Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday: Day 1..........

We pulled onto the highway heading south at roughly 8:30 this morning, after checking tires, loading a few more items, and closing down the house, and making sure that the ALARMS were set!

We had not gone very far past Cherokee Pass when I began to hear a metal clanking, not a steady sound, but every 15 seconds or so.....and erratic. Found a wide shoulder.....wide enough to pull completely off of the highway. Got out.....and then saw that my left front "landing gear" was resting on the pavement!!!!! The other one?.......still up inside the basement. What the hell.......I thought, along with many other unwritable comments. I opened up the compartment door where the controls for the extending and retraction of the legs are located.......and I pushed the switch and the leg retracted. Sooooo, I pushed the extend switch.....and both came down, put some weight on them by lifting the 5er up while still hitched up.....and then retracted them again. Pushed down the "shoe" of the leg and it would not budge, did not fall down, etc. Sooooooo, I pulled out again and resumed our day's journey.

Now.......any readers on here have any idea why this would occur. I have the hydraulic landing gear legs.........and, of course, this event never left my mind the rest of the day, or for that matter, even right now. Now to make it clearer.....this was not the inner part of the telescopic legs, but the heavier, outer part. Soooo, we made the next 400 miles OK.....but, I kept looking out at my side mirror to check on least every 10 minutes.

We arrived at the KOA in Texarkana, TX, just a block from the state line, about 3:30 this afternoon. Even though it may dip below freezing tonight, I went ahead and de-winterized the RV....and will turn on the tank heaters to keep them warm.....and the basement is also heated. The hose may freeze, but a bit of hot water will handle that in the morning. Weather for tomorrow is supposed to be in the 50's as we move on down to the San Antonio area for tomorrow night, with luck.

The 1st Lady had a gift certificate for her birthday that expired this week, so we headed over to Kohl's and she found a few items to use up that certificate......imagine that!!! HAHA. Then we went the Texas Roadhouse for dinner..........the steaks were overcooked, but everything else was fine.

We are now in our den watching some tellie, the fireplace is going, and TheHowserHouse is warming up nicely. Tomorrow will be the longest day of driving, so I do want to get another early start on the trip......hopefully.

A good day, even with the strange rv problem this morning.....and I know that, as always.....

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday: WHEW!!! I must have been out of my mind a couple of weeks ago!!!

WOW.......this entire day has been consumed with our "getting ready to leave" chores!!! As I said, I must not have been thinking a couple of weeks ago when I visualized that we could get everything here in the stick and brick, and in TheHowserHouse on-wheels, in just one day!!! It has taken two full days to get rid of the Christmas decor in the stick/brick, box it up, put it away, CLEAN the damn house to rid it of cookie crumbles, candy bits, etc., etc., as well as just bits of trash from the chaotic Christmas unwrappings. Then all of the furniture had to be returned to the proper locations, the fridge cleaned out, trash emptied....several times...and then........

We had to get the rest of the items loaded that we just can't leave without! However, during this prep

aration...I located an old cowboy hat of mine, which I am going to take with me. this going to be the NEW sagging hulk of Me???? Hmmmm........time will tell!

Two frustrating things did take up time, which was certainly unplanned. I needed some more keys to the front door.....and when I took the original to wonderful Wally World, they made me three, as requested. Returning home......the damn things would lock the door, but NOT unlock it!!! Soooo, back to wonderful Wally World and I had three different ones made. Returning to the stick/brick......these wouldn't even go into the lock!!!!!!! DAMN!! Soooo, to the city center I drove, and went to the local,......VERY local.....hardward store on South Main. I had three more made.......returned to the stick/brick.....and they wouldn't fit!!! Back to the city center I went, returned them, out to wonderful Wally World and returned the second batch I had purchased from them.........and then just GAVE UP!!!!!

Then.....about 4pm I began to check the truck tires....I'll check them and the RV tires again in the morning.......but, the right front truck tire was 30 pounds low!!!!!! DAMN, DAMN!.. So, I rushed inside, called the local tire place, and was told I would get right in if I could be there in five minutes. No problem.........however, it took about 45 minutes for the repair. There WAS a broken-off nail in the tire.....and soooo, do you know HOW LUCKY I felt knowing that I had checked the tires this evening FIRST, not something I usually do. It would have made us very late in departing in the morning had I had to wait to have the tire fixed!

Sooooo, all is done, I believe.....and hopefully, we can get away by 8am in the morning. I had to leave the furnace on at 50 degrees as it is supposed to get down to 25 tonight with 20-30 mph winds out of the north. IS time to get the hell out of here as the cold is returning!!! By Thursday, with luck, we should be getting into warmer weather as we overnight in the San Antonio area......and then the rest of the week and into next week the weather in the RGV is supposed to be in the low to middle 80's for the highs temps each day! I brought several pairs of shorts........being optimistic for this Tip of Texas winter!!!

And sooooo, hopefully I will have decent Wifi tomorrow night. It has never been very good at this KOA in Texarkana, but perhaps it will be better this year???? Yeah....right. If not......I will post again when I can get online.

Even though it has been a very, very busy day.........I still feel just as always.....that....

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday: 33 hours to go.......

Yep.......only 33 hours before departure time to head south to the tip of Texas, or at least very, very, very close to the tip......just up the Valley from there.

Today....a gorgeous day with the temps in the 50's.....we both spent all day loading TheHowserHouse, going through each room in our stick and brick to decide what we need...and what is not necessary to take with us. The biggest problem for decisions???????

WHICH clothes should we take: clothes for cool, windy springlike temps like we have in MO, or warm weather clothes such as shorts and T-shirts???? Last year, it seemed a bit chillier in January than the year before that, but seeing the pictures online from friends down there now, they are in shorts and short-sleeved shirts and sandals. is just a roll of the dice.....soooo, I took a few sweat shirts, jeans, shorts, long sleeved shirts as well as the short ones.......and then......I also included COLD weather clothes for the quick trip to Washington DC in three weeks from today for the Inaugural. More clothes than I really wanted to carry, but........who the hell knows what the weather may bring.........right???

Then late this afternoon, we began tackling the de-decorating of the Christmas season here in the stick/brick. By 6pm we had everything in their proper boxes and large plastic storage containers...and in the morning I will carry them to their assigned shelves in the garage.

Tomorrow I also have to get some propane, diesel fuel for the truck, take the proper documentation for the forwarding of the mail to the Post Office, and then make a trip to the local Fed Ex "station" to try to get something done about the delivery of Jeremy's passport. Then......tomorrow afternoon I will check all the tire pressures on all 8 tires and give another once over to the RV to make certain everything is stored properly for the 1108 miles of highways.

The house must be cleaned, trash emptied, fridge cleaned out, and other necessary items.... I do not turn off my water as I have a friend who comes over once each week to flush the toilets, run the faucets, and water the plants. He has the keys and the combination to the BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM so the police won't come running when he enters the house.

I read a great column in the NY Times today....and I hope to provide for you the link to read it. If you have ever had trouble with getting problems resolved through a computer on the phone, then be sure and read this!!!!

This evening we went out to visit with Dave and Sue.....and WOW, is he ever making great progress from his quadruple bypass 9 days ago!!!!! Looks great.....and seems to be feeling really good for all of that surgery. Sure glad to see him looking soooo great!!!

And so.....a very, very busy day today......and another busy one tomorrow. always this day has proved to me that...........

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday: THE SUN IS OUT!! WOW!!!!! awaken with the sun streaming into the bedroom was a BIG lift for me!!! I have been soooo sick of the gray and dismal days lately, that even Christmas was not as cheery as usual. Seems the older I become, the more that I need the sunlight to jump start this sagging hulk of Me.......haha. And today, the jump start was a strong one.....WOW....soooo great to see that ball of fire again.

Again....the house was full of children and grandchildren this morning, with the little ones up and going before any of the rest of us managed to gree that sun! After a "do it yourself" breakfast, we talked and discussed the various winter plans for our family: from we seniors leaving for the Rio Grande Valley this week, to our daughter and family's ski trips being planned, to Jeremy's cancellation of his trip to Tulum, Mexico this his rescheduling the week to include Miami Beach....the following week to Key West...and then a quick trip to California. Of course, I have a trip to Washington D.C. to attend the Inaugural events and ceremony ........and these were only the plans for all of us for the month of January!!! Hopefully, our trips might allow us to meet here and there from time to time.

Jeremy left for the 11 hour drive down to Mobile, Alabama, to the home of the young lady he has been seeing for many months now. Becky and Rachel soon left for Cape Girardeau....and then shortly after noon, Dr. Jeni/Darrel and family left for home. And WOW.....the stick and brick was really, really quite.....hmmmmm,.....almost eeeeeerrrryyyy feeling.

The 1st Lady and I left then to go spend the afternoon visiting Mike, and returned earlier this evening. We have adjusted our departure plans for the Rio Grande Valley on the border of Texas and Mexico. We have more things left to do to get the stick and brick ready for hibernation under the constant eyes of our every going alarm system, as well as getting TheHowserHouse on-wheels ready.......we just didn't get enough done while the family were all here. Soooo, our plans are now for our departure to be on Wednesday......arriving at Llano Grande RV Resort and Golf Club on Friday afternoon. Soooo, the next two days will be in the "finish getting ready" mode.

And sooooo, the Holidays have ended for us.....and it is time to warm up and get back to our second home in the tip of Texas. usual,........without a doubt.......

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A few Christmas morning pictures....


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"He is getting bigger!"

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Uncle Jay with Rachel, Ava, Meghan, and Max

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"My first Christmas gift"

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"How do I get this out of the box?"

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Unwrapping fun=house "disaster"

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Saturday: Two days of family, scattered toys, and too much food!

I'm sure that our family Christmas is no different than others, so I will not go into any details with this post, other to let you know that the celebrations of the holiday continue in TheHowserHouse. Absolutely no one can get through the stick and brick without stepping ON, or stepping OVER, tons of toys which lay scattered all across the floor and through the various rooms. We still have 10 family members here in the stick and brick, but tomorrow will be the day of departure for everyone except the 1st Lady and myself.

Today....70 degrees with strong winds and even stronger gusts!!! We are under a tornado watch and the line of severe storms is quickly approaching our area, so I thought I would write this before the possibility of losing our electricity becomes stronger.

The 1st Lady and I are "child sitting" for this morning as the others are out and about including a visit to see Mike for a few hours. The 1st Lady is also in the process of TRYING to get some of the decorations put our time here in the stick/brick is getting shorter, with the planned departure to be on Tuesday morning. Much, much to do to get things loaded and the house put in order for it's winter hibernation, mail to be forwarded, ALARMS TURNED ON, etc., etc., etc.

I will post more later today, including a few pictures of the chaotic gift unwrapping yesterday could it be anything BUT chaotic with the joys and suprises of three grandchildren and one four month old grandson tearing into the gifts???

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jay and Anne-marie.....

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Lunch with the Goldsmith's

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Christmas at TheHowserHouse

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Wednesday: Twas the Night before Christmas........

Hmmmmm......yesterday was such a depressing, dismal day with the most god-awful weather here in southeast Misery.....I found myself just waiting for the day to end in the hopes that the weather outside might just improve overnight. With Jay and Anne-marie here all day, we just sort of hung out, dashing in and out quickly as the very COLD rain came down in brief downpours....and that rain then hit the already ice covered streets and sidewalks, cars, and windshields.....and just immediately froze. Then it would warm up for a few minutes and the ice would begin to melt.....and then the temp would drop again....and the ice would re-freeze. It was a horrible day!! I finally decided to slide across the street to pick up the mail....and slide, I did! Managed to remain on my feet, even with the gravity pulling heavily on my sagging hulk....haha....but, stay on my feet, I did!

We had a great evening meal prepared by the 1st Lady....and then we just sat around, talked, and watched some tellie shows. It was a short, short night for Jay and Anne-marie as she had to catch a VERY early flight out of STL for Pensacola, FL to join her family at their home in Mobile, Alabama. I awoke them at 2:30AM THIS morning....and then checked again at 2:45AM. They hurridly got ready and left a few minutes after 3am......and, Jay had driven her to the airport, let her out, and returned here to the stick and brick by 6:40am!!! He did say there was no traffice anywhere, not even at the airport, which surprised me. I figured that on Christmas Eve morning, there would be a lot of people flying to various locations around the world.

I left here around 9:30 this morning for a quick trip to Cape Girardeau and back. Reason???? I needed to pick up a couple of small things for gifts for the 1st Lady..........we had made a decision early this fall to forego any expensive gifts for each other and take care of a few items we wanted to do around the yard and house well as plan for an overseas trip in the 2009. And so, I HOPE she has kept her promise on this agreement.............!!!

This afternoon, after I returned around 12noon, we met the Goldsmith Family at the local Pizza Hut for a late lunch, some wonderful conversation, and to simply spend an hour or so together before the 1st Lady and I leave for the next three months. It has been a traumatic year for this family.......and I still have great difficulty with the negative thoughts that I have, almost daily, about the Staff/Administration of the Meadow Heights Church here in F'town.......thoughts concerning the actions which they took in the unprecedented dismissal of Michael.....AND....the BANNING of the entire family from attending worship services in Meadow Heights Church......most certainly NOT a Christian way of ministering to others/members, and especially the children! But......since it is "the night before Christmas" I will refrain from any more discussion at this time.........

Following lunch, the 1st Lady and I went to visit with David Hanner......who just this past Saturday received a quadruple heart bypass.....and is doing just fine! He was released from the hospital in Cape yesterday afternoon......and so, we spent a couple of hours with him and Sue and family this afternoon. He looks great.....and seems to be healing and making great progress!!! It is somewhat scary in that he had no idea anything was wrong with him.......but, just decided at age 65 to have a stress test run.........and with that and another test....and he was quickly put in the hospital.....and then into surgery a day later. WOW.........think I may look into getting a stress test done on my sagging hulk!!!

Back at the stick/brick by late afternoon, we just rather snacked for supper. Jay currently has a high school friend here for a few drinks and some catch-up conversation.......Tomorrow, we will not celebrate our family Christmas, but will wait until Friday when all of our family can be here, after their own Christmas' "unwrappings" tomorrow. Soooo, a quiet day is anticipated here tomorrow, minus making and receiving phone calls from relatives and friends.

I do want to express my thoughts to each and everyone of you who read these rambling thoughts of mine..........To all of you, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, as I know that I have readers of many different faiths and religions here each day.....and even though this is a Christian "holiday", the meaning of tomorrow for Christians only reinforces the love, and ideas, and philosophies of everyone, no matter what their religious beliefs. Have a wonderful day tomorrow.....hopefully with your families close by.....and with the advances of modern technology the many miles which separate families can be traversed through telephones, videos, phone cameras, and the internet with video calls. As always...........

LIFE IS JUST INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures from the Redman Family Christmas in Hannibal, MO

Time out to EAT!!!!

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27 people partying around the pool and Larry sleeps through it all!!

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Cousins enjoying the Hot Tub!!!

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Game time beside the pool....

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The "new" OLDER and sisters are seated(outlaws have to stand)

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The 3 granddaughters with the Sagging Hulk of Me

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3rd Cousins.....Landry and Ava

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TheHowserHouse Family......

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Catered dinner for the family Christmas on Sunday

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Monday: The sun was out......WOW!!!!!!!!

Can't believe it!!!!! The 1st Lady was up and going before I was even awake........I forgot she had a medical test this morning in Farmington.....and so, she was gone before I even made it out of the shower!

So, I had my French Roast coffee in relative peace and quiet, enjoying reading the online newspapers, as well as my email which always....ALWAYS....has many emails from soooo many places where friends and former students now live. I took care of some things around the stick and brick....and then......started up the truck, even though it had not been started since last Wednesday and it started on the second attempt!!! It was still about 8 degrees, and I had not plugged it in, so I was grateful for the response that my Ford made in this frigid weather.

I drove up to Farmington, got a really short haircut(shorter than I wanted, but what can be done after those few hairs are laying on the floor???) Then I went to the Supercenter for some groceries; took back the Charter TV receivers; and then returned to F'town where I made a couple of more stops in the "city center".

While stopping in at the local florist I found myself engaged in a conversation with a school board member.....and to say the very least, the turn of the conversation was quite interesting!!! It doesn't sound like much has changed since I was serving on the board, except that there a few others who feel like I STILL do.....that things need to be studied more carefully, and that more information is always needed from the Administration.....and the board never gets that information when needed. Oh well...........

This afternoon........I found myself in a domesticated mood......and did my "Christmas baking". Yep......I spent about three hours baking cookies which everyone in the family enjoys. For the past couple of years I have used a recipe that I got off of the Paula Dean show on the Food oatmeal cookie with five different spices, walnuts, raisins, and a powdered sugar/butter icing which is just perfect with these cookies since the butter is browned prior to adding the sugar. Then I made some coconut macaroons that are drizzled with a very dark chocolate sauce to finish them off.......and OMG, are they ever GREAT!!! I found the recipe in a fall issue of Bon Appetit.....and it is quite easy to fix! OH SO GOOD!!!

Jay and Anne-marie arrived late this afternoon from STL where they had over-nighted....and then shopped today before driving down here. We had a light supper, a couple of glasses of wine, and some of those great little calorie-laden cookies. The 1st Lady went to Farmington for dinner with her friends who meet each month for dinner, drinks, and discussions of all kinds,.......she never tells the subjects....haha!!

This evening we have spent a bit of time trying to get a flight from STL to Pensacola, FL for Anne-maire on Christmas Eve morning. Finally located one on Air Tran with a change in Atlanta for about $170. I was rather surprised that it would be that cheap at such a late date and especially on Christmas Eve!!!! They are both flying to Cancun, MX on Sunday morning for a week or so.........

And soooooo........another day in the life of this sagging hulk of Me,.......and, as always,........

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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday: A wonderful relaxed morning with a wonderful Holiday Family Dinner/Party!!!

It was a rather short sleeping night in our room of the hotel in the 1st Lady was asked by Dr. Jeni to do some late hour "baby sitting" in their room, while they joined the younger generation of cousins for some late night drinks and conversation. I finally turned off the lights around 12:30am this morning......and was slightly awakened when she returned to our room around 2am. I quickly returned to sleep, however.....from that time forward, I kept waking up each time the heater in the room kicked on......and, with the sub-zero temps and wind chills down to -20F , it kept me awake off and on most of the night!

I was awakened a bit before 8am when the sun sneaking in around the edges of the drapes on the window kept getting brighter and brighter. As much as I would enjoyed sleeping in my horizontal position a little longer, it was GREAT to finally see some sunshine!!! Attempting to allow the 1st Lady to remain asleep, I tried to slip around the room and get into the shower as quietly as possible. However..........while I was finalizing the morning rituals, she came into the bath and took her own shower ......seeming very much awake, to my surprise!

I went ahead and went down to the breakfast area, where I found a table for four before getting a small spoonful of scrambled eggs.......QUITE GOOD.....and a few pieces of bacon. With coffee that was sooooooo weak that I am almost certain the cooks only took one bean and drug it through some hot water to make the coffee, I sat down and was soon joined by the 1st Lady's sister and her son......and then the 1st Lady arrived immediately after that. Before much longer the breakfast area began to fill up with members of the Redman family who were staying overnight in the hotel.

The rest of the morning passed rather several of us remained in the breakfast area sipping that very, very weak coffee......trying to find the caffeine in those cups to keep us awake.......and just having some great conversations!

Several others of the family arrived around noon, as the catered dinner was to begin at 12:30. When almost everyone was in the Lobby we took some pictures of the various family groups in front, and around, the Christmas tree. We then joined everyone in our "Redman Family Dinner" room......and enjoyed a great meal of turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and gravy, green beans, some wonderful carrots, a great mixed salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, cranberries, some great rolls, and then all of this was followed by cheesecake with strawberries, cherries, nuts, chocolate sauce, and chocolate crumbles! Yep........a really fine meal for the 32 of us who were there today!!

Following the dinner, we had the usual drawing of numbers for the gift exchange, along with the "stealing" of gifts routine which is always fun. The little ones didn't "steal" any.....a bit of not understanding what to do, or perhaps just wanting to hold on to their toys, etc., etc.

The dinner party broke up around 3pm.......and we made a dash out to Monroe City to see the Matriarch of the family...."Granny"....who was in the hospital just last week and was not about to get out of her very warm house into this frigid, brutal weather today. And was a great day for family.........a day to be together for almost all of the family......and one which will be replayed next year.

The 1st Lady and I returned to southeast Misery around 8pm.......with only one gas and coffee stop along the way. It has been a fun-filled long weekend........and now the rush is on to finish up the necessary things on our lists to prepare for our immediate family's Christmas which we will have/host here at TheHowserHouse stick/brick on Friday of this week. Jay and Anne-marie must leave late on Friday, or very early on Saturday to drive back down to New Orleans, as they are flying down to Cancun, Mexico and then drive on down to Tulum for a week or so. And...the 1st Lady and I will be leaving for the RGV on the 30th, next Tuesday for the next three months.

A wonderful weekend.........albeit a horribly cold and windy weekend, but being with family certainly makes me all that more certain that.......

LIFE IS INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!
(pictures to be posted after I purchase more space on Picasa tomorrow)

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Here in Hannibal, as I write, it is 9 degrees and the wind chill is -10 degrees!!!!!! Snow and ice have covered the ground a couple of days ago......and it is absolutely brutal with almost 30mph winds roaring around the window of the hotel!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING UP HERE WHEN I SHOULD BE IN THE RGV OF TEXAS???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We spent the morning in relative warmth.....the upper 20's in Monroe City visiting with the 1st Lady's mother who was not quite as "perky" as yesterday, but still she is/was looking forward to having visitors today and tomorrow from grandchildren with great-grandchildren. We are attempting to keep the visits short and without many in the house at the same time so as to not wear her out more than she seemed this morning.......never mind the masses of immediate relatives carrying in unknown cold and/or flu "bugs" which she doesn't need to be exposed to.

Around 1pm, we left and came over to Hannibal to the Quality Inn/Suites where the nieces and nephews with their children began to arrive, as well as Dr. Jeni/Darrel with Meghan, Ava, and well as Becky with Rachel.......and a bit later Jeremy and Anne-marie arrived from New Orleans. Jeremy has had a couple of busy travel days as on Wed he had a flight to Las Vegas for an interview, but that flt was re-routed to Los Angles due to the weather problems in Vegas. So, on Thursday he flew back to Vegas from LA......had the interview and remained overnight in the Luxor Hotel/Casino. Then yesterday he flew to New Orleans and he and Anne-marie then drove most of the night to STL where they remained for a few hours of sleep. By 7pm this evening I believe I counted 27 relatives had arrived and were enjoying the pool/hot tub as well as all of the appetizers, drinks, food that we had set up in the pool area.

With the pool area closing at 10......the smaller ones are leaving for bed.....and should really sleep well as worn out as they seem to be. Others are leaving to spend a bit of time in the lounge/bar across the street at a good restaurant facility that is there..........a very brutal walk across the street!!!

And sooooo, it has been a very good day............and, as always.......

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


WOW……I was awakened here at Dr. Jeni and Darrel’s home from the roar of the winds and it was barely light enough outside to see what the hell was going on out there. I suppose some front was moving through, however…….had it been spring, summer, or fall here in Misery and I would have headed everyone to the lowest floor as it sounded just like tornado weather outside!!!

Before much longer Dr. Jeni was up and getting Meghan, the drama star, ready for her last day of school before the Christmas break. She was all excited as it was going to be a “party day” in her grade……..what more could they do as they had only been to school on Thursday this week due to the weather conditions.

It wasn’t long afterwards that we left ourselves and went into town to do some shopping…..stopping at the huge super Walmart, then to their new Target store. By lunch time, we hit the highway for the northland of Misery…….and with only one stop for a quick bite of lunch at a fast/fat food place, we were at the 1st Lady’s mother’s home by around 3pm.

WOW…….she has made a remarkable recovery!!! She looks sooooo much better than I anticipated and she seems to be feeling pretty good. NOW…….the trick is that she has managed to not smoke for two complete weeks….and she admits that she can breathe soooooo much better now. FINALLY……..after her entire lifetime she is not smoking…and she is in her mid-80’s!!! Let’s just hope she can continue to stay away from that smoking!!!

The remainder of the day……….was internet-free!!! Yep……I couldn’t piggy-back on anyone around here….and so, I have not been able to get online. And sooooo, I will post this tomorrow………hopefully… the hotel. Until then, as always……

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!!……And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ava with a lap full of Max!

The Cast.....(Meghan on the back row on the left)

Meghan with two other cast members....

Meghan, Max, and Ava

Around the tree....after the performance

Dinner at the Lake with my sister and her husband: Christie and David!

THURSDAY: Another day in Misery, but a GREAT performance!!! was really miserable here just west of STL!!! We rarely ventured outside.......and the day was full of grandchildren playing and crying for a milk bottle! Being here at Dr. Jeni's home is of great interest.......just watching her juggle her huge practice at her dental office and her life at home with three children is really interesting and it has a way of making me feel older than I want to feel. She does a super, super job of being a great Mom and Dr. Jeni!

This was the 3rd/4th grade "muscial play" about the Wild West at Christmas.....and the main star was the "bad guy" Bart Bubblegum.....who was Meghan. She had selected that part and auditioned for it......and got it......and after this evening I now know why. She was soooooo good and was the star of the show for all in attendance!!! Soooo much fun to watch....and she was having sooooo much fun herself........not a nervous bone in her body as she loves to be in front of an audience!!! Hmmmmm.........destined for a career in the Arts?????

The rains are now pouring upon the house out here in this great wooded subdivision....and hopefully, the temps will stay above freezing. Tomorrow will tell the tale.......

Not sure if we are going to Monroe City in the morning......or just wait until Saturday morning and go to Hannibal to the hotel. Depends on the weather....and, on how the 1st Lady's mother is feeling........if she is good enough for some company by this sagging hulk of me and the 1st Lady.

A great evening..........and even with this terrible weather, I know so well that.....

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday: Gray, Cold, Damp.....Missouri=Misery!

The 1st Lady and I were up and going by 7:30 this morning......morning rituals, packed, and left town around 10:30am for the 200 mile drive up to the Lake of the Ozarks. We made on pit stop just outside of Rolla and then arrived in Eldon, north of the Lake around 2pm. Our mission there was to visit the cemetary and put some Christmas flowers on my parents' grave and our daughter's grave(she died quite unexpectedly at 8 years of age).

After those few moments in the very brittle cold, we then drove back down to the Lake and went to the Osage Outlet Mall. We were there about an hour and a half, and did find some very, very good bargains. Example: Geoffrey Beene(sp????) clothing store is closing down and everything that was left was 80% off!!! Yep......I bought a couple of items that I couldn't pass up....a $45 shirt for just over $ that's a BARGAIN!!

Before long, it was time to meet my sister and husband at Outback for dinner. We had a great meal and a wonderful two hour visit there. We just don't seem to find the time to get together very often.......both of us are involved in our own activities.....and we need to correct that problem before time moves any quicker!!!

We left the Lake around 7pm and in two hours of rapid, but legal, driving we were at Dr. Jeni's home. And...........for the second time, it appears that Meghan's Christmas play will be postponed again!!!!! From what we can read online, there will be no school there AGAIN!!!! She had already gone to bed when we learned of this, and I know she will be sooooooo disappointed!!!! Hopefully, it will be presented on Friday as we can hang around here an extra day so that we can see her "debut performance" in a play!

I am currently attempting to get some updates and downloads done for Dr. Jeni on a laptop pc that has been giving her many problems ever since she purchased it. It has been back in the shop once, but the "shutdown" problems continue, so I am downloading some solutions(??) hopefully from HP, so time will tell.........and with my LUCK(????????????????), it won't work. Don't forget......this sagging hulk of Me is very, very technically challenged........just remember the past 3-4 weeks with the new AT&T landlines, the new internet service providers, and finally the problems with the Directv!!!!

Freezing rain is predicted for here.....about 35 miles west/southwest of guess that is why her school has been cancelled for tomorrow.....UGH.

As it is now midnight, my shrinking bones are tired, and so I will close this little post now and hopefully Dr. Jeni's laptop will finish with the downloads soon!!!! Even though the weather continues to be just really crappy..........I do still believe that.....

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday: BRRRR....another gray, very cold day!!!

The title says it all for this part of Misery!!!! By mid-afternoon, we had freezing drizzle drifting down upon our little hill and town.......and I started the official HowserHouse Countdown until we can leave this and head for the border!!!

And, that is just about the most exciting thing that occurred today. is/has been the 1st Lady's birthday.....and I let her sleep in this morning. Then I fixed some cinnimon rolls.....and they were really good for coming out of a refrigerated tube.....haha!! Late this afternoon we went down to the Pizza Hut for a late lunch and for the Pizza Hut, the personal pan pizzas were really quite good!!!

I also had to get the new license plates for the truck, as well as a new driver's license!!! HOORAY!!!!! Finally, I can get a new picture for the license.....and it is soooooo much better than the once I destroyed this afternoon!!!

The 1st Lady has had numerous phone calls this afternoon and evening......and many cards and emails. And....thanks to all of you who did do one these birthday greetings for her!!!!! She loves having a birthday, as long as she doesn't have to admit now many she has had....haha!

And so, posting may be a bit haphazard for the next few days as we will be making our annual Christmas Tour around the state, visiting family and relatives and friends. Soooo, keep checking for any updates........

A nasty day, always.....

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

Pictures of Rachel "Shere Kahn" performance in Cape Girardeau