Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Week After Christmas......

 I have spent the better part of the week after Christmas in Rest and Recover mode.
Going to bed early and sleeping late......
Pottering around the house doing this and that.
This was the easiest clean up of any Christmas this far and the house was back to 'normal' by the next day. WOW!

I slept in on Sunday as all the church services were online - so I simply stayed in bed with my coffee - brought to me by my handsome husband - until it was time to watch it on my iPad.

I loved looking through my gifts and this was a very special one from Sheryl, Nita's next door neighbor and a friend to us all. Three hand crocheted kitchen cloths and a clever Christmas ornament!

I should have thought of this!
A Santa from a dried okra pod!!!
I will be making these for next year!
Thank you, Sheryl!!

Sunday was pretty much what it is always supposed to be - a day of rest.
Louis Dean took a good long hot bath that night and then I took a nice hot shower......when I noticed the water wasn't draining as it should.....and that the rug by the toilet was wet when I stepped into the shower......and then the commode didn't flush. Oh, Dear! THEN I heard the shower 'gurgle.'
Never a good thing.
That sealed the deal.
Our sewer was stopped up. Again,

As soon as I got up on Monday morning, I called Roto Rooter!!
They had just been out on Decemeber 9th so this was a 'free' visit.

This guy is my hero!!!
Do YOU know where your sewer clean out is???
I don't! Earlier in the month, the worker went down through the hole after Louis Dean removed the toilet. It took 2 days for him to get it back in place so I said we could NOT do that again!
They don't usually go on the roof anymore......actually they aren't even allowed.....but my HERO did!
And I am so thankful!!
He suspects it  is the yaupon holly tree that is the culprit.
Its roots have probably got into the sewer pipes......and it will cost $2,800 to put in a clean out thing.
I think I am going to wait in that one.
Louis Dean and I tell each other - we just need to get 10-15 more years out of this place.
He's 85 and I am maybe 20 years if I am blessed to live so long.
I'd rather have new carpet and that is what we decided to do!
Come March or around about that time.....I shall go up to the carpet place in Irving and pick out some for the living room and dining room.
I loved hearing the sound of the commode flushing after he cleaned the sewer out!!!

Seems like it's always something every single day!

I got up Tuesday morning, turned the coffee on and went outside to sit for a few minutes.
I glanced over and noticed the gate was open.....and then I noticed the stone wall had fallen down sometime during the night.

This wall has been leaning more and more and Louis Dean has been so worried it would fall and hurt someone. The sister wall to the right had fallen a year or two ago so we knew this one was doomed.
It fell on rose bushes, Mexican heather, mint.....and a water faucet.....

and the hose roller upper thing!
Flattened it!
However, the water faucet bent but did not break!!!

My handy dandy husband is always up for a project!
While he worked on moving several THOUSAND pounds of cut stone......

I went shopping at the Goodwill!
Three pair of Chico's pants!!! Plus tops and a book......

and a sign!!

And another Rae Dunn........

Even with the added excitements of the days, we still felt like we were 'resting.'
Simple meals. No big activities - unless you count moving all that rock!

Early to bed......can you believe Louis Dean was TIRED???

Thursday was a good day......

We met up with our friends, the Goldbergs, from California at a Jason's Deli in Arlington.
We met through the blog and have developed such a good friendship.
We meet up at least once a year - this time twice - and I confess to praying they move back to Texas!!
Joel and Terre.....he is a born again Jew and such a fascinating and interesting man.
I could talk to him all day long! Terre and I are kindred spirits and WHEN they move back to Texas, I am sure we will be the best of friends!

We came home and Louis Dean went to work dealing with all that stone from the fallen wall.

And I took a nap!
Not sure why I took this selfie......but see those glasses?
I played Words With Friends before I went to sleep and after I woke up.
Then I went to the den where I was looking for the password for our Internet.
So I KNEW I had my glasses on - or I could not have seen to do any of that!

Summer sent me this pic.....she and Rayne were at Chili's having a late lunch/ early supper!
I knew they would be here soon so I was listening for them......and I still had my glasses on.

I heard them on the driveway and went out to greet them.
Showed them the stone Louis Dean had moved and Rayne and I walked around the flower bed picking up a garland of lights the wall had fallen on .....then we sat down at the table out there so Rayne could show me her watch. That's when I noticed I didn't have my glasses on!
And I could NOT remember when or where I had taken them off!!

Long story short, we ALL looked for my glasses......and did not find them.
Rayne and I prayed about it together and I asked God to give me a peaceful heart so I could enjoy my time with her instead of fretting over my lost glasses - and the $$$ they cost!
And He did.......

We went to the movies!!

It was so FUN and so GOOD!!
We came home and they spent the night with us.....
I am treasuring every minute with Rayne before she flies back to Puerto Rico soon.

There's something super special about waking up in the morning knowing you have a child AND a grandchild sleeping under your roof!

I woke up first and turned the coffee on .....then Summer got up......

and I tiptoed in and took a pic of the sleeping Rayne.

Summer and I had morning coffee together.
Speical because I used frothed milk and cinnamon sugar!

Look who I found in my bed when I went in to make it up!!!

Such good times!!

We had an exciting morning - BOTH cats got out and we had quite a time chasing them!
Samantha is easiest to catch so we put her in the guest room and shut the door.
Tabitha got up between the axels on Louis Dean's truck - to escape my water gun!
He went out and started up the engine and she shot herself right inside the open front door!!

Crisis dealt with and we were ready to go off to meet up with my sister, Luann!

That's when I found my glasses!!!
The ones that mysteriously disappeared ftom my face!
Apparnetly they got tangled up with lights from the are the fence had fallen on.
I was beginning to thik I had lost my mind!
Alas, the frames were bent and one eye glass had come out so I will be taking them in to see if they can be repaired. 

On with our plans for the day!

We drove over to Fort Worth to Lupe Tortilla to mee my sister, Luann, for lunch.

She and I usually get together earlier in December but we were a little late this year.
Soup and Salads for us and they were SO good!!!

We even got dessert!!!

It was a wonderful lunch and visit!

My sister!

We must plan if we want to do things and keeping up with all my siblings is important to me.

Love every opportunity I can get to take a picture of Rayne!!

Summer dropped me off at the house and Louis Dean was all about 'Show and tell'......


All the big stones are gone - stacked neatly in the back yard.
Call him MUSCLES!!!

Tonight we sat in the living room listening to some music CDs Summer gifted us.

So many good songs and so many memories!!

And with that, I close tonight's journal entry all caught up - for now!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas Day 2021......Fort Worth to Dallas!

 I was up early on Christmas Day - hours before Louis Dean woke up!
I fixed the coffee, spent some quiet time reflecting on all the wonder of this Christmas Season.
I prepared the things to take to Fort Worth and wrappd the Christmas Truck painting for the Chinese Christmas Tree....then I sat sipping my coffee in my air conditioned house (it's been unseasonably warm in Texas!) until Louis Dean came shuffling into the kitchen.
If HE is up earlier, and hears me in the kitchen, he always calls out, "Do I hear a little mouse?"
That's not as cute as it used to be given my recent experiences with all things MICE!
But when I hear HIM in the kitchen, I call out, "Do I hear the shuffling of some big feet?"
His foot measures exactly 12 inches!

We did our reading and finished waking up fully before we dressed and headed to Nita and Mike's house in Fort Worth. They gift the family by hosting most family gatherings and it IS a gift and a HUGE one!
The invitation said 'Eleven-ish' since Leah and Patrick had just returned home late Christmas Eve from a wonderful cruise. We used to meet earlier - back in the day it was 8:00- as in the MORNING!
That slowly morphed into 10:00 and we really love 11:00! Of course we were late, arriving at 11:40 but we were not the last ones!

I came in and went right out to the back yard where Cousin Pam and Nick, Sabrina and Deanie were hanging out. They are all so punctual!

Here's Rayne and you can see Ricky behind her. They had such a good time playing with remote control cars and, then there's Winston, Trish and Andie's dog, and Rayne is such a dog lover!

Here we are in the kitchen......all ladies now since Andie is so grown up.
She will be off to college next year and has been excepted by four of the eight colleges she's applied and is waiting to see about the other four! She is an amazing young lady and has overcome so many obstacles! She wrote a beautiful essay and I will ask permission to share it here. She is so impressive and we are ALL so proud of her!

Two beauties!!
Leah loves make up and credits her Aunt Deanie for introducing her to that whole scene.
Deanie worked for Neiman Marcus and Origins and knows her way around cosmetics.
She did my make up the day I married Louis Dean in 2005 and taught me some things I still use today.

So here we four are!
Lonnie is doing well although he has lost the sight in his right eye but he has such a great attitude!

Not sure what we're doing here but I'm sure we are having fun!

I enjoyed Leah's cruise and traveled with her and Patrick by way of Facebook.
It was so good of her to share their experiences with all of us.

Mother and Daughter!

Michele is Lonnie's 'Lovely Bride!'
That's what he calls her.

The best host and hostess!!
No telling how many hours they put into these gatherings!

My pictures are a little out of order but I have Leah to thank for some of them - and this is one.
Every year I bring a Santa Painting for the Chinese Christmas Tree and Nita usually ends up with it.

Charlie and Lonnie at the table - which is the center of our visiting.

Leah and Patrick freshh off the ship just 24 hours earlier!

We love our Christmas Mornings together in Fort Worth.
There's our Trish there on the lower right - Deanie's daughter and she is so much fun!!

Nita and Mike opted to not do a tree in the living room this year so this one is in their back room - which is not a good way to describe it!

When they bought this house, they ripped the flooring down to the concrete and painted it.
Right before Thanksgiving Mike put in wood flooring and it is beautiful!

They have THE most interesting house!
Love the tree......

Love everything about their home!

Nita's elegant living room......

But THIS is the heart of their home!

That's Benjamin at the right end of the table!
Summer, Sabrina and Rayne were in another two of my four children were at Christmas Morning in Fort Worth.

This is a gift Deanie designed and made for Pam using pieces of jewelry inherited from Charlie's family and tiny perfumes from her own collection.
Deanie is a true artist and a great decorator.

We finished brunch and it was time to do the 'Tree.'


We all draw mumbers and go in turn.....
I had #1.....not the Charlie offered to trade with me!

He did, indeed, go first - but then I took HIS number and went second!!

It was a fun time!

You go in turn according to your number....and when it's your turn you can take a gift from someone else or choose a new one. after two 'steals' - the gift is 'frozen' and that person keeps it!

Guess who won the Christmas Truck??

We had a wonderful time together and it was well into the afternoon when we left for home.
I don't know what all the others did, but I came home and went to bed!
The holidays were catching up with me.

I woke up a couple of hours later and we drove over to Dallas to have Christmas Dinner with the Bells.

Her home is all decked out and she's loving it!
On March 10th, they had a serious water break that destroyed their flooring and eventually caused all sorts of damage in the walls as they had to redo the water lines.
This all happened just over a year of when they had a water leak and had all their floors replaced downstairs. Now they had to deal with all this and so much more AGAIN!
It took from March to early December before all the repairs were done......thanks to the Arctic Freeze of 2021....where all the plumbers in the state as well as the insurance adjusters were booked up for so many months and with numerous setbacks - you don't even want to know - before Amber finally had her home back!!

No one could have handled this any better than she did but it was not easy!!
Still, she managed to keep her home as cozy and homey in the midst of the chaos as it was possible for anyone to do!

We came in and Louis Dean went into the living room to visit with Lynn (Amber's mother-in-law) and I played Exploding Kittens with the kids and Mike while Amber and Jim manned the kitchen.

Trystan showed me her new hover board.

It was wonderful to be with them on Christmas night and share some time together!

Dinner for 10!
It was delicious - I just didn't get any photos of it other than the table.
All Spode place settings complete with stemware.
Amber and Mike bought a new dining room table this year that would seat 10 and then Amber found the great small scale but perfect black chairs.
We all lingered long at the table and then there was a traditional Christmas movie to follow.....
but Louis Dean and I decided to go on home.
We are the oldest of all and the 'Tired' had come upon us.

We sat for a few minutes in the den talking about our wonderful Christmas......and all the special moments we've had together.

Then, as I was looking around the den at the 'beautiful mess' of all the Christmas wrappings....

I found a wrapped gift left unopened.....and it was for me!

Truly, the best Christmas ever!