Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014

The rest of May was low key, at least for us.

The first rain of the season came. It felt so good! So much time had passed since the last good rain, I rushed out to take this photo. I would not have been so happy had I known it was the beginning of one of the rainiest summers on record.

All the clouds made for some lovely sunsets! That's a good thing. It doesn't make the grapes any happier, but it does make me smile.

Friends showing up always makes for a good time and when Eduardo and Magalie are involved, it's especially nice!

Friends from Monterrey, Ceci and Diego!

A bonus Thanksgiving Dinner! Complete with mashed potatoes and gravy. Ferdi was even giving lessons on turkey deconstruction.

Stanley started the first of the garden remodel projects. He loves moving rocks around.

In the vineyard, things were really looking sharp from top to bottom. Weed free and no vines tangled up in the net. 

You may remember Raul from a posting about dinosaur bones and another about rattlesnakes. This time he came with a display of arrowheads. Beautiful!

By the 20th, we were back in Edinburg checking on Veti's new plantings. They were looking great.

A few days to catch up on Thorn Thicket, visit with friends, and dance a couple of times and before we knew it, Memorial Day celebrations were happening all around us including this one at Sandpipers. 

As I was finding fault with all the rain we were getting in Mexico, the rain in South Texas was more than welcome. All things - including rain - are relative! I was hoping this rainbow promised to put down the rain where it was welcome!

On the 31st we took off for Houston to visit Ken and Ivy. On the way, we stopped and bought some beautiful shrimp for Ivy here at the Shrimp Shack in Tres Palacios. We always enjoy this little town and its giant shrimp fleet.

And that wraps up May!

Monday, May 5, 2014

April - Part 2

As we settled into the Edinburg routine, it was a thrill to watch the garden come into it's own.

Although Stanley isn't happy unless he's busy, I made sure we spent some time just being quiet. We enjoyed some lovely meals with friends - at our home and theirs. We took in a evening of Flamenco guitar and another evening of choral music presented by Dr. David Means. I had a couple of days with Veti out and about in town and one day with Sue Z, Catherine, and Veti. We toured a craft place that specializes in stain glass art, a couple of art galleries, and had a great lunch. Of course, no trip to town is complete without a stop at HEB.

April 16th - Blood Moon
We got up in the middle of the night to see it. Wow! I'll admit it's a borrowed photo, but a lovely one, don't you think?

April 19th - Last day of Lent. If I was going to make Capirotada this year. I had to get on the ball. Thank goodness Jim and Veti were willing to help us eat it.

And, then, like magic . . . it was Easter.

We banked on the weather being nice and planned to have Easter dinner at our house so we could enjoy the porch. We were teased all day with hard wind gusts, but as we were putting the final touches on preparation, the wind died down and we had a lovely evening.

Green eggs and ham, soup and Jim's homemade bread (delicious as always, Jim!), rack of lamb, asparagus, and roasted potatoes, followed by the creamiest coconut pie imaginable.

Hobbes cleaned up the dishes for us so we had nothing to do except sit back and enjoy another glass of wine.

April 23rd - The first of the birthday celebrations. Veti and Jim put together a lovely dinner complete with a delicious strawberry birthday cake. Making friends with Veti is one of the smartest things I ever did!

We left the following day for Mexico. Time to put in some real muscle in the vineyard.

Today is May 5th and in the ten days we've been here, Stanley has done enough work for ten weeks. He has torn down fence, built fence, repaired net, replaced a broken gate post, redone the herb gardens, hoed weeds, continued the process of tying up vines, sprayed the vines with sulfer, and more. He has bottled wine, installed a fancy door closing apparatus on both our screen doors, and Lord only knows what else. 

Me? Well, I've played in the garden, done some computer work, communicated with some friends, 

cooked some meals - like this attempt at green chili burgers, 
put in a little effort on my language course, done a bit of house keeping, watched some birds, 

enjoyed some sunsets, 

 done some bontanizing, (Anyone know what this hard, woody mushroom might be? It's been growing here for days!)

(And what's with these wasps attaching their nest to nothing but an exposed electric wire?)

and I have spent considerable time applauding Stanley's efforts. 

And then it was Birthday Time!

On May 3rd, friends from Monterrey came to dinner.

We put together a real birthday feast

And it came complete with gifts: treats from HEB and a box of "just harvested" vegetables. Do these ladies know me, or what?

On Sunday (the real day), Stanley and I went with Ernesto and Alida to their vineyard.

On the way back, we saw this pair. Aren't they sweet?

After an afternoon siesta, we packed the picnic basket and headed to the bat cave. We were rewarded with tons of bats - none of whom wished to be photographed. As always, just as the bats were coming out, a huge group of people showed up, but we had already finished our picnic and they were a welcome addition.

Walking back, we just caught the end of the sunset.

It had been quite a day! The rest of May promises to be low-key. We'll see!

April - Part 1

First things first, I'd like to wish everyone a happy day today! It's Cinco de Mayo . . . not the popular holiday here in Mexico that it is in the US, but a reason to celebrate nonetheless. 

Now, for the April news!

Our week in Mexico flew by. Stanley spent most of his time in the vineyard tying up vines and trying to keep them orderly.

I met with Conchita, the woman who organizes our Vendimia celebration and many other events for the Alianza, and puttered around the house. Solo Vino and I went for several walks, but we didn't find much of anything worth reporting. 

During the week, we had several nice surprises in the garden:

The world's shortest blooming cactus.

A recycled bird nest in the cholla.

Our barrel cactus sporting a new crown.

And the hummingbird tree in full bloom.

We had some beautiful sunsets:

We had some nice time with Ernesto, Antonio, and Estela, but the social highlight of the week was a picnic with Ferdi and Lucy at Hacienda Marquis.

We had worked hard all morning getting things ready to leave so Sunday afternoon was a time to relax and enjoy the company of good friends. After a delicious exotic lunch of cochinita pibil made with javelina meat,

we went for a tour of their new vineyard with Mani, Lucy, Ferdi, and Rafa.

Back at Perote, we had a quick tour of our own vineyard and Stanley got high marks for his work.

Stanley was just trying to enjoy one last sunset before an early morning call at the bus station on Monday morning, but this little bug refused to leave him in peace. Over and over, she crawled back up the side of the chair to pester him. I was beginning to think we would have to take her with us to Texas, finally, she got the hint and crawled off. 

A long uneventful bus trip back to Texas on Monday. On Tuesday, we drove to San Antonio, had dinner with the kids, a visit with Frosty and Jill, and early to bed. On Wednesday morning, Stanley had an early morning dentist appointment. We had thought this would be the last one, but it seems we will have to go back at least once more. Sigh. Wednesday afternoon, he drove us back to Edinburg so that I could be at Book Club Thursday morning. He is so very patient with me. 

The masses of Heart's Delight we saw just south of Falfurrias were impressive. More than we have ever seen before. Other wildflowers have been somewhat disappointing down Hwy 281 and IH37, but the Heart's Delight were at their best.

After all the goings and comings, we thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace of the next few days in Edinburg.

Part 2 will be published in just a bit. Stay tuned.