Sunday through Friday, March 9-14—Saying Goodbyes

The slight CRUD has not been sufficient to feel horrible, but enough not to feel great.  Kay attended church this Sunday morning with Gail, and I stayed in the RV.  With continued, unseasonably cool weather, we stayed in all day.

Despite feeling a bit better, our cool, windy weather hung around forcing us to remain inside Monday.   Kay worked on the new Swedish weaving project while I played on the iPad and computer.  We were able to play bridge with Al and Sharon, and while we all had good hands, defense was the game of the night, as we all made few contracts, going set a bunch—weird!

I’m almost back to normal!  Our weather in the Rio Grande Valley has improved, with decent temperatures occurring during the afternoon.  Maybe we could do something outside today.  However, our water in the resort is supposed to be city water, but is really hard, and we have had significant algae build up in the primary filter, hoses, and softener.  This may be due to the break in the water line when hit by a mower in December.  In combination with a faulty back flow valve on the water pump causing the freshwater tank to fill, we wanted to sanitize the lines and tank before leaving the Valley and today provided a good time to do it.  In the process, I spilled the bleach solution in the pump compartment and had to flood the area to keep the bleach from ruining the compartment carpet—just another day in the life of an RVer.  With the tank and lines seemingly sanitized, we were back to normal for a short while.  140311 E 003Warm weather and mild winds enticed the butterflies to fly, and a Spotted Crescent was observed at the National Butterfly Center.  It was deep in the flowering shrub, and difficult to photograph, particularly open enough to expose the brilliant crimson patch on the top side of the wings.  Several other smaller butterflies made an appearance; however, no Mexican Bluewings were in sight—until after I left the NBC.  And then Louie, one of the NBC staff, saw and photographed one on the Hackberry Trail—just my luck.  Right after happy hour, a fellow photographer and birder emailed requesting help with LightRoom 5, a digital photography processing software.  I assisted her for about an hour, and missed the start of the bridge game (with today being Tuesday, this is card night) and they already had full tables; Kay played and had a great evening.

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Our time in the RGV is quickly winding down for the season, and we have not been able to do all the things on our list—that’s okay as we’ll add it to next year’s list.  Kay bowled this morning (Wednesday) and I played golf for the last time at Meadow Creek.  This is a course near us, and while having potential, is not in too great a condition.  However, the fairways have greened to be the best yet this season, and we’re familiar with the course, having played it every Wednesday morning.  According to Kay, her bowling game was pitiful, as she had several strikes followed by gutter balls.  Oh well, she enjoyed the game anyway.   We attended the last Margarita Hour and found a full house of folks.  It seems no one is eager to leave the resort and RGV this season!

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Thursday, Kay woke up with a stomach bug, and remained home rather than go on the birding trip.  Instead, she did laundry and cleaned the RV while her lazy husband was out and about, catching a ride with Paul and Lorna to tour the Rancho Lomitas near Rio Grande City with the birding group from the resort.  The ranch was a typical tropical desert environment, with native birds and plants, and a few Longhorn cows.  We didn’t see many new species, but did get to see the Scaled Quail, another life bird for me.  We returned from the ranch about lunch, and aAfter the temperatures rose sufficiently to stir the butterflies, I rode to the NBC.  A larger Crimson Patch than was observed yesterday was posing for photographs, and as the afternoon heated, more and more butterflies exposed themselves.  I took advantage of an acquaintance with Mike Rickard, a local butterfly expert, for identification of several small species.  He spotted and pointed out a Mexican Bluewing, and despite several sightings, no photos were taken.  The check valve in water pump has completely failed, causing us to use the tank/pump combination rather than the water outlet at our site—worse things could have happened.  We were elated at happy hour to see Chris Tenney return to the resort from California where he visited family.  Chris is a new resident to Circle 3, a recent widower, and an awesome butterfly expert.  It has been a real pleasure getting to know him. He joined us for bridge at the Activities Center, playing a few hands before leaving for some rest after the long trip back from California.  Kay and I successfully bid and made a small slam, our first ever.

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Desperate for a last game of golf before I leave, Al and I played in a scramble Friday morning at a local RV resort golf course.  The course was just okay, not quite as good as Meadow Creek, but fine for our purposes.  I drew into a good team, and we won the scramble, shooting several strokes under par.  Chuck, Sue, Al, Sharon, Kay, and I ate lunch at Papadeaux, a Louisiana-based seafood restaurant.  It was good, but noisy and crowded.  After returning from lunch, we finished readying the RV for the trip home, packing away the water softener, removing the primary filter, and storing the water hoses; all that is left is removing and storing the satellite dish, disconnect the electrical, withdrawing the slides, and lifting the stabilizer jacks.  We said sad goodbyes at the crowded palapa, and returned to the RV only to see a forecast for freeing temperatures and snow in Arkansas.  What are we to do?

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