Monday, March 30, 2009

We had Jalen and Brayden from Thursday evening until last evening. Of course, we had a wonderful time. They and their grandmother spent Friday night and Saturday with the Hollensbe kids in their Kids' Wonderland. I had a lecture and workshop on Friday and Saturday so missed all the play. Jalen and Brayden get along fabulously with Lukas and Josie and always feel terrible when it is time to leave.

Yesterday, Jalen and Brayden practiced their Guitar Hero then we filmed a video of them playing, taking turns on guitar and drums. If you want, you may view the video on YouTube: Sue will post more about the weekend soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's been a week since my last update and a busy one for most everyone I've heard from. Joe cleaned 'PaPa's' van so it was free of dog hair and dog odor and lent it to Lydia and her parents for a trip to Kansas City where Lydia and her school group to fly out to Costa Rica. The group won't return until this weekend, so it's a long week for Lydia's grandparents and also for Pepper, the dog. A long week for different reasons. Pepper because he is banned from the van for the whole week and Lydia's grandparents muss her so much.

Joe's daughter Lisa and husband Jack flew to Chicago on Thursday flew to Chicago and home on Sunday. Lisa goes to Little Rock sometime in April where she will be the keynote speaker at a teachers' event and to San Diego in November for a teacher of the year award/event.

Joe's son David (aka Evil Keneivel) had not disclosed his plans for the weekend. He and Joe did have breakfast Sunday morning. I caught Joe on IM just as he was leaving. They could have come to the lake where Goldman. Mad Dog, and I spent the weekend. The weather wasn't so good but the lake is always a good place to be. We had a great weekend. It was just too short.

The National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees Unit #166 may have a new treasurer or, as Pete calls it bean counter. Joe was discussing the idea of using some of Beth's newly acquired MBA acqired knowledge to assist him should he get this position. Beth said she doubted there would be very many beans to count.

Donald called on Sunday. He and Vita had been to New York City for the St. Patrick's Day parade. He was going back to Florida as soon as Spring break for some is over. When the guys have their annual fishing trip, they do plan to go see Wanda Jean. None of them seem to know exactly when that's going to be but sometime soon.

Pete and Janet are back in Idaho and waiting for Spring there. It's closer here than it is there. Things are blooming and popping out all over. The trees in our subdivision are gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. It's been a while since my last post but I'll try to catch up on everyone I've heard from and for my happenings. I had a yoga lesson last Monday and was a bit sore on Tuesday but worked the soreness off. I had another session this morning and will see how I feel tomorrow. I had a session of acupuncture last Monday which is very relaxing until I feel the needles poke me. I'll have my next session this Thursday.

Shirley went to Chicago last Thursday and Rose went there on Saturday. Rose led a group on Friday evening through a discussion about a movie about Sabina Spielrein, the first female Jungian analyst. It was an interesting movie, and there was a good turnout for the occasion. Margaret, Norm, and I dropped Rose off at the airport Saturday morning, and I spent the weekend at the Abbotts.

I enjoyed my weekend with the Abbotts very much. Catrina, Robbie, Sam, Lizzie and Sabrina all came for supper Saturday night. Margaret seemed to be feeling much better than she has been feeling. She made her famous fried chicken for supper on Saturday night. Norm barbequed pork tenderloin on Sunday night. Rose and I ate at a fancy place in Clayton called Oceano's on Friday night. The Abbotts and I ate at Red Lobster last nighr. I believe they're all trying to fatten me up!! Neighbors and some of the Abbott kids were in and out of the Abbotts all weekend. I got to visit with all of them which I liked very much.

Pete called Saturday morning. I think he went back to Idaho a week or two too soon. He said the temperature there was 7 degrees while it was 75 degrees in Arizona. (Joe, I'm not sure he was is the smart one after all.)

Donald called me one day last week. I didn't hear the phone ring, but he left a message that he will call back one day this week. He said they were in Florida but were going to head 'up east'. I guess that's where you go when you're 'down south'.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I need to make a correction on Donald, Vita, and Joe's visit this past week. After they left the Midwest Geneology Center on Monday, they met cousin Mike Madden in Leawood, Ks., which is north of Kansas City. Joe did find that both Donald and Vita were interested in geneology. Joe says that Donald gave him some pretty good lessons on Ireland and potato famines the night before their visit to the Center. He was quite pleased to find that Donald and Vita are quite interested in geneology, and they all three enjoyed their trip to the Geneology Center.

The trio had lunch with Mike at Joe's daughter Lisa'a favorite restaurant, a place
called BRAVO in Leawood. It is an Italian restaurant. Everything looked like it was going to be good (in spite of embargoed tomatoes). Joe said if he can't pronounce a dish, he's usually skeptical about ordering it. He had no complaints about this place. The lunch was quite enjoyable. They also had a wonderful visit with Mike. Mike said Aunt Virginia physically is holding up well, but her short term memory is her biggest problem.

After lunch Joe headed south (to Springfield). Mike headed west (back to work). Donald and Vita went back to Plattsburg which is north and where their daughters and their families live.

I went to Margaret and Norm's and spent most of the afternoon and evening there on Saturday. Rose drove me. Randy was there when we got there, and we had a lovely visit with him. Norm took Margaret and me to a restaurant called Saullo's for dinner that evening. We spent most of the day just visiting and laughing. Margaret was feeling pretty good. If we're both feeling up to it and the weather looks like it's going to be fairly nice, we may all three go to the lake next weekend. Shirley is going to Chicago Thursday and Rose is going there on Saturday. Margaret and Norm invited me to stay with them if we don't go to the lake. Goldman came out to drive me home.


Sue and a Friend she made in Jackson Square

Loretta (Shirley's sister), Sue, and Rose at Cafe du Monde

Friday, March 06, 2009

BACK IN MISSOURI. We got back late Wednesday night. We had planned to make it a two-day drive but decided it was easier to travel farther and sleep in our own beds. We were sure glad we decided to do that on Thursday morning. There was still patches of snow on the ground in Northern Arkansas and Southern Misouri when we went through there. It was in the high seventies here today.

We went out for dinner Monday evening with Loretta, Yvonne and Savannah in New Orleans. Yvonne ordered alligator for an appetizer which Rose, Shirley, and I all tried reluctantly. We liked it! Then Rose and I tried her crawfish. I think Rose has had this before. Brother Joe wanted to know if we ate the eyeballs or spit them out. I'm soon going to be 65 years old and just learned that crawdads and crawfish are the same thing. You really insult a Cajun if you call a crawfish a crawdad! Cajuns also call lightning bugs fireflies. Between alligator and crawDADS, I liked the alligator better, but I wouldn't want to make a whole meal on either one.

Rose and I were out walking on Tuesday and walked up an appetite. We ran across this busy little place called The Bon Ton Cafe. We figured that since it was busy it must be good. I ordered some crab dish, ate that, and then decided I would have some dessert. Their menu said they were known for their bread pudding with a whiskey sauce, so I ordered one serving and two spoons, one for me and one for Rose. The pudding was even better than Mother used to make! It was scrumptious and especially so was the whiskey sauce. Mother would never have made it with whiskey sauce. I soon noticed that Rose had given me a fork to eat my share with and she was eating hers with a spoon. Then I noticed that the fork wouldn't hold any of the whiskey sauce but her spoon would! Right away we were both eating with spoons!

I gained two pounds while we were away, but have taken up walking again since the weather has gotten nicer here in Missouri the last couple days. I did two miles on the exercycle yesterday and thought I had also walked two miles, but Rose and I decided it wasn't quite two miles. Today I did not quite three miles walking and again two on the exercycle. It was like Spring outside, but I'm afraid it won't be so nice for the next few days.

Last Sunday, over on the other side of Missouri, Joe, Donald, Vita and some of Donald and Vita's grandsons met up in Excelsior Springs where "Little Joe" played - and won - in a basketball tournament. Donald and Vita have five grandsons, and I'm not sure if they were all with them. Joe's granddaughter was "jump" cheerleading in an area tournament in Springfield.

After spending Sunday night in Plattsburg, MO, Donald and Vita dropped the boys at school and had breakfast in Smithville with Joe. From there, the three of them proceeded to the newly-built Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, MO. Joe said a researcher could spend a long time in there and still be dumb. Then they went back to Plattsburg and met up with Mike Madden for lunch. I assume they had lunch at Julie and Jennifer's (Donald and Vita's daughters) restaurant. Mike updated them on his family, the vineyard, the farm, the house remodeling and various other topics. He has sold the horse which one year ate part of the grapes in the vineyard.

I'm going to spend the day with Margaret and Norm tomorrow. I told Margaret to get out a Missouri map so she and I could trace all the traveling that was done around Missouri over the weekend. Rose is going to take me out there in the morning, and Goldman will call for me tomorrow evening. They invited me to spend the night, but I took a raincheck for next weekend because Rose and Shirley are going to be in Chicago. On Monday Goldman is taking me to my second acupuncturist session with Maegan. He promises not to get lost this time. I want to do another Yoga session this week too but haven't arranged it yet.

Rose, my sons, and grandsons got me an Amazon Kindle, an early birthday present. Last week I didn't know what one was and now it's one of my favorite and prized possessions. It looks like a notebook and is about the size of a Reader's Digest. It's also very light weight and easy for me to maneuver. It holds 1500 books. There are 240,000 books, newspapers, and magazines available through Amazon. You can order any of these and have them on your Kindle within 60 seconds. I'm in the middle of one book and have another waiting when I finish this one. You can either read on the screen, have the Kindle read aloud, or listen with a headset. To turn a page (which I often have great trouble doing with my bad hands), you just gently push a button. If you leave it for a while it turns itself off. When you come back to it, you push a button and it turns on and goes to the page you left off. It has lots of other features that I haven't wanted or needed to use yet. Rose, Scott, and Chris had planned to get it for me for my birthday as a joint gift, but Rose couldn't wait. Boys, take it up with her. When I finish this update I'm going to go read for a while.

WE NEED UPDATES FROM OTHER PEOPLE AND PLACES!!! We have lots of pictures from Louisiana when we get them posted.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm down here in Louisiana and the weather has turned cold and windy since we got here. We left on Thursday and stopped overnight south of Memphis. Friday we were HOT. We've been chilly and windblown ever since then. We're hoping tomorrow will warm up and the wind will die down. Regardless of this, the weather has been better than the weather in Missouri and Alabama so I shouldn't complain.

I did have my first session with my new acupuncturist, Maegan Lemp, before I left, and I look forward for more of these. Goldman took me, and we went the long way there. We were lost as 'a goose'. He's going to take me to my next session on the ninth and promises not to take the long way there. I also had a checkup with one of the surgeons who did my angiogram who said I was doing very well and could tell I had been exercising. I don't have to go back there for four weeks.

We had a funny incident happen on the way down here. On Friday we were stopped at a rest area near Hammond, LA. We three old ladies have to stop frequently when traveling. Rose moved the car before Shirley and I got back to a handicap spot nearer for us to get back in. She and I looked up to see Shirley hugging some man!! It turned out to be a long time friend of Shirley's from Illinois that all three of us know. He was enroute to Florida. Shirley had no idea he was traveling, and he didn't know we were going to be on the road. We visited with him for about 30minutes. It was a welcome respite from the boredom of the ride.

We arrived here in New Orleans Friday afternoon and are staying at a Hilton Homewood Suite. We did not know what we were looking for. Loretta, Shirley's sister, is staying with us here in our suite. We haven't had the time or opportunity yet to play cards which we usually do on our spring vacation. We would have had to give up sleeping to do so as of yet. Rose and I did go to Harrah's for a while Sunday morning but it's just like all other casinos I've been to. It just takes your money. We couldn't afford to stay very very long.

Suzanne had sent a doll, a bear and a mouse for Savannah, Shirley's great niece. (I believe I got the critters right. I liked the doll best. Among other things she has earrings and tennis shoes.) Savannah loves them. She is a darling little girl. She will be three on St. Patrick's Day. She is not the least bit shy and took right up with both Rose and me, but I believe she's not sure which one of us is which. Another of Shirley's grand-nieces, about the same age, once referred to us as Rose and the Other Rose. We're going out to dinner tonight. Her grandmother just said if Savannah hadn't napped then Granny wouldn't go with us. She is napping.

Rose and I went walking Saturday morning for 45 minutes looking for the French Quarter and decided we must be in it and didn't know it. Sunday evening we went to Shirley's brother's, house. Frank lives in the French Quarter. We knew the difference. We had a wonderful dinner at an elegant restaurant and we're going out with Frank again tonight. The place we went to last night was not 'kid-friendly' as Jalen would deem it. Tonight we're taking Savannah so we're going to a 'kid-friendly' place. Loretta and Yvonne, Savannah's mother, are also joining us.

I have more to say but have to quit soon. Pete called Saturday with his weekly call. They will probably start for Idaho on the 7th. Talked to Joe on IM (AOL instant messaging). He is meeting Mike Madden and Donald one day this week for lunch. I'm not sure where and when and haven't talked to Joe IM today. Margaret called and had been for a checkup with one of her doctors and said she doesn't have to go back there for four months.

We had cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde this morning. We had powdered sugar all over our face and clothes. The beignet were especially delicious. Strolled the French Quarter and looked at a lot of galleries and shops. We plan on going back tomorrow.