Terlingua Dreams

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Where has time gone?

I can not believe March has just flown by and that tomorrow April will be here. Where has time gone?

I need to make a trip to the grocery store but there is no way I was going to go shopping during the weekend when everyone is out and about.

It has been cool and breezy but by mid-week, it should be in the high 80's and I will be missing these temperatures. A lot of people from Canada or the northern part of our nation come to the southern part of the country to escape the freezing temperatures during winter months.  Perhaps I should consider moving to South America during the hot summer months...just a thought.

I am glad I got two days rest because I have so many things to do this coming week.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A do nothing day

It was a cool and breezy day you know the type that lends itself to do absolutely nothing which is exactly what I did.

I do not like to tape shows because it is a guarantee that I will never watch them.  However, my DVR was at 96 percent full and I had to make room in case I absolutely have to tape something in the future.

I was going through some of my old e-mails that I put off reading for a rainy day and even though they were not that old (three to six months back) the links had already been disabled so I proceeded to erase a great deal of them. That is the type of spring cleaning I do not mind doing.

I went through the pictures on this computer as I never learned how to transfer those from my old PC and got rid of a lot of them as well.

Since my old camera bit the dust I have been using my cell phone to take pictures and now it is telling me that the phone is running out of space.  I do not know why it has a large memory card.  I am just not good with technology and I am not about to read a 127-page manual.  I think I will just go bug the MetroPCS people and make them earn their salary.

One would think that after basically doing nothing that required physical activity I would not be so tired but I am, I might even call it a night early and just tape SNL after all I have plenty of room now in the DVR.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Emanuel David Ginóbili

I have yet to figure out how to best navigate around Pinterest. Most website I frequent like Home Depot, Target, Tractor & Supply, Walmart, etc, etc. will sooner or later ask if you would like to give your input about their website.  Not so Pinterest or at least it has not asked me.

If I could give my input I would ask why they saturate the e-mails they send me with so many pins many of which are duplicates or triplicates of others.  It takes me like twenty minutes or more just to read one of their e-mails so I usually do not.

Most mornings are cool and cloudy but by the afternoon the sun usually makes an appearance.  I am charging my solar lights as I type so I can have night lights.

I wanted to run a couple of errands today but I had to work on other things and it got late.  No way I am going to the store after six o'clock on a Friday.

We are supposed to have a mild cold front this weekend.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Spurs Corner

Last night was the jersey retirement ceremony for our beloved San Antonio Spur Emanuel David Ginóbili's better know as Manú Ginóbili.


HEB gave out free kleenex boxes to all attendee's. It was emotional at times but I did not cry!
He was instrumental in our Spurs winning four of our five NBA Championships.


A plus to being bilingual is that I understood everything he said in Spanish in particular when he thanked his wife.


In honor of his jersey retirement, I have let Betty Boop go on vacation and I will sport his icon for a while. Gracias Manú.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Exchange Rate Alley has switched locations

The new state of the art Mexican Customs Building has brought many changes to this sleepy Border Town.  I am in awe of it, I had no idea how taking over the plaza at the entrance of Ciudad Acuña would make these new facilities massive.


While driving in México...any part of México...I would leave picture taking duties to your co-pilot...do NOT under any circumstances try to do it on your own while driving.  Not being judgemental but Mexicans drive like maniacs, they do not believe in using turn signals, they enjoy cutting in front of you in particular taxi drivers, and they love to blow their horn.  In essence, pay attention to your surroundings or you will wind up in a wreck.

Another look at the now sealed area to the North

The back view of the new Mexican Customs building

Many vehicular accidents involve an American automobile with a taxi, there was a serious one yesterday in the tourist area.  It is for this reason that I have no pictures of the new entrance into Mexican Customs  (even though it is still a work in progress).  On a positive note, it allows the line to move faster because there is only one entity making the decision to let you advance or send you for second revision.

For some reason, more Currency Exchange locations have popped up due to the change of vehicular flow. With streets becoming one-way and others now two-way it gives these businesses an opportunity to expand to other locations...mainly closer to the new International Bridge.



For those new to my blog, in México there is the official Peso to Dollar rate if you go to a bank and there is the rate offered at Exchange houses which is lower and where the majority of people go to buy or sell their dollars.



I personally coined the area where they were located as Exchange Rate Alley. Now that area has relocated because of the vehicular circulation close to the new Mexican Customs Building.


Streets that once had very little vehicular circulation are now main thoroughfares...I feel for the owners.


After getting lost in my past visits, I decided to park my car and go for a walk so I could take in all the changes and I am glad I did.  I do not think I will get lost finding the International Bridge in the future.

Heading to the new toll booths going back to the USA.
Note how expansive the area is now.

The new area for 18 wheelers entering and leaving México.
It is now as large or perhaps larger than the one
on our side of the border.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

I did it again!

The days have been cloudy and gray but we do get to see a glimmer of sunlight late in the afternoon.  Friday night I was so tired I went to bed early.  We were expecting thunderstorms after midnight, I have no idea if they were as strong as predicted because for once I fell deeply asleep and did not hear a thing.

The days are getting warmer, today we were in the low 80's and tomorrow it should reach 85 degrees.  It is going to reach a point where it will be too hot to cook in the kitchen.  Last week I bought a lot of vegetables that I did not want to go to waste so I checked the freezer and found a package of three turkey legs and left them out to thaw.

Barney, believe it or not, I cooked again today or at least my version of cooking.  I made white rice to go along with my turkey leg caldo.  Actually, it did not come out too good because I did not have Zatarain's rice.  That rice is phenomenal even people like me can not mess it up.


I decided to add all the vegetables I had before they wilted...


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Vet / Cats / Shopping without buying

Monday when I was in Ciudad Acuña I took the opportunity to set up an appointment for Paquito (My One-Eyed Jack) to be neutered.  His vet has a lot of customers mainly from the USA.  The earliest appointment they could give me was Thursday, March 28th.  I guess the receptionist saw my disappointment and asked if I wanted to be put in a waiting list in case there was a cancellation, of course, I said yes.

They called me late yesterday afternoon to see if I could make it this morning.  I only have one cat carrier and it has been outside for a while so I had to clean it.  Paquito was right next to me when I was doing that even going inside it unprompted.  I was happy because he had obviously gotten over the drama or perhaps trauma involved in our prior trips to the vet.

This morning he was a no show.  I looked everywhere for him and thought the worst because if you do not follow my other blog...I recently lost my other cat Rudy Gay :-(

Not wanting to lose my appointment I grabbed Nico LaHood (Paquito and Rudy's brother) and off we went to Ciudad Acuña.  Being that tolls have gone up and me being a centavera (Spanish for penny pincher) I did not want to have to pay $5.60 twice...$4.00 to cross to Acuña...$1.60 to cross back to the USA.

Decided to kill six hours by going shopping but not actually buying anything.  This is when I wished that Terlita my camping van was still drivable.  It was a cloudy day in the '70s so I could have taken a nap in my van if I had it.

I ate at the food court of Plaza Bella, the only mall in this border town.  It made me sleepy so I had to go walk it off at Aurrera (owned by Walmart).

Could not help but notice that in every store I walked into that had automatic tellers there were long lines.  I asked one of the security officers why and he said that maquiladora workers get paid on Thursdays. Their paychecks are automatically deposited into whatever bank their employers work with and they go and withdraw it.

Went to pick up Nico and noticed that in his new official paperwork his name was listed as Niko, not Nico...oh well...I was too tired to argue.

Unlike Monday this time I got lost trying to find the International Bridge. They have changed the traffic flow of a lot of streets and made many one way. Had to go around and around until I finally found my way.

This time I only had a 15-minute wait to cross back to the USA.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Early to rise

I was dead tired last night and actually went to bed early. I was up by 7:00 a.m. and wanted to take advantage of this as it does not happen very often.

The City of Del Rio lost its Social Security office in 2013. The nearest office is located in Eagle Pass, Texas, 60 miles down the road. The Val Verde County Community Center offered SSA space free of charge due to public outcry. The only catch is its hours of operation are from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. so people get there early.

I got there in my "unique version" of early and was the 25th person. I was surprised that they had a large waiting room with a big screen TV and I only had an hour and a half wait. Sure beats having to drive to Eagle Pass.

I was starving so went to buy me two breakfast tacos at the Stripes on the way to México which is the one closest to the house but not the one I usually frequent.  Note to self: do not buy breakfast at this location after 10:00 a.m.

The skies looked menacing and the weather guy said we were going to have rain this afternoon but they were wrong as usual so headed into town to pick up the mail. Dairy Queen was offering a free snow cone so headed that way and was surprised at the number of people in line.  None in front of me ordered anything else so did not feel too bad when I didn't either. To be fair I do frequent them.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Spurs Corner

What a disappointment :(


Monday, March 18, 2019

Unplanned trip to Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila - México - UPDATED

One of my mother's close friends is an elderly widow that does not drive. She has an older sister who is not in good health and lives in Ciudad Acuña (across the border from Del Rio, Texas). She called me Sunday night to ask if I could drive her to Acuña today as her sister has once again been hospitalized. I have no problem taking her.

Hard to believe that I have not been to México in six months, my last trip was in September 2018. My goodness, there has been so much progress since then. On my last visit, they were building a new Mexican Customs building. It is now complete and very nice. I wish I had been able to take pictures but my camera broke a while ago and I am not sold on using my cellphone as a substitute camera.

I had to be vigilant as they have changed the traffic direction of many streets to ease the flow of incoming traffic which now offers several alternatives to different parts of the city. I drove her to the hospital her sister was at and thought how lucky we were to find a parking space up front.

When we got to the entrance it was locked and there was a sign on the door saying they were only receiving ER patients. Soon the guard opened the door to tell us the same thing but upon informing him her sister was hospitalized there he allowed us to come in.

You might ask yourself why a hospital would lock their doors?  This is not a public hospital, it is only for federal government workers.  Her sister is a former school teacher and in México they are considered federal employees. It falls under the ISSSTE whereas non-government employees are under the auspices of El Seguro Social and have a separate hospital and health system.

It turns out it was a national holiday in México. The actual holiday is on March 21st to honor Benito Juarez the "Benedict of the Americas" and one of the best President's México has ever had. Following the footsteps of many countries, they decided to celebrate it today so Mexicans could have a three-day weekend.

If you have been reading me for a while you know that my favorite day of the week to go to Acuña is on Tuesday, also known as "Martes de Cosecha"...translation..."Harvest Tuesday" where they have excellent prices on produce.

Since it was Monday, I headed to Soriana where they have good quality produce any day of the week as I will not be able to return tomorrow. Stocked up on celery, cabbage, chayote, and onions (for a future soup).  Was disappointed they did not have serranos and while I could have bought jalapeños I have found that the spicy consistency varies.

I also bought Nutrisse (hair color) and Johnson's Baby Oil at a fraction of the cost we pay in the USA. Nutrisse because it is manufactured in México and Johnson & Johnson is made in Colombia.

Bought several bottles of hot sauce and one of guacamole dip and got a free mole. Went by their food courtyard and found a special on rotisserie chicken. One sold for $79.00 pesos ( $4.22 USD) at an exchange rate of $18.70 but if you bought two you got it for $119.00  (6.36 USD).

When we were heading to Mexico the lines to cross to the USA were long (At the time I had no idea it was a holiday and everybody was headed to Del Rio to shop). Was hoping that by now those lines had shrunk but unfortunately that was not the case. It took me 1 hour 7 minutes to cross the border back to Del Rio.

There were a lot of vendors on the bridge selling their wares, I was interested in buying a cowboy hat but no one was selling those today. I would much rather buy it from these individuals than from stores that exploit them and pay low prices for their handmade goods.


I am going to go on a mini-rant (Yes, another one)... I do not know where tourists got the idea that these people enjoy haggling for their goods...they DO NOT!  Please do not try to negotiate a lower price as they are barely making a profit as it is. Consider yourself fortunate that you can pay the asking price and a dollar or two will not make you or break you, yet the same can not be said for them. If they can make a decent profit in their country they would not feel the need to migrate to ours...end of rant!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Spurs Corner

I can not say enough about OUR Spurs.  The game this evening against the champion Golden State Warriors was a thing of beauty.  We played defense, we executed our game plan and we WON.  We are the hottest team in the league with nine wins in a row!

Go Spurs Go!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Do I get credit for unboxing?

Woke up early this morning and decided to take the bull by the horns.  I needed to unbox the electric lawn mower I bought back in August 2016 so I could tackle the weeds.


To think that when I was a teenager I was in charge of assembling all the things that required it.  Now I absolutely hate it.


 

This is as far as I got...need to read the directions in order to put it together :(


In order to get it outside, I had to clean out the enclosed front porch which is like a junk room.  Put everything in the front yard as I swept and mopped.  All of a sudden I saw a black truck stop and look my way...that is when I realized that they thought I was having a garage sale, lol!

Took a lot of things to the shed/cats bedroom/ junk room when a second car stopped.  Have no idea why they would think I was having a garage sale when I had no sign and the front gate was closed. Oh well, at least it is good to know that if I ever had one at least there would be people interested in buying my junk.

It was a cool morning excellent weather for yard work.  I got my grass shears and started chopping at the weeds and tall grass.  I was outside for six hours.  I had huge piles of weeds I raked but by the end of the day they had deflated and did not look as impressive as earlier in the day.

One of the many piles

Yesterday, at blogger JO's urging made me some soup.  Had some chicken legs in the freezer so only had to buy a vegetable mix.


It actually tasted quite good and since it was rather cool outside it hit the spot.


Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

An attempt at yard work

The rains began at 2:19 a.m. Wednesday morning. I was catching up on e-mails and watching TV.  I could not help but think that if I still had that god awful DISH my internet, as well as TV signal, would have gone out. I did lose the picture but not the sound but only for seconds every now and then but never my internet signal.

Around 3:15 a.m. I started getting all these e-mails from my power company in Houston to let me know they were working on a power outage in my area.  Received the last one at 6:00 a.m. to let me know the issue had been resolved.  Was going to call my Houston neighbor but never got around to it.

With the rain, we received last night all my water catchment barrels are now full. Today was trash day and I had put ours in the garage because of the high winds and tornado we were expecting.  As I went to retrieve it and roll it out to the gate I noticed how easily the weeds were bending under its weight.

Went to grab my Sally hoe and shovel and started tackling the weeds.  It would have gone faster if Paquito and Nico (my stray cats) had not wanted to attack the hoe. They finally got tired and went to take a nap.

The sun came out, we had beautiful blue skies and it reached 85 degrees.  I am going to let it dry some and attempt to weed it or mow the front and back yard, the other two lots will have to wait.

Pollito's son went by and I know he saw me pulling weeds (he lives down the road from me).  A short time later Pollito went by slowly eyeing the yard but I was inside Terlita (my camping van) looking for my machete so he did not see me see him.

This evening even though I did wear a back brace my back is sore so I had to pop a couple of aspirins. Forgot to mention the darn mosquitoes also bit me, who knew they were already around?

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Under tornado warning

We have been under severe weather warnings since Monday.  Luckily it has only been windy, cloudy, gray and dreary.  I was awakened at 3:56 a.m. to the sound of rain falling on the roof.  I got up to check on the temperamental leak we have in the kitchen but it was not leaking.

At ten or eleven this morning the phone rang, it was a robocall from the City of Del Rio advising us to prepare for foul weather this evening.  As I was typing this post the phone rang again at 11:07 p,m. letting us know we were under a tornado alert until 5:00 a.m.

My favorite San Antonio news channel said the severe weather was going to be limited to the northwestern part of Val Verde County, we live in the south.  Hopefully, it won't be so bad. It is supposed to reach this area between midnight and three o'clock in the morning.  I do not like when bad weather hits at night but I do not think mother nature cares how I feel.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The calm before the storm

These past couple of days we have had wonderful temperatures in the low to high 80's.  However, the weather is going to take a sharp turn both in temperatures as in severity starting this evening.  We are expecting high winds, severe thunderstorms, one-inch hail and a slight possibility of tornados.

In the insomnia front, it has taken another strange turn. I am used to going online after midnight, making my posts as well as reading the blogs I follow until four or five in the morning.  Lately, I am falling asleep watching the ten o'clock news and barely making it to eleven o'clock. On the downside, I am wide awake by four or five o'clock in the morning.

George, if you are reading me (Our Awesome Travels)...as unbelievable as it might seem I am getting up earlier than you!  Of course, I do not accomplish as much as you do in a day...will have to work on that.

HEB does not open until 6:00 a.m. so I took the opportunity and headed out early to stock up on larger size salad (they do not have that at little HEB) and basically have a much better selection as you would expect the larger size store to have.

The only bad thing is that being Sunday in Texas you can not buy beer until noon.  That is a silly law enacted decades ago to make Sunday a day of rest and going to church.  In Texas, the outdated "Blue Laws" does not allow for residents to buy hard liquor or a car on Sunday. Now, how silly is that? Ran several more errands so I will not have to be out and about in bad weather.

Telemundo has a daily segment in their newscast that gives the wait times to cross back to the USA both for Eagle Pass as well as Del Rio, Texas.  Yesterday at 5:00 p.m. it was 2 hours 15 minutes and today it was 1 hour and 15 minutes.  That is another reason why I chose to stock up today as I had forgotten all about Spring Break and the havoc it wreaks.  My grocery run to Mexico will have to be put on hold.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.



Spurs Corner

The first quarter did not look promising but somehow we pulled another win tonight.

I love how the bats take the attention away from the game by making their grand entrance in the middle of the action :)


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Nippy

These past couple of days have been quite nippy but I am not complaining as it has had unexpected benefits in my case. As you know I have a problem with insomnia going back years. For the past two nights, I have been able to sleep seven hours straight which in my case is unheard of.

Last night it got down to 29 and today we only made it to 54 degrees.  I know readers in colder parts of the nation or other countries might find this laughable but for us in Texas, this is downright frigid! The good news is that temperatures should be on the ascend soon.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Preparing for a plunge in temperatures / Mini Rant

This has been one of the oddest winters in relation to fluctuation in temperatures that I can remember.  We have had temperatures as high as 93 to as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit.  Strong winds and rain have only made it worst.

Thursday I went to Walmart to stock up on groceries as I have not been able to make a grocery run to Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila - México in a long time. The bad thing about living in a small town is that you tend to run into people you do not really want to see much less engage in a meaningless conversation with.

Such was the case that day. This lady is a lovely person but for some reason every time she sees me the first thing out of her mouth is wanting to know if I am dating someone. I moved to Del Rio to take care of my mother just when or where does she expect me to meet someone?  At Stripes, the library, little HEB or the laundromat? She always ends the conversation letting me know that she is praying for me to find a good man. She is in her 70's and became a widow in her 40's. Perhaps she should pray for a good man for herself? OK, end of rant!!!

We are expecting strong winds to usher in a cold front late this evening or early tomorrow morning. Brought the plants in and put away anything that might become projectiles. Bundle up and keep warm.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.