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 soufflé 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!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I Beat Ted at Shooting Again!

Saturday was our final gun competition of the year.  We were shooting a hostage poster.  It didn't appear that there would be too many shooters so it was decided all guns would shoot in the same class.  When it got to 21 shooters they should have changed that but they didn't.  Shooting an iron rim with only the sights on your gun versus someone equipped with a red dot or laser isn't real fair.  Then to add insult to injury, there were two different posters.  One had a whole body shooting spot while the other had thin arms and top of the head only and values were different.  I don't make the rules!  However, I shot my rim fire .22 at the thin arm poster and got 24.  The lady I know who shoots a red dot had the whole body poster and only got 24, so there!  Ted got 16 shooting a rim fire at the same poster as me.  So I beat him!  

We went to church for our final time with Fr. Roy this year.  As we walked from parking the car, Happy Trails To You was playing from the bell tower and inside church.  It was Fr. Roy's farewell to all the Winter Texans leaving for home.  It made me even sadder to be leaving.  The church entrances were festooned with palms to celebrate Palm Sunday.  

Since we had no other plans, we located Ranch House for dinner.  We were told it wasn't necessary to go to Gonzales Burgers anymore with this restaurant so close.  Wrong!  While it is a big burger with all the trimmings and a nice toasted bun, the meat can't hold a candle to the fresh beef of a Gonzales Burger, IMHO.  We came home to some really awful TV shows because basketball was on the good channels.

Sunday morning we went to the gun range because I wanted to shoot at the other arm area and top of the head area on my poster.  I didn't do as well as I did Saturday!  But I shot Ted's new AR rifle and hit the metal disks at 100 yards!  Scopes are great!

Next up was making four boxes of brownies in the clubhouse kitchen for Monday's Farewell Shooter's Dinner.  When that was finished we decided to attend the Palm Sunday church picnic being held at the Lomalita Mission park for all Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioners and attendees.  This is one of the original missions built a day's travel apart in Texas by the Oblate Fathers.

Fr. Roy having lunch and a Lone Star beer!

Ted waiting in line for Confession. Ted talking to Fr. Roy in Confession.  

One of the dogs in their Palm Sunday "vestments."

The smokers for the burgers, hot dogs, ribs and chicken that was served.  And a very special bumper sticker.

I was so impressed with the folks in attendance.  There was an estimate of 1500 attending for free dinners, pop and beer with no problems whatsoever.  I expected total chaos and was I wrong!  People waited in line for their food, got themselves a drink from the coolers and threw every piece of paper and cans away.  Everyone talked to those close by and we "all got along."  I think it is the respect everyone receives from Fr. Roy, no matter who they are or their circumstance.  It was a great afternoon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Feeling Sad

I can't believe how quickly three months have passed.  We stay so busy down here the days just fly by. It will be with heavy hearts that we leave our friends but will turn our sights to the next adventures we have planned and continue on.

Ted went shooting with only Dave on Sunday.  Don and Trudy left on Friday.  Karen called while Dave was here and we made arrangements to go to their park for the fish fry on Friday and then play shuffleboard.  They were our best friends at Bentsen Palms but have moved to Victoria Palms and we do miss them.  This will only be the third time I have seen them this season and they are leaving next week the day before us.

Monday was our last trip to Mexico.  When we were there and met our neighbors, I learned there is a stronger version of the analgesic cream we have been using for aches and pains.  I bought one tube and felt it worked better so we wanted to get a couple more.  It was early so we stopped for a coffee and pastry at Renee's, then proceeded to Diva's where Ted had a pedicure and I had a manicure.  Last stop was Jessica's where we bought my two tubes of cream and four Z Paks for Kathy and Bob across the street.  We were informed that if we went inside to the restaurant and showed our receipt we would be served free margaritas.  What a deal!  And there was entertainment.  A couple dressed in three different beautiful, colorful outfits danced three different dances.  The first was the wedding dance where they tie a red sash on the floor into a bow using their feet, then a folk dance and last the Mexican hat dance.  

We drank our free margaritas during the entertainment and then headed back across the bridge.

Tuesday Ted was busy reloading bullets and I took my make-up yoga class.  It was much harder than my Beginner's class!  Thursday will be my last class before leaving.  Ted was taking Sue down to the range for more shotgun lessons and encouraged me to come along.  I had not shot my Remington since leaving Florida in 2001.  To my surprise I did great.  Bam!  Another clay bird bit the dust time after time. I surprised myself.  At one point I turned around and Bonnie and Jack were behind us videotaping us for the Range Blog.  Both said something along the lines of Wow!  Great shooting.  I think I made Ted proud.

When we arrived here we were having trouble with our refrigerator.  Every 3-4 days when it went into defrost mode it would pour water out the front, maybe 4-5 ozs.  I knew right where to keep a glass to catch it.  We called for service and it was $478 for him to take it apart to "look" at it.  Our extended warranty would only cover it if a part had failed.  I felt it was a kink in the drain hose, or a clog or perhaps it had slipped off or something and the Warranty Company said that was not a part failure!  So we paid the $95 service fee and sent the guy on his way.  I asked Ginger who worked on hers and she said Ed so I called Ruth.  Before she and I hung up he was at our door.  He took the bottom freezer apart, flushed the line with hot water and put it back together for FREE!!  It has worked fine since.

When we store the RV, I can keep the right door of the refrigerator open but not the freezer.  So when we get home I am going to empty the refrigerator first so it can sit empty and open overnight at the campground.  Hopefully that plus newspaper inside to absorb any residual moisture will keep algae, mold or whatever from clogging the tube again.
So we took Ruth and Ed to dinner Tuesday night as a thank you and had a great time.  We ate dinner and sat for a long time talking.  Then we stopped at Dairy Queen because it was free cone day!   Ruth and I had the free cones but Ed and Ted had blizzards.  What a fun night.

I hung around all day Wednesday while they installed the new doors on the coach house.  Ted was in and out messing with reloading bullets at Bobbie's.  He eventually went to Shooter's Alley and I watched Survivor.

Once again I had a carload for Thursday morning breakfast, six of us in all.  I changed my clothes as soon as we returned because it was so humid.  Coco stopped by to reimburse me for the money I spent on the Tapa Hoppa desserts.  My last yoga class was in the afternoon and afterwards I finished up the pot roast for dinner making gravy and noodles to go with it.  There just isn't a whole lot going on as the exodus continues.

Rick and his crew arrived around noon on Friday to wash and wax the trailer.  It was overcast so that was good.  It doesn't work well to have the sun beating down while they work.  We sat at Niles' spot while Bonnie looked at a new competition gun and then everyone scattered for lunch.  At 4:00 we left to meet Dave and Karen at the restaurant in their park for the fish fry.  Afterwards we played three games of shuffleboard.  I couldn't score for anything!  However, I did knock the fellow's out many times but we lost two out of three!  We hit the DQ for an ice cream before heading home.  Storm clouds were gathering and rain was coming.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two Weeks To Go

Monday was Ladies Offsite Lunch that was held at the Second Street Bistro located in the Doubletree Hotel.  I rode with Mimi and Trudy and joined another 16 ladies for a nice lunch in a beautiful setting.  By the time I got home it was time to get redressed to attend the Yoga Going Away Party.  It was fun and I met Sue from across the street there since neither of us knew the other was going.  She was one of four winners in the "name that pose" contest.

When I returned, Ted got leftovers out for his dinner since I had been eating from noon on.  But it was a cup of vegetable soup and a salad for lunch and healthy snacks at the party.  Hopefully it wasn't too bad overall.

We watched the Town Hall meetings of Bernie and Hillary.  They sure are after the top 1% for more taxes but never mention the huge percentage of all taxes that group pays versus the 43% of folks that pay no Federal income tax.  Once they were done The Bachelor came on and Ted stuck his nose in my I Pad! Next week is the Finale and then we move on to Dancing With The Stars.  I think they announce the contestants on Tuesday this week.  Usually I only know one or two.

Trudy called and asked if I would help her take a lady shopping who has Parkinson's (I believe).  It took from 10 am to almost 6 pm to shop at two stores and have lunch (at almost dinner time).  My 6 oz. of yogurt eaten at 8 am was long gone by the time I was finally able to eat again.  Despite my thoughts that I was done shopping, I bought a skirt and top, a dress and blouse.  I am going to have to bag up a lot at home for the Paralyzed Veterans to make room!

Ted texted me at 5 pm to ask if we were lost.  I texted back "slow, very slow!"  However, it was an enjoyable day in that I like helping people, it was just a very long day.  Sherry bought lots of things and said it was her first shopping trip since arriving a couple months ago.  She can't drive and not everyone will take the time to allow her to spend as much time as she needs.  I hope she had a good time.

For the life of me I can't remember what I did Wednesday other than Ted went to Shooters Alley and I watched Survivor.  This episode upset me in that three contestants needed medical care from heat stroke and one of them had to be evacuated and removed from the game.  This is a show folks and shouldn't be pushed into a life or death situation!

I had a carload on Thursday for Ladies Breakfast.  My two normal riders, Lenchen and JoAnne, joined Mimi and a new lady Lori for a total of 5.  Lori is on a rental spot and just contracted the spot we are on for OND of this year.  I let Eileen know the owner said she would do a JF '17 rental with them under the circumstances.  Most want three months so this is a good opportunity for them but it is up to them to follow through.

When I returned home I prepared the laundry and went next door.  The change machine worked, I found two washers but when it came time for a dryer only one was available.  They have several Out of Order.  I had to dry one load, then the next.  That made me too late for my yoga class so I will have to make it up.  I am REALLY looking forward to using the washer and dryer in the coach house next season.

Friday I baked my peanut butter bars for Saturday and got a few things together for the Ropa (clothes in Spanish).  You take what you are giving away to the clubhouse and then can pick up anything you want.  No money involved.  All that is left over is donated somewhere.  There is also a place to take your food from your pantry and freezer if you are closing up your RV, coach house or home and heading out for an extended period.  We have a glass full of tabs to put in the box for Ronald McDonald house.  Something is always going on down here to help someone else.  Nice folks!

At 3:30 my Tapa Hoppa Dessert Team met at the clubhouse to get the plates ready for dessert.  We had 7 varieties and over 400 pieces - and it was all eaten by the end of the evening!  We put plates and napkins on one table and covered and refrigerated the plates before putting them out when we returned at 6:00.  We refilled as needed.

We started "hopping" right away so we could be back before 6:00 to be ready.  Our first stop was at the potato bar.  Toppings were butter, sour cream, salsa, chili and cheese.  I took the smallest one they had.

We walked way to the back for stop #2 where we ran into our neighbors.  There we had two mini chicken tacos.  The best thing was Niles put all six of us on his borrowed golf cart for the ride to stop #3.

Here we had shrimp and crusty Mac and cheese.  I gave Ted my shrimp and ate his Mac and cheese.  I was getting pretty full.

Last stop was pulled pork sliders with Cole slaw and fruit kabobs.   I ate the fruit and gave Ted my sandwich.  We walked to the clubhouse from there.  Despite our early start and not lingering, there was a couple on the patio waiting for dessert.  We were kept busy refilling the plates, washing dishes as we were finished with things and directing folks to where they needed to go next.  A roving dice game was played at each stop but we weren't involved and the game hosts were still "hopping."

I can't thank my helpers enough for their baking and help at the clubhouse.  We did such a good job that Bonnie asked us to bake brownies and serve them at the Shooter's Going Away Dinner next Monday!  Marion said she will help too so it is back to HEB!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Getting Ready for Tapa Hoppa!

It was one week until the Progressive Appetizer Afternoon Event (Tapa Hoppa) next Saturday.   I needed to finalize my help and line up of desserts.  I have Ginger making chocolate chip cookies, Marian making brownies, Linda making lemon squares, I am making chocolate peanut butter bars and I purchased frozen mini eclairs, mini cheesecake bites and chocolate covered brownie bites at Sam's.  I have paper doilies to cover plates and cocktail napkins and clear plastic plates.  Everyone is to end "hopping" between 6:00 and 8:00 pm and gather at the clubhouse for dessert.  There are 130 people coming so it should be a great "end of season" party.  I am close to being ready.

The morning started out with the Village wide garage sale.  It was misting just as it started and I think that kept the numbers down.  But I walked around a bit buying a laundry basket filled with a dozen plastic hangers and 7 plastic collapsable bowls with lids that are made for RV storage.  Trudy has some and I intended to check them out at Camping World.  All of that cost $5!  And I bought a pair of Izod Capris that the owner had bought but outgrew before wearing, also for $5.  I felt I did okay.  We then sat at Niles' spot and visited until noon before coming home for lunch and leaving for Sam's.

We went to church, then out to eat and ended up next door for Card Bingo.  I stood up several times with one card and won one game.  Ted stood a few times but did not win.  It was our best night of the season but was only half the crowd since there was a mass exodus on 3/1.  I didn't win much!

I spent most of Sunday morning watching the tributes to Nancy Reagan.  She was an elegant lady and a marvelous wife who loved her husband dearly.  I hope they are together again.  May she rest in peace.

I cleaned while Ted went skeet shooting and when he returned we went to the gun range and shot a few magazines worth of bullets.  

After dinner we drove to Dairy Queen and enjoyed a blizzard then kept a date with Sunday night TV.  

I have a Public Service Announcement.  Ted wanted me to share these photos.  The first ones are Border Patrol agents on horseback.  They were traveling on the levee we use to get to the gun range which is close to the Rio Grande banks.  He didn't know if they were training horses or agents or just exercising the horses!  We have seen them rounding up illegals as they come across the river and attempt to get across the levy.

Next are two photos of Sunday night's sunset.  They certainly are spectacular down here.

I will start a new blog tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hello March!

We called on Monday to make dental appointments and were given Tuesday at 10 a.m.  So in the morning I put ribs in the crockpot and off we went to Mexico for probably the last time this trip.  After both of us had our teeth cleaned, we stopped at the pharmacy for the last of the meds we may need over the next year and then proceeded to the nail salon.  I stopped at the Central Market store to use the ladies room (nicest one I know of) and ran into some Retama neighbors.  They said to meet them at Jessica's pharmacy/ceramics/bar/restaurant/dance hall at 1 pm.

We have never ventured off the main drag so didn't know about this place.  It is one block west of the pharmacy we use.  After Ted's pedicure and my manicure, we headed in that direction and met up on the street with Vicki and Merisa, both who live on Lark Drive by us.  A whole group gathered and we had some margaritas, danced and ordered lunch.  I ordered the longches that I have been wanting to try since Jan recommended them last year.  They aren't on the menu around us.  They are really good!  Ted had chicken fajitas and rice.  It was one of those serindipity happenings where you have a great time when nothing had been planned.  Funniest moment was Merisa, from Spain, trying to copy us doing the chicken dance.  She caught on pretty quickly!

We arrived home just as the crockpot was going off.  Next step was to pour off the liquid, add BBQ sauce and cook on High for one hour.  But we didn't want to eat so I put the ribs in the refrigerator and will finish them up when we want to have them.

Between the heat (92), early start, eating a big lunch, the walking (we park in the US and walk across the bridge over and back), not to mention the margaritas and dancing, I needed a nap.  I slept for about an hour.  We just whiled away the evening, never eating dinner.  Things will be less rushed with our Bentsen Palm folks gone.  At least I think so.

Wednesday was a quiet day for me.  Before Ted went to shoot skeet we finished the ribs and had them for lunch.  I went next door to the laundry and did a load of whites.  It was Ted's night to go to Tactical Shooting and I stayed behind to watch Survivor.  

Ladies breakfast on Thursday was at Lemons and Grass, a Mediterranean restaurant with a Mexican flare!  It had a "different" breakfast menu.  I chose Green Migas which is scrambled eggs with pieces of toasted tortillas, green salsa, covered in cheese then is browned.  Accompanying them were nopalantos which are pieces of cactus sans thorns cooked in red salsa, and puréed black beans.  It was all good but it is hard to eat puréed food with a fork!  I was proud of myself for being adventuresome.

Ted and I went to Walmart to get a few groceries. I had yoga in the afternoon and when I came out It was very hot (went to 102) so I headed for home where it was cool.  The pool looked very inviting but we wanted to get through dinner to be ready for the debate.

I hardly call that shouting match a debate.  I am disgusted by the antics of Trump.  His insults, name calling, talking in circles, trying to justify questionable actions as if we are too stupid to know why he has his clothes line made in China, what a snake oil sale Trump University is, etc. just turned my stomach.  I wanted to take that finger of his and poke it in his eye!  I really don't want to change one narcissistic egomaniac for another.

Friday morning was Muffins and Coffee at the clubhouse for the ladies.  I had promised Mimi that I would come early to help but she was pretty well set up when I arrived.  We had a nice crowd which included the quilting ladies who were meeting in the craft room.  When it was over, Ann and I stayed to help clean up.  Since my afternoon was free I chose to go to water aerobics.  It is the first time I have ever been in the Retama pool.  Pat told me to stay by her and she would help me understand the CD that is played.  I enjoyed it and plan to continue over the next 2.5 weeks we have left.

While I was gone, Ted and Niles put up new backboards for the gun targets.  It is a special material that is supposed to withstand 10,000 shots.  Time will tell.  

We had French Toast for dinner since it was Friday and settled in for the night.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Eileen's Last Weekend Here

Eileen wanted to go back to Charming Charlie's to get accessories for her three new outfits.  So Friday she picked me up and we headed there again.  We got her all fixed up and I bought another necklace and earrings.  Once she leaves I'm pretty sure I will be done shopping.

We had plans to go to Mission West to see John Sager so Ted and I went to McDonald's for fish sandwiches and then stopped at the Bake A Cake shop for paper doilies for under the desserts I am in charge of for Tapa Hoppa.  Then we met up to go to the park.

John is a great entertainer and puts on a three hour show.  He has a lot of audience participation and it is just plain fun.  We all had a good time.

We have been trying to get to Gonzales Burgers over in Donna for the past month.  Saturday was our last shot but Ted was shooting at 10 in the morning so we went without him.  Lee and I shared a burger as did Tom and Eileen.  Ira tried to go it alone but only made it 3/4 of the way.  They were taking pictures of the patties on the grill, the cook holding an uncooked patty with two hands and one of the finished burgers.  They all agreed I have not steered them wrong on anything we have done this month.

Tom wanted a new battery in his watch so we went to the Don-Wes flea market for that.  I bought cinnamon and sugar at the spice shop and hot pepper jelly at the Amish booth.  And one pair of earrings.

We arrived home with some time before church so I finished up my deviled eggs.  In the morning I had boiled, peeled and sliced them.  After I made the filling I put it all in the refrigerator so it didn't take me long to put them together.  Fr. Roy used his story of a crotchety old lady who didn't like "weekenders" coming to her hometown of Starksville TX in the Hill Country as an example of the Samaritan woman at the well.  Neither was open to change.  Ira has attended church here more times in a month than he has in years.  

We were due at Trudy and Don's at 6:00.  Lee made a chocolate dessert, Eileen did the cream cheese with hot pepper jelly and I brought deviled eggs.  Don grilled brats served with his homemade sauerkraut.  Before we knew it, it was 10:00 and time to go home.  We certainly enjoyed the evening.

I had nothing planned for Sunday so when Ted left to shoot skeet with Don and Dave I started cleaning in earnest.  It gets very dusty down here and I dusted every piece of wood in the trailer.  I did all the floors and spent extra time in the bathroom which gets a "lick and a promise" everyday.  Then I decided to put a turkey breast in the crockpot.  Looking at it I knew it was way too much for just us so I invited Tom, Eileen, Ira and Lee for dinner.

I am trying to empty the freezer so I can go to Sam's for more of the Tapa Hoppa desserts.  Fixing dinner for us all helped that project along.  We used the two card tables we brought along in the coach house covered with a tablecloth.  It all worked out really well.  

Monday was clay bird shooting for Ted, yoga for me followed by the Leap Year party at the clubhouse. There was dinner, a skit and entertainment which was an accordion player who threw comedy in now and then.

It seems ladies can ask a fellow to marry them on Leap Year Day so Ma and Paw

Decided to marry off their five daughters

and there was a big wedding ceremony

Attended by various guests.

Everyone had a lot of laughs before calling it a night.