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Outside My Comfort Zone

It has been a great day.  I found Wildseed Farms today, even though the female Google voice steered me wrong once I got to Fredericksburg.  According to her, I was at Wildseed Farms when I darn sure wasn't. But I stopped and got directions at a convenience store the old fashioned way, and finally made it to my destination on the right, no thanks to the Google Bitch.

I had lunch and got some photos while I was there, then came home via the route Mr. Grinch had suggested to me when I talked to him during lunch.  I'm glad I took that route because I saw a big buck coming up out of a ravine on my left up ahead of me. I started braking just in chase, and sure enough that big buck with a totally awesome rack bounded across the road, and with one amazing graceful leap, cleared the fence on the other side. The sight of that magnificent animal leaping the fence will be a memory I will always cherish. Since there are often other deer around when you see one, I kept a careful watch, and saw a small fawn coming up the ravine just as I drove past it.

I am so glad I sallied forth today and made my way to Wildseed Farms. Challenging myself to drive outside my comfort zone is wonderful therapy for me right now. Comfort zones are good to have.  They serve a very useful purpose when learning a new skill, or relearning an old one. But, staying inside those comfort zones forever is not a good thing. It is only when we step, or drive outside those comfort zones we truly hone that skill.  Living too long completely within our comfort zone doesn't allow for true growth and learning. So step outside your comfort zone occasionally, or even frequently, and learn to really live. We are most truly alive I think when we are outside our comfort zone.





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Easy Microwave Sponge Cake

We've microwaved cakes before, but they often turn out with a somewhat unusual texture. Instructables user jessyratfink claims to have figured out how to overcome that problem with a delicious five-minute sponge cake recipe.  Read Moreh




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Clean Your Windows with Black Tea for Streak-Free Glass

Whether you're out of Windex, or just don't like using harsh chemicals around the house, black tea is surprisingly adept at cleaning windows.

We already knew that black tea can work wonders on your skin, but Mother Nature Network claims that the tannins and acidity of a strong cup of black tea can help you achieve spot-free windows too. All you have to do is brew an extra strong cup of black tea, pour it into a spray bottle, and use it just like you would Windex. The result is similar to what you'd get from a commercial cleaner, at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to check out the source link for more info.

How to clean glass with black tea | Mother Nature Network via Made + Remade




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They have better things to waste their money on

Technology has really changed our world. I am of the generation who's fingers first started typing on a manual typewriter. Boy didn't those things build finger muscles using them? We sure had no problem flipping someone the bird, or waving the peace sign. Oh and those return levers! We could bitch slap with the best of them after a day of slapping those things around. Then electric typewriters came along and man we thought we were really styling! Now, we have touch screen iPads, iPods, iPhones, and ultra thin laptops that you can do nearly anything on.

We also live in a world where Big Brother, his sister, mother, father, and maybe even cousin Bubba are watching you. Especially if you like to Facebook and Tweet. Or walk down a street with a Google Cam. Or into any store or area where surveillance cameras are keeping a watchful eye perpetually open. Every time you surf the net cookies and other programs are tracking your every move. Is it any wonder as a nation, perhaps even as a world, we have become a trifle paranoid?

I know when I really think about it, it scares the hell out of me. Fortunately I'm blonde enough to not do that too often. If I did really think about it too often, I am afraid I would be out there building underground bunkers and joining the survivalists. I prefer to not worry about it, even thumb my nose at it all, go shopping on Amazon.com on a mac, with my cookie filters set as high as I can and still shop, then let them figure out what they think I'm going to want to buy next with whatever information they could glean from that shopping spree. They have NO idea what a precocious shopper I am.

Is the government watching me? Well, I was known as a radical troublemaker in the 70's. Yeah I know, hard to believe I was ever a radical troublemaker. Over the years I have continued my quiet peaceful ways by proving sometimes, the truth really does hurt, by stepping on several political toes, while simply writing the truth. Some of those toes were Presidential ones. And I have a son in the Air Force. So, what do you think? Would they really waste their time, and our tax dollars on somebody as harmless as me? It's not like I'm the kind to spark a revolution.

Personally, I think they have a lot better things to waste their time, and our tax dollars on. Things like paying researchers to play video games, study the effects of cocaine on Japanese quail, teach Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibility, or pay a professor to study how Americans find love on the internet. No, I'm not making this stuff up. I Googled stupid things the government spends money on, and found this stuff. It was on the internet after all, so it must be true.



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A wonderfully relaxing Saturday

White Hibiscus

Between rallies, family reunions and last minute weddings, I have been an extremely busy little blonde these past couple of weeks.  And though I wouldn't trade a moment of that busy time, especially helping to make that last minute wedding a success, I was more than ready for a little down time this weekend.  Saturday I decided to play perpetual tourist/photographer, and set for a day of sightseeing.  My first stop was the Wildseed Farms at Fredericksburg. I had yet been there, and was hoping there would still be plenty of flowers in bloom this time of year.
Morning Glory
My hopes were realized, and although I missed the spring blooms, there were still plenty of pretty summer bloomers showing their stuff. I am currently trying to hone my close up photography skills, so I took several very close up shots of some of those summer bloomers. My favorite of those shots was of a purple morning glory with the sunlight behind it.  The lighting made the center of that flower look as if it was aglow.  I also snapped a good shot of a little lizard along the way.


What gorgeous colors
Then it was off to Camp Verde General Store, where I got another nice close up shot of some flowers there.  I really love visiting Camp Verde! What a gorgeous place to just relax outside on the patio, or shop until you drop.  They had a camel statue wearing a scarf there I couldn't resist snapping a pic of as well.  I also got a good shot of one of their beautiful patio fountains.

Hummingbird in flight

After returning home, I honed my hummingbird photography skills today as well, and got a pretty good shot of a little hummingbird in flight about to land on the feeder.  I'm going to keep practicing and hopefully, even with the slow digital camera, get an ultimate hummingbird shot that will generate a WOW!, factor when people see it.

Super Moon
At 6 am CDT it will be the Super Moon.  32 minutes after that, it become a full moon.  Since I don't plan to be awake at that time, I decided to take my Super Moon photos tonight.  I went outside just as that magnificent moon began to rise in the sky, and was dutifully impressed by how large it looked, as well as fascinated by the glowing ring around it.  I believe that ring might have been caused by the dirt and dust that is currently in the air all around us here.  I got one really nice shot where the moon seems to speared by some of the branches of a tree it has risen over.
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Some moments are worth keeping.

One of the themes of New Year's Eve is Out With The Old! In With The New! Which is a great theme in many ways, but the truth is there are moments that occurred in 2012 that I don't want to do away with, or ever forget. Like that moment I stood on top of Enchanted Rock on my 54th birthday. Or the time I was sitting on the patio of the Boerne Wine Company and found myself sharing space with a gorgeous little gecko. Below is a short slideshow of some of my favorite photos, and moments of 2012.

If your mobile browser does not support Flash Slideshows then grab the Puffin Flash Browser! Or Click Here to view the Photo Album.




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The Perfect Campfire




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The Perfect Campfire


The last couple of Friday Night Cowboy Campfires had been cancelled due to rain, so I was glad to see that weather conditions were more than favorable for tonight's campfire. The weather was warm and sunny when I set about gathering together the kindling to start the fire with. I was determined to find just the kindling, so I could get the fire going quickly and easily, and avoid having some man come along and show me how to do it right. Which is why I went to several different spots around the resort picking up what I considered to be the perfect kindling materials. Since the weather was so perfect, I went ahead and gathered enough kindling together to start at least the next two campfires with. By the time I was through, I had twigs of every size, as well as dry grass and and a couple of dead stalks I found.
I took the kindling back to the fire pit, chose my logs carefully, arranged them just right, and tucked plenty of kindling in the center of them. I was hoping this fire would start would a minimum of fuss when it came time to light it. I put the left over kindling by the little stack of wood I keep around for the campfires, and headed back to our RV to chill for a little while before time to start the fire.



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Mike playing guitar


Around 6:30pm I headed back up to the fire pit. After getting the hose ready so it would be handy if needed, I sat down on one of the red wooden benches that had survived the fire that swept through the Top of the Hill RV Resort on Fathers Day of 2011. I thought about waiting until somebody else came by before I started the fire, but decided it would be better to go ahead and start the fire, and let it draw the people to it. Besides, this way, if my perfect kindling plan didn't work out, nobody would be around to see me having to resort to plan B.

I stuck the electronic lighter, placed its flame in the center of the dead grass and stalks, and watched as it caught. The flame burned hot and true, igniting the rest of the dead grass and stalks, then the twigs began to burn. Within moments I knew that with that one strike of the electronic flame, I had started what was going to be a perfect campfire. And I have to admit, for just a moment, I gloated as I watched those flickering flames. By the time darkness fell, I had the perfect campfire going.





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BB enjoying the Perfect Campfire.


As any good campfire is apt to do, soon it began to draw people to it. Before too long, we had a fine circle of people around that campfire. One even brought his guitar, and as we watched the flickering flames, we had a singalong around the campfire. Because I have a singing voice that makes tomcats cringe and run, I remained mute and just enjoyed seeing the people around me having so much fun. And I took some photos of course. The fire that had begun with my quest for the perfect kindling, grew into the perfect campfire in every way that was possible. The people around it told stories, sang songs, and enjoyed some fantastic conversation. And isn't that really what the perfect campfire is all about?

zemified_h





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Harvest Moon Celebration



Went to the 2012 Harvest Moon Celebration in Boerne today and had a blast!  There was a little something for everyone there.  Birds of Prey, Cute Scarecrows, Pirates, and even Belly Dancers.








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Write The Next Chapter

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What a beautiful evening.



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What a beautiful evening it's been here at the Top of the Hill.  Yours Truly, BB, AKA The DoA (That's Director of Activities, NOT Dead on Arrival ;) has been kicked back with Mr. Grinch admiring this stunning sunset.

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A Brand New Beat

On Father's Day of 2011 a firestorm started by a man going down the road with a lit BBQ pit in the back of his pickup swept through the Top of the Hill RV Resort. The devastation to the historic old ranch buildings that housed our amenities, as well as to several rigs on the very top of hill was heartbreakingly complete. The only amenities that survived that firestorm were the pool, the fire pit, and miraculously the red wooden benches sitting around the fire pit. Oh, and our mystery statue survived semi intact. She was repaired not long after the fire so she did not become another tragic one armed Venus.

The only thing we really seem to know about our mystery Lady is this wasn't her first fire. We don't know exactly where she came from, or who she really is. I did some research online, and I think is she is some sort of replica of the ancient Greek statues found around public, and private baths. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it. Whoever she really is, to me she is one true Fire Woman.

A little over a year later, I am watching the final finishing touches being put on the landscaping, and feeling my soul smile. And it didn't smile just because of all the great looking male butts in tight jeans running around as those finishing touches are getting put on. Though, as BB so often does, I will shamelessly admit they sure brighten my day at times. But, what is truly making my darker shade of grey soul smile is seeing this place I now call home become all that it can be again.

That I am now a part of the team that is making it all happen is a feeling I wouldn't trade for anything. I started a weird wonderful journey a couple of years ago when we made the decision to buy our first RV, and see how we how we liked life in the RV lane. We liked life in the RV lane just. We fell in love with the Hill Country, and decided to become a stationary part of life in the RV lane. We upgraded the Summerland to Cyclone toy hauler, then happily settled into life at the the Top of Hill.

The fire thoroughly disrupted our happiness for a bit, but life is circle. It is once more spinning in a joyful direction for those of us at the Top of the Hill RV Resort. You can bet the farm BB has a firm hold on this brass ring, and is smiling from ear to ear as I enjoy the ride of a lifetime. Because that's what this is for me. Here I am, in my Crone years, suddenly diving into becoming Director of Activities and Facebook Faerie for the Top of the Hill RV Resort, after years of studiously avoiding anything that even vaguely resembled a real job.

Some might say I have gone completely crazy. To which I can only reply, "Get real. How can I go to a place I was already at years ago?" I mean hello! I'm the one sitting here with a maniacal little blue muse on my shoulder. And speaking of that little blue brat, he's really digging the beat of life with BB right now. It's big bold wonderful beat that promises this dance is going last. I do believe it is also going to be a time where my fingers are dancing to the beat, and sharing moments from this dance with my readers.

To view photos of the landscaping going on as I wrote this Click Here.






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A Real Change For The Better

When is the last time you laughed so hard you couldn't catch your breath? Sat around a bonfire with good friends and new acquaintances? Waved pom poms at a Super Bowl Party? Played a fun game like Farkle or Chicken Foot Dominoes? Thanks to now living life at the Top of the Hill RV Resort, I can gleefully say, "Why just within the past week!" to all of the above questions.

Moving here has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Made me realize that I still do possess a pretty good set of social skills, that I still can make people smile and laugh when I'm around them. And just as importantly, I can still smile, laugh and have a lot of fun myself when around people like the great folks here at the Top of the Hill RV Resort.

What a joy it's been learning to play fun games like Farkle, and last night at the Super Bowl Party, Chicken Foot Dominoes. Heck, I'm even attending Monday night Bingo games, and learning very quickly that at least around here, Bingo, is not just for people of a "certain age" as Mr. Grinch, AKA Larry said. Truth be told, depending on what your idea of acting our ages might be, some of us here just don't do that. No matter what our ages may be, we are too darn busy waving pom poms and having fun to be worrying about acting our ages.

Speaking of waving pom poms, I am so glad the inner child within me insisted on grabbing a couple of pair of those yesterday at Walmart when I was picking up the party trays for the Super Bowl Party. We had so much great fun acting silly and waving those pom poms around last night. It is often said it is the little things in life that mean the most. I think those little pom poms we waved around last night proves there is much truth in that statement. Especially, when little things like that are shared with good friends.

To see more pictures of the Super Bowl Party click on the photo of me waving those pom poms :)



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Why smiling is so important

I've been thinking about smiles for some reason today. No, not the little yellow smiley faces. I mean real smiles. Perhaps the reason real smiles have been on my mind today is because I've smiled so much lately. Especially yesterday as I interacted with the animals at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park. I know I was as bad as some of the kids when it came to being awed and entertained by those magnificent animals. Know I had a big smile plastered on my face throughout most of that experience.

When is the last time you did something that made you smile from ear to ear?

Sometimes we forget how much a smile can mean. One never knows just how much that sunny smile you give a total stranger, can brighten his or her day. I like giving total strangers big sunny smiles. Sometimes, without missing a beat, they return that smile. Other times they blink, and almost take a step back. It's obvious wherever these those folks are from, getting big sunny smiles from a total stranger for no apparent reason, isn't something they see every day.

If I'm in a crowd of people I'm apt to pick out the grumpiest looking one, then turn my biggest brightest 1000 watt on him on her. I've had lots of different reactions to that. Have had a few people look at me like I was totally, perhaps even dangerously insane, shake their heads, then hurry off. I love that reaction. While I watch them hurry off, with a big grin on my face, I'm thinking, "Yeah I'm bad! I can scare them with a sunny smile!"

When is the last time you smiled so big at a stranger they thought you were a possible lunatic?

Other times a stranger will blink in surprise, give me a bit of a leery look for a second, then sort of cave in, and return the smile. As that smile is reluctantly returned, I know that no matter what has caused that person to have looked so grumpy, at least for a few seconds, he or she felt a little better.

When is the last time your smile brightened the day of someone badly in need of a sunny smile?

Don't you think it would be fun to be able to answer? "I have done all 3 in the past couple of days!"

Just a little thought from Beyond ;



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On Safari!

Saturday morning I decided to dress up in my black skirt, fun lace and knit leggins, little black boots with the grey fur trim, and a black blouse. I figured with this outfit, I was ready for anything life might throw at me. Imagine my surprise when a little later Mr. Grinch suddenly decided this was the day we would go on the Natural Bridge Wildlife Safari. I wasn't about to take a chance on him changing his mind while I changed clothes, so headed off to the drive through African safari dressed to the nines.

At first I thought that was the same place that had the viral video on You Tube. But after arriving there discovered it wasn't. That was fine with me though because I had been wanting to go on this drive through safari for several months now. I figured even if that wasn't the park that had the over friendly zebra, I would still be really stylishly dressed if something happened that wound up with me on a viral You Tube video.

I'm happy to report that nothing like that did happen. However, there was this one zebra who really had the feeding thing down pat. It would just come right up to the open window, stick its head in it, then open its mouth wide, and wait for food pellets to be tossed into that wide open mouth. I didn't get a pic of that because I was too damn busy tossing food pellets into its mouth. I was afraid if I stopped throwing food in there long enough to grab the iPhone and take a picture, it might get mad and eat my iPhone.

I noticed that although you were told at the entrance to toss the food on the ground and not feed the animals by hand, some of the animals there were so spoiled they gave you a dirty look when you tossed food on the ground. Those spoiled creatures would then stick their heads in the window and make it plain they wanted a food pellet they didn't have to pick up off that nasty ground. So yeah, I broke the rules and hand fed those spoiled critters. I spent a good deal of my life around horses though, so knew to put the food pellet in the palm of my hand, and keep my fingers straight.

I really enjoyed seeing and interacting with the animals at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park. It's obvious they also enjoy interacting with the humans who supply them with endless food pellet treats. I noticed though that a few of the animals didn't seem very hungry for the pellets, but did seem to enjoy just visiting for a moment with the humans passing through their domain. One of the zebras especially enjoyed visiting with me for a few moments when I conducted an experiment and scratched what is always a prime itchy spot on a horse. I figure a zebra is nothing but a small horse with stripes. Sure enough, that zebra had the same, right there on the withers itchy spot all horses do.

Today's little drive through African Safari Adventure was a fantastic Saturday outing. Unfortunately I forgot to grab the good camera when we left. I did have my iPhone with me of course, so managed to snap a few good photos with it. We intend to return to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park, and do the drive through safari again. I will be sure and take the regular digital camera then. One day I also want to do the Natural Bridge Caverns. I think I will save that for a spring or summer outing though.

Sitting here remembering the fun I had today as I write this makes me so glad that we decided to call this area home. I have lived in many places in my lifetime. Traveled a great deal in my younger days. Then put down roots that I thought ran very deep. Things change though, and the move to this beautiful hill country has been a change for the better. Perhaps the best part of that change is the fact that Saturday evening I spent a little time around an impromptu Saturday night campfire sharing stories about the wildlife safari I had just gone on with some of the good friends I have gotten to know here at the Top of the Hill RV Resort. Now how cool is that?

To see the photos I took while on the Wildlife Safari Click Here



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That "certain age"

Girls Gone Wild! New Years Eve 2011
I am happy to say that work on the new clubhouse has begun! The pavilion is great for big get togethers like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, for games and little potluck suppers, it's awfully big.  Plus, the nearest public bathroom right now is across the lane in the laundry trailer.  Those of us who are enjoying the games, potluck meals and other activities Colleen is doing such a wonderful job organizing, are going to be damn glad to see that new clubhouse finished.

Wednesday night is board, card, and dice games up at the pavilion.  I’ve been having fun participating in some of those games.  I learned to Farkle last week, and came close to winning a round of it this week.   I needed to roll a combination that would get me exactly 250 points so I could reach the 10,000 mark.  Unfortunately I rolled everything but a 250.  I wound up getting beat by a pal who rolled the 150 he needed in one fell swoop. 

Monday is bingo night.  I amazed myself by actually wandering up to the pavilion this past Monday night, and playing a few games of Bingo.  I had steadfastly resisted the Bingo thing because of bad dreams in which I turned into a little old blue haired lady the moment I shouted, "Bingo!"  Larry didn't help matters when as I put my coat on he made a snide comment about how I was that "certain age" now that I was going to play Bingo.  I reminded him he was ten years older than me, then flounced off to play Bingo.

I came close to winning the final black out game my first night of Bingo, and seeing if that nightmare comes true.  But as luck would have it, another pal beat me to it.  So far, nobody has turned into a blued haired old lady no matter how many times they shouted, "Bingo!"  I think I'm pretty safe if I ever do win a game.

As long as fire bans are lifted, and the wind cooperates, Friday night is bonfire night.  I not so jokingly remarked one Friday evening the nice folks sitting around the campfire that night were the only ones I really felt comfortable attending a bonfire with.  One of the folks visiting for a few days gave me a questioning look.  I held up the broom and pentacle necklace I always wear, and in a stage whisper said, "Witches have to be careful around bonfires."  She blinked, then nodded her head as she joined in the laughter with those who had known why I was normally leery of bonfires.

Be they here at the Top of the Hill RV Resort, or in the bustling town of Boerne, making sure I look my best when I attend any activity has become a fun activity in itself for me.  Yes, shopping for things to wear is part of that fun.  But, I've also recycled some older clothes I have into some great outfits.  Those funky spandex Flirt dresses I bought so long ago are being majorly recycled.  I top them with a matching, or contrasting sweater, add a scarf, belt, leggins and boots.  A funky summer spandex dress then becomes what appears to be a sexy winter skirt and sweater outfit.

Looking my best is about more than just the right clothes though. Finding the right makeup, especially now that playing Bingo makes me that "certain age", is more important than ever.  While looking for some new mineral powder at Walmart, I came across a Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Kit that included concealer, highlighter, correcting powder, and loose powder for $19.24. The correcting powder is really strange looking, but does what it says, and looks great on. So far, I really like everything in this kit. I think I will be looking for more Physicians Formula products in the future.




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Street Eats


Watching my shrimp creole crepe
being made

Street eateries are one of the many ways I am savoring the flavor of life this year.  Boerne offers a wide variety of those during Festivals, Market Days, Parades, and other special events.  A few of those vendors can be found around town all the time now though.  Crepe Nations is one of our favorite street eateries that can be found at the plaza most days.  Watching the crepes being made is fascinating.  Eating the finished product is a culinary delight.  The shrimp creole crepe I got today was make your eyes water, clear your sinuses good.  The banana Foster crepe I got for dessert was a delightful dessert after that hot and spicy savory crepe.

I also saw Fat Bellies at the plaza recently as well, so if they are going to hang out there we will be trying to good Cajun cooking soon.  There is all a Skinny Cat Catering down near Cibolo creek I will try when they finish the new sidewalk by the creek they are building.  Have I mentioned Boerne REALLY loves their sidewalks?  
I wonder if the people so often seen strolling up and down those sidewalks has anything to do with some of the street eateries hanging out in Boerne full time?  I just know the only time I saw anything close to a street eatery in west Texas was if I went to a fair, carnival or circus.  Now that I’m living here in the hill country, I’ve become such an avid fan of them, I downloaded the Eat St. app for my iPhone so I can keep up with my favorite street eateries.

If you had told me a year ago I would be downloading an app for my iPhone to keep up with street eateries on, I would have told you to seek psychiatric help.  Heck, a year ago I was fighting the idea of even getting an iPhone!  And look at me now.  



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A hot and spicy beginning

Colleen, our new Activities Director has done it again! And she is making my 2012 theme of Savoring The Flavor of Life so easy. The "So You Think Your Chili is Hot?" contest was a wonderful success. And the prize winning chili, cooked by Patricia Warren, some of the best I've ever eaten. Kudos to Colleen for arranging the chili cook off, and to Patricia for that delicious prize winning chili.

One of the reasons I chose the Savoring the Flavor of Life for my theme for this year is because great food, sometimes shared with good friends has become such a part of our life now. Whether we are eating something I've cooked up on the grill, in the crockpot, on the stove, eating something from one of the great restaurants around us, or breaking bread with friends at a potluck meal, I am very much learning to not only slow down and smell the roses, but also to take time to savor that good food I'm eating.

It is the potluck suppers and chili cook offs like New Year's day I enjoy the most when it comes to Savoring The Flavor of Life. It is the people attending them that make those occasions something truly special. There are always people there that I've come to consider good friends, as well a few new folks and total strangers that may wind up becoming good friends. The conversation is always lively, but never belligerent. I've been to several of these little get togethers now, including last night's New Year's Eve celebration, and not once have I ever experienced a bad or uncomfortable moment caused by rudeness. It never ceases to amaze me how well we do all get along when we gather together.

I think the fire us regulars here went through is part of the reason those of us who do call The Top of the Hill RV Resort home, are like that. Though we were always good neighbors, after the fire we made more of a point to check on, visit with and just generally sort of look out for our friends and neighbors. You can tell which of us went through that fire when you get us all gathered around a nice little bon fire. We are the ones carefully keeping an eye on that fire, and jumping up to stomp out the tiniest straying spark from that fire. We have learned that though it is a beautiful and warming thing on a cold winter's eve, it can also be a terrifying and destructive force when out of control.

I am looking forward to many more opportunities to savor the flavor of life this year. Colleen said something that really stuck in my mind New Year's Eve. Something about going around one more time. And that idea really appeals to me. Yes! I want to really savor the flavor of life to the fullest one more time before I slide into my grave looking like hell, but grinning like a monkey. Or wind up in an old folks home in depends. Whichever comes first. Either way, while I am still of sound mind and body, and known for my sexy knickers, I intend to go around one time on the merry go round of life, and reach out for that brass ring. Fortunately I'm in a place and time that I can do just that while surrounded by good friends, and truly interesting strangers.

One way I am staying in shape while still savoring the flavor of life, and so much good food, is by taking frequent walks as often as possible. That way I can still savor the flavor, and zip up my favorite pair of skinny jeans. No, I do not, and will not own a pair of those pajama jeans. Though I will admit to really loving leggins. Especially now that I've got some cute skirts, dresses, and boots to wear with them. With Colleen planning so many fun activities, I'm thrilled to say that making sure I do always have something nice to wear to those activities has become a very fun activity in and of itself. Especially with great gal pals to go shopping with.



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Savoring the flavor of life

Celebrating New Year's Eve with friends
I'm sitting here this morning enjoying a cup of tea, and thinking how lucky I am that a little over a year ago we decided to visit this area.  Had we not done that I might well have spent yet another New Year's eve sitting in that big old house in west Texas wishing I was out celebrating it.  Thanks to that fateful decision, I spent this New Year's Eve sitting around a campfire laughing, joking, talking, and just having a wonderful time with some of the greatest folks I've ever met.

The change in our lifestyle that was brought about by that fateful decision to come here for a visit has been one that I am really digging all year round.  And I have the feeling this year is going to be even better.  We have a new director of activities that as last night's celebration proved, is damn good at her job!  I can't wait to see what other things she cooks up for us.  Last night she mentioned she was arranging a wine tasting tour for those who wanted to take it.  Bet your bippy BB is going to be signing up for that!

What's really great is even as I write these words this first morning of 2012, I know in a little while I'll be heading back up the pavilion for another fun event.  Today we are having a So You Think Your Chili's Hot cook off.  No, I am not cooking any chili, though I did pick up some tamales from Mi Casa to go with all the great chili that will be there. I have no doubt I will enjoy the chili and tamales.  But, what I am really going to enjoy is visiting with the folks who prepared that chili, as well as others like me who just come to savor the flavor of it.

Savor the flavor of life is going to be my theme for 2012.  I want to experience EVERY joyous happy moment I can, and savor the flavor of each of those moments as if they were my very last taste of life.  Truth is, any moment can be that for any of us.  Or if something like a giant meteor strikes earth, all of us.  Should I suddenly fall over dead, or something horrendous happen to the whole earth, I would like to be sitting among real friends laughing, joking and having a good time when it does.

To all those reading these words, I wish you a very safe, happy, and prosperous 2012. May at least one of your dreams come true.  But remember, sometimes we have to help the Dream Faerie out and make a change in our own life first for that to happen.



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Ms Knickers

One thing I have learned about using the laundry room here is that you had better NOT accidentally leave undies there. I made the mistake of doing that not so long ago, and thanks to one of our fun loving camp workers, I am now known for my knickers collection. I honestly hadn't noticed I had left my little knickers in the laundry, and when nobody came to claim them, they were hung up on hangers across the little wire shelf at the front of the laundry room. I went to the laundry a couple of days later to do a load of wash, and imagine my surprise when I saw my own panties hanging up there. I quickly took them down, tossed them in a net bag and back in the washer.

About that time another of the camp workers turned up to do some cleaning and remarked someone had finally found their knickers. I sort of blushed and said, "Yeah. Looks like it." Roy saw my expression and started laughing his ass off while gasping, "Those were your knickers? Damn we have been wondering who the belonged to."

I take a lot of flak about my knicker collection now. You can bet your bippy than I make DAMN sure now that I don't leave any clothes behind in the laundry room. Especially my unmentionables! If you are wondering why I didn't miss those knickers sooner, it's because I happen to have a large lingerie collection, and just didn't notice those few pairs were gone.

I am handling being Ms Knickers with as much grace and good humor as possible. Though I have to admit that I may yet wind up throttling Kane for hanging my panties up. Roy, who is the camp worker that came into the laundry the day I found my knickers hung up, and who takes great delight in messing with people, has been relentless about reminding me about the knickers incident. He did that once too often the other day when I went to check the mail, and without thinking I began "beating" him about the head and shoulders with the mail I had in my hand. Fortunately for Roy, nobody had mailed me a blunt object, so being beaten with the junk mail in my hand didn't really hurt him.

What amazed me was that when I realized what I was doing, I stopped, thinking to myself, "Oh hell they are going to think I'm a dangerous lunatic!" But, instead of finding the other people in the office looking at me in utter horror, I turned to find them cheering me on, and trying to get video! Everyone there has had at least one of Roy's jokes played on them, so I have now become the camp darling for being the only one to retaliate in such a manner.

As I was getting into the Club Car, Brian, another camp worker, reached down and picked up an envelope, held it out and said, "You dropped your mail, Ma'am." As I walked over, then took the envelope out of his hand, I felt like I was in some strange version of The Quiet Man. Think when Maureen O'Hara loses her shoe and one of the villagers picks it up and hands it to her. Then I remembered the scene where someone hands John Wayne a stick to beat the pretty lady with, and thought despite the fact Roy is hardly a pretty lady, it was a damn good thing there wasn't a stick there to hand me when they were cheering me on so.



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A Colorful Path

I took a little hike into Lost Maples State Park today and had a wonderful time.  I had attempted to take a hike through the park Sunday but after getting there and seeing the long long line of other people waiting to get in, I decided to let the people who worked through week enjoy the park that day, and come back during the week when it wasn't so busy.  After standing in a much shorter line today for only a few moments we drove around as much as possible, then Larry parked the truck near the Maple Trail entrance and I took off down the path.

The first thing I noticed as I was carefully making my way along the path was the colorful sprinkling of leaves along parts of it.  Other parts of the path were fully carpeted with maple and other leaves. The beauty beneath my feet enchanted me just as much at times as the beauty above them. I guess for people who live around maple trees, walking on such a colorful path is an everyday thing for them during parts of autumn.  For this former flat land west Texas woman, it was a magickal experience. 

Today's little hike was everything I had hoped it to be. I had wanted a short scenic fall hike, and that is exactly what I experienced.  It was enough of a good stretch
of the legs to leave me pleasantly exhilarated, just the slightest touch foot weary, and panting slightly at the end of it.  During the hike I saw some gorgeous scenery, chatted with some fellow hikers, and just generally had a perfect autumn outing.

The photos I snapped are not as good as some I've seen of this beautiful park.  This was my first visit however, and I only had a certain amount of time.  I hope to return to Lost Maples and hike other parts of it.  If not this fall, then perhaps this spring, and then again next fall.  In the meantime, I have the photos I did take, and some wonderful memories of this perfect autumn day to look back on.

Though I did take more photos than I've included with this blog entry, today wasn't really about taking pictures. It was about truly enjoying and experiencing what
was to me, a perfect autumn day. It was about seeing, hearing and feeling all that was around me as I nimbly made my way along that often rocky nature trail. It was about really seeing and feeling the ground beneath my feet, as well as the beauty all around and above me. It was about pushing myself at times on that often colorful trail. Then taking a moment to sit on the bench beneath the canopy of leaves above me, catch my breath, and for just a moment, become one with all the beauty around me. Though I obeyed the rules and didn't take any maple leaves, I do admit to carefully hugging a couple of the trees.



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Last Rays

P48246700.jpgIt was the kind of evening that first made me fall in love with the hill country. A slight cool breeze ruffled the leaves as the leaves dipped below the horizon. I liked the rosy and orange glow that lit the horizon for a moment, so whipped out my iPhone and snapped this shot. Then I sat back down in my chair and simply took the time to fully enjoy those very last rays of the setting sun. Thinking about perhaps making a blog entry later as darkness finally descended.

One of the things I was thinking about as I enjoyed a beautiful hill country evening is that there are probably a lot of people who would not, could not understand how I could trade in the big home I had recently spent a small fortune remodeling, to live in a Heartland 41ft Cyclone Toy Hauler full time. Yeah lots could probably see taking a trip in it. Maybe even traveling full time. But to just LIVE in it? Voluntarily! But, there are a lot of folks here at the Top of the Hill RV Resort, as well as RV Parks all over America who understand it perfectly.

Those who do understand it perfectly have no problem with what is really downsizing one's life in many ways. The funny thing is some of us who have done that, actually embrace this downsized life with an enthusiasm that many would find insane. Me, I'm all for the downsized lifestyle. I have a comfortable bed, a nice little living room, a kitchen, a bath and shower that is the envy of the RV neighborhood, and a man cave for Larry with it's own little bathroom. I also have wonderful neighbors. A view I never tire of. And the hottest ClubCar rod in the neighborhood.

If I wish to leave the park and head into Boerne, I can be there in 10 minutes. There, I can get anything I need or want. Especially on Market Days. I absolutely adore Market Days in Boerne.   Going into Boerne and getting something to eat from one or more of the food vendors has become a regular once a month treat. Usually I find some little something I just can't resist while winding my way through the vendor lanes as I get our food.

Boerne Market Days are also a great way to socialize.   Local people, as well as out of town visitors stroll up and down Maine Street, and through those vendor lanes in town square. People smile and nod to each other when they make eye contact while strolling around. Often chat about the merchandise on display in the vendor lanes. Visit with each other while waiting for their food in front of the food vendors, and just generally enjoy the Boerne Market Days shopping and socializing experience. Or at least that how I view it through those nifty new rose colored shades I got at the last Market Days I went to.



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Life is sweet

Boerne has some of the finest eating establishment of any town its size that I've ever been in. Trying each of those fine eating establishments at least once, has become a mission for us since discovering and moving to Boerne. We've already tried and marked some of the eateries here as favorites, but are also still trying new ones as well. Today for instance, since it is right across the street from HEB, after I finished the grocery shopping we stopped by Uncle Bernie's Ice Cream & Deli and grabbed a couple of sandwiches and two slices of apple pie. The Mega Club sandwich is HUGE. I know everyone says I have a big mouth, but I could hardly get my little rosebud lips around parts of that sandwich.
As I write these words, I'm too stuffed from eating half of that fat sandwich to even think about the apple pie. Perhaps later this evening I'll get a good case of the munchies and enjoy the apple pie. Along with making a wine sipper out of me, Boerne has also turned me into an avid dessert lover. Lucky for me my favorite wines are sweet wines, so those really go great with dessert.


20110913-064507-150x150The Club Car


The wonderful laid back, yet still fun loving lifestyle here has made a new woman out of me. One who gleefully embraces the cocktail hour principle of life. Sometimes that glass of wine is sipped while sitting in the jacuzzi watching the sunset. Other times it is sipped while sitting in my own little yard. And should I decide to spend it tooling around in the ClubCar, I will grab one of those little bottles of wine to go I keep handy for moments like that. No matter where or what I'm sipping, chances are some part of that cocktail hour will be spent chatting with one or more of my neighbors.






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Golf carts are very popular among RV folks. Thanks to Larry falling in love with that souped up ClubCar themoment he laid eyes on it, we have the grooviest golf cart in the neighborhood. I further souped it up by having lights added to it. And not just any lights. The front headlights are simple ones, but instead of regular rear lights I chose blue led strip lights. I can now see where I'm going, and be seen for miles around from the rear. Something that will come in handy when they get all our amenities back and I start attending nighttime activities in those new amenities.



20110913-074459-150x150The tin roof is completed on one side
Speaking of getting the amenities back, the new pavilion building is coming right along! It is amazing how fast it is going up once all the red tape was out of the way. If things keep going as fast as they have been, it should be completely finished by the end of the month. Being two story, the other new amenity buildings will take a little longer. management says they should be finished by the first of the year. I am looking forward to the Grand Re-Opening we are going to have when everything is finished. Especially if we really do wind up with a Tiki Bar.







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That Boerne Bustle

That Boerne Bustle
As we drove into town Sunday to take advantage of some of the good food always available from the Market Day vendors I was reminded of one the many reasons I love Boerne. It, bustles. But, it's not the frantic bustle of a big city. No, it's more of a laid back easy going bustle. Though traffic can get a little small town heavy at times even on a Sunday when a Festival and/or Market Days are going on, there is no road rage. Colorfully dressed pedestrians dot the sidewalks of the town. In fact, Boerne is the darndest town for sidewalks I've ever seen. And the city is currently in the process of adding more new sidewalks.
Most of the cafes on Main Street have an outdoor area you can dine in. People visit with those at their outdoor table, and with others walking by. The folks in Boerne are an extremely friendly bunch who treat perfect strangers like good friends. Those who come to visit the town for Festivals, Market Days, and other celebrations are welcomed with wide smiles, and open arms. Because the people of Boerne have made us feel so welcome, I make sure I do the same for those visiting this beautiful bustling little town that I have come to love so much.
Attending festivals, parades, market days, and other events, helps keep life fun and interesting for me. I get to mingle with crowds, chat with all kinds of cool people, eat lots of good food, and hopefully get some good pics of whatever is going on. One such event I'm looking forward to is the
Harvest Moon Celebration in October. Another is the big Weihnachts Fest Parade and Dickens On Main Street.
I have marked my calender, created a couple of Events in my Facebook page, and will hopefully be attending all those events, and anything else interesting that comes along the bustling Main Street of Boerne.



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