Tuesday, May 26, 2015

But For The Grace of God

After dodging tremendously dangerous weather in the Boerne area, we were able to drive home in dry weather, put the RV back in storage and be home safely before the next onslaught of rain started.  Houston and the surrounding areas received almost a foot of rain on Monday evening.  There are flooded areas all over.

I was to work Tuesday at the thrift shop but received a call saying there was no power so I was not to report.  I had everything put away from the trip so I finished the laundry completely and had a free afternoon.

Good morning, Houston!

Our friends posted this photo of their home in Bastrop BEFORE the dam broke there.  We have not heard how much worse it got.

This was along I-10 in Luling TX on our way home.

This is the new sign in Orange, TX as you enter from Louisiana! 

I fixed some ribs for dinner after Ted watched the Pitmaster cook offs!  Mine were really good, maybe not Pitmaster worthy, but we liked them.

I was awakened in the middle of the night with lightning flashing, thunder and another couple of inches of rain.  There was a funeral at church and I saw one lady post she couldn't get there with the food she fixed because some of the roads are still blocked.  The earthen dam up near Dallas is breaching and I worry about the one near Gerre and Barry.  The plus side is everything is greener than I have ever seen it.  I don't think there are any drought levels anywhere in Texas anymore.  I wish we could send some of this to California.

Something to put a smile on my face was this posting of our lunch photo in Nashville, IN.  It was such a fun weekend with high school friends to celebrate our 70th birthday year.  I saw my sister and two other friends during that trip too.

Wednesday we picked Terry and Carol up from the airport when they returned from their grandson's graduation.  Since it was dinner time and they of course got nothing to eat on the plane, we took them to dinner before taking them home.  All of a sudden it was 9:00 pm and the day was almost over.

I found this photo thought provoking.  The four major cities in Texas are all flooded at the same time.  The whole state is in a state of emergency.

With the power restored, I reported for work at the thrift shop on Thursday.  It was almost impossible  to move because things were piled so high!   I tagged and hung for awhile then took the clothes out to  the store to be hung up for sale.  My two hours went quickly and I left to go play Shanghai.  We had a fun table but I came in third due to getting stuck one of the six games.  Once you don't get down, your chances of winning are almost nil.  We had a lot of laughs and bottom line that is why we meet - to play, to have fun.

Ted had gone to the gun club to see the water damage.  All the thrower machines are under water and there was an alligator swimming around. Lots of areas are still under very deep water.  We didn't get rain on Thursday but they keep predicting it.

We had more rain overnight on Friday, another 3.5 inches according to the rain gauge.  I know it didn't help but so far it hasn't caused any new problems that I have heard about.

To keep in mind the good things that happened last weekend, here are a few plagarized photos from the Texas Boomers 15th Anniversary Party.

Our friends Jay, Susan, Mike (standing), me, Ted, Bill, Aleena and the back of Tommy.

Cutting green peppers for omelets with Pat, Barbara and Amber.

Ted going somewhere!

How you prepare your zippy omelet bag

The finished product

Hail, hail the gangs all here!

All in all it has been an emotional week.  Many have died.  Much has been destroyed.  But there has been no whining, no cries for FEMA, no widespread looting, etc.  Many people have put themselves in harms way all week to help others.  We don't have one city flooded, we have our four major cities flooded plus all the areas in between. Those Texas bootstraps are strong!

Proud to be from Texas!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

This was the 15th Anñiversary Rally for the Texas Boomers Camping Club.  We arrived about 12:15 in Boerne and found Jay and Tommy setting up on either side of us.  They had just arrived too.  Everyone was busy getting things in order both inside and out.  When finished we had a sandwich for lunch. While I cooked the chicken for Thursday night's potluck, Ted went to fill up the truck.  I used the Gas Buddy app to find the best diesel fuel price.  That app sure comes in handy when traveling.

It was a sad afternoon.  First I learned that the husband of the Spiritual Director at our church lost her husband.  She had recently helped me plan our 50th anniversary celebration.  Then as we left for dinner our friend Stella next door called for her husband because their dog had quietly died in their RV living room.  We were all shocked and upset.  We had three dishes for the potluck but stopped and found a vet to take her and transfer her to a service for cremation.  The evening was very low key from then on.

Today I learned my nephew was taken to the hospital for chest pains and my friend is making plans for evacuation if the dam by them is breached by more rain that is expected.  I called Chris and told him they may bring things for safe keeping and if they need to evacuate may be staying in our master bedroom.  I am worried about what else might raise its head tomorrow!

This morning we had zippy omelets for breakfast.  You put two eggs and toppings in a ziplock bag, mash it all up, then zip it closed.  Fifteen bags at a time are put into a huge pot of boiling water and you get 15 perfect made to order omelets.  Great way to quickly feed 120 people.  Foùr pots were used and you write your name on the bag.  They are really good and were served with fruit, juice, coffee and pastries.

We watched the line dancing class and then I visited with Susan in her motorhome.  Tonight's dinner was Stuffed Tator night followed by a dance band.  We sat outside for a long time and then decided to come in because all the fresh air had worn us out.  My sciatic nerve (I think) is bothering me intermittently and I just wanted to put medicine on it and put my leg up.  The pain is in the middle of my right cheek and my right calf and that's why I think it is a nerve.

At 4:00 a.m. I received a text.  With people going in and out of the hospital, dams waiting to break and family traveling for the holiday, I got up to see who it was.  I was informed the sender was having seriously racy thoughts about me and I should text back.  I was livid!  I am not the best sleeper, had pain in my hip and some ding dong wakes me up!  I wonder what his reaction to an almost 70 year old senior citizen would be!  Jerk!

I did eventually get back to sleep for about an hour and then got up to make my egg and ham dish for our potluck breakfast.  There was lots of food and all very good; my dish turned out well.  After our meal there was a Memorial Day presentation, recognition for all vets present, acknowledgement of family members currently serving and a slideshow of all our members who have served, both living and dead.  It was very meaningful and met with thunderous applause.

We decided to drive to Waring TX to see if the general store was going to be open on Sunday.  It is a hole in the wall restaurant that Susan raved about but we couldn't get anyone to answer the phone.  We found it with no difficulty and they will be open for just two hours noon to 2:00 on Sunday.  We are going to church at 9:00 so that will work fine.  It has the the best burgers ever Susan says.  There is all kinds of seating inside and out plus two stages.  Their big night is steak nght on Wednesday.

We came home and suffered through rain, rain and more rain!  We started getting water on the floor near the refrigerator.  Ted checked the slide seal and it was flipped and not laying flat.  He used Jay's awning hook to straighten it out and the water stopped.

We were on serving duty for the BBQ anniversary dinner which wasn't hard at all.  There was pulled pork, sausage, cole slaw, beans, potato salad and cake.  

They wanted two lines starting at the ends and ending in the middle.  I suggested they call tables from either end of the hall so when finished, folks could make a U turn back to their table.  It worked like a charm and we had everyone served in no time.  The weather got increasingly worse so most of us returned to our rigs.  The building was left open and lit in case anyone needed to seek refuge there during the night.

On the news they said River Road was closed so we weren't sure we could get to church but we had no problem.  There was lots of debris left from the receding waters visible during our short drive.  

When we returned we left for Waring.  We arrived a little before noon but no one ever came to open up.  After waiting a reasonable amount of time we drove to Kerrville instead.  Twice we had to drive through water over the road but our truck sits up high so we were ok.  Lakeside restaurant looked to be very busy but the six of us were seated right away.  We had a nice lunch, tried to find the park on the Guadalupe River to take a look but we never found it.  The other folks had dogs back at the campground and they wanted to get back so we came home.

Around 6:00 we went to the clubhouse for an ice cream social and the drawing for door prizes.  Jay won a Texas flag and an I Love Texas T-shirt.  None of us others won anything though.  Tommy decided to make pina coladas so we eventually retired to their motorhome while he got the blender going.

The news about the loss of life and damage in Central Texas has been devastating.  We are very lucky to have been out of harm's way.  Please pray tor the families who have lost loved ones.  The damaged property will eventually be restored but they are gone from us forever.

Honor our departed military today.  Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Didn't Pay to be Nice About the Weather

Well after writing we have escaped most of the bad weather, it started raining here and hasn't stopped.  Enough already!  Go to California. They really, really need you. I thought our patio umbrella was going to take flight yesterday.  Checking the weather report indicates we are in for a wet Memorial Day weekend.  Bummer!

Ted went to the gun club but no one was able to shoot in the league.  The rain never let up.  I cleaned out the hall closet and only have one more to go.  Then I am going to start on the laundry room cabinets next.  I love having empty shelves and rod space in closets.  I am determined not to fill them up again.

Monday my bunco group met and we had 5 subs which is always nice.  It gives new people a chance to meet us and us them.  Kathryn was subbing but has broken her shoulder.  She said she wanted to come anyway.  I arranged for Nancy who lives close by to pick her up and then I took her home.  She was overwhelmed that we would do this for a sub.  I assured her we are here for her and all she needs to do is let us know what we can do.

I stopped at the nail salon on the way home so I would have time on Tuesday and Wednesday to go to the store for groceries and get my clothes together.  I was going to be busy with Forum stuff both days.

My shift at the thrift shop started at noon on Tuesday.  Everything needed attention!  My button basket was overflowing but I didn't get a chance to work on it.  The bins were full and we were assigned the job of emptying them.  By the time I left the men's and women's piles were as tall as me!  I hope Wednesday's crew tags and hangs.  I signed up for a short stint next Thursday because Ginger had no one signed up yet.  I have to play cards at 12:30 so that's the best I could do.

My next stop was the grocery and bank getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend.  I even got my clothes together for Thursday.  So tomorrow afternoon, once I get home from the Joint Board meeting and lunch, it shouldn't be too difficult to get things all together.

Ted had to leave at 7 a.m. to take Terry and Carol to the airport.  In the meantime, I got myself ready to attend the Joint Board Meeting being held at a country club about 45 minutes away.  Traffic wasn't bad and I arrived a little early.  It is a beautiful place and the roses in the centerpieces and on the sideboards were exquisite.  Lunch was quite good and our treasurer's report was through the roof!  Never underestimate the power of a bunch of old ladies working together.

Since I was that far south I took the opportunity to get my hair fixed so I don't have to bother with it while out for the weekend.  I just hope I don't get caught in the rain!

We took off Thursday morning and we just passed Columbus, Texas on our way to Boerne.  The GPS says we will arrive at noon.  I am making a "company chicken and stuffing casserole" for tonight's potluck so a 12 o'clock arrival will be fine.  Our camping group, The Texas Boomers, are celebrating their 15th anniversary.  We have been members for 11 years.  Sixty rigs are expected.  It should be a great weekend of old friends and new!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Few Photos

Here are a few photos taken at our Installation Luncheon.

The songs and dancing were terrific!

The beautiful dessert carrying out the theater theme.

Gail was my second year recruit and is doing a great job in Forum.

Our side of the table

Monday, May 11, 2015

Really Bad Weather in North Texas

I have received many calls recently about our well being.  I guess the national news keeps talking about the bad weather "in Texas."  We have had lots of rain and a few windy storms but it has stayed north of us and south of us.  There has been nothing as bad as northern Texas and Oklahoma have experienced.  

It was raining Sunday night and Monday morning before I left for Canasta but I didn't need an umbrella either going into Sue Ann's house or back out to the car later.  Our rain has simply been spotty showers.  I lost every round of Canasta but still came in 5th out of 8.  And one of my losing partners was the big winner!  Crazy!  Not sure how that happened.  I was counting on getting my dollar back by being last!

Tuesday I had an eye doctor appointment in the morning and all is okay, not even a prescription change.  I seldom wear my glasses, only for night driving which I do little of and when driving in unfamiliar areas where I need to read signs.  They give me a bit more acuity, thus a little more time to read and make driving decisions.

From there I went to church to work at the funeral luncheon reception for a woman I knew slightly from Newcomers.  She has battled cancer for some time but is finally out of pain and at peace.  Her husband was so appreciative of our efforts.  That kind of response makes all our efforts so worthwhile.  It was sad though because I had to mail two sympathy cards to Ohio and Tennessee on my way to the doctor.  I am afraid this will occur more and more frequently the older we get.

I brought home 9 tablecloths that I put three into the washer immediately.  Then Ted decided we needed to go to the grocery store and get fuel in the truck.  So off we went to Kroger's and I finished the tablecloths when we got back after I put the groceries away.  It turned into an on the go type day.

I was bummed when the gymnist was eliminated on DWTS on Tuesday night.  It was a close call but I thought she and the other contestant Riker are the best dancers.  Next week will tell.

Ted attended the men's neighborhood luncheon on Wednesday while I got a hair cut.  The tablecloths had been laundered, put on hangers and were taken back to church on my way home.  We played Shanghai that evening and had a buffet dinner at the restaurant where we played.  I was again at the table that ended last but another lady and man exchanged words this time.  He was taking way too much time but her hounding him didn't help.  The men don't seem to understand the ending rules and how jokers can play into it.  I showed the man what he had to do and he calmed down.  Sheesh!  I may stop playing in this group.  I came in second by 3 points and the one other man who lost to me was fine. It's a game folks!

It was our neighborhood ladies lunch day on Thursday.  We met at Olive Garden with 9 in attendance.  There were at least 4 missing but a new lady came and was introduced.  I had invited the new neighbor next to me but she had a dental appt. but said to check with her again.  We need to be sure to include the new ladies in the plans to keep the group relevant.

Friday night we had a couple to dinner who recently moved to Georgetown, TX.  They were at our anniversary party but had said their gifts for us were not ready yet.  So when they called to ask if we would be around this week while they were back in town, I invited them over.  We had a nice dinner, played some cards and opened our gifts.  One was a set of dishtowels embroidered with Rogers Cellars to be used with my wine tub at parties.  I have coddled my William-Sonoma towels for a few years now because my everyday ones just wouldn't do!  

The other gift was a yard sign for outside our camper.  We loved both gifts.  I immediately put the towels in the linen closet and the sign and hanger with the pile going to the trailer.


Gerre had given me a ticket to her church fashion show and luncheon where she was in charge.  I bought several things and enjoyed the show and lunch.  The ladies made all the food and it all was so good!  Ted and I attended church at 5:00 and came home to Feet Up Time!  We had leftovers for dinner, watched Outlander and then a movie.  

Today is a day off but I have already cleaned the closet out in the office.  There were so many half filled boxes and things and I had greeting cards here, there and everywhere so I sat and matched them with their envelopes, sorted them by occasion and now it is all neat.  I threw a whole garbage bag out into the recycle bin. Then I made up my list of groceries I need for Memorial Day weekend.  I am busy everyday this week until we depart so I need to get organized!

Friday, May 8, 2015

When You Don't Need It

We saw on TV that the bridge to the Cincinnati airport would be down to one lane in both directions, complete with film of backed up traffic.  We decided we better give ourselves extra time.  And when Donna was unable to print my boarding passes, we decided to leave even earlier so I could print them at the airport.

So of course we drove right over the bridge with no back-up, I walked right up to a kiosk and printed my two boarding passes, both marked TSA Pre-Check.  This means I could get in the special line, not remove my shoes, jacket or liquids. No one was in this line and I walked right through to the screening machine and out the other side!  I doubt Karen and Ron were off airport property when I arrived at my gate.

I have a Kindle but also have the Kindle app on my IPad so I was able to buy the next book in a series I am reading and have it downloaded on the IPad to pass the time.  My flight to Chicago took less than an hour and I had quite a walk to my next gate.  This flight left on time too.  Ted was outside waiting for me and we decided to go to BJ's for dinner since I hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Easiest of travel days!

Thursday I emptied my suitcase and got all my travel gear back where it belongs.  I had some things to handle at my desk and the day passed quickly and I went to bed early because Friday was going to be very busy.

Our Board Installation Luncheon for Forum began at 9:30 Friday morning.  What a terrific program.  The directors out did themselves once again.  This gathering is always the most fun and entertaining of the year.  It was about 1:30 when I arrived home and started cooking for Saturday when we were hosting Shanghai for 5 couples.

I made cocktail meatballs from scratch.  The crab dip I made two weeks ago was well received so I made that again.  And I made lemon squares, and not from a mix!  To that I added sliced cheese, summer sausage and crackers.  We had plenty of beer, wine, pop, water and coffee too.  

Once that was finished I got redressed to meet Gerre and Barry for dinner and to see Oklahoma!  It was a very good production but Gerre and I determined they missed the scene where the villain gets shot.  They had done the big Oklahoma OK finale and I was wondering about the loose end of the bad guy.  Then they sort of back tracked, did the scene and did Okkahoma OK a second time.  All's well that ends well.

Saturday was busy but not rushed.  I got the tables set up for cards.  And then I went to vote on a road bond issue.  Ted had voted early while I was gone.  We grabbed a sandwich at Subway so we didn't disturb anything in the kitchen at home.  Our company arrived starting at 6:15 so we didn't go to church at 5:00.

Ted and I ended up at the same table and he came in first.  I tied for second with Mary Ann.  I also had a Shanghai which earns me $1 from each player!  Jeff had one at the other table.  It was around 11:00 when everyone left.

After church Sunday I fixed breakfast, Ted went shooting, I started the laundry and put the kitchen back in order.  When that was done I put ribs in the oven for dinner.  Ted asked if I wanted to go out to eat but I have been eating out for over a week!  I wanted to eat at home.

For Mother's Day Kelly sent me roses and calla lilies, Kara sent four sets of towels for the guest bath and Kristin was able to find the retired Lladro of the photographer to add Larry to my family collection.  I didn't take a photo of the beige towels.  After 23 bathrooms in our 50 years at 11 homes I had a mismatch of all kinds of towels.  I needed some nice, fluffy sets to give to our guests.  I took a big bagful of bath towels, hand towels and washcloths to Merry for the Animal shelter she works at.  They won't care there are so many different colors!