Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Great Egret

One morning while drinking coffee on the deck, this Great Egret jumps on the deck and approaches me (Barry). He was so close I thought he was going to peck my leg. I called Alice and she brought a shrimp and fed it it to him. I was able to take some pretty good pictures.

Bird Lady at Goose Island State Park

This lady visited Goose Island State Park near Rockport, Texas. She made an excellent talk about birds of prey. She brought along a Great Horned Owl, an American Kestrel, and the Crested Caracara that is pictured here and below with Alice.

This is Alice with a Crested Caracara. This is a beautiful bird that feeds on carrion (dead things). It is much cleaner than a vulture and is very similar to a falcon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

First Annual Saint Valentine's Day Shrimp Boil And Sweetheart Ball

On February 14th, 2008, Alice and I hosted the First Annual Saint Valentine's Day Shrimp Boil and Sweetheart Ball. It was held at the Ranch in Rockport (Lamar), Texas. We were honored with the presence of three other couples who are camping friends we have met over the years at the Thousand Trails Preserve, Lake Tawakoni.

In this picture you can see that the shrimp is boiling quite nicely.

We stuffed ourselves on boiled shrimp; boiled corn and red potatoes. I also made some stuffed Jalapeno peppers on my new pepper rack, which is also pictured here. The peppers were cored and stuffed with cream cheese and a shrimp, then wrapped in bacon. I also grilled some Earl Campbell's hot sausages. Earl, of the Dallas Cowboys fame, puts his name on an excellent sausage. To top off the menu we also had green beans and a potato casserole. Fudge was for desert.

The pictures speak for themselves; everyone had a great time and Alice and I have started plans for the Second Annual Saint Valentine's Day Shrimp Boil and Sweetheart Ball.

Dont forget that you can click on each picture for a larger view

Some more happy campers.
Barry with the female participants of the First Annual Saint Valentine's Day Shrimp Boil and Sweetheart Boil. Where's Alice?

Me and Alice getting ready for the festivities.

Alice ordered us to stand in groups of two. This would decrease casualties in case of a terrorist attack.

This is a group picture of the participants of the First Annual St. Valentine's Day Shrimp Boil and Sweetheart Ball

Monday, December 24, 2007

Our Place Ranch Update (Click on each pic for larger view)

We have pretty much finished with the Ranch except for landscaping. I want to use lots of tropicals, palms, banana trees, etc.
Our pad is 25x50 and I covered the whole thing. I have always wanted to be able to sit out or grill out while raining; now I can. I added full hookups that include 50, 30 and 20 Amps, water and sewer.
I built a 14x14 deck of treated pine off the end of the concrete pad and had a 10x12 shed delivered and set up.
This view is from the other side of what everyone calls the Rio Grande. I decided to set the pad up so that I pull in instead of backing in from the road. It allows a nice view of the lake.
If you are new to our Blog, please scroll down and you will see some pics of the Ranch before any improvements. It is a major change. Alice and I are excited at the opportunity to spend some winters in Rockport, Texas.

This is the view from inside our motorhome. Note the Long Horn steer. There are two there and the frequently swim and graze on my pasture. The steers' owner gets pretty upset when he has to chase them down.

My deck pictures are a little out of sequence. More on this deck later. This is the side of the deck where Alice caught the 3 pound bass. It was quite exciting.
The area to the left (sand) is where I plan to put bannana trees and other tropicals.

Our deck that I built as described in another picture below.

Have not seen the alligator in quite sometime. I heard that maybe someone gave him a cranial lead injection, much to my disappointment.

View from the corner of our ranch.
Yep, I had to buy a dad-blamed lawnmower.

This is a view from the lake, looking toward the road. I bought this shed and is what I have been wanting for a long time. It is 10x12 and holds all our "stuff" and my beloved Harley.
Again, all it needs now is some landscaping.

More pictures of the deck I built. The deck measures 14x14. It will look really nice once I get some bushes and tropicals in there.

Alice sitting on deck. Note fishing pole inserted in the chiminea.
Our lot ends at the lake and the left side borders the lake. Fishing is very good there for bass and talapia.

Picture of the deck I built. Weber Baby Q 100 in foreground.
Alice caught a 3 pound bass fishing off the deck.

Views from the road.

View of our covered pad from the road.

Barry with his pride and joy; the Weber Q 300 gas grill.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Alice's Last Days in the Navy - May 2007

Barry and Alice at retirement ceremony.
Read on.......

Alice is cutting the cake at Capt Omer's retirement celebration. I have the picture sequence way of out order. The main idea of this group of pictures is to show Alice's last days on active duty and to introduce Capt Omer. Capt Omer was Alice's boss while serving on active duty. Alice is pictured with her in the last picture of this section. It should have been the first. With this blog you have to post last first, etc. Oh well, the pictures are all here and all were taken at Capt Omer's ceremony. Capt Omer is a very gractious Lady who gave 30 years of her life to the service of Our Country and the United States Navy.

This is Alice standing at attention in from of Capt Omer's retirement cake. As I said, I have the sequence of these pics a little out of sequence.

Alice with the Director of Navy Nursing, Admiral Bruzek-Kohler. The Admiral is also in the next picture. It is difficult for me to get the pictures in sequence when posting on this Blog.

Here is Alice with LCdr Jack standing at attention at Capt Omer's retirement cake. The Lady standing in the center is Rear Admiral Christine Bruzek-Kohler who is the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps and Chief of Staff, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

This is me with Alice and Commander Julia Buck. Julia was sent to Iraq and Alice was called to active duty to fill her position at the Navy Hospital. Julia's husband is a Marine Corps Major who works as a Flight Instructor. They truly are a Naval Services Family.

Picture of Commander Townes at her desk.

I had the pleasure of attending the retirement ceremony of Alice's Navy boss. Captain Laura Omer, NC, USN. A Captain in the Navy is the same as a full-bird Colonel in the other branches of service. Alice frequently spoke to me of Capt Omer and had the utmost respect for her. I met and visited with Capt Omer several times and she is truly an Officer and a Lady. She retires with 30 years of service to our Country and the United States Navy. Fair Seas, Ma'am.
The picture on the left is of Alice and Capt Omer. The one on the right is Alice outside her office at the Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Our Place Ranch - Rockport, Texas

We have sold the BridgeView lease lot at Lake Fork in East Texas and have bought a deeded lot on the Lamar Peninsula in Rockport, Texas. The lot measures 35' by 145' and has become our one-quarter acre Ranch. We call it "Our Place Ranch".

First of all, the land comes complete with an alligator that frequently suns himself (herself) on our Ranch. I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw this gator sunning right on the property. Alice is a little concerned about Kamper. Perhaps they can become playmates. The Ranch is bordered by a small lake at the rear and the left side, as you stand at the road and face it.

We have added RV hookups that include electricity, water and sewer. Before we left the area, we also had a 23' by 50' concrete pad poured. We plan on adding a cover over the entire pad and landscaping when we return late this year, 2007.

The area is also referred to as Lamar and the residents refer to themselves as LaMartians and also celebrate LaMardisGras each year at the Volunteer Fire Station. We are excited about spending some winters in Rockport, Texas, a place we really enjoy. Our Ranch is about 3 miles from the Bay and a family of four Whooping Cranes spend the winter within 2 miles. Four miles away is Goose Island State Park that is a beautiful park on the San Antonio Bay and is a virtual fisherman's paradise. The fishing is great!

The Birding in the Corpus Christi and Rockport area is excellent. Alice and I have become quite the Birding enthusiasts. It is pretty exciting to find a new bird. Sounds weired, I know, but it is a great outdoor past-time and requires little investment to get started. The Rio Grande Valley is about 3 hour South and is a Birder's haven. We visited there in April, 2007 and had a great time. I call Alice, Jane Hathaway, of the Beverly Hillbillies fame.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

2004 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Every August, the sleepy little Black Hills town of Sturgis, South Dakota experiences a tremendous transformation. Motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country and world head to Sturgis for the rally. Every campground, hotel, and motel is totally full. Motorcycles can be seen everywhere in a 50 mile radius of Sturgis. The estimates are 100,000 to 200,000 scooters. Tents, travel trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes are everywhere.

Alice and I enjoy riding our Harley and have been to Sturgis three times. We last attended the 2004 Rally. I had always wanted to get there early and stay late and did for this rally. After the rally ended, we headed toward Rapid City and set up a base camp. It was great spending a month in the Black Hills area. The area provides some of the best riding in the country.

The next several pictures will tell a little bit about the fun we had and the friends we met.

Alice being a biker babe and sporting her chaps. The other babes are Nancy Hagen (far right and introduced in the next picture) and Britany; Nancy's and Arlen's daughter. The guy in the sun glasses is Arlen, Nancy's husband. The bike is Arlen's Harley Davidson Ultra-Classic.