Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in Boulder

We have just returned home from one of the best Christmas holidays ever.  We were hosted by Christine at her home in Boulder and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went to Christmas Eve services together and then put a beef tenderloin on the Weber.  The next few days we spent skiing Vail and Keystone, as well as hiking some incredible trails within walking distance of Christine's house.  There may have been some hula hooping and frisbee throwing going on as well. (Pictures to follow in another blog post.) We ate at The Buff restaurant for breakfast one morning and at the Walnut Brewery for dinner one evening.  We saw True Grit and loved it.
It is quite likely that this will be on next year's Christmas card since we seem to have a difficult time getting together in one place with everyone's schedules, but we'll see. Thought you would enjoy seeing what we looked like when our ski trips first began.  Steve still has those RayBans tucked away somewhere.  I wish I had kept those Adidas jackets.  They would probably still fit C and L.  We thought we would try to recreate this photo after lunch at Keystone and completely forgot to.  So here are the alternative pictures. 



The
      Boys
              and
                    the
                         Girls!
 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Louise's Graduation from NC State

What a great weekend we had in North Carolina.  I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that our youngest has graduated from college.  The ceremony was held in one of the buildings that Louise had a number of her classes in which really made it special.  As you can imagine, not as many students graduate in December, so it was a smaller but more intimate ceremony.  Lovely.
We went to one of our favorite restaurants on Friday night. ( Firebirds ; where Christine spent many hours seating customers.) Since Steve's folks are so close to Raleigh, we spent the night with them and woke up to a great home made breakfast that Marcella whipped up and then it was back to Louise's apartment to take some pictures before the ceremony.
This one Steve took as she was walking out.  One happy girl!
We celebrated with a late lunch.  The grandparents were able to join us for the day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
And today Louise arrives in Texas.  We will have a couple of days hanging out here before we hit the road for Colorado.
Hope y'all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Phytel Party

On Saturday night we hosted the Phytel Christmas Party.  It was a new experience for me, not because we hosted a party, as we have done that scores of times.  This was unique because we had it catered and had an event planner come and place furniture and bring LOVELY floral arrangements. Oh my word.  I am now spoiled.  The only thing I had responsibility for was making sure my house was in order and decorated for Christmas which I had done the weekend after Thanksgiving.
So on Saturday morning Steve and I went on a long bike ride and then went out to lunch at a great little Tex Mex restaurant. On the day of the party!  Never have I been able to do that before.
All this blissful anticipation of entertaining in such grand style is a credit to the one and only Marilyn!  She is a dream and an organizational genius.  I am her biggest fan.
I know I can't get used to this kind of entertaining, but I sure am thankful for the experience.  It was a blast.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving recap and weekend activities.

It been a fun week.  Christine was here for a really relaxing and fun visit last week.  She and I did venture out to the Galleria to hit Zara's, which is pretty much a must for anyone in their 20's and 30's.  I can see why my girls love it so much. Other than that, we kept it pretty low key.  Christine and I did take lots of pictures for a blog post on Runza's, but I can't get them off of the camera.  Hmmmmmm.  Need to figure that out. Still working on it.
On Wednesday, Louise flew in and we jumped into full Thanksgiving mode, making  a pecan pie.  We were up early for a quick breakfast and then the big food prep.  Even though there were only 3 of us here to eat it, we went ahead and made all the favorites, just in smaller portions.  Yum!  We ate early enough that we were able to heat up some leftovers by late in the evening.  Thursday, Friday, and most of today (Saturday) will be taken up with football games.  Louise and I do plan to sneak out to a movie this afternoon.  It is time to get out of the house! And if we see an open parking spot at the mall, we may even brave that for a bit.  Somewhere in the mix, Louise needs to finish reading a book on Shakespeare and write a paper.  Ugh!
Oh, and we did start decorating for Christmas.  I enjoy Thanksgiving so much  that I wouldn't want to decorate for Christmas until that day is complete, but now I am in the mood.  It is even cold here in Texas, which makes it that much better.  Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to all the preparations for Christmas.
As a side note, Cookie and Pepper are officially SPOILED.  Two weeks with Christine and Louise and they are convinced they are royalty and our couches are their thrones.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday = Christine's Arrival

It is hard being so far away from all of children. If we want to see them, we have to fly to where they are of have them fly to us. The good thing is that all of them can get here direct without having to worry about missing connections etc. DFW is about the best airport in the country.
So, tomorrow Christine will use a "freebie" ticket and come for a long weekend. Since she has taken care of the ticket, I think I will have to treat her to a trip to Zara and the sale racks of Anthropologie. We are also on a mission to buy a couple of baby gifts for two of Dean's friends who just had baby boys. (When my boys were little the clothes for them were not nearly as adorable as they are now.)
We will spend Saturday night watching the Huskers football game and eating homemade Runza's. Google that. We were introduced to them when we lived in Nebraska and they are about the best comfort food ever. Maybe I will get Christine to help me photograph the preparation and finally put together my first food blog. (Lindsay Widdle, you are my inspiration.)
Then, next week, our baby will fly in for Thanksgiving. First Thanksgiving EVER that all the Schelhammer's won't be together. Louise will be an only child for this one. I think we'll put her to work making pecan pies!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elk Camp

Over the past few years, I have grown accustomed to spending some time alone in the fall, while Lefty heads to Montana for all sorts of hunting. (Pheasant, Antelope, Mule Deer, and Elk) After a few years of seeing the pictures and hearing the stories, I decided I wanted to see what all the excitement was all about.
So, a couple of weeks ago, Lefty asked me if I wanted to come up to Elk Camp for a few days and maybe help him get the cabin stocked with food and beverages. Well, with my love for grocery shopping and meal planning, I jumped all over that offer and he booked me a ticket to go in a day ahead to do some shopping and organizing. I made a very complete shopping list and about the time I left the hotel to begin, Lefty called and said he was on an earlier flight and would be able to help me.
We hit Costco around 10 a.m. with two carts. One hour later, we were off to Albertson's to pick up the rest of the things that we couldn't buy at Costco, and one hour after that we picked up Tom and Jim at the airport and we were on our way.
It takes about an hour and a half to get to the road where we have to cut off the highway. Then....it takes another 45 minutes to go the last 5 miles on a dirt road that has deep ruts and rocks sticking up all over. It is a breeze on the atv's, but in a truck pulling a trailer, it is treacherous. But, we made it.
The cabin leaves a bit to be desired. Electricity is available only when the generator is running. It isn't particularly dust free. The mattresses look like they have been around a LONG time. And there are a few furry friends that scoot around at night. And, I discovered there wasn't an overabundance of cooking utensils, pans and such. But, we were not deterred from beginning our adventure and having fun.
The next morning we were up @ 6 in the morning to get to a location in a pasture where we hoped to see the elk moving back up through the property after their night time grazing down in the valley. But, the weather was so warm and beautiful that the Elk just weren't moving around. They were staying in the high elevations. A bit disappointing for the guys.
The next few days, I chose to stay at the cabin while they went out tracking the deer, elk , and antelope. I prepared meals, read the latest Vince Flynn novel (the best one ever), and started the new John Grisham. I drank way too much coffee and tidied up the place as best I could. And, I enjoyed the views!!!
Here are a few pictures to give you a feel for what it's like. Can't wait to get back there.





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Switching it up.

When we moved to Texas, we knew we would need to get used to the heat. We did, sort of. But not to the point where we wanted to get our exercise out in it, so we purchased a treadmill. It was a great decision. We have clocked hours on it and will continue to, but now we back up to the Campion Trail which is part of the Trinity Trail system here in Las Colinas. It is a really nice, wide trail which we have enjoyed walking on for the past week or so, but we decided it would be even more fun to ride bikes on it and be able to cover more ground. So we went out and test drove some bikes in the parking lot of the bike store. Can you just picture that? I can't believe how bikes have changed since the last one I bought. They are so light and comfortable to ride. This is going to be fun!




Friday, October 29, 2010

The "to do" list.

Everyone knows that moving involves "to do" lists. And ours is a doozy. Things like shortening the legs on our metal bar stools. Who does that?
On the top of the list for this beautiful fall day in Dallas, is a trip to Lowe's for picture hangers, trash bags, miscellaneous bolts, black paint for a book shelf I need to spruce up, and a few bags of mulch. I might just have to pick up some mums and pansies as well. More than likely, a few plants or mulch bags will leave debris in my car which will lead to the car wash.
Oh, and my hubby has "lost" his car charger as well as the room charger for his BB. And they tell us they are on back order. Nevertheless, I am on a mission to find him a charger of one sort or another that works.
Then, Fridays are always great days to head to Whole Foods. With all those football games to watch on Saturday, it's nice to have pre-planned some meals for the weekend.
So, here I go. Wish me well. Any guesses on how long all this will take?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's official.

We are settled in our new home and loving it. I have yet to tackle the garage, but I am waiting for some cooler temperatures to make it tolerable to be out there.
The pups are happier here than just about anywhere they have been. Lots for them to look at. The Campion Trail system is right out our back door and there are walkers, runners, bikers, and roller-bladers going by constantly. Cookie and Pepper see it as a bonus when someone brings their dog along. A few days ago a coyote just walked up to the trail and meandered up to our neighbor's fence. We have yet to purchase bikes, but it is on the agenda. We have a small lake in the middle of the development as well, with a sidewalk all around it,so there is some real potential for getting some exercise. Now I just need to seize the opportunities.
And on a different note, due to some complications in switching services, we were without cable and internet for 6 days. Can you even imagine that? Thankfully, Louise came for a visit and we found plenty to do running around Dallas and Fort Worth. We watched movies and read our books in the evenings and I actually have decided that taking a break from t.v. and the laptop was good for me. But I sure am glad to have HGTV, and the Food Network back.
And now, it's time to quit procrastinating and go for that walk! Day one...here I go.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dinner at Bruno's

There is an incredibly special little neighborhood treasure of a restaurant that is really close to our new house. Their crab claw appetizer is to die for, as well as their iceberg wedge salad. For my entree I ordered a lemon, caper and veal dish. I don't believe I have ever had it prepared more perfectly. And, on a side note, their piano player is amazing.
This whole eating out thing takes on a new meaning when your entire kitchen is packed up and their really is no hope of preparing another homemade meal. I will not complain. Every once in awhile I like to go out. It's special. But, by Monday night, I fully intend to cook in our new house, on my Wolf gas cook-top. I will be feeling spoiled rotten. Didn't realize how much I missed my Viking back in G'boro.
Think I will try Lindsay Widle's potato dish. It sounds divine.
Have a happy Sunday tomorrow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Things Done

I love how my man loves to hunt and fish and just generally live life to the fullest. He met our son, Karl in Montana for opening pheasant season last Thursday and they have had a "blast", in more ways than one. When Lefty gets home tomorrow night, he will be refreshed. I learned early on in our marriage how important it is for guys to get a good dose of the outdoors on occasion and it has been a great thing. They and their friends have been living large.
In the meantime, I am GETTING THINGS DONE. I rented a Penske truck and moved everything from our storage shed, garage, most of the kitchen, dining room and great room "doo dads" and everything in our bathrooms and bedroom closets to the new house. This is going to be our easiest move ever since we have had the luxury of doing it over the course of an entire month. (Highly recommended.) By the time we have movers move our furniture and appliances on Monday, everything will already be in cabinets and closets and the only remaining thing to do will be to hang pictures.
That whole "Carpe Diem" thing works for me. Seize the day. Sometimes it is better to just make the decision to get it done!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

It's always helpful to have a plan B. While I was fully aware of how much rain fell in parts of North Carolina last week, I didn't realize that it would wreak havoc on our weekend plans at the beach. No sooner did I turn on my phone after landing, and Karen was on the phone to let us know that their flight was canceled and they were not going to get to come and join us. (They will come and visit us in TX instead one of these weekends.) As it turned out, it was a cool and overcast weekend so Lefty and I took some walks, did a lot of reading and cooking and eating, and just relaxed. With the crazy October coming up, it was probably the perfect weekend to prepare us for the days and weeks to come. Last night we were able to have dinner with Lefty's folks, his sister, our niece and her boyfriend. Delicious! And to round out a perfect evening, Z came over to our hotel and watched DWTS's with us.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Off to NC!

Tomorrow I will fly to Raleigh where Z will pick me up. Z and I have a few errands to run before Lefty and our good college friends arrive. I have been trying to do extra sit-ups and crunches to prepare my stomach for the HUGE laughs we will have. Larry is about the funniest man we have ever known. Lefty and Larry were roommates in college and at the time Larry was quite the dedicated student...Lefty was a little more, shall we say, social. Now, every time we get together, it is just flat out FUN! Karen was my sorority sister, so I have packed some of our old newsletters and programs in my suitcase that we will "reflect upon". It is such fun to get together with friends we have known for over 30 years. Incredible! For those of you out there, ALWAYS prioritize your close friends. They are a huge gift and encouragement over the years. It is worth every penny you will ever spend to get together as often as possible. Much more valuable than any home, car, or doo-dad you might own. The older I get the less "possessions" mean. Can't wait to spend the weekend with the best of friends; sitting on the beach watching the waves crash in, cooking great meals, drinking some great wine, and catching up on all that is going on in our lives. Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our New Home

We closed today on our new house. We ended up buying in the very first neighborhood we ever looked at before even moving to the Dallas area. It felt right then, but of course we hadn't sold our house in Greensboro, and now over a year after selling our house, it was time to find just the right place. We will take our time moving in, but by Halloween we will be completely moved in. Our favorite thing about the location is that it is 5 minutes from work for Steve, and a close second is that it backs up to the Campion Trail, so we can just hop on our bikes and GO! We are going to enjoy looking out of our backyard and seeing nothing but trees and birds and a bit of the wide open spaces that pop up all over the Metroplex.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Family Things

This post is really intended for my immediate family, so if anyone else is reading this, it either won't make sense or might possibly bore you to no end. That being said, I have to clear up a couple of things.
1) I DID have Christine and Patrick as my screen saver for awhile...mostly because Steve wanted to feel like he knew him, and then I just got busy and kept it there. But, I switched it to a Montana picture of our July trip (which excludes Karl), so my next screen saver will be a picture of Karl. A mom has got to be fair after all. All of my kids are my absolute favorites!
2) After a quick visit to Edinburg, TX to visit my father's oldest cousin, Vivian (95), I have to share a few stories about my great-grandfather Hans. He must have kept people guessing. The first story Vivian told was that he took a bath once a year in the lake that I grew up on. Crazy! That's all I have to say about that. Secondly, the story goes that one winter after the lake had frozen, he decided to walk across the lake to visit his cousin and was carrying a bottle of liquor with him. He dropped the bottle on the ice and it broke. He then proceeded to slurp it up right off the ice. Crazy! That's all I have to say about that. 3) He went to bed at 6:00 p.m. every day and insisted that the house was quiet from that point on. The log cabin was all of 600 sq. feet and there were 8 people living in it. Crazy! That's all I have to say about that.
When it comes to family, sometimes you just never know from whence you came. If I hear anymore of these fascinating tales, you will be the first to know.
Have a happy Sunday! I am off to church.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta brag.

This is probably a poor choice for a title for this blog, because technically when you brag, you are taking credit for something you have done, or something you take responsibility for. I am not doing either one.
My 4 adult children totally amaze me. My friends here in Texas keep asking me how I survive without my children living in close proximity. I have thought about it a lot since we moved to Texas and consistently answer that question with this answer: My children are all in a good place in their lives. They are productive, happy, responsible, generous, and kind individuals. I am proud that they are finding their own way in this world and are as different in many ways but so much the same in many others. They are great people with great friends and have ambition to build a future for themselves. What more could a parent ask for? We are so proud of who they are and excited for what their future holds for them. They have made good decisions for themselves and will reap the benefits of that over time. It is an absolute joy to be a parent to each one of them. Life is good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Plan B!

Labor Day weekend is one of our last opportunities to enjoy our place at the beach before the crazy fall hunting trips to Montana begin. So we wanted to combine a bit of R&R with Louise over the long weekend. We flew into Raleigh yesterday knowing full well that Hurricane Earl was coming as well. Louise picked us up and we did what we usually do, drop off the Mr. so he could work at the hotel, and then hit Target and Harris Teeter. (My favorite grocery store ever.)
We had planned to stay in Raleigh overnight last night and now, will again tonight as they have issued a mandatory evacuation for Emerald Isle today. It's a bit disappointing to not be able to head to the beach today, but on the other hand, trying to sleep while the house is "rocking" from the wind, isn't necessarily something I want to experience, and the idea of losing power and having no AC is even worse. So, we will approach our plan B with great expectation. We will try a couple more great restaurants and hit some great end of summer sales!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

I heard the buses drive through the neighborhood this morning along with the sounds of parents and their kiddos saying good-byes. I am sure that many of those moms and maybe dads had some mixed feelings as they put their little ones on those big yellow buses. That feeling of "whew! What should I do first today? I have the whole, quiet house to myself." And then the recurring thoughts about how they are going to do in their new environment. Will they like their teacher? Will they like the other students in their class? For the older ones, will they be able to open the combination on their locker? Will they know their way around the building and find their classes on time? It's a day full of mixed emotions for both parents and children. Excitement for a new year mixed in with a little of the fear of the unknown. My bet is that more likely than not, these same precious children will hop off the bus this afternoon with big smiles on their faces and a back-pack full of forms for their parents to fill out and say "Mom, today you have homework and I don't!" And moms will think, "Just wait until tomorrow."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's still so HOT!

I have no great stories or events to share because I have decided not to leave my house ( well almost not leave my house ) until this heat leaves Dallas. Whew! When your car says it is 106 degrees, it takes driving 10 minutes just to get the car cooled down. My only adventures involve hurrying from the parking lot into a grocery store, a mall, or a local mailboxes to send something to one of my children.
It is a sad commentary that I have resorted to watching reality tv shows that I missed, on my laptop. HULU is now bookmarked. (I might have to break down and get that whole DVR thing set up.)
And... never mind blow drying and styling my hair. What an absolute waste of time. Truth be told, all those hair products that are supposed to smooth and straighten in the hot, humid air, do NOT really deliver on their promises.
Even the pool is getting too hot. I don't know what all those young moms with "many small children" do here in TX about this time of the year. They are probably counting down the days until school starts, and sitting in front of their ac vents with the ceiling fans set on high!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Escaping the Heat!

If ever I get the chance to go somewhere cooler than Texas in the summer, I take it. So when I offered to help Christine move, she took me up on it.Christine and Robin have moved out of the apartment into a house in Boulder and I was able to fly in to help them unpack and "set up shop". The usual trips to Target, Home Goods, Home Depot, Marshall's, and a couple of returns later and they were "in business". They will have a few more things to do to put their own stamp on the place, but when I walked out the door to come home, it looked so comfortable and homey. I think they are going to love having the extra space and know it will come in handy as they have guests overnight. I can attest to the fact that the guest room is oh so comfy!
While I was in CO I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick.
And speaking of places cooler than Texas in the summer; we are soon off to Montana to get all of Steve's gear that is scattered, back into one place and ready for the hunting season. We will sneak in a little fly fishing while we are there and probably float the Jefferson River.
We are heading back to North Carolina to check in on our Itty Bitty Schelhammer in early September, so one by one we are catching up with "the fam".

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Griswoldlike"


Oh my! I hardly know how to begin. Last Wednesday I jumped on (I actually walked on) a flight from DFW to Washington Reagan and was picked up by my aunt in her "classic" 1988 chevy sedan. ( not sure what model and not sure it's a classic ) We proceeded to the "airplane viewing" parking lot and met my uncle who was sitting in the shade keeping an eye on the U-Haul that was loaded with their belongings.
Long story short, they built a house in Minnesota about 3 years ago and have finally sold their home in DC. I had volunteered to help them get the rest of their belongings back to MN a few months back and the time had come! It actually was a pretty good plan. I would fly out and help them get their things to MN and then stay for a family reunion and then fly back to Dallas.
I have never lacked confidence when it comes to road trips, so I hopped out of the car in the parking lot and threw my suitcase in the U-Haul and basically said,"Let's hit the road". We pulled out of the parking lot with the two of them in the lead in their "classic" car. We merged onto the parkway and headed out towards 270 at 4:30 p.m. About this time I realized that the rear view mirror was a sign the said,"9 foot clearance" and that I would have to trust the very large side mirrors for the next 2 days. But not to be discouraged, I sat up a little taller and mustered up all my self-confidence and joined the erratic traffic that would be my companion until we pulled off the road about 1 1/2 hours later to grab some dinner. Nothing like getting comfortable driving a U-Haul in rush hour in DC.
Let me just stop here and tell you the order of our restaurant stops along the way, just because I know you will be fascinated. 1 - Bob Evans (dinner) 2 - McDonald's (breakfast) 3 - McDonald's (lunch) 4 - Starbucks (10 steps from McDonald's lunch) 5 - Baker's Square (dinner)6 - Super 8 (complimentary breakfast - cheerios or corn flakes - What a selection!) 7 - Burger King (lunch) 8 - Never mind, we were to anxious to get to our destination that we skipped dinner. By now I imagine you are all wishing you could have joined me for this culinary tour. I would have offered you tums.
I might just as well go ahead and tell you that the first night the Motel 6 had bedspreads with pictures of buildings and vehicles on them and a chair with a table that resembled something used in an interrogation room. We stepped it up on the second night at a Super 8. (Does the quality of a room have something to do with number behind it?) The 8 was at least 1/2 a step up from the 6.
My two days of cross country driving where interrupted by three extremely long interstate delays during which I could have written a short novel; way too many gas stops to fill the tank of an extremely hungry U-Haul; and as I referred to earlier, the varied culinary delights along the way.
There is nothing quite like following a single car across a third of the United States for a bit over 2 days. It was sort of like the movie "Ground Hog Day". At each state line I picked up a toll ticket and proceeded across the state where I would pay the toll and then practice my high speed merge only to get another toll ticket a few miles down the road. Repetition! That is what this road trip was all about.
Truth be told, I am thankful that we had no real issues. There will always be construction and traffic and fast food that gets tiresome, but no car problems, flat tires, break downs or the like. We made it safe and sound. 1293 miles of forward motion.
After what seemed to be a pretty short night of sleep at my folks house, it was off to help unload "the beast" at my aunt and uncle's new house. When we arrived they had opened the back end of the U-Haul and as I peered inside to see what I had transported across the countryside, I did my best to hide my surprise when I saw the half-filled truck. It took us ONE hour to unpack what it had taken me a little over 2 days to drive. ( The first load I carried into the house was the largest bag of old hangers I have ever seen. Let me just leave it at that. )
Later on Saturday, my folks and I went to a beautiful park that had been reserved for our family reunion on my dad's side of the family. I found a nice shady spot to sit with lots of extended family members all around and did nothing but catch up on all that had been going on in their lives and relish the fact that I would not be driving home to TX. And now I'm HOME!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The lazy, hazy, days of summer.

After a respite from the heat, we are back in it again here in Texas. While the temperatures were certainly cooler in Montana, the blanket of mosquitoes that surrounded us distracted us some. Those pesky little things sure can stir up some serious annoyance on my part. Usually by early July, it is so dry that you hardly notice them, but this year with the cooler temperatures and rain, it was very lush and green and I guess the perfect breeding ground for the little pests.

But, truth be told, we had an incredible vacation. We did a little 4-wheeling, some fly fishing, lots of eating, and even caught a couple of the world cup games. We get 3 channels and fortunately one of them is ABC. We missed Karl as his project at NIST is going full steam ahead and he just couldn't get away. He will get his turn in October for the opening of pheasant hunting.

The ranch is now my favorite place to entertain. It is a place of simplicity and ease. No fancy dishes, or gadgets, just the basics. We hardly have a picture on the walls. It is a place where you feel comfortable putting your feet up on the furniture and kicking back. A friend of ours got it right. He said it is a place where you seem to be able to squeeze 2 days into one, and boy did we!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Escaping the Heat

About this time of the summer,we feel the need to make the great escape to Montana. Even when the days get a bit hot, it always cools off by late afternoon and you can actually enjoy being outside. It is quite likely that we will even enjoy a good bonfire...maybe some "smores". I am counting down the days until departure.

The best part about this grand escape is that all four of our children will be able to join us for a few days. We will do some 4 wheeling up at Elk Peak, some fly fishing on the Yellowstone, lots of grilling, and some swimming in the river. Life is good!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beach Etiquette and Oddities

It is rather amusing to spend some time at the beach as the vacationers come and go from one week to the next. I have decided that some people have done it so many times that they just "get" how to settle into the environment. However, there are other folks who make you wonder, "What's up with that?"

For example, yesterday we saw a lovely young woman reading what looked to be a lengthy novel as she walked down the beach. She just about took out a sand castle. Reading and walking at the same time....hmmmm. Another group of multi-generational guys played their boche ball game SO CLOSE to us that at one point, they kicked up sand that landed on my towel. (Keep in mind that the beach that we have a cottage at is not a crowded beach. No condos, hotels, or high rises. Just individual homes and duplexes.) A few days ago, we "parked" our chairs and beach gear in a nice open spot only to find that within minutes a small group "parked" RIGHT next to us even though there was lots of empty space all around us.

Oh, and the tattoos. I think I best leave it at that.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Fox News Huckabee Show

American Ingenuity! Mike Huckabee's show tonight focuses on Americans who have LOTS of solutions to the oil spill clean-up. It will be replayed tomorrow night, I think. I hope that lots of people see this show. There are so many products/ideas that could have an immediate impact. If we let these people do what they know works, we could be on our way to having this clean-up well underway and the Gulf Coast looking forward to a brighter future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Old Calendars

I spent the morning with some friends who are MUCH younger than I am and it reminded me of how crazy the month of May is for all those younger moms out there. So, I came home and pulled out my old calendars that record every activity and event for all 6 Schelhammer family members. I have no idea how we made it work. At any given point in time, our kids were each doing 2 sports, some music lessons, youth group at church, confirmation, art lessons, just to name a few. Throw in orthodontist appointments,cotillion, pizza hut nights for Millis Road, skate nights at Skateland, overnights with friends, etc. and well, let's just say it sure was fun while it lasted. And somewhere in there they did homework!
As we sat around the table this morning talking about how frazzled most women feel in the middle of all that activity, and how often they feel like they are not measuring up, I thought about how we need to remember, life is not about perfection, but being available to your family and prioritizing them over the "to do list". Sometimes it's enough to do a good job, not a perfect job. I still believe that cleaning an entire house for a party at which people are only going to be in 3 rooms is a huge waste of time.
As I look back on the years when all our children were home, I am flooded with incredible memories and can't believe how quickly those years flew by. We had some serious fun.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Taste of Addison" - Fun Day with Dean

The festival in Addison this weekend did not disappoint. After Dean's late flight in on Friday, we hung out by the pool. Saturday morning we headed in to Addison for a day in the park. This festival brings in lots of local restaurants who set up booths and serve their favorite menu items on paper plates. There are also lots of artists and vendors selling their wares. The big draw however is a number of Texas bands and then a closing act, this year, Train. We got a big laugh over a band called "Smile-Smile". They were a young gal and guy who USED to be in a relationship. Awkward! It appears their fame has come as a result of recording an album about their failed attempts. (Everything about this screams WRONG...especially getting up on stage and drawing attention to that.) Who wants to see an ex-couple pick at one another on stage when you should be kicking up your heels and having fun? Dean decided they would be better off renaming their dynamic duo, Frown-Frown. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of music and the people watching. These kinds of events certainly show a cross section of humanity and we found ourselves in the middle of it.
Dean was on a flight home by mid morning. What a whirlwind of a weekend for him, but a good change of scenery nonetheless. As always, we love it when one of the kids pops in for the weekend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Practicing for a future cooking blog.

I pulled out my camera and have begun taking some practice pictures of some of the meals I am making. I hope to post a cooking blog once a week. It will never approach the "Pioneer Woman's", but it just might be a fun way to pass along some of my favorite recipes. I do love the kitchen! We will just have to see where it goes.
I am certainly going to have to challenge myself to a new level of technology skills to make this work. At some point, I am certain I will be calling one of my "kids" to ask them how to do something! Dean is coming in for the weekend, so I plan to start next week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fridays and School Buses

It is such fun to be behind a big yellow school bus on a Friday afternoon. Seeing all those sweet little faces getting off the bus and running up to their parents or tearing down the sidewalk toward home, reminds me of my children pouring into the house on Fridays and dropping their backpacks by the door. It was a day for no homework, a night for staying up a little later, a night for renting a movie, and hoping we didn't have to set an alarm to go to a game or activity the next morning. I still think Friday is my favorite day of the week. Now it is more about my hubby not having to go to work the next day, planning a road trip somewhere, and still hoping we don't have to set the alarm. Let the weekend begin!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The weekend.

This is going to be a seriously fun weekend for my two girls. They are going to spend it together in Raleigh. The highlight will no doubt be the engagement party, but I am sure they will amuse themselves in a host of eating establishments as well. BBQ, Bojangles, Sweet Tea, Snoopy's and who knows what else. AND, I can imagine that Robin will make at least one prank phone call to an unsuspecting individual. There will be laughs galore.
Meanwhile, back in TX, we are looking forward to staying home for a change. I can't remember the last weekend we were here. It seems like forever ago. I plan to plant my pots with some pretty flowers and then sit by the pool and enjoy them. Life is good!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jillian Michaels - A love/hate relationship.

I follow LOTS of blogs. It's such fun. Today I realized that for a few of us there is a springtime common theme, which is...Getting ready for swimsuit season. So, I am back on the Jillian Michaels's 30 Day Shred, which worked for me last summer and I am hoping it will this year as well. Oh boy! Thought I had worked up to Level 3, but no, I am going to stick with level 2 a little longer.

Celebrating Z's B-Day

Louise flew in from Raleigh for a long weekend. Since her birthday fell on a school day, we did the next best thing, we celebrated early. On Friday, she and I hit the Galleria to do some shopping for a suitable suit to wear for some presentations coming up and happened to find a couple of other cute things. We had our good friends , the Parkers, over for dinner that evening. Saturday was such a beautiful day, so we hung out by the pool and that evening we went to our first Ranger's game. What a great ball park. Can't wait to go back there again. We put Louise on a plane to head back to NC on Sunday afternoon. The weekends always go too fast!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Exploring Texas

There is just sooooo much to see in Texas, and we are once again trekking around a new area. This weekend we are checking out Nacogdoches where Davey Crockett spent some time before he went to fight at the Alamo. We will see a few of his haunts and look for a good spot to go for a hike.
This part of TX is full of oak and pine trees. Really beautiful this time of year with all the wild flowers in bloom.
We are staying in an old Victorian B and B that is lovely. We have a 3 room suite here that is bigger than our first apartment. The antique furnishings are beautiful and it is so peaceful.
We had a lovely dinner at Auntie Pastas last night and a fun tex-mex breakfast at the hotel across the street. They have an arrangement with our B and B. Yum!
Off we go!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Feels like home.

Every time I drive across the bridge to Emerald Isle, I feel like I am coming home. We have had this cottage for 18 years and it holds such great memories. The smell of the ocean air, the breeze blowing, and today some HUGE waves. Spectacular.

The simplicity of life at the beach is such a good feeling. It's a place where a weber grill, some paper plates, and plastic wine glasses work. It's a place where an outdoor shower is a luxury, and riding my bike and walking on the beach is not about exercise.

Looking forward to seeing family and friends while we are here and eating as much fish and seafood as we can. Making my grocery list tonight and washing windows tomorrow... with a smile on my face.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Barcelona

We just had a wonderful time in Barcelona. It is one of the most extraordinary cities. (I say that because I believe it to be true even though I haven't traveled extensively...yet.)
The streets are wide in the part of the city where buildings were built in the 1800's and beyond; and the old part of the city built over the Roman ruins reminded me of the tight streets in Italy. Gorgeous.
The architecture is what is special in Barcelona. There aren't words to describe, but if you google Antoni Gaudi, you will get a picture of the city. He was such a visionary. We were awed by what we saw.
The work that was done in the city to prepare for the 92' Olympics is stunning. (Remember the Dream Team?) Catalans ( the region around Barcelona ) take great pride in their city and love to tell you about it. It is clean, easy to get around in, with all the special touches of an old city that has incorporated modern comforts in a seamless way.
And now I am off to Whole Foods, because tonight we are having tapas. The Spaniards know how to eat and we have bought in to their philosophy. They serve a large variety of small dishes at almost every restaurant. Bowls of seasoned nuts, delicious small olives, unbelievable bread with fresh tomatoes spread on top, deep fried artichokes, the most extraordinary hams, white anchovies, shrimp, etc. etc. (Can you tell I am hungry?)
And the wines, well, I will just tell you they are some of the best. We loved the Riojas, and sampled their Cava. We will begin our search for some of them here.
I will attempt to post some photos in my next post, but first I need to figure out how! : )

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Studying Esther

Right after Christmas a group of women from our church (Bent Tree Bible Fellowship) began the study of Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman. The study was written by Beth Moore. What an incredible experience it is sharing life with other women; sharing the joys, the complexities, the challenges, and the sorrows. Life is hard sometimes and God knows it is and intends for us to fully rely on Him, but He wants us to rely on one another as well. What a reassuring thing it is to realize that we all were called to live at this very time and in this very place to have an impact in our families, friendships,and communities.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting on Spring

By the time March 1st rolls around, I am ready for some warm and sunny days. Our tulips are up and while they aren't ready to bloom, they are giving me hope that spring is just around the corner. We had no idea when we moved to Texas that we would have some real wintry weather.

We had a great time being back in North Carolina last week. As we landed at the airport I was reminded of how pretty NC is with all the trees. We tend to take for granted all the things that are around us every day.

It was such a treat to spend time with Z, and see some friends. The time flew by. The next time we will be able to see "the fam" will probably be Easter. And by then, spring WILL have arrived.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm back.....

It is just so easy to drift away from this blogging thing. I so appreciate all those people I follow who are so prolific and dependable. I am not. But I am well intentioned, just distracted.

There is no great way to play catch up on this thing, but I will just begin where I am.
We have just finished a wonderful long weekend with Christine in Montana. We rented a ski in/ ski out cabin at Moonlight Basin and skied there and at Big Sky. Great timing as they had 8 to 10 inches of snow the night we arrived. Great powder (for those experts), but truth be told, I struggled. Then the groomers went to work, and oh my! Everyone teases me about how I love the groomers, but they change my life! I feel like a pro when I get on those groomed trails. We had so much fun that we are going to attempt to get all 4 "kids" together for some spring skiing in CO. We'll see...

So, here I sit in Salt Lake waiting to head home and realizing that our lives are about to get really busy. A quick trip to NC in about a week to see Z, and then off to Spain in early March followed immediately by a long weekend in New Orleans. Then, hopefully we will be moving to downtown Dallas. We hope to find a great "lock and leave" condo/townhouse close to "the action" in Dallas with proximity to the Katy Trail. It's time to experience the city up close and personal. We will keep you posted.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life is Good.

We spent part of last weekend in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Stock and Rodeo show is in town for the better part of a month. What fun! Cowboys and their gals everywhere!
There is a whole different feel to Fort Worth. Very comfortable, and very friendly. Jeans and boots are the norm at even the finest restaurants.
We had dinner at The Lonesome Dove. Oh my goodness! One of our new favorites. The chef has quite a reputation and can be seen on the food network on occasion.
This weekend we are off to Austin with friends and know there will be more opportunities for some great food and hopefully some music as well. Giddy-up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back in the great state of Texas!

We spent last week in Romania and had a wonderful time reconnecting with our friends there. We spent a couple of days in Poiana and then went to Cluj for a couple of days. The weather was just what we had expected, snowy and cold. It is such fun to enjoy winter for a limited amount of days. ( Sure wish I had hung on to some of my warm winter coats. In my haste to get rid of things, I donated them to Goodwill once I knew we were moving from NC to TX. )Oh well, I survived.
We spent a couple of days in Oradea as well and then took the train to Budapest, Hungary where we had an entire day to walk around the city. What a special place. The architecture is amazing. Our favorite thing to do is to walk along the river after dark and see the beautiful bridges over the Danube and the buildings all lit up. Spectacular.
We caught an early flight back on Saturday morning and got UPGRADED! Watched 3 movies and ate everything they put in front of me. No complaints. We even landed 20 minutes early. When does that ever happen?
Got on the scale this morning and OH MY GOSH! It is time for me to hop on the treadmill. Gotta Run! :)