Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pool Party, Dog Party, Garden Party

Roger here....  We continue to make progress to hit the road in April (minor RV repairs, deciding what to take with us, dog vaccinations, etc.).  However, there have been a few distractions --- note the opening photo.

Pool Party Time!  The Retama Pool Party was postponed last week due to a forecast of rain.  However, the organizers of the  party (Sue and Sue) managed to pull things together yesterday, and the weather was perfect.  Take a peek of Dianne in her island wear.

Ron and Barb brought beer margaritas (an interesting concoction that was amazingly good) to share with the group.  They did not last long.  (Barb graciously shared the recipe, so here it is:
Beer Margaritas
1 can frozen limeade
1 can lemon/line soda
1 bottle Corona beer
1 can Silver Tequila (can from limeade)

1 lime (optional)

Add first four ingredients to a pitcher. Squeeze the lime into the mix. Serve and enjoy!       --

A game of no-rules volleyball (just batting the balls back and forth) broke out between the guys and the girls.  (Put a bunch of Baby Boomers in a pool, add margaritas, and watch us all revert back to our childhood....)

How many people will fit into the Retama hot tub?  Only 21 this time.  OK.... 21 is the mark to beat.  Hopefully, a new record will be set next year.  (No photo of the "let's-see-how-many-of-us-will-fit-until-it- overflows," because Roger and I were squeezed in there, too -- D.)

And then there was the show stopper.  The lovely ladies from the high-energy aerobics class put on a synchronized show with music from the Beach Boys.

There was noodle waving.

There was noodle slapping.

There was a perfect circle of noodles.

AND there was our friend, Bernard, taking lots of pictures of the lovelies.

Dianne and our friend Sue seemed to be having a good time...

After the performance, the ladies all lined up in their grass skirts to pose for the cameras.

Look who's still taking pictures.  Bernard, you devil, you.

Time to turn the blog over to Dianne.

Dianne task is to update on other recent events.  You've read in our blog before about Cinderella Pet Rescue.  That is where we adopted both Bandido and Tequila.  Our village sponsored a hot dog picnic at the palapa last Sunday to benefit Cinderella.  All dogs were welcome, and folks from both Retama Village and Bentsen Palm Village RV park next door participated, even those without dogs, and even some who are not particularly dog lovers.  Raffle tickets were sold, donations were accepted, and the kind hearts raised almost $900 to help feed and care for the animals at Cinderella. 

 Roger and I won a $25 gift certificate at Mission Veterinary Hospital, which we promptly cashed in the next day at our appointment.  It put a "tiny dent" in our bill, which included pet meds for 6 months, microchip for Tequila, shot updates for Bandido, etc. etc.  Here are a few photos from the gathering with captions:

Bandido Cooling Off 
Not too long after this photo was taken, Bandido snatched a hot dog from the hand of a woman who was trying to dip her small dog in the pool with one hand while holding her hot dog in the other.  Luckily, she was a good sport about it, and chided Roger that he owed her a beer.

Foster and Houdini -- Together Again!
I must explain the above photo.  Soon after we arrived at Retama last fall, the neighbors kept spotting two stray dogs in the neighborhood; a larger brown dog followed by a very tiny puppy.  Neighbors both at Retama and Bentsen Palm Village RV park tried for weeks to catch the strays, but they were very skittish.  Finally, neighbors Geri and Hoby were able to catch the tiny pup and decided to "foster" it until they had room at Cinderella Pet Rescue.  All of us had been very worried about this tiny pup because the area is home to dozens of wild coyotes, bobcats, hawks, owls, etc.  We assume it stayed alive by sticking close to the larger brown dog.  Well, the "fostering" turned into "adopting" and now Foster has it made in his forever home with Geri and Hoby.  
Foster with his Dad, Hoby, at the BPV Pet Parade in Feb.
More weeks went by and no one was able to lure the brown dog close enough to catch him.  Finally the Mission animal rescue department caught him using a dart gun, and he has been at Cinderella Pet Rescue ever since, slowly acclimating to people and other dogs.  It has taken a lot of people and a lot of time to get Houdini ready to adopt out.  Houdini was the guest of honor at the hot dog party.  He's still waiting for his forever home, but socialized just fine with all the people and dogs at the party.  He and Foster were able to run and play together at the party. 

Here's a great photo taken of Houdini by Mary Russell, a photographer from the rv park, who was in attendance.  She also took the photos I'm using in our blog's side bar of Bandido and Tequila.  Houdini's photo also graced all the posters advertising the party, and I'm sure his story helped the attendance and the donations.  Let's all hope he finds a loving home soon.  If you know someone who might be interested in a very intelligent dog, contact Cinderella Pet Rescue.  BREAKING NEWS:  On March 31, Mary Russell (the photographer) adopted Houdi!  He'll have a wonderful home now; summers in Canada, with a one-acre fenced-in yard, and winters back here at the RV park next door, so we'll all get to see him at the dog park!

The "garden party" part of this blog isn't really a party.  Roger and I have increased our planting area to incorporate more butterfly-attracting plants.  Here are just a few photos with captions showing the latest additons:

Texas Butterfly Weed

Purple Sky Flower 

Prickly Pear ready to Bloom

Jasmine Vine Blooming 
Mexican Olive Tree Blooming

Mexican Olive Blossoms look like Snow

We asked the planting crew to plant the purple sky flower bush because of the beautiful blossoms, and found out after the fact that once the blossoms fade they are replaced by beautiful orange berries!  This bush is just a baby right now, but it will get very large, as will the yellow esperanza bush:

Baby Esperanza bush
When it is mature, it will tower over our heads and be covered with yellow blooms!

We also had our beautiful salmon-colored bougainvilla bush moved from a pot to the yard with irrigation so that it will not die while we're gone this summer.  It should also grow to be very large.

Jasmine Vine next to Pergola
The fragrant jasmine vines we planted next to the pergola supports are growing nicely.  Roger put some fishing line from the top of the trellis to the roof of the pergola.  We hope to come back next fall to vines trailing over the top of the pergola, giving us fragrant shade!!

The pet picture of the day is Tequila, all bathed and sporting a blue bandana just before the hot dog party at the palapa.  Another Cinderella Pet Rescue happy ending!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pirates and Irishmen

Roger here....   Our winter home at Retama Village in Mission, Texas is quite the active place.  We tend not to write about all the events here.  If we wrote about all of them, we would not have time to attend them.

However, now that the weather has stabilized to sunny and around 90 degrees every day, we have a couple of cool events to report.

Arrrgh! 108 villagers became pirates on Tuesday afternoon.  The transformation from upstanding citizens to thieving, dastardly pirates was a thing to behold.  Landlubbers hid in their quarters as the pirates invaded the village.

Ten of the most adventuresome bands of pirates gathered by the pirate ship, Chick of the Sea, to go on a quest for treasure in the Salty Dog Challenge.  

I was the leader of our band, Roger's Jollies.  The proud flag that we did hoist depicted the members of our fearsome group.

Here are two good shots of me and the mates: Roger, Roger's Wench,  Roger's Wrench (a Somalian pirate) and Roger's Wrench's Wench.

During our quest we did solve many riddles.  We sailed to the ends of the village (on our bicycles).  We did fight many a brave battle.  The picture below depicts our friend Graeme catching a screaming monkey.

Knocking oranges along a course with other oranges in panty hose (using no hands or feet), proved to be quite the challenge and a little risque --- quite a lot of hip thrusting--- perfect for pirates.

Throughout the challenge Blackbeard became a menace.  He pilfered our banner and my bicycle, as well as my Somalian mate's water rifle -- dastardly deeds!  

Alas, we did not win the treasure.  That honor went to our friend Graeme and his band of Canadian hooligans on the "Foreign Legion" team.

We did, however, end the evening with pirate music, grog, a parade of pirates and a bountiful feast that included barbecued ribs and chicken and homemade key lime pie.

As the pirates were driven from the village, a new band of intruders soon took their place.  On March 17th, the Irish invaded.

It became apparent that a new group of insurgents were forcing their way into the village, when we noticed that all the villagers were dressed in the green o' Eire.  Being that they were Irish, the insurgency soon turned into a party.

Feeling the safety of a congenial group of Irishmen, Dianne and I threw on some green so that we could join the festivities.  Even the doggies got into the act.

Hey look at our whippet friends, Gabe and Klick, in their racing speedos!

Here is a great picture of Dianne.

Here is a picture of Dianne and Tequila dressed as Irish lassies.  They look alike, don't ya think?

As with all Irish gatherings a parade was organized.  The procession was led by our very own bagpiper, William of Blarney.

Listen to Bill blow those pipes!

There were green golf carts.

There were spectators.  

There were Irish dogs.  No Irish Wolfhound this year :-(

Pepperpuppy Moore

AND of course, no St. Patrick's Day Parade would be complete without a synchronized Irish horse patrol.

(Complete with tootsie-roll "horse turds" left behind, and promptly swept up by Linda, the last member of their troupe -- D.)

At 4:00 p.m., all Irish lads and lassies gathered at the clubhouse for a happy hour.  Our friends Cary and Jan brought some fine Irish whiskey for everyone to sample.  Mmmm.  A little Irish honey in the mix made this a smooth concoction.

A traditional Irish meal followed the happy hour thanks to the culinary skills of villagers Grant and Donna.  Let's see:  corned beef, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, soda bread, and cake.  Yum!

The pet picture of the day shows Tequila.  She was on the way back from the parade when she executed one of her head-first rolls onto the pavement.  She tends to do this on two different occasions:  1)  When she does not want to leave the dog park;  2)  When she is tired and/or hot and does not want to go further.  In both cases, she lands on her back and refuses to move.  No amount of coaxing gets her back to her feet easily.  This was quite entertaining to the remaining parade spectators who were still lining the street!