Friday, February 28, 2014

Our Last Week Here

This certainly has been a doozy of a winter.  It has been cold at home, cold in the Rio Grande Valley and cold in Central Florida.  There have been beautiful, sunny days too but not nearly as many as there usually are.  We are heading home next week to spring hopefully.  My friend Donna (of the 3 Donnas), is coming for a visit at the end of the month.  If the bluebonnets are on schedule that should be a delightful time.

Kelly and family, along with Pat's mother, came for a visit on Tuesday.  We rented a pontoon boat and plied the waters of the St. Johns River up to Blue Spring and back.  We were not allowed to dock at the Spring so didn't see any manatees but we did see three alligators, two sunning themselves and one swimming.  Ally and Kelly took these photos with their phones.

We took them to dinner before they headed back to Disney.  They go home to Michigan on Saturday.

Wednesday morning we headed to the SW coast of Florida to visit my dad and his wife Edna.  They were unable to attend the wedding due to health issues.  They both are frail, riding is uncomfortable and the demands of travel are too much for them.  

We arrived in the early afternoon and had a great visit that included dinner of Skyline chili and a nice salad.  We didn't stay late because they had been up all day with no siestas.  The cleaning people came early and we took up their whole afternoon.  But I know they love our visits and rested up the next day.

In honor of Kristin and Larry, my Dad rang this bell at 2 pm on Saturday.  He was definitely thinking of us all and terribly disappointed he couldn't do the reading from the book of Tobit.

We spent the night in an area motel.  We didn't want to cause used bathrooms and sheets for them to deal with.  Little things can be difficult when your hands and legs have a mind of their own.

We have friends there in Punta Gorda, Ave Maria and Lake Placid but we needed to get home to show the house this morning.  We just didn't have time to spend another night on the road and our route was nowhere near these places except for Faith and Herman in Punta Gorda who probably didn't want visitors at 9 am.

So we left under very cloudy skies, planning a stop at the Plant City Strawberry Festival to see the Redhead Express, the group we watched grow up while performing in the Rio Grande Valley.  LaRae had her baby boy earlier this month, Kendra is getting married next month and Meaghan still has her red cup named Ted for her cup song.  She gave Ted a shout out from the stage.  They sounded really good with a back up drummer and the best of equipment.  Check them out at

We are showing the house at 10 am to the friend of a neighbor who learned it was going up for sale at the garage sale.  Who knows?  Anything can happen.  Wish us luck.

Tom and Eileen are coming over today.  I would like to go see the Tiffany windows at Rollins College Chapel if that interests them.

Everyone, stay warm!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Terrific Wedding

Today is the day after!  After all the planning and preparations have played out, for good or bad.

The rehearsal was a hoot!  Instead of me "practicing" walking down the aisle and lighting the unity candle tapers, Fr. John said I knew how to do that and should "park it" in the first bench!  He just blew through it and I applaud the wedding party who knew what to do the next day except for Aunt Maureen.  More on that later.

Kristin with Sam, Morgan and Molly the Bear in her wedding attire after the rehearsal.

There were 65 people at Wildside BBQ in Orlando to begin the festivities after rehearsal.  Kristin ordered a Groom's cake for Larry that incorporated his trade of photography.

The camera looked so real but I was afraid to touch it to make sure.  It was icing over styrofoam.  The "film" along the bottom contained photos of Larry, his family and Kristin.  It was an excellent cake too flavored with Grand Marnier.  There was a second undecorated cake too because of the size of our group.

Saturday morning started off with the first drama of the day when I dropped my dangly diamond earring down the bathroom drain!  I was cleaning them for Kristin to wear.  The maintenance man wasn't answering his radio so the front desk gave me a pliers and phillip head screw driver!  Amazingly Ted got the trap off with the pliers and Bill (son in law to be in July) got the drain thing out and out dropped the earring.  By then the maintenance man arrived and he put it all back together.  Teamwork!

The make up and hair people started on everyone about 7:30.  I said I wanted to look like Liz Taylor and they reminded me she was dead.  So I told them to do whatever.  Once finished I returned to my hotel, dressed and returned with Ted for some early photos.  When it was time for church it was raining bucketsful.  The limo had to back into the valet area to load the wedding party.  We followed it and blew through three tolls because the limo had a SunPass and we didn't.  I may be in stripes soon but I refused to be late.

I prayed the whole way and the rain stopped for the day by the time we arrived.  My other son-in-law Patrick escorted me to light the candle.  We turned around and Aunt Maureen had not lit hers on the other side.  She asked if she should light hers and I nodded yes.  Instead of lighting the candle she was supposed to, she lit the taper Larry was to use and tried to stand it on top of the bigger candle.  When no one came to her rescue, I left my seat, helped her do it correctly and we both "parked it!"

Sam and Morgan starting off the processional.

The ceremony went well except Fr. John read a different gospel than the wedding coordinator had said he would so the program was wrong but no one except me seemed to notice.  There were tears of joy and lots of laughter and finally it was time to kiss the bride.

Granddaugter Ally, granddaughter Cassie, Sheetal, Kristin, Larry, Willie, grandson Sam and Larry's brother, Peter with granddaugter Morgan in the front.

I wasn't taking photos so what I am sharing are some sent to me by others.

It was past 3:30 when we were finished with the six photographers at the church, a result of Larry being a photographer!  Somewhere in there has to be a good photo of me!  This one was taken by my friend Eileen.  I like it!

We were both hungry and dinner was over four hours away so we drove to Steak and Shake.  I believe we were voted best dressed in the drive thru line.  We both got a shake since it was easy to drink and filled us up.  Then it was back to the hotel for more photos.  

A little before six we walked across the street to the Citrus Club to be there to greet the guests.

All those place cards Kristin and I worked on sitting in alphabetical order.  There was a photo booth that everyone seemed to enjoy.  Their photo strip fit into the acrylic frame that housed their place card,  a great idea!  My sister Laurie, Kara and I did a photo strip for Grandpa who was unable to attend.  He wanted so badly to read from the Book of Tobit but felt too frail to make the trip.

The table settings.  There were 17 tables in all, named instead of numbered with different words important to a successful marriage.  Ted and I were at the Friendship table.  The centerpieces were fresh flowers in water filled clear glass cylinders topped off with those elusive floating candles that spent a few days in Louisville during the last snow storm.  The gold boxes of chocolates were placed by the waitstaff on the napkins.

There was a cocktail hour with waitstaff passing hors deuvers followed by dinner, then dancing.

Our three daughters - Kelly, Kristin and Kara.

The wedding cake.

Maid of Honor, Sheetal, Kristin's best friend since age 8.  She did an amazing job on her toast.

Kara, fiancé Bill (another wedding in July!) and Morgan and Sam.

Random shots at church waiting for the photographers to finish up.

The one thing I don't know how to share with you is the video Kara posted on Facebook of me and my brother Dan dancing to Old Time Rock and Roll.  To add insult to injury her caption read "my amazing almost 70 year old mother."  I quickly added "almost 69, not 70."

Sunday morning we thanked everyone at breakfast for coming, checked out of the hotel and drove Karen and Ron to Port Canaveral to start their cruise.  We will pick them up next Sunday.  In the meantime we can use their car instead of our truck and if need be, we can go in separate directions because we have two vehicles.

We are back at the RV, checked on the cats, and delivered the wedding gifts and envelopes to Kristin's house.  It is almost empty now.  My Fathet's Closet is coming Tuesday to clear out the garage sale stuff including tne dining room set.  A woman is interested in seeing the house this week.  We have accomplished a lot in the 3 weeks we have been here.

Happy the bride the sun shines on
Happy the bride the rain falls on

Either way, Kristin is covered.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Less Than A Week Until the Wedding

This time next week I will be sitting with my feet up!  We have been very busy getting this show on the road. 

The first wrinkle in our plans was Ted's need to fly back to Texas from Monday to Wednesday.  That left me without a vehicle because I didn't want to drive the dually to the airport Wednesday night to pick him up so he drove himself.   I went to Kristin's for two nights and used her car one day.

The next problem is the weather up north that has our 48 floating candles being held hostage in Louisville by UPS.  I have shopped around and found some available that will do and if the original ones don't arrive by Wednesday I will be out rounding up 48 new ones.

The bridesmaid dresses were shipped Fed Ex right before the storm and arrived on Thursday as promised.  Now they would have been impossible to replace if they didn't arrive!

We spent Friday getting ready for the garage sale that was held on Saturday.  Clearing out a whole house is no easy task.  With two complete households there is just way too much stuff.  We did sell quite a lot and will call a group to come get the rest.  The king size bed, couch, desk and entertainment center are all that is going to Larry's.  It is all the little things that are so hard to sort out.

In the meantime Ted and I have kept busy with errands, working on the name cards, taking our dance classes, attending a few things here in the park, etc.  I had breakfast with my friend Rita one day while Ted was gone.  Tom and Eileen took me to lunch another day.  

After the garage sale we drove to Disney's All Star Sports Resort to spend the night.  Bill and Kara met us there and we transferred all the things I had for her into their car.  We put our stuff in the room they had booked for us and went to Giordano's for dinner.  They got up at 5:00 to fly down and we were up at 6:00 for the garage sale so it was an early evening as they went to Bonnet Creek to their two bedroom apartment and we returned to our room.

We had brunch with Minnie, Donald and Goofy at Cape May Cafe at Disney Beach Club this morning along with Kara, Bill, Sam and Morgan.  

We went to church in Celebration at noon and then headed to Larry's while they went to the Hollywood Studios park.  We spent hours working on the name cards  and church program.  It was 8:30 this evening when we arrived home.

Hopefully things will calm down as we get more things wrapped up.  When more folks start arriving on Thursday I am sure it will get crazy again.  There are 65 coming to the rehearsal dinner on Friday and 130 for the wedding on Saturday.  

I know this isn't too exciting for you all to read but it is important for me to record the build up to Kristin's wedding.  The weather has been good and hopefully will stay that way for the next few weeks.

P.S.  I just checked and the candles have made it to Longwood, FL.  Hopefully they will be out for delivery today or tomorrow.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In Central Florida

We left Mission on Saturday stopping east of Houston that night, then Slidell LA Sunday night where we had a short visit with Ted's sister-in-law and finally Madison FL for our last night out with Tom and Eileen.  We were less than 50 miles from I-75 where we would turn south and they would continue on I-10 to I-95.  Tom lamented the fact he was going to be on his own to find his way home!  He isn't the first fellow we have traveled with who appreciates my planning and navigation skills, especially when their co-pilot has no interest in reading a map.  

We arrived at our destination for the next month and got settled in.  Kristin came over so we could taste and choose the chocolates to go in the individual boxes placed on the table at the wedding reception.  We nixed the orange and mint flavored ones, too medicinal, and settled on three others.  So there will be two of each.

The next day we took three loads of laundry to Kristin's while she was at work.  Doing one load at a time takes awhile so we spent most of the afternoon there.  Then we met her and Larry at Subway before heading to the Amway Center to see the Magic and Pistons play.  We have lived both places so we couldn't lose but the Pistons played as if they went home after the first quarter.  Basketball games are fun with all the activity and audience participation that goes on.  They give away great prizes too.

Thursday I started cutting and gluing purple and gold strips that are the backdrop of the name cards.  They will have the persons name, table and entrée choice on ivory strips once we have all that figured out.  It will fit into a 6 x 2 inch acrylic frame that will then serve as the frame for people's photo booth pictures they can have taken throughout the night.  That is something new now at all sorts of parties.  I had 80 of 130 finished but had to stop to fix dinner for the three of us.

It was Marriage License day Friday but first we had to stop by the Citrus Club for a check on the details.  We will be able to take the purple table runners, floating candles, table names and name cards (in alphabetical order) to the coordinator the day before.  That was good news.  We are confident they have everything planned well.

I was unable to go to the marriage license office because I had a pic comb in my purse!  Rather than give it up, I waited in the lobby.  I understand they don't want anyone combing someone to death (sarcasm font needed).  We went to lunch at Four Rivers BBQ and I hate to tell you Texas folks but it was the most tender, moist, flavorful brisket I have ever tasted.  I am sure we will go back.

Ted and I took our first dance class that Larry and Kristin purchased for us.  They have taken some classes too and thought it would be fun.  We had a lot of laughs but I'm not sure we accomplished too much.  I don't know if we will have time to get all five of the classes in.  We would like to work on the waltz and two-step but time will tell.  We all came back to the trailer for the evening.

Kristin and I spent the day together on Saturday.  We hit Michael's, Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's to purchase the card box for the gift table, thank you notes and program blanks.  They come with a template so hopefully we can get the info in easily and get them printed out with no problems.  Having a graphic designer (Kristin) and photographer with great equipment (Larry), they have chosen to do a lot themselves.  

We finished the afternoon at the tailor to get my dress hemmed, then went for a massage for Kristin and a facial for me, another gift from her to me.  We had dinner with Larry's sister at Carrabba's.  The day was long, the wait for a table even longer and we were all starving.  We ate so much bread that everyone took half their meal home.  

Yesterday we went to our old church and I only saw two ladies I know.  The area is really growing and there are many more young families with children.  A SunRail station has been built just south of the city and that will open up this bedroom community of Orlando even more.

We went to Larry's house where there were lots of gifts to be opened and recorded.  They have received 11 place settings of china, all but one hostess set of flatware, and all but six wine glasses
so far.  With two households there was no need for so many things couples usually register for but they will easily have a complete set of formal dining dishes, silverware and crystal.

I continued cutting and gluing the name strips while Kristin set up the template for the info.  To identify entrees to the waitstaff, we have chosen decorative squares for chicken, triangles for fish and circles for beef.  We want to work together when we type in the info to be doubly sure we get the right people at the correct table with their chosen entrée.

At her shower, Kristin asked everyone to write three words for a successful marriage.  Instead of table numbers she used these words to create table names.  She typed these words and I put them into 5 x 7 gold frames then alphabitized them.  We will now fill out the schematic so the coordinator can place the frames on the appropriate table.  All these little details!!

Ted grilled burgers while I made fries and corn on the cob.  Because the kitchen table only seats four and Maureen had stayed over at Larry's, we ate in the dining room.  He said it was the first meal he ate in there.

I was certainly ready for bed when we got home.  This has been a whirlwind.  Sorry about only one photo but I will make up for it.

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. 
Go now to your dwelling place to begin the days of your life together.
May your days together be good and long upon the earth.

An Apache Blessing

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fixing the pictures

My IPad cuts off the picture and to see it all you have to click on it.   So I have adjusted my settings and am doing an experiment.