Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home For A Bit

Bill had half a day off so when he came home we went out to lunch.  I had the Polish mini combo plate with blintz, pierogi and potato pancake, a carb fest!  It was all good but they brought me a cheese blintz and I had asked for apple.  They brought me the correct one so no harm done.  We had to head home eventually because the kids were due home from school.

Our bags were all packed so when it was time to leave we just grabbed our suitcases and took off with Kara in her car.  We hit a bit of traffic but not much and arrived in plenty of time.  I didn't notice that we had TSA pre check again until it was pointed out to me so we were through security in record time.  Our flight was at 8:15 so we had a coney and drink, then Ted had his shoes shined.

Our flight home was uneventful even with all the storms we had to fly through, over and around.  We waited longer for the parking shuttle than we had for anything on all four legs of our recent trips.  When it gets to be after 10 pm they don't run around quite as frequently.  Then there are always the amateur parkers that didn't make note of their parking spot!  We came right home and it wasn't long before Ted was in bed.  I needed a bit of time to unwind before heading off.  We both slept really well.  No matter what, there is nothing like your own bed.

Ted left the next day for Dallas and had to drive his truck instead of renting a car like he usually does.  Every Enterprise office as far away as Huntsville had no cars.  We assume they are all replacing cars damaged in the recent floods.  It is just easier for him to park in the city in a car versus the dually.

I headed to the nail salon and found it closed due to the power being out from the storm that went through around 4 am.  I slept through it!  So I tried the salon closer to home and was actually very pleased with the results.  Then I went to the afternoon Thank You party for Newcomer Activity Chairs.  It was done beautifully and I saw many friends I haven't seen in quite some time.  I am always impressed with the lovely displays these ladies are able to put together.  

Ted, of course, was gone so I took advantage and watched all the shows I had missed.  An evening with the remote just for me.  Kara didn't even know she had On Demand until we showed her so we could watch Amazing Race.  I went to bed but didn't sleep as well as I do when Ted is home.

Thursday was my Shanghai day but with Ted not home I had to make arrangements for Carol to give Isabelle the key to get in my house when Isabelle finished cleaning her house.  It worked fine and they were just finishing up when I arrived home.  Ted came in soon afterwards.  It was past 5:00 so we went out to dinner.  I definitely need to go to the grocery.

The tree trimmers came on Friday to give us an estimate and are coming back Wednesday to do our two live oaks.  They are about to attack our house, the driveway next door and even the street.  I have a hard time getting things to grow in the planting area because of all the shade.  We are still waiting for Greg to do the power washing of the drive, walks and deck.  Then he will put preservative on the deck.  The humidity in SE Texas is brutal and the proof is in the black mold that appears on everything outdoors.  Next up is replacing the rear fence but that will have to wait until the fall.  The wheels of contracted help grind exceedingly slow.  This is all new to us because we used to move every 3.8 years averagely and 7 years was about the longest we stayed in one house.  Constant upkeep is a whole new ballgame!

We met Gerre and Barry for dinner and then came back to the house to play cards.  I am on a "not winning" streak!  Gerre won all my dimes. It was so good to see them.  It has been since Thanksgiving since we saw them last.  

Saturday Ted mostly watched the NFL draft and golf until it was time for church.  Together we also watched Amazing Race on our On Demand channel.  It is so easy to wile away a whole day.  I did do two loads of laundry.  After church we had dinner with Terry and Carol as a last minute decision after church.  I really do need to get to the store.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Another Trip, Another Party

My bug returned so I laid low Thursday and Friday.  I finally took some antibiotic medicine and it worked, so by Saturday I was fully recovered and ready for the weekend.  Ted and I picked up Sam's cake and took it to the restaurant.

There were about 40 people to help Sam celebrate his Confirmation Day.  We had salad, pasta and pizza for lunch.  

About 4:30 pm we all left for Mass at our old church, St. Elizabeth Seton.  I saw several friends that are still there so it was extremely enjoyable for me.  The Bishop did a wonderful job in his homily, even pulling his I-Phone out to relate to the world these kids live in.  

Our family returned to Kara's and we had a terrific time watching the video from our 40th anniversary 11 years ago.  The grandkids of course have grown so much and we are all a little older but the video is great.  We looked at lots of photos and had a great many memorable moments.  It was so good to be all together in the same spot.

Today is our 51st anniversary and was another reason we came because it is hard to get everyone together at the same time.  There was a family dinner at Kelly's celebrating Bill's sister and brother-in-law's 40th anniversary, Kelly and Pat's 28th, in addition to our 51st.  A total of 119 years of marriage!

We had a very nice time with our family and a special guest that joined us, Maya, daughter of Kristin's BFF since age 8, Sheetal.  Maya will be one month old on 4/29.

Monday Ted had a doctor appointment, Kelly came over for lunch and we had a nice visit.  At 6 pm Gus and Melissa picked us up for dinner.  We had a wonderful meal and very good visit with them.  They are such wonderful friends and we always enjoy their company.

We have scheduled another trip in May to Chicago for Ted's cousin, Fr. Terry Keehan's, 30th ordination anniversary.  He has officiated over so many family Masses, weddings, funerals and baptisms that our effort in flying to Chicago one day and home the next is the least we can do to show our gratitude.  I hadn't flown since August 2014 and now have four trips in one month!  I hope those carts keep picking us up on our way to the gate.

We fly home tonight and I hope this leg goes as smoothly and comfortably as the last three have been.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fun, Sadness, More Air Flights

Thursday we went to the Morse museum and saw exquisite Tiffany items - lamps, vases, windows, the Chapel, Daffodil Hall, etc.  Unfortunately, photos were only allowed in Daffodil Hall where there is lots of natural light.  Here is a plagiarized description.  

The  Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, FL, contains the most comprehensive collection of the works by Louis Comfort Tiffany including his heralded lamps, signature leaded-glass windows and mosaic masterpieces. Also included is the chapel he designed for the 1893 world's fair in Chicago.

The Altar

The Baptismal Font in front of Field of Lilies window.

The three dimension cross chandelier.

The Dining Room at Laurelton Hall

Close up of window


Daffodil Hall was added to the Long Island home of Louis Tiffany, Laurelton Hall.  Here are the tops of the columns that I was allowed to photograph.  

The columns topped with daffodils.

The reception hall that I photographed while standing in Daffodil Hall.

Afterwards we ate at an outdoor cafe in Winter Park.  Huge desserts but we didn't have any.

Friday we prepared to leave for Punta Gorda.  When Kristin arrived home we headed out.  When we got close I texted my sister Laurie and asked where we should go and she directed us to a sports bar where I had fish and chips that I would come to regret big time.

Afterwards we went to my Dad's where Ted and I were hoping to fill in for the weekend to give Laurie and my Dad's wife, Edna, a break.  We were happy to find him very clear of mind but frail and needing help to do most everything.  I spent the night on the couch so I could hear him and things went well but I slept very little.

Saturday I was bothered a bit with stomach issues but just didn't eat anything.  Edna and Laurie were able to spend a few hours shopping and having lunch out.  Larry and Kristin were in a hotel and came over in the afternoon in time for church.  When we came home, we all ate, including me, though I ate small portions coupled with ginger ale in hopes it would settle whatever was going on.

I spent a second night on the couch but I was hit by the "green apple two step" and spent half the night in the bathroom.  At one point my Dad was blowing his whistle which meant he had called out and no one came so he moved to Plan B.  I hollered to wake Ted so he could attend to him.  After that we had a very restless night and by 6:30 I called Laurie to tell her what was happening and they came right over.  She assessed the situation, gave him a pain pill and got him quieted down.  In no time he was settled in his recliner with coffee and had no more complaints.  

Larry and Dad, at-home hospice care, 89 years old.

It's a real fine line to walk.  It was hard to say goodbye but we are all optimistic we will have more opportunities to visit with him.

We had a 3 hour drive to the Orlando airport so we left at 8:00 am for a 1:00 flight.  On the way we started receiving texts that our flight was delayed.  And Ted realized he left his I-Phone behind.  Since our departure was moved back we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I had tea and dry toast!  It was 5 pm before we arrived in Houston.  A quick stop for some soup for me and a bit more for Ted and we headed for home.  

I hit the couch, promptly fell asleep and finally moved to bed at 9:30.  I slept until 4:30 when the phone weather alerts started going off.  I just stayed up after that because the alerts just kept coming.  

On Monday we had 8 players for bunco with 4 begging off worrying about the flooding though there wasn't any in our immediate area.  Later I dropped off my Blue Book at Shari's and came home to do the laundry.

Laurie arranged for Ted's phone to be insured and shipped overnight via Fed Ex since we are to be out of there at 5:30 am the next day.  It was $110!  Yikes!  It arrived at 12:30, two hours past the promised 10:30 but with the floods we were just grateful it arrived at all.

Tuesday was two doctor appointments.  One for routine bloodwork, the other follow up on my hip surgery.  I expected smooth sailing and hopefully an easy flight to Detroit in the morning.  My appointments were routine.  My heart is still beating and they took blood.  The second was two X-rays and all looks good.  Come back in six months to both places!  Mammogram and eye test are next month.

We were up at 4:30 am Wednesday, this time for a 7:20 am flight.  We had a delay getting away because I forgot my phone and then we noticed the garbage can still out.  They never did come on Tuesday for it, probably because of the high water in places.  But we pulled out at 5:27 and did our routine all over again but this time without TSA pre-check so it was off with the jacket and shoes, dig out the liquids bag, etc.  No problems though and once again a cart stopped and asked if we wanted to ride.  I know it is Ted's gray hair getting us all this service!  Couldn't possibly be because we look to be in our 70s.

We had another uneventful flight arriving so early that Kara was still 15 minutes away.  She picked us up, we stopped at Bill's work to say hello and then had lunch at my favorite deli.  We had not seen the two redone baths, new family room furniture, the painted walls, etc. at Kara's house.  Everything looks terrific!

Dr. C called and said my blood work numbers were fantastic.  My BP was 123/68, cholesterol 149, kidney and liver enzymes not at all bothered by the surgery, anesthesia and medicine over the past six months.  He had also tested for sugar and it was fine.  He said to keep doing what I am doing and come back in six months. Yippee!

We had a nice dinner and then Kelly texted and said Ally was working at Buffalo Wild Wings and wanted us all to come there.  So 9 of us went with some eating dinner, some a snack but Ted and I just had a soft drink.  It was our first time to meet the new boyfriend.  They both need to finish school so this could be any one of many outcomes.

Ally taking Kelly's order with me looking at the menu though I did not order anything.

Today Kara had a meeting so we hung around the house.  We have no car, it is raining and having a day to kick back was much welcomed.  The kids came home from school and I prepared Morgan's snack.  Sam made himself popcorn.  I had defrosted meatballs and sauce so that went in the oven so it would be ready when both Kara and Bill arrived home.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

What A Party!

Friday we attended an engagement party for the son of good friends held at the home of the best party planner in our area.  She does things I wouldn't begin to think of in a million years.  Her buffet table was laden with red roses in silver urns sitting on mirrors on beautiful tablecloths.  The food was delicious and plated and served in a fabulous fashion.  There were small glasses with strips of fresh vegetables with ranch dressing, individual beef tenderloin mini sandwiches, miniature martini glasses with mashed potatoes topped with cheese and bacon bits, puff pastry wrapped asparagus, 3 large shrimp in tiny silver bowls of cocktail sauce along with a lemon wedge, pecan sauce on chicken nuggets, and huge strawberries with dip.  There were other "snacks" sitting around, all served in gorgeous dishes.  Candelabras graced the outdoor tables that also had beautiful embroidered tables cloths.  Everything was just perfect.  Dessert was a monogrammed cake surrounded on a lower level by smaller cakes bearing the same monogram with the bottom layer holding the napkins and forks laid out in a pattern.  It was all displayed on layered mirrored circles in 3 different diameters.  It was an exquisite presentation.  

Talk about being intimidated!  I enjoyed myself immensely and hope I never have to entertain in such a fashion.  It would be a huge fail.

Mike went to his ranch Saturday so Ted went to the gun club to take care of a group that turned into three groups before he left to come back home for church.  Afterwards we went to play cards.  There were only four couples and the girls played at one table and the fellows at another.  Ted won at his table and I came in second at mine.  Good thing too because my dime purse was getting thin.  It was after 11:00 when we got home.  The Outlander series started its second season and we recorded it on the DVR so we watched it.  Looks like it will be as good as the first season!

Sunday was a packing day and going to the grocery to get ready for the Canasta group coming Monday afternoon.  I was up early Monday and got the tables and food ready before getting ready myself.  We had a bit of a late start but finished on time because Teri was headed to her last Bridge class.  Tuesday will be a very early wake up call for our 8:45 am flight.

We were up very early to get ready to leave for the airport.  We left the house at 6:30 and by 7:30 we had parked, taken the shuttle to the terminal and gotten through security because our boarding passes were marked TSA pre check.  We zipped right through, artificial hips and all.  No traffic, no backlog!  We had time to drink a cup of coffee, get our FF numbers straightened out and board while overhead bins were still available.  However, I think we are officially old because a cart stopped and told us to get on and they would take us to our gate.  It was the last one on the corridor so we did appreciate the ride.  All in all, a nice airport experience.

Our flight went seamlessly.  I had paid extra so Ted could sit closer to the front with more legroom and a bit wider seat.  I had an aisle seat further back but no one in the middle seat so I was plenty comfortable.  We landed almost a half hour early and Larry pulled up just as we walked out.  Since it was lunch time we went to The Porch in Winter Park to eat.  After a spin around the area we headed to their home in Winter Springs.

We were all tuckered out so we took a small siesta before Larry and I went to the grocery.  Kristin had two pork tenderloins out for dinner so I bought things to round out a meal.  She liked coming home and having dinner ready.  Our 5:30 am start to the day caught up with us so we turned in early.  

We intended to go to Rollins College to visit the Morse Museum Tiffany display but the morning got away from us so we just went to lunch and later met Kristin at the Enzion Theater for the Animated Shorts portion of the Florida Film Festival.  There were over a dozen presented and we were able to vote on them.  Some were plain dumb, others mildly amusing and a few pretty good.  Kristin has enjoyed this festival most years since our return to FL in 1996 but it wouldn't be my cup of tea.  It was a new experience for us and Ted suggested I get my hair colored like the lady in front of us with purple, pink, blue and green hair.  He thought my gray wouldn't show so quickly!!  Afterwards we stopped for an ice cream before heading home.  Larry had DVR'ed Survivor for me so we watched that before heading to bed.  My guy is still hanging in there though his underhandedness may cost him in the end. 

We intend to hit the museum today and there will be photos so I will start a new post.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cleaning and Pitching

I Ted had an FFA shoot to help Mike with Saturday so he was up and out early.  I took my time getting into the swing of things and after getting the normal morning jobs done, I started in on the wall cabinets and big free standing cabinet in the laundry room.  I found things I forgot we had, things that I didn't know what they were and things I have looked for and could not find.

I cleaned all the shelves and then put things away in a semblance of order.  I threw some stuff out and put two more bags on the bed for the Paralyzed Veterans.  I am zeroing in on Ted's man cave room and then the big one - the garage!  I am on a mission.

We attended church and then picked up a pizza because Ted didn't feel like grilling the chicken I had out.  The new light came on outside so we have decided to just leave the switch on and see if it turns off and on in response to a photo cell.  We have not made heads or tails of it still.

Sunday turned into a busy day.  Ted went to shoot skeet as usual.  We were expecting Tommy and Susan to come by when he returned.  I received a text asking if we could come there because they didn't want to leave their new puppy alone too long in case we went out to eat.  Before I could answer him, Terry called and said his and Ted's cousin Tommy and his two sons, John and Michael, were in town for the Final Four and wanted to come out to visit after they saw a Rockets game in the afternoon.  Terry was golfing in a tournament at 1:30 (he ended up winning!) so we thought 6:00 sounded good.

The day was beautiful and we spent about three hours at Tommy and Susan's sitting outside visiting.  At 6:00 we left for home and received a text that Terry was home so we stopped at home for a minute before heading there.

The boys had arrived right before us.  It was nice to see Tommy and his sons.  It has been about 12 years since we have seen them.  He asked how long we have been married and said he remembers being about 7 and attending our wedding.  We had a nice dinner and ride around the area.  It was after 10:30 when we got home.  So no plans turned into lots of plans and it all worked out.

Ted helped Mike again at an Exxon Mobile outing Monday and I just putzed around doing what I could in Ted's room without aggravating him.  He is basically out of room and either has to clean under the work benches and add a shelf or simply not bring anything else home.  Time will tell.  I ended up with about 14 bags put out for the Texas Paralyzed Vets.  In the evening I watched the DWTS episode about the "stars" most memorable years.  It was a very emotional two hours.  I do feel that the two worst dancers have been eliminated.

It was time for our Forum Friends senior bingo/entertainment /luncheon, the last until October.  We had a big crowd of over 200 seniors.  I took two of the bingo prizes I have squirreled away and I am all set for October (fall and Halloween) and December (Christmas) prizes.  

The entertainment was terrific.  We had folks up dancing in the aisles.  It was such fun for everyone.  A lady at the table I was hostessing said she will be 92 in September.  Bless her heart, she was in great health it appeared.  We celebrated Cinco de Abril since we weren't meeting on Cinco de Mayo.  

Ted left for Beaumont Tuesday afternoon so I had the evening to myself.  Wednesday I waited from 8:00 to 1:30 for the A/C man to do our first year check up.  I did three loads of laundry and cleaned half the shelves on the east wall of the garage while I waited.  When he finished I had an errand to run so when Ted came home he went to the grocery and grilled burgers for dinner.  I was happy to hit the couch and watch Survivor.

It was back to work on Thursday.  I was scheduled for 4 hours at the food pantry.  Paula and I divided one pound bags of pasta into two 1/2 pound bags.  Because this is an emergency service, they discourage people from going "grocery shopping and stocking up."  Soap powder, shampoo, cooking oil, diapers, sanitary napkins, etc. are always split into smaller bags.  We did 8 cases I think with about 3-4 dozen bags in a case.  The time passed quickly and the work wasn't hard except for the carrying of the whole cases back and forth.  

From there I went to see Cindy to get my hair cut and highlighted.  I was anxious to get my hair some lighter since L'Oreal Light Golden Brown is anything but!  She did a good job and I am happy with the results.  I called and asked Ted if he had started dinner and he said we were going to Outback and use one of our gift cards.  I had a busy week so it sounded good to me!

Here comes the weekend!