Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
CASI Chili Cook-off - Terlingua, Texas

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last post for 2016

New Year's is by far not my favorite holiday.  I can count on one hand the number of times that I have gone out on this date in all my life.

The fireworks have been going off since it got dark...around six this evening.  It is absolutely horrible!  Tammie has been missing in action since this afternoon, Oscar is hiding behind the washing machine and I have no idea where Pedrito is at.

I can only imagine how bad it is on my block in Houston.  Unfortunately, both in Del Rio and Houston I live in the county where fireworks are legal.

Mom and I went to HEB, there were so many cars I decided to try Walmart...too many people there too.  Since they will be opened tomorrow, I will come back then when everyone will be asleep and/or suffering from a hangover.

To my European readers, I am sorry I have dropped the ball on posting gasoline prices. In the Del Rio area, 2016 ends with the following gas price...


I have my garden hoses ready in case I need them this evening.  Hope everyone has a great New Year's eve and a very Happy New Year's.

It is holiday's like this that make me long for the day that I can call Terlingua home.  I so need the peace and tranquility that only my favorite desert can give me.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 2016 trip to Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila - Mexico

On Monday, December 26th I made a trip to Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila.  I avoid crossing into Mexico the last week of December as traffic is awful, actually the long lines begin with the start of Black Friday in November. I had several errands to run that I could not postpone any longer so bit the bullet. Clear sailing into Mexico but the line to come back to the USA was very long.


They built this town square at the entrance of Ciudad Acuña a few years back. It probably will no longer be here next year as they announced that a new state of the art Mexican Customs installations will begin construction here in the coming year.


The streets were very crowded and it took me several trips around the block before I ultimately found a parking space and then had to walk three blocks.


This was the going rate down Exchange Rate Alley.  The dollar is at an all time high and the Mexican Peso has really tanked so you can get a lot more bang for your buck.


Gasoline prices are set to go up on Jan 1st.  In other parts of Mexico dealers are stock piling and not selling their product to take advantage of the price increase.  That is not the case in Ciudad Acuña, not even a waiting line.  Those that have American visas cross and fill up their tanks in Del Rio anyway.


Today I had to go to the north part of the city so I only stopped at Aurrera and Soriana.


People selling their piñatas.


As expected the lines to cross back were long. Though they are not supposed to, Mexican street vendors sell their wares up and down the International bridge. This guy sold quite a few canteens.


They were even selling cotton candy.  I can't even remember the last time I ate one.


Night fell and I was still in line. It took me one hour and 43 minutes to cross back into the States.


I could not help but laugh as I noticed the license plate in front of me.  We would definitively not have that letter combination in the USA :D


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A very busy week

I cannot believe it has been a week since I made a post.  Have been busy as a bee, I have implemented some changes in my life so I can create a peaceful environment in my bedroom more conducive to a good night's rest.

The first thing I removed from my bedroom was my computer.  It is much too easy to turn it on and keep it on, on those long sleepless nights.

Next thing to go was my big screen television.  If I want to watch my Spurs or my Colombian soap operas, it will have to be in the living room.

Called the propane guy on Tuesday only to find out he no longer works there. Place an order for Wednesday.  Called them early that day to confirm that they would be coming, said they were. Waited all day for nothing as they never showed up or call to let me know there would be a delay.

Spoke to a lady who was very apologetic and said I would be the first customer on Thursday. Get a call at 8:15 a.m. from the propane truck driver, he is from Carrizo Springs (a city 98 miles away 157 Km) and he does not know his way around Del Rio.  Met him at Tractor and Supply so he could follow me home.

I do not know if the Del Rio office was closed or if their driver went on vacation. This poor man was filling out the orders the local guy did not get to yesterday.  Got a call around 3:00 p.m. from the same delivery guy wanting me to tell him how to get to my house...I had to remind him he had already filled my order.  I think I am going to switch providers.

Would you believe I went to Walmart on Friday?  Me, neither!  Actually,  I only went in for a container of cut up papaya as I am too lazy to cut it up myself. It was not bad at all, got in the 20 item or less line and was done in less than ten minutes.

The parking lot at the laundromat by my house has been packed all week. Friday on my way home saw only a few cars and decided to stop.


The owners like to decorate it for every holiday and Christmas was not the exception.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams and a Merry Christmas.

Spurs Corner

What a week! Sunday the retiring of Tim Duncan's jersey to the rafters. So many games played in one weeks time, some great like the game against the Houston Rockets. a forgettable one against the Clippers and a fantastic game last night.

As much as I hate having to pay $136.02 monthly to DISH,..my Spurs are worth every dime :)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Perhaps I should be in Buenos Aires...

It is 4:52 a.m. CST as I am typing this.  I have not been able to go to sleep (not that that should come as a surprise to anyone) with the howling wind and the tree branches rubbing up against the roof of my bedroom.

Believe it or not, it is currently 30 degrees Fahrenheit and per the Weather Channel, it feels like 18. Thankfully, it does not feel like that inside the house since I have the thermostat set at 78.

Looking at my favorite locations, we are colder than Terlingua and Houston, Texas.  My other favorite location Buenos Aires, Argentina is at 80 degrees (in all fairness it is Spring there).  I look forward to the day that I can escape the scathing heat of Texas summers and the equally cold 6 weeks Texas winters.

Bundle up and stay warm.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, December 16, 2016

RIP Craig Sager

I was saddened to learn that Craig Sager, a longtime NBA sideline broadcaster passed away today after a long battle with Leukemia.  He was only 65 years old.  Maybe you might not recall his name but if you ever saw his colorful outfits, one would remember him for sure. Rest in Peace, you will be missed.

Craig Sager 1951-2016

It was a cold gray day.  Needed to run several errands but on a day like today decided it was best to stay home. This Sunday a cold front will arrive and we will get our first freeze of the season.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don't you just love relatives?

Many people seem to think that apart from my mother, uncle and one male cousin, I do not have other family members.  That could not be further from the truth.  My maternal grandparents had twelve children, two of which died in infancy.  That left ten kids.  Three never married and thus had no offspring. Three including my mother who only had one child. One who had three children and the remaining three who more than made up for the others.

While none of them live in Del Rio...they are scattered throughout Texas...the nation, and other countries.  Got a call last week from my cousin in Arizona.  Her first words were not...how is my aunt doing? What have you all been up to?...Nope, the first thing out of her mouth was..."Why aren't you on Facebook?"

Needless to say, she left me speechless!  I do not care to be part of any social media, it does not interest me.  Every time someone dies tragically or commits a crime, what is the first thing the media does? Go to their Facebook page and post their pictures. Not that I want to die tragically (who does?) or commit a crime but you get my drift.

I have a cousin who is a couple of days older than myself.  She came to Austin, Texas to live with us when she was nine years old and also made the move to Del Rio.  My parents have always considered her like a second daughter.  While she lives in Houston and I am listed in the phone book, she never called unless she needed something.

My mother had not heard from her in over two years.  We had an appointment yesterday and came home to find a message from her.  Her excuse for not calling?  She lost my mother's phone number! Is she for real? In this day and age of Internet and available information at our fingertips and she could not Google it?  We have had the same telephone number since she lived with us.

I guess CRS runs deep in my family tree.  I still remember our old Austin telephone number, trivial, I know...but I am quite proud of that...considering I don't remember more pertinent stuff.

Thank you for those e-mailing to inquire about Tammie and Oscar.  I have posted an update on the critters blog Walter's World http://mylittlewalter.blogspot.com/  or you can click on my cover picture and it will take you there.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Internet Issues / VIcks Vapor Rub / Cabins

I am so sick of having to deal with Internet connectivity issues.  If it gets cold, if the wind blows 5 mph, a slight rain...everything seems to affect my internet service.

I was on the phone for a long time with a DISH rep this morning.  Turning everything on and off, things I had already done on my own not once but several times.  She came to the conclusion that it was my new Desktop since I was able to make a connection using my Netbook. Five minutes later the problem cleared itself and I am once again able to use the Desktop.

Yesterday, it was pretty cold for this part of the world.  I so wanted to be able to catch up on my e-mails and other things I needed to do online. It turned out to be a wasted day since I did not have internet access and there was no way I was going to venture outside and go to the library.

Wednesday we went to San Antonio to see the Ophthalmologist mother likes.  While I have no problem with the doctors at this practice, their staff leave a lot to be desired.  We got a message at 4:59 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon saying that since mother was a new patient she needed to fill out several forms online before her appointment on Wednesday.

First of all, mother is not a new patient.  Secondly, supposing that she were...you don't call the day before and ask to fill out forms that if I remember correctly took me over an hour to fill out back in June. When I got back home they were already closed but I gave them a piece of my mind on Wednesday.

Why is Vicks Vapor Rub so expensive?  It was like $7.59 or thereabouts at HEB. Went to Dollar Tree and was surprised that they did not have a single jar of their knock off version and have not had it for a while.

On our way back from San Antonio decided to stop at the Dollar Tree in Hondo, Texas since they hardly have any crowds.  Could of been tragic!  This lady senior citizen almost ran me over.  She just backed out without even looking.  If that wasn't enough, an older gentleman in his equally old truck almost finished the job!  All this within the Dollar Tree parking lot.  It is a good thing I found the imitation Vicks Vapor Rub.



In Hondo, Texas there is a relative new lot that sells cabins, sheds, and storage buildings much like Derksen does. However, it is another company called Premier Portable Buildings.  While the designs are practically the same as Derksen's, price wise they are a little cheaper.  I have seen them in Uvalde but Hondo has a bigger selection.



I do not know what my fascination with these buildings is, but I enjoy looking at them and dreaming of my future place in my favorite desert.  For the time being, I need one to put all the stuff I have brought down from Houston.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Spurs Corner

Our guys are playing well on the road, except for last night...that was awful!  However, they have been playing almost back to back games that would tire anyone.  Too early in the season for me to be worried.

GO SPURS GO!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rain, Rain and more Rain...

It has been raining practically non-stop since late Friday night.  We really need the rain but not this much in such a short time frame.  What happens when it rains in south Val Verde county? Well, of course, the signal on my worthless DISH goes out...both TV and Internet.


 I can not believe a city the size of Del Rio has such unreliable service when my Terlingua friends out deep in the desert outback have excellent connectivity...go figure!


I really hate to see all those precious gallons of water go to waste and as preparation for my future desert life, I put out as many containers, 5-gallon buckets, ice chests, trash cans and anything that could serve as my rainwater catchment and storage.


At the suggestion of one of my readers, I purchased a five dollar Tracfone some time ago.  Loved it, it was a no frills phone and very easy to use.  However, I was notified that my 2G phone would no longer work after December 31, 2016.  They did send a free replacement phone but it was a smartphone and I really did not want it.  I have over 2000 minutes leftover since I hardly use the darn thing, I only have it in case of an emergency as we constantly travel to San Antonio and back.


I have no idea how people can write posts using their smartphones.  I tried since my home internet was dead but failed, not that that should come as a surprise to anyone :D

Without further ado....


Strike Two - Post for Thursday, December 1, 2016

Administered the three tranquilizer pills to Tammie hidden in a hot dog early Thursday morning. This time I was very hopeful of succeeding as she laid down to sleep next to Oscar after having breakfast. They were next to dad's old car.  Both looked to be fast asleep but Oscar saw me lurking around and his movements woke her up.


As you can see Terlita does not have a high clearance
She, of course, took off and ended up under Terlita (my non-working camping van).  Terlita is parked in the carport/garage in an unlevel spot.  In some areas, it has a 7-inch clearance and in others 8 inches.



I would have had to get on my belly, wait until she was passed out and then dragged her out and carried her to my vehicle. That is if she was within arms reach, as I am not exactly Twiggy (famous model in the 60's) to be able to contour my body to fit into such a tight space.



Folks...that just did not happen!  First of all, she never passed out and secondly, I could not risk trying to get her out without her biting me. For those new to this blog...I do not have health insurance and a trip to the hospital is not in my budget.


Not within arms reach under Terlita

I truly care for this dog but not at the risk of personal injury to myself. On the positive side, each day she seems to have fewer quills on her face.  She is taking antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain medication, so she is not suffering and actually is doing quite well under the circumstances.


Today she is down to four quills.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Strike one...

Post for Tuesday-November 29, 2016

Another sleepless night...if you do not suffer from insomnia, you have a lot to be thankful for!  I called the Animal Clinic around 11:00 a.m. to see if Oscar was ready to be picked up, they said he was.  Forgot to mention on my last post that I came to the conclusion that it was in his best interest to have him neutered and this was the ideal opportunity to do so.

Cut a hot dog in half and since I did not have an apple corer decided to improvise and use a potato peeler to carve a space inside the hot dog and place the two pills to sedate her.

I made sure she ate this and then watched from afar to see how she reacted. It was a good thing she decided to lay down by my car.  Fifteen minutes went by, then thirty and she was still not asleep. Decided to call the vet and he told me to wait at least another hour.  This darn dog has a high tolerance to sedatives.

 Oscar, on the other hand, was stumbling after fifteen minutes.  I watched her go to the garage to get under Terlita (my non-working camping van)...had to do something to get her attention so I grabbed another hot dog to get her to come back...it worked!

Then one of her sons from her last litter showed up and she started running and playing with him. All I could think was...why is she not passed out?  Decided to feed them both to see if with a full belly I could finally get her in the car.

Red - Tammie's son from her last litter in April 2016.

Not only was I unsuccessful at trying to place the same collar and leash I had put on Oscar but she kept on running away from me with no sign of being under sedation. After three hours I gave up and went to Mexico to pick up Oscar.

Oscar was happy to see me and he looked and smelled good as he had been bathed.  The assistant once more carried him and placed him in the back seat of my car.  He was quiet for a while but then sat up and I could feel his breath as he was trying to put his face close to the driver's seat.


We had a longer wait this time around to cross the border, about fifteen minutes.  The immigration officer asked what I was bringing back from Mexico and I replied: "my dog, I took him to the vet". Never asked me for his papers but that is not surprising as they never asked me for my late cat's papers either.


Closer to mom's house he got up to look out the window and actually got excited, I presume because he recognized where we were.  He really behaved well and was happy to be home.  I fed both him and Pedrito but Tammie was nowhere in sight.

Guess where I found her?  Passed out under Terlita...darn dog!!!

I asked the vet if there was something stronger I could administer Tammie to be able to get her in the vehicle.  He said only an injection which of course is not possible in her case as she will never let me come in physical contact with her.  I asked if he could up the dosage from two pills to three and he really did not want to but I finally convinced him.

However, he told me to give her a break and not bring her until Thursday.  I told him that was ideal since I had a doctor's appointment Wednesday and could not bring her anyway.

Please excuse me for not doing a post last night as I was overcome with tiredness.  Days of not sleeping finally caught up with me. I turned on the Spurs game and the next thing I knew, the game was over and we had lost.  It did not even bother me, turned off the TV and went back to sleep.

Tomorrow Thursday (actually today) I will make another attempt at getting her sedated. Wish me luck because if this fails, I do not have a plan B.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two trips to Mexico in one day

I barely slept last night thinking how I was going to get Oscar to get in the car.  I decided to take him to the veterinarian in Ciudad Acuña first as he is really in bad shape and at least he lets me get near him and I was able to place a collar on him and attach a leash to it.
 
His face is swollen and infected
I underestimated him, he did not wish to get in the car and instead took off on me.  I was only able to corner him because I got a hold of the leash.  I did my best to entice him to jump in the back seat but failed in my attempt.

He was not being cooperative
Decided to go to Ciudad Acuña anyway to seek the advice of Dr. Chavarria and/or his assistants.  His assistant sold me four pills of which I was supposed to administer two to each dog.  He told me to hide it in a hot dog and to keep a watchful eye on him as they take effect after twenty minutes.

This is as far as he got on my first attempt
It started working sooner and I noticed he wanted to go lay down by the pomegranate tree. This is his and Tammie's safe place as the cinder block fence and the other bushes protect them from predators. He was very drowsy but still fighting me.  I finally got him to the car and had to summon all my strength (which is not much) to get him in the back seat.  A few minutes later he was fast asleep and I drove back to Mexico.



The vet's assistant carried him from my car to the clinic for about a block.  They have a very busy practice and parking is scarce.  The vet told me that it was a good thing I brought him in because he was not doing well and the infection on his face had taken a toll on him.  He immediately injected him two antibiotics and another shot for the inflammation.


I was told that it would be in his best interest to have him spend the night, let the medication they administered a chance to work and tomorrow they would remove the quills.


I felt bad leaving him in an unfamiliar environment but had to remind myself that it was for his own well-being. So, my friends, Oscar is resting this evening in an Animal Clinic in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico.


It all went well as there was hardly any traffic to cross into Mexico or the USA on both trips. Mexican customs did not even inquire about him.

Tomorrow I have to repeat the procedure with Tammie.  She is a bit more problematic given she does not like to have a human touch her.  I just hope she does not bite me!


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

No help for Tammie or Oscar...:-(

Got a call at 12:09 p.m. from a lady with "Friends of Del Rio Animals" who apologized for not getting back to me sooner.  I am familiar with this organization as I had contacted them a couple of years back regarding Walter (the neighbor's horse) but had been informed at the time, that they only worked with cats and dogs.

Thought it strange that they called since I had contacted "A Pet's Wish" Rescue.  Have no idea if they are related or if the other organization forwarded my message to them. I once again explained the reason for my call and if they could be of assistance.

Sadly the only assistance I was offered was the name and telephone number of Roger Cerny who either heads or will head the Health Department for Val Verde County.  There are plans to finally open an animal shelter facility though who knows when that will be.  Just in case I lose his telephone number, I will write it on my blog 830-774-7569.

Aside from being given Mr. Cerny's telephone number, I was also given the phone numbers of two local veterinarians and the location of a new state of the art Animal Clinic that I could have easily found in the telephone book.

I asked if they loaned out crates so I could transport them...no, they do not. Their crates and animal traps are for small animals they rescue like feral cats and small dogs.  Surely they rescue regular and large size dogs?

Inquired about giving them aspirin and she told me that Walmart sells aspirins for dogs but cautioned about giving them aspirins for humans.

I told her that I was concerned about getting Tammie in the back seat...that is, if I was successful in getting her sedated.  She asked how much she weighed and I told her I had no idea, perhaps 40-45 lbs. This lady who does not even know me insisted that I could lift her!  How can she say that?  It is not like I'm on Facebook and post hundreds of selfies.  I have a bad back and have had one for over twenty years.

She suggested I enlist the help of my neighbors.  Told her I don't even speak to them. Her reply "this would be a good time to get to know them".

I ask myself, "What if I was not around for these strays, would they be destined to forever have those quills embedded in their faces, risking infection and possibly death?"  What good are animal rescue organizations if they are not willing to roll up their sleeves and help an animal in need?

Just by looking at their picture isn't the need obvious?  I am so disappointed but I vow to do everything in my power to help Tammie and Oscar.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Friday, November 25, 2016

A Prickly Problem - UPDATED

I swear lately I have been having nothing but bad luck and setbacks. On Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day I went out to feed the dogs when I noticed something strange on Oscar's face. I did not have my glasses on but I did notice he was walking with a limp...that is nothing new as being a stray, he is always getting into fights.

A very sad looking Oscar.

Tammie was nowhere in sight but that is not odd either as she seems to have set houses which she visits for breakfast.  Like most people I go in and out of the house as I do my morning chores. By now I had my glasses on when I caught a glimpse of Oscar's face.  My goodness, he had all these prickly things on the side of his face.  My first thought was he had a run in with a cactus but these were not cactus needles...they were thicker and white.  He also had quills on his legs.

He already had an injured face from a previous dog fight
and now he went and made it worst :-(

Then I saw Tammie's face and it became obvious that she and Oscar had had a run in with a porcupine and got the short end of the stick.

Tammie

I went in to get my long nose pliers and was able to pry two porcupine quills off Oscar's face before he ran off.


If you are a long time reader you know that Tammie is a little wild stray that does not allow human contact of any kind. They could not have chosen a worst time to have had a run in with a porcupine.


Even if there had been an open veterinary clinic on Thanksgiving, how was I going to get them both inside the car?  Better yet how was I going to get them inside the clinic, in particular, Tammie?


While I can not be certain, I believe Tammie and Oscar have been strays all their lives. I do not think they have ever ridden in a vehicle and I had no idea how they would react.


Yesterday they were not able to eat. Today I opened a can of dog food and while they did not eat much at least they ate something.


I called the City of Del Rio dog pound Friday morning, but I believe they were closed as no one answered.  While I know they can not help me since we live outside of the Del Rio city limits, I was hoping they could offer some suggestions.


I called "A Pet's Wish" a local non-profit shelter but no one has returned my call.  I decided to Google it and it was strongly suggested not try to pull the quills yourself or you could traumatize your dog. They mention that your dog has to be sedated and depending on the number of quills could possibly have to undergo surgery.  Dang, that all sounds expensive to me and to make matters worst, it will be multiplied by two :(

Good night.  May you have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Good-byes / Sadness / Peace

Post for Sunday-November 6, 2016

The only saving grace for daylight savings is that it gives you an extra hour of sleep on Sunday after pretty much being partied out from a one week stay in the desert. I did not have that problem this year since for the second leg of my trip, I arrived on Saturday.


I had to be more thoughtful of my friends who had been here the whole week and then some. After eating all the food set before me, the least I could do was help in the clean up and packing as they had a long trip back to Houston, Dallas and a shorter trip for some to Fort Stockton.
 

Though my friends wanted to stay up, I knew they were tired and we called it a night at 2:00 a.m. which with the new time change became 1:00 a.m.  Woke up at 5:00 a.m. when the Guy's Camp started hitching up their trailers and vehicles to their trucks and RV's.


Goodbyes are always sad and I hated to see them go, especially since I spent so little time with them and I know it will be a while before I see them again.


Little by little you see this city that sprung up in the middle of the desert return to its origins and though there inevitably is some sadness, there is also a sense of peacefulness once the majority of the chili heads leave.

Goodbye my dear friends :-(
There was some action, though.  We were surprised to see an ambulance dispatched to an RV.  It was an older man and some young kids.  Since we did not have the facts, we made a movie in our heads (that is what they call it in my Colombian soap operas).  We decided grandpa drank too much and got flashed repeatedly by the young Sul Ross State University co-ed's that he thought he was having a heart attack.

Paramedics heading to Grandpa's

Seriously, grandpa did not leave in the ambulance but it seems they did follow the paramedics. Hope he is fine.
 

This year I car camped but when I arrived Saturday, I was shocked to see that I was land locked and could barely get to my camp, although  I only had a shower, a table, and a chair!  I was camped next to Frann and Debi and they too were surprised when they got back from running errands in town to find that a village had sprung around them.




These people were not very considerate, they moved my table and placed garbage on my empty beer boxes and table.  My best friend was not happy and told them so.


Sunday evening we enjoyed a nice campfire as we looked toward the east and saw thunder and lighting.  It was eerie but beautiful at the same time and lucky for us, we did not get rained on.

By now the chili head population was down to a few and you could actually feel the peace and quiet. Five-hour one-way drive...twenty hours total, over two-hundred dollar fine, two trips...peace only my favorite desert can afford me...priceless!!!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.