We had a great time with family this past month visiting here there and yon.No matter how nice it is to see family and visit with loved ones, there’s no place quite like home.
Home is where the heart is, just the two of us settling back into our little routine, enjoying each other’s company.Even though the house was clean, laundry finished and the ironing complete, it still took me a couple days to get into the swing of things.I made my way back to bed the last couple mornings after Bobby went to work.I felt quite lethargic, unable to do anything it seemed.
Today is a new day and I finally feel my normal chipper self up and at ‘em no prob.My feet hit the floor with a bounce this morning greeting this gorgeous day with no sign of going back to bed in sight.
We’ve experienced a change of weather the last couple mornings, the air is crisp and cool reminding me that autumn will be here soon.I’m ready to bid farewell to summer and welcome autumn’s bounty.It’s a time of harvest, a time to reap, a time where I look forward to those beautiful crisp days where I feel my soul awaken with new beginnings.
What started out to be a surprise 40th wedding anniversary get-to-gether with our family back in July turned into a great time with family and especially grabbing what my mother calls her ‘Monster’ by the horns. Mom and dad decided to go with the ‘POS – Point Of Sale’ system for their store and Bob and I could not have been happier for them. Mom purchased the whole kit-n-caboodle and Bobby and I dedicated our time in July to help my parents. We worked on their anniversary up until it was time to leave for dinner. They closed their store on Saturday and we continued to work.
Genius At Work
Bobby got all the software installed and we began to take inventory of the store establishing barcodes for the items.
We labeled and began to knock mom’s monster down bit by bit. We got so much accomplished but by Monday evening we were there till midnight working – actually Bobby was the one working on what seemed to be a huge problem. We knew mom’s computer was 4 years old but we were told her computer would be able to handle the ‘POS’ but with all the problems Bobby encountered and dealing with the technicians, we were told she needed a new computer.
Bobby and I came back to TX the next morning feeling a bit disheartened in the sense that mom’s new equipment would not be able to function with her old computer. Mom kept encouraged and continued to enter her items during our absence but we promised her that we would not leave her hangin’ and would return when our commitments were over, and that we did. Bobby and I returned once again to help mom with her awesome new computer and boy did this trip prove to be a great success. Mom already has over 1,200 items bar-coded and should wrap up the rest of her items soon. Bobby’s ‘THE MAN’, the one we all say many many thanks to for all of his hard work – ‘Job Well Done Bobby!’ Can I just say Bobby would bend over backwards for my family providing his knowledge and skills in any way he can. I appreciate that more than he will ever know, mom can call him day or night and he is always ready to lend a helping hand. She is all set up with her new computer ready to tackle all her sales. Her set-up is sweet and her scanner works like a charm, so the next time you make a visit to Historic Downtown to visit her, be prepared to witness a store up and running greeting the 20th Century the way it should be.
Today I’m supposed to be working around the house getting it all clean for our trip which I’m doing.I have my sheets in the dryer, laundry is all finished and my ironing is almost all complete.I need to dust, run the vacuum, clean my bathroom and I’ll have my chores finished.
I got a little side tracked when I watched my favorite show on HGTV this afternoon.I love, LOVE, LOVECraftersCoast To Coast and tape it every day.Today they featured a potter using something I had never heard of – gloves.Who would have thought of something so genius while throwing on the wheel?I love it when someone else thinks outside the box and I just happened to pick up on it.He never said a word about it but I was completely taken-a-back by how genius it looked.
I immediately dropped everything I was doing and put my work on hold for a min while I went to my studio and had my very own experiment with gloves.WOW!I not only loved using the gloves while I was throwing but I also liked the cleanup afterwards.It always takes quite a little while for me to clean up as I have wet clay everywhere, all up the sides of my arms and the worst is getting all that clay out from underneath my fingernails.I have an old toothbrush that I use on my nails to make them good as new.Today however was a breeze.I finished throwing my bowl, folded in the sides to make an interesting form on the outside, took off my gloves and Ta Da, my hands are CLEAN!
I’ll cover the bowl in plastic to keep it moist so that I can finish it when we return.I plan to add 3 long coiled feet to the bowl once its leather hard and who knows what other details will follow.I won’t be able to smooth the sides ‘til after we return but here is an idea of what I made and what my hands would have looked like when I was finished.
Ever wake up and wonder what day it is?Well that happened to me this morning.I didn’t recall hearing the alarm when Bobby rolled out of bed and I lay there in a puzzled state trying to think for the life of me what day it was.I thought it was the weekend but my I could not get a clear picture.I finally realized it was Tuesday and bounced out of bed to get Bobby’s clothes laid out.I told Bobby about my little confusion and he said…“The same thing happened to me, I thought it was Saturday at first.”I replied “that’s weird we both thought it was the weekend” and he said,“I forgot to set the alarm last night, that must have thrown both of us off this morning.”I finished getting his lunch packed and off to work he went.
I’m finally on Tuesday’s page and getting on with my work for the day.
Pottery, that sounds like a foreign word around here as I have not had much time in the studio all summer.I’m looking forward to getting back in the studio and whipping up a few more purses and what-have-you.
Before I get back to the studio, we have just one more trip to end the summer and then I will be rockin’ in my studio.
We leave for Florida this coming Thursday for a long weekend with my parents.I know you read the lengthy details about our family reunion to Arkansas to see Bobby’s mom and family and I plan to tell more about our summer visits to Florida after we return next week.
Until then, I’m catching up on laundry and will leave the house clean as a whistle so that when we return I can get wrapped up in my clay zone.
Kristy and Adam Beginning their trek back to Michigan. I feel like we are finally able to come up for air as we have been busy with trips and company since the end of July. We have no set schedule and we plan to just let the day unfold one coffee break after the other. It feels so good not to have a plan, it feels so good to chill, and it feels so good to have Bobby home with me for the weekend.
Kristy made it to Michigan early last evening and they had a nice smooth road trip. I was so happy to here that they arrived safe and sound. Bobby did a great job on her car getting everything just so before her trip which was great. She is delighted to have her car this year and she plans to start job shopping right away.
Lauren made it safe and sound to Guatemala and here are a few words from Lauren that we received via e-mail.
This is definitely a beautiful place. The flight was okay. I love my host family. They are such caring and God humored people. I have locks for my door and the front door so don’t worry about anything. Cesar and Eva (my host mom and dad) are wonderful. I have 2 host sisters, 18 and 15. And one host brother Samuel whose 13. I have a lot of fun teasing him- I’m picking up on Spanish quickly from the school, the family, and all of the locals that I meet. We have all of our meals together, which is nice. I know at least enough Spanish to keep the dinner table laughing. By the way, Eva’s laugh is amazing. They have officially asked me to just stay permanently, but I told them I have a family. They like me a lot. Cesar is a very good man and he makes jewelry. He’s quite small and funny. Eva is larger and so happy. She cooks all of my meals. I wake about to blue sky and white clouds back dropped by mountains and 3 huge volcanoes. The streets are cobbled and rough. The buildings are multi colored and colonial. Mayan women and children sit in the parque central and try to sell hand-made goods. I even have a favorite mayan nena (a girl around 5-10 years old.) she tried to get me to buy her a beer yesterday. My school is amazing. My teacher is 19 and her name is Marta. We joke most of the time but the talking is good practice. And I even kicked her butt in Spanish scrabble yesterday. We study on the terrace, or roof of the building. The weather is beautiful and we overlook the city with an amazing view of the biggest volcano. The food is great. Everything is cheap. The people are so warm and friendly. Life is simple. And treasured. I have met many great people. I have breakfast in the morning with the family. After I leave class at 12 we walk home and have lunch. After lunch I usually shower and finish homework. And then me and my friends from the school walk through the city. Usually we sit for a while in the parque central and talk to locals. Just by sitting on a bench next to people I have learned so much. Dinner is at 7 and always a fun time. I joke a lot with Samuel (my chubby little host brother.) afterwards me and some friends meet at the corner at 8:30 to go out. I never go alone. And we are never out too late. Tonight we are going to salsa. I leave for the village next Monday or Tuesday, so in the meantime Antigua is very beautiful.
After the events in our lives going to and fro and the company…, things are coming to almost a complete halt.Kristy and Adam are getting ready for their journey as I speak and should be on the road in approx 30 min.The strangest feeling came over me that our trips and company are almost over.It’s sort of a good/sad feeling all wrapped in one.I guess a milestone in the sense that Kristy is leaving and I have not had a chance to really devour that one.Our summer visits to ‘Razzoo’s’ (the restaurant where Kristy was a server) are over.Kristy will no longer wait on us with her friendly smile.I will no longer hear “Debbie, how does this look or what shoes should I wear with this outfit, can you French braid my hair…?”I’m going through a reflective time this morning hoping I did my best.I was here for her to show support and provide encouragement.I remember even yesterday telling her how pretty she is and how nice she looked.Those days are over and time for us to turn a new leaf.
I started writing this post about an hour ago and now I’m picking up where I left off.The goodbyes have been said and they are now on the road.I kept taking the last min. pics; I took a pic of them having their last breakfast around the table together and several other pictures.Kristy even wanted to get pics of Adam and me together as well as pics with her too.The sky is pretty blue but inside I feel a cloud hovering and my throat has swollen and I feel that lump way back there in the back of my throat.Goodbye Kristy, we wish you the very best and may you always remember you can count on us to be right there by your side no matter what.
I’m honestly looking forward to just Bobby and me and I look forward to a new chapter in our lives to celebrate the two of us.I’ve been thirsting for our time alone for a little while now and I’ll be ready for him to walk through that door tonight.We have much to be thankful for and I’m blessed to have my very best friend as my husband.We look forward to great days ahead.
Kristy and her Bo are the cutest little couple; he dotes over her and even me too. Today Adam was in the mood to play some chess and wanted a match with me. That really surprised me as I thought I’d be ‘cramping’ their style. Kristy was even bragging to her friends that Adam and I had a 50 min. chess game this afternoon. Kristy, Adam and I met up with Bob this evening for a tour of the Lockheed plant as Adam had such an interest in going there. The cute couple had me ride along with them so that I could ride with Bobby on the way home. Adam insisted that I sit in the front with Kristy and would not have it any other way. This Adam is a keeper and quite the gentleman. After our tour of the plant we took the cute couple to Railhouse which is famous for their BBQ. Adam needs to experience TX so we are cramming in as much as possible in so little time.
The funniest thing was last night as Kristy and Adam were leaving for the movies. I said in a very serious voice “We expect one thing out of you two while you are here in our home” Kristy shot me a look like I have never seen and Adam looked at me as if to say, whatever you want, you got it… Then I said “we expect you two to have a good time”. Kristy’s face broke to a silly smile and Adam chuckled and then they were off.
They are downstairs at this moment watching a movie with Kristy’s friend Arianne and her Bo Seth. It’s funny how the girls are being silly with lots of chuckles and the guys; well they are talking in normal tones. I hope they are having a good time as these may be the last few days we have Kristy here in our home for this length of time. She plans to stay in MI next summer to work, so the next time she comes home will more than likely be for a brief visit. As life has its cycles so do we, we are at the stage in our lives where we are looking forward to the empty nest and back to us again. Take time to smell the roses as the path along the way changes each and every day.
Our weekend was jammed with all sorts of activities and I feel like I’ve been on yet another vacation having company this past week. Bobby made an appointment with Lockheed and scheduled a family visit and tour of the plant on Friday. Lars, our 17 year old nephew enjoyed this visit especially since he wants to go into engineering like his uncle Bob. Bobby arranged for an extra long cart to escort us around the plant which was a bonus as the plant is one mile long + 50 feet. There was much to absorb and even got to see the new F-35 AKA “Lightning II” full scale model which was really cool. What can I say, Bobby always makes a great presentation and in my opinion, he’s the best tour guide of the entire plant.
After our visit to Lockheed, we took our guests to a very famous mom and pop BB-Q. Now this BBQ is not just any BBQ, it’s down right Texan – all the way! The walls are adorned with many, many mounts and gives the feeling of being in good ole Texas. The BBQ is out of this world as this restaurant is always packed with cowboys and good ole southern gals alike.
After our feast we moved along to our favorite upscale grocery store in Fort Worth known as Central Market. Even my nephew Lars made the comment to me while shopping in this store… “I feel like a bush boy in the city for the first time”. This is a very unique grocery store – more like an experience. The produce selection is unheard of and has the largest selection of freshly baked breads I’ve ever seen in one place. The store houses literally 100’s of cheeses from around the world and has the largest array of olives I have ever seen. Central Market is a place we take all of our guests as one needs to experience this delightful place young and old alike. Central Market offers all sorts of classes for cooking and decorating and I could go on and on about this store… Guess you’ll have to come here to experience this fabulous place for yourself…
Saturday morning greeted us with fresh pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash browns and several choices of morning beverages. Dan took Lars to the water park and Rita and Bobby worked on an album for ma. Bobby and Rita want to get all ma’s pictures from her childhood to present on DVD to show as a movie. Bobby and Rita also worked on the words to write ma’s life story. We are planning a surprise for ma’s upcoming 80th birthday in October and want to have this arranged for the party. We have a copy of ma’s address book and we are planning to invite her friends for this grand occasion.
Saturday evening we took everyone to Texas de Brazil restaurant in Fort Worth. What an experience for one and all. Everyone is offered the salad bar along with a little red/green card, Turn your card to green and prepare to be swarmed by a troop of carvers generously serving various cuts of sizzling Angus beef, lamb, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage. These delicious cuts are accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and sweet fried bananas. Turn your card to red when you are stuffed and can’t take another bite and the gentlemen will stop asking if you are ready for more meat. That was a time well spent with family around the dinner table.
Sunday morning we gathered around the breakfast table with a bountiful breakfast and we shared our last meaningful meal together as a family before Dan, Rita and Lars made their way to the airport. We had such a great time with them and look forward to our next visit in the future.
I’m now preparing for Kristy’s boyfriend to arrive today. I have the sheets in the dryer and the house almost cleaned. Adam will be here early this afternoon and I am once again planning for a nice evening meal and should be a great time with Kristy and Adam before they leave for college.
What a terrific evening we had with Rita & Family yesterday.We left for a late lunch/early dinner around 3:00 and then came home to relax, play some chess and catch up with the latest family news.
Dan prepared Swedish pancakes for breakfast which were quite yummy with melted butter, strawberry preserves and powdered sugar.We had all the other breakfast fixin’s to go along with that which made for a very good and filling breakfast.
Tonight we plan to grill chicken and have my twice baked potatoes with some veggies, rolls and a salad.When Rita found out that I love Crème Brulee coffee cream she insisted that we make the real thing for our desert this evening.I can’t wait to try her recipe.
The house is clean from top to bottom and even ran the vacuum again after the crew left for Dallas this morning.My kitchen is clean with the dishes unloaded form the dishwasher and ready for the next yummy meal.I have one more load of laundry to finish and then I can relax for a spell.
What a wonderful time we shared with ma this past weekend. Our family surprised ma with a family reunion including all her children.
There were a total of 18 including 7 grandchildren and her great grand baby.
We all gathered at the nursing home on Friday evening to surprise ma. The nurse’s aids had the Chapel available for us and when we all were situated in the Chapel they wheeled ma in. The aid asked ma… “Do you know all these people” ma was in such shock that she immediately said “no”. Upon taking a closer look at the crew which did not take a split second she began to cry tears of joy. She was so thrilled to see everyone and so very surprised.
Friday evening we took ma to the steak house restaurant down the road for a nice family dinner where we could all enjoy our meals and have a nice visit. After dinner ma was tired and wanted to rest so we left her Friday evening with a happy heart.
All of the couples and 3 of our nephews went back to the hotel where we turned Dan, Rita & Lars’ adjoining rooms into the “game rooms”. Bobby packed so many games but Pictionary was the #1 choice for the evening, we brought my large easel, white board, markers and dry eraser which was a big hit. We played Pictionary till the early morning hours with all of us practically collapsing in the party rooms. I hope our neighbors were able to sleep as it’s hard to keep a room of 9 people playing Pictionary to a soft whisper.
It was time to rise n’ shine early Saturday morning; well shall I say 7:00 am to start our day with horseback riding. Everyone was ready to hit the trail early so that is exactly what we did. Please see our horseback riding pics in the blog below. After our nice ride we came back to the hotel where we rented the conference room for the entire day and all night. The ambulance transferred ma to the hotel for us and we kept her there till 6:00 pm.
Ma, Hubby and me
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law arranged for a nice Chinese lunch and brought back a wonderful feast for all 18 of us. After our lip-smackin’ lunch we gathered around the table for some BINGO, which is ma’s favorite game. Bobby and Rita took care of the prizes for the game and everyone won at least 2 prizes each.
Chris, Jim & Ma – Notice our family playing with 2 BINGO cards each!
Our nephew calls BINGO to get yet another prize!
More BINGO fun.
Notice we are all playing with 3 BINGO cards each, that’s the way we play!
After our BINGO session Hubby moved right along with the Karaoke set that we brought. Our nephew Brian started it off with “Johnny Be Good”. Karaoke was such a big hit and everyone enjoyed that immensely.
The ‘Old Fogies’ against the 7 grandchildren in an afternoon game of Pictionary.
Later that evening Hubby and company enjoyed a Texas Holdem – Midnight Poker Tournament. Don’t let them baby blue’s fool you as Our nephew was the winning player, winning all the chips.Our nephews/brothers enjoy a checker game together.
We had a fun filled day from start to finish and we hope to do this again next year.
There were 11 of us to show up for horseback riding and what a beautiful cool morning it turned out to be.
Saddle up them horsesChris, Trey and Luke giving lots of affectionOur son Ryan getting set for a rideBobby’s oldest sister Rita and her husband Dan getting situatedLars (Rita and Dan’s only child), Dan and Jim (Bobby’s older brother)Jim and his wife ChrisMy Darlin’, Chris & Jim bringing up the rear.
We can’t have a family gathering without a little football. The boys are all quite fond of their uncle Bob and want him on their team. Nothing pleases Bobby more than playing ball with his nephews. The boys also want Aunt Deb out their playing too which I normally do. This time I had to decline as I had a little dress on with high heal flip flops which would not work very well in this sort of game. I became the photographer and referee.
A team pose before the game begins.
Bobby and the boys in for a group huddle before the play.
Down Set Hike!
After a hard game Bryant shares some plays he put on paper with uncle Bob.
Bryant had a little tumble and Uncle Bob procedes to lift him to his feet.
The older guys taking on the younger guys in a very close game.
The younger men were wearing out the older men when uncle Bob anounced that the game would now go to sudden death. Whoever scored next would win the game. The ball went to the younger men and wow did they make a miraculous play to win the game. Great Game Guys!
Mom and dad celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a surprise visit from all their children. What a great time we shared together with mom and dad. We had a nice evening out with the family and all enjoyed a fabulous dinner.