakfast, lunch and dinner...it might be nice to reciprocate. However, if you are a virgin don't worry about it as most old timers will bend over backwards to make sure your first experience is memorable.

This is the desert and in late October and early November it may be 100 degrees in the day but at night the temperatures drop sharply.  You might want to bring some firewood, blankets, warm clothing and a heavy jacket.

This is a BIG place and if you want to explore it...bring your four wheel vehicles, dirt bikes, mules, jeeps or tricked out trucks.  Don't forget to stop by my camp and take me for a ride :D



What is that you are saying...you do not know where my camp is at?  I am in the old spectator area along the ravine.  Look for my Kodiak Canvas tent or ask for Belinda from Houston...yes, I know I now live in Del Rio but I am known as Belinda from Houston, ok?


I usually arrive a week before the event but even at this early date people tend to party at night...it would not hurt to buy some ear plugs to drown out the sounds.  If you do not like to be kept up to the wee hours of the morning...perhaps this is not the event for you.  If you prefer a more quiet setting, may I suggest the other cook-off...known as the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-off located behind the store.  This is known the other 51 weeks out of the year as BJ's RV Park.




Bring some gallon milk jugs, preferably full, but if not empty ones...so the people that would rather drive home with empty  fresh water tanks can donate their liquid gold to the locals.  They converge early Sunday morning to scavenge the area but many do not bring containers to bottle up this precious liquid so they can take it home.

I would also suggest you bring a wide brim hat, lots of sun block lotion, an extra camera as well as batteries, flashlights, sunglasses, binoculars, beads (for the ladies and men that flash you), fly swatters, wasp spray, extra pair of shoes, hiking boots, additional chairs (for company) and a shade structure.  Will post more tips on future blogs.

This link will also answer a lot of questions you might have http://www.krazyflats.com/  however, they are not good about updating information until two months before the event.

I have made a new post with tips for tent campers http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2013/10/casi-chili-cook-off-questions-part-2.html

Good night.  May you have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rain Event

Had just opened the gate to go run an errand when the rain began.  For those that do not personally know me...I do NOT drive in the rain...maybe one day I will blog about that...but not today.


As little as it rains in West Texas I figured the rain would be over in 5 minutes.  Glad I was proved wrong...it rained buckets for about 30 minutes. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures but they were taken through the window.



These are pictures looking toward the north side of the property were Cliff and friends cut some pesky mesquites.





I was beginning to get concerned as the water started to rise in the front yard and it began to look more like a lake.




Glad I had opened the gate so the water was able to exit the property faster!







The trees and plants sure appreciated the liquid gold.




Hope everyone in the drought stricken states got their fair share of this wonderful rain.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.




Friday, July 19, 2013

Mother's Friends / Pre-Registration / Turkey Legs

The medication finally allowed my mother to get a full eight hours of sleep.  The telephone started ringing early this morning, all from the doctor's office.  Had a lot of chores to do this morning before driving in to town, was about to jump in the shower when there was a  knock on the door.  When will mother's friends learn to call before they come...grrrrrrrrrr!!

Told the ladies that I was sorry but my mother was sick and asleep and gave them cards I had printed out with her phone number.  Used the excuse that gasoline prices were too high for them to drive all the way out here only for us not to be home or in this case for them not to be able to see her.  I would never show up at someones house unannounced unless it was an emergency.

Went to pick up the doctor's orders and then headed to the hospital to pre-register her for next week.  Made a stop at the recycling center, post office and the local bar-b-q place I frequent.   As I stood in line I saw this sign and could not help but smile...it reminded me of two bloggers which will go unnamed :D


This place is a hit or miss and today it was definitively a miss...the turkey legs were tough and dry.  Even the brisket, which is one of my favorites is never consistent.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dr. Appointment / Shower / Governors Landing

The day started much too early for me.  If you have been reading me for a while you know I do not particularly care for coffee and usually only drink it when I have a long drive or when I am freezing to death. This morning I had a cup to keep me awake and give me energy for the long day ahead of me.

Mother's doctor was able to work her in as she has been in constant pain since July 3rd and he was on vacation.  It bears mentioning that the two times I took her to the ER at Val Verde Regional Medical Center were a complete waste of time.  They never address what was causing the pain or gave her anything to treat it.  Though I am sure she will soon receive a nice bill from them.

When the telephone rang this afternoon and it was from his office...my heart sank as I thought they would not be able to work her in after all.  However, it was to notify me that he was running behind on his appointments and if I could bring her in an hour later.  What a break as I was having a heck of a time trying to dress her when each movement sent a sharp pain down her back.

Not ten minutes later the skies opened up and the area where mother lives finally got a good healthy shower even though per Weatherbug it only amounted to .18" ...but that is better than nothing!  Boy, was I ever glad her appointment had been delayed.

After examining her, it was too late in the day to get all the tests and X-rays he ordered.  He did give her something to address the pain until a cause can be pinpointed.  The prescription was not going to be ready for an hour at our local HEB so decided to kill some time by driving to my favorite Amistad campground...Governors Landing.

There were only two occupied camp spaces but there were several families in the public section of Governors Landing.  Families were swimming, fishing and cooking out late this afternoon.

Looks like it rained here too.

Someone in their speed boat

kids fishing

People swimming way up there



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rain Envy :-(

I have been reading a lot of blogs where they are talking about all the rain they have received lately...even in Nevada and Arizona traditional dry states...I think I have rain envy :-(

Where is my share of the rain?  It has rained a little but not anything to write home about.  Oh well...on the positive side the rains in the surrounding areas have made for some tolerable temperatures even though it has been very humid...I am talking Houston like humidity!

Gas prices are once again climbing and both Stripes and HEB had ended their save .12 cents off...if you use their store debit card promotion.

Last night I went to fill up mom's mini-van at the Stripes across from HEB since I still had a balance in my debit card only to find out that this store uses another debit card!!!  How stupid is that?


My particular Stripes debit card can only be used at the new Stripes or the one heading to Mexico.  Since I was not going to get a discount anyway opted to fill up here.


Since many of my overseas readers have asked me to post gasoline prices including diesel...your wish is my command :-)

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pondering

After running around like a chicken with my head cut-off on Thursday I had this strong sensation to go visit my mechanic.  Call me crazy but every once in a while I get these vibes or gut feelings that I have learned to not ignore.

When I got to his shop he came out to greet me and invited me out back in the shade and pulled me up a chair.  For some reason he always whispers and even though I have good hearing I could not make out what he was telling me until later.

He is re-married but when he got a divorce his ex-wife got the house which is next to his shop.  I knew she was not doing well but since I do not buy the local newspaper, I had no idea she had passed away and was buried the day before.  We talked for a long while and after listening to him...I realized that my problems are trivial and superfluous by comparison.  Sometimes one needs to listen to what other people are going through to see how fortunate one really is.

When I got home I looked up the online local newspaper edition only to see a birthday and name and no portion of the obituary unless I paid to be able to read it.  I do not know why they do that to some obituaries and not to others.  We have three funeral homes in Del Rio but only the newer funeral home has a web page where you can read the full obituary and not part of it like the online newspaper version.

Upon reading the obituary section, I learned that I lost not one...but three of my classmates and the mother of another one.  Now I know we all have to go sooner or later and I am not exactly a spring chicken anymore but when three classmates die within the span of a week...it makes you wonder just how long you might have left to live.



Had to take mother to the ER yesterday for the second time this week.  It is no wonder people would rather drive to San Antonio or San Angelo rather than put up with Val Verde Regional Medical Center incompetent personnel.  Why do people have to be dying to be seen by a doctor?  Since when have Nurse Practitioner's become the norm?  That is all I am going to say about that!

Some lucky person being flown to a real hospital in San Antonio.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

You're in good hands with Allstate? Think again!

Back in June of last year I was screaming and hollering and mad as all get out because Allstate had once again messed up and did not do a change of address on my policy.  I happened to be home at the time so I was able to pay it.  That dumb girl promised to change it (it was my third request) and guess what...she didn't!

Something had been nagging at me and then I remembered that when all that happened Ben in Texas had died.  Well he died in June here it is July and no bill for my homeowners policy.  Called that stupid girl and reminded her of our last conversation in March of this year when I went to take her a copy of my Alarm Permit so I could get a discount on my policy and once again told her I wanted the bill sent to Del Rio.

Allstate...I don't think I am in good hands...grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!  To make matters worst they went up $300.00 and I have never even had a claim!  I am definitively changing companies next year.  If something had happened to my house I would have been without coverage.  It is my fault too for letting it slip my mind...darn CRS :-(

Thankfully I did not have to drive to downtown Houston like I did a year ago but I did have to make a mad dash to the bank in the heat and in a none air conditioned car.  You can bet this will not happen to me again!


Even the ducks at the Duck Pond were too hot in the water and were seeking some shade in-land.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

What do you dream of ?

With as little sleep as I get...it is a wonder I dream at all!  Yet when I finally luck out and manage some shut eye, I dream of the present and rarely of the past...and of course I dream of Terlingua :)

When my Mom is dreaming she often talks in her sleep...I think she is calling me, so I go to her room only to find out otherwise.  The funny thing is that she always dreams of her childhood, her siblings. her parents and her grandparents.  She tells me she rarely dreams of the present.

This afternoon we both fell asleep...we were beat from all that has been going on in our lives this past week.  Would you believe I dreamt of Mr. and Mrs. Dizzy Dick?  Yep...I sure did!  I have never had the pleasure of meeting them in person but for some reason I dreamt of them...go figure!

In real life this wonderful couple have a beautiful RV. In my dream they sold it to me...but it was a different RV...an older one and it was packed full of clothes, food, miscellaneous stuff and even their three dogs.  I was at the chili cook-off as were they, but they did not like it and wanted to go home...so they sold me their rig!!!

Dizzy told me that he would give me a good price but I would have to take it with all their clothes and their three dogs which they would come pick up as soon as I got back to Houston.  Now if you have ever read The Dizzies http://dizzydick.blogspot.com you know they would NEVER leave their dogs with a stranger!  Aren't dreams strange?

Now do you dream in the present or in the past?  Do you dream in color or black and white?

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Desert Cacti

It rained within the Del Rio city limits yesterday but not out to where my mother lives.  The only thing blooming are the desert plants.  Even those horrible mesquite trees are looking dry and dropping their pods right and left.


Most of the time these cacti look ordinary but today they are sporting a pretty yellow flower.


They usually blend into the landscape but for now they stand out as if saying...look at me!


Yes...those dry bean looking things are exactly what you think they are...pesky mesquite pods :-(


Since this blog also serves as a cyber diary...needed to document that I took mother to the ER yesterday.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chance of Rain

We have the probability of rain in the forecast for later today, that I certainly hope materializes.  I was not able to water the trees and plants Saturday night...they are having a hard time surviving this year what with the ants, high temperatures and the drought.

Tonight (Sunday) I watered them not once but twice just in case I am not able to do so tomorrow.

My mother has not been feeling well for a couple of days now.  Today she was finally beginning to feel up to par but this evening the pain came back.  I want to take her to the ER but she is so stubborn!!!

I have needed to run several errands but what with the worthless plumbers that did not make it Friday and when they finally came Saturday did a piss poor job...still I waited hoping for the courtesy of a return call that never came or at least for them to return to fix their shoddy work.

I guess I will have to wait till in the morning to hear from them but more than likely they will hear from me!!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What made me think I could actually fix something?

Dear Readers...I think I have lost my marbles!!!  That or Billy Bob  http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com/ is having an influence on me.  How is that?  Well, Billy Bob likes to fix and modify stuff like no one else I have ever met before. D

It started as a minor problem (doesn't everything?)...the toilet kept on running.  Decided I would watch several of the hundreds of YouTube videos on the subject and could fix it myself.  How wrong I was!  If anything I made it worst.  What in the world possessed me to think I could actually fix something?

It runs and runs and over-flows.  If it was a square toilet the lug nut on the handle would not leak...but the toilet has a curve and thus water  leaks out of this tiny opening onto the floor.  The clearance between the tub and the toilet is not much so I can not put a large bucket to collect the drip.


You are probably asking yourself  "Belinda, why don't you just turn off the water supply valve?"  Well I can't because I found out that it does not shut off all the way and what little does not shut off makes the toilet tank fill up -(

Mother called her worthless plumber...remember him?  The one that makes us wait weeks before he shows up?  His wife answered and they were out of town on vacation...what a lucky break :D

I called a reputable and established plumbing company in town and they told me they would be here between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The guy called me at 4: 39 p.m. to let me know that they will not be able to get to me until tomorrow morning because they were running behind from 4th of July calls.  His employees had spent most of the day digging a sewer line.  Do I have bad luck or what?

Like last night, I will not be going to bed as I have to drain the water every 30 minutes or so.  I certainly hope they make it tomorrow...because my back is feeling the effects of having to fill tons of gallon milk jugs...then carrying them outside to either water Walter or the trees.  Where is my tall weathered cowboy to save the day?

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I wish America and all my readers a very happy Independence Day!  May you enjoy it in the manner that best suits you.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Upside to yard work?

If you have been reading me for a while, you know I suffer from insomnia and stay up till the wee hours of the morning.  After all the raking and bundling up of those darn mesquite pods, I was very tired.  My arms ached but I ran out of aspirins a while back...all we had in the house was some Tylenol my uncle left behind on his last visit.  I do not take Tylenol because it contains Acetaminophen.

I went to bed early (for me) about 3:00 a.m. got up at 7:30 a.m. to serve mother breakfast and was back in bed by 8:00 a.m.  Would you believe I did get up till 1:53 p.m.?

Wait it gets better...sat down to watch the 5:00 p.m. news and drifted in and out of sleep until 6:00 p.m.  Told mother to wake me up at 7:00 p.m. so I could go rake some more pods but she did not wake me because she wanted me to rest.  Woke up on my own at 9:45 p.m.

I slept more hours today than I have in the past three days!  I feel very refreshed...who knew there could be an upside to yard work?

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Yuck...yard work :-(

My arms ache from raking all those darn mesquite pods!!!  Have I mentioned how much I HATE yard work?  Managed to rake up three 5 gallon buckets worth and that was only around the clothesline area :-(

KSAT12 news in San Antonio said it rained in Val Verde county.  It certainly was not in the southern part.  Even though the temperature was a very pleasant 75 degrees when I was watering the trees and plants this evening.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.