Sunday, April 28, 2013

Exciting Wine

I had a good day at the card table on Thursday, coming in second.  Charlene was impossible to beat at 4 points; I had 36 which would have been first place at either of the other tables.  She went out four times; I did twice.  That pretty much left Pam and Linda in the dust.  My dime purse runneth over!

My eye appointment was fine.  He said the pollen this year has been so bad that I should keep a bottle of drops he gave me just in case my eyes start to bother me.  Eveything else was good.

Because we had not done anything on Wednesday for our anniversary, we made reservations at an exceptionally nice restaurant here where we live for Saturday night after church.  Truth be told, Ted wanted to go on Wednesday but I didn't want to get dressed up.  I would already be dressed on Saturday so he agreed to that.

They had a quiet table for two with red rose petals scattered on it.  We already knew what we were going to order so I spent time looking over the wine list.  I decided to order what they called a half bottle but I would call a split.  It was about the size of a normal beer bottle.

It was a Riesling (my favorite) from the Alsace region of France.  When she presented the cork to me I read it and it came from the Hugel Winery in Riquewihr, France!  We visited there in 2009 on a wine tour while traveling from Antwerp to Basel.  Because Hugel was founded in 1639 and the cellar we were in was 1572, I think we were at a different cellar than Hugel back then.

Here is what I wrote in Fall 2009:

Continuing on through several delightful villages, we arrived at Riquewihr, the "gem of the vineyards." This town was producing grapes for wine during the Middle Ages and most houses were erected in the 15th to 18th century. It is protected by twin walls.

The first two photos are website photos of the town and the second two I took in 2009.  I had to ask what the date was because they are formed differently than what we use today.  We are wearing our group badge and our personal headphones so we could hear Peter talking.

For dinner Ted had onion soup and the famous pork chop while I had a spinach salad and filet.  We shared a dish of lyonnaise potatoes.  Neither of us could finish our entree so we brought them home.  Compliments of the restaurant we received dessert, a rectangular plate with Happy 48th Anniversary written in chocolate around three mini desserts of cheesecake, truffle and praline creme brulee.  Just enough for each of us to have a taste or two.  And that was about all we had room for.

It was a delightful dinner and after finishing the half bottle of wine by myself I came home and promptly fell asleep!

If the weather holds, the deck should get done tomorrow.  We are in no hurry so when it happens, it happens.  We need the rain so badly that no one should complain.

Be still, sad heart!
And cease repining;
behind the clouds
is the sun still shining;
thy fate is the common fate of all,
into each life some rain must fall

 ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Good Check Up

Tuesday I met Jennifer for lunch and we did a little shopping.  The deck guy cancelled Wednesday morning for fear of rain (which it didn't!).  We actually had a beautiful day while states up north are still dealing with some snow.  Friends keep sending me photos of it.  I KNOW what it looks like.  That is why I live here!

It was our 48th wedding anniversary yesterday and Ted bought fillets and grilled them. We are going to Perry's for dinner Saturday after church to celebrate.  Ted loves their pork chop!  We were delighted to receive oodles of greetings on Facebook from family and friends as well as some cards in the mail.  It is nice to be remembered.

Today Ted left for Dallas on business.  It is also today that the Bush library is being dedicated and I hope it doesn't cause backed up traffic.  I know he has a hotel reservation so maybe the newspaper and library are far enough apart that it won't impact him.  I have been to the other Bush Presidential Library in College Station so I will have to see about getting to Dallas to see this one.  LBJ's is in Austin.  Eisenhower was born in Denton TX but moved to Abilene at a young age and that is where his library is.  We have also visited the Truman Library in Independence, MO.  While in Little Rock we saw the Clinton Library but didn't have enough time to visit.  So much to see, so little time to see it!

Three exhibits we would recommend people see are the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, OK; the Federal Building bombing site in Oklahoma City and Woolarock in Bartlesville, OK, the country home of Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips 66 (which was named for the mother road, Route 66).

Sorry for the detour but you don't even want to get me started on our National Parks - Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Alamogordo, Arches, Mesa Verde.  Again, so much to see, so little time.

But my best news this week is Ted's two biopsies were nothing of concern and my mammogram was normal.  Whew!  Good for another year.  I will see the eye doctor tomorrow and the dermatologist next week.  That should do it for awhile.  At least I hope so.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. - Erma Bombeck

Monday, April 22, 2013

Out with the Boomers

We spent a long weekend out with the Boomers in Montgomery TX.  It has been quite a while since we have camped out with them.  Lots of food, wine tasting and games - Mexican Train, Pegs and Jokers, Texas Hold 'em, Shanghai - all were getting a workout in the rally hall.

Ted cleaned the carpet in the trailer which was my main reason for wanting to go out for the weekend.  Even the weather was cool at night so the heat being on helped dry the carpet!  Mission accomplished.

I have to relate the funniest story told to me by one of our friends.  Her very young son was sent home from school with a note saying he needed to be taken to the eye doctor.  He had failed the eye exam and had very bad vision.  Of course she took him right away.  As the test began he told her "these are the same words I couldn't sound out last time!"  Hooray for phonics I guess.  It still makes me chuckle.

We did enjoy seeing everyone, sharing great food, visiting and playing the games.  I didn't win at anything but Ted split the pot at the end with Darlene in Texas Hold 'em.

Ted heard from Dr. W and his two biopsies were nothing of concern.  He is to continue his medicine and return in one year.  I had my mammogram and have not heard back yet.  The year seems to go by so quickly and it is time to do the tests all over again.  The older I get the more I hate that because one of these days the news is not going to be good.

And here is another story about a friend in her mid-70s.  Her husband had a cancerous lung lobe removed.  He did not need chemo or radiation and he asked her "what if it comes back?"  She said "Then you'll die but you are going to die even if it doesn't ever come back.  No one stays here forever.  We are not going to  spend what time we have left worrying about what if."   She made an excellent point and exhibits a great attitude I think.  Being a professional worrier, I need to listen to her more.

I took today off foregoing a trip to Bellville with a group of Forum friends.  I am meeting Jennifer for lunch tomorrow.  The crew is coming to clean and preserve the deck on Wednesday and I play cards on Thursday.  It will be time for a  "down" weekend to catch our breath.  Our 48th wedding anniversary is 4/24 so maybe we will celebrate over the weekend.

Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

He Came, He Saw, He Shredded

Thursday was our monthly neighborhood ladies' luncheon.  We had a good turn out and it was great to see everyone.  The men's lunch was the day before but Ted  forgot about it and didn't go.

Friday was the big day.  I managed to fill the 96 gallon bin (about 300 lbs.) with paper needing to be shredded.  The gentleman brought the bin into the office, tossed everything in and wheeled it out to the truck.  Pretty soon it was chewing it all up like a hungry monster.  There is also a clunker chunker for hard things and I tossed in an entire box of backup tapes from the late 1990s.  It felt wonderful to get such a big job over so easily.  Now I need to stay on top of the situation.  The accumulation occurred as we moved from Michigan to two different addresses in Florida and three different addresses in Texas over the past 17 years.

Next up were the bags I keep in the guest room closet.  I toss mostly clothes, but on occasion household items, into them.  Ted finally went through his closet and tossed a lot of shirts and pants that are now too big. Paralyzed Veterans of Texas was coming for a pick up.  I often say I am easily amused but I am also easily elated over something so mundane as getting things cleaned out.   What a great feeling.  Moving frequently helps but we have stayed put longer where we are than anywhere else in our 48 years of marriage.

Saturday after church we played cards with our old Canasta group.  But they, like so many others, have switched to Shanghai.  I came in second and refilled my dime purse considerably.  I am ready for the next game!

Carol invited us for dinner on Sunday.  Their son-in-law was in town to golf with Terry.  We had delicious steaks and watched the exciting end to The Masters.  One of Ted's biggest thrills was playing at Augusta National in 1996.  His nephew has played the day after The Masters on occasion with the press corp.  An invitation to play there is no easy feat and is most golfer's dream.

Monday was my bunco group in the morning and Ted's yearly endoscopy surveillance procedure in the afternoon.  They biopsied two spots but Dr. W didn't think it was anything to be concerned about and told us to return next year.  We have to wait up to two weeks for the results to be sure he is right.

I worked at the thrift shop on Tuesday and we "kicked butt" in the accomplishment department.  We emptied both huge bins, sorted, tagged and put out all the clothes.  The buttons were removed from the clothes going to recycle and that made room for shoes to be laid out, sorted and tagged.  Even the toys were gone over to see what had all the pieces and what actually worked.  Everyone was happy because we normally have nowhere to go with stuff.  More order in my life!  But I know that will be short lived.  Next week we will be piled up high again and looking for a place to work on things.

Our friend Don had driven from Nacogdoches to attend a sale with Ted for ammo components.  I think they had a good time since they spent quite a bit between the two of them.  I left "work" a half hour early and met them for a late lunch.  Trudy had a small surgery and wasn't able to come with him but I did talk to her when she called while we were at the restaurant.  Hopefully they will come again when she is feeling better.

I have my mammogram today and then one last eye doctor appointment and I should be finished.  Whew!  So many body parts to look after!

The last two babies due before our June family reunion have arrived.  Rosalie and Jacob are our newest additions.  I have found a company that can print the entire tree either 6 x 3 or 16 x 2.  I am working out the details now and it will be laminated once it is printed.  I am going to wait until mid-May to order it just to give everyone time to check their info.

"If you don't know your family's history, then you don't know anything.  You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." ~ Michael Crichton

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In The Swing of Things

Our drizzly day turned into a beautiful late afternoon and evening. We wandered further around the property and visited the small chapel, gazebo, spring and clubhouse that we had not gone into yet. What a lovely place.

The park furnished dinner and was a great farewell send off. Everyone received a door prize and ours was a string of lights for the awning shaped like little RVs. The problem is our awning puts itself away if it gets too windy so hanging them up would be a problem. There are lots of opportunities at rallys to add these to gifts so they will be enjoyed by someone. We are heading out with the Texas Boomers soon and they might find a home.

After dinner we were entertained by a couple playing the guitar and singing. There was a dance hall with a stage on the other side of the rally hall and we all met in there. That's also where all the karaoke took place earlier in the week. We went back to the trailer before it got too late because we were leaving in the morning.

After saying our goodbyes over coffee in the rally hall the next morning we hit the road. There was a large branch hanging over our spot and you could see where the underside of it had been hit in the past. Ted decided to back the trailer out onto the road behind us rather than pulling straight out. That worked fine and Denny and Jami gave us a big wave sending us off.

We took I-10 and the wildflowers were so abundant. It was a beautiful drive home. We got the rig put away and went out to eat right after. It was late afternoon and we were both hungry. We had stopped at a rest area and had a snack but that didn't last too long.

I had the normal mail stuff to get caught up on, had my bone density test and we subbed in a group playing cards Wednesday night. Coming home after a week is so much easier than after two months.

We have a busy period before our summer trip. Chris is on board to house sit again so things are falling into place. We know where we will be until mid-August. How we spend the last two weeks of August and what route we take home is up in the air. But in the RV, home is where the wheels stop.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Week of Saturdays

I had my six month check up at the doctor and all my numbers were fantastic he said. I have my mammogram and bone density in the next week and if all is OK there, I am good to go for six months on the blood work and a year on the others. Ted has an endoscopy and colonoscopy in the next month. It will be a relief when it is all done and we are hopefully in good shape for a couple of old folks. Ted has lost 36 lbs. and our doctor was so excited to hear that. I am proud of him!

Tuesday I played Shang Hai and did well. Second place was only a 12 point spread for three of us but Elaine prevailed. It was a good game in that scores stayed very close.

Wednesday we drove in miserable weather to the hill country of Texas. It rained the whole way accompanied by lots of fog. Lucky for us the rain stopped by the time we arrived and set up. We barely got finished and it was time for Happy Hour followed by a burger dinner provided by our hosts. There are between 25-30 rigs in for the rally. This is a beautiful park built in a pecan grove. The rally hall is a little western town of storefronts so I took some photos.

We had a restful day on Thursday with time to explore before another Happy Hour. We had planned to take our Mission friends to dinner but Bernd had a medical procedure and wasn't up to going out so we drove into town for dinner by ourselves. When we returned there were at least two dozen deer behind our rig in the pecan grove. I couldn't get close enough to get a good picture but they were so beautiful to watch.

On Friday about 20 of us drove to Stonewall to a winery for a tasting. There were several bachelorette parties going on and we took advantage of a huge parked limo to get our picture taken in front of it. We were a "group with reservations" so our tasting included cheese, crackers, pate, etc. but our six wines were chosen by them. I wanted to taste all whites so when they got to the reds I wandered over to the other bar and chose what I wanted to taste. I bought two bottles of Moscato and a bottle of Melbac for our hosts.

We came back to the park and later drove with Jami and Denny into Fredericksburg for a group dinner at a German restaurant. The food was very good but was not familiar to many of the folks. I helped explain some of the dishes and most seemed pleased with their choice. Ted and I enjoyed our schnitzels. It was past 8 o'clock when we all got back. There was karaoke at the rally hall but we chose to stay in.

Every day has seemed like Saturday and finally it arrived.  It must have been our Wednesday arrival that got my point of reference screwed up this week.  We drove to another park to visit Dulce and Bernd.  She needed to look at two K-1s I received AFTER I filed my taxes.  They didn't arrive until towards the end of March.  She said what I had done was correct, gave me a carryover sheet to keep for next year and said to hold off filing the Amended Return until the end of the month.  Bernd  was feeling better but did not want to go to lunch.  We had a good visit and promised them a dinner next January in Mission.  With hugs and handshakes we said our goodbyes.

When we returned I got my Dorito Chicken Casserole together for the potluck.  The weather was beautiful so we walked around the park and visited with those outside their rigs.  Happy Hour and dinner was another feast and my chicken dish was empty!  Afterwards we had a white elephant exchange.  I ended up with a nice necklace and earrings.  There was going to be karaoke but I had dishes to do, wanted to shower since church was real early in the morning and besides I was tired and went to bed by 10:00.  Ted stayed and I don't know what time he came in.

We attended Notre Dame Church and the sermon was very good.  "When did God stop being relevant?  How did we get from Ozzie and Harriet to commerecials that embarrass us in front of a six year old?"

Once back we left at 11:00 heading to Cooper's BBQ in Llano.  I have had many restaurants' ribs but I swear these were THE BEST ribs I have ever eaten.  Your first stop, after standing in line, was the grill where you have them slice off whatever meat you want.  Inside are the drinks, sides and desserts. The meat gets wrapped in paper, weighed and meets back up with you at the register.  We chose ribs, brisket, sausage and a pork chop.  Needless to say we brought half the pork chop and some sausage home.

On the way back we drove the Willow City loop, one of the most scenic drives in the hill country.  It was pretty and interesting.

I made my pesto spread for Happy Hour and afterwards left to watch Amazing Race which was displaced by the Country Music Awards!  Bummer.

Today was overcast and drizzly so Ted and I took time to teach Connie and Jami how to play Shang Hai.  We had the rally hall to ourselves but were treated to smells of the catfish dinner with all the fixins' being prepared by the park for our dinner.

We head home tomorrow with an equally busy schedule but, for now, I wouldn't have it any other way.