Thursday, May 26, 2011


Just a quick post today before I head to the airport. All the storms moving through north of here last night were freaking me out because I'll have to fly through them if they don't move on quickly. I also don't want to miss my connection. However, none of the rain fell on us.

Tuesday was a long day. After our walk, I came home to get the house ready for Canasta company and then dressed in my uniform to work at the thrift store. I tried working four hours there the first time but the constant bending, pulling clothes out of bags, got to my back so now I just do two hours. It went by quickly and I left for the grocery store.

Herein lies half my weight problem. We are always playing Canasta, bunco, attending Continental Breakfast, Wind Down, Wine Tasting, Dining Out or some other activity. The common denominator here is FOOD! Most of the girls were going for pizza right before they came here so I didn't overdo it. Ted will be happy that a few more bottles of the Shiner Bock are gone! His sister really liked it so Ted bought it when she was down. I'm taking what's left with us in the RV to give to her this summer.

I had decent enough cards but not good enough to win. It was a fun night with just 8 playing. This is a very casual group of close friends who do it because we want to get together with each other, not just get out for an evening.

Yesterday I walked with Gerre. Then I went to the dentist for my cleaning. I dropped off a prescription refill at Wal-Mart and took four watches to the Battery Place to have new batteries put in all of them. Every one of them stopped working about the same time. I was down to one watch that was working. Now that I think about it, since I had them all replaced at the same time, it's going to happen again down the road.

I did a quick load of laundry and got my things all together to pack. I had a hard time getting seat assignments on today's flights but finally yesterday afternoon I was able to. I was not going to the airport without a seat assignment. That makes you ripe for getting bumped and I certainly didn't want that.

I headed over to the country club for Susan's last Happy Hour. She is leaving June 3 so I hope to see her one more time after I return. They will be getting packed and loaded June 2 and 3 and I get back June 1 so we'll have to make it happen quickly.

She's been a great friend and I'm going to miss her like crazy. She was the glue that held us all together. I wish her all the best in her new home in Atlanta.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

Thanks for the memory
Of things I can’t forget
The first day we ever met,
Our trips to shop and debt
we hid on cards and yet
How lucky I was

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's A Hit!

Here is the apron - and the finished product - cupcakes for her birthday class party today.

Today is also my other granddaughter Ally's 17th birthday and tomorrow my oldest daughter Kelly turns 45! Where have the years gone? I asked Ted if he would like to drop back to 1981, the year we moved to Michigan, and do those 30 years over. He said only if he knew then what he knows now. I think we all feel that way.

I took him to the airport yesterday morning and he arrived in Fort Lauderdale just fine. The airport there is huge now but when we lived in that area in 1971, it was almost an outpost. There was sort of a crescent shaped kiosk sort of thing and you had to walk on the tarmac for all flights. Times have changed.

Gerre and I took a new lady we met at the Newcomers lunch to the movies. She has just moved here and is trying to meet people. We had lunch at Berryhill and then saw The Bridesmaids. I wish the language hadn't been so rough but it was funny. Certainly not for children. I think it may become a Bachelorette party staple in the future.

I'm going to walk with Gerre in a half hour then I have a busy day. My last duty for Junior Forum this year will be two hours at the thrift store. Then I need to go to the grocery to get things for tonight's Canasta game here at my house. Maybe Ted left town just so he didn't have to deal with being gone all evening or getting stuck in the bedroom watching the smaller TV. It's much easier on him when I have ladies over during the day. The shooting range is always open then.

"A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride.” ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Didn't Make The Cut - I'm Still Here

Well ... this was the week I wanted church to run over an hour ... and it did ... and I'm still here ... didn't help to be in church at 6 p.m. So far, all of my friends and family are still here too. Just wanted you to know. P.S. - brown nosing obviously doesn't work! I'm glad I bought that birthday gift because the party was ON!

Ted had a great time at his charity shooting event. It was for Elves & More, an organization that provides new bicycles to underprivileged children who sign and complete a contract to improve their reading scores. He came in first in his squad and the squad came in second overall. He saw some fellows he hasn't seen in awhile and had a fun time. I went to Jeanette's and visited with some of the ladies in the neighborhood. Ida will be moving in a week or so.

We went to church Saturday night and then to Aurora's 60th birthday party. They had a great guitarist and there was eating, drinking, dancing out around the pool. It's hard to imagine that it's almost June here in Texas and we can still be comfortable outside. Susan and Vince were there and they are moving two days after I get back from Florida. I was glad to spend the time with them.

Morgan's birthday party was Friday and her school bus driver made her a princess cake.
Her birthday is Tuesday so I don't know if she opened her present with the new apron in it or not. Her mother is running in a breast cancer race today so I haven't heard from her yet. Maybe she'll send a picture of Morgan wearing her apron.

Sorry about the small photos but I took them off Facebook to share with you.

We are going out with our Dining Out group tonight to Carraba's. I can only remember eating at one in Mesa, AZ years ago. I'm not sure why we don't go there, we drive past it all the time.

Ted leaves for Fort Lauderdale on business tomorrow. He'll come home Thursday, landing a half hour after I take off. So I'll take him to the airport in the morning and on Thursday I'll drive myself, park the car in the garage, leave a message on his phone where it is, and he'll drive himself home. It's starting to sound like days of old when we had to juggle three kids, two jobs, traveling, etc. We managed that, we'll manage this.

For the Antichrist is working now only a little, because we restrain him as we are here and pray, until the rapture, when we will be taken out of the way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And My Hat Came Out Again

After a year of extensive remodeling of her home, our bunco group met at the home of Marleah, one of the original members of our group that will be 10 years old in the fall. She has a fabulous house on the most awesome lot. They have lived in two bedrooms and a bath the last year while the entire house was renovated. We were all so anxious to see the end result and it is beautiful. Most notable is a Texas limestone island in the kitchen that is probably 75 sq. ft. at least. We all enjoyed the tour so much. I think everyone went home with some remodeling project on their mind. We also bid farewell to Mary Bryan who is moving to Cary, NC. Her replacement came to play so it will be a smooth transition but we'll miss her all the same.

I took Tuesday and Wednesday off to get the laundry done and just take it easy. I like days when I don't have to go anywhere or do anything specific. Gerre was gone to Austin so I didn't even walk. I did, however, book another riverboat cruise in France for next April. The group we have traveled with from Amsterdam to Vienna and Antwerp to Basel are going to cruise Nice to Paris next year. We have plenty of time to get the particulars down now that we have picked out the dates. I also received prints from our Trail Run. Look at that determination!

For dinner on Wednesday, Ted smoked a turkey breast. He did a lot of reading, recipe gathering, phone calls to manufacturers, etc. to make sure he was doing this correctly. It cooked faster than we expected but it turned out great. I sent a note to Pat telling her of his success and thanked her again for giving the smoker to us. I shared some of the turkey with Gerre who is having company.

Today was the Newcomers Installation of Officers luncheon and they asked us to wear hats. I think this wedding thing is going to start a new trend here in the U.S. Everyone wore hats when I was young and all the ladies have one on in our wedding pictures from 1965. But that trend fell by the wayside as dressing became more casual. I won't mind a return to those days when you wore your "good" clothes to church on Sunday or out to dinner. I'm getting tired of looking at jeans with rips in them, pants hanging below someone's backside, skirts so short the girl can't raise her arms or bend over to pick something up. Hats are a good start.

At today's luncheon, a fashion show of outfits and matching hats was put on by Marcella M, who has been showcasing them since the 1940s. It was magnificent and the models looked like film stars from days gone by. Another thing of interest was how some of the hats were made out of ordinary things such as the pockets of a coat the hat was made to match. Very entertaining. It was fun to see so many ladies in all kinds of hats.

We have a busy weekend planned. We were scheduled to go to the Wind Down party but Ted was invited to participate in a sporting clay event that will probably include dinner. I was invited to Jeanette's so we opted out of Wind Down and will each do our own thing instead. Saturday is a surprise birthday party with dinner, dancing and swimming. I don't think we'll be doing much of the last two things. Sunday is our Dining Out group. I'm leaving my hat at home.

"It's a language without words. A great hat speaks for itself."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Going To Visit Mickey

We did really well in our 3K Trail Run on Saturday. It was through the woods and we had to watch for mud, horse droppings, tree roots and such. Based on our normal 12 minute kilometer pace, we gave ourselves about 35 minutes to complete the trail. How proud we were to see we did it in just under 30 minutes, right around the 10 minute per kilometer mark. We had coffee and a protein bar before the race and just grabbed a bottle of water after the race. It was only 9:30 when I arrived home.

Ted and I decided to run some errands which included going to two different banks and out to the KOA to pick up a bracelet Barbara had for me. We stopped at our favorite BBQ place for lunch. We went to church at 5 o'clock and then to play Canasta. What an awful night for cards. Instead of marking my score card Donna, I put Pitiful Pearl. It was that bad. This is the last time Vince and Susan will be hosting since their house is sold and they are moving in two weeks.

Ted told me he had plans over Memorial Day associated with two different gun clubs and wanted to know if there was somewhere he needed to be with me. I didn't have anything concrete set up so I told him no, to just do whatever. Then I got to thinking. Kara and family are visiting Kristin and they are all going to Disney World. What fun it would be if I could surprise Morgan and Sam.

It took a lot of internet searching but I finally booked my trip. Since I'm going on Delta with frequent flyer points I have to make a stop somewhere. I chose the flight that goes to Detroit and I will be on the same flight to Orlando as the kids. It's way out of the way to get from Houston to Orlando but it will be such fun to fly the second segment with the kids. Going home I'm going through Atlanta which makes more sense. Kristin and I will be at the Doubletree Lake Buena Vista and Kara, Allen, Sam and Morgan are at their timeshare at Old Key West on the Disney property. The last thing I had to do was order my 4-day ticket to visit the parks. I now have a file bigger than my last will and testament.

Of course Kara has all these reservations for meals made so she is scrambling trying to add me to them. Turning 5 into 6 isn't too big a deal at a restaurant. Few tables are just for 5. And of course she is making my T-shirts to wear so we all match all four days we are at the parks. I think it is Star War Days at Hollywood Studios on Friday, Epcot on Saturday and Magic Kingdom Sunday and Monday until they leave for home. I will spend two more nights at Kristin's before coming home on Wednesday.

We're getting close to our summer departure date and Chris is eager to come take up residence again. It's such a blessing to have him in the neighborhood and so willing to enjoy a place of his own even for a short period of time.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children (and grandchildren - DRR) ... Charles Swindoll.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Blog Went Down

You may have caught my last post where I went into a little rant about not getting a space shuttle here in Houston, but then maybe not. The blog went down and the last thing I posted went away ... apparently for good, because now it is fixed and that post is still gone! So are my friends' postings on their blogs. So now I have to remember what I've done this past week and believe me, the older I get, the harder this is getting to be.

I played Canasta on Monday afternoon but didn't win. Most of us were all in the middle with 24,000 and change, just a few hundred points separating us. The big winner had 26,000. But Ted did manage to connect with Pat and Richard and was able to pick up the smoker. This will be an adventure learning how to cook in it. I have a 10# turkey in the freezer and that is going to be our first victim.

Late that afternoon we met Jay & Stella at Sweet Tomatoes for a going away dinner. They left yesterday, heading to Indiana. We compared summer schedules and really hope we can spend the week of the 4th with them in Michigan. On paper it looks like it will happen; real life is another matter. We'll just have to wait and see.

Gerre is no longer working part time at her church so we can walk whatever days we want. So we walked on Tuesday. During that time we decided to see the movie There Be Dragons that they talked about at church. Since her husband was gone and Ted was grilling out at the gun club with his shooting league, we added dinner to the plan. The movie is about the priest who founded Opus Dei. This organization played a part in The Da Vinci Code and was not well known before that. I had to research it a bit before the movie to help me understand. There is a lot of the Spanish civil war involved but we both enjoyed it. We stopped for a bite and I arrived home after Ted.

Ted left for Dallas on Wednesday so I took the opportunity to return something to Marshall's. I hate trying on clothes so I just buy stuff, take it home to try on, then take what doesn't fit back. Very inefficient but since I don't shop real often, it's not too bad. From there I went to Happy Hour where just a half dozen of us met but we all stayed for dinner. I forgot to set the DVR for Survivor and had to wait until the next day to see it On Demand on Xfinity. I'm realizing I don't really need a DVR because the shows I tape are all available now On Demand at no charge and are there for a month. If I don't watch something in that month time period, I probably am not all that interested in it in the first place.

I was the hostess for our neighborhood luncheon and I chose a new restaurant out west of town. It has a boutique and salon attached to it and is decorated very cute. I enjoyed my lunch and I think most of the others did too. I heard a so-so comment but you can't please everyone all the time. I stopped to get some baby presents for showers I will be attending in Cincinnati and when I came out {drumroll!}, it was raining, for the first time since February. What a welcome sight. We didn't get near enough to make a dent in the drought but it was a welcome relief. Ted was still gone so I spent the evening catching up on things.

Gerre and I walked this morning and Ted is due back this afternoon. We have no plans for tonight but tomorrow is the 3K walk for the YMCA and tomorrow night is Couples' Canasta. And then another week begins.

Let's hope this blog stays. That is the first time there has been a problem with Blogspot that I know of and I've used it for a couple years.

Time flies. It's up to you to be the navigator. ~ Robert Orben

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Raining, Halleluah!

Well, Obama wouldn't declare our wild fires a disaster so we get no relief. Gov. Perry called for a day of prayer ... and it is raining measurably for the first time since February I think. So there Mr. O who didn't give Houston a space shuttle even though the first word on the moon was HOUSTON, the Eagle has landed and when they were in trouble was HOUSTON, we have a problem! Had to get that off my chest.

I walked Monday with Gerre. We're going a half hour earlier because it is heating up down here. Then I played Canasta and most of us were all in the middle within a couple hundred points. We play for $1 so you never win or lose much. We went to Sweet Tomatoes later with Jay and Stella to say goodbye because they took off today for up north. We hope to spend a week with them over the 4th in Michigan but RV plans are as slippery as a snake and you just never know exactly where you are going to end up. But that's part of the fun.

Since Gerre is no longer working part time we can walk any day so we decided to walk again Tuesday. While doing so we decided to see There Be Dragons and go to dinner since her husband was gone and Ted was going to his shooting league that includes grilling out for their dinner. I liked the movie but it is going to be enjoyed by students of history and the church. It is about the life of the priest who started Opus Dei which was featured in the Da Vinci Code. Until then, most people never heard of this organization. I have to admit I know little about it. Gerre and I both think you would need to see it a second time or read the book to get the most out of it.

Yesterday Ted left for Dallas so I ran a few errands and then went to the country club for Happy Hour. There was a small group and we stayed for dinner. I forgot to set the DVR for Survivor so I had to poll on Facebook to find out what happened. I can catch it on Xfinity On Demand once it gets put up there. I can't get used to it being on Wednesday instead of Thursday. I'm a creature of habit.

Today was our lunch at the new Dragonfly Cafe. The ladies loved the decor and shopping associated with the restaurant. I liked my food and I heard good and so-so remarks. Well it wasn't Mexican and it wasn't BBQ. You have to venture out of your comfort zone now and then. I stopped at the embroidery store next door to pick up the pink apron I bought Morgan from Williams-Sonoma. I had her name put across the top above the cupcakes that were already embroidered on the apron. It is part of her birthday present. It turned out really cute. She loves to help her Mama cook and always wants an apron. Now she'll have her own.

I stopped to shop a little on the way home and when I came out it was raining a good hard rain. How wonderful. God holds us in the palm of his hand with our need for the barest necessities. I hope it continues through today and tomorrow as predicted. Saturday is supposed to be dry but cooler ... just in time for our 3K walk!

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” G. K. Chesterton

Monday, May 9, 2011

Flan Does Not Transport Easily, Rebaked Potatoes Do

I made flan complete with cajeta (caramel sauce) for our Spanish wine tasting Saturday night. By the time we arrived, I was sticky, the console was sticky, the plate it was to get flipped on was sticky and the directions were sticky! That was the first of several things to go wrong.

My friend Pat had called and offered Ted her smoker because he had admired hers and questioned her about it while at a party. They are moving and don't want to take it with them. We left a message that we were home and could come over but we didn't hear from them until we were walking out the door Saturday night. We made arrangements for them to call us after they had been to church and lunch on Sunday.

Wine tasting was at our friends who recently built a spectacular house on the golf course and we were so impressed with the home, the lovely lot, landscaping, pool and patio. The night was perfect to be outside.

While we were talking about the wines we would be tasting, there was a loud PING and a cut glass dish that had been set on a hot plate just blew up. There was glass all over and two people ended up with small finger cuts trying to help get it up. Then someone used the tongs and they broke!

After we had all but the last wine, they put out the desserts. I flipped the flan over just fine and put the dishes and spoons around it. When I came back in later it was oh so slowly slipping to the edge of the dish. Twice it had to be pushed back to the center of the plate. It is off my list of things to take ever again. It will have to be a dinner at home dessert.

Sunday we had about eight First Communicants so we went into semi-serious overtime in church. Ted wanted to get to the gun club and back so we could get the smoker when they called ... and then they didn't. I stayed home, did the laundry, made rebaked potatoes and we went to Dave & Jody's for our Mother's Day dinner. Carol made ribs and brought them, I brought the potatoes and Jody made asparagus, bread and dessert. None of us have kids in the area so we made our own celebration. Dave gave me a chef's thermometer to check the temps on the potatoes and I stuck it in with the sheath still on it! I had just enough wine to just laugh and laugh. However, the potatoes were hot enough! Right before we ate, I received a phone call from Pat about the smoker!

I walked with Gerre this morning. The heat really affects our time and we're glad now next Saturday is just a 3K walk because it will be later than we usually walk and warmer. I am playing Canasta at one o'clock today followed by dinner out with friends who are leaving the area soon. Then I have a couple days to just hang out at home. I've talked to Pat about the smoker. She was on her way out to Bridge and said she will call Ted this afternoon when she gets home. Wish us luck.

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.- George Burns

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Did You Know What A Fascinator Was Before the Wedding?

I finally had great cards Monday for three games of Canasta and then absolutely awful ones for the fourth so I didn't win again. If that one game had been even average I would have won. Such is life! At the house where we played the lady had plates, glasses, napkins and towels with a playing card logo. She even had chocolates shaped and wrapped like little playing cards. Quite festive for the occasion but I simply don't have room to store much stuff that is only used occasionally. But it sure was neat to see.

Tuesday Gerre and I walked early in the A.M. then I devoted the rest of the day to shopping and getting food ready for Thursday. Rebecca came to clean on Wednesday and Ted and I ate out because I had set up everything I needed to use on Thursday. Continental Breakfast starts at 10. By the time you get yourself ready and the bed made, people are arriving so there's not a lot of time in the morning.

About 35 ladies came and everyone has sent e-mails telling me what a good time they had. Usually it is over about noon but it was going on one before everyone was gone. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up. I put the remaining pastries, cinnamon buns and chocolate cake in the freezer and called Rebecca to come get them for her kids. The fruit and yogurt we will eat. The quiche I can microwave a little at a time for my breakfast.

Friday was our Junior Forum installation luncheon. The creativity of this group never ceases to amaze me. Our incoming president is British. We were all asked to wear hats and out came the fascinators! Such fun. The skit was her "coronation" and she was escorted in wearing a purple cape and crown. The presentation of the incoming board was done as Damsel of Dimes for the Treasurer, Dame of Details for Secretary, etc. When all was done they placed a cowgirl hat on top of her crown. Just a little reminder that she's in Texas now! Our "mom" for the past year won Volunteer of the Year which made us all proud.

I received my certificate for having completed my provisional year along with a long stemmed rose. I won the centerpiece which was a teapot filled with roses. Those two things along with the mums I used on the center of my table on Thursday has given me a nice assortment of flowers to enjoy for Mother's Day.

Tonight is wine tasting and in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we are having Spanish wine. We were asked to bring tapas and dessert so I am making a flan. The Kentucky Derby is no big deal down here so there aren't many derby parties. Back in Ohio I'm sure there are many a mint julep being prepared for this afternoon's celebration.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there. As Erma Bombeck said "it is the most important job I'll ever do and if I screw it up, nothing much else matters."

Monday, May 2, 2011

There is a God ... but I already knew that

Gerre and I continue to walk 5K three times a week. Our next event is a 3K walk sponsored by the YMCA. That won't take us long at all. But it is still two weeks away.

So after our walk on Friday I had to see the eye doctor. Turns out I had cloudy membranes on my cataract lenses and they had to be zapped with a laser. He did it right then. I told him sometimes I wished I could take out the lenses and clean them. He explained it was like the difference between looking through Saran wrap and waxed paper. According to him, this happens all the time and is no big deal. I have drops to use for the next week. My distance eye is great again but the close up one is taking a bit longer to heal. This was my experience with the original cataract surgery too. I just love getting old! Ted would say it beats the alternative and I shouldn't complain.

While I was at the doctor, Ted was at the gun club giving a lesson to a fellow. I'm so glad Ted has an outside interest. He gave up golf after his back surgery. What husbands do in retirement is always a big topic among women about to face that scenario. I can say we have never been bored for any length of time in retirement. We stay pretty busy.

There was a gun show on Saturday that Ted attended but he was just looking. I went for a pedicure. We picked up Gerre and Barry late afternoon and headed to Mel's. They had never been there before we took them and said they wanted to go back. We had a great dinner then went to their house to visit. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. Barry was telling us about changing his American Express card to a senior card that has the same amentities but costs about half of the yearly charges. So when I came home I called and changed ours. They aren't real forthcoming about this card but if you ask, they'll tell you. If you watch the pennies, the dollars take care of themselves. I don't know who said that but it's true.

Church went into "serious overtime" as Kristin would say when it ran an hour and a half. There were a half dozen First Communicants and three engaged couples to be blessed. Then the sermon was followed by another push for the Capital Campaign and it all took time. It was all interesting though because I was shocked when I looked at my watch at the end and saw the time. Randy called Ted as we drove home so he took off for the gun club and I went shopping for paper goods for Thursday, birthday cards, and some flowers for the yard. Despite my attempts at the baskets, they are truly spent and need to be replaced for my company on Thursday.

And this is where my "minor miracle" comes in. Rebecca didn't clean Good Friday because we were gone. She is scheduled here this Friday which would mean four weeks between her thorough cleanings. However, I am having 27 women to the house for the Continental Breakfast group on Thursday ... the day before! Alas, I was going to have to clean fairly good on my own the day before Rebecca came. As I drove in, she was standing in the driveway with her mother-in-law and Chris her brother-in-law who stays here when we're gone. In the course of conversation I told her my dilemma and lo and behold she said her Wednesday lady has to go to court and she was free to come then instead of Friday. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. I didn't even pray for this and He sent it to me anyway. Little miracles happen everyday. We just have to watch for them.

Ted came down the street while I was talking to Rebecca so I drove on. I had put ribs in the oven before I left so dinner was on the table fairly quickly. We watched Amazing Race and I'm still not over my cowboys losing last week. I feel there was some cheating that went on but you only see the edited version so who knows. I'm pulling for the young man and his autistic friend. They were in Switzerland with beautiful shots of the Matterhorn.

Today I'm playing Canasta again. One of these days I'll get good partners and cards at the same time and win a few hands. The rest of the week will be preparation for Thursday's big gathering here. Friday is the Installation Program and Luncheon for Junior Forum. The weeks just seem to slip away so quickly.

Have a good one y'all.