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Indian Paintbrush and Texas Blue Bonnets

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yucky Yaca....

It was common to see Yaca trees along the streets of Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico.  In fact, the house we are in the process of buying has a large yaca in the front yard.  When we left it had several large fruit hanging from the branches.

Yaca, or jackfruit, is not among the fruits I like.  But then I don't like pawpaws, mango, or papaya either.  So maybe it's a matter of personal taste.  But one day as we were taking our daily walk I saw this...
Someone had cut down a couple of the breadfruit and laid them on the ground next to the curb.  Whether intended as chicken feed or not I don't know...  but this rooster was having a good time eating the milky sap that was oozing from the stems.  

We left Mexico and are now back in Ohio.  Yaca trees don't even think about growing here (pawpaws, yes....  papaya and mango... no way!).  So today, when I was shopping at our local Kroger store imagine my surprise when I came across this....
In the produce section...  proudly displayed as exotic fruit....  sat these 2 large jackfruit.
They cost $1.29 a pound, and that one on the left must weigh at least 5 pounds...  so they aren't cheap!
I watched 2 folks stand in front of them and discuss what they were etc.  The woman took a photo of them to send to her son, who she said is a chef.  She wondered if he'd ever used such a thing.

No, I didn't even think about buying one.  Memo, back in Lo de Marcos, will show me how to harvest the seeds and use the fruit when we return....  but right now, I'll just look at them on display at my Kroger store and think happy thoughts of our great time in Lo de Marcos.

That's All For Today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?

We left Glen Rose Texas last Thursday...  headed east....
Through eastern Texas over to Shreveport...  on to (almost) Jackson, Mississippi...  where we got on the Natchez Trace.  I had to go back and check out our records (and I DO keep very good records)...  this was our 5th drive up the Trace.  We love it!  No commercial traffic...  50 MPH speed limit... two (yes! 2! free campgrounds along the way)....  and beautiful scenery.  

This time we saw wild turkeys only on 2 days...  no deer....  but the Redbud trees were in bloom...  and the Dogwood was coming into bloom....
Many years ago I read "North With the Spring", by Edwin Way Teale....  he wrote about his three months on the road traveling from the Everglades in Florida to Lake Champlain in Vermont.  A book written in 1951, but one which inspired me to pursue a "naturalist" education and a way of live.  So I felt right at home with our own northern travels into spring....

Not just Redbud and Dogwood....  but azaleas, wisteria, wild mustard, and all kinds of wildflowers greeted us as we traveled northeast....  

Okay...  those of you who have traveled with me over the years know about my weird sense of humor...
Now....  tell me the truth.....  what would you think if you saw this as you were walking along?

Nevermind...  let's move right along....
This one's for sentimental reasons....
My Grandmother, who died years before I was born, was named Cynthia Ann....  after this town in Kentucky.  When Bill & I got married, we drove over to Cynthiana, KY for the ceremony.  (That's another story all in itself!).....  but that was our homage to our (my) past....  Bill's genealogical bent, and me...  just being bent....  made this the perfect place.  So...  here we are....  years later, diving within a few miles of that city.

Finally, we make it into Ohio...
Isn't this the worst welcome a person could expect?  I mean, Welcome to Ohio...  but check out McDonalds, the Lottery, this or that wonderful restaurant!  Dawg!  Somehow my welcome back to Ohio kind of gets lost among the other signs.

Well...  maybe Ohio is pissed because I became resident of Texas a few years ago...  what can I say?
Only that I'll always be a Buckeye (don't give a darn about OSU and all that... it's OHIO that is home to me)...

Things like this big ole sycamore tree....  
Haven't seen one in months!  

Or...
These Daffodils...
I picked this bouquet within minutes of arriving back on "the Ridge" .....  bulbs that are the descendants of bulbs I planted over 50 years ago. 
 My favorite flower!
And yes, I am home.  Not in the house I left....   that's okay...  that's not important.  I'm home again....  at least for a while...  ready for the rest of Spring and into Summer.  More as time goes by....

That's All For Today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Knit One, Purl Two...

What a difference a day makes!
Day before yesterday is was 28 degrees F. with frost on the ground at 6 AM,
yesterday was around 54 F at that time, and today it was 64 F at 6 AM.
It's around 9:30 AM now and it's already 70 degrees.  No sunshine....  it's overcast and looks kind of gloomy, but no rain. (yet).  Bill has been burning some trash in the burn pile...  he has to get this done early before the winds start.  Later in the season they'll be a "no burn" ordinance.  

I finished the socks I was knitting just before we left Mexico...  wore them on the flight home.  I'm seldom without a knitting project of some kind and when we got back to our motorhome I decided to start a shawl that I'd bought the pattern and yarn for a year (maybe 2 years?) ago.  I'd read the instructions and they looked more complicated than I wanted to do while on the road.
In fact, I've dragged out the pattern several times.... and put it back away.
A couple of days ago I decided to just do it...
I've been knitting over 50 years...  when my kids were little I knit for a local yarn shop...  mostly items for professional women, everything from jackets and skirts to fancy sweaters.  Fisherman knit sweaters were my favorite.  I say that just to let you know I'm a fairly experienced knitter.

Well...  let me tell you...
This shawl is giving me fits!
I've started it (and ripped it out) at least 4 times.  I'd never used a "provisional row" before - that's the white yarn on the end.  (old dog - new tricks)   Every knit row is different (every other row is a purl row...  that's when I count my stitches and try to see if a leaf pattern is emerging)...
I've been working on those 49 stitches for 3 days now....  looks like I might have an inch knitted.  The amount of stitches will increase every few rows and it will be a nice size shawl if/when I every get it finished.  I count stitches a lot!
It's definitely NOT something I'll work on when on the road...
I better start another pair of socks...  I need mindless knitting when traveling...
something I can knit while still watching the scenery fly by.

And...
The Bluebonnets are blooming..
Just wanted to include some before we head out of Texas...

That's All For Today!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let's Talk Turkey....

It's been cold here...  only 28 degrees when we got up this morning.  It takes a while to warm up so I spend most of the morning inside.  That's not all bad...  in fact...  I have a ringside seat for the early morning critters.

 The two Toms (Gobblers) bring their harem right in front of our motorhome.  They've found the seeds that the birds cast out of the feeders that are hanging from the crossbar between those posts.
And...  look closely...
In the background...  way in the back...
 There are 3 deer at the deer feeder.
Our daughter and son-in-law have quite a few acres here where no hunting is allowed.  While probably not exactly a wildlife sanctuary, they keep the habitat intact as well as maintaining deer, bird and squirrel feeders.
Notice the frost on the ground in the photo above.... 
Bill had to take the Scion into Granbury for a brake job this morning...  had to scrape ice off the windshield before leaving!

You probably know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the National Bird instead of the Bald Eagle.  (Okay..  this may not be true..  but he admired the turkey)  If that had happened, I wonder what we'd all have for Thanksgiving dinner?
 It's breeding season now, so this male turkey is strutting his finery.
Can you see his beak kind of tucked in below his eye?  Well, above it is the "snood".  This Tom has some years on him...  his snood is quite developed.  Below his beak is his "wattle".   Right now it's engorged with blood so is quite red.  Maybe this makes him more attractive to the ladies...  but it's probably a hormonal thing.  

 Not a great shot...  but this Tom is younger.  His snood looks more like a small horn growing on his nose.  His wattles aren't as red and pronounced as the older tom.  Also, notice his "beard".  That's the sheaf of black bristles growing out of his chest.
This also helps indicate the age of a gobbler.

 A "Jake" is a young tom.  Neither of these are a jake...  one indication of a jake is the size of the tail feathers.  These guys both have a full set of fully developed tail feathers.
While these two toms seem to get along well enough now, as breeding season goes on there'll probably be some sparring to establish who's boss.   They both may hang out with the hens, but only one will get to breed them. The tom on the right is definitely the dominate one of these two.

A little later this morning they were joined by a few others.  There was a young jake among these and while he seemed to be traveling with a few hens, these two toms quickly ran him off.

You can see the two big toms on the right...  that's the jake on the left, heading off with his two hens.

The drooping wings is part of the posturing...  and of course, the fanned tail.

He's quite the bird, isn't he?
I never get tired of watching them.

That's All For Today!



Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Day of Spring..

We're still in Texas...  will be heading out soon.

Today is Palm Sunday and the First Day of Spring....

Our great-granddaughter, Evie, lives in New York...  her Mom took this picture....
Evie with her Daffodils

It just looks like the perfect photo for this day...

That's All For Today!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Back In Texas....

The flight went well on Monday...  our daughter and son-in-law picked us up at DFW and we got home around 9:30.  Daylight savings time is already in effect here, so actually the travel day worked well for us and the adjustment hasn't been that hard.

We had 3 months of mail to open and sort...
That took a while, but it looks like all the tax information we need has arrived, so we'll soon be sending off all that stuff to our CPA in Ohio.

I got caught up on laundry... and even got the luggage stashed away.  Of course I had my priorities...  call the kids, followed by an appointment to get my hair cut, an appointment to get our hearing aids adjusted...  and a trip to the In N Out for a double-double in Fort Worth.  All done!  We have a week or so here before we head on to Ohio.

Our Texas daughter lives in a rural area and the wildlife here is plentiful...
There were 9 deer just across the road this morning as we were heading into town.  Only 8 in this photo...  the other was off to the left.  Bill filled all the deer feeders here and adjusted the flow...  so we see them right outside our rig fairly often.

Look what wanders through the yard...  at least twice each day...
There were these 2 Toms and 6 hens this afternoon.  
I took all the turkey photos from inside our motorhome...  I don't want to frighten them as they are so much fun to watch.

I finally got outside for a walk today...  saw these Grape Hyacinths blooming down the road.  They are probably an escape as there is an old house nearby.  
The Texas Blue Bonnets are in bloom now but I haven't gotten any photos yet.  They are on my list!

I see some Indian Paintbrush, but not fields of it like we see down around San Antonio.  I love seeing these Texas spring flowers!

They've had a lot of rain in this area lately and the creek that runs through our daughter's property is not only still flowing but has several fairly deep pools.  That little waterfall at the lower right is nothing but a memory during the summer months.

This male Cardinal was singing his heart out...  way up in the top branches of a tree!
It's quite overcast here today...  more rain on the way...  so between the weather and our rig's dirty windows, photos were difficult.

More turkey photos...
You can barely see the hen in the background...  this Tom just struts around...  posturing and showing his stuff!  This is breeding season so he'll keep his harem together for a while yet.

We're enjoying being back in the States...  catching up with family and the such...  the temperature's going to drop some, so it's jeans and sweater weather for me.  That's okay...  I enjoy all the seasons!

The End!

That's All For Today!





Monday, March 14, 2016

Last Post of the Mexico Winter...

No photos...  nada...  nil....  nunca..... nothing...

We spent about 4 hours at the realty office today signing papers...  then off to a farewell party.

Had a wonderful time...  food was delicious... but the companions were the best...  just got home .... going on 9pm....  flying out tomorrow.

So...  my friends....  in a day or so, we'll catch up in Texas and continue our travels and adventures.  Hope y'all come along with us...  

That's All For today!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Not What I'd Call Family Entertainment....

Several weeks ago, as we turned from the River Road onto the dirt road by the ball field, we saw something new....  a tent had been erected at the edge of the ball field.  As we were walking towards it we were wondering if some religion might be having a revival...  or possibly a circus was coming to town.

I took these photos on that day...  February 26....  more than 3 weeks ago.  The area was still neat and clean then...  

It wasn't but a day or so later that the show was up and running.  Every afternoon a car (that white one with the speakers mounted on top) drives through the town announcing the evening's performance.  Yes, it's in Spanish, but even if it were English, a person is hard pressed to understand what's being said.  Any of you who've lived in a Mexican town know what I'm talking about...  blaring over the speakers the recording is so loud it comes out garbled and run together.  

We live  a good 2 blocks from the ball field, but we've heard the announcer at the show every night from about 8:30 until...  well, I don't know how late.... it's still going strong when we go to sleep.  Yes, it's really THAT loud.... I think everyone in Lo de Marcos's 7 blocks can hear it!

We'd pretty much decided we wouldn't go to this "event"...  and had even heard that their permit (for the ball field) is up on Sunday, so we figured it would soon be gone.  Then...  Memo, our "city tour guide" send all us walkers that he'd be going to the 8:00 performance Friday night (last night) and anyone who'd like to join him could meet him at the "big top" entrance.

Okay...  I wanted to go.  Hey... I'm curious...  and I didn't want to miss out on anything.  Bill was more reluctant....  he was so pissed over the noise they make that he wasn't interested in paying them money.  But...  yeah, Bill likes me and so....
Here's our group....  That's Cross and Stephanie (Stephanie is Memo's daughter, Cross is her fiance), Memo, Bill and Nancy (one of the "walkers").  I took this early in the evening and the place hadn't filled up yet.  Oh yeah...  about that...  we all thought the performance started at 8 pm...  not exactly....  the ticket booth opened at 8:00 (20 pesos per person...  about $1.20 US)....  and people wandered in for the next 45 minutes or so.  Finally, sometime before 9 PM the curtains opened.

I forgot...  first there were "behind the curtains" rustlings...  lights flashing...  then strobe lights down one side of the stage....  and, did I mention the announcer?  Everything we were about to see was "SPECTACULAR"  (before the evening was over, I'll bet we heard that word several hundred times)

The first act came on stage....
I'll tell you right now that I didn't do well with photos...  the lighting and my camera settings just didn't work....  But....  the guy on the left was announcing something and the "person" on the floor came running out of the audience onto the stage.  Truth is, I don't remember exactly what was going on...  I was still in shock over the "woman" with the huge boobs crashing the show.  "She" proceeded to run into the audience and plopped "herself" down on some guys lap and started making out.  

That was our introduction to the show...

These 2 women came on stage (2 different performances) and danced to some recorded music.  Neither were particularly talented - but they weren't really obnoxious, either.

Then came the first "skit"...
I think the plot went like this....  This lovely lady is married to the slob....  
But she's having an affair with this suave looking guy...

At one point they go behind the stage curtains, and we're all treated to the curtains moving in a very suggestive way...  then the lady comes out adjusting her clothes as her husband comes home.
He's suspicious....  the lover tries to sneak out but gets caught....  the woman passes him off as being her husband's shadow.  There's a lot of silly stuff here, but also, a lot of it is sexually suggestive.

The audience is cracking up!  Now...  the audience is full of families...  kids of all ages.

This huge pair of lady's underpants appeared from the husband's shirt...  and much discussion ensued.  The "husband" kept sniffing the crotch...  and kept talking to the audience about that.  (maybe my Spanish needs improved...  maybe not)....

Eventually the lover escaped and that skit was over.

The next skit was beyond my comprehension...
This is the way it started...  that's the "comic" on the left....  at far right the little guy (must be about 4 years old) was painted up with a mustache and beard...  another kid (about 12) came on later....  they all pretended to play instruments.  Now...  I will say, the guy in the red pants could dance!  All parts of him were moving...  most at the same time!

However....
Whatever this skit was about degenerated into a lot of crotch grabbing, tits shown (okay, male tits), and a lot of leering and grinning.  Even that little kid was using his guitar in an obscene manner.
Nobody really played any real music...  but they danced, gyrated and otherwise had a good time on stage.

The audience was laughing like crazy...  I think I just sat there with my mouth hanging open...  especially with all the sexual innuendo... and blatant obscenities....  (maybe I'm a prude?).....   but mostly I couldn't believe this was considered family entertainment.

We left at the intermission.
Stephanie and Cross stayed for the whole thing.  We heard today that the 2nd half of the show had a hypnotism act.  They asked for audience volunteers and several young boys came up on stage and were then hypnotized.  However, after the show, Stephanie saw those kids outside the tent...  seems they were given free admission and free snacks to "participate" in the show.

Oh well...  whatever it takes, I guess.

I took this photo at intermission...  practically a full house!  (Some folks had already headed out for some snacks).

The Tents have been up for 3 weeks or so...
This is what it looks like now...  kinda trashed, huh?

I did ask Stephanie today what she thought of it all...  She said.... "Obnoxious".....
But she then added that Cross thought it was hilarious.  He's local and Mexican.

Maybe it's a cultural thing....

That's All For Today!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hectic Friday.....

Another hectic day....  another trip to La Penita....  another contractor at the house...  and another trip to the bank at Nuevo Puerto.  Some mis-information about on-line banking....  just stuff......  stuff that will work out but can get a bit frustrating until it does.

So....  very few photos....  not a whole lot of words...

Around 8:00 this morning the sea was rough....  it's still quite chilly at that hour although the rain has quit.  Those are mostly pelicans (a few Heermann's Gulls.....  launching themselves into the waves at the far end of the beach.

The first time we've seen this little guy here....
This Grebe was all alone in the estuary.  He'd duck under the water....  emerging somewhere else....  we watched him for awhile, hoping to get a better photo...  but this was the best it got.

I took this photo over a month ago...
I'd never posted it....  cars get stuck driving across the river all the time.  This one didn't even look to be in serious trouble.  But when we stopped at the wine/yogurt/cheese shop (I know, a strange combination) around the corner to buy some cheese today, the owner asked us if we were the couple who walk the River Road all the time.  She went on to say that I'd taken a photo of their predicament with their VW, and she'd sure like to see that photo.  

(I've told you before what a small town this is...  seems nothing goes unnoticed)  

So as soon as we got home I started looking through my archived photos and sure enough...  I'd taken only 1 photo.  If you look closely you can actually see Liza in the passenger seat of the car.  I sent her copies so she can relive that little adventure.

Sometime in the future I'll go into more detail about all the hoops we have to jump through to buy this house...  right now I just want to get it over with.  

So...  tonight we're doing something we hadn't thought we'd do...  we're going to the circus!  We have no idea what to expect, but I hope to write an exciting blog about our latest adventure tomorrow.

That's All For Today!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Are We On Countdown?

The plan for Thursday's walk is a 2 hour hike.  Folks meet at the plaza at 8 AM.... Bill and I are always early...  just our nature.  It was cold this morning...  maybe the coldest morning since we've been here.  I wore long pants, walking shoes with real socks; had on a corduroy shirt and I even had my rain jacket on over all that.  I had my hands the pockets of my raincoat...  stepped up onto the entrance of the plaza arch...  stubbed my toe and fell.  
Rats!  Scraped both knees and one hand...  heck, those can be fixed with a few bandaids...  but I had my Leica camera on a neck strap and it hit the concrete hard.  I had a sun shade thingy screwed onto the end of the lens....  that broke into many pieces, but I think it kept the body of the camera from any damage.  I immediately started focusing... snapping photos...  and all seemed well.
Yeah, I'm kind of stoved up a bit, but that didn't stop me from the hike...  and my camera still works fine. 

 That's Memo...  putting on his walking shoes.  No rivers to cross today (but there were some hellish mudholes!)....  and look...  he has on jeans and a hoodie!  Yes... it was pretty cold starting out!


 At first it looked like only Memo, Bill and I were walking today,  But Memo got a call from Nancy, who was going to join us at the corner.  While we were waiting for Memo to collect Nancy, Bill & I spotted this Citreolene Trogan.  Isn't it interesting how different his front is from his back?
I know he has his head in an awkward position on the left...  but again... I'll take what I can get.


 Memo was beginning to think he should have brought his machete.... 
Some of these trees are vicious...  spikes and thorns that are really nasty.  And some of the mud holes we had to navigate could have drowned a horse.  So our 2 hour walk took 2 1/2 or more hours...  but we didn't care....  this will be our last walk of the season and on the way back, I nabbed our last geocache find here for now.  


 The orange at the wing tips doesn't show up here, but  this was a pretty butterfly we saw...


 This huge pineapple field was being planted when we were on a walk here earlier in the season.  I don't know why there are 4 different colors of fields....  it's all pineapple.  Maybe a mystery I'll solve at another time.


I think I once knew what this plant is, but I'll be darned if I can think of it now.

We got back from our walk...  we're still working on getting all the paperwork/bank/notary stuff done before we leave on Monday.  Yesterday a trip to the notary (which would be like going to your lawyer if you were in the States)...  today a trip to the bank in Nuevo Vallarta...  a long session with our real estate agents (I know...  licensing and all that...  let's not get picky)....   tomorrow another trip to the notary, another trip to the bank...  and another trip to the house with the appraiser.  

At least we have an interpreter...  both Spanish and English!  Hey...  sometimes it takes both.

Anyway...  we're moving right along.  I'm cleaning out the fridge, it's pretty bare...  tonight we've ordered pizza from Madame Sasu....  

Tomorrow?   Well...  that's tomorrow....

That's All For Today!