Scooter racing

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

Saturday, 25 March 2017

First Mondays, Big Cats and Little Cats

You can buy just about anything in Canton

Too bad it wasn't open!
Our next stop was the village of Wills Point, near Dallas.  Other than a really nice main street, there wasn’t a lot that was remarkable about the place UNLESS you figure it was 3 miles from Canton, Texas, home of First Mondays.  What are First Mondays, you ask?  Well, the town of Canton is basically closed for 3.5 weeks a month.  Oh sure, there are a couple of restaurants open and a couple of places that sell giant colourful Mexican pots (still haven’t figured out what they’re used for).  But the town is mostly warehouses and parking lots.  Until, that is, the first Monday of the month.  Then the entire town becomes a giant flea market!  All the businesses and restaurants open up, all the parking lots are full and you can’t get into an RV park unless you reserve months in advance!  They even have shuttle buses!  There’s a small group of very old, very colourful buildings called “The Mountain” which is quaint and which would be a real tourist draw if they only opened up more than 1 weekend a month.  It’s a very bizarre thing.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the actual First Monday because the park we were in was fully booked and we had to go.  We’re definitely going back though!

While we were there, we took a side trip to Tyler Texas to go visit the Big Cat Animal Rescue.  Wow!  We walked around for a couple of hours, gaping in awe at the tigers and lions and cougars and assorted cat critters.  These are all animals who have been rescued from private homes, circuses, etc.  One of the workers was telling us about their idiosyncracies.  There was one cat who hated ATVs and would start howling whenever one appeared so they had to park away from his enclosure and walk in.  Lol!

So, back at home, we were watching TV and a little cat came to the door.   We learned that there were numerous feral cats in the area.  This poor little thing was starving.  Naturally, I threw her some food.  Also, naturally, she came back the next day.  I gave her more food but, instead of eating all of it, she jumped up and just wanted to cuddle!  On the third night, I got her back to my RV and put the food dish inside.  She just came right in and made herself at home.  Mostly, though, she just wanted to cuddle.  So, we called her Myrtle and tried to entice her into using a make-shift litter box.  That freaked her out and she managed to hold it in for 2 days.  Then, with what can only be described as an indescribable sense of relief, she peed all over me.  Ahhhhhhh!
Myrtle making herself at home

I really thought hard about keeping her but it was just too impractical.  Luckily I found the Kaufman Cat Rescue organization and Lynn came out and picked up Myrtle.  I’m happy to report that she was adopted within a week.  Thank heavens!

On our last day in the Dallas area, we picked up our sister-in-law, Lulu Lugnuts, who just retired and decided to come out and play the RV way.  The next day, we took off for Louisiana.

Friday, 17 March 2017

They’ve Got Some Big Boats Down There

Off we went to the bustling city of Corpus Christie to see the Lexington aircraft carrier, which was a WWII state of the art ship until it got blown up and sunk.  Then it became salvage and they hauled it to CC, fixed it up, installed a nice little restaurant area and let tourists walk all over it.
It didn’t take long for us to discover that seamen, in the 1940s, were all skinny little things who could climb like goats.  The stairs (aka ladders) were scary.  The bunks were the size of shelves.   Even the Brig was skinny.  And why did they even need a brig on a boat that size?  If someone misbehaved, you just had to make him go up and down stairs a few times to burn off the testosterone.  And if it was really bad, you just throw him overboard.  Boating accidents....happen all the time.

  But it was all very neat and grey and very well laid out.  What amazed us most was how short the flight deck was!  They must have to rev those babies up a lot to get them airborne because otherwise they’d be swimming.  Some of those planes were huge!  And all the wings folded up!  I don't know about you, but I'd be wary of a plane like that.  Just my luck the wings would decide to auto-fold when I was 30,000 feet up.  

I didn’t even want to imagine landing one of them on a moving boat in high seas.  Maybe that’s why seamen were so skinny – the adrenaline levels alone would have done it.

It was a great day.  Corpus Christie is a beautiful place, right on the Gulf Coast.  It’s too bad we can’t stay there because the salt air will rust the RVs faster than a billy goat sailor can climb a ladder.  It’s a nice place to visit, though!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'......Sorta

We left Mission on Thursday, March 16th at 9:05, 9:30, 9:43 10:11, 10:34 and 10:56 a.m.

Sometime during the winter months, one of my house batteries ran dry and blew its top.  We filled it with water and one of the guys (Thanks, Dave!) came over one day and made sure everything was topped up and ready to roll.  Sure enough, on the day of the big move, everything worked beautifully:  the slides came in, the jacks came up, the engine purred like a deranged cat and off I went....for 12 whole feet.   Just as I was about to venture forth, I noticed that none of my lighter receptacles were working and therefore I had no GPS and, even worse, no audiobooks to listen to on the iPod.

The guys in the RV park were incredibly helpful.  They swarmed over the Beast, inspecting all of the fuses (and believe me, in an RV there are a lot)  We eventually found one dead fuse and one tripped circuit breaker.  Jim (our neighbor across the street) volunteered to run to the store and buy me the required fuses.  Although it was replaced, still nothing worked.  Fortunately, Jim had also bought a lighter receptacle which he wired into my CB radio and which (tada!) gave me GPS access.

So off we went, with me following Jackie and Carm just in case the GPS didn't keep working for the whole trip.  They think I drive slow!  I think they drive like maniacs.  We always seem to manage to get to the same spot at the same time.  Go figure.

Anyhow, halfway through the drive, the lighter receptacles started working.  Unfortunately, the fridge started beeping and telling me that it had not switched over to the propane setting. And it still wouldn't - even after I bashed all the rust out of the pipes.  That's when I had my "aha" moment.  I needed new batteries.  It was a very slow "aha" moment because it took until I got to Wills Point to try to find new batteries, but still.....

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Don't Make A Prieur Girl Mad

We got our chance to try shooting real guns at real honest to goodness targets in a real shooting gallery this week.  Jackie's friend, Tracy, is a competitive shooter and she agreed to show us how it's done.

None of us had high hopes, especially when she showed us the little tiny targets she expected us to hit.  Let's face it, most of the time we can't see anything in front of us even with our glasses on!  Expecting us to hit a black target the size of a margarine tub in a darkened room at 30 yards was expecting a bit much!

But we were game to try so Tracy set us up with 22 caliber bullets.  We asked if this is what she used and she said "No, if you have to shoot someone, the 22's just tease them.  To really get their attention, you want to use a 9 mm shell."  Ah - good to know.

It turns out, we were pretty good.  Or, more specifically, Tracy is a very good teacher.   Carm especially was a dead-eye.  Jackie was really good too.  I started out a bit iffy, but then I switched to a left-handed grip and I managed to hit the target each time.

My target - note the bullseyes
And Tracy was right - the 22's were great but when we fired the 9 mm shells, you sure felt the difference.  It would get someone's attention, alright.  Not for long though, because they'd have a great big hole in their heads.  Or wherever it is we managed to hit them.

So be warned out there.... we Prieur girls are not only card-carrying members of the Bitch Club, but now we know how to shoot.  Be afraid..... be very afraid

Friday, 10 March 2017

Prayers and Prom Dresses

 Let me first say that I would like to apologize to the people of the Rio Grande Valley.  It's my fault that we are getting flooded out.

On Wednesday, we were supposed to go to a shooting gallery about an hour away but it was an outdoor range and it was raining over there.  There was only a 30% chance of rain in Mission.  Since it was still nice out here, we decided to go visit a church to look at the stained glass work.

Now, anyone who knows me will understand that churches and me don't mix.  In fact, Jackie said she'd let me walk ahead of them just in case we got hit with a lightning bolt.  We weren't in there for 10 minutes when the skies opened up and it started to rain,  complete with thunder and lightning.  We can expect several more days of storms and flash floods.... I knew I was playing with fire, but dang!

It was a pretty cool place though.  From the outside, the windows looked cool but inside it was amazing.  I don't know what all the religious symbols were, but there were some really neat glass pieces including a dog, horses and lemon and orange trees.  Too cute.  The glass was really thick too.

It's funny, but I've been to more churches since I've retired than I ever had in the past half a century.  Next thing you know, I'll convert (Note:  there isn't that much lightning possible).

After the church visit, we went to a high-end Ropa.  Ropas are places where they sell second-hand clothes by the pound.  The going rate is about 30 cents a pound, although you can go as high as 60 cents.  This place was wall to wall dresses with lace and glitter and flowers and tulle and flounces and fancy stuff dangling all over.  Some of them were quite beautiful.  Others might have been an acquired taste.  BUT.... they wanted $15.00 for the dresses.  $15 whole dollars!!!!  We had to say no.  Although I do know where I'm going if I ever need a dress for dress-up night on a cruise.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Getting Crafty In Our Old Age

Last year, a lady at a craft fair showed me how to use a cute little die to make a cute little hummingbird out of an old beer can which, in theory, was going to be hung on my screen door for decoration  (the hummingbird, not the beer can).

I thought this was such a great idea that I immediately bought myself a die cutting machine and a couple of bird dies, in spite of the fact that a) I detest decorations on my doors or walls, b) I don't know anyone who would want to hang anything from their screens either, c) I had to drink dozens of cans of assorted beverages in various colours in order to provide the bases for the diecuts d) I have never successfully completed a craft project in my entire life and e) I don't like birds.

So it was that, by December, I had exactly 4 hummingbirds in stock.  Then the activities director suggested I should take my wares to the park craft show.  Since it was a slow time in January and (as previously noted) nature abhors a vacuum, I decided to start a) drinking pop like there's no tomorrow and b) cutting dies.  With the help of my sisters, we bashed out about 100 of them in a variety of colours and dang..... they just about sold out!

So I drank more pop, cut more dies and went to another craft show in February.... and darned if they didn't sell even better.

I also got addicted to Fanta Grapefruit Soda....which is a whole other story.

So naturally, I bought a whole bunch more dies and drank a lot more pop and produced dozens and dozens of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, cats, dogs and bunnies for the March craft show.... in spite of the fact that many people had left the park already. And wow... that one was the best of all!

Just to show you how unhinged I've become, I even hung some of them on my own screens.  I didn't want to be the only person in the park who didn't have any.

Guess I'll be doing craft shows from now on.  No rest for the retireds, I guess.

In order to satisfy their own crafting urges, my 2 sisters volunteered to produce flowers for a 90-year old woman's birthday cake.  This lady loves peonies and her daughter thought it would be nice to have a specially made cake to mark the occasion.  Then the lady's friends also said they'd be coming and they were also celebrating 90th birthdays.  So the girls made flowers for over 5 weeks to cover 2 huge cakes.  The flowers were made out of sugar and were absolutely beautiful!  Peonies, carnations, lilies, roses and baby's breath were heaped on the cakes.

At the end of it all, we all felt that we were "crafted-out" and we plan to lay low for awhile.  Or at least until the next craft fair.

Introducing the Texas Tutus

From the time I arrived until New Year's Eve, life was a bit of a blur.  Shopping, cleaning, wrapping, baking, sight seeing and catching up with the sisters left very little free time.  After Christmas however, there was a bit of a lull.  Naturally, nature abhors a vacuum so the only thing to do was fill the time with something creative.  I offered to give Hula lessons.

Hawaiian anything is not a major force down here, although I did find an Aloha Car Wash.  But you can't find a bowl of poi anywhere.  I figured I'd get about 10 people to attend the class.  It was a bit of  shock when about 35 people showed up to the class!  After about week 3, the Texas Crud (an actual disease that you get down here), a cruise and a bunch of other activities, winnowed the group down to about 10 people.

The ladies did spectacularly well!  We named them the Texas Tutus and, by the end of February, they had mastered "Just Hang Loose" and were doing really well on basic Tahitian dance.  I even got them making "grass" skirts out of twine and garbage bags.  Considering they're the only act in town, I can see a big future for them :-)

Aloha Nui, Tutus!!!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Wedding and a Long, Long Road Trip

A little late getting caught up.....

In October, I headed back to Sudbury to attend the wedding of my nephew Kris and his beautiful bride Isabelle.  It was great!!!  We had so much fun!   For 3 days we laughed and danced

and ate and  had a fun and somewhat exhausting time with family and friends.

Road Rage Rita was there, dancing up a storm.  And the newest addition to the family, our great-niece Addison (aged about 2 months) was there but she didn't dance at all.  In fact, we got a great pic with Addison and her great-great aunts and an uncle.
Uncle Ray, Auntie Pauline, Ryan (holding Addison), Megan and Auntie Rita

On the Monday, I woke up to a raging cold and fever.  That was the day that I had picked to leave for Texas.   Just to add to the fun, it started to rain.  Sigh....  So what started out as a 6 day trip to Texas actually lasted me 10 days.  I spent most of that cleaning the Beast because, sometime between Grundy and October, the RV became home to a mouse.  Lucky for me I'm retired and I've got nothing but time.

For the record....the mouse is dead.

Me and Lulu
I got back just in time for Hallowe'en.  I got to dress up at our monthly dance workshop.  I haven't dressed up in a long time.  Strange though.... I didn't get any chocolate.