Scooter racing

Scooter racing
After parking for the night, we'll still have time for a little racing

Friday, 27 February 2015

I Hope He Got an A+

Written by a third grader, on what his grandparents do.

 After Christmas , a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school.
One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house. but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a tin box that has wheels, but its strapped to the ground. They ride around on their bicycles , and wear name tags , because they don't know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there , but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but they all just jump up and down in it with hats on.

At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night - early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and  says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Everything's Big in Texas....except Geocaches

Those of you who know me should be prepared to sit down soon.

We had several days of hot, sunny weather last week.  Winter in Texas is a lot like winter in Vancouver, but with palm trees.  So, when the sun finally appeared, there wasn't even a hint of a remnant of my perma-tan.  It got so bad that the locals started addressing me in English rather than Spanish.  After two or three days of serious tan maintenance, though, both Jackie and I are no longer fish-belly white.  That's when it happened.  We were outside and it was so hot that....this is where you should sit down.... I pulled my chair into the shade!!!  Yes, you read that right!  Not only that, but we decided to go out geocaching on another sunny afternoon, completely missing the traditonal afternoon pool bobbing session.

You would think that Texans would make geocaches the size of caskets.  Nope!  Six out of the eight we found were so small that they were barely visible.  There are still over a thousand caches in the immediate area so we'll keep hunting.  It's hard to find a free afternoon though - there is just so much going on all the time.  Tomorrow, for instance, we have a soup dinner, followed by Card Elimination and a rousing game of Left Centre Right.

 Meanwhiile, Tessa has just been laying back and enjoying the life in an RV.
 She is the hit of the park - people are even coming by to take photos of her.  She's bigger than most of the dogs around here and just loves all the attention.

For those who didn't read my previous blog, pool bobbing is the Texan version of swimming.  Everyone just grabs a pool noodle and bobs around the pool for a couple of hours, talking to assorted groups both in and out of the water.  After that, you sit in the hot tub for 10 minutes (if you have high blood pressure) or 20 minutes (if you have a bad back) or 30 minutes if you're a young'un like Jackie and me, who are considered rebels because we stay up and play board games sometimes as late as 10:30 p.m.  Yup....wild women.

Yesterday, we waited a little too long for pool bobbing.  Tessa wanted to be outdoors so we didn't leave for the pool until 3:30.  At about that time, the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped 20 degrees in one half hour.  We went from 86F to 65F in a matter of minutes.  They have some seriously weird weather around here.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Poodle Skirts and Pool Noodles

We've had a fun few weeks.  We were told that the park routinely enters a float in the annual Citrus Fiesta parade which is a big deal in these parts.  Last year's float took first place, so there was some pressure to keep the flag up.  Jackie was especially eager to work on the committee since she a) has never been to a parade and b)has never seen a float.  It's one of the hazards of being the youngest in a large family - by the time she came along, our parents were so over the whole child enrichment thing that she kind of missed out.  So, naturally, she was happy to accept the nomination to be chairperson of the float committee.  If you're gonna go, go BIG!  If the darn meetings weren't so early in the morning, I would have helped too but no amount of fruit juice is going to get me out of bed before 9 a.m.

The theme was "Old Time Rock 'N Roll" and, of course, citrus.  At least two thirds of the float had to be covered in citrus fruit.  This might explain why there are so many citrus trees around here - certainly no one ever seems to eat any.   It never occurred to me that they might actually be for construction materials.

At any rate, last Friday a bunch of us arrived at the float to start assembling the displays. Ten hours and 4,000 screws later and the float was ready.  It was amazing!  It was a 50s diner scene complete with jukebox that was crafted out of plywood and pool noodles.  Someone even made giant papier mache saddle shoes.  Our Park King and Queen dressed up in 50s gear and the truck drivers dressed as soda jerks.  Jackie did a great job in keeping everyone focused (try getting a bunch of old people to do what you tell 'em to do - it's like herding cats!)

Long story short.... the float took first place in its category!  Woohooo.....way to go Jackie!

The parade must have pleased the weather gods because we've had 2 weeks of reasonably warm weather.  For the first time in two months, we can actually see sunshine.  Those jukebox pool noodles are going to come in handy, propping up all the retirees bobbing in the pool.  That's another phenomenon - no one swims....they just bob.  Must be a Texas thing.