Monday, September 30, 2013

The Octoberfest That Wasn't

I played Shanghai on Friday which happened to be Ted's 69th birthday.  He was working the Texas First Responders annual shooting competition at the gun club.  It is good to have separate interests so you have new things to talk about when you come together again.  Anyway, I was in second place in Shanghai until the last hand and I was a card short of going down.  Any 1 of 7 cards would have done it for me but it just didn't happen.  Easy come, easy go.

Ted grilled filets that Terry and Carol sent him as a birthday gift and we spent a quiet evening at home.  He had to work again at the gun club on Saturday.  We have had a fair amount of rain and he has come down with a cold.  I get flu shots, he doesn't.  He gets colds frequently, I hardly ever get one.  Is it the shot?  I really don't know but if I was him I would take advantage of the free shot to see if it helps.

Saturday night we joined 7 other couples to attend an Octoberfest at a local brewery.  Tickets were with and without beer so we had two Designated Driver bracelets.  Food was advertised as being available.  We were given a great stein made in Germany on the way in.  We found two round tables and put out the snacks and some drinks some had brought.  When the music started it was that loud, "who knows what they are saying" kind of noise.  There was some Oom Pah recorded music in one area but it was totally enclosed and stuffy with tall tables for standing so we sat outside where there was a nice breeze but had to listen to the loud music.  Food available was BBQ and Mexican!  They need to look to Cincinnati, Munich, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels to find out how an Octoberfest is run.  They did have a photo booth and that was fun!  We enjoyed the company and chalked it up to experience.

We had to go to church on Sunday morning since we had left for the Octoberfest at 5:00.  It was the Sunday where those seeking to be baptized into the Catholic Church and baptized Christians seeking Confirmation in the Catholic Church are welcomed and start their journey.   I was impressed there were about 45 people.  They will study each week until Easter when they will receive the sacraments and join us in full Communion.  However, it made church a bit longer.  We had a nice breakfast at home and literally whiled the day away while it rained.

Ted left this morning for San Antonio to participate in the World Skeet Shoot.  He and several friends will be there most of the week.  Their return depends on how well they do and any shoot offs they have to stay for.  I hope the rain doesn't ruin their competition.

We did get an excited call from our middle daughter who got engaged to Bill on Saturday.  Now I have two weddings in 2014!  I am busy until 9/2 of next year, literally!!

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be - Robert Browning

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tucker Comes To Visit

Monday morning Tucker came with his food and leash to spend the week with us.  He is so easy to care for and we enjoy having him.

I was busy making two dozen deviled eggs for the funeral lunch and left Ted to doggy sit.  It was a big funeral and a local burial so it was after 3:00 before I got home.  I brought a half dozen tablecloths home to launder.   They are very big and only three fit in the washer at a time.

Tuesday was my first day back at the thrift shop since June and I learned they are going to build on.  Workmen were there most of the day doing some measuring.  We really do need more room because the contributions come in non-stop.  When I left there I dropped off the clean tablecloths at church and arrived home around 3:00 once again.

By Wednesday I decided to take a break and go to Happy Hour.  It has been a really long time since I've done that.  I didn't think I would stay long but it was 8:30 before I made it home.  Girl talk you know!  Several gals that I normally don't see attended and we had a good time.  I even ran into two Forum members that I didn't know belonged to the country club.  Maybe they are like me and don't belong but attend as someone's guest.  I just took time to say hello and didn't pursue that question.

Today is Shanghai and I hope I remember how to play.  At least I haven't played Canasta recently to screw up my mind more than it already is.

The wedding plans continue and this week was choosing the table linens.  My daughter does not like the polyester tablebloths normally used by the Citrus Club so we are renting different ones and purple runners for the tables.  I can't remember if she said we are using chair covers or not.   And to think I griped  about the $3.75 per glass rental fee for a champagne toast back in 1992 at Kara's wedding.  And that didn't include the champagne!  $850 to rent 225 glasses just rubbed me wrong.

“Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything.”

~ Benjamin Franklin 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time Keeps Flying

I started Tuesday off heading to the doctor for my six month blood work.  I take one pill a day for cholesterol and religiously have the bloodwork done to check liver enzymes.  So far so good.  My doctor calls me himself the next day to talk to me about the numbers.   He said my cholesterol was 185, my blood pressure was 122/82 and all my other numbers were terrific.  He will see me in 6 months and I should add a calcium pill to my daily routine just because of my sex and age.  I hate taking pills, especially huge ones, so I am going to get the chew ones.  I will tell myself it is candy!

Afterwards I met Gerre for lunch.  It is the first time I have seen her since returning home.  We are going to watch Tucker next week and are looking forward to that.  Ted really enjoys having him around and taking him for walks.  He is no trouble at all and never barks so I only know he is around because he climbs up on the couch and into bed with me.

I told the kids I had Wednesday off.  They don't understand how you can be retired and need down time.  I changed and laundered sheets and did other little things.  I went to the grocery because I needed to make a breakfast casserole for Friday, an appetizer for Friday night and I will be making 24 deviled eggs for a funeral on Monday.

Ted was working two outings at the gun club on Thursday and Friday.  The first was for a political campaign; the other was a company outing - Boots and Coots.  They are the company that put out the oil wells that were set on fire in Kuwait during Desert Storm.  He enjoys giving Mike a hand and gets some free rounds for himself.  It is good for men to have something of interest to do in retirement.  

While Ted was gone Thursday, I took Judy and Peg to lunch for their help with my Forum schedule.  It would  be almost impossible for me to manage sign up for my hours without their efforts.  We had a nice lunch and it rained the whole time we were eating,  i believe we brought the rain home as requested by so many.

Friday was an early day.  I fixed my casserole Thursday night so I could pop it in the oven as I got ready.  I picked up Judy and traveled to the Forum office together.  It was the awards meeting and I, along  with many others, were congratulated on completing over 100 hours of service and support hours.  It went up from there with one lady receiving a pin for 17 years of service.  The top hourly gal at close to 400 hours was Donna that I work with at the thrift shop.

When I arrived back home I had some time before I needed to get my appetizer ready for Wind Down Friday night.  Usually September is a huge crowd but this year it was smaller.  The rain may have kept people away.  When it was pouring I even thought about skipping but it stopped long enough for us to get there.  We had a good time but I was tired when we got home.

We have a quiet weekend planned.  I have things I could do if my new computer would ever arrive.  Apparently it is on backorder.  Alison is in Serbia so until she gets home I wouldn't be doing anything with it anyway.  I may have to choose something else because I can't wait forever for Dell to get it here from Austin!  

 Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice ~ George Jackson.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Larry Carpenter Photography

Here are some family photos taken by our son-in-law-to-be, Larry, of Larry Carpenter Photography.  These are from a visit to Disney World and a Michigan visit to celebrate the 40th birthday of the Maid of Honor, Sheetal.  She has been Kristin's best friend since age 8.

Bill, Sam, Goofy, Larry.  It was Red Shirt Day at Disney.

I would guess Kristin is the photographer here since Larry is doing his version of the story of Jonah with a shark instead of a whale.

While in Florida, a trip to see Grandpa, my Dad, was on the agenda.  He shared with Larry his favorite photo that he had taken.  Looks pretty spectacular.  Grandpa is 87.

This is Sheetal in the yellow dress and her family.  Both she and her mother are doctors.

Larry and Kristin, but I don't know if there is another photographer or a timer for this one.

Kelly, my oldest and her husband of 25 years, Patrick.  They attended the birthday celebration too.

Last, but certainly not least, our middle daughter and her Significant Other, Bill.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just Enjoying Being Home

We had our neighborhood ladies' luncheon on Thursday with a nice showing of the group.  Our good friend is taking chemo again and was unable to attend.  We are all very concerned about her.  There are so many sick people on my prayer list that I had to turn the bookkeeping over to the Lord.  When I offer to pray for someone, I really do, but people move up and down the list as their needs warrant but I never take anyone off.  We can all use healing in mind, body or spirit.

I met Irene Friday morning at her house and we went shopping.  Her house is so lovely I am just in awe when I go there.  Taking care of all that house and yard is off my radar but it is very nice to look at and enjoy.

In the evening we were invited to Terry & Carol's for dinner.  Some of their kids were in from Alabama for the Texas A&M/Alabama game on Saturday.  Our friends Dave & Jody were also invited so the 10 of us had a nice pulled pork dinner.  All I had to do was make cole slaw.  It was really nice seeing our nieces and nephews even if their team beat ours.

We watched half the game on Saturday afternoon and then recorded the rest while we went to church.  When we got home I checked on the computer and saw the results so I just made dinner while Ted watched the rest of the game.  It was a great game with a disappointing, but not unexpected, result.

Ted worked a sporting clay event at the gun club all day yesterday.  He was gone for about eight hours.  Despite it being clear and sunny here, he got caught in a downpour and was wet through to his  underwear.  He came home in time to dress for our Dining Out group that was meeting at 6:00.   While he was gone I was busy setting up tables and preparing food for my bunco group that met here today. 

We met our friends at Macaroni Grill and since our tables at home were all set for bunco, it worked out well.  We sat with Cathy and Rich, something we have never had the opportunity to do before and ended up sitting and talkng after the others had left.  It was so nice getting to know them better.

Today all my culinary efforts were rewarded with lots of compliments.  I had made two quiches, summer sausage and crackers, a cinnamon coffee cake, a raspberry trifle and pumpkin dip served with graham crackers and apple slices. There was coffee, OJ, iced tea, water and soft drinks.  It takes some doing to host bunco but I only have to do it once a year.  The other months I am the guest.

I have.a little breathing room the next few days but something always comes up it seems.

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. ” ~ Lao Tzu

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

Last Friday was the first play of the season at our community theater.  We had dinner with John and Sherida then saw South Pacific and it was terrific, the best one I have seen there.  The gal playing Nelly Forbush teaches singing, acting and dance.  And she can do all three wonderfully.  It was an enjoyable evening and we were all humming the tunes on the way out.  Next up will be Bus Stop in October.   I don't remember that story line, only that Marilyn Monroe starred in the movie.

Saturday after church we took Terry and Carol out to dinner to get caught up after our long absence.  Of course they were gone most of August also.  I shared some family photos I had taken over the summer and we had a good visit.

Ted went shooting on Sunday as usual.  When I asked if he was a bit rusty he said he ran the first 50 so I guess the time off didn't hurt him.  He and his friends are busy registering and getting reservations in San Antonio for the National Skeet Shoot.  This is a big deal in their world.  I have gone with him before but am more than happy to let him have his Boys Road Trip.

Monday was Canasta with one of my groups.  I didn't have bad cards, just not good enough to win.  At $1 to play, does it really matter?  It is the camaraderie of the girls that is the important thing.  I was happy to see them all again.

I was up bright and early Tuesday because Judy was picking me up at 8:00 to go to the Senior Center.  It was our Forum day to serve lunch to the seniors and play bingo with them.  We both had to make a watermelon cake!  Turns out that is a strawberry cake with mini chocolate chips throughout (the seeds) with green icing (the rind).  That was the theme for the day so the paper goods and centerpieces were all watermelon/picnic items.  My donated bingo prize was a set of hand soap and hand lotion.

I was hostess at one of the 25 tables.  This means I welcome them, record their participation, check on birthdays, get them drinks, serve them lunch and help them with their bingo cards if they need it.  One lady had one arm and another was on a motorized scooter using oxygen.  I praise the Lord each month for still being on what I call "the right side of the bingo card."   I love my days at the senior lunches and work as many as my crazy schedule allows.  

Last night we played Shanghai with the couples group that meets at the country club.  My problem was I was still playing Canasta!  I was first to deal and dealt out 4 hands for the 5 of us because we play 4 to a table in Canasta.  Whoops, had to start over.  When my turn came I took two cards instead of one.  Charles asked me if I took two and I realized I had done so automatically.  I said I did, apologized, buried those two and took just one.  After that first go round my head got in gear with the proper card game and things went OK.  They are probably checking out Alzheimer facilities for me today!  The two men at our table won, shutting out us three women.

I think I have zeroed in on the rehearsal dinner location for Kristin.  With Larry's folks both deceased there is no groom's family to do this so it too is falling to them.  I offered to do the legwork for it.  The Save the Date cards will be going out by next weekend.

Another friend has died after battling ovarian cancer for a few years.  She requested no funeral but a Celebration of Life party later on when her husband and family are up to it.

If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow or next year...Today should always be our most wonderful day ~ Thomas Dreier


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Funerals, Friends, Firemen and Ambulances

We had a very quiet Labor Day.  Ted went shooting and smoked some ribs and I just finished up loose ends.  With my computer not available, it took some maneuvering but I think I have all the info where it needs to be.

Tuesday we attended the funeral of our friends' 49 year old daughter.  This is one of those events that just shouldn't happen.  The day after we got home last week I made sandwiches for the funeral of a 50 year old woman from our church.  Not a great week in the scheme of things.

With that under control I went to get my nails done.  I hate when they get too long.  It makes it hard to use the I-Pad and phone.  My friend Irene offered to have me look at her jewelry to see if there was something I would like to wear with my mother of the bride dress.  So I took what I had, we looked at it all together and came up with my own earrings and bracelet and one of her necklaces.  I have never been so well decked out so far in advance of an occasion!

Yesterday I went to help my friend Judy put together a list for her book club.  I have worked on computers in a word processing capacity since 1980.  I just know stuff from some lessons on the job, trial and error, sharing "finds" with co-workers and even once in awhile, reading a manual.  She was so cute trying to write down the things I did as I created a table, turned it sideways, added more lines to it, extended columns, etc.  Once I had it set up she only needed to fill in her information.  I was happy to have helped her and taught her somethings along the way.  She loved learning about the Control keys with a letter to complete a function.  She was a great student.

She and I then met her book club ladies for lunch.  What a nice group of ladies!  Just as we were finishing up a young boy pulled the fire alarm.  It was waist high and had no cover!  The alarm was so loud we took our drinks out to the patio and watched as the fire department arrived.  When I got home Ted said he was at the barber and the fellow in the next chair had what may have been a TIA, transient ischemic attack.  He went ashen, started to shake and was non-responsive.  Ted called 911 and soon the EMTs and then an ambulance arrived.  By then he was responding but did not remember what happened.  They put him in the ambulance and Ted came home.

All I can say about this week is "you just never know."

Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.

William James

Sunday, September 1, 2013

On The Mend

I didn't make Happy Hour on Wednesday because we were still knee deep in what we had brought home from the trailer but we got it all put away so Thursday dawned a little less hectic.  First up was getting my hair cut and colored.  I shudder to think what it looks like naturally.  That one inch of new growth was telling wild tales.  But I missed Shanghai because of it.

In the time we were gone, the first and second class mail forwarded to us was averagely three pieces a week!  The first delivery back here at home was all ads including one for Hand and Stone Spa.  It jogged my memory that I had a gift card for there that Kristin had given me for Mother's Day.  So Friday morning I had a facial to have a fresh start after 10 weeks of not a great regiment of skincare.  It was so relaxing and I was glad I took the time to get it done.

As soon as I returned home Alison arrived.  She has worked on our desktop since we bought it and she set it up some years ago.  She shook her head and seemed relieved when I said I intended to replace it.  She approved my choice of the 27 inch all in one with a 1TB hard drive and i5 processor.  I can't wait to get that rat's nest of cords out from behind the desk.  She pulled the USB port for Ted to use for printing and said she will come back and transfer everything when the new one arrives.  My files are there, the operating system is bad and she can do this. Great!

We received a call from Tommy and Susan Friday night asking us to meet them at Salt Grass around 3:00 on Saturday.  We said yes of course and had a nice meal and great visit.  We hope to spend some time camping with them around Halloween.  They are scheduled into the campground one weekend, us the next.  So if they stay longer and we come early, it will work.  They are headed to Colorado for a few weeks' vacation. There was the normal "who gets the check" but Ted had talked to the waiter before they even arrived.  Tommy has done so much photography and printing work for me and never let's me pay him.  Then he wants to take us to dinner!!

We were too late for Mass at our church at 5:00 so we stopped at a church on the way home that we have attended with our friends Rick and Brenda.  It began at 5:30.  Of course I had to call them in Memphis to get the correct exit off the interstate!  Imagine our surprise when a priest from our church was saying Mass.  He was filling in for one of the three priests who died this past week in our diocese. I didn't know one of them was associated with this church.  Another of the three was buried from our church because theirs is under renovation and the congregation meets in a school for now.  May they all rest in peace.

We have no plans for this Labor Day weekend.  Our camping club is in Corsicana.  If we had come home on I-20 or I-40 we would have met up with them but we came home I-10.  Terry and Carol just returned from time in Cancun with Tom and Jeanne.  They have been gone most of August and I imagine they are getting caught up just like us.

My calendar is filling in and Kristin's wedding plans are gearing up so I don't see a lot of down time anytime soon.

Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~ Eddie Cantor