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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.

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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.

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December 29, 2020 - Rina's Ramblings

Another year is closing, and a new one is beginning. This year has been so different and has given all of us a new perspective on what is important. It has taught me to be thankful for the little things, the little blessings, the little miracles. It has showed me how much a simple smile, text or phone call can have such a huge impact.

I am hoping the with a new year comes new possibilities, less anxiety, and that we can continue to find the small things that bring us, and others, joy.

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December 2, 2020 - Rina’s Ramblings

This time of year always brings a spirit of Thanksgiving, We continue in this spirit even after the holiday of Thanksgiving, well into the Christmas season. My church leaders invited members to give thanks during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. We were invited to share what we were thankful for on social media platforms. You may have noticed a few #GiveThanks tags this past week.

It was a week filled with many things to be thankful for and a time to reflect on what we are truly grateful for in our lives. Seeing others that posted their “Give Thanks” made me see even more things in my life that I could be thankful for. It was a very rewarding experience.

Read more: December 2, 2020 - Rina’s Ramblings

November 18, 2020 - Rina's Ramblings

rina rambling 4139The Valley has seen some great weather these past two weeks. So, I took the opportunity to visit parts of Brownsville I have never been to.

I visited the Old Cemetery, Historic Brownsville Museum, Stillman House, Fort Brown, Palo Alto Battlefield, and stopped at a few other places to get some pictures. It was so nice outside that if I did get a little warm, I was easily cooled off with the next breeze.

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February 28, 2020 - Rina's Ramblings

20200226 RINA img 2534We’ve been busy again over here at the Winter Texan Times. We tried to get out as much as possible, but there were places and people we just couldn’t get to. We almost had to place requests in a hat and pick one to go to when we could. You want us out there and we are trying our best to come and see you. Please know that we want to know everyone, but we can’t go to everything.

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February 6, 2020 - Rina’s Ramblings

20200205 cayetano pictureFor those that visit the Valley regularly, you know how much we talk about Fred Renk and the Santa Maria Bullring. Well, this year is his last year and he will be having one more event on February 16. Look for more about the event in our next issue, but until then, check out Jo Liston’s column On the Road with Jo on Page 35.

I told you last week we had been busy this January and our month wasn’t over yet. I tried to get everything in last week that we had done, but I tend to ramble and it got lengthy, so I wanted to talk about a few more things we did before we get our February rolling – which we already plan to attend six events in the next couple of weeks, including the Bull fight, Mission Mega Winter Texan Fiesta, the Valley Star Awards, and Glenn Miller Orchestra. Who knows what else will come up during the month though?

Read more: February 6, 2020 - Rina’s Ramblings