Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Nothing much to report here.  Ted went to Dallas last week on business and I worked at a huge funeral luncheon at church.  I did my Christmas shopping, some at the mall and some on the computer, and as soon as two packages arrive I can pack it all up and send it off and I'm done!   I made our Christmas cards using and they will mail them out in about two weeks.  Decorations will be minimal.  Only Tom and Eileen will be here and she is on the same page with me on decorating.

It turned very cold and rainy for several days and I just stayed home doing laundry and stuff.  I don't think I left the house for three straight days at one point.  That may be a record.  Today dawned with blue sky and sunshine but in the 30s!  Enough is enough.  We are due to get our 70s back by next week thank goodness.

I am making a pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes to take to Irene's tomorrow.  We are playing cards after dinner and we may try to get into Ulta after 8 pm for some hair care products on sale.  I won't fight crowds so if it is too busy, I will just skip it.

I have a busy schedule next week and Ted has to return to Dallas.  Hopefully, we will have a more exciting post next time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I was trying to make one post using photos from the I-Pad and the camera and it wouldn't let me, i.e., I don't know how!  So here is the rest of the story.

Sunday Ted and I went to our old parish for early Mass.  Kelly said the girls could go to evening Mass when they got home.  We were delighted to see our old next door neighbors, a family from the next street, the church secretary, the education director and the past president of St. Ann's Council of Catholic Women.  Lots of hugs going around.  It was nice to be welcomed back.

The girls were up getting ready and packing up when we got back.  Their two day whirlwind trip to Florida was coming to a close.  We met the rest at Spice Restaurant on Lake Eola in downtown Orlando for brunch.  The weather was perfect and we sat outside in beautiful foliage surroundings watching the swan boats on the lake.  

There was an unusual visitor at the outdoor tables.  A kangaroo!  We thought maybe it was a wallaby but the owner said no.

Then it was off to the airport for Sheetal, Cassie and Ally.  Kara and Bill returned to Disney and after the airport run we headed to Larry's to fix dinner for and meet the best man and his wife.  Cooking in a bachelor's kitchen is not fun.  Two oven mitts but no other potholders, no baking dishes, no matching dishes, etc.  We made do and ended up with a pretty good dinner and a nice visit.  I made a list of kitchen items Kristin needs to add to her registry!  Her kitchen is only slightly better equipped than his.  

Larry's house is beautiful with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a pool.  Kristin will have no problem making this her home because she will be able to use most of her decorative items since there aren't many.  He does have a signed and numbered Andy Warhol print that caught Ted's eye right away.

I was exhausted by the time we got home and wasn't up for long.  Kristin came back home with the hair dryer but she doesn't have a curling iron so I decided to get my hair done as soon as I could get an appointment.

Monday we went to lunch at the Swamp House Grill on the St. John's River then decided to ride through the campground.  It has always been too tight for us to use but lo and behold they had used part of their storage area to put in a half dozen super sites that we will fit into.  They are not wide side to side but we would have a concrete patio surrounded by some low growing greenery.  We booked a spot for February and cancelled the one we had in Orange City.  We had stopped by to see that and it is all dirt, no asphalt or gravel.  We are just down the road from Kristin now.  We will have lots to do when we return in getting her moved and the house ready for sale.

Tuesday was a lazy day as we prepared to leave.  I had my hair done first thing by my old hairdresser.  Kristin was at work and we eventually let ourselves out and headed to the airport.  It was an easy flight home and I was glad to be back.  We are so used to staying in our RV that being away without it produces what I believe most others experience all the time while traveling.  People ask us if we are glad to be home but a trip in the RV with our home with us doesn't produce that sentiment.  It is hard to explain.

So now we move on to the holidays!

To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us...and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

 Thomas Merton quotes  

Bob Jackson Show and Heading Home

After the shower on Saturday, we all went down to Disney to the Port Orleans Resort.  There are two sides, French Quarter and Riverside, but we were headed to the Roost River Lounge in the Riverside portion.  Bob Jackson has two shows and we wanted to get a good location for his 8:30 show.  We took three tables in the front and then had a drink.  Some went to the food court and brought their purchases back, others ordered from the somewhat limited appetizer menu in the lounge.  I was not hungry and just had my one glass of Riesling.

A bit before the show Bob came out to meet his audience.  He picked up on our two engaged couples Larry & Kristin and Bill & Kara, but somewhere along the way they became Mike and Tara!  He remembered Ted and "the two girls from Michigan" Cassie and Ally.

His show is ragtime piano playing and audience participation.  He would invite people up and then call for Larry & Kristin, Mike & Tara, the girls from Michigan to come up to join him.  I don't think he did one participation portion without inviting them all up.  Poor Larry even got a part where he had to run up and down in front of the bar for some reason, holding his fingers around his eyes like binoculars.

The show was an hour and a half and the most fun we have had in a long time.  We all joined in doing the hokey pokey, conga line, YMCA, Rockettes kicking line up, etc.  Bob is one heck of an entertainer.

I would recommend this show to anyone visiting Disney.  It is family friendly and fun for young and old alike.  There is no cover charge and prices are not bad.  My glass of Riesling was $9, in line with the standard Disney upcharge for what you get.  But it was worth it!!!

Bob with Ally looking on.

Bill, Kara and Cassie turning themselves around during the Hokey Pokey.

Larry getting ready for his "binocular run."

Kristin, Cassie, Kara, Ally, Me, Sheetal getting ready to do the famous Rockette kick.  Right!

Ted, Larry and Bill doing YMCA

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spectacular Saturday

Friday we picked up Cassie, Ally and Sheetal at the airport before joining Larry's aunt and sister for dinner.  The girls stayed with us while Kristin and Sheetal stayed at Larry's.   Saturday was busy getting everyone ready, all the gifts and prizes to Aunt Maureen's and helping get things set up for the shower. Eileen drove us and Tom rode with Ted to pick up the catering a bit later so it would arrive for lunch.  Kara and Bill flew in that morning and met up with us.   The men sat on the patio watching football while the shower went on.

Attendees minus Laura and Gisele who had to leave early.

The Bride and Maid of Honor

The Bride and Groom

Kara, Kristin, me, Cassie and Ally

Lovely home on a beautiful lake.  

Paintings by Larry's aunt

It was a huge success and I was so blessed to have two sisters, two daughters and two granddaughters in attendance.  Larry's family could not have been more  gracious and we are so grateful to them for opening their home.

But we had all of Saturday evening to continue celebrating.  We went to River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside at Disney to see the Bob Jackson show.  I need to download some photos so I will leave you with our group photo with Bob and you'll have to wait to see the rest next time! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Busy, busy Week!

We had a terrific flight on Southwest to Orlando.  This airline knows how to do it right.  No charge for the first bag so no one is dragging the kitchen sink aboard.  Orderly boarding in increments.  Up, up and away on time.  We had a real salesman at Hertz who woukd have doubled our costs if we would have let him.  Did we want to rent a Sun Pass, GPS, car seat, pay for gas, take out insurance, etc.  Nope!  We are good to go.  It was 8:00 by the time we made it to Kristin's.

Wednesday we had our laundry list of errands.  I needed to buy prizes for the shower games and lots of wrapping paper.  I had 10 gifts that had been delivered to Larry's to wrap and then 8 prizes to wrap once they were purchased.  Meanwhile we were pulling anchors out of the walls and patching them where Kristin has moved things from here to Larry's.  For dinner we met up at Terra Mia for dinner.  The shower was being catered from there so they wanted us to try it.  We were pretty tired when we got home but we watched the DVR of Survivor before hitting the hay.

We were out of the house by 8:15 Thursday to deliver the cats to the groomer.  They are long hair Persians so cat hair is a nightmare.  They also had been hacking the proverbial hairballs so they were going to get the lion cut.  

We proceeded to Larry's and took off with another list of errands.  We dropped off fake pearls for the waist decoration on the wedding dress cupcakes for the shower.  I had emailed a photo to Larry who took it to Publix to see if they could duplicate it.  They asked for a decoration for the waist.  I found an  old  Mardi Gras necklace, cut it apart and tied the ends to keep the pearls on.  After a washing, they were ready to go.  They finished it off with shimmery sprinkles and it was a hit!

Next we had to deliver witness statements, baptismal certificates and pre-Cana documentation to St. Stephen's Church.  That was a quick visit but productive in that our questions concerning what they need to do regarding readings, songs, participants, etc. were answered.  They seem to be on course with all of that.

Next up was tuxedo measurement time for Ted and Larry.  It was fun sitting back and watching men pick and  choose while getting measured.  Usually men are sitting watching women model what they are trying on.  

We stopped at Terra Mia's larger restaurant to order the food for Saturday.  They told us we would have to pick it up at the one we ate at because they don't open until 5:00 on Saturdays.  Kristin thought only the larger one did the catering.  Whatever!  They called and made all arrangements for us.

Finally we went to pick up the cats.  Oh my!  We didn't know if we should laugh or cry.   Mango was growling at Maisy because he didn't recognize her.  Good thing he doesn't have a mirror!

I must say that the cat hair flying around has diminished considerably.

We ate dinner at the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner will be.  It is a sports bar in downtown Orlando on a trendy street near the Church Street Station area frequented by the younger set.  With 60 expected, we chose to keep it casual and fun.  The food was really good so we thought so far, so good.

Friday was the big day for food tasting at The Citrus Club.  It is as lovely as we remembered it and the service was impeccable.  We chose 5 appetizers to try and settled on 3.  We had 2 salads and chose our favorite.  We each had a different entrĂ©e and chose 2 of  those plus one that was not available that day.  We were 3 for 3 on restaurant choices. 

We went to Larry's and eventually met up with his Aunt Irene and sister Maureen.  They are such a wonderful family.   They think the world of Larry and are quite taken with Kristin.  They both are bringing lots of support to this marriage.  Saturday was the big day and I will share that next time.

To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow - this is a human offering that can border on the miraculous.

~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, November 8, 2013

Free Time

We came home Monday after an enjoyable and productive week out in the RV.  We love spending time with Tommy and Susan.  It has been since The National in Nashville in 2012 that we have been with the Dallas folks.  And to add to that, the rig was washed and waxed, the rugs were cleaned and my cabinets were rearranged so hopefully no more broken dishes.  We are ready to roll.

We had planned a trip to Florida awhile back and since I didn't know if we were traveling in the RV which takes the most time, by car which takes a bit less or flying, I kept this past week open.  That gave me Monday and Tuesday to put away what we brought home, to go through the mail and do "paperwork."  Wednesday I did laundry all day.  I swear somone puts their clothes in with ours.  Two people shouldn't produce so much dirty laundry.  I think it's the same guy who alters our clothes while they are hanging in the closet and makes mine smaller and Ted's bigger!

Today I worked at the Children's Festival here where we live.  Over 3000 children are bussed in to see the programs and visit the exhibits.  It is like herding cats.  The teachers and chaporones do a great job of keeping their classes together but we had 5 buses from one school for a total of a couple hundred kids we were responsible for.  Each school is different and volunteers are assigned accordingly.  We lucked out in that our children remained in the same spot for all activities including lunch.  This may have been because we had an additional mini busload of special needs children including wheelchairs.

Once we got them settled, handled bathroom and first aid directions, determined where to send the special needs for diaper changes, and brought chairs into the handicapped area for those teachers, we were able to sit back and enjoy the shows.  At lunch we distributed trash bags and gathered that up.  After the final show one of our group took the special needs to their bus while the remaining three of us kept almost 300 people together, out of their seats and funneled to the same aisle, down the steps, across the plaza, out the gate and around the corner to the 5 waiting buses.  All the time walking next to another school and keeping them in their correct line.  I was doing the middle and did a lot of back and forth along the line to accomplish tnis.

My last two duties were to hold up a bus so a special needs bus could get into the correct school district bus line and take a jacket back to first aid that we got for a Down's Syndrome little girl who was cold.  I have to mention the patience and dedication of the special ed teachers as well as all of the teachers.  I know I would have been a terrible teacher.  I just don't have the patience.  They seem to take all that exuberance and noise in stride.  God bless them.

We have turned one of our guest rooms over to Chris.  He now has the closet and chest of drawers in one guest room so he can move in and out easily.  He even has a hamper.  We have a very aggressive travel schedule in 2014 and we all agreed this will work best. 

Hair, nails, church, cards, more cards and packing will occupy my weekend and Monday.   We fly to Orlando on Tuesday for Kristin's wedding shower.  We also are tasting rehearsal and reception food, meeting Larry's family, getting Ted's tux, getting my dress hemmed, etc.  My two granddaughters are flying in and another daughter is coming also.  We are taking them all to a show at Port Orleans at Disney on Saturday night.  They are only there for two days so we want to see they have a good time in that short window.

Next time I will have some photos from Florida!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Week's Vacation

We knew we would be coming and going this week but that didn't detract from our week with Tommy and Susan and the Dallas HitchHikers.  The ladies were attending classes at the quilt show and Susan was working so there was plenty of time to do whatever. 

I made chicken soup for dinner on Wednesday while Ted was gone and we shared it with Tommy and Susan.  We ate inside because everything outside was wet from the rain.  Ted was tired after getting up two days in a row at 5 am so it was an early night.

Thursday was the start of the rally and we had breakfast in the rally room at 9.  It was my day to play Shanghai so at noon I headed there.  And I won, coming in second.  I hurried home because there was a potluck at 5:30 and I had sweet potatoes to bake.  There is always too much food but it is always really good.  The gals taught me a new card game, 2500.  Now I will have to teach the others I play cards with.  I don't know how I did that first time playing but I know I didn't win.

Friday we attended church after spending 45 minutes in traffic for a 10 minute trip.  Apparently there was a wreck at the interchange we had to go through.  Ted made a pulled pork shoulder and we ate lunch outside with Tommy and Susan.  At 5:30 we had to meet the other group at the Mexican restaurant.  I wasn't the least bit hungry but they sent one of the fellows to tell us they had arrived from downtown and to come over, so we went.  I ordered a half quesadilla from the appetizer menu and managed to eat that.  We gathered in the rally room afterwards until it started to rain again when everyone headed home.  

Today we were invited to lunch at Tommy and Susan's for taco soup.  Our friends Dee and Ricky came by and ate with us but couldn't stay long.  Then Tommy decided we needed to go look at motorhomes!  They certainly are beautiful but just don't have the warmth and coziness of our 5th wheel.  I think we have one more unit in our future but I'm not sure just when or what it will be.

We tried to see Rita and Jim's new Mobile Suites but they were out and about somewhere.  So we stopped at Judy and Warren's to talk to them about the Mobile Suites they are picking up in February.  HitchHiker is out of production and Mobile Suites or Excel top our list.  But like I said, we have no timetable for replacing our 2008 HitchHiker.

We returned and watched college football until 6 pm when we met the group again at a local historic restaurant.  We came back and played cards. This time I came in second.  Not bad for only my second time.

We went to church at 7:30 Sunday morning since our bodies believed it was 8:30.  Fall back is a lot easier than spring forward.  We decided to stay one extra day because Ted had the RV washed and waxed by a company.  Also there was a Welcome Back Winter Texans party in the afternoon.  Once the washing was underway, Ted left to shoot and I called the kids and then took a nap.

We attended the gathering to welcome back all those who call this place home during the winter.  Of course we are friends with many of them.  We had an opportunity to talk with Gwen the owner.  It seems she was given the impression we were going to buy a motorhome!   That Tommy!!

We did get to see Rita and Jim's rig.  We toured the Mobile Suites factory in Howe, IN in 2009.  Ted was impressed with the fit and finish at that time.  I guess you'll know when we know if we are going to bite the bullet one more time.  I at least wrote the check for this one without getting a sick migraine!

We head home tomorrow.  I think the RV will stay put until December but then who knows what could come up?