Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016
May 30, 2016

Ron was up early and left me sleeping.  We closed the office for the day, but he had things to do.  I woke up about 8:00 and ended up spending the rest of the morning dozing off and on in the recliner.  I did go out in the yard for a bit to fill the feeders so I could enjoy watching the birds.

Around 2:00 I fixed some lunch and Ron took a nap.  He also spent a little time in the yard, mostly moving the sprinklers (before the rain).  And then, don't you know how it is, it rained.  Then the sun came out and the sky cleared.  Then it rained again, heavier this time, and before long the sun came out making all the water drops on the trees and shrubs, glisten with the sun shining on them.

I spent time in the kitchen unloading and reloading the dishwasher, cleaning the counters a little and putting away some groceries from my shopping trip a few days ago that were still in the shopping bags.  I read for a while and then did a little cleaning in the sewing room.  Ron went to see his mom and spend some time with her.

Since the ground was soft after the rains, I spent a while out there pulling weeds.  I filled the feeders again.  The Chachalaca that had been on the fence the previous day, was on the roof of the house next door just wandering around.

It was a restful day and I think Ron and I both needed that.  It is the day when we honor the men and women who have died serving our country in the military and many friends posted on Facebook, photos of their dads, granddads, cousins, uncles, and spouses who served our country.
It was not a good day for a cookout.

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 29, 2016

Sleepy Sunday
May 29, 2016

We have several sunflowers that have come up 
under the bird feeders and Ron planted others.

Sunday morning was the start of another sleepy day.  Ron left early to go see his mother before class.  I managed to get ready and was only a few minutes late to our Sunday School class.  We had a good group in class and they were very attentive.  We have been studying the book of Revelation for a while and are almost finished.  They all seem to really have enjoyed the series.

Church was good with an excellent sermon.  The crowd was down when the service started, but by the time he started the sermon we had a good congregation.  Several are out of town for the holiday weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day where we honor those who have given their lives in service to our country.

The church was serving lunch, but Ron and I were both so tired we came home to a simple lunch.  In fact Ron went to sleep before lunch and ate later in the afternoon.  We had both been up early Saturday morning and had come home late Saturday night.  I slept all afternoon and into the evening.
This Chachalaca spent much of the afternoon
 on the fence to the backyard.
In church I was able to use the radio hooked up to my Cochlear Implant to hear the sermon well.  It makes a big difference.
These are very noisy birds, but interesting to watch.

I spent just a little time in the yard and continue to enjoy the blooming hibiscus plants.  They are lovely this year.  We do need rain.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 28, 2016

Graduation Party
May 28, 2016

Our grandson
Our son Jeff's oldest son graduated from the Johnston Academy this month.  The Johnston Academy is the name the family gave to their home school.  This young man has been home schooled since he started his education.  His mother has been his teacher for 12 years.  In recent years, some of his classes were video classes or on line classes, but it was still up to his mother to take care of assignments and classroom work.  He did well in school but sometimes put off assignments as long as possible.  In many ways he is a normal teenager and in others he is as outstanding a young man as can be found.  He has excelled in piano, scouting, writing short stories, and Bible memory work.  He is a fun young man.
 Here are Ron and I with our grandson where he had 
been playing some music on their baby grand piano.
The actual graduation ceremony was earlier in May.  Several home schooled seniors came together for the graduation ceremony and it was very well done.  It was so personalized.  Then the party was Saturday evening, May 28.  
M&Ms specially printed for the party
A few days ago his mother asked if I would like to make the cake for his party.  Of course I would!  I asked if she had anything particular in mind and she suggested clowns.  For his first birthday I did a cake with clowns on it and those clowns have become a family tradition.  There were many captions I considered for the cake.  He has enjoyed being the class clown.  He can be very serious, but has a wonderful sense of humor.  I predict it will take him far through the rough times in life.

Ron got me up at 5:30 as I had requested so I could get the cake baked.  I worked in the kitchen for a while preparing for the job ahead.  I baked the cake (3 cake mixes) and late in the morning, I started the decorating.  I made a huge batch of frosting and instead of the usual clown heads I use on the clowns for the cake, I had found some small plastic figures that I was able to add graduation hats to for the clowns.

There was a billboard on the back of the cake proclaiming that he had graduated and telling of his future plans to attend college in Florida at Pensacola Christian College.  He and his dad flew to Florida a few weeks ago to visit the college and made a final decision.  He is now eagerly awaiting the time to head to Florida in the late summer.

Ron helped me during the early afternoon as I was finishing up some of the decorations.  I wanted the billboard spray painted brown.  I had found the paint and started to spray in on a box to be sure it was still good and the color I wanted.  Somehow I managed to spray it into my eyes.  I hurried into the house calling to Ron and handing him the spray can as I started washing my eyes out.  I asked him to read what it said to do if "spray gets in eyes."  It said wash eyes with large amounts of water.  So I did that.  Thankfully it worked. 

Ron took over the painting and construction of the billboard.  He did a very nice job.  And he didn't get any paint on himself.  He also helped on reconstruction of some of the little figures for the clown heads.  I put part of the cake together at home but put the finishing touches on it when we arrived in McAllen a little early for the party.
Other home school graduates 

The cake turned out very nice.  It was yummy as well as cute.  I enjoy doing cake decorating in my spare time but I manage to get the entire kitchen dirty in the process.  I left a big clean up job to come home to late last night.
The cake, finished
The party was from 5:00 - 8:00 and included a delicious supper and lots of snack foods.  There was a good turnout.  Most of the home school students who participated in the graduation came to the party along with many of their parents.  There were friends from our church here in Brownsville, their church in McAllen, family, and assorted other friends.
Long time friends and new friends 
The food was great.  They had made pulled pork burgers, several types of salads, several choices of chips, sodas, veggie trays, fresh fruits, and cake.  Since I had not had time to eat all day, I was glad for the delicious buffet choices.
Visiting with old friends
People stayed and visited, getting acquainted with new friends and watching a video in the living room of photos from the graduate's growing up years.  Several younger children were there and were quickly drawn into play with the younger children in the family.
An evening of fun for all ages
It was about 10:15 before we left to head home and we arrived about 11:30.  The children had spent time playing with the growing puppies, and the cats. 

What a joy it was to celebrate this young man's accomplishments.  He has so many possibilities ahead of him.  He plans to major in Pastoral Studies.  It will be interesting to see where God leads him in the years to come.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

Oh, My Aching Back!
May 27, 2016

The air is clean and clear after a few days of haze.

This morning if Ron tried to wake me before he left, he failed.  When I woke it was 8:30.  I got up and after a bit took my shower.  I bent over for a couple of seconds and could tell my back had just decided to rebel.  Ouch!  It has hurt for the rest of the day.  Ron suggested I stay home and I accepted his kind offer.  I spent the day in the recliner napping off and on - mostly on.  I did nothing.  I did not eat, sew, read, clean house.  I curled up and tried to be still.

Late in the day I told Ron if Mom called about supper, I would pick her up.  She emailed me and so we had supper together.  We went to Pepe's again and had a good supper with a smaller crowd. The restaurant was fairly noisy to still not be too busy.  We did use the Cochlear mini-mic.  It seemed to pick up sounds from the entire restaurant.  I could hear a lady 3 tables away.  I don't know if she was just extra loud or what.

After we ate and visited, Ron went to see his mom and I took my mom to get groceries.  While she shopped at Wal-Mart for groceries, I looked for something to kill the bugs on our plants in the yard.  Both Mom and I got what we needed and then I took her home.  On the way out of the parking lot at Wal-Mart there was a beautiful sunset and I stopped to take a couple of photos.

Once I got Mom home, I unloaded her groceries and then came home to unload my few purchases.  I spent the evening in the recliner again and talked to our daughter-in-law in New Mexico for a bit.  Her knee has been hurting a lot since she got home.  It makes my back ache seem minor.  I can still be up and about. 

It was nice I was able to be at home today.  I would not have been much help at the office.  Tomorrow will be a busy day so I need to be up early.  Looking forward to fun times tomorrow.  I will let you know all about it later.

May 26, 2016

A Good Day
May 26, 2016

Ron woke me this morning as he left.  I turned over and went back to sleep for another hour.  Oops!  Not intentional, but still a problem that I am blaming on my medications.  I did get to the office at about the regular time.

Once at the office, I spent some time on the computer.  Ron was in the office most of the day, but there were a few times that I helped with customers.  I am slowly working on a stack of miscellaneous papers on my desk.  I got a few new files made today.  Tomorrow I need to do some sorting of that stack.

My day went by slowly.  I have a couple of projects I need to start working on soon and my creativity is at a standstill.  I paid bills and left a little early to mail the checks before meeting our friends for supper.

We went to Texas Roadhouse and the food was so good.  We were catching up on visiting.  They were eager to hear about our weekend with our kids in San Antonio.  We were eager to hear about the Sunday School party we missed while we were gone.  It was something new and different for the group.  At supper I could not use my mini mic because I had left my remote control for it at the house in the charger.  The phone clip does not have to have the remote to function, but the mini mic does. 

After supper Ron went to check on his mom and I came home and spent about 30 minutes in the yard taking care of feeders, watering plants, and filling ponds.  The mosquitoes are so bad and they love to chew on me.

The rest of the evening was relaxing as I did some reading.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

Unexpected Pleasures
May 25, 2016

Every morning, Mom's helper/caregiver, picks some
 hibiscus blooms for bring in the house for Mom to enjoy.
This morning I was able to wake up more easily than some mornings, but ended up napping at the office a couple of times today.  Ron was in the office most of the day working on things customers had brought in for repairs and working on bids for jobs.  I got to the office about 10:00.  I have had a bad headache the last couple of days.  It is very hazy here and I am not sure if that is a factor or not. 

Customers seemed to come in clusters as often happens.  It can be quiet for an hour and suddenly there are 3 groups who need to be waited on all at once.  I worked on bookkeeping off and on all day.  Finally at the end of the work day I had a deposit to take to the bank and did that just before leaving.

During the middle of the day, I had an email from Mom saying Barbara and the kids would be at her house for lunch and could I join them.  I had already eaten by the time I saw the message but Ron said he could handle things so I went for about an hour.  It is always good to see them.  They are growing up way too fast.  What a treat that was in the middle of my day.

After work I went by Mom's to see if she needed groceries.  She still had some of the grandchildren and they were spending the night, so that took priority over shopping.  She sure loves to see the kids.  Barb had gone by the rehab hospital and visited Ron's mom during the morning.  I am sure that really delighted her.  I stayed at Mom's a little while before I left to do some grocery shopping for our house.  As I was leaving Mom's, we spotted a yellow jacket nest on the gate to her front deck.  I called Ron and asked him what I needed to do and he said he would take care of it.  I really appreciated that.  
Beautiful Boston fern around the birdbath at Mom's house
By the time I got home, it was after 7:00 and I had groceries to put away and supper to fix.  Ron was still not home since he had gone to see  his mother.  We had a very simple supper and thankfully I had taken care of things in the yard before going to the office this morning.  It was almost dark by the time I sat down to relax for a bit.

Talked briefly to our oldest son.  Again used the Cochlear phone clip and it sure does help!  He has been on vacation for the last week and goes back to his office tomorrow.  He had enjoyed the time off.  So glad they spent part of it with us in San Antonio. 
* All photos today are from Mom's yard.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016

Just An Ordinary Day
March 24,2016

Today I made it to the office by about 9:30.  For me, that is pretty good.  I balanced my check book, did a little filing, and looked up some old information for Ron.  I picked up some lunch and started working on a bank deposit.  Those things and waiting on some customers about summed up my day.

Ordinarily I don't like to discuss politics with strangers, but yesterday a man asked me who I was going to vote for.  We ended up talking a long time about the election situation and the mess in the country in general.  The man had some very intelligent answers, but one or two things just did not line up with the rest.  It made me think how many people want things "both ways".  They basically want conservative government, but still want to allow abortions or other "socially" accepted sins.  He liked that we have Obamacare, but was upset that his adult children were paying twice as much for insurance now as they did a couple of years ago.

Years ago, our youngest son had heard some cute one minute skits on a Christian radio station.  He asked me to see if I could get copies of the scripts.  I was able to track them down and the one that I still remember the best sounded like a TV sales pitch for The Erasable Bible.  In the dialog, the salesman was offering a Bible where you could erase any section that you didn't agree with; any of the things you didn't want to be told to do or not do.  It was a cute, but very convicting monologue. Just this past week, someone posted a sign on Facebook listing the Ten Commandments, saying that they are not multiple choice. 

At the office, I never know what discussions will come up with the customers.  We  have an old poster up in the office from when our church dedicated our new auditorium years ago.  While people wait for their turn to be waited on, they often look around and spot that poster and bring it up in discussion.  They may ask, "Oh, is that your church?" or  "A few weeks ago I drove by that church and saw all sorts of activities out front: bounce houses, water slides, face painting...  What was going on?"  I am amazed how often that poster that has been up for years, starts conversations.

After work, I came home and Ron went to check on his mother.  She continues to make progress.  Her son-in-law (her daughter's husband), who had surgery in Dallas a couple of weeks ago is still not recovering well from his cancer surgery.   He is unable to keep any food down.

I slept for a couple of hours when I got home.  Then woke up and did a few chores.  Our oldest son and his wife arrived home this evening from their trip to San Antonio.  They met the Texas Governor on their way home and had him sign their copy of his book.  What a treat!  Our oldest grandson had recently posted a photo of himself and the governor.  Our Texas Governor does get out and about.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Back to Work
May 23, 2016

Hibiscus we gave Mom for Mother's Day.  Lots of blooms!

Following our wonderful weekend, it was back to the office this morning.  Ron went by to check on his mom before he went to the office.  She continues to do well.  I did some unpacking at home and got to the office about 10:00.  Ron left on a job.  I stayed busy with customers while he was out.  Then when he came back I did some paper work and suddenly realized it was past time for me to leave for my appointment with the thyroid doctor in Harlingen.  I hurried and made it just a couple of minutes late.
Poinsettia Mom has enjoyed watching through several phases.
The assorted blood tests and the CT scan she had ordered, showed that all is well.  The numbers that had been off in the previous two blood tests were back to normal.  She will test them again in 3 months, but says there is nothing to change at this point.
Rose bush we gave Mom for Mother's Day
After getting gas in the car and picking up lunch at 4:00, I got back to the office and Ron left on another job.  I locked up since he had not returned.  I went by my mom's house to see how she was doing.  She is doing well.  We talked about my trip and it was nice to watch all the bird activity in her backyard.
Mom's yard is lovely!
Once I got home I spent about 45 minutes in the yard, watering some plants, and checking on a few things.  Back in the house, I made a sandwich for supper.  Ron was late, having stayed a long time to talk to his mom. 

Probably, I need to get to bed!

May 22, 2016

Sleeping Late in San Antonio
May 22, 2016

Stephen's wife going through a box of dishes for their new kitchen remodel.
Those of us at the hotel slept late. Saturday had been a great day, but the afternoon had been hot and humid.  We were all drained.  Then we did stay up late.  It had been a wonderful day.  Since there is a Bill Miller's Bar-B-Q in front of the hotel, after Stephen and his wife headed home to Dallas, several of us decided to walk over there for breakfast tacos.  When we got there, much to our surprise, we ran into Stephen and his wife!  They had decided as they were about to get on the freeway, that it would be easier to eat breakfast there than on the road.  So we got another meal with them.
More dishes for the new, almost finished kitchen
When Dave and his family got out of church, they called and we all met again at the Bar-B-Q place to have lunch.  It was great food and another wonderful time of visiting.  Soon Ron and I returned to our room and started loading the car.  Dave stayed a while.  His wife took the kids home.  Bob and his wife were staying for another night and were able to have supper with Dave's family.  It was probably about 3:00 before we left to come home.
An early Father's Day coffee cup for Ron
We are so proud of all our sons and their families.  Each is unique, but alike in their love for the Lord and for each other.  Each couple and family unit is precious to us.  It is hard to believe there will be two high school graduations this year: our grandson in McAllen and our grandson in San Antonio (Dave and Diana's nephew).  Where have the years gone?  These times together seem to get more special each time.
Ron and me with our youngest son and his wife.
Our trip home was quiet.  I read and Ron listened to books on CDs or other recorded things.  I slept some. As for my hearing, things went very well.  I used the mini mic several times.  None of the places we ate were extremely loud.  The place on the River Walk was very quiet. 

Our hotel was across the side street from an ambulance/fire station.  I was afraid that would be a problem.  At night I never heard a thing from them.  (Of course I did not have on my sound processor.)  I asked Ron Sunday morning if he heard any ambulances during the night and he said, "yes, seven."  My world is very quiet at night once I take off the sound processor.

We got home about 8:15, unloaded the car and relaxed.  What a wonderful weekend we had!

May 21, 2016

Tour of Tiny Homes
May 21, 2016

My favorite of the tiny homes
The hotel served breakfast every morning, but Ron may be the only one who was up in time to take advantage of it.  He and Bob picked up Shipley donuts for the rest of us.  After we all ate and were ready, we went across town to a coin shop where David works on Saturdays.  Everyone had a good time looking at the various things for sale.

From the coin shop, we went to a fabric shop so that I could look for quilt fabric with Stephen and his wife so I can make their double wedding ring quilt.  We had decided that I would not try to make it before their wedding.  There were too many decisions that had to be made on other things at that time.  They have been thinking and are about ready to actually select fabric.  I bought some samples and will made up a ring or two to show they how they will look so they can see if that is what they really want.
Tiny home ready for auction
Next stop was lunch at Jim's.  Diana and the kids joined us and we had a good meal and a good time.  My favorite memories of the years while all four of our sons were living at home, center around the laughter at mealtime.  So now when we gather for meals, they pick up where they left off.  We had seen all of them in the last year, but they had not all been together during that time since late last summer.

The next stop was one that Dave told us about.  There is a high school in San Antonio that has a building trades school.  For the last couple of years, the students have been building Tiny Homes.  If you watch HGTV, you probably have seen the new craze of people wanting to live with a minimum amount of space and "stuff".  The homes we saw were about 150 sq. ft.  Some were fully finished out including porches and/or decks.  Landscaping had been provided through H.E. B. stores and  the homes were amazing.
Interior of one of the tiny homes.
They appear to take 2 years for the students to finish.  The first year is design and basic framing and layout.  Then during the second year they finish they inside and out and furnish them.  They are very nice.  There is a silent auction and bids can be placed for the units.  They will be delivered and set up on your property.  Nice workmanship and decor.  It was a very warm, muggy afternoon but we enjoyed seeing what the young people could do.
Interior of another of the tiny homes
While most of us went to the Parade of Tiny Homes. Bob and his wife went to some book stores.   From the afternoon activities, everyone scattered for a bit and we met up downtown about 8:30 for a Mexican food dinner outdoors on the river walk.  The weather was perfect for outdoor dinning.
Dinner outdoors, on the river in San Antonio
Jeff and his wife had a very busy weekend scheduled and could not join us, but at the last minute, Saturday afternoon, after they left a birthday celebration for a friend turning 70, they decided to take the kids home and come join us.  They arrived at about 8:30 and had supper with us.  The food was good, the setting excellent, and the family, perfect!  (Except that Jeff and Barb's kids were not with us.)  Again, laughter was constant.
Our four sons, from left, the oldest to the youngest
Stephen and his wife decided to walk along the river for a while before returning to the hotel.  David's family went home, and the rest of us ended up at the Denny's in front of our hotel for ice cream.  Stephen and Kristina joined us after their river walk, before the end of our evening.
Our sons' wives.  These ladies are so precious.
It was so funny, since Bob and Vickey had not been able to come at Christmas, they were passing out Christmas gifts.  So were Stephen and Kristina.  There were a couple of graduation gifts for Diana's nephew earlier at supper.  We were just celebrating anything we could think of.  Our 51st wedding anniversary is in two weeks, so I felt as if we were celebrating since having all of our sons and their wives together is the best gift we can ever receive.
Ron and Linda
It was probably 1:30 before most of us got to sleep that night.  Barb and Jeff were heading back home at 7:00 the next morning.  It was a quick trip for them, but such an added blessing for us.