Tuesday, January 31, 2023

It's a Winter Thunder/Sleet Storm in North Texas!

 I have never heard of a Thunder/Sleet winter storm before - but I have now!

We made a wise decision to stay home this week instead of going down to the ranch!

Monday we meant to go to Walmart for groceries and an oil change on our car plus ask them to check the AC blower - which also serves the defrost setting and heat - which we needed on Sunday!
Instead, we used tissues to clean the windows so I could see to drive home from church.

The weather had already turned bad before we got out and we decided to just go up to ALDI since it was closer and get in and out and back home before the storm ramped up.
Alas, the truck had leaked out all the power steering fluid so we had to take the car after all.

No problem, we got our groceries and even went dumpster diving on our way home.

I have been looking for a chest of drawers to use at the ranch for my clothes.
I have no closet down there and all my clothing is stacked in the camper bath tub in plastic bins.

We saw this chest on the curb just up the street from us.
I am so thankful Louis Dean is such a good sport!
He managed to get it in the car!!

After we unloaded and put up the groceries, I went back to work on cleaning our bedroom - as in under the bed and everything! I do so love a clean room!!!

We kept a fire going in the den and watched some Swat programs while we were comfy and cozy under our lap blankets! HIS is an electric one and it came in handy as his hands were freezing after filling up all our bird feeders.

I woke up this morning hearing a 'noise.'
In freezing weather, I'm always listening to see if I hear water running somewhere - as in a busted pipe.
This noise was coming from the attic and after I pulled the ladder down and climbed up - I could see it was a twig stuck in the turbo vent. No worries!

Louis Dean was the first to look out and see a blanket of white everywhere!
ICE not snow.

He has a small electric heater and on cold days, he warms up his music room so we can sit in there and drink our coffee while we watch the birds at the feeders.

I put a big pot of beans in to soak before I went to bed last night and then I cooked them all day.

Amber and Mike gave me the Christmas Day ham bone and I saved it in the freezer for just such a day as this. An iron skillet of homemade cornbread made for a complete meal!

Ice tea is my daily beverage year round even on super cold days!
This hurricane glass was a a souvenir from one of our siblings trips to San Antonio.

Schools were closed today and tomorrow!
Amber's crew had fun!

 Icy roads are dangerous and we all know Texas shuts down with pretty much the first sign of snow or freezing rain.

Tomorrow will be another stay-in-the-house day!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Weekend Celebrations!

We celebrated Lonnie's 68th birthday at El Fenix in Fort Worth.

We used to be four siblings.....now we are three.
This was our first birthday celebration without Nita and it was bittersweet.
And this was the last place we were all together last summer.

I remember her laughing and going from table to table talking to everyone.
Every memory of that day is a special gift .....

and we made new memories yesterday together.
Lonnie calls Michele his 'beautiful bride' and so she is.
She's also an angel and takes such good care of our brother.

I do love a good margarita and this was the first one I've had in a long time!

We shopped Tuesday Morning which was just around the corner from the restaurant before coming home.

I've been wanted to change out some of the white in our bedroom for soft shades of green.
I found a new comforter and some curtains and they go well with the rug I have in there now.
I LOVE this rug!

Instead of 15 or more pillows - I only had 4 plus 2 throw pillows.
However, if you want to prop yourself up in bed and sip coffee, read, pray and meditate - you need more pillows. 
So I cut the number in half and added two more which makes 6 bed pillows - and the 2 throw ones.
I can sleep with that - since I always have a couple on top of my feet when I go to bed.

We had meant to drive down to the ranch this morning but the rain has made for a mud event down there and the weather forecast is for cold and more rain.
So we went to church instead and Logan and Kailey came home with us!
Win! WIN!!

Logan helped  me get a fire going....

and then helped make lunch - Trader Joe's Orange Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice.
We watched an old Gunsmoke while we ate - at their request!

The new curtains were a little too long for the bedroom back door so Kailey hemmed them up on the sewing machine. I love that all my grands know how to sew!

Next up??

Kailey started a penguin -

Logan is painting Kona and Cash!

They each painted at home recently in acrylics.
Today they painted in oils.
They didn't get to finish them but I sent their palettes home with them along with a small bottle of turpentine.

We went over to watch Harrison's hockey game and Amber had brought warm coats and extra socks for the girls since they were still in their Sunday clothes and shoes.
It was really cold today!
Even COLDER at the hockey game!

Look how grown up Harrison is!!!

As football season is winding down, I am looking for things on TV that Louis Dean would enjoy.

Tonight we watched the first two episodes of Season 1 of 1923.
The way it's made with one scene morphing into another scene set in a different place makes it difficult for him to follow. He likes the western scenes and fight scenes, of course, but he can't really track the plot. 

Logan pointed out to me that Gunsmoke comes on back to back Monday - Thursday and suggested I record them for Granddad. She's so sweet and I intend on doing that very thing.
Louis Dean loves watching them because the good guys always win and there's a moral in every story.

While we celebrated Lonnie's birthday yesterday, his actual birth date is today - January 29th.

It was 4 years ago today that all of Mother's living children were together as we laid her to rest.
We often laughed about how happy she would be knowing her funeral was on Lonnie's birthday.
Mother absolutely LOVED a good funeral!

I was born in 1948 and half sister to all my siblings.
Deanie was born in 1951, Nita in 1953, Lonnie in 1955 - these three are full siblings.
We four grew up together.
Luann (to the left of Lonnie) was born in 1957 and Shari was born in 1958 and they are both full blood sisters. Shari was a twin and her brother died shortly after birth.

I love my Memories on Facebook!
This is June and Benjamin - whom she loves dearly - in 2019 at the funeral home.
You can see Sweet Summer just beyond Ben's shoulder.

Louis Dean is watching the Kansas City Chiefs' game and I already know they won!
But I'm letting him enjoy the suspense!!

Friday, January 27, 2023


 I am cherishing these January days.

Louis Dean and I have been getting a lot of really good sleep this month.
Some days it is nearly noon before we have our first cup of coffee.
I love the luxury of easing into the day, listening to bird song and the sounds of Life outside our open bedroom door. This week I have spent the first hour upon awakening in bed - having my Quiet Time under the warm covers and thanking God for my life and my husband. For flannel sheets and good medical care and doctors who care about us. For family and friends whom I hold dear to my heart and in my prayers and yet have never met in person. Yet.

Sometime this spring, Louis Dean and I are going on a vacation traveling straight up from Texas to Kansas City, Missouri. We are hoping to stop in for tea and conversations along the way.

I'm so grateful for my Kansas City siblings and their families and I'm hoping to meet them all very soon.

I was finally satisfied with this quilt for Baby Juliette out in San Diego.
She is one of my Kansas City grand nieces - granddaughter of my sister Rita.

I took off a few embellishments that didn't seem to be working and added another one or two.

Ready to  mail!

I added this bib I made back in 1985 when I was pregnant with Amber.
It's now 'vintage' and I wanted to give this to family.....my 'Kansas City' grand niece in San Diego!

I added a book mark I had made some years ago for the mother Janette.
This year I will be 75 years old so as I find things I have made in love - I am gifting them as I go.

I boxed the quilt and wrapped it to mail and took it down to the post office this afternoon.

We visited June  arriving at the same time as her daughter, Traci.
We talked and laughed and I took some old photos for her to look through as well as a fresh tin of fruitcake cookies. Oh, how she loves them!

Louis Dean played some music and he was so excited about Traci singing with him.

We are planning a night of dinner and music next month with Kimmy and June, Traci and her husband, Ilene and Brenda P and I'll be inviting Billy and Brenda. It will be fun like a PARTY!!!

I worked on my landscape tonight......
maybe two more sessions for highlights and details and it will be finished.

This has been one of the most enjoyable Januarys I have ever had!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Change of Plans.....

Sunday was a really GOOD day!
Louis Dean opted to stay home while I went to church.
Brenda and Billy picked me up and that made me feel so special.
The service was excellent - on Shame - and I love how Fellowship Church stays so relevant in teaching from scripture what we all deal with.

The Bells had two early morning hockey games before they came to church at the 11:15 service.
(The girls won their game and Harrison won his!)

We met up with them after the service and visited for a little while before they headed their way and Brenda, Billy and I headed our way.
They treated me to lunch at Jake's BBQ in Grapevine and it was SO good!!!
Brenda retires in March and I can't wait! We have so many plans for our Tuesdays!

Louis Dean had an excellent day while I was gone.
He both answered my call on his landline and then drove up to Little Caesars for Hot Wings and then he called me on the landline to say he was home!
He settled down to eat his wings, drink a beer and watch football!

We both watched the Cowboy game and we all know that didn't go well.
Now I'm rooting for Kansas City in the next go round! 

We were all set to go down to the ranch and had already packed some stuff in the truck - 
when Louis Dean tripped over a basket in front of the couch and fell.
No broken bones and just some aches and pain from the fall, but it was enough of a mishap to warrant staying home on Monday to recover. He has a good bit of neuropathy in his feet and that coupled with his decline in spatial awareness, he is more unsteady now.

I went to bed with a check in my spirit about our planned trip to the ranch.
Come Monday morning I knew it wasn't the right time as this week is going to be cold at night and we all know Louis Dean does NOT do well in the cold.
So we switched gears and are staying home this week.

Louis Dean worked on his music all day Monday and I cleaned, sewed and did some art. 
Tonight I finished the quilt for my sister, Rita's, newest granddaughter!

I probably should have just made the quilt and left it alone - but then I got the bright idea of embellishing it!

I only have one clean room in the house right now - the kitchen.

This morning I finished up the pantry.

I love looking at people's fridges and pantries!

Can you see the 'Slim Jim' hanging on a nail inside the pantry?
My brother worked for Texas Towing for a number of years and he came to our aid when we locked the keys in the car long years ago. He gave me one of his tools of the trade and it has hung right here for so many years! I am a keeper of memories and special things.

The brown bag hanging was Summer's school bag when she was in the 7th grade.
I painted sunflowers on one side and bluebonnets on the other.

That bottle of clear vanilla was given to me by Nita......
I think of her every single day and more so when I bake.

I've been trying to use the things we have in the pantry, fridge and freezer and catch up on my budget by NOT buying groceries for awhile.

Today I made a pasta salad with ham, chopped apples, celery and pecans.
I also made two main dishes with ground beef - ravioli with meat sauce and a beef and rice dish.
Tonight I took a sampling of all of it up to the nursing home for June, Kimmy and Traci.
June is doing well and making progress with her physical therapy.

I decided to call this Wild Horse finished and he is hanging on the living room wall.
All my Santa paintings are still up but they will come down in February.
Which reminds me that Campo Verde leaves their Christmas decorations up through the winter so I am going to make a point of going over there for lunch soon!

I'll close tonight's journal entry with an old photo of myself.

Nita had all of the photos the family had given Mother over the years and Mike boxed them up according to family and returned them to us.

I meant to invite my children and grandchildren to look through them on Christmas Eve but that night was so magical just as it was that I forgot.

I don't remember this picture at all.
I wore my hair long for most of my life and I'm amazed at how much I have here.
On the back it says 06-1978 so I'm  thinking that was when I had this taken.
I would have been 29 at the time.

I think I look like my brother Buster....or he looks like me since I am older than he is!
I am so very grateful I found out who my father is and for my special Kansas City Siblings....

and that in March of 2022 we all spent such a wonderful day TOGETHER!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Catching Up!

 Thursday Louis Dean and I drove to Lewisville to meet with the doctor for his memory tests results.
She's an A&M graduate and reminds me so much of Deanie's daughter in law, Becky. 
Both are brilliant and beautiful and they could be sisters, they look and even sound so much alike.

The diagnosis was no surprise as we were both fairly certain that he has some early dementia.
It is the beginning stages of 'Mixed Dementia' meaning he shows symptoms of both Vascular as well as Alzheimer's dementia.

We have an appointment early in February with his neurologist to go over his treatment plan.
All good news and we are moving forward in this new journey.
We are already doing most of the things the doctor recommended - stay active, eat healthy, keep busy.

The only time he gets fried foods - for the most part - is when I'm gone and he has the kitchen all to himself. These opportunities are getting fewer and farther in between!

The only thing he can improve greatly upon is staying hydrated!!!
I have often told him his life depends on drinking water and the doctor told him the very same thing!

The appointment was short and we were back home within the hour.
I think we were both exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally because by 8:00 Thursday night we were already in bed and we stayed there over 14 hours!

Friday was a quiet at home day and I am happy to say that most of Christmas is now packed away and it is in the neatest and most orderly way I have ever done this.
Louis Dean cleaned out two of his deck boxes for me and I used one to hold six tubs of Christmas textiles - stockings, tree skirts, table cloths, napkins, etc. The other one holds Christmas trees - the smaller ones - an entire box full. The larger trees he put up in the storage building attic.

Come time to decorate for 2023 - I should be able to find things much easier and faster!

Friday night was another early bedtime for us....as in by 10:00.
So not like us and I'm pretty sure we won't be turning into 'early to bed and early to rise ' people, but we go with what we need to do when we need to do it.

You would think we would get up earlier but it's still close to noon by the time we have had our coffee and stupor time and done our reading and Quiet Time.
That's why we eat so many lunches instead of breakfasts.

The kitties are looking out the bedroom door as I have been going in and out a good bit the last few days - and still they haven't tried to escape. I think letting them out for a few hours on a Sunday may be a good idea.

It's been a good Saturday!
Louis Dean has been puttering and tinkering in his room.
He loves this place all his own.
. He moves things around and is constantly organizing and reorganizing all his 'stuff.'
This is good therapy for him.
We weren't married very long before I realized that his room was all his own and unlike any other room in the house. It doesn't have to make sense to me as long as it works for him.
I could write a book on his room and someday I may do that!
This works for him and that's all that matters.

I have been working on a baby quilt for my sister Rita's newest granddaughter.
One more to make after this for my brother Buster's new baby granddaughter!

June is still in the nursing home and doing her therapy so she can get stronger and go home.
She called me this afternoon while I was sewing and I told her Louis Dean had just come back from picking up a Rx and a pound of butter - how in the world did I run out of butter??

I had promised her a fresh batch of fruitcake cookies and the dough is now made and in the fridge.
I'll bake a couple dozen cookies tomorrow afternoon when I get home from church and take them to her while they are still warm from the oven!

The house looks a little vacant right now....
I haven't brought any of my 'debris' in to take the place of all my Christmas stuff so it's a scaled down look for now.

Tonight Louis Dean and I met in the den and I lit a candle, put a fire log in the fireplace and we each had our glass of wine while we watched a Jesse Stone movie.

The den is un-decorated but not clean - still - I lit a candle to celebrate!

A light finger food supper to go with our Chardonnay tonight.

And our sweet Samantha to keep us company!

Now as I write, we have moved on to watch the Kansas City Chiefs game we recorded earlier.
Next to the Dallas Cowboys - they are my favorite team!

I have been processing Louis Dean's diagnosis over the last few days and I admit the word 'Alzheimer's' scared me. I have worked my way past that now and moving on.

Louis Dean has given me the happiest years of my life!
Just because he has mixed dementia doesn't mean we can't still be happy.

I've always loved the saying....

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

And Louis Dean and I still have so much to be thankful for and so much LIFE left to be lived.