Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Hurry up, Old Man"

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Loaded with berries

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1st Lady picking in the valley.....

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Which ones should I pick????

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Time to get to picking.....

After a great relaxing morning on the patio with a couple of strong cups of French Roast coffee, the 1st Lady suggested that we go pick Blueberries this morning. There is a Blueberry "farm" north of here about 11 miles........so, we jumped into the car and headed up to the valley where this farm is located. When we pulled in, it was apparent that this is one of the loveliest valleys in SE Missouri......the sky was a clear blue, the hills around the valley were dark green, and from where we parked we could see the bushes were loaded with plump, juicy Blueberries. The farm has about 8 acres of Blueberry bushes and farther back they have about 3 acres of native Blackberry bushes.....which are not quite ripe as yet.

Soooo, picking up a bag lined bucket for each of us, off we went into the bushes.......and WOW!!!!! They were really laden with berries........and they are laid out soooo well that there is plenty of room to walk, and pick, between the rows of bushes. The owner said she had 120 bushes in each row.......and I believe that!! We picked for about 45 minute to an hour before our buckets were full..........along with eating quite a few of these delicious berries as we picked them.

Returning to the building where we had to "weigh in" the berries, when we combined them, we had over 15 pounds of these plump berries!!!! The cost: $1.79 per pound.....which is QUITE a BARGAIN when you compare this to the prices in the supermarkets. Soooo, we hurried back to the stick and brick and the 1st Lady began to prepare them for the freezer. We both love Blueberries and eat them each morning in our cereals.......but we usually have to settle for the ones in the supermarkets.....and they are just not the same!!! Soooooooo......we now have lots of bags of berries in the freezer and ready for consumption whenever we want some!!

I spent the afternoon preparing for the trip to Iowa.....giving a piano lesson....and then hurrying off to the monthly Board of Education meeting. Tonight....well, it was a long one.....and it lasted for over 4 hours!!!!!!! Lots of bids to open and make decisions as to which different companies we would contract for their services and goods for the upcoming school year.

Returned home awhile ago....and packed up my necessary clothes for the trip to the National Special Olympics at Iowa State University next week. Also.....packed lots of sunscreen for stadium seating!!!!!! We also hope to go over to the Amana Colonies in Amana, Iowa.....where the Amish have many places to visit and view......and EAT. We were there years and years ago, so I am rather interested in revisiting this area and refresh my aging memory.

Soooo, tomorrow it will be set the security alarms in and around the house.....and then heading over to the Lake of the Ozarks to visit my mother for the day and night. But......as usual........it has been a good day......and....

Life is Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Multi-tasking Day...

The alarm went off at 6:30 this morning......UGH!!!! But, I had two piano students this morning at 8:30-9:30, so I had to get the Fr. Roast coffee going and enjoy a bit of quiet on the patio. And, it WAS quiet this morning........great time to think out the plans for the remainder of the day.

After the two lessons......and they are ALWAYS prepared well......I headed to Supermart to pick up some more sanding paper for my electric sander. Did some asking and purchased a different kind which was supposed to last up to 3 times longer and get the job done quicker. Sooooo.....back home I went to try this out.

This morning....well, I did a really good job of putting plastic on the floors, around the large open doorways, and preparing the room to accept the mess and dust that would soon follow. Then.....I changed into my working attire and climbed the ladder and away I went with the sander.........lots of noise and lots of fine gritty dust flying everywhere. Yep.....the different sanding paper was MUCH better!!!!!

By early afternoon I had the one wall completely finished!!!! HOORAY!!! So,.....it was time for a bit of rest. With a bottle of cold water, the 1st Lady and I decided it was time to make a decision on the bedroom furniture we had seen yesterday in STL......and as the 18% off sale ended this evening.....it WAS time to decide. After some discussion concerning the rather high cost, even with the large discount sale, we decided to call and make the purchase!!! HOORAY......another remodeling item completed, even though it will take 6-8 weeks before it arrives.........so what else is new?? It is a nice set, contemporary but with some classic overtones to a couple of the pieces. We are getting the Java stain on the wood......a very, very dark rich brown......which is the quite style in furniture at this point in time, and it does enhance and compliment the dark brown vanity we had custom made for our new bathroom. The down side???? The cost!!!!!! Even with the sale, this HAS to last us for the rest of our lives.......hahahhaa!!!! That might not be tooooooo long.....(advancing age, you know).

Then it was time to get the lawn mowed. And, a bit over two hours later, the task was completed. Did I mention what a beautiful day this was????? Well, it WAS.....no humidity and temps in the 70's........just GREAT!!! So....the lawn job was enjoyable....and GREAT exercise!!!

Then with the 1st Lady going to Farmington to meet her lady friends for dinner.....a monthly ritual......I had enlisted assistance to move a large window a/c, that we were no longer using, and put it into the back of my truck. We are going over to the Lake of the Ozarks on Thursday to visit for a day and evening with my 93 year old mother. Her window a/c is dying a very natural death.....OLD AGE ....the a/c I'm talking about!!!! So.......she needs one....I have one.....and this works out perfectly. My three friends arrived right on time....and in less than 5 minutes, the a/c was successfully put into my truck bed. Then it was a quick tour through the finished portion of our remodeled house........and a quick meeting with the young man who built our vanity and is now going to construct for us a vanity mirror and cabinet for the new bathroom.

When that meeting was finished.....it was time for a quick bite to eat.....nothing special...just a small sandwich. And.....guess what.....it was time to sit back and enjoy the evening. Spent some time on the patio watching my tomatoes grow.....and then inside and a bit of tellie.

Sooooo, it was a day of doing many things........and all of these helped me to realize that.....

Life is Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Very difficult to please......(me!)

Yep.......after a wonderful morning on the patio....with Fr. Roast coffee steaming in the cup, I made a call to one more kitchen cabinet design center in STL.....and soon we were on the road up there for an early afternoon design meeting. Well.....the meeting lasted over two hours as we once again had this individual design the cabinets.....and it became a different configuration. The design center had some cabinets that we both liked.....and this young man drew up a plan that we both liked....with a couple of reservations.

Soooo, now the waiting game begins to see what his bid will be. Sure it will be higher than our budget will allow, however, I will not get pessimistic toooo soon. Sure is interesting how different cabinet designers can arrive at different plans using the same damn measurements!!!!

Then we did some other shopping: looking for new window treatments for the entertainment/family room, lighting for the kitchen, and more looking and pricing for our new bedroom furniture. Never....NEVER enough time to do it right......as we are always watching the clock to see how much more time we have before the stores close down.

We dined at The Olive Garden and had a great meal!!!!! I had the Asiago Cheese stuffed Tortillono with shrimp in a garlic-tomato cream sauce.......oh YEAH......it was great!!!! The 1st Lady had Pasta con Broccoli in a garlic cream sauce.....and it was soooo light and tasty!!! The salad was good and crisp, but their bread sticks.....hmmmm, they do leave something to be desired for me. I am just not that crazy about them at this establishment.........they always tend to be on the dry side. I requested butter and that helped somewhat......but still just a bit drab on the flavor side. The coffee???? Well, it is dark, but leaves a real hangover taste for the finish.....and not a particularly pleasant taste at that. Some improvement is needed in their coffee offering.

Returned home about 10pm.......and lots to get accomplished tomorrow. Only two days until we leave here to head to the National Special Olympics at Iowa State University in Ames. Looking forward to that trip......and sure it will be one of those special moments each time Justin participates in an event.

No matter what occurs.......

Life IS Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday in the sand......

After coffee on the patio admiring the different kinds of flowers that all seem to be blooming right now, and the "higher than my waist" tomato plants that I have in pots on my patio with almost 100 blooms.......it was time to get to work.....UGH!!!

And the title above is correct. Yep........with bundles of sandpaper that fits my little electric sander, I was soon on my knees and sanding one of the two walls in the living room that has the "textured" paint (sand was added and now hangs in globs on my walls)!!!! DAMN.....but it is difficult to remove.....it seems like I remain in one square foot of wall almost forEVER before it reaches the stage of just a bit of roughage on the wall. It may take the entire week just to get this textured paint off of the two walls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, of course, tonight my shoulders and arms and my back are cursing me loudly for mistreating them sooooooooo harshly today.

After many hours of light green paint and sand flying everywhere, the living room and adjoining hallway was covered in this light green dust.....UGH!!!! The cleanup took almost 30 minutes and now tomorrow I have to have a go at it again...... The BIG wall has not even been touched, so...........physical exhaustion sets in just thinking about all of this work left to do.

By late afternoon, I was getting the charcoal lit and going.......tonight it was a simple little meal: beer soaked brats from the grill, a delicious spinach salad, cooked carrots....and peas, and a bottle or two of beer. Ummmmm......love brats!!!!!

Soooo, the evening has disappeared quickly and those over-used muscles in my over-used body (YOU decide how it has been over-used!!) are still cursing me. Soooo, a cup of hot tea, a small chocolate brownie, and a good book will end the day for me. And...even with the shouting muscles.....

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Groom(in blue) enjoying ALL the attention!!!!! (THE bride is not among these party-animals)

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Groom(on the right) making the rounds of the party-goers

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Future father-in-law of the groom ENJOYING the party!!

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A two day jaunt and a night of "partying".....

Yesterday, Friday......I had three students for private music instruction.....their first time with me in over a month. WOW......the amount of practice that has occurred since last month is truly astounding!!! I was sooo proud of them.....and it started my day off in a very postive way.

Around noon, I packed a bag and headed up to the Collinsville/Glen Carbon area of Illinois.....just east of STL. Arrived mid-afternoon and visited for awhile with the July 15th "bride-to-be" at the couple's new home.......a really nice little beginner home for the beginning of their Life together which officially begins on July 15th!! Are they ready???? YEP......after much discussion I believe they have it all under control.......UNTIL the final days when there is ALWAYS something that occurs that seems to put a kink in everyone's wedding plans, no mater how well laid out the plans are!

THEN.....the "Bachelor Party" which had begun at 11 yesterday morning with a round of golf.....well, it began in earnest at the home of one of the groomsmen. A cooling off period was held in their fabulous pool setting in the wonderfully landscaped back yard of their home. A few drinks assisted everyone in cooling down and getting relaxed for the evening-to-come.

From there, we were off to the Collinsville Holiday Inn and another round (or two or three) of drinks in the Lounge of Porter's Steakhouse there in the INN. By the way.....if you are EVER in the Collinsville, IL area.......make a point of dining at this steakhouse!!!!! IT IS A WONDERFUL DINING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! (Be sure to realize that this high quality comes with a high price tag). We had a Porter's sandwich there in the Lounge prior to setting out for the Fairmount Park.........one of the local horse racing facilities in the area.

Arriving there it was up to the Party Floor where a live band was performing, a food buffet was there to enjoy, and the drinks flow like a Missouri rainstorm......one of those gully-washers. Having never been to the track in ......well, I'd rather not say how long it has been.....I enjoyed immensely the atmosphere, the races, and the partying that goes with this particular scene. The "party gang of ours" then took the party to the "next level" by going upstairs to the lounge where the "big heavy betters" spend their time during the races. It is a great bar with all of the amenties.....and thanks to the manager of the Fairmount Park racetrack, we all enjoyed more drinks "on the house".

Later, we went back to the "party level" and remained there washing our cares away until the bar closed down. AH.....where to go next???? Well, to one of the local watering holes in the area where we remained making CERTAIN that the groom to be was well watered down before we decided to get him home for what remained of the night.......it was about 3AM when we got this poor drunk young man back to his home!! A planned trip to one of the local "clubs"....i.e. The Hustler Club.....was to have been the highlight of the late night party, but those of us with a bit of a mind left decided we needed to call it a night as the groom was reaching his limit.....quickly!! It was a GREAT evening/night......and one I will remember, EVEN IF the groom doesn't remember it.....hahahaha!!!!!

And....it WAS a short night!!! By the time I decided to let my aging body recline in a horizontal position, it wasn't long after that before I realized the sun was lighting up the sky of Illinois. As I had many "to do's" to complete in STL, I made my "adieu to the groom" as he attempted to raise his head off the pillow to bid me farewell......a difficult task for him to accomplish this morning.

I headed for the local "Waffle House".....a chain that we oftentimes frequent as we do like their waffles!!!! HOWEVER, do not, under any circumstance, eat at the one in Collinsville!!!! It was terrible, the service was horrible(my coffee cup was NEVER refilled), and the food was either burnt or undercooked........and the restroom was FILTHY!!!!! DAMN!!!! What a hell of way to begin a hung-over day!!!!

Then it was a quick 15 minute run to the western side of the Mississippi River and out to the shopping areas of the city. Never accomplished much.....but did do some looking and made plans to return. The 1st Lady called several times during the morning to check on my progress and then we met at 2:30pm in Bonne Terre for a visit with Michael.

Sooo, now that I am at home in the stick and brick.......my eyes are hanging down to my jawline.....my body is yelling at me to lay down and let it rest.....and I still have some things to do!!! Oh well.....there is always tomorrow. And as always..........and even after a raucous night of partying (like a much younger man that I'm NOT).....

Life IS GREAT!!!! And....I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ahhhh.....the storms left us with cooler temps!!!!

Yesterday and today......well, they have been Missouri Misery!! But, this evening strong storms rolled throught this area and along with high winds and rain, cooler temps blew into F'town and ohhhhh, but does it feel sooooo much better!!! The weekend forecast is for GREAT weather.....but, we shall see. I have to be shown......being from Missouri.

Yesterday we were in STL........and have ALMOST made a decision on our new kitchen cabinets. Think we have the style selected, however, there is a bit of heated discussion as to the type of wood and stain on that wood. Compromise???? Well, it is difficult to do as we are both very headstrong and hard-headed.........perhaps a bit of time???? We'll see.....

Spent the evening in "discussion" and we keep looking at the sample door front with the color of stain that the 1st Lady would like to have..........

Today, I thought I would be headed back to STL for an appointment, however, the appt. was canceled and I didn't go up there. Sooo, we fell back onto Plan B......working on the living room walls. We have two new walls from the remodeling project that are drywalled, but the other walls are textured with the sand in the paint and we HATE that look. Soooo, I took an electric sander and began sanding one of the walls...... WELL......I worked for almost two hours on a little area about 8x3 feet......and it is still terribly rough!!!!

I am open to anyone who has taken off this textured sand/paint of their walls......I need your suggestions. Checked online, but most helpful hints simply say that you must just replace the entire drywalled area with that god-awful paint on it. THAT is not an option.....we are way over budget already, sooooooo........HELP!!!!

The 1st Lady and I took turns on this small section of the wall.......and both of us became so damn frustrated that we just vaccumed the dust off the walls and floor and put the sander away!!! Perhaps we will get some inspiration somehow.....................??

With the storm rolling through, we just decided to have a large salad for the evening meal......with my dark red medicine to assist in washing the salad down. Turned out to be a GREAT salad......and that's what I like about salads......they are never the same way twice. Especially when the dressing is "home made" as it almost always is in TheHowserHouse!

Tomorrow......yep, it is back to the city and then across the Mighty Mississippi to go over to the eastern STL suburbs. The time has arrived for the "Bachelor Party" of the former student of mine who is now the Asst. H.S. Band Director at Edwardsville, IL. And.....since this sagging hulk of a retired band director is going to be his Best Man in the wedding in three weeks, I need to party hardy tomorrow evening, along with the groom and other friends and relatives. Should be enjoyable!!!!!

I plan to overnight with him at his and Laura's new home. I have my canceled appointment rescheduled for Saturday afternoon, so will return to the city for the afternoon appt. and then perhaps a bit of furniture shopping????!!!!!

You know......I DETEST summer tv programs....IF that is what you call THEM!!!!! They all seem to be a waste of time.....nothing of any redeemable value that I can find. So, I find myself with the plasma turned on to HGTV. And guess what........THAT is NOT a good idea, because I then get these ideas that I can't afford and I want to hire a landscaper, designer, and all of these other "pros" to take care of the things I would like cahnged.

But......even though I can't have all of these things that HGTV tempts me with........

Life IS Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Misery in Missouri has returned.....

Heat....heat...heat...humidity and more humidity and even MORE humidityy......and all of these two things make Missouri very miserable for June!!!! Today the temp registered at 96 and only God knows what the humidity was here. From the time I stepped out onto the patio for my morning coffee, I could tell it was not going to be pleasant today. And....it wasn't!!!

I made a couple of trips to the Supermart of Wally World here in F'town today. One trip is never enough, is it??? So the 1st Lady sent back this afternoon with another short list of items. Oh well......I always get to see friends and former students while there.....and it becomes a way of socializing here in "small town America".

A dumb mistake by a checkout girl last Friday evening at the local Country Mart grocery store caused some real panic for the 1st Lady today as she checked online with our checking account balances. I had run to the grocery store......the ONLY one in town which allows them to set prices higher than they should be. I bought $9.71 worth of milk, etc., etc. and at the checkout counter I handed my credit card to the clerk.....they don't trust us to swipe it ourselves!!....and then she went beserk as she let a few words fly and grabbed the power cord to the credit card machine and pulled it out of the receptacle. Seems she had entered $979.71 when she ran the card......"Don't worry", she said. "I unplugged it before it went through."

Well, you know what happened, don't you??? Yep......we had a charge for $979.71 on our bank statement for charging at the Country Mart!!!!!! The real charge of $9.71 also showed up......BUT.....the girl did not try to make a change for the LARGE mistake.

Sooooo, I rushed down there to talk to the manager. I took a copy of my bank statement.....and luckily, I had KEPT the receipt for the smaller, correct purchase. I explained all of this to the manager, or whomever this young man was........and he said he would credit our account. He then began to blame the girl and said that she had probably taken all of that money......and that she had most likely made the mistake purposely!! Well.....that is HIS problem....not mine. Soooo, now I have another receipt for the credit to my account to hold onto until it goes through my account in STL.

Spent most of that afternoon inside.....I do NOT do well in this stifling heat/humidity....and I didn't want to find myself laying on the moist grass under the blazing sun of summer. Sooo, I watched a bit of the tellie.......dozed for about 10 minutes and felt great!!!

I fixed dinner this evening.......a good old meal that we used to have when our kids were younger. Cubed steaks....which I pounded to make them a bit more tender.......and these were smothered in mushrooms as they gently fried in olive oil. Some beans seasoned with bacon drippings, some brussel sprouts in butter, and I made some gravy from the pan drippings......and all accompanied by a glass of dark red medicine!!! It was damn good......even though it was not very healthy eating!!!

Then.....about 7pm, I headed outside in the 89 degree temps and began mowing the lawn......sweating away pounds of me all over the cut grass!!! I got about 3/4 of the lawn cut before my body gave out and I put the mower away for the evening. WHAT a slimy sagging hulk I was as I quietly slipped into the shower and stood there recovering in the cold water!!! FELT SOOO GOOD!!!

And so.....another boring day in my Life.....and all for you to read about!! HAHAHA!!!! Sorry.....I can't blame you for not getting this far in the post..........this day was boring for me.....so it MUST be boring for all of you!!!! But......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A WORK day at our stick and brick!!

French Roast on the patio this morning accompanied some of the fabulous Sunday morning coffee cake which for some strange reason was NOT consumed yesterday. Well.....it exists no more!

After making several phone calls, I realized that I was setting up my schedule for this week.......and did I really want to do that???? HELL NO!!!! THAT is why I retired......to not have a schedule that would/did run my Life for 30 years. Soooo, what do I do???? I thought about it for awhile.......and then placed the final call to complete (I hope) my weeks appointments and meetings.

Another cup of coffee, a work planning discussion with the 1st Lady.....and then I changed into my work clothes and drug out the power washer.....and after messing with all of the cords and connections, I had it running. And then.......the rest of the day was spent in removing the dirt, dead bugs, and mold on the siding on the top half and the brick facade on the bottom half. WOW......that brick was DIRTY!!!!!

It was only recently that we had ALL the shrubs/bushes on two sides of our house pulled out with chain and truck......and all of the dirt and mold inbedded in the textured bricks HAD to be cleaned up!!! Sooooo, it took the rest of the day for only the north side of the house and part of the east side......the LONG side of our ranch style stick and brick. Guess what is on top for the rest of the week.......when not keeping my appointments?????? Yep......WORK!!!

The 1st Lady spent most of the day priming the walls in the living room so that we can paint them.....perhaps this week. We have a small container of sample paint that we had formulated for us at Sherwin-Williams based on a computer print-out from a picture we liked........and now we are not quite certain that this color is the exact one we want. We are trying to get a warm, flat Terra Cotta/burnt orange shade of paint.......but it is not as easy to find as you might think. Too many are toooo bright, too wild......and then others are toooooo dark with tones of brown that account for the darker orange color. Sooooo, with 2 ft. square patches of paint on our walls......we are studying them in the various lights of the day/evening with our new huge window that was installed while we were in Florida.

Soooo,....we are both tired....and I am sore from just standing in one place working that power washer on the small areas to remove all of that grime!!! I grilled some burgers, the 1st Lady made a wonderful spinach salad, I grilled some corn-on-the cob, and we had a couple of beers as we enjoyed a good meal.....and as our bodies screamed loudly at us for mistreating them sooooooo badly today!!

My Dr. finally called this afternoon.....and the colonoscopy from last week came out ok. However, the problem which sent me to the Dr. before I left for Florida is still bothering me about once a week.......and so, the Dr. is going to set up an appointment with a Urologist in Festus.....south of STL. Soooo, may not get away by the end of July to make that trout fishing trip out west. Will just have to see when the Dr.'s appointment ( ANOTHER appt.) is scheduled.

But.....not matter how tired I am tonight....or how full my schedule is....or that I have more testing to do on my sagging body......

Life IS Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

After a very busy and late night of "baby sitting", the 1st Lady and I got up and kept the two little ones "busy" while Dr. Jeni and Darrel "recovered" this morning from last night's reception dinner/dance!! As always, the girls were really good, quiet, and kept out of the bedroom where "Mommy and Daddy" were sleeping.

Breakfast was not until mid-morning when the 1st Lady's infamous coffee cake was ready to be served, along with Fr. Roast coffee and hot tea. And......the coffee cake was excellent, as usual!!

The rest of the morning disappeared as the Moser family attempted to gather up their things, toys, etc., etc so they could get on the road to head home. I had brought all of their beach equipment, bike, scooter, baby bed, toys, etc., etc. back from Florida in the truck and now it was time for them to get all of this stuff into the SUV and take it back with them. WHAT A TASK!!!!
But, before long they had it loaded and were on the road for home.

The 1st Lady and I picked up the house, I vaccumed, and then did some Sunday reading on the internet. We decided to go see a movie......and it turned out to be a really very good one to see: "The Lake House" with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. GO SEE IT!!! Well worth the few dollars for a thought provoking film......

On the way back from Arnold where we saw the film, we made a stop at a very good WalMart Supermart and picked up a few items we needed that are not available in our smaller Supermart here in F'Town.

Me??? A good day......and hoping the test results that I SHOULD get tomorrow will be good, also. Who knows..................??

And so, at the end of a busy weekend......at TheHowserHouse......

Life is Great.......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Daddy ready to be a Groomsman!

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"Princess" Meghan poses......

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Dr. Jeni, Meghan, Ava off to the wedding

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Meghan and Ava ready to attend a wedding

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Meghan, Ava, and Daddy on Father's Day

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dr. Jeni, Darrel, and granddaughters keep me BUSY!!

Dr. Jeni and girls arrived yesterday evening for the weekend......and Darrel arrived this morning as he had toooooooo much work to do last night before he could come down here. They had a wedding to attend this afternoon/evening and so the girls are in our care tonight here at the stick and brick.

Actually, the entire day has been devoted to them......and just enjoying their activities and "busy-ness" around the house. And.....it, of course, keeps us busy, too!!!

Me?? Nothing really new other than no further problems. Still consuming a lot of water, but I've been addicted to water all my Life, so increasing the amount is not a problem.....is it?? I also have my normal Fr. Roast coffee in the morning.....it would take a great deal to stop that little habit!!

Finally finished unloading TheHowserHouse.......all of the beach equipment that belongs to us and to the granddaughters. Now, to find a good place to store it until the next journey to a beach.....!!

Soooo, not much news to report here tonight. It HAS rained today......lots of rain, and that is much needed and appreciated!!!

And.....as always....

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

I AM alive........

Well.......do I give an honest report tonight, after missing last night, or do I keep it clean and "high-brow"?? Sooooo.....

Yesterday was a day of misery for this aging, sagging old man. The "No. 1" plumbing mechanisms were NOT working properly inside this sagging man.......and the only way they would possibly work was if I drank glasses and glasses of water........to rather force through it all through and out into the proper receptacle. And.....when I hadn't drank enough water, the pressure and pain was very, very, very uncomfortable.

I talked with the Dr.'s office......she was gone yesterday and today.....and they then relayed my message of distress to her. They then called me back and gave me the instructions to DRINK 8 ounces of for 8 hours in a row......well, I doubled the amount each hour. And still.....there were times that nothing would happen when it should have........sooooo, the day was a lost cause for me.

By evening, things were beginning to occur in a timely fashion......about every two hours. Soooo, prior to laying this miserable sagging hulk into a horizontal postion, I drank two more glasses of water. When I awoke at 5:30 this morning.....I had slept the entire night, I felt better, and I soon realized that things were working on demand!!! No pressure, no pain, and plumbing pipes that worked when needed.

I don't know the problem.....but this is part of the reason I went to the Dr. three weeks ago. Soooo, I have continued to drink more than plenty of water all day.....at least two 12 ounce glasses per hour.....and that kept me functioning all day and evening.

Sooooo, we'll see how things go tonight and tomorrow...........!! It is amazing how happy one can be when all body parts work and function the way they should....when they should!!!!!!

And......when everything DOES work properly......then,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NO post last night.......quite busy I was, I was!!

Yesterday....we left the Grand Casino RV Resort around 9:30am and arrived back in F'town about 2:30pm. Easy trip, even tho the last 48 miles are on a horrible two lane road with no shoulders on either side.

Unloaded most of the RV....and then checked my phone messages. WELL............... there was one from the hospital telling me to begin drinking that gallon of "Golytely".....which should have ANOTHER name. I called the hospital and told them that I had been told the procedure would be on Thursday morning. Sooooo, long story short, I began drinking that stuff around 4pm......8 ounces every ten minutes!!!

It tastes MUCH like Alkeseltzer without the fizz, so I added a squeeze of a lemon to each glass....and it then tasted like Lemon Alkeseltzer, without the fizz!!!! It took about 1.5 hours of drinking before the required action began.........and kept me from writing my thoughts last night. Besides.....you would NOT have wanted to hear my thoughts last night, even if I could have taken the necessary time to write.

Finally around 11pm, with a few chills wracking my body from the efforts I was experiencing, I got up off the bathroom floor, where I had been laying(so I would be "close by") and got into bed. Twice during the night it was necessary to hurry and get out of bed and dash through the darkness to the necessary room.

By 5;30am, I was up, extremely tired and dragging my ....hmmmm.....well I'll keep it clean and say....rear, I took a shower in an attempt to be handsome for those nurses upon arriving at the hospital. Off we went to Farmington to the hospital, got checked in, and was escorted to the procedure room. Then I was politely taken to the undressing room, told to remove only my pants and was given this horrible "back door's open" gown. I exited and was told to lie down on the "table" and was given a pillow for my head. Then they took the necessary vitals, which I am SURE were off the charts by that time.......so, I didn't ask what they were.

They explained about the meds I would receive by IV.......something to make me groggy and drowsy and some other kinds. I was only interested in getting PLENTY of the groggy meds!!!!!
Then.....the wait for the Dr who was going to see the insides of my body......my virginal colon. The "ladies in waiting" ( nurses) tried to keep me busy with their questions and conversation, but the time the Dr. arrived I was feeling like a basket case. Then, I was told to roll over on my side......with my "back door open" gown wide open........then one of the "ladies in waiting" said she was going to begin the meds........I told her to do it!!! And, then..............

A half hour later I was awakened, the Dr. was gone, and the "ladies in waiting" made me sit up and asked me some questions, of which I can not even remember now. In fact.......I know nothing about what happened, didn't feel anything, nor do I feel "sore" from the procedure.

The next thing I remember was I was being helped into the truck. How I got dressed, how I got into a wheel chair, how I was wheeled to the exit..........I will never ever know. My memory of these vital details is gone!!!! The 1st Lady asked if I wanted some coffee......and then I was gone again.......and when I got home, I had this empty cup in my hand but do not remember drinking it or even where it came from.

The next couple of hours I sat on the patio........and came in and out of reality. REALLY weird feelings......don't remember any of those hours. Finally began to come around........and had another cup of coffee and the 1st Lady fixed some early afternoon dinner. My memory is ok from that time on.

After effects??? TOOOOOOOOOOOOO much air still inside my colon and it is still rumbling and grumbling as it tries to find the only exit available......and it is not having much luck!!! And.....for the second time in my Life......the meds they used to make me groggy......well, these meds "froze" my bladder or some other parts which made it totally impossible to discharge any liquids which continued to mount up in quantity. This happened to me when I had minor surgery for kidney stones about 10 years ago.........and it was necessary to unblock things with a catheter tube insertion. By late this afternoon / early evening I was beginning to get in bad shape with "needing to go" and couldn't!!!!

Soooo, I walked around the yard, pulled some weeds, trying to exercise and get things flowing. I then sprayed for mosquitoes around our hostas on the privacy fence line.....and the music of the water spraying against the plants and fence began to really get that urge inflamed!!!!! Soooo, telling the 1st Lady to get ready to go back to Farmington, I gave it another try.........and VOILA!!!!!! The frozen "valve" began to little by little give way.......and soon relief was flowing over my body!!!!!! HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sooo, I am now drinking some much needed water which I was afraid to drink for fear of an explosion.......and hopefully things within me will return to normal.

Results of this morning???? I know not.......will surely hear something tomorrow!!! I am a bit tired, even though I lost some of my Great Life this morning........no memory of those hours. Soooo, I am posting this early and will lay my exhausted sagging body down soon.

As always.....(whenever all the plumbing works)

Life is GREAT!!!! and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

North to.....Tunica!!

What a HAZY, HUMID morning it was when I first exited TheHowserHouse today!!!! NO blue sky……just haze from horizon to horizon…….nasty looking and I’m certain the air quality was crappy with a capital S!!!!!! But, this was a travel day….again….and I knew that it would all change as TheHowserHouse moved north on I-55.

However, I spent some time with my Cedar Creek neighbor…..again discussing our rigs and a few of their flaws. The biggest problem being the area under the entertainment slide that was ripping apart on his new ‘06 trailer….only 3 months old, as well as the same thing on mine. I took my Gorilla Tape over to his rig and crawled under to help him tape up his splitting plastic part…..which by the way is still “patent pending” according to the printing on the part.

After saying our goodbye’s……I went inside to take of the things that must be accomplished prior to moving down the road. I also detached the umbilical cords from the utility post and removed the sewage hookup from the ground. I also checked the air pressure on all 8 of my traveling tires…truck and rv…..and, as they always are, they were perfect: 110 on the RV and 80 on the truck. Raised the nose of the RV, lowered the tailgate of the truck and in one calculated move I slowly backed up the truck, and voila….I was attached to TheHowserHouse. Checked the lights, turn signals, brake signals, walked around the entire rig twice to inspect everything….twice. And then…..we were off at 9:40AM!!!

200 miles later we were checking into the Grand Casino RV Resort and by 1pm we were in our assigned site, which I reserved, and in 10 minutes all umbilical cords were attached and we had a/c, electricity, TV, fresh water, sewage, and our own bed, our own clothes hanging in the double closet, and our own kitchen, living room, books, food, wine, etc., etc……everything we need to live a very comfortable Life.

A quick refreshing splash in the bathroom and we were off to the Casino…….checked it out, checked out the Grand Buffet that is offered, looked over the gaming machines……and then decided to head to Sam’s Towne Casino, where I camped two weeks ago. We played the slots for $20 each……and then had a VERY FILLING dinner just before 4pm, ….which is when the prices go up. As before……we paid the $9.99 just 15 minutes before the prices changed to $14.99, but got to choose from the buffet items that were on the dinner hours buffet!!! Slick move on our part!!!

Then we hit the slots for a few more minutes…..won some, but replayed the winnings and game home only $20 down. Then we drove out to the Tunica River Park and checked out the Mississippi River……very, very wide at this part of the river. They have built a very contemporary musem and river walk there………if this tiny little Mississippi town can do this, then why the Hell can’t St. Louis do something this nice along their waterfront????????????????????? It is time they got their act together up there!!!!

Returned to TheHowserHouse….and WOW….the weather is incredible!!!! A strong, very cool breeze is blowing from the north and I am currently sitting outside enjoying every second of this refreshing air!!!!!

Tomorrow we return home to F’town……about 250 miles north of here. A day of some unpleasantries faces me on Wednesday as I prepare my aging body to be invaded from the south (for a colonoscopy) at 7:15AM on Thursday morning in Farmington. From what I understand and hear, it is the bodily preps on the afternoon before that is the tough part…….that the actual procedure is not nearly as bad as the cleansing!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With that thought in your mind…….I leave you with….

Life is Great!!!…..and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Can 2 Cedar Creek RVs be a rally???

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Let's play those slots!!!!

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1st Lady overlooking the Mississippi River near Tunica

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At the Tunica Mississippi River Park

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Spacious rv sites at Grand Casino RV Park

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Sunset over TheHowserHouse in Tunica

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Again....a TWO day post!!

Hmmmmmm…..an apology is in order since I didn’t get around to writing and publishing anything last night. A couple of reasons: 1. The 1st Lady has taken on the part time job of doing the statements and billing the companies that our Dr. Jeni’s husband, our son-in-law, works with in his business on the road. The 1st Lady needs something to occupy her time, give her “structure”, and so this is a good release for her still hanging on “energies” from teaching for 29 years. Soooo, last night she had many statements, from his invoices which he emails to us, to get typed and emailed to him. #2: I discovered a recurring problem under the entertainment slide of the RV…..the flexible plastic piece which holds all of the electrical cords and bends, along the with the cords, when the slide retracts…..well, for the second time in less than a year, it has split…..on BOTH ends!!!! Soooo, to say the least, I was VERY PISSED and VERY UPSET!!!!!! Plus…..as I rolled the awning in last night, I discovered for the SECOND TIME that the screws have pulled loose from the side of the RV!!!!!! Just had them fixed last fall and here we go again!!!!

Ok…..enough of this problem crap. A good friend of mine told me that if we put our stick/brick houses on wheels and drove them down these horrific, bumpy roads……just imagine what would happen to our homes!!!!! Soooo…..these items can be repaired….so just let it go, John!!
Yesterday……a leisurely morning again…..and then at noon, the 1st Lady and I went over to the beach….for the last time……tears are streaming down my cheeks!!! I love the beach, the relaxation it gives, and the incredible “eye candy” that is also available there!!!!! HEHEHEEE!!!!! We remained for four hours and then packed it in and returned to the RV Park.

After de-salting ourselves with hot showers, we were off to Destin to have a final seafood dinner. EAT AT “A.J.’s”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a great seafood restaurant with great choices and wonderful food. I had the “Run of the Kitchen “…..a LARGE platter of fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried scallops, fried clams, deviled crab, and wonderful fried Mai-Mai, along with hush puppies, slaw, and a very cold Corona!! (With Lime slice, of course). A great dinner for only $23.95!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 1st Lady had Garlic-butter scallops which were good, but just not quite enough garlic on them to enhance the flavor. Oh…..we also had crab stuffed mushrooms with melted cheese on top of the them……YUM!!!

Back to the RV….and I got busy getting the final items stored in the basement for the journey home. Of course, I was pissed at the problems, but managed to get sleep during the night.

TODAY

We were up, things were packed and put away inside, and we pulled out of the Navarre Beach RV Park at 9:20 this morning. A good drive…..a good ride….and hot, muggy weather outside the truck as we rolled west on I-10, and then into Mobile, AL, and then northwest on US Hwy 98 to Hattiesburg…..and changed to US 49 north to Jackson where we picked up I-55. We went 20 miles north of Jackson to Canton and pulled over and registered at a campground here. Nice……big lots….and level, too. AND…….

We pulled in beside another Cedar Creek 5th wheel from Florida!!! It is 2006 Custom RDQS…..the floor plan of our Cedar Creek RV. We rested some, stayed inside out of the searing heat and humidity, and a bit later the owners of the other CC arrived back.

I went out to meet them…..and an interesting conversation developed about our rigs. I pointed out my problem with the flexible plastic piece…..and we looked under his slide…..and OMG, but his was just about to rip apart!!!!!!! AND…..he had only purchased his in March AT THE FACTORY!!!!!! Sooooo, our discussions continued about the problems we have had with many little minor issues…….

We plan to get together in the morning before we both depart. I told him about the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club….and he is interested in learning more. Don’t think he uses the computer much for keeping in touch with things…….I told him I had some good tape that can fix his problem….temporarily and will assist him in the morning.

Tonight, the 1st Lady and I drove back down I-55 into Madison to see the movie “RV”……and laughed ourselves silly!!!!!!! A great movie that hits home with any rver!!!!!! If you haven’t seen it….camper or not…..go see it!!!!

Sooo, now the 1st Lady is yelling at me…..more invoices/statements to be done. NEXT trip she brings her own lappie!!!!!!!

Soooo, tomorrow it is on to Tunica and to the Casinos!!!!

Until then…..

Life is GREAT……and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

The 1st Lady at "AJ's" in Destin, FL

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Friday, June 09, 2006

A GREAT Lifestyle!!!

WOW……it was really quiet this morning when I awoke……no little girls whispering in the living room, telling deep little girl secrets. Only the 1st Lady and I in TheHowserHouse……..and soon after awakening the aroma of French Roast coffee was floating throughout.

As usual, I took my coffee on the patio….and without any breeze anywhere!!! The morning was hot and sticky with a ferocious sun beating down on the awning. The 1st Lady emerged from the RV and suggested we have breakfast down the road at the Waffle House. This happens to be one of our favorite places for breakfast…..so off we went. And as always…..there was lots of food and small prices for our breakfast.

From there we went to Walgreens to make some CD’s of our pics on my digital camera which needed to be deleted…..only after the CD’s were made. This took a bit longer than I anticipated but sure glad to be able to delete all of those pics from my camera.

Then it was a quick trip about 5 miles east of here to the veggie and fruit market for some fresh sweet corn and ripe tomatoes. It is not cheap there, but they are soooo good and fresh!

We returned to the RV Park…..and spent a rather leisurely morning. The 1st Lady went to the Rec Room and spent almost an hour on the exercise machines, while I enjoyed another cup of coffee…….can never get enough….hahaha!!!!

We skipped lunch after the huge breakfast we consumed…..and around 1pm, we headed to the beach. WHAT a beautiful day it was out there……..the winds picked up and cooled the air down, as the white caps on the Gulf begin to be seen…..and the waves became a bit stronger! It was a great, relaxing afternoon…..perhaps with a tad tooo much sun hitting my wrinkling skin…….and I’m certain it will be more wrinkled now with the extra sun playing havoc with it!!!

WOW……have you ever noticed how your body is evolving as you age (quickly)?????? I really do believe I am returning to my roots……..to my primitive ancestors. The older I become the shorter I become…..the more stooped I become…..and as the hair on my head falls out, the rest of my body catches that hair and I become very hairy like my ancestors. Will I soon be walking so bent over that I will find my hands on the ground as I move about????? Some real thinking to do about this……………….!!!!!

This evening I fixed some BLTs, the 1st Lady fixed the freshly picked sweet corn, I had a couple of glasses of the dark red medicine…..and the dining room was the great outdoors with a beautiful ceiling overhead!!! Following the sumptuous meal, we strolled down to the shore and walked out onto the pier to watch some of the young kids try their luck at fishing. We then set on the beach in a yard swing and enjoyed a young man playing his guitar while on the beach.
And so……..I ask again: Is this almost Paradise??? Can this type of lifestyle get any better???? It is sooooooooooooo relaxing AND enjoyable!!!!!!

Life IS Great……and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

The 1st Lady of Navarre Beach

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

A trio of bathing beauties!!!

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Rachel's shell collection

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Meghan's shell collection

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Keeping COOL in the pool

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I LOVE the pool!!!

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