Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Like Christmas Around Here

Wednesday was laundry day.  Happy Hour was happening at 5:00 but I just didn't feel like getting dressed and putting on my face that late in the day.  If I had been out and about already it would have been different.  Besides, Survivor was on.

We have been having a run of good luck.  Last week we came in first and second at Shanghai and won all the money.  Then I went to bunco on Monday and won again.  Thursday I won at Shanghai again.  Wednesday the doorbell rang and it was our neighbor with a box of See's candy as a thank you to us for taking their dog back to them when she got out before they even knew she was missing.  She came right to Ted in the garage so we walked her home.  They were shocked because they are so careful with her.  Then I put on one of my many pairs of black slacks and found $22 in the pocket!

In the evening Ted received a phone call from Niles down in Retama.  They had the end of the year banquet and Ted won the rifle they were giving away.  He took a scope he has up to the gun club to ask if it would fit on the new rifle.  Mike said no and then proceeded to pull out a brand new one that would and gave it to him.  Ted said Mike wouldn't allow him to pay for it since he helps him out so much with events.  Karma!  Sometimes it isn't a b*tch!

I didn't do much Friday except go to the grocery.  The weather was perfect and I enjoyed being out in the sunshine.  I received an email saying that last K-1 was available online so I finished up our taxes and filed them electronically.  We need a flat tax that can be done on a postcard.  "How much income?  Send it all in!"  

We were going to Gerre's for dinner and to play cards on Saturday night.  I made green beans, baked apples and key lime tarts for the four of us.  Gerre was making pork tenderloin, rebaked potatoes and salad.  Imagine our surprise when Tony and Linda were there when we arrived.  Gerre said she sent an email but I never did get it.  I had made enough but only brought four of the tarts.  Gerre and I said we would cut them in two, no problem

It was a gorgeous night out, dinner was wonderful and we never did get around to cards or dessert.  We sat out by the lake until very late.  I gave two tarts to each couple as we departed since we never ate dessert.  There were two more at home so it all worked out.
Sunday was Palm Sunday so we start outside church with our palms and also stand for the reading of the entire Passion.  It makes for a very long service.  I fixed breakfast when we got home and then Ted left for the gun club.  That evening we attended the 35th anniversary of the Newcomers club's founding.  It was a very nice evening with most people dressed especially nice except my husband who didn't believe me when I said guys would be wearing a suit or at least a jacket.  Of course he was the hero to the guys in suits for getting away with a golf shirt.  Some things just aren't worth arguing about.
I don't understand how the country club can advertise itself as a banquet venue because they have a  terrible time having enough food prepared and enough servers.  Of the 7 appetizers, only 4 were available to me despite standing in line and waiting for a very long time.  I did get my pasta dish but never did get any meat at the carving station.  Eventually they refill the dishes with whatever they come up with in the kitchen.  The carved beef turned into small filets almost a half hour after they first ran out of the beef roast.  But I really don't care to keep returning to the stations hoping food has arrived.  Dessert was cookies like you buy at Sam's.  There was one bartender for 120 people.  It is disappointing to me and makes me leary of planning an event there.

But we had a good group, there was a crowded dance floor and everyone just accepted the poor kitchen performance and continued on.  We were tired when we got home because of getting up so early.

Monday was telephone day!  Kristin calls frequently on her way to work so that was my first call.  Then my sister Karen called followed by my neighbor Gail.  Brenda called from Memphis and finally I had to call Eileen about our reservations for the summer.  Before I knew it, the day was gone!  We ate dinner and then I called Kelly because she had called and left a message.  Geesh!  I don't talk on the phone much anymore and then they all came on the same day.

We were delighted to learn Ted's brother is coming from Arizona for our anniversary celebration and my one sister is coming from Florida.  We weren't expecting that and are so pleased.  Ted is going to have to smoke more brisket and ribs than originally planned!

Tomorrow is a trip to the gun range for several of us to practice before applying for our CCL.  We may all go to lunch.  Eventually I need to stop at the seamstress with my four new pairs of slacks to have them hemmed and we also need to pick up three pieces of sod.  

We are going to the country club Sunday afternoon with Terry and Carol to celebrate Easter.  I hope they don't run out of food since we are the last group.

Happy Easter and the grace of the Risen Lord be with you all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Planning and More Planning

I spent the time Isabelle was cleaning making reservations for our trip through the lower peninsula of Michigan this summer.  Half of them I could do on line.  I will have to call the other half.  That wasn't feasible when the vacuum was running!  When I finished that, I addressed the invitations to our 50th  anniversary celebration.  It was so nice having a clean house once again.  I went outside and cleaned the patio furniture that was just laden with yellow pine pollen.  We have to deal with this every Spring for a few weeks.  Everything gets covered in it.  

I made my banana bread into miniature muffins to take Friday to our Junior Forum meeting.  When the meeting started it was announced that a member who was involved in a car accident with her husband and 7 month old grandbaby earlier in the week texted that her husband had died that morning.  We were all so shocked and sad.  The meeting went very quickly and not much was eaten so I brought home a lot of muffins and stuck them in the freezer.

Paul was probably in his mid-50s.  Both Carol and the baby were okay, thank God.  She was looking at her IPad and doesn't know what happened.  She told others she at first thought they had hit a brick wall.  Life can turn on a dime.  Treat everyone like it is the last time you are going to see them because someday it will be.

In the evening we met Gerre and Barry for dinner before attending the stage play A Streetcar Named Desire.  Ted had On the Waterfront, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe all mixed up in his head.  I tried to tell him that Stella and Blanche DuBois were characters in this play and neither Liz Taylor nor Richard Burton were in the movie.  Half way through the play when Stanley yells his famous "Stella" he admitted I was right.  Some things just aren't worth arguing about!

The play ran for 3.5 hours!  It was after midnight when we got home.  No other production has come close to lasting that long.  The lady playing Blanche did an absolutely superb job.  You had no doubt she was crazy.  Her facial expressions and mannerisms were right on.  Even though it was opening night everyone knew their part and lines with no apparent mix ups.  Quite an enjoyable evening.

I did a little more cleaning out in the garage on Saturday.  I also stripped the guestroom beds because those  linens didn't get changed in our hurried departure in December.  I put a meatloaf in the oven when we departed for church.  After dinner we watched Million Dollar Arm.  It was an OK movie.  It is based on a true story so I googled the boys to see where their opportunity led.  Their careers were shortlived but the program continues which I guess is a good thing.

I did a bit of shopping on Sunday.  Ted was shooting, the weather was nice and it was good to be out in the sunshine.  I bought black and blue slacks to add to my collection because I wear them constantly.  Depending upon the top and shoes I am wearing, the length and material matter.  And sometimes you need to toss out a pair or two and replace them.  I also picked up about 8 baby sleep outfits for the Pregnancy Center's "baby shower."  We worked the table giving out info and collecting donations after Mass Saturday night.  Now I just have to remember to take my contribution with us to church next week.

We are doing good with the doctors so far.  We got Ted's two biopsy reports from the spots on his arm today.  One is basal cell and he has to return in a few weeks to the doctor.  His forehead is scabbing over from the "chemical warfare" and he will start with the vaseline to remove them today.  My GYN appointment went fine.  My blood pressure was terrific again.  I called to schedule my mammogram and bone density tests today.  Because of my lumpectomy last year, the breast center wants to do a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, not just a screening one, so Ted picked up the new prescription.  I also scheduled a bone density test.  That only leaves my eye exam in May and we are done!  The older I get the worse these appointments are.  Eventually someone is going to find something wrong!

Today was back to tax time.  I received an incorrect K-1.  I had to research back to 2012 to determine my thoughts were correct, then contact our account folks to confirm my records were right.  Finally I sent an email to the company who very quickly sent me a new, correct one.  Now I have to wait to download one more K-1 on 3/30.  Nothing like pushing the envelope on filing by 4/15.

I had some other financial transfers to handle.  Since it was a new procedure to me it took awhile to figure out how to do it all properly.  I am keeping my fingers crossed it is correct.  Sure glad I don't have to deal with medical insurance forms.  The supplement we have is a simple $147 deductible and we're done.  No more deductible, no co-pays for the rest of the year and is accepted wherever Medicare is.  No networks to plow through.

It seems just maybe Spring has sprung.  It is bluebonnet time in Texas.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Does Mother Nature Know Spring is Next Week?

Friday's weather was cool enough for a jacket.  Where is the sun?  

Stella called and we made plans to meet her and Jay as well as Tommy and Susan at Mel's Diner for their all you can eat shrimp and catfish dinner.  Mel's has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and ironically Man Vs. Food was there at 1:30 Friday to film a segment on eating the Mel Burger which stands about a foot high!  Our friends Judy and Warren were there to see the man do it.  He stopped at their table so maybe they won't end up on the cutting room floor.  It airs April 14.  Afterwards we came back to our house for coffee and a short visit.

After church on Saturday we played cards at Kathleen and Bill's house.  I ended up first and Ted second so we got all the winnings.  This is the $5 game so we won about $25!  Not a bad night.

Ted went shooting on Sunday and my things were delivered from Amazon.  It had said arrival on Sunday but I didn't believe them!  One was a hall tree for the corner of the guest room so there is a place for guests to hang things.  I had it put together in no time.  The other things were hanging shelves for our closet to put my purses in.  When I was done with that I did the armoire in the guest room.  I am ready for our April company!

Monday I played bunco and won $15!  I am on a roll!  Afterwards I bought flowers to take to Carol because she had some surgery last week.  I stayed for quite a while visiting both her and Terry.  Ted made soup for dinner and we watched the first episode of Dancing With The Stars.  The new folks need lots of practice.  The one outstanding dancer was Rumor Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.  She is the picture of her mother and certainly can dance.

Ted and I shared doctor appointments on Tuesday morning.  First up was the dermatologist.  He froze lots of junk off me and stuck a lancet like thing in some others.  Nothing to be worried about.  

He did two biopsies on Ted and has him putting his "chemical warfare" on his forehead.  Ted's Irish heritage including what I call his "cheap Irish skin" has him with more worrisome spots.  With two family members dealing with melanomas, let's hope Ted doesn't join them.

We were still fasting but had a two hour lag between doctor appointments so we came home, then headed back out to our GP.  I just needed blood work for my cholesterol medicine.  My blood pressure was awesome!  I told him my hip bothers me at night when I sleep on it so he suggested we change sides so I am not laying on it all night.  It doesn't bother me during the day or when walking so we will take his advice.  I moved Ted's CPAP machine and my things when we came home.   Ted had blood work and his PSA exam.  Now my OB-GYN and mammogram are the last two things.  I will be glad when all the appointments are over, all the test results are in and are GOOD.  

Today I attended a meeting of my voluntary organization and saw the first bluebonnets of the season as I drove there.  Our meeting was to vote on various programs to be continued, started up or remain as pilot programs.  I abstained on one because I didn't know enough about it as a pilot program this year.  Friday I will attend a regular meeting.  It is my turn to bring a breakfast bread so I will give my banana bread another shot.  Sure hope I don't lose electrcity again!

Isabelle is coming tomorrow to gather up all the dust Chris didn't while we were gone.  He doesn't use much beyond his bedroom and bath so dusting isn't on his radar.  I don't mind because dust doesn't hurt anything.  If she wasn't going to be able to come I would have had to give in and do it myself!  

Beauty is everlasting and dust is for a time


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Still At It

I spent the entire day working on taxes.  When Gerre called mid afternoon I was still in my PJs!  She wanted us to come play cards around 6:30 so I agreed.  Ted was working a shoot at the gun club and would be home in time.  A little while later she called again and said the other folks were going to the K of C fish fry at 5:00.  I told her I didn't think Ted would be home in time, to just go and call us when they were on their way home and we would leave.

When Ted called around 3:00 saying he was on his way home, he decided we could make the 5:00 dinner.  So it was crunch time for me to find a good stopping point and hop in the shower to start getting ready.  Of course it was a day where I also needed to shampoo my hair!  But we made it!

Ted laughed when we walked in and right next to where you paid for your dinner was a raffle - for a rifle and a handgun.  He said "only in Texas" and then proceeded to buy tickets!  The fish dinner was very good and we got to visit with the folks we were with on the Panama Canal cruise.  Afterwards we went back to Gerre's and 9 of us played cards.  It was almost 11:00 when we got home.

On Saturday, I finished the taxes, did laundry and emptied bags.  We made plans to go to dinner with Terry and Carol after Mass.  Our first choice was an hour wait so we moved on.  The second  choice was 20 minutes which turned in to close to an hour!  But when we were finished eating, the place had cleared enough that we were able to sit and talk awhile.  It wasn't long after arriving home that I was in bed early for the second night in a row.

Daylight Savings Time came with its own rainy cold front.  Ted looked outside and went back to bed.  I continued on doing laundry.  For some reason I got the bug and started trying on everything in my closet and tossing lots of stuff.  The day slipped by so quickly.  Ted went to the grocery and made dinner.  It felt good to have accomplished so much.  I could start the week on an even keel.

Monday I finished the laundry that was left here when we took off in December.  I found myself folding Christmas linens in March.  After lunch it was time to go play Canasta.  Since it was still cold and raining Ted made a pot of chili for dinner and then we watched the final episode of The Bachelor.  I don't hold out a lot of hope for this couple.  They are just from too different backgrounds.  Time will tell.

I ordered some shelving and things for our master closet so I really tore it apart until I had to stop until the things arrive.  I filled two large garbage bags and our big recycling bin.  A lot of that came from Ted's man cave room where I started in after doing all I could in the closet.  For some reason he won't throw anything, including empty boxes, away!  I did the side with shelves but left his workbenches alone.  One of these days I will have enough nerve to tackle them.

We played Shanghai Wednesday night and we both came in third at our respective tables.  Both of us got stuck not getting down one of the six hands.  Our group has moved to a restaurant since the country club is going through renovations.  With their remodel we may not be able to play there when it is finished.  We will decide when they complete the work.

Today was our neighborhood luncheon.  It is still so hard for all of us to be together without Wanda.  Afterwards I stopped at Walmart and came home to work a bit on my closet.  There is nothing left to do until my hanging things arrive.  But then I will be done!

I have no words of wisdom to quote so I will share this thought.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Tax Man Cometh

 I spent more time Wednesday morning separating the mail.  What to shred, to pay, to save for filing, to keep for doing taxes, to simply throw away.  So many magazines and catalogues.  I will tell Nancy to toss them in the future.  

I gathered my clothes from the drawers, emptied the pantry of foods that could draw bugs, packed up the truck and headed for home.  We stopped at Walmart for a new battery charger and while Ted dealt with that I put things away.  No amount of charging was affecting the car so Ted called Car Repair.  They brought a new battery and installed it since he and Noel were unable to get the old one out.  He said the battery was so dead it would never have accepted a charge.  I think of my car as "new" because I keep them so long that neither of us realized the battery was 3.5 years old.  Sitting for two months did it in!

I did two loads of laundry and gathered the tax stuff together that I had at home so I can put it all together.  Now I can work on it when I have time.  

We came back to the campground and a little before 6:00 went to Tommy and Susan's motorhome for dinner.  We stayed to watch Survivor and then came home.  We will load the hanging clothes and refrigerated items in my car and I will follow Ted to storage.  I have to direct him when he backs into the spot.  There is less than three feet on either side plus he can't see where to stop at the back.  We get this done in just a few minutes.  

Then the fun begins at home.  All the beds need stripping, the house needs to be cleaned, odds and ends need to be put away, I need to go to the store and we each have three doctor appointments to make for routine matters.  It will be time to pay the piper.

We woke to cold, windy conditions Thursday.  We took our time and it was after 11:00 before we headed to storage.  Our residential refrigerator in the RV is great when in use but a real pain to empty!  I was almost wishing for my little one back.  We took more clothes than we needed but that is because we need all four seasons with this crazy weather.  Eventually everything will get put in place, the mail will be handled, the laundry done, the house cleaned and doctor appointments made.  Until then there won't be much to say.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ok, It's Official

Our weather is goofy!  I am used to going from a/c to heat all in the same day but 88 to 40 in a few hours is crazy.  It didn't get above 45 for the garage sale and folks had on gloves, hats and coats!   There were hardy souls out and about though and lots of things were leaving the park.  I bought two new blouses, a Vera Bradley bag and a new Texas coffee cup for traveling.  I was glad to get back inside with my treasures.

Eileen's eyebrows had gotten very dry so she put on a cream the doctor had given her for dry skin.  Her entire eye area from brow to lashes got fire engine red, sore and lumpy.  She and I went to the ER and I read the flyer that came with her cream while we waited.  It contained a sulfite and she is allergic to sulfa drugs!  I had it all diagnosed before the doctor came into the room.  He gave her a prednisone prescription and 1% hydrocortisone cream.

By the time we left for church after only two pills and one application, there was a vast improvement. After church we went to the Riverside Club and then decided against card bingo and came home.  It was a bit warmer but misty and a good night to stay in and go to bed early.

We left about 8:30 Sunday morning and ran into drink tables for runners at the gates.  No one said anything about a run today!  We got out, made our first turn to the exway and ran into a roadblock.  We were rerouted so it wasn't too bad.  The officer said it was a "last minute" decision.  I told him there were 60 rigs going out in the next two hours and someone was guilty of poor planning.

We had an uneventful trip to San Antonio in a lot of fog.  As soon as we got set up it started drizzling.  I put on a sweatshirt and jacket, got my umbrella and we went to the Riverwalk and the Alamo.  We ate at County Line BBQ, saw the Alamo and long barracks and had enough of being cold and wet so we came home around 5:00.

The weatherman said icy conditions were heading this way on Wednesday and into Thursday.  With that in mind we decided to leave here on Tuesday to get ahead of the weather.  Monday was sweatshirt AND jacket weather but no rain.  We drove to the LBJ ranch and park in Johnson City.  Eileen and Tom really enjoyed it and it was our first chance to tour the house.  Last time we were there Lady Bird had just died and the girls were clearing personal items from the house.  It was left to the Park Service and would be open for tours when they completed the task.

Lady Bird and President Johnson's headstones.

The Johnson Family Cemetery

All the cattle bear the LBJ brand.  Note the weights on the horns.  Turning them down keeps them from injuring the legs of cowboys and other stock with upturned horns.

As close as we got to riding horseback.

Ted giving his State Of the Union address.

We then drove into Fredericksburg for a late lunch and a bit of strolling through the Memorial Gardens.  It was a bit too cold to stay too long and we headed for home.  Ted filled up with fuel and we watched The Bachelor's second last installment.

The fog didn't appear too thick on Tuesday morning so we took off about 8 am.  We had one bathroom break, and another one to say goodbye to Eileen and Tom before leaving I-10 and heading north.  We arrived at the campground around 12:30 to hugs and greetings from the owners and staff.  Not too long after setting up, Jim, Rita, Warren and Judy stopped by to say hello.  It reminds me of Cheers "where everybody knows your name."

Ted washed the entire outside, I did the inside and then we took the first bags of some things home.  Everything was fine there except my car battery was dead.  Having tossed our charger when it conked out without replacing it, we left in the truck and will deal with getting a new charger and get my car going on Wednesday.  I stopped at Nancy's to get our mail and we returned to the campground.

Gerre and Barry had called and made plans to come by to visit and out to dinner.  We sat inside until about 7:00 then went to Mario's to eat.  Tommy and Susan were not at the campground until about 8:00 and sent a text they were fixing dinner for us on Thursday.  

I worked on opening the mail, tossing the extraneous stuff and finally was too tired to think straight.  We turned in early to get an early start the next day.

Our son-in-law Bill is having knee replacement surgery today.  Please offer up a prayer for his safety and a successful operation.  He has some health issues that complicate his having suregery so it will be no walk in the park for him.