Saturday, July 14, 2018

Life's better at the lake

I've been at the lake for the past few days with a friend of mine. Me and my girls have traveled with her and her girls for at least seven summers now. We've taken the girls on a Caribbean cruise, to Disney, the beaches and now the lake.

 This year we were missing my oldest since she had to take some prereq classes for her new masters program in North Carolina, so that was disappointing. Since she didn't have her older sister, I let my youngest bring her best friend from school. But this year we've also added something new into the mix... boyfriends! My friend's youngest and my youngest daughter, ages 18 and 17, both have boyfriends and so we let the guys join us for a day of boating and tubing. I was a tad nervous about driving the 18-wheeler of the lake, a pontoon boat. But I called it a great success since I didn't run over any of our teens, tangle the tow rope in the propeller or smash into any of those pesky folks on jet skis that are zipping around everywhere.

We always have fun with these friends because the girls get along, so it's all good times and wonderful memories.

We're already thinking next year we have to get all of us together for one more moms and daughters trip since the youngest of the group will have just graduated high school and we'll officially be entering the next stage in our lives as moms with empty nests. 

Fur baby

My mother-in-law Rose said after she retired from teaching that she'd get a cute little dog to keep her and my father-in-law company once they got old. We've finally decided at ages 81 and 82 that the day has come. So the older daughter going to grad school in NC found them a yorkiepoo puppy breeder in the Charlotte area. Right now the little guy is about 2.5 lbs, but is predicted to max out at 5-7 lbs when grown. Rose named him Brutus. Our daughter has to keep Brutus one month until she flies home for the summer/fall semester break to hand him off to her grandparents. 

I've enjoyed the puppy drama from afar. Suffice it to say that she's not ready to handle her own puppy, let alone a baby, anytime soon. He follows her around, wanting her to play. He wants all of her attention. He cries when she puts him in his crate to sleep. He likes to try and chew on her flip flops. She's always cleaning up after him. 

He's a cutie pie, but she'll be more than happy to hand off the little time and attention drain to the grandparents ASAP so she can get back to focusing on school.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Worm Up

Thanks to all of this wet stuff we've been getting for the past several days...

about a dozen of these inch worms have crawled out of the very soggy landscaping beds and up onto our front porch. It's a somewhat icky and wriggly price to pay for several inches of glorious precipitation since our water bill for last month - trying to keep our 24 pallets of sod and 85 new landscaping plants alive with no measurable rain for over three weeks - was a blow to the bank account.

Then there are these kinda scary things, cicada shells that I've spied hanging on the fence, iris stalks, tree bark and this random one laid out on the front porch. Every night, it's a cicada symphony around our house. I don't know about the rest of the US, but I've always considered it a distinctly southern summer thing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

242 years young

It was hot and humid, but it's the 4th of July and so ya gotta get out for at least a bit to watch the kids, no matter their age, have some fun in the blazing sun. So we whipped up some potato salad and lemon pound cake to haul ourselves to the brother-in-law's river house for burgers and dogs. Happy 242nd birthday, 'murica!

Our 17 yr old and her friend Inaara

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Like a temporarily deflated balloon

This meme pretty much sums up how I feel about travel these days. Maybe it's middle age. Maybe it's the fact that we've been traveling regularly for the past dozen years. I'm not sure of the cause, but this is how it seems to go when travel rolls up on the calendar.

In a flurry of anticipation and excitement, I consult my travel bucket list since I'm still working on traveling to places I've always wanted to see. Petra, Australia, Machu Picchu... And yet once the actual travel date nears, I don't want to be bothered. I don't want to have to pack a suitcase, ride on a plane, deal with different currency and plug/voltage issues for my hair straightener. Once I get there and get going with the touring, I'm fine. But the angst and irritation leading up to getting there always seems to put me in a pre-holiday travel funk the past couple years. Once I visit Machu Picchu next month, I will probably curtail travel for a while to focus on finding our dream retirement home. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mother-Daughters trip to Seattle

We left behind the husbands and kids, dogs and cats, and hit the road for a ladies-only trip to Seattle. Mother kicked off the flight by popping a Xanax and chasing it with a screwdriver since the booze was free in our upgraded seats. And yes, she's also enjoying a bag of cheddar goldfish crackers.

On our first full day in the Pacific Northwest, we went on a private tour of the San Juan Islands via ferry and car. Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor were picturesque and quite lovely.

The temps were absolutely perfect, with highs in the low 70s and a cool breeze. My sister and mother were sorely tempted to hurdle the fence and pet the furry critters at the alpaca farm we saw on the drive from Roche to Friday Harbor.

The rest of our time in Seattle was spent visiting the usual touristy spots like the Pike Place Market, Chinatown, Pioneer Square, Chihuly Glass Museum, space needle, monorail ride, harbor boat tour, etc.

Every city has its quirks. It's not every day you see some guy in a Star Wars stormtrooper costume cross paths with Buddhist monks at the space needle, I bet.

This breakfast eatery that creates hand forged donuts was about a block from our hotel, and I remembered it from a prior trip with my husband and kids for an Alaskan cruise that departed from Seattle in 2014. So we decided to stop in for a sugar fix one morning.

On the stroll over to get donuts, we passed by this one perfect donut on the sidewalk. As we returned via the same route about 15 minutes later, the donut had disappeared and there was just a bit of a greasy spot on the sidewalk. Not sure if a local dog or homeless person enjoyed it.

I thought for a minute that I was gonna get through this trip without spying some Aggie alum along the way. But then sure enough, there in the Seattle airport waiting for our flight home I saw one guy wearing an A&M jacket and another old Ag with his maroon luggage. As always, no matter where you travel, there they are!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Great, great grandpappy

Cousins on my mother's side of the family recently gifted me with an old picture of my great, great grandfather taken in the 1880s. It had been restored and framed in a gold oval several decades ago by my great Aunt Jodie. She had written a description on the back so future generations would know who he was. 

Since I had all of the current pics on our walls in the remodel house reframed to compliment each other, I spent about $350 to get the old family picture reframed, too. It now hangs next to the fireplace in the master bedroom and I think it looks great in its new housing. My custom framer cut out the description my aunt wrote on the back and created a pocket in the new backing for us to keep her original note, which I thought was a nice touch.