Saturday, March 31, 2012

Storm coverage

Donn asked me why there wasn't any storm coverage on the blog. I used to be a storm worrier but somewhere along the line in my evolution I have adjusted so storms do not bother me much anymore. They got it much worse in McAllen and I most likely would not have been able to have such a casual attitude had we had the brunt of it...but we didn't. Just one shot of scary thunder and several inches of rain.
The two sites below will catch you up. Thanks Donna ,over there in Rio Valley Estates

Audio Books

I get our audio books from or Neither are cheap but they sure make the miles go faster or they are a great alternative to bad TV. I have been a fan of for many years. The way to make it cheaper is to join one of their plans. I am currently in a 2 book a month plan for $20 some dollars. I will stay in it for awhile until we get an accumulation of books we haven't listened to and then I will cancel. There isn't any contract so you can jump in or out as you want. I transfer the books to our Mp3 player and then we can listen to them in the car or motorhome by using an adapter. Newer cars might have the connections needed and you wouldn't need an adapter. The adapters are not expensive.
You can also go to the library to get audio books. Cracker Barrel also has an audio book loan program. You pick up a book at one Cracker Barrel and when finished drop it off at another.
Some people have trouble adjusting to listening to audio books and it can take a bit of practice. We always turn it off when we go through cities and construction zones.
It is worth the work to get started!

From Shirley and Orlen

Shirley called to tell me they arrived home safely and had a very pleasant trip. Shirley's daughter had done all the Spring cleaning for them so they were able to settle in easy for the summer ahead.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuesday Coffee Hour

Last Tuesday's coffee hour was the last official one of the season. The folks who are left after the first of April carry on, of course, getting together for coffee each Tuesday to catch up on park news and events.

 Shirley and Orlen Anderson will be leaving Magnolia Park having sold their unit on Magnolia street. Shirley told us all goodbye on Tuesday and that they have always loved Magnolia Park in their 20 years association. We wish them well in the next phase of their life.

There are so many that are leaving the park and moving on. It seems to run in cycles with both the influx and the departures of new and old residents and this year has been an active one.
I thought about naming them but I would miss someone for sure. Suffice it to say many in, many out. I heard an old-timer say he didn't recognize half the people in the park anymore. I could understand why he would say that with all the changes that have taken place.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3 wins in a week

From Ambrose: "I was fortunate to be the winner in three card games in a week period.
    Good partners,the right cards and a bit of luck made it possible.
    A player is just as good as the cards he gets.

       Thank You !"

  Ambrose asked that I do the writing on this entry but it is my opinion that Ambrose said it very well. The beginning of Ambrose's stay in the valley started off with him not feeling well so it is great to see him back to his usual cheerful self winning all the card games!

The End is Near

The end of the season is approaching as this week will be the final one of what is known as the season. Today is the last Coffee hour gathering in the big hall. I understand they meet in the Little Hall on Tuesdays for coffee hour but my obligation as President officially is tabled till fall come April 1st. We are usually leaving the park on April one but this year we will be staying a couple weeks longer as we were late getting here thus late leaving.
I received word from Lester and Helen's son Gavin that Lester is improving. That is good news. Gavin also told me he is one of the many offspring of Magnolia resident's who keep track of us here in Magnolia Park. I sometimes forget they are out there...watching... so it is reassuring to hear from them now and then. Do remember if you have news about any of the Magnolia Family let me know and I can post it here. Always glad to do so.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Service

Another great day to be in deep south Texas and be able to go to church....Several of the Magnolia Family has left to go up NORTH for the summer and more to follow this week, but we still had a nice crowd to hear the Word of God being taught today....

The theme for today was " Second Chances" and was a continuation of the teaching from the Book of Jonah chapter 3....Pastor Stacey read the scriptures of the story of how Jonah was delivered from the whale and that God appeared to him for the second time.....God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach what he told him to do.....Jonah did as he was asked and cried out to the people of Nineveh to repent for the Lord was going to destroy the city in forty days.....The people listened and did repent and ask for forgiveness and turned from their wicked ways....God saw that the people had repented and turned from their wicked ways and he changed his mind and didn't destroy the city.....This was a great lesson about the forgiveness of God if man kind will just repent and turn from sin and turn to God....If this country will return to the ways of God and Gods way we wouldn't have the troubles that we have today....This is something we all should think about in what ever action we do....Remember to pray for all the sick that you hear of and also for all the travelers that are on the road in the coming days......God Bless All....See you in Church next week.....

Greetings from Lester and Helen Alt.

Greetings from Lester and Helen Alt. Arrived home safe and sound. On Tuesday evening March 20 Lester was taken to the hospital because he was weak and couldn't stand. We think maybe a change in his pain pills caused the body to react to make him weak and loose balance. This Thursday afternoon March 22 he was transferred to a nursing home for rehab. Tests showed he did not have a stroke and a head scan was clear. He is improving but we were a little worried for awhile. Have a good day.

Cooklin's New Awning

Dale and Norma Cooklin had their awning replaced on their RV. We are fortunate to have an expert RV technician as a winter resident of our park. Mark Hvam has been in the RV business for many years and can handle most anything to do with RV's.
Replacing an awning goes much quicker if you have a few extra hands.

Photographer-Norma Cooklin

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peggy reads

Peggy is engrossed in her book and will be surprised to see her picture was taken.

Steakfry- last one of the season

Leslie helps people get their salad and bread

The guys are cooking steaks. Chet, Lloyd, Tom, Butch and Dave.

It is an amazing process getting 150 steaks grilled to perfection in a very short period of time.

Doesn't this lemonade look inviting?

Newest board member Ron Pearce and Floyd Flynt are preparing their salads.

The steaks were great once again. A treat we enjoy 3 times a season.

Judy's Quilt

Judy Hunt has worked on her hand stitched quilt for the past 3 seasons finishing it this season. She has had help from other quilters. Great Job Judy!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"500" card game trophy

Ambrose presented Ray with a trophy for the lowest recorded score this season and perhaps ever in "500".
Minus 710- As they say, there is always next year.

Monday, March 19, 2012

From Ambrose & Lili

 It will soon be time to say  goodbye again to our Magnolia Park family .
   We wish them and everyone a great summer!!!
   We 'll be leaving on the 2nd or 3rd of April to get home by the 23rd.
   Last year, since 2003 ,it was the first time that we got home with so much snow. ( see pictures )
   Weather was nice until we reached the state of New York then cold temperatures rain and snow etc. spoiled our great trip.
    Here are a few pictures of our  trip back last year.
     Enjoy the pictures .
        God Bless  !     We love you !    Happy Easter !

      Camp fire at Jeff Busby state park on Natchez trace  ( Lili's favorite  ) 

 : Fire in the stove at home 22nd of April .   Guess which one I prefer . (as compared to #1 pict. )

   :Home sweet Home  and snow !  

     Home 23rd of April

 Our devastated tree house.

 Our tree house in summer ,it has a 7' x 11' deck (dancing area )

 Snowmobiling on 25 th  of April.

 Yes Elvis is back and alive ,I saw him on a roof  in  Nashville ( pictures don't lie )
The dates on the pictures are incorrect.

More of the Roadrunner

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Service

Another beautiful Sunday to come to church service and hear from God's Word....We had a good number in church this morning, but I did hear from several that I talked to that were either going back home up NORTH or were getting ready to leave in a week or so...We will be sorry to see them go as we will miss them over the summer, but we realize that the kids and grandkids are being missed by the folks down here and as they say "it's about time to move on and see the kids"....I can't say that I blame them as we are kind of missing ours also.....

The lesson today that Pastor Stacey brought out for us was a continuation of the Book of Jonah, chapter 2....Last week we studied that Jonah didn't listen to what God wanted him to do and was runing away from God to be swallowed by the whale.....Today Pastor Stacey taught that Jonah realized what he had done and cried out to God and was delivered out of the whale on dry land after much prayer and the sacrifice of the voice of thanksgiving....This is a great lesson that we can learn from.....When ever we fine ourselves in bad circumstances we should do just what Jonah did and pray for forgiveness and thanksgiving in our lives....A great study for sure......Remember to pray for those that are sick that you hear of and for the many that will be on the road in the coming days.....God Bless All....See you in church next week..


We do not see many roadrunners in our area. As a matter of fact none of us witnessing this carnage had seen one in Texas before...maybe west Texas. But here he is in our park lunching on one of our Mockingbirds.  No, it wasn't Droopy. Droopy has been sighted since this event.

Spring Dinner

The dessert table is getting lots of business

Waiting for things to get started.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

KP !!!! (getting ready for Sunday's dinner)

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Border Patrol Presentation.

I did not know what to expect and would have done a few things differently. He did not get to the films till late in the program and they were really secondary to the presentation. It was mostly question and answer. Do not get me wrong as it was an excellent and informative program. Next time I would have the lights on until it was time for the films with someone standing by to shut off the lights when needed. Also I would have someone running around with a hand mike to get the questions said over the speakers. I did not have trouble hearing them but I understand some did. I will list some of the answers here that I remember:

1.Is it safe to go to Progreso? First and foremost it is NOT safe to go to Mexico. It is not safe to be within a mile of the river. It is not safe at Riverside. It is not safe at Chimney Park. It is not safe at Progreso. He stressed this adamantly and often.
He said the military, government and cartels are all in conflict with each other in Mexico and as long as that is true it is not safe to step foot on Mexican soil anywhere, anytime. He says it will not change in the foreseeable future.

2.Where is it the worst area for border crossings? McAllen has become the hotspot on the border. It has been various cities in the past like El Paso , Laredo and Brownsville but currently it is McAllen. Last weekend they processed 500-600 illegals from Friday night to Monday morning and that is a typical weekend. During the week it will be in the neighborhood of 60. The majority of those are NOT from Mexico. They are mostly from Guatemala, El Salvidor and other Central and South American countries but also from countries all over the world. He also mentioned China. The Mexicans who do come are mostly carrying drugs or trying to escape the war.

3.What are the requirements to be a Border Patrol Agent? Border Patrol Agents can be no older than 37 to go to the academy and it is mandatory retirement at age 57. They start out at $50,000 approx a year and after a few years make about $100,000 a year. They currently have 500 agents at the McAllen station and need two times that many more. It is a very stressful job and their life expectancy suffers too.

4. Who catches more illegals Border Patrol or Ports of entry? Border patrol by far. He said they have to be crazy or desperate to try to get through at Ports of Entry.

5. What happens to them after they are apprehended? It depends on what is discovered about the individual during processing. If they have a record it can involve jail and/or prison time. If the individuals are from a country other than Mexico they may sit for months waiting for enough of their fellow countrymen to pile up to fill a plane to return them to their country of origin. They will not send people from countries other than Mexico back to or through Mexico. The days of apprehending the same Mexican fellow three times in one shift are over. That does not happen anymore due to the new system of appearing before a judge for processing and the funneling of them into different categories.

Very interesting!

Gonzales Burgers on Silver Ave

This picture is of the place where we purchase Gonzales burgers. It is located on Silver Ave. in Donna but as you can see there is NO sign. Everyone learns where it is. 

You place your order, pay for it and they give you a number.

Then you wait 45 minutes to an hour for them to cook it.

This line is waiting to order.

Our table mates were from Siesta Village and had their food before we did. They shared.

I decided to give them a sign! This is a figment of my imagination.
Butch and I share a sandwich. I cut off 1/3 of it and that is more than enough for me. We skipped supper!

Curved Bill Thrasher-from Janice Cooke

This is a picture I took from our RV ... they are curved billed thrashers, building a nest, in the large cactus. They were very entertaining. I love their orange eyes.. they looked like glass eyes. Hope all is well at your end.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mid Valley Ladies League Champs!

Ladies Wednesday morning pool league.  March 14, 2012 Char Wolfrom and Carol Kapke took first place.
Carol sent me this picture and I thought I had already posted it. But this happened TODAY. When the women pool players see these two come in the door for a competition they know they will have to dig deep for the gumption to beat them. Carol and Char have been very successful in bringing home the honors. Way to go, you two!!

Magnolia Bikers of 2012

Pictured in no particular order are Myron and Susan Van Houweling, Blanche and Leo Tschetter, Erv Hagen, Floyd Flynt, Don Schmaltz, Larry Ergen,  Don Harper

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