Tuesday thru Friday, January 1-4, 2013—Winter in the RGV

Tuesday, January 1; happy new year, 2013.  Our intent was to celebrate the beginning of the new year by cooking enough black-eyed peas for the entire circle, and we picked up dried peas at home since none can be found in the RGV where frijoles (refried beans) are king.  The weather, however, began turning cold with rain as an arctic front dipped all the way down, to include the valley which was right smack dab in the center of its grasp.  Consequently, practically everyone hunkered down in their RVs, not a Winter Texan was stirring, not even a mouse.  One positive thing was that the mosquitos must have been cold too, as they were not to be seen, or felt.  Kay made a large pot of Weight Watchers taco soup, and with its chili-like taste and texture, it was the ticket to staying warm.  This weather pattern was something that was to last for 5 cold, rainy days!  Needless to say, the black-eyed peas tradition didn’t make it this year.We did have entertainment at the resort this week as Goldwing Express performed tonight.  Goldwing Express is made up of three Native American brothers and their father; their mother is a member of the Creek Indian Tribe.  From Okmulgee, Oklahoma, they currently reside in Branson, Missouri. They play a mix of bluegrass, country western, gospel, and comedy.  They are great instrumentalists, and just okay vocalists.

With rain and cold temperatures all day, nothing exciting happened on Wednesday, January 2, except for margarita hour at the Activities Center; even it was not as crowded as usual. Taking advantage of some down time, I hooked up the new wi-fi Blu-ray player Christmas gift that will allow us to watch “free” movies and TV shows using our Amazon Prime membership.  The hook-up was not too complicated, and the wi-fi capabilities will offer much desired entertainment during this cold, wet weather.

There was no birding trip on Thursday, January 3, this week because of a conflict with the Christmas Bird Count in which our trip leader participates.  So, I was without anything on the calendar. Kay spent the morning in the woodshop working on her combination walnut and cherry bowl; she’s almost finished with this work of art.  Another lady in our circle has not faired so well, gouging her bowl beyond repair earlier in the week, and is having to start over.  We played Pegs and Jokers in the evening, and I am finally getting the hang of it.  It’s a good game, and requires some strategy in combination with lots of luck. Kay grasped the nuances of the game very quickly, and was the best player at our table as the ladies beat the men both games.

Friday, January 4, was a shopping day for Kay.  With a pocket full of gift cards from Christmas, she left the resort about mid-morning and did not return until mid-afternoon.  Meanwhile, I watched a couple of movies:  Grumpy Old Men, and a chick flick How to Lose a Man in 10 Days.  I had scheduled a bridge game but there was a lapse in communication so we did not play.  We had entertainment again this week, the Ball Ranch Family.

Ball Ranch Group

From Abilene, Texas, the Ball Family has sung together with their children for over 25 years, and now include Gary Ball, playing lead guitar, Sue Ball, playing rhythm guitar, and Sherry Ball Luster, youngest of three daughters, playing acoustic bass guitar (Gary and Sue are both senior citizens). They play music of the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Bob Wills, and even some of their own.  The dad is a super guitar picker, and the daughter has a great voice.  We’re glad we saw them, and when they sang they were wonderful—but there was a bit too much talking and not enough singing.

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