Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Getting Ready to Hit the Road (what we have been up to lately)

Roger here...  Our springtime at Retama Village in South Texas is running short.  We are in the process of getting the motor home ready for a summer sojourn (with more frequent blog posts).  

It is raining today --- an ideal time to let you know what we have been up to lately.

Retama Village is a busy place.  Social events abound during the winter season.  During my time as an officer, we attended most of them (kind of exhausting).  We are not as active now, but we do enjoy joining some of the fun.  

A few weeks ago "friends" approached us and asked us to join them in crashing the first Retama Village Prom.  We were to dress up as the cast of Grease, arriving late with the sounds of motorcycles in the background.  

Here's a photo of the entire group of party crashers:

We were greeted by the school nurse who told us that we looked like trouble and passed out white balloons for us to use as protection.  Hmmmm?  Dianne dressed up as one of the Pink Ladies.

I was one of the greasers.  Our job was to hassle all of the well-dressed prom guests as we strutted through the crowd.  You probably had to be there to appreciate it, but it was really a blast.  

For my old high school friends...  This is how you remember me, right? :-)

It sounds a little corny, but it was really a great time.  You know you are having fun when you catch yourself laughing and smiling nonstop. 

Dianne here:  Part of the fun of this "senior" prom was the option to visit the local ropa stores to find prom attire.   Click the link see a photo of our friends

  (I borrowed the photo link from their travel blog.   One great thing about living in an RV community is that we can often keep up with our friends' summer travels by reading their travel blogs.   Greg and Barb's blog is one of those listed on our sidebar).

Oh look...  the lovely Prom Queen (Vicki) and her escort King Greg.  Greg's date, Barb, was one of the princesses.  I actually got to dance with the Prom Queen!

What fun!

One of the simple joys of our winter home is watching nature unfold from our back patio.  The opening picture is obviously of a newly-hatched Monarch butterfly.  Every morning we checked the chrysalis that was hanging from one of our patio chairs to see if it had hatched.

We were quite lucky to see it just before its first flight.

Bandido here....  Hmmm.  What is this and why is it on my patio?  Should I eat it or just chase it away?  Maybe I'll just ignore it.

Roger again...  The planting area at the back of our lot has been growing exponentially.  Here are a few then (a year ago) and now pictures.

Cape Honeysuckle shrubs on the left.  Mexican Poinciana Tree on the right....

Corner shot of a queen palm and a robellini palm with a butterfly weed (attracts monarchs) in the foreground....

I could not find early photos that match these next two pictures, but suffice it to say that the low-to the-ground blue mist flowers  (that attract hundreds of butterflies) emerged from three tiny plants.  The purple skyflower was nothing but a stick in the ground.

The jasmine vines, now in full bloom, that are growing up trellises to the top of the pergola have only been in the ground for a few months.

Speaking of things that grow from the ground, we have enjoyed watching the vacant lot next to us transform into a casita --- just like ours.

We have joked about being the only house in this part of Retama Village, considering ourselves to be the frontier of the subdivision.  It will be great to have Don and Sue as next-door neighbors in a few weeks.

Changing topics...  As you might know, Dianne and I volunteer at Cinderella Pet Rescue, a no-kill shelter for dogs and cats.  I was recently asked to do a recurring segment for the rescue center at the local Fox affiliate.  I have appeared on local Indianapolis TV several times in the past (job-related), however, it was usually (not always) some kind of investigative report --- very stressful.    This time was actually fun.  I was able to take one of my favorite dogs, Phoenix.  Freddie, the host of the morning show, made it very easy to say good things about Phoenix and the rescue center.  Hopefully, I will get to do it again.

Dianne here:  As you know, while we're here in Mission, Roger and I volunteer twice a week at Cinderella Pet Rescue, walking dogs, giving treats and hugs, and in the case of Roger, appearing on local TV.   Last Thursday was a very special day at Cinderella, and I thought I'd borrow a few photos taken by Pam, another volunteer, to shower you readers with some unbearable cuteness.  

A few weeks ago, a skinny but very pregnant stray dog we named Liza showed up at Cinderella.   She was too far along to be spayed, so we joked that we hoped she wouldn't have 10 puppies.   Well....Liza had 13 PUPPIES shortly after she arrived!

We thought with so many pups there would be bottle feeding needed and lots of extra work.   Liza, however, has been a wonderful mommy and all the pups are fat and happy.  

Last Thursday the volunteers were asked to help bathe the puppies and do the first de-worming.
Here are some photos taken by Pam, one of the volunteers that day:

I warned you about the unbearable cuteness part....
We don't know what type of dog the dad(s) were, but the mom is a medium-sized shepherd and sweet as can be.  If you are in the market for a puppy (or Liza, the mom), they will be spayed and neutered with microchips and shots and ready to go in a few weeks.   Let's hope they can all find a loving, forever home quickly!  If you know anyone who may be interested, you can find contact information for Cinderella at the link above. 

If you can't adopt or volunteer, but still want to help, here is a link for our Go Fund Me page to raise money for the spay/neutering and other myriad expenses required for this huge litter of cuteness.  Liza and Puppies Fund.   Needless to say, we are having a population explosion right now with all these new puppies. 

  The best part of the day Thursday was cuddling each puppy in a warm towel until they were dry, then returning them to their freshly-cleaned kennel and newly-bathed mom.   Liza met me with each pup that I brought and immediately licked them to welcome them back.   Roger and I were wet and covered with puppy when we left there Thursday afternoon, but it felt oh, so good!

The pet picture of the day fits with the theme of our impending departure.  Dianne recently bought a couple of elevated dog bed/hammocks to keep the dogs off of the dirt in the campgrounds and RV parks that we will be visiting.  Bandido is keeping an eye on Big Chuck while he tests out his new lounge furniture.