Monday, October 31, 2016

Quad Monday AND Trick or TREAT!!!!

We spent Sunday night in Quadville -arriving AFTER the Dallas Cowboys won their game in overtime - and were prepared to be awakened by four little four year olds this morning!

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We managed to have a cup of coffee and then serve up a country breakfast of biscuits, gravy, bacon and fried eggs all washed down with orange juice before we loaded up and headed back to 'MeeMaw's House!'



Our craft for the day was making Ghost Pops.
for the idea!!!


We love to eat lunch outside.
Our last time to use the BOO place mats this year!


Granddad continued the tradition of reading Bill Martin's Ghost Eye Tree to the quads!
He has read this to them since the first year they were born.
He also read it to to our older grandchildren - Sam, Faith and Levi as well as to Rayne.


He certainly held their attention!


By the end of the book, they were all crowded around him!
This book is special to Louis Dean as he knew the author and did several workshops with him.
Bill Martin gave LD this autographed copy of his book.

Naps followed. Not only for the quads but for Granddad and MeeMaw as well.
For whatever reason, we were both really tired today.


When we all woke up, it was time to dress up for Halloween!
Can you identify the characters?


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A last photo shoot before their Dada takes them off to their own neighborhood to Trick or Treat!
Amber worked so hard on their costumes and had them in bags with every single element in each one down to a handmade necklace for Logan. She was away for a wedding and didn't get to see them in all their glory but she was the one that made the quads shine!


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Trick or TREAT!!!


Louis Dean held court after the quads left in anticipation of the trick or treaters to come!


We love how the dog next door dresses up every year!!


That dog belongs to these two dear girls!!!
They and their parents are such blessings to us!
Neighbors mean so MUCH!!!


I admit that we were tired and had the fleeting thought of going to bed but we are SO glad that we didn't!!! Our sweet neighbors of years past came to call - as they do each and every year - and we would not have missed this for the world!!!


Relationships matter. They do! 
We love this family and have watched little Nicole grow up as well as her big sister, Britney, standing next to her.
She will soon be seven and we are so honored to be a part of her life!


We had other sweet neighbors come by and it was a night of fun!


This little one loved the lights on the porch!


And that's the way I feel tonight as I turn off the porch light and ask Louis Dean to join me in the gazebo for a glass of wine before we go to bed.

I love my family and I love my friends.
It's been a good Halloween!!!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

All Kinds of Weekend Wonderfuls!!

Friday morning we went into our Closing up the Camper Routine.
It takes me about an hour to pack up our stuff, clean out the fridge, vacuum the floors and double check to make sure the water, propane, and water heater is off. Leaving everything clean and tidy makes it much nicer for us when we come back.

Grandson Robert followed us to Waco and we had one last meal together before he headed for Brownwood and we headed home.


We thoroughly enjoyed our week with him.


Dean had recommended this restaurant that features down home cooking.


Louis Dean ordered the Chicken Fried Steak, of course!!!
NOT the lunch special but the full order!


Grandson Robert got the half order!


I had a frozen margarita and the fried catfish lunch special.
Then I napped all the way home!
Win! WIN!!

For whatever reason coming home is so exhausting!
 Louis Dean unloads while I go about the business of putting everything up and starting the laundry.
Let me tell you, my husband was happy to get back to his TV and news shows!
I left him in the den to catch up on all that was happening in the news and I went on to bed.

The reason we came home on Friday instead of Saturday was to go to Andie's 13th birthday party!


Summer has been making the cutest little hair bows and I clipped this one to my jacket and wore it like a pin. I have loved that orange top Nita gave me for my birthday and I'm wearing it a LOT!


We stopped to vote on our way to Fort Worth Saturday morning,
You just never know what Louis Dean is going to say because he is anything BUT politically correct.
Thankfully, he minded his manners!!
I had sent off for ballots to vote by mail thinking we may have been down at the ranch on election day. They arrived and I didn't even open them. By then I had decided that we should vote in person.
The ladies who were working the polls were so sweet and helpful and they knew exactly what to do so we could vote. As a matter of fact, everyone in line to vote and all the workers were pleasant.

We went on to Fort Worth early so I could visit a house we used to live in that plays a prominent part of the chapter I'm now writing. We moved every single year from 1957 to the time I left home in 1963 at the age of 14. I visited with the current owners who have lived there for 30 years but I didn't get to go in the back yard as I wanted to. No matter, I drove down the alley and saw what I could.
Writing this book is a real experience. I was telling Deanie later about not seeing if the shed was still in the back yard at 1212 Waggoman. That was where we lived, not in the house but in the shed in the back yard, You could have knocked me over with a feather when Deanie said, "Oh, no! We tore that down!" How did she do THAT??? Come to find out, Deanie and her first husband rented that house from our wicked stepfather Clayton right after they got married in the late 60's. Did I ever know that? I don't think so but we all were not close back then like we are now.

It was too early to go the birthday party place so Louis Dean and I hit up McCart Thrift Store and I found so many wonderful things! We still arrived at Fuddruckers 45 minutes EARLY!!!
That nearly never happens to ME!


The food was great and so was the company.
I was so busy talking that I forgot to get the birthday girl's picture!



This is Charlie, Deanie's husband, and Katie, Lonnie and Michele's granddaughter.


I get a photo of Larry, Andie's daddy!
You can see Deanie's hand is still in a brace from her surgery earlier this month.


She took the brace off to show me how well it is healing.
She is slowly getting better with her other health problems as well.
Who knew a serious defiecency of B12 and Vitamin D could be so devastating?


Our sweet brother and his beautiful bride.


Louis Dean and Deanie bonded on the drive from Houston back when the quads were born.
They have been each other's #1 fan ever since.

We left Fuddrucker's and then stopped to visit Mother for a little while.


She has lost a lot of strength since she quit exercising. She used to ride her stationary bike and walk on the driveway but doesn't do either of those anymore. She refuses to come over here and stay with us so she mostly just stays in her room and watches TV. Still, she was glad to see me and I promised to come back next week and visit longer.

It was long past dark when we got home.
Here are the wonderful treasures I found at the Thrift Store......


I have a weakness for Christmas tablecloths!
That heavy metal chicken light even had a light bulb with it!
He is sitting by my kitchen sink now.


I use a lot of Christmas Plaids in the den for the winter months.
The nice bowls are from Pier 1.


I use a lot of these electric candles year round and will be painting these with some of those fancy metalic spray paints. I have a couple of other textiles of the same pattern as that small tablecloth.
The old fashioned feel of that design is so appealing to me.


Nita gave me this great jigsaw puzzle.
Now if I could just finish the cardinal one I'm working on now!


It's been two years since Deanie and Charlie moved into their new home. 
They were in it only two days before they brought Mother home to live with them.
They still have a few boxes that never got unpacked so they gave me one of them!
It was chock full of crystal! From wine glasses to decanters and a vase!
I put them in the dishwasher last night and they are now in the china cabinet in the dining room!

Last night I slept so HARD that I had a headache when I woke up!
I must have been really tired!

I made another drive over to Fort Worth early this afternoon to visit my niece, Leah.
She and her husband are having a new home built and I got to go see it!


Leah and her mama, Nita!


I TOLD you I am just about to wear this top out!!!

I came home to a delicious chicken fried steak dinner complete with gravy!


I could smell it all the way from the driveway!

The Cowboys are still playing and I am trying not to get nervous that we are behind.
I think I better publish this and get in there to cheer for them!


I'll close by showing you the lovely tea set Leah gave me!
It is tiny and I can't wait to use it for a little girl tea party.

So you see, I did have a weekend of wonderful things!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Closing Out Our Time in the Camper.....

How's this for a country pic?


Louis Dean is sporting his overalls with bare feet and his only accessories are a fly swatter ( a PATCHED one at that!) and a cup of coffee! It's bad that we have swatted so many flies over the last two years that we are now in the market for new ones!


We have loved out time here!
The mornings are special with coffee and reading out here on the west side of the camper in the shade. Most mornings there has been a bit of a breeze making it very pleasant indeed.


Most evenings, Grandson Robert has built us up a nice campfire,


We've used the ashes to roast our potatoes and buttered onions.
Last night we had pork chops (courtesy of Dean) all flavored and marinated and cooked on the grill.


We have gone on bike rides......


and breathed in the sweet country air.

We have gone exploring and simply enjoyed being here.


The critters have kept us entertained and I am amazed that so many different animals seem to get along together so well. This morning when I went down for my shower, I saw one of the horses over by the chicken coop and several of the hens were out there with him as if they were all passing the time of day with each other.


Dean gave Rufus a good bath....


And I watched the geese and the goats.


I love all the sounds of the country!


We have had such a good time.
This is the only place where I seem to relax completely.
I've worked on my book every single day and feel as though I am actually building something. 
Brick by brick. Story by story. Connecting all the dots of our childhood. 
The hardest part is over - that of simply getting deep INTO the book now.
But in a way, THIS is the hardest part and until I put in words the events of August 1957, I had not fully understood just exactly the extent it shaped our lives.
Right now it is at a sad point in time but I have to remind myself that humor and the sheer strength of the human spirit and the grace if God has allowed me to write and relive those times once again through my writing and yet realize that it is not as depressing to me as I had feared.
It's like that line of song in gospel music - I read the back of the Book and we WIN!
I am so proud of my siblings and all they have had to overcome. If my book does nothing more than to tell our story to our children and then for them to appreciate how far we have come from 1957 - it will be enough. I read chapter five to Louis Dean and he was so moved that I'm afraid it may be too emotional or sad. He says no. It is a story of survival and victory.
Once I have the Prologue edited and feel it's a done deal, I will share it here.
It's only 1,068 words and can be read in less than two minutes.

We have done everything we hoped to do this trip.
All four of my Santa paintings have been based in and will be ready for detail painting to begin next week. I am really cutting it close this year!

This afternoon, while I was busy writing, I heard hammering outside.


Louis Dean was out there hammering in all the nails in the deck that had popped up a bit.
I think it's time to go home and let him get back to his projects!

But for now - I have one last night and Robert has the campfire burning.
Dinner will be easy.
Pan fried ham and Ruth Ann's potato salad.
But first I need to stretch my feet out by the fire and sip my wine and thank God for all the blessings of this week and this life.