Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017

Beautiful Days
March 19, 2017

Prolific single hibiscus plant by our driveway.  I
 counted over 50 blooms on it the day I took this photo.

The last few days here in South Texas have been beautiful.  The air is clean, the wind has not been too bad, and the temperatures have been like Spring should be.  Plants, trees, and the grass are bright green and trees and plants are blooming generously. 
Amaryllis blooming
While we were in Dallas, my Amaryllis plants began to bloom and they as beautiful as ever.  Some of them have now finished blooming, but others are just beginning to bud out.  I think Spring is my favorite season. 
Another amaryllis
The last couple of weeks have been filled mostly with catching up at my office.  I have been in and out of the office on a very irregular schedule lately.  I had a problem with a missing bank statement and so my January reports had not been sent to the accountant and I needed to be working on the February reports.  I finally got everything done this past Friday to send those two months to him, and it is almost time to do the March reports (well, 2 weeks away). 
Green Jay
Last Sunday night I broke a toe.  As the orthopedist asked, "Why do you keep doing this?"  I just don't know.  The last time was about 2 1/2 years ago.  When I saw him for this one, he said about the same thing he did on the last one.  He said this one is cracked.  It is aliened perfectly and he thinks it will heal fine if I just leave it alone and quit kicking things.  Right.  Sounds like a great plan.
 Brown Thrasher
The cracked toe made for a slow start this past week and it got slower as the week went on as I tried to compensate for the broken toe and caused pain in the opposite hip.  Then  during that and the previous week, I kept having nose bleeds.  I now have an appointment tomorrow morning to hopefully take care of that, although as often happens, as soon as the appointment was scheduled, the problem went away.  Glad it is gone, but hope the doctor can find the spot that caused the problem and take care of it.

A week ago, I took Mom and a friend, Becky Adams, to Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge to see what we could find in the way of birds and butterflies.  We did not do as well as on some trips I have made out there, but we did see a nice variety without having to go too far.  Mom waited inside the visitor center while Becky and I took a couple of trails in the area.  We saw Green Jays, Thrashers, Chachalacas, and Roadrunners as well as a baby deer. 
Green Parakeets
While Becky was here, we were hoping to find a flock of parrots or the Green Parakeets.  A few hours after I had taken her to the airport so she could return home, I found an area where dozens and dozens are spending the night - close to our office.  Normally I head home from work between 4:00 and 5:00, but this particular evening, still trying to catch up at work, I left the office between 6:30 and 7:00, as they were gathering.  What fun to watch these beautiful birds that are so playful.
Green Parakeets
These last two weeks have been filled with the beauty of God's creations.  I have enjoyed hearing some of the birds in our backyard.  One is noisy and must be right out the window beside where I usually sit to read.  I think it is a wren and he is really letting himself be heard.  He has not yet posed for a photo.
Roadrunner - isn't it amazing how God created 
him to blend into the surroundings where he lives?

Yesterday, our son's family caught a Budgie, a tame bird that was probably a pet that escaped.  They have named her Tweety and she is now residing in a new cage, surrounded by a loving family and is being watched by the family cats.  This may be a challenge, but I think Tweety will make it.  Thankfully all but one of the cats live outside and the inside one goes outside at night. 
Green Jay
God has blessed us in so many ways and we just can't thank Him enough for all He does for us and our family.  That does not mean we are free of all problems (like broken toes, and sicknesses, or deafness) but He is with us each step of the way, helping us cope with the problems that come along.  Our sons humble us with their unfailing devotion to their families, their concern and ministry toward others, and their love for the Lord.  At times we wish they all lived closer, but we know each is where God wants them at this time. 
Double hibiscus

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017

Another Grand Weekend!
March 6, 2017

For our state license for our locksmith business, we must take continuing education hours.  This past weekend we took ours.  We had a choice of three places to take our classes and for some crazy reason, I selected the city where our newest grandchild lives.  Can you imagine that?  Sitting through 17 hours of classes, knowing that our 3 1/2 week old grandson was across town was torture.
Late afternoon sun reflecting off downtown buildings

We drove all day Wednesday and still managed to see him briefly (and his parents) that evening.  The next day we had an 8 hour class but that day our daughter-in-law was sick and we weren't able to be with them.  We did run an errand or two for them.  Friday was another 8 hour class and following that we went to have supper with our son and his family and take turns holding our precious grandson.
Saturday, there was a trade show, but I spent the day in the hotel room, sleeping late and just relaxing .  After Ron came back from the trade show, we went to a nearby small town with a great quilt shop and I did some shopping.  Then late in the afternoon, we had a one hour class!  We did a little more shopping before going to our son's home for supper and more holding.

At one point, Ron made it known he was going to hold our grandson, and jokingly, our son suggested a bidding war.  I knew I had more cash on me than Ron did, but I also remembered that I had a Pizza Hut gift card I had bought for them weeks earlier and had not mailed.  All I had to do was bid with that and I won, hands down.  Bidding was closed.  It was so funny to see the look on my son's face when I placed my bid.  He thought this was all just a joke but happily accepted the gift card when I pulled it out of my wallet. 
 Early morning fog 
Ron had shared a story while we were visiting, about one day when our youngest granddaughter had a balloon that one of her brothers popped.  She was crying and crying.  Ron went out to the car and came back in with a package of balloons and handed them to her.  Our daughter-in-law was about speechless and wondered how we are both always prepared for such unexpected things (balloons and gift cards).  Ron told her it was part of being a grandparent.

Sunday after taking brunch to their home, we all ate together and got in some cuddles before starting the long trip home.  We arrived about 1:00 a.m.  It had been a good trip but we are both exhausted.  Ron opened the office this morning and after I arrived he said that he wanted to come home early and get some sleep.

Using the Cochlear mini mic helped in our visiting, but was of little use in the class.  The class on Thursday was pretty good much to our surprise.  We both enjoyed it.  The man spoke up well and I could hear a large percentage of what he said.  Friday was the opposite.  The speaker mumbled, was soft spoken and often turned away from the group when he spoke.  I really had to fight the desire to go to sleep.  There was one, one hour class on Saturday afternoon and it was not too hard to hear.

We used the mini mic in the car a lot and in restaurants.  In the proper settings, it is a lot of help.  Lots of plants were in bloom along the way, including some bluebonnets.  There were many flowering trees in full bloom, in the northern part of the state.

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 26, 2017

Grands Make the 
Weekend Grand
February 26, 2017

Enjoying the playroom alone

The last week follows the pattern of our weeks lately - busy.  As is often the case recently, I go to the office late in the morning.  I continue working on some assorted paper work.  Ron was in and out at the office - mostly in.  He took care of the majority of the customers and I kept busy at my desk.  Our eating out schedule was a little different.  We moved up our normal Thursday night with friends to Wednesday since we had grandchildren coming on Thursday afternoon. 

This was Charro Days week in town, and at the office, we closed Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon.  The two youngest granddaughters arrived Thursday mid-afternoon and I later picked up Chick-fil-A for our supper.  The older of the two spent time working on a quilt project she had started about a year or so ago.  She and her older sister each had a kit to make a quilt depicting wild horses.  She worked on hers for a couple of hours and finished about 1/2 of the remaining work.  Then she chose to "play" with the sewing machine, making little pillows and little quilts for the dolls and stuffed toys at our house.

All the time she did that, her youngest sister played quietly by herself with the large assortment of toys left from days gone by.  She had Fisher-Price toys in the playroom and Barbie dolls and little wagons in the dining room.  The sewing room was soon decorated with stuffed toys, doll beds, miniature quilts and blocks. 

The next morning, I got donuts for the girls and it was back to the same activities with the exception of us spending some time in the backyard filling the bird baths and watching the ducks out on the resaca (four different varieties at least), and enjoying a few flowers in the yard.  Back in the house, it was back to the sewing machine and the dolls for the girls.

Late that day, the oldest of the three sisters arrived and all the same activities continued along with watching some movies.  The two oldest of the girls stayed up very late to enjoy some movies.  Naturally we all slept in on Saturday morning.  Mid-morning I went to pick up new glasses I had ordered and was very pleased with my new sunglasses, but not with the regular ones.  I had agreed to try progressive bi-focals, but they are proving to be more of a challenge than I expected.

Finally the middle girl finished the quilt project and we rejoiced at the great job she had done.  I had done the majority of the cutting since it was cut with a rotary cutter, but she did all the sewing.  We were both so pleased with the outcome. Next, I will get my friend, Dolores to do machine quilting to complete the project.

Saturday mid-afternoon, the two youngest boys in the family arrived to join their sisters and they enjoyed playing with the assorted toys that were still spread around.  Most toys were picked up and put away before we took all 5 children to meet with their parents that evening for supper.  The boys had a good time and I was glad to have them here.  Ron had taken the oldest and youngest of the girls with him when he went to work on a repair project at his mom's house.  The girls delighted his mom and the older one was a great help to Ron with his repair job.

We met their parents and older brother (the oldest of the boys is away at college) in Weslaco at Milano's, an Italian restaurant, for supper and child return.  We had a very enjoyable evening in a secluded small dining room that just held our family.  The food was good and the company was great.  I used the Cochlear wireless microphone, but didn't need it as badly as I do at many places. 

These children are amazing in their ability to entertain themselves and each other.  The two youngest of the children were obviously tired and as the evening wore on for them, it became obvious they would be asleep before they were home.  

We fully enjoyed time with the grandchildren.  They had not been here for a visit since about Thanksgiving when they came to decorate our Christmas tree.  Maybe it was appropriate that they showed up just a couple of days after they tree was taken down!  Actually the decorations had long ago been packed up and put away, but Ron had not had time to take the tree down to store it until the day before they came.

Sunday we went to Sunday School and then I picked up Mom for church.  After the service, we went with Mom to lunch since we had missed supper with her Friday night.  She had not been feeling well.  We had a good lunch and another lady from the church joined us.  Following lunch Mom and I went grocery shopping while Ron took lunch to his mother.  It was about 3:15 by the time we got home and I was quickly sleeping and slept for about 5 hours.  It had been a busy week.  But, we had a GRAND time with our GRANDS (the grandchildren).

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 19, 2017

Busy Weeks Filled With
Precious Grandchildren
February 19, 2017

Quilt I made for our newest grandson - Scuffy the Tugboat
Looking back at the calendar, I know why I have not been able to do any updates.  My last entry was on Feb. 6 and our new grandson was born the following day.  That week, I was not at the office full time.  I had things I needed to do out of the office.  I got some of them done.  Then that next weekend we went out of town to meet our new grandson.
This was made for the new baby's daddy 
when he was a baby by Ron's mother.
Also, that week Ron's brother-in-law (his sister's husband) went in the hospital for emergency surgery.  We were able to visit him while we were out of town and to see Ron's sister briefly.  My brother-in-law, who broke his hip recently is still in the hospital.  The husband of a good friend passed away that week.  It was a rough week around here. 

The week had also included celebrations.  I had a birthday and Mom had one.  Now we have a male in the family with a February birthday.  My sister and Mom share the same birthday, so our family really knows how to celebrate in style for February.  It also includes my parents' anniversary, Valentine's Day, and a local celebration called Charro Days.  We can party all month long.
Spring is here!
My Mom left just before our birthdays to attend a wedding of one of her granddaughters that I would have enjoyed attending, but we were eager to go meet our grandson.  From that wedding, my mom went home with my sister and from there Mom, my sister and her husband left to go to the New England states so Mom could see some states she had not been to in her lifetime of travels.  She has been having a wonderful time and they will be returning to my sister's home tonight or tomorrow.  What an example my mom is at age 94! 
Our youngest granddaughter
When we returned from our weekend trip, it was 3:00 a.m. Monday morning of this week.  Ron got up and went to work.  About lunchtime, I went to the office and he came home to get some rest.  On Friday of this week, I left early that morning to go to McAllen to spend a couple of days with our grandchildren there while their parents went to visit our daugher-in-law's father in Kansas.  Our son had a meeting in that area and following the meeting, they stayed a couple of extra days for the visit.

What fun I had with the grandchildren.  They are getting older (too fast) and we had some great conversations and fun times.  They all interact so well with one another and pair off for different activities with different siblings.  They may play with one in the yard and another working a puzzle, and a third with Legos.  They just enjoy playing with each other.  They spent time in the yard playing with the cats and a couple of adorable kittens, or playing on the new swing set/jungle gym. 
One of the young kittens at our son's home
The oldest of the boys at home, went out Saturday morning with people from their church to share the gospel with others and as they do most Saturday mornings, had great results.  I love how their church focuses of telling others about our Lord Jesus Christ who came to pay for our sins with His death on a cross. 

It was a good couple of days.  The only thing that could have made it better, would have been if the oldest who is away at college could have been home and if Ron could have been there.  Ron spent Saturday rebuilding his mother's fence that had recently fallen down.  It was a big job for one guy but he got it all done.

Last week I had a doctor's appointment just before we went out of town and I love having the Cochlear wireless mic for those visits.  I have most of my doctors trained to ask for it as soon as they come in the examining room.  There was a student nurse who came in to do some questions before the nurse practitioner came in and I showed her how it worked.  As she finished, she returned it to me and said, "I like that!"  Yes, it makes a huge difference.  I did not have to ask her to repeat anything!
Fire trucks last week for fire across the street from us.
An interesting thing happened last week.  Usually when I get home, if Ron has stayed to work at the office or has gone to check on his mother, I take my sound processor off since there is no one to listen to.  He came in one evening and motioned me to the front windows.  There were fire trucks and police cars out front and of course I had not heard a thing.  After a couple of times talking to a police man, I found out that there had been a small fire and that things were under control.  There were some things they needed to take care of and the fire engines (6 of them) stayed for a long time.  I guess I never know what I am missing when I take the sound processor off.

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017

Wonderfully Wet Weekend
February 6, 2017

Saturday morning rain pouring off the roof over my sewing room
This weekend started out drippy and wet Friday evening and it rained off and on all night.  Saturday morning it was still raining and in all we got one and a half inches.  Saturday was supposed to clear off, but it stayed cloudy almost all day.  Mid-morning Saturday the sun tried to peek through the clouds and it was able to just briefly.  It rained again Saturday night a couple of times.
The sun came out briefly and turned the
 rain drops to glistening jewels in the trees.
It was a lazy, stay-at-home day for me on Saturday.  I was up early but napped in the middle of the day.  My day included some sewing, some cooking, some cleaning, some laundry, and some reading.  It was just an enjoyable day.  I had baked a ham and Ron took some to his mom late in the day.  Ron worked on a project for our next grandson who should arrive this coming Tuesday.  He also put away all the boxes of Christmas decorations.  The tree is still up, but everything else is done.  (It is an artificial tree.)
My mom with Jeff's second oldest child.
Sunday morning, we were up early and we picked my mom up about 8:30 for a trip to McAllen for the day.  It was a beautiful day in Brownsville, but before we got to McAllen the fog was thick and we were back in a wet weekend.  We went to Sunday School and church with our son Jeff's family.  Jeff was being ordained a deacon at the church where they are members.  Hearing at Jeff's church is difficult. They don't have the extras that our church does to make it easier for me to use my assorted Cochlear accessories in order to hear better.
Jeff's oldest girl.
Following church we went to their house for lunch and an afternoon of visiting.  The fog lifted during the morning, but there was very little sunshine during the afternoon.  The children scattered for the afternoon.  The youngest boy showed me how much he is enjoying the new swing set.  He is strong and daring!
Jeff's youngest son
The rest of the previous week (the end of January and start of February) was good.  At the office I was able to finish up the end-of-the-month work for the most part.  There are a couple of reports still to prepare, but everything is ready for them.  The statements were mailed and I also mailed the last of my Christmas cards - except for about 4 that go overseas.
Brown Pelican at Port Isabel
On Wednesday evening I rode with Ron to South Padre Island where he had a job to do for a business there.  I took some bird photos while he did that and then we returned to Port Isabel where we had supper at Pirates' Landing.  It was a good evening.  Thursday night we had supper with our friends and on Friday night we had supper with my mom and then I took her grocery shopping.
Brown Pelicans
On Thursday I had an appointment with my heart doctor to get the results of an earlier Echo Cardiogram, and he said my heart looked great.  He said there were a couple of minor changes from 3 years ago, but he was very pleased with what he saw.  After talking a while he did decide to send me to a pulmonary specialist but the first appointment we could work out is for May.
Jeff's youngest child with one of the baby kittens
During this past week we had contact with all of our sons and/or their families.  They are all so busy.  Our daughter-in-law in McAllen had taken their 3 girls on a trip.  Our son in New Mexico is preparing for a trip this week to California for business.  Our daughter-in-law in San Antonio had been busy with her Academic Decathlon team at competitions.  Our son and his wife in Dallas had spent the week awaiting the arrival of their infant son.  Each family is busy with their lives and so are we.  We just keep thinking of all the trips we want to make to spend time with them.
One of the recently finished receiving blankets
This past week, I was able to relax a little more, having finished most of the baby receiving blankets promised for our new grand son due this coming week.  I worked some on a quilt-in-progress that has been on the design wall for months.  I also started a new project and got about 2 dozen blocks made for it.  It is a quick easy project.
Another receiving blanket
Some birds have finally returned to the yard.  This year there have not been many at the feeders.  There have been some hawks around and that limits the other birds.  Saturday I had a good variety, including several green jays, several wood peckers, and several other birds - wrens, sparrows, and hummingbirds.
Jeff's middle daughter
Today, I can't hear myself talk.  It has nothing to do with my deafness.  I have lost my voice.  I can barely get out a croak.  My husband keeps saying, "I can't hear you."  That makes two of us.  I can't hear me either!