Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Saturday, April 18, 2015


(FYI - It's happened again - no internet - a huge Texas thunder boomer wiped it out at the RV park)

Diane decided she wanted seafood for lunch.  I mentioned seeing the Bleu Crab CafĂ© – and off we went.   The service was slow, very slow.  (I made allowances for it being Easter Sunday and they probably weren’t used to a crowd on Sundays, but still – waiting 20 minutes for even an acknowledgement?)   The food??? – well the fish, (tempera battered and fried) was outstanding, the French fries soggy and the hush puppies leaden.   Oh, yeah, the prices were outrageous for what you got.  Normally, I wouldn’t bother to mention this, but………………..

A while later, while riding around with Myra, supposedly just to go wash her truck -  (with Myra her “I’ve only got to do this one thing – ride with me” – never is just one thing) she was looking for somewhere to eat.   We stopped at the “Sugar Shack” – which turned out to be mostly a bar…. A noisy bar….. and, can you believe it in this day and age??? – a smoky bar.   Being Easter Sunday – nearly everything was closed.  We tried the Bar-B-Q place across the road from the campground – closed….   Actually we learned it is only open Thursday – Saturday.   In pursuit of good eats for Myra (I was still stuffed with leaden hush puppies)  we stopped in at the Chinese buffet -   Bingo!   Weekend buffet.   Weekend SEAFOOD buffet – for about the same price Diane and I paid for lunch. (Actually, it was less)   Myra did not hesitate, she immediately attacked the seafood table and came back with a plate heaped with crab legs, steamed shrimp, fried shrimp, fish, frog legs, and many other delacasies  (oh, crap….. where IS the spell check on this thing?)   They even had oysters as well as all their normal fare.   I had finally, finally found a Chinese restaurant worthy of the name for the first time since leaving Virginia.   I sat there drinking my iced tea while  watching Myra devour 3-4 plates of food.   I did say she was hungry, didn’t I?

Lest I lie …….  I had 3 large glasses of iced tea at lunch – waiting patiently (well, maybe a tad bit impatiently) for our lunch to arrive, and 2 more large glasses of tea while watching Myra eat – need I explain why I am up at 4:30 a.m.  typing this blog?

Myra’s “just one thing”   We headed to the car wash, but passed it by to go to Wal-Mart, then we washed the truck.  Then we drove over to Fulton Beach road, and drove along the beach.  Then we turned around and on the way to the visitor’s center (which was closed, of course – Easter Sunday, remember) we detoured through the high society end of the beach to check out the fancy beach homes.  Passed the visitor center and drove through the “art” community, then along the pier looking for fresh shrimp, found a seafood store open – medium shrimp - $10 a pound, then to the Sugar Shack, the Bar-b-Q, and finally the Chinese Restaurant.

I mentioned it was 4:30 a.m.  right?   I am so glad I am a touch typist – of sorts.   The only light is from the monitor  and the keyboard is black so it is a challenge.   Oh, wait – I started at 4:30 – it is now 6.00 and day is breaking.   Breaking what?  Have you ever wondered what that means?

Myra shared with me what she would do with Miss Daisy if she owned her – and it was very close to a photo of a “Glampered” rig that I saved from facebook – I’ll have to try to find it and see if I can post it, or at least move it to a handy place for inspiration.

A week or so later:
We enjoyed a 3 day visit from friends from Virginia who are on a journey to the West Coast and Pacific Northwest - we'll see them again in June when they pass through June.   Holly and I enjoyed a nice long game of Canasta.  I kept score on a piece of notebook paper - when we were finished, Holly said - "Hey, where's our score notebook"  Sure enough in the pocket of my card bag was the little notebook - the last time we played was in 2011 -  I'll bring it up to date and include place as well as date - and we'll see how long we can keep it up!  (I do plan a trip to Virginia in the not too, too distance future.)

We've been to the China A restaurant 3 times already - bought shrimp for dinner in between times.  
Visited the aquarium - with Tucker - he really enjoyed watching the fish.   One bright yellow little guy was picking up pieces of coral and dropping it around the entrance of his home - making a porch, I suspect.

I have really enjoyed the thunderstorms we have had here - really loud, really flashy.   Tucker - just yawns and keeps on sleeping.

I've got some sewing projects in progress for Myra -  Cut them out yesterday - will start sewing on them tomorrow when Myra returns from a visit to her new home.

Oops!!!!!   I've just been told the library closes in 15 minutes - I'll post and continue on whenever I can catch up with the internet again!!!

Until next time......
Boots n' Tucker

She believed she could do it and so she did!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015



Of New Mexico off our boots.

I tried to write about the activities of Deming that I missed posting, but I just couldn’t breathe any life into the words.  So, perhaps “what happens in Deming, stays in Deming!!!”

So, finally it was time to leave for Texas - we got off early enough - about 9:15  and pointed Luv and Miss Daisy toward Texas.   It was a beautiful day for a drive - lightly over-cast so we didn’t have hot sun to deal with - no wind.  It was 100 miles to El Paso and the Texas information center.

Our original plans were to stay one night at Ft. Stockton and 2 nights in Banderas so we could drive into San Antonio from there.   Upon arrival at the Texas Information center, those plans were adjusted.   We were given a print out of the days reported wild flower hot spots, and they were east of Fredericksburg, so we cancelled Banderas.

After leaving El Paso, I swear we drove nearly 100 miles without seeing even one house!!    I’ve mentioned before that the Texans claim everything is bigger in Texas - that must include their bladders cause the rest areas are 100 miles apart.

We arrived in Ft. Stockton in good time and got set up.   After Deming’s desert colors, the rich green of new grass was awesome.  Tucker was in hog heaven, rolling and rubbing around in the grass.   The RV Park is under new management - for the past 7 months and the new owner has made many improvements, including a wonderful new dog park, wi-fi, and cable tv for those who want it.   The new owner is 29 years old and receives accolades from visitors and employees alike.

The current camp hosts were leaving the following day after spending a year there.  This couple really knows how to rough it!!!!    They have a huge motor home, and tow a custom made trailer with their jeep and  A HOT TUB on it.  Can you believe it?
The fellow told me this was the first place they camp hosted where there was not a hot tub, so he called his son and had him build a special trailer to hold the hot tub.

In the morning we got on the road in good time and got off the highway at Junction, TX to meander toward Fredericksburg on a quest for wild flowers.   The blue bonnets were just popping out - but were beautiful to behold.  There were other flowers blooming along the road also.   We came over the crest of a hill and the fields were filled with huge red boulders .   Sorry, I don’t have photos, but pulling along Miss Daisy on narrow 2 lane roads does not provide many opportunities for pulling over for photos.

We arrived at Fredericksburg, drove through town and on to the LBJ Historical park.  The park was closing in 15 minutes so we back tracked to the Wildseed Farm.  I bought a packet of Rocky Mountain wild flower seeds for my daughter, Brooke, and a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar for my eldest.  There were other varieties, but I didn’t know what she would like, and I know she likes the fig.  Diane bought a Rosemary plant.  We looked for Basil, but they were out.

 All along the road there were wineries - and new ones being built.   A friend in Deming recommended we eat at the Bavarian Inn for good German food.

To get to the Inn, we had to make a sharp left turn into the Inn’s drive.  We moved along the driveway and made another hard left that took us along the back of the building.   Yet another hard left down the other side of the building, between two rows of parked cars.  Yikes, if that truck was a full quad, or a long bed, we would have been stuck.   We made a tight, tight right turn, and found a (3 actually) parking spots - You do realize I was towing Daisy all this time, don’t you?  

We had a rather forgettable meal of German food and headed out to find a Wal-Mart to park at for the night.  This was our first time spending the night at a Wal-mart - it was doable, but very noisy since we were right beside the highway - but it worked out o.k.

In the morning, we went back to the LBJ park -   I got the permit to visit the living history farm, maneuvered Daisy around the big parking lot, and got us sort of stuck in the little parking lot at the farm, when Diane said “you go ahead, I’ll just wait here in the truck”   Darn!  I’d already seen it and I thought Diane would enjoy it, but not to be.   But by then, I had Daisy jammed in the end of the parking lot, and we had to wait for two cars to leave in order to pull out ourselves

Back on the road again, we headed to New Braunsful to see if we could find the bakery.   (The oldest bakery in Texas) I lost all hope of that when we got shuttled off on a detour.  I guess I should tell you that at this point, I was operating without a GPS -  it died in Deming.   I have a back-up GPS with me, but no instruction manual.   A friend downloaded one for me - then I couldn’t get the GPS to turn on - so we were traveling the old fashioned way - with maps only.

The detour brought us back to a main street and I recognized the old round-a-bout and sure enough there was the bakery.   I’ve been thinking about this bakery for 5 years - ever since my last visit there.   We bought a bagful of goodies - and they were good!!! Oh, my how delicious.

I had planned for a trip to Greune at this point, but without a GPS, I had no idea which way to go - and couldn’t see it on the map, so we headed south - toward Rockport.

Oh, my, the flowers, the flowers, beautiful, georgous, awesome - what else?    Drifts and drifts of color - blue, yellow, white, soft orange, bright pink - you name it - covering the verge of the highway.   What a treat!  I’m so happy we made this part of the trip.

So,…..   We arrived at the Bay View RV Resort a day early.   The first thing I did upon arrival was to break the barricade!   Yep, that’s what I said.   Broke the barricade.   Not entirely my fault -  I was reading instructions (I had called and left a message that we were arriving early, but had not heard back)   when a beige pickup drove up beside me and said “follow me in”  I really did think she was a member of the staff.  I started through, and the barricade started coming down - Oops!   I hit the brakes and my “new friend”  waved me on - and sure enough, the barricade came down between Luv and Miss Daisy and was left dangling in the road way.  I followed the beige pickup through the park until it left the park on a private road.  I drove back to the office and was met by a security guard who helped me get to my site.  Yes, of course, he mentioned the barricade……..   What did you expect?????

First thing in the morning, I checked in and asked to talk to the boss, who it turns out, was on his way to Lowes to get some parts to fix the barricade.  I asked the manager to give him my phone number and have him call me.   As of this date, I haven’t heard from him.  I have an idea this was by no means the first time the barricade was broken.

That was Thursday night - Friday was spent setting up, and fixing up, and putting away.  We hit a rough section of road along the way and the result was the bathroom mirror was shaken off the door - not damaged, thank goodness, and the cabinet with the pull out shelf - well, the shelf pulled out, pushing the door open and the toaster oven, popcorn popper (don’t laugh), and baking pans, and hot pot were all on the floor.  Nothing broke -  I was grateful the crock pot was in the back - as the shelf wiggled out, the crockpot fell down behind it, otherwise the pottery insert would have been broken!.

Saturday morning, we headed down to Harlingen to visit friends Myra and JT - who had been camp hosting there for a full year, and had just bought a home there.   It’s about 200 miles from here - with a single rest area about half way - 100 miles - see what I mean?

When we arrived there, we left Tucker in the 5th wheel we were renting for the night and headed to Mexico with Myra and a couple of her friends.

What a day!!!   So different from Paloma.   Here the vendors were right in my face - violating my personal space and totally overwhelming me and sucking away my energy.  I don’t like crowds, and this was a major crowd.

 The first thing was to go to a very nice, upscale (white tablecloths) restaurant for lunch.  It was  delicious! - and reasonably priced - about $9 for the meal.

We then took off walking.   And looking,    And walking, and looking some more.  Myra has become very good at bargaining since she’s been in Harlingen.   She was looking for silver bracelets.    She found what she wanted, and then had them throw in another bracelet for $4 - for me.   I can deal with that!!!!!    What I was looking for in Mexico was silver bracelets and pottery.   I decided I’d hold up on more bracelets - I’ll send $$ to Myra and she can pick up some and stick them in an envelope and send to me.

Diane got tired of walking, so we sat her down in a bar  (a first for her, I’m sure) and one of Myra’s friends sat with her while we walked on.

 So now we were concentrating on pottery.   I saw a beautiful bowl in one place, but decided to keep looking.   I was also starting to get tired by now.  But we walked on., and on.    In another large pottery store, I found a pottery light switch cover for Brooke and also a beautiful bowl -  I liked the rim shape of the other bowl, but I liked the colors of this one - it went well with a scrap of fabric I was carrying with me.

There were artisan’s working on the street, too.   One fellow was amazing - painting pictures with spray cans of paint.    ******* 0179

Myra had a bracelet made for my grandson, Seven.  We watched it being made

It was time to head back to Harlingen.   The next day, Myra and JT took us out to dinner after they returned from church.   Then we went to see their new home.   It’s a mobile home in a beautifully landscaped park and it has a large room built along the side of it - that is Myra’s sewing room.   Oh, she really got me enthusiastic about  sewing again!  She is involved in so many groups and projects that just hearing about them wears me out.   I have to figure out how I can come back and stay 2-3 months just for a “sewing fix”.

We left there at about 4 p.m. and returned to the RV Park in Rockport with out incident.  

Let me tell you about this RV Park.   It is huge!  Over 500 sites - and the only drive through sites are where we are - at the far north - east area of the park.   There is a shower/laundry about 100’ from our site.  Unfortunately, it is being remodeled.  So - we have to drive to the showers.  I told you the park is huge.    It’s shady - with beautiful twisted coastal oak trees covering the place - and there are a couple of ponds, making it a perfect home for billions and billions of hungry mosquitoes.  And humidity……. High humidity…… 97% humidity.  We do get lovely afternoon sea breezes and the nights, so far are cool for sleeping.

I got some stuff to spray the site for mosquitoes.   You know the kind, you hook it to your water hose.  Well, I had it hooked up and was trying to figure out how to start it spraying when I dropped it and it started spraying - ME!!!   I figured I would be free of mosquitoes for at least a week, but thought better of it and headed for the showers as soon as I finished spraying the site.

A couple days later, Myra and JT arrived in Rockport with their rig - they will spend the month here too.

Myra is very organized, and is famous for getting people to accomplish, and finish, things.   Right now, for the next 3-4 days - they are on the road again. =- to Biloxi, MS with a u-haul trailer to get their stored belongings and bring them back to their new home in Harlingen.   I am catching my breath while waiting for their return -   Myra won’t let me have a moment’s rest once she returns.   She has the whole month organized with projects and day trips, and quilt shop hops.   We’ll also make the trip back to Harlingen about once a week - supposedly to check on the house, but really so I can help her with some sewing projects, and she can share some ideas with me.

In the meantime, we have been out and about in Rockport -   I can find the Wells Fargo, H.E.B (grocery chain) post office, and Wal-Mart.  Oh, yeah, the visitors center, too.

 I really want Diane to be able to go to church on Sunday - so I ordered a GPS from Amazon and had it shipped over night.   It is a little more basic in operations than my old one, but it will get the job done.  It’s about 50 miles to the church - but at least there is one in the area.  (About the GPS - I discovered two functions my old one didn’t have - shows the current highway speed limit  and shows how many lanes turn on the upcoming exit.)

Until next time, - and I certainly hope there will be many more to come,

Boots & Tucker
In Rockport, TX

“She believed she could do it, so she did!”