Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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November 22, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. This year has gone by fast… and this season seems to be speeding on by. Thanksgiving Day is usually quite a busy day for us. We usually have family over or are visiting family.

This year, we are spending it with friends. And although we aren’t hosting, we still have a few things we are making to take to that gathering. We also have a turkey to cook for ourselves.

No matter what, my husband has to have his own turkey. He likes the turkey leftovers. We get a big turkey so that we can have meat for casseroles, sandwiches, and other meals. I can get tired of just plain turkey, but when it’s used for other types of meals, it’s something else entirely.

We also have traditions that start this time of year. Sometimes we are able to keep them, sometimes, depending on the availability of tamales, we don’t do the full thing.

Read more: November 22, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

November 8, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Even though our little cold snap didn’t last very long, we still had some pretty good weather. It’s been just right for the most part. And with all this great weather, more people are out and about, enjoying the golf courses and the many nature parks we have in the Valley.

We continue to say that there is so many things to do in the Valley. Our events calendar and Parks calendar are proof of that. But it isn’t just the parks and entertainment events that are happening. All of our nature parks have regular activities too.

If you look at the World Birding Center parks, their calendars are quite full most of the year too. They have nature walks, guided tours, presentations, craft times, and more. You can look at those calendars on their website at www.theworldbirdingcenter.com. There you can find the links to all nine parks. Make it a goal to try to visit each one this year. Each one has something unique that isn’t like the other, so they are all worth visiting.

Don’t forget we have a few wildlife refuges, the eco-tourism center, and other nature parks to visit too.

We also have a variety of museums and theaters in the Valley. We try to share what is happening at these locations, but there is so much more going on that we don’t always get to talk about. Make sure you look at our RGV Visitor’s Guide online in our digital editions at www.wintertexantimes.com.

Our Visitor’s Guide includes map inlays and is organized by location. You can find information about state parks, nature centers, museums, and so many other areas of interest in the Valley.

Let us know if you decide to use our guide to plan some outings. We would love to hear about where you go and see some photos of your excursion.

As always, if you have some interesting news to share, some charity events coming up for the holidays, or a person people should know in your park, send the information our way to news@wintertexantimes.com.

October 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Looks like things are happening all around the Valley. We are seeing submissions for park activities coming in and fall and Christmas events plans are already being made. It’s an exciting time of year – the beginning of the season.

We love this time of year for multiple reasons. But a big reason is seeing what you all are up to in the parks and your community. This time of year, we see Halloween parades and costume contests and dances. In fact, we get to attend one next week. We always get to see the photos, but now we get to have some fun with you.

We love seeing those photos too. So, if you have a costume contest at your park or decorating contest, send some photos in with your information. We would love to share them.

I know many of you hold Veterans Day activities for your residents. If you are holding an event or would like to share photos of your event, send them our way.

Read more: October 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

October 18, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe we are beginning another Winter Texan season. We look forward to this time of year every year, but it seems to have really sprung up fast. The summer just didn’t seem that long. Other days it did feel long because it was just so hot!

But we are done with that now. Nice temperatures are returning. It seems to follow you as you return to the Valley.

There’s a reason why so many people call this place their second home. In fact, Mission, TX is one of the top 25 best places to live in the southwest. Many will tell you it’s because of the affordability, amenities, safety, and health care. Winter Texans will agree with the cost of living and will add the weather to that component as well. It’s also why many Valley cities have some top golf courses in the States.

And it’s a great week to start our first issue this season. We just had a great weekend here in Texas with an eclipse and we’ll have a total solar eclipse in April. So, it’s going to be an exciting season, and year.

We are so happy to see faces returning to this hidden gem of a Valley. Where visitors can play golf nearly all year and activities abound. We anticipate seeing many of our friends, making new ones, and attending events throughout the season.

Read more: October 18, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

March 29, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Thank you for visiting

Us here at the Winter Texan Times would like to give you all a big, huge thank you for visiting the Rio Grande Valley. We thank you for making the Valley your home for the winter, whatever the length of time might be.

The season is ending, and we hate to see you go. We always enjoy your time with us, and our time with you, and we sure are going to miss it while you are gone.

We have been so thankful to get out and about this year. We attended as much as we could, but still wish we had attended more. There was just too much to do in the Valley – at the parks and around town. From the looks of Park Facebook pages, parks had plenty of activities for you while you were here…. And it looks like they were enjoyed by all. We loved seeing how much fun everyone had. We were thrilled to be able to enjoy some of it with you as well.

We also enjoyed seeing how much our Wintertainers™ were able to really get out there and enjoy themselves this year. I have never seen them gather and spend so much time together as they did this year. It was exciting seeing them entertain with each other and all of the camaraderie they have.

We are so very blessed to have great entertainment that visits the Valley each year. And it’s all because of you. The activity directors have a hard job trying to fill in their calendars. Make sure you tell them who you want to see at your park.

Read more: March 29, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

March 8, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Time sure is moving by … The season is almost over. It’s been a crazy and fun one so far. We are looking forward to the next few weeks and a couple more events that we will be attending, especially the Lady and The Gambler show on the 19th.

Speaking of events, this past week we had the Winter Texan Fiesta put on by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce. If you didn’t get to attend, you missed some great entertainment. Performing were Bruce Boudreaux, Rick McEwen, Denim and Lace, and The Night Howlers. They were all great and attendees were clapping, hollering, dancing, and singing along. These are some entertainers to try to catch when you come back next year.

We have our golf contest currently taking place. If you haven’t voted for your favorites, be sure you do before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

Also, next week will be our Take Home Edition. We love to share what you have been doing in the Valley while you winter here. Share your news with us, photos, and what you have enjoyed about the season. This edition is the opportunity to share what you love about the Valley with those that have not been here as of yet.

You also have the chance to take copies up north with you. If you would like to take 25 copies, or more, contact our office or email us at ads@wintertexantimes.com.

As always, if you have news, photos, important events to share with us, email us at news@wintertexantimes.com.

February 1, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Oh Boy! This weather is crazy! We have had such nice weather and then boom, it gets a little chilly again. But… good things are in store. It should be nice this weekend though. Nice enough to enjoy some time outside at the SPI Kite Fest.

We plan to be out at the Island on Thursday, and possibly Friday as well. We have never been to an indoor kite show. So, we are looking forward to that.

There are tons of things going on for our Winter Texans right now. There is the Kite Fest, a car show, entertainment at parks, a Gospel Fest, museum exhibits, and so much more. Our Reunions and Meetings section keeps receiving more entries too. Make sure you check all of those items out – the Parks Calendar, Events Calendar, and Reunions and Meetings.

Don’t forget the ads in our Wintertainers™ section located under the Parks Calendar. Those are parks and Wintertainers™ that advertise their events, sometimes several weeks out.

Read more: February 1, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

January 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Wow! Has it been busy! We have had an amazing week. We went to some entertainment, and we were at the Ron Hoover Open House last week. The Ron Hoover event was packed. We were overwhelmed and so blessed with all of the feedback and visitors to our table.

With the amount of people that came through, we ran out of almost all of the handouts and freebies we had on hand. We loved being able to chat with our Winter Texans that came through. It was tons of fun!

We even met someone that has been reading our paper since the very first issue. He remembered reading the first issue that was published in 1987. He said he had missed some here and there when he wasn’t able to travel but has enjoyed the paper since its beginning.

We also gave out several sets of tickets to the Valley Star Awards coming up next month. The winners were Karol Jensen, Mario Lefebvre, Sharon Hansen, Roger Hoverson, and Pam Steffens. We hope they enjoy the great entertainment we have lined up for February 15th.

Read more: January 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

January 18, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

It has been such a great week – busy, but good busy. We have been able to attend several things this past week and we have more events coming up on our calendar to attend. There are so many activities, open houses, and other events that are being held for you that we are trying to get a chance to visit. We can’t make it out to everything, but we’ll be out there as much as we can.

One thing there is plenty of is entertainment. The Wintertainers™ entertaining at the parks, and elsewhere, are thrilled to be back in the Valley to entertain you. Please let them and your park know how much you appreciate them.

The Wintertainers™ are here because of you and for you. Without you, they wouldn’t have much to do in the Valley. We can only keep them coming back, if you go to their shows. If you don’t see someone you want to see at your park, talk to your activity director and see what they can do to get that someone booked for next year.
Most of the Wintertainers™ are already booked up for this year but are already looking forward to the future. They are booking for next year and beyond.

Make sure to visit our Wintertainers™ section on our website where you can find listings of a lot of the entertainers that come to the Valley. You will also find links to their websites, schedules, and music.

If you don’t see them there, let us know so we can get in touch with them to get their information. We only accept submissions from the Wintertainer™ for our website so we can ensure we have correct information.


20230112 TexasTrails 111249 webI had the pleasure of visiting with the ladies at Texas Trails this past week. Sharon, who oversees the ladies’ luncheon group, invited me to talk about myself a little bit and present something to the group of ladies. I was able to talk about what the Winter Texan Times provides to their community as well as share a presentation about sites to see in the Rio Grande Valley.

It was so much fun watching these ladies come into the rec hall, greeting each other, sharing what has happened in their lives the past week and such. One lady just arrived that morning and was invited to the event.

This group of ladies doesn’t just meet for a potluck lunch though. Each month, Sharon chooses a local organization to support. For this month they chose Mujeres Unidas. Since this is a women’s shelter, ladies brought in hygiene products, clothes, socks, purses, kid’s shoes, and other items a single mother might need when staying at one of their facilities.

Sharon said the ladies are always so willing to help with whatever organization they decide to donate to. Every Christmas they do the Pharr Police Department she said. Next month they are collecting donations for a Veterans home facility.

Mujeres Unidas supports women in Hidalgo County that have had to leave an abusive relationship.

“There women have nothing when they leave their situation,” said Sharon. Often times, it’s just what they have on and with kids in tow.

Febe Alcantar, a representative from Mujeres Unidas, said it’s a big thanks to parks like this. “We’ll take anything,” she continued. It all goes to the shelter.

She also said, there are rare occurrences where they have men in their shelters – after all, domestic abuse doesn’t only happen to the female.

Women that are looking for help can stay at one of these shelters anywhere from 10 days to 18 months, depending on the help they need and how long it takes them to get back on their own feet.

Febe was very thankful for the donations that were given at the luncheon.

Sharon said she has been thankful for all the ladies that come to luncheon and how much they have helped the community.

January 11, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

This past week has been a blur of activity it seems. We have had one thing after another going on and it’s not stopping any time soon. Like I said last week – we are entering our busy period.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Rio Grande Bible Institute and learn about what they do. It was a very interesting visit. I met some great people, great Winter Texans, that all volunteer their services and share their talents to keep the place going. They are currently working on their main fundraiser – a story I am working on for next week. Watch for that article and see how you can help them help those that come to their facility for schooling.

They are so very thankful for the Winter Texans, and other volunteers, that put in so much time at the institute. It’s amazing how much work everyone does and the things they achieve when they come together for the same purpose. If you have a chance, call them or visit to see how you can volunteer.

For the next month we have something just about every day that needs to be attended or covered in some fashion. It’s a blast for us as we get out there and visit with y’all though. These are the times we look forward to all season long.

This is the period where we really get out there, enjoy some entertainment, meet new people, make new friends, and get a little taste of the fun you have while in the Valley.

With it becoming busier and having more Winter Texans in the Valley during these next two months, we have made some additions to our paper. Last week we introduced our ‘Jammin’ in the RGV’ column. This week we have ‘On The Lighter Side’, a humorist column. Cheap Seats is back as well. We will also be having Wintertainer™ stories starting soon too.

We hope you enjoy these additions as we plan to carry them if you like them. We would love to hear your feedback.

There are so many events coming up – Winter Fest, SPI Kite Festival, RGV Woodcarver events, Valley Star Awards, and so much more. Watch our calendars, stories, website and social media for these and more.

If you have anything you would like to share with us, an event coming up, a 50th wedding anniversary, 100th birthday, or someone interesting we should know, email us at news@wintertexantimes.com.

We love hearing from you!

January 4, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

Well … It’s a new year, and we hope that means better things. We always strive to do better than we did the day before. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I try to make sure I am doing better than I did last year. I try to improve on things or make it a point to finish tasks that I have put to the wayside for some time. Just ask my husband, I am notorious for starting things, but never finishing them.

Whether it be cross stitch projects, craft projects, writing for myself, family history…. You name it. There are several things I have left unfinished. I aim to have at least one thing finished by the end of this year – hopefully two. If I could get my two cross stitch projects finished, I can start another one….

So, what do you do for the new year? Do you try to set some new goals? Did you eat your black-eyed peas, collards and ham? Do you aim to try something new?


We hope you have had a great year thus far, or a great beginning of the season. Now is when the season really starts getting busy. Wintertainers™ start to really entertain and you will see full calendars of entertainment you might want to see. Our calendars are going to get fuller as the month goes by. Mid-January to Mid-March are our busiest months. We’re practically non-stop.

We hope you are having fun out there and are enjoying going to dances and seeing the entertainment the parks have to offer. We sure enjoy going out there with you. Try to get out there when you can. These entertainers come to have fun with you and give you some top-notch entertainment.

We’ll soon have our ballot out for the Valley Star Awards we will hold in February. Be sure to watch for that and vote for your favorites.

Until then, if you have any news you want to share, send it to news@wintertexantimes.com.

If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary, let us know. If there is someone with a story to tell in your park and it is worth knowing, let us know. We want to hear your news. We want to share your news.

December 28, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

We had such a nice Christmas. It was low key, but we had a great time with family. We had some good food for Christmas Eve and a great breakfast Christmas morning. There wasn’t much to do outside because of the weather, so we made sure to watch some Christmas shows, went to church Christmas Day, drank some homemade hot cocoa, took some time to relax – (meaning leftovers and sandwiches after the initial meal), and drove around to see the Christmas lights.

I hope you had a great Christmas with family and/or friends. I saw several parks host dinners and lunches for their residents, or just gatherings with hot cocoa and cookies. The pictures showed a lot of happy faces – despite the cold.

Read more: December 28, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

December 21, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

Well, it looks like we are in for a cold Christmas. Doesn’t look like a white one, but it will be a bit chilly out there. It looks like most of the outdoor Christmas celebrations are done and parks and cities chose the right weekends to have parades and other activities before this run of cold weather. There are several cities that still have their Christmas events happening – McAllen, Brownsville, and Hidalgo – throughout the end of the month. Be sure to check them out if you have time.

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a blessed time with family and/or friends.

Read more: December 21, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

December 14, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

It is so much fun seeing what all of you are doing for your communities this holiday season. We have received information from several parks about what their residents are doing and hope we can share some of it with you.

If you have something you are doing in your park, collecting food, jackets, toys, books, whatever it is, we would love to see it and share it with our readers. Seeing what you are doing for others makes my heart happy and I am sure it gives new ideas to others.

Read more: December 14, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

December 7, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

20221207 Leslie Blasing IMG 8585I can’t believe it is already December. Time is flying by. Good thing is it keeps us busy here at the Winter Texan Times. Wintertainers™ are arriving and in full force. Now we get to have some fun and visit parks to enjoy them and spend time with y’all.

This past week I was able to go out to Golf View Estates and listen to Leslie Blasing. There is no doubt why she has won Female Entertainer of the Year and a Heritage Award from the Valley Star Awards. She has an amazing voice and can entertain the whole room.

Read more: December 7, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings