Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year to all our friends and family!

We would love to post photos of the two of us dressed to the nines, sipping Champagne with our smart and sassy friends. But that would take too much photo shopping as Captain is sitting in front of the TV watching football and ABN is in her pajamas puttering around in her studio. I know, it’s sad but we’ve been there, done that and have had the hangover.

Besides, we want to share what is really important to us, our family.
Holly, Camille and Alison

We were the lucky ones to get them this Christmas, (sorry other parents and grandparents, NOT.)  So we packed all we could into the few days they were here including Christmas Eve church service 





followed with the traditional supper at our house.












Church again on Sunday followed by unwrapping of gifts,


a nap,
and dinner.
Table setting by Camille

 It was decided Alison's stocking was entirely too small
so, after Christmas we headed to the studio to fix that.
Preparing to quilt fabric for a new stocking.
Quilting the fabric 


Much better!
























And they had to try their skill at ice skating.

Not bad for the first time.

They arrived on Saturday and left on Wednesday; we didn't get to do everything we wanted but enough to tire the grandparents. 


As we say good-bye to 2016, we do so with gratitude for the joy of family and friends. Looking forward with hope that our adventures in 2017 include many of you.


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keeping in touch

as promised to friends and family.

We are settling in for the winter with a bit of reservation. With night time temperatures in the teens and the possibility of ice and maybe snow next week, we are kind of rethinking this “stay at home this winter and finish renovating the upstairs.” We really questioned the logic when Mom told us it was 70° in College Station earlier this evening. But, since we are here, we will make the best of it.

The Wanderer has been emptied and thoroughly cleaned. Captain has installed a back-up camera and replaced the power converter. After her check-up maintenance service, she will be ready to hibernate in winter storage.

Speaking of check-ups, we made a trip to Nashville for our annual medical and financial check-ups last week.

The best part of that trip was a (way too short) visit with our friends, John and Melissa; the second best part was (let’s get this clear, for ABN,) a stop at The Container Store.

Inspired by Melissa (the queen of minimalism) she is so excited to start organizing the upstairs closets. Already the Free Friday Box has appeared on the curb with our no-longer wanted/needed stuff.  

We are so excited to prepare for Christmas this year; our girls are coming! The decorations are up, 

the menu is being planned, almost daily the UPS driver stops by and the craft studio is alive with music, the hum of the sewing machine and the smell of paint.

To all of you in the south and southwest, enjoy your warm weather; to friends/family in the north and midwest, hang in there, spring will come again; and those on the west coast, count your blessings. For us, we are going to work hard so next winter we can travel to warmer places.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fall Adventure 2016 has come to an end.

After traveling for about 6 weeks through the hot and muggy Southeast in The Wanderer followed by another 7 weeks in warm, sticky College Station, TX, we came home to rain and mild temperatures.

The front of the house was almost as we left it, roses still blooming and the lawn, although brown, neatly mowed (Thank you, Mark.)

Inside we found three months of mail sorted and neatly stacked (Thank you, Mark.)

And then there is the back,





leaves
and more leaves,
and of course weeds. 

Without rain for about 3 months only a few of the geranium cuttings (on the rack) ABN took before we left made it. But the mother plants still have some life. (Looks as though the squirrels may have had a party on the rack.)

Not all is lost, the geraniums on the patio survived so ABN can take more cuttings. (Yeah!)

Shortly after our arrival home, our friend, Jean stoped by and not empty handed. Thank you, Jean, for the most delicious ham/bean soup, fruit salad and bread from Kirchhoff's; perfect dinner for a cool rainy day!

We had a fantastic fall adventure hanging out with friends in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. It is sad to see that one of our very favorite places is now being engulfed with fire. Our friends in North Carolina and East Tennessee are in our thoughts and prayers.

Now that we are home we must get busy and give The Wanderer a good cleaning and a couple of upgrades before putting her away for the winter. ABN is excited to be back in her studio in time to do some Christmas crafting. We are both excited to catch up with our hometown friends. ABN wants to continue her walking explorations. When will she ever get around to raking those leaves!? (Captain is copping out on the leave raking citing his extreme seasonal allergies. Not to worry, ABN has started a list of inside chores to keep him busy.)

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Good Brews, Good News

We hadn't intended to put up a post this weekend but we had such a good time this evening we had to share.

Our Saviors Lutheran Church (our church away from home) sponsored a Good News, Good Brews event this evening at

Led by Pastor Pat,


we had a great time singing hymns


as we sipped a really good Contract Killer Porter.
(If you are reading this in your email browser, you made need to click on the link to watch the video)

Hope we are lucky to catch another Brew/Hymn Fest when we are in town again.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Life is better......

with friends; sage advice from Captain's mom as we celebrated the 95th birthday of her longtime friend, Alice.


The families met at Trinity Lutheran Church in Tyler, TX in 1952, about a year before Captain was born, and have remained close friends throughout the years. You have probably heard Captain talk about (and maybe have seen photos) of his lifetime friend, Christine.


She is the daughter of Alice. Captain was born the day before Christine turned 1-year old. Together they celebrated their birthdays, attended the one-room parochial school and played house (yes, there is a photo of Captain playing the mom.) Word has it they did their share of fussing and fighting.

Speaking of "old friends," Captain was lucky enough to be in town November 4 when a classmate received a long overdue letter jacket at the A&M Consolidated High School football game.


A really neat story, so I am posting a link here.
The CHS class of 1971 is a very special class that has remained close over the years. Twenty members of the class gathered to celebrate the event and attend the game. 

And we have new friends up in Coppell, Texas (the ones with whom we shared our Italy adventure in May.) Last week we took The Wanderer 

up to Lake Lewisville (another excellent Corps of Engineers campground)


so we could spend a bit of time catching up. It just so happened we were there on a Tuesday.
 
Tipsy Tuesday in Coppell, TX
This friend thing just gets better! One of our very good friends from home joined us in College Station over the weekend. We introduced Roger to some of our College Station friends at the 501 Club as we watched the sun set from Rudder Tower.


What is the 501 Club? It is a group of retired or almost retired folks that gather at The University Club in Rudder Tower no earlier than 5:01 p.m. on Thursday (The cost of parking drops to $1 per hour after 5:00 p.m.)

Roger joined Captain for the Mississippi/A&M game on Saturday.


Another event this week that didn’t turn out as expected.

Mom is right, life is better with friends. We are grateful our group of friends includes folks that are different from us on so many levels. May we never let differences become more important than friendship.

By the way, know anyone that is looking for tickets to the A&M/LSU game? (Can’t believe how quickly a team can fall from play-off contender to “let’s just get this season over with.”)


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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Off we go on a midweek adventure……

On Thursday evening at Faculty Club, Scott says "Lisa wants a road trip." "Okay, where do you want to go?" "I don't know, where do you want to go?" Captain says "How about Lost Maples again?"  "Nah" says Scott, "we were there a couple of weeks ago." We say "Talk to Lisa and let us know." Next day Lisa calls, "How about Mustang Island in North Padre?" "When do you want to go?" "How about Monday", "I'll make reservations?" So that is how this week's adventure began. (The spontaneity of retirement, got to love it!)

We load The Wanderer, program the GPS and meet Lisa and Scott at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. Scott says "Ever been to Goliad?" "No." "It's a neat little town not too far out of the way, let's stop there for lunch."

And this is Goliad.


We had lunch at


which got its name from the "hanging tree" across the street.


At one time court was held under the tree. If the sentence was hanging, justice was carried out immediately on the tree.

After a quick look at Presidio La Bahía in Goliad State Park,



we head on down the road, 



 
No, Ozzie didn't drive (but he wanted too!)

through (or was it around) Corpus Christi to Mustang Island State Park.




ABN with Izzy 










Lisa with Ozzie and Izzy 




                                                   
Scott and Captain were high school classmates;


Scott seems to know the whereabouts of just about everyone from high school, including Tom (aka the Handsome Sailor). Just so happens, Tom owns a Tiki Bar and charters sailboat excursions from Aransas Pass, just up the coast from Mustang Island. Off we go to see if we can catch up with him. 





And we did.














Captain hadn't seen Tom since graduation 45 years ago. Such fun catching up and knowing he is living his dream. Check out Handsome Sailor Charters.

















we learn there is a Kempt's ridley sea turtle at the sea life rehab center, a must see since it is the  Texas state turtle.

 While there we saw other turtles,


tortoise


a bird (now what is it’s name?),


a monitor lizard,


and some snakes.

 Doc's restaurant was recommended by several folks, so we stopped for lunch;


and we understand why. The grilled shrimp with coconut cream sauce was over the top good.

Evenings found us watching the World Series (Go Cubs!) and eating Campfire Quesadillas. 


Heading back to College Station, a voice comes over the walkie talkie "Shiner Bock Brewery is just a little off the route, want to stop?" "Sure." Didn't get there in time for the tour but we did get the free beer samples and a tee shirt.


A little further down the road we stop at



Captain's dad used to stop there when he was roaming the state for the Texas Extension Service. He would always return home with a loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

So did we.


Another great adventure with great friends! It would have been perfect except something, maybe red tide, stirred up Captain's allergies. Those that know him, well you know what that means (hack, cough, snort, blow, etc.)

Before arriving back in College Station, Scott comes across the walkie talkie again

"Ever been to Enchanted Rock up near Fredericksburg?" (Love exploring with these two four!)



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