Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Chili Cookoff - Terlingua, Texas

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Taxes / E-banking

After not going anywhere in nine days, I have gone to town three days in a row.  Last night I never even went to bed.  Have been busy paying my Harris County property taxes.  It just chaffs my derriere to have to pay MUD taxes (municipal utility district) on top of the already high water and sewer rates I pay, even though I have used zero gallons in the past 21 months.

Seems everyone has or is coming down with the flu.  After being on my death bed last year I have been taking real good care of myself.  My uncle who religiously gets his annual flu shot came down with it as well.  He was supposed to spend Christmas as well as New Year's with us but it was not in the cards.

Was wondering how many people in cyberspace do e-banking?  I guess I am just used to getting a statement and being able to file it in case I ever need it in the future.  Being realistic though how many times have I had to refer to a bank statement months or years later?

I could of saved me a trip into town yesterday by being able to access my account online.  However, if I sign up, I would forfeit my paper statement.  Will have to think about it.

I do not know what was wrong with my camera today.  At first I thought my batteries were low but now I think it might be on its last legs.  Anyway, I was not able to get you a picture of today's gasoline prices but they are unchanged from Monday.


The thing that stood out was the difference in price when it came to diesel.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Left my self imposed exile

After nine days of self imposed exile, I finally left the compound today.  Really did not have much choice as we were completely out or very low on several items.

First stop was the P.O. Box...my goodness it was stuffed with so much correspondence I could barely pull it out!

Next stop was HEB...what a difference nine days makes...lots of parking spaces and no long waiting lines at the check out counters,  Was shopping when over the loud speaker, a first at least for me happened...they announced the game score between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.  A cheer could be heard in the store.

While I do not follow football or for that matter care for the Cowboys (do not like their owner)...I could not help but be impressed.  So maybe the reason for the lack of folks at the store was that most people were home watching it on the tube? Thank you Dallas Cowboy fans, you made my shopping experience so much more enjoyable.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Spurs Corner

Now to something I do like...my Spurs . Wonder if HEB announces their score during the game?

I just knew they would break their losing streak tonight.  I was very happy to see Patty Mills play his first game this season after his surgery. Very impressed with the performance of Cory Joseph tonight.

Sorry my Houston Rocket fan friends, tonight it was not to be.

 Final Score Spurs 110  Rockets 106.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cold front / Tumble

Hope you all had a great Christmas but I for one are glad it is over and done with.  Have been needing to go to HEB but I just have not been able to talk myself into making the trip.

Yesterday, it was a beautiful day in the 70's. Today a cold front arrived and it is gray and chilly for this part of Texas.  Not complaining though, many people up north wish they could have these temperatures.

Mom has not been feeling well.  Her iron levels have been very low and she was given vitamins that are supposed to help her but that many individuals can not tolerate.  Her doctor told her per Medicare guidelines they have to be tried first before they will pay for the more expensive IV administered ones.

She will fall asleep and when I tell her to go lay down, she will say she is not sleeping...she is just resting her eyes...when that is not the case.  I know better than to argue with her!

I was in my bedroom when I heard a terrible crash and then my mother scream.  Ran to the kitchen to find her laying on the floor.  My god it was a terrible sight to behold. Made sure she was alright as I ran to get pillows and stabilize her before I tried to move her.

I tried as hard as I could to lift her off the floor but with my bad back and in her weak state she was unable to help me.  Ran outside to see if any of the neighbors were out but it was Christmas and not many were home.  Saw a light at the neighbor across the street, he too was just about to leave but he and his son came to my aid and effortlessly lifted her off the floor.

She was fine just her arm was scraped up a bit so I cleaned up the wound and bandaged her up. One thing was clear we were NOT going to the local hospital's Emergency Room. She was lucky because she slid off the chair when she fell asleep and did not actually fall while walking.  Either way it was not a pleasant situation.

I am so glad I was home, I would hate to think of her laying on the floor for hours waiting on me to come to her rescue.  It is at times like this that I wish I had family and friends close by.

Not much else happening.  Walter has been here for almost a week but I wrote about that on his blog.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.



Spurs Corner

We lost the last two games but even Pop seemed to take it in stride.  The December schedule has been brutal with many back to back games, not to mention the overtime they have had to play.

I am more concerned about Kwahi's hand.  Did not like what the doctor said about not having seen an injury like that in 40 years.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Feliz Navidad

From my house to yours may you have a Merry Christmas.



 Felices Fiestas (Happy Holidays) to all my friends and readers out in cyber space.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thank you Google!

Have you fellow blog writers gotten your free gift from Google?  If you haven't...check your e-mail. This is the first year they send out a "Year in Photos" and includes all the pictures you uploaded to your blog in 2014.

I have not been very successful uploading stuff to Photobucket so I am happy that if I lose my computer or it crashes...I have back up pictures.

I forgot how little and thin Ralph was when he started coming over. Walter seems to have aged some this year...my poor big guy :(

Thank you kindly Google!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.



Spurs Corner

I am very happy we snapped a four game losing streak and finally won a game that did not go into overtime!  Tony Parker is back and he played a heck of a game as did the other Spurs.  GSG!!!

Spurs 125, Los Angeles Clippers 118

Monday, December 22, 2014

Trying to get my money's worth

My AT&T Internet plan gives me 6GB for 30 days.  Today is the last day and to date I have only used 4.81GB's.  I will say one thing in favor of Time Warner Cable....I had unlimited Internet access.  Me, being the ultimate bargain hunter...can not leave 1GB on the table.

Tonight and this morning (actually they are the same as I have not gone to sleep)  I have been basking in the glory of watching all the YouTube videos my heart desires.  By videos...I mean music videos.

It has been two and a half months since I have heard my favorite 70's and 80's tunes.  Have I mentioned that I am a Disco Duck?  Back when I signed up on Blogger in 2008, I had a long write up about it on my profile...it is no longer there but those two decades marked me for life.  Tonight it is great to be able to relive those songs and with it the accompanying memories.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Another beautiful autumn day

The weather geniuses have been forecasting rain for the past couple of days and to date it has not materialized.  Called the propane guy yesterday but he never returned my call.  Just to be on the safe side decided to open the gate early this morning.  Good thing I did because I can came back in and went back to sleep.

The sound of his vehicle woke me up.  I guess I am spooked after the mechanic took out the gate a while back...but this guy has a lot of experience getting in tight spaces. I even scored two calendars from him.

Decided to drive into town this afternoon and run a few errands as I definitively do not plan on going anywhere near a store this weekend or next week.  I was originally just going to buy milk, orange juice, cereal and a loaf of bread.  There is some truth when they say not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach...I ended up spending $102.00!!!

I apologize for slacking off and not posting gasoline prices.  It seems that every time I go into town, I either forget my camera or it is in my purse in the back seat.  Click on this or any picture on my blog to enlarge it.  The going price around town for regular unleaded is between $2.20 and $2.23 a gallon.


While I was out and about, it was a very pleasant 70 degrees with clear sunny skies.  Not bad for an autumn day in December!



If you are not into basketball or are not a Spurs fan...you may exit now...

Sb - I am not a betting woman but if someone had told me that we would go into a third consecutive overtime in two days...I would have lost :(

It was so close but I guess the guys lost their legs on the third OT.  Good thing the season is still young.  I do not hold out much hope for playing the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow.  They are a rested and very tough opponent.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fun at Amistad / Phil Mason

I want to welcome two new readers to the blog.  First, my apologies to Fun at Amistad for taking so long to greet him.  You happen to join when I was severing my ties with my former ISP and then having difficulties going online at the library.  Was wondering if you were able to make it to the cook-off this year?

Welcome to Phil Mason as the latest person to come on board.

Gentlemen, thank you both for taking the time from your busy schedules to read my blog.  It is appreciated.

We can't always have good days

The minute I answered the telephone yesterday and learned it was Mrs. Town Crier (my nosy Houston neighbor) on the other line, I knew it wasn't going to be a good day.

This lady likes to meddle in everything and invents half the stuff she tells you.  Even if she were telling me the truth, with her past record NO ONE believes her.  To try to get on my good side she said that she told the guy that does the yard...why are you cutting her grass if it has not grown?...he answered "because my client asked me to and she pays me"....good for him!

I confirmed that I had spoken to him and that he was not there to cut the grass but to rake the leaves as well as keep an eye on my property.  She quickly added that SHE keeps an eye on my property (yeah right) for which I thanked her but added...that is why I had an alarm system and my yardman.

I told her that while I can only keep the inside of my house safe, I can do nothing about the outside and she had probably not seen that vandals cut the copper wires off my air conditioning back in October. That took her by surprise and shut her up momentarily.  Of course she had to add that it had also happened to other neighbors (that is a lie).

It soon became apparent the reason for her call.  She was WORRIED about me since it had been almost two years since I was in Houston and thought perhaps I would like to rent my house to her son who could make sure my house was safe.  Thanked her once more for thinking about the SAFETY of my house but I told her I had no intention of renting or selling my place at this time.

Even if I ever contemplate getting rid of my place, I will NOT sell it to her or her family, period!

As if that was not bad enough I had to watch my Spurs go into triple overtime last night only to lose by one point.  Losing is not a bad thing but when you practically give the game away after coming back from a 23 point deficit...it stung :(

I didn't even feel like making a post so went to bed early (midnight).  Hopefully today will be a better day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A sunny 76 degree day

We had an absolutely gorgeous day.  It got to 76 degrees (24 Celsius) but it felt hotter working in the sun.  Yes, you read right...I worked!  Got the Hula Hoe out and went about zapping weeds while Ralph supervised me.

The darn mosquitoes would not leave me alone.  I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but knew if I came inside to change...chances were good I would not go back outside...so I worked through the discomfort of their bites.

Even washed some fine washables.  For a moment considered going to the laundromat but quickly let that thought vanish...maybe Wednesday?  Where is my tall weathered cowboy that enjoys working on the yard and washing clothes?

It would have been a fabulous day, had it not been that my Spurs second string lost to Portland tonight 108 to 95.  Oh well, it was a back to back game and we did win last night against Denver.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Slept in /Target/ Mexico

I have been so tired lately and as you know I suffer from insomnia.  After serving mother breakfast, I decided to lay down for a while and to my surprise, ended up sleeping till 1:35 p.m.  I would like to say I felt refreshed but no, my back hurts and I have been having a headache that comes and goes for the past two days.

A couple of months back I tried to purchase a cordless telephone online at Target but was unable to because we have a P.O. Box address. This past week I tried to buy a camera as well as a cheap tablet and once again I was unable to complete my transaction.  Apparently, they do not ship anything that uses batteries to a P.O. Box.  I love Target but they have really disappointed me.  They leave me no choice but to shop their competition.

Got an e-mail from a reader asking why I had not gone to Ciudad Acuna lately and if I was planning a trip there soon.

My last trip was in September when I went to get provisions for my trip to Terlingua. I would have gone back by now to buy my medications but I decided a couple of months back that I did not want to take them anymore.

While Mexico is beautiful during the month of December with all their decorations, traditions such as Posadas and their delicious gastronomy prepared especially for this season such as bacalao, romeritos and too many others to name...I just have a thing about being in long lines of traffic. During this month it happens on both sides of the border.  This gal is not about to wait in line for two hours, I already paid my dues daily in Houston traffic for over twenty years.

Now that we cut the cable off, we watch the news that are beamed to the border from Mexico City by their two major networks (actually we have always watched them). On Saturday's newscast they showed a report from the Ciudad Juarez/El Paso border where there normally is a delay of up to three hours or more. Yesterday there was a computer failure in U.S. Customs that had people in line for over five hours. Some even ran out of gasoline while waiting to cross back to the states.

I do not say this to discourage anyone from going to Mexico...on the contrary the exchange rates are excellent for American shoppers...last I checked it was $14.30 pesos to one American dollar. Normally, it is in the neighborhood of $12.50 pesos to one U.S. dollar.  That would make my Betty Boop purse a lot cheaper to purchase but it will have to wait until all this Christmas madness is over and done with,  Hope this answers your question.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 2014 trip to Uvalde

I will have to say that the one good thing about not having had Internet service, is that I was in bed before midnight.  Granted that may be past some people's bedtime but it was early for me.  I did not say I went to sleep but at least I was in bed resting.

Now that I am hooked back up...it's back to my old ways of staying up till 5:00 a.m.  I am not going to complain about how slow the service is but that too factors in to the time it takes me to research and read stuff.  Last night I had to cut myself off at 3:00 a.m. as we had an 11:15 a.m. appointment in Uvalde, Texas a town 70 miles east of here.


We were running late and to make matters worst they were having road work.  Here we were sitting for 12 minutes waiting for nothing.  I did not see any work being done, what the heck was that all about?  Well, if one has to wait...at least I was at the head of the line.


Being a construction zone...even though there was no construction...you still had to go slow or I could face a fine.  Apparently that did not bother the other drivers who quickly passed me up. Then I realized that I better hurry up as well because the Border Patrol check point was just a few miles ahead and the last thing I wanted was another long wait.


All these cars had passed me.  This is the Uvalde check point, if you looked at the future Comstock, Texas check point pictures I posted, that one is going to be considerably bigger than this one.


We did not have the usual two hour wait to see the doctor since he did not come today. Saw his assistant a lady P.A.  I have to mention this because it leads me to question why a health care professional knowing she is working with patients with compromised immune systems, use what seemed like a whole bottle of perfume?  Yes, it was an expensive perfume but it stunk nonetheless.

We had the same thing happen in the waiting room...another lady with a very strong smelling perfume making us gag.  People be considerate of others, not everyone can tolerate these smells.  It reminded me of a lovely co-worker that no one could stand going into her office.  If you did, you came out smelling to her perfume.  If you went to another floor or the break room you...it was obvious she had been there.  OK, I will get off my soap box now.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Should I stay or should I go?

Post for Sunday - November 2, 2014

Last night I went to bed with the chickens but woke up at 4:00 a.m. once more!  The beauty of car camping is that I can leave whenever I want without worrying about breaking camp.  However, I am not crazy (I know that might be debatable) and was not about to leave at this ungodly hour let alone with my poor night vision.

Sunday morning view from my prime piece of real estate 
Watched the guys break camp at 5:00 a.m. and leave shortly thereafter.  Tried to go back to sleep but ended up watching the sunrise.  Would have gotten up and sat in my chair but Friday morning my best friend's boyfriend killed a snake by his truck.  Needless to say that left me and her traumatized!

Looking towards the cooks area
The time change took place last night, as soon as the sun came up...everyone started leaving. Back in the 90's when I first started coming, people would cook breakfast and linger for a while before going back home.  Now days it seems like everyone wants to get the hell out of Dodge.

Always a good idea to photograph your campsite in case
someone dumps trash on it after you leave and they
try to blame you next year.
I did not know whether to stay another day or make my own way home.  I did not make up my mind until after my best friend left.  While I wanted to go to the Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Terlingua Cemetery, I knew I would probably end up partying afterwards...I must be getting soft in my old age but I was pretty much partied out...can you believe that?  You can't?  Well, neither can I... but I was!


Went to visit a local blogger, Tffnguy at his home.  We chewed the fat for a long while as we watched all the cook-off traffic drive by.  He along with other locals are privy to some spectacular views from their porch and basically from every direction. I am so looking forward to the day that I can call Terlingua home.


Last year I had to drive home on Sunday but I did not encounter as much RV traffic as I did this time around.  While a lot of the people at CASI had left, you have to keep in mind that there are two cook-off's that take place simultaneously in Terlingua.  The other one is more family oriented and with mature adults that do not necessarily have to go work the next day.


When I got to Alpine the train was crossing.  The trains are the same ones that cross through Del Rio and let me tell you, they are long and take forever to cross the tracks.


I, along with other chili cook-off attendees pulled over into the Sul Ross State University stadium, turned off our vehicles and waited it out.  Afterward decided to brave the crowds at Stripes and top off my tank as well as purchase some hot chocolate.


I ended up following this truck and the pit they were hauling all the way to Del Rio. When I stopped in Sanderson, they stopped as well.  One guy bought a large bag of ice and he was not happy with how much he had to pay for it.  That is one thing about ice in the desert...it is not cheap!


I guess it must have been the driver's first time out this way because he stopped at the Comstock Border Patrol checkpoint going east when you are only required to stop when heading west.


Last year when I passed through here the new inspection station was under construction, figured it would have been finished by now but that was not the case...maybe next year.



Hope you enjoyed the virtual trip to the desert. Now you can breathe a collective sigh of relieve, that I will not be mentioning it for another year :D

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Texas Oil Boom and the 2014 Chili Cook-Off

The Texas oil boom had an effect on this year's attendance. There was a noticeable decline of men in the 20 to 30 year range at the cook-off.  Krazy Flats is the area where most young people camp out and congregate. They ride around all day and part of the night...there is always music and parties going on...however, it was not to the level of prior years.


A look at Krazy Flats from my campground.


Notice the helicopter in the background?  Last year some folks had to be air lifted due to an accident. This year we wondered what happened but looking through my binoculars all we saw was that two young girls got off and a Sheriff's deputy in his four wheel vehicle went and got them.


Remember this Casita in the background that came to claim their Terlingua prime piece of real estate at the same time I arrived to claim mine?  Wow, no wonder they came early...look at all the people they reserved a spot for.


Even in the area where I camp there were large areas that were not camped in.  As a matter of fact it became like a large avenue for people to ride around in.  I was glad since that diverted the traffic and dust from reaching me and my camping gear.


One was even playing his guitar as he rode around.


One of the flags in the background says Lotus...been a long time since I heard that word. They had a real nice rig and were towing that white RV as well.


While you can walk around, this ranch is BIG...it is much easier if you or your friends have something to ride around in.


The more people it can fit, the better :)



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chili Judging Day

Post for Saturday - November 1, 2014

The Chili competition takes place at high noon on Saturday.  While many of my friends take part in the judging, I am not one of them.  As long time readers of this blog know...I do not like commitments...having to show up at a certain time on a certain day when I am having the time of my life, is not something I am willing to do.  The only ones to my knowledge that took part in the camps adjacent to mine were Frann and Richard.


Even though he is a local and has lived in Terlingua for a good while, this was Richard's first cook-off and he had the time of his life!  So if anyone out there wonders if they can be part of the judging...yep you sure can!  They are always looking for judges and in turn you get to sample the chili and get FREE beer to wash it down with :D


As the judges do their thing, there are showmanship teams putting on shows as well as having the public participate in a variety of games for prizes.  You can get all types of trinkets, souvenirs and T-shirts if you participate.


Fearing my leg would go out on me since it is a rather long walk from my camp, I decided to skip it this year and drive into town to take a shower.  I had been out and about yesterday and unlike last year, was not harassed by local law enforcement.  As a matter of fact the only DPS (Department of Public Safety) officers that I saw were in Lajitas and their patrol units were at a local eatery.


There were a lot of girls at the BBMI (Big Bend Motor Inn) ladies showers but either I stunk or being older has its benefits as they let me skip in line.  Either way I thanked them.  It is nice to see that the next generation of Chili Cook-off attendees is committed to carry on the tradition. Too bad I never had children...so they could bring me down in my golden years...like many of the camps around me did with their parents.


When I was going back to CASI there was a long line to get in.  As I waited, I happened to notice that the truck in front of me as well as his trailer had Arkansas license plates.  Wow, they came from far and probably had driven all night...now that is a true Chili head!


My best friend and her boyfriend came back with a ton of stuff they won at the showmanship area. He is sold on Terlingua and they are making plans to return next year but this time are planning on bringing down a trailer or an RV.  Like I have mentioned before, Terlingua is a place that you either love or you hate...there are no gray areas...I am so glad he liked it :)


My best friend...MsD...modeling this year's T-shirt.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cyber Monday flop

After last year's experience on Black Friday but held on Gray Thursday...I promised myself that I would NEVER do that again.  There is nothing I want bad enough to make me brave those crowds...much rather pay full price!

However, I was all prepared for Cyber Monday and shopping from the convenience of home while wearing my pajamas.  As soon as I turned on the computer this morning the computer tells me I have no internet connection.  How can that be?

I was not a happy camper.  Tried another computer and it told me the same thing...grrrrrrrrr!!!  I must admit I uttered a couple of other unlady like words.  The girl at the AT&T store front prided herself with giving me her cell phone number in case I ever had a problem.  Little does that do if her voicemail is not set up!

This is my second trip since I acquired my hotspot.  The last time another associate changed out my SIMS card but it did not do any good.  While I was waiting to be attended, I turned on my computer and lord and behold...the darn thing had a five bar connection and I had no problem.  Another associate reset it to the original factory setting and sent me on my way.

When I got home, while I could access the internet it took years to load the pages.  I guess I ended saving money as I could never access the Cyber Monday deals I wanted...just as well :(

I have until this Friday to return the darn thing...will have to think it over.  I do NOT plan on going back to Time Warner Cable, Cricket or dial-up even though I must admit by comparison dial-up was not so bad.

Tonight I am having problems answering comments.  Tried to do another desert post but gave up as the pictures took forever to load.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.