Roger here... Yes, we are still alive. Life has been busy for the two of us. I just finished a year as the director of activities here at Retama Village, and am preparing for a year as the chairman of the community advisory committee before returning to a normal pace and a second retirement. I will not bore you with everything, but I will tell you there has been little time to write blogs.
Dianne keeps busy as the unofficial Retama librarian. She rides her bike to the clubhouse nearly every day to shelve newly-returned books and to weed out those that no one seems to read, to make room for more current ones. She is in her element.
Dianne's other major activity is dedicating her time and soul to the Cinderella Pet Rescue Center just down the road. I will let her explain what she does there.
|Pirate, Black Bart, Paulette, and Barbie|
|I REALLY had puppy fun this day!|
|Sue, dressed for puppy duty - the boots are a great idea!|
|Jubilee - a little sweetheart who needs a home!|
Since I have more time than money, that's what I give them, but they can always use monetary donations, too. Bandido and Tequila were both adopted from Cinderella, and this is my way of giving back. I can't imagine life without them now!
|Sienna - a house-trained beautiful border collie mix ready for a home! She has a twin brother available, too.|
Here's a link to their web site if you'd like to learn more about Cinderella or the dogs available for adoption (click on "dogs"):
Now, back to Roger...
Retama Village is a busy place with lots of activities --- all organized by the residents. We have Oktoberfest, ice cream socials, monthly birthday bashes, Monday Night Football get-togethers, and evening happy hours in which everyone brings a heavy hors d'oeurvre. I will tell you about three of the bigger events:
|Thanksgiving with good friends and good food!|
|1970s - The abyss of fashion....|
(As explanation, as part of the party fun there was a display of photos from our younger years; it was a lot of fun to try to put names with young faces!)
The Retama Derby was an event that took place on another evening. Six people dressed up as jockeys and raced through a course (using the throw of a couple lighted dice). The opening photo is actually a victory photo of me and my steed, Purdue Pete, after winning the first heat. Here we are in the middle of one of the races.
Our neighbor, Bob, won the award for the best- dressed jockey. (Look closely -- he even has "hooves"! -- D.) Bob's enthusiasm really contributed to the festive evening!
The ladies wore Kentucky Derby-like hats. Here's Dianne and our neighbor, Linda, wearing fresh flowers from our gardens.
|Our friend, Marian, serving up mint juleps|
Enough of the partying. Our outdoor areas are continuing to flourish. Dianne's black-eyed susan vine has enveloped the trellis and is now producing flowers.
The tomatoes are progressing nicely. We should have a nice crop by Christmas.
Dianne is so proud of her Moonflower Vine. It produces gigantic, fragrant blooms every evening.
Our new garden area in the back attracts an amazing number of butterflies. I counted more than twenty this morning fluttering around one of the plants.
I started a project yesterday. We purchased an ice machine to put next to the bar on the patio area of our coach house. It has been sitting on a set of stacking tables (in the space between the bar and the ice chest in the photo). The cheap tables have been very functional, but were beginning to resemble their monetary value. I thought that in addition to the colorful flowers, we needed some colorful furniture. Sooooo......
I think this is bright enough. They should be completely dry tomorrow so I can re-stack them and move the ice machine off the bar.
It seems funny celebrating Christmas when it is 85 degrees outside, but Christmas season it is. We gave most of our decorations away after we sold our house, but we did keep a few that we keep in a trunk at the back of the closet.
We purchased this nativity scene in Progreso, Mexico a year ago. Couldn't find Baby Jesus this year, so we may have to make a return trip over the border to buy a replacement. Chances are, we'll find him when we put the decorations away.
We also disposed of all our outdoor Christmas lights and swore that we would never take the time to put them up again. However....
|Our pergola is perfect for icicle lights to illuminate balmy happy hours...|
If there's nothing new that day, we can always revert back to "what I did last summer," which in their case was to travel around Europe for three months! If you'd like to read about their summer travels, here's a link to Bob's blog:
|Where's our treat?|
Sometimes our other good Retama friends, Jim and Sue and/or Mike and Brenda stop by, too. There's always cold beer in the cooler, so if you happen to be walking down our street around 5:00 stop on in and join the group! (You'll hear the laughter from the street).
|The squirt gun is to keep Bandido in line; the box wine is to save money.|
The pet picture of the day is a little unusual. We have all sorts of flora and fauna here in the Rio Grande Valley, most of it beautiful. Some of it, a little scary. The other day when I opened the outdoor ice chest to get a beverage, something plopped into the water at the bottom of the cooler. I soon discovered what it was as I gently placed this bottle of beer onto the patio deck.
|At least the scorpion has good taste in beer....|