Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Green, Green Grass of Home

We have had an inordinate amount of rain since our return and it is as green as springtime around here.  I usually stop my grass cutting every week around the first of November but I may need to continue it a bit longer.  We have it cut every other week over the winter.  The grass isn't really growing but it can get messy with pine needles and such so it is nice to get the yard tidied up at least every other week.

Friday we decided to vote early and then ride to the campground to change our reservation to Monday from Wednesday.  Gwen and Melissa in the office were delighted to see us, and us them!  It has been awhile since we've camped here.  Afterwards we stopped by Tommy and Susan's site and ended up visiting so long we ate supper at Red Robin because it was too late to fire up the grill at home.

When I checked my email that evening I had an email from the county court clerk saying my service was not needed and thanked me!  Now it was easier to plan for our week.

Saturday we went to church at 5:00 and then came home to put on our costumes for the party we were invited to.  We were going to be Amish farmers but I never found suspenders so we opted to go as Hawaiian tourists.  Ted wore yellow shorts with a yellow and blue Aloha shirt with a lei.  I wore a white caftan with pink and lavender flowers, a lei and a flower in my hair.  It wasn't too original since Dick and Jeanette had on their Aloha outfits too!

Here are some of the ladies and gents.

We had Cleopatra.

And Davy Crockett.

The winners of the costume contest.



We had a fun time with our friends.  Jeanette's kids came as Scooby Doo and the teens who ran with him as well as a butterfly and a tiger.  Great costumes.

Sunday I went to the grocery to prepare for our week out in the RV and Ted went shooting.  On Monday we split up and he went for fuel and to hook up while I drove my car over to the campground.  We arrived together (great timing!) and got set up.  Tommy was there to meet us as well as Harley from the Dallas group.

We visited some, had dinner and watched Dancing With The Stars later that evening.  Tuesday Ted had to go to the Chronicle and I went to Junior Forum to help prepare the Holiday Party invitations for bulk mailing.  I arrived back way before Ted and visited with Tommy, Nick and Fallon for the afternoon.

When Ted returned he said he had to get dressed, turned around and went back down to dinner with his fellow employees who were in town.  And he had to go back down this morning and has just returned at 4:30.  He is not used to putting in such long two day periods.

Today I cleaned the carpets and rearranged my cabinets to avoid the disaster we had when all my corning ware flew out and broke.  I made chicken soup and we are having Tommy and Susan over for dinner after eveyrone has their nap.

Tomorrow Ted is home and we have a rally breakfast at 9:00, I play cards at noon and then a potluck at 5:30.  I hope I get back in time to get my sweet potatoes peeled and baked in time for dinner!  Our week is going by quickly.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy HallowThankMas

Well I have seen the first Christmas commercial from Pet Smart, Halloween decorations are all over the place and we have an invitation for Thanksgiving dinner (woohoo!).  I ordered my first two Christmas presents on Amazon this morning.  So the season of HallowThankMas has officially begun.

We have been going to church on Sunday mornings the past few weeks.  On occasion it is because we have to be somewhere before we would get out on Saturday and sometimes we just don't feel like stopping what we are doing. Ted likes college football on Saturday and if we go at 9 am on Sunday he can see the professional football games too.  Yippee!  (I really need a sarcasm font.)

So this past weekend we went to church Sunday morning, watched football and then joined the Dining Out group for dinner at a local restaurant.  Even though it was Mexican I ordered talapia and it was excellent.  

We had a huge funeral at our church on Monday for a doctor killed on his bicycle when a truck backed out and hit him.  He was a department head at a very big hospital here and we knew many would attend.  I had my bunco group meeting so I got up early, made 24 chicken salad sandwiches and delivered them along with two gallons of iced tea for the reception.  I offered to return after bunco to help with clean up but they said they had plenty of help.  There is another memorial funeral Monday, 11/4, so I will try to keep my calendar clear and be available.

I did learn that I could get a job as a barmaid at the Hofbrau Haus because I carried two gallons of tea (16 lbs.) with one hand and the sandwiches with the other from my car to the kitchen at church.  Those beer steins would be no problem.

Tuesday was laundry day and Tucker was picked up to go home.  He was so excited when they came for him.  Wouldn't it be great if all our friends and family would be so excited to see us each and every time and show it with such enthusiasm?

Yesterday I worked the senior luncheon for Northwest Assistance Ministries.  It was another early morning wake up to be ready to leave at 7:45.   I arrived right at 8:30 as instructed and lo and behold the seniors were already showing up.  Some were already seated!  They were dressed in costumes but I never did hear who won the contest.  Global Warming was the most unique and I was the first to figure it out.  Believe me, that wasn't easy!

I had an appointment to get my hair cut, colored and highlighted.  It has been touch ups since last June so it was time for an overhaul.  This morning I got my nails done.  These are thought to be "lady of leisure" activities but I don't have much leisure and find it hard to work these appointments in.  It's a good thing I don't have lots of doctor appointments.  I just don't have time for that.

I met Gerre for lunch today to celebrate our birthdays.  They both were almost three weeks ago but she is as busy as I am.  She had Bible Study this morning and a doctor's appointment this afternoon so we had exactly one hour, 15 minutes for lunch.  I was able to go right from my nail appointment.

We had a nice visit and were joined by a lady I met last week at the Newcomers luncheon.  She was meeting someone but I think they had their times crossed.  I saw a lady waiting when I arrived but she left by the time Marie arrived.  At least I am not the only one who does stuff like that.

Ted went to Beaumont for work yesterday, came home while I was gone this morning, and left again to work an outing at the gun club before I got back from lunch.  Two ships passing in the night.

Tomorrow I have to call to see if I must report for jury duty on Monday.  Our whole week hinges on that answer.  We'll work it out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In the End We Were Mudded Out

I played Canasta on Monday afternoon.  We only had 8 players but Michele had food for an army!  She has her hands so full with a husband with Alzheimers and a mother in Assisted Living.  And she was over helping her neighbor who had a flood under her kitchen sink.  There are definitely saints among us!  I ended up scoring in the middle again.  I don't think I have ever won in this group.  But it is always fun!

I was signed up for work at the Thrift Shop for four hours on Tuesday.  We all worked very hard and emptied two huge bins of donations while others sorted, tagged and hung clothes.  I also cut off buttons and went through all the baby onesies, sleepers, bibs and caps by size.  They get thrown together out in the store and need sorting periodically.  Some of the stuff we receive is mind boggling.  We had size 24 month brand new True Religion jeans and 2T Ralph Lauren shirts with $60 tags still attached.  There are some great deals to be had.

I stayed home on Wednesday to get some things done because I was going to be gone most of Thursday.  I agreed to attend the Newcomers luncheon to speak about my bunco group to new people coming in.  I didn't know how to dress like three dice so I just wore my Halloween sweater.  We had assigned seating so I met two new ladies.  I know fewer and fewer folks because people move through Newcomers and eventually come out the other side.  Some groups break off and go their separate way and a new activity group takes its place with new people.  Bunco has stood the test of time because it is such an ice breaker game where you can meet and talk to 11 ladies for a few hours.  Great friendships are started and nurtured.  I can't even guess how many ladies have moved through my group over the last 12 years.  The food was okay but I think they needed a side salad with the pasta.

At 3:30 Peg picked me up and we headed to Jeanne's for the Junior Forum Wine Extravaganza.  Pat, who I work funerals with at church, has agreed to take a look at Forum and planned to attend but she came down with a sinus infection.  Because we are hosting next year's Convention, there will be no Gala fundraiser next year.  A program has been developed to raise our funds and this Wine Party was the kick off.  There was a good turnout and $16,000 was raised.  We are hoping our commercial sponsors will step up after the first of the year to donate in the tax year they planned for.

I had a headache Friday morning and skipped a Forum meeting.  (I only had ONE glass of wine!).  Imagine my surprise when I got two messages telling me I was nominated for Volunteer of the Month!  I was shocked but honored.

By 5:30 my head was fine and we went with Sherida and John to dinner and to see Bus Stop as part of our play series.  They did a terrific job with the set and everyone did a superb job with their lines and acting.  We really enjoyed the performance.

Jennifer and I were signed up to do the CASA 5K run through Jones Forest Saturday morning.  We had our shirts on with our numbers pinned.  However, it has rained a lot and the roads and trails were a muddy mess.  We got stuck in the mud in the car twice and had to be pushed out and we hadn't even seen the start tent.  We made a decision that we had made a donation, got our shirt and we cut our losses and came home.  I can't even imagine how the parked cars made it out on a rutted one lane road with water standing on either side with nowhere to turn around.  To us, it just wasn't worth it.

So I stayed home the rest of Saturday and made dinner.  We attended church this morning.  Tucker has been here visiting since Thursday.  He will go home on Tuesday.  He is such a cuddler.

This morning our middle daughter ran the Detroit Newspapers half marathon from downtown Detroit, across the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Canada, along their riverfront and then through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River back to the USA, a total of 13.1 miles.  Way to go.  We are so proud of her.

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” 
― John Bingham


Monday, October 14, 2013

Home Again, For Awhile Anyway

I was really whipped when I arrived home Monday evening.  All that partying and eating did me in.  Not to mention the marathons at the airports.  I feel for folks who have difficulty walking.  There are carts but sometimes they are hard to come by and they can only go gate to gate.  I noticed they have signs now that say Handicapped Only on them.  Getting through security or to a rental car bus entails lots of walking.  

Having forgotten my phone at home left me lots to get caught up on once I had my calendar available. Ted tracked it down once he got home and it was in my jeans pocket hanging in my closet.  He said it was like playing hide and seek with the phone!

Alison brought my new computer back all ready to go.  She loaded what was on the back-up flash drive but some more recent stuff hadn't been saved.  That made me use attachments from emails to get some documents current but I did all that.  The 27 inch monitor is big but because it contains everything, I was able get rid of the tower, speakers and microphone.  The keyboard and mouse are wireless.  It allowed me to take the fax machine off my desk and put it where the tower had been.  I like the new arrangement.  The resolution is phenominal.

I had lots of mail to handle including about two dozen birthday cards. This was a fun birthday!  My new motto is Every Day Above Ground Is A Good One, stolen from the Spring Funeral Museum.

I begged off Shanghai on Wednesday evening and was asleep before the 10 o'clock news came on.  By Thursday I was caught up and rested.  I had our neighborhood ladies luncheon to attend.  Ted had met the fellows the day before.  Eleven ladies came and there were four of us celebrating birthdays this month.  Jeanette made Halloween cupcakes and placed them in a spiral holder that created a cupcake tree.  Everyone liked the private room and food so much that Merry booked it for our Christmas luncheon in December.

Friday we decided to use two BIGIF coupons we had to eat a late lunch/early dinner at the mall.  We first ate at Jerry's Build A Burger then had a Blizzard at Dairy Queen.  I found the burgers too juicy (translation "greasy") and despite my burger being free and drinking water, our bill was almost $15 for Ted's burger, one order of french fries and his drink.  I doubt we'll go back there with or without coupons.  DQ is an occasional treat and I enjoyed my Butterfinger blizzard.

Saturday was rainy and a good day to stay in, watch some football and make a pot of chicken soup.  We played Shanghai at 6:30 and it was a nice break from the dreary weather.  There were just two tables of five.  Ted won at our table but I did have a Shanghai!  This game is so unpredictable.  I went out twice (0 points), got a Shanghai (0 points plus catching everyone with a whole hand), had 6 and 4 points in two other hands, but got caught not going down on one hand for 125 points and I ended up third out of five players!

We were up early Sunday to go to church at 9:00.  It was still raining so we watched football and ate the chicken soup I made for dinner.

Today starts another week.  Where does the time go?

“One of the greatest titles we can have is "old friend". We never appreciate how important old friends are until we are older. The problem is we need to start our old friendships when we are young. We then have to nurture and grow those friendships over our middle age when a busy life and changing geographies can cause us to neglect those friends. Today is the day to invest in those people we hope will call us 'old friend" in the years to come.”

~ Grant Fairley

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dual Road Trips

While Ted traveled to San Antonio, I attended an Activity Chair get together for our Newcomers Club.  I have been a member for so long that I no longer do much with the club but I do still have my Bunco group.  I didn't know at least half of the other Chairs.  It was a nice gathering and I enjoyed meeting the new ladies.

When the government shut down on Tuesday I decided I was non-essential and took the day off.  After all, I do get a government check each month in the form of Social Security even if it is my own money coming back to me.

I was up very early on Wednesday to make my 9:15 am flight to Cincinnati.  I parked off site, rode to the terminal, made it through security and had plenty of time before boarding.  I had to change planes in Dallas.  With one of their trains down it was necessary to ride in only one direction rather than the closest way around.  Soon after I got to my gate they changed it.  So I took my bag and hoofed it to the new gate!

I arrived in Cincinnati on time and had another long walk to the Hertz bus stop to go to the rental lot but that all went well and I was on my way.  I arrived at Karen's around 4:00 and was soon eating turtle soup and a pickle loaf sandwich, two of my favorites not easily available in Texas.

While I was traveling to Cincinnati, Ted was busy winning the World Championship 20 gauge Class C shoot snaring a trophy belt buckle and a 100 pin.  It almost always takes a perfect score to win because the competition is so tough.   Congratulations to Ted!

My friend Karen picked me up Thursday morning for what turned into a 4 hour breakfast.  I also ran into Ted's best man Joe at Bob Evans while eating.  Small town west Cincinnati!  

That evening my friend Donna picked me up for dinner with the St. Bonaventure group.  Ten people were in attendance and we had a great evening.  Donna brought a birthday cake and they all celebrated with me.   

Karen and I went shopping on Friday before Donna once again picked me up and we traveled to Mason OH to Mother of Mercy, Class of 1963, 50th reunion.  We had a class of 220 and about 80 were in attendance.  We learned 18 of our classmates are deceased and that really was a sobering event.  They left us all too soon.

Joe's wife, Judy, my Maid of Honor was there, as well as Carol who was also in my wedding and is my middle daughter's godmother.  I didn't get a photo of the three of us however.  I guess we were just all too busy talking.

The third Donna met us there and I did get a photo of the three of us.  We matched the record for length of friendship at 63 years since we started kindergarten together in 1950.  Most children was 8, most grandchildren 16, most great grandchildren 5.  Two other girls were there from Texas.  It was four hours of cocktails, dinner, great conversation and reminiscing.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

On Saturday we took it easy and went to church at 5 o'clock where I got to say hello to my sister-in-law's mother who was in attendance.  Then we went to the Bier House for dinner and we met our nephew and niece Joe and Debbie.  I was able to get hot bacon slaw, potato pancake and a pretzel bread stick.  Yum!  Yum!  Now this is Octoberfest food.

After a good night's sleep I met my niece Jill for a 3-hour lunch at LaRosa's Pizza, our gold standard for pizza.  It was so good.  But the company was better.  We had a real nice visit and discussed her attendance at Kristin's wedding.  We are excited she and her immediate family intend to attend.  They will bring my Dad health permitting.

Today I traveled home without incident.  I got the car back to Hertz, made it through security and was at my gate in plenty of time.  I had two hours between flights in Dallas so I used the time to eat dinner.  Good thing too because my flight was delayed, the bus for the parking lot took forever to arrive and it was close to 8:00 before I got home.

My new computer will be brought back today without any rescued info.  The hard drive will not work.  I have a few flash drives that have some stuff so Alison will work with them and some CDs with photos.  There was very little that was terribly important but reconstructing what I need will take some time.  Such is life.

The essence of nostalgia is an awareness that what has been will never be again.

 ~ Milton S. Eisenhower