Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Am Ready!

We had a nice meal and visits with friends for our Thanksgiving dinner.  There are a lot of people who eat out on holidays.  The dining room and food at the country club were festive and we enjoyed it.  However, it is a bummer the next day with no leftovers!  Afterwards we went back to Terry and Carol's to watch football and play cards.  Carol had made a pecan pie but we chose to bring our pieces home.

Friday Ted ventured out for one shopping item and I stayed home because Isabelle was coming to clean.  She hadn't given me a time with the holiday so I just waited.  Other than Ted's one trip we stayed out of the fray!

I put my decorations up for Christmas but as predicted there aren't many and they are not elaborate.  We have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree with my stable beneath it.  I set several pointsettias around too.  The stable always comes out but is usually on the kitchen sideboard.  To avoid storing my everyday things, I chose to keep the sideboard intact.  Same goes for the mantel.  I used my train and pointsettias on the hearth.  Add a wreath and a snowman out front and I am done!.

The kids head to Dallas the weekend after Christmas and we will depart as soon after as we can get the decorations put away and the RV packed.  Chris doesn't want to look at Christmas things until March and I don't want to come home to them either.

After church on Saturday, the four of us went to Fuddrucker's for burgers and to watch the Alabama and Auburn football game.  We stayed until half time then headed home.  It was a roller coaster game but I went to bed before it was over.  Terry and Carol's grandson goes to Alabama so I know they stayed up and were thrilled with the win.

Ted went shooting Sunday and I used the time to wrap gifts.  I then realized I had everything ordered but very little had actually arrived!  After wrapping four, I moved on to the Christmas cards.  I designed them and had them printed at Shutterfly.  It depicts what this year has been mostly about.  They are ready for stamps now.

I have a busy week coming up.  There are three "work days" for Junior Forum and two parties plus a couple of personal appointments.  I will catch y'all next week!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Lull Before the Storm

I Christmas shopped, in my jammies, in front of my computer on Saturday.  I hate to shop but this way is bearable.  And I love free shipping!  My daughter said on the phone they wanted a new garage door opener, one with the extra keypad, and before I finished talking to her, I had arranged for her to receive an email from Sears saying one was at their mall awaiting pick up.  Instant gratification!  Love getting the sons-in-law things they really want or need.  Now the other son-in-law can help install it on Thanksgiving Day.  We call him MacGuyver because he can fix anything!

We went to church and then watched football ALL night!  I actually read and looked up now and then to comment.  When we watched the Texans on the Panama cruise my friend asked me if I understood the game when everyone whooped at a play. I told her "Yes, I understand it ... I just don't care."  I'm not even a "sunshine soldier."  We went to Gerre's Sunday because she was hosting the neighborhood get together for the Texans-Bengals game.  It was one of those games I couldn't lose since Cincinnati is my hometown!

The Bengals won but no one had to listen to me gloating because I was sitting outside by the pool enjoying the sun and 80 degree temperature.  We came home to more football.  I also had to get the bathroom ready for the workers that showed up at 8 a.m. on Monday.  It took them less than six hours to sand and stain the cabinets.

While they worked I did laundry and more Christmas shopping.  I had most of it done except for one granddaughter who had not yet sent me a list.  Her sister sent two typewritten pages!  

After dinner we watched Ferguson, MO burn which we all knew was coming.  I just don't understand how people think burning down their own neighborhood advances their cause.  I am not a racist but I'm not stupid either.  For safety, I wouldn't have been anywhere near that area last night knowing what was coming.  

Tuesday I was on the phone a lot getting all my last minute appointments made.  My calendar is so marked up I had to get a clean piece of paper to attach to it.  I did more Christmas shopping and I am very close to being done.  We did bow out of a group dinner when Ted saw the meal selections.  Two years ago he was told he could order something else but the restaurant said no that night.  We ended up spending over $100 for two dinners neither of us enjoyed.  We don't want to ruin the efficiency of the kitchen in getting over 40 dinners out to everyone else.  

We tried to get new I-phones Wednesday but I am not allowed until August.  I couldn't buy it for 99 cents.  I couldn't buy it for $19 a month.  I could have a Droid but nothing else.  The fellow even called Corporate and they said no.  I told them all or nothing at all so he had to undue everything he had done on Ted's phone to return it to us.  I don't understand, but it is what it is!  I may tell Verizon to shove it and change carriers.

On our way home we stopped at the nursing home to visit Wanda.  Her spirits are amazing.  She remembers Ted picked her up off the garage floor but then talked about Stan from church but we go to different churches so we don't know him.  She insisted we did.  She was getting drowsy so we left so she could nap.

We are leaving for dinner at the country club and then to Terry and Carol's afterwards.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Projects

Monday was my bunco group at Judy's.  We made all the plans for our Christmas luncheon before starting play.  I didn't win anything but that's OK.  I came home and made arrangements for the carpet stretcher, leather couch cleaner and the carpet cleaner to come on Tuesday. 

The couch cleaner came first.  He was a jolly black man that was very accommodating,  I didn't see the back of his hat that said Obama until he was leaving!  He cleaned both couches and then switched them so I am now using the one that hasn't been used as much.  We discussed my area rug and he said he could take it in for cleaning.  I was hesitant because of having people over Thursday but we took up the rug and the wood floor underneath was fine.  I thought perhaps their would be a shadow from the rug but there is none.  It will be back in two weeks.  

As soon as he left, the carpet stretchers came.  I found out either company could have done all of it.  Live and learn.  My bedroom doorway and the closet doorway in one of the guest rooms had some buckling.  It took them no time to stretch the carpet and get rid of those lumps.  I had made a chicken pot pie so I popped it in the oven and we had a quick dinner.

I took Wednesday to hit the nail salon.  The parties are starting and the first one is Friday.  After nails I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some things for the Shanghai group I offered to host on Thursday because the original hostess opted out.  I also had to make lemon squares for a funeral Friday.

Nine ladies came to play cards on Thursday.  While we were doing that, Ted took Stan for another ride since he was eating lunch when he went to pick him up.  I am sure he forgot that Ted was coming.  So they rode to Brenham to the Blue Bell ice cream factory.  They skipped the tour and went right to the ice cream tasting where they were both given two different flavors at no charge.  You get a free one on the tour and the second is $1 but no one ever asked for any money!  I told Ted it was a reward for being nice to Stan.  He took him to the store where he bought several items.  Ted reported this to the attendant when he took him back to the care unit in case he had something he shouldn't.  

I made lemon squares for the ladies but most were left so I took them to the funeral without having to make another pan.  I was glad about that.  While at church I also bought the missals Ted and Bill use during Mass.  The Catholic Church runs on three cycles.  Each cycle starts on the first Sunday of Advent which is four Sundays before Christmas so it is fast approaching.  They now have all three books.  After that it was off to the hair salon.  

Tonight was our first holiday party at Jody and Dave's.  She sets the most beautiful refreshment tables.  Lovely dishes, scarves, bows, etc. graced all the stations she had set with delicious food.  Then there was the bar with something for everyone.  They made sure there was a bottle of Riesling for me and Diet Coke for Ted.  Jody even sent the rest of the bottle home with me so it didn't get wasted.  I am the only one that drinks such sweet wine.

Really rough weather is predicted for tomorrow.  The holiday lighting ceremony in our area has been postponed until Sunday.  We have no plans other than church so I hope we don't get blown away!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Here Comes Thanksgiving

Time just keeps passing more quickly each year.  When I remember back to something, I am amazed to realize it was years ago that something occurred but it seems like yesterday.  I am sure I am not  alone.

My luck at cards ran out Wednesday night when neither Ted nor I won.  In the third hand where you need three sets of three of a kind, I was dealt five pairs and a joker.  Slam dunk right?  I just needed to get two cards of any of the five pairs I had and along with that joker I was down.  I did not draw nor did anyone throw away any of those cards.  I was caught for 110 points holding the exact same hand I was dealt.  It was the kiss of death and I never pulled out. Ted didn't get down in the first two rounds and suffered along with me.  But dinner was good and the company even better so losing some dimes is no big deal.

Kristin and Larry had to put down their dog Shep that night.  She was 14 but had a mass on her liver and couldn't stand, walk or control her bladder.  That is always such a sad choice to make.  She will be missed.

Thursday was our neighborhood luncheon for the ladies, Ted went with the men on Wednesday.  It was bittersweet because our greatest neighbor is in hospice care and she was sorely missed.  We had to decide what to do about Christmas since Wanda insists she is going to have us.  We reserved a restaurant and will address where to have dessert as the time gets closer.  

Merry and I made two stops concerning the surprise we are working on before heading home.  Isabelle came that day so we are totally clean inside and out!  Ted went to see if he could put the hog that is tearing up the sporting clay course to rest but he never showed up.  When it got dark he came back home.  The next morning all the corn was gone so obviously this hog is patient.

It was off to three places with Merry on Friday to finish our project.  I am torn about one thing but have time to make a decision!  Maybe I should leave well enough alone.  While at JCP an elderly lady fell on the up escalator and was tumbling around like in a clothes dryer.  Merry ran to her aid but the lady got cut up pretty badly from the metal strips.  They were at the top before more help arrived.  I picked up Mary's purse, looked for the woman's shoes and husband and got a chair from a dressing room.  At first the lady didn't want 911 but the bleeding wouldn't stop and Merry told them she may have hurt more than just the cuts so they called.  After Merry washed the blood from her hands we left just as the EMTs arrived.  It was scary for all of us.

I visited Wanda on Saturday.  She sits in her lift chair and watches TV and naps frequently.   She was happy to see Kara's wedding photos.  I offered to stay awhile so her husband could leave but she said she wanted to take a nap.  She is the world's greatest friend and neighbor and my heart is breaking.  In the evening we went to church and went out for a bite.  

Sunday was cold and rainy.  Ted went to shoot but they could never stay on the range long enough.  He gave up and came home.  I put a chuck roast in the crockpot and just stayed home.  Tucker was supposed to go home but the ship couldn't dock for 2.5 hours due to fog so they will come get him tomorrow.  Not a problem for us.  Hopefully this cold mess will move out and our 70 and sunny will return.  At least I hope so. Last winter was colder than normal and I don't want a repeat of that.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Holidays Are Breathing Down Our Necks

After I spray painted the chair and table, I took on the door using SunShield.  This is great stuff for outside wood treatment.  

Here are two rags I used on just the wood of the door, not a big area.  It is unbelievable how dirty things get.  SunShield cleans, waxes and protects exposed wood.  Note the new color trim on the doorframe.

Ted was shooting and I was on a roll so I moved a picture down an inch because I felt it was too high.  Then I tackled the cabinet interiors of the master bath.  The stainer will take the doors and drawers out to the garage but the cabinets will be stained in place.  I wanted to wash the bottoms and sides before they started.  

Stella called and they were on their way here from Oklahoma and wanted to have dinner.  After Ted came home and cleaned up we left for the mall to meet them. We were invited to the campground Tuesday for a Veterans Day BurgerQ and we accepted.  So we talked Jay and Stella into staying at the campground at least through Wednesday.

The week started off with my Canasta group playing Shanghai instead because we were short two people.  And I won!  My dime purse barely zips.  I have been doing well but I know that will change soon enough.  Sometimes you get the cards, sometimes not.

While I was doing that, Ted took our friend Stan out for lunch.  He and Michele have been friends for many years but Stan is now living in a Memory Care Unit.  He asked Ted to take him to Chik Fila and then for a ride.  They were together almost three hours.  Stan told Ted he probably wouldn't remember the next day that he had been there but he sure did appreciate lunch, the ride and the visit.  Michele called that evening and said when she talked to Stan it was the most cohesive he had been in some time.  The visit was good medicine for Stan's mind and Ted's soul.  

Tucker came to visit us for the week and he gets really excited when he gets here.  I am glad he likes his visits because we enjoy having him.  But it wasn't long and we had to leave for our BurgerQ Veterans Day party at the campground.  Lots of Winter Texan friends are back.  The owners and social director were really glad we came.  And Stella and Jay had stayed too.  It was like old times before everyone retired and hit the road.  I had made sweet potatoes because I figured no one else would bring them.  Texans don't seem to think they are a mainstay even for Thanksgiving!  Our first year here we were appalled at that and no cranberries!  My dish was mostly empty and Mack came up to tell me  how good they were so maybe I am making converts.

The window washers came on Wednesday and did the inside and outside in no time flat.  We are clean!  Roof, bricks, driveway, walk, patio furniture and even St. Francis.  The trim and fence look great in their new paint.  Inside we still await the cabinet stainers, rug stretcher and I am trying to get the correct shade of green rugs for the bathroom but we see the end of the line.  The sad part is that most  of what we have done, most people won't notice.  Sort of like buying a mattress or washing machine!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall Has Arrived

We are finally getting cooler temps and some rainy weather.  So our inside painting was finished but the outside was on hold until we dried out.  I have booked the first cabinet stainer for Monday of Thanksgiving week.  By then it should be the last thing needing to be done inside.  The second fellow just didn't float my boat.  He never even showed me what he would do as far as finish and color.  And he was $200 more!

I worked two days at the Children's Festival this week and was in charge of getting signed releases from all of our volunteers.  One lady called in sick so I joined her group to get 159 children from the buses to their seats for two programs and then moved them to another venue for lunch and a program by the Children's Museum.  Last thing, get them all back on the correct buses.  By day's end I had already received an email saying one lady could not make it the second day so I worked with her team once my sign in duties were done.

Michelle, Doris and I enjoying the show with the youngsters on Day 1.

When I got home I took a nap!  Ted came in later and told me the paint sample was on our eaves so I went out to see it and I liked it.  Greg the painter called to say he would be at our house at 8:00 a.m. the next day.  I was gone by then so Ted was in charge.

I was pooped!  Two days of 3300 children out and about tired me out.  The second day I did double sign in duties because Liz was unable to attend.  Then I took Maria's spot because whe was out sick.  Our group only attended two of the five venues so we were able to leave before the big rush started.  We were told our buses were moved so they could get out early but that turned out not to be true so we did a lot of walking at the end.  This group of kids was so good.  They paid attention to the programs, listened to their teachers and when they finished lunch there was not a scrap of paper to be found.  Kudos to Ponderosa Elementary.

Saturday was "put everything back where it belongs" day.  All the pictures had to be rehung.  My window seat windowsill holds lots of framed photographs.  Flower arrangements were returned to their proper places and the new towels and rugs were unwrapped and put in the bathroom.  Progress!  The painters are returning Monday to finish up outside.

We picked up Carol for church since Terry is out of town.  Afterwards we went to a newer restaurant that none of us had been to.  It was pretty good and a great place if you are into beer tasting.  Carol had a blonde beer, I had a glass of Reisling and Ted had his ever present Diet Coke.  It was a nice visit interspersed with whoops and hollers during the Alabama-LSU football game.

Today I am going to sand and paint my porch chair and table to finish off the maintenance outside.  I really like the new trim paint color.  Though we have several different brick colors in the neighborhood, everyone was trimmed with light paint that matched the keystone.  I think that will be changing as more folks paint their homes.  It is getting to be that time.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

If I Could Turn Back Time ~ Cher

Halloween weekend was the "fall back" weekend from CDT to CST.  I don't know why they just don't leave it alone.  This, like school being out all summer, are throwbacks to our agricultural society.  Farmers don't need the extra hour in today's automated environment and kids working on the family farm is not so prevalent anymore either.  But I digress to the powers that be.

Friday night we were invited to the country club since the regulars didn't expect many to be there.  I have no idea how many usually show up but there were about six couples in our group.  We had a nice time and were home by 8:30.

The stainer was due here Saturday morning 8:30-9:00.  This has been going on for three weeks.  At 8:00 the phone rang and he said he had to work and would come in the afternoon.  When he wasn't here by 4:45 I told Ted to go to church without me.  When he wasn't here by 6:00 I called and left a message.  He called me right back and said maybe he could come tomorrow.  I told him never mind.  If I can't get a cost or sample of what is to be done in 3 weeks time, I have no idea how long it would take him to actually do it.  I went online and immediately had an 11 a.m. appointment for Monday from a highly rated company.  I hopes it goes well.

Sunday was a big day in Cincinnati for Lauren Hill, a freshman at Mount St. Joseph University.  Ted's two sisters both work at what we always refer to as "the Mount."  She has a terminal brain tumor and they moved the first basketball game up hoping she would be well enough to play.  She scored the first and last points in front of a sold out crowd that came to support her.  I have never met her but I admit I cried because it was such a success and so sad at the same time.

Besides using technology to stream that game live on my computer, at the same I was watching my nephew's company do the Bengal's fireworks.  And I was here in Texas watching it all live.  Afterward I went shopping to return candles and buy a chair.  Ted went shooting and we ate "breakfast for dinner."

To start the week I did the laundry and the new stainer showed up.  I like what she had to offer but have one more appointment for Wednesday.  I just want to have something to compare.  The first one can do it in one day the week of Thanksgiving.  The painter called to say he would be by at 8 the next morning to power wash the house and then put my sample on the eaves before we buy the paint.

The house was power washed yesterday and I cleaned the patio furniture.  All that black from the roof made a mess of everything on the ground including my cement St. Francis in the shrubs!  Then all the repairs, caulking, etc. was done.   Since it rained last night and rain is expected today, the bedroom and bath inside will be painted. I moved everything off the window seat and furniture tops in preparation.  Ted slept in the guest room rather than get up by 7:30 this morning.  He was up late watching the election results.  No sense losing beauty sleep over a little painting going on.

The second stainer is coming today and I will make my choice between the two.  It appears all this stuff just might be done by Thanksgiving as planned.  Then I have to decide how much Christmas decorating I want to do.  Probably not much!!