Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Week

Saturday we were home all day except Ted went out a time or two to run some errands.  I had some cards to send, papers to sign and some "cyphering" to do as my Grandma would say.  This RMD the IRS insists we take calls for some major moving around of funds and investing.  I think I have it all figured out for now.

Our daughter Kristin was having Easter dinner for 6 or 7 people so I had to send her my recipes and directions on how to get dinner on the table.  I didn't receive any phone calls so I am hoping she had her dishes prepared and in the refrigerator ready for Sunday's dinner.

We attended church at 9:00 Sunday morning. People were still leaving the parking lot when we arrived so we parked in a spot just vacated.  We found seats easily.  It was just a bit hectic having the 7:00 crowd trying to get out of the way of the 9:00.  Mass has a lot of pomp and circumstance on Easter so it takes quite awhile but Fr. Sebastian didn't hurry a bit.  When the folks started piling up outside waiting to get in for 11:00, Fr. Tom came in, started serving communion immediately, told the ushers not to take up the second collection and must have told Fr. S to make his exit quickly.  Those waiting must have parked in the spots vacated by the folks who attended Mass in the gym that was over way before ours.  A new huge parking lot was built recently.  It didn't change a thing.  We need a longer time between Masses, plain and simple.

We came home for a bit and then left to meet 3 couples at the country club for brunch at 1:00.  I was  pretty hungry by then.  When we finished, Jody and Dave met us at Irene and John's for an afternoon of cards.  Guys played together, girls too.  I was losing until the last hand when I got a Shanghai and caught everyone with their entire hands.  That put me in the lead.  Ted won at his table and his brother came in second.  It was a big Rogers win day!  We came home with our change purses revitalized!

Monday I played bunco for the first time since Christmas!  Carol, one of our newer players, had a unique yogurt bar.  She had vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, grapes, raisins, flax seed, granola, coconut and mini chocolate chips!  It was awesome. Along with this she had two quiches.  Great breakfast and because she was leaving town she encouraged us to take some home.  Made a great lunch for me!  

In the afternoon, we met with a new landscaper and lawn maintenance fellow.  He will be pruning trees from the easement in back hanging over our fence into our yard, our crepe myrtles that didn't get trimmed in February, and our huge live oaks that we had trimmed last year.  Sod will be put down where necessary and leveled with topsoil.  Our small wall around the plantings will be extended outward and reworked over some oak roots, 6 plants will be added, mulch put down and the metal edging along the drive and bull rock replaced.  And he will start doing our lawn maintenance.  The other folks have not been back since April 2 so my call firing them may have been a moot point.  Maybe they fired me!

Tuesday was my scheduled epidural and nerve block day.  We had to be at the hospital at 6:30.  All went well but it took 4 people trying in 3 locations to get my IV started.  We were home about 9:30 and I was fine.  I worked on all our insurance policies.  Trying to compare apples to apples takes a bit of doing but I got it done.

Then we had dinner at Terry and Carol's which was delicious.  Their daughter and grandson were visiting from College Station and it was so good to see them.  It was almost 11:00 when we came home.

Wednesday Isabelle came to clean.  Ted ran a few errands and I was laying low on the couch letting my shot do its thing.  I was sleepy because despite the anesthesia that morning I still couldn't sleep.  I think I slept 2:00-4:30 and then 6:00-9:00. Not too restful.  I was planning on taking a nap but when the cleaning crew showed up, that went down the tubes.  Probably a good thing because that would only have screwed up going to sleep that night even worse. 

Our Newcomers fashion show luncheon was Thursday.  I filled a table for 8 but found tables of 10 when I arrived.  Irene asked if Margi could join us and I said yes.  Jody said she had told Lynn we were full, but I told her to text her and she could have the last seat.  Without consulting me, my sister-in-law invited someone else to that seat.  In the end both ladies found other seats rather than claim the seat in the confusion.  Poor communication!  It all worked out in the end and I hope neither woman was offended.  Try as I might, things can get confused!

John and Sherida stopped to pick up John's clothes and we will see them on Saturday where they are staying this weekend.  We have been invited to dinner at the Anderson's, their hosts.

Friday was our last regularly scheduled Forum meeting.  I was scheduled to bring fruit. So I bought a prepared one all set up with dip in the middle.  We had lots to cover and since my back seems to be doing okay, I signed up to be a dresser at our Vintage Clothing fashion show in May at the Women of Distinction luncheon and for three 2-hour shifts at the Thrift Store.  I think this will get me to 47 hours.  I thought I was closer than that but I guess not!

We did nothing much Saturday and eventually got ready and went to church.  From there we went to Anderson's for a pleasant evening around their lighted outdoor pit (it was chilly!) after a pulled pork dinner.  A couple who had been out of the area for a long time has returned and it was so nice to see them.  One very sad thing is that a resident of our development died at the swim finish line of the Ironman held over the weekend.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

And Easter is Almost Here

We didn't have to be anywhere until 2:00 so we had a relaxing Sunday morning.  I baked some cookies for Monday when I was hosting Canasta and we eventually got ready to go see Tommy and Susan who are at a nearby campground.  After visiting for awhile we left for Hasta La Pasta for dinner.  We didn't know where it was but when we left the restaurant I realized it was right around the corner from the Forum office.  At least I can figure out how to get there if we want to go again.  We went back to the campground and stayed until 7:30 when we headed home.  

Monday was Canasta at my house.  Ted took the sweet tea and chips to church for the funeral lunch.  I had taken the easy way out since I had so much to prepare for my own guests.  I had summer sausage, cheese and crackers, salsa and chips, chicken egg rolls, fruit and cookies plus several selections of drinks.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the snacks and had a good time.  As soon as they left we had to get ready to pick up Terry and Carol for Terry's birthday dinner.  After Italian on Sunday, we had Italian on Monday too at Brio's.  I opted for the grilled pork chop for that reason.  It wasn't very late when we got home but after these past busy two weeks, I was ready to unwind.

Despite being tired and having slept little Sunday night, I didn't sleep any better Monday night.  

I woke early to two messages "R U up?"  One was from Irene whose land line, TV and Internet were out and wanted to know if ours was too and my daughter Kristin, on her way to work after returning from vacation in Baja! 

Baby grey whale photo taken by SIL Larry while in Baja.

 I spoke to both Irene and Kristin and then filled out my hospital record prior to my shot next week.  Seems like a lot of info for one shot!

Ted had his men's luncheon Tuesday (at ANOTHER Italian restaurant) and I just took my time getting everything back where it belongs.  I love having the ladies over but the older I get the harder it is to set things up, make food, entertain and then clean up.  Having two days "off" was pure delight!  But there was a another funeral at church Wednesday and I had to make my special fruit salad but I did it Wednesday morning.  After my third night of not sleeping well, Ted said he would take the salad up to church for me.  When I stand in one spot, whether I am cooking, washing dishes or getting myself ready for the day, my back pain goes into overdrive.  It is less painful to walk than to simply stand still.  One week until shot time!

Thursday was my neighborhood luncheon.  We all met at LaMadeline, a French restaurant of sorts.  I like the different fare they offer versus most other restaurants.  We had a full house!  Afterwards I went to the mall to use my Christmas gift cards before Mothers' Day gets here.  I am still setting aside clothes for our cruise.  I bought 2 tops, 2 shorts, 2 ankle pants, 2 pairs of shoes!  Quite a haul.  

Friday we did nothing!  Sometimes you just need to do that.  I was working with Kristin on researching cruises to Asia for next year but that was about it.  Our last Friday in Lent meal was the old standby , grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I wish we were into salmon, lobster, calamari, etc. but we aren't.  Grilled or fried fish and shrimp are about it for us.  And McDonald's fish sandwiches!!

Happy Easter!  The Lord Has Risen, Alleluia.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hectic Chaos

Our friends arrived Friday and I reminded them the house had been closed up for three months except for a few visitors now and then.  However, I don't believe any of them cleaned!  I gave them two choices - ignore it or clean it.  Isabelle was coming Wednesday.

We ate at a fish place Friday night and three of us had decent enough meals but poor Sherida got the shaft.  She had less than a dozen shrimp, no bigger than quarters with tails still on.  And a pile of plain white rice to fill the plate since the shrimp took up very little room.  I don't think we'll frequent that place again.

Saturday after Mass, we met Gerre and Barry after sending John and Sherida on ahead, at our normal restaurant before going to the theater.  We saw The Three Musketeers and it was so long!  It was about 11:30 before we got home.

Sunday it rained all day so Ted and John worked on a stand for the new TV.  I fixed a roasted chicken dinner and we played Shanghai.  Ted and I both lost.  I used the carcass to make chicken soup that we had for lunch on Monday.  The fellows came to cut down our tree, and fixed a whole section of fence.  Ted also had them add a board across the bottom to keep critters out.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

We waited ALL DAY Monday for the TV.  My email notification said 1-5 pm.  At 5 pm they told me the end of the day.  At 8:00 they said they didn't know where the truck was and the driver wasn't answering.  At 9:13 pm it arrived.  We were not happy campers and I would be questioning the driver about how he spent his day since the TV was on the truck for 17 hours!  We had intended to go out to eat but ended up getting pizza before the place close by closed.

John did some set up but finished up Tuesday morning.  They were finally able to leave about 1 pm.  Unfortunately they left their hanging clothes!  Their granddaughter is going to Georgetown next week and they are returning here to visit other friends the week after that so no harm was really done.

I had to work the Senior Luncheon so I left before anyone else got up. They were on their own for breakfast and seemed to fare okay.  Our theme today was a luau so I wore my blue lei with my uniform. The tables were decorated so cute with fresh fruit as the centerpiece.  Lunch was pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, roll and cake.

The cutest couple.

All the ladies sporting their leis.

Another well costumed couple.

The whole room or at least as much as I could get in the picture.  We normally have about 250 seniors.

Our bingo prize table.  This is about half way through bingo so many prizes were already gone.  Both of the ones I took had already been taken.

We joined in the entertainment, dancing to the music, New York, New York.

Not sure what this song was.

As soon as I arrived home, our company left and shortly thereafter, Ted left to shoot.  It gave me time to rest and then clear my desk.  He called on his way home to see if I wanted him to bring me anything but I had eaten leftovers so I guess he stopped somewhere along the way.  We are enjoying our new TV!

Wednesday was my appointment with the pain management doctor who Ted saw before his laminectomy in 2006.  He was not complimentary about who had done my procedures nor the medicine they prescribed.  He said none of it would be a true fix.  What was done got me through the last month in south Texas and the drive home but I had to agree I am pretty much back to where I was before and the medicine didn't seem to be doing much.  Now I am scheduled in two weeks for an epidural under anesthesia followed by PT and traction.  Only time will tell.

We went to Denny's for brunch since we had no breakfast and it was not quite lunch time.  Then we stopped at Lowe's for some flowers to perk up our sad grass.  I am still waiting for the supervisor to come have a look.  I want his take on what the technician told me on the phone "the grass is doing fine and there are only 2-3 holes in the backyard."  I swear he hadn't come on a regular basis either.  When they talked about the copy of the  invoices left I knew something was wrong since the only ones I have ever seen are on the computer. Again, I pay in advance.  This is a bad idea I'm afraid.  The yard is looking a bit better with raking and sweeping and some flowers but the grass has a long way to go.

Ted left for Beaumont, the grass guy is coming Thursday morning and Isabelle came to clean.  I always pay her 150% of her normal rate when she cleans after a long absence.  It is also a thank you for keeping a slot for me with my comings and goings.  I watched Survivor on our new TV and went to bed early due to grass guy coming early and a 10:30 GYN appointment in the morning.

The 7-7:30 arrival time actually turned into 9:00.  I am so glad I got up at 6:00 to be showered and dressed before he came!  He put down a granular treatment, ordered another one in 3 weeks followed by our regularly scheduled one 4 weeks after that.  Let's hope it works.  Things are looking better but still not good.

Since I was up early the house was all in order before I left for the doctor.  I came home and finished the laundry.  Ted arrived home and after tending to his paperwork proceeded to nap in his recliner.  Not much else went on.

Ted worked an oil company outing Friday at the gun club and I used the time to try a new nail salon, the 4th since my old salon was sold.  This one did okay but time will tell how well it holds up.  I met Ted at the McDonald's in Walmart for yet one more Friday fish sandwich, only one more Friday to go!  We grocery shopped and then came home.  

I received an email that I was to receive a package via UPS from Bogota, Columbia!  My first thought was that someone was sending a package of drugs to our address and intended to steal them off our porch.  Then there were emails about delays.  At 8:30 pm I received another one saying my package had been delivered.  When I looked at the front porch - nothing.  Oh no, my worst fears were realized.  I turned on all the outside lights and there it was, outside the gate.  Is it really too much trouble to bring  it to the door and ring the bell?  It was a thank you Easter basket from our house guests who told me they ordered it through Costco!  

Ted had to work again at the gun club on Saturday.  I slept poorly and was tired all day.  Little by little I got my jobs done and we went to church at 5:00.  Since we had plans to eat out Sunday and Monday we came home and had salads.  Ted had a leftover piece of pizza with his and I had the last of the chicken soup with mine.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And Away We Go!

Sunday we met up with several couples that we have met over the years.  Some we know better than others but it was a delight to see them all.  We had brunch at Victoria Palms at 10 and I felt like I had never stopped eating from the day before.  A great surprise was to run into Lana and Randy from Chanute KS, one of the HitchHiker owners we met at various rallies.  We had run into them at Pepe's on the River last year and shared tables mixing their group and ours.  What a fun place, that is now up for sale. El Charro, that we found last year and had a great time visiting, is also closed.  Maybe we are the kiss of death for drinking establishments.

I dropped Ted off at the gun club where the guys from brunch all headed, plus Mark was called to join them.  He was to drive Ted home.  We were invited to Niles and Sue's for dinner so I put together an ambrosia salad before heading out for my last Mah Jongg games of this season.  I think Carol got one Mah Jongg but the rest were wall games where we all seemed to be a tile or two away.  We seem to be getting closely matched in our play.

We barely got home and it was time to go across the street and join the other 16 folks for Niles' attempt to make Ted's pulled pork.  It was done just right.  Kudos to the student and master.  Eventually we headed back across the street.  Monday morning was quickly gaining on us.

Because we had done some things preliminarily, we didn't have much to do in the morning.  By 9:00 we were ready to roll.  There were lots of hugs and handshakes as we headed out.  We appreciate all the friendship extended to us in this wonderful retirement community.  We certainly look forward to our return next year.

We drove north for 4.5 uneventful hours.  My leg and hip started to hurt some but I used the cruise control to give my leg a rest and it helped.  We pulled into the campground in Victoria and left immediately to eat.  I used Yelp to choose a burger place since the Pump House was not open.  We ended up at Big Jim's and it was a great choice.  Nothing to write home about on decor but the burgers and fries were way above average.

Last Monday our grandson Sam was in New York with his high school philharmonic orchestra to play Carnegie Hall.  I posted on Facebook but Sam wanted me to cover it in my blog too.  So here is a quick trip to NY.

This is photo #1 for my 2017 Christmas card.  This was such an overwhelmingly wonderful opportunity for these young people and for most, a once in a lifetime achievement.  It was the graphic on their T-shirts.  

On stage getting ready to perform.

Then the tourist things came into play.

My SIL Bill with Granddaughter Morgan who went to NY too.

And the finale, a performance of Aladdin.

They all returned home totally exhausted but it is a trip I doubt any of them will forget.

Tuesday we left about 9:00 stopping twice for bathroom breaks.  I stopped as we passed the house to unload what I had in the car while Ted continued on to the campground.  When I caught up with him he was set up and we both got busy.  I emptied the refrigerator and freezer so we could leave the doors open.  Ted shampooed the carpets.  With my car empty I was able to put all my clothes and the pantry and cold food in.  Then we left immediately for home.  The only thing left to do was get Ted's clothes and clean the floors and bathroom.  On Wednesday the rains came!  Ted eventually went back over to get his clothes and did the floors.  What a guy!  Thursday I cleaned the bathroom and we put her away until June. 

Things were a bit chaotic at the house yet and our TV went kaput in our absence.  Everything is fuzzy, green and purple.  We called our friend John who handles media set ups.  Trouble is he has moved to Georgetown!  Not to worry.  He ordered us a new one and is coming to spend the weekend while we wait for the TV to arrive Monday.  That threw us into overdrive.  I did all the laundry, took care of 3 months worth of mail, did our taxes (ouch big time!), put all the clothes and things we brought home away.  Then we dealt with the yard.  I have a few choice words for our lawn maintenance company.  It is apparent that despite paying them in advance they saw no need to come on a regular schedule.  Our lawn was inches thick with oak leaves, ant hills were all over and some plantings were dead from the freeze.  

Ted cleaned all the pollen off the table, chairs and deck.  He put out our new umbrella then cleaned the courtyard of pollen and leaves.  I put my little Mexican statues on the bricks that stick out (creating an escape ladder in case of fire). 

 The garage door got fixed but the original white paint showed a bit on the side where the door got shifted with the new rollers.  So I painted that.  Ted spray painted the wicker table on the front porch while I swept the leaves and shook the pillows.  I raked some of the oak leaves that were all over the place.  No way did they come and do the yard last week. 

We were orderly by the time Sherida and John arrived.  We went out to dinner to a fish place.  Saturday after Mass we all met Gerre and Barry for dinner and then to see The Three Musketeers.  It was good but so very long.  It was 11:30 when we got home.  

Sunday was bad weather all day.  I fixed breakfast and Ted and John worked on a stand for the TV to optimize the placement of speakers.  I fixed dinner and we played Shanghai.  Hopefully the TV will arrive early enough for John to get it all set up.  We have been watching the TV we use for the Wii.  It is sitting on our cooler.  None of us can even read the Guide, the writing is too small.  We decided it looked like a robot.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Our Last Week

Sunday was our second last one to be here.  We are pulling out a week from tomorrow.  It is a sad time to leave our second home but exciting to get back to take care of things.  We leave in the darkening days of winter and return to full blown spring.

Ken called to say our armadillo is back and has torn up our backyard pretty badly.  Obviously the grub treatment, coyote urine and dried blood only worked so long.  Hopefully getting the fence repaired may help.  There are all kinds of critters in the easement beyond the fence.  Fence first, grass second!

I did my last load of laundry for the season in the morning while Ted went skeet shooting.  When he returned we went to get coffee since we were out.  Groceries have been put on hold so we have less to carry home from the trailer but no coffee for a week just won't do!

At 2:00 I went to play Mah Jongg.  There were 9 players so we had 3 tables of 3 players.  We named our ghost Phyllis and played 4 games, I won 3!  I tried hands I had never done before and did well.    Made me proud of how far I have come.

I came home to find Ted doing some prep work for leaving.  I brought the extra dinette chairs, my Instant Pot and countertop oven in from the coach house and redid the closet I had removed them from when we arrived.  It just made life easier with them more readily available and less stuff in the closet was nice.  Ted did most of dinner and I did the dishes.  

We are trying to fit all that needs to be done into this last week.  The car and truck need to be detailed, our RV washed, I am shopping with Karen on Wednesday, our last Couples Lunch is Monday, I have to pick up my medical file to take home with my MRI disc, the shooters dinner and awards is Saturday! Of course I will try to fit my last 3 days of Mah Jongg in and one last time to attend Mass with Fr. Roy.  

Our reservation is in Victoria for one night and two nights at the one close to home.  It is too hard to pull in one day, get it empty and cleaned by the next morning to put away.  We need to empty the refrigerator and clean it first thing so it can dry out totally since we cannot open the freezer at all when closed up and we don't want a plugged defroster drain again.  This time we need to shampoo the carpets too so that will be done second so they have over 24 hours to dry.  The rest is taking everything home that needs to go and cleaning really good.  It wears you out.  Having that second day just makes things easier.  We just aren't as young as we used to be.

Breezes was our Monday lunch location and there were over 30 people present.  The food was good and the luncheon menu well priced but the noon lunch was just being served to the last third of the group at 1:35!  I am sure there were lots of unhappy campers.  We arrived early and were served quickly, at least three of us were.  As they delivered our food they asked Charles how he wanted his mushroom burger cooked!!  We were done eating when his came but it was long before the 1:35 serve time.

We stopped and made appointments to have both the truck and car detailed before we leave.  They are both dirty as can be.  Ted helped Mark move his outdoor furniture to the new house while I went to the nail salon.  So long, Gina. See you next year.  

We ate leftovers for dinner and watched the premiere of Dancing With The Stars and I only know 5 of the 12 "stars."

I didn't sleep well Monday night, woke up at 3 am and heard Jonathan and Shelly pull out at 5:00 am and never did go back to sleep.  We didn't have anything particular to do so I wasn't concerned.  I have years of sleeping just a few hours a night, not just recently.  Maybe it is my medicine.  I did my straightening up, ate breakfast and lunch sort of as one meal and played Mah Jongg at 2:00. Got a Mah Jongg and Sue got two.  

Ted was at Niles when I got back so the four of us sat out until it was time for dinner - more leftovers.  

Wednesday I drove to the Imaging Center to pick up my medical file then proceeded to pick up Karen.  We stopped in Weslaco at Wells where I bought awesome shoes for the wedding and 3 other items.  

Ooh La La!

Next we stopped at Sam's for beans for Saturday night then on to TJ Maxx where I bought a baby gift and two more tops.  I have a nice start to setting aside my cruisewear.  If I wear and launder it all summer it will be all faded and worn so I will set it aside.

We met up with the fellows eventually and went to El Patio for a late lunch/early dinner.  Our night meal was an orange while we watched Survivor.

Mimi drove to breakfast Thursday morning and only five attended.  So many have left for home.  But it is so nice to have good conversation without a big crowd.  When I returned home Richard was just arriving to wash and wax the RV and I followed Ted to the detailer to leave my car.  When it was finished, Ted took the truck to leave and picked up my car.  He stopped at the store for ketchup, brown sugar and bacon for the beans I am making for Saturday's Shooter Banquet.  

Eventually we went to get the truck and then went to Mark and Dortha's for pizza and to see their new house.  There were 7 couples and we had a good visit.  We came home about 8:00 and closed up for the night.

Saturday we went to get our hair cut.  Then we returned a flashlight to Ford left by a serviceman when he worked on my car.  For our gesture we were given a coupon for a free oil change!  Since we hadn't had anything but coffee, we stopped for lunch at McDonald's for more fish!

Niles came over and asked Ted to take him grocery shopping.  He wants Ted to show him how to make pulled pork.  Then Sue came over to say she will stop for me when it is time to play Mah Jongg.  In the meantime I was sorting my clothes (stay vs. home) and dusting all the wood in the bedroom. 
I drove me and Sue to the clubhouse because her golf cart needed to be plugged in.  It was hot and we were late.  We ended up with three tables but only 3 at our table and we all got a Mah Jongg.  When we came home I fixed grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Just a few Friday's left!

Saturday I fixed the beans and put them into the refrigerator.  It was two big 13 X 9 pans full.  At 3:00 we took them to the clubhouse and put them in the oven, leaving instructions for them to be taken out at 5:10. Then we left for our last Mass of the year with Fr. Roy.  He was in rare form and we enjoyed our last sermon.  Dinner was served just as we returned.  The beans were great from all accounts and just the right amount.  We watched a highlight video of activity at the range this year but we didn't win any door prizes or the gun so eventually we came home.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Less Than Two Weeks To Go

We were up early to make our 8:30 appointment with Dr. Flores in Progreso to have our teeth cleaned. Afterwards Ted went for a pedicure and I enjoyed my only pastry of the season with a cup of coffee at Renee's while I waited for him.  I bought a purse at one of the small stores before going to Jessica's for the balance of the eyedrops we need to get through until we come back in January.  We took advantage of our free margarita even though it was 11 am.  Someone said it was 5:00 in Poland!  The music was playing great songs to dance to but no one was dancing!  We were not going to venture out there on our own!!

When we came home we went to the grocery and the post office to get small boxes to send the pills out that we had purchased for others.  After dinner we watched the finale of one of the strangest seasons of The Bachelor.  

Tuesday was our normal routine, Ted took the clay pigeon thrower down to the gun range but only he and Mark showed up so he worked with him again.  While he was gone I vacuumed and dusted.  It is a constant fight especially with the fields being plowed and the traffic of the Border Patrol on the unpaved levee road.  Mah Jongg was at 2:00 and we four neighbors, Kathy, Sue, Linda and I, were at one table.  Kathy is in charge of the St. Patrick potato bake and we are all helpers.

Dinner was beef stew made in my pressure cooker.  It turned out well again this time.  Wednesday was going to be another early day so we went to bed earlier than usual.

My Wednesday morning appointment was with the doctor who has been seeing me and managing my medicine and shots.  The second shot did not do much and the pain is starting back up.  Instead of receiving a third shot, he adjusted my medicine and will have my records available for me to pick up next week.  Then I can see the pain doctor who took care of Ted prior to his back surgery when I get home.  

We had invited our Lark neighbors for dinner Thusday night so we had to go to the grocery.  We did that after Ted came back from the skeet club.  He rubbed his pulled pork to sit overnight.  I made a chocolate eclair cake because it needs to sit overnight.  We watched Survivor of course.

Thursday was busy!  I picked up Joanne and Ginger for breakfast and got the Cafe Lechero.  It fascinated me watching them make them all winter.  No one warned me how hot the glass would be!  It was good but nothing to write home about (though that is what I just did, didn't I?).  Our numbers are shrinking because so many folks are heading home.  

When I arrived home Ted was shredding his pork. 

I made shell macaroni salad and started to make cole slaw but the apple I bought to put in it and the bags of chopped cabbage were nowhere to be found.  We obviously didn't get one bag off the belt or out of the cart so Ted went back.  There was a long line at Customer Service so he just bought it again.

Ten of our Lark Drive neighbors came over at 4:30 for drinks and appetizers before dinner. It was a nice time to relax before we kicked into gear for the St. Patrick's Day Potato Bake.  The Lark Drive group was in charge.  

Friday we were scheduled to go up at 1:00 to set up tables and do whatever else needed to be done.  I did a load of laundry and when I got back Ted said everything was done and we weren't needed until 4:00.  Things were under control and we fed 131 people in 20 minutes!  I was serving butter with a scoop from my right hand and sour cream with another scoop from my left.  Who knew I was ambidextrous?

Ted and Mark ready to serve pulled pork on top of the potatoes.

Sue, Linda and Bruce at their station that duplicated mine and Bob's.

 Some attendees all decked out.

Saturday was quiet.  Ted took my car to the Ford dealer because there was a wet spot on the floor on the passenger side and appeared out of nowhere.  It was just water but was not dripping from under the dash.  Turns out a critter chewed on the drain tube from the heater core that collects condensation from the AC.  Or something like that!  Anyway we had to hang around waiting for it to get finished.

We asked our potato crew if they wanted to go to Dirty Al's for dinner after all our hard work for the potato bake so all 10 of us met there at 5:30 after we went to church.  I was bummed because I was looking forward to the coconut shrimp I had last time but it isn't on the regular menu!  Only fixed occasionally as a special.  We had a nice time and Dortha invited us all to their new house on Thursday because they are closing that morning.  No furniture so bring your own chair and pizza will be served!  They will leave their motorhome on their RV site until the furniture has been delivered so it doesn't block the way.  

They have their RV lot for sale and have purchased a port home.  They tried to get us to buy it, or do a 6/6 rental but we said no, we are happy with a 3 month rental.  We are set for next year!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Time March(es) On

While Ted shot skeet on Sunday, I went next door to do two weeks of laundry.  The machines are so large I can get done in two hours.  When I came home I had time for a sandwich before heading to Mah Johgg.  I finally got a Mah Jongg, it has been a long while!  I also took a bunch of nothingness and managed to make a good hand (but not good enough!) and when my hand went dead I was able to switch gears but not in time!  Progress!

When I returned we left immediately to pick up Jay and Stella.  We had plans to eat at Cheddar's.  Being it was Sunday, 4:30 was a really busy time and we waited a little over 30 minutes for a table.  Service was not slow but the sheer volume of food being prepared made waiting longer than usual. It was all very good as it always is.   We had a nice visit and it was dark by the time we got home.  We stayed in for the rest of the evening.

Monday was ladies lunch day.  Just as I was leaving, Ruth came by to collect $3 for the Survivor pool.  I picked Zeke from last season.  Hope he does well!  Ted had called the AC place and learned our unit was in and they would be over to install it.  I picked up Marissa, Joanne and Bev but Coco was stuck at the doctor and Ginger simply forgot!  We had about a dozen ladies and a good discussions of things we have made/are making.  My recent list was not very long but when the kids were young, I baked and sewed many things in their school days.  Coco's husband dropped her off so we gave her a ride home.

My tire light came on when I drove home and Ted checked them all.  My right front one had a big nail in it.  He had been getting tire prices because my tires were ready to be replaced so there was no time like the present!  So off we went to Pueblo Tire.  All four tires were replaced with new Firestone tires.  We came home, made dinner and watched TV while I worked on my table runner.

Tuesday was Mah Jongg again.  All four of us each got a Mah Jongg and there was one wall game.  Two ladies are seasoned players so it appears we newbies are moving right along.  As soon as I got home it was time to go to the clubhouse for the fish fry and wine tasting sponsored by the lawn service.  This has to be a major contract for them and it was a nice gesture.  We started saving a table for 8 and ended up with over 20 by continuing to add tables.  It was a beautiful evening to be outside on the patio overlooking the pool.

There was fried catfish, tator tots, hush puppies, Cole slaw and brownies plus wine.  There was a big turnout but I think the food held out.  It was another nice night.  

On Wedneaday Linda and I drove to Mercedes to the Outlet Mall and also stopped for lunch at Outback Steakhouse.  After soup and salad we headed to the stores.  We were disappointed that there was no Chico's anymore.  We both bought things at Hanes, I bought a pair of cute Crocs that don't look at all like Crocs and a few items at BonWorth.  I really like their clothes - reasonable, comfortable and launder well.  Then I treated myself to a new Coach purse.  My last one is getting a bit shopworn.  It rained really hard and we were walking in a few inches of water.  There weren't any other stores we needed to visit so we came home.

Thursday is still Ladies Breakfast day so off we went to Rosie's.  I am going to hate cooking again when we get home!  There wasn't a big group but a few new ladies made it interesting.  People are from all over and it is entertaining to exchange stories.  Biggest topic now is "when are you leaving?"  Some live here full time but travel to get out of the heat and folks like us travel back to our "bricks and sticks" as regular homes are called in RV lingo!  It started raining so we pretty much stayed in all afternoon.

Friday was a very nice day and we had errands to run in the morning.  I will take a stained glass class next year and make a sunflower patio table.  Our first stop was Target to buy an 18 inch glass top folding patio table.  I can leave it here with Kathy until I return.  Next we stopped at Hobby Lobby to look for yellow glass but we had no luck.  I will try at home.  We went to the bank, then McDonald's for a Friday fish sandwich for lunch.  We returned home in time for the hearing test set up in the clubhouse.  He said I could hear grass grow but Ted misses 3-4% of spoken words.  He advised him to be checked in one year.  Then it was time for Mah Jongg.  I had no Mah Jonggs but got within one tile a few times.  We completed 6 games so our play is speeding up.  

When I returned home Ted said he called the lady who owns this lot to make arrangements for next year and she told him she had rented it to someone else for 4 months versus our 3.  I understand her decision but don't understand why in the month that has passed she didn't tell us.  We started scrambling because it is late in the season.  With the help of a good friend here, we were able to secure a lot on the same street but the opposite side and a few down.  It was not in the rental program.  We told her if she was more comfortable just renting the spot without access to the coach house, that was fine.  Hers is beautiful and she doesn't know us so that is the deal we struck.  There is more room including a pergola covered patio with nice outdoor furniture and big grill.  We will be OK there.

On Saturday we drove to the flea market to pick up three things we needed.  It will be our last trip there this year.  Then we had lunch at Freddy's, a newly opened chain.  The burgers are a bit thin so I would recommend getting at least the double.  However, their custard is to die for.  We tried a mini sundae just to check it out.  

Later in the afternoon we went to church and there were six huge balls of flowers, mostly pink roses.  By big I am talking 3 feet in diameter.  There was a 7th spray of pink roses at the feet of a wall hanging of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I knew in an instant a wedding was happening at 5:15!  I would have liked to see the procession of what I bet was an incredibly awesome bridal party.  

We came home in time to change clothes for a dance with Ralph and the Cruisers again.  Or as Ted says, American Bandstand for Seniors!  About 12 couples attended.  We danced some and enjoyed all of the music.  It was over at 10:00 and we came right home.  I needed to turn the clocks back!

Sunday was our usual skeet for Ted and Mah Jongg for me.  I had a Mah Jongg on the first hand but went downhill from there.  I had not taken my phone so did not get Ted's text that we were due at Bonnie's at 4:30 for happy hour.  She had invited the folks that will be our neighbors and the folks now on the lot we will occupy next year.  We know the first couple and met the other one when we walked down.  But it was a very nice gesture on her part to be sure everyone knew one another.

It was after 7:00 so dinner was late!

I wanted to share some photos Sherman took over in the park recently.  The flowers, butterflies and birds are all coming back.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Beginning of the End of Our 2017 Stay

March started on Wednesday!  2017 is flying by!

Gerre, Barry and Tucker took off a little before 8:00. She gifted me a Mah Jongg set she had brought with her for us to play.  When I tried to give it back to her, she said it was for me to keep. It is absolutely gorgeous.  Instead of plain white, the backs have blue flowers in clear plastic.  I can't wait to show the Mah Jongg gals.  What a wonderfully special gesture.  I know two groups play at home but it will be so nice to have my own game.  

We wasted the whole day waiting for the AC repairman.  Instead of enjoying Smokin' on the Rio BBQ cook off events, we stayed close to home because no time was given.  It was about 3:00 when he came.  After much stopping, starting, pushing, clicking it was determined that the unit is shot.  Our extended warranty company was closed on Saturday but they had opened a claim on Friday.  Ted called the info into the repairman's office so they can file the claim Monday.  We have no idea when this will all get done.  The one AC is doing a decent job with the door closed at the stairs.  When it cools down at night we open it and use a fan in the bedroom and we are comfortable.

So we missed church at 4:00 and had to find another Mass later.  Our neighbors had invited us to dinner at Wallbangers and we were glad we didn't offer to meet them!  We ended up at a 6:00 Spanish Mass!  We came home to leftover meatballs and spaghetti and then put our feet up.  It was a busy week, well worth the effort, but kicking back felt good!

On Sunday Ted went to Coyote instead of Mission Skeet to shoot sporting clays with his group.  They just wanted to do something different.  I putzed around making myself an omelette, straightening up, getting ready, etc.  As soon as Ted came home it was time for me to go to Mah Jongg.  I didn't take my set because I need to get a special bag for it.  I was one tile away in two games and nowhere near in the third.  We all continue to learn as situations arise and we need verification on a rule.

Ted was across at Sue and Nile's when I walked back so I joined them.  We stayed there until way past dinner time so we asked if they wanted to go to Soup and Salad but they declined.  While we were there Stella called and invited us to her birthday lunch on Monday at Kurai Chinese Buffet.  I don't know what I ate but I liked it!  There were 10 of us in all and only one couple was new to us.  It was nice to see everyone.  

Tuesday, while Ted shot clay birds, I had my nails done.  Sure wish I could take Gina home with me!  I went to the grocery afterwards and made it home just in time to go play Mah Jongg.  No one won any game, they were all wall games.  Not sure if that means we are that good or that bad!  I fixed dinner so we could be outside to watch the Mardi Gras parade.  We ended up with Niles, Sue and Dortha joining us in our drive.  Beads, candy and doubloons were thrown during the parade.

The Border Patrol led the parade! 

After the parade we were all invited to the Clubhouse for drinks and dessert.  The Line Dancing Class provided a bit of entertainment.

We had another beautiful sunset to end the day.

Wednesday I had a doctor appointment at 8:30.  He decided I should get one more shot, continue my meds until all the pain is gone, then back off the meds gradually.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  The one concern he raised was a notation in the report of "stenosis in the central canal."  That could involve an ablation or worse, a laminectomy.  But let's hope it doesn't come to that.  I am doing much better and hope this lasts for a long time.  

We stopped to see Sandy and Rusty's new furniture in their Mobile Suites.  It was purchased in Shipshawana IN, made by the Amish.  They build it from frame to upholstery.  It was really nice and confirmed our plan to go to Lambright as soon as we arrive.  That will give us a week for them to come up with what we want.  Sandy chose a set off the showroom floor.  If we can't get it then, we can go back through there in August on our way south.  Let's hope it works out.

Ted went to shoot skeet when we came home and I did all the work I hadn't done before we left at 7:45.  Late in the afternoon we went to McDonald's for fish sandwiches for dinner.  Just as we finished Bob and Kathy came in.  She had cataract surgery in the morning and had a clear patch plus dark glasses on.  We decided to stay and had a nice visit with them.  It was dark when we got home.

Thursday is breakfast out so I picked up Marissa, Joanne and Ginger.  We arrived first so got to choose where to sit versus taking leftover seats.  Remember - if you are on time, you are late!  We had a great conversation about ancestry with Joanne who is adopted, Ginger who was adopted by an aunt and uncle, me who was raised by grandparents and Marissa who is Spanish and has 8 last names!!  We encouraged Joanne to take the DNA test.  She could have siblings she knows nothing about!

We had to tell our neighbors we couldn't go to Poncho's for dinner because we had to leave at 5:00 to get to Weslaco by 6:00.  Construction starting on 23rd Street exit slows the traffic down.  We made it in 35 minutes though.  I apologized to our neighbors because it seems every time they ask us to eat out, we can't!

I had another shot(s) in my back.  First it is really cold numbing lotion, then numbing shots and then the medicine so I don't know just what they do back there.  The pain in my leg stops instantly!  We stopped again at Luby's on the way home.  It is a cafeteria and we can get whatever we want.  I had chicken fried chicken and Ted chose Salisbury steak with grilled onions.  We both cleaned our plate.  Eating at 7:30 will do that to you!

Friday we whiled away the whole morning before even getting dressed.  We had some lunch and I prepared to go to Mah Jongg while Ted left to see about getting tires on my car.  He came home shortly after me and we had pancakes for our first meatless Friday this Lent.  After an evening of TV, we headed to bed.

Saturday it rained!  The first hard rain we have had since coming January 2.  We stayed in, eating a late lunch, then went to church.  We called Linda and Bruce to see if they wanted to play card bingo next door.  They agreed and we picked them up.  I won the first game, Ted the second and that was it!  Since we only had one meal we decided to go to Dairy Queen.  The four of us talked until 10 pm.  We enjoy having one on one time with our friends here.  Mostly we are in groups and it is hard to have these good discussions.

We are down to three weeks before heading home!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Eight

Tucker is here!  Gerre and Barry arrived a little before 2:00.  We got Tucker's things all settled and took a ride around the area.  Then we sent them off to get settled into their hotel and I finished up dinner.  When they returned we ate in the coach house because it was too windy at the patio table and too crowded in here.  Around 8:00 Barry suggested they head home, it had been a 7 hour drive and he was tired.

Tucker was fine all night.  He started out in bed with us, then followed me to the couch when I got too warm, and eventually went into his opened crate and slept in his bed.  It rained through the night and he didn't want to go out in the morning so I had to carry him to the grass.  He went fast and hurried back to the steps to go in.  

We picked Gerre and Barry up later in the morning and proceeded to Arturo's for Retama's Couples Monthly Luncheon.  Don, Trudy, Mike and Marion sat at our table and we had a terrific lunch with great conversation.  Afterwards we headed to Mexico for the afternoon.  The weather had turned beautiful and we stayed there for quite some time.  We spent a good deal of time in Pancho's Bar listening to music and enjoying margaritas.  

Once back on US soil we went to Cracker Barrel for some dinner.  Gerre asked for us to just drop them off at the hotel, which we had to pass, because she was tired.  Poor little Tucker headed right to his water bowl when we got home.  I took him out and he marked every tree and bush around us!  Then he was ready to eat!  Ted took him out for the last time in the evening about 11:00.  

Tuesday we headed to the Travel, Health and Wellness Expo at the convention center.  It didn't have nearly as many vendors as the Texas Expo but was fun anyway.  Barry won an opportunity to enter the Wind Tunnel where dollars and monopoly winner dollars fly around and you get 15 seconds to grab as much as you can.  He grabbed $8 and a winner dollar that gave him a portable phone charger.  Ted won an infuser and two different essential oils to use in it by spinning a wheel somewhere!  We also all won free admittance to Matzalan where we hope to visit if we find time.  

We left there and had lunch at Chik Fil A.  Mah Jongg was at 2:00 so Gerre and I had an opportunity to play.  We were able to get in 5 games with Gerre winning one and Jan another.  The rest were wall games.  Gerre thought I did just fine when I exposed my hands and explained where I was heading and where I fell short.  Apparently I am acquiring a good understanding!

The guys were down at the gun range shooting and then Ted helped Barry take his gun apart and clean it.  They needed Niles to help them get it back together at the end.  He has two of that type so he knew right off how to do it.

The weather remains close to perfect.  Ted grilled burgers and we had dinner, finishing up with the key lime pie I made for Sunday night but we hadn't cut yet.  Everyone wanted a tiny piece so we have enough left for another go round.

They left about 8:00 and I did the few dishes, Ted walked Tucker and we settled in for the night.

Wednesday we attended the Mobile Suites luncheon with Gerre and Barry as our guests.  We were delighted to see Sandy and Rusty, wagon masters of The Texas Boomers Camping Club, folks from next door and Retama neighbors among the guests.  There were door prizes and Gerre won a nice canvas cargo tote bag and I won a DRV ladies golf shirt but it is 2X and drowns me.  I posted on the group's FB page and will be sending it to another member.  Two of the bags had $100 bills in them!  Rolling Retreats out of Elk City, OK sponsors the luncheon and are amazing folks to do business with.  Afterwards we went to the Flea Market to look around but it was late in the day and not much going on.  We ate at El Patio that evening.  They had stuffed avocados which they pronounced excellent.

We took a boat ride on the Rio Grande on Thursday.  The Mexican side is very nicely developed but the American side has pretty much been left undeveloped in the area approaching the dam.  A jet ski went zooming by us and the captain said he was a smuggler and there were lots of chuckles.  He said he wasn't kidding.  He had taken the jet ski off a trailer attached to a rattletrap truck that was still in the water.  Went up the Mexican shore like a bat out of hell.  Someone jumped on, he zoomed across to the US side, dropped him off and zoomed back to the trailer and was pulled out of the water and gone!  Right before our eyes!  The BP agents say the flow has slowed down considerably though since Trump was elected.

At the edge of the dam.

Afterwards we returned to Mexico so Gerre and Barry could buy some pottery for their pool area and fence.  We had been invited to a gathering here in Retama later in the afternoon but we got back late and found one of our two AC units was not working.  It gave an error code so we knew what was wrong and Ted spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get an appointment for a repairman.  We were all tired and just called it a day.

Gerre and Barry took Friday to do a bit on their own including visiting Quinta Matzalan, a preserved area and home in McAllen.  Once Ted had secured an appointment for the AC repair for Saturday, we headed to Harlingen.  We stopped at the Marine Museum to view the documentary on the Battle of Iwo Jima and to view the memorial that served as the mold for the bronze memorial located in Arlington National cemetery.  The grave of Harlon Block, the young man shoving the end of the flagpole in the memorial, is from Westlaco, TX and he was moved from Iwo Jima, to a Weslaco resting place and in 1995 was interred in the park in Harlingen.  

Having had enough Mexican and BBQ food, we opted for a nice Italian restaurant in Harlingen for dinner.  It had a nice ambience and was a great farewell dinner.  Our last activity was seeing John Sager perform.  He teased Gerre quite a bit but pretty much did his audience carousing in the seats behind us.  The folks loved it.  He recruited four men to be a The Village People which was funny since the guy being the C just couldn't seem to get it right!  It was very entertaining.

This morning Tucker got packed up by me and picked up by them for the long ride home.  There is a street sale going on in Retama so after they pulled out Ted and I borrowed Niles's golf cart to ride around.  I bought a muffin tin, spatula, two cheese spreaders and a cheese slicer for the grand sum of $1.  I have plenty of these things at home but now I have them in my trailer too.