Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuna Taco Report

Today we took the motor home to Rockport to have the air conditioner checked. The heat pump wasn't working much, kept popping the breaker. Which was interesting when it was 95 on Saturday, but it was a dry day and it always cools off at night, and you can always count on the wind to blow. So it isn't as bad as it could be, and they are having a part expressed in and we will get it fixed on Tuesday. Major shop at Walmart and HEB. Stocking up on my fav HEB products for the summer.

Then we had lunch at the Spaghetti Works. Finally, they had amber jack fish, which was delish. Paul had their spaghetti, very garlicky and a 1/2 pound meat ball. He raved about the pasta, probably because it wasn't healthy whole wheat. Sigh. The health punishment.

As soon as we got home Roma called and came over with the best carrot cake I have even eaten. It was very dark, like whole wheat, but tasted exquisite. No whole wheat, no brown sugar and no molassas. It is her great grandmother's recipe. Scratch, even grates the carrots herself. I am hoping she will give me the recipe. She says it is easy.

And then we had some happy hour at Rex and Nellie's. Rick and Shirlene are leaving tomorrow morning and invited us all to go out to eat with them. There were 20 of us, and we went to Kody's. Paul had the chicken taco, and we split fried asparagus. Very, very delicious. I had a crab stuffed jalapeno. Yummmmmy. I also had a tuna taco. No, not from the can, fresh grilled tuna, rare. I am trying new foods. It was good. Odd to see red tuna. It had leaf lettuce, tomatoes and aloei sauce on it.

Then a lot of the men went to Burney's to play Texas Hold 'Em at 7 p.m. I was going to sit outside with Mavis and talk, went over there, hollered, she wasn't anywhere. It was cold with 30 mile per hour winds. Enough of that. She leaves Wed. Everyone is going!

Spell check isn't working, guess I will just post this.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Washers and Mattie the Basenji

On Sunday we took the golf cart to church, came home, went to the beach to play washers with Roma and Uncle Bob. A first for me, I had to practice and then we played and I am not good at that game. Of course. In my defense it was cold and windy and the wind kept blowing my washer away from the hole.

Here is a picture of Mattie, James and Roma's Basenji. She is cute and smart and stubborn.

Flotson and Jetson

Haven’t had a blog lately, sorry Marty, so this is some catch up. First I have a few pics of spring break when Ken was here. It was a beautiful day and we grilled fahitas and Kogel Hot dogs on the beach. Very yummy, just a little sandy. Pic of Ken and Javiar
On Sunday everyone but Paul and I went out on the party fishing boat. Ken caught the biggest fish and won the $75 pot. He bought a round of drinks after. See pic of Susan enjoying her drink on the back porch.

Then we had some dreary humid weather. All week the humidity was high, between 80% and 100%. Then suddenly on Saturday it was in the 90s and 10% humidity. And the beach was a mess most of the week. Lots of junk came in with the Sargasso grass. The tides were high and the wind was high and the waves were up to the dunes in some places. Very difficult to walk or do anything on the beach. Then another storm came in and cleaned out most of the junk.
This would be the jetson and flotson portion of the blog. After a storm blows in the sargasso grass, the beach is littered with all the junk that caught up in the grass out in the ocean. The first storm brought in flip flops and pieces of flip and flop, the odd tennis shoe and one expensive Crock pump. And yes I did look for the other one. Then we had the sun glasses storm. Lots and lots of sun glasses, and pieces. This was followed by oranges and onions. Then lots and lots of coconuts. By far the most interesting was the toiletries: toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, brushes, combs, broken mirror frames, small travel bottles, empty glass perfume bottles, and on and on. I am hopeful that this stuff is from the last hurricaine and not from cruise ship dumping. Last fall after the hurricaine when the junk was really rolling in, up to and including refrigerators, Roma found two pawns, 18 inch tall chess pieces, a black and a white one. They were from a park in Galveston and they rolled up on the beach here in Port Aransas. Next to each other.
I will add a picture of it asap.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Neighbors and Keenan's in DC

As the Winter Texan's leave the park, summer people move in. Just down from us is a huge fifth wheel. The couple that own it have 3 adult foster care folk. They are all very nice and polite and look to be in their late 40s or 50s. This must be a two bedroom RV to hold 5 adults. I see them walking down to the showers by themselves so they are pretty independent. They all seem real happy. Nice to see them so well taken care of and enjoying life as a vacation. George is always grilling ribs and what ever for them.

Sunday night we got new neighbors next door. A huge white motor home and a white hummer. They are nice. Have paid for this lot for 4 years without ever being here. Apparently they have a trucking company that hauls for HEB Groceries. Every night they go away and their little dogs barks for hours. Naturally they leave the TV on loud to keep it company. Guess the dog doesn't like TV after all. This area of the park is dog free from November to April. Got used to no barking.
Added a pic from Julie's blog of Sean, Julie, Patrick, Megan and Anna at the Lincoln Memorial in DC. They are just back from a family reunion out there. Good to see them all together, can see how tall Megan is getting. Megan was disappointed that it wasn't brown, like on the penny.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Catch up Blog

This is the view from Ken's balcony, the Gaff. Looking the other way is the ocean.
Then a pic of his dining table and couch and TV. The chase lounge was borrowed by the other condo.
The kitchen is awsome, love the shiney glass blocks on the walls.
The sink is very unique and, of course, I love the granite.

Ken Plagens got here last Wednesday night, a day early. Just in time for four dreary days at the beach. By pure chance he is staying in one the efficiency units over the Island Cycle/Lug Nuts building. It is so nice, we are cooking and eating there. Granite counter tops, all new stainless appliances, Pottery Barn furniture, etc. I will get pics.

We had planned dinner with Mavis, Rick and Shirlene for Wed. and Ken joined us. Very good and fun. On Tursday it was cold (60s) and cloudy with a few rain drops, we went to Corpus to get Ken some fishing clothes so he wouldn't look like a farmer on the beach. Academy has the best clothes for men. Just like Columbia, but half the price.

This is supposed to be the busy spring break week, but so far pretty calm here. Late one night we met three Marine Biologist grad students on the porch of the Gaff. They live in student housing right up in the beach dunes. What a place to be in college. So the days are all running together, rides on the beach, basketball on TV, sitting in bars talking to folks. By Friday I had used up all the bar time I can stand in one week. Sunday we tried to do laundry, as soon as we got in it started pouring. And this is Texas rain, huge drops. Had to wait go get back to the motor home. And now the water birds are very happy and the ponds are full at last. A 65 year-old-man was struck by lightening and killed on the beach.

Monday we all went to Mexico with James and Roma. It was sunny and hot, 91. Ate some good food, shopped a little. Muled out lots of booze. I got a nice turquoise and silver drop for my necklace. Haggled with a boy for a straw purse. It is a long trip down, but we laughted most of the way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shoemaker Brothers Last Island Gig

Beach pic of Dan and Gabe on Sun.
The guys rocked at their last gig Tuesday evening. After nearly two weeks in Port A they have accumulated a lot of fans and friends. They sang two Port A songs they had been working on, one with a real island flavor. They spent Monday fishing with Dan at his condo and eating and drinking very bad margaritas, had a ball and relaxed. Sean at Island Cycle/Lug Nuts checked over their van and changed the oil for them. He wouldn't take their money, just wanted a couple of CDs. They also had been jamming (a grad class in guitar) with an island guy, Jack, who is a great guitar man. He played and sang with them for one song. And Chris, a high school student, played guitar with them for a song. Just a big island love fest. Huge crowd for a Tuesday night.

Gabe told us they need to leave and sober up and become professional again. Off to New York City. They are very passionate about the music. Oh, funny story. Paul was telling Sean that the band was coming back in June and had some gigs lined up already. The owner of the Salty Dog was standing nearby, listening. He heard about three songs and came up to Paul and said "I want to book your band when they come bad in June." He thought Paul was the manager. He directed him to the web site. Since Paul had on a dark golf shirt, he thought he was a city boy.

Sorry to all the folks that I told the band was playing at the Tarpon Inn, it was the Tarpon Ice House. Which we had never heard of. I thought I had seen the worst that Port A had to offer, oh I was so mistaken. It is right on the main street and we would have been lost if Paul hadn't noticed a small sign out saying "Band Tonight." I guess we could have heard them if the window was open. Hard to imagine being lost in such a tiny town.

Many businesses on the Island have a fish name or beach theme, and the condos ... get some creativity, they just all run together in my head. Hard to keep them straight. Then the street names, letters -- Avenue C --- or numbers 11th Street. Beach Street is my favorite. So we are pretty easy to surprise. I recognize the souvenir shops by the large plastic creature out front, the shark or the octopus or whatever.

Although modest, and rightly so, the Tarpon Ice House had a stage out back in the patio. Imagine that you lived next to the dump and built yourself a house and patio area and got the building materials and furnished it for free! That is the ice house. There were maybe four real table and chair sets in various stages of decay. We sat behind a nice granite bar on rusted bar stools with rotted out netting. One had an old pillow on the seat so your butt cheeks didn't stick out the bottom. Lots of old rusted lawn furniture and kitchen chairs for the audience. The pool room had half cement with chipped paint and half wood laminate floor. But it all looked clean. Cold beer. The owner was happy to see it full of townies drinking beer.

They played until almost 11 pm, and then we headed out for the moon fire. A townie tradition, a beach bonfire on the full moon. Either everyone was at the bar or it was over with. So we headed home. I spent the day shopping with Merna in Corpus. Very fun and good deals!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Giant Oil Rig

All day Sunday this huge rig was making it's way from Engleside to Port Aransas and out the jetty to the gulf. It was pulled and pushed by 6 tugs.
A while back it was brought in, just the four big legs, looking like batteries floating in the water. A new top structure was built on it, and out it goes. Very interesting watching as it seemed to float through town.

Beach Picnic

This is a general beach scene, a little crowded because spring break and it was great surfing. Lots of surfers out way past the end of the pier. Mostly a townie crowd.

Then a drinking and talking scene.

Then Paul and I with the Shoemaker Brothers.

Had a great beach picnic on Sunday. Javiar brought the beef sausages and we brought the Koegle Viennas. Grilled on tortillas. Excellent. He invited the band. They are really nice young men, their mom and dad did a good job.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Da Beach, Da Beach

Because of the drought here in Texas, the sand on the beach is not the usual hard packed road for driving. It is just sand like any beach. There is a high percentage of clay in the sand which makes for good driving and sculpting. And even when it is in good shape, the 10 thousand pick up trucks of spring break tend to stir it up and folks get stuck in it. While we were driving to town Saturday afternoon, we saw a jeep that had flipped over, the top was squashed, and two cars getting towed out of sand. And it wasn't even busy.

On the way back, it was much worse. There is one area where people are staying in the motor homes and RVs, the beach is narrow there and tide was high and so was the wind. These rigs were right next to a steady stream of vehicles, two were stuck, one was trying to give tows, and everyone wanted to get by. We hoped to slip behind the RVs and get out of there. As we waited our turn we started talking to the RV folks. Paul "What are you doing here?" Me "How are you going to get out of here?" They had just gotten there, probably from the Valley as they were very tan, from Quebec but spoke ok English. Absolutely clueless. Tried to explain that it was going to get much worse, it wasn't safe, and the tide was getting higher. And in fact it was still rising two hours later because of the high winds. We suggested they try to back out of there on Sunday morning before it got real busy again. The road was too torn up to turn around, and there wasn't enouch room anyway.

For some reason, probably a pissing match with the Army Corp of Engineers, the city isn't plowing several miles of beach. It is a rutted mess. Tons of sand blew in from the hurricane this last fall. The city wants to put it near the water, the corp says no.

The Shoemaker Brothers

Last night we went with Wendy and Mike to the Gaff to hear the Shoemaker Brothers play. Heard that they were good and they were! They are a mix of folk, blues and Irish music. They write their own songs, play each other's instruments and are very good on strings. They had a guitar, a base viola, violin, maybe another violin. They all look like violins to me, just different sizes. They had a set of drums and a single drum too. Looked like an Indian drum perhaps. This is the start of spring break, but it was never too crowded to get a seat, they played outside. The Gaff is more of a townie bar. The kids were at Bernie's, and as it is a light week of spring break they were no where near their limit of 850 people with a line going around the block.

Naturally, Paul was talking to Gabe, the youngest brother, he is 21, and the others are 22, 23, and 24. He said they were in school and they just said "F##k it! Lets just do our music." And they do it well. They were up in Austin on a gig and had some free time. They were told to just head for the coast and they would find something. Had no idea that spring break was coming. They have played in LA and all over, are from near Seattle in a little logging town. They like Port A, it is like grad school for relaxation. We bought the CD, and they were singing the songs on it, so think it might be the new one. They have a website with links to myspace and face book, etc.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's Happening Now

We went golfing on Tuesday. Paul met a man who worked at the Padre Isles Country Club recently, at Bernie's of course. He gave us a deal on golfing there. Wendy and Mike, from Iowa, came too. We had a lot of fun and the weather was lovely and sunny. This winter was hard on the course, not much rain at all. I actually saw a sand trap in the middle of a green. But, hey, can't complain when it is 75 degrees and sunny. There was a lot of water on the course, and we lost manly, many balls. The rough was very thick and only God knows what snakes live in it.

On Wednesday we went to Port A and I got a hair cut and Paul got groceries. We went to a wonderful potluck at Dee's house. It was in honor of Emery's 71st birthday. Excellent food, so good to eat homemade potato salad and tuna macaroni salad and baked beans and pork loin and homemade rolls. I did my brownies, and I tried a new flavor, dark chocolate. Paul liked it very much. They are now his favorite ones. We all ate two pans of brownies.
Vergene brought a new game, Center, Left, Right. It was easy and fun. It is just dice and dimes. After she and Buck left we played Mexican Train, which was very fun and I didn't come in last, but it was a close race. Paul did great playing Poker, won for the first time playing with these guys.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grand Opening at Island Cycles

Saturday was the grand opening of Island Cycles/Lug Nuts. Great Party with great food. Lots of free give aways. The food was from La Playa, a nearby restaurant and some other wonderful chef. Very good nachos and chevechi of shrimp and fish (they are cooked with lime juice etc). The chef made Shrimp and Crawdad Boil. I learned how to eat mud puppies (crawdads) just pull off the heads, suck them out and pull out the tail meat. The tails are good, like tiny lobster tails. As to the rest I am highly suspicious of eating green and yellow stuff.

The DJ started playing about 5, and the band started around 8. The chef just kept cooking. He did a stir fry over his big gas cooker, with peppers, onions, pineapple, shrimp, cocktail sauce, etc. and served it over bow tie pasta. Excellent. I left about 8:30 with Rick in his VW Thing. I was pretty tired after Mexico on Friday. He had the top and windows off, and it was pretty fun to ride in. You could see a million stars. Paul says the chef just kept cooking! He drove home in the golf cart along the beach, and got home about 10.