Monday, August 18, 2014

Hot Nights and Cool Tunes

Had to share this picture of my sister Nancy and her selfie with Daisy.  I had to laugh. 
She had posted it for a friend of hers who was having a birthday and apparently likes cows. Makes me smile even now.

David and I went to Brenham a few weeks back for a little get away. Brenham has music every Saturday in the month of July called Hot Nights and Cool Tunes. I have no idea how long it's been going on but we found out about it last year. They set up a stage on the square by the courthouse. All you have to do is show up, set up your lawn chairs, relax and enjoy the music. Oh and there are vendors with beer, wine, margaritas and food.  If you're so inclined you can get up and dance where ever you're at or go up front by the stage. Some how the weather has been simmering during the day but a breeze has found it's way to us during the concert. Last year we saw a group called Suede out of Austin and decided to back and hear them again this summer. They play 70's to the 90's music. They pretty darn good. Oh and the best part is it's free. This year we went up on Friday and stayed 2 nights at the Ant Street Inn. We used Friday as our day to search for property. We found a piece we liked and actually asked our friend and Realtor to check it out. Figures she found out it had a contract on it. In fact of the 5 properties we had put on our good possibility list to consider, all but one went under contract. Oh well the mission continues.
We stayed at The Ant Street Inn. It was built in 1899 and was a mercantile at that time. In fact it was the first place that Blue Bell Ice Cream was dipped and served. By the 70's the place was going into decline. In the 80's the downtown area began to revitalize and the buildings future was looking brighter.  By 1991 Tom and Pam Taylor bought the building with the dream to turn it into a 15 room relaxing and beautiful sanctuary.
 It took them 3 years to revitalized this old building. They did a great job. In 2011 the Taylor's decided to retire and sold it to the current owners Suzy and Keith Hawkins..You won't find any elevators here so you better be willing and able to climb the stairs.

This is the hallway upstairs. At the far end of the hall is a big room for guests to relax and play games or maybe put a puzzle together. You can even find movies to take back to your room and watch. Oh and one of the best things you'll find is in the common refrigerator..... complimentary Blue Bell Ice Cream ;o) and soda. 
Our room was vintage with a few modern conveniences of course. The lamps over the bed were cool. They turned on with a slight touch.
They have a really nice restaurant downstairs. As part of our stay we got free breakfast. We could choose anything off the menu. I couldn't help myself but I got the eggs Benedict both mornings. 
Our friends Ross and Sheryl joined us in Brenham. It was a fun time. 
They showed up Friday while we eating lunch at a really great place called the BT Longhorn Steakhouse
I order the Southwest Burger on the most awesome bun. I can't 
wait to go back and have another one. It was juicy, tasty, and just the right amount of heat. I'm not sure how they did the jalapenos but they were crunchy and very tasty. I found out about this place from a fellow blogger Christie from  Kiki&Me. She had written about their great steaks but we didn't get to try one. 
Maybe next time. Christie is always writing about great places to eat and stay.
Had Sheryl snap a picture of David and I on our last day there. 

And of course I snapped a picture her.

We had such a fun time! Sorry our friends Kathy and Mark couldn't join us.  Maybe next year.

Check out this big moth at the gas station. It was sitting by the gas pump I was using. It was huge and rather pretty. It almost blended into the concrete.

Last picture I'll share for this blog post. This is my Little Sister Jerri Lynn and our Dad. She's the one who has been there for the family. She has gotten Dad to his treatments which are about 100 miles from the house. All the responsibility has fallen on her and her family over the last few months and now she is the one who has had to step up and help Dad organize and finalize her Mom's estate.  I personally can't thank her enough for her selflessness. And her husband Kevin who has had to play both Mom, Dad, supportive spouse and Taxi when Jerri Lynn was taking care of Dad and Carolyn. I know my sisters Nancy and Barbara do their best but they are at least 3 1/2 hours away. As in most families it seems to fall on one of the sibilings to handle most of the situations that arise and in our case it was Jerri Lynn.

 I love all my sisters dearly. Don't know what I'd do without them.

Until next blog.....  Chance made us sisters...time made us friends

Friday, August 15, 2014

Too soon .....Carolyn

I have started a couple of other posts but never got to finish because on July 31st the world crashed for my sisters  and I. How could this happen? I'm getting ready for work when I realize my phone has been ringing. It's 5:47am and I've missed 5 calls from my little sister and niece. I'm thinking something must have happened to Dad. He goes to chemo treatment and has lab work almost every Thursday.  
Only when Jerri Lynn answers she says she's gone. It doesn't registered at first then I realized she's talking about her mom Carolyn /my step Mom is gone. How can that be? They transported her to the hospital for tests yesterday. As of today we still don't know what really killed her and will have to wait for the autopsy but they suspect a blood clot. 

So at 5:47am Carolyn Lee Heathman Whitney died unexpectedly of  unknown causes. The whole family is in shock. Carolyn was one heck of a woman I can tell you that. She loved listening and going to see The Gaithers a southern gospel and contemporary Christian music group. She got her picture taken with Guy Penrod from the Gaithers. She displayed that picture proudly in the house. I mean it ranked up there with her marriage to Dad and the birth of her girls. She had a heart of gold and did a lot of good deeds in the community.
She was a fun loving woman who always enjoyed a good laugh. 
The gentleman on the left is her X and the one on the right is my Dad. When visiting Houston one time my Mom picked her and Dad up at the airport for me and even took Carolyn shopping. It was this type of attitude that made it easy for all our families to get along and made it easier for us girls growing up and dealing with divorced parents.
She loved her family which was obvious from all the pictures hanging and/or sitting in her office. 

On Thursday I got another call at 10:30am from my Little Sister asking if I was sitting down. I was at my desk so yeah. My heart was pounding and she says "Dad is in full remission. The is no cancer in his body." OMG What glorious news!! But this isn't fair! Carolyn wasn't there to hug and cry with joy with Dad. I know she was there in spirit but it's not the same. Thank you everyone for you continued prayers for my Dad and family.

Pamela and I head to Missouri on that Friday. David wasn't able to join us on this trip to Missouri because he was headed offshore for work. When we arrive on Sunday I kept expecting Carolyn to run out with tears in her eyes as she would with her arms opened wide to give us hugs upon arrival. Only that didn't happen this time. 

Sunday Before the visitations we took various family pictures with Dad. Something Carolyn had wanted forever. 
This is everyone but my husband and my nephews girlfriend Hannah. These pictures were taken by Jerri Lynn's friend Michelle Vandevender. If you click on her name you can go to her Facebook page to check out more of her work.
And this one is all of us girls with Dad.  

Me  Barbara  Nancy  Jerri Lynn
 and of course dad.

I don't know who thought of this but my sisters, nieces, nephews and brother-in law all went to the radio station and recorded a CD with their tributes to Carolyn to play at the services. Pamela and I texted our thoughts and another family member read and recorded it for us. 
My sister Barbara probably got to me the most with her tribute.
"Mom, Mother, Momma" I don't remember the exact words but Mom is what she called Carolyn on an every day How ya doing call or visit. Mother is what she called Carolyn when she scolded her mom. I have heard Barb say Mother you need to calm down or whatever.. It made me smile at the memory. And last it was Momma when Barb was hurting emotionally or physically. Today was a Momma day. Barb said it well. My my niece Emily gave one that made us smile. She said the last question Grandma Carolyn asked was if she had a boyfriend which shocked Emily and she replied Heavens no.  Grandma's final word of advice was to ignore her two big over protective brothers and dad or she would end up an ole spinster. 
My Niece Shelby B. gave a beautiful eulogy for Grandma. Shelby was amazing.

On Monday August 4th my step-Mother Carolyn was laid to rest. She had over 200 in attendance to pay their respects.

Hold my family in your prayers as we work through our loss. And continued prayers for my Dad as he continues on his chemo maintenance and that the cancer stays away.
There was some lighter moments while in Missouri like when Jerri Lynn corralled everyone out the door and into cars for the luncheon before the service and off she went. One problem with that... she forgot me and Pamela. I called her and as soon as I said Hi she realized she had forgotten us. We got a good laugh out of that. My little sister knows we won't let her forget it too soon. Oh but wait it gets better. After the service a family friend invited the family over for dinner. So again Jerri Lynn was gathering everyone up and got in the car and started the car. As Pamela and I walk to the car I slide in and look at Jerri Lynn and ask her if she knows where her son Josiah is??? We all started laughing. 
She spins around in the seat and realizes that he's not in the back.
Josiah was laying on the couch watching toons.  I love you Jerri Lynn. ;o) Thank you for being there for Dad and Carolyn, for all that you do, have done and continue to do.
It's always so hard to say Good Bye when it's time to leave my Missouri family. An this time it was even harder and more emotional..As I hug Dad he says "Things are about to get real and everyone will be going home. I wish you could stay another week.
I hugged him harder and through my tears I whispered I wish I could stay another week too.

Thanks for letting me ramble on this post. Thank you for your kind words, support and prayers for me and my family.

'Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.'
~ From a Headstone in Ireland

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Quick Mother-Daughter Weekend

Last week was crazy at work but a quiet week all the same. Didn't do a thing all week after work. Can you believe it?

This past weekend was a Mother-Daughter bonding weekend. Even before David went off shore he had decided that Pamela and I should make it a girls weekend. Who were we to argue. 
Friday I went to see my favorite hair tech Brittany so she could trim and put some low lites in my hair. 
She knew I was headed out of town for a wedding so she took extra time to curl it. 
She did a great job but the Texas humidity won. I got this one picture and by the time I made my last trip out to the car with my bag my hair had just a little bit of curl left.

Bags, car and dog all packed up and ready to take off for Bryan.

Got to Bryan in time to drop off Dexter at Pamela's apartment and grab her to run some errands before we head to Ft Worth Saturday. 

Now Sophie has been a bad puppy lately so she had 
to go in her crate but Dexter was allowed to roam 
Pamela's apartment. 
Well when we got back this is what Pamela found. How sweet. Dexter found his way into Pamela's bedroom and laid next to his sissy. That doesn't happen often. Sophie is usually able to drive Dexter crazy
Poor little guy is deaf and his sight is fading quickly and I'm worried he may be fading too. He's 17 not 18 until this October but either way his age is catching up to him I'm afraid.

Saturday morning we got up and dropped the pooches off at the kennel for the night while we went to Ft Worth for 2 events. Pamela had a Bridal Shower at 2 and we both had a wedding to attend at 6.
I got Pamela to the shower in plenty of time, in fact we beat the Bride to Be.
I didn't stay at the shower even though I could have because instead I met up with my friend Linda from Linda's Life Journal
I met her at her daughter Amber's(the Quad Mom) party one Christmas almost maybe 4-5 years ago and we hit it off right away. When she was staying in Houston to be with Amber in the hospital waiting for the birth of the quads she and I got together at least once. Timing was always complicated by our busy schedules. I'm so lucky to have met her. She is a little ball of fire and such an awesome person. She and the husband are always working on a project. And she's a talented painter, crafter and a great deal finder at Goodwill. LOL. Our only problem is she lives in Ft Worth area and I'm down here in Tomball. Anyway this trip gave me an opportunity to meet up with her at Star Bucks for a quick visit. Time flew by and I had to find my way back to the shower where I left Pamela. 
I was kinda late getting back due to road construction everywhere which made us rush once we got back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding that started at 6pm.

The wedding was for a high school friend of Pamela's. Okay so I had my camera ready to take pictures of the beautiful Bride Lisa but I quickly found out my battery was dead and I didn't have an extra. Some how I had apparently hit the switch and turned on my camera and ran down the battery. 
That was smart! NOT! Well at least Pamela 
snapped a picture of the two of us with her cell phone at the beginning of the reception.

The wedding was outside and the weather couldn't have been better. It was actually pleasant out. It was like 76 degrees and there was a light breeze.  
Pamela and I wish Lisa and Garrett a lifetime of happiness.

We had fun all weekend. Quality time with the kid.

Well until next blog..... A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend~

Friday, July 18, 2014

5 days of Fun and Quilt Shops

WARNING Picture heavy and lots of news
One of my friends commented that she just knew David and I were probably doing something fun on the 4th of July. I cannot lie and I will disappoint you with answer...We hung out around the house. David was busy trying to get everything around the house done so he could leave town Monday an not worry about leaving things undone. David is hanging out in the middle of the gulf now. He'll be home next Tuesday. He's living on a boat in a room with 3 other guys and they're sleeping in bunk beds. The first week he got the top bunk. Not a good place for an old guy with bad knees and ankles. Okay he's not so old but after a full day of climbing the stairs and ladders on the rig he's feeling the pain. He's there to supervise and help with the rig start up. It's kinda quiet around here. He's been there for 12 days now and won't be home for another 5 days.
 As the saying goes while the Papa Cat is away Momma Mouse went out to play.  Wednesday night the 9th a co-work and a friend joined me at Main Street Crossing to see Jesse Dayton play. He's my favorite Texas rockabilly. He brought along his bass player Chris and his drummer Eric. They put on an awesome show. 

Samara and Rosie are now fans of Jesse Dayton.

Jesse took a selfie of all of us.

Thanks Samara and Rosie for joining me and buying drinks. Yes ladies and gents they tried to get me drunk. I did say tried. I screwed up by not mentioning this outing to another co-worker of mine and Samara's. Ashley won't let me off the hook for that one. 
I promise I won't do that again. See where assuming that she wouldn't go since she's a Mommy of the cutest little 4 month old named Aria. Aria is the spitting image of her Mommy.

What'cha think? Or and the attitude they match too.  Love you Ashley.

Thursday night Ashley, her husband, another co-work Cassie, her husband, and Samara came over after work for beer and pizza. 
We sat outside for a while but we were going to play a game called "Cards against Humanity" but the wind would have blown all the cards off the table. So we went inside about the same time the pizza showed up. Now this game is not for those who are easily offended. It's a crazy crazy game. We laughed all night. Obviously I'm not easily offended.
Friday afternoon I headed toward Bryan for a 2 day bus trip.
 This past Saturday and Sunday I jumped on a bus for the Quilters Quest Bus Trip. On these 2 days the bus travels and stops at 6 different shops. Well 7 when you count the one we start and finish at. I started at the Lone Star Quiltworks in Bryan. You can click on shop name and it will take you to shop website.
By going up Friday I got visit with my daughter and spend the night with her.

Meet our Bus Mom --Kathy. She made sure we stayed on schedule and made it to each shop with plenty of time to drool, touch and imagine this...spend money.                             Shop owner Terry stayed at the shop this year. She made sure Kathy had snacks, games, prizes and drinks for the trip to keep all us ladies happy.
Terry supplied us with this really cool canvas shopping bag. What happens on the bus trip almost stays with the bus trip.
So I won't tell you if my bag is full or empty well okay so maybe it did have some goodies in it. Plus I won't tell how some of my co-hearts on the bus filled this bag and others and were over flowing. Oops I guess I just told you that but since the husbands won't be reading this it don't matter. Mine might but it's okay because I went on this trip with a cash budget and stayed on it. I even came home with a few dollars in my wallet. 
Meet my roomie for this trip. I met Sandy on the 2012 trip and the rest is history. You'll see her in pictures at my retreat.       This trip I recognized several other women from the 2012 trip and one in particular. Her name was Sharon. I had lost her email and couldn't contact her and there was no bus trip in 2013 but luckily she was on this trip. 
 Meet Sharon. She has personality plus. She's fun and she lives about 5 miles from me.
Hopefully we can get together once in a while. I got her email address and put it in my phone this time.

On Saturday we went to
Tomorrow's Quilts in Waco where they had snack, drinks and quick demo on a table runner. They also played a game where you find a number that has been taped to the floor and stand on it. You will a prize if they call your number. The ladies were most gracious and helpful.
Then we head off to Valli & Kim in Dripping Springs who fed us lunch. Oh wow this picture doesn't do the shop justice but the colors hit you in the face. Now I want a quilt space like this where I can hang quilts from the rafters. Too cool.

And this young lady had a bright smile and was ready to cut however much fabric you like.

And it's off to our final quilt shop for the day. One Quilt Place in Fredericksburg. 
This is Beverly the One Quilt Place shop owner. She has a cottage retreat that holds four quilters comfortable and a key to the studio to sew away.
We ended the evening by having dinner at the Pecan Brewery and a good night sleep at the Best Western in Johnson City. What a fun day! So much color and texture and new shops.

Wait where's mine?
mmm a quilter who knows how to relax after a long day. 

Nope I won't spill the bean on who this is.

On Sunday we started off at The Uptown Textile Studio in Blanco. This is the shop owner Andrea. She had a table with snacks and drinks plus a photographer to take your picture

Bus Mom Kathy jumped in and got her photo taken.

I had to get a picture of the photographer Helen

because like me she's always behind the camera and not in the pictures. She's very photogenic and nice to visit with.
This shop was full of fabric that no one could resist. 

This rocking chair of purple made me think of Sandy and my friend Donna M. She loves purple! Maybe one day she can join us on this bus trip.

Then we headed to The Scrappy Quilter

in Schertz, TX where they had a demo of some rulers for the perfect half square triangle of which I couldn't pass up. It was a cute little shop with some energetic ladies. They fed us a yummy Schlotzky's box lunch. It was a small shop but they packed it with lots of fabric and tool choices.
Our final stop of the day was Poppy Quilt N Sew in Georgetown. This picture is from 2012. Had a great selection of western fabric and blue bonnets. I think I was getting tired and didn't get a picture while at this shop. 
If you want to look at all the pictures I took on this trip click HERE.

Dad's status: He's walking, driving and my little sister reports he's awake more than he sleeps now. He's on his 2nd round of chemo and the doctor is please with his progress. He has another biopsy soon and on the 31st of this month they decide the next phase of his treatment. Jerri Lynn also reports that Dad's labs are great except for his platelets that dropped from 138,000 to 33,000 from last week. So he needs to be real careful of infection and wear that darn mask. 
 Jerri Lynn shared this picture of our dad and her youngest Josiah just chillin. I can't get over how good our Dad looks. All smiles.
Like my little sister I have to believe that all your prayers have helped keep him in our lives on this earth another day. Last week I talked with my Dad and as I said Good-bye and said I'd give him a call later he said "That's good I'll still be around" We both laughed and I said good he better be.

More adventures to share soon.
So until next blog....Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever...
~Isak Dinesen~