Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sorry, so quiet...

I've been enjoying the holidays...complete with family and good friends.  I'll be catching up with my blogging soon.  Today we worked on my new Potting Shed! I can't wait to break it in.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Grandma Schwencke

I attended Mom's Christmas Gift Exchange yesterday, along with Mike and Kathy, Mary and Andi.  Mom was having a pretty good day.
We're trying to figure out a way to fix Mom's hair, since she has a hard time sitting in a salon chair for any length of time.  Yesterday I went a little early so that I could play with her hair some, and here's what I came up with. I like it!
Mom got a nice plush blanket and another smaller lap blanket, which I think is perfect for her to use while in the wheelchair.  It fits nicely over her lap.
I'm planning to see her again this Saturday on Christmas eve, along with John and the Koenigs.  It will be good for her to see KT!
 She looks great here!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movie Review --- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Amusing and fun, with lots of action.  The dialogue between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law is very good - the comedy in this film helps carry it to the end! Rachel McAdams is back as Sherlock's love interest, but only at the very beginning of the movie (they wouldn't really kill her off, would they?) No, I don't think so..no one really ever dies in these movies.

Noomi Rapace from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films is a gypsy in this one, and does a great job.  I really liked her performance in the Swedish films (although the subject matter made them hard to watch at times.)

I really love Guy Ritchie films, they have such style, and are usually well worth the time.

We went to the Alamo Draft House to see this tonight, and I almost froze to death...it was freezing in there! If you go, take a cozy sweater.

Oh no!!!

Took this test this morning, and I was shocked by the candidate it picked as my "most like your answers."
Candidate Match Game.
Now excuse me while I go and scrub my brain.
This said that Ron Paul was my ideal candidate. I can't believe I actually typed that.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Inspecting Carol!

This weekend we took our usual December trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, one of my favorite places in the world.  I love Fredericksburg at Christmas time.  And the weather was so Christmasy - cold, damp, the kind where you love jumping from one shop to the other.  And the shops and stores all smell so great there.
The Hoyt's joined us for some fun browsing - the cowboy store we always go to, the Christmas store that's open all year round, the bookstore, and several others along the strip.  I spent $3.00 on two little pieces of fabric that I know I can find some cute project for!
The two John's hot footed it for the bakery - John brought home enough pastries for his breakfasts all week!

Then we made our way to Friedhelm's, the German restaurant at the end of town.  This is one of my John's favorite places to eat there, very authentic German food.
After lunch we made our way to the Fredericksburg Theater Company's production of "Inspecting Carol", a comedy put on by this local company.  They have a wonderful building, the Steve W. Shepherd Theater right south of town - the seats were so comfortable!

The play was very cute and funny, and the cast was very enthusiastic! From their website:

It’s Christmas time and a small theater is preparing to bring “A Christmas Carol” to its holiday stage.At auditions, in walks an unknown actor who is mistaken for an informer for the National Endowment of the Arts.  The troupe is put into high, farcical gear as they bend over backwards to accommodate the bewildered wannabe actor who is given a role in the holiday production. Everything that can go wrong goes wrong, hilarity is piled upon hilarity, and the Christmas holiday will never be seen the same way again by this struggling troupe – nor by our audience!  Perfect anytime, this is a special family treat at Christmas.
We had a great time!  I recommend it - they are putting on Godspell in February and The Foreigner in April!

Pure luxury!

Thanks to my co-workers at UTSA, when I retired they gave me a very extravagant gift certificate to a spa so that I could pamper myself.  Yikes, I thought, "No, no...not a spa treatment." Doesn't everyone knows that I don't like massages or anyone touching me?! You know I'm German...we're not into spa treatments.
Of course, I said that to myself and graciously accepted the certificate and thanked everyone for it, then I threw it in a drawer and tried to forget it. Isn't that just like psychologists to give you a gift that would make you stretch the limits of your comfort zone! Arghhh!

After we got home from our several trips, I ran into that certificate again and after much tough talk to myself, decided I'd better use it (or lose it). Sigh....

So I called to see what kind of services they offered.  I decided on a gel manicure and a pedicure, and upgraded to the special additional hot towel and hot paraffin treatment since I had so much to spend. Then I just had to wait until the day of the appointments.  And I worried and worried, and thought about cancelling several times, but on the day I decided to just go ahead and GET IT OVER WITH.
What a goose I am...really.  I had the BEST TIME!! It was a small place, very nice people and I felt totally pampered. The paraffin treatment was so great - I highly suggest it. The massage chairs and the hot towels, pure luxury!  Sigh...
I can't wait to do it again.
So, I guess it's good to occasionally stretch our horizons.
Trust a psychologist to know that.
Thanks gang!! I miss you all and really enjoyed the gift!

And now, back to present time!

Whew...took me a while to catch up with the Thanksgiving holiday trip, but I wanted to get it all done before posting anything else.  I can't believe how fast the Christmas holiday is steaming toward us....two weeks away.  Amazing!
We have our tree up, having taken our usual trip to the Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm.  This has been our tradition for as many years as I can remember, probably since they opened to the public.  Their website says 1994, and I can believe we've been getting our tree there since then.
 My handsome man!
 KT trudges thru the mud!
("Mimi, are you sure it's okay for me to get muddy?")
Many fun trips with the family.  It was raining this time -- rainy and cold! But, we're hardy stock, and we braved the mud.  KT got to experience muddy shoes - she seemed shocked that her parents let her get so muddy! Ha! She's so much fun.
It took us a few days after that trip to put the tree up, but it's beautiful! Now I just need to finish decorating the rest of the house.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Game of Thrones....

Can not wait until April!! This is such a good series, I'm so looking forward to it coming back for season two.

Headed home!

Saturday morning we were up and on the road early.  Jeff, Colleen and John decided that we were driving straight thru, and it actually went pretty fast.  I was surprised.  The only thing that kept us from getting home even earlier was some terrible weather we ran into on the road - we had to get off and take an hour or so to let it blow over at one point - the wind was pushing the RV all over the road and it was dangerous.  Thankfully we stopped for dinner and by the time we got out it had calmed down quite a bit.
(KT on one of our little breaks to stretch our legs!)
I think we got home to Pipe Creek around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, after dropping Jeff, Colleen and KT at their home.  It was SO good to get home.  I love traveling, but isn't it always nice to get home?

Friday was Beach Day!

Friday, after John and Jeff went golfing with Bobby and Daniel, John and I went to see his cousin, Bernie, new place.  She has moved into a really nice community that was built for adults over a certain age (I think she said it was 50, but I'm not sure my memory is exactly right there.) But mainly older people with no children.  The homes are built around a nice little lake, and her home is right on the water! Very nice.  It was quiet, peaceful there.  She said that they have events and activities for the residents too.  While we were sitting there on her little deck, her neighbor pulled in the biggest catfish...we walked over to see him pull it in! Perfect.
(Big catfish!)
After we got home, we all packed up again and went over to the beach with Michelle and Lexi.  KT got to put her feet in the Atlantic Ocean!

 It was so breezy -- in that I mean it was blowing like crazy....and the ocean was choppy and rushing in on the sand.  I thought it was a bit too cold to be in the water, but there were a few hardy souls swimming.  KT just loves the sand - she explored and left her footprints up and down the beach.  So cute!
 We walked across the road from the boardwalk to an ice cream shoppe and everyone had ice cream (well, I had a mocha latte instead -- nice and hot!) Yum!

The rest of the evening we spent getting the RV packed back up and visiting with family again.  It's off in the morning for home.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Day, 2011

Thursday started with a flurry of activity in the kitchen, Susan put the turkey on in a big roaster and we could begin smelling it wafting around the house. She also made traditional stuffing, and all the fixings.
Cindy ended up having to work for a while (she works one job at Walmart) and so she was off to work early.
KT started feeling so much better today after a few doses of her medication.  I'm so glad everyone got to see her in her "well" state.  Michelle and Lexi came over to help get everything ready, and after a few quick runs for supplies and forgotten items, dinner was ready.  Colleen and Lexi made a batch of Smores bars in the middle of all of that.  Then it was 3:30pm, Bobby and family arrived along with everyone else, and dinner was served!
As usual, more food then anyone could eat!  But we sure tried.  The rest of the evening was spent just enjoying time with family and enjoying the beautiful night.  Bobby fired up Susan's fire pit and there was some marshmallow roasting going on.  
 (Adrienne and her roommate, Isis)
(Daniel and Lexi)

Arriving at Granny's

Wednesday we slowly packed and departed from Disney World, meeting up with Molly at the gas station across from Downtown Disney one last time before we left Orlando.  It was so good to see her!
After a short drive, we arrived in Vero Beach and made our way to Granny's.
(John's mother, Granny)
(Cousins with their children -- Colleen with KT, Michelle with Lexi)
Susan, John's sister, and Lexi, our niece, were there to greet us.  Granny goes to a day center for seniors, so she was due to arrive home shortly afterwards.
Unfortunately, KT was beginning to get pretty sick.  She had a fever, so Colleen and Jeff took her to a local emergency clinic in town -- found out she had an ear infection.
(Poor sick KT)
After a dose or two of her new medication she quickly recovered, thank goodness!
We spent the rest of the day visiting with family and enjoying a lasagna dinner that Susan had made.
Granny has declined quite a bit since we last saw her.  Susan and Cindy seem to have her in a good daily schedule now, though, and they seem to be coping while keeping her at home.  As long as they are both working, it's good that she goes to the senior day care during the day.
Thursday is Thanksgiving, so we had an early night.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday relaxation, with shopping!

Tuesday the guys had a tee time at one of the many golf courses on the complex.  Colleen ran some laundry (amazing how many clothes one little one goes thru!) and she and I took KT down to another of the many playgrounds.  KT had a great time climbing, sliding and running!
We relaxed while we waited for the guys to get back, and when they did we got on the shuttle to Disney Downtown, which is a big walking/shopping mall area.  John and I immediately made out way to the Margarita hut on the lake to sit and relax, while Jeff and Colleen took KT around.  They had a live one man band playing there, which was nice.  Had some more fun watching people go by.  We eventually got a little shopping in, too.  Loved the dinosaur store, neat electronic dino in the entry way. 
We actually cooked our own dinner that evening in the RV and generally spent the evening getting ready to depart for Vero Beach the next day, along with a few rides around the park on the golf cart, and a stop or two for Mickey ice cream at the Settlement store.  A very nice, easy day.  Wednesday -- back on the road!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An evening with family....

Monday evening, after a long day at the Magic Kingdom park, we all gathered again at the Fort Wilderness Trail's End Buffet.  Molly and Adrienne joined us again this evening, and we enjoyed a full buffet meal.
 After dinner, we went to the nearby playground so that KT (and a few adults!) could swing and climb to their hearts content! KT just loves to fly on that swing...it looked scary but she loved it.  She didn't suffer from a lack of people to push her swing either.
 We then decided to go across to the lake beach to take in the light parade on the lake at around 9pm. Turns out it wasn't until closer to 10pm, so we just relaxed on the beach, taking turns amusing KT so she would be awake to see it all.
 (No, I didn't take this picture, but this is what it would have looked like if I did. I swiped this one from Google!)
There was a fireworks display from the Magic Kingdom at the end of the parade, very well done!  We all called it the end of the day at this point.  TIRED!!