Love, Faith, Peace and Joy

December 25, 2008

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xmas-lights-095-1 CUTE!

ELEGANT!

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and … CREEEPY

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That is how you can describe some of the lights we saw in Brownsville, Tx.  this Christmas.

Remember the old-fashioned lights from yesteryear? Well, this is them on steroids.

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 Lit up, they looked beautiful.

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This was the side of somebody’s garage and their front window.

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 This was a very large Nativity scene.

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This trailer parked in front of a house made us wonder how they made the money to pay for their fancy country club house.

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 It was nice to see the ones who went all out.

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This Santa with the reindeer in mid-flight looked cool.

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This was a garden in someone’s back yard.

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This tiny ladder caught my eye.

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 These tiny creatures climbing a ladder to the roof had to have been the most adorable decorations I saw.

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 Some houses looked spectacular in just plain white lights.

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While others jazzed it up a bit with bright colors.

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 This house lit up one corner on Boca Chica Blvd.

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  This house was beautifully decorated.

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The girls put the reindeer’s size into perspective when they stood by it.

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This was the sight I longed to show them: Christmas lights reflected off a resaca’s surface. A resaca is the kind of bodies of water we have down here in this tropical area.

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We live in a tropical area so seeing a decorated palm tree was nice. This one was 40 feet tall. They had to have thrown the ornaments up there because they were waaaay up there.

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This was a regular tree but the lights created the illusion of a palm tree.

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 These girls were pooped and tried to sleep on the way back to Port Isabel.

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 Tried to, anyway. 

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The night I took this picture was the night the father of these beautiful twins was injured in a horrific 30-foot fall. His back was broken and he is paralyzed. Please pray for him, these girls and their mom and brother. If you can contribute to the fund that was set up to help them with the incredible blow that has befallen them, please donate whatever amount you can to the : “William A. Plouffe Fund” at Lone Star National Bank – gift account 2905004843. He is in critical condition and the family needs your help badly. If you and 99 other people give just $5.00 that would be worth a million to us. These girls are only 13 and their world has been rocked by this tragedy. Their daddy was the major breadwinner and now Mom has taken a leave of absence from her Walmart job to be by his side. There is no other income but what is donated out of the goodness of people’s hearts. Please help them for as time passes, people’s interest will wane but their dad’s condition will stay very, very serious. Thank you for your kindness and know that we appreciate everyone’s prayers. May God bless you and your family as well as the family of these beautiful girls who brighten up a room like a ray of sunshine when they enter it. Have a blessed Christmas.


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.


Today’s Science Lesson

December 17, 2008

Can you make ice cubes faster if you start with hot water? No. The rate at which the temperature changes is related to the difference in temperature.  Therefore, hot water will cool faster at first than cool water, but the temperature will never drop below the temperature of the cool water.  For example, let’s say that in the first five minutes, the temperature drops from 90C to 80C for the hot water and from 25C to 23C for the cool water.  By the time the hot water gets down to 25C, the cool water will be down to maybe 12C.  It can never catch up.  If you have two identical thermometers, you can try an experiment with two containers of water, but you need to set each of them on a thin piece of wood or several sheets of paper and not directly on a shelf coated with ice.  

Why does water evaporate on the surface? The average energy of molecules is simply a function of the average temperature of the material.  However, molecules are in constant motion, even in a solid.  In water, some of the molecules have higher energy than the average, which means a higher velocity.  If a molecule with higher energy happens to be going toward the surface from within the liquid, it may have enough energy to escape the surface.  A measure of this is the vapor pressure of the liquid.  As I mentioned, even H2O molecules can even escape from the surface of ice.  That’s called sublination.  You asked how the molecules can then stay in the air.  Water molecules are actually lighter than air molecules.  Molecular weight 18 as compared to 28 for nitrogen and 32 for oxygen.  

Whaa??? All I know is that the water looks like a hot steaming cup of STHU.

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The water in the bay looks like it is steaming right now.

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If you read or saw “The Mist” by Steven King this looks downright spooky.

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South Padre International Musicfest

November 17, 2008

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I did not get to post all the pics from Musicfest so here are a few more.

This guy and his hat were at the Willie Nelson concert.

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This was a neat display because it was interesting yet informative.

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How did they get the little eggs to not roll out while framing?

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I am kidding, but it is horrible how the boots are made from turtles. Pretty sick, actually.

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There was a Gibson bus on display that was really cool. Everyone was telling the rep that they wanted his job.

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The obligatory bar.

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This was the ceiling.

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My favorite concertgoer was this lady with the Willie braids.

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This little cutie was adorable.

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All in all, it was beautiful weather and Willie Nelson’s was a great concert to wrap up a fantastic lineup. My hope is that this musicfest continues to grow and get better every year. I plan to volunteer again next year. I laughed so damn hard at the Blue Oyster Cult concert because the chick next to me was crazy. OMG did we have a good time. I still laugh when I remember the fun I had.


The Truth

November 10, 2008

If you are visiting this blog due to my invites from all over the web, welcome. Yes, life is really like this here on BEAUTIFUL South Padre Island, Texas. We are at the southernmost point of Texas where it is warm all year-round. The people are perty and genuinely nice and the food is GREAT! If you have time I invite you to look at just a few of the things there are to do in the area here: http://www.todopadre23.blogspot.com/ and my sister sites for viewing the beach: www.southpadrebeachcam.com and for weddings: http://www.southpadreweddings.com/ There is no reason why you should be in the cold, if you are viewing this from up north somewhere, when you could easily be down here in this 89 degree weather. The Island is a great place to visit, or even better -to live on. The good thing about the Internet is you can see it with your own eyes http://www.southpadre.travel/ and not have to rely on somebody else’s opinion. What is cheap to somebody else, may be out of my league financially.  What somebody else finds exciting (bungee jumping) might scare the hell out of me enough to cause a heart attack. What somebody finds as boring, I might enjoy immensely. We all have our different interests which is why I like to offer so many different activities to people on our things to do list. Birding may kill people with boredom but others can really identify birds and be thrilled that they see some here they will never see anywhere else. This weekend was a birding festival and I must admit that we live in such a beautiful area that I have a great blue heron that comes to our back dock every morning. There are so many opportunities to really get into something positive and in accordance with God’s will here. I can honestly say I have never been as happy, fulfilled, healthy or content as I have been since I moved to this tropical paradise.  My friends are the best people you could ever want to be with or to know. As the readers of this blog, continue to increase in number, my hope is to spread the joy of God’s love and his blessings through this medium. I hope to continue to make you laugh and smile and stare in wonder at some of these images from down here in beautiful South Texas. They are real. I do not know how to photoshop. I am lucky to even be able to post some images. I just learned how to add images to posts about a month ago. There are some I haven’t been able to post and that is what is holding back the list of things to do on the other Todo Padre site. Boy what a blessing that assignment has been. My greatest fear is how I am going to be able to afford featuring all those activities but one by one each feature is working out perfectly.

We went to Anzaldua’s park to feature the beauty of the park and one guy sitting on the bank fishing with his family talked to us for a while. it turned out he was a descendant of one of the original owners of the land the park was on. He directed us to the church where I had not been able to find the way to get in. There we were able to find out some of the history of that incredible area and get pictures of an earth-stone oven. I don’t know what you call them. They are the ovens the Indians used to use. I have to post those yet. There is so much history, interesting stories and opportunities for learning around. These ladies were telling me about a graveyard that was behind a building and that the land I live on was also all cemetary. Last week, they cleaned up the area behind that bldg. and what do you know? There were gravestones everywhere. It reminded me of one of my favorite lines in any movie… “YOU MOVED THE HEADSTONES, BUT YOU DIDN’T MOVE THE BODIES!!!!!”  If I ever have to say that line in real life, I am moving immediately.


A Museum Trip Worth the Drive

October 26, 2008

My job as a writer for the South Padre Network took me to the far reaches of the Rio Grande Valley today and I thought it was so ironic to see the following flower, known as the bird of paradise, a paradigm of exotic and rare beauty…

in the front of a common fast-food restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a testament to the beauty of this area.

An exotic flower like that… in front of a Burger King. Will the wonders never cease?

apparently not…

not in this lifetime…

 

This is my daughter playing on a kettle drum at the museum we visited today.

It had incredible works of art. For example, this was a Chinese PAPER cutout. 

 

 

 

. You would not believe how tiny the details were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This box was incredibly detailed and inlaid with ivory.

 

There was a great array of mosaics all over the museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This flower reminded me of the tropical beauty we have in the area.

Each one of these differently colored pieces of wood, when touched, produced a different sound.

The sound is triggered by the heat in your hand.

The NASA exhibit was cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The screen was a ball that had different images projected onto it.

 

 

 

 

These images were spinning around.

 

 

 

The fast blinking colors were hypnotizing in the dark room.

The images were shot by two projectors.

 

 

In another room were housed incredible pieces from private collections.

 

 You cannot see how the mother-of-pearl inlay reflected the light iridescently.

If I lived in the area I would visit the museum on a regular basis because they offered classes in many mediums and had many intriguing exhibitions. This museum was the IMAS in McAllen on Nolana and Bicentennial, quite a drive, but well worth it.


Sandcastle Days ’08

October 21, 2008

 People came from all over the world to see this amazing sandcastle exhibition.

 The making of the sign.

From glittery sandcastles made of real sand and baked to a crispy goodness  to tropically-themed cards, you could get it all at Sandcastle Days ’08.

The woodwork was exquisite. The fish in the top center is called a mahi-mahi, or dolphin, and is caught in these waters offshore.

 

 

This young man told me he just started making stuff out of tires til he came up with this idea, which blew me away. These planters were beautiful, colorful and rust-proof, which is what you need down on the coast with all the salt around. “What an excellent idea!” I told him.

The Jolly Roger crew is a wild, fun-lovin’ one.

 

 The cool part of going early is being able to see the works in progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Masters of the craft worked with kids to instill a love of the art in them.

 

 

 Many people showed up to watch the day’s festivities.

People stopped what they were doing to watch this huge monster head out to sea.

 EVERYBODY stopped what they were doing.

 Face painting was provided by Island Princess Face Painting.

 

 

 This is why we do it.

 

 

 So many little boys asked for green dragons that we ran out of green paint, so, of course, they wanted blue.

We took our mascot, Princess, and the kids LOVED her.

 A product of the public schools.

This was my favorite, ZZ Top.