The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Saturday, March 31, 2007


For the past three days we have been in the middle of a nasty front that cannot make up its bloody mind where it wants to go. So it's sat on top of the Valley. I have of course been whacked and have spent a lot of time in vertigo-land.

Paul has decided to have the front of the rig sprayed with Tuff coat...the stuff they use to spay on bed liners in pickup trucks. It should reduce the rock chips and be easier for him to clean off the bugs we kill each time we drive it. Geez, anything to make Paulie's work easier...I say go for it! Maybe this will end his continuous bitching about think that they only committed suicide on our one else has this problem, eh? We have to take the rig to Brownsville on Monday, which was our day to hit the road. Now we will leave on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Hopefully. I guess now that I have convinced myself that we have to go home, I wanna get there and get going on this house fixing/staging/selling crap.

Both the boys are playing poker. One last game I guess. We are going to Padre Island tomorrow to meet Barb and Arnie one last time. Perhaps we will go to Metamoros also which is right across the river from Brownsville. We want to have dinner again at Dirty Al's for the shrimp.

We have a ton of stuff already staged in the kitchen and the bedroom so all we gotta do is truck it out to the rig. We should have lots of space as we have one less set of clothes, 40 pair of shoes, 5 coats, 20 lbs of dog food, a doggie bed, and the replica of the geezer section at Walgreens...yanno...suppositories, 12 kinds of pain killer, a gallon of scope, denture holders/cleaners/brushes, 5 kinds of bottles of whatever prescriptions, the list goes on and on. Oh forgot all the hats. How many hats does this man own? Oh well, I guess I can stop bitching now. We have decided to take Snickers the stuckup kitty home with us. I just don't think grandpa is too into what she needs. And she is a needy bitch. Plus, I can just imagine her sneaking into his closet and he closes the door and doesn't hear her for several days. I really wanted to leave her here so we don't have to worry about her taking a smelly dump right before we show the house, but I think we will be staying in the motorhome and that's where she'll be kept.

Well, that's about all that's happening around these parts. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will have sunshine tomorrow. The last time we were at Padre it was cold, windy and rainy. I'd like to see what the beaches look like in the sun and perhaps walk along the beach?



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

damm thing didn't load...I'll try again...

Wed hump day....4 days to departure...*sigh*

Well, we are finishing up the details before we leave grandpa and head home. Gosh, how sad. I have come to think of this place as home, not Rochester. Amazing what sunshine and beautiful weather can do for ya. Plus the load is off our minds that grandpa is happy and contented...we won't have to drag him out with us, he now has other geezers to go trippin' with. We are now writing down how to use the dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc. I think he finally realized that his tiddy whiteys would not miraculously appear on his bed and he must wash his own sheets. He told us today he won't let Pepe sleep with him any more cause the sheets stink? Duh, waddaya I haven't told him this at least 1K times. The dog is a stinker...personality wise and stink wise. Oscar never smelled as bad as that little shit of a dog and he weighed over 120 lbs. He snorts like a pig and he smells worser...

Just wanted to post this picture....the local HEB grocery store had a child photo promotion and Paul talked his dad into this picture. We named it the offical 90th birthday was a hit at the party over the weekend...

hope you enjoy...

will try to post more later.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


It is a perfect perfect day today. Sunshine, warm and breezy. We had a fleeting thought of going to South Padre, but neither grandpa or I really felt up to it. It's a good thing, we both had stomach problems later in the day. We did spend time at the pool and did a lot of other residents. The water seemed nice and cool rather than the heated temps the pool has previously had. I like warm water but not bathtub warm. The folks here, at least the snowbirds are now heading north in droves. I think by next Monday when we hit the road, most of the seasonals will be gone. I think the ones who live here are glad that things are calming down a bit. When the park is full like it has been, there is a lot to do and I think they are already looking forward to the time when things quiet down a bit. They also will have all the facilities to themselves which I think they all enjoy. The pool is adequate but crowded on sunny warm days.

Grandpa spent most of the rest of the day on the couch...he had stomach woes. Me too, but we didn't eat anything similar today. I was lounging in the pool with my noodle when I cramped up...almost didn't make it to the ladies room for heaven's sake! I don't think I've walked that fast since my hip surgery or knee surgeries! Some lady walked in and I could hear her sharp intake of she didn't know what to think! She did her bizness in record time and was out the door lickety split!

I talked to Aunt Karen last night and let her know we would be heading up towards Amarillo next week. She is looking forward to seeing us...I missed seeing her when she visited Aunt Jane in the Chicago area last summer due to my additional hip surgery. I am looking forward to seeing her too...I haven't been to Borger for years and years. We will also stop in Lebannon to see Aunt Avril...told her not to expect Thanksgiving dinner this trip, but we would love to take her out to her favorite restaurant when we get there.

I guess we will fire up the rig and pull back into the driveway on Friday. We only have clothes, food and meds to pack. We are leaving grandpa and all his stuff here. He is just a BIT anxious for us to take off. I told him he'll miss us...he disagrees. I am not looking forward to all the work we have facing us. We need to defumigate and paint Zack's room, and paint the office/bedroom. We will be selling most of the furniture and will be doing that while we do our fixups. I think we will have to replace the counters in the kitchen and do some painting in there also. I have an idea to add some moulding to the flat cabinet doors, repaint and then put on new hardware. If we can do so, we will try to keep costs down. Also the more stuff we get rid of the bigger the place looks. Anyone want to by a 52" HDTV? We'll sell it cheap, promise! Zack I think has his eye on this but hmmmm...he has already claimed grandpa's leather sofa and chair and the dinette(thank goodness I hate it). We have even thought about living in the motorhome in one of the local campgrounds and not having to clean house each time we show would be easier to DUST the sink than clean it after using it all the time right? This would really be good as we will see what we really will use in the rig while out on the road. Its been almost 6 months and there is nothing at home that I have found I can live without in the rig. The house in Weslaco is a different story...thinking here Christmas decorations and grandma's silverware, videos and photos and personal items and mementos. Those things will be stored or displayed in the Texas house. We may need to rent a storage unit for a while but I guess it will be helpful to store the things we will be taking in the fall. I sure hope we can sell quickly.Everyone keep your fingers and toes crossed OK?



Sunday, March 25, 2007

More pictures....


The day after….

Well, the 125 people who showed up for the party said it was a success….grandpa thinks it was a success and I guess I agree! We had a great time. Everyone loved the posters with the old photos on them, especially the ones where Gene is young…one photo was a real hit…during the war, grandpa boxed and for a special bout, he shaved his head but left a stripe down the middle of his hair…a Mohawk.

Freddy played for over two hours, and the crowd sang along, danced and even did some line dancing. Folks brought their own coolers with their preferred beverages. We provided the cake and coffee. I know pictures speak louder than words so here are some pictures.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Well, I didn't get to post after we got home from Mexico. Darn wifi is so irritating sometimes. I suppose we are getting what we pay for...the wifi is free. We had a nice time in Progresso. They blocked off the main street and it was filled with craft (?) vendors and food vendors and all kinds of entertainment. There were tons of kids entertaining from singing folk songs and dancers to Tejano rappers and Menudo wannabes. There were a lot of beautiful senoritas representing various Mexican beer companies. Paulies eyes were bugging out as was his tongue. There were tons of bikers there with some really neat looking hogs and goldwings. The streets were jammed. We did take some pix on a disposable camera but they won't be ready until later in the week. I promise to scan and post them after the birthday party. We stopped at a bar and had a drink then tried to get to the Rose Garden. It was wall to wall people so we just continued on. We really didn't even stop to look at was pretty much the same old same old the vendors sell. Sunglasses, hand woven blankets and hammocks. There were a lot of fresh fruit vendors and the stuff looked so great. The smell of tacos was incredible. I just couldn't see me eating something from a street me what you will but I get sick looking at blood and gore on TV, can't imagine what my stomach would do with foreign food from a street vendor. We decided we were hungry so we did head over to the Arizona Resturant which we know is good. They were packed also...maybe its the two for one margaritas? Anyways, Paulie had chaulupas (absolutely no relation to the Taco Bell chaulupas....) I had the white fish with garlic butter lunch special.....OMG so freakin' good...and grandpa had tamales again. You know with real tamales, you actually EAT the corn husks. Not moi of course, but Paulie and gramps did. Just the thought turns me may be one of those things I will have to have a few more margaritas before I can try 'em.

We stopped and bought some more tequila...these have WORMS in them...the smaller bottles don't have 'em....well, I think they don't remember having seen them...cripes, I coulda swallowed the sucker and not known it! Ick. Ick. Ick.

Well, the weather is still holding perfect. The breeze keeps the dust blowing around, but that's typical I am told. I don't mind the wind unless it takes off my hat or visor. Yesterday I got a lot of grit in my eyes so it's Visene time

I have to find someone to run the video camera for the party. I have found a site like youtube to upload some of the better shots. We had to order a second cake as there are over a hundred in the park expected. We will go early to the friendship hall and set it up. We have balloons and streamers and a couple of signs, plus the 5 or 6 picture boards I have been working on. I was thinking of doing a full board devoted to pictures of Gene and Catherine with the know, Paulie's ex's and me...I would title it...the Ziaja Wives Club...whatcha think?



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good Grief….

It’s been a while since I have posted. Hmmm. Getting lazy in my old age I guess. A quick update…we are in the get ready for the birthday party mode. Today Paul and grandpa planted a grapefruit tree and a Chinese fan palm tree. They worked in the garage and Paulie pressured washed one part of the house. It was a cloudy and overcast day, and of course with rain expected my head was moving in different directions.

Monday, we ordered the cake, bought party supplies and did some errands. I think we will have to order more cake. We are expecting about 100 people. Crazy. We have decided to move the party to the meeting hall with that many folks…they won’t all fit in our driveway! This way we have use of the kitchen and I can be sure we won’t be blowing any fuses at the house with Freddie’s equipment and the two coffee pots. Plus, it’s supposed to be in the upper 80’s so having air and ceiling fans will be cool. Now I don’t have to worry about the wind getting dirt all over the cake. I have been advised that I should get more cake. The full sheet cake only feeds about 75 people so I don’t want to get caught short. Now I can have the second cake say Happy Birthday Old Fart! LOL!

Monday evening we went to the park dance with grandpa. Bev’s son and daughter-in-law were there also and we had a nice evening getting to know them.

We are heading to Mexico tomorrow. It is Winter Texan appreciation day in Progresso. There will be free food, entertainment and local crafts people.
We will have to leave early like 8 am (geesh!) in order to get a parking space in the adjoining lots outside the border. I have been advised not to bring my scooter so I will have to take along some pain killers. I sure hope that doesn’t ruin my day. Hey, if somebody doesn’t get outta my way when I am on that thing, then that’s their problem right?

The weather has been really almost perfect. Sunshine everyday and in the 80’s. Nice cool breezes keep the heat in check. The fruit trees are all in bloom, the lilies are up and so are the spring flowers. Lots of folks have tomato plants that have fruit on them already. Paul bought three plants but we haven’t put them in yet. One is coming home with us in a container.
Well, I will try to post about our day in Mexico tomorrow.



Friday, March 16, 2007

OK just a little added note for Friday....

click on this link

and you can hear Zack and Greg's latest composition...

They have renamed the band to Marching Backward....

Greg does the guitar and vocals, Zack is on the drum....Zack writes the lyrics and they both work on the music parts.

Just being a proud mom



Friday...March 16th

I have very mixed up emotions today....

Today is our anniversary. 22 years and counting. If you can believe this, I have been married to Paulie for three times the number of years as both his previous, numbers one and two. I win. Gosh, where has all the time gone? Zack is 21 and just about on his own. (Pffft! to those of you who are counting backwards on your fingers....!) We are going back to Illinois to sell the house and have already reconciled ourselves to the fact we may come out with little or no profits. College costs and the early retirement scenario with the in laws has depleted the equity we would have recovered at sale time. Neither Paul or I have any regrets. The cost of nursing care for Catherine would have been over $110K if we had not put the addition on the house. And, after being in the nursing home for various times during her last months convinced me the care she received from her family, at home, in her own bed, was far superior to any she would have gotten in a nursing home. We made the decision to spend the money on the addition, fully aware that we would not get it out of the house. If there is one thing I would say "if I could do over...." it would have been to have stayed put and not moved around from house to house as many times as we did. I am not regretting it, we did what we did at those times because it was the best decision we could have made then, at that particular point in time. The old saying, hindsight is 20-20 is true. But if we had not made the changes we did when we did, we might not be going in the direction we are headed....wintering in the warm Rio Grand Valley with Gene, and planning to travel for the rest of the year. I am happy we will be able to do what we have dreamed of doing...roaming around the continent(!) in our Aluminum Asylum.

I am also grieving today. Paul and I lost a wonderful friend. Gay Leezer from our FMCA group, the Cenois Prairielanders, lost her battle with cancer. A lovely woman with a brave spirit and loving heart, she will be missed by all. Gay always had a smiling face and a twinkle in her eye. She had class and warmth, a quick wit and a practical candor about life that was typically Midwestern farm country. IF I had to chose someone to serve as a substitute mother if mine wasn't around to seek advice, Gay would be one I'd turn to. She was a wonderful cook and I think the entire club would have followed her to the ends of the earth for a sample of her cobblers...or anything that came out of her kitchen. She could produce miracles in that motorhome kitchen. My heart hurts for her husband Bud...they were married many many years. Rest peacefully dear Gay, we will miss you terribly. I will miss sitting with you around the campfire or at the Red Hat tea table and talking about anything that crossed our minds and there was never a time that I didn't learn something from you during these conversations. I shall cherish my memories.


Wifi has reportedly been fixed. Baloney. It is spotty at best. Sorry I haven't written earlier but it is very frustrating to get a whole page written and then lose the connection. Whamo...there goes the time I spent wording my blog just right or coming up with something humorous about toenails. I should go back writing daily on my 'puter's Word, but I tend to get lazy...all I have to do is cut and paste. But, I hate the spell check on Word...why should that damm program worry about me making up my own words or if my sentence is a fragment or not grammatically correct. The only one I know reading this (and I am sure he doesn't) that is almost qualified to judge my grammar is Zack the English BA in the making. I recall in the Dilbert comic strip, the janitor is complaining to Dilbert that janitors were being fired and engineers were getting raises...Dilbert's response was "who told you that you'd find a job with a BA in English?". For some reason that cartoon made me laugh my butt off. At the time I thought of someone who had a BA in Political was funny then and still funny now, to me at least.

Well, the dish guy is here to switch out the cable to satellite and I have to get ready to go to McAllen to get a hair cut. The boys are playing shuffle board(I KNOW, I KNOW ....Geezer games) and should be back by 11. I hope Paulie will drive me...not to sure if I can do that by myself today. I am doing the two step when I walk which is not a good thing.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The park is having problems with their wifi...was supposedly fixed, is now worse than ever....

I will continue to try and post when I can



Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday….the day after….

Our first dinner party last night was a success. The shrimp feast definitely is something we will do again. We had the garlic (Dennise’s version of) shrimp dejohne, fried and boiled shrimp, the colonel’s coleslaw (why waste the time when his is way better?) French fries, corn on the cob, French bread and of course, any beverage your little heart desired. We had cheese and crackers plus some chips for appetizers and sat around and shot the breeze for about 45 minutes before Paulie and I got to cooking. We had everything prepared ahead of time, and the two deep fryers preheated and ready to go. It did get a bit hot in the kitchen with both fryers, and the oven baking the shrimp, but it wasn’t too bad. When we get back in the fall we will have a ceiling fan installed in the kitchen. It really helps keep the heat down. Everyone (except me and the chef) had seconds and even thirds. So I guess everyone liked our cuisine. After some quick clean up, chef Paulie and I joined our guests on the patio and talked. Soon, Marion and Aloha who sold us the house stopped by to chat. Slowly as the hour grew late, everyone went home. It was a great first party. I’m glad everything went so well.

Of course, after helping clean house, food prep, cooking and serving yesterday, my day today was spent in the damm bed. Every bone in my body was screaming. There was a terrible rain storm that hit the valley, and some places east of here and South Padre Island had 8.5” of rain. Poor spring breakers…they must have gotten washed out to sea…its Texas universities week this week. Poor Texans!

As the days continue to march towards spring, more of our neighbors, Winter Texans as we are called, are heading home. Most of the Iowa folks have been putting off going home, along with the Minnesota and Wisconsin folks. Why go home to snow when the weather is absolutely perfect here? The Canadians are also leaving in dribs and drabs…they have a longer trip and most of them make lots of side trips so it takes them 4 to 6 weeks to get home. Paul and I will probably leave the first week of April. We figure we will take our time…may a week or so. The weather back in central Illinois has been getting better.

Zack has moved into his new room at Cougar Village apartments. For those unaware, Zack resigned his RA position. Apparently he had a misunderstanding about the time he was to give a presentation to the RA staff. He said he double checked with his boss to confirm the time and his boss goofed. (Being a former boss myself, bosses generally do not admit mistakes. It must have been the underling’s misinterpretation of the facts or instructions, right?) So rather than risk one more screw up after this major one, he decided to resign rather than make another small booboo (like missing a deadline on paperwork or some such minute thing) and get fired. He would not get a referral or be able to use his almost two years as an RA on his resume if he got fired. So to cut his losses (a typical Zack reaction) he resigned. Of course, leaving with only two months left irked the crap outta me (who can’t make it two months?) and his father. But, it is his decision and he was determined NOT to lose what he feels is a very good referral and part of his leadership skills on his resume, he took the road he felt most comfortable with. Now, the downside to his is he (I should say Paul and I) need to come up with $700 to pay for the balance of the board. The school will NOT allow him to live off campus; he was required to stay in University housing. Crap. To his credit, he went out and got not one job, but two jobs. He is a bouncer at a country western bar (good $) and he is also working at a putt putt miniature golf place inside Union Station in St. Louis. Kind of a far drive, but he is learning management skills as he will open the place and the owner is willing to work around his school schedule. He will be attending summer classes and already has an apartment lined up. This will be the place Greg will share with him for their senior year. It will cost about $400 per kid for rent and utilities…wait until they can’t access Cougarnet for free….that will be another amount they will have to come up with for high speed internet and of course, food. I will admit that both Greg and Zack can cook and have done plenty of experimentation in my kitchen. They both better learn not to be slobs and clean up after themselves according to my recollection. Plus they like steak…hmmm, wonder how many times they will be eating steak as poor college students. Hey nothing like real life to prepare one to grow up right? When I was 18 and living on my own, NOT going to school I had many a dinner of peanut butter and crackers. Paul remembers eating tomato soup made with water and oyster crackers and Kraft mac and cheese for 14 cents a box from an Aldi type store. Makes one appreciate things more I guess.

This week is doctor week for grandpa. Blood work as his new beautiful senorita doc thinks he may be borderline something. Then he goes to the urologist for a check and an appointment for this next PSA test/shot.

We are planning grandpa’s 90th birthday party for March 24th. We posted a RSVP so we know how much cake to buy. We will have a very popular valley singer here for entertainment. We will only buy the cake, everyone is bringing their own beverages and chairs. I hope we get lots of people…grandpa says that he has never had a birthday party. Right. He’s probably had so many, he can’t remember them all…he’s like the odometer on an old car…once it reaches 100,000 miles it turns back to zero! Like the guy on the cruise ship said…grandpa’s first job was busboy at the Last Supper. Tooooo funny.

Well, I am going to join Paulie out on the patio…the rain has cooled things down and its really beautiful outside.



Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday….weekend oncoming

I wasn’t able to post after our return from Mexico yesterday. We had a great time. I bought an embroidered dress in an awesome yet obnoxious bright blue…truly a Mexican inspiration of sorts. I also purchased a puka shell necklace which I have wanted for such a long time. We also saw some adorable Chihuahuas for sale for $200. Grandpa fell in love and wanted to buy all three of ‘em. I told him that Pepe didn’t take kindly to other dogs and the size of the puppy would make Snickers to think it was a mouse and eat it. Plus, there are rules at the park…one pet per household. We are stretching it by keeping Snickers.

After doing some more browsing, I bought those colorful dollar shopping bags. We were also going to get liquor but on the way out so we didn’t have to lug it everywhere. I did want to look at some of the colorful pottery, but I guess that will wait until we come back in November.

Guess what…soon we found ourselves at the Rose Garden! The alley turned cocktail “lounge”. We couldn’t resist. Paulie and I got strawberry margaritas and grandpa a Sol beer. Second round, we got the Sol’s and grandpa had a regular margarita. Such a fun place full of winter Texans enjoying Mexican beer and really cheap strong margaritas.

We continued on after the stop for drinks and kept heading on towards the boarder shops to get our list of booze. We ran into some neighbors who invited us to join them for drinks at the Alamo. We found the place; it was on the fourth floor of the place we buy our $3 tequila. After two for one margaritas we decide to get something to eat. I have the Alamo’s special lunch whitefish grilled in garlic butter….and corn soup…ever had that? Ick. Looked like the stuff from the exorcist…I KNOW corn is yellow NOT green.
Grandpa and Paulie spilt a plate of tamales. Not the tamales we have at home these were great looking beef stuffed things in corn husks. After our late lunch we parted with the neighbors we were off to cross back with our purchases. Grandpa had poured his last margarita in a foam cup and as we walked towards the crossing he was dancing behind us. I was on my scooter thank goodness. All I do when I have a few drinks is go faster…

The line to cross back into the US was going slowly so we had a lot of fun talking with others and watching grandpa polka with his cup of margarita.

Finally across Paul takes grandpa to the car and then he and I go across the street to check out the two for one banana splits. Not much ice cream but at least the bananas were good!

On our way home, we decided to stop at the Llano Grande Golf club to see if Uncle Ben and Bev were there. Nope. So off we head for home. Paulie and I sat outside having a beer. Uncle Ben walked over and joined us. Grandpa had gone into the house to see Pepe. I found him walking on all fours to the bathroom. He eventually joined us outside, but decline to have more to drink thank God.

About seven the wind picked up and it got chilly. Paul took Ben home in the golf cart and grandpa went to watch TV. I read for a while and then finally fell asleep around 11. I never did hear Paulie come to bed.

Today has been quiet. Overcast and spitting a bit of rain. Of course, this brings out the absolute best in me….headache, ears, nausea and all the other Meniere’s goodies. Leftovers for dinner again. Sigh.

Going to the Mexican market for fruit and veggies tomorrow. We are having a shrimp fest at our place on Sunday. Ben, Bev, Dorothy and the three of us and perhaps Leon and his wife from across the street. We will make fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and shrimp dejohne….coleslaw and baked beans. Trying to think what to make for dessert. Something light but good. I was thinking Milnot cake…or pound cake. Hmmmm….



Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Grandpa had an appointment to have a hearing test today. It appears he has hearing loss. I coulda told him that...he is going to have to get some hearing aides.

Not much going on here...we went to German Fest held at the park yesterday. It was fun watching geezers do egg toss, water balloon toss and walking with grapefruits between their legs. Honest. It was a hoot! We dined on brats with sauerkraut and hot potato salad. Not as good as the Schultz recipe, but adequate. Of course, we had German chocolate cake for dessert.

The weather has been it was about 80 and sunny....a nice cool breeze was welcome sitting out in the sun. Don't worry, I am not becoming a sun worshiper...I sit out there for just a few minutes then drag my chair into the shade. Wrinkles are a fear of mine and I know what sun does to ya.

We are going to Mexico least that is the plan. We need to buy some liqueur and I promised to bring back some white vanilla for the Cenois Motorhome ladies. Plus I want to look at some of the beautiful and colorful outside pottery jars and lawn ornaments. That'll make Paulie happy, lugging around planters.

Well, as I said not much going on here. I am almost finished with the baby sweater, just the sleeves and then sewing it together.

Will hopefully post tomorrow evening after our jog into Mexico. Ole'!!



Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Monday

We have a lunch date in Pharr with the Illinois SKPs Chapter 46. Some place called Zagz. I guess its a pizza buffet. Ick. I just don't understand the appeal of these places...well, I guess its the fact that its cheap for gezzers and you can get a nice salad at the salad bar...

The handy man is here swapping out our old toilets for the higher handicapped ones we purchased. I can't believe how difficult it is to get off a low seat with my hip and knee problems not to mention my dizzies.

Not much else happening today...Grandpa just got back from the Rio Valley Assoc. meeting. Our neighbors had nominated him for a spot on the grounds committee but he lost by one vote. He at first told us he was verrrrrry disappointed and that if we had gotten up early and gone to the meeting he would have won. Oooops. Then he laughed and said he was relieved he didn't win...just wait, they'll nail him for some other position soon. They are always looking for committee members for some freaking thing.

Well, I will post later to tell you about our lunch and the pizza bar. Carbs are the death of me so I better just stick with the soup and salad bars. Unless of course, they have cinnamon dessert pizza....



Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday morning from the beautiful Rio Grande Valley....

Greetings...sorry about the little poke there...we are watching the weather channel and boy it sure is nasty up north! Several of the residents here cannot get home(mostly the Iowan's and the Cannuks.) The Minnesota folks ususally state til the end of March and they may be staying longer as well. My butt isn't leaving until its 50 in Springfield so that means we won't be trekking north til mid-April.

We were sitting relaxing in the patio/driveway area. Grandpa decided to clip his toenails. I have tried to be kind when describing my aversion to toenails, and his, at 90 are pretty gross.
Well, he's sitting there clipping away and one shoots off into my HAIR! Man, I let out a screech and Pepe jumped about 6 feet in the air I kid you not. I stood up and frantically started to shake my head and put my hands thru my hair. It fell out. Oh Lord. Now this may seem funny, but it certainly wasn't funny to ME. Paulie almost fell out of his chair. OK, laughing boy, I'll deal with you later.... What if it had gone in my water glass and I didn't see it go there? I know that I would have retched all over the place. Next time I leave the area when he clips or he clips in his own room!

Saturday morning we went to the park pancake breakfast. I am now officially done with pancakes til next year.

Paul went to play cards, grandpa took Pepe to get his butt checked at the vet's(he's been doing the butt scoot on the floor so we know what that means....) and I decided I felt pretty good, felt I could drive so I decided to go to the outlet mall in Mercedes, the town just east of us. No problems getting there...still feel fine. Arrive at 9:10 am thinking I will beat the crowds going early. Boy, what a dunce I am...the stupid mall opens at 10. Great. I go to the Starbucks which is open and indulge in a cappuccino. I return some phone calls and finally get Jen on the phone. We talk for quite a while, catching up on what's been going on in our lives. She certainly leads an exciting life...single, has great job, beautiful house, etc. She did surprise me by telling me she got a dog! I never thought she was a pet person. It should be interesting to hear how this works. Its a little girl taco dog. Must be cute. Not much to see at the mall. The clothes are for 15 year olds in size 0 so that leaves me pretty much outta the loop. I did buy one of the tasty carmel apples from the candy shop for lunch. Yum. So, my day consisted of 1/2 pancake, a $4 coffee and a $3 carmel apple. Geesh.

Not much else happening on Saturday...we stayed in and watched the crap offered on the boobtube. Too bad we didn't get some movies at the video store.

Grandpa is feeling a bit under the weather...sore throat and runny nose. Paul is watching some movie about terrorists. I am writing my update and surfing the net. The closer it comes to us leaving the more nervous about all the stuff we have to do. Still pondering what if anything we need to do in the kitchen. I know kitchens sell houses. New counter tops will cost about $550 not installed. We have already purchased a new white stove top a simple electric counter top drop in. I would think if we retouched up the cabinet paint, and the walls where dear departed Oscar like to put his paws on the wall, decluttered my fat chefs a bit and the new counter tops would make this kitchen more updated. I hate to spend money to just sell but that is what it takes. We are gonna lose our butts on this house. However, we did understand this when we put the addition was invest the money in the house to take care of grandma or throw the money to the nursing home...we chose to keep her home. We knew we couldn't recoup the addition cost, but I'll be dammed if I'll let some smoozing real estate agent tell me the neighborhood comps bring down the value of our property. This is a unique house that has to be marketed without comps ...noway do you compare my place and list it less than the bi-level next door...sure both have 4 bedrooms but that is where the comparison ends. She sold next door for more than the realtor says ours is worth. Crap, the appraiser we called said it was worth 10 grand more and the bank appraiser said 25 grand more. OK so how do you sell the highest price property in the neighborhood? I'm surely open to discussion!

Well, I am going to have some lunch and pick up the baby sweater I am knitting for Mother.

Will post more later if something exciting happens!!!



Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Night....

Just got home from a concert. Paulie, grandpa and I went to a late lunch/early dinner at Keno's. I swear I can't believe how much food they serve....catfish or meatloaf, green beans (ugh) corn on the cob, two scoops of mashed potatoes, salad, soup, and a roll that must weight about a pound. Good grief... Paul had a "taste" for catfish so I decided OK, we can go to Keno's and I will have the other Friday special...meatloaf. When we get there... meatloaf is all gone. Crap. I won't eat bottom feeder fish like catfish(they eat POOPIE yanno) so I got the breaded tenderloin with cream gravy. It was OK, but it wasn't meatloaf yanno? When we got home I called Mother and she is home from New York. She said the funeral was sad. SAD? The woman was in her eighties, died of a stroke (never regained consciousness so there was probably no suffering for her which is a blessing) had buku bucks, had homes in Florida or some warm climate and a home in Long Island...I doubt she ever worked a day in her life and it was SAD? SAD is a kid getting hit by a car, a family guy who gets blown up in Iraq, not some old rich bitch who had a wonderful life. Jeesh...

I don't know what came over me and made me write that. I just find it hard to feel sorry for people who have had good lives, never wanted, etc etc who die at an advanced age, quietly go to sleep and everybody cries....

Paul and I went to the movies to see Wild Hogs or Road Hogs or some such movie with John Travolta. It was positively hysterical. I almost wet my pants. It really is funny so put it on your must see list.

After the movie, we were just in time for the Friday night entertainment here at the park. It was a group of barbershop singers. You would think I could have come up with SOME kind of excuse to miss this stellar performance, but since we were in the car, Paul pulled right up to the big hall. No getting away this time. Crap. I tell ya...there were about 30 geezers all nattily dressed in black slacks, red vests with white shirts impeccably wrinkle free and bow ties. Some of them were using walkers or canes, several were in motorized scooters or wheelchairs. I just about peed my pants. Then they started to sing. Well, whats the old saying...."shut my mouth?"....that's me. I was quite entertained. They were not the best chorus I have ever heard but they certainly were the oldest. They sang all the old barbershop favorites, like Sweet Adeline...I guess while I watched and looked at all these old farts up there singing their hearts out and felt kinda glad I was there. Some of these guys had ill fitting rugs...but their smiles lit up their faces. I kept thinking that some of these guys were WWII vets, Korean Vets, retired doctors or lawyers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, and now they were entertainers. Maybe the audience was as old as them, but they sure gave a performance. Gestures, smiles, frowns, pre-practiced was a cute in a geezer kinda way show and it was clear from their body language and genuine smiles that they loved doing it. Bless their hearts.

I am not sure what the weekend holds. I would like to go to the flea market and browse around. The weather looks perfect for the next week. I am gonna try and get to the pool...I am still pasty white but I don't want to get burned. I had quite a compliment this the makeup counter the saleswoman remarked that I had really nice skin. Me. Nice skin. Man, these people will say anything to make a commission, LOL!



Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Television RERUN night...

You all know I wouldn't be writing anything on a Thursday night because its my TV night...but alas, February is sweeps month so I guess March's offerings are crap. I just HATE that. Repeats. Oh well, we sat outside instead...and the weather is beautiful.

We have hit the jackpot as far a weather goes. Averaging 85 and sunny. Perfect. This is what it is supposed to be here right? There are groves of fruit-laden trees being harvested. Some of the grapefruits and lemons are downright giants. I want a lemon tree and a red grapefruit for our place. The ladies tell me that one lemon from the tree(the biggies I guess) makes a lemon pie. Geesh!

Paulie and I went roaming today. We found the 6th Street Market and checked out the handcut meat...that's what we had at Bev's on Saturday. Then we hit Big Lots to buy a pair of outdoor rockers with a glass topped side table. These are supposed to be grandpa's birthday present. Of course, he says he doesn't like them. OK. I won't say anymore.

Then we went to Wally World, thinking to stock up on some stuff and get something for dinner and some meat. Well, we got the stuff on the list, but no meat! Well, there are some stuffed peppers in the freezer so grandpa can have some dinner. Paulie and I had a chalupa around 2 so we will most likely not be in a dinner mood.

On the way into the park, we stopped at Uncle Ben's and brought him the superglue he asked us get him...he cracked his upper plate and was going to fix them himself. OK, once you stop laughing...a lot of these geezers do their own dental work, I am not kidding. Grandpa uses his remmel tool to shave down his new choppers. Ewwww.

This weekend in McAllen is Boarder Fest...the theme this year is St. Patrick's Day. I am serious. TexMex and Irish. It is stranger than fiction around here.

I am in the middle of making a baby sweater. Mother and Cecils "friend" Joan, the nurse who lives in Long Island, is gonna be a grandma. Her daughter's first kid, a boy. So Mother asked me to knit the kid a sweater. OK, for Mother, I will do it. If it was up to me, I'd pass. This is the lawyer daughter who I think was an influence on Cecil in the past. 'Nough said in this forum.

Well, we were forced to move the motorhome from in front of the house. One of our "new" neighbors told management that he almost had an accident at the end of the street because he couldn't SEE around the blocked the corner view. Yeah. Right. OK. Old fart prolly blew thru the stop sign and almost nailed some geezer on a golf cart and needs to blame someone, so our poor old aluminum asylum on wheels gets the blame. There's always somebody who stirs up sh*t. One now lives about four houses from us. Sigh. I betcha Pepe is next. I told him that somebody was gonna vote him off the island if he didn't stop barking all the time. Little snot didn't believe me. So, I got a squirt bottle filled with water and each and every time he toots that little yip yip I squirt his ass. Works like a charm. He sees me reach for the bottle and he runs under my chair. Smarty pants.

OK, well, there really isn't too much going on around here. I seem to have a problem with my cell...certain calls come in tagged "International". God forbid I answer those calls as they must be bouncing off one of the Mexican towers. All I need is Paulie to get INTERNATIONAL charges on the bill and my butt is toast. So, if you call me and it goes to voice mail, that is usually what is happening...your call has somehow been routed thru Mexico and I won't answer. Paulie doesn't have that problem nor does grandpa. Figures it would be MY phone. But I will try to call you back.