Saturday, June 30, 2018

Home Again! Home Again! Let the Action Begin!

We left the country Tuesday afternoon and I did not take even one picture after we got in the truck.....that is until we got to Hillsboro.
I did take a couple of videos as we were closing up the camper and the front room.

It's always more fun to arrive than to leave here.

I admit to being a tiny bit blue when I locked the camper door.
Life is so easy here. It's just Louis Dean and me. And the critters. And a sprinkling of wonderful visits and meals with Dean and Sherry. The country is where I am the most creative and do my art and writing. After the sun goes down, I usually do a bit of a walk about and at night we sit outside and look at the stars. In the mornings we have our coffee. Occasionally we go to town but even that is not stressful. Plus we don't get TV so we aren't bombarded with news.
You can see why it's hard to leave there.

We drove to Hillsboro where we always stop to eat and I was starting to feel a little better.
Then I called Lillian and she was upset that Mother did not take them moving her to another room well. That's when I felt myself sliding down the slippery slope of depression.

By the time we reached Dallas, I was there. Depressed. 
The traffic, sirens, burdens and concerns - it felt overwhelming.

We came in and within an hour or so the laundry was going and I had unpacked.
While we were gone, the ground shifted and our front door became very hard to unlock and once unlocked it was hard to lock back! That's not good so Louis Dean started watering thinking the ground would shift back. Except he watered the wrong side and it got worse. Now the door drug the floor and would only open part way. Oops!
He got it closed and locked for the night and decided to tackle it the next day.

The one bright spot was this pair of super cute socks our sweet neighbor got for me.
I am saving them to wear July 9th - when we go back to the camper!!!
Thank you, Olga!!

Wednesday was our 13th wedding anniversary!
 We are asking God for at least 12 more so we can celebrate our Silver Anniversary together!

We meant to go out to dinner at Saltgrass Steakhouse which is where we went on the night we were married. 

We were so excited on our wedding day.
Louis Dean was like a little boy!

I married when I was 14 and had never dreamed I would one day have a real wedding. But I did.
It was absolutely wonderful!
Louis Dean has not only loved me these last 13 years and two months but he actually LIKES me, too.
And he is proud of me. This has been a whole new experience for me.
And, of course, I absolutely adore him!
For several years we celebrated our anniversaries with a trip to Galveston because I love the beach.

In 2012 we celebrated in Katy, Texas with a visit to see the Baby Quads before moving down there in August of that year.

Then in 2014, Amber and Mike took us to Nick and Sam's Steakhouse for the best meal ever!!!! 
You could cut the steak with a butter knife - it was THAT tender!

But I just didn't feel like going out and celebrating this year.
Maybe later.

Plus it was so blooming hot!!!

Instead, I decided to tackle my depressed state of mind and try my fool proof therapy!
Either deep clean something or do a project!
I chose to repaint the guest room since Deanie was giving us her bunk bed set and we were picking it up Friday. So I took myself to Home Depot where I bought Forbidden Red paint and all the tools plus a room size rug.

I would like to thank my friend, Virginia, for our Anniversary meal!
Louis Dean was hungry for Subway and that's where I went on my way back from Home Depot!
It was a really truly treat from Virginia because I used the gift card she gave us. PART of it, anyway!
We get to do this again sometime soon.

So we ate and watch a TV program and then I went to work in the guest room and Louis Dean went to work.......

on the front door. He fixed it so it works. It's not pretty and it looks like it's been the victim of countless break ins now. I can paint over all that wood putty. Soon. I will get to it.
Now he needs to put down another thresh that what you call the thing at the bottom?
Right now large bugs and small critters could come in under that door!
He's going to do that really soon! I hope!

I painted this first wall Wednesday night. The walls were already a red but not as good as this one.
I had painted this room soon after my divorce in 2004 and I had next to no money. The top red was okay but I didn't have enough for under the chair rail. So I painted that a green that turned out to be the color you see on billiard tables. It.was.awful. So I had some brown paint that I painted over that green with a big sponge. Better. Not great but better. Then I sponge painted the red with some of the brown to tie the two together.

This wall is a before pic so you can see it's close to the same red as the new paint.
This would be Thursday's wall to paint.

Thursday proved to be even hotter than Wednesday!! It was a triple digit day but not 107 degrees!
The car was HOT!!

I had blood work to do that day and I thought I was supposed to fast - but I wasn't!
I left the hospital about 1:30 and went to Aldi to buy some groceries and more snacks to replenish the baskets for Mother and Lillian.

And looky looky what they had!! 
My hands down - all time favorite - wine!
I bought 5 bottles since they only order this twice a year.
I need to go back and get more.
I was just hoping my blood work would be better and that I could still have an occasional glass of wine in the future.

Reaoma likes rice pudding and I found some in the dairy section all nice and cold.
I put my perishables in insulated bags from Trader Joe's and headed over to the nursing home.

I had made fresh tea that morning and brought it in a container to pour into the bottle I brought last time. Reaoma has always liked tea so I made a herbal fruit blend from the new tea bags I bought at HEB last week. Plus I added fresh mint and lemon. I told her it would be like drinking a fruit salad!

I get down on my knees by her chair and hold the tea for her to sip from through her straw.
It is hard for her to swallow so I tell her I am in no hurry.
Then I started telling her some of my favorite memories of us together.
Just 4 years ago she could walk with a cane and talk. She talked very slowly. Very slowly. 
I reminded her of the time Ruth Ann and I had picked her up and we had gone to the movies.
We were walking to the exit after it was over and I heard Reaoma say......very slowly.......
I looked down at that point and sure enough! The elastic had said, "ENOUGH!" and her pants had fallen to her knees!!!! Ruth Ann was in back and I was in front of her and we got them back up but we were all three laughing so hard it's a wonder we didn't all wet our pants!
We have all laughed about that so many times since then.
So guess what Reaoma did????

She raised her head up and LAUGHED!!!
 LOUD, too!!
That made my day!
Reaoma laughed my blues away!!
I came home and painted that other wall!

This morning I woke up and went straight to the computer to check MyChart - the link to my medical records so I could read my test results.
I happen to know my amazing Dr. Suma Abraham gets up before 3:00 every work day morning and does all her paperwork. And doctors have a TON of paperwork. She does this so that when she gets off work, she is off and can spend time with her four children and her husband. She doesn't mind going to bed early and getting up early in order to have family time. I have known Dr. Abraham since before she even had children and now they are all in high school and beyond!

Good news!!! 
My Liver Functions were way down and my thyroid was slightly up - both good things!!
I will always have to limit my wine but at least I can still have a glass now and then.

We got ready and were on our way to Fort Worth around noon.

We first visited Lillian. She looked beautiful and so much more relaxed now that Mother is in another room. She had been doing way too much for Mother and it was starting to affect her health and that's just not right. We had stopped to get Kentucky Fried Chicken so we all ate lunch together. Mostly me and Louis Dean. Lillian nibbled one piece of chicken. I am determined to find something she likes to eat! I may need to bring in some more shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Then we went to see Mother.

She was asleep when we walked in but woke up when she heard us.
She didn't look nearly as bad as I feared and she knew us and acted much as she always has.
She thought my drink cup from KFC was a milk shake for her and was so disappointed when I showed her it was just ice. I promised to go out and get her a shake later and bring it back before we left Fort Worth to go home.

Mother is failing. I know that. Still, she knows how to push buttons and I think she 'acts' more 'vacant' when she is around Deanie and now she is angry at Lillian thinking it's her fault the staff moved her to another room so when Lillian went down to visit her, she acted like she didn't even SEE her or know she was there. I have never visited Mother when she acts the way she does with Deanie. I don't think she acts that way with Nita either.
At any rate......that's a saying I have picked up from my step son......
I hung all her picture frames on the walls for her, filled her goodie basket, wrote her room # in every piece of clothing in her closet and drawers - because Deanie has asked the home to do her laundry now. It had become such an issue and I won't go into it here but I daresay the home will not see the same things in the laundry that my sisters were seeing. Like I said, I think she was pushing some buttons and that was the last area she had any buttons left. Now there aren't any more.
She needs a laundry hamper so I told her I would be back later with one and I would bring her a milkshake.

Then we went to Deanie and Charlie's to pick up the bunk bed set they gave us.

Charlie bought the staircase part and he built the rest.

It is super sturdy and I am so excited to have it!
Double on bottom and twin on top!
The quads are going to be surprised as will Rayne when she comes back to visit next month!

Louis Dean and I had a great visit with my sister and her husband.
We laughed so hard we cried!
Deanie is feeling better these days and has started to decorate and unpack.
They moved to this new house when Mother first came to live with them. 3 years ago?
Mother lived there for two years and has been in the nursing home a year next month.
I'm so thankful that Deanie is happy and she is. Charlie is, too.
They are now retired and you can see the relief in both of their faces!
Charlie and Louis Dean loaded the bunk beds and they were heavy!
Louis Dean said, "We are doing really well since this is the first time Charlie and I have worked together."
Just when we thought we had laughed as much as we were going to .......
Charlie made us laugh some more!
We were at the door getting ready to leave.
I had put my sunglasses on and had both my walking around glasses and my reading glasses on top of my head. I had noticed Charlie taking his glasses off and cleaning them, putting them back on and then taking them off and cleaning them again.
As he was hugging me goodbye - he started laughing!!!!!
He said he had spent the entire time we had been visiting trying to focus on the pair of glasses on my head - thinking I had one pair on and he was seeing TWO!
That's because there WERE two pair!!!
All four of us were laughing as we left!

We stopped at the Dollar Tree earlier today to get a pen to mark Mother's clothes when I found all these glorious sunflower things!!!!

I love them all and will probably go back and get more soon!!!
Right after the 4th of July, I will spreading sunshine around here by way of sunflowers!!!
And you know what????
It's after midnight so it is officially only 62 days until September First!!!!
I think it's safe to say I am not the least bit blue anymore!!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Our Last Day Here for June......

It was about 10:00 this morning when I woke up to the rolling sound of thunder.
Last night before I went to bed I looked at the weather on my iPad  - you know Country Folk are ALWAYS looking at the weather forecast - there was 0% chance of rain.
So this thunder was a big surprise!
Louis Dean was still asleep so I slipped out to the front room and - sure enough - it was raining!
I was so excited!
I turned the coffee pots on - his and hers - and settled down with my first cup right smack in front of the open door so I could watch the rain coming down.

I am easily entertained.
Louis Dean says that I like to have the cow with my coffee because I use so much cream!
I was about to pick up the spoon to stir the dab of coffee into my cup of cream when.......

I noticed this!
A big beautiful wolf spider!
They got its name because they are hunters and do not make webs.
Instead they chase their prey and are pretty fast.
This one came out of nowhere and was not there just a few seconds earlier because I had just looked down to see if I had remembered to bring my spoon out.
The wolf spider is venomous and the bite can be painful - but not nearly as bad as a black widow or a brown recluse. Normally, a wolf spider will not bite you unless he is provoked.
They eat a ton of insects and are one of the 'good' spiders!
I relocated him back outside - the rain had slacked up and I figured he could find some shelter elsewhere!
Then I went in and washed my spoon!

The weather said 100% chance of rain during the morning and it did rain off and on.

The heavy rain didn't last long but we were grateful to get any!
By 1:00 it was all over! But the day was cooler than predicted so I decided to stay here at the ranch instead of going into Waco. I will be back in the city tomorrow.

There's nothing better than reading on a rainy day!

I finished this book and it was a good read!
I would be delighted to pass it on to you if you are interested.
Just let me know and I can drop it in the mail on our way through Mart tomorrow.

Louis Dean and I read aloud every morning and we have plowed our way through many a book over the last dozen years.

He bought this current one we are reading at an antique store in Glenview, Texas when we met up with Roy and Ruth Ann for a county wide antique sale early this spring.
It is quite a collection of works.
The first one was The Split Second by Daphne du Maurier.
This was a weird one - as to be expected by this author -and  Louis Dean had a hard time following it but we pressed on.
It was just 38 pages.

We have read The Theft of the Mona Lisa and The Soldiers Peaches.
A Night to Remember was an extract from the book about the Titanic.
Louis Dean said that was a poor choice since we are going on a cruise in September.
The Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie was great! We kept trying to guess who did it but neither one of us got it right.
Now we are reading the 11th story - The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford and we are certainly enjoying it! 
I love that Louis Dean likes to do this. I developed a love for out loud reading back in the years I homeschooled. After lunch we played a game and then read in our current book. Amber and Benjamin would read aloud while I did needlework or simply rested. We read so many great books and also listened to audio ones when we were in the car.

I get such a thrill when I start a new one.
This time I'm reading Catherine Coulter's FBI thriller Backfire.

Louis Dean took a nap and I made a quick lunch for one and ate it at the table here in the front room with an open book beside me.

My friend, Megan, sent me a link for this tomato/saltine/mayo salad.
It is super easy and super quick and I loved it!
A homegrown tomato would be even more wonderful than the one I had from HEB!
Cut up a tomato, add salt and pepper - and I added a dash or two of HEB's Steak Seasoning - and a spoon of mayo. Coat the tomatoes and add a handful of crumbled up saltines.
This salad doesn't keep so only make what you will eat and eat it as quick as you make it.
Thank you, Megan, for thinking of me!

The rain stopped and the sun came out and dried it all up!

Dean was able to make some good progress on the new duck and geese pen.
It will sit close by the small tank - which is at this moment bone dry even with the recent rains.
Sherry has been using her tractor to dig it deeper.
I asked Dean if this area might perhaps possibly flood IF we ever get a real gully washer of a rain.
He laughed and said, "Well, they are ducks!! It won't matter!"

The arriving here is far more exciting than the leaving. 
Still, I have enjoyed feathering my nest for when we return next month.
I cleaned all the refrigerators and consolidated everything from the two mini fridges to the big one. Clean sheets are on the beds and a big container of hummingbird nectar is cooling and will be ready to fill the feeders in the morning.

Louis Dean has organized some of his tools and cleaned up some of the storage areas.
My art is packed and in the truck.
Tomorrow, after our coffee, Bible and reading, I will pack up a few things from the pantry that would be stale if left for two weeks and load up the ice chest.

We were sitting out on the porch with a celebratory campfire tonight recounting our time here.

Louis Dean has accomplished much this trip.
We did Critter Chores for a weekend!
He finished his utility room, put in the window, roofing felt and tin.
He had to rebuild that window wall!
He insulated and put up the wall in the front room and added two more outlets.
The red chair had its broken leg repaired. The list goes on....
However the main accomplishments every time we come here are the hours spent watching the stars, gazing into the campfire, talking with Dean and Sherry and this time a bonus visit with Crystal.
It's the time spent feeding the goats and the horses and gathering eggs and cooking country meals that are so special to us.

Life is good in the country!
We have listened to the birds and the roosters and heard the coyotes howling at night.
Still, it's time to go home.
I think by going back and forth, we get to enjoy both the city life and the country and neither one gets old.

I think we should stop and pick some sunflowers to take home with us tomorrow!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Weekend to Remember!!

Saturday was a great day in so many ways!

Louis Dean found this treasure and I was surprised to find that it was dead.
He looks like he's rubbing his hands together before eating his dinner!
I saved him and sandwiched him inside a card to send to Rayne in Puerto Rico.
She loves all things flora and fauna.

I was working both inside the camper and out in the front room when I looked out and saw the horse resting in our 'front yard.'

I had just pulled the shucks off 6 ears of corn I bought at HEB on Friday for only $1!
When I bought them, I thought if nothing else, I would feed them to the horses.

As it turned out, Crystal - Dean and Sherry's daughter, was coming that afternoon to spend the weekend and we were going to have a special dinner made by Sherry at Crystal's request.
I said we would contribute a salad and buttered corn on the cob.

The horses love the shucks and they also love the cobs - even minus the corn!

I do so love these horses and I believe they love me, too.

I took a lot of photos and I think I have a few possibilities I can paint on my two feed sack replicas on our July visit down here.

Louis Dean frets when they come so close to the 'house' I try to feed them up on the road or out in the field.....but it was just so handy to feed them where they were that day. So I did.

This is my Country Look most days down here on the ranch.
I don't fix my hair. I barely wear any make up - just enough so you can see my features.
I'm nearly always wearing denim.....this time an old denim jumper that is nearly white with so many washings. And an apron. Always an apron. And now - always a pair of glasses. These are my 'walking around' glasses.

I need them to spot things like this killdeer nest with two beautiful eggs in it!
I walked right out to the road and saw this clearly! I wasn't even looking for it although Sherry said she had seen killdeer earlier this week on the road from 'our place' to theirs putting on the hurt act to distract anyone from going near their nest.

Alas, today (Sunday) the eggs had been smashed by an unknown critter.
I am so happy I got a photo and video when I did.

Saturday night was fun like a party - to quote my friend, Megan!!

Crystal requested chicken stuffed peppers with beans and Spanish rice.
She made the guacamole - the El Chico recipe version - and she also brought the best red wine Mart had to offer!!! It was delicious!

Crystal is one of Louis Dean's favorite people.
She was the very first person to step into and see the camper after he had redeemed it back in the summer of 2012 before we took it to Katy so we could help Amber and Mike with the quads.

We ate. We laughed. We talked.
It was wonderful!

Everyone loves Crystal!
She is Dean and Sherry's only child.....and truly an amazing young lady!
We were ALL so excited to get to spend some time with her.

After dinner, Dean and Sherry went out - supposedly to take the leftover food back to their house and we continued to visit with Crystal. Then they returned and SURPRISE!!!!

They brought up the fireworks we had gone in together to buy back for New Year's Eve!
As it turned out, January was a deep freeze month and fireworks were not an option. 
We did use some of them when Amber, Mike and the quads came down for their traditional spring break visit. 
In Texas, you can only purchase fireworks two times a year -  10 days before New Year's and 10 days before the Fourth of July.

What a way to end such a great Saturday night!!!

Today I spent some time painting.......

and Louis Dean built a table to hold his guitar with a space underneath for his tub full of music books. 

And he has already used it tonight!

He sang everything from Sonny James to Marty Robbins......Mac Wiseman and others.

I packed up my art table and will finish this painting next month.

Only one more full day here.....Monday.
I am going to Waco and hit up the Goodwills and a movie.
Louis Dean will stay here and do what he does best - another project!

I posted before my other pictures loaded.
Sometimes I get in a bigger hurry than the Internet here.....

In other news.......

Summer sent me this pic from her day in Puerto Rico!

It's beautiful there!

They were off on a day trip touring a closed plantation which supplied the sugar for Don Q tequila.

The orchids are HUGE there!

I am so looking forward to July when they all return to Texas for a few weeks!
I am thinking a big party is in order!!

And here is my Amber looking all cute in her summer loving smile and outfit!

Seems everyone is enjoying the month of June!

And I close with this picture from my friend, Jutta, in Finland.
Her day is beginning just as mine ends......