Monday, May 15, 2017

A New Week


I blew it!

My calendar was getting so messy I decided to start over.  My recurring things get written at the top of the proper square.  This Saturday we should have played Shanghai.  Unfortunately I used the square for the previous Saturday to write the names of attendees to the Foxy Ladies Luncheon.  They ran right down to the word Shanghai.  While transferring my info, I X'd out the names (including the word Shanghai accidentally) because the luncheon was over.  So we went to church, went to Outback to dinner and then to Lowe's.  We came home to 4 messages flashing on our land line where no one ever leaves messages!  My heart was in my throat.  Something serious had to have happened!

When I heard the messages asking where we were, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I felt really bad but also was greatly relieved nothing worse had occurred.  They had started without us, were understanding and expressed their relief that we were okay.  Maybe I AM doing too much!!

Sunday we had a leisurely day.  I opened my presents, talked to the girls and eventually went to Krogers and HEB.  One had prime steaks on sale and the other ribs.  We came home and Ted fixed dinner for me.  We avoided the crowded restaurants and the big family groups.

Wine A Bit You'll Feel Better.  The kids know I hate to cook, though I continue to do so after 52 years but Ted does a lot of it now.  They thought this apron appropriate.


I had the bunco bag so went to Marleah's a little early Monday to put the items out for her on the tables.  Linda was able to come and we arranged for only one winner to move from each table so she didn't have to attempt to walk.  What a spread Marleah had!  I won $15 so that made me happy.  

In the meantime John was picking up Ted for his annual endoscopy.  I couldn't pick him up and get to the center by 12:30 but I arrived at 12:45 and John left.  We were home by 2:30 with great news.  They took a biopsy of some irritated stomach tissue but expect it to be no more that that - an irritation.  He said to come back in one year and continue his medicine.  It's always a relief when that is over.  It has been 9 years since his diagnosis of Barrrett's Esophagus with high grade dysplasia, Stage 0 cancer.  After treatment at Methodist Hospital in Houston in 2008 he has had a yearly check up and praise God, so far so good.

Tuesday was my turn to get tests - mammogram and bone density.  Except for running into my friend Judy in the waiting lounge nothing out of the ordinary happened.  I laughed when she said they would use my forearm since I have no hips!  Not natural ones anymore.  Results should be here in a week or two.  I knew Ted was leaving for his sporting clay banquet so I stopped at Culver's for a combination lunch and dinner.

I thought Wednesday would be an easy day because the window washers were coming in the morning, Isabelle to clean in the afternoon.  I was up early because morning is not an exact time.  All of a sudden I had lots of computer work to do regarding training for Forum.  I worked on it through the window cleaning and the house cleaning.  Ted had left for a haircut and just went into his hobby room when he returned.  When everyone had left Ted suggested we go to Honey Bee for a sandwich because he found a coupon.  All right by me!

Back to the Thrift Store I went on Thursday for a morning shift.  I was hoping to run into a lot of kids clothes but maybe mothers aren't cleaning closets yet.  I have some things to take to the family reunion but not much.  Here is a photo of Lily and the twins at Easter, all in dresses from me found while working.  Two of them still had tags when I bought them.  I will work again next week and probably a few days in early June, so here's hoping the pickings are better.


I came home with a headache that didn't go away until about 8 pm.  I am seldom bothered with them anymore so I am not sure where this one came from.  Ted fixed dinner AND cleaned up.  Bless him!

Friday I got my hair cut for the first time since we left Mission.  To say I needed it is an understatement to say the least.  It was good to see Cindy after so long.

It was time to see West Side Story so we met Barry and Gerre at Applebee's for dinner.  They treated us for taking care of Tucker for them.  It was a nice production of WSS and the stars had amazing voices.  We were home much earlier than after the last production!

Our impatiens are starting to flower and add color to our newly planted area.  I hope the magnolias are done dropping their leaves soon!


Saturday was a quiet day.  Ted worked a charity event at the gun club and I did laundry.  We went to church and then to dinner with Terry and Carol.  

Sunday Ted went shooting and I finished the laundry.  At 3:30 we left for Irene's to meet up with the Panama Canal cruise people for dinner and cards.  Irene is the "hostess with the mostest."  Here are her decorations for Memorial Day.  




She was all set for dinner for 12.  We had brisket, turkey, beans, cucumbers, cole slaw and rolls.  Dessert was tres leches cake, apple pie with ice cream and sugar cookies.  The bad part is they are coming to my house next week and my set up won't even come close!  But no one will care.  I like friends like that.  

And I won!  With four jokers I went down and out quickly in game 5, catching 3 or 4 with full hands.  It catapulted me to first place. And I needed the dimes!  Ted was second at his table.  Tomorrow starts another week and we have quite a bit to do.  More later.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Transformation

We live in a zero lot line patio home.  That means we have no side yard on one side and a little one on the other.  However, they are built so there is no way to see into your neighbor's house nor they into yours.  Thus, the closeness doesn't bother us.

We like not having much yard to take care of but this winter was a major shock when we got home.  Despite sprinklers, pre-paid lawn care and pre-paid fertilizing, our yard was a mess, thick with oak leaves covering dead grass and plants brown from a freeze.  

The fertilizing people came out and fertilized again once I raked all the leaves but the lawn maintenance people just never showed up again after I called and complained they could not have been coming on the regular schedule I paid for.  So we hired a new company.

This fellow had a vision far beyond anything I could have imagined.  He trimmed everything, even the trees hanging over from the easement.  Despite having the oak trees trimmed awhile back he thinned them more to get sunlight in.  



He laid lots and lots of sod and cut the crepe myrtles that hadn't been done in two years despite our requests.  Two very long segments of metal edging were replaced, 9 new plants and many flats of impatiens were planted.  Topsoil was added where necessary, he fertilized, mulch was put down and everything was cleaned up.  The crowning piece was the wall.  It was just rocks sitting on rocks creating a planting oval.  The oak roots lifted it up in many places and it was all askew.  I wasn't expecting how he chose to fix it.

He broadened the oval to cover some roots but he cut out huge ones that were heading to the sidewalk.  Then one fellow used a chisel, shaping each rock and built a new wall with no mortar or anything.  I didn't take any before photos but here are a few after ones.

The back where we had a tree cut down in that far corner because it had grown through the fence.  The corner segment was replaced and a rot board put on the bottom.  Then they cleaned it.


The wall


The front


The side.  We had the paver brick walk, deck, and bull rock with French drain put in a long time ago.  The grading is such that you will end up with moss or mud in the middle otherwise so we opted for this arrangement.


And now we have to water twice a day for three weeks.  Someone at the water company will have a fit when we go from winter watering to this new schedule.  Thank goodness there aren't big areas to hit.

Friday I had to work as a dresser for The Forum Vintage Fashion Show.  They were the entertainment for the Women of Distinction luncheon held at the Marriott.   Our president was being honored.  At the finale the models all walked the runway and we were told to follow them because we had been behind the scenes.  That's the first time I received a standing ovation for helping someone get dressed.

Audrey Hepburn


Mi Lady and her maid


Poodle skirt, saddles, neck scarf outfit


My friend Donna.  She looked gorgeous.


A Flapper


Two military uniforms



Ready for the prom!


Now here is a stylish lady ready for Ascot opening day.


And another!


Recognize Lucy and Ethel?


She could be in a 1940s train station waiting to board.


This had to be a 30 minute show so we were rushed with second changes.  Due to the time constraint our whole collection was not shown.  

In the evening we went to a birthday party for a dear friend.  His wife does such a lovely job of entertaining.  We met new neighbors of theirs and enjoyed talking to them.  It was delightful weather and we sat outside some of the time.  I have no idea what time we came home.  Maybe a whole bottle of Riesling is too much!?!?!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Looks Busy

Thursday was the Installation Luncheon for Junior Forum.  This is always the most fun event of the year.  I was honored for being a Volunteer of the Month in November and was recognized as the Co-Chair of the programs at Regent Care Nursing Care this year.  The skit performed to induct the Executive Board and President was entertaining as always.  Here I am front and center in mostly white.


Friday I tackled the pantry and twin bedroom closet.  When we returned from Michigan I had shoved our suitcases and our Christmas items in that closet because we were leaving for 3 months.  When we returned from the valley, the bags and bags of groceries were also shoved into the pantry helter shelter.  

It was time to pay the piper.  The pantry didn't take too long but the closet did!  Now the closets in the house are in pretty good shape.  Up next - kitchen cabinets.  I am throwing out and donating while cleaning.  I have been an executor twice and believe me when I say, unless it is stock, bonds, cash or precious gems, no one wants it!  Do everyone a favor and throw away, donate or give away now.  You can enjoy someone enjoying an item of yours.

We met John and Sherida at a steakhouse for dinner.  We had a good visit and came home about 8:30.  All my activity was catching up with me and I was ready for my couch.

Saturday Ted took all his Monopoly pieces to Randall's to claim his free items.  He has had hundreds of tickets.  Now our clean pantry and refrigerator have all kinds of goodies I seldom buy!  Oreos, Pepperidge Farms cookies, Ritz crackers, popcorn, donuts, bananas, pot roast, soft drinks, tissues, etc.  He is running out of hope to win the $1 million.  

I did three loads of laundry, had my nails done and we went to church.  We stayed a little afterwards to watch our friends and neighbors renew their wedding vows after 50 years.  We came home to leftover brisket and baked potatoes in the oven on low.  Easy meal, easier cleanup.  Then TV.  My childhood punishment of being made to stay in is now my adult reward!

Sunday I skipped the kitchen cabinets and hit the top file drawer in our office cabinet.  It took awhile to go through it all and I continued working on the shredding.  Ted went shooting for a bit but we did little else.  I finally finished the shredding on Tuesday, garbage day.

Monday was bloodwork day so we had a two person appointment with our GP.  Everything seems to be okay but the bloodwork will tell us if our numbers are still good.  We took more Monopoly coupons to Randall's and shopped.  We spent about $70 but when she took off the many coupons we saved $33!  Ted won't know what to do with himself when this game is over.  We have a dozen Fandango coupons to send to the kids to see movies for $5.  Of course I remember double features, newsreel and cartoon for 25 cents!!!

In the afternoon I played Canasta at Michele's.  Irene and I had two bad hands but we still won!  I came home to find Ted still working on more Monopoly pieces.  There are two funerals at church so I am signed up to bring a cake, a pasta salad and pick up tablecloths to launder.  

Alison, our IT person, came over Tuesday to fix a malware problem that was messing with our computer.  Ted left for the men's lunch, taking 85 year old Harry with him.  I finished my sister-in-law's 2015 Amended Tax Return.  I was expecting this letter to her since the same person who did her 2014 wrong, did the 2015 wrong too.  I did her 2016 return correctly so I think we now have the situation under control.

We were off to the pain doctor early Wednesday morning.  He doesn't want to use more steroids than I have already received in the facets shots and the epidural.  He asked if I could wait it out with perhaps some pain pills for a few months to space shots out.  I haven't been taking any meds and been doing my back exercises and have been able to function.  Besides, we are leaving in 5-6 weeks and have no time for spaced out shots.  I have some meds to take with me as well as pain patches so I will just hang in there.  We dropped off the script at Walmart and Ted picked it up when he was out.  

Ted took my pasta salad to church when we got home from the doctor.  Then he put the rest of his tickets in the computer for the Second Chance lottery.  He had a $25 grocery gift card!  I also typed an email to my photographer son in law to give him winning codes for Shutterfly for a free photo book, free prints and a reusable shipping bag with photo.  Spreading the wealth!  

I drove to church to pick up the tablecloths but there was a note saying there was nothing to wash.  So I wrote I had been there but saw the note so I would bring my cake over in the morning.

The landscapers showed up and went right to work.  Limbs were cut off, vines pulled down, the wall rocks removed, crepe myrtles cut back.  They were going to town!  They also were scraping areas to lay new sod and they marked off the new margins of the wall.  It should take two days I am told.  This is getting long so I will wrap this up!




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sleep, What a Wonderful Thing

Thursday afternoon after my friends left, Ted came home and suggested we go to Mama Juanita's for dinner.  He never gets an argument from me when he suggests eating out!  We chose to sit out on the patio because the weather and sunset were just glorious!

We had just ordered when two couples from our neighborhood came in and we decided to all sit together.  The ladies have lunch and the men have lunch but we don't all get together as couples quite as often.  There has been a problem down the street with a Class B RV parked in a driveway.  That is a no-no!  The lady claimed she needed it to transport her mother.  It came to light she is actually in a nursing home!  She was told by the HOA that her vehicle dimensions exceed what is allowable.  Part of the problem is she has a small trailer in the garage, she and her daughter each have a car and then this Class B on a small cul-de-sac.  It not only does not follow the covenants, it presents a dangerous situation if an emergency vehicle needs access to any of those homes.  Our RV is way bigger than a Class B but I have to pay to store it.  That is part of the expense of living In a deed restricted community.

We came home to watch Amazing Race and I went to bed before the news was over.  And I slept until 8:30!  I need to eat Mexican every night!  I felt so much better in the morning.  

I am still working on closets so we took our huge laundry bag filled with things that needed to go back to the trailer out to storage.  Ted was hungry so we stopped at Popeye's and I had the one chicken tender kid meal.  He called my brother Dan during lunch to discuss our October trip to New Braunfels for the Sporting Clay competitions in San Antonio.  The subject now is golf carts.  I am working on the sleeping arrangement for 5 couples, what we will do as couples, or just the ladies, and food!  Every one has their priorities. We are really looking forward to that week but so much water has to go under the bridge before then.

I have all our summer RV reservations made except the coming and going from home.  We know that route and all the parks so do that as we go.  We'll be home a month then switch gears and do the Cleveland (wedding)-Detroit (wedding)-Vancouver (cruise)-Hawaii-Home thing.  We will have 3-4 days to turn around and head to New Braunfels.  Busy summer and fall.

Ted worked a gun event at the gun club on Saturday and I stayed home waiting for Tucker.  Once I had him settled I went to the grocery.  We decided to wait to go to church at 11:00 on Sunday and leave for the airport to pick up Pat and Kelly afterwards.  No sense getting all fixed up to go to church and just come home, then do it again on Sunday.

We went to 11:00 Mass along with lots of families who, for whatever reason, choose to not avail themselves of the nursery or cry room.  The two young boys in front of us read Jedi books through the service.   At least they were quiet and were not climbing all over.  Que sera, sera!  

We stopped at La Casa Del Pan (House of Bread) bakery.  We wanted just a cup of coffee and roll before heading to the airport.  Ted said it reminded him of Renee's in Progreso and El Estacion in Mission.

The ride to the Hobby Marriott was smooth but the traffic traveling north was bumper to bumper.  After we picked up Pat and Kelly we took the circle freeway home.  It's a longer trip but at least traffic was light and there were no traffic jams.

Pat and Kelly were celebrating their 29th wedding anniversary so we took them to Pappasito's Cantina.   The restaurant was so noisy we asked to be re-seated outside on the patio.  It was very pleasant and quiet enough you could talk.  The outside plants and decor are really nice.  It is a new restaurant and I think some baffling in that carvernous area inside would go a long way.  There is nothing to absorb sound and made conversation difficult.



We came home and relaxed the rest of the evening.  Before too long we all started heading to bed except Ted.  He needed to put his brisket in the smoker at midnight.  Terry and Carol were coming to dinner Monday evening.  

The kids slept in and we spent a quiet day at home.  Ted took care of the brisket and made sangria.  I made twice baked potatoes, Parmesan asparagus, crunchy fruited cole slaw and rolls.  Carol brought an apple pie and ice cream.  We had a nice dinner and sat for quite awhile around the dinner table.

Tuesday we took a ride to the 7 story Sam Houston statue, the Prison Museum and McKenzie's for lunch.  




By the time we returned Ted had to leave for his Sporting Clay league.  Pat and Kelly took my car to visit the shopping areas, get a bite and then attend a movie.  I had a pot roast in the crockpot so made myself an open faced roast beef sandwich for dinner.  When Ted came home he did the same.

Ted took the kids to the airport Wednesday morning.  I started washing all the linens to remake the beds before Isabelle arrived.  It was a nice visit.







Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back is Better, Insomnia Not So Much

My back has been great but who knows for how long.  I just wish I could fall asleep and stay asleep for a night.  This is not a new problem for me.  I have never been a good sleeper nor require a lot of sleep. 

I did get 5 bags out of the guest closet for the Paralyzed Veterans of Texas who came Tuesday morning.  It was good to have that stuff gone so I can work on the rest of that closet.  

John stopped by to bring the TV stand that Tom had shortened and he set all the things that you and I don't even know exist on a TV.  He has disks, test patterns, blue paper to look through, sets the speaker output, etc.  You just don't plug them in anymore.  He is a great friend to do all of that for us.

We decided to have beef stew for dinner but it came out more like vegetable soup.  I used the Instant Pot and emptied out the freezer of all the half filled bags of vegetables plus a couple potatoes.  At the last minute we threw in a can of diced tomatoes.  With the moisture from the frozen vegetables and liquid off the tomatoes I probably should have cut back on the beef stock a bit.  But it was good as stew or soup.  

Marena stopped by to give us her garage door opener so we can put out her garbage.  I offered her some dinner but she was on her way to Dallas.  Her mother is still in hospice care in Edinburg TX.

Monday was our 52nd wedding anniversary.  We decided to have lunch at a restaurant that we never heard of until recently.  I wanted to pick it for our April Foxy Ladies luncheon but not without checking it out first.  It has a bit of everything with decent prices and good portions.  I talked to the owner and the size of our group will work just fine.  

When we arrived home Terry was sitting on our deck waiting for Ted to come home to help him with his new gun cleaning case.  He filled his magazine with the uplula, went through what each thing was for and put a battery in the light probe.  We had a nice visit sitting outside in beautiful weather.  When we came in I moved the bags marked TPV to the porch.  

Tuesday was an Appreciation Tea for Activity Chairs in Newcomers.  My 17-year running bunco group is the oldest group out there.  It was a lovely party with silver, crystal, little sandwiches and enough scones, clotted cream, cookies, candy, cakes, etc. to cause a diabetic coma.  



I had to go to the grocery on Wednesday for my Shanghai ladies coming on Thursday.  I am still not sleeping well and was tired most of the day.  But I did sleep better that night and back and leg are still good.

Thursday I put my drinks out, filled the snack table bowls and set my brownies on a cake plate.  I love the "after lunch" group versus having to make more food.  I didn't win at cards and have lots of leftover  snacks.  I hope Pat and Kelly will make them disappear.

Our calendar is clear until church on Saturday.  Sunday we have to pick Kelly and Pat up at the Marriott  at Hobby Airport.  They are attending a conference for Marriage Encounter and will be visiting until Wednesday, Tucker is also coming for a few days.  Fun times!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Week

Saturday we were home all day except Ted went out a time or two to run some errands.  I had some cards to send, papers to sign and some "cyphering" to do as my Grandma would say.  This RMD the IRS insists we take calls for some major moving around of funds and investing.  I think I have it all figured out for now.

Our daughter Kristin was having Easter dinner for 6 or 7 people so I had to send her my recipes and directions on how to get dinner on the table.  I didn't receive any phone calls so I am hoping she had her dishes prepared and in the refrigerator ready for Sunday's dinner.

We attended church at 9:00 Sunday morning. People were still leaving the parking lot when we arrived so we parked in a spot just vacated.  We found seats easily.  It was just a bit hectic having the 7:00 crowd trying to get out of the way of the 9:00.  Mass has a lot of pomp and circumstance on Easter so it takes quite awhile but Fr. Sebastian didn't hurry a bit.  When the folks started piling up outside waiting to get in for 11:00, Fr. Tom came in, started serving communion immediately, told the ushers not to take up the second collection and must have told Fr. S to make his exit quickly.  Those waiting must have parked in the spots vacated by the folks who attended Mass in the gym that was over way before ours.  A new huge parking lot was built recently.  It didn't change a thing.  We need a longer time between Masses, plain and simple.

We came home for a bit and then left to meet 3 couples at the country club for brunch at 1:00.  I was  pretty hungry by then.  When we finished, Jody and Dave met us at Irene and John's for an afternoon of cards.  Guys played together, girls too.  I was losing until the last hand when I got a Shanghai and caught everyone with their entire hands.  That put me in the lead.  Ted won at his table and his brother came in second.  It was a big Rogers win day!  We came home with our change purses revitalized!

Monday I played bunco for the first time since Christmas!  Carol, one of our newer players, had a unique yogurt bar.  She had vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, grapes, raisins, flax seed, granola, coconut and mini chocolate chips!  It was awesome. Along with this she had two quiches.  Great breakfast and because she was leaving town she encouraged us to take some home.  Made a great lunch for me!  

In the afternoon, we met with a new landscaper and lawn maintenance fellow.  He will be pruning trees from the easement in back hanging over our fence into our yard, our crepe myrtles that didn't get trimmed in February, and our huge live oaks that we had trimmed last year.  Sod will be put down where necessary and leveled with topsoil.  Our small wall around the plantings will be extended outward and reworked over some oak roots, 6 plants will be added, mulch put down and the metal edging along the drive and bull rock replaced.  And he will start doing our lawn maintenance.  The other folks have not been back since April 2 so my call firing them may have been a moot point.  Maybe they fired me!

Tuesday was my scheduled epidural and nerve block day.  We had to be at the hospital at 6:30.  All went well but it took 4 people trying in 3 locations to get my IV started.  We were home about 9:30 and I was fine.  I worked on all our insurance policies.  Trying to compare apples to apples takes a bit of doing but I got it done.

Then we had dinner at Terry and Carol's which was delicious.  Their daughter and grandson were visiting from College Station and it was so good to see them.  It was almost 11:00 when we came home.

Wednesday Isabelle came to clean.  Ted ran a few errands and I was laying low on the couch letting my shot do its thing.  I was sleepy because despite the anesthesia that morning I still couldn't sleep.  I think I slept 2:00-4:30 and then 6:00-9:00. Not too restful.  I was planning on taking a nap but when the cleaning crew showed up, that went down the tubes.  Probably a good thing because that would only have screwed up going to sleep that night even worse. 

Our Newcomers fashion show luncheon was Thursday.  I filled a table for 8 but found tables of 10 when I arrived.  Irene asked if Margi could join us and I said yes.  Jody said she had told Lynn we were full, but I told her to text her and she could have the last seat.  Without consulting me, my sister-in-law invited someone else to that seat.  In the end both ladies found other seats rather than claim the seat in the confusion.  Poor communication!  It all worked out in the end and I hope neither woman was offended.  Try as I might, things can get confused!

John and Sherida stopped to pick up John's clothes and we will see them on Saturday where they are staying this weekend.  We have been invited to dinner at the Anderson's, their hosts.

Friday was our last regularly scheduled Forum meeting.  I was scheduled to bring fruit. So I bought a prepared one all set up with dip in the middle.  We had lots to cover and since my back seems to be doing okay, I signed up to be a dresser at our Vintage Clothing fashion show in May at the Women of Distinction luncheon and for three 2-hour shifts at the Thrift Store.  I think this will get me to 47 hours.  I thought I was closer than that but I guess not!

We did nothing much Saturday and eventually got ready and went to church.  From there we went to Anderson's for a pleasant evening around their lighted outdoor pit (it was chilly!) after a pulled pork dinner.  A couple who had been out of the area for a long time has returned and it was so nice to see them.  One very sad thing is that a resident of our development died at the swim finish line of the Ironman held over the weekend.





Sunday, April 9, 2017

And Easter is Almost Here

We didn't have to be anywhere until 2:00 so we had a relaxing Sunday morning.  I baked some cookies for Monday when I was hosting Canasta and we eventually got ready to go see Tommy and Susan who are at a nearby campground.  After visiting for awhile we left for Hasta La Pasta for dinner.  We didn't know where it was but when we left the restaurant I realized it was right around the corner from the Forum office.  At least I can figure out how to get there if we want to go again.  We went back to the campground and stayed until 7:30 when we headed home.  

Monday was Canasta at my house.  Ted took the sweet tea and chips to church for the funeral lunch.  I had taken the easy way out since I had so much to prepare for my own guests.  I had summer sausage, cheese and crackers, salsa and chips, chicken egg rolls, fruit and cookies plus several selections of drinks.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the snacks and had a good time.  As soon as they left we had to get ready to pick up Terry and Carol for Terry's birthday dinner.  After Italian on Sunday, we had Italian on Monday too at Brio's.  I opted for the grilled pork chop for that reason.  It wasn't very late when we got home but after these past busy two weeks, I was ready to unwind.

Despite being tired and having slept little Sunday night, I didn't sleep any better Monday night.  


I woke early to two messages "R U up?"  One was from Irene whose land line, TV and Internet were out and wanted to know if ours was too and my daughter Kristin, on her way to work after returning from vacation in Baja! 

Baby grey whale photo taken by SIL Larry while in Baja.


 I spoke to both Irene and Kristin and then filled out my hospital record prior to my shot next week.  Seems like a lot of info for one shot!

Ted had his men's luncheon Tuesday (at ANOTHER Italian restaurant) and I just took my time getting everything back where it belongs.  I love having the ladies over but the older I get the harder it is to set things up, make food, entertain and then clean up.  Having two days "off" was pure delight!  But there was a another funeral at church Wednesday and I had to make my special fruit salad but I did it Wednesday morning.  After my third night of not sleeping well, Ted said he would take the salad up to church for me.  When I stand in one spot, whether I am cooking, washing dishes or getting myself ready for the day, my back pain goes into overdrive.  It is less painful to walk than to simply stand still.  One week until shot time!

Thursday was my neighborhood luncheon.  We all met at LaMadeline, a French restaurant of sorts.  I like the different fare they offer versus most other restaurants.  We had a full house!  Afterwards I went to the mall to use my Christmas gift cards before Mothers' Day gets here.  I am still setting aside clothes for our cruise.  I bought 2 tops, 2 shorts, 2 ankle pants, 2 pairs of shoes!  Quite a haul.  

Friday we did nothing!  Sometimes you just need to do that.  I was working with Kristin on researching cruises to Asia for next year but that was about it.  Our last Friday in Lent meal was the old standby , grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I wish we were into salmon, lobster, calamari, etc. but we aren't.  Grilled or fried fish and shrimp are about it for us.  And McDonald's fish sandwiches!!

Happy Easter!  The Lord Has Risen, Alleluia.






Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hectic Chaos

Our friends arrived Friday and I reminded them the house had been closed up for three months except for a few visitors now and then.  However, I don't believe any of them cleaned!  I gave them two choices - ignore it or clean it.  Isabelle was coming Wednesday.

We ate at a fish place Friday night and three of us had decent enough meals but poor Sherida got the shaft.  She had less than a dozen shrimp, no bigger than quarters with tails still on.  And a pile of plain white rice to fill the plate since the shrimp took up very little room.  I don't think we'll frequent that place again.

Saturday after Mass, we met Gerre and Barry after sending John and Sherida on ahead, at our normal restaurant before going to the theater.  We saw The Three Musketeers and it was so long!  It was about 11:30 before we got home.

Sunday it rained all day so Ted and John worked on a stand for the new TV.  I fixed a roasted chicken dinner and we played Shanghai.  Ted and I both lost.  I used the carcass to make chicken soup that we had for lunch on Monday.  The fellows came to cut down our tree, and fixed a whole section of fence.  Ted also had them add a board across the bottom to keep critters out.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

We waited ALL DAY Monday for the TV.  My email notification said 1-5 pm.  At 5 pm they told me the end of the day.  At 8:00 they said they didn't know where the truck was and the driver wasn't answering.  At 9:13 pm it arrived.  We were not happy campers and I would be questioning the driver about how he spent his day since the TV was on the truck for 17 hours!  We had intended to go out to eat but ended up getting pizza before the place close by closed.

John did some set up but finished up Tuesday morning.  They were finally able to leave about 1 pm.  Unfortunately they left their hanging clothes!  Their granddaughter is going to Georgetown next week and they are returning here to visit other friends the week after that so no harm was really done.

I had to work the Senior Luncheon so I left before anyone else got up. They were on their own for breakfast and seemed to fare okay.  Our theme today was a luau so I wore my blue lei with my uniform. The tables were decorated so cute with fresh fruit as the centerpiece.  Lunch was pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, roll and cake.

The cutest couple.


All the ladies sporting their leis.


Another well costumed couple.


The whole room or at least as much as I could get in the picture.  We normally have about 250 seniors.


Our bingo prize table.  This is about half way through bingo so many prizes were already gone.  Both of the ones I took had already been taken.


We joined in the entertainment, dancing to the music, New York, New York.


Not sure what this song was.


As soon as I arrived home, our company left and shortly thereafter, Ted left to shoot.  It gave me time to rest and then clear my desk.  He called on his way home to see if I wanted him to bring me anything but I had eaten leftovers so I guess he stopped somewhere along the way.  We are enjoying our new TV!

Wednesday was my appointment with the pain management doctor who Ted saw before his laminectomy in 2006.  He was not complimentary about who had done my procedures nor the medicine they prescribed.  He said none of it would be a true fix.  What was done got me through the last month in south Texas and the drive home but I had to agree I am pretty much back to where I was before and the medicine didn't seem to be doing much.  Now I am scheduled in two weeks for an epidural under anesthesia followed by PT and traction.  Only time will tell.

We went to Denny's for brunch since we had no breakfast and it was not quite lunch time.  Then we stopped at Lowe's for some flowers to perk up our sad grass.  I am still waiting for the supervisor to come have a look.  I want his take on what the technician told me on the phone "the grass is doing fine and there are only 2-3 holes in the backyard."  I swear he hadn't come on a regular basis either.  When they talked about the copy of the  invoices left I knew something was wrong since the only ones I have ever seen are on the computer. Again, I pay in advance.  This is a bad idea I'm afraid.  The yard is looking a bit better with raking and sweeping and some flowers but the grass has a long way to go.

Ted left for Beaumont, the grass guy is coming Thursday morning and Isabelle came to clean.  I always pay her 150% of her normal rate when she cleans after a long absence.  It is also a thank you for keeping a slot for me with my comings and goings.  I watched Survivor on our new TV and went to bed early due to grass guy coming early and a 10:30 GYN appointment in the morning.

The 7-7:30 arrival time actually turned into 9:00.  I am so glad I got up at 6:00 to be showered and dressed before he came!  He put down a granular treatment, ordered another one in 3 weeks followed by our regularly scheduled one 4 weeks after that.  Let's hope it works.  Things are looking better but still not good.

Since I was up early the house was all in order before I left for the doctor.  I came home and finished the laundry.  Ted arrived home and after tending to his paperwork proceeded to nap in his recliner.  Not much else went on.

Ted worked an oil company outing Friday at the gun club and I used the time to try a new nail salon, the 4th since my old salon was sold.  This one did okay but time will tell how well it holds up.  I met Ted at the McDonald's in Walmart for yet one more Friday fish sandwich, only one more Friday to go!  We grocery shopped and then came home.  

I received an email that I was to receive a package via UPS from Bogota, Columbia!  My first thought was that someone was sending a package of drugs to our address and intended to steal them off our porch.  Then there were emails about delays.  At 8:30 pm I received another one saying my package had been delivered.  When I looked at the front porch - nothing.  Oh no, my worst fears were realized.  I turned on all the outside lights and there it was, outside the gate.  Is it really too much trouble to bring  it to the door and ring the bell?  It was a thank you Easter basket from our house guests who told me they ordered it through Costco!  


Ted had to work again at the gun club on Saturday.  I slept poorly and was tired all day.  Little by little I got my jobs done and we went to church at 5:00.  Since we had plans to eat out Sunday and Monday we came home and had salads.  Ted had a leftover piece of pizza with his and I had the last of the chicken soup with mine.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And Away We Go!

Sunday we met up with several couples that we have met over the years.  Some we know better than others but it was a delight to see them all.  We had brunch at Victoria Palms at 10 and I felt like I had never stopped eating from the day before.  A great surprise was to run into Lana and Randy from Chanute KS, one of the HitchHiker owners we met at various rallies.  We had run into them at Pepe's on the River last year and shared tables mixing their group and ours.  What a fun place, that is now up for sale. El Charro, that we found last year and had a great time visiting, is also closed.  Maybe we are the kiss of death for drinking establishments.

I dropped Ted off at the gun club where the guys from brunch all headed, plus Mark was called to join them.  He was to drive Ted home.  We were invited to Niles and Sue's for dinner so I put together an ambrosia salad before heading out for my last Mah Jongg games of this season.  I think Carol got one Mah Jongg but the rest were wall games where we all seemed to be a tile or two away.  We seem to be getting closely matched in our play.

We barely got home and it was time to go across the street and join the other 16 folks for Niles' attempt to make Ted's pulled pork.  It was done just right.  Kudos to the student and master.  Eventually we headed back across the street.  Monday morning was quickly gaining on us.

Because we had done some things preliminarily, we didn't have much to do in the morning.  By 9:00 we were ready to roll.  There were lots of hugs and handshakes as we headed out.  We appreciate all the friendship extended to us in this wonderful retirement community.  We certainly look forward to our return next year.

We drove north for 4.5 uneventful hours.  My leg and hip started to hurt some but I used the cruise control to give my leg a rest and it helped.  We pulled into the campground in Victoria and left immediately to eat.  I used Yelp to choose a burger place since the Pump House was not open.  We ended up at Big Jim's and it was a great choice.  Nothing to write home about on decor but the burgers and fries were way above average.

Last Monday our grandson Sam was in New York with his high school philharmonic orchestra to play Carnegie Hall.  I posted on Facebook but Sam wanted me to cover it in my blog too.  So here is a quick trip to NY.

This is photo #1 for my 2017 Christmas card.  This was such an overwhelmingly wonderful opportunity for these young people and for most, a once in a lifetime achievement.  It was the graphic on their T-shirts.  


On stage getting ready to perform.


Then the tourist things came into play.



My SIL Bill with Granddaughter Morgan who went to NY too.


And the finale, a performance of Aladdin.


They all returned home totally exhausted but it is a trip I doubt any of them will forget.

Tuesday we left about 9:00 stopping twice for bathroom breaks.  I stopped as we passed the house to unload what I had in the car while Ted continued on to the campground.  When I caught up with him he was set up and we both got busy.  I emptied the refrigerator and freezer so we could leave the doors open.  Ted shampooed the carpets.  With my car empty I was able to put all my clothes and the pantry and cold food in.  Then we left immediately for home.  The only thing left to do was get Ted's clothes and clean the floors and bathroom.  On Wednesday the rains came!  Ted eventually went back over to get his clothes and did the floors.  What a guy!  Thursday I cleaned the bathroom and we put her away until June. 

Things were a bit chaotic at the house yet and our TV went kaput in our absence.  Everything is fuzzy, green and purple.  We called our friend John who handles media set ups.  Trouble is he has moved to Georgetown!  Not to worry.  He ordered us a new one and is coming to spend the weekend while we wait for the TV to arrive Monday.  That threw us into overdrive.  I did all the laundry, took care of 3 months worth of mail, did our taxes (ouch big time!), put all the clothes and things we brought home away.  Then we dealt with the yard.  I have a few choice words for our lawn maintenance company.  It is apparent that despite paying them in advance they saw no need to come on a regular schedule.  Our lawn was inches thick with oak leaves, ant hills were all over and some plantings were dead from the freeze.  

Ted cleaned all the pollen off the table, chairs and deck.  He put out our new umbrella then cleaned the courtyard of pollen and leaves.  I put my little Mexican statues on the bricks that stick out (creating an escape ladder in case of fire). 



 The garage door got fixed but the original white paint showed a bit on the side where the door got shifted with the new rollers.  So I painted that.  Ted spray painted the wicker table on the front porch while I swept the leaves and shook the pillows.  I raked some of the oak leaves that were all over the place.  No way did they come and do the yard last week. 

We were orderly by the time Sherida and John arrived.  We went out to dinner to a fish place.  Saturday after Mass we all met Gerre and Barry for dinner and then to see The Three Musketeers.  It was good but so very long.  It was 11:30 when we got home.  

Sunday was bad weather all day.  I fixed breakfast and Ted and John worked on a stand for the TV to optimize the placement of speakers.  I fixed dinner and we played Shanghai.  Hopefully the TV will arrive early enough for John to get it all set up.  We have been watching the TV we use for the Wii.  It is sitting on our cooler.  None of us can even read the Guide, the writing is too small.  We decided it looked like a robot.  






Sunday, March 19, 2017

Our Last Week

Sunday was our second last one to be here.  We are pulling out a week from tomorrow.  It is a sad time to leave our second home but exciting to get back to take care of things.  We leave in the darkening days of winter and return to full blown spring.

Ken called to say our armadillo is back and has torn up our backyard pretty badly.  Obviously the grub treatment, coyote urine and dried blood only worked so long.  Hopefully getting the fence repaired may help.  There are all kinds of critters in the easement beyond the fence.  Fence first, grass second!

I did my last load of laundry for the season in the morning while Ted went skeet shooting.  When he returned we went to get coffee since we were out.  Groceries have been put on hold so we have less to carry home from the trailer but no coffee for a week just won't do!

At 2:00 I went to play Mah Jongg.  There were 9 players so we had 3 tables of 3 players.  We named our ghost Phyllis and played 4 games, I won 3!  I tried hands I had never done before and did well.    Made me proud of how far I have come.

I came home to find Ted doing some prep work for leaving.  I brought the extra dinette chairs, my Instant Pot and countertop oven in from the coach house and redid the closet I had removed them from when we arrived.  It just made life easier with them more readily available and less stuff in the closet was nice.  Ted did most of dinner and I did the dishes.  

We are trying to fit all that needs to be done into this last week.  The car and truck need to be detailed, our RV washed, I am shopping with Karen on Wednesday, our last Couples Lunch is Monday, I have to pick up my medical file to take home with my MRI disc, the shooters dinner and awards is Saturday! Of course I will try to fit my last 3 days of Mah Jongg in and one last time to attend Mass with Fr. Roy.  

Our reservation is in Victoria for one night and two nights at the one close to home.  It is too hard to pull in one day, get it empty and cleaned by the next morning to put away.  We need to empty the refrigerator and clean it first thing so it can dry out totally since we cannot open the freezer at all when closed up and we don't want a plugged defroster drain again.  This time we need to shampoo the carpets too so that will be done second so they have over 24 hours to dry.  The rest is taking everything home that needs to go and cleaning really good.  It wears you out.  Having that second day just makes things easier.  We just aren't as young as we used to be.

Breezes was our Monday lunch location and there were over 30 people present.  The food was good and the luncheon menu well priced but the noon lunch was just being served to the last third of the group at 1:35!  I am sure there were lots of unhappy campers.  We arrived early and were served quickly, at least three of us were.  As they delivered our food they asked Charles how he wanted his mushroom burger cooked!!  We were done eating when his came but it was long before the 1:35 serve time.

We stopped and made appointments to have both the truck and car detailed before we leave.  They are both dirty as can be.  Ted helped Mark move his outdoor furniture to the new house while I went to the nail salon.  So long, Gina. See you next year.  

We ate leftovers for dinner and watched the premiere of Dancing With The Stars and I only know 5 of the 12 "stars."

I didn't sleep well Monday night, woke up at 3 am and heard Jonathan and Shelly pull out at 5:00 am and never did go back to sleep.  We didn't have anything particular to do so I wasn't concerned.  I have years of sleeping just a few hours a night, not just recently.  Maybe it is my medicine.  I did my straightening up, ate breakfast and lunch sort of as one meal and played Mah Jongg at 2:00. Got a Mah Jongg and Sue got two.  

Ted was at Niles when I got back so the four of us sat out until it was time for dinner - more leftovers.  

Wednesday I drove to the Imaging Center to pick up my medical file then proceeded to pick up Karen.  We stopped in Weslaco at Wells where I bought awesome shoes for the wedding and 3 other items.  


Ooh La La!

Next we stopped at Sam's for beans for Saturday night then on to TJ Maxx where I bought a baby gift and two more tops.  I have a nice start to setting aside my cruisewear.  If I wear and launder it all summer it will be all faded and worn so I will set it aside.

We met up with the fellows eventually and went to El Patio for a late lunch/early dinner.  Our night meal was an orange while we watched Survivor.

Mimi drove to breakfast Thursday morning and only five attended.  So many have left for home.  But it is so nice to have good conversation without a big crowd.  When I returned home Richard was just arriving to wash and wax the RV and I followed Ted to the detailer to leave my car.  When it was finished, Ted took the truck to leave and picked up my car.  He stopped at the store for ketchup, brown sugar and bacon for the beans I am making for Saturday's Shooter Banquet.  

Eventually we went to get the truck and then went to Mark and Dortha's for pizza and to see their new house.  There were 7 couples and we had a good visit.  We came home about 8:00 and closed up for the night.

Saturday we went to get our hair cut.  Then we returned a flashlight to Ford left by a serviceman when he worked on my car.  For our gesture we were given a coupon for a free oil change!  Since we hadn't had anything but coffee, we stopped for lunch at McDonald's for more fish!

Niles came over and asked Ted to take him grocery shopping.  He wants Ted to show him how to make pulled pork.  Then Sue came over to say she will stop for me when it is time to play Mah Jongg.  In the meantime I was sorting my clothes (stay vs. home) and dusting all the wood in the bedroom. 
 
I drove me and Sue to the clubhouse because her golf cart needed to be plugged in.  It was hot and we were late.  We ended up with three tables but only 3 at our table and we all got a Mah Jongg.  When we came home I fixed grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Just a few Friday's left!

Saturday I fixed the beans and put them into the refrigerator.  It was two big 13 X 9 pans full.  At 3:00 we took them to the clubhouse and put them in the oven, leaving instructions for them to be taken out at 5:10. Then we left for our last Mass of the year with Fr. Roy.  He was in rare form and we enjoyed our last sermon.  Dinner was served just as we returned.  The beans were great from all accounts and just the right amount.  We watched a highlight video of activity at the range this year but we didn't win any door prizes or the gun so eventually we came home.