Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big D

Hyatt1 View from the tower at the Hyatt Reunion Center.

Every year in October I get to attend the Texas Council for the Social Studies Conference which rotates among areas of the state. This year Lovejoy ISD is hosting the conference at the Hyatt Reunion Center in downtown Dallas. (The rack rate on the back of the door in my room is $600, which is about $475 more than it is worth. Well…maybe $450 more. The bed is very comfy and the sheets are 300 thread count. Ha!)

It is within walking distance to the West End, the museums, the aquarium, and the original Neiman Marcus. I am also seeing a side of Dallas that I have not seen before. There are a lot of little areas close to downtown that have been redeveloped into little districts with shops and restaurants.

Tonight we ate at a restaurant called Hattie’s. It was billed by the concierge at the hotel as down home fusion. I’m not really sure what that means, except maybe that I had fried green tomatoes on top of my trout which was covered with shrimp sauce. This was served on a bed of wilted greens. I guess that the tomatoes and wilted greens were the nod to down home cooking. One of my dinner companions said that when he thought of down home he was thinking chicken fried steak. He ordered a wedge of lettuce with a buttermilk dressing. I believe he left hungry!


I enjoyed my meal and the company. The area we were in is called Bishop Arts District. There were some cute shops, but they were closed by the time we finished eating.

In addition to the social studies people conferencing here, the Air Force JAG group is having a conference. In fact, they have been here for over a week. There are a lot of them here from all over the country – the Pentagon and numerous Air Force bases. We told them that we can go to sleep knowing that we are in good hands! When we got back from dinner, they were in their formal attire. They must be having a formal dance to end their conference. There is nothing like a military man dressed in his formal uniform...reminds me of An Officer and a Gentleman (when I still liked Tom C.) Very impressive!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A turkey of an anniversary…

Yesterday was our 39th wedding anniversary, our 40th high school reunion, and the horns played Missouri. It was also a gloriously beautiful fall day. It sounds like a weekend memories are made of.

Here’s how we celebrated… If you read my last post, you know that the washing machine got stuck on the rinse cycle and flooded our utility room, breakfast room, kitchen, and living room. I didn’t tell you that we also found out that we had (I hope) a mouse gnaw a little hole in the ceiling of our pantry and help himself to some of our groceries. Between moving furniture and unloading cabinets because of the water and the exterminator, our house has been a total wreck. This is the only part of the house that has looked good. I keep going outdoors to look at it, so I don’t have to think about what still needs to be done inside. (Ha!)

IMG_0982 Here’s a little tour of how the inside looked on Friday night. This is the living room. Notice that there is no oriental rug, there are glasses on top of the entertainment center and dishes on the ottoman because we ran out of space to stack things. Of course the entertainment center is pulled out from the wall. Ouch! That is one heavy piece of furniture.

IMG_0966 Here is just a glimpse of the kitchen and the dining room.

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This is behind the entertainment center. We had to remove all the molding. The floor has started to buckle a little bit, so we have tile boxes (topped with casserole dishes from the kitchen cabinets) trying to get the wood to lay flat.


More chaos…you get the idea. IMG_0976 We have just about got the kitchen/breakfast room/utility room put back in order. We are waiting on the insurance adjuster for the living room.

We did celebrate our anniversary by going out to the Canyon Cafe for dinner. We had verde enchiladas and tres leches.

canyon cafe Guess what my sweet husband got me to commemorate our 39 years together? A turkey… Did he have a premonition about the kind of weekend we would have, or what?


I did really, really want this Round Top Collection turkey, but thought it too expensive. So he got it for our front yard. Boy, we have got it looking good on the outside!! Just don’t come inside. Yet.

P.S. If you have never seen the Round Top collection, it is made by Jeff Krause. He first started selling his metal creations on the town square, but quickly branched out to the Nutcracker Market, etc. I like what he writes on his tags…”Our company’s heartfelt mission is to be an efficient leader in the gift industry while allowing the customer to benefit from a God-given talent and serving them in a Christ-like manner.” If only every business would strive for this goal…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Joys of Home Ownership

You know the verse:
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Prov. 16:18
As with all scripture, there was never a truer word spoken.

After we got our new front door, we were so proud of how it improved the appearance of the house that we were just silly-Dan says not him, just me. (It doesn't take a whole lot to get us excited.) As Dan and I would drive through the neighborhood, I would say "Let's see who has a door as pretty as ours. Uh...that house. That's a big no." (I was joking. Ha! I'm really a nice person!)

Right now that's about the only thing that's pretty around here because last night I was washing clothes and the washing machine rinsed...and rinsed...and rinsed...and rinsed the whole downstairs. We had water running out the seep holes of the brick and underneath the wood floors. We could splash in the middle of the living room. I'm sure that people who might have happened by and glanced through our beautiful beveled glass front door were wondering what we were doing. They should have stopped in because we could have used the help moving furniture.

The good thing is that I can finally sleep good because the thermostat in the house is set at 68 and the fan runs all day. Hot flashes are welcome! Also, all the towels in the house have been freshly washed and all the dust bunnies behind the entertainment center have been washed right out into the backyard. The tile floor has been scrubbed til it squeaks. For the first time carrying a few extra pounds has been a blessing because it helps when you are jumping on the wood floor to get the water to come out. Of course, now I'll probably have to have a knee replacement.

It helps to have a sense of humor when you are sitting in this chaos. Dan looked at me in the middle of jumping and laughed and said that these are only things and nothing matters except that we have each other. (When God has cured you of cancer, it puts everything else in perspective.) We will be married 39 years on Saturday. (And, yes, we are not too old to jump up and down.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

What a difference a door makes!


We got our new door installed today. Please excuse the white stripe around the bottom. The caulk isn’t dry yet.


August 30. 2009 048


IMG_0960 IMG_0959 IMG_0961

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Since I have entered the blog world, I have become part of an extended family of people whose blog I read, but have never met. Even though most don't even know me, I am sharing their heartaches and burdens, some almost unimagineable. I have never seen so much illness, pain, and suffering.

Watching the nightly news certainly does nothing to ease the feelings of desperation those of us who are Christians have about the spiritual condition of our country as we see it move farther and farther away from the precepts of God. It seems that on every front we are being persecuted because of our values and beliefs. When you add that to economic woes, etc. life can become overwhelming and hearts can truly be filled with despair.

Have you ever noticed how often the Bible urges us to cry out to God in our distress? It never tells us that we annoy Him with our petitions, or that we've gotten ourselves into trouble far too often for Him to be bothered anymore. It never implies that we're on our own now, and it never even hints that God helps those who help themselves. No, the Bible is emphatic that when we get into trouble, we are to call on Him.

Why is that? Because there is a holy dynamic in our relationship with Him. A people of great need are a necessary condition for God to reveal Himself as a God of great mercy and great provision. If we had no need, no one would ever know of God's supply. If we had no hurt, no one would ever know of His comfort. If we had no disease, no one would know of His healing. He is revealed as a Redeemer and Rescuer only when we need redemption and rescuing. Our need highlights who He is.

That's why the Bible urges us to call on Him in the day of trouble. That's why it never imples - not even once - that He will not respond to His children. That's why millions throughout history have called to Him and found Him faithful. The God of mercy demonstrates it - often.

Sometimes we're hesitant to bare our souls before Him. We let Him know of some of our needs, but we're afraid to be desperate in His presence. But desperation is the key. Desperation puts us in perfect position to see the merciful God who saves and restores.

You will have days of trouble. When you do, go ahead and come to Him empty-handed. Like David, tell Him that all your hopes are hanging on Him, and that if He doesn't respond, you'll be devastated. Then watch Him respond. Experience his restoration, His providence, and His love. Know that the God of mercy is looking for people who will accept it. It shows us - and the world - who He is.
Chris Tiegreen

In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Psalm 86:7

Thank you Lord for who you are, our faithful and merciful Savior, Redeemer, Restorer, Provider, Comforter, Rescuer, Healer... Help us to keep our eyes and hearts focused on You.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I won!!

Look at what the mailman brought today…


A few weeks ago I was looking at Melissa’s Heart and Home and she was displaying some treasures that she had purchased from fellow bloggers. I discovered Kristen’s Creations blog and loved how she has decorated her house. Her colors are my colors, too. She makes beautiful frames and floral arrangements. In fact, I purchased one of both. She is a very talented lady.

Right before we left for Denver she had a giveaway for her 100th blog. I’ve never entered a giveaway before, but decided, Why not?

As I was going to work on Thursday at about 7:00, Erin called to tell me that I had won. Not only had I won, but there was a video of the drawing on Kristen’s blog. Now I never win anything, so needless to say, I was excited.

My goodies came with a sweet note from Kristen. I can’t wait to put a picture in the frame and display my fall decorations. Thanks so much, Kristen!




P.S. She has some really cute Christmas frames!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last but not least…Denver trip

I know that these pictures are out of sequence, but we’ve had some other excitement in between being able to post. (See Littlest Longhorn)

On the fourth day of our girl’s trip to Colorado we went to Marble, CO. This is the place where the marble came from that was used for the exterior of the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. It is deemed to be some of the finest marble in the world according to artisans. The quarry is next to the Crystal River. As you drive along the river you will see chunks of marble that has been quarried and as it was being shipped fell off the train and was left beside the river. Everyone’s front yard also has chunks of marble laying around. Some of the chunks have been sculpted into figures. Most are just laying there. This is a picture of the marble on the side of the mountain.

marble quarryThe pictures below are of Redstone, CO, which is not far from Marble. It is also built along the Crystal River. The marble fish and marble picnic tables are part of the Redstone Park.



This is the Crystal River. It was frigid this morning!


Katie very briefly swinging in the Redstone Park. It was 28 degrees.


Redstone is known for its beautiful scenery and the Redstone Castle, built by coal baron John Cleveholm Osgood. He supposedly entertained the likes of John D. Rockefeller and Teddy Roosevelt (who shot game out of the gazebo on the property).


Marble alongside the road. I picked up a little piece from the front of a closed hotel as a souvenir.


The pictures below are of Glenwood Canyon on the way back to Vail.










I know, I know….way too many pictures. I just can’t get enough of those aspens and mountains. This is a picture of the ski runs in Vail. They were already out there prepping them for the season which will begin at the end of the month.



IMG_0873 The little stream that runs through Vail Village.

IMG_0874 More aspens…







Katie did not want to have her picture made. She was too busy careening down the streets driving her stroller.



IMG_0884 Ski season might be sooner than they think.IMG_0893


This was taken when we stopped in Copper, right outside Copper Mountain resort.


IMG_0900 Entering the Eisenhower Tunnel.

IMG_0902 Dinner at Romano’s. We do like to eat…especially those carbs!




For dessert, Lucas took us to get gelato which was delish. While finishing our dessert a gentleman (and I use that word loosely) kindly informed us that Katie needed to be home in bed. (It was 7:45. She was in bed a little after 8:00.)

Thursday we were able to play for a while at a park near Erin’s before we headed to the airport. Oh, I forgot! We also ate. Ha!

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We had a great time and made lots of wonderful memories that we can cherish again and again.