Monday, April 28, 2014

Wedding Weekend

Many folks attending the wedding were in the same villas as us.  Nephew Jim arrived and he and Sharon rode with us to the party barn where the wedding was held in the loft.  

Here are great nieces Taylor and Josie as flower girls.  Nolan and Reid were sign bearers.  One said "Uncle Brandon, this is your last chance to run."  The other said "Uncle Brandon, here comes your bride."  It drew lots of laughter.  I was presented with a corsage because I was asking the blessing at dinner.

It was a lovely ceremony and instead of lighting a unity candle, Rachel and Brandon tied two ropes together in a fisherman's knot.  Their log cabin home sits on their own private lake.  Even the wedding cake topper was a bride and groom in a rowboat.

My greatest thrill was the attendance of my half-brother Kim and his wife Marilynn.  I had not seen him since we moved to Florida in 1971 and he was living with his father.  We had such a great visit and I hope to see more of them.

A new thing, at least iin that part of the country, is the candy bar.  Jars, bowls, sucker trees, etc. are all arranged beautifully and guests are provided with boxes or bags to avail themselves of the treats.  Here are Josie and Taylor filling their bags.

I didn't take too many photos but here is one of niece Cindy's crew.  Missing of course are her two grandchildren.  What you can't see are Sarah's twins and Amy's baby all making their first appearance next fall.  When asked for name suggestions I chose Raelynn for a girl.  Rae is my middle name and only Terry has been given the middle name Ray.  I need a namesake!

No party would be complete without rolling on the river to Proud Mary.  I guess if I could get up without having to climb someone's leg I would join them.

Another great shot of a few of the male cousins along with Vicki who danced every dance.  I never saw her sitting except to eat dinner.

Dustin (our godson -17 years old, size 17 shoe!),  David, Josh, Paul, Vicki, Joe, Mike, Little Dan (as opposed to my brother Big Dan).  

They had the Marriage Dance where all married couples are called to the floor.  Then by years of marriage are asked to take a seat.  Karen and Ron won at 55 years, we came in second at 49.

By 11:30 Ted and I gave it up and walked across the parking lot to our villa.  We attended 9:00 Mass the next morning, checked out of the villa and drove to Dan and Sue's for brunch and the opening of the gifts.  We left there about 1:30 and decided to drive to Corbin, KY for the night.

We were passing Berea, KY right at dinner time and left the highway to have dinner at Boone Tavern.

This is a historical tavern and is used today as a dining room, hotel and conference center.  It is staffed in part by Berea College students who are studying hotel management and culinary arts.  Our server was from Bolivia and said he enjoyed this past winter's snow.

We settled in for the night in time to watch Amazing Race.  My Oklahoma cowboys are still in it and I cheer them on each week.  The weather is supposed to be severe today so we will plan our drive to Cumming, GA with that in mind.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Still Chilly in Ohio

We took off around 8:30 on Tuesday and drove to West Memphis, AR where we spent the night.  To say there is "construction" is an understatement, the interchange around I-40 and I-55 is a nightmare! Just maneuvering our way to the motel, to dinner and back, then finding the entrance to I-40 the next morning was a challenge.  We will go another route in June with the RV!  But we made it and are now wiser.

Our second day was broken up by stops in Bowling Green at the Brand store that sells clothing from the local garment factories (and much from overseas).  I bought a zippered sweat jacket because it was getting cool and I thought I might need it.  Ted chose a few shirts, I added some Vasserette underwear for me, got our 10% senior discount and were on our way.

Next stop was the Zappos outlet in Shepherdsville.  I found a pair of gold strappy shoes, walking shoes to leave in the RV and a pair of black boots.  Unfortunately Ted found nothing.

After dinner at the local diner around Campbellville, we drove on into Cincinnati to my sister's.  We called ahead to tell them we would eat dinner on the road and would arrive later.  

We spent Thursday visiting with Karen and Ron then headed out for dinner at an Italian restaurant where 17 folks from my grade school days were gathering for their bi-monthly dinner.  I was happy when I got the e-mail saying the dinner was not only when we were in town, but on our 49th wedding anniversary.  Once again Donna brought cupcakes to share as dessert for all of us to celebrate our special day.  She had done the same for my birthday last October.  It was such a fun evening and the food was outstanding.

Friday we packed up and continued north to Celina for the wedding we are attending.  Karen and Ron drove their car too because we are still loaded down.  We left two rugs for Sherry, a dress for Lily and a tank/overblouse set for Karen at their house.  When we arrived at Dan's we unloaded the bedding ensemble that is our wedding gift, a gallon of whiskey and a quart of Bloody Mary mix that we had won along with a small bag of broken jewelry for Sue who does beading.  When we see Kelly today we will give them their 3 dresses from the FL wedding, Kara's dress and shoes, a dress I bought for Ally, a wedding gift for Kara and two boxes of gluten free crackers I bought for Morgan but forgot to give them to Kara.  Did I mention we were in my Expedition!!

The rehearsal dinner was at 7:00 for 64 people with open bar.  I had one Long Island iced tea and Ted off course had Diet Coke.  The food was excellent.  There were a half dozen selections to choose from.  When Brandon spoke to thank everyone for coming he mentioned we had come all the way from Texas, it was our 49th wedding anniversary and he had a cake made in our honor and it would be served with ice cream as dessert.  Of course we were very pleased.

We were supposed to stay at Dan's but Sue's parents are not coming due to illness so we are in their villa across from the reception hall.  That takes the pressure off the bathrooms at Dan's house and works fine for us.  My nephew Joe and Debbie are next door and were partying with others last night.  My phone rang and they asked us to come over but we were already in our PJs.  Of course they said come as you are but we didn't!

The wedding is at 3:00 today.  Right now the weather looks good.  I hope it stays that way.

Congratulations to Rachel and Brandon on their wedding day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Must Be Blessed

Well I am still waiting on the landscaper.  I can understand weather delays, availability of plants, etc.  I can't understand having to hound a company for information.  Despite a call at noon asking for confirmation they were coming the next day as rescheduled, I received no call back so another call near the end of the business day was met again with excuses.  I asked just when they were going to let me know they weren't coming.  I never did get an answer.  I told them to forget it and she PROMISED they would be here on May 7.  I hate to start over and am too busy to interview others so I am giving them one more shot.  But if the owner shows up he is getting an earful.  I haven't been able to get past the office lady. And I swear as God is my witness it will be done on May 7 or nothing short of doing it for free will change my mind in firing them.

Ted had his annual endoscopy done on Thursday and all appeared OK.  Of course we are once again awaiting pathology but the doctor said he didn't see anything of any concern.  It has been over six years since his problem so we keep our fingers crossed and do the annual procedure.

Sadly we attended the funeral of the father of our "home campground" owner.  We have gone to that campground consistently since it opened and are good friends with the couple that own it.  We enjoyed talking to Billy's parents when they were in residence in their motorhome.  May he rest in peace.  He had some rough last years.

I did laundry all day long on Saturday.  I was really playing catch up in that department.  We chose to wait until Sunday to attend Easter Mass so while I was busy in the laundry room, Ted went shooting for a bit.  I made a beer can chicken for dinner and we watched TV in the evening.

We attended 11:00 Mass on Sunday arriving at 10:30 so we got a parking spot and a seat!  At 3:00 we met up with Carol, Terry, Irene and John at a restaurant for an early dinner.  It was sort of sad having no kids around to hunt eggs but the 10 kids and 18 grandkids among us were not around.  Distance and other sides of the family play out on holidays.

Today was bunco, nails, hair and packing!  We hit the road again tomorrow heading to a wedding in Ohio.  I used the leftover chicken to make a pot pie for dinner and we are loading the car!

"Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world," ~ Gustave Flaubert

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Day From Home

We had a terrific week in Ingram with our Hitchhiker friends.  We had coffee in the morning, games in the afternoon, Happy Hours at night, shared meals, karaoke in the evening and lots of visiting going on.  

We ladies all went shopping Saturday and had lunch overlooking the Guadalupe River.  At 5:00 we went to church and returned in time for the fish fry put on by the campground.  So we ate fish two days in a row.  Sunday was the drive to Cooper's BBQ.  We picked up Dulce and Berndt and our timing was perfect as we pulled into the turn lane in Llano right behind the rest of the folks.  We did a better job of not letting our eyes be bigger than our bellies.  We chose one pork chop, a 5 rib piece and three slices of brisket.  I ate half the chop and one rib.  Ted ate the other half,  four ribs and one slice of brisket.  We brought the other two pieces home.

Back at Buckhorn, Dulce went over my Schedule E and K-1s.  We decided it would be best to file an extension to give me time to be sure I got it filled out correctly.  So that's what I did.  We don't owe, so it was easy and I hopefully will get it done before we leave again.  If not, I have until October.

Monday we did our prep work for leaving, I made green beans and a pot of sauerkraut and sausage for the potluck and then won a game of Jokers and Marbles against some very good players.  I hadn't played since 2009 in Idaho where I didn't do well at all.

We had a great dinner, so much food!  Afterwards we had a white elephant gift grab.  We bought a BBQ set in its own case.  I picked a bag containing a half gallon of Canadian Whiskey.  Since I have liquor left from Kara's first wedding in 1992, I will take it to the wedding next week where it will be gone in no  time.

Driving Donna to Brenham and College Station, traveling to Llano and our trips out and back to Ingram gave us terrific views of the wildflowers that were awesome this year.  The Indian paintbrushes were very evident as well as primrose.  I was unable to identify the white flowers that looked like a small poppy and the yellow daisy type.  Need to get my Texas Wildflower book out!  There were fields and fields of bluebonnets especially between Austin and Brenham.

We are close to home and Ted washed the RV today.  I went to the doctor and had my stitches removed.  I also got the official word that it was a benign cyst.  Ted has his annual endoscopy tomorrow in the afternoon.  We will be leaving here early enough to get the rig parked and to the doctor on time.

Tonight we are having burgers with Tommy and Susan.  They have been here since March 1 and are staying until May 1.  They spend two months here three times a year.  We like when they are closer to us so we can spend time with them instead of "meeting in the middle."

Hopefully the landscaper will show up Friday as promised.  We purchased a new Lazy Boy double recliner loveseat and it is supposed to come Saturday.  I have a hard time getting things done at home so I pray these two things actually happen! 

"Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed."  ~ Alexander Pope

Friday, April 11, 2014

In the Texas Hill Country

Sunday I was still a bit under the weather but muddled through getting ready to head out again.  We had received an invitation from Grand Circle Tours to a breakfast at the Marriott in Westchase so Monday we headed there.  It was held in a ballroom with a full breakfast served, games played, prizes awarded and new trips discussed.  There are a few changes for next year - excursion tipping included, transfers available if you do your own air, etc.  We met some nice folks and enjoyed discussing all the tours we have all taken.

We had shopping and packing to do when we returned home so we would be ready Tuesday morning to depart early.  Our drive to Ingram outside of Kerrville was uneventful.  We made one pit stop but that was all.  We traveled route 21 through Bastrop and the burned areas from the wild fires a few years ago are still very much in evidence.  I imagine it will take decades for the regrowth.  That had been the prettiest strip in Texas to drive through.

We are here with 23 HitchHiker units, one Cameo and our Mobile Suites.  If we are to remain with the group a by-law change needs to be made.  It was discussed at the annual meeting but with the two SOBs (some other brand) in the room not a lot was said.  One lady who runs the Snowbird club said they opened their club up to anyone sponsored by a Snowbird owner once Nu-Wa stopped making Snowbirds.  She warned them if they didn't grandfather previous owners or accept sponsored folks they would cease to exist by attrition since HitchHiker is out of production.  We enjoy seeing these folks when it is convenient with our schedule but it certainly isn't our end all or be all in RVing.  Whatever they decide will not impact us much.  We are still members of Texas Boomers and have a standing invitation to join the Dallas HitchHikers who accept SOBs.  That gives us the right to attend any gathering featured on the Forum.  I think it is a moot point.  Then there are always Mobile Suite groups.  We were invited to a luncheon when in Mission but we were leaving for Florida and unable to attend.

While here there are coffee get togethers in the morning, exercise class, games in the afternoon, Happy Hour and sometimes dinner planned.  A dozen of us went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant one night, we had a group cookout another.  Last night we ate in.  There is a group going to Fredericksburg to a German restaurant tonight but it is Friday in Lent and we are going to pass.  There is a catered fish fry tomorrow night!  Just our luck.

Today we were going to Buckhorn to visit Dulce and Berdt from our Mission park.  They are here until after tax season.  Usually they go to California but are coming to Michigan in July when we are all getting together so they may have different plans this year.  She is going to help me with our five K-1s received this year for our taxes.  I will need to finish our return and file it electronically the day we get home!  Everything is done but this section.  However, she has a $1million return she needs to go over so we moved it to Sunday.

We will only be home a week before we take off to Ohio for a family wedding.  We have plans to see some folks along the way.  We hope to visit Calloway Gardens and the WWII museum in New Orleans as we make our way home once again.  


“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

 Lao Tzu 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Errands and Doctors

Monday afternoon I did lots of laundry that had piled up during my gallivanting.  I remember doing laundry everyday when all three girls were home and even more on weekends.  It just never ends.  But at least I don't have to beat it against a rock in the river.

Our last Senior Bingo Lunch was Tuesday so I was up and out early.  It was entirely catered so I didn't have to make something but I did take two bingo prizes.  I always watch to see how quickly they go so I know if I am on the right track with what I purchase to bring.  My two were gone right away so I am still doing well in my selections.  When I haven't bought something specific, Tide, coffee and stamps are always popular.  This put me at 46.5 hours and I am scheduled for four hours at the Thrift Shop which gets me past 50 (barely!).  It all starts over in June.

First thing Wednesday morning I got the leaf, pads and tablecloth out for the dining room table.  We were having Terry, Carol and their five visitors for dinner.  Before Ted got up and would have helped me get the table together I received a call from Terry that the stomach bug had hit and dinner was out.  We were sorry to miss their family but I didn't want to get sick either.  I put everything back in the pantry and the refrigerated things into the freezer.  I will use it all sometime.

Ted and I were out several times this week doing some sort of errand each day.  Bank, pharmacy, post office, grocery, Sam's, etc.  Errands pile up too.

The next day I visited my doctor for my six month bloodwork to be sure the medicine I am taking for my cholersterol is working and not causing any side effects.  Liver enzymes are important to watch.  He checked me over and said he would call in a few days with my numbers.

That afternoon I had another appointment with the dermatologist about a lump on my scalp.  He said it was probably a cyst but should be removed so we made an appointment for the next day.  I never gave much thought to the quickness of this scheduled procedure.  On Friday we returned and my scalp was numbed and a cyst that was pure white and looked like a small tooth was removed.  That's when he said he was relieved because so many scalp things turn out to be metastized!!!  I am glad he waited until all was OK before mentioning that.  Now I have stitches that will be removed when we return from Kerrville.  So I am waiting for pathology reports from two doctors.  Getting old isn't for the faint of heart.

I spent Saturday at home taking antibiotics and Tylenol but we did go to Mass at 5:00.  We decided to try the new Golden Corral for dinner.  At buffets I try to choose a dinner - salad, meat, vegetable, starch and a dessert and not over eat.  I have noticed portions are smaller so those that want to try many things don't waste so much.  I did opt for two desserts - a tiny strawberry pie that was very good and cotton candy!  It was just me and the kids hanging out waiting for the pink fluffy stuff to be twirled on the paper cone.  I can't remember the last time I had one.  

Young love is like cotton candy, it is always sweet yet easily dissolves and fades away.