Saturday, June 28, 2008

San Antonio

We just got home from three amazing days in San Antonio, TX (in case you were wondering where SA is). Home of the Alamo, SeaWorld, Fiesta Texas, the Spurs, etc. It was a trip just for fun and relaxation...which we haven't done in two or three years. We stayed in a hotel on the infamous riverwalk in downtown San Antonio and never got our car out until we left! I LOVE public transportation in SA!

We walked a good bit, took the VIA trolley and the SA bus to where ever we were going. I always forget that most of the places I want to visit in SA are all in one little area. We visited Market Square and Mi Tierra, walked by the Alamo...too many tourists(Ha), La Villita and took in a movie at the Rivercenter Mall. Just basically did whatever we wanted. Siestas were in order every day, and our last night there we didn't even leave the pizza delivery men!

On the way home we stopped in San Marcos to do a little shopping is not my bag really, but I endured and got through it. Whew!

Now I must begin in earnest to clean house before the oldest son and his family get here for the Fourth...but he is bringing the youngest grandson, so that will make it fun. We are going to celebrate the oldest grandson's birthday a few days early along with allowing said grandson and his dad to "blow stuff up" with fireworks. Since we live out in the county, it is legal for them to do this here!

It should be fun,I'm looking forward to making birthday cupcakes that will, if they turn out even close to the pictures I've seen, resemble small servings of spaghetti and meatballs...more about this later, and maybe even pictures if I can get someone to show me how to upload them. Anyway, I should begin the cleaning, so the fun can begin.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Water Heater Blues

In my last blog I related my love of cleaning, especially cleaning up after the Queen...NOT. Anyway, yesterday was spent vacuuming and using the carpet steamer to get up the last of the stains from Tuesday's "accidents". The carpet was looking pretty good...I was heading back to the guest room to lay out towels for Janie and Steve, when I stepped in a puddle of COLD water.

GREAT!! The air conditioner had been running pretty much non-stop since I finished steaming to try to help finish the drying process. I'm thinking it is the condensation tube blocked up again...all over my freshly cleaned carpet. The bearded one begins his fixing...runs into some problems, needs more tools...hustles off to Home Depot at 8:30 pm. Our friends are due any time and now it looks like we might not have air conditioning.

TBO comes back, gets everything just about done, our friends TBO is replacing the air filter in the ac unit, Steve says, "Hey, Mike, I think your water heater is leaking." It is...all fittings are sweated on, it's 10:30 pm, too late to call plumber...or get a water heater for that matter.

After much ado about water in the hallway, both wives bailing on them, TBO and Steve get most of the water out of the tank. But of course, that leaves us hot waterless for the morning. Not too bad for me since I showered late in the afternoon after my cleaning jag, but kind of hard for our guests and TBO. TBO took a quick cold shower and got a few hours of sleep before having to get to a meeting this morning. Before he left he was able to get hold of a plumber and get us in the queue for having a new water heater installed today. Yay TBO!!!!

New water heater installed, I hear the plumber say, "Ma'am?" I'm thinking this may not be good...not bad so much-as another slight inconvenience. The new water heater is just enough smaller in height so that the electric wires that cause it to heat the water won't TBO, plumber tells him the sad story and what he needs to buy to finish the job. TBO comes in, rewires, and presto, change-o, another one and a half hours later, we have hot water.

Also, why do we call them HOT WATER HEATERS? If the water were hot, we wouldn't need a heater, right?

I'm just curious...I think I'll go take a shower now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cleaning up after the Queen

Since I am not a great housekeeper, read I HATE TO CLEAN, yesterday was the pits. Sweet Pea, aka the Queen, got sick in the night and left all kinds of nasty surprises all over my carpet. After a quick pick up and minor attempt at spotting, I had to take her majesty to the vet, of course.

At sixteen, we felt it was important to have her checked out. The vet was great with her, and said she has colitis...great! When pressed about the life expectancy issue he said she had exceeded her expiry date by about 3 years already and except for the colitis she was very healthy. He was amazed that at her age she had no heart murmurs. Sweet Pea is now on the chicken, rice and yogurt diet for a few days. That is not a problem, getting her meds down is...and when she goes back to her regular diet, I am sure that the Queen will make her displeasure known.

Each time I have to take her in for anything other than routine shots, I am aware that we are on borrowed time. (I try to be prepared for the inevitable "it is time to put her down" speech.) Although Sweet Pea has only been with us not quite 4 years, she has become a true member of our family. I won't replace her. She is quite irreplaceable and will have to learn to entertain myself without her "carrot dance" and "I NEEEEEED to go outside dance". My prayer has been for a long time that she would just go to sleep one time and not wake up...chicken, I know, but I am really not sure I could hold her while they put her down. My sister was able to do that with her aged Irish Setter, and I know that if it comes right down to it, I will...I just hate crying in public, since, as a former teaching colleague once said, it is more socially acceptable to laugh than to cry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Too Old to Camp

I realized yesterday that at the ripe old age of 56 I am too old for camp! I went out to substitute for the cook at the Boy Scout Camp my guys all attended...and I worked at 2 years ago when my middle son was the camp director.

This camp is one of the oldest in the Boy Scout organization in Texas, and of the ones I've seen over the past 20 years, the most beautiful. Breathtaking views of the Brazos River, gorgeous cedars (cough, cough), amazing rock get the idea.

After one day, my legs and arms are so sore I can hardly move. My friend, the cook, does this for the duration of the camp herself...and I don't know how she does it. Of course the fact that she is 15 years younger than I am probably helps. I just hate that I can't do all the things I used to do without needing two days recuperative thearapy. Even two years ago, I knew I would never be able to be the cook's assistant again...I had a bad elbow and couldn't really close my fists for several months afterward. But I wanted positive proof that I hadn't really just woosed out last year. If there had not been another lady there to help me, I wouldn't have made it. Oh well. Time does march on, doesn't it?

To all of you who staff the camps our children go to from counselors, cooks, directors, etc., thank you for the hard work, accepting low pay, and in the case of this particular camp, the love of the camp and its place in your lives. May you always embody the love of service I have witnessed on your faces. God bless you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Learning to be a lefty

I am sooo excited. Our grandson is coming tomorrow to spend a few days with us before he goes to his mom's for the summer. There is only one, major, purple problem. His right arm is in a cast from his fingers to past his elbow! Now I am not worried about bathing or anything mundane like that, as we have experience with casts around here. His father broke both feet, one at a time, thankfully, within a three month period.

But for crying out loud, what do you do with a terribly creative little guy who loves to draw, play games, build with legos, and bake cookies when his strong hand is bunged up? I'm thinking we will learn to be ambidextrous. Yes? No?

Anyway, I'm in the process of thinking up things to keep him busy, entertained and reasonably calm. Maybe he can learn to Wii left handed...and sitting down (the calm part!)

He is reading The Chronicles of Narnia, so I know we will be going to see Prince Caspian, and has learned to snap a whip like Indiana Jones left handed while visiting his great aunt, so maybe there is hope for ambidexterity! We shall see what we can accomplish this week. Stay tuned.