Archive for the Out and About Category

I Have Loved Every Minute

Posted in Out and About on September 8, 2017 by drycreekherbs

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I am Still Bamboozled, Flummoxed, and Flabbergasted!

Posted in Out and About on March 27, 2017 by drycreekherbs

I haven’t written in my journal in such a long time. I think of myself as ‘stalled.’ But now it is time to cleanse my emotional and cognitive palates. That sounded pretty poetic.

I wish I knew how to embed some western tune that would set the stage for an adventure gone badly. Ok, I would play, “I Fought the Law and the Law Won.” I will say the full story wreaks of a 1958 black and white movie…a bad B movie, low budget and no big celebrities.201703271215.jpg

A few months ago, Belinda and I decided to go to Oaxaca, Mexico to a cooking school that Belinda had her eye on for some time. Seasons of my Heart captured Belinda’s attention…seed banks, GMO, farm to table, etc. My interest was to get out of my rut. I did get out of my rut. Now, it is important that I condense this tale.

Susan H happily decided to join us and we met Belinda at George Bush International…I had a quick salad then we went to our gate. I gave my boarding pass and passport to the boarding agent, retrieved both, and then walked out the door on to the tarmac and hobbled up the mobile regional jet staircase. I put my carry-on in the overhead, and took my boarding pass, passport, shawl, and purse off the seat and strapped in. Scarf around my shoulders, passport and flight documents in purse and under the seat in front of me. I used my phone to complete the immigration form. When we landed I retrieved my purse and looked for the passport. Not there. I thought I might have put it in the carry on so once off the plane I started the mad search. Nope. I went back on the plane and with the pilot’s assistance used a flashlight to look under the seats. Nothing.

I waited with S and B to be the last going through immigration. B & S went to the luggage carousel and got their bags. Oaxaca airport is small; the carousel is adjacent to the immigration kiosk. Meanwhile I am explaining the loss to two female immigration officers, who like the US version, are dead serious about their work. The short story: I was not going to be admitted into Mexico proper. I was going to spend the night with them until the 7:00 am flight back to Houston. I sent the gals on to the hotel assuring them I would continue to look and search my carry-on and purse. I was not allowed to open my suitcase for my medicinal vodka. Officers explained that although I was a “very nice lady” some detainees carry weapons. I told them they were very nice too because I wanted to stay on their good side. Officers explained that although I was a “very nice lady” some detainees carry weapons. I told them they were very nice too because I wanted to stay on their good side. are events that happened during my night as a guest of Mexican Immigration. First, they realllllllly were nice to me except for a disagreement about my not signing a document*…to be discussed later.

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• I had to stay in the immigration office on the other side of the kiosk. The office was stacked with file boxes floor to ceiling, 4 desks, a water dispenser, and a floormat with 2 blankets, behind one of the desks. 201703271238.jpg

• A dear United Airline (UA) employee was most helpful. She went to a grocery story and bought me a quesadilla-like taco and a huge container of chilled apple juice for my late night dinner. She spoke more English than the immigration women. She was useful, if not fluent.

• I was asked to give a statement to the Boss I.O. The statement was completed with the Boss I.O’s remarks included….in Spanish. I was asked to sign and date the paper. I said no because I didn’t know what it said. My young UA assistant told me, “It more or less says you broke the law and cannot enter Mexico.” This made me verrrrry nervous. “No,” I said, “I can’t sign something in Spanish that more or less says I broke the Mexican law.” I didn’t know if it also mentioned the punishment due for breaking this law. Punishment—hard labor or what? And how long?

• It was clear I was irritating the Boss I.O. She repeatedly told me I had broken the law. I suggested we call the American consulate. I imagine we/I spoke to the Officer of the Day or a desk clerk being punished with late night duty. He said, no I didn’t need to sign. So, I didn’t. At this point I don’t think they thought I was all that nice and probably a spoiled American woman.

• I was to sleep on a mat on the mat on the floor.

• I explained that it was impossible for me to get down on the floor and NEVER get up without a crane. (This is why I got a shot in my knee today.) This wasn’t popular. The lead officer said they didn’t want me to get sick and I had to sleep on the mat. I said no, and how about letting me sleep on the luggage carousel. No. So I chose to sleep in a chair with my head on a desk. This wasn’t popular either but they did turn out the lights on that side of the office. Oh, and by now the airport is CLOSED. My two immigration guards and two night watchmen were my companions for the night. It is pretty darned quiet in a closed airport.

• About 2:00 am, I heard a lot of noise. The Boss told me to come with her they found me a place to sleep. I anticipated freedom. They had commandeered a big leather sofa from somewhere and it was divine. They set it out next to the kiosk. I slept like a baby for about 3 hours. The younger I.O. pulled the mat out into the hall and napped there keeping an eye on me, I guess. 201703271239.jpg

• I could use the public restroom in the same area but they saw my entrance and exit. The apple juice made for a long night. The airport was very clean…anyway the baggage area, and restroom were clean.

• I am almost to the end, really.

• About 5:45 am I got up to Spanish, multiple, overhead announcements, brushed my teeth, and met a new UA employee… a very nice young man who spoke nice English. He brought me a menu from the airport restaurant now open and I ordered delicious pancakes and OJ. He had US Homeland Security on the phone so I could report my passport missing and so it could be invalidated. This made reentry into the US also memorable**…to be described tomorrow.

• My UA assistant asked me if he could get me anything, maybe a souvenir. Susan H., in a text from the Oaxaca hotel, suggested handcuffs!! Hahaha.

• My UA host told me it was time to board the plane to the US…and the laughs began. He said I had to be escorted to the plane by the police captain! Soooo, in a line we left my comfy detention area and left to get the captain. At the head of the line was the 2nd in command I.O., then me, then the 2 UA employees, each carrying one of my bags. We went out of the building into another where a door opened and a YOUNG, very young, maybe 14 by looks, uniformed police captain (?) joined us at the head of the line. The entourage continued through the airport with onlookers staring in wonder. I sure wish I had a photo. I had on one of my exotic knit dresses because it was comfortable. In a police line, it probably looked very suspect. I did not have to have my hands over my head!!!

• We arrived at the United Airlines boarding gate where I had the police captain waive the need for a passport. I was let through where once again I was on the tarmac; I hobbled up the staircase again and on to the SAME plane I arrived on the night before. Once again I looked for the passport. I was put into my seat and told not to get up. I was on my way.

Reflections:

I never panicked. I didn’t experience any awful anxiety. It was however, very inconvenient. I knew I was not going to make a run for it–although all of this occurred next to the exit door to the runway. That seemed to be a terrible option. I had the good sense to call the consulate. I also discerned it was best not to turn bitchy. “You gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”

I cried once. I called Len as the gals left to go to the hotel. I cried like I would have if I had Mom to talk with. He did ask me the same questions I had been asked 50 times by IO, UA personnel, B & S, and my own think bubble. Then I cried. He sent me a copy of the passport that we keep in our safe box….it was very helpful but pulled no strings.

This was an expensive ordeal. The United Airline travel insurance does not cover lost passports. I don’t know whether or not I will get any reimbursement from the cooking school (half back but no hotel costs) and I have to purchase a new passport.

I was not shackled at any point nor chained to a slimy rock wall. I was well fed and cared for by UA and treated politely by nice people when not asking me to sign a confession about a broken law in Spanish. The Oaxaca airport was clean.

My officials told me that a year ago a man lost his airport. I didn’t ask what happened to him. I don’t like prison yard stories.

More than one cousin and several friends stated that they would have had a major melt down. That helps me. Also I did write B & S from my quarters and said, “I am very brave.” B. said, “Yes, you are very brave.” I liked that a lot. That and subsequent texts where she assured me the hotel wasn’t too comfortable, hot, and the sidewalks treacherous. She is a good friend. Susan H. told me they cooked rabbit. That helped too.

I have some new thoughts about being an immigrant/refugee.

When I was home, back at the hospital, atoning with my chemo patients; B & S in Oaxaca grinding cinnamon and drinking mescal and tequila, I received a phone called from Susan’s brother in law from the Houston Post or Washington Post. Kenny had tipped him off on the story. I thanked him but said I didn’t think it was newsworthy and it was very benign. I hated to think of national or statewide coverage of my negligence and missed opportunity.

I started getting down about my 70-year-old incompetence. Now when I travel alone, friends and family and really going to do the drill with me. I might not like it even if I did this to myself. Everyone should read Bel Canto.

PS

My passport was found on the SAME plane on Wednesday in Morelia, Mexico during the 3rd cleaning of the airplane. Those skinny little regional jets have many nooks and crannies for things to fall into. The passport is, of course, invalid. UA posted it back to me via FedEX. It is stuck in Houston because of the winter storm. My luggage came back a day late too. Still and all I love Mexico. I may stick with San Miguel de Allende where I know people who might be willing to slip me some medicinal hooch.

Stay tuned for Part II

A Few Photos from Mexico

Posted in Out and About on November 26, 2016 by drycreekherbs

Although I only managed two and half days prior to falling, I did get to take a few photos. Most importantly, I was able to have a quick visit with Camie. I love her and how happy she is. We had a great cooking class in a private home where we watched, drank, and ate. i want to do that again.

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The Pull of Gravity

Posted in Out and About on November 19, 2016 by drycreekherbs

Well, this year Mexico was a bust. I did not get but minimal shopping, eating, drinking, smoozing, etc. What is a girl to do? I love San Miguel but I guess I will have to learn to wear dowdy brogans.IMG_6467.jpg   Larry S said it best, “Shoe fashion is not important in San Miguel.” For the record there were other contributing factors. In my golden years I have become very clumsy.

Here is the short story. Babs and I stayed with Lorelei who is an 8 month a year + house sitter. The house is right around the corner from the Parque Juarez…the road is treacherous from the front door to the steps to the park. Giant river rocks as pavers, a steep sidewalk about 18” wide with minuscule, hidden gutters defy an inattentive walker. I am usually so careful and since my broken ankle bones last year I’m vigilant or so I thought. Babs and I were on our way spend a peso or two via the Parque where, coincidently there was an amateur art sale happening. The steps are old and cracked from steady wear and neglect, I suppose. Local artisans were creating a chalk altar on the pavement and had designated two narrow walkways though their creation. Sadly, the walk ways weren’t adequately close to the hand rail. Babs took a happy snap of me descending the stairs. Seconds later I was on my ass…managing to hear a little metatarsal snap. There was much pedestrian ado. I thought I was relatively speaking ok….and continued on shopping even though I was covered in colored chalk. Babs bought a very cool watercolor and I put a deposit on an acrylic that captured by fancy. We trekked on to the Jardin to an ATM machine for cash with her artist helping me a long the way.

I didn’t want to untie my shoe and it only hurt a 4 on a scale of 10. We took a cab out to La Aurura, walked through the artisan market, ate lunch (burger and a tequila IMG_6416.jpg milk shake for me) before it really started to hurt. I knew I was done. All cool events for the afternoon were cancelled for me and Babs, the true friend that stayed with me. I decided a trip to the SMdA ER was necessary. Jeannie S, our tour director drove us and served as an advocate and translator. Great care. I saw an orthopedic MD, had 4 X-rays, and a cotton cast (AKA innovative wrap that kept foot immobilized.) $350.00 US dollars and fast too. I was very pleased with their care.

There was no way I could stay on in Mexico. I would be a disruption* and I’d be miserable, bed ridden and missing all the activities. I was unable to schedule a flight back for the next day so I went the day after. I think all turned out beautifully. I had a private car and driver to the airport and to AA’s credit, superb accommodations. I didn’t have to do any unpacking for customs that I always end up doing, had my own wheel chair and cart driver, etc. OH, and a stranger helped me get to and from the restroom in Dallas. That’s the story of the break.IMG_6460.jpg

I’m now in a boot with a wrapped foot. I have seen to US doctors who have been nice and agreed with everything the ER doctor did. Also, the US urgent care doctor and his nurse, a former military medic, both were duly impressed with the cotton cast. Neither had ever seen anything like it. All is well. I wear this 50 pound boot until Dec 7th and I am not allowed to drive. I made a mistake and let Len go in with me for the orthopedic appointment. The verrrrry handsome MD explained liability if I had a wreck. That was it. So I am land locked and I pretty much hate it. Len is being patient and is kindly taking me on outings but it isn’t the same as having my own ability and independence. Another episode of God’s humbling me.

I wish I had pictures of the ER and doctor but at the time it seemed rather superfluous.

* Good friend and citizen, Barbara took on the responsibility of relocating me in Lorelei’s house. I took over Lorelei’s bed, who was verrry sick and had also been to the ER the same day. Barbara did all my packing upstairs in the casita where we were originally staying. I had loot all over the place and she managed to pack far better than I ever could. She lugged my big suitcase down two flights of stairs, then served me medicinal vodka in my confiscated bed. Is there any further evidence of a kind and good friend? Lorelei slept on the sofa for two nights. I owe them both something wonderful.

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Then Norway

Posted in Out and About on August 15, 2016 by drycreekherbs

At the crack of dawn we left the Viking Osfrid for the Porto Airport. Because we used American miles for our air tickets we had lots of layovers before we arrived in Oslo. In light of all the terrorist activities, I expected to see more airport security but it was only in Heathrow where the police traveled in threes with automatic weapons. I was glad to see them.

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Norway. I am pretty sure I could live in Norway except for the cost and the snow. I love that Norwegians start taking mandatory English from grade 1 through high school….and it makes me feel like such a slouch that Americans aren’t required to take a second language straight through. I can hold my own with slow Germans but it isn’t exactly a popular language….nope, I regret that I didn’t take Spanish. Brother Bill has a fairly good command of Spanish from the contracting business and school. I am jealous.   

So now it has been nearly two weeks since we returned and I regret that I waited so long to write….my memory glazes over events where they become vague concepts. I will say straight away that I am left with wonder at the exquisite landscapes….and I owe that to our National Geographic expert, David. I don’t know exactly where to start-I think I will write about the tour group

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The National Geographic Expedition (NG) team: Dr. David Scott Silverberg, the Geographer, Maria Q, the Logistician, and Marianna, the local guide. David is a graduate of Harvard and MIT and is American/Norwegian by virtue of marriage. Maria is a Swede, married to an American. Mariana is Norwegian. All three were very interesting….when you are on a tour like this you really get to see the humorous side of personalities—like David starting each of his lectures with, “Hei-Hei, David Scott Geographer, here.” Hei is Hi in Norwegian. The tour was very organized and I didn’t notice any glitches that couldn’t have happened anywhere to anyone at any time. We stayed in nice hotels and had great food. The hotels weren’t air conditioned so sometimes it was warm at night. I am not a fish fan but I do like cod and I love halibut. There were always alternatives to the fish like salmon, sea bass, and other peculiarities.. The breakfasts were HEARTY so I could have managed on just those meals and all the bread. I learned to enjoy brown cheese that is caramelized and not to enjoy something called old cheese, which is exactly what it smelled like and tasted the same. James and Belinda ate Reindeer stew—I ate chicken curry that night. Speaking of night—it was only semi dark ever between 3-5:00am, otherwise it was very bright. I took a sleep mask that helped immensely.

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The itinerary: Ten nights starting in Oslo for two nights, then Trondheim for two nights, then on to Geiranger and Balestrand and ending in Bergen for two nights. Len and I arrived early because so we really had several days in Oslo. Norway is about the size of New Mexico and most of the land isn’t suitable for cultivation. The farms are “small and steep.” Norway is sparsely populated (5,147,792) and mostly along the coast. Obviously, there are lots of mountains and glaciers. David made sure we knew about the tree lines and timberlines; the tundra; the boreal forests, fjords, glaciers and lichens. Marianna was in charge of local culture. We saw more than our share of naked statues-some I could swear I modeled for! Rubenesque.

We traveled by buses, trains, and ferries. I loved the trains and ferries and yes, even the busses. One of the rail rides was on the Flam Railway, one of National Geographic Expedition Traveler magazine’s top ten rail rides. We traveled up 2,837 feet and passed through 20 tunnels in one hour. I am still amazed that I didn’t SKRIK (SCREAM in Norwegian) on all those cliffs and switchbacks. The scenery was just exquisite. The weather was unseasonably warm most days. Our first few days in Oslo enjoyed lots of thunderstorms.

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Belinda and James are marvelous traveling companions. We laugh a lot—spend as little or much time doing the same things. It works. Belinda and I like museums….well, some   museums. On this tour we saw the complete fossil primate ever found, visited a couple of Stave churches, the Bergen Defense Museum, the Hanseatic Museum, the Ringve Museum, the Oslo Resistance Museum, the Edvard Munch Museum, the Oslo Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, and saw one of the oldest Viking long ships in existence. Really, I am glossing over many sites and omitting others. I adored the Oslo Opera House….but above all else… the scenery. It was just fabulous….oh, at the waterfalls….one with a live singing troll (possibly a huldra!) These mythological huldras, female, forest spirits will lure men into the woods with their looks and beautiful voices. Oh, did I mention they have tails like either a cow or a fox, depending on who is telling the story. If they can get a man to marry them while not noticing the tail, the huldra will make the man her pet and treat him badly. Very good story I think. I also think I have some very poor grammar here. I am not fixing it.

I found earrings of course, a cashmere poncho, and a yellow Sou’wester or a Norwegian Sydvest for our rainy season….and I wore it today. I will have to wait for a deluge to wear the hat. James bought a hat, too.   

I will have to do a lot more writing to sharpen my edge. A lot more writing. Over and out.

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OK Portugal I promised Myself I Would do Some Writing

Posted in Out and About on August 14, 2016 by drycreekherbs

This was prompted by an article sent to me by my health care provider, Baylor Scott and White, Journaling for Mental Health. Although I don’t feel particularly nuts, it was a nice reminder of the benefits of writing on a regular basis. Soooo, I am going to do some free fall writing. I will try to think and write sticking to one topic instead of doing mental kickboxing.

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What is most on my mind? Well, I am recently back from almost a month of travel. We went to Portugal on a Viking River Cruise and Norway on a National Geographic Expedition. I like saying NG Expedition because it sounds very adventurous and spikey. It was verrrrry good. But there I go, avoiding chronology.

Portugal: I didn’t know much about the country…certainly didn’t know that it was a Fascist dictatorship for fifty years ending in 1974! I like Portugal and I like the people and I like Fado music and I like Vino Verde and I reallllllly like the Douro River Valley! We went from Lisbon to Porto then onto the ship, sailing over to Barco d’Alva then back…. lots of Brits and very few Americans. Len and I were pleased with our upgrade to a suite….very nice with a separate living area and two balconies. I learned about harvesting cork and how important it is to the economy. Also that cork really does regenerate so it isn’t as endangered as I once was told. So I had to buy an expensive cork purse. It was the right thing to do. I bought a cup towel in a little shop owned by a mother and daughter. After handing me my change, the daughter said, “We thank you for your help.” What a nice sentiment.

Our ship, the Viking Osfrid is new this year. The crew is all-Portuguese unlike the other Viking ships that are staffed by mostly Eastern Europeans. Seems that Viking contracts with a government owned company that provides riverboat employees—because Portugal is so in need of revenue. I guess it is like buy America….only employ Portuguese! They were extraordinarily polite and friendly. There was a contest to see who could name all the staff members first. Needless to say, I was crazed to win for any challenge and the bottle of vintage port was an incentive….alas, I came in second but had all the names correct. I was just too slow. HOWEVER, I did win an excellent bottle of champagne that I shared with our Chinese-American tablemates.

Hmmm, what did we like best…..the Colouste Gulbenkian art museum in Lisbon aka Lisboa, the National Azulejo (Tile) Museum, the Navy Museum (Len’s choice), the port tasting, and the sailing. I go DSCN0071.jpg into a zone on a riverboat. There were other museums in Lisbon I would like to have visited….a toy hospital museum; a Fado museum (closed on Monday-grrrr.); a museum of sacred art; a pharmacy museum; a Museum of Oriental Arts; and finally a Resistance Museum (my favorite these days).

The food onboard was not as good as I have had on previous Viking ssailings but you can’t screw up breakfast or Portuguese bread! We also enjoyed the silver beverage package that entitled us to unlimited libations. I gained 6 pounds in 3 weeks. I loved recalling the tune Lisbon Antigua, the 1956 hit by Nelson Riddle. Now that was a song for dancing! I may come back to Portugal later but for now it is time to read……looking for a novel about Portugal—A Small Death in Lisbon.

Well damn. My software from the old computer isn’t working on the new computer. I have a new Mac coach coming over this afternoon—someone Anna recommends. She’s been promoted and now way too buys to walk me through new programs. I mourn losing her.

While I am waiting I will talk about a Chocolate Workshop I took today at the Salado Library. Our library really rocks. The class consisted of only 5 out of the 12 who had signed up….Letta, our 84-year-old teacher did a smashing job using You Tube’s The Story of Chocolates her foundation. We had many interesting chocolate flavors to identify, equipment to view, take away chocolate, and promotional materials for the library’s Death by Chocolate event coming up in September. The first year I won first place…..I would like to try something new this year… Ok back to Letta. She golfs every day when the weather holds out, does yoga three times a week, drives a 1954 red Ford Mustang, and works tirelessly as a volunteer for the library. A role model.

OOOPS—just looked at the web version of this I published and a lot of was left off so I am redoing it and I am putting all pictures at the bottom because something is screwy. Do overs.

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I Get so Mad at Me

Posted in Out and About with tags , on March 29, 2015 by drycreekherbs

I have so much to write about and need to write about –so much that I’m surprised I’m not leakin’ sentences. What I have been leakin’ is SNOT.IMG_2428.JPG

So, I am out on the back patio with my hound, a lovely breeze, a Mama screech owl nesting, and a ton of tree pollen.DSC_5108.JPGI am taking a big chance sitting out here for the sake of spring serenity. Also I am drying my hair that is wound up on enormous Velcro rollers. The price I will pay will probably be another two weeks of sinusitis. About every three years, I get a killer episode that lasts at least two weeks. This year I knew at the very minute when I became sick. Just as I was driving onto IH 35 North from the toll road I felt it coming. With that, I have been drippy, croupy, sniffy, sneezy sick. I am done with this. Although with all of this, I have dropped about ten pounds. Happily, I am on the mend. I am full of Doxycycline and at night full of Codeine cough syrup. IMG_2434.JPG Brother Bill, always compassionate, texted me the Camille image.

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A couple of weeks ago our Mah Jongg group, minus Jeton, went on a field trip to Wimberly for an overnighter. I facetiously referred to the outing as a tournament on Facebook — that causes a rash of responses. Pretty funny. We played two lengthy sessions of MJ, ate, shopped, talked, and laughed. I lot of chocolate and wine were in the mix. And a crown. Becky’s happily re-located…I(we) miss her. It was so much fun—and good to see Bob—I think I might like to move to Wimberly. Something to think about. The crown made all the difference to winning still another round! IMG_2410.jpg IMG_2418.jpg We take winning very seriously.

Yesterday Foy and I went to lunch at one of his favorite haunts…The Cappachino—there are several in Waco. He was waiting in the lobby of the Hewitt Senior Care Center—sporting a windbreaker and sunglasses-ready to roll and ready to boss. He allowed me to drive by the Stillwell Retirement Center—he is number one on the wait list. I was instructed not to slow down…he didn’t want ‘them’ to see him again so soon. He doesn’t want to seem to eager. Ha. I(we) had a few good laughs about getting him moved in. I suggested he call everyday to see how everyone was feeling…did anyone have a fever, etc. Needless to say, he was recognized by other diners at the restaurant…so he was required to table hop. I waited patiently. Of course, he didn’t introduce me as I was wearing jeans. While having lunch he gave me a run down on why women my age should not wear long hair, or wear shorts. I won’t wear shorts…he can rest easy. He also suggests I wear my hair parted in the middle. As in American Gothic. Anyway, he was in good spirits and is grateful for my little snack bags I bring him. He is happy with olives and cheese but wishes I would make him some more trail mix. I love Foy. Oh. He HAD to have ice cream since the restaurant had no pie but pecan and that he did not want anything to do with. So, I was instructed to only take the access road so we could stop for ice cream. I became heavy handed and said we would get some at Freddy’s next to his residence. Begrudgingly he agreed. We went in and there were 20+ softball players in line before us. I said, “Let’s forget it.” No. We got back in the car and went through the drive through for his double dip. He insisted we park so he could eat in the car. I will go back in a few weeks.

I am ready to break out of this ennui that I am stuck in. I need some happy excitement. Susan S and spousal unit are going to go with us to see Pink Martini in May. I hope I get to participate in the Conga Line. AND-Belinda and I are making our 2016 reservations to do a National Geographic Train tour of Norway. We are taking along our men on this trip. IMG_2457.JPG

I am reading too much…TV too. I read and reallllllllllly liked All the Light You Cannot See. I keep thinking about the characters. It helps that we lived in Germany during the early Occupation years. Leaving Berlin and Ordinary Grace were good too. Grisham’s Gray Mountain was ok. Just completed the US version season 1 House of Cards. The UK version seemed more sinister but I am hooked on this too. A fellow cinephile recommended a new BBC series-Wallander. Very good, filmed in Southern Sweden. I looooooooooves to watch and read in my Sleep Number bed. I crank the head and foot zones up to the top and chill. Len, aka the Prince and the Pea, requires the foot zone level….says he cannot sleep on his stomach bent backward. He hasn’t tried it, so how does he know? I will wait till he is soundly out and snoring then I will grab the remote and jack him up. That cracks me up thinking about it.