Monday, May 2, 2016

Evening Walk on the Beach

Anna went on a beach walk with us a few nights ago and writes:

Every evening we take the puppy on a long walk on the beach.

Look! It goes on for miles and miles.

Sometimes I stop to pick up shells.

I like to walk in the surf.

I also enjoy seeing the birds. This is a black bellied plover

I never get tired of the beach and hope you get to visit one soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Life on South Padre Island

Anna decided to give a tour of some of her favorite places here on South Padre Island. Today we are showing you where we stay, which is a county park called Isla Blanca. It's on the very southern tip of the island so the gulf is on one side, the Brownsville channel on another and the Laguna Madre on the third. It's surrounded by water! It has a wonderful beach and is also known for fishing.

When we look out our living room window we see the Cristo that stands at the entrance to the Brownsville channel. Brownsville port is to the right and the Gulf of Mexico is a couple hundred yards to the left.

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This is still in the US, but only a few miles from Mexico and the population is 96% Hispanic so Spanish is the preferred language. This is the Christ dedicated to fishermen.

Sometimes we see huge ships coming and going and can look online to see their destination. They travel all over the world. A frequent destination is Panama and also Europe.

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Let's hop on our bike and head up the channel first. The bike path goes all the way around the park and is a couple miles long.

First we pass Dolphin Cove and there really are dolphins there, but it's hard to get a photo of them. We saw a mother and her young one yesterday, swimming ahead of a large ship. There are sea turtles, too, and protecting them is a big part of the work done on this island.

Here we are on the Laguna Madre looking across to the mainland.

This bridge is the only way onto the island and goes to a town called Port Isabelle. That's where we go shopping.

While we stopped a great blue heron flew in. I bet he'd like a fish!

Let's continue on the bike path and head to the beach, my favorite place!

But, wait! We have to stop and take a photo of these cattle egrets.

And the cactus is in bloom.

But, this is where I like to be: the beach!

It's a week day so there is hardly anyone here, although some people will come after school and work.

The snack bar is only open on weekends, too, until summer comes. My favorite is elotes which is roasted corn with chili powder and lime sprinkled on it.

This sign says "Respect your beach. Pick up the trash." That's a big problem here, getting people to throw their trash away properly. Last year the park bought dozens more trash barrels and put them out along the beach, which helps, but it's still disappointing to see how much gets left after a busy weekend. The maintenance staff works hard to pick it all up.

Now it's time to head home and get our swim suits. It's hot out and I can't wait to get in the water. I hope you enjoyed our tour of Isla Blanca!

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Montoya Family

Custom AG Clara

This is Josefina and Clara.

The Montoya Girls

Esperanza, in the middle, is a cousin.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What I Did Today

What I Did Today

Ann is very lucky to have her own room, but that means she must clean it up every Saturday. Snowball is a big help!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Enjoying the Snow

Enjoying the Snow

Last night some of the girls went for a walk. Everything is so quiet when covered with a blanket of snow. Some of the lights were buried underneath it, making them extra pretty. It's so nice to continue enjoying the holiday season. The simplest pleasures can be the most memorable.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ice Skates for Christmas

Ice Skates for Christmas
Anna asked for two things for Christmas: ice skates and a puppy. She's been a very good girl and Santa brought her both, plus a lovely outfit to wear while skating. Her mama knitted a stocking hat and mittens to go with the outfit. "Woof!" says the new puppy, warning Anna that ice is very slippery!

First Time on the Ice
Anna takes a few cautious steps and then glides across the ice. What fun!

A New Puppy for Christmas
Oops! Anna falls, but isn't hurt. Her puppy runs to comfort her with a few licks on the face.

Puppy is Named Snowball Now
Puppy doesn't like ice, but he loves the snow. He bounds through the drifts piled around the pond and Anna laughs as she brushes him off. Now she knows what she will name him: Snowball!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

An Old Fashioned Christmas Part 1

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Yesterday it snowed and snowed, closing schools and stores. No one expected so much snow and something about the world filling with soft fluffiness made everyone excited. This morning Anna woke up to a wonderland of dazzling, white snow. The bright sunshine made everything sparkle and the air smelled fresh and clean. This put Anna in a holiday mood, as if she wasn't already! She'd been singing Christmas carols non stop for the last three days. Anna decided to put on her Christmas dress that she had just received, along with a soft red coat and hat, trimmed with white fur.

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Anna stepped outside and gazed at the field of unbroken snow, smooth as a blanket. In the distance the mountains looked extra pretty and frosted in white, just right for Christmas.

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Off to the right some horses were wandering about in their pasture and Anna wondered how they felt about finding it covered in snow.

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Anna was just thinking about how much she would love to pet a horse and maybe even ride one someday, when she saw an actual horse coming right toward her. It was pulling an old fashioned sleigh in which there was a girl. The girl looked about Anna's age and was wearing a very fancy coat and hat. They were the kind of thing one might find in a trunk in an old attic.

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The girl stopped her horse and introduced herself. "Hi! I'm Samantha. Isn't it a lovely day? I decided this would be the perfect day to go for a ride and find a Christmas tree for the parlor."
"Hello. I'm Anna, and yes it's a lovely day, but I'm not used to seeing people riding around in horse drawn sleighs."
"Oh, I do know some people that have automobiles. It is 1904 after all. But, I still like using the horse and sleigh whenever I can," replied Samantha.
Now one of the wonderful things about being a doll is you get to experience all sorts of things, including traveling through time. I suppose it might be possible for humans, but I've never heard of them doing so except in stories. Anna realized that somehow she had traveled back in time and she felt a tingle of delight. This could be quite an adventure. "Would you like to come along and help me?" asked Samantha, and Anna was thrilled to say yes.

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They only went a little bit farther when Samantha pointed to a pretty tree. "I think we can get this one into the sleigh if you help me. Then I'd love to have you join me at home for tea time and we can decorate it."

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This all sounded wonderful and very romantic to Anna. She was not used to being offered tea! So, of course she said yes.

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They loaded the tree in the sleigh without any problem.

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Samantha said she would walk beside the sleigh and keep an eye on the tree.

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That meant that Anna got to guide the horse, which delighted her.

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Together they set off for Samantha's house and Anna couldn't help smiling about the wonders of this new adventure. This was going to be an even more exciting holiday season than she had expected.

To be continued...