Friday, April 27, 2018

Ironman Texas

I handled the three suitcases' contents and our mail on Monday after our arrival home.  That gave me Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for our own personal Ironman (Ironwoman?), my sister Margaret.  A lot of shopping and cleaning plus laundry was involved but I was ready on Thursday morning for an early trip to the airport. 

Our first stop was for her to register.  This is big business!!  Lots of vendors are in the Ironman Village too.  Participant Shirt (Margaret Kennedy).  

A quick photo of the three of us.  

We accomplished all she had to do as far as logistics, locating her bicycle transporter, etc.  and then we had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes before heading home.  After visiting and naps we opted for Joe's Italian restaurant for dinner for her heavy carb diet prescribed before the race.  Did I mention it is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon of 26.2 miles running.  I have been elected to clap and cheer.  

A swimming practice was being held between 8-10 on Friday morning.  Ted made waffles (carbs) for breakfast before he left to work at a chaplains' gun shoot at his club.  I drove Margaret to the Marriott to meet up with her friends to do their practice swim and to find the Transition area, Finish Line, etc.  She called after 12 to come get her.  She didn't want lunch and promptly took a nap.  In the time she was gone I went to the store and made two lasagnas - one vegetarian for her and one regular one for our dinner.

I was up at 4 am to take Margaret to the race venue.  She gave me her phone to keep and my communication now depended on the Ironman app.  I checked as she completed the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 miles biking and she was a few miles into the 26.2 run when we went to church.  When I checked later her check-ins had stopped about a third of the way into the run.  I knew something was wrong and we went immediately to the area of the Finish Line to inquire.  She had been taken to Medical having collapsed from heat exhaustion.  By the time we made our way to Medical we learned she had been released at 6:12.  We learned later they could not find her emergency paper with my number on it so she could not call me.  Kristin suggested I try to contact her friend in Florida through Facebook and lo and behold she had contacted him and he had sent me a message to call her at a phone number of a friend.  We met her in the hotel lobby all wrapped in a silver warming blanket.  But she was feeling better and we brought her home.  After a shower she went right to bed.

An 11:15 flight Sunday morning meant packing up to head back to Florida for her.  She felt much better and was in fine spirits when we dropped her off at the airport.  She was handling her disappointment very well.  Her race time numbers were right on target and the heat exhaustion hits many as evidenced by all the beds in Medical having been full.  She proudly wore her Texas Ironman backpack on the plane.

Ted and I headed to Katy to meet Tal and Cindy at a sporting clays competition followed by dinner.  I fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home.  This Ironman thing can be tiring even for those of us who clap, cheer and worry!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On to St Marys, OH

We were in no big hurry Monday morning but we did have to watch the time because we had to turn the car in back at the airport before our weekend time was up and then start our weekly rental.  Sounds crazy but doing it that way versus a 10 day rental was $2200 versus $800!  You read that right!  The airport taxes almost doubles the cost.  We were allowed to keep the same car so that made it easy.  Drive in, get recorded, drive out.  

It started snowing!  Not heavy, but enough you could see it and the streets were wet.  Then it sleeted.  Oh happy days!  It didn't take but a few hours to get to our next destination, Sue and Dan's.  It was in the 30s and I was ill prepared clotheswise.  While Dan went to sign his taxes, the three of us went shopping for some warmer clothes for me.  Jeans, slacks and a pullover sweater would hopefully get me through the cold spots of the next week.

We ate dinner at home and watched Netflix on TV.  We only have cable and found the programming interesting.  I would love to dump our cable.  After a good night's sleep Ted and Dan prepared to go shooting and Sue and I went shopping for their new grandbaby, #17!  I wrapped the things I bought and left the gift bag for them to deliver later.

Once the fellows came home and cleaned up, we drove to the Versailles Inn to meet their son Ed and his wife Vicki for dinner.  I had amazing walleye (pickerel to non-Michiganders) and lots of laughs.  We had an amazing time just talking and telling stories.  We all went to bed shortly after arriving back home.  The cool weather had done our shooters in.  We had to be on the road by 8:30 the next morning so another good night's sleep was in order.  It was a 2.5 hour drive to the Detroit airport to pick up Kristin.  

Our timing was spot on because she walked out just as we drove up.  From there it was just 45 minutes to Kara's.  Thursday we had lunch with Kelly and shopped for presents for Morgan.  Friday we arranged the flowers for the tables at the restaurant, picked up the cakes, pressed off clothes, etc., all in preparation for Morgan's Confirmation on Saturday.  Kristin's best friend since age 8 came for a visit with her 2 year old daughter..

Kara and Morgan went to church at 6 for practice and dinner while the rest of us went to Kelly's for dinner.  

Here are some photos of the Saturday celebration.

Flowers for the tables

Morgan being Confirmed


Kara's family

Us with Kelly's family and with Morgan 


 Two cakes, one gluten free for Morgan.  

On Sunday Bill's sister and brother in law came for dinner.  Ted made pulled pork, I tossed a salad and Kara made a fruit salad.  Morgan and I made a corn casserole too.  She was using her Home Economics skills!

Monday morning we were up and out at 9 am for the flight home.  We landed at 2:00 and were happy to arrive home a short time later.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Time in Cincinnati

We drove to the airport, parked offsite and took the shuttle to the terminal.  However, he dropped us all off at Arrivals instead of Departures!  I am not sure why but we had to make the best of it and make our way to the ticket counters upstairs.  I had paid for Premium seating on United so we had a very comfortable ride except for a bit of turbulence.  Finding the car rental at the airport was fun.  There are no signs!  National told us to follow the purple line but we couldn't find one.  The luggage guy said to go through the double doors which only put us outside with the parking lot and private pickups so we started walking and someone pointed to an area so we continued to there.  You can take a bus from this spot but still no signs!  Ted asked the driver if they were in the Witness Protection Program.  He laughed and said most everyone has trouble finding them.  Too much trouble to fix a known problem?

We chose a Chrysler 300 from the Emerald Aisle and drove across the river to Ohio where we stopped to get distilled water for Ted's CPAP machine and saw 12 Tesla charging stations in the parking lot.  A glimpse into the future I suppose.  

We eventually made it to Karen's.

On Saturday we went to Gabe's, a Ross type store, and ran into Karen's grandson and his wife.  They were just coming from a funeral and took the opportunity to shop this store since they live north of the city.  I bought a couple tops, gave them hugs, and we went home.  Church was at 5:00 and afterwards we went to a German restaurant that normally has great food.  After an hour's wait for a table we were served the worst meal I have had in ages!  Ted and Karen both sent stuff back and I just answered "no" when the waitress asked me if it was good.  Oh well, it is only one meal out of thousands I will eat in my lifetime!

Donna picked me up on Sunday and we made our way to our old high school.  We met up with 40 of the remaining 200 or so classmates who graduated in the Class of 1963.  What a fun time!  We had lunch, toured all the buildings and were allowed to use the marble stairs, a BIG no-no all those years ago.  Here we all are sitting on the marble stairs.  I am far left, top row because I am still able to climb, sit down and get up! 

Donna B R and Donna B P, friends since 1950

After four hours Donna dropped me off.  Cindy, Karen's daughter and her husband, had arrived and we got in a short visit before we left to see Ted's family.  We had a great meal with Peg, Dave and Dan.  When we returned to Peg's, Kevin and Barb joined us for Graeter's ice cream for dessert.  After a few hours we all headed home.  What a great day of seeing friends and family!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Heading Out

It has been a very busy week.  Monday I had bloodwork done.  The results were two pages long and all marked NORMAL!   In the afternoon I played Hand and Foot at Kathleen's. Terry was celebrating his 75th birthday, so six of us had dinner at Landry's to celebrate that evening.

I worked in the morning at the Thrift Shop on Tuesday.  It has been difficult getting all my hours in with being out of commission last summer and gone this winter.  But I am in striking distance now and by the end of April will have accomplished my goal.  If I have time in May I will check the calendar to see if I can lend a hand somewhere.  Our group is committed to 10,000 hours and if all members did just what they had to, we would be 2,000 hours short.  So it is important to not only do your obligation but to add some extra hours when you can.

I saw the hematologist on Wednesday.  He was pleased with the blood test results, cut my medicine in half and said to return in six months.  That afternoon I played mahjongg and won a game.  I was a tile away two other times so I know what I am doing.  Sometimes you just don't get the tiles!

Thursday was Ted's turn to see the doctor to set up his annual endoscopy.  I had lunch with the neighborhood ladies and at 4:00 saw the cardiologist.  She has started the paperwork on setting up the filter removal surgery.  I should hear from the Scheduler today. 

We fly out this afternoon for Cincinnati.  We will spend three nights at my sister's while I attend my 55th high school reunion.  The school is consolidating with another Catholic girls' school run by Mercy nuns and the property will be sold.  So this reunion has very special meaning.

Monday we move north on to my brother's for a two night visit with some shooting and fishing thrown in.  And Wednesday we will leave early enough to pick up Kristin at the Detroit airport at 11:00. All roads lead to Kara's where we will be for the next five nights to celebrate Morgan's Confirmation on Saturday.

We return Monday, the day before our 53rd wedding anniversary.  I think we may be too tired to even consider celebrating.  Maybe the next weekend.,

Here are a couple photos taken at the gala - The Big Board, the mechanical bull and the venue and crowd.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

NOW It Is Two Weeks To Takeoff

We actually had three weeks at home before leaving again and then we were down to two!  I guess it just felt like I only had two because so much needed to be done.  I am pretty much caught up and have a busy week ahead.

We did have brunch at the country club Easter Sunday after church and it was very well done with delicious food.  Everyone went home to change clothes and then met up to play cards.  My dimes cooled off and I didn't win.  Shanghai is not easy to play with six players but it is doable.  We all had fun and that was our main objective.

Monday I took it easy.  Ted had an opthamology appointment and the doctor said he is about six months from cataract surgery.  His glasses have been driving him crazy because he can see distance better without them but needs them for reading.  It isn't unusual for your eyes to change, even improving, as a cataract develops so I suspected this might be the diagnosis.  When he returned, I went to the nail salon, another new one.  They did okay.  Now to see how it lasts.  

Ted went to the pistol range with Terry on Tuesday, senior day.  Later that afternoon he shot Sporting Clays with his buddies.  I shredded my papers, did my normal straightening up and cleaned and polished the wood floors.  Now just the filing remains!

Since Ted needs his annual endoscopy and now cataract surgery and I need my vena cava filter removed,  I suggested we put all summer travel plans on hold until we get this stuff lined up.  I think he would do better in the October Championships in San Antonio if he had his cataract removed before.  With only one eye I know how apprehensive he is so maybe that carrot of shooting better will help ease that anxiety.  With the 9/14 departure for Greece and the shooting competition the end of October, it seems late in August would be the best time.  My minor surgery will probably get scheduled for the first part of May when we return from Michigan.  

Wednesday I played mahjong with Gerre's group.  Jennifer and Betty picked me up and we stopped at Subway on the way.  We ate our lunch and then played about 8 games.  I did win one but Betty was smoking the tiles with four wins.  Gerre won two, the wall one, while Jennifer was shut out.  They all proclaimed me up to speed on playing.  

Ted wanted to go to Dickie's BBQ for dinner so we headed that way only to find it moved out!  So we went on to Denny's.  We had to watch Survivor on the DVR because we got back so late.

I was up early Thursday to leave by 8:30 for the nursing home Spring Fling party.  Gail did a great job on the decorations, all in pastel colors.  Entertainment was provided by the Salvation Army Harbor Light choir and the residents, who are a tough crowd, really got into the music.  One resident was dancing with an aide and another lady got out of her wheelchair to cut a rug in place.  We had lots of "help" come into the room to listen too.  It was a great send off for the year.  

We turn everything over to the next Chairs in May.  I have a little while to get it together.  There is a book of instructions and boxes of decorations to be sorted and packed.  Gail and I will be happy to get rid of all those boxes.  We picked up my car in late afternoon after coughing up $2200 for repairs!

I was up early again on Friday and left by 8:15.  I had to attend a Board of Directors meeting for my volunteer group.  The Service Committee did not have a quorum so their unfinished business had to be  resolved by the board.  We had six programs that were being scrutinized.  I had a hair appointment so while they were discussing #4, I snuck out.  I knew #6 would also evoke a lot of comments and I am too busy before we leave to not keep my haircut appointment.  It would be another 2.5 weeks to wait otherwise.  

After a bit of lunch, I headed into my office.  I ordered the wedding gift for Ted's nephew and sent the RSVP with our regrets.  I signed and stamped Ted's brother Tom's 80th birthday card.  I paid the annual RV insurance premium, the lawn service bill and sent my RSVP for the Forum installation luncheon.  I filled out the reimbursement forms  for both Gail and me to be reimbursed for our expenditures.  And I wrote a letter to my cousin that had sent us an Easter card and letter.  I worked on one Forum book and got it in order, but I have a second one that is in very messy shape.  It is the one Gail worked out of so I am not even sure what is in there!  

Ted came home from working a charity outing at the gun club and we took the Lexus back to Terry.  We were so grateful it worked out so I didn't have to rent one.  I do have a $40 per day rental benefit but this was so convenient with no paperwork.  Ted fixed dinner and I cleaned up before finally sitting down.  

Saturday Ted worked an FAA Youth Shoot at the gun club, I ran a few errands and sorted, tossed and repacked the nursing home party supplies.  Now I just have to learn who I need to give them to.

And by 5:00 we were on the road to the west side of town for rhe CWJF Boots and Bling Gala.

There were many outside things to do but it was too cold to enjoy them to the fullest - a bourbon and stogies bar, mechanical bull, cornhole, Giant Jenga, etc.  Most of us stayed inside the Big Barn that was heated, enjoying delicious appetizers and an open bar.  It was underwritten by our tablemates Diane and Nick of Come From Away fame.  I bid on the Silent Auction but lost.  There was a Big Board auction but nothing of interest to us at this time.  There was a paddle auction but I didn't dare raise my paddle for those.   Masters Weekend, CMA Nashville weekend, Disney World Week,  Alaskan cruise, Alaskan Floatplane Fishing Trip, etc.  The heavy hitters run these things way up!  God bless them for
supporting our efforts to make a difference in the lives of children and seniors.  It was a terrific evening!