Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Projects!

I love a Saturday when we can stay at home and work on some of our projects!

Louis Dean bought a super fancy printer months ago!!
He asked me to help him hook it up and we have both been dreading this project every bit as much as we have been looking forward to using this wonderful new printer!
FINALLY, after our morning coffee and reading, we tackled it!
In less than an hour - it was up and running!!!
Since neither one of us are computer/tech savvy - we were pretty proud of ourselves!!!!

From that we moved on to our gazebo!!!
Louis Dean posed for a photo and after I took the pic - I noticed he had turned the instructions upside down!!!

He worked at this all afternoon and evening long!

Step by step - he made progress!
Since he was working so hard and needed energy to keep at it -
I made him a special meatloaf just like the ones his beloved Ellen used to make.
He loves the meatloaf that 'makes its own gravy!'
That means GREASY!!!

Apparently it did the trick because he worked and worked!

He got the frame up and then used his little hatchet to chop off the lower leafy parts of the old elm tree since this gazebo is a bit higher than the previous ones!
He was hoping to get the canopy up but his strength played out before he could do it.
Not even that greasy meatloaf could get anything else out of him.
Not bad for a soon to be 80 year old guy!!!
He IS my hero!!!
We took lots of tea breaks and I helped him some but he can do a job that usually requires two people all by himself using his ingenuity! 

So what was I doing while he was working outside?

Cleaning and cooking!
Louis Dean and I are taking Sunday Dinner over to Quadville tomorrow and I admit to feeling and acting like a little old grandmother today. First of all, I looked frumpy since I only combed my hair back and wore my oldest grungy  clothes. No make up. Only earrings that looked ridiculous since I did look so plain! Anyway, I mixed up the meat loaf for Louis Dean while I was stewing some chickens which I used for chicken and dressing. I also made a batch of company mashed potatoes and for dessert I fixed strawberry/banana Jello!!! Grandmother food!!!!
I have Hawaiian Dinner Rolls, a broccoli and kale slaw salad, and may pick up a tub of ice cream on our way over and that will be Sunday dinner!!!

I love a clean house and mine is rather high maintenance since we keep the doors open to all the dust and dirt in the air. I stay busy all the time just keeping it all clean. Actually, it is never ALL clean! Not at the same time, anyway!!! Today I cleaned the den from top to bottom and the foyer, living room and kitchen. 

The Alaskan Bush People will be back on the Discovery Channel Friday night so they have been running back episodes all day long. I have kept the TV on ALL DAY LONG and popped in and out to see parts of the shows.

So that's it for our Saturday!!!
If you could see me now you would laugh!!!
I am coloring my hair and, as my youngest son, Benjamin, once told me - I look like Golem from The Lord of the Rings! I did NOT include a pic because that would just be all sorts of WRONG!!!!
I will rinse off and shower before Louis Dean and I end our evening with a glass of wine and a bit of the Discovery channel's Alaskan Bush People!!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Place For Mother.....Step Two!!

I suppose Step #1 in our search for a place for mother was the decision to even BEGIN this process!
First of all, we had to come to terms with not having her in one of our homes.
That's not an easy decision and didn't happen overnight.
Since Mother has Aphasia, we thought she would be unable to live anywhere other than with one of us. While she can't speak clearly names of people and dates and such, she does communicate well!
She has ALWAYS been a great communicator!

Today as she was visiting with Ruth Ann and Sherry and me, we all three could understand every word she said. When I told her, she got excited and then tried to tell us something about the past and - there went the clear speech! I think when she gets excited or nervous she ceases to speak clearly.

We did the last few things we needed to do before the application for Medicaid was complete!

The forms were all filled out and signatures were signed!
Time to put it in the mail!!!!

We paused for a word of prayer as we slipped it in the slot asking for God's will to be done and show us the next step we need to take.
Sherry knows me well and took some good pictures with which to remember this day.

I was so grateful for Ruth Ann and Sherry being with us today!
They helped turn a stressful situation into a fun day of celebration!!

Luann was telling me just yesterday about the

Since we were in the neighborhood, we thought we would check it out!!

We all ordered something different and it was ALL good!!!

Deanie had soup and salad with a delicious vinaigrette dressing! 

Mine was the Shepherd's Salad!

Since we were belatedly celebrating both Sherry and Ruth Ann's birthday - I ordered two desserts for us to share - and brought part of BOTH of them home!!

As soon as we ordered our food, I also ordered an apricot pie to take home.
The waitress said they didn't make them and when I mentioned my sister had sent me a Facebook link that said they WERE baking them again, she hustled right over to the bakery counter and boxed up the very last one of the day for ME!!! Win! WIN!!!

We left Deanie's with a happy heart that things are going to work out all the way around!
Ruth Ann and I love shopping in Fort Worth and Sherry had never - wait for it - been to a TRADER JOE'S before!!!! So that's where we went! Just as we were getting back to the car, Summer called to tell me sever storms were imminent. We didn't have time to make it home so we did the only sensible thing we could think of! We made a run for Hobby Lobby and were drenched by the time we got in there!!! However, we happily strolled up and down every single aisle while the storm played itself out. THEN - since it was 5:00 traffic - we popped ourselves into a comfy booth at The CottonPatch and ordered appetizers and hot coffee for me, hot tea for Ruth Ann and sweet iced tea for Sherry and continued to visit while everyone else drove home.

I picked RA and Sherry up at 10:00 this morning and dropped them off at 7:00 this evening!
A good and profitable day!

It hadn't stormed much here in Irving but rained just enough to give everything a drink!
This one iris stood out as I pulled into the driveway. My niece, Leah, gave me iris bulbs years ago and here I thought I would never see a flower from them!

Louis Dean and I sat on the deck and caught up with each other's day!
I know most of what he did as I can see the mud tracks from his shoes on the carpet and rug!
He also bought some groceries as did I.
I bought lettuce - so did he!
I bought tomatoes - so did he!
I bought wine - so did he!
We must think alike!

I am sitting in the sewing room writing my journal entry for the night surrounded by piles of cushions LD brought in out of the rain. I could hear a rustling around and finally got up to see what was making noise.

My possum was back for a visit!!!
You never know when you are going to get a little excitement!!!
Now I am going to find a yard stick and escort him OUT before I shut up the house for the night!
I hope he is the only one in here.......

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rest and Recovery!!! Our Quad Wednesday and the Day After.....

Our Wednesday started off a little earlier and ran a little later than normal.
Amber is away for a few days enjoying her third annual Quad Mom Trip so we stepped up to the plate for an extra few hours!

The very first thing we did was sort the large platter of shells I bought recently at a Goodwill!!!
When Logan was looking at them last Sunday and found the green glass frog - it scared her!
She was quick to point it out to her siblings so they would not be frightened!!!
The kids were MOST fascinated by the starfish so we had a little nature lesson.
Did you know that starfish eat and poop the very same way? By turning their stomachs inside out???
They eat and poop out of the same hole!
While that may not be all that interesting to YOU, let me assure you - kids LOVE to know stuff like this!!!
Also you can cut up a starfish into pieces and each piece will grow into another complete starfish!!!!

After that we decided to go for a little walk around the block!
The weed flowers were another point of interest!!
I need to study up on those!!!

We stopped to admire all the pretty flowers on our way around the corner to visit a dear neighbor.

It was her birthday and the kids wanted to say Happy Birthday to her.
They practiced all the way!
This is the sweet neighbor that did a gardening project with them earlier this spring.
They each have a healthy spider plant hanging on the back porch of their house, thanks to Tamara!!!
Harrison remembered the yummy snacks she served and mentioned that on the way up the driveway!
Lunch was not far away so I cautioned him against asking for snacks since we were just stopping by for a minute and not even going inside the house!
They were wonderful and wished her a very happy birthday and we were back on our walk within minutes!!!

Love this kids!!! The fact that they are so well behaved makes all the difference in us being able to take care of them like we do! Hats off to their parents!!!!

Granddad was working outside so they wanted to work, too!!

We managed to get a little mud on our feet but that was no problem!

Lunch is served!!!
Grilled hot dogs! Isn't that one of the best smells in the whole world??

Granddad ate his share!!!
While I cleaned up after lunch, the kids chose the books they wanted to read and Granddad put down the blankets in the den. Nap time is at least two hours and more like two and a half.  They don't actually sleep all this time but they have quiet time until  I get in there and then I read and then we all nap! We read the first chapter of  'On the Banks of Plum Creek!'

After naps I had NO structured plans or agenda!!!
The kids were allowed to just free play and they had such a good time! They played 'Cat' where they followed me around meowing and rubbing up against my legs. They played house in the alcove of my sewing room using the sewing machine cabinet door to portion off their 'house!'
They picked up twigs and threw them over the fence. Sorry, Stephanie. I didn't think you would mind! They were small twigs and thrown with very little force. Still, Louis Dean made them throw them over the gate into the front yard instead!

I prepared supper and we ate outside once again.
The kids LOVE eating on the deck so we do that when possible.
The small chairs fit them perfectly!

We took them home for baths and bedtime and I am happy to report they were in bed by 9:00.
We left as soon as Mike arrived and were home and I was in bed by 10:00!!!!
And that's where I stayed for the next 16 hours!!!!

Can you believe it????
I didn't SLEEP that long but I just was NOT ready to get up and put my feet on the floor and do grown up things like cooking and cleaning. So I didn't. I didn't even make up the bed!
I DID empty the dishwasher and wipe the counters whisking everything back in order.
I prepared plates of leftovers for our lunch, played Scrabble and Words With Friends and totally RESTED and recovered. We give it our all on Wednesdays so Thursday is our time when we make no plans and just recover!!!

As I was browsing through Facebook, I lingered long over this photo my step son posted of the front pasture at the ranch. Oh, how I long to BE THERE!!! Soon, I hope!!!! Very soon!!!

My sister, Luann, posted this photo of the Swiss Pastry Shop located in Fort Worth, Texas.
She knows how much I love apricot pie and they have started making them again!!!

My main accomplishment today was filling out the final Medicaid forms and I DID it!!!
They are all but ready to put in the mail!!!
As the quads say, "Let's DO this thing!!!"

I sat out an admired the work Louis Dean has been doing in the back yard.
He is so close to getting the gazebo up I can hardly stand it!
But rain is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow and he had some things he had to do before that happens. So much 'stuff' is outside and he has to secure it with tarps or putting lids on tubs and barrels and such. We are a work in progress but we ARE making progress!!!

So goodnight from me to you!
I'm returning to normal life in the morning!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's a TUESDAY!!!!!

The first thing I do after I wake up is NOT to jump right out of bed and start my day!!!
No, I spend a leisurely hour praying and thinking and then I check Facebook and my blog to see what's going on with my friends and family! And I admit to loving Scrabble and Words With Friends!!! Don't YOU???

This is my next to youngest sister, Luann! Mother gave her up for adoption when she was between two and three years old - I think - maybe closer to four - so she did not grow up with us. She is still my sister and, although we don't have 'history' together, we do have 'now!'
She posted this pic from three years ago when she moved back to Texas from Tennessee and I visited her in her new home.
"Had to share this photo from 3 yrs ago when I first moved back to TX. It has been great getting to know my birth sister Linda Chapman."
It's crazy how busy life is and you have to work hard to make time to do everything you want to do!

Louis Dean and I had coffee and reading out on the kitchen deck before I had to get ready for my yearly mammogram!! This seriously made my Tuesday run a bit late but I picked Ruth Ann as soon as I got out of the hospital and we headed to Goodwill!

Ruth Ann had been AT HOME more or less for TEN DAYS and she was ready to embrace our day!

I found a shopping cart full of treasures!!!! As usual.....
From Goodwill, we shopped ALDI !!! I am so thrilled they accept credit cards now and it is a weekly stop on Tuesdays now!!! This has greatly reduced Louis Dean's 'Honey Do' trips to the grocery store for me!!! I am LOVING this store!!! My oldest son has long been a fan but the credit card situation put me off until NOW!!

After our shopping we visited Reaoma - my dear friend and former neighbor of 17 years before she and her husband moved to Palestine and built a log cabin!
Ruth Ann and I love visiting Reaoma! We talk and laugh like crazy when we're together!!! She is an amazing lady and my children and I love her dearly! She has been an important part of my life for over 30 years!
We were watching the severe weather forecast on TV and it said it is a PDS warning. I said what's a PDS? Reaoma didn't skip a beat! She said, "Pretty DAM Serious!" She's a hoot!

Ruth Ann and I made one more stop on our way home - at Big Lots!
I filled my basket with candles, Hamburger Helper and Suddenly Salad, and paper towels and on and on!!! LOVE this place! And TEA!!! Organic Peach Tea!!!!

I snapped this pic to show Louis Dean!
We have a side deck - three actually!
AND a bedroom patio!!
Perhaps something later this summer??

I came home, unloaded and put everything up all by myself.
Louis Dean was in the back yard putting things up and making things 'safe' for the storm that was heading our way. THEN we put our feet up and waited for Ruth Ann to arrive for art class.
Sabrina decided to stay close to home - good call considering the storm that ravaged Rowlett earlier this year!

Ruth Ann only lives a mile or two from me so art went on as usual for US!!!

I forgot to take a pic of Ruth Ann's but this is mine and I'm calling it done!
The rule of artists is to sign your name and LEAVE it!!!
I'm not happy with mine but rules are rules and no one is happy with their signature on their painting!

The art table has been cleared and the dining room is now back to normal.
We have lit our candles and have our flashlights at hand just in case we lose power!
So far so good!
I am going to close and sit with Louis Dean and catch what is hopefully the last of the light show tonight! There's no light out in the back to see what that leaning and swaying power pole is doing.
We have power so it still stands!!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our Flower Gardens and Progress on the Deck!

It was a beautiful morning here in North Texas!!
While it was pleasant enough when we woke up - the temps climbed into the upper 80's by noon!

We have been watching and waiting for the Seven Sisters Rose bush to bloom! 

We just noticed the flowers blooming today!!!

Guess we haven't been looking as closely as we thought!
Louis Dean ordered this plant online and received a tiny twig in the mail!
I wish I  could remember when but it couldn't have been more than four years.
He dearly loves rose bushes and we have dozens! I think THIS one is my favorite!

Louis Dean brought these cannas from his beloved mother in law's family  home in Comanche, Texas. Ruby Nell was Ellen's (LD's first wife who passed away in 2000) mother. He treasures anything that reminds him of Ruby Nell and seldom does a day go by that he doesn't speak of her or Jerl Doggett, her husband. Louis Dean gives Jerl the credit for knowing how to fix things!
He says, "Know who taught me how to do that?? Jerl Doggett!!!"
While I never got to meet Ruby Nell or Jerl, I feel like I know them!
I am so blessed to have Ruth Ann, their daughter, for my best friend!

Everything is blooming around here, including perennials that came back from last year's 'reduced for quick sale' plants!

Logan and I walked all around this morning - I was taking pictures and she was snipping a few blooms with a pair of small blunt end scissors.

The kids planted a herbal garden and everything is growing!

A friend gave me the purple jew and you can literally break off a piece, toss it on the ground - not even really PLANT it - and it will grow!!

I put a pot of brightly colored flowers in the middle of this ground cover that has grown abundantly all over the place!!! I love it when plants just take off like that!!

Louis Dean had breakfast cooking when Logan and I woke up this morning!
Isn't she the sweetest thing in her little white gown??

I took this pic last night to send her mommy!
Amber sent a bag with play clothes and such and when I asked if she could stay the night, I remembered this little while dress from Old Navy I picked up at a Goodwill!
It made a perfect little nightgown!

Faith gave us a big bag of hair things to keep here for the girls so we picked out two ponytail bands to wear today.

She has such beautiful hair and skin!!
She definitely got her mother's good genes!

After breakfast we made up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for Logan to take home and share with her brother and sisters. We got over there in time to have lunch. Amber and I like to watch a TV show together and we both like Elementary. She and I both yawned and nearly nodded off but we were bound and determined to finish it! I came home and went to bed for a nap! AFTER I turned the A/C on! It was 84 degrees in the house!

That was MY day!
Guess what Louis Dean was doing all this time?

Pouring concrete to square up the deck!
We are getting closer and closer to putting our new gazebo up!
He had to add 6 inches to the deck plus he wanted something to anchor the corners of the gazebo DOWN - so he dug a trench or ditch along the 12 foot side of the deck and cemented a board down.
He said something about bolts and such. I don't need to understand.
My job was to wire brush the 'mud' from off the pretty new deck and clean up all the excess mortar that was spread around. Louis Dean does the hard stuff and I do the clean up!!
It looks we may be putting the gazebo together on Thursday!!!!
I can hardly wait!!