Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Governors Landing Campground - Lake Amistad - Del Rio, Texas

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My wonderful Kodiak Canvas Tent

Ever since I used the following photo as my header picture, I have been getting a lot of e-mails regarding what I consider to be the best little tent in the world.

I do not think I have researched something as much as I researched finding the perfect tent for my annual trip to the Chili Cook-off in Terlingua, Texas.

It was important to me to be able to find a tent that was sturdy, held up to gale force winds, have room for me to stand up in but most importantly that I would be able to set it up by myself as I pride myself in being a self-sufficient person.

My research took me to the Burningman website http://burningman.org/.  If you are not familiar Burningman, it is an event that takes place annually in the Nevada desert during the Labor Day weekend.  They have to deal with hurricane force winds, white-outs and extreme heat and/or cold conditions.

It is here that I found how highly regarded Kodiak Canvas tents were.  I have back issues and can not carry heavy loads or the initial weight of the tent would have probably kept me from ordering one. However, if you separate the tent from the tent poles and heavy stakes, it was a doable weight for me and fit very nicely in my car since I no longer had Terlita (my camping van).

My tent is 8 ft x 9 ft the smallest they carried at the time.  I would have loved to have ordered the 10 ft x 10 ft tent but did not know how a few more feet would have affected its set-up.

This tent has steel poles both on the top as well as on the two sides poles.  It does not require guy lines but there are like 15 tent stakes to pound into the ground.  While that would not be a problem in the beach or your backyard, you need to take that into account if you plan to camp in a rocky location like in Terlingua, Texas.  The first time it took me almost five hours to set-up camp by myself.

This tent is rain proof and you need to set it up in your back yard and spray it with a lot of water to season it.

I bought mine from Competitive Edge Products whom at the time had the best price and at last check continue to have it http://www.competitiveedgeproducts.com/Kodiak-Canvas-Tents-6098-9-x-8-ft-Flex-bow_p_17.html

If you have any other questions please leave a comment or you can e-mail me at terlinguadreams@outlook.com

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I am becoming a habitual law breaker :-(

Well, folks, it happened again!  In the past six months, I have been pulled over three times, twice by the Val Verde County Sheriff's Department and once by DPS (Department of Public Safety) in Terlingua.

About four years ago I was pulled over by the Del Rio City Police for an expired inspection sticker, that marked my downfall.  It had been about twenty years since I had been stopped and living in Houston, Texas none the less.

We have had beefed up patrols for which I am very thankful for as people speed like crazy here in the county.  I just did not figure to be part of those people.  I was pulled over for going 32 in a 25 mph zone.

He was a young and very pleasant officer who after quickly eyeballing the inside of my vehicle inquired where I was headed.  I guess because I have yet to unload my car from our trip to San Antonio.  Thankfully, I only received a warning.

Have I learned from all of this?  You bet I have.  The time I was stopped for presumably not coming to a complete stop, what we commonly refer to in Texas as "A New York stop"...I now count to ten...then I proceed, no matter how many cars are in the back of me honking. That time I also escaped with a warning.

When I was pulled over for allegedly speeding on my second trip to the Chili Cook-Off this past November and given a hefty fine...I also learned my lesson.  I now arrive in San Antonio the day before, book a hotel room and go the speed limit or five miles lower.

My question is how many warning does one get before they write me a citation?  Did not think it would be prudent to ask this young officer, so will have to find out on my own.

Now for a complete change of topic.  I had been wanting to purchase a Yeti tumbler in order to keep my beverages warmer or colder on my multiple trips out-of-town.  Since I am frugal (actually Billy Bob told me I squeak, lol) I decided to purchase a Walmart Ozark Trail 30 oz tumbler which is much cheaper.

I have mainly used it for hot drinks like coffee but I had the opportunity to use it to pour the beer I purchased when we were in San Antonio as I was getting ready to watch a Spurs game.  Yes, I know it is silly for a middle age woman to sneak a beer in a tumbler so her mother won't yell at her...but you don't know my mother!

Well, this motel did not have Fox Sports Southwest nor Telemundo so I did not get to watch the game or my soap opera but I sure enjoyed a very cold beverage as I watched CNN.  On our way back home I decided to fill up my tumbler with ice cubes just to see how long they would last.  I forgot about it and it wasn't until I was stopped that I happen to remember my experiment.  Would you believe I still had unmelted ice cubes?  It was 93 when we arrived and yesterday it was in the 80's.  It earned the Terlingua Dreams seal of approval.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Cataracts / Barney / Internet Issues

Hi, folks!  Did you think I had finally found my TWC (tall weathered cowboy) and ran off with him? Wish that had been the case, but sadly No :-(

Actually, after seven months of thinking it over, mother finally agreed to have cataract surgery on her other eye.  We were in San Antonio for three days last week.  Tried to make a post using my tablet but that went nowhere.  My fingers aren't as agile as I would like.  I admire those people that can blog from their cell phones and other small devices.

Last Friday I went to visit fellow blogger Barney of OFM Adventures who is visiting Del Rio.  I think I went at a bad moment as he was asleep after having suffered a migraine earlier in the day. However, he is a very polite man and put up with me anyway.

We had a very nice conversation and tried to recall the last time we had seen each other.  It was in November of 2013 when both Billy Bob and Barney were at the San Pedro campground.  It was a funny post here is a link if you care to read it http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-am-running-off-with-billy-bob.html

That evening I turned on my computer to make a post only to find that my Internet was down and that was before the winds and rain!  Called DISH but they could not come out until Monday or Tuesday but we had to go back to San Antonio for mother's post-op check-up.

I think I am going to start spending the night at a hotel so I will not be so stressed out trying to make it there on time and fighting traffic.  As a member of AARP I have already saved enough money on discounts to pay for this year's membership fees plus I also get a 2:00 p.m. check-out, which to me is priceless.

My mechanic was the one who turned me on to DISH, so I asked him where they had moved to, as I would like to see my soap operas and Spurs games on my tablet when I travel but needed help in setting it up. He told me the local dealer had gone out of business...well so much for that!

We got back to Del Rio yesterday afternoon to a warm and toasty 93-degree winter day.  I do not think we have even had three weeks of winter thus far.  Not that I want it to be cold but I sure would like the fleas to die.  Poor dogs are scratching themselves silly.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, February 13, 2017

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday it was warm and sunny and today a cold front came in accompanied by heavy rain and thunder...yep, Texas weather!

I am officially out of peak Internet GB's so I got up early this morning to do all I needed to do, online speaking using my Off-Peak GB's.  I have not noticed a slowdown but I have not logged out either.

I am a little worried about the dogs.  Tammie and Oscar were not here at 6:00 a.m. and Pedrito was sleeping in Tammie's bed.  I noticed that he did not have his collar with his red registration. That collar is hard to take off, it belonged to the only dog I have ever had in my life...he died twenty years ago.

It is not rare that the dogs would not be here but what is rare is that Pedrito was not hungry and he looked strange like he was afraid.  I do not think it had anything to do with the rain and thunder, he is used to that.  I examined him closely and it does not appear like he was in a fight.

I need to load the car as we have an out-of-town trip coming up but it will have to wait until the rain is over.  On the plus side, I was able to fill up my two 32 gallon trash cans (used only for this purpose) along with miscellaneous five-gallon buckets on my homemade rain catchment system. Could have probably harvested more but I am out of containers.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Spurs Corner

I was so upset yesterday I could not even discuss the game we played against the New York Knicks. Somehow I had a feeling this was going to happen like it did back...was it two years ago when Derrick Fisher was still their coach?

I am not upset because we lost a game, it happens and it will happen again...but to the New York Knicks?  They are one of the worst teams in the NBA.....grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

I was never a fan of the LaMurcos Aldridge trade, but what do I know?  I trust Pop but even he must be wondering why this very well remunerated player has not lived up to the expectations.  Kawhi can not carry this team alone on his back, he needs other players to step up and deliver!

Hope we play better this evening against the Pacers.  End of rant :-(

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beautiful weather

One can not ask for better weather than the one we have been having here in West Texas. It has been sunny, in the low to mid-eighties even high eighties in the middle of winter.  It does cool off at night but we have not had a need to turn on the furnace.  A cold front should arrive this week but by a cold front, I mean temperatures in the fifty to sixty-degree range.

Yesterday I finally made some Caldo de Res (Mexican beef and vegetable soup) and used up all the vegetables I had in the refrigerator.  While it is not Caldo weather it felt good to eat something else that was not chicken or a salad.

Have you seen the AT&T commercial where the guy is sitting on the floor of his shower crying after having opened his Internet bill?  I know I complain about every ISP I have ever contracted but with good reason.  When I lived in Houston I had AT&T and I loved them...wish they served this area.

Got an e-mail from DISH saying I had used 90 percent of my alloted 5.0 GB Anytime minutes. Just checked and I only have 0.3 GB remaining but 4.2 GB of Off-Peak minutes.  Off-Peak is from 2:00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m.  They did offer to sell me 1GB for an additional $10.00...how considerate of them...grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

I am trying to finish this within the off-peak time slot.  I will either do a post in the middle of the night or early morning but I am not paying them any additional fees.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Utility Companies / Hospital / Mexico

I am a very light sleeper and the sound of heavy-duty trucks woke me at 7:21 a.m this past Wednesday.  It went on and on, so got up to check what was triggering this noise.  There were three electric company vehicles parked two lots down working on the transformer.

They left and I went back to sleep, only to be rudely awakened once more by the sound of machinery breaking the pavement...WTH?  It was not the Water Department but the Waste Water Department making repairs in the corner and once again closing off the street to traffic.

Gave up and got up when one of mother's friends called to ask if I could drive her to Ciudad Acuña. Her sister had been hospitalized the night before and she had just been notified.  She is a very sweet lady who like the majority of mother's friends, is a widow who lives by herself. Her children left Del Rio as soon as they could (kind of like myself) so she has no other family in town.

Was getting ready when the darn electricity went out.  What the heck is going on with the local utility companies lately and why our street? Lucky for us it came back after thirty minutes.

Mexico has socialized medicine, while it is not perfect it's better than not having insurance.  If you are a federal employee you are covered by the ISSSTE, if you work in the private sector you are covered by IMSS.

This ladies sister is a retired school teacher and in Mexico, school teachers are considered federal employees. I had not been to the ISSSTE installations in a long time.  They are building an addition to add more hospital rooms but it is still lacking in many respects.  I judge a hospital or doctor's office by the ease of access for a handicap person.  There were steps to climb to get in the front door and no hand rails, there was no wheelchair ramp...things you expect a hospital to have. Their public restrooms did not have the basics like toilet paper, soap and paper towels...sure hope the nurses and hospital staff have better facilities!

Hospital Ejeza, one of three private hospitals in Ciudad Acuña, has also undergone a remodel and it has and continues to be the premiere hospital in that city. When my father was alive he underwent surgery here as the cost was less than half of what it would have been in Del Rio. Many US citizens choose to be operated at this facility and Texas license plates far outnumber the Coahuila ones in the parking lot.

Hospital Ejeza is closer to mother's house than Val Verde Regional Medical Center (only hospital in Val Verde County) and in case I ever have a need for emergency medical attention...I plan to drive myself here.

The ISSSTE facilities are close to Bodega Aurrera (grocery store owned by Walmart) it is a small facility in comparison to their large installation on the north side of town.  While I did not buy a lot of things...I did save more than enough money to cover the cost of tolls and then some...you know how much I love bargains :-)

They borrowed a page from my favorite grocery store Gutierrez and put up shade canopies, which are a big plus in particular during the very hot summer months.

Across the street from Bodega Aurrera is another grocery store...Merco, the only grocery store in Ciudad Acuña when we moved to this border town.

Was glad to see that the dollar to peso ratio has gone down. This gives Mexican citizens the ability to purchase dollars at a better rate and come spend them in the United States. I apologize for the poor picture quality. You can click on it to expand it and see the exchange rate on the right side of the picture.

$19.30 Mexican Pesos to one US dollar - Compra
$19.70 Mexican Pesos to purchase one US dollar - Venta

The return to the USA was a breeze. I got in the lane with the least traffic, knowing fully well that the reason for this was probably due to a female agent manning the booth.  Had to pop my trunk open so she could examine my ice chest but it was no big deal, cleared customs in less than three minutes.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Telephone, Tires, Laundromat

Went online and made an appointment to have Frontier (telephone company) come to fix mother's landline using their chat feature.  I was offered a morning appointment which I rejected as we are not morning people.  I was told they would come out between 12:00 and 5:00 p.m. to which I agreed.

While I have my cheap Tracfone it costs me money to use it, so I seldom turn it on.  To be on the safe side I turned it on that morning and it rang as soon as I did. It was the technician letting me know he was on his way. I told him I had specifically scheduled an afternoon appointment but even if I had not there was no access to our street as the water company had come to scatter asphalt where they had excavated to fix the water main break.  He told me he would call me around noon.

As is the case with most trades and service technicians, noon came and went and I was still waiting on him.  It only took two hours to repair the street so that was no longer an issue.  Called him around 3:30 p.m. and he said he was still tied up and might not be able to get to me.

In the meantime, I was trying to get in touch with Toyota to see if my tires had finally arrived and no one returned my calls!!!

I had secured Pedrito to the tree in front of the house as he tends to over do it in the barking department when he sees strangers.  I am in the kitchen when I see a guy walking in the backyard.  It was the telephone guy but not the one who was supposed to come, he had sent a replacement.  I go around front to find Pedrito sound asleep...some watch dog!

Tammie and Oscar were asleep by the kitchen door and if I had not awakened them when I opened the door, they would have kept right on sleeping.  More amazing, Tammie was not afraid of him and even went up to him wagging her tail. I have been feeding her for two years and she won't even let me pet her...what is wrong with this picture?

Mother was happy she can call her friends again and I headed to Toyota to see what was up with my tires. The lady told me she had called me several times but no one answered even though I had told her our telephone did not work and had given her the cellphone number...oh well, at least "Midnight" has new shoes.

I finally made it to the laundromat as I was tired of looking at the two large bundles of towels in the trunk. I really hate to go wash but this place is always decorated according to the holidays and has a lot of greenery (plants) that it almost makes you forget you are doing a chore.  It was nicely decorated for Valentine's Day.

While I presume most people watched the Super Bowl, I enjoyed binge watching Texas Flip and Move.  It amazes me how they have the vision to convert run-down properties into beautiful homes.

I got up early this morning 5:57 a.m. (very early for me) to answer comments and make a post but for some reason, Blogger was not allowing me to do so.  Anyone else have this problem today?

Here is where I would normally say "Good night. May you all have Terlingua Dreams" but being that it is morning...just have a Great Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

No water, no access, no tires

Woke up to the very loud sounds of heavy machinery early yesterday morning.  It along with all the dogs down the street barking...ours included...finally made me get up to investigate what the problem was. It appears that a line busted very close to our driveway and they had to begin emergency repairs and shut down the water supply to the entire block.

That in and of itself was not a problem as I always have at least one 32 gallon plastic trash can (only used for this purpose) filled with water.  Actually right now I have more than that in storage since I am undergoing an experiment to see how much water I use during the fall/winter months for my future life in Terlingua.  More about that later...

I am glad we did not have a doctor's appointment or any other appointment that required we leave the house as our driveway was blocked with excavation equipment and piles of dirt.  They closed the street for the eight hours the repair took.

On the bright side, they did me a great favor as they mowed down some thorny shrubbery (yes, those darn baby mesquite) along the fence line.

On Monday I decided to tackle the chores that were most important:

  1. food for the critters
  2. buying my medication
  3. took my car in for servicing
  4. bought a bottle of dry wine

Now how many of you betted that I would not make it to the dealership?  Be honest, give me a show of hands :D

I am glad I went as per their service technician I was in bad need of tires. Like everything else in small towns they did not have it in stock and had to be ordered from San Antonio, Texas. They were to have arrived yesterday but never made it so I am hoping they get here today as tomorrow I have to wait for the telephone repairman.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Spurs Corner

Finally "Our Spurs" pulled off a very convincing win over the OKC Thunder last night.  I was able to savor a nice glass of wine to celebrate such stellar performance :)