Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eating, Eating, and More Eating

Tuesday, 26 Jan, Made a quick run to HEB, grocery store, then back to the RV to make a carmel cheese cake and baked beans for dinner at Mark and Dortha’s.  They were grilling brats and everyone was bringing stuff to go with them.  The place where they are staying all the sites are owned by people that then rent them out when they are not using them.  The sites have small buildings that you can finish however you want.  The one Mark and Dortha rented doesn’t have the building finished but it sure was nice to sit in while we ate….it kept the cold wind off us.

Gregg, Mark, and Debbie Lynette, Dortha, Rod

Wednesday, 27 Jan:  For Christmas we received a gift card for Red Lobster.  So we called Jerry and Leona and they met us for a late lunch.  While we were sitting inside waiting for them, they were sitting outside waiting for us.  Guess we got there before they did and it was about 30 minutes before I finally got Nolan to call…..we all had a good laugh and then enjoyed a great meal!

Thursday, 28 Jan, Debbie sent me a note that Happy Hour was at their RV around 5:00.  Gang got together for another good time of eating, laughing and talking.

Friday, 29 Jan, we took out to find a boot repair shop, Nolan needs new soles on a couple of pair and he wasn’t going back to the one he used last year since the guy and Nolan had a really hard time communicating…….Nolan doesn’t speak Spanish.  He talked to a couple of salesmen at a western store so I think he’s found a place to take them.  I’ve mentioned before that the Wal Mart and HEB are always extremely crowded and most times does not create a very nice shopping experience.  We had passed this K Mart that was close to our RV park so we decided to try shopping there this time.  What a difference!  It was almost empty and I had a great time looking at everything…..Nolan finally gave up on me and went to sit it out in the truck….I still had a good time!

Saturday, 30 Jan, Another get together but this time Gregg and Lynette were gonna bake potatoes.  I really have a hard time thinking of stuff to take so I looked on line for something.  I had some pretzels so I thought I would make a dip from scratch.  It was just OK….next time I think I’ll put more mustard in or maybe some hot spicy mustard. Oh well, something different!  Everything else that we ate was wonderful…..potatoes were cooked just right, Debbie’s Olive Garden salad was yummy, and Dortha’s german chocolate cake was moist and very good! 

Sunday, 31 Jan, When I got back to the RV last night, Leona and Jerry had called and invited us to breakfast for lunch.  We met them at Denny’s and wow what a crowd….waited about 20 minutes for a table; however, the food was really good and I love having breakfast!  Next was a trip to the flea market again.  Rest of the gang was leaving around 12:00 so we thought we might run into them and we did.  Dortha showed us the CDs for kids that have songs on them with whatever name you choose sung in the songs.  How cute!  I ordered two for my favorite little girls! Can’t wait for them to get them…..will send them in the Valentine packages.  Nolan was on the lookout for more books to read and he needed some more of the orange blossom honey that they sell there. I started feeling kind of bad so we made our way back to the RV and did nothing the rest of the afternoon.  Sure will be glad when it warms up again…..although I shouldn’t complain cause I know everyone at home is a whole lot colder!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wednesday, 20 Jan, we decided to all go out for a late lunch at the Riverside Club. It was kind of slow but it was a non boat trip day and it was late. The food was really good and the location was right on the Rio Grande River. Nice afternoon for sitting out on their patio which we did for about an hour after we ate.

2010 001 Lynette, Mark, and Dortha Gregg and Mark 2010 003 2010 004 Lynette Lynette, Gregg, and Dortha

The next day we were off to eat AGAIN but this time we had to go early in order to get in line. Rumor has it that at this place when the hamburger is gone they close the doors and there is always a line, so, we left the RV at 10:30 for lunch. We met Kathy and Chuck there and I borrowed Kathy’s pictures of the outside and Chuck’s lunch cause of course I didn’t have my camera again! One of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten and huge! Nolan and I shared a hamburger and onion rings. Very good!

This is Chuck and his lunch.Gonzales 2

This is the outside of the place. No name on the building and no advertisement….but the word gets out cause there sure was a line! Gonzales 1

Friday, we didn’t have plans but around noon, Lynette called to see if we wanted to go to the Flea Market. We said sure so we were off. Got there and they aren’t open on Fridays but the Farmer’s Market across the street was so we went in. Bought some oranges and a fresh pineapple, boy was it good! Of course we were all hungry again so we had been wanting to try the Crazy International Buffett. Oh my gosh….way too much food and it was good food. Too many choices!

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Gregg and Nolan making their way back to the truck! Gregg and Nolan

Then it was Saturday, 23 Jan, Nolan’s birthday. We had plans to go to the Chicken House Opry for a 2:00p.m. show. First we ate BBQ pulled pork sandwiches outside and then we went inside for the show. Pretty good show if you like country music and corny comedy!

Outside eating.

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Building the show was in.

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These pictures I borrowed from Dortha and Lynette....thanks! After the show we decided it was time for a DQ stop for ice cream and we were gonna drive through a couple of other parks to see if we thought they would be OK for some other friends to stay in. There are hundreds of parks around here and a lot that aren’t advertised anywhere. We found a couple of possibilities and Lynette will share them with Arlene and Kevin.

Sunday, 24 Jan, we woke to very, very strong wind! We had plans to meet at Gregg and Lynette’s for dinner so off we went around 4:00p.m. When I walked in their trailer, there was Debbie and Rod who we had not seen since last March in Kerrville. We all had been bugging them to come to the valley before they went to San Antonio to visit her son. They kept saying they couldn’t but all along they were planning to come to the valley and surprise all of us. What a great surprise….got us all, we had no idea!

Deb and Rod.

Deb and Rod

Monday, 25 Jan, was another Mexico trip day. Kathy and I really wanted to get a pedicure. The whole group had planned to go but this and that came up so only Kathy and Chuck and Nolan and I went across the border. We picked up Chuck and Kathy around our 11:30 at the park where we stayed last year. Didn’t look like much had changed and our site was empty. Kind of wished we had stayed there….I really liked the people there. We will have to get over there for Happy Hour before we leave the valley. First thing on the agenda in Mexico was to eat. Kathy said the Red Snapper was a great place to eat and it was just down the street. We walked, and walked, and walked. Finally, up some stairs and into a crowded room on the second floor of a building we made it. The food was wonderful. I had garlic shrimp and Nolan had the fried shrimp. Both were excellent! Then we were off to find a place to get our pedicures; however, before we found one, Nolan stopped off in a barber shop for a hair cut. Next, we, Kathy, Chuck and I, all sat down for our pedicures. Only $9 and I saw them clean all their stuff before and after they used them! Fun! We dropped Chuck and Kathy off at their RV and hurried back to let the dogs out and then Lynette sent me a text saying to meet them at Mark and Dortha’s for a late Happy Hour. We sat in Mark and Dortha’s motorhome for a couple of hours and laughed and talked… what a busy day. I’m ready to relax and do nothing!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Out and About With Friends

Wednesday, 13 Jan, Jerry and Leona, Nolan’s sister and brother-in-law, asked us over for dinner. She made salmon cakes with cornbread…..excellent.  They have rented a mobile home in the same park in McAllen that they were in last year and plan to stay here in the valley until the first of April.  Great time for us to spend some quality time with them!

Thursday, 14 Jan, was a down day with only an outing to HEB on the agenda.  Don’t know if I’ve explained what HEB is or not….it’s a Texas grocery store chain that always has excellent sales and a very good variety of product.  However, you should always be prepared to fight the crowds….always crowded!

Friday, 15 Jan, we rode over to RV Show with Gregg and Lynette and Mark and Dortha.

  2010 002Dortha, Mark, Gregg, Lynette Dortha, Gregg, Mark, Nolan, Lynette 

Nolan spent some time sitting outside waiting for us in the warm weather.

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Walked around the show for a couple of hours and decided that we would purchase tickets to go for a boat ride to see the dolphins.  We got the tickets for $16 cheaper for buying them at the RV show.   Should be fun!  We were off to Arturo’s for lunch to meet up with other RV Dreamers.  I had the best stuffed peppers but the service was a little lacking.


Lynette, Me, Kathy, Nolan, Chuck, Ed, and Marilyn.Lynette, Me, Kathy, Nolan, Chuck, Ed, Marilyn

Barb, Roger, Jesse, and part of Ginger.Barb, Roger, Jesse, Ginger

Barb, Roger, Jesse, Ginger, Dortha, and Mark.Barb, Roger, Jesse, Ginger, Dortha, Mark

After lunch we were in search of an indoor flea market that Lynette had saw in a magazine.  We finally found it after asking for directions at another flea market.  It didn’t show up on her GPS or on my iPhone.  We got there a little late as some of the booths were already closed.  Was a great fun day and the weather finally was what we were down here for--sunny and warm.

Saturday, 16 Jan, I had been complaining about the medicine cabinet door squeaking Nolan wanted to find the right kind of tool to take the back off our heater.  So, we were off to find a Lowes. While Nolan was looking for oil and the tool, I found a new spice rack for the kitchen.  I am so pleased with the new rack and the door doesn’t squeak anymore….I’m a happy camper!!!

Here’s the new rack extended.  It lifts up and pulls down so you can better see the contents.

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Here is the rack back in the cabinet.  I love it!2010 001

Sunday, 17 Jan, weather was too beautiful to stay inside so we left for the Don Wes Flea Market.  Nolan found his Orange Blossom Honey and one of those wooden back scratcher that I’ve been trying to get him to buy forever instead of scratching his back on the door facings.  Yeah!!!!  We walked around until our backs and feet were hurting.  Left to go find our favorite treat…..a stop at DQ for ice cream!  What better way to end a good day.

Monday, 18 Jan, we were off with the group again for a trip to Mexico!  We had a great day with friends and managed to get my medicine for over 2 years for $33.  Streets were really crowded and there of course was lots of things to look at.  We ate at Arturo’s, the Mexican one, and got much, much better service than we did from the one in the US.  Great food and fun day!  We made it home by 3:00 and we both took a short nap…..oh, the life of retirees….sure is tough!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sad and Happy

Wow, I haven’t posted for a very long time.  I guess I’ve just been trying to postpone talking about this day of the year, December 15.  I never know whether to say something or just remember it silently but somehow I always feel like she’s being cheated in some way if I don’t say anything.  So, this year I will just post some of the things that were said on Facebook about her: 

Carla Stenger:  9 years ago today my sister was killed in a car accident. If you knew her, would you help me remember her by sharing your favorite story of her? I love you and miss you Amanda.

Natalin Fletcher:  i can remember going to your house in the mornings waiting on the bus and playing the piano

Tera Steinbrink: Hanging out at Paula's house doing GA stuff. Good times!

Debi Dieman:  I remember her getting into my Home Interior stuff when I'd come to do Shows for your Mom. She thought your Mom should 'have it all'. She is such a pretty little thing; a tad bit hard-headed, but, with a precious heart. And she loves you very much. I speak in the present tense 'cause she's alive in our hearts. Love you, Carla. Love you three girls so!

Patti Bates Niebruegge:  One of my first memories of Amanda is babysitting you and her when Amanda and Brandi were just a few weeks old (there's only a month between them) They were both hungry at the same time. So there I was sitting on the couch holding a baby in each arm (cause they both wanted to be held) and holding a bottle for each baby. I knew right then I was glad they weren't twins!!!

Cortney Lahmann:  Man, I only went to Plato for three years in high school, but it seemed me, you and Amanda really hit it off when I got there. Lots of fun stories, but I remember on the way home from selling ads for Publications we stopped at Wood's to get a snack and we ran across the road to take a pic of her like she was Vanna White with the burnt up riding lawn mower (wonder how it got that way haha). She didn't think I would put it in the year book, but, I did =) Was too funny ;-)....My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family today. LOVE YOU!

Patti Bates Niebruegge:  One of my last memories is Amanda coming to a basketball game in Conway, Cain was less than a month old and he was slobbering, like babies do, and she reached over and wiped the slobber off and then wiped it on her jeans!!! and she called him Candy Cain.

Jessica Prock Waddell:  I remember all of the softball, volleyball and basketball trips. When we were younger and my mom was our softball coach and the entire team would go to the came in the back of our truck (not safe now looking back at it, but so much fun) :) I was so sad to here of the her passing and I really do miss her. She was such a great person and great friend!

Tisha Hildebrand Abell:  How about the time she got bit by that mouse at Webers. She was too soft hearted to let anyone kill it and when she tried to pet it it bit her!

Elizabeth Dawn Dye: Although Amanda was younger than me, I know what its like to have a younger sister you adore. I remember she always has a smile on her face. This is an awesome way to remember her!!!

Joni Garrett:  well i didnt know amanda well cause she was younger but i do remember when i would see her she was always happy and smiling.She has a great laugh and was always very nice to me.i just remember that she was a great person and Carla she will be missed dearly and i will always have a place in my heart and prayers for her.

Kate York:  Hey Carla. I remember when I was working at the store in eveningshade you and Amanda would come over to buy something to eat. I remember thinking how cute the two of you were and what good sisters you were.

Shelly McClure Shuler:  I think about Amanda every time I put on a pair of tube socks...... When we were all in junior high and playing basketball, Amanda would always make sure that her tube socks were pulled down perfectly around her ankles. I don't know why I think about that... but I always remember thinking how adorable she was and always wanted to look her best even on the court.

Marjorie Fulks Gracy:  Carla I remember so much I couldn't write it all. My heart aches for her every day. I remember how she wanted everything to be perfect. I remember how she wanted to sit up and talk after every one was asleep. She would always ask me about Tony, now she knows more about him than I do

Chuck Willis:  I can remember playing basketball with Amanda after school, and how competitive she was. She would not back down from anyone including me. She was an animal. She was also one of the most kind hearted people I ever knew. She would stay up and talk to me in the middle of the night when I felt like I was heart broken about some girl that had broken up with me. She could always make me laugh about anything. I think about her all the time. I can't wait to see her again.

Kelley Niebruegge:  I remember lots of stuff. Here's a few things...riding baby calves at rock creek. Hysterically laughing in grandma's kitchen it was late(for us at the time)we had just got there, all five of us rode up with mom. We at the table eating all kinds of junk food and caring on like we did. Tired and delirious we got the giggles. Amanda had banana ... See Morestuck to the top of her mouth, it was hillarious, the sounds that she was making while trying to talk and laughing at the same time. And of course rolling backwards down Grandpa Leroy's drive-way in a jeep. At a 6th grade or JrHigh basket ball game she sprained her ankle. I'm sure it did hurt to walk but she did sweet talk my dad into carring her back to the bus. Those are some that I remeber most often.

Dalan Marie Stuart: I remember when we went to Wyoming for GA camp there, on the way home we stopped at Cheyenne Fronteir days and of course Amanda and I got lost after the rodeo, everyone thought we did it on purpose, but we actually didn't, we finally made it back to the car about an hour many great memories!!!!

Brandi Niebruegge Couch:  Better late than never -- Manda was ornery! Always saying things that everyone else was thinking and didn't have enough nerve to say. Always so witty! There are so many things I remember: carving her name on my mom's headboard, trying to get the cat to eat by trying the cat food herself, waiting forever for her to get her hair/makeup/clothes just right in the locker room, watching movies like West Side Story or Dirty Dancing and then singing the songs, all 3 of us singing on the school bus as little girls and in high school, and so much more! I miss her terribly... Okay I have to stop now! :)

Teresa Irwin: I just now saw the post, but hey Carla you know me I am always late, but I never forget her and I thought of you guys on Tuesday, Where would I start I guess to say softball, softball, motel rooms, you two were like little nieces to us and we love you guys very much Amanda will always be in my heart. I will never forget the phone calls from her telling me she missed the bus and I would go take her to school, and the time Amanda, You, Anita and I were going to Anita and Bobs house from a game in Branson and we were singing savage gardens truely madly deeply at the top of our lungs, But I could go on, and on. Love you all very much

Grant Williams:  Hey Carla, sorry its a little late but I've been on the road for the past few days. Good stuff, I don't have a certain memory. but I will say I was driving through Iraq on the 15th and was telling the guy I ride with all about her..I think he was sick of the stories...LOL!!! It's crazy...9 years later, driving in the middle of Iraq and she's on my mind..She had quite an impact on my life..she still does. Love ya Carla!! Oh, I guess my memory would be when you and Amanda going fishing with me and Taco down at the river...Or when you and Taco caught us..well...that's probably enough, your mom will probably read this!!! LOL!!! Those were good times and I wouldn't trade them for nothin!!

Beth Barnes Wells: I remember way back when we were in band together. We both played trumpet and if I remember correctly Amanda had braces and when she played it cut her lip so she had to put wax on her braces. I just remember her picking wax out of her braces forever. I can't believe we were both band geeks. We had fun though. She always had a smile. She'll always be remembered like that. It was good to see you this summer Carla. Take care.

Erin Clark:  I remember driving with you to visit her at Baker. She was so sweet! I am so sorry for your loss:(

Jessica Hickman Nelson:  i loved amanda so much. thank you for putting her pic on here so i can see her and smile.

Steve Morrison:  I remember driving to Woods market and there was Amanda and her Dad standing around a lawn mower that she caught on fire. I guess she put gas in it and it spilled out and the starter switch was out and when she ared it over it caught on fire. LOL

She was so special and I miss her so much!

15 December was also Tuesday and you know what that means at Big Fisherman Restaurant in Rockport…..Lunch for $2.25…..chicken fried steak was really good.  Nolan saved the tails off his shrimp to feed all the cats that hang around outside the door….it was a gloomy, cloudy and windy day…..appropriate I guess….it’s been 9 long years.

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Wednesday, 16 Dec:  Very windy, cold and rainy day.  I made some chili that was not so good and we just hung out at the RV.

Now for the Happy part of this post.  Nolan and I were really wanting to see family for Christmas.  So Friday, 18 Dec, we took off for Missouri!!!!  Sun peaking out as we left Rockport (the first day all month that the sun was gonna shine) and made it to Carla’s by 9:00 p.m.

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The next couple of days were spent shopping and helping Carla get ready for Christmas….we had a great time!!!  Monday, 21 Dec, I had an appoint for a  hair cut and as soon as I was done we left for my sister’s in Roby.  Brandi and the kids came over as soon as we got there.  Brandi did not tell them who they were going to Grandma’s to see and of course they kept asking questions on the way there.  Finally, Cara said “Well, it better be Santa or Aunt Donna and Nolan!”

This is Miss Cara and Miss Brenna trying on hats that I was knitting.

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The next couple of days were spend with more shopping and wrapping presents.  Mom and Jim came to Patti’s on Thursday, 24 Dec, and it was time for the fun to start.  Nolan and I went to his niece’s for Christmas with his bunch and then later at Patti’s her kids were all still there and we got to see and play with all the kids!

Patti’s Christmas Tree before the presents were unwrapped!2009 006

  Getting ready to eat!

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Unwrapping presents!

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Great Grandma and all the great grandkids!

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Christmas day was just spent quietly at my sisters with her and my Mom.  Another Christmas Dinner was planned for Saturday and Carla and Chago was there

The next two days were just spent hanging out in Roby.

Tuesday, 29 Dec, was Christmas with my Dad and Grandma. Nolan and I went to pick Grandma up from the nursing home where she stays and got to Daddy’s before everyone else.  Brandi and Chris had to work so they were a little late…..we still had a great meal and managed to play one game of Uno before we left to take Grandma back to Mountain Grove.

Wednesday, 30 Dec, was the day to return to warmer weather.  We left at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t get back to Rockport until 1:30 a.m. 31 Dec.  What a long day!!!!  The last couple of hours was spent driving in very thick fog!  Dogs and I were very glad to be back home!

Next couple of days were spent just relaxing and getting caught up on the laundry.  Weather still not like what we had last year!  Saturday, 2 Jan, we decided to move to Seven Oaks RV Resort in Mission, TX.  Gregg and Lynette McHenry, RV Dreamer Friends, were at this park and said they were enjoying it.  It was one of the parks that we drove through last year trying to find one that wouldn’t be so crowed and had a little more grass for the dogs.  Sunny, warm day for travel.  I didn’t make reservations and when we arrived the office was closed but the Camp Hosts parked us in a site that they knew was empty for the weekend and hopefully Monday when we went to the office to register, they would let us stay and not have to move.  The office staff was very nice and said we could stay put….so, we’re here for the month of January.

Nolan’s sister and brother in law are here again this year and called Sunday to see if we wanted to meet somewhere for lunch.  So, after shopping at….you know where…..we called and had them meet us at MacAllisters Deli.  Great to see them again and I’m sure we will be doing other fun things with them while we’re here.

Tuesday, 5 Jan, was the day that Mark and Dortha Hall, RV Dreamer Friends, were to arrive in the valley.  Lynette call and invited us over for Taco Soup.  I made a blueberry cheese cake and we went over around 5:00.  It’s so much fun to get together with others who live the same life we do and share stories!

Wednesday, 6 Jan, Lynette called and invited us to go to the flea market but I was sick, just a cold and sore throat.  I didn’t go anywhere but Nolan went to Academy Sports while I just slept in the recliner all day.

Thursday, 7 Jan, still sick and I slept until noon.  Early afternoon, we went to Cracker Barrel for coffee.  I ordered an Apple Dumplin……wow, wish I had taken a picture….it was hugh and very, very good!  Made me feel much better!

Saturday, 9 Jan, we all, us, Jerry and Leona, Gregg and Lynette, and Mark and Dortha all headed out for South Padre Island Market Days.  First we agreed to meet up Pirates Landing Restaurant, Port Isabel, for lunch.  Wonderful seafood!  Pictures borrowed from Lynette and Dortha….thanks!

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Then we were off for some shopping at the Craft Show.  It was a great show…..lots of stuff to buy.  Leona and I finally made one purchase…..we neither one had ever tried the Tervis Tumberlers so we bought a package of 4 and split them.  I’m excited to try them to see if they are as wonderful as everyone around the booth said!  We managed to spend an hour or more there then we were off to find Leona a sweatshirt for golfing….the weather here is not much better than in Rockport…..cloudy, windy, and rainy!  After our sweatshirt purchases we headed back to our winter homes…..a fun and great day in the valley!

Rest of the time since Sunday has just been spent in the RV… actually is not that cold but it’s cloudy and rainy.  Guess we’re just spoiled by last year’s weather!