Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Fun All Day Long!

Ruth Ann and I feel like we have partied all day long!

We started our day with a trip to see Yulisa at K Hair on Beltline.
I needed a new hair cut and - as of last night - I also have a new hair COLOR!
 I used the box in my cupboard without even checking what color it was. I assumed I wouldn't buy anything but blond. After it was on and I went to the bathroom to get a towel to use before rinsing it out in the kitchen sink - I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see it all dark! Not to worry! I thought that must be the way they make the color now.
But no! I rinsed it and it was brown. Not just brown but RED brown!
I felt like Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy!
That's when I got the great idea of wearing a big hat today!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new shorter hair cut but I am so not crazy about the color.
Turns out it was Warm Ash Blond. NOT my color at all!

It will fade soon. I have a good bit of white hair and it's quick to show up even after a color.
Yulisa said that if I wash my hair in Dawn dish washing detergent, it will take the red out.
I must get some of that.

Ruth Ann and I took our party on over to La Madeleine for lunch.
We even got to sit at a table by the fireplace.
It was a chilly rainy day here in the DFW area.
However, record high temps are in store for Thursday!
This is why we never put away ALL our summer clothing.

After lunch we hit up a couple of thrift stores and I scored on a few things.

The winter dishes will go back to the ranch with me as will the Yankee Candle Shade. 
That orange carafe was used this evening to hold our wine while we sat on the front porch welcoming Trick or Treaters!

I also bought that 'The Witch IS IN' sign at Goodwill today.

I fluffed up the porch in anticipation of our little guests tonight.

Louis Dean dressed up as John Wayne - if John Wayne wore overalls!

I stayed in my witch costume all day long!

Our sweet little next door neighbor girls were among tonight's first visitors!

It's a tradition and even their dogs come in costume!!

This is the little one that has taken a liking to Louis Dean.

This handsome Daddy belongs to the girls.
I didn't get a pic of their precious Mama!

Meet Olivia - our newest neighbor who lives up the 'snake' from us.
(Our neighborhood is laid out like a snake.....)

Everyone came in such creative costumes!!

Our neighbors from around the corner!

Photo courtesy of Melanie

We have watched these kids grow up right in front of our eyes!

Photo courtesy of Melanie

Louis Dean asked them to wait and meet his friend!!!
They remembered him from past Halloweens!

Teenage boys who were so polite!!
They are growing so I gave them lots of candy bars!

Everyone had fun today - including US!

Sweet neighbors across the street and up the block.

These are our extra special Trick or Treaters!
That's Tim in the back and Brittany is in front of him.
She was just a little girl when they lived across the street from us and Nicole - her baby sister - hadn't even been born yet. They continue to come see us every year - at least on Halloween and often at Christmas, too. We keep up with them on Facebook.
They are precious to us and we love them!

This spooky house belongs to Sherry's daughter, Crystal.

Photo courtesy of Crystal

I think that makes her my step granddaughter.
And since I don't really like the sound of that word 'step' - I will think of her as granddaughter!
I can be her honorary Grandmother.....aka Linda!

Photo courtesy of Crystal

I love how she loves her dogs!!
Of COURSE she puts them in costumes every year!

PS...tomorrow morning at 10:00 Louis Dean will draw the winning name for the Sledding Santa.
So far I have 255 entries.
I will add the comments from tonight and up to what has posted by 10 am.
I will do a blog post announcing the winner later in the morning.
Then you may not hear much from me for a few days.
I get the rest of my teeth pulled tomorrow afternoon and may not feel up to snuff for a little while.
Now I will not only have a new smile but a new hair color.
Not sure if the grand kids will even recognize me any more!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Back Home in Texas!!

We arrived home around 5:00!

When we left Muskogee at 11:30, we fully planned to stop for lunch at McAlester, Oklahoma.
Louis Dean 'had his mouth all set' for the Western Sizzler Steak House!
Somehow - we missed it!
We had seen it on our way up so we KNOW it was there!
Lots of construction was going on today that wasn't happening on Saturday.
Traffic was slow and there was no way we were going to turn around and try it again!
So we drove on......nearly out of gas and hungry!
I found gas and he pumped in 15.5 gallons in our 16 gallon tank!

In Calera, Oklahoma we spied the Amish Shop we had seen going up and I wheeled in and parked!!

It was an interesting shop and Louis Dean chatted up the shopkeeper there.
He told her all about us recently reading a book about Amish and how much we enjoyed it.
She gave us a 10% discount!

We snacked on a bag of Pork Skins and bottled water until we got to Sherman, Texas.

Once again, Louis Dean chowed down on chicken fried steak, French fries - with EXTRA gravy and fried okra. By the way, he has gained back nearly every pound he lost recently.

We bought these cheeses and are looking forward to cheese, crackers, olives and wine in the gazebo later tonight.

Now the FUDGE was the real draw!!!
I agreed to buying a full pound - 1/4 lb of 4 different kinds.
I taste tested 3 of them and they were delicious!

We both love all things apricot and especially jam!

Home now and all unpacked and put up!

Dean gave me these pretty green bottles and I made bouquets from what's growing in our gardens.

Now it's time to wine down in the gazebo!
It's always a good thing to come home.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Muskogee, Oklahoma! Our Visit With the Chapman's!

We left Irving Saturday morning and headed to Oklahoma!
Muskogee, Oklahoma!
The home of Merle Haggard!
We had so much fun!

I thought things were big in Texas!
You should have seen me trying to get up in that chair! 
Louis Dean finally cupped his hands and made a stirrup for me.
A mother and daughter were getting into their car right in front of us and saw the whole thing.
She called to me, "That was awesome! My daughter is laughing so hard!"

Louis Dean is on the Indian rolls - a card carrying Native American.
He loves Oklahoma, went to college in Edmond and has such good memories of his years here.
But this was his first visit to Muskogee.
I've been here before when Summer and I took Amber and Ben on a camping trip long years ago.
We camped in far southeastern Oklahoma but we stopped in Muskogee to buy all the things we forgot before we drove on to our campground.

I was the designated driver for this trip.
Louis Dean drives the truck and I usually drive the car.

We pulled off as we got to Lake Eufaula to take some pictures.

It is beautiful here.

We ended up in the Crowder Point Family Campground and explained that we were just taking photos and checking out places on our way to see relatives in Muskogee. I'm telling you - these were the nicest people there at the Guard Shack. The guy that first came up to the car was wearing brown overalls - just like the ones Louis Dean had on! LD said, "We must have the same tailor!"
The guy laughed and called his buddy up. HE had on brown overalls! Then a third guy walked up to the car and HE had on brown overalls!  It was like old home week. We all laughed and talked and they gave us a tour of the campground. It would be great to camp here sometime. However, our camper is permanently attached to the ranch for the rest of its life and I simply don't see us tent camping at this 'age of maturity' for us. It was fun visiting with them, though!

I used Google Maps and Waze for directions and we made it to Muskogee just fine.
After we got there, though, trying to find our motel was an ordeal. I did not realize Hwy 69 IS 32nd Street - and our motel was on 32nd Street. Instead, Google Maps sent us first to a trailer park and Waze sent us to a really fancy house on a narrow country road. We pulled into a QT and Louis Dean went in and asked directions. Muskogee Inn and Suites was right.next.door.

We dropped off our bags and called Louis Dean's nephew, Ray, and he gave us directions to his house. While we meant to be there so much earlier, we at least made it before dark anyway!

Oh, what a wonderful visit we had!!
From right to left......
Jacki, Ray, and their sons, Zach and Dustin.
Daughter Bailee was at work last night but we met her this afternoon.

Four Fun Guys!!!
We had the best time!
Louis Dean had never met the boys and it had been years and years since he had seen Ray.
We will not be letting time slip by before we visit again.

The Chapman's have the most beautiful labs.
We loved everything about our visit!

Including dinner!
Jackie made both white chili and red chili and set a beautiful table!
We went back to our hotel so full and happy to be in Oklahoma!

The reason we got a late start leaving Irving on Saturday morning was that Louis Dean didn't sleep well the night before. Last night he slept like a baby!!! He didn't even wake up until after 10:00 this morning.

I love a man that loves his music.
He was playing and singing while I was fixing my face and hair.
We went right across the street to IHOP for coffee and I told him to smile and show me his pearly teeth!


We drove back to the Chapman's to finish out our visit.

They have a beautiful home and gorgeous property!!

Jackie is beautiful inside and out and made us feel so welcome.
Bailee is their youngest and such a sweet young lady.

Zach is the first born son and is a fine young man.
He's in the U.S. Coast Guard and was home for s short visit.

Dustin is in college and a very impressive young man.

They love their life and they are admire their parents and openly express love for them and for each other.  They are truly a remarkable family.

It was exciting to see all the critters!

Yesterday was cold but this afternoon gave us perfect weather to be out looking at everything.

Their property goes far into those woods at the back.
They have coyotes here, as Dean does in Texas. Another predator is the hawk. In addition to the two labs, Bailee has a small dog and a hawk could easily take off with her. Owls also pose a threat to Bella - that's the name of Bailee's dog. I told her that's one of MY names, too!

Ray is the son of Louis Dean's brother, Alton Ray.
Alton was killed in a hunting accident when Ray was just 5 years old and his brother Mike was 3.
Louis Dean brought copies of old photos we had and he told Ray stories of his father.
It was fun to listen to them talk and reconnect.

Ray built this arbor for Jackie using the wood from a tree he had to take down on the property.
She had grapes growing here this past season.

Finally some fall color!
I had to come all the way up here to find it!

All of Jackie's chickens are the feathered feet kind. 
I know there's a real name for them but I don't remember what it is.

This is Jackie's happy place. Outside with her chickens and ducks.
They eat right out of her hand!

Her ducks are call ducks.
This one in the front is totally blind.

Jackie gets the ideas and Ray makes them happen.
He built this chicken house to store the feed and supplies and he added a porch for them to have a place to sit and enjoy their land.

Such pretty chickens!

Ducks and chickens live together in the same large pen.

I loved seeing Louis Dean with his family.

I am so proud of him.
He's a pretty amazing guy.

Ray is much like his Uncle Dean - in so many ways!

This will not be our last visit to the Chapman's in Oklahoma!
Next time I will take more pictures of their home's interior.
Every room is unique and full of charm and personality.

Take this corner of Zach's room.....he has a man's room with horse tack and manly things.

Dustin's room features a deer - his deer from a hunting trip.....
Cowboy hats and lanterns......Books and things he loves.

I loved their house!!

I love these people!
The Chapman Family is a treasure.
A treasure in ANY day and age but even more so now.
I tell you the truth - I have never seen a family like this one.
The parents love and genuinely like their children and their children love and like their parents.
The kids were present during our visit. 
They engaged and contributed to our conversations and are knowledgeable of current events and share their opinions and experiences in an articulate manner.
They willingly gave me permission to use the pictures I took of them in my journal entry tonight.

Yes, this family blessed me personally and encouraged my heart.
Louis Dean got his 'bucket filled' as well as his heart.
There were hugs all around as we were leaving.
As I hugged Bailee, I said, "I hope y'all know how blessed you are."
She whispered, "Yes, we DO!"
 Thank you, Chapman's, for a lovely visit!!
We will treasure the memories we made this weekend and will be back next spring to make some more!