Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cooler Weather and Drizzle

I was up early to get ready for the Ladies Breakfast on Wednesday.  Grace had asked for a ride so I had to pick her up by 7:45.  While I was getting ready, Karen texted me to call her.  She had planned to come over with Dave to visit while the fellows went shooting but with the weather they had decided not to come.  We had pretty much determined after watching the news that there would be no shooting so I was not surprised.   We will get together next week instead.

There was a small, but fun, group for breakfast.  We laughed a lot talking about camping experiences.  Another topic was the Instant Pot which is sort of a computerized pressure cooker.  Nedra said she cooked acorn squash in 8 minutes and Bonnie made fall off the bone ribs in 20 minutes.  I need to check this out.  You can get frozen food out and still have dinner in under an hour!  Amazon apparently has the best prices and there is a huge Facebook group sharing recipes.

Since Ted wasn't going shooting he wanted to locate Shooter's Station where we are scheduled to go next week.  So that's where we headed when I returned. We found it easily and then stopped at shoe stores where I bought two pairs of shoes and Ted bought one.  We are thinking ahead to the British Isles trip and what we will need.  After a grocery store stop to get some things we needed for dinner, we headed home.  We turned the fireplace on, had dinner and settled in for the night.

New Year's Eve dawned cool with continued drizzle.  Ted went to get one of our propane bottles filled because the furnace has been running at night.  When we are awake we use the fireplace but turn it off when we go to bed.  I wrote out a few bills and balanced the checkbook.  When the stock market closed I pulled the end of year IRA numbers to get an idea of what our RMD will be in 2016.  

Because Fr. Roy was only having an 11:30 pm Mass we chose to go to St. Paul Church at 5 pm.  It was ok but I missed the banter of Fr. Roy, the country western songs and the dogs.  We will go back to OLG on Saturday.  Afterwards we had dinner and then drove through the 3 mile light display in the city of Hidalgo.  The drizzle made it hard to find the route and street lights were non-existent.  We eventually found it but next year we will come on a dry night and ride the tram so we can both enjoy the displays.

A hummingbird bird in lights.

We started the drive home on streets with no lights at all.  Between the unfamiliar road, the darkness, the wet road and oncoming lights it was scary, at least to me.  When we got to familiar territory I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had watched the ball drop in Dubai at 2:00 pm and figured that would be it for me.  But we stayed up for NYC and then CST before heading off to bed.  Three celebrations for one event.

The bad weather continued so we made no plans for New Years Day.  Ted figured out the TV at the clubhouse and parked himself there for the entire afternoon.  I used the down time to do laundry choosing to go next door to Bentsen Palms where you can park right in front of the laundry and don't have to walk far.  They also have six washers versus our two so your chances of getting machines are better.  No one was there so I was able to put all the laundry in at the same time and then into dryers.  I read a book until it was time to fold.

I stopped at the Clubhouse on my way home where Don had joined Ted.  He had another game to watch so I came home, put the clothes away and ate my leftovers from the night before.  When Ted eventually came home he did the same and another day had gone by.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Here Comes New Years Eve

Ted went to shoot trap on Monday but no one ever showed up with the thrower so he came back home.  We decided to take my prescription to Walmart for refill and then hit the post office to mail Kara's package.  Later on we went to Cracker Barrel to shop, not eat, and to Academy.  I am always on the lookout for bingo prizes for the senior lunches.  Those 70% off prices are really good.  I bought a couple things so I am good for the April bingo after I return.  Ted found nothing at Academy.

We came home and he grilled our pork tenderloin.  I reheated the leftover sweet potatoes and put out the remainder of two salads plus some applesauce.  Nice, but easy, dinner.  His second disappointment of the day was our cable does not have ESPN so he couldn't watch the Bengals.  There is a TV in the clubhouse but no one seems to know how to turn it on.  The detailed directions didn't work and two days before someone had written that fact at the bottom of the sheet.  I told him he could stream it on my I-Pad but he didn't want to use up all that bandwidth.

Tuesday dawned cloudy but not too cold and we headed to the gun range for our first competition.  Kathy and Bob across the street asked for a ride since they had a dead battery.  My Expedition held all the guns, ammo and chairs with no problem and we enjoyed the chance to visit with them.

We were shooting at a Christmas tree drawn on legal size piece of paper with 9 one-inch balls drawn on it.  I hit the inside line on one ball scoring 5 versus 10 if your shot was clean in the middle.  The other shots hit the tree but not the balls.  Ted scored zero!  Since it was Christmas everyone got a free second chance.  Ted scored 25 and came in second.  I put three shots in a perfect vertical line right next to one of the balls and scored nothing.  The other two shots hit the tree but not the balls.  Then there was a mystery shoot that entailed shooting a target ball to see how far you could move it.  My 22 didn't have enough oomph so I didn't want to waste the ammo and chose not to shoot.  Ted moved it 16 feet and Russ won moving it 45 feet.  It isn't too fair that you can shoot any size ammo.  Ted had bigger than most, Russ had bigger than Ted.  But I don't get to make the rules.

Lunch was served and winners were announced.  For the $10 we spent to shoot and have lunch, Ted won $20.  Not a bad morning. 

Afterwards we went to Cracker Barrel to exchange a sweatshirt I bought the day before that had a stain on the back that I didn't see.  They moved from 25% to 40% off overnight so I was able to buy a small Fall pillow at 70% off for $1.50 with the difference and its original price was $15.  Good shopping for the seniors bingo games!

We stopped at Mission West to get their entertaining line up and checked out the car wash to have my car detailed.  Clean inside and out plus hand waxing for $33.  Ted said as soon as the rain predictions end he is taking my car up.  He will probably have the truck done too.  The RV washer guy has already stopped by to set an appointment to do our trailer.  We will have that done too before we leave.

Last stop was at Walmart to pick up my prescription and a few groceries before heading home.  It is amazing how quickly a day can go by.  Such is life in the valley.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Week Between

Saturday was WINDY!  Way north of us in the Texas panhandle violent storms and blizzards were breaking out then traveling east causing havoc and even some deaths.  What a terrible situation at what should be a happy time of year.  Others were experiencing warmer Christmases than ever.  The weather guessers down here predict our weather will cool off and be in the more normal range this week.  I was just doing my best not to turn into Mary Poppins with no umbrella.

We went to 4 pm Mass and Fr. Roy had us in stitches.  It was the feast of the Holy Family and he talked about his family going to his Grandma's on the Sunday before Christmas each year and the characters each family has.  He had an uncle married to a beauty queen and he drank too much.  His cousin said about the couple "She is like a rose and he is like a fart."  He smashed his face with his two hands showing what Aunt Clara did as she proclaimed each year how much he had grown, just funny things we can all relate to.  We were in and out pretty quickly because there were two weddings before our Mass and one after.  Fr. Roy had a busy day.

For dinner we went to the Riverside Club but it was too windy to sit outside.  This is the place that showed up on Fox News filled with illegal women and children the summer of the mass exodus from Mexico and Central America.  The restaurant and bar were filled and everyone was just waiting for Border Patrol.  We recognized it right away on TV.  Their tour boat, The Dreamer, was right behind the reporter.  Our other favorite spot, Pepe's on the River, is all boarded up.  We are bummed about that.  It was our favorite watering hole and dance venue on Sunday afternoons.

Saturday night is card bingo next door at Bentsen Palms.  We played with Jeff and Elaine.  Not one of us even got close.  It seemed the same people were winning more than once for some reason.  Now we need to get more change for next week.  A funny thing was one lady of the foursome playing next to us had a bag of change.  She put her and her husband's coins out and then had to front the other couple who didn't know to bring change.  That other lady won twice, put all her coins in a bag and took it home!  The poor woman who fronted them had an empty ziplock bag and nothing was said about reimbursing her!  It takes all kinds.

Sunday was cool and windy, a perfect football watching day for Ted.  I opted to go shopping.  After trolling Macy's two huge lots with absolutely no luck finding a parking spot, I moved on to JCP instead.  I found a few things and used my phone to bring up their coupon and received $10 off $25 in purchases.  I was allowed to use it twice so she rang up my things in two separate transactions.  As I started to leave the lot I noticed a Dillard's but I wasn't ready to play the "find a parking space" game again and just came home.

Our plans to grill a pork tenderloin outside was out of the question so Ted drove to Little Caeser's for a Hot and Ready $5 pizza.  They even have a drive thru in the one close to us.  It is the only pizza in Texas with enough sauce on it!  It was a curl up with a blanket night and I enjoyed the no muss, no fuss dinner.

This week is pretty laid back.  The rest of the folks will start arriving for a January 1 check in.  We are pretty much filled here but next door has a long way to go.  Jay and Stella arrive 1/9 but Eileen, Tom, Lee and Ira are not coming until 2/1.  We'll just have to hold down the fort in the meantime.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Trip To Mission

We had a good night's sleep and pulled out at 8:30.  To insure my hip/back/butt/calf would not act up, I sat on an ice pack all the way to Kingsville.  And it worked!  We made one stop in Beasley for a pit stop and coffee before continuing on, arriving about 1:45.  We set up, finished watching some football and then did our "RVers run" to Walmart.  You always need something!  Afterwards we had dinner at Chili's.  

We turned in early and left the next morning about 9:30 and arrived in Mission a little before noon.  Niles was not here, they had to return to Minnesota because his mother is ill, so I had to be Ted's parking assistant.  Kathy came out and she and I were directing him.  A truck was stopped because Ted had the road blocked backing in and a beautiful angel named Jerry hopped out and asked if he could help.  While Kathy and I remained in the back, he went to Ted's window and talked him back.  A 90 degree angle to back into with a palm tree and island with bushes in the middle of the drive makes for some short back and forth movements to get the trailer turned enough to get the truck back in front of the trailer.  Then it is easy to push it back into the spot.  

Once in we went about getting set up.  We have a coach house accessible to us this year.  It is unfinished but we can put Ted's bike, grill, ammo, etc. in there.  I put chairs, card tables and our tower heater and a fan in.  It gives us less stuff in the trailer to move around to get to something else.  Ted changed the anode rod out in our water heater and cleaned his whole basement area.  We are all organized!

Bonnie, who helps with the Shooting Range, came by with our keys and to remove a bike from the coach house.  She encouraged us to come to the range at 10:00 Tuesday morning for me to attend Beginner's Safety Classes.  

Eventually we went to DQ for our only meal of the day and stopped at HEB for some greeting cards I need to send.  We stopped to see Don and Trudy on our way in and then talked with Joann and her husband until the mosquitoes got too bad.  We met our next door neighbors as they packed up for a week in a friend's condo on South Padre Island which is about 80 miles from here.  We told them we would water the plants while they are gone.  Then we headed inside for the night.

We went to Bentsen Palms, the campground next door, to watch the Safety Video before heading to the shooting range.  They are very strict on safety and the video is excellent.  Also, every rule they mentioned is strictly enforced.  I shot several rounds and did very well.  The last round I put my six shots in a circle of approximately 5 inches.  I am more comfortable with the loading and use of the gun too.

We went to eat lunch and the ham we had just bought was discolored so we took it back to HEB.  While out, we drove past the restaurant where I will be meeting the ladies for breakfast on Thursday.  We were expecting a package and it arrived in our mailbox right on time.  We met a new couple on our walk about.  They have a HitchHiker trailer like our last two and know many of the same people we do.  After dinner we settled in for the night.  

Ted went skeet shooting on Wednesday with Don and Dave.  I eventually went to see Trudy and was still there when they returned so we all sat outside visiting.  Earlier in the day we had taken a ride past church to see what time Christmas services would be.

The ladies breakfast was Thursday and I enjoyed seeing several people from last year.  Many folks own their own sites and live here all the time, some just stay here in the winter.  Then there are renters like us.  When I got back we went to Mexico to pick up some of the medicines we need to get while down here. Ted took the opportunity to get a pedicure.  We enjoyed walking the several blocks of the marketplace in the warm sunshine.

We chose to go to Mass at 6:30 on Christmas Eve and then out to dinner afterwards.  Fr. Roy did not disappoint with the live donkey processing with Mary and Joseph down the aisle to the crèche.  When they read the passage about the "host of angels" three aisles full of children dressed in white and silver ran to the crèche too!  His sermon was "It's a great day in the neighborhood."  Very fitting for us Rogers!  Mass was said half English/half Spanish but you can tell by the cadence which prayers are being said and I respond in English.  We love attending Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

We started Christmas morning with low water pressure.  Turned out it was the east side of the city of Mission so all we could do was be patient.  It took awhile for me to fill two large pans with water to boil my sweet potatoes.  Lucky for us it was fixed and we were able to get showered in time for the 1:00 community dinner in the clubhouse.  Tickets were $5 to pay for the ham being served but one of our table mates brought turkey, dressing and gravy for just our table because for her Christmas dinner is turkey!  What a spread we had.

I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas season.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

And We Are Off

I was still stiff on Friday.  Walking on concrete for hours on end is hard on everything I think.  I took a pain pill, the first in a very long time, but I had things to do and didn't have the luxury of taking it easy.

I finished my three reports and sent them off, balanced the checkbook, paid a few bills, updated Ted's GPS, did some emailing trying to find my friend's elusive Christmas cards that have been in transit 9 days! and started bagging the pantry items we will be taking.

My clothes, medicines, and paperwork I need over the next three months are ready to go too.  Saturday will be another busy day with moving the trailer to the campground and then loading it with all our stuff.

We met Gerre and Barry for dinner and exchanged gifts.  She gave me a delicate hand crocheted necklace and the four Lenox napkin rings I have been looking for.  I was so pleased because no one had been able to find them.  I gave her a carved wooden pelican from Mexico because they live on Pelican Bay and collect them and a Vera Bradley umbrella. She loves Vera Bradley.

My back was still not 100% on Saturday but I needed to forge ahead.  Ted went to hook up and pull the trailer to the campground.  I met him there with some of the things to be put away.  Another back and forth trip and we were in good shape.  We grabbed a Subway sandwich late in the afternoon and went back home to get ready for church.  We saw so many folks this week - two neighbor couples, three church bunco couples, a Newcomers couple, and Sheri who I worked with all week.  It was like old home week.  I gave Carol her birthday gift because we will be gone in January and then headed home for one last time.  

We gathered up the last few things, checked everything (we hope), locked up and left to spend the night in the trailer so we can leave early in the morning.  I am following Ted in the car this year.  We think having two vehicles will be advantageous.  Time will tell. 

So as we sit here with our fireplace on, watching Katy, TX win the high school Class 6A football championship, Ted and I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and God's blessings on everyone.

P.S.  The elusive cards that the post office swore on Saturday morning they never received, were delivered to my friend at 6:45 pm.  Miracles do happen.  Just ask the post office!  But she was thrilled with them and now can get them out.  All's well that ends well I guess.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Countdown Continues

We had a successful 75 family and Shelter Santa intake day.  I was up early with drinks and water iced down, dolly in the car and I stopped to buy donuts on my way over.  Unfortunately there was a funeral at the Methodist Church and all the coffeepots were in use.  Eventually someone went to Starbucks and bought a box (yes a box) of coffee!

We accepted 73 of the 75 expected family gift piles and a whole lot of Shelter Santa gifts that are used for residents in the shelter all year long.  Of course toys for the kids topped the lists.

One of the highlights of the day is when the Corvette Club starts their parade.  Many of the cars are driven by a Santa and each stops to unload their goodies.

We were sent home 1.5 hours early because they were waiting for the last two donations and were unable to reach those folks.  They didn't want us waiting around for someone who may not show up.  I was glad because we were due at the country club at 6:00 for Irene's birthday dinner.  

I dressed quickly and we arrived right on time.  We had a nice dinner with Irene, John, Terry and Carol. We probably won't see them again until the end of March.  It was a very long day for me.

I was scheduled to go to an open house luncheon on Wednesday.  Working at the Northwest Assistance Ministries during the August back to school shot blitz must trigger the invitation.  I planned on attending but just found myself with too much to do before repeating a second day of Gift Distribution and I was frankly running out of time to get things done before we leave.  I sent an email with my last minute regrets.  Colleen probably won't see it until after the fact but at least I let her know. It wasn't a sit down luncheon where a place is set for you so I am sure no one missed me.

Thursday was back to the Methodist Church to distribute the 73 family gifts that were collected Tuesday.  All the sorted Shelter Santa gifts had been picked up and taken to the Shelter for use at Christmas by anyone who may be living at the Shelter during the holidays.  The rest will be used throughout the year as needed.

I once again stopped for a dozen donuts and had cleaned my stored coffeepot and took it, but there were two boxes of coffee from Starbucks so I left it in the car.  I rolled our new Yeti cooler on the dolly into our area.  With all the cookies that had been given to us on Tuesday I chose to bring a Christmas platter and make a nice presentation for the girls.

The ten of us were extremely busy early in the day.  If someone came for pickup and had 6 bags plus bicycles, it took most of the 10 people to bring the gifts out and load them in the vehicle.  Bicycles and most cars are not real compatible but these ladies figured every situation out.  It was fairly busy the rest of the day.  We had bilingual members present to help the Shelter Directors when necessary.  Not much sitting down was done by anyone.

I was very tired and achy by the time I arrived home about 5:00.  Ted made us salads, I put the ice pack on my lower back and plopped on the couch!  My duties are finished except for my report and updating the Blue Book for next year's chairperson. But that isn't due until May.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Countdown to Post Time

On Thursday I attended my neighborhood ladies Christmas luncheon.  We rent a small treehouse room at a local restaurant so we can move around, exchange our gifts, talk and not bother others.  Medical problems persist but we had 13 in attendance which is a pretty good turn out.  After a nice lunch and gift exchange I came home but Ted was back at the gun club getting his scope sighted since it got too dark last night to continue.  He is going back tomorrow to work so Mike can attend his daughter's college graduation.  I have a hair appointment and then we have dinner with John and Irene so I don't mind.  Mike should definitely attend the graduation.

We have decided to leave on Sunday, 12/20.  We were waiting to see how my sister in law's health issue would turn out and she is good to go for now.  More tests are scheduled but not for two months.  By then we will be three weeks away from returning home.

I was to get a haircut but received a call that Cindy was at the doctor again so we changed it to Saturday.  She works so hard, even with her health issues.  I pray she is better and nothing more serious has been found.

I started loading my clothes on the guest room bed and then got ready for our dinner out.  We met John and Irene at P. F. Chang's for a nice change from all the Mexican and BBQ restaurants in the area.  They are going to the Bahamas the day before we leave so it was good to get together with them.  Irene is talking about coming down with Patti to see us in Mission.

On Saturday Cindy was better and gave me a haircut.  Then after church (where we AGAIN forgot the toys for the Giving Tree), we went to play Shanghai.  We were bombarded with info when we arrived.  Our hosts and their grandson had been in an auto accident that morning.  Both were sore from seat belts but no serious injuries.  Their car was totaled.  A young man was late going to school detention that he got for being late!  Another couple canceled at the last minute because a tornado had touched down in their area and emergency vehicles, etc., were all over the place.  Also, the weather stayed iffy. But the hosts chose to continue on.  My cards were so bad it would have been better for my dime purse if they had canceled. We all were relieved no one was hurt in all the excitement of the day.  Here is our annual Christmas photo.  We were told to wear red!

First thing Sunday, Ted took our two gifts up to church since today was our last opportunity.  I went to the grocery to get food for the church pantry and left it all in my car.  At Bunco tomorrow I will leave the hatch back up and put in what my Bunco Gals bring and then deliver it right to the food pantry after Bunco is over.  I put ribs in the oven for dinner and just stayed in while watching the gloomy rain outside.

Kara called to tell us another Michigan friend has died.  When we lived there, Ted belonged to a group of 8 that bought the last tee time of the Saturday 6 am hour and the first of the 7 am hour at the city golf course.  They mixed up their foursomes and always had a good time.  On occasion we women would golf too.  Our big outing of the year was the Chicken Open held in Frankenmuth MI, famous for fried chicken dinners.  One year our foursome actually won it.  We spent most Super Bowl Sundays at this individual's home, partied with them all at the Elks, we had progressive dinners, New Years Eve parties, etc.  Jeff was the fourth of the 8 to leave us.  Cancer took the first three but we only know Jeff was prayed for in our old church where Kara still attends for some time.  All the women are still with us.  May Jeff rest in peace.  He was one of the good ones.

Here are the six babies, the grandkids of my niece Cindy and Tim, at the Festivals of Lights in Cincinnati. They are so lucky to be surrounded by their cousins and are together for most holidays, vacations and weekends at the lake.  Such an opportunity is priceless.

Monday Ted left for Dallas and I headed to our Bunco lunch.  I had come up with a Jeopardy Christmas Bingo game by combining the two games with questions about Christmas.  We had a lot of fun with it and all the gifts were very nice.  I received a cute Santa.

These are my two gifts from the parties.  The lamp from my neighborhood party and Santa from the Bunco Group.

Tomorrow I will be at the Mehodist Church heading up the Shelter Santa intake day.  It is a full day and will be followed by Irene's birthday dinner.  I may have to wear my uniform if it gets to be too late to come home and change!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Back to Normal

Our friend Rick was in town from Memphis so we invited him to come visit Saturday, attend church with us and then we took him to dinner.  It was good to see him but we missed his wife Brenda who was unable to come.  We waited a long time for a table at Saltgrass so it was pretty late when we got home.

I am feeling more like my old self each day.  The hesitancy when I first stand to walk is almost gone.  I can sleep most any which way without experiencing discomfort and that has been a relief.  I do think the arthritis diagnosed in my lumbar region is in play but there isn't much to be done there other than meds or injections.  Once all the aches from the hip surgery are gone we can address that situation. 

Ted worked at the gun club on Friday.  He had to leave Beaumont by 8 am to get there in time.  Then he had to be up at 7:30 to work Sunday.  He certainly is dedicated to a non-paying job!  But he enjoys it and there are some perks that come with it.  When the shoot was over he and his buddies did their normal shooting.  I am always reminded of the 100s of thousands of rounds these sportsmen shoot each year and you don't hear of any accidental, let alone intentional, harm occurring.  It isn't the gun, it is the person using it.

While Ted was gone I finished designing a Christmas card for good friends of ours.  They too celebrated their 50 year anniversary and wanted their card to reflect that.  I was very pleased with the finished product and hope they are too when the cards arrive.  And then I finished up mine for mailing. 

With that out of the way I got the granddaughters' gifts together and boxed up for mailing.  I stuck their envelopes with gift cards and checks into their bags and put the adults and our grandson's envelopes in too.  My grandson was so thoughtful in sending me a text telling me what he wanted, where to buy it and how much it cost.  I loved it!  And of course it is being shipped right to his house.  Good Grandma!

I had received a Kohl's $10 coupon so thought I would go buy another toy for our church Giving Tree.  The lines were so long to pay I decided to just go next door to Walmart and bought a watch with different colored bands for an older child.  To make dinner easy I picked up a rotisserie chicken they had just put out.  That took care of Sunday followed by pot pie on Monday!

We ran some errands on Monday - the bank, the post office, trial run to the location of my party Tuesday night, the grocery, gas station and car wash.  Whew!  After our chicken pot pie dinner we went to church at 7 pm for Mass.

Tuesday was the Forum Christmas party.  Ted was at the gun club working on getting a new scope put on and sighted ... and apparently doing some wheeling and dealing.  He is going to sell a trap gun he bought in 1964, before we were married!

So I picked up Judy and off to the Wild Stallion Vineyards we went.  It was a lovely venue that I had never even heard about.  The tables were set so nicely.

And their Blanc du Bois was delightful.  No more pain pills, hello a glass of vino!  It was a great turnout.  The company was marvelous and the dinner very good.  

There was about 24 feet of tabletop that was covered in toys for families in the area.  They will be distributed through three different agencies.  

I just love these gals I volunteer with!  Doris under the upside down Christmas tree.

Today Isabelle comes to clean and I think I will start getting my clothes ready to be taken to the RV.  Still not sure when we are leaving but it will be within two weeks.  There is still volunteer work to be done and a few more parties!

Monday, November 30, 2015

And Here Comes Christmas

After church on Saturday we came home to turkey sandwiches, sweet potatoes and cranberry jello salad.  Tasted even better the second time!  We were more than happy to settle in and not even think about going out.

It has been on the cool side but Ted went shooting Sunday anyway and I went to the strip mall shopping center.  I needed address labels to print my Christmas card address list.  While there I bought three toys for our church giving tree and also to take to the Forum holiday party.  Both of these things are next week.  I need to think about the other gifts I need to get.  I do believe Santa is into checks and gift cards this year!

Ted wanted to go out to eat but I wanted the refrigerator cleared out of all the restaurant boxes.  So he had the second half of Larry's ribs from Willie's and I had the rest of my pork chop from Brio.  We had a variety of sides to choose from so we accomplished two things - Dinner and a clean refrigerator!

I thought my doctor appointment was Monday but it was actually Wednesday so the day was pretty restful.  Then I received a call changing it to late Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday turned into a pretty good test for me.  I had to be up and out by 7:45 to work at the Lutheran Church for a senior's bingo and lunch.  Everyone was very considerate of me and I made it through with flying colors.  However, when I arrived home I took a nap.

Later in the afternoon we went to the post office and then the doctor.  I am still on tract and it is ok I am still needing pain pills on days where I am on my feet for several hours.  A new prescription was given to me with the instructions to start weaning myself and using Tylenol when I can. That evening I took a Tylenol PM and did okay.

I had to hang out waiting for the A/C guy to come Wednesday and change out our thermostat.  When they installed our new unit they left our programmable one in place but it wasn't totally compatible so now we have an off/on up/down one that you have to fool with constantly!  It is smaller and I had to paint around it.  Of course we didn't have any of that color paint left so I used the Sherwin Williams color app to determine the color.  I knew it was a shade lighter than Sandstone and was something like Plain Beige which I thought was funny at the time.  Turns out it is Familiar Beige.  I spent $14 for a quart of paint I used a thimble of!

Ted headed to Beaumont Thursday and I used the time to pick up the aforementioned paint, had copies made of the game we are going to play at our Christmas Bunco luncheon and did four loads of laundry.  I knew Friday was going to be busy with a capital B.

I was up before daylight Friday to finish putting away all that laundry, straighten up where needed, got myself ready and headed out about 9:15.  The December Board of Directors meeting for Forum is always a brunch and everyone attends because it is a fun time.  Then I had a hair appointment at noon followed by a trip to the hardware store.  Our toilet flap was not sealing and periodically the water was leaking enough and you could hear the tank refilling itself.  I bought a new flap, came home and changed it out.  It seems to be working.

In the evening we met Gerre, Barry, Mary Ann and Mike for dinner followed by the play Meet Me In St. Louis.  The young girl who played Tootie Smith absolutely stole the show.  The two older girls had beautiful voices.  All in all, a great performance.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Onward and Upward

This is the last week of my post surgery.  Six weeks is a pretty standard timeframe for recovery from most surgeries.  I have a doctor's appointment for next Monday.  I am still dealing with soreness and stiffness around the incision.  I don't recall ever having this much discomfort the last time for this long.  I am 8 years older which is probably contributing to it. Maybe I need some additional PT.

That aside, I was up early to begin the day with our company.  I had a French toast casserole ready for the oven so when folks started to stir I popped it in the oven and cooked a pound of bacon to go with it.  We had a nice breakfast and once finished, Kristin and I started making two pumpkin and a cherry pie for Thanksgiving dessert.  I used cherries that Ted and I picked in Traverse City MI last summer.  Next up was getting the marinated green beans ready.  Last for the day was the cranberry jello salad.  Of course then the kitchen needed to be cleaned and the dishwasher emptied.  I had been on my feet over six hours and wasn't even dressed yet.

Kristin and I finished setting the table and it looked very nice.  I was not sure of my numbers because there were a couple people recovering and others with fluid plans.  We always had 7 eating dinner with us and right then it stood at 9.  I set the table for 10 because there were two separate single folks who may or may not have joined us.  Regardless, I would make it work.  With Gerre bringing a 25 lb. turkey it was not a problem!

Ted and Larry had gone to the gun club so we ladies all got ready and when they returned we headed to Brio to have a very late lunch or early dinner.  Either way, Larry treated us all to a very nice meal.  I imbibed to the tune of two glasses of wine with dinner.

We were going to walk through the lighted display at the ice rink but my muscles were objecting big time.  After a quick stop at the mall, we headed home.  A pain patch on my muscles and a pain pill (which I haven't taken for days) were first up.  I crashed on the couch and quickly felt much better.

I had a good night's sleep and was up by 7:00. After breakfast, first up was peeling the white and sweet potatoes and then Ted and I peeled the shrimp.  I had my cheat sheet telling me at what time I had to put different things in the oven.   Once the drinks were iced and the appetizers ready we were able to sit for a bit.  

Three o'clock was the bewitching hour and all our company arrived right on time, 10 in all.  I had all the dishes under control and Barry proceeded to slice the turkey.  It was so moist and tender.

It was a great meal if I say so myself.  Everyone cleaned their plate.  The cherry pie was gone before either of the pumpkin were cut!  We chatted over coffee while the first dishwasher cycle ran and then made some doggie bags to go.  After everyone left we emptied and filled the dishwasher again and I immediately fell asleep on the couch.

We had been concerned about the weather but the reports kept changing so we kept our fingers crossed.  Thanksgiving was fine and Friday dawned warm but cloudy.  After quiche for breakfast we gave the kids my car to go to the mall.  No way did I want to go there.  This gave me an opportunity to straighten up a bit and run a load of laundry.  Once I was dressed I took a nap on the couch!

When it was dark we headed to the Magical Lighting Lantern Exhibit at Sam Houston Raceway.  This is apparently the first time it has been exhibited in the US and will run for 52 days.  Imagine our dismay when it started raining while we waited in line to park. It stopped shortly and was dry the rest of the night.  But the rain had turned everything into a wet, muddy mess.  There were no handouts to show you the best route to take so we wandered around until we thought we had seen all but the rides and midway.  

The exhibits are beautiful.  The Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, the pyramids, Under the Sea, Dinosaur Land, London Bridge, Chinese Zodiac Signs, etc.  I had my photo taken with the Rooster, my sign.  There was a special Houston exhibit with all our sport teams, a NASA rocket, the rodeo, etc.  All in all an enjoyable evening except for the mud!
We stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant before going home.  I have umpteen take-home boxes filling the refrigerator from our various meals out.  The packing commenced and the scale was brought out to see if the Christmas gifts purchased put any of the suitcases over 50 lbs.  Initially it appears things are OK.

I stayed out of the way so the showers and bathrooms were available to the others.  They stripped their beds and I started laundry right away.  By the time they left I was putting the towels in the washer and took the last twin set of sheets out of the dryer to put back on.  While Ted drove to the airport I took the pads and leaves off the dining room table and put that back in order and straightened up other odds and ends.    We are back in business!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And So We Begin Anew

Success!  I finally slept in bed for the first time in a long while.  Trying to sleep on my side with nothing supporting my back sent my hip into overdrive.  It would only take seconds and I had to get up so I had been sleeping on the couch with my back up against the back of the couch.  That worked but I was anxious to get into my own bed.  The PT suggested I take my pain pill at night, not in the morning, and it worked!  I was not as stiff and sore so I didn't need that pain pill in the morning.  I can only pray it continues to work as my muscles get strengthened.

I ended my PT by taking a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood with Katena.  She discharged me and I am on my own.  Two things continue to bother me.  The muscles above the incision are always very sore in the morning but loosen up as I walk.  I think it must be some way I lay while sleeping.  The other is a hesitation before I take a step.  I call it getting my leg in gear.  Or as Michael Berry says on the radio "Time to lock and load!"  It may just take more time for all that new stuff to get firmly attached.  After all, they did saw the top of my femur off and shove a titanium piece down in it!

We have been getting ready for Thanksgiving company and dinner.  I put the suitcase racks in the guest rooms and made sure there was space in the closets to hang things.  Then I cleaned the refrigerator out and also the pantry.  Ted went to the grocery after I pulled out my recipes to see what I still needed.  Gerre and Barry are bringing the turkey, dressing and gravy so the rest of the meal is the easy part.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry jello salad, rolls, pumpkin pie and cherry pie made with cherries we picked in Traverse City last summer.  I already have the table opened up with the pads and tablecloth on.  I sat the chargers and plates out and folded the napkins.  I will wait to put the glasses and silverware out.  Dusty crystal or tarnished silver is not pretty!

The weather report for Thanksgiving went from 75 and sunny to 75 and rain.  Friday is supposed to be rain!  I bought tickets to the Magical Lights show at Sam Houston Raceway and I am not sure how this will play out.  I am going to inquire about the ability to change the date in case the weather is just too bad.

Saturday night we went to church and then attempted to drive to Cracker Barrel.  It took us longer to get there than it did to eat our meal due to an accident and the traffic back-up.  When we came out it was cold, cold, cold!  I was happy to get home and get under my blanket on the couch.

The weather has turned unseasonably cold for our part of the country.  We had to turn our furnace on. My sister in law Carol has had a health issue but came home from the hospital on Sunday.  We took dinner over to them and stayed to visit.  When their kids started calling we came home.

Monday I drove myself to the hairdresser to get rid of my gray hair that is streaking through big time!  Cindy came in on Monday since she won't be working on Thursday.  Lucky for me since Tuesday will be busy with our company flying in that night.

I was busy Tuesday getting all ready for Kristin, Larry and Maureen's arrival later in the evening.  With the house in order, the groceries in, the French toast casserole ready for Wednesday breakfast we were off to a really busy airport where they arrived right on time.  And thus begins the holiday season of 2015.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week Four

Recovery Road is in sight!  Wednesday Ted left me alone to attend the men's lunch and I did just fine.  But I did get a headache in the afternoon so I kept a low profile all day.

I had PT Thursday morning that ended in a walk with Katena to the cul de sac and back.  She said I am doing great and next week I will be discharged.  She sees no need to ask for an extension.

I had about an hour to rest before Norma came by to pick me up for the ladies lunch.  Even though I can get around fine, it is very tiring for me and the incision gets very tight and uncomfortable.  I don't want to push too hard and end up causing a problem.

We did receive news from my brother Dan that his 15th grandchild arrived on Veterans Day.  He was welcomed by his two sisters and named Gunner.  Babies, babies and more babies.  We are awaiting grandbabies #94 and #95 of Ted's parents.  This includes grands, greats and great-greats!   Babies R Us and Bed, Bath and Beyond (showers and weddings) know me on a first name basis!

Out of 15 ladies we had 3 for lunch!  Medical issues continue to plague so many.  Pacemaker, dental bridge, hand surgery, bruised coccyx, etc.  It was a nice lunch in that Merry, Norma and I got to know each other on another level.  It is hard to have those deeper discussions in a large group.

While I was gone Ted attended the layout of a camping friend who died after 10 years in a nursing home.  I see his wife at the Senior Lunch when I work at the Lutheran Church.  She knew I had surgery and said not to worry, she will see me at the church in December.  If I knew the lunch crowd was so small I would have suggested we cancel and attended with Ted.

When we both returned, Ted went to "shoot a hog" at the gun club.  He has tried several times and so far the hogs are winning.  I just told him not to bring one home.  These wild boars are so destructive and there is open season on them all year.  Isabelle came to clean so we are off to a good start of the weekend.

I talked Ted into getting a haircut at the salon I go to.  His haircuts at the local barber just don't cut it for me.  So Friday we both went and his hair looks so much better.  Cindy did a terrific job.  Afterwards we were heading to dinner when the news broke about Paris.  All I can say is "There are none so blind as those that will not see."  It is so frightening to imagine what lies ahead for our children and grandchildren.

We stopped for dinner and received a phone call from Tommy and Susan.  We called them back as we drove home.  We all were so angry about Paris!  Once home I watched Amazing Race, my favorite show.

We attended church on Saturday and then I drove us to Connie's to play cards.  I can feel it in my leg when I move from gas to brake but now, for short distances, I am OK to drive.  Ted won at his table, but I, for lack of a 7 of Hearts, did not.  It was late when we got home.

Ted shot skeet on Sunday and then we met Terry, Carol, Vicki and Steve (their old Indiana neighbors) for dinner.  Afterwards we played cards.  Again, Ted won and I didn't!

Sunday night I was finally able to sleep in my bed.  I was very stiff in the morning and stood in the shower under real hot water to loosen my hip up.  I drove myself to play Bunco without incident.  More and more baby steps.

In the afternoon we hooked up the trailer and took it to get two new batteries installed so we will be ready next month.  I have no trouble driving but it still hurts swinging my leg to brake.  I have given up the narcotic pain pills and pretty much given up the other pain pills but I think it will be necessary on busy days to consider taking one before I start out.  

Tuesday is my second last PT visit.  I will have one more on Thursday which is the first day of Week 5.  I think it is time to return to normal life now.  I am still very stiff when I wake up and my hip hurts when I am on it too long but at 70 I guess you need to deal with some aches and pains.  Thanks for listening this past month.  It felt good to know others were interested in my progress.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week Three

PT was at 9:30 Wednesday and I am doing great they tell me.  I can walk slowly by myself but it hurts and eventually I give in to limping.  The cane takes the brunt when I use it so I will continue with it for awhile.  

I did a load of laundry and wrote out thank you cards to all our food and flower contributors.  And that was pretty much it for my day.  I stayed alone for awhile when Ted went to the grocery for a few things, staying put while he is gone so I know I won't fall.

We finished the steak and chicken kabobs Judy brought the day before for our dinner.  And I watched Survivor and NO football.  We are both getting bored but we will just have to be patient for another few weeks.

Ted drove me to get a haircut, only my second outing since surgery.  It felt so good to get it done and look human again.  It was about 1:30 when we were finished so we stopped at Whataburger for lunch.  That worked out OK and I was able to use the handicapped restroom with no difficulty.  I used only my cane for walking.

It tired me out so I took a little nap when we got back.  Shortly after 5:00 Marleah came with vegetable soup and muffins for our dinner.  Ted loves soup and he pronounced it Good Stuff.  She stayed for a visit and we all enjoyed that.  Later on Cleveland played Cincinnati in football so it was exciting to see the two Ohio rivals face off especially since the Bengal win made them 8-0 for the season.  I slept through must of it though.  Going out just wears a girl out.

BORING!  That was Friday.  I am about to lose my mind.  I pick up the few things in the morning and one by one (since I only have one free hand to use) I put things where they belong.  I can get my own coffee so Ted sleeps in and I use my IPad for email, banking, etc.  Once he is up I can be a bit more adventuresome in moving around and he stays with me while I do my PT.  After lunch the whole afternoon and entire evening stretch before us.  He did leave to check the batteries on the trailer so it was back into the recliner for me.  After dinner the TV shows were good so that helped pass the time.  Next week is looking better so I just need to hang in there a bit longer.

Saturday was the wedding we missed in Michigan.  Our daughter Kristin was Matron of Honor for her friend since age 8, Sheetal.  Friday night was the traditional Indian Garba and the wedding ceremony was Saturday.  Kelly, Pat, Kara and Bill were there too.  Everyone was so disappointed we couldn't make it but there was just no way.

Traditional Indian dress.

The wedding venue.

Congratulations, Sheetal and John.

Judy came by on Sunday to bring lunch and take me for a ride while her husband golfed and Ted went shooting.  It was a glorious fall day and I welcomed the chance to get out into the sunshine.

On Monday I had PT early and then Gus and Melissa drove all the way from Austin just to take us to lunch before they head home to Michigan.  We usually try to meet half way but it wasn't in the cards this time.  I thought we would have to skip but they said they would just drive here.  And they paid for lunch!  There was no talking them out of it.  Such wonderful, faithful friends.

I received this photo of my great-great nieces and nephews taken at the lake house this summer.  We spent the 4th of July with them.  They are all so cute and fun to be with.  Jameson, Maddy, Morgan, Lily, Jemma and Lucas.

Jameson and Jemma's Daddy works with my nephew Dave in operating the fireworks for the Bengals and Colts.  Ted is jealous of the field access they have!

I had a doctor's appointment today and tomorrow I start Week Four.  They took an x-Ray of my new hip and all looks good.  For now I will finish up my PT this week and next, do my PT on my own on days the PT doesn't come and then until 12/1 when I have my next doctor appointment.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week Two

Thursday morning I woke up because I couldn't get comfortable no matter what.  It was just 6 am.  I want so much to sleep on my side but for now neither hip is cooperating.  I got up and ate a bit of the pie so I could take a pain pill.  I can't do much with one hand in the kitchen so it seemed like a good idea to me.

I went to the couch and fell back to sleep until around 8:00.  PT was coming so I got up to clean myself up for the day and put a few things in order.  Everything takes me so long and I tire so easily.  PT went well and I think she is moving me to just twice a week starting next week.  I have to do it myself on days she doesn't come.  Some moves are easy enough, others harder.  What surprised me is trying to exercise my left side which is fine but in doing so you are asking the right side to support you. Then you can really feel it.  I hang on for dear life doing them.  I am still not steady enough to go without my walker.  She wants me to graduate to the cane in the house.  I will wear the belt that Ted can hold on to while I walk with just the cane.

Isabelle came to clean amidst all the chaos and Judy stopped by with dinner. It was from a new French restaurant that I didn't know anything about.  She brought soup, quiche, salad, croissants and pastries.  It was fabulous, great food.  I need to check it out further to see if I can take my neighborhood ladies there when it is my month to choose.

On Friday when I started my PT on my own, my right leg quad cramped.  Trying to get out of a recliner with a new hip and Charley horse is not easy!  I put ice on it but every time I tried again I could feel it starting to pull so I just stopped.  I will try again in the morning.

We finished Judy's leftovers for lunch and Esther came by with some beautiful roses and to visit.  She stayed about an hour and that was the extent of our excitement for the day.  

Saturday morning Susan called and asked if they could stop by since they are heading home on Sunday from the campground.  Since we were going nowhere I told them to come on over.  We had a nice visit and talked about them coming to Mission while we are down there.  They did it once and we had a great time.  When they left I got into the shower and this time washed my hair too.  Then I attempted my recliner PT and got the same cramping.  So I just moved on to the walking/balance/stretching ones for now.  

The rest of Halloween was quiet.  Despite Ted's optimism that just maybe we would have trick or treaters and bought a bag of candy, none came.  We are 13 years, zero trick or treaters!

I finally went to bed when no matter where I sat or laid was comfortable.  I managed sometime during the night to get up on my left side with my foam thing between my legs keeping my knees apart and more than 90 degrees from my hip.  I hope this is a turning point in my healing.  I slept until 8 am, got up for a pain pill, cookie and coffee and then went back to sleep until 11!  Awesome sleeping.

Sunday was all football.  I am glad Ted has something to watch all weekend but I tire of it quite easily. I talked to my sister in Cincinnati, Eileen in Florida and our friends in Michigan.  Everyone is checking up on us.  Absolutely nothing else happened here the rest of the day.

PT was at 9:30 Monday and then we had no visitors at all.  Ted had to actually make dinner.  Tuesday, however, was busy starting with PT at 9:30 followed by a shower and Ted getting ready to leave for the day.  Gerre came, and then Jennifer, to babysit me.  We had a nice girls day, lunch together and at 4:00 Judy came for the second shift. 

Of course she came laden with food that will last us a couple of days.  I had a salad sampler plate that was delicious and allowed me to take just the second pain pill of the day.  She fixed herself a plate and we watched some TV until Ted arrived home around 10.  I am overwhelmed with the caring and generosity of our friends through this time.

Where was Ted all day?  He had to pick up a fellow at the airport, go to lunch downtown, attend a meeting and then attend a dinner before dropping his passenger off at his hotel at the airport.  It was a long day but he so needed to get out and talk shop and sports with guys!  I was visualizing him doing a cartwheel out the gate but he said that didn't happen.

So Week Three starts today with me down to 2-3 pain pills a day (versus 12 they say I can take!), walking inside with just a cane, sleeping better and doing small things around the house.  I started laundry by leaning against the hamper and using my picker upper thing to bring each piece to me so I could turn it right side out and then drop it in the washer.  Ted did all the transferring after that and I eventually folded it.  Once he carried it to the bedroom I put it away.  Baby steps in getting back into a routine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First Week After

We were home by late Friday afternoon and got all my things gathered on a table near the recliner.  I didn't want to stay in bed all the time and at first the couch was too low.  Poor Ted had to get up with me every two hours that first night.  I don't know where all the liquid was coming from.

The PT lady came Saturday morning to assess my needs and do the paperwork so she wasn't here too long.  Since we were up and down all night we both promptly fell asleep after she left.  The phone ringing at 1:00 woke us up.

Late in the afternoon Terry and Carol brought us dinner before they went to church.   Ted really enjoyed the ribs Carol made but my appetite had not returned so I skipped dinner.  Our second night was a bit better in that I only got Ted up once.

On Sunday Carol and Terry stopped at Popeye's and again brought dinner.  I ate two wings and a few spoonfuls of sides.  I think my medication has a lot to do with my lack of an appetite.  Ted, on the other hand, is so grateful for and enjoying all this food.  He has been very busy being nurse, kitchen help, and getting everything I need.  He doesn't get to sit down much.  We have watched lots and lots of football!

PT came by Monday morning and Ted used the opportunity to run across the street to get water and a few groceries.  I did really well and she could see an improvement in just those two days.  Gerre came by to visit and brought us her homemade sausage ziti.  Ted was going to stick it in the oven at 5:00 when John showed up laden down with bags from Spring Creek BBQ.  It was all ready to go so we switched gears and had brisket and turkey.  I was able to eat a bit more than I had been so we have lots left!  I told John he brought enough for us to throw a party.  What wonderful friends and family we have to help us out.

Tuesday was a busy day.  I had both PT and a doctor's appointment.  I got totally dressed including makeup before PT so I would be able to rest afterwards and before needing to leave.  That in itself took a lot out of me.  I did all my PT and then rested before climbing into my Expedition for the ride and long walks to the doctor's office.  My incision looks very good and everything else is right on schedule. Then there was the climb and the ride back home.  

Because we had so much food left from John the day before that we asked Terry and Carol to come over and eat with us to help make room in the refrigerator.  I tried to help get things on the table and cleaned up a little afterwards.  And I paid for it dearly on Wednesday.  I laid pretty low the entire day.  Late in the afternoon Jody brought us a homemade apple pie because she knows it is my favorite.  She knew I was resting up and didn't stay long.

To end our first week since surgery we ate ziti, salad, bread and apple pie.  We have certainly had lots of good food to choose from.  Now I hope today's rest will get me back on track because being sore and tired is no fun!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

This Week

I had my surgery Wednsday and came home Friday.  Everything was pretty routine.  I did attend four PT classes while in the hospital and am now having them come to the house for the time being.  The facilities  and staff were excellent and I would have no problem recommending the Joint Center to anyone.

Everyone has been very helpful offering help, food, staying with me, sending flowers and cards, etc.  There is not much to write about but I will give you periodic updates.  It will be a quiet blog month.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tomorrow Is The Day

Sunday I decided to straighten up Ted's "room."  To say he didn't appreciate it is an understatement!  I bought matching clear bins so all his things are visible but uniform with no wasted space.  If there is an empty spot he will find something to set there.  When there isn't an empty spot he starts piling things up like containers sitting in the doorway.  I didn't throw anything away and It looks much better.  I think when he can find things easier he might come around.  Next up - the garage!  But that will have to wait until I am back on my feet.

My Bunco group met Monday and I was presented with another birthday cake and more birthday cards.  My sister in law Carol had a cake made and she and Penny the hostess coordinated the surprise.  This has certainly been the year of celebration cakes.  It is fun being married 50 years and turning 70 all in the same calendar year.  This group is a great group of gals and I was overwhelmed with their thoughtfulness.

After Bunco we went to vote early.  We had requested mail-in ballots but only Ted's arrived.  Of course mine indicated I had received a ballot by mail so it took two phone calls and a form to be able to cancel the mail-in and be allowed to vote.  Despite Ted's having arrived last week I bet mine shows up this week.  I have to shred it if it does.

Today I did the laundry after I put on clean sheets as directed in my booklet.  I have to shower tonight with special soap, put on clean PJs, get in the clean bed and then do it again in the morning.  After dinner I received a call saying my arrival time has been changed from 7 to 9 and my surgery pushed back.  Eventually we will get this done!

Monday, October 12, 2015


It was time for our Canasta group to start up again.  Everyone was still busy or gone in September so we were actually getting started a month late.  Unfortunately it was sort of a repeat of my ladies lunch.  Geri arrived using oxygen, Michele was in a sling from rotator cuff surgery, Teri is having eye surgery and then there is my hip!  And this is a younger group.  Anyway I came in the middle of the pack again where I always end up in this group.  We play partners and a different one each of four games so you are not necessarily the master of your own destiny.  But for $1, who cares?

Tuesday was my final pre-op doctor's appointment.  He said we are good to go with nothing coming out of the tests to indicate otherwise.  So I went to the nail salon to get that out of the way.   I should be OK in that department until I can drive again some weeks down the road.  We had roast chicken for Sunday dinner so I made a pot pie with the leftovers.  I know this is something Ted won't make while he is doing all the cooking.  

Isabelle was due on Thursday but called on Tuesday night to ask if Wednesday at 10:30 would be ok and I said yes.  At 1:00 on Wednesday I called and she said no she was coming Thursday!  I asked at 10:30 and she said no 1:30!!  I think I will just bang my head against the wall.  At least it won't hurt once I stop!
She finally came at 1:00 on Thursday and the house was cleaned.  I wrote two and four weeks out dates on a piece of paper for her.  I don't think her English is as good as I assumed. Saying yes does not mean "I understand and agree" obviously!

We met Terry, Carol and their son Ken for dinner.  She is having follow up doctor appointments and had spent all day in Houston.  It was the only chance we had to see Ken.  

Friday I attended a General Meeting of Forum where I did the devotional and spoke on Gift Distribution for the Women's Shelter.  It was wonderful to have so many give me hugs, promised to pray and offered to do anything I would need after surgery.  Unfortunately we lost one of our best members this past week and she will be sorely missed.  She was one of the most talented and accomplished gals I ever knew.  May she rest in peace.

In the evening we met Gerre and Barry for dinner and the theater.  She brought my birthday gift but I had walked out without hers!  Dinner was good and the play was so funny.  We really enjoyed this one.  We also saw friends we hadn't seen in quite some time.  They were guests at the play of our other friends, Gene and Jennifer.  All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday we had to stop by the RV place and pay our rent for the last quarter of the year.  Then we went to Randy and Brenda's for a birthday lunch for Randy.  He is Ted's shooting buddy and had open heart surgery while we were gone and coded twice on the table. It was a blessingto be able to celebrate another birthday with him.  Afterwards we drove by Gerre's to drop off her gift.  We gave it to Barry and said we couldn't stay.  We wanted to go to church and that's just what we did.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Year of Celebrating Coming to a Close

Thursday was my neighborhood ladies' lunch.  October has the most birthdays (4) and Jeanette always hosts this outing and bakes for us.  We had delicious decorated chocolate cupcakes after our lunch.  That should be the end of my year of cake.

Our 4/24 anniversary celebration in Texas

The cake for the Class of '63 birthday weekend at Nashville, IN in May since we all turned 70 this year.

The anniversary cake presented at my family reunion in Pigeon Forge TN in June

Aboard the Disney Fantasy for our family celebration.

What a tremendous blessing this year has been.

It took three different spaces to hold all the birthday cards we received, the mantle and both niches.  We are so blessed with family and great friends.

But real life lurks around the corner in that our ladies group is suffering different medical issues.  Debbie is still recovering from rotator cuff surgery, Gracie is having her hand operated on because the fingers have closed into her palm, Norma was hospitalized for blood clots in her lung, Paula's husband is awaiting bone marrow transplant after 18 months of treatment, Jeanette's husband fell at church and broke his elbow and I am getting a new hip!  I would need a new lunch group if I wasn't part of the problem.  

had an appointment with my GP on Friday to get a clearance letter for my surgery and have my bloodwork done to renew my cholesterol and BP prescriptions.  It appears we have the type and dose figured out now.  I have now done all I need to for my upcoming surgery except one more doctor appointment to go over pre-op results and then pack my bag.  

Isabelle hadn't arrived by 4:30 on Friday so I called her.  She didn't come because she didn't know if she was supposed to!  Picking the date and writing it on the calendar in front of her two weeks ago didn't count.  She gave no explanation as to why she didn't call and ask.  The bad part was I was home all day alone and could have done what I could myself because we were hosting Shanghai Saturday night.  It made for a busy Saturday.

Ted vacuumed for me which took care of the front of the house and I ignored the guest bedrooms that no one uses at the back of the house.  While Ted worked at the gun club I cleaned the kitchen, breakfast area and family room.  I got my drinks and snacks all set up.  I had a Shanghai on Game 5 catching everyone which catapulted me into first place.  I won big!

We went to church Sunday morning and stopped in the hall after Mass for coffee and donuts.  Friends we met when we first moved to Texas were there too.  I worked with Bev and another lady Betty in starting the group, Senior Pals.  We were invited to join their family on a 50th anniversary cruise in 2007.  When I greeted Bev she said "I don't remember you."  I said my name and she shook her head no.  When Ted brought our coffee I asked if she knew him and again she said no.  Then Bill said she has Alzheimer's and they have had to move to the Conservatory, a senior living complex.  She knows her children but confuses their spouses and doesn't know who the grandchildren belong to.  It was so sad to basically lose a friend right there before my eyes.  Nancy Reagan said it best "the very long goodbye" for those closest to them.

To all my friends and family:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting Things Ready

I am usually so busy that when I clear my calendar I don't know what to do with myself!  The house is clean, the laundry and ironing done, bills paid and I have cooked dinner two nights in a row!  Ted has taken over much of the cooking so between him and eating out, I don't cook too often.

I have been doing the pre-op exercises as shown in my info book and hopefully that will help my recovery.  

Thursday I had my pre-op appointment which included urinalysis, blood work, EKG, BP, heart rate, weight and height.  There was lots of paperwork and many instructions.  The night before I have to shower with a special liquid soap, sleep on clean linens in clean PJs with no pets in the bed!  Then I have to repeat that the next morning.  And we have to be there at 7 am.  I will be attending PT class with all the others getting new joints while in the hospital.  Party Time!

Friday I had a Board of Directors meeting followed by a much needed haircut.  Then I made my way home through what seemed like two dozen school zones.  It took forever.  We had made arrangements to visit Tommy and Susan at the campground and have dinner.  The traffic was so awful that we all decided to stay close by to eat rather than fight the traffic. Saturday was Susan's birthday so we took her a cake and had dessert back at their motor home.

Terry had been on a golf trip in the Carolinas and the group broke early because of Joaquin.  Not much golf during a hurricane!  Ted had been scheduled to pick him up Sunday evening but was working at the gun club on Saturday so I went to get him.  He was so happy to see 72 and sun after his soggy week.  After church that afternoon we all went to one of the best steakhouses in our area to celebrate my birthday.  We had a wonderful dinner together and they gave me a very generous birthday gift.  We talked about 1961, the year when I started dating Ted and they were married.  We have all been together a long, long time.

Ted usually shoots on Sunday so Susan and Tommy invited me to lunch so I wouldn't be alone on my birthday.  When I told Ted he said he told the fellows he would not be shooting so we both went to lunch after Susan presented me with a pot of beautiful bronze mums.  We both have Landry cards and with Ted, my and Susan's birthday in one week's time, we both used our birthday reward.  Our bill was less than $5, theirs less than $10.  Another nice birthday gift!

Monday morning I answered a phone call from Kristin on Ted's phone.  She said my phone was going right into voicemail and had been since Sunday!  I inadvertantly turned on Do Not Disturb.  It was then I found out how many birthday calls I had missed.  This new phone is taking some getting used to.

I worked my last event on Tuesday until after I recover from surgery.  It was the Senior Bingo/Lunch at the Lutheran Church.  It was a nice affair and the ladies did a lot of running for me throughout the morning.  I do have a meeting to attend and then I will be out of the loop until November sometime.