Updating December 2011
So what have we been doing here over the Christmas holidays? I painted the staircase we bought last year - easier to climb than the trailer stairs. We had our picture taken for the Park Book that comes out next September - showing all the residents. We haven't had one of these books yet but they are handy if you forget someone's name. We have been experiencing a cool spell here over the holidays - Christmas Eve was cold and rainy - but the rain is needed so we don't complain too much. We have been golfing and biking and shopping. I taught my first exercise class on Wednesday at 8 AM but am restricted to a 30 minute time slot - and I am used to an hour time slot back home so it is difficult to get everything in. We have learned how to play Fast Track - a card game and enjoyed a chocolate fondue at neighbours one night. On Christmas Eve we attended the Candle Light Service in the Clubhouse and had Christmas Dinner in the Clubhouse at noon on Christmas Day. The resort provided the turkey, ham and gravy. Then we did a round of golf on our little 9 hole Par 3 course since the sun came out for a little while and then we spent a quiet afternoon and evening watching The Rainmaker" movie starring Matt Damon and Danny DeVito. We did a little after Christmas shopping on Boxing Day (which they really don't have in USA).
Dec 27 - we went on the Resort Bus to the Santa Rosa W R Cowley Sugar House - the only Sugar Cane Factory in Texas and the biggest and newest one in the USA - but it is 35 years old. This factory is a co-op from 169 sugar cane growers in 3 counties in the Rio Grande Valley. These farmers grow 56,000 acres of sugar cane thanks to irrigation in the Valley. Sugar Cane takes 365 days till it is ready for harvest and after the first planting in a field it will be harvested for 4 years before resting in another crop for a year and then back to cane. The plant is self sustaining in power and waste reduction and the boilers power turbines and the extra power produced is sold back to the power grid. All their raw sugar is sold to Dofino Sugar and refined elsewhere and the waste molasses is sold to feed lots to be mixed in the cattle feed. Environmental restrictions regarding the burning of the cane fields may close down this industry in the future.
Each of their tractor trailer trucks hold approximately 28 tons of sugar cane. In good weather, the sugar mill runs around the clock during the harvest season, which is from early October to the end of March.


  1. Interesting that a plant which is 35 years old was aas conscious of the environment before many manufacturers.


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