Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Last Full Week of August! Celebrating Sabrina, Summer, Rayne and Jimmy! And Now - September Morn is Coming!!!

 It's been a busy time here this week!

This was our Saturday......

I finished cleaning and decorating Louis Dean's bathroom and he is such a good sport about that!
I'm loving  the seasonal shower curtains available now. 

I try to keep the debris 'Louis Dean' friendly.

It's like I am addicted to decorating every single room!

And I am grateful for Louis Dean loving what I love!

The temps here in Texas are still in  triple digits but we did get a few days in the 90's recently;
Louis Dean cut out a dead Honeysuckle vine that had been bothering us as we sit out on the kitchen  deck when when we have our first cup of coffee in the mornings.

Even with the triple digit heat -  and with our diligent watering - we still have some flowers

We met up with the Bells' at church on Sunday morning1

 All dressed up in our fancy shoes!

I love how the grands love taking selfies with me!!  

Louis Dean and I shopped Aldi stocking up on the week's grocery list with a special dinner menu planned for next Sunday.

We raced home and unloaded our groceries, put up the perishables and ate our Tuna Salad sandwiches and potato chips in the car on our way to Dallas!

We were on time for the girls'  and they WON!!

We went over to the Bell's after the game and celebrated  the victory~!!
Amber cooks every single day and full blown dinners every might!
She bought steaks and while she was putting the meal together.....

Kailey gave me such a pretty manicure!!
She did my nails last Sunday, too, and they lasted a whole week!

She's really good!!
Old and young hands.

Dinner was amazing and the steaks were grilled by Mike to absolute perfection!
Roasted zucchini and the best oven fried potatoes and salad rounded out the menu.

I am so thankful for these Family Times together!
I can drive home in the dark from Amber's house because the Bush Tollway is so well lit.

Guess who came to spend a couple of days with us on Monday??

Summer and Rayne!!
My, how Rayne has grown up!

We went over to water at Brenda and Billy's that afternoon and I just enjoyed looking at them!

I fixed a really good meal Monday night!
Grilled pork chops that I managed to cook without catching them on fire!
Baked sweet potatoes, garlic rolls from Collin Street Bakery, fresh fruit and the BEST Cabbage Casserole from Estelle's.

SOOOOO Good!!!!

Tuesday morning I served Summer and Rayne breakfast 'Room Service' style.

We set out to do some thrift store shopping together!

We went to three stores and found some good things!
I got Louis Dean a pair of Nike Air size 13 shoes for $20!
I'm loving stocking up on my candles!

I hung this on one of my kitchen cupboard doors.

You gotta love Goodwill prices for Bed Head products!

Tuesday night we met Sabrina at Simply Fondue over on Greenville Ave.

It was a wonderful dining experience!

I had a Prickly Pear margarita that was delicious.

I had never been to a fondue place before!

We came home and went right to bed because we had a date for an early lunch Wednesday morning with our friend, Jimmy.

Such good food and good prices!!!

I've known Jimmy since he was a young teenager!
SO much fun!!!

We all had a great time together!!

Summer and Rayne headed back to Rowlett for another few days before Summer goes back to Arkansas  and Sabrina and Rayne fly home to Puerto Rico.
It was a wonderful visit!

And now to celebrate September's Eve by making up my fruitcake cookie dough!

I have made this nearly every year since 1985 when my Aunt Irene gave me a copy of the Hood County Cookbook.

I have Neil Diamond sitting next to the stereo, my candle is by my chair and my pumpkin spice coffee is ready to switch on first thing in the morning.
I have been waiting for this!!!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Friday Night and the Sewing Room is all Dressed up for FALL!!!

 I was moving right along in my cleaning and decorating for a week or two there.
What with doctor visits last week and the book fair this week - things kind of slowed down here at home.

I was gone four out of five days this week and Louis Dean was Home Alone.
It's WAY too hot for him to even consider going outside - 110 degrees today!

To be fair, he made one for me, too and they were good.
This morning was my last shift at the Book Fair and it was from 8:00-11:00 - but I stayed to wait for Logan and Trystan to sit with them at lunch from 11:30-12:00.
Actually they joined me in the library and ate in there.

I truly enjoyed every minute of working the fair and seeing all the 900 or so young people!
I was impressed by everything!
The teachers, the principle, the librarian, the students and the parents I met on Open House night!

Having 30 minutes with Logan and Trystan was the perfect icing on the cake for me.
I hope to go back soon and eat with Harrison and Kailey.
They have different lunchtimes and they change twice in the week.

I left Louis Dean in bed this morning and got home BEFORE he could cook another hamburger!
Instead I made us healthy salads and we watched a program before  I went back to bed for a nap.
I left him with a John Wayne movie playing in the den.
By the time I woke up - HE was napping so I was able to have a little quiet time and do some housework!

The sewing room is now finished and it took me longer than I expected because I cleaned out a storage area and donated three heavy bags of fabric, denim scraps, needlework kits, lace and this-that-and-the-other!!

That boney banjo player is still going strong after 6 or 7 years with the same battery!!

My blogging spot tonight.

I have two pieces of mending - which I did - and I need to finish a quilt up this weekend!

I made this scarecrow from cornhusks long years ago - as in 35 or more!

I am on the home stretch in preparing for Fall only having the bathrooms, hall and bedrooms left.
Those will be easy as my pile of 'debris' is dwindling.

The gazebo will be the last thing to do and that's not happening anytime soon.
I heard we may have a few days next week where the weather will be milder - as in 98 and 99 instead of 110 as it was today.
We only go out in the mornings and evenings to water and it's still hot but bearable.

Tomorrow is Saturday and it will be a Stay at Home Day - my favorite kind.
We even took a piece of mail up to the post office this evening so I wouldn't have to get out tomorrow.
I didn't do the paperwork correctly so we had to sign and mail it off again.
That was at 8:00 and as soon as we got back home - I had a notice on my phone that Louis Dean's prescriptions were ready to pick up - so off we went again!
It was DARK when we got back and that's a reminder to pay attention to the time.
We decided that IF we MUST be out after dak - that Louis Dean will drive and I will navigate!

I do believe I will be ready to welcome September First!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Doctor Visits, Book Fair, Tuesday Treasures and Wise Words

 Tuesday was another 'doctor' day for Louis Dean!

He was a good sport and stayed in the chair just like a big boy!
Yes, his crown came off and the tooth was broken.
Now to decide what to do?
A bridge (which he will NOT wear. I KNOW this!) or a permanent bridge which is $2,500!
OR - pull the tooth and deal with it.
We have until February to decide.
In the meantime - there was a cancellation so he had his teeth cleaned right then and there!!! Win! WIN!!!

I took advantage of the 'free time' while he had the cleaning done and went up to the Texas Thrift on Irving Blvd. With only 30 minutes I found a few treasures!
Two Rae Dunn coffee mugs - and I had coffee in one this morning and Louis Dean asked why they were all 'wonky?' I said that's what made them so valuable,
Then two Robert Stanley black and white plaid mugs and a Thankful RS sign!
I also bought a pretty white fabric curtain I may use in my bathroom - we will see....

I barely got Louis Dean home in time for me to leave for Dallas.
It was Open House Book Fair at the Bell Grands Middle School and I had so much FUN!!!
It's a highlight of my year to work the book fair and I am grateful to be here for this one.

Middle school is different from elementary.
I learned the difference between a PTA and a Staff run Book Fair.
This one is easier, I must say.

I can't believe I did not take a single picture but I was busy from the time I arrived at 5:15 and left well after 8:00. It was after 9:00 when I got home.

I am LOVING this school!! 
The librarian  is amazing and has such class and character!
The principle is so personable and engaging and I am her #1 fan!!!

No pics but I did 'dress up' for the occasion and the highlight of the night was when two counselors came up to me and said, "We have been admiring you - you're so cute! Love the clothes and jewelry and the HAT!!"
That made my day - and week!!
I told them the story about how I dressed up one time for church and Amber said, "Mom! You dress up just like a little doily!"

From then on - when I would start layering things - LD would say - "Linda! You're looking like a doily again!!!"

The kids in middle school are all so grown up and some of them had the coolest color of hair!
Every single one was well mannered and so were the parents.
The staff and teachers are class acts,
What a joy to be here with these amazing young people.
I can't say the name of the school due to privacy concerns but it is SUCH a blessing to have the grand quads here.

When I got home - late - I could tell Louis Dean had cooked but he cleaned up well.
He had made Hamburgers!
Good for him and good that he cleaned UP!!

Another HUGE blessing - he was watching College Football on TV!
He turned it on all by himself!
Another WIN!! WIN!!!

No book fair schedule today (Wednesday) but I did get my mammogram done!

It's always good to cross that off my calendar!
I celebrated with a pedicure afterwards!

Then I cam home and Louis Dean had cooked again!
Another hamburger and he had one for ME as well.

We watched an episode of Virgin River (I love that show!) and then we both took naps.
It's still so hot that we have to water every night just to keep things alive.
So that's what we have been doing since we woke up.

My Book Fair shift starts at 11:00 in the morning so I am going to close this journal entry and go out and turn off all the water in the front yard. We have three faucets that we use in the back yard and three in the front.. I admit that I watered the driveway and sidewalk a little bit tonight.

I loved these posts on Facebook tonight and wanted to share them.
Such wisdom.......

“I know that I have less to live than I have lived.
I feel like a child who was given a box of chocolates. He enjoys eating it, and when he sees that there is not much left, he starts to eat them with a special taste.
I have no time for endless lectures on public laws - nothing will change. And there is no desire to argue with fools who do not act according to their age. And there's no time to battle the gray. I don't attend meetings where egos are inflated and I can't stand manipulators.
I am disturbed by envious people who try to vilify the most capable to grab their positions, talents and achievements.
I have too little time to discuss headlines - my soul is in a hurry.
Too few candies left in the box.
I'm interested in human people. People who laugh at their mistakes are those who are successful, who understand their calling and don't hide from responsibility. Who defends human dignity and wants to be on the side of truth, justice, righteousness. This is what living is for.
I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of others. Who, through the blows of fate, was able to rise and maintain the softness of the soul.
Yes, I hustle, I hustle to live with the intensity that only maturity can give. I'll eat all the candy I have left - they'll taste better than the ones I already ate.
My goal is to reach the end in harmony with myself, my loved ones and my conscience.
I thought I had two lives, but it turned out to be only one, and it needs to be lived with dignity.”
Brilliant Anthony Hopkins
and free interpretation of Mario de Andrade’s poem

In her own words;
Judi Dench

"Don’t prioritize your looks my friend, as they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humor though, will only get better with age.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
Your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritize your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore, that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritize the uniqueness that make you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.

We only have one life.Let's treasure every moment!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Good Times!

 Saturday was a good day to stay home and stay inside!
The triple digit temps continue with no end in sight!

We did venture out to the gazebo for a few HOT minutes string new lights on my fall wreathes for the den. Louis Dean is my Knight in Shining Overalls as he is such a good sport in helping me hang these!
Everyone needs to be needed and he and I do need one another!

We stayed up late Saturday night and even at midnight it was too hot to sit outside!

Sunday morning we met up with the Bells at Fellowship Church and it was a packed house!
We all sat up in the balcony and when the service was over we noticed an 'Exit' door close to where we were. It opened up to a stairwell that took us to another 'Exit' door - that opened up to the parking lot!
We totally missed getting to see Brenda and Billy because it was a long ways back in to the church.

Kailey and Logan rode home with us and the rest of the Bells arrived later with lunch all around from McAlister's! 

Logan helped me in the kitchen and together we set up the appetizer table while Kailey went in with her Granddad to check out the violin and other music things in his room.

I love how the kids leave me 'surprise' photos on my phone to find after they leave.

Kailey braided my hair into two pigtails!

And then she painted my fingernails!!
It was so wonderful to have a houseful of Bells that afternoon!

I love how Amber loves movies! We all do!

We watched Spirited again.
It was my second time to see it and Harrison's 13th time!
The kids and Amber just about know all the lines and songs by heart and the girls even danced to some of them and I loved watching THEM more than the screen!

After they all left to go home and prepare for Monday, Sherry came to spend the night as she was working in Irving today.

Between her and Amber, I am all set up on my Smart TV and fire stick!
Louis Dean was napping when she arrived and we popped some corn and got a couple of Cokes to watch a movie....

Amber had recommended this one and it was really good!!!

I have pretty much cleaned and dressed the sewing room for Fall but it's not quite finished yet!
At least I am now on the home stretch!!

The Bell grands are now in middle school and they have their Scholastic Book Fair this week!!
Of course Amber volunteered right off the bat and I had my background check done so I could help her! We come together as a team!

This afternoon we helped the librarian set it all up!
The book fairs we have done in the past were done by the PTA but in middle school it is staff run.
Meaning there's no elaborate theme and decorations so it's not nearly as much work!

We knocked the entire set up out in two hours!
Of course the librarian had the tables up and the displays open when we got there.
It was still so much fun and I am THRILLED to get to continue to help!

It starts tomorrow night with an Open House so I will be working that!

Poor Louis Dean lost a crown off one of his teeth Saturday so he has to go to the dentist tomorrow.
He just can't get away from doctor visits!!

It's only a little after 9:00 on Monday night but I am thinking an early bedtime will be happening.
But first - wine with my beloved as we sit close to the air conditioner!!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Two More Rooms - Ready for FALL!!

 We have stayed home more these last few months than ever before - all due to the intense heat!

I usually make two meals a day and maybe a snack.
Louis Dean doesn't eat nearly as much as he used to - I think I eat more than he does sometimes!
The 'other' Linda Chapman gifted us with some delicious maple syrup that made for a delicious late breakfast on Thursday.

I finished up the living room and am loving the ambiance of it all.

It's our favorite place to sit together while we read the Bible and devotional books.
It's our custom for me to read aloud to Louis Dean and the book he chose for now is by Tom Brokaw.

LD reads on his own as well but it's nice to read together and it's usually something I wouldn't read otherwise.

My favorite spot!

For several days the living room was so cluttered with fall debris and tubs of stuff that it was best for Louis Dean to walk through the dining room and avoid this room altogether.
By the time this one was clean and decorated - I had pretty much trashed the dining room so now he had to change his path to get to the kitchen!
He's such a good sport about all my excessive decorating!

It's nice to have the den all comfy and cozy!
I guess his blood is thin as he still covers up because he's cold.

Today (Friday) I managed to clean the dining room and since it was already decorated, it didn't take too long!

You can see my Rainbow vac in there because my project tomorrow is the sewing room.

I thought I might run out of decorations but it looks like I will have just enough!

I spoke too soon about Louis Dean having his last appointment!
The cardiologist office called today to schedule him with yet another specialist after reading the results of his heart monitor. It showed pauses that were long enough to be concerned with but not overly so as he has not been having any symptoms.
While he is in permanent afib, he is on medication and it seems to be under control.
So - just ONE more doctor visit in early September!

No end in sight for these triple digit days and the forecast for September First is 101!!
I will be celebrating anyway!

As soon as I close tonight's journal entry, I will order some candied fruit for my fruitcake cookies.
I intend to make those and spiced pumpkin muffins that day and perhaps deliver them to friends.