Archive for May, 2010

Too Much, Too Fast — San Antonio

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 30, 2010 by drycreekherbs

IMG_0957.JPGDid I dream that I went to SAT? I think this was one of the most discombobulating, fly-by, trips ever. It was crazy. What made it NUTS was going to Austin from SAT on Friday to get my hair done. That was over the top. I didn’t feel like I could cancel at the last minute especially since Edward is generously coming in early this Friday to color my hair prior to California trip. But overall it was just NUTS. I did not spend enough quality time with Mom. Too many errands.

I went to the Pearl Farmer’s Market this morning and bought 10 bunches of beets to pickle tomorrow.   201005292257.jpg

Len kindly lit the propane burner for me. I am afraid of it. More credit for Len…he helped me lay a new rug in the bedroom….for 45 minutes. I made it a hard job. He says, I make all jobs hard. I think that is overstated. IMG_0964.jpg

Big D: Sally, Jay, Aunt Justine and Cousin Diana

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 22, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I used to be afraid to drive to Dallas. Fact: I had my last anxiety attack on Central Expressway. I don’t know why I wasn’t killed. It was 4:45 pm, tons of traffic, and I was freakin’ Well, I cheated death and made it homeimages.jpeg breathing in a paper bag. For the record, this occurred in 1985. Nevertheless, I am proud that I have managed that fear. I loooooooove Ginny GPS. And I know if push comes to shove, I can pull over and go insane and someone is bound to aid and assist me. This is called cognitive therapy. Thank you Warren Stewart!

So with all that said, I went to Dallas like I was shootin’ off to HEB in Belton. I don’t even think much about it anymore. I think all the traveling with MCEC has taken the edge off. Granted I still like to be where I am supposed to be by 3:30ish so I don’t have to take on the road rage demons at rush hour.anxiety-traffic.jpg

What is important is that I made it to Dallas without having to call in MedJet to air evacuate me home because of my gastrointestinal ‘situation’. I spent half a day with Jay. He lives in a very cool retirement apartment complex in Richardson. Of course, he has it decorated to the max. He and Cat are trying to fit in. It is hard for him — losing Dan 3 years ago seems like 3 weeks ago to him — even now. DSC05641.jpg DSC05657.JPG He gave me a tour of the facility with running commentary on the furnishings and other residents. Hard to imagine for him in this new environment that he spent a life time buying, fixing, and selling 154 houses and decorating unknown number of residences, nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. There you go. This is what it all comes to. I might be getting depressed. Not kidding. Ok, moving on we had lunch at one of his old haunts then drove around his old neighborhoods reminiscing. THIS NEXT BIT IS A BIG DEAL. After 30 years of blatant begging, Jay gave me THE Rams Head lamps. He really is downsizing. I love those lamps.

Then off to Sally and Dick’s casa for great visit. Isn’t it interesting that you meet people in a transient moment and wham there is chemistry and everyone knows it? I loved catching up with Sally and Deborah Ann….I am captivated by their lives. Sally’s farm-in-a pot (Dick calls them the $500.00 tomatoes) and DA’s work! There just wasn’t a lot of time…Sally took us to dinner at their club–I used self restraint and only at a salad and a BLT sandwich…and ONE glass of wine…but my stomach wasn’t ready for even that. So a long night. Sally gave me a quick overview of iMovie and I can’t wait to try that for my journal.

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I also spent time with my precious Aunt Justine and Cousin Diana. Mom always refers to Justine, as ‘a precious girl’. She is living in a lovely nursing home in Frisco now. I am glad we had time together.

So home feeling better but still weak. Len is off in Massachusetts at his college reunion. This is the first he has attended and he will wear his first suit. Pam would be proud. He looks very cute in it….can’t figure out why he has been so damned set against owning a suit. Go figure.

Vile Virus Takes its Toll.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 19, 2010 by drycreekherbs

smallIntestine.gifLen woke up in the middle of Saturday night desperately ill. Desperately. I was compassionate and helpful with clean up…and very clear that I did not want this. He says he hasn’t been sick since 1982 with food poisoning….I really stayed clear of him and washed my hands obsessively. It didn’t work. Monday night I was brutally assaulted with this nasty virus. It was like I had taken a big dose of Syrup of Ipecac. I did loose 3.5 pounds of water. So today I took Susan Lawson’s advice and stuck with the BRAT diet. Hope it helps, I am determined to go to Dallas tomorrow. It was too difficult to organize all this to do it again! Len has recuperated and is excited about his college reunion….He leaves on Thursday morning.

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OMG my furniture is Retro and I didn’t even know it!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 16, 2010 by drycreekherbs

When did Country French become Retro? Am I that old? I saw that tidbit on the HGTV channel….I have a house full of retro furnishings. I can’t curl up my lip at shag carpeting any more because it is IN, IN, IN. All my brass faucets and wall paper border just date the place more. Who knew. I really need this kind of pressure especially now when Len is feeling like we are dirt poor! So there is little chance I can expand my restoration project for a while.

The house stayed a wretched mess because the painter couldn’t paint the baseboards and Max and Tony couldn’t move the furniture because the paint had to dry and I couldn’t clean because the paint was wet. Cheez. Fortunately, it all came together Sunday morning at 7:00 AM when Max and Tony did move the furniture. It meant no church and three solid days of cleaning. Teresa’s mother fell and broke her hip so I did as much cleaning as I could before the book club here at the house on Tuesday. It was an enormous endeavor. Really, it was like moving.

Monday Len went off to VA on business for 4 days. It was justly deserved that I needed to do all the nasty cleaning since I left him to cope with the floor installation. I really must have been NUTS.

Tuesday arrived, the gals admired my new floors and we had a somber discussion of my selection, Still Alice. I had no idea when I chose the book that so many of us had a very personal connection with Alzheimer’s. It was a very thought provoking and sensitive sharing of experiences. We missed Jean T. This was the first death of a spouse our book club has had.

Wednesday morning Becky and Susan came for their birthday brunch…I made Baked French Toast, Strawberry Romanov, and Fuzzy Navels. It was good to catch up after nearly two and a half weeks. Susan and Bill had been on a 3 week cruise to Spain so she had lots to tell and Becky had completed and graduated from her Master Naturalist Course. After I had a pedicure, Jackie came over for vin and a visit.

Len is 67. Today He Bought a Suit!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 16, 2010 by drycreekherbs

IMG_0947.jpg IMG_0944.jpg I admit it. I don’t get it. For 39 years Len has resisted, no, hissy-fit-refused to own a suit. I have more or less diplomatically explained that if one wants to give the illusion of added height, a solid dark suit is preferable to a two-toned sports coat and pants look. No way. I think he likes looking shorter than he is. Pam was the only person who could cajole him into better looking clothes. And she left me. Ok, so what did it? The upcoming college reunion. He looks very, very, very nice. He will, of course, get to wear shorts at the BBQ so college girls can see that he still has exceptional legs. The Big & Tall sign was just too funny to pass up. Len is a good sport.

The Return of the Native to New Floors and Tons of Dust!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 7, 2010 by drycreekherbs

IMG_0942.jpgLen has moments of great humor. Take the photo for example. When I got off the plane I made my way to the down escalator to the baggage carousel. As I descended, I noted dead ahead, a pair of sandals that I KNEW were Len’s. As Lolly says, Len’s sandals look like tractor tires. Yes. At each level of descent I knew confidently that it was Len….those very nice legs…then voila….Len with a sign– Susan Krals. He said I had been gone so long he doubted we would know each other. Very funny.   

On the ride home he prepared me for the disaster in the living room…all the furniture from the North side of the house stacked and packed in. Dust everywhere. But oh how nice the master looked.

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Then There Was Rhode Island- 25 Miles by 35 Miles!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 6, 2010 by drycreekherbs

Rhode Island Post card.jpgLighthouse Newport, RI.jpg  I used precious, little Garmin GPS to get me to Warwick, RI where the Public Engagement (PE) Institute was scheduled. Since I had 2 days to kill before PE started, I did more tourista things. And I might add, I have seen a lot! I drove over to Oxford to have a quick visit with Carol and Al and it was like I went to a surprise party….Carol had mobilized her troops and probably ruined their Saturday by getting them all over at Kirstin’s for an impromptu cook out. It was great to see all the “KIDS” now in their 30s and 40s along with all their children–and met the newest member of the clan…Giacomo. It was a very stimulating evening! I love that family…it is all for one and one for all. Kirstin et al had a feast prepared. I am still hankering for more of that meat. I must find out about that Tequila marinade.

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IMG_0929.jpgIMG_0927.jpgHmmmm, so the next day I went to church in Narragansett, RI and surprised Susan and Mike’s son, Casey. He is the priest at this precious, precious, precious Episcopal Church, St. Peter by the Sea. I also was able to see his precious daughter, Isabelle.

After church, I changed clothes in the parking lot of a state park then headed over the tallest bridge I have ever driven over to Newport. I never screamed, hyper-ventilated, or tried to drive the car off the bridge. usri40926.jpeg  I think I may be getting over some of my phobias. I spent the day touring The Elms and Rosecliff, two of the mansions I had not visited previously. I really liked Rosecliff…it was where the Great Gatsby, True Lies, and Amistad were filmed. newport-mansions-23.jpg I walked miles and miles in stupid shoes again. I wonder why I get blisters?   

On Monday Carol and I met at Providence Place Mall in Nordstrom’s shoe department…then she treated me to a very fun trolley tour

DSC05621.JPGof Providence. All kinds of firsts in Providence and gazillions of Dunkin’ Donuts! We walked up to Federal Hill to our favorite Italian Restorante/Deli for lunch. It was fabulous, of course.

At last Public Engagement started….it was really interesting and focused. At the last minute one of the scribes didn’t show up so I was a substitute scribe….still and all I liked the process and look forward to facilitating one of the focus groups. I say this all the time, MCEC has the most interesting people serving as volunteers. When it was all over, about 8 of us went into Providence for dinner at a terrrrrrrrrrific Italian dinner on Federal Hill!