Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Summer's Surgery......

Summer and I were up early this morning - but not TOO early - thank goodness!
She had to be at the surgical center at 10:30 and we were even a few minutes early! 

She drove us there!
AND she was feeling good and ready to get this done.

A photo op in the parking lot.
She IS my daughter!

It was surgery on her left hand.....
she hasn't been able to use it much lately and it's been extremely painful.
They call it a trigger finger and she had three of them on that one hand.

The surgery went well and everyone at the center was so very kind to us.
I just love it when people are kind.

It was after 4:00 when we got back home and both of us went right to bed!

I had been concerned about Louis Dean as when I called him it went straight to voice mail.
Turns out he can't find his phone and it's turned off so I can't make it ring.

I packed my bag tonight and we are preparing to leave in the morning heading west to see Roy and Ruth Ann before going on to Snyder to spend the weekend with Chandy, our granddaughter.

Summer is up and watching a little TV and I am about to go to bed.
Louis Dean is still looking for his phone.......

Before I go, I thought I would explain about the chicken eggs from last night's journal entry......
Dean was working underneath the vehicle......the chickens were laying eggs INSIDE the car!
This is on the floorboard of the passenger side.

Today I was talking to Sherry and she said she found 15 eggs this summer underneath a wheelbarrow.
What with the intense heat - they were not good to eat.
She was surprised they hadn't hatched as hot as it was!

That's the thing about the ranch - there's always something interesting going on.
One piece of good news - while we are sad we did not get a drop pf honey this year - we are still investing in the bees. We are each buying another hive - and at $325 each - it's a bargain!
The price has gone up to $400+ so we are happy to buy two hives from a fellow beekeeper in our bee club. Praying our hives will thrive this next year!!


Chandy's Quilt, Louis Dean's Chicken Fried Steak and Summer's Surgery is in the Morning.....

 I have spent a couple of days in Rest and Recover mode after the Big Birthday Bash on Saturday!
I took a hot shower before going to bed that night and then stayed in my nightgown for the next two days! It was wonderful!! We watched church online Sunday as I just could not summon up enough 'umph' to even get dressed. I guess that's what being one year shy of a quarter of a century does to you.
Sometimes your body just can't DO what your mind WANTS to do.

Sunday afternoon Louis Dean helped me work on the birthday quilt for Chandy - promised 2 years ago!
We had to take it out on the upper kitchen deck so I could pin the backing, batting and top together.
Sunday night I sewed the three layers together.

Monday afternoon I pinned the border from the back to the front.....

After all the pinning was done - I stretched out on the quilt and looked up into the pecan trees over my head.....and had some quiet time with the Lord and prayed for my friends.

The breeze had stirred and I always associate that with the Holy Spirit.
It's such a comforting feeling to know how close we are to God in our everyday doings.

I finished the quilt Monday night and washed it and put it in the dryer before I went to bed.

This morning I was up before Louis Dean and out watering and gathering up trash for pick up -
that's how Sanford and Son have moved out of our back yard....a trash bag at a time.
Every single trash pick up day - which is Tuesday and Friday for our neighborhood - more of the junk/trash/debris - is moved out of the back yard, storage buildings and deck boxes and onto the curb - where it miraculously disappears! 

Step by step and bag by bag.....I am making progress!
This has made me realize that we have more power and control than we think we do.
For so long I looked over at the yard full of awfulness and felt helpless.
Then I started bagging it all up - one bag at a time - until it isn't nearly as awful as it was!

I am reminded that just chipping away a little at a time will make all the difference.
This principle applies to so many situations.

This is Tuesday and that usually means time with Brenda.....
and we did meet at Whataburger for tea this afternoon.
No Tuesday Treasures unless you count our time together and I DO!
The thrift stores are a bonus but the real treasure of Tuesday is our connection and conversation.
We share our thoughts, plans and what's happening in our lives.
Sometimes this is as we shop the thrift stores and other times over a margarita at Fuzzy Tacos or at Whataburger with tea for two.

Friends are so very important and if you do not have one - you need to go out there and FIND one.
You can add friends to the ones you already hold dear.....

I came home and went back to work so to speak.
Housework, laundry and paying bills.
There's a certain amount of responsibility in running a household

Tonight Louis Dean made chicken fried steak for dinner.
I had already prepared the mashed potatoes and green peas.

It was such a good meal but his gravy was awesome!!
He was in his element in the kitchen tonight and I was more than happy to do clean up.....
and - trust me - there was plenty!

As for my plans for this Tuesday - I was determined to do do some art!
And I did!
I laid my palette and did some background work on the Santa painting.
It's easier to do once you START!

We are so blessed to have a city home and a country home....

Stepson Dean sent us this pic as he was working on Sherry's vehicle....
He was working under the truck....heard a commotion and found the two eggs....

then the next day he found FOUR!!!
Oh, the fun and joy of country living!!
I miss BEING there!

I close tonight's journal entry past midnight....
and I need to go to bed as soon as I post this.
Summer is here and I will be taking her to the Rowlett surgery center in the morning for her hand.
She's had to be off her medicine since last week and each day has increased in pain for her.....

Prayers for my daughter and for all my Florida friends.....

Sunday, September 25, 2022

My Happy Birthday Weekend!!!

 Friday was my baking day for the Big Birthday Bash celebrating not only my 74th birthday,
but ALL the family fall birthdays and Benjamin's summer one.
I really REALLY wanted to have all my children and grandchildren gather with me on this birthday so the 'Bash' was a good time to make that happen.

Before the baking began - I ran out to do a few last minute grocery pickups and got myself a manicure and pedicure while I was at it. I love all of the 'getting ready for party day' doings!

It was around 5:00 when I turned the oven on and I baked all evening!
TWO pecan pies! One for the party and one for Son Jesse to take home.

Fruitcake cookies for June's birthday which was today.

Chocolate chip cookies!
 Only a partial batch shown here but I baked for the party and one for Benjamin to take home.

Only ONE strawberry cake - Levi's request - and he took most of that home with him.

My last cake to bake was one Mother used to make for me and I suppose it is my all time favorite....

A plain spice cake mix with homemade brown sugar frosting.
Mother never measured the frosting ingredients so I don't either.
Melted butter, brown sugar, cream or milk and cook for a few minutes.
Add vanilla and 10X (confectioner) sugar and beat - adding more milk if needed.
Sometimes it turns out nice and creamy and sometimes it's more like a praline candy topping.
This one was somewhere in the middle.
Also, I was tired by now and you can see the pecans all lined up nicely - until you get to my tired moment when I just dumped the rest of them on there!

I had a COOK OUT menu - burgers, hot dogs, smoked sausages, potato salad, baked beans, etc.
I did as much as I could ahead of time and even took a one hour nap before getting ready for the party!

Summer and I were sitting out on the driveway waiting for the first guests to arrive.

She had picked up a bag of Margaritas to go at Chili's and that made a fun party drink!

Sam (whose birthday was today) and Levi ( October birthday) both helped set up the appetizer table.
My friend, Brenda, had brought all the fixings over on Thursday but she couldn't be at the party.
They sliced up the summer sausage and put it all together with the cheese and olives and such and then they dug in!

I love the sounds of a party.....people talking and laughing in every room.

Our friend Virginia, Summer, Kailey and Amber visiting in the living room.....

while Mike, Benjamin, and Louis Dean talked in the kitchen and Faith was chatting with Trystan and Logan about school.

I think listening to their voices is my most favorite thing about family parties.

Louis Dean set himself down in the den and he loved how the crowd ebbed and flowed with people drifting in and visiting for a little while and then others would arrive and everyone ended up visiting with each other over the course of the evening.

It was a wonderful evening!
Mike did the grilling for me and Faith made the deviled eggs.
Everyone pitched in and helped.

Trystan put the finishing touches on the Halloween tree in the gazebo!

Kailey strung up some colored lights on the bushes.
It was 97 degrees and hot - even at 6:30!
None of us stayed outside for very long!

I had set up a big spread out on the kitchen deck and everyone helped themselves once the grilling was done - and thank you, Mike, for doing all that!!

I made it easy on myself by using pretty paper plates!

Amber brought the utensils and I told Louis Dean we are not saving one fork or plate!
Used ones, anyway!
I bought plenty so I may be using paper plates from time to time now.

We used real glassware, though!
The kids love sipping their tea from my small wine glasses and I have a collection of fall goblets as well. ALL my grandkids love my tea!

Next up - NUTS!!!!

SOOOOOOO much fun and lots of whooping and hollering and laughing!!!

And all too soon it was time for everyone to go home.
We meant to take group pictures earlier and then we didn't.
I think we are all aware of how important it is to take photographs and we made sure that happened  last night.

Me and seven of my eight grands!
Rayne was missed!
She did call us just as we finished up and we said hello and talked to her for a few minutes before they all left.

Funny poses now!

All four of my children!

Funny pose!!!
I posted this on Facebook and everyone agreed that Summer won first place on the funny face!!

Everyone packed up to leave and Benjamin took a big bag of party food and June's fruitcake cookies over to her and Kimmy. They were invited but couldn't make it.
June is 91 years old today!
They were so happy to see Ben!!
He stayed and visited awhile even though it was late and he lives 2 hours away.
JOY is the gift he gave June!
It had been 3 years since she had seen him.
Back in the day, June came to my art classes on Tuesday nights and she always had a package of RUNTS candy for Amber and Ben!
Kimmy and June have been part of our lives since the 1970's so they are like Family!

It was a birthday to remember!

Friday, September 23, 2022

A Little Off my Game.....

We made it home early on Sunday evening and the traffic was heavy with a terrible accident closing I35 down to one lane. Our WAZE kept telling us to go a different route and yet we didn't. More traffic as we neared downtown Dallas and yet we still didn't follow her directions and ended up driving into the sun for a scary minute or two. Finally I did as she said and was rerouted through the heart of downtown and back up on I35 and heading home.

I think I've learned my lesson and will follow my Waze voice and do as it says.

Coming home is always hard work.
The unloading and unpacking and putting up and starting laundry and on and on.
Having fun is hard work in  the end.

Bed did feel good Sunday night, though!

My sunflowers are still producing out by the back pond and I picked a pretty bouquet first thing Monday morning.

I've discovered a good way to make tea without breaking glass pitchers or cracking my plastic ones.
I use a Mason canning jar!
Once it's cooled, I pour it into my pretty pitcher and add water!
Win! WIN!!

I had just come in from admiring all the flowers now growing when the mail arrived and I had a package  from my sister, Rita.

I love this tea towel that was nestled in a box of other SUNNY things - as in sunflower theme!!
It's smooth on one side and terry cloth on the other. How perfect!

Rita and Buster both have the most PERFECT timing!
Their every call, text or package or note has always come at a moment when I felt a little needy.
Rita and I had a nice phone chat a few minutes later and it set the tone for my day.

Tuesday was a pretty good day.....Louis Dean has been a little more confused lately and when I suggested we fry up the okra he had picked at the ranch garden right before we left - he was all excited.

It's been a long time since he's fried any okra but it came right back to him.

We used a really old Fry Daddy!
Remember those???
Now we have Air Fryers!!

It turned out pretty good.
Dean says we didn't cook it long enough so we can finish cooking the rest of what we haven't eaten in the the air fryer.

Dean and Sherry came in late Tuesday to spend the night.
We live 7 minutes from DFW International airport and Sherry was flying out early on Wednesday morning to go up and help drive her parents home from Minnesota. 

Louis Dean folded the denim quilt I  finally finished for Rita's newest grandbaby and it fit in a large flat rate box for mailing! Even he surprised himself!
Wednesday was an Amber Day!
I was at her house before 11:00 and we had the entire day before us!
First off - lunch at McAllister's deli!

Next we drove to Frisco for the grand opening day of HEB grocery store!
We both love HEB from our Katy, Texas days but we decided to NOT stand in the hot sun (97 degrees) that felt like 102! There was a long line that ran down the side of the building and we just couldn't see the sense of spending our time that way.
We don't get a lot of time together, Amber and I, so we are pretty protective of it whenever we DO get a day together!
Since we were already out in the Frisco area, Amber decided to take me to see a few places I've never been before!

This area is all about the Dallas Cowboys!

It was fun to act like tourists for a little while.

We had some shopping to do so we set about it.
The Cowboys Pro Shop was a good place to start.

We had already shopped Hobby Lobby before going to HEB so now we headed to 
Marshalls, Five Below, Target and a Starbucks break while we were there.

Pumpkin Spice scone!
Oh, MY!!!

Costco followed!
It was after 6:00 when we got back to Amber's.
I finished off my list of groceries at Aldi's in Dallas as I waited for the sun to set.
Normally I carry lots of insulated shopping bags in the trunk of my car - but we took them all out when we made our trip to Mountain View. Alas, Louis Dean couldn't remember where he'd put them and I wasn't thinking so I left Aldi with a full cart to store in a car full of everything from fall garlands and pumpkins, bales of hay and shopping bags of birthday gifts as well as a floorboard full of mums! And another pumpkin!
So out of Aldi I went with a cartload of this and that and I just stuffed it where ever I could find a place!
Cans of tomato paste, bacon, fruit, cheeses, and on and on and on. In the back seat, floorboard, front passenger seat, and the trunk was FULL!

I say all this because I was nearly in a terrible accident right as I was about to get to the Beltline exit off the Bush Tollway. I was wearing my weather driving glasses and turned my blinker on and checked the rear view mirror. As I was sliding over into the other lane - a small white sports car came streaking past narrowly missing me! He swerved but didn't even slow down and was gone!
I immediately thanked God that I wasn't hit and praised Him for that.....
and then I started to laugh just thinking what a wreck would have looked like with cans of tomato paste scattered among silk sunflowers and garland and all the other odds and ends I had in the car!

Still, I was a little shaky when I got home and Louis Dean told me he had barely escaped being in an accident himself. The other person honked at him and got his attention!

It took us a long time to unload and put everything up.
And I always come right in and 'put things to rights.'
There was next to no damage control as it appears Louis Dean played outside much of the day.

I am loving the Pure Honey perfume from Kim Kardashian.
I know who she is but I've never watched any of their programs and had no idea she had a line of fragrances. She had me at the honeybee on the bottle.

Louis Dean sat out on the driveway and watched as I decorated our front porch with all the debris I bought that day!
I am LOVING it - except for the hay which I tracked into the house!
That's since been blown OFF the porch!!

I woke up this morning NOT in a very good mood.
I was nervous and shaky and all jittery and cried at the slightest thing.
Feeling like that wasn't the best time to try and deal with some financial things and then I think I MAY have bought a new wiglet but I can't be sure! I finally decided I better just get away from the computer especially since I'd already blocked myself out of a couple of websites.

I tried not to let my inner turmoil spill out so I kept myself to myself as much as I could.

Summer came in this afternoon to stay for a couple of nights.
Thank you all for thinking of and praying for Rayne and Sabrina with the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico. The storms are past now and the electricity was back on as of 10:00 this morning. They had 100 miles an hour winds and 30 inches of rain and were using a generator. Thank the Lord they have one!

Brenda came over after work this afternoon and we sat out on the driveway with our tea and had the nicest visit. I felt better than I had all day. She gave me a great collection of fancy coffees for my birthday and a Candy Corn candle that smells divine! 

My friend Rosey sent me the sweetest poster and such a kind note.

Friends really do make all the difference in the world!

I think Louis Dean played outside too much and got too hot today.
It's not bad like when he went to the hospital but it concerns me and I am adjusting myself to the new normal of caretaking and keeping my eyes on him.

Tonight he helped me pin together the backing, batting and quilt top together for Chandy.
I promised her a denim Birthday quilt two years ago and am going to get this thing finished before we go to see her and her family next week!

I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying about some life changes happening right now.
Not only grieving over Nita - I still cry every day - but seeing the changes in Louis Dean.
Now I cry about that every day. Just a little bit and not long sobbing cries but small tears.
We all have to readjust our sails in life and we must do that more than just once or twice.

I did a needlework once that said....

Make the most of what you've got - 
and the least of what you've not!

I better understand what that means now.

And with that thought I am going to bed!!