Walking the Dogs

Whiskey & Brandy on our evening walk
Whiskey & Brandy on our evening walk

I left the house earlier this evening with my trusty, and eager…shorkies, anxious to explore the neighborhood.

While we trotted around the neighborhood and back down the hike and bike trail, Brandy pulling me along like there was a fire somewhere, I reflected on the earlier conversation I had with my son, Josh-the lovely Rayven’s daddy. Seems they are temporarily homeless at the moment, although his girlfriend’s mom has kindly stepped in to let them stay for awhile. How long, I’m not sure, hopefully long enough for him to secure a new job, because he definitely needs that to be able to someday get their own place.

Please say a prayer that he gets the job he’s going for, it isn’t ideal, but it’s a job, a place to start from and he’s at his ropes end right now. Roaming from friend to family member is no way for a new family to live either. I’m confident that God will lead him where he needs to go, and speaking of Him, I guess He decided now was not the time for me to be traipsing off to Ohio (how I longed to sing that song) to see my new granddaughter.

Things have a way of working themselves out, even if it’s  not the outcome you might have hoped for. So, I will say this mantra and repeat it; I will go on with the usual Thanksgiving plan, and I will love it. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, they just unintentially get under my skin sometimes, just like everyone’s family, I’m sure.  I get on my inlaw’s nerves sometimes too. Paleo living clashes with old traditions so….anyway.

I’ve submitted a new pic of my loves for you to enjoy (some of you, a second viewing) and for me to keep pining for, if only a little while longer.

Josh and Rayven
Josh and Rayven

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and please, love the ones your with, they’re all you’ve got! ❤️

Day 112-Free Days-Saturday Fun

Yesterday we made more progress in the kitchen with the help of my youngest son Christopher. It is so nice to have his help and for him to be so knowledgable and skilled, really helps my husband out and makes the job go so much faster.

Another step closer as walls go back in
Another step closer as walls go back in

I serve as food service and clean up crew,  as walls go back in and electrical boxes are reworked. I saw my husband get shocked twice, something that scares the crap out of me-my Dad almost lost his life to the very same thing. (Although that was a work accident, not something he did at home)

While the guys  work, I talk to Chris, trying to glean as many facts as I can to help me understand his busy life and relationships. He is doing well, working hard and managing his own finances, spending as much time as he possibly can with his girlfriend and roommates, although it’s not much-he is on call most of the time, due to the nature of his new job.  He works for a large disaster and  restoration company (Belfor) and has to go when disaster occurs.

While challenging, the job has taught him many new skills and will continue to do so. He gets to travel sometimes as well, depending on what the nature of the disaster is. So far, he has been lucky and not had to deal with anything gruesome. That day will come though, I just pray he has the strength and stomach to deal with it.  They go to everything from floods to fires, weather related disasters and man made messes.  The job has helped him not only hone his construction skills, but people skills as well. Some day he will be managing crews on big jobs, so learning to deal with homeowners and listening to supervisors teaches him valuable lessons.

I’m lucky to have skilled handymen in my life, from my Dad to my hubby and kids-my sisters- and brother-in-law all help to save us money and help us create a better, more productive use of our space and modernize the dated condition our house was in when we purchased it a year ago.

When the work was done for the day, my husband and I headed off to Dallas for an electric expo that was going on, stopping at the mall for a short shopping break (I needed new jeans) and I saw the most expensive television I’ve ever laid eyes on! This monster was 100 inches and featured LED technology-the cost? $60, 000!!! What?? Why? How could anyone afford that? It was too much for my mind to process, so we moved on to the theater room, where I was treated to the experience of viewing a movie (or a few minutes of one anyway) while sitting in motion activated seating. That was cool! As the action happened on the screen, the chairs rocked and rolled, making you feel like you were riding along.  I could get used to that!

The Bunco Queens showing off their prizes
The Bunco Queens showing off their prizes

img_3642 img_3645After we got back, I hurried off to a night of Bunco with the group I played with a couple of months ago. It was a fun night, complete with snacks and prizes-although I didn’t win one. It’s fun to get out and socialize with the ladies every once in a while. Funny thing, the older we get, the more that health problems become the topic of conversation. I was glad when it turned around to crafts and was treated to pictures one very talented lady showed us of her latest crocheted creations.

All in all, it was a fun and productive Saturday and I’m getting ready to go and help the family ready my mother-in-law’s house for the coming Thanksgiving celebration. There is much work to do, so I’ll catch y’all later. Stay warm and I’ll catch y’all later!

Day 84-Free Days-Party Time!

The Birthday Boy-Chris
The Birthday Boy-Chris

Today was the birthday dinner/celebration of Chris and my Dad’s birthday, I thought I’d share a few pics.

My hubby Dave, preparing the meat
My hubby Dave, preparing the meat

Dave smoked a pork shoulder butt and then chopped some for sandwiches and sliced some for non-bread eaters like me 😊

My dad and Becky (Chris's girlfriend) serving themselves
My dad and Becky (Chris’s girlfriend) serving themselves

Everyone made a side to go with the meat and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner-slaw, jalapeño poppers, potato salad and tossed salad complimented the meat nicely.

Then it was time for gifts
Then it was time for gifts

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Funny cards, money and gift cards for Chris in addition to golf lessons his dad bought him to be taken as his schedule permits, plus an on field edition Cowboys cap from his brother Sean. Becky made him a cake and performed a cute little rap for him last night.

Dad got cards, some clothes from us and some wine from our friends Michelle and Kerry.

Funny boy's parting shot
Funny boy’s parting shot
Grandma (Momo) the puppy whisperer!
Grandma (Momo) the puppy whisperer!
My brother Kevin, and friends Michelle and Kerry
My brother Kevin, and friends Michelle and Kerry

A good time was hopefully had by all, we enjoy preparing and sharing food with friends and family.  Becky and I had fun surprising Chris with the banana pudding cake as well as making it together. I tasted a bite, it was moist and delicious!

Now it’s time to recuperate from birthdays and gear up for the holidays!!

 

Day 70-Free Days-

Some Sundays I have every intention of going to church and still don’t make it. Today was one such Sunday. I know that God understands that these things happen and He knows I love him. That being said, I pray that all those I care about and I have a good week in spite of it.

Later on in the day my hubby and I made preparations for dinner for ourselves and my Dad and brother. They came and we enjoyed the Cowboys victory while dining on Grilled bbq chicken, or pork chops, salad and roasted butternut squash, recipe courtesy of Healthy Seasonal Recipes, which you can find on Pinterest. After dinner, my dad, brother and I retired to the game room and played a few rounds of pool.

My Brother taking his shot
My Brother taking his shot

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Dad is the pro who taught my brother and I the skills needed to play the game. Here he is lining up his shot. The man is almost 83 and still shoots like a pro! I enjoy this time spent with family and only wish the boys could have been here too. Chris is on call with his job and Sean was with friends today. Josh is back at home safe in Ohio after a week traveling with his new job.

This morning my brother-in-law and his wife came over because he was helping the hubby install the new attic stairs. I wasn’t expecting Connie and had much to show her and we enjoyed our visit. She helped my fix the bow on my homemade wreath (as it was kind of floppy already) and later I went and saw her at her house as well.

Hubby handled the Sunday grocery shopping, for that I was grateful not to have to deal with, I finished up the laundry which freed me to help prepare dinner later. The dogs always enjoy company and the roasted butternut squash was a hit with them as well, lol. All in all it was a good day and to top it off, I saw another milestone today, 500 likes! Yea!! Thank you to each and every one who has liked my posts. I appreciate all of you reading and following along.

I hope everyone else had a good day and has a great week! See you all back here tomorrow when I tackle a new topic, yet to be determined on the patio. 😉

Day 68-My Life In Photos Week-Wrapup

Tonight’s post is coming to you live from the patio where it is a comfortable 64 degrees-if you have jeans and boots on that is! And to think I left the house in shorts this morning! We will be back to 80’s next week!

It has been a busy, emotional week for me, my life always has plenty of drama, excitement and sometimes sad and whistful moments. While perusing pics to wrap up this week of my life in photos, I have some of friends, some of family, some that might cause more drama if seen by the right people, and yet, they are meaningful to me and, in some cases, all I have to remember them by. I do hope you enjoy.

The first one I’m sharing is from before I starting eating the Paleo way, with my bro at HIS 50th birthday celebration.

My brother Kevin and I in 2014
My brother Kevin and I in 2014

The next two are of two of my granddaughters I no longer get to see, however, miss like the devil. I hate that my boys ended up in the situations that they did, but as they say, it is what it is. Maybe, someday, they will be re-united and back in our lives.

Brilee, my youngest son's daughter, in a stolen photo from a friend.
Brilee, my youngest son’s daughter, in a stolen photo from a friend.

By shear luck, my son’s current girlfriend has a friend that attended a bbq that also included his daughter and her mother. The friend, knowing the situation, snapped this pic for my son to have and to cherish.

Delaney, my middle son Joshua's daughter. Stolen by me off of Facebook.
Delaney, my middle son Joshua’s daughter. Stolen by me off of Facebook.

Looking at these girls is very emotional still to this day, even though it’s been over 5 years since I’ve seen either child. As you can imagine, it’s a long story in both cases, they are my blood though, and that makes them mine as far as I’m concerned.

The next pic is my sweet parents, long before my mom got sick. It was the one we used at her memorial service.

My Mom Betty and my Dad Gus
My Mom Betty and my Dad Gus

I am not sure if a friend or my brother took this pic, but I love it. They were so happy and truly each other’s best friend.

The next few pics are from some of my long time friends, one I grew up with, one I worked with and developed a long friendship with, one who started out as my next door neighbor and remains a true “bestie”. I have many aquaintences, but very few real friends. These three have stood the test of time.

Julie, my work turned long time friend
Julie, my work turned long time friend
Michelle, the girl next door and part planner extroidinair
Michelle, the girl next door and part planner extroidinair
Kaye, my childhood friend since 2nd grade
Kaye, my childhood friend since 2nd grade

I still see them all at least a few times a year although Michelle lives the closest and therefore spends the most time hanging out with me. They are all special to me in many ways, we are always there for each other.

I have many other people in my life I consider friends, even though we don’t see each other as often. Then, there is family that is so close, you consider them friends as well. The next pic is my sister and brother in law, we hang out all the time together and get together often for family dinners and take vacations together when at all possible.

My Brother-in-law and good friend Bubba
My Brother-in-law and good friend Bubba
My Sister-in-law Connie my crafty friend
My Sister-in-law Connie my crafty friend

These are some of the important people and some of my favorite photos of the last two years. I’ve been inspired to share them and some of their stories, if you want to know more, just ask!

Now I’m off to play pool with my very best friend of all, my wonderful hubby. He has stuck with me through thick and thin for 31 years. We still enjoy each other’s company the most, I hope that never changes!

My hubby Dave, my soulmate and very best friend of all
My hubby Dave, my soulmate and very best friend of all

Of course, you’ve seen my three sons, but if you need a reminder, here they are again. I’ll see you tomorrow, stay safe all you folks in harms way, let’s hope the storm doesn’t pack too big a punch. 🙏

Chris, my baby with his sweetie, Rebecca
Chris, my baby with his sweetie, Rebecca

This was taken two years ago and I’m happy to report, they are back together again after a short break.

Joshua, my middle boy, two years ago and clean faced
Joshua, my middle boy, two years ago and clean faced

Yall recently saw Joshua looking MUCH different. (Sigh)

Sean, my oldest at the bottom right.
Sean, my oldest at the bottom right.

I love this pic of all of us, even though it was a sad day, we found joy spending time with each other. It was two years ago, they have all done some changing in that time, through it all, they are my boys and I love them all.

 

 

 

 

Day 65-My Life in Photos Week-Things That Matter

We photograph lots of things-people, places, special moments, pets, stuff we’re proud of, etc.  After the day I’ve had with my dad today, all I can think of is how we also photograph the things that matter in our lives, like relationships. The photos are what we have to look back on when we remember the good times and special occasions in our life.

My dad had a procedure done today that neither of us was prepared for, and while it may seem simple to some, it was traumatic and emotional for me, even though he handled it like a real trooper. The procedure was done to relieve him, but it will take time before he feels the difference, since he has been living with the problem for so long. He had to be catheterized to empty his bladder of the ten times normal amount of urine he’d been walking around with for who knows how long. I stayed in the room to provide emotional support or to give him my hand to squeeze if necessary. So who broke down and cried? Me! Until that moment, I didn’t realize how scared and nervous I was for him, how concerned I was about his health and even how much I love him until I was in that position. He was not concerned about me being a witness to the procedure, I have been in the medical field for 22 years, even though not really a nurse, he was comfortable because I am his daughter and knowledgeable about these things.

Luckily, it went quickly and over 1250  liters of urine was removed, the normal amount after emptying the bladder is 100! He has to wear it for the next three weeks, and I was freaking out about that a little inside, but he did fine with it the rest of the day. There is much more to the story, more tests to be done, and that’s on top of all the other doctors and things he has scheduled in the future. He took it all in stride, meanwhile, I’m an emotional wreck. I don’t know why I’m having this reaction, but it has really driven home the point that we need to value the time we have with our loved ones. Even though he is fine and will be even better soon, the whole situation has left me drained and unable to think straight. I’m sure when it all sinks in (and maybe after a glass of wine), I’ll feel better too!

Hopefully, he won’t mind me sharing this photo with you-three things are rare about this pic. 1. My dad is in the pool. 2. My dad is drinking a beer (he normally drinks wine) 3. I rarely show pics of myself that are less than flattering. The important thing here is its a rare pic of us having fun together so without further ado, here’s the shot.

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Spend quality time with the ones you love, it really is one of the things that matter in this life!

 

Day 35-Free Days- Church and Family

I don’t always make it to church on Sundays, but today I did. It was a good message and I always feel better about my week and those I care about when I do attend church. I have been going with more regularity and I’m trying to decide if I want this church to be my home church, or if we want to go back to the church we belonged to when we lived in Alvarado many years ago.

Mike Love, our pastor, talked about self sacrifice and also about the journey of discovering God. He talked about the stepping stones in the journey:

  1. Asking if God is real
  2. Dicovering He is real.
  3. Deciding to commit to that belief and make sacrifices of your time and/or service
  4. Living your life for God

If I were to be asked the question, “where are you in your journey”, I’d have to say, somewhere between 2 and 3, which means I still have a long journey to make. I believe, and I’ve made sacrifices and commitments, but not the ultimate. I try to be a good human being, I’ve volunteered my time and given offerings to the church. I could do more. I’m just not ready yet to take that next step, especially when I’m unsure I feel “at home” in my church.

I did love the phrase he used along the way in his sermon; Let go and let God. I do. I have learned to do that because I realize now that prayer works. Maybe not always when you want it to, but it does. You just have to believe. I had three boys, I had many reasons to ask for prayer, believe me, not that they are the only reason I pray. I have learned that if you believe, you are not supposed to worry, you are to Let go and let God handle your burden. Let me tell you, I am so much less stressed since I started doing it.

Later on in the day, we had Dad and my brother Kevin over and we shared a meal and hung out a while. That also makes me feel good, to have my family around me, even if it’s just one day a week that we can all get together. Some of you know already that I try to spend almost every Wednesday with Dad. Sometimes my youngest son is here, today, this whole holiday weekend, he chose to be with us. I’m so proud of him and love him so much for that. He makes sacrifices to be with his family sometimes and that makes me proud and happy. He could have gone out with old friends last night, could have stayed with his roommates all weekend, but we got to spend time with him, and we are thankful. He starts a new and important job on Tuesday, we may not get another chance for awhile as he trains and becomes very busy. So I’m really cherishing this time with him this weekend.

With that being said, I’m going back, out with him and my hubby now, think about what is your sacrifice, and let me know in the comments. Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend everyone. See you tomorrow on the patio.😉

 

Day 14- Blame it on The Birds

Well, since Sunday is a “free subject day” deemed by myself, I was going to talk about another successful family dinner which pretty much turned into a meat party! We had ribs, chicken, boudin and sausage. That was going to be the topic of discussion until my husband turned on The Birds. It matters not how many times I’ve seen this classic movie by Hitchcock, I can’t take my eyes off the screen. I swear I notice something different every time I watch it. There’s just something about the imagery, those classic camera angles and the interaction between the characters, not to mention the brain that thought up this “could maybe really happen” tale to begin with. So many horror movies have attempted similar story lines, but none were as successful as his. Isn’t it easier to believe that birds could behave in such a way, than say, tarantulas taking over the earth? Back then, there wasn’t any reason given why such an occurrence would or could happen, such as, chemical or biological contamination. It was purely a freak of nature, never explained by Mr Hitchcock.

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This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love the sound effects, the scenery and how Mitch is the brave hero and the women are portrayed and how we never gave a care about all that, it was exiting, mystical, sad, romantic and horrifying all at the same time. What a perfect way to wrap up a lovely Sunday, long after family went home and we were chillin on the couch following tonight’s episode of Big Brother. I’ll just have to catch up on all the Olympics action tomorrow. Until then, stay cool everyone, I know I will on the patio.

 

Family Day

Whether is my church family, regular family or both, Sunday has become family day. I love having Sunday dinners at my house and having the family come over for food and visiting. We all eat and/or swim and talk about the week’s goings on and maybe watch some sport on tv or play pool together.

I usually try to attend church as well and have found that my week goes so much better when I do. Today I visited a different church because I was invited to attend by my new hairdresser. I’m not sure if I will go again, but it’s nice to have experienced something different. I’m a Methodist and this church identifies with a Pentacostal view. It was quite lively and I did enjoy the music. The pastor was well spoken and extremely knowledgeable about the bible. However, I personally feel that what you give and how you serve are between you and God and should be your choice. I feel this church put too much emphasis on both of these points and that is why I was glad I was merely a visitor.

Dave and Chris got another project close to completion today with the installation of the wood wall in the master bedroom. It was so nice to have our son with us all weekend and he was a huge help to his dad on this project. So in two weekends they got the room painted and got the wall up. Next is crown molding and staining the wall, and then they will build the headboard, which will be a beachy looking wood like old fence panel or pallet boards that have been painted, stained or distressed to look that way.  I can’t wait for it to all come together, my vision is for it to look like a beach cottage like we stay in when we visit Port Aransas. My entire house has little touches of ocean love here and there, from my dolphin collection to shells I’ve gathered through the years, I always like to insert my love for the beach into the decor somehow.

Although it has been a fun and full day, it’s time now to rest and recover so I’m ready to face a new day. Goodnight all, see you tomorrow, on the patio!

Church, Family and Big Brother

I don’t know about y’all, but Sundays around our house follow a kind of routine. For me,    it begins with my cup of coffee, bulletproof of course, and my favorite program of the morning, CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. It’s a nationally syndicated news magazine with entertaining news, profiles of famous people, art and more. Then, most Sundays I go to church. Since being back in the area, it’s been harder than usual to select a home church, however, I am fond of the one I’ve been going to, First United Methodist of Watauga. We have moved around a lot in our 31 years of marriage, and we became Methodists early on, my husband having been raised Southern Baptist and me a Catholic, we decided to compromise and become Methodists. This morning was cool because the front of the church was all decorated up for VBS which started tonight.

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My friends I normally sit with were absent, that didn’t bother me though because I always feel welcomed from the moment I walk in the front door. I missed seeing them still because I like having them to talk to and visit with.

Next in the lineup is usually prep and planning of family dinner, this Sunday was a little different though, because we had predetermined what the menu was and my brother in law offered to cook the meat. That left us with less prep and more pool time, yea! We were down a few members today but still had a full house and a good meal. My idea when we first moved back was that we would rotate houses for family dinner, but since  we have a pool and more room, and my brother works crazy hours with little time to do much else, and my dad’s house is kind of small for up to 11 people eating together, it has been at our house most of the time since summer started. We used to go to my brother in law’s place a lot but he has also been deluged with a full and hectic schedule, so we hate to ask him to work any harder. It has been wonderful having the whole family together at least once a week to break bread and we don’t mind at all. It’s a great tradition and I hope it stays part of our routine.

Tonight was another edition of Big Brother, one of my favorite summertime shows and I’ve heard from at least one other blogger, I’m not alone in this! My friend Stephanie watches as well so we always have that to talk about on Monday or Thursday, depending on show times. Tonight, I was surprised to see a budding romance between James and the houseguest with the dark hair (jeez, I forgot her name already). This will be a topic of conversation between myself and the other blogger (Myra) that I’ve been talking to. We were just wondering the other day why he didn’t have a girlfriend yet when he is so personable and cute.

So, there you have it, now you know my routine for several days of the week if you’ve been following along, what are yours? Go ahead and leave a comment and tell me your routines, fav shows or whatever you want to talk about. I’ll be waiting, on the patio😉.