Archive for March, 2010

Need a Tropical Jungle?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

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Do you need a tropical jungle?  Okay, just make one.

The view out of our living room window at our winter retreat was anything but paradise.  Our view is of this stylish metal fence.  It provides good protection from the northern wind, but isn’t all that pretty.


We were at a Party City location and came across the solution to our drab view, a vinyl roll of palm trees.  Tinka decided that this would work beautifully to improve our view.  Three strips of wood were attached to the fence and the vinyl was stapled to the wood.  Bingo, the new view from our window.


Since the wind can be ferocious here, Tinka decided to put little strategic slits in the vinyl to allow the wind to pass through.  We had seen this trick at a park in Florida. Here are a couple of slits that are flipped up from the breeze.  We’re expecting 40 MPH winds today.  We’ll see how well it stands up.


At night, we have a spot light on a timer that illuminates the scene.


(It held up to the 40 mph winds but needed some work after a 50 mph gust.)

Ropa, Ropa, Everywhere

Friday, March 19th, 2010

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One thing that we learned about the small towns in the Rio Grande Valley is that there is no place in the country that has more yard sales.  It seems that everyone has one and they appear to be ongoing.    On weekends, sales pop up in almost every empty parking lot, driveway, or chain link fence.





We couldn’t understand where all of the clothing was coming from.  Mystery solved!!

On the south side of Mission, TX, the roads are lined with “Ropa” stores.  Ropa is the Spanish word for clothing.  There are literally dozens, perhaps hundreds, of stores that sell new and used clothing in bulk.

Here is a typical mall that has at least a dozen of these ropa stores.


This one, like most of the others advertises both used and new apparel.


Inside the store there are racks of clothes that can be purchased individually, but in other stores there are also piles of clothing on the floor which are sold by the pound.  Clothing can also be purchased in  bundles and even skids of bundles as shown below.


On a second visit to the area, with a bunch of women from the park, we delved further into this amazing enterprise.  This location specializes in “Ropa Usada”, used clothes.


Clothes are just piled up high.


Some ladies climbing to the top!!!!


Some people just sit down and look through the pile around them throwing the ones they are not interested in away from them.


A new pile of clothes thrown on the floor by the as the ladies rush over to look through them.


More clothes waiting to be thrown on the pile.


At this location, most of the clothes were used, stained and/or worn out.  Some good bargains are found and if you are into crafts here is lots of cheap material.

We Live in A Potpourri Bottle

Monday, March 15th, 2010

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a potpourri bottle?  Well, I’ll tell you.

We are normally members of the “Closed-door, Air Conditioner-on” club.  At this time of year, we actually spend quite a bit of time outside playing shuffleboard, pétanque, or participating in other activities.  At these times we are overwhelmed with fabulous aromas emitted by the nearby orange and other fruit trees.


Many of the trees have been trimmed for easy fruit access when picking time arrives.


We are a little surprised that some of the fields remain unpicked.  Apparently, either the trees have different blooming schedules, or this winter’s freeze caused some damage to the crop.  Perhaps both.

Our Dream RV

Friday, March 12th, 2010

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Driving along on Monte Cristo Road, a few miles east of Edinburg, TX, we came across what Noah might consider the perfect RV.


Someone has had the vision to modify this 18 foot runabout with living quarters.

And, unlike Noah, they don’t have room for two of every animal in this ark, so they have decorated the exterior with animal heads.


If another biblical flood returns, I guess these folks will have the last laugh.