Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
The last few days we have made Christmas cookies, cleaned the house from top to bottom and done the usual last minute shopping. Eric and I put a moratorium on buying Christmas "stuff" several weeks ago. Ho Ho Ho! We added a wreath for the front door the weekend his mom was here, and this past week, window swags on the three front dining room windows. My first attempt there was a bit anemic, so I even went out and got more to add to it. Sigh. Well, the prices were too good to be true and it seems the stores here are determined to have Christmas well sold out by this time of the year. After Christmas sales will be dregs only. So, we added greenery here and there, and a few more figurines to our houses.
The kids have really enjoyed the Christmas houses. We have them set up in three main locations. The buffet in the dining room, on the mantle, and a seaside village on the bar between the kitchen and dining room. The seaport has been the most visited and admired. Seems Zack thinks the boats need to sail around some each time he visits. Silly also sits in the lagoon, how she manages to not knock over boats is a mystery. Maddie prefers the "baby" in the baby carriage and likes to move things around. They both come in the door wanting to turn on the lights, day or night, the lights must go on. Eric did a wonderful job wiring up all the bits and linking them together, so this year some locations only have one switch! How nice.
We made three kinds of cookies, Chocolate Chips, Pecan Sandies, and Candy Canes. All are yummy, and way more cookies than we need. I made two batches of trash, and Becky took some of that home.
Friday, December 16, 2005
This morning was Zack's Christmas Party at preschool. Becky was in charge of the party, and she had a clever craft for the kids, they made raindeer food. Recipe for Raindeer food. My favorite part was the poem that goes with each jar of food.
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home.
Maddie came to stay with Eric and I during the party - we played play dough and Santa and train. She would drive the train around the table, stop at Santa's house and pick up food and gifts. Each time he loaded her train she would say, "Thank you"! We had a good time.
This afternoon after her nap I went over to their house and we all drove to the park. It was the first day in a week that the weather was warm enough to be ourside, so we took advantage of the nice afternoon to give them some fresh air. We went to the park/farm that is about 2 miles from here and visited the animals: cats, turkeys, chickens, pigs and cows. Sorry to say, the horses were not out, Maddie was disappointed. By 4 pm it was getting cooler, so we all headed back home. End of afternoon. Soon I may have pictures from this high adventure, but not sure what has turned out yet.
Eric and I will go back to Baltimore tomorrow to finish up clearing the apartment of the things we are taking. The other will finish at their own speed but we want to get done and get back home.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Eric spent the better half of the morning being a good neighbor. After clearing our driveway and walk, he and another neighbor went across the street and cleared the drive for a third neighbor Paul, as he has had heart trouble and can't shovel. Paul had tried to get his car out (he managed that) and the car couldn't get traction to get back up on their steep drive, so they helped him with getting everything clear so he could pull back into his drive. Then Eric moved up the street to another neighbor on the same side of the street as Paul. We found another good reason for a lot on the south side of the street, aside from being level, we also get morning sun. Our drive was dry and clear before the sun even hit across the street. Although the snow was pretty, almost eveyone wanted the snow out of their drive. It wasn't considered deep enough for the community snow removal guys, though they did do the streets with a sweeper. Eric did get to test drive a variety of shovels, so when we go buy one tomorrow, assuming we can find one, he has a pretty good idea of what to get. Of course, if Mike wants to mail us one - I'm sure he isn't using his! We are due snow again later this week!
I started the day in the sewing room, determined to unpack books and get things arranged. Around 11 my old AF neighbor from Panama, Pam called and said she would be through on her way back to DC. She came to lunch, and we had a great visit. She also got to see Becky and her two little ones, which was Deja Vu for Pam, as she remembers Becky as a baby. Pam thinks Maddie and Becky strongly favor each other. It was good to see Pam again, it's been a few months, so we had a great time visiting and making plans for another shopping adventure.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Guess who we saw in the back area behind our house! Yes, two white tailed deer were hot footing it East right down the middle of the enviromental area behind our house. We were not sure who they were trying to get away from, but their pace was brisk. Eric was sitting in the Florida room, (in one of the new chairs) when he glanced out the window and saw them and hollered for me to come look. I said, you're kidding me right? But no, there they were and sure enough, their little white tails were clearly waving! How exciting to think we might see big wildlife from time to time - that is as long as they don't start eating the shurbs!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
We didn't do the mad Friday shopping thing as reported on TV and in the paper, opting instead to spend the time here at home, or as in Jen's case, exercising. Tom took Jen to the gym twice, and I took care of Maddie one morning while Becky had to work. In all it was a low key time, with plenty of eating, talking and just being together.
Jen and I had a great time looking at recipe's and talking about the people we remember from Panama. She has a better recollection, though I have to remember that it was her part of her childhood, (where memories are made), and I was in the throes of raising two little kids. Not exactully the same thing! Anyhow, we swapped memories and recipes and Jen even cooked up an Italian dish for one dinner after we had demolished all the turkey.
I was able to gift Jen with her Christmas Stocking, and she said, "it's about time I finally got one!" Anyhow, she is happy with the stocking, no matter how long it took her to get one. It is always fun to knit something for someone who appreciates it.
Today we are relaxing, as we will have more company tomorrow when Mary and Beth come for a few days.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I hope each of you is mindful of the many blessings we have received. I love each of you so very much and am thankful for all the moments we have shared, as family and friends. Please know I will think of each of you tomorrow, and pray for God's blessings for each of you. Though your place at my table may not be filled, your presence will still be felt in my heart. God Bless each of you.
I hope all my family in Texas has a wonderful day tomorrow. I wish we could all be together here in Virginia. I love you all and miss you so much! Hopefully we will be making that trip to Texas soon.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Things are pretty exciting here at home central. Last night Becky and the kiddo's came while Tom was at hockey. She, Zack and I cut out pumpkins for her Sunday morning CCD lesson - I think they still call it CCD. Anyhow, she also brought over the rug for my sewing room. (It was delivered to her house just in case we were out of town - Wishful thinking). Anyhow, the kids took baths and changed into their P.J.'s for the trip home and left about 8. While Eric was seeing them out, the neighbors next door came home and discovered they were locked out. So, we invited them over, goggled up a Locksmith on the computer (Who needs a phone book nowadays!) and sat and talked until he arrived!
This morning we will be on the coupon clipping routine, and also trying to figure out how many are coming for Thanksgiving Dinner. We know for sure the Edicolas are coming, and maybe Jennifer and perhaps Mary and Beth, with another possible friend of Toms. Since we have 8 chairs, and 6 plates it should be interesting! More news about that as it develops.
Notice in the sidebar two new links! One is to Quilts and Blankeys Sally's new crafting blog, and the second is Michelle's Web Cam! So far, lots of sleeping going on at the webcam! I'll try to make a cute button for their blogs, but it will have to be later.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Imagine my glee when I saw the signs now read - Fall decorations now 90% off! Well, then I really felt happy - I filled up a shopping cart and spent less than $10.00. I wanted something for the server in the Dining room, and also for another location. So here's the haul! Granted, I never passed flower decorating 101, but I think they turned out fine! And the price sure beat the ready made centerpieces the store had on sale.
I figure you can never have too may decorations, especially when none were more than 49 cents!
Monday, November 14, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
On the home front, Z and M came yesterday for the afternoon while Becky stayed home to pack for their trip to Florida. They left for a week this morning at 5:30 a.m. - yep, kind of early, especially for Becky and Tom! The kids and I cooked banana bread from scratch. Z was in charge of squishing bananas and mixing. Maddie helped butter the loaf pan. She loves to eat butter, I wonder where she got that from? (I remember eating butter!) Anyhow, the mixmaster was fascinating to Zack and the finished result was eaten and enjoyed by all - except DH of course, who doesn't eat bananas or nuts! I sent a large slice home with Tom for a late night or early morning snack and I enjoyed a nice piece with my morning coffee.
Come on over, there is plenty for company!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
First in the house were the two chairs for the dining room that didn't pass muster the first delivery. Next came the leather ottoman and then leather chair. Lovely! Finally they brought in the first of the 5 pieces, an end cabinet and right away I saw a split in the top of the side trim. Eric agreed it was not acceptable and went out to the truck to tell the guys, and by then they had unwrapped the center unit. Unfortunately it had a huge gash along the back of one side. Looked like a strap from a dolly had crunched it. It never even got unloaded off the truck. They looked at two of the other pieces, and found damage to them also, and so it all went back. Boo Hoo.
In the big scheme of things, it's not awful, but it sure is annoying. The chair by the way is as comfortable as we remembered and looks feels (and smells) wonderful. Silly has already decided she likes it, as she can lay on me while I stretch out my legs. We spent the evening admiring the blank wall and commenting on how well the new wall unit blended into the room. Looks like it almost isn't even there!
Friday, November 04, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
To say this was a surprise was an understatement. He put on something called an Unna Boot, which from what I gathered reading more about it on the Internet is not the shoe thing but the compression bandages underneath. The real kicker is that I have to wear this thing for 12 days and stay off my feet. Showers in a plastic bag! Oh boy!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Zack studies the challenge at hand - he decided I should separate the cookie from the paper, and he would place them on the cookie tray.
The next challenge was waiting for them to come out of the oven ....
Next came decorating. Maddie has phone in hand in case we need to call for help! This was before she put on her apron and decided to lend a hand.
In the end she became the precision sprinkler. Zack did frosting, Maddie did sprinkles. And were they good?
This was his third cookie, so I guess they passed the taste test.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I spent the morning looking up tree leaves and I finally narrowed the 2 maples in the back yard down to this - Acer Rubrum, shown in the picture above. My leaves look like the top two small leaves. According to the references I found (from Oregon State no less) my tree could also be some variation of this species. Apparantly there is a maple that is often a cross between the red maple and the silver maple (which I originally thought my trees were) which is called a Freeman maple. There are three kinds of Freeman Maples and my leaves also look like one of those: the Armstrong Maple, shown below.
The issue I have with my tenative identification is that my leaf is not as flat at the base where the stem attaches to the leaf as the first picture, and is very serrated on the edges.But hey, my leaves are turning red!!! So I am close.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
We personally, haven't found the noise or traffic to be annoying. Some people say their houses shake - maybe that might come about later, but I don't think so. Luckily we already have a buffer on both sides and all the houses on the other side of the street are mostly finished. Mostly we will just have to put up with the parade.
However, the constant stream of traffic does give Silly something to watch. She has no complaints.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I found this link this morning from the Lufkin Daily News and though I would share it with everyone. Pay special attention to the second picture! A Lufkin landmark has fallen! I do hope they put the bull back up, he's been up there as long as I remember, since 1966 for sure! Also the last picture, number 9, of the tree on a house speaks mightily of what many in Mom and Dad's neighborhood are facing. Their old mature trees just couldn't take the high wind. It seems to me that most of these pictures were from the wext side of town. I expect they will have more on their web site later today.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
We met the Eagle walk through person at 2 and finished up at 4:45. I think it took longer than she thought it would, but we were pretty ruthless with pointing out places that needed touching up.If you could see inside there are about 150 pieces of blue tape pointing out dings, and paint boo boo's. Nothing major at all. The most serious was a spot of stain (varnish) on the carpet right where you walk into the room. Not sure what they will do about it.
The supervisor came by ( the one Eric had so much trouble with) - and made nice-nice with us. He will meet with us for a final punch check list on the day before closing. He said we would have grass by then. We could see that they had tested the sprinklers and the flower bed in front looked pretty nice. If these plants die they will be replaced. Right now we are getting a light rain, so that can only do good.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tonight Eric called me outside the motel where we are staying to see somthing neat! I have to say, this is the first time I have ever seen a moth that was so beautiful. We watched it drink nectar from the flowers, and it was amazing. It looks so much like a hummingbird it is easy to think that's what it really is. I immediately came inside and googled moth that looks like a hummingbird, and there it was! Exciting to see something new!
It's pretty obvious that Houston took some cues from what happened in Louisiana, unfortunately, too many people on the road, and the road were still only open in one direction until late afternoon. Russell told us they would try again if and only if the time frame for the drive to Lufkin changed. The highway (I45) to Dallas is a 100 mile backup and they were predicting the drive to take 23 hours.
I talked to Mom and Dad in Lufkin this morning and Russell and Skyler in his Honda, and Amy in her Jeep are on the road. They had been traveling over 4 hours (as of nine this morning) already, and just made it to Porter, which as many of you know, is not very far north of the Airport, no more than 20 miles. So their progress is really slow. I am hoping that their pace will pick up once they get a bit further north, as there will be fewer side roads feeding on to 59.
So, once again family members are in the headlights of a hurricane. Mike, Sally and Anne dodged at least three last year, Eric and I got one direct hit two years ago, family in Louisiana just three weeks ago and now this in Houston. Anybody up for moving to a mountain top in Colorado? We could have a commune!
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Tom, and now Becky, are long time fans of Bruce Springsteen, they love his concerts. Bruce announced a concert here in Richmond a few weeks ago, and of course the two of them were hot for tickets.
It seems tickets are a tricky proposition, requiring finesse and mind blowing strategies (To Becky and I). Well Tom, being up to the task, and Becky and I being game for anything, were up and on the road Saturday morning, with kids in tow, to be at the Coliseum in downtown to get tickets. But not tickets for the show, tickets to get in line for a lottery to try to get tickets for the show! We were each given a number at 8 sharp, 05, 06 and 07. You see, they do the line-up to buy a ticket by lottery, whoever's ticket is drawn is number 1 in line, and then the rest of the people line up in ticket order.This prevents scalpers from buying big lots of tickets. Online tickets are almost impossible without a high speed connection.
So, once we had our 3 tickets, we broke for breakfast, because the drawing for the lottery wasn't until 9:30. Tom went on to a ball tournament with Zack and left Becky and I (and Maddie) to take our chances, but not before briefing us to find someone to trade with for our number 06. The thought and logic being that if we had a group of numbers spaced out, we would have a better chance. If they drew 08 we would have been last in line. So, Becky went off to trade the 06, and I, looking older and innocent was offered another ticket by the man handing out tickets. He told me it was 55. I didn't even look at it, I just took it and smiled. We now had 4 tickets!!! becky traded for a 20, and my 55 was really a 14. We thought we were in good shape.
Well, the number was drawn, and it was 05. I thought Becky would stroke out, as it was her ticket. I ended up 3rd in line, and the man she traded with for the 20 slot was 3rd. He was almost as excited as she was. Turns out we then had to decide if we wanted floor seats (she and Tom did) or other regular seats. Tom had committed to buying 4 of the regular seats, so I was in charge of those four. The ticket gurus split the line to those wanting floor seats, and those wanting others, so I was first in the other line, Becky first in Floor. Then they announced the “others” would be given a 4 minute jump on Ticketmaster. Seems most tickets for his concerts are sold in about 10-15 minutes. Floor people got a 2 minute jump.
To cut to the chase, I got the first 4 tickets, very good seats, for Tom's friends. Then Becky got her two, and the number 06 man got two, and then, the floor was entirely sold out. Less than 3 minutes. She was so excited, as this will be the closest they have even been.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Eric has gone on to Baltimore and I have been busy being Nana. Zack went to meet his preschool teacher today, and a picture of his first day of school follows.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Not much has happened here on the boat this weekend. We are having beautiful cool weather. A nice breeze. However most of the boaters who when out on their boats have returned because it is a bit too breezy. Those that had three day plans came back yesterday because tomorrow is supposed to be so iffy. I guess with the cost of fuel and gasoline it might be better. I actually wonder why the president didn't ask everyone to stay home this weekend in order to conserve fuel. Of course the businessmen in this country would not have liked that.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
A man from the local plumbing company came in and said they have been notified by their distributor that there will be no more shipments of PVC anywhere on the East Coast. Seems all the PVC pipe for the East Coast comes from one plant that supplies all this area, and it is in New Orleans. Can you imagine what this is going to do to plumbers? Oh how about building? We speculate that getting anything related to building homes is going to be scarce and costly.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
This was the scene Tuesday as we put Auana Ke Kai back in the water.
The first picture might be a bit confusing, the red truck is not pulling the lift. The lift actually has a driver and it's own motor.