Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Día de los Muertos - Terlingua Cemetery

Monday, September 29, 2014

It can and will get dusty

It is the desert after all and it can and will get dusty.  If you have problems dealing with dust...perhaps you should reconsider attending.  All your camping gear, your plastic containers, ice chests, clothing and your vehicle will be covered in the stuff by the time you are ready to break camp.


CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) does a good job of trying to keep the dust down especially towards the end of the week by hiring water trucks.


If you care anything about your car upholstery I would advice you to cover them with sheets, blankets, towels or whatever you deem suitable.  I came upon this item earlier this year and quickly jumped on it...as it had Terlingua potential.., even though I do not have pets.


It is made of heavy duty canvas.




For those new to this blog, last year we had an unexpected rain event and I was lucky the cheap trash bags I had on hand did not rupture and create an even worst mess than that caused by my rain soaked gear.

Real lucky this bag did not break


As you can see I use sheets and towels to cover my car seats  It is messy, as it was raining when I broke camp and I just threw my stuff.in the car.


Here is how the pet seat cover looks like installed...


Note that they give real good coverage, as they reach down to the floor.


In the desert I also use beverage packaging (my two favorites Coors Light and 7-Up) to keep my car from looking like this...


My tips are geared toward first time Chili Cook-off attendees better known as "Terlingua Virgins" so they can have an idea of what to expect.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A month away :)

Yes, my dear friends...the Chili Cook-0ff is just a month away...maybe less if you arrive sooner or a few days more if you get there later.  I can feel it, I can taste it and soon I will experience it :)


Ordinarily at this time I remind you to start saving your milk jugs so you can bring them with you,,,,full, frozen or empty...your call.  If you are new to my blog, I go into detail as to why on the following posts.

CASI Chili Cook-off Questions - Part 1
http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2013/07/casi-chili-cook-off-questions.html

CASI Chili Cook-off Questions - Part 2
http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2013/10/casi-chili-cook-off-questions-part-2.html

This year I have added a new twist as I have been bringing empty laundry detergent bottles for two years now and found them to work great when you wash your hands and they waste little water...a very important factor in the desert.


I am not endorsing this particular brand but it is the one I use.  See that little red button?  You press it and the water comes out and as soon as you release it, the water is shut off. The plastic cap protects it from the dust and from bugs wanting a drink. These containers are sturdier than milk jugs.  Last year I had two takers but only one container.


BTW the wooden table holds them very nicely.  Have seen them hold up to six gallon containers.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Three Fat Chicks in the Desert

This week has been a blur, I can barely believe it is Friday already.  Between problems with my computer, blood draws, screaming kids in hospital waiting rooms, getting up at the crack of dawn and long waits at the doctors office...my nerves are shot.

If that wasn't bad enough I think I flooded dad's old car last night when I was trying to move it to the garage.  Billy Bob likes to say "Google is your best friend" might give it a shot...but not tonight.

Where is my tall weathered cowboy with mechanical knowledge when I need him?  Oh wait, I think I am enamored...for the moment...with Creek Stewart of "Three Fat Guys in the Woods" fame.  If you have not heard of this show, I highly recommend you check it out, it is being shown on the Weather Channel.


Have learned a lot just by watching him but I am not anywhere close to being able to spend a week in the woods.  Here Creek gives five other uses for everyday things that could help you in case you find yourself in a survival situation. http://creekstewart.com/about/

I think in a pinch I might be able to start a fire but I need desert survival skills more than I do being in the woods skills.  Creek is easy on the eyes so I will keep on watching him do his magic :)


Maybe they should have a series titled  "Three Fat Chicks in the Desert"...and I might audition. Now, don't go stealing the name to this future show, I came up with it first! Then again that might involve killing a rattle snake and having to skin and eat it,,,never mind. :-(

Today we made our monthly trip to Uvalde and I noticed that gasoline was $3.04 a gallon this morning.  A few hours later on our way back home, gasoline had gone up .15 cents!

Stripes in Uvalde, Texas
I was going to fill up but not at that price!  When we reached Del Rio, HEB had their gasoline at $3.07 a gallon for regular unleaded.  Decided to go check the new Stripes and the price was about the same as in Uvalde.  Made a beeline back to HEB to fill up on the cheaper priced gasoline.


Here I thought gasoline prices were going to go down, not up for my future trip to the Chili Cook-off.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Four minute rain shower

The weather forecasters keep on saying it is going to rain.  Last night as I was feeding Walter I saw some impressive lighting in Mexico.

Those round bushes are purple sage.

Went into town to my now favorite store...Stripes...and picked up some lunch plates. Noticed gas had gone down an additional penny and decided to fill up. The summer promotion of .11 cents off...if you use their Stripes gift card is over. Now they only knock off .03 cents but every little bit helps. Regular gasoline is selling for $3.05 and diesel for $3.52 a gallon.


This afternoon we got a little rain shower that lasted all of four minutes...not what I was hoping for...but I will take it.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mistaken Identity

There is a guy I know or at least I thought I knew from high school that I often run into at HEB.  My best friend and I used to get rides with him back and forth to Alpine, Texas when we were all students at Sul Ross State University.

Today I once again ran into him and inquired about his wife...I asked for her by name...he responded "are you asking about my sister-in-law or my niece?"  I said "isn't such and such your wife?"...No, she is my sister-in-law.  Then you are not X?  No, he is my brother.

He asked me for my name so he could tell them next time he speaks to them that I inquired about them, as they live in the Dallas area.  I told him to tell him I was one of the girls that used to catch a ride with him to go to Alpine.

He looked at me and said "my brother never went to Sul Ross".  Then who did I, my best friend and a bunch of other people ride with?  He rattled off some guys names and I said yeah they rode with us too.  He said "you must of ridden with me, though I do not remember giving any girls a ride."

I told him that we always got pulled over in Marathon and he would scream "hide the beer"....no, neither my friend nor I were drinking...just him and some of the guys.  He got a smile from ear to ear and said "Yeah, I remember that".

So it turns out after all these years that I thought we rode to Alpine with a certain person...it wasn't him at all but his older brother!  I guess I have had CRS longer than I imagined, jajajajaja :D

It was supposed to rain today but it didn't, seems they keep on changing the forecast. Decided to go tackle the laundry this evening before that place becomes a madhouse if it does rain.  They close at 11:00 p.m. and I finished at 10:58 p.m. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  One less thing on my To Do List.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pretty in Lavender

Yesterday morning when I looked out the kitchen window, my eyes were treated to a beautiful display of lavender. Overnight the purple sage had bloomed with the recent rains.


For those not familiar with purple sage, it grows wild in West Texas.



Everywhere you go in Del Rio you will see them blooming in full splendor.


Decided to head out Highway 90-West going towards Lake Amistad and it was a visual treat.




Went to Diablo East Marina and you could almost overlook the low lake levels with the various shades of lavender everywhere you turned.



It has been a while since we have had such pretty blooms.  The fact that there has hardly been any wind has helped preserve them.


If you have a chance and live within driving distance, come and check them out...you wont be disappointed.



Good night.  May you all have Terlingua and Purple Sage Dreams :)



Monday, September 15, 2014

Second September trip to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico

Post for Tuesday September 9, 2014

Another out-of-date sequence post as I experienced computer problems last week. As you know I went to Ciudad Acuna on September 2nd. http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2014/09/september-2014-trip-to-ciudad-acuna.html  I had a lot of errands to run but the most important one was to go see the doctor.


My Mexican doctor is very popular and the majority of his clients are from the US.  Being that it had been Labor Day weekend, many of his out-of-town patients had taken that opportunity and come to consult him. He had worked that weekend and unbeknownst to me decided to take a few days off, as was relayed to me by his receptionist.


I wasn't exactly happy about it since I had fasted and been super good at watching what I ate...but what could I do?  A return trip was in order but for the following week or September 9th to be exact.  Again I fasted and watched my diet so my labs would be half way decent.

Decorations for the upcoming 204th Independence
Day celebration were up all over the city.

When I got there, I noticed there were available parking spaces but did not give it much thought. You guess it...he wasn't there!!! He had decided to take some days off and would not be consulting till Friday and Saturday.  I do not go to Mexico on weekends let alone on national holidays. Mexico celebrates the anniversary of its 204th Independence on September 16th (sorry to disappoint those who thought it was Cinco de Mayo) but since it falls on a Tuesday this year...all the festivities were going to be held on the weekend.


Note to self:  invest in an International long distance card :(


My medication ran out at the end of August and I wanted to see how much it had helped. The good thing is that in Mexico you can go to a laboratory and order all the tests you want without a doctors order.  I had fasted twice and was not about to fast for a third time.  I even ate oatmeal...I HATE oatmeal...it looks like vomit, it has the consistency of vomit and though I have never tasted vomit...I am sure that is what it would taste like!


It takes four hours to get the results as I was not planning on a return trip specially not in these high temperatures.  So what can I do to kill four hours? Decided to go to Plaza Bella Mall...its main client is Bodegas Aurrera (owned by Walmart).

Saw this rather uncommon washer dryer combination.  I have never seen one like this before. It sells for $3190.00 Mexican pesos or $255.20 USD.

This is a Hisense washer/dryer combo
Not much information on the internet other
than it is Chinese...great price though.

Thought this pink washing machine was cute. It sold for $2429.00 Mexican pesos or $194.32 American dollars.



These small stoves would be perfect for a little cabin in Terlingua :)


$2.990.00 divided by $12.50 exchange rate equals $239.20 USD.

The big stores Gutierrez, Soriana, Bodegas Aurrera, Merco are located in the newer North part of the city where the maquiladoras and the new sub-divisions for the maquiladora workers are located.

The entrance to Ciudad Acuna is where the tourist district is and where businesses that cater to tourists are located, including my doctor's office and the laboratories. I somehow took a wrong turn and got lost for a while.  Not a big deal really got to see another part of the city I was not familiar with.


I liked the way they used this suspended canopy to shelter their car in the alley.


Picked up my labs and again in Mexico you can discuss your results with the laboratory personnel unlike in the US where they tell you to discuss it with your personal physician.

I was not too happy with the numbers, as a matter of fact I did better before I began taking all these medications. Will have to give it some real good thought as to what I plan to do but one thing for sure...no more statins for me!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Loving these temperatures

These past two days have been absolutely fabulous temperature wise.  Yesterday we had a high of 69 and today the high was 75...the icing on the cake was that we also had a little precipitation.

Last night as I was sitting outside, I actually had to come in the house and put on a sweater as it was a little chilly.  Boy, it felt like Terlingua weather!  Six more weeks to go... :)

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Two MRI's

If it wasn't because this is my cyber journal...I would not even attempt a post tonight. It has taken me over three hours just to answer a couple of comments,  I am not even on my main computer...the problematic one.

I had gone to Val Verde Regional Medical Center on Monday to pre-register mother and to inquire on some charges that we would be responsible for. Was told they would get back to me but they never did, though I called them on three occasions. Thursday I decided to go in person and come to find out they had not even contacted her insurance...then their computer system went down.  The lady said she would call me first thing Friday morning...no call.  Called them only to be told their system was not up yet!

Their computer system going down is nothing new, it even happened when it was brand new. Good thing I had pre-registered her.  I get more disillusioned with the medical field as each day goes by.  I often wonder what will happen when I get older and have to compete with the rest of the baby boomers for medical appointments and procedures.  They are understaffed now...I can only imagine how it will be then.

I am having all types of problems posting this.  For some reason I can not get rid of a big chunk of blank space at the top...it is not letting me crop it :(

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.



Cyber Journal Note:

Mother had two MRI's on Friday Sept 12th.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quality time with the critters

I am so looking forward to this weekend and the cold front they are predicting. Of course it will only drop to a high of 79 but that is better than the temperatures in the 100's we have been experiencing.

Past couple of nights I have had so many problems going online even using my little netbook.  If it is not some shock wave that fails or something similar to that, it is something else.  I am a woman of little to no patience...that is why I have not posted or been able to visit other blogs. Have seriously considered purchasing a Chrome book since I have read it has a much faster start up and it just works better with Blogger.


Remember I wanted to buy a cordless home phone at Target but they would not mail it to my P.O. Box?  Well, decided to buy one at a much higher price at Walmart.  It was a V-Tech and the darn thing only lasted me two weeks! Only reason I bought it was because I have had one for five years that I am very happy with...in particular the battery life. This time I took it back like I should have done with that worthless Stanley thermos.


The good thing about not going online is that it gave me a chance to sit outside and look at the beautiful moon and stars.  So looking forward to being able to do the same in Terlingua.


Ralph and Walter are happy too as I am able to spend more quality time with them.  Of course Ralph then ventures off to wherever it is he goes after I come inside.  While poor Walter has to stay in his prison :(


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 2014 trip to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico

Post for Tuesday September 2, 2014

With all the computer problems I have had and to some degree continue to experience...I was not able to upload this post until tonight.  It is a bit out of sequence and for that I apologize.

The last time I had been to Ciudad Acuna was back on July 9th http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2014/07/july-2014-trip-to-ciudad-acuna-coahuila.html

Decided to go on September 2nd since I knew that with the Labor Day holiday behind us, I would not run into crowds and that was definitively the case. There were no lines to cross into Mexico.

 
Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16th so many streets and businesses were starting to get decorated with the traditional flag colors of red, white and green.


El Palacio Municipal, the equivalent of our City Hall was also getting spruced up for the occasion.
 

Here a man with no ladder...just some kind of a harness around his waist and a machete...is pruning the dead palm leaves.


He had an audience watching him from a safe distance...


This area is known as the Micro Plaza and it is huge. This is where they hold all types of events.  You typically see many people walking, jogging and riding bicycles.


If you need new soles for your shoes after all that walking, you can get them repaired at this little mini repair shop across the street from the Micro Plaza.


If all that exercise made you hungry you can grab a torta.


Today I went shopping at Bodegas Aurrera (owned by Walmart) because they were offering very good prices on cosmetics.  Pond's Oil Control press powder as well as Pond's Angel Face were selling for $20.00 Mexican pesos the equivalent of $1.60 American dollars.

I also bought two mascaras one for 18.20 and another for 24.90 Pesos or $1.46 and $2.00 USD respectively.  You will NEVER purchase them for that price in the States. The reason being that many American brands have factories in Mexico.


On the road I saw this small car with two ladders on board (property of a Mexican telephone company).  Just goes to show where there is a will there is a way.  Imagine all the extra stuff I could take to Terlingua if I were to equip my car with these :)



Exchange rates were varied along Exchange Rate Alley.  Good for American selling their dollars...but bad for Mexicans wanting to buy US dollars.


To give you an idea of what I paid for my purchases today I used an exchange rate of $12.50 pesos to one U.S. dollar since that is what I paid the last time I bought Mexican pesos.



When I got sick last December we went through all of our supply of milk as I was unable to drive to the store.  While it is great to be able to drink real milk...it is nice to have powdered milk as a back-up.


Nido is the most popular brand in Mexico and I purchased it for 57.00 pesos/ $4.56 dollars. Second most popular Carnation by Nestle for 38.50 pesos/$3.08 dollars.


Went ahead and bought these for my future trip to Terlingua. The one on the left is milk that does not require refrigeration even in extreme desert conditions and a little package of Nutri Leche powdered milk.  Nutri Leche was $12.30 pesos / .98 cents and the little one cost 9.00 pesos / .72 cents.

Why do you drink so much milk Belinda?  I have to be self-sufficient in the desert and though I go in with another camp that actually brings and cooks the food...last year they did not attend.  Since I do not know how to grill nor do I have space to bring cooking stuff...I eat cereal.

This is the first time I see Borden's milk that also does not require refrigeration being sold in Mexico.  It sells for the equivalent of $1.19 USD.


The super deal of my trip was bananas selling for $3.90 pesos a kilo / .312 cents a kilo or .14 cents a pound. In case you forgot your math, one kilo = 2.2 pounds.

They finally got a new crossing rate sign as the other one was all patched up from the increases. It costs 26.00 pesos to cross back to the USA or $2.08 American dollars.


As you can see I had the bridge all to myself coming home.


Something you don't seldom see...no lines in American Customs.  Only other traffic were two guys in bicycles which you can not make out on this picture. For some  reason I saw a lot of people in bicycles today both in Ciudad Acuna and in Del Rio.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.