Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Amazing Bluebonnet Photos

My friend Kay forwarded these great pictures of the bluebonnets taken out in the Hill Country. Our cold, wet winter added to their beauty this year. Just had to post these so I can save them in my journal.

Back Home

We flew home yesterday on a toy airplane. That's what those regional jets feel like. It had the 2/1 configuration and you have to walk sideways down the aisle. If you are as tall as Ted, you have to stoop besides. They had changed from a 737 and there were some unhappy passengers. The flight was uneventful and Continental continues to give you some food so I'm not complaining. We arrived safely and that's the outcome I'm always looking for.

We had a very nice visit with all the kids. Ted spent Friday at Dean Sellers Ford educating himself on what engines and rear ends are being produced in what trucks now. It appears we can only get the engine and rear end he wants if we buy a dually which I really don't want. Getting my Expedition past his current F-250 in our driveway is OK, but two more tire widths would make it a challenge. He'll continue to monitor what others are saying that pull trailers with the new engine. Kara and I did some running around.

Allen picked up Kristin that evening from the airport and took her to her friend Sheetal's house where she spent the night. Then he met the rest of us at Red Robin for dinner. The trees and flowers are so beautiful right now and I was snapping pictures along the way.

Saturday was the First Communion Mass at 2 o'clock. Ted and I served as EMEs and I gave Sam the host and Ted gave him the wine. What a special thing for all of us to remember. I was very moved realizing how many children I was giving First Communion to. Even Sam's 2nd grade teacher came to the Mass and brought him a gift. How nice of her. She was unable to join us for the party ...

... which was sensational. Our room at Dave & Buster's was soundproof so we didn't have to deal with the noise from the arcade. The tables were round which is always good for conversing. My menus were a hit even with the waitresses. They said they were much better than anything their marketing department ever put out. The food was great and everyone had fun playing games. I played skeeball and gave my tickets to Morgan or rather she kept taking them as soon as I won any.

Sunday was cool and drizzly and we stayed in. Kristin came for breakfast, Kelly's family stopped over later and after Ted took Kristin to the airport, Ellen and John came by for dinner and to spend the evening.

For our anniversary the kids gave us an iPod touch. So far I've been able to download and play a Patsy Cline album and send Kara a few e-mails. The problem is I'm not sure what I did to accomplish those tasks. Apple tells you what you can do with the iPod but not HOW to do it. I'll have to find me a 10 year old to teach me I guess. We have an iPod docking station in the new RV that will play the music through our surround sound. So once I learn how to use it hand held, I'll be needing more lessons in how to use it in the docking station. Technology!!

Let's hope they can teach this old dog new tricks.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sam's First Communion Day

Walking into church

Sam's Class

Marque at Dave and Buster's Restaurant and Arcade

Grandma with John and Ellen

Grandpa with Bill and Lorie

My great Aunt Ret (Sam's great, great, great aunt) made a lamb cake for my children's First Communion. Kara had this made in memory of her own First Communion. Aunt Ret died in 1984.

Sam used the arcade tickets he won to buy a Scooby Dog. Both he and Morgan collected everyone's tickets to add to their stash. She bought a Hello Kitty backpack.

Springtime in Michigan (using Kara's computer)


Kroger parking lot

Red Robin parking lot

St. Thomas More Church parking lot

St. Thomas More Church Driveway

Tree in front of Kara and Allen's house

Kara and Allen's house

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On A Lighter Note

I have to record a couple of things that have transpired between me and Morgan. She is the cutest, sweetest little thing and is polite and understanding as only a 5 year old can be.

Yesterday she was at the kitchen table drawing and asked me to spell HAPPY. So I did. Then she asked me to spell BERT. Evenutally she asked me to spell FROM. Then she showed me the card she made for the birthday party she is attending today. It said HAPPY BERT DAY FROM MORGAN. I guess she knew how to spell DAY. It was too cute to correct. It went off this morning with the gift!

On Thursday she was playing outside with Ted and she climbed the tree while wearing her plastic tiara. I went out to take her picture and I will publish it when I get home. She told me she had to pay $2 of her own money for her tiara. I told her those plastic jewels are expensive and the real ones aren't any cheaper!

Today when she was getting her hair combed for the party I was in her room in my PJs. They are light green cotton with flamingos (our camping group mascot) with Santa hats on. Eileen gave them to me this past Christmas. Morgan asked what the birds were and I told her flamingos. She asked if they were Christmas jammies. I said I guess so and she said "is that all you had 'cause I have a whole drawer full!"

Out of the mouths of babes.

Five years ago today the kids threw a 40th anniversary party for us here in Michigan ... and it snowed! When we married 45 years ago in Cincinnati it was an overcast day. Today we are getting rain.

May you have sunshine in your life today and always.

Happy 45th Anniversary, Ted. Today I love you more than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rest In Peace, Anita

One of the friends that I asked prayers for passed away last evening at home in her sleep. She fought hard but there's always a point when you just can't go on. Thank you for any prayers you offered up for her. May she rest in peace.

We arrived safely in Michigan and will blog again at the beginning of next week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An RV Warming Gift!

Ted just brought the mail in and there was a Parcel Post box from my niece, Jill. She is a talented quilter and makes beautiful quilts and many other things. I've been trying to get her to visit us here to attend the International Quilt Show but so far no luck.

Recently on her blog she showed a set of quilted placemats she made with an RV pattern. I was thinking how cute they were and how much I would like a set. I thought perhaps when we see her this summer I could get in her good graces enough to ask her to make me a set. She keeps so busy that I didn't know if she would have time.

Lo and behold the box contained the four placemats and a hot pad to match! The front is a white background with RVs in color. The backing is medium brown with dark brown RV prints on it. They are so neat!! I can't wait to put them on our dinette table in the 5th wheel.

Thank you, Jill. Your thoughtfulness will not be forgotten. You are so special!

Quiet Week of Preparation

We are going to Michigan tomorrow for Sam's First Communion so I kept my calendar light this week. Rebecca hasn't been here since the end of March so I've been doing more housework than usual. The laundry and ironing are caught up and yesterday we stopped at the store for a few items.

I've hired a landscape architect to redo our front natural area. What we have is way overgrown and the soil in the walled area is more mulch than topsoil and I can't get much to grow. There's been a lot of back and forth with Absolutely Outdoors but I think we're good to go now. They are going to check the sprinklers to be sure I'm getting good coverage, straighten some rocks in the wall, trim the live oaks and magnolias, remove the wax myrtles and pitosporum and put in good dirt then do the new plantings. It will probably get done next week after our return.

Monday was bunco and as usual we had a good time. The ladies get to talking so much we almost forget to play the game. And of course everyone puts out such a lovely spread of food but I was pretty good and ate only apple slices and a small portion of blueberry french toast that was yummy. I won't be able to play again until October. Next month I have a Junior Forum meeting, I'll be out of town in June, we don't play in July and August and September is another Junior Forum meeting. I hope they don't kick me out before my return in October!

I had a follow-up visit Tuesday with the eye doctor to my cataract surgery nearly five months ago. He said I am 20/20 for close up in my left eye and 20/20 for distance in my right eye ... what they call monovision. I asked him about driving glasses. I'm Ted's navigator and I really need to be able to read signs sooner. He gave me a prescription for progressive lenses that have three different levels so I can see distance, middle and close out of both eyes when I wear them.

When I took the prescription to have it filled and they checked my record they were a bit confused. The prescription for each eye was opposite the other and less strong than previously. I explained my choice of monovision for my cataract surgery and she said then it made sense.

Today I'll get my clothes put together because we are leaving early in the morning. Kara called and asked if we would serve as EMEs (Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, i.e., give out Communion) at Sam's Mass. She said they are trying to station us so Ted and I will actually give Sam the host and wine. How wonderful if it works. It is also our 45th anniversary and I can't think of a more special way to spend it.

Sam's party is at Dave & Buster's which is a restaurant and arcade. We have a private room for the 32 people attending. I typed up the menu selections Kara chose and decorated it with Sam's picture and some Eucharistic symbols. Then I printed it on card stock instead of just paper. My little contribution to the day. In addition to dinner, each person gets a $10 arcade card to play games. I told Sam he could have mine unless they have Skeeball! If so, I'm going to play with him but will give him any prize tickets I win. I'm sure the kids attending will end up with more cards than they can use up.

If you are so inclined, say a prayer for two friends of mine that are terminally ill with cancer. Their time here with us is growing short and it is a tough time for all involved. Thanks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Super Fun Weekend and Now Columbus

I think the Tea Party was a success. They clocked 11,000 going through the turnstiles but the paper reported 6,000. And the late night news didn't even cover it! And this is Texas. Can't even imagine what else gets ignored as news in the coastal states. Blogs and tweets are not news. Investigative reporting showing both sides of a story is journalism. I'm still trying to learn what passport Barry Soetoro, Indonesian national, Islam religion, traveled on to the U.S. to accept a foreign student scholarship at Occidental College. They can trace a cow to its barn in Canada but no one knows the answer to this? Remember, this is a blog, not the news, just my opinion.

Now on to the good stuff. I did laundry and ironed on Friday (not good stuff by most people's standards) but that evening we went to Wind Down. Remember last month when I complained there were no desserts? Well there was a table full this time - cheesecake, Harvey Wallbanger cake, a birthday cake, apple strudel and lemon squares. Michele said "someone" complained last month about no desserts so everyone overdid it. I told her "that would be me!" I chose the lemon squares.

There was a big crowd and the night was perfect. Michele's yard is like a visit to a commercial gardens. She has flowers and plants everywhere plus a vegetable garden and fruit trees. Last time she came here she brought me lemons (she must know about those lemon squares) and green peppers.

I met a new couple who were going out the next day to look at RVs. They are looking for a lighter weight bumper pull travel trailer due to the need for their SUV to pull it. They had lots of questions and I was more than happy to answer them. The party is supposed to end at 10 but I think it was closer to 11 when we left. Alden always makes sure there is one bottle of Riesling just for me. How sweet of him.

Saturday night was the performance of Always, Patsy Cline at the Opry in Magnolia. We've had reservations for a few months now, ever since we learned it was coming. Terry, Carol, Vince and Susan went with us. I saw this play at Loch Haven Park in Orlando more than 10 years ago but was anxious to see it again. If you really know me, you know she's my favorite. The ringtone on my phone is her singing Crazy. When it goes off Ted doesn't say your phone is ringing, he says Patsy's singing.

We ate dinner at Las Fuentas in Magnolia, our favorite Mexican restaurant. It was the first time Vince and Susan ate there and they really liked it. Their menu is more extensive than most Mexican restaurants. From the Margaritas to the sopapillas, it was a great meal.

We had seats in the second row and the play was terrific. Here's a short synopsis of the play. In 1959 Patsy appeared on the Arthur Godfrey show and Louise of Huntsville, TX became a huge fan. She called the radio station every day to request a Patsy Cline song. In 1961 when Patsy came to the Esquire dance hall in Hempstead, TX, Louise and friends went to see her and struck up a friendship. Patsy spent the night at Louise's house (Houston is a long taxi ride from Hempstead and there weren't any taxis anyway) and she took her to the radio station for an interview Louise arranged and then to the airport. Thus began a series of letters back and forth until Patsy's untimely death in 1963. The gal playing Patsy sang 27 songs in two hours and did a bang up job. This Louise was a hoot and outshone the one I saw in Orlando by a mile.

We're going to church this morning and then Ted has to leave for a flight to Columbus, OH. He'll be back tomorrow sometime. As for me - I'm tempted to go see the last performance of the play again!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Passed on the Tea Party

I have been out and about all week and tonight I am simply tired. Ted, Terry and Carol have gone to the Tea Party at the Sam Houston Raceway. I just didn't have it in me to join them.

Monday was a fiasco for Ted getting the new plates for the trailer. We went to storage, hooked up, drove to the Flying J, got on the scale, unhooked the truck, called to tell the cashier to weigh the trailer. Then we had to hook back up, pull it off, park and go inside. So far, so good.

We put it back in storage and came home. Ted then took the bill of sale, our insurance, the Arizona title, the VIN ID certification, the weight document, a copy of our trust and a check to the place where you get tags. First problem, he needed to fill out two more papers and one needed my signature AND they needed the original of our trust WITH A SEAL. So he came home, I signed the paper and gave him the original in the lawyer's blue paper with obvious original signatures but no seal. We were both pretty frustrated by then. I told him to tell them the original was good enough to buy the house and it should be good enough to get a license tag. Why you would title your RV into someone else's trust is beyond me. When he went back they accepted it all and we now have a tag!!

In the meantime I had gone to Canasta and had a good time playing with my friends. I came real close to winning but fell a bit short. Since you only pay $1 to play, even if you win you don't get much. It's all for fun.

Tuesday we went over Rayford to visit Jay, Stella and our friend Bill. There was a group from the campground going to Big E McGee's for an early dinner so we went with them. Our marketing attempt had worked; but even better, they had gone on line and printed out Buy One, Get One Free coupons for everyone so we only paid for one dinner. We came back and visited some more before heading home.

The CWJF coffee was Wednesday at 10 so I picked up Jacque at 9, then got the other four ladies at Starbucks and headed south. We received our calendars and books plus they took our picture for the leaders use only. We had to hold a board with our name on it and it looked like a mug shot. We get a nice portrait done at orientation and that one goes in the directory. Good thing! When I got home I checked on things, Ted was gone shooting, so I took off for the mall and went right to Happy Hour. I had a couple glasses of wine and ate dinner there. By the time I got home, Ted was home too.

Today was the Newcomer's Luncheon and I picked up Teri at 11. We had made plans for our table the night before so we had a good group. We sure laughed a lot with all the stories. They had a white elephant auction but our table only bought two items.

I had to go back to the mall because for the first time in my life, the slacks I bought were too short. If I can find a pair that doens't need hemming it's a miracle, but to be too short is unheard of. Thankfully they had the same colors and size in Regular instead of Short.

By the time I got back Ted was getting ready to go to the Tea Party. With all the bags, hangers and new clothes, my bedroom looked like a bomb went off. I also needed to get things in a semblance of order in the closet. So I sent him off and I'm going to put my feet up shortly. I really am physically tired.

We have another busy weekend and then a short week before we leave for Michigan for Sam's First Communion.

I may get a job. I need the rest.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hot Time in the Old Town This Weekend

Saturday was the CWJF Gala at the Marriott. We went to Susan and Vince's and rode together to the hotel. They had been working there all day so knew right where to park in the garage. We used the walkway to walk across to the ballroom where our group was.

There must have been 400 people and lots of auction items to bid on. There were four large live auction items, an auction board, a silent auction and a raffle. This is their biggest fund raiser of the year.

We enjoyed drinks from the open bar and inspected all the auction items. Susan introduced me to a lot of women and I saw some of those I had met previously at the information coffee. I'm terrible with names and this is going to take me awhile. This is Ted and Susan at the bar.

Ted and I bought a raffle ticket, bid on a wine cooler, a digital photo frame and two beautiful vertical mirrors for either side of our china cabinet. We didn't win the raffle and were outbid on all the others. Susan and I did buy a 10-girl overnight trip to Austin off the big board for $1400. We have 7 gals lined up and won't have any trouble getting three more. That's only $140 a piece and we'll have a lot of fun. It includes meals and accommodations. Austin is a fun town and with 10 of us, it should be a blast. The date is in November when I know I'm available.

After a delicious dinner there was dancing to a great band. The vocalists were so talented and we enjoyed them. The dance floor was full and we danced some ourselves. Susan helped with the silent auction bids and then we all headed home from a very enjoyable night.

Our weather has been so nice and Sunday after church Dave and Karen drove up from Houston to attend The Woodlands Waterway Art Fair with us. This fair keeps expanding and each year more and more of the waterway gets lined with vendors. We didn't buy anything but Karen and Dave purchased three paintings. We saw Fr. Tom and chatted with him while they made two of their purchases. Afterwards we ate at Tesar's which was very good. They had the doors open because of the pleasant weather. We promised them we would drive into Houston soon to visit. Last year we attended the Stages Repertory Theater's production of Grey Gardens with them.

Today we have to take the RV to the Flying J to get it weighed. It's the last information we need to get the new tags. If we had known this we could have done it while traveling to or from the valley. Ted called to see if he had everything and they told him he needed the VIN certified and our mechanic did that plus we needed it weighed. The weight is something Ted wants to know because it matters to the truck. When he buys a new one he wants to know he is getting what he needs. Our present truck pulled our old RV up and down mountains with no problems. We pulled this one on flat ground with no problems. We're not sure how it would do in mountains because we think it is about 1000 lbs. heavier. At least after today we'll know for sure.

I'm playing Canasta this afternoon so it will be another busy start to another busy week. Get out in the sunshine. It provides Vitamin D and helps your body absorb calcium. Important facts for us "old folks."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It Turned Into a Busy Week

Thank goodness I had Monday to catch up from the Wine Tasting and Easter because it was my only day free. It gave me a breather.

On Tuesday we went to Rayford to pick up Jay & Stella and we headed to Old Town Spring to a new restaurant that serves family style. We were well after the lunch crowd and had the place to ourselves. The food was really good and you could have as much as you wanted. We took a stack of their marketing cards back to the campground to be put in the information bags that are given to people checking in. We had a great visit sitting outside in super weather but at 6:45 Jay and I both said TV time was 7. He likes NCIS and I'm a Dancing with the Stars nut. So we parted and promised to get together next week.

Wednesday was Continental Breakfast with Newcomers. I'm supposed to be co-chair with Ann on this but she does ALL the arrangements getting people to host the event. We went to a lovely home in Creekside and the landscaping was fabulous. It sat on a pond, had an arbor, a waterfall, etc. I was very impressed. We had a nice crowd of mostly new people and that is our intent.

I had a full car (8 in all) to go back to Old Town Spring to eat at Ellen's on Thursday. April was my month to arrange the neighborhood ladies' luncheon. We had 14 people attend and that's a good size crowd. We keep the group at no more than 20 so it was a good showing. My neighbor Nancy is going to speak to the Moody Endowment in Galveston about some plates she collects that were also collected by Mary Moody. What an honor for her. There has been a plate made every year before the mold is broken since 1895 and Nancy is missing just 1895 and her 1896 is a broken plate but she has both pieces. She said when she married Ken he wasn't enthused about putting 115 holes in the wall!

Friday didn't go quite as planned. Rebecca called to say her mother-in-law was having surgery and she wanted to be at the hospital. Since I had to clean last Saturday and then do it again on Monday, the house really wasn't dirty. So I vacuumed, wiped tabletops, did the kitchen floor, etc. - what my Mom called "a lick and a promise." In the afternoon our camping friend Barbara came for a visit. She was at a rally in Conroe and took time to drive down. I fixed lunch and the three of us had lots to talk about. It was so nice to see her.

Last night we were invited to Jody and Dave's to celebrate Terry's birthday. There were 8 of us in all and we had a good time. The weather has been so nice and their yard is lovely. It is on the golf course so they have a wrought iron fence instead of the standard wood ones everyone else has so the view is very nice. Dave grilled some burgers and we had dinner before birthday cake and presents. They are such wonderful hosts and I know Terry was pleased.

We have a busy weekend planned and next week is as full as this one turned out to be. I hope wherever you are you are enjoying all that Spring has to offer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter Y'all

My week has been geared to having Wine Tasting at our home last night. I did go to Old Town Spring with Ann on Wednesday. We checked out the new restaurant, Ellen's, and I booked our neighborhood ladies group in for this coming Thursday.

We had a fun time perusing the stores in Old Town Spring and then hit some others on the way home. I bought more pillows for the couches and after taking a few back and replacing a damaged one, I think what I have now is working OK. It was Happy Hour night but I started with a headache and chose to pass on that.

Ted and I both worked hard at getting things ready. Most of the work was done outside. We are just finishing up the pollen season and everything outside was covered with it. Also the courtyard tiles were just about black from mold and algae from the winter. Ted used Clorox water on the courtyard and got that looking great. Then he cleaned the deck but had a hard time getting all the pollen off. Next he power washed all the furniture. We put flowering baskets on all our hooks and citronella candles on the tables. It looked great when he was finished.

Inside I was cleaning and preparing serving stations. One table was for the wine and glasses, one counter for serving the dinner food, another one for a coffee/dessert station and appetizers on the dining room table.

By removing the chairs from around the kitchen table, people had better access to the wine. And I used the chairs throughout the house for more seating. It all worked out fine and everyone enjoyed the metts, brats, German potato salad, onion pie, Reuben sandwiches, salad, German chocolate cake, etc. that was the menu everyone contributed to. I put out the six photo books I had made up of our riverboat cruise last fall and lots of people enjoyed looking at them. When the party broke up I was pooped!

We opted for 10 o'clock Mass this morning knowing it would be packed. We arrived around 9:40 and were directed to the gym because the church was already full. We found seats OK and after Mass we got out of the parking lot with no trouble because of where we parked.

We came home for about an hour and continued cleaning up from last night. Both tablecloths had red wine stains so I did a load of laundry. I had run the dishwasher last night so I reloaded that. Overall, we were in good shape.

Around noon we drove over to Terry and Carol's to pick them up. They had invited us to brunch at the country club. It was a very nice brunch and of course I ate too much. We sat and talked afterward then dropped them off. They invited us in but they had gone to 6:30 sunrise service so I knew they were probably eager to take a nap. I had some more to do at home so we came home.

I hope the risen Lord brings you comfort thoughout this year. He remains the reason for this season.