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November 17, 2021 - Rinas Ramblings

 It’s great seeing and hearing of the events that are picking back up in the Valley. Again, events that were cancelled last year, are coming back again in full swing and organizers are thrilled to be seeing your smiling faces again.

During the holidays, there are more events going on throughout the Valley, including holiday events like parades, Christmas tree lightings, and more.

Many organizations hold fundraisers and parks are always getting involved with the community to support them during the holiday season.

Read more: November 17, 2021 - Rinas Ramblings

November 10, 2021 - Rinas Ramblings

I still can’t believe it is already November. This past month has gone by way too quickly and before we know it, Christmas is going to be here. We don’t want to get through the month of November too fast though. The month is a great time for thanksgiving.

We tend to really think about the things we are thankful for during the month of November. This season I feel like I have a lot more to be thankful for than usual. I have been down and out for a bit with a broken knee and have had help from so many of my dear friends, church family, and of course my own family. I can’t wait until I am fully functional again so I can pay it back to those that have gone out of their way to lend a helping hand, even if it was a text to see how I was doing, or a kind note left at my door.

Read more: November 10, 2021 - Rinas Ramblings

November 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

It’s interesting to see the emails that come through my desktop each day. A lot of it is political, and we don’t tend to share that in our paper. We like our of-interest news items. Sometimes I really have to weed through things to find something of newsworthy to you, our readers, and some days I have just what I need.

This week I received another news report about a previously mentioned survey done by Storage Café. Storage Café had previously published an article about top destination for ‘Snowbirds,’ or Winter Texans. The last article they sent out listed McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville and Mission as making the list.

This new list has some other details, but still have Mission and McAllen in the top. Texas has 26 of the top 100 destinations on this new list. The previous survey had Brownsville in the top 10 as well. Because of the two cities being in the Rio Grande Valley, it also highlighted why the Rio Grande Valley, as a whole, is on the top of their list.

Read more: November 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

October 27, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

It’s so nice to see the news that we have been receiving. From the looks of things, this is going to be a great year. And I know I have said that before.

Museums, concerts and other events that were either cancelled or went virtual last year, are making a comeback this year. Because of the lapse in time from the previous event, organizers are set to make this year’s events even more exciting. Everyone is eager to have some fun and get back to the normalcy of it all.

Read more: October 27, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

October 20, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were telling you, our winter visitors, to travel safely and see ya next year.

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. And it was a great summer as far as weather goes. We had a very mild one in the Valley with a few thunderstorms here and there, some flooding streets. But, overall, it was a good summer to get out and enjoy nature and visit the sites.

Read more: October 20, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

March 24, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

We have one more week in our Winter Texan season. In some ways I look at the season and feel it has passed by so fast, and in other ways, it seems like it just started. We have missed out on a lot of gatherings, but we have still been able to get out there and see you. We are already looking forward to next season and the hope that it brings of events, gatherings, expos, and other activities that we had to miss out on this year.

This year we missed seeing faces we have grown to love and have missed meeting new faces/people. I am thankful for the events that we were able to go out to and enjoy with our readers, Winter Texan visitors, and Wintertainers™.

While some events were put on hold, we were happy to see parks finding new ways to keep their residents busy and entertained. We saw new activities being planned and think some of them will become regular events/activities at the parks.

Outdoor activities were a huge hit this year including visiting local parks and birdwatching, and park activities such as outdoor concerts, drive-ins, golf cart bingo and so much more. Activity directors and parks rose to the task this season and we should all be thankful for their efforts and time.

We were also happy to see and hear that parks did not forget about others this year. Park groups were still donating to local organizations, making masks, making quilts, fundraising, collecting donations of food or school supplies, and more, to help their communities.

Despite the different type of year/season we had, the show went on. You found things to do, you found ways to spend your time, you found ways to still have fun.

Now we get to start planning for the next season. We have hope that it will be a better one. We have hope that we will be able to do more. We look forward to getting out into our community more next season and sharing your stories with our readers.

If you are closing your season with something big, let us know. Share some pictures with us. We have one issue left and we would love to be able to share what you have done this year with our readers. Send me information and photos to news@wintertexantimes.com.

March 17, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

The season is ending soon, and it just seems to have flown by so fast. While we were able to attend a few activities this year, we missed the yearly expos and other events where we get to meet and talk to you.

We have also missed some entertainment this year. Last year we were able to attend quite a few shows and activities before the season was put to a close by the virus, so we were really hoping for some similar fun this year.

I am thrilled that we did get to go on with the showcases and the Valley Star Awards and some other events. It was nice to get out there and mingle as much as we could.

It was also nice to just get outside this year. While I was working on the city stories, I was able to walk the downtowns of several Valley cities, walk in some of the nature parks, and put my feet in the sand. While it was all work, it sure did feel nice to experience the Valley in a whole new way.

If you have not had the chance to get out and explore, do some before you head back north, you will not regret it.

March 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

I seem to always say how busy things are, but last week was a busy one. As we were recouping from the cold weather and enjoying the warmth that the new week brought, there were also places to go to. We had the Valley Star Awards, a boat expo, a car show, and an R/C open house.

I am happy to say that we got them all covered by someone. It doesn’t happen that way very often though.

This week does not seem too busy, but some events are the Independence Day parade in Alamo, the Alamo Museum rummage sale, and the Ocelot Festival. There is also something in Edinburg, at Quinta Mazatlan, and McAllen’s Arbor Day celebration.

Read more: March 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

February 10, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

This past week has been a fun one. I was able to go out to South Padre Island last week and it was beautiful. I am rarely disappointed in the weather when I go there, although I know it is not always perfect weather.

It was in the mid 70’s with a breeze so the waters were choppy, and it was a little chilly here and there, but nice, nonetheless.

Dozens of people were enjoying the weather just as much as I was. There were shoppers walking along the boulevard with bags of merchandise going to their next destination. There were a couple of restaurants and areas that looked full as well. The Island was bustling.

Read more: February 10, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

February 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

This past week when I went to Weslaco, I did something different after I stopped at the Weslaco Museum (by the way, the museum is a must go to spot) – I checked for historical landmarks in the area. I had been told about a few places I should go by, but by searching for historical landmarks in the area, it opened my eyes to places I would not have seen otherwise. And then, by going to these places I was able to see more of Weslaco, it’s architecture, and culture.

Read more: February 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

January 27, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

Yep… another busy week has gone by. Despite the dreariness of a few wet days last week, it flew by fairly fast.

I had a great time last week visiting with the activity director at Oleander Acres. She stays busy at the park coming up with ideas to keep the residents occupied.

She has had to come up with new ways to do activities. One of them includes her arts and crafts time. She has also been painting up a storm. Not just her rocks that she will be hiding, but also signs representing where residents are from.

I hope to visit the park again when the weather is a bit nicer to see the park’s butterfly garden in full bloom.

Watch the Butterfly Garden at Oleander Acres and you will see what this little garden brings to the park.

If you have a butterfly garden at your park, I would love to know and see yours. Send me a picture. Let me know what kind of visitors you get in your park. Send me pictures and information to news@wintertexantimes.com. I would love to see what you are doing at your park and be able to share it with others.

In the meantime, enjoy the weather. Go for a walk. Smile at a neighbor. You can still spread some happy while being socially distant.

January 20, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

Oh boy, it has gotten busy around here.

Last week I was able to attend the first Entertainers Showcase and was impressed with the new talent that is ready to entertain. Jamie Layton, Todd and the Two-Tars, Larry’s Little Brothers, Lasting Impressions, and Johnny Moroko were some of the new ones for me to see and hear. Some of the regulars that we all love performed as well – Rick McEwen, Helen Russell & Co., Diego & Edith, The Piano Man, Festus, Kai, Redneck Revival and Mario.

I am looking forward to this week’s showcase to see some more great entertainment. I tell ya, there are some great Wintertainers™ that just love to come down here and play for you all. It makes me kind of jealous that I do not get to enjoy these privileges. Hopefully next year we can get out more and enjoy more shows together.


It has been fun to work on these Valley city history stories for the paper this year. I hope to continue next season with some of the smaller, less visited cities. It has been rewarding to drive through the cities and see things I have not seen before, or haven’t paid attention to on a previous visit.

Take Pharr… I think the last time I had been in that downtown area was in 1992 – And a LOT has changed since then. I remember going to the El Centro Mall with my parents back in the mid 80’s when Montgomery Wards was there and hanging out with friends there nearly 15 or so years ago to go dancing or see a movie.

Pharr has revitalized that mall/shopping area to something people want to go now. There is something there for everyone.

There were buildings downtown that I wish I knew more about – like the Texan Hotel and a building that looks like it may have been an old theater.

I still have a few more cities planned before the season is over and look forward to finding more treasures that we might not always see.

January 5, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

So, the new year is here and my only thought, or type of resolution, is to work on myself more and finish some crafts that have been sitting around.

I love to start things, but have a hard time finishing them. I have a cross-stitch project I started working on probably seven months ago and I have not even touched it for about two months.

I have material cut out to make potholders. I have one side of squares cut out but have not done the others. I think that project has been sitting around for about two years.

I have mugs that I need to make the decals for. I have a canvas with some vinyl on it that I need to repair. I have jewelry pieces to make a set (necklace, earrings, and bracelet) that I just have not gotten to. And that one has been sitting around for about two years as well.

Read more: January 5, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings