Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good Times and Bad

Thursday was just a day of exhaustion and Friday we prepared for our trip to Chicago for a HAPPY occasion.  We had a 7 am flight so we were up at 4:30 to head out in time.  We are loving our constant receiving of TSA Pre Check which makes the security lines easier.  I am sure it is our age more than anything.  We haven't caused any trouble in 70+ years so they think odds are good we aren't going to start now.  Whatever the reason, we appreciate it.

I paid extra for the exit row and we were very comfortable.  I watched the movie Revenent and the time passed quickly.

The wait at Dollar car rental was unbelievable!  The line was out the door.  I sat waiting for Ted and received a text from Kara that one of her very best friends who had been diagnosed with pneumonia died of a pulmonary embolism.  She was 51 and leaves 3 boys.  It is so hard to be a parent and not be able to take the extreme pain of grief away from your children.  They were scheduled to come to Chicago too but after last week in Florida they had decided not to.  Good thing too.  Such a sad situation.

Ted's sister rode over to the rectory with us from the hotel where cousin Fr. Terry is pastor, to attend the family party.  There was much story telling and getting caught up followed by some videos and DVDs made up of old family films and pictures.  What a great family they are and having been part of it for over 50 years is one of my biggest blessings.  We were pretty tired and went to bed immediately after arriving back at the hotel.

We had a terrific included breakfast Sunday morning and then headed to church for 11 am Mass.  Fr. Terry is in to music and the theme was God creates the music in our lives, Jesus teaches us the words and the Holy Spirit moves us to dance to that.  We had Doobie Brothers. Lennon & McCartney and a few others as music during Mass.  Sort of the same thing we get in Mission from Fr. Roy except he is into Country Western Music.  It was like being at a rock concert.  Ted, Terry, Carol and I were asked to carry up the Offertory gifts which we did gladly.

There was a lunch served outside in the courtyard afterwards.

The Keehan/Rogers/Sullivan group

I finally was able to enjoy the spring lilacs!  I miss them and always seem to be too early or too late to enjoy them.

Ted and his cousin Fr. Terry

And his cousin Dee 

In the courtyard of the rectory with Jay, Bill, me, Joyce, Mickey and Sharon.

Fr. Terry and his 92 year old mother, our Aunt Pat.  She is the last survivor of the 9 Keehan children and their spouses.

The most beautiful crucifix I have ever seen hangs above the altar of this parish church.

After the lunch we retired to the rectory where a more private gathering was occurring.  Eventually the family took their leave and mostly Fr. Terry's friends remained. Most of the family were driving back to Ohio.  We left for the airport and spent most of the time playing musical gates.  I know there were at least four changes. Our flight was ordinary and arrived a bit early.  We got the worst shuttle driver ever who appeared not to have a clue how to locate cars.  He actually stopped at three spots where no one on our bus had a car.  A woman got disgusted and told him to just let her off and she would find her own car.  We were the second last people on the bus and he blew past our road so I hollered.  He didn't even have us on the list even though I gave it to him when we got on.  Chuck receives a major FAIL.

It is good to be home!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Louis E. Boudot

July 31, 1926 - May 17, 2016

Louis Eugene Boudot, age 89, died at his residence in Punta Gorda, Florida on May 17, 2016.  

Louis served in the US Marine Corps during WW-II and was a long time resident of Ohio.

He is survived by his beloved wife Edna of 31 years of Punta Gorda, Florida; his 3 loving daughters, Donna (Ted) Rogers, Lauren (Spence) Montgomery and Sherry Schroeder; 7 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his late wife, Bettie.

Donations in his memory may be made to 

TideWell Hospice of Southwest Florida at:

5955 Rand Blvd. 

Sarasota, Florida 34238 or 

Animal Welfare League at:

3519 Drance Street 

Port Charlotte, Florida 33980

Please visit the online tribute for Louis Eugene Boudot at to sign the guest book and offer condolences to the family. No services have been scheduled.

Arrangements by Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home and cremation services. Port Charlotte Chapel. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

And It Continued ...

I was just walking into the Thrift Store to work my shift Thursday when the text came on my phone.  Hospice said time is getting close.  I responded "imminent?" And got a "yes."  Thus started another medically stressful day.  I chose to stay, without saying anything, because I wanted to keep busy while I pondered what to do and when.  I did tell my friend Donna when I was leaving the store.

Larry and his sister had gone over the day before for a visit so Kristin left work immediately and headed that way, a 3 hour drive.  Kara and Bill had plane tickets for Saturday and didn't change their plans because hospice had come and with medication, stabilized him somewhat.  Patrick was in Naples for work and stayed, with Kelly flying down on Saturday.  My niece Jill flew in from Cincinnati on Friday.  

All these plans fell into place and we were still trying to figure out which path to take.  Airfare was $2000 for the next day and if we got a call during the night, we were holding useless tickets.  The airlines are not generous on using leftover tickets.  There is at least a $150 per ticket change fee and in some cases you can use the balance to buy a cheaper ticket but there is no refund of the difference.  So that was no guarantee of anything as far as timing went at quite an expense.

I also had a calendar full of events that I needed to clear up.  Kristin called when she arrived and said he recognized her, asked for me twice and ate a bit of food.  She felt we had some time.  I canceled Shanghai here at our house on Saturday, got a sub for bunco on Monday, changed my eye doctor appointment for Tuesday and Donna said she would find a sub to work for me at the Thrift store on Thursday.  

With all that handled, we used Friday to finish up with the work people and cleaning people, Ted got a haircut and went to the store to fill our cooler.  We packed our clothes and got ready to head out at daybreak on Saturday.  Neither of us like night driving any more, especially at high speeds in unfamiliar territory, so we didn't start out until it was light outside, all the while praying we would arrive safely and in time to see him and everyone before they all left for home.

We drove 12 hours to Tallahassee then left at 5 am and drove another 6 to arrive at 11 am on Sunday.  My Dad had been terribly restless, combative and hallucinating on Friday night.  Poor Kara and Bill did their best to quiet him but he was trying to take his clothes off, climb out of bed, swinging his arms wildly, seeing things, etc. so they called the hospice nurse who came over.  They started a different regimen of meds and he calmed down but was heavily sedated by the time we arrived.  They insisted he could hear us.  If so, he knew we were there. If not, I doubt he did.

Larry, Kelly, Pat, Kara and Bill all had flights home Sunday and one by one they said what they knew were their final goodbyes.  Sunday evening and all day Monday was a constant bedside vigil.  Jill had to leave and we waved to her plane as it flew over the  house.  The Crisis Care Hospiice nurses were excellent and we could not have asked for better care for him.  They told us everything they were doing and why.  We also leveled with as he transitioned from life into death.  Monday night we were told to call anyone who needed to be there.  But by 11:30 she said she thought he would make it through the night and we should go to bed.  Kristin was staying up and helping with the turning of him on a regular schedule.  I woke up at 5 am and went out to see what was what.  At 8 o'clock we got a new nurse and the old one said it would be that day.  One and a half hours later he took his last breaths.

Hospice made all the appropriate phone calls and the chosen funeral home arrived.  There will be no visitation, just a service when his cremains are interred in Cincinnati later on.  They left a white rose on the hospital bed, placed him on the gurney and covered him with the flag.  We were all allowed to say our goodbyes before they took him away.  I felt so sorry for Edna and Laurie.  They are both losing their  best friend and biggest fan.  He was married to Edna for 31 years and Laurie has always been a Daddy's girl.  The rest of us were quite emotional as well.

Since there was no service there was no reason to stay any longer.  Everyone was exhausted and Edna's daughter was due in.  We stripped the beds and remade them before leaving.  Time alone with her daughter was the best thing for Edna.  We drove to Tallahassee for the first night and onto Lake Charles the second.  On Thursday morning we arrived home at 10:00.  

As for the other medical situations, Tim was recovering nicely from his appendectomy, Ted's biopsies were negative, my mammogram was normal.  Kara is scheduled for an ultrasound and poor Charlie is having difficulty in his recovery.  Please pray for this young boy who has been through so much.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Medical Alert Day

We had an appointment for Ted to have his routine endoscopy on Wednesday to keep an eye on whether his Barrett's Esophagus has reared its ugly head.  It has been since 2008 that he was diagnosed, treated and eventually released after 15 months of treatment.  Today's initial results were good but a few biopsies were taken and so we wait.

Last week we were informed that Ted's great nephew with disabilities was having a tumor removed from his spine, also on Wednesday.  His surgery went well but only 90% was removed because of it intertwining on his spine.  He was talking, wanted to go home and can move his legs but will be in ICU for a few days.  And again, we wait.

Kara thinks she has a hernia so had an appointment - on Wednesday!  The doctor ordered an ultrasound and we wait.

Wednesday morning the first thing to greet me on Facebook was my niece saying her husband was in surgery having an emergency appendectomy.  It had perforated so he will be hospitalized for 2-3 days receiving IV antibiotics.  He came through well and was able to eat but was in pain so we wait for his release.  

The news on my father is he is still in hospice care plus round the clock attendants.  He is slipping but at most times is very clear of mind.  We are so thankful he is not in pain but he is troubled because he realizes what is going on with his deteriorating health.  We and our girls have been going to Florida to visit and give my sister a little break.  His wife's daughter and my sister's daughter went to Florida to help too.   Today was a calm day and the hospice nurse will visit tomorrow.  Kara and Bill are due to arrive there Friday.  And again, we wait.

My friend Shari is going to have her hip replaced so she asked me - on Wednesday - if she could borrow anything that might be helpful so we got out the toilet riser, walker, cane, long handled shoe horn and the "picker upper" for her to use.  

I felt like all the medical news was way more than I could deal with in one day.  But there are so many prayer warriors out there that I made it through the day just fine.  The folks came and power washed the drive, walk, deck and courtyard.  They will return to put the preservative on the deck once it dries out.  The garage is cleaned out and orderly.  I have made progress!

Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.  ~ Joyce Meyer

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Guess what?

Just as soon as I posted the going away picture of my bowling ball, an old school friend posted pictures of the 10 bowling lanes where I learned to bowl at the ripe old age of about 11.  Our parish had a complete complex of church, school, priests' house and nuns' house.  In the basement of the school was the bowling alley.

Also included was a Christmas photo of Midnight Mass.  When I was in choir I stood upstairs above the altar.  We could look straight out to the choir loft in the rear of the church and be directed along with the adult choir.  What wonderful memories.

I know I have posted this next photo but for context I will do it again.  When the church complex was sold and dismantled, the altar and windows were used at The Fathers of Mercy in Auburn, KY.  We have visited there twice.  I am so grateful these beautiful things have been saved.

Friday I spent most of the day laying out our summer route.  I typed a spreadsheet and sent it to Eileen so she has the info to start making her reservations,  Day, date, city, campground name and address, check in/check out dates and number of miles to drive to that destination.  Some reservations can be made on line, others you need to call so it is best we each do our own.  When I finished that I used Trip Advisor to make a list of Attractions in the areas where we are staying.  We need to order tickets to the musical at Palo Duro Canyon and for a tour of the McDonald Observatory before we even leave.

That doesn't seem like it should take all day to compile but you need to consider how to get where you want to go, where to stop as far as distance, find a park in the area that can accommodate your size rig and has the amenities you want.  We both need 50 amp in the summer to run both A/C units.  Now I can enjoy our weekend in Chicago and our time in the British Isles knowing we have that all set up.
Saturday was uneventful except we went to church as usual.  I had ribs in the crockpot and put potatoes in the oven and hoped I had set it to come on while we were gone.  It worked and I had only guessed at how to do it.  I seldom use that feature.

All three of the girls called on Sunday and I had long conversations with all of them.  I received a pearl necklace from Kelly and slacks from both Kara and Kristin.  Ted brought me a dozen white roses when he returned from shooting and then we went out to eat.

I played Canasta on Monday and came in last!  However, that gave me my dollar back.  One of these days this losing streak has to end.

On Tuesday the dredges of the garage were picked up by Paralyzed Veterans of Texas.  I hope someone enjoys the golf clubs.  I had given my older set to a school coach last year to give to a student who wanted to play but had no clubs.  I love getting rid of things we no longer use that may be useful to someone else.  

We went to the new shooting range that has been built right around the corner from us.  It is Seniors day on Tueaday and lanes are just $7.50.  I shot from 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 yards, a 10 clip magazine at each yard.  First two to the body mass, next two to the head and the last two, and farthest, to the area above the body mass but below the throat.  I did pretty darn good too.  Afterwards we went to lunch and to check on the trailer.  I thought I left a phone charger in there but I didn't. I will have to look further here at home.

We stopped at a new 55+ housing development to look at the models.  The one we liked was way too much house for us.  It had a huge finished second floor that raised the price from $350,000 base to $530,000 and then you had to pay extra for a premium lot to put it on.  It was the reverse from downsizing which is what I would think 55+ people would be looking for.  Our house is one story, 2300+ square feet and is perfect for us.  I think we'll stay put.

Monday, May 2, 2016

We Ate at Home!

Ted went shooting Sunday and I tackled the garage.  It is best he is gone when I start pitching.  Otherwise everything I throw on the pile would end up on a new, different shelf.  I have to respect some of this stuff is his, so I try to consider that, but I will never understand why we have empty boxes and bags galore on the shelves!  Just getting rid of those and consolidating "like things" made a big difference.  We are getting rid of all the golf things except Ted's Ping clubs and travel bag.  We have a small bag of new balls and tees for Terry.  Also, we will donate the toys and tubs we have saved for when the kids came to visit.  They are too old to be interested in the old toys.  

I also boxed up all our Christmas lights and will ship them off to great niece Vicki who is involved in a charity haunted house.  Most strands are wound around paper tubes but there are a few loose so I told her to throw a light checking party to get all the strands working.  I will have done all I can to Ted's room and the garage so I will continue my mantra when I park in the garage and walk into the house through these areas:  "It is his house too."

This probably isn't most people's description of "organized" but it will have to suffice in our case.  I will let you know how long it takes Ted to fill in the empty spot above the wreath!

I am saying goodbye to an old friend.  Ted gave me this bowling ball in 1964 for my 19th birthday.  It was the first thing with my married initials on it.  It weighs almost 14#, pretty heavy but I never could control a lightweight ball.

bowled with it in many leagues, the first for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, then our church group in Michigan and up until I left Florida in 2001 and stopped because of my hip.  Now that I have two new hips, if I start up again I will get a new ball more consistent with the current lane blocking now in use.

It was hot in the garage and I stopped twice to have a drink and cool off but I was tired when Ted came home.  I planned to make a meatloaf but he wanted to grill burgers.  But we ate at home!  I finally went to the grocery store on Monday.  

Tuesday I had to work at the Thrift Shop and then get my mammogram afterwards.  It has been since fall that I have worked there and the renovations are done.  The store is very well organized and things displayed well.  I stopped home for lunch, went by the post office and then went to the Breast Center.  I think things looked okay because she only took two X-rays of each side.  If there is a question they will usually take another picture for more info.  Let's hope my assessment is correct.  The funny thing is the little Asian girl was enamored with my eyebrows!  She wanted to know how I got them so perfect.  I told her they were tattooed on almost six years ago and I gave her Emily's card.  

Ted had an appointment to see his gastroenterologist before his scheduled endoscopy.  Lucky him, he also received one of those new colon test kits to use instead of a colonoscopy.  They have called me because it has been 5 years since my last colonoscopy and I would much rather do that test than prep for one.  Ted is scheduled for 5/11 for his routine follow up endoscopy.  I told them to call me back in September.  I will bend Dr. W's ear when I am there with Ted in hopes he will give me a tester kit instead of scheduling a colonoscopy.  

While he was gone, the tree trimmers came.  They put down the bull rock first and then started on the trees.  Boy did they trim.  The debris filled a huge trailer.  We have some sunshine now and the house isn't in hiding.  Right after they left, Gordon came to replace the kitchen faucet.  The sprayer head would not switch from stream to spray.  I was getting both at the same time.  The company sent us a whole new faucet which Gordon installed.  He checked the light and proclaimed the problem was the light bulb - wrong kind!  Ted bought a new LED one.

Thursday was our Forum Installation Luncheon.  This is such a fun event.  The creativity of those putting the skit together amazes us all each year.  The food was really good and everyone had a nice time.

Our outgoing president, Cheryl.

Our new president, Chris.

Our newest members.

Our table

It was a long meeting with all that needed to be accomplished.  I left home at 8:45 am and returned home about 1:30.  I didn't do much of anything after that except heat up the pot roast and noodle leftovers for Ted for his dinner.  I was too full from lunch to join him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home For A Bit

Bill had half a day off so when he came home we went out to lunch.  I had the Polish mini combo plate with blintz, pierogi and potato pancake, a carb fest!  It was all good but they brought me a cheese blintz and I had asked for apple.  They brought me the correct one so no harm done.  We had to head home eventually because the kids were due home from school.

Our bags were all packed so when it was time to leave we just grabbed our suitcases and took off with Kara in her car.  We hit a bit of traffic but not much and arrived in plenty of time.  I didn't notice that we had TSA pre check again until it was pointed out to me so we were through security in record time.  Our flight was at 8:15 so we had a coney and drink, then Ted had his shoes shined.

Our flight home was uneventful even with all the storms we had to fly through, over and around.  We waited longer for the parking shuttle than we had for anything on all four legs of our recent trips.  When it gets to be after 10 pm they don't run around quite as frequently.  Then there are always the amateur parkers that didn't make note of their parking spot!  We came right home and it wasn't long before Ted was in bed.  I needed a bit of time to unwind before heading off.  We both slept really well.  No matter what, there is nothing like your own bed.

Ted left the next day for Dallas and had to drive his truck instead of renting a car like he usually does.  Every Enterprise office as far away as Huntsville had no cars.  We assume they are all replacing cars damaged in the recent floods.  It is just easier for him to park in the city in a car versus the dually.

I headed to the nail salon and found it closed due to the power being out from the storm that went through around 4 am.  I slept through it!  So I tried the salon closer to home and was actually very pleased with the results.  Then I went to the afternoon Thank You party for Newcomer Activity Chairs.  It was done beautifully and I saw many friends I haven't seen in quite some time.  I am always impressed with the lovely displays these ladies are able to put together.  

Ted, of course, was gone so I took advantage and watched all the shows I had missed.  An evening with the remote just for me.  Kara didn't even know she had On Demand until we showed her so we could watch Amazing Race.  I went to bed but didn't sleep as well as I do when Ted is home.

Thursday was my Shanghai day but with Ted not home I had to make arrangements for Carol to give Isabelle the key to get in my house when Isabelle finished cleaning her house.  It worked fine and they were just finishing up when I arrived home.  Ted came in soon afterwards.  It was past 5:00 so we went out to dinner.  I definitely need to go to the grocery.

The tree trimmers came on Friday to give us an estimate and are coming back Wednesday to do our two live oaks.  They are about to attack our house, the driveway next door and even the street.  I have a hard time getting things to grow in the planting area because of all the shade.  We are still waiting for Greg to do the power washing of the drive, walks and deck.  Then he will put preservative on the deck.  The humidity in SE Texas is brutal and the proof is in the black mold that appears on everything outdoors.  Next up is replacing the rear fence but that will have to wait until the fall.  The wheels of contracted help grind exceedingly slow.  This is all new to us because we used to move every 3.8 years averagely and 7 years was about the longest we stayed in one house.  Constant upkeep is a whole new ballgame!

We met Gerre and Barry for dinner and then came back to the house to play cards.  I am on a "not winning" streak!  Gerre won all my dimes. It was so good to see them.  It has been since Thanksgiving since we saw them last.  

Saturday Ted mostly watched the NFL draft and golf until it was time for church.  Together we also watched Amazing Race on our On Demand channel.  It is so easy to wile away a whole day.  I did do two loads of laundry.  After church we had dinner with Terry and Carol as a last minute decision after church.  I really do need to get to the store.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Another Trip, Another Party

My bug returned so I laid low Thursday and Friday.  I finally took some antibiotic medicine and it worked, so by Saturday I was fully recovered and ready for the weekend.  Ted and I picked up Sam's cake and took it to the restaurant.

There were about 40 people to help Sam celebrate his Confirmation Day.  We had salad, pasta and pizza for lunch.  

About 4:30 pm we all left for Mass at our old church, St. Elizabeth Seton.  I saw several friends that are still there so it was extremely enjoyable for me.  The Bishop did a wonderful job in his homily, even pulling his I-Phone out to relate to the world these kids live in.  

Our family returned to Kara's and we had a terrific time watching the video from our 40th anniversary 11 years ago.  The grandkids of course have grown so much and we are all a little older but the video is great.  We looked at lots of photos and had a great many memorable moments.  It was so good to be all together in the same spot.

Today is our 51st anniversary and was another reason we came because it is hard to get everyone together at the same time.  There was a family dinner at Kelly's celebrating Bill's sister and brother-in-law's 40th anniversary, Kelly and Pat's 28th, in addition to our 51st.  A total of 119 years of marriage!

We had a very nice time with our family and a special guest that joined us, Maya, daughter of Kristin's BFF since age 8, Sheetal.  Maya will be one month old on 4/29.

Monday Ted had a doctor appointment, Kelly came over for lunch and we had a nice visit.  At 6 pm Gus and Melissa picked us up for dinner.  We had a wonderful meal and very good visit with them.  They are such wonderful friends and we always enjoy their company.

We have scheduled another trip in May to Chicago for Ted's cousin, Fr. Terry Keehan's, 30th ordination anniversary.  He has officiated over so many family Masses, weddings, funerals and baptisms that our effort in flying to Chicago one day and home the next is the least we can do to show our gratitude.  I hadn't flown since August 2014 and now have four trips in one month!  I hope those carts keep picking us up on our way to the gate.

We fly home tonight and I hope this leg goes as smoothly and comfortably as the last three have been.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fun, Sadness, More Air Flights

Thursday we went to the Morse museum and saw exquisite Tiffany items - lamps, vases, windows, the Chapel, Daffodil Hall, etc.  Unfortunately, photos were only allowed in Daffodil Hall where there is lots of natural light.  Here is a plagiarized description.  

The  Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, FL, contains the most comprehensive collection of the works by Louis Comfort Tiffany including his heralded lamps, signature leaded-glass windows and mosaic masterpieces. Also included is the chapel he designed for the 1893 world's fair in Chicago.

The Altar

The Baptismal Font in front of Field of Lilies window.

The three dimension cross chandelier.

The Dining Room at Laurelton Hall

Close up of window


Daffodil Hall was added to the Long Island home of Louis Tiffany, Laurelton Hall.  Here are the tops of the columns that I was allowed to photograph.  

The columns topped with daffodils.

The reception hall that I photographed while standing in Daffodil Hall.

Afterwards we ate at an outdoor cafe in Winter Park.  Huge desserts but we didn't have any.

Friday we prepared to leave for Punta Gorda.  When Kristin arrived home we headed out.  When we got close I texted my sister Laurie and asked where we should go and she directed us to a sports bar where I had fish and chips that I would come to regret big time.

Afterwards we went to my Dad's where Ted and I were hoping to fill in for the weekend to give Laurie and my Dad's wife, Edna, a break.  We were happy to find him very clear of mind but frail and needing help to do most everything.  I spent the night on the couch so I could hear him and things went well but I slept very little.

Saturday I was bothered a bit with stomach issues but just didn't eat anything.  Edna and Laurie were able to spend a few hours shopping and having lunch out.  Larry and Kristin were in a hotel and came over in the afternoon in time for church.  When we came home, we all ate, including me, though I ate small portions coupled with ginger ale in hopes it would settle whatever was going on.

I spent a second night on the couch but I was hit by the "green apple two step" and spent half the night in the bathroom.  At one point my Dad was blowing his whistle which meant he had called out and no one came so he moved to Plan B.  I hollered to wake Ted so he could attend to him.  After that we had a very restless night and by 6:30 I called Laurie to tell her what was happening and they came right over.  She assessed the situation, gave him a pain pill and got him quieted down.  In no time he was settled in his recliner with coffee and had no more complaints.  

Larry and Dad, at-home hospice care, 89 years old.

It's a real fine line to walk.  It was hard to say goodbye but we are all optimistic we will have more opportunities to visit with him.

We had a 3 hour drive to the Orlando airport so we left at 8:00 am for a 1:00 flight.  On the way we started receiving texts that our flight was delayed.  And Ted realized he left his I-Phone behind.  Since our departure was moved back we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I had tea and dry toast!  It was 5 pm before we arrived in Houston.  A quick stop for some soup for me and a bit more for Ted and we headed for home.  

I hit the couch, promptly fell asleep and finally moved to bed at 9:30.  I slept until 4:30 when the phone weather alerts started going off.  I just stayed up after that because the alerts just kept coming.  

On Monday we had 8 players for bunco with 4 begging off worrying about the flooding though there wasn't any in our immediate area.  Later I dropped off my Blue Book at Shari's and came home to do the laundry.

Laurie arranged for Ted's phone to be insured and shipped overnight via Fed Ex since we are to be out of there at 5:30 am the next day.  It was $110!  Yikes!  It arrived at 12:30, two hours past the promised 10:30 but with the floods we were just grateful it arrived at all.

Tuesday was two doctor appointments.  One for routine bloodwork, the other follow up on my hip surgery.  I expected smooth sailing and hopefully an easy flight to Detroit in the morning.  My appointments were routine.  My heart is still beating and they took blood.  The second was two X-rays and all looks good.  Come back in six months to both places!  Mammogram and eye test are next month.

We were up at 4:30 am Wednesday, this time for a 7:20 am flight.  We had a delay getting away because I forgot my phone and then we noticed the garbage can still out.  They never did come on Tuesday for it, probably because of the high water in places.  But we pulled out at 5:27 and did our routine all over again but this time without TSA pre-check so it was off with the jacket and shoes, dig out the liquids bag, etc.  No problems though and once again a cart stopped and asked if we wanted to ride.  I know it is Ted's gray hair getting us all this service!  Couldn't possibly be because we look to be in our 70s.

We had another uneventful flight arriving so early that Kara was still 15 minutes away.  She picked us up, we stopped at Bill's work to say hello and then had lunch at my favorite deli.  We had not seen the two redone baths, new family room furniture, the painted walls, etc. at Kara's house.  Everything looks terrific!

Dr. C called and said my blood work numbers were fantastic.  My BP was 123/68, cholesterol 149, kidney and liver enzymes not at all bothered by the surgery, anesthesia and medicine over the past six months.  He had also tested for sugar and it was fine.  He said to keep doing what I am doing and come back in six months. Yippee!

We had a nice dinner and then Kelly texted and said Ally was working at Buffalo Wild Wings and wanted us all to come there.  So 9 of us went with some eating dinner, some a snack but Ted and I just had a soft drink.  It was our first time to meet the new boyfriend.  They both need to finish school so this could be any one of many outcomes.

Ally taking Kelly's order with me looking at the menu though I did not order anything.

Today Kara had a meeting so we hung around the house.  We have no car, it is raining and having a day to kick back was much welcomed.  The kids came home from school and I prepared Morgan's snack.  Sam made himself popcorn.  I had defrosted meatballs and sauce so that went in the oven so it would be ready when both Kara and Bill arrived home.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

What A Party!

Friday we attended an engagement party for the son of good friends held at the home of the best party planner in our area.  She does things I wouldn't begin to think of in a million years.  Her buffet table was laden with red roses in silver urns sitting on mirrors on beautiful tablecloths.  The food was delicious and plated and served in a fabulous fashion.  There were small glasses with strips of fresh vegetables with ranch dressing, individual beef tenderloin mini sandwiches, miniature martini glasses with mashed potatoes topped with cheese and bacon bits, puff pastry wrapped asparagus, 3 large shrimp in tiny silver bowls of cocktail sauce along with a lemon wedge, pecan sauce on chicken nuggets, and huge strawberries with dip.  There were other "snacks" sitting around, all served in gorgeous dishes.  Candelabras graced the outdoor tables that also had beautiful embroidered tables cloths.  Everything was just perfect.  Dessert was a monogrammed cake surrounded on a lower level by smaller cakes bearing the same monogram with the bottom layer holding the napkins and forks laid out in a pattern.  It was all displayed on layered mirrored circles in 3 different diameters.  It was an exquisite presentation.  

Talk about being intimidated!  I enjoyed myself immensely and hope I never have to entertain in such a fashion.  It would be a huge fail.

Mike went to his ranch Saturday so Ted went to the gun club to take care of a group that turned into three groups before he left to come back home for church.  Afterwards we went to play cards.  There were only four couples and the girls played at one table and the fellows at another.  Ted won at his table and I came in second at mine.  Good thing too because my dime purse was getting thin.  It was after 11:00 when we got home.  The Outlander series started its second season and we recorded it on the DVR so we watched it.  Looks like it will be as good as the first season!

Sunday was a packing day and going to the grocery to get ready for the Canasta group coming Monday afternoon.  I was up early Monday and got the tables and food ready before getting ready myself.  We had a bit of a late start but finished on time because Teri was headed to her last Bridge class.  Tuesday will be a very early wake up call for our 8:45 am flight.

We were up very early to get ready to leave for the airport.  We left the house at 6:30 and by 7:30 we had parked, taken the shuttle to the terminal and gotten through security because our boarding passes were marked TSA pre check.  We zipped right through, artificial hips and all.  No traffic, no backlog!  We had time to drink a cup of coffee, get our FF numbers straightened out and board while overhead bins were still available.  However, I think we are officially old because a cart stopped and told us to get on and they would take us to our gate.  It was the last one on the corridor so we did appreciate the ride.  All in all, a nice airport experience.

Our flight went seamlessly.  I had paid extra so Ted could sit closer to the front with more legroom and a bit wider seat.  I had an aisle seat further back but no one in the middle seat so I was plenty comfortable.  We landed almost a half hour early and Larry pulled up just as we walked out.  Since it was lunch time we went to The Porch in Winter Park to eat.  After a spin around the area we headed to their home in Winter Springs.

We were all tuckered out so we took a small siesta before Larry and I went to the grocery.  Kristin had two pork tenderloins out for dinner so I bought things to round out a meal.  She liked coming home and having dinner ready.  Our 5:30 am start to the day caught up with us so we turned in early.  

We intended to go to Rollins College to visit the Morse Museum Tiffany display but the morning got away from us so we just went to lunch and later met Kristin at the Enzion Theater for the Animated Shorts portion of the Florida Film Festival.  There were over a dozen presented and we were able to vote on them.  Some were plain dumb, others mildly amusing and a few pretty good.  Kristin has enjoyed this festival most years since our return to FL in 1996 but it wouldn't be my cup of tea.  It was a new experience for us and Ted suggested I get my hair colored like the lady in front of us with purple, pink, blue and green hair.  He thought my gray wouldn't show so quickly!!  Afterwards we stopped for an ice cream before heading home.  Larry had DVR'ed Survivor for me so we watched that before heading to bed.  My guy is still hanging in there though his underhandedness may cost him in the end. 

We intend to hit the museum today and there will be photos so I will start a new post.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cleaning and Pitching

I Ted had an FFA shoot to help Mike with Saturday so he was up and out early.  I took my time getting into the swing of things and after getting the normal morning jobs done, I started in on the wall cabinets and big free standing cabinet in the laundry room.  I found things I forgot we had, things that I didn't know what they were and things I have looked for and could not find.

I cleaned all the shelves and then put things away in a semblance of order.  I threw some stuff out and put two more bags on the bed for the Paralyzed Veterans.  I am zeroing in on Ted's man cave room and then the big one - the garage!  I am on a mission.

We attended church and then picked up a pizza because Ted didn't feel like grilling the chicken I had out.  The new light came on outside so we have decided to just leave the switch on and see if it turns off and on in response to a photo cell.  We have not made heads or tails of it still.

Sunday turned into a busy day.  Ted went to shoot skeet as usual.  We were expecting Tommy and Susan to come by when he returned.  I received a text asking if we could come there because they didn't want to leave their new puppy alone too long in case we went out to eat.  Before I could answer him, Terry called and said his and Ted's cousin Tommy and his two sons, John and Michael, were in town for the Final Four and wanted to come out to visit after they saw a Rockets game in the afternoon.  Terry was golfing in a tournament at 1:30 (he ended up winning!) so we thought 6:00 sounded good.

The day was beautiful and we spent about three hours at Tommy and Susan's sitting outside visiting.  At 6:00 we left for home and received a text that Terry was home so we stopped at home for a minute before heading there.

The boys had arrived right before us.  It was nice to see Tommy and his sons.  It has been about 12 years since we have seen them.  He asked how long we have been married and said he remembers being about 7 and attending our wedding.  We had a nice dinner and ride around the area.  It was after 10:30 when we got home.  So no plans turned into lots of plans and it all worked out.

Ted helped Mike again at an Exxon Mobile outing Monday and I just putzed around doing what I could in Ted's room without aggravating him.  He is basically out of room and either has to clean under the work benches and add a shelf or simply not bring anything else home.  Time will tell.  I ended up with about 14 bags put out for the Texas Paralyzed Vets.  In the evening I watched the DWTS episode about the "stars" most memorable years.  It was a very emotional two hours.  I do feel that the two worst dancers have been eliminated.

It was time for our Forum Friends senior bingo/entertainment /luncheon, the last until October.  We had a big crowd of over 200 seniors.  I took two of the bingo prizes I have squirreled away and I am all set for October (fall and Halloween) and December (Christmas) prizes.  

The entertainment was terrific.  We had folks up dancing in the aisles.  It was such fun for everyone.  A lady at the table I was hostessing said she will be 92 in September.  Bless her heart, she was in great health it appeared.  We celebrated Cinco de Abril since we weren't meeting on Cinco de Mayo.  

Ted left for Beaumont Tuesday afternoon so I had the evening to myself.  Wednesday I waited from 8:00 to 1:30 for the A/C man to do our first year check up.  I did three loads of laundry and cleaned half the shelves on the east wall of the garage while I waited.  When he finished I had an errand to run so when Ted came home he went to the grocery and grilled burgers for dinner.  I was happy to hit the couch and watch Survivor.

It was back to work on Thursday.  I was scheduled for 4 hours at the food pantry.  Paula and I divided one pound bags of pasta into two 1/2 pound bags.  Because this is an emergency service, they discourage people from going "grocery shopping and stocking up."  Soap powder, shampoo, cooking oil, diapers, sanitary napkins, etc. are always split into smaller bags.  We did 8 cases I think with about 3-4 dozen bags in a case.  The time passed quickly and the work wasn't hard except for the carrying of the whole cases back and forth.  

From there I went to see Cindy to get my hair cut and highlighted.  I was anxious to get my hair some lighter since L'Oreal Light Golden Brown is anything but!  She did a good job and I am happy with the results.  I called and asked Ted if he had started dinner and he said we were going to Outback and use one of our gift cards.  I had a busy week so it sounded good to me!

Here comes the weekend!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Normalcy Returning

With the outside getting its layer of winter dirt removed, and the inside under control, I went to the salon for a manicure, pedicure and waxing.  It felt good to have it all done at once.  When I came home I made reservations for us to fly to FL in a few weeks to visit my 89 year old father who is experiencing difficulties.  Fares into Fort Myers were outrageous so I looked at Tampa and they were better.  But if we were going to have to drive for two hours we would rather fly into Orlando, visit with Larry and Kristin, and drive three hours.  We will be with the kids 3.5 days and then we will all travel to the west coast for a day and a half of visiting.  Any more wears my Dad out so we will limit our time there.  We had leftovers for dinner from our Saturday night visit to Olive Garden and Easter dinner and it was all just as yummy the second time around.

Tuesday we spent shopping at Lowe's. Isabelle was coming Thursday to clean and I needed some supplies.  Ted wanted topsoil to fill in our critter holes in the yard.  We bought a new outside light because the old one keeps burning out the bulb.  But the new one isn't working so we are having a handyman come in case there is some disconnect between the switch and the fixture.  Or ... we may have just done it wrong though I have hung lights before.  I bought 30 impatien plants and planted them out front.  We also bought a new faucet end that twists to be spray or stream but it didn't fit despite being "universal."  And our master bath toilet may need a new float.  I put on a new flapper and that didn't fix the problem and since we have a handyman coming anyway I will let him fight with the old float.  I'm missing my 38 feet of RV right about now.  We save our problems, take it to the factory and everything gets fixed at once!

I thought the light was working!  I remembered the outside electric outlets work off a GFI in the garage and hard rains will trip it.  I pushed it and the light worked.  I felt vindicated.  But by afternoon it was off again and we were no longer in business.  Guess we will have Gordon come after all.

Ted had to go to the Chronicle on Wednesday so I straightened up around the house then went shopping for some cards and gifts plus stopped at the grocery.  I made a chicken pot pie with leftover roast chicken I had in the freezer for dinner and called it a day.

I was up early on Thursday.  First up was making a fruit salad for a funeral at church and then I had to get ready to go play Shanghai.  I dropped the salad off and visited with Kathy and Betty for a bit, then went to the bank followed by a sandwich at Chik Fil A, complete with fresh flowers on each table.  Delightful!  I arrived right on time to play cards.  I had awful cards and came in dead last.  But we had a lot of fun at our table discussing snakes and Blue Whales.  Believe me, you don't want to know.  

I came home and started revising the Blue Book which is a manual for whomever is the chair this year for the Women's Shelter Gift Distribution in December.  It is due in May so I want it ready before we start all our April travel.  I told Isabelle to just leave my desktop alone and I would polish it once I had my book put back together.  We had leftover pot pie for dinner and settled in for the night.

Friday was our first lazy day since arriving home.  I finished up the Blue Book and it is ready to pass on.  I checked my hours and with the five work days I have scheduled I will have my hours in for this year.  So despite being gone all summer and winter I chaired an event, got all my hours in and am ready to pass on the info so I felt good about that.

I did clean out a few more drawers and topped off the 8 bags I have for the Paralyzed Vets coming Tuesday.  Two phone calls filled my morning, one to my friend Gerre to get caught up and one with Kara who was in Florida and was driving from Fort Myers to my Dad's for a visit.  Traffic backed up and I was able to get her off the interstate to a parallel road to get around the problem and then back on using my Google Map app.  Her GPS just kept trying to make her get back on the interstate so it was no help.  Technology can be great when it works!

We met John and Vivian for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes and had a two hour dinner doing more talking than eating.  When we came home, just for fun, I flipped the switch on the new outdoor light and it came on!  OK so maybe it works off a light/dark photo cell.  It was still on when we went to bed.  But it was still on this morning!!  I did shorten the chain on the toilet float and it has been working fine, the manufacturer is sending us a whole new faucet for free but we have to have it installed so Gordon is still scheduled to come and maybe he can figure out what is going on with this crazy light fixture.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One Last Day in Mission

Monday was busy!  We arranged to have my car detailed and had to have it there at 9 a.m.  Lenchen wanted hers done too so we were a parade of three heading out Los Ebanos Road to the detailer.  We left both cars and came home in the truck.  I took the time to get all my things in the coach house packed up so it all could be put in my car on its return.  In the meantime we were advised the coach house was going to be sprayed for bugs and termites and it was being shown by the realtor after that!

The termite guy told me he was going to soak the concrete where all my stuff, including medicine, was sitting.  I told him he would have to wait for me to remove everything because I wasn't having all my bags sitting on whatever poison he was putting down.  Then he asked if I wanted the RV sprayed!   I just answered "nope."

Ted called and said he had traded his truck for my car but would take Lenchen up for her car if she didn't want to wait until his truck was done.  She was good so eventually we got all three vehicles home.

While I was putting icing on all four pans of brownies the realtor showed the coach house.  It was mostly empty and isn't finished so it isn't much to look at.  The couple didn't look 55 though!

I cut up the brownies and filled four platters and took them up to the clubhouse and then got ready for our End of Season Shooter's Dinner.  We had brisket from Rudy's, smashed potatoes, creamed fresh corn, beans and cole slaw plus the brownies.  A fine meal!  Afterwards there was a 20 minute video of highlights.  Ted was in it a lot.  I was featured placing second on the dartboard shoot plus random sightings here and there.  It was a lot of fun to watch.

There were lots of door prizes.  Ted won a camo Shooter's Alley shirt for me.  I won some .22 ammo and we both got Da Range T shirts as part of the group.  Guys have info on the back, women have info with a bling gun on the front.  It was a great send off and allowed us to say goodbye to many.

We were up early, emptied the coach house, finished loading my car, closed up the RV, hooked up the trailer to the truck and we were off!  We drove to Victoria, set up, went for some lunch, then returned and did three loads of laundry so I didn't have to deal with that when we got home.  We spent a quiet last evening, for awhile, in the trailer.

We left there at 9 am and except for a pit stop at Buc-ees in Waller, we drove right through arriving at the campground close to home around 1:30.  We split the time equally, 4.5 hours each day.  It could easily be done in one day but you arrive too tired to do anything.

We immediately started loading things into the truck and car, cleaning as we went.  Deciding to avoid the high school traffic we had a bite to eat in the opposite direction before returning to finish up. It was a full day and we were plenty tired when we got home.  I started on the mail and stayed up until 3 am working on our taxes.

The next morning we went back to empty the tanks, wipe out the refrigerator, pick up the few things we had forgotten and hooked up one last time for awhile.  It is a short drive to storage but the traffic!  We had not dealt with that since before Christmas!  But we got her tucked away until summer because we have lots of irons in the fire over the next three months.

Ted and I had lunch at home and he left to meet up with John on a gun matter and then saw Cindy for a haircut.  She had asked for 800 milligram ibuprofen from Mexico so he took her the two bottle pack I got for her.  I stayed home knee deep in paperwork, clean clothes to be put away, food to be put away, phone calls to make and checks to write.  Ted brought a pizza home for dinner because he knew I would be unable to create dinner out of next to nothing and he was right.  Not to mention I was too tired to think about trying.

I got up the next morning and hit the shower after coffee only to realize I left my drying brush in the trailer!  So we went to Sally's to buy me another one so I can have one in each place.  I stopped at HEB to get what I needed for the sweet potatoes and fruit salad for Sunday dinner and Ted filled my car with gas and ran it through the car wash since we drove through a lot of dust coming up from south Texas.  When we returned home I went to my office and worked on the taxes, getting them filed, and the remaining mail.  The mail has been handled.  Some clothes and toiletries are still out in our bedroom and bath but "tomorrow is another day."  

We had a very Catholic Good Friday dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese.  After cleaning the kitchen, I hit the couch.  All that activity makes me tired!

Saturday I was determined to get everything back in order.  The outside needs so much attention after sitting for 3 months.  Ted swept out the courtyard and wiped off the patio table then took off on his "gun matter" that seemed to be superseding anything else.  So I colored my hair, put the remaining clothes and shoes away and finished up putting all the medicines we had bought plus our toiletries where they belong.

While waiting for Terry to come switch cars with me so he could pick up their kids from the airport, I tackled the front door.  Using my Sunwax I cleaned and waxed it and just threw the cloth away because it was black.  I shook the Welcome mat, shook and beat on the chair cushion, swept the porch and then decided to spray paint the wicker table that needed it.  We are starting to look presentable again.

When Ted returned, he cleaned the office rug because it appears some coffee had been spilt at one time and not cleaned up.  While he did that I cleaned out drawers in the guest bedroom filled with Ted's T-Shirts.  I kept a stack of shooting logo shirts, a stack of family reunion shirts and a stack of other logos he may consider important.  Last was a stack of plain colored ones that were in good condition.  The rest are ready for Paralyzed Vets.

We decided to use a Christmas gift card for Olive Garden for an early dinner.  We also had a free movie coming from Xfinity so we watched the Moby Dick movie In The Heart of the Sea on On Demand TV.  
I tackled the laundry that had been left here and what had accumulated recently and did three more loads.  I folded that during the movie and by the time it was over I was headed to bed.

We attended church at 9 a.m. and came home to have breakfast of blueberry pancakes made with blueberries we picked in Michigan last summer, bacon and juice fresh squeezed from oranges we had picked in Mission before we left.  I made a sweet potato soufflĂ© and fruit salad and we went to Terry and Carol's for dinner.  Their daughter and her family were there along with our friend Irene.  Ted had a great time playing football with the three boys.  It was just getting dark when we came home.

To say I am dead tired is an understatement.  I will be in bed as soon as this gets posted!