Friday, April 30, 2010

What Comes Around Goes Around

Raymond and Jessie are living it up in their new retirement community. One of the things that spurred their decision to move was that Pop had to give up driving. The roads were getting too crowded for him so he decided to give it up.

When I was out in California in April, Betty told me she shipped her pickup truck from Houston to Sonoma for only $500. This turned out to be such good information when Jessie and Raymond generously gifted Jenn and Richard with their 99 Olds Alero. Considering how much gas, time, food and lodging would be involved in driving the little Go-Mobile out to San Diego, $500 in shipping turned out to be the cheapest way to get it to them.

So, after a lot of coordination between Jenn, Carmen the account at the company, Robert the driver of the truck transporting the car to San Diego, and me, I drove the little Go-Mobile to I-35 in Temple yesterday and met Robert for pickup. The Go-Mobile was quickly loaded up and Robert was on his way to pick up other autos.

As you can see Pop took great care of the little car, and with only 43,927 actual miles, Jenn and the kids should get many years of cruising comfort. I'm a sap for a heartwarming story, so I have to admit I shed a few tears thinking of how this truly is a gift that will keep on giving. You see, Jessie and Raymond had a best friend Michael who was more or less their brother in everything but blood. Michael bought the Go-Mobile in 99 brand new. He had it less than a year when he decided the car would be perfect for Jessie and Raymond. So Michael bought a 2000 Alero and gifted the Go-Mobile to Jessie and Raymond. What came around to them now is going 'round to Jenn and the kids.

I think Michael is smiling down from Heaven and would approve of the Go-Mobile's new adventure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creepy Crawlers In The Southern Grocery Store

I went to the HEB the other day and walked by a mess-o-crawlers...crawdads that is. I couldn't believe they were selling them right in the meat department! Yuck. I've never eaten these things, but have heard Gampy tell his tale of sucking the meat out of them at a crawdad feed in New Orleans years ago.

I realize this post would've been a lot more entertaining if I had taken a picture of my face as I stared at this mess in the store that day. I think they look a lot like the Palmetto bugs (really just great big roaches) that ran around outside at night in the summertime when I lived in Mississippi in the 60's.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spin, Spin, Spin...Slots And Other Tales Of Woe

Excuse us if we seem a little tired and worn out these days. We've been making trips up to Sherman (4-hour drives each way) every other weekend or so for some time now. Last weekend Bill took Thursday and Friday off and we drove up Thursday then drove back Saturday afternoon so we could get some work done around the house on Sunday.

While in Sherman, Friday night we took an opportunity to drive 20 minutes just over the state border into Oklahoma and gambled at the new Choctaw casino. We first rounded up a cast of characters and headed out , Pop being the first in line. I don't think he even knew where we were headed, just going somewhere makes him happy. Darla and Harold, Bill and I were the rest of the pack.
Jessie chose to stay home, but before we left she handed me a $20 bill and said to play for her. She admitted later that she truly thought she'd kissed that $20 goodbye! When we got to the casino, Darla and I tried to determine when to bet Jessie's money...but we got distracted by the lights and machines and wandered off from each other. I put Jessie's money in a different pocket, determined to deal with it later.

Well, after 2 hours and quite a few $20's later, Darla and I met up with the guys and discussed supper. It was 11 pm, but we'd all skipped food in anticipation of our dreams of big winnings, now our stomachs were starting to grumble. "Wait" I said, "I have Jessie's $20 do we bet it?" Well, Darla had a $10 new member's voucher she put in, and I had about $8 in "cash out" coupons I got when I cashed out of some machines. So we put it all together and sat down at a Wheel-Of-Fortune slot machine and vowed to win big or go broke trying.

Even though it was only a 5-cent machine, there were so many lines that the maximum bet came out to $1.50 for each spin of the lever. As we spun, we got more and more into it. I remember at some point Darla kissing the machine before we could spin, and both of us yelling "Spin...Spin...Spin" as the spin buttons popped up on the machine. If you got 3 spins in a row, you got to go to the "Wheel...Of...Fortune"...YAY! We made it there about 5 times, trying to get the big 1000x the payout. It was VERY exciting times. We only made it to 50x, then 125x, then 50x again...well, you get the picture. We developed a big crowd around us, including Pop, Harold, and Bill. We all 5 took turns hitting the spin button, the MAX bet button, and we all yelled at the same time "Spin...Spin...Spin" to get the gods to let us go on to the Wheel. It seemed like a lot of money was coming our way, but then Harold pointed out that even 125x on a 5-cent machine wasn't really big money! Betting 3 nichols per line made it 15 cents times 50x...well, you do the math.

The guys wanted to eat and were rapidly losing interest. We had about $135 in the balance sheet, so Harold suggested we quit while we were ahead. "Just let us hit the big one" we whined. Hmmm, like that's going to we agreed to stop when we got down to $100. At $102, we kept our word (well, maybe it was more like we were forced to) and cashed out. Darla and I split $51 and when we got home, Jessie could hardly believe it when I handed over $51 to her.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!

Can it possibly be a year today since Lily was born? Wow, time flies. To this day, I can't look at pictures from the first few days after her birth without crying. It was a rough start, but Jaimee will tell you it's hard to tell that she suffered such a traumatic birth.

Lily is getting to be a big girl, losing her baby-ness. Her jeans still need one little roll-up on the hem, but otherwise, she's a big girl now.

She can walk if she wants to, but still clings to furniture and such, just for that little bit of assurance. Any day now I'll bet she forgets to grab something and, just like that, she'll be a full-blown toddler.

She's happy go lucky and loves her family and dogs. Mama better watch out, or real soon just like me, she'll be wondering where her baby went.

It looks like basketball will be Lily's favorite sport. If we're lucky she'll take after her mother and hit 6 feet at age 13. With Jaimee's support, she may become famous for her moves with the ball...for now, they're just too cute for anything but smiles! Here's Lily's mother around 13. I wonder if she will look like Jaimee when she reaches that age?

For now, everyone says she looks the most like her Gampy Bill. Do you see the similarities? Jaimee says it cracks her up when strangers go on and on about how much Lily looks like Gampy. Yeah, she should...except, Gampy is her step-grandfather. But, Gampy was there through all the labor and fuss and muss. He was there day and night, and day again -- in the room until he got thrown out by the midwife -- and then, right outside the door all night, pacing back and forth and emailing updates to the family members who weren't able to be there. How in the world did it happen that Lily looks so much like her Gampy? The only possible answer is love makes all things possible.

We love you Lily! Happy Birthday Baby.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Softer Side Of Tuck

Tucker is getting to that stage where he's not a baby any more, but hasn't quite lost the wonder of the baby stage. I will miss the softer side when it's gone, so thought I'd put a few pictures up here in order to remember this stage.

As you can see, playing soldier or warrior with his brother is an exciting game. But there are still times when his fellow soldiers come with a softer exterior.

I'm betting 3 years from now, Tucker won't be caught dead with this mask on his head. But, it will be a great picture to show his teenage crush...

As you can see, he's still at the stage where he's not too cool to fail and get up and try again. May he never lose the spirit he shows in this picture.

And, thank God the Easter Bunny still holds his interest. Losing Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are still in his future, but for now, may they stay at the top of his list of people to see.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Gotta Wanta..Real Bad

The sun is shining now and the temperature will be in the high 70's today. It's hard to remember those cold chilly mornings back in early February when Jaysa, Mike, Dee and I were spending a lot of time at home waiting for little Ben to arrive. One morning Jay, Dee and I were hungry, but the weather outside was 'frightful' as the song Baby, It's Cold Outside goes.

Still, you have to eat...and when we talked about food, Dee really perked up! Well, as usual, no one wanted to cook at that time of the day. So after much looking outside and dreading getting into snow gear, we bit the bullet and decided to go make our usual run.

Jay might not look it, but she was actually happy to be getting out since she is the least likely to want to be the cook. I was really impressed with her gear. Actually, I was glad to see she didn't hold fashion over comfort when she got dolled up for our trip! Need a closer look at those boots? Here you go...

If you're wondering how cold it was that day, here's a shot of the street outside. Yes, it's a winter wonderland, but when you're over 9 months pregnant, the ice can be treacherous. Luckily, Mike is a wonderful hubby and had shoveled all the snow before he left for work. You can see by the sidewalk that we had about 4 inches of snow after he left for work.

Well, off we went with Dee gleefully observing the cold snow without having to put a paw down in it. She is usually happy for the first 2 blocks. Then, when we got into other traffic on the main road, she would get less secure.

Our first stop, at Mickey D's, was for 2 diet cokes and 2 bacon, egg and cheese biscuits. Dee perked up while we were at the speaker in the drive-thru. She knew she would be getting a good part of both biscuits!

While we were safe and warm in Jaysa's go-mobile, I got a shot of the poor geese huffing and puffing their way thru the sky.

After leaving McDonalds, Dee got scared again and hit the floorboards...literally! She hates trucks for some unknown reason, especially garbage trucks.

So, we continued our journey with one passenger cowering on the floor...

You would think a pile of junk food from Mickey D's would be enough for us, but you would be wrong. We made one other stop before we made it home, some place really nutritious and good for you.

Not everybody knows how to party like a 9 and a half month pregnant person, but her mother does... Here's our take for the morning. Wow, who knew you could get Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin Doughnut treats in one building???

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hep Me Rhonda

In Texas you have to learn a new language when you come from the "outside". One of the things I find most intriguing is how the word help becomes hep in Texas. As in "Can ah hep you?" My Texan husband lived outside of Texas for over 25 years, but he never lost his drawl or ability to mangle words. So, when he asks "Can ah hep you?" (which often happens when I'm trying to do something in what he deems his lying on the floor trying to paint the baseboard trim), I usually go into fits of laughter.

Hep-ping usually involves deep concern on the part of the "Hepper". They often get anxious and you can often tell they want to just take over the project for the other, more hepless, person. Baily often looks anxious when wanting to hep Lily...especially when it involves hepping her eat.

Jaysa, on the other hand, is not a very good hepper, though I'm sure she would tell you I'm not the best student. Back in February, she was trying to hep me take a decent picture. There was some instruction on her part about holding down the one button until I'm ready, then taking the picture. But, I just couldn't get the hang of it and Mike and I laughed a little more than she thought was necessary... so this was the picture I got of her trying to hep me take better pictures.

Anyway, I've wandered away from the subject a little, because I started to complain that every time Gampy Bill asks me if he can "Hep" me, my crazy mind starts singing that old 60's song that goes Hep Me Rhonda, Hep Hep Me Rhonda... Now you trying getting the Texas rendition of that song out of your head today!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

When Is A House Not A Home?

When is a house not a home? Anybody who has ever put their home up for sale knows the answer to that! We've shined her up and had painters in to finish all the projects I started and didn't complete.

Every time the phone rings we're ready to leave at a few minutes notice, which takes quite a bit of engineering when you live with Gampy. The other day I let my guard down and was still in my PJ's at 9:25 am. That was a mistake...the phone rang and a sweet little girl from the real estate office said, "There is a realtor who will show your house between 9:45 and 10:15".... YIKES!!! I learned my lesson that day and they won't catch me lazin' around after 8 am again.

Now there is NO laundry in the laundry room (I do it after 9 pm each night so there's none in the hamper either.)

There's no magazines on the coffee table...well, there are in this picture, but there aren't any when we leave the house each day, just in case.

There are two brand new lights over the outside entrance, and a new rug at the door. By the way, the door has been sanded down and re-stained in a beautiful new mahogany finish on the outside (I'll get a shot of that later on.)

All the walls have been painted in the rooms I started, but couldn't quite commit to finishing. And the dining room walls have been done too. It was amazing to see the painter, Charles, start and finish the room the same day. Far different than my struggle that goes on for weeks with a lot of days off in between.

The pictures on the floor are Raymond and Jessie's and we're going to take them up to them. But I did notice how great they would look in the room if they were to be hung on the wall. Somewhat of a perfect match and would add so much more dignity than my chicken and rooster prints I'm so fond of. Hey, this girl knows her faults.

I wonder if people actually believe that we live like this? hmmmm, it's only been a week. I wonder how long we can last? Anyone taking bets?

I even took all the pots off the potrack and took down the spice jar. Then I spent one whole afternoon buying and arranging the towels below. Unfortunately, later in the week I saw some monogrammed ones I liked better so I'm preparing to spend another afternoon in that pursuit. And yes, Bill has been scolded and schooled to leave the perfect towels alone and use the meager one laid on the counter. It can be thrown in the hamper on our way out the door.

It's so hard to be perfect. But I think I'm finding my inner Martha and that can be dangerous. In fact, I've got 35 things on my To Do list regarding the house alone and have started a new blog called 'Finding My Martha' for dishing on creative things around the house. But, today I'm spending this Sunday looking for Bed-Bath-and Beyond's 20%-off-one-item coupons. Who knew you could use more than one coupon per visit? Well, maybe Jaysa the coupon queen, but I've always just made several trips each day when I had lots of their coupons. Duh!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In The Kitchen With My Friend

I was trying to get some shots of my dark hair, but the lights made it look lighter...or maybe I've finally washed it out enough to lighten it up.

Here's some close ups. There were more, but there was a fiasco with the picture uploading and all my pictures disappeared for an hour or so.

Anyway, I look like I'm back to my normal color, which is a real relief. The dark color was making me look tooooooooo young, right?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Carded At Sixty...Yay!

I had to dig up some pictures from the collection from the Chicago trip in Feb as Bill just got back last night and was in no shape to do a tutorial on uploading (or is it downloading?) pictures. So the picture above is when I still had decent, if not good, hair.

Last night Bill and I ordered the "2 for 1 Senior Special" at IHOP and the waitress asked to see my ID to prove I was 55...YAY! I happily pulled out my ID showing the big 6-0.

I wonder if she would've questioned my old age if she had seen the get-up I had on one day at Jaysa and Mike's? It was one of those first days with Baby Ben when lack of sleep and better judgement caused me to realize late one afternoon that absolutely nothing I had on that day (I was still in my pajama bottoms) in any way matched. In fact, it was an abysmal failure in the 'outfit' department.

Funny thing was, I had been wearing it all day (it was about 3 in the afternoon) and neither Mike nor Jaysa had even noticed the unique flavor of my duds. The only reason I noticed was because I think there was some discussion about who was going to make a chow run and I looked down to see if I could go as I was or if I needed to change.