Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Hoping everyone's holidays are joyous with family as we celebrate the reason for the season...the birth of Christ.

We will be leaving tomorrow for Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, and will be there until early April.  We are looking forward to our next new home and the adventures that await us.

Until next time...


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Out and About in Mission

One of my brothers was a motorcycle policeman in Mission back in the '50s.  That's the first I knew of Mission, Texas.  We lived in San Juan when I was growing up.

Mission was founded in 1908.

That is La Lomita (little hill) Mission which the town is named for.  It was built to serve the families of La Lomita Ranch.  This chapel is halfway between Roma and Brownsville and was used for various things including a rendezvous for the "Padres on Horseback." 

This skeleton of a building on the only hill in the area is another historical building that is in disarray.  It was a three story building and was used for 65 years.  It was St. Peters Novitiate and was the training center for priests.  The mission is nearby and was all part of the La Lomita Ranch.

John Conway was the founder and the main street running north to south is named for him.

John Shary is known as "The father of the Texas Citrus Industry."  He moved here from Nebraska before WWI.  He saw the potential here, had the money and business sense to make it work.  He is responsible for irrigation with United Irrigation Company.  He bought up 30,000 acres to form the little community of  Sharyland, next to Mission, which he planted in citrus and built his home.

The Texas Citrus Fiesta is held in January, started in 1932, and has been going strong since.  Three days of festivities drawing a crowd. Our oldest son was a page and rode on one of the floats with the queen and her court.

Another famous, less known person was William Jennings Bryan.  In 1912, he was the Secretary of State.  His home and marker are on the corner of Bryan Road and Two-Mile Line.

The Mission Museum is free to the public and is in the old office building of John Shary.  It is located near the post office.

After my dad's death, Mama went to work in a packing shed packing that citrus just like the women that are portrayed here.

This is the steeple of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church...1899.

This mural is 95'X18' and pays tribute to the life of Tom Landry, the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years.  He was a home town boy who grew up in Mission and played football here.  His footprints and prints of his hands are at the base of the mural.

We raised our family with our 3 sons graduating from Sharyland High...the best school in the Valley at that time, probably still is!?!  Our old stomping grounds for 30 years.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beach Bums

There is just something special about time spent on a beach.  Walking barefoot in and out of water splashing up on our legs, the sound of crashing waves as we search for shells, and seeing how many species of birds we encounter.

We leave at 5:00am. We drive to the end of the road on South Padre Island

where the red skies of morning greet us to start the day.

There are very few people who venture this far north and that is exactly why we go here!!!  The few people we do see are fishermen and most are driving up to the Port Mansfield Channel where there is another set of jetties, a good fishing spot.  In 1964, the island was split up by this channel.

It is a cloudy day, good for spotting shells.  The tide is going down... a perfect day.  I feel the day is not complete unless I find a sand dollar and a sun dial.  Finally, on our way back, there it is, the only sun dial for the day.  We have a very good collection of shells from the east and west coasts as well as the gulf.  My prize shells are the Queen Conch (which was given to me) and the left handed Knobbed Whelk that I found on an island off the Delmarva Peninsula.

A left handed Knobbed Whelk is a rare find.  Lightning Whelks are all left handed...Texas state shell.  

We collect  old bottles, driftwood, sea glass mostly from Maine and pieces of smooth clam shells from the gulf, the latter two go into Mason jars and are quite decorative.

Angel Wings, Turkey Wing, coral, cockle shell, scallops, Mermaids Toenails or jingle shell, to a limpet.  Oh yes, the sandwich bean.

There were a few of these Portuguese Man-of-War.  Watch out for those stinging tentacles, OUCH!!!  The tentacles are up to 100' long.  

Willet, Royal Tern, and a Snowy Plover in the foreground.

Oh, how I love it!!!  This kinda stuff makes for a grand day!

Until next time...

Friday, December 14, 2012

An Afternoon with Friends

We invited our good friends over and spent the whole afternoon catching up and reliving our fun days growing up and going to school here in the valley.  This is Kathy and Sam.

Wallace and Sam have known each other since 5th grade.  They are "best buds."  We all graduated from PSJA High School (Pharr, San Juan, Alamo).  Sam lived in Alamo, Wallace and I lived in San Juan and Kathy lived in Pharr.  We were all combined when we reached junior high and high school.  This is where the  friendship began.  Most of our friends have moved away, but Sam and Kathy still live here.

Wallace and Sam were big football jocks as well as other sports.  Wally was #76, played various positions, and was awarded a football scholarship to Texas Tech.  Sam was an offensive end.  Sam was a professor at Pan Am with a doctorate in Physics.

Our lives have taken different paths but we try to connect every year we are back in the valley.  They are very special to us.

Sam loves my brownies (lots of chocolate chips).

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Doctor, Doctor...

Give me the news"...as the old song goes.

We have no reason to sing the blues as all our medical things have been done and we have been given a clean bill of health.  From dental to eyes, physicals, blood work, and do you know what these are? 

My pasties for my mammogram.  This is to remind all you ladies to have your yearly mammogram.

Until next time...                                                                                                

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

The week before, we went to our dentist and I broke out with a cold sore.  The day after Thanksgiving, we went to our family doctor for our physicals and I came down with a severe head cold!?!  What's with that?  I have not been out and about in a while and am just now feeling like doing this blog.

Some butterfly pictures to share with you...

Gulf Fritillary

Red-lined Scrub-Hairstreak

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak/Southern Skipperling

Southern Skipperling

We had Thanksgiving dinner at our sons home along with 25 people.  Here Mitchell and Wallace are carving the turkeys.

And outside,  the grandkids and I are discovering an inch worm.

Here at the "Village,"  the hedges are getting trimmed...

Only a few flowers are now left...

One little Guayacan flower before the clipping.

These sites are in a circle and they are pull throughs.

There are also these little houses you can rent.

This is our site...all groomed now.

This Curve-billed Thrasher was wondering what happened to his bush.

Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Home Again, Home Again...

We arrived in "The Valley" on the 9th to the wonderful smell of plastics burning and blowing over from Mexico, and my sinuses are giving me fits!

We are staying at Bentsen Palm RV in site 624, and will be here until the first part of January when we will then move to the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR where we will be volunteering until March.

This is where you check in upon arrival.

There is an Esperanza lined bike path where you can ride all the way to Conway.

We have been busy with our grandkids...


Picking them up from school and watching them taking swimming lessons.

Wallace went to the deer lease with friends...

while I took a hike over to Bentsen State Park.

Staying here at the park allows you free admission.  Did not see anything out of the ordinary.  Green Jays are a dime a dozen!!!  The butterfly park is just down the road, and Thanksgiving week is the best time to see rare butterflies.  I will be searching to see what I can come up with to share with you.

We will be seeing our doctors, shelling pecans from our sons yard for pecan pies, and eating at our favorite Mexican food restaurant Taco Ole on business 83 in Sharyland.  So many things to do...

Our state bird, the Mockingbird, eating a berry off of the Turk's Cap.  They are tasty...

Until next time...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bison Auction

As promised, I am finally getting around to posting about the auction while we were at Wichita Mountains NWR.

This bison handling facility was designed by Temple Grandin, an autistic woman, who had a concern for the humane treatment of animals.  It is truly an amazing feat of mazes and gates and catwalks.  So we shall start with a few pictures of it.

The bison are led down a maze with gates that open and shut.  This one is being led to the main area where it will be auctioned off.  Wallace is in this area, helping with the gates.

Skulls are auctioned off as well.

This auction draws a pretty good crowd.

This big boy was first to be auctioned off.  Number 8.  With his head lowered and tail raised, you can tell he was not a happy camper.  He is four years old and weighs 1500 lbs.

Notice his black tongue.  He sold for $4000.00.

This caught my eye.  Real cowboys from all over came to bid.

Their trucks and trailers back up to this gate to load them up.

Notice the concrete ridges on the floor.  That keeps the gate secure while these powerful animals are loaded.

I said goodbye to number 8

as I heard this flock of 30 Sandhill Cranes flying south overhead, reminding us it was time for us to migrate south too.

Until next time...