Sunday, April 26, 2015

What A WONDERFUL Weekend

Friday was a busy day!  We were up early so Ted could start smoking his brisket by 6 am.  Then he prepared his pork shoulder for cooking in the crockpot.  He braises the meat first.  When he was finished I started in on my green beans, BBQ beans, cole slaw and fruit salad.

The weather was stormy early on and screwed up all three flights we were expecting from Phoenix, Detroit and Orlando.  The fourth flight from Florida was not due in until Saturday and was delayed that day too!

Fortunately the flights kept being delayed equally so our airport trips could be coordinated.  Unfortunately the last one landed at 4:40 and I had 16 folks coming for dinner at 6:00.  As soon as we arrived home I put both bean dishes in the oven and put out crab dip, pesto spread, shrimp and cheese & crackers which started disappearing in earnest!

Ted's brisket and pulled pork were excellent.  Of course if you make sure your guests are really, really hungry, anything will taste good!   Carol made brownies, lemon squares and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  It turned into a great evening! 

On our deck.

Granddaughter Morgan with son-in-law Larry.

Look at these three brides of 50, 54 and 50 years of marriage.  

Daughter Kara and Son-in-law Bill.

Saturday the fellows went to the gun range where Sam finally got to shoot under his Poppa's tutelage.  He did really well as did all the others.  

We girls went to Stein Mart and then Kara and Kristin had hair appointments.

The Mass went very well.  We were mentioned in the Prayers of the Faithful and again at the end of Mass being congratulated followed by applause.  Once church was dismissed we renewed our vows in the presence of our family and friends.  We then invited Father to come have dinner with us and he did!

My beautiful friend Jody did a FABULOUS job on the cake table layering it with white and gold cloths, gold candle hurricanes, 50th anniversary napkins, white and gold plates and gold forks.

Our Wedding Album and a photo of each of our three girls' weddings with flowers sent by Gerre and Barry graced it too.

We had a great time in the party room of a local Mexican restaurant complete with salsa, queso, guacamole, margaritas and the dinner of our guests' choice.  The lovely cake was our dessert and for once the entire cake was gone!  Ted took the last piece for our friend Tommy who left before the cake was cut but LOVES bakery celebration cakes.

I have to admit I was so tired when we got home that it took no time to hit the hay!  We had more celebrating the next day.  Terry and Carol invited the family, 16 in all, to brunch at the country club.  We had a private, quiet room, much different than the night before!  It was a nice ending to a busy weekend.

Then the airport runs began again.  Thankfully the flights were all on time.  Ted did two of the runs, Terry did the other.  My sister had rented a car because they were scoping out the Ironman course in The Woodlands because they are considering doing it in 2017 when they move to another age group.  So we didn't have to arrange their transportation.  On Ted's last run he stopped to give Tommy his cake!

While Ted was gone I started getting the house put back together.  And in the midst of all this chaos little Tucker was a champ.  He took the extra people, time alone, and erratic potty breaks in stride.  That evening whiile Ted napped off and on in his recliner, Tucker and I crashed together on the couch.  

Things are back to normal and as Pippi Longstocking tells us ... "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world"  ... at least for this past weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lots To Do This Week

There was an election for my social group at a luncheon on Thursday.  Since I wasn't supposed to be home this week I hadn't sent my reservation in.  But I was able to go over for the meeting part and cast my ballot.  Teri also came just to vote so while we waited she suggested we have a glass of wine. I normally don't do that in the middle of the day but said sure, why not?  There were many friends to visit with and Teri even snagged an ice cream sundae from someone's lunch!  

After we voted I left to go to Party City to buy nice 50th anniversary plates, napkins and forks to be used for the cake we are having made for our party.  My good friend Jody has the cake thing under control!  What a blessing that is to not worry about it on such a busy day.  I hope she knows how grateful I am.  She has excellent taste and will make the cake table nice and be sure the tables are placed suitably.

I then hurried to the Memorial Service for Sue Anne's mother, Molly, who I mentioned died last week.  If only people would say one-quarter of the wonderful things about me when I die, I would consider my life a success.  I met Molly in 2003 at the age of 81.  The happiness and friendship she brought to the residents of the facility where she lived was astounding.  When asked to speak I said I always told Molly she was my role model for old age and related my eyelash story.  It was a very moving service.

Since we weren't supposed to be home, this weekend's entire calendar was clear.  I cleaned out the freezer, refrigerator and pantry.  The Paralyzed Veterans of Texas people called and are coming Tuesday so my two huge bags of clothes plus two boxes of household items are sitting out waiting for the big day!  I was hoping they would call before our company arrives and they did.

After church on Saturday we went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and ran into friends who were there too.  We arrived home in time to watch "Outlander."  I have read the entire series (8 books) twice and am loving the shows.  With that and Amazing Race on Friday night I didn't care we were home both  evenings.  The weather was stormy and it was good to stay in.

I did a bit of shopping on Sunday, buying Nancy a birthday gift, getting myself a couple tops and getting in the first batch of groceries for the weekend.  

My bunco group met on Monday and we had a nice time at Nancy's.  Afterwards I stopped at Target because I was looking for place mats for the patio table.  And I was able to buy a new fitted sheet for our bed since the old one developed a tear.  It is hard to find single sheets, there are mostly sets out there.  I was glad to find it!  
Gerre brought Tucker over after dinner to stay for the week.  They are going to Big Bend National Park in west Texas with their neighbors.  We were invited but couldn't go of course.  Anyway, we would want to stay longer than the 5 days they will be out there.

I was asked to sub at Canasta that turned into Shanghai when the number of attendees got skewed.  I came in third but only got stuck once.  No one had a clean round of six.   We had lunch on the patio outside the bar at the country club and it was very good!   You win some, you lose some when you eat there.  I always like it when the food and service are good.  On the way home I remembered Ted had a business lunch downtown and Tucker probably needed to go out.  He was fine went I got home but I gave him a treat after his trip outside.  He is such a good dog.  I changed my clothes and went to the nail salon.

I had to clean the house Wednesday because it is Isabelle's week off.  It didn't take too long because so much of our house doesn't get used on a regular basis.  The two guest bedrooms, second bath, dining room and sitting room were just a quick dusting and vacuuming.  The rest took awhile longer.  But I was pretty whipped by day's end.  Ted had a business lunch down near the airport and I always work better when he is gone.

We did the last grocery run on Thursday so I can start my cooking Friday morning.  We have to pick up 8 folks at the airport around 2:30 pm Friday.  I want to have dinner preparations all ready to go when we get home.  Four are staying here and 16 are coming for dinner.  Ted is smoking his brisket and cooking a pork shoulder first thing in the morning.

Wish us luck with the celebration.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Upcoming Celebration

Ted and I were married April 24, 1965.  That means this year we are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary!  We have booked a cruise for our family (kids, in-laws, grandkids and us) on the Disney Fantasy for August.  But I didn't want the day to just pass by without recognition so we are renewing our vows after 5 pm Mass on 4/25 with family and friends in attendance.

Following the ceremony, 40 family members and friends will join us for dinner at a local restaurant.

We are so excited to have a dozen folks traveling long distances to join us.  And we are so grateful for the neighbors and friends who have made our life in Texas so wonderful.  This is a tremendous milestone that many are not fortunate enough to achieve due to various reasons.  We are both proud and blessed to have made it this far.  Every additional year is truly a gift.

My present from Ted was a .22 Beretta pistol to use at the gun range, especially during the time we spend in Mission, TX.  The gun range there is on the property owned by the developer and there are lots of men and women who participate in all kinds of competitions.  I am all for anything we can still do together without threat of injuring ourselves.  After falling off my bike twice last year, Ted proclaimed no more bike riding for me.   I haven't bowled since my hip replacement in 2007 but I bowled in a league every year, sometimes a women's league, sometimes as a couple, since the mid 1960's.  We need to look into that again but we can't join a league until we hang around more.

My new gun.

Second trip to the gun range using my new Beretta.  I shot 40 rounds - 10 at 5 yards, 10 at 7 yards and 20 at 10 yards.  Not too bad!  My Dad told Ted to be careful because I can shoot!  I hope I can translate this into some good scores in next year's competitions.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Glad We Stayed Home

Seldom do we pass up an opportunity to get away but our April travel schedule was ambitious even for us.  I think we were both relieved when we agreed to stay home.

I attended the Board of Directors meeting in the morning on Friday then came home to finish up the laundry.  Ted was at the gun club all day getting the scope mounted on the rifle he won down in the valley. It had arrived the day before and apparently took longer to mount and get set right than either he or Mike anticipated.  Ted was in bed when I left in the morning and I didn't see him again until I came in late that night.

Our friends Sherida and John have moved to Georgetown TX and there was a dinner for the girls to say goodbye to her.  About 24 were in attendance and we had a great time.  It was one of the most fun events I have attended in a long time.  The guest list was done by Sherida herself and I found it interesting who she invited.  We never know for sure what we do that stays with people through the years to make them consider you a friend.  We all have so many acquaintances but true friends are a blessing.

I presented my "toast or roast" and it was well received.  Two others did too.  Her granddaughter gave a tear jerker account of what her Grandma means to her and the hole it will leave in her day to day life not to have her close by.  It warmed my heart to see how this young lady has matured over the past six years.

Another friend who is battling brain cancer was brought to the party by her husband but was sick immediately and he had to return to take her home.  What a terrible situation they are in and it breaks my heart.  I also learned my role model for old age passed away on Easter.  Sue Ann's mother, age 93, was the most gracious, unassuming person I ever met.  When she met someone she told them if they couldn't remember her name to just call her Gorgeous.  Once when I asked how she was feeling she told me her eyelashes didn't hurt.  That has always stuck with me that she could find a positive comment no matter what.  Rest in peace, Mollly.  You will be missed by many.

Bad weather was forecast for Saturday but it was evening before light rain started.  After church we went to try Gino's East Chicago pizza.  It is always a wait plus the pizza takes 45 minutes to bake!  But we were alone and had the time.  We were seated immediately at a high top table but it was 8 o'clock before we were served.  The place was crawling with kids scrambling all over to write on the walls and it was noisy.  Ted said he will go back ... but in the middle of the afternoon, after lunch and before dinner.  They had gluten free pizzas so we brought an unbaked one home and put it in the freezer for Morgan while she is here.

Gerre, Anna Marie and I were going to the Art Festival Sunday but then I agreed to host Canasta Monday for Carol who has a CT scan scheduled.  And I had to make lemon squares for a funeral also on Monday.  So I was up, grocery shopped and came home before Ted ever woke up.  I had the lemon squares made, a pot roast started and the dishes out that I needed for the Canasta snacks early on.  I was able to rest up and watch The Masters late in the day.  

Ted took my lemon squares to church as he left for Beaumont.  I was busy getting ready for Canasta.  We only had two tables and I ended in the middle having two mediocre games and two really good ones.  I had lots of snacks left over so I cleaned up after they left and then had the evening to myself except for putting out the garbage.

Today I worked at the thrift shop for the first time since last year.  I have all my hours in but at our board meeting they annonced they needed help so I signed up for a few shifts.  

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. ~ Unknown

Monday, April 6, 2015

Maybe A Change in Plans

We went to 11 o'clock Mass on Easter.  I always wonder where all these folks are the other 51 Sundays of the year.  We found a parking spot around the back near the playground and entered through that walkway which put us right at the gym where a simultaneous service would be held in addition to the church.  There were seats in the third row so we took them.  Our hospital chaplain said Mass and it was 12:30 when we got out.  Luckily we drove right out of the parking lot and were on our way home with no gridlock.

We met Terry, Carol, Irene and John at the country club for the 3:30 seating for dinner.  Unlike our experience the week before, the food never ran out and there was plenty of waitstaff.  Afterwards we went to Carol's to play cards and I had horrible hands and ended up with my highest score ever.  So much for bragging about all our previous card playing triumphs last week!

They are predicting rain all three days next weekend and then through most of the next week so I asked Ted if we were able to cancel our Kerrville trip.  Traveling there in the rain, followed by days of rain doesn't sound like much fun to me.  And I do have other things to do!  We eventually decided to cancel the trip.

On Tuesday I had a bone density scan, 3D diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound.  They read the last two right then and the doctor came in to tell me all was OK.  I have never had that happen before and it caught me off guard.  I was certainly happy with the news.  I am anxious to see what the bone density test shows.  I was really uncomfortable laying on that hard xray table and my hip/back/sciatic nerve/whatever it is bothered me for the rest of the day.  It hadn't been bothering me!

Wednesday we played Shanghai and I again had awful cards.  The evening didn't end well when one fellow at my table got upset because I threw a player card which allowed the girl next to me to go out.  I was holding 11 of the 12 cards I needed, a pile of cards that were players I couldn't throw and a set of diamonds and a set of hearts, none of which had a sequence of three that I needed but were such that I ├▒eeded just one of 7 different cards to make it work.  I chose not to break up my sets, not to throw a player but instead threw one that could be traded for a joker.  There was a chance no one would take it because you have to be able to use it immediately or hold it for 50 points.  I took my chances but Ann was able to use it and went out.  The fellow who then slipped from first to second was livid.  He claimed I wanted my friend Ann to win and we girls were sticking together.  I told him I was just glad it was over because most everyone had left.  We just said goodbye but I was told he was still cursing as he went out the door.

It is a card game that costs at most $2.30 if you don't win anything.  We play to have fun.  My thoughts are I have been disliked by professionals so I won't let an amateur like him bother me!  He can just play at another table as far as I am concerned.

The ladies' neighborhood luncheon was today and we had 11 ladies attend.  Nancy picked me up and drove us to Outback Steakhouse.  We had a big round table which worked really well for visiting.  We finished out the yearly calendar and once again will go to Treehouse for our Christmas lunch.

Tomorrow I have a Board of Directors meeting in the morning and a going away dinner party at 5:30.  I have been asked to give a toast so I typed up some things about the couple who are moving.  It will only take a minute or two to present them so I hope they have others lined up to speak too!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Getting to be Crunch Time

We met up with Gerre, Barry, Irene and John at the gun range.  Ted was going to help everyone get more comfortable with their guns including me.  The gun he wants me to use has a top slide and I can't pull it back.  So I insisted on using the .357 that I can handle.  Ted showed Barry and John a gadget they should get to help with loading and worked with Gerre and Irene on targets.  Using the gun I like, I had 30 pretty good rounds.  I still tend to rest my finger on the trigger which is a big no-no and my four errant shots show this.  But I had four wounds and 26 fatal shots.

Here is the gun range at Retama.  Lots of work was done on it this year. Ted also shoots skeet at Mission Skeet Club.  And that's why he loves his time in the Rio Grande Valley.

Thursday was Isabelle's day to clean so I hung around waiting for her.  It was 4 o'clock before she arrived.  Her helper notified her at 10 on Wednesday night that she couldn't help clean so the poor woman was doing it all alone.  It was 7:30 before she left.  I do hope she finds help.  If not she may need to cut back on her customers and I don't want it to be me!

When she left we went to Dickie's BBQ to grab a quick sandwich because it was so late.  We are trying to decide what to serve to everyone on Friday night of our celebration weekend.  It would be very hard for Ted to smoke the brisket, pork and ribs while making runs to the airport and getting the Florida folks a rental car and settled at their hotel.  We may just call on Dickie!  But that leaves me with a pork shoulder, 11# brisket and racks of ribs in the freezer!

I had an early morning hair appointment and afterwards stopped to get a few things at the mall.  I had messaged Gerre the night before about going back to the K of C fish fry.  She called and said to bring my dimes because Tony and Linda wanted to play cards this time.  We walked in right behind them and another neighbor couple soon joined us while we ate.  At 6:30 they raffled the rifle and handgun. The man to Ted's immediate right won first and chose the handgun, the lady neighbor of Gerre's sitting across from me won the shotgun!  Close but no cigar.

When we arrived back at their house there was a message that Tony and Linda were staying home because their dog had 5 teeth pulled and wasn't doing well.  So we four played Canasta and the fellows beat us badly.  We just didn't get the wild cards we needed.  That happens now and then!

Saturday was a quiet day.  Ted shot sporting clays, I went over our reservations with Eileen, paid our 4/15 estimated taxes, sent a few cards and just took it easy.  I put some new things out on the porch and cleaned and polished the front door.  Ted laid sod where the old grill had been sitting on pavers.  I will get my hanging baskets soon.  Next week is pretty low key.

I have to share my niece Cindy and Tim's Easter picture with their six grandkids.  I am so looking forward to spending the 4th of July at Elk Lake with them.  I am sure it will be pure chaos.

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Like Christmas Around Here

Wednesday was laundry day.  Happy Hour was happening at 5:00 but I just didn't feel like getting dressed and putting on my face that late in the day.  If I had been out and about already it would have been different.  Besides, Survivor was on.

We have been having a run of good luck.  Last week we came in first and second at Shanghai and won all the money.  Then I went to bunco on Monday and won again.  Thursday I won at Shanghai again.  Wednesday the doorbell rang and it was our neighbor with a box of See's candy as a thank you to us for taking their dog back to them when she got out before they even knew she was missing.  She came right to Ted in the garage so we walked her home.  They were shocked because they are so careful with her.  Then I put on one of my many pairs of black slacks and found $22 in the pocket!

In the evening Ted received a phone call from Niles down in Retama.  They had the end of the year banquet and Ted won the rifle they were giving away.  He took a scope he has up to the gun club to ask if it would fit on the new rifle.  Mike said no and then proceeded to pull out a brand new one that would and gave it to him.  Ted said Mike wouldn't allow him to pay for it since he helps him out so much with events.  Karma!  Sometimes it isn't a b*tch!

I didn't do much Friday except go to the grocery.  The weather was perfect and I enjoyed being out in the sunshine.  I received an email saying that last K-1 was available online so I finished up our taxes and filed them electronically.  We need a flat tax that can be done on a postcard.  "How much income?  Send it all in!"  

We were going to Gerre's for dinner and to play cards on Saturday night.  I made green beans, baked apples and key lime tarts for the four of us.  Gerre was making pork tenderloin, rebaked potatoes and salad.  Imagine our surprise when Tony and Linda were there when we arrived.  Gerre said she sent an email but I never did get it.  I had made enough but only brought four of the tarts.  Gerre and I said we would cut them in two, no problem

It was a gorgeous night out, dinner was wonderful and we never did get around to cards or dessert.  We sat out by the lake until very late.  I gave two tarts to each couple as we departed since we never ate dessert.  There were two more at home so it all worked out.
Sunday was Palm Sunday so we start outside church with our palms and also stand for the reading of the entire Passion.  It makes for a very long service.  I fixed breakfast when we got home and then Ted left for the gun club.  That evening we attended the 35th anniversary of the Newcomers club's founding.  It was a very nice evening with most people dressed especially nice except my husband who didn't believe me when I said guys would be wearing a suit or at least a jacket.  Of course he was the hero to the guys in suits for getting away with a golf shirt.  Some things just aren't worth arguing about.
I don't understand how the country club can advertise itself as a banquet venue because they have a  terrible time having enough food prepared and enough servers.  Of the 7 appetizers, only 4 were available to me despite standing in line and waiting for a very long time.  I did get my pasta dish but never did get any meat at the carving station.  Eventually they refill the dishes with whatever they come up with in the kitchen.  The carved beef turned into small filets almost a half hour after they first ran out of the beef roast.  But I really don't care to keep returning to the stations hoping food has arrived.  Dessert was cookies like you buy at Sam's.  There was one bartender for 120 people.  It is disappointing to me and makes me leary of planning an event there.

But we had a good group, there was a crowded dance floor and everyone just accepted the poor kitchen performance and continued on.  We were tired when we got home because of getting up so early.

Monday was telephone day!  Kristin calls frequently on her way to work so that was my first call.  Then my sister Karen called followed by my neighbor Gail.  Brenda called from Memphis and finally I had to call Eileen about our reservations for the summer.  Before I knew it, the day was gone!  We ate dinner and then I called Kelly because she had called and left a message.  Geesh!  I don't talk on the phone much anymore and then they all came on the same day.

We were delighted to learn Ted's brother is coming from Arizona for our anniversary celebration and my one sister is coming from Florida.  We weren't expecting that and are so pleased.  Ted is going to have to smoke more brisket and ribs than originally planned!

Tomorrow is a trip to the gun range for several of us to practice before applying for our CCL.  We may all go to lunch.  Eventually I need to stop at the seamstress with my four new pairs of slacks to have them hemmed and we also need to pick up three pieces of sod.  

We are going to the country club Sunday afternoon with Terry and Carol to celebrate Easter.  I hope they don't run out of food since we are the last group.

Happy Easter and the grace of the Risen Lord be with you all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Planning and More Planning

I spent the time Isabelle was cleaning making reservations for our trip through the lower peninsula of Michigan this summer.  Half of them I could do on line.  I will have to call the other half.  That wasn't feasible when the vacuum was running!  When I finished that, I addressed the invitations to our 50th  anniversary celebration.  It was so nice having a clean house once again.  I went outside and cleaned the patio furniture that was just laden with yellow pine pollen.  We have to deal with this every Spring for a few weeks.  Everything gets covered in it.  

I made my banana bread into miniature muffins to take Friday to our Junior Forum meeting.  When the meeting started it was announced that a member who was involved in a car accident with her husband and 7 month old grandbaby earlier in the week texted that her husband had died that morning.  We were all so shocked and sad.  The meeting went very quickly and not much was eaten so I brought home a lot of muffins and stuck them in the freezer.

Paul was probably in his mid-50s.  Both Carol and the baby were okay, thank God.  She was looking at her IPad and doesn't know what happened.  She told others she at first thought they had hit a brick wall.  Life can turn on a dime.  Treat everyone like it is the last time you are going to see them because someday it will be.

In the evening we met Gerre and Barry for dinner before attending the stage play A Streetcar Named Desire.  Ted had On the Waterfront, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe all mixed up in his head.  I tried to tell him that Stella and Blanche DuBois were characters in this play and neither Liz Taylor nor Richard Burton were in the movie.  Half way through the play when Stanley yells his famous "Stella" he admitted I was right.  Some things just aren't worth arguing about!

The play ran for 3.5 hours!  It was after midnight when we got home.  No other production has come close to lasting that long.  The lady playing Blanche did an absolutely superb job.  You had no doubt she was crazy.  Her facial expressions and mannerisms were right on.  Even though it was opening night everyone knew their part and lines with no apparent mix ups.  Quite an enjoyable evening.

I did a little more cleaning out in the garage on Saturday.  I also stripped the guestroom beds because those  linens didn't get changed in our hurried departure in December.  I put a meatloaf in the oven when we departed for church.  After dinner we watched Million Dollar Arm.  It was an OK movie.  It is based on a true story so I googled the boys to see where their opportunity led.  Their careers were shortlived but the program continues which I guess is a good thing.

I did a bit of shopping on Sunday.  Ted was shooting, the weather was nice and it was good to be out in the sunshine.  I bought black and blue slacks to add to my collection because I wear them constantly.  Depending upon the top and shoes I am wearing, the length and material matter.  And sometimes you need to toss out a pair or two and replace them.  I also picked up about 8 baby sleep outfits for the Pregnancy Center's "baby shower."  We worked the table giving out info and collecting donations after Mass Saturday night.  Now I just have to remember to take my contribution with us to church next week.

We are doing good with the doctors so far.  We got Ted's two biopsy reports from the spots on his arm today.  One is basal cell and he has to return in a few weeks to the doctor.  His forehead is scabbing over from the "chemical warfare" and he will start with the vaseline to remove them today.  My GYN appointment went fine.  My blood pressure was terrific again.  I called to schedule my mammogram and bone density tests today.  Because of my lumpectomy last year, the breast center wants to do a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, not just a screening one, so Ted picked up the new prescription.  I also scheduled a bone density test.  That only leaves my eye exam in May and we are done!  The older I get the worse these appointments are.  Eventually someone is going to find something wrong!

Today was back to tax time.  I received an incorrect K-1.  I had to research back to 2012 to determine my thoughts were correct, then contact our account folks to confirm my records were right.  Finally I sent an email to the company who very quickly sent me a new, correct one.  Now I have to wait to download one more K-1 on 3/30.  Nothing like pushing the envelope on filing by 4/15.

I had some other financial transfers to handle.  Since it was a new procedure to me it took awhile to figure out how to do it all properly.  I am keeping my fingers crossed it is correct.  Sure glad I don't have to deal with medical insurance forms.  The supplement we have is a simple $147 deductible and we're done.  No more deductible, no co-pays for the rest of the year and is accepted wherever Medicare is.  No networks to plow through.

It seems just maybe Spring has sprung.  It is bluebonnet time in Texas.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Does Mother Nature Know Spring is Next Week?

Friday's weather was cool enough for a jacket.  Where is the sun?  

Stella called and we made plans to meet her and Jay as well as Tommy and Susan at Mel's Diner for their all you can eat shrimp and catfish dinner.  Mel's has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and ironically Man Vs. Food was there at 1:30 Friday to film a segment on eating the Mel Burger which stands about a foot high!  Our friends Judy and Warren were there to see the man do it.  He stopped at their table so maybe they won't end up on the cutting room floor.  It airs April 14.  Afterwards we came back to our house for coffee and a short visit.

After church on Saturday we played cards at Kathleen and Bill's house.  I ended up first and Ted second so we got all the winnings.  This is the $5 game so we won about $25!  Not a bad night.

Ted went shooting on Sunday and my things were delivered from Amazon.  It had said arrival on Sunday but I didn't believe them!  One was a hall tree for the corner of the guest room so there is a place for guests to hang things.  I had it put together in no time.  The other things were hanging shelves for our closet to put my purses in.  When I was done with that I did the armoire in the guest room.  I am ready for our April company!

Monday I played bunco and won $15!  I am on a roll!  Afterwards I bought flowers to take to Carol because she had some surgery last week.  I stayed for quite a while visiting both her and Terry.  Ted made soup for dinner and we watched the first episode of Dancing With The Stars.  The new folks need lots of practice.  The one outstanding dancer was Rumor Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.  She is the picture of her mother and certainly can dance.

Ted and I shared doctor appointments on Tuesday morning.  First up was the dermatologist.  He froze lots of junk off me and stuck a lancet like thing in some others.  Nothing to be worried about.  

He did two biopsies on Ted and has him putting his "chemical warfare" on his forehead.  Ted's Irish heritage including what I call his "cheap Irish skin" has him with more worrisome spots.  With two family members dealing with melanomas, let's hope Ted doesn't join them.

We were still fasting but had a two hour lag between doctor appointments so we came home, then headed back out to our GP.  I just needed blood work for my cholesterol medicine.  My blood pressure was awesome!  I told him my hip bothers me at night when I sleep on it so he suggested we change sides so I am not laying on it all night.  It doesn't bother me during the day or when walking so we will take his advice.  I moved Ted's CPAP machine and my things when we came home.   Ted had blood work and his PSA exam.  Now my OB-GYN and mammogram are the last two things.  I will be glad when all the appointments are over, all the test results are in and are GOOD.  

Today I attended a meeting of my voluntary organization and saw the first bluebonnets of the season as I drove there.  Our meeting was to vote on various programs to be continued, started up or remain as pilot programs.  I abstained on one because I didn't know enough about it as a pilot program this year.  Friday I will attend a regular meeting.  It is my turn to bring a breakfast bread so I will give my banana bread another shot.  Sure hope I don't lose electrcity again!

Isabelle is coming tomorrow to gather up all the dust Chris didn't while we were gone.  He doesn't use much beyond his bedroom and bath so dusting isn't on his radar.  I don't mind because dust doesn't hurt anything.  If she wasn't going to be able to come I would have had to give in and do it myself!  

Beauty is everlasting and dust is for a time


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Still At It

I spent the entire day working on taxes.  When Gerre called mid afternoon I was still in my PJs!  She wanted us to come play cards around 6:30 so I agreed.  Ted was working a shoot at the gun club and would be home in time.  A little while later she called again and said the other folks were going to the K of C fish fry at 5:00.  I told her I didn't think Ted would be home in time, to just go and call us when they were on their way home and we would leave.

When Ted called around 3:00 saying he was on his way home, he decided we could make the 5:00 dinner.  So it was crunch time for me to find a good stopping point and hop in the shower to start getting ready.  Of course it was a day where I also needed to shampoo my hair!  But we made it!

Ted laughed when we walked in and right next to where you paid for your dinner was a raffle - for a rifle and a handgun.  He said "only in Texas" and then proceeded to buy tickets!  The fish dinner was very good and we got to visit with the folks we were with on the Panama Canal cruise.  Afterwards we went back to Gerre's and 9 of us played cards.  It was almost 11:00 when we got home.

On Saturday, I finished the taxes, did laundry and emptied bags.  We made plans to go to dinner with Terry and Carol after Mass.  Our first choice was an hour wait so we moved on.  The second  choice was 20 minutes which turned in to close to an hour!  But when we were finished eating, the place had cleared enough that we were able to sit and talk awhile.  It wasn't long after arriving home that I was in bed early for the second night in a row.

Daylight Savings Time came with its own rainy cold front.  Ted looked outside and went back to bed.  I continued on doing laundry.  For some reason I got the bug and started trying on everything in my closet and tossing lots of stuff.  The day slipped by so quickly.  Ted went to the grocery and made dinner.  It felt good to have accomplished so much.  I could start the week on an even keel.

Monday I finished the laundry that was left here when we took off in December.  I found myself folding Christmas linens in March.  After lunch it was time to go play Canasta.  Since it was still cold and raining Ted made a pot of chili for dinner and then we watched the final episode of The Bachelor.  I don't hold out a lot of hope for this couple.  They are just from too different backgrounds.  Time will tell.

I ordered some shelving and things for our master closet so I really tore it apart until I had to stop until the things arrive.  I filled two large garbage bags and our big recycling bin.  A lot of that came from Ted's man cave room where I started in after doing all I could in the closet.  For some reason he won't throw anything, including empty boxes, away!  I did the side with shelves but left his workbenches alone.  One of these days I will have enough nerve to tackle them.

We played Shanghai Wednesday night and we both came in third at our respective tables.  Both of us got stuck not getting down one of the six hands.  Our group has moved to a restaurant since the country club is going through renovations.  With their remodel we may not be able to play there when it is finished.  We will decide when they complete the work.

Today was our neighborhood luncheon.  It is still so hard for all of us to be together without Wanda.  Afterwards I stopped at Walmart and came home to work a bit on my closet.  There is nothing left to do until my hanging things arrive.  But then I will be done!

I have no words of wisdom to quote so I will share this thought.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Tax Man Cometh

 I spent more time Wednesday morning separating the mail.  What to shred, to pay, to save for filing, to keep for doing taxes, to simply throw away.  So many magazines and catalogues.  I will tell Nancy to toss them in the future.  

I gathered my clothes from the drawers, emptied the pantry of foods that could draw bugs, packed up the truck and headed for home.  We stopped at Walmart for a new battery charger and while Ted dealt with that I put things away.  No amount of charging was affecting the car so Ted called Car Repair.  They brought a new battery and installed it since he and Noel were unable to get the old one out.  He said the battery was so dead it would never have accepted a charge.  I think of my car as "new" because I keep them so long that neither of us realized the battery was 3.5 years old.  Sitting for two months did it in!

I did two loads of laundry and gathered the tax stuff together that I had at home so I can put it all together.  Now I can work on it when I have time.  

We came back to the campground and a little before 6:00 went to Tommy and Susan's motorhome for dinner.  We stayed to watch Survivor and then came home.  We will load the hanging clothes and refrigerated items in my car and I will follow Ted to storage.  I have to direct him when he backs into the spot.  There is less than three feet on either side plus he can't see where to stop at the back.  We get this done in just a few minutes.  

Then the fun begins at home.  All the beds need stripping, the house needs to be cleaned, odds and ends need to be put away, I need to go to the store and we each have three doctor appointments to make for routine matters.  It will be time to pay the piper.

We woke to cold, windy conditions Thursday.  We took our time and it was after 11:00 before we headed to storage.  Our residential refrigerator in the RV is great when in use but a real pain to empty!  I was almost wishing for my little one back.  We took more clothes than we needed but that is because we need all four seasons with this crazy weather.  Eventually everything will get put in place, the mail will be handled, the laundry done, the house cleaned and doctor appointments made.  Until then there won't be much to say.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ok, It's Official

Our weather is goofy!  I am used to going from a/c to heat all in the same day but 88 to 40 in a few hours is crazy.  It didn't get above 45 for the garage sale and folks had on gloves, hats and coats!   There were hardy souls out and about though and lots of things were leaving the park.  I bought two new blouses, a Vera Bradley bag and a new Texas coffee cup for traveling.  I was glad to get back inside with my treasures.

Eileen's eyebrows had gotten very dry so she put on a cream the doctor had given her for dry skin.  Her entire eye area from brow to lashes got fire engine red, sore and lumpy.  She and I went to the ER and I read the flyer that came with her cream while we waited.  It contained a sulfite and she is allergic to sulfa drugs!  I had it all diagnosed before the doctor came into the room.  He gave her a prednisone prescription and 1% hydrocortisone cream.

By the time we left for church after only two pills and one application, there was a vast improvement. After church we went to the Riverside Club and then decided against card bingo and came home.  It was a bit warmer but misty and a good night to stay in and go to bed early.

We left about 8:30 Sunday morning and ran into drink tables for runners at the gates.  No one said anything about a run today!  We got out, made our first turn to the exway and ran into a roadblock.  We were rerouted so it wasn't too bad.  The officer said it was a "last minute" decision.  I told him there were 60 rigs going out in the next two hours and someone was guilty of poor planning.

We had an uneventful trip to San Antonio in a lot of fog.  As soon as we got set up it started drizzling.  I put on a sweatshirt and jacket, got my umbrella and we went to the Riverwalk and the Alamo.  We ate at County Line BBQ, saw the Alamo and long barracks and had enough of being cold and wet so we came home around 5:00.

The weatherman said icy conditions were heading this way on Wednesday and into Thursday.  With that in mind we decided to leave here on Tuesday to get ahead of the weather.  Monday was sweatshirt AND jacket weather but no rain.  We drove to the LBJ ranch and park in Johnson City.  Eileen and Tom really enjoyed it and it was our first chance to tour the house.  Last time we were there Lady Bird had just died and the girls were clearing personal items from the house.  It was left to the Park Service and would be open for tours when they completed the task.

Lady Bird and President Johnson's headstones.

The Johnson Family Cemetery

All the cattle bear the LBJ brand.  Note the weights on the horns.  Turning them down keeps them from injuring the legs of cowboys and other stock with upturned horns.

As close as we got to riding horseback.

Ted giving his State Of the Union address.

We then drove into Fredericksburg for a late lunch and a bit of strolling through the Memorial Gardens.  It was a bit too cold to stay too long and we headed for home.  Ted filled up with fuel and we watched The Bachelor's second last installment.

The fog didn't appear too thick on Tuesday morning so we took off about 8 am.  We had one bathroom break, and another one to say goodbye to Eileen and Tom before leaving I-10 and heading north.  We arrived at the campground around 12:30 to hugs and greetings from the owners and staff.  Not too long after setting up, Jim, Rita, Warren and Judy stopped by to say hello.  It reminds me of Cheers "where everybody knows your name."

Ted washed the entire outside, I did the inside and then we took the first bags of some things home.  Everything was fine there except my car battery was dead.  Having tossed our charger when it conked out without replacing it, we left in the truck and will deal with getting a new charger and get my car going on Wednesday.  I stopped at Nancy's to get our mail and we returned to the campground.

Gerre and Barry had called and made plans to come by to visit and out to dinner.  We sat inside until about 7:00 then went to Mario's to eat.  Tommy and Susan were not at the campground until about 8:00 and sent a text they were fixing dinner for us on Thursday.  

I worked on opening the mail, tossing the extraneous stuff and finally was too tired to think straight.  We turned in early to get an early start the next day.

Our son-in-law Bill is having knee replacement surgery today.  Please offer up a prayer for his safety and a successful operation.  He has some health issues that complicate his having suregery so it will be no walk in the park for him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Am I the Only One?

We saw American Sniper yesterday because the weather was cold and drizzly so it was a good day for a movie.  While the battle scenes were truly remarkable in their authenticity, I felt like very little credence was given to what his family was going through at home.  They also rushed through his treatment when he returned home even though it was apparent he had issues.  I felt like there were three stories to be told - the war, the family, the return.  And though the war was covered realistically, I found how they portrayed the family situation and his PTSD very nonchalant.  Ted complains I am not fun to see a movie with because I am too logical.  He always tells me "it is just a movie."   But this was a true story and too much of it was left out.

We went to a 3:00 show so I did two loads of laundry and made a pot of chili before we left.  It was even colder when we came out of the theater so it was nice to come home to a warm, dry spot with dinner ready to go.  Add in The Bachelor and Castle and it was a good evening.

Tuesday was Couples Lunch Out so we decided to attend.  It was a very nice restaurant, good food and enjoyable conversation.  The weather was still chilly so we just came back home.  At 3:45 Ted and I both went for a haircut ($10 each!) and spent the evening at home.  I had forgotten to post on FB that we would be at the Clubhouse to play Shanghai so we didn't think anyone would be there.

The sun returned on Wednesday and Ted helped Niles with gates, concrete, raking, etc. on the gun range then he left to shoot at the gun club with Don and Dave at 1:00.  I cleaned some, took the afghan to Jan for the last hem and after lunch Eileen and I headed out.  Jan said I needed to add a tag to my afghan to put my name and date on it.  We found them at Hobby Lobby but now I need a fine tip waterproof marker to write with.

I used my new crockpot for a pot roast that was a jumble of my normal recipe.  Usually I use onion soup, mushrooms and red wine.  After trying a "3 envelope recipe" I have been including a ranch dressing envelope.  We are trying to use up what we have so I made do.  I had the two envelopes but replaced mushrooms with a small can of carrots along with a whole, cut up onion and white wine for red wine.  I was able to use a slotted spoon to fill a bowl with cooked onions and carrots and thickened the broth into gravy.  No seasoning was needed.  Ted loved it!  I made some noodles and he had a great dinner (his words!).

Thursday we headed back to Mexico to try the nail salon.  Eileen got shellac nails, Ted had a pedicure and I had both.  I just wanted it done so I don't have to do it as soon as I get home.  There is too much else I have to do.  Entire cost, $40 for all.  It was a wonderful pedicure and Ted liked it even better than the other salon.  He and Tom spent time at the Rose Garden outdoor bar waiting for us.  When we came back through Customs there were two ladies so drunk their husbands were holding them up.  I guess they got through okay.  The drinks are pretty potent I understand.  Ted said he had a beer for breakfast and a margarita for lunch!

We decided to try Cheddar's for dinner because we were in their 45 minute lull time period.  We were seated right away and by the time we left around 5, they were out the door waiting.  Survivor and Amazing Race started their new seasons so you know how glad that makes me.

Friday continued to be cooler than average.  We went to the grocery for a few necessary items and then Ted took Sue to the gun range.  He also took advantage of a box of grapefruits put out in the neighborhood that said FREE.  Nice Ruby Red ones.  He has all our tires checked, chairs stored and tanks dumped.  We are getting ready to roll.

Tonight was a baked potato bar supper.  Since it was cool, all 120 people ate inside and now they know their capacity.  We were home in time to watch the second episode of Amazing Race.  

We have a garage sale neighborhood wide tomorrow, finish packing up, church and card bingo.  We don't need to leave real early Sunday since we are going to San Antonio.

Here are two photos to finish out the week.  The first is my finished afghan, the second is Sweet little Miss Jemma who is already one month old but still not up to 10 lbs.  isn't she the cutest thing?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Last Week Here

We left early Friday morning for Mexico and Dr. Flores, the dentist.  They took Ted's plate and told him to return in an hour.  We went to Renee's for coffee and pastries then went to look for Ted's belt guy.  He moved from his original location and we asked around until we learned his new place.  Ted bought a new black dress belt.  We also found the optical place and nail salon highly recommended by people we know here.  We will be using them in the future.  We also needed to check the price of liquor but determined it was no cheaper than buying from Feldman's in the U.S. which is less trouble.  We bought some vanilla, eye drops and analgesic cream before returning to the dentist.  In no time Ted was out with a new tooth on his plate and a bill for just $80.  We walked back across the bridge, went through Customs and came home.

I hadn't slept well so wanted to take a nap while Ted and Niles took a table to the gun range and bought wood from Home Depot to build a counter to lay guns on.  After a short nap I started pulling the horizontal threads at the end of my afghan to make the fringe.  I didn't think this would take so long!  The selvedge sides need to be hemmed and it will be done and I will lay it out and take another photo to post.

We went to the Riverside Club for their fish fry dinner before going next door to see Link Union perform.  It was a great performance from Mule Skinner Blues to Bach on the banjo.  The young lady  of the family was so talented, played several instruments and had a great voice.  We really enjoyed the show.

Saturday was Eileen's birthday and to go with the throw pillows I bought for their motorhome couch, we got her a boot jack to allow her to take off her boots by herself.  She had a quizzical look when she opened it and we had to explain what it was and how to use it.  

We spent the day in Edinburg at Pioneer Days.  There were lots of folks working with wood and leather, churning butter, spinning wool, baking biscuits in dutch ovens, etc.  We also had access to the South Texas Historical Museum which was very interesting.  The entertainment was so good.  The Mexican dancing seemed to be a combination of tap dancing, clogging and flamenco.  Truly a melting pot example in dance.  The costumes were beautiful.  And no celebration would be complete without a cowboy poet.

Afterwards we went to Trevino's Restaurant.  The decor was gorgeous and the food outstanding.  When Eileen and I sat our purses next to us on the floor, a rack (looking like a short hatrack) was brought to our table and the purses were hung up.  I have never seen that.  

We returned in time for church at 4:00 and then went to Card Bingo over at Bentsen Palms.  I won about $10 in quarters which is always helpful on laundry day.  All that fresh air got to me and I was in bed early.

We planned to go to Art in the Park on Sunday but when Dave texted to confirm the time for shooting he said they wanted to go to Pepe's afterwards to dance.  Well OK!  Dave, Karen, Trudy, Don, Eileen, Tom, Ted and I all went after they were done shooting.  We ran into Randy, former sales manager for HitchHiker out of Chanute KS, and ended up sharing a couple tables with their group.  What a fun time we had!  On the way home I asked Ted what he thought kids and grandkids across the Midwest would think if they saw all these "seasoned" folks in leather (bikers), boots and jeans, etc. drinking and dancing the afternoon away.  We laughed about a song neither of us knew where everyone joins in the chorus "Alice, who the hell is Alice?"  Neither of us had ever heard it but it gets the crowd going.

Ted invited everyone back for brats and I had to scramble to put a meal together.  Dave and Karen had tickets for a show so they didn't stay.  We were outside until it was dark.  There were no plans for the day and it turned out to be a great fun day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And the Cold Returns For A Day

Monday was warm enough for A/C and within a few hours you needed the heat on!   The rest of the country is gripped in cold, snow and ice so we will turn on the fireplace, get out our jeans and sweatshirts and deal with it for a few days.  Anyway, I can wear my new boots!

The fashion show luncheon at Bentsen Palms Village was very nice.  There were three stores modeling clothes and I wanted to go to Becs the next day and look for an outfit for our anniversary Mass and dinner.  A beautiful lady with gorgeous white hair modeled two outfits from this store and she looked absolutely stunning!  I will settle for looking "very nice."

It was so warm as Eileen and I walked back that I took off my white slacks and changed to shorts when I got home.  Ted had put a load of laundry in and we were getting ready to get it out when Kathy knocked and asked if I wanted to play Shanghai with her, Linda and Sue in the coach house.  I left Ted to deal with the laundry and went over.  We started with fans whirring all around us and by the time we finished we had a heater on.  Sue won again!  

We had leftovers for dinner and settled in to watch The Bachelor and Castle.  I think this farmer guy is a player.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

All four of us went shopping on Tuesday.  Eileen and I were dropped off at Becs and the fellows went looking for a jeweler to fix Ted's chain and to buy a boot jack for Eileen for her birthday.  In the meantime I found an outfit for our anniversary party and two tops to wear with jeans.

Tom loves Mexican food and found a restaurant nearby to try.  Most of the menu and specials were in Spanish so we weren't exactly sure of what we ordered but it was really good!  After a stop at the post offfice we brought the guys home and Eileen and I went back out to buy two baby presents.  Babies, babies and more babies!  I finally sent Jemma a gift card (she is one month already) but the two gifts I just bought I can take to the family reunion in June.

There was a Mardi Gras potluck and we attended though we only ate dessert.  It is a nice way to meet new people or get to know the others a bit better.  Eileen and I are in purple with our backs to the camera along side Tom and Ted.  Lots of King Cakes!

Eileen wanted to play cards so we told them to come over to our trailer after they took their things home.  When they arrived we received our first anniversary present, a new crockpot.  Last year the handle broke on mine and Bill made a makeshift wooden one that worked fine.  But Ted broke the lid while making his pulled pork so we really needed the new one!  They are flying to Houston for our anniversary dinner so that is one less thing for them to worry about.  We really don't want or need anything other than friends and family to help us celebrate but a new crockpot is great!

Wednesday got a little crazy.  Ted went pistol shooting at 11 and skeet shooting at 1.  So I did my walk around the neighborhood getting errands done.  I stopped at Sharon's who showed me some fringe stitches for my afghan.  Then Eileen and I went to Jan's to show her the T-shirt braiding technique but she was getting a haircut.  We met her 47 oz. Yorkie who is so tiny!  Tucker at 6 lbs. would look huge next to her.

Since we struck out I went to the laundry room to iron two pair of pants before heading home.  Jan came over eventually so Eileen came back so we could work on T-shirts.  Jan offered some more insight into the fringe question.  Kara called in the midst of this and Ted returned from shooting.  Then Niles came over to give us Don's shooting prize right before Don appeared with 15 packages of brats to put in our refrigerator for Thursday's German fest.  Grand Central Station!

It was pizza night so we left for the clubhouse where we ate our meatless cheese and pineapple pizza before leaving for a 7 pm liturgy with distribution of ashes.  There were 8 services and ours was totally full so I assume they were all full.  We stopped at the grocery for green beans for the German fest and called it a day.

Today we joined 17 ladies for breakfast and then went to Jan's for her to sew a line in the afghan so I could pull the horizontal threads for the fringe.  I tried doing the stitch with pulled threads but I couldn't discern where I had stitched because it all matched.  I tried using the yarn but it was too thick.  The machine zigzag stitch seemed the easiest answer!  Ted came along with me to meet Harold so they could talk about Harold joining Ted on the shooting range to try his hand at shooting. 

We came back so Ted could take the brats to Don and I could prepare my green beans.  At 3 we went next door for the German fest.  There were close to 80 people in attendance.  We had a great meal and an enjoyable time.  

Unfortunately Ted broke a tooth off his upper plate and Lord only knows where it went.  We have our suspicions but I am not even going there!

So tomorrow it is back to the dentist in Mexico to see if we can get it fixed quickly.


“You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world."