Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Met God in the Morning

This is Msgr Rory Deane's favorite prayer

I met God in the morning when my day was at its best.
His presence came at sunrise like a glory in my breast.
All day long his presence lingered
All day long he stayed with me, and we sailed in perfect calmness
O're a very troubled sea.
So I think I know the secret learned from many a troubled way
You must seek him in the morning if you need him through the day.

OMG Sun All Week

Marisa and Zack enjoying the benefit. He's not really a Beiber fan, but it is a good conversation piece. She has amazing tattoos. And so does he. She did some of his herself.

This was a pretty great week. Some wind, a bit of marine haze and fog, but sun every day. Lots of walks on the beach.

Dividing up the profits from the benefit.

Thursday night was the Poker Benefit for the 8th grade trip to Washington DC. It turned out great, they made just under $3,000 to split 6 ways. Only the parents that helped got a split. Javiar and Susan did most of the work. He got most of the things for the raffle and the silent auction. The poker was a big hit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mary Elaine Dunn

My favorite picture of Ellie

Charlie and Ellie

Julia poking Ellie

Ryan and Ellie, looking for all the world like an indignant elf!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Javiar's Tacos

Javiar and Susan made his Mama's taco recipe tonight. Easy and wonderful

1 lb hamburger browned and drained

1 can tomato sauce -- add cumin, garlic, parsley or whatever you like - cheese

Cut up tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, lime or lemon

White corn tortilla

Fry the tortilla quickly in hot oil, blot with a paper towel. Fill with beef mixture and roll up. Putt tomato sauce on top and add what ever toppings you like. Top with asiago cheese, shredded.

Just Finished the Sunday Post

I added the rest of the Sunday post to the bottom of the original post. Have to keep it chronological order. It was a good day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

All About Sunday

We started Sunday out with the usual trip to 11 am Mass. That was the last usual part of the day. Our old Irish priest, Monsignor Rory was back for the day. He is at least 86 years old, tall with that wonderful white hair like the O'Connor and Joy limbs of the family tree have. He was back on the island because Fr. John, our priest from India was playing doubles in a tennis tournament. So mass was full of funny stories with a strong Irish accent. In the middle of communion he excused himself to go to the bathroom. And asked the organist to play some songs ..... . When he got back he had forgotten where he was but he knew he hadn't said the Our Father yet, so we started there. It was all delightful and he assured us that he had washed his hands. He promised to have his favorite prayer in next weeks bulletin for us to take home. Glad to hear that, it is about the sea, and is a favorite of mine. I will post it when I get it. There are 93 families in the parish and many winter and summer visitors. He urged big donations to the extra collection to pay off the new church. He mentioned the time last year when they had a special collection for the folks in Haiti and at every mass he donated the $100 he won betting on a football game, he fished it out after every mass and donated it again at the next one. For the special Katrina collection they donated 23 thousand dollars. Islanders are generous. Then during the special collection he sang Irish songs and we had to sing the chorus with him. He really mugs up Molly Malone, and the song about Kilarney . Which isn't in spell check.

It was a lovely sunny day, close to 80 degrees, so after church we went home, ate lunch and got the golf cart out to go to town. As we started down the beach we noticed the strong winds right off the ocean, so we stopped and put down the curtains on that side of the cart so I wouldn't freeze. I didn't freeze but we were soon covered with a fine layer of sand. Apparently the wind was sneaking it in the back of the cart. My face was totally coated with sand. Stuck in my sun screen. My pop can was coated with sand, everything. When we got to town we went to Hooks to meet Susan and Javiar and Dave and Beth. We missed the Bluegrass festival at the Gaff on Saturday and they were worried about us, we were just tired, a full week of beach catches up with you eventually. And the moon fire was the night before. And we met Lisa and Jason. It was their first time on the island, they ended up spending the night instead of driving home drunk. She had on a Coyote Ugly tank shirt a stranger gave her because the one she wore on Saturday was dirty. Isn't that nice? Remember Lisa, she returns in this saga.

So everyone left and we stayed to finish our ice tea/beer. Land Shark was only $2, apparently it is very smooth. Anyway, we were sitting on a long picnic table in the sun, a family group started over to sit, saw it was the only table and started to leave, I waved them in and said we were just leaving and they should join us. So they did and he regaled us with great stories for an hour. He and his wife had a friend's little girl with them and a very ugly little dog and a teen age daughter who also drank Land Shark. Check out this from the TABC Alcoholic Beverage Code:

(b) A person may purchase an alcoholic beverage for or give an alcoholic beverage to a minor if he is the minor's adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or an adult in whose custody the minor has been committed by a court, and he is visibly present when the minor possesses or consumes the alcoholic beverage.

Interesting for sure. Texas is a whole other country, just saying ....

But I digress. So this guy, let's call him Bob, grew up next to a newspaper reported for the Caller Times in Corpus Christi, and had lots of good stories and proceeded to tell us about the King Ranch, south of CC. He tells a much more colorful story than the official web site or even Wikipedia. And probably the truth is mixed into all of them. Bob says the original Mr King was a scoundrel and more or less threatened ranchers into selling their and to him for pennies on the dollar, old news really.

The cowboys at the ranch are famous for shooting trespassers. Like in "King Ranch is it's own little country and can do whatever it wants to do. " Apparently they would just shoot and bury poachers, and still do. I did read an article in the paper this winter about a poacher caught there. Oddly, people still love to poach there. In south Texas there are towns where only Spanish is spoken, even by the white people. A friend from one town told him of his aunt and uncle who disappeared in the 1950s on their way down to visit them. They waited and waited and no one ever heard from them again. About 30 years later a car like theirs was found on the ranch with two skeletons in it. The ranch is currently only 825,000 acres. I can see how it could be missed for 30 years.

I liked the stories about the ranch vs the US Navy in WWII. I have to finish this later, my brain is going to explode.

Tuesday Morning

During WWII Corpus Christi changed from a sleepy coastal town to a city with 5 military bases. The training flights for the Navy would be held over the King Ranch, as it was such a large part of the area. The cowboys from the ranch were pretty uncivilized and mostly never left the ranch. They shot any trespassers, which in their minds included air planes overhead. So the first time the Navy came to call, the ranch refused to agree to tell them not to shoot at planes. After the second incident the Navy had fighter planes nearby ready to shoot back, which they did. It took a few strafing raids to come to a shaky truce. Still, if a plane crashed the Navy was not allowed in to get it and investigate. So the Navy began shooting their cattle and the ranch called asking when they were coming to get get their plane. In truth, Bob was a much better story teller than I am, and this was all before beer.

When we left Hooks we went across the street to Bernie's, just to see who was there and cheap beer. Guess who was there? Lisa and Jason, just a little into their cups and nice as ever. After a while I had a snack attack so we decided to stop at the Gaff for a piece of pizza. Heidi and Kip kindly made me a nice slice and we sat and visited with friends. Then we went to the beach to find Javiar and Susan, and they had left already. So we rolled up the sides on the cart (not wanting them to tear in the strong winds) and headed down the beach. We were already covered in sand, time to get it home. We got home and watched some racing, got hungry and it was too windy to grill outside. So we went to Virginia's to try their mesquite smoked beef tenderloin sandwich. It was great. They had the big garage doors open at Virgina's and we had a nice view of the harbor. When we left we stopped at Bernie's for the country band. We aren't so much into going out for that, the music is so loud and the dancers are so drunk.

And who do we see first but Marisa and Zack. It was Marisa's 23rd birthday and she had been given some free shots. Zack is a great dancer, and Marisa did pretty good considering her condition. I wish I had my camera, many of her tatoos were visible. I won't even speculate on her piercings. Any way, they are really nice kids, nothing like my own sweet babies, but good at heart. And huggy. And guess who else was there? Yes Lisa and Jason, she asked me if Bernie's had food. No. I pointed to Virginia's, but not sure they would let them in. Turns out they just kept drinking. We danced a while and sat with some friends to talk. Lisa was dancing with a girl, oh my. Then with a different man. Then with Jason, oh almost falling down. They were right next to me swaying to the music, or booze. Yes, the booze. Man, is she going to fall on me. I bet she will. I wisely decide to move to the other side of the table, just in the nick of time. I would have been totally squished by Coyote Ugly Lisa. Who is a nice person, just totally drunk. I am thinking they stayed in a motel for another night. Did not go to town on Monday to find out for sure.

So soon after we headed for home after a busy, interesting day. We don't meet that many new folks or learn that many new things in a year in Clare. And it was fun. This is what we missed by being responsible parents and it is fun to do it now. We don't feel so old when we are having fun. And so totally worth it to be responsible parents, we have such nice kids and grands to show for it. Well, they are responsible for being the way they are. But we were there.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Parrot Heads Moon Fire

Linda from Kansas

Wendy in the white jacket

Boyd rides in front of Rick on his own perch in the front of the motorcycle

Mary Ann and Boyd the parrot

It was a beautiful evening for a bonfire on the beach. Great full moon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Dairy Queen - Why I love Port A

We went to Bernie's for dancing, the Port A Rockers play on Thursday night. We stayed till 8 and I ran into the Dairy Queen on the way home. It is so typically Port Aransas, you don't want to be in a hurry. The folks in front of me in line came back up to have some more Butterfinger pieces in their Blizzard. The next group had a milk shake and Blizzard. I ordered a Turtle Blizzard, alas, they were out of pecans. The guy in front of me wanted that too, but he got a Truffle Blizzard. So did I. All was discussed in great detail by everyone. Great people watching.

The counter girl was teaching the cook how to make Blizzards. They both looked like high school students, and she was a pretty good teacher. Put a metal cup collar in the cup, add a lot of vanilla Dairy Queen, then a scoop of cocoa syrup, then get some truffle candies from the freezer. Stick the cup into the whipper thingie. Then she checked it and then he did it a bit more. Then tada, I finally had it! They gave me two spoons and I didn't even have to ask. Guess I mentioned that my husband would eat half of it. Once or twice.

So I get back into the car and we start eating it, Paul asks if we can put this in the freezer thinking we couldn't eat it all. No need to worry about the freezer problem. It was so delicious and creamy we made it gone. Dairy Queen is so good down here, all smooth and rich and creamy, not grainy and watery like up north.

Going in for treats there is like a step back into the 1960s, you have to love it.

Aransas National Wildlife Preserve

A long alligator on Jones Lake at the Preserve, we found 4 laying around in the sun

A pair of Whooping Cranes - just dots in the middle of the photo, we could see them good with the glasses

At the top of the 40 foot tower we had great views.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Katie's Birthday

Grandpa and Lane bonding with bottles

We went to the Pelican Club for Katie's birthday diner. It was a cold night so we ate inside. Lane was a good little man. I was nervous that we would disturb the couple behind us but as they left she said she had been itching to hold him for us.

Katie and I had sushi, the California roll. Excellent, the avocado is so wonderful here. Katie had the crab on grouper and pasta and asparagus and bacon, my usual dish. I had the Amber Jack with black and white sesame seeds, with a sauce and garlic mashed potatoes and tempura battered asparagus spears. So yummy. Paul had his usual great rib eye steak.

Then we went to Katie's hotel for cake and presents.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday Fun

Paul, Katie, Mark and Lane at the park

Interesting beer taps to the right, in the Gaff patio bar

Paul, Lane and Bernie, at Bernie's

We saw Richard the Bartender on the way out, he loved the baby. Actually, babies are rock stars in Port A. Not many there.

Somehow we missed getting a picture at Hooks, where we had a great lunch. I had a great Ruben, pretty rare in south Texas. Katie had a chop sandwich, Paul a burger, Mark a BLT.

Then we went across the street to Bernie's Beach. We stopped at the park, went to the jetty and drove the beach.

It was a great weekend. Mark and Katie want to come back next year. We will be looking for a house for them to rent.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday Fun - La Playa Food Fest

Susan enjoying baby time.

Please pass the baby

Mark and Katie, the guys were drinking Victoria, a Mexican beer. Katie and I had Melon Margaritas. Like a pale green sherbet, tasty

Cody Angel was the surprise chauffeur for the evening

Susan really enjoyed Lane, he was pretty relaxed. Not many babies on the island, and everyone loved seeing him. At the restaurant he had an audience all night long.

Madison and Carlie all ready for the Valentine's Day Dance at school. Madison never wears dresses, she is a competition surfer and great basket ball player.

Mark, Paul and Javiar. Mark brought Lone Star Beer

Mark and Paul

We went to Susan and Javiar's to see the girls off to the dance. Very fun. Then off to La Playa for dinner. We had the most excellent guacamole and chips and that cheesy dip with tomato, pepper, and taco meat in it. Paul and Mark split beef fajitas and Katie and I split the crab enchiladas. Everything was wonderful, of course. Susan grooved on holding Lane, and he was ok with that. Javiar explained the wonders of flan to us and we shared a serving. Oh so good. Mark had a good time, and likes the island. It is a friendly place.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lane and Katie Hit Port A

Everyone ate at The Pelican Club.

Katie talking with Mark

Snacking at the Coast Club

Lane loved Kody's where we had crab stuffed jalapenos

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kitchen Progress

This was taken several weeks ago, note I still have my butcher block to the left.

The island is a little larger

The fridge is going closer to the corner and Shane is changing the way the door opens

Love the new sink. The name of the granite is Kashmir white. It is a creamy white with copper spots all over. I think there are some swirls of gray or black in it too. All our door handles and hinges are copper.

Monday, February 7, 2011

No pictures of the Ice

The beach is beautiful and no sea weeds.

Just so I don't have a blog without pictures, Lane and Emily, two youngest grand babies.

The ice wasn't that pretty, it just isn't the same on palm trees as it is on trees and shrubs up north. It was a pain in the butt though. We had been at Javiar and Susan's in town and when we left the roads were just wet. Their wooden staircase and landings was very icy and slick. The van was ice covered. It doesn't seem like the road froze over at all. When we got to the motor home our metal steps were totally an ice rink. I just pulled myself inside using the hand rails. Paul just crawled in.

We were lucky, many people were injured before they noticed the ice. A few cracked heads, Tom fell on his little deck, legs flew out from under him and over the edge, he was only stopped by a strategically placed post. Between his legs. Then he hit his back, and then the back of his head.

Our friend, Shirley, who we stayed with this fall in Colorado Springs, fell and broke her hip, they called 911, and all the crews came out but the bridges from the island were closed because they were all iced over. She spent the night and half the next day in the recliner in her trailer. She has surgery today.

In Corpus Christi four cars were stuck on top of an overpass all night because of the ice. One man ran out of gas and had icicles on his eyebrows when they rescued him. At the risk of being insensitive WTF ???? This is weird in so many ways.

Sunday we went to church, the beach and stayed home to watch the Super Bowl. Great ads, loved the Eminem Chrysler add about Detroit.

Katie, Lane and Mark are coming this week. We are so excited. Katie's birthday is Wednesday, have to find some gifts!