Saturday, December 10, 2016

Oh, It's Been Cold Out Here

Well, it's been another good week at Rio Concho West (RCW), my new hometown, out here on the wintry edge of the plains.

Last week ended with rain and this week started with rain. As the weekend came to a close last Sunday, we had received a total of .8 inch rain. The next morning, the rain started again, lasting into the afternoon. When it was all said and done, we had received an additional .5 inch rain. What a great way to start off December. We always welcome moisture out here.

But with the rain came the cold. The high on Monday and Tuesday topped out in the upper 40s. After a brief respite on Wednesday (upper 50s), the cold front pushed in later that night, and temperatures continued to drop well into Thursday morning. Then the wintry mix arrived about mid-morning as temps hovered around the freezing mark. We get weather like this a few times each winter, but it usually doesn't last long.

The good news -- weatherwise, at least -- is that the week ended with sunshine. Yep, Saturday the sun finally emerged to begin warming things again. Unfortunately, the wind decided to join the sun; at least the wind was from the southwest, and that normally brings warmth in the winter.

It's been another medical week for Donna and me. We tend to group all our appointments together in a 1 or 2 week window of time so that our travel is not impeded.

On Monday, I visited my rheumatologist for an update on my arthritis. I've not noticed any real change in my condition except for the middle finger on my left hand. The middle joint has really stiffened, and I have trouble bending it. But after working it a bit, I am able to form a fist. Donna and I then met an hour or so later with our family practitioner. Although Donna had to get a pneumonia shot (the old girl hates needles), everything else was great for her. We had lab work done last week and her results were excellent. Then the doc looked at my results and just shook his head. Well, I am what I am and that's all that I am.

On Tuesday, Donna visited her cardiologist, and everything there was good as well. I visited my dermatologist on Friday to end the week. This visit had been cancelled a couple of weeks earlier due to booking issues in the office. So, we should now be done with all of our medical for another 6 months.

We ate out a bit more than usual because of the visits. On Monday, we ate at CiCi's Pizza. I really like their pizza dough better than just about any other pizza joint I know. And I like their pepperoni better than any other local place as well. Donna enjoys their salad bar. We get in and out for about $15, and that is a pretty good deal these days.

Usually, we eat lunch at 11 for that gets us in and out before the real lunch rush starts. But on Tuesday, because of appointments, we ended up eating well after 12. Several places we were interested had full parking lots, so we passed them by and headed to Gil's Mexican Restaurant on Knickerbocker. Gil's is not a real popular place, but it has it's loyal following. We've eaten there a number of times over the years, and we like the place in general, but there are other Mexican eateries we prefer. Donna ordered chalupas and I ordered a combo plate with cheese enchiladas (my very favorite Mexican food) and tacos. We really enjoyed the meal. It was perhaps the best meal we've ever had there. The salsa had a good flavor and a good bite, and the chips were good. Our food was good and hot, and really tasted good on the cold wintry day. We cleaned our plates. I'm glad we stopped in.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had a reception at the Rio Concho clubhouse, the Oak Tree. The reception was hosted by the employees in honor of the residents, a way of showing their appreciation for the place. It was a nice, casual affair. We also presented the employees with gifts we had been collecting as a way of showing them how much we appreciate them. We are very fortunate to have the crew that we have. They really care about this place and work extremely hard to keep the community in good working order. It is a real family out here.

To end the week, we held our annual Christmas dinner at the Oak Tree Club. This is the big social event of the year at Rio Concho West, it seems. Everyone dresses up for this night. The maintenance staff at RCW serve as valets and park cars for all the residents as they arrive. The chief administrator at RCW serves as the master of ceremonies. Dressed in his tuxedo, he met us at the door, checked our reservations, then had us escorted to our table. The Sutton County Steak House in Sonora, Texas, catered the event, which consisted of sirloin steak bits, pan stuffed potatoes, roasted vegetables, homemade yeast rolls, and New York style cheesecake. I drank iced tea while the party girl had wine, and lots of it. Our meal was accompanied by the mellow sounds of the Ellen Myer Trio, a local jazz band who gave their own stylings to some traditional Christmas songs. They were quite good. It was a good night, with good food and good company. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Well, that's all the news from Rio Concho West, where the streets have been icy and the old folks keep slip-sliding away.

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