Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!



We made it through Christmas. Now we have the New Year’s Eve dance tonight and a musical entertainment show on New Year’s Day, another show on Friday, an ice cream social Saturday, and a pizza party and beer tasting on Sunday. That is all on top of the usual weekly events we work. Keeping so busy has made our first two months here fly by, so we figure it will be the end of March before we know it.

Jim continues to be very pleased with his new camera (Panasonic FZ200). He’s taken some really good shots of birds next door at Bentsen State Park, like the one of the mockingbird above.

We had a great time watching this green jay take a bath.


It was even joined by an Altamira oriole.


Can you find the kiskadee?


Last weekend we visited Estero Llano Grande State Park, about 30 miles east of here. We were there a couple times last winter and wanted to go back to see the paraques. Although we knew where they sleep during the day, we could not find them. Just as we were about to give up, several people came walking down the trail. They pointed out two of them for us, and as you can see, their camouflage is excellent.


If birds aren’t your thing, there is other wildlife to check out.


This was one big gator.


Jim has been trying to get our old camera back from Nikon even though they would not repair it  under warranty. At one point they could not even locate the camera. Interestingly, we received a phone call a few days ago and Nikon decided to repair it at no cost since they did not return it in a timely manner. It is supposed to be in the mail now.

It’s hard to believe another year is ending, the fourth since we’ve been fulltiming. When we left Pensacola in September 2008 we had no idea how long we would roam the country before settling down again. So far, although we have been to many places we really liked, we haven’t come across a place we want to call home permanently. Not that we are seriously looking, but it’s something we think about when we find an area we like. I hope this doesn’t insult anyone, but I can assure you it will not be the Rio Grande Valley of Texas!

I would be remiss if I didn’t post a kitten update. They went back to the vet last week for their second round of shots, and over the course of three weeks they doubled in weight. Elvis weighed 2.6 and Sophie 2.7 pounds. Based on the amount they eat I’m sure they’ve gained a few ounces since last week.

Could anything be cuter than kittens on our dash?


Hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy 2013!


  1. It must seem strange to have landed for a longer period of time. Are you able to keep hiking? Love the cure little fur balls. They really are growing. Happy New Year and many more hikes!!

  2. I cannot believe how much you two do over there. What great activities. By Thursday, you two will be ready for a long nap just to recover from the past two days and getting ready for the next three days.

    Great bird photos. We haven't been to Estero Park but will be before we leave this year.

    Happy New Year to you both.

  3. Whew I was tired just reading about your upcoming plans. You are a busy duo. And those are a darling pair there on the dashboard. And lucky to have found you might I say. A good year for all four of you it sounds like. Good for Nikon for finally stepping up to the plate. I'll be interested to see how well they "fixed" it.

  4. I love the photo of the camouflaged bird. It was hard to find even knowing it was there!

    Awww, I love your fur-kids. Looks like a win-win for everyone involved.

    Happy 2013 to you.


  5. The kittens are cute for sure. Soon they will be cats and not so cute.

    Jim should have sprung for a Hasslelblad. A real man's camera.

    Continue fun the Valley.

  6. The kitties are cute. Happy New Year to both of you. So far, Rockport is my favorite town.

  7. I love your bird pictures, but your kittens steal the show.

  8. We are enjoy cats so we aren't tempted to get any for ourselves. They are so cute.

    We agree with you about the Rio Grande Valley.

    You really are working awfully hard.

  9. Love the kitten photo. Happy New Year!

  10. Love your blog, Jim and Gayle, and the dashboard pic of Elvis and Sophie is just precious!

  11. Hi Guys! Hope you are having a great time camp hosting. By the way I sent in my Nikon about two months ago and got it back just before Xmas. They performed all the repairs under warranty and it works great now. But not as good as the D5100 Nikon I purchased recently. That is a great camera once I figure out how to use it.

    We miss you down here in Quartzsite, but hopefully we will meet up somewhere down the road.

  12. Love the pics. I thought the paraques was a snake! I've been gone for awhile and am catching up - so glad you still have the adorable sibling kitties. Happy New Year!