Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunrise at the rv park.

Watched the sunrise this morning while I had my coffee and read my newsletter.  It comes out on Saturday but I like to save it for Sunday morning.   Decided this morning to walk for an hour instead of going to the gym.  I did the same last night.   However, it's kind of scary around here.   It was like one of those movies where you're the last person left on the planet.  No birds, no animals, not even one human being.   Just a bunch of empty mobile homes, park models, and closed up rvs.  It was fun to think about but I'm glad there are a few people living in the park.

This morning I discovered that there wasn't any water.   I went out and checked the line and then the one next door, not even a drop.   I started walking and when I turned the corner the fire hydrant was open and water pouring out.   I saw a woman driving her dog (she was in the golf cart and the little dog was walking alongside).   I waved her down and she said her son was the office manager and went to wake him up.   Then a couple of blocks away I found another one.   What the heck!  Another 15 minutes and just when I was about to knock on the park manager's door, the neighbor came out and I asked him.  He said there was a leak in the park and the maintenance guy opened all the hydrants to relieve pressure.  Hmm, okay.   Here we are in a drought and he could have shut the water off at the main outside the park.   The water ran from the hydrants for at least five hours.  What a waste.  It was fixed by nine a.m.

Finished my walk and waited for the water to come back.   I showered and treated myself to Sunday breakfast at the Jalisco Cafe about three blocks away.   Very good, complete breakfast with coffee for $5.25.   Considering it's the U.S., not a bad price.

I spent the rest of the day bored.  Did a lot of walking, went for a swim and maybe tonight I will hit the jacuzzi.   I did some reading and used the internet as well.   I am getting ready to pack for my flight tomorrow morning to El Paso.   Plane leaves at 10:45 and I have a stopover in Dallas.   I'm staying in a nice hotel and will stay Monday and Tuesday night coming back Wednesday morning.    I will teach a course on Tuesday and then one on Thursday here in McAllen.  I then return again next week to El Paso.  Racking up a lot of good ole tabaggona mileage!  Let's see how they treat me at the airport.  Oy vey!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Park Is Empty

I'm now at the Casa deValle Rv Park in San Juan just minutes from McAllen.  The park is still empty waiting for the snowbirds.  There are some fulltimers here but they stay inside.  It is pretty hot now, about 32C.   I have the A/C on too, it's just too darn hot and humid.   I keep it off at night using a fan because it makes too much noise.  Of course, a typical rv park doesn't have a lot of trees.   I know big rigs don't like them but it could be worked out.  Oh the beauty of of boondocking.  It is a very nice park, very well-organized, manicured and perfect for a winter escape from the cold.   But not my kind of place.   


It was a pretty rough week and I got home late Thursday night to McAllen.  Yesterday I waited until 2 p.m. to pull out of La Feria waiting on FedX to deliver my new SIM card which upon receipt solved my problems immediately.   So here I am, got settled in yesterday afternoon and did a little grocery shopping.   I like to drink agua mineral or club soda once in awhile instead of soda.   I found club soda at Wally World for 64 cents a liter.   Came home and made a pot of chili for dinner and relaxed.   I went to bed at 10:15 last night and overslept until 6:15 this morning.

I had a great cup of coffee, read the news on line and headed off for the gym.   Nice setup but like all snowbird parks, too many petty rules, common sense type of stuff.  You would think by the time your eighty years old you know where to put the trash and turn the lights off.   

I treated myself to a Tex-Mex breakfast taco (are you listening Bill and Sharon) and it was so good with another cup of coffee.   I started my laundry and finished the trim I took off the bathroom wall, redid the plastic on the storm door because it was dirty and the velcro came off.   Fixed that and took materials back to our office here in McAllen.  It's really a storage place in Edinburg.  I was going to go to La Feria for a haircut but it was almost noon and I wasn't sure the lady would be here.   

Later this evening I'm going to take a walk around the rv park.   Tomorrow is Sunday and I am going to the gym.  However, no talking at the gym on Sunday morning.   Church service is going on next door, be very very quiet! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back In McAllen (and closer to home)

Woke up at 5:45 this morning and after a couple of cups of coffee and a quick breakfast I took off for Seguin.  I had 110 students in the course.  Good kids, most live on farms in the area.  Much different than inner city schools.  I actually enjoyed myself.

The only downside was the hours.  I finished at 3:30 and got out of Seguin by 4:30.   Uneventful trip home except for the fact that I had the opportunity to listen to NPR radio almost all the way.  Quite a few boneheads on the road weaving off and on as they check their cell phones.  I stopped for a cup of coffee about midway and made it back here to La Feria at 9 p.m.  

A long day but a good one.   Tomorrow I am moving from La Feria to Alamo taking advantage of another monthly special but it also puts me closer to McAllen where I will have four trips out of the airport there in October.   This will be a good chance to see if we like the Alamo park better.  La Feria is nice but it is far from the Hidalgo bridge we prefer to cross at as well more services and better supermarkets and flea markets.

Nice to be back here close to the border.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Just So Different

I've been in San Antonio now for the second day.  My trip up was great and it only took me four hours from McAllen, thanks to the 75 mph speed limit.   It's a long drive.  I listened to talk radio, sang a little bit, stopped for a coffee and pretty much enjoyed the scenery.  I love driving in Texas.  

I've had difficulty with my U.S. cell phone.  It is so hard to speak to a live human being.   But I found a way.  I googled the question, "How can I speak to a live person at Net10?"  The web page I found showed me a menu work around and I got a live person.   The phone works now, but I can only send calls and not receive.  I have to have it for work, no other way around it.

Overall, the customer service here in stores, hotels, and restaurants is lousy.   I think with all the talk about minimum wage jobs, people have changed the way they work.  No doubt that minimum wage workers have low productivity.   So what is the answer?  Throw $15 an hour at all minimum wage jobs?   How do you determine what a wage should be for a job?  Used to be supply and demand.   We saw a guy holding a sign advertising for an insurance company.  I thought to myself, "Is that a $15 an hour job?"   Cost of living by area comes into play too!   

I've been talking with people about ObamaCare.   It's not cheap and they have a tiered system; bronze, silver and gold.   Hmm, now is that a level playing system?  It says to me that the more money you have the better care you will receive.  Isn't that counter-productive to what the plan is all about?

Tonight I had to gas up, buy back up batteries and my Nerds candy for the course tomorrow.  I drove up Broadway from the Riverwalk.  A wide avenue filled with small and large businesses.   Not a soul walking on the street and the sun was still up.  It's so weird to see streets with out pedestrians.  If you wanted to ask someone for directions or help you would die on the cross before it would happen.  I'm talking about a three mile stretch of avenue.  Sure there were cars, but where are all the people.   I now call them refrigerator people.  They live in their climate controlled boxes.  No kids playing in the street, throwing a ball, riding a bike.   

We had a bowl of soup at Jim's restaurant.  My friend Sam was hanging out with me today.  The kid in the booth next to us (about 8 years old), jumped up and said he was going to the bathroom.  It's a small restaurant and you can see everything.  The father hopped  out and said, "wait, you can't go by yourself".  Sad commentary.   I've been gone from Mexico for a little over four days and it's lonely here.    

Where do all of these people get all this money to buy all the junk they see in stores?  I'll stop there.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Idle Hands

I took off for the gym early this morning.   I had to get a head start, our U.S. cell phone petered out.  I hadn't been charged for a few months and won't come on at all.  I got another phone at Radio Shack, got home and called to transfer the number and it wouldn't work.  I took it back and now I am waiting for phone number three to activate.   May take a day or two.   I have to have it for work.   I could have gotten a new number but I think it is important to keep the same one based on my school contacts last year.

I came back home and made breakfast and farted around for a bit and then it kicked in.   I took off the sheets and pillow cases and did laundry.   I vacuumed and mopped the floor and cleaned the window casings.  

Then it dawned on me,  those damn solar cables still hanging out.  I've put it off only because I wasn't sure what to do and didn't want to damage anything.

On Saturday we took off the side molding by the door.  It looked like I could get in there and send the cables from the monitor panel that you see down and over under the floor cabinet.  Well, these cheap ass creations they call rvs don't work like that.  They had one sheet of panel and then put wood blocks to anchor the cabinets.   I put all that back and put my tools away.   I went to the bathroom and while I washed my hands I looked in the mirror and saw the wall behind me.   

I went and got the tool bag and took off the wall panel.  In the bathroom it is one piece but has nothing attached to it.  Interior walls don't have insulation, at least not ours, so I pulled back the panel with a screwdriver keeping the cheap staples in place, and there it was.   I pulled the cables back into the wall, down along the pipe and made a small hole on the cabinet side near the floor.  The cables went through and I hooked up the controller.  How often will I be checking it?  It has a function and that is what is important.  I put the tank monitor panel back and nobody would notice the difference. 

Thanks to Keven and Croft for doing the majority of the work and now the project is complete.  I actually learned a few things along the way.  Kevin made a good decision on where to bring down the cable.  It all worked out great.  Hmmm, now that took about nine months.  Baby's born!

Tomorrow I'm off for San Antonio and then back to the valley Thursday afternoon.  I'm not taking the rv, better to stay in a hotel, meals and expenses covered including .50 cents a mile for gas.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Settled In

Not knowing the condition of the libre to Reynosa, we took the autopista.  A non-eventful trip although we went through four checkpoints; two federal and two military.   The military included the one I talked about last time I went to Matamoros where they have you unload all bags, boxes and packages and run them through a portable airport style x-ray machine.  We were waved through on all four.

Got to the bridge and not sure why, but just about everyone from Monterrey was in the line.  It took us an hour and a half.  Got up to the booth and when asked the purpose of our trip I said shopping, because Juan didn't want a permit.   With a visa only, a Mexican can travel border cities up to the 21 mile mark north of the border.  He went home today on the bus so I thought no sense in making a big deal out of it.  Boy, then the guy asked me what I was going to buy and how much cash I had to spend.  I said 500 dollars.  Then he asked Juan, and he said, "well, I have my credit cards".   In the past, they wouldn't let him pass unless he could show a reasonable amount of cash.   He got the idea we were together, gave us a big smile and let us go through.  You just never know.  We laughed afterwards, because he spoke to me in Spanish and I answered him in English.  Who  knows why.  Another nuance of border life.

We visited with the few neighbors that are here in the park.   Very quiet still as the snowbirds haven't started their journey south yet.   I got an email from a former park neighbor, Donna.  Donna and her husband Leo were here last year.   We hit it off.  They lost their puppy of 17 years.  Went to the bridge and waiting for them.   Donna's a good egg.  Very nice.   I have to laugh, the first time she stopped to talk to me, or should I say drove to talk to me, I was out getting some exercise.  She drove while I power walked, we chatted up a storm.  Good people. 

Got up this morning and went out for breakfast at Don Beto's in La Feria.  You need try this place.  Total tab was $10.31.  I ate salad the rest of the day.  Tomorrow back to the gym.  We stopped by CostCo on the way to the border to drop Juan off.   Bought their discount gas.  I stopped on the way back to wash the truck and do a little grocery shopping.   I watched Juan walk across the bridge before I took off.   We did that a lot 29 years ago when we first met.   Used to be me crossing the bridge to go home.  Oh well, this is for our Canadian trip and some other things and it is only a few weeks.  I'm sure I'll go home in the next week or two for the weekend via bus.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back In Order and Off to Texas

Spent  most of yesterday getting things cleaned up and back in order.  The pool is crystal clear again, grass cut and trees trimmed.   Cement houses don't absorb moisture very well like wood houses and we don't use central air conditioning.  The wood doors and moldings started to grow mold in some parts.  Standard here the few times we have severe weather.   Very little, but with the right light you could see it.  I spent yesterday cleaning the house really well and washing down all the wood with a bleach mixture and then polish after everything was dry.   Even though the temperature last night hovered around 20C,  you could have cut the humidity with a knife.   As we watched a movie, Cold Mountain, I turned on the air  in the bedroom.  About 2 a.m. I woke up and turned it off.  It's been raining all night.

While I was out and about getting things ready for my Texas trip, my neighbor let his horses out to clean up the high grass on his land.  

And this guy is getting a bit too comfortable here.  Still needs to go.

Off to McAllen.   I'll be reporting over the next few weeks.  I'm not sure how interesting El Paso will be or Lubbock, Tx.   Lots of hotels and plane rides.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can It Get Any Worse?

We survived the storm.   The sun was out most of today and the clouds are back.  They say we will have scattered thunderstorms through the weekend.  The 500 people trapped up the road from us have been rescued via helicopter.   They had rented cabins here in the mountains for the three-day weekend celebration (Independence).  

Acapulco didn't fare so well.  It is a disaster and so many people are still trapped.  Airlines are offering free flights, as many as 22 a day, military transport is in there too.   It's not enough.  40,000 tourists are still trapped there and looting has begun.  Flights are dropping food and water but that is one large crowd to try and please.  Hotels have run out of food.

Not much else to report except we are getting the pool back in shape, the gardener trimmed the yard but can't cut the grass for a few more days.  It's too wet.  

We are leaving on Saturday morning for McAllen.  As I said, I will have about for trips out of McAllen to El Paso and Lubbock over the next three weeks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rivers, Rvs, and A Movie

First off, let me respond to my friend in San Miguel de Allende.  Hwy 57 north to Saltillo, Hwy 40 from Saltillo to Monterrey, and Hwy 85 are clear and open.  No damage reported.  Take caution during early morning hours near Saltillo due to foggy conditions which will pass by early afternoon during the week.  Rains will continue during the week but not torrential downpours.  I sent you an email.


Some of you may not know that a river runs near our house, about 100 meters away.  Our road used to go all the way to the river bank but houses have been built there.  This river runs into the presa (dam) 1 km away.  Our "rich" neighbors have much larger lots and those along the river have docks.   For the last two years the river has been dry.   What you see above is a river that is now 7 meters deep or 21 feet.  We now have more water than we ever asked for.  Yesterday they opened the compuertas or the gates on the dam to let some of the water flow south.  It looks like rains wil continue but the worst is over.  Now it is all the water coming down from the mountains that is causing flooding.  The house is fine, we did find a few hairline cracks from the movement below the house.   That is easily fixed and we will be in good shape.   With the pool flooded and the water green, I now have an excuse to drain it and do the remodeling.   

Now on to Canada.   I have been mapping out our trip.   What I have planned so far is to take a month to get to the Canadian border, two months to cross Canada, and a month to get back home.  Hopefully, we can leave a couple of weeks early and stay a couple of weeks longer extending our trip and time with friends.  Again, this is just a dry run of what we may do in the future.  

How can I say this, I want to say money is not an issue, but it is.  I don't want to waste money on fuel of all things.   The trip has a cost and we are not full timers.  Selling the house just isn't going to happen with the current situation.   We have to make do with what we have.  I am thinking, as an ex-Trailmanor owner (folding hard-sided travel trailer, maybe buying one on the cheap and then selling it after our trip.   That would save us half of our fuel cost.   

I like our current rv, but the Trailmanor was really something.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Wait Is A Killer

I've let water out of the pool twice but there is no where to discharge it because everything is so saturated.   The water in the pool is from rainwater, no flooding yet.  The gutters we put up in the front can't handle it and they overflow.  So far though, the house is in good condition and no leaks anywhere.  Cement houses are notorious for water infiltration especially those with flat roofs.

We had an apartment building in town have a semi-collapse when a giant boulder came down in a mudslide and hit the third story sending a sleeping woman down into the apartment below.  She is in the hospital but with minor injuries.   

Out here I went up to the corner for the paper, our road is still open but the dry river bed is at about a half meter right now.   They say this is going to hit around 5 p.m. this afternoon and it appears it is wreaking havoc in the south of the country. 

More later.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's A Hurricane

It's official, it is a T5 hurricane.   I just talked to a friend in Tampico.  He said it was heavy rains all night last night and this morning the sun is shining.   The storm is 22 kms out to see and headed right towards Tampico.  Both U.S. national news and our local weather casters say it will come close to Monterrey but turn south and inland.   We will still have heavy rains and flooding.   Tonight is the El Grito celebration but most municipalities in the metro area are cancelling.   No one wants to take chances.   

Here on the ranch we have most of the underpasses and turn arounds closed.  Rivers are flowing hard and high.  It has been raining non-stop for two days now.   

Our guest is still on the porch, probably the first time he has been dry in over a week.  He sleeps a lot and looks happy.   I don't like him and don't want him around.  I'm not an animal lover, or so I try to convince myself.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The "Cat" Is Out Of The Bag

Well, so to speak.  This guy was dumped on our street over a week ago.  He hung around the gate and I don't know why.  I mean, why our gate?  I have ignored him, thrown "pebbles" at him to scare him off  and he still comes back for more.  I leave the house, drive down the road and have to stop two or three times to pretend I'm reaching down to pick up a rock to make him run back.  Had to, he followed me one day for one kilometer and onto the highway.  Long walk back home as I couldn't drive the lateral in reverse.  

We haven't fed him, given him any attention except to tell him there's no place here for him.  I have posted the picture above on Facebook for over a week and no one wants to adopt a dog.  I open the gate and he sits there knowing he can't come in.  He's like a kangaroo, he sees my car coming down the road and he turns around and starts jumping up and down.

It's raining hard and the storm is now a hurricane.  He sits there at the gate peering in between the crack watching our every move here in the house.  He takes no cover and no protection.    

We just gave in and now he is on the porch.  He's been in the rain now for a week.  He can't stay, we need to find him a good home.  End of story.

Friday, September 13, 2013

They Love To Create Panic

A huge tropical storm is headed our way this weekend.  I'm watching local news and they are getting people all worked up about buying water, food, candles, etc. to get them through the storm.  How much food and water do you need for a couple of day?

So it's batten down the hatches and get ready to watch the pool flood.   I could care less.  It can all be cleaned and I can't stop the rain anyway.   We need the water and we should be thankful mother nature is working in our favor.

We have a couple of 5 gallon jugs of water handy, our well pump works great and we have enough rice and beans to see us through.  The generator is handy and ready to roll.  We been through this drill before and it's just sit back and enjoy the storm.  If power does go out, nothing better than sitting around with candles and a bottle of wine having a good conversation probably about our next trip.  Speaking of trips, 
I will have a couple of days in California in October.  They offered me a one-day course in Monterey, Ca.  

Something new in Mexican education, and I'm not referring to the teachers strike.  Let's not go there.  In our great state of Nuevo Leon, we started this school year with 542 primary and secondary schools that are full-time, from 7:30 a.m to 4 p.m.   Remember that most of Mexico has split classes, morning and afternoon to accommodate all the students.  Now that the population has dropped in this age group, or has been in decline due to reduced birthrates, we now have buildings and staff that can man a full-day schedule.  A really good thing.   Now watch the teachers bitch about that.  Finally a chance for students to get an even better education, spend more time in a controlled environment where they can learn English, French and a concentration in competences and culture.   I say, fantastic!

As I have said before, the four poorest states in Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca (100 days), Edomex) are the ones with the most strike days for teachers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Watching The Rain

When it's not raining the hummingbirds are out and about.   This guy now has two little ones but they are so fast it is hard to get a good shot.   

It's September and the rains are here.   It hasn't stopped now for ten days.  The rains start between 5 and 7 p.m. and they are downpours.  I've been busying reviewing my course for Texas and making my reservations for El Paso.  I will have to fly there and back three times in two weeks. I'm not in control of the air, hotel and car reservations so I can't choose my airline so I may not get the points I want.   We have quite a few to use up and I'm afraid if we don't use them this year we will loose them.  We were big Continental flyers for years and earn points on trips to South America.  Continental's miles never expired.  But now that they are United, they tell us they will go away within a year.

I 'm anxious to get to McAllen and do some things on the rv.   I may go next week and putter around there before taking the rv up to San Antonio.  I have one course in Seguin and I should take advantage of it.

I'm getting new gas shocks for the truck today.   I want to put Airlift air bags on the back.  They aren't expensive.   I've got a heavy tongue, it doesn't present a problem when towing but it isn't quite as level as I would like it.   Feedback on air bags?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Preparing My Trip Plan

Tomorrow I will speak with the office in Texas about my trips to El Paso.  I will be working in four different high schools.  I would like to take the rv and spend some time in West Texas but the days don't coincide with the driving.   I have one event on Oct. 9th in El Paso and a course back in McAllen on the 11th.  That would only leave us one driving day and we are talking about 800 miles.   I'm not  marathon driver, the company pays fuel and mileage but it just isn't feasible.   It would be fun though as the weather is really cooling down at night.  Imagine sitting along side the mountaintop at Guadalupe Natl Park.   Fun, fun, fun.

I hope to have a painter lined up for the end of this week and I've found the decking material for the pool.   Getting an estimate this week on the remodel is a must. 

Not much else going on other than daily rains which we are happy to hear about.  Our annual Feria de Manzana (Apple Fair) is back in action this month after an hiatus of five years.  It's a big to do down at the lake with amusement rides, food, horse rides, boat rides on the water, and lots of kids doing what teenagers do best on weekends.  This means a lot to us, it is an indication that some normalcy has returned to our home and life really does go on.

After the capture of some big potatoes this last month in northern cities, they said all hell would break loose.  It hasn't happened and it has been extremely quiet even on the webpages and  blogs that write about it.  Let's hope it is a sign of better times ahead.  

Rvers should start planning their trips down here and book their reservations at the parks of their choice.  Pull out those maps, log on to Bill and Dot's "On The Road In" and order your maps.   Check out the Church´s book if you need a new one.  This is going to be an exceptional winter here in Mexico for rvers.  Lots of new roads to take and maybe even a trip on the new Baluarte bridge that will take you over to the west coast.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Time For Politics!

I can tell you are excited!  As I have said before, if I'm not on the road, I get into trouble and here I am.  Lots of emotion going on around the world with Syria.   I truly believe the Middle East is a powder keg waiting to explode.   But lets keep things in perspective. 

The U.S. has the second largest cache of chemical weapons in the world.   The U.S. also has the largest number of nuclear warheads in the world and the only country who has ever used nuclear weapons.  Most people tell me, "well, that was almost 60 years ago".  Doesn't matter.  It's principle, but I guess world powers don't need principal.

One thing I want to make clear is that I am not anti-American.   However, that said, I do see things a bit differently now than I did 30 years ago when I lived in the U.S.  One, I am much, much older now and being wiser does come with age as well as experience and education.  Second, I see things from the outside looking in and believe me, they look much different.  I sometimes wonder how I would have seen Mexico as an American if I had stayed in the U.S. and never ventured out.   My little world when I was 18 and in overalls, is much more grandiose today.  Travel does that to you.

There is a strong possibility that some of this has to do with Assad himself and the fact that he was once a golden child of the U.S., you know, on their side, up and coming in the world.   Now he has changed his tune and the U.S. is ready to dump him along with so many others who have been dumped; Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Baby Doc, Cuban dictator Batista hand-picked by FDR back in 1932, and there are another 35 on the list.   We create them, remake them, and install them.  Once we are done with them we get there followers to create a coup and then they end up in a hole somewhere.   Assad will end up in a hole, I'm almost sure of it, three for three.

I have nothing against the military and I'm not apologizing for anything either, just making my stance clear.   I feel for all the troops of all countries who are fighting some battle somewhere at this very moment.  Our disastrous attempt to convert Iraq into a western democracy proves the point.  How many maimed and mentally destroyed soldiers now live amongst us?   We lost over a trillion dollars in that war, and now where is Iraq?  So far this year 4,000 Iraqis have been killed in bombings and the Ba'ath party is back in power.  Providers of military weapons and machinery claim to now have such hi tech equipment that many more survive.  Well lets take a count of that.   First off, up to one million Iraqis died in the 10 years of war.  5000 American service people were killed and 100,000 wounded of which how many thousands are maimed for life?   Hi tech equipment, and the Iraqi insurgence kicked our butts with what they call IEDs or in reality were Molotov cocktails.   Oh the things we buy into.

So here we sit, they say 96% of Americans are against intervention into Syria.  Obama swears there will be no boots on the ground.  I think I heard father Bush say that when he went into Iraq in 1988.  Remember the surge, the long line of jeeps, trucks, tanks, equipment trudging across the desert?   "In and out".  Yep, that's what it wasn't.   It was in, and in, and in, and, well you get the idea.

War is big business.   Another thing I want to mention but I fear retaliation and being called an anti-Semitic (even though I have proof my family were poor Jews before immigrating to the U.S. in 1907), Israel is behind this.  Palestine was once part of Syria.   Notice that all the countries bordering Syria have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and Israel refuses to take in any.  Hmmm, I wonder what that is all about. 

To cut to the chase, I say, butt out Obama.  The U.S. has too much on its plate.  16 trillion in debt, a total of 70 trillion long term over the next 25 years in bonds and such, high unemployment, 47,000,000 Americans recieving food assistance,  infrastructure that includes 5000 bridges that need rebuilding and the list goes on.  

Clean up the mess at home, bring home those worn-out and beaten down soldiers, then work on your neighbors to the north and south and head on down the continent to make one "super-America".  After all, we are all Americans.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Some Very Welcoming Responses

We are surprised that so many people want us to stop by and stay for awhile.   We may have to rethink this trip and make it a bit longer than planned.  It is a first time trip to Canada and just like our friends in the colder north who come south every year, it may mean we will travel up north during our hot summer months.  We love rving in Mexico and we love meeting up with rvers.   However, this is our home and where we have spent the last 25 years or more.   I think we want to get out some more.  We have never been to Utah, or traveled the Dakotas.   Bill and Sharon will be in Maine, a place I have never ever been and have always wanted to know.

We are negotiating our deal in SMA and the sales people can be real jerks.   We want the house but we want it furnished.  They have used it as the model for over three years now and it is in still new condition.   The furniture is designer but not super high quality but makes for a great rental.   I told the salesman last week that we wanted the furniture as part of the deal.  He said he couldn't do that and I told him we would be willing to talk with his manager.   He said he would investigate but answered via email in a very, very short period of  time saying they wanted 60,000 pesos for the furniture.   He didn't talk to his manager.  How do I know?  Before leaving SMA, we stopped by one more time to take pictures and our agent wasn't there.  Another agent told us it wouldn't be an issue as they wanted to sell the model home.  Besides that, when we looked at a super huge three-story home in the same division, it was full of furniture from other models they had sold and the furniture was getting dusty, dirty and moldy.   I have learned a lot over the years and this agent intends on selling us the furniture and keeping the cash.   He's already pressured us by saying they had a buyer who was willing to put down a big down payment but we didn't bite.  A week later he calls to see if we are still interested.   

Here at the homestead:   The rv is in McAllen and we are here.   Croft is talking about his mods that he is doing and it is driving me up a wall.  I have sent off emails to our manufacturer asking for information on our rv model regarding design, weights, etc.  so we can make some changes.  I also asked for the removable arm cushions for our sofa and some luan board tape that matches our color.   I think we will take off in the next week for McAllen.   Nothing is happening here and I am getting bored real quick. 

I keep putting off the pool remodel and some painting as I won't do it and I am finished trying to find someone who is willing to work for a decent wage without poking our eyes out.   I need to "get'er done" because we can't take off for the winter without it.   The continual ball and chain.  One interesting thing happening here is that the city is encroaching faster than anyone thought.   Two new developments going on just down the road.  

Also today, as I was coming home from the gym, there were two topographers on our street.  Still not sure what they were up to.  Let's hope it is a new road or even better, a new road and a housing developement.  If so, we're outta here!!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

You Saw The Map

 August 31, still very hot and humid.

Not sure what happened with my blog and the map I posted of North America.   I had text, not sure you saw it.  I know I can't but the HTML code is!   

The map is a rough outline of where we would like to go the end of April 2014.   There is lots of flexibility and a couple of people have already made the comment that four months may not be enough.  That is what it is already starting to look like.  

However, this will be our first trip to Canada.  Based on what I have seen so far in my research, this could become a more frequent summer trip once we have no more commitments.    Let's call this a trial run and maybe the four months will turn into five and we can slow down a bit.  Some of you get back and forth in a matter of days or a couple of weeks.   

As you may have read, 250 miles every three days on the average would make for a very relaxing and exciting trip.   Six hours driving and then three days out in the wilderness, sightseeing or visiting friends, sounds pretty good to me.   

One thing for sure, I need to keep on the beaten path.   I am now looking at Prince Edward Island, and I have heard from several readers who say to stop by for a couple of days.   I like a day or two, I hate to wear out my welcome.   That's enough to see something local, visit and chat, and then move on without anyone thinking, "god, I thought they'd never leave".  

A trouble spot for us is leaving the cats behind.  Just can't do it.  I am thinking we need one of those pop up rooms where they can be outside and have more room to roam around and see the outdoors.   When I return to McAllen in the next week I am going to Bass Pro Shop in Harlingen to try out a few.  Another is to create a private space for their litter box.   I am thinking of a cabinet space where the now defunct Atwood furnace is with an exhaust fan to the outside.   

Lots of things to work on and you know I procrastinate quite a bit.   If I get started now, maybe I can finish some of the projects by next April/May.

BTW, still working on the house in San Miguel de Allende.  We are in contact with the sales staff and it looks like we made some progress yesterday.