Saturday, November 30, 2013

Arghh! Head Colds

Miserable, not feeling well.   Juan had a head cold, I refused to get it.   I made him sleep under the trailer the last three days.  I got it anyway.   It must have made it's through the floor.   It's all in the head, the body is working fine.

We go home tomorrow and we will be back next weekend I hope to pick up the rv and take it home.   Nothing else to report other than the weather sure improved and the sun was shining today.   We made it to Best Buy where Juan got a new netbook and I went to Lowe's to replace the acrylic for the storm door on the trailer.  We made a pit stop at a friend's house to say hi and back home.   

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Start Of Thanksgiving

We used our new (bought it for last year) Mr. Heater last night.   Man does that thing work well.  Combine that with the electric blanket under the sheets and bingo!  Slept like a baby.  We keep the windows cracked and a vent open so the room is well-ventilated.  

Got uo this morning and hit the gym to reduce some of the calorie gain from today :).   Got the storm door cleaned and put up on the rv and then showered.   I am now at the activities center and I took a picture of the dinner before people show up at noon.  Yep, early lunch is more like it and yes there will be about 300 people.  Each table had sign up sheets and have their own turkey.  The reason I am here at the center is because I was kicked out of the rv so Juan could concentrate on making the casserole.  We're taking a 1.75 liter bottle of wine to share too. 

I'll post an update as the dinner progresses.   Croft and Norma may be here Sunday.   We talked last night and decided we will come back up for the rv and go to South Padre Island for a couple of days together.

And then we ate.  I said 300, it was 180.  Still a large group.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We're Off For Thanksgiving

It's cold here, 3C this morning but the rest of the week looks good.  Cold nights and sunny warm days.  Winter Texans like that kind of weather, good for sleeping.

We are heading out in the next hour or two for McAllen.  The rv is still there and we are paid through December.   I was going to bring it home this weekend but we decided if the space is paid for we can go back and do some Christmas shopping before we head to Jalisco.

An rver from Canada is in the Edinburg area and wants to pass through Linares to San Roberto, the mountain route we take.  He wanted to know if it was feasible with his 38ft fifth wheel.  I sent him a message this morning to see if they want to meet up while we are there and we can go over the route.  They are also heading to Hacienda Contreras but a week before we do.

Tomorrow is the big potluck at the rv park.  There are about 300 people signed up for the event, each table gets their own turkey and everyone at the table commits to bringing a dish.   Juan is making his famous green beans, with new potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon.   We don't have an oven in the rv so we will pick up a dessert to take and a bottle of wine.

I'm anxious to see what the border bridge wait will be even though we are going the other way.  University students here are out for Christmas vacation along with some high schools so they may be heading north for shopping.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yucky Weather

. . . But I like it.  I like the cold and the wet.   It's fun to bundle up, keep warm in the house and eat things we don't always have like pan dulce and hot chocolate before going to bed.  We almost hit 0C the last two nights and it is sure to come Tuesday night.   I have the electric blanket on low, the radiant heater in the living room on low, and my homemade room heater made out of a bread pan, three tea candles and two different sized clay flower pots.  It really heats up the bedroom.  We don't use it at night though.   I turned on the heat pump last night and we slept like babes. 

Two good things are happening this week, I won't say they are complete but we hope so.  We are in the process of selling our land in Terlingua, Tx. and that should be complete.  The refinance on our house in San Antonio is almost approved, the title company called today and asked for some finals to complete the process.  With the refinance, we may be able to sell the house as an assumable.  Two things to free us up some more in our path to full time rv living.

We are still on course to go to McAllen this week for Thanksgiving and then to Hacienda Contreras for Christmas.  I need to email Croft and Norma and see where they will be on their route as we may delay our trip south by a week or two.  Because of the delay, I'm pulling out the Christmas tree this week.  Why have a fireplace and not a Christmas tree?  They kind of go together.

Well, it's the holidays and a good time to do something for someone else.   Pay an electric bill, give a grocery gift card, shovel snow on a driveway, or give someone a blanket.   Be thankful for all we have.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Things Go From Bad To Good

Sounds like a pretty dramatic title but it wasn't all that bad.  I woke early yesterday with a laundry list of things to do, literally.  We got up at 5:15 and after coffee I stripped the bed.  With the cold front coming I wanted to get all the chores done that didn't get done while I was gone.  Laundry was one of them.  I loaded up the machine and it took off scrubbing away.   About fifteen minutes later I heard nothing, dead silence.  The washing machine had stopped leaving all the bed linens in a tub of sudsy water.  I shook, rattled and almost rolled the machine to no avail.  Pissed.

It was one of those day where I hate everything, nothing works right and on it went.  I was going to go the gym next but that didn't work out so I drove to Allende to work at the school for a couple of hours.  Some of the teachers have trouble teaching students project and group work and that is my specialty.  Getting third graders to do anything is a chore in itself but we got it done.

The repairman never showed up or called so I pulled out all the wet laundry,  wrung it out and put it in a bag.  Off I went to the laundry in town and dropped it off.  Not worried about paying but getting it back in time to make the bed.  Yes, we have other sets of sheets but these are our best sheets that work well with the electric blanket.  I did all my house chores, took a very short snooze, and then did some yard work that our gardener refuses to do, picked up the laundry and ended the day.

This morning we woke up to cold.  We have plenty of heat but I hate using it at night if we have the blanket and it really isn't that cold.  It was 4C this morning, not freezing by any means.  We went to a basketball game which was great.  I love basketball and high schoolers are the best.  They played hard and fair.  No dirty business here.  

Earlier in the morning I had posted that some tamales and hot chocolate would be good and if anyone wanted to send an invitation I would be there.   After the game we visited some family in Monterrey and guess what?  Tamales recalentados with hot coffee.   Recalentados are the only way to eat tamales.  They are usually left overs and you put them on the comal (griddle) reheating them but until the husk is crispy.  There is usually a small spread of masa on one side of the outside husk and it turns brown and crispy.  Man on man, to die for.  We sat in the kitchen and talked for about four hours before heading home.  

All's well that end's well.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two Card Scams In One Week

Back home in Monterrey and the frente frio (cold front) has hit us.  We are hunkered down and keeping warm.  Ha ha, you would think it is below freezing or something.  Like everyone else in the Americas, we all knew this one was coming.   I had the yard cut and some other things done, cleaned the house, and made sure the electric blanket was working.   

We leave for McAllen on Tuesday for the Thanksgiving bash at the rv park and we will stay for a week before bringing the travel trailer back to Monterrey so it can be prepped for our trip south.   I would like to get a new inverter installed before we head south so we can take complete advantage of the solar which is working just fine.

I checked my email tonight and saw a fraud alert.  I called the number and a guy with a heavy accent answered right away and started to ask me for information.  I knew this too was a fraud and hung up.  I called the card company from the numbers on their website and two charges had been made, one declined and one pending.  I stopped the card and canceled the account.  It appears that the account was made up as none of the information was accurate.  It is all so weird as we are in the process of a refinance on our San Antonio rental and last month Yahoo said my account may have been compromised and we changed the password.  Who knows but now I will be monitoring our accounts to make sure all the scam has stopped.  This was in the U.S.

We manage our accounts on line here in Mexico and I monitor them daily just to make sure our charges for fuel and grocery purchases are up to date and see how much I can spend!   I noticed on Saturday that we had no money in one account, missing about 4000 pesos.  I contacted Juan and he said he hadn't spent any money using the debit card in Mexico City.   I told him to go on line and he immediately checked his wallet.  He had dropped it in an office in D.F. and apparently the cards in his wallet had fallen under a desk and he thought he had picked them all up.  It turns out that the security guard must have found the card, went to lunch and spent the money on an expensive meal, new Adidas, GNC products and snacks at the Super 7.  An investigation is underway and we have to wait two weeks for the money to be returned via insurance.   Good thing we caught it.  I won't tell you how many times we have had a conversation about carrying too many things in our wallet!  I have always said, cash in one pocket, an ID and a debit card with only a small amount of cash in the account.  Hmm . . . 

Good thing is, we are always alert and it doesn't matter where you live.  Keep warm if you are in the cold front.  Kevin and Ruth, forget what I just said!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What A Difference A Month Makes

It was just a few weeks ago that this view was wide open down to the end of the street.  Now the park is full and people are settling in.  There are almost 300 people signed up for the Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Last night I attended a potluck.  I had arrived, taken a short nap and headed out to the supermarket when I passed the activities director and her daughter with food in hand.  They said it was potluck night and I told them I had nothing to bring. They said not to worry about it but I passed on the offer.  Until!  Then on my way to the HEB I thought, well, buy something that will satisfy all.  I got a large pot of potato salad.  Turns out, the park is mostly folks from Quebec and they don't attend.  I can understand.  I see them with their small groups under their awnings with small tables, wine, glasses, candles, and food that I think I like better.  But the potluck was good and I met some nice folks.   I also suffered heartburn for the first time in over a year!

Today I visited five schools.  When I finished I contacted my coworker whose place I am taking only to find out she is going to back the week after next and I am no longer needed.   We'll see about that if you know what I mean.  I will head home on Thursday and then we will be back next week for a week of relax and Juan can do some shopping.  Back home for a week and then to South Padre Island before heading back tom Mexico and then all points south.  I really want to make it to San Miguel de Allende around the 10th of December but I doubt that will happen.

I mentioned our video chats via FaceBook.  If you have a web cam, ours are built into the laptop, this is even easier than Skype.  You just find the person on line, hit video chat and you're in business.  Here is what it looks like:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Figuring Out Our Canada Trip

I got to McAllen later than expected.  A two and a half hour bridge wait.  I posted a rant on FaceBook.  Really hacked me off.  With all the b.s. going on, they keep Mexicans on a national holiday from supplying the Texas valley with retail sales.   Long border waits equate to less shopping time, wasted fuel, increased pollution and unhappy people.  How many miles do the all of the border bridges make up?  Maybe 20 miles out of a 2000 mile border?   Looks like the priorities are screwed up a bit.   Enough on that.

Playing with Google Maps, I was looking at our trip and all the places we want to stop.   I came up with an approximate trip length of 10,000 miles.  I thought, not bad in terms of fuel.  1,000 gallons at today's average of $3.30.  Then I put on the brakes.  2700 miles will be done in Canada and that fuel is $5.25 a gallon?  Hmm, we need to rethink this.

Juan is all for it and he brings it up almost everyday with some new twist, person to see, or place to go.  I don't want to disappoint him.   The idea is not to break into any savings or charge anything except for emergencies.  I want to live on what we have monthly keeping within our budget.   I think we can do it.  We'll need to take advantage of couch surfing spots, boondocking, Passport America, and I saw a new one called  California fuel is expensive too.  Wow, I need to do some homework.

I'm thinking I might set up a new blog with ads to bring in some income and also do some short videos along the way. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Made Up Our MInds

Best of plans can always change and I learned that from my friends who are "drifters".   I had planned to power wash the driveway and get the cars cleaned.  It has been rainy, damp and just down right ugly the last few days.   Well, it rained again yesterday.  I got up early, started to wash bed linens and while they were in the final rinse, it starts to rain.  I had the power washer hooked up and all the tools I need to do the cars too.  That petered out.  I hung up the sheets and pillow cases and off I went.

I headed to the gym hoping the sun would come out later.   After the gym I realized it wasn't going to happen so I went grocery shopping instead.  When I got home the sun was peeking out but not enough to make a difference.  I put the linens in the dryer and did some aseo de la casa (housekeeping).  The day past by and I ended up watching SNL and going to bed at 10 p.m.

Up at 6:15 a.m. this morning and tidy things up and off I went to the airport.  Juan had sent me a message to say he was boarding the plane and before I knew it I arrived at the airport parking and he sends another message saying the plane had landed.   He has a mild sore throat and I had planned on eating lunch at Santa Fe, a very nice restaurant near the airport.   Prepared as always, I had made pasta and sauce yesterday so that was ready to eat.  He decided to go home and we would have pasta.   But as we passed the restaurant, the place was packed.  A place I can recommend. 

We spent the day talking, a lot.  We made plans for the upcoming weeks and our winter trip.   It's not like we haven't been in touch the last two weeks.  Everyday we have a video chat via Facebook which is free.  We talk for at least an hour if not more.   Then we send messages back and forth via Internet as our cell phone service give us 10 messages per day at no charge.

Are you ready for me to stop talking and tell you what our plans are?   I got an email from my coworker.  She says not to do any visits the week of Thanksgiving.  She also said she is ready to return so I may only have this week.  We will spend next week in McAllen for Thanksgiving and take off for a week or two in Texas, probably South Padre Island before returning to Mexico.

Then . . . .  we will head south to Jalisco stopping at our most popular boondocking spots.   Not sure yet if we will make a trip up to Mazatlan, but I realized it is a two day drive, well at least the way I drive.  We could do it in one but I don't do that any more.  We want to visit Colin and Contessa and hit the beach.  Christmas will be with all our friends at Hacienda Contreras.  I want to take the drive through the back side from Real de Catorce to San Luis Potosi.  Not sure yet, Juan didn't like the 15 kms of washboard we encountered last time.

There you have it!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Big Question Is . . . .

Before I get into the big question of the day, I want to share what happened last night.  I don't remember if I said anything over the last two weeks or not but a stray cat had been getting into the house via the pet door and eating all the cat food.  Ferocious appetite!   I discovered this the week Juan took off for Mexico City and I went to McAllen.  I reminded him a dozen time to leave food for the cats and he assured me he would.  I came home after only three days to find their cat food dispenser completely empty.  They looked up at me with that look of, " I can't believe you didn't leave us any food".   

I almost let Juan have it but he assured me he had left enough food.   That night, I heard faint cries of a cat.  I hadn't put two and two together yet.   The days went by and the food would disappear.  I thought I had scared off the cat and off I went to McAllen again and left them plenty of food.  Came home again and no food.  That night, I walked into the kitchen and saw a black and white cat cornered by LB and Missy.  It took one look at me off it went.

Yesterday, I stopped by the vet after the gym.  He rented me a trap and I took it home and set it up last night before going to bed.  I put a small dish in there with some fresh cat food.   He took the bait.  I woke up this morning and found him there singing the cat prison blues!   Beautiful cat and really quite tame.   I loaded him up on the way to the gym, dropped him and the trap off at the vet and the cat is now up for adoption.  He received shots and a de-worming treatment.   The vet says it should be about a week before he has a new home.

Now for the big question.   Where in the heck are we going to go for winter?   We're thinking two months maybe more.   I like the idea of crossing the Baularte Bridge to Mazatlan.   We also want to see everyone at Hacienda Contreras this winter no matter which of the two parks there we stay at, the original HC or cousin Chema's place.   I also have the need to go to Real de Catorce and watch a sad movie in the rain again and then take the back road we found from there to San Luis Potosi.  Juan wants to go to Las Vegas before we go too.  I found the Allegiant Air flights from McAllen to Vegas for $170 round trip.  And then to make matters worse, I miss rving in West Texas.

How in the world do fulltimers ever make a decision about where to go?  This is driving me nuts.  I don't care about distance, toll road cost, etc.   Although I'm getting a bit tired of paying for toll roads while we have found in the last two years that many of the libres are just as good and much more scenic.

So post your comments, yea or nay, or maybe recommend some new destination.  We are creatures of habit and Hacienda is always a great place to hang our hats and park our wheels.  The cats can roam around and always find their way back to the trailer.

Thanks for helping out!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cold Front Number 12

It finally came.  I got home yesterday around 4 p.m.  It was cold all day yesterday in McAllen but it was a nice fall chill more than anything else.  The wind blew pretty hard Tuesday night but I was nice and snug in the rv with our Mr. Heater on low and the electric blanket.  I turned off Mr. Heater before going to bed and slept like a baby.  Actually, I overslept until 6 a.m.   The thing is, Tuesday I visited five schools that covered over 100 miles.   It was a good day but long.  The rv park continues to bring new people everyday and mostly Quebecers.   

Here at home I settled in with the cats for the night.  They love the heat from the electric blanket and will sleep almost through the whole night.  If I wake up and go to the john, they move around a bit until I tell them, "lay down and go to sleep".    They make a circle or two and they're down.

Today I went to the gym, did my weekly reports and did a little grocery shopping.  After being in the U.S.  155 pesos goes a long way.  I bought enough to have a kilo of chicken breast, veggies, two liters of milk, pan dulce, eggs, chorizo, and some fruit along with some other knick knacks.  I don't understand how poor people in the U.S. can afford to eat.   After a short nap I went for a haircut and then the day was shot.

I posted a funny video on Facebook about S N O W.  Juan saw it and he sent me a message immediately, " I'm ready to hit the road".  When he says that, that means it is time to get going.   Three more weeks and even though our space is paid in Texas I think we will head back and get down to where the action is.  

Don't forget about all the people in the Philippines who no longer have food, water or shelter.   This is the worst of the worst.   People here are making deposits in banks to send cash to help in the recovery. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Now Is The Time For Rving In The U.S.

Back in the valley this week for two days and you won't believe the gas prices.  Today I saw fuel for $2.80 a gallon.  The big question here and on the local news is how long will these prices last.  No one knows but I think we should consider rving for Christmas here in the U.S.  Nothing against my beautiful country of Mexico but no tolls to pay and much lower gas prices.  Too bad it's cold in Canada this would be a perfect time. 
But back to reality.  I mean really, how long will this last.
So now I am at a local library.   I walked in and the first thing they said was that I needed a library card.  Cool!  I want one.  Well, you need to have a local address and ID an be able to prove that address.  I explained my situation and they said no go but they would give me a one-time pass.  Then the librarian asked if I had any mail with my local address. Bingo!  I had just received a sample from a company that makes wood blinds.  They accepted it.
The weather is in for a change tonight.  The cold front is moving in and I am going back to the rv park and putting the electric blanket on the bed.  What a bunch of weenies.  The temperature will only be 50F but who cares.  I like it when we pretend it's cold out.  I'm making noodle soup with egg and salsa.  Yummy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Working

Our new police force has really been making us proud.  I shouldn't say new, it is now in it's third year and they are keeping the streets of our state safe.   They are hard-working, well-trained and well-paid.  That was the problem all along.  Crime was never what it is today and we had police who knew how to handle petty theft, and the local marijuanero on the corner.   

 Drunks were taken off the streets and local gangs were kept under check with an occasional operation to go in and clean them out.   It worked, we didn't have much faith in them with resolving murders and that really wasn't their job, we have the  policia ministeriales who handled the detective work.

Then crime started to increase due to the transport of drugs heading north.  Bush and Fox turned their heads for six years and pretended that nothing was happening.   As you know, even in my little town that was so infamously presented on 60 Minutes, we woke up one morning sitting in a cesspool of bodies, body parts, corruption and extortion.  Everyday we would wake up wondering what would be next.  

I was scared to death, I really thought it was passing but when it hit so close to home everyone here panicked.  We stopped going out at night, clubs, bars and casinos closed as people refused to go for fears the bad guys would show up and burn the place down as did happen in one case where 52 people lost their lives (doesn't matter now but it was actually a failed attempt at extortion).  We lived in that fear and we still do to some extent.

Our new police force is changing that.   Too bad other states where things are out of control cannot follow suit.  The problem is recruiting.   Our police are high school graduates, earn $1500 dollars after taxes and receive a laundry list of benefits.  They are required to spend time in barracks every month to keep them separated from temptations of what is going on.   It's a tough road.  Are things all better?  No and they will never be the way they were before.   Breaking up these major groups and killing or arresting 28 of the 37 on the big list that our last president had, only seems to have done more damage then good.  It left ragtag bands of young people with illegally imported high powered weapons that are now being used to kidnap, rob and extort the population.  

I have to say crime is way down here in this northern state.  Car thefts were out of control and have dropped by 80%, shoot outs between police or military and the bad guys is becoming a thing of the past.  In  fact, there hasn't been one in the last 9 months that I can recall.

So we are pretty happy albeit still wary of our new police.  If they continue on their current path, we are going to be in good shape.  The problem is recruiting and it has taken us a long time to form this team.  Every month the numbers grow as they are proving that the job is safer with better training, use of technology and pay.  These guys are also encouraged monetarily and through position to obtain degrees in criminology, forensics, public safety and administration.  

Here is a training video.  If you've driven from Laredo to Saltillo you have passed the university and training grounds.   We now have 2300 officers in the state group.  I wish them the best.

Police Video Nuevo Leon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's Broken

I hope I don't get caught posting this by anyone I work with in Texas but the system is in dire straits.   Visiting schools this week in the Texas valley has really opened my eyes.  As you know, I teach a one day course to prepare students for the university entrance exam and have been teaching in Texas high schools and now visiting the districts to promote the course.  Sure, it is a business but education became a business a long time ago.

Huge facilities are being built at multi-million dollar prices providing students with stadiums, personal training gyms, indoor swim facilities, huge cafeterias that no longer supply healthy food but allow concessions from all the big name fast food restaurants to open a venue in the "food court" of high schools.  This should be shocking but most people think it is really "que moderno", wow, super fancy, we are really going somewhere.

Yet in all of this, where are the students going in terms of their education?  Average SAT scores in the Texas valley hover around 1195 when the national average is 1500 out of 1400 points which isn't saying much for modern day education.  

More programs offering financial help to families, students and institutions continue to open up.  There are more programs for disadvantages kids than any other programs available.  They provide tutoring, free lunch programs, free transportation, free clothing, the list goes on.  How has it helped the disadvantaged children?  It has only brought them down to a lower rung, increased obesity, and an overall malaise for learning.

There are programs that fall under the category of early college.  Fantastic programs but the number of students is relatively small compared to the overall number of students in any district.  Good thing they are grooming these young people who really do have a desire to learn but what is happening to the rest of the students?  The average ACT score is still below the national average.   Forty million Americans today do not have a high school diploma.  

In addition, the average high school GPA is only 2.9, that means that 50% are under that number.  I guess my point of all this is that you can throw all the money you want at education but that doesn't make a student work harder or gain more knowledge.  In Mexico we recently had a girl, Paloma Noyola, who was named a math whiz and next in line to replace Steve Jobs.  She lives below the poverty line, goes to school in what most would consider a run-down shack with next to nothing in regards to technology and yet has accomplished what most kids never will.   It was her desire to learn, her parents who push her, and the teachers who work hard in her school to bring her the education every child in the world deserves.

Don't get me wrong, I am an American, I love traveling in the U.S. but the reality is, we are living on credit with a credit card that maxed out its limit years ago and money may make a place look pretty but not very functional.  The system is broken, it needs fixing, and if we don't get with it soon we will all be sorry we looked the other way.   

A bond issue was turned down by voters yesterday in Katy, Tx for a high school stadium with an estimated building cost of 70 million dollars.   Are they mad?  We've got our head in the wrong direction if you know what I mean and people need to stand up and say enough is enough and it is time to get back to basics in education.  Demand a pass or fail system where students are pushed to excel, pushed to do the best they can and push may not be the best word I could use.  All kids have the same abilities, it is a matter of taking advantage of what they have in them.   I'm tired of hearing that a 7 out of 10 is a passing grade.  What is the message being sent to a student who is told that the minimum is good enough?

As we say on internet forums, flame suit on!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Back From The Border

Ended up driving to Eagle Pass this morning to visit two schools.  They previously had a seminar at their schools and I went in hopes of rebooking.  And I did!   My first two days, not bad!

The cold front moved in as I was arriving in Eagle Pass and got colder and clouder as the morning progressed.  I left there for Laredo around noon and the rain just wouldn't stop.   It let up when I got to Laredo and another follow up visit at a school only to find the person was out for the day.

I gassed up and headed for the border.  I was really anxious to get home and a good thing I did.  The cats had no food so I have a feeling another cat got in and ate the food.   I hear the cat outside and it appears to be another stray.   Not staying here though.

When I arrived to the north side of Monterrey the rains were really coming down and it took me an hour and forty minutes to get home from the exit to Saltillo, Hwy 40.  What a mess.  I am so glad I don't work in the city anymore.  Done with that!

So now I am home until Monday when I return to McAllen unless there is a change of plans.  The cats are here on the bed with me and they look happy to see me.  I keep saying we need to install cameras here at home so we can see what goes on when we aren't here.  

I spoke with Juan about an hour ago and he was on the bus from D.F. to Queretaro for the convention.   His school visits went well and he is happy.   

Now I will relax for four days!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Working In Laredo

Took off at 6:30 this morning from the house.  I stopped for gas and then tried to make it through Monterrey before rush hour traffic.  It didn't happen.  I made it to the northside of town at 8:15.  That's where most people cut over on Hwy 40 heading to Saltillo and then south.  I got the Laredo bridge at 10:15 and got in line.  It was a short wait of 20 minutes.   The agents were nice, no issues and they let me go.  

I headed for the HEB to buy a phone card because I was out of time on my U.S. phone.  After, I went to the first school.  I made three visits today including one return visit.  The GPS did a good job and I was able to move around easily.  

Everyone has been nice and getting through the security levels wasn't as difficult as I had expected.  Some of the schools are in pretty run down areas of the city and the kids are, well we'll leave it at that.  There appears to be a lot of interest in the program and one school I visited was one of the first I presented at last year and they remembered me and were happy to see me.  I have an appointment with them tomorrow.

So far so good, I'm ready for my favorite beverage and some dinner.  After, I think I'll hang out and relax watching the news.  I got a call on my cell phone from the rv park manager.  She scared the s*** out of me.  I thought something had happened to the rv.  She is determined to sell us a park model and has a tenant who has their unit up for sale.   She wanted to know when I was going  back to McAllen and I told her maybe on Wednesday night depending on how much I get done here.

Juan made it safely to Mexico City where he too is visiting schools and will visit with friends of ours.  He heads to Queretaro by bus on Thursday morning.  He already arranged his trip for the convention and has a nice hotel so I know he is well taken care of.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Moping Around

 If you can't rv you sit around and mope!   Not really, I've used this week wisely preparing for my sales adventure in Laredo tomorrow.   A visit to eight schools in the city will be my work for Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday.  Then I'll return to McAllen for a couple of days before getting my next assignment.  

Juan leaves for Mexico City, Guadalajara and Queretaro to do his follow up research for his PhD.  That is coming to a close too.  Queretaro is the national teachers convention and I wish I were going but not a big deal anymore.  Time for the younger guys to do their thing and show the English teaching world what they have learned.   I have spoken at enough conventions in my lifetime about teaching so time to move over.

I spent most of the week around the house doing things to prepare for winter.   As you can see by the pictures below, the pool is slowly draining via evaporation.   Juan says it's weird but I don't want the water to be wasted so I am looking for someone like the city to come and suck the water out.  40,000 liters is a lot of water when we have been living for three years in a severe drought.  Having a pool during these times is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it?

 Our poor gazebo is ready to be retired.   We are thinking about replacing it but haven't decided how or what to do.  Hopefully that can be put off for another year.   Planning is taking place for our great North America adventure.   I'm seriously thinking about starting a separate blog for that.   I figure five months on the road will take up a lot of space.  

I took the pictures this morning.  It is such a beautiful fall day that I couldn't resist.  That's where the moping comes into play.   I realized the other day that even though we are not rving, we are busy and going places.  Unfortunately, we are not always together on these trips.  It is beautiful here and we should appreciate where we live.   Enjoy the pics, the mountains here are beautiful.  

If you're heading down to Mexico feel free to stop by, always a free site available at home for a small rv or down the road at our little resort where you can have water, electric and a palapa all to yourselves.