Saturday, May 19, 2018

Blog is Changing

I cannot find out why this will not allow me to add days or photos.  The best I can do is write what I can at one sitting and post.  Maybe that will be an improvement on my ramblings!  So here is the past week in a nutshell.

I hosted Shanghai for Couples Saturday night, elected to stay home Mother's Day and avoid the crowded restaurants, and hosted Ladies Canasta on Monday.  Though I lost lots of dimes Saturday, I took second place on Monday!

Tuesday I worked at the thrift shop and did my pre-op at the hospital afterwards.

Wednesday Ted had his endoscopy and it went well.  A few biopsies were taken but Dr. W thinks all is okay.  We will get results next week.

Thursday was the Forum Installation Luncheon, always a fun time. That was followed by four loads of laundry when I returned home.

Friday was a nightmare.  I was up at 5 am to take my third shower in 24 hours with special soap the hospital gave me.  We arrived at 6:45 and got totally prepped for my 9 am surgery.  At 12:30, when no one had been able to reach my surgeon, i told them I was going home.  By the time I dressed they said he was just finishing up an emergency at the other hospital but now the cath labs had two pacemaker cases being done so the labs were no longer available to him.  I called their office on our way home and told them what I had done and why.  They asked me to go back and they would guarantee I would be next in whichever lab finished first.  I can deal with emergencies (my 8:00 gall bladder surgery happened at 2:30 because of an emergency but they kept me informed of the progress) but when no one can locate your doctor for 6 hours it is a different story. 

I had been discharged so I had to be readmitted, start a new IV (that had blood on the floor, the nurse, my bed and all over my arm) and then wait some more.

I was not put out and I didn't know if I would suffocate or have a broken neck or back by the time they  shoved the tubes down my neck to my groin. I developed a huge hematoma at the insertion site that they marked in purple.  By the time I got to post-op they had to put new markings because it was getting bigger.  It hurt to move anything.  I was finally released at 5 pm.  Ted got me home and settled on the couch, put ice on the hematoma, gave me a Tylenol 3 and made me a shake.  

I slept on the couch because it has a gently sloped arm which worked better than a pillow.  I had one more pill before going to sleep.  I woke myself a couple times when I turned my head which hurt my neck but overall it was not a bad night.  I am still sore and can't turn my head but I feel better than yesterday!








Monday, May 7, 2018

Lost Weekend (Blog that is!)

Friday we drove to Huntsville to Able Ammo to check on clay bird throwers.  Inquiring minds (of certain people) want to know about them.  We stopped by a new 55+ community on the lake just to look but the models are either too small or too large. Not enough space in the 2 bedroom one story and too much upstairs in the 3 bedroom ones.  I don't want a second story.  Our present house is unique in that in a one story we have two eating areas, three bedrooms, an office and a hobby room plus the standard two baths, FR/breakfast area/Kitchen, a sitting area and laundry room.  I think I will stay put!  We stopped at Vernon's for dinner.

Saturday we went to church and then out to dinner with Terry and Carol.  

Sunday Ted shot and I went out to buy succulent plants to replace the ones that froze in January.  I hope these do as well as they did, at least initially!  Not good to let desert plants out in freezing temps.  

That is a condensed version of a very quiet weekend.  The next two weeks are crazy busy so I want to get this blog thing straightened out if I can figure out what is wrong!

Since my filter removal was scheduled for Monday but then cancelled I had no other plans.  I did clean all the wood cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Tuesday was my primary care physician bi-annual visit.  He was pleased with my weight loss.  I had charted my BP for two weeks since the hematologist was concerned.  Dr. C agreed and cut that dose in half.  My cholesterol was 131 and he halved that script too!  I have to see him in 3 months to check on my numbers and evaluate the meds.   

I met Judy next door at Panera Bread for lunch after my appointment.  I hadn't seen her since last fall.  We had an enjoyable meal.

I had ultrasounds on both legs Wednesday morning and then the contractor came in the afternoon about the bathroom.  It's a lot easier and cheaper to redo a bathroom than move!  We discussed my wants and my concerns and came up with a bigger footprint for the shower that will be tiled and enclosed seamlessly with a large rain shower head.  The tub will be removed, the toilet room door will  be moved from next to Ted's sink to around the corner to where the tub had been, new granite countertops installed, new tile floor, new faucets, light fixtures and doorknobs.  He will not start until we have all that is needed on hand and then it should be just two weeks to finish.  We have another guy coming so we haven't made a decision.  

Thursday was busy!  First up was my Weight Watchers meeting.  I was on several doctors' scales, all saying something a bit different, so I wasn't sure if I had made it.  I was delighted to have lost 2 pounds for a total of 26 lbs. in 18 weeks.  So I received my 25 lb. charm!


Next up was our neighborhood lunch.  Everyone enjoyed my choice.  I try to pick some place different but I am not sure the others are onboard since Macaroni Grilll, Chili's, etc. keep being chosen.  They had a great lunch menu.

From there I met Ted at the doctor's for my ultrasound results.  I have "leaky valves" and will need to have a superficial vein collapsed but not until the deep vein is able to handle the rerouted blood flow.  She did give me a prescription for compression stockings to help with "pain and swelling."  I told her I have neither so she said to wear them when I fly and as needed!  

And then it was on to our friend's 80th birthday party.  It was a surprise, held at one of our nicest restaurants and turned out very nice.  I saw several people we have not seen in awhile.  I had several appetizers, a glass of wine and a piece of cake with no icing!  That was my dinner!  

Let's hope this will Publish!












Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Another Week Is Speeding Along

Monday I did the bed linens, cleaned the guest bathroom and tried on every pair of pants, slacks, capris, shorts, etc. in my closet.  There is now a big box on its way out of here.  Next up will be tops when I get a chance.  They claim you wear 15% of your clothes 85% of the time.  Sounds about right!  We had the leftover lasagna for dinner.

On Tuesday I was invited to a Newcomer's Tea as a thank you to this year's Activity Chairs.  It was catered by Pretty Posh Parties and was oh so formal and classy!  The tables and chairs were beautifully set and we were served quiche, small sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cookies and tea.  The sugar cubes were pastel colored butterfly shapes.  I won a Panera Bread gift card.



When I returned home I finished up the three loads of laundry I had started before I left while Ted fixed dinner.  We had salads with grilled chicken.  I needed that to counteract all those carbs and sugar!

I got around to my tops on Wednesday.  Now there are two boxes going out and my closet looks so much better.  In the afternoon, friends Kelly and Mike stopped by for a visit.  We are friends through mutual friends and then Facebook.  We have watched their 5 grandchildren and our 4 grow up in our years of knowing one another.  We eventually went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and stretched our wonderful visit to almost four hours.  We just might cross paths again in Indiana this summer.  We were so glad they made time to see us. 

Since it has been awhile that I have been available to help at a funeral lunch at church, I signed up for Thursday because Ted had a big shoot and was going to be gone all day.  It was a small group of about 60 people and four of us were able to handle it with no problem.  I made a fruit salad and took it along.  I was home by 2:00 so I still had a long wait for Ted to come home.  

I am having difficulty getting my whole blog to publish.  It picks up what I write at first but if I go back to add, it doesn't publish that.  I will try writing and publishing each time I write to see if that helps.  I am tired of re-typing!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ironman Texas

I handled the three suitcases' contents and our mail on Monday after our arrival home.  That gave me Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for our own personal Ironman (Ironwoman?), my sister Margaret.  A lot of shopping and cleaning plus laundry was involved but I was ready on Thursday morning for an early trip to the airport. 

Our first stop was for her to register.  This is big business!!  Lots of vendors are in the Ironman Village too.  Participant Shirt (Margaret Kennedy).  


A quick photo of the three of us.  


We accomplished all she had to do as far as logistics, locating her bicycle transporter, etc.  and then we had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes before heading home.  After visiting and naps we opted for Joe's Italian restaurant for dinner for her heavy carb diet prescribed before the race.  Did I mention it is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon of 26.2 miles running.  I have been elected to clap and cheer.  

A swimming practice was being held between 8-10 on Friday morning.  Ted made waffles (carbs) for breakfast before he left to work at a chaplains' gun shoot at his club.  I drove Margaret to the Marriott to meet up with her friends to do their practice swim and to find the Transition area, Finish Line, etc.  She called after 12 to come get her.  She didn't want lunch and promptly took a nap.  In the time she was gone I went to the store and made two lasagnas - one vegetarian for her and one regular one for our dinner.


I was up at 4 am to take Margaret to the race venue.  She gave me her phone to keep and my communication now depended on the Ironman app.  I checked as she completed the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 miles biking and she was a few miles into the 26.2 run when we went to church.  When I checked later her check-ins had stopped about a third of the way into the run.  I knew something was wrong and we went immediately to the area of the Finish Line to inquire.  She had been taken to Medical having collapsed from heat exhaustion.  By the time we made our way to Medical we learned she had been released at 6:12.  We learned later they could not find her emergency paper with my number on it so she could not call me.  Kristin suggested I try to contact her friend in Florida through Facebook and lo and behold she had contacted him and he had sent me a message to call her at a phone number of a friend.  We met her in the hotel lobby all wrapped in a silver warming blanket.  But she was feeling better and we brought her home.  After a shower she went right to bed.

An 11:15 flight Sunday morning meant packing up to head back to Florida for her.  She felt much better and was in fine spirits when we dropped her off at the airport.  She was handling her disappointment very well.  Her race time numbers were right on target and the heat exhaustion hits many as evidenced by all the beds in Medical having been full.  She proudly wore her Texas Ironman backpack on the plane.

Ted and I headed to Katy to meet Tal and Cindy at a sporting clays competition followed by dinner.  I fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home.  This Ironman thing can be tiring even for those of us who clap, cheer and worry!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On to St Marys, OH

We were in no big hurry Monday morning but we did have to watch the time because we had to turn the car in back at the airport before our weekend time was up and then start our weekly rental.  Sounds crazy but doing it that way versus a 10 day rental was $2200 versus $800!  You read that right!  The airport taxes almost doubles the cost.  We were allowed to keep the same car so that made it easy.  Drive in, get recorded, drive out.  

It started snowing!  Not heavy, but enough you could see it and the streets were wet.  Then it sleeted.  Oh happy days!  It didn't take but a few hours to get to our next destination, Sue and Dan's.  It was in the 30s and I was ill prepared clotheswise.  While Dan went to sign his taxes, the three of us went shopping for some warmer clothes for me.  Jeans, slacks and a pullover sweater would hopefully get me through the cold spots of the next week.

We ate dinner at home and watched Netflix on TV.  We only have cable and found the programming interesting.  I would love to dump our cable.  After a good night's sleep Ted and Dan prepared to go shooting and Sue and I went shopping for their new grandbaby, #17!  I wrapped the things I bought and left the gift bag for them to deliver later.

Once the fellows came home and cleaned up, we drove to the Versailles Inn to meet their son Ed and his wife Vicki for dinner.  I had amazing walleye (pickerel to non-Michiganders) and lots of laughs.  We had an amazing time just talking and telling stories.  We all went to bed shortly after arriving back home.  The cool weather had done our shooters in.  We had to be on the road by 8:30 the next morning so another good night's sleep was in order.  It was a 2.5 hour drive to the Detroit airport to pick up Kristin.  

Our timing was spot on because she walked out just as we drove up.  From there it was just 45 minutes to Kara's.  Thursday we had lunch with Kelly and shopped for presents for Morgan.  Friday we arranged the flowers for the tables at the restaurant, picked up the cakes, pressed off clothes, etc., all in preparation for Morgan's Confirmation on Saturday.  Kristin's best friend since age 8 came for a visit with her 2 year old daughter..


Kara and Morgan went to church at 6 for practice and dinner while the rest of us went to Kelly's for dinner.  

Here are some photos of the Saturday celebration.

Flowers for the tables


Morgan being Confirmed

 

Kara's family

 
 
Us with Kelly's family and with Morgan 


 

 Two cakes, one gluten free for Morgan.  



On Sunday Bill's sister and brother in law came for dinner.  Ted made pulled pork, I tossed a salad and Kara made a fruit salad.  Morgan and I made a corn casserole too.  She was using her Home Economics skills!

Monday morning we were up and out at 9 am for the flight home.  We landed at 2:00 and were happy to arrive home a short time later.



Monday, April 16, 2018

Time in Cincinnati

We drove to the airport, parked offsite and took the shuttle to the terminal.  However, he dropped us all off at Arrivals instead of Departures!  I am not sure why but we had to make the best of it and make our way to the ticket counters upstairs.  I had paid for Premium seating on United so we had a very comfortable ride except for a bit of turbulence.  Finding the car rental at the airport was fun.  There are no signs!  National told us to follow the purple line but we couldn't find one.  The luggage guy said to go through the double doors which only put us outside with the parking lot and private pickups so we started walking and someone pointed to an area so we continued to there.  You can take a bus from this spot but still no signs!  Ted asked the driver if they were in the Witness Protection Program.  He laughed and said most everyone has trouble finding them.  Too much trouble to fix a known problem?

We chose a Chrysler 300 from the Emerald Aisle and drove across the river to Ohio where we stopped to get distilled water for Ted's CPAP machine and saw 12 Tesla charging stations in the parking lot.  A glimpse into the future I suppose.  


We eventually made it to Karen's.

On Saturday we went to Gabe's, a Ross type store, and ran into Karen's grandson and his wife.  They were just coming from a funeral and took the opportunity to shop this store since they live north of the city.  I bought a couple tops, gave them hugs, and we went home.  Church was at 5:00 and afterwards we went to a German restaurant that normally has great food.  After an hour's wait for a table we were served the worst meal I have had in ages!  Ted and Karen both sent stuff back and I just answered "no" when the waitress asked me if it was good.  Oh well, it is only one meal out of thousands I will eat in my lifetime!

Donna picked me up on Sunday and we made our way to our old high school.  We met up with 40 of the remaining 200 or so classmates who graduated in the Class of 1963.  What a fun time!  We had lunch, toured all the buildings and were allowed to use the marble stairs, a BIG no-no all those years ago.  Here we all are sitting on the marble stairs.  I am far left, top row because I am still able to climb, sit down and get up! 


Donna B R and Donna B P, friends since 1950


After four hours Donna dropped me off.  Cindy, Karen's daughter and her husband, had arrived and we got in a short visit before we left to see Ted's family.  We had a great meal with Peg, Dave and Dan.  When we returned to Peg's, Kevin and Barb joined us for Graeter's ice cream for dessert.  After a few hours we all headed home.  What a great day of seeing friends and family!  


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Heading Out

It has been a very busy week.  Monday I had bloodwork done.  The results were two pages long and all marked NORMAL!   In the afternoon I played Hand and Foot at Kathleen's. Terry was celebrating his 75th birthday, so six of us had dinner at Landry's to celebrate that evening.

I worked in the morning at the Thrift Shop on Tuesday.  It has been difficult getting all my hours in with being out of commission last summer and gone this winter.  But I am in striking distance now and by the end of April will have accomplished my goal.  If I have time in May I will check the calendar to see if I can lend a hand somewhere.  Our group is committed to 10,000 hours and if all members did just what they had to, we would be 2,000 hours short.  So it is important to not only do your obligation but to add some extra hours when you can.

I saw the hematologist on Wednesday.  He was pleased with the blood test results, cut my medicine in half and said to return in six months.  That afternoon I played mahjongg and won a game.  I was a tile away two other times so I know what I am doing.  Sometimes you just don't get the tiles!

Thursday was Ted's turn to see the doctor to set up his annual endoscopy.  I had lunch with the neighborhood ladies and at 4:00 saw the cardiologist.  She has started the paperwork on setting up the filter removal surgery.  I should hear from the Scheduler today. 

We fly out this afternoon for Cincinnati.  We will spend three nights at my sister's while I attend my 55th high school reunion.  The school is consolidating with another Catholic girls' school run by Mercy nuns and the property will be sold.  So this reunion has very special meaning.

Monday we move north on to my brother's for a two night visit with some shooting and fishing thrown in.  And Wednesday we will leave early enough to pick up Kristin at the Detroit airport at 11:00. All roads lead to Kara's where we will be for the next five nights to celebrate Morgan's Confirmation on Saturday.

We return Monday, the day before our 53rd wedding anniversary.  I think we may be too tired to even consider celebrating.  Maybe the next weekend.,

Here are a couple photos taken at the gala - The Big Board, the mechanical bull and the venue and crowd.





Sunday, April 8, 2018

NOW It Is Two Weeks To Takeoff

We actually had three weeks at home before leaving again and then we were down to two!  I guess it just felt like I only had two because so much needed to be done.  I am pretty much caught up and have a busy week ahead.

We did have brunch at the country club Easter Sunday after church and it was very well done with delicious food.  Everyone went home to change clothes and then met up to play cards.  My dimes cooled off and I didn't win.  Shanghai is not easy to play with six players but it is doable.  We all had fun and that was our main objective.

Monday I took it easy.  Ted had an opthamology appointment and the doctor said he is about six months from cataract surgery.  His glasses have been driving him crazy because he can see distance better without them but needs them for reading.  It isn't unusual for your eyes to change, even improving, as a cataract develops so I suspected this might be the diagnosis.  When he returned, I went to the nail salon, another new one.  They did okay.  Now to see how it lasts.  

Ted went to the pistol range with Terry on Tuesday, senior day.  Later that afternoon he shot Sporting Clays with his buddies.  I shredded my papers, did my normal straightening up and cleaned and polished the wood floors.  Now just the filing remains!

Since Ted needs his annual endoscopy and now cataract surgery and I need my vena cava filter removed,  I suggested we put all summer travel plans on hold until we get this stuff lined up.  I think he would do better in the October Championships in San Antonio if he had his cataract removed before.  With only one eye I know how apprehensive he is so maybe that carrot of shooting better will help ease that anxiety.  With the 9/14 departure for Greece and the shooting competition the end of October, it seems late in August would be the best time.  My minor surgery will probably get scheduled for the first part of May when we return from Michigan.  

Wednesday I played mahjong with Gerre's group.  Jennifer and Betty picked me up and we stopped at Subway on the way.  We ate our lunch and then played about 8 games.  I did win one but Betty was smoking the tiles with four wins.  Gerre won two, the wall one, while Jennifer was shut out.  They all proclaimed me up to speed on playing.  

Ted wanted to go to Dickie's BBQ for dinner so we headed that way only to find it moved out!  So we went on to Denny's.  We had to watch Survivor on the DVR because we got back so late.

I was up early Thursday to leave by 8:30 for the nursing home Spring Fling party.  Gail did a great job on the decorations, all in pastel colors.  Entertainment was provided by the Salvation Army Harbor Light choir and the residents, who are a tough crowd, really got into the music.  One resident was dancing with an aide and another lady got out of her wheelchair to cut a rug in place.  We had lots of "help" come into the room to listen too.  It was a great send off for the year.  


We turn everything over to the next Chairs in May.  I have a little while to get it together.  There is a book of instructions and boxes of decorations to be sorted and packed.  Gail and I will be happy to get rid of all those boxes.  We picked up my car in late afternoon after coughing up $2200 for repairs!

I was up early again on Friday and left by 8:15.  I had to attend a Board of Directors meeting for my volunteer group.  The Service Committee did not have a quorum so their unfinished business had to be  resolved by the board.  We had six programs that were being scrutinized.  I had a hair appointment so while they were discussing #4, I snuck out.  I knew #6 would also evoke a lot of comments and I am too busy before we leave to not keep my haircut appointment.  It would be another 2.5 weeks to wait otherwise.  

After a bit of lunch, I headed into my office.  I ordered the wedding gift for Ted's nephew and sent the RSVP with our regrets.  I signed and stamped Ted's brother Tom's 80th birthday card.  I paid the annual RV insurance premium, the lawn service bill and sent my RSVP for the Forum installation luncheon.  I filled out the reimbursement forms  for both Gail and me to be reimbursed for our expenditures.  And I wrote a letter to my cousin that had sent us an Easter card and letter.  I worked on one Forum book and got it in order, but I have a second one that is in very messy shape.  It is the one Gail worked out of so I am not even sure what is in there!  

Ted came home from working a charity outing at the gun club and we took the Lexus back to Terry.  We were so grateful it worked out so I didn't have to rent one.  I do have a $40 per day rental benefit but this was so convenient with no paperwork.  Ted fixed dinner and I cleaned up before finally sitting down.  

Saturday Ted worked an FAA Youth Shoot at the gun club, I ran a few errands and sorted, tossed and repacked the nursing home party supplies.  Now I just have to learn who I need to give them to.


And by 5:00 we were on the road to the west side of town for rhe CWJF Boots and Bling Gala.



There were many outside things to do but it was too cold to enjoy them to the fullest - a bourbon and stogies bar, mechanical bull, cornhole, Giant Jenga, etc.  Most of us stayed inside the Big Barn that was heated, enjoying delicious appetizers and an open bar.  It was underwritten by our tablemates Diane and Nick of Come From Away fame.  I bid on the Silent Auction but lost.  There was a Big Board auction but nothing of interest to us at this time.  There was a paddle auction but I didn't dare raise my paddle for those.   Masters Weekend, CMA Nashville weekend, Disney World Week,  Alaskan cruise, Alaskan Floatplane Fishing Trip, etc.  The heavy hitters run these things way up!  God bless them for
supporting our efforts to make a difference in the lives of children and seniors.  It was a terrific evening!








Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Two Weeks At Home

Tuesday was more of putting things away plus four loads of laundry. I don't think I sat down all day!   The shredding and filing are still sitting there though.  I put a roasting chicken in the Instant Pot for dinner and finally gave up the ghost and sat down in early evening.  The Ford dealer called and said the computer found no code so they put my car in line for the Major Engine computer readout.  The problem is there are others in front of me. In have no idea when I will get my car back.  I was looking at buying a new Ford Edge next fall but that may happen sooner than I thought!

Wednesday morning I spent the early hours of the day locating and printing all the reservations and confirmations I received for Greece and Hawaii over the last three months.  I had no printer with us so I just kept saving and/or taking screenshots until I could get a file together.  Our Greece group is meeting to finalize some transportation plans.  We need "airport to hotel" and "hotel to ship" reservations.  We all agreed to use Royal Caribbean "ship to airport" transport at the end of the cruise because they control flow off the ship. It will be in their best interest to be sure we leave early enough to catch our flights home.  For Hawaii I am good except for the Honolulu to Kona and return flight.  We are booked on United into and out of Honolulu so we need an inter-island flight.  The condos on Kona, our hotel in Honolulu and New Year's reservation at Disney's Aulani are all in order.   I have a lot of car reservations and need to cancel some.  We kept finding better prices!  Whew!  That all took awhile.

We went to the grocery and eventually I used the broth and leftover chicken from Tuesday to make chicken noodle soup in the Instant Pot.  It turned out really good.  I sautéed onions, celery and carrots in the chicken fat off the top of the saved drippings.  Then added the drippings minus the fat, some additional broth, cut up chicken, spices and a handful of noodles and set it for Soup, 4 minutes!  Voila!  Homemade chicken soup.  Very tasty.  

Another thing I did was put my stained glass table and the two new chairs on the porch.  I have the old peacock chair and table plus six cushions all ready to go out in April when the Paralyzed Veterans come to pick it up.  It turned out to fit just fine.


Thursday was Shanghai day.  I hadn't seen anyone in 3 months so it was a good afternoon filled with laughter.  We have the same problem playing cards as playing mahjongg - whose turn is it?  And I won!  Great start to getting back into playing cards.

We watched the Buddy Holly story on TV for a change of pace.  The cars in NY during the 50s looked like old time movies to us and we were in school then!  We both enjoyed it and talked of the songs that didn't get written because of his untimely death.  He was so talented as singer, musician, lyricist and producer.  Such a sad ending to such a promising life.  

On Friday Ted worked at the gun club and I stayed home and cleaned.  By dinner time I was pooped so an easy dinner of coconut shrimp in the air fryer and salad was all I could muster.  Saturday was more of the same with putting plants on the courtyard wall and removal of much pollen from the deck and furniture.  John and Irene invited us to dinner at Spring Creek BBQ and then we played cards at our house.  I came in second.  My dime purse runneth over.

The bad news of the week is my car needs $2200 of "powertrain" work.  That's what the little wrench on the display means.  It has something to do with modules in the transmission plus other stuff.  It is 8 years old with 61,000 miles.  It has never given me any trouble in all that time.  It looks brand new (no food, kids or dogs) transported.  We had the tires, new last year, rotated while in the valley, the oil changed and the inside and outside detailed.  I think the Ford Edge may have to wait until 2019 so I get some use out of my new $2200 whatevers!  

Today is Easter.  We went to Mass at 9:00 and will join Terry, Carol, Irene and John for brunch at their country club.  And maybe more cards.  My dimes are hot!

Happy Easter everyone. 













Friday, March 23, 2018

Pack Up and Out

Friday we were invited for muffins and coffee at Steve and Maresa's to look at the atlas and determine if their farm is close enough on the way north towards North Dakota to stop and stay a day or two this summer.  We learned I had chosen a campground just a bit beyond so it would be a perfect place to stop instead.  There were 4 RV hookups when they bought the place and they kept them for just this reason.

When we came back it was time to put all the furniture from under the pergola back into the coach house.  It all fits like a puzzle and we got it just right.  Ted had already been doing some outside things getting ready to leave on Saturday morning.

I went to play mahjongg and won 3 games with two games just a tile away.  I checked and can play on Wednesdays at home.  We went to Cracker Barrel for trout for me and shrimp for Ted then came back to relax before our travel day that was coming up.  

We were up by 7:00 Saturday and ready to head out by 8:30.  We gave a few hugs and left with me following Ted.  We made it several miles down the expressway and Ted called to say his Drain Water Separator light had come on.  This happened when we left Sikeston, MO last year!  We knew what needed to be done but finding a place to pull in with truck and trailer is a bit tricky.  We decided to go north on 281 and pull into Flying J which was on our way.  Ted went around the back, I parked in front.  I saw a Flying J Road Service Assistance truck so I called the phone number.  The tech said he would be right over.  I called Coach Net to get authorization only to learn their records show our contract was up!  I will be checking this with my records when I get home!  With our mail forwarding I guess anything can fall through the cracks.  

The tech, who is used to semis, didn't know quite what to do so I read from the manual about the petcock being on the frame rail, next to the transmission, under the driver's seat that needs to be drained of 60-75 ml of water until fuel flows.  Ted had gotten a cup from inside so the tech slid under (that's the part that Ted can't do) and turned the petcock (what I can't do) and drained the module.  We asked what we owed him and he said nothing because he really didn't do any repair but we could give him $20 if we wanted!  So we did.  From now on, before any trip, the truck is going up on the lift and getting that module drained while the trailer isn't attached!

Having a problem while driving an RV where you get parked safely, get back on the road in under an hour for $20, you have a WIN!  I stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint at Fulfurrias where I was waved through without even one question and then one stop at the rest area.  I enjoyed the bluebonnets and primrose blooming all along the way.

We got set up in the campground in Victoria by 3:00 and left to find the church.  Once we did that we went to Mumphord's BBQ.  We were warned about the outside appearance but were told not to let it deter us. The recommendation was right on!  I had turkey but Ted had ribs, brisket and sausage which we declared all excellent.  


We had enough time to stop at the store for Dawn and Pledge that I needed before heading back to the church.  Despite the long Palm Sunday service we were out before 6:45.  We stopped by Dairy Queen for an ice cream before coming home for the evening.

We were up and on our way by 8:30 Sunday morning and had an easy drive into Houston.  The further north we went, the bigger the blankets of wild flowers got.  So pretty!  Once in Houston we entered the I-610 circle from the SW, proceeded north then east to pick up I-45 north.  Just as the two 6 lane highways merge I heard a boom and my car went into limp mode.  I was losing speed and just barely moved to the far right lane when it stopped.  I put on my flashers and called Ted who was ahead of me.  I told him to continue on and get the trailer dropped at the campground and I would stay in touch.  I called Coach Net to see if they could at least send someone even though I knew I would have to pay.  She was more concerned with getting me to a safe place and said she was calling 911.  Just then I saw a wrecker making its way to me.  The man stopped traffic to get pulled up behind me, helped me to his truck to be safe and loaded the car on.  I asked him to take me to the nearest Ford dealer.  Houston has a Safe Clear law and if you are blocking traffic, and I was, they will safely tow you 20 miles for $167, you have no choice.  I frankly was delighted to be rescued.  

Because it was Sunday we could not get onto the first dealer's property so he took me to the next one closer to my home.  They too were closed but their Quick Lane oil change business was open and said we could drop the car there and to call Service first thing Monday and they would come over to get it.  

Once off the wrecker bed, the car started, went in gear and moved forward and reverse.  He said sometimes the transport will get just enough fuel to start the motor but he was of the opinion it was something to do with the fuel pump, maybe a belt or hose.  We shall see.  The good news was I checked our auto insurance and we have $150 towing coverage!  It is just hard to believe we have had no trouble with either vehicle and then pow!, both of them one right after the other.

I called Ted who had dropped the trailer and set it up. He left immediately to come get me.  His brother told us to come by and take their Lexus to use.  So we stopped there to do that.  I also gave my sister-in-law the eye drops we had brought back for her.

Finally we made it to the campground and packed the truck and Lexus and moved stuff home.  Monday Ted emptied the refrigerator and cleaned it.  We leave it open to totally dry out.  The bathroom was next and then normal dusting, vacuuming and floors.  We had until Tuesday to move the trailer to storage but did it Monday evening.

I had been working non stop on all the mail and paperwork waiting for me.  I did my sister-in-law's taxes.  Because she has to file a Schedule D, the free filings are not free.  First one I tried was $26, the second $46!  I just went to .gov, filled out her forms, printed them and sent them with an addressed envelope to her to sign and send.  Then I did ours and we have an $800 refund instead of having to pay, welcome news.  I went through all the mail, sent a wedding RSVP, ordered the gift, got checks ready for deposit, sent a birthday card to my brother, emailed our window washer's name to my friend who had requested it and now I have a huge stack of filing and one for shredding.

I also called our insurance and filed a claim for my towing.  No problem.  When I contacted Coach Net about our expired membership I was informed the billing was emailed to - wait for it - trogers! who promptly replied he didn't get an email bill (in October 2016!).  Some things just aren't worth arguing about!  

My car is being looked at today.  They were able to drive it from the oil change area to the Service area so we are thinking it is not the motor or transmission.  Ted said maybe the catalytic converter!  



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Last Week of the 2018 Season

There will be a lot of "lasts for this year" this week.  We already did our last trip to Mexico.  Saturday we attended our last Mass with Fr. Roy.  Because it was St. Paddy's Day we were greeted with bagpipes, Danny Boy and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.  The gospel was the reading of raising Lazarus from the dead.  After a terrific sermon on the end of life to a very captive audience of senior citizens, Fr. Roy chose Brooks and Dunn's I Believe to complete his message.  One of the lines is "you can't tell me it ends in a slow ride in a hearse."  Very thought provoking!  Our departing song was Happy Trails To You to say goodbye to the winter Texans, most of whom will leave this week to be home for Easter, us included.  We will certainly miss this part of our months in the valley.

Sunday afternoon was more of the same.  Skeet for Ted, laundry for me.  I said goodbye to my laundromat amigos.  They know me as the Sunday morning gringo!  Everyone there has been friendly and helpful.  I must admit I am looking forward to my own washer and dryer at home though!

When I returned, I played mahjongg. The "veteran" players from next door came over and I played with three of them and won two games. They all pronounced me totally ready to play with anyone.  Two were surprised I had only learned last year.  Now I need to join a group back home.

I had a pork loin in the crockpot so we had pulled pork for dinner then watched TV.  The programs ran late because of the March Madness games.  

Richard was scheduled at 3 pm Monday to wash and wax the RV.  We have it done every year to help protect the finish.  Lord knows Ted has to wash the front each time we travel to get the bugs off but the wax helps keep the rest easy to keep clean with minimal effort.  It is still 38 feet on two sides and almost 9 feet across the front and back so just wiping it down takes quite a bit of time.  But Richard came before lunch.  Ah Mañana!  Whenever!  It actually turned out better because it was a bit cloudy and later on the sun came out. I was held hostage inside while they washed it.

It was a delightful afternoon and we sat out under the pergola for awhile.  


Eventually we had dinner and a quick trip to Dairy Queen.  We ran into Jack and Margaret who had come because he needed a burger and she wanted ice cream!  We had a nice chat with them before coming home for the evening.

We took my car to the detailer on Tuesday morning after Ted went to the gun range.  We were invited to Niles and Sue's on Wednesday so I sent Ted off to the grocery when I went to play mahjongg.  Dinner was to be at the clubhouse courtesy of the Landscape Company Tuesday night so I didn't have to concern myself with that.  While I was at the clubhouse Ted switched cars so they could detail his truck and when I finished I went to hold a table out on the patio.  We had a nice dinner of fish, tater tots and really good cole slaw.  The only problem was they ran out of cooked food and the last people had to wait a long time until the pans were refilled.  Afterwards we went to pick up Ted's truck.  All vehicles are cleaned and waxed!

I offered to make baked beans for dinner at Sue and Niles.  Mine calls for chopped green pepper and onions and half cooked bacon.  I got that all ready to go and about 2:00 I sautéed the peppers and onions in the bacon grease and then put in all the other ingredients, mixed it up, put the half cooked cut up bacon on top and popped it in the convection oven.  Then we both left to get much needed haircuts.  When we returned we took our beans and drinks down the street for a burger, slaw, green beans, baked beans and chocolate square cookies dinner!  It was another "last neighbor dinner" for this year.

Thursday Sue and I went to the Mexican flea market at the foot of the bridge into Reynosa.  That is a city most of us will not go to because it is dangerous.  That and Matamoras both have highways from Mexico's interior leading into the city and the drug cartel is a problem.  I thought Sue was going to jump out of the car because we had to drive to the last street before going across the bridge.  I assured her I was not going to go into Mexico.  She said I was much braver than she is!  

We were looking for an Air Fryer for her.  We looked around and found several.  One was a nice clean stall, the gentleman spoke perfect English, the appliance was still packed in its box surrounded by styrofoam and had a direction/cookbook.  She bought it for $20.  It was a JCP brand and she looked it up in their catalogue on the way back.  It was originally $100, on sale for $60 plus shipping and tax.  Good buy!

We stopped for a "last Thursday lunch" at Olive Garden.  Coming from out in the country in Minnesota this was only her second visit to an Olive Garden!  We will miss our time together but we may see each other this summer.  We have offers to stop at several of our Retama friends who live north and west.  Just have to decide where we are going!  Glacier National Park is a good possibility.

  




Monday, March 12, 2018

Two Weeks and Counting

When it gets this close to departure time I start getting anxious.  Things are piling up in my To Do column - our mail, taxes, end of fiscal year volunteer wrap ups, print out and organize our September cruise and Hawaii vacation info and receipts.  We go to a nearby campground for two nights to give us time to empty the trailer, then clean it inside and out before returning it to storage.  Then we get to tackle all the stuff we have taken home that needs to be put away!  We leave most things in the RV but the clothes closet, pantry, refrigerator and freezer need to be emptied and then there are Ted's "toys" and what I have purchased while gone!  It amazes me how a 38 foot trailer partial contents can mess up a whole house!

Sunday Ted went shooting and I played mahjongg.  We had such a good time because we were all slap happy for some reason and every mistake just got funnier and funnier.  Ted ordered a pizza for dinner so we wouldn't have clean up before going up to the pool patio to see the show.

Rainie, from Thunder Bay, ON is a Patsy Cline legend singer and puts on a great show.  It was very hot all day (record high of 101) but the wind whipped up cooling it off and I thought we would all be blown away!  Rainie was a trooper and didn't let the wind bother her too much!  She did have to stay put at the big mic and not walk among the audience to insure the wind didn't drown her out.  It was certainly enjoyable.



On Monday we had dentist appointments to have our teeth cleaned at 9:00 a.m. in Progreso so we were up and out by 8 a.m.  All I know is it is really dark at 7:15 CDT!   We were taken right away and heading to the pedicure place in no time,  Ted has two pedicures a year.  One when we arrive and one right before we leave.  Don't ask!  I don't know.  The guy spent a lot of time taking care of him.  

From there we stopped for coffee at Rene's and also bought the last of the meds on our list.  We were finished with our last trip to Mexico for this year.  Since we were so close we went to Premium Outlets for a few things I wanted to look at.  I found what I wanted and we were on our way in record time.  It was going on 3:00 so we stayed in the rest of the afternoon, had dinner and then watched TV.

Ted went clay bird shooting Tuesday morning and I cleaned up a bit while talking to Kara on the phone.  She is so like me and wants to get these plane tickets for Hawaii put to bed.  I have told everyone to make their own reservations because it would be like herding cats for someone other than a professional to navigate those waters.  I know there is plenty of time but told her to do whatever she is comfortable with.

In the afternoon I played mahjongg and Ted ran to Sam's and HEB.  We are doing pretty good with getting the freezer empty, so-so on the fridge and the pantry looks like we haven't used a thing.  I did have rice when Vicki rushed over Sunday asking for some to put her hearing aid in since she dropped it somewhere wet!  Today we asked if it worked and she said not the first day but it did the second.  So happy we could help and that it worked!  

We had dinner and watched TV.  It is so nice to have some new episodes instead of all the repeats!

I picked up Marisa at 9:00 on Wednesday morning to go to the beauty school for a facial.  It has been years since I had one but I agreed to go.  I was glad to hear that I should continue doing whatever I am because my skin is in great condition for someone my age.  Marisa was sold some creams but my lady declared I should just continue with my own products.  You can only expect so much out of a jar I suspect!  We had nice chats coming and going and she invited us to stay on their farm as we pass through Nebraska this summer.  We just might do that!

We had made plans for Karen and me to go shopping while Ted, Dave and Glenn shot skeet.  After they were finished we were to meet them at Cheddar's.  Our first stop was Dillard's, then Macy's and last stop TJ Maxx as we made our way west to Cheddar's.  I bought a dress to wear to Morgan's Confirmation, 3 tops and a pair of shoes.  Karen bought two dresses.  Not a shopping marathon but enough to keep us happy.

After a nice dinner we parted company with Karen and Dave heading to Llano Grande to the east and we came home west to Retama!  The March Madness screwed up our normal TV programming so we had to make do with Me TV for the evening.

Mimi lives across the street and hosts a Muffins with Mimi morning each year and it was held on Friday.  There were about 40 ladies present and everyone had a good time eating all the delicious muffins Mimi made.  The amazing thing is Mimi has to eat gluten free and is still one of the best bakers in our Village.


We played our usual games of mahjongg in the afternoon but ladies from next door joined us so we had a bigger crowd.  I won one game.  I was close a couple of times and in left field on occasion.  Sometimes the tiles just don't come together.  

At 6:00 Niles and Sue picked us up to go out to dinner.  We had a coupon for B1G1F fish and chips.  Since it was Friday we thought it a good day to use it.  They had brisket and chicken and were  pleased with the food and the prices.  We then gave them our coupon book since we will be leaving and they are here for another six weeks.  We bought it at the Expo in January and certainly got our money's worth.  I hope they get more value out of it before leaving.  I told them to pass it on to Mark and Dortha if they wanted.  We spent the balance of the evening watching TV.

One week from today we will be hooking up and heading out. It will be good to get back home.







Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Making Appointments

Sunday Ted and the fellows went to Coyote to shoot sporting clays instead of skeet.  I, on the other hand, got to do laundry!  I will probably have one more trip before I get home to my own washer and dryer.  I have it down to a science now to minimize time and expense.  Three washers for whites, colors and darks, then two dryers splitting up the three for 20 minutes.  Then I pull out what is dry from both, consolidate what wasn't dried and do another 10 minutes.  Down to 1.5 hours and under $8!

I was home in time to make up a tray of sausage, cheese and crackers to take to our Mahjong party.  Rosie had invited our next door campground neighbors over for the afternoon.  There were 20 women in all and a bar full of food and drinks.  I held my own against these veteran players but didn't win.  The last thing to learn is determining what other hands are being played and what you need to do to stop them.  I still have lots to learn.  I did keep two ladies from winning by not throwing what I figured out they needed.  

On Monday Ted made dentist appointments for both of us, reserved our campground spot for our trip home, and for at home while unloading and cleaning.  He scheduled Richard to wash and wax the trailer the Monday before we leave and will have the truck and car detailed that same week.  I still need a hair appointment too.  We plan to stop in Victoria Saturday night so we can gas up my car, go to church and have dinner out.  Then we can drive through Houston Sunday morning before traffic gets too bad.  

Monday was also our ladies lunch and there were about 30 in attendance.  I rode with four other ladies and had as much fun coming and going as I did at the restaurant.  On the way home we stopped by our Activity Director for all of us to purchase our tickets for the Patsy Cline legend singer who is appearing here Sunday evening on the patio around the pool.


I was home only long enough to change shoes before heading to the nail salon and grocery.  When I returned we cut up orange, green and red peppers and onions and stir fried them with fajita meat.  I made some barrocho beans and warmed tortillas.  Who knew we would turn into locals when it came to eating?

Not too much went on Tuesday.  Ted received a call from Gary early and asked him to report to the range as safety officer for clay birds since I guess he couldn't for some reason.  While he was gone I colored my hair and then cleaned.  After lunch I played Mahjong winning one game and being a tile away on two others. 

For dinner I experimented with my Instant Pot.  A problem I constantly have is a freezer full of frozen food so nothing is available to cook for dinner.  I took a 3# frozen Butterball turkey breast roast (I had to run it under warm water to detach the pouch with gravy fixings), left the netting on, rubbed it with oil and seasonings and put it on the trivet in the Pot with two cups of broth.  I set it for 60 minutes after it pressurized.

Voila!  Perfect turkey breast.  I let it set while I dumped the gravy mixings into the broth, set the pot to Brown/Sear while I put Stove Top in the microwave.  That and applesauce was dinner.  The turkey was moist, tender and flavorful.  I took half the cooked turkey to Sue who had complained she had nothing to fix for dinner and included one of the three meat loaves I still have in the freezer for another day.  It is time to start emptying the pantry and refrigerator/freezer.  Ted and I both proclaimed the turkey attempt a success.

Wednesday we didn't do much of anything except for a nice visit with Ed and Marilyn next door.  We sort of crashed their patio where they had another couple visiting.  We laughed at some really funny stories!  

Thursday Ted went shooting at Mission and Sue and I shopped and had lunch at Zoe's Kitchen.  It was quite good!!  In the afternoon, three of us played impromptu mahjongg in the afternoon.  We had breakfast for dinner, my go to when nothing else is available (that frozen thing again).

Friday was more shooting and mahjong.  The weather hasn't been bad but the sun must be on vacation.  It is just easier to go to the clubhouse to play mahjongg than hang around outside.  It was after 5:00 when I came home so we hit McDonald's for Friday fish sandwiches.  

So many people are departing and things are starting to look empty with many rigs gone.  We only have two weeks left because we are leaving a week early.  I would rather be home than on the road on Easter.  We went to church, ate dinner at Cowboy Chicken and then played card bingo.  Next week is the St. Patrick's party so that was our last time to play until next year!  

God never ends anything on a negative; God always ends on a positive. Because what is negative about going home?” ~ Shannon Ald






Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Quiet Week

I have finished the weaving on my table runner and will now turn it over to my teacher to decide how the sides and ends should be finished.  I haven't a clue what to do on the ends but we both sort of agreed on fringe on the sides.  She has her sewing machine here and I don't so we need to work together.

I am doing really well in mahjong.  Even if I don't win because my tiles just don't come available I am pleased that I have played a specific hand without being lost.  Now I need to work on shifting gears when a hand goes dead.  That's a biggee!

Monday was a rainy day so we invited Niles, Sue, Mark and Dortha to Cowboy Chicken for dinner since it had just opened nearby.  We had three coupons for B1G1F so we all climbed into my Expedition for the ride over and had an enjoyable meal.  The food is great and the waitstaff couldn't have been more attentive.  

Tuesday was a bit busy.  I had offered to take dinner to one of our neighbors who has broken her leg.  Also, Niles had requested some more apple crisp like I had sent down to him awhile back.  I put the apple crisp on in my Instant Pot on the Slow Cook setting and told Ted what to do when it finished.  I headed out to mahjong.  I came back to a nice aroma and divided the contents into thirds - Ginger, Niles and Ted.  I washed the liner, tossed in a bit of oil and sautéed my beef cubes.  Then I added the rest of the things needed for beef stew and closed the pot.  In the 35 minutes that it cooked I put a Kaiser roll and butter in a plastic bag, a salad in a container, the apple crisp in a container and eventually a container of stew. 

Ted drove me to the next street so I could hold all the food but there was a street party so we turned around and came in the other way.  When we arrived everyone was telling us Ginger was at the party in her wheelchair!  I just put it all inside on her counter because I didn't want to interrupt her chance to be out in the nice weather among friends.  I hope she enjoyed her dinner.

On Wednesday Ted helped  Mark with his shotgun shooting and when he returned we drove to the flea market looking for an oversized card holder for Irene.  We struck out so Ted stopped at a construction site, picked up an adequate piece of scrap wood and plans to take it to the wood shop to see if anyone is interested in making one from the photo she sent me.

When we came home I checked on plane tickets and chose our flights to Hawaii.  There is a nonstop coming and going from Houston and that interested us so we bought them and upgraded to Plus which allowed us to choose exit row seats in the front of the plane.  I still need to get an interisland flight back and forth to Kona.  

I thought we were going to take flight Thursday morning because the wind was gusting big time.  I didn't think Ted would shoot but that group didn't let a little wind keep them away.  While they were gone Sue, Dortha and I visited Hobby Lobby, Target and then Olive Garden for lunch.  I finally caught Beverly at home and we spent a long time together finishing the edges of my Christmas table runner.


On my way home I cut through Don and Trudy's place and she was cooking a big pan of something outside.  I jokingly asked "What's for dinner?"  She said "stir fry" and "why don't you and Ted come."  I demurred but Don tried to call Ted and got Voicemail.  I had no idea where Ted was.  Don told me to find him and come back for dinner.  I found Ted next door chatting with Ed and Friends.  He called Don and accepted their kind invitation.  We had a lovely serendipity dinner - no plans, things just fell into place and it was after 10 when we got home.  They are leaving next week and even though Don and Ted shoot twice a week, my seeing Trudy had been limited to the fashion show.  She kept insisting she owed us dinner because we had them to the RV when we were all in Santa Fe!  

Jay stopped by Friday and we had a nice chat out back around the table.  They are leaving next week.  I heard 60 rigs left next door on 3/1.  The last party this month will be what is called The Tail Light Party in honor of all the tail lights of everyone heading out.  

Ted left to talk to Danny about a javelina hunt and I went to the Clubhouse to play mahjong.  I won two games!  When I came home I talked to Kristin and my sister Karen on the phone before Ted went for a cheese pizza for dinner.  Love those easy Friday dinners in Lent.  

Ted shot in a skeet tournament Saturday and tied with two others for first place breaking 97 out of 100.  However, he didn't want to hang around for a shoot off (with no money involved!) and came home.  He stopped at the wood shop before coming home and had slits cut in to the board to see if it will work to hold cards.  Irene will be the judge.



We went to church at 4:00, then to Outback for dinner and finished the evening enjoying the entertainment of Wade Landry and his wife Theresa.  Another nice day in the valley.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Alone!

It seems we have had visitors in the area since Day One.  Including Tom and Eileen who were at the park next door, we have!  It is fun to run here and there with folks but down time is nice too.  I plan on doing a bit of that this week.  We will see how that turns out!  

My first "down time" activity was a trip to the laundromat.  I had three huge loads to do.  I love those big washers and dryers.  Ted was running errands and stopped by to take my car to be washed and then returned it for me to get home.  We had been invited to Niles and Sue's for pulled pork that Ted taught Niles how to make last year.  I made an onion, tomato, cucumber salad and since Gerre had left a half container of strawberries, I dipped them in chocolate and took them too.  Two other couples were there and we had a nice meal and visit with lots of laughs. 

Tuesday was going to be our Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras celebration since we were rained out last week.  I used my time to write some cards, pay some bills, balance the checkbook and do another row of Swedish Weaving.  At 2:00 I went to play mahjong and got back too late to see the parade!  But you can count on someone to post a few photos. 

Lots of decorated golf carts.


My Swedish Weaving instructor decked out in her beads.


This person will remain anonymous!


We went to the clubhouse for our dinner and joined 5 others at our table out around the pool.  We sat with a couple who are booking their first Grand Circle Tour and had lots of questions for us.  I gave her my blog address and the four years and months we took 4 of our 5 GCT trips.  I never wrote about the first one in 2006.  I hope she enjoys reading about the places we have been and looks forward to her trip even more.

We planned to go to the flea market on Wednesday to pick up our shade that has been restrung but when the lady called yesterday she said her husband would deliver it to us.  Great!  Except I didn't get a time so one of us had to stay home all day, or at least until 2:30 when it was delivered.  I did some preliminary work concerning our RMD and income taxes, paid the electric bill and did another row of Swedish weaving.  It takes awhile and I am just about cross eyed by then so I have to stop for awhile after each row.

Our shade was delivered and believe it or not I clicked it in place, Ted tightened the strings and screwed the little plastic things into the wood frame and I put the valance back up with an extended screwdriver while Ted held a flashlight so I could see the holes.  Success!!  We aren't the handiest pair out there so we celebrate little things!  

Wednesday's 90 degree temps turned into 50 degrees Thursday morning when Sue and  I left wearing sweaters and Ted left to shoot skeet.  It didn't warm up much in the afternoon.  Talk about waiting just 5 minutes for the weather to change!!

After lunch we went to the movies to see 15:10 to Paris since there wasn't much going on and no one was out and about.  After 5 horrendous "previews" complete with mostly gratuitous gun violence which Hollywood seems to thrive on despite their screaming "gun control," we very much enjoyed the movie.  I liked it because it was a true story, made me proud of our three American young men and it was a trip down memory lane for both of us.  Everywhere the fellows went on their European trip, except Venice, we have been to including all the train stations.  We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner before coming home. 

I had a bit of a raspy throat and took some meds.  We didn't do much Friday morning.  I left for mahjong a little before 2:00.  Ted went to Sam's.  I had a mahjong and good hands but got left in the cold when my tiles went dead on two other games.  We had coconut shrimp,  cooked in our air fryer, for dinner.  I wasn't feeling well enough to go out and was pleased with our shrimp so it turned out okay.  There is a second bag of the shrimp so it will get eaten during Lent.

Saturday was a long day!  Up and out at 8:15 we headed to the Smokin' on the Rio BBQ Cooking Compettions.  First up at 10 am, we had to try 22 bites of different beef fajita meat.  I cut small pieces but was stuffed after that was done.  Of course eating dill pickles and drinking water in between doesn't help.  There are lots of instructions like using a clean fork each time, don't stick your nose in the container to smell, eat pickles, crackers and/or water between bites, make sure you are giving the right grade for the right box, etc.  





When we left there we hung around with the folks we had met up with.  Most were from our first years here when we stayed next door at Bentsen Palms and then a few new couples from Llano Grande.  We sat inside the arena listening to music and at 1:00 we walked over to judge ribs.  And who would we run into but the Franz's from Retama who are the couple going on the Grand Circle Trip!  Small world.

We only had to taste 13 bites but it is hard to cut a bite off a rib.  We were warned not to pick up a rib and not to even discard empty bones.  I am glad there wasn't any more than 13 to eat.  After that we headed home.  Ted stopped for shooting coins for Dave and then we went right to church.  

We had just a bit of down time at home before heading to the clubhouse for card bingo.  Neither Ted nor I ever got down to one card but we had 3 winners at our table.  Helen won $15.75 in quarters so Ted who only had a $20 bill bought 20 singles from Bonnie who won $66 so I could buy $15 in quarters for the laundry.  Such high finance!  

We have four more weeks down here before heading home.  After all the rain and a week of freezing temperatures, I am apprehensive about our yard.  Last year it was a nightmare because someone had turned our sprinklers off all of February and March that had high temps and not much rain.  That, coupled with a negligent lawn service that left oak leaves pile up on the grass, things were a mess.  We had the whole lawn done then lost about half of it to all the Harvey rain and replaced it again.  I am keeping my fingers crossed but too much rain can be as bad as not enough.

Que sera!  I will worry about that another day!