What A Beautiful Tuesday!

Morning everyone, or should I say afternoon? I have a lot to do today so I will make it quick for now. I got my lab work done this morning for next week’s appt. with Dr. Epstein, my wonderful nephrologist. Pretty sure he is from Jersey or New York, he is such a card and also a snazzy dresser!

Handsome devil too, although he is a little whiter up top these days.

Yes, he is from New Jersey, as I just read in his bio. I really enjoy our twice-yearly get-togethers, I’m hoping I can keep this up forever!

After my lab work, I made a QT for some coffee, and went to visit Stephanie and drop off my spare key so it could be used by Aimee! (I just wrote a rap!)

Her dad and I had a nice visit and caught up on her mom’s health. Lynn (her dad) offered some advice on my wig but said he liked it, and I found out his neighbor Fred is not adjusting to his new place in Minnesota so well. Steph looks good and I’m so happy things are working out well with Aimee and she was the perfect person to fill my spot and give Stephanie the care and companionship she really needs. I miss everyone but I’m so glad I live close enough to visit often. Sadly I took no pictures to share, maybe next time!

I saw this quote on Facebook and copied it to my timeline, as it has meaning for not only me but one of my boys as well: actually, all my boys!

Don’t let fear hold you back from accomplishing your goals and dreams

I think I have been guilty of this myself but I think it applies to my son right now as he questions his job and his relationships.

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting with my new girlfriend group-the over 40/50 girls who are also members of the RHS (Red Hat Society). We are going to see the new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express at Movie Tavern. Which reminds me, I need to go call them again and see if I can finish the process of joining up. Then I will be a Red Hat too!

If anyone wants more info on how to join either group, please call Laura Smallman at (817) 583-9420 or The Red Hat Society 1-866-386-2850 (toll-free)

Membership to the RHS is open to all women of any age now. Go have some fun!

By the way, the weather is gorgeous outside today, I may have to get in a walk later, for now though, I’m happy with writing to the sound of nothing more than my windchimes busily tinkling away as the wind blows hundreds of acorns atop my roof, down my sidewalks and all over my lawn. :/

So I realized just now that I never hit publish this afternoon! Oops! My walk ended up being a furious hour and a half in the front yard, sweeping, raking, and bagging up leaves and acorns. We got upsetting news from my son about his court date today and that was my outlet. Say a prayer please that he is ok and that his continued battle for vindication turns out better than things did today. Goodnight all. 😕

Day 266-MET-We Did New Orleans With Children!

Oh my goodness, this place was hot, and I don’t mean just in the sense of live music, let’s party, in your face, good times hot, I mean 126 degrees in the center of town hot! Add to that, I love big crowds, throbbing dance music and crazy people, my husband…not so much. This is the scenario you must picture when I tell you the story of our trip to New Orleans with children.

The kids were young, Josh had just turned 15 and Chris was 13, yet I still saw them as babies. It was our first vacation somewhere other than Port Aransas and we set out to cover New Orleans, Biloxi, Lucedale and Vicksburg in one week. We wanted the kids to see what New Orleans was all about, the people, the history, the music, the food…well, they got all that and a whole lot more. We wanted them to get some culture but what they got was an eyeful, and we were seriously doubting ourselves as fit parents by the end of that trip.

Luckily, we did not go during Mardi Gras, we went in the middle of the summer and I cannot tell you how bad the city smells at that time. Think stinky trash meets dried puke from last year’s Mardi Gras meets hot port-a-potty, and you’ll be pretty close.  The heat made it unimaginable and dragging two impressionable boys around sin city seems so wrong right now yet it seemed like a cool adventure at the time. We visited the cemetery- not my idea- but they enjoyed it. Cemeteries creep me out, this one was ok during the day. It was interesting to see that no one is buried below the ground, due to the high sea level. The boys thought it was cool and marveled at how big some of the tombs were. We took lots of pictures and I think even they realized the historical significance of that place.

Later, after experiencing some delicious beignets and coffee, we ventured into Jackson Square and saw live music, magic and a  “freak” show that I will never forget. Of course, my boys thought the freak was awesome and seeing it may have had a profound effect on Josh, he really got into it the way some kids want to run away and join the circus.  I think he still views  what that guy was doing as a viable way to earn a living. Which it is not, unless you’re a drug addicted homeless person looking for your next meal.  Anyway, they ate it up and wanted to see more but we had to move on. Next stop was Pat Obrien’s so Mama could get a Hurricane…oh Lordy what a mistake that was! Alcohol and heat do not mix.

Let me remind you, it was 126 degrees-however we were not aware of that until,we were back at the hotel-and I believe I consumed one and a half hurricanes and they just about dragged me back to the hotel (I still say it’s because it was so hot) and once there I laid down on the bed in the cool air condition and that revived me a bit. Later on Dave and I visited the casino and the boys were actually good, hanging out in the room playing video games and watching tv. What is comical is that when we were walking around Bourbon Street, Josh was wary of the people coming up to his dad and acting like they knew him, or the street performers painted silver and standing still as statues, yet the “freaky” guy in Jackson Square didn’t seem to bother him at all! Kids. Go figure. Chris was more like me-eyes wide open, taking it all in…some things he should not have seen at his tender age (strolling past open bars and viewing half naked ladies within) but his Dad just took it in stride. He figured it would have been much worse had it been night time and just kept walking and trying to get their attention redirected to something more…historical.

All in all, it was a very memorable trip, we had a lot of fun despite the heat and I cannot wait to go back again. We tried at some point to go to the aquarium, but the line was too long, it was Africa hot, and we decided it would have to wait until next time. Of course, there hasn’t been a next time since the hurricane ravaged New Orleans, some day we will go back-maybe even this summer, but you can bet, it will be an adults-only kind of trip this time!

(PS-I’ve torn the house apart looking for our pictures and found only the Vicksburg pics and one other from New Orleans, I will have to add the pictures later, sorry)

(PPS-Joshua had a life-changing event, but that actually happened in Vicksburg on our way home-remind me to tell that story some day 😉) Never mind, he said no way could I tell that one. Oh well. 😂

 

 

Day 173-Flash Fiction Friday-Floundering For Fun

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Heading out over the choppy water towards the causeway, Devin and Kaly prepared themselves for a fine day of fishing on the Neches River. The air was cool and Kaly pulled her coat tighter around her and bent her head down to stay out of the wind. Not wanting to miss anything, however, it was back up shortly, tears streaming down the sides of her face as the wind tore at her eyes, even though she wore sunglasses. She loved being on the water and whether fish were caught or not, loved any chance at going for a ride in Devin’s boat.

Devin had purchased the twenty foot,  center console Fishmaster fishing boat back in the summer and they had already taken it for several eventful trips. She was sure this day would prove no different, when she and her Devin were together, it was an adventure waiting to happen. Peering over the side of the boat, she watched the water rippling as they cut through the waves, Devin was making the turn now that would take them to the part of the river known as the “flats”-one of the best places for floundering they had found so far. It wasn’t bad for reds either, but that was for fall fishing…although not completely out of the realm of possibility. Kaly herself had caught reds at different times of the year, so she knew it could happen.

When they made their home in Port Neches, they were excited about all of the waterways, beaches and bayous available for every type of fishing and set out to do as much as possible. Every weekend they were free from work or some other obligation, they were at the beach, or one of the many parks that fronted a particular body of water. There was Port Neches park, right along the Neches river, or they could take a twenty minute drive and be at Umphrey’s Park, close to the causeway into Louisiana. There were others, of course, and Kaly’s personal favorite thing to do was to surf fish for reds in the fall, so far, she had the family record for the biggest one caught yet.

The flat cold water flounder was what they were after today though, and Kaly stopped her daydreaming just as Devin pulled the boat to a slow, sidling up next to a large tree trunk that rose up out of the lake like body of water they now found themselves in. He asked her what their depth was, and answering that they were in a safe six foot, she readied her fishing pole with a chartreuse worm and got up from her seat. Standing on the bow of the boat, she cast out next to the stump, and just as the lure flew out over the water, she felt a slight resistance and the next thing she knew, she was staring at her brand new fishing pole as it hit the water! It had flown right out of her hand, the line having caught up somehow in the rigging of the pole. Devin could not believe his eyes as she looked at him, mouth agape in horror, and said “How the heck did that just happen?” Embarrassed and devastated, Kaly hung her head and said “I have no idea! One minute I was casting and the next, I was watching my pole go in the water. I’m sorry Honey.”

Not one to make waves, Devin assured her it was no big deal and turned to ready another pole for her. Sheepishly, she thanked him and tried her luck again, making sure to hold on tight this time. She knew she would be in for some righteous teasing from this day forward, and promised herself she would take it and not say a word. Devin was first to get lucky, however, and hollered as he pulled up a nice, flat fatty, hoisting to the edge of the boat and Kaly went to grab the net. “Nice one Babe” she said as he dumped it in the live well. Not to be outdone, she at once turned to cast again, aiming for a spot to the left of the tree stump. As she felt the lure drag the bottom, a small tug clued her in that she had a bite, and she jerked on the rod, setting the hook. “Fish on” she shouted and Devin clambered over to her side of the boat with the net at the ready. Only there was no fish, and as she pulled harder and tried to reel, she realized she was caught on some roots or branches from the stupid tree. She could not believe her misfortune, she was the one who usually had the best luck catching fish, now here she’d been out smarted again.

After cutting the line, Devin declared she had better get one soon, the tide was changing and soon they would have to go back in. Kaly was cold anyway, but refused to be denied, pouting the whole time Devin readied another hook and lure for her. He handed it over saying it was her last chance and with that, she tossed the line out over the shimmering water once again. Bobbing the line in short, quick jerks, she wanted patiently for another bite. Scanning the water, watching the sunlight play off the waves, she felt a sense of calm overtake her and she relaxed, deciding if nothing happened, it had still been a fun day on the water. Just taking a boat ride was half of the joy for her, and spending time with her man was what brought a smile to her face. She could even put up with the cold when she knew they would be going fishing, it was their favorite thing to do. Devin once again brought her out of her reverie shouting “fish on” again! She just could not believe this! This day was turning out to be her nemesis, and she was about to put down her pole and go to his aid when she felt a tug.” AHHH, fish on here too” she shouted and then they were both fighting to reel, reel, reel each of their catches in. Hers was small enough that as she caught site of the fish about to break the water’s surface, she gave one last huge pull, and it flopped over the side of the boat and landed at her feet. Throwing down her pole, she grabbed the net and sidled up to Devin, scooping it under his massive flounder. “That’s the biggest one yet” she announced as he beamed with pride. “Well, at least you didn’t get skunked” he said as he surveyed her little flatty. “Fish is fish, you’re right” she said, and dumped him unceremoniously into the live well.

Feeling somewhat victorious, they put up their gear and got ready to head back in. Settling back down in her seat, Kaly gathered a towel around her legs and got out her iPhone to snap some pictures to commemorate another successful trip, as they glided across the water toward the causeway once again. She mused about the simple things in life they shared and how much joy it brought her, just a happy couple cruising through life from the starboard side.

 

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 55-Free Days-Fall Festival & Bunco!

Today was a busy one around the Smyth house, we got an early start with Dave heading out to play golf at 7:30 in Dallas and I went to help out with the Fall Festival at our church.

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There was sporadic shoppers, plentiful of goodies and crafts galore! Hopefully they did well, the jewelry I donated wasn’t selling when I left but was going to the craft store if it never did. Maybe it will do better for them there.

When Dave got home, we went to lunch-spoiler alert-I had a major cheat day because we were trying the new Pancho’s Mexican Buffet on Rufe Snow. This place was iconic since childhood,  they had all closed down around here until this new one popped up, and I just couldn’t help myself from having a couple of hot, buttery, flaky delicious soapapillas with honey. Mmmmmm! I’ll get back on track Monday. It was soooo worth it. 

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Everything tasted just the way I remembered it, and there is no “health” food there. I tried to be good, choosing the verde stew, baked chicken and 2 small flautas. Turns out they were made from flour tortillas and tasted like heaven. Another cheat, lol. Not to mention the small cheese enchilada-yeah, MAJOR cheat meal.

Then we were treated to a visit from my son and his girlfriend, whom I promptly dragged off to play my first ever game of Bunco! OMG, I don’t know what I was so nervous about. What a fun and easy game, we had a great time and Becky even won a nice prize. I will be anxious to play again next month, and luckily everyone was so nice and many of the ladies seem to live close to me. Here are a few pics from the game.

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Actually, I didn’t think to take pics until people were winning prizes at the end. It was great fellowship, food and fun and I’m so glad I went. You can’t go wrong with a room full of rowdy women, lol. This group is a mix of people that are friends of a girl my brother went to school with, that’s how I got invited. I was unaware there was an entry fee, and someone in the group (Tina) was kind enough to pay my way in and made Becky and I feel welcome and wanted.

All in all it was a great day and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the visit with my kids.

Have a good night and see you tomorrow when it’s likely to be raining on the patio. ⛈