Archive for December, 2010

To Bake Or Not To Bake

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Click for Weslaco, Texas Forecast

To bake or not to bake, that is the question.

Well, we’re preparing to go to a community Christmas dinner where we volunteered to bring a dessert offering.

It has been a while since we have done any baking around here, so we went out and bought a new glass pie pan.

After all of the ingredients were assembled, the motor for our hand mixer went missing.  We borrowed one from a neighbor.  Then the baking progressed in a preheated 350 degree oven.  When the baking was finished, 20 minutes later, the pie was removed and placed on an oven mitt to cool.

The pie sat undisturbed for about 10 minutes when we heard the explosion.  The new pie pan shattered and blew glass around the entire kitchen.



Luckily, nobody was within the blast area.  But to add insult to injury, while cleaning the neighbor’s mixer, the unit was scratched.  So we will replace it.

We wondered why we haven’t been baking, now we know.

Christmas 2010

Friday, December 24th, 2010

I finally got the lights on properly.



Weird Week and a Happy Birthday

Monday, December 20th, 2010

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Last week began with the celebration of Tinka’s birthday on Monday.  We won’t mention how old.



She still looks great.


Her birthday was a little boring.  It was Rick’s day to sit for 8 hours in chemo.  Tinka was right there.

One funny, yet embarrassing, moment happened when Rick was crossing the waiting room full of about 50 other patients and Tinka noticed a pair of boxer shorts had found its way in Rick’s jeans from the laundry and was hanging out the pant leg and dragging along the floor.  Thankfully, nobody burst into laughter.

We went to The Shrimp House in Weslaco for dinner.  The food was alright but their prices were a little on the steep side.  They also don’t have a liquor license.

Tuesday and Wednesday were more chemo days.  Thursday found Tinka receiving a clean bill of health from her colonoscopy.

Friday found us on an 11 hour journey to Dallas and we returned to South Texas today, Sunday.

Tall Cotton and Other Crops

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

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When you live in the Rio Grande Valley  (RGV) you never know what will be planted next.  They rotate crops around here like magicians.  Except for the citrus crops, oranges and grapefruit, which remain the same, the other fields are a flurry of activity.  The area, which consists of 4 Texas counties and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, is irrigated by the Rio Grande River (I know that is redundant.)  In Mexico, the river is known as the Rio Bravo del Norte.

Most of the crops are vegetables.  Large areas are devoted to various types of melons, carrots, potatoes, 1015 onions, cabbage, lettuce, sugar cane, etc.  More than 40 different crops are grown here.  You name it, they grow it.

We’re not normally here in August, but this year we were, and were surprised to see large areas of cotton growth.  We’re used to seeing cotton in west Texas, where we’ve seen the harvest take place in December and January.   Seeing the harvest take place in August seemed quite unusual.


Picking sure isn’t like in the old days where Tinka’s father brought in migrants to pick his crops by hand.  Today a combine takes the place of the pickers.


They bring the whole cotton harvesting and baling operation  into the field.


Then the apparatus spits out the huge bales that will be delivered to the gin later. (Click photo to enlarge)


When the Winter Texans appear in the valley between October and the end of the year,  evidence of the cotton crop has been replaced by carrots, onions, or some other crop.