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Soar into 2024 with a First Day Hike

20170415 Palmetto State Park 16 webAUSTIN— As the year ends, so does Texas State Parks’ Centennial Celebration, but the fun doesn’t stop when the clock strikes midnight. Kick off your resolution to explore the outdoors in 2024 with a First Day Hike at a state park, which will host ranger-guided and self-guided walks, bike rides, paddling trips and polar plunges in honor of the national initiative aimed at getting people outdoors.

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Setting your poinsettias up for success

20211202 BCMS Poinsettia Sale RR 0044 webFrom Texas A&M AgriLife Horticulturists

Poinsettias and their classic red and white holiday color will soon be abundant in homes, grocery stores and nurseries. If you want your poinsettia plants to last throughout the holiday season, here are some pointers to help keep your plants happy.

These gorgeous holiday plants, native to Mexico, are the No. 2 dollar-valued potted plant in the U.S. behind orchids. McKinley said poinsettias were introduced domestically by Joel Poinsett in the 1800s and have since been bred to maximize the colors and varieties of the plant.

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Reverse Advent Calendar exceeds expectations

Reverse Advent DSC 1039 webBy Herb Moering

The idea of a “Reverse Advent Calendar” food project became a spectacular success and more than Rick Anderson expected, when he presented it to residents of Mission Bell RV Resort last month.

Anderson, who with his wife, Karen, have been wintering at Mission Bell since 2005-06, said a park resident, Daleen Markel, mentioned the Reverse Advent Calendar, which Anderson decided to offer to park residents. The idea is to purchase a food item each day of the Advent season starting December 1.

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December 20, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away. The year has sure gone by fast. The season has gone by quickly as well. We really only have three months left before you start leaving us once again. We’ll soon be celebrating a new year as well.

This past week we made sure to get our tamales for Christmas and we already have our ham for Christmas Eve. We still have just a little bit more shopping to do including some gag gifts for a White Elephant gift exchange with some close friends. I am really looking forward to a fun evening there.

Our family has held serious, and not so serious, White Elephant gift exchanges for Christmas several times. We would take turns drawing names or doing the White Elephant game on one side of the family. We did it once on my husband’s side of the family too. It always turns out to be tons of fun.

Read more: December 20, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Christmas traditions we love

Firefly traditional christmas tree with decorations 39913 webWe are quite traditional in our family. And I bet that you too have traditions. In my family, my children just won’t let me take the easy way out. It is no trouble to pull out the artificial tree still decorated with strings of lights and glittery ornaments. Well, not in my family – my children won’t let me do it the easy way.

The tree has to be real, and the house has to smell like Christmas.

Christmas Eve begins with the traditional homemade chili and delicious tamales. The tamales have become my responsibility. This year, I decided to try a different company – but which one? I had no idea where to begin, so I turned to the experts – my Mexican friends who know much more about tamales than I. After I narrowed down the recommendations to the top two, it was time to sample and make the final decision.

Now the only way to make that decision was to sample the goods. For several days, we were eating tamales for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as we enjoyed the different flavors of cream cheese and jalapenos, chicken and cheese, pork, and spicy pork. Oh yum – Were they good!

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Darris and Judy Hable honored

Darris Hable 353 n webDarris and Judy Hable were honored on Tuesday, December 12 at the Welcome Winter Texan Celebration in Progreso, Mexico. The couple was presented with the Key to the City, the first time it has been done in several years. The couple was also named Ambassadors to the Winter Texans. In March, the couple was named King and Queen during the city’s Tourist Day where they have a big celebration to thank the Winter Texan visitors that visit.

Make reservations for Kansas Day celebration

Rusty Rierson 2 webKansas Day will again be celebrated here in the RGV. Join your Kansas friends at Ballis Social Event Center, 1624 E. Griffin Parkway, in Mission, Wednesday January 24. Reservations are required by January 19, 2024.

Festivities will begin with registration starting at 10:30 a.m., followed by a catered lunch, entertainment, a social, and door prizes. Entertainment will be provided by RGV 2019 Male Vocalist of the Year Rusty Rierson.

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Open jazz jam session planned at Quinta Mazatlan

Open Jazz 326773336 1125192594811087 8574937397384415170 n webQuinta Mazatlán is excited to welcome Odyssey Jazz Quartet and RGV Jazz Collective for a live jazz performance followed by a Jam Session, Thursday, December 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the North Lawn at Quinta Mazatlán. Join us for live music, food, a native plant sale and nature activities for a family friendly atmosphere. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument to join the band during the Open Jam Session.

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Masonic Winter Texan Reunion planned

GM Berg Pic webFor over four decades, MN Masons have been spending their winters in South Texas and gathering with their fellow Masons from all over the country.

The 43rd Annual MN/TX Masonic Reunion will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at the Rio Grande Valley Shrine Club, 13415 E Expressway 83 in La Feria, Texas. The social hour will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $15.00.

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Visit festive sandcastles at SPI

Willie Elfson carved by Joris Kivits webThe Sandcastle Village at South Padre Island is always changing, but this time of year, you can find a big sand chair to take selfies on while visiting the Holiday Sandcastle Village. The village showcases the incredible talent of some of the best sand sculptors in the world.

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