Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Time for an update so we can keep track of ourselves…

After we got the garden squared away it was time to get busy having fun, catching up with friends, swimming laps, doing yoga and having Happy Hours and dinner parties. And live music on the porch.

The first and second nights we were here friends invited us to dinner. That made a world of difference and we could wear ourselves out without having to cook. The second day we were here Lynn came over and said she had rescued four newborn kittens from under a house. Somebody shot the mother cat and she was trying to keep them alive. I have a friend in Kansas who fosters kittens and I know that keeping them alive when they are so young is a big job. I gave her some small syringes so she could feed them and we all hoped for the best. That night at dinner we told Susi and Richie about them and Sue went and got them the next morning, determined to foster them.

It was rough. Nevertheless she persisted. Feedings every two hours and three of them didn’t make it. The one remaining kitten did though and she is now nine weeks old! I visit every few days; Sue calls me Aunt Wendy. At first they thought she was a boy and named her Barney. Then a visit to the vet revealed that she was a girl kitty and she renamed her Ziva. None of us can stop referring to her as “he” and now her nickname is Squirt. She has been a little developmentally delayed but is finally figuring out the litter box. She is loving and playful and a sweet lap kitten. A real success story; she is out of the woods and firmly ensconced in our hearts. Sue really did her research and my hat is off to her for her success. Here she is about six weeks ago when she was still really tiny. And when she was still Barney.
And here she is today. She loves her litter boxes (and she has several), just not exactly for the intended purposes. Yet…


When I got home Carmella said, “Don’t even think about it.”
IMG_1497We needed our annual tooth cleaning and Jim was having some pain from a crown so we headed to Mexico to see Dr. X. We always have good results there. And a teeth cleaning is $25! The last time I had my teeth cleaned in Kansas it was $150. That all went well but when Jim came out he said they did an X-Ray and a 3D MRI of his mouth and determined that he needed a root canal. Then they said they could do it that same day and would take about an hour if he could get hold of his “specialist.” While we were sitting in the waiting room, a guy in black scrubs walks in with a toolbox. I said, “I bet that’s the specialist.” And it was. They took him straight back and I walked around for an hour.

We went to get margaritas at Angel’s, then to lunch at The Red Snapper. We were starving by then. And the best thing? Jim’s pain went away IMMEDIATELY! No recovery time, no discomfort once the Novacaine wore off. He said he had a root canal in the States many years ago and it cost $2000. The total cost for the X-Rays, MRI and root canal was $395.

One day we went to South Padre Island for the Annual Sand Carving Festival. It was another really hot day but the carvings were really creative and well executed.

On October 23rd we finally had our Better Late Than Never Open House and Garden. The weather was delightfully cooler and we had a good turnout, about 80 people. And LOTS of food! Marilyn brought us flowers and we celebrated with our friends.
We had a lot of fun and enjoyed showing off our new quilt by my friend Marg Higgins. We received it just in time for the event and it was greatly admired. Carmella likes it too.

Another little house project that made a big difference was two simple shelves. Jim added an extra shelf in the cabinets under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom. Doubled our storage space. And we bought a new dishwasher and refrigerator. We finally have an ice maker that can keep up with us! And the dishwasher is amazing. When we moved into the house last year and started having dinner parties, we soon discovered that we had to wash the dishes even after they had been through the dishwasher. Urk. We bought one off the floor at Lowe’s and it didn’t take long to get used to it.

IMG_E1158We have started having dinner parties, gearing up for Thanksgiving when we will have ten people. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; I love to cook all day and drink Tequila Bloody Marys, a holiday tradition. Click here for the Tequila Bloody Mary recipe. You will not be disappointed!
We’re mixing it up a little this year. Cher, our event coordinator, decided that we should branch out from our usual group and she and I both invited eight people, concentrating on the people in the motorhomes and trailers since it’s harder for them to cook. We will all meet up for champagne and appetizers at B’s house, then move to our respective dinners and meet up again for after dinner drinks and conversation. We ended up with 10 since a couple of our original invitees were going to another friend’s, but she had a TIA. We are happy to welcome them too. Have the fun now. Spend the money NOW! Our good friends from Oklahoma are coming too.

What else have we been doing? Hard to remember. We were invited to Mariachi Aztlan at UTRGV and it was fabulous! The poise and talent of the young musicians is pure pleasure to watch and listen to.

We decided to go back to Xcalak, Mexico next spring so we booked ourselves into Playa Sonrisa where we haven’t been since we started traveling in the bus. We are looking forward to having a “real” vacation…where somebody cooks for you, cleans for you and we really don’t have to do anything except spend money. We will meet up with two different sets of friends while we are there.

We wanted to put together a houseboat trip but that didn’t work out so we will try again next year (2021).

Since we have to travel differently next summer to avoid another garden disaster we started looking at European Bike and Barge tours. Jim found one on the Danube that lasts two weeks. So we booked it for two weeks in August.
IMG_1491Oh yeah. The chickens are still here. The workers in the park have been trying to catch and “re-home” them but it is going slowly. First they tried what I call a Mexican chicken trap, a laundry basket propped up on a stick with some feed underneath. The other birds sit on the laundry basket, trip the trap and then the chickens eat the bait. They spend a lot of time in the garden since it is really the only haven for them. I can’t really do much with them still coming here. They dig indentations in the soil to take their dirt baths and until they’re gone I can’t mulch or use landscape fabric. We are down to two roosters and four hens. They know something is going on and they are very skittish and independent. Time for measures that actually work.

IMG_1491The garden is coming along. I have cannas, rubber trees, castor beans and a few cactus. The elephant ears are returning and a friend in Missouri sent some more. The fire ants are here too. A cold spell came through and it got down to 45 degrees; we were all freezing. We even had three inches of rain the other day. With no flooding.  Whew.

This is long, I know. We started the blog to keep track of ourselves; I guess I better update a little more often.

As I write this, the band members are playing music on the porch, friends are dropping by and it’s almost time for Happy Hour. The temperature is almost 80 degrees. Life is good. We are BIG BIG lucky.





2 comments on “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

  1. Awwwww, little Squirt is adorable! I can really relate, doing the 2-hour feedings and the rest. I only lost one from that bunch, but wow, you’re right: it’s a LOT of work!! :}

  2. Hi Wen very nice use of EMC table WGC style

    best wishes for grateful week and into the next holidaze. Started at Target yesterday and will have human stories to savor.

    best to you both from us.

    xo Tien

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