Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cards, cards and more cards

As if all the card games at the Easter rally weren't enough, I had two Canasta dates planned for this week. I had to get everything put away and the laundry done on Monday because I headed out at 8:15 on Tuesday morning for the Junior Forum office. We set up tables for a Board Meeting dinner. First we had to move all the chairs out and stack them, then open and set up the tables, then bring the chairs back in. Tablecloths, napkins and silverware were put in place. We had a big discussion about runners to put on the tables. There was a piece of decorative cloth and we needed to decide how it should be cut to supply us with six runners. My math skills came in handy! I have to be careful because I don't want to be appointed Treasurer which was mentioned!

When I returned home it was time to make two trays of lasagna for Ted's shooting banquet. It was such a hit last time they requested it again. Not one to buy into BS, I think free food prepared by someone else is always welcome! I don't mind though because it is for Ted and his friends. They were disappointed I didn't attend. Ted came home with another trophy so I had to move the two tall ones to the top of the filing cabinet to make room on the table. When Randy stopped by I told him to stop letting Ted win because I'm running out of room.

I had an evening of Canasta with our small group that night. We got started late so I got home late but with my $5 in hand. No, I didn't win for score. I got the consolaton prize which means they pulled my score card out of the basket. But I'll take it!

Wednesday found me working some more on the reunion stuff. We were really clipping along with 80+ attendees but there is a serious illness that threatens our Connecticut attendees from all making the trip. I am praying all turns out well and they are able to join us. I thought I had the T-shirt thing under control and now the ones with new babies want onesies for them instead. I'm working with my nephew on this. He'll have the say so about whether it can be done or not. I ran the finances and we're doing good there. I called the hotel and 25 of the 30 rooms we blocked have been taken. I know some are staying off sight and there are two of us in the campground across the street from the hotel so we're moving right along.

I picked Gerre up at noon today and we rode together to Canasta at Carol's. I had the most awful cards today. As soon as we were done I told Gerre we had to head out because I was due at the CWJF office at 5:00. I told them if either of us won, to just hold the money. I have no phone or e-mail messages, which doesn't surprise me, so I'm pretty safe in saying I didn't win!

Down at the office we ran into a wrinkle in that the play we put on for Book Smart (where we do a play of a book and then each child receives a hard cover copy of that book) couldn't be performed for the Advisory Board because the music CD was lost. They are hoping the person who made the original still has it and can burn another. Otherwise they have to start from scratch. The dinner was great but it was 9 o'clock when I got home but at least I don't have to cook for myself.

I'm tired. I'm going to curl up on the couch. Ted is in Beaumont. More later.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in Montgomery

We had plans to travel to Palacios and Corpus Christi over Easter weekend with the Texas Boomers. But the park in Palacios got things messed up and it was moved to Montgomery. So we missed out being on the coast and also the side trip to Corpus. However, on Thursday we hooked up the RV and traveled to Montgomery, TX for the weekend with about 40 other rigs.

We and about 30 other people arrived on Thursday and we all went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. They did a fantastic job of getting our drinks and food out as ordered and then correct bills for all. It was a good time catching up with everyone that we haven't seen since last Labor Day. Our schedule keeps us from attending a lot of the Texas Boomer outings.

Friday brought in the rest of the folks. We played some games - Mexican Train, Skip Bo, Phase 10, Farkle - and the rally hall was readied for dinner.

But the big work was going on outside where preparation for boiling shrimp and frying catfish, talapia and hush puppies was underway. There were ice cream makers going too for home made ice cream. To keep the shrimp cold (and safe) they had what looked like a kid's swimming pool but it was a rectangle about 4 ft. long and 2 ft. wide. It was filled with ice and shrimp. The container is made just for this purpose. It would be great for any picnic or BBQ to sit bowls of food in when the weather is hot. It was white plastic with rounded blow up sides. Neat! Everything tasted great. Ted and I were assigned clean-up duty for Friday night along with some others and many hands made the work light.

Saturday morning we had a community breakfast complete with Mimosas followed by Easter Egg bowling. Ted's Wii practice paid off because he won his group but came in second in the play off. He was glad he lost when he discovered Mr. Wonderful was the prize. Mr. Wonderful has been around for years. He is a talking doll that says all kinds of "over the top" things. Ted won him one year at Christmas but we managed to unload him somewhere along the line. And Baby Dunkette found a new home when she was stuffed in a PJ bunny bag and given as a door prize. We have a lot of jokesters in our group.

Jay and Stella drove out to spend Saturday afternoon with us and to have dinner with the group. There were many old friends who were glad to see them. We had a potluck and there was way too much great food. I made BBQ chicken legs. After Jay and Stella left, Ted and I were tired and went to the RV and then to bed fairly early because we had to get up for church. We went to St. Mary's in Plantersville Sunday morning. This is a 100+ year old painted church. In the Schulenburg area there are many "painted churches" but St. Mary's is the only one we've visited this far east. It was a lovely service and we went back home where I prepared our own Easter breakfast.

Many folks had to leave Sunday afternoon but those that stayed went swimming or played cards. Late afternoon, about two dozen of us went to a nearby diner for our Easter dinner. There aren't a lot of restaurants open on Easter, not many that can accommodate that many people on short notice and still provide separate checks but this place did. It was a little wait for the food but it was all very good, came out correctly and no problem with the bills. This is chicken fried steak, a perfectly acceptable holiday dinner in the south.

We played cards again and then finished cleaning up the rally hall. Our wagonmasters spend a lot of time bringing things, setting up and then making sure things go as planned and that everyone knows what is happening and when. We didn't mind pitching in at the end to finish off the job.

This morning we took our time cleaning and closing up the RV and then took off for home. I have laundry to do and a busy tomorrow so I best be getting busy. Oh, and by the way, the purple flowers are blooming again!! They all needed water badly when we got back but I guess I didn't kill them after all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ted's Home

Having Ted gone for almost a week, first in Dallas and then in Cincinnati, wasn't much fun. Besides killing, I mean tending, his flowers, I had to take out the garbage and make my own coffee. I saved the banking for him to do though. I'm getting lots of checks for the family reunion so I saved them for him to take to the bank.

He and Terry met up with Tom in Louisville and drove together to their two sisters' houses where they all stayed, two at one, one at the other. Of course Kathy had Skyline chili ready for their dinner.

Sunday was Mass and then late in the afternoon they were at the funeral home for about four hours during the vistation. They saw lots of cousins and old neighbors they hadn't seen in some time. Afterwards they all went out for dinner.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, after church on Sunday I took a day of rest. I finished up a book I had been reading and watched Amazing Race. It's good to put your feet up now and then.

The funeral on Monday was beautiful. Beth's girls did a wonderful job planning the Mass. There was a luncheon at the golf course restaurant where Ted's sisters live afterwards. Ted has taken quite a shine to 3-year old Gracie, his sister's granddaughter. He kept telling me funny stories about her antics and her T-ball video was a hoot. She wanted to know "who are you guys?" If you remember the Christmas card I posted with the live manger scene, Gracie was the angel while her two sisters and brother were Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I thought it was the greatest Christmas card ever.

I played bunco with my group on Monday and then came home to prepare for Tuesday's activity at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for the seniors. I had to cook and cube three cups of chicken, three cups of celery, 6 eggs, an onion and a green pepper. That took me a little while and gave me something to clean up in the kitchen. I watched DWTS and went to bed by 10.

Today we had 180 seniors for the luncheon program. For some reason I was put on bingo duty. Melinda did the calling and I did the turning and placing the balls in the right spot. There was a great program of six children who all played the banjo. It was very entertaining and the seniors were really into the performance. Afterwards we served lunch of chicken casserole, croissants, deviled eggs and pistachio salad. I was the "salad slinger." Dessert was carrot cake with a little nest on top built from green coconut and jelly beans. A peep finished it off.

Getting 180 lunches followed by 180 desserts out in a timely manner is not an easy task. But the seniors leave as soon as they eat so clean up starts right away. I picked up the cream and sugars along with the salt and peppers. Then I folded all the tablecloths (24!) for the three ladies who were scheduled to take them home to launder. The last thing I did before leaving was to wash the last of the three big coffeepots.

Carol and I drove to pick up Terry & Ted and we went to dinner. It was nice to come home and have Ted here with me this evening. I want to get out and do a bit of shopping tomorrow after I walk with Gerre. But you know about the best laid plans of mice and men.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The End to a Busy Week

Wednesday we tried again with the oven. This fellow changed out the sensor. He also backed off the extra 15 degrees the other fellow had calibrated into my oven. It took longer to start beeping, went to 350 and stayed there. However, it still beeps way before it hits 350. Does anyone know if this is normal? I probably should bake a cake or something to see what happens. I can adjust knowing the beep doesn't mean the oven is actually ready as long as it holds a true temp while cooking.

I have to pick our neighborhood luncheon place next month so Ann and I went to try out the Dragonfly Cafe. It's a nice ladies luncheon type restaurant connected to a boutique, spa and hair salon. We had a nice lunch, chatted about some things for our Breakfast group for next year and then headed back to my house for coffee.

Since Ted was still in Dallas, I decided to join the girls at Happy Hour at the country club. There were about eight of my friends there and we ended up eating dinner. It was going on 9:00 before I got home.

Thursday was our neighborhood luncheon and I picked Nancy up on my way. We had a group of more than a dozen and had a private room at Red Lobster. We have a new person joining us because she has just retired and we caught up on all the happenings of comings and goings in the neighborhood. The men have a lunch day too and it really is helpful in staying in touch with one another. Too often people don't even know their neighbors. Ted came home that afternoon from his business trip.

Last night was Wind Down and there were over 50 people at Lynn's house. It was a gorgeous night and many were outside. Her yard is so nice and three different groups were gathered; one at the patio table, the second on the porch and the third in the gazebo. A good many just stayed inside. It was a good time.

Ted and Terry are flying to Cincinnati today to attend the funeral of his cousin. Carol and I are staying behind. They will be gone until Tuesday. We've gone from the tremendously wonderful week with all his family here to once again a gathering for a sad occasion, all within just two weeks time. We had all planned to go to the Tea Party Tax Day rally tonight so Carol and I will do that without them. Tomorrow will be church and a long day without Ted at home.

These two trips are keeping him away from home for almost a whole week. Just enough time for me to do in his flowers. The Boston fern, spider plant and pink petunias are doing OK. The two purple petunia pots are not looking so good. I don't think they like me. They must miss Ted. Bummer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two T-Shirt Weekend

Pretty soon I'll have a new summer wardrobe! LOL. I received my green Blue Bell Fun Run 2011 T-shirt on Saturday and a black Waterway Art Fair T-shirt on Sunday. Someday I'm going to make a quilt out of the graphics on these T-shirts and also our family reunion ones. Now all I have to do is learn to sew.

Sunday was very warm and I stood for three hours checking wristbands on people entering the Waterway and also putting on wristbands as people paid to enter. There was a nice breeze and that made it pleasant enough at Gate 5 where I was stationed. The time passed quickly and three different friends used this gate to exit so I had the opportunity to visit with them.

I picked Jacque up on Monday morning and we drove to a community center associated with the Women's Shelter. Once there, we filled dozens of plastic eggs with candy, enough to fill two 60 qt. containers. We made up 40 Easter baskets for children living in the shelters. We finished them off by placing them in cellophane bags printed with bunnies and tieing them with colorful ribbons. Many hands made light work. Afterwards we all went to lunch then I came home and started the laundry.

Today I finished the laundry and did the ironing. I had to be at the Junior Forum office for a meeting and lunch. Because I had enough time beforehand, I stopped in at Coffee and Chit Chat for a bit. It has been a long time since I've participated in this activity. There was quite a crowd but I didn't stay very long.

Our lunch and meeting were over quickly at the office and soon I was on my way back home. Ted had called me to say his cousin Beth had died from her bout with lung cancer. He will be flying to Cincinnati this weekend with Terry to attend the funeral. It is sad but no one wants a loved one to suffer. As a child, Beth and her family lived in the other side of the duplex where Ted's family lived so they were very close to her.

It was the end of another shooting league and Ted called to tell me to make room for one more trophy! From there he was proceeding on to Dallas for a few business days. I went to get hair bows for Morgan. I had given her a strip of bows for Christmas and she wanted pastel ones for her Easter dress. She told her Mommy she thought Grandma would do that for her. Of course! I now have 14 bows to send. I hope one of them goes with her new dress. I met up with Gerre and we had dinner and closed McAllister Deli. They had all the chairs up on the tables and we were the only ones left!

Tomorrow is the return of the GE repairman. The last one would not listen to my complaint that the beeper goes off saying the oven has reached the right temperature way before it ever really does. After I took the phone survey I went and turned the oven on. It beeped within 4 minutes and my thermometer inside said 200 and the digital dial outside said 350. So tomorrow I'm not turning it on when he calls me and tells me to. He can put his gauge on it cold, start it up and see for himself what the gauge says when it beeps that the oven has reached 350. This should be interesting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sensational Saturday

I was up at O-Dark-Thirty on Saturday morning to get ready for a 6 am pick-up for our trip to Brenham. Arriving right on time, I joined Jennifer and Gerre as we headed west to Brenham. We watched the sun come up out the back window and arrived just in time to get an awesome parking spot. We made our way to the high school cafeteria to get our packet. Unlike most 5K runs, they had a time chip imbedded in our bib number. Cool!

After some orange slices, bananas, coffee and a pit stop, we made our way to the Start Line. There was some confusion as to which way we were running so that delayed our start by a few minutes. Once settled, off we went. There were mostly young people in this race and we had three accomplishments in mind: 1) finish; 2) not be last; and 3) do it in under an hour. Unlike our previous attempts during cool weather and on flat surfaces, it didn't get below 70 overnight and was making its way into the 80s ... and there are hills in Brenham, TX. We did our best to maintain a constant momentum but the ability to see people in front of you going up a hill and then disappear down the other side made us wonder where the turn was. It's also discouraging to see the young men on their way back while you are still heading to the turn around.

When all was said and done, we 1) finished; 2) had LOTS of folks still behind us and 3) my chip time was 57:53. Mission Accomplished! We grabbed our free Blue Bell ice cream bar and made our way to the car only to sit a half hour trying to get out of the parking lot. We stopped in Chappell Hill for lunch and were home about 1:00.

When I arrived Ted said my deceased friend's daughter had called. She was cleaning out her mother's things and had found the Lladro that I had always admired and had asked about purchasing. So off I went for the Lladro. It's one I've always wanted and could never find and now I'll always have a piece to remind me of Elmira.

After about a half hour nap I showered and started gettng ready for church. Afterwards Ted took me to the the Marriott for the Junior Forum gala while he went on to Terry's for a birthday dinner. My junior forum group decided to just have a girls' table instead of bringing husbands. Ted was fine with that.

The room was decorated beautifully and the meal of veal was very good. They have a silent auction, live auction and board auction. I donated three things and last I looked the bids totaled $425 but it may have gone even higher. I removed three things I wasn't using from my house, Junior Forum made money, and someone else can now enjoy them. A win-win outcome. Since I had no dance partner, when the music started I called Ted and he came to pick me up. By then it was 10:30 and having started the day so early, I was ready for bed.

Janeen, Donna Marie and Jeanette at our table for the Cirque de la Fantaisie.

Today I'm scheduled to work 3-6 at the Waterway Art Fair. It will be closing time by then so maybe I'll be on clean-up duty. Who knows? Stay tuned.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week, in This Place, Nothing Much Happened

I am so grateful for my Newcomer and Junior Forum social activities and volunteer opportunities. I kept the end of March, first part of April open because of the company coming. It didn't take me any time to get caught up after our company went home and there I sat.

I walked with Gerre on Monday, and waited for the GE repairman to come on Tuesday. He said my oven was off 15 degrees, pushed two buttons simultaneously three times and charged me $130. You can imagine what I told the survey person when they called!

In the afternoon, Ann stopped by for a visit. She wanted to see the few things we did to the house and to pick up the big coffeepot for Continental Breakfast on Thursday. Then I walked again with Gerre on Wednesday. To keep from going stark raving mad, I had my car detailed and got a pedicure.

Finally on Thursday I had something on the calendar. This was my first time to work at Regent Care Nursing Home. We were having an Easter party for the residents. I was given a packet with tablecloth, decorations, name tags, etc. so I got my table ready. We had 15 tables. There are a lot of stipulations about what different residents can and cannot eat so you have to be careful. They wear tags to alert you but some of them are crafty and take off or hide their tags so you can't see them.

There was a DJ playing old songs and the residents really seemed to enjoy the music and singing along. I have a new boyfriend now, Harold. He and I danced with him in his wheelchair through lots of the songs. He knew all the words to the songs. Harold was just my speed. I had worked up a thirst with all my dancing and singing and had to leave Harold for a bit to get a drink. Then all the volunteers did the Stroll in the middle of the room. I won't even say how many years it has been since I did that.

When I left I was amazed at how much I enjoyed myself at a place that so many had said was depressing. It was a great feeling.

We had plans for dinner with Gerre and Barry but their car ended up in the shop and it didn't work out so we took a raincheck. I ran a few errands returning a blouse, dropping off shoes at Beth's for "soles for souls" and the Canasta bag at Carol's for next week.

I walked with Gerre this morning, Ted is working at the Gun Club for a charity event and Rebecca just finished cleaning.

Tomorrow begins a week where I have lots to do and every day will be busy. I'll like that for a change of pace over last week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quiet Weekend

We went to church Saturday evening and then met Stella and Jay for dinner. It's been awhile since we've had a chance to visit with them. We went to Sam's afterwards and then parted company. They had to get back to let the dogs out so declined my invitation to come to our house.

Sunday Ted went shooting and I went to Lowe's and bought three plants to replace the ones that froze. I don't know what they were but they had a big root system and it took quite a bit of digging to get them out to put the new ones in. Barbara our neighbor was working in her yard and we had a nice chat. She is a flight attendant and is seldom home so it was nice to catch up with her.

The grass around the wall in the front just wasn't doing well so I took the rake and got up a whole garbage can full of thatch. Then I upped the sprinkler by a couple minutes. It gets fertilized on a regular basis so I'm hoping this bit of care will help.

My oven is acting up so I'm having GE come today to take a look. I think it is the thermostat. It beeps when it reaches the set temperature but the thermometer I put inside says it is only 225 when it is set for 350. And I've seen it at 300 degrees when it is set at 350 while cooking. Barb and I had trouble with it while baking the lasagna so it's time to have them take a look.

Gerre and I did our 5K walk this morning but it is getting warmer down here and we could really feel it. On Saturday we are doing the Blue Bell Fun Run and we'll have both heat and some slight grades to contend with. I think we'll feel this one more than the Run Thru the Woods at Thanksgiving and the Rodeo Run in February when the air was cooler and the course totally flat.

It is so quiet with everyone gone. None of our joint Powerball tickets won the big money so everyone had to return to their normal routine. Such is life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

All's Well that Ends Well

Wednesday morning I cooked our Cincinnati German goetta for breakfast and Dan cooked eggs. It was the only "big" breakfast we had all week because of being so busy. Thanks to Barb, my awesome helper, before noon we had all four beds stripped, sheets laundered and back on the beds. I'm making sure she stays at my house next time too!

Erma packed up her car and headed out to Louisiana. She would call later to say she was 40 miles from home and thank us for a very good time. Everyone else was getting packed up for their 1 o'clock or so flights when the phone rang. There was a very short layover for them to catch their second flight and then the Houston plane was going to be a little late. Dave got on the phone with Delta and got them all changed to a straight through flight that left late afternoon.

So off everyone went to lunch at the country club except me, Ted and Dan who had a 1:50 flight. Ted did the first run to the airport and Dan arrived back in Miami without incident and drove home to Key West.

Everyone arrived from lunch and Ted loaded up my Expedition with the remaining five and did run number two to the airport. That car of mine sure comes in handy. When I get around to replacing it, I think it will be another Expedition.

With the laundry done, everything else in order and leftover lasagna for dinner, I was able to watch Survivor with no problem. It was a great feeling knowing everyone had such a good time. There were no glitches in the travel plans that didn't work out, plenty of time to visit, see some of Texas and Lord knows we had plenty to eat. It was an awesome time with the family.

Thursday I was back to my normal social routine and I played Canasta with the large group. They pay 1st, 2nd, position #8 in the middle and last. I keep ending up #7 so I need to get a whole lot better, a little worse or a lot worse. I think this will continue to be a $5 donation to the group for a long while.

Ted had a doctor's appointment on Friday to have a cyst removed from inside his lip. About a month ago, they had removed a much smaller bump, sent it to pathology which said it was nothing, but it returned. Because he waited until the company was gone to get it removed a second time, it had gotten much bigger. The doctor said if this didn't work he would do surgery and remove the piece of vein it is growing on and sew the vein ends together. He has a fat lip now until the swelling goes down.

No plans for the weekend except maybe watching the Final Four and going to church. I need to plant two or three things in our front yard to replace those that apparently are not going to come back from the freeze. The other things are doing well. Ted has kept the hanging baskets alive for almost two weeks now. What a gardener he is!!!