Sunday, November 27, 2016

I Had Forgotten It Was Thanksgiving

For many years we would celebrate Thanksgiving.  A big dinner here in Monterrey or we would meet friends in South Padre Island for a weekend and fix a big spread and hang out on the windy and cold beach.   As the years passed and so did many of our family and friends the get togethers seemed to be less and less.  Then the rv came along and were usually gone for the four days and at one time our first two rvs (Trailmanors) had ovens.   We would stuff a chicken and have all the fixings wherever we were.   This year I got up, went to the gym and off to a meeting when I heard on the radio that it was a holiday in the U.S.  I had thought about it the previous weekend and then Thursday was like any other day.

Later that day when I had a chance to read FaceBook I could see all of the greetings and wishes that people had posted.   I didn't see much of dinners though.   Family in Cincinnati posted a picture on FB of the great-nieces and nephews most of which are in college or finishing high school.  One of my great nephews, Cameron, was named 3rd Division Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

That's Cameron on the far right.

Another great-nephew, Bryson, is First Team All Southwest Ohio 

I did some work on the rv this weekend.  I don't want to wait until the last week to get things going only to find out that something isn't working.   Well, I found one.  The antenna wasn't working.  I had fixed the cable when I was in San Miguel de Allende over the summer.  It didn't last and I climbed up on the roof to fix it again.  Now, the darn amplifier won't work.  The LED flickered off and on and then quit.   I hate those things and I've never had one that worked worth a S@$#.   I just want to watch the news when we do have a signal.  It's always something.  

The roof looks great since we trimmed back the trees this year.  I want to wash the rv this week and wanted to see what needed to be caulked if anything.  Super clean and I did find some opportunity spots.  I found a couple of screws that hold the awning in place and they are hidden underneath.  Never seen a drop of caulk.   Some other minor parts that could use a dab here or there.  The LEDs I purchased work so well I may go back this week and pick up a couple of more.  

Friends Sharon and Bill who are fulltimers in their Lazy Days Class C, have purchased a home in Nayarit.  They've just started to do some updates.   They are birders and always have some great pictures to post.  Check out their blog The Odd Essay  Looks like they'll be spending winters here in Mexico.   We met them years back in Veracruz when we used to stay on the coast.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Clearing Out The Cobwebs

Alive and well. 

Wow, I can't believe it has been two weeks since my last blog post.  Kind of sounds like a confessional at church.

I'm finally off the road as far as work goes.   Home now and doing routine maintenance on the house and the rv.  We have our trip planned for December to Cuatro Cienegas but there is always some change of plans.

Barb posted that Hacienda Contreras is open and that Chema's is also welcoming rvers but the restaurant is closed.  We're in happy hour right now so we are talking about all the good times we have had over the last 15 years of rving.  One of those is traveling to Jalisco and Valle de Juarez along with our trip to Canada that we took and the great time we had in Oregon with my brother Steve and SIL Michelle.  

This is a three-day weekend celebrating the Mexican Revolution.  I have done quite a bit of research over the last two years regarding revolutions and their successes and failures.  Out of over 200 revolutions in the last three hundred years, only three have truly been a success of which the Mexican revolution was not one of them.  Hence the current conditions in Mexican economics and culture.

It is also the now famous Buen Fin, the discount weekend to help combat the flight of Mexican pesos to Black Friday.  Our news anchor of more than 40 years described it as the following;  "people are buying stuff the don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't even know".   We chose to stay home and do things around the house.  I will say that we bought a small 19" LED television for the rv that only uses 18 watts.  We like to watch movies and our Golden Girl dvds on a bit bigger screen than a laptop and from our bedroom.  The laptop stays on the bed and isn't convenient for our viewing pleasure.  It was cheap and has all the gizmos as well as a four year warranty from the manufacturer not that anything will happen.

What prompted me writing the blog today?  Well, Contessa and Colin are now in Mazatlan, Ruth and Kevin are in Romania, and Norma and Croft are heading down the west coast.  That's reason enough to clear the cobwebs and get things rolling around here.   

As for the rv, I bought some great LEDs for the overhead lights.  I am working with a guy now to have two AGM batteries installed under the sofa next to the converter so that I can move the inverter and install a transfer switch to make the outlets live.   Cleaned up the rv and will be doing a wash and sealing check to make sure we're good for the winter.  

Our Day of the Dead altar at school.  Click to enlarge, very interesting how they did the floor tiles.  They were made from wood shavings that were colored in vats with fabric dye.  Truly a piece of art.

Went with the family to the cemetery to visit the dead.  Mariachis, food, family.  

My last course in the U.S. for the fall season (El Campo, TX)
My last course in Mexico for the season.  Working with teachers in Tampico.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Finally, A Weekend RV Adventure

 Dia de los Muertos in our town square.

After quite a dry spell of not rving we are about to make a weekend trip.  We have been so busy with work travel the rv just kind of sits there.  Although a couple of weeks ago we did a driveway campout complete with movies and internet.  That was fun in itself.

The filming of our course in Morelia came and went although we have had fun with the project and the trips.  I still have two more trips pending this month.  One in Tampico on the 12th and then a trip to Houston for a day course in the rural town of El Campo.  I was there last year and they requested me again.

Our Mexican TESOL celebrated 43 years with our convention here in Monterrey the last week from Thursday to Sunday.  I gave two conferences on new materials.  2500 teachers attended the convention and we had big crowds.  The VP of our group asked me if I would be interested in working in the Middle East; Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia.  What do you think?  Let's see if it comes to light.

The weather is cooling down now and this is my kind of season.  Warm days and chilly nights.  By chilly I mean the temps drop to 18C and the daytime hovers around 28C with an occasional rainy day.

I've been watching too much YouTube and have become hooked on all the full time rvers, van campers and stealthers.   What a great life.   I'm hoping ours will come sooner than later.   As I said in the last blog, we are going to Cuatro Cienegas for Christmas.   It is located in the desert sands of Coahuila and has beautiful springs and pools that can be used for swimming or there are balnearios nearby.  It is not a popular place in the winter as Semana Santa is the big time for campers there.  Hopefully we will find the place nice and quiet spending time outdoors and also visiting the pueblo magico that is only 10 kms away.