Can You Believe?

January 28, 2009

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Can you believe that it was only a little over a month ago when everyone was singing glad tidings?

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Everyone was in good spirits and there were spirits everywhere?

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Beautiful Santa’s helpers were only too glad to help.

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Children excitedly waited for the annual visit by dear Old Claus and told him their deepest desires.

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He listened with patient ear…

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and was the most popular guy in town.

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These adorable reindeer were decorated and hung on the Christmas tree with care.

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I have found that the people here in this small town have the same giving and caring spirit year round.

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Today was 76 degrees, warm and sunny and these memories of Christmas are long gone in some people.  Toys have broken and gifts returned but I will never forget what a wonderful season it was.


A Christmas Tragedy

December 22, 2008

My incredible father was a very handsome and intelligent man. He was a civil engineer and graduated from A&M Summa Cum Laude. Because he created things, it was not hard to dream and see those dreams become reality. He would draw things up as blueprints and then make them. Next thing you knew, there was another building or street he made, so it was not hard to believe that what he said, would happen. He was my symbol of strength and possibilities being made reality. With him dreams came true. He was strong and handsome and smart and our everything. He worked everyday to provide for us as best he could. We were not rich but our needs were met. We had plans, too. He had blueprints of the nice house we were going to live in that even had a pool. We never got to live in that dream house. It never made it off blueprints.

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Tragically, he died of a sudden massive heart attack brought on by too many sequential insulin reactions. His heart just couldn’t take it anymore in spite of how strong he was. I was crushed. I was twelve, my little sister ten and my brother became the man of the house at fifteen. Losing your father, the cornerstone of your house, family and heart, the symbol of strength and stability in your family can be a devastating blow. You can read an extraordinary and fascinating tale of how my father was able to come back from Heaven to let us know he was all right here. I believe in the eternity of the human soul. I believe that the bonds of love last forever. I don’t know why there is so much tragedy on Earth and why we have to go through it; I just know it is a part of life and no one knows when it is going to befall us. When it does, it can destroy all the plans and dreams you had for the future. My first marriage was destroyed by alcohol. I thought it was going to be the end of the world. One night I was fighting with my husband (ex) and I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked outside, looked up into the stars and thought, “God, I want to find a man who loves me for me, who is intelligent, interesting, admirable and funny, who doesn’t drink or do drugs, who is older and settled and doesn’t cheat on his wife or go out to bars at night. I want someone romantic, who doesn’t have a wife and kids, maybe has a dog he loves.” Then I pictured an older man with his dog by his side in a mobile home pulling into my driveway to deliver me from the hellish life I was living. Wouldn’t you know three years ago I met him. He is a local captain with a great reputation for honesty, intelligence and had all the qualities I was looking for. He owns Gladiator II Offshore Adventures which means he takes people fishing and helps them catch fish either offshore or in the bay. You know the funny part? When we met, he did not live in a mobile home. That was the only part different from my dream image. He lived in a 5th wheel which is pretty darn close. Can you believe that? Is God wonderful or what? We got married six months ago on June 21st.

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My brother stood where my father would have been.

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God’s gift to me was willing to take on a child from another marriage and love her as his own.

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God allowed our paths to cross and we are perfect for each other. May God continue to bless our marriage and I hope all others searching for that special someone KNOW that God will provide the right person when it is time. Only in God’s time will it happen.

I am asking for special prayers of healing to be sent to the father of these beautiful twins who are my daughter’s best friends. They have just had their world devastated by a horrific accident in their family. Their father fell 30 feet and is paralyzed. We need prayers for healing for the whole family. I would be so lost, scared and devastated had that happened to us. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas. The hole for their pool in their dream house was already dug and concrete poured.

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Today I am going to see how to set up a gift account at the bank to help them pay the electricity, water, and other bills. Their mom works at Walmart and there is no way that that meager paycheck can cover what needs to be covered. They don’t know what they are going to do. Losing the business is a given. If he can’t walk, there is no way he can do construction. He can’t even move from the chest down. His wife said they will lose the house and car so I want to help find some kind of Plan B since Plan A has been destroyed. I know you will find it in your heart to help these beautiful 13 year-old twins, their 15 year-old brother who has just been thrown into being the man of the house, and their devastated mother. This man was a healthy 41-year-old man yesterday and today is paralyzed. Please help.

I just got back from work. A lady walked into the office. She had no business with us – just walked in and gave me some pamphlets for her bank. Since the bank I had called to see how to set up an acct. never called me back, I told her somebody had gotten hurt and I needed to find out how to set up a gift account. She asked who got hurt and I told her. Her hand shook from the shock and she had to sit down, shaken. Turns out she has known them and the family for years. She said she would do what she could to help out. She said before she left, “I don’t know why I came in here. I didn’t know you were here. I just felt I needed to open that door and come in here.” I said, “I know why you came in here. Because you were EXACTLY what was needed and God works in mysterious ways.”

The information is “The William A. Plouffe Fund” and the acct. no is 2905004843. It is set up so nobody can take money out but you can deposit whatever you can to help this poor family out. The banker lady and I were just instruments needed to relieve the fear and terrible pain that family is feeling right now. The bank is Lone Star National Bank, 601 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597. (956) 761-1130. Thank you so much for your angelic help and may you have a Merry Christmas. God bless you and yours.


Cold Front

December 16, 2008

 Though South Padre Island is certainly paradise,  we are not impervious to cold fronts that have devastated the rest of the United States.

 We got a cold front yesterday that had the fishermen hightailing it out of the bay.

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You could literally see the bad weather pushing away the good weather.

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I rode my bike, as I had been bicycling and enjoying the beautiful weather before this came in, down to the end of the street to see the beautiful weather that we are so accustomed to be completely pushed out of the picture, literally.

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The temperature has PLUMMETTED to a deadly 50 degrees and will be right back up to 85  by this weekend. Why aren’t you here? I spoke to a man who said the wind chill in Iowa was -35 yesterday. I said, “Why aren’t you here?” He said, “I don’t know.” (They are waiting for a grandchild to be born then they are coming to paradise.) If you are in a place that is colder than 50 degrees, you need to consider coming down to South Padre Island on the southernmost tip of Texas where the beach is beautiful, the food is great, things are affordable and life is good. The island gets many visitors in January and February due to the horrible cold weather that is freezing the rest of the nation. To find out more about this wonderful area click here.


Breakfast with Santa 2008

December 15, 2008

Saturday morning on South Padre Island there was a chance for kids to have breakfast with Santa at Schlitterbahn.

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The fine folks at Schlitterbahn piped in wonderful Christmas carols and created a beautiful Christmas scene so everybody was in a festive mood.

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Of course the big moment was Santa’s arrival.

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Island Princess Face Painting had lines of excited kids as usual. 

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 We called this the “Wassup Santa.”

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 cause good Santas are badass.

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 This cutie seems to be thinking, “You mean all I gotta do is write this down and the dude behind me delivers?”

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 There was Christmas storytelling

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 and some of the most adorable kids you could ever see.

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 downright cooolllllllll……….

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Their artworks were prominently displayed and will be at city hall as well.

Like, duh, why wouldn’t it be? They’re masterpieces right?

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Mrs. Santa was so pretty. So is Island Princess, Jr. there on the left.

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This Santa couple was the epitome of Christmas class and made it a complete success again.

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South Padre Island is a great place for families with children. You can find out more about South Padre Island here.


South Padre Island Christmas Parade 2009

December 14, 2008

What a beautiful picture!

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 If only I was doing this on purpose.

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Who gets a shot of two legs running down the street? WTH? Where did the torso go?

 It was party time on South Padre Island again.

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 The crowd had gathered for yet another great community event.

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 Everyone was in great spirits and there were great spirits around.

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These guys had it going on.  They stood in front of all their supplies for the picture.

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 This picture came out great – look in the background.

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The kids were adorable.

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Surfer Santa… Why not?

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 Everybody was looking good.

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 Real good. 

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RRRrrreal good with a capital “R”.

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 The island was lit up like a beautiful Christmas village in some areas.

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 Every year this parade grows bigger and better.

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 Everybody loves a fire truck.

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  There were beautiful floats

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the people on the floats were tossing out candy and beads to the crowd

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 Even the smallest ones came away smiling.

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 I am having problems working this new-fangled camera so what does this guy do?

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 start to show off for me.  

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Way to go, dude. 

These mermaids were tossing beads out to the crowd as well.

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This pair of Santas was the most traditional.

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 The ultimate topper for such an evening was an outstandingly beautiful walk on a moonlit beach.

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If you want to see what the beach looks like right now click here.


Sunny today, high 70’s

December 12, 2008

 

 Do you want to go to the beach?

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 or would you like some hot coffee?

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We got snowmen salt-and-pepper shakers to match the new blue tablecloth then we found this adorable snowman cup.

He is replacing the recently departed “Pengui” cup that has gone on to the great iceberg in the sky.

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It is a weird time here in South Texas where your house is decorated for Christmas with the lights and tree and everything yet we have this outside:

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It snowed in Houston and New Orleans yesterday yet we have this down here in Texas.  What a weird world. It should be back up in the high 70’s today here.  Can anybody tell me why everyone isn’t down here enjoying life?


The Christmas Surprise

December 11, 2008

Today when I came home from work there was a new tablecloth on the table.

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and an artsy little wooden centerpiece with scented pinecones in the center.

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 I couldn’t believe my manly-man husband had done this so I asked who had come by.  He said, “Santa.” There was a fancy new toaster on the corner of the table. Black and Decker of all things. (It probably uses hydraulics to push up the slices of toast.) The old toaster had just gone out this morning and I did not expect a replacement so soon (or a Black and Decker of all things.)

He said, “I got one of those things for the bottom of the tree like you wanted but it was the wrong size.” So I looked under the tree and to my amazement… there was a skirt but there were presents now!!!! Beautifully wrapped presents, too, for being wrapped by a man.

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and he had even set up the angel tree topper he bought. She is beautiful.

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It has really been a tough year and we are broker than ever but he is managing to come through with his best and I am so happy. My daughter has had her friends over for a few times so I guess she has gotten over the shame of us not being rich and not living in houses like this:

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We have provided the girls (my daughter and her friends) with great meals, good times and lots of fun and I think they are smart enough to know that is what really matters. They see me and the hubby hug and kiss so they know there is love in the house. We did not let our daughter go spend the night at their house tonight because it was a school night and they asked, “Why all the rules?” We explained without terrifying them with too many true horror stories why we have rules that our daughter must follow. We don’t let our daughter roam around the island for hours and hours without adult supervision. They were so angry (our daughter included) when we said our daughter could not go running around unsupervised for hours on the island ON BIKE WEEK!

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I just don’t think that is a good time for a bunch of 14 year old girls to be running around unsupervised. My opinion.

Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday and though I am not making even close to the money I used to make where I used to live, I am providing her with a stable home and a solid life. Life is not spinning out of control like it was when I lived with her dad.

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 He met and is engaged to someone with a lot of money so I may lose her when she starts wanting really nice things and my meager paycheck won’t cut it anymore. I know this. Until then I am just going to have to make the best out of the time I have with her.

I don’t know what the future has in store. The economy is scary. People are losing their jobs left and right. Companies are folding and laying off hundreds or thousands of workers. I just hope that the beautiful island that I know and love so well will make it through the slow season and thrive in the spring and summer.

All I know is that the life I have now is wonderful. All I have is today so I am doing my best with what I have. To close I am going to share a few pictures I took of the area so I can close on a beautiful note.

We took a boat trip out on the bay and this bird was on the roof of a house we passed on the way out.  

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 This bridge we have here is the longest in Texas. This is just a small fragment of it.

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The sky here is a beautiful blue, my favorite color.

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I can’t get over how such a manly man was able to put this together for me. I would expect someone like him to throw them in a plastic, white Tupperware bowl and put it on the table. Instead, he bought an artsy wooden rectangular tray. He continues to surprise me.

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